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So long story short, I'm running a campaign that has the unique ability to allow me to take individual encounters and present them individually to the party.

I'm looking for inspiration, so if you know of an encounter that had fun mechanics, please let me know what it was and what module, if possible. Whatever detail you can provide would be great! Module could be Paizo, third party or homebrew, whatever.

A lot of interesting sugggestions here; thanks guys.

I'm going to be creating level 7 chars for these suggestions, and presenting them to her. I want her to decide which option she is most interested in, then let her create the char on her own.

I'll try and post statblocks for people to critique as well!

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Hmm, that's cheap. I'll pick it up and check it out. GM replied with "I'll need to see the class features first", so that's not an outright no!

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Sorry for getting defensive, lack of sleep and stress at work are clouding my judgement. Not an excuse, I know.

Anywho, The Eldritch Scoundrel looks interesting. I'll have to look deeper at that. I'm also going to talk with the GM about the Trickster from Kobold Press. It will be difficult, however, since I don't own the PDF currently so he will likely say no without seeing the class beforehand.

Thanks so far!

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quibblemuch wrote:
The dot is a way of adding the thread to things to be watched, even if you don't specifically have advice to offer.

Oops, my mistake, now I look like a ___. I apologize.

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TL:DR - Need suggestions for a Gnome Rogue/Ninja-ish type that can take advantage of the Gnomish Illusion strengths. Anything Paizo has published is legal. One Trait must be from the Curse of the Crimson Throne AP. 20 pt. Buy

So, my buddy is starting a "Couples Pathfinder" using the Curse of the Crimson Throne Adventure Pack. There's six of us, and the three ladies are Pathfinder rookies. The GM has allowed the rookies to play basically whatever OP'd character they can create, so long as it uses Paizo source material (no third party).

My wife, being a diminutive 4'11", wants to play a Gnome. No exceptions. She's a trickster and a pain in the *** in real life, so she identifies with Gnomes. She also wants to cast Illusions, since Gnomes get some good bonuses to Illusion spells. Lastly, she wants to be sneaky, a "street rat" as she puts it, with lots of skills and tricks. Lastly, she feels useless if she isn't doing SOMETHING in combat, and gets down on herself if she isn't pulling her weight during battles. She doesn't have to dominate, but she at least wants to contribute.

Her desires point me toward the Arcane Trickster, but the AT is very weak in the early levels. There has to be a better way. I have explored the Threatening Illusion feat in combination with Ghost Sound/Magical Lineage, but it won't become useful till later in the characters career. Even then, it's dubious how useful it will be. It sounds like a cool trick, but I keep thinking there is a better way.

If someone would direct me toward what I should investigate to help out my wife, that would be appreciated. All Paizo material is allowed.

Thanks in advance!

Semi on topic - Our game group uses a shared Google Drive for everything. Never have to worry about losing stuff, and everything is right there on hand if anyone needs it. I'm sure you could do the same with Dropbox/Onedrive or whatever else you want.

Store your stuff in the cloud and never lose it again!

I really like Jhod essentially setting up a commune in the Temple hex. Will be a nice opportunity for diplomacy roleplaying if the group wants to incorporate the hex into their kingdom. Gonna run with that!

Thanks everyone for the suggestions.

*Warning - Spoilers*

I gave one of the PCs a quest from Erastil to rescue the deranged bear at the hidden Temple of Erastil in Book one. The PC was told to defeat but not destroy (kill) the bear.

Second, they were to restore the Temple by improving the hex and making sure it was a part of their kingdom within two years.

Long story short, they went in guns ablazin' and killed the bear.

When the bear was killed, I told them that the overgrowth that surrounded the temple grew quickly and engulfed the temple, forcing them to flee. "Years of growth, held back by the religious essence of the place, finally catches up with the surrounding forest."

The PC's then told their story to Jhod (who thought them mad that Erastil would contact them directly) and Jhod left to verify that the temple was found. The PC's haven't seen him since.

Erastil is upset, but still wants the PC's to make him the primary religion in their new fledgling kingdom. How would you go about contacting them for restoration, and what would you have them do?

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Ashiel wrote:
I might actually sell you on the opposite.

You do realize that this is a necro thread right? Chances are he has decided by now.

Might want to fix that title though.

If you are playing Pathfinder you really should own the books, either in hardcopy or PDF. Playing PFS without owning the books is the equivalent to pirating a video game, IMO. You may not think it hurts anyone, but it does, and it's not like Paizo is swimming in cash like EA.

Although I doubt anyone is going to run you out of the game session if you don't own the books, by rule, yes, they can make you leave or prevent you from playing. But it's really just bad form to play the game and not own them. If you want access to everything, then buy all the books. If you can't afford them, buy the Core book and start there.

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Damian Magecraft wrote:
But since Universalist is the default for wizards and arcane bloodline is the default for sorcerer I thought the comparison accurate.

Universalist is no more the default than Necromancy or Evocation, or any of the other schools. It's just one choice of many (and the worst one by a mile).

Your comparison is about as accurate as Michael J. Fox standing in a hurricane at 500 yards with a slingshot.

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Damian Magecraft wrote:
1: Any class ability that is governed by GM whim is not a good draw point for a class.

Completely and utterly irrelevant to the topic. I don't know why you keep bringing this up. Of course a monk is going to be better than a fighter if your GM only allows Unarmed Strikes for some god awful reason.

2: Claiming Spell, Feat, or School X makes Class Y equal to or greater than Class Z? Too situational, also not a good draw point. What if my concept does not include taking those? Does that mean I have to abandon my concept?

Huh? You just said "You can't compare each classes unique abilities with each other to see if one is better than the other." Uh, yes you can. That's pretty much the entire concept of discussion.

In order for the class to be viable it needs to be able to support more than one or two "optimal" builds.

Every class in the game is "viable". Hell, Sword and Board Fighters are "viable" but hardly "optimal". You can play the game and have fun just fine with a sub-optimal build.

At this point I think you are either just arguing to argue, or trolling.

You: Why should I play a Wizard?
Internet: Because, reasons.
You: Nope!

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Damian Magecraft wrote:
I play universalists.

You lost all credibility right there, bud.

I love how the "Wizards suck when compared to Sorcerers" crowd are using house rules and anecdotal evidence to back up their claims. Look at the RAW and compare them. They both have advantages and weaknesses. I'd put Wizards over Sorcerers for the early access to spells and larger variety of spells. Yknow, what everyone else said.......

If you want to argue using house rules or personal experience, House Rules forums is >>>>>that way

I've never understood the purpose of threads like this. They are just passive aggressive stabs against threads that you don't like. Why clog up the forums with useless threads like this?

Hopefull this will get deleted. This isn't the WoW forums.

In before "If you don't like it don't read it"


Yea, I've read the Reach Cleric. I'm more looking for anything regarding speeding up spells or channels.

But I guess I'm basically stuck with Quick rods and Reach.

Thanks everyone!

Core, as in Core Rulebook only.

Trying to plan out my new cleric for a Core-only campaign.

Other than the obvious Quicken feat/rod, I'm struggling with increasing my actions/turn.

Are there any magic items/feats that I am missing that are Core to increase my actions/turn?

The air bubble allows the creature touched to breathe underwater or in similar airless environments, or protects the object touched from water damage.

The Air Bubble would repel the water created. That is how I would rule it.

Either way the Air Bubble would still allow the caster to breathe normally. Create Water can't cancel the effects of the ongoing spell. You would need dispel magic or something similar.

MurphysParadox wrote:
It isn't a perfect system.

Yea, I know. I was more looking to see if there was something I was missing in the RAW, or if any other DMs had any other suggestions/houserules.

I was torn between posting this in the Homebrew, Rules or Advice forums. I picked Rules. /shrug

Satchmo wrote:
You cannot expect much if you have not practiced. As a track coach for Jr High students I see improvements of up to a foot in a students first year doing high jump.
ZanzerTem wrote:
I think it makes sense for bipeds but not quad.

Hawktitan wrote:

This is probably the biggest thing you are missing -

From Acrobatics wrote:
Creatures with a base land speed above 30 feet receive a +4 racial bonus on Acrobatics checks made to jump for every 10 feet of their speed above 30 feet

So said Dire Wolf has a +18 on acrobatics made to jump. Also if we assume taking a 10, that's a 28 for a 7 foot high jump.

Meanwhile the snake moves at 20' and gets a -4 penalty, so taking a 10 it would be jumping with a +17, not terrible but nowhere near as good as the wolf.

I've already included that in the number above. The Dire wolf has Acrobatics as Untrained, so it would be a basic Dex bonus of +2. Then factor in a base speed of 50', that grants an additional +8, leaving a total of +10 High Jump.

The Snake, however, has a trained Acrobatics at +7, plus an additional Racial modifier of +8, granting it a +15 Acrobatics check. With a base speed of 20, that's a -4 to the check, giving the snake a +11 High Jump.

So by RAW a Constrictor Snake is better at High Jumping than a Dire Wolf.

First off, why is it a DEX based check? Shouldn't high jump be STR? You don't need to be nimble to jump straight up, you need strong legs.

Secondly, a player of mine pointed out that the chart makes no sense for his dire wolf companion. Hilariously, by comparison, a Constrictor snake has a higher Acrobatics High Jump chance then a Dire Wolf. The Constrictor Snake as a High Jump of +11, while his dire wolf (Large-sized and quadrapedal) has an Acrobatics check of +10. That only allows a 2 foot high jump as guaranteed.

Two feet.

So, am I missing something regarding High Jump rules, or is that just RAW and I need to houserule something for the quadrupeds in our group? Would you suggest any existing houserules? Would you make it a STR check instead of DEX? I think it makes sense for bipeds but not quad. How would you handle no-peds, like Snakes?

Campaign: Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil
Room: #121: Fire Temple
Room Layout: Size 120' diameter circular room. Secondary inner circle of 80' diameter that is a fire pit. 40' ceiling with a spot in it just large enough for the platform that is hovering over fire pit. It's a 20x20 platform that is controlled mentally (up down left side and sideways movement)by clerics of the Fire Temple. All NPC's in the temple area are mostly immune to fire damage.

Encounter NPC's:

12th level Cleric (Fire and Evil Domains)
12th level Fighter (anti-caster build with step up, disruptive casting, lunge and other assorted feats)
Few Ogres
Few Large Fire elementals
half a dozen speedbumps (level 2 Warriors)

PC's: 6 players all level 7:

barbarian: Damage and more damage. About a billion HP
inquisitor: reach attacker, some control spells
cleric: Earth? domain, has access to Pit spells
druid: Control, summoner, utility, wolf pet
wizard: Big blasts with fire/electrical/force
monk: Anti caster/grappler

So I am trying to design an encounter that will challenge the PC's. I tend to run most of my more important encounters at epic level difficulty (at least APL +5) and this is one of those.

I'm looking for an interesting mechanic that I can throw into this, such as fire spouts, lava, ect.

The issues I have with the PC's:

The barbarian does stupid amounts of damage a round. 40-50 on a non-crit.
The monk, when he grapples something, cannot be thrown off, ever, unless I somehow roll a 35 on a d20.
The wizard clears every mook in the room on the surprise round (I consider ogres mooks)
Thanks to Blessing of Fervor from the cleric the PC's can do pretty much whatever they want in a round.


2h Half Orc Paladin.

Self heals, high AC, the 'I don't keel over when I drop to neg HP' racial, and smite evil.

I guess with my example it would depend on the animal. A wolf is more likely to use teamwork tactics since it is natural for them then say an eagle. Tricks notwithstanding.

However, it goes both ways. A wolf companion, if attacking with two other allies might move out of optimal combat position to ensure the foe is surrounded. Think a triangle shape with the foe in the middle. No flanking bonus but surrounded.

Your snake is no different than a police or rescue dog. Let's use a rescue dog for example.

If a rescue dog finds someone, it starts barking/digging/whatever. If you could understand its barks, it's basically saying "person! person!", not, "There are two people here and one is unconscious!" A trained intelligence 1 creature will see the world in it's more basic form.

Another common mistake I see players try to make is flanking. "My bear takes a five foot step to flank." No, it doesn't. It either attacks or doesn't attack. Would a police dog flank? No, it would latch on to that bad guy and never let go (until ordered to).

Now, the example that you are using is the "Seek" Handle Animal trick. With a successful check, your snake will go look around for something alive. It's not going to understand "Check the perimeter of the building". It will understand "Go look", and it will make a reasonable search of an area that you specify. If it finds something, it will report back that it has found something (most likely with some sort of tell that you have trained the animal to give you) but if you were to directly ask it what it found, it would probably respond with "people" or "stinky" or "dogs" or "scary". Some base level interpretation that the creature will have. Your DM needs to work this out with you.

Using an animal companion as a real scout is a useful idea, but you really need to give it an Int boosting item to do it effectively (or spells as said above for a temporary boost).

Rusty is on my list, but it seems too obvious for an ettin. I like tickles too for some unknown reason.

One of my ettins has a pet rust monster who he wuvs sooo much. But, I cant think of a good name he would give the little guy. Ideas? Has to be something a boneheaded Ettin would think up.

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Jibberjabba wrote:
Yea the croc was moving 5-foot away from us and the Trogs would charge stop 30feet from us throw javelins and then 5 foot towards us till they got within range of attacks

The only problem here is how incredibly boring your combats must be.

If you don't want to watch his monsters slowly march into combat, start taking 5 foot steps back, letting the ranger shoot the monsters in the face.

Either your GM will get the point and just charge, taking the one whole AoO from your reach weapons, or you can take 4 hours to arrow a few trogs to death.

Or you could, y'know, just move in and attack them.

DM_Blake wrote:
I don't recall the distances involved. Will it take Chatrilon longer to get to town, maybe his allies need a day to prep the right spells, then all of them trek to where Bib Blue is - can the PCs regroup, rest, and reattack Big Blue sooner than that?

The moathouse is only about 15 miles outside of town. After the battle with Big Blue the party went to their alternate adventure location, the temple which is about 2 1/2 days travel.

Maybe Chatrilon doesn't go back to town right away. Maybe he tries to scout out Big Blue's lair first, maybe trying to ascertain if the people he's looking for are still alive or if there's no need to attempt a rescue at all. This could add a day or two of scouting to really figure out what's happened before he tries to return to town.

He might do this, causing enough delay for the PC's to get back into the picture.

If not, what about random delays? Maybe Chatrilon doesn't get to town right away. Poor guy has a random encounter and ends up injured (broken leg?) or even dead.

He is too high level to be threatened by most things in the area minus the dragon(he is level 7)

Spreading the word of a blue dragon nesting so close to the town should rile the pcs without involving the other evil clerics. Sense motive confirms that this is true, but there is more to the tale left untold. The village council will desparatly seek the PCs to take action providing the much needed supplies to confront this threat.

The PC's haven't even returned to town. They ran in, got almost eaten by the dragon, screamed LOL NOPE and decided that XP would be easier to get at the temple, 3 days north of the moathouse. So they didn't eve bother to warn the town. There was one other NPC that knew about the dragon, a trapper named Ol' Del, but he was promply murdered by Chaz to keep attention off of the moathouse. so yea, the town doesn't know yet, as the dragon hasn't been in the area for about a week or so.

Thanks for the thoughts so far.

OK so I'm running a converted version of the module Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, and the players have run into a problem. If you are familiar with the module, you know that there is a lot of moving parts that go on behind the scenes. For example:

evil clerics have infiltrated the sleepy town of Hommlet and have been conducting expeditions into a nearby ruined moathouse. They have found what they are looking for but have become trapped in the dungeon due to a blue dragon deciding to lair next to the exit; not to mention the dragon thinks its hilarious that he has them trapped.

The rest of the clerics in the town do not know that the expedition group is trapped.

So the players decide in town to investigate the moathouse, and along the way they get trailed by Chatrilon, ally of the clerics. Chatrilon tried to join the party at the beginning but was turned down. When Big Blue showed up and nearly wiped the party, Chatrilon saw it and realized what was happening. As the party retreated he offered his services again, which they refused (again) and decided to find adventure elsewhere.

So here's the problem:

Chatrilon now realizes his friends are trapped by the dragon. Since the party will not assist him in destroying the dragon, he will surely report the situation to the remaining infiltrators in Hommlet. They should be able to handle Big Blue and rescue the other clerics. This means that the moathouse will be mostly empty (besides some undead and a possibly dead dragon), the clerics will move on to the crater with no hint of their next destination in play for the PC's.

So what I need now is some ideas for alternative directions to take this. I don't want the clerics escaping the dungeon. I want them there for the PC's to fight and to provide clues on where to head next. The best I can come up with is:

When the PC's arrive back at the moathouse, they arrive right when Chaz and friends are fighting the dragon. The PC's perhaps assist or watch, whatever, but eventually will come to blows when the Paladin in the party learns what's really going on (which he will)

Any alternate ideas?

It does if you use Rods. Rods do not adjust the memorization level.

Any self respecting Wizard should have several metamagic rods on hand. The Lesser Rods are so cheap you can buy several different ones.

GenericDrift hit the nail on the head. There are a lot of low level utility spells that start awesome and stay awesome. Greasing the BBEG's uber weapon never gets old.

I use PcGen. I then reference the NPC codex if I really don't feel like putting much effort into thinking up logical progression for the NPC.

Takes me 5 minutes to generate an NPC. I have a whole bunch saved in my Dropbox from past games.

I suggest doing something similar to what Velcro Zipper did with his Worlds Largest Dungeon Campaign. I copied his idea for mine and it worked great!

Basically, let the players find humanoids throughout their adventures, and encourage them to build a commune. Once a base is established, roleplay it as a shining beacon of light for any suffering humanoids. Everytime they return to home base, add a few new faces to the commune. Crack open the ARG, splash in a few NPC templates and bam! Instant PC Mart.

There are 3 ways to add a new spell to your spellbook as a Wizard; you get 2 free ones every level up, copying from a scroll/spellbook, or independent research. What your player is trying to do qualifies as independent research.

The wording is vague and left up to DM discretion, but I would make it more costly than using a scroll/spellbook. Just having a wand doesn't teach you the subtle incantations, wording and movements required to cast the spell. You are just triggering an item for a spell effect. Two different things IMO.

Independent Research: A wizard can also research a spell independently, duplicating an existing spell or creating an entirely new one. The cost to research a new spell, and the time required, are left up to GM discretion, but it should probably take at least 1 week and cost at least 1,000 gp per level of the spell to be researched. This should also require a number of Spellcraft and Knowledge (arcana) checks.

Also note, yes, Copying a scroll to a spellbook consumes the scroll. Copying from one spellbook to another doesn't remove the spell from the original spellbook.

I suggest you read the "Adding Spells to a Wizard's Spellbook" on the SRD.

james maissen wrote:
ZanzerTem wrote:
+INIT items don't help either existing summons or creatures summoned during combat.

So a summoner with an INIT bonus of +9 is walking around with a 3 summoned creatures with INIT bonuses of +1.

Combat starts.. suddenly all the summoned creatures gain the benefits of Improved initiative twice over.. that seems to be a help.

Now lets talk about 1 die roll vs multiple die rolls.

The enemy (singular) in the above example has an adjusted, rolled INIT of 19. What is the chance that the summoner and all of his summons get to act first?

When I GM, it's a flat d20 roll, so no bonuses for the NPC's. The only time the bonus is applied is if every creature is identical, or there is only one creature.

Here's another question, do you have the party roll one initiative or individual? Why? Wouldn't it be 'easier' to just let the PC with the highest modifier roll and they all go on that? What's the problem with that?

The players have one character to manage. One. Maybe a pet too, or a couple of summons.

The GM typically has several NPC's to manage, along with encounter conditions the PC's may not know about (hidden creatures, buffs, traps, yadayada).

There is no reason to take individuality away from the players when there is minimal gain.

Think on it a bit. It's not hard to keep track.. use init cards, dry erase board, or special 'init' boards designed just for it.

I am well aware of simple ways to speed up combat


There are a lot of things that 'most' DMs won't do.. my point is that they should try to do them. And there's nothing wrong with delegating a bit around the table.

Rather than aim for what's easiest, my suggestion would be to strive for what's best.

I am sorry if I, as a GM, don't want to subject my players to having to watch me roll 18 initiatives for all of my kobolds.

Sometimes what is easiest IS what is best. Thankfully I game with a group of mature players, whom I can trust to:

1)Not powergame
2)Not cheat
3)Keep the game moving
4)Enjoy roleplay
5)Not rules-lawyer
6)Think like a GM

If my suggestions don't fit into the OP's game group, then don't use my suggestions.

A couple quick tips for speeding up combat with large parties.

(1)When you, the GM, call on someone to act, hold up 6 fingers. Start counting down, losing 1 finger per second. Get to 0, and they haven't acted, call the next persons name.

You can make exceptions for the less experienced players in your group.

Players will learn quickly to have their plans ready once they start losing actions.

(2) Have your players use color coordinated dice, and roll to hit, damage, and miss percentages in one toss.

(3) Use an adjustable initiative tracker. Paizo makes one, there are several on iOS/Android platforms, or use a dry erase board.

+INIT items don't help either existing summons or creatures summoned during combat. Of course Summoners get a boost because they cast SM# as a standard action (meaning their summons will indirectly act sooner because the Summoner herself is acting sooner) but the only way to fix that is to houserule a fix to Summoners. Is that what you are suggesting?

I agree with what you said. Should the DM run each summon as an NPC? Of course. Should the DM run each NPC separately, with their own INITs? Of course. Should the DM monitor all durations? Of course. Will most DM's do all that? Hell no. I assign most of that to the players and keep the game rolling. Also, unless it's a particular battle that I want to run with a specific dynamic, all enemy NPC's act on the same turn. My players run their own summons, but if I see them trying to pull things that the summons wouldn't do I cry foul.


PC: My eagles fly around the enemy fighter and the enemy cleric and attack the mage in the back!
Me: Uh, no they don't. They attack the enemy fighter who is closest enemy to them.
PC: OK, fine. This one moves to the rear to provide the BSF a flank, and the other two flank each side!
Me: Uh, no they don't. They move in a straight line to the enemy and are side by side with the BSF.

I put responsibility on my players to act accordingly. After calling them out on their metagaming a few times, they cut out the shenanigans.

james maissen wrote:
ZanzerTem wrote:

Also, as above, all summons go on the turn of whomever summoned them to keep things simple.

Actually they go right before whomever summoned them.. and that's not out of convenience, but the way of things (until someone delays, readies, etc).

Now pets that were out when initiative was rolled should go separately. A +1 INIT summoned creature should not get the benefit of a +12 INIT summoner that has focused on going first. If it's already out then it rolls like everything else.


Not sure what your point is, as it's irrelevant to the conversation.

By RAW, creatures summoned during combat rounds act on the summoners turn. They don't get an individual initiative roll.

If the summons already exists before initiative is rolled, then yes, it gets to roll separately.

But we weren't discussing RAW.

I was suggesting that all summons go on the turn of who summoned them to keep things simple. Hence the "as above" remark because I wasn't the first to suggest it.

The concept of Drunken Boxing is all about agile maneuvers and unorthodox fighting techniques that catch your opponent off guard. Drunken Boxers are incredibly dextrous, so a high Dex is in order.

Assuming you are looking to emulate the Jackie Chan version of Drunken Boxing, take a look at the Drunken Brute Barbarian Alternate Class. Throw in some appropriate feats (Combat Reflexes, Catch Off guard, Throw Anything, Lunge), use unarmed attacks and you are good to go.

The key here would be to act out your characters actions as a Drunken Boxer while following the mechanics of the game.

Yea, that I knew. Sounds like they are starting at level 1 so duration should still be tracked.

Well bleh. I should have rolled a Summoner! I took that part out.

As a Conjuror with a monster summoning focus, I suggest that you require your players to keep a chart handy with their summon's stats. Here is mine. The stats are with Augment Summoning and the Fiendish template applied (my character is Evil): dqeEdJb3lFbWc&usp=sharing

Also, as above, all summons go on the turn of whomever summoned them to keep things simple. Also, realize that most summons can't be controlled (unless you can speak their language) so they tend to just attack the nearest enemy. If you see your summoners trying to do complex tactical maneuvers you should call foul.

Make sure you enforce and monitor summons' durations.

AOE's tend to clear out multiple summons quickly.

2 Summoners is going to be interesting. I'm curious how your campaign goes.

Blur/Displacement then Enlarge Person. My imp typically sits on the Barbarian's shoulder with an Enlarge Person wand (and CLW for emergencies) allowing me to Displace.

More actions per turn is the way to go!

I agree, good job by your DM. It makes feats like Spell Mastery worth it.

redpanda wrote:
soupturtle wrote:
Common people are pretty poor compared to adventurers. Normal skilled professionals (soldiers, merchants, etc.) live off something like 10 gold per month. Thus, your GM could easily tell you you find "nothing of value". If he wants to give you something useful you could find mundane stuff, like rope, rations, 10-foot poles, etc. Maybe a masterwork artisan's tool if he's feeling generous.
Okay. What if it's a store or the rich side of town? (Especially at lower levels)

A rich store isn't going to be easy to break into. This isn't real life, this is Pathfinder. Any merchant looking to stay in business is going to have invested in some type of security.

When I run, most stores that have anything of value to adventures (magic shops, Armor/Weapons, ect) have a myriad of tricks in store for would be thieves. The smaller shops usually employ a couple of henchmen 24/7 as security.

In the age of magic there is no reason why a low level adventurer should be able to kick down the door and loot the entire players handbook.

Should be negotiated when the NPC joins.

Most characters don't want a bad reputation and will reward NPC's regardless of contract, however.

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