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Organized Play Member. 235 posts. 20 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 1 Organized Play character.


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I have a player who has Ghoul Fever, and failed a couple saves so now it's ongoing saves each day to try to end it. The team is now trying to stack advantages to the saving throws as he's making the rolls. However, I never thought that the PCs even had a real "time of day" when a save is made -- we mostly just roll in the morning as the game day starts, but the roll is a reflection of 24 hours of disease.

Because of this, I thought short-term boosts would not help. You wouldn't even know when to time them for a save, and if you did, you'd need the boost to last the whole day leading up to the save.

So can casting Remove Sickness at 1st level, in which it only lasts 10 minutes, be enough to grant a +4 to that day's saving throw against Ghoul Fever?

Also, since this is the rules forum, if you do have an answer, I'd love to see any rules text that backs it up directly or indirectly.

Thanks for your advice!

I think "burn it with fire" is not very meta. It's pretty normal, even in the real world.

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Nick, hearing what your intentions are for this really helps a lot. Thanks so much.

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Dan Armstrong wrote:
Harold Ervin wrote:
Less Fewer haunts.

I seem to have a hard time making these fun as well. I wonder if they should have some more element of puzzle in them to engage the players more.

I would also like to hear some GM tips from someone who has success running them.

For me, haunts were a mess until I read & re-read & re-re-read the haunt rules. I think they're really wonderful and can tell a great story, but you have to be soooo perfectly in tune with the rules. It takes a lot of GM descriptions and prodding, in order for players to feel like they're even sure what's happening. Here are two interesting nuances I picked up from the rules:

  • Haunts, by the rules, would only ever trigger on one person. Group experiences are impossible. Why? Because it triggers the moment a PC hits a designated zone, which is almost always a leader and almost never a group of PCs who fanned out and are approaching an area in a wide line that would all hit the zone simultaneously. So it should almost always be that 1 PC is suffering effects and everyone else just stands there watching (or, you know, takes action to help, but at that point they're an observer rather than participating in the ongoing mental interaction). Technically, you can't move in to experience the opening vision of the haunt, because of this line: "All characters in the haunt’s proximity can attempt to notice the haunt at the start of this surprise round" which means they cannot move in to the haunt's zone first, and thus cannot participate in the hallucination/haunting, even if they wanted to.)
  • Here's a neat thing. I've never seen a PFS GM use this rule, except for me. But check this: "The GM may elect to treat all neutralized haunts (those reduced to 0 hp) as CR 1 rapping spirits while they reset. Using this option, haunts retain enough ectoplasmic fortitude to linger in the area, where they attempt to convey their needs to the living. While these knockings are still potentially frightening, communication with these feeble spirits can be established by working out a series of codes (such as one rap for “yes” and two for “no”) or by calling out words, numbers, and letters for selection by the spirits." That is so completely right out of scary movies and kids with Ouija boards hearing thumps and bangs and so on. It's also something like modified Christmas light communication, straight out of Stranger Things. It's cool and helps the PCs a ton.

In addition, I really enjoyed the haunts in Rise of the Runelords, but they modified haunt rules to make it more customized to the PCs. So that's kinda "cheating" to make it more enjoyable.

Will is about willpower, or your brain. Why would being able to bench press 400 pounds mean your brain is strong?

I'm trying to find high touch-AC monsters. I found that a beetle was listed as having high touch AC. And the stat block does have the touch AC at 16. However, what you may notice is that it's applying natural armor to that touch AC. That shouldn't work. It should be that the touch AC is 11, and the flat-footed AC is the high one, at 16. Right?

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I just finally played through this as a player (high tier) and read the module afterwards, and I have to say that I really enjoyed it! However, it has a problem that is similar to 9-03 Border of War. That is, TONS of status effects. Confusion? Yes. Poisons? Yes. Ability damage? Yes. Smoke & Black Tentacles combo effects? Yes.

I think it made for a LOT of fun, but it's also a lot to juggle if you're the GM.

I loved the terrain & environmental challenges. I'd urge GMs to be very familiar with ceiling heights, box/barrel heights, rules for difficult terrain, etc. Know the maps!

RealAlchemy wrote:
On the Enlightened Ambassador boon from the chronicle sheet : am I reading it correctly to think it can be used to ignore invisibility for one round?

No, but yes, kinda. It grants you the ability to ignore concealment entirely. However, that doesn't mean you see invisible creatures, and you do not ignore their invisible state. You still cannot see them, and you still must figure out which square is the correct square to target. Here is what the rules say about invisibility:

Core Rulebook wrote:
A creature can generally notice the presence of an active invisible creature within 30 feet with a DC 20 Perception check. The observer gains a hunch that “something’s there” but can’t see it or target it accurately with an attack. It’s practically impossible (+20 DC) to pinpoint an invisible creature’s location with a Perception check. Even once a character has pinpointed the square that contains an invisible creature, the creature still benefits from total concealment (50% miss chance).

So... the Enlightened Ambassador boon will "turn off" the miss chance, but it does nothing to help you pinpoint an invisible creature's square, nor does it let you "see" the invisible creature. You'll need to get over those hurdles before you can take advantage of Enlightened Ambassador. But if you DO get past those hurdles, then you have 1 round of ignoring concealment, making your character awesome.

SanderJK wrote:
I understand that warpriests are a pain and a half to run as a BBEG anyway, but he actually did the thing Cult Leaders need to do and buy Weapon Focus, which qualifies him as far as I can see?

I don't think the full stat block has every class detail. If you are clear about what the Cult Leader archetype takes away, and how the class works in such a changed state, then I do not see why you would hold back. The class is documented and this bad guy seems to follow the rules for it. However, you cannot ignore the tactics section of his stat block. It says:

Test of Tar Kuata wrote:
During Combat Tasutek uses his enthrall ability to stop the PCs in their tracks, giving him a moment to cast spells that augment his combat abilities and move to a more advantageous position. When possible, he flanks a target with the thognorok. He uses his fervor ability each round to grant himself greater combat prowess.

So if you are truly running a normal Pathfinder Society game, following Pathfinder Society rules, you must start with Enthrall, and you must use Fervor. If that interferes with his ability to use Sacred Weapon, then it does. If you can use Sacred Weapon and still obey the "During Combat" tactics text, then that seems 100% fair to me.

My memory of this encounter (and I may have even posted it previously here) is that the final encounter is pretty meh. Ah, yes, just scrolled back up -- the thognorok has no climb speed, and cannot operate on its own web properly. So by the rules the encounter is already nerfed. So if you have a way to have it not suck, that might be good.

Flarx wrote:
Can players sit and roll saves to see if they cure or eventually die? And if they're lucky enough to have someone of level to cast remove disease, they can just spend a few days casting to clean the party up?

In fact, in PFS they're kinda mandated to do this. You can't have conditions on your character between games (there is maybe 1 exception for level drain, but I'm unclear on that). You have to resolve diseases, poisons, etc. So the players can at the end roll saves, or cast spells to resolve the issue, or hire spellcasting services, etc. They can use prestige points to have conditions removed.

They should be able to walk into the next game with a clean & functioning character sheet, or else be dead.

thorin001 wrote:
Now you have to give the other (potentially) five players a chance to speak. This probably adds nothing of value to the discussion

This is my favorite part of role playing, and probably where I derive the most meaning & "gameplay" out of the game. :(

kaisc006 wrote:
these forums exist for us peasants to talk to the kings

Do you... do you really think so? You think they expressly put the forums here so that we can interact with Tonya? Or the PFS review team? I was not aware that PFS leadership was obligated to read or answer anything here; I see none of them here debating this with you, nor do I see them making concessions to you, nor do I see any of them making the changes you requested. They're just letting you waste your breath talking to the rest of us.

However, if you've seen differently, great. I wish you the best of outcomes.

kaisc006 wrote:
aboyd wrote:
Literally, there is nothing that can come of this discussion. All it can do is peter out or get locked.
Why no one is being disrespectful?

You don't have to be disrespectful for a thread to be closed. They have, on occasion, closed a thread simply because "all that could be said has been said, and that's enough." In other words, once the powers that be decide that a topic is just running in circles, useless, they'll kill it. And that accurately describes this topic. It's a go-nowhere, get-nothing-changed topic. It's just a theoretical "what if we could run things, and do it our own way?" topic. It has no real-world traction.

kaisc006 wrote:
aboyd wrote:
This thread boils down to "But I want muh stuff!"
Essentially but I think you can have an conversation about why said stuff should be allowed.

Have it. I'm not saying you can't. I'm saying it's pointless. It's like a king made laws and now some peasant who has no influence with the king is standing in front of 3 other peasants saying, "I don't agree with the king. Change it, you guys!"

I mean, what do you expect the peasants to do? We're not in power, there is nothing to be done but nod at you and say, "OK, well, good luck with getting them to abandon all their rules about which things are allowed or not." And then we wander off to go back to our normal day. There is nothing for us to do.

kaisc006 wrote:
I think as much paizo content as possible should be allowed. We just disagree on what "as possible" is.

I haven't expressed any disagreement or agreement at all. The point is, whether we agree or not, it's irrelevant. It's a conversation that has no point. If we disagree, why even express it, as it gains nothing? If we agree, why does it matter? It won't change anything.

For my part, I guess I was just so astonished to see what is essentially a pointless shouting into the void that I came by to say, "Hey, you're shouting into a void. You know that, right?" I guess if you know that and are cool with it, carry on.

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This thread boils down to "But I want muh stuff!"

I'm not clear on what the point of that is. Nobody here has the power to change this, and those who do have power to change it, won't. And I suspect most PFS players are happy about that. Leadership has a proven system, and we like it, and that's partly why we are attracted to PFS.

Literally, there is nothing that can come of this discussion. All it can do is peter out or get locked.

I don't mind if a person doesn't want to act out the conversation, but I mind if a person wants a roll without an explanation. I have bare minimums for combat, too. For example, if a player is mid-combat and his/her turn comes up and the player just rolls dice and looks at me expectantly, I'm going to ask for communication about what is happening. If that player hasn't even bothered to move the mini into position, or never bothered to buy a weapon and still expects to do 2d6 lethal greatsword damage, I'm going to say no. There is a minimal expectation of participation. If you can't participate, I can't include you.

I have that same minimum standard around social skills. If your character is not in the room, has not said anything in the ongoing conversation, and you can't even tell me what the conversation is about, then no, your character can't lead the conversation nor even Aid Another. I say this because this actually happened. I had a player who was literally playing Candy Crush on his phone and whenever he heard the keyword "diplomacy" he would -- without looking up from his screen -- roll a d20 and say, "I assisted."

He finally broke my brain when, after a fight, he went back to his phone, and then remained there for an hour while the rest of the group carried on. They closed out a mission goal, cleared 3 rooms, and were now on the other side of the map. Mr. Candy Crush? His mini was still back in the room where the fight had happened an hour earlier. He heard someone make a Diplomacy roll and absent-mindedly rolled for himself and said he assisted. I asked how. He looked up from his phone and said, "What?" I repeated my question. He said, "I got a 12. That's enough to Aid Another." And I said, "Yeah, but doing what? What are you aiding, and how are you doing it from 3 rooms away?"

He shrugged, tossed his mini across the map, said he was there, and that he aided in "whatever." Then, he went back to Candy Crush. So I barred it. I was later backed up by the Venture Caps/Lieuts, so I feel comfortable saying that you need to meaningfully participate to be included. You don't have to act anything out, but you have to pay attention and explain how you're accomplishing your goals. If you are too timid or lazy or bored or unwilling to accomplish that bare minimum, then you are not really playing the game, and I'm OK to have a minimum standard there.

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Lau Bannenberg wrote:
the mission briefing has enough hints in it that you ought probably to check out the town.

Yeah, it has a huge hint. VC Alvar almost flat-out states it. Here is his comment when asked about what they have time to do:

Venture Captain briefing wrote:
Try to delay these hostilities to buy time for your exploration. I recommend spending a day at Zmeyka, and then another day at Hartsfall; two at the most.

So the "delay hostilities" thing is him asking the PCs to smooth things over with the nobles -- so you'd have to at least get into town and talk to them to succeed at that request. Then he says he expects the team to spend a day in town before going to the keep.

So, yeah. The VC is pretty blunt about this. The mission isn't one of those "what should we do" things. It's clear, or at least seems that way to me. I guess if the PCs never ask the VC questions about the mission, they could miss this text, though.

In the blog's first line, the two links to the combat tiers page do not work.

Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:
Ideally it should be something reversible within a session or two, especially since I want to not feel guilty about just telling them to leave the table for the day one way or the other once they pull out the "no, I don't want to play unless you change this" if it isn't resolved quickly.

In my games, we have established that we are playing in infinite multiverses. The idea is that there are infinite universes reflecting every possible change. There is a universe where the flowers are made of water. There is a universe where chickens have taken the place of dogs. Aaaaannnd... there is a universe for every possible, conceivable configuration of the team.

So if a player doesn't show up, we're playing in the universe where that PC not only doesn't exist but never existed. When they come back, we're playing in the universe where he/she exists and always has. Because of this, we don't have to invent stories about why the PC is not around. The character doesn't exist, so nobody would even bring the PC up. Simple.

Now, I don't give XP when you miss a session, and that can be odd. For example, if a player had to leave for a few games and is back, we are now playing in the universe where the PC has existed all along. That should mean he/she was there for all the adventures. And my response to "If my PC was there for it all, I should get XP," has been, "Well, it's a gamey thing. I want players to try to attend, so you get XP if you attend, and you don't get XP if you miss. Hopefully it motivates you to attend more."

And I leave it at that, and it mostly seems to work well.


Dragonborn3 wrote:
Do not underestimate a Lv0 15ft Fire cone when you never know when swarms are going to show up.

Do you mean level 0 10 foot cone? Wordcasters don't even have a 15 foot cone option. But maybe you are aware of some meta words that I missed? I'd love to extend level 0 cones to 15 feet if it's really possible.

Also, do you (or anyone else) know if Magical Lineage trait applies to meta words? Can I meta boost a spell, have the spell go up in level, then apply Magical Lineage to reduce that increase by 1?

I know there are many PFS "best items" topics. However, I want to discuss a non-PFS situation: the Rich Parents trait. I'm aware that some GMs feel it's brokenly good to start with extra cash, and other GMs feel it's laughably bad because there are no retraining rules for traits, so you're just stuck with a dumb useless trait at level 5+ when you've already spent the money and can no longer gain from it.

So let's not discuss that part. Save that for another topic. Here, let's say that I've already made the smart/stupid (depending upon your POV) decision to have that trait. I now have 900 gold to spend, and I want to use it in the way that best enhances my group's chances of surviving to level 2. I'm thinking I need to have answers to as many low-level problems and dangers as possible. Without knowing what the GM is going to throw at my group during level 1, what are some purchases that make sense? What purchases have at least a maybe decent chance of being useful during level 1 (or even level 2)?

(I'll be playing a sorcerer using Words of Power if that changes your answers in any way, but I'm fine to hear general answers too.)

Let me cast Breath of Life on this topic. When I started the topic, I was playing only until low levels. However, I now get to make a new PC for Rise of the Runelords, playing all the way until the end.

SO!!! New question: those of you who are good at Words of Power, can you tell me what level(s) it gets good? When will I start to do impressive or unique stuff, and what are some of those things? If you ever played a wordcaster, how'd you do it, and what were some of your favorite word combos?

From my first try at it, it's clear that levels 1 to 4 are not impressive (although the Friendship word is powerful -- unlike Charm Person, there is no opposed Charisma check to get a target to do stuff). But what about levels 5 through 10, maybe? Is there something cool I should consider?

Grim Bastion wrote:
Sharrowsmith's backpack (the magical item) is only found in the high tier - therefore should I cross it off the stats of this item off the chronicle sheet, or should I just cross of the 4-5 listing and allow them to purchase the item when they have the fame?

They have to have a valid way to unlock the item purchase. So that item needs to appear in a book or something, in order for them to buy it. The only other way is to have it appear on a Chronicle sheet, and be in the tier they are in. So if you cross off the tier 4-5 items, which unlocks the purchase, then they need another valid resource to purchase the item -- the Chronicle sheet will never unlock it for them.

Because of this, you could cross it off both the tier 4-5 and the item listing itself, IF you run low-tier.

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Walter Sheppard wrote:
aboyd wrote:
It's scary to buy your unreliable products.
This is kind of a silly stance.

Luckily, whether a person's stance has your seal of approval or not, we still get to have our stances anyway. So if Paizo's issues are not fixed, that's OK, I'll put my money toward other games. No worries. So really, it's just down to whether Paizo wants the money from the customers they used to have, and if so, are they willing to address those concerns in order to get that money back.

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bugleyman wrote:
I guess my question to you would be this: When -- not if -- an unbalancing option is published, how would you prefer it be handled in PFS?

In my home games, the standing rule is that if a player can even find the original text for an item, they can have that version for double the price -- with Quickrunner Shirts at triple the price.

But that's it. Just... pay double, get to use the original text. Seems to have worked out OK. The items are still desirable and useful, but maaaayybe require a little more thought about their worth.

The Jingasa of the Fortunate Soldier at 10,000 GP is still a decent choice, if you get all the original features. Nobody feels mad or ripped off at that point; it just becomes something to mull over and you only end up buying the things you really still want.

In PFS if they did that, it would feel much less painful than the current handling, because characters level up long before any errata is produced. In other words, by the time the errata hits, the PC will have acquired more gold, and be able to pay the price difference. Mostly. Usually. In this way, it slows the usage of overpowered items naturally. Newer players might hesitate at the price, while older players will probably be able to keep 90% of their stuff as-is, if they can pay the price difference.

Harold Ervin wrote:
Nerfing Tribal Scars invalidated the entire People of the North purchase as far as I'm concerned, and you've cost yourself sales... again.

Wait. Tribal Scars got nerfed too?!?! I can't keep up with this stuff. This is ridiculous.

But that's beside the point. My point would be: you're right, Harold Ervin. In 2013 & 2014 I bought maybe 40+ Paizo books. Big books, splatbooks, PDFs, hard covers. Probably over $1000 USD if I bothered to add it up. My last big purchase was Occult Adventures in 2015. Since then I've purchased only 2 of Paizo's paperback splatbooks in 2016, and a handful of PFS modules up through 2017.

Why did I spend $1000+ in 2013/2014, and then maybe just $35 in 2017? Because it's scary to purchase a product that is unreliable. Let me say that again to Paizo management: It's scary to buy your unreliable products.

I'm having flashbacks to Anomen.

James Anderson wrote:
We went 1-2-plains-plains-forest-plains-done, as that's what looked fastest. But because of that, the only creatures we faced were the amphipteres (which the Eidolon made fast work of).

For any GMs reading this, please note that the caterpillar fight explicitly states that if the PCs get off the beaten path, you may move the caterpillar fight to them. Note: it's "may" not "must," so you could skip the fight if needed. But if you have the time, you are 100% allowed and expected to drop that fight on the PCs, wherever they go. See page 14 for more info.

aboyd wrote:
So they spend the opening round to do a full action climb check, which would get them 10' up, which is enough to be on the table.

I just checked the climb rules. You can only do a climb check with a move action, not a full round action. So they'll climb 5 up with the first move action, then do it again to get on top of the table. So these poor dudes need to pass two DC 10 climb checks to get up there, and they only have a +1 to climb. That's a 25% chance they pull it off, roughly. So on average in all the low-tier games, 1 of the 3 will pull it off. The others will fall to the floor, pulling out weapons (when they have an action to do so).

Ugh. Just looking over the frilled lizard fight in prep for a game, and it's even worse than I imagined. Not because of the lizard, but because of the tactics of the Hazh'a warriors. Low tier, their "during combat" section says:

The Hazh'a warriors attempt to climb onto the table to get higher ground, then fire upon lone targets with their bows.

Someone in this topic already lambasted the idea that "higher ground" applies to bows (it doesn't) so that tactic is useless. However, the other part -- the climbing -- is tactically terrible too. The climbing rules state:

PRD wrote:
You need both hands free to climb, but you may cling to a wall with one hand while you cast a spell or take some other action that requires only one hand. While climbing, you can’t move to avoid a blow, so you lose your Dexterity bonus to AC (if any). You also can’t use a shield while climbing.

Luckily, it seems like a light shield can still be worn but it just doesn't count into the AC bonus. So they spend the opening round to do a full action climb check, which would get them 10' up, which is enough to be on the table. However, during the climb they have lost their Dex bonus to AC and their shield bonus to AC, and since the scenario says they didn't post a lookout, it's likely they are being threatened as they climb. So, free AOO on any Hazh'a warrior with a PC adjacent.

Then there is this part of the climbing rules:

PRD wrote:
Anytime you take damage while climbing, make a Climb check against the DC of the slope or wall. Failure means you fall from your current height and sustain the appropriate falling damage.

Pretty much anyone hit will immediately fall. The good news is that falling a few feet isn't enough to cause damage, and the rule about being prone if you fall only comes into effect if you take damage. So they will fall, but not be prone, and not be damaged by the fall. However, this essentially leaves them right back where they started (on the ground) but with 1 round lost and bad AC (at least while they climbed). Oh, and they won't have any weapons in hand, because they needed their hands to climb.

My conclusion? Probably all this fight is useful for is to see if the warriors die so quickly that they cannot even launch a thunderstone to alert the other rooms. ...Umm... hmm. Actually they aren't even useful for that. Hearing the sound of battle is a DC -10. Even with some penalties for distance, the DC is still going to be an unavoidably easy DC of -5 for the monsters in the other room to hear it. So the thunderstones are actually useless, the fight is useless, and it's probably over on round 1 if you run it as the tactics direct.


As a player, my game only took about 2 or 2.5 hours. However, reading it now (and noting that the ngoga may fight the party twice) leads me to believe that I'll probably need all 4 hours to run this as a GM. I feel like I might even go to 4.5 hours if I run the optional.

What about the rest of you, GMs? How fast was your experience?

Mr. Bonkers wrote:
The only thing that has me really stumped, is the Giant Frilled Lizard... And its tactics... It's supposed to be hiding under the table. You know, the 8 ft. tall table where small and medium creatures can easily walk under without squeezing, and can clearly look under. Not only is it in full sight, apparently it is also squeezing (it is large). The only way it might be able to stealth, is by hiding behind the large chairs that are placed around said table, but that brings another problem... The tactics state that it uses its Intimidating Charge. It is squeezing, and its way is blocked by large stone chairs.

To be fair, the rule about what applies to your character during movement is always the square you step into. So if you are in difficult terrain but the square next to you is clear, you can 5' step to it. Similarly, if a monster is squeezing, but the next 5' of movement is stepping into not-squeezing space, then the creature doesn't have that squeezing rule as they start movement.

Unfortunately, this won't help the creature with the stone chairs. Those just ruin things, and I don't know of any rule minutae that can help. (Oh! Yes, I do know! On a different Paizo forum [maybe the rules forum?], someone asked if jumping over difficult terrain would allow a PC to ignore the difficult terrain and get off a charge. A dev answered "yes." Some GMs hated that and FAQ'd it, and the devs came back with a "Suck it, we won't answer FAQs on this 'cuz you already got your answer." So if somehow this critter could magically leap over the chairs even without a running start, it would get the charge off. Unfortunately, we can see from the stat block that this ain't going to happen. Oh! Another idea: can't you overrun to get off a charge? Maaaayybe that works against furniture?)

Ryan Kappler wrote:

There are three reasons I want to do it this way:

1. Up until now, the players have been fighting large groups of small creatures, like kobolds and goblins. I want the players to have the experience of going up against one big bad guy.

2. This Commander is the lowest level Aspis agent that would have the specific information that they are looking for.

3. I want them to experience a huge win. Something to be proud of.

Is what I'm doing making sense, and would you come to the same conclusion, or would you do it differently?

I don't think it makes sense (sorry, you asked) and I would not have the same conclusion, and I would indeed do it differently.

Regarding your #3 option, I wouldn't call that "something to be proud of." As a player, I'd find it to be terribly cheap. I know, as a player, that a CR 13 (or 12) enemy should not be possible to defeat while the PCs are level 2. Therefore, in order for it to work, you would have obviously gutted the enemy's abilities -- which we've already seen here in the discussion about traps.

His traps should insta-kill 2nd-level PCs, which is unfair to them, but also is the correct outcome because he's CR 13 and is a totally inappropriate encounter. Without the traps, he's weakened and as a player I may not know what you removed from the encounter, but I'll certainly know that you did something to cheat in our favor and hand us an undeserved victory.

That's why I'd call it cheap, rather than "something to be proud of."

Having said that, I really think there is no reason to hold onto the official canon in a home game. Rename the dude, remove the trap feature, say he's the steward while the real leader is out, and have the fight you want anyway. You know? Just because the official canon is that this dude is the leader doesn't mean that in your game it has to be that way.

However, note that when you bring it down to their level, they're getting the XP for that fight. And you're right, the NPC is probably only CR 6 without his traps and allies. So, they should only get XP for a CR 6.

Also note that there is an obscure rule about XP -- you get zero XP for anything that is 10+ CR above/below you. In other words, a CR 13 encounter is 11 CR higher than the party level, and should be so difficult that the PCs cannot learn from the fight, even if they win. Their victory would be a victory of random luck and intervention from the gods (GM) rather than actual skill, so by the rules they'd get nothing for fighting that far above their skill set (assuming you decide to award them CR 13 XP instead of CR 6).

EDIT: Also, note that even without his traps & sneak damage, he should be meaner than you might expect. For instance, he can probably do the equivalent of a stun lock on your toughest character. How? He has Greater Disarm. It hurls the disarmed weapon 15' away. That will constantly force the PC to burn a move to get to the weapon, and a move to pick it up, but then the NPC will disarm again. Sometimes the NPC will get 2 attacks (if he doesn't have to move into position), and land some damage too. Basically, over 3 or 4 rounds, he would negate your best damage-dealer, and nickel & dime the guy to death. Granted the other PCs would have free run on your guy and do as much damage as possible, but they're not the big damage dealers. I'd expect the NPC to survive a few rounds like that, and with his 21 AC maybe even not get hit much (since level 2s should struggle to hit that AC, missing 75% of the time if they're not the big hitter). Then, the NPC can simply do the same maneuver to each of the other PCs, whittling them down. The fight might take 10 or 20 rounds, but probably even without traps & sneak, those PCs should die. Of course, if the big hitter lands a crit, then all bets are off.

Lady-J wrote:
why are you looking to put a group of level 2's up against a cr 13 encounter?

Already answered by OP:

Ryan Kappler wrote:

The players were wronged by the Aspis Consortium, and want to both exact revenge and gain some important information. They are in Magnimar, and I was going to use the Thief Guild Flipmat as the local Aspis stronghold. I planned in my head this epic battle were this Commander is the only occupant of the establishment at the time, and they fight this one guy all the way through the corridors, and then escape out through the sewers.

There are three reasons I want to do it this way:

1. Up until now, the players have been fighting large groups of small creatures, like kobolds and goblins. I want the players to have the experience of going up against one big bad guy.

2. This Commander is the lowest level Aspis agent that would have the specific information that they are looking for.

3. I want them to experience a huge win. Something to be proud of.

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OK, makes sense. Thanks!

At this point I've got a human sorcerer with this meta:

  • Boost
  • Lengthy

And because I'm allowed to add the 3rd party books, I've got these extra Target words for free:

  • Arc (lvl 2 - like bouncing metamagic)
  • Guardian (lvl 2 - gives a very bad emanation option)
  • Lobbed (lvl 1 - turns spells into splash weapons, which sounds cool but seems to be strictly worse than Burst)

For my feats I took:

  • Meta Word Mastery
  • Toughness

For my traits I took:

  • Magical Lineage (Burning Flash)

My intention is to eventually take that feat that allows you to increase the maximum damage to 10d4 on Burning Flash, and it won't have an increased level due to Magical Lineage.

My words are:

  • 1: Burning Flash
  • 1: Friendship
  • 0: Decipher
  • 0: Flame Jet
  • 0: Sense Magic
  • 0: Torch (3rd party from Jon Brazer Enterprises -- gives word casters the light cantrip)

I took the draconic bloodline so that I have +1 damage with Burning Flash and Flame Jet.

Later on, I'll take Lock Ward and add buffs to my allies. So far, the whole character doesn't seem great but it doesn't seem awful either. Once I realized that word casters can still cast the normal class spells from scrolls, I felt a lot better. I may have my 2nd trait be Rich Parents so that I can start with a hoard of scrolls of normal wizard/sorcerer spells like Mage Armor. That would shore up the weaknesses that word casters have.

Ah. I see. You had the warped bloodline, and it confers a 1d12 random beneficial mutation when you use polymorph spells. That makes more sense, thanks.

Do you or anyone else know the system well enough to tell me if I can apply meta multiple times to 1 spell word? For example, if I have the "Friendship" word, and I want to apply distant AND lengthy, is that allowed? Double the duration and I can hit the target from medium range?

Dαedαlus wrote:
Hmmm... if the game is dying off so early, don't go full wordcaster. You'll get almost no use from the system. Instead, just grab whatever Word you want with the Experimental spllcaster feat.

I suspect this is the best advice. :)

However, we're doing this game partly to test Words of Power, which we've never done before. So even if I end at 6th and just barely get to explore combinations, it's OK. I'm willing to play a bad character in order to explore the system.

Having said that, I do want it to make the best of a bad thing, if I can. I'd like to see what's possible.

I noticed that there is a word that grants Greater Invisibility for 1 round, at first level. That's pretty great. I also found that the Friendship word is like a hardcore Charm Person -- no opposed Charisma checks to get the target of the spell to do your bidding. It just does.

My problem right now is that I'm building a sorcerer Wordcaster in Hero Lab, and it just isn't giving me enough 1st-level words.

Also, am I correct that the draconic bloodline is OK for this build? It gives access to Mage Armor, which is infinity times better than the garbage Force Armor & Force Shield words that Wordcasters get. Right? And the +1 damage to an energy type would help with a cantrip-like Flame Jet.

I'm also looking at the verdant bloodline, just because we're running through Kingmaker modules 1 and maybe 2. That's outdoorsy, and verdant seems good for that.

The Shifty Mongoose wrote:
If your bloodline is Abberant (or even Warped), you can just give yourself and your friends a bunch of beneficial mutations that don't even have to make biological sense!

I just looked over the aberrant bloodline, and could not see how it helps to make this happen. Would you (or anyone) be kind enough to clue me in? (All I see is that aberrant extends duration of polymorph effects.)

Thanks! I'm looking at Lock Ward, and I do get the idea. I could give them each a belt with sheathed daggers, and have the PCs drawing daggers as move actions just to get spell buffs. Then they could drop the daggers for free, and continue with their actions. That's cool.

However, this game will likely die at around 6th level. So the odds of me getting powerful combinations are remote. I could do a low-level combination. Can you think of one that is good with Lock Ward? It looks like maybe adding a Force Block or Force Shield will be the only useful thing at that level. But I'm new at this and probably have it wrong.

I've heard you can also combine spells so that a summoned monster appears with spell buffs already applied. However, if I understand the combination rules properly, that would be high level thing. I certainly can't apply a buff to a summoned critter at level 1 or 2, right?

Anyway, if you have some good low level spell combos, or some early access ideas, I'd love to know about them. I think I'm going to create a sorcerer, but the cleric's early access to undead is very tempting.

Blave wrote:
Also looks like the next stretch goal after the Magus and the bonus Chapter will be archetypes!

Annnnd that's where they get my money.

KingOfAnything wrote:
Whereas before, both you and your summons would be doing half damage.

No we wouldn't. The section that mandates half damage is headed with text that says it applies to "land-based creatures."

A water elemental is in no stretch of the imagination "land based."

Full damage. Even bludgeoning, full damage.

A water elemental is not land based and doesn't even care about those rules.

JDLPF wrote:
2. Is the DC to use Diplomacy on Uori initially DC 20? I got Indifferent to Friendly DC = 15 + Cha modifier, which for Uori is +5. Seems a steep challenge for a group who probably don't have more than +5 modifiers on average to their Diplomacy checks

Let them fail, and then make it a point to teach them about Aid Another. They'll do better next time.

Or, teach them beforehand, preferably well before the game starts. You want them to choose it as an option. You do not want to push them toward it right at the moment they're considering the Diplomacy check. That's too obvious, like a big neon sign saying, "YOU SHOULD DO THIS."

Ascalaphus wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
What about druids wildshaping into aquatic creatures?
Did the druid possess the aquatic subtype before he wildshaped? If not, penalties.
So a druid who turns into a squid takes penalties that the real squid doesn't? That's messed up.

Yep. So as a druid, I turn into a water elemental and summon 4 water elementals to help me. When I hit as a water elemental, I'll do half damage. When they hit as water elementals, they do full damage.

THAT is a rule I'm gonna need to see, and I'm probably not going to implement that into PFS unless PFS mandates it and doesn't require the book to do it.

Nils Janson wrote:
According to the tactic Razethka is supposed to use invisibility to surprise the party but an invisible creature gets only normal concealment (20%) while submerged. So she gets no bonus to stealth and being large with DEX 11 and no ranks in stealth she gets an incredible -4 stealth bonus to hide from the party. That is not going to surprise anyone.

I'm looking at the PDF right now, and all it says is to swap the 50% miss chance with a 20% miss chance. In other words, I don't see it turning off the other aspects of invisibility at all.

I would treat invisible creatures as 100% invisible still, but when someone locates the square that they are being attacked from, they have only a 20% miss chance.

Still have to find the creature (and the fluff text that goes with the new Invisibility-in-water rule doesn't give anyone any bonuses to see invisible creatures), and still have to swing at a square with a miss chance.

If the rule about being invisible in water had no mention of removing that stealth bonus, can anyone explain how the bonus to stealth was removed? I'm wondering if that's an extra rule from one of the new underwater rule books, or something.

Ascalaphus wrote:
Well, we might get an answer in june.

OK, it's June. The Aquatic Adventures book is out now (in print form, and PDF form in about 24 hours). What can those of you who own a copy say about this? Does Aquatic Adventures clear up the problems with who gets to do full damage, or not? Does it define "land-based creatures" in a way that is clear and easy to implement (such as "aquatic type = not land based")?

I saw in a review of the book that someone said the book changes the rule about the surface of water, and the cover it provides. Can anyone explain what was changed?

Does anyone have a workaround? Maybe a different server name that I can use?

I really like the stretch goal ideas that you all are suggesting. However, don't forget archetypes! That should be at least 1 stretch goal, if not 2! The first could be for some basic obvious ones and of course just to cover the cost of putting in a good framework to handle them, and the second stretch goal could be to implement "like lots of archetypes." Or something like that.

I want variety, and I know, as a programmer, that if you're implementing the classes as objects, you can almost literally extend them to create archetypes. This would actually be really fun coding; there is almost a 1:1 mapping between object:extension and class:archetype. Once someone has thought up how to implement it and forced good design to make it orderly and clean, it should mean that you could then almost mass-import a bunch of archetypes. Not really, because you'd have to implement each new ability, but I mean that the concept of getting awesome templates for how to implement the objects and then extend them -- that should start to almost self-assemble if you build it right. It should be so logical that it falls into place.

So... yeah, I'd love to see archetypes. If built well, they can get a LOT of bang for their buck.

The point remains. For whatever reason, having a "go slow" on stretch goals = "go slow" on fan interest & support.

Also, having your first stretch goal be "campfires" is pretty much the least interesting option they could have chosen.

I'm sure they'll hit their target, AND the stretch goal. However, I was responding to speculation as to why the campaign slowed. For my part, I am "going slow" on putting money into it because they don't have cool stretch goals right now. I know some of the later stretch goals are awesome. They should have led with them. Just my opinion.

Hopefully they get to ALL the goals. I'd like them to hit a dozen stretch goals with things like archetypes and extra classes and deeper branching dialogue options. But if it doesn't come to pass, I'm going to point at the campfire goal and say, "That's what gave me pause."

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MendedWall12 wrote:
I check the Kickstarter amount every day and the rate at which it is going up has severely tapered off, by my own estimation.

The biggest problem is that we can't see many stetch goals, so nobody knows what we're driving towards.

I remember when I did the Kickstarter for Reaper's "Bones" minis, they had this huge graphic with frequently-revealed stretch goals, just constantly. There were lots of things to look at and look forward to. There were tons of reasons to upgrade your amount $$$.

In this one? We get campfires. Meh.

I understand that in practice, in implementation, it's going to be a fun feature. However, it's meh for marketing, meh for "sexy new feature," and meh for bringing in new people.

If they had made the magus the first stretch goal, it would have instantly done better. If they had revealed a TON of similar additions with easily achievable stretch goals -- say, each one was $20,000 apart -- then I suspect the funds would have careened toward the final number, faster.

Of course, this is speculation, so I could be totally wrong. However, I know it would have worked in my case. I'm still waiting to see more.

Terminalmancer wrote:
Scenario, Page 4 wrote:
The PCs can take multiple routes to reach the finish line, and depending on which path they take, they might run into a hostile team who plans to dispatch them with a lethal rockfall trap, or a pack of giant caterpillars who have captured several members of a friendlier team.
I think that means PCs were intended to be allowed outside of the main 8 hexes.

There is even more text to support your belief. If they have to use only the numbered tiles, then how in the world can this text ever apply:

If the PCs avoid the tile in which this encounter is located, the GM can use these enemies as an optional encounter later in the adventure.

That's from page 14. That's the encounter for areas 6 and/or 7. If you have to go through only the numbered areas, how can you avoid tiles 6 & 7? You can't; they stand in the way of the finish line... unless you can go through non-numbered hexes. So the module author expected that the PCs could go through non-numbered hexes. He accounts for it, and moves an encounter around if they do.

So hitting the plains might be a good idea, though some encounters are obviously just moved around, unavoidable. For me, if I run this, I am not telling the players what the advantage/disadvantage of each terrain is up front, though they'll quickly discover the answer as they move. So that may cause some not-mathematically-optimized movement. I also think it's important to enforce the plains crafting limitations that were previously quoted by someone else here. So those two things may cause PCs to be interested in NOT going to the plains entirely.

Also, if you enforce the limitation that the author expected (namely, that hexes 1 & 8 must be "gone through") then that also avoids the plains at least for those 2 hexes. Doesn't stop it entirely, though!

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They changed the time of the AMA, as 12 AM is midnight. It's now noon Friday Pacific Time (3 PM Eastern time).

Thank you!

Ah, that's what I needed. Thank you. Now I know that it goes into the negatives. So I'll need 15 days to rest to get back to positive score. Thank you.

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