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***** Pathfinder Society GM. 7,630 posts (17,721 including aliases). 84 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 82 Organized Play characters. 76 aliases.


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For high level games like this, especially if we have multiple buffers, I really recommend some sort of spreadsheet with them on as they can really get out of hand.

I am interested. Looking at a human Sorcerer or Arcanist, a researcher into the ancient magical powers of the titan war.

One question, are partially charged wands available for purchase?

5/5 *****

HammerJack wrote:
In this scenario, though, it is explicit that the wights suffer from the sickening effect, so nothing derived from more general cases will override that.

I wouldnt call it explicit, more a bit of reminder text about a rule they got wrong.

5/5 *****

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Dennis Muldoon wrote:
Lady Ladile wrote:
The most off-putting thing for me as a GM that doesn't involve player issues is the sheer volume of material (new classes, new ancestries, new mechanics, new/expanded lore) to try and keep up with. I buy the material but I largely don't even try to read through it all until I encounter a situation (whether as a player or as a GM) where I need to know something about it or a particular thing piques my interest.
I think that's a good approach, TBH; there's no need to preemptively 'keep up' with all of the new options to be able to GM well. Learning it on the fly, together with your table, is fine. Learning from your players and trusting them to help figure out how something is supposed to work is a good thing, IMO. I think a culture of 'the GM has to be the absolute rules authority' is a bad thing, and ultimately harmful to org play.

The other thing to bear in mind is that if a player is doing something you are not familiar with the onus is on them to explain what it is, where it is from and how it works. You aren't expected to know everything.

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Fumarole wrote:
There is an opportunity to use Art Lore in one part of the adventure, and the adventure calls out a DC for the check. Maybe you just missed this part?

Maybe, but it was dwarfed by the number of times Engineering Lore came up which I really was not expecting given the blurb.

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I am playing on Chris's table. Rather disappointed that my Bards Art Lore has literally never come up and that I would have been far better off as an Inventor!

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Some mechanical issues which cropped up during the test and also while running the PFS repeatable for a group of playtest characters only.

As has been noted by others elsewhere Channeler is so far above and beyond Sage it is barely really a choice. The ability to swop freely between powerful Vessel spells dwarfs anything Sage gets.

Sustaining Dance is very good but I hope it also comes with more clarity/simplification of the leap rules especially when it comes to vertical distance.

Embodiment of Battle creates weird situations where you may well be wielding a weapon you arent proficient with. It would be nice if spirits perhaps gave you an always on ability which could be proficiency with one weapon/a category.

Whose Cry is Thunder, when you critically succeed can the extra damage be to the main target or not?

Scar of the Survivor is another one that almost feels like a no choice ability, especially in PFS where you have no idea if anyone in your group will have any healing.

Noble Branch - how much damage does the 1 action transcend do, is it damage equal to the number of dice your strike does or a roll of those dice. Does it include extra dice you might roll due to rune son your weapon?

Victor's Wreath - the transcend simply doesnt function in various situations. it allows an ally to make a save against an ongoing effect or negative condition, even if it didnt allow one. What is the DC of the save, what save is used if one didn't apply initially, Many enemies apply various conditions, mostly types of persistent damage, without allowing a save. I imagine the DC will be based on the creatures level if it doesnt come from an ability with a DC (such as, say, a bleed0 but which save type applies? It gets more fiddly when items are involved. If a level 12 enemy fighter crits me with a flaming sword is the DC based on his level or the level of the rune? Basically, this ability needs a lot more explanation. Its very cool, it just doesnt work in various situations as written. It also means that your party no longer needs to worry about curses or diseases ever again.

Hurl at the Horizon - can you add the returning rune to an otherwise ineligible melee weapon if you have this ability. It would not be useable while your Immanence was elsewhere but if you can't this is pretty useless for non thrown melee weapons.

Encounter D, Battle Among the Flames:

Our heroes battle their way through the undead army, cutting down swathes of lesser undead until they confront one of the Commanders directing the assault. Oddly the scenario gives us an image for the NPC behind the attack despite him never actually appearing in the scenario.



Blue (Stalker)

Purple (Hunter)
Red (Captain)
Green (Stalker)
Orange (Hunter)


Turn Order
Round 1

The battlefield is covered in flames. Each creature will take 3 fire damage at the end of its turn on round 1.

Ingvarr moves to get a good line of sight onto the enemy and drops a 5th level Holy Cascade on all except Purple. It deals 13B and 23 vitality. Green, red and orange pass [17], blue fails [36],

Coryn moves to get a clear line of sight and shoots a binding arrow at blue. He misses and his Immanence shifts into his Wreath.

Blue (Stalker) triple moves up. He would have provoked from Ingvarr but he hasnt out up his battle spell yet.

Helga moves up and drops a 5th level Holy Cascade on Red, Green and Orange. It deals 7B and 26 vitality. Red passes [16], Green and Orange fail [33]

Purple (Hunter) moves forward to get a clear shot and shoots Ingvarr twice, missing both times.

Red (Captain) moves forward twice and raises his shield.

Sissarak moves forward and swings on blue. The first strike crits for 36 damage and immobilises him. The second blow hits for 26

Green (Stalker) moves twice, provoking from Sissarak, who crits for 40 and immobilises her before she can get into melee with him. She uses her last action to wriggle free.

Orange (Hunter) shoots three times at Ingvarr, hitting once for 9.

Combat status

Ingvarr, 1HP, 12 damage
Coryn, 0HP, 3 damage
Helga, 1HP, 3 damage
Sissarak, 2HP, 3 damage

Blue, 120 damage, Immobilised
Purple, 22 damage
Red, 38 damage, shield raised
Green, 112 damage
Orange, 72 damage, 7 temp HP


Turn Order
Round 2
This turn all creatures are concealed by smoke (at least for the players) and they all take 7 fire damage at the end of their turns.

Ingvarr activates his battle spell and drops another 5th level cascade, this time on Red, Green and Purple. It does 8B and 24 vitality. Red and Green fail [32], purple passes [16]. Green is destroyed and there is no-one he can Spite.

Coryn takes a step back, shoots blue twice, the first does 9 damage, the second crits and kills him and again no-one is in range for a Spite reaction.

Helga enters her stance and drops a 5th level Holy Cascade on Purple and Red. It deals 12B and 38 vitality. Purple fails [50], Red passes [25]

Purple (Hunter) launches 3 attacks at Helga, figuring she is easier to hit given she is just in leather. He is wrong and misses with all 3 attacks.

Red (Captain) moves to engage the group, provoking from both Sissarak and Ingvarr. Sissarak would hits for 20 but the smoke makes him miss, Ingvarr misses. He crits Ingvarr for 40 and then hits for 21. He makes both drain life saves.

Sissarak moves to flank red, She would have provoked but has Mobility. She strikes twice, missing both times.

Orange (Hunter) shoots Ingvarr three times, hitting with all of them for 35 damage. He makes all of the drain saves.

Combat status

Ingvarr, 1HP, 115 damage
Coryn, 0HP, 10 damage
Helga, 1HP, 10 damage
Sissarak, 2HP, 10 damage

Blue, dead
Purple, 95 damage
Red, 95 damage, 4 temp HP
Green, dead
Orange, 72 damage


Turn Order
Round 3

This turn the flames grow hotter. Everyone takes 13 fire damage at the end of their turn.

Ingvarr sustains his battle spell and steps away from Red. He strikes once with grudge strike. He misses and hero points into a crit for 54 damage and 1d10 fire. He makes the flat check!

Coryn shifts his immanence into his weapon and again tries to immobilise Red but misses.

Helga makes the flat check and pumps a level 5 heal into Ingvarr for 67 HP. She then drops a 1 action Earth’s Bile on Red. He saves and takes 10 damage.

Purple (Hunter) shoots Ingvarr three times, missing with all of them.

Red (Captain) steps into Ingvarr and strikes twice. He crits for 42 and then misses. Ingvarr makes the drain life save. The captains takes the 13 environmental damage plus 10 persistent which continues.

Sissarak strikes Red, hitting for 16. Misses with her second attack and tries an assurance trip for 26 which fails.

Orange (Hunter) tries to place some pressure by shooting Ingvarr three times. He hits once for 14, crits for 40 which drops him and then misses with the last attack on Helga. Ingvarr makes both drain saves.

Combat status

Ingvarr, 0HP, 0 health, dying 2
Coryn, 0HP, 23 damage
Helga, 1HP, 23 damage
Sissarak, 2HP, 23 damage

Blue, dead
Purple, 108 damage
Red, 181 damage, 1d10 fire
Green, dead
Orange, 78 damage


Turn Order
Round 4
The smoke gets thicker. All creatures take 12 fire damage at the end of their turns and must hold their breath or become Sickened 1.

Coryn steps back and shoots Purple, critting and killing him. He then shoots Orange, critting for 44, killing him. He males both flat checks thankfully.

Helga sustains her bile spell, she leaps, intentionally provoking from Red, who crits her for 50. She makes the drain save. He crit fails the save against her Bile and takes 56 damage which destroys him. Helga promptly gets Ingvarr back on his feet and the group get out of there before the smoke and flames overwhelm them. I ignore the Captains ability to summon some normal wights when he dies.

Encounter C:

After completing their daily preparations the group head out and listen to Mahja’s speech. Then the warning horns sound and they rush off to the defence of the town. Again, no exploration is possible unless they can do so at full speed.


Green [E]
Blue [E]
Red [E]

All of the party beat all of the enemies in initiative. All the encounters so far have started out at a fair distance and this one is no exception meaning Battle Cry has been quite useless. It wouldn’t have helped here anyway.


Turn Order
Round 1

Helga leads things off. She enters her Channelling Stance and drops a 5th level Holy Cascade on the mass of zombies. This also puts out some of the flames! It deals a rather sad 8B and 26 vitality. Orange and red crit fail [73], purple and blue fail [39], green passes [22]

Ingvarr casts his Battle spell and also unleashes a level 5 Holy Cascade. It deals 9B and 23 vitality. Green and Blue fail [37], Red, Orange and Purple pass [20]

Coryn shoots a binding serpent arrow at Green. He hits for 11 and Green rolls a 20 in the save. He is yet to get this to work. His Immanence shifts to his Wreath to provide the attack bonus.

Sissarak delays to let at least one zombie come to the group.

Green [E] obliges, shambling forward. It would have provoked from Sissarak but she is delaying and so cannot take reactions.

Sissarak has a target in her reach! However, she decides to do something a little trickier. She steps to line two of them up and wounds the earth. Green fails, red crit fails, it deals 6 damage and both are prone. The area is difficult terrain. Sissarak shifts her immanence into her Wreath.

Blue [E] double moves to Ingvarr, provoking from Ingvarr who crits for 52 damage which destroys him, causing him to explode. He explodes for 14B and 14 fire. Purple and Green are in range and both fail. Sissarak and Ingvarr crit pass, Helga and Coryn pass. .

Orange double moves

Red [E] stands up and moves

Purple double moves

Combat status

Ingvarr, 1HP
Coryn, 0HP, 14 damage
Helga, 1HP, 14 damage
Sissarak, 2HP

Green, 109 damage
Blue, dead
Orange, 112 damage
Red, 124 damage
Purple, 92 damage


Turn Order
Round 2

Helga does not want to use too many resources but three of them are all clumped up. She uses 1 action for earth's bile, even though they are immune to the fire damage. It deals 12B. Green crit passes, purple crit fails, orange passes. She follows up with a disrupt undead on purple, who passes taking 15 vitality damage and killing him! He explodes for 18B and 16 fire. Everyone is in range. Red fails, green crit fails (and explodes!), orange passes. Ingvarr passes against purples exploding, the rest crit pass. Greens exploding does 11B and 10 fire. Orange crit fails (and explodes!), Red passes but also explodes.

I dont bother with rolling the damage at this point as it wont kill anyone and can be healed trivially.

The group gather themselves together, meet up with Mahja and take on the main undead force attacking the town!

Freedom Town, Part 2:

Helga continues dealing with the Wards (Religion)
Ingvarr also stays to help with Evacuation (Intimidation)
Coryn stays setting up Traps (Stealth)
Sissarak moves from Scouting (as its complete) to Barricades (Athletics)

The DC is 26, +2 per success obtained, to a maximum of 3. Helga and Ingvarr succeed. Coryn fails but hero point rerolls into a pass. Sissarak crit fails and hero point rerolls into a pass.

The PCs status bonus to initiative rolls increases to +2. Enemies now start with 19 less HP, are enfeebled 2 on round 1 and the PCs get a +1 circumstance bonus to their saves. Enemies get a +5 bonus to their speed..

Preparations complete the group get to rest for the night. The following day our two animists switch a number of spells, mostly adding in a bunch of Holy Cascades.

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Encounter B: Scouts:

Our heroes reach the bridge into town and are confronted by three wight archers at rather long range!


37 Sissarak
37 Coryn
34 Purple (Stalker)
32 Pink (Stalker)
29 Ingvarr
25 Blue (Elite Hunter)
23 Helga
22 Red (Elite Hunter)
21 Orange (Hunter)


Turn Order
Round 1

Sissarak, the group know these are wights. They can see the three archers but are not aware of the two Stalkers pretending to be dead bodies amongst those on the bridge. Sissarak decides to be brave (or foolish). I give her a hero point. She shifts her Immanence to her weapon. She expends a charge from her Tacticians Helmet (it charged up in encounter 1) and strides twice with one action (her current speed is 40). She strides another time getting into range of Orange and strikes, hitting for 22.

Coryn is too far away, the enemy are in his third range increment. He shifts his Immanence to his weapon as a free action, moves forward, and shoots orange seeking to blind him! He crits for 36, sets Orange on fire, does 13 electricity to blue but Orange makes the fort save.

Purple + Pink both delay, hoping someone will come closer.

Ingvarr is also very far away. He moves forward and drops a level 5 fireball on all three archers and Sissarak. It deals 35 damage Sissarak saves, Orange critically fails, blue and red fail. Orange crumbles into ash and Sissarak is too far away for her spiteful reaction.

Purple + Pink come out of delay

Purple moves in on Ingvarr. He hasnt used his Battle spell and so doesnt have opportunity attack. He feints him and then stabs him for 15. He makes the fortitude save.

Pink double moves to flank Ingvar and strikes, hitting for 15. He makes the fortitude save.

Blue has taken substantial damage. They are using longbows and Sissarak is within their volley range. It moves back and shoots twice at her, critting for 23 and hitting for 20. She makes both saves.

Helga enters her Channelling dance and launches a 4th level fireball at the two archers. Red critically passes, blue passes. It deals 31 damage.

Red is out of volley range so shoots Sissarak three times! He hits twice for 26 damage. She makes both fortitude saves.

Combat status

Ingvarr, 1HP, 30 damage
Coryn, 1HP
Helga, 1HP
Sissarak, 2HP, 69 damage

Purple, 17 damage, 7 temp HP
Pink, 17 damage
Blue, 72 damage
Red, 52 damage, 8 temp HP
Orange, Dead


Turn Order
Round 2

Sissarak closes in on red, Blue is too far away for her to reach. She strikes, hitting for 26 damage and then crits for 42 but he avoids being driven into the ground.

Coryn moves to provide Ingvarr with a flank and shoots twice at red, hitting twice for 32 and killing red, who gets his reaction to attack Sissarak. He crits for 34 damage. Sissarak saves against the drain but is looking pretty beat up.

Ingvarr finds himself flanked but he also has a flanking partner. He activates his battle spell and strikes the flanked purple twice. He hits with both for 37.

Purple strikes at Ingvarr three times, He hits twice for 35 damage.

Pink does the same, hitting twice for 34 damage.

Blue moves to get a clear shot at Sissarak and strikes twice. He misses both times.

Helga moves forward and casts level 3 2 action heal on Ingvarr, healing him for 40.

Combat status

Ingvarr, 1HP, 54 damage
Coryn, 1HP
Helga, 1HP
Sissarak, 2HP, 103 damage

Purple, 47 damage
Pink, 17 damage
Blue, 72 damage
Red, Dead
Orange, Dead


Turn Order
Round 3

Sissarak hopes the rest of his group can help take out Blue. She advances and strikes twice. The first attack cris for 48 at which point I notice that Bones of the Earth offers no save against the immobilise. The second attack hits for 16 which finishes off blue. Its spite reaction misses.

Coryn shoots purple three times at point blank range. He hits three times for 53.

Ingvarr strikes purple, killing him and provoking his reaction. Purple crits him for 40. He sustains his battle spell, stepping away and then strikes at pink but mises.

Pink has no allies left. He steps in Ingvarr, tries and fails to feint him and misses him wit his dagger.

Helga moves forward and hurls needle darts at pink but misses.

Combat status

Ingvarr, 1HP, 94 damage
Coryn, 1HP
Helga, 1HP
Sissarak, 2HP, 103 damage

Purple, Dead
Pink, 17 damage
Blue, Dead
Red, Dead
Orange, Dead


Turn Order
Round 4

Sissarak shifts her Immanence to her body, activates it to heal for 23 [shifting it back to her weapon and allowing her to stride half her speed] and then moves again. She is still well away from the action.

Coryn shoots a binding arrow at Pink, missing with a 3, which shifts his immanence into his body. He activates his Scar, healing nothing himself but giving Ingvarr 22 HP and shifting his Immanence back to him weapon.

Ingvarr sustains his spell, stepping away and striking, missing with a 1. He strikes again, missing with a 6!

Pink sees he may have a chance. He steps in on Ongvarr again, feints, and strikes. Both succeed, he crits for a paltry 20 and Ingvarr makes the save.

Helga moves to provide a flank and disrupts undead. He passes taking 13 damage.

Combat status

Ingvarr, 1HP, 92 damage
Coryn, 1HP
Helga, 1HP
Sissarak, 2HP, 80 damage

Purple, Dead
Pink, 30 damage
Blue, Dead
Red, Dead
Orange, Dead


Turn Order
Round 5

The encounter is largely over so the group wants to avoid using up any resources.

Sissarak strides twice and strikes, hitting for 16.

Coryn shoots another binding arrow, he hasn't had any luck with this so far. He misses. He switches to Scar, activates it healing Sissarak for 22 and shifts back to Weapon.

Ingvarr sustains, stepping away and strikes twice, hitting once for 18.

Pink has somehow still survived. He continues to try and kill Ingvarr. He fails to feint and his blow misses.

Helga casts earths bile but Pink passes, taking 15 damage. She disrupts undead and it fails taking 20.

Combat status

Ingvarr, 1HP, 92 damage
Coryn, 1HP
Helga, 1HP
Sissarak, 2HP, 58 damage

Purple, Dead
Pink, 99 damage
Blue, Dead
Red, Dead
Orange, Dead


Turn Order
Round 6

Sissarak moves to flank with Ingvarr, strikes for 30 which finishes off blue. Its last, desperate stab hits her for 7.

Combat status
Ingvarr, 1HP, 92 damage
Coryn, 1HP
Helga, 1HP
Sissarak, 2HP, 65 damage

Purple, Dead
Pink, Dead
Blue, Dead
Red, Dead
Orange, Dead

The group heal up back to full trivially and head back into town to continue to prepare the defences

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Freedom Town:

Our heroes reach Freedom Town with the army and meet some more NPCs. They immediately set to trying to prepare the town for the coming invasion. I have each of them use their highest skill bonus but spread them around to try and get as much coverage as possible.

Helga heads to deal with the Wards (Religion)
Ingvarr moves to help with Evacuation (Intimidation)
Coryn helps to set up Traps (Stealth)
Sissarak helps with Scouting (Athletics)

The DC is 26, +2 per success obtained, to a maximum of 3. All four succeed on their first check and decide to stay where they are. Sissarak crits her second check and the rest all pass. Scouting is now complete. The PCs get a +1 status bonus on their initiative checks for the rest of the adventure, can ignore non magical difficult terrain, get a +5 circumstance bonus to their speed and enemies will start with 17 less HP.

At this point the alarm goes up and the group must rush off to help defend the town. Again I do not allow them exploration unless they can do so at full speed.

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I like the look of the new playtest characters so wanted to see if we could make a viable party using just them. I am running a group of four through a recent high level PFS scenario, In Glorious Battle. Beware, there will be spoilers. I am also running a PFS repeatable online for just playtest characters and will report on that separately.

For this test we have four level 10 characters. Both Animists are Chaneller's as the ability to swop between powerful Vessel spells is simply too good and Sage gets very little in comparison. One is built mostly as support, blasting and spellcasting main, the other is melee but still with full spellcasting. The two Exemplars are ranged and melee. Both have the rogue dedication as Exemplar skills are awful and both have an Int of 8.


Our heroes receive their call and make their way to Belkzen through the Maze of the Open Road. They meet Mahja Firehair and the other NPC’s and get filled in on the situation. They crush the initial Recall Knowledge checks, learning much about Wights, Sulphur Zombies and Freedom Town.

Encounter A:

Our heroes join the army and start the march to Freedom Town. The group takes point. The army is travelling at full speed which prevents most exploration activities. Sissarak and Coryn both have Swift Sneak so get to Avoid Notice.

The group trigger the undead ambush!


39 Ingvarr
34 Coryn
31 Helga
30 Red Zombie
25 Sissarak
23 Skull Swarm
17 Blue Zombie
16 Orange Zombie
15 Green Zombie

Sissarak and Coryn both start with their Immanence invested in their body Ikons for +1 fortitude saves.


Turn Order
Round 1

Ingvarr The enemies are all a considerable distance away. Ingvarr starts with invoking the Embodiment of Battle, giving him a substantial attack and damage bonus as well as opportunity attack and follows up with shield and moves forward.

Coryn At the start of the turn Coryn shifts his immanence into his bow. He takes two actions to shoot the nearest zombie with binding serpents but misses with a 3 (its in the second range increment as well). His Immanence forcibly shifts and he moves it to his Victors Wreath and shoots again, also missing. An inauspicious start!

Helga moves forward and launches some Needle Darts at a zombie, dealing 22 damage

Red Zombie shambles straight at Ingvarr, provoking, taking 21 damage for its trouble

Sissarak shits her Immanence to her weapon as she rolls initiative. Interestingly it seems this would prevent other rolling initiative free actions like Battle Cry. She advances on the zombie and hits twice for 55 damage.

Skull Swarm is too far away to do much. If uses its entire turn flying forward, which provokes from Sissarak who deals 12 damage. The whole group however is now in its aura.

Blue Zombie moves twice
Orange Zombie moves twice
Green Zombie moves twice

Combat status

Ingvarr, EoB [SU], Shield

Skull Swarm, 12 damage
Blue Zombie
Orange Zombie
Green Zombie
Red Zombie, 98 damage


Turn Order
Round 2

Ingvarr Fails against the confusing aura but gets a pass due to incapacitation. He has a swarm on top of him and two zombies in his face. He uses sustaining dance to step away and maintain his battle spell and then grudge strikes the injured red zombie, hitting for 27 damage

Coryn saves against the aura, getting a crit due to resolve. He shifts his immanence back to his bow and again tries to pin down Red with binding serpents. He hits for 19, leaving it on 1HP and it saves and so is not immobilised. He shifts to his Wreath and fires again, missing.

Helga saves against the aura. She enters her Channelling Stance and then disrupts red. He dies and then explodes, hitting everyone except Coryn. It deals 12 B and 10 F. Blue and Green save, taking 6, orange crit passes for nothing. The swarm passes, taking 11 due to its weakness. Helga fails, Ingvarr passes, Sissarak crit passes.

Sissarak fails the swarm save but passes due to incapacitation. She moves away and strikes the swarm twice for 27 damage total. It is highly resistant.

Skull Swarm moves to get the group into a 30’ cone. This provokes from Ingvarr and Sissarak, who both swing on it. Ingvarr misses but Sissarak hits for another 14. It then screams, hitting the entire group. Everyone saves, this group has strong will saves.

Blue Zombie moves up to Ingvarr and hits for 19 damage and sets him on fire. He saves against the smoke.

Orange Zombie advances on Helga and hits her for 14 damage and sets her on fire. She saves against the smoke.

Green Zombie steps into Ingvarr but misses, just.

Combat status

Ingvarr, EoB [SU], 30 damage, 1d6 fire,
Helga, Channel Stance, 36 damage, 1d6 fire

Skull Swarm, 64 damage
Blue Zombie, 6 damage
Orange Zombie
Green Zombie, 6 damage
Red Zombie, Dead


Turn Order
Round 3

Ingvarr is next to a pair of zombies and the swarm. He swings at the swarm with a grudge strike and then leaps away, sustaining his battle spell at the same time, meaning the zombies will only get one attack if they come after him. Unfortunately it resists most of his damage and he only manages 6 vitality damage. He burns for 3 and then goes out.

Coryn No-one is in range to benefit from his wreath save ability so he shits back to his weapon and again tries to immobilise a zombie, this time hitting blue. He crits for 41 damage and 10 electricity to green but it makes the save, these zombies are nimble! His immanence shifts back to his wreath.

Helga unleashes a 5th level, 3 action heal. She heals everyone for 27 damage due to her stance and damages all of the enemy for 22 vitality. The swarm fails, blue and orange pass, green crit passes. The area damage weakness means the swarm is destroyed. She then burns for 2 and is still on fire.

Sissarak sees an opportunity and moves around the zombies. She Wounds the Earth, hitting all three of them for 9 damage and knocking blue and green prone! Her Ikon shifts to her Wreath.

Blue Zombie stands up and advances on Ingvarr, provoking, who crits it for 24

Orange Zombie hits Helga once for 14

Green Zombie stands and advances on Sissarak, also provoking, who also crits for 33

Combat status

Ingvarr, EoB [SU], 6 damage
Helga, Channel Stance, 9 damage, 1d6 fire

Skull Swarm, Dead
Blue Zombie, 96 damage
Orange Zombie 25 damage
Green Zombie, 58 damage
Red Zombie, Dead


Turn Order
Round 4

Ingvarr has a zombie in his face. He leaps away, again sustaining his battle spell and grudge strikes it, hitting for 30 damage on blue.

Coryn again shifts his Immanence to his weapon and tries to pin down blue with magic snake arrows as it looks badly damaged. He hits for 15 and immobilises it! His immanence shifts again to his Wreath.

Helga uses Disrupt Undead on Green who saves, taking 19 damage. She then backs off behind Ingvarr.

Sissarak shifts her Immanence back to her weapon, strikes Green (missing with a 1) and then moves away.

Blue Zombie Escapes with a 20 and moves to engage Coryn.

Orange Zombie moves on Ingvarr provoking from Ingvarr and Sissarak, Ingvarr hits for 16. Its attack goes well wide.

Green Zombie advances on Sissarak, critting but for a mere 18 damage.

Combat status

Ingvarr, EoB [SU], 6 damage
Helga, Channel Stance, 9 damage, 1d6 fire
Sissarak, 18 damage

Skull Swarm, Dead
Blue Zombie, 141 damage
Orange Zombie 41 damage
Green Zombie, 77 damage
Red Zombie, Dead


Turn Order
Round 5

Ingvarr Decides to start making two attacks rather than grudge striking. He crits orange for 52 damage, hits for 30 and then leaps away, sustaining his battle spell.

Coryn has blue zombie in his face. He uses One Moment to Glory, giving Helga a new save against the ongoing fire damage. It is unclear what the DC would be or even which save would apply, I assume a DC based on the zombies level and that it is reflex. She passes and goes out! He then shoots blue, critting, killing it and causing it to explode. It does 18B and 11 Fire. Sissarak saves, taking 14 damage, the rest of the party crit passes. Orange and Green pass taking 9. At this point I totally remember that the swarm should have also exploded but I am not going to try and retcon things at this point, He takes a second shot at green, hitting for 13.

Helga doesnt see much value in expending resources at this stage so she disrupts Orange, who fails, taking 29 damage and also explodes! He deals 6B and 6 Fire. Sissarak fails, Helga and Ingvarr pass, Coryn crit passes. Green passes.

Sissarak strikes at Green twice and then plans to move, forcing it to provoke assuming ti survives. It doest and it promptly explodes. I dont bother resolving it as it cannot possibly kill anyone and there is no healing time pressure.

Combat status
Ingvarr, EoB [SU], 12 damage
Helga, Channel Stance, 15 damage
Sissarak, 30 damage

The group restore themselves to full health in no time. Both Exemplars can heal themselves for 5d8HP every turn and both Animists can use the Garden vessel spell if they need to.

Here is the last member of our team, a rather more traditional melee based Exemplar. I really wanted to go with Titan's Breaker but I also wanted a reach/trip weapon and the only one that qualified that I could access was the Long Hammer. Its a decent pick but I wanted the higher damage die.

Name: Sissarak the Subtle
Ancestry: Lizardfolk (Wetlander)
Class: Exemplar 10
Background: Deckhand

Perception (E): +19; Senses:
Speed: 35, Swim 25

STR: +5, DEX: +4, CON: +4, INT:-1, WIS: +4, CHA: +0

Fort (E): +19; Reflex (E): +19 ; Will (M): +21 [Resolve]
HP: 158

Class Abilities: Class DC 29 [E]; Spark Transcendence, Shift Immanence, Humble Weapons, Root Epithet (Brave), Spirit Striking [+2 spirit damage], Dominion Epithet [Born of Bones of the Earth]

Body: Scar of the Survivor [+1 Fortitude; 1 action, heal 5d8]
Weapon: Noble Branch [+2 spirit damage/die; Bonus damage]
Worn: Victor’s Wreath [15’ Aura, +1 status bonus to attack; New save]

Class Feats: Rogue Dedication, Basic Trickery [Mobility], Reactive Strike, Skill Mastery, Journey of the Sky Chariot

Ancestry Abilities: Aquatic Adaptation, Claws (1d4, agile)

Primal Spellcasting: Spell DC [E] 28; Spell Attack +18
Cantrips [5th]: Electric Arc

Acrobatics (T) +17; Arcana (U) -1; Athletics (M) +23; Crafting (U) -1; Deception (U) +0; Diplomacy (U) +0; Intimidate U() +0; Lore (Sailing) (T) +11; Medicine (U) +4; Nature (E) +18; Occult (U) -1; Performance (U) +0; Religion (T) +16; Society (U) -1; Stealth (M) +21; Survival (U) +4; Thievery (E) +19

Languages: Common, Iruxi

Ancestry Feats: Bone Magic [Electric Arc], Swift Swimmer, Terrain Advantage

General Feats: Toughness, Fleet

Skill Feats: Breath Control, Cat Fall, Hefty Hauler, Steady Balance, Swift Sneak, Assurance (Athletics), Titan Wrestler, Foil Senses, Trick Magic Item, Quiet Allies

Items: +1 resilient shadow leather armour, +1 striking shifting cold iron guisarme, armbands of athleticism, boots of bounding, eye of the unseen, tacticians helm, wand of longstrider [2nd], +1 striking composite shortbow, bracelets of dashing, infiltrator’s tools

Armour Proficiencies: [T] Unarmoured Defence, Light, Medium
Weapon Proficiencies: [E] Unarmed Attacks, Simple Weapons


+1 striking shifting cold iron guisarme, +20, 2d10+5 +2 spirit/B [reach, trip]

+1 striking composite shortbow, +19, 2d6+2+2 spirit/B [range 60’, deadly d10, propulsive]

Here we go with our first crack at the Exemplar. I initially had him invest heavily in Medicine with Stich Flesh and a bunch of skill feats but then I noticed that the Scar of the Survivor Ikon healing ability doesn't have the positive trait so works on undead.

Name: Coryn Tor
Ancestry: Skeleton (Sturdy)
Class: Exemplar 10
Background: Warrior

Perception (E): +18 [+2 for Init]; Senses: Low light vision
Speed: 30

STR: +0, DEX: +5, CON: +4, INT: -1, WIS: +4, CHA: +4

AC: 28 [12 proficiency, +4 dex, +2 item]
Fort (E): +19; Reflex (T): +18 ; Will (M): +21 [Resolve]
HP: 160

Class Abilities: Class DC 29 [E]; Spark Transcendence, Shift Immanence, Humble Weapons, Root Epithet (Radiant), Spirit Striking [+2 spirit damage], Dominion Epithet [Whose Cry is Thunder], Surprise Attack

Body: Scar of the Survivor [+1 Fortitude; 1 action, heal 5d8]
Weapon: Fated Shot [+1 damage/die; AoE attack]
Worn: Victor’s Wreath [15’ Aura, +1 status bonus to attack; New save]

Class Feats: Claim Initiate Domain [Luck], Through the Needle’s Eye, Binding Serpents Celestial Arrow, Claim Advanced Domain, Skill Mastery

Exemplar Spellcasting: Spell DC 26; Focus Points [2]
5th: Bit of Luck, Lucky Break

Ancestry Abilities: Disease and Poison Protection, Immune to Death Effects, Undead Hunger, Negative Healing, Negative Survival

Skills: Acrobatics (E) +19; Arcana (U) -1; Athletics (U) +0; Crafting (U) -1; Deception (U) +4; Diplomacy (T) +17; Intimidate (M) +22; Lore (Warfare) (T) +11; Lore (Undead) (M) +15, Medicine (U) +4; Nature (U) +4; Occult (U) -1; Performance (U) +4; Religion (T) +16; Society (U) -1; Stealth (M) +22; Survival (T) +16; Thievery (E) +20

Languages: Common, Necril

Ancestry Feats: As in Life, So in Death (Human), Past Life (Acrobatics, Additional Lore [Undead]), Multitalented (Rogue)

General Feats: Diehard, Toughness, Incredible Initiative

Skill Feats: Intimidating Glare, Steady Balance, Nimble Crawl, Terrified Retreat, Assurance (Medicine), Battle Cry, Foil Senses, Swift Sneak

Items: +1 resilient shadow leather armour, +1 striking flaming composite shortbow, mask of the banshee, boots of bounding, +1 striking shifting rapier, diplomats badge, healer’s gloves, infiltrators tools

Armour Proficiencies: [T] Unarmoured Defence, Light
Weapon Proficiencies: [E]Unarmed Attacks, Simple Weapons, Martial Weapons


+1 striking, flaming, composite shortbow, +20, 2d6 +2 [spirit] +1d6 [fire], [deadly d10]
+1 striking shifting rapier, +20, 2d6 +2 [spirit] [deadly d8]

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You generally cannot sustain more than once per round unless the spell says so.

This one even specifies that you only get the benefit the first time you sustain each round which I suspect is the new standard for the Remaster.

It scales every four levels. The Heighten entry is Heightened (+2) so the damage doesnt increase until spell rank 3. Its still good but not quite that good.

Here's our second animist, looking to engage far more in melee. I couldnt quite bring myself not to max out Wisdom as the Animist is still a full caster and has plenty of offensive spell options. Counteract is also an issue if you drop Wisdom. I wanted a bit more variety in skills so I couldnt also raise Dex which left me going into Sentinel so solve the defence issue.

Name: Ingvar Saltbeard
Ancestry: Human (Skilled - Athletics)
Class: Animist 10
Background: Warrior

Perception (E): +19, [+2 status to seek and for Init]
Speed: 25

STR: +4, DEX: +0, CON: +4, INT: +0, WIS: +5, CHA: +3

AC: 29 [12 proficiency, +7 item]
Fort (M): +21; Reflex (E): +19 ; Will (E): +20 [Resolve]
HP: 128

Class Abilities: Class DC (E); Apparitions Whirl, Animist Spellcasting, Apparition Spellcasting, Vessel Spells (Focus Points 3)

Class Feats: Channeler’s Stance, Sentinel Dedication, Embodiment of the Balance, Sustaining Dance, Mediums Awareness, Mighty Bulwark


Custodian of Groves and Gardens: :
Skills [E] +14: Farming Lore, Herbalism Lore
Apparition Spells: Cantrip Tangle Vine; 1st: Wall of Shrubs; 2nd: Gentle Breeze; 3rd: Safe Passage; 4th: Life-Draining Roots; 5th: Entwined Roots
Vessel Spell: Garden of Healing

Steward of Stone and Fire:
Skills [E] +14: Mountain Lore, Volcano Lore
Apparition Spells: Cantrip Ignition; 1st: Interposing Earth; 2nd: Exploding Earth;; 3rd: Fireball; 4th: Wall of Fire; 5th: Wall of Stone
Vessel Spell: Earth's Bile

[n]Witness to Ancient Battles: (Primary)[/b]
Skills [E] +14: Battlegrounds Lore, Heraldry Lore
Apparition Spells: Cantrip Shield; 1st: Runic Weapon; 2nd: Enlarge; 3rd: Ghostly Weapon; 4th: Weapon Storm; 5th: Invoke Spirits
Vessel Spell: Embodiment of Battle

Acrobatics (U) +0; Arcana (U) +0; Athletics (M) +21; Crafting (U) +0; Deception (U) +3; Diplomacy (E) +18; Intimidate (M) +22; Lore (Warfare) (T) +13; Medicine (U) +5; Nature (T) +17; Occult (U) +0; Performance (U) +3 ; Religion (T) +17; Society (U) +0; Stealth (U) +0; Survival (T) +17; Thievery (U) +0

Languages: Common, Hallit

Ancestry Feats: Unconventional Weaponry [Gill Hook], Adapted Cantrip, Adapted Spell

General Feats: Canny Acumen (Reflex), Battle Cry

Skill Feats: Intimidating Glare, Assurance (Athletics), Steel Skin, Powerful Leap, Intimidating Prowess, Terrified Retreat

Spellcasting: Spell DC 29; Spell Attack +19

Animist Prepared Spells:
5th: See Invisibility, Blink Charge
4th: Air Walk, War March
3rd: Circle of Protection, Heal
2nd: Faerie Fire, Resist Energy
1st: True Strike [2]
Cantrips (5th): Needle Darts, Light

Apparitions Spellcasting:
5th: (1 slot); Entwined Roots, Wall of Stone, Invoke Spirits
4th: (1 slot); Life Draining Roots, Wall of Fire, Weapon Storm
3rd: 3 (slots); Safe Passage, Fireball, Ghostly Weapon
2nd: (3 slots); Gentle Breeze, Exploding Earth, Enlarge
1st: (3 slots); Wall of Shrubs, Interposing Earth, Runic Weapon, Heal, Harm
Cantrips (5th): Tangle Vine, Ignition, Shield

Items: +1 resilient full plate, +1 cold iron, striking flaming gillhook, mask of the banshee, boots of bounding, lifting belt, tacticians helm, diplomats badge

Armour Proficiencies: [T] Unarmoured Defence, Light, Medium, Heavy
Weapon Proficiencies: [T] Unarmed Attacks, Simple Weapons


+1 cold iron striking flaming gillhook +17, 2d10+4 +1d6 fire [grapple, reach]

I am looking to run a group of all playtest characters through a high level PFS scenario to see how they work as a group. I will post them here as I put them together.

First we have Helga Stoneshield, a dwarven defender of burial sites and intercessor with the dead. She plays primarily as a support type spellcaster but with a decent amount of offence. The Earth's Bile Vessel spell is a very nice addition given you can just keep sustaining it. The Channeler ability to swop your primary apparition is very good.

Name: Helga Stoneshield
Ancestry: Dwarf (Death-Warden)
Class: Animist 10
Background: Acolyte
Deity: Magrim

Perception (E): +19 [+2 to seek and for Init], ; Senses: Darkvision
Speed: 25

STR: +0 , DEX: +4, CON: +4 , INT: +4, WIS: +5 , CHA: -1

AC: 28 [12 proficiency, +4 Dex, +2 item]
Fort (M): +21; Reflex (E): +19 ; Will (E): +20 [Resolve]
HP: 150

Class Abilities: Class DC (E); Apparitions Whirl, Animist Spellcasting, Apparition Spellcasting, Vessel Spells (Focus Points 3)

Class Feats: Channeler’s Stance, Embodiment of the Balance [add Heal and Harm to Apparition repertoire], Sustaining Dancer [* Step or Leap and then Sustain], Mediums Awareness [+2 status bonus to Perception to Seek and for Initiative], Possession Echo [Use expended spell slot of max level -2, become confused until end of next turn], Overwhelming Energy [*, M, Ignore 10 points of various resistances]


Custodian of Groves and Gardens: :
Skills [E] +19: Farming Lore, Herbalism Lore
Apparition Spells: Cantrip Tangle Vine; 1st: Wall of Shrubs; 2nd: Gentle Breeze; 3rd: Safe Passage; 4th: Life-Draining Roots; 5th: Entwined Roots
Vessel Spell: Garden of Healing

Steward of Stone and Fire (Primary):
Skills [E] +19: Mountain Lore, Volcano Lore
Apparition Spells: Cantrip Ignition; 1st: Interposing Earth; 2nd: Exploding Earth;; 3rd: Fireball; 4th: Wall of Fire; 5th: Wall of Stone
Vessel Spell: Earth's Bile

Imposter in Hidden Places:
Skills [E] +19: Fortune Telling Lore, Underworld Lore
Apparition Spells: Cantrip Telekinetic Hand; 1st: Ill Omen; 2nd: Invisibility;; 3rd: Veil of Privacy; 4th: Liminal Doorway; 5th: Hallucination
Vessel Spell: Discomforting Whispers

Ancestry Abilities:
Death Warden: A success on a save against a necromancy effect becomes a critical success

Acrobatics (T) +16; Arcana (M) +21; Athletics (U) +0; Crafting (U) +4; Deception (U) -1; Diplomacy (U) -1; Intimidate (U) -1; Lore (Scribing) (T) +17; Lore [Undead, Fiends] (M) +21; Medicine (T) +18; Nature (T) +17; Occult (T) +17; Performance (U) -1; Religion (M) +23; Society (T) +16; Stealth (U) +4; Survival (T) +17; Thievery (U) +4

Languages: Common, Dwarven

Ancestry Feats: Dwarven Doughtiness, Defy the Darkness, Mountains Stoutness

General Feats: Toughness, Canny Acumen (Reflex)

Skill Feats: Student of the Canon, Quick Identification, Pilgrim’s Token, Battle Prayer, Additional Lore (Undead, Fiends)

Spellcasting: Spell DC 29; Spell Attack +19

Animist Prepared Spells:
5th: Banishment, Spiritual Guardian
4th: Air Walk, Vital Beacon
3rd: Circle of Protection, Fear
2nd: Faerie Fire, See Invisibility
1st: Fear, Command
Cantrips (5th): Disrupt Undead, Needle Darts

Apparitions Spellcasting:
5th: (1 slot); Entwined Roots, Wall of Stone, Hallucination
4th: (1 slot); Life Draining Roots, Wall of Fire, Liminal Doorway,
3rd: 3 (slots); Safe Passage, Fireball, Veil of Privacy
2nd: (3 slots); Gentle Breeze, Exploding Earth, Invisibility
1st: (3 slots); Wall of Shrubs, Interposing Earth, Ill Omen, Heal, Harm
Cantrips (5th): Tangle Vine, Ignition, Telekinetic Hand

Items: +1 resilient leather armour, +1 cold iron, striking returning dagger, boots of bounding, brooch of inspiration, hat of the magi, healer’s gloves, pendant of the occult, phylactery of faithfulness, wooden shield

Armour Proficiencies: [T] Unarmoured Defence, Light, Medium
Weapon Proficiencies: [T]Unarmed Attacks, Simple Weapons


+1 striking returning dagger +17, 2d4 P (agile, versatile S, thrown 10’)

5/5 *****

I prepped this for Paizocon EU. These are the questions I flagged up:


Some initial comments following prep:

Introduction Issues

Getting started: Handout at the back says takes 10 minutes of your time, body text says nothing

Wat is Taiwalei's proficinecy level in medicine

How does Navigate the Maze Work. If all PCs roll what happens if you get different result levels? Do we take the best, the worst, all of them?

Does travelling to Woodsedge Lodge take any time?

The maze riddle seems to have little to no actual effect

Do areas where the PCs dont have to navigate take any time?

Given it takes 10 minutes generally to identify any item the PCs wont get much use out of any of the trasure in the scenario

B4 - no DC is given for the Grab an Edge reaction. This is normally the climb DC of the surface you are grabbing but there isnt one here. I am inclined to use the athletics DC for the initial effec.

B5 - what happens if no-one is using any of the listed exploration activities?

Area C - the path to the right leads to two different places.

Treasure bundles - scenario says they get 3 each time they succeed at a navigate check. There are 3 navigate checks which could mean up to 16 bundles. Should this say 1 for each successful check

These are the answers I got:


Taiwalie - proficiency is Master
Treasure Bundles: it’s a misprint - should be 1 for each successful check.
C : directional paths … South leads to grand lodge, west leads to elemental portals, east leads to the lodge portals
B4 DC 15
B5 - assume one of them is. Seek being the default exploration action
Time tracking. Don’t count the getting started 10mins.
Navigating the Maze: one PC makes the check.

For those interested in the mechanics I have put up the stat blocks for our four heroes.

Genzin, Lord of Fire
Kyoku, Lady of Storms
General Massamoto
Shu Zhen

When doing this I realised that I had completely missed Genzin's Spike Skin which might have saved him some pain. No doubt there will be other errors as running four high level PCs at once is a complicated business.

I have to say, I am loving the class. There are so many different ways of building them, so many varied combinations of Gates and Junctions. However, that does bring one small down side, this is probably the class with the most build complexity we have seen so far just due to the multiple different choices you make. It isn't all that complex to play but there is a multiplicity of decisions to make in the building stage.

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Our heroes burst into the Palace Courtyard to be confronted by the Guard who have managed to assemble in the short time available. They are lead by Roach, an ancient Boggard spellcaster and Lich who has served Zhannagar for centuries. It is he who built the terracotta armies which protect the Palace!


1 Elite Runecarved Lich [Level 20]
2 Elite Planar Terracotta Squadrons [Level 16]

Unfortunately for them the party beats the lot of them in initiative.

Red Troop
Blue Troop

Round 1

Shu-Zhen, as is her wont, Shu Zen leads off by dropping a mountain on the enemy! It deals 49B damage, Roach saves (24) but Blue critically fails (118) and Red fails (69). She then sends a bast of fire at Blue, critting for 24 fire and reducing its troop size!

◆◆◆ Shattered Mountain Weeps
◆ Channel Elements and Blast

Massamoto lathers on the pain, filling the area with metal spikes hitting all of the enemies! It deals 49P damage. Roach passes (24) but both troops critically fail (118 each, immobilised and off guard). Red is past its first threshold, blue is past its second! He isn't in range for any of his blasts so his Kinetic Pinnacle action is wasted, except for reconnecting his Gate.

◆◆◆ Hell of 1M Needles
◆ Channel Elements

Kyoku adds to the chaos with a terrifying thunderclap! It deals 41 damage, hitting all enemies. This time Roach fails (41 and deafened for a round), as do both of the troops (61 to both). She then tries to electrocute the red troop but misses with a 1.

◆◆◆ Storm Spiral
◆ Channel Elements and Blast

Genzin continues the punishment by filling the area with flames! It deals 70 damage. Roach critically fails (140) as does Red Troop (160), Blue just fails (70). Both troops scatter in confusion and disarray! Technically All Shall End in Flames has the death trait and as such undead and constructs should be immune to the whole thing but that makes no sense whatsoever. I treat them as only being immune to the actual destruction ability, not that it matters here. He cannot reach Roach with a blast so instead enters his Stance.

◆◆◆ Shattered Mountain Weeps
◆ Channel Elements and Thermal Nimbus Stance

Roach is concerned, he is badly injured and his troops have been destroyed. He staggers out of the area of falling rocks, bringing Massamoto into the range of his aura but he holds himself together (Pass, Frightened 1). He then draws on his spell tome and unleashes nightmarish terrors at the group with a Weird spell dealing 64 mental damage. Genzin fails, Kyoku critically fails, Massmamoto and Shu-Zen save. Fortunately Kyoku critically passes her fortitude save with the help of Greater Juggernaut. She still takes double damage as the damage is coming from the will save. She is also frightened 2 but not fleeing at least.

Combat Status:

Genzin, 264/328, 0 Hero Points
Kyoku, 200/328, 0 Hero Points, frightened 2
Massamoto, 257/328, frightened 1
Shu-Zhen, 296/328, 0 Hero Points

Roach, 162/350

Red, dead

Blue, dead

Round 2

Shu-Zhen Deciding that the lich is dangerous she flies forward (she saves against the aura, becoming frightened 1 which doesn't affect anything and then goes to 0 at the end of her turn), turns herself into a cloud of burning ash and rushes through him before reforming and striking him from behind. She deals 47 fire damage and Roach fails the save. She then stabs him with a wooden stake for 28 vitality damage.

◆ Move
◆◆ Ash Strider
◆ Channel Elements and melee Wood Blast

Massamoto conjures up a ballista and shoots it at the Lich! It hits for another 38 damage and gives him some temp HP just in case. He still isnt in range for a free blast, he may want to retrain into a stance, maybe Orchards Endurance. He still channels to re-establish his aura connection.

◆◆◆ Elemental Artillery
◆ Channel Elements

Kyoku conjures up the force of the winds and propels her allies towards the Lich. She fails against the aura but is already frightened 2. She launches a bolt of lightning at him which misses and conjures her fish guardians!

◆◆ Four Winds
◇ Weapon Infusion (Thrown)
◆ Ranged air blast
◆ Channel Elements and Sea Guardians Stance

Genzin moves to flank the Lich and strikes him twice for 34 damage each time which finishes him off!

◆ Move
◆◆ Melee Earth Blast
◆ Channel Elements and Melee Earth Blast

Combat Status:

Genzin, 264/328, 0 Hero Points
Kyoku, 200/328, 0 Hero Points
Massamoto, 257/328,
Shu-Zhen, 296/328, 0 Hero Points

Well, that was short and sweet. Again I give the group one 10 minute break to heal up. Massamaoto uses Treat Wounds on everyone for 38HP along with Fresh Produce and Dash of Herbs for another 129 getting everyone up to full. Shu Zen takes the time to identify Roach's magic items, the Wand of Wall of Force would have been nice if it wasn't a 3 action spell and therefore un Trickable.

Next up, navigating the Palace!

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Our Heroes must now find their way into the Winter Palace through the massive sealed Gate and the magical barrier. The is a skill challenge, the group needs to get in quickly or they will face overwhelming opposition as the Palace Guard musters for battle.

Each PC gets to make a single check to see how well they remove the various obstacles to entry. The number of successes determine how difficult the opposition is they face in the Palace Courtyard. The following skills are available:

Hard (DC45): Athletics (to force the Gates), [Arcana, Religion, Occultism] (to undermine the magical defences), Crafting (to understand the mechanisms involved)
Moderate (DC42): Thievery (to disable the wards), Nature (to undermine the magical defences, a lower DC as Zhannagar is a Primal entity)

Critical Success: 2 Bypass Points
Success: 1 Bypass Point
Failure: No effect
Critical Failure: -1 Bypass Point

4+ Points: Trivial Encounter
3 Points: Low Encounter
2 Points: Moderate Encounter
1 Point: Severe Encounter
0 Points: Extreme Encounter

To avoid any risk of metagaming the choices each PC will use their highest skill, regardless of the difficulty.

Genzin starts us off by trying to force the gates open with his mighty thews! The gates begin to creak against the force he can bring to bear (Nat 20 on Athletics, crit success, 2 points. He would have been better off using his Legendary Nature but his Athletics is 1 point higher)

Kyoku As Genzin works with force, Kyoku brings her infiltration skills to bear, weakening the hinges and disrupting the magic protecting the Gate (46 on Thievery, Success).

Massamoto is well versed in the magical arts and calls on his Legendary Religion to weaken the magical barriers protecting the Gate (45, a Success)

Shu-Zen is the most mystical member of the group and further weakens the Gate with her knowledge of magic (She is using Arcana but with the Nature DC due to Unified Theory, she gets 35, a nat 1! She spends her Hero Point, and gets a second Nat 1!)

The group ends with 3 successes, respectable, but it means the Palace Guard have had enough time to assemble a reasonable force to oppose the intruders!

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Applied_People wrote:
Gaulin wrote:
Oh man I got so excited when I saw this thread, recognize your forum name immediately. I love your write ups so much. Looking forward to more!

I had no such foreknowledge and am just devouring any and all posts about Kineticists here and on Reddit.

So I got lucky! This was great @andreww.

I look forward to more...but in the meantime, it sounds like you may have more similar posts somewhere.

Any chance you could share a link or two? Or tell me what to search for?

If you click on my name you can search for previous posts and threads. Threads is easiest.

However, I have previously done the following for 2E:

Level 20 Test abandoned early due to failing horribly against the Xoltanis.

The Limited Healing Test

Early Days Level 20 Test

I did some similar stuff for 1E if you are interested.

5/5 *****

There is also a faction boon, Eager Protégé I think.

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The Kineticist has been out for a little while now and has had a generally positive reception. I think it is an excellent class and can be built in many different ways. As such I decided to give it a spin to see how an all Kineticist party might work out at high level. I set the level to 20 and set up an adventure for them, trying to make it similar to what you might find in the last Chapter of Part 6 of an AP. As such it will involve a mix of Combat, Exploration and Investigation challenges. This means you cannot build solely for combat and hopefully makes each character a bit more realistic. I wanted to test a range of Gate combinations so three of the PCs are dual Gate and one has taken all six. I wanted to see how the Kineticist class works so I have generally avoided using archetypes.

Our adventure is set in the Tian Xia nation of Wanshou. Our heroes have come together to liberate the people from the monstrous rule of Zhannagar, the Lord of Storms and Bogs. Our heroes have begun an assault on his Winter Palace to finally bring down the tyrant. The palace is a massive, sprawling edifice set amongst the swamps and marshes of a large island off the coast. Obviously it is warded against attempts to simply teleport inside and much of it is underground so our heroes must force a way in through the front gate.

Our four heroes are:
Genzin, Lord of Fire - a Jinin Half Elf who has mastered the powers of Earth and Fire. He often engages foes in close combat, bringing powerful explosions and emitting a dangerous aura. Out of combat he is quite literally terrifying as well as being the groups lead on all matters dealing with Nature and lifting heavy objects.

Kyoku, Lady of Storms - a former slave of the many Boggard tribes which now rules over Wanshou, Kyoku came into her power during one of the many magical storms unleashed across the area by Zhannagar. She embodies air and water and provides a variety of movement and control options for the group as well as being their primary scout, trap finder and disabler. .

General Massamoto - the oldest member of the group, Massamoto was a human general in the armies of Zhannagar. Forced to serve under threat of the death of everyone he loved, the rest of the group freed his family and allowed him to turn on the Tyrant. Embodying wood and metal, he provides a mix of control, healing, and battlefield manipulation. Outside of combat he is the group's primary medic as well as being immensely knowledgeable about the local terrain.

Shu Zhen of the Many Gates - Shu Zhen is the youngest member of the group, and grew up in a hidden monastery where she was trained in all of the ancient mystical arts. Legend has it that she is destined to defeat Zhannagar but in this Age of Lost Omens prophecy is an unreliable thing. She has a range of support, control and attacking powers and is the groups primary knowledge character.

The groups standard exploration activities are:
Genzin: Search
Kyoku: Search and Avoid Notice (Legendary Stealth)
Massamoto: Defend
Shu-Zhen: Search
All of them have Incredible Initiative so no-one needs to Scout.


Our heroes have snuck onto the island and are approaching the Palace. They can all fly (Kyoku and Shu-Zhen both have Cyclonic Ascent), Genzin has Burning Jet if he needs to and Massamoto has Soaring Wings. I could have skipped the last two but I generally like my high level PCs to have their own independent means of flight.

For this encounter however Genzin, Kyoku and Shu-Zhen are following the Expert to Avoid Notice behind Kyoku to avoid alerting the enemy. The guards are fairly lax, who would come to this depressing place? As such the group can get fairly close before making their assault.

The gate is set into a thick, high wall. The wall is 30’ high, two 40’ tall towers flank the gate. It has a significant force guarding it. Four grippli border guards keep watch from the top of the two watch towers and a corrupted star archon commander hovers over the central gate. Behind the wall, screened from the PCs view at the start, waits an enormous clockwork dragon. This is a 120xp severe encounter.

4 Border Guards [Level 18 - reskinned Elite Scarlet Triad Bosses]
1 Corrupted Star Archon [Level 19 - as regular Star Archon just swopping evil for good and removing Retributive Strike]
1 Clockwork Dragon [Level 16]

Our group attack from stealth, bursting out of the trees close to the wall!

Initiative Round 1


Kyoku strikes first. She creates a massive hurricane on the top of one of the watchtowers hitting red and green. Red is torn into the air and then dropped over the edge of the battlements (crit fail for 36B plus 50 falling damage and prone]. Green manages to hold himself together (pass for 9B). She then channels the elements, activating her Sea Glass Guardians. All of our heroes have Kinetic Pinnacle as the group has no reliable means of getting level 7 Haste.

◆◆◆ Rising Hurricane
◆ Channel Elements - Sea Glass Guardians

Archon Seeing the palace under attack (and recognising the group - they are obviously very famous at this point), he wastes no time in unleashing his most potent abilities. Flying forward he hits the entire group with a massive Sunburst! Its rare to get to use such abilities given the massive radius but the area in front of the Gate is wide open. Shu-Zhen instantly recognises the spell (she has Recognise and Quick Recognition) and warns her allies. Genzin fails but is immune to fire and so ignores it. Kyoku critically fails. While she is immune to fire she isnt immune to becoming permanently blind and so uses her hero point. She passes and avoids that fate. Massamato fails taking 53 damage and Shu Zhen saves taking nothing due to Evasion.

Orange can feint targets within 30’ but the group are well beyond that. He simply unleashes three attacks at Kyku but all of them miss. I should probably have switched their short bows for long bows.

Blue is in much the same position as Orange. He moves closer on top of the Watchtower and shoots twice. His aim is better and both connect for 40 damage.

Red is on the ground. He hops to his feet, darts forward, tries to feint Kyoku and shoot her! His feint fails and his arrow goes wide.

Genzin unleashes a hellish firestorm onto the two towers which catches all three Guards still up there. It deals 67 fire damage. Orange fails (67), blue passes (33) and green critically fails (134). He then channels elements and earth blasts red, critting him for 44 B.

◆◆◆ All Shall End in Flames
◆ Channel Elements and Blast

Dragon With a roar the dragon takes to wing, flying over the wall and landing in front of the group. It opens its massive jaws and engulfs them all in flaming oil. Again, Genzin and Kyoku are immune. The others both pass, taking nothing due to evasion.

Green launches three attacks at Kyoku. Only one connects for 23 damage.

Shu-Zhen drops a mass of rocks on the dragon, archon and red for 58B damage. The archon evades the entire effect but red critically fails (116) as does the dragon (101). She then throws a rock at red, missing with a 1.

◆◆◆ Shattered Mountain Weeps
◆ Channel Elements and Blast

Massamoto decides to layer on the pain. He fills a large section of the battlefield with razor sharp metal, hitting red and the archon. It deals 61 P damage. The archon saves (30) but red fails (61P and Immobilised). He then throws a bolt of electricity at the dragon, figuring that if its made of metal it might be vulnerable. He crits it for 40 damage.

Combat Status:

Genzin, 328/328
Kyoku, 265/328, Guardians
Massamoto, 275/328
Shu-Zhen, 328/328

Archon, 370/400. Resist 15 fire, weakness 15 good
Red, 72/335, immobilised
Blue, 332/335
Green, 192/335
Orange, 268/335
Dragon, 124/265, resist physical 15, weak electricity 15

Initiative Round 2

Kyoku unleashes another hurricane at the two distant guards still on the Watchtower. It deals 18B, Orange critically fails (36B +50 falling), Blue fails (18B +50 falling). She then re-establishes her fishy companions.

◆◆◆ Rising Hurricane
◆ Channel Elements and Sea Glass Guardians

Archon flies out of the hail of rocks and metal (he takes no damage, he is just at the edge). He unleashes a prismatic spray, hitting all four.

Genzin is hit by Green [Poison] and critically fails. He hero points into a critical success.
Kyoku is hit by Red [Fire] and ignores it as she is immune.
Massmaoto is hit by Yellow [Electricity] and also ignores it as he is Immune.
Shu-Zen is hit by Blue [Petrify] and Violet [Slow]. She critically passes the Petrification and passes the Slow.

Overall not a great turn for him.

Orange stands up, moves, and takes a shot at Kyoku, hitting for 26.

Blue does the same, hitting for 20

Red escapes from the needles, moves, tries to feint Kyoku (crit pass) and shoots but misses.

Genzin is faced with fairly spread out enemies. However, All Shall End in Flames is a massive burst and he catches the Dragon, Orange and Blue in it for 64 damage. The dragon fails (74 as he is in Genzins aura), Orange and Blue pass (32). He then launches a rock at Red, missing with a 1.

◆◆◆ All Shall End in Flames
◆ Channel Elements and Blast

Dragon As the group has yet to move the dragon has them in a perfect formation for its tail spike. It flies around the group and tries to spear Massmaoto, Shu Zen and Genzin. It crits with a natural 20 for 82 damage! Genzin reacts, leaping away and doing the dragon fire damage (27)

Green Seeing that Massmaoto is injured, takes three shots at him but his aim is terrible.

Shu-Zhen Drops another mountain, this time on orange and blue for 69 damage. Orange critically fails (138) but blue saves (34) and then electrocutes the dragon, hitting for 32 damage and destroying it. It begins to tick ominously.

◆◆◆ Shattered Mountain Weeps
◆ Channel Elements and Blast

Massamoto drops another Hell onto orange and blue for 58P. Orange passes but is overcome, blue fails and is immobilised (58). He then channels and blasts the archon as the only thing in range, critting for 52 electricity.

◆◆◆ Hell of 1M Needles
◆ Channel Elements and Blast

Combat Status:

Genzin, 246/328
Kyoku, 219/328, Guardians
Massamoto, 193/328
Shu-Zhen, 246/328

Archon, 318/400. Resist 15 fire, weakness 15 good
Red, 72/335
Blue, 140/335
Green, 192/335
Orange, Dead
Dragon, 0/265, resist physical 15, weak electricity 15, Exploding

Initiative Round 3

Kyoku moves up to red, transforms herself into a bolt of lightning which crackles through him and the archon for 43 damage. Red passes (21) but the archon fails (43). She then sends a blast of cold at red, hitting for 19.

◆ Move
◆◆ Lightning Dash
◆ Channel Elements and Blast

Archon Decides to stop messing about with spells and unleashes their multi starknife attack. The first strike hits Kyoku for 27 (she is immune to the fire) but then he misses. He then closes on Kyoku.

Blue Staggers out of the metal spikes (taking 14 damage) and then slowly out of the falling rocks. He manages to feint Massamoto and shoots, critting for 65!

Red Seeing an opportunity moves and feints Massamoto, shoots him for 33 and then misses.

Genzin is out of his Gate having used an overpower reaction. At the start of his turn he aligns himself automatically with Final Gate and blasts red, killing him. He launches another conflagration of flame at green and blue for 68 damage. Blue fails (68), Green crit fails (136). Ouch He channels again with his quickened action and blasts blue for another 20!

◇ Final Gate Channel Elements and Blast
◆◆◆ All Shall End in Flames
◆ Channel Elements and Blast

Dragon At this point the ominously ticking dragon explodes! It hits everyone except green. All of the group save, taking no damage! The archon and blue save but take 33.

Green is badly injured but sees a chance to take down Massamoto and so unleashes on him. He hits once for 17.

Shu-Zhen Conjures a timber sentinel next to herself and Massamoto and then blasts twice. First she forms her blast into a bow which crits for 48, killing him. Her second blast flies over the head of the archon.

◆◆ Timber Sentinel
◇ Weapon Infusion
◆ Blast
◆ Channel Elements and Blast

Massamoto is badly injured but most of the enemy are down. Green remains stubbornly alive so he conjures a mighty ballista to shoot him, hitting for 59 damage which kills him and gaining some temp HP in the process. He only has 30’ range blasts and no stance so he simply realigns his gate.

◆◆◆ Elemental Artillery
◆ Channel Elements

Combat Status:

Genzin, 246/328
Kyoku, 192/328
Massamoto, 78/328, 20 temp HP
Shu-Zhen, 246/328

Archon, 235/400. Resist 15 fire, weakness 15 good
Red, Dead
Blue, Dead
Green, Dead
Orange, Dead
Dragon, Dead

Initiative Round 4

Kyoku with only the archon left to contend with Kyoku hits him with a melee blast for 17 acid, transforms herself into a bolt of lightning and shoots through him for another 47 electricity (he fails) and then channels and sends a ranged air blast for 18 cold.

◆ Melee Blast
◆◆ Lightning Dash
◆ Channel Elements and Blast

Archon Seeing the writing on the wall the Archon flees (it escapes given its 75’ flight speed and at will dimension door)

I give the group one 10 minute rest to recover. If they take longer it is clear that the palace will become aware of the attack and that will make it much harder to get in.

Massamoto is a Legendary Medic with ward medic and assurance. He auto passes the DC30 and heals everyone for 36 damage. He dashes some herbs on a quick restorative meal of fresh produce, giving everyone 119 back. This gets everyone back to full except for him so Kyoku hits him with an Oceans Balm for another 51. They live with Massamoto having a little damage on him and press on to try and break into the Winter Palace.

Combat Status:

Genzin, 328/328
Kyoku, 328/328
Massamoto, 289/328
Shu-Zhen, 328/328

Next up, a skill challenge to get into the magically sealed palace with a variable encounter to follow depending on how well they do.

That is Waterfall, a newly revealed member of the Decemvirate.

Sanityfaerie wrote:
andreww wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Elves are incredible for air Kineticists which start out with a single gate. With Nimble Elf and Fleet you can have 20 feet of free movement every time you use a two-action air impulse. At level 5 you either can expand the gate and get the aura junction or pick up Kinetic Activation at level 2 and get a 2nd lvl wand of Tailwinds for another 10 feet of movement, making your free movement 25 feet, i.e. what other people get as their standard stride movement.
They are also great for fire and fire/metal which have various abilities which let you leap based on your speed. Boots of Bounding become a must.

Uhh... Fire has jump.

Fire/Earth has jump.
Fire/Water has jump.

I meant Fire/Earth, Lava Leap is great.

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Do your PCs have resilient runes for their armour? They certainly should by level 10.

I would also look at the various +2 skill boost items which start at level 9.

magnuskn wrote:
Elves are incredible for air Kineticists which start out with a single gate. With Nimble Elf and Fleet you can have 20 feet of free movement every time you use a two-action air impulse. At level 5 you either can expand the gate and get the aura junction or pick up Kinetic Activation at level 2 and get a 2nd lvl wand of Tailwinds for another 10 feet of movement, making your free movement 25 feet, i.e. what other people get as their standard stride movement.

They are also great for fire and fire/metal which have various abilities which let you leap based on your speed. Boots of Bounding become a must.

Using an Overflow impulse switches off your Kinetic aura and therefore turns off any aura effects gained from Junction. All Overflow says is that it switches off your aura when you use an Overflow impulse.

It doesnt say what the timing of this is. If it happens as you activate then your Overflow Impulse cannot benefit from aura effects (such as the fire Impulse Junction or Gate Aura Junction). If it happens after the Impulse is resolved then it can.

The natural language of "use" would suggest the former but that feels really poor. How are people interpreting this?

1) Character name: Gurg
2) PFS#-Character#: 44523-2002
3) Character Class & Level: Bard 9
4) Faction: Horizon Hunters

5/5 *****

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Alex has confirmed it the old version for now.

5/5 *****

Rage of Elements is now out and sanctioned. It contains an updated Ability Glossary and, in particular, changes to how the Grab and Knockdown monster abilities work. When running PFS games which version of these abilities should we be using?

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Grasp of the Deep doesnt make much sense. Shouldnt the failure entry says full damage? Is the damage in the failure entry in addition to the 6d6 or just a reference to it?

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Looking through it now. Its a bit disappointing that Kineticist doesnt get expert proficiency until 7th, making them quite a bit less accurate than other damage dealers. At least they get to Legendary, but it is very late in the day.

Looking through going to post any questions here.

Tremor deals 1d8 damage but scales with d10's. That seems...unusual. Is it intentional?

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Gortle wrote:
It actually makes them significantly more vulnerable to magic now as all the debuffs will work on them. That is major.

I dont imagine the majority of construct immunities are going away so it really wont. Golems are also generally mindless which takes out a whole other bunch.

Ravingdork wrote:
Why wouldn't the kineticist's physical attacks work?

I dont have the book yet but I would guess for the same reason that telekinetic projectile doesnt.

I would also be burning a replay. Given this is an early season scenario written for 4 players are you planning on running for 4 or 6? If its for 4 I will step aside as I have played it before.

I have a variety of characters in either tier. Are we looking at low or high tier? We have a 6 or 8 and a 6 or 8 so it could go either way. What do people prefer?

I can do any of the following:

Inquisitor 9
Magus 9
Druid 9
Wizard 9
Alchemist 8
Oracle 9
Mesmerist 8
Psychic 7
Oracle 7
Cleric 7
Warpriest 7

Grandmaster TOZ wrote:
I think I'll take you up on that, andreww. I like that scenario, but Seeker tier requires a lot of bandwidth. If anyone else wants to put together a table for another scenario, you're welcome to link it here.

I will post a recruitment this weekend.

5/5 *****

grandpoobah wrote:

I like the style of this adventure - very straightforward.. but four combats seems excessive for one slot, especially at high level. None of the combats were marked as "optional", but I'd assume ENC C, as it is LOW difficulty, would be the one to cut (or perhaps turn into a a vignette of skill checks)

Any other thoughts?

Encounter C is optional, it is called out in the text.

The town map is entirely superfluous except for a bit of context and scene setting.. You certainly dont need to draw it. Expect this to run about five hours, more if you run the optional.

I would also make handouts for the defence of Freedom Town bit if running in person. I intend to have little cards for each activity with the skills marked on them where people can stick their minis to show what they are doing. I might add checkmarks as well to mark successes.

Grandmaster TOZ wrote:
Given it was the last run I did at SkalCon and the last scenario Silbeg ran for me, I believe 2-25 You Only Die Twice is a fitting scenario. I'm leaning towards 9-25 Betrayal in the Bones for the second scenario.

If you dont want to run an extra two I can run Betrayal. I have run it several times before.

I would be interested. Silbeg ran a game for me many years ago at Gen Con and it was great. I would be willing to help out and run a seeker game if there was interest.

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Evan Tarlton wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Beckett99 wrote:
Tar-baphon as a lich has practically forever to put his plans into motion so he could just go dormant long enough to fit a war in. Or does the lore indicate he is particularly active at the moment?
He ended 1e by breaking out of his prison, destroying the nation of Lastwall, and laying siege to Absalom. He’s actively picking fights with Belkzen and threatens pretty much all of Avistab.
On top of that, while Tar-Baphon is a lich, and could therefore wait hundreds of years for his plans to bloom, Tar-Baphon is also Tar-Baphon, and Tar-Baphon is famously petty, peevish, and overconfident to the point that it's meme-worthy.
I've seen him compared to Skeletor. It's not untrue.

This made me chuckle with how true it is. It never really occurred to me before. Who does that make Evil-Lyn? Abrogail Thrune?

Here is a list of the characters we have submitted so far:

Lisaia the Bloodmaiden (Seer of Shadows)
Evelynda Mirsdottr (eriktd)
QUIN-TESS-ENCE (Jonny_Panic)
Princess Caravelle (Philo Pharynx)
Corvus the GodKing (andreww)
Sharletta (Veegees)
The First Flame (Almonihah)
Armandpoun (The Waskally)

I think this is all of the characters which have been submitted on the thread. There may have been some on Discord. Monkeygod posted that they were submitting but I cannot find a character, apologies if I have missed it or anyone else out.

I am impressed with the number of submissions we have given how complex these characters are to build.

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OK, I have now finished prepping this and have a few questions/comments.

Here there be spoilers:

The defence points system seems to be fairly underdeveloped. It requires quite a bit of tracking with a binary result, you either have none and get a debuff or you dont and you are fine. I would really have liked to see these set the scale of the final encounter, which is also entirely binary. You get to battle round 8 or you finish sooner. A more varied impact would have, I think, created a more interesting set up.

On the defence points, it is not wholly clear how many you lose. Do the increased defence point reductions from not resolving events 1 or 2 stack? I think they do give the wording.

Several of the new cards have effects which rely on the users Class DC. A number of them are in the hands of enemies and at least one has tactics which specifically say they should use it. What do we use for an NPCs class DC? Is it just a level appropriate one, their spell DC (if they have one), some other number with a rarity adjustment?

Looking at the stat blocks I have a few questions:

The damage on Fate's Prophet hand crossbow seems very low. This may be because she is using a poison but its a very low level one and unlikely to bother level 14 PCs much.

The Shadow Prince lacks a spell attack modifier despite knowing Telekinetic Projectile. This is a fairly common error for various monsters across the Bestiaries.

Tremia's hand attack has paralysing touch but his stat block doesnt list it. Its a standard lich ability so it looks like it might just have been missed off the stat block.

Vehanezhad lacks a spell attack modifier. She is using level 9 illusory creature so really needs one. Again, this is a carry over from the Bestiary which fails to give blue dragons a spell attack mod for their innate spells.

TickTock lacks a spell attack modifier which he needs for his Chilling Darkness as does the Ephialtes.

Finally, one issue with the maps.

The scenario says that the Dens walls are colour coded to show height and whether or not they are difficult terrain. The maps in the module and in the map pack are not colour coded.

That seems to be most of the issues that cropped up as I prepped this. They are largely fairly minor and dont detract overall from how good this adventure looks.

5/5 *****

Limited doesnt mean a boon exists, jut that it wont be accessible unless you have a boon for it. There isnt a collected list of them from scenarios that I am aware of.

Various items and spells are available through boons purchased with ACP.

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QuidEst wrote:
Illusionists. They can create permanent illusory objects or scenes and turn items permanently invisible, all of which refresh daily.

I love level 8 Illusory Scene. If I play a caster who can get it they do. From that point on they become an absolute public nuisance, spreading graffiti wherever they go. In Age of Ashes he left a variety of very rude images of the Scarlet Triad getting kicked out of Katapesh.

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