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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. Organized Play Member. 828 posts. 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 2 Organized Play characters.


Scarab Sages

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IronHelixx wrote:

Roll20.net, Yes - they are working out the licensing.

MapTools - almost a definite no.

Bummer. I'm a MapTool fan, but I'm biased.

(It's just "MapTool", there's no "s" on the end. :))

The user Jamz at the MT forums already has a feature implemented that allows a Hero Lab portfolio to be dropped onto an MT map and the token appears (with image for the token imported from the portfolio).

(We have hopes for a lot of cleanup in 1.4 and Jamz is a prolific contributor. :))

Scarab Sages

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Thanks for the input, everyone. :)

My GM now agrees that MK(Rogue) should be possible, partly because of the opinions expressed here and partly because I'm really good at debate. ;-)

I can't seem to select Rogue for MK inside HeroLab but that's a side issue; I could create my own MK trait and use that instead, thus circumventing the (apparently wrong) rules interpretation imposed by the HL software. It would be nice if they treated it correctly, but I understand that they will only make changes that are obviously in line with Paizo's intent regarding the rules. Maybe there will be a FAQ entry for this so that HL will update their PF data set? (I wonder what PCGen does? Hm, something to check out.)

Since the bump of caster level by +2 is not much of a bonus, I'm planning to forego the argument and just pick a different trait (no, RJGrady, I don't have a fabulous new twist; I just wanted the boost for the gravity bow spell that I'll be using for my Major Magic talent at low levels where adding a couple minutes could be very important). It bums me out, though; game mechanics that are not clearly defined, thus causing a change in character background (not taking MK) seems like an arbitrary restriction and one that doesn't fit with the concept of the game being "heroic fantasy". Oh well. :)

As I said, thanks everyone for giving me your opinions on both how the rules DO work and perhaps how they SHOULD work. :)

Scarab Sages

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blackbloodtroll wrote:
That's quite a title.

Thanks, BBT. I was going for completeness. Do I win?

;-)

James Risner wrote:
SLA are not spells except in specific ways. So generic caster level enhancements may or may not aid the caster level of a SLA.

Yes, I saw the FAQ entry regarding whether SLAs can qualify for Item Creation feats, and I can understand that some SLAs would be tricky to rule on. It seems to me (strictly my interpretation and not supported by any written rule) that SLAs that are defined as "your caster level is the number of rogue levels you have" would qualify for Magical Knack treatment, while SLAs that that don't tie the caster level to the class level would not.

Regarding finding a new GM... We're going to play the RotRL anniversary AP and the Gm wants to play PFS legal PCs as much as possible so that certs can be earned by other characters that the players might have. I don't play Cons so I'm not that concerned, and the GM of the AP does have some leeway, but part of the goal is to help familiarize players with the PFS environment so without a clearcut way of making the argument, it'll probably be a no-go.

One argument I thought of:

"If my rogue were to take Weapon Focus (spiked chain) it would be disallowed because he's not proficient with the spiked chain and the WF feat specifically says, "Proficiency with selected weapon" as a prerequisite. Applying the same logic to Magical Knack means that without a prerequisite there's nothing to stop the rogue from taking the trait, even if they don't benefit from it yet."

Sort of like taking Practiced Spellcaster before having any non-spellcaster levels. It's useless in terms of game mechanics until later, but the rules don't prevent you from taking it. (Sorry, lapsed into 3.5 mode. Forgive me. :))

Cuuniyevo wrote:
Magical Knack doesn't provide any benefit to any 1st level character regardless of class choice.

Doh! That's obvious now that you point it out. The fact that it's useless for any spellcaster means that it being useless for a rogue shouldn't be a factor in the determination of whether it's legal.

Which means the question is likely to come down to the caster level and how it applies to SLAs...

Scarab Sages

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I believe that the Magical Knack trait is pretty clear -- there's no prerequisite for having a spellcasting class. There are no requirements similar to "ability to cast 1st level spells." No require to have a "class spell list" or anything of that type. The trait itself says "pick a class" but doesn't limit it in any way, or even require that you choose a class you already have. At 1st level I should be able to take Magical Knack (Rogue). In fact, I should be able to take my first level as Fighter but still select Magical Knack (Rogue), even though it won't be usable until my rogue gains the above rogue talents...

Or so it seems to me.

A counter-argument for the GM might be, "Show me the rules that support a wizard taking this trait?!" and then use the same points in support of the rogue, but I fear such a proof won't be found compelling enough. :-/

What are the logical arguments to allow a 1st level rogue to take Magical Knack (Rogue)?

Thanks everyone! :)

Scarab Sages

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I'm not going to bother with spoiler tags as players shouldn't be reading this anyway... If you're a player, STOP RIGHT HERE! :)

My party is almost done with this AP. (If we can just get everyone together to play for a couple of nights it would be over!)

Things I felt were weak:

1. What happens after the plague is cured? I had the city stockpile additional curatives with the precept that regular blood donations from Varisians were required to make the serum. This gave me a hook in Chapter 6 to describe how the villain was *paying* citizens to give blood. (This ties into the Everdawn Pool.) There's a huge subplot created based on this fact, plus some added encounters in Longacre Building with ex-Grey Maiden recruits being addicted to drugs (long story).

2. The railroading of the trip across the Shoanti Plains. I admit it was a great way to show off the Storval Plateau but I had to flesh out Kaer Maga since my players wanted to buy/sell gear there, I had to flesh out the dwarven stronghold (I don't remember the name; starts with a "J"), and I had to move the Cindermaw roaming grounds to make more sense related to how I read the story and the timeline. I loved the Havero -- my party was almost ready to commit to trying to wipe it out!!

3. Overall, my party couldn't understand the reliance on Neolandus. Why was he so important? I had to underscore how Korvosa was LN and the city charter said that without a coup or popular uprising he was the only way to force a change of who sat on the throne. I fleshed out the Council of Five as well and gave them additional duties so that Glorio and the other families could be slightly more important. I also had to describe how cloistered the Academae is so that the PCs wouldn't run there everytime they wanted help or to buy/sell gear. And they still managed to finagle an audience with the headmaster who arranged some work for them but then refused to get involved. (heh-heh)

Things I really liked about the AP:

1. Disease. Not enough of disease and poisons in traditional campaigns. These are effects that can be truly deadly to PCs, unlike other "normal" damage.

2. Vimanda and the underground area. It's a little hokey as to why it's there, but the encounters worked very well and I had players soiling their pants (!) over some of the strategies used by the opponents. Vimanda's use of the healing pool *really* pissed them off. Of course, they didn't know about it or they would have used it as well. Warning: running the labyrinth using a VTT is tough to do. Think carefully about how you want to setup the maps and how you're going to manage the changes.

3. The encounter with the wererats. IMC the party wanted to parlay with them and acted as emissaries in an attempt to get them some kind of truce with the surface dwellers. That turned into a whole subplot that ran across chapters 2, 3, and 6.

4. Laori. Sorry, but I dig chicks in spiked leather armor wielding chains. Just call me sick. ;) Although the kyton bodyguard was *waaay* too powerful in combat and had to be reined in. It did generate respect for her and her master, however. :)

Things I added/changed in the AP:

1. I added the idea of a "Witness". Robert Heinlein uses them in a few of his Lazarus Long stories. Think of them as court stenographers whose testimony is always treated as truthful by others. My party used them when interrogating prisoners, which happened two or three times.

2. During the "martial law" period of chapter 6 I closed down all venues for the PCs to buy/sell magic items. They had to return to Kaer Maga (teleport) a couple times to resupply. This annoyed them to no end and they were extremely happy when their efforts caused just a small loosening of the strictures within Korvosa.

3. They haven't felt much of a time crunch in chapter 6. I've added some various things going on to push them forward. I increased the involvement of the Red Mantis (and used the Su ability to call deadly mantis' to great effect!). The party was then thoroughly pissed and vengeful at the same time -- which is perfect from a GM standpoint. :) They are currently battling Sermignatto (spelling?) but still don't know where the Everdawn Pool is, so they'll have a little more searching/divination to do prior to approaching the villain for the last encounter.

4. IMC I wanted to power the E.P. using fresh blood, so the church of Abadar continues to collect blood for the creation of curatives for the plague. Much of that blood is redirected to the E.P. without the knowledge of the clerics. The party found this out and started substituting goat's blood instead after they read in the book that the blood must come from willing subjects (and they figured goats would make the villain think that valid blood was still coming in and would give them time to investigate further -- a good plan actually). However, there are women (failed G.M. recruits) under Longacre Building who have been addicted to various drugs. These women are told they won't get their next fix unless they donate blood -- and so there is still a supply of "willing subjects". The party just recently found out about these women and they have decided not to do anything about them: they can't possibly cure them all, and releasing them would be a death sentence for them. Many of the women know where their next fix comes from and wouldn't leave anyway...

Well, that's a lot of typing. I'll stop now. :)

Scarab Sages

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Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
There may not be a rule for it, but I'd definitely allow it in my game. After all, one of the deities in the Pathfinder setting is trying to do something pretty similar.

That should give you a clue about how difficult it would be. ;)

But I would probably come up with a cost formula that would allow it, with a sufficient quest to go with it, of course. Since it's a +2 enhancement it should probably cost the same as a +2 to get rid of it. (In other words, calculate market price, subtract 2 from the bonus, the calculate market price again. The difference is what it would cost.)

Given that removing the unholy attribute also removes the negative level, it seems like a reasonable price to be paid.

Scarab Sages

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First, here's the ability:

CotCT AP wrote:

Possession (Su) To use this ability, the bdellavritra must be on the same plane as the targeted creature and make a successful grapple attempt against the victim. If the bdellavritra can maintain a grapple with a creature for a whole round, the target must make a DC 25 Will save to resist being possessed. If the creature fails, the bdellavritra possesses the creature, gaining control of the being and shunting its own body to the Ethereal Plane. This ability is similar to a magic jar spell (caster level 17th), except that it does not require a receptacle. A creature that successfully saves is immune to that same bdellavritra’s possession ability for 24 hours. The save DC is Charisma-based. A bdellavritra cannot use this ability while on the Outer Planes or any other area not connected to the Ethereal Plane.

While possessing a creature, a bdellavritra can relinquish or retake control of its host body whenever it pleases, without leaving the host’s body. The host creature becomes immune to all other mind-affecting effects while possessed. Even when not in control, the devil can still sense the world by using its host’s senses. Any attempt to detect thoughts or alignment, or similar divination effects cast upon the host, detects only the properties of the entity controlling the body at that time, whether it be the host or the bdellavritra. If the bdellavritra is forced from its host’s body, the host body is slain, or the devil voluntarily gives up control, its consciousness instantly returns to its body on the Ethereal Plane. A bdellavritra is subconsciously aware of its body’s condition and immediate surroundings on the Ethereal Plane. Should its body be damaged or have a creature or threat approach within 5 feet, the devil likely relinquishes control of its host and returns its consciousness to its true body to defend itself.

Nowhere in that description do I see answers to these two questions:

1. Does the possessed creature gain the racial types of the possessor? Specifically, does it gain the Outsider type or any of the {devil,evil,extraplanar,lawful} subtypes? I need to know this to resolve the effects of a banishment spell.

2. Assuming that the banishment spell DOES apply, how long would the possessor be required to stay on its own plane? I know other sources say that some extraplanar creatures who are destroyed while on the Prime Material plane spend years in the void before their body reforms on their home plane, but I see nothing in the descriptions of the dismissal or banishment spells about this.

General question regarding spell-like abilities:

1. SLAs that mimic spells with material components don't require them. But what about greater scrying? Does the creature need a scrying device? If not, could the creature have multiple of those effects running at once? This could be particularly useful for Sermignatto as he can cast it 3/day. This also applies to plane shift -- can Sermignatto send a target creature to any plane?

General spell questions:

1. How does waves of exhaustion interact with haste? Say Sermi casts WoE which cuts the party members speed in half. When the wizard casts haste, their speed has 30 feet added. Is it done in the order the effects took place? So cut speed in half, then add 30 feet? Or does WoE first change the targets "normal speed" (as stated by the haste spell) to be half of normal, then add 30 feet? I'm looking both for the reasoning as to why you would apply them in a particular order, then how you would apply them in this case.

Last, what are some good tactics for the bdellavritra? It looks like blasphemy first is a no-brainer. Then maybe try to plane shift one of the fighters or rogues (lower will saves) somewhere. (See material component question, above.) How can persistent image be used to best effect?

I'm playing this 3.5 module in PF Final, so keep in mind that a slight power up is probably okay -- my party is 5 PCs of mostly 13th level so this could be a tough fight as-is: fighter12, wizard12, ranger10/monk3, grappling barbarian13+cohort (cleric10), rogue2/cleric3/wizard3/mystic theurge5 (pseudodragon familiar).

Thanks for reading this far, everyone!

Scarab Sages

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Adam Daigle wrote:
The burn damage is listed on the next line under Special Attacks.

Doh! *forehead-slam*

How did I miss that?!

Yes, you are correct. It should do 1d6 fire damage on a successful melee attack and set the target on fire (and do additional damage on subsequent rounds) only if the target fails his Reflex save.

@Neo: I screwed up. :(

Scarab Sages

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Hm. If you're looking for more variation than using PB, you might try randomizing it a bit...?

For example, use a 15 PB and then allow the players to add 2d4. It would range from 17-23 with the average at 20. Change the dice to change the spread.

Or the trait idea above was pretty good; you could even expand on it. For example, perhaps the human could forfeit his bonus feat and gain +5 PB, or any PC could forfeit one or two traits and gain +2 per trait.

You could try playing "white elephant" using stat rolls that you've done in advance. Use your favorite dice roll technique and roll up enough stats so that each player would have one (and then add two more) to a "pool" of stats. Make sure that they're within acceptable limits for your campaign. Then the players dice to see who gets to choose first. The first player draws a random set of stats from the pool; they tell the others what those stats are. Then the next player can choose to either take the stats from the previous player (who gets to draw again) or draw their own. This continues until all players have a set of stats. Then the first player gets one last turn to draw randomly or take the stats of another player -- that player can swap their stats for what the first one had or can draw randomly.

At this point the players are stuck with what they have. :)

(I think that's how White Elephant is played. But I'm sure a Google search will prove me wrong. ;))

Scarab Sages

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Start by verifying the character build. A lot of times players will take feats or skills and just assume they know what they're doing. I have a "grapple monster" PC in my group who made a lot of assumptions (like using flurry of blow in combination with grappling) and when I looked at the sheet in detail I found a whole bunch of stuff that was calculated wrong. That PC is no longer the one-man-show that he used to be and he now fits in much better with the power level of the rest of the party. (One poster mentioned how your PC can't wield a large sword without penalties. That's just one example, I'd be willing to bet there are more.)

And second, vary the encounters. It's easy as GM to put melee brutes against the party, but try some encounters will less common place beasties. Pixies are always fun. And stirges. ;) Add encounters with swarms where brute strength is not the right approach. Or add an encounter where using enlarge person looks great at the beginning, until one of the bad guys (kobold?) runs away to get reinforcements and the PC can't follow because he's too big to even *squeeze* into the passage...