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


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Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

@Asurasan The terrain modifier stuff is in the current version (1.5.1, but 1.5.2 should be out this weekend, probably). You can plop down tokens on the map (on any layer, including Hidden) and then double-click the token and set the Terrain Movement Modifier. This feature, combined with the new "AI" button in the upper right corner, will perform more intelligent pathing to get the PC token from point A to point B. (We're still testing these features and we'd love to get feedback. We have a Discord server, but the best place for feedback is GitHub.com/RPTools/maptool , in particular the Issues tab. You can fill in a template and tell what feature(s) you'd like to see.)

Our resident bard has been posting information on our main web site RPTools.net over the last month or so, to get people up to speed with the 1.5 release series. We're continuing to do bug fixes and clean stuff up, while also trying to work on a rewrite using JavaFX for the GUI. That'll be a long process, but we're shooting for monthly releases of the 1.5 / 1.6 series in the meantime.

There are two areas where *I* think MapTool needs work. The first is that the D&D/PF way of doing vision is based on each corner of the character's "footprint" on the map (the squares or hexes or ISO cells that the token occupies). MapTool has always done vision from the center of the token for performance reasons (and because we're game-system agnostic), but we hope that a new vision system for 2.0 will allow all four corners to be used. (As a workaround, we're thinking that maybe the "token facing" could be used to indicate which edge/corner the user wanted vision to be based on. Since D&D/PF don't use facing anyway, that should work fine.)

The other area is how the vision system interacts with spells like "fog cloud" and similar, as mentioned by one of the poster's, above. There are some ideas for "gradient vision" that would allow a GM to define how distance affects vision. We need to make this generic enough so that it not only works for D&D/PF, but any other game system as well.

This desire to be game-system agnostic wasn't strictly followed in the early days. The spell templates are a good example of that. Many of them are based on D&D/PF and don't work for other game systems or when hex grids are used. (Since we're all volunteers, we would really benefit from having a programming contributor with an interesting in making hexes work better in MT! None of the core group currently play hex-based games so we don't have much expertise with them.)

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hm, bummer. Thanks for the input.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sorry for the bandwidth, all.

My Google-fu suddenly peaked and I found a reference to this FAQ entry that specifically says that metamagic rods don't work with SLAs.

I don't like that FAQ entry because the description of SLAs specifically says "they are like spells except for A and B" and metamagic rods don't affect either A or B, so apparently it's a nerf based on balance, not based on any reading of the rules. (More searching and... the section on metamagic feats does say they don't work on SLAs. Sigh.)

So... If a shadow walker can't use a metamagic feat or rod to accomplish this, are there any racial abilities you know of that might allow it? I'm going to check the Book of Shadows (where the shadow walker is defined) because maybe the fetchling has something like that...

Thanks again!

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hey all. I tried searching for this but my Google-fu must be weak.

I have an unchained rogue with the shadow walker archetype. Here's the ability I have a question about:

Illumination Control (Sp) wrote:
At 3rd level, a shadow walker can manipulate nearby illumination. At the start of each day, a shadow walker gains a number of illumination points equal to half her rogue level and can spend illumination points to use certain spell-like abilities. As long as she has at least 1 illumination point, she can cast light at will. She can spend 2 illumination points to cast darkness, and 3 illumination points to cast daylight, deeper darkness, or motes of dusk and dawn. These spell-like abilities have a caster level equal to the shadow walker’s rogue level. Using these spell-like abilities does not hamper the shadow walker’s vision; for example, she can see through the deeper darkness she creates, and does not take penalties for light sensitivity in the area of her own daylight.

1. Can the shadow walker use an eclipsed spell metamagic rod to cause the light spell to create the equivalent of a darkness effect?

2. Can the shadow walker see through this darkness effect as though it didn't exist?

And an unrelated question:

3. If the shadow walker can cast darkness spells from levels in wizard, can she see through that darkness as though it didn't exist? (I notice that the ability says "for example", which to me means that there are other situations and it's not an exhaustive list.)


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

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
kinevon wrote:
If you are playing an AP in Campaign Mode (non-PFS PCs, credit being assigned to PFS PCs), there is absolutely no requirement for the PCs actually played to be, in any fashion, PFS legal.

That's very interesting; I didn't know that and the GM for this game may not either.

I think the plan is to introduce the group to PFS in general though, including the types of rules restrictions that will come up, and I think that's why PFS rules were being used for the AP. AFAIK, anyway.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
LazarX wrote:
But the class itself does not. Magical knack raises the caster level of a class not of particular spells. A rogue with an SLA still has an overall lack of caster levels for any other purpose.

Unfortunately for my proposed build, I agree. The trait says "your caster level for this class" is raised by two. While the rogue's level is used as the caster level for the talents, the rogue's caster level doesn't exist.

Clearly, even Mark isn't sure what it should be. Would it be unbalancing to allow it? I think not. But without a clear ruling one way or the other, I can't expect folks like Lone Wolf to update their software to allow me to select it, nor can I expect to use it at a PFS event without an argument over whether it's valid. Simpler to avoid the issue entirely. (Sigh)

(Oh, and in answer to Zaister's question about the HD limit: yes, I had planned to start with two levels of fighter to get some archery feats, then switch to rogue.)

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

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

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sorry for the delay. This has been a very busy holiday season!

Please use my Gmail account: azhreifje@gmail.com

If there's a problem we can arrange an alternative.

Thank you for helping out in this regard!

Hagor wrote:

great idea!

I gladly act once again as postman!
azhrei_fje - what email address can I use?

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

No, I haven't. I'll take a look at the demo version...

I'm pretty heavily invested in DMGenie (or I wouldn't be using such an old program). I have scripts that automatically handle wands, potions, and scrolls for all spells that are scriptable. For example, a potion of cure light wounds is scriptable (roll 1d8+3 and add to current creature's hp). I also have scripts for entangle, web, and so on.

It's entirely possible that HL can do all of that, but if I have something that works...

In any case, the BAB +1 I will correct by subtracting out any size modifier so I get the correct value.

I'm almost done with my converter. I need to parse the attack strings and I'm done. I also need to parse the spell information but it's not critical to track that at 1st level so it's on the back burner for now.

I'll take a look at the combat tracker in HL although I don't expect to switch to it.

Thanks for the reply. :)

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Okay, so now I'm finding a few other issues. :( I realize I should probably take this to the HL forums but I'm not a user or licensee of the software so creating a forum account seems a bit excessive to me. Anyway...

One player created a Gnome illusionist and the HL statblock says his BAB is +1. It's not. His BAB is +0 and he gets a +1 attack bonus for being Small. While this doesn't matter much in most cases, it's going to throw off my statblock converter and, as written, that 1st level illusionist can now draw a weapon as part of movement and qualify for feats that require BAB +1 or greater. I'm hoping this is just the output sheet and not how the data is stored in the XML file.

Sigh. I'm going to have the players send me their XML file and maybe extracting the data from there will be more reliable. Thanks to Mathias I found the DTD just where he said it would be (although the Help menu item was "d20 System Manual" for me instead of Pathfinder).

I'm doing this so that I can track the PCs at a high level (XP, basic combat statistics like AC and hp) and NPCs in more detail (CR for XP calculations, full combat statistics, movement, items, feats, spells).

Anyone with experience manipulating the HL data or its output, please join in! I'd like to hear from anyone else who's tried to do any kind of processing with HL character data. After I finish this I'll be expert enough (!) that I can do the same kind of statblock importer for MapTool...

Thanks all!

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Wow, fast response. Thank you, Mathias. :)

Okay, I'll grab the DTD. It sounds like there's no XML Schema though? DTDs are (in some cases) not very detailed about what to expect in the document...

Bummer about the weapons. Making the change and generating four sheets might be workable on my end because I've mostly got my Perl script working. I could have the players send me all four sheets and then concatenate them together, telling my script to append multiple weapon blocks together.

I've also considered having the players manually specify the weapon groups in a "notes" section. Something like "Wpn groups: greatsword(P), greatsword+buckler, longsword+dagger, dagger+dagger." Then I could create those weapon groups when I create my D20 statblock. We'll see.

Thanks again for the quick reply.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've got a few problems with Hero Labs and I'm wondering if anyone here has solutions.

I've begun running the SavageTide AP and my players are using HL for their PCs while I'm using DMGenie (old, unsupported product now AFAICT) to actually run my encounters and manage the campaign.

1. DMGenie uses the older D20 statblock format -- you paste a statblock into it and it creates the matching creature so it can be used in combats and for awarding XP purposes. Anyway, the stock Hero Labs statblock is the newer (and IMO, much friendlier) PF statblock. The problem is, that does me *no good*. My question: does anyone have a link to a custom output sheet for HL that will generate the older statblock format? (I'm currently writing a Perl script to convert the HL statblock to the older style, but my players will be using HL and I'd much prefer to have them do this on their end!)

The format for this older style of statblock is:

Name; Race Cls1/Cls2: CR #; hp ##; Init +#; Spd ## ft.; AC ## (## Touch); BAB +#/+#; Atk: +# melee (1d8 + 2, WeaponName), +# ranged (1d6 - 1, WeaponName); SA SpecialAttacks; SQ SpecialQualities; SR ##; PR ##; AL XX; SV Fort +#, Ref +#, Will +#; Str ##, Dex ##, Con ##, Int ##, Wis ##, Cha ##.
Languages spoken: FirstLanguage, SecondLanguage.
Skills and Feats: SkillOne +#, SkillTwo +#; FeatOne, FeatTwo.
Clr Spells Per Day: #/#/#.
Spells Known: SpellOne, SpellTwo.
Spells Memorized: SpellOne, SpellTwo (#).
Powers Known: PowerOne, PowerTwo.
Possessions: ### gp, ItemOne, ItemTwo, ItemThree (## gp, ## lb).

2. The way weapons are handled in HL is broken. There doesn't appear to be a way to group weapons together for different types of full attacks. For example, say a fighter has four groups of weapons that he uses in different situations: a greatsword in two hands, a greatsword in one hand with a buckler shield, a longsword in his primary hand and a dagger in his offhand, and two daggers (for those times when you're grappled!). It appears from the HL demo that it has no way of representing this within the program. In addition, the statblock that it generates is correspondingly wrong (for the above fighter it lists a greatsword, a longsword, and a dagger, and doesn't/can't take into account offhand weapon penalties).

3. I can't seem to find any documentation on the XML output format used by HL. If I had it, I could write my own parser that pulls the pieces I need and formats them correctly. Even better, I'd write that in JavaScript and give my players a link -- they could post their PC's XML file to a form and it could convert it and send it to me automatically. I realize that this document is going to change regularly as new features are implemented or bugs are fixed, but surely there is an internal XML Schema document used for verifying that the output sheets are producing the correct results? Or even just a DTD? Worst case I'll have my players send me their XML data and I'll reverse engineer it, but that will be a huge waste of time when someone must already have such a document...

Thanks for any help you can provide!

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Hagor wrote:

I have Mando's files still in my mailbox (only part 1 - 5)

(attention: 3.5E stats - pathfinder stats are discussed in other thread).
Forwarded to Darkone & Rosenet.


I'm interested in getting these as well. I'm planning to start STAP in the next few weeks and it (could) cut down my prep time significantly.

If you can provide the files, I'll put them on my DropBox or on my web site or someplace else where they will survive for awhile, then I can post the link here. In fact, I'll post a link to the Internet Archive so that the files will always be accessible!

Thank you!

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Pedantic of Opportunity wrote:
Can't spring attack great cleaves.

Okay, thanks. I see that Spring Attack says "make a single melee attack". I remember a discussion about combining Vital Strike with Spring Attack, but then VS doesn't say it requires a "standard action", only an "attack action".

Doesn't matter for this past encounter since the creature never used Spring Attack. It didn't have to with it's ridiculous reach.

Also, giving a monster with 8d6+18 damage great cleave is... kind of pushing it. A shoggoth, CR 19, does a great cleave at 3d6+15.

Hm. So no rules against it, but it's a bit over the top? Okay, I'll reconsider the two feats I gave it. Combat Reflexes (so it can take extra AOOs) is probably enough.

The silt thing is just the cherry on top.

I thought that too. But the Environment section of the PRD is pretty clear about sight lines:

PRD wrote:
Stealth and Detection Underwater: How far you can see underwater depends on the water's clarity. As a guideline, creatures can see 4d8 × 10 feet if the water is clear, and 1d8 × 10 feet if it's murky. Moving water is always murky, unless it's in a particularly large, slow-moving river.

I figured the marsh water would be murky but visibility would be twice the "1d8 x 10 feet" until the silt was disturbed.

PRD wrote:

Underwater Combat

Land-based creatures can have considerable difficulty when fighting in water.

That's what I used to figure that movement underwater was always considered as "difficult terrain" for landlubbers.

At the same point, however... a level 10 cleric can cast Freedom of Movement.

Yeah, there's freedom of movement which can be cast on others, and the party's arcane caster could at least have used alter self on himself to gain a Swim speed (and thus avoid the difficult terrain issue).

Thanks for the opinions. :)

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My players started into the Sunken Queen last game session (5 of them, four at 14th level and a cleric cohort @ 10th, I think). They were TPK'd...

... by the devilfish at the door in two rounds. The disadvantage of rolling dice in the open. :-/

Note that I converted him from 3.5 to PF, giving him Great Cleave and Combat Reflexes. Big mistake! His AB is high enough to hit everyone in the party if he rolls at least a 5.

I also limited the PC's sight distance given that they would've been stirring up the silt from the ground, so their line of sight was reduced to 20 feet. (I started with 1d8 x 10 feet and then rolled each round of combat, never letting the number get bigger to simulate how it would only get worse.) Of course, Spring Attack and 30-ft reach made sight lines kind of moot. Reduced movement due to walking on the ground while underwater (half speed) meant there are no 5-ft steps either (I treated the water as difficult terrain).

Once they knew they were dead, they decided they were committed since they couldn't move away without provoking an AOO.

(If it sounds like I messed up any of the above, please point it out. We're picking up again tonight with new characters and if I can find an excuse to say, "I *really* screwed up and I want to give the party another chance" then I'd like to know it. :))

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rite Publishing wrote:
Quickstart Video Tutorial on YouTube (for GMs who have never used maptool) now with British accent narration :)

All I can say is... OMG!

The video gives a great introduction to running the module using MT and Jonathan references the main site for tutorials at the beginning of the video for folks wanting more details on the VTT itself.

The framework that Jonathan put together to run the module in MapTool is very nice! It's all of the little touches that integrate nicely with the VTT that make it such a sweet setup: links to the PRD for combat maneuvers, spells, and so forth; statblocks with just a single click; spell effects programmed as macros (just click "fireball" to see the damage and save DC)...

Congratulations to Jonathan, Rite Publishing, DevinNight, and the entire crew on a job well done!

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Oh, that's very cool! I love the look of the 3d chess board from Star Trek!

I wimped out and used MapTool (a free virtual tabletop). I created one map for each layer of Scarwall. Since MapTool includes fog-of-war, the players could only see the parts of the castle that they had already explored as they went from map to map. Very cool.

I used the images out of the PDF (extracted using Acrobat 8 since Acrobat 9 can't grab just the image and insists on grabbing the map text as well!) and dropped the TIFFs into MapTool. That just meant some scaling and positioning was needed before adding the "walls" which block light and vision -- that last part allows the fog to be removed automatically by the VTT.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

And in general, players probably shouldn't be posting in this group. It could be tempting to read some other thread than your own (maybe someone else talking about the same thing) and have spoilers revealed to you. I know you marked your thread with "(Spoiler)" but I presume only GMs are here and I typically don't add that to my threads.

My party avoided the encounter entirely. They saw the skull, the pile of dust/ashes, and the stuff scattered around the obvious temple/shrine -- and ran in the opposite direction. Darn. >D

I'm not too turned off by save-or-die effects, as a player or as a GM. Death is part of life. Yes, it sucks when you think it has happened prematurely. But if death weren't possible, where's the sense of accomplishment upon surviving? It's like playing a video game and knowing that you only have three lives and then it's "game over". Players should be aware that they've only got X number of lives and eventually they could encounter a creature whose special effect is "game over"...

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'd say one of your PCs needs to take Leadership at the next opportunity and grab a cleric as a cohort. Not great because they'll be a few levels behind, but certainly better than nothing.

My group completely avoided the demilich. Bummer. >D

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Hank McCoy wrote:
The section in the Core Rulebook about moving a grappled foe does not state anything about AoO, which implies that leaving a threatened square, grappled or not, still provokes.

Correct. However, the grapple rules DO say that moving an opponent through (or to) a square they consider dangerous will grant them an extra grapple check to break free (which I assume also means an extra Escape Artist check should they choose to use that skill instead).

Performing a Drag maneuver, essentially the same as grapple, seems to indicate the opposite. The result is two rules that appear to yield different results for the same activity.

Because the Drag maneuver only considers the person being dragged as an enemy. Generally when you move an enemy via an action (Bull Rush or Shield Bash, for example) their movement doesn't provoke as it's ripe for abuse.

I would treat this as "they are fighting against being moved just like they'd be fighting anyone else". While moving an ally is more of "I'm going to stop squirming around so my friend can move me easily (i.e. without any massive checks)".

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
jorgenporgen wrote:
For our next campaign we will try unlimited crafting of consumeables (potions, scrolls, wands), but no crafting of "static items" (weapons, armor, stat-boosting wondrous items).

I like that plan. Thanks for the idea. :)

I initially tell my players that all item crafting is off-limits, so if they want to take a crafting feat, talk with me first. That tends to limit the create-our-own-loot pretty quickly.

But I like the idea of only crafting consumables. Otherwise Craft Wondrous Item is a very useful/powerful feat if the party has the cash available.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Too bad it's Windows only. I'd like to use it. It's a shame people don't use cross-platform development languages. :(

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

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I mostly agree with R.V.

I wish to point out that the falling damage is 10d6, but the last 10 feet fallen can be reduced. Read the Acrobatics(Jump) description. Also, monks may be able to avoid some of the damage if a vertical surface is nearby.

I'm not so sure about only picking up one PC, though. The quoted text says that the whirlwind must pass through the PC's square, but that's the only requirement. I would assume that a PC picked up bodily by the whirlwind would no longer be at the base anyway (although this isn't relevant based on the quoted description). So I'd say both PCs could be picked up and carried as long as other rules are followed (does the whirlwind have a weight limit or does the quote about "as will fit inside the whirlwind's volume" mean that weight isn't important?).

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Nice plan, Doug.

I might be a little more subtle about it, myself. For example, give the PC visions/dreams/nightmares of being a multi-tentacled creature. As time goes on, make the dreams more and more "real". In the first ones, there's just this vague feeling of having multiple limbs. Later, there's also a feeling of being trapped, or being held back from what you were "called" to do. As the dreams increase so does the PC's chance of insanity!

If you decide that the insanity should take place, wait until the PC sees the real Havero in the acropolis -- then his mind snaps! And *bing*, he feels an overwhelming connection to the Havero and will fight to release it, even against the Havero itself (since as Doug says, it would fight him constantly).

This could work out to be interesting since the dreams could include glimpses of the acropolis, perhaps including any other creatures hiding in the areas nearby. This could tip off the cleric when the party reaches the acropolis, whether the cleric ends up insane or not.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Fatespinner wrote:
Round 2) He makes a full attack action on his enemy, gaining the advantage of sneak attack on his attacks (thanks to Shadow Strike) and then 5' steps away, gaining total concealment in the mist, and makes another Stealth check (which is listed as requiring no action since it is done as part of movement - in this case, a 5' step).

A 5' step is not movement. It's "an adjustment". If it were movement it would be a move action. And as a move action the rogue would not be able to take a full attack but only a single attack action.

Otherwise, I'm perfectly fine with that approach.

(The only time the 5' step is movement is when used as an immediate action and the creature later takes normal movement during their turn. Using the Step Up feat is a good example.)

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I would say "no".

I see "movement" as a creature taking advantage of one of the movement speeds listed for its creature type. So swimming for sahuagin, flying for dragons, burrowing for...

Even a creature with innate DD or Teleport wouldn't treat those as movement. (Hm, unless that were the creature's ONLY form of movement. In that case, I'd have to consider other details of the creature in question.)

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
AvalonXQ wrote:
azhrei_fje wrote:
Baloney. You're telling me that a dragon with the required feats (Flyby Attack, maybe Snatch?) can't fly past a group of PCs to grab the halfling and keep moving?
You don't think it's reasonable to make the dragon take the -20 to not be grappled himself? That does a decent job of reflecting the greatly increased difficulty of grappling an opponent while continuing to fly as if you weren't involved in a grapple with them.

I'd have to look at the CMB numbers in more detail, but if there is more than a 20% possibility of the dragon failing (remember, this is a dragon with Flyby Attack and perhaps the Snatch feat) then there's something wrong.

I mean, that's how dragons hunt for goodness sake! They swoop down and snatch up goats, cows, even horses. In fact, I've almost convinced myself that grabbing a halfling on a flyby attack should be automatic except on a natural "1"...

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Some call me Tim wrote:
I think you got the correct answer twice. You made a ruling and kept the game going. You then looked closely at the rules-as-written to analyze what should have happened.

Agreed! (Do you have a slot open for another player?)

I think you did miss one thing that as soon as the creature grabbed the gnome, both gain the grappled condition and neither can move. So, at this moment the creature can't fly away. It has to let go or stop moving.

Baloney. You're telling me that a dragon with the required feats (Flyby Attack, maybe Snatch?) can't fly past a group of PCs to grab the halfling and keep moving?

I don't care what the rules say, it would work in my game.

The rules also don't handle Small and smaller creatures occupying the same space as a Medium creature very well either, so I will pick actions that make cinematic and storyline sense and go with it.

My reasoning is that as soon as he is more than 5 feet in the air when the creature lets go you will take damage from the fall, so I consider that a hazardous location.

I can agree with this part, though. A flying creature that suddenly takes on additional weight *AND* that places the creature being carried into a dangerous position is going to get a LOT of resistance! To me that means the +4 bonus and the free check.

It is an interesting case requiring "reading between the lines" of the rules-as-written.


Like the "tiny creatures in the same square vs. swarm in the same square" weirdness. Or how an assassin who's waiting for a PC to walk by and jumps out at them (surprising them at the same time) doesn't treat the PC as flat-footed if there was already a combat going on (at least not by RAW). Or how the Move action when grappling allows a creature to be moved through a hostile square without penalty (i.e. you can move an opponent through a square that one of your allies occupies) and how you can force the opponent to squeeze (possibly forcing them to be squeezed while an ally gets an AOO).

Some things don't make sense. So use the brain that God gave you and make a ruling that *does* make sense. :)

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
Year 2000 called, it wants the spell balance discussion back. Year 2003 would like to chime in as well.


Couldn't have said it better. :)

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Howie23 wrote:
"In general, speaking is a free action that you can perform even when it isn't your turn. Speaking more than a few sentences is generally beyond the limit of a free action."

Notice the "in general" part? That prevents conversations from occurring in a single 6-second interval IMC. Which makes perfect sense to me as everything is happening simultaneously within that 6 seconds anyway.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Azaneal wrote:
The subject says all.

As others have said, the spells persist.

Levitation is a low-level example of how this can produce an interesting effect. Imagine a party member being levitated into the air, then the spellcaster goes down! The other party member can't get down until the spell ends!

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I guess I'm wondering what Glorio's plan was prior to ambushing the party and grabbing the sword? Why would he do such a thing? Would he do it without having a plan already in place? Surely you must have thought about that...

To be honest, I'm not really sure I see Glorio going in to grab the sword -- what's the point? Why not provide a stooge who is capable of using the sword very effectively and place this stooge amongst the party, perhaps by taking out one of the party members?

If this same thing had happened in my game and I didn't already have a plan (well, that wouldn't happen) I guess I would rewind a bit and call it a dream sequence so that I don't have to cobble something together for Glorio! Maybe put some night hags nearby and say that it was them invading the dreams of the party.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well, Hill Giants don't have scent, but if they did the situation changes somewhat.

The description of scent says that you can pinpoint an opponent's square if they are within 5 feet. That doesn't help in terms of providing an AOO.

But the rules are a little vague, as the scent description talks about detecting someone within 30 feet ("detect", not "pinpoint") but uses different ranges based on which way the wind is blowing. (Clearly that last part is to include some GM fiat into the RAW.)

If a creature with 10 foot reach also had scent, I'd be inclined to give then the ability to pinpoint a creature out to 10 feet with a Perception(Smell) check. From the viewpoint of natural selection, and most creature's inherent instinct for self-preservation, I think that's reasonable. Although the 50% miss chance would still apply to the AOO as the target still has full concealment (at least as far as the RAW define "concealment").

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber


If a single globe is not thrown, then there is no detonation. Throwing the entire necklace is like throwing an entire sling at someone instead of just the stone in the sling.

But if it were to land fairly near by (don't forget the range penalty of -2 per 10 feet and a limited range of 50 feet), then one or two fireballs soon afterward could be fun. :)

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I play that Detect Magic requires line of sight and line of effect. So someone who is invisible gives off an aura and can be found with Detect Magic if they're just standing out in the open.

But a creature that is Stealth'd (and Invisible) doesn't give off the aura because there is no line of sight. The key being that someone who succeeds on their Stealth check is not only masking their physical location but also their magical aura.

The same applies to Death Watch and similar "detection" spells. Otherwise it's just too easy to thwart Invisibility with a 0-level Detect Magic and I don't like that.

(Note that Detect Magic can be blocked by a sufficient thickness of certain materials, so an invisible creature who is not stealthed can be around a corner and won't be detected. When they step into view the person with Detect Magic running will detect an aura although it would take two additional rounds of non-movement to pinpoint the invisible creature's location.)

The above makes Stealth a worthwhile investment for rogues, even with Invisibility available. And it means sneaking up on someone with Detect Magic is still possible.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Stubs McKenzie wrote:
What Nixda said, but add +10 to the DC of the check to find out if it is cursed, as in...

That's not RAW (I believe) but I like it.

Of course, the GM is within rights to say the item is unique and give vague/ambiguous results for the Spellcraft.

IMCs and in general, when a player uses Spellcraft I provide the full information on the item or spell (if they're trying to identify a spell just cast or a lingering magical aura). But if the item or spell is a "one off", I feel justified in making the DC for full determination higher. Typically I will add +10 for an item or spell that the PC has never seen or heard of before but is capable of making, and +20 for an item they could not create. So a PC with Craft Wondrous Item who sees/finds a unique glove will have a harder time identifying it but it's still possible. And if they rolled less than the modified DC but more than the normal DC, I'll at least give them basic operation information. (Just like Stubs suggests with his "cursed" modifier.) Such information usually includes how to activate it.

If they fail the modified DC, they won't know the item's unique or special abilities. Although activating an item might trigger one of the special effects that they don't know about -- that depends on the particular item.

Also, using UMD to activate an item that hasn't been completely identified may accidentally trigger one of the "unknown" functions instead of the one expected by the skill user! I had a custom item in a campaign that included an effect similar to "Shout". While a PC was trying to UMD a different ability they actually got "Shout" and all of the players were like, "What?! How did THAT happen!?" But they were in the middle of an encounter so didn't have time to really ponder it. :)

I find that the above makes the Identify and Analyze Dweomer spells more relevant. Otherwise the Spellcraft modifiers go up so quickly that by L10 there's no need for the spells.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Arnwyn wrote:
I doubt this is true.


I hand wave it in most cases. There's no fun in it. Although it sometimes is important for people with the item crafting feats as they're allowed to apply some down time to their creation efforts even during a day of adventuring and/or traveling.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Stairs are generally difficult terrain in my campaigns. Then I choose on a case-by-case basis whether they shouldn't be. That might apply to the manor steps in front of a noble's home, for example. Or maybe a grand staircase inside a large manorhouse or palace.

But most stairs are generally built to: take a few resources as possible to build (so are pretty steep), be easily defendable (so are narrow, and cause a right-handed attacker to be at a disadvantage on spiral staircases by having their sword arm against towards the center), and so on.

It's nice to know there's actually a rule that says it's GM's call though. I prefer to play it by the book when possible. ;-)

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Agreed. Doesn't count against the total.

But note that most bags of holding are 2'x4'. So imagine a pillowcase that when you flatten it out is 2'x4'. I doubt you'd be able to get many adventurer types into the opening, although perhaps Small-sized creatures might be able to make it. (Btw, don't forget to count familiars as creatures!)

I had a party do this, but only one person was outside the bag (it's a long story for another day). When that person was knocked unconscious, the party found themselves trapped in the BoH, waiting to suffocate!!

I had to pull some GM fiat to get them out of that one or it would've been TPK right there. Nothing glorious about it either, just a little bad planning. :)

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
deinol wrote:
That's why you spend the money to enchant your dungeon with permanent dimensional anchor.

Actually, hallow/unhallow can have a spell attached to them and dimensional anchor is one of them.

DA is a 4th level spell so it would cost 5,000 gp per year to maintain this effect, but that's a pittance for anyone who really has something to protect. Or you can create a custom item (probably a rod) that produces the effect, or perhaps a creature whose presence disrupts planar travel could be convinced to take up residence...

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Stynkk wrote:
TheOrangeOne wrote:
Is it possible to have caster levels stack? they appear to be untyped.

He's probably referring to items that boost caster level, such as the bead of karma from the strand of prayer beads and the orange ioun stone.

AFAICT since they are both untyped the answer is "yes", they stack.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Are wrote:
Since "Dragon Bite" specifies that you gain the bite when you use your bloodline to grow claws, I'd say it would have the same benefits as the claws.

You must have missed the ability definition at the very beginning! It specifically says the bite is an extraordinary ability and therefore not magical:

PRD wrote:
Dragon Bite (Ex): At 2nd level, whenever the dragon disciple uses his bloodline to grow claws, he also gains a bite attack. This natural attack is made at the dragon disciple's full base attack bonus. The dragon disciple adds 1–1/2 times his Strength modifier on damage rolls made with his bite. Upon reaching 6th level, this bite also deals 1d6 points of energy damage. The type of damage dealt is determined by the dragon disciple's bloodline.

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
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

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Malachite Ice wrote:
Restricting / controlling that character - especially with something like dominate person has the potential to remove a lot of the fun a player feels.

It depends on the player and the PC. I had a rogue PC in a game of mine from years past who had a particularly strong beef with the party paladin (no surprise there, right?). So when the rogue was enchanted to protect the bad guy he went overboard with attacking the paladin! This was a PC already upset with another PC and being a somewhat amoral rogue character felt it was entirely justified in taking out past transgressions (real or imagined) on the paladin.

So as I said, it depends on the player and the PC. :)

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Troubleshooter wrote:
Magicdealer wrote:
So, if the wolf nose you're there, and he's been scent to kill you



Yeah, I agree: that stinks.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I didn't provide my group any details. I told them it would take X number of days, give or take a couple, and they had two encounters on the way there (one was weary travelers looking for news, one was low-level bandits who were very surprised!).

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