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Organized Play Member. 347 posts (348 including aliases). No reviews. 2 lists. 1 wishlist. 3 Organized Play characters.


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Liberty's Edge

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I've always assumed that the printing press has spread to most cosmopolitan cities, and a newspaper of sorts could be found. This would be a folded single page, with a sensational (if not completely fictional) headline and illustration, then more mundane daily information below the fold. In major cities, there's anywhere from two to a dozen competing papers, each trying to outsell the competitor with increasingly fantastic tails and filthy scandals. Fantasy newspapers might include adventuring tips, tales of heroism, and mercenary classifieds (both offering and hiring).

An adventuring party might earn a gp wage digging up stories for a local paper - if not actively causing calamities for the paper to report on ("You supply the woodcarvings, I'll supply the adventurers"). They might be targeted by those in power, or by a rival paper. Secret organizations might not take too kindly to their published reveal. The editor-in-chief could turn out to be a two-fisted lich.

There's some ideas here. I like.

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Not to go against the grain here, but I have beat my Pathfinder books to the Abyss and back, and there's not a page out of place. I've always thought the binding was excellent!

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James Jacobs wrote:
Gozreh is inspired in part by Werner Herzog's views



Wait a second.




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I am interested! I've just started a group on RotR, and I'm curious to try mythic at low levels. I've dropped a few mythic tiers in my other group's high-level, post-Jade Regent game, but they seem like a different beast at low levels.

Still, I'm hesitant to introduce mythic in RotR right away - the tiers can be more and less powerful than a regular level. When and for what reasons are you granting players Mythic Tiers?

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Why does everyone recommend Death Ward?

Because they don't want to die!

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Something to keep in mind is that the home plane of a god does not necessarily apply to it's alignment. There's CN gods on the CG plane, NE gods on the LN plane, etc. With that said, I feel like most of the gods of the Dragon Empire either reside in Heaven or in the myriad complexities of Hell. Those who reside in neither reside in Nirvana, when they are not wandering the material plane.

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Crypt of the Everflame: Level 1. Easily modified to take place in Sandpoint, somewhat of a throwback to old-school adventures, very well designed. Has two "sequel" adventures (Masks of the Living God and City of Golden Death) that form sort of a mini-Adventure Path, that as a whole is one of my favorite adventures to run for new players. Each focuses on a different aspect of classic play (dungeon crawling, urban adventuring and infiltration, exploration).

Feast of Ravenmoor: Level 3. Takes place in a nearby isolated village, is creepy and fun.

We Be Goblins!: Level 1, comes with pre-made goblin characters. Very fun, and takes place around Sandpoint (and is actually designed to kick off the Jade Regent Adventure Path).

For that matter, many of the Adventure Paths take place in (or at least start near) Sandpoint. Even if you don't feel like running the whole AP, the material inside can easily be adapted.

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Start taking levels in Cavalier with the Order of the Blue Rose - You'll gain the ability to do non-lethal with any weapon (and get a +2 to that non-lethal to boot). Maybe take the Standard Bearer archetype if you're still up for boosting the party. Alternately, I like the monk idea as well.

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You're not wrong that Carrion Crown skimps on treasure, plus it doesn't offer much in the way of making extra cash. I would make your concern known to the GM, and see if there's a way he can work in a chance to make more cash or get some better armor. Also, if your GM is worth their salt, they'll be sure to change around some weapon drops to fit your character.

I would also petition for a hp reroll, or at the very least, ask if you can go with the PFS standard of 6 hp + Con mod per level.

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In our campaign, he was taken in by the PCs caravan.

And renamed "Emergency Rations".

He was delicious, and will be missed.

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We played it based on the item's caster level (110 minutes for heroism and 11 minutes for greater heroism).

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The pronunciation given Pathfinder Chronicles Campaign Setting (the book that the Inner Sea World Guide replaced) is "ahy OH meh day". Although who's to say what regional dialects might go with?

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Irori is probably your best bet for a god with an academic appreciation of archeology. Golarion deities and their worshipers in general don't have much use for archeology - they already know their history, as it's the one handed down to them from on high.

"Most people don't go into archaeology for its spiritual elements." sums it up pretty well. So, one option might be to pick whatever deity feels right to you, and have your character be interested in the mysteries of the past as an unrelated character element. There's no reason that a worshiper of Iomedae or Abadar wouldn't also have an interest in the mysteries of the past. Lawful deities probably work best for this (Neutral gods tend to leave the past alone, Chaotic gods care more about the present).

A worshiper of Irori who is a stranger to the region might be another option. As an outsider, they would have a vested interest in learning all about this strange land with it's stranger gods. Perhaps he or she could come from a Tien sect that sees Irori in a far less martial light, and seeks to catalog the ancient civilizations of Varisia to uncover origins of the Tien people.

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thenovalord wrote:
what companions etc publications do I (really) need to make the AP work well?

From my experience, you don't need any of the companion products if all your players are doing is the Adventure Path. However, if you want to go "off-book" and explore the world a bit, they're indispensable.

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You'll need the core book and the bestiary at the very least, although several of the later APs include monsters from the Bestiary 2 and 3. However, all the rules you need can be found in a pinch on Paizo's own SRD:

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Creative choice of minions! As a former dryad, she may have used her dominate ability on all manner of animal. She may command plants, like assassin vines to hold her prey, or perhaps she's convinced a treant that composting the nearby village of humans is the most environmental solution.

For bodyguards, perhaps a camp of loggers has recently gone missing, and are now under her thralls. If you seed the idea early on that the loggers are innocent (perhaps their families can ask the party to find their loved ones after they went missing in the woods), the challenge becomes not only defeating the bodyguards, but keeping them alive - it's a good chance to exercise non-lethal options that normally fall by the wayside.

It's also an opportunity to go heavy on the environmental hazards, as she has an intimate a knowledge of the surrounding terrain as possible (having formerly been a part of it).

Adventure Path Spoilers!:

For class, go druid. Sounds wrong, I know, but there's a legit vampire druid half-elf in part 5 of Carrion Crown ("Ashes at Dawn"). It's a very strange combination, and the druid's power of the landscape compliments their minions and children of the night in really fun ways. The encounter is more like 13th level, but it's a good place to steal some ideas from - especially the giant flytrap companion that she feeds "leftovers" to.

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So, I'm checking out my favorite artifact in Paizo's new Artifacts & Legends book, and I notice there's been some serious changes to ye old Harrow Deck of Many Things.

I'm not sure what I think about the changes. Several seem to have been changed from bad to good outcomes, and many of the bad outcomes are much less harsh.

A summery of the changes, mostly for my own benefit:

The Avalanche: Old card trapped you as the spell imprisonment. New card causes an earthquake, THEN imprisons you. Much harsher than before. I like it.

The Big Sky: Old card allowed the one-time ability to "avoid any situation or effect". The new card gives you a +10 bonus to CMB and CMD for 1 round/day, with the side effect of causing a metal object in the vicinity to break. I miss the open-endedness of the old power, but the new power is great too.

The Demon's Lantern: Old card caused you to gain a powerful fiendish ally. New card causes you and all your equipment to disintegrate, leaving behind only a valuable gem. Again, I like both!

The Eclipse: Old card hit you with a permanent negative level. With the new card, the negative level only effects you from dusk to dawn. This is a little less harsh, but more interesting.

The Empty Throne: Grants you a noble title. Old card granted you 25,000 gp along with it, new card grants you 15,000 gp. I suppose that's a little less unbalancing at lower levels?

The Idiot: Old card reduced your mental stats to 3. New card reduces them by 1d4 points. This is far less harsh, but the old card was pretty much a death sentence for any player character.

The Keep: Old card created a castle. New card grants you a personal demiplane! Interesting in that there's a city in Lastwall that was created around a castle from a Harrow card that no longer exists!

The Lost: You are forbidden from gaining any more levels in whatever class you have the most level in. The new card gives you a chance to opt you, by dying and being reincarnated.

The Mute Hag: Old card caused your most private secret to become known to all who see you. New card causes you to permanently become deaf, blind, or mute.

The Queen Mother: Old card summoned 1d4 formian warriors to serve you. New card summons 2d4 giant ants. Do formian warriors not exist in Golarion? I don't think they're closed content, and I suppose I really haven't seen them since the oft-contested Great Beyond.

The Rakshasa: Old card caused you to become the puppet of a mysterious enemy. New card causes you to turn into a random animal for an hour every time tell a lie. These are both great draws.

The Sickness: Old card infected you with a random incurable disease. With the new card it's always leprosy. I suppose that's fine, but I feel like bringing back the random table.

The Snakebite: Old card caused you to switch alignment. New card causes anyone who touches you to become poisoned with greenblood oil.

The Tangled Briar: Old card restored a slain enemy to life. New card lets you speak with plants, but summons angry shambling mounds. I like the old ability more, but I'm tempted by angry shambling mounds.

The Tyrant: Old card summoned a powerful evil to drag you off to it's lair. New card grants you the one-time ability to command any creature in the multiverse. That's much nicer, and also not a character-ender.

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My biggest issue is that the d20 system isn't really built for a front-line melee fighter with attack based on precision, defense based on dodging, and interaction based on witty repartee.

Ultimately, you could just take it on the chin, and play a Dex-based fighter with light weapons, little-to-no armor, and interactions roleplayed as charmingly as possible. But if you're playing in a group that has even slightly optimized PCs, or with a GM who is even mildly unforgiving, you will find yourself disappointed by situations where rules have come into play. It can be disheartening, when the all the feats and effort you've spent making your swashbuckler a nimble dancing master is overshadowed by the tank who dropped a grand on full plate, and has all his feats left.

There's been several attempts to fill this gap. The rogue class (especially with many of it's archetypes) is the obvious choice, with precision, dodging, and skills enough for wit. However, it has trouble in the role of front-line fighter, due to a lack of AC and hp. There's the duelist prestige class, which is decent, but runs into MAD and AC problems. There's third-party and 3.5 options, but they seem similarity crippled. The Defense system from Unearthed Arcana is about halfway there, especially if combined with a vitality and wounds-type system, but that's a lot of rule changes for the thematic sensibilities of one character.

I've always loved the swashing and buckling, but I have yet to see a really great d20 fantasy option. That's ok though, I can play that guy in another system.

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deuxhero wrote:
"How long does the ice last" and "What is the ice's HP/Hardness"

The ice has 20 hit points. It says right in the text of the ice tomb hex. Ice has 0 hardness, as noted under Table: Substance Hardness and Hit Points (it also has 3 hp/inch, so we can probably assume the ice tomb is about 6 or 7 inches thick.

The ice lasts as long as ice lasts - that is, until it melts. For this reason, it's handy for a witch to keep a portable gate to the elemental plane of cold. Or as I like to call it, "The Enemy Refrigerator."

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There's been a few artifacts capable of turning one into a lich, so I say take it a step further, and introduce the lich expert! Yes, an evil mastermind with no spellcasting ability (outside of what he can muster with UMD), who makes frequent use of his ability to return of the dead - even going so far as to pose as a mindless zombie in one of his undead hoards (bought wholesale from a necromancer a few kingdoms over).

The biggest dangers he presents are not martial (he has minions for that - a few mind-controlled, but most simply bought and paid for), but economical. He's had centuries to keep a low profile, gather useful magical items, and make connections with every trade guild in the nation. The PCs might slay him, only to find that a bounty has been place on their heads, and the towns that aid them (or even those that they just visit) soon fall into economic ruin.

I also feel like if you were to load up a lich expert with magic items, the party wouldn't feel cheated after beating him. Loot bribe!

Of course, you could take it further and create LICH COMMONER, complete with Wraith Pig, but lets not get cray-cray.

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thejeff wrote:
Maybe there are pockets of the original more peaceful shamistic orcs hidden in the Darklands who can be brought up to begin healing their lost cousins.

Could be why the orcs organize and attack the dwarven Sky Citadels. If there are pockets of true orc civilization down there, they Sky Citadels' Darkland entrances might be the only way back. Of course, surface orc civilization being what it is, they may wish to exterminate their Darkland cousins as soon as they realize how different they are.

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thejeff wrote:
Are there still pockets of Orcs down there?

There's an idea that I really liked, that I saw on the boards many months ago.

What if the orcs are not an innately evil race? What if the dwarves, in their mad crusade to reach the surface, drove them from their lands in an act of prideful genocide? What if the displacement of the Darkland orc tribes devastated their shamanistic civilization, and gave rise to cults of the Destroyer? What if they're a civilization in decline, forced into barbarism and never given a chance to regain their former standing due to the influence of the constantly expanding and highly territorial humans?

There's some meat to this idea. Even in a highly-stylized setting like Pathfinder, there's no mortal race that is "born" evil. The earlier revised books show this for goblins (raised in cages), hobgoblins (raised in a militaristic society), and bugbears (ok, they're pretty evil, but they get a physiological high out of other's fear - they're fear junkies).

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Todd Stewart wrote:
Costume change at will

Yeah, the Disguise bonus is nice, but this is honestly the main reason I have players pick it up. It's a full wardrobe in a hat!

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At 4th, dimension door.
At 5th, teleport.

Granted, they're spells you want to know, but they're also quality "getaway spells". If you can cast it, a scroll of bard's escape is worth every gp.

Protection from evil is a good 1st level scroll. You don't always need it, but casting it can give the barbarian a second chance to make his will save vs. confusion, and thus save the party from slaughter.

Also! Let's not discount summon monster scrolls! Sometimes you need a critter to run down a hall (at low-levels) or an outsider's spell-like abilities (at higher levels), and having a backup scroll to call up some friends is never a bad idea.

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As a side note, I'd like to point out that the formula books of goblin alchemists contain no words, only crude instructional drawings depicting in an individual coded form, how to make the sparky-boom-boom goo.

Perhaps this now-illiterate wizard could discover the secret cache of an ancient mage, who was secretly dyslexic. Unable to parse simple arcane text, he trained himself to learn magic in other forms, recorded as art and music. The color palate of a great mural, held in the minds eye, serves as a prepared spell, as may the negative space of the trees, the complex stitching of the his cloak, or the memory of a distant tune.

This is mostly a fluff-based approach. Other spellcasters may interpret his "spellbook" and scrolls with a Spellcraft check, and he may or may not suffer a penalty to add spells to his spellbook. You may want to do some research on neurological damage that affects literacy and speech as well. There's recorded cases of people who have had the Broca's area of their brain damage, and can no longer talk...but can still sing.

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My greatest issue with the Holy Gun archetype, right before "it's not as effective as a paladin with a dip in gunslinger", is that there's no "Will Travel" ability.

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I see many suggesting that the players need to feel danger from mundane situations - if they're above 5th level, this need not be the case.

Eventually, characters will get so powerful that things that once were major stumbling blocks will no longer be so. This is built into the game. Eventually, your characters are going to be able to teleport around the world to sell their loot, rise from the dead with nary a scratch, and slay armies as fast as their hasted speed will let them. They'll make pocket dimensions, and create bent (if not broken) magic items),

True, things were a little more deadly in early editions, but it would be a bit cruel for a DM to dispatch a 13th level character via knife in the back during a barroom brawl (I would quickly stop playing with that DM). If the player was acting in a way that some say would "justify" it, well, how did they get this far? Did they go mad with power?

My suggestion: If the players won't agree to try a low-level game, or a different system, you must up the ante. Do not start making minor threats more deadly, but ramp up the danger. Place them in a planar city (the City of Brass is a personal favorite, massive risk, wondrous reward, and just enough hostility vs. the party that they might watch their step), put them at odds with demigods and divine heralds, and run them ragged through unfamiliar homebrew environmental.

The goal should be not to kill them, but to give them a sense of accomplishment when they do stuff. Getting in a bar fight at 13th level isn't doing stuff. Getting into a bar fight in Caydin's Pub in Elysium, that's doing stuff.

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brreitz wrote:
The ancient Azlanti language is the common ancestor of human language in the modern Inner Sea Region. I have a sneaking suspicion that it may not be the natural tongue of humans, that like the Azlanti culture, it was handed to humanity by their Aboleth masters.

And, as I realize that the Aboleth also speak Aklo, it may be that Azlanti has traces of that as well. It may well be possibly to trace a few root words in almost every mortal language back to Aklo!

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What is the point of hiding plot behind monster encounters?

The answer is the same - to give the players a sense of accomplishment. Pathfinder rewards players who place ranks in knowledge skills by rewarding them with interesting information or clues, just as it rewards players who put their high ability scores into strength with an improved ability to hack n' slash, or rewards a wizard by allowing them to bend the rules of in-game reality with magic.

The trouble is, the flavorful background imparted by knowledge skills (ESPECIALLY in adventure modules and PFS scenarios) is usually interesting stuff that's not terribly helpful from a mechanical level. The player may still get a sense of satisfaction about knowing various campaign secrets, but they're still secrets that (if using pre-published information) any player can look up in a Pazio book.

I don't have a really good solution here, but I think it warrants looking at individual campaigns to understand if this parceling of knowledge is useful or not. Personally, if players fail a knowledge check that would have revealed something interesting about the setting, I tell them what their characters know, and then what the astonishing truth is (that their characters do not know)! Most of them are good enough players that they can handle the separation between player and character knowledge (and a few are great, walking right into the lion's den while roleplaying the hapless naivety of their character). I feel like information that gets the players interested in the campaign setting is never a bad thing, and that the best-kept secrets in the game are the ones you come up with yourself.

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Both? Take both.

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This is a great idea for a Wuxia campaign!

Effectively,you could have everyone be a gestalt character (from 3.5's Unearthed Arcana) with one of classes being monk. You end up with a game where everyone is jumping and tumbling and kung-fu fighting, but where their other "main" class become the focus of their character. I.e., a fighter would be a master of weapons, a wizard would be a wizened old martial arts master, etc.

If everyone knows what they're getting into, this could be a lot of fun. You could also split up the monk abilities, and allow everyone to pick two or three. I would also ditch the alignment restriction entirely, and watch out for weird archetype combos.

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Forewarning, I am not a linguist. I do, however, find the development of languages over history SUPER INTERESTING. Golarion's simplistic languages are highly unrealistic (because a world with the complicated languages and dialects of the real world would require far a more complicated language rule system), but it's an unrealistic world.

Examining Golarion's languages means we can add color and connections to what is already a highly diverse and fascinating setting. We can take a look at a few of the books (I've got the Inner Sea World Guide and Humans of Golarion open right now) and made a bunch of assumptions, all in the name of fun!

The first human languages in the Inner Sea region would have been the pre-Azlanti tongues spoken by disparate human tribes. These early tongues may be the ancestors of the Hallit tongue spoken by the Kellid people of the far north.

The ancient Azlanti language is the common ancestor of human language in the modern Inner Sea Region. I have a sneaking suspicion that it may not be the natural tongue of humans, that like the Azlanti culture, it was handed to humanity by their Aboleth masters. Regardless, following the destruction of Azlant, the survivors fled to colonies on the shores of the Inner Sea, where the language diverged into tongues such as Cheliaxian and Taldain (the later so ubiquitous, it's now better known as Common).

Survivors of Azlant also colonized modern-day Varisia, and developed the Thassilonian language. This language would later develop into the Varisian tongue, and mix with the Kellid and Giant tongues to become the language of the Shoanti people.

The Giant language itself is a bit complex. It is derived from the language of the ancient pre-human Cyclopes civilization and contains elements of Thassilonian, from their long period of "service" to that human empire. The Cyclopes language may be derived from various planar tongues (as they, and the giants, are said to be decedents of titans and outsiders who made their home on the the material plane). Perhaps the Cyclopes language may even be the root of the first human tongues, if they taught it to the "small people" in the early days of mankind.

Chelaxian invaders would meet and mix with the northern folk, likely Kellids, and the Cheliaxian and Hallit tongues would merge and develop into the Ulfen language of Skald.

Modern Osiriani is a direct descendent of Ancient Osiriani, which may or may not have Azlanti roots (accounts have the ancient Osirian empire co-existing with Azlant), although the modern version of the language likely incorporates much of the Kelish tongue, given their century-long dominion over Garund. Given the ancient Osirans were obsessed with the Dark Tapestry, it wouldn't surprise me if it contained traces of Aklo.

I'm not sure about the origins of the Kelish tongue, seeing as we have yet to even see a map of the Keleshite empire.

The Vudrani tongue is mix of the Kelesh and Tien languages.

The Polygot languages of the Mwangi tribes likely share a root in whatever was spoken by the mysterious sky-city dwelling civilization that once existed above the Mwangi Expanse. That civilization may or may not have a connection to Azlant, it's just too mysterious for us to know!

Tien and the other languages of the east may have no connection with the Azlanti-based languages of the Inner Sea, seeing as humankind wasn't even recorded in Tien Xia until after Earthfall. I would not be surprised if it was derived from Celestial or Draconic, in much the same way that Azlant may be derived from Abolith.

(One theory states that the people of Tien Xia were formed from the souls of the Azlanti who died during Earthfall. If this is the case, there could indeed be residual elements of the Azlanti language.)

Dwarven and Orc (and Goblin, Gnoll, etc.) may have been granted in their purest form directly from the gods (and may share elements with Celestial, Infernal, or Abyssal), or they may have evolved from various tribal dialects (Given the singular nature of most non-human race's languages, I wonder if they share common myths in which every member of the race started speaking the same language - sort of a reverse Tower of Babel").

Halflings on Golirion evolved alongside humans, and their language is stated to be directly descended from human tongues, despite the wild variety of human tongues. Perhaps the Halfling language is actually derived from the original pre-Azlanti human tongue. If that's so, then Halfling may, oddly enough, bear some similarities with Giant!

The Gnome language has similarities with both Sylvan and Aklo. Sylvan itself is one of the oldest tongues, hailing from the fey of the First World, and Aklo is common among both the more sinister of the First World and the unspeakable terrors of the Dark Tapestry and the other unspeakable terrors of the Darklands. And I just realized that the Unseeile courts and aberrant Denizens of the Black may in fact, share an origin. Worrisome!

A mix of Aklo and Terran makes up the Orvian language, spoken only in the deepest vaults of the Darklands. Undercommon, created by the Drow incorporates several Orvian words. Necril, spoken by ghouls and cultists, is derived from Ancient Osiriani. I theorize that it contains many elements of Aklo, as it is both derived from the Dark Tapestry-obsessed Ancient Osirians and is spoken primarily in Darkland necropolises.

So, now Aklo has connections to evil fey, aberrations, AND undeath.

(And for those more familiar with the Golarion's solar system, you may note that the cult of the Whispering Way already has a unlikely and ominous connection with the dead world of Eox and the philosophy of those who seek undeath!)

Speaking of the Drow, Elves brought their language with them from wherever they came from originally. Which isn't Golarion. And I doubt it's Sovyrian.

Dragons have always spoken draconic, and they've done so for a very, very long time.

Planar languages probably just appeared fully-formed the moment the first sentient being pulled itself free of its homeplane. Abyssal is believed to be the oldest, with Infernal, Celestial, and the elemental languages following close behind.

Woo, that got a little out of hand. Hope that helps?

TL:DR The evil fey and Lovecraftian aberrations are in league, and may be one and the same.

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dunebugg wrote:

Talk to your optimized PCs!

Excellent advice!, Also,

Talk to your unoptimized PCs!

If the players don't mind, you and the optimizing players can give them suggestions to help boost their characters. You can also drop items that the unoptimized players will get more mileage out of, like scrolls or wands of buffing spells, or wands of metamagic.

Another thought - If the optimized players are using a solid selection of spells to buff themselves, and are prepared spellcasters, they are going to be pretty low on spells. If they've made decent spell choices, their many spells per day will be useful in its own right.

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If you want, you can just copy paste every instance of firearm/rifle/pistol/etc. into crossbow/hand crossbow/etc., and that's all well and good. But to me, class abilities like grit and deeds suggest not so much a class that is "good with guns" as it does the tropes of lone gunmen and cowboys.

If your setting is the kind of setting where a man with a crossbow might strike out on his own, same as a man with no name might pick up a gun, then this works just fine. Heck, you could modify and substitute almost any weapon to use a grit-like system, or even open it up as a general mechanic among all classes.

But if you really want something that emphasizes the aspect that made the crossbow great for hundreds of years, something that raises that to fantasy level, you'll need a different sort of class. Something like the crossbowman archetype for fighter is a good start, but doesn't go nearly far enough, IMO.

I think a mix between the fighter and gunslinger would work best. Something without grit, without heavy armor, but with abilities that improve reload time, increase distance, and penetrates defenses.

Bonus points for developing an archetype that can prop up a shield in the midst of combat to gain cover.

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I've always described it to my players as "Suddenly, you feel like making terrible life choices!"

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If you want to rehabilitate your players of the "cheese", you will need to create a game that is as entertaining to them as one with cheese.

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There's a lot of good stuff in there, especially among the archetypes and feats - as previously mentioned they do a lot to shore up classes that don't get much love in the CRB or APG. There's a handful of clunkers in both, but underpowered rather than overpowered.

Magus and Gunslinger are both solid classes. The first does a lot of damage and the second does regular damage reliability, and they both have a few non-combat tricks. They're easy enough to remove if you're not a fan.

The biggest problem with both is the alternate rule systems. In UM, the binding and construct rules are interesting, but hardly applicable to most campaigns, and wordcasting could have used another pass. In UC, the vehicle system is useful only to those who really like additional complexity, the dueling and performance combat rules are limited to very specific campaigns (or even rarer instances within most campaigns, hardly worth breaking out a new ruleset for), and the partial armor rules are very unbalanced.

In short, mostly good, some no-so-good, very little bad.

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A while back, someone put all the CRB, APG, UM, and UC spells in one handy pdf package. We printed it out, and have been using it as a Spell Compendium ever since. I'm not sure if I'd ever want an actual hardcover though, one of the reasons the 3.5 Spell Compendium worked is that it came out near the end of 3.5's lifespan - WotC were pretty much done making new spells.

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Pendagast wrote:
curious ive been thinking of making a drunken master alchemist, wouldnt that be even better?

Barbarian alchemists in general are pretty sick. In the best way possible. I've never played a monk alchemist, but Internal Alchemist archetype seems to be designed for just such a class (even lets you take Extra Ki as a bonus feat).

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The APG kind of covers what the different races think about summoners and witches, but mostly from an adventurer's point of view. Witches are common, and are more frequently found in areas with less "civilization" (areas which, if they see a sorcerer or wizard, will likely accuse them of being witches. Summoners seem very rare in Golarion (I've only seen a few in PFS scenarios), and they're usually described as something mysterious and unknown.

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Bloodwort wrote:

I am reading that wrong? at level 3 a drunken master can have 1 temporary ki point. he gets 2 at 5th, 3 at 7th, etc.

Nope! That's right. For some reason, I was reading it as you get your first bonus point at 5th, but you'd actually get it at 3rd, despite the average monk getting ki pool at 4th. That's not too shabby. That's actually quite good! The drunken ki as never the problem though, as it's the drunken rage that's less effective. One extra round of rage, adding nauseated after raging for one more round is rough.

Bloodwort wrote:

The only limiting factor would be actually becoming drunk/intoxicated by drinking too much rapid succession.

so how many drinks would a monk with an 18 con have to consume before they are "drunk" and begin suffering impairments?

Honestly, I would handwave the drunkeness in any game where the player even put a modicum of roleplaying like a drunk (and were not annoying the other players by doing so). The Gamemaster's Guide has a section on drugs and alcohol with the following:

"In general, a character can consume a number of alcoholic beverages equal to 1 plus double his Constitution modifier before being sickened for 1 hour equal to the number of drinks above this maximum."

So, 9 drinks? There's no time given though - is this during an hour? An evening?

I'm actually feeling like drunken master is pretty solid with barbarian, just maybe not drunken brute. Like Quandary said, savage barbarian stacks nicely with that AC bonus, and I'm looking at urban barbarian and thinking that might be an even better fit.

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Well, aside from the alignment problem, it doesn't seem too broken.


Barbarian/monk means you're going to be very fast, what with fast movement and fast movement. Add that +8 to jump from the monk's high jump ability, and you'll have some great maneuverability. Good skill synergy too. Uncanny dodge and evasion, so you're as good as a rogue when it comes to sneak attacks and fireballs. Around mid-levels, out of combat, you'll be one of the most mobile and capable characters in the party.


Rage and unarmed strike sounds great, doesn't it? Well, multiclassing means that you'll be behind in rounds of rage per day and unarmed damage dice. The monk is designed to hit many times in a round with small amounts of damage (and possibly other abilities, like combat maneuvers or stunning fist), all while avoiding hits and moving in and out of combat. The barbarian is designed rage and run up to an opponent, then SMASH, all while soaking a ton of damage. Both excel at these goals separately, but underperform while mixed.

Flurry of blows works with your total BAB these days, which is great, except one thing - you're built for mobility. Which means that flurry of blows is going to be something you can only do if you get right up close to a foe and stay there. Your AC will likely be lacking, by the way, as you'll need good ability score points in Str, Dex, Con, and Wis. And since you'll be using unarmed strike, there's no 1.5 damage from Str or Power Attack for you.

The Drunken Combo (drunken master and drunken brute):

You'd think double-teaming your drunken antics would be great, but it's more of a hangover. Drinking to increase your rage is nigh-pointless, as it takes a move and only increases the duration of your rage by one 1 round - meaning you've only bought yourself 1 non-flurry attack (the Fast Drinker feat takes this down to a swift, but requires a Con of 18 - if you can pull that off, it improves the combat viability of these combined archetypes by A LOT). The bonus ki points from drinking are much more useful (useful for shoreing up that AC), as they stick around for an hour, but you only get a limited amount per day (1 at 5th level of monk, plus 1 for every 2 levels afterwards), so you won't see many of those.

What I Did Instead

'Cause yeah, monk/barbarian is a super-cool idea that I've always wanted to play too, so I made one for PFS. I couldn't get the drunken combo to work (for reasons stated above), so I made a monk (martial artist) and barbarian (brutal-pugilist). Martial artist syncs up with barbarian is two of the best ways possible: it lets you ignore the alignment restriction for monk, and at 5th level, you give up the ki pool to for complete immunity to fatigue. Which is AMAZING, especially since he's got so few rounds of rage. Martial artist also lets you make Wis checks to ignore DR and Hardness as an at-will swift action, and brutal pugilist for the barbarian can give you some nice bonuses to grappling.

I'm still not sure if my monk/barbarian is all that tricked out - he's 8th level, and I think he's lose in a fight to a powered-up fighter, but he brings a lot of fun tricks to the table.

TL:DR No, especially not with those archetypes.

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You've got options.

If you trust this player and like his character, let him heal. The only other healing he could get is with infernal healing or inflict spells, and is that right for a paladin? And if he's not carrying around an evil cleric or a wand an evil cleric made, then he's going to get killed by the second monster to come around.

And that's pretty stupid of the Lawful Good deities.

Justify it by saying the LG gods are not so stupid, and that they've ensured this unlikely champion of light will have the ability to heal himself. It can come with special clauses (must never be healed by negative energy, when not in combat he must offer healing to others first, never drink blood even if you're really really hankering for it, etc.), but if you shut down a character that you and the player enjoy, just because "The Rules" say so, well, what's more important to the game? You or the rules?

Now, if you don't really care for the character concept, and the player wants to playing it anyway, then go ahead and keep to the official ruling. He'll still be able to heal others, and it's not a total wash. But don't go complaining if he starting carrying around ambiguously eeeevil wands and potions just to heal himself. You can't do much paladin-ing if the party has to watch him nap for a week while he gets hp back.

Now, people complain that this some sort of Special Snowflake entitlement. And it does! And if you want him to play something boring, that's your prerogative. But if there's ever a time to break out the dhampire, it's Carrion Crown (especially Ashes at Dawn!). You can get some fantastic RP'ing hooks out of it.

As a last resort, there's this. it's a low-cost magical item from Gods and Magic that allows worshipers of Urgathoa to be healed by cure and inflict spells. The Gods and Magic book mentions that magic items like this, with special properties that function only for specific worshipers, can be attuned to a new deity with a magical ritual costing 200 gp. This will let him use a wand of cure light to heal himself out of battle, giving him a fighting chance. But introduce it soon (as an item found on a cultist, perhaps), as the player may get tired of trying to survive as a dhampire, and give up on the idea, settling for something much blander.

Hope it helps!

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Hartbaine wrote:
Druids kinda get the shaft, I'm noticing. Every other class seems to have loads of feats dedicated to enhancing their abilities and the Druid pretty much gets Natural Spell... that's about it.

Because Natural Spell is awesome?

I think Urban Druid works quite well for this, both mechanically and in name - a druid who works a farm is far more urbanized than your typical hermit druid.

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Urgotha having a child that was stolen from here was also discussed in Ashes at Dawn, I believe. Somewhere in Carrion Crown. I hadn't put all these puzzle pieces together, however!

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Woo, boy. There's not really a straightforward way to run more than Adventure Path with the same PCs - they take characters from level 1 to 15, and would require complete rewrites to accommodation high-level characters. However, most of the APs include a section in their final book on how to continue the campaign - giving plot hooks, examples of high-level threats, etc.

You could also go the old "you're all depowered and are back at first level!" route, but not all players appreciate that approach. Having the new characters starting as students/children/relations of the original party may also work.

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There's a lot of good atmospheric ideas here, but I think they may not address the root of the problem. Which may not actually be a problem.

Outside of a dungeon, you can create a dark and brooding atmosphere, where the players become enjoyably unsettled. Wandering through Ustalav, never knowing when a horrific beast will tear it's way through the misty woods, when a fire-eyed preacher will order you burnt at the stake, or when an innkeeper's daughter will out to be a blood-sucking vampire!

But in the dungeon, players are in their element.

They're in a location that has been trod by adventurers for over 40 years. There are monsters and traps, and the characters have abilities specifically designed to deal. There will be puzzles and complications, and the players will be mentally prepared to deal with those as well.

This is not a bad thing. One of the reasons people play Pathfinder (or other dungeon fantasy systems) is so they can play characters capable of surmounting terrific danger, which is handily provided by dungeons. You can try various GMing tricks and tools to help create a frightening atmosphere in the dungeon, but even without minis or with spooky music, your players will have dice ready to roll and dungeon-crawling on their mind.

In many ways, the dungeon is a comfort to players and characters. It is the outside world, in all it's glorious uncertainty, that really scare them. Unknowable social hierarchies, webs of deceit and lies, problems you can't fight your way through. These are all frightening things in real life, so it's no wonder that our characters have the same fears, only amplified.

I guess I really don't have a solution for you. Just make sure everyone is having fun, including yourself. If the players enjoy powering through the dungeons, let them - it makes them happy, and gets them out of the dungeon and into the next frightening pan all the quicker.

If you wish to expand the non-dungeon segments of the campaign, I recommend Rule of Fear, as it contains many frightful ideas to hook your PCs with. Any Ravenloft supplement will have additional concepts that can be slotted right into Ustalav with a few name changes. I also recommend a glance at GURPS Horror, which does a grand job of detailing the ways in which the Universal Monster set (who certainly influence Carrion Crown) reflect very real fears.

Carrion Crown Spoilers:
despite being the "Horror" Adventure Path, Carrion Crown is still a Pathfinder game. It focuses on event and location based dangers with a veneer of horror tropes, and requires a great deal of off-path work to mold into something truly terrifying.

Starting with Trial of the Beast, the campaign becomes an extended chase, which right away takes your PCs from the roles of pursued to pursuer. The final dungeon is one of my favorites, and does a great job installing fear in the players - a single misstep could spell a watery tomb. Broken Moon is good for fear, as the PCs must leave themselves open to danger while investigating a web of lies. The final act a village full of the undead, and is decidedly less terrifying. Wake of the Watcher presents plenty of unsettling Lovecraftian material, but be sure to customize the scares to your players. "It's a REALLY strange monster" isn't scary to an adventurer. "If you lose, your brain will be carved from your head and will forever reside in a alien cylinder, descending further and further into madness, never knowing the sweet release of death!" is better. Ashes at Dawn provides plenty of tightrope social interaction that could turn against the party in a snap, but at this point the party may be so powerful that you may need to up the ante (adding more vampires to the underground, more innocents at risk if the PCs mess up, etc) to install a sense of fear. We haven't gotten to Shadows of Gallowspire ourselves, but my reading of it is that there's not much to frighten the players, other than "hey, this creature does a LOT of damage". That dracolich fight looks pretty rad though.

I hope at least some small bit of this helps!

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I think the First Shadow's effects are more subtle - nothing that affects characters directly, but allows for greater incursions into Nidal from the Shadow Plane. It's probably cloudy and dim there, 24/7.

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Set wrote:

Growing up on tales of shapeshifting dwarven 'wizards' crafting stuff like Mjolnir (Thor's hammer) and Gungnir (Odin's spear), the idea of non-magical dwarves never sat right with me, Tolkien or no Tolkien.

I like my dwarves with magic, doubly-so with runes, but there's not a d20 system for rune magic that I've dug. For a while, I had a dwarf wizard in a party who used wordcasting to represent his runecasting, which worked ok, if not great.

Set wrote:

I would have gone farther than the 3E design team went, and had elves be natural sorcerers (and bards) with a bonus to Charisma.

I can't agree with this enough.

Set wrote:

So keep it on the down low. :)

I don't even remember what this thread was about. Bards, maybe?

Liberty's Edge

Cayden Cailean is a good one I hadn't thought of. I doubt he'd be worshiped by the dwarven community at large, given his human origins and relative youth, but I could see an exiled or questing dwarf heading into a holy pub of Cayden for a little taste of home.

I didn't think of Dispater either, and I actually play a cleric of the archedevil! He's a great choice - I think there's a lot of iron and metal in his imagery as well.

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