Abderrahmane Zagora

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Warning! Possible spoilers for Jade Regent!
This may not be the right forum for this question, as it could be considered a fantasy linguistics question rather than a Pathfinder specific question.

I'm playing a summoner in Jade Regent and my eidolon is a minor aspect/avatar of Shizuru, Minkaian goddess of the sun, honor, ancestors, and swordplay. What Japanese-style honorific should be applied to the end of my eidolon's name given that she is an aspect/avatar of (essentially) a celestial kami?

I figure the answer will probably have to be invented, but I also figure that a helpful speaker and/or scholar of Japanese could come up with something better than what I could come up with in my ignorance. So, anyone around that could help me out, or at least point me to a better place to ask?

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I'm currently GMing Legacy of Fire for the second time. My players are about to enter Kakishon and begin Part 4.

When the first group and I finished Legacy of Fire, I asked them what they thought of the adventure path and how it could have been improved. Their biggest thing they thought could be improved was more time to see the sights in Kakishon. As they put it, Kakishon was built up like it was Disneyland, but as soon as the PCs get to Kakishon, Jhavhul escapes and gets back to his evil plan, and the PCs are like, "We have to get the hell out of Disneyland!" to stop him. They wanted more time to explore the fantastic vistas of Kakishon, without being under the time pressure of needing to escape as soon as possible. For instance, one of the player characters had lived in the hot climate of Katapesh his whole life and had never seen snow before, so he was looking forward to visiting Aliskiren, but he never got the chance, because once they found out what Jhavhul was planning to do from Dilix Mahad, they spent all their time and effort finding a way out of Kakishon.

The second area of potential improvement regarded the heroes relationship with Jhavhul. The PCs had explored the House of the Beast--Jhavhul's headquarters for his scheme, Kakishon--Jhavhul's prison, and Bayt al Bazan--Jhavhul's home, and had spoken with Dilix Mahad, Obherak, Shazathared, and Nefeshti, so the PCs knew a great deal about Jhavhul even though they had only seen him once, literally in passing as they were falling into Kakishon and he was flying out. Jhavhul, on the other hand, has little to no idea who the PCs are. If there had been any significant conversation before the final encounter in The Final Wish, Jhavhul's part in it would have gone something like this (in more elevated language): "So you're the heroes these pathetic mortals keep whimpering will save them. Wait, you're the fools who let me out of Kakishon. How did you get out of Kakishon? You know what? I don't care, because I'm about to become the Firebleeder and get busy with Ymeri. Almah, speak the final wish or I will torment and kill you." Because of this, the epic finale of the entire Legacy of Fire adventure path ended up being kind of impersonal.

I'd like to try rectifying these issues for my second group of players by altering Part 4, The End of Eternity, allowing my new PCs to explore the wonders of Kakishon without apparent time pressure, and providing an establishing encounter with Jhavhul. I have some ideas on how to pull this off, but would appreciate suggestions on how to avoid potential pitfalls.

My ideas so far: Jhavhul needs something from the PCs to escape Kakishon, namely the ruby tuning fork they got from the Captain of the Sunset Ship. I'm making it the planar key to Kakishon, essentially. However, I need a reason to avoid having what I think would be a very unsatisfying encounter in which Jhavhul and his army just jump the PCs at their earliest convenience, take the key by force, and then kthnxbai, Jhavhul out. So I'm thinking the key just magically can't be taken by force, that seems like a worthwhile security feature for Nex to have installed. To get the key, Jhavhul and his forces must trick the PCs into freely giving to them or placing it in a particular location so the efreet can grab it unattended.

There is a trope that appears several times in The 1001 Nights in which a fortunate traveler finds a fantastic place where they can receive everything they want: fine food to eat and wine to drink, the companionship of one or more beautiful ladies, wealth beyond measure, etc.; as long as they abide by some minor restriction like "for 27 days out of 30 I am yours, but during the three days when the efreeti comes you must not come near" or "these keys will open any door in the palace and everything within is yours, but you must not open the 40th door." Inevitably, the subject of the tale transgresses this restriction and loses it all. Player curiosity being what it is, I think I can get them to fall for or play along with this trope. The Pleasure Palace of Nex on the central island of Kakishon seems like a good place to try to have this go down. Dilix Mahad can play the welcoming host who warns the PCs not to enter the 40th chamber (or whatever the restriction ends up being). Inside the chamber will apparently be the PCs only way out of Kakishon, but when they insert the ruby tuning fork into the pedestal or portal or whatever, Jhavhul will swoop in, take the key, summon his army, betray Dilix, deliver some gloating, and escape Kakishon, stranding the PCs inside. Then The End of Eternity proceeds more or less as written, with the PCs seeking out the shaitans, the proteans, or both to find a way out of Kakishon before Jhavhul can complete his wishing scheme to transform himself into the Firebleeder.

There are some obvious potential pitfalls. There are several factions and individuals in Kakishon that know Jhavhul is trapped inside Kakishon, that know what he's up to, and that won't be in on the con, so to speak. If the PCs speak to the shaitans on Khandelwal, the xorn on Ismaizade, Venema Shodair on the Isle of the Dead, Artel Norrin in the Fireforge, or possibly even the proteans before being duped into freeing Jhavhul, the jig will be up.

This may be too tall an order. There are a few things the PCs must do, and several things they must not do, to make this change work. The sandbox nature of The End of Eternity is one of its great strengths, but to pull this off I'm going to have to lay some significant railroad track through the sandbox. I may be better off just running it as written despite the suggestions of my first set of players.

What do you all think? Do you have any advice or suggestions on how I might be able to allow the PCs to explore Kakishon without time pressure, but still ensure that they accidentally free Jhavhul and his army, without being too heavy-handed with the railroading? Or should I just run it as written?

Perhaps someone here could help a GM out. I'm looking for a monster that could keep a group of mortal humans supernaturally enslaved for several centuries. So beyond just being able to enslave them, it needs to be able to extend these humans' lifespans or transform them into some other creature that can be its slaves forever.

My group of 5 level-5 PCs will be arriving to free these slaves (or at least their spirits) from centuries of bondage, so the slavemaster monster needs to be around CR5 to CR8.

Is there already a creature in one of the Bestiaries that could fill this role (perhaps with spellcasting or magic item aid)? Or will I need to create a new custom monster to meet my needs?

What is the methodology used to make the recommendations for each class in the newer Adventure Path Player's Guides? Is there a particular way you decide which archetypes, skills, etc. to suggest?

I will be running Legacy of Fire for the second time starting in a couple months, and I'd like to give my players similar recommendations.

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My players have come up with a very unusual plan to attack Jhavhul. I think I'm going to need help deciding how to adjudicate it.

Back in Kakishon, my PCs played peacemaker. They successfully convinced the shaitans to allow the proteans to escape Kakishon through the Earth Seed and convinced the proteans to trust the shaitans long enough to escape.

So in Bayt al-Bazan, the party had the proteans with them part of the time. Specifically, the PCs had protean help when they fought the brass juggernaut--the Gargantuan animated object of living brass that guards the only way out of the treasury level and up into the palace. Imentesh proteans can use polymorph any object once per day as a spell-like ability and one used this ability on the brass juggernaut. The animated object failed its save and was permanently transformed into a fine screw of living brass, still animated, but harmless. (What's it going to do? Roll around in little circles menacingly?)

My players scooped it up and put it in an empty potion vial. I thought they were just keeping it as a souvenir, even though we all joked about stabbing Jhavhul with it as a finishing move. (You got screwed!)

I was wrong. They actually intend to put this plan into action. They want to stab Jhavhul with the screw (or otherwise get it partway into his body), then cast dispel magic on it to turn it back into a gargantuan animated object, hopefully exploding Jhavhul as it expands.

I blame myself for putting this idea in their heads. I was the one who pointed out that permanent duration spells can be dispelled later.

While I think this is a very silly way for Jhavhul to go out, I don't actually want to just shut down this plan. I want to adjudicate it as fairly as possible, but I've never before encountered a comparable situation, so I'm asking for ideas and recommendations.

What sort of attack roll should I have the monk make to stab Jhavhul with the screw and make sure it stays imbedded in his flesh?

If they successfully imbed the screw and successfully cast dispel magic on it, should Jhavhul get some sort of Fortitude or Reflex save to avoid taking damage from the expanding object in his flesh?

Should a successful save halve the damage or negate it completely?

How much damage do you think it should do?

PCs: they just keep coming up with new ways to surprise you, don't they?

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The subtypes listed next to hell hound, salamander, and xill entries on Table 10-1, the summon monster table, do not exactly match the elemental and alignment subtypes these creatures have in their bestiary entries.

According to their bestiary entry, hell hounds have the fire subtype in addition to the evil and lawful subtypes. Only evil and lawful are listed on the summon monster table; fire is missing.

In their bestiary entry, salamanders have the fire subtype. Although their alignment is chaotic evil, salamanders have no alignment subtypes. In the salamander entry on the summon monster table, evil is listed and fire is not.

While they are of lawful evil alignment, xills have only the evil subtype in the bestiary. On the summon monster table, both evil and lawful are listed.

Should either the summon monster table or the bestiary entires be changed to remedy these inconsistencies?

I'm not sure if this is a question that the adventure creators left intentionally unanswered, or if I just haven't been able to find the answer all the times I've scoured the Legacy of Fire books.

In what year did the battle between Jhavhul's and Nefeshti's armies take place?

So far all I've found for an answer is a vague "hundreds of years ago."

Shaitans can use quickened glitterdust as a spell-like ability three times per day, presumably because they have the feat Quicken Spell-Like Ability (glitterdust).

However, shaitans do not qualify for Quicken Spell-Like Ability (glitterdust). They do not meet the feat's prerequisite, spell-like ability at CL 10th or higher, because they only have CL 9th for their spell-like abilities. Moreover, shaitans don't have a non-quickened glitterdust on their list of spell-like abilities, so it wasn't there in the first place to be quickened.

What's the deal?

The Great Beyond: A Guide to the Multiverse gives an excellent description of the life cycle of mortal souls both before and after death. However, I was left wondering how long each of these steps takes. How long after a person dies does their soul reach Pharasma's Spire? After sorting, how long does it take to travel across the Astral to one of the aligned outer planes?

I ask because a character of mine will be coming back from the dead a matter of hours after being killed. What, if anything, has her soul experienced in that time?

PF APG p168 wrote:
When casting a selective spell with an area effect, you can choose a number of targets in the area..."

The word choice in the description of the Selective Spell feat has made me confused about exactly which spells this metamagic feat can be applied to. My confusions springs from the fact that spells that Target creatures or objects, spells that affect an Area, and spells that create or summon an Effect are mutually exclusive categories of spells, but all three of those key words are used in the feat's description.

According to the first clause of the description, this feat can be applied to spells "with an area effect." This phrase could be understood in multiple ways. It could mean 1) spells that affect an Area, like fireball, 2) spells that create an Effect that spreads over an area, like fog cloud, or 3) both of these.

The next clause calls for the caster to "choose a number of targets in the area." The problem is that Area spells and Effect spells do not have targets. An Area spell may affect creatures or objects in its area, but it does not target them. Even Area spells such as glitterdust that affect creatures or objects directly (like targeted spells), do not target those creatures or objects, they merely affect them. Likewise, creatures within a spell-created cloud or fog--Effect spells that spread over an area--are subject to the effects of the cloud or fog, but they are not targeted. Since Area spells and Effect spells do not have targets, a strict reading of this feat means that Selective Spell does not work at all.

If the description of the Selective Spell feat had used the words "creatures or objects" in place of the word "targets," I would be a lot less confused about this. There would still be the issue of the exact meaning of "spell with an area effect," but that is minor compared to the target issue.

So, I would appreciate an official answer if I can get one. Exactly which spells or which categories of spells can the Selective Spell metamagic feat legally be applied to?

I may have made a serious mistake. In the House of the Beast, after the party killed the Carrion King, Zayafid told them about the Scroll of Kakishon in order to get them to retrieve it for him. I realize now that I may have given them too much information about the Scroll. Namely, Zayafid told them that Jhavhul was trapped inside. Knowing this, I may have trouble getting the PCs to activate the Scroll, or allow the Scroll to be activated, at the end of The Jackal's Price.

I'm going to look for all the advice I can in the books. Failing that, can anyone help me come up with a compelling reason for my PCs to activate the SoK, knowing that Jhavhul is currently trapped inside?

I'm currently GMing a group of friends through Howl of the Carrion King. I need some advice as they near the end of that adventure.

My party of five 5th-level characters overcame a combat encounter last week with significant help from allied NPCs (a 3rd-level fighter, a 3rd-level bard, and seven 2nd-level warriors). Later this week, they will have significant NPC help in combat again when they enter a short dungeon (the same 3rd-level bard, a new 4th-level fighter, and a 4th-level cleric).

I would like recommendations on how I should adjust the XP awards for combat encounters when my PCs get help from allied NPCs. Keep in mind these are neither followers or cohorts gained via the Leadership feat, just NPCs willing to fight alongside the PCs for story reasons.

Should I just award XP as if the encounter was one or two CR lower? Should I give the NPCs a share of the experience, thereby reducing the portion the PCs get? Should I refrain from reducing the XP award at all? Another option not listed here?