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Organized Play Member. 1,259 posts (1,263 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.

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Shipping soon?

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We are three sessions into Mummy's Mask to date. I have read the entire AP as well. I have significant AP GMing experience (you can see my post history to find the details) and I'm pleased to say Mummy's Mask is well written, well paced (I think Paizo refers to this as "developed"), and I'm sure will be quite enjoyable for my players.

After the *challenges* of Seprent's Skull I'm pleased to see one of the newer Paizo APs regain a high standing. I remain slightly frustrated at the amount non-core content in the AP but I've learned to deal with this.

Book 1 is a great start. Book 3 looks to be something special indeed. Book 6 is a worthy campaign cap. The story-line is cohesive throughout. Kudos to the whole team.

As a side note: the bindings on Book 1 have already cracked and the pages are completely free of it. The same happened with my Serpent's Skull volumes, but not with any other AP I own.

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Serpent's Skull was the 5th consecutive AP I've GM'd start to finish. It took us a full two years. I'd like to share my thoughts on it for future GM's of the path.

- Overall, though much maligned, it was an enjoyable campaign. It requires a significant amount of GM tweaking and flat out rewriting but it still provides a good framework for adventure.

- It uses very little (maybe nothing) of non-core rule book rules. This is probably the last Paizo AP to do so. My group is still a "core rule book only" group, probably one of the last in the world, but I thought I'd mention this. It's a bit of a milestone for Paizo I think.

- That being said it basically begs to add the mass combat rules for the last chapter. Which I did to pretty good effect. The mass combat rules worked well for the 3 or 4 mass combats we had. A pretty concise rule-set overall and worth a look.

- Chapter 1 of the AP was a fine adventure but very isolated from the rest of the path. One of the first changes I made was to make the alliances they formed on the island have impact all the way through to the last chapter of the AP. It's been over two years at this point since we played part 1 so I can't recall all the details but I suggest other GMs do the same.

- The AP as written really struggles in parts 3 and 4. This is probably the section that needs the most GM modification. You have to really take a hands on approach to pull the campaign through these parts. The written adventures require more work from the GM than any other AP I've run and leave things very open for the PCs with little direction. The AP can really go off the rails here.

- To get through the AP I would suggest reading the Conan "Red Nails" story and using that as your inspiration for the Serpentfolk overall.

- If your players are Golarianphiles there is a significant amount of Golarian history buried in this AP. If your players have the interest I think there is a lot to mine. Between this AP and Second Darkness (oddly two of the most universally disliked APs) a large amount of Goalrian history and back-story are revealed.

- For my group I used any victories they achieved using mass combat to weaken the Aspect of Ydersius for the final battle. For my group Ydersius would be pretty much unbeatable without this (remember we are core rulebook only). I took away resistances or spell like abilities, etc, for each time one of there armies defeated an opposing army of Serpentfolk.

- Overall I think the AP is a good one. I don't think it can be run without GM enhancement so be prepared to do this. If all the APs were written like this one I don't think the AP line would be the success that it is today.

"The mass combat rules often refer to aspects of the kingdom building rules, such as Loyalty checks and a kingdom's Control DC. If you aren't running a kingdom, substitute a Will save for a Loyalty check."

So what is the modifier used for this alternate mechanic? The commanders Wil modifier? Leadership score? What am I adding to the d20 when I "substitute a Will save"?

So I have always been under the impression that Outsiders do not age nor are they affected by age (essentially they are immortal aside from violence or other damaging circumstances), but now I can't seem to find where this is written. Anyone have a source on this or am I just making it up?

Tonight we finished our Carrion Crown campaign. Start to finish it took 11 3/4 months. We used the PF core rule book only. The party of 4 PCs (3 players) got to 14th level by the end. We started in early October, 2011 and Finished September 17, 2012.

Thanks to Michael Kortes, Richard Pett, Tim Hitchcock, Greg A. Vaughan, Neil Spicer, and Brandon Hodge. Good times had by all.

The finale adventure and encounter went off rather well, I'm happy to say. My original intention was to have Marrowgarth be the climactic encounter however when the PCs encountered her in what was supposed to be a preliminary battle they ended up utterly killing her in 3 rounds and they were only 13th level at the time! Really surprised me. I had a dracolich mini and everything! So the actual climax was the battle with Adivion atop Gallowspire. I ended just winging all his magus stuff and running him for the most part like a beefed up sorcerer (I still have no idea what all those magus abilities were supposed to do). The group finished him off with a "wack a mole type strategy" and using an [i]antimagic field[/]. It was enjoyable and I think I managed to fill in the plot holes to the point where my players weren't distracted by them. The Nightshade were very interesting creatures. They have quite the back story. Very enjoyable. Overall it went pretty well.

Next up for us is Serpents Skull. I'm looking forward to the more free form style. I think the jungle trek/exploration theme will be a nice change for my players. I'll especially be editing out the vast majority of undead from it. After CC we've seen enough undead for a while.

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Control Water
When using this spell to raise water can you flood a large room (within the area/level limit of the caster) from a small puddle?

Acid Fog
If a creature is immune to acid is it immune to all the effects of Acid Fog including the movement and vision penalties?

In the Beastiary stat blocks is the maneuverability modifier already part of the creatures Fly skill modifier?

For Example, the Spectre:

Is Fly +11 (with perfect maneuverability already accounted for)


Is Fly +19 (adding perfect +8 maneuverability manually)

Spoilers ahead…

I've been trying to come up with a way to make the end of CC a bit more to my liking and now it is time for me to pull the trigger since my group is in Renchurch, part 6 of the AP. I’m not thrilled with Advion as the climactic encounter but I have been impressed with Marrowgarth, so I’m thinking of switching the two. I’m planning on making Marrowgarth the actual mastermind behind the entire plan and Adivion his skilled and willing accomplice. I’ve seeded Adivions name throughout the AP so the PCs know of him and know what the overall WW plan is, but I think it would be easy enough to have Marrowgarth be the actual Carrion Crown Elixir cult leader.

It would be hard for something like Marrowgarth to do all the research and experimentation required to create the Carrion Crown elixir and probably impossible for him to visit any humanoid settlements in the process. So it seems natural that he would need a skilled and willing accomplice to complete the task. Adivion makes sense to me in this regard. I figure the PCs can meet the (still evil) non-forsaken lich version of Adivion somewhere along the way to (or at) Gallowspire, but ultimately they will have their climactic battle with Marrowgarth at the top of the spire.

Just wondering if anyone else has done this, or something like it, to replace Adivion as the mastermind but still have him part of the overall plan.

I see some GM reference tags but no (Sticky) ones. Is that something the forums have abandoned?

I know this AP does not get rave reviews but I have to admit I am still intrigued by it and am considering running it next for my group. One thing that could convince me to actually buy and run it next is if it is light on non-core PFRPG content. Right now my group is on part 4 of CC and, for me, CC as a whole has way too much non-core content in it. Specifically I don't like the NPCs having class levels in non core classes and the randomly sprinkled treasure from non-core sources (like APG or Advance Armory stuff).

So how does SS rank in this area as compared to CC? I realize this is a pretty specific criteria. Nevertheless, I'm sure someone out there can provide some insight.

Looking through the bestiary in CC Vol 4 I see that none of the Mythos monsters have the Extraplanar subtype. Surely some (if not all) should have it, no? The Spawn of Yog-Sothoth in Carrion Hill has it so why not the Star-Spawn of Cthulhu and the Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath, at least? As written, Dismissal and Banishment would work on a Spawn of Yog-Sothoth but not on any other Mythos monster. Seems odd.

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I really think the Paizo blog could use some attention and inspiration. I'd like to see posts in the Paizo blog made by rotating Paizo staff (or freelancers, or just interesting people Paizo staff can get to occasionally write for it) on things like:

- the RPG industry in general(not just Pathfinder)
- book reviews, movie reviews, tv show reviews
- existing game analysis, future game analysis
- stories from the work day (what happened with Second Darkness?, what was it like days before the PRPG was released?, what was it like the day 4E was announced?)
- art director stories (what goes into directing the artwork for an AP, what worked in the past? what didn't? why?)
- random gaming related posts from guest posters that don't work at Paizo but are still related to the genre (authors, game makers, publishers, whatever)
- rules based play-by play from an encounter a developer ran during their game and what they learned from it.
- Several senior staff members and industry experts can write a week long series of articles explaining exactly what Eric Mona does for a living.

For inspiration take a look at the "Ask James Jacobs" thread and some of the answers James gives about things in there, some of that stuff can be expand into really interesting blog posts. I also really enjoyed the comic book discussion Eric Mona was having on his own blog a few months ago, why not put something like that on the Paizo blog? Or what James Maliszewski does with Grognardia in discussing his game of choice and its history. Or the additional content Wes Schneider provided in the Carrion Crown forums would have been an awesome post.

Today the posts are too infrequent (developer posts like the Stealth and Poison discussions), too short and tissue paper thin (Golarian related posts), too marketing focused (the minis posts), or just not interesting (the PFS stuff, and RPG super star stuff) or just not the right place (I just don't enjoy reading the fiction on the blog). I think the Paizo blog could really use a refresh this year and can be expanded to become almost like a mini Dragon Magazine of old.

Yes, I know it takes time and resources to do this that Paizo either doesn't have or doesn't want to move from other projects. Yes, I know Paizo staff is already maxed out working 120 hour weeks. Yes I know Gen Con either just passed or is right around the corner so everyone is swamped. Yes I know RPG Superstar is like a resource and time black hole. So realistically I know improving the Paizo Blog is low on the list, but still, it would be cool if it became something better.

What is the concentration DC to Cast defensively or while Entangled for Spell-Like abilities that are not based on spells?

Specifically, what is the concentration DC for a Fire Clerics "Fire Bolt" Sp? "Fire Bolt" is not a spell that I can find anywhere so what would be the spell level?

Just wondering why none of the Whispering Way's senior members are "Agents of the Grave". Out of Lucimar, Grey Friar, and Advion none are Agents of the Grave although they are all clearly leaders in the cult (Advion is actually listed as THE leader supplanting Lucimar). I would think all three would have the PrC. In fact I don't remeber seeing any Agents of the Grave in Renchurch or Gallowspire at all! Very weird.

Just wondering if the Adrissant family history is detailed in any product. I see stuff on Caliphvaso, Tiriac, Galdana, Virholt, Odranti, and many others but nothing on the Adrissant family in Rule of Fear at all. Which I find odd considering how many other noble families it details. Anything out there?

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I put together this simple Vrood timeline so GMs can keep track of his whereabouts while the PCs progress through the adventures.

Auren Vrood timeline

Day 1 : Auren Vrood kills Professor Petros Lorrimor outside of Harrowstone
Day 17 : *PCs should arrive in Ravengro kicking off events of Haunting of Harrowstone
Day 46 : Auren Vrood meets Caromac in Lepidstadt and takes control of The Beast, steals the Seesage Effigiy, leaves the Count locked in the Mourning Maiden and heads east into the Shudderwood
Day 47 : *PCs should arrive in Lepidstadt kicking off events of Trial of the Beast
Day 50 : Vrood arrives at Ascanor
Day 52 : Vrood meets with Madame Ivanja at the Lodge
Day 60 : Vrood and the Whispering Way attack the Stairs
Day 62 : *PCs should arrive at Ascanor kicking off events of Broken Moon
Day 65 : Vrood and the Whispering Way arrive in Feldgrau
Day 67 : Carrion Crown components leave Feldgrau for Thrushmoor
Day 68+ : *At some point the PCs should meet with Vrood and end his storyline and pick up the Andrissant end game storyline

Is there a list of core rule book spells that require material components that have a significant cost (1gp+)? For the first time I am requiring significant spell component inventory management in my campaign but, since I've never done it before, I have no idea what spells need them so we are forced to look up every spell.

Is there some method to determining which spells use significant material components? A certain level or school of magic that serves as an indicator?

I searched the PRD using "Components M gp" but this only brings up 3 spells.

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

How do you make it?

Brew Potion (Item Creation)
You can create magic potions.
Prerequisite: Caster level 3rd.
Benefit: You can create a potion of any 3rd-level or lower spell that you know and that targets one or more creatures.

Magic oils are similar to potions, except that oils are applied externally rather than imbibed. A potion or oil can be used only once. It can duplicate the effect of a spell of up to 3rd level that has a casting time of less than 1 minute and targets one or more creatures.

Where did they go? I liked seeing the post totals for the various APs it gave me an impression of which were popular and which weren't.

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

It seems like it is a combination of 3.5, Pathfinder and even 2nd edition.


1. It uses all of the following skills: Surivial (PF and 3.5), Perception (PF), and Hide (3.5).
2. It does not perfrom actions in the surprise round in initiative order (as PF and 3.5 require). Instead the ogre gets a surprise attack then everyone rolls initiative (2E surprise).

I just assumed it would be an example of "Pathfinder" play but instead it seems like an example of how a group of people that have played several editions of the game would misinterpret things into their own home brew game. Which, realistically, is probably a very accurate example but shows just how confusing this game can be!

In Trial of the beast:

Plot spoiler:

What exactly is Vorkstag and Grines business relationship with Dr Brada? I just can't seem to grasp it. It sounds like Brada would provide Vork and Grine with "deformed victims from the asylum" and in return receive "exotic parts and cuts of the profit". Exotic parts of what? Cuts of what profits? What were Vork and Grine doing with the deformed patients and what was Brada doing with the exotic parts? Wouldn't it make much more sense for Vork and Grine to be dealing with Alpon and just cut Dr. Brada completely? At least then there would be a direct link from Vork/Grine to Schloss.

Black diamond games had another excellent post to its blog the other day.

It's the adventures that are key.

I'm going through Haunting of Harrowstone and replacing some of the haunts with CR equivalent monsters but was noticing the haunt CRs don't seem to match up with the monster CRs. Just comparing a CR5 haunt with some other CR5 monsters and the monsters look much more dangerous to me.

Are the CRs of monsters and haunts supposed to be equivalent?

Just completed my first PF game with my long time and experienced group. Below are some impressions and experiences of both the PF rules and the Haunting of Harrowstone adventure:

PF Rules:
1. Channel energy is fun. Really nice new experience for the players.
2. Combat maneuvers didn't play a huge part yet but the two times they did it was very streamlined.
3. Using Perception as a combined skill seemed to simplify things but it was a noted change from doing spots, listens, and searches. It was definitely strange to be making so many Perception checks since it now covers so many bases.
4. We seem to have gotten through many more actual combat encounters in this session than any other 1st level 3.5 session we have had. I believe we got through at least twice as many combat encounters than we typically do at this level (1st). I'm sure the party make up contributed to this since they are focused on taking and doing damage but this could not have accounted for all of it. I think PF 1st level characters are able to withstand a lot more combat then their 3.5 predecessors. New PF GMs take note of this in your adventure planning and design. In this first session my players cleared the entire outside, balcony, and 2nd floor of Harrowstone in addition to the crypt and graveyard encounters as well as an encounter I added to kick off the adventure with some severed heads, a sanguine ooze and spring-heeled Jack.
5. The new poison rules and effects are deadly and to be feared by players. Nice change here.

Haunting of Harrowstone:
1. I found the trust point system awkward to handle from the GM side. Keeping track of trust points just seemed unnatural and tacked on. It would have been nice to have a single page (like on one of the inside covers) dedicated to tracking trust point opportunities (to both lose and gain) and the effects of them.
2. After doing only a little research my players made a bee-line to Harrowstone on day 2. I wish the adventure did not make it so obvious that the prison is the source of the towns’ woes. In hindsight I wish I would have added a few red-herring locations around town as well. Although naming the adventure "The Haunting of Harrowstone" is a complete giveaway to the players. The name of the prison and the name of the town should have been swapped. Again future GMs take note.
3. My players loved getting awarded XPs immediately upon successful research (Knowledge checks). Neat idea that worked well.
4. The Father Charlton haunt I find to be unplayable. I’m glad my players have not reached it yet. I will definitely be removing it.
5. I believe the adventure gives out way too much treasure (specifically magic items) too soon. I cut back on it drastically.

A general question:
Is the Carrion Crown AP, or at least specifically HoH, purposefully designed to play faster than previous APs? From what I see we have made a significant amount of progress through the adventure in just one session and I'm wondering if this was the intention of the design or just happenstance.

For my next campaign (Carrion Crown) I want to maximize the amount of time the players spend at each level without slowing down level progression so much that it becomes a grind. The last few APs I have felt the level progression happened a bit too quickly and the players would, at times, barely get the feel for their current level when the next one showed up.

I'm thinking using the slow XP progression might do the trick but I wanted some player input to confirm.

So, for the experienced players out there:

1. What do you feel is a good amount of time to spend on each PC level that allows you to fully enjoy the level without feeling a grind for the next? This amount of time can be expressed in play sessions, encounters, real time, whatever works for you.

2. Does using the PF slow XP progression allow you to fully experience a level without feeling overlong and grinding?

To all the experienced CC GMs out there, I have not read through the entire AP yet but I have read part 1 thoroughly.

My Question: If I completely eliminate Kendra from the first part and come up with an alternate beginning to tie the PCs to the professor is that something that will cause a ripple effect throughout the rest of the AP for me to account for? Thanks in advance.

Last night we finished our Curse of the Crimson Throne campaign. Start to finish it took 9 months (same amount of time it took us to run Rise). We used the 3.5 core books plus Spell Compendium only. The party of 4 PCs (3 players) got to 14th-15th level by the end. We started on November 7, 2010 and Finished August 22, 2011.

Thanks to Nicolas Logue, F. Wesley Schneider, Richard Pett, Michael Kortes, Greg A. Vaughan, and Tito Leati. Good times had by all.

Next up for us is Carrion Crown using the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook starting in October 2011.

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For those of you using Tito Leati's alternate Crown of Fangs encounter where the PCs have an opportunity to remove Ileosas Devil-bound template below are her stats once the template is removed:

Queen Ileosa Arabasti CR 18
Female human aristocrat 2/bard 16
NE Medium humanoid
Init +7; Senses Listen +21, Spot +5
AC 39, touch 28, flat-footed 32
(+8 armor, +5 deflection, +7 Dex, +4 dodge +5 natural)
hp 194 (2d8+16d6+162); regeneration 20
Fort +21, Ref +26, Will +22

DR 10/adamantine; Immune paralysis and other
movement-impairing effects; SR 22
Weaknesses susceptible to Serithtial
Spd 30 ft., fly 60 ft. (perfect)
Melee +4 dancing icy burst adamantine rapier +24/+19/+14
(1d6+6/18–20 plus 1d6 cold)
Special Attacks bardic music 16/day (countersong, fascinate,
inspire competence, inspire courage +3, inspire greatness,
inspire heroics, song of freedom, suggestion)

Spell-Like Abilities (CL 18th)
1/day—unholy blight (DC 27)

Spells Known (CL 16th)
6th (2/day)—geas/quest (DC 29), irresistible dance
5th (5/day)—greater dispel magic, mind fog (DC 28), song of
discord (DC 28), shadow walk
4th (6/day)—cure critical wounds, dimension door, freedom of
movement, hold monster (DC 27)
3rd (6/day)—confusion (DC 26), displacement, gaseous form,
slow (DC 24)
2nd (7/day)—cure moderate wounds, detect thoughts (DC 25),
misdirection, suggestion (DC 25)
1st (8/day; 3 used)—cure light wounds, feather fall, grease
(DC 22), hideous laughter (DC 24), silent image (DC 22)
0 (4/day)—light, mage hand, mending, open/close,
prestidigitation, resistance

Str 14, Dex 24, Con 24, Int 15, Wis 11, Cha 32
Base Atk +11; Grp +15

Feats Craft Wondrous Item, Extend Spell, Forge Ring,
Greater Spell Focus (enchantment), Harmonic Spell,
Quicken Spell-Like Ability (charm monster), Spell
Focus (enchantment), Weapon Finesse

Skills Bluff +32, Concentration +22, Diplomacy
+17, Intimidate +17, Knowledge (history) +18,
Knowledge (nobility and royalty) +12, Listen
+21, Perform (oratory) +22, Perform (stringed
instrument) +18, Sense Motive +19, Speak
Language, Spot +5, Use Magic Device +32

Languages Common, Draconic, Elven,
Infernal, Thassilonian, Varisian

SQ bardic knowledge +17,

Combat Gear wand of
magic missile (CL 9th, 34
charges); Other Gear
+4 dancing icy burst
adamantine rapier (disguised as
a fan), Crown of Fangs, amulet
of natural armor +5, bracers of
armor +8, cloak of flight (as wings of
flying, save that the cloak does not
appear as wings when in use), gloves
of Dexterity +6, ring of major spell
storing (contains heal, stoneskin), ring of
splendid security

Contingency Queen Ileosa used a scroll of
contingency to set up this effect—if she’s
ever brought below 10 hit points, cure
critical wounds (CL 16th) is cast on her.

Exceptional Stats (Ex) Queen Ileosa was destined
from birth to achieve greatness and glory—it is to
Korvosa’s great misfortune that her path took her
along one of cruelty and arrogance. Her ability scores
were generated using 32 points, rather than the standard
25-point elite array. Additionally, she possesses a potent
artifact and her gear was determined as if she were a PC
rather than an NPC to account for her vast wealth. These
advantages increase her total CR by 1.

Inherent Bonuses Strength +3, Dexterity +4,
Constitution +4, Intelligence +3, Wisdom +3,
Charisma +5; all gained at 14th level.

Susceptible to Serithtial (Ex) The infusion of Kazavon
into Ileosa’s soul has given her an unsuspected
weakness. Against the weapon Serithtial, her
regeneration does not function. In addition, each time
she takes damage from Serithtial she must make a DC
25 Fortitude save to avoid gaining a negative level, as
the sacred blade carves away portions of the power
granted her over the past several

See here for the details:

Congrats to all that attended. I do believe we are in another golden age of gaming, don't let the other Grognards tell you otherwise. Back in the early eighties (the oft called "golden age" of D&D) we didn't think it was anything special at the time either. Enjoy it! Game on!

My group will be finishing up CotCT this weekend and next up for us will be either KM or CC. I have a few concerns about KM that hopefully some experienced KM GMs can help with:

1. Should my group decide to abandon or otherwise completely sideline the kingdom building aspect of KM does the AP still have enough content to be interesting for a group that has already done Savage Tide, Rise, and Curse back to back? I have read most of the first two parts of KM and can't quite get a feel for the overall campaign other than building a kingdom.

2. If my group does adopt the kingdom building aspects of the AP will this significantly expand the amount of time the AP takes to complete? We like to finish an AP in 7-10 months. I would not want KM to go much beyond this with or without kingdom building.

Thanks in advance.

We now have 2 bestiaries in print and another on the way and tons of creatures in each AP volume. Dear Paizo, use them, extensively. If a Paizo module or AP volume comes across an editors or developers desk and it contains a single monster that exists in the 3.5 SRD it should be immediately replaced with something new from a bestiary or previous AP volume.

Just paging through "Wake of the Watcher" I do see some new monsters, but I also see: a rogue/assassin, many many clerics, ghouls, an octopus, chuuls, spectres, yellow mold, and shambling mounds. Really? with thousands of new monsters in print this volume has an octopus, ghouls, specters, and yellow mold? An octopus?? Come on guys, use the stuff you print. I should never see another ghoul or specter in a Paizo adventure.

So I got a Twitter message from Paizo today saying "Big news is about to hit!" Was that PFS announcement it? If so, uh, a bit lackluster IMHO.

1. Can a Bard use a Staff of Necromancy? From what I see, RAW, he can only use the "Cause Fear" power.

2. Is the minimum caster level of any spell from the Staff of Necromancy 13th? I know Staffs increase in power with the wielder but do they decrease as well from a weaker caster or do they stay at the minimum and go up from there?

Alternate grapple rules for your derision:

Alternate Grapple:


Only Humanoid creatures can grapple or be grappled, all other creatures simply attack to the best of their ability as circumstances dictate and their non-Humanoid anatomy makes it impractical or impossible to effectively grapple them. Grappling can be effective against mundane Humanoids but can be deadly against magical or extraordinary ones.

As a full round action, a Humanoid creature can attempt to grapple a single foe. If the creature initiating the grapple does not have Improved Grapple, grab, or a similar ability, initiating a grapple provokes an attack of opportunity from the target. Humanoid creatures without two free hands attempting to grapple a foe take a –4 penalty on the combat maneuver roll. If successful, both gain the grappled condition (see below). Since grappling is an intimate form of combat creatures must be adjacent to each other before the initial combat maneuver roll is made, creatures cannot grapple at a distance even with reach.

Moving while grappling: Grappling creatures cannot move under their own power by mundane means (see below for Extraordinary and Supernatural abilities). Grappling creatures may be moved by other creatures or effects provided the total weight of both grappling creatures meets any carrying or weight requirements necessary.

Tie Up: During a grapple a creature cannot be tied up unless it has already submitted. Tying up a creature should take place outside of combat.

Damage while grappling: As a full round action during a grapple a creature can choose to inflict damage to their target with a successful combat maneuver check. This damage is equal to their unarmed strike as non lethal damage. A natural attack or an attack made with armor spikes or a light or one-handed weapon can be either lethal or nonlethal. If a creature has a high enough base attack bonus to incur iterative attacks it can apply a +1 damage bonus for each iterative attack it has to the damage dealt this round. So a creature with a base attack of: (+11/+6/+1) would do an additional 2 points of damage to its target with a successful combat maneuver check. Iterative attacks do not allow additional combat maneuver checks during a grapple.

Escape a grapple: As a full round action a creature can choose to escape a grapple with an Escape Artist check (with a DC equal to the opponent's CMD) or a combat maneuver check. If a creature has a high enough base attack bonus to incur iterative attacks it can apply a +1 bonus for each iterative attack it has to this check. So a creature with a base attack of: (+11/+6/+1) would gain a +2 bonus. Iterative attacks do not allow additional combat maneuver checks to escape a grapple.

Escape a pin: As a full round action a creature can choose to escape a pin with an Escape Artist check (with a DC equal to the opponent's CMD) or a combat maneuver check. If a creature has a high enough base attack bonus to incur iterative attacks it can apply a +1 bonus for each iterative attack it has to this check. So a creature with a base attack of: (+11/+6/+1) would gain a +2 bonus. Iterative attacks do not allow additional combat maneuver checks to escape a pin. If the Escape Artist check (only) used to escape the pin exceeds the DC by 10 or more the creature can choose to escape the grapple immediately as well, otherwise the creature remains grappled.

Pin an opponent in a grapple: As a full round action during a grapple a creature can give its opponent the pinned condition (see below) with a successful combat maneuver roll. A pinning creature is not considered pinned. Iterative attacks do not allow additional pin attempts during a grapple.

Submit in a grapple: As a free action a creature can submit during a grapple. Once a creature submits it forfeits any other actions that round except potentially movement (see below). If both creatures submit on their respective turns the grapple ends. If a creatures submission ends the grapple that creature may act normally after the submission.


Grappled: A grappled creature is restrained by a creature, trap, or effect. A grappled creature retains full use of its Extraordinary Abilities (Ex) and Supernatural Abilities (Su). Grappled creatures cannot move (except as noted above) and take a –4 penalty to Dexterity. A grappled creature takes a –2 penalty on all attack rolls and combat maneuver checks, except those made to grapple or escape a grapple. In addition, grappled creatures can take no action that requires two hands to perform. A grappled character who attempts to cast a spell must make a concentration check (DC 10 + grappler's CMB + spell level), or lose the spell. Grappled creatures cannot make attacks of opportunity.

Pinned: A pinned creature retains full use of its Extraordinary Abilities (Ex) and Supernatural Abilities (Su). A pinned creature cannot move and is flat-footed (except as noted above). A pinned creature also takes an additional –4 penalty to his Armor Class. A pinned creature can always attempt to free itself, usually through a combat maneuver check or Escape Artist check. A pinned creature can take verbal and mental actions, but cannot cast any spells that require a somatic or material component. A pinned creature who attempts to cast a spell must make a concentration check (DC 10 + grappler's CMB + spell level) or lose the spell. Pinned is a more severe version of grappled, and their effects do not stack.

So I was in a FLGS today and saw the core rulebook on the shelf (one copy, third printing) so I went ahead and bought it. I could have paid a lot less money at Amazon and even at but I figured I'd give the brick and mortar a boost.

I took some time to speak with the owner about Pathfinder and he said he sells 4E at about 6 times the rate of PF. He also went on an unsolicited rant about how Hasbro/WoTC supports the FLGS while Paizo does not. He even said he has come on the forums and spoke with Lisa (mentioned her by name) about doing more to support the FLGS, got no or an unsatisfactory response, and moved on. Today he only stocks 1 copy of the PF hardbacks and doesn't order more until that 1 copy sells.

So for me that about does it for my "support the FLGS" effort. Honestly, I could care less if any or all of the FLGS's go down the drain so I'm not going to spend my hard earned money supporting them when I can get the same product and a larger selection for at least 20% less at Amazon, not to mention and subscriptions and PDFs. I'll be getting my Bestiaries and anything else I need from Amazon.

Overall I think the owner of the store was friendly, seemed dedicated, and maybe was slightly jaded, but for the most part made sense in his rant. So much sense in fact that it seems to me that Paizo could do more for the FLGS's but chooses not to, which is fine by me. I don't seem to have a problem getting what I want when I want it at a good price all online so I'm not paying a premium in time and money to support the brick and mortars. Maybe a little sad, but true.

In the AP it says:


"As long as Mithrodar exists, Scarwall is destined to remain a cursed and haunted place, and only when this curse is lifted can the PCs finish their mission to retrieve Serithtial."

My question is: Why? Why does the curse need to be lifted before the PCs retrieve Serithtial? I know it might be easier once the curse is lifted, and I know that if the PCs stay a week in Scarwall and miss their Will saves it will be necessary. Aside from these two possibilities, I don't see anything that makes lifting the curse required to gain Serithtial. In fact if the PCs somehow manage to figure out where Serithtial is in Scarwall it would be easier to just get it and go and not bother with the curse.

Did I miss something?

Thanks for the story Eric. Keep up the writing.

Question 1:
How did Kazavon maintain his human form? From what I see in the 3.5 MM the only power like this blue dragons get is Veil, but this is an illusion. All the descriptions I read of Kazvon indicate that he actually shape changed into a human. For instance I see text that says things like he "prefers the feel of human skin to his draconic scales" This to me says he shape changes, Veil would not allow him to "feel" his human skin. So where does his shape change ability come from?

Question 2:
Why did Kazavon build an entire castle based around his unnatural and magically maintained appearance? Wouldn't it have made much more sense to build a castle that could more easily support his true dragon form? I could understand if he captured Scarwall and used it as his own but he didn't, he built it. I know Scarwall is big enough to fit a Great wyrm in places but it is certainly not practical for him to get around in it. The hallways can barely fit him let alone some of the rooms.

Question 2:
With questions 1 and 2 in mind it seems to me that either Kazavon was not originally intended to be a blue dragon or Scarwall was not originally designed to be his palace. So which is it? Was Kazavon ret-conned into a blue dragon late in the development cycle of the AP or did Greg Vaughn just have this giant castle dungeon laying around that he tweaked up and turned in to Paizo for part 5?

So my group of old-timey players has decided they would like to switch to the PFRPG for our next AP. This is a big deal for us considering the last D&D rule books we bought were the 3.5 PHB, DMG, and MM and we've been playing with only these books since 2003.

Once we wrap up CotCT (we just started part 5) our next AP will be a PFRPG based one. I wasn't planning on migrating but I'm not against it either. My players feel that after going through Savage Tide, Runelords, and now Curse, Paizo deserves the extra bucks from us for the thousands of hours of good times they have provided to the group. So I'm willing to go along.

My questions:

1. We would need 4 PFRPG core rulebooks and a bestiary. Is there a "multi-book" discount when buying directly from

2. From what I understand, each new printing of the core rulebook has had slight revisions. I am guaranteed to get the latest printing from

3. If I purchase the core rulebook from Amazon instead, I assume I'll be given whatever printing they have in stock and I have no way of knowing what printing I will get until it arrives, correct?

4. I've bought almost all my APs used from Amazon so I have no problem with used books. With this in mind, how are the PFRPG core books holding up over time? Would a used one be in reasonably good shape?

Your post count is about to be eclipsed by Carrion Crown (which is only on part 1) putting you squarely in last place in the AP post count race. Is no one playing you? No one talking about you? Why? is a guy who is looking for insight into PFS. Thought one of the organizers might want to drop by and leave him a comment or two.


Today I downloaded my first PFS scenario and read it. I thought it was just fantastic! I never realized what a great resource these scenarios can be for non PFS games.

With this in mind, I am looking for something to drop into my CotCT campaign. Can any GMs out there suggest a scenario for 9th level characters that would fit into the Cinderlands theme of History of Ashes? Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

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In my 3.5 game I came up with an additional use of the Perform skill to draw traveling merchants to a settlement and temporarily increase the GP limit of the settlement. I modified this skill usage to match the Pathfinder settlement rules. May you find it useful in your game:

Perform (any) [Draw merchants]

Check: By having a public performance in a settlement word can spread and attract traveling merchants to the settlement and temporarily add beneficial economic settlement qualities.

Performance check results:
19 (or lower): Failed performance. Any bards participating in the failed performance (only) treat the settlement as Impoverished for 1 week following the failed performance. See Try Again.

20: Routine performance. Settlement gains the Faire quality (Economy +1; increase base value by 10%; increase purchase limit by 20%)

25: Enjoyable performance. Settlement gains the Convention quality (Economy +2; increase base value by 15%; increase purchase limit by 25%; +1d4 Minor Magic Items)

30: Great performance. Settlement gains the Summit quality (Economy +3; increase base value by 20%; increase purchase limit by 30%; +2d4 Minor Magic Items)

35: Memorable performance. Settlement gains the Exposition quality (Economy +4; increase base value by 25%; increase purchase limit by 40%; +2d4 Minor Magic Items; +1d4 Medium Magic Items)

40: Extraordinary performance. Settlement gains the World Faire quality (Economy +5; increase base value by 35%; increase purchase limit by 50%; +2d4 Minor Magic Items; +1d4 Medium Magic Items; +1d4 Major Magic Items)

Duration: Any merchants encouraged to travel to the settlement of the performance will arrive in, at minimum, 1d4+1 days after the performance and will remain in the settlement for a maximum of 1d4+1 days thereafter. Any new settlement qualities resulting from the performance begin when the merchants arrive and end as soon as they depart. A settlement can not draw additional merchants while it already has one of the above qualities in effect.

Magic Item increase note: These increases are in addition to any existing magic items already in the settlement. These additions ignore settlement size (if in a Metropolis increases to Minor Magic Items have no effect). Any unsold magic items are no longer available in the settlement once the settlement loses quality listed above.

Trying to draw merchants by performing in public requires 1 day for all participants (includes time spent preparing material and informing the settlement of the upcoming performance and time spent during the actual performance) and an audience of at least 10 voluntary audience members that can hear, see, and understand the performing bard(s) and are capable of spreading word of the performance after its completion.

Try Again
Yes, after 1 week. Retries are allowed the following week of a failed performance, but an audience that has been unimpressed in the past is likely to be prejudiced against future performances. (Increase the DC by 2 for each previous failure for all bards participating in the performance.)

Only a bard can draw merchants with a performance. Any bards participating in the performance must have at least 5 ranks in a Perform skill to attempt to draw merchants to a settlement. The settlement of the performance must be located in an area where merchants are likely and able to travel to via any means available to the merchant in the established time frame.

When multiple bards are performing in the same performance one bard is considered the primary performer while the other bards use the Aid Another rules to augment the primary performer. All bards participating in the performance must provide at least a Routine performance (including those using Aid Another).

The primary bard alignment can have an effect on her performance as it relates to the settlements alignment.

Primary bard alignment and Perform adjustment:
Opposes settlement alignment on 1 axis: -2
Opposes settlement alignment on 2 axis: -4
Matches settlement alignment on 1 axis: +2
Matches settlement alignment on 2 axis: +4

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Here is a timeline of the major events of the campaign as I have researched them. DMs may find this useful:


Curse Timeline
2500: Sklar-Quah tribe of Shoanti inhabit the floodplains along the Jeggare River, where they defend the pyramid known to them as Mashka-saht-puyuhoke.
4040?: Count Andachi in Ustalav prays to Zon-Kuthon for help against the Orcs of Belkzen. His prayers were answered in the form a powerful and gifted mercenary named Kazavon.
4043: Kazavon drives orcs from their lands into the inhospitable foothills of the Kodar mountains
4045?: Kazavon builds Scarwall in Hold of Belkzen
4050?: Count Andachi attacks Scarwall and is defeated and executed.
4063: Kazavon invites Dwarven scholar to Scarwall (area 22)
4064?: Mandraivus from Lastwall and his group of mercenaries defeat Kazavon.
4064?: Mandraivus orders seven pieces of Kazavon hidden.
4065?: Mandraivus is overrun and slain in Scarwall by orcs. Curse of Scarwall begins.
4406: Cheliax incursion of floodplains begins
4407: Cheliax forces led by Field Marshal Korvosa establish Fort Korvosa
4446: Siege of the Grand Mastaba begins.
4449: Siege of the Grand Mastaba ends.
4458: House Arkona sends the Reprieve to nation of Vudra.
4461: The Reprieve returns laden with exotic wares and spices (and Rakshasas).
4687: Ileosa Arvanxi born in Cheliax
4704: Ileosa Arvanxi becomes Queen Ileosa
4708: King Eodred Dies

?=Dates that I guessed based on AP text.

Start of the campaign:
Korvosa is 301 years old.
Arkonas are Rakshasa for 247 years.
Scarwall curse is in effect for 643.

Some of you may already know how to do this but for those who don't:

After buying the electronic version of "Plague of Shadows" I wanted to read it on my Kindle (B003 version, so I don't have WiFi on it). Here are the steps describing what I did:

1. Download Calibre here:
2. Install Calibre on your desktop.
3. Download the EPub version of your PF Tales novel and save it locally on your desktop.
4. Start Calibre and import the EPub version of your PF Tales novel into the Calibre library.
5. Convert the EPub version to a MOBI version.
6. Email the MOBI version to your Kindle either using Calibres' built in feature or simply send it as an attachment to <your Kindle username>
7. Wait about 10 minutes for it to show up on your Kindle via 3G.

Works fine. I've read 40% of the book to date.

I posted this in the "thread that shall not be named" but it quickly got swallowed. I think it is a worthy discussion even if it's a short one.

Is there another mundane item in the game that ignores magic without requiring a special ability of some kind? Off the top of my head I can't think of any except the current incarnation of mundane firearms ignoring magic armor. This bothers me about firearms for both flavor and mechanical reasons.

Please explain why I am wrong or insane and do so with as many personal attacks or off topic rants as you feel necessary.

If you can't think of any I put some under the button for you:


"Firearms are not part of the playtest so why are you talking about them? You disgrace your family when you do this."

"Firearms are already underpowered as it is leave them alone. You are a fool of the highest order."

"Firearms should be completely banned anyway because I hate them. I hate you as well."

"Your dumb and you're comment makes know cents. Here is the math that proves it."

It was pretty good, especially for the older gamers.

Small firearms have the same range as (M) firearms but do less damage. Shouldn't they at least use less black powder?

This is different from traditional ranged weapons because with a bow or crossbow the PC does not pay for the accelerant. With firearms the accelerant is a managed resource so a small weapon should have an advantage over a medium one.

Black Powder: Black powder is the key explosive component within a firearm, but in larger amounts it can be even more destructive. A single dose of black powder is enough to power a single shot from most medium one-handed and two-handed firearms or two shots from most small one-handed and two-handed firearms.
Cost: 10 gp per dose.

An 8th Level Druid uses Wild Shape to change into Brown Bear form. Below are the stats of the Wild Shaped Druid (NOT including any druid feats or any spells in effect):

Sample Bear Stats (8th level human Druid)
- Size/Type: Large Humanoid (Human)
- Hit Dice: 8 (druid)
- Initiative +1 (bear)
- Attack: Claw +13 (d8+8)
- Base Attack (druid) = +6/+1
- Str (bear) +8
- Size (bear) -1
- Full Attack: claw +13/+8 (d8+8) and claw +13 (d8+8) and bite +8 (2d6+4)
- Reach: 5ft
- Size: Large
- AC (bear): 15
- Grapple: +18 (Base attack +6 (druid), Str +8 (bear), Size +4 (bear))
- Improved Grab (Ex)

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