Tungsten Dragon

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Silliness aside, the best barbarian powers are the Beast Totems and Superstition>Witch Hunter>Spell Sunder. I'd go Titan Mauler, and powerattack furiousfocus vitalstrike.
At barbarian lvl 6, you're hitting for 12d6+25 (depending what your strength is) on a vital strike with a non-magical gargantuan greataxe, and you're only at a -2 to what you'd be attacking at with a large axe.

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Also, have them pick their class and race BEFORE they roll stats.

First, what kind of GM do you have that's forcing you to play an ogre???

Don't stand for that weak, kiddie-pool nonsense.

Play a real giant.

A Jotund Troll is much better for your purposes, being generally not as pathetically weak as an ogre. Also, Barbarians weakness is Will saves, but you get to roll twice with a +4 against mind affecting effects because you have nine heads. Fast Healing isn't a negligible ability, because you are taking that -2 hit to your AC when you rage. The DC for your confusion attack in Charisma-based, but your GM sounds like kind of a pushover, so tell him it should get your Strength bonus as well when you take Intimidating Prowess.

After that, a 3 level dip in sorcerer will net you absolutely nothing, because your charisma is so low, and you'll probably want Weapon Finesse and Dervish Dancer (after you get those two levels of perform).

There are two problems: The character and the player.

As far as the character goes, the other characters shouldn't feel any obligation to be saddled with him. They should leave him in town,or in a shallow grave somewhere out in the wilderness. He is endangering their lives willfully, knowingly, and intentionally.

The other problem is the player. You don't have to be a jerk to want to play a character who's a jerk. It can be fun, and funny, but when you're willing to take it so far that the other players aren't having fun anymore, guess what? Your character is no longer the only jerk in the equation. He - not his character - has chosen to be that guy.

I recommend giving someone the means to banish the eidolon. Preferably at around 200' above the ground, when he's flying away from combat.

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Hama wrote:

i'm sure there was a lot more to it then her being a horrible person and becoming mean when bored. But honestly, I don't care. Its none of my business and they should both be ashamed for dragging their conflict into my home.

And trust me, Tim got an earfull from me, and will most certainly get one come next session.

That's what I've been looking for this whole thread.

No doubt in my mind that Amanda was out of line.
No doubt in my mind that Tim was out of line for bringing her.

yupyupyup ... a good old dungeon crawl.

MrSin wrote:
dreamingdragon wrote:
GMs are tasked with playing villains. Villains make d**k moves. Ask everyone who ever pulled kryptonite on Superman. Yet somehow, he always seems to come out on top. Seems like a God (people who play wizards still call themselves God, right?) could figure out a better solution to the problem than crying foul.
When you get coup de graced in your sleep, do you not cry foul?

Nope. I shouldn't have been sleeping on the job.

It comes down to how much risk you want in your game. I like some. Not everyone does.

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GMs are tasked with playing villains. Villains make d**k moves. Ask everyone who ever pulled kryptonite on Superman. Yet somehow, he always seems to come out on top. Seems like a God (people who play wizards still call themselves God, right?) could figure out a better solution to the problem than crying foul.

I'm pretty much for this idea, though there are some niches that are pretty well defined. The Creating NPCs chapter in the CRB has feats grouped by battle role, which I think is about halfway to getting done what you're suggesting. Also, the ranger combat technique lists. If these were expanded with a few of the options from later books, we'd be nearly done.

I think the ones that are lacking are the more exotic types of character concepts, which you'll probably want to cherry pick anyway.

Very fascinating.
Must investigate in more detail, but I think a Yerasol Veteran Magus.

And without question, Nick Charles.

I'm completely into this. Reasonably familiar with the SW system.

What I'm thinking would be a warrior priest (but thank whichever God, not a LG, DnD/PF Paladin).

Are we sticking with Golarion as the setting?

The Exterminator - Blight Druid

Out of curiosity, do we have a general idea where things will be happening, or should I just make my character anywhere and let you sort it out? I've been holding off on anything more than a very vague background because I'm not sure where to tie it to.

I think running the first change would be a fun way to start the campaign. It makes a certain amount of sense that we'd begin the story where we begin as werewolves.
Either way, with AGZ0 playing the Irraka, I'll go with the Rahu. I'll try to have a character fleshed out in the next day or two.

Wiggz wrote:
dreamingdragon wrote:
Usually when I see this, I think the DM probably needs to get out from behind the screen for a while.
LOL - why do you say that?

Because DMs usually do.

And because you're getting into building characters as if they were PCs, to have a party and go on adventures, like PCs. Really, to be PCs in all ways except they're not. While there's nothing actually wrong with having a party of NPC foils for your PCs, it sounds more like you want to have the fun of playing PCs. You say hardly anything about your PCs in your post, except they have some potent combos that you'd like to try.

Making compelling NPC adversary/foils for your PCs is a great idea, but I prefer the classic BBEG+mooks. Players will have an easier time remembering one guy who made them cry than 5.

If you are dead set on making an NPC party, I would do it this way:
Design the NPC party specifically to make your PCs cry. Use all your GM metagame knowledge to hit them where it hurts. Do this because it's easier to embrace it than to fight it. But build them a couple of levels lower than the party. That way, the PCs get a winnable fight that'll make them sweat.

Usually when I see this, I think the DM probably needs to get out from behind the screen for a while.

I'm in. First I thought I only had the old WoD books, but a bit of digging on old drives turned up the NWoD core and werewolf core books.

I'd like to play either Rahu (warrior/Full Moon) or Irraka (stalker/New Moon), if there are a bunch of other Rahus. They both seem to fit most closely with what the iconic werewolf is.

The Iron Masters are the most interesting tribe to me, because I like the internal conflict of wild beast vs technological creature. I could find a way to fit into any of the tribes, though, so that doesn't matter much.

I like that way of handling combat. I will definitely come up with someone for this.

But CR is measured assuming a party of 4 or 5. The encounter creation guidelines state it pretty explicitly.

The trouble is that most of the time, A CR=APL equivalent encounter is pretty close to a nuisance encounter: no real threat, no real excitement.

PF characters tend to be pretty tough. They can handle the fights. If they can't, you mod on the fly.

Just a quick question:
How are we generating power ranks? Is that coming out of our 140 point buy as well as stats, or are we rolling or?
Pardon me if the answer has been given. In the rules it just has us roll for them, which is fine, but I thought I'd ask.

First: Wow ...
Raider, Elhinn, BigLemon, Oceanshieldwolf...
All good, helpful suggestions.
Thank you.

Elghinn Lightbringer wrote:
Big Lemon wrote:
Another way of limiting the bardic performance could be to have one type of performance per animal type. A roaring lion might inspire his allies in a different way than the piercing call of an eagle, for instance.

Why not limit wild shape to the Best Shape spell? Then you ceate a list of animal groups with related performances, such as Canine (dog, wolf), Reptile (snakes, lizards), Avian (birds), etc. Maybe 4 or 5 main groups. Then whenever the guy shifts into an animal from that group, he can use the related performances (say 3-4 performances) by howling, snake dancing, using a hypnotic stare, etc. May even need to come up with new performances to flavor the lists for each animal group.

As this is a bard, and to coincide with the limiting Wild shape to the Beast Shape effects, we could maybe add in the ability to shift into a bipedal verson of such animals too, based on the Anthropomorphic Animal spell or somthing. This coud replace the loss of access to the elemental body and splant shape effects. Maybe even allow changing into a "were" animal, but lacking the lycanthropic curse, or ophidians, etc. Something like that. The name "Howler" would need to changeto something more generic to fit the ability to change into various anima forms, not just wolves.

Using different performance abilities per animal type is awesome. Of course snakes would get fascinate, suggestion, mass suggestion. And of course they would use dance instead of singing.

The anthropomorphic animal thing is a good idea too, though I'm not 100% sold on it. If it's just a matter of enabling the bard to play an instrument, I'm ok with limiting them to non-instrumental performance, or even sing and dance, since even the most expressive rhinocerous probably can't qualify for oratory. It does increase the utility, but it's a big change flavorwise.

Another possibility for compensation for the lack of elemental/plant shape would be allowing magical beast shapes (which beast shape 3 and 4 do). Small and medium could come in at 8th level, tiny and large at 12th. I thought of this last night and thought Nah, way too many powers, but then I remembered elemental body and decided that was probably ok.

Last: rather than limiting the uses of Perform as I described above, maybe just take a 3 level penalty on it, since the Druid/Bard wouldn't get it until 4th level, if it's only available in Wild Shape. That in combination with limiting the performance abilities available to each animal group seems like a relatively balanced approach, though it does mean those first levels are substantially weakened. Hmm.

The name probably does need to change. It's a good name, but doesn't really cover all that this MCA should do.

She's not perfect, but you can't not like the idea of turning into a wolf and Inspiring Courage with a howl, or howling a Frightening Tune.

You're right about the Performance being OP. To bring it into line:
1. If the Bardic Performance were limited to 1 round per level +CHA modifier, (rather than 4 rounds at 1st + 2 per level) that would keep it powerful, but make it a much more limited resource.
2. Bardic Performance is ONLY available to the Howler when she is in wild shape.
3. Eliminate Inspire Competence, Fascinate, Suggestion and Mass Suggestion, and Soothing Performances, which don't really have the wild shape feel.
4. Wild Shape would no longer allow elemental or plant forms.

As to spells, I thought adding the spells at the level the bard would gain them covered that, but should add that they are gained at the highest level a druid can cast (so you get a 3rd level bard spell at 7th, but it counts as a 4th level druid spell, you get a 4th level Bard spell at 10th level that counts as a 5th level Druid spell, etc).

It's my first time, so be gentle.

The Howler
Primary Class: Druid

Secondary Class: Bard

Alignment Restrictions: Any Neutral

Hit Dice: d8

Bonus Skills and Ranks: The Howler gains skills as a Druid and uses the Druid skill list, but adds 3 skills from the bard's skill list.

Base Attack Bonus: 3/4

Saving Throws: Good saves=Fort and Will.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Howlers are proficient with the following weapons: club, dagger, dart, quarterstaff, scimitar, scythe, sickle, shortspear, sling, and spear, plus the shortbow and whip. They are also proficient with all natural attacks (claw, bite, and so forth) of any form they assume with wild shape (see below).

Howlers are proficient with light and medium armor but are prohibited from wearing metal armor; thus, they may wear only padded, leather, or hide armor. A Howler may also wear wooden armor that has been altered by the ironwood spell so that it functions as though it were steel. Howlers are proficient with shields (except tower shields) but must use only wooden ones.

A Howler who wears prohibited armor or uses a prohibited shield is unable to cast druid spells or use any of her supernatural or spell-like class abilities while doing so and for 24 hours thereafter.

Spell Progression: Howlers gain spells as druids, but may incorporate spells from the Bard spell list. Each level the character gains, they may add one bard spell of a level a bard of that level could cast into their spell list. These spells use Wisdom as the relevant stat.

Class Features: The Howler retains all the abilities and features of the druid class with the exception of the Nature's Bond. In return, they gain a Bard's Performance abilities, excepting the Deadly Performance. As a special feature, these abilities can be used while wild shaped using perform: sing, if the shape is a form that can produce sounds.

Capstone Abilities: The Howler's capstone ability is the same as a druid: Wild Shape becomes usable at will.

In general, it seems like the OP is pretty committed to playing this game and is stuck playing this character, so all the "Don't play" and "The GM is a whatever" are probably not helping much.

All the "you can't possibly have fun playing a character that broken" comments are wrong. You can have fun playing it, as long as you're not after power-gaming or anything.

Don't play anything with CHA 2. It's too easy a dump stat, and you need DEX, CON and WIS for saves.

Play a barbarian with an intelligence 2. Never use anything but a greatclub. Use that +5 Greataxe of Mighty Raging as a back scratcher. Try to do the first thing that pops into your mind always, without ever second guessing. It will be a glorious disaster.

Play a wizard with strength 2. Ask other players to carry your spellbook, and your extra wands, because they're just too heavy for you. Need help ascending stairs. Better yet, have one of the other characters carry you around in their backpack.

Cheerleader by day, computer geek by night.

I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
I'd need to know what powers and character ideas would be available (for example, could I be a robot?), and more about the rules - the site cited in the first post isn't coherent enough.

If you look on that site in the "Other Stuff" tab under "Downloads" you will find the rulebooks. They will answer a lot of your questions about the rules.

So, if I roll a druid, does my animal companion get weapon finesse and power attack?

Not a bad set of stats for a ...

Wait .. weapon finesse and power attack for free???

An elven Bladebound Hexcrafter Magus

2d6 + 6 ⇒ (2, 6) + 6 = 14
2d6 + 6 ⇒ (4, 1) + 6 = 11
2d6 + 6 ⇒ (4, 5) + 6 = 15
2d6 + 6 ⇒ (6, 1) + 6 = 13
2d6 + 6 ⇒ (1, 4) + 6 = 11
2d6 + 6 ⇒ (6, 6) + 6 = 18

2d6 + 6 ⇒ (2, 6) + 6 = 14
2d6 + 6 ⇒ (1, 3) + 6 = 10
2d6 + 6 ⇒ (3, 3) + 6 = 12
2d6 + 6 ⇒ (5, 1) + 6 = 12
2d6 + 6 ⇒ (2, 1) + 6 = 9
2d6 + 6 ⇒ (5, 5) + 6 = 16


This has a lot of helpful stuff.

I used to own this game, many many years ago.
I loved it at the time. Though it was 1985 or so, so I also liked things like Duran Duran and Back to the Future. Very little memory of how the game actually works, though.*

My character would be built on The Shadow template, updated for the modern world clouding minds (and computers) and so forth, but relying on a bit of fancy kung fu and a Big Gun for fighting.

*Yet, the lyrics to Hungry Like the Wolf are readily available to me. Stupid brain.

Or, a nod to Galiegh for sacrificing mechanical optimization at the altar of character concept.

Keep things in perspective.
Sketch on the large scale stuff. You don't need a fully developed culture for the country 10000 miles away, unless the PCs have a way to get there.
But remember that good improvisation isn't completely random.
Say you're playing a game in which Scary Bad Guys are threatening the Land of Kittens.
You don't need to know where the stronghold of the ancient and horrible enemies of all that is fuzzy and cute is until about a minute and a half before the players do. Until your players find out where it is, or even THAT it is, it's nowhere. That's a good thing. If you put it somewhere, and the players trip over it, then you're screwed unless you're ready to run it. If it's waiting in the wings, you can place it when you - and your party - is ready to go there. If there is absolutely nowhere in the world that it could possibly be, you've probably gone into too much detail.
The first time they see a three headed orc, it's weird and maybe your players think "Wow, that was cool the way he spat acid at us."
The second time, it's a little redundant. "Yup. It's spitting acid again."
The third time, though, it's a pattern, and your next adventure is going to be "In the Castle of Three Headed Orcs that Spit Acid." Hopefully, with a better title.

@ shrodingerscat:
So as I was brainstorming my Shuma'i, I was also brainstorming some halflings. I am more interested and more invested in the Shuma'i, but you did at some point say that you weren't interested in extra-planar races at this time. I think I've grounded them pretty solidly in the material plane, while potentially leaving the door open to the shadow plane, so that they may become RAW fetchlings in the future, when the other planes start to appear.

It seems a bit cheesy to me to do two full applications, so I went with the race that was more appealing to me. On the other hand, I could have a lot of fun with the halflings, too, if the fetchlings weren't going to be considered because of the extra-planar issue, or any other issue, for that matter. So I guess I'm asking you, are the Shuma'i viable, or should I pursue the halflings?

GM Arkwright wrote:
Just a suggestion, don't copy this exactly.

Useful suggestion. I think I got most/all of this for my fetching fetchlings, but worth checking.

Tribe name: Shuma'i
Race: Fetchling
Tribe alignment (optional): Neutral Xenophobe
Desired terrain: Hilly Jungle
Leader name: Hasura Nuanti
Leader class: Rogue
Advisor class: Oracle
Tribe history: Emerging in the shadow of a were-tiger*, staying hidden is their #1 mission in life. They take to caves, but because they worship the stars, they never become a fully subterranean group.
Special tribe traditions etc: Food comes from the forest and streams, and security from the caves, but the hilltops are closest to the stars, where their spiritual power comes from. They study the stars intently, believing all knowledge is written in the heavens, and that when they understand it, they will be all-knowing. They believe the planets are gods. Their written language is an alphabet/runic system based on the constellations, with deep symbolic weight behind each letter.
Tribe technological advancements: Beyond basics like fire, basket-weaving and stone weapons: Astro-nomy/logy is a big thing with them, so they are good with math. Currently they make silver jewelry and decorate it with semi-precious stones (onyx, agate, jasper, etc) and they have some textiles. The day they can make silver weapons is the day everything changes for them, but that is as the DM's discretion.
Tribal survival practices (burning the dead, etc): Cremation of the dead, secrecy, much trapping and barricading of their caves.


One thing I've been worrying about is what happens to the weretiger when it's NOT hunting? Because wouldn't they just kill it then? The answer is that the were-tiger is a family that lives a fair distance away. Every month, in anticipation of the full moon, they split up and travel far from home for their hunts. Each one has its territory, but after the full moon, they return home. If we take the full moon as lasting 3 nights (pretty typical in ancient reckoning) they might travel a few days (before and after) to get where they're going, hunt for 3 days and nights, and then go home.

As natural were-creatures, though, they CAN change at will. It is only tradition that makes them travel and hunt on the full moon, and live as humans the rest of the month. So even if the Shuma'i ever DID manage to track them down and attack, they'd find themselves facing a whole family of them, and that would end badly. Eventually, with silver, this might happen, but the first thing will be killing the ones that come to their area. I'm actually getting pretty fascinated by this.

(Been gaming it out in my head quite a bit. With 1st level NPC warriors, equipped with non-metal gear, one were-tiger with DR 10/silver is going to be virtually unstoppable. Not that they won't hit it and even damage it, but it'll be able to take down a half dozen or so and then get clear pretty easily when it's starting to feel its wounds. Darkness will give them an edge, as it only has LLV to their DV, and I suspect they'll be pretty good with traps and snares that'll encourage it to stay out of their caves.

So they hide, until they get silver. Then it's just a killing machine with a relatively high AC and a bunch of hit points. It'll still kill them in a straight fight, but in a group, they'll have a fighting chance. With the rogue doing sneak attack damage and a few clever tricks and traps, they'll be in pretty good shape.)

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Can we have a discussion where we say that people with a 7 Strength aren't any weaker than people with a 17 Strength, they're just not as good at hitting things hard and carrying stuff?

GM: blahblahblah there's a turret on the roof blahblah...
Player: a what?
GM: a turret.
Player (as Sling Blade guy): you can wipe that off with a tissue.

W Canepa wrote:
@dreamingdragon- regardless of whether we get picked or not, I am so enamored by your tribe and mine that I may need to base a RL campaign setting on them! :)

It's a lovely bit of synergy, eh?

In an ordinary campaign setting, I could imagine the symbiosis getting deeper.
I'm seeing a lot of warm weather tribes, and imagining a geography already.

I probably shouldn't do that.

I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:

I am compelled to make an observation: Who's around to say modesty has to demand anything?


The Sumbra'i:
In the country known as Zgarie, where the hills begin to climb out of the endless Kurga jungles, a beast stalks the forest. Half man and half tiger, deadly and savage, it hunts when the moon is full, and its favored prey are humanoids. Among the Sumbra'i, it is said that the reign of the were-tiger began when the Red Planet of War entered the house of the beast on the night of the full moon, and the Red Planet's priest gave himself as sacrifice.

Since that day, the Sumbra'i have lived with the curse of the were-tiger. They have taken on the color of the night sky, and when the full moon rises, they hide deep in the caves that dot the hills. During the day, the shadows of the forested valleys hide them, but they are night creatures. The study the stars from the peaks of their hills, and trust to the darkness to keep them safe.

Altogether, perhaps a hundred Sumbra'i live in the caves beneath Zgarie. The forest is rich in fruits and edible leaves and roots, and the rivers teem with fish. Even in the caves, blind crayfish abound in pools. With such abundance, the Sumbra'i spend most of their time on other pursuits. They work the pale metal of their hills into elaborate jewelry, studded with onyx and jasper, and they weave a curiously light and delicate fabric, from which they make ceremonial costumes representing the heavens. Beyond the elaborate robes and jewelry they wear for ritual purposes, they rarely wear more than modesty demands, for it is a hot country, and they are naturally well adapted to stay hidden.

On the hilltops, they burn their dead, the smoke rising into the sky carries their souls to become stars, and they worship the planets as gods. Their elders teach that when they are finally able to understand the language written in the stars, they will be all-knowing, as are the dead. The wisest among them track the movements of the stars and planets, and some even claim to know when the reign of the were-tiger will end, and the Sumbra'i will rise to greatness.

The seven eldest members of the tribe elect a chief each year, from among the two dozen or so warriors of the tribe. The chief's duty is safety, to defend the people against their enemies, and against the were-tiger.

The new chief is Hasura Nuanti, and she is advised by her brother Taios (Oracle of the Dark Tapestry).

Hasura Nuanti:
Hasura Nuanti
Fetchling Rogue 2
N Medium Outsider (native)
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +6
AC 16, touch 14, flat-footed 12 (+2 armor, +3 Dex, +1 dodge)
hp 16 (2d8+4)
Fort +1, Ref +6, Will +0
Defensive Abilities evasion, shadow blending; Resist cold 5, electricity 5
Speed 30 ft.
Melee Spear +2 (1d8+6/x3)
Ranged Shortbow, Comp. (Str +0) +4 (1d6/x3)
Special Attacks sneak attack +1d6
Spell-Like Abilities Disguise Self (1/day)
Str 14, Dex 16, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 16
Base Atk +1; CMB +3; CMD 17
Feats Dodge, Power Attack -1/+2
Traits Jungle Fighter, Valashmai Veteran (Survival)
Skills Acrobatics +8, Bluff +8, Climb +7, Diplomacy +8, Escape Artist +8, Perception +6 (+7 to locate traps), Stealth +10, Survival +5
Languages Common
SQ rogue talents (combat trick), trapfinding +1
Other Gear Leather armor, Shortbow, Comp. (Str +0), Spear, 53 GP
Special Abilities
Damage Resistance, Cold (5) You have the specified Damage Resistance against Cold attacks.
Damage Resistance, Electricity (5) You have the specified Damage Resistance against Electricity attacks.
Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white vision only).
Evasion (Ex) If you succeed at a Reflex save for half damage, you take none instead.
Jungle Fighter Your speed may not be reduced to less than 10 feet by difficult terrain in jungles.
Low-Light Vision See twice as far as a human in low light, distinguishing color and detail.
Power Attack -1/+2 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.
Shadow Blending (Su) Miss chance in dim light increases to 50%. This does not grant total concealment.
Sneak Attack +1d6 +1d6 damage if you flank your target or your target is flat-footed.
Trapfinding +1 Gain a bonus to find or disable traps, including magical ones.
Valashmai Veteran (Survival) +1 trait bonus on Survival in the jungle.

The Future:
For obvious reasons, the ability to work silver into weapons is going to define their place in the world. When they can face the were-tiger on something like an equal footing, they will become the dominant creatures of their area. Their numbers will increase, their interest in astrology will develop, and they will begin building temples on the hilltops.

I hate to say this when there are already so many fun looking characters up, but I'll have to make something for this.

Situations like this make me wonder what is the cost of not calling your gay friend a f** in front of people you don't know?
I have a few GLBTetc friends, and none of them has ever been offended when I didn't call them a f**.
None of my black friends ever pulled me aside to quietly ask me to call them n*****.
Ditto really every other slur of any kind I can think of.*
Of course you're free to use those words. You're also free not to. People will likely form opinions about you by the words you choose in these (and other) situations, and they're free to.

They're even free to express those opinions. Even if they're not the same opinion you have of yourself.

Freedom of Speech: Why Does Everybody Else Get It, Too?

Of course, some people will ask you to call them all sorts of rude things in bed. But usually that doesn't carry over in public.

I'm in. Once I go ahead and make a character and a house and whatnot.

You can't let PCs get away with one encounter per day.
Really, anything that will challenge them at that level will likely so overpower them that they can quite reasonably cry foul. Like a CR+8 or something.
Wear them down. Wait out their best buffs. Send scads of trash monsters to soak up resources, and then hit them with something reasonably challenging. Like a Pit Fiend riding a Red Dragon.
What do you mean, they're only 3rd level?

@ schrodinger: Take your time. This is a brilliant idea and I'd like to see you get it done.

Halflings, pt 2:
They are proud hunters of the mighty mastodons, but they are close to discovering agriculture because of their habit of seeding the land around their totem-cairns with pipeweed. At this time they are led by Ranger-Chiefs, for the most part.

Domestication of the mastodon is the beginning, as they transition from hunters to herdsmen. Still nomadic, their warriors have changed from offense-oriented big game hunters to a more defensive, skirmishing role. This will be when their leaders shift to druidism, using weather and nature magic to fend off threats from the outside.

When they eventually settle, it will be around the old cairns, where there is plentiful pipeweed and mystical power. As they shift to an agrarian lifestyle, the leaders become bards and rogues, reasonably skillful combatants, but less inclined to face a threat directly. The mastodons will be all but gone, replaced by sheep and pigs, and grain-based agriculture.

Stealth and secrecy is the heart of the Kayal people's life. Their power is darkness, and they make use of it in every way they can. In the very beginning, their culture emerges in the shadow of powerful lycanthropes (jaguars maybe? crocodiles? something suitably tropical) and concealment is essential to their survival. They tend more to trapping than hunting, and retreat underground when the full moon rises. (Some massaging of the lycanthrope template may be needed. Perhaps in such primitive times even natural ones only change at the full moon?) They are led by rogues, who are able to hit hard enough to overcome the lycanthropes' DR, and warriors who risk their lives to provide necessary flanking and additional darkness to escape under.

The first major change in their culture comes with the discovery of silver-working. At last, they are able to face their enemy on an equal footing, and a campaign of extermination is undertaken. Naturally, the oldest and wiliest lycanthropes escape extinction, but the Kayal have established themselves at the top of the local food chain. Their leadership changes from rogues to oracles (of the dark tapestry, most often) and their innate connection to darkness becomes something spiritual, the basis of their religion. They will begin to build temple complexes on hilltops, and invoke the power of night. They remain fairly xenophobic, restricting outsiders to very limited trading villages on the borders of their territory, and jealously guarding the secrets of silverworking and the gems that they mine, which they use to trade with their neighbors.

Eventually, there will come a time when they become aware of the shadow plane. Whether it has existed previous to this is fairly academic, but what is important is that they now have an even more secure retreat than their caves and treetop hideouts. Their land becomes more open to outsiders, though they themselves remain aloof and hidden. As their society evolves, an elaborate religion based on the movements of the stars and planets evolves. I foresee a pantheon based on chinese and mayan (and when necessary, western) astrology. Leadership will be more varied at this point. Rogues and Oracles will remain common, but other casters (if we have 'invented' clerics and wizards by then) will have their place as well.

If we're all interconnected, there's no particular reason we wouldn't have similar architecture. If W Canepa's mound builders are involved, we would probably develop in a more mesoamerican direction (with or without onion domes) though there's no reason we can't have both. If the wayang are coastal seafaring sorts, there's no conflict with the fetchlings, who live deep in the interior, in the hills.

@ I'm Hiding: In my first post on the fetchlings, I had them in the tropics, and the coniferous forest was simply to say that they could adapt to different geography. I was envisioning a culture something like the Mayan culture for them when they advanced, but SE Asia's temple complexes (Ankgor Wat, Prambanan, etc) could fit the bill nicely. I think bossman is trying to keep things on the material plane for now, but we'd certainly know of each other, unless we were continents apart, since we occupy such similar niches.

@ W Canepa: glad we can help :) and of course, we are ever so grateful for the ancestor warriors you are able to call on to aid us against the lycanthropes. Though you might think of them as skeletons.

@ W Canepa
In keeping with their spirit nature, the fetchlings would likely deal in luxuries and exotic items. Silks and dyes (obviously black) maybe? Darkvision giving them an edge underground, I'm also thinking silver and precious stones.

If they're able to work silver into weapons, then perhaps they evolved in hiding from a tribe of lycanthropes. They eventually learned the secrets of making silver and overthrew their enemies, but their tradition of visiting neighbors during the full moon lives on.

@ W Canepa
Good on you for using Cahokia. My fetchlings could do as well in a temperate forest, as long as it was coniferous. Not so many shadows when all the leaves fall. There seems to be a wondrous ability in more ancient mindsets to sustain superstitious dread/awe with complete practicality. I suppose when you think the whole world is full of spirits and magic, you just kind of go ahead with things.
Maybe it's a bit of both. Dark trickster spirits would suit the fetchling flavor perfectly, and they would probably be happiest as spear's length from your guys anyway, but they could have a silent trade going. Your guys leave an offering for the spirits in the afternoon and then return to the village, my guys come and leave something in trade at night. In the morning, you either take our stuff (accepting the offer) or take back some of your stuff to make a counter-offer. We never have to actually lay eyes on each other to have a vibrant trade.

Or, it could be a thing where the tribes meet and trade every full moon. Little do the fetchlings know that the humans think they are spirits of the moon. Little do the humans know that the fetchlings think the humans (with all their death worship) are actually the spirits of the ancestors.

Shame you said you had a soft spot for fetchlings. I was thinking of them before I decided to go halfling to show the core races some love.

They are natives of a dense jungle, a land in near perpetual twilight. Their entire society is built in the shadow of some monstrous monster, so it is dedicated to concealment. The connection to the shadow plane isn't manifest yet, though certain great heroes of the tribe can walk through the shadows. As yet, none has achieved the Plane Shift ability (as the planes are either non-existant or beyond the awareness of ordinary mortals.

The tribe would highly favor rogue hunters, stalking and striking from the shadows, and bringing down their enemies. Any other tribes nearby would probably consider them at least partly spirits, and few outsiders would ever be allowed to see their villages.

Mounted on dogs, the halflings follow the herds of mastodon across the prairie, throwing the seeds of tobacco (or other smoke-able plants) so when they return, there will be plenty. They have mastered pack tactics in bringing down the huge beasts, surrounding and harrying and striking where the creature is weakest. While a single kill may feed a tribe for a month, but they smoke and pack the meat quickly, as they do not like to be far from the herds. The tribe's first line of defense against threatening outsiders? Stampeding the mastodons.

Courage is their main virtue, and to them it is directly related to size. A human, being twice as tall as a halfling, can never be more than half as brave. They also value cunning and trickery, but a young warrior must prove himself brave first, by charging the mastodon with only a spear and bringing the spear back bloody (i.e. attacking in melee and living to talk about it).

While nomadic, they have a vibrant musical and literary culture, with tribal histories in poetry that range into thousands of lines, and a class of historians. They also erect gigantic cairns of rock and wood and bone that they call sentinels, to mark the locations of their kills. They live in great comfort and eat well, and tend to be friendly to other cultures, as long as no one messes with their herds.

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