Guy in a fez with a monkey

fleece66's page

66 posts. Alias of Brandon Hodge (Contributor).


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Hey folks!

Since the update, it appears the keyword search for the PRD has stopped functioning, and the only search results it returns is "Your search didn't match any items." The result is the same regardless of which part of the site the search is initiated from.

Just letting you know!


Folks, everyone here on the Paizo minis boards KNOWS I love a good deal, and that I'm a total cheapskate when it comes to minis. You also know that I'm a huge fan of the discontinued Rackham line and praise them whenever I can.

Well, check this out!

The Wrath of Kings kickstarter has 11 days to go, and with the additions of the stretch goals on each starter pack, minis for some of these sets are creeping down to about $1 per mini. And since this team is made up of much of the old Rackham/Confrontaion/Cadwallon crew, they are pumping out some of the best, most intriguing sculpts in the miniature world right now. They are unassembled plastic with polystyrene weapons components, so no floppy spears and swords!

For those of you who like your minis high-quality, beautiful, and cheap, check. it. out.


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I understand that despite the outpouring of enthusiasm and tremendously positive reaction for Rasputin Must Die!, an adventure set in 1918 Russia on real-world Earth with blazing guns and trench warfare just isn’t quite up everyone’s universal alley. And that’s perfectly OK. So, I’ve created this thread for just those folks, to allow myself and the community some input to alternate story ideas to overlay the adventure so those gamers can enjoy it as well, without having to resort to a wholesale replacement of the entire adventure. I’m going to provide a form here for everyone to follow if you want, and if you feel like contributing your alternate ideas, please fill it out so others might reference it, and everyone feel free to discuss.

Note, if you’re a fan of Rasputin Must Die! who cries “blasphemy” at the very idea of shedding it of its Earth elements (and that is something I wholeheartedly appreciate), this isn’t the thread to rally to its defense. Let’s recognize that there are people in our gaming community that might *love* it, but don’t think their players will, or even those who *don’t* really like it but recognize the structure and core of the adventure has worthwhile, intriguing challenges that merit salvaging once the offending Earth elements are removed. Let’s respect that here, please.


Alternative Location: Instead of Earth, RMD takes place on ___________________ in _____________________.

Alternate Antagonist: Instead of Rasputin, __________________ is Baba Yaga’s _____________________, in league with Elvanna.

Background Considerations:

Part 1—Baba Yaga’s Hut:
(While the hut likely does not need to change, list any necessary clues or encounter changes here):

Part 2—The Village of Akuvskaya:
Troop Alternative: The troops statblock, instead of rifle-wielding soldiers, is instead ______________________________________________ armed with ___________________________________.

Grenades, Mines, Mortars & Flamethrowers: These attacks are instead represented by _____________________, _____________________, _____________________, and _____________________.

Anytime there’s a gun, replace it with __________________________________________.

Statblock Changes as a result? _____________________________________________________________.

Tsar Tank Alternative: Instead of a massive tricycle tank stuck in the mud, this encounter location is _______________________________________________________________.

Other changes: _______________________________________________________________.

Part 3: The Called-Down Kingdom
List Any Changes to Basic Assumptions: IF this is no longer a prison camp, what is it? Are the ruins still those of a monastery? If not, what is it? Why is this location important to Baba Yaga, and why is the antagonist here?

Tank Alternative: The animate tanks are __________________________________________.

Instead of Barbed Wire, Wooden Barracks, and Modern Guard Towers, those elements are replaced with _____________________, _____________________, and _____________________.

Instead of modern technology, the World Anchors appear as __________________________________________ that _____________________, and the electric fences appear/act as _____________________.

The Viktor Quest: Though the Viktor quest can remain unchanged, now instead of a technological genius capable of working the World Anchors, he’s a _______________________________________________________________ and the PCs need him to __________________________________________.

Anastasia & Alexie: Instead of the resurrected heirs to the Russian Empire, these children are _____________________ and _____________________, and their names are now _____________________ and _____________________, and one is possibly the heir to the throne of Irrisen because __________________________________________.

The Tsarina’s Ghost: Her relationship to the children (above) and revelations about them need not change, but her new name is _____________________.

Part 4—Akuvskaya Monastery:
The World Engine is not modern technology, and instead the main antagonist _____________________is attempting to drain Baba Yaga’s power through _____________________ and _____________________, and the appearance of the machinery is replaced by _______________________________________________________________.

Alternative Appearances and Powers of Appendix Magic Items: ___________________________________________________________________________ _________.


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Hey everyone! I've wanted to do this for a while, and after getting the A-OK from Mr. Jacobs, I'm posting the original statblock for the ghost of Emperor Xin for any GMs who might be so inclined to toy around with his malevolent spirit.

The decision to excise Xin's ghost statblock was a good one. As you can see, it is a great toolbox utility for GMs to harass PCs, but also very complicated. Between the sentient and hostile crystal palace, the visions of the flamma horacalcum, Ogunthunn's machinations, and all the crazy high-level encounters in the adventure, it was just one thing too much for GMs to keep track of, so we kind of consolidated it into the palace's sentience and merged those mechanisms to get the same point and events across. And a lot of these abilities still showed up either in the adventure or in the Clockwork Reliquary, so a lot of it was used in any case.

But for those GMs who like a challenge, or for those who want a close peek at how Emperor Xin was in life (we justified the drop from 20+ level to a 17-level statblock as an unspecified degradation of abilities due to senility), I think this will be a treat. I wanted to breathe life (or undeath, as it were) into the First King, and after some of the criticism I received for having Carrion Crown's BBEG Adivion as the final AP battle literally in the last room of the tallest tower, never before really seen or encountered or introduced, I wanted to redeem myself with a villain you not only felt throughout the entire adventure, but came to intimately know as you tried to unravel his mad machinations. Creating the flamma horacalcum allowed me to show PCs glimpses of a great man's life and his ultimate betrayal, literally giving them a front row seat to his life and works, and ultimately building sympathy for this tragic figure. I daresay that PCs have never gotten to know a villain so well before finally getting the chance to lay him low by the adventure's end. Well, maybe not since Strahd. =-)

Enjoy, but please keep in mind this is an undeveloped statblock. And since it is unpublished, it is technically unofficial. If I run across any related portions in my turnover that might further flesh out the role he played in the adventure (though most of that stayed the same--he just wasn't a true ghost anymore)--then I'll post it. Have fun!

Xin's Ghost
Xin's ghost haunts the palace, stuck in time and seemingly unaware of his own demise, and awaiting the moment when his soul will merge with the repaired Clockwork Reliquary. Xin should be a constant menace to characters, but great care must be taken to use him as an effective story element more than a deadly combat encounter. Xin's ghost is truly powerful, able to rejuvenate quickly should he be cornered and destroyed, but his abilities serve as an effective toolbox to challenge PCs at every turn. He is senile, and equally likely to forget PCs are a threat, appearing to converse with them like a lonely old man. While Xin's statblock is designed as more of a hit-and-run harasser, it is this use in conjunction with his tragic story elements that allows him to be a constant-—if inconsistent and crazy—-foe that GMs can use to breath life into the adventure. Until merged with the Clockwork Reliquary, Xin's ghost should rarely engage PCs for more than a few rounds at a time, using his wide range of abilities to harass intruders with maniacal delight before fleeing through the palace's walls, only to encounter them again several rooms later or within deserted hallways to pontificate on the glories of his rule and approaching reconquest of Avistan. His presence can also be used as an alternative trigger to the adventure's phantasms—an important story element for PCs to experience. He might use his construct malevolence ability to take over the body of an unusually friendly clockwork servant to trick PCs into his confidence with his considerable wile as he leads them into traps. Other times, he may spring palace defenses as PCs attempt to rest, or use his telekinesis while they are otherwise engaged to trip or bull rush PCs. While the ghost shows up in a few stated encounters, use him to weave a tragic story element into the palace, not only through his abilities, but with his personality.

Ghost of Xin CR 19
XP 204,800

Male venerable Azlanti ghost wizard 17
CN Medium undead (augmented humanoid, incorporeal)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., see invisibility; Perception +34
AC 33, touch 24, flat-footed 30 (+9 armor, +11 deflection, +2 Dex, +1 dodge)
hp 275 (17d6+213)
Fort +20, Ref +11, Will +22
Defensive Abilities incorporeal; channel resistance +4; rejuvenation Immune undead traits SR 18
Speed 0 ft., fly 30 ft. (perfect)
Melee corrupting touch +10 (19d6, Fort DC 29 half)
Special Attacks corrupting gaze (DC 29), frightful moan (DC 29), hand of the apprentice (13/day), metamagic mastery (5/day), telekinesis
Wizard Spells Prepared (CL 17th; concentration +29; +2 to caster level checks to overcome spell resistance)
9thmage's disjunction (DC 31), overwhelming presenceUM (2) (DC 31), symbol of vulnerabilityUM
8theuphoric tranquilityAPG, greater shout (DC 30), power word stun (2) (DC 30)
7thcontrol constructUM, deflectionAPG, quickened haste, limited wish, resonating wordUM (2) (DC 29)
6thacid fog (2), persistent bestow curse, chain lightning[/i] (DC 28), enemy hammerAPG (DC 28), greater dispel magic, persistent terrible remorseUM, true seeing
5thdominate person (DC 27), feeblemind (DC 27), mind fog (DC 27), rapid repairUM (DC 27), wall of force (2), wall of soundUM, waves of fatigue
4thbestow curse (DC 26), black tentacles, control summoned creatureUM (DC 26), greater false life, ice storm, shout (DC 26), solid fog
3rddistracting cacophonyUM, haste, howling agonyUM (DC 25), lightning bolt (DC 25), ray of enfeeblement (DC 25), sands of timeUM (2), slow (DC 25)
2ndburning gazeAPG (DC 24), disfiguring touchUM (DC 24), defensive shockUM, frigid touchUM, make whole, spectral hand (2), touch of idiocy (2)
1stchill touch (DC 23), corrosive touchUM (2), ear-piercing screamUM (DC 23), mage armor, shield, shocking grasp, touch of gracelessnessAPG (2) (DC 23)
0 (at will)—dancing lights, mage hand, message, touch of fatigue (DC 22)
Str —, Dex 15, Con —, Int 35, Wis 27, Cha 33
Base Atk +8; CMB +10; CMD 30
Feats Arcane Blast, Arcane Shield, Craft Construct, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Wondrous Item, Deceitful, Dodge, Eschew Materials, Flyby Attack, Heighten Spell, Persistent Spell, Quicken Spell, Scribe Scroll, Toughness
Skills Bluff +27, Craft (blacksmithing) +32, Craft (constructs) +29, Diplomacy +28, Disguise +13, Fly +10, Intimidate +28, Knowledge (arcana) +37, Knowledge (engineering) +32, Knowledge (history) +32, Knowledge (nobility) +32, Knowledge (religion) +32, Linguistics +19, Perception +36, Sense Motive +21, Spellcraft +32, Stealth +23; Racial Modifiers +8 Perception+8 Stealth
Languages Abyssal, Aklo, Azlanti, Celestial, Draconic, Infernal, Thassilonian, tongues
SQ arcane bond (ring), construct malevolence, ghostly trappings, inherent bonuses, permanent spells, phantasmagoria, rejuvenation, vehemence
Special Abilities
Construct Malevolence (Su): Xin's ghost has a powerful connection with both the palace and constructs he created in life. As a standard action, Xin can trigger any of the palace's defenses (page 22) with a range of 60 feet. In addition, once per round, Xin's ghost can merge its body with a construct he created. This ability is similar to a magic jar spell (caster level 17th), except that it does not require a receptacle. Xin controls the construct as if it were his own body, and can cast any spells without verbal components while possessing the construct.
Corrupting Touch (Su) By passing part of its incorporeal body through a foe's body as a standard action, Xin's ghost inflicts 19d6 damage. This damage is not negative energy—it manifests in the form of physical wounds and aches from supernatural aging. Creatures immune to magical aging are immune to this damage, but otherwise the damage bypasses all forms of damage reduction. A Fortitude save (DC 29) halves the damage inflicted.
Exceptional Stats (Ex) Xin was destined from his pure Azlanti birth to rule an empire. As a result, his ability scores were generated using the 25-point epic fantasy ability score array, in addition to a +2 bonus to each ability score for his Azlanti bloodline and adjustments for his venerable age. These modifications, along with the inherent bonuses granted by his wishes and grave trappings items, increase his total CR by 1.
Grave Trappings (Su) Though the Sihedron's destruction denied the item to him in his afterlife, Xin continues to be able to use and benefit from spectral duplicates of other important items in his life just as though they were the real things. These special items are themselves incorporeal and can be manipulated by Xin's ghost, and are treated as being part of his form and cannot be disarmed or removed (even by Xin). Should Xin be destroyed, his equipment reappears with him upon rejuvenating. Given Xin's unique nature, these items are all magical. Xin possesses 2 greater rune plates identical to lesser versions of its kind (page XXX) but each holds 30 spell levels, with one currently holding horrid wilting, time stop, unbreakable constructUM, and wish, and the other containing wish, mage's disjunction, symbol of vulnerability, and haste. These rune plates can be further inscribed with spells from Xin's remaining spellwells, following the rules found in Area C8. Xin wears intricate gray robes of the archmagi, and possesses a spindle of perfect knowledgeAPG, a normal rod of quicken metamagic, a normal rod of empower metamagic, his arcane bond ring, and an orb of storms.
Inherent Bonuses Xin's prolific use of wishes in his life have increased his stats. He has a +5 inherent bonus to his Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma.
Permanent Spells Xin has made the following spells permanent on himself: arcane sight, see invisibility, and tongues.
Phantasmagoria (Su): Nine times per day, Xin can create elaborate phantasms depicting scenes from his troubled life and rule. This illusion functions similarly to the spell mirage arcana in combination with multiple major images, recreating significant scenes, setting, and characters from Xin's past. Xin's ghost often incorporates itself into the effect, appearing as younger versions of himself as if under the effects of alter self. The entire illusion can be disbelieved with a Will save. The illusion is treated as a 6th-level spell created by a 19th-level caster. GMs may use this ability as an alternative to trigger the phantasms created by the palace's temporal anomalies (see Visions from the Past, page 22).
Rejuvenation (Su) Xin's immortal essence is tied to the palace, and exceptionally difficult to destroy through simple combat. When “destroyed,” Xin's spirit restores itself in 1d6x10 minutes. Xin's ghost can only be permanently laid to rest by either destroying his crystal palace, or after his soul has been captured by the Clockwork Reliquary.
Rune Magic's Master (Su): As the founder of Thassilonian rune magic, Xin is something of a unique spellcaster. Although he is a universalist wizard, Xin receives two additional spell slots of each spell level he can cast, like a rune magic specialist. When preparing spells, Xin must choose a school of magic for each spell level, and use both extra spell slots to prepare the same spell from a chosen school of specialization, allowing him to cast that spell twice. However, he is prohibited from preparing any spells of the chosen school's two set opposition schools of rune magic (see Inner Sea Magic 17) with slots within the same spell level. If the chosen school for that spell level is abjuration, for example, no spell slots of that level can be prepared with spells from the evocation or necromancy schools. Xin may choose a different school of specialization for each spell level during preparation. As his spells are currently memorized, Xin is considered a conjuration specialist for level 6, an enchantment specialist for spell levels 8 and 9, an evocation specialist for levels 2 and 5, a necromancy specialist for levels 3 and 4, and a transmutation specialist for levels 1 and 7.
Telekinesis (Su) Due to the trauma of Xin's immolation, his ghost can use telekinesis as a standard action once every 1d4 rounds (caster level 17th).
Vehemence (Su): Xin's powerful connection to his palace and his creations grants his a measure of mastery over it. Once per round, Xin can possess objects within or areas of the palace (such as the C12 foundry), giving it life as an animated object with a CR no higher than 17. If the target object is being held by a creature, the object can make a Will save using its bearer’s saving throw to resist possession. If the animated object is destroyed, the ghost reappears in its square and cannot possess another object for 1d4 rounds.


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Hey Folks!

Some of you may know that when I'm not slaving away in Paizo's salt mines, I'm a prominent collector and researcher of the occult -in particular ouija boards, planchettes, seance paraphernalia, and artifacts from the early Spiritualist movement. In fact, my research has broken a lot of ground in discovering the lost history of automatic writers, or "planchettes," which form the heart of my collection.

I've spent the last few months putting all of that research in order, and just debuted my new site on the subject: I hope you'll take a few minutes to check it out and browse around, particularly if you were a fan of some of my Haunting of Harrowstone and Carrion Crown contributions.

That's pretty cool in and of itself, but you'll also get to see it again, as well as a LOT of the rest of my collection of the bizarre and unusual, this Saturday, 8pm CST, on the show Oddities. You may have already seen the commercials, but you can also sneak a peek (which takes place at my candy shop, Big Top), here!

Pretty cool stuff, and a little behind-the-scenes peek into the secret life of a Paizo freelancer, which hopefully displays just the right number of loose screws it takes to write for our favorite RPG company! =-)


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I've been disappointed in the amount of flak the “translucent eidolon” clause in the new summoner synthesist archetype has received, because it has so much flavor potential! For the last 6 weeks or so, I've been playing a synthesist in a pretty unique way, and I thought I'd show off how I put that rule to great use with a cool mini I made!

My PC is an ectoplasmic spirit medium by trade, reflavored so that instead of summoning flesh and blood creatures, he gives spirits of dead creatures solid form through the ectoplasm his body exudes. His eidolon is the summoned spirit of an extinct Azlanti war-creature, and to portray him properly, I wanted to cast his eidolon in transparent resin around the synthesist's body. The way I play him, the synthesist has to give up most of his own body fluids to summon his eidolon, since he's made up of hardened ectoplasm, and so when you see his form within the eidolon, it is all gaunt and mummified.

So, I found a great miniature that I thought had the right flavor for my eidolon in the MageKnight knight line, a Living Elemental (the slightly-larger MK size works to my advantage). For my “mummified” summoner within, I thought a Harbinger ghoul would be perfect. I did the standard two-part dental mold of the MageKnight figure first, and dyed some transparent resin green. This stuff set up quickly, and I had to work FAST! Luckily, the two creatures had pretty similar poses, and after chopping the base from the ghoul and softening up the already-thin-and-pliable figure in some hot water, I poured the resin in the front part of the mold, set the ghoul within, then quickly closed the mold, trapping him in there before pouring the rest of the resin in. It was a gamble, and it took two tries, but I finally got exactly what I wanted!

Translucent Synthesist Eidolon

Mold + Final Eidolon

The second pic shows the mold and the trapped summoner within a touch better. The pics capture it pretty well, but in person it totally ROCKS! PERFECT! I even found a large ice elemental mini that looks really, really similar to this, and trapped a modified Wand Expert mini in him using the same process. While he's a little harder to see within, I'll have a large-sized mini to use when I cast enlarge person or my eidolon grows to Large. There you go!


Alright, so I've long since declared what a cheapskate I am when it comes to minis. I like plastic minis over counters, but don't like paying for them (I'm in the toy business, I KNOW what these things cost to make, rarity be damned). I don't like painting if I don't have to, but I DO like tinkering and the satisfaction of getting something cool out of something that wasn't. And did I mention as-cheap-as-I-can-manage?

My group is soon to make a return to Dragon Mountain after a 14-year campaign hiatus, with my players reprising their original characters. So, I want to do it right, and I've been secretly stocking up on kobold minis when I find them cheap, because I'm going to need a LOT for those little buggers. Problem is, I needed some specific stuff with different armament, and I couldn't believe that some of those kobold spearmen/skirmishers go for 4-5 bucks a pop on eBay, so I got to work. Here are my conversions:

Kobold Monks to Kobold Swordsmen!
The first set conversion started off as cheap Kobold Monks. I didn't dig the unarmed "karate chop" pose of the originals at all, but saw potential. So, with some super-glue, I folded that outstretched hand back to their torso, where it rests quite nicely under their other hand. Easy to do. With a tiny drill, I then drilled a hole into their chest at an angle to plug in a weapon. I ordered a half-dozen LoM Human Marauders really cheap (about .50 cents each), since you get two weapons for the price of one! I chopped off their hands, shaved down the hilts, and plugged them in to get my new TWO-HANDED LONGSWORD KOBOLD RAIDERS!

Kobold Slingers to Kobold Polearmers
When I saw the sneak peeks of the new LoM minis and saw the Kobold Slingers, I really licked my chops. When I scored a few dozen for about 2-for-a-buck, I wet myself, because I knew they would make great mods! I have other plans similar to above, but for now, I need some landschneckt polearmers for Clan Wishbone. So, I snipped off the slings to leave their hands free (you can snip just half off and make a convincing shillelagh, or a mace with a little silver paint!). Then, I sanded down some toothpicks and painted them brown for the shafts. I needed polearm heads, and I had the snapped off remnants of a Blood War Mezzoloth weapon floating around, so I cut it apart to make 4 SEPARATE HEADS! That's economy! I got two crescent blades, a mace head and a spear point out of that sucker! I glued them to the toothpicks, used my trusty silver pen to add metal highlights, then glued them primarily to the bag/belt section of the body, where the shaft rested perfectly, then to the individual hands. Regular toothpicks without heads work for pikes, too! Viola: CLAN WISHBONE POLEARMERS!

Here's a close-up shot of a single Kobold Glaive Fighter.

Good stuff! Total cost to get 8 two-hand swordsmen and 8 polearmers? About 10 bucks! And, yeah, apparently my stovetop is the best lighting in my house for closeup pictures! =-)



I can thank my friend Russ Taylor for my healthy new addiction to miniature gaming, since he delivered a box-full of random WotC minis to me at PaizoCon in exchange for...well, candy, wasn't it Russ? =-)

Thing is, I don't really like spending money. Can't stand it. And when I figured I'd fill some holes in my new collection and add some terrain to our gaming table, I couldn't believe some of the prices. HOW MUCH for 3 fake plastic trees? Five-dollar for a SINGLE prepaint WotC skeleton? Outrageous! So began my quest to add as many minis and terrain to our group pool as possible by spending the least amount of cash I could.

Here are a few pointers, and I hope you'll post some of your own:

1. Spray-paint styrofoam: I have lots of packing materials from my shops, including big styrofoam boards used as padding in boxes. After experimenting, I discovered that if you cut out forms of ruined walls, or even assemble some stone cottages with glue and toothpicks, them give them a good coat of black spray paint, then they melt and crinkle into a perfect-looking old stone wall. Let it dry, then mist over it with a little gray spray paint, and you've got some killer terrain. I'm going to build a whole burned-out village or something.

2. Armed Kobolds: So, I wanted some more small-sized minis with various weapons, but found that (for example) spear-bearing kobold soldiers went for 3-5 bucks a pop on eBay. But the kobold monks, with their little kung-fu stance? 99 cents! So, get some of them, some super glue, and bend that outstretched hand in and glue it right underneath the hand resting on their chest. Then drill a tiny little hole (you can even bore one out with a tack) right down into their chest, above that hand. Insert silver-painted toothpick tips for swords, or even old broken pewter weapons or axes cut from minis you don't like, and you've got a motley crew of small-sized skirmishers! Their hands are in just the right position for a two-handed grip! I'll post pictures.

3. Owl Pellets: That's right. On my road trip back from Colorado, my gal and I stopped in this tiny little ruined church in North Texas. Years of accumulation of coughed-up owl pellets from the birds in the ceiling, washed clean by the wind and rained, had left millions of tiny little shrew and prairie-dog bones in this big pile in the nave. Real small bones. Like, the same-sized-bones-as-if-you-stripped-the-flesh-from-a-large-or-medium-sized- mini kind of small. I plan to make some "Hall of Bones" rough terrain for use at the game table with some thin plexiglass base. Disturbing, you say? Yes. My girlfriend is very, very patient with me, and hopes I recover.

4. Mage Knight Leftovers: Check eBay and online retailers for some SUPER CHEAP Mage Knight Dungeon packs. I stocked up on acid pools, columns, traps, cages, chest -all SORTS of stuff still-in-the-box for about 4 bucks a package. Pretty cool stuff, too!

There are four cheap ideas from me. Whatcha got?


Hey all. I'll let the post speak for itself, but I wanted to draw your attention to the new thread over on the Open Design Livejournal boards:

The thread is open to all Open Design patrons past and present. You will have to sign in to see it. Take a look and give us your feedback!



I'm going to throw this out in the realm of website feedback, but I'm not sure how to explain it since I'm not a programmer. I'd call it "Navigation Memory" or something. Here are counter-examples of what I'm talking about:

If I'm on eBay, and I'm searching through items and I scroll way down to the bottom of a page, see something I like then click on it and read it, I can hit my back button and it takes me back to the previous listing page, andthe page is still scrolled to the position it was in when I navigated away from it. Does that make sense?

When I'm surfing around my beloved Paizo boards, though, and I scroll way to the bottom of the messageboards page to peruse, say, the 'Off Topic' threads, see something I like, read it then hit the back button to return, then I'm shot all the way back up to the top of the main messageboards page, and the memory of my previous scrolling isn't maintained.

I just figured I'd voice that I like the former more than the latter. I thought that is how it used to be, but I could be wrong.

Of course, maybe there is a navigation habit I could pick up to bypass this, but I'd rather not just click on the root thread link.

Just, you know, some feedback!


The Oracle's Battle Focus contains the Combat Healer ability that I think it needs some clarification to prevent potential abuse. It states that an oracle can cast any cure spell as a swift action by "expending two spell slots," but is unclear if this specifically means the slots must both be of the same level as the cure spell being attempted, or if, say, a high-level oracle can cast a quickened cure critical wounds by spending a 4th level slot and a 1st level slot for the same effect.

Is there a prior precedent for this sort of slot expenditure that I haven't run across in play yet? Unsure of the intention, I fear it could be taken advantage of as read, if that is in fact not the intention.

Great stuff. I REALLY like the cavalier a lot, and that sort of class isn't really my thing, so kudos for the best version of cavalier yet!



Without yet having our Bestiary, I have to post this from the SRD, but I'm assuming there hasn't been much of a change in language with Pathfinder. With that assumption, I'm trying to figure out how a cloaker's shadow shift ability works (or doesn't work) when they emerge from shadows:

Shadow Shift (Su): A cloaker can manipulate shadows. This ability is effective only in shadowy areas and has three possible effects.
Obscure Vision: The cloaker gains concealment (20% miss chance) for 1d4 rounds.
Dancing Images: This effect duplicates a mirror image spell (caster level 6th).
Silent Image: This effect duplicates a silent image spell (DC 15, caster level 6th). The save DC is Charisma-based.

(Emphasis mine)

Does this mean that cloakers can only ENACT the abilities while they are in areas of shadow, and they continue working normally even if light is brought to bear as long as they are 'turned on' while in shadow, OR does it mean that light dispels their use of the ability, and that only continue to function as long as they stay in shadow?



Hey folks! From the SRD:

Shadow Shift (Su): A cloaker can manipulate shadows. This ability is effective only in shadowy areas and has three possible effects.

Obscure Vision: The cloaker gains concealment (20% miss chance) for 1d4 rounds.

Dancing Images: This effect duplicates a mirror image spell (caster level 6th).

Silent Image: This effect duplicates a silent image spell (DC 15, caster level 6th). The save DC is Charisma-based.

(Emphasis mine)

Does this mean that cloakers can only ENACT the abilities while they are in areas of shadow, and they continue working normally even if light is brought to bear as long as they are 'turned on' while in shadow, OR does it mean that light dispels their use of the ability, and that only continue to function as long as they stay in shadow?



It is my great thrill to announce that From Shore to Sea, my next project from Wolfgang Baur's Open Design Project, will be published as an official adventure by Paizo, set in their incredible Golarion campaign setting! Featuring rediscovered secrets of lost Azlant that threaten a small coastal town, From Shore to Sea will be fully developed, edited, illustrated and published by Paizo in the PATHFINDER Modules line in 2010.

Want better news than that? YOU can take part!

As an Open Design Patron, you have the chance to work with me and help shape the adventure from the ground floor all the way up to publication of the final adventure. You'll get to see what goes into designing and writing an official adventure module, contribute ideas, influence encounters, see feedback from Paizo staff, get sneak peeks, vote on important decisions and thoroughly playtest the adventure before it hits the shelves! We'll also be producing a 64-page Pathfinder-compatible supplement entitled Sunken Empires that will provide adventure hooks, spells, monsters, and variant rules for exploring lost and sunken ruins in any campaign.

This is a grand opportunity for Open Design patrons to contribute to this incredible setting, and I am both grateful and honored to lead this expedition through uncharted waters to finally reveal some of the secrets of Azlant -and create some mysteries of our own.

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Quick inquiry. I'm not sure I get how this works. Once faithful hound is discharged and starts barking, it can attack nearby creatures, but only within 5 feet? But it has a range of close, so is the dog stationary, only able to attack in the 5 feet from where it was cast, or does it cover an area, randomly attacking anyone in range?

Relevent Juicy Bits:

Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)

You conjure up a phantom watchdog that is invisible to everyone but yourself. It then guards the area where it was conjured (it does not move). The hound immediately starts barking loudly if any Small or larger creature approaches within 30 feet of it. (Those within 30 feet of the hound when it is conjured may move about in the area, but if they leave and return, they activate the barking.) The hound sees invisible and ethereal creatures. It does not react to figments, but it does react to shadow illusions.

If an intruder approaches to within 5 feet of the hound, the dog stops barking and delivers a vicious bite (+10 attack bonus, 2d6+3 points of piercing damage) once per round. The dog also gets the bonuses appropriate to an invisible creature.

The dog is considered ready to bite intruders, so it delivers its first bite on the intruder’s turn. Its bite is the equivalent of a magic weapon for the purpose of damage reduction. The hound cannot be attacked, but it can be dispelled.


Here it is:

Secret Chest Conjuration (Summoning) Sor/Wiz 5

You hide a chest on the Ethereal Plane for as long as sixty days and can retrieve it at will. The chest can contain up to 1 cubic foot of material per caster level (regardless of the chest’s actual size, which is about 3 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet). If any living creatures are in the chest, there is a 75% chance that the spell simply fails. Once the chest is hidden, you can retrieve it by concentrating (a standard action), and it appears next to you.

The chest must be exceptionally well crafted and expensive, constructed for you by master crafters. The cost of such a chest is never less than 5,000 gp. Once it is constructed, you must make a tiny replica (of the same materials and perfect in every detail), so that the miniature of the chest appears to be a perfect copy. (The replica costs 50 gp.) You can have but one pair of these chests at any given time—even a wish spell does not allow more. The chests are nonmagical and can be fitted with locks, wards, and so on, just as any normal chest can be.

To hide the chest, you cast the spell while touching both the chest and the replica. The chest vanishes into the Ethereal Plane. You need the replica to recall the chest. After sixty days, there is a cumulative chance of 5% per day that the chest is irretrievably lost. If the miniature of the chest is lost or destroyed, there is no way, not even with a wish spell, that the large chest can be summoned back, although an extraplanar expedition might be mounted to find it.

Living things in the chest eat, sleep, and age normally, and they die if they run out of food, air, water, or whatever they need to survive.

Focus: The chest and its replica.

The QUESTION: If a mage is slain and the replica chest recovered, can the replica be used to recall the mage's chest, or is the caster the only one allowed to summon it from the ethereal?




Errrr...that should read "TWO Good Saves" rather than just "Good Saves" -basically, a cleric progression (two good, one poor)rather than a fighter progression (2 poor, 1 good)...


Hey folks -working up an encounter. Easy setup:

A hungry Roc gets surprise on players aboard a flying airship and attempts to dive down, snatch one and fly off during the initial surprise round. Since it is a surprise round, the Roc only gets a single standard action. Let's see what the Roc can get away with(all SRD):

Down Speed: A flying creature can fly down at twice its normal flying speed.

It is diving, so could move up to 160' this round as a standard action.

A creature that flies can make dive attacks. A dive attack works just like a charge.

As per charge:

If you are able to take only a standard action or a move action on your turn, you can still charge (move+attack), but you are only allowed to move up to your speed (instead of up to double your speed).

However, since the creature is diving, it CAN move double speed.


Flyby attack: When flying, the creature can take a move action (including a dive) and another standard action at any point during the move. The creature cannot take a second move action during a round when it makes a flyby attack.


Am I right in saying that during the surprise round, the Roc can dive (as a single-action charge) 160' and get a single flyby attack as part of that movement? Basically, the roc gets a standard-action-only charge action, but can take the attack at any point of the move (thanks to flyby attack) and still gets double movement since it is diving?





I thought there might be a wotc archive on this, but didn't spot one. Need a little help figuring out an aspect of this creature's special ability.

The question is, under this ability as written, WHAT HAPPENS when the original body of the monster is slain while it is out possessing a host body? In other words, a monster with this ability has already switched souls with, say, the fighter of the party, and a fireball streaks across the battle and kills the possessing monster's original body? The soul of the monster is still posesssing the fighter, and the fighter's soul is trapped in the monster's body.

Soul Exchange (Su): As a full round action, the monster can attempt to take control of a nearby creature, forcing an exchange of souls as the monster possesses the creature and forces the creature’s soul into its stunted, crippled and caged body. This ability is identical to a magic jar spell (caster level 10th), except that it does not require a receptacle. The target can resist the attack with a successful Will save (DC 18). A creature that successfully saves is immune to the same monster's soul exchange for 24 hours. If the save fails, the monster takes control of the target body and makes primitive, ferocious attacks.
As a standard action, the monster can shift freely from their host and back to their body if within range, sending the trapped soul back to its body. If the host body is slain, the monster returns to their original body, if within range, and the life force of the subject creature departs (it is dead). If the host body is slain beyond the range of the ability, both the monster and the host body die.

Magic jar's final lines give some insight, but ultimately we can't figure out the fate of the fighter or the monster if the monster is slain while posessing:

If the host body is slain, you return to the magic jar, if within range, and the life force of the host departs (it is dead). If the host body is slain beyond the range of the spell, both you and the host die. Any life force with nowhere to go is treated as slain.

If the spell ends while you are in the magic jar, you return to your body (or die if your body is out of range or destroyed). If the spell ends while you are in a host, you return to your body (or die, if it is out of range of your current position), and the soul in the magic jar returns to its body (or dies if it is out of range). Destroying the receptacle ends the spell, and the spell can be dispelled at either the magic jar or at the host’s location.

What's the call?



Hey all.

I've been having some conflicting feelings regarding my most recent character. I've inadvertantly created a very powerful sniper who I feel is upsetting the balance of the game. This is unusual for my style of play -my group and I don't come from a power-gamer background. We play strictly by the 3.5 book, WoTC/Paizo materials ONLY, with no house rules, favors or weird DM interventions. We're all in our 30's and like to have fair, effective characters without total atom-smashers who dominate the game and screw up the Challenge Ratings. Which brings me to my problem.

Our DM has been running us through the Rise of the Runelords books. We just hit 12th level. I have what I thought was just going to be a pretty standard archer-type character -a dwarven crossbowman wielding a great crossbow.

I'm an 8th level rogue/4th level fighter with most of the usual compliments of archery feats (point blank, crossbow sniper from PHII, crossbow mastery from RotR, rapid reload, rapid shot, etc), and I'm not loaded down with excessive, powerful gear. I thought that the 2d8 damage from the great crossbow would eventually level out after the first few levels, but with the recent addition of improved critical to my feat list, I'm doing 250+ damage a round if the mages have me hasted, the buffs are flying and the bard's yellin' -the barbarian raging full-on can't even touch my damage. Typical damage on a normal round is 2d8+10, but with a 15-20 crit range (his weapon is a +1 collision crossbow) it gets out of hand quick, especially if one or more of those shots is a 4d6 sneak attack. Of course, my dice skills are enviable (we DO roll in the open and I routinely crit over half of my shots), so that helps, but we just dropped that white dragon from Book 5 in 2 rounds, mostly due to a 3-criticals-out-of-4-shots round on my part (and, as mentioned, some key buffs).

It got to a point early on in the campaign that I stopped even trying to hide to get my extra sneak attack damage, because I was doing so much damage -I would save that move for the extra-bad guys. Now, I'm critting on 15+, which was always the point, but now I'm starting to feel like I built a character that far outclasses the games we are playing. AND I'm being totally honest about my intentions here, people -no one in my group -including me, likes to steal the limelight here -we're all very mature, rational players (or else I wouldn't be approaching this like a problem, would I?) and I'm starting to get squeamish and uncomfortable -I just thought this build would have leveled off and been reasonable by now.

I'm wondering if this plight has been a problem with anyone else? On paper, I feel my character looks balanced, nice, clean, efficient and effective, but in reality he's a friggin' BEAST. Not to mention that he gets to keep a nice, safe distance back from combat and rarely gets damaged as a result. My DM has taken reasonable steps to hobble him a bit (mirror image everywhere!), but after hitting 12th level, he's just a monster that I'm starting to feel guilty having at the gaming table.

Would love to hear thoughts/discussions on similar circumstance/solutions from a mature standpoint regarding such an issue.



Looking for some collective introspection.

The scenario from last night's game:

Our 10th-level party has entered a ruined temple in search of a group of evil clerics. We enter a trap door in the floor and are immediately ambushed by 6 members of sect of worshipers of Asmodeus. During the ensuing fight, my neutral good Mystic Theurge, hellbent on gathering the whereabouts of a missing affiliate from this group, worries that all of the clerics of Asmodeus will be slaughtered and we won't have a chance to interrogation one of them.

I cast hold person on one of the clerics -much to my surprise she fails her save. Taking advantage of her paralyzed state, I cast "Crystalline Memories" from Complete Mage on her. In shorthand, this spell is identical to "Detect Thoughts" in that you must study the target for 3 rounds. At the end of this period, a crystalized form of their memories emerges from their head, dealing 2d8 points of damage and 2 points of INT on a failed will save. The caster may then grasp this crystal at any point during the next 24 hours and read the thoughts contained therein.

The point of casting this particular spell was simple -with this adversary in the middle of combat and sure to be slaughtered by the fighters in my party in the frenzy of the fight, I sought to preserve precious knowledge of their intentions with the retention of the crystalzed memories.

Here's the rub. On the third round, on the iniative turn just before mine, the evil cleric finally makes a save against the hold person, just as the last of her party falls to my companions' blades. She drops her sword and gives up. My turn is immediately after this, and the "Crystalline Memories" spell takes effect -she fails her will save again and this crystal bursts from her head, dealing 11 points of damage and -2 INT.

My character reaches forward and plucks the crystal from the air, proud that he has just secured the knowledge we sought from this individual.

Well, you'd have thought I just kicked a crippled puppy, because I get all of these horrified looks from the other players and my DM.

In any case, the admittedly grisly appearance of this spell earned me these condemning looks from my group and, most importantly, my DM started to question my alignment choice (NG) and expressed the opinion that I had just committed an evil act. I could not have known that the DM was going to have this prisoner tell us everything when she surrendered -I didn't use my combat rounds trying to predict the future and instead acted to gather and preserve the information we sought. In fact, if I had not have cast hold person on her she probably would not have even survived -she was ignored in combat since she was held.

I'm a little torn on how I should have proceeded. Yes, a crystal bursting from someone's skull containing their memories is a little gruesome, but isn't any more or less evil than burning someone to a crisp with a fireball. (the spell contains no [evil] descriptor) My DM was of the opinion that I should have immediately dismissed the spell the second she dropped her sword, and that my actions basically amounted to torturing a captive. Of course, the rest of the party rushed to this EVIL CLERIC'S aid and dropped a maximized heal spell on her to undo the damage I caused, earning a protesting wtf? from yours truly. Then they let her go.

Up for debate is the following: Was this act evil? Was it outside the scope of my neutral good aligment? Does anyone else have any problems with the imagery this spell conjures when it is perfectly acceptable for clerics to cast ring of blades and flay people to death?

I figured this might get some debate going and I'm ready to hear it...

Thanks, guys!



Hey guys! I've got a question regarding the Faith Healing spell from the Spell Compendium. The spell reads:

"When laying your hand upon a living creature, you channel positive energy that cures 8 +1 point per caster level (max +5). The spell works only on a creature that worships the same diety as you. A target with no diety or a diety different from yours is unaffected by the spell..."

I am wondering how this spell might work with a cleric of the general faith. That is, my cleric took the option at first level to not worship a specific deity but instead worships ALL of the neutral and good gods of the Greyhawk pantheon.

Could I cast this spell on any PC that worships a god I patronize?

If this is not an acceptable interpretation, then I thought maybe I'd be allowed to pray specifially to one god or another for the granting of this spell. For example, if I think one character who worships WeeJas, might get in a fight later in the day, I could wake up and pray specifically to Wee Jas for the granting of that spell, so that when he gets hurt he is able to receive the benefit. Additionally, I'd have to pray to Odab Hai, using another, seperate spell slot if I wanted to cast it on a different character who worships that deity.

My DM thinks that it would default to aligments, but that is going way out of the bounds of what the spell reads...

Which is the best intepretation? Any other ideas?



Hey everybody! Please clear this up with some authority for my group. We've got two competing interpretations of the hide skill and we want it straightened out before moving on to the next campaign.

Here's the scenario:

A rogue is in the midst of combat in a brightly lit room. He ducks behind a table, granting him enough cover to attempt a hide check. Then, he slips out from behind the table at half speed and attempts to catch a bugbear flat-footed. Can he do so? Is he still considered to be hiding (in the sense of coming up on an enemy's blind spot), or is he seen, even without an opposed spot check, as soon as he comes from out behind cover?

We've gone round and round about this and just can't seem to find the real clarification we need in the rules to settle it once and for all.




Hey guys -I'm new to the board here. Not really satisfied with the lack of responses I've had with a serious rules question on the Wizards board and I heard there were more serious players here, so I hope you can help me out.

My question involes the use of the new Metamagic Spell Trigger (MST) feat from the Complete Mage and the possible application of Sudden Metamagic feats in the use of MST:

METAMAGIC SPELL TRIGGER: You can apply any metamagic feat you know to a spell you cast from a spell trigger item like a staff or wand. You expend one extra charge for each spell level increase the metamagic feat imposes. However, you can't apply the feats if it will take the spell beyond 9th-level.

So, what if my character has Sudden Maximize, but not the regular version? Does the Sudden version qualify for use with MST, using up appropriate charges (+3) like the true version of Maximize Spell would? Could you do it multiple times daily, since you are expending the wand's charges and not your personal energies?

I'm not a munchkin trying to find a loophole here. I just want more clarification on how it works. I'm designing a wand-wielding Mystic Theurge and the Sudden versions of the feats work better since the MT suffers a decrease in higher-level spell acess due to multi-classing. To be able to use them with this feat would be a great boon for this character design...

What does everyone think?