Rolling stats in order is a way to generate characters quickly. You roll some stats, pick a class based on where the numbers landed and you're ready to go. So if you're playing a game that is intended to be short and you want to whip up characters and get right into it, then this is a great way to go. If you are doing anything else, then I strongly suggest not using this system for character generation.
Historically, Marilith first appeared in early D&D in the 70s as a sample name for "a type V demon." Marilith later became the type of demon described as a six armed woman with the lower body of a snake. In D&D cannon, she was always a woman. It is also my understanding that in D&D, demons are their own species, they are not created from mortal souls or parts of souls.
Pathfinder was created in a different era and has a more progressive view of things. So there are male, female, and other sexes for pretty much everything.
but if we're playing with crit fails, and the guy with a +20 special acrobatic amazing NPC villain rolls a 1... then that's fate. He's gonna slip fall off the wall and break his neck in front of the NPCs. We'll just have to work around it.
So there's a difference to me between fudging and that. Changing a critical success or failure isn't fudging, that's blatantly ignoring the dice rolls. Fudging is when a player rolls a 22, but the DC was 23 and you tell them they succeed because that success would make a cool moment in the game. Fudging the way I use it is a little nudge, slight modifiers here and there to help with the flow of the story, make things more exciting, and to keep players in the game.
I think a lot of it comes down to trust, which is another reason why I'll fudge for home games, but not for pfs.
And there's another aspect of it. If the game you play has two sides, players and gm, then fudging equals cheating because you are playing a competitive sport. The dice determine who wins so they must be rolled fairly. The game I prefer to play has one side, we're all players telling a cooperative story. In this game, the dice are an aid to add randomness to the story. Tweaking that randomness to fit is just part of good storytelling.
So depending on the type of game you play, it is either an anathema or a useful tool.
I would agree that it would be conditional on identifying the monster and their abilities since such abilities are not obvious.
As an aside, that suggestion wouldn't do what you want it to. Suggestions need careful wording. Saying "you want to kiss me" would just implant a desire with nothing making the target need to act upon it.
I used to do this playing with my friends as a kid in ad&d2. Everyone would roll, then we would chose characters based on our stat distribution. This worked fine for then because 1) we never stuck with one game for long and 2) the stats didn't matter as much in those rules.
In pathfinder, it could be fun, but I'd only use it for a short campaign. One where everyone sits down together, whips up some quick characters, and plays for a handful of sessions or even just a one off.
For me it depends greatly on the game I am running. I don't play with a GM screen and I roll my dice in the open. If it is for pfs, I'm just the judge, the players get the result, no fudging at all.
So I'd give him trophies and artwork from his accomplishments, which is traveling the planes. So pick some planes and something representative from each. Maybe hes got some clockwork thing, some ball of protoplasm, a classic pickled imp, a taxedermied celestial animal, etc. Also maybe some things related to his soul studies. Like soul gems and maybe some arcane devices powered by souls.
With only the information of evil and wizard, all you're going to get is standard tropes like dead things, pickled imps, demons, and the like.
What else can you tell us about this person, the more you know, the more that can inform your decisions on decor and style. What is their gender and race? Are they religious? What makes them evil? What is their villainous goal?
Paizo set a precedence with phantasmal killer that knowing an illusion is an illusion makes you immune to the mind affecting effects that come with seeing it. I disagree with this decision, but there it is. I think it's especially silly with phantasmal killer because it is a phantasm, like phantasmal steed. That means it is real. Disbelieving the steed doesn't make you fall through the horse and not be able to ride on it.
I was trying to point out that you aren't being dazzled by lights and sound. The "fascinated" condition is not normal to seeing stuff, it is magical. The lights and sounds made by the illusion are incidental to the effect. It is magically overwhelming your mind. Just like people don't actually die from seeing scary things or we'd have piles of bodies from all the horror movies out there. It is magic overwhelming your mind that makes phantasmal killer function, the visual is again incidental to the effect.
Now if an illusion created a bright blinding light and said fort save or be blinded then yeah, it still works even with the paizo ruling. The effect is from looking at a bright light, not from mind affecting magic, but this sort of spell gets assigned under evocation magic in pathfinder.
So yeah, I do agree that true seeing shouldn't make you immune to mind affecting effects just because they came from illusion magic, it should only prevent your senses from being fooled. In a home game, I will run it this way, however for pfs I am supposed to run it using paizo's version.
I would say yes true seeing protects you from patterns, because of the ruling on phantasmal killer. My reasoning is this:
A pattern spell creates some visual, like dancing bands of light. In reality if you saw that, you would be like huh, wow, that's pretty cool, but seeing such a phenomenon would not completely rob you of you faculties and cause you to stand and stare ignoring all else. The fascination effect caused by the spell is mind affecting magic, so seeing the illusion is causing your mind to be attacked by magic. This is exactly the same thing phantasmal killer does, it makes you see some illusion and seeing the illusion cause your mind to be attacked by magic. If knowing the visual part is fake makes you immune to the magic of the one spell, it follows that the same would apply to other spells.
That aside, in my opinion it should work the opposite way. True seeing shouldn't make you immune to phantasmal killer or the like. True seeing prevents your senses from being fooled, but knowing that something is illusion shouldn't protect you from the mind affecting magic that is invading your brain part of the spell.
A bow has a draw weight based on the build of the weapon and the user's strength. This was translated in game to composite bows with strength ratings. The crossbow has a built in draw weight based purely on design. A simple solution would be to give crossbows a strength rating. So for example have a light crossbow deal 1d8+2, you could even copy the bow cost and have that be 35x3=105gp for a str14 light crossbow.
This would make the crossbow much better for unskilled archers, but the bow would still be the best. I'd put a maximum strength rating on them, say +2 for a light crossbow and +5 for a heavy one. That would be simple and easy to implement. Hmm, I might use this for my own home game.
I think it's a silly pro wrestler monk which could be a lot of fun. Sadly, the way it is written, you aren't allowed to throw one enemy at another. The savage slam feat says unoccupied square. Now I expect many GMs would be willing to house rule in something, but for pfs sadly you aren't supposed to do that.
My 2 cents:
PCs should have their strengths tested from time to time, this makes them feel awesome and lets them do what they are best at. They should also have their weaknesses tested from time to time, otherwise they aren't weaknesses.
That aside, if you do want to punish them, throw in an encounter with a flowing monk. Causing the power attacking fools to hit each other is good for some laughs at your players expense and sure to get them storming off in a huff every time.
Do you know if are subject to a spell that has an area rather than a target, but still looks at a target in the area? Like a Paladin'd Detect Evil, or a Detect Magic spell?
I read that as two separate things. One thing is a standard action. The other is a move. They do not rely on each other. There is a period in between. It does not say while detecting evil they can spend a move action.
Both uses are spell like abilities, so both uses would have "identifiable manifestations" when activated, as per that errata I linked earlier.
I still have no idea what's supposed to go in that faction _|_
Giving replays for 1e is silly. Anyone still playing 1e is just going to ignore their restrictions since they won't really be supporting 1e anymore so who cares. It would only be enforced for cons, where 1e will probably get phased out shortly anyway. I see that replay announcement as pretty irrelevant.
Do you know if are subject to a spell that has an area rather than a target, but still looks at a target in the area? Like a Paladin'd Detect Evil, or a Detect Magic spell?
All spells have some sort of identifiable manifestations according to the FAQ.
If the spell allows a save and you make it then you know it.
A creature that successfully saves against a spell that has no obvious physical effects feels a hostile force or a tingle, but cannot deduce the exact nature of the attack.
So you definitely know something is up if you see them cast the spell. If it's ongoing concentration that doesn't allow a save, I don't think there's anything specifically calling out if that is obvious or not. I would give a character a sense motive check since you are kinda staring at them for 18 seconds, that's probably noticeable. Otherwise, GM discretion I guess.
Only if the pre-requisite calls out the name of a spell explicitly. For instance, the Dimensional Agility feat (Ultimate Combat) has "ability to use the abundant step class feature or cast dimension door" as a prerequisite; a barghest has dimension door as a spell-like ability, so the barghest meets the "able to cast dimension door prerequisite for that feat. However, the barghest's dimension door would not meet requirements such as "Ability to cast 4th level spells" or "Ability to cast arcane spells".
I could see upping the light xbow to 1d10 and the heavy to 2d6. Leave the crit at 19-20 and range doesn't matter (you could spend a lot of time researching what is realistic, but the fact of the matter is that when playing pathfinder you will almost never have a fight more than 100 ft apart so whatever).
I've thought about this but never came up with a good build. I did play a spell eater bloodrager and boosted her fast healing up to 5 with the fast heal feat, but that's pretty insignificant if you're getting hit a lot. Warpriest or paladin self heals would be better. The stalwart invulnerable barbarian can get a lot of Dr, but not until high levels. I played an unchained barbarian and the temp HP you get from raging was not an insignificant amount of mitigation, but I was trying to keep my AC up as well.
In my experience, having low defenses is the best way to tank, though it is very much meta. If you focus on AC, GMs will quickly start trying to ignore you. Monsters will go around you to hit people with less AC, not because it makes sense for the scenario, but because the GM knows the enemies will have a hard time hitting your AC 30, so they go after the AC 20 guy. The issue being that they (the GM) isn't having fun/is feeling frustrated. So I figure if you can make a low defense high mitigation character, then that would solve this problem.
If you blatantly go about charming people in front of witnesses then yeah, that has consequences. Being able to charm someone in a room full of people is something that takes specialized talents, such as levels in enchanting courtesan. It is not and should not be something any first level magic user can pull off.
It's like, if you're a first level rogue you don't just shove your hand in someone's pocket while they are staring straight at you, you aren't that good at sleight of hands yet. You need to use some stealth and guile to pull it off.
If you're dealing with only a few guys then try a little teamwork and imagination. Some people distract the others while you charm one of them. That becomes a more interesting challenge that requires participation from more than one player.
Thanks for all the suggestions. So far the other players have said they are going to play a life oracle, a sorcerer/dragon disciple, an inquisitor, and possibly 1-2 more people, not sure yet.
At this point I'm leaning towards a menhir savant dwarven druid. I am expecting there will be lots of haunts, so the spirit sense ability should come in handy for detecting them before blundering into them and it doesn't trade out anything I would miss. Maybe focus on summoning.
In my home games I don't consider spells like charm to have obvious magic lights flying around. However, to cast the spell you do still need to chant in a clearly audible volume and wave your arms about, so it is pretty obvious to anyone watching that something's up. I wouldn't let someone conceal their spellcasting unless they delt with that first, such as by using silent and still metamagics.
In reality there's a lot of other reasons people act cowardly, but this is a fantasy game where the point is to do foolishly brave deeds. The reason players flee from an obviously easy encounter is that they've learned that such things are traps. They've come across too many ducks in a dungeon, so they see one and go nope, not falling for that again.
Your players learned to be this way due to their experience in playing. Maybe it is their experience with a previous GM, or maybe it is you. If it was a previous GM, then you need to show and tell how you aren't them. If it is you, then you need to change how you run the game. Unfortunately, this sort of thing is really hard to unlearn, and its going to take some time.
I might let something like drop your weapons and stand still function as a suggestion if it was worded better, but the subject would obey for one round then it would end, because they fulfilled all the requirements of that suggestion.
A suggestion compels you to carry out the specified action, but not how to go about it, nor does it entirely rob you of control. You get to decide how to complete the action and you can certainly try to complete it in the quickest way you can imagine, using all abilities at your disposal.
A frequently used suggestion is to have someone "go get help," so they run off back to town or wherever their closest allies are. It works great to remove someone from the fight, but if they are capable of long distance communication (ex sending), they could do that instead and fulfill the suggestion.
I played with a GM who had everything try to run away as soon as it looked like it was losing and then would say nope you don't get xp, you didn't kill it. It was most infuriating. Due to that experience when I GM I almost never have enemies flee. It's a situation where enjoyment trumps realism. (aside: do give xp if the enemy flees, you don't need to kill an enemy to defeat them) In my experience, unless so badly off they are incapable of continuing the fight, players will always try to chase a fleeing enemy.
Make all the monsters have the Advanced Template
Do not do this. Ever. If you want to increase the difficulty of a monster you should be advancing it by adding hit dice. This template exists as a quick and dirty edit when you don't have time to do the work in actually advancing the creature properly. It is poorly balanced and will increase the challenge of many monsters in unintended ways.
The thing with challenging video games is that you are expected to replay content over and over until you succeed. Video games will do things like have some sniper shoot you in the back, forcing you to replay. There's really know way to know they are there, you are expected to die over and over until you memorize the location of the enemies. This kind of difficulty doesn't translate to tabletop rpgs at all.
In a game like pathfinder, failure can only be a setback. You have to be able to fail forward, otherwise the game ends. In my experience, making the combat part of pathfinder as hard as possible is not very fun. Instead, I look to instill difficulty into the story aspect, into the choices players make, the mysteries they solve, the problems they tackle. Failure in these aspects is meaningful and has impact. Failure in combat can't be meaningful or the game just stops.
Going to start playing in a game set in Ustalav soon. I didn't see any Ustalav players splat book. Anyone know of any regional themed archetypes, feats, traits, etc? Just looking for inspiration, don't have any particular character type in mind, could be anything. Except not some weird monster race, sticking to core races. Being assumedly a character in a horror show, got to at least be somewhat a normal person.
So the deal with pathfinder is that spellcasters have an easy low cap. Veterans warn new players to stay away from spellcasters, play a martial because they're easier to play/build. That may be true, but they require more system mastery to optimize. The difference between an ok martial and an optimized one can easily be a 6 higher attack bonus and 3 times the damage output. A spellcaster is all about the spells. Someone with a lot of system mastery can get a higher save DC, or deal more damage, but that's not what makes spellcasters the "god" class.
What makes people say magic is king is because magic can send you across the world in the blink of an eye, bring people back from the dead, and generally bypass obstacles. Magic can overcome challenges that would otherwise require extreme levels of skill and luck. The spellcaster's greatest effect spells are non-combat ones, their power is altering the game narrative, and none of that relies on anything but picking the right spells.
However, as an old experienced player playing with other old experienced players, it is never God Wizard that the people complain about. It's always Martial Mcpounceface killing the boss before they even get a turn.
Yeah, even at level 17 the most effective thing to do as a caster was usually cast haste on all the martials. That does of course depend on your party, but the last spellcaster I played was a sorceress for crimson throne in a group with a barbarian, swashbuckler, rogue, and priest of gorum. So I could cast my highest level spell, horrid wilting dc28 for 17d6, which of course everything saved on a 2 and took ~30 damage each, or I could haste the party and they would deal way more than that.
"a creature with the shapechanger subtype can revert to its natural form as a standard action."
RAW, it says nothing about negating the spell. They can just revert to their natural form. So if they failed the will save, they could turn back, but they are still under all the effects of this permanent spell. So they have the alignment, abilities, and mental stats of the animal they were turned in to, and lose all their own ex, su, sp abilities and so on as per the spell.
Personally the way I run it is that if they are turned into a chicken and fail their will save, they think they are a chicken. So they wouldn't turn back even though they could.
The reason people recommend cleric is the healing. There's numerous ways to make yourself heal from negative energy so then you have a bunch of minions which you can aoe heal all them and yourself while they fight for you.
I think this is what people are wanting when they ask for a necromancer build and so cleric is the way to do that. It's not that other classes aren't viable or good, but cleric best fits the play style envisioned for what a "necromancer" is.
There are numerous reasons for why an animal might attack a person. Convincing the animal to back down would be subject to the particular circumstances that led up to the animal attacking you in the first place. There's no rules, nor should there be, for resolving such a situation. This is GM fiat territory, so what it comes down to is reasoning with your GM.
Matthew Downie wrote:
But maybe it works better if we interpret "in the midst of a conversation" as meaning you have to actively engage with the villain and say something distracting...
Yeah here's the way I see it: it all depends on the circumstances of engagement.
You come around the corner and see each other, there is a tense moment, are you going to fight? You start talking, but everyone's still eyeing each other and fingering their swords. You need to engage in a significant amount of conversation before people start to relax and the possibility of a bluff surprise becomes available.
On the other hand, if you are in a situation where people are not expecting violence, like at a dinner party, then you don't need any conversation to attempt a bluff to surprise knife someone. You can be like hi nice to meet you, hold out one hand and knife em while they shake your hand.
If you want to be picky, a monologue is not a conversation. Conversations requires two or more parties to, you know, converse. Not one blab while the other is just audience.
The only downside I envision to using the spell is that it deals nonlethal, which only disperses the swarm. Your typical swarm would reform in 5 hours or so. (nonlethal heals at HD/hour)
The upside is that you could roll a swarm filled water ball over other enemies dealing nonlethal and swarm damage, which would be totally awesome. Sadly the swarm would fill the ball, so you couldn't pick up anything else, but you could pick up an enemy and roll them into the swarm instead. Oh the possibilities.