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Hey,
A new Pathfinder campaign I am starting has a really big haunted mansion as its centerpiece. I'm looking for a good map.
I have the Tegel Manor map but I think it is just too big; however everything else I've found online seems too small.

Any recommendations? Something about half the size of the Tegel Manor map would be just about perfect.

Ken


I saw a reference to the altitude rules in the flaming sphere thread (see below).

I hadn't seen these rules, and I know from personal experience (I do a lot of high altitude trekking in the himalayas and elsewhere) that they're kindof silly.

In general, you can go to about 9000 feet without experiencing significant altitude sickness.
If you go higher, you might a headache, but you'll acclimatize at a rate of 1000-2000 feet per day. I've spent weeks at above 12000 feet, and I've slept at around 19,000 feet (crater of kilimanjaro). I've flown from sea level right to 12,000 feet (Lhasa, Tibet, and also La Paz, Bolivia). I did feel pretty bad that evening, but was absolutely fine the next morning.

I personally would have the 'High pass' category kick in no lower than 10,000 feet. And the fort saves shouldn't scale past a point... it should actually get easier to pass them, as your body acclimatizes.

The high peak category should probably be somewhere above 20,000 feet, given that they affect even acclimatized characters. I believe there are military bases in India/Pakistan where people permanently live at this altitude. There is certainly an altitude that people cannot acclimatize to, but I am not sure what it is.

Stefan Hill wrote:
Fergie wrote:
Stefan Hill wrote:

On the other end of the scale...

Also can I have rules on altitude sickness please, when exactly does my character loose consciousness or have his blood boil if I fly my broom of flying straight up?

Straight up what?


PRD wrote:

"Altitude Zones: In general, mountains present three possible altitude bands: low pass, low peak/high pass, and high peak.

Low Pass (lower than 5,000 feet): Most travel in low mountains takes place in low passes, a zone consisting largely of alpine meadows and forests. Travelers might find the going difficult (which is reflected in the movement modifiers for traveling through mountains), but the altitude itself has no game effect.

Low Peak or High Pass (5,000 to 15,000 feet): Ascending to the highest slopes of low mountains, or most normal travel through high mountains, falls into this category. All non-acclimated creatures labor to breathe in the thin air at this altitude. Characters must succeed on a Fortitude save each hour (DC 15, +1 per previous check) or be fatigued. The fatigue ends when the character descends to an altitude with more air. Acclimated characters do not have to attempt the Fortitude save.

High Peak (more than 15,000 feet): The highest mountains exceed 15,000 feet in height. At these elevations, creatures are subject to both high altitude fatigue (as described above) and altitude sickness, whether or not they're acclimated to high altitudes. Altitude sickness represents long-term oxygen deprivation, and affects mental and physical ability scores. After each 6-hour period a character spends at an altitude of over 15,000 feet, he must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 15, +1 per previous check) or take 1 point of damage to all ability scores. Creatures acclimated to high altitude receive a +4 competence bonus on their saving throws to resist high altitude effects and altitude sickness, but eventually even seasoned mountaineers must abandon these dangerous elevations.

...


Thanks!


This is sort of a fork from the other stat rolling thread.

I've been thinking for awhile that it might be fun to use rolling instead of point buy for stats. But, I definitely want all PCs to start off on an equal footing.

So, I'm contemplating the following:

1) making everyone roll 4d6/drop lowest, assigning totals to their stats.

2) I determine the cost of each stat block if bought via point buy.

3) The PC with the highest point buy total is done. The others get a variable number of bonus feats, judged by me to make them 'equal' to the best PC.

Would this be a good scheme? Also, how many character points would a feat be worth?

Ken


Hey,

I'm not a big fan of Pathfinder's area burst healing for clerics, so I'm considering a house rule:

1) A cleric's channelled energy only affects the undead. An Evil cleric's channelled energy heals undead rather than harming them.

2) cleric spells that can be spontaneously converted (basically cure X wounds for good clerics and inflict x wounds for evil clerics) can be cast as a move action. A cleric can cast only one Cure or Inflict spell, by any means, in the same round - no casting inflict light wounds twice using both the standard and move action.

The idea is to replace the Channel Energy healing burst with something a little more like what 3.X clerics get, but let clerics do more than just heal people in battle. The other goal is to removed low level ranged healing (which I am not a fan of) from the game.

Comments?

Ken


Hey,

I'm thinking about running the upcoming Kingmaker Adventure Path at my loft in Downtown Los Angeles on Sundays. Anyone interested?

Ken McKinney


Hey,
I recently subscribed to the Pathfinder Adventure Path. I'm interested in getting and running Kingmaker.

What I noticed in my queue, however, confuses me:

February 2010
1x Pathfinder Adventure Path #28: The Infernal Syndrome (Council of Thieves 4 of 6) (PFRPG) Print Edition
1x Pathfinder Chronicles: City Map Folio Print Edition
1x Pathfinder Chronicles: Guide to the River Kingdoms (PFRPG) Print Edition
1x Pathfinder Adventure Path #30: The Twice-Damned Prince (Council of Thieves 6 of 6) (PFRPG) Print Edition
Standard Postal Delivery: $6.54
March 2010
1x Pathfinder Chronicles: Council of Thieves Map Folio
1x Pathfinder Chronicles: NPC Guide (PFRPG)
1x Pathfinder Adventure Path #31: Stolen Land (Kingmaker 1 of 6) (PFRPG)
Standard Postal Delivery: $5.82
April 2010
1x Pathfinder Chronicles: Classic Treasures Revisited (PFRPG)
1x Pathfinder Adventure Path #32: Rivers Run Red (Kingmaker 2 of 6) (PFRPG)

I can understand getting council of thieves 6 if Kingmaker isn't ready when my subscription starts, but why is #4 in there?

Having half (or less) of council of thieves isn't really useful to me. Also, I'm not really planning on running it (in fact I am in a council of thieves campaign as a player).

Can someone straighten this out? My ideal order would begin with the kingmaker stuff.

Thanks!
Ken


I ran a level 1 summoner in the 'assault on the kingdom of the impossible' organized play module last week. We were playing at APL 4-5, and I was the only first level PC. I played a summoner with a bipedal eidolon, with a bite, reach on the bite attack, and trip on the bite attack. Eidolon feat was Combat Reflexes.

At the start of play I had 14hp. My summoner cast Shield on the eidolon, giving it an AC of 19 w/dex(another PC had a wand of mage armor and cast it on him, giving me the ability to cast shield during multiple battles) . I only cast Shield during the last fight. Summoner had SF: Conjuration and Augment Summoning as feats. He spent all his time summoning fiendish riding dogs that lasted one round (but could also trip). Since he had an 18 CHA he could summon 7 of these per day; that sufficed.

The character was competitive with all of the other PCs, even though I was several levels lower than most of them. My summoner never got attacked. The eidolon at one point went up to scout with the 2nd level rogue; he was as effective a scout as the rogue (better climb skill, worse stealth) and more importantly, when they both got in battle he did far more damage than the rogue due to his attacks of opportunity and his 3 primary attacks. In fact, the rogue died , and the player lost the PC. The summoner faced no such risk since the eidolon took the hits. And with reach and trip, the eidolon was much harder to engage and damage than the rogue was. The eidolon was healed out of combat once with a clw wand, but was never healed in combat.

The consensus of the other players was that the summoner was an overpowered class. It didn't matter so much because I was much lower level than them, but I am confident that if I had had a 4th level summoner my PC would have been completely imbalanced relative to the others.

Ken


I love this class, but I think a couple of the restrictions are too gamist.

In the first case, I don't like the restriction that elixirs become inert if they leave the alchemists person. This seems unnecessary. Rather, Just say that all elixirs only work on the alchemist, and if anyone else drinks them have them be poisonous. Ingested poisons aren't that expensive or useful in combat, this will hardly break anything.

I have the same issue with the bombs. I would even go so far as to allow a character to use a bomb, but there should be a significant chance that it goes off in the PC's hands!

All this talk of stuff becoming inert when removed from the alchemists person seems artificial and gamist to me. I understand the game balance goal, but think that it needs to be reached in a way that rings true.

If you want the alchemist to be able to buff others, say that he has to concoct the elixir especially for that person, and that it takes longer. Also, he should have to inject it with a big needle!

Ken


Oh, and don't even get me started on making Haste 2nd level and greater Invisibility 3rd level. All sort of unintended consequences fall out of this choice. For example, rogues can now buy potions of greater invisibility. I would suggest that both of these spells should stay at their regular levels. Why should a summoner be better at casting either of these spells than a Bard?


Hey,

I'm running Savage Tide for the second time, online using MapTools this time.

It's going well, but the party just had some exceptionally bad luck in Kraken's Cove... the party barbarian got critted twice for just about maximum damage both times in the first round, taking 35hp of damage and going to -8. Then the warmage moved up to try to protect his dying body and got dropped as well with another crit! Then the party killed the savage pirates, but as they exploded their acid damage was enough to kill the dying PCs. This was all in the room with the savage pirates with the meat cleaver, just inside the caves from the beach.

So, they are hardly into Kraken's Cove at all and they already have two deaths, out of 6 PCs. While they could press on, I am not sure that they will. If they don't they miss out on the opportunity to meet Harliss Javell and get her information about Vanthus and the Shadow Pearls. Also, they won't be forewarned about the attack at Vanderboren Manor. And if they don't return, they won't get the Sea Wyvern.

I am trying to figure out how best to recover from this.

I could totally redo the attack on Vanderboren Manor and make it retaliation from the Kellanis for the Lotus Dragon guild. That actually makes some sense, but would represent an escalation with the Kellanis that would almost certainly having the PCs wanting to assault the Kellani mansion in retaliation, so I would have to write that up as well. Presumably Lavinia would still send them back to Kraken's Cove afterwards to pick up the Vanthus trail.

But, how would they be able to? It's hard to rationalize Harliss Javell still being there days later. I want to somehow get them the information about Vanthus accidentally triggering the Shadow Pearl, but I am having a hard time coming up with a way to do it.

Any suggestions?


Hey,

I've just started running the STAP for the 2nd time, using MapTools.

Has anyone done this, and if so, is there a repository of tokens corresponding to the Savage Tide bad guys anywhere? I would love for someone to save me the work of making these things!

Ken


Oh, and I divided up all the Farshore squads and NPCs and my players ran them. It would have sucked if I'd tried to run them myself; too much work for me and a lot of sitting and watching on the part of the PCs.

kenmckinney wrote:

Hey,

I just finished playing out a really epic pirate attack on Farshore.

I didn't like the crimson fleet attack as described, so I changed a lot.

Firstly, I think that 150 pirates is way too few for a crimson fleet assault on farshore. Also, I think that the pirate examples given are too high level -- everyone in the attack shouldn't be a Ftr2/Rog2.

So I made them all War2's. But I made the assault consist of 700 of them, on 7 ships, all larger than the sea wyvern/blue nixie.

I kept the Yuan-Ti sorcerer and his bodyguards but switched out his Animate Dead spell for Dimension door, since he had no undead bodyguards. I realize that Animate Dead is a prereq for the flesh golems but I didn't want him to be undead themed. Oddly, this switch ended up hurting him, for reasons I will detail below.

I kept Vanthus and the Vrocks as written. Vanthus is pretty weak, but his role isn't really to dish it out, it's to be dramatic and trigger his Savage Pearl.

I made a big map of the sea approach to farshore and the harbor on two big sheets of 1" square graph paper easel pads that I got from Staples. On this scale, each square represented 100 feet.

I decided that it was a sunny day when the pirates were attacking, and ruled that the lookouts saw the fleet 20 miles away, which gave approx. 2 hours warning of the attack.

My PCs include a Dread Necromancer, who has animated the Colossal Anaconda from the Couatl temple as a 20HD skeleton snake. They cast fly on it and rode it towards the ships, taking hits from the Yuan Ti's wand of enlarged fireballs on the way in. They crash landed on the deck of one of the ships. Since each ship had 100 pirates, they smashed a whole bunch of them on landing -- everyone on deck was squeezing.

My PCs tore into the pirates. The Yuan Ti and his bodyguards, on a different boat, dimension doored to the PCs boat to fight. Unfortunately for them, one of the PCs casts Anticipate Teleportation daily, giving the PCs one round warning of their arrival. All of the...


So, I'm running Savage Tide down here in Argentina, for a bunch of English-Speaking Argentinian gamers that I recruited down here.

They have taken to the part of playing 'morally grey' characters well. Maybe a little too well!

The PCs constantly threaten each other. I had to put the party into initiative 3 times last adventure because fights almost started out.

They finally recovered the loot under Parrot Island after a near TPK. before putting the treasure in the chest prior to dividing it, they bought 5 chains with 5 padlocks and chained up the chest so that no one of them could sneak in and run off with the treasure.

One of them has already secretly asked me by note if he can contact the lotus dragons to sell out the party (only one PC escaped parrot island initially, by swimming. The replacement PCs have only met lavinia once, and she came in disguise at the party's insistence so that whoever was backing Vanthus wouldn't know she had recruited new adventurers). So the Lotus are currently unaware of the party's existence.

Another PC, a beguiler, is constantly disguised; the PCs have never seen his true appearance. He wants to secretly follow the other PCs to find out if any of them are selling out the group. I made him make a prioritized list (you can't follow everyone) and he correctly picked the sellout PC.

So, two questions:

1) the PC who wants to sell out to the lotus dragons (he has that bonus underworld connections feat, by the way). What should the Lotus ask him to do? Lead the party into a trap, I think, right?

2) How do I adjudicate the guy being followed? The beguiler has a +8 disguise skill and the disguise self spell. Plus, the other PCs have never seen his true appearance. Should I give the guy being tailed a roll to detect it? What should the DC be?

Ken


Well,

I almost had a TPK under Parrot Island. Vanthus tricked the PCs into going into the tunnels and slammed the trapdoor shut as normal.

I have 6 players in my campaign, all with 32 point buy (Though the rule I use as the GM is that I get to assign the last 4 points, and I assign them to low stats, generally). So I had thought that I was going to need to bump things up a bit to create a challenge. Boy, was I wrong!

My party consisted of the following:

1 lvl 1 rogue with a rapier and dagger (planned to remain a rogue)
1 lvl 1 rogue with a rapier and dagger (planned to become a swashbuckler)
1 lvl 1 wizard (mage armor, color spray, and 1 open slot for Alacritous Cogitation)
1 lvl 1 Dread Necromancer (with Tomb-Tainted-Soul, of course)
1 lvl 1 Fharlaghn cleric, travel and celerity domain
1 lvl 1 sorcere (mage armor, magic missile)

At first, they encountered 3 zombies... the Dread Necromancer, who by then had bought two scrolls of Command Undead, used both of them and got two Undead Ravenous Pirate Zombie Servants, and they dispatched the other zombie. The only thing that made the battle a little tough was the crabs, but they were also killed quickly. I was starting to thing things would be boring.

So next, in the big room with 4 exits, I had them encounter two zombies in one of the antechambers. They engaged it and the cleric turned them both. But I realized that they were in a room with 5 entrances, which was a perfect place to stage a big zombie attack. So the next round, I had another door open and 4 more zombies pile out. The huecueva cleric followed from here 2 rounds later, and two emerged from the opposite chamber 3 rounds after that. In total 6 zombies and the huecueva cleric, but not all at once, and I figured 6 PCs plus two fully healed zombie pets could handle it.

But the dread necromancer chose to cast 'hide from undead' and basically spent the rest of the battle watching his zombies from safety. The cleric only succeeded in a single turn attempt, and rolled terrible on his turning damage (a 3 on 2d6+1), turning a single zombie.

The sorcerer used a Ray of Enfeeblement on the Huecuva cleric, dropping his STR to 4. The Huecueva cleric tried Cause Fear on the Fharlaghn cleric, but the PC made his will save.

From then on , the Huecueva cleric mostly made rebuke attempts, trying to shut down the Dread Necromancers two zombies, and un-turn his own.

The problem was, the rogues couldn't do any damage (they finally figured out that daggers were slashing weapons), the wizard had inappropriate spells and just kept trying to shoot his crossbow (not hurting a thing), and the whole fight basically fell to the sorcerer and the cleric (who had a cure light wounds wand) and the two pet zombies.

Eventually, everyone but the hidden dread necromancer was grappled and eaten, but not until after the sorcerer managed to kill the huecueva cleric with magic missles and a burning hands scroll. The dread necromancer actually ended this battle still having two rebuke attempts, which he didn't use because he didn't want to become unhidden!

The dread necromancer slunk away, avoiding the sea urchins, and swam out, barely making his swim checks (I let him level to 2nd level in the dungeon from the XP, and he spent all his skill points on swim cross class!) and escaping, after finding Pinkus' note. So the campaign is still on track (and all the players who had dead PCs were really good sports).

I feel a little bad because I railroaded the party a bit, the wizard, who was the last person to go down, actually looked for hidden people first, and got a 23 on a spot check (natural 19, alertness, elf). I didn't let him see Vanthus because I figured either Vanthus would kill him, or Vanthus would be taken out, and I really wanted to set up Vanthus as a recurring NPC since he is so central to the campaign and thought the wizard would survive in the dungeon. But, I was wrong.

So now, I am deciding what to do next. The surviving dread necromancer wants to hire mercenaries and go back into the tunnels to take out the 4 surviving zombies and get the treasure of all the dead PCs. So we may do that next, though I am hesitant because I don't really want the Dread Necromancer PC to get all that treasure, since he basically stood by and let his whole party be killed rather than expose himself to any personal risk.

Any ideas? I'm thinking the right thing to do is to just have the other players make lvl 2 PCs that get hired by Lavinia.

Ken


So, my players have just finished the Spire of Long Shadows, and are now all 14th level (there are 4 of them).

The thing is, I'm leaving to backpack around the world at the end of the month, for a year. We'll get to play 3 more times before then. No one wants to take the campaign over after that -- they're going to start a new low level campaign after I leave.

I don't really think the stuff in Alhaster provides a satisfactory endpoint for the Age of Worms campaign, so I'm thinking about making my own adventure to end things with. My thinking is that it should involve both Darl Quelthos (hand of Vecna) and the Ancient Red Dragon that flew away with Kyuss. I don't mind it being tough for 14th level PCs (my players are hardcore powergamers) but I don't want it to be impossible, and I want to end the campaign with a good climactic battle in an interesting location.

So, basically I'm looking for ideas. Anyone have any? Oh, my PCs failed in the Champions Belt and Greyhawk is about 1/3rd occupied by a wight army.

Thanks,
Ken


Hey,

I'm running the final part of the Hall of Harsh Reflections tomorrow, and it looks to me like the save DCs of gaze attacks of the Octupin, and especially the Advanced Octupin, are off.

The Octupin is listed as having a gaze attack save DC of 18. Assuming that the Slow effect is as a 3rd level spell, then with the Octupin's 15 CHA it should be 10+3 (spell level) +2 (CHA) +2 (feat) , or 17.

The Advanced Octupin has a gaze attack with a save DC of 22. How did this come about? It has the same CHA as the Octupin, and the entry for the creature states that the save DC is CHA based.

Thanks,
Ken