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Organized Play Member. 85 posts (96 including aliases). 3 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 8 Organized Play characters. 1 alias.


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Scarab Sages

Fromper wrote:
Well, from a technical standpoint, manually pulling a list of GMs who have earned a new star should be an easy database query. That shouldn't be more than an hour's work for the IT folks to write the query. Then it would only take 2 minutes to re-run the same report to give Mike that list every few months. Maybe this could be done quarterly or something, rather than as soon as someone earns the star.

Just writing a database query to pull a list of GMs and their stars would probably only take a few minutes... but doing thing the "right" way would take a lot more effort that that. Paizo would also want a way to track which boons are eligible prizes for GM stars and track which GMs have claimed prizes for their stars, both of which are probably new database tables. They'll also want a GUI that campaign coordinators can use to manage which boons are available, plus an interface for users to see which ones they're eligible for and then claim them, and it would also need to provide a mechanism for users to download them. You've also got to factor in time to test all of the new GUIs and database queries, since you don't want to put them on the production systems until you're sure they work right, and you also have to consider the cost of taking the production system offline while you upgrade it.

Without any knowledge of Paizo's internal structure, I'd probably estimate that as three or four days of work for one developer. It could definitely be more, depending on how flexible their system is. That's not a whole lot, but the budget for that still has to come from somewhere. (in the real world I do software development, mostly web & database stuff nowadays, coincidentally)

Anyway, as a venture officer, I wouldn't mind tracking this kind of thing manually. I think a reasonable interim solution might be to provide access to the star boons to VOs and have GMs who've earned stars go to their local VO to request a copy of a boon. To be fair, in my local area, even if every GM came to me right away and wanted all the boons they could claim, I might only have to give out a few dozen; I'm sure there are other VOs who would have to deal with a lot more paperwork.

On an unrelated note, I've really been thinking about making a kitsune mysterious stranger gunslinger. I've already got a kitsune sorcerer, though, so I might go with a half-elf musket master instead...

Scarab Sages

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Personally, I'd rather play with a party of aasimar, kitsune, and catfolk who love their characters and are really into roleplaying them than a party of humans who are human because they wanted an extra feat. I can understand restricting races in some circumstances, such as the desire to use them as convention prizes or making sure they fit in the lore, but I don't think that making them rare just for the sake of ensuring their rarity really makes the campaign better overall.

Rusty Ironpants wrote:
ohh, what about a Reincarnation boon that let a dead character come back as another PFS Legal race - or apply a race boon at the time of Reincarnation.

Even if it's completely unrelated to how Paizo decides to handle race boons, I think it'd be really neat to have a "Reincarnate" boon that could be used to bring a character back from the dead as a random PFS-legal race.

Scarab Sages

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I waited a few days after reading this to comment because I've got a lot of opinions on race boons, so I figured I should mull it over a bit first...

First of all, I like using race boons to draw attendance to cons. For many people, the opportunity to get a unique boon is the primary reason why they would be willing to go to a convention rather than just play at their local gaming store.

On the other hand, I know a lot of people don't have the opportunity to go to cons, and I would like to see a way for them to get boons without begging or bribing the con-goers for theirs.

With that said, I think a time-limited lottery system is a bad way of handling it. First, for any given race, you have to consider that there are many people who aren't interested in that race. Some people don't think any races other than the core six belong in PFS, some are only interested in races that are the best mechanically, and some people just don't like the flavor of particular races. If you hand out races via a lottery, inevitably there will be a lot of people who get a racial boon and simply don't want it.

In fact, despite the clamor I see on message boards, in real life I don't see a lot of people playing unusual races. After aasimar/tiefling/tengu were made open, there was not a sudden flood of them. I know a couple of players with characters of those races, but the core races still vastly outnumber them. Almost every long-time player I know has at least one kitsune, nagaji, or wayang boon, and most of them have never been used. There are a lot of people who hate seeing non-core races who worry that making a boon easy to get will lead to a huge surge of people playing that races, but I don't see any actual evidence that makes me believe that.

The situation this leads to is that you'll have some people who really want that boon, and they'll try as hard as they can to earn it legitimately, but they don't get one just due to the luck of the draw. This leads to the people who don't want those boons selling them to the people who do, and I know Paizo doesn't want to see boons getting sold for cash. If there's a time limit on the lottery, that also means the boons will become rarer and more valuable as time goes on, and players who start playing later will feel like they're punished for not having started earlier.

I would much rather see a guaranteed way for somebody who wants a race boon to get one; unfortunately, I don't know what Paizo's database is capable of doing, so I don't know what I can suggest that wouldn't involve a lot of software development. I think that offering a race boon as a prize on a chronicle sheet for completing a scenario is a better solution than a lottery, although I know some people think that will make the races in question too common.

With that in mind, there should probably also be some kind of limiting factor that makes it more difficult or more time-consuming to get the boon. I like the idea of a boon being a reward for completing an entire season; after you've played or GMed every scenario in a season (all of the ones that are legal, at least), you automatically get an appropriate boon. If an entire season is too long, maybe make it a prize for completing all the parts of a multi-part scenario or a module?

A reward for earning GM stars is a possible idea, too, although again, that'd probably take more database work for Paizo. Earn a star, pick a boon from an approved list. That is simple enough in concept.

Another idea that occurred to me is having a chronicle sheet that lets you pay prestige in order to buy a race boon, but after thinking about it, that leaves kind of a bad taste in my mouth; I don't want to have to spend one character's resources just to make another character. I have a feeling that would lead to people making "dump" characters whose only reason to exist is to earn enough prestige to play as the race they really want. Maybe a better implementation of that would be a chronicle boon that lets you transform that character into a different race? (you could write it off as a "Polymorph Accident")

Anyway, those are all the thoughts I have. The main thing I object to is having it be random; I would like to see a way for players who want a particular boon to earn it rather than either get lucky or get it from eBay.

Scarab Sages

I would love to go, but I'm doing the Tier 1 GM thing at Gen Con, and I know there's just no way I would be able to spend that weekend at Space City Con and still have time to prepare for Gen Con... maybe next year. Good luck!

Scarab Sages

When I first played this, my group had a little bit of trouble because we were fuzzy on exactly what our goals were. We succeeded, but until the scenario was over and the GM told us we succeeded we weren't sure.

When I GMed this scenario, I had the VC really drill the PC's goals into them:


1) Go to the embassy with a message for the ambassador.
2) Amara Li will keep him busy for an hour, and while they're waiting they should take the chance to sneak into the embassy.
3) After they're in, they need to find three things:
- Where Zarta was taken
- Why she was taken there
- Who was responsible for it

Before the scenario, my wife drew out the map on graph paper for me (we were helping each other prepare for a con), then I cut out each room so that I could lay them down one at a time as they explored the building. My favorite bit of prep, though, was:

I put together an actual framed portrait of Ambrus Valsin with lipstick marks on it, then hid the player handout in the back of the frame with just the edge of it sticking out.

The players really got a kick out of that.

The group just barely made it, but they were all clear on what they had to do and I think they had a lot of fun doing it. This has been one of my favorite scenarios to run; I'm planning to run it again at GenCon.

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Mainly due to the fact that the party played 4-5 Tier with a bunch of 3rd level characters. They managed the infiltration fine, but the first combat encounter destroyed them.

I'm pretty sure that's the intent for Season 4 scenarios. If your party falls in the middle, playing up should be a scary prospect; they should not go into it with the assumption that they'll make it through just fine.

Scarab Sages

Jiggy wrote:
I find it ironic when someone explicitly contradicts a rule that they just quoted in the same post.

Care to explain how so?

Scarab Sages

Also keep in mind:

PRD on Take 20:
When you have plenty of time, you are faced with no threats or distractions, and the skill being attempted carries no penalties for failure, you can take 20. In other words, if you a d20 roll enough times, eventually you will get a 20. Instead of rolling 1d20 for the skill check, just calculate your result as if you had rolled a 20.

Taking 20 means you are trying until you get it right, and it assumes that you fail many times before succeeding. Taking 20 takes 20 times as long as making a single check would take (usually 2 minutes for a skill that takes 1 round or less to perform).

Since taking 20 assumes that your character will fail many times before succeeding, your character would automatically incur any penalties for failure before he or she could complete the task (hence why it is generally not allowed with skills that carry such penalties). Common “take 20” skills include Disable Device (when used to open locks), Escape Artist, and Perception (when attempting to find traps).

Taking 20 means you're doing something over and over, failing repeatedly, until you finally get it right. That also means that it's not something you can do on checks on you only get one chance at, such as opposed rolls; that includes Bluff, Sense Motive, or Perception for noticing a hiding enemy before they attack. You can do it for searching a room, but make sure the players know that tossing a single room could take 30 minutes to an hour, and it could take days if they're going to thoroughly search the entire manor.

When I run this at ChimaeraCon, I think I'll have the players fill out a note card with their saves / skill checks / etc. and ask them whether they want to take 10 or roll for their passive skill checks. One thing I'm on the fence about is having them pre-roll skill checks or rolling for them behind the GM screen... I know players don't like it when the GM rolls for them, but on the other hand, I know several players who will meta-game and be aware of the fact that they have a bad skill check coming up.

Scarab Sages

GeraintElberion wrote:

Fine, this player has sat down with a pile of different PF harbacks and come up with a tweaked build to 'win' the game.

The problem is that one player is outshining the other players and making the GM's job harder.

There's only two books involved here, the Core Rulebook and the Advanced Race Guide, and the build is ineffective against creatures immune to mind-affecting effects or any NPC that can use a first level potion or spell before a fight. Story Archer also hasn't given any indication that the other players in the group are not having fun.

When I'm a player, I find it really frustrating when a GM tells somebody to change their character because the GM doesn't want to tweak encounters or change tactics to suit the party. Heck, that's what home games are for. I can go GM PFS games when I want to run encounters exactly as-written.

Scarab Sages

GeraintElberion wrote:
This player has gone on-line, looked on some optimisation boards and found a tweaked build to 'win' the game.

Why do you say that? There's nothing particularly tricky about the character. Kitsune are obviously naturally good at enchanting; combine that with a bloodline that focuses on enchanting and a couple of standard feats and items for boosting spell DCs and you've got somebody who is very good at enchanting. That's hardly the same as playing a character who exploits just the right combination of poorly-defined mechanics in order to break the game.

Scarab Sages

On a related note, that brings up another useful tactic to use against creatures who can create Darkness or Deeper Darkness. The activation of spell-like abilities can be disrupted just casting a spell can; if somebody in the party gets to act before the creature has used its ability, have them ready an action to attack it if it tries to use a spell-like ability. It's probably going to fail that concentration check with a DC of (10 + damage taken + spell level).

Readying to attack is almost always better than readying to counterspell.

Scarab Sages

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Hey, I've never seen them in the same room at the same time. For all I know, they could be the same person.

Scarab Sages

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Funky Badger wrote:
Which was wierd, because there's nothing evil about vivisection.

There's nothing inherently evil about vivisection, but the vivisectionist archetype has some fairly evil stuff in it. Here's a few quotes:

PRD wrote:

Unlike a chirurgeon, a vivisectionist's goals are not related to healing, but rather to experimentation and knowledge that most people would consider evil.

Torturous Transformation: At 7th level, a vivisectionist adds anthropomorphic animal to his formula book as a 2nd-level extract. When he uses this extract, he injects it into an animal as part of a 2-hour surgical procedure. By using multiple doses of this extract as part of the surgery, he multiplies the duration by the number of extracts used.

At 9th level, a vivisectionist adds awaken and baleful polymorph to his formula book as 3rd-level extracts. When he uses the awaken or baleful polymorph extract, he injects it into the target (not a plant) as part of a 24-hour surgical procedure. He can make anthropomorphic animal permanent on a creature by spending 7,500 gp.

It's not really over the top, but it doesn't fit into the goals of PFS as it is, and they don't want to set a precedent of making corner-case exceptions and modifications to class and archetypes to make them fit into PFS better. So, it got banned.

Here's some interesting trivia: at the Q&A with Mike Brock (bah! for some reason I had the "Q&A with James Jacobs" thread stuck in my head...) at Owlcon, he hypothesized that the vivisectionist was originally intended to be an evil counterpart to the alchemist class, similar to the relationship between the anti-paladin and paladin. It was decided to make it an archetype instead of a full class.

Scarab Sages

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Morain wrote:
Why do they hve to ban things that work just fine in Pathfinder Like leadership and magic item creation?

Both of those things are absurdly overpowered compared to other feat options. Leadership essentially gives you an extra character who is almost as powerful as your primary character, plus a small army of weaker characters. It also has a number of situational modifiers that are largely a matter of opinion and very difficult to regulate in an organized society format.

Magic item creation allows players who have the appropriate feats to acquire equipment much more cheaply than anybody else, which breaks the wealth-by-level curve and causes that character to be much more powerful than characters who can't craft magical items. Furthermore, keeping track of whether the crafter met all of the appropriate requirements and skill checks when crafting is also difficult to do in an organized society format.

Heck, I've seen both of those things either banned or only situationally approved in home games, even.

Scarab Sages

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Mike Lindner wrote:
So far as I am aware there is currently no mention of catfolk existing in Golarion as one example.

In the "Ask James Jacobs" thread, he actually commented that they are native to Southern Garund. (link)

Scarab Sages

SwnyNerdgasm wrote:
minneyar wrote:
There are other races in the ARG that don't exist at all in Golarion.
Which ones?

Off the top of my head, several of the races used as examples for the race building rules were created simply to be examples; I want to say that the Trox, Gathlain, Kasatha, Wyrwood, and Wyvaran have all never been mentioned in any Golarion-specific material.

Scarab Sages

First of all, here's the list of what's legal: PFS Additional Resources

If it's not on that list, it's not legal. As long as you have the page number and book that your abilities come from, you should be able to look them up on that list.

I can't speak for what the logic is like behind all of the resources that aren't allowed, but a major concern aside from game balance is also keeping the Pathfinder Society campaign consistent with the Golarion campaign setting.

Catfolk are an example of something that are exceptionally rare in Golarion; they exist, but are so rare that realistically, there may not even be any who are members of the Pathfinder Society. It doesn't make sense to allow open access to them for players because there could conceivably be more PC catfolk than there are supposed to be in the entire Inner Sea region. There are other races in the ARG that don't exist at all in Golarion.

Another reason is to provide incentives for people to go to larger events like conventions, where they hand out prizes that let people play as restricted races.

Edit: oops, as somebody else pointed out, Adopted is legal. For some reason I thought it wasn't, right off the top of my head.

Scarab Sages

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For what it's worth, I'd love to see a Pathfinder-themed side-scrolling brawler in the vein of Shadow over Mystara. There aren't nearly enough good brawlers nowadays.

And heck, the d20 rule set doesn't lend itself very well to action games anyway, so you could just toss it aside and avoid the licensing issue entirely. Just make an action game that uses Golarion as its settings with the iconics as its main characters and has abilities and spells that are named after their PF counterparts.

Scarab Sages

Turin the Mad wrote:
Interestingly it only suppresses for the duration of the protection on a successfully enhanced saving throw...

That is only true if the target is already under the effect of an enchantment when Protection is cast on them:

SRD wrote:
the subject immediately receives another saving throw (if one was allowed to begin with) against any spells or effects that possess or exercise mental control over the creature (including enchantment [charm] effects and enchantment [compulsion] effects, such as charm person, command, and dominate person). This saving throw is made with a +2 morale bonus, using the same DC as the original effect. If successful, such effects are suppressed for the duration of this spell. The effects resume when the duration of this spell expires.

However, the next sentence after that says:

SRD wrote:
While under the effects of this spell, the target is immune to any new attempts to possess or exercise mental control over the target.

If you are not already under the effect of an enchantment, the Protection makes you completely immune to them for the duration of the spell.

Turin the Mad wrote:
I suspect that the Kitsune will be learning dispel magic and arcane sight and their bigger relatives in short order. ;)

True, she'll start using Dispel Magic to beat it, but it's still an effective defense; her caster level check for dispel is likely not nearly as good as her save DCs. Even when she does successfully dispel the effect, it'll still take her two rounds worth of actions to take down one enemy; I think spending at least two rounds' worth of daily resources to neutralize one enemy is pretty reasonable.

Scarab Sages

Adam Mogyorodi wrote:
I suppose the Green Faith doesn't count for the purposes of clericdom? What about the Whispering Way?

True, there are a couple of options for people who prefer to follow philosophies. There's also the Prophecies of Kalistrade, I believe. Still, that's not a lot of options, and following a philosophy isn't quite the same as pantheon worship.

Scarab Sages

Philipp Menn wrote:
But I don't understand the world design which includes that it is allowed to play clerics of any evil deity on the one hand, and on the other hand it is not allowed to follow a philosophy which bringst together several good aligned gods in a pantheon.

For what it's worth, I see where you're coming and I agree with you. Historically, it's not very realistic for somebody in a pantheistic society to devote themselves solely to a single deity. In ancient Greece, if you were travelling on a ship, you'd say a prayer to Poseidon. If you were sending a message, you'd say a prayer to Hermes. When you planted crops, you'd say a prayer to Demeter. People didn't worship one specific deity, they worshipped the entire pantheon. Even priests would perform rituals for different deities depending on what their community needed.

It's one thing that I don't really like about Golarion, but there aren't many other campaign settings that get it right, either; Eberron is the only one that comes to mind immediately where pantheon worship is prevalent. But, that's the way it is.

Scarab Sages

The description for Protection from Evil explicitly lists "Charm Person" as an example of a spell that it protects from, so I think that magically adjusting somebody's attitude counts as mental control.

Scarab Sages

Philipp Menn wrote:
Too bad. That makes a lot of nice character concepts impossible. Golarion should actually be big enough to admit players own small religions or not? Well, so are the rules of the Pathfinder Society...

Two reasons for the restriction are because it restricts powergaming and helps to promote roleplaying. As a cleric, choosing to worship a god means that you also have to follow that god's philosophy and observe their practices. Also, since you also have a small list of domains to choose from, it helps the designers to keep interactions between different domain powers balanced. If a cleric can choose to be any alignment with any domains they want and not be obligated to follow any code of conduct, that removes a lot of the flavor of the class. It would encourage players to build optimized clerics rather than build ones that fit within the campaign setting.

By the way, I'll point out one more thing that differs from standard Pathfinder rules, as long as we're on the subject:

Characters may elect to worship an evil god, but must always be within one alignment step of their chosen deity.

Even if you are not a divine caster, if you worship a god, you must be within one step of your god's alignment. A lot of people miss that detail.

Scarab Sages

As long as this player isn't preventing the other players from having fun, I wouldn't worry about it too much. That's what everybody's there for, right? I can sympathize with sometimes being frustrated when a player easily disarms what you thought was going to be a challenging encounter, but it's not that big a deal as long as everybody had fun. Putting restrictions in place that cause players to stop having fun is definitely not the solution. It's ok for the players to nuke the BBEG every once in a while.

With that in mind, a 1st level Protection from Evil/Good/Chaos/Law spell will make the enemy completely immune to all of her Enchantment [charm] and [compulsion] effects. Read carefully -- that particular protection doesn't extend to only a single alignment, it applies to all spells that exercise mental control. It's not unreasonable that after the character starts to gain a reputation, bad guys in the area will start to protect themselves appropriately. First level potions are cheap. More powerful enemies might start carrying around Mind Sentinel Medallions or even Clear Spindle Ioun Stones socketed into Wayfinders.

(full disclosure: I have a kitsune sorceress in PFS. Somebody should point out the Charming trait to her!)

Scarab Sages

Charles M Wright wrote:
I think the best bet would be covering more of the map (printing off two copies and cutting up individual rooms maybe?)

I did something similar to this when I ran this scenario at OwlCon, and it worked really well. My wife drew out the map on grid paper and I cut out each individual room, then I laid down one room at a time as they entered or peeked into it. I think it did a really good job of keeping up the suspense and making them worried about what's on the other side of every door.

My favorite thing that we did for this scenario, though, was that I photoshopped a picture of Ambrus Valsin with a kiss on it, printed it out, put it in a cheap picture frame, and then hid the player handout inside the back of the frame so that it was just barely sticking out. The players loved it, although I did have to encourage them to actually take it an examine it more closely.

I really loved this scenario, and I'm planning to run it again at GenCon with the same kind of setup.

Scarab Sages

Thursday, August 15
Slot 1 (0800-1300): Off
Slot 2 (1300-1800): We Be Goblins
Slot 3 (1900-2400): Bonekeep Level 1

Friday, August 16
Slot 4 (0800-1300): Off
Slot 5 (1300-1800): We Be Goblins 2
Slot 6 (1900-2400): Gen Con Season 5 Special: Siege of Diamond City 3-7

Saturday, August 17
Slot 7 (0800-1300): #4-11: The Disappeared
Slot 8 (1300-1800): #4-EX: Day of the Demon
Slot 9 (1900-2400): Bonekeep Level 2

Sunday, August 18
Slot 10 (0900-1400): #5-02

My wife's going to be doing 8 slots, too, and this will be our first GenCon, so this should be exciting! She'll definitely have her third star by the end of it, and I might, depending on how many games I run before then...

Scarab Sages

For what it's worth, I asked the same question on the coordinator board and got confirmation from Mike Brock that the 5 PP rescue team does, in fact, cover destroying any undead that were created from your body.

Scarab Sages

Personally, I would like to see more variety in general. Honestly, I'm a little tired of undead and swarms being everywhere. Not only are they incredibly common, they're also very annoying for certain character types to fight; anybody with mind-affecting effects is useless against undead, and anybody who focuses on single-target attacks is useless against swarms. A lot of encounters turn into "everybody stand back while the alchemist/sorcerer nukes it." It also makes it kind of discouraging to even think about playing an enchantment or illusion-focused spellcaster when you know that so many enemies in PFS scenarios will be immune to you.

We've actually got kind of a running joke in my group where several of us have tried to imagine the most annoying possible PFS encounter, and so far we've managed to come up with a fight in an underwater burning building (just pretend it makes sense) that involves undead swarms. Ideally an undead swarm that can cast Deeper Darkness.

Anyway, as for specific enemy types, I'd definitely like to see more orcs. They're an iconic fantasy bad guy and are woefully underused. I think the current level of outsiders and humanoids is about right, but I wouldn't mind more dinosaurs. More drow or dragons might be nice, but I think dragons should still be used sparingly and only as particularly significant encounters.

I haven't done any counts, but based on personal experiences it also seems like I don't see a lot of aberrations. That might just be me, though. It feels like we don't see very many different types of fey, but I suppose there aren't very many of them compared to other types. I'd also like to see a few more constructs, but not too many more -- they're another kind of enemy that make certain character types useless.

Scarab Sages

Ross Byers wrote:
We don't have any PFS numbers in our system over 65000 (though we're certainly close). I'd double check to make sure your players gave you the correct number.

To be fair, if there's a problem with the database that's preventing it from storing PFS numbers over 65k, then of course there are no numbers in the system over that. ;-)

Scarab Sages

For what it's worth, the reason we don't have more high level scenarios scheduled is because there aren't very many local players who have 7-11 characters. If there are out of town visitors who would be drawn in by high level games, let us know, we can add more if there's enough interest.

Scarab Sages

So as you might have seen in this post, there's a Game Day event going on at Dragon's Lair in Austin on September 23rd. Well, down here in San Antonio we're going to be having a Game Day at our Dragon's Lair on the day before that, September 22nd.

We're currently planning to run ten tables across two time slots from 10 AM to 8 PM, but we have room for more if enough people sign up! We'll be giving out prizes and boons, too.

The San Antonio Dragon's Lair is located at 7959 Fredericksburg Rd Suite #129 in the Oak Hills Shopping Center. Our Warhorn page for the event is available here: http://warhorn.net/pathfinder-society-san-antonio/schedule/day.php?date=201 2-09-22#175

Feel free to e-mail me at sanantoniopfs@gmail.com if you have any questions, or stop by the forums on our Obsidian Portal page: http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/pathfinder-society-san-antonio

I hope to see everybody there!

Scarab Sages

Thanks, everybody! We'll keep doing our best.

Scarab Sages

I've got an HP TouchPad and an HTC Shift 4G phone, and my wife has a Motorola Xoom, all running Android.

Scarab Sages

Just for reference, the technical term for how the above catfolk is walking is "digitigrade." This is as opposed to humans, who are plantigrade walkers.

I kind of prefer the digitigrade look as it's a bit more distinct, but from a practical standpoint it makes sharing footwear between species fairly difficult.

Scarab Sages

Alexander Augunas wrote:
This is not the first time that people have questioned the wisdom of the fast healing augment, much to the point where I'm just going to flat-out remove it. Expect it to be gone in the final release. :-P

I don't think it's necessarily bad for binders to have some way of obtaining fast healing, maybe as a spirit's granted ability or as a binder secret that works for a certain number of rounds/minutes per day.

At low levels it's powerful, but realistically, healing out of combat stops being an issue around level 7 or 8 or so. The party eventually reaches a point where wands of Cure Light Wounds or Infernal Healing are so cheap (especially if there's a crafter in the group) that there's no reason to not keep everybody topped off between fights.

Scarab Sages

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For what it's worth, I've helped out with some of the closed playtesting (I'm Phillip!) and have really enjoyed what I've played with so far. If you're a fan of WotC's Tome of Magic or the previous Spirits of Pact Magic, or if you're interested in a magic system that is completely different from the traditional Vancian system, I highly recommend checking this out. It's awesome.

Scarab Sages

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Bruce Chung wrote:

But as I said, if it's not stated, why would people assume it would replace? Just a pipe dream.

How about if I used Holy Vindicator with an Divine Strategist cleric instead?

My point is that is not published anywhere that subbed out abilities would get boosted by prestige class abilities that boosts the base ability. Sometimes it's because Paizo didn't think about it, others might be a specific design decision to make players choose. We don't know, and until they start doing that, I don't understand why people would assume those would stack onto the new class ability instead.

You can come up with examples of unrelated class abilities all you want, but that really doesn't have any relevance to this issue.

I'm pretty sure that she is not assuming that these class abilities would stack. She's asking. That's the entire point of the thread. There would be no thread if she was just assuming they stacked.

For the record, here's why this is a valid question:
1) Master Chymist is a melee-focused alchemist PrC. It advances the alchemist's primary damage-dealing mechanism, Bombs.
2) It was written before the Vivisectionist archetype.
3) The Vivisectionist archetype is a melee-focused archetype that replaces one damage-dealing class ability (Bombs) with another (Sneak Attack) that advances at the same rate.
4) It seems logical that if the Vivisectionist had existed before the Master Chymist, the Master Chymist would have been written with that in mind and would have either advanced bombs or sneak attacks.
5) There have been other discussions on the subject, and people generally agree that they'd let Master Chymist advance sneak attack instead of bombs in their own games.
6) Thus the question, do they work together in PFS?

If the answer is "no," that's fine. There's no need to be rude about it.

Scarab Sages

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Now, we know that switching which hand you're using to hold something is a free action (see http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/paizoPublishing/pathfinder/pathfinderR PG/rules/archives/layOnHandsWithALightShield&page=1#24 ). Would it be possible for a monk with a single temple sword to pass that weapon from hand to hand inbetween attacks, thus using that sword to attack with both his left and right hands?

And you can't tell me that the concept of a monk juggling his weapons around while he attacks with them isn't cool.

Scarab Sages

For what it's worth, my wife has a Motorola Xoom and I have an HP TouchPad, and I like both of them.

The Xoom's hardware is very nice, and Motorola has done a good job of supporting it -- the device officially supports being rooted, so it's easy to install any custom OS on there that you want, and Motorola has consistently released official upgrades to the latest version of Android. The battery lasts a <i>long</i> time, my wife uses it pretty lightly on average (maybe 30 minutes to an hour per day) and it can go a week without being plugged in; it can probably take 8-10 hours of use with the screen on.

I picked up a TouchPad back when HP had their fire sale, and it's very nice. WebOS is awesome, but has the drawback of having very few apps available for it compared to iOS or Android. It's great if you're just concerned about using the apps that are available, though. I also hacked mine and put Android on it, and it runs pretty well, although there are a few hiccups; some hardware doesn't work (camera, microphone) and the battery life isn't great, it only lasts maybe 2 days when sleeping. Still, it's very stable overall, and it's fun to play with if you like hacking your hardware. The price is also a great deal for the tablet's hardware specs.

I definitely recommend trying out store demo models, though, so you can at least get an idea of how different models feel in your hands.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:
The thing I like a lot about prestige classes, and why I actually like them more than archetypes, is precisely BECAUSE they're so much more flexible; you can be multiple different classes and still qualify for a prestige class, whereas if you want the swashbuckler archetype you have to be a rogue.

For what it's worth, I find hearing that to be very reassuring. One of my least favorite things about PrCs is when they require levels in a specific class. Even worse are the ones that require levels in two specific classes and then end up just being a hybrid of those classes that combines all the best aspects of both.

Fortunately, I think your quality control is a bit better than WotC's was, so I'm not worried about having a glut of incredibly specific, obscenely overpowered PrCs. ;-)

Scarab Sages

I like this a lot. Probably my favorite for this round.

An amusing anecdote I thought I'd add is that in one of my games, one of the players plays a summoner who is subservient to his eidolon; he worships Hastur (yes, he's a little insane) and believes his eidolon is an emissary of Hastur and that his role is to bring his eidolon into this plane and support him. I wonder what the Unfettered would think about a summoner who considers himself to be the servant?

Scarab Sages

Our group decided to go with trickery:


First question: "What kind of questions would you lie about?"
Answer: "I always lie about questions concerning this realm."

Second question: Open the map and ask, "Where is the carnival?"
If he answers truthfully and points to the carnival, his first answer was a lie.
If he lies about the location of the carnival, it's obvious because the location is on the map.

We all felt pretty clever about that. Lots of fun was had.

Scarab Sages

On the subject of feature requests, would it be possible to add the entropic and resolute templates to the template list? It would also be really nice to have all of the elementals from the Bestiary II added, too. Thanks!

Scarab Sages

R.A.Boettcher wrote:
So you allow your humans to have Darkvision if they just 'look HARDER!'? To fly if they just flap their arms hard enough and have the Fly skill (20 ranks baby!)? Obviously the answer is no.

No, and don't put words in my mouth. That's just a reductio ad absurdum argument. Darkvision is not a matter of how well you can see, it's a physical ability. The fly skill does not grant you the ability to fly, it affects how well you can fly.

A centaur is not a horse. It's an intelligent creature that is capable of using logic and tools to help itself, and it has two grasping hands to help. It can climb, just exceptionally poorly.

And despite the high end nature of some of the skill rules they try with moderate success to be consistent and not too different from whats possible in the real world. Even your example jumper is only marginally better than an olympic athlete 10% of the time.

My example is not "marginally better than an olympic athlete," it's "regularly better than the best Olympic athlete ever." Add in Skill Focus and a few more levels and you'd have a jumper who can jump further than the best Olympic athlete ever without even trying, and on a good day they'd be capable of jumps that would literally tear a real human's muscles apart. I think that you're underestimating just how difficult a task with a DC over 30 really is.

Scarab Sages

Let's not forget that we're talking about a game where characters perform physically impossible acts on a regular basis.

For example, the real-world record long jump is about 30'. A 5th-level rogue with an 18 dex (4+3+5 = 12) can beat that about 10% of the time, or even more often if he does something silly like take Skill Focus (Acrobatics).

For an even more absurd example, let's take a 5th-level bard who has an 18 cha, Skill Focus (Perform), and a masterwork instrument, which are perfectly reasonable things for him to have. 4+3+5+3+2 = 17, right? He'll be able to fairly regularly hit a DC 30, which means that his performances are so incredible that he's going to attract the attention of extraplanar beings.

With those kinds of things in mind, I think that claiming it's simply impossible for a centaur to climb a sheer wall doesn't make any sense. That's applying real-world limitations to an intelligent fantasy creature in a world where impossible things happen on a regular basis, not to mention that a centaur has two extra limbs with grasping hands that a horse doesn't have.

Personally, I'd say it's very difficult, but not impossible; I'd probably give centaurs a -8 penalty or so on climb checks.

Scarab Sages

It looks like there's a lot of fun stuff here, although I'm starting to feel the same way about archetypes in Pathfinder as I did about prestige classes in 3.5.

(which is to say, there's a huge glut of them)

Scarab Sages

Epic Meepo wrote:
The ruling that strikes me as a bit off is the Quicken Spell ruling. Somehow, they've ruled that a casting time of 1 round isn't longer than a casting time of 1 full-round action

It's not:

d20pfsrd.org wrote:
A spell that takes 1 round to cast is a full-round action. It comes into effect just before the beginning of your turn in the round after you began casting the spell. You then act normally after the spell is completed.

In other words, if a spell's casting time is "1 round", it only takes your character a full-round action to cast it. The difference between that and a casting time of "1 full-round action" is that the effect of the spell doesn't occur until just before the beginning of your next round.

Scarab Sages

Any 8th-level party worth their XP will have watches and sleep close together, but not every party will have the right resources to keep somebody with high Perception on watch constantly; an enemy with high Stealth could still slip through when, for example, it's the cleric's turn to take watch. Fortunately, with the group that I had, the druid had the foresight to cast Grove of Respite around their campsite, and the weretiger tripped its alarm.

On top of that, our rogue had split up from the party and kept herself hidden when they were approaching the shrine, and later that night, she was sleeping up in the trees, so the weretiger had no idea what was coming when he suddenly had death rained down upon him. (my group can be really paranoid sometimes -- not that I blame them)

The encounters were all definitely very different, which I liked a lot. I think my personal favorite was the Beatific One -- my party was completely unprepared for an opponent that could disarm them. :-) (you'd think they would have planned for that, going into a temple of monks and all) The cleric summoned a bunch of lantern archons, and they ended up doing the most damage, while everybody else got their weapons stolen and ran around in circles trying not to die.

Scarab Sages

I just finished running this module today, and overall it was pretty fun. The investigation part at the beginning was great, and some of the combat encounters were a lot of fun, but by the end I think my group was getting pretty tired of having one tough encounter after another thrown at them. We started with a rogue, inquisitor, cleric, and gunslinger, but the inquisitor died in the rakshasa fight and decided to come back as a druid, and later on a new player joined the group as a ranger.

I would have really liked it if the players got to spend more time in the festival at the beginning. It says to give them the opportunity to show off and perform some feats of strength, but it doesn't provide any suggestions for how to get them involved in that, and I have no idea what would be involved in such celebrations. There's also the potential during the investigation that the players will simply not have the skill checks they need and end up failing. My players didn't, fortunately, but I don't like it when investigations have the potential to suddenly end in failure because nobody has Appraise or a particular Knowledge skill.

On the other hand, if your players are lucky, nail their skill rolls, and progress quickly from point to point, they will missmany of the cultists' acts of retribution, and as a DM, those were some of my favorite things.

Ikrimah was definitely the toughest encounter for us -- for me because tracking all of his buffs was a huge pain in the butt, and for them because they had a lot of trouble hurting him. With his AC, stoneskin, and displacement, the physical fighters had trouble hitting him and weren't doing a lot when they did. He got up close to the druid and dropped him near the beginning of the fight, and it was a few rounds before anybody was able stabilize him. His Transformation ran out during the fight, so he hit the cleric with Disintegrate, who failed his save and died.

Some of the encounters are set up assuming the enemies will behave stupidly. In the silk mill, the module seems to assume the players will take one room at a time, and none of the enemies in the other rooms will respond to the shouts of pain and agony coming from the other rooms, which are easy to hear thanks to the open rafters. If all of the enemies rush out and pile on to the players, it's a very tough fight. Similarly, if the players didn't kill the rakshasa earlier, he's supposed to show up here, and I think that would make this fight go from "very tough" to "impossible."

The weretiger could easily coup de grace party members in their sleep if he's smart about it. But his stat block says he starts by casting Entangle and then charging, so...

It would also go very, very badly for the players if all three of the masters ganged up on them instead of hiding in their corners of the temple.

Zaafira's offer to challenge one of the players is also a bad idea, because if one of them accepts, she'll crush them if you play her smart (level 11 vs. level 8, seriously?), and the rest of the party will be bored just sitting back and watching.

On another note, my players saw the betrayal of the cultist villagers coming a mile away, and on top of that, the fight with them was very, very easy. Kind of disappointing, given how tough everything else is.

Anyway, overall it was pretty fun, but if I was going to do it again, I would:
1) Add some more events at the beginning so the players can roleplay in the culture a bit.
2) Tone down the encounter difficulty a bit and reduce the number of encounters in the last half of the module.

I also read that in earlier versions of the module, there was another sequence at the end where the papers in the cultists' temple implicated a particular NPC back at the palace as the real leader of the cult. I think it'd be fun to have another investigation/roleplaying phase where the players have to hunt him down in the palace.

Scarab Sages

Many thanks to everybody who showed up! We had a total of 6 people, so not quite as many as I was hoping for, but still enough for one good group. We didn't have any problem finding space to play, although it was kind of tough to talk loudly enough that everybody could hear me. Hopefully everybody had fun, and maybe we can reserve a table or two next year.

Scarab Sages

We're off to the con! I'm going to plan on wearing a bright orange t-shirt tomorrow just to make it easy to spot me.

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