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I'm against the idea. There is already too many rules in Pathfinder which aren't spelled out where they need to be, requiring players and GMs to look in another section of the book, sometimes multiple times, to figure out what the rule is. Clarity of the rules should be more important than length of the book.

Xenocrat wrote:
[Taken gangster voice]: "Good luck."

Yeah, I realize it's unlikely, but I can dream.

I'm just so annoyed by the whole gap and Golarion being missing. Even if it was done for a very good reason, it seems like it was just lazy writing. "Well, we could come up with a couple thousand years of history between present-day Pathfinder and present-day Starfinder, or we could just hide Golarion away and make everyone forget everything older than a couple hundred years ago." "The second one sounds good to me Bob, it's less work and we have a deadline in a month"

I want a Kingmaker-esque AP where the PCs are in charge of settling a newly discovered planet.

I also want one that fleshes out canonically what went on with the gap and where Golarion is.

My group typically finishes a Pathfinder AP in about a year, so the Bi-monthly schedule might work out. We're running it concurrently with another campaign though, so it's not a big deal.

Although Dead Suns only takes the PCs to level 12, which makes it quite a bit shorter than most Pathfinder APs, so I suspect there would be points where we'd run out of material before the next book came out if we weren't only doing it every other session.

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So far Wrath of the Righteous is the only AP that uses the mythic rules (for players) and the only one that goes to level 20. Are there plans to write more APs that do either in the future?

Gorbacz wrote:
Wrath of the Righteous sans mythic. Nothing comes close.

That's not really running the AP as intended though, that's intentionally making it more difficult.

In my experience Iron Gods was the most difficult so far. I killed more characters in that AP than every other one I've run put together.

My group has completely finished Iron Gods, Skull and Shackles, and Carrion Crown. We finished 5/6 books of Kingmaker and intentionally left out the last one since it was so disconnected from the rest of the AP. We've abandoned Legacy of Fire and Serpent's Skull partway through since they weren't too fun in our opinion. And we're partway through Wrath of the Righteous with every intention of finishing now.

Evershifter wrote:

Tried looking it up on here, but the abundance of the word "Recharge" was hindering me.

The spell adds one charge per level to a battery. Batteries cost 100 gp. It costs 500 gp in material components to cast the spell.

I guess my question is, why? In what way is this spell useful?

It's useful if they need to recharge a critical item in a hurry, and that's about it.

Once the party finds their first power generator and has a way to get back and forth to it easily, battery charges aren't really an issue any more.

CorvusMask wrote:

Doesn't Divinity Drive actually say what outsider type she manifested as?

...Yeah, it says she manifests as advanced marut that looks like what she looked when she was alive

Sooo yeah, she manifests as an invetable. I know its mentioned in one easy to miss line, but I'm really surprised that all of you people missed that line ._.;

You're absolutely right, I completely missed that. Thanks.

Lord Gadigan wrote:
Interesting. I haven't done it, but I like the idea. If you want to avoid the Oracle route, I'd suggest making her form dependent on what Memory Facets the party has given her. If she gets the Chaos and Evil ones, she'd be a Demon, if she got the Law and Good ones, she'd be an Archon, if she got the Guile one she could have rogue powers or be shadowy, etc. She could also adopt powers and form-elements/concepts from the Domains associated with the facets she's slotted with. It makes her useful, but gives the party control and offers foreshadowing for her divine traits.

That's a good idea. Only problem is if they switch them out at the last second. I'm hoping to be able to make an NPC for her beforehand.

My party is about 2 sessions from confronting Unity in the godmind. They've been bonding pretty well with Casandalee, so I'm considering having her enter the Godmind with them to help them fight.

The only question is what do I manifest her as? Unity and his allies are manifested as angels. The party manifests as themselves. Do I have Casandalee manifest as an oracle? The only issue is the party already has an oracle and a cleric. They also have a barbarian, sorcerer, bard, and archery ranger. So it's not like a particular role is missing.

Given her background she could manifest as just about anything, I'm just not sure what to pick. A demon or devil maybe since she's opposed to Unity?

Has anyone else done this? If so what did you use?

DM Carbide wrote:
What jumps out at me is that unless your alchemist is spending most of his time with mutagen up or your cleric has a major combat focus your line melee strength isn't very good. What's the ranger's combat style?

The ranger dual wields with a hammer and shield. I'm not sure if she chose weapon and shield or two weapon combat as her fighting style, it's kind of a combination of the two.

She's definitely the toughest of the party, and hits very hard against certain enemies (constructs mainly), but against a lot of other things she doesn't do enough damage to draw aggro.

The alchemist does a lot of the dying because he does tons of damage (he can throw 3 bombs a round) and only has about 50 HP, and unless he buffs, a fairly poor AC.

Well, we had two more deaths in the most recent session.

The alchemist died again. He got torn to bits by the aurumvorax.

And the rogue cohort died again. She got killed by a particularly nasty combination of wall of force and cloudkill from Furkas's ghost.

Misroi wrote:

How many characters are in the group? What sort of stat generation system did you use for them? Have you modified the creatures in the encounters at all, or are you using them as printed?

The group is 4 PCs plus a cohort, though the cohort is a recent addition. Stats were 20 point buy.

Encounters are being run as written mainly as written, with some changes in enemy tactics when called for.

The original party was a wizard, a barbarian, a bard, and a gunslinger.

Current party is wizard, cleric, ranger, alchemist and rogue (cohort).

Deaths so far were (IIRC):

Gunslinger was killed after he attacked the Skulks in book one while the party was trying to negotiate with them. He expected the party to back him up and they didn't.

Book two, the party rested in one of the rooms halfway through Hellion's excavator. Hellion gathered all the remaining enemies in the cave together to ambush them when they came out of the room they had locked themselves in. TPK ensued.

Book three, alchemist got killed by the nanite swarm.

Book three, alchemist got killed by one of the giants.

Book three, rogue got killed by Furkas's ghost casting cloudkill.

I'm currently running Iron Gods. My players are about halfway through book 3, and so far there's been one TPK, and 4 other single character deaths.

This is more dying that we typically see in an entire campaign.

Have other DMs had a similar experience with this campaign? Are you finding it killing a ton of PCs?

This is the first AP I've run using Pathfinder rules. I've run several other APs in the past, however I've always run them under 3.5 rules. In the others I ran, I always had to increase the difficulty of most fights because they were too easy for the players. In a lot of cases I had to make them significantly harder. And I still never had this many deaths. This time I'm playing everything as written, I haven't made any fights harder yet.

So are Pathfinder characters just that much weaker than 3.5 characters, and this is how the APs should be? Or is Iron Gods in particular a lot deadlier than most?

My gaming group is trying to decide on which adventure path to play next. The three that no one has played are Reign of Winter, Mummy's Mask, and Iron Gods. No one really seems to have very strong opinions about which one they want to play.

From those of you that have played them, are any of the three particularly good or bad? Any recommendations which we should try next? What did you like or not like about those you've played?

Marthkus wrote:
Cure spells heal for half on a successful save. So it's not really an issue.

Does a living creature even get a save against a cure spell? The description is unclear.

blackbloodtroll wrote:

You still must make a save.

Superstition removes the choice. Dominate does not change this.

You must save.

So the way I understand it is that while superstition is active you don't have the ability to intentionally fail a save, even if commanded to do so?

It would be like if someone dominated a barbarian and commanded them to cast fireball? They can't follow the command because they don't have the ability to do so?

I'm going to be playing a barbarian with the rage power superstition, and I'm wondering a few things about it.

For one, will I be able to be healed while raging? Cure light wounds lists Saving Throw: Will half in the entry, but the description says an undead creature can attempt a will save to take half damage, which kind of leads me to believe that if cast on a living target there is no save, the save is only if you would take damage from it.

The other question is how does superstitious interact with things like Dominate? If I get dominated while raging (let's say a natural 1), what happens if the person that dominated me orders me to intentionally fail a save against something else? I'm sure I'd get the second roll to shake off dominate since it's against my nature, but what happens if I fail that one too? Do I intentionally fail the save or not?

Conspicuous wrote:

I've been running a party through Way of the Wicked for a couple months now, and we're closing in on the end of Book 3, and I'm seeing issues left and right.

In the first book, my players were getting spanked by everything, though in book two and especially book 3, nothing is challenging. The reason is clear: three of them have leadership. I know they acknowledge the issue with multiple cohorts in book 2 and I've accounted for that in fights, but seemingly to no avail. By finishing Artephius, they have an infinite-shot catapult with touch attacks that follows them into (nearly) every combat. Has anyone else seen these issues?

During the assault on the Vale, my party was roaming around with the four, three cohorts, Artephius, and three Nessian Warhounds from the Contract Devil (each of which can do fireball damage every 1d4 rounds). Did anyone else watch the Warhounds smother absolutely everything they faced in seconds? ((Book 2: the party had used their last 'request' of Vetra Kali to be eternal servitude (the players are wicked indeed)! Ironically, they forgot to call on him during this whole book. All the same, can you imagine?))

When it came to the Phoenix (which they put off until the last possible minute), they buffed like mad (fire resist 30 on everyone but Artephius), moved in with the half-fiend-Vital-Striking Grumblejack + Four-Armed Elephant-sized Eidolon, and smoked it in two turns. Desecrate was easy to manage (half-fiends). They drained its blood for Blood Transcription, stuffed the ashes into a Bag of Holding IV, plane-shifted to Hell, dumped it out and left! They got the egg, and I RPed an example NPC that traded undead grafts (with some adjustments for...

Our group also just finished this book, and so far I've got to say I'm fairly unimpressed with the whole adventure path. The story is fun, but the actual mechanics and design of everything are really lacking. This book in particular was noticeable, since depending on the order you fight things in, you can (and we did) end up fighting about 2 full sessions of enemies with ridiculously high saves, SR (or flat out magic immunity), tons of hit points, immunities or resistances to nearly every energy type, and who spontaneously return to life after you kill them. Our whole party was so fed up and frustrated by the end of last night's session that the DM skipped about half the encounters towards the end and just rushed us through to the final fight so we could be done with this book. We're hoping things improve in the next one or we may never finish this.

Our group is going to be running WotR soon. A friend of mine will be DM'ing, but I'm the one who has the adventure path subscriptions so I have the books, and I haven't had the opportunity to give them to him yet.

He asked me the other day what ability score generation method was recommended, and I wasn't able to find anything specific.

Should we just use one of the standard methods? Or is there a specific method (or a certain number of point buy) that we should use for this specific AP or as mythic characters?

If it matters, our group is all experienced 3.5 players and has run a number of APs in the past, but this will be the first time any of us have actually played using PF rules.

I guess 'Need' wasn't really the right word. I know we can get along without one (or any other class) if no one wants to play that.

Basically I guess I'm looking for whether this AP uses traps enough that we'll get more use than we normally do out of a rogue. But it sounds like the answer is no.

Our group is going to be starting up Wrath of the Righteous in a month or so, but since this will be the first time most of us have actually played Pathfinder, we started looking at characters a bit early since it will probably take us all awhile to decide what we want.

So far people have expressed interest in:

Cleric or archer of some sort
Barbarian or cavalier
Some type of full caster focusing on battlefield control or summoning
Magus or summoner

Rogue is conspicuously absent from the list. A couple of people said they'd be willing to play a rogue if they really need to, but it isn't their first choice.

So is a rogue really necessary for this campaign? Are there going to be a ton of traps or problems that only a rogue can solve? It's been kind of a mixed bag in the past. Way of the Wicked (which we're playing now) LOVES traps, and you definitely need someone to deal with them. Skull and Shackles (our last campaign) had virtually none, and the party got along fine with no rogue.

KSF wrote:

If they are making a special point of calling out the LGBT relationships, if Paizo is trying to be inclusive (and I'd suggest they're less interested in seeming inclusive and more interested in being inclusive), could you explain why that might be a flaw, or worthy of critique, or something that gives you pause?

You're cool with LGBT relationships in general (which is great). So what is it about the presence or presentation of these relationships that supersedes your usual "no problem" view of LGBT relationships, and your more general acceptance of LGBT people?

I had to think on this for awhile actually.

In the end, what I came up with is that it doesn't seem like there's a real solid in-game reason to make the relationships LGBT. The plot and storyline would remain the same (at least so far) if the characters were straight (in most of the cases, not all of them). There's also the fact that it seems like Paizo goes to greater lengths to point out the LGBT relationships than they do the straight ones.

Those two things combined give them impression that Paizo is trying to make a point or push an agenda, and that's always irritated me.

I don't mind the relationships nearly as much when there seems like there's a good reason for them. Either because the LGBT nature of the relationship is important to the story, or if there's a metagame reason for it.

Agasta Smythee is a good example of the latter, since if she was spelled out as only being straight (or a lesbian) then groups made up of the other gender would lose the opportunity for a political marriage with her.

KSF wrote:
Edit to add: Is the fact that many people tend to assume characters are heterosexual as a default unless indicated otherwise worth taking into account here? I'm not saying you make such assumptions, but it's a common thing for many people to do. Does that play into this at all?

That's certainly a possibility. I'm sure for most people there's a tendency, whether conscious or not, to assume that most characters in the game are straight. Maybe Paizo's just assuming most people will think all the NPCs are straight unless they call out specifically that they aren't, and that's why the LGBT relationships seem to be highlighted more.

Amaranthine Witch wrote:

I haven't read many sourcebooks for the 3.5 campaing settings, but are you telling me that no NPC on those books was married, had children or had parents? Or L5R where every-freaking-one is married, and there are no LGBT people? Or in adventures, for who is the hand of the princess (the daughter of the King and the Queen), the female or the male adventurers?

It seems that people refuse to see that non-LGBT relationships are the norm in the media, so when they see some that are LGBT they freak out.

** spoiler omitted **...

It's been a long time since I've read any campaign setting sourcebooks. Going off of the adventure paths though, most of the NPCs are not described as having spouses or children, or in a relationship of any sort.

For example in Skull and Shackles (which I'm running now) we have:

Mr. Plugg - no sexual orientation given or implied.

Master Scourge - The only thing we know is that he was recently rebuffed by Sandara, so he's either straight or bisexual. His sexuality doesn't really play a part in the adventure.

Fishguts - No sexual orientation given or implied.

Cut-throat grok - No sexual orientation given or implied.

Inkskin Locke - Implied straight or bisexual, and into other species. Her sexuality doesn't really play a part in the adventure.

Agasta Smythee - Implied bisexual since she proposes marriage to whichever PC has the highest CHA score without regard to gender and it's implied that she consummates the marriage.

Pierce Jerrell - He attempts to pursue a romantic relationship with one of the PCs, but no sexual orientation is given or implied.

Tessa Fairwind - Is flirty and hints at the possibility of romance with one of the PCs, but no sexual orientation is given or implied.

Master of Gales - No sexual orientation given or implied.

This only goes through the 3rd book in the AP, but the rest pretty much follows the same pattern, with few of the NPCs having clear sexual orientations.

It's not that I have a problem with LGBT relationships, either in real life or in the game (FAR weirder relationships have been role-played at my gaming table). It just seems like Paizo is trying a little to hard to seem inclusive. It's like they're making a special point of calling out the LGBT relationships for no real good reason.

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Winter_Born wrote:

When we get a ton of LGBT representation then I'll understand. Until then just let us be happy that we finally get some characters that look and love like us.

I don't begrudge you the other 99% of straight characters in RPG products.

I don't agree that 99% of the characters in an RPG are straight.

The vast majority of things a PC runs into (including humanoid NPCs and intelligent monsters) are not sexualized at all. We have no idea what their sexual orientation is. And sometimes with monsters, we don't even know gender, or they may not have a gender. Mostly because it doesn't matter. And even when we do know the NPC's sexual orientation (the blacksmith with a wife and kids for example), that NPC isn't a major part of the story most of the time.

If you look only at NPCs which are a significant part of the story, we still see that sexual orientation isn't defined for the majority of them. Of the ones that do have a sexual orientation, the ratio of hetero to LGBT is a LOT less than 99 to 1.

So it isn't just the number of LGBT NPCs that seems gratuitous, it's the number of LGBT NPCs who are a major part of the story and whose sexual orientation is specifically called out which seems gratuitous.

Jucassaba wrote:
Hi guys, I was thinking of buying a complete AP for my next campaing and I can't decide which one to buy. Is there a general consensus on their quality, or are they all good/bad? thanks for the help in advance.

My group has run all of Kingmaker, Carrion Crown, and Skull and Shackles. We've run 2 books each of Legacy of Fire and Serpent's Skull.

We all disliked both Legacy of Fire and serpent's skull, which is why we never finished them. With Serpent's skull, it was because the first two books at least felt like just a series of random encounters. There was nothing that felt like a plot to it. I don't really remember why we all disliked Legacy of Fire.

Everyone enjoyed Kingmaker, though there were some complaints. The first two books were a little bit too much of a sandbox, and could use a bit more of a plot threaded through them. And the last book didn't really seem to fit in with the rest of them. There were also mixed reviews on the kingdom building aspects of it. A couple of my players loved it, and a couple were bored out of their minds by it.

We all liked Carrion Crown, it had a nice gothic horror feel to it. The only real complaint was that parts of it felt very rushed. The whole thing from start to finish takes place over the course of maybe a couple months, so the PCs are constantly rushing against a deadline.

Skull and Shackles has been enjoyed by everyone. The only real complaints were in the first book, the random 'be a pirate and do pirate jobs' parts went on too long.

Other thoughts on ones I haven't played:

I've heard very good things about Rise of the Runelords, and looking through it (I bought the collected edition) it looks like a pretty awesome AP.

Jade Empire looks like one you'll probably either love or hate, depending on your feelings about Asian Culture. There were a few things that worried me about it though, like the fact that it looks very easy to end up with a Mary-Sue DMPC, and that a lot of it is just traveling from one place to another.

Wrath of the Righteous just started off, but it looks like it's going to be pretty kick-ass, with a much more epic feel than most of the APs up to this point have had. Plus it goes all the way to level 20, which I've been wanting for years.

Skeld wrote:
Your analogy also isn't valid because, in the case of a PDF, you aren't buying a physical product. Thus the problem with analogies; they all fail at a certain level, because the exact circumstances are different (the devil is always in the details). The locks/thieves analogy seems to be one that people really try to hang their hat on. Read that thread I linked and you'll see the same arguments over and over with no resolution (Except from Vic, who states emphatically that the watermarks aren't going away).

You're right, no analogy is completely valid, so I'm not sure why you brought it up in the first place.

I don't intend this thread to turn into a debate on DRM. I had a question, I got it answered, and there was no need for your snarky comments.

Skeld wrote:
Maybe you shouldn't lock your car because a determined thief will still get in to steal something. Or your house? Or why bother trying to protect anything from thieves because they'll always find a way.

That really isn't a valid comparison, since I have the keys to unlock my house and car. It would be more like selling someone a car, but locking the trunk and only giving them the valet key so that they can never get the trunk open. Sure, they could hire a locksmith, but they shouldn't have to.

Andostre wrote:
There's the occasional person upset that they don't have total control over their purchase, but the alternative for Paizo is that a dishonest customer would publicly share the PDF's assets. It would only take one, and it's inevitable that it would happen, in my opinion, so I understand their decision.

I understand why they do it, I'm not upset by it. I just wish that they'd think ahead a little more and make ALL of the information the player needs available in the player's guide. Putting the ship-to-ship combat rules in there, but leaving out the fleet combat rules was a big oversight.

And I'm not sure how much that really protects their products. I'm sure someone who was really determined to share the PDFs publicly could find a way around the password.

Lamontius wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

This is exactly what happened with my party. They captured her, she was able to escape, and then she became a thorn in their sides for the majority of the adventure path, eventually hooking up with Harrigan and working together so they could both get their revenge on the PCs. They hated her guts, and were incredibly satisfied when they finally killed her.

Gnomezrule wrote:

So after more than a year we are set to begin next week. I am really excited. First let me thank those who have added tweaks and suggestions our game will benefit from what I have learned here. I will let you know how they will play out.

I welcome any last minute tips.

One suggestion that I read from somewhere I thought was really good. Flip the order of things in the last module. As it stands, the motivation for the PCs to take on Bonefist after defeating the Chelish fleet is pretty slim.

Instead, they have to defeat bonefist first so that they can claim the hurricane crown, then quickly rally as many ships to their banner as they can before the Chelish fleet shows up.

I would wait until they've gone through the grindylow caves before you change anything too much. My PCs had a pretty easy time of the first module too until they got there, and then things got quite a bit harder.

That being said, if you gave them fairly powerful characters you'll probably still have problems.

I'm a big fan of the Pathfinder adventure paths, but they have a really bad habit of making very underpowered NPCs(Druvalia Thrune as written has levels of aristocrat for example). This becomes especially evident in the 5th and 6th books of most adventure paths when the PCs are above 10th level. If you have 4 mediocre PCs, then it should be decently challenging. If you have more than 4 PCs, or they're playing more powerful and/or well optimized characters, then you're going to have serious problems. If you have that kind of party and you don't want your PCs steamrolling everything, you'll need to make major changes to the enemies they face.

For example, I'm almost done running Skull and Shackles for a party of 4 well-optimized 3.5 PCs (with 2 cohorts). They are:

A barbarian/frenzied berserker
A druid
An evil cleric
A warblade (the cleric's cohort)
A sorcerer/stormcaster
A cleric of besmara (the sorcerer's cohort)

All are moderately well optimized and are played by experienced players. I was able to leave the first two books mostly alone, with a couple exceptions. The 3rd and 4th books I rewrote some key NPCs (in many cases simply giving them better spell selection) and mostly just added more minions to keep the action economy from being stacked too far in the PCs favor. The 5th book required rewrites of most every key NPC and a few of the less important ones. The 6th book I rewrote nearly every NPC they fought, including all of the lower-level minion NPCs in the caves under Lucrehold, and added in several nasty monsters in some of the key encounters.

Ravingdork wrote:

My players and I finally broke into true ship to ship battle rules yesterday with their Man's Promise and Dominator going up against the Deathknell.

I've never seen more dreadful, mind-numbingly lousy mechanic design is my life.

The Man's Promise possesses 800 HP, while the Dominator and the Deathknell each have 1620 HP.

Ballistas and catapults just don't hold up against those kinds of hit points. The Dominator got a crit with its catapult on the Deathknell for, wait for it, a whipping 38 damage. Then they broadsided it for 138 damage using the quick barrage rules.

However, said barrage only has a 25% chance of hitting, meaning it would take 40 such barrages from the Dominator to sink the Deathknell.

We all said "screw this, we don't won't to be here all night," and started boarding actions.

What did we miss? How is ship combat supposed to be anything other than a mind-numbing slug fest? Why include them at all if the rules are going to be THAT boring, rather than just encouraging the much more fast paced and exciting boarding actions?

I didn't like the ship-to-ship combat rules either, so I made some major changes to them.

For one, my players and I all wanted black powder weapons, so I added them, and the ships are armed with cannons rather than ballistas and catapults. That helps with the amount of damage that can be dealt.

I also broke each ship up into 20-foot sections on each side and gave each one separate hit points. So the average sailing ship is around 100 feet long, so 5 sections on each side, for a total of 10, each of which has 162 hit points. And if 2 sections go to 0 hit points, the ship begins to sink. So assuming a broadside of 10 cannons, if all hit, they'll take out one section. Masts, rudders, and enemy cannons all have hit points and are valid targets to shoot at (which is mostly what my players do, since they're rarely trying to sink a ship). This has worked out pretty well for us so far.

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The Grim MacKay wrote:

As my group (finally!) is about to enter Book 3, I am curious what those who have already run this campaign did with Tidewater Rock. While a bit forced, the crew of the Bloody Bones "broke the Rock" and the Captain "married" the Lady.

But as Book 3 begins, nowhere did I find any mention of the old port-of-call. It's like Book 3 ignores the carry-overs from book 2. Which is fine, I guess, but I suspect my players will feel a bit robbed if I just pretend none of that ever happened.

I have some thoughts (heh, heh) about how to wrap up the Tidewater Rock subplot, but I'm curious what, if anything, other GMs did with this dangling plot-hook.

duncan davenport
The Grim MacKay

My PCs ended up doing the same thing. The captain ended up marrying Agasta and they were making plans to use Tidewater Rock as a base of operations, building some simple warehouses and a pier to dock at. The problem of it not showing up again solved itself pretty neatly though.

My PCs ended up capturing Inkskin after they fought her so that they could question her. Inkskin managed to escape them though. When they came back to Tidewater Rock after going to Mancatcher Cove, they found that Inkskin had come back while they were gone, sacked the island, and butchered everyone who lived there.

The captain paid to have Agasta resurrected, but she told him in no uncertain terms that her being tortured to death was completely his fault, and since they had married 'til death do us part', they were no longer married, and she wanted them all off her island.

I know they've always watermarked them, but I did the same thing with the mass combat rules when I ran Kingmaker and didn't have any issues with a password. That's why I was surprised.

I subscribe to the pathfinder APs, so I get the physical books and the PDFs. I'm running Skull and Shackles right now, and I wanted to create a separate PDF with the fleet battle rules to give to my players so they can familiarize themselves with them before we use them.

When I tried to do that in acrobat though, it told me that the PDF is password protected. Is this standard practice now for Paizo's PDFs? And if so, why wasn't I given the password when I purchased the product?

Or at the very least, why wasn't a separate PDF of just the fleet battle rules made available like the player's guide, since it's obviously information the players need.

I could get around it by just printing those pages and scanning them back in, but that seems needlessly complex for something I should be able to do simply.

magnuskn wrote:

Is it just me, or does the second half of an adventure path (levels 10+) serially go off the rails in terms of player power vs. opponent power? It seems that the general opposition player characters face cannot even deal with moderately optimized characters?

And I am not saying I want monsters to kill more player characters... we had a case where a Fire Yai critted one of the characters and would have killed him in one hit, were it not for hero points... but the balance of the game seems to shift way too heavily towards the dreaded "rocket tag" in the second half of the AP and characters which need even one round of set-up compared to say, archers, can only deal with the minions which are left milling around stupefied while their boss has already hit the dirt.

It happens way too often that after level ten or eleven PC's autohit opponents with all their attacks and just liquify them into a fine red mist. If they know what they probably will deal with (like... demons in Wrath of the Righteous, maybe?), it only becomes more of a massacre.

What I am trying to say, it isn't fun for the GM and most players I know if 95% of all combats in APs turn into one-sided slaughters and while the lower levels of the AP's are fun and challenging, the higher levels need more extreme situations to do that for the level of power player characters have at that time.

If you DM for a group that optimizes, you're going to have to change more stuff. Most of the APs are written to challenge an "average" party, where "average" seems to mean very little optimization at all. It's more work definitely, but I find as a DM I like having players who optimize. It really let's me cut loose too and throw some extremely nasty stuff at them.

My group is going to be starting Way of the Wicked soon. We discussed how it's going to go, and have decided as a group that it's going to be a pretty dark game.

My character is going to be a psion/thrallherd who's a rapist and a sociopath. Think Patrick Bateman crossed with the Hillside Strangler if he had been created in a lab by Josef Mengele while trying to create a better race of human.

Looking at the player's guide for WotW, I saw that the crime we're imprisoned in Branderscar for will be our campaign trait. However, I noticed that rape is conspicuous in its absence. I can understand why it's not there, and there are a couple other traits I could choose (murder and fraud among them). But that's kind of the option I want. So I'm wondering what an imprisoned for rape trait would look like. What's the bonus associated with it (I was thinking maybe +1 to intimidate and +1 to diplomacy) and what would the penalty for it be (life in the salt mines, or death, and what kind of death).

Any thoughts?

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I'm going to start DM'ing this AP soon. It'll be a little while before my PCs have their ship and their own crew to sail her, but I like to try and think ahead.

Since their crew are going to be fighting in boarding actions against other ships, those who live should get XP, and should eventually level up. Of course there will also be some crew members dying, and being replaced. I don't really want to track 30 or 40 random pirates individually though. So has anyone else considered this, or thought about ways of handling it? Or are you just going to ignore it and say that their crew never levels.

One thing I was thinking of doing was basically saying that each crew member has a one in X chance of dying during any boarding action, and after Y actions they level up once. Then if they get to a certain level (probably 4 or 5) then they become a full-fledged NPC with a name and stats of their own. That way the PCs would be able to use them as officers, or even to crew other ships they might find/steal/buy/etc. if they think they're trustworthy enough.

As an example, maybe any given crewman would have a 1 in 4 chance of dying during any given boarding action, and after 4 boarding actions, they level. They start at level 2, so if they make it to level 5 (i.e. they survive 12 boarding actions), they become a more fleshed out NPC.

SnowHeart wrote:


Having been inspired by this thread and Xenomorph 27's post in particular, I took a crack at making a model for use in a campaign in which I'm a player. I didn't trust my ability to draw a straight line, so I purchased the .pdf of the flip mat, printed it on cardstock, glued the cardstock to foam board and... well, the below is the final result, along with a link to a google presentation on how it came together.

Thanks for the inspiration.

Picture of Final Product

Presentation/Slide-Show on Putting it Together

I just wanted to say thanks for the idea. I ended up using it myself to make a ship for my upcoming S&S campaign.

Coridan wrote:
Crimson Throne is the best, but if your players loved Kingmaker I think Skull and Shackles would be right up their alley. The PCs get to act very independently.

Is Crimson Throne the one that only goes up to like level 12?

I play a regular D&D game on the weekends with a great group. The only problem is all of us like playing the game a lot more than DMing. Which is why we all love the idea of the Pathfinder APs so much. It makes DMing a lot easier on whoever ends up doing it, and we still get a great story and fun encounters.

We've played a number of them over the years, and have found them to be kind of hit or miss as far as quality/fun goes. So far we have tried:

Legacy of Fire: No one really liked it very much and we quit in the middle.

Kingmaker: Everyone had a blast with this one, players and DM.

Serpent's Skull: The first book with the island survival was cool, but after that it stopped being fun. It just seemed like random encounters strung together and again, we quit partway through.

Carrion Crown: We're currently playing this one, and everyone is enjoying it a lot so far.

In a couple months, we're probably going to start up another one with me DMing, and I have several choices of what to run. I'll obviously involve the players in the discussion, but I'm hoping to get some feedback on which ones people have enjoyed and which ones they haven't to help base the decision on.

I own several of the APs already, and would prefer to run one of them, but if there's one that's really good that I don't have I might buy it. I have Rise of the Runelords, Jade Regent, Skull and Shackles, and Shattered Star. I'm also considering getting Way of the Wicked, since I love the idea of an all-evil campaign. Anyone have feedback on those, or any of the others?

D&D's Stormwrack has a lot of useful stuff in it for an aquatic/nautical campaign that can easily be ported over.

Coraith wrote:

I am looking to start up a group for a few friends of mine. We are using a 20 point buy, 1 normal you pick trait and 1 campaign trait assigned as per your back story by me the GM. A person asked if 3rd party content was allowed and I said with approval.

So they picked the class Swashbuckler from Adamant Entertainment. ** spoiler omitted **

I looked over the class and decided it was way too high power compaired to other classes.

The class isn't as overpowered as you seem to think it is. It's maybe slightly more powerful than a fighter or rogue. It will still fall pretty far behind most spell casters in terms of power.

Whether you should allow it in the party probably depends on what others are playing. If you play with people who are heavy optimizers, or there are a lot of spell casters in the party, let him play it as is. If the party doesn't optimize well, or most of them aren't playing spellcasters (or both), then it might be better if he didn't play it.

In general though, there would typically be a much larger power gap between the average wizard or cleric and the average rogue or fighter than between the average rogue or fighter and what this guy wants to play.

I'm going to go a bit of a different route and suggest some good classical music.

Some of this isn't so much 'creepy and spine-tingling' suspenseful music. Some of it is more 'terrible apocalyptic things are happening' music.

Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain

Infernal Dance from Stravinsky's Firebird Suite

Dream of a Witches' Sabbath

Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor

Carl Orff's O Fortuna

Mozart's Dies Irae

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I just redid the way populations are calculated for my PCs kingdom. I wanted to do a few things with this.

Lower the city populations a bit.
Increase the population of farmed land to model the fact that societies are less urban and more agrarian.

Now populations in my kingdom are calculated as follows.

Each farm hex adds 500 people.
Claimed hexes with no farms or cities add 100 people.
Each block of buildings in a city adds 50 people (with the exception of houses)
Each house in a city adds 100 people.

This cut the population of my PCs kingdom (at the end of Varnhold Vanishing) from around 125,000 to about 70,000.

It also cut the population of their capital city from nearly 13,000 to just under 4,000, which is a much more realistic number for a medieval kingdom that is only 5 years old.

By these rules, the population of Tatzlford as listed in the book is 900. Still quite a bit bigger than the ~200 listed, but manageable.

It also helped me with another conundrum I had.

My players had asked me why the gold limit of their capital city was capped at 16,000 gp, when it was large enough to qualify as a large city (according the the 3.5 rules which we're playing by) which should give it a cap of 40,000 gp. Lowering the population gave me the justification to tell them that by the new population rules, once the city population reaches large city size again, their limit will increase to 40,000.

My players' kingdom has gotten rather large. They're generating almost 200 magic items per month, and they'd like to know what those items are, so they can buy them if they're interesting. I'm not interested in doing it by hand, so does anyone have any good suggestions on how to generate items quicker?

I'm running a D&D 3.5 version of Kingmaker for a party of 4. Everyone is level 9, and the party consists of:

Sorcerer/Shadowcraft Mage
Barbarian/Runescarred Berserker
Hunter (a homebrew class of mine. A ranger version of a martial adept, with ranged maneuvers/stances)

They're currently exploring Vordakai's tomb. Things were going well, until they got to the room on the second level with the two soul eaters. They managed to kill them, but the Archivist had his wisdom drained to zero. That's when they got stupid. They decided to try and rest in Vordakai's tomb. They had slept for about an hour, when Vordakai dimension doored in with some muscle and told them to surrender.

They were willing to do so, until he ordered them to drop their weapons and strip naked. At that point, the sorcerer grabbed the hunter and archivist, and dimension doored out of tomb. The wand she was using wasn't high enough level to allow her to take more people, and the barbarian was out of reach.

This led to the barbarian getting captured of course. He's been disarmed, stripped naked, and chained to the wall in the prison cell where the centaur is. That was the point at which the session ended.

I'm looking for advice on how to handle things from this point on.

At first, I'm going to have Vordakai treat him decently well. As long as he doesn't try to escape, and continues to provide Vordakai with information, he'll be fed daily, and not tortured. If he tries to escape and fails or refuses to give Vordakai information, things will get worse for him. I do plan to try and give him the opportunity to escape at some point, and I'd love suggestions on how to do so.

The rest of the party members are planning on coming back to try and rescue him, and I'm debating on how to handle it. I'm seriously considering not even beefing up the security, since it describes Vordakai as arrogant. I figure since he already saw them immediately run from him once, he just assumes they won't be back. If you have better suggestions, feel free to share.


Ross Byers wrote:

Let me make something clear here:

If you are not willing to buy something, that is your absolute right. Paizo is not going to take money out of your wallet to give you a product that you do not want. Likewise, we welcome feedback regarding what should and should not be included in the Adventure Paths.

However, assuming that such a stance entitles you to get said product for free is wrong. Asking for someone to share copyrighted materials with you over our messageboards is a violation of our messageboard rules (Notably "Do not advocate illegal activities or discuss them with intent to commit them" and "Do not post any content that infringes and/or violates any patent, trademark, copyright, or other proprietary right of any third party.") This is especially true when it has already made clear, in this very thread, that such sharing is not cool.

On that note, I've removed some contact information from posts in this thread.

I assumed it wasn't a big deal to ask him for them, since I already had purchased the PDFs, and as several people mentioned, I have the ability to do what I want with the PDFs I've purchased, I simply didn't want to take the time to do so. I probably shouldn't have made that assumption, and I didn't realize asking him to e-mail them to me was a violation of the messageboard rules. For that I apologize.

For the most part I love the Pathfinder adventure paths. I'm a huge fan of 3.5 D&D and I'm glad to see someone is still carrying the torch and making great stuff for the system (or a close relative thereof). It just bugs me that you guys charge money for little things that really should be included with the books for free.

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