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Callum wrote:
Am I missing something, or is there not really any lead to encourage the PCs to go back to Sandpoint after defeating Mokmurian?

The PCs in my game were married to people in Sandpoint, by this point in the campaign. Or they had lovers in town. And they were pretty greedy and loved returning to the Rusty Dragon for the free food & rooms. Also, one of the characters had retired to help restore/run the Glassworks. So I imagine they would have come back anyway. Having said that, I took the rumors/research that is offered on page 233 and 248, and freely gave out that info when they went into the library to research Xin-Shalast and the Runeforge. This helped them to see that the Runeforge was important, and from the handout that you mentioned, they knew that someone in Sandpoint had a key to it.

Based upon the advice on page 232, I also allowed them to research "the traitor Xaliasa" from the handout. The ancient library with it's clockwork librarian wouldn't have any info on Xaliasa turning into the Scribbler, as that's new information. However, we know from module/book 5 that he was a powerful general in the old runelords' armies. So, not a big stretch to at least have the names of some generals and where they served. Of course, when they served, the entire area was landlocked. So it was fun to point that out, and have the players say, "but that's near Sandpoint, and that's not land-locked!"

By this point, I was also trying to make it very clear that the "lighthouse" in Sandpoint was a hellfire flume used by the runelords, which further makes it clear that Sandpoint was a strategic military location. All of this may send them back to see if they can get information or find out what Mockmurian had learned.

However, if all that falls through, don't forget that the module says that delays in returning = Father Zantus gets a Sending spell cast to tell them to return. So at least for this part of the game, they players don't need to be motivated, and don't need to be interested in the notes or the library. If they just blow it all of or go in the wrong direction, they'd have all of a single day to wander or waste time, and then poof, Zantus puts them on the right track.

Thank you Melkiador. This is very convincing. I appreciate the help.

Thank you! I always thought cold immunity just removed hit point damage. I had no idea that it also shut off any other cold-based effects, but I looked it up and you're right.

Follow up question. The blizzard is centered on the dragon. (From the rules: "This creates heavy snow conditions in a 50-foot radius for 1 minute, centered on the dragon.") So does this move with the dragon? It's centered on the dragon for the full 1 minute, as if it were an emanation instead of a burst?

An ancient white dragon has an ability called blizzard. When an ancient white dragon creates a blizzard, it centers on him, and has a fifty-foot radius. The major effect of this blizzard is that it cuts movement down to a quarter speed. Does this slowing also affect the dragon? Also, since we are in the rules forum, can you cite a source one way or the other?

Askar, thanks!

All my players have around +12 to +18 to will saves, so I'll probably skip things like Calm Emotions, as it's very low odds for them to fail their saves. (For example, the yeth hounds have a howl attack with a DC 16 will save -- I made every player roll 6 saves, one per yeth hound, and only the animal companion failed. I watched the rolls, they legit failed only 1 out of 30 rolls, because basically anything except a 1 or 2 was a success for most of them.)

Your item #4 is I think from your own house rules. Your item #2 is really good, and you'll see below I've gone nuts with it.

Revised Scribbler

I didn't want to rebuild into a new character sheet, as the players have already encountered him and I want them to feel that they are indeed still fighting the same dude. However, the Scribbler is a plain old cleric, and that means all new spells on a new day. So I've revised the spell list under what I'd call a desperate last-ditch effort to not die. This involves LOTS of buffs -- half the list will be pre-cast -- and lots of summoned allies.

Normally I wouldn't do this, as I don't think the Scribbler is what I'd call a "boss fight." However, they attacked him and then left him unattended, alone, for 24 hours. Now they're back, have triggered his alarms, and are taking time searching rooms. The Scribbler has TONS of time to get this right, and he should be motivated! So, here is the list, and I'll explain it afterwards:

6th: animate objects, heal, planar ally, stoneskin (D).

5th: caustic blood, flame strike, greater magic weapon (extended), righteous might (D), spell resistance.

4th: freedom of movement, spell immunity (vs. scrying, fireball, magic missile) (D), summon monster IV x3 (1d4+1 earth elementals), tongues.

3rd: blindness/deafness x2 (DC 21), dispel magic, magic vestment (D), protection from energy, stone shape x2.

2nd: bear’s endurance, bull’s strength, grace, invisibility (D), resist energy x3.

1st: cure light wounds, disguise self (DC 19) (D), obscuring mist, protection from good, sanctuary (DC 19), shield of faith x2.

0th: bleed (DC 18), guidance, light, read magic.

EXTRA: Trickery domain, Master’s Illusion (Sp): Cast veil, DC 24!

The letter D in parenthesis is denoting the domain spells. Anything with strikethrough lines is pre-cast before the fight even happens.

Pre-combat explained

He's sacrificing some of his original spells -- for example, there is no extended magic vestment -- he needs the 5th level slot, so he's got a normal magic vestment in the 3rd level slot now. It sucks for him if he's caught unawares and the spells are not cast or have run out, but he's gotta rely on his alarm spells to help keep him aware & ready. Desperate times, desperate measures.

SO. Some thinking about these pre-buffs. Planar ally will get him a hezrou demon by: promising riches from Lamashtu, AND agreeing that the demon can ditch the fight when it's down to about 20% of its max HP. Demon can only last 2 rounds against the bloodrager, but that's the best help I can find.

Animate objects will couple with stone shape because Scribbler really has no materials to work with, so we'll have him stone shape a golem-looking monster from the cave walls. The volume of material is normally too great for Stone Shape, but we'll be using stone shape just to separate a golem-shaped outline away from the walls -- essentially using a couple of stone shapes as a cut-out, to keep the volume of stone manipulated low enough for the spell. If I animate 1 huge block of stone, and if I accept some flaws/vulnerabilities in the construct (such as vulnerability to fire or positive energy) I can get enough construction points to give it an adamantine-like shell so that it has DR 20. The bloodrager will still cut this down in about 3 rounds, maybe 2. But again, better than nothing.

Caustic blood doles out 12d6 damage every time the Scribbler is hit -- assuming the bloodrager saves every time it'll only be about 6d6 damage, but since the bloodrager gets 3 or 4 hits per round, that'll be maybe 18d6 damage total, or about 63 points of damage per round. The bloodrager can ignore that damage for about 3 to 5 rounds before needing healing.

We'll give the Scribbler resist energy vs. cold, electricity, and acid. We'll skip fire because we also have spell immunity to fireball.

LASTLY, the part that is wimpy but fun. I'll couple tongues with summon monster IV so that he can summon TONS of small-sized earth elementals while in hiding, and use terran to speak with the elementals, telling them to move through the ground to surprise the PCs and get flanks on as many as possible. These elementals are just cannon fodder. They die in 1 hit from most of the PCs. However, with earth mastery and power attack and flank, I can get them to have a decent attack & damage roll. Maybe a few attacks will even succeed -- the idea is just to harry the party and distract them long enough for the Scribbler to get some hits in. With maybe a dozen elementals, even if they just survive 2 rounds, it's good enough and makes for a chaotic scene as they punch out from the walls and floor and so on.

This Scribbler should be difficult to kill, has decent allies even after losing the glabrezu, and should be interesting because he challenges the bloodrager who is over-powered while giving the lower-powered PCs some more effective options. (For example, the bloodrager will struggle a LOT with the DR of the animated object, but any other players who have healing or fire will be able to beat the crap out of it, so it sorta evens the playing field for the PCs, makes 'em feel like they all get a chance to be effective.)

Also, the fact that the elementals move through the stone/earth means they won't get confused by the mist & guards/wards. If the Scribbler tells them to head in a certain direction and tremorsense the PCs, they won't get turned around. So it even plays well with the story of the dungeon.

If anyone wants to steal any of this, or build upon it, please do. Thanks so much for the help!

The PCs fought the Scribber, the glabrezu, and 2 summoned demons. The PCs trounced the monsters hard and the Scribbler teleported away. So here is what the Scribbler knows about the PCs:

  • ⚫ The bloodrager PC hit him about 10x with reach & AOOs and the Scribbler almost died from this. Meanwhile, when the Scribber hit the bloodrager, it was mostly irrelevant. Somehow (unknown to the Scribbler) the bloodrager is having damage siphoned off. (The bloodrager has a familiar with the protector archetype, so the Scribbler will need to inflict about 284 HP damage before the bloodrager will go down.)
  • ⚫ The druid's animal companion has a nearly impossible-to-hit AC (about AC 36) and his 2 demons wasted their lives trying to hit it.
  • ⚫ The arcanist was blasting the yeth hounds with maximized fireballs.
  • ⚫ The bard shut off any fear effects.

Knowing this, and knowing that the Scribbler has VERY limited mobility and options, what do you think he could do in a rematch? I've tried to limit the party's power by holding them back to level 11 (at this point, they should be level 13). Still, they are game veterans and their builds are so good that I think the Scribbler should see this upcoming fight as essentially suicide. He's lost the glabrezu. He's gonna have to solo this, or have some lame babau demons running interference for a single round before they die.

What can he change/adapt to be better against this party that he KNOWS is coming to kill him?

Oh, and he'll only have 1 day to prepare. The party left, rested overnight, and came back. So he's got 1 night to heal up and do whatever he could to survive.

Thank you guys so much. So, both of us were wrong. I wanted to put the delays in order of who declared them, and the player wanted delays in order of who got the highest in the initiative order. Instead, it looks like ties are resolved the same way they are when you initially set up the initiative; that is, look at the initiative bonus and sort them based on that (falling back to a roll off if needed).

Thanks again!

I have an initiative order like this:

Player A
Enemy 1
Enemy 2
Player B

Player A is at the top of initiative, and goes into delay. Enemy 1 attacks. Enemy 2 goes into delay. Player B's turn begins. Player B fires a quickened Magic Missile at enemy 2, causing enemy 2 to come out of delay. OK, I move enemy 2, so initiative looks like this:

Player A
Enemy 1
Player B
Enemy 2

HOWEVER, enemy 2 can't do anything yet, because player B is still taking his turn. He's only done a swift action spell so far. So now player B continues, does a move action, and then does an attack action. At this point, player A announces, "I come out of delay, I'd like to act." I put him after enemy 2, who previously came out of delay. Initiative now looks like this:

Enemy 1
Player B
Enemy 2
Player A

Enemy 2 and player A are stacked up, both coming out of delay. Player B wraps up his turn with a free action shout to his allies, and I begin to run enemy 2. Player A asks what I'm doing. I say that enemy 2 came out of delay first, so I'm running it. He says "No, my initiative is higher, I go first."

I'm almost certain there are no rules or even FAQs to handle this edge case of 2 delays stacking up, but I'd love it if the forum members could give me their best shot. Is there any info that might help us make an educated guess about the correct ordering?

Thank you all so much. I think that my player and I we're envisioning the weapon cord similar to the book lariat. We expected it to be attached to a belt or something. And longer than 2 feet if needed. I was more skeptical about the "rope dangling out of an extradimensional space" aspect. But I guess the logistical issues you guys described are also relevant. You've come up with some great solutions, so I thank you for that. I've mentioned to them to the player, hopefully there's something good there.

I have a player, who is playing arcanist, and I'm curious about the level of "optimization vs. reality" that is happening. Would you guys allow this if you were the GM?

So this arcanist has the quick study exploit. This allows him to swap spells as a full round action. However, quick study also states that you must have a Spellbook available for use during the quick study action. In order to do that, a player must pull a spell book. This presents 3 problems. First this eats a move action. second, this provokes an AOO, since spell books are not drawn as weapons. And third, spellbooks might need to be dropped or otherwise put away afterwards. That is either using more actions, or leaving valuables on the ground. So what this player proposes, in order to get rid of as many issues as possible, is to wander around with spell books in hand ready to go. When I pointed out that she has multiple spell books, he has decided to put them all on weapon cords, and then in order to not provoke, put them in a handy haversack. I stated that I do not understand how an item could be inside a handy haversack yet also have a cord extended out and attached to his body somewhere.

What do you think about all of that? I think it would be fine if the books were stored in real physical space with a real physical cord attached to his body, or if they were not corded, and were stored inside of a haversack's extradimensional space. What decisions would you make?

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So I had a very late night over the weekend, because of a surprising bit of text that I found at the end of module #4. I knew that Mokmurian was supposed to retreat after the PCs' first attack, and I thought I read that he gathers maybe a dozen stone giants (generic stone giant stat block) and then re-assaults the PCs.

But that's wrong.

From the module:

Mokmurian fights until reduced to 40 hit points or fewer, at which point he uses dimension doors to retreat to area B13, hoping to get healing from his lamia minions. If they’re dead, he flees up to the surface and gathers a group of a dozen stone giants and any of the named giants who still live to mount an attack on the library to finish off the PCs.

There is a named leader for each of the 7 tribes, PLUS Conna. PLUS the dozen generic stone giants. It's a HUGE fight. I noticed this a few hours before my game, and spent the entire time creating stat sheets for ALL of the named giants.

So not wanting all that effort to go to waste, here are the giant character sheets, both in PDF and POR (Hero Lab).

A couple of important notes. First, Halvara is important. If the lamias are dead, Halvara is probably the only giant left with any healing powers. Also, she's the only giant that has a way to counter invisibility (via Faerie Fire), aside from Mokmurian.

Also, I tried to avoid decreasing the giant's movement speed, so most giants are in light armor (except for Drogart, because his fighter training lets him keep his full movement even in medium armor). Of course feel free to swap or remove armor as you see fit. After all, the module doesn't actually build these giants out, so it's all unofficial and should be whatever works for you.

Also, some of these giants have the Fortified Armor Training feat -- this allows the giant to sacrifice armor in order to convert a critical hit back to normal damage. I did that because we have a crit-fisher in our group who delivers about 150 points of damage on any round that he crits, which one-shots most of these giant bosses. If you aren't concerned about that, you could replace the feat with something else.

Q & A
Why did you give a giant a certain class? Why so low level?

The module specifies the following details about each giant: name, alignment, sex, class, level. So I took that as a base, stuck to it, and made up all the other details. So I didn't choose for Halvara to be an oracle, for example. That's just what the module told me to do.

Have fun!

Since it's almost 2 months past the roll out, and it appears that they abandoned the build-out for this system, my guess is that you just play and go on the honor system. If you have 30 replay points, replay 30 games and hope the system just auto-deducts the points. Let the person reporting the game know.

I think they don't have any bandwidth to care about 1st edition stuff anymore.

EDIT: Huh. Why does my name now have NO stars? It should have 3. Weird.

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mike299 wrote:

It seems that Hero339 closed his deviantart page and his beautiful maps are not available there any more.

Does anyone know if they are available elsewhere?

Well... a Google search for that name shows all his artwork, it's just that it now appears on pinterest pages.

Here is one of the Pinterest map collections that contains some of his work. And here is another collection that contains some of his work.

I imagine that eventually even these Pinterest collections will fall by the wayside. It would be VERY nice of someone to gather up all the hero339 artwork while it still survives and put it into an album or something of that nature.

Ah. I didn't understand how it worked. MrCharisma had made it perfectly clear. Thank you everyone.

Here is the relevant text from the Greater Animal Aspect spell:


You gain some of the beneficial qualities of an animal. Your base form is largely unchanged and your size is unaltered, but some of your body parts are altered. Armor or gear you are wearing adjusts to your new shape for the duration of the spell. When you cast animal aspect, choose one of the following animals to gain the associated benefits. You can only have one animal aspect or greater animal aspect spell active on you at a time.

Frog: You gain a Swim speed equal to half your normal speed, and all the benefits of having a swim speed.

Otter: Your swim speed increases to your full normal speed, and you need not make concentration checks to cast spells underwater.

So... why ever take the frog option, if the otter option is clearly better? Is there some reading of this that makes frog useful in some circumstance?

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I'm running Rise of the Runelords. Team is having a rematch against Xanesha, a lamia matriarch (shapechanger).

They cast Baleful Polymorph on her. She fails both saves, and is now a harmless chicken or something.

HOWEVER, the spell text:

...says that a shapechanger can revert back to normal as a standard action!!! How does this work? She failed both saves, so she's a pretty dumb chicken now. Does reverting make her a dumb chicken in a lamia body? Or does it give her everything back? I'm interested in RAI more than RAW, but I'll take anything you can give me right now.

Thanks so much! That explains it.

How does Barl Breakbones (p. 180 of the revised AP) have so many spells? He has extras that go beyond the rules (at least from my limited understanding). For example, we all know that 0-level spells don't get extra spells for high spellcasting stat. And specializing in a school gets you 1 extra spell per level, but only from 1st level up. So how does a 7th level necromancer (wizard) have 5 cantrips, when the wizard progression table shows he only gets 4?

For that matter, he seems to have too many spells at every level. His intelligence of 16 gets him 1 bonus spell of levels 1-3. His necromancy specialty gets him 1 bonus spell of levels 1-4. So at 7th level:

  • • Base # of spells is: 4, 4, 3, 2, 1 spells (level 0 to 4, in order)
  • • With bonus spells it should be: 4, 6, 5, 4, 2 spells (levels 0-4 in order)

However, Barl has 5, 7, 6, 5, 3 spells total, exactly 1 extra spell at every level. This makes me think that there is a flat +1 to all spell levels that I'm missing, but I cannot think of anything that gives extra 0-levels like that, so I'm stumped. How's he doing it?

EDIT: Never mind, kinda. I found old posts from 2013 that explain how Thassalonian specialists work. Still doesn't explain getting extra cantrips, as far as I can tell, but it explains the other stuff.

Dracovar wrote:
Let's just focus on one example - breaking into the Academy, beating up Ilsoari and then tossing him 5-10 gp "for his troubles"? Are you kidding me? No consequences from the Sheriff/town guard? Ilsoari did what? Eat his lumps and not even lodge a complaint? Not even remotely realistic.

LOL. None of what you're describing happened. It didn't occur to you that I'd gloss over the details of an encounter to keep my 14 paragraphs from billowing up to 25 paragraphs?

There were plenty of consequences. I didn't go over them because I wasn't posting to get a review of that. I had other questions, so I asked the other questions.

And thankfully, some other people were considerate enough to actually answer them. So thanks everyone else, for that.

Bellona wrote:
Ransom? Surely you mean a fine or something like that?

I think I used the correct word. There used to be a process whereby a criminal could be held for ransom instead of killed. The idea was that some criminals were special or powerful somehow, and someone might want them back safely. So if a messenger for a lord was found in another city doing something criminal, the guards may not hack his/her hand off, or behead the criminal, or anything like that. Instead, they would put word out to the lord in that other location, saying, "Your guy is getting put down, unless you have some way to restore his/her honor."

I do not remember what that system was actually called (there is a word for it), but that sounds a lot like holding someone for ransom, so it's the best word I've got until I can recall or find the original article that talked about this system.

Bellona wrote:
Will Ironbriar still be in the Seven's Sawmill?

Yeah, he's there in the sense that mechanically everything works the same, but I just crossed out his name and put "Titus" in its place.


Phntm888 wrote:
How is their relationship with Ven Vinder, anyway?

Weirdly, really good, considering he's dead. They completely thwarted the initial encounter with Ven, because Shayliss seduced a female PC. The player of that PC then did some amazing bluffs to suggest to Ven that he was weird/creepy for stalking his daughter's "innocent" friendships. I sorta had Ven recoil from this and while he may suspect something gay, he certainly doesn't want any women of Sandpoint flagging him as a creep. So he's decided to stay far away from interfering with the relationship.

Then Katrine was murdered, and Ven couldn't console Shayliss. So the player retired her PC so that she could be in a full-time relationship with Shayliss and give her emotional support.

Then Ven was killed in the random rolls when the derro attacked town. So now Shayliss is desperately clinging to the retired PC as her only stable relationship left.

Ven never got to be a bad guy in my campaign.

Phntm888 wrote:
If the PCs continue using the townhouse as a base of operations, they should sometimes notice people lurking outside, keeping an eye on it - undercover guards. The neighbors will also likely want to move out of the area, resulting in more abandoned buildings with unsavory types living in them.

I like all of this. Thanks!

Phntm888 wrote:
The magistrate, by the way, should be Justice Ironbriar, so he can take steps to arrange for their crime to be discovered.


Ironbriar isn't in my campaign. I mean, he exists, but almost all references to him have been dropped. The PCs got into a huge fight in the Fatman's Feedbag, and ended up murder-hoboing a few of the crime bosses in Sandpoint, without even knowing that they were crime bosses. They just did it for fun. The Scarnetti family has been after them ever since. So everything in module 2 that points to Magnimar is just a lure to get the PCs into the Seven's Sawmill, where all the bad guys are the surviving crime bosses from Sandpoint, including Titus Scarnetti.

The players may inadvertently clear Sandpoint of all crime, without even realizing it. Or the PCs may be ambushed and die. Not sure how that'll go yet.

(A side-note about this. The players have exhibited NO curiosity about what's happening in regards to the saw mills or the Scarnettis. For example, when they killed the two faceless stalkers, I had a moment where the faceless stalker saw the fake PC Foxglove... and the stalker was confused -- not like "what the hell is going on" but more like "Hey Aldern why are you attacking us when you're in on the plan?" AND THE STALKER SAID AS MUCH, mid-combat. The players? "Huh. Guess we'll never know what that's about. We kill him." They could have stopped combat and bluffed, "Yeah, I'm the real Aldern Foxglove. Remind me about the plan and who's in charge?" But nope. Oh well. The revenge moment in the mill may be completely lost on them, or totally take them by surprise. We'll see.)

Phntm888 wrote:
Zed needs more than an alignment change - he needs a talking to out of character. That kind of aggression will disrupt the table, and it will make later challenges more difficult for them. Zed needs to tone it down.

Thanks! I've decided that after the guards take statements from all the witnesses, they are going to believe the PC impersonating Foxglove, BUT they are going to flag Zed as a thug and demand that Foxglove turn him in. If the PCs refuse, then I'll handwave a huge guard battle that ends with their expulsion from the city. If the PCs comply, then only Zed will be banished, which essentially forces the character and player out of the next couple of game days. I'd imagine that the player will just roll up something new, but who knows? If the players try anything diplomatic, the guards will note that situations like this are sometimes also resolved by paying a ransom. So I'll take a little bit of funds from them and let Zed stay, which might change behavior a little bit, but I cannot say for sure.

I think I'll give Zed the option of chaotic neutral or chaotic evil for his new alignment.

So I'd like to spitball with some other GMs and see if there are sensible outcomes to the crazy things happening in my game.

The players have been obsessed about finding the Sandpoint Devil. I put together a HUGE multi-map location on the Devil's Platter for them to explore, and eventually fight/capture the Sandpoint Devil.

To find the Sandpoint Devil, they began asking around town, and heard the rumor that Ilsoari at Turandarok Academy kept the devil in his basement. They came into the academy and asked the orphans, "Who here is keeping the Sandpoint Devil in their basement?" Ilsoari ran, trying to get to the basement & lock the door. The players assumed it meant he was guilty of something, so they chased, broke down the door, and one player, Zed, beat the crap out of Ilsoari. They eventually learned that there was no Sandpoint Devil there; it was a rumor to keep the orphans in line.

They gave him 5 or 10 gold for the trouble, and then walked out past a bunch of cowering orphans, and left.

They eventually found the Sandpoint Devil's lair, but had to fight through a bunch of derro that lived in the cave system. Eventually the derro realized they were going to lose and they ditched their lair, went to Sandpoint, and killed as many citizens as possible before being put down. They chanted, "You raid us, we raid you! You kill us, we kill you!"

The players remained in the derro lair, scoping out the entire layout, scanning for magic items. They were given hints that the derro were headed to town (lots of evidence of last-minute fleeing, hints that an exit in the direction of town was recently used, and so on), but they didn't get the best result on their skill checks and I couldn't really hit them over the head with it.

We did random rolls for a few NPCs to die defending the town in the raid, and poor Father Zantus got his number rolled on a chart of about 60 major NPCs. That was a bummer but it made sense. Of course he'd be the good guy running out to save people, and get caught in the fray.

I think Koya Mvashti (also a cleric of Desna) will take over his position. So first question is, does that sound reasonable to you guys? I was thinking about fleshing out all the other clerics at the mega-church. Has anyone done that already?

When the gang got back to town, and saw the destruction and bodies everywhere, the Zed character ran up to the derro corpses and looted them until a citizen stopped him. Another player went around town saying, "Wow, who could have provoked this? We were busy doing other things. Surely we will help the townsfolk to get revenge!" Unfortunately that character has like a -5 to bluff, and ended up with a total of 8 to bluff checks. I don't know what the fallout of that is, but I did roll and a bunch of citizens saw right through it. How would you handle that?

Before much of that could be resolved, the gang left for Magnimar and took over the Foxglove townhouse. However, it was WEIRD. I used this battlemap for the encounter: 9

...and I liberally sprinkled citizen NPCs near the surrounding houses. Yet the players just opened the front door of the townhouse and started killing the dudes inside. One of them, the fake Iesha, ran outside calling for the guards. A nearby citizen tried to give fake Iesha sanctuary in her home. The PCs ran out after Iesha, killed her in the street, and then our aggressive player, Zed, went after the citizens for giving Iesha sanctuary. I had the citizens lock themselves in their homes, but the PC ran up and began banging on the door, weapon in hand. I didn't know what to do with that. People were screaming; I eventually had some guards arrive. The citizens lived.

The PCs had to bluff like crazy to not be accused of a murderous rampage. It helped that fake Iesha and fake Foxglove turned back into faceless stalkers. (Right? When a faceless stalker dies, its face goes back to its natural blank state, yeah?) They ALSO had a Hat of Disguise, and one of the players assumed the form of Foxglove. They even had Foxglove's repaired noble's outfit. So that player claimed to be the person living there and claimed to have been attacked by the 2 faceless stalkers. The citizens would say otherwise, but damn, having Foxglove himself assert ownership really helped to bluff the guards.

So after searching the townhouse, they found the deed to Foxglove's haunted manor, but it appears that Foxglove's townhouse in Magnimar does not have a deed. They have forged one, and just a day after nearly killing the people next door, they have assumed ownership. The neighbors are FREAKED OUT.

First, is that right? Is it possible for them to forge a deed and assume ownership that quickly/easily? I called the game at that time, as I did not know the correct handling of this. So I am free to come back to the next game with different outcomes. I thought to myself, "If the bluff/story of the PCs is that Foxglove came home after a long absence to find 2 squatters in his house impersonating him, and if Foxglove had some thugs hired to deal with it, then that can make sense to the guards. However, if Foxglove then signs the deed over to the thugs he hired, wouldn't the town officials balk at that? It doesn't seem to make sense. Foxglove hired dudes to reclaim his home, and then immediately gave away his home. Weird?"

Second, does player Zed need an alignment change? What alignment is threatening to beat up or actually beating up multiple citizens but not actually killing them?

I thank you guys for the discussion, but I've decided that the rules are so bad that I'm going to house rule this. The house rule goes like this:

1. You can't try to stealth after taking a shot and being in the open. You're seen.

2. While being seen you can move behind cover, but it won't give you stealth and sneak attack. It gives you cover bonuses. That's it.

3. If you want to gain stealth, use the -20 to hide while sniping rule.

4. Waiting a turn and then hiding does not bypass the sniping rule. You are still plainly visible and thus are under rules #1 and #2.

In other words, you should never be able to hide while detected after an attack, unless you have Hide in Plain Sight or use sniping rules or maybe that Hellcat Stealth mentioned earlier. Without a way to get a chance to hide while being observed, it's just simply impossible. Waiting a round won't negate that.

Thanks everyone.

Magicdealer wrote:

2) In the next round, when it is my initiative I can use a move action to go into concealment (assuming some is available) and stealth. Because I didn't snipe in the surprise round there is no after-sniping penalty to my stealth role.

--This is also fine so far.

It IS? So if you snipe in a round, you re-hide at -20. If instead you shoot in the open completely visible and wait until next turn to try hiding, it's at zero penalty? So being in cover and trying to hide is harder for stealth than being in the open & shooting?

I cannot wrap my head around that.

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I found the maps for "The Pit" and it has tips or notes about the encounters, but I can't find the full document with all the encounter details. Someone would have to re-create it based off the notes on the map.

My player sent me this sequence, which he is hoping I will confirm works. However, to avoid the sniping penalty of -20 to stealth, he stands in the open and just doesn't snipe, then on the next turn re-hides with no sniping penalty because he didn't snipe. How is it possible that being blatantly obvious gets a player no penalty at all?

rogue player wrote:

1) In the surprise round I have the ability to have my initiative count as being a 20 rolled. Assuming I win initiative and unless my target has a way to avoid being flat footed, I can attack from within 30' and get sneak damage.

2) In the next round, when it is my initiative I can use a move action to go into concealment (assuming some is available) and stealth. Because I didn't snipe in the surprise round there is no after-sniping penalty to my stealth role. Assuming I achieve stealth, I can now sneak attack my target. I can then use my False Attacker talent and assuming I succeed, I wouldn't break stealth as to my target (although his friends know where I am).

3) In the next round, I activate rapid shot and shoot my previous target at -2. If I hit I get sneak damage. I then use false attacker and if successful I can do a second shot at that target also at -2 which, if it hits will also do sneak damage. My target and all his friends now know where I am.

4) In the next round I repeat #2, except now my stealth roll has the after-sniping penalty. I can then continue to repeat #3 and #4 for so long as I make my rolls.

tl;dr: my player has assembled what is essentially a poor man's version of Hide in Plain Sight with early access. Does it work? Why or why not?

mogonk wrote:
Has there been a FAQ/errata/developer post which establishes whether someone retains their DEX bonus against foes of which they are not aware due to use of the stealth skill?

Here is a quote from the lead designer, Jason Bulmahn:

Creatures are denied their Dexterity bonus to AC "if they cannot react to a blow" (CR pg 179 under AC). It was our intent that if you are unaware of a threat, you cannot react to a blow.

Pizza Lord wrote:
This would be the case even if you had an enemy directly in front of you and you readied a brace weapon against any charging foes and that foe in front of you charged directly away from you at your ally across the room.

But how is that "receiving the charge?" You are not on the receiving end. They're going away, charging someone else. That someone else is the receiver. I'm stuck on this rule text:

Readying a Weapon against a Charge: "You can ready weapons with the brace feature, setting them to receive charges."

You see a guy barreling down on you. Your friend, 10' away, draws a sword and readies to hit the bad guy. Seeing this, you pull out a reach weapon with the brace property. Maybe you also have a special ability that gives you extra reach, like that longarm spell or ability. Then you ready with the brace weapon, if the bad guy charges.

Well, the bad guy does charge, and runs right up to... your ally. You have enough reach that you can get an AOO. But, does your readied action trigger? Do you get brace damage? Technically the bad guy IS charging. But technically he's not charging at YOU. I know the rules do not explicitly say "the enemy must charge you" but they do talk about "receive the charge" as if it's something coming in at you that you take in and/or handle.

What do you think is RAW, and what is RAI?

I have to alter the module to keep it entertaining for some players who have played through it once before. I was thinking that Justice Ironbriar has a big problem -- he isn't well-known to the players, and the GMs here in the forums have struggled with ways to introduce him -- and that problem is my savior. Because he isn't well-introduced, he's essentially expendable or replaceable.

So, I've decided that the real villains behind the murders will be the Scarnetti family. The module sets it up, anyway -- Banny stole from them, the villain's business in Magnimar is another saw mill, etc. It's easy to pop in the Scarnettis and have it make sense.

I will keep the cult and keep Foxglove, it's just that Titus Scarnetti is pulling the strings instead of Ironbriar. When the PCs are supposed to fight Ironbriar, they'll instead fight the Scarnetti family's "enforcer," Jubrayl. I might keep the Ironbriar stat block and rename it, or I might come up with a more rogue/thug Jubrayl stat block.

When they get to the end, they'll either fight Titus in snake form (using the normal monster stat block that the module provides) or if that throws off too many things (like I'd have to rewrite the letter from the sister) I'll keep the original monster and just have her casting Charm Monster on Titus instead of Ironbriar.

So basically, small easy changes and not much to alter in the handouts or stat blocks, and yet it makes sense. It might even make more sense than Ironbriar, who the players don't even know.

My question for you guys: how badly am I screwing up the module or later modules? What does this change ruin? What am I unaware of for the long term? Any tips of things I might need to change or watch out for?

Barnabas Eckleworth III wrote:
The guards in Sandpoint have too many hit points.

That's already covered in the errata document.

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Just... maybe as a nice bit of help for anyone still running this scenario... I'd like to go over the evidence. I could not for the life of me find the evidence bonuses. I even searched the PDF for the word "evidence" right there during the game. It just mentions that evidence gets bonuses, but never mentions WHAT. Then I saw in the listing for 1 of the council members that during the presentation of evidence, mentioning the connection to devils/demons would get a +4 to the diplomacy check with that 1 person. So I quickly scoured all the council member listings for the evidence bonuses and came up mostly empty! I was confused!

The PCs got 2 legit wins, but also had 2 big failures. Since I was certain that I was missing some details as I searched the section about convincing the council, I decided to turn 1 of the 2 failures into a success. I knew I was missing bonuses.

Turns out, the reason I missed it was because it was scattered in "Building the Case" boxes on pages 16, 20, and 22. So here are all the ways to influence the council, in one spot:

  • Page 16: Gideon Wren gives a +2 or +6.
  • Page 20: Shinri Dell's journal gives a +2, and if the PCs read the journal beforehand and get insights, it's an extra +1 per insight. So this could grant a +6 total if you had the journal AND got all 4 insights.
  • Page 22: The Twelve Rites (the tablets) confer a +2 if you have 1 to 5 of them. You get a +4 if you have 6 of them.
  • Vance Kagoshe gives the PCs a +4 against him only, just because he's inclined to want trade.
  • Windspeaker Belbi is essentially a -2 because she's not inclined to trade! (Technically, her DC is 2 higher than normal). However, if you mention fiends, then you get a +4!
  • The elephant in the room -- the huge Aspis boat that you take from Boali -- is worth nothing!
  • Finally, if the PCs use the alternative method of persuasion for each council member, the DC drops by 4!

So... if you're playing at the high tier and have the normal DC, the PCs need to hit a 32. If they use the alternative method of persuasion for each NPC, the DC drops to 28. (4 player adjustment would drop this to a 25, if that's in effect.) If you have max bonuses, you'd have a +16 on top of your own personal skill check bonus (and against Vance in particular it'd be a +20, and against Belbi in particular it'd be a +14, or a +18 if you mentioned fiends).

In other words, with due diligence, your PCs probably only fail if they roll a 1, 2, or 3.

I'm glad I increased my teams successes to at least 3 out of 4 council members, because once I finally found all the bonuses, they would have definitely done it. They didn't get Shinri's journal or all the tablets in time, but the other bonuses were enough.

Now I'll print this and paperclip it to the page about the council. Happy gaming!

Casting Raise Dead.

They made it official:

Season 10 PFS Guild Guide wrote:
The length of this downtime is not defined, allowing PCs time to rest, recuperate, and recharge items like staves.

OK everyone, go back to your graves now.

The rules for creating traps are in the Core Rulebook, so you can just build a trap at CR 8.

This CR 8 cave-in is from the Core Rulebook, but maybe since it's lumped under "traps & hazards" it's more hazard than trap.

Here's a CR 8 blade trap which is from Pathfinder #9. It's not Core Rulebook, but if you can use the Core Rulebook trap-building rules to re-create it, then it works.

Well, that is hilarious. We just finished, and I guess I spun around for a while and came out dizzy.


At the end, my character refused to bow down to the dragon, and didn't know that the dragon had any illusion on it, and didn't want to screw it up for the rest of the group, so told the Dragon to screw off, and then lept into the eye of the effect. What happens when you leap into the eye of the effect? We're still playing the game, and we're going to need to figure out if I do a raise dead or a body recovery or anything...

Is my character alive, but somewhere else...?

The monster in question is a fleshdreg with the "wrath" variation.

So here's my question: what is officially an "energy" type? Can I have the fleshdreg deal positive energy damage? Negative energy? Sonic? Force?

Are there other energy types that are rare/unique? For example, is there a "wind" energy type? An eldritch energy? A psionic energy?

I know that fire can free someone from the Web spell. What about the Entangle spell? I have someone trapped in the Entangle spell, but that person is spamming Burning Hands to try to burn a path to freedom. They insist that if a 2nd level spell like Web can be burned through, then a 1st level spell like Entangle should be even easier. However, Entangle doesn't have any text about being burned away, whereas Web does.

What do you guys think?

I've found one more way in which the PCs can acquire a 3rd level spell (and they may NEED it). There are some monsters in the game that cause disease, so I went looking for Remove Disease. I found it in Pathfinder Comics #1 which is freely available as a PDF at that link. Why does a comic relate? Because in it, there is the full stat block for Father Zantus (he was given terrible spell choices, by the way -- he looks like he's ready to go fight monsters, not peacefully lead the town's faithful). In his stat block is gear, and in that you'll find 2 copies of a Remove Disease scroll.

Of course, players can also use the town rules to get scrolls of higher levels. Scrolls of 3rd or 4th level have a 75% chance of existing somewhere in town. But it's nice to know that Zantus just automatically does have some scrolls, no check needed.

Misroi wrote:
so you never have to walk anywhere again

Except that's not what he's doing, or not his goal. It's stated right there in the post we're responding to -- the player wants to craft items, but the crafting rules prohibit crafting during adventuring days. IF the player can find a way to journey with the group without doing any actions (including walking) then he/she can spend the days crafting items.

The character is the opposite of sloth; trying to accomplish two things at once (traveling with the group AND crafting magic items while they move). And the character is doing this only because of a limitation in the rules -- the player probably doesn't want to have the PC seem lazy, but the group needs gear & magic, and by the rules, this is a way to achieve that.

Let me put it this way. If I were attempting to be helpful for the party -- creating magic items that will be cheaper than full price, and definitely helpful if the group is in trouble -- and the GM awards me sloth points for it, I'm gonna nope out. That's punishing the player for trying to be helpful. It's a great way to get the player to say, "Oh, you know what? Nevermind. I didn't realize that helping the group was going to get me flagged with a negative mark. If I just don't be that helpful, it seems like my character comes out the other side with no negatives, even if it means the party is worse off or even TPKs. So yeah, let's just have me not do that helpful stuff."

Same idea goes for the first example too, sleeping during a midnight fight. The player clearly knows that if the wizard awakens for a fight, the sleep is considered ruined, and extra hours must be spent asleep. That's from this rule:

The wizard does not have to slumber for every minute of the time, but he must refrain from movement, combat, spellcasting, skill use, conversation, or any other fairly demanding physical or mental task during the rest period. If his rest is interrupted, each interruption adds 1 hour to the total amount of time he has to rest in order to clear his mind, and he must have at least 1 hour of uninterrupted rest immediately prior to preparing his spells.

And it gets worse, because if you cast spells during a midnight fight, then you cannot regain them in the morning -- those slots are just lost for the day. That's from this rule here:

When he prepares spells for the coming day, all the spells he has cast within the last 8 hours count against his daily limit.

So the wizard cannot wake up, and cannot cast spells to help. If he/she does, then either the wizard just doesn't have spells for the upcoming adventuring day, or the wizard has to delay the party by extra hours of rest. Of course the players at the table might tell him, "We'll wait for you to rest extra, please help us!" But if they don't or cannot give him extra hours of rest, he's gimped for the day. He might even be useless, if he's emptied his slots.

So the wizard is actually being diligent. He's trying to be sure that he can help the party during the adventuring day. If he gets up to help, he screws that up. Obviously, if the midnight fight goes terribly wrong, then the other PCs might scream for help, and he might have to give up his rest just to keep the party alive. However, that clearly didn't happen.

Wow, I wouldn't have awarded sloth for either of those first 2 examples. I would have awarded diligence or something like it. Zeal? I don't recall what the positive options are.

To get sloth, you have to be shirking responsibilities because "I don't wanna" or similar lazy, non-helpful reasoning. In both of your examples, the PC was trying to achieve something good and helpful to the group (spells for an adventuring day, and innovative magic that enables him to craft scrolls to help the group).

I really love your last example, though. That's pretty awesome. I'll have to remember that if my group gets that far along.

So in my game, I blew up the garrison during the goblin attack, killing most of the guards. This was my way of explaining why the PCs were doing a good portion of the fighting, and also why they'll be asked to step up and help out after the goblin raid.

Part of the summary from my game is this:


As the party put down the 2nd wave of goblins, a massive explosion shook the town. The guards (who had been helping the PCs thus far) were about to race off to aid another citizen in trouble, but as the boom rumbled through the streets, they looked back and saw the garrison had been reduced to rubble. They turned and sprinted back toward their guard allies.

The PCs for their part didn't seem enthusiastic about helping yet another citizen in trouble. Father Zantus healed everyone and pleaded with them to go help the man who was shouting for help. Klondike stood firm and asked, "How much are you paying?" At this, Father Zantus gave him a incredulous look.

As you might guess, being in the middle of a goblin attack with people dying around you, and being the recipient of free healing, and then saying "pay me or I won't help anyone"... earns 1 greed point.

Mallecks wrote:
Swarms are immune to trips



The spell Tripvine will attack anything in a 10' area. It seems to have no limit to how many times it attacks, or how many creatures. So if a swarm crosses it, what happens?

And is it different if the swarm is a centipede swarm, bat swarm, or monkey swarm?

Hey guys, we are trying to infiltrate the keep, and we need to get some small animal creatures to move toward the keep, and then touch one of the bad guys in the keep. We want to scry them as they move in and touch the bad guy. There is a D&D 3.5 spell called chain of eyes, which allows you to touch one creature, scry that creature, and then as the creature touches other creatures you can jump to scrying those other creatures. I recall Pathfinder making an equivalent spell, but it isn't called chain of eyes, and now I can't find it. Can any of you help me?

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So... the timetable here was so confusing, even with the wonderful PDF time-tracker from, that I didn't know what to do and sorta just abandoned the time tracking entirely. Why? Because if I understand this correctly, there is no way to do this without losing. Venza, if you follow the timeline, must be dead no matter how fast the PCs act. Here:

  • First, "The adventure begins at 10 in the morning." That's page 8. It notes that moving to each location is 30 minutes, buying gear is 2 hours.
  • Getting to "the real Lofton" is "a 5-hour walk from Woodsedge." Page 12. Note: not a 5 hour journey round-trip. It's 5 hours just to get to the location of Lofton. That means 5 more hours to get back, plus anywhere from 10-20 minutes to 3+ hours to recover Lofton.

This means, even if the players interview no one and instead magically know to immediately go recover Lofton, they will still return to town too late, at around 8 PM. At that point they get Eliza's sending message that Venza is kidnapped. And here's the trick: the kidnapping happens that day while the PCs are out getting Lofton, and it states this text: "He was tried rapidly, and fliers have been posted announcing his execution at sundown." Page 18.

Well, best case scenario is that they arrived in town an hour after sundown. Venza is dead. There is no rescue mission. He's dead.

Now, there is text about protecting Venza. IF the PCs gave Venza any advice about hiding or moved him to a safe location, then he's still caught but only gets killed the next day. My players made some goofy suggestions about pushing his desk against the door to hold off any enemies, but I didn't really deem that of any material help to Venza's predicament. Nonetheless, I had to give my players the benefit of this delay because otherwise it makes no sense.

I mean, why even bother to track time if the outcome is that Venza is dead anyway? If the module/scenario is forcing Venza to be dead, just do it. Say, "Don't bother to track time. Venza dies before the PCs can get back from their visit with the fey, UNLESS they helped Venza hide."

Apologies to PFS leadership if I was supposed to auto-fail the players and dock them some prestige points, but I just figured this MUST be a bug. It makes no sense. So I tried to do what the module author probably intended. Maybe?

Lau Bannenberg wrote:

When we were playing this and kept wondering "why would you go to so much trouble to drag these people to another country", I eventually realized.

These are people with enough money to have a resurrection plan in place for if they get assassinated. But Galt has the Final Blades.

I think your discovery is dead-on right. However, the follow-up to this scenario is 9-20, and it's up on Paizo now, and the overview text contradicts this:

Though the Gardeners promised Maldris that they would grant these individuals a fair trial and carry out any executions without the use of their infamous soul-trapping Final Blades...

So we're back to "Why bother going to Galt, again?"

Of course, it could be a typo or something. 9-20 doesn't release to the public for 3 weeks, so maybe they just had an editing problem and accidentally contradicted the logic of bringing the captives to Galt.

I suppose 9-20 could be fixed before it comes out. We'll see, very shortly.

Hey, that Sandpoint Guide that you linked to is pretty useful. Thanks!

We're all good friends, we have a nice community with Roysier and tons of others. He's also very fun as a player. As such, we just gently rotate the GMs and get others to do more work. So we find ways to make things bearable, it just takes time & tact.

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roysier wrote:
Recently in a home game The GM's creature failed his save vs. blindness. Then right there on the spot the GM gave the creature the Blindfight feat. And it ended up killing my character before I even received another action.

I probably know who you're speaking of, but even if I'm wrong, I know plenty of GMs who do similar things. I have a friend right now who will tell you straight up that he hates it when the players can end fights quickly. He is fully invested in altering the game and the encounters to his favor. If this were just for making fights a little more surprising or challenging, I'd go with it. However, he's really bad at it. Characters die. Often. He feels this is good gaming.

Knowing this, I tend to make characters that are extremely cautious in his game world. They avoid all direct confrontation, as it's almost always a loss. He noticed this at one point, and started taunting me that I was playing a fighter who was a coward. I replied that I had 100 hit points and his monsters always hit and always did about 100 points of damage. Meaning, I can maybe survive 1 hit, and then I must retreat. So, that's what I did, every fight.

Finally, his taunting got to me, and so I asked him what HE would do, and he asserted that he'd stay and fight. Thinking he must have some great plan -- even if it's just GM fiat in my favor -- I decided to keep my character with 10 hit points in the fight. On the monsters' turn, they did about 100 hit points of damage, and my warpriest was super-super dead. Oh.

I sat out of the game for about 3 hours until my character could be raised from the dead, quite a bit poorer. The GM smiled at me and said, "See? Nothing even happened in that fight. You're fine. Why were you worried?"

My character died, and I lost a huge chunk of my wealth to come back. I sat out of the game for 3 hours. I'd say my worries were well-founded.

As you might guess, becoming poorer in that game meant I couldn't gear up effectively, and so the character died again, and I eventually retired him.

I think some GMs have forgotten that the stated plan for encounters in D&D 3.5 (and the unstated carry-over plan for Pathfinder) was that PCs could handle about 5 fights in a normal adventuring day, and only 1 was supposed to be very difficult (another 2 or 3 should be average fights, and 1 should be easy). That's on page 49 of the 3.5 DMG. It didn't get copied over to the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, but what did carry over is the idea of it. We can all see it in most Pathfinder Society products, which usually offer 3 to 6 encounters in an adventuring day, one of which is a boss fight, and one of which is easy.

For some GMs, an easy fight is antithetical to a good game. All fights must leave the PCs barely alive, or the game isn't viable. I'm really grateful that Pathfinder Society has mostly done away with that thinking.

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