ruemere's page

1,042 posts. 11 reviews. 1 list. No wishlists.

4 people marked this as a favorite.

13th Age SRD, traps:

Pathfinder SRD, pit trap: raps/pit-trap-cr-1/

New version has very complicated, very _gamist_ description.
What is the advantage of putting so many tags for such a simple effect?

It looks like there is a Java developer working on a Hello World program. Also, as any engineer is would tell, there are no systems that cover all corner/niche cases, so trying to describe everything is not a step in right direction.
The instructions should be simple and general.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

"If you succeed and the target is alive, anytime during the duration you can spend a Verbal action to speak a word of death that could instantly slay it, depending on its Fortitude save."

This is really awkward method of expressing the dependencies. It also does not state whether the target must be able to hear the word of death or be within a range of hearing, or...

Moreover: this casting deals no damage. So why would the target become NOT alive at the end of the casting, huh?

Also this section (below) is not clear whether it relates to QUIVERING PALM casting or target's Fortitude save.

"Success The target survives, the spell ends, and the target is bolstered against it.
Failure The target is stunned for 1 round but survives. The spell's duration continues, but the target is bolstered against being killed by quivering palm for 24 hours.
Critical Failure The target dies."

Verdict: Really bad. As in back to the drawing board.

Upon successful casting, the target is affected by a spell effect. The effect is dormant until activated by a caster with a Verbal action (the target must be within a range of hearing and alive, though not necessarily able to hear the caster).


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I will probably invest into playtest edition to see how it measures up to my favorite two games, 13th Age and Shadow of the Demon Lord.

If it is as good, as lean and elegant, then great. Otherwise, well, I'll be a happy owner of shiny playtest edition.

This means, in plain English, that I expect the people behind PFRPG 2nd edition to follow modern trends in RPG design, and slaughter sacred cows hailing from 3rd edition era.

A few examples:

- all-warrior party remains viable throughout all levels in 13th Age. Yes, warriors can support themselves without healers and wizards.

- adjudicating complicated combat in SotDl takes 45 minutes... if you're a beginner GM that is.

- magic items are not be all and end all of a character. Character abilities are more important than trinkets.

- feats that grant +1 to _something_, feats that grant +1 every N levels... GONE!

- there is place for epic magic, but it is not in combat. You don't cast reality altering stuff in seconds. On the other hand, Wizards don't need to run out of magic during a day, forcing everyone to take a long rest.

And so on.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
seekerofshadowlight wrote:

Ok, beside the bounded accuracy good/ no its the work of arch devils argument. I am gonna go ahead and put down what I feel PF 2e should go in. Recall guys this is just my opinions based off my own taste.

1: Something akin to Bounded accuracy. I want the mods cleared out, reduced and the math capped. It need not be done in the same way as 5e, but the lack of balance, rocket tag rules and the sheer amount of work at high end and with optimization drove me away from 3.x at last.

2:Spells need heavily redressed and the caster/non caster divide closed. Caster should not rule the game

3: BAB needs fixated and the ever worse extra attacks need dead. If you grant an extra attack its just that. Not a way worse attack

4:No more magic xmass tree/no need to have magic items. Magic should be cool and fun, not required.

5: I want healing for every class. You should not have to have a healer. If you want to call HP's vitality to make it not magical, cool.

6: Fewer classes but more customizable/ robust classes. Bake in the archtype concert and allow for broader classes

7: Please for the love of all that is holy, if you can not kill the evil that is Vancian casting. At the very lest add another non-vancian spellcaster class option.

8: Feats should be cool, not a +2 to this or a +1 to river dancing. They also should not be traps and all should be about the same power level

9: Some of those "feats" should be basic class abilities

10: Fix freaking saves

11: Ditto wth sklls DC and make fewer, but broader skills

You have just described the reasons why I switched to 13th Age.

The game has quite a lot more going for it than these but with the exception of #7, all fits.
Instead of pure Vancian spellcasting, we have Arcana Evolved readied slots. And everyone can learn Ritual Spellcasting to do magicky stuff (it's a feat that let's you grab a book and be a wizard, it's just that casting anything takes ages - on the plus side, you can do anything as long as you research your ritual).


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Do you like our owl?
It's artificial...
Of course it is.

An illusionist wizard with clockwork owl familiar?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
ruemere wrote:

Design principles seem to follow modern tendencies with regard to unified class model (all classes use the same mechanics, with some f/x thrown in to preserve basic class differences). Blog posts appear to indicate that Sean attempts to shed specific subsystems.

Hard to tell anything yet, it feels like Arcana Evolved and 4E romancing each other with neither wanting to fully commit due to powerful shadowy influence of family patriarch (PFRPG).

Tentatively interested. Needs more passion and wonder to make me back it up.


An interesting summation, and I agree up to a point, but it doesn't turn me off.

Personally, I'm glad to see structure kept for "classes" and a certain closeness kept to DnD/3.5/4e - I'm not fond of completely new mechanics all the time for everything. Boosts look like a nice resource option for limited power increase, and characters having at-will options (kinda like 4e from my limited experience of 4e and total lack of FMRPG experience) is something I think can increase "narrative power".

Dispensing with "realism" (crossbows!!!) is also something I like - personally my only hurdle with Gunslingers is having to track and pay for ammunition. I'd rather play them as
a Warlock...

As for passion, I guess that is a personal thing. I have seen Sean on the messageboards, argued with him a few times - he is obviously very engaged with the philosophy of game design, and FMRPG seems to be his passionate attempt to address things he feels could be made...different. How different it is or needs to be is up to each person to determine.

I'm not turned off either, merely not interested enough to commit.

Please allow me to elaborate a bit on the reasoning behind my opinion:

1. Sean is trying to get into very tightly packed market. Moreover, the presentation of the system makes it look like it is going to be really close to its esteemed predecessors. And so I look at his blog entries and measure them against his ideas:
- readied abilities? - work like a charm, already implemented in Arcana Evolved and 5E.
- simplified monster statblocks - 4E, Trailblazer, 5E, Swords and Wizardry
- retraining for all classes - PFRPG
- wands? - marginal issue, not really worth a blog entry

2. Stuff mentioned, but not revealed yet:
- Power moved from items to characters - already done by 13th Age, Fate, Dungeon World - I would really like to see Sean's take on this. This is something that really changes the way you play the game.

3. Important but not addressed so far:
- Magic has the answer to everything, Skills and Martials don't - Does Sean intend to tackle this issue or not?
- Compatibility - Does Sean plan to implement some level of compatibility or not?
- World changing magic - Fly, Teleport, Scry, Invisibility, Maze, Dimensional X (where X - most spells with Dimensional in their name), Magic items, Wish, Antimagic (I know, I read about this one), Curses, Magic Healing, Magic that Creates Items, Magic that Summons - This is Pandora box of Magic legacy - Are these items going to be replaced (see Arcana Evolved), tamed (see Eberron, Zeitgeist), removed (4E, 13th Age) or ?
- Full-attack actions and Multiaction rounds - disparity (and time-wasting) present when a character does long, tedious and boring things (iterative attacks) vs. moments of ownage (timestop, or just move/spell/quickened spell with a sugar effect on a top) - are we going to see something to that compares to 4E, Fate, Dungeon World or 13th Age?
- Prep time - the moment a GM realizes that he or she are going to spend days to put together an adventure to be played over the course of one session. - Seriously, this is something important for those of us, who have jobs, lives and are not retired yet :)

Honorable mentions:
- crafting
- ability, traits, saves, DCs and scaling
- multiclassing

4. Altogether new toys:
- Narrative power in hands of PCs - Numenera, Fate, 13th Age - Ability to introduce new narrative powers into the game.
- New setting - Islands floating a sea of ether is nice, so how about some tips how w can go straight to the story? Remember Oldenhaller Contract from WFRP? And to make myself absolutely clear - I don't want 40 gods, 20 cities and elaborate maps. I would like to see conflict, corrupted NPCs, real and present dangers. For tips, check Numenera, the Strange, 13th Age and of course, the grand daddy of this approach, WFRP 1st edition.
- How long does it take to make a new character?

NOTE: I would like to emphasize that I expect Sean NOT to tackle all of these or most of these. These example only serve to point out why, with Five Moons looking dangerously similar to its predecessors, Sean's work seems very daunting (leaving me somewhat undecided).

I have had the privilege of reading Trailblazer, a most interesting take on d20 weaknesses (Keith Gersen's stuff also comes to my mind), but despite good stuff, it lost me when it made me add even more work to prep time. I have scavenged some of it, but I was not able to fully benefit.

5. The good stuff that makes me want to buy into Kickstarter so far:
- the art. It's very original.
- the prose. Sean knows how to put things into words.
- the small size of the crunch book. Sean knows how to be brief about stuff.

6. The stuff that would make me go boom with enthusiasm:
- mission/vision/goals - a short and well thought out executive summary of what we should expect and what is definitely out of scope. This is not a list of specific changes. This is not a list of "we're going to do this better than our predecessors". This is the list of what Sean loves about his new toy. The intro movie does contain some of these, but hey, I want some strong statements like "Expect to learn new rules in a single reading", "Your magician shall be able to fit his abilities on a single page", etc.
- a few words on setting - how do the adventurers fit the game world? This may be of some surprise to many, but actually this topic is seldom addressed. So, what makes the adventurers appear?
- a few words on the setting - do we get social strata? Magitech? Steampunkish? Stone Age?
What's the genre? And how are we going to support it? (horror - sanity, heroic fantasy - bags of hitpoints and hero points, etc)


I could go on. But generally, these are the things I look for before I back an RPG Kickstarter. And I backed quite a few.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Me, I see Final Fantasy. Also bits of Blade Runner, Cyberpunk and, possibly, the Stalker.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
EltonJ wrote:

Reddit posters have nailed it.

"This is the D&D we deserve."

Yes, I concur. It's the D&D we deserve. :) WotC finally got it right this time.

MM is not here yet.

DMG is not here yet.

No APs. No OGL. (yet?)

Hold your horses, dude.
Don't let the pretty pictures go to your head.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Ravingdork wrote:
Trying to build a 9th-level brawler and it is increasingly reminding me of the rogue, in that it's supposed to be a combat class, but it seems to be failing to do anything better than other combat classes out there.

That's because the progression should've been something like... human, gorilla, rhino, ..., Rhino, the Thing, Hulk.

In the game, where magic reigns supreme, classes extending mundane abilities should become superheroes, not +1 item users.

Apologies for this derail... it's just that seeing yet another class with fighter issues is really vexing.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Unchaining Fighter should mean , IMHO:
- removing dependency on magic items, for example: ability to turn nonmagic weapons into temporarily magical ones (ditto for armors)
- ability to recover from nasty magic and nonmagic effects
- power to circumvent magic-only advantages (invisibility is 2nd level spell only, but it is just as effective against 20th level fighter)
- skill points
- support for dexterity and constitution based viable builds (for example, ability to base attack and damage bonuses on these statistics)
- support for gaining tactical advantage through use of intelligence and charisma based action rolls
- more defensive and offensive options... that are available at lower levels than critical mastery, and that stay relevant longer than combat maneuvers


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think that the source of your issue is discrepancy between ability first sentence and actual ability meaning.

Under standard logic "no alignment" would render any type of alignment-based comparison or requirement meaningless. Therefore, your character would rather fail to meet any alignment requirements.
1. Divine Source - since no domain can match your alignment, you cannot select any.
2. Your cleric would not be able to be within one step of deity's alignment, because your cleric has no alignment, just like you cannot measure distance between here and nowhere.
3. Your PC would not be a valid target for atonement, because your PC's alignment is not opposed to caster's alignment. Again, it's a case of attempting to measure distance between here and nowhere.

HOWEVER, the actual meaning of the ability can be paraphrased as follows:
- your alignment matches any comparison or requirement in the most favorable for you way
- the only way for you lose anything due to mis-aligned action, is that when someone else can judge morality of your action and consequently declare you not eligible

As per this interpretation:
1. Divine Source - select any domains you want. Good and Evil, Chaos and Law - it's all the same to you.
2. Your cleric is always within 1 step of deity's alignment, UNLESS the deity (or its properly empowered representative) declares you're not.
3. Your PC is always a valid target for atonement if the atonement is something your PC would like to be a target of.

IMHO, the first sentence should be stricken out, or replaced with "Your alignment matches any requirements and restrictions, as long as you deem this favorable."


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Trove of Treasure Maps, i.e. short writeup of location + puzzle + guardians + legend. Fakes, baits welcome.

Cursed Lineages, a bunch of secret backgrounds to pin on player characters to invite them on journeys of dark discovery of skeletons in closets.

Flowers of Evil, objects of art with dark history and terrifying haunts.

Mysterious Societies, 10 secret groups or cults to upset balance of power in your campaign.

PR is Everything, short list of good deeds for your villains to win over local populace so that the job of the PCs became that much harder.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Here is to your speedy recovery, KT7FISH!
And to Nick's dad's, too.


PS. Lost a good friend this Christmas - there should be some reality limiter for events like this.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Into the shopping cart we go...


1 person marked this as a favorite.
stringburka wrote:
More specifically, can one force PCGen to use Java6 if it is installed (while keeping the installation of Java7 for minecraft?)

Yes, and it's very easy. You just need to type a few things.

Note however that latest beta should run under Java7 just fine.

1. Go to the folder of your java6 installation, there find bin\javaw.exe. Copy the path, like this:
c:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\javaw.exe

2. Go to your pcGen installation folder. Find pcgen_low_mem.bat file there.
Make a copy of this file, for example:

3. Edit the file. This is a plain text file, so just start your trusty Notepad and open the file. Inside the file change last line from:
java -Dswing.aatext=true -Xmx96m -jar pcgen.jar

"c:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\javaw.exe" -Dswing.aatext=true -jar pcgen.jar

4. Save the file.

Note that I have changed file extension (just a cosmetic change), removed maximum memory limit (i.e. -Xmx96m switch). Also remember to add double quotes.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

As a GM I would say something like this:
"Guys, what's your next action?"

From your story it is clear you have given him (and them) more than one chance. Also, it's quite likely these kobolds are holding innocents prisoner.

Mercy is precious commodity. Do not waste on those who don't cannot benefit from it. Paladin is a weapon - your job is to vanquish evil, not to split hair over a petty monster not willing to cooperate.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Icyshadow wrote:
alientude wrote:
baalbamoth wrote:
ok so Alien are we all supposed to just go "ZOMG YOUR SO TOTALLY RIGHT, I'LL NEVER PLAY ANY OTHER RPG AGAIN!!!" because to say anything remotely negitive about a game someone is enthusiastic about is pissing in his breakfast, or marks you as being a "hater"?
Why do you have to say anything at all? Why be negative? He's excited to have found something that reignites his enjoyment of RPGs. How is it a good idea to then immediately start talking about all the problems of that system? What's the purpose in immediately saying, "Well, you may be happy to have found Pathfinder, but let me tell you about all the problems I have with it." Are you actively trying to drive him away?

We're saving him from future troubles and disappointments.

Is that so wrong?

Life sucks. It always ends in death.

Pathfinder rocks. That's all there is to it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Muser wrote:

Now that both FFXIII and FXIII-2 are out, what about the gunblades(Panem et circences, give the people what they want, etc) in that game?

Lightning, the main character of the first part routinely wields her weapon, which seems more like an oversized butterfly or flipknife than an actual sword, with one hand all the while crazily jumping around. Tends to also do backflips and shoot with it from mid-range as an attack sequence finisher as well, unlike Squall.

Give it a looksee

Disclaimer: haven't played FF games beyond 8th, so my knowledge is quite limited. Gonna give it a try based on the wiki you linked and some animation videos I saw on youtube.

Blazefire Sabre (Exotic weapon proficiency) feat: gain access to additional weapon features (see below).

Blazefire Sabre (exotic fusion of long-hafted axe and pistol, two weapon modes)
- sabre mode: 1d8, x2 (requires axe and martial weapon proficiences)
- gun mode: 1d8, x2, 2 bullets
- weapon mode change: move action
- [requires Exotic weapon proficiency] +4 to Acrobatics while moving through threatened area or enemy space
- [requires Exotic weapon proficiency] free action to change weapon modes, you may freely alternate between weapon modes between attacks
- [requires Exotic weapon proficiency] if using Spring Attack, you may apply Vital Strike chain feats to your attack


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Cure spells go a long way toward making impossible happen.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Just gave a once over this apparently controversial product. I have yet to read it, yet, with all this hubbub going on, I just wanted to find it for myself if it was another case of someone venting on Ruby Tournament (an excellent module slightly marred by space constraints, yet with great pacing a a few really powerful moments), or if it was indeed somewhat mediocre.

Unsurprisingly, this is a take on "abducted by aliens" motif, with culprits being neither lovecraftian beasties, government men-in-black, undead or creatures out of this world. Additionally, the resolution of the adventure relies on a bit of walking, killing stuff and finally doing a sortie into an mental asylum of sorts (being intentionally vague to avoid spoilering).

So... yes. We are spared unspeakable horrors, unexplainable or indescribable phenomena, and we even get to reap xp the traditionally sacred d20 way - through owning villains with a sword and spell.

Is it bad? No! Merely not as fantastic, as it should be. If you are taking on this fantastic trope, you are morally obliged to amaze the recipients (at least that's what esteemed reviewers would want everyone to believe), and if you fail to meet this requirement, you're in for a painful landing on your hindquarters.

Can we salvage it? Yes! First, go and watch Dishonored trailer (yes, it is a computer game trailer, but I assure you that it is relevant):

While watching the clip, listen to the music and pay attention to the atmospheric elements.

Here is a short list of what I would add to turn this module to turn into horror, as inspired by the trailer:

(the first part)

1a. Add haunts. Make them fungi-based hallucinogenic traps planted by the abductors with damage being done to one's Wisdom. The haunts would be destroyable by simple surviving them, each haunt would require completion of a simple puzzle or passing a series of Will checks.

The haunts would force the PCs to experience the terror of NPCs fleeing unseen opponents, manage their dwindling resources and attempting to survive until dawn.

Each haunt would be a short cutscene, both adding more information for the players, and at the same time building the background.

The NPCs would have to be recognizable and likable - a gold-hearted thief, an unjustly imprisoned debtor, a daughter sold by uncaring parents, a cook who slighted a noble, a student distributing slave-abolishing pamphlets.

The haunts should be vulnerable to sunlight (i.e. occur only in closed spaces).

1b. The methods to make the abductors more alien and terrifying:
- ranged attacks and drag maneuvers. The hooks emerging from darkness to drag away an NPC - too classic to pass this opportunity.
- weird luminous walls of butterflies which one's skin like acid when you want to pass through (sculpted walls of fire) to limit character optiopns.
- sleepwalkers - sleeping victims emerging from houses to the tune of unearthly music and walking away.
- any survivors should suffer from obvious symptoms of advanced disease (maybe the fungi are discoloring their skin, their eyes become milky white, their hair falls out or goes grey, the survivors have problems with uttering more than one-two words at the same time, and appear to be amnesiac... they have also tendency to stand up and attempt to wander away in a daze)

1c. Clues.
No good mystery is without clues. Let them find a decomposed body of an abductor - if you let them perform a section, and present them with weird hybrid fungal midget, the PCs are unlikely to discover abductor's origins. Let the body eventually stand up as yellow musk zombie. This is another trope.
Award the players with information:
- how to protect themselves from weird, apparently fungal, harmful effects
- where to proceed from here

(part two)

This is easily the most difficult part of the adventure. It is hard not to let the adventurers to recover from initial shock.
My advice is... either let them or proceed straight to part three.
In the first case, you want the players to feel normal - avoid any super-nasty alien stuff. Just let them off a few wandering monsters, and find a few clues to eventually lead them to part three.
In the latter - just go straight for the gruesome ending.

(part three)

The PCs must feel safe - their opponents' main weapon (fungal hallucinogenic spores) is neutralized. They are rested and they have the advantage of surprise.

3a. Change the scenery.

Remember the organic warm corridors of Alien 2 colony? Or mist-laden passages of Predator ship? The crunchy insects of Raiders of the Lost Arc?

Reduce the visibility to 15 feet, make sure you describe hundreds of wondrously weird multilegged diminutive creatures scurrying about. Have the PCs roll for Perception and call their attention to weird movements just beyond the edge of their vision.

3b. Use the encounters as shock troops emerging suddenly from the fog, attacking in a crazed madness. During combat emphasize:
- fungal look of all creatures
- cannibalistic tendencies (for example, a troll grabs a body of a dying comrade, takes a healthy bite and flees)
- brutal toughness and tendency to brawl when faced with imminent death(add 20% hitpoints to all tough opponents, then, at previous equivalent 0 hp make them try to grab PCs heedless of danger) and attempt to bite
- the dead creatures should be wriggling on the ground (partially animated by the fungi) until burnt or left alone for some time

3c. Have the PCs find survivors. Have them recognize the some faces from their encounters with hallucinogenic haunts. If a PC "survived" the haunt sequence, award the respective survivor with reasonable level of lucidity.

3d. Iconic chest burster, or just let the PCs realize that the survivors infection has progressed far to make any rescue quite probably a futile experience... though, you may want to tone this effect down and allow survivors recover after spending several days in sunlight.

3e. The showdown.

Release the beast. Add spice to the encounter by dropping Neothelid on the PCs and opponents alike. Yes, that would make for a killer encounter, however Neothelid should be uninterested in killing PCs - just wreaking general havoc and kill everyone stupid or insane enough to stay.
All the good horrors finish with heroes fleeing for their lives... this is Neothelid function - it is a force beyond characters' scope of power.

As for Neothelid's purpose - it comes to feast on a delicacy, all creatures infested with fungi. It just slithers around, licking faces and skin off bodies, leaving bloodied skeletons in its wake. It usually ignores everyone just focusing on sating its appetite.

(the ending)

Let the PCs and a handful creatures survive, greet the dawn and leave the island behind.


PS. Off to watch the trailer again.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ravingdork wrote:

I guess this is as good a place as any to post this:

I can't seem to get NPC spellcasters to challenge the PCs. Between their recommended ability score arrays and low starting funds, I can't get the DCs of their spells to be anything better than a joke when compared to the PC's saves (which have better ability scores and gear to put into them). Even using things like potions to save money and increase the NPCs' spellcasting stats only goes so far. Even using clever tactics can be real tricky if you can't get any of the magic to stick.

Hoping for some advice.

Don't do this directly. This is a game of rock, paper and scissors now, and the party usually can provide all three, while a lone spellcaster is just this: alone.

Specific advice for a spellcaster:
1. Multiple saves per round are your friend. For example, a band of summoned Dretches can use multiple Stinking Clouds. Add Solid Fog to this, and you have 2 rounds of pure unmitigated panic among PCs. All for the price of a single medium level summon (Summon Monster V should be good enough) and a single support spell.

2. Always reduce visibility first. If they can pinpoint your location, or worse, if they can pinpoint you with ranged attacks, you're a goner. Invisibility is the most often countered spell in game, so take care to research alternatives:
- illusions of terrain features
- illusionary doubles or illusionary spell effects
- fog spells, with Solid Fog being the staple of battlefield control

3. Multiple saves, part two. Toxic fumes, poisoned weapons and caltrops. Target Strength ability to paralyze the casters. A group of friendly shadows (or controlled shadows) will do the trick nicely. A large group of kobolds with strength sapping darts will do good, too.

4. Invest in +Stealth items. Make Stealth your primary skill. Use darkness spells a lot.

5. Fireball sniping. Fireball is a long range spell. Cleric's worst save is Reflex. Bonus points if you can get several fireballs to go simultaneously. If you kill, or at least scare their healer, they will flee, too.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

A toast to the looming horde of sarcophagi, urns, pyramids and plain old graves awaiting influx of player characters,

To Chuck, Greg and Bill, for rising a torch for Ye Olde Necromancers,

To everyone who became a member of elite club of Frog God Games supporters,

I salute you!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

41. You tend to discuss your violent machiavellan schemes in a middle of a crowded bus.

42. You tend to discuss magic and demon summoning and bloody sacrifices in a middle of a crowded bus.

43. You tend to brag about your imaginary conquests of fairer sex... in public places.

Ah, the memories of bygone age. Nowadays even fundamentalist geriatric commandos would not break a sweat if I tried any of the above.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Chuck Wright wrote:

I would like to start out by saying that I love variety in gaming. My gaming group and I always jumped around systems and were eager to learn new ones.

That said, the two things that jumped out at me as very positive.

1) They want to listen to the fans and do an open beta.

Statement of intentions does not equal proof of transaction. Color me slightly pessimistic especially since their open beta is not referring to actual open design approach (i.e. an unfinished version of the product is publicly available for testing), merely to "something" being open for testing.

The last time we've heard something similar from WotC, the "open beta" was actually a class preview for 4E (Barbarian or Assassin, sorry, don't remember right now) less than 3-4 months before release of the product. It was just a cover preview, not an actual beta.

Besides, they lack people and experience with regard to open beta design. Again, intentions do not equal deeds.

I've heard grumblings along the lines of Paizo having done it before WotC. All that tells me is that there are people among the "powers that be" at WotC/Hasbro who are willing to learn from their mistakes and change their game-plan accordingly. It's simply smart business to recognize a winning strategy by your competitor and adopt it.

Agreed on this. Besides, open test is a good way to find one's own ability to handle complex customer support tasks - crowdsourcing testing is only as good as vendor's ability to process feedback.

2) They want make the game modular. According to the ENWorld article, the next rule set will have a basic system with more rule systems that can be stacked on to that basic system. I have seen this done with a few other gaming systems and it is one of my favorite approaches. My hope would be that the basic system will allow for genre-specific rule modularity.

So they want to create a GURPS Pathfinder with core framework based on 4E bones. At least that how I see their goals - they want to build upon 4E experience, but they want to have several levels of complexity (with set in stone miniature wargame system at the lowest level [Chainmail level], expanded for RPG customization around medium level [D&D RPG Basic], and then introduce design principles for metadesign of highest order of system complexity [D&D Advanced and Meta]).

I do not really see this happening properly. They do not seem to have large enough task force - unless they want to reuse existing 4E rules and adapt them to new design principles.

Let me guess what happens a year from now:

We're going to have specific classes (let's call them builds) - simple enough to be used in war game, general classes (customizable fighters, rogues, clerics and wizards and similar) - easily deployable in RPG, and then we're going to have "classless" classes styled after general roles (striker, defender, etc). The modularity of the system will be about content you will be able to add to your roles to create general classes. For "space opera" RPG, one can easily imagine this: space + defender + magic = Jedi, and with a mix of some fantasy data: fantasy + defender + dwarf + commoner + experienced = dwarf miner wargame miniature.

There will be a basic fantasy book for players (let's call it Player's Handbook), a basic general book for GMs (Dungeon Master's Guide) and lots of plug-in books for those who want to play in a specific setting.

There will be specific setting books with plug-in content for reimagined settings (this time we'll get Planescape, Greyhawk and Ravenloft, as opposed to Dark Sun, Forgotten Realms and Eberron) with assigned complexity level, for example, Armies of Abyss (Planescape Wargame) or Kargatane Player's Guide (Ravenloft RPG book for players) or Secrets of Circle of Eight (for GMs wanting to add their own campaign set in Greyhawk).

Oh, and there will be free and paid DLC for those who want to get more.
Miniatures for wargame fans (and RPG afficionados) and so on.

Oh well. Looks like I have seen it somewhere before.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Summoning is a tricky issue.

By RAW (

Excerpt #1 (about Conjuration (summoning))
bring manifestations of objects, creatures, or forms of energy to you (summoning)

Excerpt #2
Summoning: A summoning spell instantly brings a creature or object to a place you designate. When the spell ends or is dispelled, a summoned creature is instantly sent back to where it came from, but a summoned object is not sent back unless the spell description specifically indicates this. A summoned creature also goes away if it is killed or if its hit points drop to 0 or lower, but it is not really dead. It takes 24 hours for the creature to reform, during which time it can't be summoned again.

When the spell that summoned a creature ends and the creature disappears, all the spells it has cast expire. A summoned creature cannot use any innate summoning abilities it may have.


The problems here: scarcity (how do you know when you run out of a certain type of summoned creature), knowledge bleed (intelligent outsiders may trade information about summoners, adventuring locations and worse), possible interplanar visitors (blackmail, angelic mafia, a pit fiend with an offer one cannot refuse).

Basically, each time you summon a creature, especially of teleporting lawful evil outsider variety, you are getting marked. They watch, learn and eventually some nasty creature is likely to pay YOU a visit in person.

It gets worse if one calls Lawful Good outsiders... you may want to avoid cities with any LG temples afterwards, especially if you bother one of heavenly host.
In other words, any organized society of outsiders would be dangerous in longer term.

And what about perverting commands? Imagine that you call a powerful outsider. If it is fully sentient, it WILL attempt to pervert commands it finds not to its taste. If it's not, it will behave as decent summon should.

That's why in my games:
- the summoned creature is a projection, a shadow of the original and without ability to gather intelligence on summoner or act autonomously apart from defending the summoner/attacking anyone it perceives as summoner's opponent/accompanying the summoner (in this order of priority).
- the summoned creature obeys summoner's orders to the best of its ability and to the best of its understanding of summoner's intention. Period.
- the summoned creature won't have any clever ideas (even if it has a godlike intellect), waste its abilities needlessly to prevent the summoner from benefitting from them OR use any abilities requiring spell caster higher than summon spell level-2, i.e. no summoning a glabrezu 5 times to get those 5 perverted wishes.

Calling is a different matter altogether, as the creature retains its will. Still, I would be VERY hesitant to allow planar allies to grant wishes, too.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Russ Taylor wrote:
Having read a reasonable amount of fiction from around the period Lovecraft was writing, he comes off as pretty racist by the fiction standards of the day. It doesn't show up in all his stories, but when it does show up, it can be pretty appalling. Like the one about all the degenerate races living in the neighborhood, where it fell so far it got swallowed up. Holy cow.

Can we please skip the beating the dead horse part? In two or three generations our descendants will be laughing their asses off pointing our deficiencies, flaws and prejudices. They will mock our lack of foresight with regard to finances, global climate warming and falling prey to overabundance of cheap stuff mass produced in a countries where democracy and human rights are violated on daily basis.

So. Please. Let. Lovecraft. Lie. Peacefully.
And enjoy products of his imagination without that "holier than thou" attitude.

Thank you.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Louis Agresta wrote:

My understanding is that he did return money, but inconsistently. Some received theirs back upon request, some did not. I have no way to know which group is larger (got money back - did not get money back).

Also, it was products, plural.[...]

Louis, your quiet persistence is awe-inspiring.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

And this:

To Paizo, for being the gracious host, accomplished publisher, for classy act and for being so approachable.

To Third Party Publishers, for experimenting with the genre, for sharing the love and for making the games even richer.

To Dark Mistress and EndZeitGeist for being iconic reviewers. You guys need to be statted and get iconic pictures.

To You, Readers, Players and GMs, for participating and having fun and posting. And quarreling, arguing and bringing your insights.

A toast in your honor and to your continued presence!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

1. Get character creation software you feel comfortable with. PcGen for me, HeroLab otherwise. You'll need Core Rulebook, Bestiary and Advanced Player's Guide.

2. Be prepared to re-stat most of the characters in the book. It's doable, and thanks to APG, you can do a lot of things already. For most nameless NPCs, Paizo have taken good care of you already, as with Game Mastery Guide out many basic characters are already covered.
If you don't want to buy the whole of Game Mastery Guide, just look at NPC Gallery.

3. Monte Cook's proposes a change in distribution in magic items (and Ptolus by consequence). As a rule of thumb, all items with charges cost only half as normal, NPC wealth is halved until 6th level.
The result is that at low levels game feels like a low-magic, but at legendary levels, the speed is back to normal. That also means that there is no overabundance of +1 or +2 items, as most of mid-to-high level characters will go straight for +3 equivalents.


PS. With similar approach*, I've run Banewarrens (set in Mithril, in Scarred Lands), and the game was a blast. The PCs coveted masterwork items, oils and potions, and sometimes scrolls, ruled the game. And since the game has been running for 8 years now straight, I must be doing something right.

* Scarred Lands is even more conservative. Item prices (market ones) are tripled. Items of value beyond 10.000 can be only bartered for. You can only purchase or trade in items when you're on a good standing with a guild (no shops) or other power center capable of manufacturing or acting as a bank.

Of course, I have had to compensate somewhat for lack of items (mostly by boosting up character stats and using a little lower CR creatures than default), but any item beyond 10 grand was a major cause for celebration.

Of late, I have been bumping their wealth up (14th CR critters do not forgive lower wealth), but several players noticed that and asked me privately to slow down, as they enjoy this relative poverty. It slows down advancement, and many encounters are much riskier than intended, but at the same time, fighting a monster with unhittable AC and impenetrable spell resistance (Book of Monster Templates, Restless One with some additional immunities thrown in) was a great experience in use of terrain features, tag-in tag-out moments, and creative thinking).

4 people marked this as a favorite.

This is your game. You can do anything with it... This is my advice:

Turn him into full-blown antipaladin, complete with all powers, yet let him keep his alignment.

In other words, you get a Chaotic/Neutral/Lawful Good person, with an Aura of Evil wrapped around him like a boa constrictor. Let him try to deal with being perceived as evil, with children and animals shying away from him, his powers clearly sponsored by a mysterious dark patron.

The new powers won't do him much good - smite good and touch of corruption should be nigh useless, and he may, rightfully so, fear using his replacement abilities.

Then watch him... if he starts using his abilities carelessly, seal his fall. If he uses them only against evil, tries to act LG, let them slowly fade over time and, possibly, replace them with paladin counters.

A word of warning, though. Antipaladins are weaker than paladins by virtue of their abilities being limited to offensive. Additionally, all creatures capable of perceiving his aura may take steps to harm him. You may want to be generous with rewards for actions taken to rid of this curse.


PS. No LG god should be a jerk to visit this upon their believer - this should be a genuine ploy to tempt an innocent person... (yes, I read Book of Job, and despite it being a parable, I still find it starkly sadistic and malevolent).

7 people marked this as a favorite.

0) Do not assume that term "Epic Fantasy" means the same to everyone.

Cases in question:
- Urth of New Sun
- Dark Tower

Pathfinder specific examples:
- Numeria
- Mana Wastes


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Frog God Games believe in no-holds-barred game. In other words, their balance is often based around notion of surviving by skin of one's teeth.

Based on my humble experience, as a GM you should either bring a lot of handkerchiefs for your players OR...

... make sure they loot Wand of Restoration early in a game,
... as above, but with a scroll of resurrection, and:
... several potions of Neutralize Poison,
... a Wand of Cure Light Wounds.

This is pretty expected if you played Necromancer Games products, though.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
deinol wrote:
So if you really want to help, provide feedback when the next playtest comes around.

Sometimes I do. Sometimes I do it after the fact, like I do it now, when I can see the full picture.

Learning from experience is a staple of progress.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
deinol wrote:
ruemere wrote:

You're living in the era of Internet, aren't you?

Bugzilla, launchpad, technet, heck, even forum would do, provided you created a closed part, where people need to use their NDA personas.

As my esteemed predecessor said: you just look at the content flagged by QAcers, and read their comments. Hundreds of eyes make for better spot, er, perception check.


How does any of that reduce the feeback cycle to zero time?

The first step is to factor this into project management. I assure you that there is methodology for this. Plural. Methodologies.

The second step is to find out if you can split tasks into parallel jobs.

The third and final one is tomake sure that you make use of feedback as it comes in, but don't let it stray you from the course. Risk management is what you want to apply here.

The bad news is that project management is not a panaceum for everything. Actually, it can be quite harmful for work atmosphere.

That's why I suggested patronage project formula to handle this. I would imagine that patrons of MiB, TMZ, Cartigan and your caliber could do wonders.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
A Man In Black wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
And how do you determine who is qualified to give this sort of playtesting evaluation?
Presumably, the same way you determine who is qualified to write the book in the first place.

So, by starting them on small writing projects, then graduating them to larger ones once they've proven they have the necessary skills to manage a large project on time and do it well? Clearly I have time to train an entire team of playtesters in addition to everything else I do....

Alternatively, we could go through the same rigorous type of interview, resume solicitation/examination, and writing sample/edit test process we used to find and hire our latest developer.

Note that that process took us about half a year to complete...


The developers are creative guys. At high level of complexity of the game you're looking at compromise between time allocated to creating drafts and refining it into final product.
In some cases refining can be split into many, simple and parallel tasks.

This is when you may be considering volunteered NDA people.

I realize that this is a touchy subject. After all we are dangerously close to be telling professionals how they should be doing their job.

My defense is that I am more than familiar with project management, and that my eigth sense tingles alerting me to possible areas of improvement.

An UC example. Have you noticed emergence of spells which circumvent Combat Maneuvers? Or spells which double values of specific bonuses? Or no save spells?

While by themselves these spells are merely rule-0 subjects, placing them in a book marketed as martial character reply to Ultimate Magic, impressed me as a paradigm shift of significant kind.

The bottom line would be something like:
The most common of crowdsourcing solution in rpg world are patronage projects. I am extremely pleased with quality of Open Design products.
Maybe it would be an interesting experiment to test waters with one and very limited number of patrons (to keep noise to signal ratio as low as possible).

I'm bowing out of this discussion at this point. While I may comment later, I wouldn't want to offend anyone's feelings by being forceful.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'll refrain from commenting directly as others have voiced my concerns. Instead I would like to propose certain systematic approach to four important, nay, cardinal aspects of using stealth.

The way I see it, this should be a free action. Tying it to specific conditions creates hermetic subsystems riddled with exceptions.

Either an immediate action, or state change caused by certain circumstances. Copy n'paste from losing invisible condition.

The way I do it currently: the stealthy character keeps his last check. He maintains his last check as long as he keeps doing the same action, or takes an action which is sufficiently unobtrusive not to warrant another check.

Again, this is the way I do it now:

Stealthy group uses check of the creature with lowest check result. If circumstances allow, more skilled characters may use Aid Another action to allow less skilled characters to take ten or take twenty.

A group of creatures who use Perception passively, like guards or a patrol, take ten, use best score, with Aid Another from the rest of the group limited to +4.

A group of creatures using Perception actively, like guards searching for escaping criminal, take ten or take twenty (depends on time they want to spend searching), use best score, with Aid Another from the rest of the group, limited to +10.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:

You see, folks? Some time ago, I used to be nice. Friendly. Non-sarcastic. Had a blue dragon avatar and all. But sometimes, threads like this happened. I've tried to be friendly and got burned in return.

One of such threads pushed me over the edge. All it takes is one bad thread to reduce the sanest man alive to a loud-mouthed bag of devouring. They were hard lessons, but I shall never forget them. After all... They made me what I am today.**

** - bonus points to the person which spots which two famous comic books did I quote (or rather, one quoted and one paraphrased).



1 person marked this as a favorite.
Name Violation wrote:
ShadowcatX wrote:

I found a website that already has information from Ultimate Combat (a fair bit of the archetypes) and I don't know what to do about it. Should it be reported to the people in power, and if so how?

I don't want to publish the web address here, as that would only get them more traffic.

for your sake, i hope you never go to prison

Dude. You're wrong. In many ways. And on several levels.

Like, for example, Paizo is not going to sick Wild Hunt after whoever made the mistake. Or, that being silent is the right thing to do.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Aelryinth wrote:
ruemere wrote:

Just read and reread Crane style feat chain. It's no biggie. In a straight fight you just ask a buddy to help you flank. And while in duel use a maneuver, eating an AoO if necessary... Grapple, Trip and Net are your friends.


If you use a maneuver, and get hit with an AoO, the maneuver auto-fails before you get to check CMD. Exactly how many times can you do that, before you're dead?

"Let someone else help me fight him" seems the consensus opinion here, because unfortunately not every build can be a multi-attack on standard action, or a Robilar's variant.

AoO does not negate a maneuver, it merely applies a penalty:

If you are hit by the target, you take the damage normally and apply that amount as a penalty to the attack roll to perform the maneuver. If your target is immobilized, unconscious, or otherwise incapacitated, your maneuver automatically succeeds (treat as if you rolled a natural 20 on the attack roll).

The fighter is likely to have decent AC, so eating up an AoO is not going to be an issue. All he needs to do, is to manage to grapple or trip Monk once, afterwards, it is a matter of maintaining the grapple until the fighter gets +5 bonus for successful grappling.
Moreover, with the amount of feats Monk needs to pull off Crane chain style, he is unlikely to have Combat Reflexes, so purposefully striding around the Monk (or otherwise provoking him to use up his sole AoO) should do wonders for subsequent maneuver.
Of course, if the said Monk decides NOT TO use an AoO, the fighter is free to walk around the Monk and focus on more interesting activities.

Monk's CMD is not likely to be THAT high. Monks suffer from MAD, so for the same amount of points, they need to invest into 3-4 stats (Strength, Dexterity, Wisdom and Constitution), while fighters do fine with merely two (Strength and Constitution).
With decent builds (i.e. a warrior type who spares a feat for a maneuver) Barbarians can easily reach 40s or 50s on their maneuver check, while Fighters can invest some of their weapon training bonuses into weapons with trip ability benefiting from weapon training bonuses.

Other options: trip with reach weapon. Or carry a whip and let the Monk try to AoO from the distance of 15 feet.

Finally, I've seen similar stuff in my WFRP campaign (dodge skill allowed to trade one's attacks for ability checks to negate attacks - every other warrior played an Elf to get near 90% chance to avoid attacks) and it did not break the game.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Well played. I'd use Savage Worlds or EABA (with larger than life characters).

My interpretation of characters is a bit different:

Comedian's a brute. Slow, powerful and tough. And nasty.

Roscharch is presence/stealth commando. He relies on his ability to terrify opponents, uses stealth, gadgets and improvised weapons to great effect. He has also extremely forceful personality. In times of need he can draw on hysterical strength to perform feats of extreme brutality. Suffers from paranoia. Obsessive.

Dr Manhattan is an addict, drunk on hyper-reality and possibilities, lacking in social graces, with his gifts slowly eroding his humanity. He is less than human and extremely focused, to the point of being a bit dumb. Often spaces out distracted by phenomena beyond anyone else's perception.

Night Owl is a more mundane version of Dr Manhattan, with skills in applied science. His strength is a product of his dedication to ideals of perfection. Though, being less driven than most of the characters, he's fallen a bit behind.

Silk Spectre is a martial artist and adrenaline junkie. Highly skilled and quick, prone to bouts of aggression.

Ozymandias is the opposite to Dr Manhattan. Totally focused on reality, he is capable of manipulating it to great effect, both in micro (personal ability to control and overpower opponents) and macro scale (the world). Extreme levels of awareness coupled with agility and ability to use opponent's maneuvers against them.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

This is probably a troll, but I'd still nominate it as a post of the year.

Or post of the month.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

The solution is simple. Don't show the book to your players. As beginners, they don't need to know the rules. Additionally, Paizo's Beginner's Box is going to be more newbie friendly.

Otherwise, I would prefer you talking to your family first. Trying to hide anything, or being overly protective, is likely to result in more damage in the long run.

Three, Seoni is not someone you can hug in real life (bar, possibly meeting Jenny Poussin in person). And in game she would fry you hindquarters for trying to tell her how to dress (or, alternatively, pat you on your back, and use polymorph and leash).

Obligatory disclaimer:
Taking pen or marker to book or otherwise censoring the content is an abhorrent concept to me.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Agreed. My proposal:

(total spoilers below)

Replace all unique monster room encounters with variant Mi-Go and their creations:

- unstable, braindead, mindlessly destructive villagers (or fostered) who break down (or explode) into gelatinous puddles of green goo upon death.

- leave Dimensional Shamblers in the final part intact. There are few spookier things than buzzing sound of monsters teleporting in and immediately attacking. Remove all Shamblers prior to tunnels.

- delete misguided underwater sorcerer. Replace it with a nasty swarm of flesheating fish (half-eaten criminal makes for a great foreshadowing element, the players will have to deal with the creatures to get to tunnels anyway, plus, the sorcerer can actually damage players' means of escape)

- the Color ooze is a great concept. Sadly, it does not fit here. This is not a Zoo. Replace fostered folk with exploding fostered folk.

- the Undiomedan house: replace all encounters with members of the order, have the bloodshed become result of infected fighting spawning cankers (the Order guys visited the house, went to sleep, got infected, and now it's a battle of attrition between those who succumbed and those who still resist infection).

- keep the final showdown.

- [OPTIONAL] replace all villagers in final part with exploding while the players are down there. And then let the players realize that this is a plague about to spread... and the only solution is to burn the whole town to the ground. Explanation could be difficult, but some biological weapon by Mi-Go, used to clean populations, should suffice.

There you go. No survivors at the end. All evidence wiped. Nobody is going to believe players that these things happened. Another little town which disappeared.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Paizo guys know the value of being able to work face to face, visiting lunch cafeteria together and bouncing random ideas during random talk.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I seem to recall an old way to spook out people (mentioned in Kult 1st edition, by the way, and no, it did not involve even a bit of splatterpunk).

Someone, preferably alone, hears a slight, scratching sounds coming from direction of a door. Upon investigation, the cause of the sounds is not found as there is apparently no one outside the door.

The sounds occurs several times over the course of a night.

Eventually, the hapless, slightly irate (or spooked out) subject finds out that the sounds were made by scratching the door from the inside.

Now, I don't want to give anyone wrong ideas. Maybe it was a local little haunt trying to vacate premises just before a huge cave in causes the whole block to disappear in a deep, deep cave in. Or maybe it was just a cat trying to get out. Or maybe, just maybe it was one's second self taking over during a short fugue.

Whatever the reason, ignore it if it happens more than once. You would not want to lose your sanity over something you cannot resolve anyway. Just wait for the dawn.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Regarding increased duration of Charm Person spells, I'd go with the following solution:

The Naga is a proficient expert with regard to herbs and brewing potions. She has been able to use endemic plants to create a poison, which prolongs durations of mind-affecting effects.
Then she used her ample supply of potions to poison major water sources in the village. Afterwards, she picked villagers one by one.

The potion mechanics work as follows:

Poison of Subjugated Will
Type curse, poison, ingested; Save Fortitude DC 17 negates
Onset 1 day; Frequency 1/day
Effect Mind-affecting effects on subject do not expire
Special single dose of elixir is sufficient to poison water supply for entire week

While the manufacturing of the poison is relatively cheap, all ingredients are based on local flora, and so cannot be replicated.
The poison loses potency within a month of production.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

There is this game, Magic the Gathering. It's practically built upon various activities interfering with each other. There are (or there were, the rules may have been changed again), for example, spells, interrupts and instants. You may play spell on your turn, instant whenever you want and interrupt in response to someone else's spell, instant or interrupt.

The instant played during someone else's action would be resolved after that person's action.

Interrupt, on the other hand, played during another's action would be resolved before someone else's action, possibly invalidating that action.

If the interrupt was played in response to another interrupt, it would be resolved before the other interrupt, in LIFO order (Last In, First Out).

Combat Maneuvers as Interrupts

0. Attack of Opportunity may be replaced by Combat Maneuver which replaces melee attack.

1. Any time an action incurs Attack of Opportunity, it may be also interrupted by Combat Maneuver.

2. Combat Maneuver replacing Attack of Opportunity may also incur Attack of Opportunity.

(here it gets tricky)

3. Any action, including Combat Maneuver, is composed of 3 phases. These are:
-1 declaration phase (during which you declare your action and pay resource costs, for example, use a standard action)
-2 immediate action phase (during which immediate actions like Attacks of Opportunity and interrupting Combat Maneuvers may be resolved)
-3 resolution phase (here character performing the original action may decide to abandon the action, the action may fail due to results of immediate action phase or, finally, the action may proceed to standard resolution)

4. Each immediate action is composed also of 3 phases. So the actions to resolve may look like this:

A-1, A-2, A-3 - original action (and its three phases)
CM-1, CM-2, CM-3 - first interrupt maneuver (and its three phases)
CM2-1, CM2-2, CM2-3 - 2nd interrupt maneuver (and its three phases)

The order of resolution:
... CM-1
... CM-2 START
... ... CM2-1
... ... CM2-2 START
... ... CM2-2 END
... ... CM2-3
... CM-2 END
... CM-3

As you can see, the following happens:
- original action is interrupted by Combat Maneuver
- the Combat Maneuver is interrupted by another Combat Maneuver

If the second Combat Maneuver invalidates first Combat Maneuver (i.e. CM2-3 phase completes with success, and the success type invalidates interrupted action - some successful maneuvers may not invalidate interrupted actions), phase CM-3 ends with abandoning of first Combat Maneuver, and so original action may continue as normal.

5. FAQ:
Q: Is it possible to spellcaster abandon a spell in a middle of someone else's interrupting maneuver?
A: No, but the spellcaster is free to use an immediate action (for example, Feather Fall) to interrupt either spellcaster's own action or the interrupting maneuver. The spellcaster must still be able to pay action cost (you cannot perform immediate actions if you are somehow prevented from using immediate actions or if you lack option to execute an immediate action).
Q: Can spellcaster retain interrupted spell? It was interrupted, after all.
A: No, the cost of the action (spell slot or memorized spell) is paid upon declaration.
Q: The spellcaster managed to reach resolution phase of spellcasting and keep the spell - is it possible to abandon the spell now?
A: Of course.
Q: What's the point of readied actions if you can use combat maneuvers to interrupt?
A: The combat maneuvers may interrupt only in a few select circumstances. Readied action, while regarded as one of the worst options a character may take during combat round, is more versatile. Also, readied action allows you to convert standard actions into interrupts.
Q: Why not simply delay your initiative instead of readying an action?
A: Readied action becomes an interrupt. Action used at delayed initiative does not, and as such would be resolved later.

Hopefully, this short article helped to clarify some issues - it is not a proposal of a new rule. It's just a clarification of existing rule set (3.5).


1 person marked this as a favorite.

This is a full rewrite of Shadowdancer prestige class.
It is modelled somewhat after Jason's proposal and made compatible with Pathfinder BETA. Expect a lot of changes, however.

or why bother with rewrite

Shadowdancer concept is one of the most climactic concepts among prestige classes. It also reminds me somewhat of one of favorite novel characters, Jack of Shadows, a cunning rogue with affinity to shadow, a cynic whose good intentions made fate of the whole world turn to worse (or apocalyptic change at least). He's also a wizard, scientist and he has a castle of shadows hidden in his shadow.

Therefore, when one of my players approached me several years ago asking to play one, I agreed immediately and resolved to make this class worth playing.

Fast forward 3-4 years.

We have a playtested solution, though, since the player trusts me, not all the changes to his class are readily apparent (truth to be told, some of the changes were introduced as results of narrative, and then, when the story ran out, were withdrawn for balance purposes). That said, it must be stressed, that this is the first time I decided to gather together my notes and come up with a complete solution.

About the changes to the class itself.

Well, the class abilities suck. They look cool on paper but any vanilla rogue can overtake this class in terms of scouting, skill use or damage dealing. Mobility afforded by shadowjumping is easily trumped by item with Dimension Door function and the shadow is the most menacing threat to shadowdancer himself. All undead are very vulnerable to certain spells and effects, and since a Shadow needs to get close and personal, any boss monster or area effect user can kill it quickly. Moreover, this Shadow is easily noticeable, so it is going to stand out like a hitchkier's thumb everywhere.

The best class ability, Hide in Plain Sight, violates cardinal rule of RPG - how are you supposed to believe that someone can hide because there is a shadow nearby? It's not actually turning invisible, it's hiding. So how does it work?

Summing it up. The class needed some boosting, some clarifications and some purpose to fulfil. Hopefully, we have managed to provide all of this (adjusting for changes of Pathfinder BETA and Pahtfinder BETA Prestige Classes). See below.

PS. Feel free to use it, abuse it, change it provided you keep some information on its authors as per OGL :P


Hit Die: d8.

To qualify to become a shadowdancer, a character must fulfill ll following criteria.
Skills: Stealth 5 ranks, Perform (dance) 2 ranks, Knowledge (Planes) 2
Special: Must have visited plane of Shadow at least once or must have researched the subject of plane of Shadow.

Note: There are not feats which pertain to class concept, therefore feat requirement was skipped in favor of Knowledge (Planes) as it was deemed that affinity with Plane of Shadow was required. As the skill ranks work now, this class is acquirable at 6th level.

Class Skills
The shadowdancer's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Stealth (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Note: Added Linguistics (for Decipher Scripts), Sense Motive (for improved ability to negotiate with outsiders), Use Magic Device (to allow the class to benefit from devices reserved for more empowered classes).

Class Features

Lvl . BAB . Fort . Ref . Will

Level .1 ........... Shadow Companion I, Hide in plain sight
Level .2 ........... Evasion or Improved Evasion, Darkvision 60',
..... .. ........... Uncanny Dodge or Improved Uncanny Dodge
Level .3 ........... Shadow Companion II, Shadow illusion
Level .4 ........... Shadow jump 20', Shadow Twin I
Level .5 ........... Shadow Companion III, Defensive Roll
Level .6 ........... Shadow jump 40', Shadow Twin II
Level .7 ........... Shadow Companion IV, Slippery mind
Level .8 ........... Shadow jump 80', Shadow Twin III
Level .9 ........... Shadow Companion V, Shadow Step
Level 10 ........... Shadow jump 160', Shadow Twin IV, Shadow Ascension

All of the following are features of the shadowdancer prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Shadowdancers do not gain new proficiences.

Note: And why should they? Unless someone sacrifices arcane caster levels, they are unlikely to need any.

Shadow Companion I (Su): At 1st level, a shadowdancer can summon shadow companion, an undead shade with its own personality and unique outlook. Usually, Shadow Companions look like beings they were before they were turned into shades, however their memories of past lives are fragmented at best. Unlike a normal shadow, shadow companion possesses a number of unique features:
- its alignment matches that of shadowdancer,
- it cannot create spawn,
- it also cannot be turned, rebuked or controlled by third party,
- it can communicate with shadowdancer using shadowdancer's preferred language,
- if slain, it will reform within 2d4 days. Until it reforms, shadowdancer has one negative energy level,
- it may, as a move action, travel between plane of Shadow and shadowdancer's plane using shadowdancer's own shadow,
- it may hide in shadowdancer's shadow, and, when hidden in shadowdancer's shadow, it may become invisible as a free action,
- unless otherwise specified, no ability (including special attacks gained during growth) of Shadow Companion affects shadowdancer.

Note: Shadow Companion is intended to become a useful tool - it replaces lockpicks, weak area damage spells. It can also provide a great roleplaying opportunity. In my games it is Elena, a little girl with a shadow of a dead kitten. She is a little timid, loves playing around and when she gets mad, people get bad feeling straight out of horror movies.

Shadow Companion II, III, IV, V (Su): At 3rd level, and every two levels thereafter, Shadow Companion grows gaining +4d12 hitpoints, +2 attack bonus, +4+Intelligence bonus skill points (the bonuses already include ability increases from improved hit dice).
At Shadow Companion III, increase Strength drain from 1d6 to 1d8. At Shadow Companion V, increase Strength drain from 1d8 to 2d6.
Also, each time it grows, it gains one of the following abilities (Save DC: 10 + 1/2 Shadow Companion's HD + Shadow Companion's Charisma Modifier):

- Corrupting Gaze (Su): Range: 30 feet. Gaze attack. Fortitude save or take 2d10 points of damage.

- Corrupting Touch (Su): Deal 1d6+Charisma bonus damage with successful Incorporeal Touch attack. This is in addition to Strength drain.

- Frightful Moan (Su): Range 30 feet. Sonic Mind-affecting Fear attack. Will save or become panicked for 2d4 rounds. Successful save renders targets immune for 24 hours.

- Horrifc Appearance (Su): Range 60 feet. Gaze Mind-affecting attack. Fortitude save or take 1d4 damage to Strength, Dexterity and Constitution. Successful save renders targets immune for 24 hours.

- Malevolence (Su): Must enter the same space as Medium-sized or smaller target (subject to attack of opportunity). Incorporeal Touch attack. Will save to resist. Successful save renders target immune for 24 hours.
Failed save results in subject being possessed as per Magic Jar spell for. The Malevolence lasts until target is slain, 1 hour per Shadow Companion's hitdie passes, Shadow Companion leaves target body voluntarily or Shadow Companion is driven off by use of ability which targets possessed creatures or Undead (Shadow Companion loses immunity to control, turning or rebuking upon successfully possessing target).

- Animate Object (Su): Must enter the same space as Medium-sized or smaller object (subject to attack of opportunity). Creates animated object of appropriate size, with Shadow Companion Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma, hitpoints, feats and skills. Lasts until object is destroyed, Shadow Companion leaves target object voluntarily or Shadow Companion is driven off by use of ability which targets possessed creatures or Undead (Shadow Companion loses immunity to control, turning or rebuking upon successfully possessing target).

- Telekinesis (Su): As Telekinesis spell. Usable once per minute. Caster level equal to Shadow Companion's hitdice.

- Darkness (Su): As Darkness spell. Caster level equal to Shadow Companion's hitdice.

Hide in plain sight (Su): Whenever you are standing in shadow (partial shadow and total darkness are fine, too), you may use Stealth skill even if observed - you simply turn invisible. Once hidden, you may continue moving even if it means crossing someone's line of sight or leaving shadow. You may not use your own shadow for the purpose.

Note: a significant nerfing of an ability done for roleplaying purposes.

Evasion or Improved Evasion (Ex): A shadowdancers gains Evasion, or, if the charactger already has it, gains Improved Evasion instead.
Evasion: If you're exposed to any effect, which allows to attempt a Reflex saving throw for half damage, she takes no damage upon successful throw.
Improved Evasion: As Evasion, however, even if the saving throw is failed, she still takes only half damage.

Note: combined Evasion and Improved Evasion together (note: there is no way to gain Improved Evasion if the character haven't gained it a lower level). Removed restriction with regard to armor type (heavier armor = better protection, and, actually, well made armors do not restrict movement).

Darkvision 60' (Ex): A shadowdancer gains Darkvision up to the range of 60'.

Note: Specified darkvision distance. Changed ability from Supernatural to Extraordinary to allow to benefit from this in areas of anti magic.

Uncanny Dodge or Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): A shadowdancers gains Uncanny Dodge, or, if the charactger already has it, gains Improved Uncanny Dodge instead.
Uncanny Dodge: A character retains Dexterity bonus to AC if flatfooted or attacked by invisible opponent.
Improved Uncanny Dodge: Character's opponents are denied flanking bonus (and any abilities which require flanking) unless at least one of them is four levels higher than the character. However, even in that case, only the opponents who are four level higher than the character, can benefit from flanking and use abilities which require flanking.

Note: Cleaned Uncanny Dodge. After all, Rogues are not the only characters which require flanking for sneak attacking.

Shadow Illusion (Sp): A shadowdancer can create visual illusions. This ability's effect is identical to that of the arcane spell silent image and may be employed once per day.

Shadow Jump (Su): A shadowdancer gains the ability to travel between shadows as if by means of a dimension door spell. The limitation is that the magical transport must begin and end in an area with at least some shadow. A shadowdancer can jump up to a total of 20 feet each day in this way; this may be a single jump of 20 feet or two jumps of 10 feet each. Every two levels higher than 4th, the distance a shadowdancer can jump each day doubles (40 feet at 6th, 80 feet at 8th, and 160 feet at 10th). This amount can be split among many jumps, but each one, no matter how small, counts as a 10-foot increment.

Shadow Twin I (Su): As a swift action and once per day for the duration of one minute per shadowdancer level, a shadowdancer may order her shadow to detach and become a shadow twin. The shadow twin is a three dimensional colorless replica of a shadowdancer. It shares senses with a shadowdancer, may act independently (treat is a a separate creature controlled telephatically by a shadowdancer of the same creature type as shadowdancer) but must remain within 60' from its master or disappear.
Shadow Twin uses all statistics and abilities of its master (with the exception of Shadow Twin, Shadow Companion and Shadow Ascension), however it has only half of master hitpoints and its attack bonus, skills, CMB and saves are subject to -6 penalty.
Shadow Twin uses shadowy replicas of all the items used by shadowdancer, however it cannot use any special abilities of those items beyond straight ability bonuses.
Should the Shadow Twin be destroyed, a shadowdancer gains a negative level and loses her shadow for 24 hours.
Shadow Twin may be dismissed as a Swift action (it disappears and shadowdancer's own shadow reappears).

Shadow Twin II, III and IV (Su):
Shadow Twin II: Attack bonus, skills, CMB and saves are subject to -4 penalty. Gain additional use of Shadow Twin per day.
Shadow Twin III: Attack bonus, skills, CMB and saves are subject to -2 penalty. Gain additional use of Shadow Twin per day.
Shadow Twin IV: Attack bonus, skills, CMB and saves are not subject to penalty. Gain additional use of Shadow Twin per day.
Also, pick one new ability each time new Shadow Twin is gained:

- Shadow Castling (Su): Usable once per Shadow Twin use. As an immediate action, switch places with Shadow Twin.

- Shadow Tentacled Horror (Su): Shadow Twin erupts into mass of shadowy tentacles throwing itself at a target. Usable once per Shadow Twin use. Shadow Twin loses ability to perform any other activities than grappling or moving at Speed 5' (it still threatens area as normal, however it when using AoO it only grapples), but it gains Improved Grapple feat (+2 to grapple checks, do not provoke attacks of opportunity when performing grapple combat maneuver), further +8 competence CMB for the purpose of grappling and attempts to grapple. Each round afterwards Shadow Twin attempts to grapple again and, if successful, damage target.

- Shadow Devouring Horror (Su): Shadow Twin changes in a gaping maw one size larger than Shadow Twin. Then it proceeds to swallow whole any target of smaller size. Shadow Twin loses ability to perform any other activities than attempting to swallow or moving at Speed 5' (it still threatens area as normal, however it when using AoO it only attempts to swallow), but it gains Improved Grapple feat (+2 to swallow checks, do not provoke attacks of opportunity when performing swallow combat maneuver), further +8 competence CMB for the purpose of swallowing and attempts to swallow. Each round afterwards Shadow Twin attempts to swallow again. Swallowed darkness are enveloped in darkness, are considered grappled (but not pinned) and cannot use any Supernatural or Spell like abilities until they break free or Shadow Twin disappears. To break free, Shadow Twin must be damaged either from inside or from outside to the point of disappearing (0 hp).

- Shadow Double (Su): Shadow Twin changes its appearance as per Alter Self spell, with duration equal to Shadow Twin duration. It also gains colors and may mimick any target creature as per Disguise skill check made by Shadow Twin master.

- Shadow Lifespan Extension (Su): Each use of Shadow Twin lasts 10 minutes per shadowdancer class level rather than 1 minute per level.

- Shadow Cloak (Su): Shadow Twin may become a shadowy cloak protecting its target. Usable once per Shadow Twin use. A shadowdancer or individual chosen by shadowdancer gains a number of temporary hitpoints equal to those Shadow Twin. However, the Shadow Twin may not revert to its standard form until the end of its duration or until it is dismissed or slain.

- Shadow Distance Extension (Su): Shadow Twin may leave vicinity of its master up to one mile away per shadowdancer class level.

- Shadow Escape (Su): If the shadowdancer dies with Shadow Twin active, she may transfer her soul into Shadow Twin. Shadow Twin duration is extended up to one day per shadowdancer class level. Shadow Twin retains replicas of shadowdancer equipment, however she the replicas disappear if they lose contact with Shadow Twin. If shadowdancer's original body is raised or resurrected, a shadowdancer may return to its original body. If the duration passes, a shadowdancer dies.
Shadowdancer who escaped into Shadow Twin may move further than original distance limit from its dead body, however it is not advisable as she cannot reunite her soul with her body (if the body is raised or resurrected) until she is back within original distance limit.

Note: Shadow Twin is not an original concept, but allows to make up for loss of combat ability, while also improving character options by adding yet another support ability to class effectiveness.

Defensive Roll (Ex): Once per day, when a shadowdancer would be reduced to 0 hit points or less by damage in combat (from a weapon or other blow, not a spell or special ability), she can attempt to roll with the damage. She makes a Reflex saving throw (DC = damage dealt) and, if successful, takes only half damage from the blow. She must be aware of the attack and able to react to it in order to execute her defensive roll. If she is in a situation that would deny her any Dexterity bonus to AC, she can't attempt a defensive roll.

Slippery Mind (Ex): If a shadowdancer is affected by an enchantment and fails her saving throw, 1 round later she can attempt her saving throw again. She only gets this one extra chance to succeed at her saving throw. If it fails as well, the spell's effects occur normally.

Shadow Step (Su): Once per level per day, as a Move action, a shadowdancer may leave material plane and enter corresponding place in Shadow plane, or exit Shadow plane and enter corresponding place in a coterminous material plane. Whenever performing this action, there is a 50% chance to miss desired place and appear displaced in random direction by 1d10 * 10' (or less if there is no unoccupied space).
Upon use of Shadow Step, a shadowdancer may sacrifice remaining uses of Shadow Twins to bring one willing creature she is in contact with per sacrificed use of Shadow Twin.

Note: This is direct and relevant ability to keep the class on par (somewhat) with Plane Shift and Teleport.

Shadow Ascension (Ex): Upon use of Shadow Step to enter Shadow plane, a shadowdancer may choose to appear in a Deep Shadow safe area. It may appear as a castle, cavern or a hut, however all locations inside except the one of main chamber, appear to be unstable and changing. The main chamber sports a comfortable resting accomodations, ample food and water to feed an army and other furniture as desired by shadowdancer. The safe area lasts for up to one day per shadodancer class level, but it can be dismissed earlier. Upon dismissal or if shadowdancer leaves safe area, any creatures within safe area are safely deposited back in material plane close to the place they entered Shadow plane displaced in random direction by 1d10 *10' (or less if there is no unoccupied space).
Any items left behind upon safe area disappearance will be found again stored in main chamber. However, if the shadowdancer dies, they will be scattered randomly somewhere in Shadow plane.
While in safe area, shadowdancer and accompanying creatures may not be found unless divinations employed by creature of higher level than shadowdancer character level total +4.

Note: Shadow Ascension is meant to add to character flavor. While it affects combat abilities only indirectly, it should allow for necessary breather at higher levels and storage of accumulated wealth.



1 person marked this as a favorite.
Zombieneighbours wrote:

[...]'Two men are using identical desk top computers.

One man sits down and uses the computer as he finds it; he beleives it works.
While the other unplugs the computer and trys to operate it; he beleives that it is broken.'

If you push a game system to the point where it breaks, by playing at its extremes in all cases, you are not finding a fault in the system, you are making a fault in the system. If you build every wizard as a Intelligence 20 at creation optermised to perfection machine of destruction, instead of a character built with hobbies(represented by skill allocation and feat us), naturalistic unspiked attribute, ofcause the game will break down.

Your analogy is a little lacking. Chief breaking points:

1. Most users use system defaults have fewer problems but are far less able to deal with challenges and quite often their productivity is mediocre.

2. Users who do research on how things work have fewer problems with adapting to problematic aspects of work environment. Their productivity is equal or superior to typical users.

3. The user who intentionally pushes system toward breaking point is jeopardizing workflow and, consequently, is likely to be punished by superiors.

Meanwhile, under d20:
1. Players who play by defaults, die more often.

2. If you research the system, your character gets to live longer and better, however the system is likely to suffer.

3. And so by becoming more proficient with d20 ruleset, you also get closer to breaking it down.

Or, in other words:
You cannot roleplay when you're dead.

So, while everyone is free to play their own game, it is the people who find potential problems, who are important for advancing the game.
Those who are content with current state of affairs are somewhat less keen on helping developers :)

Therefore arguing that things are fine as they are now, is counterproductive and quite possibly destructive to Pathfinder initiative.