Artemis Entreri

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Artanthos wrote:
I use descriptive names, translated to Welsh. If necessary, I modify the spelling.

I've used a similar approach for assorted names in my world, using different languages (Gaidhlig, Old English, Norse, Romanian, Japanese), and sometimes adapting the final spellings to make them easier to pronounce.

Here's some welsh name components for you OP:

ufel (fire)
ffagl (flame)
crafanc (claw)
cen (scale)
dant (tooth)
diegwan (mighty)
grymus (mighty)
mawr (great)
mawreddog (majestic)
adain (wing)
aden (wing)
asgell (wing)
draig (dragon)
genau-goeg (lizard)
swyn (magic)
hud (magic)
lledrith (magic)
cynoeswr (ancient)
braw (terror)
cysgod (shadow)

So you could have for example Swynufel (Magic Fire), Mawfagl (Mighty Flame), Cynoeswraden (Ancient Wing) and Cysgodbraw (Shadow Terror).


Chemlak ... no, not the only one :-)

I was imagining some huge beast whose skeletal remains became undead, but buried in the ground. Some of the rooms of the dungeon could be the inside of its skull, its mouth and its chest cavity. Damage to the bones could awaken it. (Maybe you can kill it more easily by attacking it from *inside* its brain cavity).

Back to the flaming troll skeleton, why would a skeleton be kidnapping people?

Skeletal mage might be interesting as they still have intelligence: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/undead/skeletal-mage (A 'lich-lite'?), though maybe make him high-enough level (7) to cast animate dead - that gives him a use for those people he kidnapped.


Regarding the button ... I'd take the million in real life.

But this is a game. (If it was GAME money rather than real money, I'd press the 50/50 button; more interesting).

Of course, if we want to make it a fair comparison we would want something like:
Button 1 - You get $1,000,000

Button 2 - You get 4d6DTL x $82,000
(average approx $1 million, minimum approx $240,000, maximum approx $1,470,000)

(Thinking of a point buy roughly equivalent to 4d6DTL, which is near enough a 20 point buy).


strayshift wrote:
I prefer rolling 4d6 take best 3 but in order.

Me too. Rolling in order, I end up with characters I'd never have thought to design - and it ends up being more varied and interesting because of it (IMHO).

(Also have a rule that player can reroll ALL stats if no score is over 13 or total mods are +3 or less).

Here's a couple of sets of roll-in-orders I just made. What would you do with them? (Remember to add racials). Would you find them playable?

1/
Str: 12 (+1) , Dex: 11, Con: 16 (+3) , Int: 13 (+1), Wis: 10, Cha: 15 (+2)
(Equivalent to a 23 point buy, but a combination I can't see a point-buyer ever choosing).

2/
Str: 17 (+3), Dex: 6 (-3), Con: 7 (-2), Int: 14 (+2), Wis: 11, Cha: 11
Total mods are 0, so we re-roll as per the rule above, getting:
Str: 13 (+1), Dex 8 (-1), Con: 16 (+3), Int 16 (+3), Wis: 17, Cha: 16


We could use these progressions:

Aristocrat --> Paladin / Cavalier / Rogue

Commoner --> Adept --> Cleric / Druid

Commoner --> Expert --> Bard / Rogue / Alchemist

Commoner --> Sage (arcane adept) --> Wizard / Witch / Summoner

Commoner --> Warrior --> Fighter / Ranger / Paladin / Cavalier

I don't see Barbarians and Sorcerers fitting into this so neatly though. Of course spontaneous powers like those of a Sorcerer or Oracle could just 'spring up' from nowhere, so we'd also have Commoner --> Oracle / Sorcerer.

I guess for lvl 1 in an NPC class to lvl 1 in a PC class, you'd require 1000 XP on the medium track, and from Commoner to specialist NPC class you'd require 500 XP on the medium track.

I don't think I'd use this other than for creating 'apprentice' NPC's though; as others have opined, level 1 ability/survivability is lowly enough already.

EDIT - random observation. It amuses me that the Commoner level tables goes up to level 20. I can't envisage the circumstances under which that would happen.


Artanthos wrote:

Magic Aura on an otherwise non-magical trap, to make it radiate illusion.

An illusionist knows the value of misinformation lies not in just creating illusions, but in rendering all information suspect.

Nice.


In the Detect Magic description, we have:

crb wrote:
Magical areas, multiple types of magic, or strong local magical emanations may distort or conceal weaker auras.

So you have some scope with that one; if there's an illusion and a stronger enchantment, the illusion will probably be concealed completely. If there's another enchantment of similar level, it may be possible to, say, detect there is magic from more than one school but not which schools there are.

If there are skeletons or zombies hidden behind or disguised by an illusion, a detect on that area would probably show necromancy rather than illusion.

Explosive runes hidden behind a lower level illusion could be a good combination. They'd detect the higher level school (Abjuration). Then they might realise there was an illusion when they'd checked it out, disbelieve the illusion and assume that magic aura was used to conceal the presence of an illusion hiding important writing ... and read the runes.


Zedth wrote:

Idea #3) A party of dwarves who were all the rave a month ago. They strolled into town with tales of ancestry, honor and adventure. They told everyone in the Inn that an old dwarven ruin several miles up the coast, now half buried in sand and ocean, was once their ancestor's forge and foundry, but was abandoned ages ago after an earthquake shifted most of the city it was in. They're sure there is still wondrous treasure to be had, it just needed to be found again! They said they'll be back in no time to trade and sell their finds!

....
These dwarves haven't been heard from in three weeks. What happened to them??

I immediately thought of something so similar to this, it's not worth writing my own version; this would work fine.

Just a comment by the way ... you describe it with a population of 3800 as a relatively small village. By modern northern-american standards that might be true, but by medieval and default pathfinder standards, that's a large town, not far off being a city:
Gamemastery Guide - Settlements


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Quote:
Best Worfarged Race?

Is this a Klingon thing?


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thejeff wrote:

Elves mature physically almost as quickly as humans and pretty much do so mentally as well, but at maturity they have a very strong drive for reproduction and spend the rest of the "childhood" period having and raising children, generally one at a time. Elven culture supports them and encourages this. They're allowed to devote their full efforts to their children and don't have to do other work during this period. Towards the end, the drive fades and fertility drops drastically. That's when they begin to prepare for whatever they'll do in their adult life.

Children outside of this period are possible, but rare. Elves still enjoy sex for recreation, but the drive isn't anywhere near as strong.

One of the best workarounds yet; doesn't require changing the rulebook. So they mature around, say, 35 - but then spend the next 70 years raising two children, one at a time. Only then do they start their 'proper' career. So 110 years 'adulthood' would actually be their 'career start' age rather than (say) sexual maturity. And they are family-focused (which isn't measurable in pathfinder) in the first hundred years, explaining the lack of character-sheet-measurable skills, feats or levels.

They then take longer to train (10d6 years for trained classes, instead of 2d6 for humans) because they are doing their training alongside time with their families. In other races, a trainee wizard would most likely be training full-time, but elves wouldn't be.

I like it.


Personally, I find the hundred-year-childhood silly, certainly in terms of mental development. My brain won't accept helpless 60-year-olds.

'My' elves mature at 25; only a little slower than humans.

Otherwise I'd feel that they needed to be more skilled in some way than humans to reflect their long development. Even if something token (ranks in knowledge(nature) or whatever), it would give them an unfair advantage and potentially harm game balance.


sgriobhadair wrote:
Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
thejeff - Age tables were in ADnD DMG, near the front. Elves lived about 2k years if I remember rightly, which is the wrong end of the table for this discussion, but again, all I remember right now...

We have in AD&D DMG:

High Elf:
Young Adult: 100-175 years
Mature: 176-550
Middle-aged: 551-875
Old: 876-1200
Venerable: 1201-1601

(Wood elves and drow a little less, grey elves and aquatic elves a little more)

To compare, it listed Young Adult ages for a human as 14 to 20.


Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
thejeff - Age tables were in ADnD DMG, near the front. Elves lived about 2k years if I remember rightly, which is the wrong end of the table for this discussion, but again, all I remember right now...

We have in AD&D DMG:

High Elf:
Young Adult: 100-175 years
Mature: 176-550
Middle-aged: 551-875
Old: 876-1200
Venerable: 1201-1601

(Wood elves and drow a little less, grey elves and aquatic elves a little more)


FWIW, I have my adulthood age for dwarves and elves at 25; a little slower to mature (physically and mentally) than humans but not much ... but once mature, it takes them a long time to age.


To get the best out of a single shot, maybe consider poisons.


Ring of Degeneration

Belt of Pixie Strength

Ring of Smell Storing


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Atarlost wrote:
Infinite Perspective Goggles** spoiler omitted **

Don't forget Peril Sensitive Goggles

Spoiler:
Designed to help the wearer develop a relaxed attitude to danger. The lenses turn completely black at the first hint of trouble, thus preventing the wearer from seeing anything that might alarm him/her


LazarX wrote:
sgriobhadair wrote:
LazarX wrote:
I've got a real question for you. If Arcane Magic is punishable by death and hated by all and sundry, why would they go to the extreme EXTRA risk of taking their quarry alive?.

Because they're police, as a society law is important ... so most police will bring you in alive, UNLESS you make it hard for them to do so, in which case, meh ...

I guess if they have longbows and cast (divine) Silence on the arrows, they can drop an arrow next to the caster from a range that's safe from the caster having noticed they're there. Then most casters without Silent Spell have the wind knocked out of their sails.

Of course, any caster deliberately going up against the anti-magic police will likely have taken Silent Spell ... at which point, bad day to be a policeman.

I think you underestimate the sheer ruthlessness of just about any pre-modern society's police.

Rule of Law is a relatively modern concept. For most of history the model is rule of the edicts laid down by whoever is in charge. it's an important distinction.

I'm designing the society to be very legal, even somewhat police state. Most of the police will do everything by the book. And then send you for an unpleasant, public execution. Needlessly kill the spellcaster and you deprive the (paying) public the privilege of watching his sorry ass get ripped to pieces by wild animals, or beaten to death by a muscular bugbear while wearing anti-casting manacles.

The hobgoblin society is less mediaeval and more ancient Rome mixed with late pre-industrial Europe.


LazarX wrote:
I've got a real question for you. If Arcane Magic is punishable by death and hated by all and sundry, why would they go to the extreme EXTRA risk of taking their quarry alive?.

Because they're police, as a society law is important ... so most police will bring you in alive, UNLESS you make it hard for them to do so, in which case, meh ...

I guess if they have longbows and cast (divine) Silence on the arrows, they can drop an arrow next to the caster from a range that's safe from the caster having noticed they're there. Then most casters without Silent Spell have the wind knocked out of their sails.

Of course, any caster deliberately going up against the anti-magic police will likely have taken Silent Spell ... at which point, bad day to be a policeman.


If it's beyond what the police can deal with, then the army of this nation have troops of bugbears they keep in almost slavelike conditions to use as shock troops ... could be a good fit for beserker(s) employed if they have powerful spellcasters they want to take out.


Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
sgriobhadair wrote:

...

Quote:
Might also consider small teams rather than just a pair. So it could be a pair of senior operators (level 4) or a team with a very senior operator (level 5) and 2 - 4 junior members (level 2-3) not long out of the training academy.
2 cops 'on the beat' seems to be the standard meme; ...

Think about an actual RL police force. You have large numbers of standard officers (low level 2-3). You have a relatively smaller number of detectives (higher level 4-5). And bigger city might have an even smaller number on the SWAT team (your serious situation level 6-9 reaction squad).

I suppose you could have it work if there are 'safer' areas patrolled by many teams of just low level guys.

Yes; I'm considering here just pairs of cops who are specialist anti-magic policemen. They would originally have come from rank-and-file regular cops, of which there would be many more, but our anti-magic specialists would still be out and about, just the two of them, maybe keeping an eye on non-hobgoblin visitors to the city. A metropolis might have several such pairs, but also junior equivalents (heading for the anti-magic specialism but still working up to it), members of other specialisms, and many 'regular' police.

It's a fairly-heavily policed society, so let's say about 1 policemen for 200 population (the same as modern NYC). In a metropolis of 35,000 that's about 175 policemen, but at most only 8-10 would be anti-magic specialists; they're mostly keeping an eye on foreign visitors unless dealing with a reported threat. We'd expect across the whole force a pyramid of levels; say divide that 175 as 16 trainees, 70 constables (1st level - a mix of experts, warriors, monks and inquisitors; maybe an occasional ranger), 48 sergeants (2nd - 3rd level), 24 inspectors (4th - 5th level), 12 captains (5th level), 4 commanders (6th level) and 1 commissioner (7th-8th level); a commander is in charge those based in a particular police station, commissioner in charge of the police for the metropolis. Some of those constables would get promoted up into some kind of specialist; anti-magic or others, as they got experience to level up.

Hell, one or two of those constables may even grow up to be PCs :-)


Larkos wrote:
Having an anti-witch barbarian (superstitious, spell sunder, etc.) is also not a bad idea because they can work well against wizards and have enough raw strength to handle normal criminals as well.

But RAW barbarians are restricted to non-lawful classes, which institutionally is not going to work with policemen (granted you'll get the odd non-lawful policeman, but we're talking about the standard, not the exceptions here).

Quote:

My preferred tactic for a police force taking on wizards is the prepared action bowman. It can be any marital class with a bow but fighter or ranger would probably be best. Fighter gives the most overall damage whereas the Ranger has better stealth and favored terrain/enemy bonuses.

Once they spot the target, one shoots at them with non-lethal arrows. Then the rest prepare their actions. If the wizard tries to use one of their spells, he's suddenly a pincushion.

Sounds good =)


Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:

I think it would work best if your 'pair' was an inquisitor and a monk.

Monk for saves, closing speed, stun, and grapple.
Inquisitor to detect, identify, silence, and dispel.

I like it; that works and I'd already decided that Monk training is particularly popular among Hobgoblins.

Quote:

Feats to counter spell and dispel would be essential for the inquisitors.

Saving throw boost feats would also be good choices.
(Urban rangers are also a good possibility for a partner.)

Good thoughts.

Quote:

I would suggest the pair for investigating/observing. But they should call in backup for an actual take down if the target is expected to be at all tough. Cops don't survive long trying to be lone heroes. They don't fight fair. They call in back-up to kick the crap out of the bad guys festival.

One of the pair is 4th-5th level. The other is 2nd-3rd level. Back up might be another 2-6 guys that are 1st level (or 2nd level if NPC classes).

Yep; they're not meant to be stupid, and would call in extra numbers from the regular police if necessary.

Quote:
Might also consider small teams rather than just a pair. So it could be a pair of senior operators (level 4) or a team with a very senior operator (level 5) and 2 - 4 junior members (level 2-3) not long out of the training academy.

2 cops 'on the beat' seems to be the standard meme; obviously they'd boost the numbers significantly if dealing with a particular threat. If they caught someone arcane spellcasting in a hobgoblin city or nation as part of a party of 4-5 adventurers, common sense would dictate they'd want about a dozen police to take them down. Not *totally* unfair on the party; they'd get perception checks to notice the police coming, and the police would be aiming to use nonlethal force unless forced to do otherwise. (And then the party get the fun of trying to bust out of prison or bust their caster out of prison while awaiting trial).


Te'Shen wrote:
sgriobhadair wrote:
In my campaign world, there are three Hobgoblin nations. In all of these, use of arcane magic is punishable by death, and arcane magic items are confiscated, destroyed, and the owners imprisoned or heavily fined. (Divine magic is fine, and some divine magic items would be ok). . . .
Tangential question. In the case of arms and armor that just have pluses, or are enchanted with spells that are on both divine and arcane lists, how would one tell which are the product of arcane magic and which are the product of divine?
Detect Magic will show it up (or at least, it will in this campaign world)
Quote:
3rd Round: The strength and location of each aura. If the items or creatures bearing the auras are in line of sight, you can make Knowledge (arcana) skill checks to determine the school of magic involved in each. (Make one check per aura: DC 15 + spell level, or 15 + 1/2 caster level for a nonspell effect.) If the aura eminates from a magic item, you can attempt to identify its properties (see Spellcraft).

; obviously any magic items used need to have a note made if they're arcane or divine origin.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
From your description, their job involves spellcasting...and one would presume they are paid for that service in some fashion on top of the 'profession' pay.

Good point :-) Although how much private practice is available is debatable ... I think people would rather go to their clerics and donate to the temple (for example) for divine spellcasting, than going to a rather sinister, if off-duty, special policeman.

Also, plate armour will limit their Dex, hampering ranged weapon use, and Expeditious Retreat uses a spell slot - if Inquisitor, max level 5, they have no more than four first-level spell slots, and the junior partner would only have one or two.


avr wrote:
Honestly, if they might have to chase down a wizard wearing no armor they can't be in anything more than light armor. This also assists in stalking their targets.

Very true; it would be embarrassing if almost everytime they went after a caster he could foil them running away. Though giving them mounts would also help; depends on the environment they're operating in.

Quote:
They might have scrolls of dispel magic if the senior partner isn't high enough level to cast it natively.

You're right; they should. (I think it's also possible RAW to do Dispel Magic as a potion, which could be good for countering any debuffs cast on them; but 750 gp ... or 375 gp at cost ... heavy on the police budget).


avr wrote:
Inquisitors are better police but your requirements are heavy on casting. Could you go with inquisitors as the eyes on the street with clerics being called in to deal with a target once spotted? Perhaps successful inquisitors get retrained as clerics (promoted off the street).

Nice idea ... I like the idea of this wing of the police being quite 'religious'.

Quote:
Tactics assuming clerics. Cast silence on an object then place it in a sealed box to contain the effect. They get close, the junior partner flicks the box open then grapples the target.

I wondered about this, but RAW, Silence just has a radius and isn't stopped by barriers, though it would be simple enough to rule a particular material stopped it.

Quote:

If the senior partner has Dispel Magic they ready a counterspell and observe, otherwise they should cast a buff spell while keeping an eye out for confederates, and join the grapple next round if none are observed.

You can grapple many arcane casters without using Improved grapple; nice but not necessary. The senior partner might have Silent Spell. I might choose stats of STR 14, DEX 14, CON 12, INT 13, WIS 15, CHA 8 including racial mods.

Thanks; all useful.


Thanks Deadmanwalking; I wasn't using UC but the 1st and 3rd level abilities of that archetype looks worth making an exception for in this case.

Full-plate at 1500 gp is too expensive to realistically put on policemen, even elite policemen, and a 4000 gp +2 wisdom headband is far too expensive.

With Wis 14 even at level 5 they'd only average (using the Profession skill as a guide) a pay of (10.5 (d20 average) + 2 (wis mod) + 3 (class skill) + 5 ranks) / 2 = 10.25 gp a week, 533 gp a year. The government/city is not going to spend thousands of gp on equipment; NPC workers use a different economy to adventurers. I'd say 750 gp is probably the absolute limit to what would realistically be spent on their equipment (or 1500 gp for a pair; maybe they carry some more expensive items between them).


Bump!

Also, what typical set of tactics should these employ if they want to successfully take a PC arcane caster they've witnessed into custody?


The trick with the door and the Carrion Crawler/Kobolds wouldn't work with the current rules:

Quote:
The disk floats approximately 3 feet above the ground at all times and remains level

Which makes me wonder ... how is 'ground' defined ... I think RAW you couldn't use it over water, and certainly not to cross chasms.

Anyway, back to the original question: The D&D version could NOT be ridden, via an official WotC FAQ response (see mention at http://rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/18360/can-tensers-floating-disk-be-r idden) Of course, this is not D&D, and no official response exists for Pathfinder AFAIK. Therefore it's rideability is down to the presiding GM.

Personally, I think I'd allow the caster to sit on it, but not for the disk to move while they did so. Otherwise it could be too easily used to avoid most floor-level traps and non-flying tiny or fine critters.


Incidentally, the neanderthals had the parts of their brains that deal with coordination and physical control better developed than we do, so an actual neanderthal would likely have high Dexterity (and Strength) compared to regular humans. However conceptual intelligence (Int) would likely be lower than typical modern humans.

I'd put Wisdom higher than Cha; expecting such a character to have good 'tribal wisdom' and perception, but limited skills at dealing with those outside of his tribal group.

Of the race options you give, I'd go Dwarf or Half-orc.


In my campaign world, there are three Hobgoblin nations. In all of these, use of arcane magic is punishable by death, and arcane magic items are confiscated, destroyed, and the owners imprisoned or heavily fined. (Divine magic is fine, and some divine magic items would be ok).

I'm looking for a standard, effective build for NPC 'anti-magic police specialists', using only CRB, APG and Ultimate Magic. (It could also be an interesting PC background). They should be able to spot and identify arcane casting, neutralise or shut it down where possible, and neutralise and imprison the caster for later trial. They'll probably typically work in pairs (probably one of level 1-2, the other of level 2-5). Hobgoblins get +2 Con, +2 Dex. Obviously they can't be any kind of arcane caster. (Alchemist, Bard, Magus, Sorcerer, Witch, Wizard are all no-go).

I'm thinking essential spells (obviously they can be only up to 3rd spell level) will include: Detect Magic, Silence, Dispel Magic. Others like Invisibility Purge and Command may be useful too. Important skills would include Perception, Sense Motive, Spellcraft and Knowledge (Arcana). (Oh, and Profession (Law enforcement)).

In terms of equipment, they want to prevent casting and take the casters alive, so I'm thinking saps, nets, maybe even tanglefoot bags may be useful. In combat, grappling is obviously a good way to shut down spellcasters so anything that boosts that would be good.

It feels like Inquisitor might be the best class to use.

I'm not sure what are the best feats to go for ... obviously we're talking max of character level 5, many of them at level 1 ... so many with one feat, some with three (depending on the class, of course).

How would you build a character like this? Assume the CRB's 'heroic NPC' stats: 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, and 8; (only more talented police would have the opportunity to become 'anti-magic police').


Oracle
Druid
Sorcerer
Rogue
Ranger


Aranna wrote:

This is easy.

- make return trips pointless. Lets face it after the heroes have cleared out the monsters from a lair it becomes safe to visit for MANY local parties including lesser monsters, other adventurers, and/or local villagers. It is totally believable to have others move in and clear out any valuables the PCs leave behind on their first trip out. When the PCs return they find it stripped bare.

Plus, if the party are obviously carrying valuables (which they will be if it's in large quantities) and selling them in town, word will get out very quickly. People hearing of the available riches will quickly go and exploit what's left, and maybe try to get hold of what the adventurers are carrying - either by surreptitious theft or direct robbery. (The first shopkeeper you try to sell to may have thieving relatives, or he might just be a gossip).


Freehold DM wrote:
Tinker with the life force idea until it works, id love to see some variation of it.

I think one approach that might still work is that giving up life force ages you (I semi-suggested this a few pages back)

- can only use the crafter's life force
- life force = age, not Con (so either each item ages you x years, or each item ages you x years per weapon plus or equivalent, or a month per thousand gp, or somesuch variant - I need to work out what figure gives the best balance)
- increasing physical age due to giving up life force gives the normal penalties to physical stats, but to get the increase in mental stats you need to have the chronological age.
- non-permanent items still don't cost any life force.
- (and don't allow the Age Resistance spells from ultimate magic)
- characters with a Venerable age category (from their physical aging) don't have enough life force to create items (or perhaps have to make a Fort save to survive the donation of life force)

(So a 25 year-old human wizard who aged 15 years due to excess crafting would have have a physical age of 40, giving a -1 penalty to physical stats, but would not get the +1 to mental stats as their mental age was still 25. However if he'd only given 8 years of life force in crafting, he would have no penalties at all).

Which would mean
- most NPCs would be put off crafting too much to do more than a little
- most PCs meta-gaming would be fine crafting a few items with no penalties at all, but avoid crafting so many that they would hit middle aged and get physical penalties
- undead can't craft magic items (though a Lich might have created several before he died, knowing the ageing didn't matter in the long run)
- crafting is automatically less costly for dwarves (as the years given up are proportionally less of their life span) and much less costly for long-lived elves.
- Restoration etc. don't need to be redefined/limited as they don't work on aging.

Unlike Con, which can only be dealt with in units of 1 point, age is more continuous, so it's easier to fine-tune/balance the effect. I'm not sure the exact cost there should be for activating items though.

Let's say I'm aiming for the party to have three or four good permanent magic items each by level twelve. (Good item = weapon with 5 total pluses, or other item of similar cost). For a party of five that's around say 18 items, 90 total pluses, or 900,000 gp total cost.

However, if I'm wanting to give them about 2/3 of that number of good items in-game, the amount I *want* them to be able to craft would be about 6 items, 30 total pluses or 300,000 gp of cost.

Assuming a human wizard (starting age average 22 years), and that they'd prefer not to get age penalties (which kick in from 35 years), that gives a metagamer 10-12 years 'spare' (depending on how long the campaign lasts in game terms) to use for crafting. Let's say 10 years for a human. (Some players will role-play their character planning for a longer life, some will not care what happens to the character after the couple of years of campaign time).

So, based on a human crafter we want either 1 item = 2 years of aging (if using a per-item cost), or based on the gp cost, 1 year = 30,000 gp worth of crafting. We could apply this proportionally, so a +1 sword only costs 1/15 of a year, or make a year the minimum amount.

Of course, with Dwarves and Elves the equation would change somewhat ... If we use the APG figures, a dwarf wizard starts about 65 years old and hits middle age at 125 years, giving them around 60 years 'spare' for crafting instead of the 10-12 of a human. An elf wizard would start at 145 years and hit middle age around 175, giving them 30 years of crafting - less than the dwarf, in fact. (Though I'm not using the APG ages for my dwarves and elves). I wonder if paizo thought through having given elves a longer life but shorter young-adulthood than dwarves.

Given PCs can play any of these species (although dwarves have a poor social position that gives them compensating disadvantages), we might want to push up the crafting-cost-in-years a little above the human-based figures - players very keen on crafting would surely play dwarves, given the APG ages. 1 year = 10,000 gp (or part thereof) would give humans 100,000 gp worth of crafting before hitting middle-age penalties but give dwarves around 600,000 gp of crafting. That sounds ok to me ... (I'm using different age bands in my world so would tweak it for that though; dwarves are less long-lived than paizo ones but elves longer-lived).

Hobgoblins live a little shorter than humans, which would help explain fewer magic items in their society. (Also, giving up life force in some form for magic items gives them a reason to be wary of magic. While hobgoblins society is overall evil - they capture dwarves as slaves and kill arcane casters ... I like to give them some 'high' moral stances too - they oppose draining of life force, and are more tolerant of hobgoblin-human relationships than humans are).

I'm still not necessarily going to use this, but I think it could work. Even if it didn't cut down player crafting that much, it would do an excellent job in explaining why different racial societies have different amounts of magic items.


Franko a wrote:
Why no universalist wizards?

Mostly just flavour.


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Thanks for everyone's thoughts on this ...

As much as I like the Con/life-force idea for magic, I'm going to drop it for the current world build - but keep my notes and possibly use it in some form in the future.

Using a mix of the helpful suggestions by assorted people (and one or two of my original ideas) I'm going with the following

Rule changes on magic and crafting:
- No additional restrictions on crafting potions or scrolls
- No freely available purchase of magic items other than potions or scrolls (they must be crafted, found in-game, or bought at a negotiated price through interactions with NPCs)
- No wands, other than bonded items
(a flavour thing as much as anything)
- No crafting feats required, although the prerequisites for the feats must be met
(because the components needed for each item and the lower availability of gp add enough restriction already, without having to use a feat up)
- Prerequisites for items MUST be met (no +5 to DC alternative)
- Many items require specific ('talismanic') components; the more powerful the item, the more difficult it is to find out (acquire or research a recipe) what components are required and to acquire those components.
(For example, a +1 sword might only require a lynx or wolf claw, but a +5 sword require a claw from a mature dragon.)
- The Master Craftsman feat is only available to Elves and Dwarves.
- Hobgoblin PCs cannot play any arcane casting class (not even Bard or Alchemist) (Divine casters are unrestricted).
- No universalist wizards; they must pick a focused arcane school.
- Superior Masterwork (see posts in thread) weapons and armour and Supreme Masterwork weapons are available

Relevant Campaign Considerations/Notes:
- Reduced treasure values so there is less gp to spend on magic items.
- Carefully set the difficulty of each encounter (there will be more humanoids than monsters anyway, so they'll have the same restrictions as the PCs)
- Carefully set the spellcasting-for-hire level of each individual city
- Arcane Casters have social issues to contend with when dealing with hobgoblins or passing through hobgoblin areas (arcane spellcasting = mandatory death sentence if convicted in the three hobgoblin nations, possession of arcane magic items = confiscation/destruction of items, heavy fine or several months sentence).
- Elves have +2 to Wisdom instead of to Int (encourages e.g. Druids and Rangers) and "Elven Magic: Elves add +1 to the DC of any saving throws against enchantment spells that they cast. Elves with a Wisdom of 11 or higher also gain the following spell-like abilities: 1/day— detect magic, detect poison, know direction and speak with animals. The caster level for these effects is equal to the elf's level."
- No gnomes in this world.


Thanks Ashiel, some good suggestions there - clearly I get better responses when i provide context for my query.

My hobgoblins have no issue with divine magic, and with NPC hobgoblins I see Rangers, Clerics, Inquisitors and Cavaliers being common and held in good regard. While having a lawful society and therefore few hobgoblin barbarians, their army contains bugbear and goblin units, and bugbear barbarian seems a good fit.

E6/E8 is a little too extreme, but I intend to top out about level 12.

Approaching elves for magical assistance will likely be its own adventure as they inhabit 10-14 days from human borders, passing through fey-infested forests, and have little interest in gold.


A little world background so you know where I'm coming from ...

There are two dominant societies who are currently at peace, but a couple of generations earlier finally finished a long and costly war.

In the west are the hobgoblins. They have an often-brutal warrior society, producing skilled soldiers and using cannons (no guns yet), military engineering, tactics and superior troop numbers. Hobgoblins never have any arcane magic ability, and in their lands using arcane magic or magical items is punishable by death. (Hobgoblin is available as a PC race, but Bard/Sorcerer/Wizard/Alchemist/Witch/Magus are unavailable to them)

In the east are humans, who were/are militarily outclassed by the hobgoblins. However powerful human battlefield wizards inflicted such losses on the hobgoblins that they forced a ceasefire and a peace treaty was achieved.

So, on a regional scale, hobgoblin military might and human spellcasting are roughly balanced.

For the above situation to exist, i see the following
- the human martials as a whole don't have much access to magic items, or they wouldn't have been overwhelmed by the hobgoblins
- human arcane casters are powerful enough that high level individuals can inflict significant losses on an army
- being at peace with magic-hating hobgoblins, the humans will have to avoid having too much magic on show (though the threat of it helps keep the peace)

However not far away are highly magical elves who needn't have as many restrictions, and certainly not political ones, to their items.

Above all, the magic-item level should be such that a human martial still finds a high-level hobgoblin fighter with NO magic items a serious threat..


You're only using 10 or 12 feet of the rope; but the rope could be substantially longer (with the excess kept coiled). I'll try to work out the optimal thickness, but it's substantially thicker and heavier than a whip.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:


Wait...what? So you gotta spend 6 Con points to get 6
The bolded part makes no sense, because anything you put into it gives you nothing in return.

If I'm crafting a +6 Con item, you're saying I need to spend 6 Con Points to make it. At best, I'm simply transferring Constitution from my character to the next, which seems silly if your frontliners are having HP problems, the Con item only switches the problem from character to character.

At worst, the crafting creation, if designed for use by yourself, forces a lot of your Con to an item, which any high-intelligence being wouldn't do. (And by that point, you might as well go Full-Blown Intelligent Item.) It also raises major ethical qualms, since it would reek of necromantic motivations; for the benefit to be of any good, the life force must come from a living being, something which any character who claims to be good will have nothing to do with such subjects, and would go out and actively seek to destroy such items in attempts to free the souls of those contributed.

You might as well make such an item uncraftable by PCs, and only as a part of treasure loot. (In addition, I'd rule you couldn't use the extra Con for item creation.)

The rule for Con-giving items is a logical progression if we have Con=life force, but yes also, *intentionally* would make Con items impractical to make so that the Con-based crafting restriction, if used,could not easily have its restrictions bypassed.


Another variant i considered early on but didn't post is that you have use of the life force in an item while it's on your person - but only while it's on your person. So *every* magic item, while taking a point of Con to create, effectively had a +1 Con feature. So with a few found magic items too you'd have a net gain - but obviously donate to too many and you're very weakened if stripped of equipment.

It would have the added benefit that you could lend a severely wounded an extra magic item to give them extra Con and therefore probably hp.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
sgriobhadair wrote:
Your +6 Con ring would cost 6 points of Con because it's storing life force.
Wait...what? So you gotta spend 6 Con points to get 6 Con points put on an item? What the heck is the purpose of a Con item if it accomplishes absolutely nothing?

otherwise it would completely negate almost any limitation from the Con cost, and in-game if Con=life force, a permanent Con item stores/conrains a lot of life force. If going with the Con / life-force crafting route it would be a necessary restriction.


Ashiel wrote:

Also, if the cost to upgrade items doesn't include the 1 point of Con, then I'm just going to make a couple items, and then put all my item effects on them instead.

Like my magic ring that gives me
+5 resistance saves
+5 deflection to AC
+5 natural to AC
+6 Int
+6 Con
+ Continuous Freedom of Movement
+5 enhancement to armor
+5 enhancement to shield
+ Continuous Protection from Evil
+ Continuous Delay Poison

It's going to cost 1 point of Con, but at least it means I still get to enjoy finding treasure.

a lot of the criticism you had in your earlier post relates to my first idea for this mechanic; please see the revised draft on page 3 of this thread.

Your +6 Con ring would cost 6 points of Con because it's storing life force. It would also cost a crazy amount of gp because paizo's crafting rules generally have additional bonuses costing exponentially more (a +5 sword costs way more than five +1 swords)

Remember this is a suggested rule for *one setting* (not Golarion) that will have appropriate challenges to the PC's capabilities. I'd have spent a lot of time ensuring the challenges were still at a level everyone could enjoy.

Yes, these rules would mean far fewer weird/quirky magic items. I like items like that too. That's why i wouldn't use a rule like this all the time, but as part of one particular setting I think they're worth contemplating. I wouldn't want every campaign to look and feel the same.


Aelryinth wrote:
stuff about nature of sentient beings

i don't think there's a paizo definition of sentience, though I'd judge it as Int 3+

To avoid the issue, we could phrase a requirement differently - for example, that crafter and donor had to participate in an hour long ritual in a language that both knew.


Aelryinth wrote:

Two - The donor would need to be someone capable of using the item to its potential ... use a peasant as a donor and create a magic sword ... and don't expect the sword perform better than it would have done for the peasant. The item needs the life force from a worthy individual. So a weapon needs to have as a donor someone with a BAB equal to it's 'pluses' cost. (A simple +5 sword needs the donor to be at least 5th level martial, 10th level arcane caster or 7th level divine caster). The same table that gives weapon costs against pluses (http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/magicItems/weapons.html) could be used to convert the cost of any item into a plus; use this as the level or hit dice the donor needs to be. Maybe some further stipulation - items that replicate/require spells need a donor from a class capable of casting those spells.

So, a sword that requires CL 15 to make (3x bonus) requires only +5 BAB?

WTH?

+15 BAB, to match the caster level, should be more like it.

==Aelryinth

it was a raw, unedited idea - but the basic idea was to limit those who could donate life force to activate an item to a much smaller pool of people. The actual level may not be that important - just that it excludes the masses.


Cornielius wrote:

Maybe

Exotic weapon prof (rope): rope data and damage (non-lethal, whether it provokes like a whip, reach, whether it can be used two-handed, whether it can be a double weapon, etc.)
followed by
Rope Master -treat a rope as a whip for any feat describing whip
(that lets you use the whip mastery feats instead of writing new ones- that way special abilities become available as feats at set levels. Though you could give an archetype or such that breaks the preq. rules as you see fit.)

Unfortunately the whip mastery feats don't make sense for a thick rope ... specifically you can't use it to grasp small objects (a whip is about 1/6 inch thick, a heavy rope an inch and a half thick), nor could you use it to swing on as it's too thick to wrap itself securely around a support. These are both features of improved whip mastery. It will trip someone very well, but won't wrap itself around them well enough to make a grapple; a feature of greater whip mastery.

It has the potential reach of a whip, but it's slower - and hits harder. You can't grapple with it, but it's great at tripping. It may wrap itself around you just enough to drag you out of your saddle, but won't stay wrapped around you. Oh, that's a good point. .. unlike the Unseat feat I stole the text from, you'd most likely be pulled from your mount, not pushed.

Part of me wonders whether it would be better to deal with it more like a ranged weapon.

Regarding archetypes etc. .. I think it would make a good ranger weapon, so I may build a ranger combat style for it.


Tacticslion wrote:
RE: magical creature's life force: Perhaps it's limited by an innate "spark" of some sort - a "spark" that PCs just so happen to have?

I've already considered this ... I'm not a big fan of rules that treat PCs and NPCs differently per se, although it would solve a lot of the issues ... you need the life force from an 'awakened' individual (suitably vague ... but 'awakened' means someone who would get off their backside and do something with their life ... adventurers naturally qualify). A point in my post above would also cover this, although is somewhat more specific.

Quote:
Two - The donor would need to be someone capable of using the item to its potential ... use a peasant as a donor and create a magic sword ... and don't expect the sword perform better than it would have done for the peasant. The item needs the life force from a worthy individual. So a weapon needs to have as a donor someone with a BAB equal to it's 'pluses' cost. (A simple +5 sword needs the donor to be at least 5th level martial, 10th level arcane caster or 7th level divine caster). The same table that gives weapon costs against pluses (http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/magicItems/weapons.html) could be used to convert the cost of any item into a plus; use this as the level or hit dice the donor needs to be. Maybe some further stipulation - items that replicate/require spells need a donor from a class capable of casting those spells.

'Spark' is somewhat hard to define for NPCs ... 'has levels in a PC class' might work, but feels a little arbitrary.


MrRed wrote:

Similar to what other people have said you can play him as

-ugly and irritating as a person (i.e. selfish, talks to himself all the time, doesnt pay attention to other peoples needs/ opinions, smells funny etc.) ("Ferengi" from Star Trek come to mind)

Selfishness is more to do with alignment, not noticing what's going on with other people is more to do with Perceptiveness (i.e. Wisdom) - which is average for him.

However, if he does notice what's going on with other people, he'll probably manage to upset them when he tries to help (low Char = poor social skills). He may or may not notice he's upset them (average Wis), but if he does notice, he'll probably work out why (high Int) ... which may make it frustrating that he can't do anything about it.


I wondered about using Spiked Chain rules but 4 ft long didn't seem like people would be using it to trip/herd cattle and horses - and it's too close for comfort to wait if you're going to defend yourself against mounted attackers.

Thanks for drawing my attention to Equipment Trick though - interesting stuff in there http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/combat-feats/equipment-trick-combat (I see it also allows for using a rope as a whip if you have Exotic weapon proficiency (whip))

We could use Equipment Trick (rope) + Exotic Weapon Proficiency (whip) + Exotic Weapon Proficiency (spiked chain) (and possibly + Throw Anything) ... though needing three (or four) feats just to get started seems very steep ... and it still wouldn't provide a mechanism for you to unmount a rider. And level 1 players should be able to start with the (at least basic) ability to use the rope as a weapon, even if to get the most out of it they need to add feats later.

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