Stone Giant

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** Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—Northern Ireland—Bangor 39 posts (52 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 11 Organized Play characters. 3 aliases.


Shadow Lodge

So just for discussion. How about we say that instead of daily casting limits for spells you can cast spells as many times as you have material components. Material components would not be fluff but tangible and important. Costs would depend upon the level and other factors, but would limit the number of spell a character would be able to cast in a natural and logically way. Also doing away with the requirement for Vancian casting and the normal differentiation between Wizardry and Sorcery.

Shadow Lodge

I am not for a mana based system either but I don't think that we need one. I would instead adopt a material component cost to control the number of spells that could be cast. I personally do not mind how many magic missiles a wizard throws out but summon monster might be something that you want to limit by saying that your tiny bag and small candle component costs 5 gold (for example) or is hard to find and would require you to prep before hand (visiting arcane vendors etc.) so you you only have a limited number of casts.

Shadow Lodge

Let me drop a few thoughts into this conversation. In my on-going CotCT 4e game I incorporated familiars as a Level 1 ritual. I wanted to allow wizards to bind Imp's to themselves as part of their graduation ceremony.

I didn't want to fall into the trap of making the familiar a separate creature which needs to be tracked and so put together more abstract rules for familiars. I created an additional magic item 'slot' called companion and essentially treated the familiar as a 'magic item' each with a level and unique abilities.

I feel this is a fairly elegant way to manage familiars. It can be expanded to have higher level familiars as the character levels and even could be used to represent pets for Druids and such.


Shadow Lodge

Please cancel my subscription. I do love your products guys. I am not really interested in the Pathfinder RPG but if Paizo ever starts a 4E edition line I will be back.

Good luck


Shadow Lodge

Paizo your flip-mat are the best thing since sliced bread, but I think that you are missing a trick. Wouldn't it be great to have a AP themed Flip-mat monthly. On the flip mat would be the key locations from each module of the current running Adventure Path. They don't have to be labelled as say 'The Old Fishery' or 'All the Worlds Meat' so that the locations could be re-used for generic Factory/Gang Hideouts.


Shadow Lodge

I think trying to quantify the benefit granted from terrain features to be somewhat pointless given that 1) we don't consider the benefits that one monster grants to an another in calculating xp totals .2 Level 3 artillery kobolds are worth the same an Level 3 artillery kobold and a level 3 Soldier Kobold even though the second pair should be much more effective a pairly than the first. 2) the terrian puts limitations on how the encounter is resolved but given the palete of powers available to a balanced party it should not present an unsurmountable challenge. I mean by this that those two kobolds hiding behind a portcullis would be immune to melee attacks but would be open game for ranged attacks, arcane powers and the various controlling powers doled out to various classes.

The point I making here is the tools have been given to players to handle the challenge of the terrain as presented even though they my have to be innovative with their approach.

Shadow Lodge

I ran this encounter last night as part of the 4E Curse of the Crimson throne campaign I am running with six second level characters. Only five players were able to make it last night so the standard difficulty encounter which I designed for them was a little tougher than expected. Great fun though.

The set-up was a rough square (twenty by twenty) with a sewer entrance marker in the centre and a number of market stalls placed throughout the square. The players enter from a three by three square on the southern portion of the map and are allowed one turn of movement before the Otyugh emerges.

Encounter : Otyugh Uprising!
This encounter takes place in a marketplace in Old Korvosa. The PC’s are drawn to the market by shouts of alarm and when they approach they begin to feel tremors in the ground beneath their feet. They reach the market just in time to witness an enormous explosion from under the cobblestones in the centre of the market and see an Otyugh burst forth from the sewers below. From the gaping hole thousands of rats begin to emerge and swarm over the marketplace. There are injured and trapped civilians under the rubble and overturned stalls.

Otyugh ( 300 xp) MM211
Tactics: The Otyugh will remain close to the hole in the centre attempting to grapple targets with it’s 3 square reach. It will fight to the death.

2x Rat Swarm 125 xp each MM219
Tactics: The swarms will start next to the hole and attack the nearest PC or group of PC’s. They will fight to the death.

Skill Challenge: Rescue trapped citizens 300xp
Description: There are rats everywhere, swarming all over the marketplace. There are a number of people trapped under the rubble and overturned stalls who are in danger of being killed by the rats. You only have a limited time to save them. For every failed roll or turn that passes without a successful roll being made one person will be eaten by rats. Six people must be saved before three die for the challenge to succeed. (Standard complexity 2 six passes before 3 fails)
Primary Skills: Athletics, Diplomacy, Intimation

Athletics (DC15): You lift rubble from a trapped citizen or pull someone free from a cart and help them to relative safety.

Diplomacy (DC10): you call out for help rallying the people of the markets to help rescue the trapped citizens. You will gain +2 to subsequent Athletics rolls on a successful Diplomacy roll. After a successful roll no further benefit can be gained from diplomacy.

Intimidation (DC10): The people milling in the marketplace are either afraid or looking after their own safety. The can however be forced to assist through threats and intimidation. If successful a number of the more reluctant of the onlookers will help to free the trapped citizens. You will gain +2 to subsequent Athletics rolls on a successful Intimate roll however a failed roll will drive the onlookers away preventing any further attempt at Intimidation.

Total Encounter xp: 850

Shadow Lodge

I recommend that you go with the flow and only have a vague target level in mind mind for each of the modules and for the end point of the AP.

My plan is to end the AP with my players on level 15-20 and level 2 to 4 times through each module. As each encounter is designed by me to be at the characters level (give or take a level) and based only stylisticly around the Paizo original then I find I never have to worry that the adventure as written is going to be too tough for my players. If I feel the players are behind where I want them to be in levels then I can add a few more encounters or cut back, but I am half way through AoE now with players at level two so things are pretty much on track.

I guess my mottos here areno plan survives contact with the enemy and I guess don't sweat the small stuff

Shadow Lodge

Russell Akred wrote:

Someone once asked if I would create a map for the second adventure path. Well here you go. enjoy.

Regional Map

Let me know about the mistakes so I can fix 'em.

Thank you so much for this Russell. You rock!

Shadow Lodge

I just started Curse of the Crimson Throne using some of the conversions done here on the Paizo forums. Its working out very well.

I diced the Harrow reading and it threw up some shocking insights into the campaign. Not only did The Rakshasa and The Hidden Voice get drawn in the past Neutral and past Negative but The Plague was drawn in Future Negative. Read into that as you will.

My players are

Korvosan Human Warlord
Korvosa Human Rogue
Varisian Human Fighter
Shoanti Human Cleric
Dwarven Paladin
Half-elf Fighter
Eladrin Wizard

Shadow Lodge

This gives an insight in the requirements definition within WOTC. They are obviously using FGII as a template for their Virtual Tabletop. I mean the whole 3d dungeon thing is essentially a presentation layer and most likely wholy new whilst the rules/dice roller system is already well established in FGII and prime for lifting. Hasbro should have done the honest thing and bought Smiteworks or at least partnered with them.

Shadow Lodge

Gorgeous mapping Russell. I would just love one of those for the Korvosa area for my CotCT game.

Shadow Lodge

With the layout of the room I dont think that Lamm is going to get surrounded, IIRC there is only a single square surrounding the croc pit in the centre of the room. If he positions himself along one of the edges at most he is going to get attacked by two PC's in melee and with his shifting powers those PC's are likely to be dumped into the croc pit.

Shadow Lodge

Love what you guys are doing here.

Arcesilaus I think you need to give Lamm a immediate reaction power when you are upgrading him to Elite. I am think of giving him the halfling Second Chance reaction power if I can't think of anything more interesting. I would consider upgrading Gobblegut to an elite as well as Pop n' Fresh has done (instead of adding the other crocs) to keep with the original encounter design. I am also consider making the Gaedren's playground difficult terrain because of the low roof (I think the floor is only 4 foot high) Dwarves and halflings can ignore the difficult terrian though.

Shadow Lodge

Im with the 'modular' idea in general, but I am a little confused ... no more fluff books?

Shadow Lodge

FabesMinis wrote:
Xaaon of Xen'Drik wrote:

I find it funny that Enworld has 62% of 750 votes(480)for closed 4e, but we have 45% of over 1500 votes (707) who say "pry my 3.5 books out of my cold dead hands..."

WotC has failed its craft(role-playing games) check by not listening to their customers.... DDDoYouCurrentlyExpectToBePlayingAtTheEndOf2008

Polls mean nothing online.

The only online 'poll' that will matter is here

EDIT: obviously not as I had linked. doh!

Shadow Lodge

Mormegil wrote:
We have to set some general guidelines. The leveling is an important such issue. Another thing we should consider are the social encounters, are we going to include them or not? Of course we cannot have the full picture without the books, but we can try to create some guidelines for the first module.

I would say that we have to include the social encounters in the module total. I read that the expectation is that in 4E a party will level after 10-12 encounters. We are probably not going to have a good insight into this until the DMG4E comes out where the social encounter system is explained.

Shadow Lodge

Mormegil wrote:
Another think that I noticed is that the RoTR is made for up to four 16 level characters. Having in mind that fourth edition is designed till lvl 30, I am wondering whether we should decide up to which lvl the conversion will take the PCs.

There may be a paradigm shift at levels 11 and 21 warranting a different style of play. The characters playing low level heroes in the Hero 1-10 levels and high level heroes in the Paragon levels 11-20. It may be better (again with the speculation) to remodel an adventure path as Heroic or Paragon taking players from 1 through to 10 or from 11 through to 20 etc.

This sort of approach would allow DM's with a solution to the question can I use the same characters in my next Adventure path? Well you could if you had played a Heroic AP and the next was a Paragon AP.

Shadow Lodge

Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:

Were not really going to be able to have any real hope on deciding whether or not its in the mechanics and spirit of the rules to let the PCs get their per encounter powers back until we see the rule books.

At that point it will hopefully be clear whether one should get their per encounter battles if the situation is hectic but broken up. Of course the rule books might be unclear and then we can have a nice argument but its sort of wasteful to have a full on argument only to have the rules come along and actually clarify the situation.

You are right, of course, we can't make any strong cases for either strategy until the rulebooks come out. And you will get no full-on argument from me, I respect you all too much. But we do have a set of playtest rules which give us a good indication of how the 4e game is going to be structured.

Shadow Lodge

Im sure it doesnt have to mean that the players are having a sit down chat and cuppa for five or ten minutes while all hell breaks out around them. I imagine its more like a chance to get a their breath back, wipe the blood from their eyes, etc. even if that happens while your guys are jogging to the next combat.

In system terms it is a way to reset the characters abilities between engagements and I don't think this should be taken away. From a DM standpoint we are designing each encounter for a full strength party, with each encounter pushing the party to the limit. The stamina of the party is factored into the Healing Surges per day so at some point the party will get tired.

I would intend to keep throwing quick combats at the party until you reach that critical point then spring on them the final fight.

Shadow Lodge

Keith Richmond wrote:
In 4E terms, there's no time for a 5 minute rest so it may be reasonable to think of this in terms of one big encounter.

Please note that a short rest, as covered in the playtest rules at D&DXP, is a 5 minute rest which allows players a chance to regain their encounter powers and use healing surges to heal up. I would suggest not treating the goblin-attack chain of encounters as a single big encounter but instead run as is and allow player a breather between fights, though only short rests and no extended rests.

I reckon this would be a perfect opportunity to show to your players the strengths of the 4th edition.

Shadow Lodge

King in Yellow wrote:
Gavgoyle wrote:
King in Yellow wrote:
I'm 100% Irish. Lived in Dublin my whole life.

'Tis a lovely gem of city, ye'ave der, an' 'tis no lie!

I love Dublin! Some of the friendliest folks in the UK, and I met a lot of kick-ass friendly folks all over the Isles.

I'm not Irish, but like Kruelaid, I'll have a couple a drams of Irish in me tonight, as well.

Ireland's not part of the UK, thats like saying canada is part of the USA.

England, Scotland and Wales are ruled by the Queen, we've got our own government. Not trying to be snarky, just feel like it's my duty to make that clear on today of all days.

I met a couple of girls last time I was in Chicago KiY who when I told them I was from Ireland where amazed and wanted to know 'hey is that near Europe?' I laughed.

All political faux pas aside geographical he wasn't that far wrong.

Shadow Lodge

Posting from sunny Belfast in county Antrim. The sun is rare but the craic is good :)

Shadow Lodge

The way I deal with churches and the whole pay-for-rez deal is to treat each church as a organisation in which you have to build reputation with in order to be granted boons. The higher the standing in the church, the higher the boon that can be granted. Some players see it as an insurance policy others as a calling which has fringe benefits.

Some churches (in fact most churches in my games) accept cold hard cash, magical items, etc to improve standing but the truth behind the greed is that the characters are building reputation with the deity not the church. For something as important as a Resurrection the deity will expect something of equal value in return for returning a character to life perhaps in a lawful-good church the rule would be a life returned for a life saved and in a Lawful Evil church perhaps a new life granted for an old life sacrificed. Whatever the nature of the price the cost should be restrictive, and should scale with the importance of the character. Remember the biblical quote "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."

Now to the King of Korvosa and his passing. Which church has he given a tithe equivalent to his restoration? Always a King must deal evenly with all parties and this is not contusive with building sufficient patronage with any one church to warrant a higher boon. To favour one would be to alien the others and a boon can easily be wiped out with a bane from another deity. Generally dead is just plain dead.

Sorry for the thread hijack Mary/Nick. I love what I have read of EoA (urban campaigns give me a warm evil feeling inside) but I am trying to avoid reading the PDF until I get the physical product in my hands.

Shadow Lodge

James Jacobs wrote:
It looks like we'll be "catching up" this month. We're going to be starting the shipping to customers process for Pathfinder 3 this week, and Pathfinder 4 is already several weeks into its print cycle. I suspect that Pathfinder 4 will probably be shipping to customers and distributors by the end of this month, which would indeed make November the "double month." Pathfinder 5, then, would be back on schedule and should be shipping to customers in December. Which makes me happy; it's proof that the 60+ hour work weeks did something to get Pathfinder back on schedule.

Weyhey great work chaps. Now ... since you have demonstrated that you can produce two Pathfinders a month we will be expecting two Pathfinders EVERY month from now on . Muuhaahaa!

Shadow Lodge

I think this guy is Lawful Evil with Lawful Neutral goals. His actions are following structured reasoning if twisted in the extreme. He is not acting chaotically and in fact is aiming towrds a world where Law is in the ascendancy, though he has deluded himself that his actions are in the best interests of Good. He is in many ways the iconic bad guy. Believes he is LG actually is LE.


Shadow Lodge

In my Savage Tide campaign which I am running for around 6-7 seasoned gamer's. I have done away with the experience system as it stands. I reward my players for the time that they invest in the game. That is I award minutes of experience to their characters rather than xp. Any time spend either gaming or posting character write-up/journal entries etc. on the website or in character generation etc is logged and attributed to the character.

This came about because we are all at an age were gaming is one of a long list of other distractions (work, kids, online games, kids etc.) vying for our time. What I felt was needed was a way to motivate the group to get involved and so I designed the time-based experience system to reward those who did.

Vashe 21h15m + (w25 + w25 + g3h) = 24h05m xp Level 4 at 30 hours
Rakim 20h15m + (g3h) = 23h15m xp Level 4 at 30 hours
Grim Tom 17h + (g3h) = 20h xp LEVELED to level 3!
Bess Flint 10h45m + 0 = 10h45m xp LEVELED to level 2!
Igneous 6h20m + (g2h30m) = 8h50m xp Level 2 at 10 hours
Prune 3h + (g3h) = 6h Level 2 at 10 hours
Sam 4h + 0 = 4h xp Level 2 at 10 hours

In the above example I awarded Vashe's owner with 2 webites posts of 25 mins and 3 hours of actual gameplay that week.

I do give bonuses for good roleplaying and for moving the plot forward but I find that getting my players around the table and posting online is more important.

Your approach is much more detailed than mine and good luck to you. If the players buy into this Player Contract then I am sure that it lead to a richer roleplaying campaign experience.

Shadow Lodge

How about this. At the start of Rise of the Runelords get your players to roll 6th-7th level characters and suspend xp awards. The first two episodes of ROTRL will have to be bulked out a little to be a suitable challenge to a group of 7th level characters. The middle two episodes could be played as is and the party could be buffed up with magical/legendary magic items and/or cohorts/followers for the final two episodes.

Obviously not everyone's cup of tea but it would allow the same party to be used for ROTRL and COTCT. Instead of levelling up I would allow my players to rebuild their characters periodically to change the emphasis of the character to reflect the changing circumstances.

Shadow Lodge

WormysQueue wrote:
A simple workaround might be to load the images into Paint and to fill the black areas with white.

I did just this WormysQueue and while I was happy with results I thought there must be an easier way.

Jester King wrote:
I had the same situation occur when I put the artwork in text files. I found the remedy (if your are working with Word) was to paste the art, right click on it and open the "Edit Picture Option", select "Set Picture Transparency" (pencil icon) move it onto the black background, click on it and that negated the black background. Hope it works for you!

I tried this too Jester with GIMP and it worked pretty good but for images with a lot of black in the image itself some of the image quality was lost.

Thanks for the help both of you

Shadow Lodge

I am starting a Pathfinder campaign shortly using the Fantasy Grounds 2 Virtual Table Top. I have been attempting to strip out some of the art from the Pathfinder#1 PDF but I am having a few problems. Are there any graphical artists or Adobe Acrobat experts out there who can help?

The Problem is that when I copy an image from the PDF and then paste it into a new document it appears with the transparency removed and replaced with a black background. Is there any way that I can retaining the transparency around the images?

I hope I am making sense.

thanks in advance for any help

Shadow Lodge

All sorted. Email recieved and one happy Irishman.

You guys rock!

Shadow Lodge

No email here either. Waiting patiently though :)

Keep up the truly excellent customer support.

Shadow Lodge

How about orcs are those humans who gave in to the depredations of the Runelords body and soul and were changed irrevocavely. Those human followers of the Runelord of Wrath were gifted with a depthless anger and warlike tendancies. Envy orcs were gifted with an an insatiable desire to raid and take for themselves the riches of others. Gluttony Orcs could hunger for the flesh of other living creatures. Pride Orcs could be the royal order of Orcdom who lord their superiority over all over Orcs and by doing so bring the tribes of Orcs into endless conflict.

Since the fall of the Runelord the Orcs will have been assailed on all sides and have grouped together for safety in the process. Inevitably the tribes of orcs have interbreed and formed the generic orc who exhibit most of the tendancies of the Sin Orcs.

Of course humans will deny all connections to the orc's human descent and perhaps the elves feel some guilt that perhaps they could have prevented the humans from following the path that led to their dark evolution. Perhaps even the elves sacrificed the human followers as a bargain to keep the Runelords from taking their own children. And this perhaps is their greatest shame.


Shadow Lodge

Rambling Scribe wrote:
steelwhisper wrote:
Now hold on a second! Are you trying to tell me that the world isn't flat? Next you'll be telling me that the Sun is a massive ball of fire and not the chariot of a god ... phff!
Of course the world is flat! But if you fold it carefully, you can make it into an Icosahedron.

Ah ... Perhaps the great God Origami was able to manage such a feat!

Shadow Lodge

Now hold on a second! Are you trying to tell me that the world isn't flat? Next you'll be telling me that the Sun is a massive ball of fire and not the chariot of a god ... phff!

Shadow Lodge

I just love the Varisia Map, mucho kudos to Rob Lazzaretti.

A couple of questions though. Is the Storval Rise a natural geographic feature? Is the whole of Varisia siting on top of a massive fault-line? Or perhaps the result of some catacylsmic magical event.

It seems that one side of the Rise is lush and verdant whilst the other is a desert. What causes the differential?


Shadow Lodge

James Jacobs wrote:
Sin magic is magic that the Runelords and their minions use. It's not even something that the PCs find out about for quite some time (hence the placement of a spoiler warning in that blog post); it's CERTAINLY not a requirement for all wizards in the Pathfinder world.

Thanks for the reply James.

I like the idea that there is a cost to magic, a price to pay for the power granted. A lot of this can be handled through GM colour and true its not something that we want to see mandated in the background. It is all to easy in D20 to think of magic in a psuedo-scientific way with ethical or moral implications. Ok Sin magic is for the bad guys, but it is just the way I like to handle magic in my games.

I will be keenly watching how things develop before coming to any conclusions on how I handle PC magic. But you never know, a magic user in my campaign may well find that while she thought that her magic came from her love of fertilty and living things that deep down their is much more base emotions driving her desire for power, just waiting to bubble to the surface. You know. Im just saying.


Shadow Lodge

I just read the recent blog and love this concept. It is a much more colourful way to look at magic than the rather pseudo-scientific way that it is handled in the SRD and suddenly the magic system of Pathfinder is firmly grounded in the Runelord lore and part of the background. Wizards aren't just evokers or enchanters they are now Lords of Wrath or Mistresses of Lust. (my titles obviously)

Is all arcane magic going to be based around the seven deadly sins are are we going to see a seven saintly virtues analog magic system to counter the Runelords magic?

Im starting to get really excited about this new setting, keep up the good work Paizo!.


Shadow Lodge

I am a long time RPGer and customer of both Dungeon and Dragon magazines bought faithfully from my FLGS. Won over by the superb Adventure Paths in Dungeon I recently, like last week, subscribed to the magazine. Boy is this news hard to take!. Still I am going to give Pathfinder a go I am very confident in the staff at Paizo and wish you guys all the very best for what is bound to be a bright, bright future.