Crystal Figurine

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Wow. Beacon of Hope is a great find. It comes up in an SRD search but is not in the feat list. Another flavorful/interesting feat for Aasimar w the daylight racial spell is heavenly radiance.

Bodyguard requires you to be adjacent, but aid another requires you to threaten the attacker. Plenty of squares would allow you to be adjacent to an ally and threaten an attacker 10' away.

The force weapon thing isn't the best part of that build. To me, if you can heroism two ways (and therefore rarely run out), debuff with menace, give out +2 untyped to AC (or more w benevolent armor trait) and use a move to give a +2 stacking competence bonus with the combat advice feat while riding shotgun on a reach weapon, the cumulative effect is very good for a support build. As for Quick Channel - yes, it is good, but it consumes a lot of channels forcing you to take extra channel with the few feats you have, making your character sort of flat. Also, sucks big time when you run out of channels.

The best stories are co-creative, but not everyone is into that. Therein lies the rub. The key is balance.

I avoid monologues like the plague, preferring to infer details and let players divine (or ignore) story points and NPC depth. I intersperse this "indirect-storytelling" w periodic cut-scenes (like video games) for stitching story elements together that are important for context. If players are co-creative, they will insert themselves into the flow and help elaborate story elements, if they are not co-creative, then they tend to appreciate the brevity.

The other trick I use is to surface previous player actions as cannon and lore. I go far out of my way to make sure every other session or so has some link, reference or down-right inter-dependence with something players, both at the table and not at the table, are doing in another/parallel group or have done in the past. Pretty much all the kingdoms, lore, stories, fables, etc in the setting come from the heroics of people in the game, or previously in the game, which greatly accommodates the reduction of monologues/narration because many of the players are the source of background/cannon, and enjoy reveling and reminiscing in their own anecdotes far more than whatever brain candy I throw at them. You know you are winning as GM when the players are telling and re-telling stories! Conversation 101 - people like to talk/hear about themselves. This requires a servant-leader attitude in a GM; the players are no there for you, but rather the reverse.

A further distillation on player mindset is also required. Calling some combat-oriented and others RP-ey is too simplistic. It's better to say some are enriched by emotional involvement, some by sense of progress and some a mix. This is important subtext to the broad categorization of Player A as "combat guy" and Player B as "RP guy" because Player B may tend to enjoy story and emotion, but may also be using RP to push the progress angle, just as Player B may be combat-centric because he enjoys some emotional element. Alternately, someone could be chatty one session, then not the next. The point: people are 4-dimensional and an adaptive approach is required, thereby refuting the idea there is a fixed formula. This infers that the ability to call an audible and tailor, go silly or go deep is an important GM skill. If you have notes and a plan that cannot be altered, you risk scripting. Most players hate that, consciously or unconsciously, because it negates their freedom and contribution.

On that note, the next layer for me is accessing and tailoring story to the individual. Sometimes GMs fall into a trap of seeing the players as just a party rather than discrete players/characters. As a general goal, I want each player to touch the dice at least once per 15-20 minutes and have a unique NPC interaction, private note or side-bar once per hour. This philosophy also drives me to create balanced custom gear to everyone feels like a unique snowflake. It also fosters a tendency to play the player - meaning, to insert story elements I know the players will react to positively, even if his character would seem not to care by his background, role or description.

Finally, personal style - I never plan anything. I sit down with the PCs and am almost totally blank on the first session. I use a method I call Story Casting to plant plot seeds. Like any GM I have a general idea of the story plot (undead campaign, treasure hunt, grand rescue), but instead of planning, I just drop in NPCs, strange loot, etc on a few ad-hoc encounters and see how the players respond. Once I see what excites them, then I do some light notes for the next session in that area. This is like casting a fishing pole in a stocked pond. You will always catch something, and sometimes it will surprise you, but since the hook is baited by the players, it will always be a success.

All this blather is not worth much w out setting ground rules and having good communication. A GM should not need to carrot or stick a player or party into his notion of order - so many posts like that on the forums - when he has access to words and a brain. Subtle story manipulation and conversation are the best chemistry set to keep you game on track (second only to legitimate love of the game).

Of course, I am old. Been GMing for over 30 years. I've had a lot of time to acquire falsehood and bad habits as well as experience. ;-)

I like your plan. It will work fine.

My homebrew world is magic poor w a twist.

Some mages got together to end a multi-generational magic war and made it impossible to share spells, so no apprentices, scrolls don't work (unless you wrote it for yourself), etc. Within a generation, the magic using community greatly declined and the war ended. This premise is similar to the tower of Babel story in the bible - everyone one once spoke a common language, but God took it away, fostering the separation of nations and cultures. Everything that happens after this is pretty easy to extrapolate.

A product of low magic use has proven to be greater magic potency (because bigger supply). The spell DC formula adds 1/4 caster level.

Also, we use mana points instead of spells per day. A spell costs level x 3 in mana (min 1 for 0 lvl spells). Starting mana is a percentage of Primary Stat + 1 level (depending on if full or partial caster). Thus a 4th level spell is 12pts (4 x 3). Each target, rd or min of spell duration costs 1 mana. There are customer feats that 1) allow spending mana in excess of your mana pool - called overcasting - which causes magic HP dmg. Magic HP dmg cannot be healed except via rest (allows magic power similar to base game, but it takes on a hail mary flavor), 2) reduces the cost of certain schools to 2 mana per level (to simulate spell specialists), 3) allows a caster to get rds or minutes per level = to his level for a selected school by default (instead of having to buy duration, etc w add'l mana).

Lol! Everybody is right. That's what makes Batman so cool.

Basically, he has to be able to notice stuff, be smart, throw a "flurry of stars", jump, climb and punch - the rest, opinion, is all attitude. Maybe try to multi class Investigator and Slayer? You could also do your own gestalt build.

If you are actually playing this then you probably can't have Bruce's zillion gold pieces, but you might be able to get a social role (justice, magistrate, secret police) that infers resources w GM cooperation.

He wears light armor, which shouldn't be an issue for most classes, but it is high-tech so analogously magical. Start with studded leather and a dueling cloak, and work up to blackened elven mithral chain and a stealth enchantment on the cloak perhaps?

Yes, to the best of my understanding you get the weapon focus/spec bonuses one handed or two handed.

As their name implies by starting with the word "weapon", these feats apply to the weapon, not how you hold it.

The penalties apply to how you hold it and are only alleviated if you take the appropriate exotic weapon feat to address the "two handed" use case.

All the words and thinking it takes to understand this sword is what makes it exotic...

Maybe not the best, but still an incredible study in Aid Another synergy:

All halfling honor guard cavaliers of the dragon order with the Helpful trait (+4 to aid another) riding cheetahs. Get bodyguard feat for free (AA as a AoO), then get combat reflexes (level 1), gang up (level 3), outflank (level 5) and reach weapons with the menacing enchantment.

Each would be able to aid another as an AoO to give an untyped +4 to hit and/or to +8 AC to their adjacent ally at 1st level, including their mount. In a formation, this would be coming from two sides, so double that. They'd have a constant +4 to +6 hit when flanking from flanking bonus zones created by their menacing weapons.

By 3rd level they would be flanking almost all the time (via gang up) and at 5th would get another +4 to hit due to outflank for a total of +8 to +10 on flank attacks, which stacks with the untyped Aid Another bonuses.

Consider the stacking from this diagram where halfling 1 thru 4 surround T (for target).

H2 t H3

They and their mounts would get a +6 to hit for flanking and a choice of +8 addl to hit or +12 to AC from aid another synergy bonuses anytime T gets the bright idea to attack.

Doom, doom, doomy, doom, doom, doom.

Glad to help.

The protection or defense sub domain have merit for a "silent" support role. Travel is also good to keep up with a barb. I like the aid another route because it is instance based. You'd only do it to pull em out of tight spots. A trip build paladin (good saves, casting ability at 4th) might be a good crowd controller option and pair with the witch to make a full healer.

Polearm master archetype, bladed belt item (sometimes), ready action to step back, armor spikes, quick draw, free move item, pushing assault, stand still, natural attack, bladed boot.

Mage Armor and Shield are must have spells if you want to live.

Personally I would vote for a paladin for the martial healer role with good saves and an alchemist for area dps and buff role. Failing that then two gestalt builds.

Depends. Assuming your witch is buff/debuff role and the barbarian is dps, it seems like you should be high AC + healer.

So you might try a plate wearing halfling bash and board cleric with any of:

Healing domain
Fire domain
Helpful (halfling trait)
Selective channel
Saving shield
Combat reflexes
Channeled shield wall

Domains - heal and burn
Helpful - Aid Another AT/AC @ +4 (untyped)
Saving shield - +2 AC (shield type, immediate)
Bodyguard - AA as AoO!
Channel shield - +2 AC (deflection)

You can attack/cast AND potentially grant a +4 to hit and +6 to AC for free to an adjacent ally multiple times per round. Given party composition this grants you the healing and support function to keep your witch from getting mauled and your barbarian from going neg CON when his rage ends.

Just an idea.

Channel shield wall.

Rhino hide armor might be good gear. Adds 2d6 damage on a charge. Pairs nice with scout. Surprise follow through is great for sneak attacking off a cleave, but gang up might also work if you do the trip thing. Feat intensive stuff though. The major magic trick is good to get the shield spell. Who cant use a plus 4 to AC? Having a weapon in the party with the menacing enchantment is goodness. I also like the power attack, improved overrun, spiked destroyer combo. Cheaper route to knocking folks prone with a free swift attack and every feat in the chain is actually useful. Improved overrun and charge through open up. Consider also the utility benefit of a reach weapon when you cant go toe to toe. You can trip or disarm attempt w out feats because they are to far away to use the AoOs. This opens up by having one weapon be a bladed belt item.

Opinion but think you will get better results from


With PB Shot, Rapid Shot, Deadly Aim. Putting +1 into Dex at 4th and picking up a cloak of protection or free will asap. The extra skill points and str bonus will probably payoff more with the lore warden archetype.

We find our paladin with sacred shield archetype very helpful when paired with my cleric channel shield wall ability. The AC and deflection stacks along with utility buff spells from either class is good. Also check out the bodyguard feat, good for addl untyped AC bonus.

I think magic missile with with toppling spell is pretty good. Automatic hot ranged trip attack!

Party A might have to throw stone blocks through a small hole to keep water level down, while party B has to stack those received blocks into columns to stop the roof's decent.

I fought with a tower shield in the SCA for ten years. It is totally bashable, but the size and wield style are unrelated. When a tower is center bossed, meaning gripped with one hand in the center where a hard steel bowl protects amd envelops the shield hand, and not strapped to the arm, lunging out with it provides a gauntlet or spiked gauntlet affect. Because there is so much material adjacent to the central gauntlet, you do not lose cover against the target but do become vulnerable to all others. In my experience it is not cleavable, however.

Here again I am unsure how reality fits into pathfinder, but this may help a thinking GM make a ruling in a home game.

Hm. Well if some kind of counter weighted is used then then plugging water in-flow or draining the water could stop/reverse roof fall.

OR, by bring down the barrier between the two compartments, the lowered ceiling might immediately displace the water, leading to a passage in the ceiling.

OR, maybe the the crushed room has furniture and other stuff that can float, and the escape involves a puzzle or brute strength to create a passage between both rooms, rejoining the party and allowing the buoyant materials to back flush into the water room at the last second before half the party is squished so they can all float/bubble up safely into a cavern - with a recently formed lake at its center... filled with a salamander bargaining with mud elementals for mithral ingots! Oops. Got carried away there.

Consider that "water rides" can cause folks to strip (and lose) armor, arrows to float away, spell components to spoil, food to spoil, bow strings to snap, leather becomes ruined... Good times. Also, while water can be deadly by itself, when it contains predators it is just terrifying (because we are basically like snails to the water born - slow and crunchy).

My armor is dragging me down, by buddies are being crushed and OMG! Devil Fish!

I'm playing this now. A one or two level fighter dip is good for bow feats and better armor. point blank shot and rapid shot are good for your bombs to. deadly aim too if you have a slot. ranger good if favored enemies are common. the barb/alch combo is always good for the buffs, but not quite the thing for a bow guy. thrown weapons maybe. I've also played a viv/fighter with natural attacks, gang up and the surprise follow through feat - he did sneak attacks 50% of the time or more with those feats.

We use social combat like cmb/cmd like this:

Social combat defense 
Half level + social status + sense motive

Where social status is based on your birthright rating:

-1 criminal/outcast/merchant 
0 peasantry 
1 freeman 
2 vassal 
3 military/clergy 
4 titled 
5 nobility

Obviously, this draws on social standing from a true caste system.

Social combat bonus 
half level + influence + social class + skill

Where Influence is a point pool derived from cha and int bonus + level. Influence points are 
invested in NPCs to represent persistent relationships. You can only allocate or deallocate 1 + int bonus influence per session if you interact with the target NPC.

It works really well and encourages RP/intrigue. Again, this is primarily for games where people are not all born equally in the

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We use social combat like cmb/cmd like this:

Social combat defense
Half level + social status + sense motive

Where social status is based on your birthright rating:

-1 criminal/outcast/merchant
0 peasantry
1 freeman
2 vassal
3 military/clergy
4 titled
5 nobility

Obviously, this draws on social standing from a true caste system.

Social combat bonus
half level + influence + social class + skill

Where Influence is a point pool derived from cha and int bonus + level. Influence points are
invested in NPCs to represent persistent relationships. You can only allocate or deallocate 1 + int bonus influence per session if you interact with the target NPC.

It works really well and encourages RP/intrigue. Again, this is primarily for games where people are not all born equally in the eyes of society and npcs fairly static.

I like sorcerer specialized in magic missile with toppling spell meta magic feat. Trip build of different stripes.

This room features puzzles, environmental challenges, force and sonic traps, culminating into a dragon fight.

Big room, floor covered with ice. 4 stone statues of dragons are the column supports for the room, each has two rods and a drum in front of it. At the center of the room is a large animated ballista made of dragon bones. It comes to life when living creatures enter the room or magic is used, and targets the closest moving thing. There is an exit on the other side of the room that only opens on x condition.

The PCs have to reflex their way across the ice while dodging force bolts from the ballista. If smart, they will use the dragon columns for cover. Any time damage is done to the ballista or a living person falls prone on the ice, or a column is shot when a PC uses it for cover ( GM tuning choices), one of the dragon arms falls and pounds the drum in front of it resulting in a sonic affect.

When/if the PCs destroy the ballista or damage/cast against the exit barrier, or a column is is destroyed (GM tuning choice) one of the dragons of stone animates (a construct) or turns into a real dragon and attacks. It may also be possible to trick the ballista into shooting the dragons by carefully moving on the ice to position the end boss between a target and the ballista.

If the ballista is not destroyed it might be cool to have its boney elements turn into a weapon or set of lich wings that augment the dragon. Also, when the dragon thing awakes, or as the sonic waves are released, maybe the room begins to collapse creating pressure to to finish quickly but dropping chunks of rock the PCs can hop across to avoid the icy floor.

I read a lot of naval stuff.

A fighting ship of that size would need a two or three watch system. People have to sleep. Assuming british naval stds, each man would get a 40 by 20 inch hammock. If 1/3rd of ship is for bulk quartering, thats about 60 dudes worth of space (with seaman'chests). However as half of a crew is sleeping or idle then you could reasonably have 40 passengers and 60 sailors (they really crammed them in), plus some specialists, a few in officer bunk rooms but most in the common room. The galley and crew deck are usually the same convertible space.

A typical compliment is 50 percent able seaman (some as first and second mates (LTs amd Sgts), 30 percent landsmen (unskilled) and 20 perc specialists - a bosun (discipline guy), purser/quartermaster (food/supply/money guy), navigator/helmsman (at least 2), officers (2), artisans (smith and carpenter with 1 or 2 mates), a cook and cooks mate. Sometimes crew also has "marines", skilled dedicated warriors to fight the ship and put down mutinies.

The vessel, if viking like, would probably go about 6-8 knots, and have a crows nest, supply room and lower hold for spare canvas, spars, rope. Also probably row ports, for maneuvering without wind, so another 20-30 landsmen to row and commensurately less passenger space. If more european, then also a chiurgeons bay and forecastle winch room for hoisting masts and anchors with a top speed of 10 knots.

I think a humane and sustainable skelton crew is 40-50. You half to really know sailing and ship ops to understand why so many. It could be less if you drop anchor at night and post a light watch, but you get half move.

Hope that helps.

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Go w giants dual wielding ogres, dual wielding dwarves, dual wielding halflings, dual wielding battle axes. All raging.


1st: PB Shot, Rapid Shot, Deadly Aim
2nd: WP Focus
3rd: WP Spec
4th: PB Master
Composite Longbow +1

Respectable and reliable damage twice per round from far away. Not that gimmicky but has a lot of growing room (Many Shot, Clustered Shot, Imp Crit). One of the stronger builds in the game.

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Off topic but man that is quite a diverse group. Gone are the days where every party was either quasi-european or tolkein-esque. Now we gots Witches along gunslingers with samurai.

But I will make a contribution:
Barbarian/Alchemist? claw, claw, bite, gore, rage, throw, boom, buff?

Cleric, bowler? (Power attack, imp overrun, greater overrun)

I will try to address the solo play question. I have been playing for over 35 years. The best games I ever had were solo, me GMing. Mechanically, balancing the game is easy for a single player (because you will know the characters limits in a single session) but the real boon is role playing. As a GM you can spend a lot more time in NPC interactions and details that makes the setting rich and relevant to the character. Also, there's not much debate and decision wrangling in a party of one. Another nice thing is that you can phase in and out companion NPCs, bolstering the solo PC where he is explicitly weak (rather than mashing up a party of whatever your buddies wanted to play), or even breaking the usual missing relationship elements of a full party by making NPCs family, wives, turned enemies, etc. Soloing also open up the GM's field for creating custom items as you are free from party balancing concerns, and don't have to spend much time on the items (there's only one PC). For that matter, giving a solo character something "too powerful" is almost a non-issue as nothing you give him will unbalance the obvious lack of a party. As I think has been stated, however, you do miss out on group thinking problems, which puts more tailoring responsibility on the GM to provide outs he thinks his one player will consider. Anyway, as long as your are fluid, it works, it's fun and it opens a door to a completely different kind of play and enjoyment. Hope that helps.

Fury's Fall is always good, but honestly, with a reach weapon I think you would get a lot more trip optimization out of Cleave, then Cleaving Finish or Surprise Follow Through (for the Viv sneak attacks).

Or failing that, Improved Overrun and Greater Overrun, then later Spiked Destroyer, for the super maneuver controller thing.

The Menacing and Mighty Cleaving enchantments are worth a look as optimizers.

Also, Shield extract. If you aren't using it, get it!

Also, there's no net penalty, but will you GM let you can wear this ( with this ( a)?

The one thing about the trip build is that it requires planning from L1, a bunch of feats and a relatively good Str/Dex (which, IMO are totally worth it). These suggestions above are good as they get you some limited Trip capability without the feat tax, but (more opinion), it doesn't seem like your question got answered.

Your minimum feat chain is:
Combat Expertise
Improved Trip
Greater Trip (a must - not worth the attempt if you dont get this)

Some optimizing feats on top of these are:
Combat Reflexes (only if Dex is good)
Felling Smash (only worth it Dex is good)
Combat Patrol (meh - more feats to unlock than worth it to me)
Tripping Strike
Tandem Trip (teamwork feat, awesome for you and a buddy!)
Cleaving Finish (via Power Attack > Cleave)

Other strategies:
Use a reach weapon - you can trip without the feats and incurring the AoO from the target doesn't matter (because they can't reach you).
Add improved disarm to the chain (because prone and unarmed is really good)
Look for CMB bonuses from archetype, traits, gear

Also, consider the bladed belt item. It can change to any P/S weapon and be enchanted at the same cost as a regular weapon but the bonus carries over to all the forms it takes. Very efficient for mixed tactics. Note that it takes a command word to change it's form. Commands take a standard action.

Finally, if you want to knock people down, tripping isn't the only way. This is less feat intensive and possibly more appropriate for a Barbarian:

Power Attack (your were gonna get this anyway, right?)
Improved Overrun
Greater Overrun

Charge Through
Spiked Destroyer

So, w just two feats, people are going down and AoOs are happening for much cheaper. W the optimizers, while wearing spiked armor, you rush a target, knockdown anyone in your way, get a free swift action attack on them, generate an AoO on them for you and/or your allies, and/or then smash into the 2nd target, either overrunning them for an AoO, or just ending the attack as a charge in front of them. If you like this, check out the Rhino Hide armor item. Hella affordable, and adds another 2d6 damage on a charge.

Hi. Love the Alch. Playing one now. I think you done good. Some thoughts:

Consider buying.making this material for add'l armor quality (if permitted by GM):

The Shield extract is invaluable.

A single fighter or barbarian level works wonders on your arms/armor options, plus for barb, some nice stat buff and natural wp build stacks w feral mutagen (claw, claw, bite, gore).

You will get a lot of miles from Splash WP Mastery and Explosive Bomb

if no one else in the party can fly, sounds worth it.

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There's a lot of perspective in RP advice.

I am 43 and starting playing at age 8. The days of egregious imbalance and uber ambiguous rules were long, but not nearly as disastrous as the young'uns seem to think (no offense to anyone).

You can set flavor without imposing rules on players or pulling GM rank. Just make characters as you feel led.

Roll or point-buy depends a lot on how heavy you rely on books. If only as reference, as GM you can craft encounters that offset any peaks and valleys in stats/build. If an AP with Bestiary-only encounters, rolling stats and customizing classes can cause some warbles, but usually nothing that will break the table.

Then, ask folks to write up their "commoner" background (origins, family, appearance, how/why became a pathfinder) and character sketch. This helps them visualize the role and setting more viscerally, vs as a video game.

I find it helpful, as stated above, to either talk to my players and find out how they feel about the amplitude of magic, divine/religion, silliness, races, realism and grit; or, just self-inventory my own desirements. You can do any game you want and tweak these filters to come up with setting flavor, even within the subtext of an AP.

Opinion, but there is nothing beyond the core book you will absolutely need.

I second the spiritual intent to incapacitate and isolate the encounter. Entangle, trip, daze, blind, sicken, or otherwise debuff as much as possible, use the summons to screen and the casters and low damage output guys to absorb hits when they are out of tricks, while the melees dance in and out, giving ground liberally to avoid reach and abilities. If you have false life, use it.

But there is a point where this wont work and luck of the dice will matter most.

I am just assuming diplomacy is not an option.

This is my favorite item for 2h wp master/fighter with a hvy shield of bashing. First, enchant BB w keen. Take quick draw, combat expertise, imp trip, greater trip, twf-ing and improved shield bash. It seems like a mash of feats that dont work, but BB brings it together like so:

Using BB as guisarme,
Ready action to attack 10' out and 5' step back.
when they entered threatened area, attack
you step back
when they leave threatened, trip
swap bb to one handed melee and draw shield as free action
AoO prone target with shield bash, melee

When enlarged this does tons of damage and adds more reach, allows 3 attacks and leaves target prone at your feet. Wp prof with falcata is a boost.

But the real point is that you can swap from reach to melee easily and use the BB to fit circumstances. Also, with reach, you dont necessarily need trip feats because they cant even hit you when you provoke and they are 10' away. Having a single weapon that is many weaponsand can be enchanted is super efficient.

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The two things possibly of concern are poor character development and low game involvement. Are you concerned about one or both?

These questions were previously posted on a character development threads. It be good to habe your players answer them:

1. Why are you a Pathfinder?

2. Do you have a name and surname that is not ripped straight out of existing Earth mythology or popular culture?

3. Which nation did you grow up in? How did this nation influence you?

4. What do you look like? What are your wearing? How does this vary when you’re stalking through forests, sewers, deserts or in glittering cities?

5. What do you love? (Treasure and experience doesn’t count)

6. What do you hate? (Unclear and irritating darkness level rules don’t count)

7. Which other Pathfinders (PCs) do you rely on for teamwork, survival and butt-kicking? Do you have a bro? a mentor? a father figure? maybe a rival?

8. How does your race influence your views? Are you a stereotype of a certain race? How are you different from most humans/elves/gnomes/orcs/tengu?

9. What are you afraid of? Do you have any phobias or worries?

10. What is your most treasured possession?

Also, try to make each player complete a character sketch and origin story to help visualize themselves.

Next, as GM, stop doing recaps. Instead, offer XP for brief written session summaries delivered in the characters voice. Have each player read them with character POV, accents and mannerism at the beginning of ea session.

Have NPCs crop up that know the characters to ask questions like:
Hows your family?
Why have you chosen an adventurer's life?
Where did you get that scar?
... anything that back fills development.

Also, ensure players are handling dice every 10 minutes.

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Here's my take on this (more from a historical view of medieval european conquest than pathfinder per se):

1 sp per level per day per head (base)
1 sp per head per wk (baggage and supply)
1 sp per warhorse (Calvary cost a bit more)
3 gp per ten heads (sergeants fee)
5 gp per 100 heads (captains fee)
10 gp per 500 heads (commanders fee)
1 sp per day per 25 heads (cooks,grooms,paiges)
1-3 gp per head per encounter (hazard pay)
Right of plunder (take 1 item from any foe personally slain, or prisoners as slaves if slave market)
2% profit sharing (of net gp looted)

All payments are meted over days (not paid up front!) to reduce desertion.

You may also wish to hire a campaign warleader to act as sub commander for the lot.

Also, consider that ypur forces are likely to be comprised of multiple mercenary forces of warbands of 100 or less men, because as you can see, having 500-1000 soldiers hanging around is not economically viable without lands, fiefs amd incomes.

Also, because of economics, having 500 level 1 archers and 500 commoner warriors (conscripts) was common because they harry the enemy, cost less and, nobility thinking... you don't have to pay men who are not likely to survive.

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Alchemical rounds might let him apply unique spell affects, damage over time and splash damage.

Give him a gem that makes the weapon silent and doubles crit range.

let him find a clockwork gun that can auto clear a jam as a swift action once per day with a grit point

A few potions of haste for extra attacks


A whetstone bestows the sharp condition on a weapon, dealing 1 point of extra damage on first strike.

Masterwork weapon's are plus 1 to hit.

Smoke sticks are fun for crowd control.

Choking from noxious fumes.

Pockets of explosive gas detonated by flint patches

Loud position revealing pops and crackles from minor sub ground explosions

Sprays of lava, rock and geysers

Plumes of vision obscuring ash

Random pockets of high temperature

Natural pit traps into lava or acid pools

Corrosive sulfur deposits that erode simple gear (clothing, packs, armor straps)

Erupting steam pockets that hurl people into the air

Stuff like that?

Players love custom gear.

Few sentient things desire to fight to the death.

Download cool pics from the net to show players what some important in game things look like.

Put bonus xp things on a list and read it out at the end of a session (e.g., "use of a battle cry: 100 xp")

Use accents and model attitudes while playing an npc.

Avoid over optimized NPCs.

Always consider the INT of a character when you describe a scene.

Always consider the CHA of a character when interacting with an NPC.

Play out equipment purchases.

Make food scarce and/or pricey during winter.

Pickpocket, rob, beg from or overcharge characters with obvious wealth.

Roll Fort vs infection for unhealed damage more than a few days old.

Give lecherous PCs pregnancy scares and STDs from time to time.

Acknowledge racism between different races.

Give each nation it's own dialect of common that forces periodic linguistics check to avoid miscommunication.

Make players draw their characters.

Have periodic bouts of good and bad weather.

Have towns generally be a day apart and cities one or two weeks apart.

Have bouts of disease or plague among commoners.

Acknowledge and retcon TPKs caused by OP foes.

Never talk for more than 60 seconds.

Ensure players touch dice at least every 10 minutes.

Make religion a common source of comfort and debate.

Dont forget about conventional dangers (snakes, spiders, slander, rotten food...)

Slavery exists. Its sometimes dressed up as indenture, fealty, debt, etc but is functionally similar.

Sound travel. The creature in the next room should almost always know you are coming if you fought your way in.

Some low INT creatures would kill each other over a shiny object.

Have snacks.

Pay attention to player mood.

A dropped target is not dead. Have certain bad guys survive to plot revenge.

It sounds like you got your wish!

1. They are fighting because a prophecy saysthat the Restless dragons of the region will not know peace until one of the tribes is destroyed or they marry and produce an heir, the Dragon Lord.

2. The good tribe can retreat into a labyrinth of under ground cairns protected from evil dragons by the Wyvern Stone whose full might can only be wielded by the Dragon Lord.

3. Drawn by the mysterious call of the Wyvern Stone, the dragons have retreated into a remote part of the labyrinth that has become encircled by a tribe of level appropriate denizens of the under dark.

You arrive in hong kong...

Get a guide
buy a map
figure out the strange coins
are you rich or poor in the exchange?
rent a room or safehaven
contract the runs from food/water
make funny social mistakes
react to weird things that are normal there (dog tacos!)
Change your strange clothes

How read character sheet.

How to plan level progression are key.

How to find the SRD!

Brief encounter with tripping and grappling.

A simple starting class (ranger, fighter)

A simple notation system (to hit = bab+str+feat+magic-power attack, etc)

Low initial pressure to RP (use accents, pspeak in first person, etc)

Pause to explain what just happened.

Detail out any house rules.

Model a few social encounters before play (bluff, sense motive, diplomacy).

how to read abbreviate stack block (eg, a bestiary entry)

Kobolds are awesome lowbie critters. I like arm my elites w man catchers, trip feats and nets to play them as interested in captives. Its a good way to tone down the numbers. I also fluff them as genetically neutral, attempting to mate with anything to create infertile hybrids - provides an avenue to make them scale for a few levels. One variety has a 30' climb speed, flame breath weapon and tripping tail secondary attack. Another variety have claws on their glide only wings and hands (x4 claws and a bite). I also use a good number of tiered room features, scaffolds, steps, alters, etc for multi directional attacks with slings and javelins. Players have to exhaust the front ranks to get at the ranged guys. I have tried to make them ultra loot crazy too, willing to kill each other for shiny objects. A few with alchemist fire and splash weapon mastery can help break enemy lines. The underlining theme of cowardice, greed, versatility and trickery gives them great flavor.

I 2nd alchemist, particularly vivisectionist. Tieflings can get a trait to see through smoke, which denies others dex. This is good for sneak attacking. Also, the shield spell extract on top of a mw chainshirt w a racial natural AC bonus as well as +2 for mutagen gives the tiefling alchemist a starting AC of around 22. Pretty fantastic. the viv doesn't get bombs but you do add Int to splash weapons so using splash wrapons still pays off. I like the alch-archer build because PB Shot and rapid shot work with splash weapon mastery to make your ranged very effective.

1. Why are you a Pathfinder?

Money. Plain and simple. I used to be about ideals when I fought in the shield wall in the Hornwood Brotherhood. *stares moodily into the distance*

That was before my unit was wiped and I turned sellsword, or whatever you call a solo phalanx soldier. *spits on the ground*

2. Do you have a name and surname that is not ripped straight out of existing Earth mythology or popular culture?

Vexan. Vex to my friends, if i had any still living. Some of your questions don't make sense. Earth?

3. Which nation did you grow up in? How did this nation influence you?

Nation? Who cares? I kill for money. There's no place my skill ain't in fashion. Orins Mercenary Company is my Nation. I don't know where Cold Mountain is on a map anyway. People who read too much cant be trusted in my experience.

4. What do you look like? What are your wearing? How does this vary when you’re stalking through forests, sewers, deserts or in glittering cities?

*narrows eyes suspiciously* what are you, somekind of fruit? Ask again and you get my spear in the face... and not the one I think you fancy. Besides, im right here aint I. Tall, muscular, burned Brown by the sun.

5. What do you love? (Treasure and experience doesn’t count)

Blood and fire, sweat and the assurance of my brother in arms at my side. And, of course, treasure. I hav e tje question the manhood of someone who doesnt value gold.

6. What do you hate? (Unclear and irritating darkness level rules don’t count)

Cowards and long speeches.

7. Which other Pathfinders (PCs) do you rely on for teamwork, survival and butt-kicking? Do you have a bro? a mentor? a father figure? maybe a rival?

I dont rely on anyone. They rely on me.

This question insinuates weakness. Are all mem as womanly where you are from? Who teaches your children to kill, the women?

8. How does your race influence your views? Are you a stereotype of a certain race? How are you different from most humans/elves/gnomes/orcs/tengu?

I am man. We rule the known world. I make no apologies. I met a weird elf once.

9. What are you afraid of? Do you have any phobias or worries?

Holy hell, man! Have you no pride?! What kind of questions are these. I fear nothing, save perhaps more of these simpering inquiries.

10. What is your most treasured possession?

My bladed belt. When I am not tripping my foes I like turning it into an axe to smash my foes in the face. That death grimace is pure comedy! *laughs uproariously and slaps nearest person on the back... hard.*

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