Cleric of Iomedae

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Hey, sometimes you want them to eat the Attack of Opportunity so the enemy doesn’t have it available to hurt you or your friends with.

Would love to see 2E stats for everyone involved ;)

Language is very campaign-dependent. Ask the GM.

Thing is, at low levels usually there will be one reasonably common language in the vicinity; if there are lots of languages flying around (e.g., in a major port city) then a translator is likely easy to find. At higher levels it becomes a non-issue as long as someone can cast tongues.

Or summon a creature with telepathy to serve as a universal translator.

Generally, as a GM unless I want to make a big point of translation difficulties and overcoming them, I just assume everyone important speaks Common, or maybe has a translator available. I might (rarely) put in language elements in an adventure -- e.g., a sign in Dwarven in a mine once run by Dwarves. If I were running a campaign where an invader from a far-distant land was coming (e.g., Mongols vs. vast distances, Spanish vs. Aztecs, interplanar gate, interplanetary romance) it might be appropriate to make it an issue.

One thing I generally do during session 0 is let the players know what languages are frequently found in the area where the campaign starts. After that, if nobody takes one of those languages, so be it, but that's not on me as a GM.

+1 for TOC. It tells you about what's inside the book.

Someone who believes he is Aroden. Or, for extra fun, two Arodens.

Wow... what a story. Should be very interesting, but if the PCs decide to join Mokmurian, you're mostly on your own as far as creating stuff goes.

I suppose you can still send them to the Scribbler's lair and Runeforge ("find and destroy this place lest the mad wizards there, who are probably responsible for Earthfall, do something similar")

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This is loads of fun to follow - please let us know how it turns out!

Dragon disciple!

I would really like to have a reasonably good list of real-world diseases to work with, as well as fantastic and monster-specific diseases.

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Is there an iOS version?

Korvosa, Kaer Maga, Magnimar. All nice cities with a good hinterland and lots of adventure support (without so much it becomes crippling).

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Most surviving goblins have been raised by paladins in orphanages.

Urgathoa seems like a good fit -- consumption to excess, decadent wallowing in pleasure, all that kind of stuff. Sure, canonically that's mostly about food, but I could certainly see it expressed in music or other forms of art as well. Baudelaire on steroids, a lot of late-19th-century fin-de-sicle nihilists, certain rock musicians... the list goes on.

2) The sawmill's structural members all get wildly warped. It'll collapse very soon if anyone tries running anything.

3) Tangled thorny vines grow all through the reed patches the basketweavers gather their raw material from.

4) The ground under the local factory turns into mud. How many times can the industrialist rebuild?

You can also use the extra spells to cast multiple copies of, say, long-term buffs for preparation.

A bloatmage trades a little bit of wizard-stuff for a lot of endurance. I agree that this doesn't help (much) in a 15-minute adventuring day, but I liked the flavor too, and not all campaigns are 15-minute days.

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True strike does two things.

It helps low level casters reliably hit with something, even if they’re not normally proficient with it. This also works for anyone who can do big attacks and cast arcane spells, for instance dragons with Power Attacking bites. Not all spells are primarily PC spells,

And it negates miss chances from concelmeant. This is incredibly powerful, especially when quickened in conjunction with powerful attack spells.


You could put it in Thuvia (desert and mountains) or in Garund somewhere (have the natives be Mwangi instead of Indians).

More tropes:

The natives are really good trackers in tune with the wild (obviously, ranger levels and druids).

The local schoolmistress (who may be a cleric or bard in this world) as a quest hook, possible love interest, and local support.

SO MUCH room for things to do with mines. Probably have them disturb some kind of underground spirit (homebrew, look up something the players have never heard of before).

A gang of bandits who are enemies of the local bankers (not that they're nice people themselves, but the locals like them because they mostly leave the locals alone).

Also, definitely use spells like unhallow and other environmental gamechangers... even higher-level PCs are not always prepared for this.

Even suboptimal play as a bloatmage is "multiple extra spellcastings per day", which is pretty powerful.

Not sure about getting rid of Sickened.

I'm guessing the -2 Con penalty kicks in when you do your rituals (that's when you're doing all the self-cutting), at least that's how I played it as a bloatmage and how I'd do it as a DM.

You can use blood points to cast a spell without losing it from memory (or without expending the spell if you're a spontaneous caster). If you've already cast all your spells, well, the ability isn't very helpful; you use it to get extra castings before running out, so it stretches your endurance.

When memorizing spells, you refill your pool (up to your bloatmage level) and you can also charge yourself up by getting extra blood points (but if you go too far over your limit, Bad Things happen) - generally this gives you a few extra spells a day, possibly of up to your highest level. Which is never a bad thing, though it's like pearls of power in that you can only use stuff you already have in your head, not extra slots you can fill with anything. I mostly used it to cast extra copies of stuff I was regularly using anyway, and carefully monitored my situation so I wasn't going to go crazy.

If, say, you're a wizard 5/bloatmage 2, you have a pool of 2, which you could use to cast 1 2nd level spell or 2 1st level spells without losing them - you could add 1d4 points on a bloodsurge, but you don't want to get 4 because that would put you at twice your limit and you'd go crazy. So you don't surge, unless you're doing the thing where you could regulate the surge a bit.

The other abilities are mostly extra toughness and defensive abilities (always good), plus being more affected by bleed damage (not good but it doesn't come up very often).

Having played a bloatmage, it felt (slightly) tougher than a wizard but I never really had problems being flexible. Minor abilities for the most part, and I never missed the wizard class abilities that weren't going up any farther - I had other abilities which were.

Drinking blood to use bloodline abilities... <shrug> By the time it could have worked, we were near the end of Curse of the Crimson Throne anyway.

Feats were very tight (you have several required feats to get into the class), but that just meant I had to make the most use of what I did have... and a full casting class usually can think of things to do. Slight nerfs on a wizard leave one, well, still a wizard.

You're welcome ;)

Yesui sounds, perhaps, too Christian, but I don't have much problem with either name otherwise.

I'm thinking it might be better to have the Mongols be the first party into Bukhara -- it leaves a lot of room for things to happen in all sorts of ways.

I like the suggestion of the local woman being attached as a translator to the Mongol party, but I could see (say) her being hired by the shamaness as a bodyguard for in the city as well. Lots of possible connections.

I shall go with Erdene Degai as a name. "Precious younger brother".

Erdene's family dwelt in northern Mongolia, near the Taiga, and were familiar with the forests as well as the grasslands. They were skilled horse-breeders, but not otherwise of much note. When Chingis Khan united all the people of the felt tents, Erdene became one of the many riders of the Horde. In the Khan's invasion of China, Erdene was easily the best rider and archer of his ten-squad (arbatu), and then of his hundred-company (zagatu), and finally of his his thousand-unit (minggan), where he led a hundred-company at the siege of Zhongdu. Returning from China, laden like many other Mongols with the wealth of tribute from the Jin, Erdene acquired many horses... and heard tell of others. Persian stallions, graceful as the wind. A few years later, when the Khan sent a mission from the rising sun to the setting sun, Erdene was sent along, partly as a guard but also in hopes of acquiring and evaluating Persian horses.

I'm going to guess that a level 6 character is pretty impressive -- the GM can demote Erdene if he feels that the rank of hundred-captain is excessive.

Erdene enjoys riding and archery, discussing and training and breeding and trading and tending and caring for horses. He has somewhat of a weakness for foreign luxuries, such as various styles of fermented drinks (particularly ones that are made from grapes rather than mares' milk) and clothes of southern silks and styles, but he remains a practical Mongol warrior. He has little connection with the Khan's immediate family or the more famous Mongols, but Chinghis' reforms have opened the way for capable men to rise high, and he plans to go higher yet.

Still working on the crunch.

Nice article on Mongolian naming practices at

There were (some) Nestorian Christians among the Mongols as well.

I think a mounted archer (ranger, archery style, animal companion) could work well. A soldier and horseman of some repute, entering the Khan's guard and assigned to ... special duty.

Any interest?

Gate would be another method, and perhaps more powerful or precise than plane shift. You could have them negotiate with a powerful outsider, or even a deity, in order to get them there.

Consider replacing the Shadowcount with Rolth for book 5 -- "ooh, we want to kill him" versus "we really need a necromancer to help with this castle full of undead." Might work better if the PCs developed friendly relations with Laori who can serve as a go-between.

Last book is easy -- Ilesoa has someone resurrect him (queens can afford lots of spells in their budget!), no matter what happened to him earlier. Or maybe if the PCs killed him he comes back as some kind of undead and is hanging around the Sunken Queen hoping to get in...

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I'm assuming fairly low-level here (below level 5). A couple of possible sidequests:

1) Farmer Brown's prize bull has broken loose and gone into a dense area of forest. Farmer Brown went after it and hasn't come back yet. Please go retrieve him and the bull, preferably both with positive hit points and not cursed by the local fey. (Oh, and the local woods? Aren't fey-haunted, they're undead-haunted. Or maybe something-else-haunted.) An advanced herd animal can be a nice CR3 encounter; rescuing Farmer Brown from the tree limb that fell on him is probably a CR1 encounter (strength check to get the tree limb off him); dealing with the whatever-it-is can be whatever you want.

2) The missing grain has led to some starving locals hunting and venturing deeper into the woods. The local dryad would like the local farmers and woodcutters to Go Away And Stop Bothering Her -- if the PCs won't do it, she might have to take action.

3) A flock of local birds that normally eats grain from the fields has been feeding on dead bodies instead of the missing grain... can you say "carrionstorm"?

Have some minor obstacles floating around the lair.

Shocker lizards are not much of a threat at this level but their electric blasts might erode some protection from energy spells if the PCs had cast them. A resetting lightning bolt trap might be fun, too (the dragon uses it to polish its scales in the morning). Either way, something that gives the dragon a chance to detect incoming enemies if the PCs aren't careful. (It might have alarm spells up in a few places, too -- at least some of the dragon's spells should be long-term ones it cast earlier today, since it won't likely get the chance to use many spells in combat.)

Some quicksand traps for PCs on foot (admittedly at this level all PCs should be able to fly), or weakened areas that can collapse.

A princess from a desert tribe who's here to fulfill a bargain with the dragon (the tribe sends someone every couple of years to do scutwork around the dragon's cave, and in return it doesn't eat their herds), possibly friendly with the dragon, possibly eager to escape, but certainly has a high Bluff check. Could be an apprentice of some sort, or a captive; lots of possibilities.

An item that's a plot point for further in the AP.

Some kind of guardian monster that watches the lair while the dragon is absent (could be undead, or an elemental, or something that you think the PCs might not be prepared for), probably hiding in the sand and dust, and only emerges after the PCs pass it. (For some reason many parties are NOT expecting an attack from the rear during combat.) Maybe an invisible stalker? Maybe a golem the dragon salvaged from some ruins somewhere out in the desert?

With their commander trying to assassinate the Queen, there's certainly grounds for the Queen trying to disband them -- whether that's just all pink slips in next week's pay envelopes, or a giant battle.

But that's no fun for the players. And the Queen is smart enough to know that Korvosa needs an air force. So the better GMing option is to have the Sable Company under a cloud.

Option 1: Corrupt from the Top -- the Queen finds someone who will be her loyal flunky to replace Endrin, then works on slowly bending them to her will. (It would be faster, but she has a bunch of other stuff to do as well, like create the Grey Maidens, so as long as her chosen subordinate is in charge, she lets it go.) Thus the PCs may still have contacts in the Sable Company who don't really like what's going on, and may reach out for assistance, or feed the PCs information, or something.

Option 2: Deadly Mission -- the Queen figures that trying to take the Sable Company out will be too noticeable and take too much time away from toying with the Grey Maidens, so she announces that the Sable Company is being sent out of town to "regain their honor" by doing something difficult (and possibly fatal.) Maybe they're sent to clean out Bloodsworn Vale, or maybe they're all assigned to patrol around the Sunken Queen (and show up again in book 6), or they're all sent off to Janderhof to help the Dwarves out against some kind of flying foe.

Permanent telepathic bonds, though admittedly that is a bit inflexible.

Something dragon-centered (probably focusing on one family or bloodline of dragons), but working with pairs or clutches of dragons instead of a single Big Bad Dragon. (BBEGs are just too mechanically handicapped).

Something with plains nomads and lots of them. (Centaurs would be good. Something in Iobaria would work.)

Faerie fire is often overlooked as an anti-invisibility spell, but it's got very good range and is great for even low-level enemies to tag you with -- unless you can snuff the glow somehow, any foe in range can see you quite nicely. Of course, the enemy has to spot where you are to tag you, but there are plenty of ways to finesse this.

Monks generally have pretty good saves, so you want AOE damage that doesn't have a saving throw. Walls of fire are nice. Invisible foes (particularly the invisible stalker) are perfectly good foes at this level; air elementals can whirlwind and move over him to inflict damage (he'll probably make his save to avoid being picked up, though.)

One way around the saving throws: lots of AoE attacks. At this level, you could have quite a few enemies with AoE attacks -- spellcasters with 3rd level spells are a dime a dozen, small dragons, winter wolves, and a few others. Attack with several of them at once -- even if the monk saves, the damage adds up rapidly if the whole party is being bathed in fireballs or grenades or something.

A succubus. Up for conversation (interested, curious, wants OUT OF THIS FREAKING MESS OF SPIDERS) and is willing to help the PC if he can get her to a nearby gate to the Prime Material Plane and through it.

The gate, or course, is guarded by a glabrezu... can they sneak past him, or deal with him? Lolth hasn't done much with this gate yet, just sent out a few scouting parties, but they haven't reported back yet. If negotiated with, he might let them through (for what payment?) or even grant a twisted wish (but for what payment?). It might want one of them to give it the other, or maybe it wants them to find out what's going on with the scouts... but does the gate end up on the PC's own Prime, or somewhere else that Lolth is planning to conquer? This might be a good way to meet the rest of the PCs if you want to introduce the new characters at this point (they're in the world on the other side of the gate, or if they're evil maybe they're part of Lolth's initial scouting team on this plane.) Rewards could be great, but the danger is equally high (and the succubus could be a nice recurring frenemy).

Depending on how graphic you want to get, some kind of demonic stallion that wants to mate with the nightmare. There might be consequences down the line... especially if the stallion is really a shapechanged demon of some sort (squick factor very high here)

A drider (CR7) or maybe a pair of them, who are just trying to survive the web, and are cautious (they won't attack without a chance to size up the PC first). They might be convinced to team up with the drow for survival's sake, but might also be just looking for a chance to backstab... and if he doesn't deal with them somehow, they know something nearby that might want to track the PC down and leave its gear strewn about the web strands (a retriever? a pack of giant spiders?).

Atmospheric: a pack of dretches, reskinned to all have the lower bodies of spiders, scuttling down the strand, singing in eerie unison... something about an itsy-bitsy spider and a rainspout.

Atmospheric: another strand of the web, some distance away (maybe just close enough to jump to), with a long procession of slaves in chains being escorted somewhere by skeletal drow.

Atmospheric: an itsy-bitsy spider crawling along the webstrand. It will scuttle away from the PC at first but try to follow him, maybe acting like it wants to be a friend.

Atmospheric: a swarm of demons around an angel getting increasingly wrapped in spiderweb. Probably not a good idea to get close to either of them, but a really daring PC might be able to pull something off.

I tend to have them look exactly like the caster's eyeballs, floating in empty space. (Unless I want them to look like a floating point of light.)

You could easily set it in Arcadia, starting near the coast and working inland (though I think Pitax would have to be majorly reflavored).

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Strip out the rule that requires a +1 BAB to draw a weapon as part of a move action -- it affects a few characters for one level (maybe 2-3 if they're dipping multiple classes). It's just an extra bit of annoyance to remember early in one's career and then never again.

I always update the spell lists for whatever this particular monster is likely to do, or what they might know about the players, or what I think makes sense.

Also note, it's often worthwhile to see if later-published spells are the sort of thing that an earlier-published monster might have reasonably had.

Also, it can be fun to move out, draw enemy readied action archery, and then have the lightly armored casters walk out.

Or have yourself disguised by an illusion to look like a bearded guy in a robe...

Generally, Will > Fort > Refl is how people rank saves. This will vary depending on what your GM throws at you -- if the whole campaign is nothing but fireball-slinging wizards, who cares about any save but Reflex? If it's all poisonous critters, Fort is a must -- but usually a failed Refl save damages you, a failed Fort save kills you, and a failed Will save kills two or more party members.

Paladin is the best class for saves -- that sweet, sweet CHA bonus to saves beats your base bonus all holoow. Some oracles can work the same trick.

Cleric has good Will + WIS and good Fort plus plenty of good save-boosting spells.

Halfling monk/paladins just look at the DM and say "I save". (They have some other problems, of course.)

5. A large collection of potion bottles... filled with baby pill bugs.

Interest 'R Us!

Clerics shouldn’t really need UMD for a while -there are huge numbers. Of spells they have that are great on wands, so unless you want to be using wands from another list, you don’t need this. You’re very skill-starved anyways.

Hold a healing potion so you can pour it down someone's throat if necessary.

Hold a splash weapon (holy water, alchemist's fire, acid, etc.) so you can throw it quickly if necessary.

One way to make weather, or firestorms, exciting is to have it happen as part of an encounter -- e.g., a bunch of CR4 aurochs stampede in the general direction of the players; they're fleeing a wildfire; as the flames approach, the PCs can try to hunker down or evade them; but there are fire elementals in the midst of the storm... and some scavengers flying afterwards looking for something to eat.

Wide non-desert plains scream "herd animals", "nomads", and "windstorms" to me. What level are your players? That will be helpful in determining what they can/can't face.

Centaurs, maybe with class levels, come to mind. There's some good stuff in v. 3 of the Kingmaker Adventure Path.

Air elementals and lightning elementals in the windstorms (also check some of the environmental hazards from the Core Rulebook).

Flying predators might work very well (ties in with your dragon BBEG, too). Groups of giant cats (packs of lions; tigers hunting along streams or woodlands).

Side dungeons are easy to come up -- some hills with a cave system underlying them (think Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico -- plenty of room for bat swarms and underground monsters).

Druids of the open plains (horse or cat animal companions, archery stuff, wildshaped into flying monsters) also show up.

Tenebrous Spell plus darkness or deeper darkness would do the trick nicely. Add Umbral Spell to the mixture and lots of things become possible.

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