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Gorbacz wrote:

You think taxes, privatisation of the state, isolationism vs. globalism, regulation of religious freedoms, heck, regulating ANYTHING beyond the "don't tread on me" dogma, are not contentious issues in the US?

American politics do go beyond guns and same-sex marriage. You'll have a flame war over taxes and regulations just as easily as you would have over voting rights for women.

You will NEVER have a non contentious position - by definition a position defies alternativesAll of the above were from the history of medieval European and near-east kingdoms.

....but there is no reason for paizo to take a STAND on anything specific for the adventure, just a note regarding "decide on what Eutropia stands for" plus a short sidebar. Provide possibilities and look at whatever floats one's personal group of players/characters . Except perhaps "War against Qadira" looking at the proposed outline.

Also, if a product fails to provide necessary information for its proper use, is it still a good product ? IMHO : NO

fan-mileage may vary

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Gorbacz wrote:
You do realise that "goals of societal changes" are triggers for many, and even as much as listing a sidebar would cause any discussion about this AP quickly descend into "why Paizo is shoving their political agenda down my throat?".

You do realize that variable goals of societal change does not mean "forced SJW messages" or "hardcore conservative dogma" ?

Especially for people who are actually from another continent ?

let me see :

- taxation of the middleclass versus noble classes
- land ownership for small landholders/peasants
- Dilution/concentration of noble houses by abolishing titles/creating new ones
- enfranchisement for regional rule with local parliaments/councils Y/N
- rework of Taldorian bureaucracy - say based on merit, seniority or purchase of title
- privatization of tax-enforcement Y/N/specific model
- peace/war with neighbouring states
- tradepacts, opening of trade negotiations
- changes of the legislative system, authorities involved or legal punishment Y/N/specific model
- permission of specific religions/cults/faiths or their exclusion from the borders of Taldor
- regulation of the working week. Y/N/specific model
- legality of bloodsports Y/N/specific model
- structure of the military / navy
all of 10 minutes work
edited : spelling

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Crystal Frasier wrote:

Eutropia's agenda upon reaching the throne is left deliberately vague so GMs can custom tailor to their group's priorities. Some agendas may appeal to certain groups while being intolerable to others, so we wanted to leave that portion of Eutropia's leadership as something for each game to decide best fit their needs and reflects the PCs' own interests and goals. We ultimately hope each GM will make their own Eutropia fit the interests and needs of their group, rather than trying to find the mythical "one size fits all" political figure.

Then again THIS is something that should have been provided/explained in the first installment (or the still absent campaign Guide).

like putting up a list of stuff/goals she stands for with the indicator "pick some goals that fit your player interests besides changing primogeniture".
Like, say a sidebar ? Just to tip a GM's imagination off ?

.....this is also a reason why GMs actually want to have as much information about a campaign's major players so they can prepare and make the inevitable changes to fit their groups into a plot: unless of course, role-playing takes a backseat.

Last but not least : I find it disturbing that in the very first part of the AP, where character are at their most vulnerable and least resistant, a sizable part of said AP is spend in a "no access for replacements" dungeon and at levels 1 to 2 . Because honestly - everyone who dies in the "safehouse" also eliminates any personal influence, interactions or impressions gained from the preceeding social part. YMMV.

PS : I also agree on the railroading the player into the dungeon via the Senate Assistant badges, whatever their actions beforehand or possible locations or the forced "Escape Room" mystery. I like the conept of the story, but basically I am unhappy that I basically have to rewrite parts of the story from the very start to be more entertaining to my players

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Name: Kirishima
Race: Kitsune
Class: Witch 6 - Cartomancer (Deception)
Origin: Local working class soothsayer
Adventure: Turn of the Torrent
Location: Lucky Bones underwater level
Cause of Death: Drowned while unconscious



Pounced by the mussle monsters (Shell Sentinels ), and getting struck 4 times...( while escaping the Skum in the first hall ) and failing 3 consecutive Fort Saves leading to her Wisdom being reduced to "0" and falling unconscious from the wisdom destroying poison. With the rest of her group being forced to retreat and unaware of her location she drowned when her water breathing potion ran out

and on the following session

Name: Kovacz
Race: Aasimar
Class: Inquisitor of Cayden (6)
Origin: Rabble Rouser and dedicated Foe of Opppression
Adventure: Turn of the Torrent
Location: Lucky Bones upper level, Tiles Room
Cause of Death: chopped (bitten) in two



After returning to the Lucky Bones the party passed through the riddle room of colored tiles. A high perception roll (new character)revealed a hidden cache under the tiles leading to careful removal of the tiles - upon starting with a different set the Xorn emerged. The Inquisitor guarded the retreat out of the far door and got bite-crited on round 2 with a total damage of 50+ points, reducing him to -17 in one fell swoop. Missing roughly one third of his body (mostly from the torso) , he left early to share a pint with Cayden.

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James Jacobs wrote:

Not a typo at all. Kintargo is intended to be a small city; one of the reasons it's small is that it takes a certain amount of bravery to live in what is essentially a chaotic good city within the borders of a lawful evil nation.

Feel free to adjust the numbers if you wish, but keep in mind that if you make the city too large it becomes too powerful and important and thus less logical that Thrune ignores what's going on there, even BEFORE the events of Hell's Rebels start.

By keeping it as Cheliax's smallest city, it remains status as a "backwater" and thus a more logical place for a rebellion like what's detailed in Hell's Rebels to take place.

Which means 12000 Kintargans (and the rest of Ravounel) taking on the might of Cheliax. Guess I would have a harder time explaining that to my players than boosting the city to 30k inhabitants.

But thanks for the confirmation

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Just looking over the city's stats and one thing keeps irritating me...

Isn't Kintargo awfully small for it to be a relevant city in Cheliax and especially one with a continent wide reputation ?

I mean app 12000 inhabitants ? That seems very very low...

Verona in the Renaissance had a population of 54000, Florence of 80000; Milan 140000, Venice 130000... with similar sized cities in the direct regiona neighbourhood like Pisa, Padua, Genoa, Luca nearby. The whole of Northern italy had about 4 million inhabitants. Even less central European Port cities like Brugge, Hamburg, Antwerpen or Lubeck had population in excess of 30k+ people.

In Golarion itself... even diminished Westcrown has 10x the population of Kintargo. Korvosa, Magnimar and Riddleport have more inhabitants. The remote pirate city of Port Peril has 40k inhabitants versus Kintargos 12k. Which makes 11900 inhabitants really look like a typo.

Milano's "Scala" and Venice's "LaFenice" opera houses which seem comparable in reputation to the Kintargo Opera could exist only in cities with 10x the population of Kintargo. Cities with very rich and affluent populations.

So I wonder if one should not multiply the population of Kintargo by a factor of 5x to 10x to make the city more realistic (and a bit more anonymous for the PCs to hide in the masses for the earlier chapters of the AP ?). Just adjust the "Supporters gained" rolls by the same multiplier and you are well set.Of course that would multiply the goldpiece purchase limit on the campaign, but that basically is a minor quibble, IMHO.

I can see that the story is a bit trapped by the population estimate in the Inner Sea World guide (II) from some years ago, but do we know whether that is a typo ?

Kintargo seems very small for its reputation and fame as written. Typo ?

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Gratz wrote:
Andarion wrote:

3. Shensen is a transplant and your GM can find more information about her in book 4 of the AP.

I hope my information is about right (if not, someone feel free to correct me), but I'll give you some advice that is more important than the information: Figure this stuff out with your GM. He should decide what information he wants to reveal and share with you to build your background....

There is some pretty neutral information about Shensen in the "Pathfinder Chronicles NPC Guide", although some of the stuff may not be known to just any character (but of course could be introduced as gossip, hearsay and rumours ). that writeup tells nothing about the plot of Hell's rebels

There is one orphanage mentioned in the course of the story, but it closed down after/in the Chelian Civil War. If it matters, ask your GM about details

The Alabaster Academy primarily teaches "hard science" ( Zoology, Herbalism, Medicine etc ), but has recently introduced non-diabolic arcane lessons. There is no mention of the "Fine Arts", but that is your GM's discretio. It has a damaged reputation due to a scandal some time back, pre Civil War.

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Crustypeanut wrote:

Actually, Book 3 assumes the players go into the event knowing its a trap (or suspecting it is), thus preparing for it. Glamored Armor, Hats of Disguise(Greater or not), and the like will all help with allowing even heavily armored PCs to look like they're dressed up.

Book 3 is probably the most linear of the books, but book 4 is no where near as such. Any of the targets in book 4 can be attacked in any order - except for the final target, as thats the hardest nutshell to crack and is basically the last target.

As for book 3... linear it may be, but its still got some VERY interesting encounters. Richard Pett is one of my favorite adventure Authors, ever since playing through his "The Wormwood Mutiny" Adventure at the beginning of Skull and Shackles.

Personally - nothing against Richard Pett. He is a great writer, but he is the same guy who thought CR3 tiny flying D6 bleeding mosquito swarms was a great idea to use as random monsters against level 3 characters in Skulls and Shackles - just check the obituary thread back there for some of the consequences of Mr. Pett thinking something is a "fair encounter" ....

Yes that is a very nasty situation the players are expected to put their head into. Hats of disguise - probably useless, perfect armour for that job... have it on time and be aware that it is needed ? Nevermind dancing with a two handed sword strapped to your back. Or a brace of pistols - disguised or not.

As for the Iron Willed "Stormtroopers of Cheliax" (ahem Kintargo)... yeah enough said..... Problem is... the only way to play this campaign reliably with magic as an effective suggestive means "as written" is building cheesy concepts.

Looking at it from a historic perspective... a lawful evil regime usually fared better if their servants and ruled are not Iron Willed and individualistic in their mindset, but meek followers who rather follow any rules dictated to them instead of standing up for their own vision of things. Lawful evil likes "broken" followers...

Something I also found odd... no Hellknights in the first Act ?

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David knott 242 wrote:

To explain the "strong for their size" bit -- adjusting for size and relative strength, a halfling has slightly over half the carrying capacity of a human, but equipment made for them (including food and living space) amounts to only half that of a human. So, if (for example) an individual halfling can do 60% as much work as a human, you can have five halflings do the same amount of work as three humans at about 5/6 of the upkeep cost of those three humans.

The ratio is even better in cases where you would have been tempted to use (human) child labor.

Well. I have not yet seen the rule that gnomes or halflings eat only half as much as full sized humans/half orcs or elves.... Realistically yes, but then one also have to face the muscles and bonestructure, plus biomechanics of a 3' person (as dmeonstrated by the size penalty for CMB and CMD ). Who just cannot put "mass" (aka "larger inertia") into many activities. Consider the force of a pick swung by a 3' tall person instead of a 6' tall person ?

As for mines: the workface determines the size of the tunnel, not workforce. Children were used in mines purely because you could pay them far less than adults and their resistance could be far more easily broken. Plus the adults wages were so low that the children had to earn as well. Same goes for the other industries where comparatively light physical labour in narrow confines was required. Just speaking as an industrial-historian, but actually looking up the appaling abuse of child labour in Great Britain or Germany and all through the continent is educative.

Shipping : about the worst employment for small sized persons, because you need raw physical strength and mass in most sailing activity. Like hauling up 12'+ yards with sails on them (usually when these are also tossed about by ship movement and wind)^^ Nevermind that no Halfling can actually reach up to a capstan bar !

Using slave labour as thieves... well.... that strikes me as a positively problematic use of halflings Unless we go all out Dickens !

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David knott 242 wrote:
Gratz wrote:
That sounds much more mundane than I expected... Well I guess that makes it less problematic to run with a diverse group. Still I might make up a reason why Halflings tend to be enslaved in most of Cheliax, because their weakness just sounds to boring... (on a side note: Wouldn't you rather want strong slaves instead?)

Halflings are strong for their size and upkeep requirements. Even though they are individually weaker, you can get as much work at less expense out of a group of halfling slaves than from a smaller group of human slaves collectively capable of performing the same amount of work.

Doesn't really make sense, since you (unlike you run a heavily slave-keeping society like ancient Rome, where slaves could be specialist artisans or even teachers ) want slaves mostly for strong and intensive labour (fieldwork, mines, transportation aka galleys ). Or as housekeeping staff. Or as an erotic diversion...which I cannot envision the chelians going for. No.../brainbleach

Even if just going by the rules (and not common sense), small creatures can carry only 3/4th of the normal weight load, have reduced strength and walk at 60% speed..... which makes them mostly a less capable workforce. and basically a 16 STR halfling weighing in at roughly 40lbs (by the rules) carrying a medium load that is between 1,5 to 3 times (app. 120lbs) his own weight (nevermind heavier loads) is faintly ridiculous

Nevermind being a race which allegedly loves its freedom, loves trickery, is more resistant to fear (and intimidation) and is better than average at hiding.

Besides Gnomes... I think Halflings are the least useful race to enslave (unless for light physical labour ).

Let's not even go into "realistic" territory, which makes the notion even feel more absurd.

Best choice for the campaign seems to be to blend in, and be as hard to spot as possible (no horns, no wings, no halflings or gnomes), no exotic skin colours) . It's not that easy to stay incognito in a town of merely 12k people.

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Overall a very very nice plot and setting... ! What an upswing after Mummy, Iron Gods and Giantslayer...

Personally I am just slightly worried over the events of Act III (which basically means the characters having to go into the final battle without their heavy gear) and Act IV and overabundance of the "Iron Will" feat and very stifling Will Saves (in combination with significant SR later on) .. (so far my group is heavy on bards and hybrid-class characters so saves and caster level are something I keep in mind)

If this is to be a social and investigative campaign (so says the players guide) , even the Dottari universally having boosted will saves (basically Iron Will stormtrooopers, yeah), nevermind the true villains, stiffling "Suggestions" "Sow Thoughts" "Sleep" or "Charm Person"and most other "soft impact" spells ....so universally either calls for some serious rewriting or power maxed enchanters to do anything reliably.. or just hack through everything because the soft approach fails. 'meh

Books 3 and 4 appear a bit linear in execution, too.

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Shadar Aman wrote:
Rakshaka wrote:

Not even that. What I'm saying is someone who isn't even optimized has a 50/50 shot of starting an encounter from that far of the distance. And yeah, any idiot can come up with scenarios and tricks to confound the range issues or have the HP to survive an attack from ranged combatants. This doesn't address the issue that most desert combats are going to have far more ranged fights that any other. Using monsters at low level that can survive and attack and move fast are not always what's written into the AP; Legacy of Fire sure isn't written that way at all. I'm not talking about what a DM can come up on their own to deal with deserts, I'm talking about the need to address a possible issue that may play out in a desert themed AP, as its written.

I know this is a few months old at this point, but I just wanted to mention that the DC of 21 is only for the distance. That assumes that the enemies are just standing out in the open, charging wildly across the dunes, or something similar. Add stealth checks to the mix, and the difficulty of spotting the enemies goes way up. Even an untrained character with no bonuses or penalties to stealth will add an average of 10 to the Perception DC. At that point, even your Zen Archer has less than a 50% chance of spotting them at that distance.

Which then again becomes entirely absurd. Being unable to spot a person at 210' ? On flat or at least featureless terrain ? (yeah yeah RAW but it is still absurd )

What makes things more interesting in my mind - does anyone actually consider the shifting sands as difficult terrain due to sliding sands (especially walking up dunes) ?

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tentatively named : "Dead Men Walking"

Shahn "Shakes" Kybh - (Aasimar ) Archonborn Pharasman Inquisitor (Heretic Archetype)

plus his friends and associates

Sylas Hoakhs- Half-Elf Inquistor of Cayden (Conviction) from Absalom ("we shall always have beer")

Ohagh "Chop Chop" Cho - Half Orc Witch Witchdoktor; "adopted" by Sylas

Numi'isha - human Sarenraeic Oracle of Flame (blind) ( "it's an indoor campaign, right ?")

A. "Absalom" Garm - half Orc - bard(archaeologist), ( "lecturer at the Pathfinder society")

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FrankManic wrote:

I'm treating it as a feudal system as well. The Hurricane King is the feudal chief of the entire region. All the Free Captains have individually sworn fealty to him and agreed to pay tributes,.....

Most of the pirates smart enough and dangerous enough to become Free Captains recognize that it's better to abide by the Council's decisions than to let petty disputes evolve into open warfare between fleets. If they have a disagreement over, say, which of the ships in a battle has first claim to prizes they can take it to the Council and either work out an arbitration or settle it with a duel or something. You might not get what you want, exactly, but you can expect more or less fair compensation and also that the situation won't escalate into a destructive conflict where everyone loses money.

Hmm, for one I have never seen any hint as to the pirate "king" being a feudal lord supported by vows of fealty and an exchange of duties.

TWOWAY OBLIGATIONS ? A central part of any feudal society ? Usually highly regulated ?

Or even anything declared through divine right ( I do NOT see Besmara and her priesthood supporting such an institution, only everyone tearing it down ). Shifting alliances and a mostly decorative "figurehead" title, yes, but the pirate "king" looks more like a "capo-di-capo" to me.

Second : Pirates are SMART ? Since when ? The entire real history of western piratehood is one of being essentially not "smart" or "wise" or "trusting in far judement".... as is the hollywoodeque one ? Everyone wise either became pretty lawful, once sucess was achieved (say, Francis Drake) and would not be supported (ahem, rather reviled) by Besmara....

All of it sounds very unpiratish to me (IMHO).... "take what you want, give nothing back" seems a far more of a pirate motto than "king of the Free Pirates" ( sorry if I roll around some, laughing)... Doesn't "Free" indicate a tendency for (local) tradition over rule and sensible laws, and a distinct wish to be FREE from such oppression/rulership ?

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medlii wrote:

Humiliating the PCs can work better than lashes alone... some events that happened on our Wormwood:

** spoiler omitted **...

I don't want to be the spoilsport, but players may well ask, just how the crabs climbed a sailing/drifting ship out at sea ?. Crabs don't float (or swim ), and the side of a ship are sheer anyways ?

Perhaps take some precautions there. Or perhaps have a wyver circle the ship hip looking for decent prey... and have Harrigan, Longfarthing and co attack it when it makes its move ?

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James Jacobs wrote:

We never nail down what hands any characters favor, because often art gets flipped to make things fit pages better, and the art staff has better things to do than check with us on handedness, and we have better things to do than to keep a full list of every single character's handedness. That's a level of detail we're not interested in tracking, and since the game itself doesn't care about handedness, we don't have to.

And yes. Sarenrae was an empyreal lord who became a deity. Asmodeus was an archdevil who became a deity. Etc.

It happens now and then all the time but rarely.

Aboleths are atheists, and don't become deities. They can become powerful, but they aren't interested in matters of faith, and therefore would never become a god.

very literal answer, thanks.

So the flipping of the iconics' handedness is done merely as a matter of layout. Explains some observations (such as Aroden being righthanded in Mythic Realms ). Somehow I had always tought of Aroden as your very personal project (I guess he is, but with a focus on other details ). Possibly overthinking on my part.

As for B ) I should have added : Any non-human (mortals) aspiring or having aspired to deityhood ? While satisfying, only humans (and some powerful immortal/divine beings) having achieved dietyhood.. felt odd.

As Asmodeus likes to claim he is the second oldest entity around, I would have expected him to be the "ancestral" diety of devils, the fount from which the devils sprung ? Is this a mistaken assumption ?

Any chance for major undead going down the mythic path (Ta Baphon seems to have been ighly mythic before his "death" by Aroden ? ) or are undead incapable to advance beyond their lifeless (if eternal) state ?

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James Jacobs wrote:
Ulmaxes wrote:


I am mainly trying to paint a picture of the guy in my head, and that's the last thing that keeps me from really visualizing him.

He wore robes, not armor.

To aid in picturing him, check out the back cover of Inner Sea Magic.

So, Aroden was a lefty ? (or is that just a design choice ?)

Also wondering if anyone but Demon Lords and aspiring mortals tramped the path of becoming deities in their own right ?

Or is that something that only used to happen in the wild and weirder past, as it did with Sarenrae ?

Oh, and how about an Aboleth Demi-god or something in that vein ?

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Hm, my take on the whole thing was that
a) you have to be regarded as one of the "official" and recognised captains of the Shackles, not some half-pint freebooter, who will not respect the Pirate council's orders, ahem "guidelines". Which might also mean that you will receive no official chance to voice your opinion on council matters


b) That you are not beholden to another captain (except the council), and not part of another's fleet.

c) you actually had and have to plunder and pillage, and be well-known for it

d) that you cannot actually rule over estate in the islands ithout being beholden to another captain.

Basically : turning from journeyman pirate (semi
-independent, running his command as part of a fleet like the players' (PCs') squadrons in AP 5 and 6 ) into a fully fledged "master-level" pirate.

Just my way of seeing it

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I may be overly realistic. Sorry. But most of these are pretty unreasonable, and depending upon the level of seamanship/common sense though will severely suspend disbelief

How do Orcas attack the ship ? Bite the keel ? Give the ship'S side a severe battering ? This might only work against very small ships or require monstrously large orcas. Why the Orcas should dabble about in warm tropical waters (anything but their natural habitat ), I leave to you. Perhaps, try a Sea Serpent or Orm or some of the more fantastic stuff from "Isles of the Shackles"

A man going overboard... will require considerably more time than just two (2) rounds. A ship at full tilt will move 100'-200' a round, hence quickly pulling the swimmer out of reach. SAILING SHIPS HAVE NO BREAKS ! THEY HAVE NO REVERSE GEAR.. .The ship will have to go for a full stop somewhere on its course, spilling all her wind and tacking to leeward under sails (there a specific maneuvers for this taught in every sailing coures, because it is anything but "simple". Even with modern dinghies. Nevermind in a full ship. Getting the poor sucker out of the water will be difficult, too ).

Same goes for the freak wave --> random swimmer event. (the only tme I have heard in campaign of anyone ever getting back on board, was in my brother's group where they had a "dedicated" Undine Lifeguard-swimmer who jumped into the soup the very second the NPC went overboard.

Torn rigging etc. I'd better not start talking about that one. If any one suspends disbelief that torn riging will drop onto deck and not be flung out to leeward (including any crew) it might work... your call

Stuck wheel.. ahem, perhaps one should mention that the wheel is commonly manned by two or more crew in strong winds, to manage the forces on it. No cushioning hydraulics in the age of wood. Usually the larger guys in the crew have to handle the wheel
If it should get "stuck", imagine the forces getting penned up on the rudder chains, rudder head and the whole redirecting blocks and wheeldrum. If something like that get's stuck, there will likely be the sound of tearing deadbolts or breaking wood from below and a crippled ship. A steering wheel on a fullship will easily break ,or even shear off an arm stuck through it under normal circumstances in any kind of wind.... I feel uncertain "disable divice" is the proper skill for it. Nevermind the danger of trying to sail with a ship out of control..

Ballista on deck ? They have a readily assembled ballista on deck during a regatta ?
Generally, as in racing cars, you try to keep one's ship light and nimble.. Speaking for my group, the players actually relocated much of the weaponry stuff (armoury, gunpowder, cannonballs...) and plunder to a second ship and sailed with minimum provisions and crew . Any sailor worth his salt will keep the weight and center of gravity as close to the bottom as possible. Why else does anyone think merchants ships are slow and cumbersome ?

Most of this stuff sounds very "hollywoodesque" (probably in the worst sense ).

If that fits the style of your campaign, ok.

Some more freakish events I'd think realistically possible :

Swarms of Jellyfish - both ships run through a sea clouded with swarms of poisonous jellyfish, which the waves might deposit on deck (reflex saves to dodge), and inundate the deck with poisonous gloob - hampering manouevres. Unless they get rinsed off, but until then, moving over the deck will be perilious.

Sudden Gust : a sudden squall tears out your sails, and leans the ship over far too much to leeward. Crew possibly drops from the rigging (if unsecured... but why would they be ? . ok, now they are dangling from the yardarms on their safety lines), ship speed slows and now you have whipping tendrils of sail and loose sheets flinging about to bother you too. Did someone mention propulsion being affected ?

Unexpected reef/rocks. Hard to spot ridge of underwater stone juts u (intermittedly) from the sea. Serious perception to spot it and a possible gap in time. Fully apply penalties to spot rolls for anyone on the afterdeck, so a bowbound-watcher might be a wise idea. Just remember -1 to perception/10' of distance... the average ship is about 100-120 feet long, and the object is hopefully NOT yet under the bow, right ?

Shearing off the bowsprit : Freak wave hits the tip of the bowsprit or it gets broken off in a freak wave the ship does not climb swift enough (much easier to happen to smaller vessels). Profession sailor chaecks maybe in order. Quick retrimming of the rigging and profession shipwright to shore up the damage.

Bad omen ? Harsh battering of the bow takes it's toll, your bowhead-figurine is smashed to pieces or threatens to drop into the sea... VERY BAD MOJO that, so the crew jumps to saving it, leaving their main jobs uncared for... or if commanded to stay on their posts, there might a strong morale penalty incoming

Battleflag in tatters : your Skulls and Shackles/crimson (whatever) gets torn to shreds by the constant battering. THIS IS THE BANNER YOU FIGHT UNDER !!! Serious climbing to save it, or experience a solid drop in morales.

Any mast in a storm : A confused and exhausted wyvern decides your mastip is the safest place to rest in the storm and now clings precariously to your topyard..... of course offsetting the carefully balanced ship /(center of gravity and center of trim) by adding a ton of wyvern to the masttop. Get rid of the damn thing before she capsizes us ! (and yes, missile fire seems counterprodutive in the high winds )

hope some of these help with alternative encounters ?

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Maybe take a look at the Legacy of Fire AP (And some NPCs of RotR, part 1) , where there actually are some lamshtuan worshippers and some hints as to kust how the proceed (regarding fleshwarping) in their cultish ways.

Generally : if they can get away with it, the Grindylows will attempt to create new monstrous mothers, by impregnating females with more revulsive bloodlines (which might make the payers fidget or revolted, depending upon temper. It should certainly affect female NPCs ). Or even wish for the party's females to participate in the "act of creation". Tripanation for gaining the Third Eye i also is a fun staple of the cult (and I had wondered why it was not practised on the Grindylow Queen, as a priest)

Also, if the players sail into smaller harbours or coastal places, the Grindylows might see this as wonderful opportunity to raise some hell, capture more viable females and cause general chaos (and demonstrate how the players as their mighty guardians support them !).

Overall : many females on board (Rosie, Sandara etc.) should be more than spooked (or as in the case of Besmara, even antagonized) , since the Lamashtuans will basically regard them as breeeding mares or whatever term you use. This may very well lead to mutiny or sailing of with the unlucky ship while the characters are onshore . Hopefully on some unsettled and dangerous island.

Lamashtu's cults are pretty proactive, and will try to enact their ways of seeing the world on others. Which might not be to many females liking. Unless they are utterly and raving mad. Nevermind that many people do not really like strange religions intruding on their life.

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38. Riceboat : after the last battle and possibly a sub-surface hit (or a reef, sabotage or collison with a semi-sunken object), the bilge stays oddly dry..
...which is due to the ever expanding load of rice (which might be a nice "wholesome" bit of plunder from a local trader) , threatening to burst the ships hold, spars and planking. Nevermind the ship slowly taking on water and becoming ever more sluggish and dipping towards the bow/stern. Get rid of the swelling rice fast (if you realize what is happening ) or ground the ship on a nearby beach for repairs.
[ stolen straight from the Hornblower series, but has happened in reality ]

39. Gnomish powder : Useful only if cannons are being used - the last patch of gunpowder was either a "big mistake" (which might explain the bargain price you got for it) or simply meant for something else. The fireworks are wonderful, but what about the pink and cloudy smoke ? or the screeching noise when it burns off ?
Then again, the powder may be stronger than expected possibly bursting the cannon barrels.... It also might reflect badly on the reputation, being known as the captain of the "pink broadsides".
(stolen from some historical naval fiction, this actually seems to have happened according to the author)

40. Lightning Strikes ! : In the midst of a sudden squall, lightning strikes the top of the mainmast, electrifying everything on it and possibly toppling some crew out of it, possibly into the churning waves. Afterwards, the mast chains are creaking as the deadbolts they are anchored to, have burned through the surrounding wood and are shaking lose.
Heave over or lose the mast, which again might crash into the ship's side and smash at least the gunwhale. But wait aren't those chains on the other bow not burned as well ?
Time for the master carpenter to show his/her skills to keep the ship together. Nevermind caring for every soul who was in the mast when the lightning struck (burned or drowning) and sailing the ship with a diminished crew.
(taken from RL experience. Also take note that lightning rods are a very recent innovation and only entered naval outfittib in the later 19th century)

41. Cannonballs : yes, these are pretty round and awfully heavy. So please store them carefully ( Pirates are well known to be careful, right^^), or they might start rolling through the ship in heavy seas. Now imagine what a couple of bowlingball-weight but definitely smaller objects can smash ? Anything on the decks will be "fair game" - including player legs, equipment, seachests, barrels or even fragile cargo (like those wonderful TianXan Ming Vases you stole of the last merchant...). Or imagine a 12 pound cannonball suddenly drop down one or two decks through a hatch during rough seas ? This of course can be topped by an improperly towed cannon (which weighs everal hundreds or thousands of pounds ) [ myplayers actually nailed buckets to the decks to store the cannonballs ]

42. Snakes on a Ship : Your last harbour stop provided you with some unexpected animal guests, having climbed up your mooring cable or the hawsers binding you to the docks...who are now lurking in the dark places like the keel-up dinghies and come out to hunt at night. Yes there are rats (or the ship's cat, or Beezlebub ) to munch on. Good luck looking for them, as nobody seems keen to get poisoned. Say it is awfully comfortable to stow away in a soft coat or garment... or tack of sail, or behind the kitchen's firewood... Now doesn't that rope-end look suspicious ?

43. Fumigation : something has burned in the kitchen (or even worse, an Alchemists lab) and suddenly everything below decks is filled by acrid smoke and possibly dangerous flames. Fried calamari or mussles are a wonderful source for this...
.. on the other hand fumigation might be necessary because the ship has become infected with fleas, ticks or really wicked lice.

44. Heave over : works best on a schooner, brig or other ship with a large fore-and-aft sail, and a lower supporting beam ( not the gaff, the beam !). Someone shirked on the lanyard, and as the heave over commence, the mainsail beam swings over the deck down low like a titansized scythe or a great wyrm's tail. Everyone roll for reflex saves or be struck down/dumb and/or beheaded. Also your steering wheel might be in the way of the massive beam
(PS happens all the time, if people are careless)

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Kirth Gersen wrote:
The DM straight-up destroyed that campaign himself by intentionally destroying the players' trust -- as cited, he/she did everything possible to lead the players to believe that a double standard was being followed. Instead of smiling and saying nothing (easily interpreted as smugly basking in your own transgressions while smirking at them to rub it in), the DM could have simply said something like, "Yes -- there's obviously something going on that your characters are not aware of," and thereby prevented the whole meltdown. Lack of communication isn't cute, especially if it destroys the players' trust in you and wrecks the campaign. Unless that was the DM's goal?

Don't think so.

The GM has to tell the player what they are seeing and he is not (NOT) the players all-knowing source that has to tell them the inner workings of the campaign. He is the players EYES on the campaign (and said friend is of the talkative sort, I am pretty sure he sufficiently depicted the situation ), but he cannot be their UNDERSTANDING or RECOGNITION of what they are seeing.
If the GM explains that what they see is impossible by the rules as stand and agreed upon... yeah. Should he raise the "IT'S A TRICK" flag next ? *facepalm*

Or having himself blackmailed by players threatening to resign just so they get to know what actually happened right at that moment ?

If the players act dumbly and get everything explained, what do they actually need experience, skill or even abilities for ? Or their brains ?

But yeah, some people seem to think that everything, always and every time is the GM's fault. IMHO usually the one's more interested in roll-playing over role-playing, but some people are just unhappy if an NPC does something unpredictable. Or getting outsmarted by a lowly NPC because they rely on the fact that THEY are supposedly the heroes.

Oh and nevermind, the players' actually benefited from the illusion, AFAIK.

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Gnomezrule wrote:
Where do I have to move to be at your table Vikingson.

Probably 20 years back in time and kill one of the current people/players ?

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ciretose wrote:

I think to often weird exceptionalism is used as a crutch. It it intended to show how "creative" someone is, when in fact I think it demonstrates the opposite.

Wanting to play something strange right out of the gate with no context is a big red flag to me.

@trying to keep this on the original track (yeah, probably hopeless !)

Besides breaking possible campaign parameters, has anyone ever considered that other players actually have to play alongside your character (and supposedly have fun too ) ?
Their concept of "adequate" "reasonable" or "cute" might arguably vary.

Nevermind that non-powergaming exotics commonly are a cheap grasp for the social limelight e.g. "see how cute I am" or watch me, deeply awed, looking awesome !" (or totally avoiding all roleplaying scenes, by creeping in the shadows for being "unaccepted" by faux-medieval society), but not necessarily for an overall enjoyment at the table.

personally : i'd like to see the awakenend sentient mud-geyser in a scene involving the local powers court^^ (once)

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MrSin wrote:

Depends on the orc village? Its not impossible there's an odd family out or an adopted member. Heck, its a trait. Its not that unreasonable. In any game I run its unreasonable that anything is 100%. The evil society is 100% NE, and the orc village isn't 100% orc(they might have a goblin!).

There doesn't have to be sweeping changes unless the orcs have a 'we eat all elves' policy or something.

Oh yeah let's play stochastics. Nothing is 100%. But the extremely minuscule chance that there may be life in the corona of a star, does not mean it has to be permitted in a campaign. There is a point where stochastic improbabilty is not deemed relevant anymore even in hard science..

Yes, there MAYBE a tribe out there who will not eat the elf etc etc etc. Maybe they will initiate a human into the deeper mysteries of Orc Shamanism etc (looking at all the Orcish Witchdoctor human "raised ouside the race" guys here ).
If a player absolutely insists on it, let him/her run the campaign and deal with the follow-up consequences.

Because Creativity and long-term viability are two entirely different concepts.

And what is fine for the player to argue - is much more work for the GM to implement.
Nevermind it setting a precedent for the next utterly absurd character concept someone wants to implement ("yeah, you allowed the half-drider, now please allow me my orca-lycanthrope Half-giant Oread... *pretty please") .
Friend of mine build an entire subcontinent's racial structure and realms, invented a sub-race and re-worked several dieties to implement such a character. Say, around 30 man hours of work
Yes, he was pretty smitten with the player.

Yet, as he admits, nowadays, the character was the same typecast, skillset, powers qnd personality she has always been playing, so basically she could have cloned her old character(s), repainted, restoried, re-explained. Neither the player nor the world profited.

The player just needed something "special", e.g. fancy racial clothing, for vanity's sake.

The GM spend 30 hours to rework his world for it.

Besides :
For myself IMHO, what makes a character interesting is how it is played, not what a board thinks makes it more powerful or "flavour of the moment", how much of an odd-ball menagerie it is and how positively broken the rules for it are. Just my take.

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35a Wake me up : something is following the ship, its darker shadow being visible mostly at night in the luminiescence of the ship's wake.... Was that glance at tentcle or barbed fins ? Are those perhaps huge and luminscient eyes reflecting the light from the taffrail lanterns ?
Unfortunately...now something has happened to the lower pintel/pinnion of the rudder. So who is going to volunteer and check from below the surface ?

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reminder to self... never type anything lengthy on your pad^^

Last thought though : have the battle commence at night !

Any ship in tropical waters will be nicely outlined by phosporecent foam in and of the wake, while the monster at best will be a dark shadow somewhere out there. Not sure whether Darkvision breaks through the surfac of the ocean (it does not for us), so spotting and boradising stuff, in the darkness... will take som planning (such as an illuminated barbed harpoon ). even then Monsters will benefit from concealment and potentially cover (under the surface).

Darkness is the enemy - or in the words from a friends campaign

Lookout : "breakers breakers I am spotting breakers"
XO (panicky) "Where ?"
Lookout : "underneath the bow !!!"

if it works for reefs, it sould work for sea serpents as well^^

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18. Rotten barrels : foodstuff is commonly enclosed in barrels - but some stupid git banded impromperly sealed barrelhoops. Loud bursting from the bilges as the barrels expand (explosively) possibly setting up a chain reaction.

19. Slide me sideways : In the after-battle celebrations some of the heavier booty was improperly stored and stowed (some knots not up to snuff ?). Come the next storm, the plunder starts sliding to lee, threatening to topple the ship. Who is man enough to haul the five tons of cargo to windward and properly tie it down ? Broken bones and bruises are a must.

20. Bilge pump broken : The chain pump from the bilge suffers from mechanical breakdown. At best, in a storm, when the cranking and yawing ship is springing seams anyway, and water from above is seeping through cracks in the deck, nevermind the hatches. Go and repair it while the ship is slowly taking on water

21. Anchoring cable (a 3" hawser) suffers from rot after years of lacklustre maintenance (it's a very dirty job) , and needs to be re-spliced... right ? A few hundred man hours of work, before the ship can drop her anchor... or risk loosing the heavy implement to the next bank of corrals.

22. We are way of North : someone or something mistreated the compass ( placed a loadstone nearby, or simply put a chest of iron some feet away ?) and the compass shows the wrong course. Possibly for days and in bad weather where astronomical observation is off and one has to guesstimate the position. Superior navigation rolls to realize the danger... which is either of hitting a reef, the wrong coast, the Empty Trackless Seas or accidentally sailing into the Chelish fleet (or the Eye )... nevemind trying to reset the compass... on the open seas !

23. The grog has turned me blind : buying or stealing inferior distilled rum (or other strong spirits) , has led to the crew guzzling methanol enriched Brandy. Suddenly parts of the crew go blind... so what's to do ?

24. Windlass breaks : The one essential working tool aboard suffers from mechanical breakdown or even destructive failure. No more lowering the boats (which weigh near a ton ), no more hauling anchor, even moving the mainsails may turn very difficult on certain ships. Sabotage ? Old Ship ? Bad Maintenance ?

25. "oh my god, it's full of worms !": One of the barrels plundered from the last ship is full of magggots... (let's hope you did not get sold this stuff in the last harbour !) no it is Rot Grubs, even enough for a swarm !... Happy hunting below-decks, with fire being absolutely out of the question !

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Seamonsters use the ocean as a 3D battlefield. Surges from below (int the ships hull) should usually come as a surprise - unless the players have some sort of sonar - limiting the actions to be takn. Also attacks shoul not usually ome happily stupid from the sides of the ship (so a broadside can be fired), but quie posibly from the ship's wake, as the monster trails the ship.

Shoing theough your capatains cabin : not advised. Hurling stones though your own rigging : inadvisable as well. Catapults mostly if ever workrd well on galleys. And indirt fire-weapons like Mortars were mounted on specialized ships without a foremast which might get in the way...

Also take into account the reason for the monster attacking : snatch, and grabbing some on-the-swim food ( picked up from the quarterdeck), fending off the Intruder to their haunts (say ships and dragon turtles) which might lead to prolonged battles until one or the other is destroyed/crippled etc. Have seaserpents and other predators with breath weapons stay submerged until these are ready, then blast the ships (the heroes might survive, the guncrews... unlikely ). Do they tcually want the treasure aboard (easier to snath underwater anyway) or a sort of come as-you-are buffet ?

If they are smart, they might snatch at (and bite through) the rigging, then dive again. Enough bites = crippled ship. Or pick off the steering crew which is likely to be exposed on the quarterdeck...

besides : monsters charging a ship might well do so just under the surface (looking at Pacific Rim and Gozilla for imagery), gaining nice cover from the waves running over them and enever forget - a ship reaches well down into the water, to a depth of 15'-to 20' trying to stove in or overturn the vessel ? Congratulations - you now have a door sized leak in the side of your vessel... flooding ! Makes you wonder whether the crew will stay at their weapons or make for the lifeboats. Or stay in the shaking and slowly leaning masttops

Kraken etc might attack to grab from below an are smart enough to hang to only one side of the vessel and dive quickly (capsizing it). Once the ballast drops (at an angle of more than 80° - yes, the ballast is fairly loose, for trimming purposes ) , there will hardly ever be a good chance to right the vessel ever again, especially since now water is rushing in through the gunwhales, scuppers and open hatches

And as even a lot of fish are smart enough to simply bite off the fins of an enemy fish....why not have them bite/rip off parts of the ruder, making the vessel unmanoueverable ? Or chop through the anchoring hawser and wait until the clueless/crewless vessel finds itself as easy picking on a reef/sandbank

Perhaps also start out smaller with monsters attacking the lifeboats, then upgrade from there ?

Enough nasty ideas ?

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Friend who played the path became chef simply by owning a cookbook and collection of weird recipes.
Actually that was his "hidden" spellbook the GM had demanded that he should use some method to hide his obviously valuable spellbook. The player went into full long John-Silver-mode^^

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Belle Mythix wrote:

Doing the 'necessary' chaotic and evil thing the society 'needs' so other don't have to?

"necessary" sounds very lawful in this context. The need of others (society)....

But yeah, what would JJ's take on lawful vs chaotic be ?

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Uri Meca wrote:
vikingson wrote:
While I find the post about the two monks "breezing" rather astounding,

If one of those 2 monks is the one in my campaign, well, let me assure you that "breezing" would only be a very selective account of his experience so far.

No, I was thinking more along the lines of the two monks who saved against everything, killed Scourge and replaced Plugg smashing up the APs start

BUT watching your avatar, I guess at a certain fondness for monks ?

Uri Meca wrote:

vikingson wrote:
...being constantly reminded by their dead gnome friend's charcoaled corpse still dangling from the foremast.

Heh, nice touch. :]

Was a mean reply to the players who for years have been claiming "thieves prosper"...

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Gnomezrule wrote:
Han smuggled goods for Jabba he had to return with the goods or aftrer delivery to get paid. Jabba was based in the outer rim (lawless pirate region). But made money on the black market by having mules like Han.

I am not sure whether I would take Star Wars as a realistic assessment of smuggling practises or methods^^ Or the SW Outer Rim as "pirate" territory, just because it was not an official part of the Empire

And should smugglers run traffic from the Shackles into the Inner Sea regions, there is basically too much coastline to land stuff "out of sight" and off the record... Nevermind smuggling usually involving small and mobile ships which are rarely a good choice for long distance travel etc.. Nevermind pasisng through the pretty well controlled Arch of Aroden.

But that would be realism vs. player desired playing style.

Smuggling is very much a trope (from a lot of romantic 19th century stories) and usually the best way to hide stuff is in plain sight.

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Belamorte wrote:

Example and this is an example and not in the book so I don't spoil it for people, but enough people should know what really happens here... the rogue early on decides to search the captian's quarters which happens to be locked and trapped. The trap was missed do to the high DC and he takes massive damage from a spear through his chest and poison damage on top of it so he dies immediately.

Yeah, so what ? we lost a character on the second session opening another door on the ship

, the one of Peppery's lab
and died instantly due to the high shock damage.

Players' took it in stride , replaced him from with the friends they had made in crew. They went about "Plundering" the ship far more carefully ever after - being constantly reminded by their dead gnome friend's charcoaled corpse still dangling from the foremast.

The adventure is definitely supposed to be deadly, too deadly even. While I find the post about the two monks "breezing" rather astounding, I wonder what will happen to them when meeting

the infamous mosquito swarms or the Giant Moray Eel in the Infernus wreck

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molten_dragon wrote:

The captain paid to have Agasta resurrected, but she told him in no uncertain terms that her being tortured to death was completely his fault, and since they had married 'til death do us part', they were no longer married, and she wanted them all off her island.

Excellent take on the marriage clause

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mplindustries wrote:
vikingson wrote:
Besides : if single guards were utterly useless, who would even accept the job ? I mean, you don't post guards for them to be mobile targets, right ?

This is exactly the problem I was getting at.

In real life, if you sneak up on a guard, you can kill him in one hit with a weapon--weapons are deadly, killing people is what they are for and they are good at it. Guards are just people and not capable of taking a sword blow they don't see coming any better or worse than any other person. The actual benefits of a guard in real life are intimidation and noticing stuff. In real life, killing the guy is the easy part and sneaking up on him is the hard one.

Seeing a single guard in a roleplaying game tells me one of three things

A) cheapskate boss


B) incompetent boss (either of these may have been heard of before)


C) "It's a trap !!" (bait, illusion, very competent guy who actually has a fair chance to see the player approaching )

Nevermind that actually NOISELESSLY killing someone in a single stab/blow is not quite as easy (and requires some intense training - an old friend from school days who went parachutist with the local army's scouting unit, demonstrated some of this on a trip home) as movies and literary tropes make it look. Especially not a guy in armour. And I have yet to read/watch a rogue (not ninja) training school practising one-hit take downs in fiction or movies (outside of Scott Lynch's trick-thief school) for their young recruits.

Medieval weapons are not good at killing people : using them effectively is what kills people, which requires time and practise. Try taking some fencing lessons^^

just my take

Besides if HitPoints work for the benefit of players (usually), NPCs might have the benefits of them as well ?

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Vincent Takeda wrote:

I agree. GM's become better by being forced to improvise... It's why I always recommend taking whatever the players throw at you... If they're all in agreement about what they want to play and you want to be a gm.... GM what they want to play... Even if it's not what you want to play... Like Kirth says. Take it as a chance to stretch your limits, step out of your comfort zone and see if you can...

hmm, seems to me like a limited (and possibly self-serving - pardon me for being a cynic ?) view. I have played in some "free-forming" campaigns, which usually turned into straight chaos after a couple of sessions, because there was neither a straight or consistent plot and every player was chasing their individually different but incompatible goals. Yes as a player I got some inspiration that way, but usually the whole thing turned mostly to an individualistic " I trump you !" slugfest.

As for "GM's get better"... yeah only within a limited scope. GMs usually are better at improvisiing within a scene, but not through fiddling with the basic (and sensible) superstructure of the world.

One might also try to tae into account that there ARE players who actually prefer a structured setting. Sometimes they even have a long term story setup for their character, and really mind whether someone wrecks the game for them because the GM is "forcefully demanded" to change his tune and allow another player more elbow space and breaking of ingame fundamentals

They might even be sitting right beside you. Or in the next group you join.

Last but not least, as a player, you usually do have less insights in why some stuff in a campaign runs "this" way, and not in another.

Famous example from an old friends group : Player watched an NPC do something incredible and immediately started to protest "that said action" was impossible.
GM just smiled and repeated what they had seen.
Player wanted, nigh insisted, to do the same, GM refused and claimed that it was impossible by the rules as set for the campaign. Player quoted "rules apply to everyone"... Big row developed, broke the until then quite legendary campaign. The group never played again.
GM told me "the impossibility of said action basically was THE clue for the players that they were watching an illusion".... *shrug*

So, at times, trust your GM that his concept for the campaign (which might include NO ELVES or NO KITSUNE ) has some merit, and that forbidding you your inspired whims may have some long-lasting benefits ?

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For one thing : if it all comes down to random bad luck (and a good plan) I might change things. That being said, I'd actually have the guard "roll" a low-initiative and give the rogue a chance to stab him again (flatfooted), which should do the job. Keeps the story intact, provides a moment of tension, makes the rogue's player wishing for a more experienced character (and the next level)....

On the other hand : level 2 chars usually should realize that they are "newbs" in the greater game, with only a little experience and failure should still be an option to be planned for.

Besides : if single guards were utterly useless, who would even accept the job ? I mean, you don't post guards for them to be mobile targets, right ?

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Ravingdork wrote:
Where does one draw the line? Why the double standard?

Two reasons which (IMHO ) should rule on that

A) the GM is trying to further the story for the enjoyment of all. He is placing opposition, obstacles and enviroment by his own arbitrary will. He can simply batter you to detah by tailoring the world and environment against you. Hence I am certain the designer does not need to fear the player/PC. Only if he is unwilling to adapt, or chang the basic rules of his world

Nevermind that special and rules-inconsistent entities and effects make the world/setting more uncertain and threatening

B) one should neer really try to outtrump all the other players at the table, My charactr is better faster nicer etc... For one, it is a cooperative game. Second, if the GM is only semi-creative, he will find a way to eliminate the offendig character. Immortal players get entrapped, turned to stone whatever. Often enough by the other players who are usualy not there to cheer(lead) on one of them, but want some distinctive part of the campaign.
Well, if one cannot be a team player, it might either be the wrong team, or one is incapable of fitting into some surroundings.

c) Many GMs do not actually love to spend dozens of hours adapting a story to the specific outlandish needs of one PC. they have other stuff to do, and may want to lavish some attention on other players, too.

They actually love having their thorough campaign concept wrecked by some outlandish ploy even less, though. Since the outlandish concept is wreckig the fun for everyone who might have signed up for the plot/story. Except of course the "creative" player.

D) rules as written are fine, but basically not more than a guideline. I am pretty certain, that esigners at Paizo are pretty roficient, but they are not divinely omniscient. Hence the rules cannot apply to everything. Any setting as written and played is the GMs hometurf, and breaking it... I can also envision a certain protectiveness.

E) And pardon me being blunt : Is possible vanity a problem here ? Trying to trump the GM and "knowing the stuff better than she/he" does ?
I sincerly hope not

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you are aware that the HNSA manual is from 1883/1891 ?
Which means, it deals with an entirely different generation of ships, especially since at that time structural strength and integrity is massively increased by switching the building material to iron/steel plates, same for the masts, spars, frames and bulkheads.... Different masts, different sailing plans (easier to raise/maintain stabilizing sails), differing winches and power-management aboard the ship (like modern winches instead of a windlass ).

Which means tower and towed ships act under entirely different parameters. We are talking wooden ducklings (16th-17th century), not fully fledged (steel-built)geese^^

Besides the entire text is limited to carrying over the hawser (and a plurality of hawsers for a rudderless ship), not about actually towing. the reality of towed vessels (e.g. post-trafalgar) is telling

And a towed merchant vessel is not a dinghy being pulled after a yacht... just saying.

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BzAli wrote:
I'm planning for military ships in my campaign to have a onboard ships wizard, specialized in counterspelling.

works only if

a) the wizard can see the spell coming (meet the caster with "Vanish" and casting from an unexpected angle )
b) stuff like illusions etc. are heinously difficult to counterspell

c) have fun with summoned creatures.

d) face spells not in your repertoire (rain of frogs on the afterdeck)

Fireball first, Fireball last, I guess^^

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Summoner : broken. That truth has been out since the APG and Ultimate Magic were in print. Even the managment (ahem JJ ) agrees to that

Human taking a dedicated Orc Witch class simply though a freaking trait ? Honestly I don't care what a lot of the people on the forum claim that trait does ( I have MASSIVE doubts about it ), that is a broken claim almost on the level of the summoner .
Nevermind anything like a good backstory for that character,... oh us Orcs trained the young and puny human as a most cherished witch doctor.. and the Orcs patrons choose him as one of their agents! /irony off

Power attacking Samurai - is this pirates of the Tian Seas ? Nevermind character description like honor....

That is 3/4 rather broken/badly fitted concepts in one book

The crew composition is what really happens if one lets the players play "whatever you like", without regard to any backstory.

And stuff like that breaks the game - Usually a surefire way to kill the longterm enjoyment at the table.

Besides :
Learn/try to hit them with stuff that they cannot resist, but obstructs them. Sight obstructions, webbing their ship (and its steering), take the environment into account. Hit their ship with fire and use pyrotechnics on that. Use some guys with aim actions to help fire that Ballista for more effect. Use webs/nets/tanglefoot bags, use silence (on said tanglefoot bags)

And IF you are loath to elminate the broken concepts... well, hit them the same stuff and go ALL OUT .
Welcome to scarred "Hellknight" Havish, of "Orcish" ancestry and his two younger brothers..... Or don't you think the chellish cannot get hold of a master summoner ? Or a Druid summoning a fire elemental into the PCs rigging ? Or a water elemental tearing off their rudder ?

Last : the ship to ship combats are pushovers (from the PCs point of view).

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Coriat wrote:
There follows several pages of description of just how it was done, but the point is yes, it seems to have been quite possible even over long distances.

If both ships have nearly full crews for sailing and helping the tow. Which would be rare if one has recently been raided by pirates.

In medium winds. After Trafalgar a great part of the towed fleet was abandoned, or sank ( after parting cable ) when the winds increased, others were lost because of combat actions.

yes it can be done. In a dire emergency and/or for a very valuable and crewed prize.

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don't know about "god-moding"

Some gaming and setup preliminaries are a given, like "you meet in a tavern" or that most players are currently free of most other obligations (and willing to travel ).
Like everyone in a group knowing a certain local mobster (a noble-born in said campaign violently disagreed on knowing anyone in that vein... so a new character was needed ) .

...or like waking up, slowly detoxicating on a pirate ship ?

Because those setups lead you to having everyone in one place, with a likely common purpose and an incentive to adventure.

Friend of mine had his "pirates" start on another pirate ship, smack in the middle of a losing fight against overwhelming Chelian forces. The characters could retreat to the longboat and escape, or face utter doom with the remaining crew. Those Scurvy PC dogs leapt and escaped (and started the rest of the AP, being picked up by Harrigan and "instant-recruited").

One can setup a situation and lead the characters into the adventre, or leave everything to chance like the OP did, and then look in desperation at the wreckage.

All of that being said :
2x first or second level monks beating down a a CR4 and CR3 opponent, plus additional forces, in a barfight and being seated due to drinking ?

Whatever their scores or extensive GM-goodwill, that sounds massively unlikely to me.
Nevermind monks fitting said AP as badly as Ninjas or Samurais. But well to each his own...

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Set wrote:
vikingson wrote:
And how do Goblin alchemists deal with recipes ? A series of pictograms ? one large illustrated schemata ? Or do... goblins, just have an incredibly detailed memory ( beggar the thought ) ?

Scratch-n-sniff recipe books.

"Now there's a yellow blob." <lick> "Blech! Tastes like sulphur! A pinch of sulphur. And next, three lines of something green." <sniff> "Metal." <taste> "Copper! Three pinches of powdered copper!"

That sounds like a harsh apprenticeship... Let's not try any recipes with poisonous stuff. hmm, this bluish stuff...oh cyanide ! (keels over)

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
simon hacker wrote:
Anyone comes seeking revenge they will have a hard time of it if you are holed up within (its the stairs inside that give the advantage, 2 ways in through the frontdoor and up a small ladder or through the roof, once you play out the assault you relise how effctive it is, The buccaneers in my game just ended up as piles of bodeis at the base of the ladder).

Well someone might just decide to

a) destroy the tower with a Trebuchet/Catapult fire. smash the foundation, watch it lean over, sift through the ruins.
b) blast the front door, than set alight some oil/combustibles (say, like the tar used for caulking and fixing ships) afire inside, and smoke everyone out. Or having the towers interior catch fire - wooden floors and all, since it will admirably work like a chimney...
c) simply blockade the tower, easy since there is no wildlife or foodsource ( gardens outside, seven (!) goats.. no water inside the tower on the isle and have the characters die from hunger

the whole "the tower is hard to crack" scenario is just nonsense from a more realistic point of view *shrug*

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Towing :

Very hard with sailing ships, since basically the towed ship acts like a sea anchor, espeially if of larger size and displacment than the pirate ship (which is usually sleeker and lighter than its prey.

Sailed towing was in RL used almost exclusively to prevent a dismasted ship from slipping to leeward (usually towards a reef or shoreline) to prevent wrecking the valuable vessel. Which was later re-rigged, even if only provisionally, to gain some sail speed of its own.

Most towing was done by lifeboats being rowed

Sideways drift of the towed verhicle would be massive, draging the towing vessel constantly to leeward. Less forward movement but constant sideways drift.

Tacking would become difficult, not because of the angles on the tacks, but simply the slower speed would mean greater drift to lee, and less way made good to windward. Square riggers tacked poorly in the first place, and towing would make it almost impossible.

I'd half the towing ship's speed and consider it becalmed in anything of beaufort 3 or less. Halved speed above that. No way to tack closer to the wind than say 80° (7 points) on the compass. And each and every tack would put strain on the tower, with the towline going slack, then going stiff when maximum extension is reached - probably so, at an awkward angle.

There is also the major problem of stopping a towed ship, since you normally need to use the wind to absorb the vessels inertia. Going "in irons" - by turning the ship into the wind, and backing the sails to stop. Impossible with a towed craft.

Towlines are a major problem, as is anchoring them, without ruining the trim of the towing vessel (tugboats have their towing hook midships - pretty difficult on a man o war with the raised sterncastle. One will also need serious amounts of strong cordage... say a 3"+ hemper (one may use the anchor cable, but that may likely prove to short ) of sufficient length.

Also the towed ship would either roll and yaw (due to not having sails set, which actually stabilize it through pressure from the wind ) or need a minimum crew to keep enough sails raised to stabilize it. A constantly rolling ship, loaded with cargo will have a good chance to burst a seam from the persistent strain, and hence take on water, sinking slowly.

Just speaking from experience with some smaller square riggers and yachts, plus some book-gained experience on the matter. No naval engineer, but 30+ years of maritime sailing.

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James Jacobs wrote:
Belle Mythix wrote:
Goblins don't want to learn how to write in fear of losing their souls, or worst... Could some of them reverse the idea and go: "If we read this, we might get the writer soul/powers/etc." ?

Some could, but that would make them the Einstin or Shakespeare of goblindom. AKA: this is a once a century (if that) special goblin.

Either that, or you just change the way goblins work in your world. Both are legit options.

So a goblin witch would face some real difficulty teaching her familiar spells, or is it ok for the familiar to munch/consume the scroll (seems a bit too high-brained for goblins...but) ?

And how do Goblin alchemists deal with recipes ? A series of pictograms ? one large illustrated schemata ? Or do... goblins, just have an incredibly detailed memory ( beggar the thought ) ?

Last : are Goblin by default immune to Snake Sigil and possibly Explosive Runes ?

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

1) a) Any chance for Lovecraftian Deep Ones in the near future ?

b) Or are they under copyright protection and not in the public domain ? And hence, us players be forced to "Houserule-create" them ?

2) Looking at Galt : It seems to be locked in a post-renaissance republican Revolution espousing certain non-monarchy ideals (and a lot of wonderfully terrible means to make things turn BAD ).... Does paizo/JJ have any idea of how widely known said ideals are/have spread ? And how do they effect Molthune, Andoran or Taldor ?

b) any plans on the part of Cheliax or Molthune to gobble up the distraught realm through military means ?

3)With hobgoblins usually viewed as well-organized and militarized : where should we look for Hobgoblin realms ? I canT really remember much about them in APs or otherwise but for turning up

in the Skulls and Shackles AP with a Drakkar

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FrankManic wrote:

I've been working on this.

Military ships solve the fireball problem by having hoardings they throw up along the entire length of both decks. The front facing is covered in cloth or some such and soaked through with sea water prior to combat. Thus the crew is in cover during most of the approach, firing arabalest and hand gonnes through covered ports.

Right.... Let me offer some criticism or pointed questions :

Now, how does anyone cover up the exposed rigging (sails, hempen-ropes covered with tar or oils for conservation, dried out wood )? Burning cordage, sails and spars dropping onto the deck will readily turn stuff into buring stuff (especially if the crew is carrying rockets etc^^). And without rigging.. not much movement anymore ?

Also putting up a (wet !) tent on deck will
a) make sailing like actually trimming the sails, shifting the sheets and other "need to see the rigging" work nigh impossible. Where is our topsail at ? Why are we drifting to leeward ?
b) will massively affect the trim and sailing ability of any ship. Try setting a bimini sail in any kind of wind beyond Beaufort 3 ?
c) not really helpful if anyone is smart enough to "bomb" the bowsprite with its sails and rigging, and has the flames racing backwards through the ship. Which again, is likely a massive pyre with dry wood, lots of tar and oakum caulkings, lacquered wood.... Same goes for masttops.

Wooden ships will burn, if you keep angling that way.....

FrankManic wrote:

Catapults and siege engines are used to make high angle attacks and are fitted out with all kinds of exotic munitions - fire, explosive, bolts that summon critters. Other kinds of torsion weapons are used. A Polybolos is a variation on a ballista that uses a chain drive attached to a windlass to create a semi automatic ballista. The windlass is operated constantly by several men and bolts are fed in while the weapon recharges. The rate of fire is considerable. ...

uhh, Mythbusters ? A Polybolos is difficult to maintain, difficult to build (accuracy issues for the chainlink, mechanism; Modern cutting tools and metalworking is a 18th-19th century invention : required and made possible by steam engines) , and keep a huge supply of ballista bolts ready (many of those fired will drop in the sea, others will be bend and splintered ). 10gp each, 10 pounds each. Stocking up on those will seriously carve into one's plunder. If anyone actually takes stock of the ammunition.... It is also doubtful if an actual Polybolos was build befor ethe 19th century.

besides, crew will have fun "derusting" the ballista's component or keeping it well oiled. There is a very good reason why ship cannons where done in bronze^^. I would also like to see the Polybolos ballista in action and reloading on a swerving and rocking ship in any kind of waves ?

As a hint for "swarm-missiles" try hurling rotgrubs in slabs of meat^^ Aquatic snakes suspended in Saltwater (funneled in just before firing) should also work well. But an amphora filled with wax or strong alcohol with a fuse is far more efficient (even if the ship is fireproof, usually the crew is not !). And there we are, back at burning things btw, how much does special catapult ammunition cost ? In comparison to scrolls....

FrankManic wrote:

Rockets are also used. IRL military rockets have been in use continually for more than a thousand years. In Golarion various sizes are utlized and many ships that can...

You are hopefully aware that "Military rockets" have neither been accurate enough, nevermind sufficiently destructive , for any kind of - other than morale - battlefield use until WW II ? Since you are quoting RL.

And even then, in the 20th century, it took some cutting edge pioneering use of radio guided bombs (German), Salvo Fire (USSR) or sub-surface mortaring (UK "Hedgehog" system ) for any useful results ?

Also : rockets' firetrails (aka "backblast") is a fantastically efficient way to set fire to your own vessel.

And I just don't see what all of these stuff will do, that a couple of cheaply produced Fireball scrolls cannot top ? In an emergency substitute Acid for Fire. Cover you ship with Silent Images or better Illusions

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