BruteSquad07's first CotCT Campaign [Spoilers]

Curse of the Crimson Throne

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Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Several Weeks ago we began the Curse of the Crimson Throne AP. We meet roughly every other week, give or take for family, holidays and such. The group's core have been playing together for over 2 years now. Two new players to the group were added this past weekend. I will give you the Gist of the rules we are using in this post and the character builds in the next.

Rules: We have as a group agreed to focus on the PF Beta. We are using a few spells from the Spell Compendium, and we have looked, but not touched, at feats, classes and spells from other splat books.

I use a house rule system I call Fate Points. With FP's you can improve your character and in the heat of battle make some adjustments to whats going on, such as by making a reroll (either your own or someone else's). Also with a Fate Point you can Stabilize yourself or someone else. It allows me as a DM to put the decision of Character death in the hand of the player, not on me, or the Dice. There have always been enough fate points at the table that no one has "had" to die. In campaigns past, several Characters have died at my table, but only by a matter of choice by the player.

The only other changes to the rules we are using are; the Updated Paladin by Jason Bulmahn, trapfinding as a part of the perception skill that any character can do and rogues trapfinding ability is being treated as a passive search check (like elves with secret doors) a copy of the rules we are using for this can be found here

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

We used the roll 4d6 and drop the lowest. The ability scores across the board in this campaign were quite a bit higher than in campaigns past using the same method.

One side note about the fate point system that I mentioned above. At character creation players may chose to use some of their points to upgrade their character. (yes I know this may overpower the characters but so far as long as I upgrade the mod's creatures a bit it works out quite well)one option is to take the +1 or +0 level adjustment races from the MM. Another is to take a 0-level of an NPC class that does not count against the characters level.

We have a Cleric of Calistria. The player chose this goddess for the revenge aspect off the chart in the beta and CotCT Players Guide. A high Charisma and almost as high Wis and seems to be building on the Whip and the Channeling abilities. Sadly, it wasn't until after we got started that the player and I started researching into Calistria and discovered that she is a bit more racey than we were originally imagining her. Perhaps some aspect of her nature could be included in the final book, along with the other gods. A chart reference doesn't do justice to the intent of this goddess. This Player chose to augment his character with a level of Expert. His theme was a gambler type character, card playing and basic roguery giving way to a deep faith.

We have a Rogue, The player is quite interested in the new talents, so I see him staying Rogue, though he does have a tendency to let his eyes wander to other classes occasionally, so it is possible he may grab a level of Fighter, though he chose a 0-level of Warrior. He chose the Spiked chain as his main weapon, and has spoken of taking the vexing Flanker (able to flank from more places).

We have another Rogue, but one who is intent on multiclassing Ranger. She may have the weakest stats at the table, but still has good enough stats to pull this off. She took a level of Warrior as well, more for the HP's than the BAB I think, as she sees herself front lining quite a bit. Her Feat Choices were Exotic Weapon Bastard Sword, and Two-Weapon Fighting.

We have a Sorcerer, Celestial Bloodline. When we created the group we thought we would be limited to 5 PC's so he wanted to have a little back up healing ability and really liked the Bloodline theme as well. He intends to go the Force Caster Route. Magic Missile and the Force Missile spells from the Compendium. He took Weapon Finesse as well as his Dex is amazing and he wants to be able to back up the front line. Shield spell, high Dex and rapier have him sitting in a good place as a back up. He took the Aristocrat 0-level. He really liked the skill list and the background he chose and crafted fit very well with Aristocrat. It also gave him a choice of weapons that he liked.

The last of our original 5 is an Orc (yes full orc) Barbarian. With a little tweaking here and there he has managed to make it a viable character *cough sarcasm cough* This player is our least rule savy player. He loves to go big and swing hard. The other players convinced him that a 22 strength to start would outweigh any roleplaying issues he would have, since he likes to play the bdf anyway this just makes it easier. The fate point's remove the lightsensitivity but the cost of Orc is he did not get to take a 0-level class. So as you can imagine his top Stat is larger than his bottom three stats put together. His dex and con are good 16ish each. He is using the Beta Barbarian rage points as we haven't seen the fit to examine the new system posted on the boards yet. This week I may print a copy of the updated rage point system and read it thoroughly and then sit down with the player and see which he wants to use. (Keep it simple stupid is the best way to go here. He is a smart guy, just isn't a rules jockey. He just wants to beat things and people down now and then nothing more)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This past weekend, as I mentioned before, we added a pair of new players. Here are a rundown on their characters. A note here about the players. They are old time D&D players who haven't played in a few years.

At time of character creation for these two characters the party had attained 2nd level. That was the starting point for these two as well.

Let us start with our "Mover and Shaker" (this will be explained later). A Halfling Arcane bloodline Sorcerer. At first I was concerned that 2 sorcerers in the same party may be a little redundant. Never fear. While their stat blocks look fairly similar, 20 Dex 18 cha, from there their styles deviate quickly. This new sorcerer is going enchantment route. He chose a feat over a 0-level, as he has needs of feats and extra HP and BAB while nice didn't get him going as quickly as the feat. He now has Spell Focus (Ench) and Greater Spell Focus (Ench) as well as a bonded object (ring). At creation of this character I could tell right away that a lot of clarification of rules needs to be accomplished. He had a hard time understanding some of the rules, not because he was trying to break them, but because he didn't have the level of assumptions that the rest of us had going in. He was rusty on 3.x, add in poor wording here and there and his character was all askew right out of the gate and he needed a bit of help sorting it out. Not a problem, but I hope a very good editing scrub will be ensuing before final release of the new rules.

Our other new character may be just what this party needs. A bit of a lawfully bent Tank build fighter. She took the extra level of Warrior, so at this point she is quite the Tank. +3 BAB, 40 ish HP. MW Chainmail, Dodge, Mobility, Weap Focus Longsword, and Great Fortitude. This last feat was a bit of an oddity to a bunch of us, but at the time we wanted to get started. Without her con bonus her Fort save is +8...quite impressive, but perhaps a bit of overkill. I have always allowed Players to make reasonable changes to characters within a level or so of a change (hey this isn't working like it says...) that sort of thing, so I have a feeling that we will be changing that last feat, then again, who knows maybe it is just the perfect thing. We'll see.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Let us travel back in time, a Monthish. Our first day at this new campaign. First there was character creation (much of which was done before hand via phone/email and such) Character Creation was actually quite fun. We have been playing 3.5 for quite a while, but using Heroforge, an Excel based character sheet generator to make characters. Going back to pencil and paper was a bit worrisome, but worked out well. The new skill rules for 1st level were a bit complicated at first, until we got the hang of it and now I think I speak for everyone at the table, we like it quite a bit better than the old way. The consolidation of skills was good also, though there are oddities that I am sure will come up during game reports.

We began the game within a reasonable time. For those of you who have not had the pleasure (and I do mean pleasure) of reading or playing CotCT I will use the Spoiler tags. If you are a DM and looking for a longer term campaign, I highly recomend CotCT.

The party met at Zellara's house and quickly agreed to find Gaedren.

The difficulty was a bit low as I had upgraded everyone with a few Hps and such I had failed to take into account how much more powerful the extra 0-level and the Orc were. Also the party rolled amazing this first day. I do not believe there were more then 5 misses the entire day from the Parties side and I hardly scratched them with poor rolls on my part. Overall the Fishery was a bit of a dissapointment as Playtest goes, as the rolls really left no places to say if anything was working or not working.

I can Report this: If a Party rolls 15+ consistently and the DM fails to break 10 Pathfinder makes the day go very well for the party :)

Speaking to the rogue ( as I am him). I can say with a fair amount of certainty that I no longer have any immediate plans to multiclass. For the first time in a long time I feel the base classes have enough interesting options that I wont need to stray to accomplish my desired build. In fact I seem to be able to build the character I want to play by 4th level as opposed to 10th and am for the first time in no hurry to see the game make mid levels just to finally have a character I want to play. In fact I am now trying to figure out what I want to do with him beyond 6th level because I am used to a character with depth of strategy taking so much longer to come together.

Also the mods we have played so far are superb. There is a depth and quality of story telling and variation of encounter type that has made for no drop off in quality from Brute's very high level of DMing in his usual homebrew campaign and setting. I cannot speak to how much editing he may have to do, but if the print version is even close to what we are playing I am heartily impressed.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Two weeks ago, our second installment of CotCT, was the last time we played before adding our two new characters who will feature prominently in my next playtest report.

The players were quite pleased with the first go round. Everything had broken their way in an amazing display of dice rolling I haven't seen in years.

The Zellara's head reveal was the buzz at the start of the game. The party decides, once the full realization of her death has hit them, to move into her house. At this point the party has discovered the town is Rioting and they are holed up in the house.

The party quickly ascertains that they have a piece of the queen's jewelry and decide, after trying several fences who suddenly clam up when they see the brooch, to return the brooch to the queen. They run the riots, trying to get through running into numerous encounters.

There are nothing in these encounters to really report. Most of them are skill checks. Only one is a combat. The skill's are working fine so far at this point. The system changes seem to reflect the old DC system so other than changes due to consolidation of skills we have no problems at this point.
The one combat we had was a large creature, our party handled it well. The Barbarian finally used rage. I would say, and I think the player would agree, that 2 rounds of rage does not a good sample of a power make. It worked fine, but then the 3.5 would have worked fine in the situation as well. Everyone got a hit in, as I recall. The chain rogue did an acrobatics (tumble) check, it worked fine.

The party, after much roleplaying, made it in to the audience with the queen and chose to help the guard. They then went to all the world's meat, encountering a few more riot related encounters on the way.

The encounters here went better than they probably should have. Again, though I upgraded the encounters, they were still underpowered. Not as badly, I managed to get some hits in this time. Though a few players were a bit dissapointed with the brevity of the adventure.

There is one thing that I have to share here.

Returning from All the World's Meat, Verik and the two Cow Hammer boys who weren't one shoted to death (1 by the Orc, 1 by one of the rogues) were tied up in the wagon, the orc was happily pulling it. I had the mad Prophet accost the party. He began to sputter and spew things about dreams and plague at the Chain Rogue (a random die roll as to who he would chose to point out). The man goes "Ooga booga" as the players put it. The sorcerer is the first to act. He casts Daze. The man fails his save. Now the rest of the party either chose to ignore him, or delay. None of us see what is to come...The orc's the last to move in the round.

DM: What do you do?
Orc: I move forward with the cart.
DM: Um, ok, though you are pulling the wagon so you are only moving at 40 feet a round and the Dazed mad man is only 15 feet in front of you. Do you go around him or what?
Orc: Heh No...I just keep going.
DM: um Ok, (mini and wagon move forward at some point halfway forward the mad prophet's mini is encountered by the wagon) Kathunk Kathunk.
End of encounter.

I doubt that has much use for th beta playtest, but it is now the rally cry of my players...Oooga Boooga! Kathunk! Kathunk!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This brings us up to this past weekend, at which point we got started later than normal, do to meeting 2 new players and having characters to create and bring up to speed.

We began with the halfling finding the PC's with an intent to join them. Though he thought he was there to find out about Gaedran Lamm, they quickly convinced him that what they were doing would be good for him as well. The Fighter I started as a guard that had some interest in Lamm as well and she was quickly absorbed into the party. (God I love how friendly PC's can be to another PC ;)

So, lets set the scene's we worked on:

The party was summoned, via the fighter PC, to Cressida Kroft. She had Vencarlo with her and he began to try to make friends. (an asside here. The Celestial Sorcerer had asked at character creation to have been in a sword academy in his youth (weapon Finesse feat) and it was a no brainer to have him in the Orsini Academy, thus he knew Grau who was his primary instructor and helped the story flow) Sadly at this point the party is more suspicious of Vencarlo than impressed by him. I feel I may have failed on my end of the roleplaying of him out. Luckily I should get several more attempts to improve his standing with the party.

The party learned of Bevargo and his illicit den. The room was a bit noisy, a pair of children making a lot of noise. Thus the party didn't quite understand the complete idea of the Eel's End adventure. Some went in with the belief that they were to encounter the ambassador there, others that the guard wanted them to go in, kick butt and take names, and others were not even sure what was going on. My greatest dissapointment was that I didn't realize this was the case until they were on the docks, surrounded by people, and unable to openly communicate their confusion with one another...

Several attempts at distraction, including a pair of pick pocketings, a whispered bluff here and there and a thrown glass of wine later. Things are so chaotic that even the players don't know what they are doing or why. Finally the halfling Sorcerer makes a play and tries to get a couple of guards to let him into a room that they are obviously guarding by asking them whats so important inside. They tell him that he should leave as only Movers and Shakers on the streets are allowed inside. He then bluffs the guard (a very nice roll versus a very poor sense motive later) The Halfling is now known to the guards, and to his parties shagrin to them as well, as "A mover and shaker". Now the halfling is inside the room, where the man they have come to ask a favor of is...and when asked what he is doing there he clams up a bit and leaves.

So far to this point I can say one thing about the Beta rules. Skills work just fine, as long as they are the right skill and make sense for the situation. Bluff vs Sense Motive works, as it always has, very well. Acrobatics works as it should, Sleight of Hands is excellent. Perception works wonderfully.
I can also say at this point that my party is a bit confused.

On to the next scene:

After another bit of craziness on the boat involving the enforcerers hauling away innocent bystanders that the party has framed into trouble makers, the party manages to get in to see Devargo. After some bluster where he throws open the trap door and readies an attack, the situation is cooled down and Diplomacy checks, plus a little coin, result in the information the party comming here for, being given to them. Devargo and his thugs survive, much to the chagrin of a few of the PC's, to live another day. Adventure successfully completed.

Next the party is sent to catch Trinia Sabor. This is a well devised chase scene, I love the cards with 2 skill checks to make to speed up or slow you down on your attempts to catch her in the Shingles. Sadly here the skill system has a slight problem. I'll explain.

This section has numerous skills that were made durring 3.5. Jump and Tumble (now part of Acrobatics) made the skills needed to make this interesting, before every character had one that seemed to work for them. The perception still favored the Cleric, but the Strength Characters lost Jump and only had Climb left. Also, due to the vagaries I still needed to know that a skill was a jump check so I had to have Acrobatics (jump) or Acrobatics (tumble) spelled out. Since some things (Jump spell for instance) could have specific adjustments. That was a bit frustrating also.

Without revealing to much I hope, let me also point out that this section is best done with a grapple check. Oh good lord the CMB needs help. 4 attempts to grapple, some with decent rolls failed, because the PC couldn't even break a 15, let alone a DC 15+her CMB. The party dazed her, the party used a tanglefoot bag, the party even tried diplomacy and bluff's to get her to give up. Still they needed that grapple. The party finally just got to the point of keeping her locked down with spells and such until the fighter managed to close and she rolled a nat 20 on her grapple. A quick look at her numbers and I realized that even she needed a 14 or better on the dice. The orc player didn't make it to the game, he would have needed (without rage) a 12, if he could have caught her. The cards (randomly drawn) were such that he would have never caught up to her to ever put a grapple attempt on her.

We ended there. I was hoping to get one more adventure in but a late start and a long drawn out chase and a long confusion on the shipp left less time than I had hoped.

Future reports as we play...

No fair...I knew exactly what I was

Seriously though, I am in full agreement CMB needs some sort of fix. It was nearly imposible for my rogue to accomplish a grapple, and I wasnt alone here, any martial character not based on strength is pretty well screwed once maneuvers come into the equation.

I am the Celestial Sorcerer (Aristocrat). Weapon Finesse & Point Blank Shot. My 3rd level feat will be 'Precise shot' as I am the party's RANGED specialist or 'artillery' as some might prefer to call it.

  • Weapon Finesse was a choice for several reasons, low-level melee assistance, educated nobility theme, and I am planning on taking 'Whirling Blade' for my first 2nd level spell from the Spell Compendium. (Those of you not familiar with the spell, it is a 2nd level lightning bolt-like spell that requires attack rolls(weapon finesse-able) and a slashing melee weapon, likely a handaxe.)

  • Celestial Bloodline is IMO pretty damn cool. It allows you to injure evil things, it can heal "good" aligned party members once a day, and it does all of that without taking the Cleric's job away from him. Not to mention as long as our honorable *laugh* Cleric of Calistra can keep himself contained (good aligned), I can stabilize him(and others) from unconciousness due to the occassional "OOPS!".

    Future Spell Selections (from the Spell Compendium)

  • Force Blast (2nd)
  • Chain Missiles (3rd)
  • Force Missiles (4th)
  • I have also been given access to... Whirling Blade, All 'Orb' Spells & Rainbow Spells.

    Future Feat Selections

  • Weapon Focus: Ranged Spell
  • Possibly other ARCHERY feats as a majority of my spell choices will not be dependent on DCs.

    My build isn't unique, or perfect, but interesting to me and I have not played it before. I know full well going into this campaign that I am NOT a melee combatant and will likely have little use for the rapier or 'Weapon Finesse' beyond level 5-8. It was strictly a theme choice and only really benefits my character at lower levels.

  • Well now... in defense of myself and the Orc Barbarian... I was trying to keep said crazy person off of my new friends with the Daze spell and the Orc did actually tell the poor dazed man “Get outta MY way!”. The Orc had no indication that the man was Dazed, rightfully so being a 1st level Barbarian. ((SIDE NOTE: Why is Spellcraft UNTRAINED?!))

    (My thought on that whole encounter was that, I guarantee THAT wasn’t in the options of “WHAT IF THE PARTY DOES...” list in the module, and no matter how hard you try as a DM, the players ALWAYS think up something crazier than you might expect.)

    As Warmaster Spike’s player pointed out to me after I kinda felt bad... ya know during catching my breath from laughing... “A crazy guy runs up to your car in the middle of a riot, What DO you do? You run his butt over!”

    "Oooga Boooga!"… … … 'Ka-thunk!'… 'Ka-thunk!'

    WarmasterSpike wrote:
    Seriously though, I am in full agreement CMB needs some sort of fix. It was nearly imposible for my rogue to accomplish a grapple, and I wasnt alone here, any martial character not based on strength is pretty well screwed once maneuvers come into the equation.

    I don't remeber when exactly Brutesquad07 and I discussed the CMB, but I mentioned that it completely bones the DEX based character, monster, etc. He then suggested adding STR & DEX to CMB, which in both of our opinions fixes EVERYTHING wrong/broken with it currently. This way it doesn't bone the STR or DEX based characters and generally makes CMB+15 quite a bit more attainable.

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    I posted about the CMB earlier Here.

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Well, its that time again for the biweekly update. We are currently playing Edge of Anarchy still, starting to get near the end here. Let's set the stage for the report. Putting the spoiler tag up for the set up so if you don't want to know about the modules hooks and stuff, don't worry no rule's/play results are hidden behind the spoiler.

    The party received the mission from Cressida to go to the Dead Warrens and retrieve the body of Gaehken the Shoanti Barbarian that was killed by the mob. They were quite interested in the details of the death as well as who (Rolth) bought the corpse as well as where to find said corpse. Off the party went to retrieve the body.

    The short of it is the party had a mission to go into a dungeon crawl and retrieve some stuff...

    This section of the adventure had a nice classic feel, several good fights, the obligatory searching for traps, the rogue's missed the traps, both as a passive search and also when they actively searched. This was not the traps fault. Both rogues pointed out early that their dice were cold and it was going to be one of "those" trap finding days. The passive search does not break the module, but did speed up the adventure a little. Some times in the past we have had rogues search every square for traps, the passive let them keep moving. The rogue still takes point, since the rules we are using are 10' passive search, you don't want the rogue further back than 2nd.

    The Barbarian (yes, he is a full orc with a 22 strength) does an amazing amount of damage and doesn't have a lot of trouble hitting. The sword and board fighter needs help. She swapped (at no charge) her Great Fort Feat for Weapon Focus. She can hit, almost as easily as the Barbarian, but her damage output is much lower. You add the chainmail movement of 20' and she is a good old fashion tank with the same problem as always. I can't move and when I get there the monsters don't realize I hit them, after all I just did 1/3 the damage of the other character here. I hope the shield feats and abilities get enhanced here so that she can be as cool as the barbarian or the rogues in a different way. Her character is just hindered by the rules, not by her play. (anyone who dares to say that she is hindered because she took a sword and board let me remind you that this whole process is an opportunity to fix the game. Lets fix it so Sword and Board is just as much fun as 2-handed, 2-weapon, sneak attack, and every other combat technique we have)

    Across the board this was a satisfying adventure for me, and I believe everyone else as well. Yes the rogues (and you can imagine a few other people) were frustrated by their failure to detect traps, but that was the fault of the dice, not the rules. Between them the two rogue's should be able to find traps quite often. The chances of both of their dice puking out at the same time are really not that high.

    The party is starting to swing back down into level appropriateness. They aren't there yet, but they are at a good point here. As you see above many of them have extra HD one has an extra feat instead and one got to be an Orc instead of a PHB race. They are over powered compared to PC's of their level (which after yesterday became 3rd). They didn't have an easy time of it, but neither were they in danger of getting truly slaughtered. The concern over their well being was there, but the sweating bullets didn't happen until the boss fight at the end.

    The only rules issues I saw from my view point was the sword and board features. She is not getting a benefit for having a high AC (she doesn't even have the highest AC though she is 2nd) but paying the price in not doing the damage of the other builds.

    Agreed, with her build she should have the highest AC in the party or be very close too, which she is. But the problem comes from the fact there is nothing cool she can do with that high AC to make up for the reduced speed, feats cost, cash investment etc...sunk into it. The ability to share some A.C. (shield mate), draw aggro (taunt) or actively deflect blows (touch AC) would go a long way to putting the build on even ground with other currently superior builds.

    As for the rogues, as one of them I can back up Brute's assesment that it was not a rules flaw that we did not see any traps, it was purely a function of die roles. I seldom broke 10 all day. So far the over whelming evidence is that trapfinding as a passive skill is working perfectly. We do not notice more or less on average than we did before, and the game moves significantly faster. What I find it that when heading down coridors and non descript areas I let the passive trapfinding do its thing, and then I will occasionally stop and double check before entering areas that seem suspicious to me. Its really nice actually I am finding it brings greater strategy to my role. One thing I would like to point out to Brute though is that I had a hard time disciplining myself to play properly because I knew my roles were bad ( we pre-rolled 20 or so checks). I wanted badly to check and re-check in certain situations. Maybe we should consider some way to randomize the results without players seeing the numbers for the day.

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    As to that, I rely on my players to show some modicum of restraint. After all, I could just ask for the perception score and roll it myself, but I like to let the players dice rule. Now, I will also point out, for anyone who isn't in our game's info, that I have created a sheet with all the players names at the top and have them roll 10 or so perception checks (this is so much nicer now that it isn't 10 spot and 10 listen). I have created a random list of numbers, if I ever worry about people's ability to contain their knowledge of how their dice rolled, that I can use, just add the perception check and viola. Also, I have a couple of lists that I can use to jumble the order of the rolls, for instance I might use the 3rd roll then the 9th followed by the 1st etc. I haven't used either system yet, since I haven't had anyone break character. Besides, as long as you trust me not to go all out to kill you at every opportunity, I figure you'll just stay in character and accept that sooner or later a trap is going to go off and someone will take some damage. We'll heal it and move on...

    Brutesquad07 wrote:

    As to that, I rely on my players to show some modicum of restraint. I have created a random list of numbers, if I ever worry about people's ability to contain their knowledge of how their dice rolled, that I can use, just add the perception check and viola.

    You could have us roll the perception list for a different player in the future. Person to your right rolls for you this week, person to your left rolls for you next week, etc. It wouldn't matter to me, but my job doesn't depend on perception unless there's a crazy hobo in front of our wagon.

    "Ka… …thunk, Ka… …thunk"

    I let the "mover & shaker" roll mine this past time cuz I was preparing the snacks. The children want cucumbers, the children get cucumbers gosh darn it!

    Its not that big of a deal, obviously I didnt let it change how I played the session. Just a suggestion as knowing I was going to fail the vast majority of the day ahead of time was a bit of a

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Though do understand, not all traps are 21+ DC's. So sometimes even a 16 will spot it. Also I use the perceptions for other things besides just traps (or other characters wouldn't roll them) So sometimes a 12 is good enough to notice that horde of Orcs moving up behind you with that ballista talking smack about humans and their silly armor and

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    So another game day has come and gone and it is time to put down the report.

    At the beginning of this past game day we had some character adjustments. Everyone having leveled (3rd level) the week before we had some feats to choose, a couple of spells to pick and an orc's excitement to contain. A couple of people accumulated enough fate points (See original post) to add an extra feat. The characters are on average about a level more powerful than the 3rd level characters of your generic PFRPG variety. Let's look at each character in the original order I introduced them.

    Cleric of Calistria: This player is taking to his goddesses ways a little to well for my liking. He is causing nightmares, not with rules, but with roleplaying. Ok it isn't that bad, but still. Anyway. He is liking the 3rd level bump to the Channel, he chose Selective Channeling (something of a feat tax as he put it). Seems he feels that the choice was almost forced as it was to great a gain over all other choices. So 2d6 channeling plus 2nd level spells made him happy.

    Rogue: The 2nd d6 of sneak attack was something of a let down compared to the rogue talents. (This is merely because of the newness of the talents I think. We all agree that 2d6 SA is still cooler than another talent but the d6's are old school we want new stuff ;)

    Ranger/Rogue: This player had the hardest choices to make at this level. 2nd Level Ranger for the two weapon goodness or 2nd level Rogue for the talant goodness. The choice was Ranger, D10vD8 Hd, Two Weap Defense for free was just a little to good at this level compared with the rogue stuff. However, I would imagine 2-3 levels of straight rogue for a while, 3rd and 4th level Ranger just don't compare to 2nd 3rd and 4th level Rogue. The Player chose Overhand Chop for her 3rd level Feat. Her choices were a bit odd. The 2 weap tree doesn't have much left in it right now for this level, She uses a Bastard Sword for her Primary weapon, charges 2 handed with it then draws off hand and 2 weaps. So her choices were to get extra damage on the charge 2 handed attack or to get the same damage bump on the off hand attack when 2 weaponing. She chose the 2 handed. I think another feat in the 2 weapon tree might not be a bad idea, something that lets her disarm with the off hand or something? just a thought.

    Sorcerer #1 (also known as the Celestial Sorc): He chose to grab precise shot, and using some fate points grabbed up Arcane Strike. He is a pretty intelligent player who bends the rules to his role playing, this guy will be deadly when needed, but constrained by morality and goodness as well as a sense of duty.

    Orc Barbarian: Power Attack or Toughness...Doesn't matter which he chose, the guy has enough rage points to rage at will in almost all the fights he has seen. Though, in the neer future I believe we will be pushing the Rage Point limit. He chose the Speed Enhancing rage power (lets him increase his movement but up to 30 feet with rage point use) So far we are all pleased with the rage thing, though the shear number of points does seem a bit excessive. Sure makes Paladin's Smite look pathetic on paper at low levels.

    Sorcerer #2 (also known as the mover and shaker): Spell Penetration straight and simple. The party had run into some Derro and a couple other low level SR users. He is not DC/SR immune so he is doing everything he can to make himself better against them. He is a fine RPer with the knack of driving his wife's character crazy, whats not to like?

    Fighter (Also known as the tank): I am going to be honest here. I have forgotten what feat she chose. Not because I don't care about her or her character, its because I have come to realize that Tank Built fighters are sadly lack luster. She plays her character well and has accomplished her tasks satisfactorily. The problem comes down to the feat choices of Fighter. Her dex is high enough that Heavy Armors are not really an option her AC won't change from Chainmail to Plate. She is pretty much just holding out for Mithril heavy armor to complete her build at this time. At the rate the money is comming in that will be in 2-3 levels probably. Until then only her Armor training is improving her AC. Perhaps a nicely magiced up shield for the short term will help her. I am hoping that Shield Feats in the future will make her job (probably not this particular character by then) more glamorous and exciting.

    Ok this weeks action in the next post.

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    First I would like to mention that the entirety of this past weeks events were role play actions. Also from this point on I have to put the spoiler tag on, as a matter of fairness. If you haven't played the CotCT get yourself a group and a dm and get to it. This thing is way to fun to miss. Unless you are DMing it don't open the tag. That being said here goes. (Yes my players may open the tag since I won't foreshadow or spoil anything comming up)


    The party finished the Dead Warrens the previous week and found all the pieces of the dead Shoanti. We picked up with them returning the bag of corpse bits to Cressida Kroft. She was a bit busy getting ready for a state function. She invited the party (waiving shiney things to get the Orcs attention) to the execution of Trinia, the girl the party tracked down and caught as she had been accused of assasinating the king. They were all impressed by "the new queen". Now that her mourning period is over they were delighted by her appearance.

    Black Jack rescued Trinia (to much applause from the players), escaped with her and left behind him a near riot. This concluded Edge of Anarchy. The party took a little time buying and selling, cleaning up the house for long term occupancy (the mover and shaker was told he could no longer have a nest in the kitchen, the orc was told to bathe that sort of thing)

    We finished the book keeping and jumped right into Seven Days to the Grave (7DG from now on as its a long title ;). We started with rumors. I make up rumors for every player for each 5 DC's, I put them on a paper and I cut them out (ie I have 7 PC's I make 7 DC 5 rumors, 7 DC 10 Rumors, 7 DC 15 etc.) Each Player rolls a Diplomacy check and I give them a rumor for each 5 DC that they roll. So if you roll a 22 I give you a 5, 10, 15 and a 20 but not a 25. Some PC's get bonus or penalties (ie Orc in human town takes a -2) One more note on rumors some are accurate but most are at least a little wrong. The higher you go in DC's the more accurate the info is and or the Harder it is to find out.

    Then we got really going. Rumors of a boat sinking, Seneschal missing, Blackjack here or there, Trinia killing this person or that or no one or leaving or comming or going all abound. Grau shows up asks for help, his niece is the party goes. They stop and grab a scroll of Remove Disease (fortunate for the girl). The look her over, talk to Ishanti, the kids, a few rolls later they are convinced the Candy that the girl bought is the culprit and poisoned/diseased. They remove the disease then start to investigate the candy. A few healing checks and a craft (alchemy) skills failed later and the Orc decides the best course of action is to eat the candy (it made sense to him, not to the rest of the party). The orc is happy, he had candy, the party is unhappy they have nothing to study. Then speaking to the girl some mroe they realize the money might have been tainted. Tracking down a landlord who received some of the cash they find out that it is all spent and gone, all of it. So they look for the box this money came from. (Sadly the DC I set was much higher than the best Perception check at this point) All roads are now dead ends, they head home.

    Vencarlo sends a messenger to ask them to come to see him. They do, and he reveals that Trinia is in fact in his house and he wants them to get her out (of town that is) they ask some side questions of their DM (that's me ;) Such as is Vencarlo Blackjack and such, is vencarlo missing fingers, did BJ miss some fingers. They didn't see Blackjack but a few moments so I can't really tell them with any certainty that they even know. Either way they decide to help her since they caught the girl, they are pretty sure that she is at the least a scapegoat and probably not really involved in the kings death (and they also think that Cressida thinks she may be innocent). So they escort her to north bridge and across. They made some fantastic rolls to keep her from being noticed by the patrol and the guard post at the bridge. A good roll on a disguise to make her look like one of Callistria's favorite kind of people (you know the kind that walk the streets hawking their ahem "wares") and a lot of cool calm collected maneuvers as well as a few good distractions and they got her out of town without a single weapon being used.

    They part ways with Trinia and head back in, they decide to go south and back in by Citadel Volsheynek. On their trip they notice more sick people. Now it occurs to them they have an epidemic starting up. They stop by and say hey to Cressida who is starting to get reports of sick people and guards are starting to not show up for work. They ask her about the boat (I was afraid the boat rumors might be a bit to heavy handed now the poor PC's think the boat has something to do with the sickness) sinking in the river and the sickness and Callistria priest makes his usual proposition, etc

    They get home to find out Ishanti wants them to come to the Grand Vault of Abadar (A fascinating place btw if you haven't been to it I highly recommend a holiday to it one of the 137 wonders of Korsova) They get there to find a mob about to happen because the priests won't let them in. Well much hemming and hawing later and Sorcerer #2 decides to use the robe of bones they captured last time to drop the last Zombie off of it to cause a scene and get them a safe route into the temple. Oops the robes don't provide control of the zombie, its hungry theres people there. Well it knocked an innocent out, the party jumped it and knocked it down. The priest healed, the mob realized there was a healer out with them, they turned on him (rather they all wanted help and tried to get it from him at the same time) He got on a horse and ran, the party calmly walked into the temple as the mob chased him away. He doubled back, caught up to the party.

    Ishanti asked for an escort to the Citadel to meet with Cresida, the party met Dr. Davaulus, the new Queen's Physician. They didn't like him much, perhaps I played him a little to Smarmy and Slick. I'll have to tone him down a bit next time.

    There we ended. The next time we play it will be much less RP and more Action. A good way to go just before the Holiday Break (My wife and I will be gone for 2 weeks, so we will be skipping the time after next).

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    So here is a synopsis of what I noticed in the last session.

    The PFRPG rules are hampering Role Play, they just make it to awkward...

    Ha! Just kidding.

    The skill consolidation is working fairly well.
    Diplomacy is a bit over balanced though. It now covers so many things it is something of a must have. (not that it was wimpy before). I don't think there is much that you can do about that though. Talking is the most important part of Role Play. I think we just deal with it and move on.
    Perception is very good, though I would like to see Search pulled back out. It is fine as Spot and Listen combined.
    Acrobatics is quite a bit overpowered. Everyone at my table has it. I think there needs to be 2 skills for Physical stuff, one Dex based and one Str Based and the parts of the skill rebalanced. Jump probably should move out of Acrobatics (thats why the orc has it so now he can tumble because he wants to be able to jump)
    Pretty much the rest of them work the way they should.

    Brutesquad07 wrote:
    the party met Dr. Davaulus, the new Queen's Physician. They didn't like him much, perhaps I played him a little to Smarmy and Slick. I'll have to tone him down a bit next time.

    I'm honestly not sure what I thought of him, but the voice you gave him made me think of the Mad Scientist from the old Bugs Bunny Cartoon (yea, we're old skool like that!) 'Hare Raising Hare'. "OHhhhh... you make me so anGreee! I want to do TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, tings to you!"

    PICTURE HERE(Human on the Left)

    Brutesquad07 wrote:

    Diplomacy is a bit over balanced though. It now covers so many things it is something of a must have. (not that it was wimpy before). I don't think there is much that you can do about that though. Talking is the most important part of Role Play. I think we just deal with it and move on.

    Diplomacy has always been moderately overpowered. My thought is because it is the "nice nice" way to deal with a situation in a game where being "evil" is all but Taboo aka "intimidate". Most of the time intimidating NPCs just has teh potential to get you dead or left in the dust wondering what you SHOULD be doing now that you insulted/threatened the 'quest giver'.

    Brutesquad07 wrote:

    Acrobatics is quite a bit overpowered. Everyone at my table has it.

    I DO NOT have Acrobatics, despite having a 20 Dexterity. It isn't a class skill and I'm pretty sure I have little to no use for Tumble being a 'Ranged attack specialist'. +5 untrained Dex check is sufficient enough... when I can roll above 10.

    Brutesquad07 wrote:
    ...Sorcerer #2 decides to use the robe of bones they captured last time to drop the last Zombie off of it to cause a scene and get them a safe route into the temple. Oops the robes don't provide control of the zombie, its hungry...

    In the "mover n' shaker's" defense I would've done the same thing. I'm pretty sure I encouraged it. After all, what do we know about Necromancy... that would also be Taboo in the land of "nice nice" aka non-evil player characters.

    Don't forget that I shot one of the rioters with a bow and healed(I think) him the following round. Good thing I didn't have a fireball, but they did receive a stern warning to back up or I would start shooting. *grin* When do alignments start to change again? lol

    "Rogue: The 2nd d6 of sneak attack was something of a let down compared to the rogue talents. (This is merely because of the newness of the talents I think. We all agree that 2d6 SA is still cooler than another talent but the d6's are old school we want new stuff ;)"

    Didn't want to give the impression it was any kind of let down. More like amazement that there is something new and cool to do with my character at every level now as opposed to big changes at certain arbitrary levels through my progression.... its more like "hey cool I got a new talent last level, now this level I get another Die of sneak attack and a feat...guess thats it for a while. But no ! I get another talent next level too. "

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Due to the Holiday's I did not get a chance to post my report from the game in Mid-December. So I will be merging our last two sessions into this report.

    Story parts here so i'll be Spoiler Tagging it. The only thing I am hiding is the story so far, so if you have played (are playing in my group), are dming or never plan to play CotCT by all means open it up. otherwise stay out ;)


    The party heard a rumor of a cure at Lavender' Perfumery, off they went. This encounter was handled with Diplomacy, tact (or perhaps lack of tact) a little pushing and shoving and an examination of the cure with alchemy. This encounter was a little anti-climactic. However, as written and with the style of play of my players, the outcome was not unexpected. A thorough win with little difficulty and as little bloodshed as possible (ie none here)

    The Party then was visited by a Wererat who had them hunt down the leader of a band of Wererat's in his den in the sewer and stop his mad plan on warring with the people above on the streets. The party gears up, gets some silver weapons (since they knew about lyconthropes)

    Combat: Hey it looks just like 3.5. You roll an attack and compare to AC's. Sorry there was nothing really juicy to report here. The party had the special tools for the job, having been warned in advance what they were facing, and surprise surprise, that is what they faced. Having a balanced team leaves them with few problems they couldn't overcome.
    The one bit of interest here is that the Fighter still needs some help. Her AC is good, but it isn't so much better than anyone elses (and there are 1 or 2 that have as good or better) to make her stand out, and her attacks are subpar compared to everyone elses. There is no real way for her to use her "Fighterness" to stop other's around her from being attacked, though we have talked about shield feats that would let her impose herself and/or her shield between enemies and friends or allow her to add AC to nearby folks, we haven't yet gotten a chance to try.

    Swarm: Wow, a couple of swarms are still cool. Not overly powerful, but seemed to work.


    Cressida sent the party off to investigate Racker's Alley, aparently many dead bodies were rumored to be piling up there. Off the party went (they are beginning to resent being asked to do this or that, but it is difficult to give them enough info to want to strike off on their own and keep the speed of the encounters up. Not a problem here, just thinking out loud) At any rate they investigate, and indeed there is a pile of bodies. They notice that something has been "Feeding" on them. They investigate further. After checking out the building that the pile leans against they find that it is inhabited by coffins...4 coffins...which are inhabited by Vampire Spawn...*Cue creapy vampire music*

    Combat with 4 undead insues. The Cleric, the Mover and Shaker, the Ranger/Rogue and perhaps one more (I am not fully recalling) Are all in a half basement (except for the Mover and Shaker (1/2ling) they are all crouching) where the undead are. A few rounds of getting their nerves up and preperations later they make their move. Winds up being a rough fight. It takes a couple of Channeled Energies before the Undead fail saves. in the fight, the Orc Barbarian begins making listen checks and attacking random floor pieces that he thinks undead are under. Also the Fighter is Charmed at one point and begins to attack the priest, then her husbands character (the mover and shaker). Hilarity ensues! (These are the kinds of fights that I love btw). At any rate the undead are dispatched and the party returns triumphantly.

    That was the end of that weekends fun. On to this past sunday. A note here, the Orc Barabarian missed this session, he'll be sorry later ;)

    Back to the Spoiler tag!


    I had to pull some of the optional material here:
    The party was sent off to deal with some Ghouls that were trying to feast upon the remains of plague victims that were supposed to be burned. The party came they saw they kicked butt. The Celestial Sorcerer showed off his new spell a line effect that allows him to make a slashing attack against everythin along the line. (forget the naem of the spell) The Cleric showed courage, sadly his compatriots just watched him get charged by 3 ghouls before they realized what was going on. He channeled again, his friends bailed him out.

    On their way back they ran into a mob that was trying to get past some Gray Maidens who were quarantining them in their district. The party hemmed and hawed but never really understood what was going on, so they left. (Chalk this one up to a poorly run encounter by me it happens some times. We all make mistakes, lets move on.)

    The Party returns to Citadel Volshyenek and is stopped by a young musician who is looking for her brother. They agree to look into it, right after they make their report. They find that Cressida is out, so they leave a message for her. (Something like this is what I heard, "Hey, babe. We took care of the Ghoul thing for ya...we've got another gig over on the otherside of town, see ya later...oh yea, thanks for the gold") My party is Suave! It makes me so happy to see them all grown up ;)

    So Off to Carowyn Manor...A note here. I had created a model of the manor, including roof and bushes. They did not receive the 500xp bonus for gushing on and on about how great a DM I was for building that for them...just FYI. :)

    Back to Carowyn Manor. They got there and poked around, found it odd that noone answered the door when they knocked and it looked uninhabited from outside. They tried the door and though it seemed locked *Wink Wink* when they first tried it it proved to not be so they let themselves in...Carowyn Manor is infested with ZOMBIES! They drew some to themselves and beat the begeezus out of them. I have never before felt sorry for Zombies...didn't this time either.

    They entered the building and were beginning to formulate a plan when some insane laughter started. Then a bit of mockery before the party realized that there was an Invisible person in the room. Jolistina attacked them and there was some laughter at this point as I revealed the picture from the mod (you see we laughing refer to the Female Ranger/Rogue as Batman because the color scheme I used when I painted her mini for her. It is black and very dark blue, her character is an urban ranger favored enemy human and very much a vigilante character) So now we have a female batman (batwoman whatever) and a Female Joker...

    The cleric, having realized that the house is most deffinitely full of Zombies, places himself in the middle of the house and channels, repeatedly, until the Zombie's are no more. While he is doing this the rest of the party focuses on the crazy chick with the Screaming bolt's. This is simple. The very first action of the combat the Mover and Shaker cast Blindness on her. Failed saving throw...combat wussified. I didn't get to have her invis and taunt the party long.
    Ah well... She did manage to mention Rolth (who the party mockingly calls Rowlf as in the Muppet, and they wonder why I couldn't be persuaded to give them the 67 xp they were short so they could level...) Let this be a lesson to you...don't mock the NPC Names, for you to shall one day need a favor from your DM...;)

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Some thoughts from these sessions.

    Channeling Energy. The mechanic is great, the ease is wonderful, no more that that icky chart and comparing hit die and all. One suggestion. Change the Damage so that it isn't saved for half. Keep the save for the turning aspect, but have the damage go through regardless. Saving for half on a Will save which is pretty much all Undeads best save is a bit much.
    Also, perhaps a feat could be made where if they fail the save the priest's player can decide if they run or not. (it isn't always best to have the undead running off in 6 different directions) or make the flee a feat period. Channel energy does its damage, then the feat let's you decide if they have to save or flee.
    My first thoughts when thining about the undead encounters these past two sessions, was that the Channel was either over or underpowered, but what I realized as I thought about it longer was that it is just about right. The situation where it seemed over powered was a 4th level cleric fighting zombies. It sped up their demise because of the damage it was doing, but that's all it did was speed it up. The final results were the same. Faster mop up is not a bad thing.
    As for the underpowered, it seemed like the Vampire spawn were never going to fail a save. Taking half damage, they weren't even really being affected that much by it. But then when it finally did click it was game changing. In retrospect I have a fealing what I was seeing was the power level about right and it being applied to a strong fight and a weeker fight.

    The fighter needs a way to be able to do her job without having to resort to two handed weapon massive damage output. let the fighter make monsters go through them to get to their friends somehow. The easiest way I see is to allow the Fighter to interpose (ie insert her AC and HP for her allies) or to add some AC to allies.

    Nothing earthshattering here.

    Brutesquad07 wrote:
    The Celestial Sorcerer showed off his new spell a line effect that allows him to make a slashing attack against every ENEMY along the line. (forget the name of the spell)

    WHIRLING BLADE Spell Compendium (See Ghetto Lightning Bolt)

    The spell's stats are almost identical to Lightning Bolt other than it's a thrown slashing melee weapon that requires a 'to hit' on each monster and there is no saving throw involved.

    I honestly poke fun at the spell's abilities being that of a low level "ghetto" lightning bolt, but this spell has a huge potential to be devastating in the hands of a wizard/sorcerer who is proficient with martial weapons. I plan on attempting to procure a Magical Greatsword at some point. Nothing says "Hello, How are you?" like whipping a 'helicopter blade' down range.

    You forgot to mention how the 'Mover & Shaker'(aka Halfling Sorcerer) started the encounter in the basement. *see spoilers for reference* If I remember correctly it was by opening one of the lids and yelling something along the lines of "FOOL!" or "Wake up SLACKER!". Which after a fit of laughter prompted initiative, LOL!

    Um... Yea... 67 Xpeas from level 5. *sigh*
    I will take the hit for the rest of the party and provide you with a humorous comic strip I just fashioned...

    Lies all Lies....I clearly drooled over the mansion upon my arrival at our illustrious DM's home. He just wanted to make us level in the middle of next weeks session to buy time for a bathroom break ! Its a conspiracy I tells ya !!!!

    Daniel Moyer wrote:


    You forgot to mention how the 'Mover & Shaker'(aka Halfling Sorcerer) started the encounter in the basement. *see spoilers for reference* If I remember correctly it was by opening one of the lids and yelling something along the lines of "FOOL!" or "Wake up SLACKER!". Which after a fit of laughter prompted initiative, LOL!

    I spoke to the 'Mover & Shaker' he corrected me and the actual quote upon oepning the lid in the basement was... "DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?!"

    *sigh* That's right, the answer would be 'a Mover & Shaker'... too funny.

    I think this will be my new signature...

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    So we returned to Korvosa yesterday. The characters are drawing in on the end of the second module, Seven Days to the Grave (7DG from here on out) The party was assaulted in their home by some of Zombies. This was an addition to the adventure on my part to procure the level that everyone bemoaned just missing the previous session. Sixty Seven xps short is a horrible place to be left hanging.

    A quick note on the zombies.

    One of the Zombies had a note pinned through the flesh on his chest that said "Stay out of my Business" and was signed "Rolth" The party got a chuckle out of that one.

    So leveling occurred. All but the Barbarian leveled to 5th. The Barbarian leveled to 4th (he missed a couple of sessions here and there) Hp's were, on the most part, very good. The feat was a surprise to some, not having gotten used to the new feat chart yet. A quick run down on leveling

    Cleric of Calistria, Feat: Shield Bash (I think). 3rd level spells

    Rogue: Feat Deft Opportunist (+4 to attacks on AOO’s), 3rd D6 of Sneak attack (chunky)

    Ranger3/Rogue2: Leveled as Ranger this time: Feats Endurance (Ranger Bonus Feat), Blind-Fighting (seen 2 invis people now and figures it’s going to come in handy more and more), 1st Favored Terrain (This will be interesting as we haven’t seen this in play before) Took Urban (I believe)

    Celestial Bloodline Sorcerer: Feat: Unknown at this time (he’ll chime in soon and tell us I am sure), Swapped out Daze for True Strike and chose Force Missile, as well as the new Spell Annoy DM (it makes all my will saves halved for the duration of the game day) ;)

    The Orc Barbarian is now level 4 and with a use of some Fate Points and the 4th level Ability bump he now has a 24 Strength…UGLY (but in a good way) His damage output is silly but he’s a hoot to watch. He and the Halfling sorcerer bicker all the time quite fun.

    Mover and Shaker, 1/2ling Arcane Bloodline Sorcerer: Feat: Arcane Strike, 2nd level spell Invisibility (It was 20 minutes later that we realized he got that as a free bonus spell and added a second choice)

    Fighter, Feat: I forget what feat she added, and don’t have my notes with me.

    The party really got started after leveling.

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    I’ll be putting much of this post under the spoiler tag. The fun is just heating up, the party is starting to put some pieces together.


    The adventurers have been suspicious of this ship that had sailed into the Jeggare river and been sunk by the guards since the incident first occurred. Now, they have heard enough and seen enough to be convinced that they need to swim down to it and investigate. They spent some hard earned coin on some Water breathing potions.

    Using the Potions and a couple of castings of water breathing by the cleric, they proceed down to the ship. There they are attacked by a large Shark, the companion to Yvvica the Sea Hag Druid. The Shark was a chump, the Hag was not so. Her Spell Resistance was ineffective (Even the sorcerer without Spell penetration had little difficulty beating a 14)
    The Warriors and Rogues were frustrated by the lack of movement under water. Her movement was a huge advantage for her. The Fighter’s AC (while all of 2 points better than the rest of the party) was no match for a CR 8 Hag/Druid. Her AC should have been a better match I am thinking, since the fighter’s damage output compared to the Barbarian’s is so much lower. After 3 rounds, however, the Hag was forced to withdraw and heal, at which point the party closed and finished her off. Her attempt to flee should have occurred when she healed I think.

    The party examined the “Direption” and discovered the Death’s Head Coffers and quickly identified the item with a measly 37 Appraise check on a DC 20 item (I am beginning to think there should be a 5 or 10 point penalty to identify unusual items, I like that identifying is so much easier, but some things that they can figure out are oddly easy) They also discovered the floating corpse of the Queen’s Physician and checking it out discovered the Holy Symbol of Urgathoa and are now highly suspicious of the plague. They found the box with the ledgers and deed to the ship as well. Once on land they opened that and are now hot on the trail of Dr. Davaulus. (Oh they make me so ANGRY ;) )

    After a meeting with Cressida, where they laid out their findings and explained that they thought the Queen’s physician was up to no good, she explained that she could not help them and it was a shame that she didn’t have the authority to investigate the Doctor and his dealings and that the 4000 gp she was putting on the table had nothing to do with any investigations of said dealings…

    The party, after a quick recovery and refitting (Yay some magic weapons make everyone happy) the party was off to investigate “The Hospice of the Blessed Maiden” where Doctor Davaulus and the Queen’s Physician’s are Curing the Sick. The Mover and Shaker cast invisibility on the Rogue, who snuck in and did some quick reconnoitering. He discovered a rather unused loading dock in the back and snuck into it. Opening the doors, he let the party in, from there they used a couple of well placed sleep bolts to knock out a couple of Gray Maiden’s. They all popped into the cargo lift, without anyone being alerted (other than the sleeping guards of course).

    Unfortunately their luck started to fail them here. The 2 Gray Maidens on the second floor were not bluffed into thinking that the party was there to see Doctor Davaulus (which they actually were) and attacked. One round later, the ranger/rogue and the Celestial Sorcerer took one Guard out and the Orc took the other out.

    There we ended it for the night.

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    I just had my very long exhaustive and probably to over the top post eaten…*sigh*

    A shorter version…

    My thoughts on the playtest are quite honestly focused on one PC at this point. The Sword and Board Fighter. She has an odd build, in that she has some dex, but not an overabundance but enough to actually get in the way. In effect she has the optimized Armor for her Dex and money and still only has a slightly better AC than the next closest AC’s. The Ranger/Rogue, the Barbarian, and the Rogue all have the same AC. The damage that each of those characters can produce is vastly superior to that of the fighter. She has sacrificed everything for a better AC than everyone else and still barely has a better AC.
    Yes, she hasn’t played the game in a long time, and yes there are a couple of feats out there that would improve her build meta gamingly, if you will. But the point here isn’t that she is a poor player, the point is that the iconic sword and shield is not working. The Paladin and the Fighter should be able to pick up heavy armor and a shield and be just as feared by their enemies as the barbarian when he grabs a two-hander. But they have nothing to inspire that fear with. They don’t do a massive amount of damage (Raging barbarian with 2-hander), they can’t stop you from attacking their allies (like the chain fighter), They can flank you, but while it makes them more likely to hit you, you won’t feel your kidney explode like when a rogue does it.
    Armor needs a power boost. The sword and board character has no need to do the kind of damage the barbarian or rogue does. They need a thing of their own. Some way to protect their friends and allies to not be hit, or even be attacked. Or they need a way to convince the enemy that they are the greater threat, that that hunk of metal barreling down on them is the thing that they need to fear the most. Sadly right now, the enemy just sees that hunk of junk clanking its way toward them as a nuisance at most and a joke more often than not…

    Oh, and Sorcerer’s should be Nerfed…ok they shouldn’t but I like to rattle my Sorcerer’s players ;)

    BTW, I love the flavor of the bloodlines on the sorcerers. There are 2 sorcerer’s in the game right now and you forget that they are the same class they are so different. (Kind of the fighters of the Arcane class now however they are both effective unlike the sword and board fighter)

    On the movement front...Swim needs to add to movement in water. We had 2 or 3 players with very very good swim skill and nothing to show for it. This skill is underused to begin with and smacks of being a waste of points, as it stands right now you are better off walking acrossed the bottom. How about plus 5 feet of movement for every 5 points your roll over 15 on a swim check?

    As to the Fighter...I cannot agree more, everybody has a roll to play in combat except her, and it has nothing to do with the player. Its the limitations of fighter as a class doing what it should do best, she wanted a tank and yes there are a couple of feats out there that might suit her needs better, but for the most part the character is built right. THe fighter should be designed in a way were you cant help but be a great tank. Like a Rogue cant help but be a great damage dealer, no matter what feats you choose. A sword and board fighter even more so. That is just not the case YET. You can make great damage dealing fighters, CMB fighters, archers etc....but you still cant make the one thing a fighter should be, a tank.

    I saw this same sort of thing starting to happen in my CotCT campaign. I introduced a feat that more-or-less replicates 4ed's marking mechanic. It seems to work pretty well for my group so far. I've mentioned it elsewhere on the boards and opinions seem to be divided.

    Time to chime in! :D


    The Feat I took was “Weapon Focus (Longbow)”. I had hopes of trying to eventually becoming an Arcane Archer. I have modified the existing PrC to something resembling a ‘Magical Archer’, rather than a ‘Ranger with an obligatory(aka useless) level of Sorcerer/Wizard’. I will post my changes to the PrC later, should that become relevant. (See HERE for my original thoughts. Those have changed slightly, as it requires 4 Feats and has a reduced HD to ‘d8’. )

    I swapped “Daze” for “Ray of Frost”. The thought behind this was that Daze has started to become ineffective, at least on the targets that I would spend a whole turn trying to TAP DOWN. (Yea, that’s a Magic the Gathering reference.) I’m wasn’t entirely sure what to take being as I already have an ‘At Will’ Heavenly Fire ray attack that does 1d6+4. I figured if pinned in a corner, no spells remaining and/or the enemy is Neutral aligned (Heavely Fire doesn’t harm neutral aligned.), I can use Ray of Frost for 1d3+2. (+1 damage Point-Blank Shot & +1 damage Arcane Strike. Same applies to Heavenly Fire.)

    My new spells, other than Ray of Frost, were... “True Strike”(1st) and “Blast of Force” (2nd). (Force Missiles is the 4th level spell in the ‘magic missile chain’, I hope to get that one later.) I honestly don’t know how often I’ll use Blast of Force, but I am trying to keep the spells somewhat themed ‘[Force]’ or as mentioned above the ‘magic missile chain’.

    MY SPELLS: (collapsed 'under spoiler' due to length)


  • Detect Magic
  • Read Magic
  • Dancing Lights (Cleric has Light, this can be cast long range)
  • Message
  • Ray of Frost (See reasoning above)


  • Magic Missile (Force)
  • Shield (Force/Defense)
  • Ebon Eyes (SPC 77) (Human/Halfling answer to Magical Darkness)
  • Bless(Bloodline)
  • True Strike (Didn't know what else to take, seems Archer appropriate)


  • Whirling Blade (SPC ##)
  • Blast of Force (SPC ##) (Force)
  • Resist Energy (Bloodline)
  • --------------------------------
    As for my thoughts on the campaign...


    The Sea Hag was tough, her companion was a chump. A level of Sorcerer/Wizard to ‘Enlarge’ that bad boy might’ve been cool. :) I had no problems with the underwater movement, however I’m the ‘Ranged Specialist’ of this group. The bow was useless with ‘-2 to hit’ every 5 foot travelled. We were allowed to cast underwater, verbal or otherwise, restricting speech would’ve been a bad thing as the 2 Sorcerers and Cleric would’ve been completely useless. I didn’t think about the difficulties of underwater combat, or I might’ve given the Orc barbarian my Rapier, on the same note though... we’ve never fought underwater, the ‘characters’ wouldn’t have known.

    Personally I thought Grey Maidens were going to be a bit tougher, the ones we fought were just awefully disappointing. After speaking to Brutesquad07 he was happy that some of us WERE awestruck by their ‘reputation’, so kudos to him for portraiting them well. I so can’t wait for the can-o’-whoopass that comes when they scale-up and we try to abuse them in a similar fashion.


    fanguad wrote:

    Here is what Brutesquad07 and I had come up with back on the 'Feats & Skills' board. (Now the posts are archived.) I would like to see our 'sword & board' fighter have the availability for a 'Feat Respec' and ry out these New, Experimental Feats. A few of them I would like to try next campaign which I've already decided I want to play a Paladin. I put them under a spoiler tag so that it wouldn't be a super-huge off-topic post.


    Shield Ally (formerly Shieldmate)
    You have a watchful eye over your allies occasionally lending a shield.
    Prerequisites - +1 BAB, Shield Proficiency
    Benefit - You provide a +1 shield bonus to AC to all adjacent allies when you have a shield you are proficient equipped. The shield bonus granted to allies cannot exceed the overall bonus provided by your shield.

    Improved Shield Ally (formerly Improved Shieldmate)
    You know how to defend your allies better than they do, and you have a shield to prove it.
    Prerequisites - Shield Ally, +4 BAB, Shield Proficiency
    Benefit - The shield bonus to AC you provide all adjacent allies increases by +1. This effect stacks with the bonus provided by 'Shield Ally'. The shield bonus granted to allies cannot exceed the overall bonus provided by your shield.

    Intercept (or Interception?)
    You are a team player and sometimes that involves taking a hit for the team.
    Prerequisites - +1 BAB, Shield Proficiency, Combat Reflexes
    Benefit - If an ADJACENT ally would be struck by a melee or ranged attack you may take the hit instead. The attack is completed as normal, but now acts as if you were the intended target.

    Your selflessness causes your AC to be reduced by -2 for the remainder of the round, this includes the attack you intercept. You must have a shield you are proficient with equipped. This feat may only be performed once per round as an immediate action.

    Shield Focus (Combat)
    You are skilled at deflecting blows with your shield.
    Prerequisites: Shield Proficiency, base attack bonus +1
    Benefit: Increase the base AC bonus granted by any light, heavy or tower shield you are using by 1. Your Shield bonus applies to your touch AC as well.

    Greater Shield Focus (Combat)
    You are incredibly skilled at deflecting blows with your shield.
    Prerequisites: Shield Focus, Shield Proficiency, base attack bonus +4
    Benefit: When benefitting from a shield you are using a light, medium or tower shield you and each adjacent ally receive a +1 Dodge bonus to AC. This bonus increases by 1 for each 2 points of shield bonus after the first. Any affect that causes you to lose your dexterity or shield bonus causes you to lose this bonus. No one may benefit by this feat more than once, the greater Dodge bonus applies.

    Shield Mastery (Combat)
    You can use a shield to deflect harm.
    Prerequisites: Shield Focus, Shield proficiency, base attack +4
    Benefit: Whenever you are using a shield you apply your shield bonus to your Reflex Saving throws. Any affect that causes you to lose your dexterity or shield bonus causes you to lose this bonus.

    Improved Shield Mastery (Combat)
    You can use a shield to deflect a great deal of harm.
    Prerequisites: Shield Focus, Shield Mastery, Shield proficiency, base attack +12
    Benefit: Whenever you are using a shield and successfully make a reflex saving throw you [insert evasion text here]. This effect does not stack with evasion

    Greater Shield Mastery (Combat)
    You can use a shield amazingly well to protect yourself from harm.
    Prerequisites: Shield Focus, Shield Mastery, Improved Shield Mastery, Shield proficiency, base attack +16
    Benefit: Whenever you are using a shield and successfully make a reflex saving throw you [insert improved evasion text here]. This effect does not stack with evasion.

    Here's a little something I photoshop'd together for KaeYoss' BIG CONTEST, thought maybe our group would appreciate it as well. :)


    Okay, I'm admittedly having way too much fun now, here's another photoshop'd slice of goodness. The pictures didn't mesh quite as well as the Orc one above did, but I think it portraits the moment VERY well.


    Yup, having way too much fun... I blame KaeYoss!
    More Curse of the Crimson Throne Campaign motivators...
    Our Hero.

    Our Antagonist.

    Our fair Shieldmaiden.

    Ok...the last one made spit out my coffee on my nice new dual monitor set up at work !

    fanguad wrote:

    Our version of Taunt/Challenge feats... (Not yet in use, but available)


    Combat Challenge (Combat)
    You call out an opponent, distracting them from attacking your companions.
    Prerequisites: Base attack bonus +1, 1 Rank in Bluff or Intimidate.
    Benefit: Every time you melee attack an enemy, whether the attack hits or misses, you can choose to mark that target. The mark lasts until the end of your next turn. While a target is marked, it takes a –2 penalty to attack rolls for any attack that doesn't include you as a target. A creature can be subject to only one mark at a time. A new mark supersedes a mark that was already in place. A marked enemy is aware of the mark and its potential effects. You may only have one mark active at any time. This feat may be taken as a Fighter bonus feat.

    Improved Combat Challenge (Combat)
    Your skill at distracting multiple opponents makes you fearsome.
    Prerequisites: Base attack bonus +4, Combat Challenge, Combat
    Reflexes, 4 Ranks in Bluff or Intimidate.
    Benefit: You may have one mark active for every +2 Base attack Bonus you possess and your marks now last until the end of combat. This feat may be taken as a Fighter bonus feat.

    Greater Combat Challenge (Combat)
    Your commanding presence causes opponents to hesitate, leaving them
    vulnerable to attacks.
    Prerequisites: Base attack bonus +6, Combat Challenge, Improved Combat
    Challenge, Combat Reflexes, 6 Ranks in Bluff or Intimidate
    Benefit: Whenever a marked enemy that is adjacent to you moves or
    makes an attack that does not include you, you may make an `attack of
    opportunity' against that enemy. In addition, any marked enemy struck
    by your attack of opportunity stops moving, if a move provoked the
    attack. (If it still has another move action remaining, it can use it
    to resume moving.) This feat may be taken as a Fighter bonus feat.

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    So, while talking with my wife about our current campaign she mentioned that I had not posted a report about our last game (10 days ago) i told her that she was in error and came here to show her and low and behold, no playtest report. I filed one. I even copied it into word and then hit post...sadly no report...*Sigh* So, I shall now repost (to the best of my recollection) the post that was supposed to be here...

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Our last session was a continuation of an adventure from the previous exploits of our fair characters. The party had...hmm...I'll Spoiler this, as usual if you are going to play this don't open the tag, i'll post all relevent game material outside of the tag.


    The party had invaded the hospice of the Blessed Maiden a front for one Dr. Davaulus the queen's physician and his allies, the temple of Urgathoa. They had snuck past the first floor, rather ingeniously IMHO, with a couple of sleep darts and some judicious use of invisibility and stealth. They made it to the top floor without rousing suspicion. There they had finally failed to stealth their way in and were forced to put down some resistance. Some Gray Maidens had fallen to the Ranger/Rogue, the Celestial Sorcerer and the Orc Barabarian.

    This is where we picked the story up last time. The party entered the next room which was housing some very seriously messed up Varisians and the "Doctors" who were messing them up. One surprise round and a poor initiative on the Doctors part left them all a splattered mess with no actions before the party wiped them out. They then took some time to figure out what was going on, by then Doctor Davaulus (In the next room) figured out they were there and snuck to the lift and hitched a ride to the secret temple in the basement. This was unfortunate for everyone in the basement as the party hadn't known there was a basement until the lift went there. Several minutes go by as they try to figure out the lift and lo and behold there is a secret button, that the rogue quickly rigs to work.
    The party then finds itself in the basement. A creepy description of the room (including skeletons with scythes carved around the doors) and the party is starting to figure out that the Urgathoa Holy symbols were the important clue they thought they were.

    So a trap goes off (no real details neccessary other than some of the party are drained of a little con and a little wis (funnily the Orc barbarian failed the rather easy fort save for this so now he can't make a will save without rolling a 20) As they are trying to deal with this trap out come a pack of rogues. They cause some problems in the first round, but then after a round or two are supressed. Another room later and the party finds a pack of priests.

    This is where an observation that I had been waiting for occured. Hey! a bunch of evil priests could make a devestating party. They could only channel 2 times each so there was a limit, but could you imagine a party of 4 or 5 of these guys channeling every round for 8 rounds (3+a Cha of +3 +2 for extra channeling)? I pointed out that the 8 rounds are amazing but after that you don't have a lot left to fall back on, and that the party (except for the will-less barbarian) kept making their saves.

    A point about the channeling also came up. Does everyone make saves for channeling? For PC's its a no brainer they each make a save, but what about a pack of undead. There were some zombies in the next encounter and the cleric used his channel on them, which meant I had to roll a save for 4 or 6 zombies each time. Of course those zombies also had evil clerics behind them and they had to channel every round also...Saves were getting a bit numerous. Perhaps a tweek to the mechanic is in order? Not sure.

    The party finished off the zombie/cleric encounter licked their wounds (and waited for the Barbarian and Ranger/rogue to shake off the fear effects the clerics had opened up on them with)

    On to the last room we completed for the day. (we have to start earlier btw, our published hours are 2-7 but we are not getting started till almost 3 and people want to bug out early rather than late which I can understand but it is starting to turn into a 3-4 hour play time instead of a 5ish hour) Spoiler here.


    An operating room with a couple of the party's old friends (heh) Rolth (or Rolwf as they call him) and Dr Davaulus as well as a couple of rogues and a couple of clerics.

    This is a classic caster fight. Spells are flying, a hideous laughter takes out first the Rogue and then the Barbarian for rounds at a time. A few zaps back and forth from the bad guys and the good guys as well as the Cleric trading misses with a rogue for rounds at a time and the Ranger/Rogue unable to move past the mooks. The Sword and board fighter sucked up her Mobility and charged past all the bad guys sucking up all the AOO's and not taking a hit (yay) however, a note, While her AC was pretty impressive, it wasn't the AC that prevented the AOO's from hitting but the lack of decent rolls on my part. Still a shame that the AC built fighter with really good AC and HP stats manages to get hit more often than the Barbarian...odd huh? The real shame is that the Barbarian does oh, 3-4 times the damage that she does. 1d8+4 vs 2d6+10 (yes he's a full orc but 2d6+7 doesn't seem any better) un raged? seem fair when his AC is only a few points lower than hers un raged? not to me, not to anyone in my group. The Overhand chop feat helps a build do some damage but it really shows how poor the sword and board is now. Please please please lets fix armor so we can have decent balance.

    The battle goes pretty well, other than the fact that with the Barbarian out, the Fighter is left with the job of bashing on the caster and she is not doing enough damage for me to really even bother targetting her with a spell. Even with her best in the party BAB his Spellcraft rolls start so high that he can only fail defensive casting on a high level spell with a very very very poor roll. He continues to pound the party with magic, ignoring a full Fighter in his face. Something is wrong here, don't have a perfect answer. The DC's to cast defensively need adjusting and the mechanic used to do it needs to not use Int, Wis or Cha because those favor one caster or another. Maybe 20+Spell level+opponents best BAB vs D20 + Caster Level + Con (ie concentration skill vs a 20 base DC? I don't know that may be to high.)
    Something else we noticed. The bad guy is higher level than the party to make him a challenge for an entire party, so his DC's are higher since he has higher level spells. He saves vs the party and the party fails to save vs him. The party uses lower level spells than he does so his 4th level spells are much nastier than their 2nd level spells. Yes they should be he is a bad guy and has to seem scary. but the problem is that they can't get him to ever fail a save and they can't seem to make one. Starting to tip out of balance. No point in playing a caster if the Bad guys is never going to fail a save. Better to play a barbarian with a 2-hander. Bad guys rarely save vs Smash...

    Well that was the gist of our game and our collective thoughts as we played on the nature of the game itself.

    I might suggest the Lock down spells like Hideous laughter seem a tad long in duration. Its all well and good to pin down a creature for a couple of rounds, because in most cases they are numerous, or if they arent they are of higher level and frequently save. But when you turn this spell on the party the enemy is commonly higher level, so the end result is that 2 players failed and sat out roughly the last hour and change of the session. It may make for good strategy but the reality is that you have a spell in play that makes it so that you dont get to play the game. I am not sure there is a great fix for this considering rounds are supposed to take seconds in game time, but the disconnect comes in when you realize that in reality they take several minutes. I would suggest maybe one of the following, round by round resaves, duration that is scalable so that you can " luck out " and only be down for a round or two, or maybe a way to reverse the effect that is lower level than dispel magic so that its more likely the party can do something about it at the level when this kind of thing is thrown at them. I am not one to cry nerf for spells, but any game mechanic that actually prevents you from playing said game needs to be examined more closely.

    After reading this I guess I have a few things that I'd like to have you chew over.

    First, you are being REALLY heavy handed with the S&B comments lol. You have definitely stated that you don't like them (there are, like, paragraphs of you saying that) so feel free to ease up on that subject. On the plus side I agree S&B needs some tweaks to be effective. The other side when you actually look at the numbers with a decent shield (heavy +1), the game being based on a d20, the S&B has a flat out 15% less likely chance to get hit. I think there might even be something like shield optimization which lets you squeeze out another +1 (or +2 if there is an improved one - another player was looking at doing a S&B character awhile ago but I haven't looked into it personally), so you could probably get it up to 20-25% less chance easy. I know in game the numbers seem out of whack and in fights involving magic, shields tend to be worthless (touch attacks and just plain spells that target), but I don't think they are truly as bad as you are feeling them to be. I mean the end result is if you are being hit 15% less often you can stand your ground longer and that is pretty much what S&B is supposed to do.

    Second, channeling (going to roll your separate posts up here). In your first posts about it you mentioned that it should damage regardless. I disagree with that for a few reasons. What you didn't mention was that when channeling positive energy you are healing at the same time as doing damage. That is a HUGE benefit if only for the action cost savings, one standard action and you are getting an AOE heal and AOE damage versus undead. And while they might have good will saves, they don't get con to their base hitpoints and are pretty fragile in most cases. And in that encounter with the bad guy priests our group had a hell of a time. With the feat changes the DM gave them each selective turning and they spread out and went to town on us. Pretty much the things that saved us were the low save DC's and that we had a priest on our side who we huddled around doing the same thing (but better, higher level) until they ran out lol. As for who makes a save, it is like any other saving throw. The zombie could willing fail the save to get healed for the full amount instead of making the save and only healing 1/2.

    Third, that underwater encounter wiped our party, only 2 of 6 survived and that was because the barbarian was within reach of my drowning unconscious body when he made a break for our vehicle after almost being dropped himself. If you want details I'd be happy to provide them, but it sounds like you were nice to your party lol.

    Lastly, your encounter this last game. Spell casters are nasty when they are of a level higher than the PC's, it is a given when played well (well not even well, when even played adequately). I wouldn't be too worried about what you saw there. Good spell selection just makes it that much more pronounced and the PC's probably having used some of the "big guns" they had on the encounter before and that you don't have a wizard (and thus access to 3rd level spells) makes a difference too. I think you were just running into the "group composition wasn't necessarily optimal for that type of encounter" problem.

    As for your players last comment about the spells duration, it would suck for the PC's if it were changed to something along those lines. The expectation is "opponent fails, opponent is significantly impacted" if you were to change the duration chances are the enemies would break out earlier and make the spells worthless for the PC's, it swings both ways as it should. If you were impacted by the spell in the first place it was either 1) crappy save roll (it happens) or 2) you are playing a character with poor saves anyways (and you should expect tactics like this to be used on you unless you take precautions against it), I'm not saying it is fun, but there should be some drawbacks that can be imposed in game on characters. You have already made significant buffs the characters with fate points and not bleeding out (and not dying if they don't want to). If they were going to win and everything goes their way regardless, what fun is the game?

    Anyways, this was the last AP we ran with our gaming group before real life started imposing itself on our fun. I think you are about to the place we ended (very messily I might add), if not past it but I don't want to say anything that might spoil it until I know for sure lol. It is kinda neat reading through someone else's experiences, good gaming ;)

    1) I think what you are picking up on with sword in board is accurate in terms of quanitity of is a pet peeve of the members of the party who take the time to post here, so you get a bit of a sounding tube effect.
    2) As to sheild being good enough, I just cannot site percentages but that doesnt tell the whole story. The problem comes in when you see the relative weakness of an iconic fantasy build compared to nearly every other feat tree available. It just plain doesnt stack up to , 2 hander, dual wield, trip, whirlwind, or cleave builds and thats just to name a few.
    3) while I agree that it is great to have lock down spells as a player and that the game should be a two way street, I was more trying to point out that sometimes a cool game mechanic or nice strategy needs to be toned down when it hurts the fun of the game...Hideous laughter is the equivalent of a spell that says " watch everyone else play and have fun for the next hour" There has to a middle ground somewhere between the strategy and the reality.
    4) Yes I whole heartedly agree that the situation was far worse due to the level of caster...that being said, all the more reason to make sure that things scale properly. If the encounter is of our level, the situation should be difficult but not impossible regardless of party compostion.
    5) Channeling...I love it how it is so I can see your point in regards to damage. I think the idea behind always doing damage, was first of all less rolls to speed game play, secondly since its just undead the 2 for 1 effect is limited, and third the damage is fairly low so it would be nice to see it land with regularity. Plus I think we all have tendancy to see something we like and want to make it even better. Maybe you are right and it is a step to far.

    Forgot a couple...the underwater encounter. I think I should mention that it wasnt as easy as the post made it feel. The combat wasnt a mop up by far. Also we have a party of 7 players with 2 arcane casters and a fair amount of piercing weapons so that might explain the difference.

    Also the fate points, dont assume that the game is being played on easy just because you get an option on dying to a small extent. Frequently there are only a couple of these to go around and near death experiences happen in brutes games pretty often. If anything they are his safety net for when he plays a little too rough. Conversly because they can be spent on other things, if there gets to be vary many of them it doesnt stay that way for long.

    WarmasterSpike wrote:

    1) I think what you are picking up on with sword in board is accurate in terms of quanitity of is a pet peeve of the members of the party who take the time to post here, so you get a bit of a sounding tube effect.
    2) As to sheild being good enough, I just cannot site percentages but that doesnt tell the whole story. The problem comes in when you see the relative weakness of an iconic fantasy build compared to nearly every other feat tree available. It just plain doesnt stack up to , 2 hander, dual wield, trip, whirlwind, or cleave builds and thats just to name a few.

    It being a pet peeve is kinda obvious ;)

    When citing the percentages I stated that it doesn't tell the whole story and that there were circumstances that it doesn't perform as well, in encounters where AC means little (magic, traps with saves instead of to hits, etc) a shield doesn't perform well, in melee centric encounters it performs much better. My point was that the iconic S&B build does what it is supposed to and does it competently (makes it harder to hit the character by a significant and quantifiable amount). As for it stacking up to other builds.. I would like to point out that you are comparing apples and oranges, what I mean by that - a S&B build is basically all about defense, not offense. Nothing says "Not in the face" like a shield. It is also a passive ability instead of active like the others (you don't get to add anything to your rolls). This leaves the S&Ber feeling left out as they aren't seemingly doing anything extra and leaves them at the mercy of things they don't see (a GM might roll in front of the group but you still don't know what the opponents stats are, though meta gaming you figure it out after a few rolls). Unfortunately this is a perception "thing," the bonuses are there you just don't get to "see them in action" and it usually takes a certain type of player to be able to sit back and not feel left out when playing a build like that. And actually trip and whirlwind work for a S&Ber, whirlwind attack is actually really good for the S&Ber because they have the AC to avoid the AoO's and to weather standing in the middle of a group of opponents and take whacks at them all. What it comes down to is, mechanically a S&B build is specialized and requires more effort to build effectively and even then you will be lacking in the "damage" department. That is the build, as a player you can accept that or ask to re roll because you aren't having fun and it wasn't what you were expecting it to be. And that comes down to a certain perception of things and wanting something to be something it isn't. Obviously it is your groups "pet peeve" so I don't harbor any thoughts of changing your mind lol.

    Again, my intent was to play devil's advocate for your pet peeve and possibly try to get you to look at it in another light and give the DM or anyone else reading this, something to chew on. Perceptions are going to color our feelings on things and I wanted to point out S&B wasn't as bad as it is seemingly made out with the posts here. Not to say it couldn't use some tweaks, but I don't think an "overhaul" is required.

    WarmasterSpike wrote:

    3) while I agree that it is great to have lock down spells as a player and that the game should be a two way street, I was more trying to point out that sometimes a cool game mechanic or nice strategy needs to be toned down when it hurts the fun of the game...Hideous laughter is the equivalent of a spell that says " watch everyone else play and have fun for the next hour" There has to a middle ground somewhere between the strategy and the reality.

    When the party is 7 strong taking out a character or two isn't nearly as damaging as the 4 person party most adventures are based on. The other side of that is, your combats are going to go longer as there are more players. I disagree on things needing to be "toned" down. The PC's wouldn't ever tone things down. Also as long as the same character isn't getting hit with the spell every encounter it shouldn't be a big deal. Not to say it is fun to be taken out, but that is what you get for being a "threat". This is no different than in real life sports, if you are a good player you are going to be "covered". You either have to outperform the coverage, wait for them to make mistakes/you to get lucky to take advantage of, or just realize you aren't going to be in the game because they are focusing on taking you out of it. It happens, it is part of the game, you deal with it and move on to the next encounter and have your fun there. It is a role playing game, not everything is going to be fun; And that is the fun in it, overcoming challenges, losing characters in memorable ways, dealing with the low/non fun stuff and coming out above it all victorious. Well at least in our games, I can only speak from personal experiences obviously.

    WarmasterSpike wrote:

    4) Yes I whole heartedly agree that the situation was far worse due to the level of caster...that being said, all the more reason to make sure that things scale properly. If the encounter is of our level, the situation should be difficult but not impossible regardless of party compostion.

    They do scale properly, you did win correct? And without any deaths it sounds like (I'm not sure what the ECL/CR was of the encounter and if it was tweaked for your larger group size). Tactics make a big part of things like this and group composition will heavily influence your tactics. With two sorcerers you were feeling the difference between the trade off of versatility (access to spells) for power (spells per day) in this encounter. With access to a wizard you could have had things like dispel magic (which could have been a way to cancel the laughter spell among other things) or stinking cloud (fort save or nauseated) from the 3rd level spells, even though the cleric could have had it as well they usually have other important things (like healing lol). With a cleric a spell like silence on the S&B fighter (or something they can drop or throw away) who was in the face of the mage would have made things pretty hairy for the NPC caster while not doing anything bad to the fighter - in a small room, shut the door and it is like fish in a barrel. Even a protection from evil spell on the Barbarian would have helped saving throws (though not bad rolls if that were the case). Again I'm not picking apart your tactics just saying what you saw happen could have been a very different story with another group and various tactics, also I'm sure there are some encounters that go vastly better than expected because of the group set up.

    WarmasterSpike wrote:

    5) Channeling...I love it how it is so I can see your point in regards to damage. I think the idea behind always doing damage, was first of all less rolls to speed game play, secondly since its just undead the 2 for 1 effect is limited, and third the damage is fairly low so it would be nice to see it land with regularity. Plus I think we all have tendancy to see something we like and want to make it even better. Maybe you are right and it is a step to far.

    Channeling has definitely taken a turn for the better in PFRPG. As for speeding up the game play, they had already taken care of that. You don't have to roll some dice, find your table, compare, roll some more dice to find the effect on those opponents, etc. Now you just roll some d6's - living things get that much health, undead things roll a save and take damage accordingly. Vastly simplified now lol. As Turning only ever effected undead in the first place, now it has been buffed to heal the living too, and with the exception of really crappy rolls versus a creature with Turn Resistance you will always do damage (1 is the minimum amount) regardless. If you are a mid level caster, you will be obliterating low level undead on average rolls which is what the old turning was doing in the first place as well. As it is there are already people complaining that it is too powerful for what it is. I think they really hit the mark on this change though.

    WarmasterSpike wrote:

    Forgot a couple...the underwater encounter. I think I should mention that it wasnt as easy as the post made it feel. The combat wasnt a mop up by far. Also we have a party of 7 players with 2 arcane casters and a fair amount of piercing weapons so that might explain the difference.

    We had all sorts of things going against us on this encounter. We went at night so limited visibility. We have stormwreck (as the DM has been wanting to play a pirate campaign, they got to play with a little of it here) so there were expanded rules for underwater stuff. It was right by the city so it we ruled cloudy water - which turned into "What visibility?", it was a pretty large river/canal what have you so we ruled moving water. This is probably what killed us to be honest. Hardly anyone could make the swim check (besides the barbarian with the STR check and light armor) which meant at least one of us ended up moving downstream at pretty much every other round of the encounter. It provoked AoO's, screwed with our line of sight, just completely destroyed any attempt at tactics we could have made. The shark had scent, the hag had that horrible gaze attack which nailed our druid and because of the downstream movement we triggered the eels by the boat. It was just BAD, I think we had 4 characters, maybe 5. I think I will always carry a potion of alterself (well I would if it were 3.5) anytime I go anywhere underwater so I can have a swim speed after that.

    WarmasterSpike wrote:

    Also the fate points, dont assume that the game is being played on easy just because you get an option on dying to a small extent. Frequently there are only a couple of these to go around and near death experiences happen in brutes games pretty often. If anything they are his safety net for when he plays a little too rough. Conversly because they can be spent on other things, if there gets to be vary many of them it doesnt stay that way for long.

    We have used action points in a few games, usually the ones I run as I tend to be a bit more hard on the encounters. We have had one player who 99.9% of the time will make his bleed check. I mean you could count on it, we have let combat rage around him and ignore him because of it on multiple occasions. If it is a 20 int wizard, I try to play him smart. I know the CRs are kinda off on somethings and the players are fairly competent at maximizing the characters(2 of 5 will usually ask for suggestions when making characters, they let the rest of us know what they want and the more rules savy ones will give them the options to choose from, and it usually because those two haven't gone through all the books) so I make adjustments too. That being said, if fate points are like action points, you have to admit they do make a difference in game. From what it sounds like they are even more powerful if you are trading them in for feats and such, things like that make the lower levels much more survivable but they also tip the balance in the PC's favor by a large amount. We run a fairly core rules centric campaign with not a lot of house rules, the action points being the biggest one in play (and to be honest most don't use them except to stop bleed out on the last round lol), the other is the ECL buy off. Many of the "broken" points of 3.5 were dealt with in a "don't go there" type of attitude, use it how it was meant to be used, don't abuse it. This has kept us from having to house rule things which has been nice. But it also makes me weary of changes like the ones you are playing with because I can't help but see how much easier it would make things for our group.

    Underwater Encounter:
    None of us have access to the “elemental” splat books. (Stormwreck, Frostburn, etc.) I personally think they complicate terrain to a near unplayable extent, a such I refuse to buy them, ever. You are playing this for fun, not to micro-manage gear and/or skills accordingly. If you and/or the DM feels you need gear or skills to venture where you’re travelling, it should be a flat fee... cold weather gear 20+gp each, Pathfinder Mountaineer/Sailor/Spelunker(Hireling) 10gp +2GP a day, etc. Prices are just examples of what I’ve seen in my past games, not something I actually found in the rules.

    Yes, we did have an easier time of the Water Encounter than your party did, but we weren’t overwhelmed with environmental effects and tedious skill checks. We had massive attack penalties and half speed movement. We had enough gold to buy potions of water breathing, so drowning wasn’t an issue. 2 of our party members were knocked down with a third beat-up pretty badly. It was tough, no one died, everyone had fun.

    You should probably be using SPOILER tags on some of your info Skylancer4, such as detailed fight information. :(


    It reminds me of the combat we did in... Pathfinder Society Module XXXXXXXXX. Instead of being underwater, it was in the desert, with heat and dehydration penalties, even more so if wearing armor. Enter the encounter, 6 players - 1st level characters, 4-5 henchemen/NPCs (which all surrender immediately), 8-10 enemies - 2-3 w/ ranged weapons (all immune to enviroment effects through gear) and 1 sandstorm (poor visibility). The DM told us flat out that the only party to “survive” the encounter was a 2nd level party, 1 out of 3 times he had ran it.

    Fate Points:
    Fate points = Action points, I had a group many years ago that referred to them as “Hero” points. Fate points are slightly better than Action points to some degree. As with enviromental splat books, our DM and most of our players do not have Ebberon or Unearth Arcana 3.5 to cross-compare the Action point system. Fate Points are quite game changing, I won’t aruge that. Without them we wouldn’t have an ORC barbarian or an ARISTOCRAT human sorcerer, some of us wouldn’t have that 1 extra feat, but our DM (Brutesquad07) has seen to it that we are challenged fairly well. We have had our instances where someone important fails a save and we use a fate point to re-roll the save, or use fate points to prevent someone from going -40 life aka permanently dead. The fate points don’t ‘grow on trees’ they have to be earned through ‘role’ playing. I have suggested Brutesquad07 give the major NPCs Fate points as well, I’m unsure if he has or not, but that is how one of my old DMs use to handle the “Hero” points and it was annoying in an unpredictable OMG, - NO HE DIDN’T - RUN! sorrta way... yet extremely fun. I have played with Fate/Action/Hero points and I’ve played without them, I don’t prefer one over the other, it’s about the fun.

    As for the splat books, our group has an entirely different view. Where you see unplayable rules and complications we see options to make our characters truly excel at what they do. A pirate who uses the rules and feats from Stormwreck will truly be at home on the sea, more so than the vanilla character from core. A desert raider type character with the options from the Sandstorm will be that much better at the role and gives the party in game reasons to have some of the knowledge it is assumed to need to operate in such areas (rather than going to an expert npc about a subject, paying 5gp for the day of consultation and assuming the PC's have an encylopedia of knowledge from that visit on, we like a little more realism in our games than some of the rules allow for to be honest). Making your character into exactly what you want is the fun of the game as far as we are concerned, the options provided just help in that respect. Just paying out 120 gold and having all the worries covered isn't fun for us, having to put some thought and building it into our characters is more our style, more reliance on the character, less the gear.

    For the underwater trouble, any of the rules were using were just out of the DMG, the stormwreck book just put them in one place as opposed to lighting rules in one place, underwater combat in another, etc. All of the "problems" we had were ones you'd run into out of the core rules. Moving water = movement check DC's and murky water which limits visibility D20 and to move in water requires swim checks D20. These are all rules right out of the PHB or DMG. Characters that aren't aquatic in nature should be at a disadvantage - the rules back that up, we knew it when we started planning to pursue the story goal, were well aware of the rules and had the gold to spend (we hired a spell caster to cast waterbreathing on us, it was cheaper) it just was a rough encounter. We didn't prepare well enough and the dice weren't helping. I know our group wouldn't like taking things out of it that made it challenging (aka those tedious skill checks) just for the sake of making it easier in the pursuit of "fun." Overcoming these things through planning or use of our characters abilities or pure dumb luck is the fun part for us again. Anyways, hearing about the encounter a little more in depth it makes sense why it was easier on you (ignoring the swim checks is a huge benefit) than us lol.

    Agreed, I probably should have put a spoiler on that one but as everyone who is posting seems to be part of the party who is playing it I'm not going to worry over much, will keep it in mind in the future though (not that there is really that much more that I can spoil at this point, like I said we ended roughly where you guys/gals are now).

    Um, your fate points are completely not action points lol. Here are the OGL action points (free at d20srd, no books needed) Action points. What you are using seems to give a free level and extra feats, that is a huge difference in power in comparison to the ones that are published. Any of the options you have (orc barb or aristocrat sorc) are completely available to any game (level adjustment race and npc class level), it just means they are "starting" at 2nd level and has nothing to with the fate points in reality. I'm fairly confident that your DM is aware of this and I would imagine that he/she is adjusting the the encounters appropriately or not giving out as much XP for some of the encounters as written (aka more powerful characters would get less XP for encounters as per the table in the DMG and then split that even further by 7 characters). As written I like the action points because it does allow for a little correction of bad lucky (these characters are heroes after all) and I would have to say prefer them to not for that reason alone even as a DM (I put them in when running the 1st AP, the DM's since have kept them lol so I can only imagine they agree).

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