Has 3.5 / Pathfinder made harsh deserts too easy?


Mummy's Mask

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I've been reading through the available Osirion source material in preparation for the release of Mummy's Mask.

I'm excited about the idea of making the desert environment a key focus of the adventure. I love it when the setting creates a tone for everything else.

As it stands though I don't see why a character would give a damn about the deserts.

One Cleric in the party with Create Water and poof water's no issue. In fact why not fill up a whole caravan of waterskins and hand them out. It's 0-level.

Endure Elements is 1st level for everyone. So don't worry about the heat, just buy a wand.

So it's pretty much not an issue even at 1st level. By 2nd? Why waste anyone's time talking about it.

Seems like a GM would have to get into some pretty heavy rule bending for any PCs to care.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

It a resource management problem, just like real life.

Having the correct resources makes it trivial, but what happens if a critical resource is lost? If the cleric is chomped by a wandering monster, the party is limited to the water they have on hand. Endure elements is a great spell, but low-level characters don't have a lot of spell slots to ensure everyone is protected from the desert conditions and do everything else they need to do; even a wand of endure elements is a significant outlay for 1st-3rd level characters at 15 gp per person per day, and the choice between it and a wand of cure light wounds can be a tough decision.

Most of the issues become less pressing by about 4th-5th level, but that's the point where the game begins to shift from more "gritty/realistic" low-fantasy to more "heroic" high-fantasy, anyway. High-fantasy is less concerned about day-to-day survival and basic necessities. By system mechanics, a 5th-6th level character is pretty much superior to anybody in the real world even before taking into account magic; at that point, worrying about little things like having enough water or sufficient protection from hot conditions and rest after exertion is something few people enjoy (although the current weather at the Australian Open is a good example on how extreme conditions affect even people in better shape than over 99% of the world population when performing strenuous activity).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Don't forget, a human paladin can take energy resistance as a FC ability. 1 pt of fire and 1 pt of cold and he's basically immune to natural extremes of heat and cold, too!

==Aelryinth


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It is not a matter of Pathfinder itself, but the fact that Golarion is an High Fantasy setting.

Natural Conditions like weather, cold or heat are almost never an issue in High Fantasy setting, that's how it is.

There are basically three rank of fantasy setting:

- Low Fantasy: Magic is rare if it exist at all, it can be powerful but it is always very limited in the way you access it and/or use it. Lord of the Ring is a perfect example, the Midnight setting for 3.5 was pretty close to that too.

Usually the evolution curve of the characters in a low fantasy setting is almost flat, meaning they are not really THAT much more powerful at the end than at the beginning.

- High Fantasy: Magic is common, almost everywhere and is very accessible to the players. It can get really powerful quickly too. Magic Items are also plenty and there is usually even a decently accessible magic shop.
Characters evolution curve is not flat at all, it starts low but can get really high ultimately.
Pathfinder, DnD, Iron Kingdoms are typical High Fantasy Settings.

- Epic Fantasy: Here the player are way more powerful than common mortals, and will raise in power to become godlike, in a setting where destroying towns in one spell is not out of possibility. Magic items are legendary, everything is bigger and more badass.
This is the stuff of legends, of saving continents, fighting world devouring entities and becoming a myth.
Anima, Exalted and now Pathinder with the Mythic rules are typical Epic Fantasy.

Ok that was a bit longer than I expected, but basically conclusion:

If you want "survival", long journey where the travel itself is a challenge, where finding food, shelter or even water is difficult, try a low fantasy setting :)

Something like "Beyond the Mountain of Madness" for Call of Cthulhu is really intense for that.


D&D 3.5's Sandstorm supplement has some useful optional rules (especially the ones on heat protection and wasteland gear) you can use here.


osopolare wrote:
In fact why not fill up a whole caravan of waterskins and hand them out. It's 0-level.

Because the water vanishes after 1 day if not consumed?

I wouldn’t be surprised if there were regional laws or traditions involving this, actually. I could see some really horrific instances where brigands disguised as caravans offer to sell or trade for water that vanishes the next day leaving those who aren’t familiar with the area unable to find an oasis or other source of water. Much easier to just let the outlanders die from dehydration than risk yourself.

Not that I’m arguing that a dehydration is a large risk with a well-prepared party, it’s just no worse of a cakewalk than the risk of hypothermia to a party of aasimar & tieflings.

-TimD


I don't think the water disappears. It has no duration, being instantaneous.


This was exactly the issue in our Legacy of Fire game, with even the hottest desert I could feasibly place in the adventure's context mitigated by 1st level spells and cantrips. Its something I hope the designers are taking into consideration as this path is being written. Otherwise, the desert sort of becomes a meaningless backdrop.

Something else not mentioned is how ranged combatants will dominate most desert scenarios, since the range on line of sight and encounter starting distance is the furthest of any of the environments (short of plains). This means that unless you're using burrowing monsters, almost everything you fight will be subjected to at least a round or two of ranged combat. If you've got a blaster mage or say, a Zen Archer, the fight could very well be over before it begins.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Odraude wrote:
I don't think the water disappears. It has no duration, being instantaneous.

It does. (Last sentence of the first paragraph.)


Huh, totally missed that. Oh well.


Thanks for the feedback. Good comments from many of you. Rakshasa's comments especially. I'd love for the desert to feel like a desert. Dangerous, foreboding.

Now I wish I hadn't sold Sandstorm along with all my old 3.5 books. I remember really liking that one too, darn.

I am tempted to play this out as a low(er) magic campaign and to do something to nerf Create Water and Endure Elements.

I guess I would have to figure out what other spells might come in to play also.


Yeah good point on the expiration, I glossed over that too.


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The heat is still a factor, even with water, well for low level characters anyway.

And there is city in the desert for the Legacy of Fire game. If an entire city can survive without worrying about water then a small group show be able to get water.

Making up some rule to make the enviroment more difficult is not to everyone's taste. I would not mind, but I would make it optional, and not a part of the plot.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I would love it.

Liberty's Edge

Rakshaka wrote:

Something else not mentioned is how ranged combatants will dominate most desert scenarios, since the range on line of sight and encounter starting distance is the furthest of any of the environments (short of plains). This means that unless you're using burrowing monsters, almost everything you fight will be subjected to at least a round or two of ranged combat. If you've got a blaster mage or say, a Zen Archer, the fight could very well be over before it begins.

Deserts are not flat. Even the "classical" sandy desert is not flat because the winds blow the sands into large dunes that are forever changing making it nearly impossible to draw a reliable map.

Silver Crusade

I can say without a doubt that playing another AP proved that the opposite extreme environment will still wreck you if you don't take proper precautions. I got faith Osirion is gonna be appropriately tough. :)

still shaking off the cold from the Crown


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Also, not sure if this is the same in every desert, but with dry air you don´t see so far and then you get this heat wavering and sometimes there is no sandstorm, but a lot of sand and dust in the air, which doesn´t make for a far sight either.


Not to be a jerk, but I'm talking about what's listed in the CRB, not what deserts actually are. Even with heavy, sandy dunes, you have a minimum starting distance of 6d6x10 feet, an average of 210 feet (bigger than most play mats) Other than having a dust-storm during every encounter, every fight will start out with 2-3 rounds of ranged exchanges, meaning that a couple PCs with strong ranged options are going to dominate the desert walking portions of the AP. This isn't a bad thing, but something the designers should be aware of when doing this AP.


Furthermore, predicting the weather in PF isn't hard at all (DC 15 Survival). I guarantee most smart parties in a Desert AP will have someone with a rank in Survival, giving a 50/50 shot to most PCs without major investment or a Wisdom bonus. Barring some supernatural intervention, Sandstorms are easy to plan for and unless the PCs are on some sort of clock to travel, most will just hold up and wait out the weather rather than compromising any ranged tactical advantage the party might possess, let alone subject themselves to the mechanical danger of these events. Again, I'm curious as to how these factors will play out in the AP, as having enemies that utilize the Sandstorms to their advantage would be pretty cool. I am speaking from experience as I ran Legacy of Fire well past the third module (which is most of the desert traveling I speak of) and a two-year homebrew that also prominently featured the Desert as part of its focus.

Sovereign Court

I asked this once and was told it was "easy, just throw a blue dragon at them"....... I hear you making environments challenging is difficult in PF. Hopefully they come up with some neat obstacles that are not too much of a pain for people who dont like that sort of thing.


Rakshaka wrote:

Not to be a jerk, but I'm talking about what's listed in the CRB, not what deserts actually are. Even with heavy, sandy dunes, you have a minimum starting distance of 6d6x10 feet, an average of 210 feet (bigger than most play mats) Other than having a dust-storm during every encounter, every fight will start out with 2-3 rounds of ranged exchanges, meaning that a couple PCs with strong ranged options are going to dominate the desert walking portions of the AP. This isn't a bad thing, but something the designers should be aware of when doing this AP.

To spot something at 210 feet is a -21 to the Perception check at level 1 (-1 per 10 feet). That's quite a penalty at low levels to overcome. I could also see unfavorable conditions, given the heat wavering. That's more fiat admittedly, so up to GM.

Also, I'm okay with players putting points into Survival and avoiding sandstorms, since it'd be kind of dumb if they did otherwise.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

No doubt environmental rules for deserts will be expanded upon to make things more difficult for ranged opponents. For instance: desert camo cloaks that help an enemy blend into the background, and cause ranged attacks to suffer from concealment issues. There's also desert-blindness (akin to snow-blindness) from having that sun just baking down on you constantly. Also, when the sun goes down, temperatures plummet in deserts because there's no clouds to trap heat in. So even with Endure Elements, the temperature extremes might result in players having to make Fortitude checks to prevent from suffering from fatigue.

To be honest, it should make for an interesting switch from Irrisen.


Aelryinth wrote:

Don't forget, a human paladin can take energy resistance as a FC ability. 1 pt of fire and 1 pt of cold and he's basically immune to natural extremes of heat and cold, too!

==Aelryinth

Is this actually a thing? Was debated at a game I was in recently.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Yes, though you'd really need to be level 12 before you could ignore both hot and cold entirely.

CRB:Environment wrote:
Extreme cold (below –20° F) deals 1d6 points of lethal damage per minute (no save). In addition, a character must make a Fortitude save (DC 15, +1 per previous check) or take 1d4 points of nonlethal damage.

and

CRB:Environment wrote:
Extreme heat (air temperature over 140° F, fire, boiling water, lava) deals lethal damage. Breathing air in these temperatures deals 1d6 points of fire damage per minute (no save). In addition, a character must make a Fortitude save every 5 minutes (DC 15, +1 per previous check) or take 1d4 points of nonlethal damage. Those wearing heavy clothing or any sort of armor take a –4 penalty on their saves.

and

ACG:Humans wrote:
Paladin: Add +1 to the paladin's energy resistance to one kind of energy (maximum +10).

Sovereign Court

Tangent101 wrote:

No doubt environmental rules for deserts will be expanded upon to make things more difficult for ranged opponents. For instance: desert camo cloaks that help an enemy blend into the background, and cause ranged attacks to suffer from concealment issues. There's also desert-blindness (akin to snow-blindness) from having that sun just baking down on you constantly. Also, when the sun goes down, temperatures plummet in deserts because there's no clouds to trap heat in. So even with Endure Elements, the temperature extremes might result in players having to make Fortitude checks to prevent from suffering from fatigue.

To be honest, it should make for an interesting switch from Irrisen.

This is cool. I also recall in a PFS scenario they had these helmets that covered most of your face and eyes allowing you to travel/fight during sandstorms.

Grand Lodge

Tangent101 wrote:

No doubt environmental rules for deserts will be expanded upon to make things more difficult for ranged opponents. For instance: desert camo cloaks that help an enemy blend into the background, and cause ranged attacks to suffer from concealment issues. There's also desert-blindness (akin to snow-blindness) from having that sun just baking down on you constantly. Also, when the sun goes down, temperatures plummet in deserts because there's no clouds to trap heat in. So even with Endure Elements, the temperature extremes might result in players having to make Fortitude checks to prevent from suffering from fatigue.

To be honest, it should make for an interesting switch from Irrisen.

With the spread the Endure Elements protects against, heat and cold should not be an issue. It protects from a range of -50F to 140F.

Dehydration and lack of game for food is a problem PCs will run into. They will have to either prepare spells or have wands or scrolls at the ready. I would expect Survival checks to be a some penalty due to scarceness.

Movement would also be a problem. Sand and rough terrain will hamper movement. Fighters wanting to make charge attacks will be quite upset.

Desert blindness would be an issue. I am sure there will be some kind of goggles to help with that.

As with today's real world, a well prepared party could find ways to mitigate the hazards and penalties of a desert environment. But then, that still gets down to resource management. They have to spend gold on spells for their comfort rather than on keeping them alive.

Also don't forget sandstorms and other natural and unnatural phenomena will be darn near impossible to guard against. And unless the PCs intend to haul all of their gear down onto the dungeons (tents and barrels of water become quite difficult to carry during combat) their supplies are always subject to raiders.

Personally I would expect the natural desert to play a role only in the first book. After that the PCs should be able to mitigate the hazards of a natural desert. Further books can feature UNnatural hazards of the desert, such as magic sandstorms, glass-sand, living sand (sand elementals), etc.


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Create Water deals with the problem of drinking water; Endure Elements handles the temperature. There are, however, other natural hazards that aren't automatically negated.

1) Quicksand. Not the wet kind -- under some circumstances, deep areas of very fine sand can work like a fluid. Hence, quicksand.

2) Sun blindness. If PCs don't protect their eyes in some way, the light reflecting off the sand (or snow, in tundra deserts) can cause them to become dazzled or blinded, depending on length of exposure.

3) Sandstorms. There are rules for these in the Environment chapter, but if that's too tame for you, you can always punch them up to do lethal damage if the party doesn't shield themselves somehow. Also, a big sandstorm can completely rearrange the landscape, potentially getting the party lost.

And then you can add always add supernatural desert hazards to supplement the natural ones. Such as:

A) Dryness Incarnate. In some areas of the desert, "dry" has passed beyond "absence of water" to "antithesis of water". In these areas, Create Water fails, and unsealed water-skins rapidly evaporate (treat waterskins as effectively containing half their usual volume). Just 1d2 hours after entering the area the PCs start suffering from dehydration (fort save every hour to avoid 1d6 points of non-lethal damage, DC 10+the number of checks). Depending on the size of the area, it may be impossible to pass through such a zone.

B) Whispers in the Wind. In the deepest parts of the deserts, the angry spirits of travelers who failed their journeys fill the air. They whisper hatred in the ears of the living. PCs must make a DC 18 will save each night or wake up fatigued; during combat, DC 14 will saves each round or suffer the effects of Confusion for one round.

C) Fire Sands. Some areas of the desert become superheated, causing painful burns to unprotected creatures passing over them. PCs attempting to walk over such areas must make a DC 15 Reflex save or take 1d6 points of fire damage. This is of course a smaller-scale hazard, which might make a good addition to a combat.


BuzzardB wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:

Don't forget, a human paladin can take energy resistance as a FC ability. 1 pt of fire and 1 pt of cold and he's basically immune to natural extremes of heat and cold, too!

==Aelryinth

Is this actually a thing? Was debated at a game I was in recently.

The 3.5 splatbooks Sandstorm and Frostburn had both a rule saying that any creature with enough energy resistance to fire/cold to ignore the environmental damage of hot/cold weather could ignore the associated conditions and other consequences like heatstroke, dehydration and the like.

I don't think it's been explicitly ported over to Pathfinder, but Aelryinth has been around for a long time and is very familiar with all incarnations of the 3.x ruleset, so I'd guess he's likely to have this rule in mind.

Also, and perhaps much more importantly :

Lauraliane wrote:
Iron Kingdoms

I love you.


osopolare wrote:

Thanks for the feedback. Good comments from many of you. Rakshasa's comments especially. I'd love for the desert to feel like a desert. Dangerous, foreboding.

Now I wish I hadn't sold Sandstorm along with all my old 3.5 books. I remember really liking that one too, darn.

I am tempted to play this out as a low(er) magic campaign and to do something to nerf Create Water and Endure Elements.

I guess I would have to figure out what other spells might come in to play also.

You can make the desert seem dangerous and foreboding. Simply color it that way. Throw in encounters that show the results of not being prepared such as animals and people dead around an impure water hole, etc..... Talk about the heat, and it's effects. That gives the feel of the danger, and will probably mean more to the players than a bunch of counting water bags and spells. Simply having to provide accounting to show you aren't dying of thirst is more annoyance. Your detailing and color for the environment will provide any danger the party feels from being in the desert.


Rakshaka wrote:

Not to be a jerk, but I'm talking about what's listed in the CRB, not what deserts actually are. Even with heavy, sandy dunes, you have a minimum starting distance of 6d6x10 feet, an average of 210 feet (bigger than most play mats) Other than having a dust-storm during every encounter, every fight will start out with 2-3 rounds of ranged exchanges, meaning that a couple PCs with strong ranged options are going to dominate the desert walking portions of the AP. This isn't a bad thing, but something the designers should be aware of when doing this AP.

That assumes the dangers will be out walking towards the party to attack them. That is highly unlikely as why would they be able to see, and thus pursue the party when the party can't see or pursue them beyond 210'?

The more likely place for encounters would be in an ambush, or in an area where there are hills, dunes (you can bury yourself in the sand), chasms. Things that provide cover for any baddies lurking out there.

Also, most water holes would be ideal places for the bad guys to wait for a party to all run forward and stick their faces down in the water. Then launching a barrage of arrows to fall into the exsposed backs of the party.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Or monsters are hidden in the sand, just burrowed there waiting for someone to pass by. Could have dug a hole or little sandcave like some desert spiders too. Or be sneaking around with a very good desert camouflage.


I wouldn't mind if Adventure paths came with house rules to address this sort of thing. Like, 'Create food/water doesn't exist, and Endure Elements is a 3rd level spell, caster only spell'. I agree that a desert campaign should have environmental challenges that are not trivialized by low level spells.

By the way, if you want a great account of a camel caravan in the desert, read _Desert Road to Turkestan_ by Owen Lattimore.


Hayato Ken wrote:
Or monsters are hidden in the sand, just burrowed there waiting for someone to pass by. Could have dug a hole or little sandcave like some desert spiders too. Or be sneaking around with a very good desert camouflage.

Bullits and Purple Worms are always great in these conditions.


Thanks for the book recommendation KenMckinney. Ordered.

I'm also going to read some books about TE Lawrence before running the game.


A first level Elven Cleric or Druid with 1 rank in perception (assume a 16 wis, and that's lowballing), can throw a Perception roll at a +9, and that's not even tweaking. Seeing something at the distance I mention can easily be done by most PCs with a 50/50 chance of success, and that's not even optimizing. Now let's assume worst case scenario: A Half-Elven, Zen Archer Monk. He's sitting at an 20 wisdom and decided to put his free Skill Focus Feat into perception, throwing at a total of +14 at first level. He notices the enemies, they don't notice him. Assuming the enemies have a speed of 40 feet, he's getting 5 un-answered attacks off, with one for the surprise round and two for the rounds it takes to close, and that's just one PC versus whatever is against the other three. No, ranged is King in desert scenarios, at least as far as Core environment goes. Sand dunes aren't an issue in terms of visibility, otherwise they would be accounted for in the Starting Distance roll for the encounter. Sandstorms and burrowing monsters are well and good, but can't be used in every encounter. I believe my concern over the supremacy of ranged combat in a desert setting is a valid one.


So a character who has pumped perception to be an expert at it gets to use his skill to help the party.

I don't see the issue here.

Throw something at the party that can A) move fast and B) survive a hit. At low levels that isn't all that hard.


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


osopolare wrote:
One Cleric in the party with Create Water and poof water's no issue. In fact why not fill up a whole caravan of waterskins and hand them out. It's 0-level.

Yeah, I think they should do something about that for the desert environment. A single spammable cantrip shouldn't eliminate a key factor which makes the environment unique for adventurers.

A simple solution would be to say the cantrip just doesn't work in the desert because the area has been infested with air, sand and fire elementals for millenia and the environment has become magically hostile to simple water magic.


Jeven wrote:
osopolare wrote:
One Cleric in the party with Create Water and poof water's no issue. In fact why not fill up a whole caravan of waterskins and hand them out. It's 0-level.

Yeah, I think they should do something about that for the desert environment. A single spammable cantrip shouldn't eliminate a key factor which makes the environment unique for adventurers.

A simple solution would be to say the cantrip just doesn't work in the desert because the area has been infested with air, sand and fire elementals for millenia and the environment has become magically hostile to simple water magic.

Good idea, or rather than the spell opening up a portal to the divine plane of water /the Gods themselves crafting water from nothing as a cantrip, it could be that "create water" condenses the moisture in the air instantaneously into one spot.

Thus in a desert you'd only get a small amount, rather than the prescribed gallons. Of course this'd be something you'd have the bring up with players.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

@DSXMachina: The only problem with that, is now Create Water would be a transmutation rather than a conjuration, no longer a (creation) spell, and would have an actual duration rather than instantaneous with a conditional disappearance. The water you drank would suddenly transmute back to air in your digestive tract causing you major problems. It also, with its new duration, suddenly becomes a candidate for a permanent magic item (other than the decanter of endless water) and the permanency spell, throwing wrenches into the water economics of dry regions.


Well it's not transmuting the air to water, rather coalescing it. Although you could have a long duration....?


osopolare wrote:

Thanks for the book recommendation KenMckinney. Ordered.

I'm also going to read some books about TE Lawrence before running the game.

If you want one more recommendation, try 'My Life as an Explorer' by Sven Hedin.

Ken


I prefer mystical answers to why spells don't work, so I like Jeven's solution best. I dislike too much Science in my Magic.

Ken


Rakshaka wrote:

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

Which is why you would seldom see an opponent that didn't ambush the party. It's a rare and/or stupid thing to have charging across open ground while being plugged full of arrows as your strategy.

While it's perfectly reasonable that a party has the ability to do that, why as a DM would you run an encounter so ridiculously?

Liberty's Edge

OP : I might houserule that the spirits/gods/kami/magical influences of a place oppose introducing its very opposite (like water in a desert or fire in an icy area). Maybe some caster check for spells as if the entire place had SR, and no cantrips work.


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Guys, from what we can see on the descriptions the first two modules of the Mummy's Mask AP play entirely on a city (a necropolis sure but still a city), on the 3rd book (level 7) they start to travel around.
So i guess that the desert is meant as a scenery and there is no real issue about combats starting at extreme ranges since at 7th level you are at a point where you can use monsters that can circumvent that.

Grand Lodge

Th issue about desert and ranged combat...

From the CRB...

"Rocky deserts have towers and mesas consisting of flat ground surrounded on all sides by cliffs and steep slopes (as described in Mountain Terrain). Sandy deserts sometimes have quicksand; this functions as described in Marsh Terrain, although desert quicksand is a waterless mixture of fine sand and dust. All desert terrain is crisscrossed with dry streambeds (treat as trenches 5 to 15 feet wide) that fill with water on the rare occasions when rain falls."

So we have towers, and mesas, cliffs, and steep slopes, quicksand, and trench like stream beds. All of these areas and more bring combat in nice and close. Dunes are flowing hills of sand. You have no idea what lies on the other side until you get to the top at best.

It does not take much to make a low level party suffer in the desert.


Jeven wrote:
osopolare wrote:
One Cleric in the party with Create Water and poof water's no issue. In fact why not fill up a whole caravan of waterskins and hand them out. It's 0-level.

Yeah, I think they should do something about that for the desert environment. A single spammable cantrip shouldn't eliminate a key factor which makes the environment unique for adventurers.

A simple solution would be to say the cantrip just doesn't work in the desert because the area has been infested with air, sand and fire elementals for millenia and the environment has become magically hostile to simple water magic.

That's definitely my preference - simple water magic works great at sea, but is reduced or ineffective in desert. Same for fire magic in icy conditions, where cold magic may be enhanced.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Even with ranged exchanges the enemies should have the same advantages (gnolls and the like should carry bows), enemies should make use of cover either by burrowing or ducking behind sand dunes.

On top of which heat haze should lend a miss chance to ranged attacks.

Grand Lodge

osopolare wrote:


I'm also going to read some books about TE Lawrence before running the game.

"Lawrence? Lawrence what, of Arabia?...That name sounds like royalty. Are you royalty?"

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