NobodysHome's Silly Serpent's Skull Moments [***Spoilers***]


Serpent's Skull

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"What? The enemy reacts and plans? That's not fair!!!"

So, I'm sure to step on some toes here, but I was rather disappointed with the group last night. After their hasty retreat, they had a full day to plan. And as usual, He Who Has Not Yet Been Named and Mr. Stereotype sat there doing all the planning, while the Impii, disinterested, left the room and did other things. The problem is, Impus Minor has a keen sense of tactics; I'm rather proud of him for it. Both He Who Has Not Yet Been Named and Mr. Stereotype focus entirely on, "What spell or magic item can fix this?" It's not a strategy; it's a Band-Aid. And it's a really, really bad approach to tactics, because the moment things don't go according to plan (or the bad guy makes his save), the plan goes out the window. There was no, "Malek will do xx, Hooken will do yy, and Kwai Chang will do zz." It was, "We'll hit the construct with Disable Construct and the cleric with Silence, and then it'll be easy to deal with the roper."
When no one knows what to do, nobody does anything.

Even worse, there was no discussion whatsoever of, "What might the enemy be doing while we're preparing?"
So when they got there and the cleric had prepared Stone Shape, Communal Resist Energy, and Fickle Winds, all based on their previous fight, the party was thrown for a loop that the enemy was so... er... prepared for them.

Finally, I had made no mention of the roper's vulnerability to fire. Yet He Who Has Not Yet Been Named immediately started talking about exploiting that vulnerability, even though he'd failed the roll to identify the roper. For shame, He Who Has Not Yet Been Named.

Anyway, let's pick up where we left off:

The retreat went unfortunately well. Irwin rolled a natural 20 on his Acrobatics check to flee the room without taking any attacks of opportunity. The invisible Narlock was sensed by the roper, but missed because of the miss chance so she got out. Kwai Chang managed to biff his Acrobatics roll and get smacked by the bush devil on his way out, but he left and closed the door.
The bush devil double-crit the door for 86 (who knew doors were so fragile?), but the party was Hasted and the bush devil wasn't, so they could flee faster than it could pursue. The most hilarious part was Malek rolling something along the lines of a 36 CMB roll to drag Hooken, dragging him almost Malek's entire move, and then Heron picking up Hooken in his jaws to carry him out.
The cleric, not wanting to risk the bush devil going berserk, had it stand down and started healing the roper (and himself).

So the party returned to the Muse's district, battered and defeated, and spent the next hour of real time discussing tactics and what needed to be bought, then sending Kwai Chang to buy it. Then it was copying formulae into formula books (for Voren), recovering (for Hooken), or just sitting around (for everyone else). And just to re-emphasize, the entire discussion was not, "Given our current abilities, what can we do to win this fight?", but rather, "What can we buy that will win us this fight?"
Really not a constructive discussion, but I do not interfere with my players' tactical discussions. Instead, I had the cleric prepping his spells for the next day based on what he'd seen the party do, and on what he'd need to do to counter them. Without any shopping.

The next day, the party took no precautions whatsoever when going back into the vault. They kept trying to say, "OK, we're at the door casting round-per-level buffs."
I kept responding, "No, you're not. You're outside the vault casting your minute-per-level buffs. The moment you start casting round-per-level buffs I'm putting us in iniatives."
Many would have taken that as a hint. Honestly, it wasn't. I didn't know how things were going to play out, but I do insist that if we're going to be casting round-per-level buffs, there be figures on the map, because...

...the party approached the room where they expected to find their enemies and found that the cleric had Stone Shaped the door shut. Kwai Chang moved forward and started searching for a secret door. He didn't find one. Hooken moved foward and saved the entire party from disaster by rolling a natural 19 on his Perception, the resulting 47 being exactly enough to see the roper (who'd had the time to take 20 on Stealth) hanging there in the room right above them all.

Aaand... into the surprise round we went! The roper immediately went after Hooken and drained 5 strength from him. However, since Hooken (and only Hooken) had made his Perception check, he got to act in the surprise round and hightailed it out of the room and around a corner. The cleric Stone Shaped the door open, and the bush devil gave Kwai Chang a solid whack.

We moved into the first round of combat, and the roper, with the highest initiative score, could no longer reach Hooken so instead went after Kwai Chang. Bad move. Not only did it miss all 6 times (stupid monks and their ludicrous touch ACs), but it fumbled once and staggered off into a corner, out of sight of the rest of the party. Voren hit the roper with a Stinking Bomb and hit the bush devil with a couple of fire bombs, but then the cleric put up Fickle Winds, ending both Hooken and Voren's chances of doing much for the combat. To make matters worse, the bush devil charged forward and attacked Voren. Apparently it doesn't like being bombed. Go figure.

At that point He Who Must Not Be Named's dad piped up. I hadn't even heard him come in the house, but it was already 9:07 pm, so I ended for the night. The party is once again discussing how to effect their retreat.


Look, and H: it's not like the kids are used to actually having to deal with, you know, quotes smart enemies"… Not even dark souls is that hard! It's super-not-fair! A.I.is supposed to be dumb! Also, talk-type doesn't know what your name is, apparently! It got the H correct, though!

Liberty's Edge

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Can you crit objects? I feel like they have blanket immunity to that and precision damage.


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Gark the Goblin wrote:
Can you crit objects? I feel like they have blanket immunity to that and precision damage.

I usually rule that you can't crit objects.

But the bush devil's base damage is enough to smash a door in one hit, and having it explode was far more dramatic...


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Impus Minor, though I think I get the why he has not pushed harder, really ought to pipe up IC bout tactics, Hooken seems to be IC pretty good on those, so it makes sense.

Go forth Impus Minor, and Rapid Shot some tactical knowledge into those "companions" of yours....it is for their own good!

Though, maybe best to not start with Bara... ;P


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The "why" is pretty easy: It's a combination of "let the big kids talk, junior" and his short temper when they're obviously thinking about things the wrong way. Instead of, "Before we talk about shopping, let's talk about our current strategy and see what our strengths and weaknesses are," it's, "Why the heck are you talking about shopping?!?!?!"

I do put it more on the older teens. In Jade Regent he plays with a nn-year-old (I think I'm forbidden from saying) and a 57-year-old, and they listen to him, and a couple of times he's come up with some really brilliant ways to deal with situations. And they've listened and implemented. But I think if you take most teenagers and add 30-40 years, you'll get better listeners. Not always, but frequently...


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LOL NH!

And indeed, not always....


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I'm really looking forward to seeing how the cleric changes his spell list this time.

...I wonder if the cleric can gain levels from defeating PCs.


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Oh...but of course....XP is a two way street IMHO :)

Grand Lodge

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Dreikaiserbund wrote:

I'm really looking forward to seeing how the cleric changes his spell list this time.

...I wonder if the cleric can gain levels from defeating PCs.

IIRC, there's a legend of one of the early GMs giving XP for defeating PCs to kobolds. They defeated a lot of PCs through the years.

I'm not talking about Tucker's kobolds, those were simply basic kobolds played smart.


That's more or less what Tucker's kobolds were though - they weren't really impressive or well built - they were ordinary kobolds played extremely intelligently.

... but I've heard that "legend," too. Seems more like a distilled or condensed set of several stories, to me.


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NH wrote:
Finally, I had made no mention of the roper's vulnerability to fire. Yet He Who Has Not Yet Been Named immediately started talking about exploiting that vulnerability, even though he'd failed the roll to identify the roper. For shame, He Who Has Not Yet Been Named.

This is where GM fiat automatically enters play and suddenly the roper has Resist Energy cast on him or its hit points double.


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justaworm wrote:
NH wrote:
Finally, I had made no mention of the roper's vulnerability to fire. Yet He Who Has Not Yet Been Named immediately started talking about exploiting that vulnerability, even though he'd failed the roll to identify the roper. For shame, He Who Has Not Yet Been Named.
This is where GM fiat automatically enters play and suddenly the roper has Resist Energy cast on him or its hit points double.

Pretty much. He lost his weakness and instead got Fire Resist 10.


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::evil grin:: That is how you learn the young gen of players...

None of this would have likely happened if you had listed to the ranger...


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Malek Gets Efficient

So, I'll admit it; I love playing two-handed-weapon fighters or barbarians because of the sheer damage output. Yeah, a dual-wielding ranger crit build generates better DPS, but if you want to hit the bad guy for 50-100 points in a single, solid, thwack, nothing beats that burly guy with the two-handed weapon and a bunch of feats to go with it.

So last night, Impus Major was sick, meaning I had to run Malek.

Ouch.

The combat resumed as Athelya moved into position to create a daisy chain of PCs: Narlock, Athelya, Voren, and Hooken, with the idea being that the four of them would Dimension Door in to join Malek against the cleric, while Kwai Chang and Heron would remain behind to take on the bush devil. Unfortunately, this plan did nothing about the roper, who was perfectly capable of dropping a PC a round. Seeing this, and having Malek's turn come up, I had Malek completely ignore the cleric, *and* ignore the fact that he had Fly up, to climb the wall next to the opening, out of direct line of sight of the roper, but at a position where if the roper were to try to come in, a 5' fly would result in a world of roper pain.

Malek was using taaaack-tiiiiiics.
The rest of the group complained vehemently.

So the Dimension Door went off without a hitch, Voren Dispelled the Fickle Winds on the cleric, and Hooken hit him for 256 points of damage. Scratch the cleric. The roper obligingly moved closer to the entrance and hit Athelya with a tentacle, dropping her 2 points of Strength. However, in the meantime Kwai Chang tried to taunt the bush devil into following him away from the rest of the fight, only to learn to his chagrin that the bush devil was actually an intelligent creature, so it just hit Heron hard enough to drop him from full health to -10 hit points. This was... less-than-ideal.

So, the reason I don't like to type up the day after -- I forget the exact flow. For some reason the roper was still more than 5' away from Malek so he declared instead of moving in, and that gave it the opportunity to drain Voren of 21 strength, dropping him. The bush devil joined the fray in the room, ignoring the departed Kwai Chang and the unconscious Heron.

Finally, Malek happened. His 5' step dropped him on the roper, his Auspicious mark turned a miss into a hit, and three hits later the roper had sucked up 125 points of damage from the little frog. The reaction at the table was priceless. "Malek did how much damage?!?!?!"

The roper took a 5' step back, Malek used Step Up, and so as it tried to use its ropes to get him the heck away from it, he got in another attack of opportunity (a crit this time) for another 73 points. The roper Did Not Like. (My assumption is that because the ropes are listed as a ranged attack, the provoke attacks of opportunity just like any other ranged attack.) The roper hit Malek with its tentacles 6 times. The raging barbarian had a +20 Fortitude save. He didn't particularly care that he was being hit by the tentacles.

The roper was sad.

Then it died.

Hooken happened to the bush devil.

The party spent some time looting the corpses and searching the room, easily found the secret door to the intellect devourer's room, and had one of the most anticlimactic final boss battles ever as:
(1) Hooken one-shot the derhii container
(2) Everyone kind of stood around not wanting to hurt the equipment and not particularly worried about the intellect devourer
(3) The multiple Magic Circles Against Evil proved them right
(4) Hooken and Malek eventually mopped the floor with the stupid little brain dude.

We ended the night just as the intellect devourer dropped.


Holy cow you are going to have to do something about Hooken or not even the final encounter will be challenging. These early APs didn't take into account the crazy synergy of feats and such that you can achieve now. :)


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Where was Bara for this last dust up?

I would assume devils give her heart burn... ;P


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justaworm wrote:
Holy cow you are going to have to do something about Hooken or not even the final encounter will be challenging. These early APs didn't take into account the crazy synergy of feats and such that you can achieve now. :)

Are you kidding? Rangers have been broken from the very start. Even in early D&D days they said, "No more than one ranger per party" because they were so bad.

I mean, here are the Core Rulebook feats for rangers:

  • Point-Blank Shot: Better than Weapon Focus, as long as you're within 30'
  • Deadly Aim: Ranged attackers, meet Power Attack
  • Rapid Shot: Rangers, have Cleave on steroids. You get to use it as part of a full-round attack instead of as a standard attack, and you don't need the foes to be adjacent
  • Manyshot: Oh, poor ranged attackers! We totally forgot about Deadly Aim and Point-Blank Shot, so have yet another attack per round. So now we're giving you all the benefits of two-weapon fighting, with none of the drawbacks
  • And let's not forget that for a simple +1 bonus, we can get Seeking so that taking cover doesn't help. It's better than Blind Fight, and you can shoot the living daylights out of invisible enemies with no miss chance if someone can just point you at the correct square (which is usually pretty easy)
  • That's already enough, from Core only, to take rangers near the top of the DPS charts, while still attacking at range. Keeep in mind that most APs say, "Take xxx as a favored enemy", so most of the time a 12th-level ranger is getting another +6 to hit/+6 damage just for being a ranger...

    So, suppose that CRB only is boring, and you at least want to allow the Advanced Player's Guide. Let's all welcome:

  • Point-Blank master: Remember that problem with taking attacks of opportunity while shooting, so that monsters could at least shut you down by closing with you? Not any more! Terrain is no longer their friend!
  • And then, if you allow Ultimate Combat, the wheels well and truly fall off:

  • Hammer the Gap: Know all those extra attacks you get? Let's have them do extra damage
  • Clustered Shots: WTF, Paizo? Just... WTF?
  • Adaptive bows: For only 1000 gp, Bull's Strength is now helping you do even more damage
  • After watching rangers wreck Serpent's Skull, Wrath of the Righteous, and Skull & Shackles for us, we're talking about either banning them outright or playing an all-ranger party to see how easy we can make an AP.

    Liberty's Edge

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    Maybe just ban archery rangers? If they want they can invest in those feats on their own time, not for free from the class.


    Yeah, most of our group doesn't try to max out stuff and so we generally take thematically cool choices over creating the ultimate power character. On top of that, pretty much no one in our group plays a ranged attack character, hah, so we haven't really seen it as much.

    It believe that it is just Clustered Shot the totally broke open the bank as not even DR can save you now. My 3.5e Arcane Archer always struggled with the late levelhigh DR creatures. But, yeah PB Master and Clustered Shot pretty much negate all options for the GM. One thing you could do in the future is putting a x/per day cap on some of the feats. Though that will just make the ranger whiny and want to rest all of the time.

    Well, a solid Protection from Arrows potion or Deflect Arrows feat training should help when it makes sense for the baddie to have it. It is probably a good time to add monk levels where it make sense too: especially Flowing Monk levels. :)


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    Oh, on the contrary NH! He's not optimized enough. He needs to be a half-orc ranger. With an orc hornbow. 2d6 per arrow base damage, before you take things like gravity bow into account.


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    justaworm wrote:

    Yeah, most of our group doesn't try to max out stuff and so we generally take thematically cool choices over creating the ultimate power character. On top of that, pretty much no one in our group plays a ranged attack character, hah, so we haven't really seen it as much.

    It believe that it is just Clustered Shot the totally broke open the bank as not even DR can save you now. My 3.5e Arcane Archer always struggled with the late levelhigh DR creatures. But, yeah PB Master and Clustered Shot pretty much negate all options for the GM. One thing you could do in the future is putting a x/per day cap on some of the feats. Though that will just make the ranger whiny and want to rest all of the time.

    Well, a solid Protection from Arrows potion or Deflect Arrows feat training should help when it makes sense for the baddie to have it. It is probably a good time to add monk levels where it make sense too: especially Flowing Monk levels. :)

    Don't forget Protection from Arrows provides DR/Magic, so it's useless by the time the PCs are 3rd or 4th level. Deflecting arrows is only 1 per round, which doesn't help much when that 12th-level ranger is hitting you with 6.

    No; the big equalizer is Wind Wall, so of course the moment it goes up the alchemist spends a round throwing enough Dispelling Bombs at it to make it go away. Ah, alchemists, the other broken, "Oh, none of that DR nor SR applies to me" class...

    EDIT: And I'm not running one, but TWO APs right now that have both an alchemist and a ranger in the party. Any obvious single target really doesn't stand a chance.


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    NobodysHome wrote:


    Don't forget Protection from Arrows provides DR/Magic, so it's useless by the time the PCs are 3rd or 4th level. Deflecting arrows is only 1 per round, which doesn't help much when that 12th-level ranger is hitting you with 6.

    No; the big equalizer is Wind Wall, so of course the moment it goes up the alchemist spends a round throwing enough Dispelling Bombs at it to make it go away. Ah, alchemists, the other broken, "Oh, none of that DR nor SR applies to me" class...

    EDIT: And I'm not running one, but TWO APs right now that have both an alchemist and a ranger in the party. Any obvious single target really doesn't stand a chance.

    I <3 the Infusion discovery.


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    Our Great Overlord and Grand Poobah of All Things Bacon wrote:
    NobodysHome wrote:


    Don't forget Protection from Arrows provides DR/Magic, so it's useless by the time the PCs are 3rd or 4th level. Deflecting arrows is only 1 per round, which doesn't help much when that 12th-level ranger is hitting you with 6.

    No; the big equalizer is Wind Wall, so of course the moment it goes up the alchemist spends a round throwing enough Dispelling Bombs at it to make it go away. Ah, alchemists, the other broken, "Oh, none of that DR nor SR applies to me" class...

    EDIT: And I'm not running one, but TWO APs right now that have both an alchemist and a ranger in the party. Any obvious single target really doesn't stand a chance.

    I <3 the Infusion discovery.

    Oh, that's right; the whole, "Know all those spells we made Personal to avoid abuse by melee characters? Well, never mind! We'll let alchemists put 'em on anyone!"

    Alter Self? Blood Armor? Expeditious Retreat? Shield on a dual-wielder? Truestrike on a ranger's next shot? And on and on... spells that on casters aren't so bad, but on full BAB characters... <shudder>.

    I think after running two alchemists in my last two APs, I'm just banning them outright from any of my campaigns in the future. Just too, "We ignore all the rules-y" for me.


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    It's Not My Thing

    You know how some sessions, you just don't feel like you have enough prepared, so you warn your players that it'll probably be a short session, and then they obligingly go off on a ludicrous tangent, eating up the entire session?

    Well, that was last night.

    As we resumed, the party looked over the complex apparati filling the room and thought, "Gee, we wonder what that does?"

    A very natural instinct.

    Unfortunately, after a couple of relatively poor Knowledge rolls, the best they could conclude was, "We have no idea!"

    So of course they had to meddle with it. Because... monkeys!

    First on their list was the seven crystal pillars, six of which contained brains. Considering the highest Heal check anyone in the party could muster was a 17, their conclusion was, "5 of the 6 brains are dead, while the 6th one is still alive. The 6th brain is roughly human-sized."
    In a fit of extreme cleverness, Athelya used Detect Evil and Detect Good on the brain to determine that the brain belonged to a Good-aligned creature of roughly 5-10 hit dice. My favorite moment: At least 3 different players at the table asking Voren's player, "Why don't you use Detect Thoughts on it?"
    By the third time he had to explain that he did not HAVE Detect Thoughts, I was quite amused at their amazing ability to avoid listening to each other as they "discussed" what to do.

    They searched the room for some kind of "instruction manual" and found a Portable Hole that they excitedly opened, only to find nothing more exciting than an alchemist's lab and the final missing crystals they needed to open the portal. Completely ignoring that, Hooken shoved Voren into the hole. Voren made his Reflex save to avoid landing on the equipment, but failed his Acrobatics check and took 2 points of damage from the fall. Kwai Chang had to go down and fetch him. It was that kind of a night.

    As they set Irwin to trying to Disable Device to turn off the apparatus, Athelya decided to try meddling with the intellect-devourer-sized golden seat placed between the vat of bubbling green goo and the strange humming box with two copper-wrapped pillars coming out of it. One failed Will save later, I got to tell her she was behaving completely normally until she started trying to poke one of the copper-wrapped towers and ended up grasping both firmly, taking 20d6 of electrical damage. This dropped her to -4 hit points. After some discussion and discovering that no one could actually use her wand of Inflict Light Wounds, Voren managed to make his Use Magic Device roll to activate the wand once, bringing her back to positive hit points. She responded by gratefully woofing like a dog and biting Voren's leg. Successfully, no less.

    So Malek punched her out. Seriously. He just hauled off and full-strength punched her back into unconsciousness. Then he tied her up. And he quipped, "Yeah, this really isn't my thing."

    So of course then Hooken had to roll Handle Animal on the unconscious Athelya. Yes, it was that kind of a night.

    The party sent Kwai Chang to go fetch a scroll of Heal and a scroll of Stone Shape so they could cure Athelya's insanity (and drop her to 1 hit point again) and get the crystal brain cases off of the stone platform they were attached to. It all went swimmingly, until they noticed that the sixth brain was now dead. Whoopsie!

    In my favorite/least favorite moment of the night, Narlock Dimension Doored Bara into the room because no one else could lift the vat of green bubbling ooze. I was hoping beyond hope that she'd spill it on herself, but the ever-reliable Bara carefully lifted the vat and placed it in the Portable Hole without spilling a drop. Stoopid froghemoths and their massive Reflex saves!

    Once the equipment was all safe in the Portable Hole, the party returned to the Pathfinder camp, only to learn that Amivor Glaur (of course) had been the sixth brain. Athelya made a couple of amazing Heal checks (assisted by Hooken, Voren, and Narlock's Gallant Inspirations) to replace Amivor's brain in his skull, then they shelled out for a Raise Dead to bring him back. In gratitude, he gave them his crappy gear, which didn't come close to recouping the costs.

    We ended the evening as the party leveled up to 13, and I warned them that they were no longer allowed to play fast and loose with money and gear -- I expected a written record of every item every PC was carrying before they went through the mysterious portal they were about to activate.

    The game will resume in 2 weeks as they pass through said portal, and on to Book 5!


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    NobodysHome wrote:
    Our Great Overlord and Grand Poobah of All Things Bacon wrote:
    NobodysHome wrote:


    Don't forget Protection from Arrows provides DR/Magic, so it's useless by the time the PCs are 3rd or 4th level. Deflecting arrows is only 1 per round, which doesn't help much when that 12th-level ranger is hitting you with 6.

    No; the big equalizer is Wind Wall, so of course the moment it goes up the alchemist spends a round throwing enough Dispelling Bombs at it to make it go away. Ah, alchemists, the other broken, "Oh, none of that DR nor SR applies to me" class...

    EDIT: And I'm not running one, but TWO APs right now that have both an alchemist and a ranger in the party. Any obvious single target really doesn't stand a chance.

    I <3 the Infusion discovery.

    Oh, that's right; the whole, "Know all those spells we made Personal to avoid abuse by melee characters? Well, never mind! We'll let alchemists put 'em on anyone!"

    Alter Self? Blood Armor? Expeditious Retreat? Shield on a dual-wielder? Truestrike on a ranger's next shot? And on and on... spells that on casters aren't so bad, but on full BAB characters... <shudder>.

    I think after running two alchemists in my last two APs, I'm just banning them outright from any of my campaigns in the future. Just too, "We ignore all the rules-y" for me.

    Or, you could rule that infusion discovery does not allow sharing personal-only spells with others.


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    Drejk wrote:
    NobodysHome wrote:
    Our Great Overlord and Grand Poobah of All Things Bacon wrote:
    NobodysHome wrote:


    Don't forget Protection from Arrows provides DR/Magic, so it's useless by the time the PCs are 3rd or 4th level. Deflecting arrows is only 1 per round, which doesn't help much when that 12th-level ranger is hitting you with 6.

    No; the big equalizer is Wind Wall, so of course the moment it goes up the alchemist spends a round throwing enough Dispelling Bombs at it to make it go away. Ah, alchemists, the other broken, "Oh, none of that DR nor SR applies to me" class...

    EDIT: And I'm not running one, but TWO APs right now that have both an alchemist and a ranger in the party. Any obvious single target really doesn't stand a chance.

    I <3 the Infusion discovery.

    Oh, that's right; the whole, "Know all those spells we made Personal to avoid abuse by melee characters? Well, never mind! We'll let alchemists put 'em on anyone!"

    Alter Self? Blood Armor? Expeditious Retreat? Shield on a dual-wielder? Truestrike on a ranger's next shot? And on and on... spells that on casters aren't so bad, but on full BAB characters... <shudder>.

    I think after running two alchemists in my last two APs, I'm just banning them outright from any of my campaigns in the future. Just too, "We ignore all the rules-y" for me.

    Or, you could rule that infusion discovery does not allow sharing personal-only spells with others.

    Boo! Hiss! Fie! Fie on super-reasonable rulings against my favorite styles of rules uses!


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    Hooken, also known as the guy who is basically a tactical nuke arrow strike from space...


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    GM_Beernorg wrote:
    Hooken, also known as the guy who is basically a tactical nuke arrow strike from space...

    That was actually a running joke with Mr. Stereotype's Inquisitor in another campaign; He fired an arrow upwards in the first session, nat 20, decided it would hit the target eventually.


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    Drejk wrote:


    Or, you could rule that infusion discovery does not allow sharing personal-only spells with others.

    I thought that that was the entire point of Infusion, but I didn't even know I can throw extracts to other people.


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    Technically, you're misplaying an alchemist something awful.

    Alchemists can only use their extracts on themselves. It renders spells such as Haste... not so useful.

    Taking the Infusion discovery only means that you can hand someone else an extract, and they need to spend an action picking it up and drinking it, not that you can cast the spell on others.

    Alchemists are the ultimate in selfish spell-casting.

    But I discovered our error back when the party was a ranger, a barbarian, a monk, a ninja, a paladin, and an oracle. You were seriously lacking in buffing and arcane spells. So I grandfathered in allowing you to cast spells on others.

    So it's a violation of the rules, and a house rule that won't exist past this one campaign, but since everyone's used to it, changing the rules-as-played mid-campaign makes little sense.

    Shadow Lodge

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    NobodysHome wrote:
    No; the big equalizer is Wind Wall, so of course the moment it goes up the alchemist spends a round throwing enough Dispelling Bombs at it to make it go away.

    Yep. The Oracle in my Kingmaker group had fickle winds as one of her favorite spells. My party was practically immune to enemy archer fire (the one exception I could make was a Gunslinger NPC they faced), while their own archer was not at all inhibited.


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    Orthos wrote:
    NobodysHome wrote:
    No; the big equalizer is Wind Wall, so of course the moment it goes up the alchemist spends a round throwing enough Dispelling Bombs at it to make it go away.
    Yep. The Oracle in my Kingmaker group had fickle winds as one of her favorite spells. My party was practically immune to enemy archer fire (the one exception I could make was a Gunslinger NPC they faced), while their own archer was not at all inhibited.

    Sorry not sorry >_>

    This has been an absolute blast to read. It makes me fear for the game I'm running for my group of similar ages.

    Shadow Lodge

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    Which also happens to have an alchemist....


    4 people marked this as a favorite.
    Scintillae wrote:
    Orthos wrote:
    NobodysHome wrote:
    No; the big equalizer is Wind Wall, so of course the moment it goes up the alchemist spends a round throwing enough Dispelling Bombs at it to make it go away.
    Yep. The Oracle in my Kingmaker group had fickle winds as one of her favorite spells. My party was practically immune to enemy archer fire (the one exception I could make was a Gunslinger NPC they faced), while their own archer was not at all inhibited.

    Sorry not sorry >_>

    This has been an absolute blast to read. It makes me fear for the game I'm running for my group of similar ages.

    I am SOOOOOO looking forward to reading your bunch as they get more and more jaded and end up doing things you can only now not quite imagine...


    3 people marked this as a favorite.
    Orthos wrote:
    Which also happens to have an alchemist....

    Random party member: Echo, do something!

    Echo I have bombs!
    Random party member ... Nope.


    6 people marked this as a favorite.

    So last night was pretty much the absolute standard of, "Let's try taking nn weeks off so you guys can do your paperwork without using up session time:"

  • Impus Minor had put Hooken up to 14th level, and had to drop him back to 13
  • Mr. Stereotype, his dad, and bacon boy all had to do their level-ups
  • After I insisted over and over and OVER again that NO ONE should print their character sheets until AFTER loot distribution, half the group OF COURSE HAD to print out their sheets "so they could write down the new stuff", then wanted to go back to Hero Labs, update their characters, and re-print them. I swear I'm going to start charging them $1 a page to print their characters
  • We were finally ready around 8:30 pm, and the group managed to get to the portal, put in the crystals without incident (boo!), and travel to Ilmurea
  • I was exceedingly happy that they figured out that they could remove the crystals on the Ilmurea side to deactivate the crystals. The *last* thing I wanted to deal with was tracking another bad guy they'd let escape as he/she ran amok in Saventh-Yhi, breaking the crystals on the surface and then wiping out the remaining factions up there while the PCs toiled down below...

  • On the other hand, that last bit would have been funny...


    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    NobodysHome wrote:

    Technically, you're misplaying an alchemist something awful.

    Alchemists can only use their extracts on themselves. It renders spells such as Haste... not so useful.

    Taking the Infusion discovery only means that you can hand someone else an extract, and they need to spend an action picking it up and drinking it, not that you can cast the spell on others.

    Alchemists are the ultimate in selfish spell-casting.

    But I discovered our error back when the party was a ranger, a barbarian, a monk, a ninja, a paladin, and an oracle. You were seriously lacking in buffing and arcane spells. So I grandfathered in allowing you to cast spells on others.

    So it's a violation of the rules, and a house rule that won't exist past this one campaign, but since everyone's used to it, changing the rules-as-played mid-campaign makes little sense.

    So, should I mark off more cash when we have spare and say that I retroactively made a magic item that lets me do just that?


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Our Great Overlord and Grand Poobah of All Things Bacon wrote:
    NobodysHome wrote:

    Technically, you're misplaying an alchemist something awful.

    Alchemists can only use their extracts on themselves. It renders spells such as Haste... not so useful.

    Taking the Infusion discovery only means that you can hand someone else an extract, and they need to spend an action picking it up and drinking it, not that you can cast the spell on others.

    Alchemists are the ultimate in selfish spell-casting.

    But I discovered our error back when the party was a ranger, a barbarian, a monk, a ninja, a paladin, and an oracle. You were seriously lacking in buffing and arcane spells. So I grandfathered in allowing you to cast spells on others.

    So it's a violation of the rules, and a house rule that won't exist past this one campaign, but since everyone's used to it, changing the rules-as-played mid-campaign makes little sense.

    So, should I mark off more cash when we have spare and say that I retroactively made a magic item that lets me do just that?

    Considering that such a magic item would be disallowed by any rational GM, "No."

    It's been grandfathered in. We'll let it roll.


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    Ilmurea sounds interesting, I'll enjoy seeing the group in a new location.


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    I had to cancel tonight's game due to Impus Major not getting enough homework done, Impus Minor still being mildly sick, and me being nowhere near ready to run.

    I love Serpent's Skull because of the wide-open sandboxy layout of each book.

    I hate Serpent's Skull prep because of the wide-open sandboxy layout of each book.


    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    NNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    NH, I WAS GONNA TEACH THEM HOW TO BREAK YOU

    HOW COULD YOU TAKE THIS FROM MEEEEEEEEE

    /whine


    But seriously, there's a lot of homework. I don't remember having this much homework when I was my Eldest's age.

    Also sandboxes be haaaaarrrrrrd, yo!


    And S'sS especially give you zero guidance somtimes.

    And can be very meat grindy.

    And gamist.

    But very fun!

    Shadow Lodge

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Tacticslion wrote:
    But seriously, there's a lot of homework. I don't remember having this much homework when I was my Eldest's age.

    I remember reading somewhere that the volume of homework, on average, has greatly increased over the past 20-40 years.


    5 people marked this as a favorite.

    Don't get me started.

    It's classic "U.S. Thinking".

    Multinational research has shown that:

  • More time in school does NOT lead to better grades
  • More homework actually negatively affects student learning
  • So, U.S. scores lag other countries?

    More school! More homework!

    Maybe if our schools were better, our elected officials would understand educational research better, leading to better schools, leading to more educated elected officials, leading to...

    (My favorite/least-favorite example was one of the kids in my group talking about an AP class: The amount they learn doesn't matter at all. The class is judged based on having more homework than the non-AP version of the course. Because the ONLY way a class can teach you more is to have more homework, right?)

    EDIT: Or another favorite example of "education gone wrong": Impus Major took two tests in math over two days: One a group test and the other an individual test. They got 11/24 on the group test. He got 37/40 on the individual test. I think what he learned is that "other people are idiots".

    Shadow Lodge

    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    Don't get me started on group projects....


    7 people marked this as a favorite.
    NobodysHome wrote:

    Don't get me started.

    It's classic "U.S. Thinking".

    Multinational research has shown that:

  • More time in school does NOT lead to better grades
  • More homework actually negatively affects student learning
  • So, U.S. scores lag other countries?

    More school! More homework!

    Maybe if our schools were better, our elected officials would understand educational research better, leading to better schools, leading to more educated elected officials, leading to...

    Trust me, the teachers know.

    They love to say...Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach.

    I like to follow it up. Those who can't teach, administrate. Those who can't administrate, legislate.


    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Scintillae wrote:
    NobodysHome wrote:

    Don't get me started.

    It's classic "U.S. Thinking".

    Multinational research has shown that:

  • More time in school does NOT lead to better grades
  • More homework actually negatively affects student learning
  • So, U.S. scores lag other countries?

    More school! More homework!

    Maybe if our schools were better, our elected officials would understand educational research better, leading to better schools, leading to more educated elected officials, leading to...

    Trust me, the teachers know.

    They love to say...Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach.

    I like to follow it up. Those who can't teach, administrate. Those who can't administrate, legislate.

    I know. I was a teacher for 8 years (and a tutor for 8 before that) before I got acquired by a tech company.


    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    We don't need no education.....oh...wait...yes...yes we do, just not the kind we have now.

    All in all our schools are just another bubble on the standardized test...

    With apologies to Pink Floyd

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