How do I get these people to stop collecting skulls without breaking the group?


Advice

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Well a neutral good cleric of pharmasa can cast the spell defending bone and so can a lawful neutral one so it is not nesciarly unlawful or not good. This spell is in inner sea gods.


well look at it this way. would you expect a guess to walk in to a big game hunters house and start demanding that he take down his deer trophies and to throw out the bear rug? No you would not.these heroes of neutrality have slain some great beasts of dis -order and have prominently displayed their prowess upon their walls the paladin should have no problem with since they are not kidnapping children from the local village and sacrificing them to their dark gods. as for your party member that is feeling queezy about it his/she can remove the skulls from his/her space. if the person feels overridden by the other party members its time for that character to move on and have another one recruited that does not mind that there are trophies of battle on the walls. or the person can always just get their own place. who wants room mates anyways. parties should be like marriage a partnership with compromise .

Shadow Lodge

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/undead/beheaded
Let's see, can in fact be made with animate dead,
a vanilla giant beheaded starts at CR 2
Add the variants on to it (though belching is damn near worthless, so drop that)
The demon skull would at minimum also come with the fiendish template, possibly more HD and/or something like half fiendish if the DM is in the mood for it
So somewhere from a CR 4-7 probably


Dr Styx wrote:
Threeshades wrote:
Dr Styx wrote:
HyperMissingno wrote:
Currently our sights are set on two of his generals, one of which is a very powerful necromancer fiend and the other we know nothing about.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Let me get this right. You KNOW you are up against a NECROMANCER, and you are filling your bace with SKULLS???

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

What is a necromancer going to do with disembodied skulls? The only thing I can imagine amounts having them rattle their teeth like one of those wind-up toys. Unless that necromancer is called Quackerjack, I wouldn't worry.
Only Animate Dead starts you need a full body, Create Undead has no such restriction.

It does require a corpse. You find a lot of people aren't going to find a skull a corpse.

Shadow Lodge

SRD wrote:
Animating Beheaded: A spellcaster can create a beheaded with animate dead. Each beheaded created requires two onyx gems worth 100 gp and the casting of one air walk or fly spell. Beheaded can be created with additional abilities


So you're in real trouble if he's carrying around a lot of onyx and prepared Fly in all his spell slots I guess?

Clearly that is the best use of his resources.


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Maybe this is the video gamer and Harry Dresden reader in me coming to the fore, but I would think that if a villainous master necromancer COULDN'T do something amazingly awful with 13 demon skulls in his opponents' home base, he needs to retire and write poetry for the remainder of his days.

Sure, he'd need some justifiable source of that information (hire or dominate a scouting entity), and likely two trips made for the sake of thaumaturgic links being available ("Crony! You will infiltrate Fort Fool and remove a small piece from each demon skull and replace those pieces with *these* . . . ."), but a preamble to the necromancer's vicious preemptive strike against these overconfident do-gooders would be 13 roaming flaming demon skulls vomiting whatever noxious/caustic/harmful blasts he felt like dosing them with before his horde of flying frostfell ghoul harpies descended upon the place . . . .

"I will walk over your cold corpses to recover my new servants." (thanks, Benedict Cumberbatch!)

If your DM is reading this, I hope he/she makes use of this idea . . . .


i agree, if your big bad is a necromancer he should be able to do something bad to you with your own decorations


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Have the skulls contain Prions and get the party sick. Nothing like a Bard with Mad Cow Disease!

Prions


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Duncan7291 wrote:

Have the skulls contain Prions and get the party sick. Nothing like a Bard with Mad Cow Disease!

Prions

Prion diseases are transmitted by eating nervous tissue, not by hanging bones on the wall.


And given that they're the skulls of demons that tried to destroy the party they're also probably pretty confident.


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Dr Styx wrote:
Threeshades wrote:
Dr Styx wrote:
HyperMissingno wrote:
Currently our sights are set on two of his generals, one of which is a very powerful necromancer fiend and the other we know nothing about.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Let me get this right. You KNOW you are up against a NECROMANCER, and you are filling your bace with SKULLS???

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

What is a necromancer going to do with disembodied skulls? The only thing I can imagine amounts having them rattle their teeth like one of those wind-up toys. Unless that necromancer is called Quackerjack, I wouldn't worry.
Only Animate Dead starts you need a full body, Create Undead has no such restriction.

Create undead needs an hour to cast, if your enemy has over an hour undisturbed alone in your base I'm sure he could do worse than animate a few skulls.


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Syrus Terrigan wrote:

Maybe this is the video gamer and Harry Dresden reader in me coming to the fore, but I would think that if a villainous master necromancer COULDN'T do something amazingly awful with 13 demon skulls in his opponents' home base, he needs to retire and write poetry for the remainder of his days.

Sure, he'd need some justifiable source of that information (hire or dominate a scouting entity), and likely two trips made for the sake of thaumaturgic links being available ("Crony! You will infiltrate Fort Fool and remove a small piece from each demon skull and replace those pieces with *these* . . . ."), but a preamble to the necromancer's vicious preemptive strike against these overconfident do-gooders would be 13 roaming flaming demon skulls vomiting whatever noxious/caustic/harmful blasts he felt like dosing them with before his horde of flying frostfell ghoul harpies descended upon the place . . . .

"I will walk over your cold corpses to recover my new servants." (thanks, Benedict Cumberbatch!)

If your DM is reading this, I hope he/she makes use of this idea . . . .

So do the PCs get to pull stuff right out of their ass any time it would be convenient too?


I suppose it depends on your interpretation of things. I've played a paladin who did something like that, with the purpose of intimidating his primary foes (demons).

...in order to keep them out of a vulnerable area. It was very much like marking territory, so that he didn't have to work as hard.

Now, they weren't on pikes out at the village square. He just collected now and then, and let natural gossips do the rest. That what gossip do.

Now, that might not fly at all tables. I probably wouldn't play at those tables.


Skulls seem like they would probably be fine (I mean... if your GM had similar opinions as you do, they would probably have them spontaneously turn itno some skull based undead).

The petrified demon, however, IS a problem. The skulls are unlikely to turn into a problem unless the GM deus ex machinas them. The petrified demon jsut needs a stone to flesh spell to be back in attacking condition.


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lemeres wrote:

Skulls seem like they would probably be fine (I mean... if your GM had similar opinions as you do, they would probably have them spontaneously turn itno some skull based undead).

The petrified demon, however, IS a problem. The skulls are unlikely to turn into a problem unless the GM deus ex machinas them. The petrified demon jsut needs a stone to flesh spell to be back in attacking condition.

Meh, lop the arms off the statue and you've got a tasteful piece of art that explodes into gore if someone tries to use it against you.


Scavion wrote:
lemeres wrote:

Skulls seem like they would probably be fine (I mean... if your GM had similar opinions as you do, they would probably have them spontaneously turn itno some skull based undead).

The petrified demon, however, IS a problem. The skulls are unlikely to turn into a problem unless the GM deus ex machinas them. The petrified demon jsut needs a stone to flesh spell to be back in attacking condition.

Meh, lop the arms off the statue and you've got a tasteful piece of art that explodes into gore if someone tries to use it against you.

Creative stone shaping works to and it allows for artistic license. Change those legs into a base and you've solved your issues.


To bad it's not really dead. A fossilized zombie is awesome.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Make an undead demonic hydra with a ghostly body.


Sundakan wrote:

So you're in real trouble if he's carrying around a lot of onyx and prepared Fly in all his spell slots I guess?

Clearly that is the best use of his resources.

Minions, dude, minions. No self-respecting necromancer doesn't have apprentices all vying to kill him or her as servants. Plus scrolls, wands, non-standard staves, and one-shot animate dead combined with fly wondrous items. Now what I would do if I were this group is take those skulls and make a bone golem out of them.


Aren't demonic remains generally immune to necromantic reanimation anyway?


Renata Maclean wrote:
Aren't demonic remains generally immune to necromantic reanimation anyway?

Nope. As long as the outsider's body or pieces are there, you can convert them to whatever undead you like provided the template or creature allows it. That's what makes pit fiend zombies and the like so dangerous at high levels.

Sovereign Court

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Just a Mort wrote:
If you use demon skulls to intimidate others, then you're no better then them.

That... makes no sense.

"If you use Viking swords to kill Viking raiders who are pillaging your village, you're no better than them."

"If you're a cop who uses guns you took from a serial killer to fight criminals, then you're no better than they are."

No logical sense.


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stormcrow27 wrote:
Sundakan wrote:

So you're in real trouble if he's carrying around a lot of onyx and prepared Fly in all his spell slots I guess?

Clearly that is the best use of his resources.

Minions, dude, minions. No self-respecting necromancer doesn't have apprentices all vying to kill him or her as servants. Plus scrolls, wands, non-standard staves, and one-shot animate dead combined with fly wondrous items. Now what I would do if I were this group is take those skulls and make a bone golem out of them.

Yes, please come into my house and sit there in a drum circle for an hour as you go through the hour long ritual to try and make undead... bring your lackies too... it's saving me the trouble of tracking you all down in your lair...


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>>> Sundakan:

Nothing's been pulled out of anywhere unseemly. Apart from your retort, that is.

I would suggest that the rules lawyers among us take a moment to consider: the rules are tools, not the game itself. Rather than having a Luke Skywalker Cloud City meltdown in the face of wild and exaggerated proposals, is it not better to ask: "What *would* it take to pull something that ridiculous?"

Don't get trapped by "They only gave us these low-level spells to do something like this! How can the 'bad guys' know anything else?"

But what do I know?? I only try to have fun with the system, not live by it.


1: Big bad sets up a distraction adventure.
2: Big bad lures them into a trap. Teleport with Error sends them miles away, possibly into The Cleaves.
3: Sleep gas bomb their headquarters.
4: Put the spell in a scroll, tile, or elixir so it acts instantly.

I'm all for the demon skulls just rising as an undead swarm or whatever spontaneously. Evil gods grant this kind of thing on a whim.


Syrus Terrigan: As this is an advice thread on playing pathfinder, why does it seem odd that people question you when you step outside the ruleset? It's one thing if the DM has a plot/plan in play and the players happen to walk into it by collecting skulls. It's quite another for the rules of the universe to change themselves in an effort to mess with the players for something they did. Rules are what makes pathfinder different than other games and throwing them out gets you awful close to magic tea party time... :P

Goth Guru: "Evil gods grant this kind of thing on a whim." Sounds like just the thing a good god would smite to spite the evil gods fun... ;)

1: ok...
2: If he's really bad and that powerful, why not teleport them into a volcano, lost island or the middle of the ocean? This makes him sound slightly precocious.
3: Is he going to draw funny symbols on their faces too?...
4: Why? "Activating a scroll is a standard action (or the spell's casting time, whichever is longer)", so no quick cast. Oils, elixirs and such are one target at a time per item. I have no idea what a tile does...

The only quick undead raising item is the Cauldron of the Dead. It's a pain though as you have to lug around a 35 lbs. cauldron plus enough "water and rare herbs" to fill it up as many times as you have bodies. And all that for the low,low cost of 30,000 gp... it almost seems like they didn't want raising undead to be quick and easy for some reason...


Syrus Terrigan wrote:

>>> Sundakan:

Nothing's been pulled out of anywhere unseemly. Apart from your retort, that is.

I would suggest that the rules lawyers among us take a moment to consider: the rules are tools, not the game itself. Rather than having a Luke Skywalker Cloud City meltdown in the face of wild and exaggerated proposals, is it not better to ask: "What *would* it take to pull something that ridiculous?"

Don't get trapped by "They only gave us these low-level spells to do something like this! How can the 'bad guys' know anything else?"

But what do I know?? I only try to have fun with the system, not live by it.

So that's a no, then?

It's not about going outside the rules, it's about springing random stuff on the PCs for no reason completely out of the dark.

If you tell them in advance "I've houseruled a significant number of new undead that can be made with Animate Dead", then sure. But not "BTW those trophies you took for fun are now trying to kill you because I randomly made something up just now".

That kind of thing (essentially punishing the PCs for roleplaying) is what leads to flat characters. It's the same reason most PCs have dead families, because GMs always feel the need to maim, murder, and turn any previous friends, family, and allies against the PC at every turn.

graystone wrote:
Yes, please come into my house and sit there in a drum circle for an hour as you go through the hour long ritual to try and make undead... bring your lackies too... it's saving me the trouble of tracking you all down in your lair...

Hm? Animate Dead IS a Standard action cast though. Making the skulls into Beheaded wouldn't take a ton of time, it would just be an inefficient use of resources for undead so weak a single Channel can wipe them out wholesale.

It's CREATE Undead that takes an hour.


Sundakan wrote:

Hm? Animate Dead IS a Standard action cast though. Making the skulls into Beheaded wouldn't take a ton of time, it would just be an inefficient use of resources for undead so weak a single Channel can wipe them out wholesale.

It's CREATE Undead that takes an hour.

I was assuming the higher spell as the normal spell can't do that was said. Scrolls, wands, non-standard staves, and one-shot animate dead can't be used for beheaded as they aren't made with the right material components. That and most are assumed to be on minimum level, so it's either quite costly or it's self cast. I guess you could custom make the items up JUST for beheaded but that's a bit unlikely to have littering your lair...


Sundakan wrote:
graystone wrote:
Yes, please come into my house and sit there in a drum circle for an hour as you go through the hour long ritual to try and make undead... bring your lackies too... it's saving me the trouble of tracking you all down in your lair...

Hm? Animate Dead IS a Standard action cast though. Making the skulls into Beheaded wouldn't take a ton of time, it would just be an inefficient use of resources for undead so weak a single Channel can wipe them out wholesale.

It's CREATE Undead that takes an hour.

Well, Limited Wish is cast with a standard action, and can duplicate Create Undead as long as it is not an opposed school. For an arcane necromancer, it is just one level higher, and the 1500 gp cost covers 1000gp of the lesser spell (i.e. 20HD worth of Create Undead). Oh yeah: no onyx needed.

/cevah


I’d think that a DM could probably do something with Haunts since they’re pretty flexible and at least IMO the sort of thing DMs are supposed to get creative with. Of course the DM could also make up an entirely new undead monster, perhaps one which “sometimes manifests when 13 demon skulls are brought together” (or just "from the physical remains of evil outsiders"). Making up new monsters isn’t against the rules, and in fact is even covered in the PRD.


The only problem is if they make a pyramid of skulls to sit on and you're in Zogonia. That's not okay.


Assuming the DM won't be playing the Paladin as "judge first, ask later", then presumeably if the Paladin has issue with the skulls they will say so.


>>> Sundakan:

You're still running on the assumption that "breaking" Animate/Create Undead is requisite to the extremity I suggested. I'm not trying to push the bounds on pre-existing game tools -- I am extrapolating from those points of reference to something different. Have you never researched a new spell and gotten it approved by your DM/GM? I readily grant that Pathfinder is a highly adaptable system (with or without the 3.5 backwards compatibility), and you can accomplish most anything you want given the range of selection available; that being said, "sandboxing" mechanics, feats, spells, etc. is pure fun, and often has the added bonus of engaging your players -- always a good thing. Mine is an innovative bunch, by and large, and we speculate wildly and often, even if we typically decide to leave our imaginings behind at the game table.

As much as I would love to throw out a rigorous Socratic series, we can avoid such miry logical exercises in favor of this simple observation -- what I suggested many posts ago is completely within the realm of possibility in a fantasy environment, but calls for a broader scope of the rules than Pathfinder gives us "as is". If that seems unfair or unreasonable to you, and many of our peers here, I understand; if it were a game I was DM/GMing and you were PCing, I would make every effort to sufficiently justify the events into which your character was thrown, because I believe firmly in two things when it comes to tabletop RPGs:

1) DMs *should* throw curveballs to their players.
2) The suspension of disbelief is paramount, in terms of both game mechanics and story continuity.

>>> graystone:

Surely you're not suggesting that there is no way to accomplish the "reanimated demon skulls of doom" scenario as a lead-up to the "frosty flying flesh-eating frenzy" part? Even "as is", such things can be accomplished with Pathfinder. Difficult? Most certainly. But extremely possible. Expanding upon the system to accomplish the extravagant and cinematic may be anathema for many, but declaring that DOABLE things are "outside the ruleset" and constitute a DM-induced cosmological conspiracy is an even greater stretch.

The OPs description of the scenario evoked "what if?" ideas for me, and others' responses furthered those threads of thought. I never meant to offend anyone with my posits and speculations; while those expressions fall far from the root of this discussion, they still fall within a line of logical progression made possible by the explicated particulars in the OPs posts. There are many particulars which would be relevant to the specifics necessary to suffice for such wild and crazy events, but we don't know those particulars; ruling out such things just because they seem overwhelmingly problematic is too limiting an approach, in my opinion. The party in question may be far too hypervigilant for the necromancer "little bad" to ever pull off such a coup, or he may not have the level and/or resources required to do it by their GMs preparations; those two necessary factors WERE NOT the determinants for my suggestions.

Would it be cool story for a necromancer to use trophy skulls in his enemies' home base against them? *That* is the first question I asked. Then you take your answer from there.

And for your initial question to me: the table determines the ruleset, so what's "out of bounds" here isn't yours or mine to establish, but theirs to enforce. And what is "magic tea party time"? I'm unfamiliar with that reference.

>>> to our OP:

I think that there have been many good suggestions about how to approach the situation you've presented. I believe that the best way to move forward with your stated objective would be to roleplay your character's discomfort with the new decorations -- it gives the other players a means of engaging with your character, and it also gives your DM an angle to play upon, possibly, to continue to challenge your party. Whenever possible, use your place in the story to push the story itself forward (whether your motivations are personal, metagame-based, or character-driven), because a good story for powerful characters is the greatest achievement for d20 gaming.


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Syrus Terrigan wrote:
Would it be cool story for a necromancer to use trophy skulls in his enemies' home base against them? *That* is the first question I asked

That's fine and all but Sundakan and I are pondering the next steps in that line of questioning. 'does it MAKE SENSE in the game setting and the rules for that to happen?' For me it doesn't follow that the universe changes itself JUST because it'd be 'cool'. So I'd be totally fine if the DM made a necromancer that specialized in "reanimated demon skulls of doom" scenario as a lead-up to the "frosty flying flesh-eating frenzy". If the group then collects skulls then it's there own bad luck.

It's quite another that he just 'happens' to have everything in place to do that without background prep JUST because the group collected skulls. That's some super-serious NPC/DM metagaming. The world itself shouldn't be against the group, just the npc's using ONLY their own power, knowledge and abilities against them.

Secondly, there is the question 'is it worth his time, trouble and putting himself in danger to do so?' and there again it falls flat. It's safer, easier, quicker and more reliable to do what you say AT HIS HOME. There is no logical reason for him to use their skulls. It's all done for 'cool' and for no other reason. That's fine if the NPC cares about cool but necromancers aren't known for caring about that sort of thing.

"magic tea party time"?: That's when children play 'make believe'. Anything is possible as there are no rules other that your imagination. If you're tired of playing a pirate, a snap of the fingers is all it takes to now be a princess. Anything can happen because logic isn't required and there is no need for continuity.

So it's a term generally brought up when people ignore setting, logic, continuity and just plain rules to 'do something cool'. In essence, their imagination trumps other factors. Great fun for small children but less so for those of us that want play a game that's grounded in a consistent, logical reality.

So in context of this debate:
the necromancer shouldn't have out of character knowledge of the skulls
He shouldn't know a spell/ritual/item he wouldn't have known JUST because the party has skulls.
he shouldn't do things out of character, like break into a foes lair to do something he could do at home because... cool
The settings rules shouldn't change on a whim because... cool
he shouldn't be doing thing that are more costly, harder to do and more dangerous because... cool

Put yourself in the necromancer shoes once and tell me would YOUR character do all that? Risk bodily harm, resources and time on something you can do in your lair? Mine wouldn't, so why would the forces of 'cool' mind control him to do it?


Syrus Terrigan wrote:
Have you never researched a new spell and gotten it approved by your DM/GM?

Yes.

Days in advance of it hitting the table, and with a lot of back and forth between us to make sure it's neither useless nor broken for its spell (well, Power) level.

Syrus Terrigan wrote:
2) The suspension of disbelief is paramount, in terms of both game mechanics and story continuity.

"This random necromancer we're fighting JUST HAPPENS to have specially researched a spell that is only useful in this exact scenario just to screw us" strains mine.


Sundakan wrote:

...

That kind of thing (essentially punishing the PCs for roleplaying) is what leads to flat characters. It's the same reason most PCs have dead families, because GMs always feel the need to maim, murder, and turn any previous friends, family, and allies against the PC at every turn.
...

Good grief! I can't imagine playing with a GM like that.


And yet it's so very common.

I don't even think it's a conscious thing for most people, or borne out of any malice, really, just kind of a subconscious "There's a plot point here, I must do something with it!" or as a quick way to insert tragedy or make things personal.

It's the same scenario here. Why do the decorations around the castle need to be a plot point?


>>> graystone:

The universe gets changed in Pathfinder all the time. Magic and such, right?

Perhaps you missed the point at which I indicated it would only make sense for such an event provided that this necromancer had accurate and current intelligence regarding the fortress? Again, and again -- I believe in sufficient cause. "Cool" is not sufficient, but it can certainly lead to the question of "How?" -- and *there* you can flex some 'creativity muscles', and find the sufficiency, if it is there.

At no point have I recommended that "cool" alter the fabric of their reality beyond plausibility. I fail to see how I haven't communicated that effectively. I have been trying to make myself clearly understood, but . . . .

>>> Sundakan:

Preparation, particularly on the GM/DMs part, is a critical part of an enjoyable game. Good research and development pays off.

Corner-case spells for corner-case scenarios aren't effective investments of time and effort. That is a given. And I have not been trying to advocate such a thing as the crux of the necromancer's plan, if there even is one (again, not our game). We've been dancing around the most critical part of just such a situation without ever openly stating it -- RANGE. I'm guessing that this is the element that most taxes your perspective of what I've described as "cool". Because you can't use animate/create undead from miles away, right? But if there *was* a way to do that . . . . And just think of the applications . . . . Places of power? Artifact-level item? Intervention of a deity? None of those things could have a place in Pathfinder?

. . . Yeah, I *would* bring a Death Star to a Stone Age brawl . . . . Those poor Ewoks. But the Ewoks were on the winning side in Episode VI, right (the last real Star Wars movie ever made, by the way)?

Feel free to message me if you'd like to hash out more of this, but I'll leave you all to it here, hopefully headache free.

Enjoyed it!


Syrus Terrigan wrote:

>>> graystone:

The universe gets changed in Pathfinder all the time. Magic and such, right?

You missed the point. The universe doesn't change itself on a whim. It doesn't hand out custom spells to bad guys because the party picked up skulls...

Syrus Terrigan wrote:
Again, and again -- I believe in sufficient cause. "Cool" is not sufficient, but it can certainly lead to the question of "How?" -- and *there* you can flex some 'creativity muscles', and find the sufficiency, if it is there.

However, there really DOESN'T seem to be any "sufficient cause" beyond 'cool'. I made a long list of things that just didn't make ANY sense in the plan. I focused on 'cool' because it seemed the only reason for the plan.

Syrus Terrigan wrote:
At no point have I recommended that "cool" alter the fabric of their reality beyond plausibility. I fail to see how I haven't communicated that effectively. I have been trying to make myself clearly understood, but . . .

My whole disagreement with you is the lack of "plausibility" of the plan and it's needing metagaming. For instance, even if the guy scouts out the place, it doesn't explain the other issues with the plan.

Syrus Terrigan wrote:
Corner-case spells for corner-case scenarios aren't effective investments of time and effort. That is a given. And I have not been trying to advocate such a thing as the crux of the necromancer's plan, if there even is one (again, not our game). We've been dancing around the most critical part of just such a situation without ever openly stating it -- RANGE. I'm guessing that this is the element that most taxes your perspective of what I've described as "cool". Because you can't use animate/create undead from miles away, right? But if there *was* a way to do that . . . . And just think of the applications . . . . Places of power? Artifact-level item? Intervention of a deity? None of those things could have a place in Pathfinder?

All of those things are interesting but my question is this: would you have gone to the trouble of all that [creating Places of power, Artifact-level item, and Intervention of a deity] for this if the party hadn't collected skulls?

I think this part of my last post should have cleared up your confusion about being "clearly understood":

greystone wrote:

That's fine and all but Sundakan and I are pondering the next steps in that line of questioning. 'does it MAKE SENSE in the game setting and the rules for that to happen?' For me it doesn't follow that the universe changes itself JUST because it'd be 'cool'. So I'd be totally fine if the DM made a necromancer that specialized in "reanimated demon skulls of doom" scenario as a lead-up to the "frosty flying flesh-eating frenzy". If the group then collects skulls then it's there own bad luck.

It's quite another that he just 'happens' to have everything in place to do that without background prep JUST because the group collected skulls. That's some super-serious NPC/DM metagaming. The world itself shouldn't be against the group, just the npc's using ONLY their own power, knowledge and abilities against them."

Saying, well you could just have Places of power, Artifact-level item, and Intervention of a deity do it you're pretty much saying that "cool" alter the fabric of their reality beyond plausibility.

You are most likely right we should move this some place else. If you wish to start up a thread on it, I move over there to disagree with you. :)


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If you punish the players for decorating, they will never decorate again.


I haven't even begun to decorate! Hope everyone likes red!


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
If you punish the players for decorating, they will never decorate again.

'Do you think that group of adventurers buying a table and an ottoman and every wizard in the land getting the ability to permanently animate objects are related?


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KC makes an excellent point, all jokes aside.

Being harmed for making a stupid move in combat or acting without discretion in a hostile territory is fine. You did something that, logically, leads to undesirable outcomes. You shouldn't charge headfirst at the melee deathmachine. It's not a good idea to report human rights violations by the Church of Asmodeus to the Chelish police.

It's completely different when you punish more flavorful and/or metagamey things. You're thinking in the manner of using the setting and some NPCs to create drama and consequence for their actions. The orcs rape their cousins, their church is vandalized, their horses are stolen. Boom, motivation to be a part of the campaign. The plot hook that drives everything into everything else. The PCs might roleplay it once or twice, the injured pride or the righteous fury, but maybe this game, they'd just like to have a life.

It's why PCs become murderhobos. They don't have a family or hometown to threaten. They don't have anything that can be held against them except their party, who are all also hyper-competent mercenaries, much easier to defend than some Commoner 1/Expert 2 cousins. They've been burned too many times by a probably well-meaning DM who sent the necromancer to Smallville.

Telling a story is very different than running an adventure. You can have tragedy and drama, but not all the characters are words on the paper. Some of them are the people sitting around you, and they might want to tell a story about coming home to a peaceful farm instead of a smoking crater.


graystone wrote:

Syrus Terrigan: As this is an advice thread on playing pathfinder, why does it seem odd that people question you when you step outside the ruleset? It's one thing if the DM has a plot/plan in play and the players happen to walk into it by collecting skulls. It's quite another for the rules of the universe to change themselves in an effort to mess with the players for something they did. Rules are what makes pathfinder different than other games and throwing them out gets you awful close to magic tea party time... :P

Goth Guru: "Evil gods grant this kind of thing on a whim." Sounds like just the thing a good god would smite to spite the evil gods fun... ;)

Via the paladin who just entered the picture. This fulfills the getting rid of part of the original posters request.

graystone wrote:

1: ok...
2: If he's really bad and that powerful, why not teleport them into a volcano, lost island or the middle of the ocean? This makes him sound slightly precocious.
3: Is he going to draw funny symbols on their faces too?...
4: Why? "Activating a scroll is a standard action (or the spell's casting time, whichever is longer)", so no quick cast. Oils, elixirs and such are one target at a time per item. I have no idea what a tile does...

The only quick undead raising item is the Cauldron of the Dead. It's a pain though as you have to lug around a 35 lbs. cauldron plus enough "water and rare herbs" to fill it up as many times as you have bodies. And all that for the low,low cost of 30,000 gp... it almost seems like they didn't want raising undead to be quick and easy for some reason...

2: He can try to teleport them into a volcano, but unless he lives in one he will probably miss by miles.

3:Why not, he, or one of his minions are evil. :)
4: Tiles activate by being broken over the target. I take it you are one of those Homebrew Haters.


Goth Guru wrote:

2: He can try to teleport them into a volcano, but unless he lives in one he will probably miss by miles.

3:Why not, he, or one of his minions are evil. :)
4: Tiles activate by being broken over the target. I take it you are one of those Homebrew Haters.

2: Well my point is that he can pick a location that's deadly all on it's own. Why get them out of the way to do something evil when you can skip a step and just be evil. Bad guys have schedules too. ;)

4: No hate, it's just hard to take/understand advice when you don't have a clue what the other person is talking about. With your explanation, it seems much like a scroll and as such it wouldn't be able to create beheaded as the normal spell doesn't have the material components for that version.


With tiles, all the material components used and spell decisions are made when the tile is made. The tiles for beheaded will do only that. You will probably try to get enough information about magic tiles to try to use them against me, that being an abuse of the Socratic method.
As long as they end up being more expensive to make and are available to both heros and villains I don't see the problem.

I take it my idea for a staff that is fueled by destroying remains is better received. It hasn't been attacked by the Socratic method.


I guess the next question is if there's a way to punish the PCs for not decorating...

I'm not sure why having events unfold based on the roleplaying your PCs have done needs to be considered a punishment though. I mean, the game is made up largely of encounters. I'd think that having encounters which are themed around who your PCs are and what they've done or are doing could be a good experience. Maybe the skull encounter could be helpful and informative, lead to great treasures, serve as a prophecy (when the skulls float up, glow, and chant some curse, warning, cryptic message, etc), or just be a spooky but fun interlude or minor combat challenge.

Of course the DM could also choose to do nothing at all with the 13 skulls or demon statue. If nothing at all happens that's just fine, but I think it could be fun if something did happen too. I guess we're getting way off of the original topic of how to control the behavior of your fellow players though (and perhaps when that is or isn't a good goal - most people seem to agree it isn't for this situation)


Let me ask you this: Is it a fun experience to destroy your own stuff? If your computer animated right now and attacked you, forcing you to smash it with a hammer, would your immediate reaction be "Wow, that was cool!" or "That sucked, I almost died! And now I have to buy a new computer!"?

Likewise, is it a fun experience to have one of your accomplishments turn into a failure, or some new threat?

If you performed CPR on someone and they later tried to kill you, would you consider that fun?

Or if someone built a statue to your awesomeness and it came to life, killing several people?

Would you consider all of these things fun, or simply tedious and frustrating for twisting everything you ever do against you?

Liberty's Edge

If I was the DM, i'd go with the flow or give the flow a nudge, Let the skulls start speaking or communicating with party members in some way (or as a player you could use ventriloquism if you wanted to arrange this with the DM). The skulls could be used to give the group information, suggestions, or to lead the group into certain encounters. This might work as sort of a 'speak with dead' :but, if so, the DM should be aware of the alignment and motives of the dead,so as to weigh the information that they give to party.This could lead to a whole new tangent of adventures for the party.

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