Concepts to avoid?


Strange Aeons


I submitted a Winter Witch concept to three different play by posts for Reign of Winter before a GM finally took pity on me and explained it was actually a terrible concept for the game.

Is it possible to find out what cool-sounding concepts are actually terrible for Strange Aeons? The Player's Guide gives some clues, but I'm wondering about something much more blatant but still spoiler free.

Like "Don't play a summoner who summons tentacle monsters" or "don't worship any of the evil Great Old Ones, except X". (Note: I'm guessing here.)

I don't want to just read the modules to work it out, because, y'know, Spoilers.

Sort of hoping GMs who have character concepts in their campaigns that prove disastrous can post hints for their successors.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Do you know that each adventure path has a free player's guide PDF that, among other things, details what races, calsses and other options are or aren't appropriate for the adventure path?

You can find the Strange Aeons Player's Guide here.

Silver Crusade Contributor

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To be fair, the Reign of Winter Player's Guide actually suggested the aforementioned winter witch, despite it being a terrible class for Reign of Winter.

(Having played one in Reign of Winter - twice - I can confirm that.)

So... I can see why Harakani might want a second opinion. ^_^


Well, Kalindlara has the right of it.
But ALSO
(A) The Player's Guide is hoping to enthuse people to play, so I think is trying to spark imagination rather than often proscriptive advice. Reading a hundred and fifty "not this either" or "your character should be like this..." ins't going to encourage people. That said I think that this is exactly what it SHOULD be doing. If I'm trying to run a game for my tabletop group, I need them enthused!
(B) the Player's guide doesn't get updated as people discover new and terrible combinations.
(C) I've just seen a fair few concepts made for a PbP that my careful reading of the PG suggests might not be optimal. Possibly people just aren't getting it. It wasn't until I actually started thinking about my character as a GM might that I went "hell no!".
(D) Horror is an incredibly difficult genre to run, I have found. Cosmic horror even more so. People may need all the help they can get.

Totally not worth Paizo spending time on this, but it seemed something the community might want to think about.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Without having read the adventure (I get to play! YAYYYYY!) but being a fan of the genre and having hung out on the "Pick James Jacobs' brain" thread:

1. Worship of any Outer Gods or Great Old Ones at all is discouraged. I dropped my character's syncretic Yog-Sothoth worship on this recommendation. Well, I think she dabbled in it during her amnesiac phase, but outright veneration is out.

2. Build in some weaknesses. Horror requires you to NOT be invincible, after all.

3. At the same time, be effective. You're theoretically going to be building someone to make it through eight adventures.


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The player's guide mentions it but psychic casters may have some difficulty because most of their spells have emotion components and

occult adventures wrote:
It is impossible to cast a spell with an emotion component while the spellcaster is under the influence of a non-harmless effect with the emotion or fear descriptors.

I have not read the adventure path either, but if your DM is planning on using the new fear system from Horror Adventures, you may spend a lot of time "spooked" and unable to cast your spells.

I imagine builds that have high will saves or some type of immunity to fear will do well as well. Remember though, under the new fear system immunity to fear is only partial. But hey, partial immunity is still pretty good.


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From what I've seen, playing a psychic caster should be fine, at least so far, with a few notes.
- While the game doesn't use the expanded fear system by default, if the GM does, "spooked" really shouldn't be enough to lock down psychic casters. (It's too much of a nerf.) Given that the spooked condition provides as much of a benefit as it does a penalty, it's probably reasonable.
- Get a way to deal with fear effects. Spells that can be cast without emotion components, a way to get immunity/removal (Psychic's Abomination or Pain disciplines, Mesmerist's Touch Treatment, etc.), and if possible, have another decent options to use while waiting out low-grade fear effects.
- It's a good choice for a weakness to include. It won't lock your character down entirely, but it'll force spending resources or narrowing your tactics.

As for other suggestions, I'd very carefully consider whether or not you want to use the staple early-caster options like Sleep and Color Spray. I'd definitely avoid the Slumber hex. Save-or-unconscious has a way of breaking the tension.


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I have not had a chance to read up on The Order of the Amber Die but this might be one of the things they can help you out with as IIRC they run through the adventure and provide feedback to GM's to help them with areas that they had trouble with.

So if you ask them (and IIRC the thread is something like An Experiment under this AP) they might be able to provide you with some good info as that is what they are trying to do as a mission statement.

Also from what I have read on the boards Horror Adventures has some stuff that can be greatly influenced by low will saves. So you could use that as a weakness or a strength but IMHO it should be talked about with your GM as how much different it is going to be from a normal fantasy game.

I also fully agree that to me something about a permanently miniaturized gnome riding a hawk just messes up my gut feeling of Horror, but then again in some ways that is my definition of horror also.

MDC


I will be running this for my group, and I have gone with the following train of thought: "what were they doing before the incident and what will they become?"
For example - a Hunter or Ranger that was formerly a bounty hunter and will now use those skills in the adventure. Or, an alchemist that was a grave robber, or a constable (cavalier archetype) that was a dirty cop.

My current favorite is anti paladin that has "fallen" and is now a Tormented Crusader paladin.

I would avoid random nonsense - but thats just me and my table.
I would also avoid weird races, because they take away from the strangeness of the AP. Again, just my preference.


The thread topic is the Strange Aeon Experiment in this section.
MDC

Shadow Lodge

Cole Deschain wrote:
3. At the same time, be effective. You're theoretically going to be building someone to make it through eight adventures.

Strange Aeons is extra-long? Cool, maybe it'll get to level 20 without Mythic shenanigans.


Mark Carlson 255 wrote:

The thread topic is the Strange Aeon Experiment in this section.

MDC

Weird. I thought the thread topic was "Concepts to Avoid".


I agree but what I said was since they are running the path they might provide info on what they thought was not appropriate to that AP module.
So based on their inside info you can decide as a player or the GM if it works for you.
MDC


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Cole Deschain wrote:
3. At the same time, be effective. You're theoretically going to be building someone to make it through eight adventures.
Strange Aeons is extra-long? Cool, maybe it'll get to level 20 without Mythic shenanigans.

No, no, I somehow brain-wired eight in and didn't notice until the editing window had closed.


Mark Carlson 255 wrote:

I agree but what I said was since they are running the path they might provide info on what they thought was not appropriate to that AP module.

So based on their inside info you can decide as a player or the GM if it works for you.
MDC

Gotcha. Now I understand.

I looked at their thread - the problem is, they are just running the Paizo Iconics from the AP. They don't seem to be doing any original character building. Maybe once they are done running it, they will have some insight.


Firstbourne wrote:
Mark Carlson 255 wrote:

I agree but what I said was since they are running the path they might provide info on what they thought was not appropriate to that AP module.

So based on their inside info you can decide as a player or the GM if it works for you.
MDC

Gotcha. Now I understand.

I looked at their thread - the problem is, they are just running the Paizo Iconics from the AP. They don't seem to be doing any original character building. Maybe once they are done running it, they will have some insight.

I would post the question directly to them and ask for their input as IMHO it would not only benefit you but a lot of other people also.

Like you I read the player guide's but was wanting some more info as well so I am sure there are quite a few others out there in the same boat as us.
MDC

Liberty's Edge

Well custom built races are likely out without GM permission. I was really expecting a no for converting an Eberron Changeling, but was told if I did I'd have to work for the story angle of the modules (as a fellow GM he trusted me to at least work it as an RP angle since I would likely buy the AP- and I did)

Races to avoid in Ustalav in general: Tieflings, Dhampirs, and other monsterious looking races. [Suspicious, the people of Ustalav generally run these types of people out, charge them extra for all services, treat them generally if they are 'accepted' as second-class citizens]
Amusing Races: Aasimar {instant celebrity, they want your hair, clothes, fingernail clippings, blood. Anything since you are pretty much by superstition a walking cure all for everything from 'badluck' {a lock of Aasmiar hair will keep that away}, Sickness {I'd heard tears from an Aasimar can cure that instantly}, Evil {All items used by an Aasimar are baned against evil} )

So race wise, I suggest any of the core races plus Changelings. (since they look pretty human till later in life)

Class wise: none really. But Archetype wise, No Celebrity bards from Cheliax. Opera Maybe, but no Celebrities.

personally though, if it comes to the worst case scenerio.

I suggest the Survivor character build
Human fighter, Feats: Catch-off guard, Toughness, Iron Will
Skills should focus on Perception, Sense Motive and Survival
Traits
(campaign) Sensitive Mind [+1 to skills, and take Sense Motive as aclass skill]
(Social) Seeker (+1 to Perception & It becomes a class skill)

Basically my back up character idea I have for the game :-)

High stats should likely be Str, Con & Wis. Lows Cha, Int, and Dex

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