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Showing posts from March, 2012

A Pathfinder Mechanic for Expanded Criticals

Roll a Critical Threat and ConfirmDetermine base damageRoll D12 body parts belowApply critical damage (with modifiers) and effect if the victim is not wearing a blocking piece of armor. If blocked, critical is normal critical damage.
Body Parts Table
DiceBody PartBlockEffect1HeadHelmet / GogglesReroll Head Shot2Left HandGauntlet / Glove-2 to Hand Actions (Weapon Attack, Skills)

Ogres and Captives

So, our story this week finds the band of 5 (Half-elf Rogue/Druid Felix, Elf Ranger Corrail, Gnome Sorceress Ally, Human Bard Don the Magnificent, and Human Fighter River) still trapped in the Dungeon of Ruins.  Corrail and Felix had just narrowly escaped the clutches of a brain ooze.

The party gathered back up (5 PCs and two animal companions) and started deeper into the ruins.  A number of traps paved the way to two new rooms.  The first room was a kitchen where humanoids of various sorts were being cooked into a stew (mostly bullywugs).  Unfortunately, a particularly dangerous magical trap was triggered by the half-rogue as he tried to disarm it, at the same time drawing out two ogres into the dungeon hall.

The fighter rushed into action with corrail close behind.  The double-ended sword went snicker-snack, and ogres started to fall.  The rogue got pulled into an adjacent room and was healed.  The bard did an excellent job of distracting one of the ogres and gaining his favor, unti…

Sometimes It isn't the GM that You have to Worry About!

No Way Out

So our band of unnamed adventurers found themselves fighting the might hoard of 8 bullywugs down one fighter this week.  The gnome sorceress Ally took up position about ten feet from the door to heal the half-elf rogue/druid Felix who had taken several arrows.  The former paladin fighter Rodar flanked the door to take out incoming frog dudes with his double-ended sword.  Corrail, the elf ranger, grabbed a position 25 feet straight back and continued to pump arrows into incoming.  The bard found a back corner out of the way to play inspiring music.

Slowly but surely the boggard tribe marched towards the doorway.  Magic missles flew from the sorceress.  Arrows from the ranger took down champions.  The bard enchanted a rope and was able to tangle up one of the lesser frog men.  Felix's spiked chain ripped at the incoming.  After several rounds and a brief attempted fight between the bard with a broken glass bottle and a frog, the hoard was stopped.

Again the sorceress started her whi…

Using Weapons of the Foe

One of my players mentioned the other day that is a foe uses a weapon he should be able to use it, although he qualified their being an exception maybe for size (a giant's weapon).  So how does Pathfinder rules apply?

Off to research: ...

Basic Weapons
So basic rules are anyone can use any weapon they can pick up.  They get a -2 attack for each size difference the weapon is off by from the wielder.  In addition, there is a -4 if the wielder isn't proficient with that weapon, or the weapon is improvised.  Similarly, don't expect to use special weapon abilities on weapons that you aren't proficient with.  Tripping with a whip takes knowledge of how to use a whip, for example.

Magical Weapons and Items
Magic items can be keyed for use by only specific characters or character types.  They can be usable only by a single class, alignment, race, person, and any combination thereof.  There might even be other constraints, depending on the situation.  Imagine a lyncathropic amulet …

Some New Painted Minis

I just finished a big batch of winter minis that I have painted.  Sorry in advance for blurryness -- I'll try to take a few better pics and replace them later.
Adamantium Golem




Pengium, Turtle, and Fox Familiars

Gnome Barbarian

Old Ogre
Guards carrying Chest


Ogre Mage

Red-Headed Fighter

Winter Wolf and Regular Wolf

Anti-Magic, Hyper-Magic, and Wild Magic Fields

Magic in the alternate timeline of Faerun that my campaign is in flows from Mystra and the weave.  However, remnants of battles and worlds and events present and past influence the flow of magic.  In the alternate timeline, leaking weave energy is also influencing magic.

Places where catastrophic magic occurrences have taken place or places so cursed may be influenced by anti-magic fields.  These fields decrease the amount of magical energy available, effectively increasing the level of spells that can be cast, and, in extreme cases, even completely eliminating magic.  For a mage, these areas are dangerous two fold:  1)  Their normal magical defenses and offenses will not function well or perhaps at all.  2) In extreme cases, the effect may in fact result in a magical shadow curse that sucks permanent hitpoints right out of them (see previous post).

Wild magic areas may exist in regions where the flow of magic has been warped.  Wild magic areas result in concentration checks required …

The Shadow Curse

The original shadow curse in the Dungeon of Death causes PCs to lose one prime ability score point per hour while in the dungeon.  What a pain!  That means each character sheet is changing constantly while going through the dungeon.

So, talking with some of my players, I proposed this alternate Shadow Curse:

Characters lose 1 permanent hit point per hour while in the dungeon.These hit points can be restored 3 ways:While at full hit points, take a potion of curse serious wounds (or better)Use a healing potion that restore ALL hit points.Any restoration spellResting for 8 hours after leaving the place that is cursed. Keep in mind that the dungeon of death has over 40 rooms, and averaging 10 minutes per room, that is 400 minutes of in-game time, not counting rest.  That is 7 hit points lost.  Throw in a few rest 8 hour rest periods for mages, and that is some serious motivation to keep healing the hit point loss.

A GM Adventure: Converting the Dungeon of Death to Pathfinder

I was able to pick up an excellent copy of Dungeon of Death the other day on Amazon.  For being published in 2000, the copy I got was impressive, almost new.  The Dungeon of Death is the second major dungeon in Lurkwood, the first being the Dungeon of Ruins.  I wrote my own Dungeon of Ruins, but it seemed fitting to try to convert the original AD&D Dungeon of Death.

Though conversion from D&D 3.x to Pathfinder is pretty straightforward, with there even being a conversion guide, converting AD&D is not.  There is not conversion guide, so far as I can find.  So basically I get to convert the entire adventure piece-by-piece using my GM instincts, a stack of bestiaries, and a lot of gaming paper.

As I go through this process, I think I'll post my experiences on here, as reference for other GMs that might take on a similar conversion.

First Impressions:

There is nothing quite like a well-written AD&D adventure.  It has an entirely different flow and context that later adv…


Referencing this:

Individual, group, and no XP?
I look at each obstacle that must be overcome and award XP based on whether this obstacle is overcome by the group or the individual.  For example, a monster or a trap in most cases something that the group will work together on, so everyone gets equal XP for contributing.

However, there are obstacles that are individual.  Everyone has to walk the tight rope to the other side of the bridge, or fall in and swim.  XP for this task is given individually just like they must individually complete the task.  If they figure out a group method (we take a boat across) the task becomes a group task with group XP again.

Absent player XP?

Absent players don't get XP.

Awards for roleplaying, miniatures, backgrounds, pizza, etc?
I use karma points as a reward for these things.  Karma points give you a save from death, allow you to autostabilize to zero hit points, allow you to take extra actions, allow you to reroll any roll, and other things you wou…