IMPORTANT INFO - READ ME.   Posted by Dungeon Master.Group: public
Dungeon Master
 GM, 5 posts
 Teller of tales
 Lord of lies
Fri 14 Nov 2014
at 11:55
Keep these in mind and you'll do fine:

  1. When in doubt ask.
    If you're stuck in-game or out-of-game, not sure how to react or feel like there is anything preventing you from posting, either drop a line in any OOC chat or send me a PM. If you don't get an answer within 24 hours, poke me in the GM poke thread. While I may not update every day, I do keep an eye out for PMs and questions.

  2. It's your character.
    I spend my day trying to figure out plot lines and run encounters. I do not memorize character sheets. If there is important information pertaining to your character (like how you have dark vision so you don't get the dark penalties I posted) it is your responsibility to bring that up, not mine to remember it. You are the advocate for your character, it is your job to give them every advantage they can have. If you have questions, see Rule #1.

  3. If you have to leave, drop me a line.
    If you're going to be absent for longer then a week, or your RL schedule means you're going to be busier then normal, or school is starting and RL has to be adjusted...whatever the case, drop me a PM before you disappear for longer then a week. If you haven't posted in a week I will view you as an AFK player. I will then begin to NPC your character if they are vital to the plot, finding a replacement player, or working them out of the story. If you disappear for two weeks without prior warning, don't be surprised to find that you no longer have a character. This doesn't mean I can't work you back in, but it would ALL be resolved much better with a bit of forewarning. Even if you don't KNOW but just THINK you might have difficulty posting, see Rule #1: When in doubt, send a PM.

    If you have not logged in for a couple of weeks I may mark you as (AFK) after your name. If you have (AFK) on your name I am NPCing your character through encounters and you are at risk of either being replaced by another player OR being killed off for dramatic purposes. To remove (AFK) all you have to do is come back and post.

  4. If you take too long, I will advance the story.
    PbP can be slow enough without spending weeks/months trying to create a plan. I've seen this happen game after game after game where when the party has to make a decision nothing gets done and the game grinds to a halt while people just mill around without anything to do. When you are ready for the scene to advance you can notify that clearly by writing in an OOC line at the bottom:


    This will signify to both me and the rest of the group that you're ready to move on. When the majority is ready (or I get bored :P) the game will advance. I will post a default plan and if the plan hasn't changed before then, then that is what you're going to be doing. If you don't like it you'd better speak up and get a new plan in the works before I get bored and hit the fast forward button.

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:19, Wed 23 May 2018.

Dungeon Master
 GM, 6 posts
 Teller of tales
 Lord of lies
Fri 14 Nov 2014
at 11:57
Please note that this game is set to "Mature" and not to "Adult". While I expect absolutely terrible language and there to be some brutal violence I do not plan on this game going into "porn" territory of any kind (goreporn, tortureporn, porn porn :D).

I'm of the mentality that while the story won't shy away from "adult" concepts like hookers or senseless violence that it doesn't need to be explained in every filthy detail and personally I find the imagination of a "fade-to-black" much more immersive then anything people would actually type.

Therefore if we encounter a situation that would cross the line I/we will either take a step back and either fade-to-black or just describe things in a high level OOC way before getting back to the action.

So don't worry, you'll get plenty of hookers, get to perform a scene out of Reservoir Dogs, even have a romance or two if so inclined but for the extreme stuff that would require an Adults Only access you'll have to use your imagination to fill in the the blanks :P
Dungeon Master
 GM, 7 posts
 Teller of tales
 Lord of lies
Fri 14 Nov 2014
at 11:58
Portraits are very important to me as a GM. I use that as the primary way of envisioning your character when I'm trying to describe a scene so if you don't have a portrait or have one that doesn't really fit your character it can impair my creativity.

THEREFORE if you can't find a portrait that you are happy with, let me know ASAP. One thing is that if you want to claim a portrait I've used for an NPC just let me know and we can hash out the transfer, otherwise if you're having problems finding something I can make some suggestions.

Another idea to pursue is to check the internet for a good image and then submit it for approval to rPol. It might take a month or two for it to be added but I really find getting a good portrait for your character is worth the wait.

I have a lot of experience with both photoshop and portrait submissions so if there's an image you like but don't have a way to capture it, just remember rule #1: Ask and I can help you out.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 17 posts
 Teller of tales
 Lord of lies
Mon 17 Nov 2014
at 15:48
My favorite part about Baldur's Gate was how most of the magic items felt unique, and had special tales to go along with them. In addition I find that treating magical items like any other piece of equipment really takes the fun and...well...magic out of the item so I tend to impose a few house rules when it comes to magical items:

  • For towns I will be generating magic items lists and using the rules as written around purchasing limits in cities.

    There is a 75% chance that any item of this value or lower can be found for sale in the community with little effort. If an item is not available, a new check to determine if the item has become available can be made in 1 week. A settlementís purchase limit is the most money a shop in the settlement can spend to purchase any single item from the PCs. If the PCs wish to sell an item worth more than a settlementís purchase limit, theyíll either need to settle for a lower price, travel to A larger city, or (with the GMĎs permission) search for a specific buyer in the city with deeper pockets.

  • Gold can be spent on building up contacts and acquiring recipes for powerful magical items. For example you might want a +3 Flail of Frost but in order to do that you have to find three +1 flail heads that have been scattered through the wilderness. You can use your gold to give quests to other adventurers to go out and find your recipes or needed ingredients and then assemble.

  • Magical items are created more then crafted. It may be possible that ordinary or lesser magical items in your possession may become magical or more powerful based upon your deeds and encounters, and perhaps even your misfortunes. Get hit with a critical lightning bolt while holding a mundane sword? Don't be surprised if it suddenly picks up a bit of that magical energy and now does +1 electrical damage. The more powerful then encounter or event, the more powerful the end item. Divine intervention can also create and imbue magical properties into items.

  • Do not plan on being able to pick and choose your equipment on a level by level basis, you will need to learn to use the items you get in the most effective manner possible. I reward good role playing, not memorization of indexes and mathematical computations.

  • More powerful magical items will have cooler effects and have lengthy histories. I would greatly enjoy if you want to flex your creativity a bit and come up with some heroic origins for magical items you acquire. Like in Baldur's Gate many of them will have unique appearances and histories to make them feel more magical.

  • Item Creation feats are worthwhile if you want to be able to create your own custom magic items however it will not be so simple and straightforward of "Spend X gold and Y days and get item Z".

Again I'm not trying to punish anyone but I am trying to restore a bit of a mistake that has happened in the past. In normal rules if you get a magic item that isn't on your optimal build as soon as you can you sell it off and convert gold into stat bumps. I would rather if you acquire a powerful magical item to try and wrap your character around the item instead of the other way around. In addition the normal rules make Item Creation feats not worthwhile to acquire.

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:28, Wed 23 May 2018.

Dungeon Master
 GM, 49 posts
 Teller of tales
 Lord of lies
Tue 2 Dec 2014
at 20:13
Skinning is the idea of taking a set of rules or mechanics and applying a new "skin" to it to provide a new and unique experience for the purposes of roleplaying.

For example:
A tiefling ninja that generates the ninja's ki pool from his infernal heritage instead of the traditional Eastern flavor.

A Samurai class rebranded as a Knight wielding a bastard sword instead of a katana

A dog familiar that is a chicken or a goat or pretty much any animal.

I am all for skinning and rebranding as long as it follows the following guidelines:

1) It must have a good reason with some solid reasoning from the player. I'm not going to let you reskin your generic 15gp long sword as a negative energy blade just because you want to pretend to have a level 20 character at level 1.

2) The underlying game mechanics are unchanged.
In the above example the tiefling's "infernal" pool is still impacted and follows all the same rules as the ki, the bastard sword has the same stats, cost, and proficiency requirements of the katana, and the chicken providing the benefits of the dog familiar will find itself hated by every goblin it meets.

So if there is a feat or power or spell or whatever that you really want to use however the aesthetics attached to it aren't your style just let me know and we can work on re-branding it into something you can really dig but doesn't unbalance the game or alter the mechanics.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 50 posts
 Teller of tales
 Lord of lies
Tue 2 Dec 2014
at 21:17
This might be a bit premature but I am planning on allowing the Leadership feat at 7th level. Given the enormous power level of this feat I think it bears discussion earlier then later to avoid any confusion.
  1. The final decisions on all NPCs is up to me. If I feel that a cohort is becoming too powerful or is overshadowing the PCs I will step in and correct the situation. I may also make mandates on abilities based upon the direction of the game and/or the needs of the party and/or the perceived impact of the cohort on the party.

  2. Custom NPC cohorts will be built off the basic NPC. Keep that in mind that for spellcasters this creates an upper limit of 3rd level spells before equipment.

  3. NPC cohorts can be drafted from the ranks of Friendly and Helpful NPCs that you have encountered. If so they will come pre-built (although there may be some gaps that you can have input into to fill).

  4. If you are planning on taking this feat I must be notified by Level 5 so we have plenty of time to discuss who and what you're going to take and I have a full level where I can work in a custom NPC cohort if necessary. If you forget or change your mind then at 7th level I will provide you a pre-made list of cohorts for you to choose from.

  5. I will give you control of the NPC however in true Harbinger fashion I may assume direct control if it either suits the story, the character, or if this power is abused. Your cohort is loyal but is not a mindless robot.

  6. For combat you have two choices: 1) You can control the NPC but your PC and NPC will move on the WORST of your two initiative rolls. I'm not stepping into the quagmire of trying to divide up your post into two different actions on opposite ends of the initiative spectrum, especially if the party has 3 or 4 cohorts running around. The other option is that I control them but then you can't decide what their tactics will be.

  7. Followers may be faceless in their large numbers (i.e. I'm not creating 30 1st level NPCs for you) but they are not just resources. The biggeset thing I want to avoid is the infamous "Follower Crafting Sweatshop" idea where you get a bunch of low level crafters to just make you free stuff and generate gold and/or free items. While having some crafters is perfectly fine if you order up 20 1st level Wizards with Scribe Scroll and don't do a good job roleplaying your Scriptorium I may grow displeased with it and bad stuff may happen to your followers. It's fine to use your followers but just don't make it obvious that your only reason for having them is free potions and scrolls.

  8. If your cohort dies there could be a considerable waiting time before a new one is attracted. This is going to be a very subjective rule based heavily on how and why he died. If your cohort died making a noble sacrifice and your character did everything they could to preserve their life and try and bring them back afterwards the waiting time will be far less then if you used them as a suicidal rearguard or distraction when there were other options available. In general the primary milestones for getting a new one are:
    • Going up a level
    • Gaining enough leadership score increase to offset the -2 from the cohort dying
    • Completing a major milestone in a quest

    Followers work the same way but they will trickle back in at a faster rate so that you're back to maximum by the above milestones assuming no more get horrifically slaughtered.

  9. If you're doing a custom cohort then I expect considerable effort into establishing a back story and personality, no less then what I would expect for a PC. For followers the highest levels should have names and at least a sentence description. In general if there is less then 5 followers at that level I'd expect at least a paragraph per. If there is between 5-10 then a sentence will do. 10-20 and a name will do. 20+ and it's fine to just refer to them as "your followers" as they're pretty faceless at that point.

  10. While followers will not gain levels per se when your leadership score increases and you can attract a higher level of follower I will allow you to "level up" some existing favorites. In general up 1/2 (round up) can be "old" followers. Again referring to rule #1 if a follower starts overshadowing a cohort then I might step in and correct things.

  11. In general, Familiars are treated a bit differently (if you want them to be in combat. If you want to actively use your familiar in combat, it will default to your initiative score so you can mentally command it if possible. Out of combat in general you will control it but I may step in now and then.

  12. Animal Companions/Mounts - I will allow the player to control their animal companion/mount in combat HOWEVER you have to use the Handle Animal rules. Your companion/mount has tricks and those tricks have rules and you will need to follow those rules. The limitations in animal companion intelligence is a drawback that is built into the game balance. At low levels especially the mounts/companions can be powerhouses in combat if allowed to have human level tactics.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:15, Tue 02 Dec 2014.

Dungeon Master
 GM, 77 posts
 Teller of tales
 Lord of lies
Tue 16 Dec 2014
at 18:26
I am not opposed to players joining Factions. This, like Leadership, should be discussed before hand to see if/when/how a faction can be introduced into the campaign.

I am also not opposed to players forming their own faction because of the nature of this game. Again that will wait awhile but as always any major character paths or developments should be discussed earlier rather then later.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 81 posts
 Teller of tales
 Lord of lies
Thu 18 Dec 2014
at 03:55
So I'd like you to use the following format for combat posts:

Underneath your descriptive post I would like you to clearly spell out each action you are taking and what you're doing with it. If you take a Move and a Standard action it should go like:

Move Action: blah
Standard Action: blah

If you squeeze in a swift or immediate or free action again please clearly state you are taking X kind of action and you are doing Y with it. You do not have to call out talking as a free action, however but a common tactic might be to switch from a bow to a sword, for example so it would look like:

Free Action: Drop bow
Move Action: Draw sword
Standard Action: Attack Bad Guy #1

Finally if you do make an attack please append the AC that you hit and the amount of damage (as well as the damage type if it's doing something unusual like fire or cold etc.) Then append your dice rolls below it. For example:

Move Action: Pass
Standard Action: Scorching Ray at Bad Guy #3 hitting touch AC 15 for 5 pts of fire damage.

All in all it should look something like this:

Gnomey the gnome lets out a fearsome roar and moves next to this guy and stabs that guy.

Move Action: Move 20 feet from Q5 to Q9
Standard Action: Attack that guy with dagger, hitting AC 17 for 2 points of damage.

09:21, Today: Gnomey rolled 17 using 1d20+3. stab that guy
09:21, Today: Gnomey rolled 2 using 1d3. dagger damage

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:56, Thu 18 Dec 2014.

Dungeon Master
 GM, 178 posts
 Teller of tales
 Lord of lies
Sun 31 May 2015
at 23:56
Pathfinder Unchained
I will be using and encouraging the use of Unchained classes (Monk/Barbarian/Rogue/Summoner).

All of those changes are available online and mostly are just a rebalancing of the existing classes. Barbarians get more straight forward abilities and better rage powers, Rogues can inflict status effects with their sneak attacks and get skill unlocks, Monks get completely revamped, and Summoners get a bit of direction so you don't end up with a blob with 10 tentacles coming out of it.

In addition Stamina Pools will be given to Fighter as a free bonus feat. Other characters are free to take Combat Stamina

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:31, Wed 23 May 2018.

Dungeon Master
 GM, 364 posts
 Teller of tales
 Lord of lies
Wed 23 May 2018
at 18:42
Magic Item Creation
IF we go down the route of using crafted magical items (not consumables like wands or potions but things like arms & armor, rings, staves, rods, and wonderous items) then I would like to use the Dynamic Magic Item Creation rules listed in Pathfinder Unchained.

The summary is this:

You (and potentially a buddy) are faced with a series of skill challenges based off of DC 15 - 30 and sometimes additionally modified by item's CL.

For example, the very first task is always to Prepare the Vessel:

You must create or prepare an item to handle the magic youintend to instill within it.

Forge a New Vessel: Craft (itemís type) DC 15 + itemís caster level
Mystical Preparations:  Spellcraft DC 15 + itemís caster level
Critical Success (both are passed)
You have a superlative and efficient vessel. Set the base cost at 75% of the market price, and set the itemís creation time to 1 day per 2,000 gp of the itemís market price.

Success (pass one and fail the other by less then 5)
You have a satisfactory vessel. Set the base cost at 85% of the market price, and set the itemís creation time to 1 day per 1,000 gp of the itemís market price.

Failure (pass one and fail the other by more then 5)
You have a flawed vessel. Set the base cost at 100% of the market price, set the itemís creation time to 1 day per 500 gp of the itemís market price, and add one flaw.

Critical Failure (both tasks failed)
The vessel is destroyed.

So right away it becomes more interesting. A single person cannot do both tasks so you will need a "partner" and you can use different ones for different parts of it. You can use an NPC smith to craft the item, the rogue to use UMD to basically bluff your way past the activation words and the Bard to shoo away a distracting visitor who keeps bothering you at inopportune times.

Perks can be generated by succesfully completing the challenges and range from having lighterweight items to providing additional minor bonuses to a random skill or glow when a specific type of enemy is around. These perks will be partially random, partially based on the item and partially based on the owner. For example, if a ranger is involved and he HATES orcs then the item might glow when orcs are around.

Quirks are non-mechanical quirks that make items more interesting and with particularly bad luck you might get a flawed items. Flaws are not curses per se but do have minor drawbacks to their use, although you generally have to be very unlucky to get a flawed or cursed item.

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:48, Wed 23 May 2018.

Dungeon Master
 GM, 530 posts
 Teller of tales
 Lord of lies
Fri 13 Jul 2018
at 19:30
Magic Item Creation
NPC's will have colored dialogue based upon their attitude:

Helpful is blue

Friendly is green

Black is neutral/indifferent

Unfriendly is orange

Hostile is red
Dungeon Master
 GM, 675 posts
 Teller of tales
 Lord of lies
Wed 6 Mar 2019
at 22:12
Hit Points By Level
For a PC there are two ways to do hit points:

One is to take the average (round DOWN). So 3 for a d6, 4 for a d8, 5 for a d10, 6 for d12

The other is to straight up roll. No "rerolls for 1s" etc, you get what you get.

HOWEVER every odd level past the first you gain a bonus hit point.

So for a d6 it would go like this:
Level 2: +3hp
Level 3: +4hp
Level 4: +3hp
Level 5: +4hp.

This bonus HP happens whether you roll or take the average as a way to keep both systems fair. The only exception is that if you roll max HP then you don't get the bonus happy with having rolled a max HP for your level :P

For animal companions, cohorts, NPCs etc then the only option is to rolls. They do not get the bonus PC hp every other level. this does mean that animal companions/purchased mounts etc. might be weaker or stronger than normal and that is to be expected.