Rules and Systems

Sidebar Saturday: Equipment Tricks with Rope

Sidebar Saturday: Equipment Tricks with Rope

Sidebar Saturday (previously Sidebar Wednesday) is here to present the tenth free Sidebar for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game -- Equipment Tricks with Rope by J Gray

This Sidebar is a teaser for J Gray's larger Call to Arms: Ropes book!

With a wealth of feat options at a player's disposal, it can be difficult to find something new to define your character. The Equipment Trick feat introduced new ways to specialize around the gear you use the most, differentiating your character from every other rank-and-file adventurer. Sidebar: Equipment Tricks for Rope, expands the existing feat, providing new options for turning a standard piece of equipment into an extraordinary signature item.

The Sidebar product line brings you an assortment of ideas, homebrew rules, and various options from the talented pool of writers at Fat Goblin Games for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. These short and low-priced products are perfect for Game Masters and Players who want to integrate unique new options to their games.

Rope and You

Every adventurer has a length or rope stuffed away in their backpack. After all, rope is the duct tape of the fantasy world! It can be used for climbing, securing captured enemies, tying down gear, setting up pulley systems, and more! Without rope, most societies would grind to a halt.

But let’s talk about what rope can do for you! Use your rope as an improvised weapon! Use brains instead of brawn for feats of strength! Rescue drowning comrades! Make field repairs! With a coil of rope and the right feat, nothing is impossible.

For more great options related to ropes, keep an eye on Fat Goblin Game’s Call to Arms line come December 2015, when we’ll be releasing Call to Arms: Rope!

Equipment Trick (Combat)

Choose one piece of equipment, such as boots, cloak, rope, shield, or rope. You understand how to use that item in combat.

Prerequisite: Base attack bonus +1.

Benefit: You may use any equipment tricks relating to the item if you meet the appropriate trick requirements. If the item would normally be considered an improvised weapon, you may treat it as a normal weapon or an improvised weapon, whichever is more beneficial for you.

Special: You can gain Equipment Trick multiple times. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new type of equipment.

Rope Tricks

In addition to the feat, skill, or other prerequisites for each of these tricks, you must have the Equipment Trick (rope) feat to use a trick. You can use these tricks with any rope or rope-like object such a vine.

Coil (Sleight of Hand 5 ranks): Reduce the time it takes to coil 10 feet of rope by one degree. Normally, it takes one full-round action to properly coil 10 feet of rope. A successful DC 10 Sleight of Hand check reduces this to a standard action.

Field Repairs (Survival 5 ranks): Temporarily repair an item with the broken condition. Items repaired in this way do not regain hit points but do not suffer penalties due to having the broken condition. Making a temporary repair using rope or string takes one minute per hit point the item has lost. Temporary repairs only last for one use, after which the item regains the broken condition.

Flying Weight (Weapon Proficiency (flying blade)): You can use a small weight, such as a horseshoe, tied to a rope as a flying bladeUC that inflicts bludgeoning damage instead of slashing damage.

Hogtie (Improved Grapple): When you attempt to tie up an opponent you are grappling, your penalty is only –5 instead of the normal –10.

Knotted Weapon (Weapon Proficiency (spiked chain)): You can use a knotted length of rope as a spiked chain that inflicts bludgeoning damage instead of piercing damage.

Lash (Weapon Proficiency (whip)): You can use a length of rope as a whip at no penalty. The piece of rope that is used as a whip must be 10 feet long—length in excess of this must remain coiled or otherwise unused at your feet or side.

Lifeline (Climb 5 ranks): When you or a nearby creature is falling (from a failed Climb check or otherwise), you can throw a held rope as an immediate action, maintaining a grip on one end. If you are falling, this is treated as an attempt to catch yourself while falling made with a +10 bonus, but there must be some sort of solid anchor available for your rope to loop around. When attempting this check on another creature, treat it as if you yourself were falling. If the weight of the creature exceeds twice your heavy load limit (your own equipment does not count against this maximum), you are pulled after it.

Quick Release (no additional prerequisites): You can secure a rope such that you can loose it from either end by making a quick series of tugs (a move action) at any point along the rope's length.

Slip Away (Escape Artist 5 ranks): You gain a +10 bonus on Escape Artist checks to escape from ropes and rope-like restraints (such as vines).

Tangle (Throw Anything): You can throw a coiled length of rope as a ranged weapon. If you hit with a ranged touch attack, the target becomes entangled. It can cut or burst the rope, or escape with a DC 15 Escape Artist check. The rope must be unsecured to use this trick.

Weapon Retrieval (Throw Anything): You can tie a string or thin rope around a throwing weapon. After throwing the weapon you can retrieve it as a standard action by pulling on the rope.

Whirling Rope (no additional requirements): As part of a total defense action, you can rapidly and repeatedly swing a length of rope around you in a circle. This creates a barrier that makes it hard for enemies to reach you and adds a +2 shield bonus to your  AC.

UC This weapon can be found in Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Combat.

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Sidebar Saturday: Playing A Sidekick

Sidebar Saturday: Playing A Sidekick

Sidebar Saturday (previously Sidebar Wednesday) is here to present the ninth free Sidebar for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game -- Playing a Sidekick by Nick Esposito

Throughout classic and modern fiction, “sidekick creatures” have been fan-favorites and come to center stage, now you can play as the sidekick, and let the humanoid be the NPC tagging along. Within you will find rules to play just that — the sidekick.You will find information on playing as a familiar, an eidolon, or even stranger creatures within. Even animal companions, with the Bonded Mount ability, get some attention (but these rules assume a certain minimum Intelligence is needed to play a sidekick as the main character).

The Sidebar product line brings you an assortment of ideas, homebrew rules, and various options from the talented pool of writers at Fat Goblin Games for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. These short and low-priced products are perfect for Game Masters and Players who want to integrate unique new options to their games.  

Taking the Sidekick to Center Stage

Before you start filling out your character sheet, you need to figure out the personal relationship between the sidekick and the one with the character class. As a default, the humanoid takes center stage, and the sidekick waits offstage until it’s needed. It’s nothing to stable your horse and go into the tavern, or to send your raven flying off, but that is not the case if the horse or raven is the main character. To take full advantage of the sidekick as the PC, the sidekick has to have a close relationship with the bonded character, either for good or for ill. Maybe your bumbling spell caster has a wise familiar he is willing to follow, or afraid not to. Perhaps a simple farm boy devoted his life to the god whose followers saved his family, but being a rank and file soldier isn’t what said god had in mind for the farm boy, and it sends an emissary to coach him into greatness? Was there a reason the god saved his family, beyond simple kindness? Or, are you a rager from a far north land, refusing all potential husbands your father sends so you can continue your path to the field of battle, entranced by the symbol of your god, a raven, leading you to war? Will it lead you to death, or glory as a Valkyrie?

Maybe you saw a simple spell caster with potential, and took them under your (literal) wing, hoping you can drag them to greatness, whether they like it or not? Perhaps you are a minor spirit of a powerful god, and you need to keep a warrior alive until he fulfills his destiny. How will you protect this simple farm boy on the field of battle? Or, do you stumble upon a berserker with potential you’ve never seen, that can save your breeding grounds, or even species, from the hordes washing across the land? Can you lead her into battle, and use her to scare the threat away?

As you can see, there can be two similar but distinct ways to view each and every relationship between sidekick and their bonded character. There are also much simpler explanations, such has a weak willed summoner that is terrified of its eidolon, so much that so that it will do anything it says, even risk death by adventuring. Maybe your character thinks the eidolon is the spirit of a relative, or a diseased friend. Perhaps your sorcerer has a familiar that was the family pet, and has been alive longer than the sorcerer has.

New Feats for Sidekicks

Shared Perception
The bond between the two of you has grown great enough that you may share senses across your sleepwatcher bond.
Prerequisites: Sleepwatcher, Voices.
Benefit: If the sidekick creature possesses a type of sense unavailable to the character, such as low-light vision, darkvision, or scent, it may use this ability while using the benefits of the Voices feat. This ability cannot be used to circumvent a class feature, such as an oracle's curse.

Shared Perception, Improved
The bond between the two of you has grown greater still, allowing you to share even more powerful senses across your sleepwatcher bond.
Prerequisites: Shared Perception, Sleepwatcher, Voices.
Benefit: Following the same rules as Shared Perception, the sidekick creature can share a type of sense unavailable to the character, such as blindsense, blindsight, lifesense, see in darkness, or tremorsense. It may use this ability while using the benefits of the Voices feat, though, this ability cannot be used to circumvent a class feature, such as an oracle's curse.

Sleepwatcher

Eidolons, familiars of the tattoo familiar archetype, and phantoms can wind up elsewhere, either inside the bonded character or removed from the plane. With the feat, the sleepwatcher can either remain aware of what’s happening to the bonded character, or become aware of important details, through their link, upon returning to the plane. This prevents the sleepwatcher from missing the details of the action the bonded character experiences in its absence.

Prerequisites: Charisma 11, Intelligence 11, Wisdom 11.

Benefit: If you are stored inside your bonded character, you can observe what is happening nearby, using the capabilities of the character. For example, you can see what the character sees, and hear what it hears, but you could not use an enhanced sense of smell that grants the scent ability while physically absent. For the sidekick to perceive something, the bonded character must have looked directly at it or have specifically heard it themselves.

Voices
No matter if your sidekick rides inside your form, or if they are banished to another plane, a sliver of contact remains.

Prerequisites: Sleepwatcher, Charisma, Intelligence, OR Wisdom 11 (sidekick ), Link.

Benefit: You and your bonded character connection is strong enough to allow communication across any distance or planar barrier for a short time each day. For one minute each day per character level that affects the sidekick , the sidekick and bonded character may communicate. This ability need not be used for one minute but it must be used in one minute increments. The bonded creature may communicate with the bonded character, giving its opinion or advice, as it sees fit. Note that because of the bond sleepwatcher creates, the bonded character must talk out loud for the sidekick to hear its response.

Appropriate Feats

The following feats are designed to boost of focus on the sidekick, and appropriate for this style of play. Some of these feats come from books in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Player Companion line, which cannot be referenced directly. Alternate names are used for these books.

Boon CompanionAA, Celestial ServantARG, Critical ConduitAA,  Decoy's MisdirectionFF, Die for Your MasterUM,  Distant Spell LinkRTT, Emissary's EmboldeningFF, Evolved FamiliarUM, Extra EvolutionUM,  Familiar SpellAA, Far-Roaming FamiliarFF, Figment's FluidityFF, Focused EidolonUM, Greater School FamiliarFF, Group Deliver Touch SpellsFF, Group Shared SpellsFF, Guardian's ReturnFF, Heroic LeaderMTT, Improved FamiliarFF,  Improved Share SpellsACG, Improved Spell SharingACG, Mascot's AffectionFF, Master of Your KindAA , Mauler's EnduranceFF,  Polyglot FamiliarFF, Resilient EidolonUM, Sage's GuidanceFF, School FamiliarFF, Sense LinkUM, Share HealingACG, Spell SpongeAA , Spirit's GiftACG, Summoner's CallAPG, Telepathic LinkFF, Unfettered FamiliarACG, Vampiric CompanionMC, Vigilant EidolonUM

AA Feats from Paizo Publishing’s archival book of animal companions.

ACG Feats from  Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Advanced Class Guide

APG Feats from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Advanced Player’s Guide

ARG Feats from  Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Advanced Race Guide

FF Feats from Paizo Publishing’s portfolio book of familiars.

MC Feats from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Monster Codex

MTT Feats from Paizo Publishing’s tactical tool book for melee fighting.

RTT Feats from Paizo Publishing’s tactical tool book for ranged fighting.

UM Feats from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Magic

Familiars Of The Martial Classes
While familiars lend themselves to casters, and have a lot of abilities connected to spell casting, with some work and planning, you can make a highly viable combination for a front line fighter and a sidekick . The loss of shared spells, and the lack of ability to deliver touch spells hurts. However, the familiar will gain a substantial amount of extra hit point, and use a better BAB progression. To the fighter, a falcon can provide a flanking buddy, but from the falcons perspective, it's big lummox with a broadsword attack who he tells it to. A rouge that constantly has a flanker, or a distraction, has a great boost on the battlefield. Playing a character with a Bonded Mount can easily reproduce Don Quixote and Rocinante.

Familiar

There are a multitude of familiar archetypes that can be taken, some more fitting with certain classes than others. Those that are class specific are listed with the appropriate class (es).

  • A Decoy is just that, and provides excellent distractions.
  • An Emissary has divine influence and matches well with any divine caster, or a character of faith from any class.
  • Figments are dream born familiars that are reborn if they are killed. They require a spellcasting character.
  • Infiltrators allow scrying and telepathic contact with their master, so they are ill suited to martial classes.
  • A Mascot binds the team together, and gains spells at a reduced rate, but may connect with multiple members of the party. This is a great archetype for diverse parties, and blends especially well with a martial character as their sidekick.
  • Maulers are front line combatants, and mesh well with characters that do the same.
  • A Pilferer doesn’t gain access to spells, so pairing it with a rogue, bard, or fighter is best.   
  • Protectors are all about absorbing damage, so they can ally with any class, though those with extra hit points can provide them with extra staying power.
  • Sages are non-combatants with boosted intelligence and access to all knowledge skills. Great for advising the bonded character, and taking a dominant role.
  • School Familiars can’t take multiple archetypes, but are a great option to add on to the base familiar.
  • Valet are written as support characters, though with work, they could do well at taking care of the bumbling ‘PC.’

Methods by Class

  • Any Class
        • The Familiar Bond feat will allow any class to gain a familiar, though with reduced capabilities. Taking Improved Familiar Bond negates these reductions. Iron Will is a prerequisite for both of these feats, requiring a character with at least three free feats to choose this option.
  • Alchemist
        • The Homunculus provides a familiar at 1st level, which functions as a wizards familiar. It gains evolution points through level progression.
        • The Horticulturist gains a plant based familiar at 4th level, and is a nature influenced alchemist.
        • The Promethean Alchemist give a homunculus at first level, a small, obviously unnatural humanoid.
        • A Tumor Familiar, gained as early as 2nd level through the discovery of the same name, is a great option for this style of play, and has great access to healing.
      • Antipaladin
        • Fiendish Boon allows an antipaladin to select a monster of an intelligence level appropriate for this style of play.
      • Arcanist
        • Arcanists can gain a familiar as an exploit.
        • If you want to go for a very unusual playstyle, you can explore the Blade Adept archetype, though it would take a very specific type of campaign to play the sword as the main character.
        • Unlettered arcanists gain a witch's familiar, and can be used and modified as such.
      • Bard
        • The Sea Singer bard gains a specific familiar (monkey or parrot) at 2nd level. Who doesn’t want to see a pirate bossed around by their pet?
        • A bard with the Duettist archetype begins with a familiar, and gains familiar focused abilities as it develops.
      • Bloodrager
        • Aberrant Tumor allows a character with the aberrant bloodline to have a tumor familiar at first level.
        • A bloodrager may use the Bloodline Familiars archetype to gain a familiar at 1st level.
      • Cleric
        • The Demonic Apostle archetype allows a cleric to start play with a familiar, which is a great option, if drow are allowed as PCs.
        • Another excellent option is the Fiendish Vessel. It does not provide the familiar until 3rd level, but it is very familiar focused.
      • Druid
        • Blight Druids are a potentially dark, but potentially rewarding, option into this style of play.
        • The Leshy Warden provides a leaf leshy (a plant based familiar) at 1st level.
        • Through Nature's Bond, a druid may gain a familiar in the crocodile, eagle, frog, monkey, and serpent domains.
      • Fighter
        • The Eldritch Guardian begins with a familiar, and is a great option for this playstyle.
      • Magus
        • Any Magus may take the familiar magus arcana at 3rd level, though, with the focus on the familiar (and boost to its effectiveness) the Beastblade archetype will give you the play style you desire.
        • If you want to go for a very weird playstyle, you can explore the Bladebound archetype, though it would take a very specific type of campaign to play the sword as the main character.
      • Oracle
        • Through the Nature mystery, an oracle gains a Bonded Mounts, one of the only an Animal Companion that works for this style of play, because of the boosted intelligence level.
      • Paladin
        • Bonded Mounts are one of the only an Animal Companion works for this style of play, because of the boosted intelligence level.
        • The Chosen One archetype allows a paladin to start with a familiar at 1st level, and is a great option.
      • Rogue
        • The Carnivalist archetype starts with a familiar, and has a lot of familiar focused options suited to this style of play.
        • The advanced talent, familiar, will allow a rogue to gain a familiar as a talent, but, since it is not until 10th level, is a poor option into this play style.
      • Samurai
        • Bonded Mounts are one of the only an Animal Companion works for this style of play, because of the boosted intelligence level.
      • Sorcerer
        • Aberrant Tumor allows a character with the aberrant bloodline to have a tumor familiar at first level.
        • Arcane sorcerers can access arcane bond to gain a familiar at 1st level.
        • A sorcerer may use the Bloodline Familiars archetype to gain a familiar at 1st level.
        • The Serpentine bloodline gains a viper familiar at 3rd level.
        • Tattooed Sorcerers work well, especially if you take the Sleepwatcher feat tree, found above.
      • Spiritualist
        • This psychic class is practically tailor made for playing the Phantom as the main character. A strong willed, intelligent, manifestation from first level.  Some of the archetypes aren’t suited for this style of play, but the Onmyoji is a great divine casting entry, and the Haunted could not fit better.
      • Summoner
        • Most any type of summoner is suitable to this style of play, with some notes below.
        • Blood God Disciples channel an orc god and feed opponents to their eidolon.
        • Blood Summoners are cruel and violent, but give their eidolons some powerful abilities based on the suffering of others.
        • Evolutionists can change their eidolon on the fly, making them highly versatile.
        • First Worlders are influenced by Fey magic, and the eidolon is as well.
        • Naturalist summoners borrow from the hunter class to make wilderness influences eidolons.
        • Shadow Callers pull their influences, surprisingly, from the shadow plane, both in their eidolon and summoned creatures.
        • Shaitan Binders are genie influenced, and can readily be played by as non-wish granting genies.
        • Spirit Summoners lost summon monster to boost their eidolon, and are a great option.
        • Story Summoners have a modified eidolon that is further modified by the use of a Harrow deck.
        • Wild Callers are druid like summoners, which get access to an exclusive list of plant eidolon base forms.
      • Witch
        • While most Witches start with a familiar, with the focus on the familiar (and boost to its effectiveness) the Beast-Bonded archetype will give you the play style you desire.
        • The Patron Familiar archetype for a witch’s familiar is an excellent choice to boost the familiar's abilities.
  • Wizard  
      • Almost all wizards can start with a familiar, though a few archetypes do not, and therefore are not suited to this style of play. The Familiar Adept is particularly well suited.
      • Pact Wizards are focused on outsider allies through their familiar, and work well.
      • A Spirit Binder has bound the soul of a loved one into a familiar, and is an excellent, if not the best, option for a familiar in the starring role.
      • A Spirit Whisperer gains some abilities of the shaman class, and is another way a wizard can focus on their familiar.

    This content originally appeared in:

    Sidebar: Playing a Sidekick. © 2015, Fat Goblin Games; Author: Nick Esposito

     

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    Sidebar Wednesday: Equipment Tricks for Lanterns

    Sidebar Wednesday: Equipment Tricks for Lanterns

    This is the eighth in a new series of weekly blog posts where we'll be making free our Sidebar product line for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

    With a wealth of feat options at a player's disposal, it can be difficult to find something new to define your character. The Equipment Trick feat introduced new ways to specialize around the gear you use the most, differentiating your character from every other rank-and-file warrior. With Sidebar: Equipment Tricks for Lanterns, you'll find a dozen exciting new ways to employ this simple tool in your game, both in and out of combat. Being the lantern-bearer won't be just a chore anymore!

    The Sidebar product line brings you an assortment of ideas, home brew rules, and various options from the talented pool of writers at Fat Goblin Games for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. These short and low-priced products are perfect for Game Masters and Players who want to integrate unique new options to their games.  

    Lanterns and You

    Lanterns were once a staple of adventurers, but too often now they are overshadowed by the ease of access to quick and easy magical alternatives. Beyond the hassle of holding it in your hand, it provides little mechanical benefit that can't easily be attained elsewhere. Light has become an ubiquitous means of illumination—yet it lacks the undeniable charm of a hero huddled behind the dancing flame of her lantern casting long shadows as she delves into the depths of a dungeon.

    So instead of relegating the role of lantern-bearer to your least-favorite party member, why not bring some life back to your light? There's plenty to be done with a lantern for the innovative player—everything from blinding an enemy, to coordinating tactics, or even starting a simple fire. And with the following twelve equipment tricks, your lantern will no longer be a mere tool easily replaced by even the most novice wizard. In your hands, the lantern will once again have a turn in the spotlight!

    Equipment Trick (Combat)

    Choose one piece of equipment, such as boots, cloak, rope, shield, or lantern. You understand how to use that item in combat.

    Prerequisite: Base attack bonus +1.

    Benefit: You may use any equipment tricks relating to the item if you meet the appropriate trick requirements. If the item would normally be considered an improvised weapon, you may treat it as a normal weapon or an improvised weapon, whichever is more beneficial for you.

    Special: You can gain Equipment Trick multiple times. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new type of equipment.

    Lantern Tricks

    In addition to the feat, skill, or other prerequisites for each of these tricks, you must have the Equipment Trick (lantern) feat to use a trick. You may use these tricks with any lamp or lantern that requires oil to light. Preparing and lighting a lantern is a full-round action with flint and steel, or a standard action if lit with a tindertwig. Refilling a burning lantern with oil is a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity.

    Cauterize (Heal 5 ranks): You can use a lit lantern to quickly, if painfully, staunch bleeding wounds. When providing first aid using the Heal skill with a lit lantern available, you can stop any bleed effects affecting the character, including those that would normally require more advanced care or magical aid to stop. The cauterization inflicts 1 point of fire damage on the character to whom you are providing first aid.

    Confounding Beacon (Bluff 3 ranks): You can brandish your lantern beside your weapon to help obfuscate your movements. When performing a feint action with a lit lantern in hand, you gain a +1 circumstance bonus to your Bluff check. If the feint is successful, your opponent is dazzled for 1 round.

    Dazzling Reveal (Sleight of Hand 5 ranks): By hiding the light of your lantern beneath your clothes and quickly drawing it in darkness, you can temporarily dazzle your foes. In areas of dim light or darker, you can unveil a hidden lantern as a standard action, or a hooded lantern as a move action. All creatures caught unaware within the radius of your lantern must make a successful Reflex save (DC 5 + Sleight of Hand ranks) or become dazzled for 1d4+1 rounds. A successful save reduces the effect to 1 round. Creatures with light sensitivity suffer a –4 penalty to their saving throw.

    Death Ward (Knowledge [religion] 5 ranks or channel energy class feature): You can anoint your lantern oil so that it takes on some properties as holy water without compromising its inflammability. Preparing oil in this way requires an uninterrupted 1 hour ritual, but anointed oil may be stored indefinitely. When a lantern is lit with modified oil, it protects and wards the lantern bearer against the undead. A held lantern grants a +2 shield bonus against the undead. If the lantern is broken, the warding fails.

    Efreeti's Flame (Efreeti StyleUC): You may expend one use of Elemental Fist to ignite your lantern in place of using oil. A lantern lit in this way burns with extra planar flame, allowing it to function as a 2nd-level spell for the purposes of countering or overcoming magical darkness. A lantern lit with this trick lasts for 6 hours.

    Fascinating Glow (Handle Animal 5 ranks or wild empathy class feature): You know how to entrance animals with the soft glow of your lantern. As a standard action, you may cause one or more animals within the radius of the lantern to become fascinated with you. Each creature may attempt a Will save (DC 5 + Handle Animal ranks) to negate the effect. You can maintain the effect as a standard action each round to a maximum of 1 minute. If a creature successfully saves against this ability, you cannot attempt to fascinate that creature again for 24 hours. This is a mind-affecting ability. If you have wild empathy, you may use this ability on magical beasts with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, but they may attempt a new save against the fascination every round.

    Flashpoint (Craft [alchemy] 5 ranks or alchemist bomb class feature): You can prepare especially volatile lantern oil that burns hotter and faster. As a standard action, you can spill burning oil from your lantern onto an adjacent target. This is a melee touch attack that deals 2d4 points of fire damage and may set the target on fire. A creature may avoid being set on fire with a successful DC 15 Reflex save. Each use of your lantern in this manner reduces its lifespan by 2 hours. A lantern with less than 2 hours of oil remaining is instead extinguished. Preparing accelerated oil requires 1 hour of preparation, and lasts only 24 hours before losing its potency.

    Overfill (no prerequisites): By carefully adding an extra pint of oil to your lantern, you can increase the illumination offered by the lamp. In addition to the lantern's normal illumination, it creates bright light within a 15-foot radius (or in a 30-foot cone for a bulls eye lantern). This effect does not improve the light level beyond this radius. This ability cannot be used with the slow burn equipment trick.

    Quick Fill (Quick Draw): You can prepare your lantern faster than most. Filling and lighting a lantern with flint and steel is a standard action, while lighting it with a tindertwig is a move action. Additionally, you no longer provoke attacks of opportunity while refilling a lit lantern.

    Scouting Synergy (LookoutAPG): While you are holding a lit lantern, you and your allies are ever-alert for signs of trouble. Any allies within the radius of your lantern are treated as adjacent for the purposes of the Lookout feat. This ability provides no benefit to allies without the Lookout feat.

    Slow Burn (Survival 3 ranks): You are able to ration the oil your lantern uses, cutting its rate of consumption in half. A single pint of oil can now light your lantern for up to 12 hours. This ability cannot be used with the overfill equipment trick.

    Smoke Out (Stealth 5 ranks): Adding extra tinder to your lantern causes it to billow with thick, black smoke. When you add tinder as a standard action, smoke from the lantern quickly fills a 5-foot cube. Treat the smoke as fog cloud, except that a moderate or stronger wind dissipates the smoke in 1 round. The lantern will continue smoking for 1 minute before it smothers itself and is extinguished. Any oil left in the lantern is wasted.

    APG This feat can be found in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Advanced Player’s Guide.

    UC This feat can be found in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Combat.

    This content originally appeared in:

    Sidebar: Equipment Tricks For Lanterns. © 2015, Fat Goblin Games; Author: Matt Roth

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    Sidebar Wednesday: Hirelings & Followers

    Sidebar Wednesday: Hirelings & Followers

    This is the seventh in a new series of weekly blog posts where we'll be making free our Sidebar product line for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

    Too often players forget that they can pay for the help of hirelings or, if they have the Leadership feat, followers that can aid them. Sometimes these characters are treated as little better than dragon-fodder. This Sidebar introduces a streamlined method of getting clear in-game benefits of having various hirelings or followers with your character.

    Hirelings: Hirelings are skilled NPCs that can be hired for their services in a settlement. These services provide a specific benefit, help save time, or both. Most hirelings are paid a daily wage to work for their clients, though some are paid by the hour or week.

    Followers: Followers are a skilled NPCs that are recruited by those who have the Leadership feat. Many hirelings may be recruited as follower to provide better services, often for cheaper rates.

    Cost of Living & Followers

    If a leader has at least a wealthy level of cost of living (100 gp/month) they do not need to pay for the following followers: companion, cook, messenger, nurse, and porter. If they are on an extravagant level of cost of living (1,000 gp/month) they do not need to pay the price for any follower but the fence. The cost of these followers is part of the monthly expenses for those levels of cost of living.

    How to Use This System

    The services presented here should be suggested by the gamemaster when they become appropriate and needed. The players may not be used to having hirelings, but their characters would be aware of the services they provide. If the party is famous enough, hirelings may even come to them offering their services. Be upfront about the benefits of the service and the price, and feel free to give names and personalities to the people being hired.

    Hirelings available for follower recruitment should be presented as soon as a player character gains the Leadership feat. The gamemaster should decide if the player needs to actively seek out and personally recruit these followers or if the followers come to the leader. The gamemaster could also require the leader to have hired the hireling at least once before they can be recruited as a follower.

    Hirelings & Followers

    Each type of hireling/follower is broken down into an entry listing their price, a description of their services, the benefits of having them along as a hireling and the added benefit of having them as a follower.

    Name: This is the name of the hireling.

    Price: The prices listed are the common rates. These rates may be higher for more experienced hirelings or hirelings that offer superior services.

    Benefit: This is the benefit gained by using the hireling's services.

    Follower Level: This is the level of follower that the hireling can be recruited to fill.

    Follower Benefit: This is the benefit someone with the Leadership feat gains when recruiting the hireling to be a follower. If the benefits overlap, the follower benefit supersedes the hireling benefit.

    Listing of Hirelings & Followers

    Chronicler

    Price: 1 gp
    A chronicler records the party’s glorious deeds. He may compose songs or heroic poems, or write epic histories of their accomplishments to bolster the party’s reputation. Fame has its benefits—a well-known adventuring party usually attracts additional patrons and allies. The price is the daily rate of services rendered.
    Benefit: It typically takes a single day of work to create a common song, poem, or story, and someone who knows of the events recorded needs to be interviewed for at least an hour. More spectacular pieces need at least five days. Commissioned spectacular pieces grant the party a +1 bonus to one Charisma based skill or ability check. This bonus increases by +1 for every 5 days spent creating the piece.
    Follower Level: 2nd to 4th
    Follower Benefit: Chronicler's who are recruited to be followers still need to be paid for their services but the bonuses their pieces grant are doubled.

    Companion

    Price: 5 cp - 10 gp
    Whether a brazen strumpet, gigolo, saucy tart, escort, or expensive doxy, this person is available for an adventurer who needs intimacy, a private listening ear, or just a warm body next to them. The price is related to the reputation of the companion, is often only for an hour long diversion, and also covers the cost of the room. Multiply the price by ten for a full night of companionship.
    Benefit: Companions who are hired for a full night help their clients relax and sleep well. A night with the companion grants a +1 single use morale bonus to one skill or ability check of the client's choice. This bonus must be used within 24 hours. The price of the companion must have a price of 10 gp or more for a full night in order to grant these benefits.
    Follower Level: 1st - 3rd
    Follower Benefit: The companion will follow the leader outside of the settlement for no extra cost, but must be paid their full night rate per day they are away. Full night rates are equal to the follower level x 10 gp. A companion grants a +1 morale bonus to a number of saves per day equal to their level.

    Chef/Cook

    Price: 8 sp - 2 gp
    Good food is sometimes hard to come by, and the perfect meal for a special occasion is worth paying for. Cooks offer common comfort food and local dishes while chefs are trained to prepare specialized dishes and foreign fare. The listed rates are the daily rates for cooks, and covers two meals that feed four people. Chefs are hired at ten times those amounts but the number of people their meals serve is doubled. Cooks can be hired to follow the party out of the settlement, but chefs cannot.
    Benefit: Paying for a cook or chef also covers the basic costs of the ingredients for the meals they create unless the meal is made from exotic or expensive ingredients. Common meals offer no real benefits but are hot, good, and fulfilling. A meal from an exceptional cook gives those eating it a +2 bonus to Fortitude and Constitution made against natural environmental effects, such as cold or exposure. An exceptional chef will grant the client a +5 bonus to a single Charisma based skill or ability check made during the meal.
    Follower Level: 1st to 3rd cook, 3rd to 5th chef
    Follower Benefit: Cooks that have been recruited as followers only need to be paid half a much each day and will cook two meals for up to ten people each meal. Recruited chefs are always on call and will be able to have a meal prepared after an hour of preparation. If a cook is paid at least 5 gp for a day one of their meals will grant up to five creatures temporary hit points equal to 1d4 + the cook’s level for eight hours. A chef paid 50 gp can prepare a meal that grants a number of temporary hit points equal to 2d4 + double the chef’s level.

    Fence

    Price: 10% of value of fenced goods
    With connections to the local thieves’ guild as well as honest merchants and antiquarians, a fence can sell non magical treasures such as art or jewelry and be trusted to give the proceeds back to the adventurers—minus a reasonable fee, of course.
    Benefit: Fences are able to sell items that are either restricted within the city or may have high taxes attached that the party wishes to avoid. Fences need one day per 1000 gp of value to sell the items, and at the end of that time they give the party the money made in the sale. A particularly talented (and expensive) fence can also safely ship loot to a large metropolis, allowing the PCs to ignore the purchase limits of nearby settlements when selling their treasure.
    Follower Level: 4th to 5th
    Follower Benefit: Recruited fences will help the party sell magic items as well as non-magical treasure, and can be hired to find specific items and gear, both magical and not, for the leader to purchase. Fences will only charge their leader a 5% cut of the value of fences non-magical treasure, but still charge the 10% rate for buying or selling magical items. Lastly, fences can arrange for smugglers to help move items, treasure, or goods from one location to another for 10% of the value of the smuggled goods.

    Lawyer

    Price: 5 sp novice, 3 gp competent, 10 gp experienced
    A lawyer is a person who knows and practices law. A lawyer writes and interprets contracts, represents clients or the government in civil and criminal trials, gives legal advice, or presides over cases as a judge. An experienced lawyer with a successful history can charge higher fees than a novice or competent but unremarkable one. The listed price is per day.
    Benefit: When looking over contracts, deeds, or other legal paperwork the client gains a bonus to their rolls to find any clause or part that is unfavorable. Novices grant a +2 bonus, competent a +5 bonus, and experienced a +10 bonus. Some contracts may need more than a single day to look over. Competent and experienced lawyers can also be paid for at least a full week’s rate to help find and purchase land, businesses, and buildings, reducing the cost by 2% is using a competent lawyer or 5% if using an experienced one.
    Follower Level: 3rd to 6th
    Follower Benefit: Lawyers that have been recruited as followers are paid a rate of 1 gp a day to remain on retainer and always be ready to assist the leader. They can be given instructions and resources in the event of arrest, death, or other significant events and they will do their best to carry out the instructions to the best of their ability. Recruited lawyers can also help you be released from jail or prison early on bail, subtracting their level from the number of days you are expected to be incarcerated. Minor crimes would have 2 – 4 days, moderate crimes would have 5 – 10 days, and major crimes 11 – 30 days. These are the times you would be in jail awaiting a trial or sentencing, and not the actual time you would be punished with. Lawyers do no leave their home settlement unless they are at least level 5, and only then to settlements at least the size of a small city.

    Mercenary

    Price: 5 sp – 5 gp
    Mercenaries are paid to fight, guard, or protect. Mercenaries typically belong to a band or city guild and can be hired in any settlement at least the size of a small city. The price listed is per day. The price doubles if you want them to follow you outside of the settlement.
    Benefit: Common mercenaries have 2 levels in warrior and come with their own gear and equipment. Competent and experienced mercenaries will be higher level, will have levels in fighter, or both. These can cost up to ten times the amounts, and are often hard to hire because their services are often only given to the rich and powerful. You can hire mercenaries from other classes but they may cost more. Mercenaries will not engage in fights that are clearly far too dangerous for them unless given proper incentives.
    Follower Level: 2nd to 5th
    Follower Benefit: Mercenaries as followers are not strong enough to take on the same challenges as their leader but they can guard assets, buildings, and base camps. Specialized followers of this kind may also be able to scout ahead, track prey, or perform sabotage.

    Messenger

    Price: 2 cp per mile
    A messenger carries a written or verbal message to its intended target.
    Benefit: Verbal messages must be short enough for the messenger to memorize (typically about 25 words). A few messengers have exceptional memories and charge 5 sp to relay a verbal message of up to 300 words. Most messengers are only willing to travel to locations within the current city or outlying areas. You can pay a messenger the return fee if you want her to wait for the message recipient to reply, just in case the recipient is too miserly or poor to pay for a return message. Depending on the location and the overall wealth in a settlement, a messenger may be a runner or ride a horse.
    Follower Level: 1st to 6th
    Follower Benefit: Low level messengers who have been recruited to be followers work the same as above but at half the price. 5th or 6th level messengers also have magic items and access to spells that allow for sending and receiving messages much faster. Followers of this profession will be on call to quickly send messages while in a settlement and can be paid 1 sp a day to follow the leader outside of the settlement.

    Nurse

    Price: 7 sp
    A nurse is a person familiar with healing and medicine. A nurse generally knows a little bit about what local magical healing can do and where to find it. The listed price is per day.
    Benefit: A typical nurse is a 1st-level expert with 1 rank in Heal and the Skill Focus (Heal) feat. An experienced nurse is 3rd or 4th level, has additional ranks in Heal, and is paid two to three times as much; however, these nurses are in high demand and are normally employed full-time by wealthy merchants or nobles to look after children and elderly family members. Nurses can be paid at least a week ahead of time to follow a client out of their settlement.
    Follower Level: 1st to 4th
    Follower Benefit: Nurses as followers do not need to be paid extra to follow the leader outside of the settlement. They can help a number of injured creatures equal to their level each night. Those creatures heal double the amount of hp from resting.

    Physician

    Price: 1 gp
    A physician is a person skilled in non magical healing and medicine. A physician generally knows a little bit about what local magical healing can do and where to find it. The listed price is per day. physicians will not leave their settlement.
    Benefit: A typical physician is a 3rd-level expert with 3 ranks in Heal, the Skill Focus (Heal) feat, and ranks in other valuable skills such as Knowledge (nature) and Knowledge (religion). An experienced physician is up to 5th level, has additional ranks in appropriate skills, and is paid five to 10 times as much; however, these physicians are in high demand and are usually employed full-time by royalty. A common physician has no additional benefit, but a skilled physician adds 1 to the amount healed with the Heal skill, and an experienced one adds 2 to that amount.
    Follower Level: 3rd to 5th
    Follower Benefit: Physicians who are recruited to be followers cost 5 sp per day of service and are able to sell medical supplies to the leader at a 5% discount. This includes healing kits, anti plague, antitoxin, and similar gear. They also add their level to the amount of hp they heal when using the Heal skill. Recruited physicians will follow their leader outside of the settlement only if they are paid double their cost.

    Porter

    Price: 1 cp per mile
    Porters pack, transport, carry, and unpack goods and supplied from one location to another.
    Benefit: A common porter is simply a level 1 commoner that is willing to move goods and gear from one place to another. Professional and experienced porters have a couple levels in expert with ranks in Handle Animal, a pack mule, and a Strength score of 16. These can cost up to ten times as much. All porters need at least an hour to pack the items they are asked to transport.
    Follower Level: 1st to 3rd
    Follower Benefit: Recruited porters not only transport goods but can help other people pack. Anyone who is assisted by a porter for at least a half-hour can add the porter’s level to their Strength score when calculating their carrying capacity.

    Valet

    Price: 1 gp
    This title includes valets, butlers, lady's maids, ladies-in-waiting, secretaries, stewards, concierges, majordomos, manservants, batmans, and other skilled, trusted servants and employees who work closely with an employer or run a household or business, sometimes without direct supervision. The listed price is per day.
    Benefit: Valets make sure the client is comfortable and happy wherever they go, so long as it is within a settlement. Valets can be hired to run households, keeping house staff in order, and assisting their client with keeping their life orderly and predicable. If their client is going to be staying outside the home, such as at a tavern, the valet goes ahead of time and arranges for the room, food, and any desired entertainment. This reduces the cost of the room and food by 10%.
    Follower Level: 3rd to 5th
    Follower Benefit: Valets that have become followers will typically have levels in expert and handle the payment of all other followers and hirelings, lowering the cost by a percentage equal to their level. They will also follow their leader outside of the settlement and handle any arrangements that are needed, such as moving goods, staying at taverns, scheduling appointments with officials, and helping the leader find places to sell items.

     

     

    This content originally appeared in:
    Sidebar: Hirelings & Followers © 2015, Fat Goblin Games; Author; Taylor Hubler.

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    Sidebar Wednesday: 5 Haunted Items

    Sidebar Wednesday: 5 Haunted Items

    This is the sixth in a new series of weekly blog posts where we'll be making free our Sidebar product line for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

     

    Throughout the world there items haunted by the dead, by evil, and by powerful curses. some are just frightening while other haunted objects are quite dangerous. The following are haunts inspired by real world haunted objects to be used in any campaign. They are great plot hooks for side quest or can be used as haunted treasure the party brings home.

     

    Royal Blood Diamond (CR 11)

    Greedy, spoiled, and covetous, the Princess Gelledona was not a person to be denied what she demanded. Already extremely rich, she owned an impressive collection of jewels, gems, and precious things when she spotted the Royal Blue diamond worn by a visiting princess from a far off realm. The diamond was the largest she had ever seen, set into a magnificent necklace of silver and surrounded by dark sapphires. The blue glow that came from the diamond was enchanting, and Princess Gelledona did all she could to convince the foreign princess to give it to her. After all the offers of money, land, and other fine jewels were rejected, Gelledona paid the visiting princess’s own guards kill her for it. Savage in their work, the princess died clutching the diamond after being stabbed repeatably. Princess Gelledona was able to have her own staff clean up the mess after she secretly claimed the  diamond for herself, her diplomats putting the blame on another nation already at war with the dead princess’s realm.

    Royal Blood Diamond Cr 11

    XP 12,800

    CE fast, spiteful item-bound haunt (haunted object that affect creatures within 60 feet of it.)

    Caster Level 13th

    Notice Perception DC 26 (to see the diamond glow turn to red)

    hp 22; Trigger special (see below); Reset 1 day

    Effect When the wearer of the diamond’s necklace attempts a diplomacy check the diamond turns red and becomes soaked with blood. All creatures within a 60 foot radius of the wearer suffer the effects of the symbol of fear spell (DC 21 Will save negates) for the next 13 rounds.

    Destruction The diamond must be returned to the kingdom it came from, and Gelledona needs to either sign a confession or die.

     

    The Busty Maid Stool (CR 5)

    Ballis Yellowtusk was deadly highwayman and local outlaw. He was caught at his favorite tavern, the Busty Maid, eating a fine meal at his regular spot at the bar. He went quietly when the soldiers came, not putting up a fight as they carried him away, nor while he was sentenced to hang for his crimes. His last request was to have the stool from his favorite spot in the Busty Maid be the thing he stood on for his hanging. Before the stool was pulled from his feet he smiled and promised to haunt anyone who would sit in his spot at the tavern. He grinned as the stool was yanked out from under him, and kept grinning even after he was long dead.

    The Busty Maid Stool Cr 5

    XP 1,600

    LE belligerent item-bound haunt (haunted object affecting the creature sitting on the stool)

    Caster Level 5th

    Notice Perception DC 18 (to hear a whispered warning when someone sits on the stool)

    hp 30; Weakness tricked by hide from undead; Trigger special (see below); Reset 1 day

    Effect A ghostly Ballis Yellowtusk appears and attacks anyone who sits on this stool fifteen minutes after they have left the Busty Maid. The victim suffers the effects of phantasmal killer (except no Will save to disbelieve, DC 16 Fortitude save or die of fear, 3d6 points of damage is save is success.)

    Destruction Hanging the stool five feet off the ground on the wall next to Ballis’s spot for one year will successfully destroy the haunt.

     

    Hardnook Plantation Mirror (CR 7)

    The Hardnook family was one of the wealthiest plantation owners in their area. Unfortunately Vande, the head of the family, was a cruel man and abused all of the slaves and workers who worked for him. Angry at his actions and riled by an accident that killed a young child, the slaves eventually revolted and the family was forced to barricade themselves in the plantation manor. After three nights waiting for help Vande was fatally wounded and his wife, Seadora, grew insane from the constantly shouted threats and attacks. In her crazed delirium, she tied nooses around her husband’s neck, her neck, and the neck of each of her children. Then she threw each one over the banister in the entryway of the manor before jumping herself. The last thing each of them saw was the reflection of their struggling and gasping bodies in the large silver mirror that hung in that entryway.

    The Hardnook Plantation Mirror Cr 7

    XP 3,200

    CE persistent item-bound haunt (haunted object affecting a 15 foot by 10 foot area in front of the mirror)

    Caster Level 7th

    Notice Perception DC 22 (to see the family hanging from the manor’s banister in the mirror’s reflection)

    hp 14; Weakness tricked by invisibility; Trigger proximity; Reset 1 hour

    Effect This haunt seeks to choke the life out of anyone viewing the mirror. When someone within 30 feet looking into the mirror is targeted by the haunt they see themselves hanging with the family and suffer the effects of the spell suffocation (DC 17 Fortitude save to resist the effects.) The haunt stays with the mirror, and the banister the family hung from is still visible in the mirror if it is moved to another location.

    Destruction The mirror needs to be melted down and minted into coins. Those coins then need to be given to plantation’s former slaves.

     

    The Willow’s Doll (CR 2)

    The exact origins of the doll are uncertain but the last owners, the Willow family, discovered it along the side of the road near their home. The doll is expertly made, with a smiling face and a body stuffed with soft feathers. Not long afterwards the family started to be woken up nightly by slamming doors and distant laughing. Even more unsettling was how the doll would move unseen through the house, and was even discovered in high up places the children couldn’t reach. Things became worse when the youngest claimed the doll kept trying to choke her in her sleep, and the family discovered just how difficult it was to get rid of the doll. No matter how many times they have tossed it into a well or gave it away the doll would always return to their doorstep each morning. Burning it seems to do nothing to it as it simply laughs at the flames.

    The Willows Doll Cr 2

    XP 600

    NE free-roaming, harmless, persistent item-bound haunt with increased area (haunted object affecting one creature within 2 feet of it)

    Caster Level 2nd

    Notice Perception DC 15 (to hear a child’s laugh)

    hp 4; Weakness tricked by Stealth; Trigger nighttime; Reset 1 minute

    Effect The malevolent spirit bound to the doll only wishes to torment those around it. Each night it moves itself about the house, slamming doors, laughing, and placing itself in unsettling places. Each person that the doll comes across while wandering about the house is affected by a cause fear spell (DC 10 for partial effect.) The haunt can only affect each target once per night.

    Destruction The haunt is permanently destroyed if it completely submerged in holy water.

     

    Sir Vincent’s Portrait (CR 9)

    Sir Vincent was a rich, arrogant, aristocrat who had great pride in his appearance and was known to be hot-headed about a disfiguring burn scar on his neck. Anyone who pointed it out would be shouted at, or even attacked if he was in a foul mood. When it came time to do his portrait he hired only the best in the land, but demanded that the scar be left out. Fabelli, the painter, refused the demand because he painted his subjects as he saw them. Sir Vincent was so furious at the sight of his scar in the portrait that he attacked Fabelli on the spot, grabbing a small stone bust in his anger and repeatedly beating Fabelli over the head with it. As he died, Fabelli left a single bloody handprint in the bottom corner of the portrait, his last words too gargled with blood for anyone to hear them. Sir Vincent simply ordered that the scar and handprint be painted over before anyone could hang it in the ballroom, paying off all witnesses to his crime.

    Sir Vincents Portr ait Cr 9

    XP 6,400

    LN fast persistent spiteful item-bound haunt (haunted object affecting a 15 ft. by 15 ft. area in front of the portrait)

    Caster Level 11th

    Notice Perception DC 25 (to see the painted Sir Vincent slowly become covered in burn scars)

    hp 18; Trigger proximity; Reset 1 day

    Effect When this haunt is triggered the painted Sir Vincent slowly becomes horrifically scarred as if by fire. The clothing in the painting also appears to be charred. Anyone standing in the area the haunt effects must make a DC 17 Fortitude save or take 3d6 fire damage and catch fire, taking 1d6 fire damage at the end of each of their turns. Those that have caught fire can use a full-round action to attempt to extinguish the flames before taking this additional damage. Extinguishing the flames requires a DC 17 Reflex save. Rolling on the ground provides the target a +2 bonus on the save. Leaping into a large body of water or magically extinguishing the flames automatically smothers the fire. Each round the haunt is active it will target any creatures not on fire within its area of effect until it is destroyed or it has no more creatures it can target.

    Destruction The haunt desires that Sir Vincent be brought to justice and his crime brought to light. When these conditions are met the portrait bursts into flames and burns itself to ashes.

    This content originally appeared in:
    Sidebar: 5 Haunted Items © 2015, Fat Goblin Games; Author; Taylor Hubler.

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