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Topics - PlzBreakMyCampaign

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The PBMC Metacompendium / 30 WBL Maximum on One item
« on: October 08, 2018, 07:28:14 PM »
DMGp43: Non level 1 characters can't spend more than 50% WBL on a single item.

The PBMC Metacompendium / 28 All Core Creatures Have An LA Value
« on: October 08, 2018, 06:03:13 PM »
This is relevant because this means the norm is for all races to be playable, no matter how ridiculous. See Dragon Magazine 293 page 54

The PBMC Metacompendium / A Full Cosmology
« on: September 29, 2018, 07:34:00 PM »
I'm going to save you from having to read the most difficult D&D source book: Manual of the Planes. Or if you're brave enough, read along with my notes. They presented in order. I'm assuming you already realize how the cosmology is finite. In game, showing the known multiverse that it isn't infinite is merely a matter of one guy going to each layer's extremes and then building portals to show other creatures. Unfortunately in order to maintain such an exhibit, large amount of power would be required to make sure all the visitors played nicely. Only after these three stipulations were met would the below matter. The information could be seeded from Sigil and therefore the rest of the planes.

Outside of the Prime(s), spells that connect to the ethereal don't work: ethereal jaunt, secret chest, etc.
Outside of the Astral, Prime(s), or plane of shadow, all illusion (shadow) spells don't work. You can't shadowwalk on the plane of air, for instance.
If you are somewhere (probably very dangerous) without access to the astral plane, you can't plane shift, (summon), or (teleport) even with teleportation circles. Wish et al still works, though.

Without the inner planes, spells that reference these planes don't work. This include elemental summoning (unless you have enough pure, nonmagical, mass to justify the creation) or weird ones like elemental body.

Of the 2737 planes here is how they would (finitely) stack up (alone with the 3 mentioned demiplanes):

The Material plane (the prime) is just Oerth and the solar system or firmament. It's very special but small.

The Plane of Shadow is the space between any alternate material planes.
The Ethereal plane is as big as the material. The Deep Ethereal just adds some volume perhaps near the astral.
The (Channeled) Astral plane is the largest because it is just the space permeating the planes. See the Far Realm.

Since the 6 inner planes all have 3 physical connections to each other, it doesn't make sense for them to be infinite. If you take the great wheel literally (which is a valid interpretation, more so now than ever) they would be similar in size than the more interesting outer planes since the span of three of them is about half of the wheel.

The 17 outer planes' first layers have 2 connections to other first layers. They occasionally have physical connections, so the idea of infinite directions still doesn't make sense here without placing awkward restraints (ie. the river styx just happens to flow through directions that are finite, but the other sides are infinite). In order, the outer planes have the following number of layers: 1,1,1,2,2,3,3,3,3,4,4,4,4,6,7,9,666.

The reason that the Abyss is said to be infinite is again its lack of exploration due to its extremely powerful, aggressive territorial disputed rulers along with the shear inhospitality and high number of layers. Phrases like "look up visitors as food", "insanely dangerous", and "stranded" are common. You'll notice no one has ever managed to go straight down even 15 layers. Of the 666 layers, only 97 have been discovered by currently semi-civilized beings.

The direct connections and the 17th plane connecting to the other 16 in a circle happens only for first layer. The Outlands is finite despite its distance distortion. It is about as small as any other plane (but almost impossible to measure due to the distortion) rather than as large as the astral because its connections are portal/barrier-like rather than physical, distance relations.

Demiplanes are already finite and attached to at least one other regular plane in at least one spot. They don't have to have physical access and planeshift doesn't work unless one is at such a spot. They don't have transitive planes coexisting in them, even when attached to them. The exception is certain demiplanes with an impeded connection to the astral.

Fog / mists are often used to physically boarder Prime-attached demiplanes (ravenloft, cough cough). Neth is off of the Astral. The observatorium is coterminous with the Plane of Shadow, prefers the astral, has its own ethereal, and can view & connect to any inner or outer plane and atleast view morphic planes, demiplanes, or dead magic planes. It requires a Know(planes) DC30 and makes a scrying sensor that int12 creatures notice with an int DC20 check.

To use the observatorium, you'll probably have to go all RPG and avoid the Will DC30 Wis damage every hour while solving the following quests: Learn of the above from mercenaries and let them go first, separate/unprioritize the researchers from those attempting to seize control, help the githyanki find their illithid target, manipulate the group of fiends into fighting among themselves before finishing them off, stay away from the astral plane's astral dreadnaughts, and leave the original creators in charge.

Common ground is where cataclysmic avoidance would happen. Assuming you aren't a unique or epic level monster, to enter you have to be immune to death of old age and have (multiple) epic level spells. Then you just find it in the astral plane and planeshift. Since epic spell immunity isn't special among the planes, the only other interesting facet after the idolcide is that it is an open secret for powerful characters: those who are powerful enough to find it will, and those who haven't met the bar won't be able to enter.

The Plane/Region of Dreams is finite because there are not infinite sentient creatures inside the multiverse (because there is no infinite space to house infinite creatures). Physical portals are rare but possible. Nothing there is real except memories, but it's still a bad communication medium due to eavesdropping and extreme danger of being pulled into the Dreamheart which blocks being res'd.

The Plane of mirrors is a variable layer finite plane based off the total number of mirrors in the multiverse. If variable-boarder planes like limbo shrink when there is nothing to occupy the space, it makes sense that old, inaccessible constellations would cease to exist once they are no longer inhabited. You also don't want to stay long because you'll kill yourself, literally.

The spirit world [less than one page on MotP 206] isn't used because it's a cheap replacement for the deep ethereal leading into the astral. If you really want it, it functions better as a demiplane of Manifest [GhW].

The Juncture of the elemental planes of Air and Water is the elemental plane of Cold (just like the positive energy plane is at juncture of fire and air). The elemental plane of Wood would be between water and earth (just like the negative energy plane is at juncture of fire and earth). The plane of metal would just be the bottom of the plane of earth. Like all the others, this one is finite for the same boundary reasons.

If there had to be a top to the energy planes, it would be the Temporal Plane. High level abilities are required to get a breather from the "eternal madness of the storm" which isn't actually wind or weather. Even if you save, the d6 subdual per round adds up. Up to 120' in a round is required for up to x number of days to go back x number of rounds, assuming you know the right direction (which no one does). Of course you could overshoot and end up 3600 times further back in time than you wanted, so it's not precise at all. Loops basically leave you SoL unless you blow everything up or complete a quest you don't understand. God is the source, or if your DM hates you, just another way into the Far Realm. This plane definitely has a source, but like the whole numbers it could be infinite. But the period (aka length) describing your normal kind of time is certainly finite.

The Plane of Faerie is a plane connecting everywhere at (and about as big as) the prime. Its nastier traits make you lose 2 weeks for every hour spent. After a day you've eaten or drank there (without food a human would be about dead of hunger and certainly dead of thirst) it also has Will DC10+days spent or you're an amnesiac unwilling to leave. Normal portals are time based up to every 90 days, although the more accessible version has portals with certain outer planes.

The real limit on the Astral plane is the Far Realms which is the madness outside the multiverse. It has a variable number of planes all of finite size. Since it has to have an inside surface area (remembering the geometry doesn't make sense in the Far Realm) as large as the outer edges of the astral plane, it's likely the largest plane of all. Note that a static, infinite time can be displayed as a point spacially, so the size of the far realms doesn't place any limits on the duration of time in the multiverse.

The number of its layers is probably not countable, though it doesn't have to be infinite. Normally layers are represented by counting numbers, but they could be fractional in the far realms. If it were a finite amount, the total would be constantly changing anyway, even assuming you could were powerful enough to get a full, snapshot. Again, remember that the far realms is outside time so it's not necessarily consistent as to what counts and doesn't count for said snapshot. Basically it's all insane, so trying to attribute infinity to it might not even be an answerable question. Still, it's possible that the plane could be finite. We'll keep it that way.

Myriad planes are just another tool to interpret the great wheel. It explains why planes merge slowly and why uninhabited planes disappear. It explains why the inner planes are nearer to the prime. The 'normal' ethereal can be used for the deep ethereal and make sense given the closeness to the astral. Since it gives no method of reaching the plane of magic, it provides another way, in the fluff, to throw out 9th level spells. We aren't throwing out the astral just to use the bubble analogy, though.

The Doppel Material plane is accessible through the plane of shadow and has its own ethereal plane. You don't need to consolidate the inner planes. It does explain the astral as a 'filler' between the other planes, though. Most portals to the "fake" prime through the plane of shadow and away from your "real" prime are underground. Powerful people know of the doppel world, shadow templated red dragons made of shadowstuff hunt those on the wrong side (even if put there as a prank), and you've got another possibility to go there instead of the astral when trying to break the dimensions with nondimensional & extradimensional items.

Orrery planar relations allow for 'ascendant' nearby planes for seasons, but make more sense with the myriad bubble model than with a planetary system model. It does allow for occasional teleportation rather than plane-shifting. The generic outer planes are not useful, so throw out the golden halls or whatever. The name for the Doppel Material of "Nemesis" and its 1000 year invasion cycle is interesting.

Nothing from the winding road is useful aside form some random plane trait rolling tables.

The World Serpend Inn (demi)plane has its own ethereal and connects with various planes at various times. Unless you want to allow a tier up from a quantum fighter (quantum monk or wizard or any class), you should not have Mitchifer or his owner exist. It can just be a front room that slowly takes requests in random order.

There. That's how to use the MotP all at once without conflicting rules. It is canon after all.

The PBMC Metacompendium / [Non-Metacompendium] Assorted Builds
« on: September 28, 2018, 02:38:02 PM »
This isn't a useful area. It's mainly just build ideas to point to. Unlike my other builds, don't consider these complete or without problems.

The Finder:
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The PBMC Metacompendium / [Non-Metacompendium] Assorted Quotes
« on: September 27, 2018, 11:58:48 PM »
These save me having to go through a hundred pages of my own posts to dig up that one thread somewhere that had something interesting (and I didn't save it).

Reverse Engineering the Aspect template:
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People being nice:
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Relevant, referenced Psi Arti quote:
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Requirements to cast a spell:
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Slightly rambly rationale on why functional SoDs force monsters to always roll 20:
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More Granular Initiative:
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Item Creation Feats:
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Ammunition Enhancements used to stack in 3.0:
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How to spot canon 2nd party (dragonlance, dragon magazine, dungeon magazine, polyhedron) from begrudgingly not sued 3rd party (Internet only dark sun material, 3.0 ravenloft, Kingdoms of Kalimar, etc)
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Ubiquitous true seeing:
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"Gritty" campaigns & bad DMs:
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FF D&Ders unite:

The PBMC Metacompendium / [Non-Metacompendium] Assorted Threads
« on: September 27, 2018, 11:55:37 PM »
A place to dump threads of mine that otherwise didn't go anywhere.

DotA Abilities Translated into D&D. Imbalanced?
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Raw Campaign Benefits
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Not mine, but Wizards trade spells via copybooks with a down payment and the costs break down neatly.

Criticism of a random inflamatory D&D blog:
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I must not forget my promise to hound steam. I'm still on a hold pattern with them. Considering I only post here a few days out of the year, I guess I've been putting here on hold too:
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Tanking Analysis in D&D (and why we've been giving up on that role):
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D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder / Tier System for Players (and DMs)
« on: April 30, 2018, 12:08:38 AM »
I know that people complain about too many tier systems (base classes, PrCs, templates, feats, races, spells...) but I'm just going to go for it. We need a tier system in the community for player & DM capability. Basically, it's a realistic measure of how much a player can handle and it will help players to player and player to DM relationships match better and understand where each is coming from. Thus, I present

The Tier System for Players (and DMs)

Players (from the DM's perspective):

Tier 1: He brought a whopper to the table. In fact, you learned a few things when reading his incredibly well-documented build. It took a while, but you had to hand it to him; the concept was clever and the fluff fit. You lean on him when it comes to setting up the battlefield, because he's the only one you can trust to not even think about metagaming. You were proud when he walked into the trap that killed his character that he knew was there. It's okay because he has a backup, you just need a five ten minute break to read over it. In the meantime, he'll be trying to optimize the party's next level up. That doesn't worry you, though. It's his schemes that totally take the do a 180 on you that worry you.

Tier 2: She not only remembers the story, she's the one doing gather information checks. She's got good modifiers and you didn't have to help her with it. Checking over her character sheet was easy because it was all brute-force, although she forgot to site the non-core stuff. She always handles herself and is a solid player, often answering other lower tier players' questions about the plot or even their own characters

Tier 3: He plays his build just fine. Sure, he just does a few things, rinse-and-repeat (swift action buff to charge or move and heal) but he only has to be reminded of plot points. Oh, and he'll need hand-holding for his build next campaign. You're fine with it because he's a normal player. You just with the process weren't so time-consuming when he can't choose quickly for himself.

Tier 4: She's played a few sessions but is absent-minded. "What's my modifiers on attack? What do you mean grapple is touch/hold/pull? What do you mean size modifier rather than just a straight a strength check? I'll just fire my bow," she says as she looks down at the highlighted line you added to her pre-generated character sheet. She hates all the rest of the numbers. It's too "busy" to look at. Players who stay at this tier for a long time probably don't want to be playing this game.

Tier 5: This guy has played RPGs before. Warcraft, AD&D, or M&M. He'll have to be taught, but it will be a quick read. LA is something he grasps quickly, but prepared vs spontaneous castings takes a few repetitions. This is going to take an hour to go through the SRD since he's curious but sometimes bothersome about it. Warlocks fill the pinnacle of power in his high-powered fantasies, but he knows they have too much going on for him to build ... yet. Slows down play while trying to understand parts of his character sheet. Players that aren't new but stay here are either thick or purposely being disruptive.

Tier 6: The complete newbie. Maybe she's heard of D&D before. But she's never played. You'll have to explain the stat scores first. Doesn't understand the generic, English meaning of the word "race". You don't bother showing her the SRD, or even a character sheet. You give her a hammer sword and hope that she listens when she explains that not everything is a nail dragon that needs immediate slaying. Players that aren't new but still treat everything as a nail often have large personal problems.

DMs (from the player's perspective):

Tier 1: He does everything your last great DM could do (see below) but this guy laughed at your psion. Not because he agreed that it was overpowered, but because you had called it "the most powerful character you've ever made." He raises your ante by suggesting some better powers and a PrC you've never heard of. You happily listen and are really excited when you realize just how nuts this campaign is going to be. You don't even read his house rules (all posted online) because it’s all common-sense stuff to you after a long, long browse. He even tells you not to hold back, which is a good thing because you feel your pulse pick up every time he tells you to roll initiative. This has to be the time you lose your favorite, crazy character, in a campaign he's adapting into 3e from someone else's material.

Tier 2: She can tell a story. Normally you stay aware from homebrew campaigns, but the maps drew you in. She's got voices for everyone, knows their family members and the plot twists are a real zinger. She even let you play that cool character idea you had, once you explained that it was just a low-power bruiser type. You didn't even feel bad when your LA-bought off, huge-sized character got pegged into unconsciousness by fliers since you waited to get flight until you had more WBL. You remember your great character lines and hope she's going to run another campaign after this one.

Tier 3: This guy runs a typical game. He listens to what psionics is actually more balanced than magic, but either lets you be an exception to the campaign world or hedges out psionics for "flavor reasons". ToB is tolerated despite the anime. Once you finally get a build accepted, it’s a decent ride though. The roleplay could have been better but you could tell he was trying. He runs the adventure book pretty much straight (you verify afterward) and you had about the amount of fun you expected. Maybe he'll grow into a better DM as you and your friends stick it out. That's normal, after all.

Tier 4: A typical low DM experience fits here. Maybe the DM invents house rules on the fly ... constantly. Maybe mind-controlled PCs happens for entire sessions. Maybe the DM thinks 'gritty low fantasy' weak-as-paper campaigns are all anyone should ever be allowed to play. Whatever the reason, you either forgot to ask, or ignored the red flag just because a buddy was playing. It's no big deal that your DFA 5 was ruled 'too powerful' in a party of wizard 5, cleric 5, druid 5. You won't bother building another character.

Tier 5: "Hey guys I've never DM'd before, but I've played a few pre-gens and it wasn't hard. Running this module will be about the same, right?" Only the most close-knit of friends have these campaigns. If you can call it that. Mostly it’s just a lot of joking around, Doritos and Mountain Dew. Reviewing footage of these games is boring/dumb/an IQ-dropping experience for higher tier players to watch.

Tier 6: The stuff of legends. Whole threads were born of "what was the worst DM you ever had?" answers. No evidence of these campaigns exist due to legal jeopardy and fleeing players. Penny Arcade mockeries made real are this tier.

Oddly, the original tiers thread discussed how parties that are more than 1 tier apart will have a not fun/stressful time. The same seems to go with DM's and players. Tier 3 players would not mind tier 3 DMs, nor matching tier 4 or 5s. But tier 2 players might tolerate tier 3 DMs. Sure, they might not say anything, but it just won't be as good an experience as a tier 2 player with a tier 2 DM. Tier 3 players will still like tier 2 DMs, but they probably won't realize how good they have it and tier 4 players certainly won't. Tier 1 players and DMs are rather rare but will also have their patience tested with tier 3's and flat out tension with tier 4s.

Also, like the tier system, there is nothing 'wrong' with being at any particular tier as a player. We were all new and sometimes you just don't want to play certain games. Most of us have even been 'too much' for certain DMs, even decent ones, to handle. But lower tier DMs seem different to me. I can't actually justify being in a lower tier because the bar is fairly well known. The whole point of DMing is that you can handle what your players throw at you. Yes, tier 4 DM's can technically get away with DMing a fairly smooth campaign if all players are tier 3's but that's usually a rarity. Most groups I see tend to have a tier 4 player, and a tier 2 player with everyone else being tier 3. Yes, the tier 4 could label the tier 2 player as 'a problem' and the campaign might go smoother without that one player, but that still doesn't sit right to punish the tier 2 player. Tier 5's should know better and if they manage to last, they only do so because they're mostly not playing much D&D. I have no comment on Tier 6's.

I should be clear that tier representations are an 'overall picture'. If your Tier 4 DM is a thespian with wonderful improv skills, he might jump to a tier 2 DM for a few moments every session. Also, I'd like to be clear that these tiers are mostly independent of work put in. Due to diminishing returns, it’s entirely possible that the tier 4 DM puts a huge amount of time into making a halfway decent campaign and it still doesn't click for a tier 2 player. And that's no one's fault. It's just the way it is since these things are mostly independent.

Lastly, I haven't discussed multi-DM dynamics much because they don't seem to be common, or at least not discussed much. From what I can see and my own experiences, co-DMs tend to have specialized jobs / division of labor and both DMs tend for form their own little cabal so that they are on the same page. Yes, it gets awkward when they correct each other during play, but the DMs tend to be the ones who want play to run the fastest anyway, so it tends to be so quick it’s hard for players to follow. Since similar groups seem rare, most of this part is drawn from my college, 9 player round-robin group with 2 switching DMs per mini-campaign. Still, having even co-DMs categorize themselves might speed up their synchronization process. I'm eager to hear from others who have had large enough gaming groups to require multiple simultaneous or campaign world-sharing DMs.

The PBMC Metacompendium / Weapons of Legacy
« on: March 23, 2018, 01:21:54 AM »
Only 1 armor and 1 weapon is allowed. You can't found hundreds of legacies.

The PBMC Metacompendium / Wands, Scrolls, Staves, Djores
« on: March 23, 2018, 01:21:19 AM »
These are all banned. NPCs can't use them either, though. Other rare charged items like crushing skull are ONLY allowed for spells with XP costs. This makes you dig hard to find methods to pay huge amounts of XP. Potions and Power stones are fine as are other non-charged variants like runestaves.

Insert partially charged cross-rank umd metamagic wand grip extent persist monks joke here. UMD is still too strong with just Scrolls & Staves gone. These allow reproducing any 3rd level effect twice a day or 4th level infrequently or 6th level ones depending on how far outside core you go. As usual, casters (specifically artificers) do this better anyways. Substituting WBL for pretty much the only significant casting-related restrictions (uses per day & list restrictions) was a bad idea in its current implementation, especially considering the volume of effects these items provide.

The PBMC Metacompendium / Vow of Poverty
« on: March 23, 2018, 01:20:09 AM »
PCs keep previous abilities when breaking the vow, if they say so up front upon taking the vow (assuming they are still Good). PCs do not regain WBL for the levels they held the vow.

The PBMC Metacompendium / Thought Bottle
« on: March 23, 2018, 01:19:27 AM »
[CArc150] It's banned.

The PBMC Metacompendium / Strict WBL
« on: March 23, 2018, 01:19:13 AM »
Strict WBL is 760k gp in an adventurers career, period. How much benefit you gain from those limited resources is up to you. This the only way to not end up with ridiculous player actions: You get WBL in coins, regardless of what you do with it.

If you are a rogue that didn't manage to steal extra loot, then that's fine, you don't gain the XP that would go with it. If you abuse profession then you gain the XP that comes with it. This encourages players to get ahead without making them try to purchase consumables and expect to be compensated for what they wasted down the road. They ARE useful if you need to 'play the margin' to get to the next level or defeat a very hard encounter, though.

Note: it's fine for lower performing (tier, build choice, etc) characters to have individual-only rules like this bent for them. Higher performing players should expect that. DMs should also be up front about how much was bent for whom, even if the details are insignificant and likely to change between campaigns.

The PBMC Metacompendium / Starmantle Cloak
« on: March 23, 2018, 01:18:05 AM »
[BoED116] It's banned.

The PBMC Metacompendium / Stacking Extra or Nondimensions
« on: March 23, 2018, 01:17:51 AM »
Extra or nondimensional spaces in other extra or nondimensional spaces do awful things. See ropetrick. Also see Planar Handbook's section on the astral plane. This is RAW, but people often forget it. Mixing of nondimensional spaces with extradimensional ones will be treated the same.

The PBMC Metacompendium / Spellblade Tennis
« on: March 23, 2018, 01:17:01 AM »
Don't allow it to reflect a spell more than once.

The PBMC Metacompendium / Slotless Item Costs
« on: March 23, 2018, 01:16:37 AM »
No DMG x2 cost for as many slotless items as you want.

The x1.5 gp cost [MIC] is instead more balanced to add onto an item. This keeps you considering the 200k pre-epic cost restriction.

The PBMC Metacompendium / Slotless Item and Magic Stacking
« on: March 23, 2018, 01:16:13 AM »
Certain items like pearls of power no longer stack since they are all in the (slotless) category but effect the same thing.

An armor and a shield enhancement like manifesting, though would stack because they can be worn at the same time and take up a slot.

The PBMC Metacompendium / Retributive Amulet
« on: March 23, 2018, 01:14:39 AM »
[BoED116], It's banned.

The PBMC Metacompendium / No Custom Items or Traps
« on: March 23, 2018, 01:14:23 AM »
Only sample traps are RAW. Other custom traps are basically custom items and therefore DM fiat. Players that want to make traps don't get much out of them. Tomb-tainted can get free out of combat healing for 1k rather than Dread Necro 1. "Boon traps are part of the dungeon and are immobile ... the magic that was infused into the walls or floor" so they are the twenty times more expensive version for those who are good aligned. There isn't much they can do besides cure and heal. Even the haste, animal growth, stoneskin or mass bear's endurance isn't that great.

Items that derive their statistics off of traps can only do so with stated statistics rather than imaginary possibilities. Sorry spell clocks. There's no getting around that 2 round wait.

The PBMC Metacompendium / Monk's Belt
« on: March 23, 2018, 01:13:44 AM »
No longer gives wis mod to AC.

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