Non-Master Technocrat Minion Creation?

So, one of the main “aesthetic points” of the Technocratic Union is their wide use of minions that they create through superscience, ranging from the relatively expendable Men in Black clones to the cyborg HIT Marks – it’s one of the big ways that they seem to bolster their numbers to maintain their level of control on the world.

But, after the Avatar Storm, there’s a big problem – the Avatar Storm either killed or transformed into Umbrood almost all of the Masters and Archmasters in the setting, including those belonging to the Technocracy, and according to M20’s How Do You Do That, creating clones requires Life 5 and Mind 5 (plus Spirit 5, if you want them to have souls).

While any clone-making 5-dot Wonders that they had on Earth at the time would continue functioning, they wouldn’t be able to repair any that got damaged, or replace any that got destroyed. This leads me to the question: how do you make minions without 5 dots in any Spheres?

Making bodies for them is fairly simple; Matter 4 can make robots if you don’t want to just use Sleeper tech, Life 3 can make invertebrates, so you can go nuts making plant people/octopus people/bug people/Alex Mercer expies/etc, and you might be able to use Matter 3/Life 3 to make people with simple metal support structures instead of bones (Matter 4/Life 3 should be able to make more functional cyborgs with more complex mechanisms).

How would you make minds for them, though? Creating minds requires Mind 5, so are the only ways to use Matter 4 to replace their brains with computers and use Digital Web entities or Sleeper computer science to provide minds for them, or Dimensional Science 3 to cause EDE possessions or “spiritual awakenings”? If you used Mind 3/Correspondence 3 to take an existing human mind and turn it into a hive mind controlling multiple bodies, would the death or incapacitation of their original body leave the clones mindless, or would the hive mind persist until all the bodies were incapacitated?

Are there any options for them that I’ve missed or overlooked? It looks like the official sourcebooks overlooked this issue entirely and just had the Technocrats just continue as though nothing had happened.

How were Dungeons and Dragons tournaments judged?

While reading another question I was introduced to the notion of a D&D tournament.

According to the wikipedia article on the D&D Championship Series, the basic idea of these tournaments is that there are multiple tables of players and GMs. The players can choose a pregenerated character and each table runs the same game each round.

Players are somehow scored on their performance. Wikipedia doesn’t describe this, instead saying:

The exact scoring system was kept secret as the scoring may reveal secrets to be discovered in the adventure, as well as to encourage players to play to the spirit of the game, not to the exact scoring checklist

How were players scored in these D&D tournaments? Although I mentioned the D&D Championship Series, my interest is broadly in D&D tournaments – that’s merely the only example I currently know of.

How to prevent discontent among the players when one player murders the others’ characters?

I’ve recently had an idea for a oneshot game where I collaborate with a player to make things more interesting. My plan is to make it look like an old-fashioned dungeon run. The party, who is supposed to be made up of already well known heroes, is hired by a local noble, meets up in a tavern and goes to clear out the dungeon. The enemy they are supposed to clear out is a powerful necromancer cult.

However I plan to take the parties wizard aside and suggest to him that he plays a fake character. In reality he is a powerful and ambitious member of the necromancer cult. His master suggested to lure in well known heroes to turn them into powerful minions. The wizard likes the idea, but in addition he considers this a great opportunity to kill his master so he might lead the cult.

I plan to give the wizard an item he can use to revive a killed party member as his minion. I hope that this creates a setup where while the party does a regular dungeon run, the wizard has to balance out weakening and supporting party and cult while he plots to murder one party member to gain an ally. This ally would learn what’s really going on, thus becoming my second collaborator.

I’d like to let things play out from there, either the party discovering the plot and killing the wizard or the wizard killing his master and making the party his puppets are outcomes which are bound to be interesting.

However I’ve heard a lot of bad stories about PvP in Pen&Paper games. People breaking friendships over murdered characters and really heated arguments. While there was some PvP before in groups with these people in them, noone ever got killed. How can I prevent that the players get angry at each other when it turns out that some are out to kill the group? Are my worries unfounded? Or is this entire adventure a bad idea?

Note: I don’t really know this SE very well, so I would appreciate some help with the tags

Can a necromancer animate dead a creature with sentience that agreed before death to be animated?

If a necromancer was to make a deal with like 4 people before a fight that the necromancer could animate them if they die during the fight, and then those same 4 people were to die, would those 4 people be reanimated more friendly than most skeletons/zombies or would they just have the regular aggression?

How long does a poisoned weapon stay that way?

This is a Pathfinder 2 question.

The rules for poisoning weapons seem contradictory, or at least redundant. Two different sections deal with this; I’m going to cite them both because I’m thinking about running a Rogue/Alchemist and so they are both relevant.

PH pg. 550, the relevant bit under “Method of Exposure” reads (as amended):

Injury: An injury poison is activated by applying it to a weapon or ammunition, and it affects the target of the first Strike made using the poisoned item. If that Strike is a success and deals piercing or slashing damage, the target must attempt a saving throw against the poison. On a failed Strike, the target is unaffected, but the poison remains on the weapon and you can try again. On a critical failure, or if the Strike fails to deal slashing or piercing damage for some other reason, the poison is spent but the target is unaffected.

Note that it first says that being poisoned affects “the first Strike made”, but then goes on to tell us the consequences of missing and critically failing with that Strike. If being poisoned only affects the first Strike you make, the rest of the text is unnecessary.

Similar on PH pg. 185, in the description of the Rogue’s Poison Weapon feat (again as amended by errata):

You apply a poison to the required weapon; if you’re not holding a poison and have a free hand, you can Interact to draw a poison as part of this action. If your next attack with that weapon before the end of your next turn hits and deals damage, it applies the effects of the poison, provided that poison can be delivered by contact or injury. If you critically fail the attack roll, the poison is wasted as normal.

Again, it tells us that the poison only has an effect if the “next attack with that weapon […] hits and deals damage” — and then goes on to remind us what happens on a critical failure even though that can never be relevant with the rules written as they are.

So that gives us two possible interpretations: Either a weapon stays poisoned until you critically fail your attack or hit without dealing damage, or it stays poisoned until you next attack with it and then stops being poisoned no matter what the outcome was. As the person playing the Rogue/Alchemist, I of course want the former to be correct — it’s likely to make a very big difference! The rules as written suggest that they went back and forth on this and then emitted a confusing set of rules.

Which way should this be played and why?

example of an aegis normal day

So finally: In the morning the 3 lev Aegis wake up and choose ‘speed’ for a.skin (free), ‘brawn’ for a.armor (free) and ‘hardy’ for a.juggernaut (free) and he active the a.skin and starts the Adventure, then he had to lift a big rock so dismiss a.skin and wear the a.armor to gain ST+2, do it the Aegis dismiss a.armor and wear a.skin again to obtain ‘speed’. Then he face a giant spider so he decide to switch to a.juggernaut to gain ‘hardy’ and so he kill it. He undress the a.juggernaut and wear again a.skin with ‘speed’ to chase some goblins and then he reconfigure (with His new ‘reconfigure’ ability 1perday) His a.skin with nimble to gain DEX+2 to finish them with bow and arrows. All this path without pay customization points. At least the Aegis decide to dismiss a.skin and wear again a.juggernaut but he cant reconfigure it in stalwart customization cause he dont have more way to reconfigure it so the suit continue to affect him with ‘hardy’. Thats correct?

Can Infernal Tiefling Always Fly? [closed]

One player in a party I’m currently Dm’ing has an Infernal Tiefling Warlock. When he created the character, and up until just shy of level 4 near the end of our gaming session this past weekend, he had the normal walking speed but no flying ability, as is listed in the PHB, if I have it correct.

This past weekend, the party split up. They sent their druid and wizard ahead along a 130 foot, steeply inclined tunnel and through a narrow overhead trap door to cast Gust of Wind in a large, stone cavern. Their reasons for doing so were sound, but unfortunately, in that way, the player characters ended up in two groups. The tunnel separating them was sloped upward so much that each character would have to “climb” to travel through it, as the wizard and druid had had to do.

At that point, the druid, who has always been a very chaotic character, attacked the wizard, who is a good character but a small, female gnome who is often jumped on by the druid. As a result, the druid and the wizard, both still just shy of level 4, began literally fighting in-game: the druid said he was going to wrap the wizard in a web cocoon (he was a giant spider at the time), the wizard made a save and then began casting spells at him to stop him.

The rest of party, made up of five level 3 and 4 characters who are becoming accustomed to these antics from the druid, were just sitting at the bottom of the tunnel for several rounds while the wizard and druid fought. Meanwhile, I had an Ettercap and some giant spiders watching and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to attack – so they did. The wizard was immediately brought to unconciousness because she had already been damaged by the druid.

At that point, the other PC’s got serious and started climbing while the druid was alone with the Ettercap and five giant wolf spiders. I probably sound ruthless at this point but I hadn’t set up the room to kill the party. The fact is, the way they’d split themselves up and then the druid attacked the wizard without even checking the room first, well, that made a very reasonable cavern for a party if 7 level 3 and 4 characters deadly for 2 level 3 characters alone fighting amongst themselves and not paying attention, becoming deadly for the druid and wizard.

After a round of climbing, while the players were scanning their sheets and flipping through various books on the other side of the DM screen, the playet of the Infernal Tiefling Warlock looked up, seeming clearly surprised to me but that’s just me, and said, “Well, I can fly, so I should be able to get up there right away.”

And the druid player, seeming to jump on that, and obviously desperately needing other players up there with him, pulled the book across the table that the Warlock was looking at and said, “He can! It says, ‘Flying Speed 30 feet.”

For the record, in case you’re wondering, it was the Swords of The Coast book and it said the flying ability could only be used if a couple of other things were lost, like Thaumaturgy, for example. I’m not sure of the exact details. I’m the DM but I don’t have a copy of that particular book myself.

Also, for the record, I told the players that I said he could sort of travel upward faster than the other characters and I would think about the flying thing more for later gaming sessions after looking into it.

The PHB lists no flying speed for Infernal Tiefling so I assume the flying ability is an option for a variant version of Infernal Tiefling. Does anyone know? What’s the rule on variants? I want players to have the characters they dream about when they build their characters, but the Warlock player didn’t know about flying before – I’m almost positive he didn’t because tried to climb off a 25 foot pillar and fell two sessions ago. He took minor fall damage and no one said anything about flying. And I’m concerned that if he can fly, it will severely unbalance everything. A warlock who can fly over battles and cast spells down from overhead while remaining out of reach, well, that seems like it has the potential to be extremely over-powered.

How much times the strength modifier does a chained barbarian add when making a bite using Animal Fury?

The assumption is bite is the only attack the barbarian makes during the turn, and the barbarian has no other natural attacks. I seem to get three different answers on this:

The barbarian adds 0.5x the strength modifier. This is because the rules on Animal Fury state that “If the bite hits, it deals 1d4 points of damage (assuming the barbarian is Medium; 1d3 points of damage if Small) plus half the barbarian’s Strength modifier.”

The barbarian adds 1x the strength modifier. This is because the 19 STR cannibal from the gamemastery guide has its bite damage listed as 1d4+4, which is consistent with this.

The barbarian adds 1.5x the strength modifier. This is because a bite is a primary natural attack, and the natural attack rules state that “If a creature has only one natural attack, it is always made using the creature’s full base attack bonus and adds 1-1/2 times the creature’s Strength bonus on damage rolls.”

So which one is it?

Replacing Wild Shape with Rage?

Would it be balanced to replace the Wild Shape feature of a druid with Rage?

My character idea is a pacifist support that goes into a blood lust when he looses his temper. I don’t want to multi class because the character doesn’t want to train in violence, he just has a curse/anger problems/blood-lust.

What would be the difference between dual-wielding a rapier and dagger vs. two shortswords?

In a game I’m playing, I have a Swashbuckler rogue, and my DM gave me the okay on using two-weapon fighting with a rapier and a dagger instead of two shortswords. (But not rapier and shortsword, because that would be directly better.) I also don’t want to use the Dual Wielder feat to fight with two rapiers, because of personal taste. What are the advantages and disadvantages of fighting with a rapier (1d8) and dagger (1d4) in comparison to two shortswords (d6+d6)?