So you feel that every torch ever made gives off the exact same illumination? By RAW they do.
This whole issue was a complete and utter mess. I lost track of who was saying what, the characters were poorly positioned in the panels and the lighting was terrible.
I read it, had effectively no idea what happened, and worse could not be bothered to read it again to even try and work it out.
1) To your knowledge, does a feat already exist that makes flanking easier (e.g. allies only have to be adjacent to the enemy, not on opposite borders/corners)? If so, where?
James Jacobs wrote:
That is indeed a very good explaination oh mighty dinosaur. Those creatures did not occur to me straight away. Sign me up for another book!
I have never liked psionics, but the above idea I like.
The challenge clearly is, why have we not seen any mind mages in the Inner Sea until now. I imagine its a similar retcon to the gunslinger.
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Well you certainly will have interest from me! I dont really care whether it is a Bestiary or not (I am guessing not!) but this is exactly what I would love to see from Paizo in the monster space. I really like the "Revisited" takes on monsters, but you only get one monster per type in those books. There are heaps of classic monsters as you have stated above and having some way to populate an entire Goblin village from CR 1-8 would be great. Really getting in deep with monsters as versatile foes (what do you mean the orcs are healing each other!) also is a cool way to build deep encounters quickly. Stacking 3 orc barbarians with 2 orc sorcerers and a orc cleric would make for a tough fight! Goblin hang gliders!
James Jacobs wrote:
Awesome to hear!!! I really would love to see Absalom done big. So much potential there. The other book I am dying for is GMG II. More advanced GM topics and how to GM over 10th level. It is a hole in the Paizo lineup due for attention. Pathfinder is an awesome game, but it requires a vast amount of system mastery (ie time) to get good at GMing.
John Kretzer wrote:
That's where I saw it! Thanks. I picked up Guide to Absalom a few weeks back.
James Jacobs wrote:
Thanks! I read so much material across so many editions I could not be sure! Do you miss ep? I kinda have a soft spot for them myself.
In most of the modules and APs I have read electrum pieces seem to be nearly absent. And Platinum pieces seem to be rarer in later APs. What is the relative frequency of these types of currency in Varisia?
I would like to see some new ways to use monsters. Some templates to allow creatures to easily scale up and down the level range a good distance (+/- 5) with some "common build" options such as wizard, ranger or barbarian. A nice logical way that allows a "swarm" effect to be applied to low CR creatures so large numbers of creatures can be easily thrown at higher level PCs. And my personal favourite a set of guidelines to allow creatures well above the normal scale to be designed.
GM enjoyment IS different now then when I began in 1982. Those rule sets ascribed nearly ultimate power to the GM. I won't go any further unless someone needs more, but anyone who has played those rules knows what I mean.
However I am only talking about DnD. Many other games never had that level of GM control. And the storytelling game surge from 1990 onwards with the "troupe" style play certainly began a trend moving to a more collaborative playing style. Lots of games encouraged this style, and it was really DnD 2nd ed core that lagged somewhat.
DnD 3.0 just caught up to where most games already were. GMs in 3.0 now had a comprehensive ruleset covering most eventualities which now set player expectations. Making up rules and situations ad-hoc via GM fiat was no longer required.
So, the days of GMs having complete control over the vast majority of the game rules are gone. Now they have to interact through those rules with the players. For GMs who don't enjoy that, I can see how that may grind.
Peter Stewart wrote:
+1. I have had this happen to me a number of times. I never shy away from it, I let the players have their victory. That is how I feel the game should be played. In fact I talk about this every few sessions with my players. If they defeat my BBEG in one shot at the end of 1 years play, I let it stand. However I then use my monsters to their fullest extent against my players and rarely pull my punches. 3 character deaths in the first 3 Carrion Crown books.
PS my posting style is "abrupt" and can come across as a bit unfriendly. Apologies in advance!
No sigh required. They gained TWO LEVELS by "defeating" a badly run encounter. However, as I later mentioned if they enjoyed themselves then that is the ONLY thing that matters. I was merely pointing out that they did get an easy victory handed to them.
Another point I want to make is that this messageboard is rife with player optimisation strategies and design (which I am totally fine with I might add, I get value from it myself) but when someone dares to give another GM some optimisation tips vs players the game is no longer "fun".
Just spent a short while perusing this work. It is nothing short of stunning and I can highly recommend everyone picking this up. I am going to say that for my tastes this work is every bit as good as work Paizo produces.
- I LOVE the maps. Modern take on the 1980s style.
This to me is what non-Paizo publishers can bring to PF. Paizo has a certain style and "approach" to their products which is now, for me, fairly predictable. This is not bad, you always get a great quality product for your money. And for the industry leader this is what you want. This adventure brings a fresh design style that really works for me, and is something that Paizo doesn't do right now physically (100 pages "module") and stylistically (slightly retro in feel, but also a few rungs up the "adult content" ladder).
Incredible work daemonslye and, so you know, something that I would willingly pay for.
*PS* I would love to see Book 2, in fact I NEED to see book 2.
It's not meant to be "fun". It's meant to be a creature using its strengths to destroy its enemies. Equally bad tactics would be having a level 20 lich run to Melee range and not use it's spells, or a dragon land, not use it's breath weapons or spells, and engage in Melee. If using suboptimal tactics is fun for your group then go for it, it's your game not mine. My enemies use all of their powers on my PCs.
Hi James. I note that many of the players guides related to the core races have gone out of print (orcs, gnomes, elves, dwarves). Given the ISWG treatment of those races does not extend to 32 pages each, is it likely that we will see more Golarion specific material for those races in the future?
James Jacobs wrote:
:-0 Wow. I really like that. My players once had a plan to do a similar (but not the same) thing using a powerful NPC to defeat a foe. The NPC was reluctant, but they convinced her, and she ported in, killed the BBEG and took the treasure. The PCs got zero XP or loot and their initial glee was soon turned sour. Would you do something like this, or generally arrange things so the NPC avoids the conflict?
Hi James. Were you a backer of the Razor Coast kickstarter? Have you had a chance to read it? I am perhaps 1/3 of the way through and it is quality stuff, fairly grim and dark. I also really like the way the material is presented, it really works to make the "sandbox" easy to run.
James Jacobs wrote:
Interesting tidbit. And if used it brings up a question for me. I currently have level 13 characters who are going to enter an area where Otyugh make sense. But they are CR 4 and no templates fit well. Character levels were an option but did not sit well with me. How would you go about advancing them with just HD advancement I thought that was only a 3.5 rule?
The spell says when your skin leaves your body your body drops to 0 hp. However I understood that the events went like this:
- cast spell
In this case RAW works fine.
The foul creature furiously gnashes at opponents with its powerful jaws, tugging wildly at its chains. Each round, the Black Milk Mother uses its move action to try to break free (Strength DC 35) and attack. If it lasts 4 rounds while fighting the PCs, it suddenly begins convulsing. For the next 2 rounds, it fights defensively, and then gives birth to its vile spawn.
I personally read that as the creature won't break free, but I can see how you could interpret it another way. Only a Paizo employee could say whether there was supposed to be a chance.
James Jacobs wrote:
Well count me in as a customer for that. I enjoy Varisia certainly, but I would love to see some more of the South Eastern countries developed further along with Absalom.
Do you know who came up with the Hanging City of Teskra? I absolutely love it, and I am developing my own series of Incursions into it now.
Question about Absalom. When I was "getting into" Pathfinder it initially seemed to me that Absalom would be the hub of the setting. However that certainly is not the case in terms of focus of the support material. What level of interest is there in Absalom going forward? It certainly seems like it could support an entire hardback of its own.
Seems to me that the creature is acting according to its 6 int and taking actions that a chained beast would do, ie attempt to break the chains. It is only using up its move actions so it will attack if someone is stupid enough to get within range. This fits the scenario, ie if it could have just taken 20 on this check it would have escaped some time ago.
I personally plan to play up the "sympathetic" side of this beast, so if the PCs do slaughter it from range it will be akin to "putting down" a beast.
Hi James I have a stealth question. You have previously stated that you think the stealth rules work fine as written, and I for the most part agree. However I did notice that one of the tropes of DnD, the backstab, does not sit well with the RAW. Do you rule that "stealthed" characters deal precision damage against unaware targets?
Pathfinder Maslen wrote:
Nope we play home games exclusively. I do drop into the Dice Spot every now and the however.
Most of these threads include some variant of "my player has a half fiend, half vampire gunslinger with an advanced firearm and they are blowing through encounters". I learned (the hard way) the it is pretty easy to build a PF character that is WAY above the encounter "guidelines" using the more left field, but legal, builds.
The only effective tactic I have used in these circumstances is to up the ante and to work out ways to combat the PCs super effective tactics, or smile and say "you blew through that one".
The way I keep this stuff in check now is to really restrict the PCs builds. What I do is only allow the CRB stuff and stuff from the other books at GM discretion. Kinda sucks, but it works for our group. May not work for yours.
You are willing to mess with armor mechanics but not alter the dragons default spell package or give him several rings of spell storing?? A level 5 sorcerer on top of pretty powerful physical attacks, high movement speed and intelligence should be plenty against a gunslinger unless you use advanced firearms.
With several years Pathfinder experience as GM the thing that helps the most in these situations are spells. In PF PCs end up with many powerful tools at moderately low levels. The vast majority of melee or ranged non-caster monsters will be left in the dust beginning, for my players, at about 5th level. I have had very similar experiences with dragons as you. However dragons are generally also powerful spellcasters in their own right, and with a decent defensive package of spells can wreak havok. Missile deflection, greater invisibility, displacement and mirror image added to fast flight, flyby attack and breath weapons, magic resistance and a ton of hit points should help. Remember also that the hp values in the manuals are just average hps, they can be higher.
Hah! I was more thinking 3d style like Skyrim but each to their own :-) Assuming a turn based isometric game cause that's how they used to be is kinda 1990s to me. Give me Golarion flavour (which is epic) on the Skyrim engine any day.
Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
You are correct in your assessment. Our group could care less about monster consistency or verisimilitude expression via rules. We make our own story using imagination and bend the rules to make the story awesome. I can certainly respect your approach however, but it's all a bit to tidy for our style. Limited chaos leads to great stories in my opinion.
Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
Agreed and precisely why I like 4e so much in this regard.
I originally went down your path of removing the fights. Then I realised that 4e fights that are "important" were designed to last long. So I created a category of fights with minions. Thing with minions is they are guaranteed to hit the dirt and the players know it. Throw in a special effect on the minion that it goes back to 1 hp on a 15-20, unless it takes a crit, and you throw some randomness back in play.
I did it last session with two orcs guarding an entrance. The players unloaded, one Orc got lucky and skewered a PC with a javelin before getting nuked. Total fight length probably 4 minutes. Players had a blast.
What makes 4e awesome in my opinion is judiciously breaking the rules.
I know you like to play by RAW but I will throw in how I deal with this stuff. Simply I run the combats without battle maps, drawings or dice for positioning. And I make these guys minions using my super minion rules. Essentially if they are hit they get a special save (on a d20, generally 15 or more to stay alive).
The thing I love about 4e is that it is so well balanced as a DM you can make these types of encounters up by making up your own rules. YMMV.
Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
Can't blame you there. The number of really wierd situations we have encountered has been very low so it's not a big deal. My players have an extensive history with White Wolf games that practically prescribe this approach, so each group has its own style.
Largely this problem exists if you let it exist. There are two ways to go with 4e one of which is as you originally described, X is true explain X. And of course this is entirely the "feel" of the rules and the RAW. WotC have also hedged around the issue some with explaining tripping oozes and the like. This approach seems to be based on the argument of a level playing field for the DnD experience. Some attempt to pretend the game is like a computer game.
But the nice thing with RPGs is that you can alter the rules, but more importantly you have a human DM. To really make 4e work great you simply alter the paradigm to X is possible if you can explain X. And make the whole table responsible for accepting the explaination with the DM as final say. This is certainly how I run my games, and it does require consensus and a degree of maturity (what do you mean my power doesn't work?).
An example is the ranger hunters class ability to slide 2 with I think the power is called clever shot. My standing rule here is that the player must in some way convince the table that shooting someone with an arrow could cause the desired effect. Generally sliding someone towards you would be difficult to narrate in this instance, if you can't it does not occur.
The kick on effect of this is that "magic" effects are essentially easier to narrate that martial powers in a number of cases (tripping oozes, wrestling dragons to the ground). And our group has accepted that this is the case. Others may not.
I think the table idea is great. It should shield the characters regardless of the rules. But perhaps not make them immune to the push. They could rope themselves together tightly to prevent them falling into the pit. Automatically make the save. Why not? If it makes the game more fun then it's good.
For how to do this right (IMHO of course) take a look at Exalted by White Wolf. It's my go to game for Epic. I don't love the system, but they nailed the feel.
James Jacobs wrote:
You could always release the proposed PDFs near the end of the completed AP, similar to the cards and monster boxes. I realise that this may be a bit "late" for a few people who get right on to a AP. But it would also have the advantage of having all 6 parts finalized allowing for intra and inter book plot maps to be developed. I personally would love to see inter-book plot maps, I am finding that Carrion Crown especially can be enhanced by understanding future parts of that AP and foreshadowing NPCs and plot elements.
My solution to the above situation (I have been there!) are twofold:
- ban summoners outright.
You would be surprised at how much extra caution this adds to entering combat! A side benefit is that mooks actually have a decent chance to hit characters many levels above them.
I disagree that you cannot make rules to suit Mythic events, but I do agree that the existing 3.5 and Pathfinder rule "style" don't suit Mythic. The designers have themselves said that this is a "new style" of playing Pathfinder. However the rules at this point are being developed just the same.
I am far from a game designer but what I wanted to see was a mix and match toolbox approach. Perhaps something along the lines of Ars Magica spellcasting. You could fuel your powers with Mythic points, and decide on what effect you are after, based on what mythic path you have chosen. The rules should be built as a framework for allowing the players or GM to make a power or effect up on the spot, and to offer limits to balance out these powers. For example you could have a combat style that allows you to perform super grappling moves. The players can decide in what form it takes and how it looks, for example if you are fighting a dragon you can jump on it and slam it to the ground. The rules might say you can decide to do 1d10 damage per tier, or less damage and add in a condition. The framework helps define upper limits of damage and outcomes. This is quite different from the current model of "take this power then you can do this thing".