I think it's slightly different. I believe that there's a general perception among GMs, and some players, that Paizo materials are "balanced" (with rare exceptions) and that third-party materials are "unbalanced" (with rare exceptions). Of course, this is ironic since most people struggle to define what "balance" is (most going for a "I know something's unbalanced when I see it" approach).
As near as I can tell, this is rooted in the idea that Paizo, as a business with fill-time employees, rigorously playtests their material and puts it through some sort of nebulous "quality control" process, whereas third-party publishers are perceived as being people writing stuff as a hobby during their free time, and release material as soon as it's written, with no oversight of any kind.
Needless to say, I think that this gives Paizo too much credit, and third-party publishers not enough.
I know of two free third-party resources that tackle this.
The first is a fairly straight conversion of the succubus monster into class levels, over at Necromancers of the Northwest.
Before I mention the second, it has to be put in context. I'm currently using Eclipse: The Codex Persona in my game. This is a free supplement for point-buy class (and race) design, which is 100% Pathfinder-compatible. The author has a blog where he posts various builds and takes requests, including how to build a succubus PC.
Given that the character is designed with a point-buy system, it's easy to remove or downgrade the things that are causing you trouble, mainly those high DCs and access to certain unlimited spell-like abilities.
This thread has inspired me...
What Fighters Do (with apologies to Sesame Street)
What do fighters do all day?
Bravely fighters adventure through
Mobile fighters stay on the move
That's what fighters do all day
Bravely fighters adventure through
Phalanx soldier fighters raise up their shields
That's what fighters do all day
Bravely fighters adventure through
Roughriders fight mounted
That's what fighters do all day
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Fair enough. In my experience, questions of realism are usually shorthand for historical accuracy; e.g. no, the Vikings didn't wear lorica segmenta, 'cause,... well, they just didn't, that's why. There aren't any women priests in the Catholic Church, 'cause,... well, there just aren't. There's nothing that kept Roman matrons from enjoying popcorn at the circus except that popcorn was a New World plant.
I don't disagree with you here; while most fantasy role-playing games take some (if not many) of their trappings from medieval Europe, that's still only a cosmetic relationship, and so not (in-and-of itself) a cause for the "effect" of why things are the way they are in the game world.
On the other hand, there's a fairly good reason why Roman matrons didn't enjoy death cap mushrooms that transcends mere historical accident. I think "kills you when you use it" is a pretty robust explanation for the widespread absence across time and space of both death cap fritters and boobplate.
The issue I have here is that the game world often, if not usually, has a very casual relationship with real-world physics (this is primarily, but not completely, due to magic), and so articles such as the one that the original poster linked to seem "selective," by which I mean that they've found a very minor area of the game to critique for its cognitive dissonance.
The underlying understanding (insofar as I recognize it) is that the game rules are the "physics" of how the game world works, rather than demanding strict fealty to real-world physics. Now, obviously that can cause some problems at a micro level, but if you don't look too hard (that is, don't intentionally attempt to find a disconnect between the game rules and how things would work according to real-world physics) then things work just fine for the most part.
Now, this can certainly be twisted. One can state that plate armor is plate armor - in that it provides certain mechanical benefits and penalties - and any alterations to it are purely cosmetic, with no game-related functions. This is what I've previously called the representative view of the issue.
On the other hand, you can twist it in the other direction, such as by stating that a character is taking a movement penalty because they've developed terrible blisters from walking, since they've never purchased new boots over ten levels of game-play. This is an (admittedly somewhat exaggerated) example of the "verisimilitude view" from the article linked to above.
Insofar as Pathfinder is concerned, I prefer (and I'm of the opinion that most other players feel similarly) to give more leeway to the game rules, rather than demanding strict adherence to real-world physics (e.g. representative, not verisimilitude). I say this because the game rules unto themselves are full of (non-magical) examples of things that fly in the face of how things work in the real world.
For example, barbarians who get so angry that it makes them see in the dark (the night vision rage power, which is extraordinary) or monks that can speak to any living creature, regardless of the language involved (tongue of the sun and moon, which is extraordinary). If characters can do things like this without any kind of supernatural assistance, why is unrealistic armor a point of contention?
This is without even getting into the idea that enchanting boob-plate armor erases the issues with wearing it, simply because "it's magic."
Ultimately, I suspect that many, if not most, of the people who dislike boob-plate are being somewhat disingenuous if they say that their only reason for this dislike is its unrealistic nature - I believe that their dislike is political; that is, that they have ideological issues with women depicted as sex objects in a manner that (by the real-world physics of that armor) compromises the utility of the gear that they're using.
That's nothing unreasonable or otherwise objectionable about that opinion (at least to me); I just wish that they'd state that that was the reason instead of making a polemical about the "unrealism" of the armor.
Personally, I enjoy thinking of the bard's inspire competence as being something like this "motivational" speech.
Bard: I'm using inspire competence. 'Cause they're messing around with...messing around with...b&&&&in' about that Perception check you shot, some monster don't wanna be Intimidated, somebody keeps messing up a Bluff to feint, some lock you're trying to pick, so forth, let's talk about something important. Are they all here?
GM: All but the wizard.
Bard: Well, I'm going anyway. Let's talk about something important. Put that healing potion down! Healing's for finishers only! You think I'm f!*$in' with you? I am not f%~*in' with you! I'm here from the Outer Planes. I'm here from Mythic levels. And I'm here on a mission of mercy. You're the fighter?
Bard: You call yourself an adventurer, you son of a b!~@$?
Rogue: I don't gotta listen to this s!@~.
Bard: You certainly don't pal 'cause the good news is you're DEAD! No more me using healing magic on you! The bad news is you got, just one adventure to regain your life, starting with this encounter, starting with tonight's first fight. Oh, have I got your attention now? Good! 'Cause I'm adding a little something to this adventure's treasure count. As you all know, first prize is a ring of protection +5. Anybody want to see second prize? Second prize is a dagger +1. Third prize is you're dead. You get the picture? You laughing now? You got adventure hook. We paid good money for that map! Get to the dungeon and clean it out. You can't finish the adventure you're given, you can't finish s@$@, you are s&~&, hit the bricks pal and beat it 'cause you are going out!
Fighter: The adventure hook is weak.
Bard: The hook is weak? The f!#@in' hook is weak? You're weak! I've been in this business 15 levels!
Rogue: What's your character's name again?
Bard: F~*@ you, that's my character's name! You know why mister? Cause you rode a horse to get here tonight, I flew in on an advanced celestial hippogriff! That's my name! And your name is you're wanting! You can't play in the BBEG's dungeons? You can't finish them? Then go home and tell your wife your troubles! Because only one thing counts in this life! Kill them and take their stuff! You hear me you wannabe Mary Sues?
ABC. A, Always, B, Be in, C, Combat. Always be in combat. Always be in combat. AIDA. Act. Initiative. Direct. Attack. Act. Are you doing something useful when it's your turn? Initiative. Are you trying to go before the other guy? I know you are 'cause it's finish or walk. You win the fight or you hit the bricks. Direct. Have you figured out where you can best make a contribution to the party in this fight? And Attack. AIDA. Get out there. You got the monsters coming in, you think they came in to get out of the rain? A monster don't walk in the room 'less he wants to KILL YOU! They're sitting out there waiting to die and you their treasure. Are you going to take it? Are you man enough to take it? What's the problem, pal?
Rogue: You, boss, you're such a hero, you're so rich, how come you're coming down here and wasting your time with such a bunch of bums?
Bard: You see this sword?
Bard: That sword costs more than your horse! I made 970,000 gp last year, how much you make? You see pal, that's who I am, and you're nothing! Nice guy? I don't give a s!&%! Good father? F*%+ you, go home and play with your kids! You want to work here, finish! You think this is abuse? You think this is abuse, you goblin-farmer? You can't take this, how can you take the abuse you get on an adventure? If you don't like it, leave! I can go out there tonight, the materials you got, make myself 15,000 gp. Tonight. In two encounters. Can you? Can you?
Go and do likewise. AIDA. Get mad you son-of-a-b#!@~! Get mad! You know what it takes to finish adventures? It takes brass balls to finish adventures. Go and do likewise, gents. The money's out there, you pick it up, it's yours, you don't, I got no sympathy for you. You want to go out on those adventures tonight and finish, finish, it's yours, if not, you're going to be shining my shoes. And you know what you'll be saying. Bunch of losers sitting around in a tavern: "Oh yeah, I used to be an adventurer. It's a tough racket."
These are the new adventure hooks. These are the Adventure Path hooks. And to you, they're gold. And you don't get them. Why? Because to give them to you is just throwing them away! They're for finishers. I'd wish you good luck, but you wouldn't know what to do with it if you got it. And to answer your question, pal: Why am I here? I came here because the GM asked me to, they asked me for a favor. I said the real favor, follow my advice and retire your f*@~ing character because a loser is a loser.
*everyone gains +2 to skill checks*
Personally, I prefer this explanation (this is written as a guest piece on a blog; the blog's original owner's interjections are in italics):
pad300, you make some good points, but let's draw some distinctions.
The best way to figure out a character's "level" in Pathfinder (or any other d20 System game) is to look at what they do (and, to an extent, what they cannot do) and put that at the lowest level of power that can be "reasonably" accomplished in the game system. (For more on this topic, I recommend this excellent essay.)
I put "reasonably" in quotation marks because there are always going to be some points of debate, largely because literary creations have narrative fiat that a game system won't be subject to - it's possible that the protagonists in a given literary sequence are scoring critical hits with every attack, for instance, but we can't make that assumption in translating them to the game world.
(The issue of translation also brings up the sticky wicket that some minor points have to be overlooked in making a conversion, simply because demanding complete fidelity means getting hung up on some class ability that a character of that level should have but never displays, or vice versa.)
Given that, you brought up some noteworthy points in your first post about what Gandalf and the Balrog actually did. However, pointing out issues of "divine origin" and "existing since before/participating in the creation of the world" have little practical context; there's simply no real measure for how this translates to personal ability. In Pathfinder terms, many Outsiders - purely as an example - can be reasonably stated as being so old as to predate the world. Likewise, the issue of how the Maiar participated in creating Arda (e.g. singing the song of Eru) is so nebulous as to be meaningless.
Given that, let's look at converting Gandalf, and by extension the Balrog, over to the d20 System. Even better, let's look at an article that already has (using a point-buy class system - one which is, by the by, fully compatible with Pathfinder):
With that said, we can thus make a case regarding the Balrog:
That does seem to sum it up fairly accurately.
Interjection Games wrote:
Mwahaha, in the grim future, there is only...me.
Ahem...about the crunch posted above, the fact that it "consumes all the useful materials in his workshop" is a tad fearful. Does that mean it can destroy major artifacts or spellbooks if they're left lying around?
You may need to clarify the issue if a creature's corpse can be used to resurrect it if it's been fabricated, too. That said, a 3/day disintegrate is powerful, but not overpowered at 14th level. However, I'm undecided if being able to ignore spell resistance puts it over the top in terms of the strength of the ability; that's a pretty big boost for such a powerful effect.
Interjection Games wrote:
I'd like to thank you, so please head on over to my rpgnow.com storefront and send me a valid rpgnow.com customer e-mail address through the private messaging system here with the name of one of my $1.00 or $1.25 products. I'll set you up with a comp copy coupon. I'd do it entirely through Paizo, but I don't think I have the necessary powers with the toolset given me here.
Much appreciated! However, I don't think that it needs to be quite so elaborate, as I'm an RPGNow featured reviewer ("Shane O."), so with your permission I can just grab one of your products that you put up for review that way.
In no particular order:
I don't care for Facebook, and don't use it, but I would add the caveat that it might be helpful for getting you to reach a larger population of Pathfinder players that rely more on social media than messageboards.
I do, however, think that tagging is a good idea. People like to be able to narrow things down by categories.
I'd also like it if the front page, when displaying the blurbs for new reviews, showed how many stars each product received.
Well, if you're talking about getting the word out about your book once it's been released, it might be worth sending a friendly email to Paizo (I think Liz Courts) and asking about it being featured on their store blog; they're incredibly generous in that they'll often promote non-Paizo products right there on the front page.
Reviews are also good, so you may want to submit a copy to endzeitgeist.com.
So it looks like this was canceled on Kickstarter?
It wasn't canceled, it's just that the creator decided to lower his funding goal, and the only way to do that is to cancel the original Kickstarter and begin another.
Alright folks. I'm shifting gears completely on my project Mystical: Kingdom of Monsters to Pathfinder for the next 13 days.
Are you saying I'm oversensitive?
Here's another thing abotu Greta to make people uncomfortable: According to the ecology of the winter wolf article in the same book, winter wolves have a lifespan of about fifty years, or two-thirds that of a human.
So consider that Greta looks like a pulchritudinous lady in her mid-twenties; while that's no doubt the degree to which she's mentally and physically developed, she's probably only about sixteen years old in terms of how long she's been alive.
Does Irrisen have age of consent laws?
That's without even getting into how the article states that winter wolf females who become pregnant by humanoids, even while in humanoid form themselves, give birth to winter wolf pups.
Can you just imagine what a typically day for a mixed-species family like that would be like?
"DAD! Jimmy keeps using his breath weapon on me and it's messing up my fur! Make him stop!"
"It was her fault! She gave me a peanut butter cracker and I was just trying to get it off the roof of my mouth!"
Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
Yeah, but we all know that's just the dragons' PR campaign trying to clean up their smutty image. The less deadbeat dragons there are, the less that child support eats into their hoards.
Greta is probably closer to what you're looking for, but it's muddled by the fact that she can change into human form. Leave it to magic to make things furry.
Fixed it for you.
I think this is because (in my opinion) the sexiest characters are the ones that have actual characterization - otherwise they're just bodies. The problem is that, in the media, "characterization" and "sexuality" are usually treated as dichotomies.
Blayde MacRonan wrote:
Hm, I must have missed that part. What book and page is that on?
It's worth noting that there are two questions here based on alignment - the first one is "is this an evil act?" and the second one is "if so, how much?"
The second question is necessary because (in my opinion), a single act that violates your alignment isn't necessarily enough to cause an alignment change...and if something does cause your alignment to change, it doesn't mean it then changes more than one step (e.g. an evil act making a Lawful Good character become Lawful Neutral, rather than Lawful Evil). There's also no single right answer, or even general consensus, on this second question that I've heard.
The general consensus for the first question is that using charm person to make someone think that they like you, and then quite possibly convincing them to do something that they don't want to do (opposed Charisma check) and sleep with you, is an evil act. For what it's worth, I agree with the consensus in this regard.
The fact that you aren't physically forcing someone to do something is largely irrelevant in this instance. You're still using deception (via magic) to make them give you much greater consideration than they normally would, and then (if using the opposed Charisma check), using a form of peer pressure to convince them to do something.
It's worth noting here that (again, to me) what needs to be focused on to determine the alignment-consequences of this is the ends, not the means. The fact that someone might have slept with you anyway is irrelevant - you're compromising their free will (not completely removing it, but impairing it in regards to certain key circumstances, e.g. their feelings for you) for your own personal enjoyment. That's little different from using blackmail to convince someone to sleep with you; they might have done it anyway, but you're putting pressure on them to do what you want.
This focus on the ends, not the means, is why it's not wrong to charm someone to not kill you or your friends in a fight, or tell you the password for the enemy fortress, etc. It's about why you are doing what you're doing, not how you're doing it.
Insofar as the legality of charming someone into having sex with you, there's a blog post for that.
I think that it's important to remember that this particular topic was originally about the sexualized depiction of women in gaming entertainment.
Talking about the verisimilitude view of how such armor functions ignores the "representative" view (discussed in the linked article) which talks about visual depictions of characters as reflections of only their game statistics, which can mean that A) it doesn't matter how silly something looks, since it still gives the listed bonus, or B) they're using non-armor methods (often with magic) to boost their defensive capabilities, and so can still be adequately protected without wearing much.
Apparently since you've had this problem multiple times, it seems that your players are used to walking all over you, because you allow them to do so.
This is a distinct possibility. I try to compensate for that now by being more aggressive when I think someone is being rude, you jerk.
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Actually, the reason Pathfinder exists is because Wizards of the Coast didn't release information about how third-party licensing for Fourth Edition would work in time for Paizo Publishing to formulate their business plans, Adamantine Dragon.
That may have escaped your notice, but Pathfinder is already giving rise to charop nonsense from an ever-escalating series of poor rules updates, crazy splat books and total disregard to synergies between powers which the game designers themselves had to admit were completely rules legal. The difference between your comment and mine is that mine is not only actually true, but insightful.
So your rebuttal here may be an attempt to be clever, but all it really does is give me a chance to expand on why your original point is still silly.
So nice try.
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Man, every single time I see someone make an argument for a mind-boggling PF ruling with "Well, 3.5 allowed it" I just shake my head and ponder the infinite mysteries of a universe ruled by pun-pun...
I know what you mean. It's much like how every time I hear someone reference Pun-Pun as a way to disparage 3.5, I just shake my head and ponder the infinite mysteries of a game ruled by the CharOp boards...
I haven't read the entire thread, so my apologies if this has been said before.
I think that a not-inconsiderable amount of what gets labeled as sexism isn't; I say this because I think the term "sexism" (and, to be more clear, the term "misogyny") is a measurement of the feelings of the person performing the sexist/misogynist action - specifically, that their primary motivator is fear/hatred of women. This is not to say that this "not-inconsiderable amount" of stuff isn't still directed at women, and isn't hurtful and damaging...I just think that it's being delivered by people who are so utterly self-absorbed and unaware of others (on an emotional level) that they simply don't realize what colossal jerks they're being.
A while ago, there were some articles written about a guy in a Street Fighter tournament who was using sexist language that offended (what I think was) the only female player there (I'm not sure, but I think he was directing his language towards the people playing against her, e.g. "rape that b##").
This generated a lot of material about the misogynistic culture of the gaming community. But when you listened to the statements that guy made about the incident, he could only talk about himself (I seem to recall him saying something to the effect of "This isn't North Korea, man, anyone can say whatever they want to.").
The issue here wasn't, to my mind, that this person had any particular problem with women. It was that he was completely wrapped up in himself - he wasn't using sexist language because he was offended by the thought of a female player, but that he wanted to reach for the most shocking, vulgar, and politically-incorrect language he could think of to try and show that he was a free-thinker who didn't care what anyone thought of him; that he wasn't worried about "The Man" and played by his own rules, etc.
That is, needless to say, incredibly childish. It also doesn't erase the fact that his words were designed to be hurtful, and were targeted at women specifically. But (working off of the idea that sexism is a label of people's feelings towards women specifically) it wasn't sexist; that would require that he actually think about other people, which he clearly couldn't do.
This doesn't mean that there isn't a great deal of genuinely sexist people out there, either. The debacle with Anita Sarkeesian made that very clear. I honestly can't see anything besides bold-faced fear and hatred to explain how much vitriol was leveled at her.
As for where that genuine sexism comes from, I'm of the opinion that it's more about fear than hate. I think a lot of men see attempts to highlight sexism in popular culture as an attack on their sense of self.
What happens is that a lot of men enjoy the sexualized depictions of women in popular culture. Those depictions are made for their enjoyment, after all, and they do enjoy it. They're of the opinion that it's not a bad thing, and not hurting anybody.
When someone begins to say otherwise, what happens is that these men are suddenly confronted with the idea that these things they thought were harmless could suddenly be harmful. What's worse is that, by extension, this is taken to mean that they're enjoying bad things.
Now there's a personal crisis of identity involved. All of a sudden they have to wrestle with the idea that they're enjoying things that are bad (because they cause harm to others), and it makes them wonder if maybe they're a bad person, since they enjoy them so much (and, worse, couldn't even realize that they were bad to begin with).
Now, these men start feeling that their sense of self is under attack; that someone else is trying to forcibly redefine them as being bad people. This creates a siege mentality that all too often inspires them to fight back, causing them to retaliate against their perceived attacker with a "I'm not a bad person, YOU'RE a bad person!" stance. Sometimes it's not even that sophisticated, and simply becomes a response of "you're making me feel bad, so I'll make YOU feel bad!" instead.
Social change is, to me, changing the hearts and minds of the general population over time. In order to do that, you first need to understand how people think about a given issue, and why they react the way they do when how to change that issue is brought up. I think that the reason we keep seeing problems with sexism in popular culture are for the two issues cited above (self-absorption and a perceived attack on the sense of self). I think that real change in this area will come when these issues are better recognized, so that the people trying to change minds can do so without running into them.
Okay, for future reference, when people talk about "realism" and "verisimilitude" in a tabletop RPG, what they're talking about is "internal logic and consistency in the game world," and not "things functioning by the physics of the real world."
Exactly. "Mythic" and "epic" are like a Venn diagram; there's some overlap, but for the most part they're separate.
Chalk me up as another person who doesn't care for the fiction in the Adventure Path publications.
It's not that I have anything against the stories themselves (e.g. I'm not saying the writing is bad), it's just that I have no use for them, at least not in the Adventure Path books.
I buy the Adventure Paths because I want the adventures, and the supporting material. Including fiction feels counterproductive on that particular front; it's like several pages of flavor text that are only for the GM - I can't *use* that beyond trying to extrapolate sources of inspiration and additional world-dressing for my game.
I also don't care for written fiction that appears in episodic format with a one-month delay between parts. It makes me waffle between a mild sense of frustration that I need to wait so long to see what's next, and then by the time the next part has come out I've as often as not let the previous installment become fuzzy in my memory, and need to brush up. It just doesn't work well for me.
Finally, I'm fine with the idea that existing articles could be expanded to fill up the space allocated to the fiction. Heck, with the recent price hike for the Adventure Paths, I'd have been happier if the fiction was cut and the publications had their page-count shrink by a corresponding amount in an effort to keep the price down.
Jeff Erwin wrote:
Okay, thanks for that. Though from what you're saying, that just means the snake's name is "Snake."
("Snake? Snake! SNAAAAAAAAKE!")
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
There's nothing wrong with this, but you seem to be conflating two ideas, those being "game abilities that are beyond what can be done in our real world" with "magical/supernatural abilities." The two are not the same thing, at least not in Pathfinder.
In the real world, a person who falls two hundred feat into a bed of spikes going to die. In Pathfinder, if they have more than a hundred hit points or so they'll most likely not only survive, but get up and walk away. There's nothing supernatural about that - it works in an antimagic field. The same is true for a monk that's immune to all diseases and can speak with any creature (e.g. purity of body and tongue of the sun and moon, both extraordinary powers). The same is true for barbarians that, when they get really angry, can see in the dark (e.g. the night vision rage power, also extraordinary).
There's a difference between what's possible by real-world physics, and what can be non-magically accomplished by people with no magical ability in a Pathfinder game.
I think that you've made a very good point here, I just think that it can be taken further than what's in your initial post.
Options are indeed the most valuable resource for characters in the game. The issue becomes how to leverage that to solve the pair of quotes that you opened with.
The first one is to apply limits to characters that have seemingly (near-)unlimited options. This doesn't have to be about applying new houserules to limit what they can do, but rather to make sure that there are situations where these characters don't outshine the others.
In fact, this isn't that hard to do at all during the course of actual game-play, since the options for spellcasters tend to be tied directly to how many spells they have left, something that isn't true for martial characters. It's why I grit my teeth whenever I see armchair theory-crafters spinning some hypothetical scenario designed specifically to prove their point - actual game-play doesn't go that way. Yes, every so often you'll find a situation where your character has the right spells for the right situation, but if that's happening all the time, your GM is doing something wrong, even if that something is "not stepping up to make situations where other characters have as many or more options than you do."
The second problem is how to make non-spellcasters have more options. This is an area where I think that greater mechanical standardization of the game rules has hurt things, because having rules for what you can do carries the implication that, if something's not covered under those rules, that must mean that you can't do it. Feats are a big offender, here.
I'm of the opinion that the biggest option to solve this particular problem is to encourage the use of CMB-based abilities, and in particular I house-rule away them provoking an AoO if you don't have the Improved [CMB Maneuver] feat. I want the fighters to try repositioning their enemies into a disadvantageous position. I want the rogue to consider using a dirty trick to quite literally pull the rug out from under someone. I want to encourage things like taking advantage of the environment ("quick, cut the rope to the chandelier"), so even if there's no mechanic for it, a CMB check is the route I go, AoO be damned.
The tl;dr here is that while I do think that these are problems, I don't think they're quite as bad as people on message boards say they are, and I think they're fairly easy to fix during the course of the game.
Marshall Jansen wrote:
I'm guessing that "winning" here is defined as "all of the players accomplishing the stated goals of a given adventure without suffering from any long-lasting, significant drawbacks (e.g. long-lasting penalties or loss of gear/money)."
What thread is it that SKR posted in?
Jon Fugl wrote:
What are these changes you are talking about? Got a link to the thread/ post?
1. Can someone link the SKR comment that gave the idea for this thread.
I'm a little surprised that no one has answered these requests yet; these forums are usually very good about acquiescing when people ask for source posts.
The original thread where this was brought up is Raise Dead and the Diamond Thing, with the posts by SKR on this topic being located (in the order they were posted) here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here (well, not really this one; I've listed it for completeness), here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
...not that I'm really paying attention or anything. I just think it's slightly interesting, is all.
My mind, it is being blown!
Perhaps it'd be best to consolidate the company names? Will we see Four Purple Fantasy Wind Ducks in the future?
The main change I would like to see in Pathfinder 2.0 is a complete reimagining of the monsters. I personally thought that monster rules in 4e was the one success of that system because it streamlined GMing and made it much easier.
I personally disagree. One of the major let-downs for me regarding 4E was that monsters went back to using different rules than PCs did. I still remember needing an entire supplement in 2E (the Complete Book of Humanoids) in order to add class levels to monsters - I don't want to go back to that.
What Pathfinder should have done is use the system in Trailblazer, where you can add class features to monsters without needing to add class levels, and calculate the adjusted Challenge Rating based on that. It's nice to be able to add just spellcasting ability to a monster and note the CR change, without needing to add hit points, skill points, feats, etc.
Evil Lincoln wrote:
In many ways, Pathfinder's innovation has been to defy precisely that theory
When you look at Paizo, they've really innovated in many ways that have defied the traditional wisdom about what a tabletop RPG company should do, and made it work.
It was the accepted wisdom that adventures were poor sellers - Paizo has three successful adventure lines (the adventure paths, the modules, and the PF Society adventures).
It was the accepted wisdom that world-specific material was less desirable than generic crunch material - Paizo has two lines specifically about their game world (the Campaign Setting line and the Player's Companion line), though they do oftentimes feature a fair amount of crunch.
It was the accepted wisdom that legally reproducing your content online, for free, would hurt sales - Paizo not only keeps a continually updated SRD for their hardcover books, they also work with d20PFSRD to make all of their Open Game Content available, and have a fansite policy for places like the Pathfinder Wiki...and sales are (last we heard) booming.
Paizo is, in short, pretty well able to defy quite a bit of the accepted wisdom where tabletop RPG companies are concerned; here's hoping they can also break away from the "new editions are inevitable" accepted wisdom too.
My point is that today's players are far more cynical than that of the generation that first played the game. Ethical and moral norms DO tend to change with generations. And it's my feeling that the Paladin is just that more dissonant with today's players who have been raised on essentially Grey Heroes and feel that someone who insists on wearing a hat as White as the Paladin is expected to be just doesn't make sense.
I don't necessarily disagree, but I think that there's another germaine issue with the Paladin's Code - it's supposed to offset advantages that have been comparatively devalued as the game has evolved.
Paladin characters were originally (back in 1E) very difficult to qualify for. Presuming that stats were rolled, you needed exceptionally high scores - and could only be a human - in order to even be one. They had strict alignment regulations and a Code of Conduct.
In exchange for this, they received powers and abilities that made them flat-out better than other classes, at least insofar as fighting evil creatures in melee combat went. They had significant advantages to balance out their drawbacks.
Second Edition largely clung to this tradition, but everything changed in 3E; suddenly "balance" meant that every class needed comparable parity in combat, and while the paladin did get something of a boost, it was a modest one compared to what most other classes received. Worse, this process repeated itself in 3.5 and again in Pathfinder.
The paladin didn't get any weaker, but now it was equaled by other classes in the same role (melee combat with evil monsters). Unfortunately, retaining the flavor of the class meant keeping its alignment restrictions and Code of Conduct (even if the racial and ability score requirements went away), and so the paladin is still burdened by drawbacks to pay for the combat effectiveness that other classes are getting for free.
Are your wizards too powerful at higher levels? Do full progression spellcasters in your game make the fighters and rogues feel useless? Isn't there a way to reintroduce a greater degree of balance without pumping up the non-spellcasters even more?
How about introducing a few limitations on your spellcasters...from previous editions?
In our first article for 2013, Intelligence Check introduces a set of variant rules inspired by older editions of everyone's favorite fantasy role-playing game to help limit the power of wizards and other spellcasters. Use these, and put the kibosh on the wizard-as-god in your game.
Check it out here: Triple Solutions for Quadratic Wizards
Grick's assessment does seem pretty air-tight, and matches up with JJ's summation of the matter. JJ did choose to leave either option though and not make a definitive ruling, this might be one of those things that's really worth FAQing if you want a set answer.
Can we get a link to James Jacobs' answer on this? Because to me it's Malachi's assessment that seems airtight.
She drains your energy
In more ways than one; just wait for
(Because this thread needs more cinquain!)
"I can't answer that question" isn't a lie.
Well, technically it is, since "can't" indicates a lack of ability to answer, which he clearly does have since he's giving a response by saying that.
But I'm being pedantic here, and not raising a serious point. ;)