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Volnagur the End-Singer

Anguish's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber. 2,679 posts. 1 review. 1 list. No wishlists.

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Typically a GM who has access to a FAQ is likely to follow it.

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Meh. 5e is the new shiny thing. Doesn't mean it's bad, doesn't mean it's good, but it's got buzz.

One of my gaming group (who as usual, is involved with other gaming groups), snapped up the 5e materials as soon as they were available. They got all excited, played some, and sounded a lot like they preferred 5e. Then after about a month, they killed their campaign and have come back to Pathfinder. While they liked 5e overall, they came to miss the detailed, intricate matrix of abilities that this game has.

All I'm saying is that the poll measures exactly one thing: what button people are currently inclined to click on. Doesn't represent actual popularity, sales, long-term success, or quality.

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I misread the thread title as "vote for your favorite poll in this poll".

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Brother Fen wrote:
That's what has made me a fan of the work that Legendary Games is doing with all of their mythic material. They've picked up the ball and run a long way with it.

Good point. Those hardcovers that arrived here Monday are a good sign that I'm willing to plop down good money for more mythic content.

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James Jacobs wrote:

Well... hearing more and more feedback from folks who DO enjoy mythic content certainly helps. There just didn't seem to be a lot of that love associated with Wrath, alas. Either because people are more prone to post when they're angry than they are when they're happy, because I take the negative comments to heart more quickly than the positive ones, or more likely due to a combination of the two.

But yes... if you DO enjoy mythic, let us know. And that goes for enjoying it but being frustrated by elements in Wrath of the Righteous... but just do your best to present yourself in a positive way with constructive criticism and not a negative way with destructive criticism over and over and over and over...

Well, you've been in the business long enough to recognize that far, far more people go out of their way to complain about things than to compliment things. That's pretty much why you evidently had people complaining about the use of "brothels" but don't have people complaining about the use of "dance halls". I'm at least as indignant at hypersensitivity as the hypersensitive are about s-e-x stuff, but aside from this paragraph, I don't go out of my way to send you a message complimenting when you print material that doesn't shy away from adult naughty-bits material while being full of violence, because I'm LAZY.

So that said, here's the solicited input. I'm one session from the end of Wrath. I've been playing and DMing non-stop since 3.0e was released. We've gone through Runelords, Council of Thieves, parts of Second Darkness and Carrion Crown as well as a bunch of Paizo and non-paizo modules. We've played through Shackled City and all of Slumbering Tsar. We've played everything that existed for 3.5e Eberron, we've played through Red Hand of Doom, and we've played several modules more than once. You're talking about 10-12 hours a week. I'm not inexperienced.

I've really enjoyed Wrath (I specifically begged one of the group to DM it for me), but I knew going in what I was getting. I was getting a game cranked up to 11, where things would be over-the-top and not necessarily difficult. So far this is my favorite to have played. I won't pretend that's the case for everyone at the table, but it is for me.

It's a riot. My PC is fun, and can do pretty spectacular things. Very much feels like a hero-of-heroes. Sure, he's mechanically "broken", but that he's got miracle as a spell-like-ability once a day (Divine Source) isn't horrible, it's just awesome.

To me, mythic is supposed to be what it is - as you printed it. Sure, there are some exceptionally powerful abilities that maybe should be toned down, but overall I quite like the content. It's just just "ten more levels of the same stuff". It's "any bozo can cast fireball but when I do it, it's world-changing".

Having monsters do unusual things is really, really refreshing. And walking into an an encounter that the DM is told "if your PCs try this, they will likely die" (you know who she is) and barely surviving to pulling off a draw... that was absolutely, positive epic. Legendary cool. So what if her CR was something like 10 over APL and there were only three PCs and a Leadership cohort instead of four? It was nail-biting epic fun, and it was awesome to learn afterward how mathematically against us it was, CR-wise.

I won't be including or expecting player-side mythic content all the time, or necessarily regularly, but I very much include the material in my toolbox. In fact, the Runelords game I've been running for three years is due to wrap up in the next month or two, and the big K will be getting some mythic ranks to make things "fair". Heh.

Anyway, consider this a strong vote of support for some mythic content existing in the future, even if it's just the odd adventure here or there granting a couple mythic tiers.

I feel about it like dessert. It's very likely the best-tasking part of a meal. It's mouth-awesome. But you wouldn't want a full meal made out of chocolate fudge.

So hey, an AP every three years or so (one in six) would be cool, to tell those special* stories. Or a module once a year maybe.

*My PC (Dreamscarred psion) has mythic assimilate, which allows you to absorb the memories of a creature you slay with it. He used that to finish off the BBEG from the second-last book. So. Guess who's used that ability to take ownership of the abyssal realm said BBEG used to rule? Yeah. Me, baby, me! THAT's a story that needs mythic to feel plausible.

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I think my favorite thing is that these are readable. So many of the QWS dice have too much intricacy to be legible from any meaningful distance. I'm looking to buy lots of these things.

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Phoenix M wrote:

The problem with the wish as worded: AND, AND, AND, AND.

In my games the word 'and' ends the wish. I got that idea from the really OLD D&D cartoon (80's), the character Eric had a wish, the wording went something like this:

Eric: "I wish my friends were safe and at home."
*Friends safely appear*
Eric: "I said safe at home!"
Wish Granter: "No you said "Safe AND at home" that would have been two wishes"
Eric: ---
Wish Granter: I'll see you later.

While I agree with the spirit of your idea, I strongly disagree with the implementation.

"I wish my friends were safely at home."
"I wish my friends were at their safe homes."
"I wish my friends were enjoying the safety of their homes."

There are so many ways to put the singular concept describing this circumstance without using the word "and" that it should be clear to a DM that it's NOT two wishes, it's specification.

"I wish to meet a human woman in a blue dress today."

That's not six wishes.
1} I wish to meet <anyone>.
2} I wish to meet <any human>.
3} I wish to meet <any adult female human>.
4} I wish to meet <any adult female human wearing a dress>.
5} I wish to meet <any adult female human wearing a dress which is blue>.
6} I wish for this wish to take place on a specific day.

"I wish to meet someone and I want them to be human, and she should be a 'she', and she shouldn't be a child, and she should be wearing pretty clothes like perhaps a dress, and that dress should be blue, and oh... I'd rather this doesn't happen on my 70th birthday, so let's specify it happens today."

See? "And" isn't as useful as you're making it out to be.

I'm all for wish being ONE wish, but playing the AND game just perpetuates the GM vs player trope. If you're not hyper-specific, the GM is going to deliberately screw you.

Oh, incidentally, that woman in the blue dress? She's an assassin with a contract on you, and she just spent three rounds getting ready for Death Attack. So yeah, you just met her and you forgot to say she's to be friendly. Can I have a Fort save or you're dead?

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Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Meh - both in gaming & real life I find that much profanity mostly just shows a profound lack of creativity.

That's fine and I don't dispute that eloquence has a blade far sharper than verbal brutality. But the OP asked for advice how to swear and frankly isn't getting that.

Now, I do get talking people out of bad ideas... I've helped pile on in many a thread frowning on PC-on-PC evil acts and the like... but this topic isn't one that is inherently troublesome. It's a question of style, and the thread is responding to "how do I wear a fedora without it falling off" with "try a fez". I mean, yeah, fezzes are cool and all, but it's personal choice.

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I'm confused. Swear or do not swear, there is no "try".

All of the not-swearing or setting-centric swearing is just that; not swearing. If your character has an uncouth mouth, DO IT. Using euphemisms, baby-language, and setting-slurs are devoid of impact. The visceral crudity of harsh language is lost when you soften it. Poo-poo-head just doesn't cut it.

So my vote is that if you've decided to go the way of the foul-mouthed, do so. Check with your fellow players of course, but don't pull punches.

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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
As someone who has had two groups organically reach level 15+ Gorbacz's argument has the right of it.

The plural of "anecdote" isn't "evidence". I won't wall-of-text you back, but basically I'll take 18th-level over 2nd-level any day of the week for fun.

Personally, I've done the low-level magic-user Hell that is "hmm, should I cast one of my three spells a day now and turn into a walking crossbow turret for the remainder of the day?"

I've done the "I'm a mighty warrior who rolled a 4 three rolls in a row and that's the combat because... statistics".

I've done the "I finally have enough treasure to make my weapon magic, completely ignoring the hundred pages or so of awesome magic gear I COULD have if I wasn't a single-digit level."

I won't turn down a game that starts at 1st, but I prefer games where complex feat-chains actually happen, and where synergy between two or more characters with intricate builds actually represent lengthy relationships between PCs. I don't see "long" turns as a flaw... I'm here to play the game, so if combat takes an hour, that's an hour I'm playing the game. Meh.

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I'd pay good money for a "7th book" option/subscription. Or "7th and 8th book" option/subscription. Whatever.

Something coherent, where for instance at the end of RoTR you follow up and hunt for more awakening Runelords. Or in CoT you try to depose the Thrunes.

As long as it thematically matched the AP, it'd be a great value. It wouldn't have to be perfectly integrated in terms of revisiting existing locales and NPCs, so it could be developed by a second team. It'd just need to make more sense than "okay, we're done Runelords, let's uh... Moonscar?"

The point being that if there was an add-on available that extended an AP, I'd buy it, even if the price-per-page was higher than for the base AP. I get it, fewer people would be buying that option, so cost of production would be spread over fewer units sold. I'd be okay with that.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Appendix, or Pathfinder AP-App. Heh.

But seriously, part of the argument against high-level AP ends is a chicken/egg argument. There aren't enough high-level monsters to reduce development costs. There aren't enough high-level adventures to justify monsters.

Seriously? Take my money. Fix the problem. Maybe make an "Adults Bestiary" where it's all 18+ CR creatures. Sell it. Then use it.

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Marco Massoudi wrote:
-The "Reign of Winter Encounter Pack" (HUGE Frost Worm & HUGE Svathurim) the same (not a good decision of minis to start such an experiment with but good quality minis none the less) and so i can understand the decision to not try something that is a questionable sell in the foreseeable future.

Kind of funny. I can't tell you how many times I saw that pack in my FLGS and asked myself "why would anyone bother with these two?" They're both good, but they're kind of situational. So yeah, I ignored them week after week after week.

Then the store closed.

Then, the Rise of the Runelords game I've been running for 2.5 years... reached a spot where those two were useful. Didn't see that coming. So I scrambled to order the thing via Amazon at great expense to get it to my table in time. It worked.

Still, I maintain the opinion that for Huge minis those were a poor choice. I'd've bought elementals (for instance) in a heartbeat.

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Tangent101 wrote:
transformed goldfish

Oh man. Good times.

Two of my players' characters got transmuted and the rest of the group had to retreat to rest up and rescue them. It was really amusing because the mithral mage had scooped up the two and baleful polymorphed them into cats. Then he took some normal goldfish in a bowl as blackmail material.

When the party fought their way back in to him, he had the bowl with a bunch of fish in it, and he threatened to feed them to the cats at his feet. Negotiations were... stilted, so he flipped a fish out of the bowl and the cats started feasting.

Well, the party went berserk and very nearly elected to fireball the cats just to stop them from possibly eating their friends.

Long story short is the scenario played out exactly as I'd hoped; by the narrowest of margins the players focused on Ordikon and took him out, then started trying to figure out which fish were their friends.

"Nope, no aura. Nope, no aura. Nope, no aura. In fact, none of the fish detect as magical..."

"... but the cats do."

Many laughs were had by all.

Anyway, to a certain degree my point is that I prefer my complications to be things I can predict the psychology of, and that serve a narrative purpose. McGuffins that can walk away over 10,000 years strike me as things that are likely going to have done. Even if they all have been united and used since the fall of Thassilon, that none have managed to actually go missing is a stretch of my imagination. Putting one in Freezemaw's lair is just forcing the players to go somewhere they're already inevitably going, so why bother?

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Shadowkire wrote:
The paladin does not fall, or the GM is a t*#~ who set up a trap.

It's not a trap.

I'm sorry, but a player explicitly chose to play a class that exemplifies "good guy", then didn't bother to do any investigation in a non-hostile circumstance before taking a life... didn't get trapped, they chose wrong.

A good guy takes the time to ask some questions if there isn't open conflict. A paladin of 5th-level has access to detect charm, for instance.

Take the succubus into custody, investigate, and act appropriately. detect evil is not an excuse to just open up and make things die. It's merely one bit of evidence to assist a paladin in evaluating a circumstance.

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Knitifine wrote:
What do you want to see in it?

Not a unique answer but: NOTHING.

Here's the deal. The moment Paizo makes game that isn't PFRPG, they've invented "yet another game system I don't play". Think about it. There are dozens of tabletop games out there. If I wanted to play something that isn't PFRPG, it's not like I've got no options.

It's not that the game is flawless. That simply doesn't matter.

When the restaurant you visit every Tuesday to buy their [whatever] removes it from the menu and offers "new and improved", it doesn't matter that the new thing has fewer calories or less arsenic or is "organic". What matters is that the reason you went there is gone. Now you're "forced" to eat something that isn't what you want to eat.

So why bother restricting yourself to that restaurant if you're forced to find a new favorite food?

Right. No reason.

The moment you change editions, you lose customers. Guaranteed. You gain some. Guaranteed. What isn't guaranteed is if you gain more than you lose.

So you don't screw around until you have to, to pay the mortgage.

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CurseTheseMetalHands wrote:
And if the sales were abysmal? Well, I think that'd a pretty clear statement that those sort of miniatures just aren't all that desirable by the masses and, as such, probably shouldn't be shoehorned into regular sets either, lest you diminish the overall appeal and damage sales of those sets as well.

That's a false conclusion. If a burger joint were to try selling a meal that was "french fries, french fries, and a side-order of french fries", it would probably tank. Nobody would buy it. Strangely that wouldn't invalidate that french fries, when accompanying a burger and a drink would sell very well.

Variety is key in this line. Some people would shy away from a monsters-only set. Some people would shy away from a heroes-only set. So you mix the two, and people who like monsters and people who like heroes both buy cases. Balancing the mixture to entice more purchases is the hard part.

Dungeon dressing has probably proven itself a viable third option, given what demand appeared to be. So we'll probably continue to see a few in each case, and that's likely the most sensible approach.

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:


Can't make two new threads in the same forum less than 3 hours apart.


Can't make 3 new threads AT ALL less than 6 hours apart.


*Marches down Paizo street carrying sign: I AM THE 0.01%*

You omitted the important part: "if your account is less than 7 days old".

Seriously, sliding posting rights is a reasonable approach. Someone with a brand new account probably shouldn't be creating multiple threads. Two in the first day, tops. After someone's made it upwards of ten posts in a week (or more) without being flagged as a spammer, they could be awarded full posting privs.

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Marc Radle wrote:
On the flip side, having forums constantly flooded with this spam garbage can and will also completely destroy an online community :(

Not really. It's amazing what you don't pay attention to if it's not relevant to your life. Like... advertising. On an annoyance scale of 1 to 10, these non-English spam threads are easily only a 1.

Jumping through hoops to participate in a community... that's at least a 2.

For instance, I won't rate software I use on Google Play because... seriously, Google+? I have to have ANOTHER thing that isn't my Google account? Not happening. More hoops, bad.

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N. Jolly wrote:
And there's another 1 to add to the list of threads in the WOTR section that read "Mythic killed our game."

How do you take my telling you that it's working for us as a +1 for a thread where it doesn't?


As I stated in my post, the problem is the difference in scope between mythic martials who generally swing harder and maybe move around a little more, and mythic casters who make castles out of nothing and nothing out of encounters.

Mythic was not an evenly handled subject, it was (as most Paizo material tends to be) HEAVILY in favor of casters because the only thing better than magic is MYTHIC magic. Trust me, I did a review of mythic stuff in the realm of Alchemist vs. Barbarian for value, and Alchemist got so much cooler stuff than Barbarian that it almost made me wonder if Mythic rules were a way to nudge martials into going with 3/4th casters just to stay with the curve.

This. Again. Only cranked up to 11.

Look. The job of martials is to bang two things together. HOW they do it is up to the player, but it's always going to be "bang two things together". Casters in 3.x have spells that do things. This is all by design. If a player wants to bang two things together, they can play a martial. If they want to create pits, or do mind-control or teleport the party somewhere, they can play a caster.

If you want something in between, also known as "nice things", try Path of War.

Of course something that amps up the narrative power level underlines the "disparity".

Also, in our party, our single martial out-does everyone else. Why? Because his player knows how to make things work. And frankly with Mythic Vital Strike and a few other abilities, he puts out double to triple the results of the two casters.

The line "it wasn't what we wanted" is thrown around as though the people who are unhappy have a very small box for what they wanted, but my Mythics expectation box for martials was very accommodating, and very little of it was filled. My caster box however was overflowing (mythic fireballs are awesome, mythic most spells are awesome) while mythic martial feats are...aside from Mythic Vital Strike (it was a mythic feat to make that feat valid), mostly yawners or things that should have been included already (mythic weapon finesse, anyone?), so the product failed to deliver on what I wanted for a mythic martial, which was something other that larger numbers for the most part.

So... your box was exactly the size of "make martials and casters the same" and you're suggesting it isn't a small box? Huh. That's never what Mythic was advertised as being. I believe that product is called "4e", and I don't mean that as a slur.

If the game is "does the product give martials nice things while nerfing casters", you're going to hate pretty much every product with crunch.

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Most of the Mythic-bashing is a load of hooey.

Is it over-the-top powerful? Absolutely without question.
Is it bad, poorly done, or rushed? No, not really.

Sure there are the odd editing/clarification issues, but given you're looking at an entire book of crunch, it's not abnormal. People just didn't get what they imagined it would be and are overly critical for that reason.

I'm happily playing WotR right now (up to 14th level, 6 tiers) and it's been darned, darned fun. Can we curb-stomp almost every challenge? Yes. Have there been deaths? Yes. Were they temporary? Well, yeah. More importantly: is there a sense of being truly world-changing noteworthy well-known legendary adventurers? Heck yes.

Most games shouldn't have mythic content in them, but this kind of story, it's okay to stack all the cards and mangle the enemy.

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So much gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands.

Jason, I need to ask, and I get that you might not be able to, or willing to discuss this, but some discussion might not hurt. Or it might. I dunno.

Here's where I'm at; I'm in, and have been since the early days, with the projected desire of the full hardcover. I'm a sucker for massive books like Slumbering Tsar. I'm watching Kicktraq, and I'm watching Kickstarter, and stressing out. My problem is this... I get it that if we don't hit $58k then somehow you'll finish the AP. Problem is I don't want a hardcover with 85% of the content and then a second softcover/PDF/hardcover with the remaining 15%. That totally wrecks the OCD completionist in me.

I'll keep my pledge in until the last minute, but I'd like to explore what the plans are if this doesn't quite make it to "complete". I'm not afraid to spend more money, but I can't justify another six grand. <Grin>

Point is... if this almost hits $58k, is there some discussion of the whatever that completes it being available as a single entity. As in, if we hit 85% on this KS, and you run a second one later for the last 15%, will there be a way for people who pledge for both to get 100% in one single, unified, beautiful, awesome book? That's my sole concern; the physical format. Not so much the price, not so much the timing, not so much how it's funded. Just if there's a plan being brewed that allows it to happen.

Been struggling with how to put that question for weeks now without breaking anyone's confidence.

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I'd always look at it in terms of "where is the event happening?"

You'd still apply your weapon's enhancement bonus to your attack rolls because the attack (the event) takes place outside of the AMF. You wouldn't apply the weapon's enhancement bonus to damage because the damage (the event) takes place inside the AMF.

So I'd expect most things would work as long as you're shooting from outside. Those "things" won't necessarily survive to be delivered, but anything improving your accuracy should be fine.

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TBP, you've got a problem. RA is a classic that has a lot of material that is sort of... arbitrary. If you do X, Y happens to you, and Y may very well be "you're dead". Making a single character that can stand alone and deal with arbitrary... not going to happen.

Really, it sounds like the issue is that RA is not the game for you.

I'm sorry I don't have anything more helpful, but your stated goal and the reason for it just don't work together.

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I'll jump on this bandwagon. I've had very few imperfections over the years of dealing with Paizo, but whenever they have cropped up, CS has been friendly, competent, and able to solve the issues. I've long said that I wish most other companies were run this way.

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Well, that was a very unexpected and very welcome surprise. Many, many thanks to Paizo for making this not only right, but awesome.

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Andor the Great & Powerful wrote:
thank you.

To extend Azten's one-word answer, the entire 3.5x psionic system has been updated and rather dramatically extended by Dreamscarred Press. While much of it exists on d20pfsrd, just to let you know, there are actual (beautiful) books that exist, along with PDFs. This may or may not interest you, depending on how much you're looking to dabble, or immerse yourself.

Here's the way it is. Which is lightly confusing for historic reasons.

Bits & Bites
Psionics Unleashed
This is basically the 3.5e Expanded Psionics Handbook, updated to Pathfinder's standards. It's black & white, softcover (or PDF), and has the content you knew and loved. This includes your Elan, and the usual powers. Pretty much the only thing missing here are those monsters that Wizards of the Coast kept back from the Open Game License.

Psionics Unleashed-Revised
This is the above, only (recently) updated with some tweaks that have cropped up in the several years since PU was released. For example, it now includes the idea of "psionic talents", which are 0th-level powers. PU didn't originally have those. Also, now in colour.

Psionics Expanded: Advanced Psionics Guide
More of the system, but this is all new content for you. It includes several new classes, a bunch of new feats, and a bunch new powers. This stuff is all heavily play-tested and has been out for a couple years as well. Again, black & white, softcover (and PDF). This is the companion to PU.

The Whole Shebang
Ultimate Psionics
This is basically the content from PU, plus PE:APG, further updated. (This is where the updates in PU-Revised come from.) So, if you want it all, this is the book to get. This thing is a gorgeous full-colour hardcover, and is the best choice if you want lots of psionic content. Also of course, in PDF.

Psionic Bestiary
The monsters in the first book, PU, got the same full-colour update treatment that the basic rules content got in Ultimate Psionics, but separated into a second physical book due to pagecount. This is the result of that. Full-colour, softcover (or PDF), this is the DM complement to Ultimate Psionics.

So. If you want to dabble, there are some of the smaller, older books that Dreamscarred grew through as they converted the 3.5e rules then built on them. If you want kind of "everything", you'd want Ultimate Psionics plus the Psionic Bestiary. That contains everything in PU and PE:AGP, only better.

Final comment. There are some additional products available to support the system, like a psionic version of the NPC Codex, and the recently released Seventh Path (adds a sort of necromantic discipline for psions to choose). Just look at the general offerings by Dreamscarred Press from one of the links above to browse their offerings. There are even some new mythic psionic rules. The psionic system is alive and well, and growing, under DSP's management.

Full disclosure: I am a fan and user of DSP's materials. I have also done some editing for some of their books on a volunteer basis.

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Let's cherry-pick some sentences and see what we can do.

CRB pg467.
"Magic weapons have enhancement bonuses ranging from +1 to +5."

Table 15-8, pg468
Weapon bonus (+1) = Base Price 2,000 gp

Okay, so there's a thing called a +1 enhancement bonus, and it costs 2,000gp to have.

CRB pg468
"A weapon with a special ability must also have at least a +1 enhancement bonus."

Let's think about this. There's a table that documents the price of the range of +1 to +5, with a specific line for +1. It literally tells you what having that costs. Then it tells you if you don't have that thing, you can't have special abilities.

That's called cut & dried.

But let's carry on.

CRB pg149
"Wielding it provides a +1 enhancement bonus on attack rolls."
"The enhancement bonus
granted by the masterwork quality doesn’t stack with the enhancement bonus provided by the weapon’s magic."

Well, it seems in the Masterwork weapons section of the book there are two interesting things. First, it turns out that masterwork provides an enhancement bonus to attack rolls. Second, it's clear that masterwork is merely a subset, sub-function, sub-everything of an actual +1 enhancement that comes from being magic.

Huh. They're not the same, they don't cost the same, they don't do the same thing. So yeah, no, there's no sentence saying "you can't put flaming on a merely masterwork glaive" for the same reason there isn't a sentence saying "you can't use the planet as an improvised weapon". You don't need such a sentence.

Now, that all said, it might be valuable to explain what's going on here. The game has a lot of bonuses, and they tend to usually be "named" bonuses. Named bonuses never stack, meaning that if you have a +1 dog bonus to armor class from some spell, and a +2 dog bonus to armor class from a magic item, you don't get +3. You get +2, which is the bigger of the two numbers. But if you can get a +1 cat bonus to armor class from somewhere, that will stack because it's a different named bonus.

The two most common/fundamental named bonuses are "enhancement" and "circumstance". They kind of mean what they say.

A circumstance bonus comes from a situation or detail which is abnormal. For instance, if Character A tries to slide down a bannister, the DM will assign a DC for (probably) an Acrobatics check. If Character A covers the bannister with butter first, the DM might grant Character A a circumstance bonus to the check, because the circumstance is unusual and modified. It's not permanent.

An enhancement bonus usually comes from an improvement or upgrade of some sort. So if Character A has crafted frictionless pants of sliding, those pants will probably give them a circumstance bonus to Acrobatics checks made to slide on things while sitting.

The point is that enhancement bonuses come from items/equipment being "better". So yeah, a masterwork weapon is just a little bit "better" at hitting things because it's better balanced, or sharper, or a bit stronger. A +1 magic weapon is a} magic, and b} so much "better" that it does more damage than a merely masterwork weapon. The masterwork weapon is "enhanced" relative to a normal weapon, but a +1 weapon is "enhanced" beyond that.

The book says you need a +1 enhancement to use a special ability. Yes, masterwork grants a +1 enhancement. Got it Mr. Technicality guy, but in the very same section, it makes clear what "+1 enhancement" means for purposes of magic. It means the full +1 enhancement, that applies to attack rolls and damage. It's talking about the thing a paragraph earlier, not the thing 300 pages earlier, in the non-magic section of the book.

For balance purposes, you are expected to have spent 2,300gp+ on your weapon before you can add other abilities. The flaming ability is expected to require a budget of 8,300gp+ While cutting the budget by 6,000gp isn't the end of the universe, it's clearly not what's intended.

Step away from the cheese. That +1 enhancement bonus is mostly a tax, deliberately pacing the costing in the game.

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I managed to get three challenging encounters out of him.

The first time, the PCs had a general idea there was a dragon present, but while they messed with the stones, they started to relax because he didn't show up right away. Given his ability to see through the snowsqualls, he just watched from above. Then buffed. Then flew. Then fell on them. DR applies to falling damage, so he was nearly uninjured yet squished a bunch of PCs. Roll for initiative.

With his high AC, he was able to avoid taking any real damage for the first encounter.

Using things like wall of ice to isolate and separate the party works very well.

The third time he showed up, he used invisibility to approach closely and ambush.

Basically, I treated him as very intelligent, using his spells and mobility repeatedly. He never used the same tactic twice, and never used his breath weapon (assuming the PCs would be resistant to cold damage).

Don't let him get surrounded, don't let him get swarmed, basically don't let the PCs ever get a full attack on him. Remember to dimension door the heck out of the fight the moment things even START to go south. Vanishing after smashing the group is demoralizing and underlines how badly the fight went for them, which makes him look more dangerous than he really is.

I never played the game of "the dragon flies from beyond your reach to beyond your reach while breathing on you as it goes by" game, which is lame and annoying. I managed to engage the group locally, but always after negating their advantages.

He's probably the most memorable encounter for my players. And yes, he managed to kill two PCs.

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Aaaaand... sold.

Another couple years of these sorts of releases and we can petition for Postultimate Psionics!

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Kalindlara wrote:
I would suggest using a different term, please. Just a friendly thought. ^_^

Just to let you know, this isn't an uncommon usage. Amongst the gaming community, there is an ongoing tradition of comparing and contrasting platforms. The reality is that the PC gaming is in every possible way better than console gaming, but people who have bought XBoxes or Playstations or Nintendo whatevers feel inadequate and try to argue with PC owners, pretending their purchase was sensible. When their delusions are corrected, they often are left with the impression that the PC owners are arrogant as well as superior. The allusion to eugenics is very fitting for the scenario.

Self-deprecating humor aside, not everything that uses terminology that alludes to atrocities past is offensive. This one isn't; it's just reminding PC owners that they're often over-the-line at snobbery.

This off-topic post basically present purely to provide background and explanation, not to start or continue an argument or flame-war.

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KingmanHighborn wrote:
Darn I really don't want to use another browser other then the basic IE on my XP (laptop)and 7 (desktop) computers.

Yes, yes you do. You don't realize you want to, but you want to. WinXP hasn't had a security fix in over a year. Every month, there are new exploits discovered that apply to your OS of choice. Just because you have pulled the trigger five times and not shot yourself in Russian Roulette doesn't mean it's a good idea to keep playing the game.

Malware is increasingly able to penetrate and own XP machines. Staying on that OS with the stock browser is fine for a machine that's not networked, but the moment you hit the web, you're not only endangering yourself, but you're risking annoying everyone else when your machine ends up part of a botnet and is sending spam and infections to everyone else.

I don't see why things have to be changed and forced into using Chrome and Firefox and such. Just leave stuff alone.

Since you phrase things that way, it's because the underlying technology used in the older browsers is insecure. When you connect to a secure e-commerce site, the two ends negotiate a common set of encryption routines, trying to use the best that both ends can understand. Older browsers only understand older encryption routines which have been hacked. That means when you use older browsers on secure sites, you're not secure. You just think you are because the browser says so.

E-commerce standards (to simplify, think "banks") are requiring sites that take payments to stop supporting broken, cracked encryption routines. Why? Because they're not interested in paying out losses because someone's account got hacked.

So Paizo isn't allowed to do banking while letting you use a broken browser.

This isn't change for change's sake. This is basically "you need to be issued a new credit card number because the bad guys know your old one." It doesn't matter that they haven't bought a sofa and a 60-inch 4K 3D TV yet.

EDIT: For the record not mad at Paizo, just the circumstance.

The circumstances are that as time goes by, more eyes spend more time studying the encryption routines we have, and find that there are critical flaws in older ones that nobody realized were there five or even ten years ago.

I'm sympathetic to your situation, but this isn't the time to ostrich; using Chrome or Firefox is trivial... we all spend the vast, vast majority of our time interacting with web content, not the browser itself, so it really doesn't matter what we use as long as things render right and we're safe.

And yeah, I've got a personal preference, and yea, I hate it when the Mozilla Foundation decides to remove some feature I like, and yeah, I go find plugins that make it behave the way I like, and yeah, change is bad. But I'd change browsers in a heart-beat if my bank balance was at stake.

Hope this helps.

Disclosure: yeah, I'm an IT guy.

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Dustin, you're arriving at the reality. It's not the device(s), it's the player.

The issue is (and yes, I've got this in one of my games where I DM for 6 players) interruption.

With that many players, things frequently get derailed, where something I say reminds one player or another of some TV quote or YouTube video or whatever, and things grind to a halt as we all listen to a Monty Python clip we've all heard twenty times before. I've tolerated that with this group though it frustrates me somewhat, because I know what that game is to most of the players: it's a every-other-week opportunity to get out of their houses, leave the wives and kids at home, and hang out with their buds. That's important, so if the group as a whole is having a casual night, I let it happen and we get through one encounter in six hours. Other nights I drive things more, if the group seems focused.

That all said, it sounds like most of your group is focused and one player isn't. I'd have The Conversation. First, it's important to not make it a confrontation. It's not his fault, and what he's doing isn't wrong, it's just masturbating in church. Wrong place, wrong time, wrong crowd. I'd try to basically put it that you don't need theme "help" because it distracts you. Put the fault on you, that you can't concentrate and it's hard DMing, so you've got to ask the player to just not do the videos and sounds etc.

No, not once in a while, just don't. "I'll play stuff when I need it." Zero is an easier rule to follow than "less".

Same thing goes for talk about things that aren't the game. "Oh, that reminds me of this time that..." No, please no. Tell him that you can't handle dipping in and out of running a whole universe of NPCs in your head while keeping all the rules straight and remembering what comes next, and planning for making the game as cool as possible when other stories intrude.

Final comment on "that reminds me". When you hear that, say "write it down, we'll talk about it after the game". That works well. Probably four of my six players stick around an hour or more after the game shuts down, just to talk about movies or books, or work issues, or whatever.

Good luck.

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What do you all think?

I don't think there's any difference between mental stats and physical stats. When I DM for a player who's got a barbarian and he asks if his character can lift a door, I ask for a Strength check. When I DM for a player who's got a wizard and he asks if his character can figure out a puzzle, I ask for an Intelligence check.

Ability scores belong to the character, not the player. As a DM, I have to keep that in mind. It's kind of my job. So when the PCs encounter a situation the players don't KNOW how to handle, I'll let them work on it a bit, then if stumped ask for appropriate rolls.

You don't need to be a 200 IQ player to play a high-Intelligence PC any more than you need to be a body-builder to play a high-Strength PC. Just recognize when it's time to use those numbers on your character sheet. Sometimes you're asking for a Dex check to untie a tricky knot, sometimes you're asking for a Cha check to talk someone into a discount.

As long as you don't ignore the stats line on your character sheet and pretend for some ludicrous reason that you have to role-play half of it, you'll be fine. And yes, if my players running a high-Int PC suggest something truly out-of-character dumb, I'll ask for a check so they realize it. The DM feeds the players the world, it's our job.

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Marco Massoudi wrote:
I think it would be a great idea to split the line into 2 different ones

Let me try and illustrate why that "can't" work. The price-per-unit is driven down as the units-produced goes up, yes? So selling more minis of whatever particular mold means that its price is cheaper, yes?

So what happens when you are able to pick exactly which minis you want? You do so. And you don't pick any of the ones you're on the fence about. And you certainly don't pick any that you don't like at all.

Bottom line is that cherry-picking reduces overall sales, which drives up overall price. The individuals market compensates for that by being more expensive overall.

Long story short is that just like getting rid of random packaging, doing the obvious 50/50 monster/NPC split would be bad for the line overall.

Don't stop thinking though.

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This is a really cool idea and I'm kind of bummed I didn't notice it earlier. You make me wish there were two more days a week so I could volunteer to DM a similar project in my town.

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James Jacobs wrote:
Pexx wrote:
Simple Solution James Jacobs.......Clones!
Because never in the history of speculative fiction have clone backfired.

I would just like to point out that in fact, never in the history of speculative fiction have James Jacobs clones backfired.

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I could easily be wrong, but I have a recollection from the Alpha/Beta era that Jason pretty much deliberately build the CMB/CMD system to discourage players from using it. The justification I recall - and my memory is less than perfect - was that maneuvers inherently prolong a fight, rarely simplifying or shortening a combat. So the system was build as we see it today, to be a thing that monsters can use to enrich the variety of their actions, and optimized PCs under just the right circumstances can dip into if they insist.

Which isn't to say an optional "maneuvers that work" ruleset would've been unwelcome in Unchained.

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Steve Geddes wrote:
I'd much rather pay someone to do it and know I'm not going to break anything.

I hear - and respect - your position. That said, I'm an IT guy and genuinely want to help. The way you're describing your feelings on the matter, it sounds not unlike someone unwilling to use a light switch, because it could go wrong, so they're going to call an electrician to turn on the lights for them.

There are high-risk and low-risk computing activities. Doing an operating system upgrade is fairly high-risk. Updating driver software for things like video cards is also fairly high-risk. Not in terms of data-loss, but in terms of "something is now acting strange and I need help". Installing a simple, massively well-known application such as Chrome or Firefox is very low-risk. They're both applications that are installed on hundreds of thousands of PCs, and while NO software is free of issues, these ones in particular are well-tested.

The odds of you having anything go awry are very, very low. Also, having a second (or third, or fourth) web browser as an option on a PC doesn't remove the first browser. Meaning that if for some reason you can't get Chrome/Firefox to actually work because <massively unlikely> happens, you can still double-click the blue E to run Internet Explorer.

While this isn't physical-world, adding a web browser is basically the digital equivalent of refilling the paper tray on your printer. Yes, it's a "computer task", but... it's not a complicated or risky one. Removing a paper jam... sure, ask for help. Replacing a fuser... sure, ask for help. But filling the paper tray? Mmmm, very much DIY, for anyone.

Final paragraph. Remember, you're a member of a (friendly) community here, many of which are highly technical, and many of which are in IT. I'm certain that many of us would be more than willing to go PM/e-mail and walk you through the something like three clicks it takes to do this task. I expect I speak for a bunch of us that are cringing when you talk about paying someone like us to do this for you. It just feels... wrong, like saying you're going to pay someone to type things for you because something might go wrong with a keyboard if you do it yourself.

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Bother me? No.

But yes, I've had the experience of "wait, I didn't write that" in various threads. I still far prefer Paizo's approach to avatars over the free-for-all orgy of booty-shaking animated gifs and whatnot.

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Vic Wertz wrote:

Reposted from here:

I will be frank: one of several primary goals for the Pathfinder Tales line is to attract fiction-loving non-gamers to the world of Pathfinder. And we believe that Tor has the ability to advance that goal farther than we ever could on our own.

Without partnering with Tor, the future of the line would likely not rise above "more of the same." And sure, that's great. But if Tor is able to expand the readership, we might be able to do more and bigger and better things in the future. We might be able to mix things up and do something special outside of the bimonthly paperback novel run. We might be able to attract authors that we can't get right now.* I can't make any promises, of course, but we wouldn't be doing this if we didn't think it gave the line a better future than it would have otherwise.

*Addendum to repost: James tells me that the Tor deal has already allowed us to secure at least one author that we’d been wanting to secure for a while.

I hear you Vic, and I really don't mean to sound like a curmudgeon. More importantly, I don't mean to be one. I absolutely wish you well.

Thing is, this is New Coke. I hear you that the Tor partnership might allow you to do more and bigger and better things. It's a novel line. We want novels. Not bigger and better things. You might do something special. It's a novel line. We want novels. You might be able to attract authors you can't currently get. You know, I can't name a single author (who is still alive) whose contribution would justify the changes... to me. You've got an established stable of very good authors and luring in Hickman and Weiss or Neil Gaiman or Muhammad Ali isn't as attractive to me, the reader, as it sounds on the outside.

New And Improved Tide is fine to write on the outside of the box, but really, we just want a laundry detergent that gets our clothes cleaned. I'm not entirely sure how a line of excellent novels gets meaningfully improved, when there are visible drawbacks.

Again, I wish you well, and intend this only as dialogue, not as argument or bashing. I suspect you've already seen my perspective (Paizo isn't run by short-sighted people), but the All-New 2015 Whatever, "now with none of the things you love and instead a bunch of other things you don't care about"... is a common marketing error.

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Ross Byers wrote:
Working with Tor means better distribution, better promotion, and better placement in bookstores. Plus the ability to sell electronic versions in more places.

Be fair. Better distribution is vastly offset by the fact the product just became (significantly) more expensive to purchase and to ship. That it may appear in more bookstores is of no consolation to any of the people who currently have interest in the product.

Also, the ability to sell the electronic version elsewhere is a pointless boon. The ePub version Paizo sold was the ideal product. Two clicks in Calibre (book repository software compatible with basically every book format and every book reader ever) and it's a MOBI, which is what the Kindle wants.

Ultimately, those things mean more books sold. Or at least a good shot at more books sold.

You say that. I doubt it. I know I've been mostly buying them when on sale, but given the product changes, that's going to stall out. While that's just me, there've been plenty of threads in customer service with people cancelling this subscription.

People who drive a Prius don't want to hear that the manufacturer has refreshed the product line, and now it's an SUV, costs more, is made in Alaska incurring a shipping up-charge, comes with a shorter warranty (equivalent to ePub), but oh, hey, now members of the SUV-of-the-Month-Club can buy them with their membership.

I agree it isn't the fairest thing for existing subscribers, but it's disingenuous to say it makes no sense.

Oh, it's clear it makes sense. Just not to the consumer. For all I know sales were poor, and this change was the only way to continue making the books. Dunno. Don't really care. What is obvious is that there's been a drastic change not only in pricing, but in the product offered, and the benefits for existing purchasers is effectively nonexistent.

Please note: I'm not complaining about any other price change in any other product line.

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What alignment is chopping wood? What alignment is making soup? What alignment is putting your left shoe on before your right shoe.

There are some acts, such as murder, which are universally (excepting by sociopaths) accepted as wrong. Like wood-chopping, porn is not one of them.

I believe the best answer to your question is: mu.

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Illeist wrote:
A) What Paizo chooses to do with its products is its own choice. If they decide to send a copy of every pdf I purchase to a third party, they're more than free to do so, with or without my permission.

That's not news, and of course if Paizo changes the terms of the license then it's done.


B) Presumably, any Dropbox connection would be strictly opt-in. Not everyone uses Dropbox, and there would be no need to scrap the existing system.

Sure. It'd be hard to shove a copy into a Dropbox account that doesn't exist. Again, not the issue.

C) Without a warrant from a court, Dropbox couldn't access any of the material stored in your cloud. This would be a business relationship no different than the US Postal Service contracting with Delta to deliver your mail. (EDIT: Well, Americans' mail.)

And here we have the issue. Couldn't. You actually use the words "couldn't access" as if they were somehow true. Unless I've missed something and Dropbox is using private key encryption at the client end prior to upload (and I'm reasonably sure they're not, and if they were, Paizo would have to have your private key to submit to your account, which is yet another problem), "couldn't" should be replaced with "absolutely, positively can".

I'm not saying "do" or "will". But absolutely can. But that's still not the issue.

We've had countless cases of well-known web services (including password repository sites) being found to be insecure. Username/password databases have been pulled via SQL injection attacks and similar. It's one thing to have some creep on the outside have access to my work-in-progress manuscript, or my resume, or cookie recipe or whatever personal crap I've shoved into Dropbox. It's something entirely different to have watermarked, purchased PDFs there. While Paizo's site being hacked is an equal risk, Paizo won't ban us if that happens. If things start trickling off Dropbox, it's our problem.

I'm a believer in the right tool at the right time for the right reason. And cloud storage is a tool. I don't see it as a personal dump for copyright-applied materials. It's like carrying your entire PDF subscription around on a USB memory stick 24/7 just in case you maybe possibly might "need" it all somewhere unplanned and can't be bothered to log onto Paizo to download the one or two you need. You're one butterfingers moment shy of losing your Paizo account.

There is such a thing as too convenient. And no, I don't think this is a huge deal. It's not. It's just... kind of uncomfortable on the risk/reward scale and I think bearing some minor consideration. In short, the Fappening illustrates the down side of putting things in popular cloud storage that maybe shouldn't be there.

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Mark Seifter wrote:
The #1 issue here is that there isn't a weekly blog opening for this. Even if I had material, it couldn't happen.

There's a box. Want to know what it looks like outside of it?

It looks like: "some days get two blog entries".

Bloody ‘ell! That’s what I call thinking! Here Vroomfondel, why do we never think of things like that?

Dunno. Think our minds must be too highly trained Majikthise.

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Fayries wrote:
Hardcover books are seeing a 12% increase, Player Companions and Campaign Settings are seeing a 15% increase. Even spread over two and a half years, that's not inflation.

You can say that, but you'd be wrong. Inflation is a process. What you've linked to is an average of the results of that process over a large number of product types. For instance, energy costs such as electricity where I live have almost doubled in the last five years. Nearly 100% inflation. On the other hand, the price of computer data storage has dropped significantly (as it usually does).

The price of printing materials up 15% in the last few years? Believable.

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My only fear - and I expect Endz is bright enough to recognize this - is that over time, the level of patronage has a decent likelihood of tapering off. Lifestyle has to reflect that this income isn't guaranteed.

That said, he deserves this.

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You're at 30 characters right now, and you're able to add one more character, for 31. I'd expect that means there's a 32-byte field assigned in the database for the account name, with one byte reserved for... reasons. Increasing this would mean adjusting the database schema (down-time), and everything that talks to it. That means work. Not ludicrous amounts of work, but work. End result: people with excessively massive account names, because nobody would do the work for a 33-byte field (with 1 reserved). It'd be 64-bytes or something.

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thejeff wrote:
More, I think much of that second group can't conceive of anything but another iteration, thus the assumption that it will be just a money-grabbing move or the talk about the design space being filled.

I don't know that's being fair.

Whatever comes next, if it's another iteration, doesn't rock the boat. If it's not backwards-compatible, it's another system. The moment Paizo prints another system to ME it becomes "JUST another system". If I wanted something that isn't 3.x/PF, there is such a wide variety out there that you can rest assured I'd find something. But I don't.

SKR for instance Kickstarted a new system. I really like his design ethic but I didn't back that game because I already have a game system I want to play, and don't have enough hours to play.

It really is a complicated decision for Paizo. At least in my case, the instant the print a system that isn't compatible with 3.x/PF is the instant I have no more incentive to read/try/buy it than any of the other existing systems that I have NOT read/tried/bought.

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Let's be real. Here are the possibilities:

1} Pathfinder 1.x continues forever and ever, until the heat-death of the universe. Likelihood: 0%

2} Paizo goes out of business and never releases a Pathfinder 2.x. Likelihood: > 0%

3} Paizo releases a 2.x. Likelihood: > 0%

You get to pick which of the scenarios you'd like to see.

But seriously, while I have no interest in a new edition, I recognize that Paizo isn't likely to be printing new material for the current edition 80 years from now. Or 40. Or 20. Probably not even 10. So yeah, assuming they don't go out of business, a second edition really is a foregone conclusion. Some day.

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I think Eberron allows the perfect illustration of why you shouldn't advance the timeline of a setting.

That setting is designed a few years after the end of the Last War, and the politics of the setting allow great intrigue and complexity because of it. One of the races (warforged) exist to represent sort of the shell-shocked PTDS warrior trope, but also the questionable morality of created entities, and a tinge of slavery.

If you advance the timeline after that odd, fragile moment, you close and resolve the questions. You make things... boring.

A setting done right is interesting because there is conflict, and question, and mystery, and energy. Things ARE happening, and the things that have already happened exist only to justify what IS happening. If you do the setting right, there's no need to advance a timeline. You don't WANT to resolve or close things.

In this case, you don't WANT to remove diabolism and Asmodeus from Cheliax. Sure, let it happen in an individual game, or even an AP, but the setting itself should assume adventures have not taken place. Which is what Paizo does.

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