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Volnagur the End-Singer

Anguish's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber. 2,553 posts. 1 review. 1 list. No wishlists.


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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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:


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.

Quote:
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".

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

VROOMFONDEL:
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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Ascalaphus wrote:
The first book of Iron Gods dances around this issue quite neatly. Most of the walls are made of glaucite, an iron/adamantine alloy that's obnoxiously tough, but so hard to salvage and reforge that it's still not worth stealing the walls.

I was going to suggest pretty much exactly that only was going to call it "badamantine".


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Tels wrote:
It's not the math, its the requirement for nearly completely separate character sheets.

It's funny. People keep saying this. And yet... there are scads of statblocks in adventure after adventure that add only a few lines of "when not ranging" stats at the end. Rage doesn't actually change very much, at least not if you're not spelling out every derived number that the character could possibly have. Statblocks are amazing if you spend a little while learning how to use them.

Not that I'm opposed to seeing alternate barbarians... this book might be fun in general. I just don't think the problem is as serious as folks are taking it. If it were, we'd have to make alternate versions of pretty much every buff/debuff spell in the book, and do away with ability score damage etc.


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There is SO much lore spread out over the space of Golarion that I really can't be an expert in it. As such, spreading more lore over time isn't attractive to me.


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Faelyn wrote:
Do we really need to have this discussion yet again?

Does it somehow harm you that there exist people who haven't had the benefit of the past X times the conversation has been had?

You don't need to participate; those of us who are willing to dedicate our time to present material for the original poster to consider are the only people who have a meaningful investment.

And no, it doesn't harm me that you ask. Like the OP, I'll just take a moment to reasonably answer you.


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What does a "summoner" do? They summon. Very neutral act.
What does a "wizard" do? Magic. Up to the individual to exhibit alignment.
What does a "paladin" do? They explicitly exist to aid others. Clearly Good.

What does an "assassin" do? They specifically exist for the purpose of making individuals dead. Sure, there could be one who only hunts down and kills really bad folk, but when you're looking for a girlfriend and she asks "what do you do for a living?" and your answer is "I kill people", she's not going to be thinking you're Mr. Wonderful.


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I'd agree a mixture is best.

My collection now numbers into the many hundreds of minis and while I don't have Race X, Weapon Y Gender Z for every combination, I've got plenty of "tough guy/gal", "caster guy/gal", "noble guy/gal", "sneaky guy/gal", "ranged guy/gal" etc, etc, etc. These minis all exist. You can already buy them. There are so many adventurers out there that everyone should be possible to represent.

That said, more is always... more.

Monsters, same thing happens. I may not happen to have a dragon with tentacles, or a half-bear goblin treant, or whatever freak-of-the-weak appears on Bestiary 9 page 63, but I've got an awful lot that can represent them.

If your goal is "have one of everything that can be", give up. I'm thousands of dollars in and I still frequently don't have* the "right" mini and settle for close-and-gets-the-impression-needed.

*Or can't remember that I do have it.


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Um, in my opinion the best overall resource for learning to be a "better" DM is your players.

Hear me out. Different players want different things. They're your most useful go-to to learn what you did "wrong" and what you didn't do "right". They can tell you what they want more of, what they want less of, and why a game isn't as good as it should be.

You can read all the blogs in world telling you what so-called masters of the trade have done, and still run a game your players don't like. Sure, amongst my circle a number of us DMs conspire and share tips, hints, advice, but it all comes down to knowing your players.


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Lacking wings (or any equivalent mundane method of generating lift), it's not Extraordinary, it's Supernatural. Were the skull described as being full of some lighter-than-air gas, there could be some argument.

antimagic field is pretty much a spell that reduces a demilich to "a creature that complains that it can't do anything", because that's all it can do.

For the record, I went through this exact scenario with my Slumbering Tsar group. The demilich in question didn't much like the experience.


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CraziFuzzy wrote:

This is likely a result of a predominance of artistic sorts in this particular market - I for one, as an engineer, however, see absolutely no reason why flipping through pages of a physical book is in any way superior to pressing page up and page down on a keyboard.

So, while I understand where this preference is originating, I still have not gotten an answer to my query of what the player base would do if Paizo DID stop making the print editions. The only proposed answer was 'stop buying from them' - but I can't believe that a majority, or even a significant minority, would give up their hobby instead of simply making the transition to a digital format. Many 3rd party products are only available digitally, and yet they are still purchased.

Nobody said they'd give up the hobby. The statement was stop buying product. I've got so much Pathfinder product already that I literally could play until I die of old age and not finish it.

Now, imagine a scenario where you are browsing, not linearly reading. Say... the Feats section of a book. You place a finger at the feat index, and you start reading downwards. You see a feat you're interested in, so you leaf over a few pages and read it. Leave a finger there. Satisfied? Back to the index. Find another feat. Rinse, repeat. That is a very efficient process with a physical book but awkward with a PDF. Especially PDFs that aren't indexed. Or have bookmarks for Feats/Spells/etc that are "A-K" and "L-Z", where you'll have to page forward a zillion times to find what you're looking for. The back functionality takes into account every page movement, meaning you may need to use it a dozen or more times. Also, jumping back to the Feat index bookmark may or may not get you what you want if the index spans multiple pages.

Now, in the case of the web, this is less an issue, as by definition everything is hyperlinked and you can spawn new tabs. Thing is, touch devices can be annoying as well, and crawling into bed with a book or two to randomly peruse and plot and scheme while de-stressing and falling asleep, that can be nice. Especially when you don't have an LCD/OLED screen shooting you in the face.

Again, this isn't about digi-Amish who just haven't seen the light. We're not idiots, we're not ignorant and we're not "artists". We're educated, technical people who much like good engineers can find the right too for the right job, and know that sometimes a mixture of tools is it.


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Drop to the Floor is a free action. Dropping halfway can't cost more.
Standing up is a move action. Standing from halfway should reasonably be same.


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Frankly I'd rather see a system that turns "smurf" into swear words.


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Jeremy Smith wrote:
Printed copies now available for preorder!

Aaaand preordered.


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If you have a move speed of 0ft, can you dismount?

If you have a move speed of 5ft and a Huge mount, can you dismount?

If you have a move speed of 5ft and your mount is standing on difficult terrain, can you dismount?

If you are a slowed halfling wearing full plate, and your mount is standing in difficult terrain, can you dismount?

If you are a slowed halfling wearing full plate, and you are standing in difficult terrain, can you mount?

This is all playing around, but that last example really underlines what's going on here. That halfling has a move speed of 5ft, and leaving a square of difficult terrain would cost 10ft of his/her speed. Yet mount/dismount is silent on the topic of speed. It just does what it says it does, because it's a specific action.

Move Action: A move action allows you to move up to your speed or perform an action that takes a similar amount of time. See Table 8–2 for other move actions.
You can take a move action in place of a standard action. If you move no actual distance in a round (commonly because you have swapped your move action for one or more equivalent actions), you can take one 5-foot step either before, during, or after the action.

The Core Rulebook basically shows us that there are two ways you can use your move action; you can move (up to your speed) or you can do something else. Table 8-2 lists the examples of something else, of which mount/dismount is one. The fact that you are relocated doesn't change that you have not "moved". If you had, you wouldn't have been able to dismount, because that's a different type of "move action" that doesn't include getting-off-your-mount.

I wouldn't focus on "no actual distance"... I'd focus on the word right before it: "move". Mounting/dismounting consumes 0 of your move speed. Thus yes, you can 5ft then mount, or dismount then 5ft. Why? Because you have not moved... you have mounted/dismounted, which is a different thing, like standing up.


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Actually, if the originator of a thread could prepend alterations, that might be best. That way their comments/clarifications/changes would always be at the top of the thread, and revisionist history wouldn't be a thing.


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I wouldn't mind gifting a hardcover of this to one of my players' kids, so I too am asking what projected availability looks like for the book.


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Neat. Nice to see some new psionic content amongst the recent dramatic expansion of Dreamscarred's offerings.


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I get where you're coming from and obviously you can house-rule as you see fit, but confused is already an annoying condition.

Nothing about confusion suggests that a character stops being a valid collective member. If you "do nothing", that's no different from doing nothing voluntarily. Collective membership doesn't require ongoing effort, merely consciousness. If you "babble incoherently", that's what you do. Sure, some or all of that may be telepathic babble, but just as nothing says verbal babble interferes with your party's actions, there's nothing that says telepathic babble would interfere with a collective. If you hurt yourself, it spells out HOW, which doesn't include dropping out of a collective.

In short, these spells - like most things in Pathfinder - say what they do. The collective rules specify how someone gets removed from a collective. That's how.


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I'm not so much going to disagree with you as try to share some perspective with you.

VampByDay wrote:
8)Taking control of characters away from players.

Yeah, it's always annoying when you don't get to do what you want to do. Like how being knocked prone makes it so you can't move. And how being below 0 hit points means you don't get to act at all. Hyperbole, yes, but the premise of the game is adversity. Some rounds you don't get to do what you want to do, and it's no different from any other game that has rules.

VampByDay wrote:
7) "Required items."

The game, for historical reasons, bases its story design on the idea of having a classic party of four, one of which being a wizard and another being a cleric. If you've got those, you don't need wizard-in-a-bottle or cleric-in-a-bottle. The fact that you've got character class options you can take other than wizard and cleric is a good thing. "Required" items enable that to be viable, if difficult.

VampByDay wrote:
6)The perception skill.

A very similar argument could be made for the Knowledge skills. Knowing what your opponents' weaknesses are is immensely, supremely useful. Fact is the skill system is designed so players get to choose who has crucial skills. That there are skills you really, really should have isn't a flaw.

VampByDay wrote:
5)Stuff you can't fix (at your level)

This is by design. Most of the time, the idea is that challenges should actually exist. If you've got the fix for every impediment immediately at hand, that reduces the dramatic storytelling potential of the system. Just as fly coming available changes the game, mooting a lot of Climb checks, the idea is to have a time before that happens, when there is struggle and difficulty. Having cures come around before afflictions would change that, for the worse.

VampByDay wrote:
4)Required magic items

Again, nothing is mandatory. Also, you are given sufficient wealth to acquire recommended-for-balance items. You get to choose if you want to max out those static bonuses or maybe keep them one or two lower than you could, and add variety to your gear. Remember too that you can add magic effects. There's nothing stopping you from having a cloak of resistance +2 and elvenkind. Again, options are good. Building in these bonuses removes choice. Which would be bad.

VampByDay wrote:
3) Monsters with debilitating abilities on every attack.

You know, a lot of this list is turning into "I don't want this game to be hard."

VampByDay wrote:
2)"Save or suck"

Uh. Previous comment applies here too.

VampByDay wrote:
1) Save or die

Well. It turns out that 1, 2, 3, and 8 are all pretty much the same. Sounds to me like you want a game where it's all martials, all the time, and no magic, and you get to always swing a sword, and hitpoints are the only resources that exists. I don't mean this as criticism, but that's kind of what you're describing, when the flaws of Pathfinder are removed.


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Killer Triangle wrote:
I need help on how I should handle this situation

Kind of kidding, but...

Max out your ranks in Sense Motive the next opportunity you get, without telling the wizard's player. Then ask for frequent checks.

Odds are he hasn't bothered with Bluff.

The moment your character gets the idea the wizard is homicidal, one of several things can happen:

1} Your fighter can (try to) gank the wizard preemptively. I do not recommend this.
2} Your fighter can leave the party.
3} You can leave the game.

PVP is very simple. If his wizard kills your fighter, the wizard's player gets to do what he wants to do, and you do not get to do what you want to do. A game where one player's fun is at the cost of another player's fun is not a good game.


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tony gent wrote:
Hello everyone a quick question for you all to think about are players becoming obsessed with extra rule books more classes Feats spells races

Wait a minute wait a minute wait a minute, chum.

Players are obsessed with extra rulebooks? Odd. I find as a DM, I've got that disease. Really weird how eager I am to snap up the latest, greatest monster manual. Odd how gleefully I lay my hands on whatever strange spells or magic items I can. Truly inexplicable how much exultation I experience when I can throw something new at my players.

Quote:
Would they still play without them ?

They? How about I.

Bluntly, no. Not for more than a one-shot. I've been playing the system for basically fifteen years now. I've played or seen pretty much every meaningful permutation of Core-only and you know, while adventures change, it's still the same player actions available.

Bo. Ring.

Quote:
Ask yourself this question if you said to your players where starting a new game core rules only would they go ok and just get on with it or would they say can I use books xyz as well and not play if they couldn't

Some of my players might, because they're comparatively new. Others would tell me to go find a new system.

Where are we going with this?

Just because I don't want to watch Iron Chef or B$!#$y Arguing Housewives of Wherever doesn't mean I object to them existing. If you don't want to (bother to) learn new material for the game, don't. Your players will either not care (if they're new), grudgingly agree because getting someone to DM for them is a coup to start with, or balk. One of the three.


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Ross Byers wrote:
Spell resistance is a lame mechanic - essentially AC for spells. But not on all monsters. Just some monsters.

You know Ross, I'm going to go ahead and devil's advocate here, mostly trying to illustrate that there's more a language issue in your thesis than a logical one. So, with respect...

As phrased, you've already lost me as a sympathetic and open-minded reader, and here's why...

"X is [badthing]. It's [something else]. But [doesn't matter]."

You need to actually compare/contrast with established definitions if you want to convince anyone of anything. We (mostly) all agree that death is a bad thing, so it's reasonable to argue that "murder is bad because it imposes death on a living person."

The premise that SR is a lame mechanic because it is "AC for spells" directly asserts that AC is a lame mechanic in and of itself. That's what you're saying.

Worse, you're saying that it's lame because not every creature has it. You actually repeat yourself, to underline how lame that is. Strangely, bite attacks, grab, energy resistance, and darkvision are also features not all monsters share. As you've written your premise, those are also implicated in the lame-mechanic accusation.

See how this works?

Quote:
It's an extra hurdle - Saves are already like AC for spells.

This lacks any exploration of what that's a bad thing, really. In a game where you've got DR, incorporeality, and concealment on top of DR, one starts to suspect that extra hurdles aren't some weird design flaw; they're a central premise of the system. It's completely, utterly by design that as levels increase, additional layers of defense - of all sorts - come into play.

Pathfinder is all about an arms-race. But you know that.

Quote:
It's often attached to creatures that have elemental resistances, making damage spells even worse options.

Again, this doesn't explain why this is a bad thing. Just as it is an established baseline that some weapons are a better choice than others, some spells and spell types will be better choices than others. There's a reason why there aren't a bunch of options to ensure that a guy with a dagger in his hand deals as much damage as a guy with a greatsword. Greatswords are (generally) more lethal than daggers. So... dominate monster is (generally) more lethal than fireball.

So be it. If you choose suboptimal ways of winning a battle, those ways will be suboptimal.

Quote:
It has odd mechanical implications regarding what is real and what is magical (i.e. spell resistance doesn't protect against a magically conjured boulder falling on you, but does against magically created fire exploding around you), largely giving Conjuration spells a pass.

Decent argument, but one I disagree with. It's not difficult to get that conjuration makes something, and that something is permanent, with no ongoing requirement for magic to sustain its existence. A fireball on the other hand only exists for the duration of the spell, and consists of inherently magical fire, not real fire.

Once you accept that the game provides a mechanism to make ongoing magical effects and to make non-magical objects by use of magic, it becomes kind of... obvious... that something called "spell resistance" wouldn't conjured items.

Quote:
Related, it is often overlooked when developing new spells. Sometimes Spell Resistance is thought of as a balancing spell feature, sometimes it gets a 'No' because that leads to physical impossibilities*, and sometimes because the spell author just wrote something based on the school and it was never revisited.

Uh... so... authors writing for RPGs need to know things and Do It Right?

Quote:
It has no flavorful hooks, making to give responses to knowledge checks other than 'is resistant to magic!', which ceases to be an interesting tidbit after the 80th time.

What? Come on Ross, you're stretching here. You can't present this as if it were fact without simultaneously deriding almost every other attribute in the game. Fey have DR/cold iron because... reasons. Dragons get blindsense because... reasons. It gets really tired to discover that undead are immune to anything with a Fort save because... uh... a Knowledge check said so.

It's up to the DM to micro-manage flavor if they and their players want it. We all try to describe natural armor... "the creature has a chitinous segmented shell, looks like getting at the tender bits is going to be tough." We describe dragons as being so canny, so attuned to the world they predate in that even invisible creatures can't totally hind from them. Apex indeed!

So... "after generations of wizard-wars, the drow have evolved an odd trait where their bodies literally absorb weak magic, absorbing it harmlessly. Sometimes, when they resist an enemy's spell, they hear mental echoes of their long-lost ancestors' suffering from mutilating war-magic."

DMs make flavor. AC, saves, fast healing, all of the game's mechanics... our job to make interesting. And this one is not at all more difficult to define, describe, or justify than most others.

Quote:
It isn't immunity, so monsters cannot really say 'I am above your mortal magic'.

And this is bad why? Resist cold 5 isn't immunity, so monsters that have it can't say 'I am above your chilly cold stuff.' Yeah, the game has ablative and reductive layers of defense as well as negation layers. This is not news, and it's not lame.

Quote:
It applies to spells uniformly, making it less a puzzle (the way elemental resistances are), and more an exercise in finding which spells say 'Spell Resistance: No'.

Wait. You started by doubly stating that it's lame that only some monsters get it (ignoring that you can just as easily imagine an omitted SR 0), and now it's bad because it applies to spells uniformly? You want consistency, or not?

But really, casting is book-keeping. You're already memorizing which spells require Reflex saves, Will saves, Fort saves. You're already worrying about which ones are mind-affecting, which ones are charms, compulsions, fear-effects, and which ones are within the right range. As a player of spell-casters, you know up front that your job is going to involve KNOWING THINGS. Your job isn't to say "I swing my sword this round".

This is a feature, not a bug. This is another beautiful, awesome way in which advanced players have another thing to play with, both offensively and defensively. It's another tool in a DM's arsenal to try to design the ideal four-round combat once their players have obtained spells like win the game. It introduces another value that casters have to pump in order to try to reach the munchkin holy grail of unstoppability. Leaving things at saving throws and resistances isn't the answer because it's really not hard to focus your max-min efforts on your save DCs, and to pick up a few different spells to address different resistances.

No. SR is a mechanic that levels the playing field. It widens the footprint a caster needs to burden himself with so that randomness remains in the system, just like a high-level barbarian missing on his lower iteratives.

Sometimes you succeed, sometimes you don't, and we NEED these layers as players level up.


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It's impressive how many of you feel it's wise to bait the moderators with word-choices that are technically correct but clearly innuendo-laden. Brilliant.

I'm not a prude by any stretch of the imagination, but this is simply unwise behaviour when you know what's expected of this community.


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Actually, for a moment last year it went up, once.

I was missing it all along, and an enterprising Paizo employee went out of her way to do some digging and discover I was legit. Pleasant surprise all around.


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So... he doesn't like it much, then?

<Grin>


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Realism:

Okay, Mr. Player, before we start this game, I need you to roll oh... twenty Fort saves against disease, because odds are good that your 1st-level character was dead long before they started adventuring.


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Archae wrote:
btw what oracle dip nets you blind sense?

Clouded Vision

Source Advanced Player's Guide
Your eyes are obscured, making it difficult for you to see.
Effect

You cannot see anything beyond 30 feet, but you can see as if you had darkvision.

At 5th level, this distance increases to 60 feet.
At 10th level, you gain blindsense out to a range of 30 feet.
At 15th level, you gain blindsight out to a range of 15 feet.


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Archae wrote:
I understand it is powerful but are'nt the classic gm things kind of boring?

Boring? Hmmm.

Quote:
Blind sense doesn't sense mechanical traps, poison, doesn't help you fight an ogre, there are other ways to handle character with abilities. Its just the current balance prevents a lot of cool things from happening

Okay, please understand I'm NOT trying to argue with you. I'm honestly trying to explain the philosophy behind THIS game. Doesn't mean a} I'm right or b} this game is right for you. So I'm NOT saying "you're wrong". I'm just exploring the things you say, to sound them out. As in, my tone here is intended to be friendly. We're chatting.

That said...

Classic GM things are boring... yet by including blindsense on a PC, I've REDUCED myself to mechanical traps because optical illusions or magical illusions are off the table. I've REDUCED my playbook to poison because I can't have an assassin sneak up. I've REDUCED fighting-an-ogre to "he swings at you", "he swings at you", and "he swings at you" because I can't use "he slides back into the misty fog somewhere and starts peppering you and your friends with thrown daggers", can't use "he throws a bag of sand in your face, temporarily blinding you", can't use "he's also a cleric and casts blindness on you!" and so on.

What I'm saying is that current balance doesn't PREVENT cool things from happening. It ENABLES cool things to happen.

Yes, specific cool things are prevented. Got it. Guy-who-can't-be-snuck-up-on is prevented when you don't let a PC have blindsense. That's true. But guy-who-can't-be-killed is just as awesome, but I think we'd both agree that's just... not fun.

One more example... typically low-level PCs aren't "allowed" to get flight. Flying changes the game. It takes away Climbing, for instance. So forget the scene where your character is dangling by one arm while trying to fend of a crazed harpy. Forget the scene where the rope bridge is cut by the enemy while you're only halfway across. Forget the scene were the princess sticks her head out of the window at the top of the tower and calls for help and you know you need to fight your way in the long way.

Some abilities change the game. Because of that some people prefer to only play 1st-level to about 5th-level, before fly becomes a thing. There are game-changer abilities, and that's about it.


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Sadly this is the only Pathfinder RPG product that needs ongoing product releases. It's okay to "support" the gunslinger by simply having a couple feats/traits/grit-thingies in other books. It's okay to "support" the magus the same way; bits and bites here and there.

Mythic is a playstyle/system, and needs published modules and adventures to make it shine.

I agree that as published we can tack it onto bad guys here and there, but that's a terrible waste of a whole system. We have a total of one AP as an example of what mythic play should look like, so it's not like homebrew GMs have a lot to go on for guidelines of what works and what doesn't.

I'd personally love to see (and purchase) say two modules a year (in addition to the current ones) published specifically designed for mythic use.

But I don't think it's going to happen that way. I think Mythic is Paizo's Psionics/Incarnum/Bo9S... it'll get only light mention here and there moving forward.


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Opuk0, you could recommend they play psionic manifesters... then they wouldn't have somatic or verbal components. Of course, every time they manifest, it snows dead butterflies around their heads for a moment, or smells intensely of mastadon farts, or everyone within a few feet thinks they've acquired tinnitus, but hey... you can't win 'em all.

But seriously, the rule is that you can't conceal casting/manifesting. So you can't. Even with Silent and/or Still Spell, you're simply removing those specific requirements for spell-casting. You still can't hide that you're casting. The caster still rolls his eyes back, or pops into a deep concentration-sweat or something, because neither of those feats says that it overrides the fundamental can't-conceal rule.

Your players can try to explain their PCs' actions after the fact, but generally casting is always* evident.

*Barring certain circumstances, such as casting a bunch of buffs outside line-of-sight while in silence or something. As in, if the casting cannot be observed at all, it is by definition concealed. Perhaps being invisible while using Silent Spell, for instance.


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Sigh. Sucked in yet again.

Personally I think I'm actually glad these aren't statted out. I disagree* with the whole 3.Xe trap system in general, so if anything, this will encourage me to just wing it.

* Specifically the system is binary in nature. Either you spot a trap or you don't. If you don't spot it, it's just random results in which case why do you even have a rogue? If you do spot it, either you disarm it or you don't. If you succeed, there's zero result, so the entire cool factor of the trap is invisible. It's sort of like being at the top of initiative and one-shotting a BBEG before he gets to act. You literally never get to see WHY the monster is a badass. Personally I think I'd prefer a system where trapfinding is more about getting OUT of traps after they're triggered, or reducing their impact if detected before triggered, never negating them. Shrug.


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Couple of thoughts. As always with these threads, it's complicated.

One is that this may not be one of those things where parity is ever going to happen. I simply don't know, but I do think that there are hobbies, careers, and interests that - on average - are more appealing to one sex or the other. There'll be inevitable arguments about nature vs nurture, but I'd rather avoid rewinding the causality chain back to early childhood since frankly it gets into questioning if equality means uniformity. So I'll just point out that tabletop RPG playing may be a hobby that appeals most to males - as we know them today.

The more important point though - I think - is that we shouldn't treat anyone different. What I mean is that when I have a female player at my table, which is a rarity but not unheard-of, I try to make a point of not treating her any differently from my male players except that she is new. All I mean is that my male players are my regulars, and we're very comfortable with one another, and fart, and burp and swear, and make lewd jokes at one another. When anyone new, male or female, is at my table, that gets toned down until the person becomes a regular and we figure out what their sense of humour is like. Other than that newbie consideration, I don't go out of my way to girl-ify my game any more than I tailor it to any other player.

That said, I don't tolerate abuse at the table of any sort.

Anyway, some things are couples activities and some aren't. My wife and I watch Doctor Who together (though she's bailed since we lost our Doctor), but we don't RPG together. She has no interest. And she parties with her friends (boozy girls' nights), which I have no interest in. So we have together activities and apart activities. Nothing wrong with that... it's worked for 14 years so far. She'd be welcome at my gaming table and I'd be welcome at her drunken outings, but it's safe to predict neither will ever happen.


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Reebo Kesh wrote:

I've grown tired of players who have every skill and feat planned to 20th level. It leaves no scope for the character to grow and develop because of the encounters and experiences they face.

Thoughts?

Thoughts? Yes, definitely.

There is one ultimate goal in this game: have fun. If your players plan their PCs several levels in advance, you can rest assured they're doing it because that's what they want to do.

There's no need to be a control-freak DM and worry about what's going on at the other side of the table. As long as there's no balance problem forcing excess work on you, as long as there are no social problems with players who make PCs that clash, as long as the players are having fun, you should just focus on the huge toybox of bad guys and plot elements you've got.

You you can't have fun because your players are planning their characters, something somewhere is wrong.


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Wrath of the Righteous.

The older APs don't really need updating as they're pretty easy to up-convert from 3.5e, but from what I've read Wrath is on the easy side. Given wider playtest feedback over the last year, I'd like to see Wrath formally scaled up in deadliness now that Mythic rules are better understood.


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ElterAgo wrote:
The guys I'm talking about only wanted those characters because they don't fit.

Your question answered itself.

Many, many people want to be exceptional. They don't want to be yet-another-human-pirate in a tropical swords, sail, and pistols setting. They don't want to be yet another paladin of Iomedae walking into the worldwound to smite devils. They don't want to play yet another earth elemental druid/summoner gestalt half-drow draconic bloodline construct-hunter in a world full of those.

It is fundamentally easier to roleplay misfits. Peecee the unicorn bard is easy to play in the land of orc barbarians. You can basically do whatever you want, however you want, and you're special.

This is a game about standing out and drawing attention. Most of us want characters that are memorable and special, and being unique little snowflakes will always do that. Even if the snowflake has no business on the elemental plane of fire (where the GM has set the entire game).

There is no fix for this because there is no problem. It's just human nature.


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I allowed liberal crafting in my game but my players weren't going for cheese. Mostly the crafting cleric produced unique items that either filled a roleplay niche or were just cool.

Quick example... I ran a DMPC to give myself an in-character voice. Now, you're thinking "power!" but he was actually a pseudodragon fighter 15 while everyone else was 20th-level and higher. Anyway, the cleric made him sort of a decanter of endless water only it was really a bag of infinite mice. Because... well... snacks.

So, if you encourage creativity and discourage random statboosting, crafting is fine. There is also PLENTY of wealth in Tsar, much of which is stuff PCs won't want. So you really need to have a way to customize things into what the players want.


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I actually finished running Tsar after two and a half years, this summer.

In the end, my PCs were about 24th level with 3 mythic tiers. There's plenty of XP if you do basically all the encounters. Since it went on so long, I threw in mythic towards the end to give the guys something new to play with.

I have to warn, my players are clever and have more than a little system mastery. So there were a lot of circumstances where just-the-right-spell was prepared. banishment for instance makes short work of a lot of encounters later in the game. sunburst also deals with large hordes of undead in one fell swoop. There's also an incredibly dangerous demi-lich at one point in the game and it's amusing to read the statblock to find any ability that works in an antimagic field. Hint: you'll find the only functional ability in the Languages line. So, yeah, my group plowed through things.

The story is entertaining but admittedly very thin. Something happened, and here is this place which is the result of that something. Okay, but there's not actually that much to DO, purpose-wise. This is an exploration adventure, not a creation adventure. You don't influence important figures and shape the future. You kill or be killed.

So, well, it was a bit of a grind that way. I threw in a lot of one-shot bad guys and we did a couple side-modules in the middle. One of which involved literally traveling to the moon. I'd recommend being prepared to inject events into the adventure as really, it's structurally a huge, huge dungeon-crawl. That's fine for the first... seven hundred pages. <Grin>

Also, in my game I added a BBEG after the one that's written. I added the big O. Bought a grey-market WotC mini of him and everything. So O lurked on the mantle for nearly a year, and the players never knew for sure when he was going to show up.

Also... random encounters. I can't imagine running this book as written. It'd be a five year job. I mean, the random encounter tables first of all say something like "roll on this every ten minutes of in-game time" and "if an encounter lasts more than three rounds, roll again and make things worse". Seriously? There's just no time for monotonous rehashes of ghoul wolves. Absolutely, positive no criticism of Greg... this thing is BIG, but there's so much time involved that really, adding the random encounters is brutally soul-sucking.

Oh, and my players basically wandered the wastelands on foot (rope trick takes care of all night-time and random encounters and bone storms, BTW) until they hit the right level to get wind walk and then we turbo-blasted through the book, seeking out only set-piece encounters. That seriously helped us not suicide. For what it's worth, that happened something like halfway through exploring the second quadrant, simply due to XP. So yeah, zip, zip, hurray.

As for minis, once the random stuff outside Tsar is done, it's very, very dungeon-crawl and I wouldn't have considered running without a battlemat.

We enjoyed it, bottom line, but like any multi-year campaign, we tailored it to our personalities.


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Ssalarn wrote:
So awesome to see two of the projects I worked on, Liber Influxus and Akashic Mysteries, getting multiple mentions. Thank you!

Just wanted to drop a comment here... I haven't mentioned AM because (unless I'm on crack) it's not actually done. I'll likely be happy to read the final and add it to a best-of-2015 list next January.


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This is me, pretending my opinion matters.

For what it's worth, I didn't read most of Endz' review because a} I already own PoW, b} I already know what I think about PoW and c} I have a limited amount of time left before I die; I'm 42 already so if I'm lucky I've got maybe three decades left. But I skimmed it. And I've read the various arguments on the forums prior to that review.

That huge disclaimer established, I'd very much like to say that I don't believe Endzeitgeist has any agenda. He's not out to tell anyone how to play their game. Sure, he's got his own preferences, but every human being does. I have never seen Endz be anything but fair, even when heavily critiquing a product.

That he doesn't like certain mechanics in PoW is an established fact and it is absolutely, positively, completely within his rights. Reviewers are people and if they're good at what they do - and I believe Endz is - they know their biases and they identify them as such. "I'm not a fan of fried foods, so I found these french fry things to be little more than crunchy sticks of potatoe-oil and about all they're good for is delivering salt into your mouth."

Path of War is what it is. It will NEVER be anything but a divisive and highly contested book. Tome of Battle in 3.5e was hugely argued because many, many people strongly disliked it while many, many people found it refreshing and fun. Reviewers were - unsurprisingly - split in their reviews.

Martial initiation, much like psionics, are different and they are something that requires a certain attitude. Yes, there are specific examples in the system that are comparatively more powerful than core abilities. Also there are specific examples of core abilities that outshine most PoW abilities. Stuff is situational.

Endz is NOT wrong. But we have these ongoing arguments over martial/caster disparity within the core rules. To not have such over such a radically different ruleset would be astonishing.

Overall PoW is reasonably balanced. That's the truth. It's balanced towards - as Ssalarn said - the high-end of things, so you won't find as many dud abilities as some other classes, but it's absolutely, positively playable.

So hey. I think it's time to rethink Endz' delivery. He was trying to convey what he believes of the product, which is ALL you can ever ask for in a reviewer. We are lucky to have him, even if it's not all sunshine and unicorns shooting out his butt.


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Dreamscarred Press: Ultimate Psionics
Dreamscarred Press: Path of War
Green Ronin: Advanced Bestiary
Kobold Press: Deep Magic

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