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Volnagur the End-Singer

Anguish's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber. 3,026 posts (3,028 including aliases). 2 reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 2 aliases.


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Malwing wrote:
Ultimate Psionics has suggestions to make it less like alien scifi psionics but that's besides the point.

Memory is a thing. Not a good thing, but a thing. I'm maybe misremembering that text in UP being about getting rid of the crystal themes, no alien/sci-fi. Huh.


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Jessica Price wrote:
That's how technical writing works. Something looking like it was cut and pasted from somewhere else = language that is precise and consistent. When people are picking apart every clause to determine how a rule works, it's important that things that work the same way be stated in the same way so that readers don't assume variance where there is none.

Absolutely, yes, and it's the best approach for this stuff.

I've spent enough time proofreading RPG material that I recognize two additional truths:

1} When reading text you think you know, it is much, much harder to notice things that are incorrect. This is (part of) why authors need editors. An author can re-read what he has written a dozen times and always see what they meant to write, not what they actually penned.

2} When using boilerplate text you are familiar with, problem #1 rises up, only worse, even if you didn't write the passage in question.

Point is that if you sit down and plan on writing a spell similar to fireball, you're wise to take the text of the actual spell and alter it BUT doing so opens you to the weakness of textual familiarity. You may miss some alterations and clarifications needed for your variant spell, because your editing capacity is even worse than if it was original text you authored.

That is all to say... copying the eidolon to become the phantom was the right thing to do. But doing that requires a much more careful eye to spot the edge conditions that apply because a phantom isn't an eidolon. It's different.

So 100% agreement with what you've said, but clarification added.

***
Aside: I'm currently playing a spiritualist and enjoying him a lot. He's a nine-year-old boy who'd been told his mother died in childbirth, but in fact she lost her marbles when he was a baby and has spent the intervening years in an asylum. When the story began, his (ranger) father has just been killed by hobgoblins and he's on the run in the woods. Elsewhere, his mother Just Knows. She... passes on, but some of her spirit shows up as a phantom to protect him. As I've been playing them, he's frightened as all heck by this monster, and she absolutely don't KNOW anything except anger and protectiveness. No talking, no gentleness... she just manifests when he's threatened. It's been really, really flavorful and fun.


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Lavawight wrote:

I've used psionic classes before, and I'm using a cryptic in the current campaign. They don't have an issue with psionics being in the game, but it conflicts with the flavor of their own characters because they're so firmly attached to the new age perception of the word. Changing the name to runic magic makes zero difference for some reason; they're still stuck on the original imagery. "It is what it is." one of them said, and the argument that it is what you MAKE it did no good.

I haven't tried what Anzyr suggested yet, that's a good idea.

I can't say I understand; psionics as presented is pretty much exactly what a sorcerer does for magic, only with different mechanics. It's magic from within, not magic from without. Which is the sorcerer.

Sure, wizards study, and clerics pray, but both psions and sorcerers do what they do from the force of will. So... yeah.

Science fiction involves technology. Psionics doesn't. So... I don't understand. Sure, psionics fits better than wizardry in a high-tech setting, but that doesn't in any way mean psionics doesn't fit in a low-tech setting.


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GeraintElberion wrote:
rules bloat.

Rules Bloat: A proliferation of RPG game mechanics that allegedly nobody wants, yet everyone buys.


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137ben wrote:

You know that that is simply not true. When you come to Paizo.com, you aren't just dealing with Paizo. You're also dealing with your Internet Service Provider. You're dealing with the company that develops your browser. You're dealing with the company that produces your operating system (and yes, both Linux and BSD get funding from corporations). The PRD uses jQuery, so if you use the PRD you are also dealing with the jQuery Foundation (and, by extension, the corporate members of the jQuery Foundation.) You're also dealing with GoDaddy, which authorizes SSL for the secure portions of Paizo's website (at least if w3techs is accurate.

That is in addition to all the companies that make different hardware components which make up the computer you are using to access this website.

If you use Mozilla Firefox, then you are also sending telemetry data back to Mozilla. The same goes for most other browsers (including Chrome, MS Edge, and Safari.)

I'm not sure it was ever really possible to deal with "only Company A" over the internet. If it was possible at one time, though, that time has long since passed. You are using products from many, many different companies when you turn on your computer, boot...

While the sentences you typed are correct, they don't address the issue. I'm fluent with the topics you brought up. You're just talking about something completely different. Understand, getting specific and technical isn't productive outside of technical discussions. Pitching one's comments to the audience is a thing.

My ISP isn't data-mining my IP traffic. I'm in Canada, and doing so is massively illegal here. In fact, virtually none of the layers you brought up involve personal data-mining. I run a moderate number of plugins which limit exposure 3rd-party cross-site reliance to javascript and so on. You might as well bring up video driver manufacturers, keyboard hardware manufacturers and so on.

I could get pedantic and point out things like: with DNS caching, my queries aren't sent up-stream beyond my ISP. But that's just more of the same... ignoring the point.

I don't participate in rewards programs, and points-cards and membership perks plans. I'm willing to not get the discounts, if it keeps the creepy profiles marketing is able to build on us even a moderate bit more addled. Sure, I'll shop Amazon and I know there's privacy leakage going on. There's just a difference between allowing 10% of the data-mining that could be done on me versus 100%.

The bottom line is that Facebook and Twitter and the like are openly privacy-unfriendly, and the day that Paizo relies on my usage of them is the day I stop. And you know that's the point, and you know it's the take-home Paizo should hear, even if they (likely eventually) disregard it, even if I'm somehow skipping over the technical truth that my traffic passes through a bunch of Cisco and Juniper (and larger) gear, all of which have been found to have critical flaws in them in the last... oh, day or two.


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SheepishEidolon wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:
Paizo has a web store, and the forums help to drive traffic to that web store. I don't see them leaving so quickly.
Hmm, they could integrate the store into the social network within a few years.

That's the year Paizo loses me as a customer. Not hyperbole.

I'm an IT guy, so it's not technophobia or illiteracy. It's that when I elect to deal with Company A, I expect I am dealing with only Company A. Shifting anything into social media has inevitable data leakage. That's how they pay their bills.

Now, I can tolerate light integration, for instance allowing PayPal as a payment method. But the day I need to visit Facebook to discuss Pathfinder is the day I stop discussing Pathfinder.

If marketing demographics have value, they have value to me. I choose to keep that data where and when I can. It's sort of like savings.


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Anguish wrote:
When I get home.

At me, not with me...

I am laughing at me.

There's a Download All button at the very bottom of the list. Of course.

Regardless, thank you Owen. I've always liked your work and I've made purchases here and there, cherry-picking whatever fit a project I was working on at the moment (as a DM or player). Still, having an expanded library on demand is handy.


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Daw wrote:
Why is it that any talk about setting up reasonable and predictable limitations to magic is so often portrayed as arbitrary and bad GMing?

As Ashiel has said, it's usually because the GM's reasons are arbitrary and bad.

Also, we're not talking about reasonable limitations here. You don't get to insert adjectives when it comes to debated topics. You're drawing a conclusion within the question, which is naughty.

Again, the most frequent reason GMs restrict or limit spells is because they have an agenda, and instead of writing stories around a system that empowers and enables players, they stick to their guns and excise that empowerment. Instead of "you can create water", it becomes "you can't create water". The system already has built-in structure that codifies how such a spell works.

Understand, we're not talking about the "I wanna run a low-magic campaign", which is already a statement that has me asking "so why do you want to use a game system that is high-magic?" We're talking about "there are a handful of spells that I can't think around, so I'm removing them."

The true example would be "I don't know how to defend against players who can move then use ranged attacks against my all-melee monsters, so I am removing bows from the game." It's not bad GMing in the sense of "that GM is a horrible person", like the adversarial "PCs must die" GMs. But it's the "this GM could probably benefit from some advice, instead of splicing in houserules."

And that, is basically the conclusion. There are two types of GMs who run up houserules; those who are inexperienced and don't know the system well enough to be comfortable with it as it exists, and those who are very familiar with it, and have over time found various subsystems that they prefer to tweak to suit their players and themselves. Ashiel's 9/10 GMs who limit spells are in the first group. YOU may not be. I am not asserting that as I can't know that.


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Daw wrote:
Can you think of other reasonable situations that certain types of magic should be unreliable?

No. If the storyteller cannot conceive of stories beyond "scarcity is a problem", it's not the game's fault.

We see these threads with "detect magic means I can't hide magic stuff" or "now the wizard can fly so walls don't stop him" or your example of "create water is ruining my there's-no-water adventure". They're the result of lack of creativity, not a broken game.

This isn't the game where the only way over a wall is Climb. If you can't write a story that embraces the abilities of the player characters instead of relying on inabilities, this isn't the game for you to DM in.

Magic shouldn't be unreliable any more than swinging a sword should. Beyond hit & miss, we'd be introducing a "well, you can only make so many attacks a day because if you can just keep swinging every six seconds, you'll break my story, where a few bad guys tire you out!"


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Amusingly, I'm going to throw out Chaotic Good here.

That's the "do good by whatever means necessary" alignment. It's batman. Remember, killing someone isn't evil. It's illegal. Sure, sure, arbitrarily killing the innocent is evil, but purposefully killing the guilty certainly isn't. In between is purposefully killing the innocent, if needful.

It's evil to kill animals for entertainment, but it's perfectly acceptable to kill them for food. Why is that? Because their death serves a purpose. A greater good. Your ongoing life.

Well, yeah, if you have reached a situation where the only path you can find to stave off great evil is to accept smaller evil, well... you're trying to do Good, and the rules are in the way... so... Chaos time.

Chaotic Good.


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There's also the inevitable "oh, that's it?" reaction.

It's one thing to say "the Necronomicon is such an evil tome that reading a single word of it will drive a mortal mad". It's entirely another to write the thing. So too would be Iomedae's texts, or any other in-character religious tome or canonically-famous book of poetry or whatever. It's not - ever - going to be divine.

Nothing real can live up to the description capacity of a DM. Which is why we play these imagination games.


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whew wrote:
WTF! $21 postage on a $31 order?

I'd just like to take a (not at all) brief moment to reply to this. It's something that gets brought up from time to time and reflects a certain way of looking at things that might benefit from perspective.

If I agree to manufacture and sell you a concrete sphere that is a meter (three feet) in diameter, a reasonable price for that might be... oh... $10. Concrete isn't terribly expensive and once I have a nice mold made, the job should be easy.

So I'm selling you a cement ball for $10.

Only you live on the other side of the planet. It seems obvious that the price you're paying for the concrete ball has zero bearing on what it's going to cost to get the ball to you. I can't fit it in an envelope. I can't stick it in a tiny box. No matter who I use (USPS, UPS, FedEx, Purolator, DHL, or some other courier), the sheer cumbersomeness and weight of the ball makes it clear that it's going to be expensive to ship.

Well. Books aren't balls of concrete. But they're also not single sheets of paper. Shipping companies have complex tables involving dim-weight, the dimensions and weight of a shipment.

But the important take-home here is never link the price of an object to its shipping cost. The price of the item is the price of the item. The price of shipping is something else. Add them together and you've got your total cost of ownership. There's NO reason for either component to be smaller than the other.

Just trying to help you (and anyone else who actually reads this) have perspective.


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Kalindlara wrote:
Ed Gruberman!? I didn't know you had an account here!

Child, you fail to grasp Tai Qwon Leap. Approach the master that you may learn.

But seriously, I wasn't expecting anyone to get the reference, but oddly hopeful. You just made my day.


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Marco Massoudi wrote:
So it seems we only get one every two weeks now...

Not the least factor, remember that the release date was pushed back to four months from now. Sixteen weeks of previews isn't going to happen.

Patience is a virtue, Marco.

"Patience, yeah, yeah, how long's that going to take to learn?"


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Ckorik wrote:
OK using the 'cook' example - lets say your profession (cook) skill is a 20 (for whatever reason) and the DC is only 10. So even if you roll a 1 - it's going to be the best thing the pirates have ever eaten. You are such a good chef your 'throw it on a plate' and what seems horrible to *you* is 5 star quality for everyone else. You have a problem now - all your training and practice has you at the point where your worst effort is cuisine - and I'd make you roll a profession check in this case to sabotage your efforts - and force yourself to oversalt/etc. with the idea that it's hard for you to do even this - as what you consider 'horrid' is *still* the best food a common person ever ate.

Disagree. The DC to produce a masterful meal might be 10. But what's the DC to produce something that causes food-poisoning if eaten? Maybe 5. When a player says "I try to make something inedible", and they beat the DC of 5, do you - as a DM - turn their specifically-stated result into some grand banquet?

No.

I don't care if the Climb DC for falling off a wall is 0 and you roll a 33. You're falling off the wall if you want to, not "you scale the wall one-handed while juggling baby elephants with your other, and both legs are tied behind your back."


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ChucklesMcTruck wrote:
RainyDayNinja wrote:
Can you give an example? I would think it would be easier to just describe what exactly you intend to do, and try to "succeed" at that.

Let's say you're trying to pretend you're not as good at a skill as you actually are. For example: you're playing in the Wormwood Mutiny and you want to end up as a swab so you have access to certain parts of the ship. But, you've got a pretty good Profession (Cook) skill, so you may accidentally end up as the ship's cook instead if you are forced to roll. You "take 1" on the roll so you intentionally screw it up.

Or, say you're using the Awaken Construct spell on an animated object, but you don't want it to become too smart so it's easier to control. You "take 1" on all the ability rolls and end up with an INT 3 and a CHA 3, which is better for your particular plans.

And so forth. I could probably think of half a dozen other examples but you get the idea.

I have a suggestion for you.

I'd run "appear worse than I am" as opposed rolls. If you're worried someone's going to figure out you know how to cook, you make a Profession(cook) check versus your observers' Profession(cook) checks. If you beat them, you can appear inept. Example: I know how to climb. I do (indoor) rock climbing. I know what newbies look like. I can probably imitate them, but doing so relies on my observations as a climber. So I try to use my climbing skills to look inept. But another experienced climber may notice subtle things I do right that I haven't properly culled from my climbing. If they're better than I am, they detect my ruse.

Using Bluff is... not right, IMHO.

As for the awaken construct situation, I'm a bit befuddled. The spell says you don't control the construct. Your Spellcraft check lets you actually succeed at the spell. The rolls for Intelligence only govern how smart the construct is. You explicitly don't gain control.

Anyway, to answer the question you're trying to ask, I'm pretty sure there is no "take 1" rule because there's no grounds to want or need one.


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Repeat after me...

"I delay until D's turn ends. And as a free action tell D to get out of my way."


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This is very similar to the energy missile psionic power. That one is a 3rd-level power, and gets a saving throw for half, but it works against up to 5 targets within 15ft (yes, it's an AoE).

In the psionic version, you have an "active energy type" which requires an action to change, so this is more flexible than the psionic version. Unless you're playing a kineticist psion, the one class and discipline that can change energy types on the fly.

The psionic version also has slightly different damage (or other effects) for different energy types.

While the power is considered a very good one, it isn't broken, so this spell probably isn't either. Probably the reduction in damage for sonic that psionics get wouldn't be a bad house-rule on this spell though.


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Damon Griffin wrote:
Marco Massoudi wrote:
I also want people to see that these things DO sell out and that they should get them before they do. ;-)
Yeah, I got that. You just seemed...really vested. :)

It's a Marco-ism; his caster has a metamagic rod of maximize player. <Grin>


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Wow. Endz, is there a softcover version of your review coming? <Grin>

But seriously, one quick clarification for you. The ability you mentioned that reads confusing regarding needing to identify spell effects etc... actually makes sense. You can suppress stuff within 30ft. It doesn't need to be within 30ft when you identify it. So you can identify, move, then suppress. At least that's how I read it.


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AdamMeyers wrote:
Do these martial builds get boring, though?

It depends.

Doesn't reading 400 pages of spell descriptions for casters get boring?

See, some people want something simple and reliable, so the most complicated decision they need to make each round is "where should I stand", and they still need someone to help them make that decision. Having classes that are basically "point & shoot" either with melee or range is a good thing because it keeps the game accessible to mellow, uncomplicated players. Having "tier 1" high-narrative-impacting flexible casters is also a good thing, because the player who isn't drunk can be as clever as their own capacity for invention.

So yeah, it depends.


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Steve Geddes wrote:
Do those sorts of programs exist?

I don't think so. I mean, to a degree it's just speech-recognition, but the issue is you're actually interlacing two (or more) people talking. You could probably pass a recording through Dragon Naturally Speaking, then clean it up and separate it into individual speakers, but it'd still be a lot of work.


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Ryan. Costello wrote:
Anguish wrote:

Audio... check.

Video... check.
Transcript...

Thank you for your efforts but this isn't for me.

We'd love to offer transcripts, but that is a beast unto itself. We're limited by our time and budget as volunteers. If you could recommend trustworthy freeware that transcribes audio or video, we'd certainly look into that.

Absolutely, positively not trying to rain on your parade. But that underlines why I personally don't consume podcasts or vidcasts. The time burden is placed on the consumer. I can read a lot faster than you can speak. Pretty much the reason why podcast/vidcast producers don't spend the effort to make transcripts is the reason why I don't consume them. So hey, I'm very, very glad you've got an audience. I'm only posting this to explain why I made the request.

So, to be clear, thank you for what you do.


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Lemmy wrote:
Exactly. Ignoring the problem doesn't make it magically go away...

Sorry, but dispel caster/martial disparity is on the cleric and sor/wiz spell lists. There's just no way for martials to mundanely make it go away.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Can we have another bag of devouring? I mean, I could use a change of the avatar once in a decade ;)

You know, personally I'd find it jarring if certain people (you included) suddenly changed avatars. I don't look directly at them, but in a conversation, my peripheral vision hints at identity for me. It's kind of neat how it works.


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Steve Geddes wrote:

If it's different enough you might like the new game better than Numenera, no?

I mean, I take your point that you'd like a Scifi game created (pretty much) from the PF rules. But if that doesn't happen, it doesn't follow that you won't like the resultant game does it?

For the sake of conversation, no. That's just not how I work. Once I've found a restaurant or two I like, that's where I go. Once I've found a meal or two I like, that's what I order. Once I've found a set of toppings I like, that's what I put on it. But again, that's me.

But another point I've made elsewhere that links in, almost-compatibility is bad (for me) in another way. There are still differences from 3.0 to 3.5 to Pathfinder that the elders in my group occasionally stumble on. I almost never think of non-lethal as subdual damage anymore (a 3.0-ism), but we still struggle to remember that silence is now a one-round casting. I get it that change was made for balance purposes, but since the vast, vast majority of spells are Standard actions and that one used to be, it's difficult to unlearn what we used to KNOW was true. Some things, like changes to Power Attack or grapple rules are easy, because they're completely different. Small changes are... painful.

In closing, some of us play Pathfinder not despite its design idiosyncrasies but because of them.


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There's also the consideration that the current avatars lend a stylistic consistency to the site that is... rare. As much as I like Megan Fox bent over Bumblebee, I don't really want to see that on an RPG forum. We all know that the moment custom avatars are permitted, that's the kind of thing we'll see (and worse).

Same thing goes for in-line picture embedding and signatures. No thank you.


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Second Darkness: adventurers discover a secret dark-elf plot to call down a second starstone, ally themselves with surface elves, then learn surface elves are such horrible people that maybe letting the drow destroy life on Golarion is for the best.


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Wrath of the Righteous: rampaging hordes of demons discover someone has changed the rules on them, literally.


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Rise of the Runelords: the rightful ruler of a continental empire strugles to escape the prison that has protected him for millenia and return his lands to glory, only to be thwarted by well-intentioned but confused adventurers.

Council of Thieves: a pair of unbalanced siblings explore the boundaries of adulthood and are met with societal disapproval.


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GreyWolfLord wrote:

Options are nice. Too many rules to memorize or keep track of for a GM...not so nice.

Bloat may be options for some, but for me, I'd like it if they'd tailor things for core and actually use the others as OPTIONS rather than requirements in their APs.

That's the big difference between bloat and options for me. Options are just that, optional. Bloat is where those additional rules are written into APs rather than being optional additions to the AP.

Instead of having as an option to add, a GM has to replace and reconfigure instead if they don't want to use those books.

Which is why Starfinder is looking more interesting to me, at least at first. It's missing all those additional required books to run the AP, or to look up online in order to run it or which you have to change.

APs should be easy to run, and take less time than a homebrew. Instead one can find themselves looking through all the rule books to ensure they know all the rules prior to running the game.

Though the idea for core only PFS and core only games is good, much of the APs still reflect more items than just core (at least up to IG, haven't really glanced through the two latest ones in Cheliax).

Again, I hear you, but arrive at a different destination. I find it annoying when rules exist but are never used. Personally, I want APs to use a wide variety of source books in order to present new challenges. Yes, it's my job to actually read statblocks and research unknown feats and abilities. And yes, I get it that APs are meant to be work-light for GMs. Still, it's not the same thing as work-free. And homebrew is lots of work. While you inherently will know whatever statblocks you create, creating them in the first place is a chore. As is coming up with a coherent and artistic plot.


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GreyWolfLord wrote:
Trade in my PF sub for several SF subs?

There are no several SF subs to trade in for. They've said they'll release a Core, then everything else will be in the Adventure Paths. So one subscription. Done.

Also, to address all those other words, I'm confident Lisa has more statistics and experience with this than we do. So... I'm going to go ahead to trust her.

Also also, personally I hate bare-bones games. What you refer to as bloat I refer to as "supported". We've tried a couple other systems (for instance Numenara and Eclipse Phase) and neither went anywhere because all there was to use was the basic rules and basic adventure. There was no published material beyond that, and none of us have the time or inclination to create a coherent adventure, and it's kind of lame when the single basic rulebook clearly has one, or possibly two "best" or "most fun" builds, so most characters end up the same. Pathfinder benefits from lots of fiddly bit subsystems, and lots of options to put in them. But to each their own. Which is my point here.


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Viscount of Two Moons Hence wrote:
You just need a Laser Torch and some Napalm to find the path.

While find the path requires a divine focus, it does not have material components.


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I get it. But no.

I'm one of those archaic crusty old men who interacts with companies via their web sites, e-mail domains, and phone systems. No Facebook, no Twitter, no MySpaceBlogHypeMegaNurplePurpleZoopieZoombaStatsGathererAdNetworkIntrusionA lienPropeNarcisistNet for me.

Tinfoil hat? Not exactly. I don't desire to socially network. I recognize there's nothing special about me, and nobody wants to know when my last movement was.

So requiring me to use a 3rd-party company known to scavenge every last drop of user information in order to access the latest information regarding your company? Meh.

I'll wait until someone reposts things to here. And if they don't, well, I'll just miss out on whatever. Not the end of the world.

Still had to add my vote for "social networking bad".


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Sundakan wrote:
Anguish wrote:


You don't have a choice. You've got to errata the item,
I don't accept the premise.

Your acceptance isn't required for the premise to be accurate.

By accurate, I acknowledge that yes, Paizo could simply not errata. They could also stop publishing RPG books and start manufacturing cigarette-flavored pudding. They could do any of a number of nonsensical things.

But when you have printed game rules that are broken, the sensible, responsible, appropriate thing to do is produce errata, instead of leaving the broken rules.

I am not saying that every errata, or any specific errata, is or was done perfectly. I am speaking to "what do you do when you printed broken rules?" The answer remains: you fix them.


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Serisan wrote:
I think one of the fundamental problems is that there's a strong focus on "that's too good, nerf it into the ground" and not enough on "why are the other options for the slot simply not selected?"

A huge element of this is that there is an insane quantity of options available and they are not equivalent in utility, and can't be. A cloak of resistance +2 has a fixed and evident utility to practically every single statblock that equips it. A hypothetical cloak that adds 20% to its wearer's fly speeds is of variable utility depending on the build and race of who wears it. Dragons will love it, non-flying barbarians will never buy it. Somewhere in the middle are oddball PC builds that stack multiple items to make this cloak exceptionally useful.

That said, when you realize that the cloak you printed in a book is broken in the hands of dragons and <special build guys>, you need to do something. So you errata it. And that may eliminate the borderline (or over-the-line) broken builds that depended on the item. Then you're left with a mediocre item which is fairly balanced, but unlikely to be used much, because that cloak of resistance +2 is always attractive.

You don't have a choice. You've got to errata the item, even if the result is yet-another-specialized-item-that-won't-get-used.

In summary, the problem isn't errata. The problem is the expectation that hundreds upon hundreds of items CAN be published without most of them being unused by virtually everyone.


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As a DM I always reserve the right to disallow something specific but...

If it's Paizo, it's green-lit.
If it's Dreamscarred, it's green-lit.
If it's other 3pp, it's probably going to be allowed, but needs approval.
If it's 3.5e it's probably going to be allowed, but needs approval.

I run high-power campaigns, with 25-point buy stats, with the stipulation that I don't want to see max/min, so nothing below 10 or over 18 after racial adjustments. I don't mind archetypes and prestige classes etc, but if I see a whole bunch stacked together to munchkin things, I may ask for it to be toned down. I'm not a fan of "built" races, but most published ones are okay as long as they fit the setting. Running a visibly monstrous PC in an urban setting is asking for trouble.

So yeah. Permissive. Because in the end, I'm going to be looking at four character sheets, not seven thousand pages of published material.

What's it to me that you got to choose from 43 Paizo classes when in the end that means there are 39 not appearing at my table at the moment?


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Raynulf wrote:
PorscheTim911 wrote:
Can a ghoul deliver a "Coup de Grace"?

Yes.

A more important question for a GM is "Should a ghoul use coup de grace?", to which the answer is usually, "No". Its CR does not properly account for the instant-death effect that CDG typically produces.

The coup de grace rules are one of the few save-or-die effects still in the game, and unfortunately one of the most abuse-able.

I don't disagree in spirit, only in wording. To me it's not a question of CR. It's one of intelligence. Any creature smart enough to think of finishing someone, might.


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Jaçinto wrote:
I'm upset at this being a feat rather than just something sense motive can do. You know, detecting falsehoods and if they are just acting and whatnot. They need more of these things to just be options within the skills rather than be feats.

You "can't" re-print the base game's Skill and add or change them. There was a push to update Stealth, I recall, and that ultimately fell down because they couldn't figure out a good way to get it into Core.

And that was just trying to clarify and clean up an existing skill, not add new uses for it.

Forcing me to have the 7th printing of Core in order to have the list of how Sense Motive works isn't viable. On the other hand, introducing new uses of a skill via a Feat, that can be done. Because if I don't have that book, I don't have that feat, and nothing changes. Only people with the feat need to know about it. A base change in Sense Motive applies to literally every statblock that can use the skill, regardless of if they have the expanded text or not.

Also, to address your original post, speaking in combat is a free action. You can always use "I surrender". There's zero mechanical weight to saying that, but typically most encounters will get paused at that point because the DM is evaluating the logical consequences of the actions everyone is taking. You don't need Diplomacy to stop combat. You only need it to FORCE someone else to see things your way.


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Steff wrote:

so, out of curiosity, why can't this be punted to the pathfinder community in some form? I could be wrong, but if I remember correctly, one of the strengths of roll20 is its robust system for allowing users to develop improvements; working with advanced users to program modules for use during the game. They not only contribute, they pay extra each month for the honor. Couldn't you roll out a basic system and then let it become something that the community works to improve? They would still pay monthly subscription fees so there is monetization there and you would still control content in regards to how AP's and modules are presented and obtained (more monetization) but the burden of development might be more spread out.

Never underestimate the sheer overwhelming power of a large group of nerds on a mission.

History is replete with products that were shelved for so long that eventually, when it was time to develop, the ship had sailed.

I can't imagine that happening.

Not the least factor is liability. Not necessarily legal or monetarily. If Paizo endorses community code, and there's back-doors, mistakes, or security flaws involved, it's going to reflect badly on them. I use the word "if" as if it were somehow less than 100% likely that a community RPG game-space web app would have security flaws.

If the community has the talent and inclination to produce such an application, the community is free to do so. Paizo isn't required to be involved in any way. Sure, it'd be nice to put some of their IP into such a product, but hey... if you produce something that works and works well, it's time to talk to them about a licensing agreement.

But no. Nobody's lifting a finger except the one or two existing tabletop virtualization companies. And that's the real reason why this won't fly.


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KingOfAnything wrote:

And what about spells that are not rays, but targeted effects?

CRB wrote:
You make all pertinent decisions about a spell (range, target, area, effect, version, and so forth) when the spell comes into effect.
Once the target is selected, the effect has already occurred. Casting after the target is selected won't help you much as the effect has alfeady "struck."

It's only a problem if you make it a problem. Like my imaginary emergency ablation spell, sure, the attack has come into effect. That doesn't mean that damage has been dealt. I'm not playing the "there's time between" card. I'm playing the "any time is any time" card.

Imagine "once per day as an immediate action you gain the improved evasion ability". Or even "once per day as an immediate action you can reroll a failed saving throw". Spells have taken effect; they are erupting around you, or boring into your mind or... whatever. But if you have an ability that is defensive, and it's an immediate action to use that ability, it's any time.

Obviously you can't use it the following day to undo events that are resolved, but it's absolutely appropriate to prevent Bad Things that are in the process of happening right bloody now.

feather fall remains a great example of this. Falling normally just happens, without consuming time. Yet there exists this spell, which exists specifically to allow you to not suffer the negative consequences of falling.

So yes, emergency force sphere away as the fireball engulfs you. Just do it before the damage is dealt. Maybe during that interesting period of time when you're - by RAW - dodging and weaving within it, and making your Reflex save. Turns out you have something better than a Reflex save... you have an immediate action.


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I can't say I see where the confusion is coming from. Without verbiage restricting when you can cast something, you can cast immediate spells any time.

So yes, stone shield can happen between hit and declaration of damage.

Let's me sensible here. Hypothetical:

emergency ablation
Casting Time: 1 immediate action
Description: you acquire DR5/- that applies to the first instance wherein you take normal hitpoint damage before your next turn.

Such a spell is reasonable, yes? Flavorful, yes? Its intent is clear and its scope is tight. You're trying to reduce a single "ouchie".

What sadistic DM would say that the caster has to cast his spell before his attacker attacks? Or before his attacker decides who he's trying to hit? Or before his attacker successfully hits?

No. It's obvious - and fair - that this spell can be cast the moment the DM says "oh, wow, the ogre smacks you in the head with his greatclub".

The ogre doesn't get to say "oh, hey, wait, I wouldn't've hit this guy since he's got emergency ablation cast."

As far as I can tells, efs can be cast any time, and yes, that may screw the person attacking the caster of efs. Before an attack is declared? Sure. After? Sure. Once a spell is cast? Sure. Once a target is selected? Sure. Once a ray strikes? Well, sure, but it's not going to help you because the act you're trying to prevent (getting struck by something) has already happened. You take damage from the ray.

It's actually not dissimilar from the one James referenced that adds a shield bonus to AC. Yes, sure, cast it after the hit is declared but before damage is declared. I - as the DM - don't care. It's TOO LATE to be useful, but you're welcome to cast it.

As for table manners, as interrupt abilities start coming on line, it's up the player and DM to work together to make sure the cadence of actions is clear to allow their use.


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On the other hand, it could be annoying to go five levels where your biggest achievement is being able to say "I'm not dead yet." Individual tastes may vary, but I suspect most of us play to be heroes. To rescue those in need of rescuing etc. To excel.

While an encounter or two, or even a session that is grueling is fine, I wouldn't enjoy a sustained survivalfest.


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Cleanthes wrote:
Berk the Black wrote:
The Celestial Trumpeter has an interesting alternative to a peg to suspend it in the air. I like this approach.
I second this. Flying stands make me soooo nervous. I've had so many break on me :-(

I'll go ahead and agree with regards to Medium & larger minis, but I had an interesting opportunity recently...

I use Alea Tools magnetic condition/spell markers. So each PC mini gets a very small magnetic pad stuck in the recess at the bottom. My latest PC has a familiar. I took a spare Tiny mini for an appropriate creature, and severed the bottom of the flying stand. Then I glued that to a small rare-earth modeling magnet, creating a new, magnetic base. It's strong enough that I can just stick it to the top of the PC mini's plastic base and it stays there. I can move it around, and move it to other PCs... it's kind of awesome.

If Small & Tiny minis get more substantial stands, there'll be less opportunity for modding like this.


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James Jacobs wrote:

Like trombone.

Or parasite.
Or plastic.
Or thunderhead.
Or wrangle.
Or tension.
Or bow. (The one that rhymes with drow.)
Or bow. (The one that doesn't rhyme with drow.)
Or phantom-powered dreadnought-launching mountains.

tpptwtbbppdlm

So clearly the next AP involves Bill the Cat. I had been hoping, since Berke Breathed resurrected Bloom County last summer.


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'Sani wrote:
Heck, even though my party DOES know each others names, we still don't actually use them. Nicknames all the way.

Gajolob Gorum posting from beyond grave. Him not pay attention people give names, so make up own. Party start using nicknames too. Much funny. Then Gajolob Gorum start know party. Them real people. Them heroes. Gajolob Gorum start paying attention, learn names. Start using them. Sign of respect.

Then heartless GM make TPK.


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CampinCarl9127 wrote:

I had a question come up in a game that is relevant to this discussion.

If spells persist after death, does that mean a shield other spell does? Can you kill somebody by butchering the corpse of the person they were bonded with, even though they are already dead?

Oh-oh.

I'd go with yes, personally, for consistency's sake. The caveat being that dead body likely can only take a certain amount of damage before it is "destroyed", much a like a table or a chair. It might be reasonable to look at basic zombies to judge how much punishment a standard dead body can take.


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So, who's remembering to keep track of the weight of the cash wealth their PCs have? Remember, coins are heavy. Those who micromanage encumbrance down to this level, I'm assuming they ask the DM for permission to exchange coin for portable items like gems, right? And deal with that those gems aren't easy to make perfect change for, right?

When does the weight of a trail ration leave you? When you eat it or some hours later? Same question for water you consume from a water skin.

All I'm getting at here is that there are varying degrees of precision in adherence to these rules. Nobody is right, nobody is wrong... as long as they're having fun. But where the line is drawn is going to depend on the group.

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