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I actually am a player in Ashiel's games. I've been playing dnd with her almost as long as anyone has. So I've come to set the record straight as to the tone and feel of an Ashiel run game.
First off, I would like to say that I never worry about anything that Ashiel throws at me as a player being too powerful for me to overcome. While near everything that he throws at us, from monster to trap to NPC, is customized to fit a particular theme, she never creates anything that can't be taken down through keeping a cool head and careful planning.
This however is not to say that the challenges that she sends her players way aren't true challenges (ie: possibly lethal). Rather that the challenges are meticulously crafted to be a threat that the party should be wary of meeting without the proper planning that is due something of one's challenge rating.
Often times he, rather than throwing one higher challenge rating monster at the party, will create a cohesive group (in other words a group that synergies well and plays off of one another strengths) of lesser challenge rating creatures or NPC's.
Secondly I would like to say that while Ashiel is indeed one of the best minds for rules mechanics that I have ever seen in my entire life, she couples that with her love of engaging story telling. He facilitates this in many different ways.
She begins often with a single person or place and simply works to create just them, understanding that person or place, creating a back story for it or them. Then he takes theses "points of light" and expands from them. Building the world around them. By creating the world this way she is better able to decide and understand what caused the points of light to develop as they did. Their personalities, goals, interests, character flaws, and sometimes even their underlying madness.
She often plays around with the concept of what is truly good is truly evil. He does this by creating 'villains or heroes' whose back-stories are often laced with tragedy or marked events that caused their transformation. An BBEG was not always a BBEG. People are not wholly evil or good.... Well, not real people anyway. By creating characters this way they feel more realistic and makes the issues of who is right and who is wrong much more flexible given ones view point on the matter. This tests the parties morals, their drive, and their goals. In turn making the PC's more realistic.
But probably one of the best things is that I know that I have near total creative freedom in Ashiel's games. To play what I want, how I want, without incrimination from the GM or the other players. Granted we tend to play with a more open minded and diverse set of people than I was used to in other games. But truly the gambit of diverse play styles is accepted and encouraged in our games.
I don't have to worry about playing a character who is perhaps not the most optimized, and face dejection if our party should fail some task or other. As is want in many of the other more rules oriented groups that I have played in, where PC power is key to acceptance within a group. In Ashiel's games I have complete freedom to play a character that has more emphasis of their back-story than their dice rolls, or spell lists.
On the other hand I don't worry about a character concept being shot out of the air for being, too, good at its given field. I've played wizards in high level games under his GMing scrutiny, that shook the heavens with their power and took on lower tier gods whose ire we had caught for one feat or other.
Mainly though, I think that what I like best is that Ashiel is trying, every session, to create an environment that the players will enjoy. Now, what I mean by this is that he is willing, and often does, go above and beyond the call of duty for players. She often builds plot around his characters, making them the key to an epic adventure, or just tying in what their pre-made back-story into the plot of the main story. Or perhaps you as a player aren't quite reaching the potential for your character build that you wanted to, he often takes time out of his personal off time to help you build your character to better meet the goals that you have for yourself. Also if you wish to be a more vested part of the story she will work with you to incorporate pieces of your character in the story as it's going on.
Now anyone can do these things, but ask any gamer that has been around about how many will do all of these things, any time that you ask them and I think that most people will tell you that many of the GM's of the world aren't willing to go that far. He is the best GM that I have ever played under, and by the way, also one of the most fun players to play with. She has lived and breathed these games since 1999. So when you ask does he overdo anything, I gotta say no. Does she bring her all to the table every time he plays? Heck yeah she does.
Game on, Peace
I believe that for the most part the idea of cannibalism is abhorrent for one of only a couple of reasons. One is the idea of the cannibal murdering people in order to sate his or her hunger, the second is the idea that my eating a corpse you are not paying proper respect to the family of the deceased, or not paying proper respect to the memory of the deceased. There is also this thought that people like to believe that in some way we are above animals in some sort of capacity (in that we have souls were as animals don't, or that we are on a higher level of consciousness and our decisions can affect the world as a whole). And by eating humans as we do with certain kinds of animals we are robbing our selves of that significance. There are even several religions that believe that the corpse staying intact is important for its afterlife.
The thing is that if none of these is true in the setting in which you are playing or they are sidestepped by some other extraneous factor, then the plain old eating of a dead persons corpse is not evil.
I've played in a game where the party was forced to deal with a situation where the food had run out and a party member had died. Others would have died if we couldn't have found nourishment, and we had to lug around the dead players body if we were to have any hope of raising him. Well. We saved the bones and he got raised. But we didn't go hungry. *shrugs*
Just my two cents.
I rather doubt that part of the inherent perks of playing a Paladin is meant to be people automatically trusting you. I understand that to a degree a Paladin is meant to be a respected member of the church, however most times they are meant to be the law bringers of an order. They are the martial arm of a religious order.
I should also like to point out that unless your campaign has some sort of adept type force always detecting good/evil, no one can tell whether a Paladin is who he says he is or not. Carrying a false holy symbol as a part of a disguise is easily done.
Also I would think that they would only get preferential treatment from those who prescribed to their beliefs and agreed with whatever the order was doing at the time.
There are a lot of different things to consider when you are talking about something like preferential treatment for Paladins.
Actually this doesn't invalidate any point at all. You see simply because the rules say that there can be or should be deviation, that doesn't mean that any sort of deviation will be in the players favor.
I believe the reference you used says "The price of a magic item may be modified based on its actual worth."
What this actually means is that it is up to the campaign/GM to determine whether there is a viable reason for any deviation to exist, such as playing in a low magic campaign or high magic campaign. Then the text that you quoted gives some examples of what could affect pricing items, such as what class is scribing the scrolls. And even your quote says that wands and potions don't deviate at all. Were does the invalidation come in?
These are some awesome examples of making your mechanics work for your character concept. Something that wasn't mentioned up here that might be a nice change to these is to make arrows with healing potions on the end of them. This is a very simple fix. All you need is the skill craft arrows/weapons and a class that can create healing potions. All you need to realize is that adding healing potions onto arrows isn't different in anyway to adding say holy water flask to the end. You may get some negatives to your accuracy however if you are specked to be an archer it shouldn't be too much trouble. Also your fellow part members can intentionally not dodge and you can shoot for their flat-footed armor class rather than their normal.
The fact that you keep repeating the low to no makes me think that your GM is a little less on the low side and more heavily on the no. If you or your fellow party members are bringing the magic to the table I would think there would be no problem.
Usually low magic campaigns mean that magic is rare so there aren't lots of magical goodies floating about for the players to get their hands on. I've never heard of one that specifically prevented the player from either making their own or casting it from their spell lists.
I think that Paizo is, so far, the best thing on the market for me. I think that more importantly than Paizo being perfect right now, that they are continuing to strive towards the perfect game that most of us really wanted 3.5 to be. I think that there is also a lot of creativity in the company so far, and if they keep this up they will most likely grow to surpass WotC.
Sure if you stealth while charging you must first either be invisible or behind cover, and then you are going to take negatives for stealthing while running. But sure you can attempt it.
Then i restate that if it is moving then it should come with the option for the Ghaele to use stealth with it, and thus we come back to the hugely insane check to make due to a +17 bonus to stealth.
[Edit: Darn Nija'd]
Firstly let me say that I am personally enjoying this conversation so much that we should probably just move it because like A Mon in Black just said it is off topic.
Also Ciertose are you just looking to argue with the world? this last comment sounds like pouting more than point making.
What point are you trying to make here exactly? That teleporting is somehow the same as driving your car to work? If that was so then teleportation would just be you moving really really fast from one point to the other, and god help you if there is anything in between, because at those speeds he's the only thing that will.
If you agree that the act of teleporting is counted as moving, that you can make a stealth check as a part of moving, and that greater teleport allows you to teleport in a space of your choosing, then there should be no debate.
According to all the rules just stated your characters, even if they could make a check for an invisible character teleporting into an area, which in my opinion isn't appropriate via the rules, they would be forced to make at least a 38 perception to hope to detect the Ghaele at all.
Sorry the facts are just against the scenario that you suggest.
This isn't about giving the players a check. *However they of course do get one, as soon as there is some stimulus to make a check from* This really comes down to what that check DC would be and why.
And the simple fact of the matter is, teleporting, via the rules that we have, does not say that it displaces air, does not indicate that it does anything to rouse the players suspicions at all except where other rules indicate there would be stimulus. (IE: Sight, Sound) Given no sight they can't make a check based on sight, given that the Ghaele isn't speaking or moving you can't make a check based on sound. So until it attacks or moves to attack, you are SOL.
That DC is also assuming that the Ghaele isn't allowed to stealth when it comes into existence.
Further more you said "How do you insert an object into an area without displacing things?" Under that heading I would like to pose this question, and answer it. "How does one move from on point to another without ever moving through the spaces in between?" Answer= It's Magic.
Unless the spell specifically states that something takes place, then we as players and GM's assumes that they do not. Like fireball, you would rightly think that if you magically made a bunch of fire that things in the area would catch fire, however that is not the case for all spells with the fire descriptor.
What's the difference you ask? The spell doesn't state that it catches anything on fire.
[Edit: Also I am loath to mention this at all but... I haven't noticed you being very civil through out this entire discussion. *points back three pages to where you claimed that other people were talking without any real knowledge of the game*]
Actually any Ghaele worth his salt (ie: any common sense would use a move action to use his +17 to stealth as soon as he teleports into the area.
Why because he is trying to be sneaky as shown by the fact that he used greater invisibility at all. Also any creature that isn't going to try it's best not to be seen after using greater invisibility must have a few screws loose.
So with a [minimum of a 38 assuming a role of one] the Ghaele appears in the middle of the party and then the fun ensues.
I have a tiny problem with this post. And that is that it assumes that the players are going to metagame, and metagame hard IMHO. Firstly when my DM calls for a perception check and my character fails, I don't automatically go "Well then, something has a stealth of 20, it must be invisible." And even worse than that I don't go "I failed to see something guys, be verwy verwy warwy. It might be a wabbit!"
No but in all seriousness assuming that the player is going to metagame to alter the outcome of the combat is wrong.
Ashiel you talked about prestige classes just a couple of minutes ago, and that has me wondering something.
Should we (we being the interested parties in Ashiel's work and most likely to use/buy them) begin a thread specifically for the purposes of listing what sort of things we would want from these new prestige classes?
Not only suggestions mind you but with some of the minds that we have around here we could run into original ideas for something that hasn't been done before, or perhaps a better way to achieve something that already exists.
Either way we're sure to get great material.
Now that was funny.
Also why is everyone so interested in whether Ashiel is a guy or a girl I wonder? I find that very interesting. I actually spoke with Ashiel and we both laughed when I thought back and said that I had predicted this very thing would happen a while back. May the guessing continue.
Also while I think that Ashiel would love to work with Paizo it isn't necessary for success in the RPG business. Ashiel has independently put out material before, and could continue to do so. If you would like to support Ash's line of reasoning look for Alvena Publishing online and see if you like something. I think Ash even has something in the Paizo store. Just thought that I would add that.
Abraham spalding wrote:
"I don't know why you all want those things anyway -- don't you know they are... nevermind." -- dragon on the source of dragon diamonds.
LOL. Wow that is a great reference. I think the dragon says something like "I don't understand why you humans value such things, don't you know it's my sh... Oh never mind." I've yet to play that game however I am going to be doing so in the very near future. Again great reference, it made my day.
I think that something else that you should consider is that in the basic DnD system gems are considered trade items. <http://www.d20pfsrd.com/equipment---final> This link goes to the equipment page of the Pathfinder System Reference Document. There right beneath the heading "Coins" is a heading called "Other Wealth". Under that heading it says exactly "Merchants commonly exchange trade goods without using currency. As a means of comparison, some trade goods are detailed on Table: Trade Goods."
What this means is that while certain items might cost more or less as a rule of supply and demand there are certain goods that retain there value not simply based on their supply but based on there usefulness or the items unending demand. Things like certain cloth goods, gems, spices, salt, grains, flour, livestock and metal. That means that these goods work just like coins for the purposes of buying and selling.
As for how these things keep their constant value, there are several different ways this might come about. It might be that certain goods like gems and metals have quality controls just like this world does. People who are specially trained to understand the financial significance of most gems and metals, this is easily done by even a 1st level expert. While other things like cloth, grain, spices, and livestock are likely regulated in price by the kingdom for purposes of trade with it's neighbors. Or if not that these items can be kept at constants to represent the wealth of the kingdom as a whole, rather like the wealth of the US is partially based on the amount of gold that we have in the treasuries. Technically the value of gold never changes (although television adds would have you believe otherwise), what changes is the economic value of a countries currency against the understood wealth of the gold kept in reserve.
I know I've typed too much as it is but I thought that this small explanation might help with your question or even improve your game play experience.
Peace and Good Gaming
And here is the post that I came to the boards to read! I actually play with Ashiel and I have personally played this monk fix. Allow me to introduce you to not failing at life as a monk. These powers go so well with the Monk that I'm not entirely sure that the Psychic Warrior wasn't designed as a monk fix in the first place. Powers like Grip of Iron is amazing for grappling buffs. Want your monk to seemingly appear out of no where and take the enemy by surprise? Then Chameleon is for you. Do you want your Monk to be able to shrug of the punches of mere mortals? Then cast Biofeedback gives you just enough DR to make the enemy wonder whether they hit a person or a brick wall. You want to jump off a roof top that would break a normal persons legs? Catfall has an answer. Empty Mind and Fortify allow you to use your meditative abilities in battles to protect yourself from harm. I mean these powers are so fluid that all scream INNER POWER from the roof tops. Not only that but these powers allow for in depth customization of a particular brand of Monk that you want to be.
I intend to use this for all intents and purposes as the essential Monk. I also intend to share this with whoever will listen. I've loved Monks even before this fix, I've probably played more monks than any other class, and I am happy to see a fix that drags them off of the bottom power rung.
Ok first off let me say to Ashiel. I've read your posts on other boards and this is not the stuff that I would have thought you would concern yourself with, but whatever floats your boat.
Now that that is out of the way. Lemme say that it is an interesting concept to think that Wisdom rather than Charisma would be the score of choice for... this sort of check. But if you really stop to consider the implications it begins to make more sense. What does Charisma really do in the game? Well skill wise a few things pop up right to start with. The first skills being bluff, diplomacy, gather information, and intimidate. These skills all deal specifically with changing someone else's point of view.
That doesn't really sound like something in itself that would make a whore better at her job, at least not directly. I could argue that in correlation it would work with the profession skill, but not alone.
Now Wisdom brings to mind sense motive, profession, survival, spot, and listen. Now for arguments sake lets leave spot and listen out of the conversation, while minor points might be made for each they don't really pertain to this discussion at all. Moving on we can look at survival, while not a skill for a whore it begins to give an idea of what the wisdom ability score does in a practical sense.
Survival is the ability to know through experience how to take care of yourself, and potentially other people while in hostile environments. The key word in this is through experience. But not only having experienced it, but being able to call up the experiences to preform a task. This makes perfect sense in the context presented. Not only have you been able to please the opposite sex/same sex/no sex/different species/different form of life/no signs of life, thought these last few are a bit difficult to imagine.
Moving on sense motive and profession. Well with a profession like prostitution, I'm using a word I understand fully so I hope no one minds, it should be easy to see how sensing your partners feelings would come in handy. Even if they didn't say what they liked, for instance, without them having to say a word. I don't think that this needs going over anymore, it's straight forward sense motive is good at sensing what isn't said.
Now lets see here. Profession. Well again straight forward. On the job training has made you good at what you do. Someone just starting out might use Charisma to get someone's attention on the street, but how well they are or aren't satisfied is directly equivalent to how well the person can perform the task. Quite simply it doesn't matter how awesome your car looks if you can't drive it.
Just something to think about. Again weird topic.
Except that sharpening with a whetstone, like you are supposed to, gives you +1 to your next attack. Adventurers armory, I believe.
That could very well be true, please excuse me for not looking it up this late at night, but that is basically a variant rule in a splat book and not a core rule. This is important to note seeing as how a whetstone is mentioned in the core book under equipment, but makes no mention of such a bonus in the core rules.
Also this would be a rather unfair to other weapons that did not have blades. I mean what would the equivalent for a bludgeoning weapons? If it's good for the goose it's good for the gander, as the saying goes. I could see this working for piercing weapons quite easily though. I could see it working for arrows and bolts. A whetstone could work like the spell greater magic weapon, and work on a certain number of projectiles, like twenty or so. But even then a whetstone would be more useful for projectiles than other weapons.
So I guess my question is where is the balance?
Really I guess that is a really good thing for Pathfinder. It shows that people that are interested Pathfinder products are doing a complete switch over, which means more business for Paizo. It also shows that Paizo is doing a good job keeping it's fans happy, which is something that Wizards has been having a problem with for years.
I think that part of this success is due to Pathfinders direct connection with their customers, and the fact that they listen to their patrons and their incites to the game.
Congratulations Paizo, Currently you're all WIN!!
Well I guess that depends on what you mean by customary. According to dictionary.com cutomary means:1. According to the customs or usual practices associated with a particular society, place, or set of circumstances.
2. According to a person's habitual practice.
I would say that I believe that you should playtest the encounters that you aren't sure of, or if you aren't sure that you have the adventure running the way you want it to, give the unfinished version to an interested GM for them to run and give feed back. But I've not ever really heard that it is everyone's custom to playtest an adventure.
Also if you give this to a DM to Run on openrpg they can actually save the chat log of the game, allowing you to personally go through and see where the problems, if any, originated from.
so the party traveling around with the magic carpet, flaming swords and helms of brilliance dont look more intimidating than the commoner with the pitch forks?
Truly, I don't believe that is what Asphesteros is saying at all. Rather that in most situations monsters/npc's aren't going to take one look at a party, and realize that there doom is inevitable should they strike out at them. Not every npc walks around with detect magic or the like going, to do so for anyone without PC class levels would be difficult at best.
Also what you have to realize is that most campaign settings don't assume characters in the world higher than 6th-10th level. Now if the big bad is a newley awakened ancient evil or has been leveling up while the party has been trying to uncover their insidious plot then we can assume that epic proportions are taking place within the world. The kinds of things the world only see's once or twice a millennium. In other words most npc's between 6th to 10th level would likely, and rightly believe themselves to be the cream of the crop. Also greater numbers could attribute to their boldness.
Just a few thoughts, AI