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Do you think it would be possible to turn the entire Tower fight part of the Dead Fantasy series (up to the bit where everyone gets teleported) into a workable Pathfinder scenario?
Having just spent some time re-watching it (I loved these), I do think that it could though some additional material would be needed than what's in standard Pathfinder I think.
I gotta run to work but I'll provide details when I get back!
Artemis Moonstar wrote:
Should one who sucks at math even bother an attempt at 3rd party TTRPG design? How about one who's been gaming for some 20 years and has a kind of pseudo-intuition about it?
Given that 137ben boggled my mind for a bit (math has never been my best subject unfortunately :P), I'm going to say probably not. :P
I will say at least getting the basic math of the RPG system you're writing for would be a huge help though. :)
I'm going to go over this a few times and try to commit it to memory. ^_^
What's in the Box wrote:
I also feel like that is a good selling point. When you publish and I purchase I will make that part of the review: "Noobs rejoice! The adventure for your fledgling skills has arrived!"
Thank you both. ^_^
When I try to write adventures in a way that would be useful and convenient for me if I purchased an adventure, not by what's the industry standard. Honestly, the first time I tried to run a prewritten adventure it wasn't pretty. I had no idea what I was doing and the adventure wasn't helping much. :P
When I write stuff for other GMs, I do it in the way I'd like an adventure written for me. I really think the little sideboxes and stuff help a lot in that regard.
What's in the box? wrote:
I was just asking my players for feedback yesterday and at least one of them is pretty excited about getting to fight the Marilith that they're attempting to confront and all that would entail.
The first (and so far only) combat encounter that they've had since entering the dungeon was with a patrol of fiend-blooded elven inquisitors (not mechanically inquisitors, they were actually adepts) and a small force of sentry droids with scorching ray guns. Now, by the time that the party has arrived here, they're already like 11th level or so, so they are already in the big leagues so they thoroughly thrashed them with no issue (the sentry droids are only like CR 4 or so, the elves weren't much higher) but it firmly established the PCs as super-heroes and represents how much they can really change in the dungeon-city with their presence. For the first time ever, there's a team of strange outsiders with the apparent power to oppose the "God Queen" and that is big, frightening, exciting news for the inhabitants. They are met with a mixture of fear, wonder, and awe.
Now, Aliizsa Sylvari (for which her forum account is named) is a tiefling that has history with the marilith. Really old and fairly bitter history. See, Aliizsa was once an arch-succubus named Ishtok the Defiler, a general in the same army as the marilith Maraketh. The two were rivals for power and attention of their lord, and during their invasion of the world and the sky cities, Ishtok saw an opportunity to remove her rival from the equation in a rather sinister prank. While Maraketh was still inside the adamantine sky-city, Ishtok engineered the city to plummet into the planet's surface and trapping Maraketh inside of it where she was more or less left since then.
After the demons lost the war, Ishtok was trapped outside of the plane (having too many HD to be called into the world with planar binding spells and having no super-high level mages in the world to get her in otherwise). Her queen (not the marilith but a different demon) was still trapped in the material plane after the gates were sealed and has been hiding and plotting a second attempt at world domination. Naturally, the fiends wanted to get Ishtok back into the world to help wreck stuff but weren't sure how to do so (fiends are not naturally gifted in planeshifting abilities like angels and djinn) so they concocted a different plan.
They decided that sense outsiders are basically souls, they would find a bloodline that was tainted by fiendish blood and attempt a theoretical ritual to allow Ishtok to be born into a mortal body so that she could slip into the plane. Essentially jumping into an unborn tiefling body before a new or reincarnating soul could do so. Well that part of the plan totally worked. What didn't work is that being born kind of wipes your slate and Ishtok immediately suffered chronic super amnesia. She was, for all intents and purposes, just another little tiefling girl. And that's where the plan fell apart.
See, Ishtok -- now Aliizsa Sylvari -- was born to an elven refugee couple long after the war had ended. Having no recollection of her past and plans, she experienced life in the world she was trying to conquer as a citizen of that world. She experienced a lot of new things with a fresh take, including the love of her family, the kindness of strangers, a love of music (she plays the violin really well), and an appreciation for certain simple niceties like candy and piggy-back rides. The demons' plans couldn't have failed more utterly. >_>
Fast forward to the present day. Aliizsa, having had the memories and awareness of who she was thrust upon her, now awakens with lost and forgotten demonic power that wells up from her ancient demon soul. However, now it is not the destruction of this world that she seeks but the defeat of those who would defile it (a bit ironic as she was herself known as the great defiler). However, she needs to determine where her old rival Maraketh stands now and if she is still a threat (note: she's a marilith, everything about her is threatening), but she's really uncertain as to how that is going to go down.
In all fairness, when you drop a city on someone and trap them inside of it for a few hundred years, it'd be hard to blame them if they weren't particularly thrilled to see you...
What's in the box? wrote:
You know I have always wondered how I should adjust CR when handling more (or less) party members and on the first page you said to adjust it by 25%... idk why that never occurred to me, but that is genius!
Thanks. It's one of the reasons that I'm actually a fan of the CR system. Now, even though it's kind of the same in 3.x, the Pathfinder system is waaaay easier to deal with and a great improvement over the 3.x method. While the idea of CR in the 3.x system was a good one, it was grossly confusing trying to create a good encounter in 3.x. It had these weird mixed-monster CR charts, a rather ineloquent explanation of the process, etc. I strongly believe it heavily contributed to a lot of frustrations and single-enemy encounters.
Pathfinder strongly simplified the whole process with what is essentially an XP-budget. It has never been simpler or easier to build great encounters. If I was to pick one change from 3.x to Pathfinder that I feel has been the single best change to the mechanics of the game, I do believe that above all class, spell, and skill changes, the XP/encounter revisions are IMHO the best contributing thing to running a good game.
Is Vengeance Best Served a typical representation of an encounter arc/session for your players? Or would you consider it more special/thorough/elaborative/etc.?
Yeah, probably so. I'll be using the same process and considerations I use when running my own games while writing this. This includes the fact that not every encounter is equal in terms of difficulty and I don't even mean in terms of CR.
For example, the adventure is intended for 11th level parties. However you'll notice that the Yeti and Winter Wolves in the first few encounters have little in terms of answers to things like fly. This is okay. Not every encounter should strain the party tactically and it serves a great function both narratively and psychologically for your party to be able to use their abilities to leverage great advantages in encounters.
This in turn actually makes encounters with more variety stand out more like the bullet points and heightens the sense of excitement and wonder. While the basic trash encounters include simple enemies like one-trick wonders (winter wolves) and simple low-CR brutes (yeti, skeletal undead, etc), when the PCs encounter the classed monsters (such as the yeti cleric, winter wolf druid, and lizardfolk druid) it will make the encounters stand out as the highlights or crescendo of the first major arch in the adventure.
I'm probably going to need to bite the bullet and make some sample maps in GIMP or something at least for illustrative purposes. While I'm a very big proponent of adventures being as lightweight as possible so you can fit them into more games, I want to include bits about making the fights feel more dynamic because of your environment. For example, if the PCs take to the air, the winter wolves might decide to take refuge inside nearby buildings to force PCs to decide between doing stupid things like fireballing the houses, waste time waiting for them to come back out (which means the other invaders have more time to wreck the place), or go in to fight with them (in which case the enemies have re-aligned the battlefield). Likewise, Yeti have a climb speed and I feel like that could be fun to play around with.
As far as drawing tech levels out of a hat, I meant something like the same city as described by two different authors is likely to look pretty different. Tech is defined barely at all, anywhere other than maybe Alkenstar.
True that. :)
How would you even define the "average tech level" of a world, even ours, with any useful metric anyway?
I don't even know. I guess best case scenario it might, suggest if you might find a piece of traded tech-piece floating around in unusual places (like finding a cell-phone battery floating around a tribal village), maybe? Honestly I can't think of much point other than maybe something like that (but that's less average tech and more trading opportunity, I think).
What's pretty hilarious is it's not even that far fetched in the sense that "average tech" is pretty varied. We live in modernized countries, typing on computers, chatting about space stations and stuff. Meanwhile at the same moment elsewhere in the world, people wearing loincloths are fishing with spears.
They can do it anyway. You don't need a valid case to sue someone and be a pain in the butt to them. I could sue Paizo right now over something. "Paizo clearly took inspiration from my blog" is effectively the same as what's being suggested and pretty much anyone could attempt to claim some sort of infringement (it'd be futile in both cases but a jerk with a lawyer can be an especially huge jerk).
Also Plate Mail. Wasn't even around until about the 1300s and hit its peak around the 1600s.
If I understood the purpose of this, I'm not sure why playing a game put together by volunteers would be a legal hazard, anymore than it would be for a Paizo staff member to write about playing a 3PP adventure on a blog or a youtuber doing a Lets Play for an Indie Game.
I didn't see anything about Paizo publishing anything. :|
Undead Type wrote:
No Constitution score. Undead use their Charisma score in place of their Constitution score when calculating hit points, Fortitude saves, and any special ability that relies on Constitution (such as when calculating a breath weapon's DC).
It just flips to Charisma.
It's more frustrating to Barbarians who are immune to their own rage.
Well it was Final Fantasy VII. It doesn't get much more divine than that! :P(Fanboy alert!)
Ooh! An Ashiel beatdown!
I promise it wasn't intended to be. (^~^)"
Well the FAQ, last I checked doesn't cover this particular case. Last I checked it was about applying a score to a thing. However when you're applying types of bonuses to things it gets different.
For example, a Paladin can only apply his Charisma bonus to saves, even if he later gets an ability that also says Cha->Saves from another feature. However, a Paladin can cast bestow grace on himself and get Cha from Divine Grance AND Bestow Grace because the spell is granting a Sacred bonus equal to the Paladin's Charisma.
In this case, let's say you make it a Luck bonus (hypothetically) then it would apply a +2 luck bonus to saves. But then it might provide a +2 luck bonus to the Charisma bonus that Divine Grace provides. In essence it's increasing two different values, it's just that the latter value also makes the former value stronger.
It's kind of like if you have a spell that gives +2 to melee attack and damage rolls and +2 Strength. Because Strength just got better, your net gain is a +3 to attack and damage rolls.
It just gets really...messy. Especially if you have to start trying to parse which abilities do and do not function with it.
Also, "non-dynamic" is not a game term: it's my 1:30 AM attempt at explaining a concept that I lack the lexicon to clarify. Hence, yeah, it's got problems (I attempted to address that under "The Defense" section above, but obviously not clearly enough.) Would you limit it to just AC/CMD with the other caveats I've given (since Saves are thusly covered under the d20 rolls)? Otherwise what would be a "definitive standard" list?
Kind of like heroism or good hope do. Heroism gives it to attack rolls, saving throws, ability checks and skill checks. Good hope also gives it to damage rolls. They specify which things are modified by the spell instead of saying "+2 to rolls" or something similar. As a result, heroism doesn't make you better at Concentration checks or at penetrating Spell Resistance or some new check that comes out after it was written.
I'd forgotten the Circumstance bonus stacks - I was thinking they overlapped for some reason. Thanks!
You're welcome. Racial bonuses stack as well. As do dodge bonuses (not that dodge would make sense here).
The morale bonus from courageous is something I never remember (as I've never played a game with it).
Any similar issues with Luck or Profane?
Well luck might work, but it might seem a bit off thematically. I'd personally dislike profane as it literally means evil-powered and this seems more shadow-oriented and I generally dislike associating unrelated concepts like light and dark used Un-metaphorically with Good and Evil.
(Also: heeeeeeeck no on the Celestial/Fiendish template. It already exists and gives absolutely none of the flavor or style in the mechanics.)
I don't think I was clear. I was using the celestial/fiendish templates as an example of a template that has different effects based on the level of the creature in question. I wasn't trying to imply that it should be modeled after them specifically.
More that I'm suggesting your overall template would probably do well if you limited the amount of stuff that was up-front and then allowed it to get better at later levels. This way the CR adjustment remains fairly consistent because CR is not a linear growth. Fast Healing 2 does not mean the same thing at 1st level as it does 10th level, y'know?
One of the problems you mentioned was that it's a strait power-degrade for most creatures because +2 CR is a big pill to swallow (triply so if you're using the +4 LA from the old template). But you also don't want it to be grossly OP at low levels or useless at high levels.
So why not make it so that on low-HD creatures it provides a lesser benefit and gets more awesome at high levels when those abilities don't mean nearly as much anymore, right? That way you can cut the CR adjustment down to +1 and grant the SLAs and such at different points, or have the scale (kind of like how the SR scales).
@-Ashiel; While my mindset would lean more to guessing your experience has a more natural and less divine explanation, in truth it would be silly for me to guess what is happening given the little information I know about the situation.
Yeah, I've wondered about it before too. In fact, when I first started talking to God, I thought it must be schizophrenia setting in or something, so I asked God to humor me just once and answer a question that I myself couldn't answer without help, under the condition I wouldn't treat it like a magic 8-ball and keep asking for proofs.
I was never particularly great at math so I made up a random number off the top of my and was like "What's the square root of this number". I gave it a moment and then I got a new, much smaller number back. I immediately thought "I doubt that" and punched it into the calculator on my PC and hit the square-root button and...it actually kind of scared me a little bit because I couldn't have faked it if I was trying to win money. o_o
If the angel and God has made your life better I'm glad.
Yeah, it's awkward in a way. My manager at a job I got was a very religious Christian man and we'd sometimes talk about stuff. He commented that his son was very Intelligent and needed reasons for things, and that while proud of him it made him a little worried about him for his apparent lack of faith. When he likened the two of us and remarked about my apparent faith, I had to correct him.
I explained that I couldn't take credit for being a particularly faithful believer in God. I told him about some of my my experiences with supernatural things, including the angel incident, which he received well, and explained that after experiencing enough of these things it becomes harder to not believe in it than it does to believe in it. After a point, it feels like you're trying to second-guess that water is wet. It's not really faith so much as it is experience. It also doesn't feel as "special" as one might think because it's not some great accomplishment. I've often noted that I really feel like people just need to ask and listen more.
Regarding innate human morality I honestly don't know how legit that is, even from a very young age we pick up the fundamentals of morality from the people around us, not sure if we are mostly a blank slate when born or if there is something to that.
It's probably worth studying. I just know that literally every child I've ever been able to sit down and hang out with (I'm a great babysitter :P) has shown me that if given some hypotheticals, they can quickly parse what is and isn't right.
Maybe I've just met really awesome kids. :P
Though, further, as a kid there must have been a reason that I (and some of my friends) innately knew some things were wrong. Why is it that when older adults said things like being gay was wrong, did it feel so bad? Why was it that if one of my family members said something racist that I was innately ashamed? It wasn't just me but a number of my peers as well.
I don't believe that being able to tell basic wrongs from rights makes one a special snowflake. I think it's pretty commonplace. :)
Though I haven't seen him be an ass yet, I'm always open to surprises. For years he's been something of a personal hero of mine and role model as to what a rational, well-reasoned individual is. I can find no fault in anything I've ever heard him say.
That said, it's not mandatory that anyone like him or his works, and I think that's a great thing. :)
A bit of both. We have the intellectual capacity to, without an authority, derive what is good and evil. This is why atheists are perfectly capable of being among the best and most morally upright individuals you can find in the world. In some cases, their morality is purer because they turn to reason rather than the authority of another, so it's less likely to be incorruptible if the reason is followed. This is why you won't see Richard Dawkins (oh this man is just so awesome) insisting that we chop people's heads off, stone people to death, make women second class citizens, etc. Because he has reasoned that those things are bad and even when a religious authority says to do them or says they are upright and virtuous he detects it for the steaming pile that it is.
I'm not an atheist though. I'm a spiritual person that believes in the supernatural. By my stating that I am spiritual, religious, or whatever, I've already effectively stated that I am a believer in things that in most cases borders on insanity. Because of this, I'm not too shy of saying what I'm about to because I've already raised the flag saying "I'm into some screwy s***".
I've talked to God. Yep, I said it. I can now be filed under "clinically insane". I went through a period of my life where I was studying some things of a supernatural bent (psychic techniques, effects of meditation on consciousness, etc). It was kind of a side-hobby that developed from trying to understand some things I was experiencing and feeling that I wasn't really having much luck with explaining through traditional means.
Fast forward a bit to a point where I was really struggling in my life. Usual problems: trouble at home, lots of self doubt, self-esteem issues, financial woes, self-identity problems, self-image issues, etc. I was generally depressed and legitimately contemplated suicide (as in, I didn't tell anyone about it and came close a few times but I never could quite go through with it). One day, I got in a fight with my mom and feeling pretty broken I went to my room and I just broke down and cried. I didn't remember what we were fighting about or why anything had led to this point, I just cried. It was too much. While I sat there in the dark (my room had no windows in it and when the two doors were shut it was dark enough that you couldn't see your hand in front of your face) two things came to my mind.
1. The techniques for connecting to someone's "signature".
So, with no thought firmly in place as to why, I "reached out" to that signature mentally in a quiet desperation, a wordless call. To my surprise, I found it and got something back. I then had a very powerful "hallucination" where an angel appeared in my room before me. My logical mind recognized that whatever this was, it was not there in the physical sense because it appeared as a brilliant and beautiful thing of light, yet it wasn't illuminating the dark room, so this light wasn't actual light but something that sure looked like light to me and was very contrasted in the darkness surrounding it. Likewise, it moved in ways physically impossible. It was as though it was simply wherever it intended to be when it intended to be there.
(To my surprise, it wasn't what I would have expected if I had thought of an angel. For one, growing up I was taught that angels were masculine or male, while this one most certainly appeared and felt feminine in nature.)
My rational mind kind of sat there and shut up, observing what I was experiencing, knowing that I should be freaking out or even afraid of what I was seeing but noting that I felt a sense of passive acceptance of what I was experiencing while I sat there crying. It felt as normal as my bedpost even though I knew it was anything but. It vanished from before me and was immediately behind me where it wrapped its arms around me. It felt strangely comforting in this position, but then it felt as if it was drawing out my soul and my crying fell into full on sobbing as it kind of hurt emotionally. After a few moments, it felt like I was empty inside and I just laid down on my bed, sobbing subsided and just breathing, accepting whatever it was that was happening to me without objection or recourse.
As I lay there, I slowly felt that it was not emptiness that I was feeling. It was more like cleanliness. It initially felt like I was losing myself because I couldn't rightly remember a time where I hadn't been carrying that darkness with me. Struggling to find a perfect metaphor, I would liken it to carrying a weight for a long time, only to forget about it until suddenly someone comes along and takes the weight off of you. How for a moment your muscles almost scream out in agony as the burden is suddenly lifted, only for a bit later for you to feel like you are as light as a feather and so very free.
Just as quickly as it had all began, it was over. My sister came and opened the door to tell me that it was time to get groceries out of the van. With that same strange acceptance of it all, I got up and continued life as if nothing had ever happened. I told no one for quite a while.
In truth, that moment turned my life around. I became ever more aware of something else within the world, like seeing beneath a surface of water for the first time. For some time after that, I got to know that angel. I started talking with "God" and though it was difficult at first because there were no words, more like raw thought and ideas to be sorted out, eventually you get used to translating what you're getting if it's not too terribly complex.
Now the biggest reason it turned my life around is because I started asking questions about what I should do, and the advice I received often wasn't what I would have done and often sounded like it wouldn't work, but it made my life all the better. Most notably, he, she, it, "God" helped me restore my relationship with my mother. I was told to let all the anger I had felt go, hug her, tell her I loved her, and go with it. So I did. I still remember that first morning. I walked into the kitchen. My mom was groggy and drinking a cup of coffee and I could see her bracing herself, getting prepared for a verbal fight. I realized neither of us even knew why were were fighting or what started it. I walked up to her and hugged her (which caused her to flinch with slight surprise), told her I loved her, and that I was thankful that she was my mom and no one else. Her reaction was a mixture of surprise and an appreciative emotion I could feel through her skin, and then doubt, and she asked me "What do you want?". I told her I just wanted her to know I loved her.
It wasn't an overnight transformation. Our relationship didn't suddenly heal because of a hug. So used to fighting and bickering, she would reflexively make baiting comments, but I let them go. I followed the advice of "God" and just met her with acceptance and love. Eventually, her barbs melted away and about a year or so later we were good and were right up until she died, and we're still good to this day.
Now why does any of this matter? Because it relates to your question. Being a borderline atheist for a long time, having an interest in psychology, and generally being a pretty reason-oriented person, I once asked God, "What if you tell me to drown a kid or something?", relating it to stories you hear about people doing terrible things because "God told them to" and stuff. God's response was roughly "I'll never tell you do do anything wrong, and if I do, you will not do it, because inside you know what is right and wrong".
So far, that has proven true. No matter what people of my "religion" have taught me, I've always felt sick when I detect tyranny and bigotry. It's why I've become more and more estranged from organized religion and more into the spiritual side of it. When people tell me things that I innately know are wrong (such as my friend's pastor going on an anti-homosexual rant) I know that they are not worth listening to.
So let's talk divine inspiration and morality.
Take aside some children. Let them see another kid not getting to play with the same toys as everyone else and tell them that it's because that kid is black, white, girl, boy, tall, short, whatever. Ask them if they think that is fair? Every child I've ever asked can tell you with no uncertainty that it's wrong.
Is that supernatural? Probably not. It's probably based in our biology somewhere. Is it pretty divine? Damn strait it is.
If God is real and the creator of the universe it always seemed silly to judge him based on our morality to me anyway, seeing as our morality is mostly cultural and shifts with time anyway.
Theoretically the moment that we ate from the forbidden fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, we were capable of working out morality as God, but we didn't eat from the other tree, the Tree of Life, which is heavily implied to lead to immortality/godhood.
The moment that we supposedly ate of the tree, we were no longer innocent, we were playing in the same ballpark as God, minus the divinity aspect.
And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: 23Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
Oh definitely. I'm just commenting on the fact that most kind of recoil at the idea that God is anything but rainbows and
I know most of my religious peers are made uncomfortable by some of my observations concerning our religion, and D&D/Pathfinder kind of throw those observations right into the faces of anyone involved and it doesn't even try to, it's just by sheer proxy of attempting to be nonbiased (though ever since 3.5, bias has begun to eek into it more and more).
Pssss~sst! Would you mind looking at this and giving feedback? Thanks!
Gave some (hopefully constructive) feedback. :)
Thinking about it further, I think I might encourage dropping mirror image giving them a constant 20% miss chance when in darkness (which means even creatures with darkvision have some issues hitting them because they melt into the shadows), or even doing something fairly unique can giving them a competence bonus to concealment (a bizarre and not-yet used idea in Pathfinder) wherein they increase the miss-% of any concealment effect by 10% or something (so concealment 20% becomes 30% and concealment 50% becomes 60%).
I'll think about it a bit.
Couple of things.
1. Circumstance bonuses stack so there's not really any need to lower their CR if it's a circumstance bonus because it always stacks with other circumstance bonuses.
If it's a morale bonus, the courageous enhancement will cause them to explode super-saiyan style as it's basically uber heroism, granting bonuses to everything including saving throw DCs. Frankly +2 to save DCs for all abilities is great already (literally +10% chance your enemy fails) but when you add Courageous into it, you're looking at an extra +2 to the DCs (and everything else). +20% to penetrate saves is like "Whoa dude". :P
2. I think "the bonus" needs to be cleaned up. One of the goals you had was to make it easier to run, except as it is it really doesn't. The "not real HP but not temporary HP" hit point bonuses for example are awkward and create some really strange situations when they pass from dark to light to dark again (the HP go away but you haven't taken any damage but then the HP come back, are you still damaged? Do the bonus HP have to be healed naturally, with magic, or when can you heal them? Other issues like that).
Further the bonus needs to be defined better. For example, currently it applies to all numerical non-dynamic defenses. It doesn't define what nondynamic is, but reading it here I would take it to mean things like saves vs Poison get upped, channel resistance gets upped, saves vs mind-affecting are upped, etc. Especially since energy resistances and DR are called out as an example (ruling out the idea that dynamic is "applies sometimes").
It creates some weird interactions with spells. For example, it increases DR and energy resistances. Now while that doesn't really pose an issue with spells like resist energy because going from resist 10 to resist 12 for the course of the spell doesn't mean much, when you consider spells like stonekin which grants the creature DR 10/adamantine but only blocks up to CL * 10 Hp worth of damage, does this mean that it it now is DR 12/adamantine with the same limit of 10 * CL, or is it now 10 * CL then +2, or is it 12 * CL, or some other formula? (By RAW it would increase DR to 12/adamantine but expire after 10 * CL HP, so it blocks slightly bigger hits but falls at the same total damage blocked).
It also has has the side effect of doubling up on a lot of defenses. For example, they would get the +2 bonus to saves, and then if they were a Paladin they'd get +2 to their divine grace. If they had superstition, their superstition bonus increases by +2, and if they had ghost rager, their touch AC goes up by another +2 because of that bonus to superstition as well as going up by +2 because there's a bonus to AC. Similarly, monks would double dip in AC (+2 to AC and then increasing their static defensive ability by +2 again).
I really think you might want to reign in exactly what this bonus applies to, because at the moment, it has extreme variety in terms of how powerful this template is based on what sort of classes are using it. A Ranger for example would get the usual benefits but a Paladin would increase his save bonuses twice, would increase the power of his auras (which provide static defensive bonuses) which stack with divine grace (so the Paladin vs Antipaladin scenario would leave the Paladin with a net +2 vs Fear).
I think you might have better results toning the whole template down and making it more like celestial/fiendish creatures instead, where you have some abilities that unlock and get better with the HD/level of the creature in question and lowering the CR adjustment to being almost nothing. That way you could pack some of the better features onto higher level creatures (where the initial benefits aren't going to even wiggle their CR up a full +1) while avoiding the issue of overpowering low-end characters (because frankly see in darkness is already amazing and if you give them a +8 racial to Stealth, most enemies are pretty much screwed at this point).
I was just thinking about it a bit and I think we (Christians) should probably have more trouble with the fact that we have to accept that "Good" is not an alignment that is appropriate for our God if we are basing it on the accounts from the bible than we do with fictional gods or atheism in the game. The best that we could hope for in D&D/Pathfinder is "Neutral". Generally speaking, I feel like that should probably be a harder thing for us to swallow than whether or not god exist at all. The simple fact that in D&D/Pathfinder, gods do not dictate morality and are subject to morality as much as anyone else.
Playing a game that without trying to says "You need to take a long hard look at your religion and its account of your God and decide where you stand on that" is at once jarring and beautiful at the same time. Without attempting to, it provokes thought and consideration rather than assumption.
It's kind of funny actually, because for all the bible-belt hatred spewed at the hobby, D&D, and fantasy in general over things like dragons, demons, devils, and magic, the single most provocative thing that any member of our faith will have to deal with is an indirect statement that our god as depicted by our religion is not a "Good" god, never has been, never will be, and how true that really is.
I don't believe in goblins either.
That seems pretty cool. Makes 'em a bit more flexible to be certain. :)
The biggest reason I wasn't super concerned about sorcerers is because while as written sorcerers in Pathfinder suck compared to wizards, spontaneous casting has this really funny habit of going from "wish I was a wizard" to "phenomenal cosmic power" as you ramp up their spells known, because the added flexibility is surprisingly potent. Unfortunately in standard Pathfinder, sorcerers lack the spells known for extra flexibility.
For example, in my campaigns I offer sorcerers the option to pick two domains instead of a bloodline (all Wis-based effects and references to cleric level now are Cha-based and reference sorcerer level; all the domain spells are added to their spells known), and the +2 spells known at each level is glorious. :P
Of course, I also made it so sorcerers and oracles get their new spells every odd level like wizards so that wizards weren't actually competing with them for spells per day (I always hated that wizards are usually beating sorcerers out for both powers and spells per day at all but the lowest and highest levels). And sorcerers and oracles get their bloodline spells immediately (as in, as soon as that spell level can be cast) because I think it's dumb that you actually have to wait longer than a normal sorcerer to get spells appropriate to your theme.
If you do that, it would probably look a little sexier since it would look like this:
11th level Specialist Wizard (24 Int)
11th level Bloodline Sorcerer (24 Cha)
11th level Domain Sorcerer (24 Cha)
In this case, the sorcerers are getting far more love than they have ever gotten in Core because spontaneous casting rewards more spells known in a really major way (like really, really major way :P).
The wizard picks two 6th level spells and adds them to his book with the option of going to a city and adding new spells to his heart's content, but he'll only have 2 of them loaded and ready to go at one time plus his school spell so his loadout might be something like this:
Greater Dispel Magic
Now if I'm picking spells for my 11th level sorcerer with these changes in place, my 6th level spells cannot be changed easily but my loadout looks more like this:
Greater Dispel Magic
If we compare our lower level spells, I'll consistently have about 3 additional spells to prepare when compared to the wizard. Now the reason more spells known + spontaneous is really good is because you can diversify without remorse. Most players, especially good players, can probably pick all the spells they'll ever realistically need out of 7-9 spells of each level.
For example, my "Arcane" bloodline sorcerer's 4th level spells would likely be:
Dimension Door (bloodline)
This is a pretty wide list of options to draw from. Not everything is combat-ready but I don't need for it to be anymore (whereas you're gimping yourself in core if you have a sorcerer that takes spells like secure shelter).
The revised casting system roughly keeps the game as mechanically similar to the base game as possible so that it doesn't make massive waves with people's existing characters. If you have house rules that help pull the sorcerer up to the wizard in place, they'll probably still be competitive against the wizard now, whereas if you don't, they might still be overshadowed by the wizard a bit (but not by nearly as much IMHO, because getting 1 spell known on a spontaneous caster a whole spell late is just shameful).
This has been another episode of Ashiel Rambles About Rules. Tune in next time for heaven knows what!
Aliizsa Sylvari wrote:
Clothes usually. Pants are optional.
2) Is it sexy? How sexy? ;3
It's in the eye of the beholder. A hazard of the job I suppose.
3) What do you bring for the pot luck?
Pizza. Or if a literal pot-luck, I'd need to think about it.
4) Does this bodice make me look fat?
Need more study time. :3
5) What did you get us for our anniversary?
My ****. Oh wait, that was plan B. Plan A is a custom BBEG at the end of the campaign.
6) Is it sexy?
Yes and yes.
7) What spells did you prepare today?
Contact other plane.
8) "Moves like Jagger" starts playing on the phonograph; how do you move?
With the groove!
That's not a quest--rolled! XD
Yes. Even if it wasn't part of my religion to believe in ghosts and spirits, I enjoy meeting them enough to not dismiss them.
This song...is great. :D
(Yes, we started dating on 4/20 :P It was also Easter. It was also the day he bought me Diablo III. It was also the day all of ->this<- happened!)
Hail Romance!! *armraise*Ashiel has now offended millions
Pretty much this. Some certainties that we have for the system are...
1. Casting will scale a little differently for classes (going up to 10th level spells).
2. Spells with have a set spell level regardless of what class or source is referencing them. So if it's a 3rd level spell it's a 3rd level spell. None of this crap where different spells are different levels for different classes.
This means that you will never have troubles figuring out things like spell-like abilities, or having to re-invent the wheel everytime a new class is published (I feel sorry for those poor sods on d20pfsrd.com who have to go through and add individual classes to each spell when a new class is published).
It also shoots some magic item woes in the foot. :)
3. Classes with thematic niches will have options for acquiring and casting certain spells earlier. For example, in the case of classes like the bard that get higher level themed spells than their class allows, they'd be able to access those spells via a class feature (similar to how my psychic monk adds specific psionic powers to their powers known, even though the powers are beyond what they could learn normally).
4. Removing schools of magic as they are currently. Instead of shoehorning every spell into one of several magic schools (which has never worked very well), schools are now subtypes and some spells can have multiple schools. For example, mage armor and shield will now be [Abjuration/Conjuration] spells. So hypothetically, if a specialist wizard has to be pick a spell from their favored school when they level then abjurers and conjurers could take mage armor.
Some metamagic feats may modify your spells as well. For example, if you have a feat that makes 1/2 of your energy damage into positive or negative energy, the spell becomes a [Necromancy] spell in addition to its other types when you cast it.
Some ideas we're developing that will probably make it into the magic core.
2. Classes will not know 100% of their spell list (sorry clerics/druids). Classes may not even have spell lists (we're seriously considering this as this would really suite our design goal of less is more, and being able to use fewer classes to represent broader concepts is a big plus for us). We may also end up allowing you to select groups of known spells in themed packages (for a rough analog, see the witch class in the APG).
3. All casters are spontaneous. If you're a wizard-type you'll have less spells that you can "know" prepared at one time but can change out your currently prepared spells periodically, but you can cast them in any order or combination you desire until you run out of slot-juice for them like sorcerers.
4. Some spells will be consolidated and some scaling mechanics in place. Instead of having charm person, charm animal, charm monster, etc, you'll just have charm and it will scale up depending on what sort of spell-slot you're dealing with.
Similarly, elemental spells like fireball will have multi-elemental versions that you choose between. Damage dealing spells will also scale up as well, similar to the charm example (essentially Intensify spell will be built in to spells like fireball so that when you cast the spell in a higher level slot you get more bang for you buck).
If you haven't noticed, we're really of the mindset that "less that does more is more". A major design goal is to simplify the game so that it's easier for players to learn, easier for GMs and players to run (resolve actions and stuff), and have a greater potential for filling a wider variety of character concepts, and easier to produce additional content for while keeping the game consistent.
I'm pretty sure whichever god created the world (or some other ageless and insanely knowledgable being) knows about it. DC 30 is the upper end for obscure knowledge. However, if you want to play this route, we can do that too. We just exchange Knowledge with Profession and his point remains the same.
Check: You can earn half your Profession check result in gold pieces per week of dedicated work. You know how to use the tools of your trade, how to perform the profession's daily tasks, how to supervise helpers, and how to handle common problems. You can also answer questions about your Profession. Basic questions are DC 10, while more complex questions are DC 15 or higher.
At which point it's just up to the GM to set the DC for the complex question that you're pondering. Given that everything that we have today is within the range that normal people can accomplish, DC 30-35 probably is probably the highest one would go through and still be consistent.
Which returns to his original point of:
1. Make skill checks to know.
Aliizsa Sylvari wrote:
@Ash - When are you and Ara gonna get serious about Alvena Publishing? Seriously. :| There's a lot of untapped potential.
Hopefully when I get some time off from work coming up. I've got about 5 different documents open for our d20 system right now, and we've got conceptual parts of the skill system revisions determined. At this point, all that's really left for the core I think is to revise the skill descriptions (a big drag), clean up the combat system (mostly gutting it like a fish), and revising some of the glossary stuff (I might spend some time on the environment rules too and see if I can make mechanical traps more interesting and magic traps a bit less abusive in some aspects).
After that, class prototypes (pre-final) and core magic revisions (which while time consuming won't be difficult since we've already got the conceptual framework laid out).
EDIT: Late-term in the system is basically "(re)build a lot of monsters" but I like doing monsters & statblocks so while Aratrok dreads that part, I'm perfectly happy doing the lion's share of the legwork on that one. :P
I'll work on the Alvena campaign primer for Pathfinder (and make a version for our system when it's ready) for those that are interested. I was working on it a while back but given that you guys already just ask about most anything related to the campaign, I haven't put a lot of time into writing it.
Given that the identifying monsters is only a small subset of the Knowledge skill and that Knowledge (History), Knowledge (Architecture & Engineering), and Knowledge (Geography) are standard knowledges, I'll have to politely disagree with you good sir.
That doesn't stop me from lovin' my 3.0 ELH with epic spells, and level 230+ HD creatures, though! Now with a layering of MYTHIC! XD
Oh lord. XD
Man, I <3'd the Epic Level Handbook for a long time before I realized it was hurting my game more than helping. I can understand the appeal. It's got some really cool stuff in it (there's still some things in it that I think are totally awesome and great).
That said, even today I'm a super fan of just adding a s***load of HD onto creatures. I generally feel like the 3.x guidelines for monster advancement by HD were typically better than Paizo's monster creation chart. In 3.x, monster HD kind of meant something because certain types of monsters would have flavored statistics (you knew that if you were dealing with Fey for example that they would have low statistics in X and high statistics in Y, as opposed to their HD being shoehorned into the creation chart).
Increasing HD is one of my favorite ways of buffing major monsters and such in Pathfinder and I when I do, I tend to follow the Monster Manual guidelines instead of Pathfinder's (because the former produces better results and monsters more in like with standard creatures of the new CR).
Aliizsa Sylvari wrote:
I haven't gotten a copy of it yet, but if you want a blind prediction...
1. Monks, Fighters, and Rogues are probably still going to suck.
And I hope that I'm wrong about 1 & 2.
Aratrok commented that there were similarities between the d20 system we're working on and something they're doing with the rogue, but not implemented in a way that we're particularly excited about.
I'll try to pick up a copy sometime soon.
And all of that leapfrogging preamble was based on thousands of years of much slower progress. What you forget to take into account was the critical thresholds in many fields of tech that needed to be in place before you could have the much more rapid fields of advancement.
Well, actually, a lot of it really wasn't. Aside from a few brilliant minds dotting history, there wasn't really a lot going into advancing new sciences for a very long time and we had this really nasty habit of screwing ourselves over as a species what with basically destroying knowledge and culture, or religiously or socially oppressing advancements and developments.
Plus there's the smart-guy problem, which I mentioned before in game-terms. DC 30 to answer a majorly difficult question in a field of study isn't something normal people do. If Einstein's theory of relativity was DC 30, it would be incredibly difficult for someone to ever answer that.
Normal people are like 1st level. Trained/educated professionals still naturally gravitate around the +5 mark in their field, whereas you need a +10 just to be able to have a 5% chance to make a breakthrough in a field.
Which means you basically need a normal person (about 1st level) who has an above-average Intelligence, trained in a skill, invested ranks into the skills, and took Skill Focus, and manages to roll a 20.
But as the singularity progresses, we have greater and greater tools helping us to answer complex questions, a better educational system spitting out more professionals to attempt to answer these questions, etc.
Well, if you want to know why I've appreciated antimagic field in the past, it's actually not for its combat purposes but for adventuring purposes. For example, while it has its uses in combat it also has major downsides for characters that use it (you become a monkey again) so it's a big trade off and usually a (very) bad idea to just using willy-nilly.
However, it's awesome for certain exploration purposes. Got some evil magical traps? Some sort of magical doodad blocking your path? Need to pass through a room filled with a cloud of noxious acid? It's a great problem solving spell outside of combat. :o
Which comes right back to my point. How many pre-written adventures can you name where these kinds of tactics and resources are actually used and/or advised? Off the top of my head really only one or two - the first chapters of Kingmaker and Serpent's Skull.
To be fair, I've only run a few premade adventures, and most of the APs I have or have played in are riddled with errors (some of them really obvious). I understand it happens but I've found the quality of many of them to be lacking in areas (I think this might be compounded by different writers working on the same AP, which can result in it changing drastically). EDIT: Thinking about it further, some my be relics of hurried writing and/or attempts to meet deadlines, or typos that get left in, or any number of other innocent reasons for these issues.
For example, I played in Aratrok's Reign of Winter game and he had to fix countless errors and re-work several of the encounters because really obvious things weren't even taken into account. For example, I remember he commented that RoW literally mentions the issues that PCs face with snow and stuff, but then has an encounter where it says the badguys (who have no special movement rules for handling difficult terrain and/or snow) are expect to charge the PCs during combat.
...No. You cannot charge through difficult terrain. It's right there in how charging actually works. We literally just went over the fact there is snow on the ground and this is no charging, and then you say the NPCs charge. ಠ_ಠ
There's a similar issue in Jade Regent involving a wight that really ground my gears. :P
That's cool too. I was just explaining why it concerns and/or bothers me, because I think explaining why you dislike something is probably more important than simply saying that you dislike it, y'know?
(Similarly, the use of "radius" is problematic, but it's a term that they're kind of stuck with, as it does still function that way in math, and it's otherwise partially similar to being "stuck" with "atheist" - instead of "dytheistic" or "misothestic" - or similar other statements. It's kind of inherited in the spell language and it's going to be really, really difficult to sell different language to folk. That said, it's totally a stealth errata... there's a lot of things that interact via minutiae, and subtle other things that I'm aware cause lots of problems for most folks. I just like it. Not suggesting that it's good. XD)
Well that's the thing, they really aren't stuck with it. A 10 ft. emanation would have worked just fine and there are examples of this in the core rules already. For example, Seliex's cold aura extends 10 ft. in every direction from her. If this was how antimagic field was intended to work, that's how it should have been written.
Also, I may be ignorant here, but could you break down the article that you linked for me? I might just be missing something but I'm not sure how that makes a 10 ft. radius be a 20 ft. radius, because the radius' area is already defined by the spell (10 ft.). I think I'm missing something. :|
It just feels a lot like saying "I center this fireball on the dragon, so the fireball is a 20 ft. radius, but since it's now centered on this dragon that is a 20 ft. gargantuan creature, the fireball extends an additional 20 ft. in every direction". There's no precedent or logical reason why merely centering a spell on a creature should make the spell bigger (which is literally what is happening here).
There are many different ways that they could have made it work if it was supposed to be that way. A 10 ft. emanation from you, an aura that extends 10 ft. from you, or any other method of saying "10 ft. around you".
I'll be honest. I might seem like an idiot jerk for saying so but if my GM told me the dragon's radius was bigger because it was centered on itself, I'd begin targeting my giant fire elemental with other AoE radius effects like fireball and demanding extra coverage for it, because if nothing else, be consistent.
Paizo also admits that this is total BS because...
Beyond any mechanical problems, I'm not really against house rules or optional rules. It does bother me when they lie and say it's how it's always been. It's even more frustrating when they've already literally admitted that it doesn't actually work that way.