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Ashiel's page

RPG Superstar 2015 Star Voter. 10,251 posts (10,254 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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There's nothing preventing you from doing so, but there hasn't ever needed to be because barring an extremely niche addition like this, there's virtually no benefit for doing so. I wasn't quoting the rules for an armored coat (seriously, I hadn't even looked at it), I was quoting the core rules in the way stacking works.

In other words, sure, you can put on more and more armor, but it's only going to hurt you most of the time. Armor is one of the heaviest things that you can wear. Even a chain shirt is 20 lbs. Since armor bonuses do not stack but instead overlap, and you take the worst of the penalties for the same reason, and take the worst of the speed reductions for the same reason, but still have to track the weight of both of them, you're just ruining your encumbrance.

The only upside I can think of for this sort of thing would be to get a sort of sunder-resistance going on. However, that's not even a great idea either since armor tends to become really sunder resistant anyways (+5 mithral full plate has a hardness of 25 and 95 Hp) and enhancing multiple suits of armor is costly.

Mathius wrote:

At least for me I will need far more the four at level encounters to get my PCs to even consider calling it a day. I usually throw 3 to 7 Apl +2 to +4 encounters at them to run them down.

They asked me why I amp things up so much and in response I ran the final dungeon of an AP as is. They took 22 APL+0 (ECL5) to APL+2(ECL7 encounters in a row. They did have 5th PC but still...

They rested up and then used their newly granted 6th level to take on a CR 8 followed by a CR 11. They CR 11 has write in for a helper. They got none. They had to NOVA to win but they did with only one person knocked out of the fight.

My players optimize at about 7 or 8 for any given sheet but they work together and have massive party synergy and then they use tactics better then any other group I know.

I have seen them use PFS pregens and come up with a plans they ensure that no encounter is more then mop up after round 1.

Nice. This reminds me a lot of the groups I've played with. I see one of the strongest options for a player is the ability to manage their resources and tip the scales in their favor. If you can, marathon games are not only possible but entirely win-able.

For example:

Reign of Winter - Minor Spoilers:
At the beginning of RoW #2, there's an encounter where your party is beset by frost giants. The book appears to expect the battle to be most ferocious and expects Baba Yaga's dancing hut to do the lion's share of the fighting. However, this was not the case.

I was playing my witch flavored psion and I don't think I spent more than 5 PP in the fight. I just used 1 PP ectoplasmic sheen powers (think grease) against the low-Reflex giants. Giants would fall down or lose their weapons, the party would focus on a single giant at a time and mop them up, and generally made it difficult for the giants to surround them. Before the Chicken-the-Hut managed to wreck two of them, the party had all but routed the rest.

Similarly, when Aratrok and Aliizsa charmed some trolls and turned them back on their teammates. Pretty epic resource management right there!

There's also the beauty of knowing when to nova, like you said. By using your resources wisely, you'll have them when the poo hits the fan. In one fight that the party was in, Aratrok had been saving up some high CL potions that he bought a few sessions prior and buffed to hell and back during a particularly large encounter where they were outnumbered. The result was his archer turned into a tank. :P

When I mod an AP I usually account for the 5th PC, fix stupid in stat blocks and then smash the 20 or so encounters in the dungeon down to 6.

I hear ya. It's kind of depressing sometimes how much you have to fix statblocks and stuff. :(

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ryric wrote:
I find it interesting that many people play with Charisma having no intrinsic effects. Other ability scores have times where you are just making an ability check - bashing down a door, holding your breath, working on a riddle. Symmetry says to me that there are times when a Charisma check is called for, when none of the Cha-based skills apply. In those times all the traits and skill ranks won't help you, any more than 7 Str person gets any better at door bashing by having ranks in Climb and Swim.

Symmetry might say so but the game doesn't.

An example of such a check in my game is a first impression made before anyone talks, especially if the person being evaluated isn't aware they are being observed. Also NPCs who have just met the party tend to assume the highest Cha person is the leader - generally no mechanical consequences there, just roleplaying stuff.

I've always questioned the logistics behind this sort of house rule. It's like setting the DC for a Swim check higher or a person with low Strength, or making an Acrobatics DC higher for someone with low Dex, or making a Knowledge DC harder for someone with low Int.

The game is already accounting for these things.

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DualJay wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
It can also have benefits if you run into an enemy that likes sundering armors.
Friendly reminder to always put trigger warnings before mentions of gear destruction.

Trigger warnings can die in a fire.

Their AC bonuses do not stack, you take the higher of the two, similarly you take the worst of the armor check penalties, and finally you have to deal with the weight of both.
EDIT: If that is fine with you, there's nothing stopping you from doing so. It's actually a fairly common thing to wear an extra set of light armor so that when you doff your heavy armor for sleeping you aren't caught with your pants down (literally and figuratively) if you're ambushed.

It can also have benefits if you run into an enemy that likes sundering armors.

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What's kind of funny is that while the game isn't competitive in nature, virtually 100% of D&D/Pathfinder combat is PvP-esque. This is why balance actually matters, because you may end up fighting X class in any given adventure.

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Ashiel wrote:
Tels wrote:
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!

Okay, back from work and this is what I've considered at the moment.

The Scenario
The scenario, separate from the mechanics of the fight itself basically goes in this order.

  • The interior of an old temple (with hanging platforms).
  • The exterior of an old temple (with a precarious bridge).
  • A stupidly high spire of awesomeness (with obstacles).
  • A boat ride on a river of lava (danger everywhere!).
  • A fight on an icy lake (big finale).

That's the whole thing.

So let's try to work this out.

Temple Interior
The interior of the temple is relatively simple. Now one of the things that stands out as being somewhat difficult is the platforms and stuff hanging around inside the temple and how fragile everything seems to be in the scenarios. Characters routinely do things like snap chains and crush stone objects. Now, being a high level martial (especially initiators that deal damage in lump packages) could get around most of these issues and make it more viable.

Secondly, since the temple is old, we could probably assume it's run down with the broken condition if we wanted to have more fun with more easily smashed objects.

There's even some reasons to do things like snapping chains and throwing the platforms into enemies and that's because when you throw a a "falling object" at someone, you make a touch attack, which makes it a more attractive option since obviously the characters in Dead Fantasy are speccing defense pretty solidly (as is especially apparent whenever Ayumi and Rikku are duking it out).

Temple Exterior
The temple exterior is probably the simplest battlefield. It has the least "moving parts" of the scenario being a platform, a bridge, and the escalating temple. It requires nothing special other than the threat of getting tossed off making lots of "stage hazards".

The Freefall (AKA Stupidly High Spire of Awesomeness)
Probably the craziest of the environments you'd need to deal with because the entire fight happens during a free-fall at terminal velocity (as is apparent since much of the fight actually takes place with no one touching anything). Hence the name. In about 12 seconds, a human reaches terminal velocity during a freefall, traveling about 1500 ft. during that time. So over the course of the fight, they have fallen thousands upon thousands of feet (hence "stupidly high").

Given that the characters are obviously high level, the falling part isn't actually a major threat to their safety (it caps at 20d6 damage) and if any of them have slowfall (which doesn't actually slow your fall rather than reduce falling damage) they can coast down the entire time with no issues.

About mid-way through the fight they begin having to dodge structural features. The way I'd probably handle this is separate the spire into several planes of squares (say 30 ft. across) and roll a d6 each round to determine where the next obstacle was going to appear, and then you have 1 round to get out of the way before you smash into the obstacle.

River of Lava
Technically similar to the temple exterior, you're now on a platform that is traveling along at a brisk pace. It's basically an arena with a massive stage hazard (LAVA!). You can include objects or areas outside of the platform as you run by (such as the mountainside Tifa runs across) for added scenery.

Icy Lake Fight
When Rinoa shows up, she freezes the lake of lava to prevent everyone from getting BBQ'd. A miracle spell should be sufficient for this as one of the things you can casually do with it is divert a disaster and gives the example of sparing a city from a natural disaster (if you can basically say "No" to a comet destroying a city, then you can probably say "No" to lava burning a small group of people).

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Mathius wrote:
I was wondering what kind of response the city itself has. Since they have access to 6th level, the city should have the firepower to deal at least some of the attackers.

Defenses will be mustered certainly, but the majority of the local guard and such are within the realm of normal humanity, with a few outliers (such as the aforementioned casters). It's assumed that there's quite the raid going on and that the PCs are dealing with a portion of it (they essentially end up crossing paths with certain encounters at the GM's discretion).

I would love to know what happens to Kellad bay if they PCs do nothing. While the PCs should have little difficulty dealing with 1 Yeti/WW combat it can be an interesting challenge if they have to engage 4 squads within 12 rounds to toss the assault back on its heels.

I may end up implementing a sort of scorecard to determine the overall success or failure of the attack on Kallid's Bay and might throw in some extra events that could occur if certain prerequisites are met. How much of this I'll include in the core of the adventure versus additional options in sidebars is a bit up in the air. While I'm pretty fond of large scale combats and such, I recognize not everyone is, and I think it can be written so you can have your cake or eat it.

That particularly tough if the encounter areas are spread of several thousand feet but dim door or splitting the party might make that doable.

Much of this I plan to provide resources for in the case that the GM wants to make use of them. It's important to note that in all technicality, the GM can skip any or all of the encounters that aren't integral to the advancement of the plot, which means that several of the Yeti/Wolf encounters and some of the Undead encounters might not happen if your GM feels the players won't care (or the GM can throw in a few extras if the party is diggin' it).

Because of this, I'm intending to some sidebar commentary about tweaking the adventure for your desired purpose. The battle with Crexa out on the bay is intended to be quite formidable, so if the GM wants to play around with the warfare stuff, the GM might have each of the bonus encounters a little lower on the CR scale (using the reduced XP budgets) if the idea isn't to strain the resources of the party to the wire (because if the party deals with all of the optional encounters plus the battle with Crexa, they'll definitely be exceeding the 4 equal-CR encounters / day paradigm). I feel this is a good thing (my players are really good at resource management) so having the extra content to throw at them if they're being really efficient should be a plus. :)


I would also like to see the encounter difficulty with each encounter. I think you said they are supposed to be 11th level so this first on is APL+0.

Also what happens if the PCs stop to use large are buffs on mass troops (bless/Prayer)?

I'll probably include a few encounters where the PCs have the ability to lead other citizens in the fight, so if the GM wants to include that sort of thing they'll be able to. Also, again, if the GM is interested in running more of an "epic" start for the game where the first raid on the town is more like a war, then the GM will be able to balance out the combats with friendlies.

The system I'm thinking of using for balancing friendlies is creating some sample NPC groups and letting allies be kind of a CR coupon. So if you give the PCs 4,800 XP worth of allies then the encounter gets 4,800 XP worth of additional badguys. I think this will produce some really epic fights for anyone who wants bigger, badder, more grand combats. Likewise, in such cases, you'd be rewarded for supporting your allies since if they're not being useful then the encounter is going to be harder for no appreciable gain.

Tels wrote:
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!

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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. :)

137ben wrote:

I'm going to jump in and disagree with Ashiel for the first time in awhile. I think the CR/EL formula in 3.5 is better than the one in pathfinder. It may not be simpler, but it is more accurate, and it can actually be made simpler by altering the pathfinder xp table slightly.

(Warning: in the following discussion, I am going to ignore monsters with a CR less than one, because they are handled differently. They are also handled differently in pathfinder, as the pattern in the CR and XP table changes. I will address such weak monsters at the end.)

Thanks! :D

I'm going to go over this a few times and try to commit it to memory. ^_^

I might actually be thinking of 80s X-Men as well as a lot of my favorite comics had some age on 'em even when I was a kid. I also loved it when Todd McFarlane was still doing X-Men & Spiderman comics. :o

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I prefer my early 90s X-Men, honestly. >_>

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Braingamer wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Here's an early preview of Vengence Best Served. Working on it between prepping for my game and my work schedules.

I'd just like to say that this is pretty fantastic. As a fairly new GM, I find the tactical advice and additional explanation you add very helpful. I wish published adventures contained that kind of stuff.

Keep up the good work!

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.

Oh, no, I'm just rambling 'cause you asked if the adventure writeup is similar to how I do my own adventures and somehow I ended up blabbering on. XD

What's in the box? wrote:
ooooooh... exciting!

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...

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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.

LordSynos wrote:
I recently came up against the no side posters, and kinda feel sick to my stomach.

I agree that Mothers and Fathers matter. I don't see why having two of either would make them matter less. (6_6)

Aratrok wrote:
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).

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Aratrok wrote:

The early firearms in Ultimate Combat tend to group up in the 1600s to 1700s (with the pepperbox being one of the newest in the late 1700s), with the culverin and hackbut as kinda odd outliers.

Which isn't that surprising, since tech levels in a single location in Golarion at any given mention might as well be drawn out of a hat. And giving an entire campaign setting an "average tech level" isn't very useful when that average includes spacefarers and cave men (it's kitchen sink fantasy for a reason).

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.

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Here's an early preview of Vengence Best Served. Working on it between prepping for my game and my work schedules.

Star Voter 2015

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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).

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graystone wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Talonhawke wrote:

If your the DM simply apply the rules from spell research and extend as needed for your belief of how long you think it should take.

If your the player sit down and talk to your DM there are no hard coded rules for this short of you researching a spell like transmute rock to concrete.

Ok, let's assume that the current state of technology in the avarage fantasy world is approximately equal to ~1000 AD (this is likely being very generous, as if you take away magic, most of the high-magic fantasy worlds that Pathfinder models would probably regress much further back that this).

So basically, we're talking about 1000 years of research.

But wait. That was achieved by hundreds of thousands of people. We're discussing ONE person trying to skip ahead to building laser pistols (which, I might add, aren't even viable in our world in 2015).

So we need to multiply that base of 1000 years by maybe 100,000.

So we're looking at a good million years of research.

Good luck on that. I'm pretty sure your campaign will be over by then.

And the tyranids will probably have destroyed Golarion by then as well.

You're off by about 600 years. Flintlock weapons are available and those showed up around 1600.

Also Plate Mail. Wasn't even around until about the 1300s and hit its peak around the 1600s.

Star Voter 2015

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. :|

Star Voter 2015


I find it humorous that they changed the barbarian rage to morale bonuses from untyped bonuses only to change it back. A good idea probably (now a nerf to most barbarians because of courageous weapons) but a good idea none the less. If it wasn't broke, don't fix it.

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Again, Profession can be used to answer questions about their field of expertise.

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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.

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Family Guy's the same way as well.

Kind of failing to see your argument for fabricate not working.

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Yuugasa wrote:

@ Ashiel- The closest I ever came to a spiritual experience was when I was a kid I was playing Final Fantasy 7 for the playstation 1 and at one point when I was like halfway through the game when I started the system up the game would just refuse to load up.

After messing with it for over two hours I finally gave up, threw my hands up in the air and said something along the lines of "If there was a God he would let me play this game!"

At that exacted moment my TV screen flashed and the game started up for no reason I could perceive. I played through the game three or four times through the years on that system and never had a problem with that game again, though I did with other games, Lol.

Well it was Final Fantasy VII. It doesn't get much more divine than that! :P

(Fanboy alert!)

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Side note: Absolute (Religious) Morality vs Reasoned Morality.

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Tacticslion wrote:
Ooh! An Ashiel beatdown!

I promise it wasn't intended to be. (^~^)"


The FAQ in question was only about ability score bonuses (i.e. "you can't double-dip into ability scores"), but applying it more broadly (which is what the implication is of the FAQ, even if it's been vehemently denied) cleanly seals that loophole.

In effect: "no double dipping" (it only applies to saves - i.e. d20 rolls or defenses - once).

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).

Understandable. :)

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).

Yuugasa wrote:
@-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 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.

Thanks. :)


It does make me curious how I would react if something similar happened to me. I'm an atheist because of a combo of no personal spiritual experience + lack of evidence (mostly that second one) but if new info was added I would definitely judge it on it's merits and be open to it as with every other kind of info.

A spiritual experience would be more interesting than just new info though, after checking to make sure I wasn't having a psychotic episode or that someone slipped LSD into my drink it would leave me in a very interesting position.

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. :)

Jaelithe wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
... Richard Dawkins (oh this man is just so awesome) ...
Interesting. I've always considered him a brilliant biologist, ham-handed philosopher and colossal jackass.

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. :)

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Yuugasa wrote:

If our morality is divinely inspired why do we as humans often disagree what is moral, and why do those ideas change with time.

Unless you're saying eating the apple just let us know that morality was a thing to begin with.

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".
2. The a signature I'd always felt nearby in my life even since I had been a small child. A sort of consciousness that I felt I loved and was loved by, and would apologize to when I felt I had done something wrong, even when no one else knew about it.

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.

Yuugasa wrote:
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.


Genesis wrote:
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.

captain yesterday wrote:
Not my God, I voted for Kodos

Well I was referring to the god of a particular religion (the religion I mentioned when I said we [Christians]). Fear not, you can have your Kodos. :P

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Jaelithe wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
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.

I think Isaiah 45:7 did all that just fine: "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things." And it said it 2,500 years before D&D.

Part of the job description that goes with being an omnipotent, omnipresent God. You're responsible for everything that happens ... but with an omniscient perspective that no other being possesses.

And that's two-thirds of my quota for Biblical quotes in this thread. (I reserve the right to one more if deemed necessary.)

Oh definitely. I'm just commenting on the fact that most kind of recoil at the idea that God is anything but rainbows and unicorns happy angels, or the idea that god can do no evil because anything God does is inherently good (which if we'd read our own scriptures more often is obviously not the case, like with your Isaiah quote).

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).

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Tacticslion wrote:
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.

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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).

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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.

Lissa Guillet wrote:
Yeah, there was noone at the helm when one of the servers rebooted. I came in as quickly as I could to fix it and I got it stable.

Much thanks. ^_^

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Hama wrote:

I was asked this question on my last game, by one of my new players (who was obviously outraged that I don't believe in the same deity as he does)

It left me wondering though. Do you, atheist GMs, have a problem with gods and religion in the games you run? Or do you simply accept them as fact and go from there?

I, for one, find that in most settings, deities are actual, existing beings who interact with their believers and actually grant some of the more devout the ability to perform minor miracles in their name. So, I have absolutely no problem with the concept of gods in fantasy settings.

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:

"Can" = Cantrip
1st Number: Base slots
2nd Number: School/Bloodline/Domains
3rd Number: Bonus Spells (in Parenthesis)

11th level Specialist Wizard (24 Int)
Can: 4+1
1st: 4+1 (2)
2nd: 4+1 (2)
3rd: 4+1 (2)
4th: 3+1 (1)
5th: 2+1 (1)
6th: 1+1 (1)

11th level Bloodline Sorcerer (24 Cha)
Can: 9
1st: 6+1 (2)
2nd: 6+1 (2)
3rd: 6+1 (2)
4th: 6+1 (1)
5th: 5+1 (1)
6th: 3+1 (1)

11th level Domain Sorcerer (24 Cha)
Can: 9
1st: 6+2 (2)
2nd: 6+2 (2)
3rd: 6+2 (2)
4th: 6+2 (1)
5th: 5+2 (1)
6th: 3+2 (1)

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
Summon Monster VI
Plus one school spell of his choice.
The Wizard may change spells daily.

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
Summon Monster VI
Globe of Invulnerability
Greater Heroism
Plus one Bloodline spell.
Cannot change spells daily.

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)
Fire Shield
Greater Invisibility
Shadow Conjuration
Animate Dead
Secure Shelter

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!

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Aliizsa Sylvari wrote:


Today is mine and Ara's 1-year-dating anniversary. You've been invited to the crumpets and tea party where we wear dapper clothing, fancy hats with monocles, and boisterously laugh while mocking console-gamers, 4e/5e playing peasants, and people that think fighters/monks/rogues are good.

1) What do you wear?

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!


9) Now it's ->this<-

10) Suddenly it's October 24th, 2009!!

That's not a quest--rolled! XD


BONUS QUESTION!!1!!JKLjdas#H@K!8937#*($&!67923!!!

11) Do you believe in ghosts?

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.



12) I like this song. Seriously.

^^ Not a Question ^^

This 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

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Aratrok wrote:



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 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.
1. A revised Concentration mechanic (like the skill-based system I listed before) that applies modifiers to concentrating rather than asking you to make a million little low-DC checks.

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.

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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.

Profession wrote:
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.
2. Make the thing.

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.

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thejeff wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
LazarX wrote:
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.

Or you can give up on the idea that a knowledge skill system that's mostly designed to let characters know what tactics to use against monsters is a remotely valid simulation of scientific research in the real world.

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.

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Tacticslion wrote:
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).

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