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Red Dragon

Auxmaulous's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Society Member. 2,714 posts (2,790 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 17 aliases.


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Pan wrote:

The thing that kind of bugged me was Maggie being hard on the priest. Her father was a religious yet flawed man who she loved very much. Sure the priest did a pretty awful thing and Id imagine most people would treat him like dirt but I dont imagine Maggie would. Though maybe she has just run out of sh!@s to give.

I think this was supposed to be a be an episode about faith and hope and the loss of both (and regaining it possibly). In Maggie's case she has just been burned to many times and seems to have lost her faith - yet the episode closes with a bit of a miracle. I think the priest just symbolizes that resentment she has towards putting energy and faith in a higher power - so Gabriel gets to be the punching bag.

It continues with the theme with emo Daryl at the beginning of the episode to him coming to terms about both Beth and Tyreese near the end.

Can't wait for the new nemesis to show up on scene - should be good times once the group has something to fight.

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Orfamay Quest wrote:
thejeff wrote:

I'd say it's not so much a matter of "stupid by today's standards", but trying to apply an old mechanic to a very different game system.

Except there's a reason that the game systems today are very different. They're better, which is why they won.

And old mechanics like the one proposed are part of the reason why the newer systems are better. Getting rid of them made the game more fun. (That's not merely my judgment, but the marketplace's.)

Subjective and your opinion (which to me, is worthless).

By your logic McDonalds has the best food on the planet since they are the #1 fast food chain in the world. Avatar is the top grossing movie (of all time), do you think its the best? Because if you say it isn't then by your own (herd) logic you are wrong. BTW- Two Transformers movies are in the top 10 besides it (one is #7 and one is #10). I mean, all those people can't be wrong?
And if you disagree with these assessments then you are the stupid one (by your standards - using herd preferences as the deciding factor).

This is wholly a subjective issue of like or dislike that you are trying to bootstomp into a better vs. worse issue. The mods must be asleep on this one - but you really should stop already. You are coming off like a goon.

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kestral287 wrote:

So enforce the stat minimums except when you don't bother to enforce them? From experience, selective enforcement of the same rule to your players never ends well.

Player 1: "Can I run a Dwarf Wizard?"
GM: "Sure, we can ignore the stat requirements for that"
Player 2: "Can I run a clumsy Human Wizard?"
GM: "No, Dex is a requirement and humans can meet it easily."

Now Player 2 is annoyed. You've reduced his fun.

No - you are not understanding what I was saying with the Dwarf Wizard

Player 1: "Can I run a Dwarf Wizard?"
GM: "Well, for my game Dwarf Wizard stat reqs are high so many choices are not practical, with the exception of Evoker, Conjurer and Transmuters"
Player 1:"So what are the stat miniumums"
GM: "Well, a Dwarven Evoker needs needs a Con of 12, Conjurer a Cha of 11 and a Transmuter a Str of 11 on top of having at least a 16 Int to start."
Player 1: "Oh, ok - let me see what I can work out (PB)/roll for my stats and I'll play around with them so I can make a Dwarven Transmuter."

Player 2 is in the background busy making a Universalist Human wizard that is slightly less restrictive in stat requirement but of course less specialized.

I never said drop requirements at random/on a whim.
What he can do is say he wants to run an old-school game with some exceptions. So he has the stat requirement for human paladins but maybe tweaks it for someone wanting to play an Elven paladin, etc. So he needs to put in that work.

In the end - the PB values are the same and add up the same - how stats are laid out in an array in his game vs. generic cookie-cutter PF characters in every other game is where the difference lies.

kestral287 wrote:
If they get fighty about their disagreement, like the OP came off as (to me at least), then they should realize the natural conclusion of these facts.

That may have happened when people (rynjin) basically said he was a bad person for posting his idea and it was stupid (because you know, he didn't like it). Or others saying he was a bad GM (Orfamy), last I checked the OP wasn't attacking anyone. Everyone else pretty much wolf-packed the guy with their best argument being "but it's unfun to me".

- And Ninja'd (with no stat min requirements) by Torger on the last point

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kestral287 wrote:
That said, let's ask you the same thing the OP was asked: how does this make Pathfinder more fun to play?

If it makes him happy, then it makes Pathfinder more fun for him to play. And that's the only answer that matters.

Damn the people on the internets and what they think. Who cares?

As far as PB and arrays are concerned I never said 15/15/17 array. I said bump some of the lower ones to a higher stat requirements. An 11/11/17 costs 15 points. The numbers are dependent on his PB allotment. 15 point standard - then the high stat should be 15. More PB, then he can tweak the numbers.

Also - he could make allowances/required stats if the player plays a specific kind of Dwarven Wizard - maybe lowering the threshold for thematic options like Dwarven Evokers, Conjurers and Transmuters. Its all very workable depending on what he wants (what classes are more common, and which ones are rare).

But again, that's why I said he should probably discard PB since it doesn't support the system well.

This rage though needs to end.

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Rhedyn wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:
It's all mechanics.
And the point you are missing is that he doesn't want that kind of game - at least one that places heavy emphasis on exploiting the skill system to negate penalties from optimized stat buys. Not everyone is into that.

That has nothing to do with how cool the characters are.

What games do you play where the wizards wear heavy armor and doesn't prepare spells? Of course players play to their strengths and do not play to their penalties.

Thank you for proving my point of "not getting it".

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Rhedyn wrote:
It's all mechanics.

And the point you are missing is that he doesn't want that kind of game - at least one that places heavy emphasis on exploiting the skill system to negate penalties from optimized stat buys. Not everyone is into that.

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Quote:

The Christmas Tree effect has been part of the game for a long, long time - just look at the 1E and 2E monsters that were outright immune to weapons under a certain +.

The scaling was slower, but it was still there.

Disagree wholeheartedly.

There are worlds of difference between needing a +1 or +2 to hit a creature vs. the big-six level assumed: Required Stats (items), Required Save Bonuses (Cloaks), Required Natural Armor Bonuses, Required Deflection Bonuses (Rings), Required Weapon, Required Armor.

I'm just not seeing the close similarity or "its always been there". Just not true.

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MAJT69 wrote:
Here, I want to ask about the ‘Christmas Tree Syndrome’. One of the things that turned many of us off 3rd edition was the laundry-lists of magic items,

This has not been addressed in PF nor will it get addressed in the future. The core PF game has several built-in mathematical assumptions that makes the Xmass tree part of the game unless you revise it on your own - which is a product supplement/rules re-write all on its own (new bestiary also).

MAJT69 wrote:
Pathfinder has loads of 'extras', but the players concerns are that any 3rd edition style game is literally unplayable unless the characters are completely optimised, that it's irredeemably broken unless it spends every last gp on the correct combat items for its wealth-by-level.

Those loads of "extras" are a mini-game. If your players are the type who like to optimize and see CharGen as a separate challenge in then PF is a good option for your group. If you actually want to focus less on CharOp and more on playing (Combat, exploring, RP) then you are better off at sticking with 5e or going with an older system, non-3rd ed based game system.

PF rewards system mastery - and you can do things "wrong". Older systems give less options and CharGen, or those features are not as relevant to actual play - and thus greater focus is on actual game play and not character building.

My advice to would be to stick with 5e.

I would look into buying and converting as much 1e and 2e material they have online for 5e content and go with that game system instead. Even converting some 3rd ed stuff for 5e - I've eyeballed it and it doesn't look too hard to do - though tbh I haven't actually tried yet.

A "well supported system" does not always equal good. Or at least good for you and what you and your group are looking for. PF is great system for most of those who loved 3.5 - if you had problems with that system then no amount of book support or adventures is going to make it different with PF. In fact, it may just frustrate you more.

I don't have anything invested in this race - I run a modified 1e/2e game when I do run AD&D, so no 5e for me.
I gave up on PF after years of frustration and basically realizing that the work/effort to get the game I wanted out of that system was not paying off vs. the time and energy invested.
In my case - more money spent on the system was not a good investment.

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I think people backing this - sight unseen as a KS project is a tough prospect. My suggestions to you would be to:

- Get a website for the game going
- Host a very basic write-up of what you are trying to do, either a stripped down to the bones version of the game or maybe the 1st and 2nd levels of play. List some sample encounters.
- Will the bestiary need a re-write?
- Link a dev blog and get some feedback/following going. People need to see your competency level and they need to see that you are sincere.

If this is going to be an efile than some of the KS logistics are not so hard to work out - though commissioning art and paying for it are a point of concern. Do you have other people to help you with proofing, layout and editing or is this a one-person show?

Will the book be in print (after the KS as part of a fulfillment)? Do you have prices quoted based off of color, cover, shipping, etc.

I might back a project like this if it had some momentum and history behind it - without knowing who you are and having a sample of your work I would have to say no.

Many KS have failed, even with skilled writers behind them. In many cases it's just not managing the money or pacing of the project, in others its just logistics (can't afford to ship for free after all). Many do a one-man show and encounter rl problems.

My simple advice to you - you need to set up a network, put something out there and develop a following.

Anyway

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Chyrone wrote:
Auxmaulos, which punkrock band would that be?

I was (still am I suppose) heavily into early 80's hardcore punk - Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Fear, Misfits, Social Distortion- but going into the late 80s and early 90s (before the Green Day pop-punk revival) the bands that were big in So Cal and were still playing gigs: DI, Adolescents, Angry Samoans, TSOL, MDC, Agent Orange, Youth Brigade.

I suppose I was lucky that many of the bands I like were actually in So Cal and played on for many years after punk died out (for me - I would say it peaked in 82-83). There still was a vibrant underground scene in LA going into the 90's - but most shows stopped midway due to fights, riots, stormtroopers/wp skins, etc. Still - good times.

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Mix tapes and Micronauts (70's cross-over to early 80's). Atari 2600.

Also - I miss thinking that the D&D box sets came with the monster figures inside.

Grenadier and Ral Partha minis, Grenadier box set art - I could never afford all of them as a little kid - just got the Dwellers Below and Denizens and I cherished both those sets.

I miss playing D&D or Gamma World with my friends on Friday nights and Saturday mornings. I miss gamming on summer days when school was out. It was a colossal waste of time - wouldn't trade it for anything. Just wish we actually played more

cap yesterday - I think that game was called Splatterhouse.

I miss Saturday afternoons in dark arcades
Games:
- Q-bert
- Akari Warriors
- Dig-dug
- Life force

and too many others to name...

Not related to tech or games but...
I miss punk rock and oi and going to those shows not knowing how the night would end (cops, emergency room, fights and other good things).

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Grimmy wrote:

I am interested in non-combat encounters with opportunities to trade goods or intel, get clues about lairs and dungeon locations, or especially link back to NPC's in Bard's Gate for example. I know there is stuff on the tables that can serve this purpose but I want to get more specific with it.

When I do my re-writes for the tables, I will probably list "NPC" encounter as a 50/50 in the range where I have the Omen/Portent entry.

There might be some Bards gate or other Lost Lands references/tie-ins - but I will probably keep it local. If I seed too much stuff to a remote area, my players will bite and leave the adventure area! But I do plan on tying in more leads - the frog cultists (human or otherwise) would have some clues and items tied to the Cloister - for example.

The NPCs will be drawn from a pool already provide with a few new ones thrown in. The idea would be for them to be a source of replacement npcs, info and lead-ins to small side missions. And of course, some will have their own motivations, backgrounds and agendas.

Focus for me on this side project was to have a series of low-level encounters that are thematic to the region.

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Grimmy wrote:
It opened for me right in google docs Aux. Love it.

Needs some corrections and a slight re-write (typos and sentence structure).

Going to reformat this and my other tables before I send them out.

If anyone is interested, here are some ideas/previews from the the low-level encounter list heading to area 1, with some foreshadowing to turn back unless you are ...."this level".

Unholy War!:
Boggards vs. Tsathar - yes, I run both similar creatures in my world as genetic variants off of a progenitor frog race. And of course these demon worshiping savages hate each other. So plenty of mixed combat encounters as the brutes fight and all out war for the attention of the Herald of the Frog God (the Frogemoth). May even sneak in a low CR demon or two on the re-write.

Death Pilgrimage:
Diseased and dying cultist from the Cloister march to offer themselves to Frog God of the swamp as living sacrifices. Of course, these suicidal loons would love to sacrifice themselves stopping interlopers who trespass on the Herald's unholy land.

Only the Strong Survive:
Multiple write of up cannibalistic Frogemoth Tadpoles! Favorite prey - each other, after that - anything else alive. Of course the Frogemoth hunts these, so an encounter with a Phase II or III tadpole means the mutant monstrosity may not be far behind.

Plus swamp mutations, reject inbred cultist and degenerate brigands. Table dangers and mutations get progressively worse as the players move closer to the source of genetic corruption.

------
Oh yes, thank you Grimmy. If anyone has an idea or request for a detailed encounter table, let me know here or PM me.

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I'm going to post this here since people are having trouble opening the file I sent out. For those who got the file, use this one instead (or I can send out a proper updated file). Changed the die range on main table to reflect Omens occurring at night (instead 1d10 range to now using a d20 for main table).

The intent of this specific table to cover the Zelkor Ferry area immediate environs and around 15-20 miles out.

I have a separate table for those crossing the river and heading NE and yet another table for those heading E or SE. All in the same vein - lower level encounters (1st -3rd level) with increased risk for traveling further out or at night, eventually transitioning to the full (and lethal) wandering encounter tables listed in RA .

Forgive the format - this was originally set up with the charts being in word doc table format.

Let me know what you think (feedback is always appreciated) or if something needs to be addressed.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Zelkor’s Ferry (Western Environs)

Check for encounters at 4 a.m. (just before dawn), 9 a.m., and noon, dusk, 9 p.m., and midnight. Encounters occur on a roll of 1 on 1d10
If an encounter is indicated, roll 1d20 using the table below.

1d20 +4 if the encounter occurs at night, +2 if more than 10 miles away from Zelkor’s Ferry

Roll Encounter
1-7 Omen/Portent
8 Foot Patrol (8 footmen, 1 knight)
9 Bandit Scouting Party (1d6, if 1 then Bandit Spy instead)
10 Brigand Scouting Party (1d4+4 Brigands)
11 – 12 Animal Encounter (see subtable)
13 Centipedes, Giant (1d3+2) or Hunting Spiders, Giant (1d3)
14 Re-roll twice, combined encounter
15 Kobold Patrol (returning to the Mouth of Doom) (1d4+3, plus 2 dire rat pets)
16 Goblin Patrol (heading to Area 29, Castle Calaelen) (1d4+2)
17 Gnoll Patrol (Pair, plus 1 hyena)
18 Skeletons (Human Skeletons, 1d3+4 – West to East – towards the Mouth of Doom)
19 Zombies (Human Zombies, 1d3+2 – West to East – towards the Mouth of Doom)
20 Pit Dead (1d3 Pit Dead, See Description)
21+ Pit Dead and Champion (See Description)

Animal Encounter Sub Table
1d10 +4 if the encounter occurs at night +2 if more than 10 miles away from Zelkor’s Ferry
Roll Encounter
1-7 Game animals, Small (rabbit, squirrel, small birds)
8-9 Game animals, Large (Deer)
10 Panther (Solitary)
11 Wolf, Pack (mated pair and 2 young)
12 Worg (1d2)
13 Bear, Black (Solitary)
14+ Bear, Grizzly (Solitary)

Omen/Portent:
These are regional foreshadowing events that can also be used to help set the pace of aid in setting the mood. If a fixed event, the players can use them as a marker on their map. Roll or pick what would be appropriate based on the location this occurs when this encounter is rolled. Each of these should generally occur one.
1- Cairn Mound – dug up, with splattered and dried blood.
2- Broken Two Handed Sword, sticking out of the ground
3- Tree with gouges and large scratches
4- Huge swath of recently burned land, indications of a large flash or gout of fire
5- Human body, dead for a few days but badly mutilated by a small edged weapon
6- Arrow stuck in tree, goblinoid make.
7- Smoke in the distance leads to a hastily left camp. 10-20gp worth of food and adventuring gear. Tracks may lead to another encounter or are lost at a deadfall or stream.
8 – Fallen Idol – A titled, 8 foot tall crumbling demonic idol is found. At its base are some gobs of wax and melted candles, and bits of bone (unidentifiable).

Foot Patrol:
Patrols consist of 8 footmen and a knight. The knight rides a warhorse, and the footmen walk. They do not travel at night and an encounter with them at that time will have them camped. The further out from Zelkor’s Ferry, the more nervous they are. They will welcome other travelers with caution – parties that look like they are comprised of brigands will be attacked. If players spend time with them roll one rumor on the Zelkor’s Ferry rumor table and one from the Rappan Athuk table.

FOOTMAN CR 1
XP 400
Male human fighter 2
LN Medium humanoid (human)
Init +5; Perception +4
AC 15, touch 11, flat-footed 14 (+3 armor, +1 Dex, +1 shield)
hp 19 (2d10+2 plus 2)
Fort +4; Ref +1; Will +0 (+1 vs. fear)
Defensive Abilities bravery +1
Speed 30 ft.
Melee longspear +4 (1d8+1/x3), or longsword +3 (1d8+1/19–20)
Ranged light crossbow +3 (1d8/19–20)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (10 ft. with longspear)
Str 12, Dex 12, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 10
Base Atk +2; CMB +3; CMD 14
Feats Improved Initiative, Quick-Draw, Run, Weapon Focus (longspear)
Skills Intimidate +5, Perception +4, Sense Motive +2
Languages Common
Gear studded leather armor, buckler, longspear, longsword, light crossbow, 20 bolts, 2d12 gp.

KNIGHT CR 3
XP 800
Male or female human fighter 4
LN Medium humanoid (human)
Init +6; Perception +5
AC 20, touch 12, flat-footed 18 (+6 armor, +2 Dex, +2 shield)
hp 34 (4d10+8 plus 4)
Fort +6; Ref +3; Will +2 (+3 vs. fear)
Defensive Abilities bravery +1
Speed 20 ft. (base 30 ft.)
Melee lance +8 (1d8+3/x3), or longsword +8 (1d8+3/19–20)
Space 5 ft., Reach 5 ft. (10 ft. with lance)
Str 16, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 12
Base Atk +4; CMB +7; CMD 19
Feats Improved Initiative, Mounted Combat, Ride-By Attack, Spirited Charge, Weapon Focus (lance), Weapon Focus
(longsword)
Skills Handle Animal +8, Perception +5, Ride +10
Languages Common
SQ armor training 1
Gear chainmail, heavy wood shield, lance, longsword, 2d10 gp, 40+2d10 sp.

WARHORSE CR 2
XP 600
N Large animal
Init +4; Senses low-light vision; Perception +8
AC 18, touch 13, flat-footed 14 (+3 armor, +4 Dex, +2 natural, –1 size)
hp 24 (2d8+10)
Fort +8; Ref +7; Will +3
Speed 50 ft.
Melee 2 hooves +6 (1d4+5)
Space 10 ft., Reach 5 ft.
Str 20, Dex 18, Con 21, Int 2, Wis 17, Cha 11
Base Atk +1; CMB +7; CMD 21 (25 vs. trip)
Feats Endurance, RunB
Skills Perception +8
Gear studded leather barding, saddle, saddlebags, bedroll and food for itself and its rider for one week.
Trained for Combat (Ex) The warhorse treats its hoof attacks as primary attacks. It knows the tricks attack, come, defend, down, guard, and heel.

Bandit Scouting Party:
1d6 Bandit Scouts. This group is part of a large assembly of outlaws and bandits that reside in the environs near Zelkor’s Ferry and not associated with the Bandit gang based out of the Mouth of Doom.
The bandits will not attack the party unless they are evenly matched and only if they can set up an ambush first, otherwise they will do their best to evade by scattering and hiding in the woods.
If not initially detected, they will hide from the party and wait to attack when they are engaged in another encounter or camp for sleep – stealing unattended items while the party is engaged or sleeping. They will ask for surrender and will accept quarter from players, merely robbing them of most all of their worldly goods (not their armor or very heavy gear).
If one Bandit Scout is rolled, it is instead a Bandit Spy. This individual will try to pass themselves off as a lost adventurer, and will try to get as much information on the party as possible. After a day or two, they will leave the group – possibly with a few choice items.
A larger group of bandits may just end up tracking and attacking the party after a later time – ideally after they are leaving some ruins or a dungeon, spent and injured.
As larcenous as these bandits are, ultimately they are not evil. With the right party they may even become an allies, a source of information or even a method to replace lost PCs.

BANDIT CR 1/2
XP 200
Human rogue 1
N Medium humanoid (human)
Init +7; Senses Perception +3
AC 16, touch 13, flat-footed 13 (+3 armor, +3 Dex)
hp 10 (1d8+2)
Fort+ 1, Ref +5, Will-1
Speed 30 ft.
Melee short sword +3 (1d6+2/19-20)
Ranged dagger +3 (1d4+2/19-20)
Special Attacks sneak attack +1d6
Str 14, Dex 17, Con 13, lnt 10, Wis 8, Cha 12
Base Atk +0; CMB +2; CMD 15
Feats Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +7, Climb +6, Disable Device +7, Escape Artist +7, Knowledge (local) +4, Perception + 3, Sleight of Hand + 7,
Stealth +7, Swim +6
Languages Common
SQ trapfinding + 1
Combat Gear, acid (2), smokestick, tanglefoot bag;
Other Gear masterwork studded leather, daggers (5), shortsword, thieves' tools, 25 gp

BANDIT SPY CR 3
XP 800
Human rogue 4
N Medium humanoid (human)
Init +7; Senses Perception +3
AC 15, touch 12, flat-footed 14 (+3 armor, +2 Dex)
hp 21 (4d8)
Fort+ 1, Ref +6, Will +2
Defensive Abilities evasion, trap sense + 1, uncanny dodge
Speed 30 ft.
Melee mwk rapier +3 (1d6-1/18-20)
Ranged mwk light crossbow +6 (1d8/19-20)
Special Attacks sneak attack +2d6
Rogue Spell-Like Abilities (CL 4th, concentration +5)
3/day-prestidigitation
2/day-disguise self
Str 8, Dex 14, Con 10, lnt 13, Wis 12, Cha 18
Base Atk +3; CMB +2; CMD 14
Feats Combat Expertise, Deceitful, Improved Feint
Skills Bluff +13, Diplomacy +11, Disable Device +9, Disguise +13, Heal +3, Knowledge (local) +8, Perception +8, Perform (sing) +9, Sense Motive +8, Sleight of Hand +9, Stealth +9, Use Magic Device +11
Languages Common, Elven
SQ rogue talents (major magic, minor magic), trapfinding +2
Combat Gear potion of cure moderate wounds, scroll of burning hands, scroll of cure light wounds, scroll of magic missile, alchemist's fire (2), holy water, thunderstone;
Other Gear Masterwork studded leather, masterwork light crossbow with 10 bolts, masterwork rapier, disguise kit, everburning torch, healer's kit, thieves' tools, wizard's spellbook, wooden holy symbol, 140 gp

Brigand Scouting Party:
1d4+4 Brigands. Unlike the Bandit Scouting Party or Bandit Spy, this group is out for blood. The group is comprised of savage tribal humans who are native the Forest of Hope. They will attack if they have numbers matching or greater than the number of party members. If they hold back, they will stalk the party for as long as they are in the wilderness and will strike at the most opportune moment. They are a merciless and bloodthirsty lot demon worshiping warriors, and even the local humanoids know its better to just avoid these lunatics and to go after easier prey.

BRIGAND CR 1
XP 400
human fighter 2
CE Medium humanoid (human)
Init +5; Perception +4
AC 18, touch 12, flat-footed 14 (+4 armor, +1 Dex, +1 dodge, +2 shield)
hp 16 (2d10+2 plus 2)
Fort +4; Ref +1; Will +0 (+1 vs. fear)
Defensive Abilities bravery +1
Speed 30 ft.
Melee mwk long sword +6 (1d8+2/19-20)
Ranged throwing axe +3 (1d6+2/x2)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Str 15, Dex 12, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 10
Base Atk +2; CMB +4; CMD 15
Feats Alertness, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Weapon Focus (long sword)
Skills Handle Animal +4, Intimidate +4, Perception +4, Sense Motive +2
Languages Common
Gear hide armor, heavy wooden shield, masterwork long sword, x3 throwing axes

Animal Encounter:
This is a good opportunity for the GM to present a false encounter to the party. Most all the encounters can be mitigated by a skillful ranger or druid (and serve as a source of RP or even information), though any encounter that indicates Worgs would be guaranteed to end in combat, as these creatures serve the goblins which are based out of the Mouth of Madness.

Centipedes, Giant or Hunting Spiders, Giant :
1d3+2 Giant Centipedes or 1d3 Giant Hunting Spiders. The centipedes are creatures are ravenous and will swarm largest target in the party (mounts included). The spiders are of the hunting variety, and will drop from trees onto the players from above.

Re-roll twice, combined encounter:
Re-roll twice and combine both encounters into one. This can be the party coming into contact with two other groups of creatures already engaged in combat, or the party spying a deer or other normal creature only to glimpse a Goblin or Gnoll in the process of stalking it. If an Omen/Portent is indicated, the encounter happens at and around the area of the – possibly while the party is examining some other strange phenomenon.

Kobold Patrol:
1d4+3 Kobolds, plus 2 dire rat pets. These Kobolds are on their way to the Mouth of Doom, and if followed undetected they will lead a party to that locale. If undetected, they will only attack a party if they are small in number or already injured.

Goblin Patrol:
1d4+2 Goblins. This group of goblins part of tribe associated with the one residing in Castle Calaelen and are heading to that location to share in strength and benefits of Jedra’s newly found base. They know she likes dead things so they have with them bloody sacks which contain a disassembled human body. One of the sacks (which holds two arms), has a gold ring that the goblins failed to notice. It has a small garnet and is worth 50gp. If this group is detected and avoided by the party, add their numbers as reinforcements to those located in Castle Calaelen.

Gnoll Patrol:
Pair, plus 1 hyena. These two are a mated pair who are looking for easy prey to ambush with the intent to kill or capture. Captured PCs are taken back to the Gnoll lair where there are subsequently beaten for a time then sold off to the people of the Ferry. They are based out of Location 6 near Zelkor’s Ferry and if they detect the party and within a few miles of their base, they will head back and return to engage the PCs. Use normal standard stats with the change to skills being Perception +1 and Stealth +1

Skeletons:
Human Skeletons, 1d3+4. These shambling dead are more than a few centuries old. They travel from the Charnel Pits in the west towards the Mouth of Doom in east in single-minded, undead fashion. They will attack any living creature that gets in their way – but if a group were to break off combat they would not pursue them unless they remained in their path towards their objective – the Mouth of Doom.

Zombies:
Human Zombies, 1d3+2. These are more recent converts of the Charnel Pits but they follow the same path and behavior as their skeletal brothers who march to the Mouth of Doom.

Charnel Pits/Pit Dead:
A little over 20 miles west of Zelkor’s Ferry, deep in the western reaches of the Forest of Hope is an area that does not have a name and is not widely know in rumor or legend associated with Rappan Athuk. If it did have a name it would be called the Charnel Pits.
Shortly after the army of light laid siege to RA, a middle powered priest of Orcus fled with a few of his men, servants and other refugees from temple complex. Many of those that fled were low-level functionaries within the cult who paid the priest and his men all that they had in gold and rare gems to provide safe passage from the area. Twenty miles west of the Temple complex, the grim realization began to sink in that RA was finished, and fleeing with a large group of cultist in tow would be an impossibility. So one evening instead of the large group fleeing, they stopped in the woods with the priest and his men had instructed the other survivors to begin the construction of prject consisting of digging large pits, 20 feet wide and two to three times that deep. With the aid of summoned demons working along human hands and guidance, this work was completed in short order. The survivors assumed that the priest was laying down an elaborate trap for any of the forces who would come to pursue them – and they were right in a sense.
Letting the cultist bottom tier go was also an impossibility, for it would be guaranteed that they would eventually be picked up and it would be a matter of time before names and descriptions were given, last seen direction, etc. The priest and his lackeys knew that this couldn't happen. On one moonless night, while work was underway he instructed his men to pull ropes and ladders to the pits. He then ordered his men to execute all those he considered expendable and thrown in the pits. The remaining trapped workers faced a slow death by rain of crossbow bolts. The priest then hid some of their heavier treasures in bottom of these pits, took off their tabards, discarded their holy symbols and uniforms and scattered to the four winds, spreading their vile belief throughout other lands while constantly evading justice and looking over their shoulders.
But the dead do not rest easy in the Forest of Hope. Some time after the massacre, many of those murdered arose as undead creatures – being trapped they used their remaining tools to dig warrens and connecting tunnels from pit to pit. Over time they would leave these pits to hunt the living, to slay them and to return them to their home. Now when a creature is slain in the Charnel Pits or a dead body is placed there for some time, it arises as an undead creature. The Pit Dead do not control nor do they care about these other undead. The undead that do arise, eventually crawl out of the pit and make their way to the Mouth of Doom, the Tunnels of Terror or even to Rappan Athuk. The Charnel Pits area is bereft of natural life within a 2 mile radius of their location (Perception checks or obvious to a Ranger or Druid). The Pit Dead hate all living things, but above all they hate anything associated with the faith of Orcus and they will attack any priest of that temple in deference to other targets.

Pit Dead: 1d3 Pit Dead (see below). These fiends will their skill to ambush and sneak attack their prey. Any creatures killed are returned to the Pits before dawn. If a double encounter is indicated with these creatures, consider all the Pit Dead to be hiding and preparing and positioning to attack at the most opportune moment. These creatures stick to the shadows and stay in the forest if this encounter occurs during the day.

Pit Dead and Champion: 1d2 Pit Dead plus Pit Dead Champion (see below). This particular Pit Dead arose from a guard or low-level soldier/man-at-arms who served the cult.
The Pit Dead Champion will position any Pit Dead it has with it to sneak attack and flank its target. These creatures attack with unbridled fury and hatred and will only break off pursuit if dawn is close at hand. If a double encounter is indicated with these creatures, consider all the Pit Dead (and champion) to be hiding and preparing and positioning to attack at the most opportune moment. These creatures stick to the shadows and stay in the forest if this encounter occurs during the day.

PIT DEAD (CR 1)
XP 400
Human juju zombie rogue 1
NE Medium undead (augmented human)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +6
AC 18, touch 15, flat-footed 13 (+4 Dex, +1 dodge, +3 natural)
hp 9 (1d8+3)
Fort +0, Ref +6, Will +1
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +4;
DR 5/magic and slashing; Immune cold, electricity, magic missile, undead traits; Resist fire 10
Speed 30 ft.
Melee mwk short sword +5 (1d6+4/19–20) or slam +4 (1d6+6)
Special Attacks sneak attack +1d6
Str 18, Dex 19, Con —, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 10
Base Atk +0; CMB +4; CMD 18
Feats Dodge, Toughness(B), Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +7, Climb +15, Disable Device +7, Intimidate +4, Perception +5, Sleight of Hand +8, Stealth +8, Survival +3, Swim +8, Use Magic Device +4; Racial Modifiers +8 Climb
Languages Common
SQ trapfinding +1
Treasure NPC gear (masterwork short sword, other treasure)

PIT DEAD CHAMPION (CR 2)
XP 800
Human juju zombie fighter 2
NE Medium undead (augmented human)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +6
AC 18, touch 15, flat-footed 13 (+4 Dex, +1 dodge, +3 natural)
hp 14 (2d10+3)
Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +1
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +4;
DR 5/magic and slashing; Immune cold, electricity, magic missile, undead traits; Resist fire 10
Speed 30 ft.
Melee mwk long sword +8 (1d8+4/19–20) or slam +6 (1d6+6)
Special Attacks
Str 18, Dex 19, Con —, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 10
Base Atk +2; CMB +6; CMD 20
Feats Dodge, Power Attack (B), Toughness (B), Weapon Focus (Short Sword)
Skills Climb +14, Intimidate +4, Ride +8, Swim +8
Racial Modifiers +8 Climb
Languages Common
SQ bravery +1
Treasure NPC gear (masterwork long sword, other treasure)

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Hoover, my plan was to have them get there by boat or directly overland West of Zelkor's Ferry (from the Free City of Carterscroft - on the Sinnar Coast map) .

----------
On the issue of low-level gaming in RA..

If anyone is interested, I have been working on an expanded low-level detailed encounter tables for the Ferry area and a few areas beyond. The idea would be to reduce the "wander and die", with some omens, warnings and portents, low-level version of high level encounters...with an effort of effectively creating a low level "zone" near the Ferry, and gradually getting more difficult as you move away from that low level/civilized area.

I am a strong advocate of "wander and die" philosophy (coming from a Gamma World background) so this really is just a small buffer zone with level appropriate encounters. Persistent players who don't get the hint as they travel further out (based on increased encounter difficulty) will still wander and die. PM for anyone interested here

RA GMs only:
Expanded low-level encounter zones:
Area 1 (Frogemoth)
Area 4 (Trollmound)
Area 5 (Truane & Trolls)

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Logan1138 wrote:
I never played 2E can someone tell me what differences there are between 1E and 2E besides the addition of character customization via kits? Houstonderek mentioned the "power curve" of 2E, is that in any way different from 1E?

Not sure if this is what HD is talking about, but late edition 1e and all of 2e had characters that are more powerful than they were in 1e core. This is primarily due to weapon proficiencies (late 1e) to kits in 2e.

The raw mechanical power increase was the weapon proficiencies and specialization - which is considerable. But this started with the original Unearthed Arcana (1e, late cycle).

Beyond that, the kits and few other customization options were just that - fluff with some supporting mechanics. There were a few things that slipped in that were broken, but for the most part 2e just added more mechanical details to characters that were not mapped in 1e.

So in 1e, you were a Thief who was more of a thug or brute you just stated so, with the DM in agreement ("this is how I more picture my guy" conversation). In 2e they had a kit for it with some supporting mechanics. Nothing on par with the splat releases power creep of 3.X and 3.X based games.

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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:
then I realized that life is too short and I dumped PF altogether.
Out of curiosity, what are you playing now?

Working on beta testing a heavily revised 3rd ed Gamma World game (cir 1985-86). Most of Chargen is finished (races, training, occupations, edges and drawbacks), Combat system is done, now running an adventure where we are developing and testing a revised mutation system (which is an aspect of mutant humans and animals - so still part of Chargen). A bit too much on the plate for me right now -still need to write up a few hundred individual mutations (with player help and testing) format the new rules AND write and run an entertaining module to actually test the rules in.

So I have some down time from that system - when I basically am in heavy writing mode where we fall back to 2nd ed AD&D (with some revisions and takeaways from 3.x/PF - very few). I may run a 7th ed Call of Cthulhu or another Chill game (which requires too much research, so probably not that).

-

There were many things that attracted me to 3.X - as a DM: modular monster stats, templates - everything from the creature side. The game from a player side - skill system, spells, +X trumps class or specialization - makes the game pretty much impossible to revise since these are core considerations. This is also ingrained into the spell system and as such the magic item system (which are just spells in items).

All that being said I would say that the +X is the biggest contributor to the "life is too short" comment. This is me being very literal and exact - mid to high level combats took several minutes for the players to prepare - let alone run (hours). Ticking down multiple bonuses that stack - just too much work for too little a payoff.

Anyway - you already know all the complaints Kirth, just stating them again for those who may not.

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Charles Scholz wrote:

Police Dispatcher: Use of unnecessary violence in the apprehension of *** HAS been approved.

The Blues Brothers

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Creighton Broadhurst wrote:

Thanks for the suggestions chaps. I've been considering old school play/feel more and more as I plot my megadungeon.

In case you didn't know I was writing one, here's the link for more information. I'd love to get your thoughts on it, although I've only just started there should be enough info there to give you a good feel for the place.

Wow, just found a new website to add to my favorites - some great posts in there, need to do some reading.

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Would it be possible (and not sure if this is the right place) to set up some kind of notification system when an item is available for order? Be it a subscription item that can start a new sub or a backorder item?

I did a search of this subforum and most of the notification requests are threat/reply related. I am looking for a system to place an item on watch - be it in a sub, backorder, pre-order and then getting either an email or message board notification at the earliest point it becomes available (as sub or if the item is in warehouse/inventory).

For example - I am currently subscribing to Iron Gods AP but not the Campaign line - I want the map folio for this series which happens to be in the Campaign line and will be available in a few months. It would be nice to get a notice to "start with" for subscription when this becomes available instead of having to spot check upcoming items I am interested in without the need for checking each line.

Thank you for your time.

-Aux

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Aelryinth wrote:
Seriously, can you picture any king's court where divination magic was allowed to work on his courtiers, and enchantment magic allowed to seize the thoughts of a realm's rulers? It makes no sense whatsoever.

People may not agree with your specific fixes (aka -everyone's a critic) but the philosophy driving your fixes should have been built into the game once it started to transcend the dungeon - i.e. 1st edition.

2nd edition - the system should have started to address this - again, I can chalk some of that up to the year and the state of RPG gaming.
3rd ed and on - it's unforgivable.

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Brox RedGloves wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:

I did and partook in them. I didn't thread crap, though.

Thing is when haveing discussions with people of the opposing viewpoint, you let some inevitable things slide, because discourse.
Except that with posters like thejeff, bignorsewolf, and now, apparently, you Kryzbyn, Paizo is not conservative friendly. At. All. The staff is not conservative friendly, and neither are the majority of the posters.

Well, you know (as do I), so I guess the point for you would be - should you bother posting an opposing political view or leave it as is/take your business elsewhere?

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Headfirst wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
But that's what most of us who oppose "low magic Pathfinder" have been saying

So why are you even here? This thread is called "Why low magic?" Why are you here complaining, acting defensive, and lashing out at people who describe their own personal playstyle to you?

Better yet, let me put you at ease. I promise you that no Paizo employee is going to read this thread and say, "Great idea, let's immediately recall all Pathfinder products and rewrite the entire game system to be low magic so we can force it on everyone!"

If low magic isn't your thing, good for you. Move on. Hey, why not start another thread about high magic campaigns? There's really no point to you even being here if all you're going to do is insult people by insinuating they're bad DMs or try to belittle their opinions.

Because he is part of a crowd that dislikes the concept of low-magic games existing or being considered in the gaming multi-verse.

Doesn't matter if it's PF, a conversion/modification of PF or a system designed from the ground up with the intent of lower magic or player power (as he has stated often) - he just doesn't like the concept and will frame any arguments around this as if his opinion and personal likes are facts.

As to involvement in this thread? Well, he thinks he knows better and it's the internets.

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deinol wrote:
I'll be honest, my most frequent disagreement with some of the Old School movement (although not everyone projects this) is the revisionist notion that there was a one true way it used to be done, instead of simply one style of many which lost and gained favor over the years.

Which is both ironic and funny considering the number of posters in this thread saying that unless the players get 100% of what they want (re-skinned or not) the GM is doing it wrong.

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Artemis Moonstar wrote:
As is, I suppose most of the thread can be summed up as: "We can't stand the gamers that disrupt the game in various ways!" with extra sprinkles.

I think this thread is better summed up as: We can't stand other gamers.

That's how it's looking at least.

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I like big villains as well as memorable henchmen. These may not be the best quotes, but I feel they are quotes that summarize the characters the best (brutal, crazy or even just creative and wily):

"We do it my way. Fear is our ally. The gasoline will be ours. Then you shall have your revenge." -The Lord Humungous
-

"Und zis is how ve zay goodbye in Germany, Dr. Jones." -Colonel Vogel (summation of the brutal mindset of all the cartoon Nazi's in the Indiana Jones series)

-
Hans: "The following people are to be released from their captors: In Northern Ireland, the seven members of the New Provo Front. In Canada, the five imprisoned leaders of Liberte de Quebec. In Sri Lanka, the nine members of the Asian Dawn movement... "
Karl: [mouthing silently] "Asian Dawn?"
Hans: [covers the radio] "I read about them in Time magazine."

-Hans Gruber (played by Alan Rickman, didn't end up getting the cash but he stole the movie).

-
"Wendy, I'm home." - Jack Torrance

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the secret fire wrote:
Shadowdweller wrote:
This, however, is flat out wrong. Tuco is not a villain, neither wholly unsympathetic...HOWEVER being partially sympathetic does not make a character neutral. You do not get to ignore the deeds he commits off screen. His particulars include murder and rape, according to the judge in one scene. On screen, Tuco cavalierly commits blatant armed robbery (of a gun, no less) and attempts murder. He takes what he wants and exhibits little remorse when his own confederates are killed. These are not traits in keeping with neutrality.

Yeah, it takes a pretty warped perception of the alignment system to consider Tuco anything other than a wonderfully done chaotic evil. He commits many terrible acts without doing anything one could hold up as a good act to counterbalance them. He isn't maniacal or insane, but he is definitely selfish and destructive above all else, and he is definitely chaotic. The OP should really watch the film; it is fantastic for a lot of reasons.

To be honest, Blondie shouldn't be classified as a good character, either. He, not Tuco, is actually an excellent depiction of chaotic neutral.

And this is where both of you are wrong.

While Tuco commits crime (yes, he's a criminal) that doesn't necessarily make him evil.

All those charges railed against him could have been that - charges, and they are off screen so we don't know exactly what happened.
He may have duped and bedded those women (as implied by his "many wives") and those many charges could have been leveled against him by the locals who just hated him as revenge. Not saying he wasn't a scumbag - just not an evil scumbag.

Both of you need to re-watch that movie and rank each characters behavior. All three are chaotic (outside society, breaking the law) - but only one in the movie murders - people in their bed, unarmed men, children. That's Angel Eyes - CE. His personal code is just that, personal. His rank in the army is just a tool to get what he wants (selfish, self serving).

Tuco killed people (all three did) - but he didn't kill anyone who: wasn't trying to kill or capture him, or did him wrong. He didn't kill the gun store owner after he robbed him - sure as hell Angel Eyes would have, without a second thought.

His back and forth with Blonde (desert torture,trying to hunt him down) all stem from revenge.

I just don't think (and this is where we can agree to disagree) that stealing is evil. It is anti-social, chaotic and somewhat destructive behavior. Just not evil. Tuco didn't put a pillow over a guys face and put 4 into his bosses head, that was Angel Eyes. Tuco didn't wipe out a family, that was Angel Eyes. Tuco's crime was that he was a scumbag, survive at any cost kind of guy.

I have no doubt that Angel Eyes would have killed anyone he worked with after getting the gold. Tuco'c confederates were actually his old gang (deleted scene) and I don't think he would have executed them after getting Blonde or the gold. Just two different and distinct working MOs. Angel Eyes was CE, Tuco was CN and Blonde was CG (still a criminal, just not as destructive and not a murderer).

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Hudax wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Charlie D. wrote:
Pan wrote:
Charlie D. wrote:
(like, RAW can my character breath--I'm not making it up).
Oh man that's funny. Did someone counter with "RAW doesn't say you have to breath!"?
That response seemed obvious. What is scary is how much debate and how many pages those posts go on for. I honestly can't tell who is serious and who is trolling and who is laughing. It's way too trippy for me.

Bah. I've seen comparable threads here

"Is breathing evil?"

More importantly - "if a Paladin takes a breath, does he fall"?


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Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
Having walked alone through the dark woods in rural Norway in autumn nights I can see how an overactive imagination can make you believe in trolls and whatnot. Any strange sound or half-glimpsed movement is suddenly filled with menace, fear and uncertainty make you start imagining things....

I remember that night....I almost had you then.....hahahaha

Maybe next time?

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Liranys wrote:
As for the absolute truth thing, saying you aren't trying to invalidate my feelings and then making a STATEMENT that I should only feel cheated if the GM actually cheated invalidates my feelings. What you should have said was: "but I don't feel that I'm cheated at a legitimate death in a game and would only feel cheated if the GM actually cheated me." That would be a statement of your feelings and not a condemnation of mine.

What I was trying to convey is that it's a game, and when you die you don't necessarily lose. When you die that is component of the game. An "unfun" part of the game that sometimes happens (legitimately) during the course of play.

In effect, dying in game is part of the game, and unless the GM made a bad call or railroaded you into death it isn't cheating.

How you feel is how you feel, no one can take that away from you. Using "cheated" in the context to describe a negative feeling while playing a game carries it's own baggage and probably isn't the best term. "Cheated" implies that someone broke the rules to get a result, and it that wasn't the case then you probably shouldn't use that term.

And we can disagree on this; I do know that having a pc die sucks - flat out.

If you feel cheated that's fine, I just hope you understand that in the context of it being a game adds some extra meaning to that term.

Again, wasn't trying to invalidate your feelings or offend you in any way.
-

As to the luck thing, my players are not lucky - they just play cautiously. Which is part of the play style that they prefer and I as DM/GM am ok with. Sometimes they take crazy risks, but since we do not run PF anymore they know that all encounters are not designed for them to be beaten or are CR appropriate for their level in a head on fight.

It isn't for everyone and that's ok, it works for my group though.

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Liranys wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:

Generally though - once the game is in motion, it's on them. If an encounter requires them to be at their top game so they can survive, they need to be on their top game. Or they die.

Anything else and my players feel cheated.

I, as a player, usually feel cheated when, due to bad luck or an encounter that's just too hard, the character I've put months of effort into, dies. That's when I as a player feel cheated. I have never felt cheated because the DM fudged a roll to let my PC live and continue playing the game. But I get attached to my PC's, maybe other people don't.

My players also get attached to their PCs, and they have a general rule (the experienced one do at least):

"Never let your fate come down to a single die roll."

Whenever any of my players die, they can go back and see where they (or someone in their group) made some major mistakes and put their characters life at risk. It is very rare for any of them to die from one "bad roll". The road that got them to that roll is what they control, and when it happens they see it coming and are not very surprised.

-
And since it's still a game and you failed those die rolls (due to bad luck) then you shouldn't feel cheated. That's the game. Does it suck? Yes, it does. I don't think players should feel cheated though.
I can't tell you how to feel personally, nor am I trying to invalidate your feelings. But feeling cheated at a legitimate character death in a game should only come into play if your GM actually cheated you.

-

I don't think many of us are playing the same game or want the same things out of our games, so making comparisons is just going to result in more conflict since these are entirely different schools of thought on gaming. Half the premises presented here by one side as the absolute truth (as they see it) I vehemently disagree with, and as long as they are presented as absolutes I can see nothing constructive coming from this thread and exchange.

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:
So for all the padding a GM may apply, if you roll in the open and drop that hammer then you are not running a "GM lets you" game.

I absolutely am. Because it has everything to do with allowing you to win, not allowing you to fail.

I can make the PCs fail every time. I have to allow them to win. And I allow that before I even begin the game.

I guess we do look at it differently then. I set the stage and they act on it. They can succeed and fail on their own. I don't allow them to win or fail, they decide that.

-
And yes, I understand the implications of being the DM - setting the encounters, taking it easy or hard, etc - the whole lot of what comes with the job.

Generally though - once the game is in motion, it's on them. If an encounter requires them to be at their top game so they can survive, they need to be on their top game. Or they die.

Anything else and my players feel cheated.

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thejeff wrote:

I used to think this worked, but I've changed my mind. The GM still has near absolute control. It's still the GM's responsibility to be sure to give the players adequate warning of challenges beyond their ability and to make sure they are avoidable or at least escapable. It's a different approach than the more standard one, but it's far from "make the world, throw things out there and let the players take their chances".

If it really was that, there would be cases where the party just gets whacked by an ambush beyond their level with no realistic chance to avoid or escape, because that can happen in the world. It happens to NPC victims all the time. But it's no fun, even for sandbox players.

Yes, but this comes down to players making the best choices based upon the information that they have.

I have had several players who fought and died because they put themselves in over their heads. They either checked out something they knew was dangerous in advance or just didn't go about utilizing best practices (whatever that is for each game).

The players are still making all the calls once the data is presented.
I understand that the DM/GM sets the stage, even sets the chances of survival/what is the right choice to make. But the players still need to make that choice. Even if it's dressed up with: Foreshadowing (not always the case), chance to escape (usually the case), option to address challenge (usually the case). With all of those the players still have to make a choice, and if they make the wrong one they die.

IDK, maybe we are all just running different games I suppose.

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:

It isn't a case of: A + B + C + D series of encounters, which all designed to be level appropriate/winnable, thus why bother even giving xp.

In some cases a few of those encounters are designed way above the PCs head, beyond their ability or even foreshadowing encounters - you can still give them some xp for running away/avoiding it. At least till they get higher level/x item to come back and trounce it.

But in both cases, the GM is allowing the PCs to win/escape. When someone has absolute control of the game, you only succeed at their whim.

Actually no - they need to make the decision to attack, hide, evade, deceive. Whatever path they take.

And we also use dice.

I know you don't believe it (based on your assumptions and arguments), but there are some GMs who throw out encounters that are not meant to be beaten at level, and the players can either hear about it and avoid it (till higher level), encounter it and run/hide/evade or die.

I don't buy this whole "at their whim", I think there can be GMs who make the world, throw things out there and let the players take their chances as they see fit.

If anything is "at their whim" I would say that story/plot leveling is - no matter how good or bad an individual player used his character the GM just decides that it's time. I suppose surviving can be the sole metric to level up at certain points but I'd rather assign rewards based off of play merit vs. attendance.

Absolute control is assigning arbitrary level up points when it "feels right". I think this moves away from the concept of this being a game.

---

This does seem to be (mostly) a new school/old school discussion and disagreement.

Again, with no side convincing the other - probably a good point to cut losses and move on.

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Zalman wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:

Because there are rules, or at least guidelines, about how new spells work. And the first guideline is to look at the existing spell list and make sure it's balanced.

Any spell that is better than teleport trap would therefore have to be at least seventh level and probably higher. Making it cover a substantially larger area, enough that you can't even teleport "near" the BBEG's stronghold, should be at least an 8th level spell.

There are some false assumptions here, the largest of which is that a spell to counter teleportation needs to be more powerful than teleport trap. Redirecting a teleport attempt is a much more powerful effect than, say, simply blocking a teleport attempt. Or a spell that blocks the scrying attempt that allowed the characters to teleport right into someone else's lair in the first place. Or a scrying misdirection, that leads to the characters' teleporting intentionally to the wrong location.

I could go on.

Bottom line is this: if a 5th-level spell is powerful enough to transport a party across the world to a specific location, then the "guidelines" for spell creation should allow for an equal-and-opposite effect by a spell of the same level.

This is exactly it. The problem again of course is that the evolution of the teleport - the need to put it in the game from older editions was that the game was player adventure focused. Beat the dungeon sort of design philosophy and as the game expanded to a bigger world with campaign play designers should have put in common "counters" to existing technology (re: magic).

So a passive counter to teleport could easily start at 2nd-3rd level. Think about it - creating a passive ward with a single function that may or may not need to come into play - an insurance spell if you will.
While the teleport spell is an aggressive, convenient, fast and low risk method of possibly attacking a foe/infiltrating his base. Large area/more reliable counter raises the level of the counter-teleport.

As far as the quoted post - we set the rules and numbers we need. The spell level of Teleport trap is based off of a notion of "balance", a concept that is very subjective (when it comes to 3.x at least).

We are not slaves to numbers or systems, at least some of us are not. We realize that things like saves for fighters are not "game balanced" or well written. You can run it as is, house rule it, beg the devs to change it or run a different (and better) game. But there is no one single correct approach to addressing the issue.

And just because it's in print doesn't make it "right" or "correct". I've seen several feats, spells and rules in print that were not worth the paper they were printed on.

-

It all boils down to how relevant or how much of an impact you want those powers to have in your game. In the case of PF and it's precursors they didn't think about the impact of any of their spells on a given game world.

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Orfamay Quest wrote:

It may be a fix, but it's not simple, because some level of magical accomplishment is baked into the system. A party of level 20 fighters and rogues will not be able to handle a CR 15 marilith without magic. Indeed, without magic, I'm not sure how a level 20 fighter is supposed to be able to make the DC 25 Fort save against the marilith's unholy aura.

Re-write the terrible save paradigm, that's how you fix it.

Then the Fighter doesn't need to go to casters with helmet in hand saying "I need this so I have a chance to win".

Nothing to do with E6, 3.X has bad math.

Casters should be assisting/supporting non-casting classes - those classes should not require their assistance to survive. This is a 3.X problem.

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Kolokotroni wrote:
The point is not that magic cannot be countered. The point is that when it works it can do things mundane methods cant. Can you always teleport to the big bads lair? No. But you can teleport across the forest of despair to NEAR the bad guys lair, skilling 6 months of walking.

And this is just an example of bad game design/creating things in a vacuum. A good game would have several magic traps and snares built into the system whereas teleporting anywhere near the BBEG's lair brings down a swarm of Dark Hunters while warning his Black Guard to head out to the marked (with targets who teleported perma tracked) location.

No one would expect people trying to kill the BBEG to actually walk through the Forest of Despair - that would be suicide. So the BBEG doesn't need watchers placed there since the natural inhabitants are bad enough. He just keeps his guards near the border of the woods.

Problem is, all the stuff in paragraph one doesn't exist. So you can in fact teleport around the Forest of Ignore/Win button. The defenses in paragraph one do not need to be derived from a spell. It could be sourced by a class neutral ritual, a curse, an item that can be used by anyone powerful (one that cannot be reproduced but needs to be found) - but whatever it is, the source it should exist in game.

-

Part of the problem is terrible in-game consistency of power and managing everything in spell equivalents (lazy), some of this design philosophy was derived from the early days when everything was created for the PCs to beat dungeons and in fact was written in a vacuum. Worked back then when the game worlds were small, now there are no excuses and it's just bad game design

There are several other parts to the problem, mostly stemming from 3.X easy mode for casters, but internal consistency is a big issue that should have been fixed going back to 1st ed. Maybe fixes placed in that era would have been expanded and enhanced circa 2000.

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blahpers wrote:
Have we really started discussing whether one magic system or another is "realistic"?

Consistent with other system/class expectations would be a better term.

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Removing aging for Wish - there was no need to do that besides the 3.x dev team saying that they like magic over everything else and didn't want it to have consequences.

Going back to 2nd ed (or earlier) limitations on magic would go a long way back to making this game functional.

Though, I think it's a waste of time trying to fix this game.

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Zard, if you want my AD&D3 notes I'd be more than willing to email you them. What I was working on was closer to a 2nd ed AD&D than wotc take on 3rd ed.

I just gave up on PF and started running 2nd ed again. I have also have conversion notes for making 3rd ed/PF compatible with 2nd ed.

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LazarX wrote:

No one is expecting you to take the responsibility for the way this planet is screwed up.

You're not being asked to do anything besides being honest about the reality of race and culture dynamics on this sick planet.

The thing is - why stop at race and culture?

If you are going to discuss privilege are you going to include "good-looking" or "beautiful" privilege? Should a naturally athletic guy - maybe fast, maybe strong - address his privilege he has for his natural talent over others who have to struggle to get to his level?

Invisible knapsack nonsense makes the distinction between earned strength and unearned power. Are not people born more attractive utilizing unearned power? The didn't have to work for it - they were born with it, just like their race or gender.

So are these privileges? They give people advantages over others in society - better jobs, greater social status, wealth.

They are not listed as "privilege" because that crosses the line of idiocy (at least to most sane people). It can't be sold to people yet - but we are already seeing a race to the bottom with terms like "Thin-Privilege" and who can be the biggest victim (and earn the most sympathy - which in of itself is like a drug).

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The use of the term privilege is derogatory and meant to be used to elicit a response or reaction. Just another race based insult and classification system that is framed as intellectual observation. A tool to create "permanent" disharmony. "Privilege" can never be ameliorated or lifted. It is a permanent state of racial inequality.

And who are the people asking and naming? These self-appointed keepers of racial justice and equality?

Sorry, the whole thing comes across as a race-based and racist scam and actually hurts those who are disenfranchised. Instead of attempting to reach a state of parity between the races, to fix or alleviate problems the term "privilege" seeks to create a permanent racial dynamic that offers little in way of helping the problem.

Intellectually lazy wordsmithing.

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Rakshaka wrote:

Golem Manuals have always been a realized disappoint. At first you're like, "Wow, a book that has everything I need to make my own automaton of doom!!" Then you realize, "Oh I still need the body... which means I have to make it.. which (usually) means I don't have the skills or time to use this book."

I'd love to have a character just once pick one of these up and use it, but 4/4 times that these things have come up in games that I've ran, they are sold without a second thought.

You know what would be cool - and it would fit in well with a Gothic/Horror style campaign - if all the Golem manuals had an "emergency use" option. Change it from a potential "down time" item to be also used as a "we are all going to die anyway, so I might as well set off this bomb" item.

Recite the spells and then sprinkle the ashes on a twisted iron gate instead of a prepped body of an iron golem and it would make the whole affair insane.

Don't have a bunch of bodies on the ship for a flesh golem but you have the recently slain carcass of a giant shark? Instant defender in the water - or maybe not.

I would say for a creative application the more the animated target deviates from the core designed body the greater the variance in result an reliability (and loyalty). So on the dead body of a giant shark the missing criteria could be: Too big, one single body, not humanoid. Each deviation changing the potential outcome.

Some of these would end up hybrid of animated object/golem/undead and something else altogether horrid. Mechanically this could be an easy write up if it was formatted as a monster template (for each type of manual).

Just an idea....I think will change up my golem manuals in my 2nd ed game.

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My theories and view on the concept of "Privilege" and other newspeak single phrase classification language which are based on gender/race.

This is going to offend - probably everyone, but I will go ahead and put it out there anyway. Before the flamethrowers come out I want to stress that this is "my view" on the use of the term "privilege" in the context that it is being applied by SJWs and is not an effort for me to reduce the value of other significantly harsher derogatory terms.

Spoiler:
The term "privilege" and associated newspeak tagging of individuals is leftist, quasi-academia version of the "N-word" or other racist derogatory terms.

Take a breath. Ok, still there?

What is the function of derogatory/racist terms?

- Communicate an image/idea quickly among others who share the same view(based on stereotype/type)
- Empower the speaker (as an insult, hurtful words, establish superiority over the subject)
- Insult or hurt the target. Divisive function design to create more division vs. eliminating it.
- Circumvent discussing the individual and instead make them part of an established or accepted class/race/gender/group
- Control and restrict challenging terms or dialogue.
- Establish Hierarchy

The term "privilege" shares almost all the functionality of using the "n-word". Breathe.
The latter his its own historical context and power, while the former is more obscure and does not have a history of oppression behind it. But the functional use of both is the same. Not the meaning, the function as to why either phrase would be used:

Derogatory terms:

- Communicate an image/idea quickly (based on stereotype/type) among others who share the same view
Two people discussing someone else use the phrase "privileged" to describe a third person. This term carries the weight of the 3rd persons race, position in society, income and class level. This is often done for the purpose of expediency, but at the cost of that persons nuanced details, specific history, personality, identity, etc. None of those things matter or are used to describe you, you are the term.

- Empower the speaker (as an insult, hurtful words, establish superiority over the subject or used to establish a power paradigm)
Using the above example, the two people discussing the 3rd "privileged" person will do it with an attitude of superiority. That they see something or know something about the 3rd person that makes them feel more informed because they know (or are guessing) the subjects race. They become informed experts on class/race and victimology - which also makes the right (in their minds at least). And it's always nice to be right. Many great things (historically) can be done when you know you are "right".
So in discussing racism those applying the tags are acting in a racist fashion - albeit in a socially accepted method. The subject of the tag is not allowed any distinction besides what can superficially be detected by the person tagging them.

- Insult or hurt the target. Divisive function design to create more division vs. eliminating it.
The term is "soft" derogatory one - often implying that the subject is too stupid or ignorant to know what he really is. That this description encapsulates who he is as a person in one term, why he does what he does, reacts the way he does, etc. Most people who are called "privileged" will not react the same as person of African descent being called the "n-word". But both phrases are intended to put the subject "In their place".
While the subject is in this "place" they cannot escape it. You are privileged because of your race. You have committed a social crime of sorts for being in this place. While miles away from the use and power of "n-word" it does serve the same functions.

A) This is what you are, it is inescapable
B) You are ignorant
C) but even your Awareness doesn't change it
D) The person using this term for you is doing so from a position of superiority: their knowledge vs. your ignorance, their status as victim - which makes them better person than you (in a society that martyrs and worships victims).

- Circumvent discussing the individual and instead make them part of an established or accepted class/race/gender/group
Reducing a person to a descriptive term has been a dehumanizing tactic since the beginning of recorded history. It is often used during warfare to make the enemy/other, inhuman and as such, easier to destroy.
The other function of using simple terms is that the immediate subject - their thoughts, feelings, views and desires are all limited by the phrase. They (for the phrase to work) must live in that word used to describe them. It is social and intellectual laziness at best, sinister and destructive at worst. By putting an individual into a single term you have shut down the definition of that individual into descriptors associated with the term.

- Control and restrict challenging terms or dialogue.
The phrase is design to be unassailable. Derogatory terms generally have a long historical meaning. The ones tied to race often derived from modified a term of the individuals racial origin (N-word, S-word). But ultimately these terms cannot be challenged. They can over time be changed or applied in alternate ways though. (n-word used in hip-hop culture, an effort for gay activist to recapture the word "Queer" - queer nation, et al).
The point being that the phrase will stick and the subject will be boiled down to the quick communication of phrase. Similar to the way the term "prole" in 1984 was used to describe ignorant, non-party members.
These terms are ironclad and their design is as such so they cannot be changed or should not be changed by those who coined them.

- Establish Hierarchy
Racial terms are used by an oppressor to remind the oppressed who and what he is.
In the case of "privilege" and other newspeak terms, the established hierarchy is who is the greatest victim/endures the most pain, and as such the better person in the society. So if a cis white privileged woman is raped, her suffering is then ranked based upon her level of privilege/race. Because if a trans person of color is raped it is far more severe an act since the trans person of color is at a lower level of privilege (if at all) in that hierarchy. This is implied when you reduce people to hierarchical terms and phrases.

A Hierarchy of suffering is established, thus the newspeaker has provided a better understanding of "justice".
The reality of course is that both people were raped - suffered terribly and will be dealing with the consequences of that assault for the rest of their lives.

I think (imo - all of the above is imo and my own thoughts) that the newspeak terms were created and designed to be divisive. They quickly and lazily establish power, authority and hierarchy while subsequently reducing the subject to a term. All the aspects of the person get lumped in with no distinction and the inability to challenge the term.
They term also serves the dual purpose (as derogatory terms often do) of establishing superiority of the speaker utilizing the term. It is designed to belittle the subject.

A good test of my theory would be to find a discussion on privilege and instead substitute a derogatory racial term. It's a fun test, try it out.

Sorry for the length - and content if it offended you. Don't say I didn't warn you.

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I think I lost some San and IN points reading those threads mecha.

Seriously, you have to be Western Privileged/Ivory Tower resident just to even think this way and make it the focus of your entire existence.

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mechaPoet wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:
That women stayed away from gaming not because there was a lack of interest but because they were historically "kept out"?
Yeah.

No. It was lack of interest pure and simple. Anything else is framing it to benefit an agenda or cause.

Now that geek (somehow and someway) became cool (not really), everyone is jumping on the bandwagon.
Not just women who make the claim of geek, but many men. The same people who "back in the day" beat the living s+~$ out of any nerd or geek they could gang up on.

mechaPoet wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:
Should a hobby that was made for boys/men created by men accommodate and change to adapt to a new demographic for the sake of being inclusive? Should inclusiveness be the focus of gaming creation and design?
Why shouldn't it?

Why should it?

No one owes you s%*~.
You want to be a female "gamer" or change the content of gaming to better reflect your gender then do so. Other people have.

No one is obligated to change what they like to accommodate you - be it accommodating your gender, your race or your favorite color.
No one owes you. These are things you hopefully lean that as you grow up and mature. Just as I would never ask/hope for/fight for a woman to create a novel, video game or rpg to be more "male" oriented to accommodate me.
I either: make it myself or buy if from someone who creates along the lines of what is attractive to me..i.e, what I want.

My favorite band is not obligated to write an album just for me, nor is my favorite author only allowed to write to my likes/dislikes. The create the vision of what they want and if anyone is interested in it then they buy it, that's how it works.

-

mechaPoet wrote:
And why do nerds act as gatekeepers to the things they like instead of being excited that other people are interested in them?

Could be a lot of things - resentment for when your gender was not there creating and propagating niche X (video game, rpg, geek sci-fi, whatever). Most people resent Johnny-Come-Lately's even it turns out to be a Jenny-Come-Lately. Gender doesn't always matter - who was there first does.

This goes for music, art, team fandom, pretty much anything that started small and gained a following. It isn't tied to gender but to adherence and proximity to the being there at the beginning.

I do find it interesting that every reference you make of "nerd" is the assumption/context of the male sex. Yet you use the term women who game. Interesting. Sexist, and also interesting.
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mechaPoet wrote:
And why do women who play games and point out their more sexist aspects--while still be able to enjoy the experience these games--meet with this nerd gatekeeping in the form of gendered insults and threats of rape and death in far greater numbers than any male critics or non-gender-related criticisms?

Again - men = nerds, women = gamers, who play games.

You are making this distinction, not me. Seems like you can't even get over your own nerd bias.

As far as the gendered insults/threats - I think that stems from the maturity of the source making those threats. A troll is a troll and an idiot the same, you combine that with anonymity of the internet and you are going to get nasty responses to every and anything - check the comments sections on any part of the internet that are not supervised. This is not relegated to young men making threats to women, its anonymous people making outrageous comments and threats to anyone who offends or threatens them.

Your link and the guy blogging there where... eh, weak.
Let me break it down for you: a guy faking that he's a geek/nerd would not be questioned. Why you ask? Because back in the day nerds would be subjected to severe cruelties for what they were into. 5 on 1 fights (those were fun) having your gaming stuff stolen and destroyed (that was nice). Even without the physical violence or threats at best a nerd/geek would be perceived as ugly, less than a man/weak, undesirable, perpetual virgin, awkward. All with their own weights and implications when assigned to the male sex.
So a guy claiming to be someone or something that was traditionally reviled is not called into question because what man in their right mind would make such a false claim unless he was trying to fit in with other geeks?
A woman who makes the same claim is met with automatic suspicion and maybe some resentment - mostly because they didn't have to endure what their male counterparts in that same subculture had to endure (the physical violence stuff) and questioned because of how currently fashionable it is to be a geek.

Anyway, that went much longer than I wanted it to.

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One more to add, Ring of Protection - with 5ft radius.

Now why would I add such a purely mechanical item? The 5-ft radius of course.

The ring in of itself is boring (pure numbers) and doesn't do anything flashy (besides maybe keeping you alive). A player in my 2nd ed group had an amulet that did the same thing: +1 to him and anyone near him. For those in area with 5 hp or less the bonus to AC and saves went up to +2. He was playing a rogue/wizard and the secondary aspect of the amulet (ring) changed everything. How he moved around the battlefield (he avoided melee combat when possible) and supported other players and NPCs was epic. And it was a struggle for him, because he knew the ring could also help his allies while his character was at risk due to his average AC but terrible hp.

It made for some interesting decisions on where he was during the course of a fight as they progressed (PCs and NPCs being wounded, fighting creatures with SLAs or save based effects).

So that 5ft radius made a huge difference in what otherwise would be a pretty boring magic item that granted an internal numerical bonus.

The 5ft radius bonus to saves were dropped from the ring of protection during the codification process to 3rd ed (adds to AC only, not saves).

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Orthos wrote:
Someone seems a bit bitter.

He probably is - and rightfully so.

This was a developer contrived problem that could have been avoided or at least better thought out.

In other words - this was totally avoidable for anyone with an ounce of vision.

Keep in mind the subject matter of this thread - "what magic items do not live up to the hype". In 3rd ed based games that's mostly all of them, since they are all reduced down to spell replication (of some kind) which in turn makes them boring/flavorless.

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I don't know of what I speak? So you are challenging me to a doooul then?

Roll for initiative sir!

Its days like these that I wish I had invested time in...any other hobby.

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Cptexploderman wrote:
houstonderek wrote:

And when you got to "Stoneskin" levels, the fighter generally only failed his save vs. spells on a one or a two.

And stoneskin didn't stop grapple, overbearing or whatever the other one was, and all of them disrupted casting.

A fighter wouldn't get a save vs Stone skins? What kind of monster for a DM did you have? It's a magic effect cast on the caster not an effect that allows for an attacker to save versus it. Also the spell granted something like a d4 plus caster level in negating all attacks from a non spell source.

It wasn't the save vs. stoneskin that the fighter needs to save from, what HD is talking about is the saves he would need to make while the wizard was casting other spells/screaming while the fighter turned his head into grape jelly.

Stoneskin protected 1d4 +1 per two caster levels and each of those protections went down per attack he was exposed to in a round - not hits, but people trying to hit. So if a dart clown (3 attacks) and bow clown (2 attacks) both level 1 were attacking said wizard, that would count as 5 stoneskin(s!1!!!!1) that were taken off in that round. Hit or miss.

Magic attacks went right through - in addition to taking off hits. 3 magic missile attacks - 3 stoneskins wiped.

If you don't know it or remember it, please don't post it.

Back to the program in progress....

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