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Red Dragon

Auxmaulous's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 2,388 posts (2,452 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 14 aliases.


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Cheliax

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Modern Horror RPG

Player says: "My guy is heavy into his research, investigating the Unknown and fighting monsters. He would never have attachments like a family, wife or gf."
Player means: "Are you nuts, you will use them as leverage against me the first 5-minutes after we start the game!"

Cheliax

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bugleyman wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:

These are huge concerns - on top of all of that, Wotc has not put out a good module since they took over the TSR reigns. IMO - of course. I just can't think of anything that was slightly memorable that they have produced during the 3rd/3.5 era. Not talking Dungeon mag 3rd ed era, some of those were good - much better than Wotc offerings at the time. I just can't remember any of the modules - the hardcover "return to" being included (I have them all). Just boring adventures that started looking very set piece/minis focused near the end (those book layouts were terrible).

Luckily we have FGG taking some of this on, but I think the actual adventure content is going be (and has been) their weakest area and pretty lightly supported for this game if no other 3pp step up.

Maybe the new AP style mod will fix it?

I completely agree that the best adventures of the 3E era were in Dungeon -- it wasn't even close. That said, I did like Red Hand of Doom.

People seem to love that one - I bought the series (the hobgoblins right) - if one stands out it would be that one.

But yeah - they really need to work on their adventure cred. Maybe now with a little less focus on minis and maps (for the minis) and them trying to setting up tactical fights will give way to memorable locations, plots and interesting NPCs.

mini focus/tactical play ruins maps rant:
I find the mini/map tie-in as sort of design limiter when it comes to modules, Paizo following the same Wotc trap.

Take for instance the Emerald Spire and map pack (got the pdfs from the KS) - I don't like them. The maps are all forced into a box because of the need to produce a map pack and all the levels look similar and have to follow a limited parameter due to their flip map product line. The actual level design/content for the module as Paizo's take on a mega-dungeon is decent - not earth shattering but it could still be fun. Probably the smallest mega-dungeon out there.

I guess I don't think the limits of physical products should be transferred over to creative content. I want a maps that are limited to only what's written on paper - not "can we make this as a product" to be part of consideration taken when creating a dungeon level.

Cheliax

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Not a fan of Golarion or the newer Realms material -once you had to keep pace with the novels to stay current with the ever changing realms (I hate fantasy novels) that's when I checked out. The original grey box gave me a land of mystery, fog and unclaimed tracks of open land. FR started loosing me with some of their novel/module tie ins - but even through some of 2nd it was my go to campaign world. If I ran it again it would be grey box only (those hex overlays were brilliant, btw - had them for Ravenloft also).

Golarion Rant/Critique:
Golarion has too much of an earth culture/kitchen sink feel but besides that, one of things that bothers me is the producers desire to be progressive in their game world (without reasons or justification beyond personal) to get a game world "they would want to play in" while leaving in what amounts to an otherwise oppressive or repressive world (in some areas at least) with untouched offensives that doesn't directly impact their modern world view or their daily lives (so they are ignored). So some ideas that bother them irl are revised to their modern standards (Race, Gender and sex roles) while other classic fantasy/irl examples of injustice or things that a reprehensible that don't affect their daily life are ignored or left untouched (forced concubines, child slavery/sacrifice/abuse... or worse). Just seems very contrived/"we don't want to offend anyone" without rhyme or reason why things are the way they are (magna carta, etc). So social justice - sort of (if it bothers us) - while leaving in a bunch of other bad stuff (or ignoring it). Wholly illogical and inconsistent without internal reasoning besides writer personal social worldview/preferences.

Back on the kitchen sing: the other Golarion "sin" is really the boring lands with little originality or creativity - the this is human culture "X" given fantasy treatment is a bit overdone. Africa Land, Eastern Europe Land, North America Land - all overdone and somewhat formulaic.

I do praise them for places like Razmiran (just a glossed over Church of Scientology really - but still good) and Numeria (a tribute to aspects of fantasy meets tech from old D&D modules and campaign world). But unique lands and places like this are not the norm for this campaign world. The real interesting lands that mimic earth history - such a Vudra, are more or less undeveloped or only glossed over.

The lack of high level NPCs running around for the players to follow is another good feature and learned lesson from FR. I think they should still list some high level movers and shakers, but they should not be used as dramatic plot devices to further the campaign world along while the players watch the soap opera from the sidelines (such as the World Turns, Days Our Lives or Game of Thrones).

Golarion showed some initial promise of being a new Greyhawk or FR but the limited art direction and internal logic lost me and the whole thing looks like a jumbled mess.

Cheliax

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ShinHakkaider wrote:
Bill Webb wrote:
The only real way to do a $40k or so cost project is this. Keep in mind we are a small basement company, and that we write checks from the bank of Bill and Krista.

I dont know HOW MANY TIMES you can say this and people STILL not get the bloody point. It's either this (KICKSTARTER) or the product doenst get made.

I mean you guys have been saying this for YEARS and in more than one place but still there are people who still have a problem with it.

Lol, well in fairness some people are fearful of the risks associated with Kickstarters - and they have their reasons.

I don't look at that way of course, in fact I think several gaming resources would have languished or been under-produced/developed without a KS: City State of the Invincible Warlord for one, the recent Metamorphosis Alpha supersized book - these are niche products within an already small industry/fan base. Smaller games or supplements that have an equally small but devoted fan base who want to see these products back in print, updated, revised or expanded. I wish this option was around or used when they were trying to launch Chill 3rd edition.

Without the KS option of funding I would imagine than many of these things would just remain projects or dreams that would never see the light of day.

Cheliax

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Sunderstone wrote:

TBH, I'm a little annoyed at the current trend that most of the products starting out as kickstarters requiring us to fund them. Then add to that, some exclusive content only goes to backers who donate $x amount.

A kickstarter every now and then for a huge product is ok I guess, though the exclusives via donation tiers is kind of lame. Maybe you should reward all the people willing to trust you and invest sight unseen after the product is released (also so we don't end up with another Razor Coast fiasco). Necromancer used to practice this, they called it Web Enhancements.... and they were free.

This makes Zero sense and it sounds like you are tainting your logic with your frustration of not being able to fund kickstarters. If you recall, the guy behind Frog God and Necromancer Games Saved Razor Coast (him and a few other people helping keep it alive/raised from the dead).

You think they should "Reward people willing to invest sight unseen after a product is released?" Really?

These guys are not Wotc or Paizo that can afford to print up a book that is unpopular (no way to gauge how successful it will be) without knowing what kind of sales they are going to get. For their smaller books (Dunes of Desolation by FGG) they didn't make a kickstarter, they added it as a backer kit option for early access - beyond that the book didn't get KS funding. It was just a small book they took a risk on to add to their catalog.

BTW - did you buy that book? Probably not.
That last point is to illustrate producing product "sight unseen".

A couple of unpopular books/big projects - and you say good-bye to this company.

Sunderstone wrote:

I'm an old school fan of Necromancer, I even had almost every module they published in print version. But from the promised Vampire and Liches enhancement (I was looking forward to the hinted at Vampire expansion) that never made it and the other stuff that never appeared from the lineup, I got the impression that Necro was only going to publish something they could guarantee would sell well to justify the usage of the spare time they devote to such products. Now and again, they stated previously that Necro was not their main job (also understandable).

I just can't get behind the "let the players fund this" attitude that all things are now starting out as a kickstarter as of late.

That's the thing though - you don't need to fund this. You can leave it up to other gamers to support the hobby (the real "sight unseen" crowd), then when 95% of the KS-made product is available for regular purchase you can pick it up. Only the re-issue of Rappan Athuk (from their old catalog) had an exclusive module/level - everything else is pretty much available on their website. So far on these 5e books, I'm not seeing anything yet that is backer exclusive (I wish their was), we are just getting the books a couple of bucks cheaper/earlier while helping guarantee that they get made.

You contradict yourself several times here and you post sounds like sour grapes to me because you can't fund a project or just choose to avoid KS. You want them to publish books "sight unseen" but you seem to understand that they need to "publish something they could guarantee would sell" - two points that directly contradict themselves.

You seem to want the old style selling format - go to your favorite GS, browse through the books and pick up what you like. That doesn't work anymore. Most of those brick and mortar LFGS are gone. These guys don't want to produce a book that no one wants and is going to languish on a bookshelf somewhere. They want to know the demand, produce X books and pass on some savings and give early access to backers - with the idea that the books will be added to their existing catalog.

Sunderstone wrote:
Again, every now and then a huge product may require some funding to justify the time spent, etc..... But what happens when the funding goals are met and then even doubled? Will we ever see products we don't have to fund beforehand again? No more free web enhancements?

Again, you seem to be stuck in 2003 mentality. Every major book project (new campaign, mega module reprint for new gaming system, etc) is probably going to be a KS project from these guys. They can gauge the worthiness of taking on the project, and on top of that WE (the consumer) get more of what we want if it is fully backed (increased content). Keep in mind that everyone gets that increased content - even people like you who may buy the product after KS and goes to regular sale.

So the KS format (for their major products) is designed to: add more fans to their fanbase, gauge the popularity of potential product, maximize the potential of a product (best book we can get), while minimizing risk and exposure. On top of that it's a great way for a company like FGG/NG to communicate with their existing fans.

And on top of that Part II: It's a way for some backers to be able to buy products at a reduced price - something they otherwise couldn't afford.

Sunderstone wrote:
As an aside, I wonder what Chris Roberts will do with all that overage on his Star Citizen game. That particular kickstarter cap was obliterated and is likely enough money to retire his whole generation.

I could give two s!+~s about the Star Citizen KS, what about the Sword of Air kickstarter that missed an extra 100 encounter areas because we where short on funding? That was an RPG travesty - if I had the money I would pay Bill Webb directly to write and publish those encounter areas.

Cheliax

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thejeff wrote:
Digitalelf wrote:
thejeff wrote:
If there's a good enough reason for my character to go in, then I'm probably going to go in regardless of the danger or I'm going to find it an unfun game: playing a character who is strongly motivated to do something, but can't because it's too dangerous isn't my idea of a good time.
So, you're telling us, that if your character grows up hearing about the ancient red dragon living in the nearby mountains with records of it living there going back for the past thousand years, threatening not only your home town, but the entire region, you're going to take your 1st level character there when your character's sister is taken by that dragon?

Either that or my character's going to sit at home getting dead drunk hating himself for being a coward. Neither way will be much fun to play.

Mind you, he'd go up there hoping to negotiate or to sneak in and rescue her or something other than go toe to toe with the dragon.

He certainly wouldn't shrug his shoulders and go look for an easier adventure. Unless he was an a%#%#*& who didn't like his sister anyway.

Edit: Or that a dragon isn't a level appropriate challenge for a 1st level character, so a GM who plants an emotional hook that says "Go fight the dragon" at 1st level is being a jerk.

Or you go looking for a sword or other magic item to kill the dragon or sneak in to save your sister (and maybe other prisoners) via other adventures...also picking up some friends along the way help you out, each with their own reasons for going along.

My sandbox campaign/plot adventure:
You can run dungeon crawls as mindless monster bashes or you could run them as a legitimate progress for a larger story arc. Last campaign around 95% of their exploration into:

- Goblin & wererat infested silver mine (working for BBEG and were planning on eliminating the threat of silver to be used as weapons in the final battle/reveal).

- Underground garden with an insane treant that was breeding plants so they could live above ground without sunlight (since it thought eternal darkness was coming due to the BBEG).

- A Dwarven hold, being reclaimed by descendents who abandoned their halls because of a family secret and skeletons in the closet.

- A short and fast run deep into the Underdark to rescue some adventures who disappeared six months prior based solely on a string of clues. Traveling 3 days underground in record time, under exhaustion, no rest/spell recovery - planned out of course (that one the players took me by 100% surprise and 100% PC directed). Only a few adventures that ended up prisoners survived, but they saved those that were alive. Had this whole area written out to be a completest, did not at all - expect them to pick up old clues and then decide near the end of the campaign out of the blue to actually go look for them.
Hats off to them, that's why I am happy with my players.

- An ancient swamp, filled with flooded barrows - looking for a witch and her half-ogre son. The players were duped into thinking they were evil and needed to be destroyed when in fact they were both Good and were causing problems for the BBEG.

- Journey to the underdark part II - looking for something the bad guys were looking for there they: met a LN Eye of the Deep/Sorcerer who traded in magic and info with travelers underground - became an ally in the end of campaign War.
Refugees from the Treant's garden - bugbears hiding out from the wrath of the BBEG, who became hideously mutated by remnants of his weapon/energy source used to adapt the treant's plants to darkness.

- A tower in the woods that a declining elven clan ignored. Held an extra dimensional space guarded by a bound devil who watched over a sleeping elven noble (his dreams of monsters made into flesh) - his imprisonment and being forgotten part of the reason of the clans decline.

All of these were designed 100% sandbox/dungeon bash - with PC and NPC motivation and actions and in game events taking them to the different locations. Most of which I hid from the players but as the PCs investigated the bad guy/mysterious goings on, they found leads and they followed at every opportunity.


Anyway

Cheliax

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DrDeth wrote:
Artemis Moonstar wrote:


-Idiot Game Masters who say they want to run a certain game system, but have all these weird @$% wonky home brew rules concerning stuff the game doesn't ACTUALLY have, because they read some #@^& sci-fi novel (WH40K), Shoe-horned it into a FANTASY game, runs all these weird @$# rules OUT OF HIS HEAD WITHOUT GIVING THE PLAYERS A SINGLE INKLING OF WHAT THEY ARE!

Idiot Game Masters who say they want to run Pathfinder but actually run a homebrewed E6 super low magic railroad campaign....

That wasn't very nice, let me fix it for you -

Idiot Game Masters who say they want to run Pathfinder but actually run a homebrewed E6 super low magic railroad campaign and don't bother telling you in advance.

Cheliax

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P.H. Dungeon wrote:
Use the levels of exhaustion rules they provided. Explain to players that while they are considered "At-Will" using them does cause some level of exertion, so abusing the use of them could lead to gaining a level of exhaustion. It probably won't come up in play, but in game you can still justify why wizards can't stand on the battlements defending a city all day long by hurling cantrips at their enemies.

Oh, it would come up in play. If my players can make a 1d10 ranged attack for free every round they would use it every round. This was an intentional design consideration to make Wizards closer to Fighters in their "attack per round". Me being who I am - I can't let that stand.

But implementing exhaustion as a control would be a good fix using the existing mechanics.

Maybe I will baseline 4 (level 1) + casting stats per day (long rest) per my original house rule and allow extreme stress optional use could take you through the exhaustion tract - maximizing or stopping at level 3 exhaustion. Maybe in units per level (1 extra cantrip at level 1 advances track 1, 2 at 2nd advances track 1, etc). Need to play with the math. if it's too generous I could see players trying to redline it.

-

I will probably also use the exhaustion tract for my 1st ed emulation part of my houserules for any and all spell casting over the course of the day.
Man, that was an ugly system - brutal - I miss it.

Little extra option for my doc.

Cheliax

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Adjule wrote:
One of the things I thought 4th edition got right was no stat penalties due to race. Pathfinder improves on the 3rd edition, as a bonus to Str didn't require -2 to 2 abilities. But I think having just bonuses to scores is the best choice. It opens up some other combos, such as gnome fighters or dwarf rogues or elf barbarians, without feeling like you are gimped.

LOL, bringing back stat penalties based on race for my home game.

And a bonus to hate me more - bringing back racial class limitations (no Gnome or Halfling paladins, etc). Not sure about racial class LEVEL limitations yet, need to see how the multiclass systems is going to look like.

Hey, you can't make everyone happy - that's why we have house rules.

Cheliax

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Diffan wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:
Diffan wrote:
It's quite funny to see many 4E-naysayers gush over how great WotC is for bringing D&D back when so many 4E elements have remained on the fundamental level.

I'm a 4e naysayer (a bigger 3rd ed naysayer actually - that was the beginning of the decline imo) and I like basic as a starting point - but everything you listed IS a problem for me.

The difference here is that these problems are actually workable from this lowered baseline than anything I could do with a 3rd ed/PF based high powered default and number assumptions already built into system.

I am going to fix:

[snip]

So to me, this is just a better starting point to get a 1st/2nd ed feel with some easy mods, while having a game that is actively supported. As much of the 4e-isms and 3rd-isms will be chucked and flushed down the toilet as I can possibly strip and rip out of the system. 5e just gives me less to strip out to get the game I want.

Honestly, this could be done with 4E and 3E with little fuss. I think that perhaps your more willing to mod this version than others?

I mean, for 4E to reflect some of the significant changes you suggest, it would take about the same to get working.

[snip]

In all honestly this is quite easy to do but the question is: Do people want to make the changes that make the game more preferable to them? For 4E, the answer was NO. And I have to ask: Why is it OK for 5E? If someone is going to alter the game THIS much to emulate older systems, why not just play older systems? And this isn't a post to tell you *NOT* to play 5E or to change to to your liking, I'm just curious as to why it's easier or OK to change 5E but not go to the same lengths with 4E or 3E?

3e/4e bash:
While I have 4e books I never got around to running the game or getting heavily into it. The game philosophy was too heavily MMO influenced (I can hear all the 4e players exhaling a collective sighing at this comment) ....just like 3e was CCG influenced (power builds, waiting for more powerful content to invalidate older content, character/deck building for success, etc). I can say this as a mature adult because I have played many MMO's and I was a big fan of CCG - even when that 2nd hobby had a hand in putting the final nail in TSR's coffin. Not saying that 4e was an MMO on paper or 3rd ed was a CCG RPG - just that their design and marketing influences were there. The thinking, marketing, language and presentation has those influences. (Spare me the attacks)

Just like 3e, 4e has too many built-in design assumptions to rip them out. In effect the amount of house rules needed would be easier to go back to an earlier edition of the game (more on that). And like I said, this also applies to 3e - but isn't as obvious because 3e's problem is the accumulation of numbers and problems over repeat play and over the course of character levels. You need more to match existing numbers, big six, characters folding on themselves (item creation) and a bunch of other unforgivable nonsense.

So what you end up with in 3rd ed/PF low level play is slightly similar experience to older versions of the game, but as numbers, and the need or pressure for number optimization mounts the "game" part falls apart. Also the ease of the game - not talking about numbers knowledge and the amount of knowledge to attain system mastery - I'm talking about the actual "how easy it is to fight and survive" part of the game is just too easy. I think some of this "too easy" is also tainting 5e.

-

Why is it OK for 5e? Why is it easier to change?
Bounded accuracy - something I was doing in my home designed games since '97. Moving away from escalating numbers as a selling and motivational tool/reward for players - and just avoiding bad math games.

As a baseline, 5e is a better working frame to try and rebuild 2nd ed, with numbers in better control than 2nd ed could ever hope for. Because even 2nd ed is flawed in it's math - just not as bad as 3rd (no number control) and 4th (too much number control).

So if it turns out that the proficiency bonus for Fighters in 5e is too low for my (and my players) liking, I can institute a small trade-off feat system/class ability that will give them a +1 or +2 to hit to break away from all the other classes - a feat or skill, fighting style or whatever works. But it is MUCH EASIER TO ADD THAN TO SUBTRACT from a bare bones system, even with all the flaws and design directions 5e has taken (hand hold healing, too easy on the players, no negatives at CharGen, etc) it will still be very easy to change this system. I already have a working doc a few pages long that changes the entire feel of the game - with some small and modular changes.

I don't know if this is a marketing gimmick, but so far - all the changes I plan on instituting don't change the core game. Even the healing/rest changes or spell changes. None of it. You have to accept the proficiency number as a workable number or have a way to tweak it - since this is the binding mechanic of the system, but as of now that number is so low that you can easily add class features or skills to supplement it without wrecking the game.

-

thejeff wrote:
Probably also on how tightly tied together the mechanics are. If anything you change leads to needing changes in other things, it can become problematic.

Hate to agree with thejeff (no really, I hate to agree with thejeff - ask him), but he's hit on it 100%.

Answering a few different posts here - Summation: IMO 5e mechanics are much easier to change or remove and you don't break the rest of the game. I don't think that Wotc would anticipate the severity of the changes I'm making to their core Basic game (lol, can't please anyone) - but it can be done. So far, no headaches or thoughts of burning my 5e work down.

Yet....

Cheliax

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Diffan wrote:
It's quite funny to see many 4E-naysayers gush over how great WotC is for bringing D&D back when so many 4E elements have remained on the fundamental level.

I'm a 4e naysayer (a bigger 3rd ed naysayer actually - that was the beginning of the decline imo) and I like basic as a starting point - but everything you listed IS a problem for me.

The difference here is that these problems are actually workable from this lowered baseline than anything I could do with a 3rd ed/PF based high powered default and number assumptions already built into system.

I am going to fix:

- HD/Short Rest Healing - removed to a very low healing rate

- Overnight Healing - Removed to a much lowered healing rate

- Second Wind - limited in how much it can heal and exploits, cannot be used to heal more than you started between the rest periods.

- At-will casting of orisons/cantrips - changed (already posted somewhere on these forums)

- Racial ability score penalties - Coming back
- (Bonus) Level caps for DEMI-HUMANS.... once the multi-classing rules come out.

- Rogue attack sneak attack will have specific qualifiers to gain advantage

- Paladin smites (taken out for 1st ed and 2nd ed house rules)

- Alignment mechanics - I will bring them back, but to 1st ed/2nd ed levels, not the crazy that is PF/3rd ed games

- Expanded Skills - adding only a few

- 4e and 3rd e aspects of spells (reactive response or stackable numbers) will be changed to reflect earlier systems. Ex: The way Mage Armor in basic now gives you a baseline AC instead of +X. Shield spell will get a similar (shorter duration) treatment, something that will more closely resemble 1st or 2nd ed player handbook entries.

So to me, this is just a better starting point to get a 1st/2nd ed feel with some easy mods, while having a game that is actively supported. As much of the 4e-isms and 3rd-isms will be chucked and flushed down the toilet as I can possibly strip and rip out of the system. 5e just gives me less to strip out to get the game I want.

Cheliax

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Well, right now I'm working on a houserule doc to make the game run more like 1st or 2nd ed.

A big example of anti-old school feel is the default healing rules (don't know if you have read them yet) - they are very generous - heal full points on long rest, or roll your HD + Con Mod per HD on short rest (if you spend HD). So a 4th level fighter, can take 4 short rests a day for 4d10 + Con Mod (x4) or 1d10 + Con Mod on 4 separate rests or any combination. Incredible generous and the system as written needs a helping hand.

Short Rest:
A short rest is a period of downtime, at least 1 hour long, during which a character does nothing more strenuous than eating, drinking, reading, and tending to wounds.
A character can spend one or more Hit Dice at the end of a short rest, up to the character’s maximum number of Hit Dice, which is equal to the character’s level. For each Hit Die spent in this way, the player rolls the die and adds the character’s Constitution modifier to it. The character regains hit points equal to the total. The player can decide to spend an additional Hit Die after each roll. A character regains some spent Hit Dice upon finishing a long rest, as explained below.

Long Rest:
At the end of a long rest, a character regains all lost hit points. The character also regains spent Hit Dice, up to a number of dice equal to half of the character’s total number of them. For example, if a character has eight Hit Dice, he or she can regain four spent Hit Dice upon finishing a long rest.

Full healing after a nights rest is very anti-old school - and as a baseline to start from it is a little troubling. That's just one thing. The very fast xp and level progression is another (at least the low levels, not sure how much higher CR monsters are worth).

I don't know what's going to be "missing" from the rules once the core 3 books come out. This can be things as arcane as weapons vs AC or armor types, old style declared initiative and action speeds (2nd ed) and a number of things that I suspect will have fallen through the cracks.

I really like the overall simplified approach of the new rules, but I think a more "severe" version of the rules or a supplement for the rules could be published. I think the market is there. Of course it would have to come from a source that people would trust to know how older style of games should run and feel.

I think a book of options and tweaks would be a good resource for DMs and even help provide some baselines when running NG modules under the 5th ed ruleset, similar to some of the rule tweaks and advice given in Barakus, et al - DM suggestion for reducing XP gain or slow advancement. Some tips on getting an 0E, 1st or 2nd ed feel would be appreciated.

NG and FGG adventures have always had a 1st ed unforgiving feel to them - that is from an adventure writing angle though. A small set of rule tweaks and suggestions for various earlier editions would be phenomenal. People want streamlined rules - but I think they also are trying to capture a "feel", hence the strong fanbase for NG and FGG modules. What I'm suggesting is step beyond the modules without actually competing with the makers of the new rule set - a rules supplemental if you will.

This could go into the 5e KS or a book that comes out down the line after the 3 new NG books are finished - or not at all, it's just an idea.

Sort of rambling here but I hope you get the point.

Cheliax

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lastgrasp wrote:
Announcing it during paizocon seems a bit.....whatever I would of waited till after. A bit more classy.

No - they are a primarily a 3pp and Dungeons and Dragons Basic was released just a few days ago. And being a 3pp they need to strike while the iron is hot.

They did this in the past there are a ton of creatures that made it out of the Wotc IP lock because Necromancer Games acted fast vs. waiting around for that market to develop. The Frogemoth, Orcus, Arumvorax, Caryatid Column, Eye of the Deep and a ton of other creatures are available for PF because NG moved fast to fill a void that Wotc didn't want to fill at the time.

This is a smart move and a reaction to the release of the rules while the interest is there. I have no doubts that FGG will still produce material for PF

And partially ninja'd by Mr Finch

Cheliax

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Thank you for posting some monster xp examples, I'll probably run this at 1/2 or even a 1/4 xp values when I run my game to get a slower pace.

Cheliax

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bugleyman wrote:

After a quick review of Basic and the Starter Set, I'd put myself in the "mildly positive" group.

There are some things here that simply make no sense (humans get a +1 to everything? The cantrip Ray of Frost eventually out-damages Magic Missile cast as a first level spell?) but overall I like what I see. Specifically fewer rules and "fiddly bits" than 3E. I still miss the self-contained stat-blocks of 4E, though.

I expect my opinion will evolve as a I read (and especially try out) the rules.

I was very opposed at the 2 point/4 level stat increases myself until I realized that the base starting stats (if you use PB or fixed array) was considerably lower than 3rd ed. So out the gate, the best stat for a human (unless you roll) is a 16 if you don't roll for your stats - this is after adding in the +1 on all the stats. I think the highest stat out the gate is a 17 (Dwarf with +2 Str to highest array stat of 15). And I really like the fact that they cap the stats at 20.

If I allow my players to roll their stats then I may only allow a 1 point progression per 4 levels, if at all.

I think that they have taken great strides to control the number ranges - to hit, AC, skills, etc, and I really appreciate it. This might be the "sweet spot" edition - yet to be seen since I still need to see the beasties and their xp values (again, easily scalable).

I do dislike the cantrips - not their power per say, I just don't like at will shooting-sprouts-of-fire-all-day that was ported over from PF. More of an immersion thing for me plus I do feel that magic as a rule should be a finite vs infinite resource (personal preference).

If I run this I will probably do what I did with PF cantrips: No prep needed - you can cast any cantrip as you need, but limited to 3 times a day + casting stat mod. My players like the versatility to cast orisons or cantrips without specifically preping them and since we are all old school players they were ok being limited per day. Under this houserule I don't care if a higher level version of Ray of Frost does more damage than MM, MM still doesn't need a to-hit roll and the Ray (under my rules) is still limited in use per day.

I really like the fact that in the base game there are no stat boosters, I'm hoping if they do put them in that they end up having very little numerical effect and are more focused on their utility, ex :Bull Strength gives the character Advantage for all STR checks and any skill checks that are based in STR for the duration. So it's easier to perform STR tasks (smash down doors, life items one class higher, etc) instead of getting +2 to hit and damage as a flat, generic combat bonus.

There are few other things that I dislike, but overall my reaction is positive and I think most things can easily be fixed or scaled to fit my gaming expectations better than 3rd ed or PF ever could.

I don't even think it will be hard for me to convert PF stuff to this system since I already wrote out some guidelines for converting PF to AD&D 2nd ed.

Cheliax

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Joana wrote:

It has a pregen bard. Is bard even one of the classes they've released yet?

It also has boxed text that tells the PCs what they do: "Taking a brand from the fire, [the person on watch] leaves the fireside to investigate." :P Is that common for FGG? I've never actually looked at anything of theirs before.

No, this isn't their usual fare - it is very railroad/narrated to a degree, but this module was intended primarily for brand new players and DMs - hence the scripted aspect.

Cheliax

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lets' check the list here:

- You don't have an opinion of 5e
- Didn't playtest 5e
- Haven't read the rules yet
- Don't actually care why people like or dislike the new system

- But you are concerned about the general reception and reaction to 5e here on Paizo (Pathfinder) vs. ENWorld?

So you don't care about the actual subject matter at hand, but more about the disposition of the posters from two different websites?

Is that about right?

To me it seems like you are trying to start a fight/stoke flames where none exist.

Cheliax

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Ashiel wrote:
If I was to be convinced to add levels to a gelatinous cube, I'd probably spin it in the game as the cube being a sort of magical mutation. If I was to leave it mindless, I'd probably assume that it was just permeated with magic and occasionally those spells kind of bubbled to the top and it would deliver them through it's natural attacks.

Just created a new DM feat for you Ash...

-Shining A Dumpling (DM Feat): This DM feat allows a DM to take a terri-bad or idiotic/joke idea and make something fun or interesting.

Hats off to you Sir/Madam/Other!

Btw, maybe a Magus would also be a good combo - Spellstrike + pseudopod!

Cheliax

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Sissyl wrote:
If a cube got druid levels, would it wildshape as a Medium creature or would it start at Large? What DC would it be to wildshape into a gelatinous icosahedron?

I know this comment would break the high standard of this thread and would break CR guideline by going into dreaded fiat realm, but I would rule that no matter what shape the cube took it would still be gelatinous.

Even if in its dim mind it thought (?) that it wildshaped into a cute bunny on a tree stump with fur and fluffy tail, it in fact would just be a slimy, translucent, gelatinous mass shaped like a bunny sitting on a tree stump.

This ignorance on the part of the Cube may or may not play a role in its success as a Druid (adjust CR accordingly).

Cheliax

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Ashiel wrote:
As for gelatinous cubes...I prefer to include them at the bottom of pit traps. >:)

Don't forget to add a level of Warrior or Adept to that Cube....

Cheliax

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link

A sad day on Sad Hill Cemetary.

True CN in The Good the Bad and The Ugly (and essay on the Chaotic Alignements).

Your acting in westerns affected my GM style and NPC interactions in many a Post-apocalyptic game.

Rest Well

GBU, 2nd to last scene

Cheliax

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Ross Byers wrote:

Well, no, because that's part of the agreed baseline when starting a game.

And if your agreed baseline is that you're going to push the characters to their limit, that's fine. But you don't need the permission of some chart or formula to do that. Your players have given you that permission by coming to that type of game. You could just use an APL +1 or +2 encounter and assign APL XP and treasure for it.

Or I can keep the listed CR then add in an NPC level to shore up any deficiencies.

Some creatures are barely out of CR while others are glaringly out of CR - I would use different tools for different situations. All legal options should be used without guilt or casting aspersions.

Ross Byers wrote:
And, as I said, if you've decided a creature is over or under it's CR, you don't need the book's permission to fix it. You've already decided the book is wrong. (And there are many examples in this thread that show when the book is wrong.) You don't need to 'stealth' fix it by applying a +0 CR class level. You can just boost its stats. Or add racial HD. Or just add numbers where you feel they're deficient. You don't need a level in Expert if what you really think you need is +2 to will saves. Just give it the saves.

I don't need the books permission - I use those values as a guideline. And if a creature is below those values then I do what I can - legally - to make the creature fall in line with those expected values listed in those guidelines.

These are not stealth fixes, these are legit and legal fixes. And your suggestions of adding racial HD, while not changing CR (also redlining) doesn't really work. You have either added +1 CR to the creature (which is already overvalued and doesn't fix the problem) or if you just add 1 HD and not adjust CR then you are effectively doing nothing different than what I am doing by adding a crappy NPC level. Redlining/Optimizing the encounter - legally.

Arbitrarily assigning the values works for me - I put in what I would need because I get the math/challenge/expected numbers. Most GMs around here DO NOT feel comfortable changing a stat arbitrarily because they have been given DETAILED rules for advancing creatures and they are now (per your suggestion) bypassing those rules.

I don't consider players optimizing as Cheesy unless of course they are twisting a rule to get an exploit. Using something that is superior to something that is subpar is cheesy, it's just building out a character for best results and success - this coming from a ref who despises the CharOp/Build out to 20 mentality.

Cheliax

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Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Cheliax

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richard develyn wrote:

I realise that. I just thought the first 1/2 CR from the non-key class should be rounded up to 1 - as an opinion :-)

Richard

I personally think it should be kept in (I do this sometimes) for hyper-optimized player groups. So in a way you get a slight pad to a creature (not much when talking NPC classes) that you as DM do not need to pay for out of your xp budget.

There are a few legal workarounds to increase creature power without having to add CR/xp, most do not increase the power very much and should only be used if the PCs can handle the extra pressure or if they are redlined in effectiveness. Theoretically you could add a non-key class or NPC class to any creature without changing its CR as long as the new stats do not take it out of its base CR (291 bestiary).

Cheliax

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Irontruth wrote:
But you're not talking about the science with that post.

No, I'm talking about people involved in scientific process, AKA scientist.

Irontruth wrote:
Hein T. Tran's behavior has absolutely no bearing on whether CO2 is a greenhouse gas or not. It has no bearing on whether diesel emissions have negative impacts on air quality or not.

This is an example of the type of disingenuous wordsmithing that gets passed off as discourse around here. This is exactly what I was talking about earlier. I never stated that CO2 was or was not a greenhouse gas. The reason I brought up Mr. Tran was to illustrate a case of mistrust and malfeasance in the scientific process.

What is science? Data collection and creating theories to explain phenomenon.

Everything presented in the CARB report or data collected and turned over to (C)ARB becomes questionable because the science itself becomes skewed and twisted to promote an agenda. Or at least an incredibly negative perception is created to an already charged situation.

So Mr. Tran's behavior has 10000% to do with it - a guy who purchased a fake PHD and the entire study doesn't get thrown out the window? Yeah, CO2 = greehouse gas, got it. Not once was that brought up - scientists and shenanigans and the potential ensuing mistrust was the focus of my last post.

As to the CARB report and contributing scientist they are human variable that ultimately affect the outcome: how much of an impact, how can it be regulated, does it need to be regulated (per this study, another study, etc)?

Thank you for providing an example of what I was getting at with my earlier post. I don't know if you were arguing a different point or didn't want to address that scientist are in fact the gatekeepers of science. You just want to defend the data - which is collected by scientist.

Irontruth wrote:
If a scientist does bad work, it should be possible to show and prove that the work is bad.

And what happens if the scientist isn't really a scientist, or he has an agenda, or he's in it for the herd/trend/crusade? The data is collected by this "bad scientist" is good?

Irontruth wrote:
Almost every example that climate change deniers give relies on how people attempt to control the perception of their work, and not the science that it's actually based on.

And almost every example of proponents of climate change do nothing but take one side, close their mind or refute any and all possible information that undermines their argument. Sort of like how you were trying to chop off Magus' at the legs on his Viking village argument - who wasn't really disagreeing with you but was presenting an event/incident - all because it didn't fit your narrative and view on climate change.

BTW - Thank you for assuming I was a climate change denier where no where in this thread or on these boards have I ever (in several years) made that claim. You assumed that since I questioned the scientist (who are human with motives) and posters who push the issue that I was naturally opposed to the concept.

Irontruth wrote:
The various climate-gates have all revolved around scientists trying to craft a message to effect change. I'll admit, that's a problem and needs to be watched for. It doesn't change the underlying science though.

Yes, it does. If you have a segment of the scientific community cooking the books then they are no better than all the other industries (such finance) that cook the books and are looked down on with scorn and distrust - even unrelated companies are eyed with suspicion. It taints a whole industry. Events of a political nature/affiliation or association can also do the same.

As to your underlying science where do we decide what "established" is? Where is that line? When I can recreate an experiment with similar results in my backyard or do I just take their "word" for it since they are after all, scientist?

The environmental movement has been married to environmental science since the 60's - that means it's political or there is a political/social angle and change they are trying to exert over society. That their influence and relationship has had an impact on Environmental Biology and related scientific fields for the last 50 years. Which to me makes them no different than lobbyist in MO. This is all not even taking into account things like: human ego and vanity, greed or any other motive that would drive someone to cook the books for a desired end.

Irontruth wrote:
Skepticism is good, but it is not an end unto itself.

Actually it is an end unto itself. If we questioned everything - and not just the things that bug us (EX: Banking/Big business for liberals, Big Government for conservatives) then we would live in a far better world. Too many people here posting on autopilot or just regurgitating talking points from their favorite media sources. I lean hard right and I don't trust anything media tells me - including right wing media - until I can substantiate or research it myself.

Irontruth wrote:
Ultimately, the anecdotes of a scientists behaving badly are similar to the anecdotes in another thread. "Because I know a guy who one time had a bad interaction with a mental health professional, that means that ALL mental health professionals are bad." It's not sound logic.

Again, wordsmithing and poisoning the well by using the phrase "anecdote" - which implies that it's just a second hand story to be dismissed is framing the example I'm giving as hearsay or a folksy missive. That isn't the case with my example I provided - the guy got fined a few weeks of pay, but still works for CARB (or he did after that incident). What I cited happened and his research contribution impacts a large section of the California economy and the trucking business.

It's just your attempt to dismiss an event which presents your argument (believe the scientist no matter what) in an unfavorable light. Subtle, but a bit dishonest in your choice of phrases.

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

If people want to have an honest discussion about this issue I'll come back, but I'm not going to do this back and forth rhetorical garbage and loaded language. I don't even care about climate change to be honest - I came here because I saw a thread that wanted to address the how's and why's things get so heated and why so many threads eventually get locked. Language that is designed to shut down, dismiss or even discredit is the frequent problem - in effect the thread is already going to go down in flames before it starts because of the participants and their debate style (mine included).

Not trying to beat up on IT here, I actually respect your views even if I never agree with them (on other issues). Just pointing out the how and why this happens. Dissecting a discussion if you will to get an answer.

So I'm done here. I hope you guys - all of you, go back to trying to figure out what Turner was trying to accomplish here and get off of solving the climate change crisis in what became climate change thread #12,983,532

Cheliax

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Irontruth wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
The science of chemistry and physics coul......
Sigh

Seriously, do you think politics enters into what can be proven through science?

Are you honestly saying, that if I construct an experiment that has nothing to do with either of our ideologies, just simple chemistry, the results will differ purely because you and I have different political views?

Bolded the relevant parts.

I won't debate formula, the issues for me arise when we factor in on how you decide how to construct your experiment and why you constructed and how you present your information i.e. - I don't trust you to be clinical in your research and divorce your political or ideological beliefs from output, that your agenda colors how you construct your study and what you cover, what is left out, what is taken out of context.

nugget

Dr. Enstrom, a research professor in UCLA's Department of Environmental Health Sciences, published important peer-reviewed research demonstrating that fine particulate matter does not kill Californians. Also, Dr. Enstrom assembled detailed evidence that contends powerful UC professors and others have systematically exaggerated the adverse health effects of diesel particulate matter in California, knowing full well that these exaggerations would be used by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to justify draconian diesel vehicle regulations in California. In addition, the complaint argues that he exposed the fact that the lead author of the key CARB Report used to justify the diesel regulations did not have the UC Davis Ph.D. degree that he claimed. Instead, according to the suit, this "scientist" bought a fake Ph.D. for $1,000 from a fictional "Thornhill University."

Finally, Dr. Enstrom discovered that several activist members of the CARB Scientific Review Panel on Toxic Air Contaminants have exceeded the legislatively mandated three-year term limits by decades. The suit contends that shortly after Dr. Enstrom revealed this systematic wrongdoing, UCLA not only issued a notice of termination, it denied him any compensation for his work by systematically and wrongfully looting his research fund accounts. Dr. Enstrom worked for more than a year without pay as he in good faith appealed his wrongful termination using UCLA procedures. Ironically enough, the fake "scientist" was only suspended for his misconduct while Dr. Enstrom was terminated for telling the truth.

Dr. Enstrom is a separate (but still disconcerting) issue, and not the core focus for me linking this article.
The fake CARB (California Air Resource Board) scientist is.

BTW, even though Hien T. Tran (the fake scientist not named in the article) was demoted in the organization he was not let go from CARB. Mary Nichols (the head or ARB) kept all his data and kept on pushing for heavy regulation using his statistical contributions, none of his work was thrown out.

And you wonder why I would question the "current" scientific process or any peer reviewed (re:echo chamber) data presented on these boards? And always presented with an agenda?

Thanks, but no thanks.

Cheliax

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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

The trouble with 'common sense' as the arbiter of rules is that it varies by DM, and even by one DM's mood. Reality is governed by consistent physical laws (at our scale).

The only thing that makes an RPG an RPG is that the players make the decisions for their PC, and live or die based on how good or bad those decisions are. If DM's decide on a whim if you live or die, then no decision can be relied upon, so the players' agency is taken away, turning it from an RPG to the DM telling a story and the players his captive audience.

Common sense is just that, this isn't a player vs. DM argument or has anything to do with taking away "player agency" (sigh at that term).

If your character plunges a knife into his chest (in the act of committing suicide) you do not need to use the coup de grace rules to determine that he is dead and you could state in various game systems that he in fact did take his own life without making die rolls.
That is common sense -not everything has to quantified and codified.

And here's a bonus - the concept of player agency is a bit of a sham - that you alone control the fate and actions of your PC. Even in hyper-codified 3rd ed and PF there are no controls in place for a DM to throw optimized encounters way above CR, random encounters, et al that will crush the players characters to dust. Win the first 3 encounters - great, you get extra xp, lose that 4th encounter - you're dead., arguably all legit and legal. It can be worked up as just a bad combination of encounters that exploited group or situational weakness and timing.

The concept of player agency is bandied around in the new school way of thought as some form of insurance or iron clad contract between player and the game (but not the DM) and that is just false - a false sense of entitlement and security.

If you cannot trust your DM to run a fair game - one where the encounter paradigm doesn't crush the players then no amount of "player agency" is going to save your PC from bad things happening in-game that seem really unfair (such as death).

This concept was invented as a workaround against the DM in the 3rd ed era- the reality is, bad DMs are going to be bad no matter how many rules are put into place if that is their intention.

Cheliax

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doc the grey wrote:
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
If my F5 key could talk, it'd be yelling at me...
Well unfortunately they probably aren't shipping anymore tonight. Earliest you can probably see them is I think 8 am pacific time? Which is about another 5+ hours out

Closer to 8 and 1/2 hours out, and I don't think they start shipping right at 8am, closer to 9.

Cheliax

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Readerbreeder wrote:

Here's one...

1: Have you ever killed anyone?

2: Yeah, but they were all bad.

True Lies

Cheliax

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Wrong John Silver" wrote:
The Complete books also were particularly hit or miss. The earlier Complete books were well-balanced: Complete Fighter's, Thief's, and Wizard's were good. Complete Cleric's just put a lampshade on the problems of the Spheres system with cleric spells.

I agree almost 100%; the first 4 core kit books were decent (I still remember the cries of "T$R!" when they came out). The Thief's Handbook was excellent and a great resouce for tricks and equipment (I still reference it for d20 PF games). I didn't have problems with the Cleric Spheres - they just should have had some spells double dip into a few more spheres so their would be a little more of an even sense of access for the classic spells. Spheres were much better than Domains.

The Complete Elf book had some problems and was the first time thematic changes were replaced with hard mechancial advantages. I would run the Complete books also - I would just give the Complete Book of Elves a harsher look and a rebalancing, the writing and ideas were still all very good.

The Humanoid book was good for me as a DM because it helped me detail my NPCs a little better, I didn't offer or open up that content to players (no one really asked). Also, if someone wanted to play a Lizard Man they would just make them up for my Gamma World game (one in fact did).

Overall the content and ideas were great. The DM aids in this era were also fantastic - Monster Mythology, Complete Book of Villains, Campaign Sourcebook and Catacomb guide (should have been broken up into two books), Creative Campaigning, Arms & Equipment Guide, Castle Guide.

I would say that around 1995 is when TSR jumped the Shark - Primarily in reaction to the CCG craze, which I hated at the time. I played the cards and still ran AD&D, but it was sad to watch the company die (and put out garbage). Two years later it was over.

I really do miss that level of exclusive targeted support for DMs. Nowadays if the book doesn't have a featured section on players/crunch/ego it doesn't get made.

Ah well, I'm glad I got to run it and was around when it all happened.

Cheliax

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Turin22 wrote:

Make it optional, make it it's own line - ok. But this is not for me and if there will be a 6-month gap, I can also stop with what I have.

Sorry to see it go this way, I'd have liked to see more "Fantasy" Adventure Paths, but really - NO !

I felt that way about Jade Regent - and I cancelled half way through that AP run. I didn't want an Oriental Adventures AP so I voted with my dollars. It isn't that I didn't like the theme (I don't really, but I ran OA back in the day) I just know my players wouldn't want to play it because they do not consider that part of what they want out of their D&D experience and the game would devolve into a joke.

So once the AP transitioned to Tian Xia I knew the content would never be used. I don't like the OA style creatures (incredibly stupid kappa and long haired everything else) so I dropped all of it and put my money into non-sub content from 3rd parties (which were much better). It's been a couple of years now and it was probably one of the best gaming decisions I've made - cut the sub cord. The only way to show your dislike and to deter them from making modules or content like this is to not fund them.

Ironically I just added the Campaign Sub (and will be cancelling it and adding it again after the Mummys Mask Map Folio) just for this Ap and will be adding the AP/Companion/Map subs before this starts (maybe not the Companion - those subs have always proven to be very disappointing).

I think Paizo's AP line has been weak for the last few years (I've picked up a few print copies here an there on markdown) and none of them have had me considering coming back until this one. I'm hoping this AP series is done well. Some of the writers they have selected have me concerned (the last 4 actually, I may drop after 3 or before 6) and I get tired of having to filter out the signal to noise ratio (good module content vs. Paizo distraction gimmick: New AP mechanic that doesn't work, NPC du jour, controversy or politicking). I'm hoping the content is good and the focus is on the theme offering so I can stick with all six, I will know more after the 1st installment comes out.

As a consumer I wish more people were demanding of better content or backed content that they want vs. robotically (sorry for the use of that word) staying with their subs. I think we as consumers would end up with overall better quality content if we were more discriminating.

If you don't like it make your dislike known by dropping their subs instead of coasting through a few hundred dollars worth of stuff that's just going to end up on your shelf collecting dust. They are still going to go with this AP, but the fan response will tell them if they should revisit this soon or provide more content down the line based off of sales.

Good luck with whatever you do and hopefully your time away will get you content that you like and can use.

Cheliax

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R_Chance wrote:
houstonderek wrote:


You must be the slowest roller pretty much ever. 3x and 4e combats are painfully slow, with all of the modifiers. In 1e and 2e, the only combats that lasted anything more than twenty minutes or so either involved a huge number of combatants, or used Battlesystem.

From what I've seen, combats will run much faster in 5e.

Speed and simplicity does seem to be one of 5E's major virtues vs. 3.X. I had some huge combats in late 2E. God forbid I try that in 3.X.

Yeah, tracking all the +'s from buffs from potions before a big fight is crushing. Incredibly boring +'s I might add.

Then you have to count the spells...ugh

If I do end up running 5e and they don't have a potion miscibility table, I'm inventing one and posting it here.

Cheliax

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Black Dougal wrote:
M:"Three weeks from now, I will be harvesting my crops. Imagine where you will be, and it will be so. Hold the line! Stay with me! If you find yourself alone, riding in the green fields with the sun on your face, do not be troubled. For you are in Elysium, and you're already dead! "

Gladiator

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Congrats Kirth!

Just make sure that that after she is born and old enough to start doing chores around the house - you don't end up giving her a 328 page, always under revision manual.

Cheliax

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houstonderek wrote:


The problem is, unless Scott is an employee of WotC, he doesn't know either.

TBH, at first (during the early days of the edition wars) I did think that Scott was a Wotc employee.

I agree with HD's assessment because it's the truth - that being said I hope we don't start another war with this new game.

I think people are very passionate about what we like, our politics, beliefs, our hobbies - Scott and I have butted head several times and I don't like his views on pretty much...everything. But I do think (exposing myself to attack and some regrets) that Scott is an intelligent guy - who I never agree with. Ever.

I was frustrated by the lack of empathy that many people showed who just didn't "get it" during that time - but hopefully that's all in the past. Maybe with this version of the game the pro 4e crowd will better understand some of us holdouts from previous editions and our frustrations at the divisive ad campaign that was launched at the older edition players. I agree with HD, I don't think he's being mean or vindictive with his last few points, just setting the record straight.

With that - lets move on, the past is the past - over here we are all gamers who love our games (whatever version). Let's see what we can do to support our hobby and each other.

Cheliax

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Pyrrhic Victory wrote:

When I hear people claim that 3rd edition is the problem for fighters I know right away that they never played 1st or 2nd Ed.

......................................

I loved 1st Ed but 3rd Ed vastly opened up the options for fighters. The very idea that you can use feats to create different kinds of fighters (two handed, two weapon, bow specialist, pole arm). You can say that 3rd Ed gave even more options to other classes but not that it did not improve the fighter.

Frankly, because I am an old time gamer, I don't expect every class to be able to do everything. I'm perfectly fine with Fighters fighting and bards singing and clerics healing and wizards being awesome.

Sigh...

Yes, fighters did get more options –all at a price that doesn’t even out.

Under the New Rules (d20):
- Loss of multiple attacks per round at no penalty
- Loss of battlefield mobility (now full attack)
- Declared Speed based initiative replaced by cyclical initiative and AoO . AoO which btw hurt the martial classes the most.
- Increased hit points across the board. Your Fighter now does more damage; too bad everything else has 50-75% more hit points.
- Poor save paradigm. Terrible really.

AoO - They lost much of their ability to fight and control the battlefield in 3rd ed games – AoO did that, as well as tying their attach scheme to their BAB (+6/+1 vs 3 attacks every 2 rounds at level 1).
History lesson (pay attention here Pyrrhic Victory) – AoO were created as a stop gap after they removed the Speed Based Declared Initiative system. So in Kirth’s dagger example at the end of the round we have a Fighter who is a distance away from his party wizard (already wounded) who is being attacked by a Goblin. Under the current rules the fighter is locked in a cyclical initiative style round to round. In a declared speed based system, the Fighter can chuck one of his daggers at the Goblin and possibly kill it before it kills his friend – if he beats it on initiative next round.

I understand the need for AoO to control battlefield movement and to protect casters, but it should have been implemented in a better way and as it stands the system crushes martial based characters.

Skills – As much as people balk at the old NWP, they were at least protected. If your character had a skill, it couldn’t be gamed via stat manipulation (since none really existed) unlike the current system. In 3rd ed/D20 games there is no skill protection – you have a rank, then if you are a caster you can wildly manipulate the final score since it is a binary and purely numeric system. This is bad for martials and skill monkey characters and really is unforgivable game design.

Skills should have protection and should not be tied to a number - at least not a number that can be artificially pumped up via spell, potion, etc. Skills should have tiers (novice, trained, experienced, master) and those tiers should have best results tied to them, thus making them usefull from level 1 to level 20 (besides protecting their math values).

Fighters could use a bump or fix here or there, but the source problem is casters, magic and magic item creation. There are a few other issues (which I will go into) but those are the biggest.

The Main Problem with Fighters is the Casters and Magic system of D20 games.

No one wants to address this because it would mean a roll-back on power, players who love casters (seems like the game designers also loved casters) would throw a fit and revolt.

So, some of the problems:
There are several aspects to this problem; most are not repairable without a major game re-write.

Under the New Rules (d20):
- Casters can now cast in combat or after being hit. Horribly unbalanced. Spell casting = risk, have some in your game and give your martials a defender role.
- Casters can manipulate the difficulty of their save DCs. No other classes can do this on a regular basis – casters can easily increase the save DCs for all their spells, spells use a binary mechanic (save or fail). This is bad game design.
- Casters can create their own items at no risk or great personal cost.
- Casters can create their own items that break the meta game and no risk or great personal cost – stat enhancers, which in turn increase their DCs saves which in turn…well, you get the idea. Stupid, unforgivable game design consideration. This is "asleep at the wheel" level of irresponsibility.
- Spells break the skill system. Spells that give you +X to climb take a huge steaming pile on classes designed around climbing.
- Spell casting as a whole has no downside or risks (no aging, system shock, risk of damage is minimal, etc). Now some of these were a bit harsh in 2nd ed, but they are softball in 3rd ed – too much so. Just like a fighter taking risks running into a crowd of creatures, casting powerful magic should also have its own risks and complexity beyond thinking about your "daily optimal loadout".

Fighters can use a fix, maybe something that can make them more interesting - but the source problem is what people are comparing fighters to - namely casters.

Cheliax

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Q: The Main Problem with Fighters.....

A: 3rd Edition/D20

Cheliax

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thejeff wrote:
Even if the options are of roughly the same power, picking options that have synergy will be more powerful than the default.

No, not necessarily (it probably will be the case though) - you could have options that just make the player more specialized in a task and the loss of power somewhere else.

Ex: if a "Basic" character plays in an Advanced game, he may be doing so along with specialized classes (Thief, Elven Wizard vs. Generic "Elf") but the "Basic" character may get a RAW buff to overall abilities while the specialized characters will shine in their specialized areas - which comes down to what a player would rather have. Raw power peak across the board or do one thing really well.

Another example: The old school basic elf character/class/race was basically fighter/magic user with some sneak abilities in one class and would operate as such. A character like this would translate to a gestalt/multi-classed fighter magic user in an advanced game – or would operate as such, but locked in function. So he gets to wear elven chain and cast spells and sneak around - but his very fixed into his role. While the other "advanced" characters may move more options/choices on build or during play.

So more options does not always have to equal more power…effectives in game play is subjective though, raw power - not necessarily the case.

Then again, who knows – this is after all Wotc which is the same the company that started caster edition D&D.

Cheliax

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I remember my mom bought me my first Monster Manual at Hallmarks (of all places) for 12 bucks - I'm glad she didn't actually open the book to see what was inside (Demons, etc).

I can't for the life of me remember what I paid for my first copy of Barrier Peaks - I remember it was a special supersized module - was it 8.00 dollars? MSRP on the back says so, could have sworn it was more.

Probably felt like more because all my other modules were 5.50 or 5.99.

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

The more I hear about Next the more I like it. I don't like or trust the company making it though so I can understand all the concerns (I have plenty myself).

If I can get a true AD&D 3 - something I've been working on for the last few years - then I will convert. At that point I will probably have to switch all my Frog God Games purchases to Swords and Wizardry (0E) since I can't expect Wotc (or Paizo for that matter) to write decent modules in the future. The former is just incapable of writing good modules (the whole 3.0-3.5 has no standout modules) and the latter writes too many softball/gimmick/look how cool we are modules for my taste.
If they (wotc) can provide a Basic/AD&D/AD&D2 supported level of play I'm all in. It sounds like they are going to "try" to support all styles of play - don't know how they are going to do that.

What I won't support: limited pdfs (or access to), online subscription or some other restrictive model then I will not be in. If I buy a product I want all aspects of it available to me offline.

Chaosorbit wrote:
Then the factor that puts things over the top for me...the companies. Paizo to me seems fast moving, customer focused, transparent, they want you to know what is going on and get on board and enjoying what they have to offer. They want to provide you all the tools you need to enjoy your games, hardcover books, pdfs, adventure paths, scenarios, minis, maps, other cool accessories, you name it.

LOL!!!

Anti-Paizo Mini-Rant, spoilerd for the sensitive:
Customer focused is the best part.
I guess that's true if you worship their design direction, product focus/priority (players), social view's, and do not criticize them then that's great - otherwise they are also very happy to say "get out, we don't need you" when confronted with anyone raising concerns about pretty much anything. IMO Paizo puts out whatever the hell they want to, and the fanbase just reacts with exuberance (I have no idea why). This is not a: Player/DM - "Hey, we need this", Paizo - "OK", situation. Never has been and probably never will be. They put out what they want, then everyone is convinced that was what then wanted in the first place when no one asked for it (in most cases, APs are fan based - sort of).
I also believe that in the last few years Paizo has grown incredibly arrogant in how they treat and interact with their customers - figuring the "take it or leave it" attitude would be unchallenged since they are the only largely supported game in town. Hopefully that will end very soon - the competition could be good for both companies.

I wish what you said was true Chaos, it isn't.
This isn't the place to hash all of that out - plus I don't want the mod police in here sanitizing this thread. I just don't see it the same way, nor do I see the good guy/bad guy paradigm - they are both companies out to make a buck.

Cheliax

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thejeff wrote:
Except you don't really add to Basic to get AD&D. You change a bunch of rules. Take some stuff away. Add some other stuff in. Basic was a different game. It wasn't a cut down version of AD&D. They were both different evolutions of the original.

At the time that was the common perception because gamers are fanatics. In truth, Basic is a stripped down version of AD&D (with some minor differences). These differences are so minor that you could run a basic mod using AD&D/2nd AD&D rules and vice versa - you can't do that with 3rd and any of these earlier editions without some major revisions to your module. Yes, elves were a class and shadows were not undead, I got it - same with level 1 clerics not being able to cast spells - I did that in '80. Basic is truly Basic in that you have a core game (and mechanic) that is what AD&D is based off of (actually 0E), I don't care about the minor race/class nonsense between versions - these are trivial differences. It's nothing compared to gulf that exists between 0E/Basic/Advanced/Advanced 2nd as a group vs. 3rd/d20 gaming.

thejeff wrote:
He does compare with the old Rules Cyclopedia, but I didn't take the same thing from it you did. I don't think for example, that this "Basic" will get its own setting, adventures and supplement support. It's just a stripped down version of the real game, given away to hook you.

I'm not getting this: you need someone else to write a setting for you so you can run a game or for you to define it as "complete"? Or is it the issue of support?

When the first big 3 books came out, even the Blue Box basic (Erol Otus cover) there were no established settings - at least nothing that was substantial. There were references to Greyhawk in the original DMG and some detail to Mystara (before it was Mystara) in the Isle of Dread (Expert). I ran my game for at least a year before I got the Greyhawk folio (with two maps) in 1982 (yeah, it came out in '80 - I bought what the local hobby stores carried - took me 2 years after release for it to get into my hands - had the maps laminated).

Same goes for supplement support for both - Basic got it in the form of Expert while AD&D got it via Dragon mag articles - or books released at a snails pace. None of which hurt the game.

What would hurt this as a standalone game would be the module support (or lack therof), that is where I can see their being a problem for people jumping on this and going "all in" on a true Basic set.

thejeff wrote:
It'll be playable on its own, if that's what you mean by "complete game".

Yes, that's what I mean by "complete game".

thejeff wrote:
To me, it sounds more like the PF Beginner Box than like Basic. Except that it apparently will have all levels, but even less classes and races. Differently limited.

No, PFs beginner box was fixed/limited use product - similar to the original Basic in scope (less so really) but lacking modules and an Expert set (something TSR did with Basic). So you are left with nowhere to go but to transition to PF Core. With the original Basic ed, you had modules, an Expert set and then some serious support as it developed a fan base that was separate from AD&D. Not as much as AD&D, but nothing compared to the PF basic box. What are we getting from Paizo soon - a guidebook book to help transition Beginner Box players to Core PF and a guide for new players (Core). Paizo's endeavors on this matter were just to draw in people to their Core game. I'm assuming they would have figured there would be an outpouring of people who wanted more from the Beginner Box (mod, support) style of play, but I haven’t seen any signs that its going to happen.

I can't comment on how "differently limited" this is going to be until I see it.

If there are chunks of data missing (only a few magic items, spells and creatures) they yes, I would say it is limited in use. If they have content for all 20 levels of play - spells, items, monsters then it might be the kind of "limited" that people are looking for.

Less classes and races was what Basic was partially about - I mean if you stuck with it instead of going with AD&D it was an experience that you as the DM or player were looking for. My group alternated between systems and we frequently ran Basic/Expert modules under the AD&D system with Zero revisions or changes (Master of the Desert Nomands - epic).

I am hopeful but ready to be dissapointed. Let's wait and see.

Cheliax

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Maybe you and I read are reading a different article Jeff.

Mearls wrote:
Basic D&D is a PDF that covers the core of the game. It’s the equivalent of the old D&D Rules Cyclopedia, though it doesn’t have quite the same scope (for example, it won’t go into detail on a setting). It runs from levels 1 to 20 and covers the cleric, fighter, rogue, and wizard, presenting what we view as the essential subclass for each. It also provides the dwarf, elf, halfling, and human as race options.

The Rule Cyclopedia was a complete game. Basic D&D = Rules Cyclopedia sans setting means that it should function as a complete game.

Basic, but on par with the original RC.

Now of course what they actually release may end up being a very incomplete download, we won't know for sure till it comes out - but assuming he is telling the truth and based on his description it sounds like they are releasing D&D Basic for free next month.

I'm not sure what you mean by "not tiered" - as it's not part of their tier structure? Because at its roots, basic (or 0E - two slightly different approaches) are as bottom tier as you can get. You add layers of detail and complexity to get AD&D and then incorperate a d20 universal mechanic (and screw up a bunch of other things) to get 3rd ed.

Can't believe I'm actually defending Mearls or Wotc on this one, I should probably give my Dr. a call.
I feel sick.

Cheliax

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MrSin wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:
Hama wrote:

Yes, an atheist in a setting where gods are real would be idiotic. A person who refuses to worship said powerful outsiders, however, is not.

So why discourage that style of play?
No one is discouraging it - just don't die. Or if you do die, have a God.

That sounds like incentive to me. Permadeath sounds pretty discouraging to me, and there really isn't an upside to it.

Auxmaulous wrote:
While playing a "I don't bow down to any man, or any God" has it's perks and freedom (like playing CN) there are sometimes drawbacks to that approach. This is one of them.
.....The biggest perk is probably the fact you get to roleplay who you want and make the character you want.

And that ends when the faithless PC (mechanically) runs out of juice.

So you get to do what you want (Cartman in my head) until you cannot do it anymore. No one is opposed to "roleplay who you want", if you go that route don't die and have some spare "free-from-Gods" characters as backups.

To me permadeath also sounds discouraging, luckily for us this is just a game.

Cheliax

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Hama wrote:

Yes, an atheist in a setting where gods are real would be idiotic. A person who refuses to worship said powerful outsiders, however, is not.

So why discourage that style of play?

No one is discouraging it - just don't die. Or if you do die, have a God.

While playing a "I don't bow down to any man, or any God" has it's perks and freedom (like playing CN) there are sometimes drawbacks to that approach. This is one of them.

Keep in mind that this was placed in the wrong thread and should probably be in the houserules forum. This is a houserule, a very reasonable one I might add.

Cheliax

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justmebd wrote:
The only non FGG Kickstarter I backed that is WAAAAYYY behind schedule is Call of Cthulhu 7th, but they've been good about updates and it looks like it will be here sooner rather than later at this point. I think the enormity of what that project's stretch goals created got away from them.

Yeah, that one was due last October - but they have been very good about regular updates so no worries on that one.

FGG has pretty good communication and turnaround on their KS projects - this one probably moved faster because it was an update of an existing product vs. a brand new adventure (SoA) or complete re-imagining. FGG as a whole does a good job on their KS projects and I look forward to backing more in the future.

TBH - at this poing FGG is my primary source of gaming material and they cannot set up these projects fast enough.

Cheliax

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Rynjin wrote:

"Dead character worshipped the same diety as cleric casting spell."

That's a big middle finger to characters who don't worship a deity right there.

Well if they are atheists in a fantasy world (where actual gods exist) that may be part of the negative aspects to not bowing down to or acknowledging a higher power.

If they worship a power that does not have a god (Nature), then it would make sense that cleric (or a very generous nature deity) would be allowed to raise them.

-

Maybe a balancing point if there are different faiths between the raising cleric and dead would be to place a Geas-like effect that the raised target must try to comply - and it should be something to benefit the faith/church of the casting cleric. Of course the target being compelled knows this and may or may not decide to come back under these conditions.

Cheliax

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MrSin wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Options that absolutely fail to provide any benefit whatsoever - These can go burn in a fire, and take the developers who thought them up along with them. As well as the developers who OK'ed them.
There are also those rare feats that can make things worse.

Why is this even a feat?

Why isn't this part of the function of the Bluff skill - or an expanded (overdue) version of the Bluff skill?

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