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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber. 1,143 posts. 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Deep Magic was delivered yesterday! This is truly an eldritch tome that meets and exceeds my expectations. This was my first Kickstarter project that I backed and WOW is this thing great. So many things that I've wanted to see for years finally codified and available for Pathfinder.

Thanks, mighty kobolds! Another great book!


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Kvantum wrote:

Fantasy as a genre? No. But I'd argue it is a pretty fundamental part of higher level D&D or Pathfinder.

And therein lies the problem. In almost 30 years of gaming, no player has come to my game hoping to emulate "D&D Fantasy", they're drawn in by other fantasy influences. I understand that many people want their "D&Disms" preserved - teleport, raise dead, Christmas-tree effect, etc. But there are plenty of people that want to emulate fantasy as depicted in film, books, and other media that don't require those things. Those features are another person's "bugs" and given how the game has historically leaned much more closely to the lower end of play (1-10) vs. higher-level/epic/mythic (11-20) in terms of product support publishers are certainly aware that these elements are problematic to many groups.

The culmination of this problem is the forced conceit that a player must go from "zero to demigod". RPG fans of crunch heavy systems such as D&D or Pathfinder want robust character development options but not everyone wants the game to make campaign-shaking shifts as the character develops.

And I'll be honest, it's these kind of "the game's always had them; the scope of the campaign has to change" elements are the biggest reason I start becoming disenchanted with d20 games and start looking at other RPGs that don't force my campaigns down this path. I hate it, because I really love Pathfinder, but ultimately I want my campaigns to be fun and evoke the fantasy influences that inspired them - not be its own fantasy sub-genre. Pathfinder is still my go-to fantasy game and likely always will be, but I'm tinkering with how to tone down the elements I dislike but there are some games that are tempting with their ability to emulate any kind of fantasy instead of "D&D/Pathfinder sub-genre fantasy".

YMMV.


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Wolfgang Baur wrote:

Yep. I sort of wrote it expecting some honest disagreement, and I have a lot of respect for people who want to deal with scry, buff, and teleport. I'm personally tired of dealing with it, and I'm thinking that its not a feature, it's a flaw of teleport.

It boils down to my enjoyment of adventure tales that require the journey (Sindbad's Golden Voyages, to name one). Teleport sometimes takes that away. You *can* work around it (and that essay makes the point that it's not hard to fix).

But you shouldn't feel required to work around it. Fantasy as a genre doesn't NEED teleport the same way it needs charm person or polymorph.

I'm 100% in agreement with you and have felt this way for years. Glad to find out that I'm not alone in that assessment.

I loved the article and this book is fantastic!


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Damn, that was a great movie! It had everything I wanted from a modern-era Cap movie. It's my new favorite superhero movie.


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In order of interest:

1.

DM Papa.DRB wrote:
Well, what I would really like is a complete update to The Book of the Righteous,

THIS. Most of the book is fluff vs. crunch. So while it's not an insignificant undertaking, a PF update of the crunch in this book is what I'd like to see.

2. Fang & Fury

3. Unholy Warrior's Handbook.

4. Also, the Advanced GM Guide, chapters 2, 7, & 8 specifically.


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I really like this PDF but I have a couple of questions. The darakhul template is addressed in a sidebar on its power impact. The version presented provides a playable version of the race. So far, so good.

1. Is the version presented here intended to only apply to PCs or would it be used for NPCs and replace the monster template in most cases?

2. If not intended to replace the monsters, what is the in-setting rationale why PC darakhul are different in Midgard?

3. If it is intended to become the new "base creature", is the intent that only ghouls spread the disease and those that are darakhul retain more of who they were/class levels/ability to learn at the expense of being weaker (fewer stat bonuses) and "sterile" (unable to spread the disease?

Again, I understand the tone-down to make the race PC-ready and like it. I'm just not sure what impact/explanation it's supposed to suggest in-setting.


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THIEF PARTIAL REVIEW

First, I’m a huge fan of the Thief series. I’ve played Thief: The Dark Project, essentially replayed it when I went out and purchased Thief Gold, Thief: The Metal Age, and Thief: Deadly Shadows. I’ve played them multiple times. Thief is probably my favorite video game franchise. So it has been with much anticipation and some trepidation that I’ve been anxiously awaiting the Thief “reboot” (more on that in a bit).

Second, I’m a fan of Dishonored. Lacking a viable Thief game on either of my consoles, I gave Dishonored a try and was not disappointed. Dishonored is a great game and its setting is engrossing in a manner similar to the Thief universe. I’ve purchased the DLC for Dishonored and in the final days leading up to the release of the new Thief game, I was playing Dishonored so it was fresh in my mind.

I haven’t finished the game yet but have played several story missions and side quests. I’ve certainly played enough to feel I can weigh in on how Thief is as a game.

On Internet Buzz & Reviews
I don’t put much stock in video game reviews, but one of the few game sites I frequent is GameSpot. I don’t need to agree with a reviewer to enjoy a game, but after playing Thief for 8+ hours and watching my sons play the Prologue, Chapter 1, and some challenge maps (don’t worry, they’re prohibited from playing certain missions/levels), I’m convinced that either they’d made up their mind that Thief wouldn’t stack up against Dishonored or they don’t really like stealth games.

The Thief vs. Dishonored Debate
Dishonored is a game about an assassin/bodyguard with mystical powers. Yes, you can play Dishonored as a stealth game but I played Dishonored to get my Thief fix and while I loved the game, it didn’t hit that mark. Corvo possesses a lethal skill set. Even while playing in stealth mode, the dual-wield of blade and ranged weapon clearly puts him in different mindset than Garrett, the thief who steals as much for the challenge as the prize. Yes, stealth is an option in Dishonored but even if spotted, Corvo is more than equipped to deal with most threats in the game: sword, gun, crossbow, summoning rats, stopping time, etc.

The GameSpot review complained about the lack of a jump button in Thief and the interaction of Garrett in the environment. Unless the reviewers were trying to climb or vault every surface in the game, they were being bull-headed about navigating Garrett’s world. My kids (13 & 8) picked it up within seconds (they were also completely engrossed in the world of Thief). Corvo has a jump button but honestly, once Corvo has access to Blink that became the primary method of navigating difficult terrain for me. There were plenty of things Corvo can’t jump over or onto.

I also find the Dishonored art style, while interesting, a bit cartoony for my tastes. I much prefer Thief’s aesthetic.

Finally, Corvo is yet another voiceless first-person protagonist. Aside from your in-game decisions which determine the game’s outcome (a plus), the biggest window we have into Corvo’s personality is the Outsider – a Loki-like trickster at best or a demonic agent of evil at worst. Garrett, in every game in the series, is a character with a voice. Yes, you can play him as you like, but you have a sense of who Garrett is within the story and his world.

Gameplay
I find the gameplay hits all of the Thief marks for me and I absolutely love the additions of Garrett’s “presence” in the game. Hands placed on a doorframe while he peeks around a corner, being able to look down while climbing a rope and seeing Garrett’s body and legs, legs leading the way when I vault a balcony, being able to lean over a railing to peer down at a street – all fantastic additions to the game and increase my immersion.

The “city hub” element has been drastically improved over Thief: Deadly Shadows. The addition of the ability to interact with recurring characters, side quests, and Arkham City-style exploration are welcome complimentary elements to the excellent story-based missions.

I’m impressed that so many settings can be turned off to reflect the style of play you wish to enjoy. Focus is completely optional. I’ve turned it off as has my eldest, but for my younger son, Focus makes it accessible for him in much the same way Detective Vision did in the Batman Arkham games.

I worried that "the claw" would become the Garrett-Grapnel. It's not. It's used to gain a handhold for Garrett to ascend to ledges that he wouldn't be able to reach otherwise. When it's used beyond that, it's done as part of the climbing sequences that incorporate a third-person view (ala Uncharted). The climbing is only accessible in certain sequences but it's a welcome addition and superior to T:DS's climbing gloves.

On the “Reboot”
IMO based on what I’ve played thus far, Square Enix is calling this a reboot to welcome new gamers to the franchise. When it’s been 10 years since the last installment, I can appreciate the fear that if the lore is obscure or a learning curve is perceived as too high, new players might stay away.

While nothing is specifically called out to link to the previous trilogy, you’d have to blind, obtuse, or not well-versed in the original games to pick up on it. My guess is that the GameSpot reviewers are aware of Thief’s role in inspiring later stealth games, but are likely not fans that played the prior games significantly.

Within the prologue and first three story missions, the following are present:
1. Erin, Garrett’s former apprentice, is by all appearances the young girl Garrett took as an apprentice at the end of Deadly Shadows.
2. A ring shaped as a Mechanist’s gear symbol
3. A newspaper that speaks to the banning of the “Old Gods”. I took this to mean the Pagans, but we’ll see.
4. An ancient Keeper library (even if it’s not specifically called out as such).
5. Basso refers to never getting married again. (Hearkens back to Basso’s mission for Garrett in Thief 2)

Finally, Garrett’s evolution continues in this installment. I was concerned about Garrett relying solely on the blackjack – no sword or dagger in his arsenal. But it fits the story and his interaction with Erin. When looking at the series as a whole, Garrett starts as a thief relying on the weapons the Keepers taught him to use, but his desire to avoid unnecessary killing (and underscoring his status as Master Thief) leads him to abandon the sword for the dagger, and ultimately the dagger as well – to reinforce his attempt to teach Erin.

Garrett is still the antihero or, at best, the reluctant hero. I loved the voice of the actor who originally played Garrett and was sorry to hear he wasn’t returning. I feel that the current actor does a good job, however. He does a good job of relaying Garrett’s affection for, and frustration with, Erin. It’s sadly ironic that the star pupil who left the master who took him in has suffered the same experience with his own apprentice…

Yeah, I know, this is a long-winded partial review but I think a lot of the Internet buzz is not accurately depicting the game.

If you’re more of a fan of action-focused stealth, Dishonored is a great game. I love that game for what it is, but it isn’t Thief. If you’re a fan of the Thief series, give the game a chance. Garrett is back, and after a ten year wait, I’m thrilled. I’m not saying it’s a perfect game, but it’s a damn good one.


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You're never going to convince me that giving players an option, letting the players pass on the option, and then letting the option progress is a "false choice". By definition, the players chose not to do something. (If it works for your game to view it as a false choice, that's cool.) I'm simply giving examples of how choosing not to do something can set up future adventures or help drive in-game immersion and setting development in an otherwise static environment.

I get the idea of the WM approach. My "pick-up campaign" operates on the same principle. Most sessions are 100% improv based on the actions of the PCs. However, once the PCs interact with a plot/area, unless it is a site-based encounter, I'm free to extrapolate what happens if the PCs don't pursue the quest. Not doing so (and there have been instances I've not followed up on something in this manner) have led to breaking the players' immersion "We encountered that guy 3 months ago. He hasn't done anything since?"

If you want the campaign to remain entirely static and exist solely for the PCs, i.e. NOTHING happens unless the PCs interact with it, than to the OP's original question, then no, I don't believe you can have a scheming villain on any meaningful scale. The best you can get is a BBEG that's bound to a particular site (for whatever reason).

The WM blogs talk about a particular form of sandbox meant to allow high #s of players in a framework that allowed for rotating players and infrequent schedules. The GM appears to have chosen to not utilize scheming NPCs and focus solely on site-based & wandering monster encounters as a means to reduce prep and hone his focus on the next unexplored area. It wasn't because the presence of plots or scheming NPCs would create "false choice" options.


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Mark Hoover wrote:


See now this is exactly the kind of thing I was getting at in the first place. If it's WM style, and a completely open world, there's no NPCs to clean up after the PCs. If you then had intelligent, scheming villains like Sorrin, the only thing keeping them from destroying the world would be the PCs. Once they trigger that thread they'd HAVE to follow it to the end...which becomes a railroad.

Hence my query: how can you have scheming villains in a classic WM style game?

Well, one way is to have the villain's agenda be smaller-scale. Not every villain has to be a megalomaniac trying to achieve world domination.

Simpler "villains" examples:
1. A serial killer that the PCs leave to be handled by the local authorities -- the killer isn't caught and people are still dying. It hits home when an NPC known to the players becomes a victim.

2. A Thieves' Guild/crime syndicate moves in and begins extorting the local townsfolk. Society continues, the PCs are largely or completely unaffected but the tone/feel of that settlement changes.

3. The insane wizard keeps experimenting with creating unnatural hybrid monsters and/or undead. He's not trying to take over the world, it's just an academic exercise to him. The fact that he's releasing his creations into the wild or they are escaping is inconsequential to him.

4. As the evil cult/church rises in power uncontested by the PCs, good religions & worshippers in the region are marginalized.

5. The bandits that are too small-time to worry about continue to grow until they've impacted trade coming to the border settlement. Supplies are growing scarce and prices are going up...

As I said before, sandbox doesn't have to equal a static world. Some plots don't have to advance until- or if only- the PCs interact with them. That necromancer researching some foul magic? She's never going to make that breakthrough unless the players discover that lost crypt, etc.

But to address Ascalaphus' "false openness" point, I disagree. It's as open as everyday real-world existence. Further, it helps setting development and in-game immersion. Now, the players choices have consequences, both positive and negative. That's not false choice, that's showing that the PCs have something larger to consider beyond "whatever we feel like". Sure, if every unresolved quest or plot point leads to the world being in crisis, you're doing something wrong. But if the PCs can't deal with the "little evil" today because they're fighting a "larger evil" now, guess what? You've just had a new "larger evil" that has developed organically out of playing the game. The PCs are likely going to be more invested in stopping the "new evil" when they realize that if they could have stopped it sooner, it would be less of a threat.

While it's a little more work to take note of these "missed/avoided opportunities" it helps keep things going when the GM has writer's/design-block. It also avoids the pitfall of having to constantly have new threats intrude upon the setting or having to continually push the boundaries of the setting to allow for the next "undiscovered evil". (Those are, of course, valid options but shouldn't be the only ones that a GM can bring to bear.)

Btw, this idea of Open World/Sandbox still having in-game consequences based on player choices is pretty popular these days in CRPGs: Fallout 3, Skyrim, Mass Effect series, Dragon Age series, the Witcher series, etc.


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Eirikrautha wrote:

By "overarching plot" I read "primary motivation for the players to group and adventure." Think of it in terms of Conan (the old one with Ahnnald in it) vs. Lord of the Rings. Both had a primary villain who became the ultimate test for the adventurers. But in LotR, every part of the plot, all of the parties actions, were directed towards defeating Sauron. The adventure was guided totally by "what do we have to do next to stop Sauron?" Conan, on the other hand, was wandering, trying to get rich. He continued to stumble upon the temples of Set (on his own, in his own time) until he was given the minor job to rescue the princess, which led to larger things. At any point Conan could have said "screw this!" and headed west.

What no overarching plot really means is that your adventures aren't determined by a unified, extended goal that define your parties' reason for existing ("You are the chosen, who must stop The Lord of Doom from conquering the world"). Instead, your travels create the motivations at that time and place. It's less Star Wars and more Star Trek.

In my experience (and I started playing D&D in 1980), the sandbox game was the normal setup for an RPG in the beginning, with little published modules dropped in where convenient. Some games might have been planned 1-20 levels with a singular focus, but they were rare. It's only been since the advent of computerized RPGs and organized play that players have expected "story that leads me from place to place with predetermined outcomes"...

THIS. Excellent examples & summary.


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Dragon78 wrote:
I really hope this bombs and the rights go back to Disney/Marvel.

Amen. This is going to suck.


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Mark Hoover wrote:
I'm sorry if I'm coming off snarky.

Nope. You're fine. I was referring to people telling you that you weren't defining a sandbox, not that what you were defining was an issue.

Best of luck. I can't really add anything with respect to this particular style of sandbox/site-based gaming beyond what I've said. Even trying to accommodate the player schedule issues described in the original article, I wouldn't run things straight-up as he describes in his Marches write-up.


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I'm with MC, I don't see anything that in that blog that says self-motivated villains can't exist.

Similarly, while the setup for the Western Marches is the town is a place to re-equip & rest, there's nothing in there that says it's only used as a resource, so you're imposing a limitation unnecessarily.

Sandbox doesn't have to be limited to site-based adventures only. Granted, that's usually the setup depicted b/c that's what the publisher or GM can create in advance. No one is saying you have to run it as static adventure zones.

But even if you chose to do so, there's nothing preventing you from having intelligent villains in those static zones. Examples could include priests of Orcus (Rappan Athuk), the demi-lich of Tomb of Horrors, Strahd from Ravenloft. They have reasons for why they operate within their "static zone".

For me, a sandbox campaign is one where there are multiple plot hooks and seeds (location, NPC, and item-based) and you leave it to the PCs to pick what ones they will pursue based on in-game actions and where they choose to travel. Skyrim is a sandbox game that has discrete plots woven within it, but nothing forces your to play the Dragonborn quest to completion.

Honestly, I've grown very tired of vocal RPG-community brethren acting as if they have a lock on what things are and the "one true way". If you want to adhere to their definition of a sandbox, that's your choice but I outgrew that style of play shortly after playing the original Keep on the Borderlands.

Examples of Sandbox/Open Worlds that also incorporate plot arcs:
Kingmaker - defined by PF's own publisher as a sandbox campaign yet there are plot arcs within it. GM's are encouraged to add settlement/kingdom intrigue & adventures beyond the scope of what's presented in the AP issues.
Skyrim
Fallout 3

Hell, even in published sandbox adventures like the Keep on the Borderlands and Kingmaker AP, the site-based encounter is there to allow for freedom of choice in exploration, not to limit the world/setting/game. Nothing I've ever read in a sandbox-style publication states that creatures encountered in a hex/site will never leave or interact with the world. It's just providing a framework for where they are and what they're doing when the PC's encounter them for the first time.

That said, it sounds like you want to explore the viability of a campaign that operates within those rigidly defined constraints. That's cool if it works for you.

However, the freedom of choices and possibilities that a RPG can provide overcomes the limitations of what can be contained within a published product or a computer RPG. Limiting yourself to static, self-contained site-based-adventuring seems to throw away a lot of what makes RPGs great. YMMV.


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Mark Hoover wrote:

In the classic article on West Marches style games based on the campaign experiment of the same name the author goes to great lengths to explain how the PCs drive everything based on what they find. He does however note that he as the GM has most of the plans behind the scenes and the players are just uncovering what's there.

In another thread I admitted my one issue with this style of gaming: Intelligent Villians. What do you do if you want to have a scheming mastermind monster planted somewhere out there in the wilds? For example you've got say a young green dragon, Int 12, that's lived already for hundreds of years. Is he just flying around his forest waiting for adventurers to find him?

It would seem that in this "plotless" style game where everything is based on what the PCs find when they get there it would be antithesis to then have such a villain in the wilds. Please share your thoughts and/or any experiences you've had in such games.

So almost every campaign I've run for the last 15 years has followed a similar concept, primarily because my players tend to avoid having plots/assignments handed to them and pursuing what interests them.

Villains: You've got to have them. I take different approaches for different campaigns but usually, it's different approaches for specific villains.
The agenda-based villain: This is a villain with a plan and she is actively pursuing it. I work out what the villain hopes to accomplish and her general plan for achieving it. I also map out a loose timeline of how long it will take for an objective to be achieved if the players do nothing to stop it. If the players choose to pursue other things, certain events will happen and will affect the setting.

Location-based villain: This is a villain that either controls an area or limits his filed of operations to a single location or small area. He's searching for a lost relic, questing to find a path to immortality, ruling his domain with an iron fist -- whatever. If the PCs never venture to this area/location, the status quo in that area remains largely unchanged. Unless, of course, at a later point in the campaign you want to shift the villain into an agenda-based villain.

PC-generated villain: This is a villain that reacts to something the PCs are doing/have done. Whether it's a bandit lord, bounty hunter, local authorities, thieves' guild, etc. - the PCs are now on this person's radar in a negative way and they are now actively working against the PCs.

As with any sandbox campaign, this requires more up-front prep to establish plot seeds and hooks in broad brush strokes.

Saying that the campaign will be limited to a certain area is not any more restrictive that saying "I prepared this adventure/plot and you need to follow it". Much less so, in fact.

You can absolutely have the setting/world change. The only thing imposing a static environment is a GM who doesn't want to adjust and update the campaign as the players interact with it.

Also, I've found that the key is to define the area in broad strokes and then focus on individual NPC characters and their goals, and objectives. If you know who the main NPCs are, what they're doing and why, filling in location details, henchmen, etc. is much easier.

Past the initial setup, I find most of the campaign management is updating how the NPCs, setting, and villains adjust/react to what the PCs are doing (or what they're ignoring and allowing to occur by omission). Plots I never would have considered have arisen out of this style of campaign to the increased enjoyment of the players and the GM.

Here's a sample framework of three PF campaigns I'm running currently:

Group A - wandering adventurers. Consistent player mix where they can pursue adventures that interest them. Go anywhere, do anything.

Group B - same as Group A but for a different set of players

"Pick-up" Campaign - a campaign set in a city focusing on "smaller" (i.e. shorter) story arcs. Session frequency and player composition varies and the intent is to allow characters to drop in and out as needed while allowing for PF play even when a full Group can't get together due to scheduling conflicts.

Campaign Rules for the Pick-up Campaign consist of the following:
1. The campaign is set in and around the city of Korvosa. PCs may be from other areas, but they've moved to the city and now call it home.
2. Each story is limited to a single session. i.e., no cliffhanger ending that is picked up on the next session. Story arcs can continue across multiple sessions but that's because they are occurring within Korvosa rather than tied to specific players/player characters.
3. The players' characters will, through the course of the game, all have at least made the acquaintance of the other PCs. Since they all live in the same city, even if they haven't adventured together they may have met previously at a tavern, worked a side job together, etc.

Trust me. These types of campaigns not only work, but can be extremely rewarding.


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Makhno wrote:

Yeah, I've always thought the West Marches concept is silly, for more or less this reason (and related ones):

1. There's no plot (or metaplot).
2. There are no persistent villains (certainly not ones who do anything interesting).
3. There's no interaction between any parts of the world, on any but the most local scale.
4. Even though it's a "sandbox" of sorts, the PCs can't actually effect any changes to the world, because...
5. There IS no world. There's just an area with a set of disparate adventure locations, and outside of that region there's... nothing. Just an amorphous, unspecified mist.

Come to think of it, West Marches might be interesting as a sort of existential horror campaign, where the PCs slowly realize that the world they are in is not real, has no existence outside of this one region; that even the "city" doesn't exist beyond the small trade district they've seen; and that they can't... ever... escape... no matter how much they try...

You're imposing an awful lot of restrictions that don't have to be in play. While it's certainly possible any of those issues could exist, they could exist for any campaign. They certainly don't have to exist for a sandbox-style game like the one described.

(see my next post for specific examples)


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1. Loved Dishonored for its obvious Thief-inspired influences
2. Watched initial new Thief demos/interviews with mixed feelings until I learned that the XP system was tossed, "Focus" can be turned off, and you can complete the game without killing anyone.
3. Pre-ordered when I discovered it was releasing in Feb and will run on 360 & PS3.
4. Have taken the day after release off from work in anticipation of playing Thief all night on the day it's released!

I loved the originals. I'm willing to give this one a shot. Yes, it's going to be different. That doesn't mean it won't be good or a worthy addition to the series.


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Eric Hinkle wrote:
Heine Stick wrote:
Ooh, incorporating the troop subtype? Well played, sir. Well played. :)
100% in agreement on this. I was really hoping someone would do something with the new troop subtype myself.

Sadly, not a fan of the troop subtype at all. However, I figured it'd be used.


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Narl wrote:
The thing that I find jarring is how fast, in game world time, the characters progress through levels. We are just wrapping up Carrion Crown, and in 90 days or so, the characters have gone from 1st to 15th level.

This. A thousand times this.

Now, I know the APs frequently build in suggestions on pacing, but that effort is largely undermined given that even if a GM is "tapping the brakes" between installments, the Medium track will have PCs leveling within days (likely) or weeks (if you're lucky).


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Shiftybob wrote:


Hypothetically, if Paizo were to release an adventure path that was designed for the slow experience track, possibly finishing at around about 10th level, would you be less, or more interested in it? Would you find it frustrating?

Much, much more interested. Also, much more likely to run an AP rather than mine them for ideas.

Perhaps it's just a difference in RPG tastes these days, but I prefer the slower advancement of years past. Now, everything seems like a rush to the finish line. Rinse & repeat.

No group I have ever played in or run a campaign for was working towards an artifical level milestone. They played their characters b/c they enjoyed them and switched due to character death or out of a desire to try something else.

One of my few criticisms of the APs is that while no specific timelines are laid out, they seem to assume a very quick player progression. I've long since tired of the Newbie->Demigod in less than a year of campaign time paradigm.

And while it's not part of the AP line, the need to satisfy the "level-spread" of the Medium advancement track would prevent encounter padding/bloat as seen in Dragon's Demand, which had an excessive level-spread to cover, IMO. (The specific encounter I'm thinking of awards 40k+ XP for talking their way out of an encounter and avoiding combat. I'm all for awarding XP for things other than combat but I don't think a conversation is worth 40k+ XP.)


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Thread. Full. Of Awesome!

Thanks for posting this.


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Deanoth wrote:
PathfinderFan64 wrote:
I have all of the HL Pathfinder files. It appears great until you take a close look at everything. There are a lot of feats, traits, and class abilities that do nothing. The makers of HL, Lone Wolf, are just too busy trying to keep up with new releases that they can't fix the bugs. They do fix a few but most are being ignored and more keep being created with each new release. It appears to me that they do almost no testing since if they did they would catch the bugs and fix them before release. If I were you I would save your money and wait to see if Lone Wolf can fix the bugs before buying.

Lone wolf has ALWAYS been very very proactive on the Lone Wolf web sites clearing any bugs and or issues that crop up quite quickly to be honest. I am not getting where you are feeling ignored by the staff at Lone Wolf as it just can not be further from the truth. They do not ignore anyone nor do they ignore bugs and errors as you mentioned. Some are more difficult then others to fix if and when they crop up so they might get put aside for a following update but we will see it fix if it is categorized as a bug.

So please do not come in here and say they do not keep up with them.. as trust me that can't be further from the truth!!

Now as far as testing.. there is a beta team for testing and they do test each and every update before it is released to everyone else. I DO highly recommend Hero Lab to everyone!! It is a very well done piece of software and it can be of use for anyone that uses it. Please do not let the false sense of impropriety from deterring you from doing so! There is even a demo mode to check it out if you like :)

Seconded.


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Condolences to Louis and his family. I am very sorry for your loss. Louis' wife, Louis, and his family will be in my prayers.


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R_Chance wrote:
Nate Z wrote:


I will never understand arguments about fantasy settings needing to be "historically accrurate." Clockworks have been part of Golarion from the beginning & there are stats for dinosaurs.

Anywho, I've only glanced at the pdf so far, but I'm digging it. Can't wait to build an NPC or two with robot arms.

It's not about "historical accuracy", for me anyway or, I suspect, others. It's about anachronistic elements plopped down without any reason besides a use of symbols to convey a feeling which could have been achieved in other ways.

You, sir, are my hero.


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zergtitan wrote:
Fine BPorter, We'll agree to disagree. okay? *puts forward hand*

Done.

Merry Christmas, all!


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And Gorbacz, I'd have far less of an issue with a wide-range of influences showing up in a book for the RPG line. However, the Companion line is tied directly to the Golarion setting, thus the criticism.

I wouldn't think twice of a clockwork bug in the Iron Kingdoms setting or a magic pith helment in a Pathfinder version of the Thrilling Tales game.


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Gorbacz wrote:
So it's pretty much a "I was happy with those lazor rabots confined to Numeria, and now it looks like they're going to spill over to my cherished realms of princesses and dragons fantasy" problem here?

You keep wanting to go there in various threads whenever someone isn't for the "full speed towards gonzo fantasy" option, but in a word - no.


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Cpt_kirstov wrote:


Well the Pith helmets have been in the settign since the first Campaign setting hardcover (see this blog post with the art) in 2008, so its not a repetitively new phenomenon that this is in the setting. I have not read my Magical Marketplaces book yet, preferring to read hard copies to PDFs, but glancing at the item, its one magical item in a shop.. If you didn't have the Pith helmets there before this book, even though it was in the art of the area for years, there's nothing forcing you to use it now.

It was mentioned by James that the picture I linked to made Pith helmets look too commonplace, I guess a way to not have it be so common is to make it magic only, and more expensive than many in world people get in their lifetimes...

No, they haven't been. That picture was cut from the original Inner Sea Campaign setting. Per James Jacobs, they felt that upon further reflection it didn't "feel Golarion".


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<snip of less relevant info/opinion>

zergtitan wrote:


Golarian is not made to be internally consistent because it was created by almost all the staff behind Pathfinder and not a small team within.

If Paizo truly has no concern for adhering to setting canon/style and doesn't provide any oversight or "setting Bible" guidance, then that's being lazy with the setting in which their bread and butter APs are set. I don't believe for a second that that is the case. Going back at least 5 years, I found a post by James Jacobs that specifically underscores it was always a concern. Also, things were much looser then as Golarion was still in its formative stages. There should be a clearer picture today, not a murkier one.

zergtitan wrote:


P.S. Schwartz made the helmet so he was replying to that. and while you have bigger problems with other items, this one has been your most vocal.

Nope. Just the one most responded to by other posters in this thread.

zergtitan wrote:


And on the Rifts note, Yes this is rifts without alot of the open portals. Problem?

The various products that I subscribe to do not paint any such picture. Nor have any of the multitude of posts by the developers and designers over the years. So yeah, if there's an internal memo floating around the halls of Paizo saying "Setting flavor & tone should model Rifts", then yeah, I have a problem with it.

Star Wars & Star Trek both feature ray guns, aliens, and spaceships, but I can immediately tell the difference between the two.

Dragon Age, the Witcher, Elder Scrolls, & Neverwinter Nights are all computer fantasy RPGs, but I can pick out the setting and style differences between each of them even though all of them have magic, knights, swords, & elves.

The Thief computer games are a blend of Medieval & clockwork tech. The Dishonored computer game is a full-on blend of 18th-century trappings with magic & steampunk. I can tell the difference. I love each of those games - because they've embraced the setting style and tone and are internally consistent.

And somehow Tolkein managed to draw heavy inspiration from World War I in developing the Lord of the Rings without feeling the need to have the symbols and trappings of WWI ported unchanged into Middle Earth.

This isn't about taking choices in adventuring playstyles away. This isn't about different cultural details. It's about internal consistency. If transporters showed up in Star Wars and lightsabers showed up in Star Trek it would feel out of place.

If you're cool with a literal patchwork RIFTS style world, cool. I want something more from the setting.


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David Schwartz wrote:

I've been hemming and hawing over whether to reply to this, but here goes.

I'm David Schwartz and I wrote the Explorer's Pith Helmet.

BPorter wrote:
So why is Sargava developing 19th-century British colonial-style garb when it's parent nation, with greater resources, military might, and influence is stuck in an ealier Earth-era equivalent?

Here's my thinking: It's not unreasonable for a people who sunburn easily transplanted to a tropical environment to make hats out a readily available material. It's not rocket science, it's a hat made out of cork.

And, honestly, the fashion of the hat doesn't really affect the magic item's function, but...

BPorter wrote:
Sure a pith hat is an article of clothing but the only reason for including it is b/c pulp-era movies had British soldiers wearing Pith helmets.
Bingo. For my own part, in works of fiction, I find symbolism often trumps historical accuracy. Most of the items at The Dirty Trap are for practical outdoorsmen. The pith helmet is for straitlaced colonials.

I really don't have an issue with the mechanical aspects of the magic item. I do with "symbolism trumps history". Again, for me, it goes back to feel and tone. As I said upthread, I get mining something for inspiration, but I expect it to get adapted to fit the setting. Otherwise, my "so railroads in Alkenstar (& only Alkenstar)" question fits.

It's like saying the Magnificent Seven should have had katana wielding samaurai in it because the source/symbolism had it in Seven Samaurai.

I do appreciate you weighing in, but it doesn't change my issues with the item's inclusion as depicted. However, I had larger issues with the clockwork bug and "anvil trick", but everyone seems to be focusing on the pith helmet.

Again, I like kitechen sink but I want internal consistency. For those arguing that Golarion should be a mish-mash, Disneyland, mixed in a blender, anything goes setting - I didn't realize we were playing Rifts all this time.


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Jeven wrote:


It feels like there is a tug-of-war going on between different developers in the Golarion setting. One group roots the setting in the standard fantasy pseudo-Medieval/Renaissance era, while the other pulls it towards the early Industrial/Revolutionary/Colonial era of the C18th-19th.
This does create some very jarring contrasts - like the rival images of Andoran Knights in the campaign book where one depicts C18th Revolutionary soldier and the other a C13th knight in full plate.
I think Paizo could do a much better job in skinning things to fit the setting, rather just dumping random elements in from far removed centuries of real world history.

Its not meant to be an historical simulation, of course, but when you use elements from historical periods that are really, really far apart in the same country then it becomes somewhat jarring. It makes the whole setting feel unstuck in time, and becomes hard to get into. Since you already have to suspend belief to allow for magic and fantasy monsters, not having a familiar era in time to ground it all in makes the whole construct feel very unstable. It really needs more stable anchors.

Bingo! Sweet baby Jesus, we have a winner!


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Alexander Augunas wrote:


Were you around for Reign of Winter per chance?

The reaction to that Adventure which includes more setting hopping than any other Adventure before it and is also noteworthy for being the adventure where the PCs travel to WW1 Earth also has the distinction of being one of the best selling and most popular adventures in Paizo's line up. It was popular enough for another extremely risky adventure, called Iron Gods to get greenlighted for creation.

So please, don't be offended when people remind you that your sentiments are the minority. As others have said, real-world history is filled with varying technology levels; take firearms. The Chinese developed firearms much earlier than the Western World did; the earliest I can find is the Hand Canon (you know, that weapon Mulan uses to stop the Mongolian army in the middle of Disney's Mulan), which was developed in the late 1200s; 1272 by my best GoogleFu. That was during the Dark Ages, the time period most Tolkien-esque settings model themselves after. Yet it was the Western World that would eventually mass-employ firearms as a militaristic weapon.

If anything, Golarian's "kitchen sink strategy" is a thousand times more realistic than anything published in Forgotten Realms or Greyhawk for this exact reason. Societies develop their own aesthetics, militaristic strategies, and cultures. I personally don't GM in Golarion, but playing in it is a joy because of the...

Reign of Winter - Yes, I have it. Yes, it was popular - it was novel, unexpected and it involved leaving Golarion.

I also have Distant Worlds (a personal favorite) and am looking forward to Iron Gods.

I'm not looking for vanilla rooted-in-the-medieval fantasy as everyone seems to want to label me with wanting. I'm looking for internal consistency within the setting rather than entertaining every whim coming down the line. Where, if anywhere, does the line get drawn? Alkenstar wants to evoke a Western vibe - are we going to start throwing around railroads and telegraphs that will inexplicably not take hold anywhere else?

I'm not looking to turn Golarion into a fantasy version of 007 or Mission Impossible. I can watch those movies for inspiration or even borrow a plotline but if I'm going to borrow from them, I expect to have to "Pathfinder-ize" it. So no, I don't want clockwork listening devices (which is in Magical Marketplaces), especially when they're so stinking cheap - 1100 gp. I don't want advanced firearms with silencers or a magical equivalent of a laptop just because espionage adventures "need them".

So let's say for argument's sake Sargava is now the center for 19th-century British Empire cosplay. Since much of their economy is centered around exports of local resources and imports of things that they lack, why aren't they exporting their superior & more durable attire?

Also, since Pathfinder, and its predecessors don't assign tech-levels or cultural or national preferences/sources of origin for equipment, while that pith helmet is listed as being in a Sargavan magic shop, there really isn't anything restricting it to staying within its particular part of Disneyland.

If the setting conceit was a Ravenloft-style of "various realms pulled from different places/time periods", I'd get it. However, since the original Inner Sea World Guide, there's been some consideration towards what works and what doesn't. As I cited above, if James Jacobs, Eric Mona, and Lisa Stevens are making judgement calls on what "feels like Golarion" and what doesn't, then clearly it isn't their intent to have Golarion be a "theme-park" patchwork setting.

Kitchen sink (which I want) does not have to equal hodge-podge/anything goes (which I don't).


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Jeven wrote:
BPorter wrote:
B) I specifically mentioned that I like the mix of cultures. But I want internal consistency from the setting and this "jumbled world". Vikings mixing with samurai, no problem. English colonial gear mixed with knights, plate armor, & revolutionay garb with no in-setting context for the development of such things - no thanks.

Its best to think of Golarion as a Disneyland type theme park. There are medieval knights in one section, Victorian-era explorers in another, cowboys with guns somewhere else, alien robots in yet another. They don't actually mix because theme-park characters know to stay put in their own sections.

Adventures are always focused on one specific area, so the bigger picture or overall world consistency is less important.
If you don't like that then Golarion is not the setting for you.

Well, as someone who has been with Golarion since Rise of the Runelords #1, thanks for suggesting that I take my ball and go home.

I get the idea behind "self-contained" areas. But if Golarion is truly intended to be moving in the direction of becoming such a hodge podge/theme-park design, then your probably right and my days of setting campaigns in Golarion will be drawing to a close.

But I'd like to think that if Paizo hears from enough customers that "Golarion shouldn't be Disneyland" I likely wouldnt' have to pull that particular trigger.


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zergtitan wrote:

my apologies BPorter, I meant no offense. I understand that Paizo looks at customer feedback for details as to how to improve it's work. I'm sorry if the term I used of "cookie-cut" seemed to offend you (I should of used another term) But one of the main points I saw with your take on this book was that it was getting more complicated then you liked. this is understandable, but pathfinder generally doesn't design new additions to a system unless they find a need to do so (Worldwound AP=Mythic rules). And with many of these systems you can pick and choose what you will.

In terms of technology, I believe the points you are making are ones that in many ways pathfinder has thrown out the window. (ex.Alkenstar & Numeria) In the case of the images described of pith-helmets and khakis, I believe that was the desired interpretation wanted since Sargava and the Mwangi Expanse are based off of novels like those containing Allen Quartermain. so the clothing is somewhat expected. plus the images you state have guns, don't. in fact in them they are using spears, not firearms. firearms don't appear in any illustration until the creation of the Ultimate Combat core rulebook with the gunslinger class.

No problem.

As for the picture I was referencing, while I couldn't find the image, I did find the thread:

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2idqw?Todays-Blog-Post-A-Rifle#21

In that thread, James Jacobs said the following:
"Actually, you may have read a bit TOO much into what I said. As I mentioned in the last post, the more I've thought about it... the more that particular illustrtion doesn't "FEEL" Golarion to me.

As for Modern stuff... maybe some day. If we DO Modern stuff, though, it'll be under a different brand from Pathfinder. Pathfinder's our fantasy setting, and is only one thing that Paizo's doing. It just happens to be the BIGGEST thing we're doing now... but in 3 years, we might well have some other campaigns and/or games out there, including d20 Modern stuff. Who knows?"

So, it would appear, that at least conceptually, I'm not the only one that feels that a kitchen-sink setting that embraces a wide range of playstyles can still have a consistent feel without having to embrace "everything goes".

...and no, the irony that J.Jacobs said a pith helmets doen't "feel Golarion" is not lost on me given that they show up in this Companion.

...and yes, they will NEVER exist in my campaign versions of Golarion. If you like 'em, that's cool. I frakkin' hate them, however.


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Cheapy wrote:
BPorter wrote:

Unfortunately, there appears to be a content-equivalent of power/scope-creep going on outside of the Pathfinder RPG line.

FWIW, I have heard a lot of people complain about this aspect of powercreep in the Player Companion line.

Might have something to do with the whole "Using Golarion lines to 'test out' new rules" thing that James has mentioned, but this might warrant some looking at.

Thanks for the link. I hadn't seen that thread.

Since a lot of the recent stuff coming out of the Companion line hasn't clicked for me on the crunch- or flavor-meters, I guess this design philosophy is another element to consider as to whether or not continuing with a Companion subscription makes sense for me. Thanks again for the info.


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Sarcasmancer wrote:

A song for OP, by Sarcasmancer

Just because the option exists, doesn't mean you have to use it
If one of your players wants to buy the equipment, refuse it
If you don't like robots, don't set your game in Numeria
If you don't like summoners, you don't have to let em near ya
If you don't like what's in a book, don't buy it
Don't disparage others for having different tastes - just try it!

A) I already bought it

B) I'm actually ok with androids/robots & numeria b/c it's tied to the setting canon in a particular area.
C) Summoners, what about 'em?
D) Equipment, well duh, but that doesn't mean I have to like the creative turn that's leading to stuff like clockwork listening devices or morphing swords that multi-attack
E) Who exactly did I disparage?

I get the point you're making. I'm about as pro-Paizo, pro-Pathfinder, and pro-Golarion as they come. That doesn't mean that I have to blindly agree with every creative turn that they take.


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zergtitan wrote:

BPorter: in my opinion this jumbled world is what makes Pathfinder great. It's more real. Take a look at the world we live in, it's not all middle earth or Arthurian landscape, it's a huge and diverse planet and we can find something new in every corner of it. Now I know you want a classic RPG style world to which I say choose your country and stay there. (If you don't like any part of the world then USA, then just stay in the USA.) that's the beauty of it. What you see as a jumbled mess, I see as a world full possibilities to play classic fighters to samurai, to even a gunslingers and I love it!

So while it may not fit your cookie cut RPG, the variety of options give many different groups choices, appealing to a wider audience. So if the vairiety of Pathfinder bothers you, either pick and use what you want or choose another RPG there are plenty out there to choose from that fit your desired image.

But for now I like this culture curry, globalized, and diverse world that is Pathfinder. And I say Paizo, keep shaking the world and gather as much fruit of human culture and history as you can get. :)

A) Last time I checked, Paizo was receptive to customer feedback, even when they didn't agree with it. Apparently, you aren't receptive to opinions that don't mesh with yours if you're suggesting that I find another RPG, so spare me the derogatory "cookie-cut" comments.

B) I specifically mentioned that I like the mix of cultures. But I want internal consistency from the setting and this "jumbled world". Vikings mixing with samurai, no problem. English colonial gear mixed with knights, plate armor, & revolutionay garb with no in-setting context for the development of such things - no thanks. With a calendar spanning 4 millenia, transportation magic, etc. Those "advanced influences" would have the ability to emulate modern transportation and communications as they enabled advanced nations on our world to do through the 19th & 20th centuries. So why is Sargava developing 19th-century British colonial-style garb when it's parent nation, with greater resources, military might, and influence is stuck in an ealier Earth-era equivalent? I'm all for a mix, but not a sloppy one.

C) There's precedent for what I'm objecting to. In the early days of Pathfinder APs and while Golarion was in its infancy, the Paizo site posted a picture of what was effectively the equivalent of British Imperial forces in pith helmets, knee socks, & khakis bearing 19th-century rifles fighting ape-men or somesuch monsters. It would have been a perfect fit for a game of Thrilling Tales or Savage Worlds and while there were some vocal fans, the overwhelming response on these boards was that it "didn't fit". We have a mix of cultures and technological disparity in our world even today. That doesn't mean that it's a setting suitable for 95% of the APs Paizo has published to date.

You like the current mix, that's fine. I don't like where it's been headed recently. I also think some more thought of the potential impact of new items (like clockwork listening devices that can record, playback, and self-distruct) should be considered. And who knew cheap gems were a read/write storage medium? -- I'm not really looking to have to entertain a Golarion 2.0 because things need to get retconned out due to negatively impacting the setting.


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Gorbacz wrote:
What we really need now is a YouTube video of you flipping out live. Bonus sub to your channel if you eat the book while at it.

LMAO. I've only got the PDF - still waiting (but no longer anxiously) for the physical book to arrive.

I'll consider it, though, for making me laugh.


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(This isn’t a full review, just a first-impression after a preliminary read-through.)

Magic shop discounts, full-on Victorian outfits, pith helmets, & clockwork “bugs”?!?

I’m all for supporting many varied playstyles with a campaign setting. I love the diverse cultural influences. I like kitchen sink settings. However, a setting that never says no isn’t inclusive, it’s a flavorless mess. It’s like Paizo flushed editorial oversight down the drain.

So why is a former colony more advanced than its parent nation (Sargava vs. Cheliax)? Sure a pith hat is an article of clothing but the only reason for including it is b/c pulp-era movies had British soldiers wearing Pith helmets. Are we that lazy as gamers that we can’t imagine adventuring in an African analogue without having to see items & imagery more consistent with a Tarzan movie? Who knew that a relatively isolated colony is at the avant-garde of fashion while its founding nation is so backward? Hey, maybe during that Reign of Winter jaunt to Earth, we should swing by Saragava and pick up attire that will help us blend in...

Hey fantasy espionage just got revolutionized by an 1100 gp magic item! I’m sure that will constitute a huge financial burden to spy networks and adventuring parties alike.

How about morphing blades that can attack targets simultaneously!? Yeah, that doesn’t seem overpowered or contrived…

Say, it’s not the quality of your armor or the skill of the smith that counts, it’s all in how you work your anvil, baby…

I'm pretty freaking happy with what’s been coming out of the RPG line. (You even got me to like “epic” stuff with Mythic Adventures.) Paizo’s done a pretty good job of keeping a lid on power-creep. Unfortunately, there appears to be a content-equivalent of power/scope-creep going on outside of the Pathfinder RPG line.

I’ve been a Golarion fan since Rise of the Runelords #1. I certainly don’t think a setting needs a narrow focus or shtick to work like a Ravenloft, Midnight, or Iron Kingdoms. But it needs to have some attempt to adhere to an internal consistency. The kind of stuff introduced in this book helps push Golarion towards being a jumbled mess, not an expansive, imaginative, or consistent setting.

Despite being a Companion fan from its earliest days, I dropped my subscription to the Companion line a few months ago as it seemed to be morphing into a power-creep line. I re-upped it b/c some of the books coming down the line were on topics that were of interest. I’m rapidly reaching the “why even bother?” point.

Sadly, between questionable anachronistic elements and mechanics like I’ve cited above, this book is not a good addition to a Golarion library or an incentive to maintain a Companion subscription.


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Alexander Augunas wrote:
From what I've seen and heard from about this book, the quality of its crunch is surprisingly good.

IMO, you've been misinformed.


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Seriously, so anything goes now?

(This isn’t a full review, just a first-impression after a preliminary read-through.)

Magic shop discounts, full-on Victorian outfits, pith helmets, & clockwork “bugs”?!?

I’m all for supporting many varied playstyles with a campaign setting. I love the diverse cultural influences. I like kitchen sink settings. However, a setting that never says no isn’t inclusive, it’s a flavorless mess. It’s like Paizo flushed editorial oversight down the drain.

So why is a former colony more advanced than its parent nation (Sargava vs. Cheliax)? Sure a pith hat is an article of clothing but the only reason for including it is b/c pulp-era movies had British soldiers wearing Pith helmets. Are we that lazy as gamers that we can’t imagine adventuring in an African analogue without having to see items & imagery more consistent with a Tarzan movie? Who knew that a relatively isolated colony is at the avant-garde of fashion while its founding nation is so backward? Hey, maybe during that Reign of Winter jaunt to Earth, we should swing by Saragava and pick up attire that will help us blend in...

Hey fantasy espionage just got revolutionized by an 1100 gp magic item! I’m sure that will constitute a huge financial burden to spy networks and adventuring parties alike.

How about morphing blades that can attack targets simultaneously!? Yeah, that doesn’t seem overpowered or contrived…

Say, it’s not the quality of your armor or the skill of the smith that counts, it’s all in how you work your anvil, baby…

I'm pretty freaking happy with what’s been coming out of the RPG line. (You even got me to like “epic” stuff with Mythic Adventures.) Paizo’s done a pretty good job of keeping a lid on power-creep. Unfortunately, there appears to be a content-equivalent of power/scope-creep going on outside of the Pathfinder RPG line.

I’ve been a Golarion fan since Rise of the Runelords #1. I certainly don’t think a setting needs a narrow focus or shtick to work like a Ravenloft, Midnight, or Iron Kingdoms. But it needs to have some attempt to adhere to an internal consistency. The kind of stuff introduced in this book helps push Golarion towards being a jumbled mess, not an expansive, imaginative, or consistent setting.

Despite being a Companion fan from its earliest days, I dropped my subscription to the Companion line a few months ago as it seemed to be morphing into a power-creep line. I re-upped it b/c some of the books coming down the line were on topics that were of interest. I’m rapidly reaching the “why even bother?” point.

Sadly, between questionable anachronistic elements and mechanics like I’ve cited above, this book is not a good addition to a Golarion library or an incentive to maintain a Companion subscription.


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Last year, I wrote a few posts talking about the successful experiences I had introducing my kids and several of their friends to Pathfinder. Most of the kids were my older son’s friends, but my youngest and one of his friends were part of the initial group. Aside from the larger sessions, I run a campaign exclusively for my two sons.

Age 7 is a bit young for lengthy Pathfinder sessions and although my youngest likes to play, it’s usually less frequently and for shorter periods. A few weeks ago, my youngest told me he was working on a Pathfinder story for dear old Dad. I smiled, saying that would be great, grateful for the enthusiasm and hoping that if not age 8, perhaps when he turned 9, the RPG seed would flourish.

Then, a few nights later, he asked if I would show him how to make characters and monsters in Hero Lab. I did, but stressed that he should only make full characters for important characters.

A few nights later, he informed me that he had selected a map. The map he had selected was of an island taken from the front of one of his novels. I was impressed. I complimented him on his imagination as well as his ability to not try to do too much work for his first Pathfinder session.

The next night he was working in Hero Lab again. However, this time I noticed that in addition to working on the computer he was making notes in a little notebook. When I asked him what he was doing, he brought the notebook over and showed it to me – and what he’d written in it blew me away.

There was an outline (or the bare bones of one). He had a section where he’d listed the characters that he wanted to include, a list of the monsters he wanted to use, and a list of events comprising his plot.

His brother and I played through his initial session that weekend. It only ran for a little over an hour, was disjointed at times, and was wildly unbalanced (throwing a dragon at us seemed a bit unfair) – but boy, it was a blast. 2014 looks like a good year for gaming.

RPGs are truly a great pastime & hobby. Thank you, Paizo, for the wonderful game that is Pathfinder.


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Darth Grall wrote:
This thread is surprisingly calm. Guess that just shows how bad off the Rogue was...

Not really. I can't speak for others, but I generally see little benefit in posting in threads laden with rogue-sucks-hyperbole. I apparently failed my Will save today.

The rogue is extremely versatile. If you're going to look at it solely from a munchkin perspective, you'll find DPR winners but that's hardly a good measure of a classes effectveness in-game.

Anecdotally, the rogue remains the most popular class among all 3 of my current campaigns.

I like the other niches the new classes fulfil, but as with the ninja, the ineffectiveness of the rogue is VASTLY overstated by some vocal posters on these boards.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Rented the DVD and watched it this past weekend.

1. Special effects were good.

2. Plot was paper thin but I expected as much from a monster vs. robot movie.

3. I enjoyed it, but the whole time I was watching it I kept thinking "Here's the new poster child for Big Dumb Action Movie".

4. In retrospect, there wasn't really anything memorable about it.

Still, passable sci-fi is better than bad sci-fi or no sci-fi.


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Wow, what a great movie! A perfect extension of the events in the Avengers, expansion of Thor's mythos, and a terrific blend of high fantasy and sci-fi. I expected to like it, but it blew all of my expectations away.

The CA: The Winter Soldier trailer looks phenomenal and we'll see if Guardians of the Galaxy can maintain the Marvel movie momentum, but while I thought the original Thor did a good job of making the transition to live-action movie despite the most "baggage" and non-traditional comic mythos, this movie cements Thor's role as an A-list superhero.


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Congrats, all. Best of luck in the new endeavor.

Sooooo, what will be up on deck first? :)


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xevious573 wrote:
You guys put up with a lot of bull and get way to much flak for doing your jobs. Keep trekkin' on. This storm will pass once people learn they can make this game what they want to make of it (and that right now they are making it incredibly depressing as I watch this community's behavior). So thank you again and know that a lot of us still have your back.

Abso-frakkin-lutely!


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thanks, Rich. OotS is definitely a gem amongst the RPG world and I gleefully rush to read each installment as they become available.

I just need to get a move-on with getting my collected book versions...


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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The Divine Healing mechanics sound awesome! Very flavorful and it reigns in the "I picked this deity just to get X, Y, & Z".

Note: I'm all for players picking abilities & the character they want, but if they are going to pick a deity that isn't prominent in the campaign region, they should feel like a bit of an outsider rather than expecting the GM to increase the prominence of their selected deity just to accommodate the player's choice. This seems like a nice mechanical way to reinforce the setting's canon/lore. More importantly, it also gives players of foreign/minor deities an incentive to spread the faith!


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Can't wait.


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graywulfe wrote:

In truth, the primary reason I responded to your post was that I found that I could best articulate what I wanted by using your post as a counterpoint and springboard.

The other reason being that I have watched companies do things I absolutely horrible things after I sat and ignored people complaining about things I liked on that company's messageboards. Basically, too few people speak up to defend things they like and it seems like no one likes things as they are. I have learned my lesson and make an effort to speak up when I like something, so that hopefully things that I like stick around.

All good, amigo. My post originated from a similar mindset. If someone is advocating for X but I want Y and I don't tell the company I want Y when asked, I can't really fault the company for not delvering content that I like. I prefer to advocate from the "this is what I like, keep doing it" standpoint when possible.

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