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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. 1,308 posts. 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Backed! (PF all the way, baby!)

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Brinebeast wrote:
I would love to see a Tome of Beasts Pathfinder version. The only exception for me would be to replace the Southlands monsters with different monsters since we already have them in an amazing full color bestiary. There are so many awesome monsters from that need to be in a full color bestiary!

This I'd go for. Sorry, no 5e interest. (Savage Worlds or AGE, I'm in.)

Although honestly, I'd rather see more Midgard-specific topics: an updated Players Guide all-in-one for the regions like what's being done with Advanced Races, a Kobold Guide to Dark Fantasy, hex maps, another city supplement, etc.

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Krensky wrote:

I think it's Quenton.

Takes a lot of sacrifice to come back from where he is.

My bet, also. Barry coming back to pay his respects in the sad-but-not-devastated manner in which he did it makes me think that. He knows him professionally and knows of his ties to Team Arrow. Given that Team Arrow and Team Flash work together on occasion, if it was someone from the inner circle, I'd expect more emotion out of Barry. Especially if it was Felicity.

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Awesome! Can't wait.

Now where's the Savage Worlds Science Fiction Companion and Super Powers Companion 2nd edition? ;)

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I have to say, the portrayal of the "vampire spirit" is the most elegant and interesting depiction of the auto-alignment-shift caused by becoming undead that I've seen.

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James Jacobs wrote:
Crystal Frasier wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
I've only skimmed through it so far (waiting for the hardcover to arrive to properly read it), but I did find it amusing that the text for catfolk calls out how variable they can be, and says you can get full on Kajit style catfolk in one family, and their neighbors across the street could be anime esq catgirls with completely different morphology.
Huh... I don't remember writing that
I'm pretty sure that was text we ended up putting in during development because we kinda gave up a little on getting the art to standardize.

That's...disappointing. I'm glad catfolk were added later to the game so we didn't get cute anime lizard folk, kobolds, orcs, rat folk, etc.

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baron arem heshvaun wrote:

After all the print books, its time in Dragon, and 1000 plus strips, Rich still keeps me wanting more.

Thank you Rich Burlew, a modern day maestro.

It's not said often enough, I dig your work sir.

Amen, brother. Rich rocks!

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jasonthelamb wrote:

Okay, so - long story short it is an Inquisitor of Iomedae, the party is searching for an assassin, and basically decided to wait downstairs at an Inn for someone.

They saw somebody go upstairs, one PC went and got the guard while the Inquisitor and Wizard went upstairs, acid splashed the door, and kicked it down.

At this point, on the GM side - it was a random traveler who was staying overnight, who wasn't in his room - but the bathroom.

The guard showed up, and the Inquisitor demanded that the guards help them search for the assassin. After a failed Diplomacy and Intimidate check, the guards decided to get a drink downstairs before heading back to base.

The Inquisitor drew his dagger and said "If you leave, I will kill you." To the Patrol Sgt., who promptly placed his character under arrest... Inquisitor fought back, ended with both Inquisitor and Wizard in manacles being dragged to the jail.

In this case, would an Inquisitor of Iomedae lose their powers because of the threat (and attacking) to the Patrol Sgt

Iomedae - goddess of righteous valor, justice, and honor. Nothing in the inquisitor's actions support these causes.

Inquisitors operate above many of the normal rules and conventions of their church. They have to be within one step of their god's alignment. The inquisitor's actions are neither good nor lawful. First offense and/or still Neutral, ok on the powers front. However, the actions are chaotic at best, potentially evil (threatening to murder). This behavior, if it persists, will shift their alignment at some point.

However, the inquisitor has bigger, more immediate issues: the punishments for assault, breaking and entering, destruction of property, threatening to murder a city guard, etc.

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15-pt buy has been the default assumption forever, per James Jacobs as cited in numerous posts over several years. PFS uses 20-pt buy as default.

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Grim Reader wrote:

When comparing Pathfinder Inquisitors to Inquisitors in real world history, I think there are two things to keep in mind:

1) Real-world Inquisitors tended to torture, execute and terrorize for reasons that turned out to be totally imaginary.

The Pathfinder Inquisitors world has things like vampires, malevolent spellcasters, evil shapeshifters, demons, devils, possessing fiends, sundry undead and abominations. Seemingly in some density. It seems that any nation, tribe or other group is going to need some kind of body like the Inquisitors unless they want to be taken over quite quickly.

2) The real-world Inquisitors generally targeted social outsiders, or fairly randomly. Pathfinder Inquisitors have things like Detect Magic, Evil, Chaos, Thoughts and Zone of Truth to ensure fairly accurate targeting.

I dare say this would have consequences for how Inquisitors are regarded by the common man as well.

3) Real-world inquisitors also belonged to an organization/order that was assigned legal authority in certain matters. THIS is something completely lacking from the class' mechanics and is largely absent from Golarion faiths as well. A class, whatever its name, does not automatically assign legal authority (and the same goes for Paladins).

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EpicRenegade wrote:

I have been a big fan of World Of Warcraft's lore for a long time and have wanted to create characters that resemble those in the game, i have already made a character based on Sun Wukong from Journey to the West, i was wondering if anyone could suggest what Class would fit well for some of the charecters.

Right now im wanting to create Sylvanns Windrunner the banshee Queen, i was thinking a Ranger/Wizard with necromancy school of magic proficiancy. Any suggestions?

Ranger seems a good fit, although I might suggest Kobold Press' Elven Archer over CRB ranger. Not too sure about Necromancer as what I recall of her undead abilities stemmed primarily from the banshee powers, but wizard options are usually good thematic choices for elves so why not?

I'm not as familiar with her lore from WoW, I'm more of a Warcraft III fan. If you want to play up her undead aspect, Kobold Pess also has Advanced Races: Darakhul that provides a PC-playable undead.

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Ok, I bought Town of Glory last night and have done a preliminary read-through and started a test-build. I plan to post an actual review once the product is offered here on

First Impressions:
Reasonably quick resolution
Lots of room for expansions & future add-ons.

Kingmaker is probably my favorite AP. The sandbox approach that they took is, IMO, brilliant and while I know that the initial kingdom-building and mass combat rules were rough, I liked them enough to want to see them refined and expanded - which they were via Ultimate Campaign and Legendary Games' Ultimate X line.

The downside to kingdom-building is that it really is geared for what it's name implies: kingdom-building. I've looked at using kingdom-building as a nation-tracking mini-game for myself but to take existing nations and develop them, the process is very front-loaded with work and the level of abstraction doesn't really work for me. I can't lift a settlement stat block and easily reverse engineer it into Kingdom-building settlement stats, for example.

However, I'm a huge fan of the Downtime system in Ultimate Combat.

Town of Glory is closer to the Downtime system than Kingdom-building. It has a fair level of detail but a GM or group of players don't have to devote a campaign's focus to developing their settlement. The development of a frontier town or outpost is also a far likelier scenario for your average campaign than developing a new kingdom.

Reading through the PDF, I can't help but get a Warcraft-style vibe from it, as population, food, goods, and trade interact within the outpost/community rather than having stats focus on contributing to the kingdom-level stats. There are Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced buildings and while Kingdom-building has pre-reqs and dependencies as well, Town of Glory lays the options out by Building Complexity so understanding the town's possible "feat chains" is clearer when reading.

Also unlike the Kingdom-building settlement rules, I was able to quickly start out a thorp and generate growth for a couple of months as a quick test-drive. It's intuitive, yet flavorful.

I seriously hope this line gets additional expansions. Additional buildings, event generation, integration/intersection with the Downtime rules, and extrapolating this mini-system to other parts of the game seem like they could be easy and logical extensions of the game. Remember how everyone liked Jade Regent's caravan rules in concept but had problems in execution? I could see a Town of Glory approach to caravans, shipping, and trading.

Best of all, it doesn't replace or invalidate the Pathfinder system's normal settlement stat-block building rules. If the settlement stat-block is the summary-level view, Town of Glory can be used to drill down to street level if desired.

My "first impressions" reads like a mini-review but, honestly, this PDF impressed me with it's utility. It was an impulse buy in the hopes that it would generate some ideas.

My only regret is that I can see the potential lurking within Town of Glory and can't apply it (yet) to a broader swath of my campaign. I would love to see it get a much broader and in-depth treatment.

Minor criticism: The "Town Walls" basic structure is incorrectly listed as "Town Halls". "Town Halls is also listed in it's correct placement as an Intermediate Structure.

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Knitifine wrote:
Slamy Mcbiteo wrote:
Why would you need a second edition? They have updated rules several times in the several printings plus they just add unchained. The system is complete and flexible so it would make no sense.
Profit. Money. And also flaws in the system that need to be fixed (I don't think anyone around believes Pathfinder is a flawless game).

Nor does anyone think a 2nd edition will be a flawless game.

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I'm loving both of them but I'll give the slight edge to Dark Matter.

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I love the Pathfinder RPG. More importantly, my players love it.

Is it a perfect system? Of course not. There is no such beast.

And while constructive criticism is good, what I don't like are the posters that just have to throw barbs and slurs at the designers or Paizo when designs or errata don't conform to their wishes. You don't have to like it, you can certainly say you don't like it, but you don't have to buy it or use it and you certainly don't have to be a di-k about it.

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Sepherum wrote:
I really love Pathfinder. I actually liked the ideas and options of the Advanced Players Guide-the execution, not so much. I wouldn't touch Mythic with a ten foot pole. My question is-are the rigors of a production schedule having a serious effect on the quality of Pathfinder products? I think that Mythic, the APG and the Vigilante playtest (I know it's a playtest but it needed more work) were in such questionable shape they shouldn't have been released. People out there would add other things to this list I'm sure. Should Paizo rush out additions to the volume of new, untested rules instead of new content? I admit to having an axe to grind; I'd like to see a hardcover city book once a year along the lines of Bard's Gate or the Shackled City. Occult Adventures looks good to me but now I know Pathfinder fans who just aren't going to buy it.

A - No. No problem.

B - City books would fall under the campaign setting line, not the RPG line.

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Rogue Genius' Spellpoint Compilation is hands-down, the best alternative I've seen to core Vancian as it's a seamless plug-in that accounts for caster class abilities and doesn't alter the game aside from how spells are prepared and cast. Highly recommended.

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While I suppose anything is possible, everything points to this guy campaigning for it. John Stewart, this guy isn't. If he thinks he's the big draw for the F&F movies, he's delusional.

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Malwing wrote:
Has anyone been using options from Pathfinder Unchained? How has it been going?

Unchained has been treating my campaigns very, very well. It's provided the biggest impact to my campaigns since the APG and the optional subsystems deliver in a way that Ultimate Combat's failed to do (for the most part).

The Unchained classes and background skills were no brainers. Skill Unlocks has been pretty well received as were fractional-bonuses. The Stamina system will be implemented in some fashion but how hasn't been determined yet - I want to do some more playtesting first.

Automatic bonus progression is a likely add, as well, since I've always disliked the Christmas Tree Effect. However, I'm giving my players time to decide.

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Greg, I just wanted to say thanks again for such a detailed reply. I've been a fan of FGG and Necromancer before that for many years and your detailed teasers of the larger Lost Lands setting have been fantastic.

I also want to thank you and the entire FGG team for your approach to the setting. This world is clearly a labor of love and the details that you are placing within the setting are bringing the internal consistency that I love from fantasy worlds. With most RPG settings, these kind of details are ignored or barely touched upon. This is all the more impressive to me given that the setting previously only existed as a loose framework for the company's adventures. That this level of detail and internal consistency can be added later to make a coherent whole is pretty darn incredible.

I can't wait for the setting to come out!

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I'm still speechless from such a detailed, awesome thread. Thank you!

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General questions: With the push to develop a full-blown setting, what is the most widespread tech level and how much do the regions interact or have contact with one another? Because Razor Coast seems like it's at a very different tech level than say, Stoneheart Valley or other areas of the Lost Lands. It's all great stuff, I'm just curious how it fits together. Especially since Mr. Pett's new city sounds like it will be at an even higher tech level.

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I also suggest checking out Northlands by Kobold Press. Lots of Skyrim/Norse goodness there.

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Another awesome iconic image by WAR and a very cool backstory by Mr. Mona. Another great iconic!

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Wow, THAT was a great Iconic background!

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Darn pricy point-buys on those characters! Still cool to see write-ups, however.

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I'd also represent a Witcher's mutant heightened senses as getting an ability score bump. For example, if the standard PC gets a 15-point build, Witcher's get a 20-point build. Although, you might be able to use the Race Builder rules to come up with a "mutated human" variant. Hmm, that might be the better route...

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Streamwalker wrote:
That makes me wonder, what kind of class would Witcher be? I guess hybrid of alchemist and inquisitor.

I'd build him as a Slayer, with brief dips into Alchemist & Magus depending on whether or not you want a build that expands his alchemy or magic capabilities.

In any case, you're trying to capture the spirit, not a true translation. Magic works differently (as is always the case with Pathfinder) but I think Magus doesn't compromise as much on his combat ability. If not Magus, probably Wizard, but only a level or two (burning hands, shield, charm person are the closest matches to the signs I can think of and they're all 1st level spells).

Inquisitor doesn't really fit unless you're fine re-flavoring everything with a divine-slant. Slayer seems perfect for Geralt - typically lighter-armored, some wilderness skill but not full-blown ranger, two-handed ranger combat style, studied target representing the tactical side of things, poison use for blade oils, using feint to set up sneak-attack damage, etc.

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They are not listing the only settlements. Modules, APs, and future releases all "fill in the blanks" with new settlements and as you've correctly concluded, the nations are implausible if only the settlements listed are the only ones in existence. Most are listed because of their size (major cities & towns), strategic importance (port, crossroads, etc.), or adventuring value.

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Out of curiosity, since slavery isn't illegal in the Inner Sea, why would slavery-themed stuff be in Black Markets?

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Because more Urban stuff is welcome (& needed, IMO):
1 & 2. Crimson Throne or Council of Thieves - in either order

3. Serpent's Skull

4. Legacy of Fire

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C'mon folks, we need that Dhampir chapter!

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$30k reached! Woo hoo! I really want that dhampir chapter! My biggest fear is that the stretch goal teases are coming too slow with the compressed 20-day kickstarter.

Oh, and add more Midgard seasoning!

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Wolfgang Baur wrote:

And happy to announce that Owen K.C. Stephens will be writing a chunk of the book!

Also: We're just $250 away from the Trollkin chapter and the Hero Lab files.

Very cool (on all counts)!

Any chance your happy to announce "more Midgard content than just sidebars"? :)

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Skaorn wrote:

I would be in favor of a streamlined version of Pathfinder, myself. not necessarily a new addition but not necessarily a new addition. There are several things I like from 5E that I have been enjoying. I like the Advantage/Disadvantage replacing a lot of status effects and modifiers because its fast and its super easy to work with. I like the iterative attacks better and think they're a better idea for fighting classes over 3rd's version. I like the fact that you can tank in AC and actually be a hard nut to crack. I like the scaling spells as it makes more sense having one cure spell than various cure spells at different levels. I also like their Feats better, though not the system of how you get them, because they are a big deal; and not just the equivalent of a major class feature or close to it in power level.

Having a book dedicated to pairing off the flash of Pathfinder so you could focus more on running a story and not looking up status effects and rules. Most games I play in are 2 to 3 hours long. By the time you get to mid level in the PF games I play in, we can only really fit one medium or large encounter in a session. A Dungeon crawl might take months to do while in the 5E game I play in now we might do as little as a third of a dungeon in one session. This provides a real sense of accomplishment rather than frustration of slogging through a handful of rooms in a month. This is not to say I don't find 5E kind of shallow, but it does let you do a lot more in a short span of time.

I do think there are room for things from 5E that could be added to regular PF, though, without major changes. Scaling Spells and big Feats for instance. Imagine for instance if the basic range combat Feat included Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, and either a couple of Weapon Proficiencies or Far Shot. I like that better aesthetically and think it would condense the Feat tree.

I wouldn't mind seeing the linked accuracy for attacks as well, but I agree I'd rather see +10 rather than +6. Poor BAB would...

So, a few clarifications up front so that things don't get misunderstood due to the Internet Forum Filter:

You like several things from 5e. I understand and can appreciate that design innovations can serve as inspiration and in some cases appear as parallel design. So with no snark intended, I have to ask:

1. Are you playing 5e?

2. Regardless of the answer to #1, above, why should PF adopt those things? If they already exist in 5e, wouldn't it just be easier to play 5e rather than rewrite PFRPG?

We saw it with 4e and I'm seeing it again with 5e. Why does PF need to skew towards D&D? Why can't it be it's own thing?

As an example, in addition to Pathfinder, I love Savage Worlds. Very different games. Each appeals to me with different aspects of RPGs even though I could use either system to run a fantasy game set within the same world. But I don't expect, nor would I want, Pathfinder to adopt the raise/exploding dice mechanic of Savage Worlds, nor would I want Savage Worlds to adopt a PF-style Vancian magic system. Different RPGs can be their own thing.

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Bruno Kristensen wrote:
I don't think anyone is in favor of a "nuke & start over" new edition, but I for sure would like a Pathfinder 1.5, where all the errata had been taken in, where some of the feats are dropped or amended, where there is perhaps not 40+ base classes with 10+ archetypes per class, etc.

There are plenty of people that want a radically revised new edition. They are also quite vocal, although I suspect fewer in number. From wuxia/mythic martials as default to "I like X from 4e", "I like Y from 5e", to heroic point-buy is too stingy, drop fighter and rogue crowd, too many classes, to the "Paizo can't design well but if they just listened to me they'd be the best" crowd -- it's tough to go a week without seeing a call for radical change.

And, btw, no one is requiring all classes be used. PFS Core & the Strategy Guide are testament to that. Archetypes are one of the defining traits of Pathfinder. And while I'd like a slower progression of feats, spells, and magic items, they clearly sell.

If someone doesn't want to use something, no one is forcing them to use it. The rest of us like having the options.

As a tangent/aside, the ones that really drive me up a wall are the "I love 5e but there's so little material/support for it now that I wish Paizo would tailor PF to suit. Oh, and it's business suicide for them if they don't" posts (paraphrased, of course).

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adembroski wrote:

I do use a home brewed ability score generation method... But working in bounded accuracy and flattening the feat trees are total reworks that effect other systems. The feats themselves would have to be rewritten, and who knows how magic is effected by all this. If I had a team of playtesters and a couple more designers just hanging around, sure.

I do think Paizo is dipping their toe in the new edition waters... That's one of the reasons I posted this. Throw my voice behind the idea.

...and throwing my voice and subscriptions against the idea.

I love Unchained and it and Occult are showing that there's plenty of design space left in the current system.

When a new edition comes, I want it to be the clean-up & tweaks that almost every other RPG adopts. I do not want, nor will I buy, a WotC "nuke & start over" approach that D&D seems to go through every time.

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Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Obviously I can't promise anything, but I AM interested in what people DO want to see in this book, and books like it. The short solicitation text is often written *very* early in a book's life.

1. The in-game operation of locating, buying from, and selling into black markets.

2. Smuggling in-game treatment.
3. Player options for integrating black market downtime actions/events.

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"Always On"

4 unchained classes. Original monk will be kept alongside his unchained sibling for when archetypes are desired.
Fractional base bonuses
Background Skills
Alternate Crafting & Profession
Wound Thresholds
Diseases & Poisons
Skill Unlocks - Unchained Rogue only

"Under Review"
Variant Multiclassing - this will be permitted as an either/or option with standard multiclassing if included
Stamina Pool - I like it conceptually but need time to evaluate it further. I'm thinking that it will be free to fighters and feat-purchase for others but there are other options that I would look to include first.
Staggered Advancement - will likely put this to player vote.
Action Economy/Removing iterative attacks - further evaluation required but I like it upon initial read-through
Auto-bonus progression - Personally, I love this. Need to review further but may leave it to player vote.

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Oceanshieldwolf wrote:

That shipping to Oz sounds pretty good.

- I have concerns about the Lizardfolk - while the crunch in their AR PDF I found awesome, the lack of bio-cultural details was....huge. Have the races that kinda lost the flavor been....flavored? I know it's hard to keep flavor things setting-neutral, but flavoring physiological differentiation or life cycles or gender differences could go a long way...


This weakened what was otherwise a pretty strong entry in the series. The lack of racial and setting-related fluff basically reduced this entry to a lizard-themed grab bag than a true Advanced Races entry.

Even though I have most (maybe all?) of the Advanced Races PDFs, I'll be backing this. I'm not sure if the following will be met by the kickstarter & stretch goals but here's what I'm hoping for:

1. Minotaurs & Dhampir
2. Hero Lab files
3. More Midgard seasoning - I realize that they want this to appeal to a wide audience but more Midgard is always better!

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I voted for Minotaur on the Kobold site as they seem to be the most glaring omission of a Midgard "non-standard" race.

However, I have to say that I'd really like to see treatments for the other Midgard Campaign Setting "main races" as well. Midgard treatments of gnomes, halflings, elves, dwarves, and goblins would be welcome inclusions. It would also be good to see how they differ from Paizo's core treatment.

While I'd also like to see the various human ethnicities get their own Advanced Races treatment, I'm guessing that the regional "Player's Guide to the ..." are intended to cover that ground. Midgard's flavor is unique enough, though, that I'm always hungry for more and my campaigns will see the "Midgard core" races far more frequently than the more unusual ones.

I suspect, however, that the kickstarter is meant to be focused on more exotic races. I have to say, however, if there's one race on the list that I'm not really keen on seeing, it's Werebears. I've enjoyed many of the Advanced Races series, but Werelions just didn't do it for me mechanics-wise. The fluff-side seemed to be trying too hard to justify why werelions needed a racial role & write-up and I was left feeling that Catfolk would have been a better fit for the setting with fewer compromises being necessary. While I'm love to see a player-friendly method for handling lycanthropes, between Paizo's Blood of the Moon and the Werelion book, I'm starting to think they work best as NPCs.

In any case, I'm looking forward to the upcoming kickstarter! -Thanks

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So far, I'm really liking this entry in the series.

I especially like the enhancements to Ultimate Campaign expansions to buildings/rooms. More of this in future installments, please!

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WOW.... just WOW.

Just got my PDF this evening but first impressions are that this book is everything that I hoped for and more. The number of levers and switches that this book provides is staggering.

It's been called PF's Unearthed Arcana but this is a much more useful & coherent collection of optional rules than any Unearthed Arcana book I've owned previously. It also appears to have avoided the missteps of earlier variants like Ultimate Combat's Wounds/Vitality and Armor as DR.

For everyone who's ever been told "you can't use Pathfinder to run that type of game because X is too ingrained or hard-wired into it", this is the book for you. Skill systems, wound thresholds, ways to customize spellcasting, the Stamina system, the inherent bonus system... there is so much here.

It will take me a while to determine what to include & use but there is so much of it that I want to try!

For anyone who has heard people say that Paizo is running out of design space with the Pathfinder rules - this book shows what a hollow lie (misperception if you prefer) that is.

I just want to thank Paizo and all of the developers and staff who worked on this book. You have my sincere thanks.

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Matthew Morris wrote:

So the inner sadist in me wants to mention what came in the mail today...

Reading the AP in the shipment now.

Lol. Hope your inner sadist doesn't encounter my outer baseball bat!

Congrats, you rat bastard. :)

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Kthulhu wrote:

The developers also don't see a caster-martial disparity. (To the point where they regularly nerf martial options, while introducing even more overpowered caster options.)

That doesn't mean it doesn't actually exist.

By extension, that doesn't mean that it actually does exist, either.

Note, I'm not saying one doesn't exist - it has in some fashion since the game was created. The degree to which it exists is debatable, however.

Combining this post with your earlier one about duct tape and gushing pipes, however, this comes across simply as mudslinging rather than an attempt to persuade/debate.

Out of curiosity, if PF is so "broken", do you play it? Are their other systems that you've tried that better align to what you want from a FRPG? Are you a Paizo adventure/setting fan hoping for a fantasy heartbreaker closer to your desired style of RPG?

I ask because you seem less interested in tweaks and more in the "completely new edition/start from scratch" camp. Things don't always come across as intended on the Internet, however, so I'm not certain what you're hoping for - thus the questions, above.

That you're dissatisfied with PFRPG in its current state is clear, however.

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Oh, and it's been more than 7 business days since my subscription order - can I PLEASE GET MY PDF?!??!? This has become an unbearable teaser-thread AND I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!

Thank you. :)

(goes back to updating my Downloads page..)

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
As someone who started D&D with 4th ed I will find it really interesting if everyone hails this as the big solution to the NPCs make players too wealthy problem or if everyone embraces the simpler monster creation rules and apply it to NPCs. After all, I thought the greatest thing of 3.5e/Pathfinder was that NPCs and PCs were built with the same rules ;)

I think that there are a couple of factors in play here.

This is a book about options, so different approaches are going to appeal to different people and for different reasons. Some GMs hand-wave NPC stats as they believe there is little benefit in developing an NPC that will get minimal "screen time". While I understand the position, I do find it slightly amusing as no one seems to take issue with Bestiaries full of things that may get minimal screen time.

For some GMs, it's just about having time-savers handy, which I completely understand.

I also think with 4e losing steam and the long 5e development cycle, some 4e fans diverted to PF, so seeing some 4e design principles embraced doesn't surprise me. Keeping most of these cordoned off behind Option walls seems like a smart move to me on Paizo's part.

Personally, I've always found that detailed NPCs make the game easier to run, not harder, and the time I spend creating NPCs is never wasted as it is easier for me to bring a developed character to life than a 3-sentence description with reused stats. YMMV.

However, I think the thing that really cemented by preference for PCs & NPCs using the same rules goes back to a session from before the 3e launch. My players had just defeated a major villain of the campaign and in the post-game discussion they were talking about how epic and memorable defeating the villain was for them. They began asking some questions about some of the villain's abilities, trying to reconcile them with their knowledge of the game. When they learned that the game supported different rules for PCs and NPCs, some were deflated and some were outright passed off, but the group as a whole was soured by the news. In their eyes, my villain went from a mightier opponent to a GM "cheat". I've never forgotten that session and I've had similar experiences with other players and groups over the years where systems play by different rules for PCs vs. NPCs or monsters.

I won't go so far as to say consistent rules for PCs & NPCs is PF's "greatest thing" but it's definitely a big feature, not a bug. So, while I don't expect to really use the simplified monster-building rules for monster or NPCs, I don't begrudge them being in a book about options - even if it's a significant section of the book. I do not, however, want that to become the "standard method" for handling NPCs or monsters. Ever.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Hark wrote:

The real advantage of a 2.0 would be to bring innovations developed later in the line to the core rules providing a better and more diverse base to build a game on.

When this kind of thing happens is very uncertain as Pathfinder is still going strong, and things like archetypes do a lot to bring new concepts to older material.

That said without an eventual second edition Pathfinder as a game will eventually be abandoned and die as the product line eventually loses profitability. A 2.0 is a far more preferable answer than no more Pathfinder.

Except that unless you're positing a "what if", that hypothesis is irrelevant. Paizo, has even as recently as the past few months, said that PFRPG Core Rulebook sales continue to grow. 5e didn't "dent" PF sales according to Eric Mona, so either people chose to buy 5e & PF, or PF fans didn't drop PF in favor of 5e.

Will there, someday, be a revision or new edition? Very likely.

However, at present the PFRPG is around 6 years old as its own thing. Paizo continues to find new creative space with the current rules.

I've been with Pathfinder since RotRL#1. Even back then, there were a lot of predictions that weren't worth carrying around in the plastic bag used to clean up after a dog. Things like:

"If Paizo doesn't jump on the 4e bandwagon and produce 4e content, they're going to go out of business."

"If Paizo thinks people are going to buy another version of 3e, they're wrong."

"How can Paizo think this will work? There's nothing left to design that hasn't been done."... and then we saw things like the Advanced Player's Guide...

More recently, say in the past 2/2.5 years: "they're running out of design space. Really, what's left for them to do?" and then we saw Ultimate Campaign, Advanced Class Guide, and now Pathfinder Unleashed, and this summer Occult Adventures.

Now, if someone wants to say, "I want Paizo to design precisely to my tastes and I know that there's zero chance of that without a new edition" or "4e or 5e does it for me but Paizo makes the best adventures so I need them to get with the program" or "if I post often enough or am disdainful enough, they'll design things the way that I think that they should", I can at least appreciate the honesty of the approach.

As for the doomsayer predictions, you've been consistently wrong for 6+ years. Yes, even the weatherman calls for rain on the right day on occasion - it doesn't make him a prophet.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Honestly, I think you have an opportunity, here, rather than a problem. However, you’ll need to get GM buy-in, obviously to proceed as planned.

While I’m not against re-fluffing something in a game on occasion, as a GM I think it’s usually cheese-fuel to do so just so a player can get a certain build or mechanical benefit. Personally, I’m much more inclined to allow the exception if it’s done in a way that integrates into the story and campaign world.

As an example, BioWare does a really good job with world-building. If you look at their Dragon Age games, Dragon Age: Origins establishes the setting & some of its “rules”. However, as you progress through the series, you begin to see exceptions to those rules but there is usually a strong storytelling reason to explain away the apparent contradiction.

My recommendation would be something like the following:
The path of Pharasma cleric to Shadowdancer is almost unheard of – in fact it is viewed as a heretical practice by Pharasma’s faith (but not necessarily by the goddess herself). By going down this path, you are acknowledging that your character is coloring outside the accepted lines of most Pharasma followers and inviting story-conflict. This is also known as providing story ideas for your GM, which most GMs (and in my experience all good GMs) appreciate.

As for the undead follower, this is the (perhaps secret?) tradeoff for pursuing this path: when your character dies, they too, become an undead who will be paired up with a future follower of this rarely-traveled path of Pharasma’s faith. Obviously, negotiating how absolute this is with your GM would be important – can you still leverage things like raise dead and resurrection?

Other possibilities:
Is this a forgotten practice, and your cleric is the first in generations to follow these teachings? Or is there a hidden sect, seeking to do Pharasma’s will while avoiding persecution by the traditional faith?

Is Pharasma truly ok with this breaking with doctrine given the eternity of service pledged or has another divine force with a similar portfolio fueled this rift with Pharasma to further its own ends? Perhaps one of the ancient Osirian deities, given the culture’s obsession with the afterlife…

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Forsooth good Paizonian nobility, might it be possible to consummate the conclusion of our mutually beneficial exchange outlined in our letters of credit in a most expeditious manner?

(In the event that my Diplomacy check failed, here's my Intimidate attempt.)

Ship me the frakkin-frelling book already!!!

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