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BPorter's page

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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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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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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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:

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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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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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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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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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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(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.


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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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Umbral Reaver wrote:

The iconics should be interesting races like aboleth, mu spores and gelatinous cubes.

Humanoid races are boring. If I wanted to be a humanoid, I'd just go outside.

So when you're indoors you're NOT a humanoid? Strange, but interesting.


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As others have said, conflict helps drive plots. Also, human nature tends towards fearing/disliking what one doesn't understand. In a world populated with dozens or hundreds of species who can kill you, people are going to look at the odd-person out through the "are they a threat" lens.

But while I think that's part of the argument against the "play any species/critter you want" grab-bag, it's just not internally consistent. Or at least, when a GM tries to make it so, players often cry foul.

To take the OP's sample party, none of those races have a significant present in Golarion's Inner Sea region. I also can't think of a published setting that would, more to the point. So outside from perhaps a few cosmopolitan cities here or there, those characters are going to stick out like a sore thumb. Realistically, that means that every time they bend or break the law or if the bad guys come looking for those PCs, just about everyone in town is going to know exactly who to look for. In my experience, the player is intentionally choosing to play a rare/monstrous race but expects the GM to run the world as if a commoner on the street should react with a simple "Hi, Bob." You can't have it both ways. A greatly overused but applicable example are the legions of Dr'zzt-inspired "good" drow. Most players want the drow's cool abilities but want to forget that it comes with the in-game-canon of belonging to one of the most feared and reviled races in the game.

In the Elder Scrolls setting, catfolk are one of the primary races. They're integrated into the setting. The one's cited in the OP are not (save the human), at least not within the Inner Sea region to any large degree. If you want a setting that treats those races as commonplace, you're going to have to create a setting for that. Whether that's a settlement, a city, or a game world is up to you.

It also creates the problem of internal consistency with respect to the game itself. So goblins and orcs are considered evil marauders and can be killed with impunity but that ifrit and catfolk are clearing not monsters? How exactly is Joe Commoner going to know that?

I'm all for a setting that incorporates different elements. I'm not a fan of constantly having to shoe-horn in the race-of-the-week and then being expected to act as if they're as commonplace as the "big 6".


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Has it been two months since the last go round already?


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First, thank you for asking the customers for feedback.

Second, I apologize if this post seems argumentative or adversarial as that’s not my intent.

I’ve been a fan of the Companion line since its inception, but I think it’s time to figure out what the Companion line is intended to be.

For me, the biggest draw and really the sole reason I would put a Companion book in a player’s hands is to provide an aid that would enable them to develop a character that is more closely tied to the Golarion world and any campaigns set within them. The early companions certainly did this in spades, but suffered from the valid criticism that they seemed more geared toward GM gazetteers than Player’s Companions. Of late, however, the Companion line seems to have swung too far the other way, turning primarily into a crunch-laden book. There are still elements of Golarion lore, of course, but they seem to have been scaled back to accommodate the new “Companion formula”. While there are exceptions, the Companion line has gone from a “must-buy” to a “will this really add to my game?” line.

Of the “new format” Companions, the Varissian one is the gold star – everything in that book adds to player’s knowledge of the region and integrating into various aspects of the setting. There have been some similarly strong entries: Knights and Pirates come to mind. I also enjoy some of the “Blood of …” entries as well but it seems we’re stretching the concept after the next few entries. While I don’t mind a “Blood of Genies” or somesuch, “Catfolk of Golarion” has no appeal, especially when there are still large swaths of the Inner Sea region that haven’t received decent “integrating your character” content.

Entries like the Dungeoneer’s Handbook, Quests and Campaigns, and Dragonslayer’s Handbook hardly feel Golarion-centric. They’re needlessly crunch-heavy with feats, archetypes, equipment, and spells. They’re interesting ideas, but I think that they’re better fodder for the RPG line. They certainly are not something that I would hand to a player to read for inspiration on how to better integrate their characters in Golarion. In fact, they require more GM oversight than the early Companions. Much of the content is fine, I just think it would be better served in a different line. Either that or the Pathfinder Companion line should be renamed the Player Options line because some of these books are definitely losing their Golarion-specific focus.

This next comment is an unfair comparison as it deals with a different setting, different publisher, and a game world with far fewer published words than Golarion. That said, when I think “Player’s Companion” I think of this line or books like the Varisia Player’s Companion. The line I’m referring to are the Player’s Guides from Kobold Press for the Midgard setting. These books also have archetypes, feats, traits, and spells but they are absolutely dripping with setting lore.

That’s what I want from the Player’s Companion line - player’s introduction to creating characters from a particular region. Focusing on a particular theme is fine but I feel that while Paizo has done an incredible job of avoiding the “Splats for splats’ sake” model employed by WotC, if there is one line that is guilty of falling into that trap, the Companion line is guilty of it. Too much crunch and much of it is only thinly tied to Golarion.

I want the Companion line to return to “must-buy” status for me rather than its current spot of “line I don’t know if I want it, I certainly don’t need it”. Given the August Gen Con product explosion, I cancelled my subscription to the Companion line to keep my monthly Pathfinder spend from being too ridiculous. I had every intention of renewing the subscription in September. Right now, “People of the Sands”, “Blood of the Moon”, and “Bastards of Golarion” sound like they’ll have enough Golarion-lore to make the buy list (although the “skinwalker” stuff in Blood of the Moon has it on the fence as it sounds uber-niche). The rest of it sounds like crunch-heavy books that can easily have the Golarion-lore stripped out of it. Re-upping my Companion subscription is starting to look like a long-shot rather than a forgone conclusion.

Players may love the new formula and I suspect the sales volumes support that crunch-heavy model, but I’ve rapidly tired of it. Return to content like Varisia – Birthplace of Legends and you’ve got me back.


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Lisa Stevens wrote:
Jeven wrote:
I wonder if this will move the Golarion setting in a more techno-fantasy direction as a whole.

Not on my watch! Numeria is our techno fantasy playground, but what happens in Numeria stays in Numeria! :) if you want this style of fantasy gaming, go to Numeria, but you aren't going to see robots invading the River Kingdoms or stun rays swinging the tide in Andoran. Golarion is a classic fantasy world when taken as a whole and that is where I want it to stay.

Lisa

Thank God & thank you Auntie Lisa!

I look forward to the Nmeria AP but definitely as a "season to taste", instead of going the world-changing route.


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GeraintElberion wrote:


I'm always curious about the mindset which suggests that government officials are somehow the least trustworthy of people.

Admittedly, I'm not American, but I've been ripped off by private business a bunch of times (well, sometimes I've caught them at it and avoided being ripped off but... y'know). I've never (so far, touch wood) been treated in the same way by a public official.

The PPI mis-selling scandal is a good example. Even when the government stepped in and forced the banks to start paying people back we got private scammers trying to get a cut out of people's paybacks.

I'm not saying that government workers can't be shiftless and untrustworthy, but they're not uniquely so.

Corruption can occur anywhere. While I'm not giving corporations run by corrupt people a pass, I don't view corporations as monolithic repositories of evil.

There are plenty of good people in government. There are also plenty of cronies, petty bureaucrats, crooks, and incompetents that are able to hide within the halls of government and enjoy job protections that the private sector doesn't have.

That said, my comment was directed at government's willingness to waste or misappropriate taxpayer money. I work with customers in both the private and public sector across multiple states and I've seen how both sides handle money. As evidenced by Detroit, one can be fiscally irresponsible very easily and for a protracted period of time if the government culture will allow it. Sadly, Detroit is just one example of fiscal irresponsibility writ large.


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thejeff wrote:
You're not from America. We've had 30+ years of propaganda pushing the "Government is bad" meme at us. From Reagan's "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help." through to the tea party.

Actually the "government can't be trusted and works best when limited" meme has been around since, I don't know, the founding of the nation.

Most memes are better than the prevailing one we've had for the last 40-50 years where "disastrous results don't matter as long as our intentions were good".


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BigNorseWolf wrote:

What the hell?

If I give someone a check for 50 bucks a week over a 30 year career for a pension fund you can't just say "oops sorry I spent the money"

Haven't been exposed to government officials much have you?


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Inspired by this book, I just posted my first RPG product review.

I just wanted to thank the Kobold Press family for making this product and this world. I wasn't looking for another campaign setting but it appears that I could not resist Midgard's dark beauty.

Congrats on the ENnie nomination. It is very well deserved. If there's ever another chance to get this book in hardcover, consider it pre-ordered!


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Pledged!

I have to say, even if I hadn't recently discovered the awesome that is the Midgard Campaign Setting, this would have been a must-buy just for the expansion of magic schools/sources, etc.

That said, however, this is the first time I've ever jumped on the good ship Kickstarter -- it just wasn't my thing. In the spirit of positive feedback, I have to share what pushed me over the edge: the Hero Lab files.

Honestly, if there were Hero Lab files for all of the Midgard books at this point, Golarion would already be my "fallback" campaign setting. While all of the stretch goals sound fantastic, having a book with this much content with full Hero Lab support made this an instant "must pledge".

Congrats mighty Kobolds. Looking forward to this and more to come!


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Ssalarn wrote:

So I personally really like the cavalier. I think they're versatile, mechanically interesting, and fill their own special little niche within the fantasy world. They give you that knight who can be of any alignment, give you a progressing mount without tying you in to spellcasting, and their unique use of Teamwork feats give them some interesting ways to "buff" the party.

But I noticed there are a lot of people who are extremely dissatisfied with the class, and I was curious to hear the reasons why. Thoughts?

The class is excellent. It's one of my favorites. Many posters, or at least some vocal ones, dislike the mounted warrior aspect. 'Cause if it can be optimized in a dungeon, some think it's inferior.


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Turin the Mad wrote:


That's what I believe to be the case, but with the CRB precedent of materials costs, it seems prudent to address the concern ASAP. At least one of my players raised this concern as he perceives the lack of such costs as "broken" (as I understand him).

It's an alternative system, if I'm following you. If you want to keep track of every item a PC is making & selling, you're going to utilize the Crafting rules. If the PC wants to run a smithy, but you don't want it to turn into a session of "Smithmaker, the RPG", you're going to use the Downtime Rules, where the money / day reflects the profit achieved from the running of the business (i.e. after various items are crafted & sold, you make X). Kind of like a mass combat abstraction versus adventurer-scale combat.


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Jason Nelson wrote:


Officially, all hexes are the same and all settlements are the same and all lots in a settlement are the same. Population is not a relevant stat in the published rules and exists purely as a bit of flavor text.

If you are interested in a more robust system for integrating population with your kingdom-building rules... stay tuned. :)

(Raises hand.) Count me as interested. I love the kingdom/city-building mini-game but using the default population numbers, I can't replicate, say, Sandpoint, without greatly increasing the size of that town.


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While I'm intrigued by the Numeria region and interested to see Paizo's take on it, I really hope we don't get Numeria and the Darklands in the same year. Reign of Winter is definitely "experimental" with it's trips... elsewhere. Given that the next AP will incorporate Mythic rules, while the story sounds "standard" I think the inclusion of Mythic shifts it squarely into the Experimental camp as well.

Despite having zero interest in RoW's world-hopping and on the fence about Mythic rules in general, it's been an ongoing internal debate whether or not to maintain my AP subscription. While I think Numeria and the Darklands would be interesting, I don't see my groups getting a ton of use out of such, and I probably can't justify two years worth of subscription costs for "I like the discount and MIGHT be able to pilfer nuggets for my home campaign".


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The Character background generator is excellent! Yesterday, I generated a new character for each of the CRB races and was very impressed with the diversity of characters generated. If a player or GM is ever stuck coming up with an idea for a character, this system is excellent for getting past the block. The incorporation of events granting access to traits is superb as well.

And for those wanting to let the dice determine alignment, the conflict resolution system presents some cool options as well.

Best lifepath/background generation system since Traveller!

This book continues to impress me. I strongly support more RPG books of this type that expand the game's scope in non-traditional ways. I like bestiaries, NPC guides, and crunch books just fine, but I think this book will become another trademark example of how Pathfinder has surpassed its predecessor.


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xevious573 wrote:


Papa Chango wrote:
Anybody feel like this is PHBII for 3.5 and this means Pathfinder is at the end of its cycle? Mythic rules and other books make me feel this way.
I don't think Pathfinder is at the end of its cycle yet. We haven't even gotten to Psychic magic yet! I (very much a personal opinion) WANT a book on Deific Adventures! Numeria and all its Sci-Fi glory still needs to be explored! These guys are very creative, they'll figure out plenty of ways to continue allowing us to explore Golarion and they'll find things...

Sweet Jesus! The game isn't even 4 years old yet! We're nowhere near the end of Pathfinder's "useful run".

I'm also sick of the WotC-style edition treadmill. When PF2 does eventually come around, if it's a rewrite rather than a tweak, I'm out.


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While anti-4e hysterics are unnecessary, taking an element from 4e just because it made it into that game is equally unnecessary for Pathfinder.

That's not to say that the designers shouldn't look at other games for inspiration or innovation.

However, a lot of what the OP is ranting against stems from people explicitly suggesting that Pathfinder adopt 4e-style mechanics. Prior to Pathfinder's release and continuing through when Pathfinder was in its infancy and 4e was still viewed as "the dominant game", there were a quite a few vocal posters railing against Paizo for not getting onboard the 4e/GSL bandwagon. For most of the early-adopter Pathfinder crowd, 4e was a HUGE step in the wrong direction.

Since 4e's decline/failure*, there's been an uptick in suggestions to add some 4e elements to Pathfinder and a lot of Pathfinder fans have no interest in it. Whether those suggestions are due to input from fans of both systems, willing Pathfinder converts, or reluctant Pathfinder converts whose 4e fields have dried up is anyone's guess.

One can argue the rationality of it, but one should acknowledge that looking to 4e for design inspiration carries some negative implications for many that looking at Savage Worlds, Hero, GURPS, Shadowrun, etc. doesn't.

*NOTE: I'm not slamming 4e. Objectively, the game is dead/in-decline from a publishing and 3PP-support standpoint as WotC is working on 5e/Next. There is, however, a large quantity of antecdotal evidence (some from opinions expressed by WotC staff) that 4e was not as successful as desired, fractured the fan base, and was too radical a departure from prior editions. By that criteria, I'm calling 4e to be in decline or a failure at this point it time as opposed to when it launched.


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Avh wrote:
Post full of soapbox ranting...

If you're trying to persuade someone to your viewpoint, you might want to avoid phrases like "don't have the balls" & "if I get banned for telling the truth". Your thread is full of your opinions, none of which I can see containing an objective truth.

No game is perfect but the way you're making your case is bordering on trolling. Also, I have to say:

1. If you have the option to multi-class and it's viable (which it is) and you have the option to single-class and it's viable (which it is and Pathfinder made it more so...) you haven't (I'm paraphrasing this next part since your sentence seems off to me) "given up all freedom of character creation".

2. Calling a professionally developed and published set of rules a "set of houserules" is insulting to the people who work on those rules. It also grossly dismisses the effort that goes into developing the Pathfinder products. IF they are just houserules, why are you so bent out of shape over not liking the items you're ranting about?

3. How do you get 10 years out of a game that wasn't published until August 2009? Are you blaming them for the development choices made by WotC in the 3e & 3.5e?

4. If the Paizo staff doesn't think about upcoming products there won't be a Paizo for very long. That's a wonderful business plan you've got there, pal. Since many of the Paizo family are full-time staffers, I hope for their financial well being that they ignore your advice on this point.

Additionally, I have never seen a RPG company that did as good a job as Paizo does at considering what rules currently exist. Just because they feel Stealth can be handled via common sense rather than a re-write or disagrees with whatever "broken rule" you're citing, doesn't make them ambivalent, incompetent, or uncaring.

Coincidentally, it's rantish posts & ground staked out like the one you submitted that prompted this thread in the first place.

In other completely ancedotal news from my gaming table:
1. There is no evidence in any of my campaigns that the rogue is sub-optimal. It's one of the the top 2 most selected classes amongst my 3 groups of players and is very effective in-game.

2. Martials are more popular than spellcasters.

3. Stealth works fine.

4. My players run somewhere around 60/40% single-/multi-class.

5. Paizo keeps producing a TON of gaming content that I and my players want.


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Kvantum wrote:
Nobody's going to argue that the whole team doesn't deserve a movie break after the GenCon rush, but don't you think it would look a bit better for the company if you did it after finishing shipping out this month's subscriber orders? It kinda ticks me off, personally. A minor thing, I admit, but still... the timing on it doesn't seem like the best fan relations idea.

As someone who's been checking hourly for the last day and a half to see if his Ultimate Campaign PDF is available, while I can appreciate the anticipation of new products, I have to disagree.

I think it's tremendous that Paizo does things like this. The people at this company, but all indications, work their collective butts off and I think it's great that the company rewards that work with things like this.

GenCon is just one event. The Paizo work ethic goes year-round.

I hope you all enjoyed the movie.


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Check "My Downloads"
Check "My Downloads"
Check "My Downloads"
Check "My Downloads"
Check "My Downloads"
Check "My Downloads"
Check "My Downloads"
Check "My Downloads"
Check "My Downloads"
Check "My Downloads"
Check "My Downloads"
Check "My Downloads"
Check "My Downloads"
Check "My Downloads"
Check "My Downloads"
Check "My Downloads"
Check "My Downloads"
Check "My Downloads"
Check "My Downloads"
Check "My Downloads"
Check "My Downloads"
Check "My Downloads"
Check "My Downloads"
Check "My Downloads"

C'MON!!!!


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I’m a huge OGL & 3PP fan. It was the OGL & 3PP that brought me back into the d20-sphere and caused me to purchase the D&D 3e ruleset. Rather than being limited to official D&D splatbooks, there were suddenly a very large offering of products that catered to varying tastes and if you looked hard enough, you could find something to scratch your particular itch.

So while going the Pathfinder route was a no-brainer for me, I was thrilled that PF would encourage the ongoing use/support of 3PP products. I have bought & continue to buy a ton of 3PP products. However, this past weekend as I was looking through several PDFs, it occurred to me that unlike in years past, I use very few “crunch” products these days. It was a short walk to realize why:

General lack of Hero Lab support.

Yes, I know that in some cases, fan-created material is available for Hero Lab. However, in the rare instance where I go searching for it, I’m often reluctant to use it.

Yes, I know that Hero Lab is not required. However, one of the major draws for me as a GM is that PF utilizes a consistent framework for PCs, NPCs, and Monsters. Hero Lab allows me to have my cake and eat it, too – I can turn out a fully-statted, detailed character in minutes. I don’t go so far as to say Hero Lab is a requirement for PF GMs, but I strongly recommend it for the utility & value it provides.

Although it’s a nice-to-have tool rather than a must-have, as a GM with a full-time, demanding job, a wife, and kids and all of the time demands those require, I’m not willing to lose the time-saving HL gives me on NPC creation so I can focus on adventure, setting, & such.

Unfortunately, this means that most of those awesome character classes by Super Genius Games or those expanded character options/advanced feats from Open Design don’t get used. Or if so, very rarely.

I recognize that some 3PPs have begun testing the waters with HL support in some of their products. I'm officially weighing in with a "thank you" and "please, more".

I recognize that the coding of Hero Lab files isn’t an insignificant undertaking. I realize that there are costs involved. However, I’d pay more for those PDFs if HL files were included. I’d also likely buy more as I’d be more likely to use them.

As it stands, without them, I find myself leaning towards products that aren’t providing character-crunch like setting creation guides, pre-made settings, etc. or searching out publishers that are providing HL support (or are at least having Lone Wolf develop it) ala Frog God Games.

I can’t speak to the business realities of being a 3PP. I suspect that what I’m asking for may be seen as unrealistic or unfair. However, I can’t escape the conclusion that I’ve arrived at from a time/prep/value-for-my-$ perspective. As a fan of 3PPs and their products, I figured that it couldn’t hurt to ask. Maybe I’m just in a small minority. However, my gut tells me that I’m probably not.

Thanks for your consideration.


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Knight Magenta wrote:
I am pretty sure that torture is a fear effect. Paladins are immune to fear. Ergo: you can not break a paladin under torture. You can tempt them, but you can't break them. Barring certain powerful magics.

That's .... Something that I never considered but a pretty cool interpretation. Remove the fear element and the only reason for breaking would be from a selfish sense of self-preservation vs. devotion to the faith. This is a much cleaner scenario where falling could result.

I have to chew on this some, but I like it on 1st glance.


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To the OP, a couple of questions:

1) Does your group subscribe to the concept of "party roles" and each character is expected to fill one?

2) Do YOU see a "problem" with you current sorcerer as the experienced player cits?

For #1, if your group expects character to fit a particular role, make sure the role slotted for your Oracle is one that you want to play. Understanding that role can help define the spell list.

Personally, I think the idea of players-must-fill-party-role is vastly overblown. Most players in my games make "what do I want to play" the 1st priority. They also tend towards more well-rounded characters rather than trying to optimize into glass-jaw/one-trick-pony characters but different strokes for different groups...

For #2, if you don't see a problem with your sorcerer character, then there's nothing to "fix" with your oracle build.

Optimization aside, I do think that "don't try to do everything" is good advice. I believe you can get a better play experience (mechanically & role-play) if you tailor your spellcaster around a particular theme. Be really good at one form of magic and decent in a few others. Trying to "cover all the bases" tends to lead to watered-down or directionless characters in my experience.


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...and I'm out. I'll be temporarily suspending my module subscription with this one.

Now before the flamethrowers come out, for those who have been wanting more Gunslinger & Alkenstar goodness, I'm happy for you.

However, unlike past years, 2013 is, for the first time, developing into the year where I'm not trying to get everything Paizo publishes. I decided to stay the course with my AP subscription through Reign of Winter - where I have zero interest in trips to 20th century Earth, and the Worldwound AP - where I'm still on the fence about Mythic (anti-Epic-level play, but intrigued by Mythic). That's an entire year of APs that may be of little interest/use to me but I'm hoping to pilfer stuff I like, I have collected the entire AP run thus far, and I like the AP discount.

But that's a lot of money to eat on a "maybe" for content usefulness.

In a world where instantaneous travel is possible via teleportation, while I've liked Golarion's "this theme pervades this region" approach, the idea that technology like firearms wouldn't SERIOUSLY alter the setting & warfare seems highly unlikely to me, magic-be-damned. Thus the firearms-Alkenstar thing has always bugged me and quite honestly, I go to Golarion for classic swords-and-sorcery/High Fantasy play, not steampunk. Steampunk typically brings along with it 18th- & 19th-Century Earth tropes or at least window-dressing, and while Golarion is not strictly "medieval" or "Renaissance" in setting, those are the influences most commonly associated with the game, its influences, and the setting to date.

And while I want to continue to support Paizo and enjoy all of my subscriptions, it's reached a point where I can't buy products from a collector's standpoint, continue to take a "give it a chance/wait-and-see" or just so fans of "X" get to scratch their itch.

So for the fans of gunslingers, firearms in PF, and Alkenstar, I hope that this module is everything you've been patiently waiting for.

However, I also hope we don't see more of the same thematic material anytime soon after this one.


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Mysterious Stranger wrote:

People on this thread seem to think the oracle is roll playing so that excuses anything. While I don't agree with this sentiment keep in mind the fighter is role playing his character just as much. The fighter is playing a good character and trying to stick to his alignment. He sees a member of the party engaging in possible evil activity and objects. When his objections are shot down he sticks with his alignment and decides he can no longer associate with this party. Good job of role playing your character.

The oracle on the other hand is playing a lawful NEUTRAL character. Lawful neutral is not concerned with redeeming people that is good. If he is playing to his alignment he is already willing to commit evil acts as long as it does not break the law or his particular code. Lawful neutral tends to stick by the letter of the law and not worry about morality. Lawful neutral supports the status quo instead of trying to make peoples life better. While they may do good they are just as likely to do evil.

The oracle is trying to claim that he just wants to redeem the imp. If that is the case he is not playing a lawful neutral character he is playing a neutral good character or maybe even chaotic good. The only reason I could see a lawful neutral character making a deal with an imp was if he had something to gain from it. At this point the oracle is not doing a very good job at role playing his character.

Alignment should be more than a couple of words written down on your character sheet. Play any alignment you want but play the alignment you choose. The other thing about alignment is the party needs to be in agreement on what alignments are acceptable in the group. Personally I like to play good characters and playing with an evil character is not something I enjoy. The GM of this campaign needs to have a talk with his players about what they want out of the game.

You win the thread! Spot on!


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Ross Byers wrote:
BPorter wrote:

And Baba Yaga has always bordered on the weird side anyway -- see the Hut.

The Hut is directly out of Russian myth. Granted, it is a bit strange, but it's not like RPGs made it that way. And if you think about it, it doesn't make any less sense than a lot of traditional western-european myths.

Lol. It's a hut/cabin. On giant chicken legs. With an extra-dimensional space inside. And it's mobile.

I don't care where it's from. It's weird. :)


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@ 8th Dwarf:

I'm cool with the risky/envelope-pushing/ultra-creative APs. I'm a big fan of most of the AP subsystems and some of the "riskier" APs to date (Legacy of Fire, Kingmaker, Skull & Shackles). But jumping to 20th-century Earth isn't my PF cup of tea, nor is it for my players.

You'll note that I didn't suggest that they not do it, didn't plan on canceling my subscription, etc. But along with feedback from the "pro" camp on this AP, I'm guessing that Paizo is looking to hear from the "con" camp as well with something more constructive than "I hate this".

Gonzo-weird-fringe stuff is cool once in a while so long as it doesn't break the game/setting. And Baba Yaga has always bordered on the weird side anyway -- see the Hut. But even if all of the envelope-pushing material was stuff that I did want, I wouldn't want it all the time.


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As for grumblers, or the lack of them, as was stated up thread, many of them weighed in on other threads. The item card thread confirmed the 20th century elements if not the trip to Earth itself.

So why isn’t there more of an outcry? Well from this grumbler's PoV:

1. While I'm not a fan of the idea, and the chances of me ever running this AP diminshes with each new tidbit revealed, I'm sure it'll be a good read. Brandon and the rest of the Paizo AP team hasn't failed to deliver and there's usually something I can poach from an AP for my campaigns. If not, I'm sure it'll still be an interesting read.

2. The "connection to Earth" has been done in various forms for decades, whether it was a Baba Yaga connection, the D&D cartoon, Greyhawk gods with six-shooters, or articles in Dragon magazine, Alice in Wonderland, etc. there's a precedent. So long as it's a flash-in-the-pan and doesn't transform the Golarion setting, I can live with it.

3. APs won't be my tastes all of the time. I got Kingmaker. I got Skull & Shackles (without overt guns in your face every step of the way as an added bonus). While I don't want to see every AP or even alternating APs going off into gonzo-territory, I'll survive a detour every now and then. However, if the floodgates open and setting coherency & consistency & swords-n-sorcery roots go by the wayside, I'm gone.

4. The die is already cast. There are (for me at least) additional benefits for remaining an AP subscriber even if I know this AP won't do it for me. However, I'm fortunate in that I have the extra disposable income that I can make that call. In all honesty, if my gaming budget were tighter, this would probably trigger a temporary suspension of my AP subscription.

5. You’ve earned my trust. I’m willing to go along for the ride when you take some risks. Usually, if there’s an element to the game I’m not fond of, they’re not foundation-level components. They’re seasoning and I can ignore them with little to no effort on my part as a GM.

There is the other side of the coin that will remain in my mind as a customer/subscriber, however:

A. A few years back, APs themed after more narrow parameters than your standard-adventuring party were deemed “risky” by Paizo staff on these boards. Things like a crime-themed AP, a religious-themed AP, an arcane-academy themed AP, a war-themed AP, or a sword-and-planet themed AP were all “too out there” to appeal to a large enough group of customers. We’ll you’re taking some pretty darn big risks on something as fringe as “Go to Earth and in the 20th century to boot”. If you can successfully do a pirate-themed AP and you can follow it up with something this gonzo, I’m hoping you’ll take another look at non-traditional themed APs & Modules that better fit in the sword-n-sorcery model…

B. Pathfinder Modern/Sci-FI was deemed too far afield to be a product, would divide precious company resources, etc. I’m not asking for a separate modern or sci-fi RPG, but if you can go to 1918-friggin-Earth, it shouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility that the RPG line will someday see a sword-and-planet hardback or a sci-fi hardback, etc.

So while there’s some grumbling, it’s not full-on outrage & outcry. Best wishes that Reign of Winter is a very successful AP. But let’s not make the weird stuff commonplace, ok? (‘cause then it wouldn’t be weird, would it?)


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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Trikk wrote:
Morain wrote:
First off yes, I admit it. I'm the kind of guy who don't like change.

This is really where the OP should have ended. The whole sentiment is identical to any "old man rants about new things and hates change" sentiment that's ever been presented:

1. There's nothing wrong with what we have.
2. The things that are wrong with what we have are hard/impossible to fix.
3. If we fix what's wrong with what we have, some new issues are bound to creep up.
4. I have to get the new thing because everyone else is stupid and doesn't use the old thing.
5. I don't like change.

Conclusion: it's never worth developing or improving anything because that means we might have to change or learn something new. Also new things cost money and I hate to pay for stuff, especially in this economy/with these prices/a can of coke cost 2 cents when I was a kid.

The thing is, this argument always comes up whenever there's anything new. Some people just hate change, even though they eventually, just like the OP, come to accept it.

Why would I want a vinyl player when there's perfectly good music on the radio?
Why would I want a HDTV, I can already see everything on my old CRT?
Why would I want the new Windows when my old version can handle 16 megs of RAM perfectly?

That's not what he said nor did any of the other "not now/soon" votes. That was about as narrow-minded a depiction you could have arrived at.

Some of us don't want a 3-5 year edition treadmill. Some of us don't play twice a week and "play out all the options" (which is bs anyway) a month after a book is released.

Pathfinder came out in August 2009! It's barely 3 years old.

Innovation is good. Change for change's sake is not.


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

I just wanted to thank the Paizo crew for another banner year of Pathfinder goodness. I went into 2012 expecting another year of good stuff but was blown away by how much great stuff came out for Pathfinder in 2012.

The big highlights for me were:

Skull & Shackles – Pirates + sandboxy goodness? Heck, yeah! This was a great AP and a theme I had long wanted to see in an adventure series. One of my favorite APs of all time.

Paizo Sales – Once upon a time, I was a Pathfinder AP Charter Subscriber. Unfortunately, in the early stages of Second Darkness, I had to cancel the subscription due to belt-tightening measures on the financial home front. While I was able to later re-subscribe, I had a hole in my AP collection with Second Darkness & Legacy of Fire that hadn’t been filled as I kept subscribing to other lines as well. Last year’s Black Friday sale enabled me to get the Legacy of Fire AP, which I thought was excellent. This year, with your anniversary sale, I was finally able to complete my AP collection and get my missing issues of Second Darkness. The fact that you do things like anniversary sales & Black Friday sales are great and are much appreciated.

NPC Codex – This was the book I didn’t think I cared about. I wanted it to have as I figured it would have great utility, but this book exceeded my expectations. Not only was it a GM at-table tool, but it showcased a TON of character option/builds that I hadn’t considered before. An awesome book.

The Impossible Achievement – I had zero interest in Epic-level style play. No, that’s not correct. I had negative interest it. I had full-on subscription-cancelling dislike of the idea of bolting on 10,20, or God knows how many additional levels. It was of no interest to me. It was of absolutely no use to me and I was going to vote with my wallet. However, with the Mythic Rules announcement I was intrigued and as more information was presented, I became interested. I’m still not a fan of Epic play, but I can at least see scenarios/stories where Mythic could see use.

Honorable mention goes to the revamped Companion line, Ultimate Equipment, & the Pathfinder Comic.

Thanks again, all! I hope 2013 is an even greater year for Pathfinder and brings greater success to Paizo & its employees.


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+1 for the Beginner Box. Also, Crypt of the Everflame is one of the best intro modules I've ever run.


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

We often hear the doomsayers predicting the imminent demise of the RPG hobby, and given the gray at my temples, I can certainly say that I’m part of the aging RPG community. Graceful aging, I assure you, but aging nonetheless.

However, two years ago, I introduced my boys to RPGs and the Pathfinder RPG in particular and have posted a few times about how that experience has gone successfully. While it’s great for the nostalgia effect, I do take great joy and some pride in the idea that I’m passing the RPG torch to the new generation.

Back around Father’s Day, I posted about my experiences of introducing Pathfinder to a larger group of kids as my eldest had recruited several of his friends. The results have, candidly, surpassed my expectations by leaps and bounds.

The Gaming Group Make-up
What originally started as a game for my two kids has grown to a core group ranging in ages from 7-15. The two youngest players are casual players that play when/if they want to which is fine given their ages, attention spans, and the length of your average gaming session. The others range from 11-15 and since June we’ve picked up another player’s sibling and recruited two other players. All have become rabid Pathfinder fans. There are currently 3 ongoing campaigns:
Campaign A – Just for my sons. The game we run when no one is available.
Campaign B – Primary group campaign consisting of 8 players (10 when the little guys want to play).
Campaign C – Campaign consisting of 4 players for when the other 4 are unavailable.

So here’s my completely anecdotal take on gaming with the under-18 crowd:

Skyrim is the Gateway Game, not D&D
Every single player in the kid group above was introduced into the idea of pen-and-paper RPGs via something along the lines of “It’s like Skyrim but it’s not a video game. You can play with a group and you can have your character try to do whatever you can think of. It’s awesome.” In my earlier post, I referenced how Skyrim provides an easy point of reference. However, even in that regard, I underestimated how powerful an introduction that can be and just how popular Skyrim is with the under-18 crowd.

Pathfinder (or any brand) is as strong a brand as you make it
While their parents have heard of D&D, most of these kids hadn’t. However, they had all heard of or played Skyrim, and for every single one of them, pen-and-paper RPGs now equals Pathfinder. They don’t say they’re playing D&D and if you asked them if they were they’d look at you like you were weird. Even my old modules and rulebooks are “Pathfinder books” to them.

I’m not making that observation as a knock against D&D. When my adult group plays, that’s what they tell their spouses – “we’re doing D&D on Friday”. However, my point is that the hobby isn’t dependent upon a single brand. In videogame parlance, kids play Dishonored, not “that game that’s like Thief: The Dark Project”. Props to Paizo for things like the Beginner Box, the Comic, Pathfinder Tales, and other vehicles that are not only cool but increase brand awareness. On the older-gen side, if you want to promote your game system, the call it what it is, regardless of whether that’s Pathfinder, Mutants & Masterminds, Warhammer, Shadowrun, or whatever else you might be playing.

The Magic of RPGs
Yeah, maybe I’m just waxing nostalgic given that we just came out of the Christmas season, but when you can get 8 kids under the age of 18 to sit around a table for eight hours and the session ends with a Mexican-standoff over a masterwork longsword being acted out where people are talking in character, pantomiming holding swords and aiming bows and crossbows, all screaming over one another and you, as a GM, didn’t have to do a damn thing but take it in and smile… that's RPG gold. (And for two of the player’s it was their 1st session.)

The only thing that made it even better was in the midst of the yelling and arguing, I let out a roar. Every single player, remembering rumors of a fire drake in the region, yelled (in-character) “Run to the cave!” Now THAT was priceless!

An Unexpected Upside
So it’s New Year’s Eve, and we’re at a party at a neighbor’s house. As parents will do, much of the talk was about the kids. I was taken by surprise when one couple thanked me for running Pathfinder and introducing their kids to it. They loved the fact that it wasn’t a video game, it used their imagination, that they were spending time with friends, and it helped them get along better at home because collectively they all wouldn’t stop talking about Pathfinder. At this point, one of the other couples chimed in and thanked my wife for “letting me” (married guys know what I’m talking about…) run Pathfinder for the kids and that it allowed them to have a night out without the kids.

Somewhere along the way, RPGs became cool in the minds of parents… but I’m not telling those kids that anytime soon!

One Weird Thing
I’ll never get used to being called “Mr. Porter” while GMing.

So for 2012, particularly the latter half, next-gen gaming was a huge success. At present, aside from my little stories above, we have:
2 of my players dipping into the GM-pool running games for friends; My eldest child is prepping an adventure for Dad to play through

2 Core Rulebooks & 2 Bestiaries purchased

1 Beginner Box purchased

2 Hero Lab core licenses purchased

… and a whole lot of “when can we play Pathfinder again, Mr. Porter?”

Happy New Year, all. Since the world didn’t end in 2012, here’s hoping 2013 is a banner year for RPGs in general, and Pathfinder in particular!


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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Adam Daigle wrote:

I have a question for everyone reading this thread. Let's say an adventure didn't take up all 64 pages and there was some back matter included, what kind of material would you most like to see? What kind of material would you least like to see?

As it is, many of the previous modules included a little gazetteer of the location to adventure takes place and a new monster that was included in the adventure. Is that kind of stuff good enough or would you like to see a bit more to help you run the adventures? (Of course, the adventure is the focus here, and won't be condensed to accommodate extra material if it 's not needed.)

YES COLUMN:

1. Location gazetteers
2. Monsters from adventure - but I wouldn't want it to just be monsters (1 max)
3. Expanding the Adventure ideas (like the AP continuing the campaign stuff)
4. Important NPC write-ups
5. Tables for Knowledge checks for the adventure region - I.e. regional info that may not be tied to adventure plot specifics. Ex K:Local rumors, gossip, local laws; K:Religion regional worship practices; K:Geography specific local landmarks, etc.

NO COLUMN:
1. Fiction
2. God articles
3. Anything else not directly tied to adventure in some way
4. See #1
5. Spells
6. Feats
7. Classes (prestige classes or archetypes would be acceptable if they're integral to adventure plot)


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

As a fan of CG's Castles of Harn, I'm REALLY looking forward to this one.

One can never have too many castles. :) Citadel Vraid is icing on the cake.

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