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.
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!
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".
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.
Lisa Stevens wrote:
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.
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.
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".
Haven't been exposed to government officials much have you?
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!
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!
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.
Turin the Mad wrote:
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.
Jason Nelson wrote:
(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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Check "My Downloads"
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.
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.
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.
...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.
Mysterious Stranger wrote:
You win the thread! Spot on!
Ross Byers wrote:
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. :)
@ 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.
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?)
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.
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.
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
So here’s my completely anecdotal take on gaming with the under-18 crowd:
Skyrim is the Gateway Game, not D&D
Pathfinder (or any brand) is as strong a brand as you make it
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
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
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
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 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!
Adam Daigle wrote:
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.
Except that they didn't escape. They fell for the trap.
(sarcasm on) You're right, though. It would have been sooooo much better if the bad guys had gone the "kill them and THEN take their stuff" route.
Clearly, this was the hallmark of a bad GM, GM fiat, and gosh durn it - just plain douchy. (sarcasm off)
Talk about a sense of entitlement. "No, your world shouldn't make sense. I EARNED that stuff. Oh, and enemies should always miss and I should always crit."
...I'm sorry. It appears I hit the Hyperbole-laden Sarcasm button when I meant to turn the sarcasm button off....
I know that there are all different types of players, but the thought that one can only have fun when they can indulge in wish fulfillment is depressing.
NOTE: I'm not talking about jerk GMs that constantly nerf players by capturing them or taking their stuff. Based on the OP, that wasn't the situation.
What happened to adventure? What happened to overcoming challenges? Which is the more memorable encounter:
1. "My PC got captured but despite having nothing and having already cast 1/2 of my spells, through smart play & a little luck, my wizard was able to escape, recover his gear, and thwart the villain."
2. "My PC got captured but the fools disn't take my stuff so it was pretty easy to escape. We rested & rememorized our spells and then cleaned out the prison. Unfortunately, jailers & guards don't carry much worth taking." (because of course, THEY were picked clean by the PCs)
Seriously, when I hear the "being ineffective isn't fun; losing your stuff isn't fun; GMs shouldn't take PCs stuff" arguments I pity those groups/players. I'm not arguing that a player being ineffective is a good thing. However, nothing in the game (or life) guarantees that you'll be optimal all the time in every situation. I'm all for wish-fulfillment, but don't be such a wuss about it. You're adventurers for pity's sake!
If the bad guys presented in the original post HADN'T taken all of the PCs things, my players would have been looking at me (rightly, I might add) like I was cheating by pulling punches.
Two sessions ago, I had a player run off and try a heist on his own without the party. No particular reason other than to see if he could. He was discovered and got into combat and was taken into negatives. While I was trying to figure out if there was a way to work a capture & possible rescue into the story, the player said to me, "If I'm dead, just tell me. I tried it and I screwed up."
Realizing that in the situation the PC had been in, he would likely have died before anyone would have bothered to even try and stabilize him, I conceded that the PC had been killed. The player nodded and began working on a new character.
The player was an eleven-year-old!
No tantrums. No complaining. The kid had fun right up to the point where his PC fell in battle. He was an adventurer taking risks shooting for a big haul. Yeah, it didn't go his way - but if it had, he'd have been reveling in the glory of it.
Major Longhorn wrote:
This. +100 times this.
1. unmoved by persuasion, pity, or tender feelings; stubborn; unyielding.
2. stubbornly resistant to moral influence; persistently impenitent: an obdurate sinner.
3. See also, obstinate
4. See also, deuxhero
Deuxhero, I suggest a game that uses gestalt classes, point-buy, or a single class so that PCs can adequately be built to be optimized in every situation. I think you'll be happier. However, that game is not Pathfinder.
If true, the Paizo may have found a way to make epic-style play something my group and I could stomach. Guess we'll see what the playtest reveals.
I'm happy we won't be seeing 40th & 100th-level characters, though.
Also, for the record, in describing the downside/risks above I am not suggesting Paizo would fall prey to those or haven't accounted for them. They've shown repeatedly that their business savvy with respect to the RPG market is second to none. It's merely to illustrate that risks exist and such project aren't undertaken lightly which too often in these threads gets hand-waved away in order to satisfy the "me want now" impulse.
And believe me, I get that impulse, too. I want Ultimate Campaigns like yesterday.
Oh, and if anyone in Paizo-land is listening, WANTED!
I'm not looking for a complex economic simulator. However, in 20+ years of gaming, almost every group I've GM'd for has, at one time or another, come up with the idea that all these caravans, ships, businesses, etc. that they encounter, guard, or plunder might be worth some additional gold to them. Whether that gold comes from investment, plunder, or mercantyle dealings varies by group...
Plus, the world-building side of me loves this kind of detail. While many GMs may view it as "useless trivia", they're adventure plot seeds for me.
So yeah, any official treatment on this subject goes onto my pre-order list immediately.
A couple of years ago, I posted about my successful endeavors to introduce my kids (Ages 5 & 10 at the time) to table-top RPGs. That first step was a rousing success, resulting in multiple ongoing Pathfinder campaigns and a toe in the water with the beginnings of a Mutants & Masterminds 3e campaign. Aside from the joy of bringing the next generation onboard, it’s been highly entertaining to me to observe the behavior of kids playing RPGs. My youngest, despite his young age, had incredible recall of details from earlier sessions that his big brother had overlooked, for example.
My eldest’s best friend was quickly brought into the mix of one of the Pathfinder campaigns and things had settled into something of a pattern, albeit an infrequent one given school and kids sports activities. Until yesterday…
The Skyrim Effect
As kids’ free time is often a fluid thing in summertime, it so happened that we ended up with both boys having friends spend the night on Friday. Unbeknownst to me, amidst the video games, movies, and board games, my eldest was Pathfinder recruiting. By morning, while trying to restore life via the miracle of coffee, I was descended upon with requests to run a Pathfinder session for 7 kids, ranging in ages from 7-14.
The Importance of Pre-Gens and the Joys of Hero Lab
Previously, I had spent some time generating a bunch of 1st-level pre-gens just so I had a stable of characters on hand in case one of my kids’ friends decided they wanted to give it a try but time-constraints would have made generating characters unfeasible.
Of the four new players, one was 7. I asked him what he wanted his character to be able to do and 4 questions later, we settled on a human fighter that fought with a sword & shield. I modified the greatsword-wielding pre-gen quickly in Hero Lab and boom, the kid had a ready-to-go 1st level character in less than 10 minutes.
Moral of the Story: A GM should always have a selection of pre-gens available!
Next up, the 11-year old. I gave him the option of pre-gen or creating. He wanted to create his own PC. Fifteen minutes later, he had an Elf Rogue fully kitted-out. It would have been faster but his older brother and he were asking questions a lot of questions as we were going.
Big brother, age 14 came next. This guy was constantly geeking out as he’d ask “Can I do this?”, “can you do this in the game?”, “can I make this kind of character?” and was dumbfounded that almost every answer was “yes” or “your character can attempt it”. His PC took 20 minutes to create because he wasn’t sure if he wanted to go the arcane or divine caster route. He settled on a Halfling Wizard (Necromancy specialty). Now there’s a first-character combo I had never encountered!
Last up, a 12-yr old who arrived a few minutes late after having to go home briefly. We had just sat down to get started, so time was of the essence to avoid losing the others due to idle time. A rapid fire character-creation Q&A later, we had a complete character sheet for his Elf Wizard (Universalist) coming of the printer 5 minutes later.
Moral of the Story: Hero Lab is an incredible product. Anyone who thinks that PC/NPC/Monster generation takes too long in PF should look into this product. Even if you only purchase the base package, it’s a TREMENDOUS value & time-saver.
Actual Play: Wide-eyed wonder, playing for laughs, and (thankfully) some things never change…
Wide-eyed wonder at true Open-World gameplay.
<newbie>Why does he have a horse? <me>His character is a cavalier so he has a trained warhorse. <other newbie> So can I buy a horse?
Playing for Laughs
Things that never change (or the downside of the Skyrim effect)
<me> So this is a cooperative game. You’re not trying to beat the other players like in a board game. If they “lose”, chances are whatever killed them is going to kill you next. Unlike Skyrim, you can’t go back to a previous save (Followed by complete silence as all side conversations stop….)
<me> “Y’know guys, you might just want to pool the treasure and then divide it into shares at the end of the adventure instead of competing with each other for every coin…
Scene-stealing moment of the day (aka the separation of player-knowledge from PC-knowledge):
Meanwhile, Sneaky is looting the room as fast as he can. Realizing that someone is going to ruin his fun shortly, he proceeds to use Disable Device to lock the door. He then calmly loots the room while his brother uses his enslaved skeleton to hack through the door…
All in all, an instructive and highly enjoyable session. I’ve also received calls from the kids parents wanting to know what they need to buy for this Pathfinder-thing that their kids haven’t stopped talking about. Two more Pathfinder Beginner’s Boxes to go, please!
(The fact that the Hero Lab Beginner Box version is free is just icing on the cake.)
Happy Father's Day
My answer was “no, not worried” before reading this thread. After having read it to this point, that opinion has only been reinforced.
1. Paizo makes some of the best, if not the best, RPG products – period. Their business model is very successful by all accounts, and nothing about the 5e announcement or its existence merits a change from that business model. With the lead-up & launch to 4e, WotC decided that they wanted to take the game in a specific, yet very different, direction than 3e had taken. All well and good. However, I have not purchased a single WotC product in years. Meanwhile, I am subscribing to more Pathfinder lines than I ever dreamt that I would. So as long as customers like me continue to like what Paizo is doing and vote with our wallet, Paizo would be stupid to change their business model. They’re not stupid. Will 5e sales eat into Paizo sales to some degree? I’m sure it will, but it doesn’t appear that WotC’s business model is going to mirror Paizo’s, so you won’t likely see huge attrition.
2. For all the claims that PF is “just a 3.x clone”, Paizo has built upon that OGL framework to make its own game. The innovations introduced by books like the APG and Ultimate books have gone in markedly different directions than WotC splats did. I liked Pathfinder when it was first released. I now love the flexibility and customization Pathfinder affords me. Hands down, my go-to FRPG.
3. Paizo already develops to the fans that prefer the Pathfinder RPG & the 3.x heritage. They also cater to the adventure path, module, & detailed setting crowd. They now have fiction & miniature lines. WotC, in trying to “unify” the fan base, is trying to find a middle-ground to appeal to all D&D players. I think they can do well at that, but unless it out-Pathfinderizes Pathfinder (across all the product lines to boot…), I have NO incentive to change.
When I factor in the compelling arguments made in this thread, however…
WotC has a bunch of settings to mine – yet a multitude of settings helped kill TSR and 4e setting support was a dabbler’s touch. They didn’t pick a horse and run with it, and no of them caught on to the levels of their earlier incarnations, let alone Golarion.
This “unify the customer base” thing. 5e runs the risk of falling short to the majority by trying to be all things to everyone. At least it does, if that’s the way you interpret the “unify” comments. I don’t. 5e has to be its own game. I think what WotC is trying to do is evoke a sense of previous editions while building something new. Will the something new equally satisfy 4e fans and Pathfinder fans? Possible, but unlikely.
5e must have an OGL / 5e doesn’t need an OGL – Both can’t be true. If 5e goes back to the OGL, I think Paizo feels a bit more of a pinch as every 3PP tries to jump onto the 5e bandwagon. But if the anti-OGLers are correct, 3PP product is insignificant anyway, so why would WotC bother? My odds are 60-40 against an OGL. The GSL was a joke, however, so if they do a license, I expect it to try and find a middle ground between the OGL & GSL.
The “I already have all the PF books I need / I don’t buy stuff” camp – yeah, if you’re not buying anything, you’re probably not the primary customer base that ANY company is focusing on. At best, you’re a homebrew fiend, more likely you’re a casual gamer, and at worst you’re a fickle fad-driven follower of the latest “shiny”. The only way you’re inflicting pain by going elsewhere is if you take other players (& presumably their $$$) with you – and there’s no way to measure that. Perceived net loss = negligible.
WotC doing electronic “stuff” better. Really? I mean, REALLY?!? Yes, DDI was a success (or its fans certainly think so at least). But Mr. Mearls has said that first and foremost, WotC recognizes that D&D is a tabletop RPG. Can they do better/dominate? Yes. (But c’mon, between the Character Builder snafus, the vaporware VTT, pulling the PDFs, etc. it’s not like they could really do WORSE.) I’m totally fine with HeroLab and $10 PDFs, thanks.
Interop – Yeah, not really seeing this based on everything revealed thus far and the design goals. Obviously, stuff can be adapted/converted, but you have that now with PF & 4e/3e/2e/1e, etc.
Paizo “making more $$” supporting 5e – REALLY?!?-Part 2. First off, this would require an OGL-equivalent style license – the GSL didn’t cut it last go-round. Secondly, Paizo is NOT going to put their livelihoods & futures in the hands of a license holder again unless all other options have failed them. The company didn’t know if it would survive the pulling of the Dragon & Dungeon licenses. NO WAY they’re going back to that. People wanting Paizo to throw over Pathfinder so they can get Paizo crafted content for D&D (whatever edition) are buying snowballs for a field trip to Hell and expecting to come back with all of them.
I DO expect that WotC will reclaim some “lost sheep”, but I don’t think 5e will bring D&D back to the heights of 3e’s popularity. YMMV.
From a mechanics evaluation standpoint, people just have different opinions.
From a "right way to play" perspective... PSST. C'mere, kid. Hey buddy, between you & me I gotta tell ya, IT'S YOU.
<snip> "Everyone" <snip>
I don't think that word means what you think that it means...
Your cited MUST HAVES haven't even been a blip on the radar in the campaigns I run.
Optimization is a choice, not a requirement. In my experience, when it becomes the goal rather than a role-playing tool, bad things happen to games.
Oh, and we use 15-pt buy for Characters as well. Just thought I'd let you know before you say "everyone uses Epic pt-buy for PCs". ;)
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Late to this thread, but "Yes, please!"