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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber. 1,234 posts. 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Good Lord. I sat down to play after the kids went to bed and before I knew it, eight hours had passed.

Fantastic game. So far, everything I enjoy in FRPGs, Dragon Age lore, and Mass Effect-style interaction. LOVING this game so far....

.....just so tired. :)


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Vibranium is what Cap's shield is made of.


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Rakshaka wrote:

Oh, believe me, between Stoneshape and some of the other Druid spells, I've crafted coffin scenarios that were as vexing as hunting down a Lich's phylactery. It's amazing how many one inch tunnels you can put into a 5' cubic square of stone.

Its not so much the action economy that gets me, more of the "Is this monster behaving like every legend and myth that's been told about" shtick. More often than not, its alway better to mist the vampire from damage than wasting the action on turning them away. I'm wishing I was wrong about that and am looking for examples to solidify my conflicted opinion.. 'Has PF made vamps no different than any other monster? Is the folklore (weaknesses) ignored in favor of the mathematical practicality of damage until death?

Off to bed, so I'll be back to respond in 7-10 hours.

In my experience, yes the vampire weaknesses come into play. They almost HAVE to if you're running vampires effectively.

Vampires are social creatures that can enlist outside, non-vampire resources, especially if they're wealthy and can leverage civilization's laws against the players.

Vampires should not be going toe-toe with PCs all the time, especially if it's a vampire that's survived for decades, let alone centuries. Guerilla tactics, dividing the party and attacking isolated PCs or NPCs, softening them up with dominated NPCs/creatures and "creatures of the night" should be employed.

In other words, in my experience, when vampires are played to utilize the benefits at their disposal in a manner that the PCs themselves would employ, those vampire weaknesses become essential tools. If vampires are limited to a static role in an encounter/location then don't be surprised if they get killed like "just another monster".


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I really hope that the new magic item creation system is simple, yet flexible - something along the lines of a rune-based enhancement system like those found in Dragon Age and Shadows of Mordor video games.

I really want a way to incorporate flavorful magic items with history and an ability to be improved by the PCs and get away from the "magic-mart" requirement/desire to replace Item X with new/different Item Y.


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Can't wait! I've been looking forward to this one.

FWIW, Iron Gods is awesome as well. However, I think those bemoaning a return to "classic" tropes are forgetting - or perhaps ignoring - that for players new to the hobby these aren't "classic", they're new. I run a campaign for a bunch of 14-yr olds and none of them have heard of, much less played, Against the Giants.

And given my newfound love of orc-slaying thanks to Shadows of Mordor, hell yeah, bring on the orcs. (Tolkein or otherwise.)


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Fake Healer wrote:

3 words-

Elder Scrolls Khajiit.

I never cared much before playing that series, never got into the almost disturbing "furry", manga, toony bull**** that seems to surround people that tend to like catfolk

100% THIS.

Khajiit-style? Yes! Other (but I'm so cute!) - No thanks


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

Theorycrafting has a place but in just about EVERYTHING the practical & actual trumps theory. Theoretical and/or statistical analysis is fine but let's not pretend that the scientific method is getting rigorously applied here. In most cases, the "analysis" is comparable to a bunch of sports fans arguing the merits of a fantasy football (insert preferred sport, if you prefer) league and their Dream Team.

And with RPGs, there are multiple, yet equally valid play styles to consider. The majority of the Theorycrafting on these boards that I've read, particularly with respect to playtests, make zero provisions for that consideration. Honestly, most of it comes across as political lobbying for what they want rather than objective analysis. Not all, certainly, and perhaps "most" is overstating it. Perhaps, it's just another very vocal and belligerent minority but it certainly undermines the "statistical sample".

In any case, I've been pretty happy with Paizo's ability to solicit feedback without surrendering the development process or sacrificing design goals. YMMV.


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Scythia wrote:

Lately it seems like the forthcoming Pathfinder Unchained is being offered as the (potential) solution of all problems. Don't like how X class works? Unchained. Want a rules light/streamlined game? Unchained. Want a secret edition playtest/stealth edition change? Unchained. Are your colours fading in the wash? Unchained. (One of these is facetious.)

When I read the write-up for Unchained, my impression was that it would essentially be like a Dev. brainstorming session, in book form. Equal parts "wish we'd thought of that before", and "here's a cool idea that wouldn't fly in a canon rule book". Perhaps I read it with different desires.

What do you expect Unchained to contain, and do you think it can live up to the expectations being placed on it?

I agree with your assessment. I expect it to be a good book but if it follows the premise of a PF Unearthed Arcana, it'll be a grab-bag and not something taken as a whole.

As for living up to expectations, given how of late a very vocal group of critics deride anything that deviates from their view of how PF should evolve (going so far to trash developers efforts & refer to content as crap)... no, it can't live up to expectations. I expect much gnashing of teeth and wailing about the need for a radically different new edition by that crowd...and a lot of "hey, that's cool stuff" from the bulk of the fans regarding Unchained's content.


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1. Pathfinder RPG
2. Pathfinder RPG
3. Pathfinder RPG (yes, it's worth the 1st 3 slots!)

4. Golarion

5. Taking the 3.5 rules & not only improving upon them but proving the lie that the system was done, used up, & had no design space left within it.

6. Varisia

7. APs

8. Modules

9. Campaign Setting sourcebooks

10. 3rd-party support

11. Message board presence & feedback

12. Savvy business acumen

13. Subscriptions

14. Free PDFs with Subscriptions

15. Archetypes

16. Continued support for the kinds of stories that I want to tell within a RPG framework.

17. The Cavalier

18. The Slayer

19. The Witch

20. The Magus

21. The Alchemist

22. Runelords

23. Successfully walking the line between soliciting customer feedback yet refusing to cave into the forum equivalent of mob-rule by vocal detractors.

24. Kingmaker

25. Advanced Player's Guide

26. Ultimate Campaign

27. Successfully conveying their enthusiasm & love of the game in interviews, forum posts, conventions, etc. Regardless of whether it's Lisa, James, Eric, Wes or any of the Paizo crew, their love of the game and the myths, stories, and legends that inspire the game's development, it's clear that their enthusiasm is genuine. It's also contagious.

28. Their continued ability to produce stuff that I want, especially stuff that I didn't know that I wanted in the first place! NPC Guide, map accessories, minis, comics.

29. Their continued ability to develop new and interesting monsters.

30. Curse of the Crimson Throne

31. Not jumping to PF 2.0 just because D&D 5e was released.

32. Not jumping on the GSL bandwagon.

33. For taking what could have been a crippling loss (the loss of Dragon & Dungeon) and producing what is arguably the most successful RPG system and RPG company in the industry -- and never b-tching about it.

34. Their optimism.

35. Stories of games that they run & play in.

36. Auntie Lisa

37. RPG Superstar

38. Giving me a RPG that has reinvigorated my love of the hobby and provided me with the best set of tools I've ever had to run a game.

39. The Beginner Box, to help pass the torch to my kids.

THANK YOU, PAIZO!


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After two evenings of extensive play, I have to say that I love this game.

First, it's drop dead gorgeous - Bungie has made an amazing universe that I find myself frequently stopping to admire in a reaction similar to when I first played Skyrim.

Second, the game play is tight. Guns have appreciable look, feel, & performance differences. Bungie has incorporated FPS features lacking from Halo without sacrificing Halo-style fun.

Third, the setting & story are interesting. Honestly, these were the elements that on the surface in interviews & trailers underwhelmed me but I was completely sucked in after the intro.

Fourth, it's just FUN. It's not grimdark like most post-apoc and I really appreciate the fact that it's rated T rather than M so my kids can enjoy it. It doesn't have the CoD run-and-twitch gameplay (doesn't force it at any rate) and maintains the positive Halo-style gameplay while adopting a Borderlands-style RPG & loot structure.


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1) Azeroth (Warcraft setting)
2) Greyhawk
3) Scarred Lands
4) Mystara/Known World


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LazarX wrote:
You'll find that most people who like Pathfinder rapidly come to the conclusion that it's in their best interests to stay the hell away from these message boards,

Sadly, this is becoming increasingly true. I've been a Paizo fan & customer since the RotRL AP/Golarion announcement. I spend a lot less time here these days than I used to because of what these forums have developed into in the last six months or so.


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HalifaxDM wrote:
ElyasRavenwood wrote:
I'm happy with pathfinder. I like the system. Can it be improved? sure. Are there things I don't like here or there? sure. But on the whole I am happy with the game.

This. I have played Pathfinder since it's inception migrating from 3.5 (and previous to that all editions back to AD&D and BECM). Yes there are some things that niggle me about PF such as escalating skill bonuses and DCs to ridiculous levels and travel rules that are a little to dull and simplistic but overall PF is one of my two go to games (the other being Savage Worlds).

Go team Paizo!

THIS +1.

And honestly, the constant straw-man arguments permeating the boards these days that you have to like everything to like anything, that if you don't want a completely new edition you're slavishly devoted to butt-kissing Paizo, etc. are becoming more than tiresome.

For those clamoring for a radically new edition, all change is not good. A PF 2.0 will likely not satisfy some, heck even most, of the radical design suggestions being thrown around. Even if/when a substantially different PF 2.0 appears one day, once you realize Paizo didn't adhere to your specific criteria then what? Immediate calls for PF 3.0?

There have been threads recently that have progressed well beyond differences in taste - complaints of developer's turning a deaf ear & blind eye to the poster's obvious RPG genius, calling Paizo incompetent, exaggerated claims of bloat, references to new material as "tumors" & "cancerous". Not to mention the dismissive posts or outright attacks on those who don't agree, or even dare to not agree as strongly about the things they view as broken. These are the standard-bearers of the Paizo fanbase that should guide the specs & goals of future Pathfinder content? Do they even like the game that they so radically wish to change? Did they ever?

I like Pathfinder in it's current form. Do I like everything? No, but I look to things like Pathfinder Unchained and third-party publishers to provide me alternatives that don't require me to redo/undo everything. Paizo continues to produce some of the highest quality products in the RPG industry - ever, not just today. They continue to find new design space and creative elements in a system that, according to claims that are very similar to the "PF2 must come!" crowd, was "done" and "used up" back in 2008. Archetypes, new classes, new takes on races and monsters, subsystems like those found in Ultimate Campaign now combining with products like Pathfinder Unchained & Psychic Magic.

Not to mention that they've displayed an incredible amount of skill and knowledge with how to profitably run & just as importantly, grow, a RPG business. Eric Mona has, for several years running, cited that Core Rulebook sales continue to grow.

Yeah, I'll stick with Paizo & Pathfinder. I don't have to like everything, but they're doing a TON of things right.


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Apologies for the late post-session feedback but Laying Waste was an even bigger hit than I anticipated!

So far, all indications are that this is THE critical hit/fumble system I have been looking to implement for many, many years.

It's proven to provide the high-five-inducing spectacular "YES!" moments of the old Rolemaster critical hits without the complete-randomness limitations of that and similar systems. It was also very intuitive for me and my players.

Laying Waste is on the fast-track to become one of 3PP rulebooks that are considered "core" for any Pathfinder game (along with Deep Magic & Spellpoints Compilation).

I've got another session coming up this weekend so the system will get another live-fire exercise very soon.

Thanks again for a terrific product.


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Qstor wrote:

Is the gunslinger class appropriate in "base" Midgard?

Mike

It's appropriate if you want it to be. It's not the cop-out answer that it sounds like, they've truly treated it as an optional element that can be utilized or ignored per the GM's desires.

That said, "base" Midgard has the development of gunpowder solely residing with the Cantonal dwarves of the Ironcrag Mountains and it is recommended that a gunslinger PC have a tie to that region to provide a canonical justification.

Also, Kobold Press did a Gunslinger supplement that, as I understand it, introduces Vril "guns" - arcane powered firearms that are tied to ancient & forgotten empires. Even if that doesn't fit your idea of a gunslinger, it shows an example of how to incorporate it into the setting.

I'll close with this:

I'm still on the fence with the gunslinger and firearms in my PFRPG campaigns. That said, I think the more limited, canonical option is a much easier step to take than the "anyone who wants it" approach advocated by the pro-fantasy-firearms crowd wanted to see in Golarion. To be fair to Paizo, they largely held the line of presenting it as an option but the Inner Sea Campaign Guide did retcon earlier treatments on firearms to make it "more possible". --I wasn't a fan of that approach.

Midgard presented in such a way with built-in setting controls that I went so far as to allow a dwarven gunslinger in my Midgard campaign.

Midgard has become the go-to campaign setting for me.


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John Kretzer wrote:

I am kinda of interesting in the Pathfinder Unleashed....but one of the main things I liked about Pathfinder is the backwards compatibility of the game. While I am interested in what they will do...I think most of the options will not be used in my games.

Also I am kinda sadden by the fact they are reacting to what looks like me a vocal minority on these boards about certain classes needing to be 'fixed'. It usually lead to some very poor design decisions as it did with the 3.0 to 3.5 transition.

But I am very excited about the Giant Slayer AP. I am wondering if the next one will deal with Drow, The Darklands and slaves in some way.

I had a similar reaction initially, that the stamp-my-foot crowd "won". However, I trust Paizo to create interesting but not unbalanced options.

Hopefully, they'll be better developed and able to be integrated easily than much of Unearthed Arcana was (and I love that book, btw, but it's a mixed bag) or certain Ultimate Combat options were.

I'd like to see broader playtest support for more than classes for this book, honestly.


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It's been 5 minutes. WTH? No update?

What, is it We No Work Day again already?


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magnuskn wrote:
Kajehase wrote:
Fnipernackle wrote:
This is FANTASTIC news. This should put to rest all those Pathfinder 2.0 threads/theories.
Kinda suspect they're more likely to fan the flames of them, actually.
Yeah, it's more that they are testing the waters for their ideas for PF 2.0. Sorry, Fnipernackle, but it's coming sooner or later. Maybe a bit later with this release, but it's coming.

Perhaps. However, this sounds much more like an evolution/refinement of a game (you know, what almost every RPG means when they use the word "edition") rather than the major rules re-write every edition that we get with D&D.

I'm all for tweaks & refinements. However, I'm done with the "blow up the game & start over" approach to editions. If PF 2.0 (whenever it happens) is a shift on par with 3e -> 4e -> 5e, I'm done.


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Atarlost wrote:

The AP sales may not be faltering, but people are getting more dissatisfied with the game rules and that's eventually going to become an opening for another system to take away the customers who aren't satisfied with the lack of revision.

According to what, o revered Internet oracle? Paizo staff have cited in multiple interviews that core rule book sales have increased every year for multiple years (I think year 2 was the only one to come in lower and that was following the launch year).

The complaints of min-maxers, disenchanted 4e fans, or forum-only-RPG-business experts notwithstanding, plenty of people are happy with the game. If you go through the various "X is underpowered", "time for PF2e", and the "better change or D&D will leave you behind" threads, you're going to see a lot of the same names. Being vocal doesn't mean you're correct or have numbers on your side.

I remember similar claims were made when Paizo opted to develop the PFRPG rather than get on the GSL bandwagon. Those dire predictions, threats, and "expert business recommendations" were spectacularly wrong.

I'm all for making improvements in the game but claiming that "people are becoming more dissatisfied with the game rules" with nothing to back it up other than your desire to see development embrace what you want is a bit disingenuous.

I'm sure D&D5e will make a big splash initially. Time will tell if it has staying power greater than 4e did. Reflexively doing a major product shift on what might happen seems like a pretty bad way to run a business.

I'll trust Paizo to make that decision over the prophecies of forum-posters every time.


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I'm going to respectfully disagree with the E6/E8 suggestions. You can certainly go that route but I don't think that should be your primary focus. Here's what I would suggest.

Rule #1: You're converting a world/setting. You are NOT converting a rules-system. Presumably, you've picked Pathfinder as the system for a reason and the more you try to transform it the less time you'll be spending on playing up the aspects of the setting that (presumably) enticed you to consider this.

Rule #2: Dark Fantasy, not Low Fantasy. Warhammer is a pretty high-magic world but it's dark. By most measurable criteria, Evil (Chaos) is winning. There are two aspects you need to keep in mind to slant the game towards Dark Fantasy: 1-Dangers lurk everywhere, there are very few idyllic forest glens, there are many dark, haunted woods. 2-Choices are NEVER black-and-white. Choices should always have a consequence and usually should be choices that have to be made where somebody in the game world loses. The heroes saved the village but that farmer and his family were slaughtered by orcs. You stopped the cultists' ritual but half the city burned down, etc.

Rule #3: Status matters. A primary tenet of the Warhammer setting is that social status matters. This is largely reflected in Warhammer's career system where you have to "pay your dues" to advance to the more prestigious careers. You need to have some kind of social status mechanism. For example, the Midgard Campaign setting has such a mechanic and while your Charisma stat can influence it, it's not the sole (or even primary) driver.

Rule #4: Factions, agendas, and conspiracies. Everyone, even the PCs, should be tied to a faction, religion, organization, philosophy - something. And it should be pretty common that those elements of the world will be at odds with each other on occasion. This church doesn't like that church. This soldier doesn't like people from that country. Nobles scheme. Cultists plot.

Rule #5: Magic is dangerous & powerful PCs will be the primary exception to this rule, especially in a system like Pathfinder where so many classes are spellcasting ones. So you'll need to reflect this in the world around them -- most NPCs aren't spellcasters, outside of arcane orders and churches, there really aren't "magic shops" as they exist in some Pathfinder campaigns. Oh, and see Rule #4 - those orders and churches really don't care if you have the coin. You better have the coin AND be willing to do something on that group's behalf if you want to purchase any magical assistance from them.

Rule #6: Magic is feared Yes, the PCs probably have access to more magic than most groups in a given area. Guess what? They're viewed with suspicion and fear as a result. Even allies will be wary about the person who can charm them or blast a group of cavalry with a spell. And if a spellcaster becomes a threat, don't expect local authorities to pull any punches. Spellcasters are a threat and they're going to react accordingly.

Rule #7: Make choices; say "no" when appropriate: This isn't the cantina scene from Star Wars. "No, Fred, I'm sorry, you can't be an Oread undead-blooded sorcerer. Why? Because you'll be viewed as a monster and a freak by every settlement in the the world and attacked on sight. Since this is a campaign involving intrigue in a city, that won't work."

As for specific Pathfinder-adaptation suggestions:

1. Use the low-magic treasure rules. Wealth should be harder to come by to help drive the grubby/gritty side of the Warhammer experience.

2. Use the slow XP progression. Warhammer characters don't typically go from Ratcatcher to Noble quickly. Since in a level-based game like Pathfinder, character level directly translates to character ability/power, you need to slow things down.

3. Standard point-buy should be the highest used. Not Heroic, certainly not anything higher.

4. Setting integration over character-optimization. You can play an elf in the center of a human city but the player better be willing to accept the buy-in that the elf will be viewed as a rarity. No, you can't be a Chaos Knight and openly walk the streets. If you want to be a half-orc, you best stick to the borderlands or wilderness or expect knights, soldiers, guardsmen, etc. to try to kill you. If they're successful, they'll suffer no legal ramifications. (Obviously, there are exceptions to this suggestion, but they need to be just that - rare exceptions that are well-integrated into the game. They shouldn't just be hand-waived away because someone will say "you're limiting my fun".)

5. Forget about CR...mostly You want to make PCs feel like life is cheap and dangerous? Stop worrying about whether encounters are perfectly balanced. Now, I'm not saying ignore CR altogether. What I'm saying is don't adhere to the conventional wisdom of "this many below-APL encounters, this many at-APL encounters, this many above-APL encounters". A mob of commoners or goblins? Throw as many as required to make them a substantial threat. The adventure is a ghost story? Worry less about whether the PCs have a magic weapon and more about what relics they need or actions that they need to complete to banish the spirit or put it to rest. And don't be afraid to lean towards the higher-end of the CR/encounter scale - you want to bloody their noses more often than not.

You can also add house-rules or 3rd-party supplements to further reinforce the "threat" of the world: spell-failure tables, etc. I definitely recommend things that amp-up the threat of combat like the Critical Hit Deck or Torn Asunder but those should be added to provide the final tweaks to the setting. Modifying the mechanics should be seasoning, not the meal. The setting is the main course.


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Lord Fyre wrote:

I don't know if others have noticed, but since the Skull & Shackles adventure path, Paizo has had a shift in art direction to more egalitarian and realistic clothing. One of the results of this is that the fanservice-y costumes of Amri,Seoni, Alahazra, and Feiya are becoming increasingly "out of step" with the fashions of the world setting.

Regardless, of your opinions on "fanservice,"... My question is, do these characters need an art update to dress them more "realistically" for the Golarion setting?

No.


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Sticking with Pathfinder for the following reasons.

#1. It scratches most of my FRPG itches even with legacy items like Vancian casting and the X-mas Tree effect.

#2. I've been with Paizo since RotRL#1 and they've continued to impress and expand the game into new territories without losing sight of what works. Honestly, the bigger threat to my Paizo spend each month is that Golarion's less attractive bits bother me more than the RPG unattractive bits. Midgard continues to impress and so long as the Kobold's continue to support Pathfinder, setting/rules compatibility isn't an issue.

#3. Economics. I'm fortunate enough that my hobby isn't breaking the bank, but rainy days always come around now and again. If my d20 investment prevented me from going to 4e (that and it's design...), that investment is substantially greater now. My days of buying games I won't/can't play are behind me.

#4. If I'm going to break away from Pathfinder in search of something simpler/easier to run, it would be Savage Worlds, not D&DN/5e. Savage Worlds has all of the core components I expect and is much, much easier to customize without sacrificing setting/story flavor.

#5. D&DN/5e - It just isn't appealing to me and WotC's business model of the last 5-6 years is just at odds with what I want from RPG publishers. I like my OGL, my HeroLab, & my 3rd-party publisher support. I like my free PDF with my hardcopy subscriptions. I like not seeing Christmas layoffs, etc.

As a side note, if/when a Pathfinder 2.0 comes around, if it's a "rewrite" New Edition rather than a "update" New Edition, then I'll either stick with the current edition of Pathfinder or switch over entirely to Savage Worlds.

I'm pretty much done with Edition Treadmills, especially for "D&D-style Fantasy".


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LoneKnave wrote:
@BPorter: Hey, do you think casters are overpowered? If not, you aren't really the audience being polled. Just thought I'd mention.

Yes, I tend to think casters are over-powered at high levels. The level of power introduces problems with campaign consistency, genre emulation, and feeds the power creep cycle.

The fix, however, should lay in scaling back that power (reserving current high-level spell abilities for Mythic) instead of straining the game by trying to amp everything else to "catch up".


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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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Sarcasmancer wrote:

A song for OP, by Sarcasmancer

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

A) I already bought it

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

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


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zergtitan wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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(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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