@TOZ and Gorbacz:
PbP's are not that difficult, with most of the work being done early on. I do them on the boards here, which has it's one dice roller, and use the ooc, bold, and italics to differentiate out of character comments, dialogue, and stating my actions, respectively. If you download a free program called FoxIt PDF, it will allow you to select maps and pictures from Paizo products without revealing the different layers, (which usually includes secret doors, location of traps/monsters, and all the stuff you do not want players to see. Simply copy/paste it over to Paint, and resize as desired, and then save as a JPEG.
Next, (I use) Google Docs. It requires an account, but it's free. Simply sign on, then find the option for "Drive". Once there create a new "Drawing", and simply upload your maps, pick. Much like Paint and other simple art programs, you have the options to cover up areas that the party can not see, and you can also add in icons for all the monsters, npc's, and players, (basically using the same process as above with the map). Because Google Drawings already uses a basic grid, if you size the map to the same size as the underlying frame, and then size the other icons to the squares on the map, it works very well.
From there, simply save the Drawing, and make sure to make it so the "Anyone with the Link", "May Edit", which will allow the players to be able to move their characters for themselves, similar to a table top game with mini's. Make sure you save the Link. Next, go to the Paizo Boards, and scroll down to Play-by-Posts or Play-By-post Discussions. Simply create your own thread, and using the [/url] code, post a link to the map for your players either at the top, or what I prefer, under your DM alias's Race or class section, so that it will always appear with your posts. I also heavily suggest that my players put most of the relevant info for their characters there as well, for easy viewing, so that you do not need to open their character any time there is a combat. (HP, Init, Perception (additional senses), AC/FF/T/CMB, F/R/W, Alignment, Race, Class, Level. Feel free to hit me up if you would like some more advice or have questions. I sort of learned as I went, and have plenty of tips.
There are also other styles, for example Skype/video gaming, and a few sites that are focused on it. Roll 20 is a big one, though I haven't tried it. Aside from the rather terrible Dice Roller, Paizo's boards work very well for me. HERE is a link to one of my old game maps, as an example. You should be able to click on any of the player mini's and move them about, (click, and then click and drag).
Personally, I would have liked most of those base classes to have been Archtypes or Feat options for the core classes. In most cases, there is a pretty distinct difference in power, options, and ability between the two, but also having them as full classes, in my opinion, robs the others of the potential to explore too far into those concepts.
Alchemist: should be an option for any caster that wants to focus on potions. That being said, off all the newer classes, I see this one as unique enough to really maybe be it's own class.
Cavalier: would probably be better as a Fighter and/or Paladin Archtype. It's a class I really, really want to like, and every single time I try, I just walk away from the character sheet annoyed at how much it doesn't do what I expect. I liked the 3.5 Knight class a lot. This one just seems like a weak Fighter with subpar and less interesting class options chosen for you.
Inquisitor: I'm unsure. The Inquisitor basically takes all the issues with the Cleric/Paladin (like the risk of falling) and sweeps them under the rug. It also takes a lot of the rational for nerfing the Cleric and give it the finger. One huge complaint is, (and this goes for the Cavalier as well), is that the Cleric and Fighter really need 4+ Skills, at least, and if Paizo would have just fixed that, a lot of the main draw for the Inquisitor and the Cavalier, just wouldn't be. Concept wise, the Inq just steps all over the Cleric and Paladin's toes, and because they don't have the nerfs or the alignment/religious issues I mentioned, I see no point other than just to spite those two classes.
Oracle: mechanically this is close to what the Cleric should have looked like all along. The Oracle is almost outright better at whatever focus you seek, and well basically the Oracle is just better all around. Remove the very tiny amount of fluff "justification", and there really is no need to have two very similar classes with so much disparity.
Summoner: would make an amazing Cleric/Wizard/Sorcerer Feat Chain. My real beef with the Summoner is that Summoning is one of the biggest issues people have had with casters since 3E, hands down. Paizo nerfed it slightly by making it so that you can't control/communicate with a lot of what you summon, and not really offer much in the way of boosting it. However, the Summoner class gets a single class feature, for free, that any other character interested in Summoning would kill for, the ability to Summon Monster as a Standard Action. That alone would be worth it, but then the Summoner also gets near full spell casting with a great spell list, the best buddy in the game, and Light Armor and better HP than other arcane casters. There is a reason so many people have issues with this class.
Witch: personally, just not a fan, but I know a lot of people are. To me it just seems like wankery, and would have been a lot cooler as, (again) a Cleric or Wizard/Sorcerer archtype or some other type of option.
Gunslinger: don't really have an opinion on the class itself, but I do not have much use for it. I like a few of the concepts and mechanics, just not as part of this class. I haven't really seen any huge power gaps, though it seems that way on paper.
Ninja: I kind of like it. Not a fan of the Tian-push, and with most things it had the seemingly mandatory "it's Eastern, so it must be better" thing, but it wasn't as huge as some other things.
Samurai: in many ways, see Ninja. But I'm not really sure this one even needed to be, except because it was Eastern.
Magus: probably the largest leaps and bunds difference in power level. I'm ok with the principle. Okay, people have been shedding tears for a Gish forever, even if there have always been balanced and reasonable options. Paizo went out of their way to nerf casters so they couldn't make the martials second class citizens, and then made the Magus which can do it from level 1 onwards. It's got some amazing mechanics, but it breaks action economy pretty ridiculously and is pure cheese with a can of optimizated power-gaming on the side, batteries included. The base Magus is nearly on the same level as an optimized Summoner, and in my opinion, both really need to run the nerf gauntlet to rebalance with the core material. The Magus, (along with the Alchemist and Summoner), are Paizo's baby's, so it's doubtful.
And in the end, that is the largest issue I have with the newer classes. The level of power between the core and them is evident. The options they have open that others don't, regardless of how it makes perfect sense in the fluff. It gets worse as more books come out, leaving really only two options. Leave it as is and let it get worse or stop, fix it, and negate a rather large portion of their past product material, but better now than later.
The first Thor movie wasnt terrible. You just gotta remember that its a set-the-stage movie. Unlike the Hulk or Spiderman, Thor hasnt had a few other movies to introduce him, and isnt really the same as the mythology, so they had to establish a lot in the movie so that people can understand him and whats going on (non comi fans) establish a new cosmotology and history, and establish a reasonable way that he would be motivated to act as he did in both it and the avengers. Also had to set the stage for Loki and other characters, too. Thats a lot when other characters tend to either get multiple movies to build up, aleady have some familiarity, or appear in other movies.
I don't care for Golarion either, personally, but I know a lot of people do. For me, on the surface it's good, but the more in depth, the more I really don't like it. Now, I play the majority of games in a simplistic version of Golarion, (PFS), but for non-PFS games, it depends. Usualy the setting itself is not really important, so it coul dbe in Golarion, Greyhawk, or the DM's personal homebrew world.
Pathfinder left 3.5 behind pretty much at the Core Rulebook, but managed to keep the grognards who were still fuming at WOTC, oblivious to the fact. No, however Pathfinder has reached a standing in it's own right that being a carryover of 3.X no longer has to be it's main selling point.
Not sure that's true. I hear all of the time people talking about either converting material to Pathfinder, or using the Pathfinder rules to run older material, and if the hypothetical Pathfinder 2E was not OGL/d20/3E based, I doubt that nearly as many people would continue to support it, though they might still purchase and use more of the flavor products. I think people might be very surprized just how many people don't actually play Pathfinder as written, and rather just take the bits of it they like and continue to run the 3E based game they always had.
I still prefere 3.5 to PF, myself, and if I could find a few more player's I'd go for that. PF did some nice things, particularly with Skills, but there is also a lot I don't care for as much. Enough that I'd rather house rule it to 3.5 though I do buy a lot of Paizo stuff still and will likely continue. I'll likely give 5E a try, but I'm not overly impressed with what I've seen so far. I'm not sure that having an OGL for 4E would really have helped. Every time I hear a complaint about the game, it's basically that people just didn't like aspects of the system, that it was way too simple, too balanced, everything was too similar, too combat focused, or something along those lines. The system didn't fit their tastes or allow them to do what they wanted with it, so I'm not sure if anything would really have changed that besides, well basically a new game.
As to the original question, I think that the d20/3E system itself is very good (not perfect), and the amount of options that they presented through various splats and settings is one of the biggest reasons why it's still going pretty strong. 3E was extremely open to allowing the individual to build a concept through a lot of means, to run a variaty of different playstyles, and made efforts to include any type of setting or genre with fairly little modification needed. Wizards did a lot of work in answering fan questions on why things worked they way they did, and if something was suppossed to work this way or that, which helped a lot, but still left room for house rules as needed or desired.
No they don't. Nothing about the Oracle even says they have had any encounter, but does say over and over that they are not called by any one source, and as they tend to revere anything that is attached to their mystery's focus, really are not the deity's chosen-one for anything. :)
Clerics and Paladins on the other hand, are Called, specifically appointed as leaders and emissaries of the divine work, granted powers above normal priests, specifically as rare, chosen individuals.
So essentually, Oracles get their power from a random, one time thing and are not chosen by a deity to represent while Clerics and Paladins are chosen for their faith and commitment to stand above and to lead, ongoing. That's the difference between the flavor of Oracles and Clerics/Paladins/Druid/Inquisitors (to a point).
Also, really the only reason that Oracles cover any concepts that don't fit Clerics is because they made Oracles just to preclude Clerics from it, and also retconned material that supported Clerics doing it, out. The Order of the Godclaw, the Elven, Orc, and Dwarven, (and other) pantheon priest mechanics, Totem Cleric, are a few examples, but also see the above about Razmir, Rahadoum, and Aroden. I have a half a page word doc witha list of all th retcons and changes somewhere. Up until the APG, Paizo also had a very neutral position on the matter, not including any Clerics or Paladins in material that didn't have a deity because they didn't want to answer the question one way or the other. There where pantheon Clerics though, as they wante to leave it open to each individual game. Later, they changed that, retconning a lot of material out completely, like Juju Zombies (not evil undead).
James Jacobs wrote:
You say this like it is an A or B thing, but not both. I get that it isn't going to happen in Golarion, but still, there are people that do not like that. A better analogy, though would be to remove mage schools from wizards, thief's guilds from rogues, or a eastern-monastic lifestile from monks. One is a machanics-based class feature, while the other is a single type of flavor, that may or may not apply to the whole. Oracles already destroyed a part of the flavor of other classes, so it's not destroying as much as taking it back. :) Also note that i wasn't talking about Clerics without any deities as much as those that take power from a broader source.
I personally do have an issue with that sort of playstyle (that is where NPC's can do things that Players can not). It was one of the major things about 4E I did not like, as the game was designed to have monsters and players use different rules. One reason for that is because it breeds antagonistic play between the Players and the GM, or at least easily gives that impression. Another is that what usually happens is that one or more of the players find something an NPC did (with an NPC only power) to be really cool/interesting/effective and thn want to learn to do that. Thing is, it's usually ok for NPC's to do it, because they are kind of one-shot encounters, but if a player gets that power, they will have access to it from then on, which will really show how broken it is. It's ether going to lead to that character overshadowing everyone else (and then everyone else wanting to escilate to match or outdo the first character), or people being denied what an NPC gets handed to them with no effort, for an arbitrary reason.
That being said, I was one of the first that mentioned that there are ways that the OP's Cleric could manage to do what they did within the rules, and maybe he or she didn't know the whole story. That seems more the case, and it does seem like the DM realized they where going a little too hard and started to back down. Mistakes happen, and honestly at that level of play, the GM has a lot on their plate. That being said, if the players are having an issue, just talking about it, hearing their issues out, and explaining (and addressing) those issues (after the encounter is completely over, or the NPC will not be reoccuring anytime soon) is probably a good idea, even if the answer will occasionally be "I can't tell you what specifically is going on, but I have a reason, and I will tell you ooc later" can go a long way.
Ask the Hafling slaves, or the many people that survived when their inncent and unaware family's where slaughtered as House Thrune userpted power and raided. :)
Well, Mythic is not really Epic, which I think would be a bit of a different story, in my opinion.
That's kind of my issue, honestly. Two of the biggest requests I see presented for Paizo to right is a heavily good-guy campaign, knights and crusaders going all out against evil, and an epic AP. Tagging on Mythic with one is kind of like saying that they can't do an honest good-guy AP without making it superhero or throwing in special rules to make it possible or fun. Now, I'm not saying that Paizo is saying that or putting words in their mouth, just it kind of feels that way.
It's less that I really don't like the Mythic rules, (I don't but that's not the point I'm trying to make), as much as it's really missing the point of making the AP that we wanted, (if I can speak for other people).
I'm really torn. On one hand, this sounds like the AP I have been waiting for since Carion Crown. On the other, it's tied to Mythic, which I was/am not thrilled with. I understand that Paizo would like to present an AP to work with the new gimick, but any chance you guys/gals might reconsider tying it in so much with this one? Maybe have the sidebars offering ways to run this one as Mythic rather than have the be the base assumption?
Wait, doesn't that apply to you too?
Here is the issue. A premise was presented (as fact and nearly universal), and any time anyone challenges that premise, shows evidence against it, disporves it, or disagrees with it, or some of it's foundations, they are censured or told they are off topic. When they show that they are on-topic, but it's more like things that the other side doesn't want to hear or have to deal with, then the goal posts get moved. When that happens, then it further shows some of the issues with the original premise, but still, one isn't allowed to argue or discuss the stability of the actual premise, (off-topic for discussing aspects directly related to the topic).
Then, certain terms are through in, (again as indisputable fact), that have a lot of intended or insinuated extra meaning, do not jive with people's actual experience, but instead point to either alienating one group to raise another, applying things to enite groups as if universal or nearly so, and expecting that said groups are not able to defend themselves, accept it or move on. The original premise is not really proved either, just sort of placed in a lofty is-true-by-it's-nature status. Now, if that is that actual goal, fine, just say it up front and stick to it. Establish this is a not-General Discussion topic, but rather something more like a Paizo Blog post people are not suppossed to respond to, and really intended for female gamers only or something along those lines. Or create a more gender-neutral, less sexist topic where the arguements and counter-arguements can respectfully and politely respnd to each other without being censured, uness they really should be for language or personal attacks.
James Sutter wrote:
I think the issue is that your vrsion of Rahadoum is, not wrong per se, but ignors a lot of the truely vile and cruel belief's and practices that the country and it's believers do. It doesn't help that a lot of the published material of the setting portray Rahadoum a little different (softer) than the actual intent of the country. They are not enlightened philosophers, but rather very nazi-like in their hatred/fear/bigotry against anyone that holds faith in a deity.
James Jacobs wrote:
In my opinion a PF1.5 is the greatest thing that Paizo could do right now. I suggested it a few years ago under the premise that the longer they wait, the more the cracks will show. Not another print run with errata, not a full new edition, but someting in between similar to 3.0 -> 3.5, which did amazing for WotC.
I will agree that for Clerics, trying to max out Wis, even for a Casteing Cleric, is usually a poor idea. To do their base job, they kind of need all stats. They do not get all the built-in synergies that practically every other caster gets, so a dump stat (even a 10) is going to hurt you somewhere. Your job as a Cleric is both to heal/buff/support the group, but also to be the back-up tank, caster, and face.
Different archtypes and builds can emphasis different aspects, but that is still the core of the Cleric class. Because you need to spread your stats so thin, that means it's hard for you to qualify for a lot of feat chains and you sorely lack in feats anyway. Even with Channeling, you'd be surprized how often you need to start dumping our spells into heals, so it's hard to count on having that spell sometimes.
Str: because you need the strength to at least carry your armor and gear, not to mention all the times you need to just need to make a str chck to be able to act or move. Even if you go Guided Hand, (5th levelish) or Archery, you still need Str for damage.
Dex: there is a reason crap Init is called Cleric Init. Not to mention your stuck with Light and Medium armor for a frontish liner, and so many skills are Dex based. This is one of your two biggest dump stat pools, but that doesn't mean that you do not need it, as much as it's one of the ones that you kind of need the least.
Con: You need HP, and Fort Saves are the second best save to avoid making yourself not useless. Unlike most other casters, you don't realistically have as much an option to stay in the back and avoid damage, even for ranged Clerics, (unless your entire party is ranged).
Int: Your other big dump stat, and again, it's not that you do not need it as much as it's the one you need slightly less than others to function. The issue is, you get 2+Int skills, and have about 7 basicaly manditory skills you need to focus on, just to do your job. Even with Human, Favred Class Going to Skills, and a 12 Int, your behind the curve, and the first few levels are going to be not so fun. The other issue is that so many skills are Int based.
Wis: your main casting stat, as well as your main Domain stuff stat. The issue is, there is not a whole lot other real uses for Wis beyond a few skills and Will saves, which you get good in and are usually above everyone else besides the Paladin in a few levels. A lot of Domain abilities tied to Wis at all, are well, not good. And the difference between a high Wis and a min Wis for your spellcasting is literally about 1, maybe 2 spells.
Cha: Your other "casting" stat as 1/2 - 1/3 of your "casting" ability is tied to this rather than Wis. Again, besides a handful of skills you "need" and Channeling, there isn't too much use/synergy for a high Cha Cleric. If you plan on blasting at all (rather than just healing), a 14 is probably min, and you need to devote to bumping it terrtiarily to Wis/Con/Str. The idue is that after about 3rd level, Channel just doesn't keep up, and that's if maxed out with feats, high Cha, and certain Domains to augment it. With a more average Cha and without the feat and other boosts, it falls very short quickly, good for a top off out of combat, but that's about it. For the blasting side, it's usually not worth the action.
Feats: well the truth is you will lag behind pretty much anyone else even if you focus. You have the least feats in the game, and a lot of times will qualify just around the time that the feat starts to lose it's bang n level appropriate daily encounters. Take that into concideration early, and avoid falling into traps that work for most other classes. There isn't a lot of Cleric feats out there, and the ones designed for Clerics, other classes usually do better, have less trouble getting, and have more total feats to spend.
My advice when playing a Cleric is to decide on a build and playstyle, be up front with the other players from the get go, and stick to it. Inform the arty that if they want a lot of healing (and your not into that), they need to start purchasing wands and scrolls for you to use on them. If you want to be a major font of healing, than inform them that you are the party's VoP, and you are the last one to take a hit or be in danger. If you want to play an archer, inform them that they need to act accordingly, and if they Leroy Jenkins ahead and get beechslapped, you are not running in right behind them with your cure guns blazing. Inform them that you are a player and here to have fun. Not their pet NPC there to make sure they have fun while you sit there waiting to be needed.
I don't know, I can really see this going the same way as Blood of Night. Razmiran and Rahadoumian atheism need their own book, in my opinion, and honestly many of the faith books don't really have much material for Divine characters, so I'm not very hopeful for this book, (except that I'm wrong). I foresee a lot of rehashed fluff and little crunch to support it. Really need a Complete Divine style book with little setting specifics and more open material for "faithful" characters.
Because th entire point of removing a easy healing causes play to be more realistic and the threat of death/failure to be more of a possibility. Note, it doesn't actually make death and failure more common. That's not what I said. I said it reintroduces the threat of those things. Something that existed for a long time prior to the d20 system. With the d20 system, and worst in PF, healing magic has become mundain and common place. Because of that, Fighters for example, really rely on it being always available rather than focusing on smart or tacticle play. If you think that Fighters only (even vaguely) unique feature is lack of daily limits, and can't see a party relying on other members as anything but a bad thing, then I understand your ignorance. It doesn't nerf Fighters, but instead gives them greater time to shine and do their thing well. Work smarter, not harder, as we say.
Similar thing with Rogues, as realitively minor threats like many traps become more of an issue, and the common troupe of just walking through the trap and taking the damage, or burning a low level spell to Summon Monster a victim now start to waste resources the party might actually need. And hey, one of the entire points of the class becomes a serious threat again, and at the same time gives the class another area to shine.
That's not really true. What would really need to change would be the way players play the game. For the most part, that's about it. There would need to be a lot more caution before and in fights, and not waiting until you HP is low to get to that point (or start seeking Leyroy Jenkins Healing).
It would mean that a lot of the things that are moderatly trivial since 3E (like traps) are actually something to be concidered a threat rather than just burning a Summon Monster resoure or soaking up the damage and not worrying about it. It would mean that trying to work past encounters is much more wise an option than simply fighting everything that crosses your path, just because your mighty "adventureres".
This is exactly the kind of thing that would boost the Fighters and Rogues for those that demand they are so useless, in all honesty.
I too really dislike, (boardering on hate) the new format. It really comes off as a cheap magazin article that is trying to look good but really just desn't have much to say, so it goes out of it's way to use the format to take up space to draw out the little actual material it has. That's my opinion thus far.
I personally hate the "roles" section, which could easily be cut into a 1/4th it's size and give the same info for those that do seem to like it without taking up so much space and spotlight for those who don't. They also leave far too many player option suggestions in the cold. I prefer the older one that just had a line or two for each of the classes. Both more interesting and didn't leave anyone out.
That being said, as a PFS player, I am interested in this book. Particularly if it is a mechanics heavy book like it implies and not so much a flavor book which we already have a few of on this specific topic. I do not want to see yet another rehash of the various PF Lodges or the main VCs. I would like to see reasons for Paladin, Clerics, and a few other classes to have incentive to join the PFS (not the other way around). I'd like to see some player focused reasons for characters to work together when they have strong RP reasons not to (and not falling onto the weak "my character would do that" is the wrong answer excuse). Things along the lines of logical reasons that a Paladin/Cleric/Monk type will not risk falling when working with that guy necromancer/Rogue/etc that also just happens to be a pathfinder. . .
Non-metagame reason why characters would remain with the Society when there are conflicts of idiology. Some more info on some of the newer (remaining) Factions would be great. The description strongly implies to me this is a Player's Book, and I hope that is as true as possible.
Rogues also tend moreso than any other class to get Surprize round attacks, and act first in every combat practically, more AoO's, and more Crits, and I doubt that the math accounts for that. That's the difference between Seen it wit my own two eyes, (ie actual experience with the subject matter) and crooked spreadsheets. One doesn't acount for the whole big picture, and it's easy to ignor things that don't paint the picture you want seen.
Rogues are still a very popular class, PFS and not. Rogues are just fine, fun, far from useless, far from being unable to contribute and shine, and far from being a burnder, in or out of combat. They are not Fighters, however, so expecting them to be is probably going to leave you disappointed.
Personally, before 3.5 (possibly later into 3.0?), I tended to draw maps on paper and try to use some sort of counters to represent characters, if anything. It really wasn't until the 3.5 official Mini's came out that we used them. Before then, it was mostly for a semi-accurate character representation.
Besides the "what if's", your missing the point. Is the mother protecting her kids suppossed to just assume that anyone entering her house has demintia, or any other number of ailments? No. Their job is to protect their kids and their selves. That doesn't change just because the person might have an issue affecting their LoC. I've worked with people with dementia, and they can be very freaky individuals at times. They do things completely out of no where, they forget what to most people is very common sense, and they simply do not remember it at all. I've seen people, for no reason (besides dementia or similar thing) hurl themselves at people and try to bite and claw them, (fully intending to maul them), and moments later not understand what the issue is. I've also seen people (again with dementia) just absolutely hate an individual they have never met, because they remind them of (or sometimes they believe the person to be) someone that they knew but can't remember any more.
The point is that just because the intruder might not know what they are doing doesn't mean they are any less of a threat, or somehow less capable of doing some sort of violence/rape/murder/etc. . .
While Im not advocating guns, non-lethal means lose a significant amount of the threat that make them useful deturants for situations like this. Rubber bullets like blanks can easily be lethal, directly or indirectly.
At the same time we already know just what will (likely) happen if we restrict guns in the US. Legal gun ownership AND ONLY legal gun ownership will decrease leaving the individuals most of us want to be able to defend their family and selves helpless and increasing methods of keeping all the methods and technology ever further advanced than the gov or polices ability to keep up. Essentually hurting everyone but the ones it is designed to actually hinder.
So hiding with your child until they find you = trigger happy?
Shooting someone who isn't dropping/stopping somehow makes that person a victim? That person that broke into your place, caused you to grab your children and hide, and when they found you hiding did not stop and flee, (oh yah, they where going through the house looking closely for things to steal, so couldn't have not noticed all the kids toys and stuff around), yah lets have sympathy there. . .
And it seems the writers opinion is that anyone that does not share their view, pretty opinionated, one-sided, and not at all unbias, are "tweeps" that say crazy-talk about maybe its better to have a gun, rather than discuss what might have happened if she didn't. . .
The only reason I see for this article, beyond the writer trying to appeal to people with similar belief's emotions is media sensationalism or to mae other mad just for the sake of making others mad.
I was starting to question that as well. My understanding was that 4E was essentually the shortest version, even if you count 3.0 and 3.5 as different editions, but again my understanding, is that 4E Essentials IS 4.5, 4E fans just don't want to view it that way.
I actually hope that a PF 2.0 is on the way sooner rather than later. I fully expect that Paizo would wait until at least a year aftr 5E is out so as to not compete or cause any bad feelings. Stagnation will simply kill PF. It will not be too much longer before new blood just doesn't come in, and we are at the point where Golarion is getting close to FR, everything has been explored and holds no more secrets for players to discover.
That being said, PF has a lot of issues. Additionally, with the newer books, it's really about time to take some of the newer mechanics and lessons learned and apply them back to the core classes. Take a look at what does work, what just doesn't and refine it all a little more. While it's true that that might invalidate some material, the truth is, the longer we wait, the more that just becomes a greater issue. The more the existing cracks start to stretch.
To me, I actually like the Divine White Necromancer than the Arcane side (which can already be done, really). I see a Cleric, calling on fallen saints to aid guide their allies swings, heal their wounds, or, if need be, reocupy their old bodies (or magically recreate them) to protect the innocent and temporarily spiritually aid in bringing some holy smiting Evil's way. Foresaking the heavenly pleasures to surve the causes of good in the world one last time, even if just as shambling, broken flesh. Better to take a falchion to the chest than let those Orc raiders destory another family that still has a lif ahead of them.
Not to mention a Good leading a small army of undead saints against the Evil Cleric's equal army of undead just seems really dang epic to me.
I as kind of (jokingly) going much more for the sort of oil and water idea, an elemental (the most natural thing I can think of beyond positive and negative energy outsiders) and forcing to to exist, indefinetly inside of the most unnatural "creature" I can imagine. That itself, in my opinion, must be an unending (psychological/emotional) torture equivalent to Summoning a Demon and forcing it to do only Good acts or watch good acts be done, forever. And the fact that said elemental spirit (again going from Eberron specifics that I'v seen implemented as the standard thereafter, even in Golarion), your literally removing it from it's elemental duties, (indefinetly) and forcing it to act and do things complitely contrary to it's nature, and absolutely against it's will.
Not to mention the entire religious (maybe more real world) implications of mortals stealing the "divine" powers to create "life" sort of unnatural.
I believe, off the top of my head, all classes minus the Paladin (whose moral code actualy prohibite them from keeping too much wealth), Ranger (in a limited fashion do to animal companon, ort of), and Druid (can't recall honestly) recieved followers, IF they baught a keep/church/mage tower. They did not get the equialent of a Cohort, just level 1-4ish followers. So that's not a bad idea. However, it was also heavily implied that they where settling down at that point, and would actually lose them if they didn't stay in the area.
A Cleric (High Priest) for example that didn't actually stay at their temple much basically lost their position and rank to another clergy member, and the Fighter that didn't dwell in their keep/barony and instead went out adventuring likewise had a mutiny coming his way quickly. Once gone, they where gone.
A flesh golem is a neutral construct. What is the difference between it and a zombie?
This, inadvertently highlights another issue I have as well with the logic issues with Undead/Mindless/Evil.
I'm not really sure where this concpt comes from, but I want to say Eberron, that Constructs and Golems are braught about by somehow trapping an Elemental in it.
Soooo, it's perfectly (and even Nuetrally) okay to kidnap an Elemental (see also the whole Outsider Body & soul are one unit thing here), force it to inhibit a very 100% unnatural shell, (and likely one that is very much an oppossed element at that if your not Earth) and to serve you, or else. (That's nothing like using a Magic Circle to trap a Demon/Devil and force it to serve you, one of the most evil things a character can do classically). . . That's ok, forgetting the whole it's okay for golems to be unatural (what is really more unnatural than a golem, seriously), but that makes mindless undead evil somhow. Ah um, sorry. That's all fine. But somehow, using a perfectly natural and not in any way evil negative energy to reanimate a dead body (regardless of what reason it is to be used for, including protecting other good and innocent faithful from getting harmed in an assualt), that is somehow soul-tarnishingly overwhelmingly corruptingly evil?
Iomedae - So, you want me to go negotiate with evil so your not good society can get an evil relic to study, lie and cheat my way into the evil/demon worshipers/necromancers good graces, and shut up about being a champion of goodness and moral order. . . Riiiggghhhttt!!! Oh, that's the only way I get XP or PP. Ok, sure. Oh, by the way, we are sworn enemies until the Society returns the Crown of Iomedae. We know you have it and have been keeping it from her for years now. That's what we call stealing, and from a goddess, mind you. (Wo)Man up.
Pharasma - So, I'm forced to be a graverobber, or at min. to disturb the rightful resting places of the honored dead, try to NOT kill the BBEG Undead because the society needs him for info later, and to make sure that the Aspis Consortuiam doesn't get ahold of that prophecy and let it out into the world because it's soooooo much better locked away in the Decemvirate's person vaults. While we are on the subject, lets discuse the "All in the name of Knowledge" propeganda. See, I know a little ssomething about that. It's actually a core tenet of my faith. When are we going to crack open those vaults and start spreading the knowledge rather than hoarding and hiding from it. I mean that's what your all about, riiiggghhhhttt? And you expect me to heal these guys whose natural time has come. <dead blank stare> The Guide and a few books might have "Alignent Nuetral" tagged on there, but I don't think you and the rest of the world see eye to eye on what that actually means. Here, lets dispel that little glamour. it's becoming a little more clear, . . . Cha. . .something. . . Cha____ Evi. . . Cha____Evi_? hum. . .
Sarenrae - <see above>, plus Oh sure, I'll go waltzing through Nazi-Germany-like Taldor where I'm illegal just because I exist. No worries.
Eristal - Right, I actualy work for a living. <smacks VC/Decemvirate upside the head> Grow up.
Abadar - Yah, their scum. It's like they do everything in their power to destabilize society, underhand economy, break deals, break the law, fght in the streets, and even act like they deserve some sort of legal immunity for their crimes. Spoiled brat children the world would be better off without. . . . . Wait, your saying I have to BE a Pathfinder. WTF!?!?!?
Sheylen - You're so right Mr. Man. That priceless item of artistic perfection would be better served locked away in your vaults, hidden from the world. I mean it's perfectly safe there, right. And I have no problem with that sort of thing, I mean from a religious perspective. Oh, and I can go and get all dirty, ruin my cloths, get to wear the most mismatched outfit in existance to a fancy dinner where I pretend to be one of the servants, and I get to kill stuff, too. Heck, why didn't I sign up years ago!!!
I don't know. Names where NOT at all that important to me. It's way to much of a personal preference in my book. And I didn't mind the longer entries at all. I would rather have a long text that fully explains an item than a short one that leaves a lot of wholes or room for abuse, (way too many of those, sort of the equivelant of throwing a Folding Boat/Castle into a smaller room and killing everything in one shot old school style). So I would add
23.) Understand and think of the ramifications your idea allows outside of the box.
24.) Actually study what spells do and go with the one that actually appropriate to what your item permits, AND THEN go with that regardless of if you want your item to cost x10 more (or rarely less).
25.) Check out the Zero level spells. . . (Countless apps out there for quick refernce above and beyond SRD and similar sites).
This ones (possible 26) may just be me, but an item in the 2,000 - 15,000ish range is a lot better than an item in the 75,000+ range. One will likely ever be used and enjoyed and the other will probably not.
27.) Make sure you actually state what the item ACTUALLY DOES. I've seen a few that actually forgot to put in the function of the item, caught up in the fluff. Not kidding at all.
Hampster Wheel of Koolness: Prizd by duelists for its secret utility and Batmanishness, as well as Ninja's and other frontline warriors, this miniture Hamster Wheel fits into the palm of your hand, though a one handed weapon can be wielded through the tredwheel normally. Construction: Haste, Bless, Miracle, Fireball, Creator must be a Half-Orc. . .
I'm not sure how hard this would be to change, but a suggestion I have for next year is to present maybe 3 or 4 items at a time, and ethr be able to rank them for advancement or not (wither 1-3 or even ok/maybe/no/HELLNO) and definetly remove that countdown.
I understand it's probably there to help prevent people from just spamming "Neither" until they get their submission, but it really, really slows the process down to the point that I really wanted to just sitting there 45-30 seconds each time typically.
Might also be a good idea to break the voting into 2 segments, one for very rules specific criteria (formating, pricing, and appropriate spells and rules) and flavor and creativity (looking at both grammer and novelity of he submission, interest level, fun, and fluff). A superstar submission should be BOTH, so getting knocked out of either first shouldn't matter.
I don't want to call anyone out, but is it just me or are there a lot of submissions that practically do the same thing? Another trend I've noticed a few too many times is items that basically do a spell effect, (sometimes even specifically including the same restrictions as the spells), but do not use that spell for creation or reference. Not sure if the creator is trying to cheat their way out of a (much) higher price or just unaware, (a few are no-brainers). More than a few are just lesser versions of existing items and artifacts, and I'm not sure what to think about those.
A few criteria I persoanlly used, (though not harshly) above and beyond finding an item useful and correctly (mostly) presented, was the price/level range. In general, I tended to like items that open up for use at the lower levels above those that are 15th level or high, effectively, which also seemed really common. I tended to not favor items that focused on only one class (though again not that harshly), and also tended to favor items I can really see being used commonly vs those that seemed very focused. A few seemed to not really understand their own rules changes or systems they tagged on to.
I believe, after like 2+ hours I'v gotten to the point that I keep getting items refuse to vote for.
I agree with the OP, adding a little checkbox or something for "Do NOT Advance" would be a great idea.
At least in Golarion, Paizo has unofficially/officially specified that their intent with "legit" authority was sort of from the Paly's point of view. Even for a Paladin without a patron deity, it was the authority of LN, LG, and NG deities first, their order or nations ruler second, and lastly Lawful native laws last, but only when they do not conflict with the others.
So for example a Paladin can free "legally"enslaved slaves in Cheliax regardless of the fact that is the law of the land, if they are Paladins with a background in the Eagle Knights or know of an acceptible deity who forbids slavery, without risking losing their Paladinhood.
I pretty much agree with what you have said, but a few points I wanted to make. Not arguing, as much as wanting to know a bit more, I guess.
#1, I 100% agree. I hate PF's DR system because of this. With the recent change of AoMF to work the same way, it means the only Enhancements that do not are from casters now, which seems ven more a slap in the face for the sake of just wanting to nerf casters again.
#2, Paladins are a very, very strong class in PF, and I personally think that they got too much. I understand that they needed it from the normal 3E Paladin, but it's time for them to take a backwards step, and little things like this are a place to start. Maybe the overcome DR equal to their Cha Mod, or only Chaotic or Evil DR, but not all.
#4, I really see this being changed back to 3.5's version in the fairly near future. I wouldn't worry about it too much.
#6, many people forget that most CM's auto fail on targets 2 or more sizes bigger than you, and also it is probably a mechanic purely for rules. The CMB/CMD system is already kind of broken, or rather I should say that many people are not happy with it, especially at higher levels. It's just one of those things.
#7, kind of always been true in the 3E sphere.
#9, the Summoner itself is probably the most controversial class in PF. Often outright banned, not because of flavor issues, but because it creates so many problems, but at the same time, it is one of Paizo's babies, so I am not sure if they will be changing it, and the Synthesist Summoner has all these issues multiplied.