How can you justify including racism with all that fantasy stuff running around? Same way we justify it now - different = inferior. Just because somethings are more different than other creatures doesn't mean those other creatures aren't still different. It probably suggests that the racism against creatures that fit the bill for more different will be more extreme.
As far as sexism/homophobia and other lack of niceties, Jesus is reputed to have said a lot of good things about peace and love. People have ardently believed in his divinity and read his words for thousands of years - believed in him just as much as a character in Golarion would believe in their gods - and yet there are thousands of years of history indicating that people screw that up repeatedly.
So how can I justify the existence of these things in a campaign setting? I've got plenty of real world cognitive dissonance and hypocracy as examples to draw from. It's easy. Including other fantasy races, gods, nations, and religious groups just gives me many more tools to work with.
NPC Dave wrote:
That kind of ignores the presence of the Khoikhoi people and the ancient artifact finds along the cape.
Besides, it still wouldn't excuse the policies imposed on the Bantu peoples who were subject to them in the areas they could be found in before European colonization.
Trying an experiment. Hope it works. I've created another role play thread and stuck a link to it in the campaign's header. Let me know if that works for engaging in supplementary, not directly in the storyline, role playing.
I hope that will save you feeling you should put flex time RP in spoiler tags too.
I'm going to treat the ongoing diplomacy attempts as "aid another" actions for Alara's stealth check since there is some direction at keeping Walthus's attention.
Sharrd watches Alara silently step out from the storeroom and out of view. The situation outside and behind the shack is quiet and peaceful. The view of the lagoon from here is pretty good. As a reminder, Sharrd stands just below a storeroom window and adjacent to a walled garden.
Walthus nearly turns just as Alara sneaks from the storeroom, but Piper and Ash manage to keep the halfling's attention. Alara successfully avoids Walthus's notice and reaches the base of the stairs.
"I could use a hand with these bandages. I don't think I did a very good job of it. Come on in to the kitchen and I'll put some herbal tea on." Walthus then turns to his left and leads the way across his front room to G2, the kitchen and dining room.
The room is simply appointed with a wood-burning stove, a wooden table, and a single chair. Clearly, the fellow does not entertain much. Walthus crosses to the other door in the room (to G3) and opens it into a small pantry where he commences rustling about for tea.
Alara has plenty of time to make it to the second floor of the shack. She sees an unadorned hallway with a trio of doors, one ajar. The closest door (to G6) is partly open. Inside, illuminated by the dim light of a partly obscured window, are some shelves and a workbench littered with a mix of hunting gear and tools (arrows, hatchets) and a suit of leather armor.
The blathering onslaught of Piper, Masamune, and William seems to befuddle Walthus a great deal and he stammers his response.
"Well, I… I…I suppose it could be a bird or squirrel. I don't… I don't know," he says as he hesitates in the doorway. "I guess it must be something like that." And he seems to mull things over for a moment.
In any event, he doesn't leave the front door. Sharrd makes it out of the storeroom with little risk or loss other than, perhaps, a bit of pride.
The immediate crisis seems to be averted. Walthus is not, at present, moving to investigate the noise nor starting a fight. And we can step out of initiative again.
Ash barely gets a more than a glimpse of Walthus's injuries as he suddenly pulls back, reacting to a clatter coming from within the shack (a noise that nobody at the front door fails to hear).
"What's that? Who's there?" the halfling calls out sharply.
At this point, though there is no combat (and there may be no combat depending on what you want to do), I feel timing of actions may be important. So I'm throwing in a set of initiative rolls. I may do this from time to time, particularly when groups are mildly separated as they are here. I don't mean for initiative to mean combat, just tight timing that may be important. Plus, we get to practice initiatives.
Alara, Piper, Sharrd, Masamune, William all react before Walthus - any order is fine. Then Walthus's reaction plays out. Then Masamune.
I don't have tokens made yet, but Walthus is in the square directly outside the door to G1. Ash, Piper, and William are in 3 squares adjacent to Walthus. Masamune is a couple of squares back from there. Alara and Sharrd are in G4.
The window Alara tries is shuttered and held with just a simple latch, making it easy work for her to open. Inside, a small riot of twitterings and cheeping erupts as more daylight floods the room. It is definitely a storeroom of sorts - if you store small animals and unusual tools. There are some small wicker baskets and cages holding mice and sparrows as well as thick leather gloves and, hanging from a hook on the wall, a crook - the sort used for the (peaceful) handling of dangerous snakes.
Walthus gives a little wan smile. "It wasn't the Soggy River Monster. I've glimpsed him from a distance before but have never encountered him up close. No, these injuries were from a nest of vipers I tried to remove from my garden. I know a little about healing and was able to draw most of the venom out, but clearly not all of it.
As Sharrd and Alara make their way around the shack, they're able to assess much of the ground floor's general layout.
G1 would be the front room Sharrd glimpsed initially.
If Walthus has noticed Sharrd's and Alara's absence, he has not indicated it nor drawn any attention to it.
Walthus's eyes widen a bit at the succession of statements. "You sure do have a lot of questions. That's a fact."
The halfling opens the door wider to step out in front of the house. It becomes immediately evident why Walthus may not be at his best - he sports several bandages on his arms, shoulder, and legs. He even winces a bit as he steps outside.
"The Licktoads have a village fort of sorts on one of the older fishing trails, just a little south of here. I'm not surprised that the Sandpoint sheriff sent someone to deal with them. They've been very noisy in the marsh lately and that can't mean anything good for town."
He addresses the young samurai, "As far as what you may have heard at the bridge, there are a number of critters who hunt round about the trails and the bridges. Giant toads, raccoon, the Soggy River Monster. Could have been any of those."
If Walthus is hurt, he's dealing with more than just some physical wounds. He moves with a noticeable stiffness - perhaps a side-effect of some of the injuries he has sustained.
Marik Whiterose wrote:
Sharrd called out to Walthus, "Hey Walthus, if you're in there we'd like to talk. The sheriff sent us." There was no immediate response. Piper chided Sharrd for lack of manners as the rest shifted about and made ready for potential danger.
Sharrd set out to reconnoiter a bit, peering in windows to see if anything was going on while Alara moved to back him up if he got into trouble. Piper had motioned William uptoward himself near the door while Ash and Masamune hung back a bit.
The door opens a few inches and the face of a male halfling can be seen through the gap. He bears a little bit of 5 o'clock shadow on his face and his eyes a little watery and pouchy as if he hasn't slept or slept well in some time.
"The sheriff sent you?" he says in a weak-sounding voice. "What would the sheriff want me for?"
I'm going to re-post in what the original GM posted about know: local skill results on Walthus Proudstump as a reminder.
I'm going to add that he has called himself a retired adventurer who settled down into a quiet life and is a snake wrangler. In fact, he had been known to keep a snake or two in his pockets on trips to town, even venomous ones, much to Sheriff Hemlock's discomfort.
I may end up being a little more free with information than other GMs. There's so much fun character in Paizo APs, I really want to reveal it.
I legitimately missed the bit in the skill entries about bonuses for move speed, but this is either deliberate or an error (since every other entry that I looked at with web follows the guideline), and I have no way of knowing which one.
Probably a typo. With a discrepancy of 1 hit point, is it worth fussing much about? For the most part, little differences and even skill points not adding up exactly won't make much a difference in the CR of the creature in question.
Great! If there are no objections in the meantime, I'll start getting the game switched over to me as GM with the board admins in the morning and get myself up to speed. I'll include the original GM's setup at Walthus's shack and initial PC reactions to start back off for easy reference as soon as I can once the game is switched.
I wouldn't allow him to take 20 with sleight of hand to hide something. The assumption with taking 20 is that failure occurs sometime along the way before achieving that best possible result. And with using sleight of hand to hide something, failure is determined when someone else gets a matching or better result. That's also why I don't allow taking 20 on stealth checks even if setting up an ambush site. I think allowing it would be contrary to the spirit of taking 20.
A circumstance modifier to raise the DC for a particularly good hiding place or well-constructed hidden sheath or whatever is a better alternative.
One other option is to take the prerequisites off combat expertise and give it to certain kinds of characters for free. That gives them the choice of trading attack bonus directly for defense. It's a relatively small thing, but one of the benefits of playing the fighter type is he has BAB to burn for such things - if he chooses to do so.
The way I would handle combat is I would roll all the initiatives myself (it's easy enough to dump a standard block into the format here and put out the initiatives) and treat it as a task check against opponents to create groups. Any players rolling higher than the opposition would be able to post their moves in any order and coordinate as they desire. Then I'd post up the opponents and their moves as well as summarize the results of the first group's actions. And after that, the next group of PCs would go, again in any order and hopefully I'd have time to respnd with the round-end summary. Then we'd start at the top of the order again with the faster group. I started doing this with another game because it was a lot easier than trying to get everyone posting in a more specific order and the game tended to really slow down.
I do like to use maps, particularly online because of the clarity of presentation, so I will almost certainly check out what was done (if anything) on the Roll20 site. The PDF versions of this path includes some interactive map files so I'll experiment with how those work and try to make up some tokens. There are also some collaborative graphics features in GoogleDocs that we might be able to use, which would allow PCs to move their own tokens on the game board. I'd see how well I could get those to work.
Ultimately, I hope that we'd be able to get combat moving relatively quickly with me posting fairly standard or characteristic actions for players who are out with computer trouble or away from home for a while in order to keep things moving.
I want to avoid showing too many dice rolls on my side mainly because I think they clutter things up when better handled by narration. I'd also prefer if players roll their damage at the same time they roll their attacks to avoid having to revisit posting too much. Once characters get into multiple attacks, if you want to post contingencies to avoid over-committing attacks, I can accommodate that and make sure it gets incorporated into my battle summaries.
If you'd like, I can post a running total of conditions and hit points (damage taken for opponents) in the summary post too.
For minor battles/random encounters, I'm OK with a more theater-of-the-mind approach and not using a map. For example, if the group spots a troll in a copse of trees about 100 ft distant, I don't think we need to use a battle map. We'll just keep track of general statuses and location in text.
As far as what I posted yesterday about not finishing battles that are pretty much foregone conclusions, I would simply say something like "With that last shot, the giant collapses, unable to fight any further. You mop up his hobgoblin minions with little extra effort." I'd rather do that than play out a fight with another half dozen minor figures. It would be more or less contingent on when and how authoritatively you broke the back of the encounter by wiping out most of the threat. If, however, there some fights you prefer to finish out (if you want to try out a new power or spell or something), let me know and I'll hold off on that kind of resolution.
It makes Pathfinder a PITA? Or just some people? I'm guessing that the people who bring those things up and make it a PITA will do that with other game systems as well.
As I was reading through the game play thread, I was beginning to wonder if I had stumbled into a soap opera thread. That was a lot of drama development in a short time! I'm really impressed by the group's dynamic, so, yes, I'd be interested in GMing for you.
Since there's another prospective GM interested, I should post a bit more of a résumé. As you may have inferred from my message board name, my name is Bill. I'm a software tester in Verona, Wisconsin. I'm just about to turn 45 and I've been playing various forms of D&D since 1981. Most recently, I've been playing mainly Star Wars Saga Edition (for a Mass Effect campaign), D&D 3.5, and Pathfinder (Skull and Shackles - I'm getting to play this rotation as a half-orc summoner and pirate captain). The most recent campaigns I've run (face-to-face) is the Council of Thieves AP for PF. Before that I ran the Shackled City campaign for D&D 3.5. And the last campaign before that I ran was a 3e-rules, 1st edition module classics campaign including Return to the Keep on the Borderlands, the Scourge of the Slavelords, Ravenloft, White Plume Mountain, and Against the Giants all converted to 3e (mostly 3.5).
I have no problem with the flex time, though if it seems to be overwhelming less active players I might ask participants to condense a little. I think if we really get going, the flex time will become a little less overwhelming of the thread posts.
Um… anything else you'd like to know about how I run games so you can decide if I'm a good fit for the current game?
Vincent Takeda wrote:
I agree that, if you want the serial to go on, creating the illusion of danger is a decent way to go. But I wouldn't agree that the hero dying at the end of the action movie would be stupid at all. I wouldn't mind seeing more of it in the movies, in fact. It's not that I particularly like martyrdom, but sometimes it really punches up the power of a story. I think Frodo's example in Lord of the Rings fits this - he survives the main denouement of the narrative and saved the Shire, but not for himself and off into the undying west he goes. Much more poignant than him simply living out the rest of his life at Bag End as a gentlemanly squire.
Interesting group of characters. Looks like a fun game so far (I haven't had a chance to go over the discussion or play threads yet).
I haven't run a game over here on the Paizo boards yet, but I am experienced at running PF and have run message board games before - just at a different location. At this point, I'm interested. I'd just like to have a chance to review the other threads to make sure I'm not a bad fit for your group.
By the way, what pace was the original GM setting/looking for?
What kinds of characters do you have? How loose or rigid did the previous GM seem about character creation? Those are a couple of things I'd want to know before volunteering to pick up someone else's game - I'd hate to be a bad fit for the group you've got going.
Isadork may have emphasized confidence, but I think these two mini-paragraphs are even more important. Rules sometimes need changing to fit the situation - keep their general structure in spirit and things should be alright. And running a game that feels fair in which the players are having fun is the most important goal of playing in the first place.
By feeling fair, rather than just saying fair, I mean that the players feel that their ideas and suggestions are dealt with fairly whether or not they are, in fact, actually balanced and scrupulously fit the rules.
That's making one huge assumption.
Yeah, but you're still converting material of one sort into a product of the same material. What does it matter what the initial shape or form the initial material is in? The spell doesn't seem to require that.
Does it really say that in the spell description? I don't think so.
He was certainly in his rights to say that you can't join as an apprentice without spending 2 years doing so. That's entirely reasonable. They can set their own membership requirements. Stringing you along just to stymie you in the end is a bad job.
I'm still now seeing how this is really broken. The money burned is still the same.
Was that a specific clarification from Paizo? I was reading it as only being able to cast while in bloodrage as well. The 3rd paragraph in the Spells description says, "The bloodrager goes not need to prepare these spells in advance; he can cast them at any point during a bloodrage (as per his blood casting ability), assuming he hasn't yet used up his spells per day for that level." (emphasis mine)
That's a pretty narrow writing of when the class spells can be cast. If the intent is for the spells to be usable any time, then I think that section would need a rewrite.
Suggestion / Request: Would Paizo be willing to Design a new Class as something akin to the 3.5 Warlock?
I certainly can't tell you exactly why, but if you have unlimited abilities like prehensile hair and a warlock with his eldritch blast and unlimited spell-like abilities (and even equality between long bows and crossbows) - where does the game cross the line from fantasy RPG and into cape and tights superhero RPG? And should the game dally too much with that line? Should the PF game incorporate elements to support the players who want a superhero-vibe to their fantasy characters? Or should it encourage those players to just make the switch to a supers game and play fantasy-tinted super heroes?
You know, I remember the theorycrafting on the internet saying the mystic theurge, when it debuted in 3e, was over-powered. Theorycrafting looked at the monk in 3.0 and said the same thing.
Part of the issue is that theorycraft largely advances in skill with play testing the system. When 3e debuted, the action economy didn't figure into the theorycrafting to same degree it does now. It took actually playing the system to discover just how disadvantaged the single boss monster is compared to a party of attackers. The topics of theorycraft applied to 3e and PF have changed substantially over the last decade and that's a direct outgrowth of actual play.
In theory, there is no difference between theory and reality. In reality...
One thing I'd like to emphasize is that the end result is supposed to be something fun to play. The numbers may come out perfect, yet the result may still be a loser. It's a bit like designing software for goofed usability. You can put your best analysis and theory to use in building the UI, but if you don't test it with real users, you'll never know if you've got a winner.
I think many of the narrative power arguments are a bit on the bogus side. For example, the spellcaster may have the power to change certain methods of adventuring by teleporting, shifting planes, enabling water breathing, and so on. But because most of those abilities are either going to be used for the benefit of the whole party or not at all during adventure time, they're really not a significant factor in differentiating between the spellcaster and fighter in a practical sense. The spellcaster's presence may enable that mode of adventuring but because it applies to the whole group (otherwise, they're not really adventuring together, are they?) it might just as well be a plot device.
If you're assuming that's the reason that APs end by those levels, you'd be mistaken. Paizo people have said, on a number of occasions, that higher level adventures don't sell as well as lower-level ones. They've said that applies to AP chapters as well - the first ones selling more than the ending ones.
It's true that, because of the number of choices available in this game, the game does become less predictable at high levels. If everyone had much more constrained choices, it would be easier to expect PCs to be built a particular way and make it easier to design consistently good adventures to fit. PF's flexibility does work against itself - or at least against Paizo's desire to sell high level adventures - in that case. However, that doesn't mean the game stops working, rather, safe assumptions about how anybody is playing it stop working.
You know, if you reintroduce those weapons vs armor type modifiers from 1e, some of those simple weapons (like the heavy crossbow) stop sucking so much.
Honestly the verisimilitude argument is pretty bogus anyway due to the fact that D&D and PF in no way function as a real world simulator. In terms of simulationism they best simulate D&D physics rather than anything resembling reality.
No. Absolutely not. Most RPGs depend on a sense of verisimilitude because of their nature. Being open-ended games in which a player can try to achieve nearly anything, yet having a finite rulebook, a typical RPG needs to depend on the GM (and players' at the table) to be able to adjudicate results outside the rules in a reasonably predictable manner. To do this, we rely on our shared sense of reality. Rules that take lengths to violate this leave the table playing something in which our senses of reality offer no (or little) predictive analysis and the results, ultimately, feel arbitrary and meaningless.
There's always a balance to strike between simulationism and gamism. You want enough simulationism that the results make sense for our understanding of reality. Yet you also want to achieve those results in a fun manner that's no more complex than it needs to be. So you abstract the simulation some to promote better game play - but you usually don't want to completely ignore the simulation. Exactly how much simulation a game incorporates is a matter of taste. D&D and PF incorporate loading differences between the longbow and crossbow as part of the simulation they don't want to lose. And, no, I don't want to see that realism-based difference abandoned.
I can't speak for your experiences, but it sounds like they've been pretty limited. My experience is that, as the character gets more powerful, kick-in-the-door adventuring isn't as interesting or challenging and we start to exercise broader influence on the campaign - including political influence. In other words, role playing tends to take the place of the old dungeon adventuring as we level up.
Sir Thugsalot wrote:
Considering this is also achievable by having everyone move more than a 5 ft adjust away so the opponent in question has to move to attack, I'm not sure this aspect of it is all that encounter breaking.
Vincent Takeda wrote:
I find that boil-down a bit too simplistic. Sometimes, as a GM, you want to see how the players interact with the story you want to tell and see where it goes from there. GM's get to tell stories too - that is not solely the domain of the player.
I'm playing the captain in a Skull and Shackles game and I usually consult my officers (a bit like Picard on Star Trek). I also don't have anywhere near the highest sailor skill in the group, but I do happen to have the best Charisma. Plus I'm the only evil PC of the group - so making the bastard decisions is something my PC's personality can more easily embrace.
We also have an inquisitor of Besmara in the party - she's basically our sailing master. A rogue archer is a mate in charge of the riggers and chief gunner. And the big, melee ranger heads up armed operations and security in general.
On the first question - bonuses of the same name usually don't stack but that's assuming they're adding to the same thing. Enhancement bonuses to Strength and Charisma don't face the stacking limitation because they aren't adding to the same thing.