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Mynafee Gorse

Bill Dunn's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 5,970 posts (7,086 including aliases). 4 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 22 aliases.


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If you're using the shadow template from 3.5, why did you post the one from PF farther up the thread?

OK, so your GM was foolish for allowing the shadow template from 3.5. Suggest you apply the one from PF instead since it's only a 20% concealment and doesn't have any of the additional powers every 4HD garbage. You retain some of the basic character of your character, he gets a PC in his game that's far less abusable.

And with respect to the 3.5 version of Alter Self, notice my emphases below:

Alter Self
Transmutation
Level: Brd 2, Sor/Wiz 2
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: 10 min./level (D)
You assume the form of a creature of the same type as your normal form. The new form must be within one size category of your normal size. The maximum HD of an assumed form is equal to your caster level, to a maximum of 5 HD at 5th level. You can change into a member of your own kind or even into yourself.
You retain your own ability scores. Your class and level, hit points, alignment, base attack bonus, and base save bonuses all remain the same. You retain all supernatural and spell-like special attacks and qualities of your normal form, except for those requiring a body part that the new form does not have (such as a mouth for a breath weapon or eyes for a gaze attack).

You retain your own ability scores is key. As is the level of the spell. Alter self has a duration of 10 min/level compared to Bull's Strength which is only 1 min/level. Do you really think it makes sense that they'd have a spell that lasts 10x as long and offers the same benefit as Bear's Endurance and a double-strength Bull's Strength together at the same time? It doesn't. If a spell seems to offer a benefit out of proportion to spells of the same level, double check your understanding of the spell.

Here's the relevant quote from Skip Williams's Rules of the Game:

Skip Williams wrote:

You retain your own ability scores when in your assumed form.

You might appear strong or agile in your assumed form, but none of your ability scores change when you use the alter self spell.


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Cantriped wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Every martial character would be piling on dwarven helmets barbazu beards armor spikes gauntlets boot blades...
No they wouldn't, because Two-Weapon Fighting still only gives you one additional Attack, regardless of how many additional weapons you wield, and the Multiweapon Fighting feat requires that you actually have three or more hand (not three or more weapons).

I agree. This is one reason I felt that hands of effort, mechanical tradeoffs, and normal PC race rationalizations in the unwritten rule posts were really hollow. Even if you allow TWF with a two-handed weapon (assuming the PC wants to kick, headbutt, hip check, use a barbazu beard or a helmet spike or spikes), reasonable mechanical limitations like the limitation of one additional attack are already there.


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GM Aerondor wrote:

My 2c.

While as written, this specifically does let you attack with the beard and a two hander. And as noted specific trumps general. However as also noted this is an old item.

While it is unlikely there will be an official errata on such an old source book, it is worth noting that the beard is not a PFS legal item. That generally is a good proxy for "there is something dodgy going on here".

Not necessarily dodgy by intent either (since the connotation of dodgy is usually so negative). I take it to mean there's ambiguity that hasn't been resolved so they're just going to work around it.


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James Risner wrote:

So it seems everyone is in agreement except Melkiador?

The beard is an off hand weapon that doesn't use a hand, but does use a metaphorical hand. It can be used with iterative attacks with a two handed weapon, but can not now be used with TWF with a two handed weapon due to a more recent FAQ?

Who knows? The FAQ offers no guidance - nor does the rationale behind the two hands off effort unwritten ruling particularly because the barbazu beard specifically says it requires no hands to use and that was written before anybody knew about the hands of effort thing. Had it been written after that became public, we might be able to infer it as an exception.

Running this at home, I throw out the hands of effort unwritten rule and allow TWF with two-handed weapons. Were I running in PFS, I'd still allow the barbazu beard despite the unwritten rule because the written rule for the item would make it an exception. That and written has to override unwritten.


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SorrySleeping wrote:

I'm trying to be hands off since I'm the dm this time. Another player(b) is also staying hands off, telling the other player (a) that he'll answer questions but won't put anything on paper, since the last character he helped create is more his(b) than the real Player (a).

Sounds like this is the kind of player you need to be more "hands on" with than hands off. He may not be 'new' but that doesn't mean he really knows much of what to do with character generation.

It also sounds like he's not al that engaged in the nitty gritty of the RPG process either. If he's just telling what the die comes up with, tell him to add his numbers. Every time. Hold him to it or you'll just use the number he reports. Highlight his numbers on the character sheet if you have to (I do that for my wife but then the particular sheets we use can be a little complex to pick out the right info quickly).


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thaX wrote:

I don't think the "Hands of effort" is exclusively a Pathfinder thing. It is a particular that is the guide for what weapons and attacks can do that had been in the background of the original tenants of the 3.0 design. It is referenced as a known quantity in the posts and was explained later in the FAQ that Darksol mentions.

It's impossible to tell because... it isn't written anywhere. The whole topic is an effing-hassle because it's impossible to tell what's affected by the unwritten rule and what's an exception. And the unwritten rule was only communicated as part of the message board discussion, not part of the FAQ, so it's ultimately pretty useless for actually interpreting rules by any of us playing the game who aren't part of the design team in the know since it's too freaking hard to find.

That said, I did find the thread again: the 'unwritten rule' makes its appearance

My personal take on it is this: forget the unwritten rule - it's poorly conceived and poorly implemented with lots of ambiguous fallout. Better to just allow someone to use TWF with a two-handed weapon with some limitations - the extra weapon can't be wielded by one of the two hands on the two-handed weapon. Then we don't have to worry about whether or not the barbazu beard is an exception. Just apply the TWF penalties, recognize that TWF allows one and only one extra attack (barring the TWF feats that specifically allow more), and be done with it. It's simpler and it's not as unbalanced as the design team seemed to think when they finally deigned to mention the unwritten rule.


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thejeff wrote:

Well, sure. That makes sense.

Can I search the 10'x10' area 40' away and find the book hidden in the bookshelf without going up to it? Can I find the needle trap in the desk lock from 40' away and the other side of the desk?

We're back to "You must describe which different things you're searching and where you are and how you're moving", which negates the whole point of having search rules in the first place.

I don't have a good answer.

If I was running it as "You have to enter the area to search it", you would at least get your chance to detect the trap before setting it off.

No, we're not back to "You must describe which different things you're searching..." and the Search rules can most certainly be used. You just have to accept that the ability to search certain kinds of areas requires close contact and manipulation and not just rolling a search check from some standing across the room in the doorway.

And yes, I too would assume that a successful search check would find the trap before setting it off. That's rather the point of the successful search check. I would only assume the trap goes off because the PC elected to not search or failed to meet the DC when doing so and then did something that would trigger it.


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Glorf Fei-Hung wrote:


The issue here is simple in Pathfinder, Killing an evil creature is not an evil act, no matter what the circumstances are, you are not performing evil by ridding the world of evil creatures.

Well, no. You could still commit an evil act by killing an evil creature. It's not like you can simply murder them walking down the street. However, this situation isn't that. It's an enemy they've been fighting and who is psycho enough to imply she's going to continue to do exactly what brought them into conflict in the first place. That threat alone plus her previous actions should be enough to leave her assuming room temperature on the floor with clear conscience.


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Daw wrote:

This is a PFS Module, or an approved Paizo Module.

If it is the first, there are specifics on how this should be handled built in.
I suspect Imbicatus advice should be listened to.
I rather suspect this is as much a fail on the Author as the GM. There is likely a clever way around the trumped up moral dilemma. There is a good chance some clues and options have been missed. Where the fail was we don't know. This is a module, so there are almost certainly rails that aren't under your wheels.

I think we can make a few cogent guesses. The enemy isn't really expected to survive the encounter from the other things that have been posted, or at least isn't expected to be captured. And given a morale statement spoilered in the thread above, I think the NPC's demise is expected to be morally unambiguous at least to the point that no further moral dilemma was expected by the writer or editors or any other PFS officials.


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Snowlilly wrote:

The game is not a real-world simulation.

You have to specifically check for traps because that is what the rules say.

Trying to bring real world mechanics into a fantasy game is only going to lead to madness.

I utterly disagree. The problem is too many people try to focus just on mechanics rather than using the mechanics and the ideas they incorporate to operationalize what the players say they want their PCs to do in a reasonably fair manner that isn't too cumbersome. If it makes sense that the PC should have a chance to see the trap reactively, roll the perception check. If it doesn't, then don't and wait for them to actively seek the trap.


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David knott 242 wrote:


One counterintuitive thing I have noticed about the switch to an all-volunteer military is that it has actually, if anything, made our government more rather than less willing to start military operations. Politicians do a lot less soul searching before committing volunteer soldiers to military action now than they did when military action could potentially involve any young men of the right age.

I don't know that the facts bear that out. Everyone seems to forget how often the US engaged in substantial military intervention in the 1950s and 60s like sending 20,000 troops to the Dominican Republic. I think a bigger change is the nature of the intervention. In the 1970s through the 1980s, we were more likely to just send smaller units or specialists compared to hundreds of thousands of troops in Vietnam. It strikes me that the issue is more linked to the specifics of foreign policy trends rather than being more willing to send volunteers than conscripts.


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Lorewalker wrote:

Now, since we are describing something in Pathfinder... evil is not an opinion. Something either IS evil or it is not. And if it is it is always evil. Such as raising undead is evil no matter the reasoning.

What is evil for CE is evil for LG is evil for CG. And that is true for all aligned actions and alignments.

So, the question is again, with this context... is conscription evil? Is taking someone's freedom evil if that person has not performed any action to choose the abandonment of their freedom(such as through criminal action or volunteering)?

But it isn't true. Some things are always evil such as spells with the evil descriptor. Other things depend on context. Was it an evil act to kill that half-orc? That depends on the context. Was it an evil act to conscript someone for a task? That depends on the context.


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Sissyl wrote:


Um, no. Ancient militaries were not conscription based. Being a soldier was often reserved for nobility, or a good career path. The reasoning was simple: Armed commoners is bad policy.

In medieval times, it was different, but still there were more commoners than needed to fight.

The huge conscription armies were a thing of the nineteenth century.

Huge conscription armies? Maybe. But ancient militaries were quite often conscription-based. Athens required military service. So did Thebes and Sparta, as did the Roman Republic throughout its pre-imperial tenure. The practice was quite common and the need to get campaigns over quickly so people could get back to their lives was one of the reasons these cultures developed the pitched battle fighting styles they're famous for - so their citizen soldiers could get back to their farms and shops and work on their livelihood, not just soldiering.


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Knight who says Meh wrote:


Does every single action change your alignment? Can Good people do bad things? Can Evil people do good things?

Part of the discussion here is whether or not the paladin will fall if he supports conscription because, unlike other aspects of alignment, one act here actually does have repercussions.


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Paul Migaj wrote:


I understand, and you've made a very good point, though I think conscription is the greater evil between free-riders and being forced to fight.

Aside from the above, it interesting how often the argument of "we would have lost if we didn't do that" comes up in saying something necessary wasn't evil. We like to think of our necessary actions as not evil. Is it truly so?

Maybe, but in a society like your typical fantasy, pseudo-medieval role playing campaign, is it evil? Is it evil enough to make a paladin fall?

And the answer is pretty clearly no. For the most part, these societies don't have the millions upon millions of volunteers to call upon whether that task is to make an earthen rampart to control the annual floods or to defend the kingdom against an aggressive foe who will probably plunder as he goes. The technology, the numbers in the population, the much smaller economies, all of that virtually guarantees that everyone must cooperate and probably do so with personal service rather than just paying their taxes or some other form of cash payment to pay for someone else to do it for them.


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Sissyl wrote:

Forcing people to go out into a battlefield without options to very realistically simply die is textbook Evil. Verdun and the like cost Europe a whole generation of young men, conscripted to the prospect of charging machine gun nests. Hundreds of thousands died for no apparent gain. The trench lines didn't move. In such a situation, is further conscription still Good? Sorry. Despite all the jingoistic nonsense of "just war" and "noble duty" and yadda yadda yadda, I have trouble seeing it as anything but the most monstrous Evil.

That said, it may perhaps be considered "necessary" by the government and carried through. All nations are built on a multitude of corpses. And Evil remains Evil.

And volunteer troops makes it better? Canadians marched off to the Somme as volunteers. Conscription isn't the same as incompetence and ruthlessness to the soldiers.


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Klorox wrote:
Conscripts are generally free citizens, and not owned by the state, and while they are at war their maintenance is paid for by the state... this is true in Rome or in medieval militias at war. but when you were a basic militiaman, whether in ancient armies or medieval ones, and not a noble, promotion was a perspective that was at best limited, at worst inexistent.

And yet, from a lawful perspective, it would be part of their civic obligation to serve in the military and no more evil than paying taxes, obeying the law, serving on jury duty, or whatever other civic responsibilities a person might have. That may seem passe to a more individualist ethic and it does lend itself to abuse, but the view that compulsory civic service is evil in some way is fairly extreme from a historical perspective and even in the case of conscription for a defensive war doesn't fit the description of evil in the Pathfinder rules.

I would suggest telling the player who says the paladin must fall for supporting conscription to butt out. And if they need any historical perspective - conscription into the Union army secured the end of chattel slavery in the US, conscription into the the various Allied militaries (including the US) provided the forces necessary to end the Holocaust in Europe as well as the brutal oppression imposed by the Japanese in China and across the Pacific. Conscription may also have enabled the Germans to slaughter millions of people defined as inferior by the Nazis and enabled the Japanese to spread their own murderous, racist domination. But that just means there are bigger issues involved in judging the morality of conscription than the narrowly focused loss of individual freedom to choose to do something else.


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wertyou2 wrote:
When I tell him of my complaints about these things he just sort of shrugs and tells me he can't do much about it. Are these complaints I should have about the campaign or about him as a DM? I really hope it's not the latter because this is the first campaign he's ever run (which wasn't a good idea if you ask me, since he's running it non-mythic, but that's another piece anyway). I don't want to be this upset with his style because it's obvious he's worked a lot on the campaign. Without spoiling the campaign, what can you tell me?

He can't do much about it? That just means he won't do much about it. Paizo doesn't send the GM Police around to ensure that GMs are following their adventures to the letter.

Of course, they also don't generally pack their adventures, even WotR, wall to wall with explicit depravity either. Based on my reading of the AP, your GM is embellishing the content. Significantly.


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Ascalaphus wrote:
So the hot new tactic is to set up an ambush in the forest with a pit trap between the archers and the PCs. Melee PC tries to rush the archers, doesn't take time to look for traps, timbeeeeerrr!

Hot new tactic? This is ultimately why minefields are nothing more than speed bumps to sophisticated armies if they aren't covered by fire, either infantry or artillery. Enemy fire keeps the engineers from effectively searching for and deactivating the mines without massive risk or distracts the unit from searching for them at all until it's too late.


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Ravingdork wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
Wow, now the best traps ever will be covered pit traps on wilderness trails, or really any trap in the wilderness. Because nobody, and I mean nobody, is going to be searching every 10' when they have to travel 10 miles to the next town.

Hey if it worked for Team Rocket...

Seriously though, now Trap Spotter is actually worth taking.

Ultimately, I approve of this FAQ, though the suggestion of the GM taking away player agency by making their rolls for them gives me pause.

Players making the die rolls isn't agency.


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JosMartigan wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
And that's also why a fireball was always so daggum deadly.

That makes me think I should house rule fireball and lightning bolt as 1d8 per level. LOL

MAKE FIREBALL AND LIGHTNING BOLT GREAT AGAIN!!! :)

My solution is to return to the 1e solution and remove the damage caps. Imposing a cap may have made sense back in 2e when they were introduced, but 3e removed any caps on hit dice for classes and added Con bonuses for monsters devaluing direct damage spells. Removing the caps would help redress that issue.

I'd even consider setting all evocations as standard action spells and all save-or-die/sit/lose spells as 1 round casting times.


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Kileanna wrote:


Also, I want some status removal, dispels, buffs, debuff, protection spells, etc. that I won't be using every day but that will surely benefit my party in the right situations. If you start counting the spells there is a long list.

Maybe, but the spells themselves are still fairly cheap compared to armor and, especially, weapons. A high level wizard could get 2 9th level spells from another wizard for about the cost of a +1 weapon.


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Anguish wrote:


I'm afraid it does. The cloak and the gold are worth a total of 4,900gp. Each PC gets 1,225gp. Nobody can buy the cloak. Yet.

If the party can agree to sit on the cloak for a while (until there's another 16kgp worth of loot to divvy up), fine. If they can't... again, fine. It gets sold off any everyone gets their FAIR share and nobody gets the better-than-their-fair-share cloak.

Frankly, I find this the most ridiculous outcome of the heavy accounting method - that a very useful but too expensive item must be sold in the interest of exacting equality of wealth because there isn't enough other wealth to cover the value if one PC should take it. You end up selling it for half value only to potentially have to pay full value later on when someone chooses to upgrade to it. It's a waste.


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Matthew Downie wrote:
Anguish wrote:
It occurs to me the solution to this thread is: Ye Olde Magic Shoppe.

That doesn't solve the sort of problems that people have.

A typical problem might be:
"OK, we've found a 400gp and a +3 cloak of resistance. Who's needs one of those?"
"I do."
"I do too."
"OK, roll off."
"Natural 20."
"Right, you get it. Then we split the gold. 100gp each."
"Cool, now I can sell my +2 cloak of resistance and buy a magic bow at the magic shop."
"But I only had a +1 cloak of resistance!"
"So?"
"That's not fair!"
"It'll balance out next time we find loot."
"Yeah, right."

We generally don't have these problems because:

1) the cloak will usually go to someone who has the worst saves and/or weakest cloak currently in the party

2) if it goes to someone who already has a better cloak than someone else in the party (in the example, the +2 cloak gets passed on to the person with the +1 cloak and the +1 cloak gets sold, proceeds divided, if nobody else claims it)

Everybody's reasonably happy. And if they're not happy with that style of treasure division, they're probably not a good fit for our group.


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Feral wrote:
Doomed Hero wrote:

Equity is more important than equality.

Different classes have different gear requirements at different levels.

Don't worry about fair. Instead, give found loot to the people who need it most. Shore up weaknesses first, then distribute based on effectiveness.

Anything that isn't usable by someone in the party, sell and split the take.

I also suggest against this. As I mentioned in CoT game, if you distribute loot based on weaknesses and effectiveness all of the loot ends up in the hands of the fighter.

But since the fighter (or rogue or ninja or barbarian) has a greater need of equipment than the wizard (or cleric or druid) it is a fairer approach than splitting equally by cash value.

I don't advocate splitting by cash value - split by utility weighing best benefit and shoring up weaknesses on a case by case basis. Sometimes it should go to the one who can get the most out of it, sometimes to the one who needs the boost most. It's not much good boosting the most optimized PC if other ones continually lag behind, nor is it much good if the item perfect for one PC's build goes to another one simply because he is lagging a little. A little better judgment and willingness to allow another PC to shine now for consideration later is a better way to go.

As far as tracking consumables, if you significantly do that, who would ever take and use one? They end up just being hoarded as wealth, not used as they are supposed to be. Don't track them. Use them.


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Daw wrote:

In a low magic game a wizard will dominate a game with few generally useful magic items.

The wizard is further allowed to create useful items for himself only.
The wizard is allowed to PVP to kill off his only real competition, the alchemist.
In support of the wizard, the GM completely redefines the effect of the Shatter spell.
In support of the wizard, the GM redefines how an alchemists unactivated materials work.
.....
How is this GM not a dick?

Or...

The GM didn't read or pay attention to either the shatter spell's text about affecting unattended items and the alchemist's unactivated materials and just made a bad decision.
You don't really need to assume malice on the GM's part.


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zainale wrote:


ohh i am joining the ongoing campaign. my first character died by tiger sneak attack during the night. then i made a new character that lasted a while till he got murdered by the party's wizard (shot my alchemist bomber with an AoE shatter spell when he was carrying tons of glass vials of alchemical fire and acids which lite and set off his alchemical grenades which in turn blew up the BBEG's magical device that the alchemist was working on disabling. so i made a new Pc this witch.

there are some magic items in the game but most the time they are not very useful or don't have visible effects. or can't be used by the party at that time.
like a sipping jacket that you can't use extracts in/on it
an iceburst weapon to a party member that does not crit
or a living spider book of spiders that attacks anyone that tries to use it with paralyzing bites and webs or a book meant to kill that aforementioned book.
or a manual of construct creation
a few ioun tourches
-we had a book of escape but it escaped.-
most of the useful items that we had or got. the wizard took for himself or used the party funds to create for himself.

and the reason why my witch does not have the item creation feat is because the wizard has the item creation feats and the Dm might lose his shyt if two Pcs had that feat.

the dm says its only low magic so he can give us the magic items he wants to give us.

Wow. Several red flags going off here.

Sounds like the wizard player may be a problem if he's murdering other PCs and hoarding the magical gear. Add in the "low magic" game and he's kind of cornering the party market on magic. Chances are he'd have a problem with another arcane caster and find a way to murder your witch character too.

And the GM's letting him get away with that. How do the other players feel about all this?

In general, I don't have a problem with a GM wanting to run a "low magic" campaign, but it requires some work to pull off fairly. And it doesn't sound like that's what's going on here.


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Just think, under earlier editions of D&D, they'd be d4 classes...


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:


Has Disney made a single remake yet that wasn't complete balls? And as a followup question, has a single one of these remakes had a point yet? Now they're making non-musical Mulan, Robin Williamsless Aladdin (I have complicated feelings on that), and a so-called "live-action" Lion King. Merciful Zeus. Go watch the Best Picture-nominated animated version and forget that this little mess exists.

Maybe you should consider seeing it yourself rather than relying on heavily on a particular critic's opinion. A larger proportion of critics and viewers disagree with your critic.


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memorax wrote:
Rpg companies that sell PDfs at full or close to full retail. I thought the PDf format was going to make rpgs cheaper. Not slightly less or just as expensive. Their is no one that needs to be paid to print, make or transport the finished product. Yet some companies insist on sellign them more than 20-25$. I wanted to purchase the L5R 4E PDf since the print is very hard to find and existing copies on places like Amazon are too highly priced. It cost 34$ on Drivethrurpg. In US not Canadian funds. I might as well either wait for the second hand copies to go down in price or a sale on Drivethrurpg. Imo 34$ for the PDF is a bit much .

$34 for a $60 book? That is cheaper. You expect game companies to not be able to pay for the development and art costs or have some profit to invest in their company because you want cheaper RPGs?


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Kileanna wrote:


The wizard was useless as he had only prepared fire spells.

Well, at least your wizard player was owning his concept.


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Blackwaltzomega wrote:


I'd argue the PC's strategy is usually irrelevant after the enemies have moved for the first time; there is no mechanical reason besides the Shield Wall teamwork feat or a Bodyguard/In Harm's Way combo for your enemies to remain adjacent to each other rather than try to flank you. As I've said before, Pathfinder actually tends to abound with ways that grouped up enemies are punished while spread out and surrounding enemies are trickier to fight against.

So either your GM deliberately positions enemies to enable Cleave or he doesn't. That's on the GM, not the player that takes Cleave.

Or, possibly, there just aren't that many 5ft squares in the combat environment so there isn't all that much room to maneuver.


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lucky7 wrote:
@Beernorg: A bit of a nitpick, you confused Sherman "Stonewall" Jackson (Confederate General) with Andrew "Old Hickory" Jackson (President). Easy mistake, aND I enjoyed what you wrote, but I just felt the need to let you know.

I think we're seeing more confusion around Stonewall Jackson here. The Confederate general nicknamed Stonewall was Thomas Jonathan Jackson and he was reputed to have pretty good relationships with both slaves and free black people in his hometown (specifically, he taught sunday school for them - the motivation was definitely paternalist, but apparently honestly compassionate).

There is, however, a Sherman Jackson - but he's an African-American scholar who teaches religion and American studies at USC.


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Kileanna wrote:

I don't think its only attracting people who search for an identity. It attracts desperate people. After WWI Germans were facing a crisis, people were desperate, and they wanted a solution. You only need someone who proselitizes giving them someone to blame for their miseries (the jewish in this case) and to come with an easy solution to get rid of all their problems. The Nazis told Germans that by getting getting rid of the jewish who were keeping all the money all their issues would be solved, and they were desperate enough to believe.

Of course, what you mentioned is also true, but most people don't care about identity as much as they care for feeding their families.

I think identity is more important than that. But it's not necessarily the creation of a positive identity among the people you're trying to sway as much as it's a creation of an "other" identity that you can get your supporters to accept. Once you've got a "them", then the people you want supporting you become the "us" and you've got enough identity to get started.

Racism happens to supply the low-hanging fruit of creating "other" identities and that's why it's been so relevant and will likely to continue to be so.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:


In my opinion, having the game require the Big Six in order to simply succeed is just bad design. That isn't to say that specific classes requiring specific items isn't in itself bad, but when you take specific requirements, make them universal, and then apply it as a universal requirement, regardless of player/character choice, it transforms the game into a "Numbers Game or Die" scenario, which I can assure you, not everybody finds to be fun.

This was, I believe, less of an initial intent as it was a byproduct of allowing magic items to be so easily constructed or bought. PCs were expected to pick up some of the Big 6 here and there, not necessarily advance all of them as soon as they could. Players often do that but that's an effect of the bonuses being so constantly effective coupled with the ability to buy virtually any magic item they want when they have the cash to do it. That, in turn, drives the perception that GMs need to keep pushing at the limits as well to keep PCs challenged.

Contrast with D&D games before 3e. We wanted to get magic weapons, armor, rings/cloaks of protection, girdles of giant strength, gauntlets of ogre power, gloves of dexterity, bracers of armor, and so on. But without a reliable way to make them (item construction before 3e was... a bit unstructured and quirky), we had to rely on treasure we gained. Eventually, we might eventually get much of that stuff, but we couldn't count on it and we certainly couldn't plan for it. It meant a lot more making do with what we got rather than deciding to sell just because it was a situational magic item and a more consistent one would be better.


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Rysky wrote:
Um, thanks, but it would have probably been better if I hadn't wasted everyone's time arguing with them :3

Don't sweat it. It's natural to initially dig in when confronted with an opposing argument. It's mature to be swayed by an opposition argument and acknowledge it when it is convincing.


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Yondu wrote:

I choose tham to face two cyclops at the beginning, one was a guard (Tougher)and the other the ranger (Stealthier), and due to the difficulty they had with the first one, I choose to let them fully recover health before launching the other one on their track, concerning the wildshapping druid, he change in the open as the cyclops was spying them...

The ranger / druid try on stealth was a good try but with a low level and a poor dice, it was pretty easy to spot him and as it was the closest and most aggresive opponent the cyclops close to him and slay him with a critical, and yes the character is more than sub optimal..

Fair enough, but had I been GMing, I think I might have considered a bad roll on the stealth check for the druid/ranger thwarting the attempt to be stealthy enough and ignored the crit threat from the large greataxe attack against him. If a single crit took him down, 2 rounds of normal attacks could have done it as well, but given him a chance to withdraw if he didn't like how things were going after the cyclops moved in and got that first blow.

I'm always a bit wary of triple (or more) damage crits from things with substantial damage bonuses and the effect they can have on the fight. I don't worry about them from PCs so much, but the PCs risk far more of them than any monster usually does, and a hot streak can be devastating.


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wraithstrike wrote:
This is where the GM steps in. As an example if someone is trying to disable a lock only so many people may be able to fit in the area.

For some skills, certainly. I'm talking more about the choruses of "me too" that accompany attempts to aid another with diplomacy, intimidation, bluff, and similar ones not so obviously limited as an attempt to pick a lock.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Does anyone here believe that aid another checks are intended to give penalties on a failure?
I do not. I believe, in fact, that they were specifically designed not to give penalties for failures to encourage cooperation among the group. The alternative is basically to put the 2+Int characters who aren't wizards in a position where they have nothing useful to do, which is a recipe for bored players.

I agree.

But if there were the possibility of a penalty, mainly to discourage an excessive amount of "me to-ism" on checks where literally everyone throws the die just to try to get that +2, it should be in line with the benefits of success such as a -2 for really blowing the aid another check and no more.


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Rysky wrote:
Going off the no penalty for failure since you're not actually making an influence roll train of thought I would agree that you would not get to any add specific bonuses to influencing on it.

Well, you're certainly not going to shift the attitude of anybody one level per 5 points you beat your DC 10, are you? If that doesn't apply, then why does the penalty of losing an attitude level by blowing the check by more than 5 apply?


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Vista wrote:


1) Aid Another. "You can help someone achieve success on a skill check by making the same kind of skill check in a cooperative effort. If you roll a 10 or higher on your check, the character you’re helping gets a +2 bonus on his or her check. (You can’t take 10 on a skill check to aid another.)" The Aiding character had to make a Diplomacy check vs DC 10. This part was non-controversial.

2) Diplomacy Check Influence Attitude. "If you fail the check by 4 or less, the character’s attitude toward you is unchanged. If you fail by 5 or more, the character’s attitude toward you is decreased by one step." The Aiding Character rolled a Diplomacy check of 3, which failed the DC 10 check by 5 or more, therefore the Indifferent NPC became Unfriendly (towards both characters since they were making the skill check cooperatively). The principal character was still allowed to Influence Attitude towards the NPC based upon the new Unfriendly attitude.

I believe my ruling accurately represents the rules as written however my players threw a tantrum and one even quit the game over this ruling. Just wondering what the forum thought.

So if the aiding character failed by less than 5, would the initial diplomacy check have then auto-failed because "the character's attitude toward you is unchanged"? No matter what the main roll was? That is the consequence of even a mild failure with the Diplomacy check.

Personally, I think your interpretation of the rule is a bad one because it means the helpers' failures are more important than the main diplomat's success. And I don't believe that was likely the rule writer's intent. Had it been so, I would have expected some caveat to have been included in the aid another rule that failure to aid could invoke the consequences associated with the main skill check.

I can see failure on an aid check netting a -2 under certain circumstances (drawing some inspiration from Mutants and Masterminds, I'd consider applying a -2 penalty for any aid another check that misses by more than 5). But effectively scotching the attempt no matter what the base roll is? That's far too harsh for someone offering abstract, unspecified aid.


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I think this is becoming a "falling paladin" thread but for all good aligned characters.


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Violet Hargrave wrote:
If you are not playing a character who always does what's right, no matter how personally inconvenient or risky, don't put Good on your sheet.

Doesn't that put an impossible burden on the character? Or, if we were to hold the same standards to modern society, doesn't that put an impossible burden on being moral? To be considered a good (or Good) person, you need to always do what's right, not matter how inconvenient or risky. I'd wager there is no one who can meet that standard, and not merely through ignorance, but because it's actually impossible to do.


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Jessica Price wrote:


I wouldn't start out a game in Classical Greece by telling players that their characters were evil unless they objected to it, but I sure as hell wouldn't let them have a G in their alignment.

The "well, it was a different time" is a cop-out. Persia tried multiple times to abolish slavery, various Greek philosophers recognized that it was wrong (even if they didn't think it could be abolished immediately without society collapsing), etc. We didn't invent empathy in the 20th or 21st centuries.

Are you also saying you wouldn't allow a player to play a good character in Cheliax, Molthune, the lands of the Linnorm Kings, Qadira, Katapesh, the Mammoth Lords, Irrisen, or... oh hell, a large part of Golarion? Somehow I doubt the campaign was written to preclude characters from those nations from being Good. Imposing that kind of guilt by association seems like a dick move to me.


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Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Where I'm personally hung up is the argument that the crafter's labor is somehow worth considering. I mean, in the real world this makes perfect sense, but in game? Your "labor" takes place in the downtime (where by definition nothing of import happens) that's resolved in about 5 seconds by the GM saying "you put in your 8 hours" if that followed by maybe a d20 roll. Not exactly great sacrifices being made here...

Yeah, I'm finding that a bit funny too. Nobody's livelihood is bound up in this at all. It strikes me that the debate comes more down to personal political beliefs than anything really important from a game perspective.


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A gale of wind elementals
A wave of water elementals
A conflagration of fire elementals
An avalanche of earth elementals


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I don't see anything wrong with interpreting the two working together to provide 1d4+1 rounds with 2 actions per round.... other than that maybe being a bit excessive. If I were running a game with that combo as an option, I'm not sure I'd take it at full potential. When prepping the adventure for play, I'd probably drop one of those powers out of the mix in favor of something else less likely to beat the crap out of the action economy.


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Sundakan wrote:

Truly unwinnable encounters are bad GMing, IMO.

Not every encounter is something your PCs will be able to easily handle, but anything you can throw at them within the rules (and within reasonable homebrew bounds) should be possible to beat.

I totally disagree. I think every encounter should be survivable, but not winnable.


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There are a number of reasons I prefer rolling:

1) you get to discover your character as you roll it up, which can spark creativity in ways you didn't expect

2) it does a better job at balancing multi-attribute dependent classes with single attribute dependent ones

3) each rolled stat is independent of the others, no dumping one to boost another

4) it seems to me that other players are more sympathetic about a low stat and the complications it leads to if it's rolled than if it's bought and more willing to help you compensate for it


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TOZ wrote:
Indeed, as if the fudging crowd were just as ideological.

I'm really having a hard time telling what you're saying here. I think, from the context, you really mean to imply that the fudging crows IS just as ideological? So I'll respond to that point.

I don't think the fudging-friendly are just as ideological. The absolutism is the real key here. Most of the fudge-friendly arguments aren't absolutist "I WILL fudge the dice" as much as pragmatic - "I may fudge the dice if it looks like it will make for a better game." They're not along the lines of "If you aren't upfront about fudging, you're a cheat and a liar." It's also the anti-fudging side of the argument that usually equates fudging with loss of player agency, loss of choices mattering, loss game integrity, and the argument "If you're going to fudge, why roll dice at all?" Those suggest a highly ideological approach in which any deviation is a slide into chaos or other typically pejorative connotations like cheating and illusionism. And usually, fudge-friendly arguments are advocating nothing of the sort.

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