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.
I'm still now seeing how this is really broken. The money burned is still the same.
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.
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.
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.
Yes, I have to admit that the 4e attempt to incorporate a regular improvised move structure was one of the game's real strengths as a general RPG. It has its flaws, however, because the rest of the game's encouragement of dumping half your stats and overall mathematics means that your powers are usually better than the special maneuvers anyway. The important thing is it was a start on a good idea and I hope that the next version of D&D makes use of it too (and with it's more constrained modifiers in the play test, there's a good chance it will work better than in 4e too).
Welcome to the internet. You think the arguments here are extreme? Go check out sports sites, political sites, or any newspaper talkback section on stories about crime and punishment. This is small potatoes by comparison.
The lure of Pathfinder? There are three fundamental things I find particularly attractive about Pathfinder compared to 4e:
1) Gameplay - PF is a modestly revised edition of 3.5 edition D&D and plays much like it. And for that matter, 3rd edition D&D in general was an updated version of 2nd edition D&D that can still play a lot like that edition - it was designed to do so in many ways but with a more advanced game rule engine. I think this is one reason it's more popular in a number of regions - a lot of old timer players will find PF a more suitable, currently published game for playing old style adventures they remember from their youth. 4e, according to even a lot of its fans, really plays differently.
2) Adventures - PF has a lot of really awesome ones. From adventure paths to organized play to stand-alone short advnetures, PF has a lot and is coming out with more all the time. Adventures is one area a lot of 4e fans will harshly criticize their own product line - they just haven't been as well regarded. It has even gotten to the point that a substantial number of 4e fans will say that the designers and adventure writers didn't really understand how best to design adventures for their own game.
3) Company - Paizo is currently a standard bearer for customer service and customer engagement, and this dated way back to their custodianship of the Dragon and Dungeon magazine. They listen to feedback and try to find the best way to address it. Wizards of the Coast seemed a lot more insular in the 4e run-up and afterwards. I think the public play test and tons of polling involved in the D&D Next project indicates that they've learned some hard given lessons. The sad thing is I would have called WotC a particularly engaged and responsive company back in 1990s - much better than TSR was. But over the years, that has changed considerably.
Chengar Qordath wrote:
Whenever I see statements like these I have to wonder just what unrealistic things some players think normal people can do. Because high level fighters seem to me to be able to accomplish some things that are well beyond what a normal person could do.
Justin Rocket wrote:
You're assuming that what people are complaining about is something that's actually broken rather than a question of preferences and taste.
Because the burden of proof should reasonably fall on the case for change rather than on the mechanic that works reasonably well for the game's purposes. It's not like you didn't know about hit points when you chose the game. If it's not working for you, the burden is yours to change it so that it does or find a better fitting game.
If theres nothing wrong or weird with just playing with the core book... how come I have never found ONE pathfinder group who does it that way? I'd say that makes using just the core book pretty weird, on top of that I have never been to a pathfinder game where at least one player did not have their character's progression completely mapped out to level twenty, commonly its two to three or all players who have done this.
That's because that is how your groups play the game. There's nothing at all deficient about playing core only. We all played that way before the APG, anyway.
It may be true that most groups will add more to the core, but it's important that people add sources at their own pace, not at the pace of some other PFS propeller-heads or message board participants.
Recently, a couple of new FAQ postings have inspired moderate firestorms on these boards, multiple contentious threads that end up being locked, and a few attempts by R&D to clarify what was meant by the FAQ entry (without those clarifications making it back into the FAQ itself). Whatever the etiquette or lack thereof of some posters on these topics, I think it's clear that some FAQ entries have raised a lot of follow-up questions or left other aspects of the game in ambiguity that could use resolution in a more formal way than a dev making a few clarifications in the threads (that will inevitably be locked and leaving it up to forum users to use the search function to try to find if they're aware of a clarification at all).
My suggestion is to post proposed FAQ entries in the Rules Questions forum so that people can raise follow-up questions and the developers can get feedback on whether or not the FAQ sufficiently answered the question at hand as well as provide missing rationales behind the answers themselves. Then after a week or two (or longer if particularly active), the FAQ entry can be finalized, adding any clarifications that came up in the comment period, and posted.
I don't want to raise the idea that the players are entitled to some kind of oversight over the devs and the FAQ process. What I want this to do is help the process generate more complete answers and keep clarifications from being lost or rendered hard to find for newcomers checking the FAQ lists.
From where I'm sitting, we already have a situation in which there are meaningful choices. And part of that meaning is that there are weapons that are still better than others for most individual characters. I would say that D&D/PF do make enough of the differences between weapons - at least between the longbow and crossbow. It's just that the difference manifests most strongly when looking at the game world as a whole rather than at the oddball outliers that adventurers are. Crossbows, as simple weapons, are easily wieldable by virtually anybody - which makes them a good choice when rounding up a levy of conscripts compared to the longbow given that only a minority of the levy would probably be able to use it.
For some of us, that broader perspective is important as well. We aren't just looking to fuel the mechanical killing abilities of a group of adventuring specialists. We're fitting them into a wider context.
See, for me, this was a bright day because a developer basically piped up and said that some elements of the game aren't designed for the hack and slash world of skirmish miniatures but because people are looking to build interesting PCs regardless of how the combat power shakes out. And that means they're supporting a wider variety of games, not just the combat minigame.
That said, a bit more guidance within the rules published rather than on a blog post or message board would be welcome. So I endorse Monte Cook's message as well.
I'm all for GM limits being respected, but if a player asks why, "Because I said so" is a terrible answer and neither engenders respect nor indicates that the GM has any for his players. I would recommend avoiding that answer like the plague.
One caveat to all of this - if you're using a feat or fighting technique that imposes penalties on all attacks like rapid shot or two-weapon fighting, you are expected to declare your use and take the penalty to hit even if you end up only ever taking the first attack you are allowed. In other words, you take the penalty as if you were declaring a full attack even if, in this case, you never make more than one attack and decide to move instead of taking any subsequent attacks.
I'm going to stand up for beer. As long as nobody's getting stupid drunk, there's nothing wrong with it. We normally play with beer, wine, mead, and/or whiskey. But we also drink in moderation - typically nobody's drinking more than a 2-3 drinks an evening, which includes dinner.
Table cross talk is a normal feature of gaming, particularly for long sessions. As long as you manage to keep it relatively contained, you're probably fine. Attention wanders, nobody's going to pay super close attention to you the whole time. Just keep them coming back with interesting stuff going on. Take short breaks of 10-15 minutes every 2-3 hours.
Every group plays a bit differently. If your players like a beer and pizza game, who are you to stop them from playing that way? If you're the only one at all upset by that, let go of being upset and go with it.
The power gamer is your main problem and, if what you're relating here is a reasonably accurate description as seen from a 3rd party, he will continue to be your biggest problem. I would suggest explaining to him that there's a good reason PCs get half value on used and looted magic items and gear - it's an abstract method of playing out all of the shopping of gear around in a short time frame and settles on a roughly average price you'd be able to get across all the things you're selling figuring you'd do better on some items, worse on others and you're not spending time trying to find absolutely the best prices. If he wants to try to sell items at 100% value, he's going to have wait for the buyers to come and that means it'll be at the GM's discretion if it happens at all. He is, however, free to try to spend whatever he wants to try to market the items far and wide across Varisia - maybe that'll help...
I think the players were a little inconsiderate and I think you're overreacting a bit. People usually have good intentions about this sort of thing - maybe they thought they could make it and held out as long as they could under the assumption they could make it to the game but, ultimately, decided the conflict was too high. I could see that particularly with the case of the sick player and the one with the sick dog.
It's a bummer when the session is called off at the last minute, but that's about all it is. Any time you invested getting ready for it should still be useful when you actually do sit down for the game, so aside from facing a little extra stress, your time wasn't really wasted.
One that allows you to get all of your legal attacks with legal reloading/drawing rules.
If there's a problem with certain kinds of weapons or reloading feats or anything else, that's where the fixes should occur. If the gunslinger getting 4 attacks per round is too many, they shouldn't be a full BAB class or they should not be able to achieve a free action load time or two-weapon missile fire should disallow reloading in any form (or some combination of the three). If there's a legitimate problem, fix the problem rather than leave a guideline about limiting some other element of the game not to blame for the real root of the problem.
Sure, they're guidelines. But you also know how many people treat guidelines like wealth by level in the RPG community.
The main problem with the FAQ is it includes a specific example that calls free action reloads into question. The clarifications here may indicate they didn't mean bows, but what about crossbows and rapid load? How about throwing knives with QuickDraw? Slings and the weirdo halfling sling feats? If reloading a pistol more than 3 times is an abuse of free actions, what about these others? I think the FAQ, as currently written, brings up more questions than it answers.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
I wouldn't set such an absurdly high standard. Sometimes you pick the rule set that you all know even if it isn't a perfect fit to the setting and that's fine. You just fit it best you can, screw perfect, but do the best you can (which may mean no My Little Pony).
Kirth Gersen wrote:
You don't have to be a yes-man to defer to someone else's campaign setting nor does the GM have to be on some kind of authoritarian bender. The answer might very well be "We trust you and want to see how your vision plays out... or we wouldn't have picked your game as the one we want play in now." Some variation on that reasoning is usually a default assumption when the players sign on to a GM's pitch in the first place.
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Yes, they usually do try to have it make some sense, but the truth of the matter is that there is no system of doing so that's objectively more realistic than any other because there's no reality being modeled. The models can be based on entirely arbitrary foundations, each one subject only to whether it resonates with the reader or player more than any other.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
While I think the first paragraph is a bit too snarky for my tastes and doesn't appreciate the flexibility that PF has, the second paragraph has me thinking. GURPS is rather like an extremely broadly stocked supermarket where most of the food is generic/store brand.
Pathfinder is more like a specialty grocery like Asian Midway Foods where you can get anything you need for any kind of Chinese, Korean, or Japanese cooking (it still has a lot of variety) but you'll never be able to support French or Mexican cuisine with it.
Do I get shunned for hating nearly everything J.J. Abrams has ever done?
Oh, I hate the way he ties his shoes. And did you see the way he made the bed? Really loathsome.
Am I missing something or is that not what rules, in fact, do? They define what the hex means just like they define verbal components in spellcasting as being audible and in a strong voice. Is not allowing a spellcaster to whisper or silently mouth the verbal components also slapping the players down?
Some players thought they could take advantage of an apparently insufficient definition to cheese it by arguing that cackling madly (madly already being in the text pre-clarification, I might add) could be silent despite the common definition of the actual word cackle. Frankly, I was mystified by the attempt and now the designers are clarifying what they meant. Simple as that.
Vod Canockers wrote:
Yeah, I really can't see this ruling as doing anything but fixing a fairly obvious oversight on the part of the original cackle design. It struck me as obviously a sound-based power.
Oh, there's no badwrongfun. And Kirth isn't saying that playing in the DM of the Rings campaign is badwrongfun (though I can't personally imagine who would enjoy playing it other than to mock it viciously), but rather said DM should consider writing novels rather than railroading. Because let me tell you, no campaign, adventure, plot hook, BBEG, or McGuffin survives contact with the PCs, nor should it. Plot Armor is a bad writing tool, sure you can have fun, but it makes for a less compelling story and an inexperienced writer should learn to not to use it as they improve. The same is true of DMing.
You suggest that the style of play should be mocked viciously but "there's no badwrongfun". You call it railroading but "there's no badwrongfun".
If it's not for you, fine. It's not for you. But a friend of mine does run a series of campaigns over the last 15 years in the same world in which there is a substantial mythology, a well-defined and coherent history, and the setting isn't constantly being rebooted, rather the events the PCs engage in from campaign to campaign become part of the campaign's history. Has he passed the GRRM mark? Should his campaign be mocked viciously? Is it a railroad? Is it a less compelling story than... what? Is he having badwrongfun?
By the way, the PCs are also humans only. Is that badwrongfun? There are no paladins or rangers (their functions are taken by religious organization prestige classes). Is that badwrongfun because he won't let me play an awakened pony?
Kirth Gersen wrote:
When I see comments like this on a message board, I can't help but see it as you telling another gamer he's having badwrongfun because he (and apparently his players) like that kind of setting continuity.
Edition warring may be frowned on here, but we sure do get a lot of campaign and play style warring.
There is no flaw in the logic. The basis we're starting from is still that the GM is spending more time on the game than I am as a player and I can pretty much guarantee that's the case when I'm GMing as well. You may think, from your remote corner of the internet where you have little or no knowledge of my or my player groups, that's arrogant. But I can tell you that it's true. I spend more time on the PF and 3.5 games I'm running than the players do. Our Mass Effect GM spends more time on it than we do as players. And our Skull and Shackles campaign GM spends more time on it than we players do. So when the Mass Effect GM says no Collector PCs, I'm going to respect that. When the Skull and Shackles GM says that playing an awakened pony would be silly, I'm going to respect that. And when I tell my players that psionicists are off the table as PCs, I expect my players to respect that in turn.
A whole lot is negotiable, but not every option is on the table. You may have a hard time respecting that without impugning someone's creativity or maturity level. But I don't.
No, but the player may be making a GM run a campaign in which every mundane NPC in town has to have an astonishing tolerance for awakened velociraptors, there's a race of intelligent dinosaurs, or in which every arrival in a town starts with a stock "Oh, MY GOD! It's a monster!" scene. And, frankly, all three of those are pretty pervasive changes because a player wants to "be creative".
Just because something is in the rules doesn't mean it should be accommodated in every campaign or every setting using those rules. And that should go without making snide comments about someone's creativity or level of maturity.
Wow. Can't avoid trolling the badwrongfun accusations, can you?
The simple truth of all of this is that people enjoy different things and playing toward the things they enjoy isn't a sign of immaturity nor lack of imagination or experience.
As far as the issue of verisimilitude and dragons, just because there are some fantasy elements in a Pathfinder campaign doesn't mean it's open season for all possible fantasy elements. That simply does not logically follow. With a toolkit game like D&D and Pathfinder, there are usually far more options than any single game or setting will use and thus each game or setting is partly defined by what it excludes as well as what it includes.
The reason there are different standards (double standard being a slanted and prejudicial spin) is because the DM and players play different roles in the game. If a GM's unusual option is over (or under) powered, that unexpected power differential affects a handful of encounters at the most and usually only one. But if it is in the player's hand, it affects all encounters that involve that character.
We're bringing up being grown-up now? How about we behave like grown-ups and accept that if we miss a game session, we don't reap the same benefits as showing up? Or that we recognize that lack of a bonus isn't a penalty?
It's not, nor has it ever really been, an issue of being grown up. It's a question of the style of game the group plays.
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
It's not a terrible system - you just don't like it. We don't use it for all games, but we do for some and it's worked just fine for us.
Don't mistake your own personal perspective for everybody's or for objectivity. There's a bit too much of that going on around here.
So much opportunity? Maybe, but is it equal opportunity for the other players? That's one of the dangers of playing the fish out of water or the lone example of something that, until the player asked for it, explicitly did not exist. If the DM is expected to play the NPCs with any consistency and realism, one would expect that fish out of water to garner more than his fair share of attention. Does that keep the game an ensemble piece between the players or does it make the other players supporting characters for the oddball's star vehicle?In such a situation, I'd probably suggest that all of the players play the same race option with maybe a minority of locals to act as guides into the local culture. That would distribute the attention in a way that's more equitable. Frankly, the whole situation may not sit well with other players at the table.
There were some cool ideas to it. The Chellish opera was brilliant, for example. But the plot stringing events and the whole conspiracy together is kind of weak. That may leave a lot of room for a GM to work in other city-based adventures (which I did), but a lot more advice could have been given along those lines.
I think the adventure would probably play better now that Ultimate Campaign is in people's hands, for example. This is a great location to have downtime and PCs involved in or running businesses. In the game I ran, we had a gnome witch who ran a fortune teller/herbalist shop, a dwarf monk jeweler who worked at the family jewelers, a halfling rogue who worked as a barker for a puppet show, and a halfling barbarian/ranger from the Mwangi expanses who worked as a cosplay gigolo (I kid you not).
One thing I did was steal some Greyhawk material that appeared in Dragon Magazine back when Paizo was running the Age of Worms path. There's a detailed neighborhood there that I used extensively.
Council of Thieves also suffers a bit from having fairly weak encounters/opponents. Many of the Council thieves the PCs will run against will be little more than speed bumps. That's OK for a lot of encounters when the PCs are high level, but even the level-appropriate encounters can be pretty weak compared to a 4-PC party. I rearranged some feats on a number of creatures to give them a little more offensive bite.
This particular adventure path can really benefit from taking a leisure approach to your gaming. It's fairly short if you grind through the encounters but that won't give the PCs much of a chance to get into good relationships with the underground organization at the heart of the PC's involvement. If your group is OK with sessions that may have no fighting in them at all, in the interests in forging relationships with the NPCs, then this AP can play really well. If your players are dungeon crawlers, maybe not so much.
Simple - with an even number bonus added to a stat, it always makes a difference no matter if the initial stat is odd or even. If the bonus was odd, like +1, the recipient would get no effective benefit if their initial stat was even.
I've never sat at a table that ever told a LGBT person they couldn't play. But if you feel that the only way for you to exist in this world is by having Paizo include LGBT issues in their games than I think the problem is not with gaming, but with your anger at the real world.
I doubt it's just the issue of being told they can't sit at the table and play (though that's been a serious issue for female gamers). After all, it's hard to tell someone is LGBT when they approach the table. But creating an atmosphere in which a player feels like they aren't excluded from the hobby can be important. I've seen a similar complaint from African-American players. Most of the depictions in game art are of Caucasian characters and it's harder to feel welcome into the hobby when none of the art seems to acknowledge the existence of characters like them. Is it similarly problematic to appeal to African-American players by including black characters? How about appealing to female players by showing female characters? If not, then what's the problem with another step and including LGBT characters?
And if it is problematic to include black and female characters, what is it about the gamer art that requires it to be Caucasian and male?
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Keep the politics out thanks, or you are just attacking the escapism long within the hobby.
This is as political a statement as any others you claim are being made. By defining inclusion as politics, you've also defined arguing against inclusion as political.
As Don Juan de Doodlebug pointed out, there are lots of real world elements Paizo has included in Golarion yet the one being called out as political is the sexual identity one - what a political agenda we're seeing here. It looks to me like you and a few others are the ones driving the politicization of this topic by attempting to repress this specific element of all of the real world elements included in the setting.
I've been gaming DnD since chainmail and am saddened to see Paizo feel the need to inject real life issues into their products.
People have been injecting real life issues into products for a long time. Slavery, racial antipathy, banditry, piracy, poverty, religious conflict. That there's a fantasy element to many of these relationship does little to change the fact that all of these issues exist in the real world.
DnD was a fantasy game of Dragons and Wizards that offered an escape from the real world.
Sometimes, including more real world issues enhances the immersion, enabling it to be a more effective form of escapism. Plus, in a fantasy world, sometimes it's easier to escape the feeling that you're too ineffective to do anything about a problem by being a character who can do something about it in a direct way.
Adding LGBT issues has done nothing but remove the fantasy element and create the same 'real life' conflicts we see in the world today. Why did Paizo do this?
Simple. Because there are players (and potential players) who may be interested in seeing characters and situations they can identify with in their game.
Milton Bradley didn't run out and change Candyland or Battleship to offer face time to these issues. The reason is because Paizo decided to push their personal feelings, beliefs and agenda on the subject. Unfortunately it does nothing to enhance the game because the game was never about real life issues.
Candyland and Battleship are very, very simple games. Role playing a character isn't part of those games. Role playing games can be about virtually anything and the fantasy trappings of Pathfinder can be used for campaigns with all sorts of thematic content. Paizo has chosen to include, as part of that thematic content, normality for non-heterosexual characters as much as they include normality for dark skinned characters, light skinned charcters, male characters, female characters, elf characters, halfling characters, and a whole host of others.
That strikes me as fairly reasonable. He'd perhaps be a bit flummoxed on a personal level by the non-traditional relationship because it is non-traditional, but working hard and well with the community would go a long way with him.
Given his preferences for hierarchical authority within the family, in a same-sex couple, he'd probably expect whichever partner took on more traditional masculine roles (or took on fewer feminine roles if there's no clear leader there) to be the head of the household. In the the case of Sandpoint's Sir Jasper Korvaski and Cyrdak Drokkus, I think he'd expect Sir Jasper, the paladin, to be the "man of the house" rather than Cyrdak the actor/promoter. A relationship between a queen and her bodyguard would doubtlessly double-flummox him since the political power relationship is inherently hierarchical, yet the bodyguard has the more traditional masculine role. Fortunately, that's all in the city where they're Abadar's problem... harumph, city folk.... grumble grumble...