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Brandon Tomlinson's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 98 posts (301 including aliases). 1 review. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 2 aliases.


Dark Archive

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Ifrit wishcrafter (sorcerer) is REALLY cool.

That and the Gnome Experimental Gunsmith (Gunslinger) are my favs so far.

Dark Archive

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Representing characters in digital format has been something I've attempted since the beginning of my programming life. Now with age, I've decided to look back and do it right.

Good software needs a good foundation. I am looking not at building any specific application (yet), but rather a framework for properly articulating PFSRD/PRD creatures.

In my pacing/brainstorming/wasting-time-should-be-doing-something-else-ing I have come to the conclusion that, in fact, two frameworks need to be created: PRDML for representing rules, and PRDStore for representing creatures created with those rules.

PRDML will need to be quite extensive. A "PRDCORE" listing will need to hold all the base rules (encumbrance tables, effects of character levels, etc.). Extra rule sets can hold specific classes. Such that each book (core, or otherwise) can be articulated in a manner that is universally understood.

PRDStore will be a much less comprehensive project. This should only hold arbitrary data that is not derived. So it would hold levels and feat choices, but not hold BAB (because bab is a derived stat from the rules).

This is not for a specific application goal, but rather a means of expanding PRD coverage to make open software design more feasible.

I'm looking at starting this on my own, but am curious if anyone else would like to join me in discussing this. If there is enough discussion we could go as far as starting a freenode irc channel or something and getting a better roadmap outlined.

In the end, the project should yield two specifications similar to http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/

Dark Archive

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Everyone picking system apart, no one noting that this race has 4 magical abilities?

Still, only having 3 doesn't change much.

I think we need something more like wealth by level for characters over 1st. Only so many RP per category, so we don't have races tanking 7 points into one category. For now I'd say Maximum abilities == Maximum points.

Dark Archive

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(making an effort to voice a rah-rah)

I was first introduced to pathfinder's APs by piracy... I admit it. But after reading the journey of Eando Kline and the various other 'extra' articles I became enamored with Golarion, Pathfinder, and Paizo. I have since become a subscriber to multiple lines...

Those 'extras' are the only reason I subscribe to the APs. I wouldn't buy modules unless I knew I was going to run them.

Also, the fiction is damn good. Dropping the pregens and such is fine, don't touch my fiction!

Dark Archive

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To the topic of 'what the heck is wrong with us?': Ego.

We are all bigots. Some more so than others... or rather some more overtly than others. Especially in the topic of a game played 'in your head' where mental fortitude seems to be a pertinent topic, we inflate ourselves above 'mere mortals'.

We overestimate ourselves and we underestimate our peers, because "how could they have given this thought as much consideration as I have". We are so busy inflating ourselves that we get caught up in our own misconceptions. We are so worried about challenges to our thoughts that we take the smallest criticism (of any kind) as a personal offense.

The biggest mistake we can make is to assume that we do what we do (geeky things) because we are superior. The reality of the situation is we do what we do because we have the time to.

I said it in another thread, but it is still somewhat relevant. Some people like to play with GI-Joes, and some people like to play with barbies. Either way they are both just playing with dolls. It all boils down to perspective.

Posted by someone who enjoys PF,4E, MtG, LoTRO, DDO, TF2; And while I didn't play with GI-Joes, I did have a massive amount of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Dark Archive

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This all comes down to mentality I think. Some people like to play with barbies, some people like G.I. Joe. Both those people are playing with dolls.

Dark Archive

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There is a fundamental problem with Pathfinder. A situation created with 3.0, grafted into 3.5 and again grafted into the PFRPG. This problem spurred the creation of 3.5, 4th Ed, and PFRPG; yet none of those thing fully addressed the problem. For the last 10 years we have struggled with the problem, fixing the symptoms but never the core sickness. In this way I think that 4th edition, PFRPG and 3.5 are all the same.

What am I talking about? I'll get to that in a moment; more important is where I am coming from.


  • I first played D&D after my Dad (an AD&D vet), gave me the 3.0 handbook when I was in sixth grade. Saying something like "maybe you'll get something out of this" (he wasn't a fan), this was sometime in 1999. For such a broken game and unfun, we sure played the crap out of it...
  • Around the time 3.5 was being discussed (I still have my Dragon magazines discussing the development actually...), I stopped playing D&D for a bit due to a move(moved to a new area, didn't have the allowance for new books; not that I couldn't enjoy my current books). I returned to the scene towards the end of the 3.5 cycle in late 05, early 06. For such a broken and unfun game, we sure played the crap out of it (didn't seem all that different from 3.0 to us).
  • Around this time I started dabbling with WW's games (I was even a cammy for a bit), and other rpgs (mainly sticking to wotc and ww though). We struggled with d20 future and shadowrun, having loads fun (but feeling the stuff was 'unsustainable' for our playstyles).
  • Then 4th edition rolled around. Me and my group groaned at every new announcement, and were in general dismay. But something strange happened for me, I got an early leaked copy of the books... and LOVED them. My high school group didn't share my enthusiasm, but it ended up not mattering a whole lot; I was off to college. It took no time at all to find a 4th ed group and get to playing. For such a bleached and unfun game, we sure played the crap out of it.
  • Around the PHB 2 though (more like a few months after, honestly) I was started to feel bored with 4th ed. Conveniently, PFRPG was released shortly after; and we are playing the crap out of it.

So what's the problem that all these things tried to address over and over again? It was 3.0's initial rules. Except for 4th edition, the later incarnations were a large bit of copy paste with no fundamental shift in book design and layout. Let go through it case by case.

  • 3.0 to 3.5: This is the shift I understand the least (due to my age I assume). To be fair you could hardly call my 6th grade adventures into the tombs of the undead lord 'Tenchum' D&D. We played heavily by rule of cool, and DM fiat. We had tons of fun, but it wasn't truly by the rules. The main shifts were skill changes and the removal of some 'dumb stuff' that was dumb in hindsight.
  • 3.5 to 4th ed: This I understood a lot more, or at least I understand the marketed hatred of 3E. I don't love the system until I read it. They redid everything with a focus on 'playing the game'. And for a system called "Dungeons and Dragons", it is great for going into dungeons and killing dragons (the best I'd argue).
  • 4th ed to PFRPG: PFRPG seemed to take that "stimulus pack of fun" that 4th ed had, and injected it into all of the classes. Redid some more rules that were 'dumb' in hindight, and overall did '3.5' to 3.5.

But here are some more fine angles on the evolutions.

  • 4th to 4th ed PHB2: Rituals seemed to be getting phased out due to non-use. We got more classes that did the same things(roles) in different ways. While interesting at first, I think new player options alone wasn't enough for me. I wanted to see more rules options. (like how MTG releases new mechanics with new releases). Overall book format was the same as 4E core (that is, it was superb).
  • PFRPG to APG: Paizo taking some creative licence. The core book was meant to be a rehash of 3.5, with updates. APG was meant to be paizo's vision for going forward (less focus on prestige classes, more on archetypes, blah blah blah, you guys know). But you know another big difference in APG and PFRPG? Navigation. Because they were going their own way, they wrote the book from scratch. And it reads GREAT. The 3E book was a mess, thus the copy-paste to 3.5 was a mess, thus the copy-paste to PFRPG was a mess.

The rules aren't a mess, the book is a mess. Paizo came leaps and bounds from 3.5, just like 3.5 came leaps and bounds form 3.0. But in navigation, because the team is still rehashing the 3.0 book, navigation can be awkward at times. I understand why they did it, it make sense from a business standpoint; it's reliable.

Many times a session, rules that seem to be half descriped everywhere (having to cross reference the combat chapter, the magic chapter, and the glossary). 4th ed got this right. The rules aren't really more simple, they're just clear.

This gives me two thoughts. If PFRPG 2ED was a rewrite of the same rules but with a ground up re-presentation of the rules, I'd buy it today. The second idea is a project idea. I want to rewrite the book myself if I can't hope for someone else to. Existing projects like d20pfsrd are great for posting the content. But they don't help digest all the rules, they're still copy-pasting from PFRPG. I don't think the rules need a re-do, just a re-write. Take notes from books like 4E's PHB. I am going to start some brainstorming personally, but if others are interested let me know. The idea is to approach it like writing a book from scratch, but describe the existing rules.

Btw, I made an alarmist title on purpose, I know we wont see a 2e for a good while. And to be fair I wouldn't call the idea a new 'edition'.

nervously hits submit


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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

ELH seemed to represent so much wrong with the old system, that the prospect of it in PF scares me.

Also note that if they are trying to sell their AP's and modules, an ELH doesn't really serve them well. Most APs stop at 15ish, and most modules are 1-15 (with an expception or two). So ELH would be for those % customers not running modules or APs, and who play to epic levels. Seeing as how most PF setting stuff itself is lower level as well (they tend to keep the setting pretty tame), we I can imagine they aren't using the setting stuff (though they could be). Seems like a narrow audience.

I would prefer more 15+ content before I'd ever ask for a 20+ book.


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