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94. Every night, on a different street in a different town, a masked bard plays a tune on his magic flute that causes all the people in the townhouses to flood the street in a fascinated daze. His mooks then ransack the unguarded homes, but have yet to steal anything. What in the world are they looking for?
The question is a simplification. Deities are titanic cosmic forces of nature. They personify their alignments. But at the same time, they are supremely willful. So, like humans, they can act outside their alignments.
In-game, the GM ought to play them within their alignments, since alignment is a guide to playing them. But that could include anything from a Good deity refusing to kill, to a Good deity feeling bad about having to kill.
Hardest part is that deities, unlike the rest of us, have godlike Intelligence and Wisdom, and the prescience to know what the right decision is, even in situations that would baffle mere humans like ourselves. That's why it is best for the GM to roleplay deities only in the barest and rarest of instances. Like showing up to bestow some reward, assign some duty or mission, or to mete out a (VERY WELL THOUGHT-AHEAD) punishment regarding a very specific event.
What happens when a spell requires a material component to survive the casting in order for the spell to function?
The specifics of the spell override the general rules of components.
By now, we all know that the rules of specific abilities, feats, spells, etc., trump the basic rules, which is why their descriptions are so detailed. It happens with all sorts of things; monster entries, for instance. If we start flagging each instance instead of acknowledging what we already know (that exceptions exist in some numbers), well... we're going to end up with several encyclopedias worth of extra categories.
On the focus tip... I can see LazarX is handling it as I type this. Foci are not the same thing, for the reason he mentions. The best way to think of foci is the example of a priest using a holy symbol.
I don't think this is a "holdover" from any edition. That implies they blindly went along without giving thought to a supposedly "better" way of doing things.
But this already IS an efficient way of doing things. Magic is either divine or arcane. Simple as that. That this means certain classes share certain lists is just a given, since those classes share the divine or arcane element. The alternative would be a gigantic, encyclopedic mess. Which would not be more efficient.
Rather than reinventing the whole thing, you could just make up new names for spells for each class for your own game, so sorcerers might call a magic missile a "force arrow," or whatever, while wizards call it a magic missile. Because, really, you're talking about fluff. Probably not worth a whole re-haul.
Also, note, some classes actually DO have their own lists, either where the lines between magics blur, or where a spell is unique.
However, your mention of doing away with alignments tells me you're a tinkerer. Which is great. I tinker, too, though not as drastically. I feel a gamer should tinker to his heart's content. For his game. I just thought I'd throw out my 2 cents RE this being a bigger chore than maybe it has to be.
1. I loved both Star Trek flicks.
2. Lucas "chromed up" the prequels to show the galaxy before it had fallen into "used car lot" status as it looked it the originals (everything is new at SOME point). That doesn't mean I liked them, though: I am not a big fan of the prequels at all.
3. My first thought at that lightsaber was "crossguard stupid - wrists lacerated and hands chopped off the minute he twirls it (as all Jedi/Sith MUST eventually do!" And I said so to my wife. However, I still thought it LOOKED cool. And I am really not that bothered by it in the long run.
4. I was a bit annoyed that the trailer doesn't give us any real idea what anything is about.
5. I was also distracted by the fact that everybody is in a big hurry to get somewhere in the trailer. Which got old before the first viewing was done, and was even older during the second.
6. That droid was Jar Jar Binks and I know I will hate him (there's already a "they see me rollin', they hatin'" meme out there for it - and I do). But I also am trying to reserve judgment for seeing it in-context. I want to keep an open mind.
7. On a weird personal note, the thing that DID bother me, were the red X-Wing uniforms. I have always been fond of the orange. Somehow, this little change really bugged me. I am sure that's just me, and I realize how petty it is. It's just that I wanted to feel connected to the whole thing, and that... "disconnected" me, somehow. Plus, the X-Wings look slightly different, which was a bit distracting, but somehow more understandable to me.
I think you have to try to divorce the stylistic choices made in the art from the functionality.
In anime (and some comics and some games like WoW), swords and shields and similar items are shown to be outlandishly large. But I don't think the art department for SAO thought of or intended Heathcliff's shield to "count-as" or symbolize a tower shield. I think they just wanted him to look badass.
Similarly, look at the shields belonging to some of the units in the Protectorate of Menoth faction for Warmachine, particularly their paladins and similar solos. They also have enormous-looking shields, meant to appear oversized for emphasis, but they aren't tower shields.
It's a matter of style, but it does not replace the function.
Seeing Mr. Pratt in a role outside GotG allowed me to realize part of his appeal. He is very much "in the moment" with his acting, allowing him to rather seamlessly fit in with his surroundings. A lot of the great actors specialize in seeming like they are in their minds all the time. Pratt is quickly mastering the opposite to great effect. He genuinely seems part of the world he inhabits.
What I can tell you for certain is that if a player at my table thought up on the fly to use the spell as a means of finding an invisible creature he suspected was in the room, I would not only allow it, I might even throw him a few extra XP.
It seems pretty clear to me that, rules-wise, yes, the tentacles can grapple invisible creatures. Firstly, the text of the spell says EVERY creature, not just visible creatures. Secondly, it's an area effect, and thirdly, I think anybody who would think otherwise is missing the abstract.
The tentacles do not see, and they are not true creatures. So whether or not, as true creatures, they would be thwarted by concealment is irrelevant. If it helps, you should think of them as constantly writhing and their "attack" as not an attack but simply an effect of their writhing, magical nature. Or, more simply, they succeed at grappling as an ACCIDENT of their existence.
I think with magic, it is always tempting to think that there is a mind behind every effect. So a magical thing that attacks seems like it must be driven by either the spellcaster's perception or maybe some grand Designer or, even that the effect itself is somehow sentient. But magic is weirder than that. It just IS.
I don't play in society, but I suppose I can understand that if a group of people is gathering together only infrequently and with little time to spare, they might feel inclined to skip introductions and flavor and get straight to the meat of the matter. Not saying I agree with that style, but I can understand it.
In our games, I tend to lead each player up to his/her character introduction, and then allow them to describe the character for themselves so that these details are at least offered to all. I don't expect everybody to memorize. But I also am one of those old school GMs who remembers everything about your character and can remind you of things even you have forgotten (such as "your, uh... paralyzing fear of water").
But this is also where my love of small painted things comes in. I tend to work with each player beforehand to get a good idea of what their character looks like, carries, and wears. Then I customize minis to suit. A well-painted and equipped mini on the table can be good shorthand for a character's description (though on the flip side, should also not be the final say in what is going on with/happened to that character).
In over 33 years of gaming, I have rarely ever seen, heard-of, run, or been involved in any version of this game where we didn't start at higher than first level.
I could count the number of times we started at 1st level on one hand. And I don't personally know any gamer (and I know scores and scores of them) in my neck of the woods who would tell you differently.
If I weren't frequenting these boards, I probably would not know of anybody who actually starts a new campaign, party, adventure, at 1st or 2nd level, with the exception of the first time or two they ever sat down to play.
And then the GM in question just throws a bunch of white dragons into the mix.
Though it is a good idea not to overspecialize to the point of gimping your wizard, the issue is clearly one of a GM who plans his campaign to shut down what he sees as an obstacle to defeating the PCs.
There are many problems with this, but the biggest one for me is that it shatters verisimilitude. By focusing on defeating this character's "trick," the GM is creating a world that has somehow prepared itself to thwarting the efforts of this one, single character.
Issac Daneil wrote:
Speaking of my favorite nightmare setting, there was an interesting mystery module for Trail of Cthulhu a couple years back, called Invasive Procedures. Never played it, but an interesting read. The author, Gareth Hanrahan, mentioned some inspiration from Silent Hill, amongst a few others.
The idea was a creepy hospital by day that became completely nightmarish and inescapable at night, similarly to the Silent Hill Otherworld. Monstrous nurses walked the halls after dark, and a group of otherworldly "surgeons" (like doctor versions of the Cenobites from Hellraiser) would show up to conduct awful experimental surgeries.
My recommendation would be to combine the idea others have mentioned here, a completely normal asylum staffed with caring people, with a nightmarish version into which it transforms for a few hours each night. Perhaps the staff have no idea the transformation takes place, and consider it a collective delusion of the patients, but the PCs somehow get tangled up in it all.
Pizza Lord wrote:
This, and also note that there are many conventions from mythology, horror, movies, comics, novels, etc., that the game has been borrowing from since its inception that we all take for granted.
Intelligent, skeletal characters that speak have always been around in fiction, from Charon to the Deadites in Army of Darkness. It's a non-thing. It's taken for granted.
You're not always meant to question the real-world physics with these things. It's a variation on the "does a lightning spell power things/attract easier to metal/deal more damage in water?" question.
And a year from now...?
Fully bloated and dripping with cheese.
There's really no point to this, unless it is a roundabout means of flexing your inner Wizards fanboy. Or unless you are getting kickbacks for starting threads that act as thinly veiled commercials for the other team.
Basically, every major system will eventually have to continue releasing splat or setting in order to maintain sales over the course of an edition.
If, given Wizards' track record of bloat and - worse - of holding back essential basics just so they can cram them into PH 2 or PH 3 or DMG 4, or whatever, you can still come away thinking that jumping ship to D&D 5 is anything but a temporary bandaid on an ultimately doomed situation, well... I think there's really nothing to say to a person who doesn't already understand this. Or just refuses to acknowledge it.
Given the inevitability of your cycle of unhappiness, it might make more sense to come to peace with the idea that you don't have to include every bit of splat that comes out, into your games. Personal choice to simply avoid being miserable about things over which you have no control, but DO HAVE THE OPTION OF EXCLUDING, is probably the more mature and thoughtful alternative to starting another Edition War thread.
The matter of whether electricity spells are amplified or otherwise channeled by water (or metal armor for that matter) is as old as the game itself. As far as I've ever found, there has never been text in any of the spell descriptions (or anywhere else in the rules) that gives any kind of direction in this.
So it has always been a matter of houseruling.
However, from my own experience, and as was mentioned many times on many boards over the years, be careful allowing it. Once you open the door to real science in a fantasy game, you're going to find yourself inundated with requests to adjudicate all sorts of magic/science crossovers the game does not explicitly cover. And that can not only be cumbersome, it can also be a source of arguments at the table.
I, myself, had a troublesome player, playing a gnome wizard, who loved electricity, who either argued that it ought to be doing extra damage to his heavily armored foes (which is silly - if he wanted to go that route I argued the armor would attract more electricity, thus dealing LESS to the less-armoed foes), or at least griped about it, every single time he cast lightning bolt or chained lightning. Got old fast.
1. To my mind, it's easy enough to make the dragons themselves "holy" figures in the minds of their respective people. The fact that one is good and one is evil and both are godlike in the minds of their followers should give them enough philosophical impetus to fight.
2. Maybe the "reds" don't know one of the silvers is out of commission yet. The threat of full scale war might be enough of a deterrent at the moment. The thrust of the plot could revolve around keeping these sorts of things secret until the silver is healed or some other assistance can be gained or preparations can be made.
3. Perhaps this closely guarded secret is kept by the high priest of the "silvers," who has to keep up appearances and is slowly losing ground/losing control.
I MAKE RPG systems. Then have my players test them for me, between PF campaigns. They are a group of open minded maniacs pretty much up for anything. I think this is because I am a very generous GM who works with them to tune characters just how they want them, even if they are a bit odd. Hard to dislike somebody who puts tons of effort into your enjoyment.
Happy players = players up for just about anything.
So what have we learned here?
1. Make up a system. Just for the kicks.
Umbral Reaver wrote:
If you know your Anime history like an old time freak like myself does (I cut my teeth on Speed Racer from the time I could sit up and watch TV - around 1970), you probably have an understanding that some of the modern stuff from about 1993-on actually comes from the creators' tabletop roleplaying games. Which are BIG with the artists and writers in Japan.
So it is actually quite easy to create a character with some powers similar to an Anime character. Because a lot of Anime characters get their powers from RPGs, just as a lot of the settings you see in Anime are the setting those creators played in. Cyclically, RPGs nowadays often replicate the powers seen in Anime (amongst other forms of entertainment). Thus, it is becoming increasingly more and more difficult to escape what you are describing here.
Give you an example. One of my players is in love with Archer from Fate/Stay Night. He wanted the unlimited blade works. This was a few years back, in the last days of 3.5. On a whim, I looked in the Expanded Psionics Handbook, and you know what? With the right application of feats you can create a decent, lower-level replica of Archer with the soulknife class. Enough to make my player very happy, in any case.
Knowing this, when you think about it, it is highly likely there are people out there who are playing characters close to Archer and have no idea Fate/Stay Night even exists. So, does this happen? All the freakin' time.
"There is nothing new under the sun," somebody wrote at least, oh... 2,500 years ago. And there still isn't.
Those are bad comparisons. You are the world builder. Except for the PC themselves and any extension of them, such as a familiar or eidolon, YOU make the people who inhabit the world. The NPCs are your responsibility, and cohorts are NPCs.
Now, there are plenty of reasons why it should be this way. But here's just one that leaps right off the top of my head.
If you allow a player to create his own cohort, what is to stop him from creating a character so enamored with and dedicated to his PC that he jumps on every grenade that comes his way?
This is the same, age-old reason we don't let players play their own cohorts, henchmen, hangers-on, etc. Because since 1974 gamers have been proving over and over that, if given this opportunity, their PCs will never come to harm as an army of slavish devotees piles up ever higher, their oceans of blood overflowing the gore-stained tankards of the gods of slaughter and death while their laughter fills the groaning, suffering Multiverse.
It is a common misconception that health benefits amount to "somebody else paying for your stuff." They don't. They are part of your salary. Part of your compensation for your work.
Hobby Lobby is basically telling their workers what they can or cannot do with their wages. And the Supreme Court handed them the right to do so.
That's just the tip of the iceberg of wrongness that this fiasco represents. But it's as good a place as any to start down the road of understanding what a mistake has been made here.
I wouldn't call it scary, either, really. A few jumps here and there and some tension. But nowhere near the same ballpark as the first three SH. Those were genuinely frightening.
But, since it's horror survival (in its own way), and since I played it a lot last year, I figured it was worth mentioning.
Close on the heels of those...
Silent Hill 4: The Room
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
Also, I like some other scary games. Kind-of. Had a lot of fun with Dead Island last year. Played through a couple times.
And GTA 3, Vice City, and San Andreas. For the laughs when I don't feel like having the crap scared out of me.
Meh. The vast majority of us enjoyed Deities & Demigods (both 1st and 3.x versions) purely as a reference and a means to get real-world mythologies into the game. We read the gods' stats for fun and as a means of comparing them against one-another.
Nobody I personally ever gamed with thought to fight the gods other than jokingly. The closest I remember anybody coming to this, were those fringe players who claimed to have fought Arthur (from the 1st Ed book), killed him, then ran around slashing innocents with Excalibur.
And nobody EVER liked those guys or played with them more than once. And I personally never met the DM who was letting those fools get away with such idiocy.
To me, a Deities & Demigods for Pathfinder would be great fun and a good reference. Fun to have, fun to read, fun to look at, and a means of getting Thor or Quetzalcoatl or (my personal favorite) Athena into the game with all appropriate domains and background info. Because, guess what? I don't like or use D&D or Golarion gods. I still use my old Deities 3.0 book for reference because I prefer Thor and Athena in my games.
The fact that so many of you immediately jump to the conclusion that those of us who want such a book want it so we can fight the gods says a lot more about you than it does about the rest of us. I love Paizo, but if you guys are speaking for them on this - really, as much as you claim you are - then they've just dropped a couple points in my view. Because it means they ALSO think we're nothing but a bunch of hooligans with the mental and emotional capacities of 12-year-olds.
As a writer, it matters to me what I think the meaning is behind what I write. What matters in my writing might be different for somebody else, just as they may get something totally different from it than I do, or than I intended. And yet something different may appear for a more critical mind.
So it all matters. Somebody saying only one perspective counts is like saying other people aren't real people or don't matter, which is ridiculous. This is why critics, by and large, suck. Their job, in a rather roundabout way, is basically to imagine a hierarchy of importance for human beings and the things they like, with their own lame opinions at the very top.
Going back to the earliest days of my gaming career (1981), it was common for us to play any race or character based on any mythos/background and either gender with no problem. The fellows I first played-with had a long standing Aztec-based campaign, for instance. Quetzalcoatl and everything. And they occasionally played females, as well.
I also began gaming with at least one girl, as many as three, at the table as early as 1983. By 1988 girls were common at my games. They also played cross-gender a good amount of the time.
For me, the shocker came when I started playing with some old high school buddies around 1995. I knew them from high school but had not gamed with them back then. It surprised me that neither had ever gamed with a female. Neither had ever played a female character. All of their characters had always been white European-style. One of them was okay with new stuff as we worked it into our new games, but the other was a tough nut to crack. He argued for hours about what it meant when I played a female character. Conversations about whether I was a closet homosexual (or whether I might one day become gay) were frequent occurrences (and by "conversations" I mean that he would rant and tease and generally be an a-hole while the rest of us sat there and tolerated it). He remained stubborn even after real females (imagine the horror!!!) began to join our games. But now, years later, he is finally okay with just about anything we throw at him.
Thankfully, I can say that he was an exception in all my gaming years. Most of the time, I have encountered tolerant players with little issue about what anybody played, so long as it fit in somehow and wasn't too silly or ridiculous.
I read it as "The Cleric", not "The Character", so it would only be referring to the Cleric prepared spells.
This comes up from time-to-time, either in this form (cleric/wizard) or similar class abilities that a player hopes would be transferable from class-to-class, but alas, like this one, are definitely not.
The general reason: I don't think this is debatable or "interpretable," or in any way vague. When a class ability is a class ability, it applies only to the relevant ability of the class. If the class ability indicates it is affected by overall character level, or in some other way affects the character, then it is transferable or usable between a single character's classes. This is what feats are for, though even they often state that they apply only to a specific school, class ability or specific spell or attack form.
That's the normal language of the rules.
So, no, you cannot use the cleric's class ability regarding cleric spells to try to affect the spells the character gains from another spellcasting class.
The specific example: do your levels in cleric count toward casting your wizard spells? Nope. So why would any other non-neutral, non-feat spellcasting feature of either class lend itself to the other? The cleric is not spontaneously channeling the power of his god when he recalls spells from his wizard spellbook.
This is all.
I'm not sure that I agree that too much consolidation is in order. In fact, that would work opposite of what I feel is at issue with skills. To me, if you consolidate too much, you grant more bang for the buck for the ranks available. And right now, there are too many skill points going around for some classes and monster types, not enough for others, and just not enough skills to spread them out amongst for the former, to present any meaningful challenge to them.
A rogue or bard or outsider runs out of places to put their skill points too quickly, and thus is going to pretty much succeed every single time they roll the dice for a check. A fighter is going to fail at everything except his class skills, which, again, he is going to succeed in every single time he rolls the dice.
Too many points, DCs all too low. That's my complaint.
I don't play in Society. But in general, you did the right thing. The top two reasons that come leaping and screaming from my head are as follows:
1. Playing Torch as so confident that a threat against him of this magnitude simply causes him to decide you might be fun to have around/be able to handle a job for him, is a good narrative device that makes him a bigger bad ass. In short, confidence is sexy.
2. You don't exist to punish the players for not going along on the rails of a module they can't predict. They don't know how this is "supposed" to go. They're just doing the best they can with what they are presented. It IS your job to keep things entertaining, running along, and when necessary, to think on your toes to accomplish this.
PC death will come when it does. No need to force it.
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
It was bricked up, so-to-speak.
Each of the entrances, including the two false entrances, was filled with sand that had to be dug and/or crawled-through.
As to why so many traps, there is an in-game reason, as well as a metagame reason.
The metagame reason is that sometimes people just like trying to shove their way through meat grinders. That's a style of play. No sense getting upset by it.
The in-game reason is that Acererak is a freakin' sadist and enjoys messing with people to the point of death.
These guys have a good sized player base, are forum-centric, and have a zero-tolerance for what they call "########" posting, and encourage reporting of same to the mods. I can't say from what I've read, that they monitor the site super-closely, but again, they do encourage the users to report bad behavior, and they seem to remove it quickly.
EDIT: Whilst testing the link, just noticed a "user" online who has zero posts and zero friends and calls himself "ifap2-handed." So... might want to put off using the site, or maybe the first thing you do when you create an account is report that dude.