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Quinley Basdel

Buri's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 3,611 posts. 1 review. 1 list. No wishlists. 5 Pathfinder Society characters.

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Having GMed Shattered Star, there most absolutely is. It's your job to communicate it to the players. I agree if you run it as printed then it doesn't seem so. It plays like a mindless dungeon crawl. But, there's actually a very deep story in the background that spans several APs. I would suggest heavily drawing off the Rise AP to help communicate it. It's awesome you can even do that since it's the only Paizo AP to be a part 2 which has the benefit of having a part 1. In addition to that, in every other module, story, and AP that anything Runelord, Thassilon, or Lissala plays a role, it can probably be tied back to the Shattered Star mythos to heavily imply events of the past. You can actually weave a very high intrigue story out of it with just some research and the will to do so. The AWESOME thing about Shattered Star is that the more you play the more you can outright share those details and explore them. This is brought to fruition and pushed in your face in book 6, and you should know what I'm talking about. You could even run a campaign to tell the deep story background leading up to SS with just the events described in it as the framework and then jump your group to 'present day' and run them through SS itself if you're feeling particularly adventurous.

As to AP design, it is a smart way to for Paizo to do what they do. They perpetually keep their content available to newcomers.

2 people marked this as a favorite.
thegreenteagamer wrote:
That being said, what is your specific issue?

The attitude that high level play doesn't bear discussion on the boards without getting flak about PFS or being dismissed as irrelevant rocket tag.

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Can we please stop dismissing them just because PFS stops before level 20?

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Skeld wrote:
Very true. However, I mention it because Paizo staff have mentioned it as something they like to minimize.

Their mistake was referencing my page rather than by article entry.

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I hate them. I hate when players say 'I go buy/shopping for/want x' and immediately start marking the GP off their sheet. I hate that magic items are needed by the system.

For Pathfinder I would institute mage's guilds in the larger cities and run it as though they regulate the sale of non-trivial magic items going so far that they sack little town with their local government authority if reports that they're trying to be sold there.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Jiggy, that's way too much thinking. One rule for everything!

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I thought it was a joke on the Judeo-Christian god. Almost an intended mockery. I didn't take it seriously at all, and I used to be a licensed clergyman. :D

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Orthos wrote:
I tried running APs out of the box when I first started[...]

I tried doing that with the Shattered Star AP and it went horribly. I actually feel bad because that campaign ended in a s&+&ty way and I was super new to GMing and was timid to change things. I feel the story Xin truly needs told since that's the AP that explores how all this stuff got going in the first place and can easily serve as the background to Paizo's iconic AP, Rise of the Runelords.

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I think the folks in this thread are too caught up on PDFs. When you're talking about digital distribution, there are so many more options and many of them better than PDFs. The ebook format, for example, is better at publishing book-like material than them with even more device support. But even then, these are just two of many formats.

Have a read...

Beyond the device formats, since a myriad of devices have browsers in them, you can even do away with specific formats altogether. So, the point I'm trying to make, is to not preach PDFs as the One True Way and anyone who doesn't do it is doomed. That's incredibly short sighted and ignorant of the technology and business landscapes.

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leo1925 wrote:

I agree, since the CR system is tied to the xp system and the CR system is wonky at best, i also advise to drop xp entirely and make encounters that can challenge your group.

The issue is that by using that way where you have to rebuild entire encounters, then rebuild entire floors of encounters, then an entire book of encnounters. Then you ask yourself why are you buying APs, i buy them because i don't have the time to make my own campaign but i end up having to create my own encounters for big chunks of the campaign...

So only run 4 player, 15 point build, nonoptimized characters, with a set number of roles that only one character can occupy and you're set. It's untenable for Paizo to anticipate every party combination.

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It was entertaining. It just wasn't godzilla.

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You mean like how the new godzilla used his atomic breath twice and only after getting his face kicked in? Oh yeah, I went there.

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When you go to research a question feeling the answer is on the tip of your tongue only to find your own posts from years earlier on the very same topic answering your question.

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davrion wrote:
A good way to show that you accept critiques would be accept people's legitimate criticism of the rules instead of suggesting alternatives that don't meet their needs.

So, either pander to their complaints or shut up and don't talk about alterntives? That's some notion of entitlement.

davrion wrote:
A stripped-down PDF offered for free is great for allowing new players to look at the game. The options are limited in the document, but it's great that it's available. It's just not a credible substitute for the PHB.

To you maybe. If you want to roll a character and play with the mechanics of 5th, it's wholly a good substitute. Now, if you want play a race or class not in the PDF, then save up your money and buy the PHB or be content with your choices. It's pretty straightforward.

davrion wrote:
It just doesn't seem like you are taking the time to understand what the critique is, and this is why you thing the free PDF or borrow someone's book at the table is an acceptable substitute.

As I said, just because I don't share your view and feed into it doesn't mean I don't understand. I shouldn't be compelled to do so either. Be an adult and buy the book or move to a different product. If you're not adult then that's between you and your parents.

It IS an acceptable substitute to just play with the free PDF. Why? Because everything you need to run a 5th edition game is in it.

davrion wrote:
As far as wanting or not wanting to see critiques, it's up to every one of us to be fair-minded and not auto-attack or auto-defend something and fall into the edition warring trap.

Yay, another strawman. I'm doing no edition warring.

davrion wrote:
So in terms of critiques, why don't you share some of your critiques of 5e to keep the discussion moving?

This thread was never one about critiques. This side discussion is a quintessential hijack. Why don't you start your own thread?

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I haven't ran or played mythic but I would throw my hat in the 'it's how you run it' camp. Many GMs in Pathfinder refuse to use a monster's really bastardy abilities against PCs or will only do so once even though it has multiple uses available AND the creature is written like it would plausibly do so.

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My favorite singular thing in D&D is how they treated combat actions. By mere virtue of being a character, you can be competent. I'd guess they did that in relation to grouping feats together.

Probably my second favorite thing is what they did with spells. Magic is scary. It's big. It's powerful. It's versatile. But, it doesn't break the game or marginalize martials mostly due to the restrictions on how they're used.

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A lesson Paizo can take away from 5th/Wizards is there writing style. Some people are annoyed by the fluff mixed with the crunch but, honestly, with my first time DMing D&D it was phenomenal. From just reading the PHB and a little on Forgotten Realms, I've roleplayed the setting and its inhabitants better from just a few days of reading of thought work than I ever did with Golarion and Pathfinder in spite of years of exposure. I could probably go back and do better with Golarion now but Wizard's writing almost narrates a movie while giving you mechanics. It's much easier to digest than the hard separation Paizo currently does.

I thought this was an abberation with 5th but then I looked back to the 2e DMG and 3.0 FR setting. Everything I read was genuinely written better. Though, it could be those resources cover much more mundane topics. It's not all fantasitical events and powerful creatures. There are articles on bartering systems and various economies. I felt like it was trying to improve me as a DM rather than just giving me material to use in games.

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Wow, Ross was pretty passive/aggressive there. If Paizo dropped the ball on editing, then they dropped the ball. The take away is 'do better' and not 'improve my process for me.' There is always room to do better. If not, then you've reached the end of your ability to compete and might as well close doors. If that means releasing a couple fewer products per year, then so be it. Nothing Wizards can do will drive away their customer base faster than if Paizo's product quality plummets.

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I like the liberal use of concentration mostly because it takes away that wizards and other full casters are near gods. If you can just rifle off spells one after another without consequence then you might as well be a demigod, start a religion, and start granting spells. The concentration bit makes magic important (potentially even critical) in your spell selection, makes the caster pay attention to make sure they got off the right spells when the situation calls for it, and is a crticial reminder that, yes, in fact, they are very mortal and limited even though they can cast wishes. Some of the individual spells are debateable, sure, but I wouldn't change the precept at all.

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Nathanael Love wrote:

All that sort of stuff wasn't enough for people to consider martials balanced to casters when they ALSO got much higher base bonuses to hit?

Aren't martials just even further behind now that Wizards also get the same attack bonuses?

You sound like you need to read the Basic PDF. You have badly conceived notions about the system and are judging based on them.

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wakedown wrote:
I'm not sure how generally aware folks are of the 5e changes, so I'll repeat a couple here since I think movement is more interesting in 5e because of the action economy overhaul.

That's part of my frustration. It's clear that many people critiqueing 5e haven't actually read it, followed its development, or even looked at the many legend and lore articles behind its concepts. Most of them come across as if they're working on rumor, hyperbole, and a passing glance at the Basic rules PDF at best.

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Perhaps the clincher for me in the 'complexity' side of things is that you can have a metric f-ton of closely related feats yet be completely mechanically innept in a different yet still very related skill set. That's the major failing in Pathfinder. That's also not complexity. It's a sign of unchecked system bloat.

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The thing that annoys me about these quite usually passive aggressive 'comparisons' between PF and 5th is that they're comparing a single core book to the myriad of hardbacks, splats, and APs Paizo has done over several years. It's like having one dude trying to fight an army.

For those that criticize the number of options, did you honestly expect Wizards to release a half dozen rule books and multiple complete adventures at once? The first book's purpose is to lay a foundation on which to build other things and other things are coming. I'd challenge you to restrict future games to CRB only and enjoy the miniscule options by comparison.

The main thing that stands out to me in comparison of the two is that PF's feats give me +2 to something or let me not provoke AoOs by level 3 while 5th's feats let me bypass energy resistances and cast spells in response to AoOs by level 4. Fighters get caster goodies by them as well as early as first level or even without them depending on race without cheapening those who are full casters and vice versa. In Pathfinder, pulling off that kind of mix takes SEVERAL levels minimum. This comes down to matters of taste.

Being based on D&D and d20, the base feel of races, classes, and spells are largely the same between each.

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Kthulhu wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
insaneogeddon wrote:
Everyone gets like 30 bonus feats
You lost me with this. What are you talking about? Feats are rare since you have to choose between an ability bump or a feat. Sure you can take all feats, but do you really want your primary state to be a 15? If you're a spellcaster that means your DCs are 12. That's pretty low and easy to make the save (granted, not when you roll like me, but still).
I think he's saying you get things for free that would be feats in PF, but I'm not sure.

Gods forbid! You mean characters might be able to both pick their nose AND scratch their ass as early as first level?

Obviously a broken system.

No way, man. The broken part is that you can open doors without spending a move action. How will GMs cope?!

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memorax wrote:
Agreed and seconded. So far I'm liking what I see. Not sure if I will ever run let alone play it. For the first time in a long time I want to play a Paladin. I do think that 5E may give PF a run for it's money.

Holy crap yes. Paladins don't have to be mindless husks of a god anymore. They can be dark, brooding, and seething with hate, even. Most of the 'why can't paladins do/be x' is solved in 5th's rendition.

That makes me curious, though. Given all the critiques and complaints of Pathfinder here, I wonder if Wizards took those into consideration with the intent of drawing in those who shared those views.

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Mike Franke wrote:
I'm sure someone has already said this, but what makes you think we aren't already playing the second edition of pathfinder? Look at the evolution of the classes over the last couple of years plus totally new mechanics like grit and arcane pools not to mention the many errata.

Oh hell yeah. I made a thread about this where the Pathfinder Defense Force came out with gusto full of 'where's ur proof?' responses and hyperbolic statements. It got locked before a dozen or so comments. This is absolutely their current strategy. They also issue errata on long time fundamentals of the game for current balance issues, and push it all out as if it's just business as usual all the while trying to say 'oh, no, totes not making a new edition of Pathfinder.'

To me it's utter b!!&!++$. It's underhanded and ruins any sense of what 'playing Pathfinder' means. When that kind of BS is acceptable then it dilutes the system and co-opts the vast majority of the user base in their new way of doing things even though someone could very well have liked the got into the game for how things were originally done. How? PFS which also happens to be the probably the main reason for the errata in the first place. Those guys have to enforce the current rule set and when those players play outside of PFS there's this dissonance and questions so either gaming groups adapt or face maybe losing players. THEN! The PFS folks complain about the current rules and push changes to make it the way they want because GMs get a hair up their ass because they have to actually think about how to run a game. It then turns into a huge ball of nepotism because the PFS folks like to be chummy from the bottom up.

It's a massive churn that over time makes the game utterly horrible compared to what it was. It's one of the main reasons why I hate Pathfinder in its current implementation. Not so much for the system itself but how Paizo has come to treat it. It's like they can't be confident in their own product so why should I? Then, I have to put up with needless nonsense from my PF gaming group because they're forced to change how they play and naturally I get drug along with them and when I try to play the game I bought I get questioned, rules debates happen, and it's just a s@&+ty experience.

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Triphoppenskip wrote:
Sure let me quit my job, stop preparing meals, drop all house work etc. that way I'll have plenty of time to devote to my hobby. Lol if only.

Dude(tte), if you gotta quit your job and stop eating just to convert some monster stat arrays and reading an AP book then you either a) work and eat too much or b) play Pathfinder way too much. Either way, lol, that's some dedication.

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Lord Mhoram wrote:
Self Selection bias is bad enough. That is just icing.

It's a great way to basically do what you want with the guise of public endorsement, though!

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sunshadow21 wrote:
To me, the biggest flag of concern is that they don't even have an idea of how to do a campaign guide for FR yet.

This is utterly baseless. A lack of announcement in no way implies a lack of vision or intent. They've decades of experience in business let alone tabletop gaming or even Dungeons and Dragons. It is much more likely they, in fact, do have a roadmap for the settings and certainly so for one of their largest to date.

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Not being able to criticize a company is part of the us vs them dynamic. That comment simply highlights that. It's a problem how?

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I think the position that Paizo is or has beat Wizards in all segments is simply wrong. Wizards dominates the electronic gaming space if not by sales (which is already many, many millions from over a decade of experience) then by mere virtue of Paizo's lack of participation therein as PfO isn't even released yet. They're only relatively weak in the table top segment, which, as its own market is smaller. So, not all battlefields are on the same level here. Paizo is fighting up hill in the electronic arena, but, yes, their tabletop presence is strong. Don't assume that as soon as Pathfinder Online is released that it's going to be a hit and Wizards will be scrambling. That's an unrealistic outlook.

The Neverwinter MMO is thriving, reviews be damned. I logged in just last week and easily got a pick up group for instances and saw zones very healthily populated outside of instances. PfO has a lot to prove. Just because they have Ryan who worked for CCP Games for a time doesn't mean the mix of game he's making for the Pathfinder IP will be a hit. That's an alchemy no one has come even close to mastering.

Make no mistake that Wizards has more muscle to flex here if not from money then from sheer experience in the market and if not from that then from a more diverse product offering. They're anything but weak. I could see them still thriving off just IP royalties and other product lines and ending tabletop D&D development altogether. That's a luxury Paizo simply doesn't have. They need success in Pathfinder/Golarion or they die or transform into a fundamentally different entity. Then, there's the ability for Wizards to get access to Hasbro's pockets which makes them more intractible as a corporation meaning they're not going anywhere.

Those are just facts. What I find personally interesting is the us/them dynamic on these boards. There can be no inbetween, and Paizo is seemingly king of all tabletop. All other signs that could even potentially endanger that view is badwrongfun. Paizo has done well for themselves and has a lot to be proud of. I think there's some deification of them, though, as if they are nigh infallible. A lot of this comes from the Paizo leadership. Which, if pride cometh before a fall, then they better brace themselves.

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Scott, in these lands nary a flight can blemish Paizo's visage.

But really, Paizo has a long way to come in the electronic gaming space. The Neverwinter IP alone is massive and the games are still selling on Gog. Plus, the Neverwinter MMO reached 2 million players last year. It's also about to come to the Xbox One.

Paizo's stance is anything but assured. I don't think they'll be simply shoved to the way side any kind of soon or even at all, but it's always telling when you look at how an organization spends its money. They're doing what they're doing because they're fighting which means not even they are 100% in their position. If they were, they'd do better to spend elsewhere.

Truth be told, some of their line up over the next year miffs me a bit because it feels like they've been intentionally sandbagging juicy material in anticipation just for this period. Some seriously erroneous systems are only now getting addressed in Pathfinder Unchained in spite of issues that were years old years ago. It's simply repetition that competition is good.

It's a great time for us, folks. Enjoy these next couple years. The quality of table top gaming is about to be second to none.

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The thing that gets me is that they want fighters et al. to be able to cut mountains in half and such. The wizard can do nothing like that. Sure, they can create a pocket dimension but it's tiny. Fireballs are only 40ft in diameter. Their spell for actually moving earth can only handle up to a couple tons of dirt in a few hundred sq feet tops. So, before any rebalance can be done, I think we need some honest discussion around the wizard's limits, because they do have limits and they are many.

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Well, you can bleed out for minutes in Pathfinder until you die depending on your Con score. :/ Plus, you just need a single save there. In 5th, you need 3 successes to pull you out of the threat of death.

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sunshadow21 wrote:
The wizard is still the softest and easiest to kill target on the field even without spells making him a major threat. Add in that I've been seeing indications that controlling the battlefield and enemy movement is going to be difficult at best, and going after the caster doesn't lose any appeal, it just now gives different reasons to do so. It will be interesting to see how things shake out over time, but the problem hasn't been removed, just shifted, from what we have seen so far.

There are a couple devastatingly effective spells at higher levels. One example, can't remember the name, is an 8 hour duration spell that makes all attacks against you take disadvantage and you can't be surprised. It will be interesting to see how it plays out but those gems are still there.

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Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
Making casters kind of useless, that's new. Unless you want to be a wizard who wears armor and swings a sword, you can do that now. But reshaping reality on a whim? They don't do that kind of thing anymore.

They still can. Note that 5e wish only has a verbal component now. Spells are overall more robust and singularly more powerful than in previous editions but spell slots are what's precious. On a stretch of downtime, though, that can still be 10+ wishes done between sessions. Plus, you can actually create wealth with it to the tune of 25k gp per casting.

To add to the thread though, each class basically has its own spell list even between the sorcerer and wizard. Some features in other classes let you cherry pick a spell from different lists here or there, though.

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Chris Lambertz wrote:
Removed some back and forth sniping and responses to it. This thread has been unraveling quite a bit, let's bring it back around to the rules question, please.


Can you spend your wealth to gain advantage in this scenario, yes or no? If not, then PC wealth is out of the window. If yes, Cthulu gets to spend his treasure value to be genericly outfitted and not for this particular fight whatsoever.

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If I were to run Big C he would absolutely have an array of abodes and toys lined up as anything would that's been around since pretty much the beginning of time. If he were hellbent on trying to actually kill you I might not even let you roll initiative. You just die especially if you're not mythic. If you are, then I'll describe his opening volley and ask if you have anything to handle that. No? Dead. Yes? Roll initiative.

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To say this trick works on Cthulu is to make him utterly inept. Sure, if he's not responding, just shows up fresh on the scene like a stroll through a garden, sure, you can surprise him. However, as I've shown in the other thread about this he gets mythic contingency. That's 6 spells he basically has on him for 30 day stretches of time. With a fairly simpl contingency command like "should anything kill me cast x just before" and poof he's got something at the ready.

Plus, the double standard in tactics is utterly assinine. He's got CWI just like most any wizard but for some reason he can't use it even though he's marked as having TRIPLE treasure? That's just stupid. Basically, we've got a mythic wishing monstronsity that can crank out more/better magic items than a level 20 wizard and you think the wizard will win? I smell some poo on the mere premise. THEN, he's got hundreds of HP more and boat load of abilities and racial features that already make him a level 20 dude in his own right but he still loses? You gotta be kidding me. Point is, Cthulu can act like Shrodinger's wizard every much as Shrodinger's wizard can but better.

With his fluff that ties him close to gods, something no theorycrafted character has out of the gate, you STILL think he's such a push over even for a level 20 caster? Please...

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He can make wondrous items that let him cast whatever spell he wants.

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