So many things key off ability scores that ANY way you handle them is going to create illogical situations unless you've got exceptions built in to cover them.
That being said, like many people I find it far easier to treat temporary adjustments the same as permanent adjustments and deal with the conflicts created by that than vice versa.
Thus, I just house ruled away temporary increases being different and the '24 hour waiting period'. Ability changes impact everything immediately... at which point the only conflicts I've seen are with skill points (i.e. PCs shouldn't be able to get a couple ranks in any skill by temporarily boosting their Int), bonus spells per day (i.e. shouldn't temporarily gain or lose spells per day), and pre-requisites for feats and prestige classes (i.e. shouldn't be able to boost ability for a couple of minutes to qualify for a feat). However, each is easily handled with an exception.
What I'd like to see is a cleanup and consistency check across the army, troop, swarm, and 'individual' rules. These methods of simplifying 'groups of individuals' into a single entity for rules purposes have all been great, but each has been invented in isolation from the others, leaving a lot of ground in between the different types not covered.
What happens when a troop fights an army? What is the difference between a troop (or army) of tiny creatures and a swarm? An individual can't grapple a troop, but can an army... and how would that work? Et cetera.
With a bit of work I think these features could be built into the best synthesis of wargaming and roleplaying I have seen. Roleplaying grew out of wargaming, but it has always been difficult to fit the two together. You usually have one set of rules for 'individuals' and another set for 'armies' with poor interconnectivity between the two. The army rules first introduced in the Kingmaker AP are a typical example of that... great for mass combat but not a perfect fit when factoring in individual heroes. However, the troop rules bridge the gap. If each troop could be treated as an army when fighting other armies, but an individual when fighting other individuals then you've got an entity type which functions at both scales.
While methane release from sources in the Arctic is a serious concern... it should be noted that the article linked in the OP is a year and a half old. Hence the lack of recent coverage in the US... or anywhere.
Thus far methane 'plumes' in the oceans, like those described in the article, have predominantly been dissolving into the water before reaching the surface and therefor not getting into the atmosphere. As the water gets warmer and the plumes bigger there will be increasing amounts leaking into the atmosphere, but it isn't clear when that will happen. Methane release from melting permafrost is a more immediate concern, but atmospheric methane levels have been fairly steady since ~1998 (when we got industrial methane emissions under control). There has been some uptick in the past few years, but not enough to definitively say that we have kicked off a natural methane feedback cycle;
All that being said... yes, we are clearly screwed.
Resurrecting a thread (which had apparently risen once before) to examine a new variation.
In reference to a suggestion of allowing 0-level spells to receive a bonus for having a high stat;
Actually... I did the underlying math:
Bonus spells per day = (Stat - 2 * (Spell Level + 1)) / 8 [round down]
This formula correctly calculates the bonus spells per day for every stat and spell level combination EXCEPT the 0 level spells. Thus, it would seem that the existing table 'breaks the underlying math'.
Now, the stated reason for the exclusion of 0-level bonus spells is that the formula would allow a bonus 0-level spell for having a high stat starting at a value of 10 (i.e. (10 - 2 * (0 + 1)) / 8 = 1)... which is also the MINIMUM stat value (10 - 10 = 0) you need to cast 0-level spells at all.
However, in many places where math is required throughout the rules, 0-level spells are instead treated as having a value of 0.5. If we plug that assumption into the bonus spells formula we get one bonus 0-level spell starting at a stat value of 11... which is higher than the minimum stat value of 10 (just as the one bonus 1st level spell at 12 stat is one higher than the 11 stat minimum needed for 1st level spells). This would also yield two bonus 0-level spells at 19 stat, three at 27, four at 35, et cetera.
So, a solution which is consistent with the mathematics underlying the table, the intent to have bonus spells only for stat values higher than the minimum amount required to cast spells of that level, and the standard treatment of 0-level spells in calculations. Iz gud?
On the 'no respec for class' issue... correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding was that the 'class focus' bonus was determined by the abilities you have 'slotted', which you choose from amongst all those you have qualified for.
So, for example, if you start EE as a Wizard with the intent of eventually switching this to a Sorcerer a lot of the things you would be working on should be the same. Sure, you'll probably develop some things which wind up being 'wizard only', but then when the Sorcerer role becomes available you can just swap those out for abilities that DO fit the Sorcerer role and viola! you've got the class focus bonus for Sorcerer.
Thus, the only 'downside' I can see here is the potential for some amount of 'lost' training time... though being in the EE means you're getting 'extra' training time over most players... and other people in the EE will face the same limitations. So maybe there is a time period where an optimized Wizard is ahead of an optimized Sorcerer in power, but the difference shouldn't be huge and will certainly be smaller than if you had to start building the Sorcerer from scratch when the class is released.
If they are successful in constraining the power curve enough to make it viable for OE players to contribute meaningfully alongside EE players then the much smaller gap between EE original class and EE swapped class characters should not be a problem.
Another way of looking at it... the ability to slot different abilities is a form of respec'ing. Slot all your Wizard abilities... hey, you're a Wizard and get the Wizard focus bonus. Slot all your Sorcerer abilities... zounds, you've got the Sorcerer focus bonus! Slot a mix of the two... no focus bonus, but hey maybe you've found some cool synergy between the two classes which is just as good.
My understanding has always been that the stats in the Bestiary are for an 'average' member of the species. For example, if there were a 'human' entry they would have three 10s and three 11s. Thus, a 15 strength in the Gorilla block would imply that they have a +4 racial strength bonus. Yes, that is still low... but it gives you more room to adjust. Give that Gorilla an 18 base strength, plus the racial bonus and you're up to 22 strength for a particularly strong Gorilla. Much more reasonable.
Pathfinder (like every version of D&D) doesn't do a great job capturing the real abilities of animals in general. The one that always makes me laugh is that Pathfinder bats are all but helpless in the dark (e.g. bugs have total concealment and bats must move at half speed or have a 50% chance of crashing). As such, I usually take the Bestiary stats for animals that are going to be around for a single combat, but make up more realistic values for animals that have a bigger part to play.
They're plenty enforceable. Change technology however you want, people will still be people. If Bob's printing out AK 47s on demand Bob needs to tell someone that he has them in order to find a buyer. Bob needs to sell them to someone that will use them, and when the cops pick one of them up and threaten them with enough jail time they'll turn on Bob in a heartbeat.
While I agree with the general premise that gun laws will cut down on gun violence there ARE some ways in which 3D printing could make it extremely difficult to enforce some TYPES of gun control laws.
For example, what if 3D printing becomes ubiquitous? Everyone has a 3D printer at home and rather than having every type of screwdriver, wrench, cup, plate, dining utensil, shoe, cap, etc 'on hand' they instead just print one out as needed and then reduce it back to its components when no longer required. In such a scenario Bob wouldn't be selling AK 47s... people would just print their own. And only when they actually wanted to shoot. Thus, laws against selling certain types of firearms would be all but obsolete and laws against possessing them would only apply during the comparatively brief time period the gun was actually in existence.
In short, gun laws would need to change. Hence my statement in an earlier post that the focus would likely shift to laws against carrying a concealed gun around. If harsh penalties were applied to that you wouldn't see criminals printing a hand gun and keeping it on them at all times... too easy to get caught with it and sent to jail for years. That would still be a very effective form of gun control because most crimes are spontaneous crimes of opportunity.
Scott Betts wrote:
This site provides an overview of voter ID laws on a state-by-state basis.
While your efforts are laudable, several psychological studies have shown that once conspiratorial ideation reaches a certain level it becomes wholly impervious to facts and logic and, indeed, individuals only become MORE certain of the conspiracy when presented with information disproving it.
I suspect that 3D printers will eventually make it possible for most people to create their own guns. At that point laws against owning guns or not registering them effectively become pointless... someone can always just create a gun when they want one and then destroy it afterwards. Thus, the only remaining form of 'gun control' will be controlling when/if a person can carry a gun around with them... which, frankly, ought to be the focus of gun control laws anyway.
The vast majority of violent crimes are committed with a handgun which was concealed on the perpetrator while they were travelling to the crime scene. Carrying a concealed firearm is usually illegal... but the penalties for this crime are so minor that criminals do it all the time anyway. Make the penalty for carrying a concealed firearm 20 years in prison and criminals would NOT carry guns around with them all the time... it'd be like asking the police to send them to prison. That would eliminate spontaneous 'crimes of opportunity'... which are by far the most common.
Laws will never be able to stop or prevent criminals. You want peace, laws are the wrong tree to bark at.
So, in your 'reality' removing all laws against theft would NOT result in a massive increase in theft?
The fulfillment tool had the wrong pledge level for me (I checked the pledge shown on the Kickstarter site to make sure I hadn't messed it up myself somehow). Overall not a big deal... since the total pledge amount was right I can just switch my pledge level to the correct item and still get all the add-ons I wanted. However, the pledge level includes a benefit that depends on the order you signed up for it. Do I 'lose my place in line' because of the SNAFU?
Chris A Jackson wrote:
For those of you still on the fence, there will be a sample chapter posted on the Web Fic page May 1st, and a four chapter "Prequel" story posted in the following weeks.
Aha! I saw the reference to the 'Stargazer' prequel at the end of the book and had been looking all over for it. Thanks for clearing that up.
BTW, turns out the legislation isn't quite as advertised. Basically, it prevents injunctions stopping the planting of crops once the USDA has given approval. Does not protect against "prosecution" for damages at all.
While there is clearly no good reason to be giving corporations special protections against prosecution I've never understood the genetically modified foods freak out. People make all kinds of ridiculous claims about how eating something will modify THEIR genetics and cause them to grow a third eye... which is, of course, idiotic. Humans do not incorporate gene sequences from their food into their own. If they did we'd have noticed a long time ago. How many people have you seen turn into cows after eating too many hamburgers?
If it turns out they can only supply 75% of our needs or we need other sources for backup for fluctuating renewables, does that mean we shouldn't have built any? Of course not.
Quite so. If renewable energy could reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuels to 50% of their current level that would be enough to stabilize the atmospheric CO2 level and put a 'cap' on how bad global warming will get. That should be a relatively easy goal to attain and would provide tremendous advantages.
Right now... renewable can't do it all... because the tech simply isn't there.
Actually, you are a little out of date. Ten years ago renewable power sources couldn't do it all. Today they can.
There have been several studies over the past few years showing affordable ways to cover all power needs via renewable sources at the national, continental, and global levels.
Indeed, we have now delayed renewable power so long that not only is it economically feasible... it would actually be cheaper. Solar is already at 'grid parity' with fossil fuel power for over 20% of the global population. By the end of 2015 that will have grown to around 50%, and by 2020 nearly the entire planet. Yes, there are large infrastructure costs involved in changing over from a fossil fuel economy to a renewable energy economy, but those would be offset by no longer having to pay to prop up the fossil fuel economy.
At this point I don't think the lack of political support for renewable power matters. Private investors have already noticed that wind is profitable in many places and that solar soon will be nearly everywhere. By 2020 I suspect there will have been such a sea change in new power development that it will be obvious to everyone that the fossil fuel era is on its way out.
There is a lot of good news about the parity in pricing of renewable energy (I highly recommend reneweconomy.com.au for its email bulletin) but there is so little political passion and action behind this game-changing work that it's hard not to get up every morning and scream 'We'll all be rooned!' at the air conditioner.
Actually, at this point I think 'political action' is irrelevant.
If politicians had been merely NEUTRAL on renewable energy for the past thirty years then we'd be at zero atmospheric CO2 growth by now. If there had been active support for renewable power then we'd only be using fossil fuels for a few niche applications by now.
However, it doesn't matter... because, as you note, unsubsidized renewable power is now falling below the cost of highly subsidized fossil fuel power. For obvious reasons it is happening in sunny and windy areas far from major fossil fuel producing areas first, but over 20% of the planet's population already live in areas where renewable power is cheaper and by 2020 (barring some massive unforeseen change) it will be over 95%.
Thus, there is very little which political opposition can do to stop a transition to renewable power at this point. Development by private firms will make it more and more obvious that renewable power just costs less... even without taking health and environmental costs of fossil fuels into account.
I can see how two rogues would be faaaaaar more effective than one, given the flanking possibilities, but so be it. A simple 5-foot-step is generally enough to keep two rogues from doing iterative attacks in the following round.
I've seen this type of claim many times and always find it odd. Why would you need two rogues? In every game I've ever been involved with the rest of the party routinely helps the rogue get flanking.
Ditto the '5 foot step escape'? Targets in the games I have played generally don't even try... because it is just as simple for the rogue and their current 'flanking buddy' to ALSO take 5 foot steps and re-acquire flanking.
My experience with rogues is very different from that described by many people on the boards. Nearly every attack of every round of every combat the rogue is getting sneak attack. Throw in that these rogues are ALWAYS built with high strength and damage based feats and they tend to do much more damage than the actual 'fighter' classes. The classic refrain on the boards is that they can't do as much damage because they miss due to lower BAB... but that is offset by the flanking bonus until level 9 and not enough to offset the sneak attack damage thereafter.
Good news: Australia gets enough sunlight that solar is essentially at 'grid parity' with fossil fuels now. You'll easily be able to convert over to less expensive and less polluting power.
Bad news: By the time the world gets carbon emissions under control this past year will just be an average summer.
My strategy is to celebrate the first step towards a sane health care policy in this country. True, we still pay far more for far worse medical care then any other 'modern' country in the world... but at least we're finally heading in the right direction.
I've always wanted a tool which would allow a traditional tabletop GM to quickly put together an adventure map, place the monsters, and then just hand it over to the players to explore through with the GM providing narration and some interaction.
In such a way you could transform the time spent describing the environment into things which are immediately visible to the players AND the huge time-suck that is tabletop combat into a fast paced video game interface.
The ideal system would be designed to allow computerized gameplay with a diversity of options similar to that available in PnP games. Thus replacing the time consuming portions of PnP with the computerized interface and allowing the storytelling aspects of the game to take the fore. I don't know that PFO will get to that level even if it allows player generated content, but it would be a step in the right direction.
I believe that was a rhetorical question to demonstrate the idiocy of the previously described concept, that would result in the earth being the center of the universe, but would also be the logical follow up to one of a couple fallacies I was pointing out.
And therein lies the problem... because you argued that the Earth would have to be at the center of the universe in order for objects near it to appear to be moving away more slowly than objects far from it. I used the balloon analogy to show why this was false (e.g. as the balloon expands dots on its surface [i.e. NOT THE CENTER] near each other move apart more slowly than dots far apart from each other). Your insistence that the Earth would have to be in the center of the universe to observe this effect is clearly and obviously wrong... yet you continue to state it in your response above without even TRYING to address (or apparently comprehend) the obvious proof that it is false.
CBDunkerson thinks I think the earth has to be at the center of the universe. How people get these crazy ideas from my words is one thing that really is beyond my understnding.
Oh... allow me to quote someone who may be able to help you understand;
Are we somehow the center of the universe again?
Alert the Nobel committee, the 2011 physics prize for proving acceleration was awarded in error. :]
If you now understand the expansion of the universe, as your previous comments about red-shifting requiring the Earth to be in the center clearly indicated you did not, then it should be simple to see that measurement of the rate of expansion between dots on opposite sides of the balloon (i.e. galaxies on different sides of the universe) can tell us directly whether the rate is constant or changing over time.
That said, it is difficult to believe you have any interest in really understanding things (as opposed to just believing whatever you want to believe regardless of the evidence) when you routinely ignore the substance of contrary evidence presented to you.
...points 1 and 3 are not wholly in question as they are natural or can be natural effects...
This may be some kind of linguistic confusion, but "not wholly in question" would seem to indicate that they are partly in question. Are you disputing that atmospheric CO2 is increasing and that will cause warming or not?
...valcanos for example put out a lot of greenhouse gases.
They really really don't. Decaying plant matter, ocean outgassing, and human industry each put out VASTLY more CO2 than volcanoes every year. If we look at the far distant past then sure, volcanoes have been a major player several times. However, for the last several million years nope, they're insignificant.
That leaves point 2, though I am sure we do contribute some, I simply question just how much contribute, and their methods used to measure and compare.
Great. I'll explain how we know that humans are responsible for 100% of the increase in atmospheric CO2 below.
I also question the suppossed idea that the earth has more CO2 then ever before.
No such supposition exists in mainstream climate science. Atmospheric CO2 levels have been higher than current levels several times in the past. Most recently about 2.5 million years ago.
Someone here earlier mentioned ice cores for example, as a method to see how much CO2 was in the air in the past, but they then use more direct methods to measure current levels of CO2.
Actually, the methods of measuring the CO2 content of air in those two cases are the same... only the SOURCE of the air differs. For current measurements they take air from the atmosphere. For the ice cores they take air from bubbles in the ice.
That said, the fact that air in the current atmosphere has ~100 ppm more CO2 than any of the air trapped in ice going back ~800,000 years is actually the least definitive evidence that humans are responsible for the increase.
Doing that eliminates any estimates or guessing about much CO2 actually gets absorbed by the ice vs how much was in the air.
Sorry, I can't follow this. Please explain the process by which you think CO2 surrounded by ice ceases to exist / become unmeasurable.
In any case, let's talk about the real proof(s) that humans are responsible for rising CO2 levels.
My favorite is the basic math approach. Simple logic dictates that the annual atmospheric increase (AtmInc) in CO2 must be equal to human CO2 emissions (HumEm) plus natural CO2 emissions (NatEm) minus CO2 extracted (Ext)... the amount in minus the amount out equals the increase.
AtmInc = HumEm + NatEm - Ext
AtmInc (15) < HumEm (30)
Comparing that finding to the previous formula we can determine that 'NatEm - Ext' must yield a negative value (-15 billion tons in fact) and therefor;
Ext > NatEm
That is, the amount of CO2 extracted from the atmosphere by natural sinks each year is greater than the amount of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere by natural sources... so 100% of natural CO2 emissions and roughly 50% of human CO2 emissions are being absorbed each year. Which leaves the remaining 50% of human emissions as the one and only cause of the increase in atmospheric CO2 levels.
Other proofs that humans are responsible for the atmospheric CO2 increase include the fact that atmospheric OXYGEN levels are decreasing in perfect lockstep with the CO2 increases (i.e. the CO2 is coming from oxidized carbon) and that the change in the ratio of carbon isotopes in atmospheric CO2 indicates that the added carbon is coming from fossil fuel sources. See also Revelle 1957 (i.e. 56 years ago) for that last bit.
I would also to see actual journals, not these publications that are intended for public consumtion. Of course getting actual journals can be difficult.
Not really. All of this has been 'settled science' (i.e. only disputed by people with little knowledge of the subject) for decades, so there are dozens of journal articles to choose from.
You didn't say anything about my balloon analogy, so I'll assume you now understand how the increased red-shift with distance indicates an expanding universe.
Though I still see lots of evidence for getting warmer, and very little for the cause of why it's getting warmer. Too many times times they go "see this proves it's getting warmer, we say it's because of humans" but they don't show anything to prove it's humans. The only exception I've seen, is some graph that shows the "hockey stick" of greenhouse gases which frankly, I question the accuracy of those reports, because we are useing different measurement methods for the past, then they use for today.
Which part of the attribution of global warming to humans do you dispute?
1: That the atmospheric level of CO2 and other greenhouse gases is increasing
There are multiple indisputable (and hence undisputed by any scientist I know of) lines of evidence for each of these, but I'm not clear on which you think is in question.
2, even if the scientists were correct, then why would distance from us have any bearing on the speed of the galaxies? They would be simply getting faster, and if all realtime, then how is it those closest to us are the slowest? Are we somehow the center of the universe again?
Inflate a balloon so that it is vaguely spherical and then draw three dots on it with a marker. Place two of the dots near each other and the third on the opposite side. Now inflate the balloon some more and note what happens to the dots.
The two dots near each other will both move away from the center of the balloon by roughly the same amount... but since the vectors from the center of the balloon to the dots are nearly identical the increase in distance between these two dots will be relatively small. Meanwhile, the dot on the opposite side will have also moved the same distance from the center of the balloon, but since this is in the opposite direction it will have moved roughly double that distance from the other two dots.
From this we can see that nearby points move apart more slowly than far separated points... precisely as with the expanding universe. No need for the Earth to be in the center for this phenomena to occur. Indeed, if the Earth WERE in the center then all other points would be moving away from it at the same speed.
Neadenil Edam wrote:
We sat down one weekend and designed the fastest character we could build by level 20 in 3.5 PnP.
v3.5 had a number of things which would just flat out double movement speed or stack up to the point where you could get up to over 100 mph ('feet per round / 9', gives a pretty good estimate of miles per hour) and/or leap tall buildings in a single bound. Pathfinder has done a better job of capping most of the movement adjustments and making them enhancement bonuses so they don't stack.
Different movement speeds is going to make group travel interesting. Either the party will get split up over long distances or the faster characters will need to slow down to match pace.
As noted, it will also make the faster characters just inherently better at combat unless movement detracts from combat ability in some significant way.
The solution I'd like to see to this problem would be for movement to take away from attacks. So, the more you move the less frequently you attack. That slow dwarf standing still with his crossbow can continually fire on the hyper-kinetic elf every time he comes within range. Meanwhile the Elf is moving all over the place, but only shooting back half as often. Basically goes back to PnP full attack or move plus single attack.
This is the first of the Tales books I have purchased. Construction quality was fine. Overall it was an enjoyable adventure yarn touching on themes of vengeance and community. Perfectly good read.
Oddly, the only 'frustration' I had was that I kept being drawn into thinking of it as an adventure/campaign setting background book and having all kinds of unanswered questions;
What were the little 'beast men' that attacked after the serpentfolk market? Kobolds?
What would the stats on Eovath's breastplate be? And where did it come from?
What was the plant with the paralytic effect that they hid under in the vault? Some kind of giant venus fly trap?
And most vexing of all...
I don't suppose Paizo has ever considered including these kinds of game details with the stories? Or in some sort of followup material? Are the stories considered part of the 'same' Golarion as the game or are the authors allowed to take liberties that would be vetoed in true game setting books?
If you haven't noticed, my comments are poking fun at reaction of some of those who don't like being asked to not use unassociated lingo.
Yep, that one is going straight onto the list of favorite oxymorons.
Language is inherently associative. Someone learns the term 'toon' for the character they are playing in one environment and then naturally associates that same term with the character they are playing in another environment. Most linguists believe this is how language BEGAN (via onomatopoeia), and it is certainly one of the primary drivers of linguistic evolution. Anyone arguing that the origin of a term limits its applicability (i.e. that 'lingo' can be 'unassociated') would need to throw out most of the dictionary.
The term 'mob' arose in the MMO culture to describe things which the RPG culture had long been calling NPCs or monsters. As an MMO culture evolved, some people brought in each term from past experience. Likewise, 'toon' originated in the MMOs, but has now spread back to the similar concept in RPGs. If you 'do not like it' then you are at odds with language itself... or, in most cases, displaying a sort of tribalism which assumes that your own sub-culture is the 'correct' one (which applies whether insisting for or against certain terminology).
Ultimately, the only answer is to speak the terminology you are comfortable with while understanding the terminology you are not and wait to see how the clash of sub-sub-sub-cultures plays out.
If they are riding the mount then they are occupying the same square and thus not 'adjacent'. Other than that I probably would allow them to treat the mount as an 'ally'. Note that solo tactics does not actually give the ally the effects of any feats... rather the Inquisitor gets benefits from having allies nearby. It seems more a case of the Inquisitor using their own feats to take advantage of the ally's 'normal' actions in such a way that the Inquisitor gains a tactical benefit. NOT the ally suddenly gaining a new ability.
That said, the writeup on solo tactics states that the ally must meet any position and action pre-requisites for the advantage to apply. So, if the feat requires the ally to make an attack of opportunity and the mount cannot do so (e.g. because it already used its one for the round) then the Inquisitor can't get the benefit of that feat.
You know, rather than being... like that ^^^ about it you could just look into adjusting it for your home game. Or using something else. Not like there aren't plenty of options to choose from.
Grand Magus wrote:
Existing psychopaths are the people who know what to look for in other would be mass attackers.
Have you met many gun store owners or gun show salespeople? I'm not sure this strategy hasn't already been tried.
Also I guess I'm addicted to air. Without it I go into withdrawals within MINUTES.
I like the 'flat pawns' idea. Indeed, even for Huge that might make more sense than the current 'one size fits all' bases. The bigger the monsters the more body form determines what their 'footprint' on the map should be.
The upright pawns work great for smaller creatures which you need to be able to arrange and move around a lot, but for the big critters it is better to have an outline of the portion of the map they take up. If they could have some kind of center pole sticking up for easy lifting and repositioning that'd be a plus too.
Aha! Thanks Hogarth. Somehow I'd been reading that as just 'subscriber'. So yep, you just need more subscriptions Diego.
Marc Radle wrote:
Must not go off on rant about people using dumb internet slang ... Must not go off on rant about people using dumb internet slang ... Must not go off on rant about people using dumb internet slang ...
YMMV isn't (originally) internet slang. Back in the 70s it was a standard Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) disclaimer for auto manufacturers quoting miles per gallon (mpg) figures. It almost immediately became an idiomatic expression for any concept along the lines of 'results differ' or 'opinions differ' and has remained so. The use of the abbreviation, like most such, began on local bulletin board systems (BBSs) in the 80s rather than the internet. Much of that slang was then picked up by Usenet and from there has spread to various other forms of communication, most recently 'texting'.
So... ultimately this one is 'dumb EPA slang'.
By the way (BTW), I come down on the 'language evolves' side of the argument. Once a subgroup of people understands a particular set of sounds (or other symbols) to 'mean' something it is every bit as much 'real language' as anything else.
I don't think it is so much actual differences coming out of character generation as it is the illusion of such. If you think back to AD&D 1st edition the difference between a 1st level Paladin, Ranger, and Fighter was virtually nil. One has a two point higher strength? Ok, they're going to do slightly more damage overall, but it was really a very small difference in the grand scheme of things.
That has obviously become less true as the game progressed, with Pathfinder giving every class multiple unique features right out of the gate. However, even back in 1st edition the appearance of differentiation existed based on class and stat choices.
I agree that, as described thus far, PFO online will allow players to quickly differentiate themselves in game... but it wouldn't hurt to have more apparent differentiation baked into character generation.
For example, the 'everyone starts as a 1st level Commoner' bit. If the 'class' has little or no impact until you actually start developing skills for it then why NOT allow people to pick their starting class? Suddenly you've got 'paladins' and 'wizards' and 'experts' all over the place. Their abilities and game play may be identical to those 'commoners', but now they are all 'different'. Have each class give you a point or two in related ability scores or one 'free' class skill of your choice and you've got all kinds of starting variation with virtually no impact on the game. Basically, the differentiation each character might have achieved in their first few minutes of playing (or however long it took to find a trainer) is instead 'baked in' at character generation time.
I think what Avari3 is saying is that if you have a single account / no "destiny's twin" then you might theoretically set up two characters and split the 'skill training time' / 'XP earning time' equally between them. When stats impacted the amount of time needed to train a skill you could thus have two characters with different stats/specialties each advancing half as fast as a single character with the same stats/specialty would. However, with the system as now described you could also just split your XP between the two different specialties on one character to have that single character advance at half speed in each.
Technically, you could still have the two alts each advancing at half speed... the complaint is apparently that they have now added the ability to do the same thing on a single character. Of course this makes the loud complaints about money gouging completely false... but it is the only interpretation of what he has been saying which I can make any kind of sense of.
You had earlier referenced destiny's twin, which was a kickstarter benefit which allowed you to level two characters simultaneously with no additional cost.
If we are talking about alts without that benefit then yes, in order to have two characters gaining XP at the same time you would effectively need two 'accounts'. If you split your time between multiple characters on one account (not sure that will even be possible) then you'd be splitting up your XP between them and you might as well just have one character.
However, that is not new. Goblinworks has been saying for a long time that your account would 'level up' only ONE character. This goes hand in hand with the fact that you level up even when offline. If you could do that for every alt then people would make one alt for each class and only spend the in game play time needed to get 'merit badges' for each of them.
Yes but why bother with an alt? Your main (a fighter type) already has int 11 because you put in some lore skills. Why start an alt wizard at Int 10? Put it on your fighter!
Ummm... ok, let's try this again.
Let's say you want to have the abilities of a '20th level Commoner' (gather resources) AND a '20th level Expert' (make things). You can either;
A: Level up one character to '20th level' in both of these classes over the course of about 5 years.
B: Level up two characters to '20th level', each in one of these classes, over the course of about 2.5 years.
Can you now understand why some people might go with option B?
Why would you play an alt? Your main gains the skills at the same rate and probably has already gained a few points in the ability score. There is no incentive to play an alt except alignment/reputation. Bad, Bad, bad trend to promote.
There is clearly some kind of disconnect here.
The reasons to play an alt seem fairly obvious... you can have a fighter alt and a wizard alt. Or a gatherer alt and a crafter alt. Or whatever other variations. Given that there are going to be multiple 'classes' and it will take ~2.5 years to 'master' each class it seems obvious that people will play alts to have access to more classes. Just like any other game.
avari3, between the 'everyone a clone at the start' and 'everyone a clone at the end' states you describe there IS that ~20 to 30 YEAR interval which you are overlooking. Plenty of room for a 'destiny twin' to develop completely different skills/classes. Indeed, between the two characters you might be able to master everything in a MERE decade... which is far longer than I've played any other MMO.
That said, I agree there should be more initial diversification. I'm ok with the 'all clones in the end' state given that it is so far in the future that there is plenty of time to fix the problem if it starts to look like the game will remain popular for more than two decades.
Assuming that the 'all stats start at 10 and increase as related skills are trained' concept was primarily driven by a desire to prevent characters from being 'locked in' to a path from day one here are some alternate ideas which would allow for more variation between characters at the start, but still prevent that early variation from becoming a straight-jacket;
1: Split the difference. Give starting characters a low 'point buy' system for setting stats. Maybe something like they could get one stat up to 16 if they spent everything there or all stats at 11 if they diversified. Then have the same fractional stat increases with skills, just using slightly smaller fractions.
2: Allow stat adjustments. Give players something like a medium 'point buy' system for starting stats, but then reduce stat bonuses to much lower frequency... possibly just on certain level increases as per Pathfinder PnP. Then change the 'fractional increase with skills' system to a 'reallocation with skills' system. Find you are playing more and more spellcastery? Ok, as you level up your spell skills you have the option to raise spell stats, but you have to drop some other stat at the same time.
It should be possible to balance these (or other options) such that the stats for a character that has mastered everything would be the same... it would just change the degree of variation in starting stats. Of course, if it takes ~2 years to master one path and there are ten or more paths... mastering everything would take decades and thus is safely in the realm of 'problems which there will be plenty of time to solve if we ever come to them'.
Edit: Alternate idea - scrap the whole 'skill points lead to stat points' structure and have stat points purchased by training with XP just like skill points. Then set max limits for each stat based on level in 'class', specific merit badges, and/or other factors. Characters can start out with a diverse range of stats, but can only progress to the higher tiers by completing certain goals. Could also allow players to start in different 'classes' rather than all being 'commoners' to allow greater initial diversification... but again no change in long term results.
So what was it... around 16 hours total downtime? Not too bad for a major server problem.
Does raise a question though. I've purchased so many PDFs from Paizo over the years that I eventually decided storing them all locally took up more hard-drive space than it was worth. Given that even the largest files here can be downloaded in seconds it has just been easier to pull up the Paizo site and grab a temporary copy of the PDF whenever I need to look something up.
The question is did Paizo intend/expect for users to react this way... essentially treating the 'My Downloads' page as 'cloud storage' for their PDFs ordered through Paizo rather than simply a 'once and done' delivery system? Does lots of users downloading the same documents every time they want to view (rather than update) it put excessive strain on the servers?
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Why do you continue to assert that it can't be "special" if you buy it?
Continue? I've only posted on this topic once... and that isn't actually what I said. Rather, what I said was that being able to buy anything you want means that the items are not special... which is just in keeping with the dictionary definition of the term.
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
And what's the problem with "Walmart" anyway?
Walmart is clearly evil. Yeesh, everyone knows that. :]
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
To use the Walmart example, why couldn't there be a "Walmart" for magical items which had all your basic low level stuff with some +1 weapons and armor in their special locked glass case, but with potions, elixirs, minor wondrous items, etc. available for a reasonable cost?
Well, setting aside the fact that Walmart has more than just the cheapest items of each type AND enough copies of various items to supply thousands of people every day... think about the logic of it. You are talking about millions of gold pieces worth of equipment. Why wouldn't every thief in the world be descending on this place to clear it out?
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
How does that "ruin the game?" If you have the money, you can buy cheap magic stuff. If you don't, you can't.
If you could get everything you want by going to the store would YOU risk your life exploring the forgotten tomb of almost certain death? I didn't think so.
Even limiting it to 'cheap' stuff, if every single 'cheap' magic item is available at the local store then you are taking about a ridiculous economy shattering amount of wealth.
If the local magic shop has a CHANCE of having the item you are looking for and the ability to make or order it if it isn't too powerful then that's fine. If they've got thirty of anything and everything that you would ever want to buy that's just ridiculous... and dull. You'd clearly be better off pursuing a career as a magic shop vendor instead of this ridiculous 'adventuring' stuff.
It depends on the magic shop. If you've got 'Walmart' for magic items then yes, it is probably going to be terrible. If you've got the 'out of the way fifth generation in the same family antique store', where you never know what you'll find then it can be awesome.
Magic items should be special. If you can buy them off the rack... not special. Maybe in a very high magic campaign you could treat many magic items as just 'normal equipment' that even the local baker has... but then you should have more powerful items that can only rarely be found... usually in dangerous lands and forgotten dungeons.