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The Sword wrote:
This does create a situation where it is difficult for new GMs to take on the role since it requires such in depth knowledge of how the game mechanics work and how they can influence the story. I know from personal experience how off-putting that can be.
They have also historically done almost no marketing/advertising at all, at least on the sites I visit. Which is a shame, since their stuff is so high quality and deserves to be enjoyed by as many people as possible.
Mark Seifter wrote:
Thanks for the extra info Mark.
Mark Seifter wrote:
Would it be accurate then to summarize the advice as constraining the outcomes of the skill system for diplomacy within the mundane and not extending into the fantastic? It sounds from the description above, that silver-tongued tricksters have to rely on magic or supernatural power sources now and cannot achieve the same effect through incredible skill. This is also more consistent with the rest of the skill system and the types of outcomes it allows.
And then, even worse after having a user-unfriendly initial introduction to the site, the new customer is met with ridicule and hostility from the board veterans.
Freehold DM wrote:
Sorry, but the ninja, as well as the samurai, are too deeply rooted in 2nd ed OA (semi)nonsense for the two to ever be completely divorced. A simple name change isn't going to do it. You're going to need to build a time machine and convince gygax and Co to build a less eurocentric world their first time out.
Why does this apply to the ninja/samurai but not the monk?
Thanks for the extra insight. The description of the Interjection games class systems always makes them seem very complex, but they almost always work out to be much simpler when one has all the information on the paper infront of oneself.
It depends of course, how you flavour rage in game. If you treat rage as a battle trance, then at higher levels the ability to rage cycle could be flavoured as gaining a greater mastery over the battle concentration and allowing the barbarian to more easily slip in and out of their battle trance. Rand in the Wheel of Time books goes through a development like this as he gains greater mastery of the "void" concentration technique through the stories.
You could look at allowing the fighter to pick up different weapon and armor properties at set breakpoint levels in the FE/FT mold that they can apply to their weapons/armor free. Either + equivalencies or from a pre-curated list. Flavour it as the fighter gaining increasing mastery over their equipment granting them the ability to get more out of it.
Or you could have the different breakpoints grant additional equipment tricks to borrow another subsystem.
The effect seems to also allow you to change DR X/Evil to just DR X/--. That could be useful in some campaigns.
Actually, water furycrafters are shown several times to use their water furycraft to allow them to breathe under the water (by making an air pocket).
Scavion's link is a more recent version I think. TOZ's link is to the discussion/design thread for Kirthfinder.
Take a look at Cerulean Seas for how electrical attacks are modified underwater. It has pretty comprehensive rules.
Cerulean Seas, Chapter 6: Magic of the Sea wrote:
Electricity Energy Effects: Electricity is a common element under the ocean, though it assumes a much different form than it does on land. On land, electricity is known for its bright crackling arcs of lightning. While these are not unheard of in an undersea setting, the fact is that the oceans rarely get hit with lightning. The surface water of the sea does not typically heat up enough to cause the positive charge needed for lightning to occur. When it does occur, it is almost always near shore. After lightning hits the water, it disperses in a great and terrible electrical sphere that is as deadly as it is undetectable. The picture this paints of underwater electricity is more commonly exemplified by the electric eel. Instead of flashy and sweeping arcs, electricity is known for its invisible spheres of damage. The lightning bolt of the sea, electrical surge, is actually a small sphere of electricity that travels towards the target, rather than a continuous arc. Aside from a trail of dead plankton and the occasional bubble of steam, this effect is relatively quiet and undetectable compared to its drylander equivalent.
Cerulean Seas, Chapter 6: Magic of the Sea - Electrical Surge wrote:
Based off these two, if you wanted to modify electrical spells in the water when they haven't been designed for the environment, you could make them touch ranged spheres rather than their normal effect.
If you want some good material for underwater adventuring, I'd recommend checking out Cerulean Seas by Alluria Publishing. It has lots of undersea magic, some new equipment, weapons, armor, and magic items as well as rules for underwater combat and hazards. If you are planning on doing much underwater/water proximal adventuring or are looking for some really cool ideas I'd recommend checking it out.
So, here's a question while we are on the topic of honour and paladins. In Pathfinder, is the honour in the paladin code internal honor or external honor? Does the type of honor the paladin must follow depend on if they get their powers from a deity or from a concept? How does the existence of divination powers affect the type of honor?
Or in other words, if a paladin commits a sin, but no one is around, does anyone hear the sound?
Speaking as a person with less GM experience, I would prefer to have the CR of dragons/outsiders etc reflect their actual capabilities and be consistent in how they are applied compared to other creatures/NPCs. This would make it easier to use them in encounters that I design because it doesn't have a hidden assumption that they are going to be used as a solo monster.
If you want to make it easier for a GM to use as a solo monster, maybe a general rule or template could be designed to help turn a creature/NPC into an appropriate solo monster fight. The PF system already has problems in encounter design for solo fights. Enemies are either too powerful and wipe the floor with the players if they aren't holding the idiot ball, or they are overwhelmed by the action economy.
If you look at how other games treat solo enemy fights, they normally have padded HP, more actions, and attacks/moves that put pressure on the entire party, but not high enough damage/threat that they can one-shot party members. Then again, many games also make their solo enemies hold the idiot ball and not use their abilities to the fullest. Personally, I've always found encounters that involve multiple enemies, terrain, and hazards to be much more interesting and satisfying.
For enemies that normally come in groups, I can see a potential problem in the other direction. Solo they are weaker than normal, but group synergy can raise their threat level above what multiple monsters/npcs would normally provide. I'm guessing you have some sort of adjustment factor to the CR calculations, but if you don't, a tool such as this would make it much easier for GMs to design encounters and have the expected difficulty levels.
You still run into this bit of text:
You can cast a spell at a lower caster level than normal, but the caster level you choose must be high enough for you to cast the spell in question, and all level-dependent features must be based on the same caster level.
Of course, if we go to Spell-like Abilities we find the following:
PRD Bestiary Universal Monster Rules wrote:
For creatures with spell-like abilities, a designated caster level defines how difficult it is to dispel their spell-like effects and to define any level-dependent variables (such as range and duration) the abilities might have. The creature's caster level never affects which spell-like abilities the creature has; sometimes the given caster level is lower than the level a spellcasting character would need to cast the spell of the same name. If no caster level is specified, the caster level is equal to the creature's Hit Dice. The saving throw (if any) against a spell-like ability is 10 + the level of the spell the ability resembles or duplicates + the creature's Charisma modifier.
Where the bolded text says quite explicitly that lowering caster level doesn't impact the ability of the creature to cast the spells, but it also provides good evidence for Anzyr's argument that abilities not explicitly tied to HD are not modified by Simulacrum.
So, in conclusion I agree that you are correct and that level draining/enervating a monster doesn't prevent them from using their SLAs. It would remove the ability to cast a spell however if the caster level dropped below the required CL to cast the spell. These rule interactions just make creating simulacrums of creatures with lots of non-level/HD dependent SLAs the better choice in many situations. I would suggest that it still leaves the Simulacrum spell pretty much unplayable outside of a GM adjudicated plot device. To make it more usable, it either needs to be modified for both player and GM use, or it needs to be marked similar to artifacts where they are not part of the systems considered open to everyone.
On the more interesting part of the discussion, how would people rewrite Simulacrum so it is actually useable as written in a game without distorting everything?
One of the ideas I've seen is to have spells like Simulacrum, planar binding, create undead, animate dead, planar ally and similar add options to the Leadership rules and run everything under the Leadership system.
Under such a system, Simulacrum would still need to be rewritten to better define what it does and what a half-powered version entails with respect to things that are not explicitly linked to HD. The more complete solution would be to link more things in bestiary stat blocks to HD so the game would give a meaningful response to things like level drain or other effects that play with character level on enemies that don't have any class levels.
So, Ghouls = pak'ma'ra? The suggestion of the text in the bestiary is that they are canabilistic as well as carrion eaters/prefer their meat aged. However, the canabilistic portion is rarely the part that gets called out in discussions and instead the focus tends to be on the carrion eater portion. I'm not really going anywhere with this, I just thought it was an interesting observation of how these types of discussions normally go.
From my experience with technical writing where it is important to eliminate ambiguity, writing less is often the best approach. It takes more work but you can frequently find a way to communicate a concept or meaning using fewer words with less ambiguity.
Even within the legal community, there is a movement to eliminate legalese as it is difficult to understand and frequently creates additional ambiguity which in turns requires additional text to eliminate.
The sad thing is, conceptually this type of fighter should be able to work with the feats and gear selected. A guy who is lightly armored and mobile and who fights with two hand cross-bows seems right out of a Van Hellsing/League of Extraordinary Gentlemen story. The feats are the obvious ones a new player would select to realize the concept.
Yes, I do a lot of technical writing at work and frequently the phrasings with the most clarity actually use substantially less words to so. It does require someone with skills in technical writing.
@Ashiel: Going straight to an accusation of lying is a very strong and antagonistic move. You'd be better off saying "you appear to be mistaken here". It doesn't make any claims to the poster's motive and honesty. The accusations of lying can come out later once the poster has revealed more of their motives/argument techniques and you can actually catch them in a deliberate falsehood.
Norman Osborne wrote:
A lot of the stuff may be allowable in a strictly RAW manner, but there's a ton of stuff that is RAW-legal that any GM who is even halfway competent isn't going to allow.
Okay, then that is saying that there is lots of material in the game which will trip up any new GM and thus newer players/GMs should either find another game or expect to have lots of problems until they have stepped on all the landmines.
It is actually possible to create Arkalion according to the game rules. It is not necessary to cheat, as you seem to be implying, to build the character. Now, common house rules and gentleman agreements mean that characters like Arkalion don't normally show up in the game, but again that is like saying Rule 0 absolves Paizo of any responsibility to write worthwhile or balanced material for their game.
That would work as well, but I'd suggest changing the symbol on the forums to something that looks more like a bookmark. Otherwise people will see the little + sign and just continue to use it as a +1/agree button (as well as some people using it for the intended purpose).
If you look at how a lot of people use the favourite function, I would suggest that many are using it more as a +1/agree tool than a favourite post I want to keep track of for later tool. From what I've seen on other sites, this is a pretty common adaptation by the forum populations. If there is no other visible reaction button, people will start to use whatever is available.
I've done it as well in the past. I'm just saying, that on other forums it is something I've observed that gets weaponized when lots of the other ways people can be unpleasant and nasty to each other gets locked down. Also, even if we don't mean it that way, it is very easy for the person to get moderated to take it as others attacking them if they see a moderator post with a huge number of agrees. It contributes to the feeling of being dogpiled. If you want the moderators to be seen as not taking sides in an argument or more of a neutral faction that enforces the spirit of the rules, it has been shown to be better to prevent one side or another from co-opting them or be seen to co-opting. This isn't for some high-minded reason, but rather just what I've seen work best at other forums.
The other big thing you need to prevent, because it helps foster a negative atmosphere, is people piling on in agreement to whatever moderation action is taken. Either prevent people from +'ing a moderation post, or make it an infractable offense for doing so. Otherwise you can very easily get an "I told you so" or a "I win" type atmosphere that further engenders hard feelings. Ideally, when the moderation happens, everyone stops discussing/acting in the way that triggered the moderation. As I've seen mentioned elsewhere, it takes two to have an argument and in a self-policed forum people will just choose to not engage or cross the line in the first place. It takes a while to achieve such a community, but it is very rewarding and tends to allow for an expansion of the audience to people you would never have thought were potential community members.
I've previously communicated the below to paizo via another medium, but I think it's worth reposting to the current discussion:
The current moderation approach of deleting all offending posts, is self-defeating and creating more work for the moderation team.
Another quote, about profanity filters
Another community manager wrote:
What is happening is that people are treating the deletions as a profanity filter, in that they feel free to be as awful to each other as they like, safe in the knowledge that all that will happen is a few posts might get deleted. Even worse, people learn to game the system and figure out ways to get stuff by the moderators, which in turn creates an even more toxic environment.
If instead, the offending posts were flagged in some way, and a visible graduated punishment system (points, jailing, infractions, temp bans, etc) was used to show that the behaviour was not appropriate, experience on other sites shows that this is less work for the moderators in the long run.
To go with this, you would also need a rule to not +1 a moderator's response or comment on the moderation (cheering on, etc) in the thread, or you get the negative dogpiling that can make a community unattractive.
@Crimeo: My guess is that there may or may not be a clearly written wording that explains you do not ever gain the creature type. Pathfinder is written with a lot of ambiguous text that never had the advantage of being reviewed by a technical writer. The polymorph spells are one example of a mess of inconsitencies. Even worse are the Crushing Hand, Stunning Hand, etc series of spells. The text in the book has all sorts of references to previous spells in the series, but there is a whole mess of exceptions and extra addons that are not consistently passed on or continued that makes it almost impossible to figure out all of what each spell is supposed to do.
There has been little to no effort to standardize mechanics wording or to take care to avoid previously defined mechanics keywords (don't ever look at the flavour text for Feats unless you want to open up another whole can of worms). The spell system and much of the game systems exist in a space between extremely detailed, mechanically defined aspects and "it's magic make-believe, who cares about consistency" approach. If you want a more rigorously defined system to allow players to extrapolate what is posssible and make plans from there, then you are going to need to do a lot of house-ruling and planning ahead. The major mechanics in this game do not hold to strict or consistent limits on how they interact or work. It is not a Brandon Sanderson magic system for sure!
Also, these boards are extremely hostile to new players or players without an extensive background in the game or an expansive knowledge of all the unwritten rules. The moderation tends to selectively allow for dogpiling and even name calling in these situations. Expect to be attacked and your questions ignored if you call into question or ask for reasoning/textural support behind common wisdom.
@Lemmy: Here are some possible 3pp options that let you play a martial type character a bit differently than the normal builds:
Masquerade Reveler archetype for Barbarians. Gives you more build options and lets you go places with the class you normally can't. Written by Mark Seifter, a paizo employee which might help with your case to your GM.
Swordmaster adds some additional tactics for martial characters and a powerup that isn't as obvious as the Path of War options. It might be more palatable to your GM.
101 New Skill Uses lets non-magical characters do more things with the skills they possess. This opens up things a bit more for the mundane.
Liber Influxus Communis: Book of Collective Influence This features several martial classes with more options that you might find interesting and your GM might permit: Battle Lord, an intelligent leader of others; Metamorph, a partial shapeshifter; Mnemonic, a brainy monk that will copy your moves; Mystic, an elemental bender type monk class; Survivor, a ranger type without spells that makes their allies better and harder to kill - also pretty simple. There are several others in here you might find of interest as well and I'd highly suggest checking out Endzeitgeist's review.
The Maurader is a martial class based around moving all the time. Not too powerful, but plays very differently from most martial builds you see on the forums.
Malefactor is a class that bestows negative luck on those around them. It's a D8 class, but does not get any spells. It plays differently than most of the other martials from what I've seen.
The Luckbringer is the inverse of the malefactor. It manipulates the luck of those around them to cause all sorts of positive effects. It is built on the Time Thief chasis, so it is more of a skirmisher type analogue.
The Animist is another full-BAB nature avenger/ partial shapeshifter type with all sorts of interesting options and a very elegant handling of the class.
Anachronistic Advenures features a range of classes with a high degree of customizability and some superb secondary rules systems. Don't be put off by the fish-out-of-water or planetary romance stylings of these classes. If you file off the fluff, you are still left with a range of cool class options and builds. My review touches on some of my favourite parts of the secondary systems.
I'm sure I'll think of more, but those are a decent start. Let me know what you think might fly with your GM and what types of classes/options you are looking for and I'll try to refine my suggestions.
Just to eliminate another possibility, is only Path of War out, or is it all 3pp? There's some other really good stuff that does things differently than Path of War for martials, but it is non-Paizo material.
I saw your review this morning and it made me remember my promise to post my own review. There's a number of subsystems that have been done by others, very well, but even still the ones in this book work well or are complementary to those other sources. Most of the systems are very simple and easy to implement.
I look forward to seeing your review posted over here as well :)
I finally added my review. As I note in the review, while the classes and archetypes are pretty awesome and provide a huge amount of customization, the secondary systems are the real draw of the book for me. Nicely done!
From the posts I summarized above, it looks like you can't go deeper than 50 ft or higher than 200 ft.
Additionally, the only stone available is from small rocks. This seems to indicate that the ground does not have any bedrock to near surface anywhere within the arena.
I'll probably regret this, but here is the opening post.
Yoshu Uhsoy wrote:
Pretty sparse on the rules and arena. The arena seems to be "everywhere" and the rules are "all-out battle" which sounds like anything valid under the rules of PFRPG goes.
Further down the page in post 27 you add
Yoshu Uhsoy wrote:
Now there is an arena, and you cannot gate or teleport in or out of it. The size of the arena is not defined. There appears to be no limitation on monsters summoned via the Summon Monster/Summon Nature's Ally and related spells. No word on Planar Binding/Planar Ally line of spells.
On page two in post 67 you add:
Yoshu Uhsoy wrote:
In this post, you have retconed your previous posts and added an additional limitation that everyone enters the arena unbuffed.
Further down in post 72 you add
Yoshu Uhsoy wrote:
Which clarifies that only Summon Monster I-IX is a valid summon. No word on things that can be summoned by Summon Nature's Ally or anything that is not able to be summoned by Summon Monster IX, but is in one of the related Summon Z series of spells like
Summon Ancestral Guardian
In post 78 you add some additional limitations on what "gear" constitutes in response to Anzyr.
Yoshu Uhsoy wrote:
In post 88. You add an additional prohibition on the use of Wish.
Yoshu Uhsoy wrote:
This also appears to prevent one from using Summon Monster IX to summon an extra-planar being, but I'll assume you meant to say that Summon Monster X creatures are still okay.
In post 89 you add some information on what the ground is made of, what materials are present, and what flora is present.
Yoshu Uhsoy wrote:
The arena is floor is made of grass and. It is like a forest with tons of trees. The only stone you can get is from small rocks.
In Post 103 you add some dimensions to the arena, which has now gone from "all of reality" to a much smaller space. You have clarified again that only Summon Monster I-IX and eidolons work. Druids and other users of Summon Nature's Ally are out of luck it seems. You also add some more geography and flora information about the arena and then stipulate that the arena cannot be escaped from, similar to Ravenloft.
Yoshu Uhsoy wrote:
So, as you can see, there have been lots of clarifications, restrictions, and additions to the rules. I stand by my suggestion that everyone wait until you have finished defining your rules, restrictions, and any other limitations before continuing the discussion, so we can all have a common point of reference and understanding to work from.