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Caedwyr's page

2,659 posts (2,661 including aliases). 5 reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 1 alias.


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Thanks for the copy of the compiled Anachronistic Adventures. I'd purchased a number of the individual pdfs that went into this compilation and the complimentary copy of the compiled version makes me happy with my early purchases.

Also, did any of the Anachronistic Adventures design/concepts get used in the recent Vigilante playtest and accompanying book? Looking through Anachronistic Adventures again, I saw a fair bit of conceptual overlap.

If I get the time, I'll put a review up. The short version is, this is a quality product with decent subsystems and I can recommend it for use in all sorts of games. The classes can be made to work in more traditional dragons and knights games with a bit of reflavouring.


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Congratulations Richard. I'm glad to hear that so many people have picked this up. All of the 4 Dollar Dungeons sound like excellent adventures and I will check them out when I am in a position to run a game again.


For new players coming into the game, it might be a good idea to include some text in there indicating why they are evil or what type of evil acts are required or even typically required for the transformation into a lich. Right now other than being spooky there isn't really anything called out in the Bestiary entry that sounds intrinsically evil. Not even the insert the soul into an item, since there are other examples of not-intrinsically evil ways of putting a soul into an item.

I've looked up the 2nd edition entry on liches and it had some extra lines explaining the evil things required to become a lich. Not all players have that background and as such it shouldn't be surprising to see people asking "why exactly is this evil based on the information provided." Without rationale for something being good or evil, the labels become substitutable with Team Green and Team Purple.


James Jacobs wrote:

My favorite one to point out as a way to combat folks who get too wrapped up in applying the rules PRECISELY AS WRITTEN is this:

Being dead does not make you fall prone.

Fortunately the game is run by people who are capable of applying common sense and logic to things, and so when you die you do fall down, and so you CAN see the moon despite its distance.

That said...

I'm also amused whenever someone gives the Run feat to monsters without legs. ;P

As an amusing corollary to this with respect to being dead not preventing a player from taking actions, is that the Great Beyond's section on the life-cycle of a soul presents some good evidence that a player could be allowed to take actions for what their soul does/experiences while traveling from their location to Pharsma's realm via the astral realm.

There's some interesting games that could start with a TPK instead of the group meeting in a tavern.


You might also want to consider Rogue Genius Games Talented series of classes. They offer an alternate to the core classes while giving more flexibility and range of viable concepts.


@Kirth: The entry for Bonus Feat is missing.


thejeff wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

As I pointed out in the rules breakdown, animate dead turns corpses (an object) into mindless undead. The creature in question - their soul - is not turned into an undead creature. You can still raise the creature (the soul) that still exists assuming having an existing body is not an issue.

The creature still exists in a non-undead form. Their soul, which can still exist in many forms, is not undead. They have not been turned into the undead. The vessel that was their body prior to their death has been made into a soulless undead creature.

I broke this down, clearly, before.

You broke it down and made exactly that argument, but ignored the clear rules text that said you couldn't do it. Reincarnate, for example specifically says: "A creature that has been turned into an undead creature ... can't be returned to life by this spell." Not "has been turned into a non-mindless undead".

Or were you arguing that's how it should work, not how the RAW currently is?

Oh wait. You're claiming that animate dead doesn't actually turn the "creature" into undead, just its corpse? But that the create undead spells do? And that is RAW, clearly intended and spelled out in the various resurrection spells? That's a pretty tortured reading of the text.

I take it that would mean that you could Raise someone whose corpse had been animated and then the zombie had been destroyed? As long as the body was sufficiently intact. He still hasn't been turned into an undead creature, so that clause doesn't apply.

For your reincarnation scenario, what about the situation where a person has been reincarnated (which gives them a new body as per the spell). Can a person then animate dead on the old body?


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I actually wasn't thinking about the Deathless and non-open content (which I didn't know about, since I came to D&D around the time of the Pathfinder Alpha), but instead was referring to things like the morality of creating Golems vs undead and the various inconsistencies pointed out in Tactic Lion's and Ashiel's very long posts.

Anyways, thanks for the responses and the peek behind the screen.


Ashiel wrote:
Caedwyr wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Caedwyr wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
As written, yeah, creating golems should be an evil act. I would prefer instead to revise them away from using soul enslavement to power them up, frankly... but it is what it is. House Rule as you wish.
So, for the obvious follow-up question, why Flavour errata in one case (making all published undead options evil), but not for the other (golems should not use enslaved elemental souls/creating a golem should be evil)?
Because that's how previous designers of the game did it, and because we were too timid about backwards compatibility to change it.

Sure, but previous designers also included non-evil undead and Paizo has gone on to change most of them to be always evil in Golarion. This isn't levied as a criticism of the game, setting, or designers. I'm truly curious about the behind-the-scenes decision-making process.

From what you've posted, it sounds like the always-evil undead position was something that had stronger internal proponents of the concept and the issues around Golems/elemental souls or other areas were not topics that received as much attention or had people arguing as strongly for.

There were non-evil undead in 3.5 so this is pretty questionable. Off the top of my head the skeletal and zombie dragons in the Draconomicon were all Neutral and Libris Mortis includes several good aligned undead including Arch-Liches (good liches). Faerun includes Archliches and Baelnorn (more good liches). RAW, any sentient creature can change their alignment which means 100% of sentient undead can just decide to not be evil. Nothing about being undead forces you to be evil in 3.5 or even Pathfinder.

The reason this keeps getting brought up is it's the elephant in the room. It's not consistent even with 3.x. It's not consistent within itself. It keeps appearing over and over. It's not even a noble goal as it limits the imagination and conceptual material you can have rather than...

I think the answer is much simpler. Paizo chose to make a thematic decision on how undead would be treated in their setting, but didn't take a thorough look through all the game rules/mechanics/flavour outside of the areas that were immediately obvious to them and thus we are left with the contradictory mishmash of rules and flavour. If I were the one in charge and had made the decision, I'd probably want to track down those contradictions and make them consistent, or write in some wriggle-room to help explain away the contradictions. There's all sorts of fun interactions between setting neutral material and setting specific, and since these interactions can have significant metaphysical and moral implications, it'd probably be great to have all of the areas where the Golarion setting differs from the setting netural material highlighted and discussed. Maybe in the intro section on Golarion so it is up front and visible to those coming to the setting. They could even go into greater nuance in sections Pharsma or some other Alignment/Death/Undeath related topic.


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James Jacobs wrote:
Caedwyr wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
As written, yeah, creating golems should be an evil act. I would prefer instead to revise them away from using soul enslavement to power them up, frankly... but it is what it is. House Rule as you wish.
So, for the obvious follow-up question, why Flavour errata in one case (making all published undead options evil), but not for the other (golems should not use enslaved elemental souls/creating a golem should be evil)?
Because that's how previous designers of the game did it, and because we were too timid about backwards compatibility to change it.

Sure, but previous designers also included non-evil undead and Paizo has gone on to change most of them to be always evil in Golarion. This isn't levied as a criticism of the game, setting, or designers. I'm truly curious about the behind-the-scenes decision-making process.

From what you've posted, it sounds like the always-evil undead position was something that had stronger internal proponents of the concept and the issues around Golems/elemental souls or other areas were not topics that received as much attention or had people arguing as strongly for.


James Jacobs wrote:
As written, yeah, creating golems should be an evil act. I would prefer instead to revise them away from using soul enslavement to power them up, frankly... but it is what it is. House Rule as you wish.

So, for the obvious follow-up question, why Flavour errata in one case (making all published undead options evil), but not for the other (golems should not use enslaved elemental souls/creating a golem should be evil)?


Opuk0 wrote:
Huh, always thought it was 'baited'

Nope, bated comes from the word abated, which means "lessened or diminished or held". So waiting with bated breath, means "temporarily holding one's breath or breathing shallowly while waiting"


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Caedwyr wrote:

I'm curious why the quoted text was included if you cannot select a feat more than once unless it specifically tells you so?

Quote:
If a character has the same feat more than once, its benefits do not stack unless indicated otherwise in the description.
If you can't select a feat multiple times, why include this text indicating it is a possible scenario?
You can select a feat and then wind up with it as a bonus feat.

Makes sense in a twisted sort of way.

Incidentally, if Paizo ever decides to do a cleanup of their rules language, this would be a great spot to look. One should not have to look at unrelated feats for the "normal" text to see how a mechanic operates. Also, if feats can normally only be selected once, it should probably say that in both the character building section and at the beginning of the feats section. Thirdly, if a feat was selected and a bonus feat replaces it at a higher level, the player should be able to select a new feat to replace their old one (meeting all the per-requisites at the time the original one was selected). This would all make the game much more new player friendly and not substantially increase the power of the game for people who spend more time building their characters.


I'm curious why the quoted text was included if you cannot select a feat more than once unless it specifically tells you so?

Quote:
If a character has the same feat more than once, its benefits do not stack unless indicated otherwise in the description.

If you can't select a feat multiple times, why include this text indicating it is a possible scenario?


I was impressed when I saw in Endzeitgeist's review that it wasn't just a compilation of feats, but also contains modified versions of some of the more problematic feats.


chbgraphicarts wrote:

The thing is, the class wants to focus on Dual Identity, and then have Specializations so that you can have a character with Dual Identity in each basic role in the party.

However, this whole endeavor would work out better of Dual Identity was a super-archetype like the Mythic Paths were, and the Vigilante was left off being something else entirely that much-more "Intrigue" focused.

If it was a "super archetype" option, then you don't NEED specializations, because you'd just add that Archetype onto any class you want, which ends up naturally supporting the "playable in any role in the party" idea.

This is what Owen Stephens did in the Anachronistic Adventures series of classes, which actually covers a lot of similar topics/thematic space as the vigilante in addition to a wide range of additional concepts.


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LazarX wrote:
A game mechanic is not automatically a "bad idea" just because someone can bend an extreme corner interpretation of the RAW text to get a result that's clearly spelled out as not intended in the context of the whole.

Or if it is an entirely valid interpretation of of the text as written that a new player could read and not realize that Paizo meant something entirely different.


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Since the discussion has turned more to the game design, I figured it might be useful to repost some observations/rants I made in another thread from the perspective of someone who started playing D&D around the time of Pathfinder's Alpha and how newbie unfriendly the game actually is if you don't have someone more experienced doing the heavy lifting of introducing the game to you.

Caedwyr wrote:

As someone who has gotten into D&D around the beginning of Pathfinder, all of the unspoken assumptions just drive me up the wall. It's like there is a giant elephant in the corner of the room and all of the oldtimers and developers act like it isn't there at all and even get upset if you mention it. This game has a huge amount of pitfalls that the more experienced players navigate around without even thinking about.

This really makes the game difficult to pick up and I've had a number of people who expressed interest in trying out the game give up on it because in their words "the game isn't even remotely balanced and I'd rather not waste my time on such a flawed system". Of course, this typically means we end up not playing any TTRPG and so I'm left disappointed we can't play the game together. That said, I'm pretty sympathetic to this point of view. Part of the fun in playing with a mechanical system and not a game of imagination is being able to find cool combinations and being inspired by the system. Part of the appeal of a system like D&D or Pathfinder is the breadth of the system and all the different character archetypes you can potentially create. That the game doesn't actually live up to what it claims it does leaves a pretty bad taste in the mouth.

Also, the other thing that drove my group up the wall was the very poor consistency in rules language. This is a game, not an imagination book. Games have their own structures and rules language. Pathfinder and D&D in general appear to have been written with almost no effort to creating consistent language for rules. It's like every time someone comes up with an idea, they just write up some new rules for it rather than looking to see if something similar has already been done. It reminds me of the old "engineer designed programs" which have an extra toggle switch, an extra menu option, or an extra entry field instead of trying to create any sort of unified UI or any sort of design pass to make sure they aren't duplicating a function in a way that is 99% the same.

Sorry for the rant, but as a newer player who has tried but failed to pick up the game several times, the denials that the game rules are unfriendly to new players (and not just the length) really looks like the old boys club sticking their head in the sand.

This rant also ignores the atrocious layout/organization of the books, which make sense for someone who has been playing for 20 years, but not so much for a new player. The beginner's box made an attempt to clean things up, but good luck having a chance of picking up the game without lots of mistakes if you try to switch to the CRB.

And a follow-up comment:

Me wrote:
Tormsskull wrote:
Caedwyr wrote:
As someone who has gotten into D&D around the beginning of Pathfinder, all of the unspoken assumptions just drive me up the wall. It's like there is a giant elephant in the corner of the room and all of the oldtimers and developers act like it isn't there at all and even get upset if you mention it. This game has a huge amount of pitfalls that the more experienced players navigate around without even thinking about.

That's some valuable feedback, thanks for sharing. It sounds like you want in black and white some of the more common interpretations / house rules. My concern would be that if that was done, and let's say a new version (Pathfinder 2,) I believe the same kind of arguments or issues would then crop up from that new baseline.

I'll use an exaggerated example here. Should the CRB have to say something like "While it might be easy to acquire a lot of gear quickly by killing merchant NPCs (or perhaps your comrades,) you shouldn't do that?"

I'd be curious to see, from your point of view, what a few of these unspoken assumptions are though.

Caedwyr wrote:
This is a game, not an imagination book.

Ah, but it is an imagination book. Every rule, every bit of descriptive text, every part of the book is designed with the goal of allowing you to imagine a character adventuring in another world.

Based on your separation of these two, you seem to have a lot of disdain for "imagination books." Why? Do you feel that if there is not a concrete rule for something, then the game loses its value?

Obviously the Game Master is meant to handle some of these situations, but if you feel that a Game Master having to make a ruling or wing it causes the game to not be as fun, I would suggest that a different rule set would work much better for you.

And I don't mean that in the dismissive "go play something else" manner, I mean that the game is literally designed around the concept that there will be a GM in place handling these things.

To the second point first. I like imagination games. They are a lot of fun. However, one of the pitfalls that comes up in these games, is without a proper framework you end up having to rely on the personal balancing skill of the Teamaster/GM rather than allowing the Teamaster/GM to provide scenarios and in-world responses to the player's actions. It makes for a huge burden on the GM, and makes it extremely daunting for a new group. Our original plan was for rotating GMs, but all of the gentleman agreements and balancing the game offloads onto the GM means that people without a strong sense of balance and understanding of how the game functions cannot do the GM role. Or they feel extra stressed out. This has the unfortunate effect of in our situation preventing some of the more creative people from feeling like they can participate in the GM role and makes the GM role feel more like work. The GM has to spend an inordinate amount of time focusing on balancing the game mechanics and fixing problems from the game rules rather than spending that time on crafting cool scenarios and characters. In other game systems (board games, CPRGS, card games) the rules are well understood and following the rules is the responsibility of the entire group.

One attraction of TTRPGs is the freedom to do things that the rules/computers don't anticipate and having a GM there to adjudicate. The problem is how frequently it isn't something that arises for an odd edge case or corner case, but fundamental aspects of the game design.

I want to be able to be inspired by a movie or a story and to have a game framework that lets me play out an alternate storyline in one of those settings with a group of friends. What I have gotten instead is a system that requires almost as much work on the part of the GM in balancing everything rather than just spending their time with helping the story along and coming up with awesome plot twists as the GM works through what might be happening out of the eyes of the players.

The thing is, Kirthfinder is a great example of how a lot of the problems can be cleared up. Rule language can be harmonized and more universal mechanics/wordings can be used. This means that players only need to learn things once and keeps the complexity and confusion over rules down. All classes can be built on the same power curve and have the same opportunity to parcipate in all parts of the story throughout their careers. Creating a multi-class character concept, or a character concept that draws from a diverse range of talents can be done without punishing the player (greater freedom of imagination!). The issues I have with Kirthfinder is that it is probably way to dense in options for a good game for beginners and there are still issues with how it is organized (since it was based on the CRB organization structure). There's also missing pieces where it refers to the CRB. It also means that if I play it, I'm limited to a small group of personal friends and I can't go out and expect others to know how to play it.

I've looked at other game systems like Gurps, D&D4th Ed, D&D5th Ed and a few others, but they are either too rule heavy and fiddly with pointless minutae that bog things down, or are too restrictive in their structure or limiting in the imagination and stories you can effectively tell. Or they have as bad or worse balance/role viability issues.

And a final follow-up

Me wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:


Ideally, the imagination stuff and the rules are mutually reinforcing -- that is, playing by the rules as written leads to exactly the kind of imaginary stories you're trying to create. The old Victory Games 007 rules were the best at that I've ever seen -- a lot of the rules, upon reading them, were apparently nonsensical or even asinine, but if you followed them, game play almost inexorably had the "feel" of a James Bond movie.

Pathfinder is sort of the opposite -- the rules don't actually support the kinds of stories that the APs are trying to tell. As a result, it's a lot of extra work to get them to mesh, and in some cases that's detrimental to the immersion (the level of railroading that's needed in some of the APs goes beyond anything that a lot of people are comfortable with, for example).

Ever watched a movie and said "well, why don't they just do X obvious solution to their problem?" That's the problem with the APs. The game gives you a set of abilities and capabilities and most APs can't deal with what the game provides when someone with even a modicum of problem solving skills and no blinders/gentleman agreements. In which place, why are we playing this imagination game when the rules are heavy, inconsistent and can't even tell the story you want to tell without lots of unwritten assumptions. It wouldn't be so bad if the developers explicitly called out stuff that won't work or things that will need to be removed to work, but it is very rare that they take that step. Even more irritatingly, they will frequently act as though the problem doesn't exist, or it is some sort of personal failing on the player's part if such a problem arises.

Like I ranted above, this makes the game very new player unfriendly and presents an unwelcoming old-boy's club for the community of players who play the game.

So, the long and the short of it is, the game is hard enough to get into for new players given the size of the rulebook and the organization. On top of that, you have to deal with loads of traps and additional work to balance the game and keep things from falling apart. This is extra hard when your whole group is completely new to the game and doesn't know all the "obvious" things to do to balance the game. Rules are written with little to no wording standardization and a review of the forum thread/FAQ shows that something might be intended to work or not when the meaning appears to be the same, but the wording is just slightly different. All of this together means that a new GM is going to be overwhelmed quickly and they will spend most of their time dealing with balancing/rule issues and not acting as the creative person helming the game.


I've noticed from time to time, a person with a blue name, but when you hover over it the alias info pops up. However, I can't think of any good examples right now.


Chris Lambertz wrote:
Caedwyr wrote:
@Chris: Is it possible to send you a PM on some of this and related topics? I can't find the SEND PM button on your user page.
I'm opted out of PMs (I find email easier to track personally), dropping a line to chris.lambertz@paizo.com or community@paizo.com works :)

Thanks, I'll try to send something later.


@Chris: Is it possible to send you a PM on some of this and related topics? I can't find the SEND PM button on your user page.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ashiel wrote:
Zhangar wrote:
And people wonder why Mark's the only dev team member that even bothers talking to the message boards. =P

Nobody ever wants to take credit for starting the fire. I've found this to be a very bad policy when making rules however. When you cannot explain or justify the why, you must expect people to assume the worst. It's human nature.

Maybe if the rules team actually did something crazy like discuss the rules, why they wanted to change them, and so forth, people would be more receptive. However lately it looks like they don't actually care about the game anymore and haven't even cracked open their own books since the FAQs are an utterly disgusting mess.

When you don't interact with your community other than to release questionable changes, often with no apparent reason, how else do you expect to be perceived?

Mark actually did some great community engagement in the ACG errata threads right after they came out. I noticed that the tone in the threads was much calmer and more accepting of some of the changes after Mark explained the reasoning behind them.


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CWheezy wrote:
LazarX wrote:


For you, doesn't that usually translate into "Gold mine for corner interpretations of rules I need to work out?"

Did you really come into this thread only to attack ravingdork? Do you have a personal vendetta against him?

It's okay. He gets a free pass at such things.


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This thread seems to be in the wrong forum, since the discussion is related to PFS.


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Commoners are OP. Look at my Balor/Commoner 1 stat block which totally proves this point. =p


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How does this book compare to Pact Magic Unbound with respect to the spirit calling and making pacts with outsiders?


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Tormsskull wrote:

Thanks for providing the list.

Kirth Gersen wrote:
This means that you don't save up explosive runes traps, and you don't use armies of simulacra, and you don't send planar bound critters to do all the fighting -- because gentlemen just don't do those things.

This always fell under the "anything you can do, the GM can do better angle." When I GM, I always make sure to tell the players "No matter how powerful you get, there will always be one or more enemies/NPCs that are more powerful than you. Always."

With that understanding, sure you can try to send an army of simulacra, but that guy that's more powerful than you probably has a bigger army of simulacra.

Kirth Gersen wrote:
(3) If casters forget the first two rules, the DM's job is to remind them. Arbitrarily add restrictions or drawbacks to spells, or threaten out-of-rules consequences for using them, or, in extreme cases, declare outright that every dungeon is in an antimagic field.

I guess it depends on what you mean by out-of-rules consequences. Is "the enemies/NPCs can use your same tactics against you" out-of-rules consequences?

These two are pretty much exactly the Gentleman's agreement that Kirth is talking about. The response to the GM saying "if you do X, then NPCs will do X" in a balanced rule set should be "sure, I expect as much", not "oh no, now the game will be ruined". Pathfinder doesn't stand up to NPC casters making full use of their capabilities, and hence the system of Gentleman agreements referenced earlier in the thread.


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Kirth Gersen wrote:

Ideally, the imagination stuff and the rules are mutually reinforcing -- that is, playing by the rules as written leads to exactly the kind of imaginary stories you're trying to create. The old Victory Games 007 rules were the best at that I've ever seen -- a lot of the rules, upon reading them, were apparently nonsensical or even asinine, but if you followed them, game play almost inexorably had the "feel" of a James Bond movie.

Pathfinder is sort of the opposite -- the rules don't actually support the kinds of stories that the APs are trying to tell. As a result, it's a lot of extra work to get them to mesh, and in some cases that's detrimental to the immersion (the level of railroading that's needed in some of the APs goes beyond anything that a lot of people are comfortable with, for example).

Ever watched a movie and said "well, why don't they just do X obvious solution to their problem?" That's the problem with the APs. The game gives you a set of abilities and capabilities and most APs can't deal with what the game provides when someone with even a modicum of problem solving skills and no blinders/gentleman agreements. In which place, why are we playing this imagination game when the rules are heavy, inconsistent and can't even tell the story you want to tell without lots of unwritten assumptions. It wouldn't be so bad if the developers explicitly called out stuff that won't work or things that will need to be removed to work, but it is very rare that they take that step. Even more irritatingly, they will frequently act as though the problem doesn't exist, or it is some sort of personal failing on the player's part if such a problem arises.

Like I ranted above, this makes the game very new player unfriendly and presents an unwelcoming old-boy's club for the community of players who play the game.


Tormsskull wrote:
Caedwyr wrote:
As someone who has gotten into D&D around the beginning of Pathfinder, all of the unspoken assumptions just drive me up the wall. It's like there is a giant elephant in the corner of the room and all of the oldtimers and developers act like it isn't there at all and even get upset if you mention it. This game has a huge amount of pitfalls that the more experienced players navigate around without even thinking about.

That's some valuable feedback, thanks for sharing. It sounds like you want in black and white some of the more common interpretations / house rules. My concern would be that if that was done, and let's say a new version (Pathfinder 2,) I believe the same kind of arguments or issues would then crop up from that new baseline.

I'll use an exaggerated example here. Should the CRB have to say something like "While it might be easy to acquire a lot of gear quickly by killing merchant NPCs (or perhaps your comrades,) you shouldn't do that?"

I'd be curious to see, from your point of view, what a few of these unspoken assumptions are though.

Caedwyr wrote:
This is a game, not an imagination book.

Ah, but it is an imagination book. Every rule, every bit of descriptive text, every part of the book is designed with the goal of allowing you to imagine a character adventuring in another world.

Based on your separation of these two, you seem to have a lot of disdain for "imagination books." Why? Do you feel that if there is not a concrete rule for something, then the game loses its value?

Obviously the Game Master is meant to handle some of these situations, but if you feel that a Game Master having to make a ruling or wing it causes the game to not be as fun, I would suggest that a different rule set would work much better for you.

And I don't mean that in the dismissive "go play something else" manner, I mean that the game is literally designed around the concept that there will be a GM in place handling these things.

If you're looking for a...

To the second point first. I like imagination games. They are a lot of fun. However, one of the pitfalls that comes up in these games, is without a proper framework you end up having to rely on the personal balancing skill of the Teamaster/GM rather than allowing the Teamaster/GM to provide scenarios and in-world responses to the player's actions. It makes for a huge burden on the GM, and makes it extremely daunting for a new group. Our original plan was for rotating GMs, but all of the gentleman agreements and balancing the game offloads onto the GM means that people without a strong sense of balance and understanding of how the game functions cannot do the GM role. Or they feel extra stressed out. This has the unfortunate effect of in our situation preventing some of the more creative people from feeling like they can participate in the GM role and makes the GM role feel more like work. The GM has to spend an inordinate amount of time focusing on balancing the game mechanics and fixing problems from the game rules rather than spending that time on crafting cool scenarios and characters. In other game systems (board games, CPRGS, card games) the rules are well understood and following the rules is the responsibility of the entire group.

One attraction of TTRPGs is the freedom to do things that the rules/computers don't anticipate and having a GM there to adjudicate. The problem is how frequently it isn't something that arises for an odd edge case or corner case, but fundamental aspects of the game design.

I want to be able to be inspired by a movie or a story and to have a game framework that lets me play out an alternate storyline in one of those settings with a group of friends. What I have gotten instead is a system that requires almost as much work on the part of the GM in balancing everything rather than just spending their time with helping the story along and coming up with awesome plot twists as the GM works through what might be happening out of the eyes of the players.

The thing is, Kirthfinder is a great example of how a lot of the problems can be cleared up. Rule language can be harmonized and more universal mechanics/wordings can be used. This means that players only need to learn things once and keeps the complexity and confusion over rules down. All classes can be built on the same power curve and have the same opportunity to parcipate in all parts of the story throughout their careers. Creating a multi-class character concept, or a character concept that draws from a diverse range of talents can be done without punishing the player (greater freedom of imagination!). The issues I have with Kirthfinder is that it is probably way to dense in options for a good game for beginners and there are still issues with how it is organized (since it was based on the CRB organization structure). There's also missing pieces where it refers to the CRB. It also means that if I play it, I'm limited to a small group of personal friends and I can't go out and expect others to know how to play it.

I've looked at other game systems like Gurps, D&D4th Ed, D&D5th Ed and a few others, but they are either too rule heavy and fiddly with pointless minutae that bog things down, or are too restrictive in their structure or limiting in the imagination and stories you can effectively tell. Or they have as bad or worse balance/role viability issues.


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As someone who has gotten into D&D around the beginning of Pathfinder, all of the unspoken assumptions just drive me up the wall. It's like there is a giant elephant in the corner of the room and all of the oldtimers and developers act like it isn't there at all and even get upset if you mention it. This game has a huge amount of pitfalls that the more experienced players navigate around without even thinking about.

This really makes the game difficult to pick up and I've had a number of people who expressed interest in trying out the game give up on it because in their words "the game isn't even remotely balanced and I'd rather not waste my time on such a flawed system". Of course, this typically means we end up not playing and TTRPG and so I'm left disappointed we can't play the game together. That said, I'm pretty sympathetic to this point of view. Part of the fun in playing with a mechanical system and not a game of imagination is being able to find cool combinations and being inspired by the system. Part of the appeal of a system like D&D or Pathfinder is the breadth of the system and all the different character archetypes you can potentially create. That the game doesn't actually live up to what it claims it does leaves a pretty bad taste in the mouth.

Also, the other thing that drove my group up the wall was the very poor consistency in rules language. This is a game, not an imagination book. Games have their own structures and rules language. Pathfinder and D&D in general appear to have been written with almost no effort to creating consistent language for rules. It's like every time someone comes up with an idea, they just write up some new rules for it rather than looking to see if something similar has already been done. It reminds me of the old "engineer designed programs" which have an extra toggle switch, an extra menu option, or an extra entry field instead of trying to create any sort of unified UI or any sort of design pass to make sure they aren't duplicating a function in a way that is 99% the same.

Sorry for the rant, but as a newer player who has tried but failed to pick up the game several times, the denials that the game rules are unfriendly to new players (and not just the length) really looks like the old boys club sticking their head in the sand.

This rant also ignores the atrocious layout/organization of the books, which make sense for someone who has been playing for 20 years, but not so much for a new player. The beginner's box made an attempt to clean things up, but good luck having a chance of picking up the game without lots of mistakes if you try to switch to the CRB.


If you are wondering what type of narrative powers and out of combat powers you can give to a Fighter, here are some examples of the themes (maybe not the exact mechanics) from Rogue Genius Game's Warlord class

Quote:

Contacts (Ex): As a leader of men and lord of command, a war master is likely to have contacts among any large population. Upon reaching a new community, the war master may immediately make a Diplomacy check to see if he is aware of a contact in the community. A check result of 9 or less indicates no specific contact. A check result of 10–29 means that the war master knows one contact that is indifferent, a check result of 30–39 means he knows one contact that is friendly, and a check result of 40 or more means he knows one contact that is helpful.

Contacts are always typical members of the community, rather than knights or court wizards, and the war master must treat a contact well to gain actual aid. A contact has no special connection to the war master’s allies, and has an initial attitude toward them consistent with how others in the community would feel.

Quote:
Hard March (Ex): The war master can keep his allies focused on moving forward with alacrity, using careful planning to reduce the breaks required, directing a group’s scouts to find the best route through terrain, and ensuring assistance is given to anyone at risk of falling behind. As a result the war master and his allies (to a maximum of 20 people per war master level) double their miles per hour of overland speed. The group may still hustle or use a forced march to further increase their speed or time traveled, but suffers the normal penalties for doing so.
Quote:
Perspicacity (Ex): This talent represents the war master’s mastery of studying details, and using them to draw a conclusion about the bigger picture. The war master may use his Perception bonus in place of his Appraise or Sense Motive bonus whenever making an Appraise or Sense Motive check.
Quote:
Sphere of Influence (Ex): A war master with this talent has learned how to maximize his efforts within a certain class of skills. The war master gains a +1 bonus to all skill and ability checks based on a single ability score selected when this talent is taken. If the war master is 10th level or higher, this bonus increases to +2. This talent may be selected more than once. A different ability score must be selected each time the talent is taken.
Quote:

Agents (Ex): This talent represents the war master’s efforts to have spies and emissaries in areas he is likely to operate. Any time the war master enters a new kingdom, town, or settlement, he may make a DC 25 Diplomacy check. On a successful check, the war master may choose to have one of his followers of 2nd level or higher be an agent within the community. This agent is removed from the total number of followers the war master has available, and is attached to the community. Depending on the nature of the community, the GM must decide if the agent is a clandestine spy or an open representative of the war master or his patrons. In either case the agent is loyal to the war master and knows the lay of the land and local rumors, and is likely to be able to provide information about current events, a place to hide, and someone who can safely sell items or buy supplies without raising suspicions.

Every two levels the war master gains after selecting this talent he may “reassign” one of his agents, removing the agent from the community it was previously in and returning it to the pool of available followers. A war master with no available followers of 2nd or higher level can’t use the agent talent until he has an available follower.

Quote:
Parley (Ex): The art of trying to reach a truce of some kind with foes is represented by the parley talent. With this talent, a war master can make a special Diplomacy check as a full round action with hostile, unfriendly or indifferent NPCs to attempt to convince them to agree to a temporary cessation of hostilities. This can be attempted in combat, even against foes wishing the war master or his allies immediate harm. The DC for this special check is the same as the DC for improving the attitude of an NPC (see Diplomacy for more information.) A successful check convinces a foe to stop attempting to harm the war master and his allies for 1d4 rounds, as long as the war master and his allies do nothing to improve their situation (or at least aren’t caught doing anything). Thus neither the war master nor his allies may heal, move to better positions, cast spells, or ready equipment during the parley. In most cases if the war master and his allies don’t offer concessions to a hostile foe, violence is renewed (even if negotiations seem to be going well) after the 1d4 rounds of parley.


Bandw2 wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
i'm keeping this

Feel free to steal as much of my stuff as you like. Houstonderek noted that Paizo has already ripped off some of it for Unchained.

A lot of what I posted for the ranger and rogue, in Orfamay's challenge thread, is already there.

where's the actual rules on the WBL mojo? equipment? i told my player's about it and they seem interested, though one of them doesn't like the idea of randomly making magic items, i'm wondering if i had it all codified it would make him understand it more.

You can also request a copy of the updated rules in the Kirthfinder thread and someone will probably send you one. The Beta rules are pretty good, but there's been a lot of cleaning up done for the later versions, especially the organization.


Since it is a Spell-like ability, what spell does it count as (and what is the spell-level) for the purpose of prerequisites?


There was a discussion on how one would develop a backdrop economy (or different types of economies for the players to interact with at different game tiers) back during the Alpha discussions.

High Level Economics in D&D

Wrecan summarizes how it might be implemented on the second page here

Kirthfinder takes some of what was discussed there and manages to make the game mechanics and magic item rules work alright for that simulation of the game world

Kirthfinder

Note that you need to request a copy of the latest version of Kirthfinder. The ones in the opening post are several years out of date.


My favourite take on Charisma is as follows:

"Charisma: Charisma strictly represents confidence, presence, and force of personality (physical attractiveness is governed by the optional Comeliness attribute; see below). It is therefore analogous to the Willpower attribute from the old Victory Games rules. To reflect this, the Charisma modifier, rather than the Wisdom modifier, applies to Will saves against compulsions, fear, etc. You also apply your Charisma modifier to certain uses of Hero Points (see below). These uses provide a disincentive for everyone other than bards and sorcerers to always make Charisma their lowest attribute.

Social skill is dictated by your bonuses in Bluff and Diplomacy—with your personal confidence and magnetism (Cha) providing a modifier, rather than dictating your baseline. People with low Charisma are typically unsure of themselves, lack presence, and are often ignored. Characters with high charisma scores are heeded; they are leaders, rather than followers.

A character with a Charisma of 1 has insufficient ego to exert executive autonomy; he or she acts as if charmed by everyone he or she interacts with. A character with a Charisma of 0 is dominated, likewise.

How Wisdom and Charisma Interact: A character with a high wisdom (awareness and caution) and low Charisma (confidence and force of personality) is likely to be timid and overly-paranoid about “getting in trouble.” His or her warnings will often be ignored by companions.

Conversely, a character with low Wisdom and high Charisma is likely to be egocentric and careless, assuming that things will “somehow work out.” He can be bold and reckless, like Douglas Fairbanks’ Robin Hood, but he or she will also often need to be rescued by companions, and may, in the worst case, have a tendency to treat others as tools.

A character with high scores in both stats is like Hammett’s Sam Spade―ruthless, domineering, guileful, and always with a backup plan or two."


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Paul Bunyan = Anime.


There's more than one episode.


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Yeah, the high level characters are mostly in the Silmarillion. The old school elves were pretty hardcore in what they did and Pathfinder doesn't do that great of a job replicating their feats.

The Quenta Silmarillion in fact was rejected by a publisher for being "obscure and too Celtic", and the power level in these stories would fit in fine with many other Celtic myth cycles.


Sometimes PEDMAS is written as BEDMAS

Brackets
Exponents
Division
Multiplication
Addition
Subtraction


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I'm looking at the fabricate spell more closely, and I'm wondering actually what limits are placed on what can be targeted with the spell. The spell appears to target a mass of material equal to 10 cu ft/level (or 1 cu ft/level if a mineral, which I'm not sure if uses the real-world definition of mineral or uses an undefined game version), but doesn't say that the mass of material cannot be part of another object already, except that it cannot be a creature or magic item. This makes me think that a caster could just walk up to the adamantine doors, and unless they were a magical item, just cast fabricate on the doors to create themselves some weapons or simple to make items as well as remove the doors as an obstacle. They can also potentially do that to walls, floors, ceilings, and many other potential obstacles. Aside from GM fiat, does anyone see anything in the rules/mechanics that would prevent this? Or, is this just another capability that comes online once level 5 spells become available and the types of obstacles that cease to be for parties with a member able to cast these spells?


Back before it was nerfed, Cloud Step for a monk, used to give infinite speed at level 20. Then they added a maximum slow fall distance to cloud step. I was kind of sad about that.


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The argument about the difficulty and time it takes to work adamantium, is somewhat lessened by the existence of the fabricate spell.


Monica Marlowe wrote:
Christopher Wasko wrote:
Caedwyr wrote:
I'm confused as to why Skeletons cannot have fighter levels. Wouldn't you just use the Adding Class Levels part of the monster advancement rules?
Skeletons are mindless, and thus unable to have class levels. Skeletal champions (essentially intelligent, sentient skeletons) can, and often do, have class levels. It's a minor distinction, really; the fact that this and the ghost thing were the most glaring issues with the proposal is testimony to how airtight it is. I wish I had this degree of raw talent, to come up with something so ridiculously tight on my first freakin' try!!! Hats off to you, m'lady, and bravo on a magnificent performance this whole season!

Thank you for the explanation, I have been at work all weekend and just rolled in to add my 2 coppers!

Thank you, you have been wonderful and I wish you all the very best.

I ended up finding the information in the Monster Roles section. Like most of the books, the organization leaves a lot to be desired and important information such as this can easily be missed.


I'm confused as to why Skeletons cannot have fighter levels. Wouldn't you just use the Adding Class Levels part of the monster advancement rules?


What is causing the extreme crushing pressures? If you are swimming in it near surface, you'd be exposed to close to atmospheric pressure or hydrostatic pressures similar to what you'd encounter in water. If you are swimming down a volcanic pipe to great depths in the planet, then the crushing pressures would come up.


Blinged out spellbooks and scrolls


Wand crafting also takes this to hilarious places and removes one of the limitations of the number of spell slots available to a paladin.


I'm with Lemmy here. I like lots of options and have purchased lots of Paizo material and oodles of 3pp options (shoutout to Interjection Games, Rogue Genius Games, Aluria Publishing, and many others). What I object to are the inclusion of non-options or poorly balanced options that won't be used by either the GMs or players due to their mechanical failings and being options that either get passed over every time due to the opportunity cost of selecting that option, or have a disruptive effect on the game out of scale of what another option with a similar opportunity cost might have.

I always welcome more quality product that makes me want to introduce it to my game. I'd prefer it if the books were shorter rather than including more filler, uninspiring, or non-options.


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4 dollar dungeons I think have a 1e feel. They certainly seem to be in-depth and comprehensive and all have reviewed well.


Is the preference for someone to create a new thread on an existing subject that already has lots of discussion?

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