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Caedwyr's page

2,635 posts (2,637 including aliases). 5 reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 1 alias.


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


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


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.


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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I've had a chance to look through this in more depth and I continue to be impressed. This is a $30+ sourcebook full of ideas and a very fun sword and planets space-opera style setting and rules to run it. It would be a shame if more people didn't take the chance to check it out. I keep on coming back to how well this would let you play a Star Ocean, Xenogears, or other planetary romance-style games.


Put a seal and a straw on the potion bottle and it should be doable.


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Thanks for the review Endzeitgeist. This sounds like a really cool fusion of sci-fi and fantasy that reminds me a bit of the Star Ocean or Xenosaga series of games in how it blends fantasy with space opera. You can't beat the price either.


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Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Geisha's inspire ability was originally supposed to last longer (an hour, I think), but someone else felt that was too long and reduced it to 10 minutes. Which makes the ability kinda pointless, honestly.

@Sean: I really appreciate the insights into the design process. I was always confused by the discrepancies between some of the things you'd written about design methodology/recommendations the design approaches taken in a number of Paizo works which seemed to go against what you'd written. In retrospect, it makes a lot more sense that the different cooks in the kitchen would have different opinions on matters, but with you being the public face for many rule/mechanics issue and a very fierce arguer on their behalf it was hard at times to keep that distinction in my mind.


Master summoner sounds like the Angel Summoner from the descriptions here.


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One thing I found interesting is how both classes presented in this book work just as well on land as in the water.


This seems to have been missed entirely. Has anyone else taken a look at this product and can tell us more about what it contains?


Also, the best picture in the book is the art for the Kawauso Trueform.


I posted in another thread, but my thoughts on the matter is that while the immunities seem to be fairly impressive things that other classes cannot do, they also tend to be highly overvalued. Yes, it might mean that the Goadaikishi is strong against other elemental users, but they are still susceptible to a broad range of other effects. This puts them in the Paladin range of defenses, which while strong is not unbeatable.

My bigger concern is the capstone ability of the Wokou which seems to be extremely weak. Then again, capstones don't come up all that often so it won't have a huge in-game impact.


Didn't someone do an update to the Caravan rules that worked better than the ones presented in the AP?


I picked up my copy of Celadon Shores and it is another top quality product. I haven't looked through the whole pdf yet, but I am really liking the Godaikishi, which appears to be a elemental knight class that just oozes awesomeness. It has some powerful abilities that do things other classes can't, but it still feels balanced with a Paladin.

The Wokou didn't amaze me at first, but I'm coming around to the Fighter + Companion class combo after further reflection. The level 20 capstone is pretty underwhelming, but since capstones come into play so rarely, I'm not all that concerned. The menacing moniker from Intimidating Presence made me smile.

The Mambabarang prestige class makes for a very iconic bug caster.


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Four Dollar Dungeons wrote:

Ultimate PSionics (http://dreamscarredpress.com/dragonfly/Store/product/pid=126.html) is very good and I'm incorporating it in my next adventure.

The Mythic Monsters series (http://www.makeyourgamelegendary.com/products-page/mythic-plug-ins/) are also very good and I intend to use them later on next year in a mythic-themed adventure.

Richard

I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with these materials, as your adventures to date have been works of art.


Diego Rossi wrote:
Caedwyr wrote:

So, I was interested in seeing what the bestiary had to say with regards to the zombies and skeletons and it appears they say different things

PRD, Skeletons wrote:
Skeletons are the animated bones of the dead, brought to unlife through foul magic. While most skeletons are mindless automatons, they still possess an evil cunning imparted to them by their animating force—a cunning that allows them to wield weapons and wear armor.

So the evil cunning lets them use weapons and armor, but doesn't spell out anything else it might do.

I'll also note that the alignment is listed as Neutral Evil and there is no mention about "Always" or other frequency. All I can find on Alignment is from the intro section which says

PRD, Bestiary Intro wrote:
Alignment, Size, and Type: While a monster's size and type remain constant (unless changed by the application of templates or other unusual modifiers), alignment is far more fluid. The alignments listed for each monster in this book represent the norm for those monsters—they can vary as you require them to in order to serve the needs of your campaign. Only in the case of relatively unintelligent monsters (creatures with an Intelligence of 2 or lower are almost never anything other than neutral) and planar monsters (outsiders with alignments other than those listed are unusual and typically outcasts from their kind) is the listed alignment relatively unchangeable.

Which seems to support that low intelligence/mindless creatures are generally neutral, while aligned outsiders generally fixed and the rest of the monsters can vary to a greater degree.

Now, I do think that there is some point regarding zombies and their innate unneighbourly behaviour.

PRD, Zombie wrote:


Zombies are the animated corpses of dead creatures, forced into foul unlife via necromantic magic like animate dead. While the most commonly encountered zombies are slow and tough, others possess a variety of traits, allowing them to
...

Thanks for the pointer. I missed that in the bestiary entry since it shows up in the template portion and not in the monster's statblock.


So, I was interested in seeing what the bestiary had to say with regards to the zombies and skeletons and it appears they say different things

PRD, Skeletons wrote:
Skeletons are the animated bones of the dead, brought to unlife through foul magic. While most skeletons are mindless automatons, they still possess an evil cunning imparted to them by their animating force—a cunning that allows them to wield weapons and wear armor.

So the evil cunning lets them use weapons and armor, but doesn't spell out anything else it might do.

I'll also note that the alignment is listed as Neutral Evil and there is no mention about "Always" or other frequency. All I can find on Alignment is from the intro section which says

PRD, Bestiary Intro wrote:
Alignment, Size, and Type: While a monster's size and type remain constant (unless changed by the application of templates or other unusual modifiers), alignment is far more fluid. The alignments listed for each monster in this book represent the norm for those monsters—they can vary as you require them to in order to serve the needs of your campaign. Only in the case of relatively unintelligent monsters (creatures with an Intelligence of 2 or lower are almost never anything other than neutral) and planar monsters (outsiders with alignments other than those listed are unusual and typically outcasts from their kind) is the listed alignment relatively unchangeable.

Which seems to support that low intelligence/mindless creatures are generally neutral, while aligned outsiders generally fixed and the rest of the monsters can vary to a greater degree.

Now, I do think that there is some point regarding zombies and their innate unneighbourly behaviour.

PRD, Zombie wrote:


Zombies are the animated corpses of dead creatures, forced into foul unlife via necromantic magic like animate dead. While the most commonly encountered zombies are slow and tough, others possess a variety of traits, allowing them to spread disease or move with increased speed.

Zombies are unthinking automatons, and can do little more than follow orders. When left unattended, zombies tend to mill about in search of living creatures to slaughter and devour. Zombies attack until destroyed, having no regard for their own safety.

Although capable of following orders, zombies are more often unleashed into an area with no command other than to kill living creatures. As a result, zombies are often encountered in packs, wandering around places the living frequent, looking for victims. Most zombies are created using animate dead. Such zombies are always of the standard type, unless the creator also casts haste or remove paralysis to create fast zombies, or contagion to create plague zombies.

This seems to say that these guys, while mindless are also not exactly the best neighbours to have around. Think Leningen Versus the Ants with zombies taking the role of the army ants.


I notice that there seems to be versions 1 through V for all the psychic spells. I'd like to suggest that it might save space and simplify things to just have a single version of each spell with varying effects depending on which spell slot the spell is prepared in.


From the responses to my earlier message, it appears I failed in my communication. I was not bemoaning the inability to use a 3rd party product in Pathfinder Society, or for Paizo to adopt 3rd party products under their own banner, or even that the psychic magic is a rip-off/inferior product to Dreamscarred's psionics. Those are all things I was not attempting to say.

Instead, I was bemoaning that Paizo will frequently re-invent the wheel when a particular topic has already been done by another company to very good effect. And I'm not even all that bothered by that behaviour (although it might be nice to take full advantage of the excellent work of others and use the OGL to refine/polish an idea from time to time). I understand that different designers will have different takes on how best to implement a specific concept.

What disappoints me, is how often it appears that Paizo's developers/writers have not even done any investigation or learned from others who have already attempted to create something for the same topic. One example of this is the Medium which attempts to fill the same niche as the Occultist or some of the archetypes from Radiance House's Pact Magic series, but ends up being a much clunkier version with a number of ambiguities with respect to the influence system and the nature of the spirits which is handled more elegantly in Radiance House's books.

Now, you can agree or disagree with my assessment, but the point I wished to communicate is that I am disappointed that Paizo almost never takes advantage of the work of others as either a useful system/mechanic to use as-is, or as a useful example to draw inspiration from and learn lessons from.

It could be that my expectations are too high, but it's still disappointing to see when 3rd Party publishers seem to be able to make it work amongst each other, but Paizo cannot. I could understand if it was something that schedule constraints prevented from happening, except it frequently occurs with products that have been out for years. My expectations probably comes from my background, where doing a basic literature/case-study search is the first step in any project and this only rarely seems to be the case in the table-top RPG business.

*climbs down from his soapbox*

Feel free to ignore or ridicule as you see fit.


I've never been able to understand why Paizo designs as though 3pp does not exist, and will frequently create something that has already been done by a high-profile 3pp and still manage to create something inferior to the already available 3pp offering. I mean, I can understand wanting to create your own interpretation on something rather than just using the OGL to reprint the content, but you'd think Paizo would at least take a look at what has already been done well and take lessons from that.


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Here are the criteria I like to use when evaluating a new class:

First off, these questions should be asked for the major level ranges (feel free to modify slightly).

Journeyman: 1-5
Heroic: 6-10
Champion: 11-15
Demi-god: 16-20

And on to the questions:

Can the class contribute meaningfully in:

1. Combat - This includes level appropriate:

a. defenses against physical and magical attacks
b. offensive capability; or
c. a way of enhancing party members such that they would realistically choose to have you accompany them
d. ability to engage with the threats in the environments you can expect to be fighting in for that level.

2. Investigations/information gathering
3. Travel
4. Diplomacy/social interactions with other denizens of the world.
5. Economic (crafting, professions, bartering, or other wealth-generating activities).

The 5 areas don't all need to be filled, but the class should be able to participate or have decent options for participating or contributing meaningfully in all categories without crippling themselves in other categories.


First off, these questions should be asked for the major level ranges (feel free to modify slightly).

Journeyman: 1-5
Heroic: 6-10
Champion: 11-15
Demi-god: 16-20

And on to the questions:

Can the class contribute meaningfully in:

1. Combat - This includes level appropriate:

a. defenses against physical and magical attacks
b. offensive capability; or
c. a way of enhancing party members such that they would realistically choose to have you accompany them
d. ability to engage with the threats in the environments you can expect to be fighting in for that level.

2. Investigations/information gathering
3. Travel
4. Diplomacy/social interactions with other denizens of the world.
5. Economic (crafting, professions, bartering, or other wealth-generating activities).

Feel free to debate or add other requirements you might use when evaluating a class. I've found using this type of checklist helps me avoid hyper-focusing on one area and entirely missing the fact that the class is going to end up sitting out large portions of the game in which they cannot meaningfully contribute.


The Occultist is already in use in Pact Magic Unbound, which is the PFRPG version of the binder. It's a fairly well-known product and will likely be the cause of some confusion.


Guang wrote:
That doesn't sound right. Wasn't there some kind of Cetecian (sp) that could go for hours between breaths? 1 hour/2 points con sounds about right in any case, would match seafolk and others.

You are probably thinking of Sperm Whales, which make dives that last for 90 minutes and dive to depths of about 2,250 m (~7,400 ft).


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If you are looking for a full adventure path, then Way of the Wicked is one of the better ones (though not for heroes)

If you are looking for smaller adventures or short linked adventures, then you might want to check out the reviews here. There may also be some full APs here that I'm not aware of:

Endzeitgeist's reviews.

Make sure to click on the "older Entries" button at the bottom for more.

I'll let others mention their favourites


Does technology not work in Golarion/Pathfinder though? Why, with civilizations as old as they have been presented in Pathfinder, has there been so little development? The exclusive/limited list argument works for magic, but not for the setting's development in other areas. In fact, the exculsiveness of magic to a small portion of the population would seem to encourage the non-magical to find alternate paths of development even more.

It also ignores that the demographics/examples as shown in the modules and adventure paths tends to make magic a lot more prevalent than is indicated in many of these discussions.


Neongelion wrote:

This is a related thing, but I have to ponder: what are the conditions supposed to be on any given world where magic could flow in abundance or be completely non-existent? Earth, for example, had a period in its history, long long ago, where magic was at least as common as it was on Golarion, but by the present day it is all but extinct. You also have the culture that created the starship that crashed in Numeria. As far as we know, the Androffans were completely unaware of magic (given the reaction robots give to spellcasters in Iron Gods).

Which leads me to another train of thought: does magic actually hinder a civilization in terms of technological and, perhaps, cultural progress? See it like this:

Golarion: its history is bathed in magic, from mighty spellcasters to arcane and divine scars on the land. Most of Golarion is largely in a pre-industrial age, even if socio-economic conditions are somewhat better than it was in Medieval times in Europe. Still, most of it is dominated by monarchies or theocracies and slavery is legal or at least accepted in much of the Inner Sea region, even if it is frowned upon by many people.

Earth: Magic was once a powerful force but has vanished. Advances in technology by World War I is light years ahead of what most of Golarion has access to. Many nations are advanced forms of government like republics or have some system of parliament.

Androffa: No magic at all, the Androffans are capable of utilizing nanotechnology, interstellar travel, artificial intelligence, mind uploading, and so on. Government type is unknown, but we can assume some sort of federation of worlds.

Maybe pure coincidence, but it's an awfully interesting one. Also note that

** spoiler omitted **

Sometimes I wonder if Paizo actually has this all figured out or not.

Magic as a force of stasis is pretty much exactly the setup used in Dias Ex Machina's Amethyst:Revolution books.

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