Put me down in favor of not opening up additional races. Star Wars would have been a lot less interesting if the main characters were Chewbacca, two droids, an Ewok, and Jar-Jar Binks. Humans and the human-like core races lend the game a verisimilitude that would be shattered by a proliferation of the more outre races.
The only other thought I have is that additional races could be opened and closed based on season metaplots. For instance, tengu, wayang, samsaran, and nagaji open at the beginning of the Tian-Xia focused Season 3, then closed at the beginning of Season 4, with characters created during S3 grandfathered in. Or, only issue the boons for those races during the appropriate season. Aasimar and tieflings would, of course, be appropriate for Season 5. The elemental races could be appropriate for Season 6 since that's supposed to be Osirion-focused to tie in with Mummy's Mask AP.
Arbitrary does not necessarily mean un-fun. Quite on the contrary. It may be MORE fun to handle certain things arbitrarily, by GM fiat or handwave. Detailed systems exist to handle lots of things beyond the direct purview of the PCs; GMs indeed MUST handwave most of that in order to keep the game from bogging down with minutia.
Whether or not WBL audits fall into the category of minutia is a matter of personal preference.
When you have a lot of experience GMing and balancing encounters over a range of different power levels, you develop a sort of intuition for balance. Like you know that incorporeal things will be more difficult for a low-magic party, or golems will be more difficult for a spellcaster party. You also get a feel for the demonstrated capabilities of a party. Character level is part of it. Wealth is part of it, too, though less important than character level. Player skill is a huge element of overall party power, and it can be particularly difficult to design challenging, but not overwhelming, encounters if you have very skilled players. Is there a mechanic for adjusting CR or balancing encounters if that's the case? Nope. You have to learn to eyeball it and use judgment. WBL is handy as a guideline, as a metric to measure the power of PC wealth, as a way to kit out higher level new PCs, and yes, to balance encounters and to LEARN how to balance encounters, but it's not a magical formula for awesomeness and fun.
Use WBL all you want, but realize that there are some folks out there who really can gauge party power and encounter balance pretty accurately without relying on WBL. Or, for that matter, on APL and CR. In fact, an experienced GM's judgment is probably a BETTER gauge of party power than APL/WBL.
It's OK to disagree with the developers about aspects of design. SKR's probably my fave rules designer in the industry, but I couldn't disagree more about how he thinks Craft feats should interact with WBL. It isn't a question of who's right--until Paizo fires him and hires me as a rules designer, Sean's right--it's a question of which design results in more fun. I just happen to think that the game is more fun when Craft feats provide a customization advantage rather than a WBL hack.
Personally, I find WBL useful only insofar as it, well, stays useful. For the most part I run APs and I don't fiddle much with the treasure, so I trust that the PCs are generally staying around WBL with the treasure given by the AP; crafting and selling generally balance each other out. So the chances of me spending an hour auditing WBL every time PCs level? Nil.
I'd probably use WBL to equip a new PC or a replacement PC, but that would probably also cause me to actually do an audit to make sure the new PC wasn't coming in significantly more or less well-equipped than everybody else.
If the PCs don't get treasure because they resolved an encounter by some other satisfactory method (Diplomacy, stealth, etc.) I generally sub in that treasure somewhere else. But if they are under-equipped because they just didn't find something? Well, they should have looked harder. I won't reward them for failure by positively adjusting wealth toward WBL.
I've actually done something rather like what the OP suggests. I created a setting with some pretty severe restrictions in place, then told my players, "break this world."
The basic premises of the setting were:
human-centric with human sub-races, no standard non-human races; githzerai were allowed as PC races
One of my players wanted to play a monk. I told him that I wanted to model monk-like supernaturally-enabled warrior-types with psychic warriors or perhaps multiclass fighter-psions. After some negotiating, we wound up collaborating on developing a really cool, really flavorful monk order, the Order of St. Oriel of the River. He didn't get exactly what he wanted, but he got pretty close while staying consistent with the setting parameters.
Another player, hearing that paladins in the setting were super-rare (like Moses rare), wanted to play a paladin. She was a Joan of Arc-like figure in the setting and wound up starting a crusade against the yuan-ti, founding a knightly order, starting her own fiefdom by wresting an island colony from githyanki invaders, and being revered as a saint.
I think it's OK to establish some setting parameters about which you're not willing to be flexible, if you are willing to be flexible and accommodating about other things.
A certain swordsman in his declining years said the following:
I see what you did there.
Dire Elf wrote:
I've had bad GMs, but I don't complain about them on the boards.
Instead, I internalize the rage and take it out on my players.
Bicyclists who are vehicles when they want road space and pedestrians when they want to run red lights. Either stay on the sidewalk like a pedestrian or obey traffic laws like the rest of us.
People who refuse to take responsibility for their own actions and affairs.
People who bring small children or wear inappropriate attire to the kind of restaurant for which you need a reservation.
Bartenders who ask me, when I order a 25 year Macallan, if I know how much it costs. Yes, damn it, if I know enough to order one I bloody well know how much it costs.
People who blithely waste my time.
Narcissists in positions of authority.
Not only is Paizo purchasing D&D extremely unlikely, it's also, IMO, a "worst-case" scenario. Paizo would probably need a large influx of cash to acquire the brand, which is now of dubious value; this influx would most likely come from an IPO. While there are many of us that would buy the crap out of Paizo stock if there ever were such a thing, it would result in two very undesirable outcomes: 1) Paizo would suddenly become accountable to shareholders, whose interests might not align with those of its fans and customers; and 2) Paizo's own very strong brand would get diluted.
Mindflayers in Golarion? Sign me up. But I think, in the final analysis, the juice isn't worth the squeeze for that.
Correct. To put this in perspective, check out Hasbro's 2013 Form 10K. Normally, depending on how they're organized, corporations will report annual figures for their major subsidiaries. Hasbro lists M:tG as one of its major brands and notes that M:tG sales are increasing. WotC as a whole gets a single mention, buried in a list in the back. Of D&D Next, which you'd imagine is a pretty important WotC initiative, there is nary a mention at all.
So your typical Hasbro shareholder or senior exec probably cares about D&D only if it a) starts making more money that M:tG, or b) somehow screws up some other, more successful brand, like M:tG. Neither of which are exactly likely scenarios.
To answer the OP, I think firearms should be legal up to and including anything man-portable, including fully automatic weapons, but not explosives like mortars and RPGs. I'm OK with licensing, but not restrictions like magazine size. Restricting things that make weapons more effective just gives a combat advantage to people who are willing to ignore the law. I'm adamantly against registration, because it too easily leads to confiscation.
As long as I bear the responsibility for securing my own person, family, and property, I should have the right to possess the means to do so.
I've never played--and never will play--WoW.
I hated all the Transformers movies. CGI robots fighting other CGI robots, punctuated by gratuitous fanservice... *yawn* *snore*
I don't mind boobplate, chainmail bikinis, etc. I am downright OK with cheesecake in fantasy art. Doesn't have to be BROM style cheesecake, either... see, for instance, diTerlizzi's cat lord or tiefling from the 2E Planescape MC Appendices.
Not a fan of Doctor Who.
I'm kind of over Monty Python.
Please stop following the business model that catapulted you into success as the industry leader. Instead, I want you to adopt the strategy that killed the previous industry leader.
Also, stop listening to your fans--those idiots don't know what they really want.
TBH I'd be irritated if SLWS was banned, but I'd really be OK with weapon cords.
I'm not going to start a messageboard crusade to get them banned, though--there are a lot of players who really like them, even if I think they are, as the French say, le fromage.
You shouldn't take "squeaky wheel" as a pejorative. The fact is, only a small percentage of GMs care enough to post here about anything, let alone items to ban. Compare that #, in the tens, perhaps, to the how many tens of thousands of PFS players to whom the SLWS is either a) a useful aid, or b) not on their radar at all.
Please let's not ban common gear like SLWS and ioun torches. These ban discussions are the reason we can't have nice things like QRS and bracers of falcon's aim.
I realize that the squeaky wheels who post here complaining about these things are the ones who inevitably get the grease in the form of bans. Please realize that there are a ton of players who are justifiably disappointed when they pick up a book like UE, find this cool item, and then learn it's on a ban list because some guys got up in arms about it back in 2011.
Nobody ever stopped playing PFS because of a SLWS.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
It's a case of don't get your ketchup in my peanut butter. If I'm playing RotRL and some other player shows up and wants to play a mecha pilot using the synthesist summoner rules, I HOPE the GM will say, "not no but HELL NO." I want that GM to be uncompromising about that (not about synthesisists, but about no mecha laser beams in Sandpoint). But, as in all matters of taste, YMMV.
The polite thing to do as a player is accept, rather than attempt to circumvent, the GM's setting restrictions and guidelines. You don't always get to play exactly what you want. I might really, really want to play a holy gun paladin in PFS, but it's not allowed. So instead of blowing up Mike Brock's inbox complaining about GM dbaggery, I just play something else.
Besides, campaigns don't last forever. You will finish one and move on and maybe it'll be somebody else's turn to GM, in a different setting, with different restrictions. Eventually you will get a chance to play your half-drow vampire dragon disciple gunslinger--or you will experience the joy of anticipation of the future time in which you do.
That's all these GM-instituted character restrictions amount to. It's not "never," it's "not right now."
I have plenty of character ideas kicking around in my head, just waiting for the right campaign. I'm currently enjoying the pleasure of finally getting to play a samurai in my buddy's Jade Regent game, where it's super campaign-appropriate and awesome. Probably wouldn't have been so awesome if I had tried to shoehorn it into Carrion Crown, for instance.
It is absolutely the purview of the GM to establish the game's tone. All the details that many posters upthread consider trivial combine to produce that tone. There's wiggle room to accommodate player desires, but only to a point--if I invite people over for burgers and somebody wants onion on theirs, OK. But if they want fried chicken instead, sorry, it's not that kind of party. Conversely, if I invite everybody over for burgers and 5 of 6 people reply, "yeah, we did burgers last week and we're burgered out, but Bob says he wants to do a fried chicken party," well, we should all go over to Bob's and bring biscuits.
The 320 feet estimation is a pretty funny rules artifact. The idea that a kicker might not see the goalposts in the end zone....
I've observed artillery fire and I can attest that you can see Huge or Gargantuan size vehicles at ranges of up to around 4 or 5 kilometers from a good vantage point in open terrain, even with the naked eye. Unless they are trying to be stealthy, you can see individual infantrymen, as well, at ranges still in the kilometers.
On the other hand, anybody who's fired on a military popup target rifle range will be able to tell you as well that the 300m target is pretty hard to see and sometimes you might not notice it at all, even if you have 20/20 vision.
It will help you think about this topic if you think about what wizards, monsters, etc. bring to the table by Warfighting Function (WFF). This is the framework the IRL military (at least the US Army) organizes capabilities.
Maneuver- infantry, cavalry, anything that applies combat power by maneuvering around the battlefield and engaging enemy forces directly.
Casters can fulfill any of these functions, but will excel at a few based on their class spell lists.
Maneuver- casters are generally not who you want doing this. Sure, they can summon monsters, but summon spells are rounds duration--not long enough to generate a sustained maneuver force. Casters can aid maneuver, but you aren't going to have a force of 100 wizard 5's flying around your typical battlefield with bows and longspears. Magical armies will still leave maneuver to infantry and cavalry forces.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Cavalry beats infantry, artillery beats cavalry, infantry beats artillery.
Just a quibble--albeit an important one to any knight who's died on the end of a pike--but this isn't correct.
Well-trained and properly equipped heavy infantry can withstand a shock cavalry charge. This has been true even since Roman times. They cannot, however, withstand light cavalry (highly mobile horse archer types). Parthian horse archers beat the Roman legions this way; horse pistoleers beat pike squares this way.
Cavalry, in fact, is much better at beating artillery (and archers). Arty is powerful but mostly stationary; cav can close on it and destroy it unless the arty is in a defensive emplacement (like behind a castle wall, or archers behind thick mud and sharp stakes a la Agincourt, etc.). Cav moves in a looser formation and gets through the "beaten zone" more quickly, so it will also take fewer casualties from arty fire.
That artillery will, however, pound the bejeezus out of massed infantry advancing over open terrain.
Check out a book called The Art of War in the Western World by Archer Jones. It gives a really good explanation of how the rock-paper-scissors dynamic of combined arms changed throughout history.
Also put me in the camp of those who say that any knight who's wearing and riding 3k gp worth of armor and horse is probably not a 1st level warrior. Probably more like a 5th level fighter or cavalier. He's not going to come through it unscathed, but he is definitely going to survive a fireball and keep charging to deliver lancey pointy pain.
The answer to the fireball question is very similar to infantry vs. armor in modern warfare. The tank can outrange the infantryman every time, and it's really easy for the tank to kill him if it can see him.
The troop of warrior 1s vs. the fireball mage is similar. They do not fight him without a mage of their own if they can at all help it. Above all they do not let themselves get caught in the open at his max range. They will first try to sneak in close to the mage and bring him down in a surprise round with concentrated missile fire, preferably by using cover to get in close. They will all dive for cover if fireballs start coming in and start advancing by quick dashes from cover to cover. They probably carry things like oils of silence to deal with spellcasters, but they'll have to get in close to make it count.
You have to figure terrain into this kind of thing. Otherwise you will get questions like, "if a single tank can destroy infantry at 3km before they can do anything, why don't we all just buy tanks and not field infantry?" Why wouldn't any army be made up of just spellcasters? There are lots of good reasons this isn't the case, either with tanks or with spellcasters.
The best fantasy army, just like in real life, will be a combined arms force. It will have spellcasters, heavy cavalry, flying units, archers, regular infantry, and possibly even burrowing or teleporting elements.
An army of this sort will also be incredibly expensive to field.
Does a creature with telepathy need to share a verbal language with its target in order to communicate telepathically?
No. No shared language is required, though the target must have a language.
The creature can mentally communicate with any other creature within a certain range (specified in the creature’s entry, usually 100 feet) that has a language.
Does telepathy fulfill the "shared language" requirement of language-dependent spells?
No. Language-dependent spells require you to actually speak. Tongues and truespeech work, though.
Jumping into initiative before actual combat kind of screws over the folks who have spent resources to be good at going first: things like Perception, Sense Motive, Stealth, and Improved Initiative.
GM: "Roll initiative."
PC goes on 24.
NPC goes on 3.
PC: "I attempt Diplomacy to change their attitude."
GM: "OK, that's a full round action. Roll at -10."
PC: "No thanks, I'll just let it take the full minute. We're not in combat yet, right?"
GM: "Well, nobody's attacked you yet."
Initiative gets to 3. NPC, who is still hostile attitude, attacks.
GM: "You said you were going to take a minute for Diplomacy. It's still hostile."
Kirth Gersen wrote:
The one that gets me is, "I'll be taking care of you tonight." Makes me think about the scene in Pulp Fiction where Travolta tells Samuel L. that he's "taking care of" Mrs. Wallace... and it confuses Samuel because they're mobsters, and "taking care of" means something different to them.
So when a waiter says that to me I wonder if they're going to take me out back of the restaurant and "take care of" me with a 9mm to the back of the head....
It's dark, but there are enough eldritch lights and strangely glowing whatsits that they could reasonably see most of the city. I'd just print out the map and show it to them.
Other than that, play up the bizarre descriptions. They should feel really, really uncomfortable in Golismorga, as if the city itself is just not compatible with humanoid life.
I don't mind reskinning, but it does get a little old when EVERY SINGLE TIME you see Dervish Dance or Wayang Spell Hunter they are reskinned. Maybe that means that there should be generic versions of things like those.
Then again, there's some goodness to be found in fluff-based distinctions (not everyone will agree). Like race prerequisites: "in this campaign, only elves teach the secrets of the Arcane Archer, and they don't teach them to outsiders." That establishes that elves have secret, specialized techniques for archery and arcane magic; it gives them a certain flavor.
Traits are an example of a thing where I believe the mechanic exists to support the fluff, not the other way around. There are so many traits out there, and the benefits they provide so minor, that IMO it's better to pick traits that fit your backstory, or adjust your backstory a little bit to fit the traits you want, within reason.
All this is definitely a question of taste, however, therefore YMMV.
@AT: I think you've hit on something. I used to like OTD back when you could just come here and shoot the breeze, and discuss things with people civilly even when you disagreed vehemently. I stopped posting here and hid the forum when I got tired of getting drawn into ideological knife fights.
Maybe that puts me into the category of "sensitive-types," though I'd like to think not. I'm pretty thick-skinned, and really easy to get along with, but something about OTD just seems to flip the flaming jerkwad switch in some folks.
I hypothesize a correlation between behavior on OTD (and forums like it all over the Internet) and the increasing ideological polarization of American society. This hypothesis doesn't address the rest of the world--I do not pretend to understand your sociopolitical climates. It'd be interesting to figure out a way to test whether the polarization of society is influencing behavior on the Internet, or whether the tenor of Internet discussion in such free speech sewers as Youtube comments is bleeding over into more conventional forms of public discourse.
Scandinavians tend to get affronted by formal terms of address.
Some people will not let go of an argument.
Some people, if they think they disagree with you in general, will infer the worst possible reading of anything you write. You do not get the benefit of the doubt in OTD.
It's better not to discuss religion and politics here.
Sorry these were all really depressing. I have just recently unhidden OTD after a long hiatus.
EDIT: except for the Scandinavian thing, nothing wrong with that, it's just different. Useful to know if I ever get a chance to visit Scandinavia.
Klaus van der Kroft wrote:
As for earning respect, I suppose in our culture it is considered a good thing to assume anyone you haven't previously met as worthy of your respect, unless they do something to negate it.
This. Respect and courtesy are everyone's due until they show themselves unworthy of them.
I would personally be uncomfortable with the kind of instant first-name familiarity that Sissyl describes as the norm in Sweden. Not that I think Swedes are rude for avoiding the use of titles--the cultural and linguistic differences are quite interesting.
I find it simply respectful and particularly appropriate in a professional environment.
I wonder if it makes some people uncomfortable because they are not used to being on the receiving end of respectful behavior due to a general decline in politeness and formality in our society.
the OP wrote:
Enter my co-worker, a single lady in her 50's. gets really upset when people use the term "Ma'am". She will go so far as to correct the offendor saying something along the lines of "I am not that old, I am not a Ma'am". A lot of our clients are military and these young men and women call in daily and end up getting lectured each and every time.
This kind of lecturing customers who are simply being respectful is, IMO, pretty unprofessional.
All the democrats you know think the president's too conservative, and none of the libertarians I know fit Kirth's paradigm. I wonder, and I mean this in a strictly non-accusatory way, if that's more a result of the nature of anecdotal evidence or confirmation bias. Probably a bit of both.
Personally, I find the "liberal" and "conservative" labels to be increasingly meaningless and, in fact, counterproductive to rational discussion. IMO, it's much better to focus on specific issues than broad agendas.
If I tell Kirth, "I'm libertarian," and he thinks I am like he described above, we're probably already starting off on the wrong foot for a non-confrontational discussion.
OTOH, if I say, "I'm against due process violations of air travelers by the TSA and warrantless wiretaps, and for stronger statutory protections of privacy," then we can reasonably discuss those issues from a position of neutrality, if not initial agreement.
Once you pigeonhole a group of people as "those democrats/republicans/libertarians/liberals/conservatives/teabaggers/slackt ivists/hipsters/hippies/whatever over there," it becomes really easy to automatically assume that you know what they think on any given topic and why, and dismiss them out of hand.
I think we're talking around each other. I didn't say YOU were doing the 20 questions thing. Malachi was apparently joking about doing it.
Malachi, sorry if I misconstrued your post. Chalk it up to the Internet.
I heard yellowdingo knows how string theory explains it.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
"Indoctrination" and "dogmatic" are pretty negatively charged terms. That's not a good way to begin dialogue if you want someone to listen.
"Dismiss arguments" is not the same thing as "disagree for reasons." Religious people will typically approach topics with fundamentally different assumptions from yours (general "yours" not you specifically). Because you don't share the same assumptions, or don't understand why they don't see things your way, don't assume that they're dismissing your arguments out of hand.
None of the above should be construed as a defense of OSC or any kind of justification for denying civil rights on religious grounds.