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They made far worse characters last longer... Hal Jordan is the dullest of the dull, and he's still pretty popular, despite the fact that all other 3 human GLs are far more interesting than him.
I'm a huge Hal Jordan fan, at least when it comes to his Silver Age depiction. There's something charming about a guy who wields the greatest weapon in the universe, is pure of heart and well-intentioned, but is still the dumbest idiot the world has ever seen.
My favorite Hal Jordan moments include when he gets jealous that Carol Ferris is in love with his alter ego (despite going out of his way to put the moves on her as Green Lantern) and when he accidentally creates a monster that nearly destroys Coast City as part of a lame-brained attempt to get out of a marriage proposal.
R Pickard wrote:
My personal belief is that, as long as the expectations are kept realistic, it's better to go for the risky. As a consumer, I'd rather spend money on something where the artist took risks but didn't quite meet the goals than on something where there were no risks taken and the result was a mediocre product.
I'm Charlie, and I am both surprised and overwhelmed to have lucked my way into the Top 32 this year. I've gamed since the early 1990s, starting off with the D&D black box that included Zanzer Tem's Dungeon. I landed in the Pathfinder toybox when I picked up Classic Monsters Revisited, and have happily incorporated Pathfinder elements into my house campaign ever since.
I do a lot of writing, ranging from three published novels (of which my fantasy tale Greystone Valley was very briefly a best-seller) to gun-for-hire type of work like writing bar trivia. I have a wife and two young kids who keep me active, and I twist balloon animals in my free time.
One of my goals in 2015 has been to learn how to draw, so it looks like this whole map thingamajig will be good practice.
What concerns me is that there seems to be no play test.
A playtest seems more appropriate if the stuff in the book is going to find itself into official play like in Pathfinder Society or if it's going to show up in future adventure paths. This appears to be more along the line of optional/alternative rules, so it's a good time for designers to try out new stuff without needing to go through a public playtest.
Now if some of these alternate rules prove popular enough to land in a Pathfinder 2nd edition, I would bet that they will get more rigorously tested.
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
aw man... I was hoping for *any* plot other than Civil War. I'd take a whole movie with him chasing Batroc over Civil War
Civil War is a potentially good plot that was terribly executed. Given the chance for somebody competent to take the storytelling reigns, I think it could turn out to be a good movie.
Mark Seifter wrote:
Earth because I like the image of psychically tossing boulders around.
-It's the cleanest version of the most versatile D&D-esque game I've found.
-The products are works of art, with consistently high quality across the board and top-notch production values.
-99.9% of the complaints I've read about the game online have never come up at my table.
-The adventures and support material are wonderful.
-The game is robust enough to provide a multitude of options while allowing me to wing it as a GM frequently.
-Paizo's track record indicates to me that future editions will focus on polishing up an already excellent game rather than rebuilding from the ground up.
Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
I want to add to the discussion that having NPCs fighting alongside PCs has an extremely negative effect on the combat experience. The length of turn is already too long for casual play -- everyone needs to be on top of the game and the rules to finish a decent sized combat in under two hours. Now you're increasing the number of GM turns to include both sides of the battle, which is a kind of GM solitaire with occasional player intervention. Or you turn over the NPCs to the party, meaning those players must now master statblocks they did not create.
This is one of those statements that reminds me that I play a very different style of Pathfinder than most others on this board. Unless the battle is a set-piece that's supposed to take a large portion of the session, I haven't had too many fights last beyond an hour (in a campaign that's currently 14th level with 2 mythic tiers).
Not sure where the big divergence is between the play styles, though.
As to NPCs involved in combat, I've had a lot of success with players taking control of an NPC during a battle. It keeps them involved in longer battles and also lets them try out different mechanics than the class they're currently playing.
I really believe that, had Paizo NOT considered themselves a "small" gaming company starting the day their game took the #1 position, then 5th Edition would not have a snowball's chance in hell of dethroning them. But, because they held on so hard to that "small" gaming company identity, they likely will be dethroned.
I'd be interested to know what you think Paizo should be doing to act like a "big" company.
They seem to have a lot of licensing deals out there and have been building their brand significantly since 2007. They made Forbes' list as one of the fastest growing companies not too long ago.
I'm not sure whether you're arguing this case as a fan or from a hypothetical business standpoint, which is one reason I'm curious. Maybe from a business standpoint, they could do something like become a publicly traded business. But from a fan's perspective, I think a cap on growth helps the quality quite a bit - a lot of my dissatisfaction with the direction of D&D, for example, seems to stem from decisions made at a Hasbro corporate level.
As to whether D&D will retake first place in sales rankings, I don't think it necessarily has anything to do with Paizo's mistakes but rather than fact that Dungeons & Dragons is a huge brand by RPG standards and that many people will buy in out of sheer curiosity if nothing else. I'm also not entirely sure that D&D will crush Pathfinder's place in the market the way some people assume. Not only is there a lot of overlap between the two fan bases, but Paizo releases a lot more product and has a good amount of momentum right now. I think it might be just as likely that while D&D tops sales charts for a while, Paizo remains right there with them - at least by the increasingly inaccurate ICV2 rankings.
But at least that hypothetical situation of mine would make for fun little fan wars about which game has the bigger audience? (Although really, why do fans care that much which company is selling more - unless they own stock in said company?)
I disagree with the premise that Paizo's quality is going downhill.
Admittedly, I only purchase a small percentage of what the company puts out, but it's all looked pretty good to me.
I purchased both Ultimate Campaign and Mythic Adventures last year. Both exceeded my expectations. I've only skimmed the Advanced Class Guide, but it looks pretty good to me from what I've seen.
When I've purchased items from the Chronicles line, it's been top notch and well worth reading. My only disappointment here is that they don't seem to be doing any more Monsters Revisited books.
I don't buy the Companion line often, but the Technology Guide seems pretty cool.
I'm two books into Wrath of the Righteous and it's one of my favorite adventure paths so far. The only knock against it I have right now is that I don't like the mass combat rules very much.
In terms of presentation, layout, and art, I think the books have been improving, not getting worse, over the years. One of the reasons I'm looking forward to an eventual second edition is that I think the Core Rulebook will benefit from an improved layout.
Even in terms of their licensed stuff, the Pathfinder comic series has been excellent and has improved on a month to month basis.
I'm sure plenty of people would disagree with my opinion on these matters, but if you're going to open the thread with, "Even some of the most staunch Paizo fanboys have to admit that it seems that their quality is slipping," then I think you're starting off on a false premise.
In addition to other explanations mentioned, I would say that a lot of beauty is in how you carry yourself. I've seen some obese women who are absolutely stunning and women who closely conform to society's standard of beauty yet who seem repulsive. A person's personality, charisma, and confidence affect their physical attractiveness quite a bit.
Well, yes and no, I think. Running adventures exactly as written probably requires a closer adherence to those expectations. However, tweaking encounters to fit a specific party is something that, in my experience at least, tends to happen no matter what game I'm playing.
Example: a few sessions back I threw a bunch of golem encounters at the group and the sorcerer player felt useless. That was a goof on my part. In a more recent session, I added a large monster to a swarm encounter so the fighting types in the group would have something to do while the spellcasters launched fire and lightning. These are considerations that had nothing to do with what magic plusses the group had and everything to do with just making sure the whole group got to do something fun.
Am I the only one around here that doesnt know or care about what the heck the big six items are? I spend entire campaigns not buying anything but starting gear and ammo and didn't not accepting loot unless nobody else could use it.
My games rarely involve crafting (the player's aren't that interested in it) and tend to be pretty magic-light. I've still got some characters of level 10+ running around with nonmagical weapons.
The game still runs pretty smoothly - I just need to make sure not to throw some critter at the PCs that they have no way of dealing with (i.e., incorporeal monsters against a group with no magic). I haven't run into a situation yet where I feel like I'm making the PCs suffer for not buying cloaks of resistance or the like.
I bring the Core Rulebook and the Bestiary to games, with other items copied and pasted from thd PRD as they come up. (My current game is using mythic PCs, so Mythic Adventures gets brought along as well.)
I generally don't buy rulebooks unless they make an interesting read out of game as well. The GameMastery Guide fits that criteria, as to many of the books in the Pathfinder Chronicles series. The Adventure Paths are well worth their cost for this reason, even if I never actually run the adventures within.
I like the game pretty well as-is. While I have a page of house rules I make use of, I'd be willing to run or play in a rules-as-written game without any complaints.
I look forward to future innovations with the game and would like an eventual 2nd edition to streamline the rules a bit, but overall Pathfinder provides what I want out of an RPG better than any other system I've found.
as everyone knows the big issue with doing 2.0 is that paizo would likely invalidate previous A.P.s, that's probably the biggest issue, before paizo most companies survived on rule books and splat books, so it made sense to redo the rules ever 5 years or so. with paizo a lot of it comes from the AP's so it might not make economic sense to have a new edition.
I disagree to an extent. I don't think a new edition would necessarily have to invalidate previous adventure paths. Pathfinder as a system works fine with the 3.5 adventure paths, for example, and it's not that hard to run 3.0 adventures using the rules, either. There are ways that the rules can be cleaned up without making it a whole new game.
That said, I think I'd rather see what other cool things can be added to the system before the game gets a new edition.
So, minor update on this - the pary's rogue convinced Nurah to place herself under house arrest so she can be kept under observation until everybody's sure her head is on straight. That means she's out of the party for the raid on Drezen, but there's still no commitment as to whether she's really mind-whammied or just a traitor.
So my options are still open to cook up something really cool down the road.
The biggest example of rules bloat that I can remember experiencing was near the end of AD&D 2nd edition where the introduction of kits and the Player's Option rules meant that I was hauling around half a dozen or more rulebooks that needed to be referenced every session.
The problem there (speaking only from personal experience - I realize this scenario is a perk to some) was that I couldn't pare things down to the core because I felt the rules were too limiting for what I wanted.
Pathfinder has the advantage of having a very flexible core, so most of the stuff we've seen are just extra options rather than an overhaul of the rules. Sure, there are some things that represent sweeping changes, such as the words of power system and Mythic Adventures, but those aren't widespread enough to make me sweat. The rest of the stuff is just extra add-ins that I can copy and paste from the PRD if I want. And if I don't like the slayer class or a feat from Ultimate Combat, it's easy to just exclude that - nothing in the game experience requires that those options get used.
Admittedly, the Core Rulebook can use some better formatting and certain rules (combat maneuvers, attacks of opportunity, crafting) could use some simplification, but I don't think these needs are so pressing that they need to be addressed right now. From all accounts, Pathfinder is still growing as a game - it would be foolish from a business perspective to force a change when what they already have is working very well for them. I'd rather see more options (which I may or may not use) rather than setting the game back to zero and reintroducing the stuff that I already have.
(And yeah, 5th edition may jump ahead of Pathfinder in sales, but I'm not entirely sure that this makes an impact on Paizo. Their goal is to meet their profit expectations, not to hold a spot on the ICV2 rankings. Who's to say that D&D's success can't be a good thing for Paizo?)
Basically, if the decision comes down to having cool new stuff like Occult Adventures or an overhaul of the system that means we're going to be waiting on 2nd edition versions of the alchemist, inquisitor, et al for the next few years, I'd rather see the cool new stuff.
You don't have to know all the books. Just the options your players use and most of the core. That's why I don't believe in this whole "groaning under the weight" business people keep talking about. Not only do you not have to know everything, but you don't even have to use/allow everything. I skipped out on Inner Sea Gods because i wwasnt interested in it. I still support paizo and their creation of new options, but I didn't feel the need to buy it. It's really that simple. Don't use all of the options if you don't want to. And if your players want more options, you can read their rules and allow it on a case-by-case basis or say no. And if they insist and get argumentative instead of respecting your decision, then that's a problem with the players, not the system. It happens even in simple games like Fate.
Agreed for the most part. I generally use just the core rules, but wind up incorporating other stuff based on a few specific situations:
1) The player asks for a new option that fits their character concept better. ("Can I play somebody who smites like a paladin but isn't lawful good?" "How's an inquisitor sound?")
2) The player asks for a specific option to be incorporated. ("I'd like to take some cavalier levels for my bard.")
3) An adventure I'm using utilizes other options, in which case I only need to know those things as it is relevant to a single encounter.
I would definitely complain about the latter, but since everything introduced in Paizo's adventures is either in the PRD or reproduced in the adventure text, it goes much easier than it would have before the days of the Internet.
So I started running Sword of Valor today, and was quite happy that the players took to Aron, Sosiel, and Nurah immediately. They especially seemed to like Nurah, and this may or may not have been due to the image of a pony-riding hobbit giving a King Theoden style speech to the troops before battle.
The group discovered that Nurah had planted the drugs on Aron and interrogated her on the matter, but there was one problem: she wouldn't break. She stuck to her story, nobody was able to see through her bluffing, and she made all her saves against discern lies. There was evidence pointing to her being a traitor, but nothing concrete to really seal the deal.
The group then searched her and found the wand of modify memory with only four charges left in her gear. They began to formulate a theory that maybe somebody had used the wand on Nurah or even forced her to use it on herself. Nurah rolled with this and, when subjected to an attempt to restore her memories, "recalled" an encounter in which a succubus charmed her and forced her to infiltrate the army.
The group seems to have bought this story, and they've instituted a system where nobody in the army is without at least two other people nearby at all times. They've let Nurah remain with the group, but they've paired her with Anevia and Irabeth. This leaves me with a conundrum:
-I could just have Nurah slip off at some point and flee the army,
-I could have her remain as an infiltrator, although it seems like it's only a matter of time before Irabeth notices her casting undetectable alignment at the start of the day and/or catches a glimpse of her evil aura,
-I could have the fact that the group chose to trust her start her down toward a redemptive path, or
-I could toss out the traitorous background and roll with the idea that she was mind-whammied by a demon, complete with long-term implanted memories.
I'm looking for ideas and suggestions. Right now, every piece of evidence the group has points to the idea that she got controlled by a succubus and forced to act against the army. Theoretically, that's all just an elaborate lie on Nurah's part, but her interrogation took up a good chunk of the session and I'm not sure I want to make all that work for naught just because they didn't realize what a practiced liar she was.
I for one would hope that WoTC doesn't have entire books of rule material that are never mentioned again in any other product. The 3.0/3.5 editions often had this problem, and it was a major cause of complaint.
One thing worth noting is that 3rd edition had the same rules for PCs and NPCs. 5th edition, from what I know, does not. If most books released are PC option books, they probably won't get brought up or mentioned in future modules simply because those modules won't be using PC rules.
In Pathfinder, if you've got a human inquisitor as a villain, that inquisitor will reference things from the PRD and will probably run very much the same as a PC inquisitor. In D&D, if you've got a human inquisitor (or D&D-comparable class not in the Player's Handbook), you probably won't need to reference whatever sourcebook introduced the inquisitor class because the NPC will run on different rules.
If supplementary material stays focused on players as in the past, and if the philosophy of making NPCs run on different rules than PCs continues to have a hold in the new edition, then most of those supplements will continue not to be referenced in published adventures because they won't be using the rules in those books.
Whether this design philosophy is up your alley probably plays a large part in determining whether you are a fan of the new edition or now.
I understand that some people didn't like the immense roster of deities that The Realms boasted or the immense roster of impossibly high level NPCs PCs could never hope to contend with. I even understand why (some of these gripes are ones I've had myself over the years). The wholesale slaughter and consolidation method was too much to bear.
I think the problem with ripping apart the Realms is that non-Realms fans were never really going to embrace the setting. The result of such a major change was that it ticked off existing Realms fans without drawing in a new audience.
I don't know if they just expected people to keep hanging on "because it's The Realms" or what, but the facelift made it unrecognizable for a noticeable chunk of the fanbase. Hell, I thought the Time of Troubles mess was dumb/overkill. The Spellplague era stuff just left me with nowhere to continue buying in.
One thing that 4th edition impressed upon me is the fact that the D&D/Forgotten Realms brand names aren't nearly as strong as people thought it was. 5th edition seems to be taking that to heart, since there's been so much time to figure out what people consider to be D&D.
My take on paladins from my home campaign:
Paladins are first and foremost devotees of law and good. Many of them are a part of a formal knightly order. They may or may not be devoted to a deity. If they are devoted to a deity, their code still comes first.
Certain gods see these champions of righteousness and empower them with divine might because the paladin's code and ethics mostly align with their ethos. They do this realizing that a paladin serves that code first.
Inquisitors are kind of similar - they are individuals whose actions aid the deity that empowers them, but they are not necessarily bound by the church.
Contrast with clerics, who are devoted followers of a deity and who are empowered to effectively be the god's mortal messenger.
That's my take, anyway.
I'm thinking of something along the lines of certain films or anime where you have a martial artist or weapon master run through a crowd of enemies, attacking each on his way by. Oftentimes, it ends with the attacker turning around just as the baddies fall over from the attack.
Something along the lines of:
Improved Spring Attack (Combat)
Using your mobility, you can strike many foes in an area before they even realize you are there.
Prerequisites: Dex 13, Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack, base attack bonus +6
Benefit: As a full-round action, you can move up to your speed and make a single melee attack at your highest attack bonus against every enemy within range of your movement without provoking any attacks of opportunity from the targets of your attacks. Monks may use their highest flurry bonus in place of their attack bonus if they are using an unarmed strike or monk weapon. You must move at least 10 feet before making your first attack and the total distance that you move cannot be greater than your speed. You cannot use this ability to attack a foe that is adjacent to you at the start of your turn.
Normal: You cannot move and make multiple attacks in a round.
Does something along these lines exist somewhere in the Pathfinder rules?
I think I'm probably dense, because I've looked over the playtest documents several times and haven't been able to figure out how 5th edition D&D and Pathfinder are all that different.
I mean, they're both good systems from what I can tell. Pathfinder has more support options thanks to five years of accessories, while D&D will get there eventually.
But for the life of me, these seem like two very similar games with only a few main design principles differentiating them.
This is, of course, a good thing for me, since it means I can check out things like Tyranny of Dragons and should be able to convert the adventure with a minimum of fuss over to Pathfinder easily if I like it.
In the end, I'm very likely to continue buying Pathfinder products as long as Paizo keeps up their standard level of quality, and I'm likely to buy some D&D products as long as WotC starts printing things I like again.
Well...regardless of OGL or not, any change in the core game (no matter how minor) is going to cause at least some people to be annoyed and drop out of the game. The only difference is that with a OGL, there is a potential for another game to come along and keep those people.
Yes, you can't please all the people all the time, but reading the market well should give you the ability to please most of the people most of the time. WotC either thought that 4th edition would be more appealing to the majority of fans than it was, or they overestimated the amount of pull the D&D brand name really had.
I am sure a part of 5E's business strategy is the assumption that a good chunk of the 4E fans will switch over if only because their game won't be actively sorted any longer.
I guess that's a decent assumption to make, but I think it can be a dangerous one. Maybe Pathfinder kept people who liked 3.5 away from 4th edition, but I'm not entirely sure it's a lock that those players were going to migrate over to 4th edition in large numbers. Speaking for myself, I had decided to hunker in and keep playing 3.5 up until the Pathfinder Core Rulebook came out.
I don't think the OGL had no impact on the failure of 4th edition, but I think it's a bit too convenient an excuse that causes people to ignore a lot of the other failings that occurred leading up to that game's launch.
Now I do agree with you that from a purely business sense, OGL can be a bad idea, since if you ever decide to change the system significantly, it allow people to continue on supporting the game they are used to without switching over.
This is a commonly made argument that I'm not really sold on. If a company is reading the market correctly, they should be able to tell whether their customers want an overhaul or a smaller revision. And if they don't provide what the customers want, they will go elsewhere, with or without an OGL.
I think a lot of the OGL criticism fails to credit the fact that the OGL is one of the major reasons that D&D had such a resurgence during the 3rd edition days. I also think that the, "but it allowed Pathfinder to exist" argument fails to take into account the fact that WotC basically forced Pathfinder into existing by 1) pulling the magazine licenses away from Paizo and forcing them to come up with a new line of their own, 2) coming up with a long-delayed and insufficient license that forced Paizo to come up with a new plan, and 3) creating a game that was so dramatically different from previous editions that it created a major divide in the fan base.
Using Pathfinder as the central figure in an "OGL is bad" argument also ignores the fact that the actual system is only one reason why the game sells so well. Paizo puts out dynamite products with a level of quality that isn't seen in most other areas of the industry. If being able to recreate D&D-like rules was the only requirement for a game to sell hand over fist, then Swords & Wizardry, OSRIC, Castles & Crusades, and the like would all be jockeying for the top spot. Those products, while good, do not have the level of production or support that allows Pathfinder to sell so well.
WotC is under no obligation to support an OGL of any sort, but I don't think it would be as disastrous for them as some people make it out to be. The fact is that the OGL played a role in 3rd edition D&D selling extremely well, and the events that created Pathfinder as an alternative to D&D were so specific and multifaceted that I don't believe another company will be in such a position in the future.
Matt Thomason wrote:
I dunno...sometimes a complete overhaul is warranted, especially for an older property. For example, the move from AD&D to D&D 3rd edition struck me as a good thing overall, even though the game changed dramatically.
Now, I don't think Pathfinder is as mechanically clunky and disorganized as AD&D was, so a smaller change to clear up a few issues would probably be more warranted. Then again, I think Paizo has built up enough credit as being a producer of high-quality stuff that even a more radical change in a hypothetical 2nd edition would get at least a cursory glance from me. When you produce enough great gaming material, you get the benefit of the doubt for a while.
That would kind of drift away from the fantasy trope of needing a weapon of pure holy goodness to penetrate the hide of the vile demon, or of having a weapon so inherently vile that it is capable of bypassing the holy warrior's protections.
Not that such a situation is necessarily bad in some campaigns, but that would be a result.
According to Amazon.com, customers who pre-ordered the D&D Player's Handbook also purchased the Advanced Class Guide, the Emerald Spire Superdungeon, the Technology Guide, the Monster Codex, and the Inner Sea Campaign Guide, among other items.
I think most gamers will buy whatever products look cool. "Switching" implies that one system is used exclusively, which I'm not sure is the case.