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Charlie Brooks's page

RPG Superstar 2013 Star Voter. Pathfinder Society Member. 377 posts. 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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I'm running both Jade Regent and Wrath of the Righteous, and while all the extra NPCs makes for some extra work on the GM's part (since I have to give them scenes so they don't just fade into the background), I don't think they're a major problem in the adventure paths.

If you're GMing the game, you can pretty much dispense with any of the NPCs you want. None of them from my reading so far are all that plot essential. Even Ameiko, who is definitely the most plot-essential NPC, can be removed in the first book if desired.

I think the issue will have more merit if future adventure paths design themselves around the assumption that the NPCs are playing a major part in the story. Right now, it seems like they're helpful additions but not necessary if you want to just remove them.

My setting has a mad scientist NPC who has long awaited a chance to re-emerge. Thus far, I have been able to introduce his niece as an alchemist, but I'm hoping these rules will give me what I need to bring him back in his full insane glory.

In my experience, trail rations are usually just window dressing on a character sheet (as is a bedroll, winter blanket, tent, et cetera).

But I've run games where characters are stranded in a desert, where they have to book it across country to warn people of an approaching army, and even one where a thief character camped out for several days in a palace's secret passageway. In all those situations, keeping track of rations becomes relevant.

How far into the adventure are you?

If it's a really uncomfortable situation and you've already introduced the relationship, maybe it's not a bad idea to just have Irabeth and Anevia stay in Kenabres for whatever reason. As far as I know, there's nothing in the adventure path that 100% requires them to be with the group.

LoneKnave wrote:
That reminds me, I wouldn't mind % miss chances gone. It's an extra roll+an extra layer of complexity for calculations+an extra layer of defense vs poor martials... Maybe as a /day class ability, bt not something that can be literally always on.

Agreed. I always wince when a player rolls a crit but forgot to roll the miss chance first.

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I just ran the encounter with Vegsundvaag and had the PCs negotiate a situation in which the villagers paid a year's worth of tribute to the dragon. Not an ideal situation for the villagers, but the PCs were kind of ticked that they initially sided with Tunuak.

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lastgrasp wrote:
Having not read the ELH could you combine Mythic & Epic together? Do the two systems work at all with each other? Could you be Level 25 10th tier character using both rule sets? Assuming you were mixing 3.X and 3.P

I'm not sure about the fighting gods question, but from my reading of the Mythic rules you could definitely combine them with Epic rules if you wanted. For that matter, the very brief post-20th level rules found in the Core Rulebook also work fine with Mythic rules.

One of the things I really appreciate about the Mythic rules is that they graft on pretty well to any post-20th level advancement rules you might want to use. That's pretty convenient for me, since there were already a couple 22nd-level characters in my setting. But those guys are still bound by the laws or mortality. As I run the Wrath of the Righteous adventure path, they can help out here and there but will eventually be dwarfed in power by the PCs even if they technically remain at a higher level.

I would put money down that 5th edition will have no OGL. I think the whole culture of WotC has changed over the past decade, and while there may be some OGL supporters, I'm betting a lot of people there blame the OGL at least in part for 4th edition not being what they expected sales-wise.

I find that most of the adventure paths can be adapted to fit a shorter campaign pretty easily. For example, you could make Rise of the Runelords a local threat to Sandpoint and end right after book 1 if desired. Similarly, Council of Thieves could cap off after The Infernal Syndrome with some adaptation.

If you want to get through the plot as written, kicking advancement up to the fast track and then cutting some encounters would be fairly easy. While I love the adventure paths, I find that there are always some grindy parts that seem to be placed there just to get the PCs enough XP to level up and continue the story.

Just wanted to say - I ran a session of The Hungry Storm this weekend, and the fight with

Tunuak, a possessed Naquun, and the hoarfrost spirits

was one of the best I've seen in a published adventure. It kept the PCs on their toes as they kept having to adapt to new situations, it challenged them in a way they hadn't been challenged yet in the campaign, and had enough interesting terrain to make combat maneuvers like bull rushes and trips a viable option in the fight.

The combatants who could turn invisible used their abilities early and often, which frustrated the characters but not the players. During and after the fight, the players mentioned that it was an excellent fight scene, even when they were on the verge of losing.

I've got nothing big to add, but I just thought a thumbs up to the designers was in order. That is an excellent fight/set piece, and I would love to see more encounters like it in future adventure paths.

Just like the title says: do you use a GM screen? Why or why not?

tl;dr version:

The GM screen is one of the traditions of RPGs, but it's one I very rarely use.

I had a discussion with my wife about the Mutants & Masterminds GM screen and how useful I find it, but I usually run games with it flat on the table so I can access the information when I need it while not creating a divide between GM and players. When I run Pathfinder, I never use a screen.

GM screens are certainly useful, but in high school I started gaming in places without tables, such as living rooms and bedrooms. While I now game at tables more often than not, I usually keep very loose notes and trust the players not to look at the stuff they're not supposed to. When I do need to make a roll in secret or hide something, I just lift a notebook to function as a temporary shield.

My wife, who started playing with me well after I stopped using a screen, stated that she hates screens because she feels more like it's the GM versus the players when one is up.

So what are you thoughts on using a GM screen?

My main disconnect with the premise of this thread is that I don't see why it's so hard, if you want to limit your game in such a way, to just say, "Nothing except the core races in my game."

I had the same disconnect when people used to talk about the proliferation of options in D&D 3.5. Is anybody really going to get angry and/or quit a game because they're not allowed to play their half-fiend warforged ninja/scout?

Well, I guess there's certainly somebody like that out there, but I haven't met them in any of my gaming groups yet.

And if you can set things as you like them in your campaign, does it really matter what other people are doing in their games? I might be missing something, but the whole argument strikes me as similar to complaining about all the different ice cream flavors out there because you prefer vanilla or chocolate only.

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Meh, call me crazy but I think players should be able to play what they want.

Quite honestly, $50 isn't too bad a price point, except that D&D traditionally requires three books. If that model holds, the price goes up to $150 for the core books - not bad for those who definitely want to buy into the game, but not good for those who are on the fence.

The weakness in the argument that $50 or even $150 is well worth the price because of the hours of entertainment it provides is that there are already many other alternatives. I can already have the same fun that D&D provides while running any previous edition (all affordable and easily obtainable) or Pathfinder, which I already own. The playtest, while looking good, hasn't convinced me that the game offers anything new that I don't already get through playing Pathfinder.

If WotC wants to catch players who are curious but not yet committed, they need some sort of inexpensive buy-in that can get people hooked. Now, that doesn't have to be the core rulebooks - it could be the starter set (although their track record with those is poor), it could be inexpensive PDFs, or it could be something else entirely. But most people see the three core books as the entry point, so WotC is going to need to emphasize that things have changed if they want to catch a wider audience.

A lot will probably depend on how they release the game digitally. When Pathfinder came out, I was initially going to pass, but the $10 Core Rulebook PDF convinced me otherwise. The big discount at the time on also helped a lot.

If WotC is going to price the core rulebooks that high, I hope they release one heck of a starter set. A good starter set can probably up the amount people are willing to spend. Otherwise, people who are already on the fence are probably going to balk at a possible $150 buy-in for three rulebooks.

Given the current state of the rules, I don't know if rules for levels beyond 20th are necessary.

What would be the goal of such a product? To allow characters to do the crazy high-level stuff that such play is supposed to provide? That's already more or less covered by using Mythic Adventures + high-level play.

Would it be just to remove any sort of hard cap on the game? In that case, the Core Rulebook has brief guidelines about post-level 20 play. Sure, they're not terribly robust, but they easily allow for characters to reach levels 21-23 or so while finishing a campaign. No huge epic abilities involved, but again there's Mythic Adventures for that.

It seems to me that the feel of an epic-level game could be handled quite easily by playing a game to 20th level and then giving the characters mythic power. That would basically do what the epic level rules of 3rd edition D&D wanted to do, but the math would work out better.

If Paizo did do a post-20th level play book at some point, it would have to be markedly different in feel from Mythic Adventures. I'm not sure what the game needs that such a book could add.

Matthew Boehland wrote:

Well, there's also a later Adventure Path that has ** spoiler omitted ** originally from Runelords as a major character as well (though I could see just changng their name in Runelords making them a different character if you wanted to play it second)

Anyhow, we're running through RotR now, so sounds like I'm good for later stuffs. Thanks for the replies!

If you're referring to Jade Regent, the very first volume has advice on how to replace her with another character if needed.

Most adventure paths I've read have extra time built into them somewhere for crafting purposes, et cetera. It would be pretty easy in most cases to add side adventures or maybe even an ongoing subplot in between chapters.

In Council of Thieves, for example, each chapter has the potential for long breaks in between where something else can happen. In Jade Regent, the caravan journey can be paused for a sidequest.

I think I'd prefer that approach to a campaign a bit more, since it provides the feeling that there's a lot more going on at the time than just stuff which is relevant to the adventure path.

I think I'd prefer a spell points system, but it's not something I'm desperately looking for in Pathfinder.

Overall, I think it's probably best for Pathfinder not to deviate too far from what's gotten them so much success in future versions of the game. There's a reason why the game is so popular, and the mechanics, clunky as they can be sometimes, are a part of that reason.

Story Archer wrote:
The point I made in my post was that when that couple was introduced it hardly raised an eyebrow for me at all... its when the second gay couple was introduced as main NPC's (and those are the only two prominent relationships thus far, no?), THAT'S when it started to feel both forced and little excessive.

I guess I'm still not quite in agreement. Maybe my mind will change as the adventure path unfolds, but it doesn't necessarily strike me as a bad thing to turn social norms on their head once in a while. And having a second gay couple in there once in a while helps to avoid the perception that there's a token couple just tossed in there to meet some arbitrary quota.

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My long and rambling thoughts on the subject

I really don't think it's a big deal. If you don't like it, just change Anevia's backstory slightly.

I don't like that people are considering it to be Paizo ramming some sort of agenda down people's throats. There are transgender gamers out there - should they never have an NPC who has a similar identity without it being considered part of some agenda?

About 1 in 10 people in the real world is gay, transgender, questioning, or has a similar nonconventional sexual identity. I doubt that Paizo's products even approach that number thus far. As far as I know, Anevia is the first transgender NPC introduced in the line. I don't think that's excessive at all.

Icyshadow wrote:

@Mark Hoover

That's the first time I see someone use the Pathfinder pantheon outside Golarion.

I am honestly surprised about such, but I'm glad it works out for you and the group.

I know a couple of people who use the Golarion pantheon for their settings because they don't want to bother writing up their own pantheon.

Honestly, if I didn't play in a setting that predated the Core Rulebook, I might well have snagged the default pantheon for my campaign world, too.

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I'm in no hurry for a revision, but if we're just talking about what we'd like Pathfinder to look like, my thoughts would be something like this:

-Cut down on the number of situational bonuses (i.e., "+2 to save versus poisons," "+1 to Perception checks based on hearing," "+2 to Spellcraft checks made to identify magic items"). Don't eliminate them - just ask whether something really needs to be situational or not. (i.e., Could "+2 to save versus poison" be replaced by "+1 to Fortitude saves"?)

-Toss the Fly skill and find another way to handle flight in combat.

-Merge Knowledge (arcana) and Spellcraft.

-Get rid of encumbrance or find a simpler way to track it. Saves me the trouble of having to handwave it away.

-Smooth out attacks of opportunity a bit more.

-Decrease the need for items that just give a magical plus to something. Maybe magic weapons only get a +1 or +2 and then any more powerful weapons would be represented through special properties. Lower save DCs so cloaks of resistance aren't a necessity. Maybe add a defense bonus that rises with level so rings of protection don't need to be a thing. Reduce the need for these items so they're nice to have but aren't needed by those who would rather use their item slots for something more interesting.

-Move prestige classes to an Advanced Player's Guide revision or something. They're cool, but not necessarily needed in the core anymore.

-Change the presentation somewhat, taking a cue from the Beginner's Box where possible.

That is, of course, just stuff that would fit my gaming preferences. I'm not in a hurry for a new edition, but when there is one I hope it will be more tweaks and changes rather than rebuilding the game from the ground up.

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To each their own, but I've run my home setting in Pathfinder for years now with no issues. Running a Pathfinder game with a homebrew setting is no harder than running a D&D game with a homebrew setting.

At the request of the rest of the group, one of the PCs in my campaign recently bought a horse for overland travel. She initially didn't want to buy it, but now she's become very attached to the steed. However, we're at 13th level, so area attacks tend to be a huge danger to the poor thing.

Because the player is so attached to her horse and the damage is only going to get higher, I'm thinking of revealing that the horse is actually an intelligent creature with class levels. I'm thinking maybe it was awakened by a druid or is a polymorphed pegasus or unicorn. However, that still leaves me with the need to explain how such a creature wound up on the market for only 75 gold pieces. Obviously it was hiding its true nature, and has now grown close enough to the PC to reveal itself.

Any suggestions for a cool backstory that I can give to this horse for my next session? I'm sure the player will get a kick from the revelation.

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DeathQuaker wrote:
Charlie Brooks wrote:

While you could argue that you an artist can interpret the panels in many different ways, it's also worth noting that DC editorial has been extremely narrow-minded in their interpretation of how things should be as of late.

For example, editorial mandate has stated that Batman never sits down. When Paul Jenkins wrote a scene where Batman was sitting down, he was told he didn't understand the character.

Source? I'm curious to know where this came from.

Link from Bleeding Cool

Associated quote from Paul Jenkins:

I would like to relay an editorial comment that I received near the end of my time writing the Dark Knight New 52 series. In one scene, I had written that Batman is sitting on a rooftop during an intense conversation, close to a person who has been injured. The editorial comment: “We’re not sure you are “getting” the character because it’s common knowledge that Batman never sits down.” This, mind you, after I had made it clear I was not going to rewrite material for the umpteenth time after it had already been approved.

Perhaps Jenkins is being disingenuous with his retelling of the situation, but it's also worth noting that he is but one of many creators who have left DC citing such editorial interference.

While you could argue that you an artist can interpret the panels in many different ways, it's also worth noting that DC editorial has been extremely narrow-minded in their interpretation of how things should be as of late.

For example, editorial mandate has stated that Batman never sits down. When Paul Jenkins wrote a scene where Batman was sitting down, he was told he didn't understand the character.

With that in mind, I think there's probably a narrow subset of what DC is looking for in this contest.

Whedon's got a point. However, I think that one thing Empire shows is that if you are a good enough film, you can get away with committing that kind of sin.

Whedon's made his own share of mistakes, but I don't see anywhere in the article where he claims to blameless as a filmmaker. He can recognize his own mistakes while pointing out his issues with other franchises at the same time.

Steve Geddes wrote:

Were the different experience level progressions supposed to be in the interest of balance?

I thought they were just how the early designers thought the different classes 'should' progress, not an attempt to make the weaker classes level faster than the stronger. (If it was a balance attempt they seem to have had a peculiar view of which classes were 'weak').

I honestly don't know what the thought process behind the XP charts was.

Magic-users progressed incredibly slowly at first, when they were at their weakest and least useful to the group. Then, when they reached high levels and became dominating in battles, they progressed faster than fighters. At around 9th level a fighter would be a full two levels behind a magic-user with the same amount of XP.

There was also the situation where the XP needed to advance at high levels flattened out but monster XP kept increasing for higher-level challenges. The result was that you actually advanced much faster through the levels as you got higher level, especially if you used the 1 gp = 1 XP rule.

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I don't see how there's any real race to "win" GenCon. I'm sure that Paizo will do plenty of business next year even with 5th edition taking most of the press.

And I'll agree with everybody else who wants WotC to succeed with this edition of the game. It will be especially nice if they follow through with their goal of general compatibility, since that will mean that I can yank anything nice I see in 5th edition and port it over to my Pathfinder game.

Off the top of my head, some of the race/class dependent things are:


Fighters, barbarians, and monks get a keep;
Rangers get a cabin and a chance to become the guardian of a community;
Paladins become members of the Order of the Radiant Heart;
Clerics can get one of three churches, depending on their alignment;
Druids get a grove;
Wizards and sorcerers get the chance to teach apprentices;
Thieves get a guild;
Bards get to manage a playhouse.

All of those are independent of what kit you choose, which makes mechanical different but doesn't affect play beyond that.

NPC Romances:

Only humans, elves, half-elves, and halflings (and, in one case, half-orcs) get romance dialogue.
Viconia (the drow cleric NPC) won't enter into a relationship with elves, but will with half-orcs.
Men get three ladies who may fight over the PC's affection, women get one guy.

That's all in Baldur's Gate II. The story doesn't really split in the first game, except that you need a thief in your party for a certain set of quests in Baldur's Gate and good/evil-aligned NPCs will leave your party if your actions stray too far toward the other alignment spectrum.

There is some equipment that translates from a saved Baldur's Gate game to Baldur's Gate II...

such as:

The gold pantaloons, which can be combined with the silver pantaloons in Baldur's Gate II and the bronze pantalettes in Throne of Bhaal to great a giant metal mech;
If you get Drizzt's swords in Baldur's Gate, he'll take issue with it when you meet him in Baldur's Gate II;
A few other pieces of equipment (don't know which ones) get randomly placed in the starting dungeon for you to pick up again in Baldur's Gate II.

At the time it came out, I personally didn't care for Baldur's Gate I and made a new character for II. Then, when I got about halfway through II and realized how awesome the whole saga was, I went back and started up the first game with the intention of playing one character from the beginning on.

Unfortunately, the Enhanced Edition has hit a pretty big roadblock due to some issue between Overhaul Games and Atari. Overhaul has been forced to stop working on it due either to Atari's bankruptcy problems or a royalties issue, which means that the latest patch and the sequel itself is in jeopardy.

Although I guess it is worth noting that you can apparently import your Enhanced Edition character into vanilla Baldur's Gate II as long as you aren't using one of the new kits like the shadowdancer or dragon disciple.

I might be of a minority opinion, but I actually felt that Nick Fury (as he exists in the mainstream Marvel Universe) was one of the few white characters whose race was integral to the character. This was only due to historical precedent, since Fury began as Sergeant Fury of the Howling Commandos in World War II and I'm pretty sure that due to the time period a black character wouldn't have been able to be in that position.

Then again, it is worth noting that the Howling Commandos did have a black character on board when the comic came out, and this was an intentionally historically inaccurate move by Lee and Kirby.

Regardless, I guess it's a moot point, since the Sam Jackson Fury isn't the Nick Fury from mainstream comics*. Even ignoring the World War II backstory, he doesn't have the same attitude or demeanor as classic Fury. He does, however, work pretty well within the movies he's in. Thankfully, he's not really the Ultimate Nick Fury either, since he has yet to be that morally repugnant. He's his own incarnation of the character, and I think he's done a pretty good job with that incarnation so far.

*(Well, he technically is now, since old Nick Fury has been replaced by Nick Fury, Jr., who is modeled after the movie version of the character.)

Matthew Morris wrote:
Not htat familiar with BP myself, but which of the two wrote the bit about Wakanda having the cure to cancer, and Black Panther basically tells the world "No, you can't have it."

That was Hudlin.

Hudlin also wrote an alternate universe tale called "Black to the Future" (no, I am not kidding, and yes, Family Guy did come up with that title first) in which the Avengers try to take over the world because they're all racist and the Black Panther saves the world by forcing America to make him President.

If there is anything to be learned from Hudlin's time on the title, it is that racism goes both ways and it is always terrible.

Matthew Morris wrote:
On topic, I don't know the actor, but to me, there'd have to be a heck of a good actor for a 'race lift' (Yes, MCD was a heck of a good actor in Daredevil.)

I think the crux of the argument is right here. The problem isn't so much that people dismissed the idea of Glover as Spider-Man based on his acting strengths, but that a lot of folks didn't even want to see him considered based on his race.

(And yeah, Michael Clarke Duncan ruled as the Kingpin. It's a shame his talents were wasted in that movie.)

magnuskn wrote:
Uh, no, I did not say that, so your entire rant is based on your own wrong impression of what I said. I just hated that they killed Peter Parker over there, because he was a better character than his 616 version.

I agree with this. When they announced the death of Ultimate Peter Parker, my reaction was, "They're killing the wrong one." The Ultimate Universe had a Parker who was heroic, while the mainstream Marvel Universe has a self-centered manchild who I think has been pretty unlikeable and unheroic for almost a decade now.

Also, I personally did support Priest's Black Panther. It's a damned shame that he was replaced by Hudlin and I wish Priest would write for Marvel again, he was excellent.

Priest's Black Panther was awesome. Hudlin's, on the other hand is perfect to bring up in a conversation about nerds and racism, because it's one of the most racist things that mainstream comics has seen since the Silver Age.

I think he's got a point. There were a lot of ignorant comments on the matter. Given the outrage that already existed when they made the Kingpin black in the Daredevil movie (and that later came about when they made Perry White black in the Superman movie), the notion that nerds are some super-enlightened group that doesn't discriminate is laughable.

That the people who get enraged at turning a white character black didn't bat an eye when Bane was played by a white guy in the Batman movie is even more telling.

Honestly, there are some characters whose race is so integral that it should not be changed. For example, I wouldn't want to see Luke Cage played by a Chinese guy. However, those characters are fewer and farther between than some people think.

The thing with most of the white male superheroes is that they were white and male mostly because that was the assumed default in the 1960s (and, honestly, is still the assumed default in the industry today). For most characters, their race can be changed without affecting the rest of the character. If you ask people who Peter Parker is as a character, you'll get a lot of answers, but almost nobody will say, "Caucasian." Peter is an everyman, and that everyman can be just about any race out there, especially in a setting as diverse as New York.

With all that said, I do think that it's worth noting that the reaction to Glover was not necessarily indicative of the majority of nerds. The Internet is not the place to gauge majority reactions, and a vocal minority should not be assumed to be indicative of nerd culture in general.

But yeah, racism is still totally a problem in our society, and there are plenty of racist nerds out there.

I guess it's worth mentioning that the United States and several other first world countries have the capability of solving a lot of the problems in our real world, and yet those problems continue to exist.

If you're going to attempt to apply realism to a fantasy setting in this regard, it's probably good to look into why our real world is not some sparkling utopia. Presumably, many of those same hurdles would exist for this hypothetical high-magic setting.

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Here's the thing that I think would prevent most resurrection spells from becoming common in Pathfinder:

"The subject's soul must be free and willing to return."

I imagine that about 99% of people who die wouldn't meet that qualification.

If you've lived a good life, you go to heaven, which is a damned sight better than living in a world where the things that will try to kill you or make your life miserable sometimes literally include the floors, ceiling, and air.

If you've lived a bad life, I'm doubting that folks like Asmodeus are going to let your soul walk out of Hell just because some 9th level priest waved a diamond over your corpse.

Played by the book, I think resurrection spells would be a waste of money for most people.

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Is there anything wrong with just letting D&D have its day? I'm betting that Pathfinder is successful enough that Paizo probably doesn't need to worry about what D&D is doing.

Moreover, the next edition of D&D looks like it's shaping up in a way that will make it easy to convert adventures to Pathfinder and vice-versa. If that's the case, I hope the game succeeds, and I imagine a strong D&D brand could mean good things for Pathfinder, since the adventures and world material Paizo produces could then be used by both Pathfinder and D&D players.

Overall, Paizo is probably best sticking to their own (very successful) business plan, and I for one hope that the next edition of D&D does very well. I couldn't care less whether I'm playing the world's best-selling RPG or the 2nd best-selling RPG. Hopefully, both will be fun.

I give XP after each encounter.

I don't think I'm going to run a game anytime soon that does away with XP, since my players like the accumulation, seeing how far till the next level, et cetera.

Haven't seen the film yet (and probably won't for a while), but...

In the Post-Crisis reboot of Superman, John Byrne decided that Superman couldn't just have a code against killing, but that it had to come from somewhere. So he wrote an issue that ended with Superman killing Zod and his cronies in an admittedly extreme situation where they had destroyed all life on an alternate Earth. The decision haunted Superman for quite some time, and he vowed never to kill again.

I personally think it was some dumb reasoning on Byrne's part (who has had his share of dumb moves in his career), but it's not like the film just decided that this Superman should be a killer. It gels with his comic book history, unfortunately.

Chris Mortika wrote:
Charlie Brooks wrote:
Yep, put me in the boat of folks who were a fan of Coulson before he died. His appearances in Iron Man 2, Thor, and especially the short films made him very endearing.
Short films?

There were a couple little segments on some Blu Ray releases that served as extra features. They're now on YouTube somewhere, I would imagine. The two I know of that had Coulson in it were "The Consultant" and "A Funny Thing Happened on the way to Thor's Hammer." The latter gives him a pretty badass moment.

Yep, put me in the boat of folks who were a fan of Coulson before he died. His appearances in Iron Man 2, Thor, and especially the short films made him very endearing.

I think Hasbro has screwed D&D pretty hard over the years thanks in large part to unrealistic sales expectations for the core game, but I'd still rather the film rights be in their hands than with the guys responsible for the last three films.

I'm not sure I see how a rules set is integral to the success of WotC's novel lines. WotC already has a pretty successful Magic: the Gathering line that doesn't use a lot of the card game's rules beyond a name and description. Other companies, most notable the comics industry, have kept continuing lines with multiple authors going for years with a good level of success. And a D&D novel line would be easier to manage than a comics line in terms of consistency since there would be fewer titles and a smaller creative team involved.

If anything, I think constantly having to alter the fundamentals of the novel line to synch up with new editions is a flaw. If 5e accomplishes what it wants to, it should be much easier for authors to do what they want without having to worry about the constraints of the D&D rules and setting.

magnuskn wrote:
This, pretty much. If you are not goint to update the timeline, why are you even going to release a new campaign setting book? To update few spells, magic items and feats we got in there?

While it's still probably a while before a new campaign setting guide is released, I would be surprised if there weren't at least some updates in a hypothetical new version.

For example, Shattered Star has already effectively added some things to canon, and I'd expect those to make it in.

A cool possibility, which could even be a fan project, would be to have a web document available that marks what canon changes are reflective of which adventures. That way, it could be easy to isolate and edit things that don't mesh with individual campaigns.

The big thing that Golarion has in its favor regarding any future updates is that there hasn't been a world-breaking event that changes the very nature of the setting. By comparison to other settings, the Realms had the Time of Troubles and the Spellplague (and a million other things), Greyhawk had the Greyhawk Wars, Dark Sun had the Prism Pentad, and so on. If Golarion gets a future update, people can replace names of rulers or certain settlements easily enough, but they thankfully won't have to redraft an entire pantheon of gods or change the very nature of the setting itself.

I guess the question is how deep the canonical changes you want are.

Do they have to be centered around the adventure paths? For example, if the novels were made canon but not the adventure paths, would that satisfy folks?

There's also the fact that Shattered Star, and to a lesser extent Jade Regent, do have an advance in continuity, with some adventure path outcomes assumed (admittedly, with ways to get around those assumptions if you didn't play that way). If that's what folks are looking for, it might be a good idea to voice your support for Shatter Star if you haven't already done so.

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While it's all well and good to say that a GM can ignore canon here and there, I think it really depends on how Paizo implements future canon. If newly printed products assume certain things and then build off those assumptions, those products become less useful as purchases.

Example: The Forgotten Realms Time of Troubles. Big event, lots of people didn't like it. There's the whole line of, "You can just say that in your Realms it didn't happen." Except throughout the life of the 2nd edition Realms, the Time of Troubles was not only assumed to have happened, but major parts of adventures, supplements, and novels were build around that assumption. If you didn't want the Realms to have suffered through the Time of Troubles, then you had no reason to buy a large number of products in the 2nd edition era.

Anybody can say, "Events X and Y did/didn't happen in my setting." Paizo's challenge if they were to advance the canon based on possible endings to the Adventure Paths is that future products based on those assumptions become less useful to certain groups. If they ever did advance the timeline, they would have to be careful to do so in a way that doesn't invalidate future products for those who aren't following or which makes an advance that is so popular that the number of new people coming on board outweighs those who might jump ship.

Stefan Hill wrote:
Is it any worse than having to be a Wizard to cast spells from a spellbook?

Just a guess, but I'm going to bet that A LOT more players find casting spells cooler than picking locks.

For games that have a heavy lock-picking/trap-finding/problem-solving element to them, the traditional thief class doesn't need to be made more interesting. The question is how many people actually find those elements interesting. I'm betting the shift from the thief to the rogue in the last couple of editions has a lot to do with the average style of play more than an orchestrated attempt to make every class combat-oriented.

Remember that the thief class wasn't even in the original game until the first supplement got released. Originally anybody could try to pick a lock, find a trap, or move silently. The thief emerged because the game was very focused on dungeon-crawling and avoiding hazards. Old modules were maybe about 50% or more checking for traps and searching for secret doors. While that's still a popular style of play, the game has changed to become more action-oriented and less hazard-focused.

Unless the next edition is going to go back to the slower-paced exploration style of dungeoneering, it's probably best to give the rogue something else to do that is going to mesh with what most players will want.

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