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Charlie Brooks's page

RPG Superstar 2013 Star Voter. Pathfinder Society Member. 420 posts. 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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While fiddling around with a design of my own, I put a "healing items" box next to hit points, which seemed like a really good idea. I'd like to see that incorporated into more character sheets.

Also, any sheet that doesn't have space for a character portrait or symbol is dead to me.


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.

Thoughts?


Impressive, but not too surprising. I see no reason why both Pathfinder and D&D can't have lots of success.


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137ben wrote:

Nice interview.

Now, I'm curious how all the people who think spellcasters are perfectly balanced in 3e will rationalize away Johnathon Tweet as not a "real" D&D player.

I guess one could simply accept that different people have different experiences with the game.


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MMCJawa wrote:
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.


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Kagehiro wrote:
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.

Quote:
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.


Arkady Zelenka wrote:
I'm not sure if there is one that exists but I'm going to try this one out over the weekend. I got the visual of what you described and I can't wait to use it against my pcs as a test run. Cheers.

Please let me know how it is received in actual play.


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:

Hypothetical:

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?


The art on these iconics is great. First Jirelle, and now this guy looks even better.


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.


Just wanna pop in here and say I love this art. Best looking iconic I've seen so far.


MMCJawa wrote:
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.

Quote:
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.


MMCJawa wrote:
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.


The article sounds very much like WotC will have something akin to Paizo's community use policy, but not the style of OGL that encourages a lot of 3rd party support from publishers.

At least that's my take on it.


Matt Thomason wrote:


If it was a "hey, we just threw out the old rules and designed a brand new game from scratch, only reusing the old name to fool you into thinking it's the same thing, which means you'll have to buy a new version of every single book we ever published just to have the same features in this one as you did before. Oh, and obviously this will be no better than previous versions because in a few years we'll realize it was just as broken as all the other versions and needs redoing all over again.", then yeah, that'd be me out too. I'm interested in playing and buying material for this game, not in starting over with a brand new one. If I actually want a new game, I'll look for a new game, I don't appreciate having that decision made for me by a publisher tearing the ongoing support for my current game out from under me.

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.


Artanthos wrote:

We could go with your suggestion and change the DR of paladins and good aligned outsiders to /good.

We should also change the DR of evil aligned outsiders to /evil, making them resistant to paladins.

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.


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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.


Council of Thieves has a huge role-playing set piece in Book Two. Books Three, Four, and Five are fairly combat-oriented, but Book Six has a lot of freeform stuff going on and plenty of role-playing opportunities.


Whatever happens, I want more Revisited books. Those are what got me into Pathfinder, and they are auto-buys. I was very disappointed that there were none on the release schedule for this year.


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I don't really care all that much, but I'd kind of like to see at least one of the core books that focuses on exploration rather than combat (ie, 1st edition AD&D Player's Handbook).


I'd like more focus on creatures from the Material Plane that have prime-based ecologies.

I'd like to see something that can fit doppelgangers in, for one. Maybe Shapechangers Revisited?


You know, I'm running a 14th-level game and I've had to redesign my adventures a little bit because the spellcaster is feeling useless. With so many creatures having spell resistance or energy resistance, she's run into situations where she feels useless in combat.

Now granted, she's a blaster character, which I understand isn't the game-breaking type of spellcaster people often bring up, but I imagine that most people who play sorcerers are looking to toss around fire and lightning.


You could play him as somebody who can understand books and lore perfectly well, but who sees human nature as too unpredictable to really comprehend. You know logically what people should be thinking/feeling in a given situation and are consistently surprised when they behave counter to good logic.

The type of guy who sees a girl he likes, and rather than trusting himself to court her naturally, reads a bunch of love sonnets and quotes them precisely, not realizing that there's a certain je ne said quoi behind it all that he's not getting.


I will probably be the only one to recommend this, but I really like Council of Thieves. It's an urban-based campaign, which offers a lot of cool options.


Here's some idle thoughts of mine that are based on my own preference and gaming style, which sometimes clashes with the assumptions of Pathfinder...so take them with a grain of salt:

-Let the PCs stomp through lower-level battles once in a while. It allows them to show off their prowess compared to the rest of the world, and it makes for some nice contrast when the PCs face something that will truly challenge them.

-Give cheat sheets. A one- or two-page document that lists common tactics and powers in plain English can be really helpful.

-Losing doesn't always mean dying. The PCs are tough to kill at these levels. Important NPCs, home towns, and other things dear to them are not. Putting those at risk can be as entertaining as making the PCs fight for their lives.

-Don't block high-level powers too often. You can design a place that is teleport-proof once or twice, but it gets really irritating when every encounter neutralizes those powers. If you don't want the PCs to use a spell or ability, don't let them have it in the first place.


GreyWolfLord wrote:
For kids I'll use C&C stuff before I'd use PAIZO stuff. I may be liberal in some areas, but when it comes to kids...the stuff in the APs tend to be too adult in their presentation anyways.

While I agree that Pathfinder tends to skew older, I don't think there's a ton of stuff out there that I wouldn't run for somebody in their teens. I'd probably avoid stuff like Hook Mountain Massacre, but most of the adventure path line seems mature but not over the top.

But the whole "Is this for kids?" discussion distracts from my main point anyway, which is that this kind of art is a turnoff for a potential adult audience. RPGs often get categorized as a hobby that caters toward sexually frustrated teens, and certain pieces of art feed that perception. A sexy lady can still be sexy without looking like she's about to give a lap dance.


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GreyWolfLord wrote:
So overall, yes, I think they see it as sexualized, but they've also come to expect such stuff in gaming, and it's no more worse than what Hollywood already does.

I agree that it's not out of line with most gaming products. However, I don't think, "those other guys do it, too" is a very good defense.

I personally love sexy ladies, and if the products were only written for me they'd have a lot more scantily clad women in them. However, I do think that changing the art culture some would be good for the hobby and help get other people into gaming.

I ran a course where I used the basics of the Pathfinder RPG to teach role-playing to kids. The only two concerns I got from any adults about the course were the use of violence, which I was easily able to mitigate by focusing on problem-solving and using constructs rather than living opponents, and the depiction of women in the art. They weren't huge concerns, but there were comments such as, "It's a shame all the women are so sexualized."

I don't think that type of stuff is a huge barrier, but I don't think that making women more realistic in the art would turn existing gamers off, either. I think an evolution in art styles would be a good thing for the industry as a whole. Paizo's already worlds ahead of most publishers in this regard, but there are still ways to improve.


My favorite books from Paizo have been the Monster Revisited books, and I'm sad to see that those seem to have tapered off these days. If this book can scratch my monster ecology itch, I will definitely buy it.


The homebrew I've used since AD&D 2nd edition.

However, my current campaign setting is starting to look a lot like Golarion thanks to all the Pathfinder modules I run.


Forgive my naievete, but why is a pirate crew with a significant number of women unrealistic?


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1) Women being on a lower rung of the social ladder in the real world is a combination of different influences that don't necessarily exist in the same way in a fantasy setting.

2) I imagine that a lot of groups aren't really interested in adding that stuff to their games.

3) I have a hard time understanding why anthropomorphic fish people doesn't hurt suspension of disbelief but women being treated with respect in most societies is too unbelievable.


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Maybe it's just the folks I play with, but I've never experienced ability scores rendering a character totally dominant or useless. In my experience, class abilities make a bigger difference.


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thejeff wrote:
If you're friendly and diplomatic you can get and keep all of them friendly and they'll pretty much listen to you and do what you want. If you basically blow them off and ignore them, they're not going to be friendly and will just be a PITA.

I think it's worth noting that they don't even get into the prolonged PITA category.

Volume 1 Spoilers:
Each NPC has a Diplomacy DC and starting attitude listed. If the PCs do blow off the NPCs or tell them to go shove it, that moves their attitude to unfriendly or hostile. At hostile, they go off on their own (possibly getting killed at the GM's discretion).

So if the PCs repeatedly tell Anevia they don't want to go find her wife or put Horgus in his place, the module as written states that said NPCs will just sneak off and leave the group.


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thenovalord wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:

Player: "So, what should we do next, guys?"

GM through NPC: "Why don't you investigate those cultist locations we found out about when you captured those notes?"

Player: "Stop having the NPCs boss us around!"

You know that's not the issue and nobody is saying your example is wrong...

GM as npc: why don't you investigate cultists etc

Player: ok. In 3 days when we are prepared

GM as npc: no you have to do it today, the mod says that is the best time. I will accompany you

Player: actually we prefer to do this our way, without outside help

GM: but the mod says so (if this guy doesn't go with you he won't discover xyz......

It's this sort of thing that is bad.....

I don't know how prevalent this style of GMing is, but I see an issue if the GM is acting as though his hands are tied by what the module says. Maybe the adventure paths need to occasionally remind GMs about the, "This is your game" rule from the Core Rulebook.


I do think there are some issues with the NPCs, but not because they're written to take over the game.

Instead, I think having all those NPCs adds more work for the GM, which can cause the game to drag.

I compare it to a clunky combat encounter. Rather than say, "There shouldn't be combat encounters in the adventure paths," I'd rather see those flaws ironed out in the future.

Similarly, I'd like to see Paizo continue to tweak and improve the NPCs/role-playing parts of the adventure paths. I think Wrath of the Righteous is an improvement over Jade Regent in this regard, and I expect future adventure paths to continue improving on this.


Auxmaulous wrote:
Charlie Brooks wrote:


I'll just state that I interpreted the adventure notes dramatically differently than your GM did. Yes, there are a couple of places where the NPCs talk amongst themselves, but not a ton that I recall, and I definitely didn't interpret them as that bossy or overbearing.

before....

Charlie Brooks wrote:
You've mentioned the Wrath of the Righteous NPCs, but I'm not seeing it.

Two different issues. The NPCs talking to each other does not equal the NPCs taking over the game (unless the GM chooses to have those conversations run on). And again, it's very easy to just cut those conversations. None of them are plot-essential.

In other words, I still fail to see how the NPCs in Wrath of the Righteous are stealing the PCs' thunder.

Minor Wrath spoilers:
If anything, the first book runs the risk of being a babysitting quest since they are crippled. Beyond that, the PCs have mythic power and the NPCs don't, so it's very difficult for any of them to overshadow the PCs.

Quote:
Charlie Brooks wrote:
I imagine that the heavy-handedness of the NPCs depends largely on how the GM interprets the text

Bolded yet again.

Seeing quite a bit of "blame the DM/stupid DM" in many of these responses. Makes sense why people would want to avoid this echo chamber.

I'm not suggesting a "blame the GM" attitude. But it is worth noting that the GM has control over how long those conversations go on or even whether they're role-played out or just summarized.

Following the cues in the first book of Wrath of the Righteous, I ended up having two instances where the NPCs talked to each other. Neither lasted more than a minute, and both involved PC interaction as well. Had there been no interest in the conversation, I could just as easily have cut the scene down to, "Horgus says something to Anevia and she flips out at him."

That's the power of a GM. It doesn't mean that a GM who lets those scenes run on is a bad GM or anything of the sort. It does mean that those scenes are very much open to interpretation. There is no boxed text that has the NPCs talking and no script to follow. How far those scenes run on is up to the GM and, to a lesser extent, the PCs.

The exact preferences in this vary from table to table. If you want to argue that the adventure didn't give the GM enough instruction, that's another matter. But, having both read and run this adventure, I can tell you that there is no point in the text that really pushes for a long scene where the NPCs talk to each other and the players just watch.

Quote:

What’s the tally? :

-Bad GM/DM is the cause

Not what I'm trying to imply. I'm saying I interpreted the text differently, and my run-through of the game went much more smoothly. There are plenty of times that I've misread an adventure or interpreted in a way that became an issue in my gaming group, and I like to think that doesn't make me a bad GM.

Quote:
-Poor reading comprehension

Also not what I was implying. Text can be interpreted in many different ways. My interpretation was extremely different than the interpretation of the GM in question.

Quote:

-Implied Homophobia/bigotry

-Bad guy NPC write-ups are important TOO! (yet no one was arguing against that)
-You must be a computer gamer/mmo fan
-Rollplayer vs. Roleplayer

I'm going to assume these are in response to something somebody else said, or else there is a major communication breakdown between you and I.


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GreyWolfLord wrote:

However, since you request specifics...I'll go into light detail...

** spoiler omitted **...

I'll just state that I interpreted the adventure notes dramatically differently than your GM did. Yes, there are a couple of places where the NPCs talk amongst themselves, but not a ton that I recall, and I definitely didn't interpret them as that bossy or overbearing.

I imagine that the heavy-handedness of the NPCs depends largely on how the GM interprets the text, but I will also note that the adventure includes ways to reduce almost all of these longer interactions to a simple Diplomacy roll and that the forward of the adventure path emphasizes that while they're hoping to provide interesting NPCs, the PCs are supposed to get the limelight.


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Auxmaulous wrote:
Paizo's inclusion of a trans character/Ameiko/X NPC does not trump the fact that they are breaking one of the most important rules of adventure writing: The players should be the stars of the story - not an NPCs with a super-interesting background.

I'm still trying to figure out which of the NPCs in which adventure paths are the "stars" of the story.

Again, I can see an argument for Ameiko in Jade Regent, even though she really isn't necessary for most of the adventure path and isn't even assumed to be going on the adventures with the PCs.

Other than that, I'd like to know who is being referred to here. You've mentioned the Wrath of the Righteous NPCs, but I'm not seeing it. In my GMing experience, the background write-ups were useful in determining personalities and interactions. Horgus's background was especially useful, since it turned what would have been a one-note jerk NPC into somebody that, even if the players didn't like, they could respect to a degree.

Now, do we need the two-page writeups on the NPCs? Not necessarily, but you could argue the same thing about the writeups on the cities of the adventure, on the gods that don't always have a direct influence on the adventure path, or even much of the descriptive text in the adventure itself.

I mean, jumping way back to Rise of the Runelords, one of the more memorable encounters in that adventure was a pair of goblin pickle thieves. There was a good chunk of text devoted to those pickle thieves that could have been reduced to, "2 Goblins, 6 hp each," but I for one appreciate the background. Maybe it shows up in the game, maybe it doesn't. In my opinion, the adventure paths are partly about giving an adventure but also partly about inspiring future adventures or ways to go off the beaten path. The NPC writeups are a part of that.

Quote:
Ally NPCs should not steal the thunder of the PCs, plain and simple. That's why all of them should have smaller write-ups to be expanded (or not) by the DM.

First, I don't think that emphasizing certain parts of your statement in bold is all that helpful. It's basically just the same as saying something louder, which doesn't make people inclined to agree and which doesn't work as well as providing evidence/examples to back up the claim.

Second, I again disagree with the suggestion that all the NPCs should have smaller write-ups. I've found the write-ups to be quite useful. Without them, there's a good chance that Anevia turns into a generic rogue who doesn't draw much interest from the players, and Horgus is a one-note jerk without much depth. Admittedly, I can take time fleshing out the NPCs that I want to emphasize (and I do), but an adventure path is supposed to make things easier on the GM. That includes giving some good ideas to expand upon and some interesting backgrounds to the NPCs.

In short, I will grant you that some people would prefer to see the NPC descriptions used for something else, but I disagree that they're useless to players and GMs. In my opinion, they're no more useless than the "Adventure Background" section at the start of a book or the "Continuing the Campaign" bit at the end of a path.

And I certainly don't agree that the NPCs are stealing the player's thunder, because I haven't seen any examples of them being presented as GMPCs/Mary Sues/whatever in the actual adventure. In fact, the notes in Wrath of the Righteous and Jade Regent both go out of their way to point out that the NPCs should not steal the PCs' thunder.


voska66 wrote:
It just comes off as the token gay couples and I find it kind of offensive actually. It's kind of hard to explain but it's like they are exploiting homosexuals. Like I'm part native and they used to do it in TV show with the token Indian way back the day. It comes off as stereotypical. Just reminds me of that.

While it may be hard to explain, I'd kind of like to hear the explanation (maybe in another thread), since I'm not entirely sure what you mean by this.


Mikaze wrote:
But how could anyone consider Ameiko a GMPC? She's been likable as hell all through our Jade Regent campai-

You totally won't find me complaining about Ameiko. The whole reason I did Jade Regent was because one of the PCs got a crush on Ameiko when I ran the first session of Rise of the Runelords, so I wound up jumping paths so she could get more time with the group.


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I think it would help if some examples were given of these plot-driving, order-giving, Mary Sue NPCs.

Really, there's only one NPC I can think of that can really be considered plot-essential in the Adventure Paths I've played. That would be Ameiko in Jade Regent, and even she can be written out by the end of Book One if desired.

As to the argument that there could be more adventure if there were fewer NPCs, you could make that same argument about the city descriptions, the magic items, the articles on gods, or the fiction in each volume. But the adventure paths have never been designed as 96-page adventure modules. They've always had that supplementary material, and I would argue that's a large part of their appeal.


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.

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