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Alurad Sorizan

David Bowles's page

FullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 2,838 posts. 3 reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 9 Pathfinder Society characters.


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Silver Crusade **

Thanks!

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At 7th level, war drummers get craft magic arms and armor instead of lore master. What do they get in PFS?

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", but that would be disingenuous and doesn't really fit my experience, though it comes closer than the reverse. "

It would also be the Stormwind Fallacy, but I see you corrected yourself.

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Hitdice wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Digitalelf wrote:
Just sayin'
If your GM is throwing you into the Mana Wastes or facing you against cabals of beholders, that's introducing AMFs through fiat.
As much as I hate to seem even for a moment like I'm in agreement with David Bowles, if you extend GM fiat that far, then the mere fact that an adventure happens is GM fiat.
How is it GM fiat when an enemy caster legitimately casts it? It's clear that my games run very, very differently than many of the posters on here. It's almost impossible to compare home brew situations, though.
Doesn't the GM decide what "legitimately" means?

Not exactly. Putting the PCs in a room or area with an AMF is arbitrary. But having an NPC of X caster level that can cast the spell is a more legitimate way of fielding the spell. The enemy caster can be disabled, etc, whereas an area effect can not.

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I suspect 5th has some form of WBL as well, or everything is just that nerfed. I did look at the DMG, and even for a level 30 monster, the recommended AC was 19. So maybe things are just that nerfed.

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Kthulhu wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Digitalelf wrote:
Just sayin'
If your GM is throwing you into the Mana Wastes or facing you against cabals of beholders, that's introducing AMFs through fiat.
As much as I hate to seem even for a moment like I'm in agreement with David Bowles, if you extend GM fiat that far, then the mere fact that an adventure happens is GM fiat.

How is it GM fiat when an enemy caster legitimately casts it? It's clear that my games run very, very differently than many of the posters on here. It's almost impossible to compare home brew situations, though.

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Alan_Beven wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
In my homebrew especially, cloaks (or whatever slot I want) of resistance +5 become commonplace for enemies eventually.
And in my homebrew a +5 item would be an epic thing, rare as hens teeth, with an extensive backstory and deep ties to the campaign world. Not a parlour trick to challenge PCs.

To each their own. A 25K item is not really epic at all, though.

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I think it becomes more and more true as you go up in levels. Casters actually lose the ability to do direct damage more and more as enemy defenses improve, as HD scale non-linearly with PC level. In my homebrew especially, cloaks (or whatever slot I want) of resistance +5 become commonplace for enemies eventually.

Yeah, you can summon, but the summons have crappy to hit numbers, or you can try to dominate, but that is also a crap shoot.

Also, one anti-magic field and all your casters have a sad face indeed.

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Kthulhu wrote:
If you're playing a high level caster and you're focusing on DAMAGE, the YOU are the one who isn't gaming it out well.

It's hard to win without damage, therefore, martials are needed.

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You aren't gaming it out well. Those spells really lose efficacy once opponents have a combination of SR, elemental resistance, and awesome saves. If you try to direct damage high level opponents to death, you will lose. You can try to summon your way out of it, but summons don't have the to hit values anywhere near good martials. A good archer can outdamage any caster in the game against single targets. And that target gets no SR, no saves, no nothing. Thanks to clustered shots, they just eat nearly all the damage with no recourse.

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Kthulhu wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Use magic from mage, and just make up the rest. It would be easy peasy. Or take stuff from Exalted, too.

Magic from Mage, especially in a fantasy world without Paradox to worry about, would be incredibly powerful. From the start. What do you give martials to boost them to similar levels?

Or you could play an all Mage game, which would be easier, but isn't everyone's cup of tea.

Maybe Exalted would help, but I'm not familiar enough with that.

Well, as much as he's been hyping Pathfinder, and his concerns about wizards being underpowered in 5e, I would have to imagine that non-spellcasters are pretty much an afterthought for him.

Spell casters need martial support in PF or they will fail spectacularly. Spell casters ironically kinda stink at causing damage at high levels.

I was actually more concerned about clerics than wizards. They might have kept wizards damage high, but they destroyed many, many modes of play. Including all the ones I like.

For the record, I have more martial PCs than casters.

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thejeff wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
Storyteller could be used for fantasy. It's extremely adaptable, actually, because of its simplicity.

Is there actually a published fantasy Storyteller system? Or anything generic with guidelines to develop one?

I'm really only familiar with some of OWoD games (Vampire/Werewolf/Mage) and it doesn't seem that simple to adapt to me. The differences between those systems are extreme, even though the basic mechanic is the same.

You'd need to come up with a magic system, unless you're going to steal that from Mage, and then you'll have to come up with some wild powers to match the power level.

Use magic from mage, and just make up the rest. It would be easy peasy. Or take stuff from Exalted, too.

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Kthulhu wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
GMs should prepare and casters should know their spells. That's common courtesy. I imagine there is GM prep even for 5th. Maybe not, though. To me, prepping is the fun part of GMing.

That's funny, because a few pages back you seemed to imply that D&D, no matter the edition, is a game where the GM just wings it.

EDIT: Sorry, I seem to have misremembered. That was sunshadow21:

sunshadow21 wrote:
Most systems, though, require that the DM does most of that work before the players are even invited to play in the campaign. D&D is one of the few that allows a DM to start from scratch after the players have already sat down with their dice, and that is both it's biggest strength and biggest weakness.

I make NPCs before hand, but usually end up winging what they actually do in the game. Obviously, mindless or stupid NPCs don't adapt as well.

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memorax wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
People proficient with 3.X don't have to bend over to make it work. Speed and ease of play only get you so far.

You kind of do actually at mid to higher levels imo. A cheat sheet is almost mandatory imo. As most modifiers don't stack. So if I cast a spell that provides a morale bonus. The cleric with Nobility as a domain can't use his Inspiring Word domain ability as they don't stack. Then their is the various modifiers from spells and items one needs to keep track off. As again similar bonuses don't stack. Take a look at the description for Haste as a spell it's not a lot but enough to remember.

The game slows down when players who use casters don't know their spells. Flipping through the core and various books the delays do add up. One had the same problem in previous edition as well. Not so much as in third edition/PF. Even as a dm having tio flip through books to find out what feat XYZ does slows the game down. Trying running a game frm level 1-20 with players and a dm who does not prepare ahead of time and tell me how fast it goes.

GMs should prepare and casters should know their spells. That's common courtesy. I imagine there is GM prep even for 5th. Maybe not, though. To me, prepping is the fun part of GMing.

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thejeff wrote:
memorax wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Some certainly will shift over. Others will stay. Unlike shifts from AD&D->2E or 2E->3.0 or 3.5->PF or 4E, PF isn't going away. Support won't be drying up, so I doubt games will be either. Certainly less so than with previous shifts.

Support for 4E is done though. It'll be interesting to see what happens with its fans. Move on to 5E? Switch to a 3rd part clone? (13th Age is something of a 4E clone, right?)

I think you maybe surprised. The attitudes of gamers have changed imo. gone are the days where a player will bend over backwards to make a rpg system work. They find one that is fast, easy and with relatively small amount of flaws and stay with that. It's the reason why Hero System despite being one of the more complete and flexiable generic rpgs on the market has lot much of it's market share. With Fate, Savage Worlds that while not as comprehensive are much faster and easier to play and run. Gamers with more than one choice of rpg just don't want to put with issues within rpgs imo. It's not just the younger generation as well. When the hobby stops becoming fun and feels like a job most take a hard look at the rpgs they run and play and switch accordingly.

I'm not sure those days ever existed. There have always been many options and the marketshare has always mostly gone to a couple.

But I'm not suggesting people will stick with PF despite it not being fun. I'm suggesting there are a lot of people who find PF fun. Who enjoy all the options and all the complexity. Who really like the build game aspect of it. 3.x/PF was and is extremely popular. It's not just that it was the only choice and people couldn't find anything else and it never was.
4E was simpler than PF and an obvious option. Far more obvious for switching, especially at first. That didn't keep PF from becoming popular. I don't think 5E is going to kill PF.

5th's organized play rules are quite poor, imo. That's a big obstacle to killing off PF, even if they capture over half the market share.

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"Their is no CR limits in 2E"

There are only CR limits in PFS, not PF homebrew. I don't use the CR system at all when I run, because I can do math on my own.

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People proficient with 3.X don't have to bend over to make it work. Speed and ease of play only get you so far.

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Adjule wrote:

If you can stand the Storyteller system. I personally can't. All I ever found for it is emo angsty wanna-be goth Vampire games. Maybe if I was still in my early 20s I might like it more. I am just not into the horror genre, and that's all there seems to be with Storyteller games. It's also why I hate Ravenloft and Ustalav.

I just vastly prefer the heroic fantasy sword and sorcery type games. 5th edition feels great, and plays great. To me. You feel the same about Pathfinder, and I disagree. To me Pathfinder has gotten clunky. Paizo is a great company, and makes some pretty good adventures. I just can't play Pathfinder anymore due to the players that I have come across.

I hope Paizo keeps up the good work, whether I like the system or not. They seem like awesome people and I want them to keep their jobs. But I am just done with Pathfinder.

Why am I still on their forums? Because their forums are vastly superior to WotC's forums.

Storyteller could be used for fantasy. It's extremely adaptable, actually, because of its simplicity.

As I said, basically taking buffs out as a viable caster strategy is a deal breaker for me.

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memorax wrote:

I'm not sure what you mean by that David. Your a very confusing poster. D&D whatever it's version has always had a D&D feel to it. From the boxed sets to 5E. There have always been D&Disms imo. Vancian casting in one form or another. Caster who can't wear armor. Druids being nature lovers. The list goes on. Third edition simply removed many of the onetruwayism of 2E. Only humans allowed to go any level. demi-humans with level limits. Proficiences and non-proficinces. Which they just renamed into class skill anyway. While 3E and later D&D has more flexibility it still very much has its elements of D&D.

If that bothers you maybe another fantasy rpg is in order imo. Every game has it's unique elements. If as a player one is used to just charging into battle I don't recommend either Earthdawn or Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. It's easy to die in those rpgs imo.

3.X feels a lot different to me than 1st and 2nd. Mechanically speaking. I guess there would be an inevitable backlash against 3.X, and 5th is it. To be honest, I was hoping that 5th would have been a true alternative to PF, because I agree some of it is clunky. But I'm not willing to throw out 80% of the game to get rid of a few things that annoy me. It's the exact same reason I didn't play 4th, even though I kind of respected what it was trying to do.

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I guess my problem really is that I hated 1st and 2nd ed DnD. I don't want a DnD feel. I couldn't dump that game fast enough when I found alternative systems. For a simpler game, Storyteller is far superior than any iteration of DnD.

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Adjule wrote:
They didn't need to throw players like you a bone. You have Pathfinder to play with. That wasn't their target.

Maybe something in between would have hit an even broader target base. Essentially removing buffs was a huge change.

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I don't think I ever said 5th is "wrong", just gutted, simplistic, and more arbitrary vs formulaic. People have made it very clear that they like the simplicity, whereas I like formulas.

I personally think they could have done a much better job of dropping some clunky things, but not stripping it down as much as they did. For example, I love buffs, and what they did with them, to me, is horrible. They could have thrown players like me a bone, but they didn't. Full-on gutting mode.

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I like building things in an orderly manner. I like Civ 5, I like construction games, I like building. That's why I like the 3.X system.

Because 5th stripped out so many defined parts of the game, there are less choices to build with. That's all I'm saying.

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Diffan wrote:

Creature abilities in 4E and D&D:Next sort of replace the need for feats IMO. An Orc doesn't need Power Attack, he could simply have a line that says "-5 to Attack, add an additional +10 to the damage roll" or to illustrate Lightning Reflexes "The Orc has advantage when making Dexterity saving throws."

An endless list of feats based on HD isn't required (and good riddance).

Except for those of us who find "advantage" and "disadvantage" limiting and boring as watching paint dry. The Ork needs power attack so the effect of it scales with the BAB of the Ork.

Monsters built like PCs level the playing field for both the players and GM. It also gives the GM opportunity to build some really cool mosnters!

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Monster feats are awesome. Especially when it is step up and strike :)

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With that many goblins, you would have troops of goblins, which don't even roll to hit.

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Alan_Beven wrote:
David Bowles wrote:

I really don't understand the campaigns the posters are playing in. My combats rarely end in two rounds and I have seen many many blown SR rolls in my time. I'm beginning to think we don't even have a common frame of reference on pathfinder.

Well here is a link to me asking the Paizo creative director about the very thing a couple years back: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2l7ns&page=318?Ask-James-Jacobs-ALL-your-Qu estions-Here#15876

Seems that it has happened for a few of us.

Evidently. It happens to me in PFS in groups with optimized PCs, but not at all in homebrews. Totally different experience.

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Laurefindel wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
I'm mostly dismayed at how much play testing and development went into 5th and that the final result is so underwhelming.

David, stating your opinion is one thing, trolling is another... please cut it out.

There's a fine line, isn't there?

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I really don't understand the campaigns the posters are playing in. My combats rarely end in two rounds and I have seen many many blown SR rolls in my time. I'm beginning to think we don't even have a common frame of reference on pathfinder.

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Matthew Koelbl wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
Matthew Koelbl wrote:
The 5E Monster Manual? Out of curiousity, what exactly do you find boring about it? What do you feel has been stripped out of the game?

They have stripped out a lot of variety of monster abilities. Most monster powers I read give advantage or disadvantage. That's just boring to me. I know that others will think its great.

Monsters can't even be built with power attack as far as I can tell. It's just...meh.

Ah, it sounds like it isn't the monsters themselves that you are as concerned with, but the rules for customizing monsters. (Whether that is via templates, advancement, levels, or selecting feats/skills/etc.)

I can understand that. I'm say that isn't really a weakness of the Monster Manual itself, though - I'm used to that sort of thing being in the DMG, and it sounds like that is the same case in 5E. Now, how well the customization compares to what you are used to, I'm not yet able to judge, and can understand preferring the codified 3.5 / PF approach over a more freeform version like 4E. (And I get the sense that 5E errs more in that direction, from what I've heard of the DMG thus far.)

I was just surprised since the Monster Manual itself seems quite robust in terms of the monsters and their abilities. I'm not sure what 'variety of monster abilities' might be missing, but if that was a generic reference to them not having feats, I guess I see what you are missing.

SR went from shutting down spells to giving "advantage" on saving throws. Another gutted ability in 5th.

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Blazej wrote:
thenovalord wrote:
on the other hand, to those of who use it, its drips with flavour, ideas and great art. Gone is the ridiculous superhero art of PF

I was going to comment on how I liked the Monster Manual like many of the monsters that I wouldn't have expected to be in a primary Monster Manual, how I enjoy the way many of the powers were built (that aren't just advantage or disadvantage) like the medusa's gaze or how goblins are naturally good at running and hiding with a small bit, but I stopped after seeing this.

Pen & Paper RPGs, where one can't exclaim their love for one game without taking a shot at another.

I'm mostly dismayed at how much play testing and development went into 5th and that the final result is so underwhelming.

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Kthulhu wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
Monsters can't even be built with power attack as far as I can tell. It's just...meh.
Since monsters aren't limited to being built the same way as PCs, you don't need to give them power attack. You can just increase the damage they inflict.

But they didn't do that either. Most of the monsters I looked at hit like pansies. I guess the monsters got hit with the same nerf bat that was taken to everything in the game.

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Undone wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
Druid before summoner. They can put out more creatures.
Excluding superior summons I have less of a problem with druid because the problem with the summoner is it's spell list (L2 haste) and the edilon being stronger than an animal.

Except that druids can summon in even more creatures with an active animal companion, and most summoners can not do the same with the eidolon active.

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Matthew Koelbl wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
One could have differentiated without stripping out 80% of the game. The Monster Manual is just a tragedy in how boring it is.
The 5E Monster Manual? Out of curiousity, what exactly do you find boring about it? What do you feel has been stripped out of the game?

They have stripped out a lot of variety of monster abilities. Most monster powers I read give advantage or disadvantage. That's just boring to me. I know that others will think its great.

Monsters can't even be built with power attack as far as I can tell. It's just...meh.

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Druid before summoner. They can put out more creatures.

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The Rot Grub wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

It certainly seems to me that 5E was designed to cater to the old school game players rather than the pathfinder players. As such, it's no surprise to me that it's skewed more heavily to the DM-fiat end of the spectrum, rather than the clear-codified-rules-for-everything end of the spectrum.

I think there's a correlation between whether one prefers Pathfinder or prefers the older style of game and where one thinks the 'power' should sit between player and DM.

By necessity, D&D 5E had to differentiate from Pathfinder. It was never going to win back the adherents to the edition they had abandoned.

From a microeconomics perspective, it makes sense. Different people like different things. The idea of winning an argument over which is "better" is too trifling for me to get stressed over.

As someone who prefers Pathfinder, I am looking forward to Pathfinder Unchained because I want to preserve all the stuff I like about Pathfinder but pick and choose rules modules that preempt the Christmas Tree Effect, make running it a little easier, etc.

One could have differentiated without stripping out 80% of the game. The Monster Manual is just a tragedy in how boring it is.

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Adjule wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:
sunshadow21 wrote:
Alan_Beven wrote:
@sunshadow21 agree with your points that most games share responsibility between players and GM. I like that a lot. My point was that those systems do not remove the GM from the equation entirely, and most encourage and allow the GM to engage in world and campaign building by limiting player options to those that make sense to the campaign. Which to my mind is the only approach that makes any real sense.

Most systems, though, require that the DM does most of that work before the players are even invited to play in the campaign. D&D is one of the few that allows a DM to start from scratch after the players have already sat down with their dice, and that is both it's biggest strength and biggest weakness. Once others are involved, DMs have to be willing to give up some (not all, but some) of their creative freedom and power in order for the others to feel at least somewhat engaged, and D&D not only does not encourage this, it does not even particularly facilitate it.

Some of the best games I've been in have been D&D, because of the freedom and lack of limits, but all of the worst ones I've been in have been non-3.x D&D, for exactly the same reason. That's a big reason why 4E struggled, and I can see it being a problem for 5E as well. With the right group, 5E could be a lot of fun, but it will be very easy for a lot of people to have one bad experience that makes them refuse to even think about trying it again. It's going to be far too easy for a DM to make 5E a DM's game with the players just along for the ride; 4E had that exact same problem, and not only did they repeat it, but they amplified it. That amplification, along with a very limited release schedule for support, is going to be a major challenge. This isn't 1980 anymore; players have enough other options for entertainment, not only in the tabletop game market, but overall, that a game that flat out glorifies the role of the DM while actively limiting what

...

No players, no game. There's always Starcraft, too.

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thejeff wrote:
goldomark wrote:
Pathfinder 2.0 or 1.5? If there is anything that was learn in the last 14 years is that compatibility and continuity help when there is an edition change.
Which is why the change from 2E to 3.0 was such a disaster.

There was nothing disastrous about throwing off the shackles of 2nd ed. I gratefully trash canned all my 2nd ed stuff. I hadn't used it since 1994 anyway when 3rd ed came out.

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HERO system is so good for creativity. I really miss playing it. For whatever reason, the GMs I had for that game were much more fun and easygoing than DnD GMs.

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2 people marked this as a favorite.
Logan1138 wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
I guess I have been unlucky in my history of GMs. I find that more jaded players have a tendency to prefer crunchier systems. I am one of those players I suppose.

You have my sympathy (no snark or sarcasm here, btw). I played with my good friends and our DM was never "out to get us" so I only have positive experiences, thus I do not have the same concerns over DM control.

In the old days of gaming (70's-90's) I think people mostly just gamed with their friends (except for the occasional convention game) and this issue with overbearing DM's wasn't as much of a problem. The advent of organized play which sets a bunch of strangers at a table together probably necessitated the massive codification of rules and giving greater authority to the players.

I knew some fine people that became controlling jerks as soon as they put on their "DM" hat. Controlling and playing favorites. The two horsemen of the roleplaying apocalypse.

The whole DM thing is one of the reasons why I prefer wargaming to roleplaying.

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I guess I have been unlucky in my history of GMs. I find that more jaded players have a tendency to prefer crunchier systems. I am one of those players I suppose.

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Legendary equipment has to come from somewhere. That's why I won't play in systems that don't have reasonable item creation rules.

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Good 'ol Gygax. I do so wish this hobby was invented by someone else.

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Not just the martials.

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Sorry that the iPad can't store simple pdfs, then. What good are they then?

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Just load them on the tablet itself on an SD card.

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The way is deal with that is be friendly and not adversarial as the GM. I frequently laugh along with my players at the some of the absurdly easy fights from early seasons and I don't care if my NPCs get crushed. Interestingly, players have been less interested in crushing NPCs since I have displayed no concern for it.

I also try to rule in the player's favor whenever it's possible. If the players know that I'm not going to try to "get them", then they are less likely to bring their 150 DPR PCs.

Lastly, I encourage solid builds, but try to steer players away from overpowering builds. If everyone is solid, then almost every scenario runs just fine.

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The technologist feat, for what it's worth, only lets you use items you find during an adventure and roll knowledge on robots. The only knowledge you really need for robots is swinging adamantine.

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sunshadow21 wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
I personally find items that merely make an existing number bigger to be absolutely the most boring items in the entire catalog of Magic items. Even (and especially) the vaunted "Big Six".

So do I personally, but the "Big Six" became that way for a reason. A lot of people like them, and like them a lot, in large part because the results aren't reliant on the DM; the players know exactly what they are getting and what they can do with it. Just like with the limited spell slots above 6th, it's going to be hard to convince people that more utility or plot driven magic items are going to be a fun replacement. The only way that will truly happen will be when DMs loosen up the process of acquiring and using magic and magic items without wondering when the DM is going to pull the rug out from under them.

This is one area that DMs need to retain a certain amount of control, but sharing it with the players is essential at the same time. As a player, I don't want my character's development to be limited to items and powers that the DM may or may not decide to allow or make accessible. The DM already controls the world and the response in the world to anything that the character does; limiting character development directly by limiting magic and magic items that much is not going to appeal to a great many players.

When DMs start wanting that much control, I'd rather go read a novel.

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Kthulhu wrote:
I personally find items that merely make an existing number bigger to be absolutely the most boring items in the entire catalog of Magic items. Even (and especially) the vaunted "Big Six".

Making saves or hitting your opponent is never boring to me.

"Amulet of natural armour "

I have long since dumped this for a swarmbane clasp. The armor class isn't worth it.

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