|Dennis Baker RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor|
Regardless of what you call the relationship, Reaper took people's money with the promise of future delivery of product. That's a customer relationship of some sort or another. As a customer who has prepaid for a product, there is an expectation of reasonable communication about delivery timing.
Being late is understandable. Communicating it terribly and in a mis-leading manner is far less so.
*I* find it amazing that all of that can be completely forgotten because some nerds have to wait an extra month for their freaking toys but then I have never been let down by the pettiness and vindictiveness of the 'typical gamer'.
I can't speak for everyone, but I think most people are more upset that we're 45 days into the process and only just now found out that there is a big delay in the works. People were openly speculating here, on KS, and on Reaper's forums about when their order would ship and Reaper reps just sat on their hands and let people assume their orders might be coming...
Wait a month for the miniature deal of a lifetime? Sure, NP. Just tell me about it. That's all. They knew back in early April the big minis were "on the slow boat" and many of the orders were going to be held up. They should have said something then rather than leave people hanging.
A two paragraph update takes about 10 minutes to pen and saves lots of frustration. One a week saves more.
As for pettiness and vindictiveness... I haven't seen much of that, just lots of frustrated people disappointed in some really bad communications.
I don't see anybody suggesting that.
When someone is complaining that their (in their words) sub-optimal character is struggling and they don't think that's right, what does that suggest to you?
To me, that suggests something somewhere below where typical PCs are. Maybe that's not what he meant. Maybe he meant "My typical character", but that's not the impression I get from the phrase "sub-optimal".
I don't see how you can have a system where it's challenging for a typical group and survivable for a "sub-optimal" group.
Similarly, when someone says "if the party is having it too easy/hard, do this." What is the point of this if not to help groups that aren't capable of completing the scenario?
This is actually what I think as well. In my eyes, the 'perfect' scenario is one that's filled with "Oh ****" moments where people think everything is going south, but in the end, everyone walks away. That's hugely difficult to achieve on a big scale though. You have a baseline expectation (CR) and groups that exceed that find it easy and groups that fall short get pounded.
Edit: You, by the way, are among some of the best when it comes to striking the balance between story and challenge. Don't alter what you are doing.
Hey thanks for the compliment! I try. If you like my scenarios, there is another coming... soon. I think it was outed on the Know Direction interview.
Christopher Rowe wrote:
Pretty much this. There's no reason to try and pin down a laundry list of specifics.
Don't do something to another person's PC unless they are cool with it.
My suggestion for players playing down is to give them the option to play for 0/0/0. They would get any boons and access to any items on the chronicle, but they would get no experience, no gold, and no prestige.
(let me re-iterate the word "Option")
This way players who do wind up playing down don't fall behind on the wealth curve. Essentially they are just playing for whatever boons might be on the chronicle.
Its unlikely consumables will be a big issue because they are playing a lower tier scenario.
I tend to run a few specific scenarios (it's easy to figure out which) over and over, but I just can't get excited about this idea. I've gotten to the point where most of the time I don't even bother with GM chronicles, particularly for characters past 5th level. Of course I enjoy playing my characters a lot too and I'd rather not run out the clock on my favorites without even playing them.
And Doug's right. Running a scenario multiple times really is like running downhill. You spend less time worried about the rules and more time having fun and making sure the players are having fun. The NPCs come more alive, the combats are snappier, and the game prep is vastly simpler (for me its just a matter of making sure I have the right minis and maps).
I would far rather GM a scenario I'm familiar with for no credit (or only the stars) than deal with all the prep for a new one.
Rogue Eidolon wrote:
Except the difference is that even now, with the system that encourages playing up if you can handle it, there's a lot of people out there who are forcing a play down with the threat of walking, or just walking. There's no reason to believe that making playing up less attractive will not make this more likely to happen. I know I'll walk before I play a cakewalk played-down (the only time I've ever seen a real tier dispute, at last year's Paizocon where a lone lowbie forced an entire table to play down to 1-2 and my friend at the table said it was still a cakewalk without my character)
"...a lot of people"...
I've played or GMed PFS since it was first introduced at Paizocon in season 0. Something like 100 games maybe more, I've been to cons, home games, and helped organize a local shop. I have yet to see a single person walk or even threaten to walk because of the table's choice or tier.
Maybe it's a regional thing? Considering I've yet to see it happen, I'm pretty sceptical it's 'a lot of people'.
Cold Napalm wrote:
Why the interest punishing ANYONE? Why do you have to punish anyone to play up? They are taking more risk. They use up more consumable. So why do you want them to end up being CRIPPLED at higher levels for taking more risks?
Are they really taking more risks?
I don't see it that way. They are playing half the number of scenarios to get to that point. They are playing at tables with other more powerful characters at every juncture and those more powerful characters are almost certainly contributing more and likely taking the brunt of the enemies attacks as a result.
The people playing *at tier* are pulling the low tier guy along. They are taking on more risk by having a low-tier guy who doesn't contribute as much and they get no extra reward for doing it. Why should the low-tier guy who is causing the problem be able to short-cut the system and collect the same rewards as the guys who are pulling him along?
The whole point of the change is to encourage people to play *AT* tier. Your suggestion doesn't put any incentive on playing at tier. In fact many people would prefer to shortcut certain levels and would seek out playing up to do so. Lets align the rewards in the system in such a way that rewards playing the appropriate level.
Using your interpretation, you need to get a 15 or higher on your stealth check, before adding the +20 bonus from invisibility, or else it's actually easier to pinpoint you than if you weren't trying to be sneaky at all.
You say this as if its some esoteric interpretation of the rules. "According to me" is looking at the table and reading the line that says "Using Stealth — Stealth Check +20".
That doesn't say "DC 20" it says "+20 DC". Add twenty to the DC. What DC?
The DC to notice a creature normally with Perception. Noticing a visible creature in is DC 0. Noticing a creature 30 feet away is DC 3, etc etc.
Which means spotting an invisible creature who is moving at half speed but not using Stealth should be DC 15...
Trying to use the table you are referring to without taking into account the Stealth skill is vastly inaccurate. Stealth takes into account armor check penalties while your straight DC 35 check does not. It gets even more ridiculous when you take into account size as a Gargantuan creature is just as difficult to pinpoint as a Tiny creature.
Using the Stealth skill is clearly within the rules and is vastly more accurate than what you suggest, you are basically inventing a whole new system.
As it is, an adventure path is money I would spend to only ever use once. Compare that to bestiary 1, 2, and 3. I use them almost every session, of almost every game. I cannot see an adventure path as equivalent in use (read: money) to the bestiaries. I know there are people who, for various reasons, will dissent.
A $20 AP provides 5-7 people with 20-40 hours of entertainment depending on your pace. So $0.20/ hour for entertainment. Compare that to other forms of recreation:
For more perspective, a group at a typical game session burns $5-10 worth of gas getting to the session and consumers $10-30 worth of food. Even bus fair to the game session is $3 which is more than any single player's contribution to the AP purchase price for a session.
I can't see how using any metric $20 for an AP book is expensive for the value received. Even if you just buy it and spend 3-4 hours browsing through it, it's not ridiculously expensive, that's roughly what a movie trip is going to cost you.
Pathfinder books are EXPENSIVE. Not everyone has that much scratch laying around for purely entertainment purposes, and limiting new players is discouraging and sucky.
Pathfinder books are cheap.
With 4 books a player can cover 90% of the options they will use for the life of their character (I figure Core + APG + ARG + Pathfinder Society Field Guide). That's $45 for the PDFs or roughly $150 for hardcopies. You have been playing PFS for 18 months, if you figure 2 games a month that's about 150 hours of gaming. So... you've paid Paizo $1/ hour for participating in this hobby or $.35/ hour if you bought PDFs. Compare this to nearly any hobby and it's a bargain.
If you took the bus to and from the game shop, you've spent more on bus money than you've spent on Paizo gaming material. If you have a couple sodas and a snickers bar at the gaming shop, you've outspent your Paizo spending 2:1.
It likely wouldn't seem so expensive if you'd read the PFS guide and realized this up-front before you built a character that relies on a bunch of material you don't own.
I've always treated an Attack of Opportunity as an "Action". It's not labeled specifically as such (nor is it listed as such), but it is essentially an action. For example, if you are dazed or stunned, you cannot take actions, including attacks of opportunity.
While this isn't exactly what's written, treating it as such is most consistent with the way people play the game (and I believe the way the designers intend it to be treated). If you don't treat an AoO as an action... then that causes a whole bunch of other issues (particularly with the above conditions).
Treating an attack of opportunity is an 'action', pretty much everything else falls into place. Stunned works, dazed works, grab works, etc. etc.
Of course there is one niggling little problem with treating it as such... and that is staggered.
As Mark is prone to say:
... there will be table variance
Some people do a great job playing evil characters, and can bring a lot of fun to your group. Others want to play evil so they can be the center of attention and crap on everyone's fun so they can be the king/ queen of the table.
To me, the phrase "insists on it and simply won't play unless I allow it" sets off all kinds of alarm bells.
Wow, very cool, I have some printouts I've made from the original maps, but these are super nice quality. I'm going to be running this over the weekend at BookWyrm Con and I'll print these out for this that :D
Just a thought on the way gamers grumble.
The pedestal which you've placed for the sehedron to stand on is.. rather tall which might make it difficult to get to in a pinch. I'll probably edit them out myself
Hypothetical for those of you who fall into the camp that "the cohort is the sole responsibility of the person who took Leadership." Would you complain if a cleric healbot cohort charged you the going rate every time you needed him to heal you? And if not, why not? After all, you've defined him as, effectively, not part of the party, so should he not be expected to treat you as would any other NPC spellcaster?
In most groups I've been in, we don't take NPC spellcasters adventuring unless they are allies which share a common goal. They might get a share for a small area but never a permanent share. I don't think I've ever had a group that has paid for an spellcaster to come adventuring with them.
The only time we pay for NPC spellcasters is when we are in-town licking our wounds and need restoration or other services. If that's how a player wants his cohort treated, I'm fine with that.
This sort of play and lawyering is fine on the boards or if you are planning on running a table of 1, but it doesn't work in groups as you've clearly discovered in your own group.
"I told you before I don't want a servant and I'm sure as hell not paying for one that only listens to what you ask him to do."
There are other players at the table. Unless you are passing the cohort's character sheet around and sharing the responsibilities for playing, building, and equipping him, he is undeniably *your* (as in you, the player) servant regardless of how you arbitrarily define your character relationships in game.
If getting more female minis in randomised packs is the 'price' I have to pay to get more women involved in gaming then I'm more than willing to pay that price. If you aren't willing to help shoulder that 'burden', then your best bet is to buy non-randomized minis or resell the female minis in your sets.
Women have been dealing with playing wrong sex miniatures for years and have a tougher time finding appropriate minis.
What I would love to see is a massive reduction in the number of faction missions assigned. In many scenarios, faction missions wind up being nearly meaningless scavenger hunts. I'd love to see faction missions become less common, but having far more weight within the campaign setting and within character development. Alternately, faction missions might not be spelled out in advance, but will become apparent to observant players.
Some possible examples:
These kind of things are nearly impossible to do now because the faction missions are more or less declared in advance. I've even done some vague-ish faction missions in some modules and people complain but really people should be able to figure out what would make their faction happy without a detailed road-map.
What I'm getting at is I'd love to be able to put and end to scavenger hunts and psychic faction leads.
Dervish dance is a much different beast than just getting the agile enhancement. Dervish specifically limits you to one handed use and one one specific weapon. Dervish also requires an investment of feats. Agile you can apply to anything and can be acquired for simple gold. It is particularly nasty when applied to an amulet of mighty fists and in combination with a large number of natural attacks.
Even with the limits on Dervish Dancer, it dominates the magus weapon choice and fighting style to a ridiculous extent.
After reviewing the "Homosexuality in Golarion" thread it has come to my attention that Paizo is actively promoting the idea that disliking homosexual behavior is evil (both in the real world sense and the Pathfinder mechanical sense) in their products. I can no longer in good conscience support a company that holds such an unethical and bigoted belief, all in the name of "tolerance" (oh, the irony)
To many contradictions, too many words that are used just completely incorrectly, your post has null content.
"That doesn't mean what you think it means"
This is where the sanity check kicks in and why the magic item creation rules are pretty clearly offered up as guidelines to *start* pricing.
The spell is clearly balanced based on the assumption that the bonus is reset every X/minutes so the item should reflect that limitation. Easiest reasonable equivalent would be a ring where you can cast deadly juggernaut on command. I could also see it simply resetting the bonus damage after 5 minutes on inactivity.
What I'm saying is if you build an alchemist around melee, he's going to be just fine. Mututated they are amazing, not mutated they are decent. They have plenty of class abilities other than the mutagen to keep them going.
If you build any melee oriented character with 'questionable strength' he's not going to do well at melee... The same goes for a barbarian with questionable strength.
All characters are built around compromises. Alchemists are bursty, but they have a lot of flexibility which more pure combat classes lack.
There are no game breaking designs, only game breaking players. Suggest to him strongly that it's a cooperative game that bringing a disruptive character to the table will get him ejected.
If you give him a list of 'known broken' builds, all you are doing is offering up a challenge and he will redouble his efforts to build uber-character.
I can deal with most of the stuff you guys are complaining about, it's easy enough to deal with magic item crafting and much of the rest. The two parts of the (core book) system that come up in my mind as seriously off whack are stealth and class power disparity.
Stealth is brain hurtingly broken, filled with contradictions and subject to so much interpretation the skill is essentially unviable. The way stealth is used by different groups varies massively and debates are often paired with historical references that date back to second edition AD&D. Paizo has made an effort to resolve it, but I think they determined the changes needed were way beyond the scope of an errata type update and have shelved it for the moment (which IMO is a similar situation to crafting).
Class disparity is pretty crazy also. The rogue is thoroughly out-classed in almost every way by nearly every class. Maybe if stealth worked the rogue would make a bit more sense. It's not just the rogue, but they are the poster child of classes that need some major work. There are also some classes which rear their ugly heads in the opposite direction.
These are things which dwarf the problems with creating magic items because you can't easily work around them with a simple house rule.
I'd love to see these things, and a lot of the other things mentioned here fixed, but the overwhelming majority of the fixes essentially require a major re-write of the core rules and that's pretty unlikely at this point. A lot of people complain about the various issues with Pathfinder, but there is a huge amount of pushback from the community anytime a new version is mentioned. People have libraries of source material and they don't want to risk that being invalidated by a big rules change.
Alright, I plead for the mods to comb every thread ever and move everything where someone dares to say something along of "I think X should be done like this" to the suggestion/homebrew forum.
As you see them, flag them and the moderators will review them. That's how the system works.
However the text of the module explicitly describes it that way.
Ok, please make up your mind, are you basing this on 'how the real world works' as you said above, or how the module is written? Because my reply was about how the real world works in response to your comment.
Phrases like "200 foot wall" are often not intended to be literal. It is descriptive text intended to portray a feel for the terrain. Here is the post from the original poster:
I'm running an adventure path that includes a wall almost 200 feet high, and the text simply states "PCs must succeed at a DC 20 Climb check to navigate the walls of the shaft."
"Walls" don't have shafts either, so clearly it's not literally a "wall". This is further reinforced by the actual skill check involved. Obviously, the author of the adventure path isn't using the word the way you think it should be used.
Valandil Ancalime wrote:
After spending 2 hours meticulously knotting a 200 foot rope, you discover that it's now 40 feet too short.
Lord Pendragon wrote:
Obviously, I'm ignoring the various new items that have been (erroneously imo) added to the game to completely bypass these weaknesses. So if you are playing with all published materials available, ymmv.
If by "completely bypass" you mean "spend a significant amount of gold to expand their versatility"... well sure. They could also do this by purchasing a wand or a staff.
Sorcerers really *can't* unload a lot more spell power than wizards. The gap in spells per day between a specialist wizard and a sorcerer isn't very big, add in the extra castings a wizard gets with a pearl of power and the arcane bond bonus castings and the wizard can effectively cast as much as the sorcerer for a slight outlay of gold.
The page of spell knowledge, ring, and mnemonic vestment bring a bit of the versatility the wizard gets to the sorcerer which is a nice balance.
Because magic item creation is not something that fits into neat pat rules. The 'rules' that are there are merely a starting point (and they flat out say it in them). The monster creation rules are equally filled with potholes. In general, rules systems about how you extend the rules system are not easy.
If there were rigid rules about creating magic items, they would be limited to creating boring, generic items like the existing wand/ scroll/ staff rules. If you want that, just use those rules and crank out boring items all day long. The item creation rules are a starting place for pricing more interesting items.
The rules are very clear that the charts are estimates and pricing is based on existing items and judgement.
Creation guidelines wrote:
Also, too many people are assuming that all DMs actually know what they are doing. You have a lot of beginners who follow the rules to the letter because they don't fully know how to enforce GM fiat.
Considering they practically club you over the head explaining the pricing table is an estimate and judgment is required, if someone ignores that bit... they aren't exactly following the rules to the letter now are they?
Making mistakes is part of the process of learning. If a new GM ignores the bit about using judgment, he'll fairly quickly learn to adjust his practice (or the group will change it's play style based on custom items as a fair number have).
Man I never saw the abacus. :)
Just goes to show no matter how many times you voted, there's still a chance you missed an item ;)
Slightly less crude numbers:
Referring to my previous post.
By random chance on day 1 if you assume 1000 items:
If there were 1000 items, the chances of seeing your item after 100 random pairings is about 18.1%. If there were 1200 items, the chances decrease to 12%.
The chances any specific pairing includes a top 64 item: 64/ 999 or 64.1%
In this case you can simply multiply the probabilities: .181 * .0641 = 1.15%. So my original 1% chance for each 100 votes was actually pretty reasonable. More votes increases the chances of such a pairing, but even if you voted 5000 times, there is only a 44% chance you would see your item paired with a top 64 item.
Obviously this is just applies to purely random pairings. After the system 'learned' to make better pairings, the probability of being paired increased or decreased based on how good the item was.
This number is bound to be hopelessly skewed. Its nearly impossible to give a non-biased assessment of your own works versus others.
Of the users who saw their own item against one of the top 64 items, what percentage voted against the top 64 items at least once? Assuming their item didn't hit the top 64.
Based on my understanding of the system, after the first week or so of the contest, the majority of pairings are versus items with similar ratings. For example after just a few days, it's likely the the top 300 items had emerged and were being paired with other top 300 items. As the contest progresses the granularity increases. So the chances a particular item was paired against a top 64 item *and* the creator of the item viewed it during such a pairing are slim unless the creator's item was ranked in the top 100. As the contest progressed, the odds of such a pairing decreased daily.
In crude numbers:
If Bob voted 100 times in the first day. the chances Bob saw his own item on that day's voting was roughly one in ten. The chances Bob's item was paired against a top 64 item were also roughly 1 in 10. So for every 100 votes, Bob had a 1 chance in 100 of seeing their item paired with a top 64 item due to blind chance. If Bob saw his item 10 times, his chances of seeing it paired to a top 64 item due to random chance are less than 1 in 10.
As the contest progressed, the odds changed rapidly. For example if Bob's "Abacus of Statistically Insignificant Insights" is ranked 80th and he's voting near the end of the contest, the system is more likely to pair the abacus against items ranked between 40 and 120. The chances Bob's Abacus bumps into a top 64 item are pretty decent, but I suspect the gap in quality between item #80 and item #59 isn't that huge so it's not unreasonable for him to prefer his item. Is anyone still reading this?
All these numbers are *super crude* and to illustrate a point. While it's unlikely they are accurate, I think they are representative. For example, the abacus was probably ranked 78th rather than 80th.
There is no simple definition of what makes a superstar item. Maybe it's simply something that does something in a new/ novel way, or it might just be an extremely well implemented version of something.
The key to a superstar item is a combination of game flavor and well executed mechanics. It's the combination that's important. It's not too tough to come up with something that's appealing to players from a mechanical standpoint. Similarly, some people are good at writing but don't really do well with game mechanics. Making the item appealing to players but that evokes the imagination as well is the tough bit. Does the item seem like a game mechanic or does it seem like something magical. Ideally the item should be something that would sound cool in a story but works well in game too.