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Distant Scholar's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 959 posts (1,209 including aliases). No reviews. 4 lists. 1 wishlist. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 7 aliases.


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Oceanshieldwolf wrote:

I'm with Baval that "Excellence" seems like a qualitative/adjectival, that could be applied to any pursuit or activity.

However, "Aptitude" doesn't really sound...enticing like "power" or "might" or "combat". Spheres of Talent?

Distant Scholar wrote:

So, when is Spheres of Expertise coming out for skill-based characters?


4 people marked this as a favorite.

My data/calculation spreadsheet is still undergoing some modifications, so it's not yet available.

Top 10 Products of All Time (through 2016):

01. One on One Adventures Compendium (673 points)
02. Ultimate Psionics (663 points)
03. Way of the Wicked Book 1 (432 points)
04. Psionics Unleashed (387 points)
05. In the Company of Dragons (358 points)
06. Pathfinder Legends---RotR 1 (289 points)
07. Psionics Expanded: Advanced Psionics Guide (274 points)
08. Kineticists of Porphyra (246 points)
09. Spheres of Power (243 points)
10. Spheres of Power: Expanded Options (207 points)

Again, just some shuffling of the same names since the last list.

Psionics Expanded + Psionics Expanded: Work in Progress is 425 points.
Path of War Expanded + Path of War expanded work in progress is 296 points.

Runners-up include: Book of the River Nations: Complete Player's Reference for Kingdom Building and Longest Book Title Ever (188 points), Path of War + Path of War work in progress (165 points), Kineticists of Porphyra II (149 points), and Making Craft Work (140 points)

Top 10 Publishers of All Time (through 2016):
01. Super Genius Games (3295 points)
02. Kobold Press/Open Design (2867 points)
03. Dreamscarred Press (2397 points)
04. Pathfinder Paper Minis (1421 points)
05. Legendary Games (1380 points)
06. OtherWorld Creations (1097 points)
07. Rite Publishing (966 points)
08. Fire Mountain Games (796 points)
09. Big Finish Productions (755 points)
10. Expeditious Retreat Press (685 points)

Only a few changes from last time. If one conglomerates OtherWorld Creations, Super Genius Games, Rogue Genius Games, and Everyman Gaming, they get 5243 points. Runners-up are Rogue Genius Games (by themselves, 669 points), Drop Dead Studios (654 points), Louis Porter Jr. Design (618 points), Purple Duck Games (529 points), and Jon Brazer Enterprises (408 points).

So far, 765 different products and 78 different publishers (depending on one's definition of "different") have been on the lists.

4 people marked this as a favorite.

So, downloading the newest 64-bit version of LibreOffice helped.

Top 10 Products of 2016:
01. One on One Adventures Compendium (410 points)
02. Kineticists of Porphyra (240 points)
03. Path of War Expanded (187 points)
04. Kineticists of Porphyra II (149 points)
05. Kineticists of Porphyra III (118 points)
06. In the Company of Dragons (112 points)
07. We Be Dragons (105 points)
08. Way of the Wicked Book 1 (84 points)
09. (tie) New Paths 9: The Priest (71 points)
09. (tie) Ultimate Psionics (71 points)

Not too much change since the last report; just a little reshuffling. The 5e Tome of Beasts ended up in 12th place (59 points).

Top 10 Publishers of 2016:

01. Purple Duck Games (509 points)
02. Dreamscarred Press (451 points)
03. Expeditious Retreat Press (410 points)
04. Legendary Games (283 points)
05. Kobold Press (258 points)
06. Rogue Genius Games (218 points)
07. Drop Dead Studios (172 points)
08. Zenith Games (165 points)
09. Rite Publishing (148 points)
10. Fire Mountain Games (109 points)

There's a bit more shuffling here, but it's still the same ten names as the last 2016 list. If you want to add Everyman Gaming in with Rogue Genius Games, Rogue Genius rises to 252 points, which doesn't quite change their ranking. Tenth place got 3 times the points of 11th place.

deuxhero wrote:
Iammars wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Well it has mental in the title so I'm guessing it has to do with Psychics.
It also has "mast" in the title, so I'm going to assume that it's a book entirely about ships.
It also has "Master' Hand", so clearly it's a martial arts focused book.

It also has "Lem" in the title, so it's obviously about halfling bards.

Marc Radle wrote:
Hey, did this ever happen?

But, it's not early January yet. Is it?

Seriously, I'm having stability problems with the spreadsheet. Maybe it's just too complicated. Or just too big. It may take me a while to get it done without destroying all my patience.

Rockwell555 wrote:

I don't know where else to put this comment, so I'll put it here:

While the whole "Golarion in the Far Future" concept does sound interesting, what I would like from Starfinder is more of a "Basic" rules set for making your own sci-fi adventures.

No boos, but be aware that Starfinder is space fantasy, and not science fiction.

Male Human

Kee-rik will continue to take down any goblins he can reach. (Taking a 5-foot step to get to the next one in line, if appropriate.)

Bite!: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 61d6 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
Claw 1!: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 231d3 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
Claw 2!: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 81d3 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4

I haven't really looked at the book much, but, taking a glance now, some classes could use more class options. Some classes (like scout and knight) seem to do a good job of that, while others (like bounty hunter and corsair) don't. Bonus feats are helpful for this, but aren't as interesting as class options.

I'm wondering if some of the classes could be rolled together into one if you used class options instead of set features.

There is that 10-minute recharge time, but it does seem pretty powerful.

I'm pretty eager to sign up for a subscription, too.

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Steven "Troll" O'Neal wrote:
No more crafting feats, this is interesting.
Not surprising.. our more advanced pieces of technology require factories to make. You really can't build an IPhone or Android tablet in the home garage. And Starfinder's tech is probably more advanced than that.

Even more advanced pieces of technology could allow ubiquitous 3D printers with sturdier and more varied materials than today's, which could let anyone (with the right cash and blueprints) make whatever they wanted.

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Backer #95; just a squire.

It took you guys over four and a half hours to reach past the 50% mark. How will this ever be funded in time?

Seriously, please try to make the add-ons actually separate from the main book, so that the add-ons don't slow down the main book.

Cthulhudrew wrote:
This post just made me wonder why there isn't a whole line of "Where's Lando?" children's books yet.

Because it's Where's Watto?

Grovestrider wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
I don't think we have any spheres covering Linguistics though, and most of the Diplomacy options are class-specific instead of sphere associated.
I could definitely see an April Fools expansion for Linguistics that is a "Word-Play sphere" Something similar to OotS "Dashing Swordsman" where making a successful Linguistic's check allows adding Charisma to various rolls such as attack, damage, saves, etc.

Something along the lines of Insult Sword Fighting / Pun Combat / Cutting Remarks. I'd love it.

Ssalarn wrote:
Distant Scholar wrote:

So, when is Spheres of Expertise coming out for skill-based characters?



As of right now there are several skill-oriented spheres in SoC[.]

After reading this and other posts, the main (only?) thing that seems to be missing is Charisma-based skills (Bluff, Intimidate, Diplomacy, Disguise, etc.). And Linguistics.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

So, when is Spheres of Expertise coming out for skill-based characters?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Raynulf wrote:
It's actually closer to: "The EM Drive has been studied quickly and cheaply by multiple groups with inadequate funding, and to date no conclusive results have been produced either way."

I'm guessing you don't mean it this way, but what you wrote could be read as saying, "Only rich people can do real science."

Also, what makes you say it was done "quickly and cheaply ... with inadequate funding"? I wouldn't know how to tell.

Male Human
GM IronDesk wrote:
For future reference, breaking a grapple is a standard action. So, D'Son could not have broken the grapple and attacked the stirge in the same turn.

Huh. I specifically looked up grapple, since I'm not very familiar with it, and it seemed to say otherwise. Let me take another look.


I think I was fooled by the "If you escape the grapple, you can act normally" line.

Male Human

D'Son, held in place(?) by the stirge's grapple, grabs at the thing to pull it off.

Escape grapple: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20

He then tosses the thing away a bit and smacks it with his battle axe (no power attack).

Battle axe attack: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
Battle axe damage: 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11

Harrol steps up (one square to the right) and attempts to carefully skewer one of the stirges attacking Dee. "Hey, Wood, you don't mind me helping Dee out here, right?"

Long sword attack: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
Long sword damage: 1d8 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6

If Harrol hits, and can use the Cleave feat without having the prerequisite Power Attack feat, he'll then attack the other stirge attacking Dee.

Long sword attack: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
Long sword damage: 1d8 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10

Critical threat!
Long sword critical confirm: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
Long sword critical damage: 1d8 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
cycnet wrote:
Distant Scholar wrote:

Due to random curiosity mixed with insomnia, I've created a list that (very) arguably presents the most popular 3PP products. Behold!

The issue with this is it only includes downloads and only from the paizo store.

You think that's the (only) issue with this? Bless you.

Sometime in early January, I'll do the all-of-2106 lists.

I'll pop in with a dissenting opinion: I hope there is little-to-no cybernetics in Starfinder. It doesn't fit my concept of space fantasy.

Of course, most (if not all) of you disagree. I'm not trying to convert anyone; I'm just stating my opinion. Otherwise, I won't get in the way of your discussion.

I haven't done much with it. I've been ... distracted. If Divination is pretty common, Mind is rare, and Warp very rare (or can be stopped by common materials), it should work out.

pulseoptional wrote:
Matthew Shelton wrote:

Want a reason for grandfathering 'archaic classes' into modern society?

Medieval dungeoncrawling as a sport. If someone has levels in barbarian, samurai, druid, ninja, monk, cavalier, shaman, etc., it's because they are involved in the Starfinder equivalent of the Society for Creative Anachronism. They are reenactors and LARPers, keeping it 'old school' for the sake of nostalgia and tradition.

This.....actually sounds awesome.

It does sound awesome. I haven't had a chance to try it, myself.

Male Human

Crocodiles. Why does it always have to be crocodiles?

[My last play-by-post got indirectly TPK'd by crocodiles.]

TriOmegaZero wrote:
I wonder how many of the Genius items I already have...

If you buy the bundle, it will be 100%.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
What kind of tone of Starfinder game are you interested in?

I'm definitely a heroic adventure kind of guy, so my answers probably won't be a surprise.

Do the Job/Heroic: Heroic!

Lawless/Great Empire: Lawless, I guess. I'd prefer to have a Justice system I can turn bad guys over to, and not have to worry about it afterwards.

Core Races/Some Races/Lots of Races: I prefer lots of races, although it's not a necessity.

Political Intrigue/Shooting Gallery: About half-way in between. I don't want to shoot just for the sake of shooting, but I prefer action to talking in my games.

Normal Sci-Fi/Gonzo Sci-Fi: More gonzo for me. It's more fun to shoot at dangerous space monsters than fellow sapients, especially when moral ambiguity/relativity might be involved.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Fourshadow wrote:
This isn't Cerulean Seas' Product Discussion thread...really doesn't belong.

Wondering how Paizo's take on underwater adventures will compare with a 3pp's well-respected take on the same topic does belong here.

Also, Paizo doesn't need to keep track of what someone else created.

Of course, they don't need to. But I think it would be foolish for them to ignore the excellent work in Cerulean Seas.

Isn't borrowing other peoples' work (and building on it) why there's an Open Gaming License in the first place?

2 people marked this as a favorite.

It's back!

Top 10 Products of 2016 (so far):
01. One on One Adventures Compendium (357 points)
02. Kineticists of Porphyra (240 points)
03. Path of War Expanded (178 points)
04. Kineticists of Porphyra II (149 points)
05. Kineticists of Porphyra III (118 points)
06. We Be Dragons (103 points)
07. In the Company of Dragons (81 points)
08. Ultimate Psionics (71 points)
09. Way of the Wicked Book 1 (67 points)
10. New Paths 9: The Priest (66 points)

I find it interesting that the D&D 5th edition Tome of Beasts is number 11 (59 points). One on One Adventures has been slipping in the ranks these last few weeks.

Top 10 Publishers of 2016 (so far):
01. Purple Duck Games (509 points)
02. Dreamscarred Press (430 points)
03. Expeditious Retreat Press (357 points)
04. Kobold Press (245 points)
05. Legendary Games (179 points)
06. Drop Dead Studios (169 points)
07. Zenith Games (138 points)
08. Rite Publishing (117 points)
09. Rogue Genius Games (104 points)
10. Fire Mountain Games (92 points)

Dreamscarred Press soared in points compared with Purple Duck Games, but not enough to take the lead. Kobold Press jumped a bunch of places. If one wishes to lump Rogue Genius Games and Everyman Gaming together, RGG/EG jumps to a tie for 7th (138 points).

Pax Rafkin wrote:
My all-time favorite game. I'm pretty sure I'll use the Star*Drive setting for Starfinder. No way they're going to put out a better setting than that one.

Remember that Starfinder is space fantasy, not science fiction. How much space fantasy is in Star*Drive? [I honestly don't know.]

Matthew Shelton wrote:

Has a tabletop RPG ever been integrated with technology beyond making it an optional thing?

For example, some aspect of the game would be dependent on, and assume the availability of a device aid (PC or Mac software, or a smartphone or tablet app) to simulate the game environment.

You mean, like dice? :-) They aren't electronic, but it's hard to play the game without them.

If you want an RPG that does turn-based 3D starship combat occurring at different ranges and scales, you could try to do it all on a hex grid or square grid with tokens, platforms of varying height, and measuring tape, all of which is constrained by the size of the battlemat...or you could do it electronically and have all object positions, distances, and movement computed automatically in compliance with the rules of the RPG.

One question I would have is, "How often would this be necessary?" Another is, "And, is it worth the overhead of learning how to use the program and setting it up every battle?"

Note that 3D effects are only necessary if there are more than three ships/objects in the encounter.

Edit: Or if there are restrictive arcs of fire.

It's such a nice day outside. Why are you inside working?

Male Human
GM IronDesk wrote:
I always though max at first was just a PC thing. Huh. Ok so next hobgoblins you' guys just got a little tougher

It's OK to make them 1st-level warriors and not 1st-level fighters. :-)

Male Human
GM IronDesk wrote:

Anyone want to take a stab at HOW the stock hobgoblin(ftr1) in the bestiary has 17HP?!?

ave 1d10=5 +3 for con +3 for toughness = 11. even maxed hd only yields 16

Max HP plus favored class bonus?

Don't expect images to show up ever. The others may be more likely.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
N. Jolly wrote:
Marc Radle wrote:
Just checking in to see when the next lists will show up :)
Why don't I try summoning DS, that always seems to work. Also props on the priest taking number 1 this week!

I haven't been able to work on this recently. This weekend won't be any better, but maybe soon...

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm pretty sure this is the Fifth Horseman.


There were creative differences.

Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
I haven't played GURPS since 1992 - I'm quite intrigued to see talk of Professions. I remember the point-buy customization, but I thought GURPS was a classless system or do Professions act differently to classes...?

I only have a couple of the Dungeon Fantasy series, and they're called "templates" there, but they're essentially pre-packaged sets of abilities you can buy which give you the things you expect from a Fighter, Bard, Cleric, or what have you. I imagine you'd still be able to fully customize your character as you wish, but this gives an easy, familiar, set of abilities without a lot of analysis paralysis.

Aha! So you're the one who made a class that encourages full attacks, but also gave it d8 hit points and no armor proficiency. Poor little Kee-rik's dying out there!

More seriously, how bad would it be to allow Improved Natural Armor at levels 1, 7, 13, and 19 rather than 5, 10, 15, and 20?

[And I have a complaint about the magical beast phenotype not having much access to magical abilities. Or tentacles.]

On the whole, though, with a few more levels and some GM special permission, I just might get my triphibian up and running.

Male Human

I suppose faster would be nice, but I'm not disappointed in the pace right now.

Son of the Veterinarian wrote:
Drop Improved Sunder in there at some point. Wizards in the Fairy Tail series like to break things.

Or, possibly, every object in the Fairy Tail world has hardness 0 and half hit points. :-)

Male Human

It's fine with me if you bring someone else in.

Shawn Spencer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm GMing a game right now, and I've run across a bit of a trilemma. It also is an example of different valid approaches to how to play a role-playing game, and I thought there might be some interesting discussion.

Here's the situation (simplified and modified for the boards): The PCs have been tracking down a Magic MacGuffin that generates monsters. They've come across the building which houses it.

They've decided to rest for the night before going in.

This means that monsters will be generated during the night. [The monsters now being generated are intelligent and organized, so they won't wander about randomly, waking up parties of PCs that happen to be nearby.] I need to decide how to handle it. Here are the three choices I see:

  • Keep the encounter exactly as I had planned it in the first place.
  • Use the game mechanics of the system, and the information I have sketched out for the MacGuffin, to determine how many enemies come out.
  • Decide based on fun (including what might make a better story) how many enemies come out.

The main advantage of the first is that it's less work for me. But it leaves me with the feeling that I'm making the players' choices not mean anything.

The main disadvantage of the second is that the result will be unpredictable: it could end up much more dangerous that what I had originally planned, even unbeatable, or even slightly weaker than I planned.

The main disadvantage of the third is that trying to determine what would be the most fun is very difficult. Also, it feels artificial if I make sure the final result is something they'll be able to handle.

So, what should I do? Make it easy on myself and not change anything? Use the rules previously decided and let the dice fall where they may? Carefully craft what I think will be the most entertaining experience for the players?

I know people will have differing opinions on this, and I'd like to hear them all. I also know that there's no wrong way to go. But I think seeing a variety of viewpoints on this will help me make a better decision.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Pandelume wrote:
Supplements for Curse of the Crimson Throne?
This is about the best I can guess. If not, I'm lost.

But guessing incorrectly is more fun.

A source book for Red Ash: The Indelible Legend?

Luthorne wrote:
Distant Scholar wrote:
More Daevic passions. I can't imagine me making a character that follows any of the three passions. Maybe some that are less evil?
Benevolent, Justice, and Love are evil?

Maybe, yes, and yes. Benevolence is still Dominion, and still "driven by an unstoppable drive to impose order and rule on the world around them." Justice is still Wrath. And Love is actually Lust. It's also more about making others "love" you than you loving others. Benevolence is the best of a bad bunch, but it's still a bad bunch.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

More Daevic passions. I can't imagine me making a character that follows any of the three passions. Maybe some that are less evil?

Rocket Red?

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Monkey D. Luffy from One Piece calls himself a pirate. The only pirate-y thing he's done is fight the government, and only when they're doing something bad.

Red Christmas?

Edit: Ninja'd. Ish.

The answer is, of course, "It depends."

Personally, I'd try it and see if I like how it feels. The main advantage I see is it eliminates the SR die roll, which probably speeds up play.

My mathematical analysis indicates that against good saves, the change is better for you vs. low-CR monsters, and worse vs. high-CR monsters. Against poor saves, it's the same or worse for you. Against AC it's even harder to say, but the change is probably worse for you vs. low-CR monsters and better vs. high-CR monsters.

Boring Analysis:
Let's make some assumptions:
  • The opponent has SR equal to 10+its Challenge Rating (which seems typical).
  • You typically fight creatures equal to your CR.
  • Your caster level equals your character level.
  • Your spell DC stat has a +4+level*2/5 bonus [+4 at 1st level, +12 at 20th].
  • You always cast spells of your highest level.
Your 1d20+caster level has to match or beat their SR (10+CR). This will happen 55% of the time. SR will cause 45% of what would be successes to fail.

According to the Monster Statistics by CR chart, monsters typically have a good save of about CR+2, and a poor save of about CR-2. Your spell DC will be 10+level/2+4+level*2/5, or 14+level*9/10. Let's call it 14+level. A monster with no SR would typically fail to save against your spell 55% of the time with a good save, and 75% of the time with a poor save.

With this alternate SR, they'd get a save boost of (10+CR)/4 ,which ranges from about 3 to about 8. It's trickier to say, but the monster with SR would fail to save against a spell targeted at a good save about 15-40% of the time. Depending on CR, this means the SR will turn a success into a failure between 30% and 70% of the time [instead of 45%]. For poor saves, the spell would fail about 35-60% of the time, or SR will turn a success into a failure between 45 and 80% of the time [instead of 45%].

Difficulties: It's hard for me to tell whether the percent change in successes or the change in raw number of successes is the appropriate measure for this. I went with percent change, because it was a bit easier to work with. Also, I made a lot of assumptions, and did some rough rounding of numbers in this process.

I don't have a good assumption for touch AC, so I didn't formally analyze it.

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