|Paizo Pathfinder® Paizo Games|
|About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ|
I'm not sure how "newsy" you like, but I use Bing.com. Trending searches are listed at the bottom of the screen (they link to a Bing search of the topic, with an MSN news story as the first option).
Mainly, I enjoy the daily picture that's presented. Today, for instance, was a great pic of Gordes, France. Fully one-fourth of the pics presented I can adapt to some game-related purpose.
Malek, if the PCs are taking their time searching, the bad guys will absolutely use that time to stage a counterattack. Think of it this way: A burglar breaks into your house. You hear the noise of the door being kicked in. That burglar now spends a lot of time searching your living room for safes hidden in the walls, for books with their insides hollowed out, and searching your sofa for spare change.
Meanwhile, you were in your bedroom. Maybe you have a phone and can call the police. Maybe you grab a weapon and find a spot to ambush the guy as he comes around a corner. Maybe you send your dog to attack while you sneak around the outside of the house and come up behind him. Maybe you take all your valuables and flee.
The point is, you have changed the "Encounter Level" due to the time the bad guy was taking looking through your sofa.
So when the PCs spend 15 minutes searching for secret doors and traps, the denizens of the dungeon are going to get their ambush ready. No, it will not be a "level-appropriate" encounter. It will be everyone, and EL can take a flying leap off a short pier. That's what the PCs get when they take their sweet time after announcing to the entire dungeon that they're in there.
If it were me, the denizens will probe the PCs defenses with a couple mooks and an observer or two who stay back to watch how the PCs respond. The denizens will be able to identify tactics, classes, who looks the most wounded, etc. I'd start retreating with all my goods to a central area (so the PCs can't steal anything else), and lure the PCs into an ambush / cross-fire situation. Or attack them all night when they decide to rest. If the PCs leave, my scouts are going to follow them at a distance and determine the path they took, because it'll likely be the path they return on the next day. And I'll stage an ambush.
Taking your time is great AFTER the threats are eliminated. Never before, or your carcass will end up decorating the bad guy's lair.
There's an important difference between splitting the party and having party members go off and do off-screen things separately.
If the paladin wants to go check in with the temple and the rogue wants to go gather rumors at the docks while the mage goes hunting for someone to buy a scroll, that's one thing, and I completely advocate for that.
But if players want to go off and have their own adventures without the party, then Bad Things ^TM will happen to that PC. I give a warning to new players because they don't necessarily understand that adventuring is a team effort.
I won't give XP to players going off and doing their own thing while the rest of the players sit around. I also won't give them treasure. No benefit will be gained from ditching your friends.
And you will find yourself outnumbered and out-powered. I've never had to play that out more than once.
Ross Byers wrote:
Yes. I had removed good/evil out of the equation.
I imagine a LN planar society (in 1st ed AD&D I believe it was called Nirvana) existing much like a computer program. Binary responses, without grey areas. Unknown situations would create error codes, which might be examined by unqualified entities who would rely on their internal mechanisms instead of the Mechanical Codex, introducing inexactitude and chaos into the system.
In my own games, Lawful means having an external codex of behaviors that is referenced. A lawful religion would have a Bible/Koran/Torah. A chaotic religion will have much more "communing time." Because the chaotic deities might have an "Oh, shiny!" moment.
Paladins don't suddenly support a tyrannical king's laws because they're travelling through the realm; their behavior and actions are dictated by The Treatise of Alhuria, the original copy of which is housed at the Great Cathedral, and outside the purview of mere mortals.
Chaotic people have an "end justifies the means" mentality. It doesn't matter that the religious codex says "don't spit on sidewalks," because swallowing a nasty loogie is worse than following some dusty old book.
Similarly, lawful civilizations have codified laws, and no one is above the law. The United States has the Constitution, Great Britain has the Magna Carta. Somalia and Sudan are chaotic societies, given that there are no guarantees about your health or property, nor necessarily who . The Terror (referencing the French Revolution) would also qualify, because being on the wrong end of a political argument might mean you're facing the nasty side of a guillotine blade. Vigilante justice is another example of a chaotic societal behavior. Not that vigilante justice is necessarily evil (superheroes are a hallmark of working outside the legal system).
I remember the definitions in Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, where Law was just as bad as Chaos, because Law meant a complete, unchanging environment. Not only would you not age, you wouldn't learn anything new. Chaos meant daemons and mutants and today gravity is suspended because I felt like it, so the needle fell slightly to the side of Law, because people generally appreciated having some predictability in their lives. But the original book showed that Law was just as bad as Chaos. And thus humanity fell neatly in the middle.
Of course, that was a cosmological decision, and I can't ever remember a debate about it (trolls, fimir, and other hungry things were always too busy eating heroes to worry about the nuances of the universe).
I used to write out answers to something like 30 background questions. But it was a waste of time. These days, I give my characters 2 sentences max. "Elias was apprenticed to the wizard Melfian, and after becoming an Initiate of the First Circle, vowed never to set foot in a turnip garden again." There's no need for more.
There are two ways I do the construction.
I use Scotch-brand "Tacky Glue", which is about $7/bottle, but meant for paper crafting and scrap-booking. The low moisture content means the cardstock isn't weakened by the water. Normal Elmer's glue won't give the same effect.
Now, I also like my terrain to have some heft, so on a bunch of those pieces I actually back the model with foam-core. Measuring the walls and base, cut out rectangles of the stuff, and glue it inside. Those pieces are pretty much indestructible, and don't shift around as much during play. That's closer to what you do (although I build the model as-is). The most important piece I've found is creating an interior base of foam-core. That will limit flexing while also giving the base a little more weight.
The current stuff Fat Dragon is doing is "fold-flat," so I don't back it with foam-core. The pieces are flexier (Hey, I invented a new word!), but still seem to be okay for my use. It also means balconies and dormers are a removable, so I can create a chaotic neighborhood a little easier.
But the logic came first. In this case, I rule that goblins (and other critters of modest intelligence/wisdom or greater) are smart enough to have areas where they will lead attackers which give the defenders an advantage. If you don't rule that way, that's fine. "YMMV" is how the kids term it, I believe.
OP, you've got some great advice. Post back after applying it and let us know what you encounter.
If you're gonna give the goblins a whole bunch of time to prepare, then they're gonna eventually get it right. So yes, if you wait around and let them create the perfect ambush, they will. Sometimes, logic trumps the written rules.
If players want to spend unlimited amounts of time doing stuff, that's fine. This is why random encounter checks were created. You know, those things that don't provide treasure but do provide opportunities for players to spend precious resources like arrows, spells, healing . . . and the noise of combat means MORE random encounter rolls are made. Or those random encounters run away to warn others, setting the PCs up for a APL +5 CR encounter. Sure, take your time, be careful. My monsters have all the time in the world.
Furthermore, if the bad guys know the PCs are in da dungeon, why are the bad guys not either packing up and leaving (taking all the fun treasure with them) or setting ambushes to make sure these intruders are eliminated?
GMs seem to forget that bad guys are more than just stats on paper; they have their own motivations and desires, and one of those desires is most certainly to live longer (with more riches) than the PCs.
So let them have unlimited detect magics, because the time spent focusing means those nasty little goblins get into ambush position with a Take 20 option, while the chieftain grabs the most valuable loot and heads for the hills.
"Roll to hit."
The usual response is "What?"
"Roll to hit. There's a goblin/skeleton/bear attacking you."
Again with the "What?"
"Do you want to spend your round looking around and figuing things out?"
After the combat, I let the players tell me how they met each other, and why they decided to come to the Caverns of Tremendous Doom (or whatever other named location I've placed them.
Let the players do some creative work for once. I spent all my creativity on working on the adventure, starting location, and NPCs.
Rules of the Senate. Reid has voted against his own bills in order to be allowed to bring them up again.
That's a reason I'm never going to be a Senator. I'd have to get all cozy with people who make my skin crawl. Kinda like going to GenCon and rubbing up against the guy who thinks he doesn't have to shower.
Indifference to an Iran with nuclear weapons?He's axing the defense budget to try to push more money over to failed social programs?
He's a yes-man instead of focusing on what his responsibility as SecDef is supposed to be?
Gee, maybe some people think that a political hack in that job is a serious enough issue that his nomination should be filibustered.
I know, I know. "Democrats good, Republicans evil."
In 2005, Harry Reid said of the filibuster "It encourages moderation and consensus. It gives voice to the minority, so that cooler heads may prevail."
Oh, and "Now Mr. President, I will not stand here and say the filibuster has always been used for positive purposes."
Also, "Of course the President would like the power to name anyone he wants to lifetime seats on the Supreme Court and other federal courts. And that is why the White House has been aggressively lobbying Senate Republicans to change Senate rules in a way that would hand dangerous new powers to the President over two separate branches – the Congress and the Judiciary. Unfortunately, this is part of a disturbing pattern of behavior by this White House and Republicans in Washington."
And the kicker . . . "Some in this Chamber want to throw out 217 years of Senate history in the quest for absolute power. They want to do away with Mr. Smith coming to Washington. They want to do away with the filibuster. They think they are wiser than our Founding Fathers. I doubt that’s true. "
I'm as surprised as anyone that I find myself in agreement.
You'll have to forgive me for not following Internet memes. LOLcats had a disturbingly negative effect on me.
Usagi Yojimbo wrote:
The far more common usage is by leftists who use it as an insult.
Sort of like the Flat-Earth Society. It's a real thing, but the common usage is as a term of disparagement. As in: "It's a funny thing that the only people who use the term 'flat earther' are environmentalists who feel the need to disaprage those with whom they disagree."
Freehold, I appreciate your honesty and your willingness to engage.
Here's some more stuff to chew on:
Markets aren't as fragile as you think. Those markets that have the heavy involvement of government become much more fragile. The housing crash of 2008 was a price bubble fueled by artificially low interest rates which led to rampant speculation. The Community Reinvestment Act pressured lenders to give loans to people who wouldn't otherwise qualify for them. Banks, acting on the fact that most mortgages were backed by the government-sponsored Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac institutions, gambled that if mortgage-backed securities they sold collapsed in value, the government would step in to reimburse the loss. Which it did.
The stock market crash of 1929 was caused by speculation which was in turn fueled by artificially low interest rates (sound familiar?). The Great Depression was caused by isolationist policies such as the Smoot-Hawley tariff (read Charles Kindleberger's Manias, Panics, and Crashes.
The market for food products should be very unstable due to the occurrence of drought or floods, but since there's a free flow of supplies from around the world to meet demand, we see modest price fluctuations despite losses. You know where you see the most price increases in food these days? When the product involves corn. Corn is used to produce ethanol, which the government has it's sticky fingers in, messing around with the market.
Naturally, if you point to an example, I can provide a more specific response.
Matt Thomason wrote:
Matt, the pilgrims who emigrated to America tried just that. They almost starved.
As for not having money . . . money is simply a medium of exchange. It allows me to trade a certain amount of labor for products I can use, when my labor doesn't directly benefit the recipient. A system without a neutral medium of exchange means that someone needs to sit at the top to determine what's "fair," as well as the means to force exchanges that one party or another deem "unfair." Perhaps a Central Planning Committee? And with a secret police to make sure citizens don't trade their wares without the Committee's knowledge?
So it's your choice: money, or authoritarian bludgeons.
Freehold DM wrote:
I would counterargue, however, that a lot of what you are proposing here sounds less like libertarianism and more like anarchy. I have no problem with choice, but you're pushing a paradigm that could turn into utter chaos in one bad moment.
Freehold DM, perhaps you can provide a scenario you think could lead down that road.
Anarchy quickly leads to the guy with the biggest stick (or controlling the most sticks) being in charge, which is why you don't see anarchist government systems stick around. Libertarian systems allow government to stop that from happening since government's role is to protect the rights of its people.
Government was created to secure certain rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Rights to property as well, because without a right to property, it's impossible to pursue happiness. Note that I don't say government grants these rights. Inalienable rights exist outside of government.
Government still has a role to play, and because we citizens grant government the exclusive right to force, that role should be hotly debated when an expansion is suggested.
Yes, many services will be relegated to the private sector, or to the individual states, but this is not a bug, but a feature. A state can respond to its population far better than a centralized government. Private citizens and businesses respond to demand by creating products that people voluntarily purchase far more efficiently than government can provide. There's no corporation in existence that has the power to compel me to purchase its products, unless it is granted such power by government.
So what crisis do you imagine that such a system would devolve into anarchy? A Hurricane Katrina/Rita scenario was already shown to have created anarchy all on its own, but WalMart was able to get in and start handing out supplies before FEMA.
Alexis DeTocqueville already saw that despite his fears of the American Experiment turning into another version of the French Revolution, he found individuals working together for their mutual and communal benefit without a centralized government directing such efforts. Given the advances in technology since the 1840s, the necessity for a central planning committee seems even more distant.
Strangely enough, the term "arachnocapitalism" is only used by leftists who feel the need to disparage those with whom they disagree.
Inconvenient rant; strongly suggest those on the left don't read.:
Very few libertarians want a divorce from society in which government exists. We instead point out the destructive consequences of the policies statists promote, and indicate that further eroding of power of the individual will have no benefit to society. The authoritarian underpinnings of the modern leftist are easy enough to see for those who but try to see them ("You must buy health insurance." "You must send your children to public schools." "You must not have too many firearms."). It is why I don't refer to leftists as "liberals." There is nothing liberal about them.
But to a good leftist, any dissent from their political point of view must be retaliated against. How could someone in favor of universal health insurance possibly be authoritarian? Obviously this person is an "arachnocapitalist" who only wants to see poor people dying in the street. And if you don't think we should subsidize "green" energy then you're obviously a shill for the oil corporations. How dare you advocate for school choice! Why do you hate teachers? How is it these people don't embrace our utopian society! What rubes! They're obviously not sophisticated enough to understand our nuanced approach to freedom.
Poking holes in their belief system that shows the Leftist Emperor indeed has no clothes is fraught with personal attacks, because it not only shows the skeleton upon which progressivism is built, but because it exposes their sense of moral superiority as a sham.
And on that happy note, I'm off to bed. Unlike some people, I actually need to produce something in order to pay my bills. The ground doesn't plow itself, the gas doesn't magically appear in my car's tank, and my kids won't have much of a chance at paying for their future college careers with Hope and Change.
Strangely enough, TriOmegaZero, that money didn't magically appear in my account. Maybe wishing harder? Or typing in all caps.
Yes, Scott, supply and demand do apply to health care.
I know you don't like it, but that doesn't mean the facts are on your side.
Every service and product follow the laws of supply and demand. But I'm sure you're going to lecture me on how health care is different. Feel free. But you'd be what is known as "wrong."
Ah, the "You didn't build that" example.
No, I did build that, and lots of people like you stood on the sidelines and make me work even harder.
I built it in spite of you, not because of you.
If you led the way, then I'd applaud your principles. But you didn't. Neither did any of the people who rallied for the ACA, nor any of the people who voted for it, and not the guy who signed the bill into law.
That alone tells you something, if you took the time to listen.
Scott, I'm well versed in economics. I apparently understand the laws of supply and demand better than you.
Once again, you make assumptions about posters. Congratulations. You've added arrogance to greed, sloth, and envy.
No doubt you'll want to punish me because I'm smarter than you and pointing out your failures, which would throw in wrath.
Let the evil flow. Don't worry, I won't think less of you for it.
I call it the Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is principle. You want others who you envy to pay more, then you lead the way and pony up first. Lead by example.
But, that would require initiative, and the slothful don't have initiative. The greedy don't have the ability, and the arrogant don't have the discipline.
No, punish those who have achieved more that you through faceless "government." It makes you feel better and requires no real effort on your part.
I understand completely. I have more respect for that guy who tried to mug me years ago. At least he had to do the mugging himself.