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Tar-Baphon's Ogre

EntrerisShadow's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 811 posts. No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 2 aliases.


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Aniuś the Talewise wrote:

I confess that I hate those haughty pointy-eared elves with a passion and thus in my world they rule an oppressive and violent empire in which they have enslaved civilizations of every race except gnomes, from whom they keep their distance and tend to treat as second-class citizens anyway)

Yeah I'm a classic dwarf.

(But seriously, no offense intended to people who like elves or play elf characters c: )

I don't hate elves, but I typically play elves the same way. Why?

Elves are damn near immortal, mystical, and supposedly very intelligent. They never have the problems that humans have and are almost always presented as superior in nearly every way.

My thought was, with the crapsack worlds most RPG lands tend to be, why on earth would these beings let mankind run the show?

Elves in my homebrew world have a continent spanning empire and are largely in charge of things. It's a patrician, gentle sort of tyranny - they see humans less as animals to be broken and more as unruly children that need the adults to corral them for their own safety. They'll even give them some nominal responsibility the way you might let your kid be in "charge" of the family pet or some chore. But it is tyranny nonetheless.

The difference being that they don't mess with Dwarves (the Dwarves have the underground, which holds no interest, and besides, provides a nice bulwark against Drow - who aren't actually evil, per se, but it'd be way too long to explain here) and still kill Orcs and Goblinoids on sight.

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PIXIE DUST wrote:
*Insert obligatory martials cant have nice things post*

With the news that Pummeling Style getting nerfed hardcore, I am really beginning to wish the devs would listen to the large number of people unhappy with martials continuously being depowered while spellcasters go unmolested.

I'd start a new thread about it, but recent history indicates it would be locked the 2nd page in.

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Headfirst wrote:
TL;DR: There are rules in place to help the martial/caster power disparity. If you're really worried about it, use them in your game. If you want versatile characters, stop building them to be myopic killing machines and invest some feats and/or skill points in non-combat stuff.

So to rein casters in from godlike to just really overpowered you just have to remember to use all of the convoluted rules centered around spellcasting until they reach midlevels and literally all of those things are easily overcome. Got it.

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If you want a good quick fix that doesn't change the game drastically, there are two things you can do that solve a good deal (if not all) of the disparity.

1. Full attack/standard does not exist. Nor does spring attack. If you are a fighter with 2 attacks, you have two attacks. As long as you have movement left, you can attack and keep on moving and split attacks between targets.

2. Combat feats scale with level. Is this feat a prerequisite for something else? Then it's granted automatically once your BAB reaches the appropriate level. Also combat expertise is dead as it should be.

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Voin_AFOL wrote:
To truly hate takes time, emotional effort, focus on the object of your hate. We call the KKK and the Black Panthers "hate-groups" for a reason - they'd be a lot less trouble if they were simply "don't give a dire-rat's arse about people different then them" groups.

Hey sorry, I know this is semi off-topic, but this is just something I have to address because it's an oft-repeated and yet rarely challenged fallacy and it bothers me a lot.

It's popular to immediately compare the Black Panthers to the Klan for some misguided attempt at 'fairness', but the reality is the two groups could not be more different. The Black Panther Party was a group created by members of an oppressed minority in solidarity against a government that was actively killing them. The Black Panthers worked and interacted with other leftist groups of all races. Their fight wasn't against white people, per se, but white supremacy.

Furthermore their gathering immediately caught the ire of the US government, and in particular Hoover's FBI. They were immediately targeted with arrest, persecution, and murder. (Fred Hampton being the highest profile of these cases.)

I don't want to act as though it was all sunshine and roses - they were revolutionary, after all, and still radical. But they were not an organization founded to promote black supremacy or white genocide.

The Klan, by contrast, was founded by former Confederate soldiers with the express purpose of killing and intimidating black people after the Civil War. The Klan has killed nearly literally thousands of blacks by lynching alone. Despite this foundation of violent extremism and terrorism, it not only was not greeted with the same sort of resistance, but actually enjoyed a long period of legitimacy in the US government. (There was a time when my state, Indiana, had an entire state legislature consisting of Klansmen.)

For further contrast, here is the mission statement of the Klan as provided by a 1920 pamphlet the group released:

Quote:
WE STAND FOR WHITE SUPREMACY. Distinction among the races is not accidental but designed. This is clearly brought out in the one book that tells authoritatively of the origin of the races. This distinction is not incidental, but is of the vastest import and indicates the wisdom of the divine mind. It is not temporary but is as abiding as the ages that have not yet ceased to roll. The supremacy of the White Race must be maintained, or be overwhelmed by the rising tide of color.

Now in fairness there is a black separatist, antisemitic organization of a much smaller number called the New Black Panther Party that HAS been designated a hate group, but typically when the Black Panthers are brought up the distinction is not being made. (It should also be said for the record that members of the original BPP have denounced them.)

We really need to quit parroting this myth. Without digressing too far into current events, it's a seductive narrative meant to assuage white guilt at the expense of meaningful change - and this sort of mythology we have built around our history is literally deadly.

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John Robey wrote:
My only real difficulty has been gauging encounter difficulty. The XP Budget system presented in the DMG requires a lot of tweaking due to the number-of-foes multiplier and can present some pretty strange results if you push it too hard (such as the popular example of a solo lich being a moderate encounter at a given level while a lich accompanied by two kobolds is an epic encounter).

Actually that's not quite true. The DMG specifically points out that you do not include enemies whose CR is significantly below the party's APL as part of the challenge. So 2 Kobolds = CR 1/4, nothing to a 13th level party.

You'd need 16+ Kobolds before it even gets close to making a dent.

In regards to the Dex vs Str, I like the change a lot. STR is still slightly better for damage, and DEX is still slightly better defense - it's just that now you can reasonably do combat styles aside from THF and do decent damage.

TWF is viable. Archery doesn't mean having to focus on STR and DEX as opposed to a THF Barbarian just getting to pump their STR to absurdity. But Power Attack now belongs solely to Great Weapon Fighters. Criticals just doubling dice and not modifiers favors d12 and 2d6 weapons over d4 and d6.

Also, for the record, STR saves are fairly common at low levels. Pretty much every beast with a Trip attack requires a STR save. Prone isn't the worst thing in the world, per se, but it's no picnic.

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PrinceRaven wrote:

Between the kanabo, naginata, yuri and yumi bow the samurai had a variety of really good weapons they could use quite effectively on the battlefield.

Then they had the katana, which was basically there for the symbolism, duels and executing prisoners.

Personally, I think comparing them to bastard swords is an insult to bastard swords.

Things I have learned from this thread:

1. My hatred of katanas is completely justified, but there are way cooler Japanese weapons that sadly are not getting their due.

2. Do NOT Google a "yuri" bow at work with the safe search off.

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I feel like a lot of these changes would mean you're no longer playing Pathfinder. Honestly, I love 5E and a lot of the things it changed - but I don't want to turn Pathfinder into 5E. Too many people are eager to turn Pathfinder into something else and that's just not fair.

That being said some changes I would like to see:

1. Combat Expertise is the worst example I have ever seen of a rule remaining simply due to legacy. It's beyond worthless - it is actively detrimental to building martial characters who do anything besides "I hit with my stick!" I have already houseruled it out of my games, as have most GMs I know. Similarly -

2. Too many feats, especially maneuver feats, are nickel and dimed. When a trait is worth more than a feat, the design has failed somewhere.

3. Many of the super high level spells should be relegated to GM options only. The narrative shattering stuff like Simulacrum should not be assumed to be available to players, but as villainous options for BBEGs to use. Players could always take at GM's discretion of course.

4. Get rid of full attack/standard. If you have 2 attacks, you have 2 attacks. Period.

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DM Under The Bridge wrote:
Rakshasha aren't used enough. I must correct this in my own games (alas they don't fit for this campaign).

Hear hear. It amazes me, too. Rakshasa are tailor made BBEG's for midlevel campaigns. Why more people don't utilize that I'll never know.

Speaking of things I think are underutilized as BBEG's, another favorite of mine are the Fey. Two reasons:

1. I love traditional fairy tales. Demons/devils and such are cool, absolutely, but it feels very heavy metal - and I'm just more of a Prog guy I guess. And almost all of the traditional folkloric monsters are in the 'Fey' category.

2. Their nature means the line between benevolent and antagonistic likes to blur a lot. Even "helpful" fey are often less than such, and antagonistic fey can show mercy or grant a boon at a whim because it's totally within their nature to be mercurial like that. I especially love having high level Fey as secondary antagonists or Enemy Mine characters.

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As an atheist, I would absolutely be devoutly religious in Golatrion. And that's not just to say I would accept the gods as fact - any idiot in that world SHOULD - but would follow one whose ideals matched my own closely.

That's why I really hate misotheistic (NOT atheistic! Please Paizo, if ever Rahadoum gets another treatment, please change that. Atheists struggle with stereotypes of just being bitter god haters and slapping the title on any believer with a chip on their shoulder does not help.) societies in D&D and Pathfinder. It's an unlimited pantheon of deities who directly aid mortals in their lives! You can't find one you like?!

In Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, Elsa God-Hater was the only NPC you came across with this attitude, and it was a unique enough view that she took on a name after it. Even in Tamriel, gods are active enough that most people are not stupid enough to not st least pay lip service to SOMETHING, and those gods are far less involved than on Golarion.

/rant

But the OPs GM sounds terrible. Even as someone who GMs a lot and does not care for Paladins in my games (nothing against the nature of the class - it's just when it breaks something, it breaks it HARD.) I'd have to walk away from that game on principle. This is obviously one of those GMs who delights in taking powers away and, when he couldn't, punished a player in the most vindictive way possible.

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DM Under The Bridge wrote:

Urgh, so if they get to the end of the murder mystery and... they decide to let the murderer off because they had allllll these justifications, is this a win for you or for them?

If they don't care for the tragedy and put a stop to the crimes with so many justifications and reasons how do you take that?

Can you share some of the outcomes?

I never expect my players to forgive antagonists just because they have sympathetic motivations - but I do like that it gives it a bigger twist than just go here, roll initiative, and try to kill them first. And it's never a "No Win" situation. Whether they choose to forgive or smite, I usually play up the better aspects of either scenario.

The most straightforward was the cult leader trying to seal off the abyss. The players were having none of the justifications and he ultimately succumbed to a fate worse than death when a Demon lord claimed him for his hubris.

With the priestess it was actually planned from the beginning that the child would actually turn out to be one of the PC's (One of my players had rolled up a tiefling orphan when my backstory included the murder of a noble's tiefling bastard.) As all the players that game were some shad of good, the final showdown came down to trying to divert her before she did something truly irredeemable - making a pact with a lich - and finding and punishing the remaining co-conspirators, which included some high ranking nobles and members of the thieves' guild, so no easy task.

The Inspector had no end, sadly, as my work picked up and I had to stop playing for about two months, causing the game to dissolve. They ended up killing the Drow enclave, which also broke the seals holding the monster in the Underdark, resulting in a very difficult final boss battle. As for the Druid - well, that one is happening now, so I'll let you know lol.

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My favorite antagonists are sympathetic ones. Though I'll always have plenty of kill-on-sight irredemable baddies on the way to the final confrontation, I like my final showdowns to be with somebody whose motivations a) make sense and b) let the heroes think outside the box. I've done -

A priestess who murdered the man that killed her child. Framing the PCs for his murder was keeping the authorities busy while she took out the nobles who helped him cover it up.
An Inspector Javert type that was hounding the party when they all rolled up rogues and bards.
A Drow clan that had carved out a niche in the Feywild when trying to escape a horrific monster that had decimated their city.
A cult leader who had discovered a way to permanently seal off the Abyss from the material plane and was willing to sacrifice the population of a small town to make it happen.
An undead former Druid who sold his soul out of desperation to bring a lost love back.

That's not to say they're all not evil or even pleasant, but I love the how far could anyone go if pushed hard enough story line.

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gamer-printer wrote:
You might check out the one shot module, Up from Darkness, from Rite Publishing for the Kaidan setting of Japanese horror (PFRPG). It starts out exactly as you describe and its definitely story driven. Lots of unique undead and traps, its a very deadly dungeon with a very unique twist. Read Endzeitgeist's review to get a good idea of what I'm talking about. The PCs begin at the lowest level of the dungeon with no memory as to who they are and why they are here...

These were all really helpful, but this post in particular was awesome. I downloaded the PDF and read through it and I have to say, wow. This gave me just about everything I wanted (and some things I didn't know I did until I read through)

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The Dread Pirate Hurley wrote:
Gnomes are predisposed to having quirky obsessions. They're on a constant quest for novelty to keep them from Bleaching. It's not difficult to imagine a gnome with decidedly more... gruesome obsessions. I could see Count Rugen from The Princess Bride as a gnome.

(Side note: Already saw the Gnome hate coming to the fore. Man, people really don't like these guys, eh? Makes me sad.)

Truthfully, I think a Bleachling would make a better and far different sort of Gnome villain than the PHB Gnome. If I recall correctly, a gnome that survives its bleaching loses its CHA boost and gets a WIS bonus instead, becomes super connected to the First World and has an ethereal, inscrutable quality about it.

Imagine a hypermeditative, silent summoner-type with impenetrable motives and the appearance of a frail, albino child. I'm seeing a Shaman with a snow owl familiar perched in a lofty position beyond the PC's reach, with Ankou servants bringing the fight to their level while she casts spells from afar. That would actually be scary as hell.

EDIT: Apparently Gnome's ability array doesn't change after Bleaching, though it can speak with animals at will and gets Druid as an additional favored class. So even better - imagine a Summoner whose summons have become twisted mockeries of First World creations.

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Gnome hate.

Seriously, so many people hate Gnomes.

I guess really, this can apply to hatred of any race, but man do Gnomes get it the worst for whatever reason. (Strangely, I see a lot of it for Half-Elves, too.)

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Unpopular opinion here, but I'd personally take your D-team over your A-team to begin with. Let's break down what you have:

1. Bard - Bards are unique in that their efficacy is largely dependent on the party make-up. The more Martials in a party, the better a Bard becomes. Your other party members are a Fighter (Martial), Ranger (Martial), Paladin (Martial, Martial, Martial!). As well the Bard has the almighty UMD which makes up for a LOT of the missing spellcasting. Wizards are technically better, but they're not nearly the team player a bard is. As well any Bard worth their salt should have the Scrolls and Wands to cover your necessities - especially healing.

2. Fighter - This is the one area a fighter wouldn't be my first choice, either, especially compared to Barbarians. However, you could not have chosen a more ideal party for a Fighter to be a part of. All of his weaknesses are beings shored up by Bardic inspiration and the Paladin's aura. You have the Skills pretty well covered by the Bard and Ranger. And if the job is simply "Go Kill _______", well, great news! Fighters still do that quite competently. I'm not gonna start splitting hairs if the Barbarian one-shots an enemy plus 20 hit points and the Fighter one-shots an enemy plus 10 hit points.

3. Ranger - Druids are (like Wizards) technically better, but you have a high skills class to complement the bard, and a full-BAB switch hitter with full feat trees to back the Fighter. 4th level spellcasting isn't 9th, but it's not too shabby, and it's one of the better 4-level spell lists. Take Boon Companion at level 5 and you're on par with one of the Druid's best class features. And if the favored enemy aligns, I'd easily say the Ranger in his element can surpass the Druid.

4. Paladin - In many ways I prefer this to a Cleric. Paladins passively buff their party just by being around. She's going to have a better way to overcome DR out of the gate. And while the Cleric doesn't have bad saves, the Divine Grace means you can pretty much pump CHA and dump WIS/DEX and still frustrate the hell out of your DM. Self heals as a swift action makes her the tankiest of tanks.

If you're running an open ended campaign with lots of world building and very complex narrative challenges, the A-team is pretty much necessary. If you're running an AP or any sort of straightforward adventure consisting of Go Here - Kill This, I'd take these options over the A-team any day of the week, with the lone exception of the Fighter - and again, even so, a lot of the big drawbacks of a Fighter versus a Barbarian are being greatly mitigated by the makeup of the party. That is how you use party synergy to overcome the issue with Class Tiers.

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Very recently I played in a campaign where I challenged myself to never do any direct HP damage. I was a caster who specialized in enchantment and control - after a few sessions it became a running gag that I ALWAYS cast "Grease" - especially once we hit about Level 5 and our other caster was using stuff like Fireball to clear gaggles of minions. Despite this proving very useful (especially in some out of combat situations), I game with people who measure success by how much direct damage you're doing so there were always silly arguments about whether Grease was stupid or, as I insisted, the most useful spell in the game.

Fast forward two years. Our characters are all Level 16 and fighting a Balor with Fighter class levels for control of the World Ending macguffin - something he and a friend developed for this campaign that appeared as a normal Crystal Ball but actually containing the energy of sorta mini-universe. I've burned all of my higher level spells on keeping him and his minions away from this thing, but after the rest of us are unconscious and dying and he's managed to grab the orb I get desperate and do the only thing that comes naturally - I Grease the orb.

Amazingly, our DM Nat 1'd the save and the crystal falls from the BBEG's hands and smashes on the ground. Our DM rolls on a table for random effects and a planar gate opens --- deposting everybody in a 300ft radius onto the plane of Elysium.

Grease. We ended a 2-year campaign against a Balor with grease. Most useful spell in the game.

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Pual wrote:
A Ladder from pretty much any game

In that same vein: A small shrubbery from any early RPG. Infinite HP, regeneration, immunity to all damage types, and you cannot climb over it or teleport past it. It can only be destroyed with a special weapon that can only be wielded by a 10th level character. Imagine the BBEG dropping a few of those outside his door to finish his plans while the party levels up.

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Nathanael Love wrote:

Sure orcs are stonrg, but set up to be incapable of being worthwhile spellcasters of any variety.

Since we already know the worst spellcaster > than the best possible martial from other posts on these boards, then the -2 to all mental attributes is nowhere near being worth +4 strength.

You know who gets +4 strength? Human spellcaster with Bull's Strength. That spellcaster also got +2 to Int or Wis or Cha to match.

Again, I'd much rather have orcs who have genuine PC attributes (two +2s one -2) than +4 str imbecilic, moronic, stutterers.

Casters are built up as better than martials for their versatility, not because they always kill things better. Barbarians kill things (Especially puny wizards!) damn well.

I just ask myself, "What are orcs?" They're raiders. They don't spend a lot of time in quiet contemplation or study, and their gods are venerated by war and bloodshed - not burning incense and meditating on the universe.

Being simple works because they have the Strength to back it up.

As for Bulls Strength - A) It's limited to so many times per day, B) It's a short duration, C) It is wasted on a spellcaster with no good weapon proficiencies and half BAB and (most importantly) D) As a 2nd level spell, it is easily within the reach of an orc spell caster with 12 Wis to use on an orc Warrior for an even more ridiculous slash chop.

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Why would you be more likely to be TPK'd by these kobolds than the default? Either monster will TPK players if the GM is inclined to TPK you. It's not the build that matters, it's what you do with it.
unless your talk about GM cheat (look! The kobold crits you! Again!), then no, by no means that's true. Your can play tactically sound with your orcs and flank and focus fire and whatever, but an orc with a club and skill focus is not goibg to be as dangerous as an orc with a great axe and power attackattack that is equally tactically sound

Except I'm not talking about cheating, nor about tactics. I'm talking about what the GM does with a monster.

That orc with the greataxe is nasty, but a good GM would send him in alone, or in very small numbers. The club-wielding orcs would likely be more numerous.

It's about ethics in encounter design. (God, some phrases just feel ruined for me at this point.)

It's okay, m'draconic lady.

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Ms. Pleiades wrote:
EntrerisShadow wrote:
Ms. Pleiades wrote:
Umbral Reaver wrote:
Ms. Pleiades wrote:
Regenerators from Resident Evil 4.
DR/sneak attack and Regeneration/sneak attack?
That would certainly be one way of doing that. And it would certainly make the creature quite terrifying. I have many memories of having to use all my shotgun ammo and grenades on those things because I did not pick up the thermal scope.

What was the name of Salazar's monster sidekick? Vesugo or something? THAT would have the makings of an awful PF monster without much adjustment made.

Fighting something with Power Attack, Hide in Plain Sight, a 40 ft/round climb speed, and maxed out stealth playing hit and run tactics with the party? That is the sort of thing that drives players to stage coups.

It was Verdugo, and honestly it was a good fight, but its vulnerability to cold balanced things out :D

I actually really want to make this now. What do you think - maybe a CR 8 or 9?

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Corsets don't cover the arms - leather armor does.

Also a male witch could totally rock a corset if he wants to. Although I personally would see a Reanimator alchemist with ranks in Perform (Sing) if I went that route.

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Ms. Pleiades wrote:
Umbral Reaver wrote:
Ms. Pleiades wrote:
Regenerators from Resident Evil 4.
DR/sneak attack and Regeneration/sneak attack?
That would certainly be one way of doing that. And it would certainly make the creature quite terrifying. I have many memories of having to use all my shotgun ammo and grenades on those things because I did not pick up the thermal scope.

What was the name of Salazar's monster sidekick? Vesugo or something? THAT would have the makings of an awful PF monster without much adjustment made.

Fighting something with Power Attack, Hide in Plain Sight, a 40 ft/round climb speed, and maxed out stealth playing hit and run tactics with the party? That is the sort of thing that drives players to stage coups.

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So I know this isn't precisely new, BUT there is a certain alignment - and I'm sure you've all guessed what it is even though I haven't put it in the title. At my table (and many others I'm told) it's known, colloquially, as chaotic bull@#%% - or, chaotic stupid if you're squeamish.

Players who choose this forbidden alignment are almost always to a T confrontational. They seem to choose it just for the opportunity to make action happen by acting impulsively and without thought. If they're not taking the most ridiculous course of action possible, they're arguing with the level heads in the party about why they need to dispense with the diplomacy and stab the king in his stupid, kingly face.

And worse than that, they use the "chaotic" portion of their alignment to justify that most disgusting atrocities - deception, torture, thuggery and worse are all justifiable as long as you're only doing it to the enemies. It doesn't make them evil, after all, because they only do it to evil NPCs.

Man, I hate Chaotic Good characters.

For all of the complaints about Chaotic Neutral, my problem players have almost always steered clear of the dreaded 'no-no' alignment. It's a personal favorite and one I've seen attached to the more well thought out characters in games I've ran. But Chaotic Good? C/G on a character sheet makes me nervous.

Anyone else have a Scrappy alignment at their table that's not Chaotic Neutral?

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Henshin, I'd peg Lawful based on the posts I've read. You recognize corruption, but ultimately still seem to have faith in institutions. Good is a lot harder to quantify - and personally, I'm of the opinion that maybe 1% of the world, if that, ever achieves it. I'll let someone else make the moral call.

I'd peg myself chaotic neutral. I believe, strongly, that power corrupts inevitably and absolutely. Anything done to those in institutions of power - whether that be government, the church, multinational corporations, world superpowers - is almost always justified. The only good that can actually be done is constantly tearing them down and replacing them with something slightly better. The only kind of authority I trust is scientific - specifically because its basis is skepticism and tearing down old knowledge for new. I'm confrontational about the status quo - here and my personal life. And it's oddly gotten much worse, not calmer, with age. If you are really desperate for an argument, please mention the words "thug" or "traditional marriage" in my general vicinity. Is it annoying? I'm sure it is. So are Chaotic Neutral characters. Perfect fit.

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As a corollary to both the Teachable Campaign and Mary Suetopia:

IT'S OKAY! THE BOOK SAYS THEY'RE EVIL

Do you not like "Always Chaotic Evil" as a trope? Do you actually like some nuance or, you know, character motivation in your stories? Do you understand why the walkers stopped being the primary antagonists on Walking Dead by season 2? This is not the place for you. Always Chaotic Evil means every mission will be, "Go Here. Kill Bad Guys. Collect Reward." Are you being sent on two-days' travel to kill a group of orcs or goblins that haven't actually done anything in the story? Does that make you feel a little icky? Get that SJW crap outta here! As long as the book says it's an EVIL race you can do anything from genocide to torture to skull-redacteding its children to death in front of it and it's a-okay! They're always chaotic evil, anyway - even if that explanation LITERALLY MAKES NO FREAKING SENSE. Now roll for encounters on your way back to collect your reward from the 'kindly and benevolent' Duke that hired you to kill sentient beings as a form of pest control.

THE ANTI-SUEPOCALYPSE

You'd really better not want to play (insert race here, usually gnomes). The DM hates Gnomes and will it make clear how very much he hates gnomes and hates you for choosing a gnome. Prepare for every single NPC you encounter to revile you, refuse to sell to you, and generally treat you like crap. This doesn't really make sense storywise like it might with an Orc or Drow - but whatever. The populace is totally cool of a party traveling with a member of a race known for murder and deceit, but you dare include anything lighthearted in their grim fantasy world and they get really bent out of shape.

LOOK HOW MATURE MY GAME IS
or
"I Totally Misunderstood Why People Like Game of Thrones"

This DM's world is dark. How dark you ask? Don't worry, they're going to make sure you know how dark by including something absolutely vomit inducing nearly every session. Gory mutilation will be described in nasty detail. Disease will ravage every corner of the land. Defecation and urination won't happen 'off screen', but as a recurring event - often times on or in other people for good measure. The "R" word will come up early, it will come up often, it will be a major part of nearly every female NPC's backstory, and it will probably happen to a PC at some point in the campaign.

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You have to remember YOU make the world.

The Bestiaries are stat blocks with some flavor to inspire. So, they present a minotaur to use and give you the basics. When you actually run the game, in the world you create, it can be THE minotaur --- a legendary beast at the heart of a labyrinth that an ashamed king has employed the players to destroy for him. If it's not challenging enough, throw on a few levels of Barbarian and make a mid-level party quake.

Succubi can be only THE succubus; a former courtesan who trucked with dark powers for eternal youth and was cursed to seduce victims to their doom to maintain its beauty.

Especially when it comes to big monsters --- "Titans" can become singular; a lone creation of the elemental chaos itself with power that rivals the gods.

They're called source books for a reason. They give you source material to adjust as you feel fit. And if that's not enough for you, the AP's and Revisited books provide plenty of unique, named monsters with full backstories to boot.

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Paladin of Baha-Who? wrote:
When people react badly to suggestions about how to make RPG gaming welcoming to women, it always makes me wonder why they value the behavior that is offputting so highly.

Its not necessarily the behavior itself that's valued but the ability to not constantly have to think about what you're saying and doing. Taking that self monitoring up to a level that more women would be comfortable with can detract quite a bit from the fun.

You have to avoid a level of offense that's set by another person. Its not static, its not objective, and most importantly its not visible. Telling when you've stepped over the line or are coming close can be VERY hard so it's a constant worry that anything you say might be over the line.

Someone asked me who my previous post was directed at --- and this right here is a related, if not perfect, example.

Really, other people do this every day. The fact alone that we have a concept of 'emasculation' in our culture is a good indication about how often women are just expected to adjust their attitudes based on the subjective sensibilities of someone else. Yet we almost never argue about what is actually emasculating in that context - it's just generally assumed that they know because they've been taught from early childhood, as women, what sort of things are typically expected by and around men. Every woman I have ever met does this. This is the reality of their lives. And yet here we are again fretting about being asked to do the same thing for others we have grown completely accustomed to expecting from them.

And what's particularly telling is what exactly we are worried about. Like we won't be able to relax because what? Because somebody might unfairly dislike us? Wanna talk about what women have to fear if they step over the line?

It's not an argument worth having. We have some pretty strong guidelines about what should be expected. I think the line is typically a lot clearer than we want to believe because if it is our excuses dry up. But even if you do inadvertently step over it, you just apologize and try to do better. There are no REAL consequences for a slip up. What a freaking gift that is!

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I sorta try to avoid this topics now as they get my rankles up... but I can't help it, because this always happens. Someone talks about how you can be more inclusive and the straight white guys inevitably bring up a ridiculous argument about how everyone needs to get over it and NOT being offensive would be its own form of discrimination by not treating people 'equally'. And I hate, hate, hate that argument with a passion.

Maybe there's a point, and maybe somebody gets to say that. But not you. Not me. Not us. Not the people whose entire lives have been defined by others going out of their way not to offend us.

Making a big budget Hollywood movie? Better not make it too black! Or only include women! Hell, you just better not even make it too 'girly' regardless of your male-to-female ratio.

Remember Magic Mike? How many of you actually saw it? Notice the actual ratio of male-to-female nudity in there? Even if you're targeting women in a provocative way you have to include something for their boyfriends in case they get 'dragged' along to see it. Ever see any such consideration given to women?

All this talk about sexy iconics and never once is it considered that it would actually be more than fair if Pathfinder never included a sexualized female character and only focused on the female gaze because it still wouldn't bring the industry close to parity. There was never a point at which heterosexual men were NOT considered as part of the target demographic. Can you say that about any other group?

Want to sell a predominately black musical genre to a white audience? It'd better have a white face stamped on it, even if they're despicable human beings. (Eminem springs to mind.)

Want to make feminism relevant to men? Better list the myriad ways that men are hurt by patriarchy, too - as if subjugating 51% of the population in the guise of tradition wasn't enough of a reason. And you'd better begin every single point by reminding men - mostly straight white men specifically, as the only group of people who predominately have so few actual problems that they have to go looking for them - that you don't hate them or aren't biased toward them.

Stop acting like being asked not to offend is hypersensitive or some great burden on you or like you're the "true" Egalitarian(TM) for not buying it. It's just people asking for the same basic courtesy we've taken for granted since we pretty much got control of the Western world 500 years ago. If we lived in a society that didn't do that, then you might have a case. But since you have ZERO idea what it's like to constantly be expected to just 'get over it' or being diminished, then no, you're not being fair when you're "equally" crude or belittling to everyone you meet. Especially when they're things that can only very specifically target someone for their gender - like rape, for instance - but ultimately no matter what the context.

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MagusJanus wrote:
EntrerisShadow wrote:
thejeff wrote:


And all of that is without considering climate change.

Kind of surprised this hasn't come up more. We are in a unique situation where the doomsday warning aren't coming from religions or prophets or mystics - but peer reviewed scientific research.

Again, probably won't wipe humans out (EDIT: completely), but it'll be apocalyptic in that the world on the other side is going to look very different.

It's not unique. This isn't the first time science has predicted humanity's demise.

The first time is one of the pieces of science that led to China's one-child-only policy and many of the human rights abuses China has performed while maintaining that policy.

It's since been disproven, but that doesn't exactly do much to comfort all of the victims of implementing its suggestions.

Edit: Almost forgot... there were also the scientists who were afraid the first atomic weapon would ignite Earth's atmosphere. They were quickly proven wrong, but for awhile there was some serious consideration that the U.S. may be building a weapon that would destroy the planet.

I don't even know where to begin with this. You're comparing apples to oranges here.

The atomic bomb concern was a small fraction of scientists worried about the possibility of a chain reaction. A better example would be the small fraction of people who thought the large hadron collider would open up a black hole. They were there, certainly, but a fringe group that were almost universally dismissed out of hand. It's hardly anywhere near the consensus we have on climate change.

I don't know enough about China's one-child-policy to say what lead to it, but if what you say is true, then again there's an enormous difference between clinging to policy in light of debunking evidence, and refusing to acknowledge legitimate findings.

Jaelithe wrote:
EntrerisShadow wrote:
Kind of surprised this hasn't come up more. We are in a unique situation where the doomsday warning aren't coming from religions or prophets or mystics - but peer reviewed scientific research.
Yes, because when people in lab coats start clucking that the sky is falling, it must be true.

Wow, arrogant much? I definitely trust those 'people in lab coats' - that is, people who have dedicated their entire lives to studying and understanding natural phenomena - when they overwhelmingly agree there going to be potentially catastrophic consequences, to the drivel of anti-intellectual knuckle-draggers who think their lack of education on the matter somehow makes their opinions more valid.

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OK, so I saw my last post was deleted. I'm not surprised. I was angry when I wrote it - I still am. I'm furious. I wrote that Fergurg, and people like him, are delusional.

I get why my post was deleted. I don't agree with it, but I expected it. However, a few posts beyond that, I find this:

Fergurg wrote:

BTW: You want a conspiracy theory? I got one, and I don't think it's too far-fetched: Garner's legal issues, and the reason he knew that particular cop, were related to not paying cigarette taxes. The mayor of NYC loves himself some taxes. The people who elected him, the same people who would be part of the grand jury pool, elected a man who campaigned on raising taxes.

Is it just me, or does this sound like a "Business man didn't pay the money we wanted him to pay. Sure was a tragic 'accident' what happened to him. If only he had paid, that could have been avoided."

And this is precisely what I'm talking about. Our slavish devotion to an abstract notion of 'civility' (toward other white males who have none for anyone else) has sincerely hampered our position. Unless you catch someone organizing a cross-burning, you can bet calling a racist racist is going to get stamped down hard.

Yet here is someone insinuating that the mayor, who has a black family - who has been touched directly by the brutality and racism of the NYPD - is responsible for the death of an innocent man over TAXES. Here is somebody who has done nothing but try to justify the murder of unarmed black citizens as legitimate police work, now using those same people he denigrated as pawns for some right-wing fantasy about Tax Collecting Death Squads.

What a vile, racist and ridiculous thing to say. What a vile, racist, and delusional position to hold. Fegurg is a very disturbed individual with disturbing views. Yet my post is the 'inflammatory' one for pointing that out?

My guess is this will probably be deleted, too. Something might happen to my account - a temporary suspension or something so I can "calm down" or whatever. But we whites who for too long placed the feelings of racists in our midst above the lives and justice for those who didn't look like us - we are just as responsible for these statistics as the "I Am Darren Wilson" crowd. Every time we legitimized these people, every time we refused to call them what they are, every time we got up on the proverbial stage and shook hands and acted like The Loyal Opposition with murderers we perpetuated that system. There is blood on all of our hands now.

I'm done treating people with respect whose entire existence is one dedicated to the oppression and murder of others. I'll save my respect for their victims.

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bugleyman wrote:
thejeff wrote:
It also ties in nicely to the "It's the black people's fault" theme. If it's not because they're criminals, it's because they must just be jerks to cops more often.
If they don't enjoy being shot to death, maybe they should trying being a little less black. /s

I know it's sarcasm, but that's about a perfect summation of FOX News' position.

Pardon the expression, but there are few issues on the scene right now that are as black and white as this one. (The only one that immediately springs to mind is torture.) You are on the side of victims, or you are on the side of the murderers. This is not left vs right, law and order vs civil liberties. This is as close to being on the side of objective good versus objective evil you will ever get.

Look at the photos from the 1950's and 60's, where the cops turned firehoses on civil-rights protesters and consider for a long while, if you'd been raised in that era, whose side you would be on.

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Caineach wrote:
Lemmy wrote:

IME with the police from 3 different nations, (including Brazil, which is not exactly known for it's amazing police force and safe streets), most police officers are actually honest people doing their work, usually legitimately trying to protect and serve the community.

As is the case with any other organization, though, it has bad apples. A$#%#%%s will be a@@~@$@s, no matter their job. And if those a*!%%*@s are in a position of power, they'll abuse it. It doesn't matter if it's the power of carrying loaded arms and beating up people or the power to write and approve bad laws.

Additionally, police officers don't grow on police trees. They most likely come from the communities where they work. The police (much like government) reflects the society that it works for. In a place where racism is common, expect lots of racist cops. In a place where corruption runs rampant, expect corrupt cops.

I know the quality of police forces varies wildly from place to place, but I tend to at least show police officers some respect and give them the benefit of doubt. Their job is often dangerous and underpaid, and to make things worse, the communities they protect often see them with bad eyes...

It's certainly not an easy job. Especially in the communities that most desperately need an effective police force.

A. As mentioned above, they often don't live in the communities they work and prefer to have a relatively long commute to avoid running into people they have arrested. This is more true the likely more urban an area is.

B. Aren't recruited from communities which have grown to distrust the police, like minority ones, because people don't grow up to aspire to be their enemy. By actively discriminating against a community, you reduce the number of people from that community interested in being recruited.

At this point, I more or less assume a cop is scum on a power trip and deal with them like any other bully, unless they give me the rare cause to think something else.

Also,...

^--- All of that. Also, semi-related, but you want to talk underpaid? More fast food workers are killed per capita than cops and their asking to be paid more than the minimum wage is met with derision and anger by the same people who defend criminal cops. I'll leave it there so as not to hijack, but it really gets my cackles up.

There's a definite problem with the police, especially when interacting with minority groups.

Truthfully, it can probably be traced back to our unique relationship with slavery and how this made America distinct from its European fellows in its development of white supremacy. The way-too-simplified explanation would probably be, whereas European white supremacy was outwardly focused and expansionist, America's looked inward. Rich European immigrants experienced uprising and revolts of both slaves and poor white immigrants - usually brought over as little more than slaves themselves - and learned quickly to divide and conquer. Keep institutionally powerless lower-class whites looking down, afraid of blacks rising to their very limited station, so they wouldn't look up and see whose boot was on the back of their neck. The very institution of the municipal police department is at its core racist, an extension of this meant to insulate white communities and cow minority ones into submission.

To put it succinctly, it working precisely how it is designed to work.

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Logan1138 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".
I absolutely agree. +x weapons and armor are nice for their utility but just don't spark the imagination the way a Cloak of Manta Ray or Horn of Blasting does. Those are truly "cool" items that often solve a problem or turn the tide of battle in ways that create a memorable experience.

Thia is something old school I'd like to see make a comeback. Far fewer magic items, but the ones that exist have epic names and stories behind them, rather than just +X whatever.

My 5E game has 5th level characters and they've yet to find a magic weapon, but it doesn't seem to be hurting them at all. (In fairness, the party has a Sorcerer, Druid, and Cleric; but the Paladin and Fighter are still effective.)

Actually, the only magical equipment they've found thus far is a quest item with a minor effect. But it felt a lot more special than buying enchantments when they're in town.

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Christopher Dudley wrote:
My peeve is getting interested in joining a new campaign but being told for the 497th time in a row "Core only." Since 2nd edition I've been buying just about every sourcebook I could get my hands on from TSR, then WotC, then Paizo. And I read up and find some new race/class/feat/build that makes me want to play it. Only I'll give my idea to the GM and he'll say "Oh, I'm not allowing that." I don't think I ever got to play in a 2e game with the training wheels off, and I can only think of 1 3e game I got to play a later core class (Warblade from Book of 9 Swords - thank you SlyFlourish!). To be fair, I did get approved to try a duskblade in another game, but the game folded before I got to write it up.

Core Only is one of my major pet peeves, too. I often limit my games around a certain theme or I might say no to particular class/race combinations, but if I'm going to the DM, I do the heavy lifting of making sure it's balanced and appropriate. My biggest complaint about DM's is cutting things arbitrarily. I got banned from playing an alchemist by a DM because he hadn't bothered to read the class and didn't want to.

You know what I hate? Ninjas. You know what class I read all about anyway? Ninjas. You know what class I let my players choose if they're so inclined? Ninjas.

Also going to chime in with the chorus of people who can't stand Chaotic Evil Chaotic Neutral players. I love Chaotic Neutral. It's one of my favorite alignments since it is so freeing. But I know any DM that sees "CN" on my character sheet is going to groan and roll her eyes because too many players have used it as a license to kill, brutalize, rape and pillage indiscriminately.

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Somewhat back on topic, one of the things I appreciate most about 5E is the dismantling of "Save or Die" spells. There are a still a few high level "I Win" buttons, but saves and DCs never reach the absurd heights they do in 3.PF. So no more, it's a complete waste of time to cast "Hold Monster" on a caster-type enemy, but no more Charm the Heavy-Hitting mook and combat is over, either.

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David Bowles wrote:
Interesting. You think maybe it would be less dangerous if the clerics were adopting the heal stick role? Because maybe it's dangerous because cleric players aren't sucking it up and doing the right thing for the group.

Blech. I'll watch all of my friends die painfully before I play a healbot. In 5E especially, support-style clerics have so many buffs/debuffs that if you're healing in combat, you've already failed at your job.

But in fairness, that was my philosophy in PF, too. My Cleric is either all about control or doing damage. And then, if you really need it, when we're done I'll throw down some channels.

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Usual Suspect wrote:
As examples; the Catholic Church (and the Vatican) is clearly not lawful good but does have a lawful and just society as a goal that we would call lawful good. But as any large institution is inevitably prone to corruption the Catholic Church has problems with abuse of power and position as well as institutional attempts to whitewash current and past events that put the church in a bad light. Any political institution (which means any country and any large religious organization) can ascribe to lofty goals like being a just society.

I wouldn't call any city-state whose utopian ideals include the subjugation of women and non-believers "good".

Hence the problem with every Abrahamic religious organization. It's not that they're bad when they're corrupt; it's that they're bad when they're following their teachings to the letter.

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David Bowles wrote:
How tactically oriented is your GM? Because I'll tell you right now that if I were GMing this system, it would be incredibly hazardous for casters. I would take full advantage of this... feature as early and as often as possible. It's not...

Unrelated to the caster thing, but I have to say that it's interesting that in such a stripped down system, 5E demands players be more tactically astute than the rules-heavy 3.PF model.

The Monster Manual pretty much hands out advantage to GM's like candy. Even the staple of low-level counters - 1/4 CR wolves - become deadly if you throw more than one of them in there. (Automatic advantage when in a pack, and DC 13 trip attempts on every attack.)

A Level 1 Fighter in 3.PF could probably kill a dozen rats without breaking a sweat. I almost killed our party fighter with 4 of them, due to the new finesse attack/damage rules.

In PF I always had to throw harder CR's at my players to make the encounters challenging. In 5E I'm wondering what drunk hobo thought "1/8" was an appropriate challenge rating for something that can knock out your fighter in two hits.

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sunshadow21 wrote:
Laurefindel wrote:
The fact that casters can't go in and out of combat with impunity is not a bad thing IMO even if it changes the paradigm a bit.
It hurts the robustness of the overall system if you limit it too much. 3.x/PF probably went a bit far, but casters still need some ability to do so, as combat is going to be where the party spends a lot of time, and returning to AD&D levels is to me too far of a step back. Maybe 5E pulls it off in play without having to have the perfect group, but on paper, it seems like it has most, if not quite all, of the difficulties that AD&D had, which makes me less likely to actually try the game because I like to play casters and I need them to be not entirely reliant on teammates or DM fiat to be both fun and useful. 5E just doesn't seem to have that from what I've seen so far.

Well, our level 1 sorcerer did single-handedly end an encounter with 5 goblins last session.... so I can say with certainty it's not unheard of for a caster to hold up by themselves. (Like I said - Sleep is still a great equalizer. Probably moreso now that that there's no save.)

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David Bowles wrote:
I disagree with your last statement. I think there is a VERY real chance of getting crushed by a martial, because once they are adjacent, you can't get away. And cranking down spell slots seems to me to be cranking down choice. Maybe I'm just looking at it very differently.

I actually like that quite a bit. Essentially, D&D is a party based system, meaning that no class should be a one man show. You need every member of a party to effectively do different things.

So casters really shouldn't be able to get away from martials. In a party, the martials should be killing opposing casters or trying to prevent the other beat sticks from killing their caster.

The caster, depending on the type, should either be killing scores of smaller enemies, buffing their allies and debuffing opponents, or shaping the battlefield so it is more advantageous toward their group.

Casters should cast and martials should . . . uh, martial. I could see a two-adventurer party with a Battle Master Fighter and Diviner Wizard being more dangerous than the standard group of 4.

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David Bowles wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
The point is that they have taken away a lot of caster choice and enhanced martials tremendously. I see no reason to play a caster at all in 5th ed. Because some martial is going to come pound me like railroad tie.

Let's pretend for a moment that 5e actually was weighted in the favor or martial.

Is that so g@*!~%n bad? And if it is, then the bad news for Pathfinder is that it's way WAY more unbalanced, just in the opposite direction.

Perhaps. I find that high level DPR must be performed by martials in Pathfinder, because all the attack spells just bounce off the opponents. In Pathfinder, caster strength is diversity of effects. That's why I dislike sorcerers in homebrew games.

The whole full attack after full move combined with how disengaging from an opponent in combat works means that a caster can never get away from a martial in combat. The can't even mitigate the incoming damage. Combine this with gimped casting, no channeling, no meta magic and it adds up to a bunch of classes I would never play.

That is helpful in recommendations, at least.

If you think martials got shafted in 3.5/Pathfinder, you'll probably see 5E as a godsend.

If you think PF is balanced already, you'll probably find 5E completely unfair.

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David Bowles wrote:
I have seen them. And casters are eviscerated in 5th. No channel. No summons.

You can still summon as a Caster. (Conjure X spells exist) And they do have channel?

Summoning is powerful, but I wouldn't even say it's the most powerful thing you can do as a conjurer. (Black Tentacles, Pit spells, Glitterdust, and so on.)

I guess it is a pointless argument - different strokes, and all that - but I've found casters to still be incredibly powerful.

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David Bowles wrote:
Eben TheQuiet wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
I dislike the lack of dynamic range of 5th edition greatly. Getting rid of all the "+1's" makes 5th ed combat pretty boring to me.

I agree with this. I've only played a few pick up games (and all at level 1 & 2, so keep that in mind), but there really didn't seem like much difference between someone invested in a particular area and someone who wasn't.

I can appreciate a simplified system, and I can appreciate the flexibility it gives DM's to improvise and keep things moving narratively, but I want my character build choices and conceptual areas-of-focus to make the character mechanically stand out.

I improvise just fine in Pathfinder. But I've been templating since 2000. The first 3.0 game I ran had templated NPCs in it.

One more point about 5th: I hate it that martials can take a move and then get all thier attacks. 5th, from what I have seen, is balanced very heavily in favor of martials. I would, for example, never play a cleric in 5th. I'd make someone else do that job.

Wait, what?!

Dude, have you seen the cantrips in this edition? Unlimited Xd6-Xd12/day at range with several feats and class features that allow you to add your casting stat to it?

I'm playing a Cleric with the War domain right now who currently has more attacks than our fighter and does more damage per swing. (Though that'll change around 5th level, as it should.) Plus spells get stupid powerful in the higher levels.

The only real difference I can see is it lets martial characters actually do their schtick instead of forcing everyone go into archery so they can get their full attack routine reliably.

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Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Usual Suspect wrote:

I had a DM that let the party gang rape my character's cohort. The idiot couldn't quite understand why I quit after that. Kept pushing to know why I quit coming to the game (I had made a polite excuse as to why I wouldn't be back). He was terribly upset when I explained what a douchbag move it was for the DM to ignore evil actions in a game where he had specifically outlawed evil characters. Most of his players thought it was hillarious. Honestly, 3 twenty-something guys couldn't figure out why rape isn't fin or funny.

Pretty much ruined gaming for a year as I wasn't even interested in role-playing because of that.

Wow, that's an asinine group. The DM wouldn't have had to push me to know why I left...

Rape is something that the heroes kill villainous NPCs for doing, not something that PCs do because lolz the evulz!

I feel like even THAT has to be handled with tact, shouldn't be introduced until you've properly gotten to know the vibe at the table, and still should be used very, very sparingly. (Aside from any other offense it may cause, rape to establish that this is a 'dark' campaign is cliche.)

But what Tequila Sunrise described is just sick. Even if they were evil characters, even if the DM enforced that and made them rewrite all of their character sheets --- some things are just so beyond the pale of human decency I couldn't imagine how anyone would want to play it out in a board game in the first place.

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Robert Carter 58 wrote:
I like to play good looking, human height, non humans. I find that sooo many GMs are rigid and conservative, so I often wind up playing elves and half-elves. But I'd love to explore Aasmimar, Tieflings, Dhampir, Catfolk, but again, many GMs have a stick up their @$$ with this stuff.

In fairness, after a lot of the Aasimars/Tieflings (ESPECIALLY Tieflings) I've seen played, I understand GM's not wanting them around. Too much of the same wangsty, special snowflake BS over and over and over. And anthros? Well, I could share some links about what turns people off to anthros, but I'd be banned from the forums.

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2097 wrote:
Oh, and I forgot to say, I really don't like adventure paths and I was disappointed that Tyranny of Dragons was one, instead of a more sandboxy campaign.

I actually love the AP style. I mean, has enough really changed that we need new Forgotten Realms, Eberron, Dragonlance, and/or Greyhawk source books? It probably wouldn't be too difficult to translate the previous edition's sourcebooks to make it fit, either way.

I can do sandbox-y just fine. But sometimes trying to make a coherent story come together over a period of weeks can be a little difficult if I'm on a downswing. The AP's provide a nice break from hardcore DMing to let me play on "Easy" mode for a while.

EDIT: And oh yeah, lorenlord, I'm quite pleased to see how this is going, too! Was a little worried it might devolve into a flame war, but this has been really interesting so far.

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

Well, the roleplaying stuff is only a facet of it. Generally speaking people apply the label "weaboo" to any non-native fan of Japanese culture and ESPECIALLY media and entertainment.

Extremism on the part of the fan may or may not be present. I've seen the term used to shut down discussions and dismiss a fan's opinions immediately in the vein of "Shut up, I don't watch weaboo crap," or "3.5's Book of Nine Swords is WEABOO FIGHTAN MAGICKE!"

Generally, when someone says it, it seems in my mind to carry a subtle racism to it, implying that the media in question is inherently bad because it's Japanese in origin, or at the very least enjoying it is not something "normal" geeks (i.e. straight, white, cisgendered American men between the ages of 13 and older) should be doing.

If I can offer a defense, I think this cuts both ways.

I enjoy anime, and I do get irritated by a lot of the stereotypes of what it is. I know a lot of people who won't give it a chance because they believe every stereotype they've heard about it. (Perverted, childish, inscrutable - take your pick.) That's sad and offensive, and they're missing out on some really great things. I would even go so far as to say that a childhood devoid of Miyazaki is as incomplete as one devoid of Pixar.

But there's the racism of "Anything non-European is innately inferior", and there's the racism of "Anything (whatever culture) is automatically the best!", especially when it's not really that culture but some bowdlerized version that has more in common with Western misinformation than the actual society. The version that misuses casual Japanese terms in every day conversation - sometimes in offensive or culturally inappropriate ways, regards major parts of Japanese history as their most stereotypical and "most honourable" stereotype (see: Samurai), at the extreme end one who has an obsession with Japanese women, in particular getting a Japanese girlfriend as a prop for his hobby. (Yes, I've met this guy, and yes, he's exactly as greasy as you are picturing him right now.)

It's like the white people who dress up in (what they think is) traditional Native American garb and co-opt it for ridiculous 'ceremonies'. So basically this but with Japan.

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