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Stone Giant

Fabius Maximus's page

982 posts (983 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 1 alias.


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For other sources, there is a short article called "The Ecology of the Duergar" in Dragon Magazine #325.

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Drejk wrote:
Don Juan de Doodlebug wrote:

Apparently, I am in danger of growing up and being domesticated.

I've heard love does that...

(We exchanged.)

So you are on your way to become household goblin? That's something new...

We could start calling him Doddy.

Imbicatus wrote:
Agree, Voyager has some great points, especially after they got away from the Kazon and Seska. Year of Hell was pretty awesome, as was Scorpion.

And then they went and made the Borg push-overs.

If an archetype replaces a class feature that has a series of improvements, but it does not list one individual improvement, that class feature replaces the entire class feature and all of its improvements. For example, if a class feature says that it replaces trap sense without mentioning a specific bonus, it replaces all of trap sense.
Ironskin Monk wrote:

Tough as Nails (Ex)

At 6th level, an ironskin monk gains DR 1/—. Subtract 1 point from the damage the ironskin monk takes each time he is dealt damage from a weapon or a natural attack. This damage reduction increases by 1 point at 9th level and every 3 levels thereafter. Damage Reduction can reduce damage to 0 but not below 0.

This ability replaces fast movement and slow fall.

At level 6, the Ironskin Monk already has Slow Fall (20 ft) and Fast Movement (10 ft.). Does he never get them or does he stop the progression at that level?

Date of Lies wrote:
Fabius: I can understand that, but not for the next room in the dungeon (where we stopped in between sessions).

Fair enough. I'm still encountering the problem in Council of Thieves, which is very wordy and at several points gives the PCs quite a few options where they can go next. But if the GM knows what comes next, I cannot think of an excuse for that (except maybe time constraints).

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Re point 2: I know that problem as a GM. Many times, information is scattered through the book and you have to look up details because you didn't expect the players to ask certain questions. The only way to avoid this is to memorize the whole book. The amount of information in those books can get quite staggering, too (although I don't know how it is in Legacy of Fire).

Aranna wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
DS9 is where Star Trek fandom goes to die.

I thought it was after Enterprise was poorly received that producers thought Star Trek was dead? They even sold all the props and sets off.

Nah, Berman and Braga killed Star Trek with Voyager. It got resurrected in season 4 of Enterprise for a time, until they put the last nail in the coffin with its last episode (which was just a big f*** you to the fans).

Dustin Ashe wrote:

That might actually work, but they'll need a new script first (one that doesn't reset the universe yet again).

Quark Blast wrote:

I see your point but what I'm saying about Eberron-official stuff is that if I'm using a purchased product to help me with my campaign it would be nice if it did things that I really don't have time to do.

Adventure hooks? Those are beyond easy to come up with. What I don't have time for is detailed plot interactions and room descriptions. Custom stat blocks and non-standard magic items or traps. The more details the better as I find it far easier to tweak or delete content than to make it up whole on my own. If I'm paying $30-$50 for something I want the boring detail work done for me.

I seriously don't know what you expect. Stat blocks usually don't show up in Campaign Setting material. There are some in the ECS in addition to a few in the other books (mostly when it comes to PrCs). However, there are a lot of "non-standard magic items" to be found; the ECS has a whole section devoted to it, for example. And traps you mainly find in adventure modules, anyway. There are not a lot of those for Eberron, sadly.

Setting books are there to deliver background information. Now, you don't like Eberron as a setting and that's fine. But it seems to me that your expectations are impossibly high here. Maybe you could give me an example of a setting that does it right in your opinion?


Population levels of all the cities for example.

Eberron - it's famous for confusing/wrong maps.

The fact that very few good or neutral NPCs are >6th level yet the world is infused with major BEBG type-things (Dalkyr, Blood of Vol, Lords of Dust, Dreaming Dark, etc.). Things that could eat civilization on Khorvaire for a light brunch yet instead wait around for the PCs to get high enough level to be a threat to them... why?

Baker confessed to the first two facts quite early after the initial publishing of the ECS. I'm not sure if they were fixed in the 4e material.

As for the threats, they all have counters: the Chamber, Adar and the Kalashtar, the Church of the Silver Flame, the Undying Court and so on. Don't forget that the most powerful beings of two Big Bad factions are locked into Khyber, one of them pretty thoroughly. Also, they don't wait around (I don't know what gave you that impression).

Mechagamera wrote:

If I was a decision maker at Paizo, I would agree 100% with LazarX.

Since I'm not, I think the Malazan books would be interesting in a mythic rules kind of way.

I think the Malazan setting depends on what do you want to play: normal people or ascendants. For normal people, Savage Worlds might work better. For ascendants, WoD: Scion could be suitable (even if you'd need to adapt a lot of the material).

Camazotz already is in the game (that's not to say that he can be expanded upon).

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captain yesterday wrote:
if you want people only to say nice things you need to start a thread for it, maybe title it "Eberron, how do I love thee, let me count the ways" but jumping on everyone here that doesnt like it as much as you isn't constructive at all

Quark Blast's post was pretty vitriolic, throwing words around like "atrocity". My postings here are tame in comparison.

And no, I have nothing against criticism that is founded somehow. However, you and Quark Blast admitted that you basically have not done much reading on the subject and have also stated things that are objectively wrong (probably as a result of ignorance). That is not constructive.

captain yesterday wrote:
Fabius Maximus wrote:
Quark Blast wrote:

Finally, the thing that gets me most about Eberron is the official products. They give big sweeping and sometimes vague generalizations about the history/politics of the campaign world and then tell the GM (and players) that if they need any more detail they should fill that stuff in "to make the setting truly their own".
If I understand you correctly: You want a setting that does all the work for you while exactly matching your expectations.
he wants adventure hooks, something more then "figure it out yourself" its the history of the setting for gosh sake! are you going to criticize everyone that doesn't like Eberron? is it that important to you?

There are plenty of adventure hooks strewn throughout the material.

Eberron is my second favourite setting after Planescape, so why would I not answer false claims about (and outright hate towards) it?

Quark Blast wrote:

Finally, the thing that gets me most about Eberron is the official products. They give big sweeping and sometimes vague generalizations about the history/politics of the campaign world and then tell the GM (and players) that if they need any more detail they should fill that stuff in "to make the setting truly their own".

If I understand you correctly: You want a setting that does all the work for you while exactly matching your expectations.

Eben TheQuiet wrote:

As for the whole drow thing ... I think it's unfortunate that drow—distinctly characterized by their black skin—are nearly always racially evil. But, as was mentioned up-thread, that's hardly unique to Eberron. In fact, it seems to me that Eberron went out of its way to remove automatic Good/Evil assumptions as a baseline from most races in the setting.

.. as opposed to ... say ... Golarion (for drow, anyway).

Indeed. The baseline alignment for every Eberron being is neutral, moreso than in other settings.

captain yesterday wrote:
Eberron sucked (i assume it has faded into nothingness) it was too small, bland (which is odd considering the genre it was going for) and just a bit racist (almost no human ethnicity, dark elves being evil from "the dark continent", Dwarves being miserly bankers)

I think we've been over this before. The only true thing in what you say is the claim that the world's too small (Keith Baker himself said he miscalculated sizes, I believe). However, it is big enough for most campaigns.

Grand Magus wrote:


A flat scissors is a series of nose-to-nose turns and overshoots in the
same maneuver plane, with each pilot attempting to get behind the other.
But how does this ever end? When one guy runs out of fuel?


When one of them makes a mistake or his plane is inferior in that situation.

@jjwolven: You didn't mention how the psionic characters outshone the others (although this would not be the thread or subforum for that discussion).

Anyway, since I've finally read through the playtest document, I might as well post my impressions here.

Kineticist and Medium seem like fine classes for which I can come up with character concepts quite easily. I'm a fan of Radiance House's work for 3.5e, though, so I don't know if I will use Paizo's updated Binder.

The Mesmerist looks like an updated Beguiler, a class that - like the Warmage - should have been a Sorcerer PrC back in 3.5. I like the fluff and quite a few of the mechanics. I just don't see why it needs to be a base class.

The Occultist seems fine, even if I probably won't play one, as it doesn't interest me much. However, the weapon and armor proficiencies are weird and do not fit the class's fluff. If this was intended to be a psychic melee combatant, I'd understand, but the class seemingly wants to be something else.

The Psychic is not for me. I'm neither a fan of the fluff nor of the amplification mechanics. I'd rather play a Psion.

The Spiritualist looks good. It is basically a haunted Oracle to the extreme, although I find the fluff a bit too narrow. Maybe there will be archetypes for tethering elementals or other outsiders in the book.

So, 2 or 3 interesting classes out of 6 is not enough for me to consider buying the book.

For non-divine healing, you could take a look at Dreamscarred's Vitalist, especially the more aggressive variants. A Battle-Medic Tactician could work quite well, too.

Any chance you can lay your hands on Hunter: The Vigil (World of Darkness)? Because Supernatural is very, very similar.

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Sara Marie wrote:
liz: if Valeros quits drinking, the cumulative hangover could kill him

He's going to need some Klatchian coffee, then.

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lorenlord wrote:

Also, I believe it was in Korea with the Sabres they hunted in groups of two, and employed the Scissors technique for mutual offense/defense. If a MiG got on either one of their sixes, when they rolled back over and "closed the scissors", the other Sabre would have a firing solution on the MiG.

I believe that tactic is called the "Thach Weave" or a variant thereof. It was developed by one John Thach during WWII, because the US Navy Wildcats were inferior to the Japanese Zeros. As the Japanese pilots rarely used group tactics, it proved a pretty effective defensive tactic.

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Morzadian wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
nighttree wrote:
As someone who didn't actually like the "psionics" feel in 3.5....I'm looking foreword to seeing what this turns out like flavor wise, as well as mechanically ;)
As someone who loved 3.5-style psionics and also loves the idea of cool Victorian and/or (Stephen) Kingsian mind magic, I too, am looking forward to seeing what this turns out like flavor wise, as well as mechanically ;)

D&D 3.5 Psionics was beyond broken. It created a new definition for what could be considered broken.

The infamous Pun-Pun build (kobold egoist) was conceived from the D&D 3.5 Expanded Psionics Handbook. With infinity looping power giving a player deity like powers.

I find it hard to understand Paizo's rationale in treading backwards into WOTC's worst blunders.

Erik Mona has a love for pulp fiction, and I can see why he would want to use the 'occult' as theme and subject matter. But D&D 3.5 psionics, please no.

Pathfinder doesn't need a Pun Pun.

Just four quick things:

1. Pun-Pun wasn't created using the Psion class. He can use the Psion class.
2. The problem was not that class, but that he can somehow force a Sarrukh to grant him one of its abilities. Sarrukh are high-level creatures from a FR splatbook, which makes him a corner case.
3. The whole thing is an experiment in extra odorous cheese and and not meant to be played.
4. You have no idea about 3.5 psionics if you use Pun-Pun as an example for its alleged brokeness.

If you want a discussion about this, PM me or use one of the psionics threads on the board, please.

Grand Magus wrote:
Fabius Maximus wrote:
Re the different pursuit types: In the prop era, there was an additional reason for using them: visibility. Depending on the target's distance and position realative to you, your plane's engine would block line of sight when in lead pursuit ...


Yay, firing while turning would be a harder shot compared to more level flight.
I have to wonder if early pilots avoided firing while turning unless the
lower chance of hitting vs. ammo use vs. desperation of the situation
demanded it.

Did they try to document and keep that type of data back then? That is,
what maneuver the plane was in during a kill shot. Information like that
would more likely be passed on word-of-mouth from pilot to pilot rather
than taught in a lecture-style assembly. Over the decades, the general
knowledge of such statistics would fade away.


I have no idea if they recorded that information. Also, confirming kills was really unreliable, because it frequently happened that a shot-up plane made it back to base or that a plane that still looked flight-capable after losing an engagement went down out of sight. The latter happened a lot in the Battle of Britain. British planes were outfitted with .303-caliber light machine guns. These things usually didn't stop German (or Italian) planes from fighting immediately, but damaged them enough that quite a few of them ended up in the drink much later.

As for lining up shots: you always wanted to approach a fighter from its six. You were way out of its firing arc and rearward visibility wasn't great in many WW II planes (the BF109 was especially bad in that respect, even if the thing blocking your view as an armor plate). But even rookies knew that. As a result, part of German air combat doctrine was "never fly more than 30 seconds in a straight and level line in a combat area". The allies had similar guidelines. More often than not, you'd catch an enemy fighter plane at an angle where a deflection shot was necessary to bring it down (the whole thing changed when engaging bombers; never approach a bomber from its six if you can avoid it).

That's not necessarily saying you'd engage in a turn fight. You needed to know your airplane's capabilities versus the attacker's plane and then decide how you wanted to continue. Most WW II planes were built with speed as their main defense in mind (with the exception of most British and Japanese aircraft). The FW-190 series for example could probably be outturned by any other single-engine plane during the war (though it had a very good roll rate, I believe, which helped a bit). It was very fast, however, and had a great dive speed, which meant pilots could dive away from engagements (provided they were out of the enemy's line of fire), then climb back up to a greater altitude and boom their opponents.

Krensky wrote:
It was much more useful in WWII and the early part of Korea when the Mk1 Eyeball was a pilot's sole sensor system.

That's where I was coming from.

Re the different pursuit types: In the prop era, there was an additional reason for using them: visibility. Depending on the target's distance and position realative to you, your plane's engine would block line of sight when in lead pursuit. But it was necessary to line up deflection shots, especially if you caught the enemy inside his turn (which you ideally wanted to do, because he showed you the "broadside" of his plane, including the cockpit). So you had to lead you target while hoping that the enemy pilot didn't change direction or - much more aggreviating - altitude when out of sight.

Krensky wrote:
In air combat they are pretty much never used except when breaking off when the other side doesn't have a good position to maneuver for an attack in the first place.

Would that not depend on your and the enemy plane's respective flight characteristics?

Well, yes. I don't know how the misappropriation of the Immelmann name came about, but it irks me. There is barely any skill involved in doing a half loop. You just have to know when you got the energy for it.

The Wingover variants actually are difficult to pull off.

Yeah, but that's not really an Immelmann turn. It's a half loop.

Originally, the Immelmann was a shallower version of a Wingover, with the expert version being the Hammerhead: After an attack on an enemy with less energy you'd pull up until your plane almost stalled, then used rudder to reverse direction, ideally going in for another attack. The enemy cannot follow you; if he does, he will stall sooner than you and therefore be unable to evade your attack.

The trailer makes Horizon look bad. I will probably watch at least the first 10 minutes, though. I'm also not a canon hound, so if Axanar works and Paramount doesn't block it, I'm fine with it, FASA or no FASA.

As for good fan movies, I recommend Star Trek: Phase II. They have done tremendous work with the scripts for the scrapped second TV series.

That worked, though I'm not much interested in the jet age, to be honest.

I wonder, shouldn't it be "Sun & Zoom", following that description?

Grand Magus wrote:


[vid = jets over korea]
In this video, goto 17 minutes from the ending (or 43 minutes from the beginning ...)
"Zoom and Sun" is a colorful name, too.


No Hulu for me, I'm afraid.

Axanar looks very, very good. It helps that they got several experienced actors for the project.

Horizon looks very bad. Not only is the trailer ineptly done, they also went with the temporal cold war background, which killed Star Trek: Enterprise.

Grand Magus wrote:


I think it was during the Korean War (1950-1953) that America first went
up against Russian jet-fighters. The jet-fighters would dive down and then
climb back up, and U.S. Pilots called them Yo-Yo attacks.


Never heard of Yo-Yo attacks. There are aerial combat maneuvers called high and low yo-yo, respectively.

The Soviet MiG-15bis was designed for intercepting B-29 bombers, which meant high service ceiling, good climb rate (and good acceleration), good high altitude performance and superior armament. To add insult to injury, the bloody thing turned really well, too.

OTOH, the MiG-15's low altitude performance wasn't great, compared to the F-86 Sabre. The firing rate of the Soviet large caliber cannons was also not really suited to combat enemy fighters and gun convergence between the 23mm and the 37mm was off, I believe.

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That's a long period to cover and I'm no expert, just an interested amateur, so take what I write with a grain of salt.

Basically, duels were much more prevalent during WW I, because of the ideal of gentlemanly combat and also because bombing tactics were just emerging. The fighter planes were really suited to these tactics, because those bi- or tri-plane fighters could turn on a dime.

After the Great War, the powers believed the future would lie in inassailable bomber formations and neglected developing fighter technology and tactics further. The Spanish Civil War kind of reinforced that impression, with the Legion Condor's bombing campaign being so successful. But the German Luftwaffe already was investing in new fighters and accompanying tactics. The Messerschmidt BF 109 was one of the first so-called energy fighters, I believe.

Energy fighting means that the pilot would try to gain altitude as rapidly as possible (meaning the planes had to have a good climb speed), because altitude equaled energy you could convert into speed used for diving down on an enemy plane, taking a shot and then using the speed gained in the dive to quickly gain altitude again, before the enemy had time to react. This was referred to by US pilots (I guess) as "Boom & Zoom", as opposed to "Turn & Burn". As this was more an ambush tactic, there barely was dueling anymore. Fighter wings would swoop down on the enemy and zoom away, then turn back and do the same again until they ran out of ammo or fuel.

The US AAF and Navy perfected this tactic and ordered their fighters to be uniquely suited for it. Late US planes would not have a great climb speed, but in the pacific theatre, the distances were so long that that didn't matter. The machines were very heavy, which meant they could outdive anything the Japanese Armed Forces (mostly using turnfighters, like the RAF) could throw at them.

Strategic bombing would be used much more heavily in WW II, so fighter escorts were standard. Again, the best plane for that role was the P-51. Its range was so great that it could range in front of bomber formation to sweep the sky clear of German interceptors, which by then were much more heavily armed than their US counterparts, but lacked the flight characteristics to keep up with them.

Grand Magus wrote:

It's possible to wonder which was more common in the olden' days: 1 v 1, or Bomber defense?

Depends on how you define "Olden Days".

Don't trust Dogfights (the show) too much. It has the reputation of being historically inaccurate.

A Split-S is a simple change in direction. You do an aileron roll while in level flight so you fly inverted. Then you pull on the elevators until you have reversed direction. It's called Split-S because from the side, the plane's flight path looks like the bottom half of the letter S.

It was a pretty effective way of dodging incoming fire, but there are much more complex maneuvers.

well, you use your caster level, ability modifier and "relevant feats" for spells cast from a staff. They may also have only 10 charges now, but you can recharge them.

EDIT: Bloody ninjas.

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I blame Cosmo that I blamed Limeylongears for something that Cosmo clearly was responsible for.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I blame the Limey for not knowing that the leopard doesn't change its shorts.

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Laurefindel wrote:

I find pilots are not often very representative of their series. Usually when I really like a pilot, the series end-up disappointing me. When I thought the pilot was only OK, I often end-up liking the series. Sometimes it has less to do with the episode itself, but in the order or ways that things are introduced for the first time.

That was the case with Firefly. The Train Job was a good episode but a poor pilot IMO. The pilot for The Clone Wars was rather blah IIRC, and the series really picked-up by season two for me.

I don't know how it was for this one, but pilots are often manipulated by three or four different parties. "gotta have humour" "gotta have action" "gotta introduce the characters, but do it quickly". The pilot was also previewed by a test auditory, from which they got feedback and will adjust subsequent episodes (but we still got to see the same pilot)

That was the cover and back description of a book; it was meant to attract our attention but you can't judge its content solely on it.

'The Train Job' wasn't Firefly's pilot. It's the second episode. I agree that it would be a bad pilot. The real, feature length pilot is called 'Serenity' (like the movie) and sets up the characters nicely.

The problem with Rebels is that the second episode was as bad as the first one.

Lilith wrote:
Mind bullets.

That's Telekinesis, Kyle.

Been there, done that, got the scars. Orthos basically summed up my motivations.

Orthos wrote:

Coffee SMELLS amazing.

Sadly, coffee TASTES wretched. No matter how much sugar and/or cream I put in it.

That entirely depends on what coffee you drink and how you prepare it. If you use the cheap stuff from the lower shelves in the supermarket, you get a nigh-undrinkable sour brew. The same goes for a coffee maker that gets cleaned maybe once a year.

I drink my coffee like the Turks do: not-quite boiling water poured directly on ground coffee in the mug. The floating bits will sink to the bottom after a while and you get a taste very close to the fresh coffee smell.

@FreeholdDM: I'm nowhere near New York. Trends like that arrive here about 3-5 years later.

Freehold DM wrote:
Fabius Maximus wrote:
I drink both coffee and tea (though not at the same time).
I have enjoyed this concoction on occasion.

That's just disgusting.

I really wanted this to be good. Unfortunately, the pilot is as bad as the worst The Clone Wars episodes (yes, those with the Character-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named), with a disjointed narrative and flat, uninteresting, annoying characters.

Character design is also dodgy: the bruiser looks like an overgrown, purple monkey and the (supposed) Mandalorian wears so little armor she could do away with the rest, as well.

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Hama wrote:
Cr500cricket wrote:
Captain Malcolm Reynolds nuff said.
Blank stare followed by cricket noises...

Jaysus, go watch Firefly already! Cue FreeholdDM showing up in a puff of sulfurous smoke and tell you the opposite.

Reynolds is not neutral. The man has serious issues with authority, so I'd peg him has chaotic neutral.

I drink both coffee and tea (though not at the same time).

thejeff wrote:

More accurately, Sauron was a Maia. He could originally take on many forms, but it's not quite accurate to imply that he had a true form.

After the destruction of his body in the downfall of Numenor, he could no longer take on a fair seeming form.

I assume Annatar was seen in a flashback?

Yes, multiple times. All take place after the forging of the Rings of Power, which could explain why he's able to change shape.

Hama wrote:

I also love that they showed Sauron how he looked before he got ugly.

Sauron is a shapechanger. That wasn't his true form.

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Misroi wrote:

Really? It's my favorite cider. Most ciders are a bit sweet, making them dessert drinks. Strongbow is more apply than Green Apple Jolly Rancher apply, and I think it's a bit more complex than say Woodchuck or Angry Orchard. (However, Angry Orchard's cinnamon apple cider is pretty damn good.)

Also, try Ace of Spades' Pear Cider. That's crisp and delicious. Best pear cider I've ever had. (Of course, I've only found two, so I'm not sure how strong that claim is...)

I agree that most ciders are too sweet. I'm partial to Bulmers (Magners outside of Ireland; don't drink the English swill). I think it's more intensely flavoured than Strongbow while having a nice balance between sweetness and tartness.

We don't get any US ciders in old Europe, sadly. I heard some good stuff about them. As for pear cider: I liked Koppaberg's. Their apple cider tastes very artificial, though.

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