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Fergie's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 2,342 posts (2,370 including aliases). No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 4 aliases.


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Quark Blast wrote:
But your primary point still stands - that LG values free will.

I'm still not seeing that. In fact it seems like the opposite:

PRD wrote:

Law Vs Chaos

Law implies honor, trustworthiness, obedience to authority, and reliability. On the downside, lawfulness can include closed-mindedness, reactionary adherence to tradition, self-righteousness, and a lack of adaptability. Those who consciously promote lawfulness say that only lawful behavior creates a society in which people can depend on each other and make the right decisions in full confidence that others will act as they should.
Chaos implies freedom, adaptability, and flexibility. On the downside, chaos can include recklessness, resentment toward legitimate authority, arbitrary actions, and irresponsibility. Those who promote chaotic behavior say that only unfettered personal freedom allows people to express themselves fully and lets society benefit from the potential that its individuals have within them.

and also:

PRD wrote:

Good Vs Evil

Good characters and creatures protect innocent life. Evil characters and creatures debase or destroy innocent life, whether for fun or profit.
Good implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings. Good characters make personal sacrifices to help others.
Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others. Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient. Others actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty to some evil deity or master.

I'm just not seeing anything that would prevent LG slavery.


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OK... this... I... it's... I'm... this...

As someone who has had several ferrets as pets, and just took one of my rats out for a stroll earlier today, I sanction this fully.

Not saying I would want to GM it, but I really love the idea.

Just a note: Based on one of my rats who passed away recently, I've been working on an idea for a feat that would be available to some little creatures.
Fafnir's Wizard Hands - Basically allows a creature like a rat, squirrel, raccoon, ferret, etc. to use their hands for somatic components. I might impose a movement penalty, since they would kind of be up on their hind legs.


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Post from another thread, but it is a lot more relevant here.
If you just use a little imagination, you will realize that there are numerous LG was to get slaves, great reasons to stay a slave, and ample reasons why running away would be harsher punishment then any mortal could inflict.

For example, Joe the Gambler, just lost his farm and home in a card game, and his family is about to be destitute. Gold Chainz the gold dragon knows that Joe is incapable of living a LG life and makes an offer. In exchange for giving up his Earthly desires and turning himself and his family over to Gold Chainz, they will be provided with everything needed for a LG lifestyle that will result in them all ascending to The Seven Heavens, or Elysium, or whatever. If Joe decides to run away his punishment is likely to be ending up in one of the lower planes for all eternity. If Gold Chainz decides it would be in his best interests (which are also the interests of LG, and far better understood then almost any mortal could fathom) to sell Joe to some Solar or Archon or whatever to benefit LG, there is no problem with that.

The only real loser in all this is Free Will, but that is not valued by LG, only Chaos.


Sounds like the player was not trying to be malicious. It also sounds like you might have given permission, even if it was a miscommunication.

This sounds like a good opportunity to talk to all the players in a non-confrontational way about game expectations.
Make it clear that players are NOT allowed to read the modules or adventure path. NO EXCEPTIONS. Ask that they also not read message boards and such about the adventure. Once the whole thing is complete, they are welcome to read anything they like.

I would also make it clear that players are not allowed to read up on monsters, spells, NPCs, feats, etc. that the enemy is using. If they want to know more about these things (and they should) they should do it in character.

As for information the player might have already gotten... Well, an odd thing about counter-intelligence in warfare: it's not about feeding an enemy a steady stream of false information. The most effective use of counter-intelligence involves giving a steady stream of GOOD information right up until it matters most. So basically, you don't need to change any of the minor details, just one important bit. Just make sure you think through the consequences, so you don't kill off an important future NPC or something.


Bebeness wrote:


Oh! This also happened in the same fight. Pretending that he had combat reflexes, if you're knocked prone 10ft away from it, and you stand up: I'm pretty sure standing up in someone's threatened area provokes an attack of opportunity -- so if you stood up the monster could hit you, and if after you stood up in the same turn you moved 10 feet to engage it it could attack you again? Because they're too different actions?

Correct. Assuming it had combat reflexes (and a high enough dex to get a bunch of Attacks of Opportunity (AoO)),it could attack once for the target moving, once for standing up, once for casting a spell, once for making a ranged attack, once for drinking a potion, etc. etc.


The Sword wrote:
There can't be slavery without systems of control, that are just as evil as taking them in the first place.

I don't want to turn this into a slavery thread, but if you just use a little imagination, you will realize that there are numerous LG was to get slaves, great reasons to stay a slave, and ample reasons why running away would be harsher punishment then any mortal could inflict.

For example, Joe the Gambler, just lost his farm and home in a card game, and his family is about to be destitute. Gold Chainz the gold dragon knows that Joe is incapable of living a LG life and makes an offer. In exchange for giving up his Earthly desires and turning himself and his family over to Gold Chainz, they will be provided with everything needed for a LG lifestyle that will result in them all ascending to The Seven Heavens, or Elysium, or whatever. If Joe decides to run away his punishment is likely to be ending up in one of the lower planes for all eternity. If Gold Chainz decides it would be in his best interests (which are also the interests of LG, and far better understood then almost any mortal could fathom) to sell Joe to some Solar or Archon or whatever to benefit LG, there is no problem with that.

The only real loser in all this is Free Will, but that is not valued by LG, only Chaos.


I had a similar frustrating experience a while ago as a GM.

Another GM and myself had been trading back and forth running two different adventure paths for our group. After several sessions of his campaign, we switched back to my campaign (it had been a month or two). I thought I had their characters in a folder, but when I searched for them, I only found one that was recent. For the others I could only find older versions that were not their most recent sheets. When I could not find their characters, I drove back to my house, (about 20min each way) searched all over, but finally gave up and drove back to the game. I apologized profusely for losing their characters, and it was finally decided that we would use the old sheets as a basis, and try to level the characters up the best we could remember.

At is at that point, which was probably a good two hours after we should have started, that the players finally realized that these sheets were indeed their most recent versions, and that they had just been really slack about updating them. I'm not talking about just forgetting to update the "Character Level" number, but saves, BAB, all kinds of stuff. As annoying as the whole thing was, it was made worse by the fact that the previous sessions in my campaign had been encounters with a dragon, and I had made many efforts to get them to update their characters to mid level play. They leveled up, shopped for magic items, spent a lot of time planning, etc. The players had ample opportunity to get their characters in order, one was the other GM, the other a rules lawyer, and they both had ~30 years of D&D experience, so it wasn't like they were incapable.

In the end, BOTH campaigns fizzled out shortly after, and for the most part everyone went their separate ways. I haven't played or GM'd in a long time. I do miss it, and I hope to someday finish Carrion Crown and Jade Regent.


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Envall wrote:
Now I am intrigued to figure out Lawful Good slavery.

It starts with a group of people who are unable or unwilling to abide by the rules of a Lawful Good society, or provide for their own needs. In a LG society, you don't have freedom to choose a non-LG way of life. On the other hand, you have a group of wise people with resources (or Gold Dragons, or Angles, or whatever) who are able to facilitate a LG life for the the first group. I suspect it would be fairly close to people choosing (or being sentenced) to serving a god, but in this case it would be more like a representative of a god (like a King).

To put it in more modern terms, it would be similar to people joining hardcore religious groups, or military groups. You would give up some things we consider "Rights", but your worldly and otherworldly needs would be taken care of.


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thegreenteagamer wrote:
...psst. Similarly, it isn't your job to thread police.

Fair enough.

Also, I never claimed I wasn't rude.


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--------------------------------------
HALT, STOP, CEASE, END, ETC.
--------------------------------------
This is not directed at any particular poster
OK, I know the almost irresistible lure of the pointless thread, but what are people really doing here?
You don't like the thread, OK, that is fine.
If something breaks guidelines, FLAG IT AND MOVE ON. Beyond that, IT ISN'T YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO SABOTAGE THREADS YOU DON'T LIKE! Running up the post count just keeps the thread alive longer. This thread would have fallen off the page if people just ignored it.
Again, if you don't like a thread, or don't agree with it, just ignore it! Don't try to control what other people talk about on the internet.

Sorry for all the bold, but malicious thread derailing just rubs me the wrong way. (Non-malicious thread derailing, and generally pointless threads are absolutely fine however.)


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Freedom is an ideal of Chaos, not Good. In my understanding of the alignment system, which is DIFFERENT THEN THE REAL WORLD, there is nothing stopping a lawful good person from having slaves, as long as they are treated well.

Cayden Cailean however is a deity of Choas, and loves freedom (liberation domain even!), and would not tolerate any kind of slavery at all.

So just pay a crappy wage, and give your newly acquired friend freedom and wine, and the goods will smile on you.


Mobro

That is about the most famous heap of trash in this region!
[OK, technically the barge was named the Mobro 4000, not the trash itself.]


I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
How do I win arguments?

Have you ever considered looking at it from another angle?

Take the example of Bruce Lee, who famously described his style as "The art of fighting, without fighting".

The only true way to win an argument on the internet, is not to get into one in the first place!


- Drugs affect everyone differently.
- Sedating/anesthetizing is a serious procedure, and should ideally be done by professionals you trust*.
- Painkillers should be distributed by medical necessity, not political spin, or marketing.

I was very happy my oral surgeon proscribed a little oxy, but I had to request it rather then ibuprofen or advil or whatever. I generally don't take painkillers, mostly because I believe pain is one of the ways your body communicates it's needs to the brain. However, if pain and anxiety about pain are preventing you from improving your health or your life, it isn't doing you any good. For example, while recovering from surgery, I had a lot of pain and discomfort that prevented me from sleeping. I feel like the lack of sleep did more harm then any effects or side affects of painkillers I was taking at the time.

When it comes to stuff that REALLY alters your brain functioning, I think it is an important to realize that our thoughts and perceptions, are personal, malleable, and perishable. We should have the humility to realize that are thoughts are closer to spiderwebs then brick s*&!houses, and not take them so seriously.

EDIT: * My first experiences with medical sedation were at a hospital in Brooklyn, and that was a little more sketchy then in my oral surgeons chair. But that is another story.


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Wizard, by far.

It's not really about the magic, (where I think wizards may have a slight edge) it's about being Int based, and also getting bonus crafting feats. Wizards are the most powerful class because a good chunk of power in Pathfinder is magic items, and wizards blow every other class out of the water in terms of crafting. Also, knowledge is power, and wizards are one of the most skill flush classes, often beating rogues and sometimes even bards in the skill department. Sorcerers have that nice Cha, but they just don't have the skill points to really exploit it. They need spellcraft, knowledge arcana and other skills that wizards already have a huge boost in.

There are some limited ways a sorcerer is better (probably polymorph, some enchantment/binding stuff), but in general wizard is head and shoulders above every other class.


UnArcaneElection wrote:

^That is why I NEVER want to have sedatives or any more anaesthetic than the minimum needed for an operation to work. The prospect of memory loss is far worse than the prospect of pain. I also refused anaesthetic and sedative for my second colonoscopy even though the medical staff pushed these hard (none was offered for the first, at a different place . . . Where that was one of only a few things that they did right).

Hmm, I have many, many hours of root canals, extractions, and other dental stuff in my Swiss cheese memories. I don't really need more. I guess if it was a situation where I didn't know or trust the people involved, I would feel differently, but I totally trust my oral surgeon to do the right thing. He put a ti plate in my jaw, wired it, and has done probably half a dozen extraction on me. I do feel lucky in that respect, as I have had people I didn't know doing extractions, and I'm not sure I would be comfortable being in a highly altered state in those circumstances. [I once went in for an extraction, and there was a very young, and dare I say attractive, young woman who got me set up for the extraction. I was shocked when she picked up the pliers and began working on the tooth. I was glad I was awake, because I could tell she was having some trouble, and I was able to encourage her and everything worked out well in the end.]

UnArcaneElection, why would you want to remember unpleasant memories of the tooth pulling variety?


Scythia wrote:

I've had two teeth extracted recently, one a month ago and the other two days ago. It's surreal to watch something that looks exceedingly painful but feel nothing. It's almost dissociative.

I haven't really had swelling or pain from either though. My biggest concern is figuring out what I won't be able to eat anymore with a molar less on each side.

From my experience, you can still feel a lot of what the oral surgeon is doing in the area around your mouth, and dear god, the sounds! There is nothing quite like the drilling and sound of teeth cracking.

This time I got the IV sedative, and I found that to be VERY strange. I recall him explaining what was going on with the first injection or two, then the next thing I know, he is giving me instructions for changing the gauze. The surgery took about an hour and a half, but I don't remember any part of it. It is especially odd because on some level, I think I was awake, and suspect the memories are there, but just can't find them. For example, for several days after the extractions, I thought I needed to make an appointment for having the stitches removed. Then I found an appointment card in my pocket, and it triggered the memory of talking to the receptionist before I left the office. Weird.

A couple less molars shouldn't really affect you at all once the gums heal. Right now, I'm down several teeth on both sides, and I can still eat everything except the supper chewy stuff like raw carrots or tough meat.


It is my understanding that if it has a wisdom score, it is a creature. If it has no wisdom score, it is an object. I forget if intelligent magic items follow this rule, but I think all monsters have wis scores.

EDIT:
PRD- "Every creature has a Wisdom score."
"Every creature has a Charisma score. "
So you need Int AND Cha to be considered a creature, not an object.

"Intelligent items can actually be considered creatures because they have Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores."


Hmm, I really like the system for the most part, (and love the Paizo people, and community), so these are really minor complaints for an otherwise great game.

- Single monster encounters. I know these are the most classic staple of fantasy everything, but often they are anticlimactic unless you fudge the dice, or otherwise bend the rules a little.

- Power of magical flight. The fly spell is the solution to far too many adventuring problems. How many skills are completely out-shined by one spell? - Acrobatics (balancing and jumping), Climb, Swim, etc. Not to mention, flying over traps, nuking-from-orbit anything without a ranged attack, and just generally avoiding difficult areas and situations.

- Crafting and WBL. OK, this one is a niche problem, but it bothers me that a handful of specific feats (that are really only available to casters) allow a PC to be more powerful then their fellow adventures. You are already one of the most powerful classes, with a feat that lets you make almost any magic item you can imagine, AT HALF PRICE! But that is not good enough? You need it to be retroactive to before character creation, even though no other feats in the game work that way?


Going in at 2pm to have two teeth extracted. It is a little depressing, because those teeth once anchored a nice bridge, which I kind of thought would last forever. It took a lot of money and a fair amount of pain to get that bridge, so I hate to lose it.
I'll be getting an IV sedative for the first time, which I'm really happy about, despite the cost. I hope this is quicker then the time it would take to pull a tooth doubled, but I guess with the IV, I hopefully won't care.


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
The Fight For $15 Comes To Concord

"Several members of the Concord Police Department met up with us at Burger King, where they explained the rules regarding trespass and disorderly conduct to labor organizers who no doubt were already familiar with the law. "

I don't know why, but I found that sentence funny.

Also, is that you on the right in the last photo? If so, you are pretty tall for a goblin...


Changing cure light wounds spells to a set 5+CL would basically have no effect on the game except to speed it up.

Keep in mind that healing magic is based around a 15 point buy where everyone gets max hp at first level, then average for their hit die type. If your group uses a different method, such as max hp for every level, healing magic should be similarly increased.


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
[Clenched fist salute]

Speaking of [Clenched fist salute], I was troubled to read this article:

West Point investigating photo of cadets with raised fists

While the idea of black women getting in trouble for something like this in 2016 seems crazy, the possible punishments could be devastating. West Point has some really hardcore rules, and punishments for even minor violations can result in suspensions, expulsions, repeating entire years, and even being forced to pay for past years of schooling at ivy league prices. (West Point generally does not charge students money to attend).


OK, this might not be a popular opinion around here, but maybe your cleric screwed up enough to lose his powers... maybe.

Ducks thrown holy symbol

Here is the thing, you are a cleric of Desna - a goddess who's domains include Liberation. Freeing prisoners is your jam. Taking risks to free prisoners in the middle of a road trip is what your goddess is all about. Freeing that prisoner should have been your top priority in that situation.

With that said, laying down your weapons, (or really your holy symbol) would be the WORST thing you could do in that situation. That would just be stupid. Also trusting that enemy would be something no wise person would seriously consider.

In other words, you did the right thing not trusting the enemy or laying down your weapons, but you should have attempted to free the prisoner with everything at your disposal.

There is some other stuff about AD&D being different, but I'm already late for work, so that will have to wait for another time.


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The best advice I could give would be to cap starting ability scores to something like 16 or 17 AFTER racial adjustment.

This one thing will do more to balance the classes then anything else. It also helps tone down the one-trick-pony type characters who tend to disrupt play, whether it is the level 1 barbarian death machine, or the 15th level wizard who makes gods weep at his power.

Beyond that, I have a nice long list of things to discuss with your group before play begins.


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

Forgot to mention that at the conference I met Howie Hawkins, whom, if memory serves me correctly, Comrade Fergie voted for in the last New York gubernatorial election.

We discussed our common employer.

Wow! I think you have a better memory of who I voted for then I do! But traveling back to those heady days of 2010, 2014... sigh.

How is the "screw UPS" newsletter/organization these days?


At some point in the past, I recall learning that '...' isn't three periods, but rather it's own symbol. Anyone know the keyboard short cut for that? (Or am I mistaken about the symbol thing?)


As a GM I have fun:

  • Presenting a campaign world with locations, encounters, mythos, timeline and NPCs.
  • Presenting a wide variety of encounters that engage the players, and encourage them to have fun playing their characters.
  • Knowing I have general control of the storyline and timeline, with occasional (sometimes unexpected) exceptions.
  • Knowing that players will use wits and creativity to solve encounters, and vary their tactics to fit the situation.
  • When everyone at the table participates in the game to the amount they are comfortable with.
  • When players are friendly, kind, and enjoy themselves.
  • While I decided if a roll is needed and add the modifiers, the dice decide the outcome.*

* GM, and even player "Cheating" (i.e. ignoring dice rolls) is a highly debatable topic. Like all issues, discuss it beforehand, and come to a consensus on how your group views it.

player fun:

Players enjoy the game for different reasons then GMs.
As a player, I have fun:
  • Controlling the actions of my PC.
  • Customizing my PC with skills, feats, equipment, and other features.
  • Knowing that if I generally play well, and have a little luck, I will do well most of the time.
  • Having my characters decisions and actions affect the environment and story.
  • Getting experience and treasure that allows me to increase the power of my character.
  • Feeling that I can, and occasionally must do my best to defeat encounters.
  • Knowing that my fellow PCs are supporting me, and that we act in each others best interests.
  • Knowing that my PC is on par with the rest of the party and that we affect the game in fairly equal amounts.
  • Not knowing exactly what to expect, and trying to be ready for anything.
  • Even if bad things happen to my character, or the dice go against me, I still have fun if I am engaged in the game.
  • Feeling that in most opposed circumstances, it is the dice that decide the outcome.*


SilentMonk wrote:

ya sorry about that lol, I also see this is the wrong forum for this subject. Is thier anyway I could remove it?

You have a few options...

You could flag the post, and select "wrong forum".
You could PM one of the moderators.
You could just leave it be, and if it gets moved, it gets moved.

Just a quick thought about your original post. Without being there myself, I can't really judge how much animosity there was, or if it was just a lack of social skills on the part of the new player. I have found that when a guy is new to a group, he will often try to show how much he knows, or what skills he has, rather then just hanging back and learning what the expectations are. I would not be inclined to boot a player who was simply not familiar with the kind of game you are accustomed to, but I would boot a belligerent jerk without a second thought.

I would also just point out that not having a ranged weapon is kind of a trope, and could be a sore spot for some gamers. (It is for me)


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No ability scores above 16 AFTER racial adjustment.
This puts a dent in the power of the most disruptive builds- god wizards (and other full casters), super strength barbarians, and the like, while not affecting the classes that are generally considered weaker. It also allows the GM to be more generous with the point buy, without disrupting PC power levels.


Well, Fromper is totally right about everything, but I would recommend sticking with Core for at least character generation if you have new players. Having everything in one book keeps things much more simple.

With time, you will discover what parts of the game world you and your group want to explore and expand on. NOTE: Never end a sentence with a preposition!. Anyway, once you have core, the first thing I would add would be an issue or two of an Adventure Path, and there is usually a free players guide download that is full of great stuff.

The Advanced Players Guide is great, but like Fromper said, some of the classes have been reworked in Pathfinder Unchained, so I think I would recommend buying that before the APG, but you can't go wrong either way.


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I think a more relevant question might be, how does point buy affect APL - Average Party Level.

For example, you have 4 PCs using the default 'Standard Fantasy' 15pt buy.
4 X 15 = 60 points for character creation.

Next you have 5 PCs using the PFS standard 'High Fantasy' 20pt buy.
5 X 20 = 100 points for character creation.

Finally, you have 5 PCs using the 'Epic Fantasy' 25pt buy.
5 X 25 = 125 points for character creation.

Looking at these numbers, I would say that anything that boosts the total PC ability buy points by 25 or more could result in a +1 increase to APL.

Note also that the difference between 4 and 5 PCs is probably more significant a boost to power then upping the point buy. Also, the terms for the different point buys are misleading. Generally, higher point buys don't produce a game with more or less fantasy, they just produce PCs who are generally better at what they do. For some groups, this will add versatility, others will will have PCs that are better at the things they are already good at. Either way, more ability points = less challenge for the PCs.


From this thread

Attack
Level 10 Fighter Primary Attack
+10 BAB, +5 Str, +2 Weapon Training, +1 Feat, +2 Weapon
+20 To Hit
+17 Power Attacking

Level 10 Fighter Secondary Attack
+10 BAB, +3 Dex, +1 Weapon Training, +1 Weapon
+15 To Hit

Level 10 Fighter Tertiary Attack
+10 BAB, +5 Str, +1 Weapon
+16 To Hit

Damage
Level 10 Fighter Primary Damage
+7 Str, +2 Weapon Training, +2 Feat, +2 Weapon
2d6+13 Damage
2d6+22 Damage Power Attacking

Level 10 Fighter Secondary Damage
+5 Str, +1 Weapon Training, +1 Weapon
1d8+7 Damage

Level 10 Fighter Tertiary Damage
+5 Str
1d6+5 Damage

Armor Class
Level 10 Fighter
+11 (+2 Full Plate), +3 Dex, +2 NA, +2 Deflection, +1 Feat
AC 29
AC 34 with +3 Large Steel Shield)
Touch 16
FF 25


Pillbug Toenibbler wrote:
{sekritly crushes on Rosario Dawson some more}

Yeah I've had a fondness for her since she got arrested at the 2004 RNC in NYC, and spent the night in jail. Also, seeing her nekkid in a movie or two didn't hurt...


This past Wednesday, we once again attended the Richard Wolff lecture on economics and socialism in NYC. This one was very different because the NYPD had the WHOLE area blocked off for the Bernie rally that was going on nearby in Washington Square Park (the lecture is a half block from the park). Hundreds of cops were preventing people from even getting close to the park, and it took a while to find a gap in the barricades.

The lecture was great, and I'll post a link one it is up.

The next day I had a long conversation with the Capitalist from Poland, and realized that Socialism is WAAAAY too broad a term for a decent discussion of economics.

Here is the thing:

socialism definition wrote:
A political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

So apparently, anything between laissez-faire capitalism and communism is socialism. But I have never heard any thinking person advocate laissez-faire capitalism, and almost every person I have ever spoken to likes an economic system with "common sense" regulation. The conversation also drifted to international trade, and I was confused when The Capitalist decried tariffs and "protectionism", but then went on to explain that it was up to the Government to create a "level playing field", so that US workers could compete evenly with workers in other countries that lacked labor and environmental laws. I was baffled!

It has led me to conclude that those in power have used language to control the debate on economics in order to push a deregulation agenda. We hardly have access to the tools (words) that allow us to have a real discussion on issues like trade, ownership, etc. The positive part is that we now have a "Socialist" who could well be the next president, and these economic issues are now opening to debate and scrutiny for the first time in my lifetime.


I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:


*sigh* Am I the only liberal who abhors hip-hop, and considers it something that shouldn't be endorsed in this fashion, or something?

You don't like Peace, Love, Unity, and Having Fun?

More seriously, Hip Hop has a long history of very righteous morality. For example, check out the beliefs of the Zulu Nation.

Like any form of music or entertainment, there is a huge amount of it that is total crap, but I think this is largely because it is produced in a society that places much greater value on money then artistry or morality. Most of what I hear on the radio or see in videos would be better described as a promotional product formatted in the style of Hip Hop then a song made my musicians. Another thing to keep in mind is that much of Hip Hop is a reaction to the very oppressive and violent racism that has existed for generations. It would be unrealistic to think that situations like that would produce happy bubblegum pop.

Disclaimer: I would agree that a 3 hour lecture on just about any form of music would suck, as lectures about any form of art are generally going to suck. A 3 hour Hip Hop party would be great however.


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Treppa wrote:

Why undo such gorgeous architecture? Many cities are renewing their old-timey train stations, not making them look like an anchor store in a mall.

Short answer is that it was privately owned, and the owner could do whatever he pleased with it.

Longer answer is Ken Burns documentary on New York.

EDIT: "There is historic justice in trying to rectify a crime committed a half-century ago that galvanized the architectural preservation movement. “One entered the city like a god; one scuttles in now like a rat,” is the familiar lament from Vincent J. Scully Jr., the Yale architectural historian, about the difference between the former and present Penn Stations."
From this article.

Normally, I would take offense at the suggestion that scuttling like a rat is a bad thing, but I love that quote.


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While I think fighters need some boosts, I reject several of the assertions of the OP.
Fighters are great at first level. They don't really start to fall behind until 6th level, and that is largely for reasons other then the ability to deal damage. Fighters are good at dealing HP damage at just about every level of the game, and don't really need a boost to damage. CoDzilla beats the fighter at versatility, not physical damage.

I recommend changes to the class that don't increase damage, but rather gives the fighter versatility, in and out of combat.

  • 4 Skill points, and more class skills (heal, social skills, etc). You could add something that lets fighters use their BAB in place of ranks for something like 1 skill/ 5 fighter levels.
  • Probably give the fighter good will save progression.
  • At 5th level, and every 5 levels thereafter, fighters can swap out one fighter bonus feat for any other fighter bonus feat. This is done each day after the fighter rests. Evil Lincoln did an excellent detailed write up of something like thisd.
  • Fighters (And perhaps any other full BAB class and race, including dragons!) can forgo additional attacks granted by high BAB, and instead take additional 5ft steps.
  • Fighter bonus feats that allow the fighter to attack multiple targets, deal area damage, make touch attacks, target saves, etc.
  • Feats that allow higher level fighters to create effects similar to lower level buff spells- false life, enlarge person, bears endurance, displacement, and maybe even dimension door.

Beyond that, you would need to create a whole new mechanic to allow fighters to really affect the narrative, like powerful skill unlocks, rituals, strongholds with followers, etc. That would be beyond the scope of fixing a single class, and could dramatically alter the game.


Somewhere in the last few years, the expression, "You would not believe!" turned into, "You have no idea!"

I know people intend it mean that the information would stress the bounds of understanding, or good taste, or whatever, but I can't help be annoyed when people use that expression.


I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Fergie wrote:
A guy who came from failing Poland in the '80's with a suitcase and a couple hundred bucks, and is now a millionaire.
How did he manage that?

Through revolutionary socialism Not Revolutionary Capitalism I presume. I don't really know how he went from rags to riches, but I think he got some sort of business or law degree at a university in Poland, so that probably helped. I was wondering if he got help from his parents (his father was a university professor in Poland) but he was telling us just today that when he came to the US, he had a very hard time spending money, because $30 was like a months wages in Poland at that time (early 1980's I think). It took him a long time before he could spend his money without stressing over how far that money would go in Poland.

He also told us about when he first showed up to NYC, fresh off the boat from Poland. One of the first things he did was go to a big record store some where on St. Marks in Greenwich Village. His mind was blown by the amazing selection of classic rock... Zeppelin, Stones, Rush, etc. He buys a bunch of records he had always wanted and is thrilled! It is only later that he realizes that he just spent almost a third of his total assets on a bunch of records when he should have been thinking the basics of food and lodging. He credits that experience with shaping his thinking about spending his money.

A recurring theme in our conversations about life and such often comes down to being humble enough to admit you don't know things, and be open to learning. This also favors the "Classic" analytical view of life over the "Romantic", emotional outlook. If you went to a fancy school, you might already know this. I learned it when I was reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance cuz I wuz into motorcycles.


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
I'm sure you've heard it before.

Earlier today in fact. We are working for a guy who came from failing Poland in the '80's with a suitcase and a couple hundred bucks, and is now a millionaire. We had a long talk about a lot of things, especially the welfare programs of the Great Society Era. Let's just say, he was not a fan. Interesting perspective though.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Let's not start such an argument again.

Agree 100%

EDIT:

Aelryinth wrote:
Ignore the picture.

Never! When I read the boards, I think of everyone as the character in their portrait... sitting at a keyboard... in their underwear, (unless depicted otherwise). Thinking of posters this way gets confusing when different people use the same portrait, but it keeps me from taking things too seriously.


Aelryinth wrote:

Taku,

I have to give your system the Ashiel test.
NPC's are at half CR by level. So, a Warrior/20 is effectively CR 10.
==Aelryinth

I have tremendous respect for Ashiel, I consider her to be among the most knowledgeable posters on the boards. However, that is not how NPC CR is determined. CR=NPC Level-2. A quick look through the NPC gallery confirms this.


Deighton Thrane wrote:

The only problem with this is that you've basically just flip-flopped the bias from Sad classes to Mad classes. There are plenty of classes that perform admirably with only a 16 in their highest stat (paladin's, clerics/oracles, druids, alchemists, summoners, etc.) that that really won't see a drop in power under this rule. But along with nerfing the wizard, the fighter becomes a much less enticing class. Same with barbarian, cavalier, brawler, slayer, and swashbuckler. Most of them have very little reason to not have an 18 in their primary stat using a point buy, and gain very little from spreading stats around.

18 post racial is a nice middle point between keeping sad classes in line and punishing them for not having class features that rely on other stats.

I don't expect these limits to really affect most PCs much at all. The builds that are the most disruptive to play in my opinion are not the classes that fight and cast spells (because those builds generally require giving up some casting power in order to be good at fighting). Anything that cuts into a full casters spell casting makes them a less powerful character. This is designed to limit the real culprits of imbalance, the high stat casters.

In order for me to believe that this rule would negatively impact fighters, barbarians, cavaliers, etc. You would need to show that the character would not be able to deal enough damage in order to participate effectively in CR appropriate encounters. I've never seen anyone show that full BAB classes can't do enough damage. In fact, martials dealing lot's of damage is often considered disruptive to lower level campaign balance.

Since we are talking about at most +1 to hit and +2 to damage, the difference is +4 to hit 1d12+4 or +5 to hit and 1d12+6 damage.


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I go even more extreme and say no stat above 16 after racial adjustment, and no stat under 10 before racial adjustments.

This puts a cap on caster power, without really harming martial characters at all. It also encourages characters who are more versatile, and work better within the CR system.


GM 1990 wrote:
There have even been posts saying its -unplayble- (not on this thread).

Yeah, all the hyperbole and even out right myths make it really difficult to get a handle on balance issues. During my early days on the messageboards, there was some extreme caster/martial disparity proponents who would really overstate the issue. I was usually on the 'game is fine as-is' side of those arguments, and find myself still on that side often. It took me a while to find the middle ground that matched my game experiences and analysis of the rules. Thankfully, there were some patient posters who really cared about the game, and were willing to post builds, and really explain their beliefs and opinions. There are some great guides, posts, and articles that would save a new GM a lot of headaches, but they are not always easy to find.

The funny thing is, I'm more inclined to play a more classic AD&D style of Pathfinder then a by-the-book playtest. I prefer beer and pretzels laid-back play, over an optimized highly lethal game. But altering the rules to make that happen requires a fairly decent understanding of what is under the hood. Some of the most common fixes, such as giving monsters more HP or DR just make the problem worse. Also, many GMs see the martials as overpowered when they first start playing, while the casters power generally appears later, and often in more subtle ways.

My goal in all of this is not really for my home games. I have figured most of this stuff out, and have a fair number of changes that make the game play the way I would want. I just think it would be great if some of this stuff was stated up front, and didn't require wading through thousands of posts. It could be a few rule changes, a few alternate rules, or even just a sidebar about what players and GM can expect if they play the game as written at higher levels.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Scooby Doo and the Carrion Crown today! (Different location, Twitch may not happen.)

Do you happen to have any links to your past games? I would love to see how some of the regulars on these boards game.


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GM 1990 wrote:
Just the fact that some get magic, some get all armor/weapons, even among martials not all get tower-shield would indicate that its about variety, not equals.

I think if you view variety as being in opposition to equality, you are missing the point of those who seek change.

To use your examples above, let's compare the fighter who gets all weapons* and armor, including tower shields. These allow fighters to essentially deal damage, and have a good AC.
The wizard gets limited weapons, and no armor, but gets spells. The spells allow fighters wizards to essentially deal damage, and have a good AC.

So far, things are fairly balanced. The fighter has some advantages, such as "always-on armor" and very good average damage. The wizard has some advantages, such as variety of defensive boosts, and attacks that target touch AC, deal elemental damage or even automatically hit, and target multiple opponents.

Looking at it in this way, the characters are fairly equal, even though they do their offense/defense in different ways and have different options. Things are good and balanced.

Hangs 'Mission Accomplished' banner

But wait! Once the fight is over, the fighter essentially starts sharpening his sword for the next fight. There isn't much he can do that a commoner could not. The wizard is just getting started. He has useful options for social encounters, adventuring, etc. etc. He still has a large variety of class features (spells & spell-like abilities/familiar/crafting) that are incredibility useful, the fighter has virtually none of these options. But it gets even worse... the wizard has much better options in combat then chipping away at HP. He can blind, stun, drain levels, and inflict just about any condition in the rulebook. He can control the battlefield, summon allies, move friends and enemies, and Wish for anything he wants.

Things are not all good and balanced. I don't think that balance issues are really that bad, but it is difficult to compare various classes at 10th level and above, and not see issues that require a GM to work really hard to present challenges that are fun for everyone. The fighters are basically only equipped for challenges that require HP damage to solve, while the wizard can handle just about everything, including HP damage.


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I believe that Kirth can, and has, said it far better then I'm about to:
The concept of, "The game is balanced because the GM has control", really is a spectrum of how much the GM is expected to override the rules to maintain balance.

The group that feels the game needs to be fixed are generally the people who attempt to follow the rules and dice closely, and generally are not into games with heavy GM 'fudging'.
The group that feels the game is working fine, are generally the people who expect and encourage GM overriding the rules and dice.

The thing is, modifying the rules so that the first group is happy, won't really affect the second group at all, since they already alter the rules as they see fit, and generally don't rely on the numerical aspects of the game. The second group really has nothing to lose from some fairly small alterations to the rules, in order to reduce perceived balance problems. As has been said many times, NO ONE WANT'S THE CLASSES TO BE IDENTICAL OR EXACTLY EQUAL IN POWER. However, some re-balancing would add to the total number of players who can enjoy the game without having to learn the pitfalls the hard way.

Finally, saying that something isn't broken because the GM can fix it, is poor game design. If the GM is required to override a rule or decide something, the game should just clearly say that, and not have a bad rule in the first place.


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How does everyone have fun?
I would start by going over the different ways the players and GM have fun and discussing them as a group. This is NOT the time to argue, it is a time to be HONEST with yourself and the group, and express and LISTEN to everyone's opinions. Do you like Rollplaying more then Roleplaying? Be open about it! Your not doing yourself or anyone else a favor by pretending to like things you don't really like. Be open to new experiences and playstyles, but express your desires and expectations honestly. Come to some kind of consensus with the GM and players about how you will all enjoy the game.

In addition to how YOU have fun, this is a great time to discuss other aspects of play, such as:
House rules.
Use of computers and/or phones and access to reference material at the table. In general characters should have access to information about their own characters, but most GMs frown on players looking at information about enemies. Reading the adventure path or module is usually very strictly forbidden.
What books and material are allowed in the game and what restrictions are there. Do these restrictions apply equally on both sides of the screen?
Dice handling and GM and/or players ignoring dice. This usually take one of three forms:
-GM roles in the open, results are not altered by the GM
-GM rolls in secret, and may or may not follow the dice. Requires the players to trust the GM will fudge, but they will not know when, for fun to be maintained.
-GM dictates action in some opposed circumstances without dice rolls. Requires players to trust the GM will dictate the action for the benefit of the game (without the 'illusion' of dice rolls) for fun to be maintained.

more...Click on the Optimizing Pathfinder for fun spoiler.

EDIT: The most important part is to find out what players (and yourself as GM) enjoy and then provide that experience. It won't always be easy because each person at the table will have fun for different reasons and in different ways. The "aspiring actor" player is probably going to care more about the drama and story, while the "systems analyst" is going to have fun dealing a lot of damage or solving a difficult as efficiently as possible with a single spell. The first player will enjoy a large amount of GM ignoring the rules for fun, while the second player will have his fun undercut if the GM ignores rules and dice.

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