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Irontruth's page

6,181 posts (6,183 including aliases). No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 2 aliases.


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RumpinRufus wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
My question: why would you use Pathfinder to play this game?
Because Pathfinder is 100% capable of supporting such a game... and it also has an incredible depth of mechanics. My hope would be that once I got more practice in RP that doesn't use mechanics as a crutch, the interaction between the mechanics and the RP would be freer and more fun.

It's funny because my experience runs opposite to what you're saying, but whatever, I'll butt out.


My question: why would you use Pathfinder to play this game?

There are some really good games out there that focus heavily on character interaction, dialogue and choices, that have zero stats. I've personally found that these games have changed how I look at roleplaying in general and given me more "tools" in my toolbox as it were, as a player and GM.

A short game (1 session) that I highly recommend to pull out for those "we just finished a campaign but don't know what to play yet" nights... is Fiasco. Basically it's a Cohen brother's movie. The game walks you through a little bit of setup, you don't even have character sheets, just note cards with a few prompts between each player. Each player gets to describe a scene, have dialogue with other players (who can be their character, or act as any required NPC). The outcome of scenes impacts the ending of the game because you earn dice. At the end, your character rolls the dice they've collected and a table tells you what kind of ending you get. Usually it's bad.

One of my favorites involved us all playing retired nuns at a convent. We did horrible, horrible things to each other.

I can recommend other games as well. It's good to shift out of the comfort zone from time to time. Playing a game that does some of the heavy lifting (to get out of your comfort zone) for you means you get to focus more on just playing the game and having a good time.


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I'm going to give you the radical idea: Steal a healing mechanic from D&D (4th and 5th) and 13th Age.

1) First off, when the party rests for the night, have them heal to full HP.

2) Give them a pool of HP they can draw on, but only out of combat. It takes 30 minutes to rest up and access these HP (meaning they can't do it in dangerous situations), but extends the "adventuring day" without the need for magic items or special abilities.

A good rule of thumb is a potential number of HP equal to their current HP, basically meaning they get 2xHP per day, but not in any one fight. The 5th edition mechanic is they basically get to roll their HD for healing. So a 5th level fighter would get 5d10 (+Con mod to each die) in healing each day. It's essentially double the HP, but within an encounter they're limited to their normal max.

In comparison, 13th Age is a little more high action, so the pool is roughly HPx3.

The Cleric then becomes useful for IN COMBAT healing and removal of status effects. Everyone can get their HP back outside of combat, but they can't fix things like poison, curses, blindness and disease.

This is an extreme option which essentially removes the need for out of combat channels and CLW wands, regardless of whether a cleric is in the party or not.


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Cole Deschain wrote:
... Neighbors who dislike Blanton's are not to be trusted... unless they despise bourbon on principle.

I might be inclined to agree with you, except for the fact that they gave us an unopened bottle.


Neighbors brought over a bottle of Four Roses single barrel and Blanton's that they didn't like. We gave them a bottle of Red Breast 15 in exchange (though we actually do like the Red Breast).

They also had a bottle of Jefferson Ocean (Voyage 3). I've been eyeing the Ocean for a while but haven't had the spare change to get it. It was excellent. Like a blend between Jefferson Reserve and a nice Islay. When I've got the money to drop on an expensive bottle, this will definitely be a consideration.


Stones of Transposition

The stones take 24 hours to attune to an individual, once attuned they need only be carried somewhere on their body to work. Once per day, the bearer of a stone need only focus on it as a standard action and they will swap places with the bearer of the other stone. The other stone needs to be on the same plane of existence and within 800 feet.

The monk takes one stone and gives the other to someone else who doesn't want to be grappled, like the wizard. If the wizard gets caught, the monk just trades places with him.

Could also give him an item that gives access to a few Qinggong abilities, so he has a broader range of options to spend his Ki points. It doesn't increase the number of times he can use his abilities, just a few more options. It's not slotless, but something that looks like this would be pretty thematically appropriate. Or you could even make it like a wizard's staff. It has 10 charges, but the monk can refill it with ki.


I feel like they missed an opportunity to call the movie Memorial Day. Especially since it seems to start off by recalling the heroic events of the previous movie.


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Dover Pro wrote:

h ends in a train-wreck of noodling about identity.

But it's the half-assedness of this noodling that I most desire. I want my GitS to sound like the screen writer learned everything about philosophy from grading high school papers on the subject.

I'm not kidding either, I actually want the half-formed philosophy lectures, they're my favorite part of GitS. Seriously.


thejeff wrote:
Tormsskull wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Then why do I have different experiences playing different games?

I would guess because you're playing with people who share a similar playstyle preference. As you've stated, some games reward you for doing things other than excelling in combat.

If you play with people who are focused on the rewards, then they are more likely to make those non-excelling-in-combat choices in other systems where they feel they are suitably rewarded.

If the mindset is "Role-playing should be it's own reward" then the suggestion "Change to a system that rewards role-playing" falls flat.

Irontruth wrote:
Just out of curiosity, what is the "most unlike Pathfinder" game you've ever played?
Probably an online MUSH/MOO from the 90's.

I think that's a lot of it. If you're focused on those rewards, changing to a system that rewards things you want to do works well. If you're already focused on those things you want to do, adding a system of rewards often winds up distorting it.

For me, thinking about taking character actions in terms of "Will this get me mechanical rewards" backfires for me. It doesn't map to anything my character would actually think.
Simple psych lims and disads like Hero system has, don't have that problem. My character is claustrophobic and therefore tries to avoid enclosed spaces and has penalties within them. That's a mechanic for an in character thing. The only problem I have with such systems is that they tend to be too extreme and serious - only major limitations are represented and thus anything smaller is discouraged.

As for different systems, Amber's probably the most different, but that's in different directions than this. Though my fondness for it does relate - largely removing the mechanics from view during play discourages the players from focusing on them and thus letting them influence their actions.

I've shied away from the more narrative based games, because those that even toyed with the concept didn't work...

I don't disagree with a lot of what you're saying, I just approach it differently.

The analogy would be that the game system is a toolbox and the story is the project you're trying to build. One project might be rebuilding a car, while another is making new cabinets. I could use the car tools for the cabinet project, but it's going to be harder and require more effort.

You're right that the group is a significant factor, I haven't claimed that the game system is the only or even the most pressing factor. Rather, my point is that by ignoring the influence of the game in how we play, we are doing ourselves a disservice. By using the wrong game (or not altering the game) we are expending time and effort that don't need to be spent.

In my current game, we've been playing in this game world for about 15 years. I'm not the original GM, but I'm co-GM'ing with original GM and have been for the last 4 years. One of the things that wastes a ton of our time is the magic system. I'd like to just move to a completely different game that is closer to something we'd enjoy, but instead we have to keep tinkering with this one trying to get it to work right. It uses up a lot of my time and effort.

We've moded PF enough that it does encourage roleplaying in our group and rewards it in a way that we enjoy. My players don't immediately look at combat as the prime solution to every problem (or at least not most of them). I still would prefer more mechanical ways to hand narrative control over to the players, but ce la vie.

Even though I do currently enjoy the mythical 10 year campaign most people think is the goal of RPG's, I've found a lot of enjoyment out of shorter games. Either just a few sessions, or a single session. Pathfinder can build a lot of story over a long period of time, but it doesn't do well when you have 3-4 hours and don't already have characters in hand. The highly narrative games occupy much shorter time slots for me, and there the mechanics do force choices and paths, but the goal is to create something compelling very quickly.

I love Apocalypse World style games (or PbtA, powered-by-the-apocalypse), but I wouldn't try to run one as a 10-year campaign. It just wouldn't work. It pushes off in too many directions in too short of a time. Crazy things happen within just one session and so many threads will get revealed and never pulled that it isn't satisfying long term. So I don't pull those games off the shelf if we're trying for a long campaign.

My favorite game of all time is Mythender. In a 4 hour session we can create characters, have an intro fight, roleplay 4-5 intimate moments, then kill a god. Doing the same game in Pathfinder, you wouldn't be done with characters in the first 4 hours. I will never run a campaign of Mythender though. I tried it once and stopped after 4 sessions. For me personally, it's perfect as a one-shot and I get everything I need/want from it in those 4 hours.

It's one of the things I love about the hobby right now, is that there are a lot of choices in games for very different styles of games. That means that not every game is a perfect fit for every group. I do recommend branching out as much as possible, not to find a replacement, but because different games will help highlight what your favorite game does, both well and poor. It'll fuel ideas of how to tweak your favorite game, or fill a gap you always felt, but couldn't name.


Tormsskull wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

Yup, it's basic human nature to seek out immediate rewards. We sometimes forgo immediate rewards for long term ones, but usually when faced with the choice, we'll take the immediate reward, especially when it comes to something like games.

So, understanding this fact, we can look at what our game system rewards and what it doesn't reward. If it rewards a behavior style that we don't like, we need to remove those rewards, or point them towards something else.

This is why there are laws, rules, customs , and social agreements to reign in basic human nature; humans tend to be selfish.

You could take a game as simple as story time, where one person tells part of a story and then points at another person who continues the story.

If one player tells an incredibly long story and doesn't want to point at anyone else, you could argue that the game is inherently bad (the game doesn't reward you for pointing at someone else.)

Or you could look at the player as not adhering to the social agreement of the game.

In other words, the game isn't the problem in that circumstance, it is the player.

Then why do I have different experiences playing different games?

Just out of curiosity, what is the "most unlike Pathfinder" game you've ever played?


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Squiggit wrote:
@Irontruth: Seems like all you're doing in that scenario is just changing what the goal is though. Instead of optimizing for murder you'd optimize for.. other things.

Yup, it's basic human nature to seek out immediate rewards. We sometimes forgo immediate rewards for long term ones, but usually when faced with the choice, we'll take the immediate reward, especially when it comes to something like games.

So, understanding this fact, we can look at what our game system rewards and what it doesn't reward. If it rewards a behavior style that we don't like, we need to remove those rewards, or point them towards something else.

If you are happy with Fighters that only ever want to Full Attack for their entire career, there's really not a lot you need to change about PF. In fact, the game is already set up to basically reward that type of behavior.

If you want Fighters that do anything BUT Full Attack, well, you're going to need to change some fundamental aspects of combat and it's role within the game.

This is the crux of my point, instead of complaining that people make opitimized characters who have to maximize every feat choice just to stay alive, consider that this is what the game encourages. Once you realize that the game itself is encouraging this, you are immediately better armed to house rule the game to fit your desires.

I want Fighters that take (random example) Skill Focus: Profession (Cook) in my campaign. So I take steps to encourage and reward this kind of behavior, because I understand that if I don't, I'm complicit in this kind of behavior never happening in my games.


@thejeff: without going to the narrative mechanics, or at least too overtly, changing the emphasis of the system or how it's handled away from "to the death" combat is the biggest way I've seen to encourage non-optimized thought.

Stake setting, where instead of the primary goal being "kill the other guy", but rather achieving something, puts the emphasis on that goal and away from just killing. Burning Wheel had a good overall method for this (I love ideas from the game, but the whole thing together is just too much for me). Each side states their goals, the winner achieves theirs. The loser gets part of their goal, depending on how close they got to winning (or some puzzle piece that assists them later on).

Remove the emphasis on all or nothing, grant partial success and you really open up the door to interesting choices, without having to rely on optimal choices.


thejeff wrote:

But as I've said repeatedly, the lack of mechanical reinforcement doesn't mean you can't or even shouldn't do the same in Pathfinder. I don't like such narrative mechanics - because of the very metagame issues you point out, but I like flawed characters anyway.

To me, having the mechanics is like a crutch. It's a way to push people who don't like doing that kind of thing into doing it. Sure, it encourages the behavior, but once you're used to doing it you don't need the crutch.

All assuming your group is into it of course. There are lots of ways to play PF. If you're all focused on enjoying the tactical challenge, where one false move means death, don't do this.

I kind of concur, but approach it slightly differently.

Certain games do certain things better. You can make a game do something else, but it's going to require more effort to do it and results will be less consistent.

My favorite game ever to run as a GM is Mythender. It's a game about killing gods and in the very first session, you WILL kill a god. The game is about survival vs free will vs power. You have to make choices that determine which of those three things is most valuable to your character and those choices will have mechanical impacts later in the game. In a 4 hour session we can make characters, have an intro battle, engage in multiple roleplaying scenes and finally battle against a god.

Now... I could try to run this game using the Pathfinder rules, but for one, I doubt we could even do character creation within 4 hours, especially if we're going to do believable characters that could kill a god. Then there's the issue of making interesting encounters for high level characters that you've never seen before, such encounters can be incredibly swingy, either too easy or too hard depending on a few variables. Of course, high level combats are rarely short affairs, so again, that 4 hour goal is pretty much out the window.

I could use Pathfinder, but the system is something I'd have to overcome to achieve my goals, it wouldn't be actively assisting me at every step along the way.

Pathfinder does not reward players for making suboptimal choices, it doesn't encourage that behavior at all. That doesn't mean the behavior can't exist, but as the GM, I have to be cognizant of this issue and put extra effort to make sure that I'm encouraging players to do interesting things, not just efficient things, if that's what I want. That encouragement might only be verbal/social, me saying that's really cool, if that's all it takes for some players. Other players might need more discrete rewards, like being offered narrative control over parts of the game, or Hero Points, or Plot Twist cards.

For me, I completely discarded the CR system and ignore monster building rules. We have a house rule XP system that's evolved since the late 80's that we use, which combat makes up about 30-40% of all earned XP. We're also using the Plot Twist cards, they get 1/level, 1 for updating the campaign journal, and if they play a plot twist card to create a problem for themselves, they immediately get to draw another card.

If we were playing Fate or Smallville, I wouldn't have to modify the game nearly as much.


Tormsskull wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
What's relevant to me is how the game encourages or discourages certain kinds of behavior.

I understand that - I'm saying that looking at the issue through the filter of "how am I rewarded for this" means you're already on one side of the issue.

I would furthermore state that a lot of people view role-playing in that manner. If you have a group full of people who all view the game in this way, you've already avoided one potential obstacle in trying to have a successful campaign.

That's where the labels help.

Have you ever played Fiasco?


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Tormsskull wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Something to consider is that the Pathfinder RPG does not have a mechanic that rewards sub-optimal play. If your backstory says you're scared of zombies, then the first encounter against zombies, you cower for a round as your action (by choice), there's nothing that rewards you for this, other than positive reinforcement from your GM or fellow players. The system itself though will punish you, by giving the zombies two turns. Instead, the system's reward would be for violating your backstory and just attacking the zombies.

I would argue that if you're looking for a mechanical reward for all role-playing decisions that you make for your character, you're likely a roll-player.

If the negative stigma around the term roll-player can be reduced, then people who are roll-players won't feel the need to not claim the title.

Which will ultimately make it much easier to form cohesive groups and have successful campaigns.

You mistake what I'm going for. I don't look for mechanical reward as a player, I look for mechanical reward as a game designer. My post is about the theory behind why a game is the way it is. I couldn't care less about who you think is a roleplayer or a rollplayer or even want to define those terms. They're irrelevant to me.

What's relevant to me is how the game encourages or discourages certain kinds of behavior.

Can you give me a mechanical example of how the game system encourages players to make purposely bad decisions in the story?


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Something to consider is that the Pathfinder RPG does not have a mechanic that rewards sub-optimal play. If your backstory says you're scared of zombies, then the first encounter against zombies, you cower for a round as your action (by choice), there's nothing that rewards you for this, other than positive reinforcement from your GM or fellow players. The system itself though will punish you, by giving the zombies two turns. Instead, the system's reward would be for violating your backstory and just attacking the zombies.

Other games do reward "sub-optimal" choices though. They rely on a resource economy that is powered by "bad choices". The choice hurts you in the moment, but you gain a resource that can be spent later that will give you an advantage or be used to power special abilities.

You can widen the scope, from moment to moment choices, to character building. In Pathfinder, there isn't a reason to purposely make your character less powerful or add a specific weakness (that wouldn't be there anyways). In a party of 7th level characters, choosing to only be as powerful as a 6th level character doesn't bring you anything, other than making what should be CR appropriate encounters harder. Other games require you to take weaknesses if you want to be able to engage the resource economy.

If you want to play a game where characters can make "sub-optimal" choices that are interesting and are encouraged to do so, there are many, many better choices than Pathfinder.


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I don't like straight up accounting for this stuff. Instead I switch to abstract systems.

For example in PF, I might say you get 20 arrows. You're assumed to get this many every time you pay living expenses (you don't get 20 more arrows, you just get refilled to 20). Once this allotment runs out, you still have arrows... but, if you ever roll a 1 with an attack using an arrow, that was your last arrow.

I do a similar thing for food. We keep track of group rations (the party might have 8). To get from Point A to Point B requires a certain number of Survival checks. Then it goes like this:

DC or higher = progress towards reaching destination
Within 5 of DC= choose one
1. You take a wrong turn, make no progress
2. You encounter a wandering monster (random roll)
3. Spend 1 ration

Miss the DC by 6 or more, I as DM get to decide from:
1. Spend 3 rations
2. All characters take 2 Con damage from exposure (or damage, depending on how I want it to affect them, numbers can change)
3. I get to pick the monster off the encounter list
4. The party gets separated

These ways, you still have those moments of... "Oh no, we're almost out of food." But you're not tracking rations and water by weight, just by the number of uses that could get spent on bad rolls.


Part of the problem with the Daniel Craig movies is that they feel like they're trying too hard to be these epic saga's.

Casino Royale felt like 1 and 1/3 of a movie.
Quantum of Solace... well, just wasn't good.
Skyfall felt like 2 movies.
Spectre felt like a trilogy.

They need to simplify their plots, boil it down to a purer essence, then add a twist. Instead, they make a whole plot, add a twist at the end that leads to an entirely new plot. I have this problem in general the past 10 years, I wish Hollywood would relearn how to make a 90 minute action movie.

It feels like the new Bonds just don't know when to end.

I enjoyed Spectre, but only barely.


I'm going to take a different tack. Don't work too hard reinforcing it. Use a few new aspects/descriptions to bring back the memories of last session, but allow yourself to focus on other themes of the game.

Think of a session as a TV episode or book chapter. Typically a theme is heavily present for an episode, but then future episodes move onto other themes. The show will use reminders to recall the memory of previous episodes, but rely on those memories to fill in and spend it's time building the new theme.

This is also useful as a DM because it lets you move on to a new aspect of the game and removes the requirement to focus in a specific problem. By focusing on new themes, you'll actually free up your brain to come up with reminders of the old theme in it's own time. You know those thoughts that come hours after you're dealing a hard problem, or random moments like in the shower/driving/eating. It also changes the pace of the session so that you don't feel like you're doing the same stuff every time.

Basically, don't feel like you have to push this one thing super hard. Give yourself room to push other themes of the campaign and add this element back in whenever it's appropriate. In addition, if the players are into it, all you'll have to do is remind of their situation and they can come up with things as well.

Another option is to take some of these ideas and turn them into questions. For example you could ask questions like:

1. As you're packing your gear in the morning, you notice something important is missing/broken, what is it? Is it repairable?
2. Sitting around the cook fire you're suddenly reminded of someone you left behind in town, who was it?

Give the player an opportunity to roleplay and tell the group something; players will come up with cool things and take some of the creative load off of you.


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Not on topic, but Demon Hunters is something of a mashup of Cortex+ and Fate. It was designed by Cam Banks and Amanda Valentine. They both have done work at MWP on various Cortex games.


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Dogs in the Vineyard is an amazing game, but it doesn't do generic well. It does a certain kind of story, does it really well, but if you try to buck it and force it into something else, it can fall flat.


Fabius Maximus wrote:
I've recently made the discovery that the Glenlivet 15 does not really taste more interesting than the 12-year-old.

In some ways, age really is just a number. Even if a whisky changes over the years, it might not be for the better. That said, older whiskys will always be more expensive, because you're paying for the storage space for all those years.

Most American whiskey is only aged 2-6 years, with few being aged for 10+ (15+ is exceptionally rare in America).


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Tacticslion wrote:

But that implies (by default) that you can see the dragons (or whatever) no matter how far away they are, but without the ability to notice details (such as color).

Again, there are issues no matter which way it's parsed.

The thing is, the examples given of "details" (which are explicitly noted as examples of what can be noticed with perception) do not fit many folks' notions of "(fine) detail" or such.

I love the rules... but it is problematic to push the rules to their limit or apply them strictly within the parameters as-given.

This is all true.

Something to consider is that this thread isn't in the Rules Questions section, therefore we aren't really limited to just a plain text reading when talking about this. I mean, we could continue to go on and on forever retreading the exact same points, which are pretty thoroughly covered over the past few pages, or we could move on and talk about how to actually rum the game as a GM and how to utilize the rules in a useful way.


thejeff wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Lemmy wrote:

These statements are usually made just to poke fun at the rules and their flaws. There are plenty of cases where the rules either make no sense or just contradict themselves... The sun might be exaggeration, since that thing is many times bigger than Earth. But what about clouds? Chances are they are impossible to see as well, according to RAW. XD

tl/dr: It's just a hyperbolic joke being used to make a valid criticism. Humor has always been used to criticize real issues, after all. ;)

There's no valid point here, at all. The rules here do make sense and do not contradict themselves. (and in fact the rules rarely do so)

"Perception is also used to notice fine details in the environment."

The sun is not a "fine detail" nor are clouds. There is no need to make a perception check in the first place.

The issue is that people just are not reading the rules.

We've discussed that at great length. The sun is the reductio absurdem case and it's easy to dismiss as you suggest.

There are actual problematic cases that have been brought up. How far off can you see a colossal dragon in flight?
Is it "obvious" and therefore impossible to miss no matter how far away, as long as it's line of sight?
Or do you follow the standard perception rules and past a few hundred feet they're effectively invisible?

(Luckily, despite his high perception, the dragon will have a hard time spotting you, since you don't have the size penalty. :)

Conversely, it might be that the DC isn't to notice the dragon, but rather to make out any details on the dragon (such as color).


I don't know if it's any good, cause I'm not from the area. But for a chili dog, try this place.

It's not a chili dog, it's a coney island. They're similar, but slightly different. A coney island is the New York version of a chili dog. It consists of a hot dog on a bun with "meat sauce", dice onions and sometimes a little cheese. The "meat sauce" is basically bean-less chili. There is much debate in the US about whether chili should have beans or not, I personally don't care and enjoy both.

Anyways, the restaurant in the link is little ways away, but if it's a life long dream, the pictures look like a fairly authentic coney island to me.

Another cuisine item that's pretty American is chicken wings. There's lots of different ways, but "buffalo" is pretty iconic. Here's a list of places with good chicken wings in Miami.


Mandrill
Cockathrice
Midnight Minotaur


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ಠ_ರೃ


Knowbrainer wrote:


Rules by themselves of any game aren't going to be dark and gritty; that's what the setting is for, and the default setting of Shadow of the Demon Lord is dark and gritty. The adventures that are out for it (on DTRPG) can be pretty intense, at least in my opinion. Then there's Tales of the Demon Lord, the campaign that has the players trying to stop the end of the world.

I've played games where rules back up the setting immensely. Including dark, gritty and horror. It's a fallacy to think that rules and setting can't support each other, because they can.


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It was 10 years ago, but I spent a week in Miami Beach, which I liked. You pay a premium, but most things are in walking distance or a short cab ride. Even if you aren't a party person, find a bar with a noise level you can tolerate and just people watch.


Empowered would apply to all bonuses to the roll (if it applied at all).


Lord Foul II wrote:
Claxon wrote:

The weapon damage is not a variable of the spell. It's a variable of the weapon.

if you read empower carefully it says:

Quote:
All variable, numeric effects of an empowered spell are increased by half including bonuses to those dice rolls.

Weapon damage is not a variable numeric effect of the spell.

How is 1d8 not variable or numeric

The 1d8 isn't listed anywhere in the spell.

1. This spell creates a sword that does 1d8 damage.
2. This spell creates a longsword.

If the spell were written along the lines of (1), Empower would affect the damage dealt. But since it's written like (2), it does not. The 1d8 is not part of the spell itself, but rather a side effect.


Tormsskull wrote:
412294 wrote:
I don't see why social skills should be different to everything else, noone expects you to be a gymnast to roll acrobatics, a talented musician to use perform, have memorised half the bestiary to make your knowledge rolls to find out about monsters or swing a sword around to make your attacks.

I've seen this argument many times, and it always makes me wonder what a typical game session looks like when this view is in effect.

It would seem to discourage role-playing on the players' side, which I would think would then have a spillover effect of the DM doing less role-playing.

I know that if I am DMing and I give an impassioned speech as an NPC trying to persuade the PCs and the majority of the responses I get are the names of mechanical skills and dice rolls, I'm going to lose interest in RPing NPCs.

Roleplaying and character efficacy are different things.

A dwarf with 5 Charisma and zero ranks in Diplomacy shouldn't give eloquent speeches, so rewarding a player who does with automatic success doesn't seem right to me. Especially if another player has a character with 20 Charisma and maxed Diplomacy.

I do still expect the second player to give their best effort, but it's the roll that determines the outcome. The roleplaying is the bar to trigger to the roll.


Roleplaying is what triggers the roll. The roll is what determines the outcome. If a player is reluctant to roleplay, I ask the questions about what they're doing...

How do you do that?
What kinds of things do you say?
What do you want from him?

If a player is forthcoming and very verbose, I sometimes cut them off in the middle and have them roll, then ask them to color their dialogue based on the roll (giving them the opportunity to roleplay their failure, or giving them a hint of something particularly effective they can add on a stunning success). It also gives me a chance to determine the NPC's reaction earlier, because I always follow the dice (though a failed diplomacy doesn't mean the NPC doesn't like you, it might mean they aren't able to do what you want).


Nope, never happened to me.


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If you were to plot the number of ninjas compared to their individual power, you would find that a steeper slope/curve at higher power levels in Pathfinder, than you will in 5E. The law still exist for both games, but the numbers required to be a challenge at specific power levels is different.

For example, a 15th level Fighter in PF might be able to handle 200 level 1 ninjas, while in 5E, a similar character might only be able to handle 20. As you increase the level of the ninjas, the number each fighter can handle decreases, until you raise the ninja level high enough that the Fighter can only take on one ninja.

The law of conservation is preserved, but the slope/curve is different.


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I don't think that's what Gygax is getting at at all.

Rather, when you sit at the table, you take on certain responsibilities at the table. If you're GM, your role is to facilitate the game, be judge for the rules, play NPC's, run opponents in combat, etc. If you're a player, your role is to know your character, the mechanics involved and everything your character is capable of. You don't just play at being a wizard, you are responsible for utilizing your characters abilities to assist the part as best as you're able. You don't have to know how to project bolts of force from your finger tips, but you do need to know what Magic Missile does in the game.


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If a journalists mouths off to his editor, he is immune to being fired, because being fired would hinder his ability to report the news.

Is a convenience store owner required to carry copies of a newspaper? Or do they get to select what takes up space in their store... cause not having the newspaper in their store restricts the paper's ability to report the news to the public.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
Scythia wrote:
It's a reductio ad absurdum about the pitfalls of dogmatic adherence to the rules as written.

But, like most such arguments, there is an important grain of truth in them.

A more realistic example would be a lighthouse. Lighthouses are supposed to be visible for miles away -- in fact, a typical (30-45m) lighthouse is designed to be visible at a distance of roughly 13 miles (20 km).

Thirteen miles is roughly 13,000 5' squares, or a -6500 penalty to seeing it. As a Colossal object, there would be a corresponding +16 bonus to find such a thing, but that's dwarfed by the distance penalties.

Shipwrecks must be much more common in Golarion than on Earth, because by RAW, you can't see a lighthouse further away than about the length of a football pitch.

Following the PRD's terrain rules, I couldn't see Godzilla stomping across a plain if he/she/it were further than about 1500' away. (Maximum sight range is 6d6 times 40 ft.)

Consider the fact that for the times when a lighthouse is actually useful (night, bad weather, combination), you can't actually see the light house in the real world. Rather, you only see the light coming from it.

Spotting a lighthouse during the day from 13 miles away with the naked eye is actually pretty difficult, unless it's against a sky backdrop, but usually it isn't as the shore behind it continues to gain elevation.

You don't see the lighthouse, rather you see the light coming out of it.

One could argue that you can't actually see the Sun either, but only the light coming from it. If the Sun were just a giant, cold rock, it would be impossible to spot with the naked eye.


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Part of what I'm going for with advice here is how to sell it on DM's Guild. Give me a hook about the class, describe what kind of person takes this class in a way that makes them sound different from things like Bard and Rogue.

In some ways, this is a pulp adventurer, an explorer who's been everywhere and seen everything. They expect the unexpected. A good, evocative description will help this catch people's eye.


Pan wrote:

IT pretty much nails it with his post.

** spoiler omitted **

The shift from Ep 4 to Ep 5 is the first indication the season lacks some unity and can't find itself. All three Marvel seasons (DareDevil 1&2, Jessica Jones) have had episode pacing problems IMO. This is the worst so far.

I think there's a lot of potential and a lot of interesting things they could be doing with the show, but they just don't. If the trend line continues, I doubt I'll finish season 3. If it improves, even just a little, I will still have complaints, but I will still enjoy watching it.

Oh, the Jessica Jones references are good too. Not too strong, just a couple here and there. I want more of that to keep happening. It felt a little more like both shows might take place in the same time zone. It still doesn't feel like they take place in the same tiny corner of Manhattan though (Hell's Kitchen is only 4 blocks wide and and like 25 blocks long).


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Dragonchess Player wrote:

As far as the seemingly contradictory elements go, it helps to remember a couple of things:

1) RPGs were initially an outgrowth of table-top wargaming, so when Gygax is talking of "action oriented portions of the game activity which call for little role playing" he was referring to combat (and other situations) where the system mechanics are clear and defined. "Skill not theatrics" means that you don't need to extemporize how your character swings a sword, casts a spell, climbs a wall, picks a lock, etc. (although a little bit of context and flavor can help with immersion); you just need to be familiar with the system mechanics involved.

2) Because of the origins of RPGs, there were large gaps in the system mechanics of AD&D (1st Ed at the time of the article); especially when dealing with interactions between PCs and creatures/NPCs (although not restricted to only that). Even something like "what does my character know about..." was almost completely undefined by system mechanics. "Pure" role-playing/role-assumption had to cover a wider range.

As noted, a "balanced" approach (incorporating all three of the gamist, narrative, and simulationist* elements) will tend to more enjoyable and sustainable. The exact desired balance point, of course, will depend on the tastes of the group and even vary from session to session!

*- Gygax didn't use those terms, but they may be more familiar with current gamers

The contradiction exists, especially as Gygax defines the two elements. This is something that's inherently true of any RPG that includes things like Diplomacy and Knowledge skills alongside tactical combat and system mastery. That doesn't mean the contradiction is bad, but it needs to be recognized. Knowing that these two competing priorities exist helps us understand and utilize the game better. It also helps a GM realize which parts his players are better at and enjoy more.

Problem solving being an in character or out of character thing is best summed up with riddles. Can a riddle be solved with skill checks? If so, it is done entirely in character. If it can only be solved by the players, it is reliant on their knowledge and skill. You can certainly combine the two, giving clues via rolls after a period of time, but you are still balancing these two competing methods.


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Finished season 2. I enjoyed it for what it was. The action was better this year, most all of the cast performed great and it had a lot of great visuals. All in all, if you're a comic tv show/movie fan, it's worth the time to watch it.

I was also deeply disappointed by large aspects of the show.

Spoiler:

Charlie Cox is my least favorite actor on the show and he's the lead. Maybe it's his attempts to portray a blind man, but he just feels stiff and wooden all the time. Then you combine it with my next complaint and it's compounded.

Everyone hates Daredevil. This is annoying, because we're constantly being told how he doesn't live up to his obligations, which he doesn't. He's constantly berated, rightly, by everyone. He doesn't live up to his own expectations either. Basically, everyone hates Daredevil. This can be a good story element, but over the course of 13 hour long episodes, it gets boring and tired. Eventually I start to wonder why we bother following this guy with a camera if he's just a disappointment to everyone.

There's no villain. The Punisher is essentially the foil to Daredevil for the season, but we hate him, then we like him, then we hate him, then we like him. It can be really powerful to evoke a sense of uncertainty and doubt about the true nature of something, but the show doesn't pull if off well. It doesn't feel like the director is asking us questions about how we feel about the Punisher, instead it feels like the director/writers can't decide how they feel.

Season 1 had Fisk, who we knew was the villain, but at times we felt sympathetic towards, but it was never in doubt that Fisk and Daredevil were mortal enemies. This was a good example of "questioning the truth" by the show that worked well. Yes Fisk is a villain, but aren't some of his motives things we can identify with?

They try to give the Punisher the same treatment, but it kind of flops and flails around. This would have worked so much better if there had been a central villain for the audience to root against, with the Punisher and Daredevil arguing about how best to remove the threat to the city.

Then, a whole second story line develops around episode 5 that has nothing to do with what happened in ep 1-4. So then you have two story lines going from then on, with Daredevil showing up just to be yelled at, so he goes back to the other one, and otherwise no crossover between the stories.

Deborah Ann Woll (Karen Page) is the star of the show, she either steals or anchors every scene she's in and was phenomenal to watch. Eldon Hanson (Foggy) does well, particularly with some of the cheesy dialogue he gets. Jon Bernthal (Punisher) is decent, though Frank Castle's never been a particularly deep character. Vincent D’Onofrio is great and scary as Fisk, the little bit of screen time he gets. His voice always seems a little forced, but it worked great in season 1, because you heard him more often and got used to it.

The stairwell fight scene is great. They do a good job of giving the illusion of a single cut, you have to really watch for the edits. It's shot well, good movement from the participants and gives a sense of how small the space is. I wouldn't put it as the "greatest fight scene ever", but it deserves a place on any long list of excellent fight scenes.


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Even with the article, GG doesn't seem to know for sure which way he wants to go on certain aspects. If you look at these two paragraphs, which are one after the other, you see contradictory elements:

Quote:

Problem solving is the typical challenge in a role-playing game. Whether it is discovering a murderer, finding a magic sword, or seeking to expose a gang of criminals, this element is an integral part of such interactive gaming. And ‘note that problem solving, in this context, has to do with a problem to be solved by the character, not a problem (such as How do I role-play this situation?) to be solved by the player.

Combat, survival amidst threatening conditions, or stalking an opponent are typical means of adding excitement and suspense into the whole. These are action oriented portions of the game activity which call for little role playing but a fair amount of role assumption. The magic-user character (and thus, the player of that character) must know his or her spells and how to utilize them efficiently. The explorer must know outdoor craft. Whatever the situation, setting, or character being played, skill not theatrics is what is called for here.

He talks about problem solving being an in-character thing, but then discusses combat and survival and specifically references player skills to deal with threats.

I do think that his points about this not being theater are very good and something that needs to be taken to heart more often. Not just in reference to how we act and behave during the game, but how the fiction generated through RPG's is unlike fiction in other media. A good story in a book/tv/movie/theater has certain elements that do not always appear in RPG's, even an RPG that is good and fun. Themes, metaphors, through-line, plot and many other elements can appear superficially in an RPG, but often aren't nearly as impactful nor have the connection to one another as they would in a story of equal quality told through another medium. Often times the concept of story is only present superficially in an RPG, even one with excellent roleplaying where players are completely in character.

We often use other forms of media as reference for our RPG's, but I think the hobby would benefit from separating itself in how we think about our games. While those other forms of media are great inspiration, and we can even build games around emulating them (Prime Time Adventures), they aren't the same.

D&D itself has a lot of self-referential tropes to it that don't appear outside of RPG's. They are things that developed or hardened, because they were present in early D&D, but aren't actually from other types of media. They originate from other games, but not from fiction, rather mechanics. It's why in a movie like Gamers, they can make a lot of jokes that are specific to gaming and the incongruities that result in the fiction.


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Ya know, there's a recently resurrected thread (pun intended) for the church stuff.


The Factotum seems like a collection of cool abilities surrounding the concept that "I'm really good at stuff". It's kind of generic and uninteresting. It seems like a class designed around abilities, instead of abilities designed around an in-fiction concept. The abilities are balanced, but other than "being good at stuff" I don't know what really unifies them.


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thejeff wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
thejeff wrote:

I guess we're reading the thread differently. I've been reading all of the talk about publicity and the like to be responding to the scenario set up in the title and the OP. That's certainly what I've been saying. I don't recall anyone talking about shutting this thread down or saying we shouldn't talk about it

I think we basically agree.

Well, I don't think that the publicity is the inherent problem. It's just my opinion that people aren't required to comment on something unless they're directly involved. If they want to comment on it, they certainly can. If Paizo did want to condemn the game and say why they would never carry it, I would welcome it.

I don't think that signal boosting is the primary problem here. For one, the guy already has various ways of getting his message out which demonstrably have decently wide reach. I would estimate the reach of a Paizo blog post might be of a similar size, but that the effect would be negative to this guy's cause.

Ignoring things like this don't make them go away. That doesn't mean I think Paizo is required to jump in, but I would say that anyone who wants to contribute to putting this man down needs to lend their voice. Staying silent in no way helps those who oppose this guy.

Well, certainly, anyone who wants to contribute to putting this man down should do something, though frankly, I'm not sure what.

I'm not even really saying that publicity is the real issue. It's just that some racist self-publishing a racist game is such a tiny fish even in the niche world of tabletop RPGs that it's not even really worth noticing.
Sure, ignoring him won't make him go away, but nothing will make him go away. Publicizing him won't make him go away. Making a huge internet controversy about him won't make him go away. Turning him into a viral joke won't make him go away, but it wins on amusement value and probably irritates him more than anything else would.

I see bigotry quietly accepted fairly often. At best, people disagree, but remain silent. At worst, people agree and let others speak for them. I've seen issues of racism, sexism and homophobia brushed off as being insignificant and unimportant, with the loudest perpetrators excused as "not representing us". Yet they're allowed to stay and continue perpetuating these things.

When someone points it out, we get a litany of responses about why we shouldn't talk about it. People who refuse to acknowledge that these things do happen or have any reflection on our community. It's been a common theme and continuous over the past few years on these message boards as well.

Maybe just standing up and speaking wont do very much. I don't care. But things aren't getting better by not speaking, cause these issues haven't gone away.

I don't require anyone to stand up and denounce this stuff. I do think it would be good if we did it more often though. I also think it would be good if others didn't try to present arguments about why we shouldn't.

It's hard enough to effect change, when you have to justify talking about change in the first place.


Ryan Freire wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
thejeff wrote:

I guess we're reading the thread differently. I've been reading all of the talk about publicity and the like to be responding to the scenario set up in the title and the OP. That's certainly what I've been saying. I don't recall anyone talking about shutting this thread down or saying we shouldn't talk about it

I think we basically agree.

Well, I don't think that the publicity is the inherent problem. It's just my opinion that people aren't required to comment on something unless they're directly involved. If they want to comment on it, they certainly can. If Paizo did want to condemn the game and say why they would never carry it, I would welcome it.

I don't think that signal boosting is the primary problem here. For one, the guy already has various ways of getting his message out which demonstrably have decently wide reach. I would estimate the reach of a Paizo blog post might be of a similar size, but that the effect would be negative to this guy's cause.

Ignoring things like this don't make them go away. That doesn't mean I think Paizo is required to jump in, but I would say that anyone who wants to contribute to putting this man down needs to lend their voice. Staying silent in no way helps those who oppose this guy.

Neither does internet slacktivism. How many minds do you expect to change on this guys politics by an internet callout? Because to be honest I doubt people who were susceptible to this persons bigotry are going to go "oh wow, these people on a paizo board are rabble rousing against this person, I guess I should be against them too"

Calling out hasn't done squat to deter people for voting for a certain orange toned hairpiece, its not going to suddenly educate people who shared sympathies with the dude to change their position.

You lost me when you decided to start your post with an insult.


thejeff wrote:

I guess we're reading the thread differently. I've been reading all of the talk about publicity and the like to be responding to the scenario set up in the title and the OP. That's certainly what I've been saying. I don't recall anyone talking about shutting this thread down or saying we shouldn't talk about it

I think we basically agree.

Well, I don't think that the publicity is the inherent problem. It's just my opinion that people aren't required to comment on something unless they're directly involved. If they want to comment on it, they certainly can. If Paizo did want to condemn the game and say why they would never carry it, I would welcome it.

I don't think that signal boosting is the primary problem here. For one, the guy already has various ways of getting his message out which demonstrably have decently wide reach. I would estimate the reach of a Paizo blog post might be of a similar size, but that the effect would be negative to this guy's cause.

Ignoring things like this don't make them go away. That doesn't mean I think Paizo is required to jump in, but I would say that anyone who wants to contribute to putting this man down needs to lend their voice. Staying silent in no way helps those who oppose this guy.


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thejeff wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
What's your problem with the thread's existence, in one or two sentences?

Not Sundakan, but I have no problem with this thread's existence. I disagree with the thread's premise, as stated in the title and the original post.

I do not agree that:

Quote:
I don’t think silence about Myfarog is enough. Given our troubled history, I think it’s important for the key game companies, RPG writers and fans to explicitly condemn Myfarog. We need to make it clear that we reject this slime firmly and fully.
Do you think we need to start some kind of campaign to get "key game companies" like maybe Paizo, to explicitly condemn Myfarog? If not, we agree.

Nope, I don't think we need an organized campaign. As I stated in a previous post, there's two parts to the discussion:

1) should we talk about it at all (existence)
2) how big should the talk be (proportionality)

I think a thread, where someone who has questions about the game can come and find information about it's nature is a good thing. Where we discuss it's bigotry and the history of it's author.

I don't think an organized campaign is necessary. Nor do I think Paizo is required to speak up and condemn the product. I wouldn't have an issue if Paizo did, but Paizo should worry about Paizo. Now, if they had offered the game for sale in their store, I would expect a retraction of the product and a statement apologizing and condemning, but that is a more specific scenario and includes direct involvement on Paizo's part.

Since the original post though, there really hasn't been any talk about an organized campaign. The topic has drifted from that one sentence and we are several pages after the fact. The overall topic is still about a majority of that original post, just not that sentence about game companies organizing.


What's your problem with the thread's existence, in one or two sentences?

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