What I want to do - what I would enjoy the most - would be to run a straight computer character (as found on page 6 of UP). Would this be feasible within the framework of what you have planned?
There's just something about a self-aware computer in the modern day world that causes my imagination to run wild. I could integrate peripherals onto the other heroes, and provide eye-in-the-sky intelligence and other high-level support via a Communication with Cybernetics power. Think: accessing CCTV cameras, etc.
I have a slight tweak to the power to suggest - I think when this book was written, it made the most sense to have the "smartest" machines be the easiest to "talk" to - it would, of course, be easier to derive information from a computer than from a player piano (the example given in the book). However, in today's age, I feel like more complex data/uplinks should require the higher FEAT rolls, to represent the increased role of firewalls and other security procedures.
So, for instance, accessing someone's home PC might be a green FEAT roll, while accessing military intelligence satellites might represent a red FEAT roll. It seems to me to be common sense, although it is contrary to the way the book represents the power.
Seem feasible? Any thoughts?
tl;dr - I want to be HAL.
Another part of this, guys and dolls, is that "write it yourself" becomes problematic exactly at the time that Paizo goes ahead and does it (and they will do so sooner or later, never doubt it).
Using a prior example, there's not enough detail out there about Taldor in my opinion (not me personally, but an example person who holds an opinion). So, I go whole-hog and flesh Taldor all the way out. Aristocracy, inn names, prominent NPC's, everything. OK, great. Now we've been playing for a year, and Paizo Releases "Taldor: Right Down to the Mole on Your Character's Grandmother's Ankle", and now I feel like all the work I did is annoyingly wasted, because anything Paizo does at that level is going to blow away whatever I can do. I think of all the awesome adventures my party could have had in this super-awesome version of Taldor, and I weep and gnash my teeth. I may even rend my garments.
This is the reason I personally don't like filling out a publisher's world with my own stuff. If I'm going to be writing the preponderance of the mintuae, I would prefer to do it in my own sandbox.
This isn't the first time that it's come up. Travis Williams did an excellent editorial on the subject in White Wolf magazine. It's a serious issue because racism and misogyny in general two things we consider as on the decline in our culture are on the rise in gaming overall. I'd like to think that Paizo's authors are a cut above the rest, but Pathfinder doesn't exist in an island. We're not free from the influences that abound in the rest of the gaming medium or in media in general.
Seelah is (and I mean actually is, not just could be or might be) the iconic friggin' paladin.
Nobody at Paizo thinks dark people are bad. If you'd like to think they're a cut above, then good, because they are. Someone made a picture of the iconic paladin going anti-paladin. If Harsk was the iconic paladin (ironically) we wouldn't be having this discussion.
If you're discounting theorycrafting, don't.
Theorycrafting is what should have been done prior to this being published. I understand the fact that some of you feel strongly about this not being broken in its current incarnation, but please realize: the fact that there are a significant amount of people that see this as extremely objectionable means that, by definition, it is a kind of a bad feat. Not objectively bad. Subjectively bad. A feat that half the playerbase strenuously objects to on the grounds that it distorts conventional and widely-accepted game mechanics, contains too many loopholes and corner cases, and violates their agency over their characters is less than good. That's not the reaction that feats are supposed to receive, period.
It's OK for some people at some tables. That doesn't make it OK. It (my humble opinion) shouldn't have been published, and all the passionate arguments for and against it are so much dust in the wind.
It's been fixed about as far as it can be. It just never should have been published.
I also dislike them. I have oscillated between not allowing them (in a Kingmaker game) and allowing them (in my current Way of the Wicked campaign). The party actually hasn't bought one yet, which surprises me. It's likely due to having a Cleric and also some other means of acquiring a few HP per day (Infernal Healing and the like).
In general, though, I dislike the concept of Divine wands. I vastly prefer limiting wands to Arcane energies, with potions picking up the slack for the low-level Divine spells. For high-level Divine spells, well...you need a high-level Divine caster. In my view, this makes for a slightly more gritty atmosphere.
Congrats, Steve! Good to see you make it this year.
I have a question for Steve, any of the judges, or really anyone who cares to weigh in. Is the Oxford comma not recommended in RPG writing? I've edited a few documents lately where it's not been used, and I'm seeing it here in this submission: "[...]filled with water, dirt and debris, resembling[...]"
That wouldn't leave my desk without being changed to water, dirt, and debris.
I guess what I'm saying, lest I come off too haughty, is: don't worry about this at all, Steve - professional writers are doing the same thing. As an editor, I'm asking, "why?"
Please feel free to DM me, so as to not clutter up this thread, which should rightly be reserved for congratulations on what is really a freaking awesome item.
vivat Oxoniae distingue
So, I haven't been reporting my gameplay, but we've been having a very exciting time of it. We're near the end, and it's getting quite entertaining.
In general, the party approaches nearly ever situation by using darkness first and asking questions later. They have multiple sources of darkness, and they all have darkvision, so that's generally been their strategy.
The party has whittled down the castle slowly. They initially killed Varning and his rangers while out on patrol, and left the bodies to rot. While waiting for this to be discovered, they killed a few more guards in and around the town (not sure if I made the right call having the soldiers also double as town guard, but that's what I did). Captain Barhold was dispatched to investigate Varning's disappearance, and he was much, much more prepared - already Balentyne began to suspect that something was afoot.
Barhold managed to escape the party, and was able to report back to the fortress that a party of 4-5 enemies was about. Not shortly thereafter, the fortress became much more guarded. They advertised for "supernatural bounty hunters" - a ploy that my party reacted to by applying for the job themselves, and interesting plan but one which exposed them to Tacitus, who dutifully noted that they were all wearing magical headgear. Being no idiot, he suspected hats of disguise.
Long story short, although the party has used their iron circlets to great advantage and been able to move about with relative impunity, the noose is beginning to close on them. A recent ruse of theirs failed, and has led to the Cleric being imprisoned, while Father Donnagin is questioning a pile of corpses. The disguises are protecting them for the most part, though. None of the corpses is able to describe the PCs in their natural appearance. Lord Havelyn is convinced of the party's guilt, though, having connected Barhold's initial report, Tacitus' tale of mercenaries with Hats of Disguise, and the mounting pile of corpses that all speak of being slain with the same weapons - weapons the PCs happen to use consistently. He holds the Cleric in his hands, and does in fact plan to let her swing, if only to show the PCs that he means business (even though he lacks direct "smoking gun" evidence).
He plans to accumulate as much evidence in his favor as possible (he is LG, after all), but it is no coincidence that he plans to execute the Cleric on the very day that the bugbear hoarde will arrive at his doorstep. The party will have a very busy day two game-days hence.
The last session ended with the Rogue trying to sneak in and kill the Cleric in his sleep, thus eliminating the Speak With Dead threat. Unfortunately, thanks to Donnagin's odd sleeping habits, he was up praying in the chapel. The Rogue sees him with his back turned, and he is invisible and has Non-Detection running. he is going in for the kill, and he might succeed, but... the chapel is not without defences... a LOT of them. I will be amazed if he lives. *rubs hands together and cackles maniacally*
Ah, yes - but my wife will take it out of my hide much, much earlier.
For what it is worth, I wanted to pop in and talk for a moment about how excited I am about the adventures that the Frogs recently revealed. I've done editing on Tom Knauss's Sinful Whispers, Gary McBride's The Black Spot, and Richard Pett's Angry Waters (and they sure are angry, that's no lie).
The writing on these is absolutely superb. The flavor of the setting really comes through, and it's incredibly satisfying to see the Razor Coast come to life in the way that it has through these adventures. Like someone upthread mentioned, I'm not really a "pirates" guy, but these adventures do not require the PC's to be pirates. They do need to be adventurers - and it will help to know their way around a boat, to be certain - but pirates? No*.
*Pirates are, of course, still welcome.
To speak quickly to Clark's point earlier, I am so proud to be a part of this project, even a tiny part. To see the community come together and sort of pitch in on getting this together is incredible. Some of the finest names in not just open gaming, but gaming period (in my opinion, anyway) are involved. And Pett, too! (haha, just kidding, Richard - please don't send me any disturbing text messages!)
Anyway, now all that's left is for RC to fund. It needs to fund. It's going to be worth it, you guys. I have no financial interest in it either way, so please don't take this that way. It's a quality production from a quality company, with quality authors. To me, that's a no-brainer. And that's a good thing, because after Gary McBride's adventure, I left my brain at home for safekeeping. There were too many unspeakable horrors trying to... well, let's just say, I left it at home for safekeeping.
Heya, Paizonians -
This kickstarter was started by a close friend of mine - actually, the guy who is probably most influential in getting me started in TTRPG's. He's an insanely talented artist, and this premise (I think) is really cool. Do me a solid and take a look, and share it around if you don't mind. It's very much in danger of not being funded, which I think would be a real shame, because it has a lot of potential.
The word fiat has several ramifications, none of them particularly pleasant for most of the world. Merrica.
The problem is really definition #3, which uses the dreaded word "arbitrary". Nobody likes to feel like a GM's rulings are going to be arbitrary, but they are of course going to be: GM's are the arbitrators of your game, because you asked them to be..
It's a matter of tone. "GM Fiat" sounds like "The GM grumpily decides whether or not you get to do what you want to do, ususally contingent upon whether it's going to mess up something they have planned". Meanwhile, "a GM ruling" means the exact same thing, but sounds like "There's a question the players can't decide without input from the GM. What does he say?"
So, while "GM ruling" and "GM fiat" mean almost precisely the same thing, I think the question of whether an NPC is distracted or not obviously requires a GM ruling, but it feels confrontational to say that it is subject to GM fiat (though, of course, it is).
Here on the rules forum, though, people generally dislike the GM having the final say. So, GM fiat gets thrown around a lot.
Sure he can. He just has to somehow concretely assure that the guy's back stays turned for the duration. Something like a bluff check to cause a distraction, or his buddies causing said distraction.
Since soft cover doesn't allow Stealth you can't even blend into a crowd to get past a guard.
Oh, sure you can. You'd just make a bluff check. After all, when you're blending into a crowd, you're not trying to remain unseen - instead, you're trying to make people's eyes pass over you without their brain sounding an alarm. That's a job for bluff, not stealth.
So, a couple pages later, everyone seems to mostly be coming around to my point, which is that if you're allowing rogues and the like to sneak across open ground, then you're simply liberally applying the distracted state. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, nor do I think it's GM fiat. I think it's just playing the game, and I'm certain it's well in-line with the developers' intent.
There's still no facing rules in this game, though. Things face different directions, to be sure, but there are not any rules for that, really.
I firmly reject that the developers implied an entire system for facing in the game based on an aside comment in the universal monster rules for gaze, sorry. Can you do any better than that?
Yeah, I totally agree, do whatever makes you have fun. And cool, you have facing in your game. I think that's really neat, and would prefer that Pathfinder did have facing out of the box.
Unfortunately, it does not. But I agree, if you have a set of rules (or, as it sounds, a lack of them, which is fine too) that you and your players enjoy, by all means have fun.
To clarify, though, this is the rules forum, where we generally limit the discussion to what the rules say. That's why you're hearing some of the things you're hearing. And those things aren't wrong at all, because we're in the rules forum.
Do you force a character who wants to pick an apple to make a perception check when there is an apple tree directly in front of him? Or would you just tell him there's a tree, have at it?
That's not necessary.
You're thinking like a character. Think like a GM instead. If you award a monster precision damage or a surprise round for attacking a character that has a clear and direct line of sight to the monster, and claim that the character was just looking in the wrong direction, the response you're going to get EVERY SINGLE TIME is "No way, I could have been looking over there! He's in plain sight!"...and that's going to be very, very difficult to argue with.
Now, if the player describes his watch actions as "I'm staring listlessly into the fire thinking about the beautiful princess", it's clear that the character is distracted (voluntarily), so you can absolutely stipulate that the beastie could sneak up (with a modified opposed roll, of course). Likewise, if the GM describes the monster as distracted:
Rogue: What's he doing?
...then yeah, that works, too. The best common-sense fix for the Stealth problem is simply a liberal application of the distracted clause, in my opinion.
Scott Betts wrote:
If you believe that, "We support the universal health care coverage laws put into place by President Obama," is the same thing as, "We will repeal universal health care coverage," then I can't help you.
No self-respecting elephant would EVER stoop to referring to it as "Universal Health Care".
That's Obamacare, yo.
Epic Meepo wrote:
...aaaaand in a related note, my item for this year was TOTALLY GOING TO BE A PALIMPSEST. *shakes fist*
You know, Neil has commented somewhere that they routinely get this as an acutal item in the RPG Superstar contest.
This is in honor of one of my players.
Ring of Unerring Foreknowledge
If your thread was moved, reposting it in the spot that you thought it belonged originally is bad form, because it must not have actually belonged there.
"PFS Rules" questions are traditionally moved to the Rules forum, because aside from differences which are clearly called out, the PFS rules are the same as the rules for the rest of us.
Playtesting this at Gencon, I found character creation to be very "light your hair on fire and run all around". I don't want this:
1. Choose a Race (read all about races in chapter 2)
I want this:
Maybe it's just because I had literally a bunch of loose pages... seriously, Wizards? You can't 3-ring bind the damn things? But the order of creating a character was very disconcerting to me.
I am just so, so sad that the monk won't be present. Healer classes are my favorite, and the GW1 Monk was, I think, the best there is/was/ever will be in terms of flavor. The pressure of monking in high-level PvP was just tremendous.
I guess I see what they're doing, wanting to make classes self-sufficient, but - I don't know. It's just a shame. Countless hours I monked - countless. So much fun. And now, nothing like it.
I tried Guardian, but I didn't really like it much.
Still, it'll be so nice to log into a game named "Guild Wars" and have there be a million people running around that I'll forget how sad I am. For a moment.
Infinite time stop! Infinite shapechange! Infinite true strike! Infinite blink! Infinite everything!
And thanks to the Event Organizers for being so accommodating to generic ticket holders - I really wanted to play at least one of the Season 4 modules, and thanks to the absolutely unreal amount of love and care they gave everyone, I did get the chance to!
Applause all around. It's true, I still have the warm fuzzies from what was my first Gencon, but I don't think I'm wearing rose-colored glasses at all when I say that Paizo really distinguished themselves in the marketplace of gamer's hearts this weekend.
Matt Haddix wrote:
Ah, yes- as I did this morning. Curse you, faction mission ABSOLUTELY REQUIRING Knowledge: Planes. I am a dwarf fighter. Who is an athiest. I mean, come ON.
Edit to say: my GM tried...she really did. She was a very good sport. I know this has been discussed a lot, though...so I won't aim to do that here. Suffice it to say, very frustrating.
OK, got it - yeah, I also picked up a wand of CLW by spending 2PP, as I saw that it was essentially protocol and didn't want to be the only guy at the table without his own.
I super-promise that I did read the Guide - a few times, even - this particular point was just, I don't know, confusing to me for some reason. It's like that moment when you think you're prepared for a test, but then you give the textbook one last go-over to make sure you didn't miss anything, and it's like "I don't know ANY of this stuff!!" You know?
Anyway, thanks a ton for the last-minute help. I am off to slay enemies in the name of the Grand Lodge!
Hey, all -
Sorry for the late query, but I kind of need to know this, as I need to determine whether I have an invalid character on my hands and need to come up with a new one for a Gencon game tomorrow morning at 8 - Yoi.
Obviously, I'm kind of new to Society Play. We recently converted our home game to a Society game, so I think that we may have made a kind of crucial error.
Am I reading correctly that I cannot buy anything from my faction until I complete three scenarios, thus accumulating 6 fame (5 is the number on the chart, but I'm not sure how I'd even arrive at 5)?
In short, I bought a +1 Greatsword at level 2... that's not permitted, is it?
Thanks in advance for any advice.
Like a dingbat, I shook Jason Bulmahn's hand this morning. He was kind enough to do it, but I totally forgot what I was doing...this man might shake my hand on a normal day, but nobody wants to shake anyone's hand at Gencon! So, sorry Jason - I assure you I was clean and sanitary.
My tip - people staffing the con do not want to touch you. If you were them you wouldn't want to touch you either. Don't put them in an awkward position...even if it's a human reflex to want to shake hands.
What's funny is, I could see this thread going this way as well (with a different title):
My players ran into a viscous-looking plant creature that's known to eat humanoids, but instead of assuming the thing was evil and smiting it accordingly, the paladin metagamed the knowledge that plants are most commonly neutral creatures and conserved his smite. Why do players metagame! etc. etc.