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It was someone with a connection to game design, so the overlap shouldn't really surprise me. Even so, I was all like "HEY I KNOW WHO THAT IS".
But I didn't friend request you because we don't actually know each other IRL so that might be creepy, but I still wanted to give you an internet hi-five, so to speak. :)
I enjoy roleplaying in non-RPGs. For example, I really love imagining how my creatures react to things (especially bizarre things) in games of Magic: the Gathering. I like narrating scenes based on dramatic successes/failures in board games. Stuff like that. I can't seem to not have a narrative in my gaming.
Step 1: Decide what you want your enemies to need to roll to hit you. Maybe for one character you're okay with most enemies hitting on a 7, maybe with another character you want a 14 to miss. It'll depend on the character, but pick a number.
Step 2: This chart in the Bestiary shows ballpark monster attack bonuses by CR. Reference the "High Attack" column, since it represents what'll be used for the most attack rolls. For any given level, reference the attack bonus for that CR, and add it to the number you picked in Step 1. The result is your target AC for that level.
You're done! :)
Perhaps you're not really shopping for AC-related magic items until around 5th level, so you start by referencing the CR 5 row's High Attack entry, which is a 10. Since you picked 9 as the die roll you're okay with being the minimum to hit you, you add the 10 and the 9 for a target AC of 19. So when you're managing your gear, you can try to plan for having AC 19 by 5th level.
Perhaps you then wish to look ahead a bit (which is a good idea in Pathfinder) and want to set yourself a benchmark for 10th level. The High Attack for CR 10 is 18. You again add this number to your target die roll, which gives you 18+9=27. Thus, your switch-hitting character wants an AC of 27 by the time they reach 10th level. Repeat this process for any level you want to check.
Making a statement about what's true in Pathfinder is not the same as claiming it's only true about Pathfinder. Limiting one's scope so as not to make claims about things outside the scope of one's experience, is perhaps a foreign concept to you...? Or perhaps you were just skimming really fast (twice, since you went back for citations) and mis-read the text? Or something? I'm trying to figure out how you managed to read "X is true in Pathfinder" and retain "X is only true in Pathfinder".
I know you dont like Pathfinder, you dont play Pathfinder, but perhaps maybe you could scale down your constant attacks on the Pathfinder game in the Pathfinder forums?
Talking shop about Pathfinder-related game design is not "attacking", and is completely appropriate for these forums. (I do try to keep it relevant to the sub-forum and thread I'm posting in, too.)
If you don't play the game, how can you give honest appraisals?
You don't suddenly lose all knowledge of a game when you stop playing. Whatever qualification to comment that I had when I was still playing, GMing, researching, and publishing; I still have now that I quit. It didn't go away. Obviously I would have less expertise in regard to newer content, but I also avoid commenting on that content for that exact reason.
That's why you have Aragorn and company do what they ended up doing at the end anyway: assault the front gate to hold Sauron's attention. We know it worked, so why wouldn't it have still worked if they'd done it earlier while Frodo was air-dropping the ring into the Volcano?
What does your comparison to other editions have to do with my post that you quoted?
To be fair, you've got to put the post you're replying to in context: the general flow of the discussion wasn't about banning a class or choosing not to use an optional or modular subsystem. Maybe that's what YOU meant, but that wasn't previously clear.
I mean, the main topic of the thread is magic items. "Magic items as character progression" is not a quick-and-easy ban, or a subsystem to be discarded without consequence. It's a fundamental pillar of how Pathfinder is structured. Using your "just don't use it" suggestion (which in this case translates to the same "just don't give out as much loot" advice others have given) isn't like banning a class or leaving out Retraining; it's more like cutting everyone's good saves down to bad saves, bad saves down to zero, full BAB down to 3/4 BAB, and 3/4 BAB down to half BAB; and then expecting there to be no consequences.
Banning the Leadership feat or the Gunslinger class doesn't alter the rest of the game. But a change like the above means you now have to either modify every monster you pull out of a Bestiary (and moreso as levels rise) or start homebrewing all your monsters yourself.
Cutting out wealth-as-progression from Pathfinder isn't like banning a feat, it's like banning the entire mechanic of having feats at all. There's a big difference between what you're apparently talking about and what Chess Pwn was commenting on.
I support the idea of different sorts of weapons enabling meaningfully-different combat experiences. For example, I would like for a glaive specialist and a rapier specialist to feel different in gameplay. The same goes for defense (and other elements) as well: I'd like for someone who mainly dodges incoming attacks to feel different from the guy who defends himself with full plate and a shield.
But Pathfinder approaches this concept in a really bizarre and self-contradictory fashion.
On the one hand, the level of differentiation between weapons is extreme. I've lost count of how many different versions of "one-handed sword with curved blade" there are, and each one has unique stats. The list of mechanically-differentiated weapons is unbelievably long. Furthermore, as the OP notes, many class abilities or other mechanics require that you invest in a very particular weapon (and might also require you to wield that weapon in a specific way) in order to get a benefit.
But on the other hand, 99% of the time the net result of picking a weapon and investing in it is not the ability to have a meaningfully-different gameplay experience, but simply to be able to deal a level-appropriate amount of damage with your full-attack. Just like everybody else.
So Pathfinder's weapon system has all the complexity of a deeply diversified and robust combat simulation, but none of the depth that such complexity is supposed to enable.
So to answer the OP's question: I like what Pathfinder thinks it's doing by attaching class features to specific weapons, but I don't like what it's actually doing.
tony gent wrote:
I share your preference for magic items as points of wonder rather than mere equipment. Unfortunately, as others have noted, those who designed the 3.X paradigm didn't feel the same way.
There are multiple solutions. My own was 5E. Brought the magic back to magic items, in my opinion. :)
Oh, oh, I actually already did this once, except it was CRB-only.
It was 7th level, fighter versus wizard. Starting positions were known to both parties, and were within charging range for a fighter. Both sides got three rounds to buff. The fighter was built solely and expressly for this fight, and nothing else. It was expected that the wizard would be built the same way.
Instead, the wizard was secretly built with some extra constraints:
So there was a 7th-level fighter built for the sole purpose of wizard-slaying and carrying a perfect assortment of magic items who can freely blow every resource he's got on this one fight,
A generalist wizard from an ordinary adventuring party taking time out of an otherwise normal adventuring day to fight somebody he's not specifically prepared for, using only what magic items he could make himself and while still reserving enough resources for the rest of the day.
Want to guess who won?
I bet you didn't have to venture outside the gaming world and go to places like Pinterest to find the ladies, though.
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Of course, there's an element of false equivalency there—scantily-clad dudes in fantasy art are often more about male empowerment than fanservice for women and non-straight gamers. With scantily-clad women, I think we all recognize it's the other way around.
There's also the "if they both exist at all, then there must not be an imbalance" issue that's being ignored.
Sure, there are plenty of loincloth-toting male barbarians. These are mirrored by the pelt-bikini female barbarians.
But then there's also the sexy female mages, sexy female archers, sexy female bards, sexy female assassins, sexy female tavern servers, and so forth. Where are the male counterparts for these?
Yeah, sorry, crying "But barbarians!" isn't enough to support a claim that "there's plenty of beefcake as well as cheesecake".
Sadly, FLGS are anything but when you account for forum submissions. All I read are stories about socially awkward people who smell bad at best, at worst violence and sexual assault. I don't doubt these things happen but I've never seen anything like what I am reading. Granted I don't spend a significant amount of time at LGS so maybe I'm just not putting in the time to see these things?
Well, only the bad stories get talked about.
I mean, I was playing Friday Night Magic for a few years, and everyone was unfailingly polite and courteous, week after week after week. And that's with 40-50 people per tournament, with expensive prizes on the line. Then I was out of the game for a few years, and now I'm playing weekend Modern Magic tournaments without a lick of trouble. Also, the events I go to now run parallel to Magic Kids' League, and come right after the local Pokémon CCG tourney, so I get to see a bit of those events, and even with kids everybody's happy and well-behaved and very respectful.
Meanwhile, professional Magic competitions travel the globe, with 1-2 thousand players in many of the events and prizes reaching upwards of 40-50 thousand dollars for 1st place; and yet, even with so many people and so much on the line, stories of poor behavior or cheating or whatever else are so rare as to be huge, shocking news when they do come up.
In several years of Magic: the Gathering, both in tournaments and casual play, I've seen exactly two instances of unsportsmanlike conduct (or three, if "irritated tone of voice" counts). One guy made a play based on a wrong understanding of how his card's ability would work, and it cost him the game, and consequently I moved on to the Top 8 instead of him, as our match was "win and in". He was visibly agitated and seemed pretty eager to get out of there after signing his match slip, but that's about it. Didn't throw anything, no yelling or name-calling, just upset.
The other time was during a draft at a friend's house, when I was drawing all the right cards to answer everything my friend played. When he eventually cast his five-mana planeswalker that could help him get back into the game and I casually counterspelled it, he angrily knocked his whole deck off the table. (To his credit, he did quickly calm down and apologize for the outburst.)
Freehold DM wrote:
If you're selling your entire collection to a friend/acquaintance, then the buyer can reasonably assume there's a little bit of non-bulk in there (and might even know what some of it is, from having seen it in play) and could inflate the price accordingly. But a store would have to be stupid to price a 600-card box based on the possibility of "some rare cards" mixed in, and they'd be similarly stupid to pay an employee to sort through that kind of volume to verify whether it was all bulk or not.
If you bring a box of hundreds of cards to a store, and expect them to do anything other than treat it all as bulk (like by sifting through the whole collection, or just assuming there are "some rare cards thrown in there"), then we're right back to my original assertion of "obviously doesn't know much about the CCG industry/hobby".
On the other hand, you have to buy the entire book, rather than just the individual options you want on your character sheet. You also have to buy the underlying game rules, rather than just the classes/feats/spells you're using. And you have to do it again when there's a major rules overhaul. That's a lot of extra purchasing compared to a CCG.
Wow, if this guy thought he was gonna get more than about $1.00 per hundred cards, he obviously doesn't know much about the CCG industry/hobby. Having the store be willing to buy bulk cards at all is a lucky break, and far from being a given.
Having that level of unawareness of a hobby he was directly involved in, coupled with those, uh, "social skills", suggests to me that perhaps he has led a very... insulated life.
Freehold DM wrote:
Finally, 5.50 for an entire collection is likely a low ball estimate at best/actively insulting at worst
Haha, no. A box of bulk is lucky to be bought by a store at all, and getting a full dollar per hundred cards is a solid rate. If DCal's estimate of 500-700 cards is accurate, then the $5.50 that the store offered was completely legit.
...and this is why I've mostly moved away from complex rulesets like Pathfinder to "rules light" systems.
Indeed. I'm very much enjoying my own switch to 5E. Much lower bar for rules proficiency; much more realistic to get a table full of people at or near that level than with Pathfinder. I'm keeping this in mind with my own designs as well.
Well, we dont know what would have happened had he picked another number, maybe there was a tiger behind all the doors....
There was a king who was way too protective of his daughter, the princess. To keep her from getting married and leaving, any suitor had to pass a series of deadly challenges. The final such challenge was a challenge of fate: draw one of two slips of paper from a basket, and if it says "The Lady" you get to marry her, but if it says "The Tiger" you get fed to the kitty.
Several cat-food princes later, a suitor comes along and truly wins the princess's heart. Concerned for his well-being, she secretly tells him:
"You can't face the final challenge; I think my father cheats! I think both papers say 'The Tiger'! Please, run away; I couldn't bear to see you eaten!"
He replies, "Don't worry; I got this."
He arrives to the final challenge as planned, full of confidence.
What does he do?
He draws out a slip of paper, looks at it, then excitedly screams "I won!" for everyone to hear... and then immediately swallows the slip of paper. When proof of his victory is demanded, he says, "Sorry, I got a little carried away there. But don't worry, just look at the paper that's still in the basket; since it says 'The Tiger', that proves I got 'The Lady'. Right, your majesty?"
Not always. (At least, not unless you're using a uselessly-broad definition of "interpretation".)
Sometimes, sure. Sometimes the rules are vague, or absent, thus appearing to need "interpretation". But often the rules only seem vague because of a weak grasp of language on the part of the reader.* Sometimes the rules only seem absent because you didn't look in the right place.** And then it turns out that, when all rules are found and fully read, the answer is clear and doesn't require any real interpretation.
It's been my experience that the vast majority of rules questions/disputes fall into that latter category, where there is a clear, demonstrably-correct answer (though perhaps buried and poorly organized) that can be found and proven. Not all disputes, but most.
*For example, the text for protection from evil opens by saying it grants three effects. The next three paragraphs open with "First, blah blah" and "Second, blah blah" and "Third, blah blah". At the end of the paragraph labeled as "Second," there's a sentence that says "This second effect only functions against spells and effects created by evil creatures or objects, subject to GM discretion." Some folks tried to apply that only to part of that paragraph, ignoring the context of the "first, second, third" structure of the text. Since the error would be the same regardless of whether this was rules text, a baking recipe, a story of my vacation, or sex tips in a magazine; the error has nothing to do with being a rules interpretation. It's purely an issue of reading proficiency.
**For example, potion rules. Two different parts of the Magic Items chapter give details on what a potion can do, but one of those two places omits one of the restrictions (or did; it might have been updated by now). If someone misses the second entry and therefore doesn't see the rule, that's not a difference of interpretation. Once you've read all applicable rules, it's clear as day. There's no "interpreting", in any valid and meaningful sense.
"The raw" as read for player advantage has a horrible track record of being the right interpretation in the long run, is often mutually contradictory or nonsensical: often RAI is picking between competing RAW interpretations.
What? No. Just because someone claims their idea is "RAW" doesn't mean it actually is. It's starting to sound like you and I can both look at the same silly argument, and while you say "Well, they both claim RAW, and they're contradicting each other, therefore RAW is self-contradictory so let's go with RAI/common sense/etc instead"; I'm going and referencing the actual rules, verifying that neither of the two arguments accounts for all the applicable rules, and bringing in the citations that show the actual "RAW" answer.
If you (EDIT: the general "you") are just going to take everybody's word for it whenever they say their crazy idea is "RAW-legal", then you're not really qualified to comment on how (non)functional "RAW" is, are you?
That's part of what I've been getting at. If Player X isn't sufficiently well-versed in the rules, they might come up with a silly idea that they think is following the rules, but isn't. Then they'll present it to GM Y and say "This is RAW", which is of course wrong, but then GM Y is also insufficiently proficient with the rules to recognize that Player X is wrong about their idea being within the rules. Then you've got an argument between "But it's RAW legal!" and "RAI trumps RAW!", and then GM Y comes away from the experience thinking it was a case where "RAW" produced something silly and had to be abandoned, when in reality the thing that produced the silly combo was the failure to adhere to "RAW".
If you're not proficient with the rules, you can't always tell whether something is rules-legal or not. If you can't tell whether something is rules-legal or not, then you can't count it as an example for or against the rules producing silly situations. Therefore, any conclusion drawn based on those invalid data points will itself be invalid.
If it was enough of a doozy to make the game immediately unplayable, it couldn't be called a mere 10%. Genuinely rules-based, genuinely nonfunctional situations are exceedingly rare. I was being generous with my 10% off-the-cuff estimate.
Only if you assume that needing ammunition against disagreement is the only way I could come to that conclusion.
Alternatively, it could be because I spent years having dialogues like this:
I mean, I've gone through this process literally hundreds of times. Meanwhile, in those same years, I've had like maybe a dozen or less situations where the rules truly didn't function. How long does that pattern have to continue before I'm allowed to suggest that maybe the bulk of the issues are from folks not identifying/comprehending the relevant rule(s)? Tell me, BNW, what's the threshold? Or is any insinuation of other people's ability to miss one of Pathfinder's bajillion rules going to always be considered an attempt to silence disagreement, evidence be damned?
Just like with the above, in my experience a large number of these situations are the result of the involved parties (both the player who built the character and the GM trying to stop it) not being proficient enough with the rules to realize that the build actually doesn't work (or doesn't work as well, etc).
Not if you're sufficiently proficient with it. Honestly, 95% of the time that I've seen people throw up their hands and declare "RAW" to be clearly in error and in need of being trumped by "RAI" or GM adjudication, they've either* been wrong about what was actually written (such as by not realizing that the SRD sidebar isn't actually in the rules, or by failing to understand some basic element of grammar, etc) or were forgetting to apply some other relevant rule (very common, considering the poor organization of the CRB), and a thorough and correct application of the published rules actually produced a clear and identifiable answer that people were simply missing.
For anyone willing to put in the time and effort to really gain a deep understanding of the rules, the rules really are something that can be followed without modification/houseruling 90% of the time.
Now, whether it's worth that time/effort is a different question entirely. Even so, it is incorrect to say that following the printed rules will immediately implode the game ("quickly make it unplayable", or however you want to say it). If the game completely falls apart that quickly when a group tries to follow the rules, it has more to do with that group's proficiency at doing so than with the rules themselves.
*EDIT: Remembered a third reason, which is that sometimes the rules produce a clear answer but the reader is just so certain that the result surely couldn't be that, therefore clearly the rules are in error, because everyone knows that the final result has to be this other thing.
Steve Geddes wrote:
As such, I think one of the (dis)advantages of rules over rulings is a matter of aesthetic preference (do you prefer consistency or minimal stuff-you-need-to-commit-to-memory?) I prefer having minimal headspace devoted to mechanics and am happy to pay the price of inconsistency in task-resolution - I just don't notice it.
Remember when I talked about possible reasons for someone to prefer "GM makes the call in the moment" over "author made the call in advance"? One of my example reasons was:
Earlier, I wrote:
Are they unwilling/unable to learn the rules in the first place (for myriad reasons, both valid and not) and just want to make rulings themselves because it's easier for them?
The preference you describe is exactly that: being unwilling to learn (all of) the rules and just wanting at-the-table rulings because they're easier. That's exactly what I was talking about in that paragraph. Especially in the case of Pathfinder, learning the rules well enough that they do their job of being quicker/easier than making rulings is something not everyone is interested in making the investment to accomplish, and that's a valid stance. I had things like that in mind when I wrote all that.
The main difference between a "rule" and an on-the-fly adjudication/ruling is when it happens.
Or to put it another way, a rule is just an adjudication that was done ahead of time.
Say you get to a situation in your game, and a player asks how to resolve an action they want to perform. You, as the GM, come up with something, and play proceeds. Congratulations, you just "adjudicated" or "made a ruling". If instead you'd had the foresight to anticipate that type of situation (even if not that specific instance) and had made that exact same adjudication/ruling ahead of time and communicated it to the players, do you know what your adjudication would be called?
The rules are just a collection of (hopefully consistent and well-thought-out) adjudications for the types of situations that are most likely to come up in a game. Using a rule and making your own ruling are basically the same thing, except that using the rule can be faster because people can know it ahead of time and not have to pause the game for a question-and-answer session. Thus, the whole point of rules is to save you the time of making rulings, because the rulings have been made ahead of time.
Let me reiterate:
Of course, if people don't know the rules and would therefore have to stop and look them up in order to follow them, then obviously the rules are giving you no benefit. Similarly, if folks have different understandings of the rules and would need to discuss them before moving on; or if someone's sense of balance/reasonableness (whether the GM's or the author's) is out of whack, making the rule appear to be invalid; then likewise they serve no purpose.
It's fascinating to come to this realization. When you realize that the only difference between rulings and rules is when the decision gets made and whose sense of game balance you're using, an interesting picture starts to come together when people talk about how much they do or don't like to adhere to the "rules".
That is, if someone says they prefer "rulings over rules", when the two only differ in that one is made now by the GM while the other was made ahead of time by someone else, that means that the person is literally just saying they prefer to make the call themselves in the moment rather than someone else getting to make the call ahead of time.
Kind of changes the color of the discussion, doesn't it?
It gets even more interesting when you start delving into the "why". Does the person have control issues, and needs to be the one making the call? Have they played so many games with poorly-made rules that they no longer trust the author's rulings over their own and feel they need to make the call themselves all the time in order to have a fun game? Are they unwilling/unable to learn the rules in the first place (for myriad reasons, both valid and not) and just want to make rulings themselves because it's easier for them? (You can ask similar questions in the other direction as well, but this post is already getting long.)
Anyway, the point is, it's truly fascinating to realize how many discussions and arguments actually come down to debating the relative merits of "rulings made ahead of time by a professional" versus "rulings made on the fly by me". I think if we all were to recognize and acknowledge that this is the real comparison, many of our discussions could be far more productive.
Completely quiet and uneventful. :)
Look, some PC's are just that a spreadsheet, no background, no "character'. You can have that sort of "toon" even if it is dreadfully underpowered. Noting that someone had not added enough character, verisimilitude or background can & has been done independently of "optimization and roleplay are mutually exclusive"
I wasn't talking about someone noting a lack of character/verisimilitude/background, I was talking about someone assuming it, based purely on the fact that the character was powerful. I am talking about someone literally using a character's high AC as sufficient proof, all by itself, that the character has no personality/depth/etc.
What the Stormwind "fallacy" is that a optimized character CAN'T be well Roleplayed. This is not true. A poorly designed & weak PC also might not be well roleplayed. A optimized PC might be fantastically roleplayed.
The legit complaint comes when a Player has spent what appears to be hours and hours and weeks optimizing- but didnt spend a minute coming up with a backstory or heck- even a name.
I agree that this happens. I also agree that someone pointing out such a case is not automatically a commission of the Stormwind Fallacy. Again, the example I gave above was of someone with no information at all about the character's background/roleplaying, who drew the conclusion that it must be lacking, because the character was powerful.
Is it asking to much that a fair amount of time be spent on both? (Of course there is also a issue if they spend too much time and effort on characterization, but fail to come up with a PC that pulls some weight on the team).
As you imply, this has nothing to do with Stormwind. We're agreed here.
Someone posting that they'd like to see such optimizers spend as much time and effort on backstory and characterization as optimizing is legit, and is not "Stormwind".
Again, that's not the example I gave you. The guy didn't see the high AC and say "I hope you spent as much time and effort on backstory/characterization". They guy saw the high AC and immediately concluded that there had been no such effort at all. No questioning, no looking into it further, no expression of hopes. Just immediate and final judgment, with high AC as the only piece of evidence.
Only if you say such optimized characters cant be or are never ROLEplayed. Or even that "The more you optimize the less you characterize".
That is exactly the example I gave you. An example you said didn't count.
That is extremely uncommon.
So now you've gone from "it doesn't happen" (or more precisely, "to say it happens is a fallacy") to "it's extremely uncommon"? That's a significant change of position. What do you actually believe?
Does anything short of something like "I totally support the Stormwind Fallacy" or "I wholeheartedly believe that optimization and roleplay are mutually exclusive" count?
Because I mean, one example that sprang most quickly to my mind was where somebody mentioned one of their favorite characters having a really high AC, and someone else said—based on literally no other information than the high AC—that "he's not a character, he's a spreadsheet" and would be booted from this GM's table.
I mean, that's a pretty textbook example of "You're too powerful, therefore you're not roleplaying," even though he didn't call it the Stormwind Fallacy (and why would he?).
So does that count? Or does the person need to self-identify as committing the fallacy in order to count as committing the fallacy?
You can understand the mechanics of a class/spell/ability/etc without understanding how it relates to the context of the larger metastructure of the game*. For example, you can understand the casting time, duration, and math of divine favor without understanding what that really means in the context of actual gameplay situations (considering action economy, enemy full-attacks and movement, likelihood of pre-casting, etc).
I've generally not participated in the "sell me" threads myself, but I always assumed that's what was going on.
*See also: "fighters can go all day", "you need a cleric for healing", "rogues are good at skills", etc.
In my area there's a thing for taking away local legislators' ability to raise their own salaries, instead moving that power to a council of citizens. Of course, the council would be appointed by the politicians, so it might not actually change anything, but I can't see it making anything worse, so I figure it's worth a shot.