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The quiet, frontier village of Wood Creek has been growing due to the bountiful river alongside it and the abundant nearby resources. Recently, the village elder has struck a deal with a wealthy noble from a larger city: in exchange for eventual taxation rights, this noble will invest in the town's development by supplementing the town guard with his own knights and by financing some development projects.
Right now, the town is split. Although everyone agrees that the growth of Wood Creek will eventually result in the need for more defense (whether due to catching the attention of opportunistic pillagers or simply crowding against some of the more dangerous local fauna), nobody can agree on how to go about it. Some want to secure and renovate an abandoned keep a mile or two outside of town, into which people could retreat in times of trouble (and eventually transplant essential functions permanently into said keep). Others want to harvest large, sturdy logs from the nearby forest and build a town wall to protect people where they are, and simply keep expanding the wall every time the village outgrows it.
The elder put it to a vote of the people, and you've got the swing vote! You've been here a good long while, and the people respect you. Where will you steer the future of Wood Creek, and how will you deal with the consequences of your decisions? Will you bolster this town and help lead it into continued prosperity, or will you cast it into ruin? If you're ready to take action and see it through to the end, then suit up, because the people of Wood Creek are counting on you!
This campaign is a homebrew adventure using the 5E D&D ruleset. It centers around the village of Wood Creek, which lies on the outskirts of civilization, and the surrounding wilderness. The game will start at (approximately) 3rd level and will span at least a few more levels, though the exact endpoint is not set to a specific character level.
Characters in this game are residents of Wood Creek. The village and surrounding area will be the center of the story and action. This will be a campaign in which your choices matter; not only which project you endorse for the town at the outset, but even how you spend your time, what tasks you take on, and how well you complete your objectives. This means there will be a certain degree of "sandbox"-style play in which you can choose where to focus your attention at times, but there will still be a central theme and a clear progression of events for you to follow along with.
I have a hope of this adventure (and the PCs within it) feeling "natural" and "unscripted". I'm trying a few things to get this feel. The most obvious is the rolled stats. I don't normally go that route, but I'd like to try it.
But then there's the part where I said we'll start at approximately 3rd level but asked for submissions at 2nd level. The plan is for each PC, once selected, to roll on a chart that I'm working on preparing. Depending on what you roll, you'll get some mix of XP, gold, and/or magic items. The typical result will be to land somewhere within the range of 3rd level, with a bit of extra gold and/or a minor magic item. An extreme roll might instead go to one end of the spectrum: all XP, getting you to the cusp of 4th level but with little to no additional gear; or all material, leaving you still at 2nd level but with a significant extra helping of gold and/or magic item(s). Thus, everyone will be a little different (different magic items, different gear, leveling at different times, etc) but still remain within comparable power levels with each other.
Now, if that sounds unsettling, don't worry; I've played in a 5E game with different-level characters before, and as long as it's not a huge gap (which it won't be), you can hardly even tell. And with gear filling in the starting XP gaps, I think we can achieve "different but balanced" characters.
By submitting a character, you are committing to a consistent posting rate of once per weekday minimum. If you need to be absent for a while (like if you're sick or traveling), say so in the discussion thread and I'll "bot" you as necessary to keep the game moving. If you develop an ongoing trend of silence, you will be removed from the game.
I don't own the Monster Manual and usually am not in a position to reference printed stat blocks anyway, so all of the monsters and NPCs will be homebrewed. Additionally, I don't use maps; combat and exploration will be all "theater of the mind". Don't worry; I've successfully run campaigns under these parameters before, so I know it can work.
I welcome creative approaches to obstacles, and 5E's unified math makes the adjudication of unconventional actions a breeze. So if you want to disarm an enemy or swing from a chandelier or whatever, bring it on! We'll figure out the mechanics as we need them, and you might just get Inspiration in the process if the idea seems legitimate and in-character.
As mentioned in the Character Creation section, thorough character profiles are required. This means if I need to know something about how one of your abilities works, I should be able to consult your profile rather than a book. Additionally, I require a summary of various critical info (a "stat line", I call it) appearing under your name on your posts (I'll show you how to do that if you're picked), and this must be kept up to date. Consistent failure to provide these things will eventually result in removal from the game.
All in all, I'm just looking for some folks who want to have some fun, go on adventures, and keep the game moving for everyone. If that's you, please submit a character!
I'll be choosing about 5 characters for the campaign. Recruitment will remain open through October 18th (two weeks from now). I will announce my selections on October 19th.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask!
I'm preparing a new homebrew 5E campaign, and I have an idea for character creation. (I'm planning on this being open recruitment for a PbP, but in theory it shouldn't be much different for a face-to-face group.)
See, something I've noticed is that, due to bounded accuracy and such, PCs don't have to be exactly the same level to still function together. A mixed-level party, as long as the gap isn't huge, seems to be able to get by without too many issues (or so it seems in my limited experience).
This got me thinking about past discussions I've heard about making characters feel "organic" and I had an idea.
Suppose that at character creation, everybody brings a 2nd-level character with an XP total of, say, 500. Then, everybody rolls percentiles and consults a chart I would prepare ahead of time. Depending on the roll, they would get some mix of gear and/or XP. At the extreme ends, they might get no extra gear but enough XP to almost/barely crack 4th level, or get no additional XP but get one rare magic item (from among a short list prepared in advance by me). Most rolls would result in XP landing you somewhere in 3rd level along with one uncommon magic item (again, from among a list prepared in advance by me) and/or some gold for upgrading starting equipment.
My thinking is that perhaps gaps in XP could be bridged with starting magic items/gear, so that everyone could feel different without anyone being relegated to "sidekick" status.
In my head, it sounds kinda cool. But I figure I should check it with other people's heads before I act on it. ;)
What do you all think?
Chris Lambertz wrote:
Just piping in quickly: let's not derail this into a debate about the online presence of our volunteer core. Tonya and I actually appreciate hearing feedback like what's been posted here. So as to not derail the discussion, but to if you'd like to kick off a different thread in Website Feedback or correspondence chain: what do you feel our forum policies or moderators could/should do in these cases? What do you want to see from Paizo and our staff?
Thanks for chiming in, Chris. :)
From a forum/moderator perspective, I'm not sure of any "action steps" to ask for. I mean, if a VO or multi-star GM over in the PFS forums gets verbally abusive, then presumably they're covered under the flagging system just like anybody else. The only thing I can think of is maybe a bit of information on which posts get removed and why.
For example, imagine this scenario:
If the only people ever making it clear to certain members of the leadership culture that their behavior isn't okay are the players whom they already regard as errant children whose reprimands are unfounded, then they just keep snowballing their sense of moral superiority and justification in their actions.
Fortunately, I've seen a bit of a trend that direction in the last year or two across the forums, with moderator posts being a bit more clear. Granted, it doesn't help if the offender doesn't look, but the moderators' responsibility has to end somewhere, right?
Stopping for the moment; more to come later...
Hey there folks, I've got a mechanical question for the community:
Among the various tabletop RPGs you've played (or even merely seen), what different sorts of initiative systems have you encountered?
The D&D/Pathfinder model is simple enough: everyone rolls, then we all take turns with the winners going first. But I'm curious what else is out there.
What have you seen/played? What did you like? What did you dislike?
I'm curious to know, but can't afford to go out and buy a couple dozen RPGs just to read their initiative systems (or whatever they use instead of an initiative system), so I turn to the community's past experience.
I'm interested in all such mechanics, not just the good ones.
Hello all! My Adventures in Avonali campaign has a vacancy for a fifth party member, and I'm looking to fill it. You can view the original campaign description and character creation stuff HERE. Start with that, and then take note of the following developments/points of interest:
First, the party will soon be wrapping up the current story arc, at which point they'll be leveling up to 4th. Since that's where you would be inserted into the campaign, go ahead and build your character at 4th level rather than 3rd.
Second, although the campaign began in the town of Linhaus, the party has traveled quite a distance. It's still fine if you want to start in Linhaus (since the party can return and encounter you there), but you can also feel free to be wandering the wilderness or at a tiny unmapped village/trading post/watering hole that they might cross on their return journey. That works too.
Finally, this is a disparate group of strangers, so you don't need to know who they are or have any personal connections to them. I can figure some way to hook you up with them, though if you provide potential hooks of some sort (like some reason you might join a group of people traveling for adventure), that could make it easier on me.
If you've got any other questions, let me know! I'll probably leave this open for... maybe a week-ish? Thanks for applying!
Inspiration seemed like a neat mechanic when I read about it. In practice, however, I hardly ever see it used.
In my meatspace group (where I'm a player), I pretty consistently forget about the possibility of gaining Inspiration. (On top of that, I find that quite often the personality my character ends up with in actual play tends to differ quite a bit from the traits/ideals/bonds/flaws I wrote down when we started.)
In the Order of the Griffon PbP that I'm GMing, I decided it would be too much work to hand out Inspiration to players based on their traits, etc.; so instead I decided to incentivize regular posting by having each day in which a player posts at least once tick them up toward gaining Inspiration. (I thought this also might have a side benefit of preventing paranoid clenching, as players could see their next Inspiration coming and feel free to use what they already have.) However, it ended up being no less work for me, so I switched us to "nominate each other in Discussion". There's been, I think, one nomination to date. If I'm not mistaken, nearly everyone's had their current Inspiration for like five levels (reaching back to before we switched methods). It's just not getting used.
In the other PbP I'm running, I started us out on the "nominate each other in Discussion" method from the get-go. Not a single Inspiration yet.
In another PbP (where I'm a player), there was one day early on where the GM went through and named all the PCs who had earned Inspiration recently. Hasn't happened since.
The list goes on. I liked the mechanic when I read it, but for some reason it just doesn't happen. What have been other people's experience with it? Does it get used much? Any influential factors in your experience you'd care to share?
So my Thursday group is gearing up for Curse of Strahd, and after lots of aimless meandering through character options, I eventually decided I like the concept of someone who was a scout in the military (soldier background).
So that means I want someone with a "military" feel, and who is good at Stealth (and probably Perception). I'll probably also customize the background to get languages, since a scout needs to be able to understand what's going on in order to report on it.
But how do I build this guy? One thought I had was I could take the feat that lets you not suffer disadvantage on Stealth in medium armor. This would let me be sort of an "armored sneak", which kind of helps the military feel. But on the other hand, it means being a human (for the feat) and taking a class that has at least medium armor proficiency. This in turn means I won't have darkvision (and therefore can't really scout out anyplace dark) and won't have the rogue's expertise (and therefore wouldn't actually be any better at Stealth than anybody else). So it's a little hit and miss.
Alternatively, I could be an elf rogue. This gets me the darkvision for scouting, and expertise for better Stealth. So then I'm better at actually scouting, but the feel of the rogue doesn't really make it feel like my scouting comes from a military context.
I had some multiclass ideas, but we're starting at 1st level, so anything that's supposed to be based on my backstory needs to be represented in a single class.
Adventures in Avonali
With my current campaign being more than halfway over, I've got the itch to get started on another. As I continue to explore my campaign preferences as a GM, this time around I'm going to try a semi-episodic, open-world, player-driven campaign.
This will be a 5th Edition D&D campaign in a homebrew setting. Rather than having to invent new geography or memorize an existing published setting, I'm going to shamelessly steal the world map from A Link to the Past and base the campaign's geography loosely on that. This does not mean this campaign is set in that universe, just that we have plenty of varied and engaging adventure locales (cities, wilderness, forests, deserts, mountains, marshes, caves, ruins, etc) whose general locations I can easily remember. What's to be found in all these locations will depend largely on the players (see below).
We won't be using XP for advancement. Rather, leveling will happen between arcs when you rest in town. It won't be after every arc (remember that they can vary in length), but you won't be needing to track XP or anything; I'll just tell you when it's time to level.
This campaign will be somewhat episodic in nature. That is, once you engage a plot hook, you'll move through a particular story arc (lengths will vary), resolve it, have a brief respite in town, and pick up a new adventure hook. This has a few benefits: we'll have plenty of opportunities to visit different locales and change up the action instead of spending forever on one thing, we'll have natural "break points" in case someone has to drop out for whatever reason, and I won't have to plan out an epic plot three years in advance.
The first "chapter" will be fairly straightforward, and get you together as a party. After that, the subjects of further endeavors will be largely determined by the players. I'll try to sprinkle your adventures with little details, and if one of them looks like it might have a story behind it, the next chapter could be about the party's investigation of that thing. I'll also put in a hook or two of my own, so you can make real choices about what you're going to do next.
Now this doesn't mean you get to decide how things turn out; sometimes you'll follow a lead and discover that JimBob was drunk off his ass and the fairies he saw were a hallucination, sometimes you'll follow up on something and it's relatively minor, and sometimes you'll engage something seemingly minor and it turns out to be a Really Big Deal. There's also no promise that whatever plot you encounter is perfectly tailored for your level; you might engage something that's a bit beneath you, and you might encounter something that you're better off running home and telling the authorities about or researching for alternative solutions.
You guys just decide what you might want to investigate, and I'll let you go have an adventure of some sort with it. As more story arcs get resolved and the world gets explored, there's also a gradually increasing chance of a new hook being related to something you thought was resolved, or something unexpected showing up that wasn't among any of your suggestions. There's no telling what adventures might be in store for you!
As the thread title suggests, the name of the primary area is Avonali. Avonali is situated on the western coast of the larger continent of Targarun. It has two major cities of note: the capitol city of Sempal in its center, and the bustling harbor town of Korkas on the coast. The former houses Avonali's rulership, as well as a strong presence of finance- and information-oriented industry (banking, libraries, academies/universities, etc). The latter is a major trade hub, where commerce reigns supreme and you can find exotic goods, exotic entertainment, and exotic cuisine. The campaign begins (and for at least a while, will center on) the town of Linhaus, a medium-sized city about a day south of capitol Sempal. The rest of the country is sprinkled with many villages, settlements, homesteads, and even nomadic tribes of varying populations.
This setting is populated by the humanoid races presented in the PHB, with two notable exceptions: there are no half-elves or half-orcs. Everybody's one race or another; if (for example) a human and an orc get busy, their progeny will be some assortment of humans and/or orcs, not halves. (That said, half-orc stats are still available; see Character Creation.) Additionally, the "drow" don't exist in their published form; rather, the third subrace of elves is the Water Elves, associated with the lakes and rivers in the same way that the Wood Elves are loosely associated with forests. (See Character Creation for mechanical adjustments.) Some of the "scarier" races (like orcs, tieflings, or dragonborn) might face some mild prejudice, but I'm not interested in making racism a predominant theme, so don't worry too much about that.
Further details of the setting will be developed as we explore the world together. :)
Logistics and Expectations
Let's make sure we're all on the same page as far as how this campaign will run.
For starters, I won't be using maps for combat. This is partly because of technical limitations, but I also prefer the little bit of "wiggle room" that I can give you when combat is a bit more description-oriented. I find that 5E is pretty forgiving in this regard, plus I'm a little loose on certain rules (see Houserules), so mapless combat has been quite satisfactory to me thus far. :)
I want a game that can establish and keep momentum. As such, I want players who can commit to consistently posting a minimum of once per day. If you have something coming up that's going to get in the way (like when I went out of town for my wife's birthday), say something in advance. Do not use silence as an expression of agreement with the current plan. If you like what someone suggested the party should do, make a post to express your support. Don't leave us all trying to assume things. In situations where we're waiting on you (like if it's your turn in combat), if you don't post, I'll wait about a day and then either skip your turn or have you do something boring and obvious. Do not leave everyone waiting on you.
Speaking of your turn in combat, I will "clump" initiative somewhat. For instance, if we roll initiative and the order is Alice, Bob, werewolf, Charlie, cultist, cultist, Dana, Edward, dragon; then I'll have Alice and Bob act in whatever order, then have the werewolf act, then Charlie, then both cultists in whatever order, then Dana and Edward in whatever order, then the dragon. If the werewold is eliminated, the Alice/Bob/Charlie all merge into a single clump. Make sense?
Houserules, GMing Style, etc.
Most of this is fairly minor, but I want to be upfront about it all anyway. Most significantly, I will be pulling all monster/NPC stats out my ass. The only 5E book I actually own is the PHB, but even if I had the stats for monsters, I wouldn't always be able to conveniently reference them when I need to. Thus, monsters will be created as needed. Similarly, villainous NPCs won't be fully-statted with exact numbers of levels and HP and ability scores and spell lists and so forth. Instead, they'll have made-up stats much like monsters, and combat abilities befitting the type of character they are (even if that means a magic "spell" that isn't a spell in the book). In short, your enemies will be thematically and mechanically appropriate, but might not follow standard monster/character creation rules.
Along a similar vein is magic items: I'll be making those up as well (except the basic 2d4+2 healing potion from the PHB). This means it is extremely important that you read my descriptions of how they work, since they might be different (significantly or subtly) from how a similarly-named item from a published source works. On the bright side, this means we can throw out limiting mechanics like attunement; since I'm not rolling random pre-published treasure, there's no need to have stop-gaps in place to artificially control the usage of the items you find. Items like +X weapons and armor can have their plusses determined by an hour of examination (such as during a short rest); however, any more complicated abilities must be either discovered from use or ascertained via the identify spell (but don't feel like you HAVE to have access to that spell in the party; there are NPCs in town, and you're not going to have so many magic items that you break the bank trying to ID them all).
I don't like the limit of one "free" object interaction per turn (such as drawing a weapon). That limitation basically makes it an action type in disguise. That limit is removed. As long as you're not being dumb, don't worry about it. I have no issue with you switching from sword-and-board to bow for free on your turn.
When there's a skill check to be made (such as to see if you know the abilities of the monster you're facing), I will often post a spoiler tag with the type of check and the DC (such as "Arcana DC 13"). When I do this, anybody can attempt the check, and anybody who succeeds can read the spoiler tag. Trust me, this saves buttloads of time. On the other hand, just because I don't post a spoiler doesn't mean there's nothing you can try. I might have forgotten (or not thought of it in the first place), or I might want it to be something you actively initiate on your own without me pushing you to do so, or whatever. So if you think the altar's trapped or the NPC is lying, go ahead and try those checks! I want to see how you engage the world. :)
I will be rolling your saves (and some skill checks). Few things kill PbP momentum more than having the GM say "Make an X save/check", then waiting for that player (or God forbid, each player) to post their roll, and then wait for the GM to come back and post the results. That can turn a 2-minute GM post into a 2-3 day round robin affair. Screw that. If something in my post is gonna cause a roll on your part, I'm gonna go ahead and roll it. (This is also why the "stat line" is so important; see Character Creation.)
I will be taking a hands-off approach to Inspiration. The players can award Inspiration to each other as they see fit, announcing such awards in the Discussion thread. I might occasionally pop in to award Inspiration too, but that'll be the exception, not the rule. You guys handle it. Similarly, I'm not going to hound you about little things like how many arrows you recover after battle. I've got enough to track without micro-managing 4-6 players worth of minutiae.
Level: Characters start at 3rd level.
Classes: All PHB classes are available.
Races: All PHB races are available, with the following changes:
Ability Scores: I really don't care what your stats are. You can pick your numbers out of thin air, or roll them, or whatever. The only constraints are these:
• Characters don't have to have a permanent residence in Linhaus, but at a minimum need to have a reason to be there and be okay with being based there for at least a while. You also need to be the sort of person who would venture out into potentially high-risk situations, though it's up to you whether it's for money, favors, altruism, etc.
• There's no requirement for the PCs to already know each other. However, feel free to use the recruitment thread to talk to other applicants and feel out some possibilities regarding pre-existing relationships.
To the Recruiting!
If you're interested in this campaign, post in this thread with your character. I prefer that you post with the alias you would be using for gameplay, but I understand if you don't want to create Yet Another Alias without knowing you'll actually be in the game; in that case, you can post your character details in a spoiler tag labeled with your character name. Also, I don't mind if you recycle an alias (or even entire character concept) that you already had for a different game, as long as the character I see when I look conforms to the parameters in this post. Saying "Here's my character, I'll update later" is a good way to wind up in the Reject pile.
When you make your post, I'd like you to give me a little "sample" of how you post. The subject matter is of little importance; could be your morning/bedtime rituals, part of a conversation, whatever. Just give me a post as though you were in the Gameplay thread (including proper formatting, such as bold for in-character speech and italics for internal thoughts, if applicable) so I can get a feel for how your posts read. Ideally, this will also help me get an idea of who your character is.
Recruitment will remain open through Sunday, March 20th. The party will be selected and announced on Monday, March 21st.
Let the recruiting begin! :D
Dispelling the Myths: Caster-Martial Disparity
You can't have productive conversations if you're talking past each other because you think the other person is saying something different than they mean. We're all interested in open communication, right? Great! Let's get started clearing up some of the common misunderstandings about the caster-martial disparity.
Myth #1: The Caster-Martial Disparity is primarily a combat issue.
It is certainly true that the C/MD includes combat; however, this is only perhaps 20-30% of what the C/MD is actually talking about. The primary complaints actually center around out-of-combat situations and how the characters are able to interact with the setting and narrative.
For example, where a martial has to make multiple saving throws per day against extreme weather, a simple 1st-level spell completely bypasses that obstacle for 24 hours. A wizard with the 2nd-level spell invisibility active is better at Stealth (even with no ranks) than a rogue with several ranks and a high DEX. The complaint is that for any given non-combat task, the magical solution is typically faster and more likely to succeed than the nonmagical solution (if a nonmagical solution even exists at all), and at a relatively trivial cost compared to what's being accomplished.
Combat is practically an afterthought.
Myth #2: The Caster-Martial Disparity is the product of exploiting loopholes or assuming very liberal interpretations of fuzzy rules.
Many of the most common "C/MD spells" are completely clear. There is no ambiguity in endure elements' ability to keep you from having to make Fortitude saves against harsh weather for 24 hours. There is no doubt that overland flight can get you across more and bigger obstacles than using Acrobatics to jump. The list goes on.
The point is, the people complaining about C/MD are not just those who stretch and twist ambiguous rules elements. Such cases are the exception, not the rule.
Myth #3: The Caster-Martial Disparity refers to just a small handful of obviously-broken spells that are easily identified and banned/houseruled.
As with Myth #2, this is not the case. Yes, things like blood money and simulacrum exist; any of us could easily rattle off a list of half a dozen or more "repeat offenders" without breaking a sweat. And yes, these clearly problematic spells contribute to the C/MD. However, it is not only these spells (nor is it the sum total of these spells and the spells from Myth #2) which give rise to the notion of a C/MD. The idea of the C/MD comes from huge swaths of spells, not from an easily-isolated subgroup.
So, once again, the "obvious" spells that a speaker is thinking of when proclaiming this myth are the minority, not the baseline, in regard to the C/MD.
Myth #4: The Caster-Martial Disparity is only an issue if you're trying to compete with your tablemates, forgetting that you're supposed to be a team.
However, there are plenty of reasons this is not true. First, consider the role of a GM in a campaign in which classed humanoids (rather than monsters) are the primary antagonists. If such a GM wants to design, say, a CR 12 encounter for his players, then in theory a trio of 9th-level NPCs should do the trick. If the classes are balanced, then the encounter should be roughly the same difficulty whether the NPCs are all fighters or all wizards. But if the C/MD exists, then suddenly the GM has to adjust the NPCs' levels based on what classes the NPCs are. Nothing to do with player one-upmanship.
Second, consider a single player who, over the course of their gaming career, makes more than one character. The potential presence of the C/MD can matter to that player each time they try to decide on a new character to play. Why? Because if the C/MD is real, then certain classes will offer less or more opportunity to engage the narrative, and (assuming that narrative engagement is something the player wants) the list of classes which can offer that engagement may have little or no overlap with the list of classes which can faithfully represent the type of character they want to play. That is, a player might be left having to make a choice between "stay true to my concept but mostly be a spectator until something needs its HP depleted" or "get to really engage the game but at the cost of having to violate my concept". Once again, no malice or competitiveness to be found, and yet the C/MD matters.
There are other examples, but hopefully this is enough to show that the idea of the C/MD indicating asocial gameplay is nothing but a myth.
Myth #5: The people talking about Caster-Martial Disparity want all the classes to be the same.
Sometimes, this myth arises when somebody first hears about the concept of C/MD and sees someone say that a high level martial should be able to duplicate plane shift or dimension door by (nonmagically) cutting open a hole in reality. The listener then understands C/MD to refer simply to classes having different abilities from each other, but doesn't see any real "disparity". In this case, this myth is a simple matter of the listener's first impression coming from a non-representative sample. Yeah, there are some folks out there who would like classes who are functionally near-identical. However, most people who complain about the C/MD want their classes to still be functionally different from each other, just brought closer in power.
Other times, this myth comes from a faulty mindset about the nature of balance. Many people wisely acknowledge that total balance among various game options is not possible (or even necessarily desirable). In fact, I think most people would agree to that. However, some folks seem to make one of two logical leaps: (1) believing that since perfect balance isn't a goal, improved balance shouldn't be a goal either; or (2) believing that the people who are complaining about C/MD are themselves striving for perfect balance. Please believe me when I say that neither of these is the case. While there might be a few outliers out there who wish for perfect balance, the bulk of C/MD discussion centers around simply improving balance, not smoothing everything into a homogeneous blur of nothingness.
Regardless of how one may have come to believe this myth of the desire for same-ness, please recognize that it is just that: a myth. The C/MD discussion is not about trying to make all the classes the same.
Myth #6: The Caster-Martial Disparity assumes a "Schrodinger's Wizard" who somehow manages to always have just the right spell prepped for any given situation.
First, some spells are simply so versatile, able to overcome so many obstacles, that they're always worth preparing. For example, overland flight increases your travel speed, makes you immune to difficult terrain, helps bypass all sorts of geographical obstacles (rough rivers, cliffs, etc), keeps you safe from enemies whose danger comes from their melee power, and so forth. Summon monster spells can give you access to combat power, utility abilities like Earth Glide or Tremorsense, or even other spells (by means of a summoned creature's spell-like abilities). You don't have to guess whether such a spell will come in handy, because you can almost always find a use for it.
Second, for the spells that truly are situational enough that guessing which ones to prepare could be a real limiting factor, that potential limit is sidestepped by the scroll economy. Lots and lots of situational spells (like invisibility, remove blindness, lesser restoration, see invisibility, etc) are of relatively low level (usually about 1-3). This makes them relatively affordable as scrolls, which can be carried around until needed, without having to make the kinds of tough decisions referenced earlier. On top of that, casters typically have less need of magical weapons or armor, opening up a huge chunk of their budgets for the collection of these situational scrolls. Even in campaigns with relatively low access to the necessary markets for purchasing these scrolls, any spellcaster can take the Scribe Scroll feat and make their own. (Wizards even start with Scribe Scroll for free!)
To put it all together, the existence of scrolls gives casters a way to carry those situational spells without having to make the tough choices of preparation, freeing up their slots for the more powerful spells that give them consistent value day after day. Thus, although Schrodinger's Wizard might show up in an internet argument from time to time, he is by no means a required ingredient for the existence of a C/MD.
Myth #7: The Caster-Martial Disparity only exists in theory; in actual gameplay, it doesn't really happen.
For instance, someone might start by declaring that C/MD is just the work of theorycrafters and isn't present in actual gameplay. Then someone tells a story of a caster ending a fight in the surprise round, and the original speaker then invokes Myths #1 and/or #4 ("the game is more than combat"/"stop trying to compete with your friends"). Then someone else offers another story, and the speaker dismisses that one too by invoking another myth. Then another story, and another myth-based dismissal. This repeats over and over. The speaker might hear six different stories and dismiss each with a different myth. If he were to look at the big picture, he would see that he just encountered six different stories from six different people who encountered something he thought wasn't real.
Often, this turns into a pointless cycle: someone claims that C/MD only exists in theory, then they're given stories of actual gameplay. But then they dismiss the stories of actual gameplay as not counting for one reason or another, so people try to demonstrate their points more abstractly. But then they go right back to saying it only exists in theory. And no matter how many times they go around, all they see is an ever-increasing pile of outliers, rather than a trend. In the end, this is the most difficult myth to debunk, because doing so is a matter of getting people to accept that others can have legitimate experiences that are different from their own, and that's not something that you can get most people to do through reason alone.
So I have this ancient artifact called "TurboGrafx 16". With it is a fun little licensed AD&D game called The Order of the Griffon. It recently occurred to me that converting it into a 5E campaign could be lots of fun.
The nature of the campaign:
Also be advised that, in the process of conversion, I'll be making up monster stats and simplifying dungeon maps and modifying NPC interactions to help make the general feel of the campaign translate well into both the system and the medium.
There will be a variety of enemies encountered, including both monsters and humanoids. If it matters, probably the single most common type of enemy would be undead, but there's plenty else too, including more than one chance to fight a dragon.
For stats, if you like you can do the 4d6-drop-lowest thing (using the forum dice roller), and build your character from there; or if you prefer a concept-first method, pick a set of stats that looks about in line with what a rolled array might look like and just build a character you like. Don't have to mess with an exact point-buy or anything, just make a character that I would want to include in the party. :)
For races, anything in the PHB is fine, including the variant human. As you might guess, this also means feats are available.
You can use either the listed starting equipment for your class, or the purchase method (using average gold for your class), whichever you prefer.
Start at 1st level.
I'm sure I've forgotten something relevant, so feel free to ask questions. I look forward to seeing everyone's character submissions!
This is a solo campaign between me and DungeonmasterCal, so anyone else reading, you may as well move on, sorry.
DMCal, once you're here, go to the Gameplay tab and post there. That'll put this game in your "Campaigns" tab in your profile, making it easier to come back and find.
In the meantime, this is where we can discuss character creation and any other pre-game details.
First, I realize that the preferred first step if someone has a question about a moderation decision is to email Paizo's "community" inbox. I did that already, and didn't get a reply. I waited a while because it was close to GenCon so I figured you guys were swamped, but I think it's been long enough now to assume it got lost in the shuffle. I spent a good long while waffling over whether to come here and ask or just let it drop, but I really would like an answer, so here it goes.
A while back, there was a certain thread that eventually got locked. It was the "Original Gamer argument annoying?" thread. It started off with a bit of grar, but it rapidly cooled as multiple voiced compatible opinions. There was even some levity in the thread; certainly not looking like there was a lock-worthy problem.
In fact, the thread was so happy that someone concluded that there must not be an age/experience-based elitism problem after all. I made a reply to this, asserting (politely, I thought) that yes, it really is something that exists in the community, even if it wasn't looking like it in that thread. I didn't name any names, I didn't cut down anybody (i.e., "Clearly they're acting out of moral/social failing X"), or anything like that; I just asserted that the issue existed.
Within about an hour or so, the post was deleted and the thread locked.
I'm curious to know why. I didn't attack anybody, I didn't think I did anything delete-worthy (let alone lock-worthy), I merely acknowledged an issue, in the same way one might make a general acknowledgement of racism or sexism among the gaming community, without naming names or saying nasty things about those involved.
Is my understanding of acceptable discussion flawed, and I need to recalibrate my sense of how to approach topics like that? I don't think that's the case, as I've seen innumerable examples of very similar posts on a wide variety of topics, which were not deleted and their threads not locked. However, I would rather ask than assume.
Sadly, the GM for this campaign has disappeared. With no sign of him coming back, I now have an effectively dead campaign taking up space in my campaigns tab without a GM around to mark it as inactive. Is there a way to hide it on my end?
Now that it's the time of year that RPGSS tags are appearing under my name in all parts of the forum, they're forcibly widening the page in any thread where I post (rather than breaking up onto two lines), such that I have to scroll back and forth to have conversations.
Is there any sort of workaround for this?
...because they keep flanking me.
There's normally a sidebar on the left-hand side of my screen when I'm perusing the messageboards, showing recent activity. Except when I'm looking at the blog (or a discussion thereof), in which case it's instead on the right.
Except lately, it's been intermittently showing up on both sides when I'm viewing a forum or reading a thread. Can't figure out why, but it's leaving a lot less room for the actual content of the site.
IE9, if it matters.
The normally-quiet rural village of Linhaus has been full of excitement since sunrise. Today is the annual Gordon Lightfoot Celebration, a festival held to honor the town's local hero and commemorate the day, three years ago, that he tracked down the mayor's lost daughter in the forest and saved her from a whole pack of wolves that had been killing livestock and keeping people in their homes after dark for nearly a year.
After a morning of games and pie auctions, the townsfolk begin to gather in Town Square, where food tents have been set up for lunch and sweets. Having won a raffle, two elves and a tiefling share a table with the hero Gordon, and are just about to begin eating.
Then, a swift blur and a loud noise stun the group. As your brains catch up to your senses, you realize that a human man has fallen from above and landed in your midst, shattering the table around which you all sit. The man is obviously dead, though it's less obvious whether the cause of death was the fall or the large dagger lodged in his chest.
The excited chatter of the festival is quickly replaced by unsettled murmurs and nervous whispers.
Obviously, the people at the table are you guys. What would you like to do?
I'm recruiting for a new homebrew 5E campaign. It's going to be kind of "open-ended", with me starting us off with a plot hook and then crafting the campaign based on what happens and what the PCs decide to do. (That's not to say you'll never run into a dead end, just that I won't have pre-planned rails.)
Even the setting itself will be something we create together as we play. When it becomes relevant to encounter or hear about a given location, religion, creature, artifact, etc; I'll come up with something and that becomes canon.
So, that's the general idea. Here's the starting point:
Our initial "blank slate" will be a fairly generic pseudo-european medieval fantasy setting. The PCs will be starting in a mid-sized town. The campaign will open with one or more events happening, the PCs will respond, and the rest is up to us to create. :)
Character creation parameters:
Keep rules discussions in the discussion thread rather than the gameplay thread.
Be a team player, be a part of the fun!
I'm sure I probably missed something obvious. Feel free to ask questions!
I'm pondering starting up a new PbP, and wanted to see how much interest there would be, before I start putting any real work into it. Here's the idea:
It would be D&D 5E, and characters would be PHB-only.
The campaign would be something of an experiment in open-ended storytelling, with a story arc not fully formed in advance. That is, you would encounter a plot hook or two, you would decide what you want to do, and I would sort of form the campaign around you. So I guess you could call that kind of "sandboxy".
The setting would be created/discovered together by players and GM as a joint narrative. Things not relevant to the story don't exist yet; existence of setting elements begins as said elements become relevant.
Monsters would all be custom-made (partly because I don't have the MM, partly because "[MONSTER] would be thematically appropriate here but is too weak/strong for the party" is lame).
No idea where this would end up. It'd be a shared spontaneous creation of a story and world, where I create things as you explore them.
Does that sound like something I could get a full four(ish) people to play? Let me know if you're interested, and feel free to ask any questions. :)
Since then, however, the tone has shifted significantly. Some truly calm and well-reasoned posts have been made, and there are some folks really listening to each other. Heck, there's even been more than one person self-initiating apologies for their own behavior—on the internet!
I feel like we were just starting to get some traction on helpful dialogue when the thread got locked. For that reason, and maybe I'm being too hopeful for the thread here, but I'd like to humbly beg you to consider reopening that thread. Thanks.
I'm wondering if, via Style Feats and the Brawler class, it might be possible to make a PFS-legal character reasonably close to the CP9 characters from One Piece.
Here's my thoughts so far:
Human (for now)
Brawler1: Weapon Focus (unarmed strike), Toughness (or something)
Any thoughts to boost the concept and/or power level? This is just kind of a first draft at the moment.
STR 18 (15 + 2race + 1lvl)
Traits: Indomitable Will, Friend in Every Town
Feats: Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Improved Sunder (also Eschew Materials as a bonus feat)
I have the Spelleater archetype, replacing Uncanny Dodge (and Improved) and my normal DR with getting Fast Healing while raging. Later I'll also be able to "eat" spell slots for some minor, swift-action self-healing.
Anyway, the big thing right now is I need to pick two spells known. With my CHA score, I get 2/day, so I shouldn't pick spells I'll want to cast repeatedly. I also won't have high save DCs (only DC 12 for my 1st-level spells), so "save negates" spells don't seem like a good idea. On the other hand, bloodragers (unlike rangers/paladins) have a full CL instead of level—3, so effects that scale with level are more usable.
So far, I've considered blade lash for some extra combat versatility, burning hands for swarm-killing, feather fall for the occasional "oh crap" moment, shield for tough-looking fights if I don't think my rage-blur will cut it...
I dunno, it seems like there are lots of reasonable options, so I'm having trouble picking. Any thoughts? Thanks!
Pathfinder has a long list of conditions, such as fatigued, exhausted, shaken, entangled, and grappled. Each of these has different effects, but those effects are pre-defined. That is, a spell or ability can simply say "fatigued" without having to spell out the actual mechanical implications of that effect. However, the downside to that is that until you've memorized all these conditions, you have to go look something up every time such an effect is implemented (or use the handy-dandy Condition Cards).
Now imagine a hypothetical universe in which none of those terms were pre-defined, and instead, any given effect simply told you exactly what it did (such as "you get –2 STR/DEX and can't run or charge"). This would lengthen the word count of new spells/feats/etc, but a given player never has to learn more than what currently is affecting him, and doesn't need to follow up being told a condition with a second step of having to look up what it actually means. But, that also means there could be a potentially infinite variety of conditions, along with some inconsistencies among what it means to, for instance, be magically made tired.
I can see pros and cons to both models. What are the community's thoughts on the topic?
Additionally, this staff’s power can be used to control the flow of life energy beyond the normal limits of the spells listed above. When using the soulshifter staff to cast vampiric touch, the wielder may spend 1 additional charge to divide the temporary hit points evenly among any number of allies within 30 feet. Whenever the wielder kills a creature with slay living, he may spend an immediate action to cast breath of life, targeting any creature within 30 feet. Conversely, if the wielder successfully revives a slain creature via breath of life, he may spend an immediate action to cast slay living against any target within 30 feet, using a ranged touch attack instead of a melee touch attack. Spells cast as immediate actions in this way consume 1 more charge than normal.
Why do you roleplay? Why do you GM? What aspects are important to you? Why? Please try to stick to "I prefer" and not "This is The Way". It's okay for people to want other things, and your desires are no more important than theirs. This is an opportunity to learn about each other, to discover the ways in which we might not be as much the "norm" as we think we are, and thereby grow. :)
My interest in Pathfinder includes some of the same things that motivate all my pastimes: having fun, socializing, etc. But the reason why I spend a given block of time playing Pathfinder instead of doing other things I enjoy is largely my ability to influence how the story plays out. I love movies, but PFS is my chance to switch from "Why didn't they just do X?" to "I do X." Although I love and embrace classic storytelling tropes, roleplaying is my chance to turn those tropes on their heads, to make the story actually play out differently for a change. It's the only story-related experience where I get to help shape it. It's also the only story-related experience that I can't predict (at least, without turning my brain off, which I often do during movies so I can experience "the ride").
It's my only outlet to combine storytelling and agency. I can get the former with movies and the latter with other games, but roleplaying is the sweet synthesis of the two. :)
When I GM, my main goal is that the players are free to enjoy the game for their reasons, not mine; though I do always hope to see a little of "my kind of stuff" if I'm lucky. :)
That's me. How about the rest of you?
Not sure if this is the right place for this sort of question, but here goes:
I'm writing a new d20 fantasy roleplaying system. It was originally intended to be somewhat Pathfinder-compatible, but it's evolved to be so much of its own thing that it couldn't possibly be considered such.
Even so, there are a few basic similarities, and I want to make sure I don't run afoul of the OGL.
1) My game's core mechanic for success/failure is rolling a d20 and adding modifiers, trying to meet or beat a target number. Do I need to worry about OGL stuff for that concept?
1a) Does it make a difference whether I say "roll" or "check"?
2) My game uses six stats: three physical, three mental, like Pathfinder. How does that relate to the OGL?
2a) Does it make a difference whether I say "attribute" or "ability score"?
3) Characters grow in power by gaining "levels". Is that OGL, or is it generic enough to not matter?
4) Certain noncombat activities involve what I'm currently calling "skills", which are similar in concept to Pathfinder's skills (and still use the "d20+mods vs target number" mechanic), but it's a different list of skills and their implementation is different. OGL?
4a) Does it make a difference if I come up with a term other than "skill"?
Aaaaand that's about where the similarities to Pathfinder end. I want to do this proper, so any guidance is appreciated. Thanks!
I think that the ACG finally adds enough tools to let me make a non-small lance-wielding combatant on a flying mount from level 1. Let's see what we can do here:
I'm liking the giant wasp's 60ft fly speed with good maneuverability. So to make that work, I'll be a human with Eye for Talent, sacrificing my bonus feat to raise the wasp's INT to 2 (losing the mindless quality, but letting him learn enough tricks to actually be usable).
The wasp is only medium, so my 1st-level feat is going to be Undersized Mount so I can ride him.
That leaves his carrying capacity; if memory serves, he needs to be within a light load in order to fly. As a hunter, I'll get animal focus, which will let me grant the wasp a constant +2 STR (and more later). Since he's a quadruped (well, more than that, but we only have rules for quadrupeds) he gets 1.5x carrying capacity. That puts him in the 60s for a light load.
So my first spell known will be ant haul, tripling his carrying capacity (into a comfortable 190-ish) for 2 hours per level. At 1st-2nd level, I'll probably be carrying scrolls of that. Soon I can just get by on spell slots, though.
At first level, my stats will be:
Or something in that neighborhood. Not sure.
Then I can cast A.H. on my wasp and mount up, performing 120ft flying charges with a lance for 2d8+12 damage.
Now, here's the tricky part:
So do I stay mono-hunter and take Mounted Combat at 3rd, Power Attack at 5th, and so on?
Or do I go like this:
Basically, a 4-level fighter dip starting at 3rd nets me two extra feats (gain 3 combat feats, but lose a feat to Boon Companion). Is that a good idea?
Any other ideas to make this build work out?
I have another task for those forumites who enjoy mathy stuff. :)
So let's say I have a character named Alice. She attacks once per round at +15 to hit and deals 2d6+20 damage on a hit. (For my reference: 10+5+5)
Now let's say I also have a character named Bob. He can attack twice per round. Each attack is at +11 to hit for 1d6+14 damage.
Now suppose I have a third character, this one named Charlene. She can attack four times per round. Each attack is at +11 to hit and deals 1d6+8 damage.
Against target ACs of 15, 20, and 25; what is the average damage per round for each of these characters? Please do not factor in crits.
Thanks in advance!
I'm hoping someone would be willing to do some hypothetical math for me.
Let's suppose that we've got a character, call her Alice, who can attack once per round at +15 to hit for 6d6+21 damage. (Just go with it, okay?)
Now let's suppose we have a second character, call him Bob, who can attack twice per round at +10 to hit, with each hit dealing 3d10+15 damage.
Now let's further suppose we have a third character, call her Charlene, who can attack four times per round, at +13 to hit, each time dealing 3d8+9 damage.
Finally, let's suppose we have a fourth character, call him Dan, who is exactly like Charlene except for an unfortunate -2 penalty on all attack rolls.
Against various target ACs, and without factoring in crits, how does the DPR compare on these four characters?
Thanks in advance for the math!
Just hit 3rd level in PFS, and I'm looking for some advice on feat selection. Here's my build so far:
Bloodrager 3 (Spelleater archetype)
Traits: Friend in Every Town (+1Diplo/class skill), Indomitable Will (+1 Will)
Feats: Improved Initiative, Power Attack
I fight with a longsword; I can two-hand for the same damage bonuses as a two-hander, but I'm not hosed if I get grappled or need to fight while carrying a macguffin or whatever.
(You can also click my name to get an idea of my concept/backstory.)
I'm planning on my first bloodline feat being Iron Will. And once I get an item to boost my CON (possibly an ioun stone, since I'll want my belt in STR), I'll spend my next feat on Raging Vitality, which I don't currently qualify for. That'll likely be at 7th level.
So for right now, here's what I'm considering:
Hello! I just hit 8th level in PFS, so I need to pick my first 4th-level spell. And since I'm a human taking the alternate FCB, I also need to pick a 3rd-level spell. Bloodline is Elemental (Primal [electricity]) and my CHA is currently 26.
Going from memory on existing spells known:
So I need a 3rd- and 4th-level spell. I see several juicy options, so I'm a bit indecisive. Also, since I'm hitting an even level, should I make a swap somewhere?