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I don't want to suggest that Mike and I were any more than online acquaintances. I also don't want to make this post about me, but....
Mike played a critical role in the chain of events that led me to writing professionally. He's not the only professional who would influence me, but he was the first.
My condolences to his friends and family.
If we put it in the items, we'd be repeating it over and over. In a way, we probably should, but the Companion line is brutal on wordcount. We have to be really, really frugal, or just abandon the idea completely.
I'm not arguing with you, but "hiding" is not the best word for why that happened.
It was thoroughly edited and there were a number of small errors, statblock snafus, and a couple logic hiccups that were fixed. Not huge story changes but a good number of minor adjustments with development and editing love from someone who was not the author. You might spot some changes with a side-by-side reading but I think most people would be challenged to pick them out with just a cold reading the new manuscript.
I think that's fair, but Al and Jason might have another perspective.
Its tough to self-edit and self-develop, and thanks to Al Riggs, this baby got some fine tuning and attention. Road to Destiny has been now raised to the higher level of professional production that Legendary Games strives for in all their products.
If someone has not purchased it yet and are looking at a certain Far Eastern AP, its a good time to pick it up!
The intention was always that shields would also be weapons that the shield champion would be proficient with, as well as an armor proficiency. I wrote it, so I know my intentions. Whatever one might think of the overall strength of the archetype, there was no intention to deliberately gimp it with a nonsensical disadvantage. That would be patently silly.
So, it was an oversight as far as I am concerned. Unfortunately, my remarks are not binding. You have my regrets for the inconvenience to PFS folks. Please FAQ it and I am sure it will be corrected.
pippo pappi wrote:
its possible have more shaman archetype info? :)
The Animist is genuinely weird and unlike anything else. I'm surprised he hasn't gotten noticed.
Animism is this belief that everything has a spirit which can be interacted with. Like diseases, houses, the terrain, constructs, your car. Herbie the Love Bug (1968) was an early cultural example of animism, and so is Christine by Stephen King. In Poltergeist 2, you see a native american shaman appeal to the spirit of Craig T. Nelson's car to start.
The animist gets an interesting mix of spells, like most of the speak with... series, including the druidic and clerical ones. Wizard spells that affect constructs, dream, skinsend, and spells that apply to the soul, even if their from the clerical and wizard lists.
The can communicate with bad conditions directly. I mean, they can actually talk to the shaken condition and argue with it. Tell it leave. It can ask the blind condition to cut you a break on the shaman's behalf. There is a small risk the bad condition might try to jump into the shaman, or just get stubborn.. though at higher levels the animist just points to the door and says "scram!" That doesn't make them a true healer, but its a neat quasi-healing function.
The animist is a skilled exorcist.
Later, the animist can possess other creatures... and objects. Unlike normal magic jar they go into their familiar (when not in other creatures) instead of some magic gem. They can then piggyback on the familiar's senses and coordinate with the familiar telepathically. When they grab other bodies, those go into the familiar (but at no risk to it). Object possession is as per possess object.
At high levels they can interact with incorporeal creatures, and even go ethereal.
They forfeit a fair number of hexes, but they still have a wander spirit and wandering spirit hexes, so you can round them out a little.
Its a weird, neat archetype and I'm kinda proud of it. Hope people like it.
Okay, here are some notes about the flame dancer.
A low level ability to use Performance to mitigate high heat conditions and help allies who have caught on fire.
A 3rd level ability to grant allies the ability to see through flames and smoke without penalty as long as there is light, plus the gaze of f lames oracle revelation. replaces inspire confidence.
A little later they grant fire resistance to allies.
Eventually they go back and add in a nice handful of wizard fire spells (up to and including fireball)into their spell list.
Sure, it's kind of a nature bard. They can access some druid spells. They also gain a new bardic performance that allows them to grant an ally an animal aspect, based off of the hunter's animal focus ability.
That is correct on both counts.
You can dole out those uses as you see fit. Every feat grabbed is one use that lasts 1 minute. So I picture you can save them for your whole adventuring day, or (at higher levels) you could nova them out with three feats in one encounter.
The break points when the brawler can access more combat feats with increasingly faster actions are 6, 10, 12, and 20.
The maximum number of extra feats is typically 3.. except at level 20, when you're only limited by the number of uses you have left.
Insain Dragoon wrote:
4 + Int modifier
Insain Dragoon wrote:
-do any archetypes swap out brawlers flurry?
Insain Dragoon wrote:
-do any archetypes/feats change what weapon groups you can flurry?
At higher levels the Shield Champion can chuck that shield as a ranged weapon as part of her flurry.
Sorry, I did not scour the feats.
Insain Dragoon wrote:
-I remember a concern being how often one could use martial versatility to grab multiple feats. How many times per day could a level 11 Brawler grab max feats in a usage?
The break points at 10th and 12th level. The number of uses is 3 + half Brawler level (minumum 1). So that is 8 and 9 uses per day. Each time a single feat is acquired, that is one use per day utilized.
At 10th level and 12th level, the brawler can theoretically grab a maximum three feats in a single round. The difference being, what action is required to get those three feats. Then can, of course, acquire less feats, but you wanted to know the maximum.
Insain Dragoon wrote:
There's not a single capstone, but rather a small suite of goodies. A bonus combat feat, improved awesome blow, and they can use martial versatility to obtain any number of combat feats that they want, as a swift action, that they have daily uses to pay for.
Yessss.. But I think *Full Access* is a bit misleading. They can add a sorc/wiz spell to their spell list for every point of their CHA modifier (minimum 1). Every level after they take the hex, they can replace out one of those spells for a new one. They cast them as Divine Spells and use WIS as the casting modifier for DCs.
So yes, but only for a small handful of spells.
EDIT: Punctuation improvement to add clarity. And I guess a couple Wizard spells would spruce up your selection.
London Duke wrote:
Jim... At this point I will settle for anything you could provide. It's long been a character I have hoped to play and optimize.
Well, she is proficient with all shields but the tower shield. Unlike normal brawlers.
She can throw a light or medium shield as a thrown weapon. No improvised weapon penalties. Shield spikes do apply. Assumed to have Far Shot for this purpose only. At 7th level, this throw shield can be used to make combat maneuvers.
At 5th level there is an ability to make it come back.
At 15th level there is powerful damage absorbing ability if you're going to be dropped below 0 hit points.
EDIT: There is a lot more, and stuff about how brawlers flurry factors in, but I am trying to stay in preview mode. A couple good bonus feats if you meet the prerequisites.
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
Deus is also the name of a rogue AI in the Shadowrun RPG setting. Robert's reference to the Renraku Corporation is the clue. Deus takes one of their arcologies hostage.
And maybe they did just that. I don't know.
You're missing the point the started this. If you start making Dexterity do the job of Strength as well as what it does already, across the board and not in one specific class, there is no point to Strength. Keep doing that, and you will run into problems.
I don't want to create work for the Design Team, but I have what I think is a cool Blog Post for after the book is released and the previews are over.
A blog article that explains what criteria they would place on a spell to make it a "shaman spell", and so on for other classes that get their own spell lists.
That way, they're not caught up trying to retrofit a lot of older material from other product lines, but they give some advice to GMs who want to make those decisions for themselves. Like what exactly is the difference between most a cleric/druid spell that is good for the shaman versus one that is not appropriate. I often advocate that GMs should be unafraid to make those determinations (and still do), but some guidelines never hurt.
You'd probably have disclaimer it was not valid for PFS (which require uniform rulings), but it would give some pointers for the folks at home.
Just a passing thought.
Chris and Mike,
I have actually allowed a neutral aligned gnoll in my Mummy's Mask campaign.
(Personal tragedy caused her to become disillusioned with Lamashtu and convert to Pharasma... and her work with the poor and destitute as a skilled midwife has granted her tolerance and grudging acceptance by civilized locals)
Does this book have stuff for neutral gnolls?
That's fine, Tangent101.
I sort of want back up a little, because I don't want to attribute everything to "Gms telegraphing the plot", because I actually don't think that sums everything up in a single neat package.
It just feels like a lot of the push back comes from GMs who are reading but not actually running the AP. I maintain it is not a novel.
I'm not sure about the other chapters, but that is not the feedback I am receiving about Chapter One. Unless I am misunderstanding some folks, GMs seem to think that Chapter One relies too much on Players/PCs being self-starters.
(The following is not a reply to the quote)
Though that sparks an interesting though (to me). I wish we had a metric to just evaluate player/PC reaction without input from the GM.
Some of the comments make me wonder two things:
This is based on comments like, "Chapter One feels disconnected from the plot." I'm being completely serious when I suggest that the only plot that the players should concern themselves is the one described in the Players Guide. The rest of the worries seems like a "meta-concern" that Reader/GM is projecting on to the campaign without actually knowing one way or another how the players would react. Plus, if the Reader/Gm conveys that concern, either vocally or just in their attitude, how do they really know how well it works? If one determines in advance that the campaign is flawed and undermine it from the beginning, a disappointing outcome shouldn't be surprising. That's a self-fulfilling prophecy.
When Reign of Winter was coming out, I thought one of the coolest things would be to start the campaign (in Taldor) with ZERO advance knowledge. No thoughts of Baba Yaga, Dancing Huts, Cold Monsters, or Rasputin. Taking the story in, as it unfolds. Likewise, I think the Half-Dead City works best with the same premise, excepting of course what is in the Players Guide.
Simply put. Chapter One is a long set-up, but without a preconceived notion of the story or expectation, that set-up goes rather quickly. I'm running right now while telegraphing as little as I can. It's working quite well.
I deliberately avoided a ticking clock. It seemed like an unnecessary constraint and I thought it might undercut the action of Chapter Two, however the crisis in that chapter might be presented. (Some chapters are written simultaneously)
The fact that there are many rules for the Necropolis, and none of them are really enforceable, is not meant to be lost on the PCs. In fact, that conflict is quite intentional. It sets up the expectation of a certain behavior but leaves the lingering doubt that it just might be 'alls fair in love and war". It also creates space for the GM to do what they feel is best.
Some people are enjoying that GM empowerment, some people feel the story does not engage them. The results are unclear but I encourage reviews of all kinds as long as they are sincere.
That said, I think Grumpus is spot on. It is what I did to my players. Frankly, sometimes you can just give the players a little hint and they'll move in the direction you want. The thought of less cash for goodies is a strong motivator and it dovetails perfectly with Chapter Two.
Lincoln Hills wrote:
I appreciate the information and the viewpoint, Jim. I'm usually quite pleased with the flavor and the power level of what appears in APs; the "lonely boss monster" was worth noting because it seemed to me to be one of the few cases where there is a disconnect between the way the game plays and the way the adventures are written.
Absolutely.For the record, I think your comments are entirely accurate as well as helpful.
Obviously I can't actually speak for all writers. I like to think, however, that we are all continuing to adjust and refine as we learn. Plus for the health and frankly the variety—the developers are always adding to the author pool. They have to. It would be unwise to rely on the same 8 men and women, plus the adventures need different people in order to remain fresh. Each new author has a bit of a breaking in period and that is hard to avoid no matter how naturally talented they are.
Although! Our Developers do not change and they are always the vigilant watchdogs and vangards of quality and innovation.
A couple factors I'd like to throw out there for your consideration. Writers and developers need feedback. That also includes hearing what we could have done better. Unfortunately, sometimes the feedback we get is so hostile its difficult to read it. That's not an excuse for not continuing to improve. I'm pointing out that we get a lot of sarcasm. That doesn't help. That stuff gets tuned out.
Incidentally, your posts in this thread are helpful. I'm not even speaking about this specific thread or any post in it. There's no finger pointing happening in this thread, I'm speaking in general.
Another thing to consider, there is a significant delay on the feedback an author receives and what we can then do about it. I am not making this thread about me, but I am going to use me as an example:
By the time I got any feedback on The Shackled Hut, Demon's Heresy was turned over. It was gone. There is literally a six month delay in our ability to compensate from what was learned. So, by extension, The Half-Dead City is more of a reflection of Reign of Winter than it is Wrath of the Righteous.
I can tell you this.. Say I hypothetically wrote another AP chapter, there would be only one or two solo encounters in say 52 hypothetical pages, and neither of them would be the final encounter. But they would be well suited to an entire group.
Hypothetically this would be evidence that we're listening and acting on it. Nevertheless, there is a delay before the echo comes back.
Hope this helps!
Love the art of the book, especially for Urgo Axebiter. I love the fact that Paizo made him much more threatening than the standard imbecilic look of hill giants. He looks much more hardcore badass.
That's sort of how I design.
Sometimes when you come across the seed of an idea in the Inner Sea Guide, you can find yourself attacking the premise or finding a way to make it work. I much prefer the latter, because that is what makes a richer and more interesting world.
For instance, if the INSWG suggests the Pharaohs of the First Age could do impossible things with magic by today's standard, I think writers should back that statement up.
If Urgo Axebiter was said to unite 30 tribes of giants, I'm not going to just look at the hill giant stat block and raise one eyebrow..
(Well, I did, but that's NOT ALL I did!)
...Urgo is just going to have to be badass enough to make that not an idle boast. That's all there is to it.
Does anyone else hope that we'll be seeing a module involving a diabolic cult opening a Hellmouth in Numeria thus enabling an invasion of cybernetic enhanced Devils (led by a particularly ambitious Pit Fiend with a rocket launcher for a arm)? ^_^
The Chapel of Rent Flesh is pretty darn close. :)
Feel free to suggest it as a module, after you read about it.
I certainly did read your review. I have some friends, bless their hearts, who text me while I'm eating out or at the movies, to let me know who said what. I'm serious. I probably need to tell them to stop, but I'm a gentle soul that way.
Against my better judgment, I'll talk a bit about your comments. Not to argue with you, but perhaps to present another perspective.
INTRODUCTION: The introduction is actually quite short, as it stands. You suggest that we have no introduction and just start them at the tomb. I see that as a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" proposition. If some introduction is not present, I feel many GMs would be much more upset. As it stands, the introduction is easily expedited. You suggest this is a long drawn out scene when its two short read-aloud texts, which are incredibly easy to zip through or bypass. There is a generous amount of background information, but that is there to provide a contextual rationale and verisimilitude. I feel you're depicting me as standing over your shoulder rapping your knuckles with a ruler if you don't spend 20 minutes droning aloud. That's a bit unfair.
This is where I question "armchair reviews" because I have to wonder how it would actually play out if I got you at a table with some players in front of you. Whether that opening scene might not just be over with in a few minutes and then you would be on to proper play with the PCs fully engaged.
FIRST TWO DUNGEONS: That's somewhat unkind to the PFS freelancers and developers who work very hard to deliver some great adventures. That said, you sound like you're looking for the "crisis trigger". I respect what you've said. One thing to consider (very mild spoiler, probably won't wrreck the story, but I err on the side of caution):
By delaying the crisis to chapter two, the follow-up author, Crystal, can utilize monsters and encounters that are out of the CR 1/2 range. The players have more interesting spells and special abilities, as do the creatures. Then the crisis transcends the back and forth "swing and miss, shoot 1 magic missile for the rest of the day" stage. I really think this point gets overlooked. This allowed us to make a more thrilling crisis.
WATER TRAP: I appreciate the point Laric, I really do, but that trap is killing PCs. I don't do a happy dance reading that, because that's not my goal. However actual play experience is pointing towards it being a meaningful challenge. Again, you might not see that from an abstract reading.
I DO take your other comments as constructive feedback. You have a lot of worthwhile observations and I really did read them when you first posted them a few weeks ago. Again, I'm sorry it disappointed you.
I do appreciate the feedback about the first chapter, and I don't want anyone think that it falls on deaf ears.
I do wonder what the take-away is from this?
We can't expect players to be self-motivated? We can't tell the GM, "Players should make characters that are interested in exploration and the recovery of valuable treasures" and expect them to communicate that to the players and have them work with an established premise? Are some of you saying, "Yes, please, milk the guilt, responsibility, or fear angle, because otherwise its not really roleplaying."
That might sound sarcastic, but hear me out, if that is really the case—then its good to know. Be aware, your feedback can shape future design, so its good to be aware of the message you're communicating.
I find adventures to be fun to read, as does our Creative Director. That said, adventures are not the same as a novel, because the main characters are missing. Those are the players and their characters. Everything else is a stage for them to tell their own stories.
Now.. it is fair to say that the Half-Dead City might be challenging in that you (the GM) get a greater benefit from incorporating the gazetteer and developing stories for the individual players.
Now, if folks find the backdrop to their characters lacking, you have my regrets. Honestly and sincerely.
But please know that I have and continue to find some of the critiques to be somewhat puzzling. If this post offended, you have my regrets.
Mike, it really DOES matter if you disparage a piece of work but you neglect to mention that you're frustrated that it doesn't covert easily to a completely different rule system, especially one that is deliberately streamlined, has a radically different player economy/reward system, and is generally more narrative.
I really hesitate to write this, because of the school of thought that "all feedback is good feedback" and "the customer is always right".
Nevertheless, you have been extremely critical without being forthcoming that you actually think The Half-Dead City is a lousy Savage Worlds adventure. I have to admit, when I read that I was both relieved and disappointed that you weren't forthcoming about that to start with.
I do appreciate the frustration. I tried to convert Curse of the Crimson Throne to 4E with very mixed results. Yet, I didn't blame the product for it, or even Wizards for their RPG. It just didn't work out.
edit-Bravo, whoever wrote the Chapel of Rent Flesh. That last line was especially chilling. D: Xaubunchror's artwork also just screams Dominion of the Black to me.
I wrote the background. My esteemed colleague, Mister Russ Taylor wrote the creatures and the mechanics. James Jacobs I believe provided sensitive material on Starfall, as it overlaps Iron Gods. (NOTE: I mean only that he was the best qualified to do so, as it was being developed, not that there is duplication of material).
I like to think Mr. Moreland played to our strengths. I don't consider it my book, but one the four of us share. Russ, Mark and James did an outstanding job.