I've never really understood some of the behaviors or attitudes that come into this game. From things like "It is punishing a player if they lose XP when they die/don't gain XP when they don't come to the session/etc" to "How dare you get upset about a player drinking the milk in your house you told him to leave alone?", the mentality just seems foreign from how I was brought up to game.
Walking out on a lame game is somehow off limits? Why? There are more serious things that you can walk out on, like a job, and that's not off limits. Is it not ok to leave a ball game you aren't enjoying? A movie? In fact, it isn't even as much an inconvenience to the others as other situations. If someone agrees to go out on a boat ride, and then they get terrified and sea sick, do you just make them 'tough it out' or do you go back to dock for them?
Honestly, I don't really have a problem with a player walking for any reason. It might be immature, and they might be doing it because they're a little b***h, but oh well. That's their right if they choose to exercise it, poorly or no. And this isn't a vote from the player entitlement crowd, either. I'm a pretty strict DM. I won't have a drow soulknife in my game, and what I say goes. Doesn't mean I have command over the players beyond what they give me to stay in the game.
Inflicted it on my party. (Including Pete)
Came nowhere near killing the game, although both of the Voided players were close to leaving. Drastically altered the campaign though. Allowed me to highlight some places that I never thought I'd have to develop, introduce some elements of the campaign world to the players and much more. Excellent item.
Later on, the Dire Gamblers made an appearance, putting a spotlight on the PCs who survived the Void, which is unheard of in their circle.
Not for every campaign, nor for the faint of heart, but can be serious fun. I prefer the versions with less drastic effects though, just because it is difficult to get players to draw when they know the stakes are so high. (See above reaction for exhibit A)
Peter Stewart wrote:
Minor point of order, Abraham Spalding did that. Artanthos defended Abraham when I pointed out Spalding was incorrect. Art was misreading, I think, that Spalding's main argument was about 100 spells having 1k gp costs, when it was in fact, about the total.
Hmm. Sean, I like the idea of what you've suggested, but I would prefer it in a Monstrous Codex, along with sample alternate monsters, like the balor lords, or some good templated stuff, like white half dragon polar bears.
NPC Codex 2.
Full 1-20 alchemist, cavalier, gunslinger, inquisitor, magus, summoner, witch, plus 1-20 antipaladin, ninja, samurai is 10 classes, to the original codex's 11. Summoner's eidolon can be done in the same way the animal companion was. (20 builds)
Level 2, 4, 7 and 10 prestige class builds for the eight PrCs in APG gives us another free spot, since NPC Codex had nine. (4 builds)
Level 1-10 NPC builds gives us another section of 5 classes. (50 builds)
So that's 107 statblocks that were in the original that wouldn't be in the next one, assuming they were covered in the same manner.
Personally, I'd like to see archetypes start. Not 1-20 for each archetype, but maybe 5,10,15,20? Or some other way. For instance, there are 22 fighter archetypes between UM, UC and APG. 12 just in the APG. You could literally do a Fighter NPC Codex larger than the original NPC Codex, with nothing but APG fighter archetypes. That seems really excessive, and I don't know a good way to approach the issue.
This might sound off, but I'd like to see the NPCs built a little more to their CR, or their CR adjusted a bit better to their build. I've seen ACs of 13 on supposed CR 18s. Can we at least stop the formula madness?
First off, the specific number of spells is irrelevant, AS called Peter out based off his listed total price. Which is correct, as my link demonstrates.
Secondly, you bothered to make a claim about it being 3.5 without checking? Why would this make any sense? The man used Pathfinder to provide these numbers. Shadowsoul's point about symbols only increases the total value. On the other hand, a minor oversight hardly dismisses the work that went into generating the value. The missing spells and underrated costs only strengthens the argument against the Shrowiz and further buries Abraham's spurious claim.
Abraham spalding wrote:
I would not attach too much comfort to 'so far'. As you know from playing in the game from which that list was generated, I'm an overbearing and whimsical tyrant.
See, that sounds ok, but sometimes people have assumptions, and going into detail about every single one of those assumptions is too time consuming for the beginning of the game. Especially when people don't always consider their assumptions.
For instance, animal intelligence. I've been a big proponent of animals having Int scores over 2 for years now. (Rats have 14 and dolphins 12, thank you Hitchhiker's Guide) Whether you disagree or not is not the point. The point is that I assumed, based on my vocal expression of such and frequent messageboard posts to that effect, that my players would understand that's how I was running things. I was wrong.
Tangentially related, my player, who I was wrong about, also has assumed that eating anything with an Int > 2 is wrong, cannibalism, morally evil in all cases, etc. When he was confronted by my assumption on animal int being a given, his own assumption caused him to feel that he had been tricked into betraying his own moral code.
I can safely say that neither one of us would have brought up feelings on animal intelligence and cannibalism during a pre-game sharing session. It is something that arose within the game, and needed to be dealt with in the game.
When you agree to play a game with people, you are implicitly agreeing to deal with each others' own assumptions in a mature and mutually beneficial manner, rife with social compromise. It's just the way things work.
Yup. Doesn't make it wrong though. And if the players disagree, the option to walk is always there. I'm not entitled to their presence anymore than they are entitled to my game. But in my game, there will probably be some jostling of their expectations and movement out of their comfort zone. Whether that comes from chopped off pinkies or antimagic cells or being knocked unconscious and imprisoned doesn't really matter.
Open communication keeps those instances as smooth as possible though.
Like I said, some of the changes did not go over well. I am a learning DM, like any other. I make mistakes, as do my players. Sometimes I clearly underestimated the importance of X to the player. Other times, I didn't care, because my players can be a stuck in their ways lot, and loosening them up some is good for them.
But this isn't new. Conflicts like this are older than DnD. Ideally though, you deal with it in a spirit of cooperation, which is where both sides tries to make the other happy.
Without bothering to address the specific, seemingly growing and shifting goalpost original point, my take on the general matter is that, yes, a DM can change the player's character, both mechanically and fluffily.
The level of input a GM has vs the level of input a player has is determined by the personalities involved. A headstrong DM and conflict adverse player might have a very different ratio of input than a story-first DM vs a mechanical optimization focused player. There's literally a multitude of different priorities, personalities and playstyles that mesh here to create what ends up being played. Some players might walk if a certain line is crossed, some DMs might throw players if another is. And there's always compromise.
I've taken away things from my players before. I've changed aspects of their characters' fluff, appearance and physiology. Sometimes those changes were welcomed, sometimes they were requested, sometimes they were hated. As a list of things I can recall offhand that I changed:
Changed a rogue/shadowdancer to a shadow bloodline sorcerer.
So yeah. Lots. The more successful changes were not those that had the most successful justification IC (for instance, failing a save against lycanthropy or putting on a girdle of femininity), but those that had player input. Not player control, but input. For instance, possibly the biggest meltdown caused by the list above was due to the Aquaman costume, which was completely optional for the player to reject if he chose. Giving the player the choice between dressing like Aquaman and leaving the gear for another character, the player chose to use the gear and be furious about it. That's a fairly low level of DM coercion involved, and a 99% negative outcome. The second biggest meltdown came from the loss of the pinky, which scarred the psyche of the player and character alike for months. (Still hasn't been healed, incidentally)
If I was looking at the list without context, I'd definitely peg the forced levels, the change to shadow sorcerer, the DMPC or the docked XP/gold as the big offenses, but they've been fairly tame. Some even welcomed.
For any DMs or players involved in a situation where you find your expectations on control are being challenged, I urge communication between the two parties. Explain where you are coming from, why you want what you want, and approach the conversation from a direction that stems from the fun you get out of the game. For better or worse, some people just don't imagine that X might be that important or fun. Once you have an understanding of why X is important to the other party, work to achieve an agreeable compromise. Sometimes pushing people outside of their comfort zone is good for them. But it's a delicate balance, and best done with transparency.
James Jacobs wrote:
I always wondered at those distinctions. Pit fiends can rip balors apart in hand to hand combat, even more so in 3.5 than PF. Regeneration, plus a nastier full attack routine than dragons can boast...oh, and they are stronger than balors too. (And more agile, intelligent and wise)
Pretty sure if you compare the CR 19 demon vs devil you'll see the same thing. Devil = brute, demon = sly.
Always struck me as strange that pit fiends were down and dirty with their natural weapons, while balors sort of rely on those weapons.
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Probably somewhere in between. I'm known as a hardass and a joker, and it frankly varies from situation to situation. No doubt you have shades as well. My players have commented on my DMing before, on these boards, and I don't find their opinions off base.
One thing I don't have time for though, is disrupting the game. Withholding information from me at any time that I asked for it would be a disruption. Doing so because it was assumed that the player knew better than the DM how to use that information properly would be grounds for ejection. To me, that's just as disruptive as someone who flicks the dice before someone can see what they rolled, or who throws them trying to knock over minis. Since I am an old softie these days, I'd explain my position to a new player who was unfamiliar with that expectation, if it came up in game. But the position itself wouldn't be changing.
It's not really about kicking asses either. It's about making sure the game runs smoothly so that everyone can have fun. Not much a bigger deal than making sure that people run to first base rather than second or third when they hit the ball.
Geraint Elberion wrote:
Do you have issue with humans and dwarves (Intelligence 10) employing those tactics? Longspears are simple weapons, as are spiked gauntlets.
I'd be curious myself, about these well armed monsters, particularly if the setting was standard PF. I don't know that I'd lose immersion from it though. I'd probably want to investigate who is arming goblinoids and ogres in the area. Are hobgoblins building a fort from which to attack? A new warlord moved in?
Those are where my thoughts would go before I was doubting the possibility of expert monster fighters.
I agree with pretty much all of what you've pointed out to Ashiel, even if I think it is aside from the point. Clearly some people actually just enjoy playing the game, regardless of no challenge. I'm not one of them, and such a game would be very foreign to me...I would probably lose interest. I don't think I agree a single bit with anything the OP said, beyond the fact that triple 20 insta-death is a bad rule. I might have something drastic happen for triple 20 (like an attack that leaves an unhealable scar or such) but immediate death is hardly fun for anyone. That said, I have to scoff at the suggestion that it was invented solely for the purpose of ruining the game for the PCs.
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
One point upon which we agree. Different strokes for different folks.
Glad I amuse you. You'd still get kicked from the game for acting like that, and I don't care if your 'greater context' displays this is an appropriate social interaction for your group. Your original post displayed a player who refused his DM information to which the DM is entitled. I'm not here commenting on your game, I'm here sharing about mine. That sort of "nuh uh" attitude isn't ok at my table. It's ok at yours, or it's a in-joke at yours, or some other such that makes it acceptable. Fantastic. May sharing our differing experiences and approaches better the gaming community at large.
Even if it's just a few chuckles on your side of the computer.
Edit: Also, I agree with Ashiel. Possibly a first.
See, I'm hearing the reason to do a hit point check is to cheat for the players, and not kill them. when I call for a hit point check, I could be doing any of the following.
1. Reaffirming my picture of the scenario is correct to my NPCs. Do they see bloody ragged heroes? Fresh unwounded warriors, despite having been in fierce melee?
2. Choosing my next target. Are the PCs fighting a merciful swordsman, or someone trying to teach them a lesson rather than kill? He's going for the stronger looking ones. Are the PCs fighting someone ruthless and bastardish? He's going for the guy at 2hp.
3. Making sure the players are paying attention. I let players track a lot of information on their own without looking over their shoulders. If they aren't producing that information when I ask for it, they need to know that they have a responsibility to the game.
4. Probably going to kill someone, and want to describe their falling in heroic terms, or call for massive damage checks, or whatever else is based on their hit points remaining.
What I'm not doing is going to put up with players stalling the game to try to power struggle. Either you trust me to run the game fairly, or you don't. If you don't, then find a DM you do trust, because I don't want you there. It will lessen both of our fun, which is the exact opposite of what this game is supposed to be.
A player who told me they would not tell me their hit point total upon being asked for it would be told to leave the game. I don't have time to play stupid power games with my players, and even if I was inclined to cheat for them, they aren't going to change that by 'hiding' information to which I am entitled as the arbiter of the game.
That said, I don't cheat for my players. Most of them still have their original characters. All of them have in some fashion or another, played a different character at some point in the game. Not a single one of them thinks that their character is somehow sacrosanct to me, even if the loss of that character would cause them to leave the game. Ultimately, we're playing a game, and one that has possible long reaching consequences within the game. If someone can't handle dealing with those consequences, then there are other games we might be able to play together, but RPGs don't seem to be one they're cut out for.
I don't consider that 'hard' mode.
5 years Active Army, mighty fine 14J. Air assault qualified, Recondo schooled and NBC trained as hobbies.
Dating an Air Force brat. Her pops is whatever you flyboys call the sergeant majors there. Air Master Chief Squadron Sergeant, or something.
I'm not sure I'd be any keener on rerolling at the table, and it certainly doesn't expedite high level gameplay.
Longer turns, complicated mechanics and anything that increases cross-referencing are antithetical to that goal.
I'd love to see stats for Golarion deities, or their avatars. Not sure about the other pantheons though. Eric Mona has said he doesn't want to rehash DnD with Pathfinder.
Other than that, maybe divine servitors? Heralds, that sort of thing? I thought The Divine and the Defeated by Sword and Sorcery was fantastic. The Book of the Righteous by Green Ronin was another marvelous (even though stat free) book on deities and a pantheon. Anything of that level of detail would be fantastic.
The point of limiting it to 1/2 lowest class level is to discourage the dips for a purely mechanical advantage, and to support someone who is using serious multiclassing. If your character concept is a barbarian with a dip of sorcerer, you already are doing just fine within the PF multiclassing system, but if you wanted to be a real barbarian/sorcerer, the system tends to let you down. (Those who disagree should compare the pure fighter to the multiclass barb/sorc in the Rival Guide)
The 1/2 cap is the second mechanic I introduced to modify the "add 1/2 non class levels to your class". Before I mandated that your class levels had to be within 1 level of each other if you took the feat, or you'd suffer mechanical and in character punishment. But that excluded dippers from the benefits entirely, and I wanted both serious and casual multiclassing to be valid.
So your rogue 8/sorcerer 2 has 9th level rogue abilities and 3rd level sorcerer abilities, as a 10th level character. A more even split, rogue 5/sorc 5, has 7th level abilities in both classes. The sorcerer dip isn't useless, but neither does it advance much from a dip. A dedicated multiclass character gains more benefit, but at the same time, they have more delayed access to the highest level abilities.
Now, Pete Stewart's character actually doesn't have the 1/2 class level cap. I removed it just to see what would happen if a dipped class was allowed to advance. So far it hasn't proven problematic, although that might be due to the dipped class (sorcerer) highly overlapping with the main class (wizard). On the other hand, the game is fairly high powered, even for its level, and Pete's character would probably be game breaking at a different table. The cap keeps those things from happening.
I don't usually agree with Ashiel. He's almost 100% right about flight though. IC, it is fairly balanced against its drawbacks. Sometimes it is the right idea, sometimes it isn't, and casting fly is not "I win" in a game that has evolved beyond forcing the PCs to fix the bridge to cross the river.
On the other hand, I do find flight frequently game breaking. I use Maptool (we play online), and 3-D combat isn't well supported, making fly a bit of a pain in the arse to adjudicate. Anyone have any help for that?
Most of the time, the abilities that disrupt the game for me are the ones that force me to slow everything down. Detect magic, for instance, if I didn't think to provide myself with a list of all the magic auras in a given area. (Later arcane sight provides the same problem, only it is constant rather than with a 3 round delay) Or breaking through a wall that I didn't think to qualify as reinforced masonry or hewn stone.
Players 'beating' encounters is pretty low down on the list. It's there, especially if they aren't having fun because the encounters are too easy, but it isn't the meat by any means.
The encounter wasn't rocket tag, it stood up to the 1000+ damage through a combination of damage reduction and other damage reducing abilities. Neither the wizard nor the sorcerer in the party was able to one shot it at all. And will saves along with debuffs to save bonuses were employed, and the fighters still will saved through it.
The issue there is that it happened at all...pretty much keeps me from using the tarrasque out of the book, for example. Makes pretty much any NPC either dog meat or a walking treasure trove of even more unbalancing abilities.
I can deal with it, it isn't impossible, but it definitely makes encounter design tougher when one class can deal out so much damage in a single go. To me, that's the problem with fighters.
The difference is that once the cleric picks their deity, they must abide by the restriction. There is not a restriction on the creation of the character (unlike a paladin), but there is one on the playing of the character.
And I've found that in actual games played, character creation takes up much less time than the rest of the playing/campaign. As opposed to theorycrafting/internet games, where thinking up the character and backstory and statting it out might actually involve more work than any gameplay the character gets to see. That's just my experience, others may find it different, but a cleric's restrictions in play are just as real as a paladin's.
My problem with fighters is that two of them dealt over 1000 points of damage to AC 50+ at 15th level, in a couple rounds. It makes it fairly difficult to have meaningful melee threats without suping them up beyond expectations as a result.
I level them by age. My base line assumptions are as follows for my campaign world. This is for humans, not longer lived races.
+1 level = 10 years past starting age.
So you've got most folks in their mid-20s as 2nd level, right on up to your 8th level 80 year old coot.
I posted about this over here on DF. Including stats for my 80 year old coot.
I've never actually seen a katana fanboy. I've seen plenty of anti-katana people, and plenty of accusations about 12d6 tank cutting power, but I've never actually seen a katana fanboy on any DnD boards, from WotC to Paizo.
The most I've seen are the people who argue, probably reasonably, for Japanese weapons/fighters to not be considered worthless and crap, against ARMA-type folks who argue that the European fighting dominance equates to rendering all other styles obsolete.
Euro-fanbois actually exist, but no katana fanbois. I wonder why that is, and why the perception is the reverse.
Azaelas Fayth wrote:
He once fought Mike Tyson. (or some caricature thereof) His Strength isn't likely to be 8, and his Con is definitely higher than that. He got to the title fight by being simply too tough for his opponents to knock out, and then easily knocking them over once they were exhausted from hitting him.
I want to say Freeport Companion? It is either that or Freeport: City of Adventure.
Spoilers about Baba Yaga's daughters.
So Baba Yaga drains her daughters of life to extend her own.
What implications does this have for Tashana's career and what does she do with her grandchildren?
I honestly thought that was a bit of a bummer, to be honest. Turning them into a world-plane spanning army seemed more interesting than the reality.
Also, we're being promised stats for Baba Yaga and her daughter
Does anyone else think that accurately doing those would require mythic rules or something of the sort to be finalized?
Paizo has an irrational love of fiction in the APs. It's not going away.
Irrational? The thread is filled with folks who really like it. Their customers, really like the fiction (the way they are doing a product) in the APs (their product the customers buy)
I do not think that word means what you think it means.
Question came up in my game, and I'm curious. Is the intent of the rogue advanced talent 'redirect attack' to allow it to only redirect a damaging hit, or does a 'melee attack' include making use of a combat maneuver, like disarm, grapple or sunder?
Rerolls and roll 2d20, take the best are much better abilities to give than +X to rolls, as long as we are keeping the system away from flat bonuses.
Giving more turns per round is superior to giving more actions per turn, for reasons pointed out on Final Thoughts Mythic Initiative. Moving between rounds swiftly is important for players, so they aren't just sitting there waiting for someone to finish their turn. It is also reasons that things like mythic time stop are poorly thought out.
Giving improved mettle/evasion to all mythic characters is probably ok, although I will echo Pete's point about dynamics. If the problem is that characters are always either auto-failing or auto-succeeding, then introducing something that mitigates the impact of failure is preferable to something that makes success even more sweet.
I was thinking. Perhaps the concept can be maintained, but function similarly to how regeneration functions, minus the additional healing. If you are 'killed' with non-mythic damage, you don't die. If you are 'killed' with mythic damage, you do.
Adam Daigle wrote:
Thanks for the quick reply, Adam! They do look great. Just figured it was a little late in the game to not have the final title released.