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My way of seeing things is RAW.
(shrug) I'd be a lot more impressed if the RAW had any degree of internal consistency. Alas, "RAW" in this case (and in a lot of others) consists of a bunch of designers and temp contributors chucking stuff out there without any math behind it and without referencing each other's work.
Except a system like that doesn't exist in Pathfinder for you to cite. PF has a mess of armor types (with no rhyme or reason to their weight, AC, etc.); and a -1 to check penalties for masterwork at one price; and bonuses and penalties to hardness and hp for enhancement bonuses on the one hand, or for various materials on the other, with no costs that come close to matching or fitting any kind of pattern; and some materials do various other things for prices that are essentially random; and on top of that there are specific exception-based armors like Celestial Plate. If that's your idea of "coherent pricing rules for weight reduction and so on," then you and I mean completely different things by the word "coherent."
Imagine if we could instead start at 0, and take armor bonus squared x some scaling factor, and hardness x some other and hp x some other, and subtract weight x some other, and so on, and essentially create any combination of AC, weight, and other properties, with costs coherently scaled. We wouldn't need to worry about "masterwork hide armor made of special gu-gu hide material that's also +1." You could just stat out the armor and call it gu-gu hide.
My avatar looks just like me DMing.
It's amazing to me how easy it is to confuse who's talking, by looking at the avatar instead of the name. For example, it's hard for me to accept that KaiserDM isn't TOZ, Successful Troll isn't F2K, and that zylphryx isn't the infamous Samuel Weiss.
Whenever someone new swipes my avatar, I feel like I have to run around clarifying that this person isn't me. Seems like, if you've been using an avatar consistently for several years and are still active, it should be temporarily "retired" from the options!
find another dm or run the game yourself
If you're looking for a softball game, this might be your best bet. On the other hand, panicked, scattered, and run down by yeth hounds sounds like a cool and memorable character death to me; I suspect that I'd enjoy this DM's game very much -- presumably my next PC would be luckier, have better party tactics, or preferrably both.
Sounds like the players and DM signed up for 2 different games. The DM evidently thought he was running RAW Pathfinder, in which the panicked condition actually does what it says it does, and in which unlucky TPKs --especially at low levels -- can occasionally happen. The players, on the other hand, apparently thought they were playing a Story Game, in which the effects of the panicked condition are negotiable, and in which PCs have "plot immunity" from death.
Neither game is better than the other, but the two aren't really compatible, so it pays to make sure everyone agrees as to which one you're playing.
There are a few places in the late books, even aside the swearing, where Sanderson is so far off from it that it took me out of the story for a moment.
I felt like that reading Lord Demon -- you can almost hear screeching tires and see a big black streak where Zelazny leaves off and Lindskold picks up.
Yanick Goossens wrote:
Ah okay i see where I messed up I thought the Furious or the Keen also gave you a +1. But they just add to the cost. Thanks for the visual explanation @Kirth I will then prob just take Furious and leave keen for the scabbar of keen edge or something like that along the line/
Sounds like a plan! Don't be surpised if the awesomeness of furious isn't really noticeable at first. An extra +2 to hit and damage may not seem like a very big deal compared to +1d6 fire damage, but in the long run they're doing a LOT more for you.
Asking Paizo to modify the core game because a GM won't own up to his or her responsibility isn't the way to go about it.
For some people, telling the DM it's his responsibility to make up for everything the game system promises, but fails to deliver, is worse. Because generally no one is paying the DM for his services, but they are paying for game rules.
You're right; I should really edit that from "No one wants that" to "very few people are actually saying that." However, I'll insert the caveat that, while I don't want my 10th level fighter teleporting himself, I very much do want him able to handle things going on across the continent, and in a time-effective manner. Whether that means he has a network of troops and messenger pigeons, or some other appropriate mechanism, is open to debate. How about this:
Also, before the thread gets locked, lemme post this list yet again, because in the last couple of pages people have hit on every single one of these.
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
But PF is still better than any other game I've ever had the opportunity to actually play.
PF, were told, is "supposed" to be played like 1e, but it uses a 3.0 chassis that can't mechanically do that unless you wilfully ignore most of the problems. And 1e, for all its nostalgic charm, was nowhere near as good a game as, say, Victory Games' "James Bond 007." Even given the difference in default setting, when we converted 1e adventures to 007 rules and played them that way, it was a better game.
Simon Legrande wrote:
What would you say if you, as a wizard, cast Plane Shift and the GM said it failed? Would you gripe at the GM for taking your powers away because he's a bad GM? Would you start exploring the world to find out why your spell failed? What if the GM had a reason, built into his campaign from the start, for powers not working the way you expected? Would you feel that the GM is just exercising GM fiat to not let your wizard work the way it's supposed to?
Player: "I cast sleep."DM: "Sorry, magic doesn't work!"
DM: "It's built into the campaign world from the start, so you have no cause for complaint. Just because I didn't tell you doesn't mean it wasn't a thing."
WBL does entirely different things for martials and casters. Martials gain abilities they otherwise would not have. Casters extend the use of abilities already possessed, allowing for a longer adventuring day.
Martials can't do much except hit things with a stick, so, yes, anything else adds abilities. Casters have spells to do pretty much everything, so yeah, it's hard to add to that.
My experience with actual game play is the exact opposite.
And, interestingly, BOTH experiences are real ones. From which we could conclude:
(a) Only the people seeing the problem are right, and everyone else is lying. But I don't think you're lying, so I move that we eliminate option "a."
(b) Only the people not seeing the problem are right, and everyone else is theorycrafting. Except that we're speaking from play experience, and posting links, and so on, so we know this option isn't correct, either.
(c) Some people have a problem and others don't experience it.
So, out of 3 possibilities, two are wrong. We look at the third one. It suggests that some people are doing something that prevents the problem, or else are refraining from doing other things, that lead to the problem. Things that we might, you know, write into the rules and disseminate to everyone, instead of keeping them a secret.
DrDeth -- all good examples, and they all tie into my second point. A tank was more viable in 1e/2e because of the way initiative and tactical movement worked; they no longer work that way. Wizards couldn't casually end combats because saves scaled and DCs/target rolls didn't. A thief was needed because traps killed you, dead, and only a thief could find them. All of these are areas in which the rules of previous editions naturally led to balanced interdependent teams far better, in my opinion, than the current ones do.
People keep using Schrodinger's wizard in their attempt to prove casters are overpowered.
People keep bringing up actual game play to show how casters can be overpowered, and even post links. Then other people screw their eyes shut, ignore all that, and go back to claiming it's all Schroedinger theorycraft. Hmmmmm.
Simon Legrande wrote:
If a person doesn't experience a problem, then by definition there is no problem for that person. If there is no problem then the problem, in fact, does not exist.
"I am not experiencing AIDS, so by your definition it is not a problem for me. If there is no problem then the problem, in fact, does not exist!"
Hopefully you can see a problem with this sort of logic.
I'm getting the distinct impression that I'm old here... Are there any other players/GM's that have been playing D&D for, oh, lets set the bar lowish at 20 years that see the "spellcasters = win" thing?
Playing 35 years here. And, yes, I definitely see it. There are a couple things I should point out, that might influence opinions/discussion:
1. Most of my 1e games ended at or just after "name" level, at which point the casters are just starting to pull ahead. Remember, 10th-14th used to be very high level, reserved for stuff like Queen of the Demonweb Pits and Tomb of Horrors; you were taking on demiliches and demon queens at that level. The few times we tried playing to 18th level, casters dominated play even back then. If we quit all PF games at 10th level, the problem would be a lot less pronounced.
2. It's important to read the 3.0/3.5/PF rules as they are instead of how we remember 1e being. The nuts and bolts of the two games are only tangentially related. So, while you can play 3.X as if it were 1e, and largely miss all the imbalance problems, if you actually play 3.X it's often a different story. So in making comparisons, it's important to actually use the rules as written as a reference point. Yes, a good DM or casters playing with kid gloves can easily fix everything, but that's not the point. The point is that you're having to work against the system in order to get the system to work, which, to me, is less than ideal.
Reminds me of the kid in front of me in line at Blockbuster, back in the days before Netflix made physical stores obsolete. There's a poster for a classic Donald Sutherland movie on the wall, and the kid says, with total scorn, "Donald Sutherland?! What, is he supposed to be like Kiefer's dad or something?"
I guess I missed the movie where that happened. I've only seen six Star Wars movies...I'm guessing all that character development happened in some seventh film I've never heard of?
If you're telling me that, after only seeing CA-1, you instantly recognized and remembered Peggy Carter by name and Hayly Atwell as the acress (thanks, IMDB) for life -- with absolutely no foreknowledge of the character, and never having seen the actress before -- but that, after seeing "Star Wars," you immediately forgot who Han Solo was and couldn't recognize Harrison Ford afterward? Then your moviegoing experience varies wildly from mine.
Disclaimer: Then again, maybe it's a generational or technology thing -- I saw the original "Star Wars" in the theatre, but by the time "Captain America I" came around I was just streaming everything over Netflix.
Disclaimer2: I should also mention that I remember thinking that CA-1 was pretty enjoyable -- the first half far more so than the second half -- I just didn't find it to be particularly memorable.
I have to say that, although I personally never really cared for his stuff, I'm very, very impressed at the reactions I'm seeing. I always found Williams' comedy to be too silly and his serious roles to be overdone; pretty much the only things he did I liked were "Moscow on the Hudson" and "The Fool and the Flying Ship."
But seeing how much he seems to have moved everyone else, I'd say his passing is a very great loss indeed, and I'm inclined to try harder to appreciate the works he leaves behind.
Do you know who Darth Vader is?
Awesome James Earl Jones Darth Vader or whiny b%!!% prequel Darth Vader? In either case, the original Star Wars movie is a classic partly because of how instantly-recognizable the major characters became. No one had any pre-existing comic book knowledge to draw from, but the movie gave them all enough character development that there wasn't any confusion -- and it still had room for action scenes, too.
Captain America II did a good job with that stuff. I watched it once and I remember the title character, and also ScarJo and Sam Jackson and the Falcon guy and Robert Redford and even Gary Chandling in his cameo role. People had enough lines and screen time that they got pretty well fleshed out as characters. The CGI actions scenes didn't just merge together into one big cartoon soup, the way they do in a lot of movies.
Blayde MacRonan wrote:
What did you enjoy most about the movie, Kirth?
First off, it's very, very hard for me to take a character called "Captain America" at all seriously -- but they somehow managed to rope me in despite that. I thought that alone is pretty impressive. The acting and the pacing I thought were both outstanding, much better than I've become accustomed to from summer blockbuster-type movies. And I liked how they gave pretty much everyone at least one scene to be awesome in.
In the movie itself, I absolutely loved the scene in the elevator:
"Before we get started, does anyone want to get off?"
I found the scene in the nursing home or whereaver, near the beginning, to be surprisingly touching.
Finally, I have to admit, after seeing "Avengers" I was feeling pretty sorry for everyone who wasn't Thor, Iron Man, or the Hulk. I mean, you've got three apocalyptic gods or near-gods smiting everything around them, and then you've got a bunch of puny mortal nobodies trying to keep up with a bow and arrows or a shield. Lame. But giving Captain America his own movie, with him presented as a superhero, gave him a lot more credibility as a protagonist and also made Black Widow and Falcon seem like they weren't just extras.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
You fail analogies forever.
No, I'm just able to put aside some kind of compuslive authoritarian fetish over "punishing" people who are "trying to get away with something" long enough to actually let the guy with an Int 4 PC play the game.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
I could. That's the GM's perogative. But I'm not required to.
And the players are not required to stay in a game with that kind of DM. In this instance, I'd urge them to use their perogative to go elsewhere.
Ok, for the DC 10 check people, do this:
1. Given: The brain generates electrical impulses which cause the autonomous nervous system to continue functioning. If your brain is destroyed, your heart stops beating. The brain is, of course, the center of intelligence.
2. Given: By very strict RAW, the lowest-DC Intelligence-based check is DC 10.
3. Therefore, it should require a DC Intelligence check each round for your brain to keep your heart beating. Most people Take 10, but dumber people usually die in a couple of rounds after birth. But wait! The possibility of death imposes "stress and distraction," making it impossible to Take 10 unless you have skill mastery. Therefore, the entire population dies within a few rounds after birth.
What a great game this is!
Or, you could waive DC 10 checks for patently obvious stuff. Like your heart beating. Or what your name is. Or whether keys open doors.
My area (near NYC at the time) may have gotten a disproportionate amount of hype. This is what that great rag of the Plutocracy, the Wall Street Journal had to say:
Richard A. Gardner wrote:
From my perspective, the U.S. appears to be witnessing its third great wave of hysteria. The first, the Salem Witch Trials, in 1692, lasted only a few months. Nineteen people were hanged before it became apparent that the accusations were suspect. In the 1950s, at the time of the McCarthy hearings, hysteria over the communist threat resulted in the destruction of many careers. Our current hysteria [the so-called "Satanic Panic"], which began in the early 1980s, is by far the worst with regard to the number of lives that have been destroyed and families that have disintegrated.
Granted, the dude may be exaggerating somewhat, but the scare was no little thing (supposedly, Geraldo's TV special on Satanic activity was the most widely-viewed documentary ever aired on NBC).
So, yeah, pretty sure it wasn't as big as McCarthy, but as Comrade Doodle points out, far more bizarre: as far as I know, no one accused Communist sympathizers of flushing kids down the toilet into an underground Satanic abuse cavern, forcing them to watch giraffes being beheaded before raping them with knives, and then magically healing them and cleaning them up so that it appeared nothing happened -- and have people actually take those allegations seriously.
I started in 1980 or so, and, yeah, we caught the whole "D&D is Satanism" thing. We all had to watch Mazes and Monsters, as if it was some kind of documentary; we were quite scornful that the movie seemed to involve LARPing, which wasn't a thing yet and we (a bunch of elementary school kids) considered it totally immature -- one played baseball outside, not D&D, just like you didn't play baseball indoors. Duh!
One day the principal called in maybe three or four of us who were known to play the game, and interrogated us on it; evidently our answers made sense, because I didn't get any more flack until I moved to a nearby town.
The important thing to remember, though, is that the whole country was caught up in a massive Satanism scare at the time, and it made the Red Scare in the 50s seem normal. It affected everything around us, not just D&D. Even people who were otherwise sane were convinced that there were millions of Satanists running around everywhere conducting evil rituals and sacrificing infants, and that they were constantly recruiting through a variety of nefarious means. So we were told that playing D&D would make us kill our parents and commit suicide, and that listening to Ozzy or KISS ("Knights In Satan's Service!") would make us kill our parents and commit suicide, and that doing drugs would make us kill our parents and commit suicide. (We once played D&D while listening to Black Sabbath, and were almost disappointed when no murders nor suicides ever occurred.)
But it wasn't just entertainment media, which actually got off easy compared to everything else. For instance, any number of day care centers in our area were shut down under allegations of Satanic Ritual Abuse, and although the people were eventually exonerated of charges when no one could actually find a sacrificed baby (or even a single missing kid, for that matter), those peoples' livelihoods were pretty much destroyed.
Thankfully, by the late 80s the panic was pretty much over. We even had a D&D after-school club (although we had to call it the "Gaming and Hobbies Club" because the name D&D was still persona non grata).
Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
[Grabs the ether can and cries some more]
Hunter S. Thompson wrote:
The only thing that really worried me was the ether. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge. And I knew we'd get into that rotten stuff pretty soon. Probably at the next gas station.
Thanks for the specific examples!
For (1), I could see a simple rule that "SR applies against spells and psionics and so one and so forth," as being a very simple, non-invasive compromise area. Again, though, I've never seen players have too much trouble overcoming SR, so I almost suspect this would be a relative non-issue.
For (2), that's the sort of thing I'm especially curious about. Obviously, from a story standpoint, it's cool to be able to include stuff like "You're not sure how Bob is being controlled. Your detect magic isn't pinging, but your Sense Motive check tells you for sure his mind has been clouded." That's a way to re-introduce mysteries into a game that usually doesn't allow them past a certain point.
Getting Bob loose of his psionic fog might be interesting, too, if they can't just chuck a dispel magic on they guy. Maybe they need to put him in protective custody in a jail cell until he eventually makes the save? Or maybe they need to find another psion to remove the effect?
That said, I can live without the obvious story potentialif it introduces a trojan horse into the game that I'm not seeing.
Saving throws apply to psionics only if transparency is in place.
Huh? Why do all psionic powers become "save: no" without transparency?
Without transparency there are no magical defenses against psionics or vice versa.
Again, what defenses are we talking about? Amulets of spell resistance? No one wants those anyway because they prevent your friends from buffing you.
It would end up being frustrating, IMO. I see creating detect psionics, dispel psionics and anti-psionic sphere spells, while the psion crafts equivalent powers.
I'd see that, too, but still can't quite see why it would automatically be bad for the game. I'm definitely open to being convinced, though.
Here's the problem: without transparency, defenses against psionics become non existent. But I'm sure you realize that.
I guess I don't realize that, or at least not fully. As far as defenses against spells, we have saving throws; regardless of transparency, they apply to both spells and psionics, so they still exist. Likewise for disruption of concentration with held attacks or ongoing damage; it's equally a thing for both magic and psionics, again regardless of transparency. Those are the main two defenses I usually deal with.
I could sort of understand SR being an issue for DMs, but in my experience it's never been hard for spellcasters to overcome anyway -- put that one down as "transparency might apply here."
After those, what other "defenses against psionics" are we looking for? I've never had anyone counterspell in a game, ever, so that's out. Likewise for any player actually antimagic field. Dispel magic for existing effects, sure, but why not have dispel psionics, too?
As to putting in a partial version that becomes far more complicated than all on or all off, and adding complication when it doesn't make the game better for it is not something I do.
I don't see why it would automatically need to be complicated: "No transparency except SR," for example, isn't that complex. I personally probably wouldn't do that for the reasons cited above (never found SR to be all that important anyway), but it's an example to show you where I'm coming from.
OK, here's the thing: I understand that most people consider this to be integral to successfully using psionics in a game, and that if you don't use it, the game will implode. I'd like to explore this, though, with an eye towards (a) why it's necessary; (b) whether it needs to be on/off or if a partial version is possible; and (c) personal gaming anecdotes with/without, focusing on how it worked for you, what was good with it, what problems arose, etc.
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
The only way to make every possible character concept work is to use a system extremely light on crunch.
GURPS is very crunchy and also very flexible in terms of making different character concepts. (Kirthfinder is, too, for that matter, but in a different direction.) The issue is whether the crunch works towards enabling those concepts, or whether it actively impedes them. In 3.0/3.5/PF, it's the latter, but I don't see any reason why that needs to be the case, and, as I pointed out, there are counterexamples demonstrating that it doesn't.
In fact, in a lot of cases in PF, pure fluff gets packaged like crunch and so gets in its own way. Any time you need to spend a feat on simple flavor, your system mechanics are actively impeding your character concept. But there's no reason we couldn't have seventy zillion mechanical feats that actually do mechanical things facilitating concepts, without having them dictate whether or not you're allowed to have cool sunglasses or wear a red cape.
Quark Blast wrote:
I'm saying we have mob rule today. Mobs as a democracy tend to do stupid stuff like elect Adolf Hitler.
Quite the contrary. As much as I hate to echo Comrade Doodles, what we have is a de facto plutocracy. Adolph Hitler (way to Godwin the thread, btw) would never be elected here unless the monied fatcats bought him into the election with their vast PACs of cash. The "mob" only gets to vote for people, and on stuff, that's put in front of them by the people with the purse strings.
Thunder is associated with lightning. I think that sonic energy should be associated with the element of lightning, the way fire energy is associated with the element of fire.
Oh, wait, that doesn't work, either.
And why is water + cold a thing? Because most ice cubes are made of water? Hell, I can make ice cubes out of organge juice...