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Satyr

Kirth Gersen's page

23,760 posts (24,539 including aliases). 8 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 13 aliases.


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I started posting here during the magazine days. It was a tightly-knit community, Paizo's APs (Age of Worms was finishing up, people were gearing up for Savage Tide) were top-notch, and people like James and Erik, whose names we all knew, were always posting. I switched from other systems to 3.0/3.5 solely to play in the Dungeon adventures without having to convert between systems.

After playing Savage Tide, it was clear that martials weren't keeping up at mid- to high-level, but the game was still fun -- mostly because the adventures were so imaginative.

When the print magazines were cancelled, it was a sad day for everyone here. Rise of the Runelords was launched, and I unhesitatingly became a charter subscriber.

Eventually 4e was announced and Paizo did something we thought was audacious at the time: they'd make their own 3.5 variant. A lot of outsiders showed up for the playtest, and a lot of them had a lot of the same suggestions about how to fix the existing, well-known problems with 3.5, but their posting style was often sarcastic and confrontational, and we all hoped they'd go away. And they did, but unfortunately so did their suggestions.

After the Core Rulebook was released, it was clear that none of the problems with 3.5 -- ones that I'd seen in play but didn't want to believe existed -- had been fixed. My home group played, and we were mostly rules people, and we were finding that we were putting too much effort into fighting the rules, and had too little left for actually playing. So we started tweaking them, and eventually rewrote them all -- new action economy, martials that kept up, multiclassing that worked, a lot of extraneous sub-systems standardized. But despite the tweaks, it was still essentially Pathfinder, and we still bought and used Paizo adventures, and it was all good.

With time, though, the divergence between their rules and ours has grown, because the design philosophies are so opposed.

I find that I no longer really want to play Pathfinder -- too much effort as a DM to get it to work, and too much effort as a player to get the mechanics to even vaguely support most character concepts. I'm sitting with a new group now that uses PF as a base because they're tired of new editions, but even they have a number of house rules to keep the game from being too far off from what they want to play, and the DM strenuously enforces a 2e "feel" and playstyle, and so it's still clear that we're fighting the system, not working with it, in order to get the play experience we want.

So that's where I am. I'm here because I've been here so long I think of the Paizo boards as a home away from home. I still like their adventures for the most part, which is what drew me to here to begin with. I just don't really dig their game rules.


M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3
Korynne the Well Read wrote:
This takes place the following morning right? I may wish to prepare new spells. I could have easily topped off any wounds with my remaining uses of channel energy, too, if necessary.

Yes, exactly. I'm assuming you're all healed up, and can prepare/recover spells.


M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

Jym's player has a tendency to kill off other players' PCs when he finally gets his hands on their character sheets...


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Limeylongears wrote:
I have also been reading 'Titus Alone' by Maeve Gilmour

I thought Mervyn Peake wrote the original trilogy himself, and his wife only the sequel, Titus Awakes?


Dunno if I've already used this one: one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite movies:

"You guys look... benevolent!"


Profession Smith 6 ranks wrote:
#3. TV Show (paraphrasing from memory): "It's amazing how much glass you can eat when you don't fill up on roughage."

Super Dave Osborne! The one you're quoting was one of the funniest bits on television... "I should be stopping... and I'm not!" *BAM!*

Can't remember if that was on Bizarre or on Super Dave's spinoff show.


I'd potentially be willing to run a Kirthfinder game, if there's sufficient interest. I'm in Bear Creek Village.

P.S. Free beer at every session!


Yeah, the old B&W original one: The Island of Lost Souls, with Charles Laughton (as Dr. Moreau) and Bela Lugosi (as the "Sayer of the Law"). That movie is a classic!


M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

Jym thinks quickly.

You think you know a place associated with the exotic animals black market, and immediately cross that off the list -- if these were from there, it would cause too many questions to bring them back! There's a better place, though -- old Lord Pomerol, dead for some years, used to keep an aviary and, as far as you know, it remains empty. Better still, it's on the same end of town as the Blue Nixie. Looking around, you quickly see that all the animals with broken cages are either dead or escaped, and the remaining critters, maybe six or eight total, can be easily carried away (in fact, several birds share a cage, making that easier).

It also occurs to you that you could simply open the cages and let the birds and monkeys go, which would spare a lot of leg work.

As you're pondering this, you hear yells of disgust from your second cousin Raffaello's cleaning crew up above -- they've apparently found that the "bit of blood" you described is a bit more than they reckoned on.


"What is the law? Not to eat meat. Not to drink blood. Are we not men?"


M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

Finding a buyer will take some time; as it is, it's getting towards evening, and you have an appointment to meet Lady Vanderboren again in the morning, to go check out the vault.


M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

She most definitely does not.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I still fill out character sheets with a pencil, so I'm not the guy to ask!


7 people marked this as a favorite.
GreyWolfLord wrote:
Not that anyone who really is a scientist or concerned with the science seems to be reading the thread.

Ahem.

Spoiler:
I'm currently a professional hydrogeologist. Incidentally, in the 90s I designed and taught an experimental high school course on Atmospheric Science & Climatology, in cooperation with the NASA Langley Research Center.

Cerberus Seven wrote:
These examples given of legendary heroes from folklore in America, ancient Greece or China, etc. are good ideas for what those abilities should look like. My question is, what's the demarcation line between mortal and mythic martials? What should be strictly in the realm of demigods of battle and cunning rather than available to the paragons of mortal skill and strength? I'd like to hear everyone's take on how we avoid going too far to the point the base martial abilities eclipse mythic ones. First person to bring up dragonpeople, fists, or stone columns gets launched to the current favorited location of the comment referenced above.

Fighters should graduate into mythical status as they gain levels into the double digits. A 17th level wizard is like unto a god, given the things they can do. I see no reason that a 17th level fighter shouldn't be a demigod.

If you don't want those kinds of abilities, stick to lower levels. If you want fighters to be mortal all the way to level 20, really what you're doing is making each of the lower levels pull double duty -- so do the same for the casters (which means only 1 free spell/level for wizards, and they'd finally get [maximum] 5th level spells at 18th level).


Misroi wrote:
I loved Reynolds as Wade Wilson, and didn't care about him as Hal.

He played an NFL quarterback turned coach? I missed that one.


LazarX wrote:
Then what exactly is "straight sci-fi"?

See the other examples I listed. Context clues are your friends.

Stright sci-fi doesn't include a locked-room mystery.
Straight sci-fi doesn't include genies and wizards.
A number of Niven's other stories do include those things.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Freehold DM wrote:
But after that last...uh..green lantern...whatever it was, if that schmoe can be jordan, why can't this guy have a chance to f%## up a movie?

I really liked Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan. What I didn't like was that the directing, storyline, pacing, script, and cinematography all sucked moose dick.


Dr. Evil wrote:
Using these "lasers," we punch a hole in the protective layer around the Earth, which we scientists call the "Ozone Layer." Slowly but surely, ultraviolet rays would pour in, increasing the risk of skin cancer.
Number Two wrote:
That also already has happened.

One man's hyperbole...


LazarX wrote:
I can't see how magically hard transparent space hulls that are absolutely invulnerable would register to anyone as "hard sci-fi".

I said "stright sci-fi." I never characterized his scifi as being especially "hard."


3 people marked this as a favorite.
RDM42 wrote:
Well, of course - if you design the scenario to specifically take away all salient class features from the fighter but leave the wizard or sorcerer the use of all of his ...

Sadly, that describes almost every scenario in D&D except (a) a toe-to-toe stand still slugfest, or (b) an antimagic zone.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

Wait... it requires a specialized 20th level fighter, built specifically for that purpose, to defeat a kobold?


M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

Treating as a bull rush: Uro's CMB is also +5; gem armadillo's CMD is -2. You punt it 5 ft. for beating its CMD, and another 25 ft. for beating its CMD by 25, for 30 ft. total. It viciously bites at your foot as you kick it: 1d20 ⇒ 181d4 - 1 ⇒ (4) - 1 = 3

The sad little critter makes a forlorn splash in the harbor, and starts trying to doggy-paddle about, but it's clear that the thing is not a strong swimmer. In any event, its telepathic influence vanishes, leaving Uro wondering what put him into such a rage. His ankle kind of hurts where the thing nipped it.


M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3
Gwlybwr wrote:

Gwlybwr's tenatively complete.

Feedback is always welcome.

Haven't done a careful check of the math yet, but on the surface, the character looks really good. I especially like how you're synergizing spear feats, and of course I appreciate the "insert free DM hook here" in the background.

As a side note, I'm aware that the sustenance sutra needs to be beefed up at the "superior" step, but I'm still at a loss for what to add without stepping on the affliction-reducing sutra. Luckily, we've got a few levels to go before we need to worry about that.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Wrath wrote:

Kirth talks about the hidden rules breaking at tables like that is the only reason people don't see this issue he has.

Classic mistake of assuming everyone plays the same way.

What about those of us who don't play that way yet still see no issue?

So far, pretty much all the people who see no issue have agreed with the list of "gentleman's agreements" (aka "secret rule-breaking") that we're talking about -- whether overtly or in terms of their own play lining up with what I'd outlined. Every cry of "our DM fixes it" is a point in that category.

But I don't in any way assume that everyone plays that way -- indeed, my point is that the different outcomes are a direct result of different playstyles. Some people play by straight RAW, for example. Those are, overwhelmingly, the people who do have a problem with the disparity. I don't think that's a coincidence.

And there are people like me, who have no problem because they've constructed written house rules to address the problems.


As a contrast to the all-caster teams, I saw what happened when I tried Legacy of Fire with a martial-heavy team: 1 barbarian, 1 fighter, 1 bard, and 1 ranger/cleric -- no full casters. At low levels they did fine. By mid-level (8th) they were getting curb-stomped by pretty much everything that came their way; the ranger/cleric stopped taking ranger levels, and lamented the ones he had, and the barbarian wanted to retrain as a sorcerer. It was pretty ugly.


M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

Korynne feels the same, in any event.

Spoiler:
Apparently whatever it's doing is a telepathic thing, not a gaze effect.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

That's a favorite down here in Texas. Any day the temperature falls below 60oF, I know with near-certainty that 99% of everyone I meet will say, apropos to nothing, "How's that for GLOBAL WARMING?!"


Tormsskull wrote:

If we were aiming for a completely realistic experience here, the PCs would be killed with virtually no chance of survival as soon as these evil and very powerful enemies learned of their existence.

That wouldn't be fun, so we don't do that. We assume that the PCs escape notice or there is some plot reason why the evil guys don't just show up and wipe the floor with the PCs.

Or, ideally, we have a set of written rules in which the means to gain advance knowledge of enemies, and the means to wipe them out preemptively, are not abilities that are explicitly handed out at level X.

In other words, that don't include the stuff we know we're not going to allow anyway.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Tormsskull wrote:
Is "the enemies/NPCs can use your same tactics against you" out-of-rules consequences?

The very poster child. A perennial favorite is the "don't use scry-and-fry, and the bad guys won't either." The fact is, the rules give casters the ability to do that, and the logical extension is a game world in which the winners are the ones who do it first. No one would logically hold off just because someone else might gain the ability "in a few more levels." No one would specialize in other, less effective forms of warfare (like hacking your way past minions with a sword). It's totally absurd, from an in-game standpoint, but it's an agreement that most people hold to anyway.

But it doesn't HAVE to be that way -- and this is my point. For example, I have a written house rule, that X number of inches of solid stone breaks teleportation and scrying effects. Now scry-and-fry on the bad guy in the dungeon is a no-go. Likewise, him doing it to the PCs in their castle is a non-starter. As an added bonus, we now have a logical explanation as to why the landscape is littered with castles and dungeons, which would otherwise seem fairly pointless. And, best of all, the rule is in-place before play begins, so everyone is on the same page, and it doesn't pop up arbitrarily or inconsistently. I'm at a loss as to why the actual rules don't have anything similar, and instead require people to "just say no" to what is otherwise a totally rules-legal tactic.

Whenever possible, I believe that the written rules should support the game you want to play, not work against it.


10 people marked this as a favorite.

These may not be complete, but the unspoken rules seem to be as follows:

(1) Casters must never steal the spotlight. If you can end a combat with a spell combination, don't. Instead, cast most of your spells so that the martials look good -- even if it's not really necessary to have them along, you must always pretend it is. This means that you don't save up explosive runes traps, and you don't use armies of simulacra, and you don't send planar bound critters to do all the fighting -- because gentlemen just don't do those things.

(2) Follow the railroad. Artificial timelines and endless series of combat encounters are what make martials look good, and they're also the most easily avoided situations, once casters start really using their spells. So don't. Don't use divinations, don't bypass encounters, don't change the playing field. Ignore the temptation to solve problems through solutions other than combat.

(3) If casters forget the first two rules, the DM's job is to remind them. Arbitrarily add restrictions or drawbacks to spells, or threaten out-of-rules consequences for using them, or, in extreme cases, declare outright that every dungeon is in an antimagic field. Give the martials all kinds of narrative abilities through "role playing" that the rules don't actually give them, and minimize the same for the casters.

(4) Every episode needs a contrived underwater element to make Aquaman seem like a full member of the Justice League. It's the DM's job to contrive to make the martials look good, regardless of how much that damages suspension of disbelief.

(5) Ignore that the game is based on mechanical underpinnings. Play Magical Tea Party as much as possible. The DM should fudge dice rolls at will, or even ignore them outright. The DM should alter stats mid-encounter as needed, or alter monster tactics (usually choosing to make them do really dumb things like run up next to the fighter and stand there to get full-attacked). Above all, the DM should always ignore actual written rules in favor of ruling that things "sound reasonable" or don't -- and what's reasonable is what supports these unspoken rules.

I think those pretty well capture the mind-set; certainly they summarize how I used to play, once upon a time, and how most of the people who started around the same time still seem to play.


Indeed. I'd be quick to point out that, taking into account all of the loops we're aware of, including the seemingly contradictory ones (clouds, reefs -- kudos to thejeff for correctly pointing out the latter), and taking into account which ones are major and which are more minor (as Irontruth explained just above), leads to the conclusion that anthropogenic climate change is occurring.

I point out the number and complexity of the loops not to try and give the deniers an "out," but to close one off. Every time someone ignores any part of the science to try and drive home the point that climate forcing is real, they give ammunition to the nay-sayers.

Yeah, real life systems can be complicated. I'd like to believe that they way to convince people, ultimately, is to help them make sense of the complicated parts -- not to dumb it down and try and sweep the complexities under the rug.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
bookrat wrote:
A lot of people forget that pathfinder, at its core, is just a series of mathematical formulas where probabilities can be calculated.

I think that a lot of people violate the rules willy-nilly, in many cases without even being consciously aware that they're doing so, and that leads them to believe that the math is either wrong or nonexistent. Say the tax rate is 30% on the $60K you make. Not including deductions (which are themselves subject to calculation), you'd be paying $18K, leaving $42K of that 60. That's straight math.

However, a lot of people (Wesley Snipes comes to mind, although his numbers are a lot higher) just don't pay that. Some of those people might even have cousin Joe-Bob as the judge, who throws out the case entirely. So they never see that income tax is a thing; they come to believe that the tax laws are arbitrary and can be fudged at will, and in more extreme cases they insist that no one else needs to pay taxes, either. In their case, that $18K in taxes is not an accurate number. Their number might be 0, and cousin Joe-Bob might let them pay 0.

But that doesn't change the situation for the people who are actually following the RAW, and/or who have a judge who expects them to be followed.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Wrath wrote:

Caster only? Maybe.

Why don't you guys try that at 10 points and see how it goes?
I think a mixed party would be much better but we all know my opinion on that.

We can point out that falling off a cliff is likely to injure a person, without needing to try it ourselves. I can have the opinion that people can magically feather fall in real life, but that's a less likely claim, given our understanding of the laws of nature. In these sorts of things, the burden of proof falls on the claims that require more assumptions that violate the known rules.

We know the Pathfinder rules; they're not hidden. We know that point-buy allows wizards to jack up their Int, and hence their number of spells, spell save DCs, etc. (not to mention their number of skill points), to values that far exceed the CR-appropriate numbers listed in the Bestiary. We know that a low point-buy (e.g., 10 points) does not allow martial stats that enable them to keep up with the CR-appropriate combat numbers listed in the Bestiary. None of this is assumption; it's inescapable, based on the written rules.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
CBDunkerson wrote:
As increased CO2 causes warming there will be less snow and ice... which means more sunlight hitting darker land and ocean rather than being reflected off of white snow and ice. That means more sunlight absorbed... and thus even MORE heat than just from the CO2 increase alone. This is called a 'positive feedback'... the...

The problem with climate is that there are a very large number of feedback loops, some positive (like the albedo one pointed out in your quote above) and some negative. For example:

  • More CO2 -> more heat trapped by CO2 -> warmer climate (+)
  • More CO2 -> more plant growth -> more CO2 used by plants -> cools back down (-)
  • More CO2 -> more water vapor -> more heat trapped -> warmer (+)
  • More CO2 -> higher sea levels -> spurred growth for corals, etc. due to new habitat -> more CO2 sequestered in CaCO3 -> cools back down (-)
  • Warmer climate -> ice melts -> lower albedo -> warms more (+)
  • Warmer climate -> ice melts -> trapped methane released -> more heat trapped -> climate warms more (+)
  • Warmer climate -> less burning gas, etc. for heat -> less CO2 released (-)
  • Warmer climate -> more clouds -> low clouds trap heat -> warmer climate (+)
  • Warmer climate -> more clouds -> high clouds reflect heat (increased albedo) -> cooler climate (-)

    That's just off the top of my head. The climate models are controversial because of the number of these feedback loops and their complexity in interacting with one another. It's not safe (nor accurate) to point out an example of a positive feedback loop and imply that all the loops are positive, however.


  • I like Niven because he can competently handle a variety of genres.

    The "Gil the ARM" stories are sci-fi, sociological, and are also well-plotted mystery stories.
    The "Beowulf Shaeffer" stories are straight sci-fi.
    The "Warlock" stories are exemplary fantasy.


    4 people marked this as a favorite.

    It comes up occasionally in my home campaign, and one of the things I try to make sure of is that there's no monolithic (or even binary) opinions on it. When you've got a multitude of intelligent races, not all of which reproduce as humans do (or even have recognizable male/female genders), then attitudes are going to be all over the place, and I try to convey that.

    We had a fun time when a goblin asked an elf if she was a lesbian, and then realized the elven language didn't have a word for that, and the elf couldn't understand why that would even be considered a distinctive thing -- when it was explained, she finally replied, "Is it kind of like having a separate word for 'not having blue eyes'?"


    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

    Korynne takes a deep breath and looks away from Uro for a moment.

    Spoiler:
    Her gaze lands on the armadillo -- something about its smug expression strikes a cord in her. It's messing with our minds, she thinks. It's probably what got the bug so riled up.


    9 people marked this as a favorite.
    Wrath wrote:
    I once read a post by James Jacobs who state that players who were interested in powergaming like this should play in hard mode. 10 points, no stat less than 8 before racials. It was his way of challenging their ability to play the game without taking 25 points of uber madness and every possible class dip and feat chain you can get.

    This goes right back to the issue -- and Paizo's inability to see it. 10 PB isn't "hard mode" -- it's "full casters only" mode. Saying "no class dips or feat chains" at that point is wasted breath, because full casters don't want class dips, and they don't need feat chains.


    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

    Not quite!


    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

    As a side note, Aux, I just noticed your Rappan Athuk thread -- silverhair2008 there was one of the Kirthfinder Alpha playtesters, along with our own Andostre (who popped in for parts of the Beta playtesting as well).

    Sorry, Kevin Bacon moment there.


    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

    Stats aren't too bad, either.


    I do dig baroque, I have to admit.

    And sometimes when I'm listening to Iron Maiden (esp. their Somewhere in Time-era stuff) I mentally edit out one guitar and replace it with a string section playing the same thing, and imagine the second guitar or vocals is a woodwind section, and maybe slow down the tempo a bit, and voila!, a new classical symphony.


    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

    That is... one bizarre concept. I give you bonus points just for that! And the fact that you made it work mechanically --

    Spoiler:
    with a nod to the 1e kuo-toa monitor besides
    -- is even cooler. Approved.


    Cyrad wrote:
    But saying your weapon deafens you when you use it is just a punch in the face.

    What's more, it exacerbates the problem rather than fixing it. The character, being deaf, can't easily participate in conversations and so on -- so the only thing he can do is shoot stuff. So he'll do that more, not less, because you've cut off a number of his other options.


    ErisAcolyte-Chaos jester wrote:

    House rule that he can aim OR rapid shot, since he would probably be half blind and deaf if he actually did that.

    And guns are LOUD. Rapidly firing a revolver while using deadly aim should be VERY bad for your ears. You probably go deaf in a few days of action.

    If you're going to introduce house rules intended solely to nerf a particular class, the time to do so is before the characters are rolled up. It's an unbelievable dick move to say to the wizard, mid-game, "Oh, by the way, you now take damage equal to 1d6 + 1d6/spell level every time you cast an enchantment spell, and casting illusions causes you to go insane." By the same token, introducing the recommended rules above, mid-game, will cause a lot of players to seriously think twice about staying with that DM -- who knows what's next?


    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

    Uro knows all of the birds and monkeys -- he's seen them before, trapped many of them, and even eaten some of them. However, he knows their habits, habitat, and flavor -- Korynne knows their correct names and full geographic ranges.

    Korynne also recognizes the (now dead) horned rabbit as an al-mi'raj, a magical creature native to the deserts far to the west. They are fearless and make good familiars, but are otherwise relatively unintelligent and prone to unpredictable behavior, sometimes attacking for no good reason.

    She thinks the bug is some kind of arachnid, and feels like she could put her finger on it if she had access to a proper library.

    Everyone is drawing a blank on the armadillo, which stares lazily at you with something like intelligence.

    Korynne:

    Spoiler:
    You get the strong feeling that Uro wants to kill you so that he can keep the armadillo for himself. DC 15 Intuition save, please.

    Uro:
    Spoiler:
    You're pretty sure Korynne knows all the animals because she's in on the smuggling. She's just pretending not to know about the bug. In fact, she may have commanded it to attack you! DC 15 Intuition save, please.


    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

    Awesome!

    As an added bonus, I'll email or PM you monster conversions as we go, if you like.


    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3
    Jym Withawye wrote:
    Are you okay if I review Jym's spells known, in that case?

    Go right ahead!


    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3
    Kelgan Cragbelly wrote:
    I'm interested in Savage Tide, as its something I've wanted to run for a while. I'm especially interested in your bestiary work, as that would certainly simplify conversions.

    If you haven't read to much of the AP, it seems we're short one player just now and the others might be looking to recruit someone...

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