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Kydeem de'Morcaine's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 3,619 posts (6,947 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 6 Pathfinder Society characters. 11 aliases.

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As far as the GM is concerned, the questionable decision is at the start. I would very actively discourage someone from playing a paladin in a group that is trying to do an infiltration of an illegal operation. The way most people seem to play paladins just invites trouble in this sort of situation.

Other than that. Killing the other PC may or may not be an alignment infraction. If the GM is going to try and impose things like that for a divine caster, the 2 of you should define the limits of what your deity/religion/order/church/cabal/cult dictate for behavior.

Some GM's will say PvP is an alignment shift just to discourage PvP. If that is what is happening, I would say that the other guy exposing our operation is the start of the PvP situation.

Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:

You know that expression "When all you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail" ?

This whole issue in your party is a source of dramatic tension. This could be an incredible game in progress.

Try to step back out of the character's perspective for a moment and ask what the story needs, rather than what you want.

The dramatic tension between your investigation and another PC's actions is great for the story! Embrace it.

But just because your character sheet is a long list of killing powers does not mean that killing or even violence is the solution.

Interact with this conflict. Take action, but don't finalize it. Try to stop or work around the other PC, don't just draw steel and stab him.

But, as far as I can see, this isn't a "questionable call" on the GM's part -- this could be a great game happening right before your eyes. All you need is a little shift in perspective.

I like your take on this. It could really add to the campaign.

But it only works if everyone is willing. If one guy is just being a jerk and you try to make it part of the story, he wins. So he will almost certainly escalate the jerk-ish behavior.

I haven't been at this particular table, so I can't say in this case. I think it is pretty obvious that the OP thinks the person is being a jerk.

I guess I would suggest to have an out-of-game discussion with the guy about how the 2 of you can make it a part of the campaign without ruining the campaign.

If that doesn't work? Honestly, I'd just find a new game. A person that is trying to be a jack-hole will always succeed. I have too little leisure time to waste it dealing with something like that.

Kazaan wrote:
Marcus Robert Hosler wrote:
Regardless, the GM is always right from a rules perspective. The GM's words are the rules...
Incorrect. The GM is "the final arbiter when it comes to rules". That does not, in any way, form, or shape, translate to "he is always right" or "his words are the rules". His job in the game is to arbitrate. He is, in effect, President or Prime Minister of the game; he runs it, he doesn't own it. It belongs to the entire play group and he is only one individual among several in that group; maybe an individual with a very particular job, but an individual none the less. The GM is not your King, your Emperor, nor your God. He is another player in the game who has a specific job in the game. Period.

I disagree to a certain extent. I definitely disagree with your exaggeration. Nobody claimed he was King, Emperor, or God except you. With only slight hyperbole, I might not have problem with saying he is the President of the campaign. Whether some people want to admit it or not, the President is not an autocrat and his/her powers are severely limited. And if too many bad things happen under his/her watch, he/she won't be President too much longer.

Generally speaking the GM has significantly more time, money, responsibility, and effort invested in a campaign than all of the players combined. I have no problem saying it is his campaign and world. I think most good GM's get a lot of input from their players on what will happen, goals, house rules, etc... but it is their decision.

I would also use the word 'task' rather than 'job' unless of course you are planning to pay him/her. Most people associate 'job' with paid employment.

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Lamontius wrote:


and I stopped reading after the part about you all pooping on another character

Well I doubt we would actually do that (though with some gamers it's difficult to be sure). But if someone has an Oread so that he looks like a statue... All bets are off.

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Hama wrote:
You can try reserving the first hour and a half of the session to BS, and declare that after that you have to play.

One of our group likes to cook (I consider him insane) so he normally fixes dinner for the group. So we try and keep most of the BS and socializing contained within the 30 minutes or so while we are munching.

Triphoppenskip wrote:
Bacon666 wrote:
A mystery game is fun, but if it turns out to be a mystery between clowns in a circus... Expectations aren't met.
Yeah the story can and should dictate a lot of the characters' reactions. We are playing two different APs at the moment. We are starting Book 2 of Second Darkness and so far the lack of seriousness hasn't been a real issue. But we are well into Book 3 of Carrion Crown and that's the one that's really ruining my immersion. I'm a big horror fan and I love horror themed campaigns but I'm having a hard time enjoying this as much as I should because we have made it less Lovecraft and More Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein.

Some of this could just be related to the bolded part. I personally like playing a serious campaign, but to me horror themed stuff is just not serious.

I am not a big fan of horror movies/stories. Most of the things people try to do for horror; I just find to be annoying, frustrating, perplexing, or occasionally even childish.

Some examples I have run across in GM attempts at horror games.
1) GM described some foe in very exacting detail. Turns out he was trying to let us know it was the monster from some old horror movie and we had to kill it the same illogical way they did in that movie. None of the players had ever seen the movie.
2) The GM will use horror or insanity checks. Ok, I've been fighting undead for 12 levels but at the sight of this ghoul eating someone I don't know I'm suddenly going to run screaming into the night?
3) Haunts that you have to figure out what bizzare even led to their forming. I usually can't figure out how determine what happened. So there can't really be any horror. We put up a sign that there is a problem here and move on before it resets.
4) GM described how the evil figure was running his land. Eventually I said "So basically he has some power but acts like a spoiled 12 year old? Got it."

That doesn't even begin to get into the mechanics. Most of the things that seem like they could be horrifying actually aren't because raise dead, restoration, heal, and remove X are all so easy for even a mid level PC to get cast.

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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Yeah, it always seems like the people who think casters need gear, and the people who think there's no martial/caster disparity, are also the people who don't really think too hard about what casters can really do if they forget about the school of evocation and instead start really looking at divinations and conjuration spells, and what their potential is.

I am perfectly aware that there is a disparity between casters and martials at high level. I am not convinced it is quite as bad as some people think unless the GM lets the players get away with more than I believe they should. But yes, it is clearly present in the system.

However, I also tend to not usually play to the highest levels. So that also mitigates the problem somewhat. I think the system tends to break down in many respects (not just the martial/caster disparity) at the highest levels. So we usually find ourselves arguing, bargaining, adjucating more than actually playing the game. Plus most AP's end at approximately level 15.

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Things like this are why I very rarely allow evil PC's. Most groups have at least one person that doesn't know how to handle it.

Unless you and every single one of the players seem to be having a good time, I would say, "Rocks fall everyone dies."
"Now make new PC's that are not at all similar to your current PC's.
No evil PC's.
PvP will not be tolerated."

If everyone is having fun, it's a different story. But from you description, I would guess that is not the case.

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Uncontrolled fire is still one of the most dangerous events for even modern mostly steel ships.

In WWII most gunfire destroyed ships were actually lost when the gunfire started fires that the crew could no longer control. It took something special or a really big explosion to sink a ship before it could burn.

An immovable rod place in the correct location would be amusing.

Ironclad's would be much more vulnerable to fire than modern ships.

Summoned monsters messing with the propulsion, drilling holes, or attaching sea anchors to the underside of the ship would be a good idea.

Bags of alchemical weapons.

Ramming would always do significant damage. Just takes a harder impact than plain wood. Adamantine tip on the ramming prow.

Spells that come quickly to mind are:

Fireball, flame arrow, or Scortching Ray (duh)
Shatter damages objects, so pick a weak point (keel or tiller) to keep hitting
Grease the controls
Pyrotechnics (especiailly if someone can infiltrate to the engine)
Returning Weapon on your adamantine ballista bolts
Flaming Sphere rolling around on the deck should start fires.
Confusion on crew
Magic Siege Engine (duh)
True Strike, Gravity Bow, Ricochet Shot, Reloading Hands, and Abundant Ammunition (decide if you rule that it can work on siege engines)
Dispel Magic on the engine
Water Walk on marines to board enemy ship
Tar Ball
Wood Warp
Quench on engine
Stinking Cloud (or even Obscuring Mist) through port holes to make conditions inside unworkable
Shrink Item on a hugantic adamantine returning ballista bolt
Edit: Can't believe I forgot Heat/Chill Metal

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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
I'm old enough to remember horror stories where DMs insisted that the players of bards had to actually make up and sing a song on the spot each time they cast a spell or used Bardic music; if they didn't then the spell/ability automatically failed.

Yeah, long ago I played one session with a DM that insisted bards real life sing (actually he assumed anyone playing a bard would have a bunch of songs ready to go) and casters had to chant in fake latin. He was seemingly amazed that he had a table full of only fighters and thieves.

I stayed the afternoon just to see how bad it got. Was pretty amazingly ridiculous.

LordSynos wrote:
Diplomacy Tangent** spoiler omitted **...

I nearly always appreciate a discussion with someone that is not doing the forum equivalent of foaming at the mouth. Thankyou.

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LordSynos wrote:
... So, if I was to say, "I remind the Baron of his duty to the people living in his lands, and appeal to his sense of honour to fulfill said duty" would that be enough for you? ...

Yup. Now if the player (not the PC) is capable of it, I encourage and think it helps the RP experience for everyone if more detail is given. But I do not require it, especially not for an introverted or socially-challenged player (I fit at least somewhat in both those categories).

LordSynos wrote:
... Relatedly, if said Baron was dishonourable, ignoble, and generally lousy (possibly Baron Von Evil), would the same argument be able to work, or would you give the character a penalty for the player trying to make that argument and failing to read their audience? ...

If it was well known that the baron had those traits, I’d say something like, “ You can do that if you want, but with 7 ranks in diplomacy, you know the baron doesn’t care a rats behind about honor and duty so the argument is likely to fail.” If the PC still takes that approach (maybe he just wants to be able to say he tried without succeeding) I’d give him some penalty like -4 or more on the check.

If it was not well known that the baron had those traits, I’d require a sense motive or knowledge local to figure it out.

LordSynos wrote:
... I'm going to bring it back to skills quickly, because Diplomacy is a skill. If someone says "I use Disable Device to disarm the trap" do you ask what tools they use? I don't imagine you do, because knowing the Disable Device skill lets your character know what the right tool for the job is, even if the player wouldn't. If they use Handle Animal, do you ask how they approach and attempt to control the animal? If they use Heal, do you ask how they treat the wounds? ...

In prior versions, it was very common for most GM’s to require things like that. “I look around the mantle for a hidden lever. I first toss the dog a piece of raw fatty meat, then approach without making challenging direct eye contact. First I will bind any arterial bleeding then look for discoloration around any wounds that might indicate poison. Etc…” Again, if the player (not the PC) is capable of it, I encourage and think it helps the RP experience for everyone if more detail is given. But few of us require it any longer (there are still a few old school GM’s that do). I would guess primarily because it burned a lot of table time with only once player AND it rarely had any effect on how the story would advance.

What you do (or don’t do) with diplomacy very well might have an effect on how the story advances. Did you flirt with someone who will be upset that you didn’t follow through? Did you convince the guildmaster that it would be to his own financial advantage, but his business is in ruins? Did you convince the duchess that it would make her famous, then bankroll a bard to write a play to help make sure she really did become famous? Those can all have very different long and short term effects that can’t be guessed at by “I rolled diplomacy.”

LordSynos wrote:
... In the above scenario, that's what my points in Diplomacy is supposed to represent. My character is trained, skilled, at the art of winning people over. A good Diplomacy check represents not only winning someone over, but knowing exactly what to say/do to win someone over. The warrior with 5 weapons needs to succeed at a Knowledge check to figure out which of their 5 weapons to use. For Diplomacy, Diplomacy is the skill to figure that out. And at that point, you'd be making them roll twice for the same thing. "I, the player, don't know what will appeal to this person, I roll Diplomacy to figure out how best to win them over", rolls well, "The Baron is a cruel and selfish man, appeal to his pride, or his greed over lost taxes", "Okay, I do that", rolls again. ...

No problem with that except that I think sometimes a sense motive or knowledge local might be more appropriate to know what approach to take. Seems like diplomacy would let you know how to appeal to the earl’s pride. But a sense motive might better tell you if an appeal to pride is advisable.

LordSynos wrote:
... Ah, I don't know. I wouldn't roll into town and say "I roll Diplomacy at the King!". ...

Some of us have had players do EXACTLY that. Then get very upset when asked for some thing more.

LordSynos wrote:

... But if I, the player, have to figure out exactly what approach my character needs to take (such as "this guy's a jerk, don't try and appeal to his sense of honour"), and then figure out vague terms for how to phrase such, to win someone over, I'll continue to avoid the face characters and charisma skills. I'm sure if I was the kind of person that could figure that out (A) I'd be able to argue my point here better and (B) I wouldn't be arguing my point here, because if I didn't have that issue, I wouldn't see the problem.

My main frustration with this comes from my own experiences in roleplaying, where saying "I attempt to win the [person of interest] over with charm" or "I buy the [person of interest] some drinks, and attempt to get them to spill the beans on [activity of interest] under the guise of sociable chat" is met with "But what do you actually say?" which effectively renders all points in Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, and every other social skill, meaningless, because, if I, the player, cannot figure out what to say, all those points my character possesses, representing years of training and experience, are worthless. ...

I have had a couple of GM’s like that over the years. Wasn’t a lot of fun for me either. I would posit that very few of us are requiring that level of detail. Again, if the player (not the PC) is capable of it, I encourage and think it helps the RP experience for everyone if more detail is given. But I don’t require it. I do generally require more than “I roll diplomacy.”

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The point that some people make is that the huge bonuses that a bard can give seem a bit over the top for a performance.

Give green, terrified, broken, troops a slight increase in morale? Yes that is reasonable for an inspiring speech or commands. But it isn't going to do much other than annoy experienced elite veteran troops. And PC's (by mid levels) are supposedly beyond all but superheroes, but it is expected to suddenly make them perform better?

Have a war chant that throughout history has presaged great victories and the massacre of the defeated? Yeah ok, that might terrify raw green troops or even upset veteran troops that have experience with that foe. But JimmyJoe over there stands behind the fighters and he does a musical/martial kata so well that veterans (nearly as experienced as the PC's who are superheroes) suddenly lose all control of their bowels? Sorry, no I'm not buying it. It is just too far past my suspension of disbelief.

If the authors way back at the beginning editions had described it as a sound based illusion magic based on the caster level with buff effects and debuff effects with a saving throw, I'd probably be just fine with it. And I know some GM's and players refluff it as sonic based magic, but some of us can't stop remembering that it is still performance (dance) or performance (flute) that is supposed to have all these staggering effects.

I don't ban bards and I don't give them a hard time at the table. But I can't play them myself and internally I can only sigh when players describe all these amazing results of performance (comedy).

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LordSynos wrote:

I didn't think there was much room for diplomacy in wargames? Or back story, or world building, or unique personalities for the character you play, or, well, roleplaying? Because I enjoy all of those things.

But if you want to convince the local Lord to send aid to some hamlet about to be smashed by Orcs, or bluff the King of Thieves into breaking into some vault for you, GM's suddenly expect you to be some great orator, or spin a convincing yarn. The same thing can't be said for any other skill set.

If someone wants to pick a lock, do you get them to produce a set of lockpicks and pick the lock of something, or they get a -10? Climb something or a -10 to Climb checks? Be able to recite the Bestiary from memory or take a -10 on Knowledge checks? And if no, why then do you do so to Diplomacy?

This is why the famed "murderhobos" are so common. Charisma/Diplomacy is the only skill set where GM's punish you for not having those skills in real life. Of course no one is inclined to take them.

I won't speak for Hamma.

I don't require a player to be a skilled orator. But I at least want some sense of what they are trying.

"I'll use the parable of the witches and demons to show that cooperation will improve both situations better than the continual backstabbing."
"I will flirt with the baron and mention that real exciting men of power succeed rather than just complaining about having to do something."
"He's a pragmatic guy, so I will build an argument to logically show how supporting the villages will eventually strengthen his position with the council."

Would all work for me. No, the 40+ male doesn't have to successfully roleplay an adolescent female elf flirting with the baron. But it vastly helps me to know that is what the character is doing. (The first time that happened it was rich, since the PC's didn't know it but the baron was the town pedophile and the PC just became a target.)

The "I got a 27 on the diplomacy roll" gives me absolutely nothing to work with. I have had players that only roll with no information, then get upset at how I interpreted the actions. "What? No! I wouldn't tell stupid stories. I just use diplomacy!"

When attacking many players often do give more descriptive info. "I run him through with a spear thrust." At the very least they will tell what weapon they are using and full attack, charge attack, bull rush, flanking, etc...

Swinging wildly about the head or stabbing for the gut helps keep the feel of the game but are not strictly necessary, since it doesn't likely affect the advancement of the story. But I think most can see how whether the PC is using unfulfilled flirtation, logical persuasiveness, or an emotional appeal could affect how the story advances.

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Mark Hoover wrote:


Also I was getting backstory from this guy in pieces. That's one thing that irks me in games: I ask for a backstory. I hand out questions to new players and I work with folks who want my help. ...

Sometimes I have a really difficult time coming up with a personality and backstory until I've actually played a character for a while. I have a build concept I like, but I just can't seem to decide how he should behave or what his motivations would be. Then as I start to move him around, a personality develops. Then I start thinking "What in the past could have warped him to have those priorities?"

I had a GM in the past who wanted (and made use of) our backstories and personalities. But he would normally wait until we had adventured a little bit into the storyline before asking for them. Usually after the first mission or level advancement. It seemed to work out very well.

Other times it is the exact opposite. The backstory, leads to the personality, which leads to the build. Ok, this guy hates undead for devastating the village a couple generations ago making him grow up in poverty when his family used to be wealthy and powerful. He joined the church not because the is really all that devoted to Sarenrae, but because they are the most universally anti-undead group he knows of. Not really a priest type, he'll become an oracle. Ok most undead killing would probably be a channeling life oracle. Etc...

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Just read the article.

Wow. Just wow. That guy A.A. George has some Hang-Ups that... Shall we say over filter his perceptions.

I just read a blog about a folks playing PF with kids in Uganda.

My wife is trying to start a PFS/Beginner Box group at her school. She is one of about 4 white people in the building. Our local PFS group has as high or higher minority participation than I think are the percentages in the community.

Let's see...
The 2 PFS tables I played at GenCon included 2 black guys (I think African American is currently the correct term but one was clearly not American), as least 2 maybe 3 Hispanics, a woman, at least 1 homosexual (possibly 3 since I'm bad at that identification), I guy that is of Jewish decent (at least based on the name), and a guy from the middle-east (couldn't tell you which country).

Out of 13 people I would say that's a pretty decent list. There was no persecution because of race or gender or anything else. Neither I nor anyone else seemed to have any problem with any of them. Heck, I'd say almost everyone at the table* was a better RPG'er than me. I learned quite a bit.

*Except for the annoying 13 year old kid. Most 13 year olds are annoying. I know I certainly was.

Were all the GM's and PF event staffers white? I honestly don't know, but I would agree that most of them were. Were all of them male and straight? No, but I would guess the majority were.
But here's the thing. They were all volunteers online. The folks selecting for the positions would have no way of knowing race even if they wanted to discriminate for that (no I don't think any of them would).
You want more African Americans / Hispanics / Orientals / transgender / homosexual / female / etc... in those volunteer positions? Talk some more into volunteering.

Is Racism a real thing that sill happens? Heck yeah!
But I saw no evidence of it at GenCon or in my local PFS community. Anyone that showed up and paid the entrance fee got in. There was no one pressuring people of color to not come in the door. Every 6 people that showed up with a ticket got seated at a game table. No persecution, no turning away, no problems in the game that I ever saw.

Is there still a socio-economic problem in the US. Of course. At least 3 people I know in minority groups wanted to go to GenCon and couldn't afford it. (I also know 4 wasp that couldn't afford to go.) But that isn't the fault of the organizers of GenCon, nor is it anything that they can do anything about.
That is a local society/community issue.

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DrDeth wrote:


Right. And what's interesting is when they want a radical change- like dumping alignments or Vancian casting (not just having a few other spellcasting methods, but "Vancian has to go") or wanting a classless system- in other words, changing Pathfinder into something it's not.

But I ask then- there are plenty of great FRPG without Vancian or without alignments or that are classless, etc. Why not play one of those? Why the NEED to change Pathfinder to meet your particular wants? ...

Actually, even though I do really like PF I have tried to use a different game system. I was completely unable to get a group going. I would find 1 other person that would agree to give it a try. Great, that makes 2 of us. By the time I would find a 3rd, the other guy had moved on to something else.

That's why I said the huge following that PF has is one of the things I most like about it.

Kthulhu wrote:

Disclaimer : it's been years since I played a PFS game.

For all those who say "play Core only / Ban the [insert splat here] / etc", that isn't an option in PFS. Neither the GM nor any of the players can disallow any of the official PFS-endorsed material.

Agreed, but as a player I can (and have) played a CRB only character. Very simple to run. Only 1 book to lug around. No weird combinations to memorize/interpret. He is still effective and fun.

You are correct, that a PFS GM doesn't have that option. However, it is perfectly reasonable to expect that the player that uses umpteen splat options will have researched it an understands it correctly. It is unfair to expect that the GM can know every single published thing in its entirety and double check every single thing the player does.

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Chaotic Fighter wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
Everything can be improved. To be complacent is to be obsolete.


However, many of the complaints on here are so vociferous, angst ridden, completely negative, and even hate filled that I can't understand why they still play the game.

I like PFS, PF, and PF with houserules quite a bit.

There are things I don't agree with completely, but I know they are unlikely to change because enough people do like it the way it is.

I have seen some game systems that I think I might like better, but...
None have the following of PF. I can't get a group going. I've tried.

The huge following is one of the things I like about PF. I can find players.

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Rather than saying no. Say "Ok as long as we do it like this ..."

I didn't handle it real well with my group either. So here is what I will be doing the next time we restart.

If you want to make a new race, we can work together on it. You do not get to do it by yourself and surprise me with it on game day.

You will have to help create a functioning sustainable race and society not just cherry pick the few abilities that are perfect for your particular Flying/Fey/MoMS/Necromancer.

You are not going to be the only representative of your race in the world. If I'm going place them in the campaign, I need to know all about the race. Which country(ies) are they most commonly seen? Do they rule anyplace? What languages do they speak? How do they relate to the other races and why? How do the other races relate to them and why? What are their personalities like? What is their society like? Basically, you will have to do a full write-up on the race.

If you show up game day with a snowflake race point conglomeration that has no society or write up and we didn't work on together, you get to play a pregen.

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I prefer to not use the background music. Most of the time when I have been at a group that does this, they set it fairly loud so it is immersive. Then I really struggle to hear what is being said and have to constantly ask people to repeat things. I like the concept, but it usually seems to get in the way.

I use Herolab to make my PC's (when player) and NPC's (when GM). But it won't work on my android tablet yet. So I have to have printed sheets.
One guy uses PCGen on his laptop.

Not bad, but both programs have a few mistakes (or can't handle house rules) so we have a tendency toward some common errors because it is what the program shows us.

I almost always use my tablet rather than printed books. Except the bestiaries. For some reason, I like having a printed copy of those to page through.

One of our PFS GM's tries to do everything from his small tablet. Unfortunately, that seems to result in a lot of time with us waiting while he pages back and forth and it has to reload pages. He tries to show us pictures that are too small for us to see across the table. He also sometimes wants to use it for the maps rather than draw them. So he shows us the map then it is gone while he is looking up other stuff. So we are constantly asking him to show us the map again, then he finally gets frustrated and scratches out a bad one very quickly. If he would just draw it out ahead of time, it would work much better.

I know of one guy that is really into using the tech. He has a sensor so that when someone is talking the background mood music drops in volume. He has a PC connected to a flat screen that he actually uses for the game table (large sheet of thick lexan to protect it). So he can display maps and images that everyone can see very clearly.
Then he has another computer for the GM game info. And a tablet for the rules and dice roller.

I think I would use it more than I do if my tablet was a bit more capable. If it had the memory to not constantly need to reload pages. Would load new pages faster. And I would also prefer the battery to last longer. I only get about 1.5 hours before I need to plug it in again which kinda defeats the purpose of the tablet in the first place.

I'm also going to need a faster hot spot access for rules look up.

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Davor wrote:
OP, you need to stop scrubbing up when it comes to bard. NOBODY I've EVER met plays a bard like that...

About half of them that I see are exactly like that.

If it had been initially described as sound based magic that has these lingering effects, I (and some others) probably wouldn't have nearly as much problem with it.

But it's not. It is a performance. So the bard sings, dances, acts, or tells jokes so well that everyone fights better. That doesn't make sense.
And that's what almost every player and GM I've seen says. "I start my performance flute. Ok, JJ is over in the corner playing with his flute."

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Hama wrote:
Ah, putting players down when they think they are on the top of the world. It can be fun.

On their way in at the end of the previous session I received the comment, "It's just another wizard. Not a problem. It will be over before he can cast 2 spells."

After that challenge, I spent the weekend on some major re-writing.

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To the OP, nope.

I think it is mostly a case of Look at my shiny new toy! rather than them being all that much more powerful.

I see a lot of them being very good for very specialized builds. After all, they are hybrids. So it could be thought of as a specialized multiclass build.

But if you want something other than those particular specialties, you might be better off going back to one of the parent classes.

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Gnome cheerleading mobster wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Gnomes are always Evil.

It's a nice thread you've got here.

Would be a pity if something happened to it...

He's right. You can't claim they are actually evil, until you can manage to teach them the difference between right and wrong. Good luck with that one.

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Mathius wrote:
... High knowledge planes and got us a list of balor names and then commune allowed to figure witch one. After that we gated it to us and dominated it to cooperate with us to dismantle its plans.

I sort of understand what you are saying. But...

Personally, I wouldn't have allowed that. Being an educated person does not give you access to information that isn't there. Demons try not to let their fiendish bosses know their name. They certainly don't let it out for any mortal caster to just read in a book.
At best, I would have allowed you to find a name that it sometimes answers to. So when you used that name, you would get it's attention. It might or might not decide to check on who is calling it but certainly wouldn't have appeared in you summoning circle.

I would say that is an example of a GM allowing too much rather than that the spell caster is too powerful.

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pming wrote:


Pretty much every time I see someone talk about pathfinder, and every time I play it, I find that pretty much every martial class lags behind spellcasters.

Can somebody please, for the love of [insert favored deity here] explain this to me and my group? We played 3.5e for about two years, and gave PF a shot as well (another 8 months or so; we still try it every now and then), and only ONE of us (group of about 9 total) stands by the "spellcasters = win" idea. He's attempted to 'proove' it to us, but ever time he tries he's using "perfect, single situations" to do it...never being able to back it up when we toss in normal, every-day campaigning situations at him....

A lot of it depends upon the group of players, the group of PC's, the GM, and the campaign.

I have been in groups that don't do a good job of protecting squishy casters.
I have had GM's whose intelligent opponents specifically target first anyone that is likely to be a caster. Just like PC's usually do.
In those 2 cases the caster must devote an awful lot of his capabilities just to keeping himself alive.

Some groups will allow the caster's player to talk out of character with the other players making detailed plans in the middle of a fight for 20 minutes to make sure no one is stepping into the wrong area or focusing on the wrong opponent. Some will not.

I have been in campaigns where the whole thing seems to comprise marathon race against the clock to stop X before Y. We've sometimes had to go for days without significant rest (using the fatigue rules). Well, the caster is now at a significant disadvantage since he can't replenish any of his spells.

I have seen groups of PC's that just don't work so well with a casters win button style.

A really successful caster does require more system mastery than a typical martial character to be the automatic win button.

Using a battle mat/grid does help many casters more than many martial characters.

Whether your style of 'what makes sense' instead of the rules has much influence depends entirely upon what makes sense to you. The case can certainly be made that nothing magic makes sense, so most of what a caster tries will not succeed. {shrug}

Obviously the above is just from my experience.
My opinion is that across several groups and several campaigns that there is a disparity between the martial characters, the hybrid characters, and the primary casters. At low levels the martial characters tend to be more powerful, at mid levels they are usually pretty equivalent, and at high levels the casters have more raw capability.

The differences of opinion are how big the disparity is and where the cutoffs for low, mid, and high levels of play are.
I personally do not view the disparity as nearly as large as many people on these forums.
For this discussion; I would put low level as 1-6, mid levels as 7-12, and high level as 13+.
Our campaigns also usually die out around level 15-16. So we avoid some of the issues with the level 9 'god' spells.

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A few thoughts:

Welcome to the new challenge!
• Don’t expect to be a perfect GM. No one is. Least of all those that seem to think they are. You will make mistakes and occasionally huge gaffs. Don’t sweat it. If the players are at all reasonable, they will roll with it.
• I have totally done away with xps. I liked the reward system as a player, but it is a tremendous hassle for me as a GM. The guys are optimized an breezing through my encounters, but if I ramp them up in difficulty I will have to re-write all the later encounters for a higher level party. Ok, the guys skipped that whole subsection and now they aren’t at the level I expected them to be at Castle Grey. Is it going to kill them? Well now the PC’s unexpectedly got involved in that whole thing with the smuggler, now the dungeon of light will be too tough for them. Or even worse, JJ hasn’t made it to a 1/3 of the games because of his work and now he’s 3 levels behind the others. If I challenge them, he is toast. I understand liking the reward, but I was spending more time worrying about the xps stuff than the campaign itself.
• As much as you want to change things. I really recommend running some published modules or AP’s first. Usually when I’ve seen a new GM jump right in the deep end, they end-up fixing the wrong stuff, breaking much of the rest, and the story getting lost in the confusion. Run some AP’s or modules, then talk with your players about what went well (or didn’t) and what you are proposing to change. If you don’t like the murder-hobo scene, there is published material with the party being the clear cut heroes (even if they still have some difficult moral decisions to make) or on the defensive. Carrion Crown and the Golden Spear trilogy are the first that come to mind.
• One common mistake a saw in your post. Combat is not the opposite of role play. There is probably some correlation between people that focus on combat and people that do not role play. But it is by no means 1:1. There are players, groups, GM’s, Campaigns, and PC concepts that are very focused on combat and are very much heavily into the role play. I even know of some players that have had very non-combat PC’s that don’t role play worth squat. They focus on high skills and out of combat spells to avoid the need for combat, but they don’t role play out anything. Just “I have a +47 in diplomacy and I rolled a 16. Did I convince him?”
• I agree that often avoiding a combat is a better option. Both as a player and a GM that is often something to be investigated. Some players and/or some PC’s do not.
• If you try to completely or even nearly completely eliminate combat, I think many players will find it boring and very non-heroic. Heroes = Risk in their mind. So if there is no combat, no risk, and no heroes. I’m sure there are players that would enjoy it, but don’t expect everyone to enjoy it.
• Getting the players to have those discussion, planning, and creating a campaign around the cohesive group they created sounds wonderful. In my experience, it is very difficult to get the players to do that and stick with it. Not saying don’t try, but expect it to be a rough slog.

Have fun yourself or it isn’t worth your time.

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thejeff wrote:


There's a point when the characters suggested just show the players either weren't paying any attention or just aren't interested in what you'd proposed. Sucks when they can't let you know up front. Past a certain point, there's really no need to try to work things in.

Oh no, they were absolutely listening. They intentionally picked exactly what few possibilities I said wouldn't work. They were intentionally starting a fight because I tried to start a campaign without just allowing absolutely everything.

I really wish they had just said they weren't interested before I spent all that time getting a campaign world ready for them.

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corvusnex wrote:


the group would need one of the Tier 1 classes for survivability.

I very much disagree with this statement. Saying I'm going to make the powerful class to keep everyone alive runs the very real risk of making everyone else feel like followers to the only real hero. It is much better to make a PC at approximately the same power level as the rest of the group and help everyone learn the tactics and cooperation necessary to succeed and survive.

Personally (if I was GM) I would have steered the newbies away from the Pixie and Undine. I think the learning goes much better if the first experience is CRB.
For the same reason when I am playing with newbies I generally play CRB only so I can better demonstrate and teach the basics by example.

Classes are really not as important in PF as the role being filled. Since you can build many classes for the same role or build a class for many different roles.

The questions are:
What combat roles are filled and what are needed?
What non-combat roles are filled an what are needed?

* You have a primary melee front liner (at least that's what I assume the paladin is). If he is an archer paladin, I would suggest a melee cleric. Is he covering the social skills to be party face?
* You might have a back-up melee or back-up ranged in the investigator.
* You have scouts in the rogue and investigator. Are these guys also covering tracking? Are they covering the monster knowledge skills?
* Is the Sorc a blaster, controller, or debuffer? Is he covering the social skills to be party face?

Rather than class, I usually ask someone:
1- What is your primary role in combat? Kill things (damage per round, melee, ranged, or SoD spells), interfere with things (combat maneuvers, debuff, and controller spells), assist allies (buff spells, possible heals, or condition removals)
2- What is your secondary role in combat when the primary isn't ideal?
3- What is your main contribution out of combat? Scout, trap removal, social skills (bluff, intimidate, diplomacy, sense motive), knowledge skills, tracking, questioning, divinations, etc...
4- What is your secondary contribution out of combat?

Cleric and druid are excellent additions to almost any group if built to fill missing roles. I generally don't take a druid in a party with a bunch of newbies, again because it is pretty complicated to get right (companion tricks, pushing the companion, what can animal intelligence do, training regular animals, summoned animals, shapechanging, etc...) and tends to confuse them and slow things down.

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Depends on the reasons and the group.

If the GM isn't real adept at dealing with a bunch of weird carp coming out of the dark, then sure I'll go along with making things easier for him.

If the GM is trying out some weird homebrew setting or house rules and wants to see how it interacts with the basics before opening up to the rest, that is fine.

If it is because the GM wants to keep a firm rein on the game so the story goes where he wants, I think I will pass.

If the group is fairly into the role play, I got not problem. I can always come up with a weird personality for my uniquifosity.

If the group is more of a numbers crunching roll the dice group, I think it would get fairly frustrating.

If it was a permanent change to "Here there be only 4 from now to forevermore!" I might try it for a while, but I'd probably start looking for another group.

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My groups is sometimes very poor at picking up hints and subtle clues. So I just come right out and say it.
"Roll a wisdom check and add your BaB."
Who ever go the highest total I tell, "As an experienced warrior, you know there is little chance of doing serious injury to this guy in a straight up fight."

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Ok, I feel like I need to get some other opinions and/or points of view on some things. But mostly I need to get these off my chest in some way before I say something a bit more harsh than it really deserves. No I don't always see a solution to all these, but I still feel the need to mention them.

These may or may not be related in anyway except they have been bugging me.


Party imbalance and mismatch:

Group makes 90% of their next character decision in isolation from the rest of the group and probably prior to knowing anything about the campaign. You get things like: assassins and paladin’s in the same group, lizard folk swamp druid in courtly intrigue setting, or no casters/support characters.

I actually have no problem with that. It happened all the time in days gone by. But the players and/or player characters were expected to deal with the consequences of their decisions. The assassin and paladin would have to figure out how to deal with each other (or not and death occurs). The druid might have to shape change into something that would be allowed or could sneak into the castle. The PC’s would have to make plans to deal with having no casters or support characters.

Most of the groups I have encountered in the last several years feel it is the GM’s job to take care of all that. The GM is supposed to come up with a plot hook sufficient to keep the assassin and paladin on the same page and at peace. The GM is supposed to change the setting such that the lizard folk is allowed into the castle and treated like everyone else. The GM should provide magic items such that the lack of casters is not a problem or change the opposition such that casting isn’t needed.

This bugs me. Both as a player and as a GM. Where is the risk, challenge, or sense of accomplishment if the GM just changes things until whatever weird whim I have works? Why would bad guys make poor decisions only because the players didn’t bring a caster? And why on earth should the GM be responsible for managing the poor social compatibility of the PC’s the players brought to the table? Back in my earlier gaming days we didn’t construct perfectly compatible parties. But part of the fun was figuring how to make it work. I never wanted the GM to just make all the issues go away.

Huge variations in system mastery, optimization, and/or tactical capability of the players (not the PC’s). Sometimes related to the previous section but often not. This is more related to the constant increase in complexity of the game since early versions. Back in the first versions Every fighter was about like every other fighter. So if you didn’t know the combat system all that well, you were still not much less effective than the anyone else playing the same class. That is clearly not the issue anymore.

My current group has some huge mismatches. One guy is relatively new. His PC’s tend to not be built very optimally and he doesn’t know all the things that are possible or advisable to do with them. We are willing to give some advice, but not everyone likes that kind of advice. Another guy is not very tactical. He can’t seem to get it into his head that immediately charging with the biggest stick is not always the best idea. Another guy doesn’t like to plan his builds very far in advance. He wants to just see what seems to have been needed lately and add that to his characters. Another guy wants to be extremely tactical and have the group function like some sort of trained special ops team.

I understand this is just sort of the nature of gaming today. But again, it bothers me that the GM seems expected to resolve all or at least most of this. The GM is supposed to have encounters that challenge everyone relatively equally and don’t threaten anyone too much. Even if it means the bad guys use stupid tactics. The GM is supposed to see to it that they guy that doesn’t optimize isn’t threatened as much. The guy that doesn’t use tactics is still successful if he does a good job of leading with his chin. The guy that does use tactics should also be able to make that shine.

Again, both as a GM and a player I would prefer it if a group would protect the new guy while he learns (make suggestions and teach him), in character make plans and train the charging guy to work with the tactical guy. Etc…

But that doesn’t seem to be what groups want. They want the GM to ‘make whatever I want to do work out’ for everyone.

Note: I understand and agree with taking it easy on the new guy. But that assumes he’s working at getting better, not that I will be taking it easy on him forever.

Consequences, consistency, and logical responses (or the lack of):

Magic and high level characters are a part of the pretend world we have created together. The PC’s are not the only ones. Any intelligent prepared individual should already have planned to deal with that.

If you try to cast charm person on the king, he probably has a ring to block that (or a caster to counter) and archers ready to pin-cushion you for trying. Player characters will have a bunch of gear and plans for various things. But it’s expected that the political leader of a nation will be completely defeated by a 1st level spell. Come on…

This made up world has laws and other people in it. If you break the laws or do bad things to the people in it, bad things might happen to you.
“What do you mean I’m under arrest for murdering the prince? He was a bad guy and I’m a good hero!” Seems to be a pretty common attitude.

A couple years ago, one of my groups attacked a slave camp and freed the slaves. All well and good. Properly understandable, in-character, and heroic. But they immediately followed that up with going to the constable and telling them all about it.
The players were very upset when I said “The constable is going to try and arrest you now. Roll initiative. What? Why? We stopped a bad thing.”
Note: Slavery was not only legal it was one of the major industries in that nation. So from that constables point of view; they just walked into the Chrysler plant, murdered the workers and managers, in order to steal all the cars.

Not quite murder-hobo, but most of the players I encounter don’t want to have any negative consequences for what they do. When I am a player, I put a fair amount of effort into ensuring I have proof of the crimes for the people I stopped, that no one knows I did it, or some other plan to handle the consequences. Everyone seems to look at me like I’m an idiot for spending time on that stuff. “Who cares? We’re the heroes, so what we do is good.”

Predictable behavior. Players want their tricks to always work. I think it makes sense that other intelligent opposition will adapt.

Last year a group had an archer and fire blasting sorc that were doing most of the killing. Fireball the mooks and pincushion the leader. Over the course of 6 levels (in-game about 2-3 months) they were almost exclusively combating the forces of one single high level, very intelligent, Machiavellian, wizard ruler. They got upset when the hunter groups being sent after them started being equipped with scrolls of mass resist energy fire, obscuring mist, wind wall, alchemical ice, etc… Or that a bunch of invisible guys would try to close with the archer and sorcerer for grapples.

How could anyone possibly expect them to not plan for the PC’s obviously always using the exact same tactics?!?
The players seem to expect the bad guys to never learn from their mistakes/defeats. This feels especially inconsistent when you consider that in 1) the GM is supposed to tailor every encounter just for the PC group.

Miscellaneous – What the heck?:

T-Ball in the major leagues.
“I added a bunch of skeletons and zombies on to the end there just so you could blast them and feel powerful.” Really? I’m supposed to feel good about my 14th level PC using an extra channel to blast apart some level 1 monsters? Especially after you keep telling me you gave me yet another slow pitch for an easy win.
Are you trying to say that’s what you want me to do for you when I’m GM?

Monty-Haul GM’s giving and/or players expecting hugely powerful weapons.
Ok, now the skill with which I play a character and the time I put into building it are completely irrelevant because any commoner could win when the 2nd level character has a +4 holy avenger with a special purpose, 4 exceptional abilities, and the spirit of a helpful paladin.
Now everything is easy OR the GM scales the encounters up so much to make it a challenge that a single bad roll of the die results in a TPK.

Incomprehensible Adventurers.
Some players want to bring in PC’s whose personality and or build make no sense in a cooperative team setup (or at least not for that specific campaign/group).

One player brought in a PC that was apathetic. He didn’t care about or want to participate in anything. He expected the rest of the party to constantly cajole and convince him all the time about everything. Then he was irritated when we got tired of it and would just say what we were doing. If he didn’t follow, we’d just leave him behind.

Another had a PC that was “ruled by the Lords of Chance” in all his actions. He constantly rolled a dice to see what his character would do even if it ended up being disastrous to the rest of the group.

If we were really playing in-character we would have kicked both of those guys out of the team. You couldn’t count on them and they were more trouble than help. But if we said anything about it they got all offended since “I’m just role playing his personality!”
“Yeah and I’m role playing my PC’s personality which is not to put up with that bull carp any longer.”

Specialized to the nth degree. {{ I am aware this is personal preference, yet it bugs me so I’m putting it in the list. }}
Some PC’s are so unbelievably specialized that they are boring and or nearly unplayable.

Ex: Couple of weeks ago I was at a table with a guy that has played his wizard up through 10th level. A wizard is arguably the most versatile class in the game due to its truly monstrous spell possibilities. Other than 1 spell slot left open at each level, every prepared spell was scorching ray with some sort of meta magic to fill in the higher levels. All of his meta magics (including the rods), feats, traits, and class abilities were just for more fire damage with scorching ray.
He had the ability to change the energy type, but wouldn’t. Even if a creature was very resistant to fire he would still use fire. He would only switch it if the opposition was completely immune to fire (and he’d still try fire first to make sure it wouldn’t work).

Really? That’s fun for you? Week after week? I’m tired of just being in the party with that PC after just a couple of hours.
We had an even worse problem with a gnome illusionist constantly failing to trick the almost constant undead with his illusions.

Cheating in a cooperative hobby?!?
Really? In this make believe, cooperative, team game you still feel the need to cheat? Whether it’s the pre-rolling until you get a good number, consistent math errors in your favor, always forgetting to mark down that you already used that ability, only reading the part of an ability that works out best for you, etc…

Yes, mistakes happen. I have no problem with that. I sometimes make math errors, forget to draw a line though a cast spell, or misremember the text of a feat. None of us are perfect.

But some of these guys it is such an obvious pattern that there is no way it is an accident. I just don’t get it.

Last but not least. I'm really getting tired of the people that whine and complain about the people that are willing to GM. But heaven forbid they will ever take a stab at it themselves.

No we are not all equally great. I would rate myself as only middlin good. But if you won't even give it a try, I think you should just keep your mouth shut.

Note: Constructive assistance, especially when requested, is appreciated. B!#~#ing, moaning, and insulting is not.


Ok, thanks for the opportunity to get that out. That was even more than I expected when I started.

If you have any opinions on any of the above or want to add to the list, feel free.


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DM Beckett wrote:
Cleric's are not too bad, but with how badly Paizo has treated them since 3.5, they really could use some cool options. I would say that it's less an issue that the Cleric is hard to optimize as it is that even optimized, it's just not that great, but t's really hard to get the class to do what you feel like it should be able to do, regardless of optimization. ...

Wow. I really have to disagree with this. With the archtypes, expanded domain powers, variant channeling, and versatile channeling; I think PF has done a whole bunch more for them than 3.x ever did. They are one of the more common and powerful options I see at tables. Both my home games and PFS.

Many people want a primary caster, but find it hard to get sorcerers and wizards to survive. They also don't want to be completely helpless when spells are out or just not a good choice. Yet they still want to have powerful magic. Clerics can and do give you all of that. Their magic may not be quite as powerful and versatile as a wizard's, but they are a heck of a lot less vulnerable.

I think clerics are one of the most powerful and self sufficient classes. I also think they are easier to build pretty decent then most other powerful classes.

I personally don't like playing them from an RP perspective. I find it difficult to justify in my own head the dedicated to a particular diety vs. the background for most adventuring. Just doesn't make sense to me.

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Dwarf clan trying to reclaim a dwarven hall that they had been driven out of several generations ago by drakes and kobolds. Old trope storyline, but this GM was like that. This GM would never tell us what we could or couldn't bring, but it was understood that the bad guys wouldn't do dumb stuff just because we were being stupid.

Was a very large group (I think we had at least 8 or 9 PC's). Everyone makes a dwarf or something that makes sense to be closely allied to dwarves and underground. One was a earth elemental blooded homebrew race cave druid. I think one was a deep gnome ranger.

One guy brings a gnoll pirate.

What? Really? Like a sea ship pirate?
You know we're going to be underground the whole time right? In tunnels designed for short people?
Well, probably not the whole time. And they would make some big halls and such. But I think it will be fun trying to find ways to make use of his skill in another environment.
Doesn't sound like fun to me but whatever.

After a couple of sessions he started whining about how he couldn't be expected to fight bent over in a 4' high tunnel. It was stupid and unfair that most of them were that small. Why can't the GM put in things and places where he could do stuff like lots of chandeliers to swing from. The GM should put in some side quest with an ocean trip or a giant underground ocean/river that he could sail on. You guys are just being mean because you don't like how powerful my pirate is. Etc...


Next campaign (different GM same group) is social, court intrigue, spy/mystery setup.

Everyone brings humans, elves, half elves, bards, rogues, clerics, etc...

This same guy brings a reclusive, anti-social, anarchist, lizardman, swamp & blight druid with a giant diseased leech as his animal companion.

Remember how much fun you didn't have with the pirate? This is even more so.
No this will be great. Really! No one will want this guy around so they'll tell us anything just to get me to leave.
Uhmm... No they just won't let us in in the first place.
It will be great, just trust me.

It wasn't great and we lost even the little bit of trust we had for him.

Next campaign, the rest of the party said we would kill and not even try to resurrect his characters until he made one that at least kinda fit in with the campaign.

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Thomas Long 175 wrote:
When the battle field changes on a whim because the gm can't track it the game becomes ridiculous and insane. It's not about being "unable to track everything." It's making him write the stuff down so that he actually knows whats going on and keeps consistent rulings so the players don't have to readjust everything turn to turn.
This certainly sounds like a legitimate problem, and my sympathies on that. I was just noting it isn't a universal one for people who don't use maps.

Even if the GM can do an excellent job of keeping track of the map in his/her mind. That doesn't mean every single player can keep track of it in his/her mind, that the GM and every player can describe everything they or the NPC's are doing well enough for the GM and every player to realize exactly what was meant, etc...

Don't get me wrong. I have played without maps and it can be fun. But it usually involves a lot of hand waving or general suggestions/questions to the GM. "Rothgar tries to get on the far side (flanking) of the owlbear to distract it." Then the GM says whether he can do it or not. "Does is look like I can get very many of them within my burning hands area without hitting Danielson?"*

Some people like things that loose and some don't. Some can't stand not knowing or being able to 'see' the fight for themselves. I prefer a map but I can deal with it if the GM doesn't want to use one. I would never try to GM without one.

*Once long ago, just for giggles and grins; we tried drawing a map and moving figures based on the GM's and 7 players descriptions. We had it behind a shelf sonly only the 2 of us that were drawing could see it. We all thought it was pretty hilarious how different the drawn map was from what the GM had meant and also what the other players had thought.
Note: Alcohol may or may not have been a factor in the debacle. ;)


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The most unique build I’ve ever seen is the avatar to the right. A half-orc magus that uses the wand wielder arcane, a wand of true strike, spell combat, and a whip to almost guarantee he can trip or disarm virtually anything any time. However, his actual personality is kinda blah. I had some quirks planned for him but they didn’t seem to work so well for PFS and I haven’t been able to figure what I want to replace them with.

The most unique personality I ever had a character called Scorgath way back in 2nd Ed. In PF terms he would have been a feral orc, from the Mwangi Expanse, low level barbarian true primitive, that wanted to be a great shaman (but didn’t have the stats to be more than half-ash’d at it).

Only trusted equipment he made himself, could watch being made, and/or understood the process.

He carried a ‘Holy Answer Septre’ to make important decisions. Would ask every cleric or adept encountered to bless the smooth formed end and/or curse the rough rotting end. Whenever a decision was called for, he would throw the stick in the air (had to be done outside) and see where it landed. Danger this way (rough end) we should go this way (smooth end). The stick was not straight so they wouldn’t be opposite directions. Some procedure even if it didn’t make sense for the question. “Which horse do you want?” He would throw the stick then try to determine which end was closer to which horse (both were out running together in the same field).

Was absolutely obsessed with colors. Insisted that colors have inherent meanings that everyone knows even if they won’t admit it. People chose to wear a color because their soul knows the color matches their own true self. A fashion designer who told others what colors to wear was the most awful unholy perversion imaginable. Had real troubles with people agreeing to wear uniforms. He considered them mentally and spiritually damaged.
Refused to trust, talk to, work with, or work for anyone wearing blue. Heaven forbid the module described someone as wearing sapphire jewelry. The party would have to hold him down to keep him from attacking.
Orange is the color of harlots, “Did you see that? The Duchess is wearing orange right out in public where anyone can see her. The Duke is going to have to call out the guards to beat away the propositions. Course she’s not bad looking. If I can get close enough, I might make an offer for a night or two.”
Anyone wearing white was obviously expecting to die shortly (so he would go up and offer his most sincere condolences on their death at such a young age).
Only trustworthy but naïve people wear much brown. Etc…
He would get very confused when people were wearing multiple contradictory colors. Got a real riot at the table when he was trying to make friends and talk nicely to the troubadour while standing over him with a war club ready to strike.

Once when we all absolutely had to talk to some people at court (they were told I had to attend) the group spent a bunch of cash to get someone to cast some sort of continual darkness centered on my head but with a very small area. Then they cast darkvision on me. So I could only things in black and white. He was practically in tears because all those people were about to die. He promised to do everything he could to help them escape their fate.

The PC was a lot of fun to play. But the group has to be willing to go along with things like that. It was also a lot of work. Had to remember to really listen for colors in the descriptions or ask for them if not given. Remember what meanings I had pulled out of the air last week for a light yellow green. Had to stick with the poor decisions from the Answer Septre.

Second most unique/fun/memorable character I've ever played was in 3.0 Ed. Slalimangus a sort of lizard folk (homebrew race) going for dragon disciple. Charisma was pretty good but only a single level of sorcerer. Intelligence and wisdom low. Claimed to be a mighty magister. But he was still having trouble getting his crystal ball to work right. It was really a shot put painted blue, with purple swirls, and white dots.
I will roast you with the magic hell-fire-ball from hades! Then he would pour an alchemist fire on his crystal ball and slam it into someone's face.
These hands carry the death of ages! My touch will claim your mortal existence! Then he would gut them with his draconic claws.
I actually never decided if he believed all the BS he was spouting or if it was just an act to unnerve people.

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Orthos wrote:
... complete 180s from one another.

There is a guy at my work that keep's saying he's a complete 360 from me. I say, "Excellent so you agree with me completely!" Even though I have tried explaining it to him several times, he just doesn't get it.

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zagnabbit wrote:


Now around 1983-84 my Mom apparently had a long talk with my Godfather about this hobby, he was a Priest in the Episcopal Church and big dog I guess, one of his duties was as the head of the North American Episcopal Dioceses Cult Investigation Board, or some such,he'd actually lookedinto this and had been over to the house to specifically watch us play the game once. He had suggested to my Mom to sit in and to listen.

His official position was that D&D was about as dangerous as Jazz music and far less a cult than Scientology or freemasonry. ...

I always loved it was honestly impressed those few times, one of the religious leaders would actually investigate and check out whatever it was that had people so frantic. Most seemed to just want something to get hysterical about or wanted something on which to blame all the worlds problems.

Thanks for posting about one of the voices of reason. If you ever get the chance, tell that guy I appreciate his honest care and concern.

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I am tempted, but will not join in Ar's & 8D's discussion. It would just do bad things to my blood pressure and is unlikely to change anyone's mind about anything.

Back to the original topic.
I would also like to say that the whole situation was often made worse by the gamers themselves. As mentioned by a couple of others up thread, they found it hilarious to play along with the hysteria. (At the time, I would have also found it funny, but it did exacerbate the situation.)

Several clips made the local news with things like a whole group being interviewed and describing in detail all the things they were doing to try and summon the devil. And a guy intentionally, in front of the news camera, chasing a screaming girl while chanting about sacrificing her to something or other. He almost got arrested before it was cleared up. It was his girl friend and she was screaming at him because he was threatening to smear a handful of mud in her hair. I was actually present for that one.

But we were teenagers. Teenagers are notorious for not considering the consequences of their actions.

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Kelsey MacAilbert wrote:


So, for those who played RPGs during the whole "D&D eebul satanic!" scare, what was it like?

It was kinda weird actually. Some of the reactions I received from people were so bizarre that I was shocked into a lack of response.

*My grandmother had prayer vigils at her church group to save me.
*One of the congregation elders (but not the pastor) at my church actually screamed at me. Practically hysterical.
*One time I actually couldn’t get out of the game shop since the doors were blocked by some group picketing the game store to denounce us.

I found it amusing how much vitriol there was for something that they didn’t know anything about. If you didn’t use Dungeons and Dragons, D&D, or show them the books (some will also recognize and associate role-playing-game); you could talk to them all day about it and they just got bored with the conversation. As soon as you used one of those terms or they saw the book cover, you were evil incarnate.

Even today a friend of mine gets a lot of grief from his church and in-laws about it. I keep telling him he is making it worse for himself. Stop talking about DnD and especially the Book of Vile Darkness. Say you play Pathfinder and you are designing an evil fort for the heroic players to destroy. Instantly acceptable. He can’t seem to learn that lesson.

When people ask me about my hobby, “I play PF or PFS. It’s a lot like some of the internet games involving thousands of people all over the world. But we do it in person with only about a half dozen people. I like the more personal interaction of being in the same room with someone. Plus we aren’t as constrained by what someone thought to program into the software for options.” If they ask for more details I give them. (But the really closed minded folks never ask for more details because they aren’t really interested.) Until I know the person pretty well, I won’t say the game is the continuation of one of the versions of D&D.
Has not been a problem even a single time. I’ve had plenty of people say it seems frivolous, silly, childish, and a waste of time. Well, yeah. Most amusement hobbies are.
Just in the last year or so one guy even said, “Well as long as it’s not that hell-spawned Dragon Dungeon bull &%!#, then I don’t give a crap what silly thing you spend your time on!”

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The only thing I know about Hollow World, is that some players really loved it and some really hated it. Didn't seem to be any middle ground.

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lemeres wrote:
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

I am really just going to give this very solid piece of advice:

Passive Aggressive measures never accomplish a damn thing.

Face it head on, forget it, or walk away.

Aggressive-Aggressive is the only way!

just kidding... sort of...

...but what is I can only do passive passive?

Then you deserve whatever comes your way!

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I couldn't understand some of what you wrote. But:

alexander leah wrote:
... ranted about 2 of my spells, blistering invective and litany of sloth on how they just let me skip feats tree for Free, ...

Is kinda correct. It does. But only for limited number of times for day and inquisitors don't get very many spells. If you are doing that, you are NOT doing all the other wonderful things you could be doing with your spells. And at low levels can probably only do it for 1 or 2 combats.

It is situationally kinda nice, but it really isn't that super powerful. The barbarian Scavion mentioned will very consistently kill a lot more.

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I'm gonna somewhat disagree with some of the others (I know, big surprise from me).

Healing can be just fine. Even in-combat if you are good enough at it. Especially in later levels of PFS. One of the biggest problems with a healing focus is that yes, you can keep up with damage output. HOWEVER, you really burn through your abilities while trying to do that. But since PFS is very nearly guaranteed to be just a few encounters, that is less of an issue than in some campaigns.

Just be sure you have other things to do (buffs or crowd control spells) before people take damage or in case they don't take damage. I played in a couple scenarios with a dedicated healer where we didn't take much damage (the potential bad things were pretty much insta-death or insta-mission fail), so he said he felt kinda useless by the end since he had only healed about 10-15 points in 2 scenarios.

I don't think dipping oracle gains you as much as it loses, but it isn't horrible. I would suggest you pick one or the other though. Plus, if you pick oracle, your healing stat is the same as your casting stat. So you have decent save DC's if you do try to cast an offensive spell (or cure damage, see below).

One thing you might consider (which won't change the build much, if at all). Healers can do massive damage to undead.
My life oracle is not a healer. He is an undead blaster. He absolutely hates undead and will do almost anything just to get a chance at them. Channel, quick channel, cure spells, sunbeam, etc... Especially effective with the head undead surrounded by minion/spawn undead. Touch cure or sunbeam on the main guy, a quick channel for the mooks, along with energy body so they don't want to touch me. Devastating.
If (and pretty much only if) there are no undead bad guys, he will cast a couple of buffs then be prepared to in-combat heal if necessary.

Since you are doing Aasimar already, consider the force channeling feats. I wish I had done that for my life oracle.

Personal preference, but I always prefer to take at least a few offensive spells and have a reasonable expectation of them working. Even on my support casters. (Summon monster can also work here.) There have just been too many times where support wasn't needed as much as doing something to the bad guys. Chain of perdition and pilfering hand are fun and can be game changers even though they don't do any direct damage.
Take away the staff of greatness, the lich's phylactery, the clerics holy symbol, the wizards spell component pouch, or the archer's bow.
Trip the headless horseman's horse or tie up the backstabbing rogue.
Absolutely hilarious.

The huge penalties from the full plate and tower shield could come up even if you never make an attack roll. (Grease/entangle in your square, must climb a rope, have to swim the river, trying to stay on a horse, combat on an icy lake, etc...) I would recommend getting the folding plate and don't magic the tower shield (that way you aren't out much if you drop it to run). Or maybe a glove of storing for the tower shield.

Some of the condition removals don't work as well off scrolls since a caster level check is involved. So be careful about those.

If you don't take the feats for it, consider the magic items for getting a higher initiative modifier. It is much better to get that Blessing of Fervor cast before everyone has already taken their action.

Consider a reach metamagic rod or UMD a wand of spectral hand for delivering those touch spells in places you don't want to travel or are too slow to get to in time.

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glad to help in any way

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PFS scenarios like the Confirmation, We Be Goblins, or Masters of the the Fallen Fortress are ideal for a short intro to new players.

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Mackackee wrote:


I guess my question is: how do I get a player who is focused on rules, and offical rules at that, to be more accepting of house rules even if it didn't come from Paizo?


I'm envisioning another thread with How do I get a GM to stop changing things all the time for no reason?

My point isn't that you are wrong and he is right. (I wouldn't like the few of your rules that I've seen on the boards. However, I am perfectly aware there are people that do like those kinds of rules.)

My point is that you have different gaming styles and you are unlikely to get him to change. Just as he is unlikely to get you to change.

Having said that, there is a middle ground that usually works. Don't change stuff during the campaign unless you really, really need to do so. And "I think it would be cool!" does not count as really need to.

Think about what rules you feel are needed BEFORE the campaign begins. Think about how you will explain the reason you are making the change, why those rules are needed, what they will accomplish that would not have happened without the house ruling, and this is how it will make things better. Again "I think it would be cool!" is not a reason, need, or accomplishment.

A good example might be: PF does not have a good way to represent ritual blood magic. But ritual blood magic is central to the story we are going to be making. I want rules on how it works so you guys have an idea what can be accomplished and how it could be stopped. Here is what I have come up with so far for ritual blood magic ... What do you like or dislike about it.

A good example is NOT: I think misfires are hilarious. So anytime someone casts a spell there is a 5% chance it hits the wrong target in range.

Then do not change them. The players can make their characters and begin play knowing what rules will be used.

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Does this conversation strike any of you as eerily similar to the debates on 'When does life/soul/consciousness begin?'

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PRD wrote:

Persistent Spell (Metamagic)

You can modify a spell to become more tenacious when its targets resist its effect.

Benefit: Whenever a creature targeted by a persistent spell or within its area succeeds on its saving throw against the spell, it must make another saving throw against the effect. If a creature fails this second saving throw, it suffers the full effects of the spell, as if it had failed its first saving throw. A persistent spell uses up a spell slot two levels higher than the spell's actual level.

Spells that do not require a saving throw to resist or lessen the spell's effect do not benefit from this feat.

If a spell has ongoing effects that require saves, are those also affected?

Example: A Persistent Glitterdust spell. Does the target need to make 2 saves each round, taking the worse value to get rid of the blindness?

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Cascade wrote:
Kyle Baird wrote:


How about a boon that gives certain skill bonuses vs. races attached?


I support this concept.

I'm all for it, IF it is something that has at least a fair chance to come up again.

I have a character that has (with no spoilers)
+ to hit vs race V
+ to intimidate race X
+ disguise to impersonate organization Y
+ diplomacy in city Z

None of V, X, Y, or Z have been seen again. At first I was like, "Ok, minor but kinda cool." But no my attitude is closer to "Ok, well it just means I'll never see that again."

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The hype (if there is any) is because people want it to work so badly. They don't want to decide on arcane or divine spells. They want it all. I happen to be one of them. =) I haven't had a chance to play one yet, but I've seen quite a few in play.

Having said that. It is not usually a powerhouse. The few times I've seen one as a powerhouse it was really because the player has such high system mastery that he can be a powerhouse with virtually anything.

They really don't usually have all that many more spells than a single class caster. What they do have is an exception breadth of possible spells.

When I have seen them most effective is as a support/buff/utility caster in a group that does not have another caster (or only a minimal caster like a ranger). You can find a bunch of different support and buff spells on 2 different lists making it much easier to get stackable benefits. You can use silence, walls, pits, clouds, illusions, cures, condition removals, etc... Whatever type of spell is needed today, you can provide.

The usual is cleric / wizard. You concentrate on spells where the spell DC and or your ability to bypass SR is not as important (or at least has significant effects even if a save is made).

I have lately seen a fair number of sorcerer / oracles so you can have just one casting stat and get it max'd. This gets you the best chance to get the DC pretty high for SoS spells. But you still won't be as high as a single class caster since your spell level will be lower.

I haven't seen one in play, but I've read about a third type. Use wizard / oracle or sorcerer / cleric. The key is the mix of prepared and spontaneous caster. One class is a spontaneous caster for spamming the spells that get used all the time. The other is a prepared caster for getting the special use spells specifically for today.

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Haladir wrote:


The psionic classes have names that don't mean anything outside of the context of the game: "psion," "soulknife," "vitalist," etc. If I referred to a non-gamer about a "wizard" they'd know what I was talking about. If I mentioned a "soulknife..." well, not so much. Heck, even the term "psionics" has far more traction within the role-playing gaming world than as a general term.

Better names for the classes, with ties to what the names actually mean in a literary, mythological, or socio-historical context would greatly increase my desire to use them. Terms like "telepath," or "seer," or "spiritualist," or "fakir," or even just "psychic" have meaning outside the context of the game.

That's weird. This is quite literally the first time I've heard this complaint about the system.

In fact, we are constantly told to ignore what the class is called and focus on what your character does and call him whatever you want. (For example: I've seen a ranger/shadow sorcerer/arcane trickster that called himself a ninja.)

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Tarkeighas wrote:


GM says: would you like a few minutes to plan?
GM means: please, for god's sake, take a few minutes to plan!

GM says: "I said, I'm giving you a few minutes to make a tactical plan."

GM means: "This is clearly not a level appropriate encounter. You are insisting on a fight and your usual approach of charge and swing will obviously result in a TPK. So, for the love of all that's good and gracious, try to put some thought into this one!"

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LazarX wrote:
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:

The only time you see anything even close to the magic system in PF is when the author is obviously making a DnD based story or the old Jack Vance novels (which I have never read, but I heard they are good).

This is a long time pet peeve of mine, but I know it isn't changing any time soon.

Michael Moorcock generally uses a heavily Vancian system in his books.

"Memorise the spell on this stone and use it when the time comes."

Virtually all of the magic cast in the Elric books is of the prolonged ritual variety, not spammed video game style.

I think I read MM's first Swords trilogy. But really can't remember anything other than the titles and cover art look familiar.

Yeah, neither system has anything very good for ritual magic. I have occasionally hand-waved something for NPC's doing some sort of ritual.

Ssalarn wrote:


Plus, I like that there's a place to go where all the adventurers are really into the power of crystals and tattoos.

I recently met a friend's girlfriend. He seemed rather nervous about us meeting and I couldn't figure out why.

Until... She informed me that the crystal jewelry wasn't jewelry. They were powerstones with bindings to hold them in the focal points of her aura. The tattoos where to guide the flowing power of her surroundings into the powerstones and replenish them.

There were just so many things I wanted to say that I couldn't decide where to start. But, I looked at my friends nervous expression and decided I didn't want to start a fight. So, I just smiled (I tried very hard to not smirk or sneer) and said I had never seen anything like it. Which was very true.
On my way home I was laughing so hard I almost wrecked my car.

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