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Dark Ice Brownie

Landon Winkler's page

Goblin Squad Member. RPG Superstar 2014 Star Voter. Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. 522 posts. 36 reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist.


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There are definitely still people who buy into this stuff. We had a gamer in our group in college (early 2000s) who couldn't tell her parents she was playing D&D. But they also wouldn't eat devil's food cake... not joking.

Back in my hometown, the local game store owner got so many copies of Dark Dungeons, he started handing them out to his customers as gag gifts.

But my most personal experience with it was that my grandmother's church was still preaching that nonsense well into the 90s. But, despite being incredibly devout, my grandmother still trusted me enough to get me the Spelljammer boxed set for Christmas.

I never really managed to explain how much that meant to me, but it's one of my fondest memories of her.

Cheers!
Landon


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The reason I allowed it back in 2nd Edition was because it felt more like magic than wizards did. Nowhere outside of D&D-inspired worlds do you see the weird preparation cycle. But casting out of a pool of energy is a fairly standard trope.

It's less of an issue for me with sorcerers, and soon arcanists, but psionics still does a good job of representing the average fantasy caster.

So for us it's just flavor. I'd still allow someone to bring in a Dreamscarred Press psionics character into our Pathfinder game, but there are already so many characters they want to play it's unlikely to come up.

Cheers!
Landon


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Into Darkness (First Floor)

Today’s Cast:
Lyz was GMing and providing all our goblin voices.
Jessica, a new but extremely enthusiastic gamer from our Rise of the Runelords campaign, drew Ingra Goldbiter.
Jordan, Jessica’s boyfriend and a first time gamer, got Hal.
Sawako, a veteran of many campaigns who mostly likes to smash things, grabbed Djir of Scarwall.
I got Al, for all the heals.
Yoshie, a guest of Sawako’s, was spectating to see what this roleplaying thing is about.

We made our way into the Echo Wood, discussing our immediate reasons for heading to the Emerald Spire. Ingra believed something lurked under the visible tower, wanting to explore further. Hal and Al were both searching for clues related to lost wizards of the Golendfire Order. And Djir had learned there may be a stash of the skymetal noqual somewhere in the spire.

No one went into their deeper reasons for investigating the tower. Al, for his part, just assumed everyone was in it for the adventure.

Shadow of Destruction
The location of the Emerald Spire was by no means a secret, but none of us had expected it to be quite so obvious. Some terrible magic left ancient scars in the earth, leaving only part of a glassy citadel standing.

As Al collected shards of green glass for future study, Djir spotted a goblin sentry at the shadowy entrance of the structure.

Overruling Ingra’s suggestion that they just kill it, Hal and Djir formed a simple plan: they would sneak into range and Hal would charm the goblin. Then Djir, the only one capable of speaking Goblin, would use the leverage that gained to learn what it knew of the spire.

The plan went flawlessly, with one small exception: goblins know very little.

It was on guard duty, certainly. And there were “some" goblins inside. They were ruled by something named Grulk and the goblin was very excited about the Empire of Zog.

Eventually the goblin noticed Ingra making her way up the path and, confused by the excuse of “sightseeing,” he was cut down by the dwarf’s axe.

Shadows of the Tower
The tower was oppressively dark, a sort of physical weight that ate away at the light. Luckily, almost all of the explorers could see perfectly in the dark. Unfortunately, Al is always the exception.

After some experimentation with fey magics and burning goblin clothing, Al realized he wasn’t going to be seeing past the person in front of him. Sticking to Ingra, who seemed most likely to need his talents, they made their way into the glass structure.

Within the structure, they soon fell into a rhythm. They would find a door, Djir would listen to determine there was a goblin behind it, and then he would interrogate them by pretending to be an even dumber goblin until they’d burst out in an attempt to silence his foolishness.

Little was learned, but many goblins fell to Ingra’s axe. None of them had seen the noqual “wrong green,” no “longshanks” had passed through, and darkness was “always dark, is homey.” Mostly they seemed obsessed with when “food time” was and if we could bring them the “stinky cheese."

The most pitched battle occurred around a goblin gaming table, where Ingra held off five goblins while Hal and Djir dispatched them from range. Even Al got to show off his talents, keeping Ingra on her feet.

Clanky
The companions braced themselves for whatever horrors may await in the goblins’ kitchen, but found something they could not have expected… a small laboratory and a humanoid shape built from clockwork scraps.

“Djir, looks sort of like your gun,” Ingra noted.

Al was alarmed by the assessment. “Careful, it’ll explode!”

Ingra just shook her head. “Not <i>that</i> much like his gun.”

Soon, battle was joined, with the clockwork’s controller demonstrating some mastery of the arcane arts. Ingra squared off with the clockwork, while Djir and Hal focused their fire on the goblin spellcaster.

As the clockwork wound down, beginning to spark ominously in the darkness, the goblin cast a spell and split into two figures, each darting in one direction. Ingra caught one with her axe, causing both to drop to the ground.

“Heh. Looks like I guessed right,” she noted as Djir fired a shot into the automaton, causing it to explode into a hail of clockworks and scrap metal. Distracted by her the goblin’s flight, she took the brunt of the explosion.

Ingra was barely standing and obviously in need of healing, but the healer stopped to check the goblin first. When asked why, Al pointed out this goblin was probably the smartest one here.

Verifying the spellcaster was still alive, Djir and Ingra worked to bind him. Al, calling on Cayden’s powers of life and vigor, restored Ingra and the goblin to health.

You killed Clanky!
With Ingra’s massive bicep threatening to close off his windpipe, the goblin quickly calmed to an indignant huff.

Interrogating the goblin through Djir began on a depressingly similar set of notes. He hadn’t seen the noqual and no longshanks wizards had passed through.

Furthermore, he was quite upset about us killing Clanky. Apparently, Clanky originally came from somewhere deeper in the dungeon, after which the goblin repaired it.

However, he had more information on Grulk. Not only was Grulk “large, ugly, and hurty,” the goblin was also sick of his treatment. A quick bit of negotiations outlined how we could help each other:

  • He would lead us to Grulk and we’d kill him
  • He’d then take over the tribe
  • They’d let us pass through when we needed to
  • We’d bring pickles
Ingra wanted to leave him tied up so he couldn’t betray us. In some quick thinking on the part of Al and Djir, he was convinced to stay tied up so, if we failed to kill Grulk, he could pretend it wasn’t his fault.

“Ah! Is good idea."

Grulk
The goblin lead us to the first room with light in far too long. A spiral staircase wrapped around a glowing spike of unmarked green stone.

Not to be distracted, we made our way up to Grulk’s chambers. Unfortunately, the door was locked and beyond Djir’s ability to pick. Al called on his magic to create a booming voice “Ingra challenges you! Come forth and fight!”

“No.”

So we went for plan B, having Ingra chop down the door. A few strikes in, the door crumbled and we rushed forward to find a hulking bugbear against one wall. He took a shot at Ingra, seriously injuring her again, but quickly suffered an axe blow from Ingra, a pistol shot from Djir, and a dart of arcane energy from Hal.

The wall behind him swung open and he disappeared. Ingra charged after him, only catching herself on the edge of the tower after realizing the door lead out into thin air.

Despite a deadeye parting shot from Djir, Grulk floated to the ground and escaped, running over the surface of the structure and out into the clearing.

All Hail Skizzertz!
With the old boss out of the way, we realized we should find the name of the new boss. He introduced himself as Skizzertz.

We showed Skizzertz around, letting him lead us from goblin bedroom to goblin guardroom, making sure his tribe fell in line under his rule. Sadly, the fatalities earlier had curbed their numbers to only six, including Skizzertz himself.

However, they agreed that we would be let through on promise of pickles.

Behind the last guards, we found another set of stairs curving around the spire in the opposite direction. Ingra took an immediate interest in a rune carved on its otherwise unmarked surface, copying it down for future reference.

Al and Hal, on the other hand, were mostly interested in the sounds of moaning and shuffling echoing up the stairs. Skizzertz explained that a “bad longshanks” with “bad magic” was down there and the goblins didn’t head into the depths anymore.

Djir perked up. “Hey, it could be the guys you’re looking for!”

Al shook his head. “I don’t believe this is the type of magic the Goldenfire Order is known for."

He then suggested it might be time to return to Fort Inevitable and rest, returning when they were prepared to take on the walking dead.

It wasn’t until he was going to sleep that night he realized the clockwork had exploded.

Progress!
XP: 1,370 (630 to level 2)
Completed Quest: Reaching the Spire Dungeons (Ingra)
New Quests: Transport Tools (Ingra), Clockwork Scourge (Djir)

Shared Characters:
Obviously only one session in, but this has worked very well so far. There wasn't any of the usual first-session awkwardness.

Partially that was because Lyz started us sort of in media res. We started basically at the spire, rather than gathering plot hooks. But having well-defined characters to jump into definitely also helped.

Our new player jumped right in, no problem. He'll definitely be back as availability allows.


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Additions:
I've found the Shattered Star Map Pack strongly cross-applies to Rise of the Runelords. One of the maps covers all of Varisia in a player-friendly spoiler-free manner. Another gives a detailed breakdown of Magnimar. The third is Kaer Maga, but you can't win 'em all :)

On a strange note: Issue #1 of the Pathfinder comic has a great little section on Sandpoint. I'd strongly recommend it for Rise of the Runelords.

Second Darkness I'd use Varisia: Birthplace of Legends, Into the Darklands, and possibly Elves of Golarion. The elves book is very early and, as I recall, not completely accurate.

Magnimar: City of Monuments is also great for Shattered Star. (Edit: looks like you added this.) There's also an old module called Seven Swords of Sin that's set in Kaer Maga in the same level range you're there for Asylum Stone.

Wrath of the Righteous can use some information from Lost Kingdoms of Golarion. There's a whole section on Sarkoris, what is now the Worldwound.

Strays:
To the best of my knowledge, Castles of the Inner Sea doesn't tie in to any APs.

Some tangential information from Dungeons of Golarion shows up in Shattered Star (Beyond the Doomsday Door), but it's pretty minimal. It also has some Gallowspire information that might be helpful with Carrion Crown.

The only AP to use Distant Worlds thus far is Reign of Winter (in The Frozen Stars).

Belkzen, Hold of the Orc Hordes will be useful with the Giantslayer path (after Iron Gods).

I don't believe the Taldor, Qadira, and Andoran books tie in with any particular paths. Early in the Pathfinder Campaign Setting line they released some to tie in with Pathfinder Society factions, which I believe included those three and the old Osirion book.

The Harrow was introduced for Curse of the Crimson Throne, but the Harrow Handbook is more of a stand-alone. If you were going to put it some place, I'd say CoCT, though.

Cheers!
Kinak


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People get really, really worked up about this stuff. Personally, I wouldn't try to change their minds. That way lies stupid drama.

If some of the players want to play it, I'd run it for them. Otherwise, I'd keep it in my back pocket until people have time to simmer down and your group needs a break from the usual stuff. They might easily come around.

As an example of that, look at the response to Rasputin Must Die. It was the end of the world when it was revealed and continued being a magnet for drama until it was released. Then people generally realized that it wasn't, in fact, the end of the world... and might actually be kind of cool.

Haladir wrote:

Actually, I think the vibe is more this link.

Of course, the blend of sci-fi and fantasy has a very long history in the genre.

And, of course, can't forget Blackmoor. The second ever D&D supplement, complete with a crashed space ship and stats for power armor.

So Iron Gods, but from 1976 :)

Cheers!
Landon


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Thanks Ashiel and Dudemeister! Keep up the good work :)

S'mon wrote:
@OP: I would contribute to a male-romantic-interest thread (Sir Jereth Rogare, Hellknight of the Nail, in my Curse of the Crimson Throne game was pretty cool, in a Judge Dredd/Robocop sort of way), only 'beefcake' is the male equivalent of female 'cheesecake', ie it's all about the visuals, and I can't get past the terrible thread title. If you weren't going for that, you should have chosen a better title. Sorry.

The title was chosen with tongue firmly in cheek, but there's obviously more to it than just a joke.

As a GM, part of introducing a romantic interest is describing that NPC in a way that the player (or hopefully their character) finds attractive. In my experience, physical appearance plays a major role in that, particularly in the jump from "friendly NPC" to "romantic NPC."

Call it shallow pandering if you like, but I know if I mention how well-muscled the guy they just rescued is, he'll get more romantic consideration from my players. Similarly if I show a piece of NPC art that's a given player's "type."

That said, I apologize for causing offense. I know I'm playing with fire here, so that's on me. I obviously won't ask you to participate in anything that makes you uncomfortable.

Cheers!
Landon


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At least it's not the ice level.


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Ashiel wrote:
I think it would be fun for us all to do a "build a beefcake" workshop. I'd contribute if you guys decide to do that.

Ask and ye shall receive.

Cheers!
Landon


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S'mon wrote:
Yeah, I add potential male & female romantic interests, and other PCs, to both the APs I'm running. In Curse of the Crimson Throne I added heroic Hellknight of the Nail Sir Jereth Rogare (the anonymous dude on the cover of Book 1), who has had a major part in rescuing a female PC from induction into the Gray Maidens, then solving the mystery of the Blood Veil and leading the assault on its source, before riding off into the dawn light with his comnrades in arms at the end of Book 2. In Rise of the Runelords new characters of mine include Alicia Scarnetti, Titus's glamorous & loose-moralled sister, who is about to be in a shotgun wedding with an equally promiscuous PC... :D

PC-PC romances can be good times :)

I actually only realized my players wanted romantic options in their game because of an involved PC-PC courtship. If that hadn't happened, I probably wouldn't have realized it until I ran Rise of the Runelords... and might have skipped the Shayliss encounter to my detriment.

In Rise of the Runelords, I added Telas Turtletamer, a gnome druid who helped wrangle the turtles in Turtleback Ferry. I also had a set of scenes on the Paradise, including a male half-elven prostitute... who stirred up plenty of sexual tension, but ended up being dropped like a bad habit once he wasn't in the way of their mission anymore.

S'mon wrote:
I'm sure I'd keep adding to the APs and making them my own whatever Paizo do. More canon romantic interest male NPCs would still be good, though. I guess it doesn't need to be 50-50, but at least 33-67 would be nice. :)

Absolutely agreed, although outlining for 50/50 is probably best. Even if Paizo nails it, the writer's and artist's cultural preconceptions will make that drift back towards US norms.

But my point is more that: for all the older adventure paths, the community is actually in a better position to add more love interests than Paizo, just by comparing notes like we do about balance and plot holes.

Cheers!
Landon


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It's Going to Take a While...
For what it's worth, we've got at least several months before the concerns raised in this thread can be implemented in print. And, even once they are, it'll take way longer for that change to be perceived by the players.

Heck, Erastil's misogyny is a great example. That's been acknowledged as an error for years and corrected in print back in April, but it'll take a long time for that information to get to everyone.

And even if they balanced everything perfectly in Iron Gods, which I'd think is the absolute earliest we might see any changes from this thread, there's still years of adventures.

Or Maybe Not...
But many of us on the board are GMs and this is something well within our power to fix. It's easy enough for them to add some male love interests in their home games.

So, if you've upgraded an Adventure Path that way, go to the subforum for that path and let people know. If you're running a path and are worried there aren't enough male love interests, ask the people there for help.

Paizo can fix Iron Gods or the AP after that. And we know it's on their radar now. But we can fix the other 13.5 adventure paths right now.

Cheers!
Landon


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Jessica Price wrote:
But I can attest that from the development and editorial side, that there's no "intentional strategy" to make sure the female characters are dressed revealingly. Quite the opposite, actually.

And it's really appreciated, at least by our group.

Perhaps more on point, the diversity is really appreciated. Because the men in our group pretend to be like Ezren, Kyra, and Sajan. And the women in our group pretend to be like Damiel, Feiya, Harsk, Seoni, and our new friend here.

Although having Seoni on things has made me a little uncomfortable before, I'm not going to be the one to tell people "No, you can't pretend to be an attractive woman in revealing garments! I can pretend to be a wizard, but you sexually desirable? Pshaw!"

So, thanks for the mix. Because sometimes the conservatively dressed woman speaks to me and other times... it's the cut, shirtless dude.

Cheers!
Landon


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memorax wrote:
Here the thing though. EVERY rpg company or at least the well run ones want to make a profit. Paizo is no different than Wotc in that regard.

Speaking not as a Paizo fan here, but as a small business owner and a refugee from corporate America: There's a huge difference between "privately-owned LLC trying to make a profit" and "publicly-traded company trying to make a profit."

The owners of LLCs will generally want to cover costs, support themselves, and hopefully pay their staff living wages. Obviously, that's going to require some money, but past that point it's completely in the owners' court.

For the vast majority of publicly-traded companies, you're looking at owners like Capital Research Global Investors and Vanguard Group. Which is to say: owners with a responsibility to their clients to eek every last dollar out of the company that they can.

There are certainly small business owners who act as though it's their job to accumulate as much money as possible, regardless of how that impacts the business's workers or customers. But, in the case of a publicly-traded company, you'll probably have owners for whom that is literally their job.

Cheers!
Landon


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Listening to the Skinsaw Man here makes me wish I'd had listened to these before I started running Rise of the Runelords. Very nice!

And, of course, by "nice" I mean "creepy." As it should be.

Cheers!
Landon


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One thing that's important to keep in mind with 3.x D&D and Pathfinder is that most fantasy heroes top out around 6th-level. So, as far as the Fellowship, Conan, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, or Lovecraft's protagonists are concerned... CR 30 is straight-up unkillable.

Especially as described in Bestiary 4, the Great Old Ones are forces that can lay waste to nations. But when your party is also a force that can lay waste to nations (as high level Pathfinder parties assuredly are), one of them has to lose.

Speaking as a huge Lovecraft fan I'm both glad they appear in Bestiary 4 and think, if anything, their power level is higher than it needs to be.

Cheers!
Landon


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Congratulations Team Paizo!

The new skald song is one of those things that made me shout "That's so ****ing cool!" into an empty room... then be very glad I don't work in an office anymore.

And those gauntlet shots are amazing. Thank you for sharing a little look inside the madness :)

Cheers!
Landon


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I ran an Iron Heroes game at one point where the PCs were part of the largely-scattered Powhatan confederation around the start of the American Revolution.

The colonists weren't all bad guys but the players didn't mind killing them if they had something the tribe needed. Everyone felt basically the same way about the British military, although those interactions were handled with a bit more caution.

There were some low-key fantastic elements, but the general landscape was as close as I could get it to Virginia in that era. That said, the old "blood magic user sacrificing slaves to fuel his magic" trope takes on a very different tone when your setting is colonial Virginia. Similarly, stolen places of power being repurposed by evil cults becomes much more intense in context.

Overall it was a good experiment and I would do it again with any reasonably mature group.

Cheers!
Landon


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I'd say player option bloat kicks in when my players look at the options available for their concept and are overwhelmed.

For classes and prestige classes, I'd say we're a long way off. At least, as long as my players are starting from concepts and using that to narrow down their choices.

For feats, we're possibly even further off. Rather than being overwhelmed with the options, it's often a question of finding one that fits at all.

Spells, I'll grant, are pretty overwhelming. But they start out pretty overwhelming in core, so I'm not sure how much it hurts to add another log to the fire.

That said, I can see it being pretty overwhelming for someone trying to build a character from mechanics first... But that's not something I ever want my players doing, so it being difficult actually makes my job easier as a GM.

Cheers!
Landon


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As an American, I often feel compelled to apologize for the insane dichotomy between sex and violence that shows up in products sold here. So, um... sorry, international Paizo customers.

In practice, showing someone's intestines or splattered brains is considered at the edge of good taste here, but showing a woman's nipples will get you pulled from a lot of stores.

Similarly, describing a love scene in the same level of detail as the battle scenes in most fantasy novels can fly under the radar, but will become a major descriptor of your writing if it's noticed.

Since many of Paizo's writers are here in the States, I'm sure a lot of them have internalized this as well. I know I personally don't think twice about describing vicious battles and body horror, but I need to be pushed by my players to even include fade-to-black sex.

In America's defense, we might be making a little progress. Hopefully stuff like Game of Thrones will remind the broader market that sex actually does sell and maybe they should just freaking sell it to us rather than dancing around the issue like puritanical idiots.

We'll see.

Tinkergoth wrote:
Asylum Stone pg 55: Hmmm. Yeah, visceral. Not as bad as the previous one, but without context pretty full on still. Troll doesn't appear to be in pain, but could easily be disturbing for young'uns, or those are are sensitive to that sort of thing.

With the context there, though, it's pretty awesome.

For what it's worth, young me would have freaking loved the Augurs. Old me freaking loves them too.

I was literally just pointing that art out on the Shattered Star pawn set to my spouse last night. Not because intestines are awesome, but because it's very representative of the Augurs.

Cheers!
Landon


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Larkos wrote:
Jonathon Vining wrote:


Have you tried replacing them with free Vital Strike line of feats? That's been my thought on eliminating iterative attacks but I haven't had a chance to try it out yet.
I don't know if that works or not. That would severely lower the damage of marital classes and make TWF impossible. Vital strike only increases weapon damage. You only get the bonuses of things like power attack or sneak attack once under that system.

That's the best quick fix, but Larkos nails the issue with it long-term.

Mythic Vital Strike fixes the bonuses not scaling, but actually causes an explosion of damage because nobody's missing with their iteratives.

You might be able to swing something like "Choose the level of strike you're going for: -0, -5, -10, or -15. If you hit with -5, the attack is treated as an 2x critical hit, 3x for -10, and 4x for -15." Which nails it, but only for characters who doesn't use bows, flurry of blows, two weapons, or sneak attack...

To get those you need to make some more changes. It ends up being sprawling -- more changes than I'm willing to make on the player side.

I've actually gotten rid of almost all multiple-attacks for monsters (either rolling them into one attack or abstracting them into one attack roll). That works great. I just wish I could help out my players the same way.

My gut says the best solution may be an alternate base class (or classes or archetypes) focused on standard attack actions. Then any changes can be kept contained to that material. As a bonus, that way each player can then choose if they want to opt out of iterative attacks.

Cheers!
Landon


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QuietBowser wrote:
I mean, orc-raised half-orcs *have* to be either token evil teammates, very dark anti-heroes, or Drizz't style rebels, since all detailed orc societies are Chaotic Evil cesspits of hatred, violence and abuse.

I should let my players know they're doing it wrong :)

In all seriousness, though, not everyone who grows up in a bad environment ends up as either a carbon copy of their oppressors or a paragon of justice. Those are the ones that stories get told about, to be sure, but there's a spectrum of options in between.

The whole range of neutral motivations are still available. People who grew up in bad environments have all the more reason to seek after things like food, shelter, acceptance, wealth, love, safety, and personal power.

Unless leaving for purely selfish reasons makes you a "Drizz't style rebel," there's a huge gap in your list of options.

Landon Winkler wrote:
This thread totally makes me want to read Pirate's Honor.

I totally read Pirate's Honor because of this thread. It was quite good and handled the romance angle very well.

Cheers!
Landon


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It depends a lot on metaphysical information we don't have.

Here are a few reasons it might be evil.

Let's Make a Deal:
Most mythological summoning requires some sort of deal with the creature before or afterwards. That isn't explicitly the case in Pathfinder, outside of the planar ally spells.

But there's a factor buried here. Summon Monster I is obviously enough to bring a being across the planes to you, so why do some creatures require Summon Monster IX?

Maybe it's not that they can't respond to a Summon Monster I, it's that their going rate is a 9th-level spell slot. We don't know what role those spell slots play in their lifecycle, but giving demons power seems like a bad idea.

Frayed Around the Edges:
So, you're casting these spells that pull something from the Abyss into the world for a few rounds, then send it back.

It's entirely possible it brings Abyssal energy with it or the spell draws that area closer to the Abyss. Either of these is problematic. Maybe with enough summoning, tears will begin to open, allowing demons to pass through on their own.

On the other hand, summoning something from the Heavens would do the opposite, spreading law and good.

Lingering Taint:
On a more personal level, using the spells might require the caster channel energy from that plane through themselves, leaving a mark on them.

Even if summoning demons isn't morally incorrect, that residue might make you detect as evil and even weigh your soul down for purposes of what afterlife you're sent to.

This opens the interesting question of people trying to cheat the system by summoning good outsiders, which I feel is a feature, but others might think is a bug. The good outsiders certainly might not appreciate it.

In The Mirror:
If a good wizard and an evil wizard both summon a dire rat, one is celestial and one is fiendish. The dire rat also matches their alignment. They have no choice in this, it's just the way it is.

The summonings are, in some way, a reflection of the caster's life and beliefs. What does it say about the caster when that reflection is a dretch or lemure?

Combat Experience:
Setting aside the mechanical consideration of XP for a moment, responding to summons would be a great way for outsiders to train for battle. You show up, often immediately into a fight, and if you die, it's only for 24 hours.

Given the choice between training the legions of Hell and the choruses of Heaven, the moral choice is pretty clear.

Cheers!
Landon


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Because that's what your parents worshipped? Or what the community you're in worship?

That's how most of these decisions are made on Earth and the reasoning is only stronger if attending services gives you a discount on your community's best (or only) source for medical care.

Even good characters or those playing some Pascal's Wager game would probably find a better fit among the Empyreal Lords than the major gods, but they're not poring through supplements trying to find the perfect fit. They're choosing from the handful of faiths they've had contact with.

And, if you're lawful evil and looking for a faith, Iomedae and Erastil sound just as dumb to you as they do to chaotic good people. Sure, you agree with them on some points, but they're pretty deeply misguided on others. So you end up worshiping Asmodeus because he sounds like he has his head on straight.

Cheers!
Landon


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There are some cool options, but there could certainly be more cool options. We have a channel-loving cleric in our game who would like another feat or two, certainly.

I offered more feats along the lines of Quick Channel (sacrificing an extra use for empower, a use for widen, or two uses for maximize), but he hasn't bitten. He absolutely loves Quick Channel and did take the channel breath of life feat, though, which might come in handy.

Honestly, though, I think the main reason there aren't other metachannels is that quick channel makes them pretty obsolete. There's little need for an empower or maximize when you can drop two channels in a round. Widen would have been eh to begin with.

I'd certainly accept more channel feats, but I feel like at this point it's largely gilding the lily. There's space for stuff like clearing status effects or moving those healed (friendly equivalent to channel force), but it already does its core role so well I don't feel it needs much.

I'm kind of stunned by the negativity towards channel some people in this thread have, though. I mean, it's the internet, so I should expect that, but I personally point to channel as one of the best improvements between 3.5 and Pathfinder.

Cheers!
Landon


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I don't miss it, no.

If I were going to include a healing cantrip, I'd probably have it increase the effectiveness of "Treat Deadly Wounds" with the Heal skill. Like adding your ranks in Heal to the amount healed.

But, even then, I'd rather have that be a feat or alchemical item, to spread healing around a little.

fel_horfrost wrote:
I just thought it might end the 15 minute adventure day as is.

The real question is what you're trying to get around. If you're okay with the party starting at full resources every fight, but think it's weird that they rest constantly, just restore HP and spells after every fight.

Most complaints about the 15 minute day, though, are about how players are getting around the intended play (slowly wearing down the party over the course of a day). In that case, you need to push your party harder. Giving them the benefits of the 15 minute day, even repackaged in orison form, wouldn't help you at all in that case.

If you're pushing the characters so hard that they would literally die with one more encounter, you're probably better off increasing starting HP than restoring full HP after every fight. Or maybe easing off on the encounter difficulty.

Cheers!
Landon


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One thing I've been considering is redefining flat-footed from "when an enemy can't apply their dex bonus" to "when an enemy is not applying a dex bonus."

Basically, making sneak attack usable against whose flat-footed AC matches their normal AC. Flavorwise, if the target is so slow it doesn't matter if they're aware of the rogue's presence, it seems like the rogue should be able to take advantage of that.

It has the side effect of generally scaling well, with larger enemies appearing at higher level and often having abysmal dex. Having the rogue shine against giant, slow enemies hits a good flavor spot for me too.

Cheers!
Landon


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The actual question here is "why would high-level wizards use ships instead of teleportation to transport cargo?" And, when high-level wizards transport cargo, teleportation is a good option.

But, if a wizard is going to put the effort into building a teleportation network, I'd expect something more in it for them than the nominal gains from creating magical items.

At the very least, I'd expect them to run the network themselves and make ridiculous amounts of money by charging a premium and poaching customers from traditional shipping. And, if that's happened, I'd imagine competition between them and any upstarts could get... unpleasant.

Or they could use it like the Inspired to gain incredible strategic advantage for a country they're attached to. There are things much more important than gold, especially at high level.

For my time, the best use of a network like this is to set up a demonstration and then ask every trading company within teleportation range how much money it's worth to bury it for them. It's going to be cheaper for them to buy you off than assassinate a high-level wizard.

Even if you have some grudge against seafaring and caravans, a wizard capable of casting spells of that level is also intelligent enough to suspect the economic repercussions of their actions.

Is selling one set of teleportation circles worth driving several caravans or ships out of business, along with their builders and suppliers? Particularly if you're talking about a wholesale replacement of those industries, entire cities or even nations can lose their economic reason for being. It's not as though wizards don't have other, infinitely less disruptive, ways to make money.

If players want to play economics, hardball economics can make for good high-level campaigns. But there are plenty of reasons for NPCs to protect the status quo until the PCs get there.

Actual Play Example:
Something very much like this actually happened in my long-running 2nd Edition campaign. Two PCs gained control of a city and one of them built a network of free gates to connect it to the other major cities on the continent, with the goal of making their city the nexus of all trade.

They even installed a cooldown of sorts, so people would have to spend the night in the city after each hop. High-level wizards played by canny players are scary, but probably still less scary than a high-level wizard should be.

But there's no way they would have done something like that just because someone paid them. And, if someone had brought it up, they would have given that person some consideration and then made the network themselves. You don't become an archmage to do piecework for some merchants.

Trade routes were rearranged, with many drying up as trade was shunted through the PCs' city. In the course of a decade game time, many towns and even military outposts along those routes became ghost towns.

More people moved into the cities, near the gates, but it's not as though there were magically a bunch of extra jobs. And, with many roads falling out of general use and areas losing strategic importance, the routes traditionally used to pass between those cities were slowly ceded to monsters.

With a staunchly neutral city mediating all trade, there was also less reason to fear disturbing relations with other countries. The former trade power (now just one satellite of the gate network) could begin expanding militarily for the first time in centuries. On the bright side, the resulting war employed a lot of the people who had lost their jobs with shifting trade patterns.

The PCs got what they wanted... at the expense of making their city a hotbed of espionage along with trade, reducing dozens of vibrant settlements to monster bait, and embroiling the continent in a new war.

I don't suggest making all (or even most) campaigns about economics, but if your PCs want to revolutionize the world, they're handing you a major plot hook. Grab it and run.

Cheers!
Landon


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rknop wrote:
I need Paizo to publish more APs that I don't want to play or run.... I have the problem that I can't come close to running them all, but I want to. My FtF Kingmaker group is halfway through after just over a year. (Taking summers off, and mostly playing only about twice a month, mind you.) And PbP games... well, time dilation is huge.

I know that feeling! Even completing a campaign a year, we're falling behind at an absurd rate.

We'll be starting Shattered Star around GenCon and I already have an old friend who wants to come out of retirement to play Reign of Winter... a player who wants to play Wrath of the Righteous... another player who wants me to convert Second Darkness... and my spouse is thinking about running Emerald Spire when it comes out.

That's one of the reasons I'm so excited about paths like Iron Gods. I'd rather have them reach for the stars and risk falling short than make a "safe" AP, because I can't run all of them anyway so the chance of something truly phenomenal clearly outweighs the risk of having one I won't run.

Cheers!
Landon


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What Set said!

I'd expand on Nethys a bit, though, because he's both the god of magic and creation/destruction. Absorbing offensive magic but still using it to destroy something (be it the original caster or something else) seems like it would be right up his alley, moreso than pure abjuration or even pure invocation.

For mechanics, I'd check out the arcanist from the Advanced Class Guide playtest rules. They have the advanced counterspelling, power management, and blasting pieces there already. You just need the right arcanist build or to port those over into feats or a new class.

Cheers!
Landon


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Pan wrote:
W E Ray wrote:

Yeah.

And here's hoping they decide to stop, at least for a couple years (4 APs), doing the "experimental" APs.

Modules are a great venue for time travelling and SciFi Planet adventures and all that other hogwash that's only fun every once in a blue moon.

The APs should stick to new twists and plays on the classic D&D / high fantasy swords & sorcery tropes.

No way, I like the mix it should be 50/50.

I personally really like the 50/50. It takes us about a year to get through an AP, which means having a safe AP and one attempt to hit it out of the park in that time is perfect for us. Obviously, other groups will have other tastes.

On the bright side, "experimental" doesn't really mean "crazy setting" in this context. Wrath of the Righteous and Shattered Star are both entrenched in long-standing fantasy traditions. I mean, fighting an army of demons and dungeon crawling to gather the fragments of a shattered artifact? It's hard to get more classic than that.

They're just experimental in other ways (the Mythic rules and being a sequel, respectively). I wouldn't want sequels or Mythic paths all the time either, but I'm glad they keep trying new things.

Cheers!
Landon


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Mikaze wrote:
That's where the Wati article comes into play for me. It's practically the other half of the adventure. I definitely wouldn't run straight through the adventure as a GM< but try to weave it back and forth with events in Wati, before and during the adventure itself.

Yeah, I actually really appreciated the way the adventure was structured to give natural times to hook in the Wati and rival adventuring content.

It's basically three separate mini-adventures with one home base, which gives you time to pace the RP and action so your players don't get overwhelmed with one or the other. And a few scenes explicitly to bring in the church and various rivals.

I'll end up doing the legwork of RPing, but that'd be the case even if they gave me an entire book of nothing but roleplaying information. I think they hit a good balance in this case, although I can see people wanting more direction.

Cheers!
Landon


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Tourq wrote:

Interesting, thanks!

How did you make him a fanboy?

Looking at his backstory, I think Karzoug is the only person who ever really accepted him or treated his skills as anything other than a vile secret. He's also sort of possessed, but I played him like a true believer who'd really be into it even without Karzoug's influence.

His basic sales pitch was "We can set aside our conflicts, leave behind our age of bickering tribes, humans and giants ruling side by side, a return to the prosperity of Thassilon of old."

As far as Karzoug "And who better to lead us than Karzoug, the architect of the previous Golden Age and the greatest of Thassilon's runelords?" Which is where the fanboy part totally comes in.

You can foreshadow Xin-Shalast a bit with something like "He carved Thassilon's greatest city from the realm of nightmares, an oasis of boundless luxury where the streets are literally paved with gold."

I made a point to hit on gold and prosperity a lot during the pitch, keeping thing's firmly in Greed's court. I'm not sure if my players picked up on it, but it amused me.

I don't have an arcane caster in my group, but he'd probably be most confused by them standing against him. The idea of a society where rulership is determined by magical skill really appeals to Mokmurian and he'd imagine other casters would feel similarly.

That's probably his justification for giant slavery in old Thassilon too, if the party brings it up. It's not his fault that those giants are stupid. If they studied more, they could be in Karzoug's inner circle like him.

Cheers!
Landon


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Hi Mr. Gerbik, welcome aboard!

As Tangent101 said, they shouldn't run into too many problems. The APs are designed with a pretty casual group in mind.

That said, once you have the group set, it always pays to go through the adventures and make sure that there isn't anything that'll totally hit them unprepared. Traps that no one in your party can find, combats with flying opponents when your party only has melee characters, or monsters that inflict long-term status effects your party can't remove... stuff like that.

If you're still concerned after everyone creates their characters, I'd suggest starting a thread about the exact circumstance. Barring some very suboptimal choices, though, they should be fine.

Cheers!
Landon


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I really like the new format, particularly having some adventure content integrated with the story.

In the old format, I read everything but the fiction and think to myself "once I have the whole AP, I'll go back and read the fiction." Then I forget to go back and read it. Which kind of makes me feel like a jerk, but there you have it.

But with it integrated more closely, I'll probably read it along with the rest of the issue. There's no guarantee I'll like all of it, but I'll definitely be getting more value out of it now than in the past.

Cheers!
Landon


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I noticed this too, reading through the Adventure Path. I was like "woah, two same-sex couples featuring in prominent roles."

Then I realized that I wouldn't have had the same thought if they were opposite-sex couples.

It's like the first issue of Shattered Star, when I realized that almost every NPC is female. I, certainly, wouldn't have noticed if they were mostly or even exclusively male. Even a cursory reading would show that's normal in modules and at my table when ad libbing.

It's also like Burnt Offerings, when I realized that the NPCs care about sex. This enormous drive that defines so much of who we are and what we do... left out because I hadn't stopped to think about it enough.

For me at least, having a bunch of same-sex couples is important because it makes me take notice. Because if I don't notice that I've been screwing this up for decades, I can't even start fixing it.

So to Paizo I say "Keep challenging my privilege." I'll still be a middle-class college-educated white dude in an opposite-sex relationship. But I'm not going to grow as a person or a GM if my assumptions don't get rattled sometimes.

Cheers!
Landon


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mkenner wrote:
I don't usually have much in the way of magic item markets within my campaigns. They just seem like too much of a high-ticket item to sit on a shelf somewhere. Instead various guilds trade items around the world. A player who is interested in obtaining a certain item just finds a broker, who for a large finder fee (the 50% markup in the book) uses their contacts to either order one in from another city or to have it commissioned.

I just wanted to say the fee for brokering is brilliant. That neatly explains that mark-up and, at the same time, potentially creates some plot hooks or provides some interesting alternate rewards.

Cheers!
Landon


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There was some talk at the Emerald Spire seminar at GenCon that the final (James Jacobs) level of the spire will shed some light on mysteries of Orv and the Vault Keepers/Builders.

That's all I got, but figured you'd want to know.

Cheers!
Landon


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I have a great group with one player who's been in a ton of my games (spoiler alert: I'm married to her), one long-time player who joined our group at the start of this campaign, someone with a couple campaigns under her belt, and a brand new player. They're all awesome.

I hear a lot of good things about our GM (spoiler alert: that's me) and I hear a lot of good things about Pathfinder. Everyone's been really enjoying Rise of the Runelords and we're about to hit the final showdown in Sins of the Saviors.

After that, we're planning on doing Shattered Star. We might use the Mythic Rules, but are almost assuredly using the Advanced Class Guide playtest.

But, yeah, we love the game and how it's growing and changing. And what complaints we do have get handled openly and taken care of without drama.

Cheers!
Landon


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I can understand why the sort of people who post on these threads are lukewarm to the idea of a strategy guide, but I have new players that are going to love this. The Core Rulebook is incredibly intimidating, as easy as it is to use when you already know everything in it.

So I'm very excited to see this coming out. Thanks, Paizo!

Cheers!
Landon


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Personally, I love plots like this, so I'd give the players mixed but generally positive results.

I'd have each leader approached give dire warnings about not trusting the other cults for various reasons. If the players work through the bad blood, they can get a powerful ally or two. If they don't filter through things, they might get a mole.

Here's how I see it breaking down, just based on the gods:

Dispater
The cult of Dispater will probably be the most helpful. Asmodeus and Rovagug have issues going way back and Dispater is, if not loyal, then at least extremely close to Asmodeus.

The biggest complication is probably that the clergy of Dispater will probably expect to be put in charge or at least make a serious powerplay. They might ask, for example, for the local authorities to recognize them as an official church in exchange for their help.

Urgathoa
Most cultists of Urgathoa are planning on becoming undead (or have already). If these cultists fall into that category, they can probably be convinced to be helpful. After all, you're only as immortal as you can keep yourself alive.

The complication from Urgathoa is probably in their methods. Infecting the denizens of the Darklands with various diseases to weaken them and prevent further raids, raising undead troops, and generally offending the sensibilities of everyone around them. If the plagues they release happen to effect non-combatants or stick around after the invasion is turned aside... well, that would be terrible, wouldn't it?

Zyphus
I find it hard to see Zyphus helping. He's pretty nihilistic. If anything, they might take the coming tide as their opening to send as many people to Zyphus as possible.

I'd have the other cults be pretty explicit about this, to the extent of offering to help put Zyphus's worshippers down. But if the players ally with Zyphus... well, on their heads be it.

Cheers!
Landon


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Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Landon, it's not a competition about whose life is harder. Its an attempt to provide some perspective on the situation.

I'm also trying to add a bit of perspective. I don't think our points are actually all that different.

But we diverge if you say we shouldn't be providing positive feedback to Paizo. We don't have the luxury of knowing what's going on in their team's lives or how happy they really are at the end of the day. We also don't have the luxury of somehow diverting our positive feedback to someone less fortunate.

So, say nice things about Paizo when they deserve them. Let your GM or players know when they had a good session or a sweet idea. Thank forum moderators when they create a friendly environment. Tip well for good service, if you can afford it. Let teachers know if they taught you something and students know if they learned something.

Just because someone's better off than me or has what I imagine would be a dream job doesn't exempt them from that basic courtesy.

Adamantine Dragon wrote:
I appreciate how some fans of Paizo feel a need to rally to the defense of the Paizo developers. But sometimes the reality is that some, at least, of the criticism is deserved. Then the knee-jerk protective reaction is counter-productive since it shields the developers from criticism that is deserved.

Perhaps your experience is different, but I've always found that counter-productive feedback is just whatever kind that annoys the recipient. And whether that's because of vitriol, smarminess, repetition, all caps, grammar, or some pet peeve... if you annoy the person you're giving feedback to, they're less likely to listen and will judge your idea below its merits. That's just human nature.

But honest positive feedback is never wasted. Specifics are more useful for choosing direction than vague generalities, to be sure, but it's still never wasted.

I want people to be happy, as a general rule. Much more so if they've added enjoyment to my life, as basically everyone on the Paizo staff have, individually or together.

And, even if them being happy has no impact at all on the products I get in the mail, that has worth.

Adamantine Dragon wrote:
I believe this is one of those times. I understand what the developers were trying to do, but this is a cluster f*** of serious proportions, and trying to pretend otherwise does nobody any good.

People are obviously quite excited about arguing about it. As I said before, more power to them.

But people care about very different things. I would be hard-pressed to categorize any Pathfinder FAQ update as being a cluster, let alone one of serious proportions. The forum response might qualify for the folks who have spent their weekend putting out fires.

So it might be worth considering that people aren't pretending at all. It might not be a cluster to them. There's room to care about the game very deeply and not have an FAQ entry even show up on your radar, let alone be a major feature of your day.

Cheers!
Landon


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Adamantine Dragon wrote:
That's all I'm saying. I appreciate the Paizo staff, I really do, but all this "oh you poor abused people" nonsense is just hilarious. They sit at a computer keyboard and read messages, which they can delete without fear of a knife coming out. Seriously people. It's a b%$@! sometimes, but let's not get carried away.

I'm sure we could have a great contest about whose life is harder and whose jobs and spouse's jobs are worse, but... you know what? It doesn't really matter. Some of us have managers with unreasonable expectations, some of us get death threats regularly, some of us get splattered with acid on a daily basis. We all have our own problems.

But doing your honest best at something you care about and having people dump on it sucks. Whether it sucks more or less than a soulless corporate grind or walking new employees through the bomb threat procedure is completely irrelevant.

All that matters is that it sucks and that trying to put it into perspective with a little positive feedback is laudable. If you think other people also need positive feedback, I won't contest that in the slightest, but the simple solution is to give those people positive feedback as well.

Cheers!
Landon


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Thanks for making this thread.

Some people seem really excited about arguing. More power to them, really, I hope they're enjoying themselves, but I've been hiding thread after thread for the past couple days. Because I'm not going to stand around arguing that we shouldn't be arguing.

Anyway, thanks to the developers for continuing to provide a great product and the community staff for wading through the vitriol to make sure nothing crosses the line.

I won't pretend to be the majority, because I have no real idea. But I'll be over here enjoying your game rather than arguing about it on the internet.

Cheers!
Landon


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From a native of Northern Wisconsin, thanks for the Hodag. It's like having a little bit of home in the Bestiary.

And the mini looks awesome!

Cheers!
Landon


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Jeff Erwin wrote:
Where is Carcosa?

At the end of the play, we learn Carcosa was inside us all along.


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Honestly, I think the answer is "don't optimize."

Shoot, instead, for a consistent power level with the other PCs so that the GM can challenge all of you with the same encounter and everyone can contribute.

Cheers!
Landon


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Probably the greatest strength to the Inner Sea is that each country largely stands alone. So each country could probably have it's own list.

I'd honestly suggest focusing on one area and exploring its theme or one theme and exploring its areas. There's a lot in the Inner Sea Region, to the extent that you shouldn't try to cram it all into one campaign.

Some of my favorites, in the order they occurred to me:
1) Goblins. Pathfinder goblins are hilarious and, if you hit the notes right, creepy at the same time. If you haven't dealt with them a lot, I'd download We Be Goblins to get the flavor.

2) Cheliax. It's a giant evil nation that's obviously evil, has a good reason for citizens to be okay with it, and is not completely dysfunctional.

3) Aroden. The death of Aroden and the subsequent failure of prophecy is a huge blessing. Don't let yourself get suckered into prophetic plots and, if you do, have the out of prophecy not being reliable anymore.

Bonus points for the Worldwound and the Eye of Abendego.

4) Kaer Maga. There's probably no reason to go up there unless you're in Varisia, but it's one of my favorite fantasy cities ever.

5) Magnimar. Also a great city, with some really good hooks in its monuments.

6) Thassilon. Great ancient civilization with lots of hooks to the modern day and a good feel that pervades its monuments.

Can you tell I'm running a game in Varisia now?

7) The Pathfinder Society. If you're going to run a game trying to visit everything cool in the Inner Sea, this is almost a must. They provide a good reason to go just about everywhere.

8) Axis. Not really in the "Inner Sea Region" per se, but the plane of law being a giant city should be done more often. Also, I have a soft spot for Axiomites.

9) Desna. Friendly goddess of Travel and Dreams, with just a little edge of creepiness.

10) Isger. It sounds weird, but I really like this place. There are a lot of places you can adventure, but damn does this place need adventurers.

Cheers!
Landon

Goblin Squad Member

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Bluddwolf wrote:
Blog wrote:
* PvP conflicts where the death of the target means no gain for the attacker, i.e. randomly killing people for no reason.
None of these apply to banditry, unless it is repeatedly used against the same person, by the same person, which the devs have already described the punishment for that.

It's not a problem in actual banditry. If the tools you're using to encourage banditry also reward "randomly killing people for no reason," then you have a problem.

Bluddwolf wrote:

The "Conga Line" issue you bring up has been dealt with. Bandits will get a double rep hit for attacking a merchant after the merchant has already given into a SAD. The way the bandits will know that the merchant has given into a SAD is that the merchant would have the "fleeced flag".

My question in this tread is addressing the potential exploit of merchants using their own alts, to generate a "Fleeced Flag", without actually being fleeced. There is still no answer to that issue.

I'm sorry if it wasn't clear I was talking about the Conga Line in regards to other people who want Fleeced removed. If you want to keep Fleeced, that's obviously not a problem.

I also did read your first post and understood the problem you're pointing out. That's actually why I suggested penalizing the people who S&D'd someone first than the person who did so last, because the Fleecer in town would be the one taking the hit and the actual bandits would be in the clear.

Even if you hate the idea, it's not me trying to undercut your bandit mojo. I'm just seeing if we can find a better fix than the Fleeced tag.

Bluddwolf wrote:
Wow!! You really are at a huge disadvantage... I wouldn't even try to harvest and bring to market resources with a deck stacked against me like that.

Yeah, I know, it's hard being me :P

In-game, I'll obviously be struggling to avoid bandits as much as possible. It doesn't mean I want that to be made easy. I just don't want the experience when I do get caught to be miserable. I don't think that's much to ask.

In all seriousness, I think a system where Outlaws gain (instead of lose) reputation for killing people near their hideouts would be more fun for me, the non-Outlaw, than Stand and Deliver. That would make life way harder, but certainly more interesting.

Which is to say: I really don't think Stand and Deliver is too hard. I'm just not seeing how it'd actually be fun yet.

Anyway, we seem to be talking past each other, but I hope you get an answer to your question about Fleeced. You did raise a good concern

Cheers!
Landon

Goblin Squad Member

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
The reason I think the reputation loss is an interesting idea is because I think it would really motivate bandits to go after others in their territory, and that's what they should be doing.

Yeah, it's kind of funny being accused of trying to destroy PvP when I want to open up the conflict to more parties. Encouraging outlaws to claim territory (outside of the settlement system) can be done in a number of ways, but is really something that should be done somehow.

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
I also see appeal in just scrapping the Fleeced flag (or making it strictly for show, so other bandits know they've got competition) but I think the reputation loss idea has a lot of merit.

Yeah, I'm not a big fan of Fleeced. But, if the alternative is letting people get stand and delivered over and over, I'll take it.

Mbando wrote:
Thanks--that's exactly what you're missing. The system is NOT meant to make PvP infrequent. It's for PvP to make sense.

I absolutely agree that it's a goal to create a structured PvP environment.

But why do they want structured PvP? It's not so it's internally consistent. It's nice if it makes sense, but it's structured to drive certain player behaviors.

That's probably not news to you. I mean, they say it at the top of the blog, so I don't feel I'm showering you with ancient wisdom or anything. But they're trying to discourage behaviors that make PvP victims hate the game.

Near the top of that list is getting ganked over and over while they're trying to do something else. If people didn't hate that and Goblinworks weren't trying to discourage it, we wouldn't have all these flags and timers and reputation hits. If you were expected to be unprotected in the wilderness, no one would lose Reputation outside of town and flags like Traveler wouldn't exist to reward dropping your protection.

So the point of the robbery system is to create a framework victims can enjoy more than getting ganked. Then the game rewards outlaws for using Stand and Deliver rather than just attacking, making PvP more enjoyable overall.

Which means if someone's suggestion for Stand and Deliver is as bad as getting ganked or allows people to be gank with impunity, that's completely relevant. The system can make all the sense in the world, but still fail at it's primary goal of encouraging positive behavior.

Cheers!
Landon

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mbando wrote:
It's supposed to be non-consensual PvP. So if SAD is every bit non-consensual PvP, then the design goal is being met. Choosing how to solve a social problem like robbery, both in the immediate tactical sense of a stick-up, and in the larger, strategic sense of making a hex safe for passage, is a big part of the content of the game.

Well, one of us is deeply misunderstanding what Goblinworks wants to do with this system.

Goblinworks has put a lot of time and effort into gently encouraging people to open themselves to PvP precisely because they don't want a lot of non-consensual PvP going on. I don't know why they'd go through all that effort, then let thieves run rampant.

On a deeper level, getting bullied and shaken down might actually be less fun than getting ganked. Much of the reason people quit after ganking, particularly repeated ganking, is the feeling of powerlessness.

And after you've been shaken down a couple times in a row and admitted you can't do anything about it, why bother logging back in?

Bending people to your will by making them admit their own powerlessness might be "content," but I can't see how it fits into the vision of a game with limited PvP.

Mbando wrote:
Basically, suggestions that destroy game content aren't useful.

That's a good catch phrase but, like most catch phrases, misses the point. Content can and does have negative consequences on the game, far beyond the value it adds.

I'm probably going to end up being a harvester in game, the sort of person you want to be robbing. I could advocate for a system that let me get rare resources in safe areas. That's content and I'd play the hell out of it, but I'd enjoy the game less because there's no risk and you'd enjoy the game less because you couldn't steal my stuff.

Similarly, you're asking for the Goblinworks-sanctioned ability to rob or attack me without consequences. The content there is me. I'd enjoy the game less because their idea of limited PvP was a complicated sham and I don't need games to experience the feeling of powerlessness. And you'd enjoy the game less because you couldn't steal my stuff.

The actual way for you to maximize PvP content is to do exactly what Goblinworks is doing: discourage non-consensual PvP and encourage people consenting. It's better for your non-consensual PvP to come at a cost than to not have victims.

Cheers!
Landon

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Valandur wrote:
I wish they would base market data off of settlement progress. Use the settlement level to dictate how much info is available in surrounding hexes. Settlements that are on good terms with each other Would offer more market data between them, while settlements with bad relations would have very little market data being swapped. Obviously alliances and player kingdoms would have even more data available to its members.

They're just bowing to the reality that there will be a website with all the information on it, updated constantly, regardless of what they do. So just letting people search globally, rather than having a complex system of views, cuts out the middle man and saves work.

It sucks, but sometimes you can't beat 'em and have to do the other thing.

That said, they can obviously still make people go to wherever to pick up their item. Which means the economy will still function, it's just a little more transparent than it would be in a perfect world.

Cheers!
Landon

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