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as for alignment, I'd coin Dash as CG (doesn't think the rules apply to him. Uses powers against her sister in a "no powers!" zone/game/houserules, consciously pushes boundaries to see how far he can go before getting caught).
Where Dash is the Incredible who most likely to "go deep", violet is the one looking after the group. She isn't the kind of protector that becomes the target like Bob, she acts in shadows to strike at the most opportune moment, usually to thwart the plans of the bad guys in an unforeseen way. I hesitate between LG and NG, but I could see her developing into a LG character.
I mean, I guess I never put it in the same context as the others, because it was so blatant and heavy-handed throughout.
Yes, its an obvious trick, but a coherent trick with other characters nonetheless.
The whole movie is about transformation; its not a trick really, its (one of) the theme of the story.
Both Violet and Dash (and even Jack-Jack for that matter) change their view on things after their adventure.
At the beginning, Violet is shy in her outlook and relationship, but also in the way she handles change and her powers. It's about confidence of course, but she goes from "better be small, better be protected, better be overlooked" to "others will know I'm there and I will move forward to protect my family". That doesn't prevent her from being invisible, but her powers go from hiding to allowing her brother to run.
Dash goes from "I wish I could show the world how I'm the best" to "I'm good with fronting as close-second"
The movie shows Bob and Helen after they have been transformed. For Dash and Violet, it shows the transformation itself.
Ok, RPGs are not reality simulators. My bad
Nevertheless, if a poster asks "help me explain this", and your answer is "don't", you're not contributing to the thread and just shutting down people's opinion and denigrating their interests. This is rather frustrating...
We're playing in a world of myth and legend. Let it work like a world of myth and legend.
That is a constructive answer however, expressing a vision of the game and not only saying "don't do it, it's badwrongfun". (although is the answer to dragon flight is magic, what happens to the dragon in an antimagic zone is, for me, a relevant question).
Personally, I find the argument that "dragons fly because magic", and magic exist "because dragons!" rather circular. Regardless of what the characters will ever know for sure, i believe that a world can work of an internal logic without losing it's "fantasy" tag.
The answer is, don't use physics. This is a game, not a reality simulator.
I agree with the "this is a game" part, but...
Physics, even if its a made-belief set of physics rules, are require the make the world coherent. Otherwise things fall upward, except when they fall toward what's red, cold makes you catch fire, or whatever.
Whether we like it or not, the game is a reality simulator. We have (many) books full of rules that regulate how we can play this simulator, even if the fantasy reality is different from ours. I agree that there is a sweet spot where the in-game world feels similar enough to our reality for us to relate to our character, but not close enough to make the fantasy element disappear for non-conformation with the Laws of our world.
And we need to accept that this sweet spot, this comfort zone is different for all of us. If coherency or verisimilitude with our world is not important for you, that's cool, but please don't shut this conversation down because you think different from the OP :)
I disagree that the game revolves around CR. CR is a scale. Scales can be translated.
It means that not 100% of the monster manual will be usable. Considering that not all 100% of the magic item section or of the spell section will be used either, it's not unfair. The game doesn't have to be used in whole; very few games ever do so anyways.
And if a CR 15 dragon TPKs a party of 20th level characters, then CR 15 becomes a new benchmark. There nothing silly there. Not more than a medium-sized fighter slaying a Colossal dragon with a sword barely long enough to pierce through its epidermis anyways...
It's all in the expectation of how super you want your character to be, but there are no ways that you can disguise a high-magic game as a low-magic one; it needs to become another game. This is perfectly possible to do with Pathfinder, but I can understand that some people will prefer if the book bares another name.
Personally, I don't have a big problem with Ye Olde Magic Shoppe. I actually like the curio's boutique where local wizards get their pickled basilisk eye or whatever spell component they need. That this place sell potions, a few scrolls, half a dozen magical rings and trinkets and one or two magic swords doesn't bother me.
However, I dislike the Magic-Mart "if it exist in the multiverse, we'll deliver it within 30 days!" type of magic shop where characters can treat the magic item section of the core rulebook as an online catalog.
Magic can still have a place in a lower magic setting. All I ever wished to do in my games was to turn the magic dial from "9" to "6" or "7".
- Ulysses 31
If long features are allowed:
- The Flight of Dragons
Regardless of what I think of the lightsaber (or light-longsword), I've got to admire the fact that they got everyone talking about it. Same with that bowling droid; whoever made this teaser gave us enough material to talk in every forum of discussion that exist on the internetz.
So despite the histrionics, this teaser (and the lightsaber) is a true masterpiece!
I for one enjoy the strip-down-ness of 5e. 3ed/Pathfinder was/is getting so darn heavy that it ceased to become stronger system and started to collapse under it's own weight.
Mind you, 5e is bound to suffer from the same fate; after years of new feats, new backgrounds and new path/subclasses, character creation and class optimisation will get heavier. But the fact that you get one choice of background, one choice of subclasses and four feats (five if human) over your 20 levels (assuming the feat optional rule is used), paired with the bound accuracy concept ensuring that you don't need to hoard +1s to get to your DC40 checks, should keep things under some degrees of control a bit longer.
The caster can move away from melee and cast. Only, he'll have to accept the opportunity attack (or whatever it is called).
The fact that casters can't go in and out of combat with impunity is not a bad thing IMO even if it changes the paradigm a bit.
I don't know all the spells yet, but I'm sure there are spells that boost movement and/or allow you to levitate/fly/teleport out of range and/or slow your opponent and/or protects you enough for you to last in melee and/or spells that are cast as a bonus action after you disengage.
These are not available at low level, but even casters are able to fend off enemies in melee at low levels.
As for the rest, I'm sure a 5ed group without a martial character is still less screwed than a 3ed/Pathfinder group without a caster.
that's because Wizards and Magi are under the same syndicated union. Inquisitors blackmailed them so they had to let it go. Wizards had had an eye on the witches for a while, but they never saw the alchemist coming. Lack of clear vision really, they should have had.
Bloodragers, well, who's gonna tell them they can't have true strike? Clerics with Luck domain acquired it as a misplace item in a wizard's garage sale, a stroke of chance you might say.
That leaves Clerics with the Destruction domain. CLearly these guys are OP and should be removed from the book!
Gandalf casts a bunch of spells, including overtly offensive ones (especially in The Hobbit) and makes a powerful display of magic in LotR against the Wargs before attempting the pass of the Caradhras and entering Moria (and also on Weathertop, although it happens "offscreen"). It could be argued that Gandalf is capable of more "overt" magic but restrained himself not to write "Gandalf is here" in big letters in the sky for Sauron to see. Gandlaf is undeniably a power and one of the most "flashy" magic-user in Middle Earth.
But characters like Gandalf don't make or unmake a low-magic setting. He is part of the setting and representative of the fact that in this setting, there are many magical elements sprinkled here and there, some powerful, some less, some overt, some covert, but he is not representative of what the inhabitants of this setting are or can aspire to be. Even if we say that Gandalf is what a player character (as an extraordinary inhabitant of the setting) can aspire to be as the pinnacle of spellcasting, it remains relatively tame compared to a typical D&D/Pathfinder game. That's enough to say "low-magic" for me.
There's more to the LotR low-magic-ness than failing to teleport the ring to the Cracks of Doom.
There's the ringraiths taking months, if not years to find Baggin's home (or the Shire for that matter).
There's Gandalf failing to fly-out/jump-out/dim door out of Saruman's tower.
There's Radaghast having to search into the wild for Gandalf (and given that he eventually did implies that there is some magic involved, just no scry or message spell).
There's Gandalf relying on a busy innkeeper to relay a message of utmost importance.
There's Gandalf wishing for warmer socks, which any prestidigitation spell would fix.
And there are many more. But there's undeniably magic in LotR. Lots of it too, but it has a lower tone, more subtle uses and less far reaching scope. It's not used as much as a tool or yet-another-app on your i-phone. LotR is one example of low-magic, but not the only one.
Low magic is not about removing magic from the game, it's about reducing its scope.
While I admit my experience is anecdotal at best, much of "calibrating" a low-magic game is done by choosing the player's opponents wisely.
The quickest element to "break" in a low-magic game is the CR of monsters, which does not always consider some of their abilities that would otherwise be easily circumvented with magic (like flying, high DR, etc). A certain balance can be kept by judiciously choosing adversaries.
In my case that was not a problem, because one of the reasons I went for Low-magic was to be able to use "basic monsters" longer. With AC remaining somewhat stable, your orcs are still going to be a threat even if the players are now much more efficient to kill them and withstand their attacks.
When a giant shows up, the players know better than to face it in melee without some kind of strategy. When the wivern attacks, they know they'll have to play it defensively and ready attacks until it comes within reach.
The magic that do exist is much more fearsome because saves are that much lower. In low magic, you need to assume that spells affect their target in general, but sometimes target make their save (rather than the other way around).
In most cases, the solution to the problems raised by low-magic exist within the system, except they are not often used because they are seen as sub-optimal. Only in a low-magic game will you see a ranger wear full plate for a battle because the boost to AC is worth the non-proficiency penalty and the loss of features...
But since both PF and IH are D20, what do you need from PF to run a D20 low magic game?
That's a legitimate question. Iron Hero is a good product.
People like familiarity. Perhaps IH doesn't feel enough like Pathfinder; actually, IH has a very distinct vibe. Would Pathfinder still feel like Pathfinder once you remove X, modify Y and add Z is yet another legitimate question. Still people are attached to their favourite product and well, people are not always rational about that.
I like your posts and you bring some very valid point to the conversation DrDeth, but sometimes it sounds like "you'll fail, don't bother trying".
the more I realize that what I really want to experience, through D&D or Pathfinder, is the adventure itself, and not the details of how each little thing can or cannot be accomplished.
That's a fair and valid statement.
Speaking from a DM's perspective, the details of how things are accomplished does have an impact on the adventure I present to my players, so it does matter to me.
Perhaps it has less to do with me being a DM and more with me having a genuine interest on the mechanics or RPGs. Such things always fascinated me somehow, and I love games that present a simple but thematic rule or mechanics that reinforce the theme and feel of the game.
5th ed has a few thematic rules like that which I admire for design's sake (because I haven't played a 5th ed game yet).
 3rd ed and Pathfinder are getting a bit old and heavy now, but it has quite a few key design elements I love. The triple saves of will/fort/ref was good mechanics and a good "innovation" IMHO.
I not a fan of players insisting on playing evil (or acting like immoral ass**** or playing "neutral-badass" just to impress other players).
I find the enjoyment of doing depraved things disturbing at best, loathsome in most cases.
I can understand (and enjoy) characters struggling against their worst nature, or going into a momentary fit of madness, but there needs to be an intent of redemption somewhere.
Additionally, how would you feel if there was a full on E6 or low magic product?
I would love such a thing as a Player's guide to Low-Magic Setting or something, ideally something official from Paizo (for support) or a quality non-campaign-specific third party product. Almost made it myself, a few years ago.
Basically a product that proposes 2 or 3 different approaches to Low-Magic, with a few alternate rules a la Unearthed Arcana but otherwise assuming core rules.
I have a feeling much of it could be achieved by achieved by giving casters alternate sets of spell lists, pruning spells to match a vision of "how magic works in fictive setting A, B and C" and attributing the RAW core spells accordingly.
Much can also be changed through re-fluffing existent material, but this reskin must be guided with a certain vision of things.
I wished that had been created.
Game Master Scotty wrote:
My oldest is almost ready to swim on her own, allowing her mother and I to convert her room to RPG storage.
"So college next yeah eh? Not to put any pressure on you honey, but your mom and I have plans for your room..."
 Oh, and I realise I never congratulated the parents properly, so congrats to Tacticlion and Lady Firedove!
Having a kid in neo-natal isn't easy, but your child is in as good care as you can wish to be. Make sure to give us news when you guys are all under the same roof.
Speaking from experience, keep a budget for (small) treats to buy on the way, if you can afford it. That's going to be a lot of commuting which can become a chore (which you don't want "seeing your baby" to become). A little something for yourself, your better half or the nurse at the hospital can go a long way keeping this joyful.
As mush as wikipedia can be trusted as a reference, the wiki page on science fiction is an interesting read, nothing among other things the difficulty to state what science-fiction means.
So let's see what it has to say on the Steampunk subgenre...
Steampunk is based on the idea of futuristic technology existing in the past, usually the 19th century, and often set in Victorian era England—but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date. Popular examples include The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld, Bas-Lag series by China Miéville, as well as Girl Genius web comic by Phil and Kaja Foglio, although seeds of the subgenre may be seen in certain works of Michael Moorcock, Philip José Farmer and Steve Stiles, and in such games as Space: 1889 and Marcus Rowland's Forgotten Futures. Machines are most often powered by steam in this genre (hence the name). Terry Gilliam's 1985 film Brazil is seen as inspiration for writers and artists of the steampunk sub-culture.
 Brazil and Girl Genius; interesting. They seem to broaden the definition to "science in the past" over than "super steam-powered engine", up to Dieselpunk or alternate history when gas-powered engines replace steam.
Science-fiction doesn't need hard, working science. It just mean that the "fiction" part applies to element of science as well, not only to the plot.
"fictive-science" might have been a better word?
Star Wars is a strange beast, but it can be coined as science fiction because much of what is fictive about it concerns "science". It could be argued that this fictive science is not the main focus of the story and therefore should be another literature genre, but since science fiction and fantasy are often grouped together in libraries / merchandised together / publicized and aimed at the same general public, the marriage of the two genres in Star Wars is a natural one IMO.
James Langley wrote:
I'm just gonna echo some of the things mentioned above, in point form because I'm doing homework with the kiddos...
- Taking care of your family is important. Having fun as a dad is
- At this point you may have to choose your battle. You may not be able to play twice a week, have hockey nights with the boys, hang-out at Moe's pub with Lenny and Barney and sleep-in every morning because you're so darn tired from partying all night. In other words, your college years are gone, but all is not over.
- If gaming is important to you, then make it a priority to play. Tell your wife you want to make it a priority to play. She's allowed to tease you, but let her know you shouldn't have to feel guilty about it (that last point is actually pretty darn important).
- Consider playing outside your house, gaming IS disturbing to baby/kid bed routine (I don't mean outdoors, I mean in somebody else's home). If your house is big enough you may consider soundproofing a gaming room but if your home is more modest, try to find a new host.
- Be ready to make compromise. Sometimes it may mean just playing board games at home with a few friends and sending them home early, or starting at 10pm. Sometimes it means cancelling this week because your wife is at the spa with her sister. Sometimes it means watching hockey with the boys instead, because playoff!
- Point is, your social life might not "just happen" with a 18 month old baby. You'll need to put efforts to maintain it, but its possible and definitely worth it.
I LOVE!!! Girl Genius. Hands down my favourite webcomic, and one of my top comics/mangas/bandes dessinées ever.
It's setting is a bit appart from SteamPunk however (more Napoleonic/Habsbourg Empire era than the typical steam-age Victorian) and closer to the "sufficiently advanced science is indistinguishable from magic" trope than the typical "20th-century-technology-but-running-on-steam" / Jules Verne inspired.
It has to do with suspension of disbelief, the rest is (mostly) irrelevant.
Typical fantasy accept that magic and dragons exist. If you refute that, much of the setting collapses.
In steampunk, you need to accept that steam engines can be LOT more efficient that what we know they can be. Be it purely mad science or a combination of magic and technology, it doesn't matter. If you can can't work with that premise (and I wouldn't hold it against you if you didn't), than steampunk isn't for you.
Same applies to many other settings involving technology. Even if you leave the whole Force thing aside, there's no way we can take Star Wars seriously on a science basis. Steampunk is like that; but in pseudo Victorian Europe.
Fabius Maximus wrote:
My point exactly; the actual pilot, serenity was aired after The Train Job which effectively acted as the "revised" pilot. Something about the network people thinking serenity was too slow paced or something, and so The Train Job was commissioned instead.
Fabius Maximus wrote:
The problem with Rebels is that the second episode was as bad as the first one.
That's too bad. I haven't seen the second so I can't make an opinion.
I find pilots are not often very representative of their series. Usually when I really like a pilot, the series end-up disappointing me. When I thought the pilot was only OK, I often end-up liking the series. Sometimes it has less to do with the episode itself, but in the order or ways that things are introduced for the first time.
That was the case with Firefly. The Train Job was a good episode but a poor pilot IMO. The pilot for The Clone Wars was rather blah IIRC, and the series really picked-up by season two for me.
I don't know how it was for this one, but pilots are often manipulated by three or four different parties. "gotta have humour" "gotta have action" "gotta introduce the characters, but do it quickly". The pilot was also previewed by a test auditory, from which they got feedback and will adjust subsequent episodes (but we still got to see the same pilot)
That was the cover and back description of a book; it was meant to attract our attention but you can't judge its content solely on it.
Making a new RPG seems to be a hip thing to do nowadays; so here’s my own roleplaying game: presenting Journey RPG!
Rather than going all Big Wall Of Text on you, I thought of presenting the game with a FAQ-style Q&A.
Q. So you wrote a RPG?
Q. From scratch?
Q. Isn’t there like 100 other games like that, not to mention Pathfinder RPG, 13th Age, 5th ed D&D and SKR’s new Five Moons game? Don’t you think your timing suck?
Q. So you just woke-up one morning saying “I’m gonna make myself a RPG”?
Q. Whatever. So what is that game’s “particular niche” about?
Q. Oh, historical RPG then?
Q. So no full plates, no magic-user and crappy weapons all around?
Q. Armours? With a “u”?
Q. So, no wizards? (and you forgot to say “eh” at the end, Canadian boy…)
Q. Rune-Casters and Enchanters? Aren’t enchanters a type of wizard?
Q. You mentioned dwarves earlier, so you must have elves and gnomes and halflings and half-orcs as well?
Q. Ok, so we got realistic fighters and all but the most mundane abilities only available through magic… Wait, is this another “martials-can’t-have-nice-things” game?
Q. But I like fantasy superheroes!
Q. So you have five spellcasting classes. What are the others?
Q. No monk?
Q. So five martials and five casters then?
Q. Alright; so the game is all finished and ready then?
Q. And you really think this will interest anyone?
Q. Can’t you keep a blog like everyone else?
Q. Well then designer boy, do you have anything to show yet?
It's really weird to me this whole "RPGs are for girls too" argument.
Yes, I find it weird too, but it doesn't make the fact that RGPs are mostly associated with boys less true.
Especially at this age, girls are more likely to miss on an opportunity to learn about RPGs because this is a boy's club activity (and at this age, boys often play apart for girls and vice versa). The fact that most RPGs are "publicized" around killing monsters and stealing their treasure in order to become better at killing monsters may not attract your typical per-adolescent girl, despite the fact that RPGs have the potential to be much more than that that and equally please girls' interest (which I recognise as different from that of boys, if only as a construct of our society)
I don't want to go into gender stereotypes and whatnot, but it is unfortunate how girls and boys will miss on opportunities to discover new things that could define them as adult individual, simply based on how we presented to them.
Companies are making effort to make RPGs less repulsive to girls, but there is still lots to be done to capture their interest.
Sounds like unbelievable fun! I've come to the realization that there are a lot of these small-publisher games that I can't understand the appeal of in the least.
People around here like to make fum of Rolemaster for some reason, with stories that have more to do with stupid GM than stupid rules. Iron Crown Enterprise wasn't exactly a small publisher either, not until the 90s anyways.
As for the rules of Rolemaster, people have no idea how d20 is the love-child of AD&D and Rolemaster combined. Monte Cook's influence perhaps, who used to work at ICE before going all Planescape at TSR and eventually (co)developing 3rd ed for WotC...
Looks to me that Pathfinder's strength is to give players a whole lot of options, and it seems to me that this is what many Pathfinder players find attractive. There's a certain beauty in systems that are kept clean, streamlined and simple, but Pathfinder's main attractiveness is in the complete toolbox that it provides, like a large collection of LEGO. Not all the parts need to be used in one creation, but they are there and available for further constructions.
As long as Pathfinder's new edition keep this philosophy, and I don't see why it wouldn't, I'm not afraid for their market niche and survival as a thriving RPG publishing company.
That being said, I do believe that some consolidation of rules, streamlining of the "core engine" and elimination of some redundant rules/concept are required at this point, maybe not as much as 5th ed D&D did, and perhaps not in the same direction but some nonetheless. I wouldn't expect a huge leap between what is essentially D&D 3.75 and Pathfinder 2nd ed, but A fresh start would be welcome from my part.
1) The gods actually can't/aren't allowed to due to rules that are above them.
2) The gods ARE meddling and interfering; that's why there are clerics. For whatever reason, that's the best and most efficient way they found to influence the world.
3) The gods are less powerful that they'd like us to believe, and can't split their focus that much. Manifesting would mean thousands of clerics without power and that's would be really bad rep for business...
4) There are no such things as gods; only powerful individual (clerics), the believes and constructs of societies (religions) and a few benevolent/malevolent spirits than answer to divination spells. TIt's just a big mascarade and everyone powerful enough to know that agrees that it's better that way.
yes, I meant transparent, my mistake, which is why I said psionics ought to be transparent as well.