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As far as the encumbrance/cost aspect, I haven't found it to be too much of an issue. Most of my players have hero lab to cover encumbrance. We talked about skipping it, but it felt like if we were ever going to follow this rule, now would be the time to make it relevant. And for the most part the heavy stuff is carried by the horses anyway, so its moot as long as they are paying attention. IE - it hasn't inhibited play, but I am forcing them to at least be aware of it. And it's always entertaining when they go to grab something important and remember that it's in a saddlebag on the other side of the encounter area.
And the cost is minute. Every time they kill some bandits they end up with more food, and the ranger is generally able to scrounge enough to keep everyone covered. I don't think they've spent a single copper on rations.
My previous games have been the same way, almost never keeping track of supplies because it was tertiary to the storyline. While I always wanted to do an exploration game, before Kingmaker it was always low on my totem pole of priorities.
So I was struggling the first session with trying to make exploration in the least bit interesting and giving it a "real" feeling, and that included making keeping track of supplies important, but not a boring task. After that I went through my entire library and the paizo site grabbing anything remotely attached to wilderness travel.
The second session was much better, but cross-referencing was a nightmare, and I was still trying to remember all the little rules.
Finally this past week I pretty much put together an "exploration" package in excel. There's still some kinks to work out, but the highlights are as follows:
* a list of resources
* a per hex checklist/exploration guide containing a list of relevent information for that hex (a stock description of the terrain more detailed than "it's a grassy plain", travel time, details such as water sources and local flora, pre-rolled random encounter, pre-generated campsite details) and where among my resources to get that information depending on the type of hex (plains, hills, etc). This includes necessary skill checks such as getting lost, finding food, and any modifiers from the terrain
* an encounter spreadsheet that lists all the pertinent information for an encounter the rules generally gloss over (what is the terrain like, what will knowledge checks about the creature/site generate, checks to determine if anyone has surprise/advantage)
* weather mapped out on a per day basis, overall weather pattern and duration of, pertinent traits/rules pertaining to such, etc
Next is to actually collect all the tables, etc from the various resources so I don't need to cross reference and can get them from just a different sheet in the file.
Don't get me wrong, this was a *ton* of work up front, but now that it's done it takes minutes to expand "it's a forest hex with a radish patch. There are four kobolds with stomach aches. It takes a day, mark off one set of rations" into a much more richly detailed event that makes the exploration itself entertaining and not just a means to an end.
I know that's a lot of info that seems only tangentially related to the OP, so let me bring it back around:
The party is on horseback, so each hex of exploration is just about one day. In addition, we're making efforts to not gloss over or skip days when they are in the wild. So, every day involves a little bit of flavor text at a minimum, including a unique camping experience, and thus "dinner time". So every time they make camp, check off one ration. Or the survival guy goes hunting.
In short, for the players it's not an inventory checkbox when I do it this way. Camping comes regularly, and eating is something you do at camp. By doing it this way it doesn't feel as something you need to keep track of so much as something that is natural and integral to making the story flow.
You don't need to huevos to the wall like I did, but it did work for me. And if you like the idea, but want to save yourself that level of effort, I have no problems sharing my work. I'm actually thinking of getting a thread going just to go over how I'm handling various things that are part and parcel of this AP that none of the books ever really go over.
I wouldn't call Kingmaker a true sandbox because it makes certain assumptions. They are few, but vital.
One is that the first book is an exploration adventure. If they are seeking out civilized races and slaughtering them, then there's not much in the book to help you and they will rapidly run out of targets since the information the book provides is geared in a different direction.
Another, and maybe more important, Oleg's was their link to civilization. Without it, there's no quests, storylines, base camp, etc.
Maybe, if they're lucky, Restov doesn't care enough about the loss of Oleg's to bother finding out what happened. Maybe, if you feel generous, it's just blamed on the bandits and you can reconstruct the missing elements. With the bandits handled someone else sets up shop (which it sounds like your players will then just kill them too).
Restov does care, does investigate, and the PC's become outlaws.
The bad news is, this makes the Kingmaker books relatively worthless to you, other than providing some maps and filling it with some pre-set encounters. At least, not without some HEAVY rewriting, along the lines of Josephs suggestion.
The good news is you have an excellent lead in to "Way of the Wicked" instead, which it sounds like these players might find much more interesting.
I've noticed a trend of "winter editions". Other than the obvious (snow layers), are the products relatively the same? Or are there layers in the originals that don't appear in the winter editions?
If I have the original, I don't want to buy another just to get snow, and if I don't have the original I'm afraid I'll be missing something I'd prefer over the snow.
In short: is there anything to gain by buying the original edition over the winter edition?
Fair. And I agree that would be a huge change, hence why it's purely a hypothetical thought at this point. But I do think something needs to change. Serial shows are generally agreed to be the most interesting, but also the most disappointing because it's almost impossible to survive the current model. And basing the cost on ratings will only continue to make it worse as reality shows become ever cheaper. Eventually, scripted shows will either vanish entirely or be almost unrecognizable behind the product placement. It's already hitting ridiculous levels as I have to endure a 30 second scene during a car chase as the characters discuss the awesome features of the car that come standard while bragging how refreshing their drink is. .
Your last paragraph is an excellent point. Yes, you get lots of channels for the money you pay. But how much of that do you actually watch? The cable company doesn't buy individual channels, which is why they don't offer them that way. In order to get USA you have to get TNT, etc. Most of my monthly payment isn't going anywhere near shows I actually want to watch (hence the common complaint of 800 channels and nothing to watch). With the stranglehold that the sports industry has over cable, a HUGE portion is going towards ESPN and other sport oriented programming, and I've never sat down and watched a single game. I have to believe that if we only paid for what we watched, good programming would come back. The sports fans might lose out, but I could care less.
Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
I think that's absolutely a big factor in how the item is made, Matthew. It's like last year's Scent of the Savored Sting, where it pointed out it used pheromones, to one of the judge's irritation. That makes it feel like something other than magic.
To me that's like saying a +1 sword isn't magic because you need to find/craft a masterwork sword first. A spellcaster waving his hands over an empty bottle and having stuff just appear inside seems rather silly to me. I always pictured the main difference as magic items getting that extra kick of magic to bump it up. IE - both start off the same way, magic items just have a few more steps of magic infusion to enhance them, hence why alchemical items are so much weaker.
Just another place where I don't think the same way as everyone else, I guess. I'll have to keep that in mind next time around.
Again, thank you for the insight!
Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
Thank you Jacob.
It's a shame the name threw off some people. I thought the name was fairly evocative of what it does. Apparently it was a little *too* evocative :)
I really stared at the oils/elixers in the wondrous item section before giving myself the go-ahead for that very same reason: alchemical vs. wondrous. I decided the power level put it squarely in wondrous. However, one thing I notice is that the oils/elixers generally don't go into *how* the item is made, and I'm wondering if that's what made the difference for some. At this point I have to accept that I went askew somewhere in that evaluation, it's just a matter of figuring out what set off that alarm in people. Then again, if it occurred to me, I should have known it would occur to others and gone with something else.
I fought between wanting to get more detailed in a flavor-sense, but in the end went with succinct and to the point as much as possible. I'm thrilled to hear someone actually wanted to hear more.
I can see now what people mean when they say it's not really a superstar item, despite liking it most other respects. All in all, the critique's are pointing at things I didn't think about, so I'm definitely walking away the better for it.
Matthew Morris wrote:
total tangent derail:
Here's a thought: would there be less shows on this list if these shows had their ads replaced with a per-viewing cost? Whether you watch it on tv, amazon, hulu, netflix, there were a small surcharge to the makers of the show? The networks can air what they want, but as long as the makers get enough money the show continues to air in a medium such at netflix. In short, instead of live-viewership determining ratings determining money, the equation simply becomes viewings of any kind translating directly into money.
And would you as the viewer be willing to pay a little extra if it means that more of your pet shows continue to be made.
Because frankly, we need to come up with another economic model. Live-viewership is going to continue to dwindle and we will be left with only shows that are minimal cost: Jeopardy, Ghost Hunters, and Swamp People
I have to admit, I was watching Destination Truth on SyFy. This show is pretty typical of what you're describing. They were hunting for some mythical ape-man in China. They're out there at night, no lights, all green-lit night cam and everything, and the host turns and says to his partner (more or less) "Isn't it a great job we have? We get paid to travel all over the world so we can run around in the dark jumping at noises and almost find things." I had to laugh, because it's true. This guy is making good money to be a world traveler and make bad TV. Who could ask for a better career?
Destination Truth gets a pass from me because the host is hi-freaking-larious. And not in a "these chumps amuse me" way. He's genuinely funny. It's not a monster hunt, it's a comedy.
Rome (ok, it wasn't cancelled, they didn't want to do it anymore. And there really wasn't much of a cast left. But man I miss it)
This thread is bringing back many memories that in my tears of loss I'd blacked out.
+1 Pirates of Darkwater
Honorable Mentions (+0)
Caprica - I liked it, but I have to agree with MM that it might have worked better in another medium. Or perhaps have had the storyline abridged. It was just very very slow
The Lone Gunmen - I loved this show when it aired. I bought it on DVD when it was released and tried to show it to my friends. They managed to ruin it by pointing out all the places where it was just plain goofy. If you wanted it to be another hour of the X-Files, it failed miserably. I mean really, it was silly. The logic was way out of bounds, even for the X-Files. While it still holds a special place in my heart, I realize that it was really a guilty pleasure for a bad bad show.
Needs to be said:
+1 "every episodic television series should have a "four-episode" run-out clause in its contract, wherein if it gets cancelled, the writers get four episodes to wrap up all the loose endings in a neat and tidy way."
Earl Gendron wrote:
Oh Earl... why didn't you say so? I may have to play my gnome alchemist with post-nasal drip come Saturday...
James Raine wrote:
That was something I worried about, and went through the wondrous item section to make sure before I chose to go ahead with it. A lot of the elixers do dance that line and yours is a perfectly valid decision. Thank you for the input!
I'm really late to this party, and don't expect anyone to take the time, BUT if someone wants to comment go ahead:
I'm not upset, merely showing how the given instructions, which can be seen as clear by one, might be seen as contradictory by another.
The proper answer in that situation, is to not make presumptions, point out the confusion and ask. Given that I have been out of touch and almost missed the contest entirely, I was left with gut feeling and just short enough on time to begin second-guessing myself into paralysis. The intense desire to not screw it up can quickly lead to overthinking the issue. This is not the fault of the contest organizers and not their responsibility.
Ultimately, had I chosen poorly, the test is in whether the lesson is learned and the mistake avoided in the future. Anyone getting horribly upset over the issue fails to realize that they can enter the contest again next year. If they have the skills to win once, they have the skills to do it again. If they don't, it would have been a very very short career anyways.
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
There's something to be said for happy coincidences. Good luck with it, can't wait to check it out!
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
This must have been in the works for a while. You folks have let slip a couple times that you were planning something special that would use the AA's quite some time ago.
Clark Peterson wrote:
In the core rulebook, which the rules state to follow, the spell requirements are italicized. But on the round one rules page, the example format does not show italicizing the spell name. Since one of the core goals of the contest is to show the capacity to follow instructions, I had to pick which was accurate (I won't say what I ultimately chose, I am merely stating that I was initially unsure of which guideline to follow: the suggested cut and paste format or the core rulebook).
You're asking the wrong folks. This is something where the answer depends heavily on the group makeup.
I have players who would be happy to be killed if it meant their death was integral to the storyline because they feel it gives that specific character importance, value, and ownership of the storyline. The characters value to the story trumps the players control.
I have other players who think the GM's only role should be to witness die rolls because otherwise they as players have no ownership of the story. The players control trumps the specific characters importance.
Storyteller or judge? Depends on who the player is. Neither is technically wrong. But if you misjudge how your players will react, nothing we say here will stop your players from being upset.
In my younger days we would RP during combat. Over various editions of the game combat has become time intensive enough that we often just want to finish the combat and get back to the story.
In general, we find descriptive text in combat is best kept for outliers. Crits, fumbles, death blows, hints at fast healing/regneration/DR, etc. Describing every little attack adds far too much time.
As someone who's written 20+ community datasets, I can tell you that you don't feel as big an idiot as I do.
I mean really, I should have figured that out by now....
Dabbler, thank you.
Forgive me if someone mentioned it already, but are there any plans to make it easier to spot if a product has been updated since the last time it was downloaded.
I know buyers get an email, but sometimes things end up in a spam folder. Drivethrurpg has a nice method wherein if a product has been updated since it was last downloaded, it will turn red on your product archive.
This would be an ideal solution for me, as it means whenever I'm looking at my downloads section, I could make a quick visual scan to see if I missed any updates.
I know I can sort by date updated, but when you have a product list as long as I have, the idealness of the method weakens.
You guys have several methods to help, so I'm not complaining in the slightest, so much as offering suggestions to help you help me. If it's an idea that's been brought up and dismissed, I'm not upset or anything, I just thought I'd ask.
If you don't have the time to paint all your minis, a quick wash will cause the details to stand out. So instead of looking like a lump of white plastic, it would look like a ghost.
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Jumped in on day one, pledged $150, begging anyway...
Aaaaaand boom goes the dynamite....
slightly ninja'd by TOZ, but this one's from the man hisself
I just presumed they were pulling a Roseanne and the rest of the series was in Hawkeye's head as he tried to wrap his head around it the loss of his friend.
Obviously, Blake didn't die, they just presumed so because they didn't find his body. He was captured by the Korean army, and put to work in a hospital for military prisoners, with hilarious results.
The Soul mate feat references a Gather Information check. This is a 3.5ism and should probably reference a Diplomacy to gather the relevant information.
It probably should not be capitalized, but I believe the gather information usage of the Diplomacy skill is still referred to as a gather information check in Pathfinder. If not in print, then definitely out of habit.
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
And, failing that, it would be nice if the laws stepped in to regulate the people who won't stop unless there is a law against it. And no, I don't mean "fine them $40,000 per copied PDF or MP3."
I think if they were just forced to pay double for every copied product, that would be enough.
Or heck, even MSRP.
I know the base reaction will be that this would not be a punishment as it's no more than they would have paid for in the shop, but consider that most of that they would not have bought anyway and you see that in the end they are paying far more than if they'd stayed legit. Even if they would have, I can't imagine having to pay for my entire collection up front in one lump sum. It would bankrupt me.
There are two types of pirates: those that dabble, who don't need more than a slap on the wrist (like any five year old experimenting with shoplifting bubblegum) and the dude who gets caught with 50 gigs of pirated music.
Any idea how much 50 gigs of $.99 songs will cost you? I'll give you a hint, it's about 300 songs per gig. Enough to cripple you, but not so insurmountable it becomes meaningless.
But yeah, I think there needs to be more reasonable punishment, more often. Instead, there's one court case that makes the news every few years about some absolutely ridicuolous half a million dollar settlement against a ten year old kid. It's too big and too rare for pirates to wrap their heads around.
Most damage done by pirates is the experimenters. If every 15 year old pirate personally knows someone that got tagged for $2k, he might be far more hesitant to do it.
Jarreth Ivarin wrote:
you can patent a DNA structure that doesn't occur naturally in nature. Monstanto patents all of it's seeds. Percy Schmeiser was sued by Monsanto because seeds from a neighboring farm landed in his. The canadian Supreme Court ruled in favor of Monsanto.
So yes, as far as the government is concerned you are a Pepper Felon.
I sent invites for dropbox to everyone I know and ended up with almost 17 gigs of free space.
I was still pushing the limit and had other things I wanted to backup, so I dropped $100 on 50 more gigs, which they recently doubled so I'm up to 117 gb.
I occasionally backup again to a 500 gb external drive.
EDIT: oh, I also keep a 32 gb flash drive strapped to my hip with all my paizo files
So yeah... it's backed up five times
* paizo account
Greg Wasson wrote:
I describe the american ending thusly:
Imagine Star Wars, except that instead of getting in an X-Wing and spending ten minutes of screen time blowing up the death star, luke runs to his room and spends the whole fight (drawn out to a full 45 minutes of excruciating screen time) sitting in a chair sobbing like a child and waxing philosophical about how much the world sucks, occasionally falling to the floor and flopping around like he's been possessed, followed by uncontrollable shaking. Then the battle ends, and he goes out to get his medal.