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I skimmed the list, and you are right, they are far from cynical, and definitely not unimaginative, but OH BOY, are they depressing. To me at least, and obviously to The Sword too. Just goes to show you, one man's treasure is another man's trash, or vice versa, as the expression goes.
Emphasis mine above.
Here's where I see the problem. The game gives you an idea of what characters can reasonably expect to encounter at any given level, and there are certainly numbers to crunch there. However, there is no dictation there of how the characters need to overcome those encounters, and the system itself is based on a set of probabilities that allow for wide swings at either end. Which means that even a "sub-optimal" or "below baseline" character could overcome those encounters on a regular basis given the dice roll in their favor. BUT, that does give at least a frame of reference for a true "middle."
Then we get to your second point, and we see you use the word "functioning" in quotes. As if you are not willing to attribute the full definition of that word in the context you are using it. The point being, what, exactly, do you consider a functioning character? Is that the same as others would consider functioning? If not, why not? There is, somewhere, in all the collective heads of people that post here routinely, a level of play that they consider functional, and THAT is the baseline.
I just wonder why that is so difficult to put into words, or if the baseline itself is so malleable person to person that there isn't a good community based definition worth exploring.
Right, see, that was my original point. There seems to be, on the forums at least, an idea that there is a baseline, somewhere, but nobody knows where it is, or how to define it. Everyone would probably agree that there is a "floor" and that there is a "ceiling," but if you're attempting to find the happy medium, the "baseline," it's very difficult to determine. Shouldn't a community of people playing the same game (that is supposed to be balanced), be able to succinctly determine a baseline? If you can determine the mechanical floor, and you can determine the mechanical ceiling, why can't you find the mechanical kitchen table height?
Edit: @Chengar Qordath, that's a new one that I'll probably be using from now on: the "accidental optimizer."
Matthew Downie wrote:
Right. Correct, because the boards are for mechanical advice. And all things equal more damage is superior to less damage. I get that the original argument is flawed because the estoc actually costs a feat in Pathfinder. I know, but there's also this:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
They're both long, thin, piercing swords. I don't see any reason a fantasy warrior can't use an estoc for fencing and glorious displays of swordsmanship, footwork, and derring-do. Too many people get hung up on a simple name in this game and that is one item which frustrates me, honestly.
And thanks for proving my point. They're both long pointy swords, and the estoc does more damage, so of course everyone, or at least everyone smart, would take the estoc, because: winning.
Never mind the fact the the rapier, historically speaking, was a sword designed both for slashing and piercing, and was an elegant weapon used by gentleman. While the estoc was basically designed as a giant punching dagger, good for going through plate armor. But you see, all that is fluff, and this is a game, and winning, and DPR and all that. So if every player had an equal choice between the rapier and the estoc, they would of course take the estoc, or at least that's assumption of a very large faction of this community.
[Rant]I've seen more than a few things over the past couple of days, two today specifically, that lead me to believe there's some unwritten consensus on the optimal "baseline" of character creation. This one particularly irks me.
No one would ever use a rapier?!
Seriously? Why not? Because it would be mechanically inferior to every other weapon in the same damage and crit range? What if I wanted to create a character that was a true fencer, and used his rapier wit, and his actual rapier to right the wrongs he found across the land?
Why? Why does so much of this discussion community just go along with stuff like that? Or not balk at it? Is every game set up with a baseline standard of optimization, and no one can fathom that there could be some seriously meaningful, fun, and awesome games being played with characters that are completely wonky mechanically?
Inquiring minds want to know.[/rant]
You know what? That bums me out, thoroughly. Especially the part I bolded. Did you all not read that they are having a kick-arse good time, as is?! They thoroughly enjoyed figuring out what a bag of holding does! When's the last time you enjoyed figuring out the magical properties of a magic item so common, some might call it mundane?! Why point them to optimization of characters if they are having a good time NOT optimizing?! Let them build their characters with what others might consider "tragic flaws," fiddling around with some of those feats nobody would touch with the proverbial 10' pole. So what if they are "way off beam." They are having FUN, and that's the point. Run a game for them where everything is way off beam. Run a game that caters to their characters being weak and possibly built completely below what others would consider par. That's one of the things I strongly dislike about some factions of the gaming community. Not every game has to be run by the WBL standards, or the APL standards. That's one of the great things, imho, about these rules. You can do some really wonky stuff with them, and have a crapton (that's the scientific term for it) of fun. Sure if they enter into someone else's game, they might get laughed out of the building, but then they can just run a game of their own, wonky, and terribly enjoyable.
DM_Blake hit it on the head. GMNPC is the way to go with a group like this. I do almost the exact same thing with my boys. They like to murder-hobo, so I play the helpless female cleric that's good at healing and occasionally hitting something with her heavy crossbow. That's exactly how I'd approach this situation. But!!! I would definitely talk to them outside of a session and help them to understand the versatility of the classes they've chosen. I've found that nothing makes this hobby more addicting than the fact that you can intelligently discuss it in very cool ways, even when you aren't playing, and don't plan on playing any time soon. :)
GM Rednal wrote:
In your homebrew game that's great for your players if they like it, but, personally, I would never allow this. The alignment requirement for paladins is part of what makes playing those characters so intriguing and sometimes difficult. It's part of, imho, what makes a paladin separate from a fighter that just wants to go around and do good by their own moral code. To me that's like saying, I'm thinking about letting clerics cast any spell from the arcane spell list, because cool.
GM Rednal wrote:
Correct, but it does mean you can't be a paladin. A paladin, by very definition of the class, is Lawful Good of alignment. You can roleplay a principled fighter who defends the weak, and upholds their own virtuous code, but they aren't paladins.
I now ponder antipaladins on the same stereotypical hair trigger as paladins are (not really supposed to be) on. 'Bob, you didn't kick that puppy ... and then you bought a new scabbard. Not stole, purchased.'
Funny. Actually laugh out loud funny, but I think this highlights why so many people get up in arms about the routine Paladin falling questions. Some of it is just ridiculous. Sometimes it takes looking at things in the reverse in order to understand them correctly.
After perusing this thread I found it entirely incumbent upon me to bring in this very important message.
While I hate to think of magic as science from a purely story-telling perspective, the idea that a character in the game can take the time to sit and research (read: study other people's completed science in order to create a desired new result) the creation of a new spell, in my mind anyway, makes magic a science of sorts. Regardless of what other avenues there are to manipulate it, if it can be researched, recreated, and then manipulated to new results, that's science.
It's not pointless, it's just that the closer they look, the weirder the results are going to be. I don't actually want to play in a game where the characters are figuring out they live in a rather poor simulation of a world. (I mean, it could be fun in a weird deconstructionist sort of way, but it wouldn't be much of a high fantasy game.)
My choice is a far more selfish one. I wouldn't use the crystal, not because of some quasi-ethical dilemma, but because by using the crystal I'm destroying the chance to roleplay becoming the leader of a resistance movement. The number of excellent stories told throughout history, that revolve around the "heroes" actually being the leaders of a small resistance movement against greater odds and superior forces, boggles the mind. No way would I take the easy way out here. It'd destroy my chances to roleplay a long-term guerrilla warfare campaign. This is one of those rare choices where breaking the 4th wall because you love playing a character, can easily translate into an in-character decision: "my character would never sacrifice so many innocents. Not when any other choice is available. I know, let's start an underground resistance movement!"
Sometimes I like to play Uncle Owen.
Except for, in my own reckoning, there is a vast gulf between mechanically well built, and optimizing like you're running the rules through a juicer in an attempt to squeeze out every last bit of essential vitamins and nutrients, which is what I meant when I said "maximized."
Don't get me wrong, when I build a character, even if it is just an NPC, I want it to be as mechanically well built as I know how. I also, though, want all my characters to have a genuinely interesting back story and realistic characterization. I know that there are people who want maximized character power, and who also love immersive story play. I've just never met any.
I realize this isn't a complaint thread, so I'm not complaining, but... I hear you brother! (or sister). Dropped OP like a bad habit right after they failed to follow through with Kickstarter stuff. My replacement? Google Sites! It's got a really light learning curve, and once you figure out how to manipulate the majority of settings you can make it into everything OP has, and MORE! Plus their "limitations" for how much content you can have on there, in my experience, aren't really limitations at all.
Have at it!
Outland King wrote:
How many townspersons end up being PCs? Isn't the very nature of a PC the idea that they are more, better, stronger, faster, more resilient, better intestinal fortitude, better mental fortitude than any townsperson? PCs go out to crush waves of cadaverous undead, and make one-liners whilst they do it. If you want to use the PF insanity rules for townspeople, go for it, but I don't want to play in that game.
Nox Aeterna wrote:
I won't argue that; however, I would argue that some people "enjoy" scraping ever last ounce of power out of the rules of the game. I've also seen people who "enjoy" finding the next "this is broken" character on the internet and seeing just how broken it is. In short, there are people who are playing the game only to "win." That's what they enjoy. People play what they enjoy or they'd stop playing. Wondering if you've heard the old adage: there's no accounting for some people's taste?
I don't know that electronic gaming will ever catch up with table top. And I think that is really one of the reasons that the table top game is still so valid. The theater of the imagination has no limits. There are no objects in the table top game that a character can't interact with. There's no, "sorry that's not actually a table you can use because it's not an 'object' in the game," moments. There's no chasm that you can't figure out a way across. Also, there is something to be said about the fact that the table top game does NOT have a "save" point. There's a lot more at stake in a table top game because your character can actually die, and never come back (or the cost to bring them back is unreachable at given level).
That's only part of why I play though. The game is addicting! You think it isn't? Take a look at these very boards, and look at all the people who come here just to have a venue to play in! Or, spend their down time at work (guilty) perusing the boards just to spend some time thinking about the game when they aren't allowed to play it. The game is a drug. A real drug. People empty their wallets to play it. They know they're going to empty their wallets to play it, and sometimes they empty their wallets against better judgment (guilty) to play it. There's some euphoria this game creates that is unmatched by any other thing.
That's why I play.
I came to the game in the early 80's. Much like Devastation Bob actually. Rich cousins into every new fad showed us how to play one long night in their RV on a family vacation. And except for a somewhat lengthy period of my late 20's and early 30's (college, marriage, young family), I've never looked back. Even when I wasn't playing, I was still watching the hobby from the periphery.
Why play? I haven't found anything else that matches the table top role playing game for seemingly endless joy. Even with all the hours put in to GM, those moments at the table when the BBEG gets what's coming to him/her can't be matched.
That's just my 2 cp.
Good morrow Paizo community.
I have a player interested in playing (which has piqued my own curiosity) a character with an intelligent sword.
I have very little experience with such things, and have actually avoided intelligent items, even in published material, because of my own insecurities about running such things.
I've reached a stage in my GMing "career" where I feel like I'm ready to dip into this part of the game.
So! I need your stories! I need to hear from players and GMs alike on how playing in a dedicated campaign with an intelligent item works! Does it work? Is it more hassle than it's worth? Do you have some great stories from your table that wouldn't have happened without an intelligent item? Do you have a horror story from your table that wouldn't have happened without an intelligent item? To the GMs, tell me about the energy and time required to run a game with a dedicated intelligent item. Is it too time consuming? Is it just like running an NPC, but less fun? More fun? How about intelligent item abilities? Are they difficult to track and remember?
I know that's a lot of questions, but I really want to get some thoroughly fleshed out details as I work towards making this decision. I am absolutely going to base my decision to include or not include this intelligent item on the feedback I get here. So don't hold back!
Had never heard of those until just this very moment. Thanks for the info. I'll be looking to acquire some of these at the earliest possible occasion. Selling point? Don't dry out!!!! I've gone through so many packs of dry erase markers over the years just because of dry out.
Which is another reason I don't think they should even exist. In this game there are enough conditions to worry about, I don't want to have to worry about a character's mental state beyond what's already there: confused, frightened, dazzled, etc. Adding in these mechanics seems arbitrary and pointless, to fill some niche that some people might want in their game, but from my anecdotal evidence, the majority of players couldn't care less about. Granted there are other RPGs where insanity rules make a lot of sense. Cthulu for one, but in Pathfinder, and in its big brother D&D, insanity rules seem like a poorly thought out addendum designed specifically to not abandon some small segment of the gaming population.
My problem with just about any D&Desque sanity or insanity rules is this:
Insanity can also be caused by exposure to particularly potent sources of unhinging horror, madness, or alien natures, such that the mind simply cannot withstand them.
In a world like Golarion where there are actual rifts open between the lower planes and the surface world, and where seeing an octopus swinging from tree branch to tree branch before it sucks on your face, can be described as "uncommon" but not unheard of, how do you define unhinging horror? I mean vampires and liches are things that your average townsperson will have at least heard about. And these rules are for the PCs primarily. We're talking about a group of people who would have no trouble running into an an earless cat that can peel back the skin over it's own skull while emitting a bloodcurdling scream, and that's pretty "normal."
So my problem with the Pathfinder sanity/insanity rules is not that they make a mockery of real mental illness. It's that they have them at all. The life of an adventurer is chock full of entire months where the most normal thing that happens is you get attacked by short reptilian humanoids.
Many people have said this already, but I want to reiterate: if you are all having fun, even if you completely destroyed the rules as written, that is the point! Don't worry about the rules, or whether or not the plot makes sense, or whether you look like an idiot, or whether ... you get the idea. If everyone in the group is having fun, whether or not what you're playing even remotely resembles Pathfinder, keep on playing. If at some point you'd really like to play as closely to the rules as written as possible, then work towards that as a group. I cannot overstate this, and there are several threads on theses boards that will back me up: if the rules ever get in the way of the fun, you are doing it wrong. The rules are there to facilitate fun, not to cause headaches, or make things less fun.
Yes, Paizo will do it for you. May not be a perfect Alchemist/Wizard, but you are all but guaranteed to find an NPC that fits the bill rather quickly. Otherwise, if you really want it built from scratch, I'd suggest using a program like Hero Lab because it REALLY cuts down on the creation time. You may find someone here with time and energy to build such an NPC, but they'll more than likely want quite a bit more information.
I wish Paizo's vorpal sword would go snicker snack on these sons of b!@#$&*.
Go snicker snack vorpal sword! Go snicker snack. Also, I hope there's a special spot reserved in hell for spammers, where they are forced to read the same nonsense they've posted for all eternity, and where there are no snacks.
So if I purchase ToEE on GOG, will it come with the Co8 Modpack? Or where would I locate that? Having looked at the screenshots on GOG, it definitely looks like something I could spend some hours on.
I'm sure this is totally irrelevant, but I wanted to pop in and say that DDO (the MMORPG that is quickly dying) has both of these spells, and I've actually witnessed them interacting. When glitterdust is dropped in an area of magical darkness you still get a brief "pop" of bright dust, and can quickly see the outline of creatures in the darkness, then they are again covered by the darkness. Should they leave the area of magical darkness, you can again see them covered in the dust, even if they're invisible. So... that's how the makers of the DDO game think they interact. :-P
You know what though, I've actually had this conversation with my players, and we've termed it "the level quandary." Which is a terrible name I'm sure, but that's what we called it. The idea being, Bing! You just leveled up, you just got better at a lot of things, and actually gained the ability to do some new things. Sweet! Guess what? The world around you just scaled to that new level of awesomeness, and things are going to be just as difficult as they were before, if not even a little bit harder. It is for this very reason that no matter what level my players' PCs are at, I always make sure to throw in, on less than rare occasions, a mob that they could literally stand around and watch attack them to no effect, then draw a weapon and slice and dice them all like so much Christmas ham; AND, an enemy or group of enemies that they HAVE to run away from, that they will either retreat or die. To me it presents a more realistic world, because dragons.