One example from film I can think of is Nicholas Cage's character in City of Angels.
"Wings of Desire" and "Faraway So Close!" by Wim Wenders (the films "City of Angels" is based on). Highly recommended. Both deal with the joys and limitations of being immortal and some immortals who make the choice to become mortal.
I like the idea too, story-wise, as I prefer low magic games. To the valid concern about this putting Wizards at a disadvantage compared to other casters, I've always thought that too many Sorcerers look the same regardless of their bloodlines - a fey-blooded Sorcerer and a demon-blooded Sorcerer both end up with the same short list of spells because. Push Sorcerers to chose spells more consistent with their theme or some kind of opposed-schools-like list of spells that they can't choose. For divine casters, I've always wondered about some type of a piety check or something - you ask your god for certain spells, but unless you're a faithful cleric, you don't always get what you want.
A high-density urban map, in the fancy part of town. Picture a T-intersection. Cobblestone street, like 20' wide, with sidewalks. Top-center is a city hall meeting chamber/courtroom with a portico and foyer, and offices and cells to the sides. Top-left is a bank with lobby and vaults. Top-right is a fancy library/hall of records. Middle-left, across the street from the bank is a fancy shop, and middle-right, across the street from the library is a fancy restaurant. Then, moving down the central street, behind the shop and restaurant are narrow alleys (with man-holes covers), followed by two townhouses on each side - deep, skinny things. Same general layout, but each has something a little different - a secret room, a hidden stairway, or just an artist's studio. My absolute fantasy would be to see this Flip-Map paired with a set of Map Cards that include second floors for the townhouses, restaurant, shop, bank, library and city hall, as well as basements (I envision the townhouses as walk-ups, with a walk-down apartment or cellar under each one), and maybe even rooftops.
The other side could be a large urban park or palace garden, with pond, pathways, hedge maze, open grassy area for sports.
Cao Phen wrote:
Have to worship Asmodeus though.
As long as it's a home game and not PFS, the GM could certainly change the requirements. Good stories override a lot of RAW pre-reqs for me.
Going in another direction... what about just using a Large reach weapon? A nice 20' spear, for example. Anti-Life Shell only has a 10' radius. The spear isn't alive. The living attacked stands 15' away from the caster and pokes her with the spear.
Vod Canockers wrote:
The rule of thumb I use is that non-adventurers get from one to six XP per day, depending upon "how hard they work." So for example, to go from 6th to 7th level would take the hardest working person 10 years.
I use 1 XP per day. In a sense, for non-adventurers, that's what an "XP" is - one day's work. They can make the jump from lvl 1 to 2 in a couple of years (3-4), which is like going from apprentice or journeyman to being capable of doing the job on your own. Then lvl 2 to 3 in a little less than 10 years, and 3 to 4 a little more than 10 years - a nice mid-career span, and a few really good folks would make it to 5th level after many years of practice. That's right about where I like the level-span for my world (with PCs being the exception).
Just off the cuff... When you are invisible, other folks are as-if blind to you, and blind allows a Stealth check. I would say that if your are running while invisible, you can still make the Stealth check, but only at +20 instead of +40.
There is another penalty to Stealth for moving at "more than half speed but less than full speed" of -5. That's in the RAW. Again, off the cuff, I'd say a GM would be fair if she doubled that to -10 for moving at full speed w/o something like Fast Stealth, and even -15 or -20 for running (which you normally couldn't do, but I'd argue you can while invisible). But I don't think that's RAW. It would pretty much nullifies the invisibility, but it would still allow you to use your Stealth modifier to try.
Why not have your "horse culture" folk riding something other than horses and their ilk? Axebeaks and other terror birds, for example. Very plausible, similar function, but exotic enough that it won't be blah.
Thanks! I'd read a couple of references to this post but couldn't find it. Ha! And it looks like I interpreted it correctly. Always good to know. Thanks Cheapy.
I know, I know, there are a bunch of threads about the Liberation (Su) domain power already. But none of them agree or seem particularly definitive. Here's how I read it:
"Liberation (Su): You have the ability to ignore impediments to your mobility. For a number of rounds per day equal to your cleric level, you can move normally regardless of magical effects that impede movement, as if you were affected by freedom of movement. This effect occurs automatically as soon as it applies. These rounds do not need to be consecutive."
1) I kept trying to figure out what kind of an action it was to activate, then I realized there is no need to activate it... it automatically activates as soon as it applies. So I get hit with a Web spell and fail my Reflex save. Pop! It activates and I've got one round of Freedom of Movement (1st level cleric). No need to activate, but no choice either - it automatically activates as soon as it applies.
2) I've seen a lot of arguments about whether or not it applies to grappling, but it seems clear to me that it says magical effects. Grapple isn't magical, so I don't believe it will apply. Tanglefoot bags or being tied up, either. Just magical impediments to movement like Hold, Web, Entangle, etc.
I'll run this by my GM (starting a new campaign tonight), but thought I'd share.
Love the side-by-sides. Have to agree with the troll observations 100% - I rebased the first one to medium and the second one to huge. The sea troll looks just right. No worries, I look forward to a nice, Large land troll in a future set.
There is an increasing amount of 3rd party Pathfinder material available through HeroLab. Time of Horrors Complete is on there and Razor Coast campaign setting either is or is about to be available.
James Jacobs wrote:
NOTE: All adventure writers should pay attention to...
Do you guys have some kind of "bible" with notes on different monsters for your in-house writers? Things like "Ghost - don't use these as random encounters; NOT on the Ethereal Plane," or "Drow - all drow in Golarion are evil." #1 It might help promote internal consistency. #2 It would be a fascinating read for we on the outside.
Thanks for the links. I'm looking forward to it. I spent a while combing through all the free downloads for the Beginner's Box and using the Beginner's Box in PFS, especially the Kid's Track stuff. Great ideas there too.
I like the quest cards, although I think I'd prefer them to look more in-game, like wanted posters or notices tagged to a wall, or a hand-written letter, more the style of the side-quests in Kingmaker. Then, when I hand them to players, I'd be handing them what the characters are seeing.
EDIT: Like "Finding the Kells," but I guess that isn't appropriate for all quests.
The middle school where I teach is greatly expanding it's elective offerings next year, and on a whim I pitched a Role-Playing Games class to my principal: lots of reading and high-level vocabulary; writing about characters and narrative story arcs; presentations, drama and cooperative interaction; math skills and applying formulas; working with abstract rule systems. Great stuff, right? Especially with the shift toward Common Core in the next few years.
I got an e-mail today: Sure, why not?
Bam! I'm teaching two periods of Pathfinder next year!
Now that the euphoria has worn off, I need to figure out how I'm going to do it.
I figure I'll start with a disclaimer and parent permission slip, something along the lines of "This class will teach students to think critically and problems solve through adventure gaming. Students will participate in cooperative story telling. These stories will involve about the same level of imaginary action, danger and violence as a PG or maybe PG13 movie or video game, in the spirit of popular stories like "the Hobbit," "Harry Potter," or "Pirates of the Caribbean."
We can start the first class talking about rules, in the game sense. Have everyone pick a table game - checkers, Uno, Monopoly - and try to write the rules. Maybe read the rules to a partner without revealing the name of the game. Discuss the idea of a rule set.
Then maybe watch a period worth of the Hobbit to get them in the mood for fantasy storytelling.
I'm thinking I'll use the Beginnner's Box Hero's Handbook for my textbook. It starts with a nice little solo adventure that uses dice, then some super basics of character building. For this, though, I think I'd assign them pre-gens to look at through the character creation process, at least the first time. I'll have about 24 kids, so maybe assign 6 kids to each pre-gen. After that, run through a couple of encounters where the group decides what the pre-gen should do (over the course of 6 rounds, each kid would have a chance to lead and call the actions).
My big challenge is going to be that there's only one of me and no one else who knows how to GM. Maybe just spend a day having them battle each other, or one play a pre-gen and one a random monster out of the GM's Guide (I spent hours doing this back in the days of AD&D). Then the GM's Guide has a sample adventure in a handy one-encounter-per-page format, maybe have them rotate being GM on each encounter. I can do some observations and see who's ready to GM a full adventure. Follow the Pathfinder Society model and run them through a basic adventure then have them run other kids through it.
After a few adventures with pre-gens, it'd be time to go back and create their own personal characters. In the various adventures above, they probably should have tried each of the 4 pre-gens at least once. Have them brainstorm their favorite characters from books and movies and decide which classes they fall into. Talk about archetypes and "party roles" - might be a good time to watch a little more of something, Lord of the Rings or the Avatar cartoon or Buffy or even ScoobyDo, and talk about how every character has his or her niche. Also use the random background generator from Ultimate Campaign to help them flesh out their character.
Give them a chance to play around with those for a while. Then it would be fun to do something on maps. Look at a few published adventures and compare the maps and the encounters, then have them draw a map and add traps, monsters and challenges. I can just imagine my grading rubric: "must include 1 trap, 1 puzzle, 1 thug encounter, and one boss encounter." Have them write a little boxed text and run each other through their encounters. Evaluate each other and re-write. I'd love to use the Paizo submission guidelines for PFS scenarios or maybe from the Superstar contest. (Wouldn't that be a kick? Have every kid submit something to the Superstar contest.) Maybe look at Wolfgang Baur's Kobold Guides to Writing to see if I can find some adventure templates for them to follow.
It may take some tinkering, but I feel like we can get a good balance of reading, writing, analysis of character and genre, art, cooperation and leadership skills, problem solving and fun.
Nuts and bolts-wise, I have my personal set of books. I can probably pick up an extra Beginner Box, but we'll probably mostly be working off photocopies and the PRD. I have tons of minis, but I'm not sure I'm ready to expose those to heavy use and pilferage, so I'll probably pick up a couple of Bestiary Boxes of pawns, many the NPC box too. Won't be able to swing dice for each kid (that's be 50 sets), but I can probably get a set or 2 per group - they can share. He-he, I could use dice as prizes for kids who do really well, offer boons like re-rolls for extra credit.
We're lucky - there is a convention (Strategicon) three times a year just a mile away from my school. Maybe I can take a few of the best students to an afternoon game, see if they can hang with the big kids (rules-wise), or maybe I can convince my local Venture Captain to help me organize a KidCon and round up some GMs to run my kids through an actual PFS module. Possibilities are endless.
Anyway, this has turned into me brainstorming and thinking out-loud as much as anything else. I know some other folks have run Pathfinder clubs or maybe even a class before. I'd love to hear your experiences and get your suggestions. Same with anyone who has experience teaching kids to play Pathfinder. And anyone else with ideas about how or what to teach kids about this game we obsess over, with a few academic skills thrown in to boot.
James Jacobs wrote:
I nominate James for Creative Director!
Has any 3rd party published ever taken a look at these, smoothed them out a little and packaged them for sale? I'd buy a "Stealth 2.0" pdf in a heartbeat.
What's the status of the print edition? I want both PDF and print, but right now I can't add the bundle.
Any discussion of the difference between "Neutral = ambivalent," almost non-aligned, and "Neutral = actively seeking balance"? A lot of people are Neutral, but most aren't actually seeking to balance the forces of law and chaos, or good and evil.
I did a fair amount of customizing with the old Kingmaker kingdom building rules. One idea I had decided on (but never actually wrote down or fine tuned) was to mark each lot as "sparse," "average," or "dense." A sparse lot might literally have just the indicated building plus a few houses, an average lot might have a couple examples of the indicated building, several houses and a small shop or two, and a dense lot might be a whole shopping district or a whole entertainment district. This is partly to explain how a village and a metropolis can use the same system. In Kingmaker, some of the towns had both stat blocks and maps, and the maps showed a 1:1 relationship between buildings in the stat block and buildings on the map. Which is how it needs to be in a village, otherwise the whole village would be just a single lot. But a metropolis needs much higher density.
As far as game effects, I would probably just leave Economy and Stability, etc. alone (although I can see higher density being more economically productive but maybe generating some problems with stability or unrest) and just scale the population, something like 50 for a sparse lot, 250 for an average lot, and 1250 for a dense lot. Like I said, I decided on the idea but not the details.
In the Midnight setting the material plane had been severed from heaven and ALL dead came back as undead unless prevented from doing so, so pretty much all cultured had some kind of anti-undead rituals- cremation, cutting heads off and filling mouth w consecrated earth, dwarves crushed bodies under huge stone slabs. Golarion isn't that bad, but it still seems like most villages would combine superstition and low level divine prevention into common burial rituals, especially for nasty, potentially coming back as angry undead folk.
Similar threads pop up ever once in a while (which means it's a good, high-interest topic). Here's an excerpt and link to one I started a year or so ago: Random thoughts on Kingmaker.
1) I'd fudge the map and make Restov farther away. Oleg's is only a couple of days away by the highway. I'd want it to be a week or two. I might even double the size of each hex, making them 24 miles across (about 500 sq miles.). I'd also sprinkle a couple of existing settlements, thorps really, around the Stolen Lands.
2) I think starting off, I wouldn't make the PCs the center of attention. They'd be hirelings for a more notable petty-noble who was setting off to conquer the Stolen Lands. I'd ramp up the expedition-member roles some of us have played around with, like cartographer, naturalist, medic, etc. More focus on just how hard exploring really is, effects of terrain and weather, more random encounters, etc. Then this leader guy would turn out to be a looser and might hide from combat or might just die early in the story, during or soon after the first couple of bandit encounters. Might be cool to make him die by the Stag Lord's hand. Give the PC's a moment of ... uh, what do we do now? Then they have to nut up and finish the job without the boss. Restov might be in a bind and might not want to recognize the PCs claims to the territory but not have any choice. facts on the ground.
3) Before the PCs leave Restov, I'd have a party or something where they'd meet Meager Varn, Drelev and the Iron Wraiths. They just knew too little about their neighbors until it was action time. I'd want them to know what's going on and have relationships (good or bad) with these folks from the beginning. It's would make later events more meaningful.
4) Pretty soon after establishing their kingdom, say the end of Ch 2 or after exploring the west side of the mountain in Ch 3, maybe level 6 or 7, I might have the players create 2nd characters. It just seems odd to me that the duke/duchess is running around doing odd jobs like gathering eels and roc eggs. Not very dignified. Also, my players obviously want to be at the center of all the action, but would a real ruler really be out there fighting and exploring like that? It also means that the base-line encounters have to scale up with the PCs, so by Ch 3 and 4, just walking around the Stolen Lands is potentially pretty epic deadly from the perspective of an NPC commoner or warrior. If players rolled up a second character, 1st or 2nd level, the second string could work for the original PCs, the rulers. The new guys could continue exploring (at lower levels of danger, making the Stolen Lands a bit more even) and the ruler characters could engage in political stuff and come out of "retirement" to deal with the really hard stuff.
5) Find ways to elongate the timeline, especially in the beginning. They've risen in levels in 2 or 3 years. I'd like to see them age a bit more before they become rules of a huge kingdom.
6) Work in more hints about the final BBG earlier. I tacked on the Fellnight Queen module between Ch 2 and 3, and I think that kept the fey theme going a bit more. Actually both of my groups used the Fellnight Queen's scrying mirror to survey the surrounding lands and discovered the surprise in Ch 3! They had to hightail it over there.
7) I'd like to lower the magic level quite a bit. Moving Restov helps with that a little (limiting access to purchasable magic items), as would limiting or eliminating Craft Magic Stuff feats. I'd be hesitant to completely ban them, but maybe require unique components they'd have to side-trek to acquire. Jack up the cost of special materials like adamantite and mithril. Replace the Magic Item Economy in kingdom building with some other means of generating regular BP. Consider limiting travel magic like teleport, or making it a ritual that takes hours to prepare or something. Be a lot stricter on scrolls they can find for purchase.
Starting with low levels as a GM is a good idea. Monsters and NPCs are much easier at first. You could also run a couple of Pathfinder Society one-shots for you and your players as a warm up. Or the two free Goblins mods are silly fun.
In Preferences, there's a way to turn off "coin weight."
Ninja Lair (inside and out)
This has a ninja shrine in the style of the smaller Map Packs. Just FYI.
Steve Geddes wrote:
FWIW, I'd grab these in a heartbeat. My preference though would be for them to be bigger (tarot sized) and to have escalating knowledge check results - I find it hard to judge what to say when a player attempts a knowledge check (plus keep forgetting which is the applicable skill).
Knowledge checks would be much more useful to me than stat blocks. Love the idea, BTW.
I've actually bought some of their Lego people accessories for my son, who's an avid Lego builder, things like little tribal warriors and space marines. Really high quality stuff.
Nice bases, perfect for the big monsters. Would you all ever consider producing bases without the slot? I rebase a lot of minis to different sizes but can't find a good, affordable huge base. I'd be happy to pay the same price as this for a Pathfinder huge non-slotted base. You'd save a smidge on each one as they would use just a little less plastic...
Quantum Steve wrote:
That seems a little harsh. A lot of people catch a lot of things w/o three feats. But if it's the vs. bomb thing, or even the vs. weapon thing that bothers you, how would you model just catching anything? Like a game of catch w/ a baseball? Hopefully you don't need three feats to do that!
I've run Kingmaker twice and started a thread a while back about things I might do differently if I were to start over. Might be useful for you, lots of good ideas from several people.
Reprinting my ideas for the beginning:
0) I'd fudge the map and make Restov farther away. Oleg's is only a couple of days away by the highway. I'd want it to be a week or two. I might even double the size of each hex, making them 24 miles across (about 500 sq miles.). I'd also sprinkle a couple of existing settlements, thorps really, around the Stolen Lands.
1) I think starting off, I wouldn't make the PCs the center of attention. They'd be hirelings for a more notable petty-noble who was setting off to conquer the Stolen Lands. I'd ramp up the expedition-member roles some of us have played around with, like cartographer, naturalist, medic, etc. More focus on just how hard exploring really is, effects of terrain and weather, more random encounters, etc. Then this leader guy would turn out to be a looser and might hide from combat or might just die early in the story, during or soon after the first couple of bandit encounters. Might be cool to make him die by the Stag Lord's hand. Give the PC's a moment of ... uh, what do we do now? Then they have to nut up and finish the job without the boss. Restov might be in a bind and might not want to recognize the PCs claims to the territory but not have any choice. facts on the ground.
2) Before the PCs leave Restov, I'd have a party or something where they'd meet Meager Varn, Drelev and the Iron Wraiths. They just knew too little about their neighbors until it was action time. I'd want them to know what's going on and have relationships (good or bad) with these folks from the beginning. It's would make later events more meaningful, and it seems strange that they barely learn about some of these folks in book 5 and 6. Foreshadowing = good.
Thoughts on alebrijes - The little psychedelic wooden Mexican statues are very cool. I have several from various trips to Oaxaca. The last time I went, however, they were trending less payote-inspired psychedelia and more technicolor cute. The big ones in Mexico City are paper mache. Different teams make big models and parade them around the city, kind of like Mardi Gras floats and crews. I could see either of these as being animated objects in an Acadian culture, and the idea of some fevered dream connection works especially well with the little wooden ones. Finally, the translation of "alebrije" is "jabberwocky," so you could also make a nice connection between either the little or the big ones and the First World tarn itself - maybe they were first built as homages to the real jabberwocky after a particularly destructive visit to Arcadia.
[Warning: I'm not a rules expert]
Let me see if I understand what you all are saying.
A wizard flies up into the air on an overcast day (normal light, but not bright), casts Deeper Darkness, and suddenly she is surrounded by a sphere of darkness (-2 light levels). I don't have darkvision, so I can't see her anymore. So far so good. But a bird flies behind her, maybe 70' back, outside the sphere of darkness. You all are saying that, as an observer on the ground, the sphere of darkness never blocks my line of sight with the bird, even when it passes behind the wizard and her sphere?
How can I both not see into the darkness yet see through it? What you're describing is more like a light sensitive invisibility. I know we're talking about magic, but to be able to clearly see an object behind the darkness doesn't seem internally consistent.
Like I said, I'm not a rules expert, so by the rules, it may be so. It just seems so illogical that it leads to more paradoxes than just saying it's a big opaque sphere.
Love the idea of reaction, though I'm not ready for a whole new system. The idea in the post I quoted included AoOs as a kind of reaction. What about just using the existing AoO structure? Everyone gets one Reaction (instead of just an AoO) and if you've got Combat Reflexes, you get one Reaction per point of Dex bonus. Things that provoke AoOs now provoke Reactions. Could introduce a couple of new feats that allow specific Reactions when not normally allowed, like Parry to try to fend of an attack.
Nathan Wormer wrote:
Just curious if the original preorders are going to get a survey? I received one for the pledge I made, but not one for my original sinister preorder.
Same question - I got access to the Player's Guide I qualify for from the Kickstarter (very nice, BTW), but don't seem to have access to the main book, which I have been waiting for anxiously for several years now.
Great diagrams. I'm a big believer in B1 and D1 - the two cones that look like 90º triangles; the caster is firing a cone at a 45º angle from her body.
B2 and D2 are... odd. They are consistent with SKR's "from any corner" definition, but if the "hot spot" is in the middle of the caster's square, not so much. Note however, putting the "hot spot" in the middle of the caster's square would also preclude A1 and C1, which are perfectly fine to me.
My problem with B2 and D2 is that they don't exactly emanate directly away from the caster. In both cases, there's a curve, a square right in front of the caster that isn't part of the cone, then one further out that is. I guess you could say the same for B1 and D1, but I'm okay writing that off to the vaguarities of diagonals. With B2 and D2, it's just to blatant for my tastes.
The Trailblazer system caps you at two attacks per round (unless you're two weapon fighting), but keeps the overall odds of hitting and damage output per round pretty much the same.
• At BAB +6 = two attacks, both at -2 (so +4/+4 instead of +6/+1)
Fewer attack but a better chance of hitting, plus, they're both at the same + so less math to slow the game down.
Let me play devil's advocate for a moment (or should I say, "GM's advocate").
It's a wide world out there. PCs are not supposed to understand every power and every enemy they face. Sometimes even heroes get hit with "WtF was that?!" No hero should be able to look at an opponent and list down all of his abilities and - in character - say, "Oh, he just used Dimensional Step." As an experienced player, you may have pretty good rule knowledge and recognize different spells and abilities, but in-character, your PC doesn't. It's a perfect example of meta-gaming. When I GM, I will occasionally swap out a monster's spells or powers, or reskin a monster so players don't get bored/lazy, and I hate it when one of them cries, "You can't do that!" If you don't understand the powers the bad guy just used, don't ask the GM what he's doing - that's lazy - have your PC go do some research. And hate the bad guy all the more, but don't get mad at the GM.
Now, as a GM, great flexibility comes with great responsibility. Mix things up and surprise your players once in a while, but don't screw them. It's a game, it's supposed to be fun. Surprises are fun and memorable. TPKs aren't. GM's can't abuse Rule 0 or players are going to leave. But keep in mind that GMing isn't an exact science - maybe he made an encounter that was meant to be really challenging and it turned out to be too challenging. Oops. Sound like he's got a back door for you all with easy Resurrection. Or maybe you wiped out his boss last week in the first round and he wanted some payback (Not a great motive, but hey, it happens - GMs put hours into prep and it's supposed to be fun for them too, and trust me, one-shoting bosses is not fun for GMs). Or maybe he needed to do what he did for narrative reasons to move the story forward so he stepped outside the rules for a minute. If you really don't like it, talk to him or take a break, or do both.
Finally, this jive about, "Well I'm going to become an evil cleric of Tiamat just so I can that too," comes from angle where players take classes and levels for purely power reason and nothing to do with who their character is. Down this road lies more and more player vs. GM conflict as everyone tries to "win." Fun? Not for long.
Great Con, lots of fun. Thanks always to those who step up and GM, especially for the midnight to 4am slot! And to Robyn for organizing!
Two requests for next time: