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Croaker

Necromancer's page

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber. 1,166 posts (1,192 including aliases). 3 reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 3 aliases.



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Only two days left...oh, f*@# yes.

I have absolutely no idea what race/class combination I want to start with; I really don't think I've looked forward to a game this much since Dragon Age: Origins.

So who else is coming to Seattle 2054 with me and how do you plan on starting off?


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You guys really need to watch this. American censorship has to end if we're ever to move forward (in the right direction).


1 person marked this as a favorite.
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His reasons for sacrificing his freedoms for others' and Julian Assange shows support. We've assumed our government was spying on us for years...turns out we were right.


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Ouya

Gamestick

Both will be released this summer. The Ouya looks more appealing due to its accessible hardware and software, but I'm also interested in seeing how the Gamestick does.

Thoughts?


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Apologies for the Gawker-like title, but it's a lot nicer than what I had in mind.

Deux Ex: The Fall will release exclusively to mobile devices. I've pasted the press release for those who want to avoid the site's ads:

Press Release wrote:

SQUARE ENIX ANNOUNCES DEUS EX: THE FALL

The DEUS EX series continues on mobile and tablet devices

London (5th June, 2013) – Square Enix Ltd., the publisher of SQUARE ENIX® interactive entertainment products in Europe and other PAL territories, today announced DEUS EX: THE FALL™, the new instalment of the award winning DEUS EX® series, coming soon to mobile and tablet devices.

DEUS EX: THE FALL is set in 2027– a golden era for science, technology and human augmentation, but also a time of great social divide and global conspiracy. Powerful corporations have seized control from governments and command the drug supply needed by augmented humans to survive. In this chaos Ben Saxon, a former British SAS Mercenary who underwent physical augmentation, is desperate for the truth behind the drug conspiracy. Betrayed by his private military employers, the Tyrants, not only is his own life at risk, but for all augmented humans, time is running out...

Developed by Square Enix's Mobile division in Europe, in collaboration with the original DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION® team at Eidos-Montréal and N-Fusion, DEUS EX: THE FALL is a story driven action-RPG and the first DEUS EX in the series to be released on mobile and tablet devices. The game includes never before seen characters from the novel published by Random House, DEUS EX: THE ICARUS EFFECT, picking up directly where the book finishes.

"We're really excited to continue the DEUS EX series on mobile and start a new journey", said Jean-François Dugas, Executive Game Director at Eidos-Montréal. "The team has done an incredible job creating a whole new story and controls for intuitive touch screen gameplay, whilst staying true to the DEUS EX universe. Players can expect exploration, action, hacking, stealth, social enhancers, player choice and consequence- the full DEUS EX experience."

"Smart devices are central to Square Enix's platform strategy and we approach it with the same attention as our boxed and digital releases. DEUS EX: THE FALL is going to be testament to our commitment in delivering high quality entertainment on mobile and tablet devices," said Antony Douglas, General Manager of Square Enix Mobile.

Priced at $6.99/£4.99/5.99€, the first instalment of the mobile series will be available this summer.

DEUS EX: THE FALL will be playable at the Square Enix booth at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in the South Hall #1647.

This really didn't surprise me that much, but I was a bit amused that SE decided to move to mobile at the worst possible time. I'd given up on the franchise after the ending given to Deus Ex:HR and that absurd arcade boss battle.

Incoming rant:
"But you own a tablet, why are you so negative?
Here's why:

  • Deus Ex: The Fall is an action title requiring fairly quick reactions from the player.
  • "Smart" devices are not smart at all; I'm stuck using a stylus most of the time and the input lag is attrocious.
  • The game will release in installations over a period of time. Hell no. I'm not signing onto a subscription plan.
  • Eidos is dumbing the game down to better accommodate touch screen input systems. So it's a casual Deus Ex sequel...fun. I'm not pissing on casual games, but to take a franchise and break it to fit the casual market is simply too much.

I really hope Square Enix finds their Waterloo next year and we get another THQ scenario wherein IPs get distributed to worthy publishers.


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On Steam for fifteen, but right now it's 25% off.

I'm a little over an hour into it and I'm enjoying myself. The sound design and overall feel is amazing. The story feels like it'll turn predictable at any moment, but the narrative had me sucked in so I don't expect it will matter that much.


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The Anita Sarkeesian thread is clearly not the place for this, so I'll make a new one.

There are so many big-budget games I never touch because of either the protagonist or the premise. As I look at the targeted demographics, I can easily see why. This thread is an attempt to generate discussion surrounding the gaping holes that major developers either refuse to, or are not allowed to touch. I covered some of this in my Combat-Sim thread, but that focus was fairly narrow.

My wishlist for the industry:


  • Smart protagonists. We might see them from time to time or find opportunities to play them (thank you for that, Fallout: New Vegas), but they're hardly the norm. Rarely are our (non-RPG) characters allowed to shine in mental pursuits. Instead, there's usually a plucky or moody NPC nearby that carries all the brains.
  • Female protagonists. Yes, I can still disagree with Sarkeesian's methods and still support this. I want more Heather Masons and April Ryans, please. Hell, I'd preorder an RPG that would let me play a character like Violet Crawley (current age); think I'm kidding--you make it, I'll buy it.
  • Mystery plots. Why aren't we seeing any more of these? Adventure games constitute some, but I'd like to see more games involving a central non-combat related goal that still manages to resolve conflict.
  • Wizard school settings not written by J. K. Rowling. I want a Skyrim-like RPG set in something like the school in Keepsake like there's no tomorrow.
  • Strategy stealth hybrid. Think of playing Thief using the X-Com: EU system.
  • Space opera RPG. I'm burnt out on Star Wars and Mass Effect. Give me something with a small focus that doesn't involve my character saving any galaxies.
  • Relationship-centered title using a real engine. A mundane, non-action game that revolves around the main character's daily life and relationships with others. I've never seen one of these developed on a real engine; Heavy Rain comes close.
  • More cyberpunk/steampunk with noirish themes. Provided it's not set anywhere near the 1950s, I can't get enough of these.
  • Protagonists with different body shapes. I'm tired of thin, average, or ripped.
  • Magic abilities that affect enviroment. Some non-combat spells and abilities besides movement-enhancement.
  • Extensive dialogue options and long conversations. During the conversation, I'd like to adjust body language, manipulate nearby objects for emphasis, change tone, etc.
  • Male protagonists taking on non-traditional roles and utilizing new avenues. Fallout: New Vegas offered a taste of this with the Confirmed Bachelor perk, but that's just one flavor and the tip of the iceberg.
  • Victorian/Victorian-esque settings. We need more. More!
  • Ghost protagonist with proper abilities. Let's say the player starts off as a glowing wisp of ectoplasm and slowly evolves their shape based on experiences and leveling options.

I could probably think of more, but that's it for now. How about you?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
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This comes up a lot, so I thought it could do with its own thread.

When I see "Broadband Internet Connection" listed under a game's requirements, I don't get angry or depressed, I just ask WHY? This is not a question of corporate vs. customer rights as much as a question of efficiency.


  • If it's an MMO or multiplayer-only title, I get it. I usually move on, but I understand why this particular application needs network access.

  • If the game contains a single player campaign, there is no reason whatsoever to demand a connection. What about the multiplayer sections? Let the game talk to servers when it needs to.

    *What about games like Diablo 3? The game needs to be online for the auction house.
    The reasonable solution is to disallow players to sell items earned during single player campaigns; if a player wants to sell anything, let them create a multiplayer character. If the game cannot adjust its difficulty based on the number of players currently active, then it doesn't need an auction house. If a player will never use the auction house, they shouldn't have to jump through the same hoops.

  • If the game is only available for solo play, it certainly doesn't need to constantly communicate with company servers. This is a massive waste of bandwidth and should never be used as DRM (there are better and less intrusive ways).

  • If a single player game offers leaderboards or other features that directly tie into gameplay, the game was never intended to be played solo and should be considered multiplayer-only. Otherwise, leaderboards and whatnot should be completely optional.

An oft-quoted response to "why do we have to be online" complaints is "well you're online most of the time anyway...", yet we're not. Not really. I log onto Steam when I plan to play, I open a browser only when I need to, I download only when I feel the compulsion to do so. Every connection has a legitimate reason.

As to concerns about licensing and "proper usage":
If I'm playing a single-player title, without any player vs. player economy involved, I will modify any sprite, texture, model, sound, or script as I see fit. There is no sane argument in the world that says I cannot modify something I legally purchased for my own private consumption.

How does this apply to the topic at hand? For an example: It is none of Bioware or EA's business that I modify NPC textures or models in my personal installation of Dragon Age 2. None.

I blame Square Enix's poor reaction to Nude Raider mods for all the "proper usage" legalese... Another example: I routinely edit a game's ini files to hasten its launch time. If every meaningless "is this a legal copy, no there's no real content in this update" update replaces those files and forces me to do everything all over again, I consider the process inefficient. Let's say that my ini edits were only to force the game to run at a tolerable resolution. Is that also improper usage? No, not in context.

Until I sign a service plan instead of a license agreement, I expect to be able to access content I paid for however I choose. With this in mind, it is inefficient for me to be connected constantly.

Your mileage may vary.


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When I saw the title pop up in upcoming releases, I rolled my eyes and scrolled onwards. I'm not sure what exactly caught my eye and made me reconsider, but I saw the price on Steam and thought "what the hell, it's fourteen bucks".

I've not been disappointed.

Since I haven't finished it, I'll hold off on a proper review and just list a few things that I absolutely love about the game:


  • Gothic horror themes mixed with east European mythology
  • solid graphics and monster design
  • polished voice acting
  • doesn't take itself too seriously and looks like it won't outstay its welcome
  • well-written ghost companion takes the place of a faceless pet
  • local installer that didn't take hours to complete
  • nice array of skills and leveling options
  • excellent music


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Well, it certainly looked like an amazing title until I saw the system requirements section:

Steam wrote:
Other Requirements:Broadband Internet connection

I hope this is a mistake; the Wikipedia entry mentions nothing of the sort. If this is an indicator of an always-online DRM method, Capcom just lost another customer. F#&+ing shame, really.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

- 9.99 USD on Steam

Normally, I stay far away from arcade-paced action/shooter titles, but God Mode's art design peaked my interest. When I realized it was LAN-capable (and knowing that I'd lose interest in an hour or two on my own), I talked a few friends into buying it and we wasted around twenty minutes or so this morning. It took a few minutes for us to get serious, but by then we were all dead and the arena reloaded with a different array of enemies that ruined what little tactics we could devise. Only one really b#%!+ed about the gameplay, while the rest of us sat giggling at the narrator and occasional surprises the game would toss our way (no, I'm not spoiling those).

The Good
- supports LAN, "mostly" co-op (up to four players)
- no real story other than, "a corpse fights through hordes of enemies for fun and profit"
- entertaining narrator with a wide range of taunts and general chatter
- art style
- better weapons are unlocked through experience and gold
- players can grind arenas and unlock content solo/offline
- a bestiary section on the main menu that allows a closer look at the game's monsters (every action title needs something like this)

The Bad
- lengthy melee animations make the option almost a last resort
- appearance customization is fairly limited and the unlockable bits are mostly themed costumes; cheap DLC options will likely follow
- sprint is nearly useless
- no pause option when playing solo (not a huge issue, but it's still worth mentioning)

The Ugly
- third person only...why the f@$& isn't there a first person option?! For a game like this, that's a massive mistake.
- players can't jump, only roll (this is equally g#+@~*ned ridiculous)

Closing, but not really "final", thoughts:
If you hate military-themed shooters like I do, this is a nice way to bridge the gap and get some LAN time in with friends that don't share your tastes in fantasy gaming. That said, the game has enough flaws to warrant catching a few gameplay videos before buying.


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At the moment, it's 10% off at 13.49 USD on Steam.

First impressions
- Unreal-based, so controls are fairly straightfoward
- interactive areas look like chalk art and stand out against the game's cluttered maps
- so far progression is completely linear and a bit predictable
- saves are handled through checkpoints that occur too infrequently for my tastes
- the puzzles gain in complexity as the player journeys onward; one solution was so f+#*ing obvious I'm ashamed of myself for not catching it sooner
- graphics are decent and there is no HUD to speak; though why there should be, I have no idea...
- don't try to climb clusters of objects, the maps can glitch and trap a player forcing a restart

I wished I knew nothing about the title going in, but that hasn't taken too much away from the game. It's not a bad title so far, though a few things are annoying me (I'll cover these once I finish).


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

On Steam for $10.

Review with spoilers:

Three major areas: Financial District, Slaughterhouse Row, and a slightly modified Flooded District. The story's not a long one and remains mostly spoiler free. I've just finished a rushed, high-chaos run and feel mostly satisfied--I'm trusting the non-lethal run to be more enjoyable. The nice thing about this DLC is the emergence of a side-plot that parallels Corvo's journey and new information about Dunwall that leaves us wanting more.

The Good
- modified Blink ability that freezes time while in action main
- character with an established personality and voice
- new areas (specifically a "modernized" slaughterhouse that oozes human inhumanity with every pixel)
- interesting side story centered, loosely, around the Outsider's involvement in human affairs
- no hub between missions; instead we're treated to a Daud-narrated intro just like Garrett's briefings in the Thief series
- easy-to-hate secondary villains
- sexy, new graphical textures and models (we are treated to a whale close-up)

The Bad
- short length
- quick, slideshow ending that left this player a bit annoyed
- maps aren't as sprawling as in the main campaign

The Ugly
- recycled guard chatter pasted onto overseers in the last map
- triggered dialogue occasionally overlaps other triggered dialogue
- new gang, Hatters, are barely present and effectively repainted Bottle Street boys

Overall, it's not bad, but I feel a bit like my lust for more Dunwall lore is dulling any disappointment I might have had. I'll post more after a complete play-through.


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This video reminded me of why I'm steadily becoming more and more disappointed with today's games. I also recommend checking out the uploader's other videos...and I'm going to talk to myself occasionally, so bear with me.

It's really getting old. Really. I know good single player experiences are hard to come by these days, but I'm sick of spending 80% of my time murdering wildlife, bandits, "terrorists", guards, robots, undead, mutants, f*#+ing zombies (I'm actually just sick of zombies in general), psychotic wasteland nomads, and entire mythology creature catalogues. Keep in mind that I'm not against video game violence at all--I'm just bored.

Alternative routes such as hacking, lock-picking, persuasion, and stealth are slowly creeping into more and more action games. Hell, Dishonored and Fallout: NV feature the option to avoid homicide entirely.

"The Thief series did this as well, so what are you complaining about?"

That is what I'm complaining about: applying action-genre expectations to titles that were never really about action. Thief was always about snagging more loot and staying out of sight, but the expectation of possible action fans playing the game almost demanded an arsenal of weaponry. Garrett could barely hold his own against one combatant, much less an entire squad of armed guards; nevertheless, one could outfit the master thief with explosives and go to town. I maintain that the Thief series should focus entirely on stealth and trickery and leave melee combat to the professionals.

"So go play something else like Sims or Portal!"

Why should fantasy, scifi, and period-themed games focus solely on violent conflict? Why can't I teach or attend a mages' school without the threat of supernatural invasion? Can space operas only exist during intergalactic wars? Should every mystery game star martial artists that face off against waves of hired mercenaries on a regular basis? I don't believe that combat or combat-avoidance scenarios are the only path to entertainment. Nor do I believe quick-time events are the only way to engage a player's attention (I'm looking at you, David Cage).

Gameplay can be slow paced and dialogue-based without being dull and forgetable. Dishonored proved that excellent world-building can keep a player invested throughout a title's tedious bits of gameplay. How could a romance/slice-of-life game seem boring when set aboard an Enterprise-inspired starship?

My point is that there are gaping holes in the video game market and triple-A publishers are being too risk-averse to try anything other than a sports sim, WoW clone, or plotless military training software. This attitude cannot exist alongside "we need to expand our customer base" in a sane world. This issue has been on my mind for a while, but the initial intent was to link the video and generate some discussion regarding the over-saturation of violence in non-action genres.


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Hello, Pathfinder Core product line...it's been a while.


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Impire

War for the Overworld

It's been almost two years since Kalypso's Dungeons crawled into the market and disappointed most of its buyers. I didn't outright despise the title as much as I probably should, but I've spent less than twenty hours on it and it's been a year since I've touched the game. While Dungeons never claimed to be a third Dungeon Keeper, Kalypso did little to discourage the rumors. I hate, hate marketing in all its forms.

That said, both newcomers look appealing. Preordered.


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DLC trailer without an intro ad

what's known so far

Bonemold and chitin armors are back!
Early xbox release, of course; beta testing.


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It's $3.99 until October 12; from Spiderweb, the same guys behind Geneforge and Avernum (Exile).


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm curious as to other GMs' preferences concerning bestiary design standards and related miscellany.

1 - Would you prefer creature layouts (non-animal, non-construct) built at 0HD (or close) in order to allow for maximum customization?

For example, basic goblin statistics can be used as-is for generic enemies, possible NPC, or as a race option for PCs.

2 - Do you advance creatures as needed or prefer to stick with whatever published builds are available?

3 - If you advance or modify creatures, what is the preferred method (standard HD advancement, class levels, etc.)?


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It's out on Steam at $4.99. Offers five new decks and more campaign levels.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Every time I play a bit of Drakensang: RoT I find myself looking for the German audio files. I'm sick to f@+*ing death of inferior voice acting in import titles. What the hell's wrong with reading the subtitles? I'm really tired of playing games with the localized voice-overs muted.

Anime fans know this feeling all too well.

I'm not asking the industry to change--that's like jumping the Channel--I'm only asking for the original audio to be included. Not default, just included so that I can have access to an audio track that doesn't make my ears bleed.


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For many, a dead PC at low levels is simply a corpse; similarly, a PC captured and abandoned by their group is never heard from again, save a poignant mention of familiar broken and battered prisoner seen during the group's return. My current group never liked this approach for several reasons: enduring the mistreatment/slavery/etc. for a chance to escape, morbid curiosity, campaign foreshadowing, where did the corpse go?, and so on.

Everyone managed to get today off, so an early morning journey to Rappan Athuk was called for. Two characters fell within half an hour and I spent a solid ten minutes detailing the pair's death. The next Game Over involved a PC's capture that took almost twenty minutes to cover where, what, and how that character's end finally came. All of this has been at the group's request and they have yet to discover an entrance.

No other group I've GMed for or played with wanted to peek behind the "Game Over" screen. Getting to the point of the thread: How does your group handle "Game Overs"?


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Runic finally gave us a release date. Four new class (both genders for each) and over-world exploration this time. Looks good.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
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Imagines applying mythic rules to a 1st level party for anime-level mayhem. Can hear players drooling over the prospects already.

To chew on? That's a meal!


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Tell me I'm not the only one that read the title and heard Bonnie Tyler's voice and Steinman's music...


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I'd like to end my Adventure Path subscription after Skull & Shackles #6 (From Hell's Heart, ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-422-1). I'll likely pick up again after Shattered Star, but for now please cancel my subscription after Skull & Shackles. Thanks.


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Holy s++# and biscuits, the whole lot's $13.49. Ends Thursday.

These are three of the best games I've ever played. If you like steampunk (gaspunk tbh), stealth, and don't need DirectX 10 for everything you touch, check these out.


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Anyone playing it? It's still $7.99 on Steam for the next 17(ish) hours.

It's not bad, from a survival horror connoisseur perspective, but the s*++ty retro look gets pretty annoying. Sort of reminds me of the Clocktower series (visually). I find myself playing it in bursts of fifteen to twenty minutes thanks to the visual styles and an over-cautious attitude (something I fall back on with every horror game I play).

So far, it's worth the eight bucks.


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Legend of Grimrock looks fairly interesting and, even though it's not visable on steam yet, Avernum: Escape From the Pit* is said to go live on 4/11/12 (info from Spiderweb Software forums).

*Avernum was released early for Macs, but the Windows build isn't available until it's up on Steam.

Thoughts? Since the Geneforge series was amazing and Avadon was (and is) beyond boring, I'm pretty much sold on Avernum.


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Link to the announcement on Bioware's forum; if "verbatim" confirmation is needed, dig through several pages. I had a feeling this was coming--either that, or a surprise Dragon Age 3 trailer/promo material.


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Has anyone tried this? Read it? Opinions?


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I'll just leave this here.


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I cannot stress how much I appreciate this change. Thank you.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
ProfPotts wrote:

LOL!

Okay... now I want the Order of the Chauvinist to be an official new Cavalier order... :)

Behold, the Order of the Chauvinist!

Cavaliers of this order must be male (aspiring female applicants must take steps to become male...*snickers*). Mighty warriors and wise mentors, these cavaliers reinforce traditional gender roles and protect the world against new and dangerous ideas.

Edicts: The cavalier must refute all lies regarding gender equality, education, and sexual "harassment". He must disrupt feminist rallies, protect reckless females from engaging in duels, and prevent women from reading outside of the 'Society' section of each day's broadsheet. He must also stop and admire any woman whose flesh is exposed beyond traditional standards, offering suggestions or approval as applicable.

Challenge: Whenever an order of the chauvinist issues a challenge, he receives a +1 morale bonus on all melee attacks rolls against any obviously male humanoid, monstrous humanoid, or giant. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels the cavalier possesses.

Skills: An order of the chauvinist cavalier adds Knowledge (nobility) and Perception to his list of class skills. In addition, an order of the chauvinist cavalier adds his Charisma modifier to the DC on another creature's attempt to conceal their gender from him through Disguise (in addition to his Wisdom modifier as normal).

Other Abilities: A cavalier belonging to the order of the chauvinist gains the following abilities as he increases in level.

Enhanced Bravery (Ex)
At 2nd level, the cavalier no longer fears women. He receives a +2 morale bonus on all saving throws against fear effects as long as he is facing two or more obviously female humanoids, monstrous humanoids, or giants.

Protector of Wenches (Ex)
At 8th level, the cavalier can keep any barmaid within 30 feet from harm. Whenever an unarmed female humanoid threatens an attack of opportunity, as a full-round action, the cavalier can rush to the unarmed female's square and receive the attack in her stead. Both the cavalier and unarmed female fall prone. The unarmed female uses the cavalier's AC until the cavalier takes another full-round action to get up. The cavalier also suffers a -10 penalty to AC from the unarmed female for the next two hours.

Strong Hand(Su)
At 15th level, the cavalier can smack prone a humanoid feminist wearing medium or heavy armor. As a standard action that provokes an attack of opportunity, the cavalier reaches out and strikes an adjacent humanoid female (wearing medium or heavy armor). The attack deals no damage, but counts as a bull rush. The cavalier suffers a -5 penalty to AC against all attacks of opportunity from female humanoids, monstrous humanoids, fey, and giants for the next 12 hours. This ability can be used twice per day.

gallops away...

Ha!


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Only intelligence-based casters (and alchemists) are required to physically store the spells they 'know'. It seems to me that a high intelligence score would indicate a good memory; why shouldn't wizards 'remember' their spells? What if spellbooks could be created as sort of expensive combined scroll? As long as the flavor was intact would it matter?

This is intended as a discussion (The battleground's that way...), so here are a few questions to get things started:

1 - Do you feel that the spellbook (or equivalent) mechanic--not flavor--is necessary for INT-based casters? If so, why?

2 - Do you feel that the flavor and themes surrounding an INT-based caster require them to draw their power from a book or pet? Could you cite examples (books, film, etc.) as to why?

3 - What would be your response to removing spellbooks (and equivalents) as a requirement for INT-based casters? This would not mean witches would have to give up their familiars, but rather that they could prepare spells without chatting up their pet each morning. The casters would still have to pay the necessary gold to learn new spells (outside of leveling up) and prepare them each day as usual.

4 - Have you (or has your GM/DM) made any house-rules regarding this? If so, what changes were made?


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Background: I never played the original, but I've heard good things about it.

Since Bethesda's marketing department (or whoever) decided to delay the last bit of DLC for New Vegas when I 'needed' it most, I figured it was time for an impulse buy that would discourage me from getting the DLC when it came out.

Steam had a few titles that looked interesting, but everything's coming out later--wait? What's this, Deus Ex HR unlocks tonight? Well let's look at the trailers at leas--yep, $45 here you go.

Anyone else looking forward to this?


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For those unfamiliar with the titles...:
REC: a Spanish horror film
Quarantine: remake of the above title aimed at people who fear subtitles and love long expositions before the plot kicks in

Everytime I learn of an American remake of a foreign horror film, I cringe. I believe that people who refuse to read subtitles should not get to experience the movie. US distributors have an opposing viewpoint: "You say you can't watch the movie 'cause of all the dirty foreigners speakin' their weird languages? Don't worry! 'Got a genuine American-made remake right here! And don't sweat the story parts 'cause it's just a horror flick; you know, people die and weird stuff happens. Enjoy the movie!"

REC 2 picks up where REC left off; same building, same night. The story centers around a four-man special forces team (each sporting a helmet-mounted camera) attempting to assess the situation within the apartment building.

The cinematography really shines in the sequel, allowing for immersion and quality visuals. There's quite a few creepy moments to be found and the acting is top-notch. A weird story development comes out of nowhere and surprisingly (despite my personal opinions of the writer's choice) manages to cement my interest for the remainder of the film.

As for Quarantine 2: the story does pick up after the events of Quarantine, but it also leaves the apartment building and boards an airplane. The plot pales in comparison to REC 2. Predictability and cardboard characters dominate this film; the actors (well, some of them anyway) do their best, but shoddy writing and editing overshadows all their efforts.

The actors with the most screen time interested me the least and moreso with regard to the characters portrayed. I truly hated the main female character within the first ten minutes. At the film's mid-point, the actors I cared about were gone (or on the floor face-down) and all I was left with was a low-grade zombie-fanboy of a film that should have never left the runway.

Final thoughts:

REC 2: The film rivals its predecessor and stands as a solid horror title worth watching.

Quarantine 2: A garbage plot, awful script, and horribly portrayed (and written) main characters eclipse what little gems this film could have offered.


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Are metal cartridges the only option (on table 3-6 in Ultimate Combat) for advanced firearms? If not, what are the prices for silver/adamantine/etc. bullets housed in metal cartridges?


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Barely-contained possible spoiler:
Ratlings!! Thank you, so much! I've been using rat-things from d20 Call of Cthulhu up until now. The write-up is fantastic and Lovecraftian critters are always useful regardless of setting. Thanks again.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The pre-order's available on Steam; octopus-shooters and man-cannons for everyone. I haven't felt this happy about losing fifty bucks since well...a while.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

After hearing people talking about the title for months(and mispronouncing the word every damn time), I looked up the film and read the premise. Realizing the makers of Dead Silence were behind it, I thought I'd give it a go. The street date drew near and the hype was significant. I watched Insidious last night (solo, no lights, full screen, headphones...the only way to watch a horror film) and this is my review.

Horror is my go-to entertainment when boredom sets in; I've seen so much that the typical "one, two, scream" rhythm (and variations of it) does nothing for me (usually). Atmosphere is what gets under my skin. That said, the opening credits of Insidious creeped me the f++@ out. That's a first for me, being unsettled by the opening credits. The first 3.35 minutes of the film promised subtle and disturbing fun for the rest of the film.

For most of the first third of the film, things are standard haunted-house fare. The home is an older one with awful lighting, so every scene has its creep factor doubled. I mean seriously, people, buy better lights for your house. Minor weirdness sets in and the kid's comatose (within twenty minutes). The mood gets bleaker and the haunts mount in severity until the family...moves. That's right. Usually the husband ignores the wife until caskets fly through the floorboards, but this family plays things smart (except for home lighting).

Shortly after the move, things continue to escalate. A quick game of hide and seek featuring a filthy street urchin from circa 1870 London and the wife's favorite mellow piano record exchanged for Tiny Tim's rendition of Tiptoe Through the Tulips (creepy in its own right) puts the story back on track. A priest makes a, thankfully, brief visit. After a nice and twisted dream recap, the comatose kid's furniture goes a@!*#+! and the husband's suspicious mother recommends "an old friend" for metaphysical damage control.

Next comes the comedy hour featuring two tech assistants (one's the writer) to confirm what we already know. Typical late-middle-aged psychic lady shows up and gets a nice first impression. Expected seance takes place complete with crazy possessed fun. The problem turns out to be the comatose kid, who's apparently been astral projecting (unknowingly) and left a "For Lease" sign on his body. Conveniently this is a genetic condition and "only the husband can save him". While this last section is interesting, the subtly is gone and the scares are (mostly) formulaic. Even the ending is cliché.

It should be said that none of the negatives outweigh the film's good points; this is a solid horror film in an age of cheap scares and over-the-top gore. The atmosphere only lets up near the end of the film and the sound design is exceptional (like Dead Silence). The special effects are mostly done with makeup and camera tricks (leaving only a few minor, unavoidable, CG bits at the end). Horror fans will likely enjoy Insidious, but casual watchers might get bored during the final act. Also the fact that I didn't have to endure (another) stupid exorcism scene, is a huge plus.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

How you read my mind is a mystery I'll ignore (for now) in exchange for the useful mechanics. Nice.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I began thinking about the volitile nature of firearms (esp. period firearms) and considered the spark cantrip. The "unattended" requirement bothered me, so here's a new spell:

Dammed Barrel
School evocation [fire] Level bard 3, cleric/oracle 4, druid 4, sorcerer/wizard 4, witch 4

CASTING
Casting Time 1 immediate action
Components V or S

EFFECT
Range medium (50 ft. + 5 ft./level)
Targets one firearm
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw Reflex partial (see below)
Spell Resistance yes (object)

DESCRIPTION
You can make a nearby loaded firearm (excluding siege weapons) misfire. This does not add the broken condition to the affected firearm, however the misfire is treated as an explosion. A successful reflex save halves the damage (the save must be against this spell's DC and not the standard misfire save).

Thoughts?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I try to apply science to fantasy when applicable. In this case, it's almost pseudoscience given the fictional nature of magic -- moving on...

Let's assume that positive energy (regardless of the source) rebuilds and restores damaged tissue. Negative energy would attack and distort healthy tissue.

Since positive energy basically regrows tissue, it's feasible that (if applied excessively) positive energy could create cancer. With the same logic, negative energy (if used sparingly) could kill any malignant growth and possibly the guilty tumors.

I think this would make for an excellent, albeit gritty, optional rule: when characters are healed beyond maximum HP, they risk cancerous growths. If the cancer is caught early, restoration and similar spells can remove the affected tissue.

Any thoughts on this? I've no idea about the mechanics at this point; it's just been on my mind for several days.

**I apologize if this hits close to home, that wasn't the intention.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This may not be the right place, but I'd like to thank whoever suggested covering each corner of Ultimate Magic with cardboard(?) elbows. The book arrived today tightly closed and in perfect condition. Seriously, thanks guys.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Finished the campaign and the custom maps today; my thoughts...

Dungeons is aimed at fans of the Dungeon Keeper series, but the game is as far as one can get from DK/DK2 without leaving the Fantasy-Villain-Sets-Up-Shop subgenre (maybe it's a sub-subgenre).

Some gameplay elements:
- no creature management, spawning pentagrams are used instead
- heroes are effectively customers that accumulate soul energy to be harvested later
- your avatar/character/dungeon lord/etc gains skills and attribute points, adding an rpg tag
- minor strategy elements, mostly herding heroes around by leaving trails of decorations (which require soul energy to purchase)
- creature lairs must be found and cannot be built
- single player campaign with custom maps, 3x sandbox maps

Dungeons is basically a business sim with a fresh coat of paint. I'm just posting this to let people know what they're getting actually buying. It's not an awful game (I give it a 68), but the advertising is way off.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've bit off more than I can chew...and it tastes funny.

After getting my new group familiar with PFRPG through the Crypt of the Everflame arc - with nice, goodly champions - they asked if we could vary from setting to setting between campaigns. Absolutely. Did they have anything in mind? *ten minutes of verbal chaos* So I had them list movies, tv serials, games, and published settings that they'd like to try; I said I would blend an idea from each of them into a new setting.

Player1 - Fallout 3 & NV, "Batman" (not the movie or game title, just Batman), Cowboy Bebop
Player2 - Ravenloft, House MD, Dark Shadows, Frankenstein (1994)
Player3 doesn't care, but I told her to make the list by picking settings she would like to run a character through.
Player3 - Lexx, Re-Animator (all films)

None are picky about the time period (Dark Ages, modern, post-apocalyptic, future) as long as it's not Victorian-esque. Any ideas are welcome, I just can't decide how to go about this.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The crawling hand entry only had so much space, so I wasn't surprised by the absence of any creation requirements. Would animate dead at CL 9 satisfy the creation of an undead with animal-level intelligence? Does an INT score (no matter how low) warrant create undead? Would the caster have to develop a spell specifically for this undead?

I'm planning on sticking with the first solution, but I'm curious how others would handle it.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Got my hard copy today and I've got to say, I love the demons' origin. Probably one of the coolest concepts I've seen in a while; very, very nice.

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