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Odraude's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Society Member. 6,938 posts. No reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 2 Pathfinder Society characters.

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Well, yes and no.

One of the issues with the continuation of adding feats and spells is that it adds more complexity without depth. There are a lot of moving parts that come together with a character, and when you add more feats, it can have unintended consequences with previous ones. And with more and more feats, it's harder to look back at previous work to make sure that there aren't weird or overpowered feat combinations. And really, as great as the option are (I love options), I feel they haven't added depth to the game. The feats and such are still mostly centered around combat or skills.

That's why I liked Ultimate Campaign. It wasn't just feats for combat or skills. It added support to run different styles of games that went beyond "stop the bad guy, save the world". You had kingdom building and exploration, which was a HUGE hit with many of my players. There was base building and running your own business. There were child characters and infamy and just lots of rules that added depth to one's campaign with less of the complexity. I had a crew of friends that always wanted to do "get rich quick" schemes, and were surprised when I was the first GM to not only say yes, but actually have the support to do it. There were great adventures with the players fighting guild monopolies and thugs and thieves, while rubbing shoulders with nobles. One player even became a drug kingpin under the guise of a detective. And that's awesome.

That's what I want. I like options. Hell, I love them. But I really want to see more options that add depth to the game. Occult Adventures did that with their rituals and such. I haven't read Horror Adventures, but the Corruption rules sound interesting. And I prefer all of this to the reverse, which is stagnation. That's kind of where I feel the OSR community is suffering. You have people just making the next retroclone instead of new, cool things. There are some exceptions, but for the most part, I prefer Pathfinder's publishing to another retroclone heartbreaker riding the coattails of The Black Hack.

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Yeah, according to the devs, Rasputin Must Die did really well and because of that we got stuff like Iron Gods and, well, Strange Aeons.

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caltrops and oil

Caltrops to hurt the person and make them yelp

Oil so you can light it on fire when they do.

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I kind of prefer the apatheist. They don't know much about the gods nor really care about them :)

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A part of me thinks that this would be the perfect time to add more Aztec themed races instead of using the same races in the core. Lizardfolk is a good start, as are cat folk (jaguar people/tabaxi). Grippli would fit really well in a tropical setting like this.

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Just a word of warning, most GMs don't really appreciate it when a player tries to bring in a Dev to go over their head to override their ruling. While I think he could be more lenient, trying to overrule him isn't going to get him to change his mind any quicker. If anything, he'll probably stand his ground and the problem will get even worse.

Instead, try working with him and reaching some compromise. And if that doesn't work, honestly, I'd drop the issue.

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Honestly, there are rare times where I feel roleplaying gets in the way of the game. Purple prose, arguing over their character's story, poor attempts at complex characters, players fighting over spotlight. It can get tiring after awhile as a GM and a player. It's why whenever I feel a bit winded from GMing, I just run a murderhobo one shot. No story, no arguing, no whining. Just a bunch of us gathered together to kill orcs and take their pie. It's simple, but fun and gets to the game quicker. And eventually we all feel refreshed and get back to more roleplayng in our games.

That's one good thing about the munchkin (in small doses at least). Reminds us it's a game and not to take it so seriously sometimes. Sit back, grab a beer, and have some fun while we can.

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Everywhere my friend. Everywhere.

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HWalsh wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

So hypothetically, if you have a demon trying to bluff the PCs into doing something and a PC asks "I want to try to figure out if the demon is lying." What would be the "no fudging" way to get around this?

Do you tell them to roll sense motive, and you roll a die privately and don't even look at it? Do you tell them to roll sense motive, and just not roll at all for the demon? Do you tell them they can't roll? Do you abide by whatever the dice say and try to come up with another plot hook on the fly?

If you are not going to abide by the dice roll, you don't roll it. You let them roll and say "You don't think he is lying." You can even justify it on the backend by saying the demon has glibness and other bonuses that make it mathematically impossible for the PC to beat the demon's Bluff.

Or you roll the dice, accept that the PC beat the Bluff check, and tell them so. And then you run with that change to your campaign. It's a lot easier if you don't prep a screenplay and instead prepare scenes. Listen to your players arguing about what is really going on and use the theory you like best out of the lot of them.

See, no. That is silly.

There is no difference between:

Player A: "I want to use sense motive on the Princess."
GM: "Go ahead." (Rolls dice, pretends to look at die and nods head.)
Player A: (Rolls dice) "17."
GM: "You don't think she's lying."


Player A: "I want to use sense motive on the Princess."
GM: "You don't think she's lying."

By, "If you are not going to abide by the dice roll, you don't roll it. You let them roll and say "You don't think he is lying." you ARE fudging the dice.

You roll the dice, specifically, to keep the players on their toes.

Like, literally, the PLAYERS shouldn't suspect anything is different between when you fudge, or plot armor, a thing and when you don't. You roll the dice so that the situation, to the player's perspective, is the exact same as when you *aren't*...

Illusion of choice really is just not great advice honestly. There has never been a moment in my time GMing where giving the players false choice was more engrossing and rewarding than giving the players a real choice and having them deal with the consequences.

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Honestly, these three posts from The Alexandrian really changed the way I GM for the better. GMing became less stressful and my players have had a lot more fun overall. I think people should read them and give them an honest try. You'd be surprised.

Don't Prep Plots

DPP: Villains

DPP: Contingencies

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

There's one thing I keep coming back to when reading the thread. There are apparently people who expect the GM to obey the dice and the printed rules slavishly, to simply simulate the world without narrative contrivances or plot devices that push the story in the direction the GM wants, but to also have an encyclopedic knowledge of the rules and the setting.

My question is, faced with a group of players like that, what would I actually get out of GMing? Like what's my incentive to put in all the time it takes to develop plots, design scenarios and antagonists, and populate a game world if I'm discouraged from telling my own story.

Like do people who expect their GMs to be like that run exclusively canned adventures?

Since I GM a lot, this is what I get from it.

If I want to share my story as I see it, I wouldn't be a GM. I'd write a novel.

I am not an author. I do not plan out the story because players are their own people that will make their own plans. And I don't push the story where I want. D&D isn't a book or a movie. It's not a video game either. I tell a story, but I tell it with the simple fact in mind that the players will do crazy, unforeseen, and creative things to further their goals. I don't write the plot with a prepared end, only a villain with a goal and a method. And I understand two things.

It's not my story.

The players aren't my characters.

This is everyone's story, whether the GM likes it or not. The players are a big part of it and will play in it and do what they can. Prepping plots and planning out scenarios dependent on a certain action will only lead to frustration, trust me. Your story will never survive first contact with the players. Looking at the Adventure Path forums, you see countless people approaching the same adventure in different ways. And forcing your players to slavishly follow your story and putting the story over their actions and choices is really just not great. It's not fun.

Now, you can still prep scenarios. Like I mentioned before, I generally prep scenarios based on how the villain would react to the group's actions. I'd suggest reading The Alexandrian's article on prepping scenarios, not plots. You can have your villain get away too. No one is denying that. You can still tell a story with the narrative contrivances, but again, you have to remember that this is an interactive hobby with a bunch of players including yourself. So you can't force your players to follow your story. You can have events happen to them, and you can have story elements happen behind the scenes, but they should take into account what the players are going to do. It doesn't requires "slavishly" following the rules or the dice, though I personally prefer keeping things as fair as I can. All you have to do is just watch what the players do and react accordingly. It's much easier than it sounds honestly.

And what incentive do I get from GMing?

I love to see how players handle my scenario. I love to see them succeed despite the odds using a crazy and creative way that I didn't even think of. I love to see their reactions, and then the consequences of their actions and plotting what happens next because of it. That's because despite me challenging them through difficult obstacles, I'm still my players' biggest fan. I'm their biggest cheerleader. And seeing them overcome adversity is the biggest reward for me as a GM. Seriously, I think that people should try sandbox gaming more often. It is a bit difficult, but it is honestly very rewarding, for both the players and the GM. There are many blogs about it, from The Alexandrian to Trollsmyth and such. I can bring together some links, or certainly message people about it.

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Steve Geddes wrote:

I don't fudge rolls at the moment. I have in the past though, depending on what the players wanted at the time.

However, my fudging has pretty much always been in the players' flavor. The "fudging is anti-player" perspective is strange to me (especially since the DM can do that anyway by just putting in a tougher monster from the get go). I think a DM who fudges to screw you over isn't going to run a great game even if you stopped that behaviour. The mindset is the issue - the fudging is just an enabler, IMO.

I think I can at least explain this.

For me, as a player and DM, I'm not a fan of fudging dice positive or negative. I prefer to follow the result of the dice and my actions and react with it. I don't run a story or plot per se, but rather situations and scenarios that organically rise from players' actions. So when a GM fudges my dice roll, whether it is to my benefit or not, I feel it somewhat cheapens the danger and consequences of my choices in order to protect the story. If my fighter dies to goblin arrow fire, I'm okay with that. That failure is part of the story and while losing a character can suck, at least he did the best he could and paid the price for living a life of danger. But if a GM fudged the dice to protect me from the consequences of my choice, I wouldn't be a fan of it. I don't want my characters protected so the story can flow, or to protect me as the player. It makes the victory that I achieve in the game hollow, because it was simply handed to me.

That is why I do not fudge dice, and I'd prefer it if GMs don't fudge my dice results. I feel my choices don't matter as much if victory or defeat is at the whim of GM fiat.

Now as a GM, if a player is having bad luck with rolls, I do offer my "Everyone Gets One" card where you get a quick success on something. It's still the player's choice if they want to use it, and no one really abuses it. Sometimes, getting five ones in a row can suck, so I do offer it. But my players rarely ever take it and I'm okay with it.

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Not really though. He's still incredibly powerful, took down the titans, and really can't be killed. The druid class isn't enough to really showcase Zeus or Odin or the other gods, both in the real world and literature. The rules don't really cover having your own afterlife to syphon souls to, or beings that can create a planet from nothing, or the capability of shattering stars and such. And that's why I at least like rules for this. But my personal preference is to keep things abstract. If we have CR40 creatures with a million HP and +50 saving throws, that gets super unwieldy.

Personally, I don't get the push back of keeping gods untouchable. Especially with so many games out there that do it, it really isn't that bad to have players ascending to godhood on their own, or going all Elric of Melnibone and cleaning house. And with Godbound, it's a lot easier to convert that style to d20. At this point, it just seems like a personal preference people trying to shove at those that want stats for gods. Which is silly.

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Because most gods in mythology were approachable and heavily flawed. Most people are looking at this through a Judeo-Christian monotheistic lens. But if you look at the Olympians or Norse, they were super flawed and could be killed. Read the Ramayana or the tales of Sun Wukong or any Greek mythos or Native American legend and you'll see tales of mortals tricking and defeating the gods. Most cultural heroes are essentially paragons of mortals duping the creators and stealing something from them (secret of fire, riddle of steel, agriculture).

That said, I don't really want a god with 4 million HP and complicated stats like that.

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Firewarrior44 wrote:
You also might be able to stat them up using Godbound (there's a free version). It would defiantly be a lot more abstract than using PF / 3.5 rules but it would also give a decent framework for defining what / how they can influence things.

Having played SWN, Sine Nomine makes some great products. And since a lot of it is based off of Basic D&D, it just takes a little finagling to convert and run a game.

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I imagine that if the players are simply going to interact with gods on a roleplaying basis, then there really isn't much of a need for stats.

If the players will be completing with the gods over dominion, or just straight up killing them a la Elric, then you'd want stats. Though I feel that with gods, you'd want to keep things abstract and loose. I imaging a very simplified, almost FATE-esque Pathfinder mechanic to keep it convertible would be best.

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Pretty much all mythological gods save for Yahweh are not infallible and are not omniscient or omnipotent. Many also have weaknesses that can be played into by mortals and demigods. So I imagine, keep a lot of the god's abilities and stats abstract and give them weaknesses and flaws that the players can exploit to defeat the gods.

I mean hell, we had Sisyphus bind Thanatos with his own chains and Heracles tricked Atlas to take back the Earth. So it's definitely feasable. With stats for Gods, you just have to be more abstract with stats. Less is more as they say.

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Magic crafters HATE Kobold Cleaver.

See which items are the Big 6. #4 will shock you!

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Wasn't this thread about space ships?

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I don't control the players' actions and generally trust them to make the correct decisions when under mental duress, like panic or mind control or confusion. It's a game where we play characters that get attacked, both physically and mentally. I think if we as players can accept getting stabbed and taking 1d8 damage, then we can accept and rp being panicked or mind control. I just let them keep control over the character. It's generally not an issue at my table.

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Kalindlara wrote:

Now would probably be a good time to cool down and not start a flamewar. ^_^

(Also, please avoid "transgendered". Transgender - or preferably just trans - is more ideal.)

That's fair and I apologize for that. I ran it by my gf who is trans and she thought it was okay. But I will refrain from using the term in the future. Again, I am sorry for that.

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CBDunkerson wrote:
Odraude wrote:
See, everyone makes that excuse. "There's no Spain expy in Golarion"


Maybe get over yourself for a moment and read what I actually wrote instead of your fictional recasting of it above?

I did not say, "There's no Spain expy in Golarion". Rather the opposite.
Taldor clearly has heavy spanish influences. Rondolero, Falcatas, Spanish Armada, et cetera. Cheliax has the Spanish Inquisition. The Shackles and Spain's Caribbean colonies. Et cetera.

Every bog standard Arthurian setting survives without the Norse invading, despite that being a HUGE influence on England's history.

The Norse are invading... they're called Ulfen.

We can have Spanish knights like Don Quixote and El Cid without the Moor takeover.

Or... we could continue to have knights like Don Quixote and El Cid in Taldor WITH the Qadiran incursions.

And yet, when my niece wanted to play essentially herself in a PF game, she was told no because Puerto Rican's don't exist in Golarion and to play a normal character.

There are plenty of Andoran / Taldan border regions which could serve as analogs for Puerto Rico in Golarion.

why is it so outlandish to have a Mexican knight in shining armor adventuring with a Haitian wizard in flowing robes in Golarion.

It's not.

So why are you removing such characters from the setting?

The first quote isn't an example from you, but one I've heard often enough. Much of my complaints are for most settings out there (Forgotten Realms, Ebberron, Harn, etc). But let's go down your list.

Ulfen aren't exactly doing civilization changing invasions. And they are pretty far away from Taldor, which has (aside from Spanish influences) a great deal of English inspired stuff in there.

For Taldo, yeah, you have the right analogue there, but most settings really don't do that. And it has a lot of Spain, but not a lot of what makes Latinos, well, Latino. Most of the Inner Sea is Mediterranean.

Have you been to Puerto Rico? You know it's a tropical island right? I don't see anywhere on the border that seems remotely close to that. Verduran Forest doesn't exactly scream El Yunque Rainforest to me.

And up there, when did I say I removed such characters? I specifically even said I ran a game with those characters. Maybe you should work on your reading comprehension a bit, yeah?

My whole point is that I find the argument that you NEED slavery and colonization to have Latinos in Golarion or Forgotten Realms or Harn or whatever setting to be a lame excuse. And this comes from three years of running a game where I had Latinos and Creole and really everyone. And where I was at in South Florida, there is a huge population of Cuban gamers that play D&D and Pathfinder. And these people, both new gamers and old, were surprised and happy that I let them play themselves. One grognard even was surprised and told me how years ago, his character was denied from Living in Forgotten Realms by the GM because there are no Hispanic countries in Faerun and you can't play one. That's kind of f*!@ed up. The cooks I invited to my game didn't even think you could play Latin and Creole characters. Hell, the whole reason our gaming group started was because my saute cook Condo and his son saw the picture of the fighter in the D&D 5e PHB and they were inspired by it. Which is pretty incredible.

You can have Latino countries and kingdoms in a setting without the slavery and genocide and colonization and all the things in the real world that made us who we are. I've done it. I'll continue to do it honestly. I started the Arcadia thread three+ years ago on Paizo to get all this information and excitement for it and it feels like a waste. I just don't see how we can make room for all this diversity for gamers everywhere in Golarion and Faerun and whatnot, and say "it's cool, it's just a fantasy game! Everyone belongs!", but then try and use the real world and verisimilitude as a reason why we cannot have Latino people in Golarion. It feels wrong.

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See, everyone makes that excuse. "There's no Spain expy in Golarion" "There's no European colonization in Golarion". And that's exactly what it is. An excuse.

I was able to run a game with my fellow chefs where everyone played Cubans, Haitians, and Mexicans. All ethnicities that were enslaved by European powers. And we pulled it off pretty easily without needing the Atlantic Slave trade or Columbian exchange. We just did it. And everyone had fun for five months of gaming (until I moved this past week). And that was with just a quick hour of world building. I'm sure people with more time and better abilities can do it even better than I.

We are willing to make exceptions for other kingdoms that were literally shaped by invasion. Every bog standard Arthurian setting survives without the Norse invading, despite that being a HUGE influence on England's history. We can have Spanish knights like Don Quixote and El Cid without the Moor takeover. Hell, we have fantasy America without Britain or Native Americans. And yet, when my niece wanted to play essentially herself in a PF game, she was told no because Puerto Rican's don't exist in Golarion and to play a normal character.

In a setting where we can have a transgendered orc paladin fighting demons in the Worldwound, or a middle eastern cleric iconic in a committed relationship with her female elf companion, or a powerful African wizard that is the Mordenkanen of the setting, why is it so outlandish to have a Mexican knight in shining armor adventuring with a Haitian wizard in flowing robes in Golarion.

That's silly.

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Truthfully, I've given up on Paizo expanding on Arcadia and seeing us Latinos in Golarion. It's just not a money making venture. Bog standard Tolkein settings sell more than the exotic ones because of familiarity and ease of play for new players and players that want to play but don't have the time or inclination to learn an alien setting. It's all about money in the end and Paizo has to make that bottom line to stay afloat. I don't begrudge them or hate them. If they go out of business, well, there's no more Pathfinder. And that would suck more. It just is what it is. Most gaming companies don't really acknowledge our existence anyways, so it's really just something we as a culture are just used to.

And that's fine. I've gone ahead and done it myself, inch by inch. I have an American setting that I like, with my research, and my own twist on things. And I run it with friends that enjoy it. So really, I don't need Arcadia fleshed out. I've done it already. And anyone can play whatever race you want. Before I moved, I actually got a lot of my kitchen staff in on playing D&D for the first time ever and they all played themselves pretty much (Cuban, Haitian, and one Mexican). And they were all surprised but happy that you could play Caribbean characters in D&D, or that I allowed it in the first place. So I'm at least content with this, and as players, we should just go out and do it ourselves instead of waiting for WotC or Paizo to do it. Because let me tell you, you'll be waiting awhile.

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Sub-Creator wrote:
Juda de Kerioth wrote:

oh with the new comic series comming up with Red Sonja, i would love to see a propper adventure (at least a module) in the hyborean setting, or a new barbarian unchained (more like conan, you know, con bonus to AC when unarmored and those kind of things), also, a new fighter class aproach to fit Sonja and such.

Also, with the new suplement coming from Message from Mars a Vampire hunter AP entirely, in that world (vampire hunter D´s)

I'd really hate to break the news to you, friend, but I'd wager that your chances of seeing an AP outside the Golarion setting is zero. I'd keep expectations firmly rooted to the Paizo home world. You'll find the possibilities of something you'd like to see exponentially increase. ;)

Well, with Strange Aeons, they are going to Carcosa, which is pretty far off from Golarion.

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I've kind grown to dislike giving out XP for playing a certain way. People will RP if and when they want. Can't really force them or social engineer them otherwise. And maybe it's just me, but I'd rather have players genuinely be interested in roleplaying rather than doing it for the xps.

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The thing about killing a town they've grown to love is that it'll only work once ever. After that, you've essentially trained your players to not get invested in your world if everyone is going to die.

I suggest mass killing is a bad way to get across that your BBEG is evil.

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I solved the over deity problem by having her sleep, and our existence is tied to her sleeping. If she wakes up, then we fade away from reality like a dream.

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Melkiador wrote:
If you want this to cut a little deeper, you may want to try it with dogs instead of people. We are super used to seeing people die in fiction, so it's not that shocking, but dogs almost always survive. Have the bad guy have an irrational hatred of dogs, so he rounds up all of the dogs in town and kills them all. Add some little girl crying over her lost dog and BAM, you suddenly have a villain most people will hate.

Thats a really good idea actually. Bonus points if its cats. Internet loves cats.

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I could see either one, yeah.

You've got spider tricksters probably named after Iktomi of Lakota folktales. Ravens would be harder to name, since there is so many names of Raven from different tribes. Same with Coyote.

Going more south, rabbits were also thought to be tricksters. Could name them after the Aztec Centzon Totochtin.

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It's doable, but it takes effort from both the PCs and the GM. The PC just can't galavant around and pretend that they are special snowflakes. And the GM can't just have everyone act like Cecil Price. That's just lazy. Both sides have to be committed to making this work.

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I think the biggest change I'd make is removing damage and instead having it evolve into stages of Fatigue and Exhaustion.

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Creatures that represent trickster gods would be interesting to make into special creatures or even spirit animals. We have spiders, coyotes, and ravens/crows as common trickster animals in North American mythos.

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I would say that we really don't have to have colonization to have something analoguous to Hispanic culture. In much of fantasy setting, we have kingdoms that are inspired by Western European lands without much of the conquering that happened.

Consider the following. England, which has been a huge influence for many Western RPG settings, was shaped by the invasions of Vikings, Romans, and Anglo-Saxons. Most fantasy settings do not reflect these, instead having the England-influenced fantasy kingdom's culture come about on its own volition.

In addition, much of what we consider standard fantasy Middle Ages was heavily shaped by the fall of the Roman Empire, the Mongol Invasion, the rise of Christianity, and the Crusades against Islam. Most fantasy settings gloss over these things. Golarion's Mongol analogue can't even make it to Avistan.

So if we can accept this for your bog standard fantasy setting, then I think we can also do this with Hispanic and Caribbean cultures. Hell, I've already done it in my homebrew setting.

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I don't see humans as overpowered in PF, but I do see them as really boring. WOuld love something to spice them up more. At least more than just a bonus feat.

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Corporations are now a playable race lol

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I'd honestly rather not. While I get that this will have some rules changes, I still want this to be close enough so I can run classic classes along side this. Such a big departure from Pathfinder would honestly leave a bitter taste, especially since there is a lot of old material I want to use.

I want Starfinder, not a stealth Pathfinder 2.0

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Maybe then they could be diplomat bots

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I'd like to see some of the downtime stuff from Ultimate Campaign integrated into Starfinder. Having rules for owning your own space station or even planet would be awesome.

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Totally want the Tek Bow from Turok. That'd be awesome!

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idk, I don't really see the point in the change. I feel changing it to metric isn't really going to add anything to the game and instead make it more difficult for people who have played before. Doesn't see worth it to me.

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Catharsis wrote:

I hope the species and cultures will be fresh and original rather than rehashes and reiterations of existing tropes.

Actually, how about having a community competition on that topic, with a chance of some fan-created species and cultures making it into the canon tapestry...?

I don't know... with the internet how it is, we'd end up with a race of Nazi cat girls in space led by Moon Hitler.

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Conspiracy theories = adventure hooks

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I don't see why not. I plan on running it in my ACKS group.

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That is also true. I'd just like to keep the option of a low level starfaring adventure possible. I'd like to go zooming through hyperspace on my Millennium Falcon at level 1.

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Honestly, I don't see it as a big issue for players to start with a space ship at level 1. It certainly won't be a space yacht or the Enterprise. But think about modern day cars. They are mostly expensive, but you can get used cars for cheap. Can't forget payments of loans. There are also repod cars and private owners selling older rust buckets. And of course, there's always the local junk yard. Point is, there are plenty of ways to get a car for a reasonable price. I don't see why the same can't be true of space ships. They aren't really game breaking to be honest, and like the modern day car, is going to be a necessity if you are doing a starfaring game. You can't really take a space ship into a dungeon to fight a dragon. I think a level one space ship is fine.

And if all else fails, let them steal one and try and figure out how to use it to its full potential.

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Bellona wrote:

With regard to races, I'd like to see the elves have a homeworld of their own in a completely different star system. It seems pretty clear in canon that they colonised Golarion from Castrovel, but their "foot-print" on Castrovel is so small, that I consider it logical that they are from yet another planet. (Possibly the descendants of anti-tech colonists?)

Also, it might be worth your while to look at the 101 Celestial Bodies in Your Solar System thread.

Oh hey, I remember starting that thread. Nice!

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I'm a okay with all of these ideas

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