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Yeah, considering the majority of their rules can be found for free for the better part of a decade, I don't see this affecting more FLGSs unless all they sell are RPGs.
Which is foolish. You need to diversify and sell other things as a FLGS. Most focus on wargaming and Magic for that very reason, to keep the lights on. But if you can't adapt to the changing demands in the market, then you are doomed to fail. It sounds harsh, but that's the life of running a business. Adapt or die. No one is going to hold your hand and help you. It's what I've learned opening up restaurants.
Garrett Guillotte wrote:
Yeah. I think it works for some things, like the Gap and the Drift. But for a race of Tyranid/Zerg/Arachnoid expies, I was expecting something more menacing and less generic.
Also, personally, I'm kind of over using the term 'credits', but it doesn't really bother me as much as The Swarm. I think a better name can be made (assuming it's not a placeholder to begin with).
Yeah from what it has been described, it's not a hard limit of "If you are 5th level, you can't get 6th level items" and more of a guideline of suggestions on what items would be acceptable for a character level. Much like CR, it seems more like a suggestion than a hard coded rule, leaving the decision up to the GM.
Luna Protege wrote:
That was the point I made in my post. The perception to the outside viewer is that it's a game for nerdy white dudes. Hell, even the one white cook that joined my game thought it was just for smart folks. On a side note, cooks don't have a filter and are very blunt. They will tell you how they think or feel about something, so you can always trust us to give you the straight blunt truth on something.
You and I know otherwise. But that's the problem, is that perception ends up being a reality to people. I have family (generally older, but a few my age) that don't really get geekdom and nerdy pursuits, so to them, their image of nerdom comes from Revenge of the Nerds and Big Bang Theory. They don't understand how a Puerto Rican like me can be into it. Which is funny because most of my family are really into nerdy stuff. Brothers love RPGs and Warhammer, dad loves D&D, anime, and comics. Sometimes thought, the perception comes from within. A few times, when I game with strangers and stuff, I've had people tell me how 'white' I am for gaming. As if playing D&D and video games was enough to erase the years I spent visiting Puerto Rico, enjoying Puerto Rican food, and (attempting at least) speaking Spanish. Of course, sometimes that also comes from my family that just doesn't get it. I think it's funny, because I've gamed in South Florida before and there are so many Cuban kids that love Magic and D&D, that the idea that gaming makes you white is silly.
But even in all of those cases, they were rare. Whenever I've played, 9 times out of 10, the people have been pretty awesome. For every crappy moment that has stuck out in my brain, I've had several awesome games with cool people that don't care if you are a woman, or brown, or trans or whatever. It's just that 1 out of 10 can stick out, especially if you're the target of it. Like the GM that thought I couldn't play D&D because he assumed I couldn't speak a lot of English. Or the GM that literally tried to get sexual favors from a player in exchange for making her character better. Still, I think the RPG community as a whole is a lot more accepting and friendly than we sometimes think. It's still nice to have the diversity in artwork and NPCs and stuff. It's always a continual process. Especially with kids. And I've run for a lot of kids (well over 30) and it's generally the same. They almost always go for the character that looks like them. With the rare occasional one that wants the cool half orc or cute elf. That's kids for you.
That's about my peace on it. I just want to know more about Starfinder personally. I'm tired of these constant derails of people complaining or praising Iseph and inclusion in general. It's to the point where it's simply getting annoying with the constant "diversity is great/terrible/just a PR stunt" that really don't end up going anywhere. I just want to see more Starfinder tidbits! Are we capable of doing that for at least a week, or is that just not going to happen?
Man I just wanted to talk about art, but we keep coming back to this so here I go.
Early last year, I got a game started with a bunch of cooks I work with. None of them have ever played D&D and only one person really had any fantasy experience, which was sleeping during The Hobbit.
This started because on a random day, while me and my sautee cook Condo were playing some Tekken, his son was looking through all of my D&D books and stuff. He's like REALLY into it and focuses, which is nice because I swear the kid is ADHD. Both him and his son are Haitian and his son has cornrows. This is important.
So while we are playing, suddenly, his son comes running in with my copy of D&D 5e (it was a gift Paizo, I swear! ;) ) and is getting all excited and s%~&. So he shows his dad the picture of 5e's fighter, pictured here, who looks like an older and more buff version of the son. And he's just hyper active, yelling about how it's him over and over again. So we get to talk about it, and the next day, Condo got his son and some of the other line cooks into our first D&D game.
The majority of the cooks were your typical South Floridians. Haitian, Cuban, Jamaican, one Mexican guy, and one white guy. And me, the Puerto Rican. And to all of them, they though it was nerdy white guy s@$+. But, they all played along, had fun, and we ended up running a bunch of adventures before I had to move. So at least for me, it worked out.
See, we are adults and are too busy being all cynical and grouchy, complaining about taxes and politics and comparing fiber amounts in different cereals. So we don't really feel that identification with characters and artwork. At least I don't, but I'm a crotchety prep cook that drinks too much. But the mind of a kid is different. They haven't been beat down and crushed by adulthood yet, so they approach things differently and attach themselves to art. I've run D&D for kids under 12, and it's always the same. The kids always attach themselves to artwork that reminds them of themselves. They don't really care about classes and feats and s@#% like that. Condo's kid wanted to play a fighter because he saw the art that reminded him of him. Same with my girl friend's friend's daughter, that wanted to play the Pathfinder cleric. She didn't give a f$$+ about spells and gods. She just wanted to play her because "she had pretty clothes."
And with my other coworkers, they thought that D&D was for "nerdy white guys." I know that not to be true. I've found plenty of people in the roleplaying game community that were cool and love bringing in everyone and anyone into their game. And in South Florida and here in Central Florida, there are gamers of all types. But sadly, there is that perception, usually from newer people that don't know much about RPGs or geekdom. It's a hard stereotype to shake and an unfair bad rap. So I feel any way to shake that preconception and bring in more people is fine by me.
I mean hell, I got a 60 year old dishwasher to play D&D thanks to that fighter. And she had absolutely zero experience with roleplaying. Anything is possible.
So, any more art or interviews? ;)
The players are explorers and colonists aboard an ark ship, stranded in a far away star cluster from a dying Earth. They must explore, survive, and colonize to ensure the future of the human race. They luckily have ftl travel, but with it, they have awakened something terrible. A fail safe, created by super advanced aliens, hunts down any civilization that has ftl capabilities, tracking ships by their signature when they jump. In this way, the advanced aliens remain top dog of the galaxy. Now humans have to contend with this weapon while exploring the stars and expanding their empire.
I like it. I had a similar sort of idea, but with a different goal in mind.
For my idea, it essentially is about an advanced extraterrestial intelligence that has set up an artificial "Great Filter" on the galaxy. This is a sort of galactic weapon that checks for species with a certain Tech Level, eliminates them, and takes their resources and technology. In this way, the ETI remains top dog in the universe and survives.
There's plenty with this, as the weapon generally attacks civilizations with FTL travel capabilities. What makes the Earthlings in this special is that they took FOREVER to discover FTL travel compared to their contemporaries. So humanity's robotics and weapons are actually advanced enough to somewhat deal with this weapon. So it should make things fairly interesting.
I think instead of the humanity/sanity thing for basic cyberware, there should just be a limit based on Con like they have in the Technology guide. That way, you can have people with basic prosthetics that don't have to question their sanity all the time. The sanity stuff should really only apply to HUGE changes, like resleeving into a new body, or having beyond your CON limit of hardware installed in you.
I'd also like to see nanomachine augmentation that you see in older Deus Ex games and Metal Gear Solid 4 + R. Nanomachines really are like magic in a lot of settings like Eclipse Phase. It's a good literary explanation for weird stuff in science too, much like nuclear power was and electricity before that.
"How is he able to create water from sand?"
While I'm generally all for player driven adventures, there's a point when the goal has been set where the players have to be all in for the long haul. And this is especially true for an adventure path, where there is a set adventure hook and goal. You have to set aside your player, ask them why they aren't interesting in the adventure hook, and work out something. Perhaps it's because they are more used to sandbox gaming, or maybe they are confusing "refusing adventure hooks" for "in character roleplaying". BEst advice is to really just talk it out.
I ran ACKS which does that. While it certainly makes battles much more chaotic, it also kind of slows things down a bit, since we have to roll after each round. Though since the game is simpler, it's not too bad. I probably wouldn't do that in Pathfinder.
I've actually considered doing 'popcorn' initiative, where the players choose who is next. It worked out pretty well in Marvel Heroic, though I suppose the main issue would be spells that last till the end of a player's round being too short, or metagaming to make it too long.
I tried Firestorm Armada in its early days. It showed some promised, but we were 2 newbies trying to figure out the rules by ourselves. I understand with the 2.0 version, it's even better, but I never got the chance to try it.
Luckily they have the rules for free on their website. But man, their ships would be awesome to use in Starfinder, or really any sci fi game out there
As someone that collects and wishes he could play it...
Firestorm Armada has some great models that are fairly affordable. There are many ships there that would make excellent models for the players.
For ship combat, I understand that this is a RPG and not meant to be a table top wargame, so I'm okay with something a bit more simple, but with some meat on the bones. I actually think something a little simpler than Firestorm Armada would actually be nice. The game itself isn't very complicated and would be a good way to satisfy the more crunchier crowd. Still, having some more cinematic rules would be nice. Maybe the cinematic rules for smaller engagements, while large, setpiece naval battles could have the crunchier stuff.
I just wish I could find more people that played Firestorm Armada :(
Garrett Guillotte wrote:
Kingmaker/Skull & Shackles with a planet and solar-system builder and mass space-combat rules (if the core doesn't include them). PCs lead an expedition to a new system, colonize an empty world, bump up against another planet's race as well as competing colonists, and start building an empire of their own.
This is probably the one thing I want more than anything else. I loved Kingmaker and it's inspired me to continue using that Domain Management style play in other games. I absolutely love it.
I agree with Currahee. I'd like there to be a little more of a focus on the 'Star' part of Starfinder. More to do with science and robots and space ships. Things that really define the genre of sci fi, space opera, etc. I feel if it's just going to be Pathfinder with the veneer of sci fi, then I personally won't be interested. Numanera is an example of a fantasy game that just uses the veneer of sci fi for few unique things, but ultimately, it's just a fantasy game.
My opinion is coming from someone that doesn't really have a horse in this race about gender. Rather, I see this as more of a cultural, anthropologic thing. So, take what I say with a grain of salt.
When a group of people are freed from the bonds of servitude and oppression, there is this sort of a crossroads that many people of that ethnicity face. Many remain under the culture that ruled over them because that is really all they know. Others of that ethnicity reject their ruling culture and attempt to reclaim their original culture and beliefs. And of that, some can't reconnect with their ethnicity's original culture, so they may drift to something different, or even make a new culture for themselves. None of this is bad or wrong. It just is. You can see it throughout history. I can tell you, as someone that grew up in two worlds, one American and one Latino, it can be a bit hard to find your cultural identity, especially when you are young. Sometimes, you don't truly feel like a part of either culture.
So, looking at the androids and their history, you can see this happening. As Malefactor rightfully point out, it's not all androids that reject their humanity. Rather, it's a group that has decided to reject what is considered a part of their master race to find their own cultural identity. To me, it makes sense that a cybernetic entity would reject cultural norms that are related to an organic biology as a way of freeing themselves even further. I imagine aside from gender, many would eschew humanoid forms for more inhuman, robot chassis. To me, that makes sense from a cultural standpoint. Perhaps they could have added an excerpt about them rejecting different parts of humanity rather than focusing on gender, but at the same time, sex is a huge biological component that is representative of organic creatures and not so much automatons. And also, this was a quick interview so there isn't going to be that great deal of depth into android culture. Best to wait.
And I imagine there are groups that stick closer to their human forms because that is what they are comfortable with. You're going to see all types and all kinds for androids. But from reading the excerpt, I don't see anything that states that "if you want to be agender, then you HAVE to play an android." It's important to read the excerpt in its entirety before inferring anything from it.
Cole Deschain wrote:
Yeah I'm kinda really excited for Akiton. From the admittedly singular artwork I've seen of it, it sounds like a mixture of Red Faction, Total Recall, and Barsoom of John Carter fame. I kind of like that idea.
Cost is true. But again, the guy is looking for ideas to run a game with less than four people.
I think something to consider is that since it's the future, many of the automative processes would be cheaper than we realize if we make the assumption that it's been around for a bit. Like in real life when technology gets cheaper overall. Also, I think it'd make sense to have it mostly for smaller ships (fighters, shuttles, even frigates), since they are smaller and simpler to run than the capital and dreadnaught ships.
So if the GM wants to run a one person campaign and the players wants to fly their own Slave-1 or Samus's Gunship, then I think that's the best way to handle it. Automate the majority of it and let the player choose piloting, navigating, and engineering skills.
Or give them a droid/AI buddy. That works too.
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
All else fails, just have much of the stuff for the frigate automated or roll the duties of pilot and engineer into one person. That's what they do in SWN and it works out pretty alright.
I blame Odraude. He's a real piece of s&$&.
Also, for me, it's been non stop. From my finals to graduation to an unexpected move to rennovating a f@&%ed house to trying desperately to find a job, it's been rough to say the least. The only thing keeping me sane is the fact that I run a D&D game on Wednesday nights.
Well if we are just focusing on what's considered wrong, then for me, I run without balancing encounters. I do combat encounters that make a bit more sense rather than keeping to what is balanced. So if you charge recklessly into a castle of 40 goblins, I'm not going to split them up piecemeal with CR appropriate groups of goblins in each room. They will fight with whatever advantage they get. CR is simply a gauge to me, and I feel free to ignore it when it makes sense.
That said, this is mitigated by a number of factors. I rarely have creatures that fight to the death. Most will run away or surrender and plea for mercy when things look bad for them. I also through a variety of encounters at the players. Not every combat is a fight for survival. I will sometimes put combat that is easy, with lots of minions that the players can mow through. Because that's fun, and having the same non-stop battle to the death every combat gets to be old after awhile.
But most importantly, I also communicate these things to my players. They will know that a fight isn't going their way, or that a creature is simply too strong for them. And I also tell them upfront, before the game even starts, all of this. And I allow for weird and cool player ideas for defeating an obstacle beyond combat and rolls. So in the end, while my encounters can seem more lethal, they really aren't once players start doing wild and risky maneuvers to overcome problems.
And sometimes I just through easy encounters because it really can be fun to just have a mindless win.
The Black Maga scenario is odd. Was there no boat to get to them? Or even just swimming? Or any spells? At the very least, if I were a PC, I'd find a boat and row us out there. If that's a RotRL encounter I'm thinking, that's exactly what we did.
Second one is a bit rough, but really, I imagine that this would be a matter of taste. Some people prefer their bad guys to act with great tactics and acumen. Though that is a bit rough even for me. If I ran that, I probably wouldn't have done all of the delayed fireballs. And I probably would have kept him there to finish the job (and potentially allow the warrior and druid to kill him). Though thinking on it, the GM probably had him teleport away to prevent a TPK and allow you guys to resurrect and try again. That is the price of failure alas. Five delayed fireballs though.... yikes.
For the most part, I agree. I think it's better to keep several options open for players to try cool and new ideas. I like encouraging player ingenuity. That said, sometimes it does make sense in the fiction to have one way to kill a monster. King Arthur was unkillable as long as he had his scabbard. Smaug had a single weak spot on his chest. So, I think it can work, but the GM has to communicate it well to the players, almost to the point of flat out telling them.
A good example I had of this was something based on a cross between the regenerating monster of Dead Space and the creature from the LotFP module The God that Crawls. I had a slow but deadly creature that the players simply could not kill with conventional means. This was communicated to them by heavy description of their attacks being healed and some of their NPC allies being absorbed into the goop creature. The players ended up finding different methods of finally killing the creature, using a ravine that they lured it to and then pouring oil and fire into it. So that worked out, but I had to communicate it to the players to the point of practically telling them that their weapons had no effect.
A second example was a game I ran where they were dealing with a warlord that was somehow immortal. I had it set up where it required a special weapon to kill the warlord that was in a dangerous land. However, one of the players had a great idea of simply trapping the immortal so that he couldn't escape. So the adventure went from players travelling to some old ruins to the players gathering together several factions to make an army, march up to the warlord's capital, and capture him. The final battle ended with the fighter tackling the immortal into his burning barge that was carrying the warlord's gold and sacrificing his life to keep the immortal in place as the molten gold covered them and cooled into the river. Basically, the end of Ninja Scroll. So while I had hinged the method of killing the warlord on a single method, I communicated it to them before they even encountered him. And even then, they went with an incredibly different plan that made the campaign much more memorable than what I had in store.
So I say avoid bottlenecking players into a single solution unless you can communicate it to them well and sometimes, ahead of time.
For me, the players really wanted to tackle a dragon they heard about. He was a little to hard for them, but they were sneaky. Caught him when he was sleepy. So they brought in a bunch black powder and caved in the cavern onto the dragon, trapping him and killing him. So that's how they defeated a dragon several CR above them.
But really, these aren't unwinnable encounters. They are just obstacles with a limitation on one or more solutions that forces the players to apply lateral thinking and problem solving to find an alternate solution.
An unwinnable situation is one where the players can never win it, no matter how they try. Combat, skills, retreat, diplomacy, clever thinking.... nada. Which admittedly, I've never seen before. More often than not, I have seen encounters that can only be beaten in one way and so the adventure hinges on that particular choke point.
Instead of unwinnable scenarios, I think it's better to have alternate means of approaching a problem. So while straight up combat may not work, subterfuge, skills, or discourse might. And vice versa. But I think having unwinnable encounters has similar issues with encounters that can only be beat using one method. It bottle necks the adventure into one specific method to get to the outcome and if the players can't do it, then your adventure goes off the rails and wrecks. Better to have obstacles with some limiting factors than one single solution to an almost impossible problem.
Of course, like all things, there are exceptions to the rules.
I have an alternate system on handling this, though I like your method a lot as it means we can continue with the story at hand.
I have everyone make a main character and then one or two side characters. So if someone cannot make it to the game, we run a quick adventure with the B Team. Works out well enough and no one gets left out.
Some of my house rules:
1: I use Adventurer, Conqueror, King for a lot of my stuff. Prices of equipment, wilderness rules, rules for retreating combat, hirelings and followers, and the domain/venture/war rules. I like a lot of the rules, though I still prefer a 3.5 chassis for most of my stuff (ascending AC, BAB, demihumans as races not classes, feats).
2. I give experience for meeting an obstacle and overcoming it. Not just for kills and not just for collecting gold and not just for roleplaying. I find players simply prefer being able to see the progress they are making to the next level. I find it encourages ingenuity and lateral thinking when you just tie XP to essentially defeating an obstacle.
3. I don't give out XP for 'good roleplaying'. Some people just aren't good at it, and some don't have the mental energy to essentially do public speaking in front of your close friends (or strangers). So I don't do it.
4. I'm actually really transparent on a lot of things. I make attack and damage rolls out in the open. Most skill rolls. I don't really hide AC or HP. I simply don't like fudging rolls, and being open encourages that.
5. No alignments, and no always evil/good/chaotic.
6. No leadership. Instead, people gain allies by roleplaying and gain followers naturally by level 7. I generally follow the ACKS rules for hirelings and followers, and have adjusted certain martial characters to be naturally better at gathering people. So fighters don't have to worry about their charisma being low.
7. I use firearms. I run a game based on the Early Modern Period, so there are arquebuses and muskets and flintlock.
8. I do point buy but roll HP. However, I also have rules for training your stats to be better. I'll have to post them another time.
That's kinda my list of playing Pathfinder wrong.
Exactly. If you're going to make a character that wants to be like King Leonidas, you can't exactly get mad when you encounter your own Thermopylae.
I rarely do the rescuing truthfully, though with the rules for running away, it is generally unnecessary. If they don't feel though, usually I either let them get captured, or, if that doesn't make sense, then they die or are left for dead. But it has rarely come to that, except for the player that, like you, fights to the death. I like to encourage player choice and ingenuity, but I feel that failure and success at a cost help to add meaning to player options. If there is no chance to fail, then really, it doesn't matter what the players do because someone will just come in and save them. I don't really like DXM, though I do like Kileanna idea of the obstacle switching from "Finish the fight" to "Escape and be rescued". Feels more palatable to me and my group of friends.
The problem with that is really a matter of playing a character that is such an absolute. "My character never runs away from a fight". "My character hates all elves" "My character kills evil on sight." etc... the biggest problem is that while it adds nice flavor and conflict and potential adventure to your PC, when you are faced with the source of your absolutism, then you truthfully have a limited choice on how to react that will more than likely negatively affect yourself and your comrades. And it's a damned-if-you-do/don't thing for the GM. If the GM presents the source of your conflict, then they are the bad guy for purposefully punishing your player. But if they don't, then the work you put into defining your character went to waste. That's why I feel it is better to have a somewhat looser, less absolute set of principles that the player can have some meaningful engagement when presented with the situation at hand. So instead of saying "I fight till the bitter end," try going "I'm overconfident in a fight." Instead of "I despise ALL elves!", say "I don't trust the shifty knife ears." That makes a more well-rounded character that still has their source of conflict for good RPG potential, and won't be completely derailed.
I don't really throw 'balanced' encounters because a lot of times, it simply doesn't make sense. This doesn't mean that I never gauge my encounters, or only throw hard encounters, but say, if you assault a castle with 35 goblins and alert everyone in said castle, I'm not going to throw them at you in bite sized, appropriate encounters tailored to your level. I'm certainly no Tucker's Kobolds, but running would be a good option. However, there are three things I do for this.
1. I tell my players. I give clues and such, but if they press on and are losing, I let them know straight up that things are looking very bad.
2. Before the game even starts, I let the players know that I'm not always beholden to the CR chart. But I am also fairly open about crazy ideas and player ingenuity and like seeing players try new things. So if you are facing a horde of said goblins in a castle, you could (as the players did) catch it on fire and attack during the confusion.
3. This one is really important. Have rules for running away from a battle. Remember those video game RPGs like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, or Pokemon, where you can choose to simply Run from the battle? I have rules for that. If the players all decide that the battle isn't panning out, they can all elect to et the hell out of dodge. I have them roll a die for the group and if they beat it, then they are able to run away. I use the Adventurer, Conqueror, King rules for running away, which basically take into account doing things to get them off your tail. It's important to have these rules because it does show the players that running away is a supported tactic in the game.
We recently had to use them in my 5e game, when the players tried sneaking through an underground village of over 80 grimlocks. They were spotted by a few and I had the grimlocks funnelling in towards the players every so often. When they started dropping, they grabbed their dead, and rolled to make a run for it. So it worked out.
That said, I don't put players into unwinnable scenarios. I may put them in a scenario where combat may not be the optimal choice, or even possible choice. But I always allow and encourage player ingenuity when dealing with an obstacle.
Jamie Charlan wrote:
Probably the incest orgies.
Also no pedantry in Starfinder :p
Can;t stop, won't stop! ;)
I don't want any sci fi tropes that people think are fun or cool. No Firefly, no Star Trek, no Star Wars, no Farscape, no Doctor Who.
If's it's been suggested, I don't want it in Starfinder. No light sabers, no lasers, no spaceships, no aliens, no wormholes. I want everyone's hopes and dreams crushed because I don't like fun. Bah humbag.
Does that cover everything? :p
I'm currently running my players dealing with the after effects of war on the frontier, reclaiming border towns and keeps in the name of the new empire. They've had to help the villagers deal with the effects of famine (which led to cannibalism and demon worship in one hamlet), poverty, an influx of monsters, soldiers that don't realize the war is over, and deserters robbing frontier hamlets of their food, men, and resources. So right now, it's reconstruction time.