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Good to see someone else that likes this game. I run it sporadically with the VGCW forums, filled with a lot of wrasslin' nerds like me. It's an awesome game. I know they are coming out with Season 2, which has more international wrestling playbooks, like the Luchadore, the Catch Wrestler, and the Purorasu,
The Minis Maniac wrote:
See were I running a game in Andoren I would probably gritty that up too. I'd put major threats to this burgeoning democracy. Constant subversive threats from within by Cheliax. Maybe some super corrupt noble families trying to bring it down from within. That sort of stuff.
Since Andoran is fantasy America, I'd play up the dangers of Manifest Destiny and native races getting moved to make room for more Andorans. And lynchmobs going after anyone that is suspected of being of noble blood.
The Minis Maniac wrote:
While true, I meant it more about using subtlety to make an atmosphere of despair, instead of going straight for the jugular with torture and rape to make a point that "this ain't your dad's D&D game!!" I've always been more of a fan of the Hitchcock method of setting up an atmosphere, where the bigger, more violent aspects are implied and used sparingly, but still used. Apathy and nihilism rule my setting, with a few people trying to do good in a world where ignorance and selfishness begets cruelty.
I've been playing a lot of Witcher 3 and that really summarizes what I'm looking for in a girtty setting. Gray with some points of light and blobs of shadow.
I think when doing shades of gray, people tend to go quickly towards ultra violence and sexual violence to make the world seem gritty. I prefer more atmospheric and less on the nose showings of gritty fantasy settings that many people don't normally go for. Paranoia and mistrust, hopelessness, hypocrisy, sociopathy, famine, apathy, class war, bigotry... I feel these and more really add to that atmosphere one is looking to for a darker world without going straight to the jugular. Just remember that even in these dark times, there should still be some good people the PCs can trust.
I personally like to focus on a group's lack of empathy combined with hypocrisy to make compelling villains and that feeling of despair.
You'd be surprised honestly. Some of the consistently bad players I've come across have unfortunately been Old School Grognards.
The Racist actually brings up a broader issue I see in RPGs. It's when players pick a character flaw that seems like it'd be interesting, but becomes extreme and nigh cartoonish, to the point of parody. Like a character that's greedy is more like Scrooge McDuck than a more human feeling greedy person.
James Jacobs wrote:
That's fair and I appreciate that. If you want some inspiration or even an expert to talk to, check out Ehdrigohr. It's a RPG made by a Native American that explores themes and uses inspiration from several different aboriginal cultures. Maybe you can even contact him for advice. Great game too!
James Jacobs wrote:
What I mean is, what are some examples of such elements? I'm curious to know.
James Jacobs wrote:
As someone really interested in fleshing out Arcadia and hosting the Arcadia thread on the forums here, I do look forward to seeing it one day. What are some elements of Native American culture you are looking to do in a respectful manner? I know one thing that has me a bit stumped is the Aztecs and religious sacrifice. That's tough to do.
I like this idea a lot. I may have to snag this if I run a more contemporary fantasy game and still want swords.
Honestly I find that the people I play other games with (Savage Worlds, Fate, Dungeon World) are way more likely to play flawed characters and not have a problem with it than the people I play d20 games with. Hell, its even the same people sometimes. One guy will be cool with flawed characters in CoC or 13th Age, but then lose his s$%@ if someone does it in Pathfinder.
As usual I blame PFS :p
In my settings, whether it be Pathfinder, Savage Worlds, or Dungeon World, I make magic a bit different. Magic always has a cost and is either unpredictable or requires an immense amount of discipline to use. Arcane magic always has a chance to have a random effect, whether it be weal or woe. Divine magic requires you to have zealous faith in your deity and church, lest you get Excommunicated. Inner magic (my version of psychic, chi, and occultism rolled together) requires one to be incredibly disciplined and an aesthetic, and wavering from that makes them lose access to that power. In addition, all magic has a chance of corrupting the user from overuse. So that in itself is a self limiting ability, both psychological and physical, for magic to not jump to magitech. I still have cities that have some fantastic magical elements to it, but nowhere near the level of Eberron.
Second is that in my settings, magic and technology do not get along very well. At least, technology higher than, say, Renaissance. It's subjective, but usually the guidelines are, the more moving parts and complexity it has, the more of a chance magic won't like it. To bind magic to higher technological devices requires giving the device some semblance of sentience, by binding a soul into it and putting some of your life force into it. The more advanced the tech, the greater the price. So, mages aren't too keen about self-sacrificing themselves to have advanced, magic tech. And most spirits aren't too keen with being bound into an M16 to make it a +1 flaming M16 ;)
Also, from a political point of view, technology evens the playing field between mundane and mage. Mages are powerful and like being in charge, whether directly or in an advisory role. More technology means that those mundane peasants can revolt against their magocracy and mages don't want that! So most technological advances are scrutinized by their governments and if they find it too threatening, are quietly removed.
I think one problem with flaws or quirks is that people are too one dimensional with them. They treat it as a binary affect. Either they act on their flaw or quirk, or they act normal. There's no middle ground.
Take the fear of dragons example from earlier. Most people role playing that would have their character paralyzed with fear against the dragon, which is totally fine. But they rarely have them gradually overcome their fear for the moment after a round or two to take on the dragon. They'd just run away and it disrupts the party, especially if it constantly happens. In literature, the coward eventually overcomes their fear to help their friends. And that's the big RPing thing people seem to forget. The flaw is interesting not because of their disruption, but ability to overcome it occasionally or fully.
However, likewise with the player that'd immediately kick a coward out of the adventuring group. Instead of taking the roleplaying opportunity to help the character overcome their fear or quirk in a crisis, they instead abandon them and demand they get kicked out. And it's a bit sad because that's a missed RP opportunity that would be a lot more memorable. Again, it's the player being unimaginative and lazy with their flaw or reaction to flaw.
TTRPGs are essentially a conversation between everyone and if people don't hold up their end to make it interesting, then it falls flat.
To be fair, the same could be said about any kind of monster. Some people may want less fey or dragons and more undead or demons. Others may want less mythological creatures and more original monsters. Some may want less European monsters and more Japanese folklore monsters. Really, whenever Paizo makes a monster, theres going to be someone out there that thinks its space could have been used with another monster they want.
Im a bit torn on the fluff vs number debate. I do love fluff and this bestiary seemed a little lacking in that. On the other hand, I love having tons of monsters to use in my games. At least with the mythological creatures, I can Google them and go from there. But, I think between the two, I'd rather keep lots of monsters.
And at the end of the day, its a damned if you do, damned if you don't. If they remove monsters for more fluff, people will complain about the lack of monsters and Paizo trying to gouge them for a book with less monsters. If they make the typefont smaller, people will complain about the size of the font. Can't win 'em all.
If you read the alignment page, you see clear references to motives over actions, no need to add it in when it exists.
While true, it's less of me adding it and more of me removing the morals part. Basically removing the good and evil alignments in the game and really letting the players choose that from their actions. A buddy of mine joked that he could see all of my alignments finding a reason to let goblin babies live (or die).
That's a pretty good idea. I'll have to think about how to do that one.
Remco Sommeling wrote:
Yeah, there is a more in depth part I'm writing up that is similar to this. I should post that up once I'm finished, after the holidays and all.
The system is fine (although it feels like a re-skinned good/evil law/chaos axis honestly), but why not just remove the alignment system from your game entirely if it isn't going to have mechanical or moral implications? I don't think your system really achieves anything in terms of the wider game --> you might be better off just asking your players to write a short sentence each on their motives and methods instead of codifying them.
With this, it's really a background generating tool for players and GMs to aid them in roleplaying how they would perceive their character. For those that like alignment, it is easier to play to one's alignment with this system, since the categories are less nebulous than 'good and evil'. For the most part, it's for my players that are coming from a Pathfinder/D&D background to ease them from the standard axis to something more free form. I actually do have a more detailed, free-form set of questions similar to something you'd see in more narrative driven games like Dungeon World or ICONS, but this is meant to be more like simple guidelines.
Hugo Rune wrote:
In some ways, I was looking to draw allusions to these alignments towards the classic 3x3 without really making any of them really good or evil. So, two people could be, say, Conforming Altruistic, but one does good while the other does evil with it. Law vs chaos I find to be less of an issue in most games, but I definitely will try and reword Unorthodox and Conforming.
So I've been homebrewing an alternative to alignment in the fantasy game that I plan to run. I got some inspiration from a post I saw on GitP and ran with it. Here is the ruleset I have set up for my alignment alternative, Motives and Methods.
Don't worry about Detect and Smite abilities. I'll figure that out as I go along.
Thanks for any help and comments.
But the monsters are mythic content. When running a mythic campaign, you need mythic foes to throw at your players, especially high level foes. There are always going to be monsters in a bestiary that people won't use. How many are going to use cryptids, or the Japanese monsters, or the occult monsters, or the aliens? The goal though is to have a wide variety of options available to the different types of gamers and games that people run. I'm sure there are people out there that hate all the non-European monsters in the Bestiaries, but at least it means we all have options.
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Admittedly I get more of an alien vibe from the reptoids, but that's due to modern interpretations of them ruling the contemporary world.
This is a good point and would fit anthropological research that hupia were associated with the idea of reincarnation. And with the Occult Adventures book out and B5, there's plenty of reincarnation lore we could use for the hupia.
I'm with you and Jici on this. I think it's been long enough that we can have a dragonborn race in Pathfinder. But I also agree with you, it'd be cool if they were less upright lizards and more similar to tieflings and aasimars. And having some different bloodlines would be workable and awesome. The standard Colored and Metal dragons, Imperial and now Esoteric, maybe even some of the weirder ones like a zmey or even a jabberwock (I'd actually love an NPC that was a jabberwock dragonkin).
Also +1 for giant blooded race.
Actually with ghosts and phantoms, plus the occult adventures books explaining more about the afterlife, it is more possibly to have undead with varying alignments. And remember, the all undead = evil is Golarion based, while the Bestiaries are setting neutral. Also I trust Adam's take on the American creatures and their respect for the folklore, so I have faith they will do the myth justice. Especially after reading Distant Shores.
No pressure Adam :p
And since they really only feed on guava... I don't think that's too evil. Hupia run the gamut of being good but forlorn, or evil and tormenting. There are a lot of stories of them coming back to live with their loved ones and living happy lives. Or getting forsaken by their loved ones because hey, they're supposed to be dead!
To be fair, modern poodles look pretty silly, so I can understand the apprehension.
I loved the robots in this, though I am sad they were reprints, but the terraforming robot looks awesome. The occult and psychic monsters are probably my favorite though.
And they have hands. Unsure if they are humanoid or not, but the art work is really cool.
Yay another wishlist thread. So far each bestiary has had a lot of monsters that I've really fallen in love with. Still, there is one monster I've wanted to see in here since Bestiary 3. That's the hupia, from Taino lore. These are undead, faceless creatures that can transform from incorporeal to corporeal and turn into bats, their former selves, or can look like someone's loved one. They have no belly button, which is how you tell who they are. And they have some ties to the idea of reincarnation according to some anthropologists, so there could be something about that. They can be good, neutral or evil, and are intelligent so they make great NPCs. I statted one up here, but I'd love to see what Paizo does with their version. And I want to see art of it :D
C'mon Adam Daigle, make it happen ;)
They look more like Afghans honestly. They look cool, in a weird way.
The art actually look great for the anemoi. And considering in the myths, they could be a guy, a girl, or a horse, that's not bad at all. Really the only two artworks I dont like are the Muse's uncanny valley face and the