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R_Chance's page

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber. 2,572 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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By the way, if you want to see the table of contents for the PHB they have an (exclusive I believe) preview on the Escapist.


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Secane wrote:

Thanks for the breakdown, Tels!
Sorry for annoying you. :(

Will remember to search more in the future!

And I noticed the Fighter unchained thread. Going to pop in and have a look.
I really do hope they take a look at the fighter!
Hope for: +2 more skill points, allow acrobatics, feat bonuses, reflex good save!

Relax Secane. You were far from the only annoying thing in this thread :D And I don't blame you for not reading hundreds of posts chasing the same couple of ideas around and around... I did and I feel like I wasted some time I can never get back :)

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We have always used miniatures, coming from a wargame background it was obvious and it settled a lot of issues (marching order, position, tactics etc.). A grid and a tape measure both have their uses. We always used (and use) tape measures / rulers in large outside encounters. Buildings and dungeons are laid out in 5' squares. It really works out about the same. The grid is simply a convenience readily usable for confined spaces. The entire "either / or" bit makes me blink and go "huh?".

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Nice map. Brings back memories of Tegel Manor from Judges Guild back in the day (not just the name). And I liked the link to shaming commanders who violate the Prime Directive. That seemed to be the Federation's take on it :)

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Adjule wrote:

Kalshane wrote:

He is, after all, the one putting the most time and effort into crafting the story and doing all the necessary prep work. Even running something pre-published takes prep time above and beyond reading the material.

I really hope you didn't open a can of worms with this statement, as I have read people calling foul on the bolded portion.

Uh... you were kidding right?

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James Jacobs wrote:

Odraude wrote:

ikarinokami wrote:

I'm think with regards to the summoner they might do what JJ suggested once, which is for the class of have a specific creature that levels up with you, much like an animal companion
Yeah, that's my biggest worry. I really hope they don't do this.

If it makes anyone feel better... I'm not going to be one of the authors on this book, nor am I going to be much involved with its outlining or its development.

Hey! I'd feel better if you were an author :) I generally find myself agreeing with you and even when I don't I find your reasoning sound. I can't think of anyone at Paizo whose work I don't want to see, whether I agree on everything or not. You've got a good crew there.

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And Mike Mearls tweeted on the OGL, specifically whether people thought 5E should go OGL or not... so, it's apparently being considered. We'll see.

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Multi player FPS: UT and UT 2003, Quake II and III. Yes, I played both series. Religiously. Along with all the other games in those series (and the Doom series). Oh, and Battlefront 1 / 2.

Single player FPS: F.E.A.R. Loved the AI in that game and the tension. The Jedi Knight series (the Quake III engine FPS games), Unreal. Not so much Half Life (which I enjoyed but not as much).

Coop FPS: Serious Sam series, Left for Dead 2, Quake 2.

RPGs: Elder Scrolls series, Fallout III and NV, NWN series, Hexen II.

Others: Tie Fighter, Wing Commander: Privateer, M.U.L.E. ... too many good games over the years! Which is not a complaint :)

Over all, all time favorite... Hexen II I think atm... the lack of a Hexen III is disappointing (and no, Heretic II didn't make up for it - I like my atmospheric first person games).

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Jacob Saltband wrote:

Question for all us oldtimers.

How do you do traps in your games?

Personally I think traps should be DETERRENT (meaning mostly deadly or barriors to continue) rather then a bump in the road (a charge or 2 from the CLW wand and you get some xp). I might give a quarter xp for blundering into or purposely setting it off, also traps that get set off might also set off alarms. You have to have some type of knowledge (trapfinding, disable devise, craft trap, etc) to be able to recognise that that odd something your perception check noticed is actually a trap. As others have said, traps should be in places that make since (secret passages, actual dungeons, etc).

These are some of the things I do to make traps more meaningful.

I use traps where they are appropriate. Traps have a function dependent on the desires (and ability / resources) of those who set them. They may be deadly, they may confine people, they may slow down pursuers, and so on. They shouldn't be insignificant unless their purpose is simply to harass their victims. Or the people who set them were incompetent :D

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I don't care when, or if, they release a new edition. I use what I like. Period. If you are in an organized play set up this matters. Otherwise, no. That goes for both WotC and Paizo btw :) It will be interesting when Paizo decides on a revision / new edition...

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Prince of Knives wrote:

Wait, wait. Why did the amount of deaths decrease after the XP thing was shifted? XP is awarded for overcoming challenges, not for icing monsters/people. Those solutions shoulda given XP anyway and thus been equally viable.


You're correct.

I use XP myself. I never found the math to be a problem. Other methods work fine for other people I'm sure. As for why I use XP, I don't run APs, so the "story line" isn't set in stone. Encounters differ from trivial to brutally hard. Sessions may include few "encounters" / obstacles or many. I find experience points easier to use. It covers overcoming obstacles by any method, not just combat, and it is effective in handing out rewards appropriate to the level of challenge. In short, it works for me.

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Another sale. I have been looking for an unarmored / priest type class. Thanks!

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This thread is really... comfortable :D It's nice to read posts that fit your experiences and gaming style. I'm in Bakersfield, California myself.

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houstonderek wrote:

Kender? KENDER? Ugh.

As to dragonborn, they're the "PC gone mad" race. Seriously, a reptile race with mammaries is about the dumbest thing I ever saw.

Drow and tieflings.

All of the above is making me think Next might be "D&D, Annoying Player Edition".

Still going to give the mechanics a shot, even if I have to 86 half of the races published.

It's not like you have to use all races. Several are going to be options in the DMG iirc, not the PHB. They're just covering all the possibilities. I'd rather have them do that than leave standard races out for later books...

But yeah, I can miss Kender, Drow (as a PC race), Dragonborn, and Tieflings. Warforged too, but I'm pretty sure they show up in the DMG.

The DMG sounds interesting btw, kind of a combination of an old DMG and Unearthed Arcana (optional systems etc.).

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Sissyl wrote:

A half-elven cleric/fighter/mage clocked in at 5/8/5 in 1st edition, I seem to recall...

Half Elf went to 6th level in Fighter and Magic User, high stats could get you to 8th level in either iirc. Cleric I don't recall. They were unlimited in Thief progress...

The level limits for demi-humans went up every edition, from original D&D to 1E to 2E to no limits in 3E. They opened up more classes to demi-humans each new edition as well.

There were classes with level limits as well. The Assassin (in OD&D, 1E), Druid and Monk. I never had the Grandmaster of the Flowers (the 17th level maximum for Monks) but I had fun trying to get there. There were even limited numbers of Monks above 6th level (in OD&D, 7th level in 1E). You had to challenge an NPC to go up and stay at that level. Level limits weren't just for demi-humans in short. In fact you had to be human to be one of them and accept the "limits" in the class. And they introduced classes in which demi-humans weren't limited (Thief).

Demi-humans were the ultimate multiclass characters as well. Humans had a painfully odd way to do it. You advanced in only one class at a time and needed really high attributes to do it at all. Once you embarked on your new class you couldn't "go back" to the old and if you used any class ability from your original class you lost all xp gained for that adventure. Meantime your Half Elf buddy who multi classed in Fighter / Magic User split his experience between the two and leveled up while making use of all his abilities.

There were trade offs depending on what you wanted to be.

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I received a notice about it through Marc Miller (I did the T5 Kickstarter). It looks interesting. I always thought Firefly looked a lot like the merchant campaigns we played. Frontier, sidestepping the law (frequently), scratching to make ship payments / upkeep. Of course we stayed the h3ll out of the way of Imperial warships (while breaking the law) and Zhodani too...

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DrDeth wrote:

Auxmaulous wrote:

Dr.D - you still frequent Aero Hobbies or in that general vicinity?

No longer, I am sorry to say. Of course, now that Gary S. has passed on to that Great Adventure, things aren't the same. I am not sure if any of the ShopRats still play there. I have heard the store is still great place for gaming, tho.

I live in San Jose, but am currently working in Valencia CA. I should go visit.

My brother and I started in June / July 1974. Bakersfield of all places. And I'm back here now after living in half a dozen other states. My brothers game, which he is talking about getting going again, is still original / 1E. He has the later stuff (he owned a hobby shop before retiring), just prefers the older system. I'm looking forward to playing in it. My game is 3.X, starting again after a hiatus soon (crosses fingers). I've been working on some areas (that were still 1E...) and adding some homebrew stuff. Looking forward to that too. Nice to see so many gamers from back in the day here and still gaming.

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ShinHakkaider wrote:

LazarX wrote:

R_Chance wrote:

Scott, WotC didn't even turn out a conversion booklet to smooth the transition from 3.5E to 4E like they did from 2E to 3E. .

To be fair, 4E was such a radical departure from the pre-existing d20 structure, that I'm very certain that it would have been impossible to make something that would even begin to fulfill that requirement.

They really didn't try to do a 2e to 3.0 conversion either, and 3.5 to 4 was far more radical a change.

But they really DID do a conversion document for 2E to 3x.

I remember it because right up until very recently I still had my physical copy of it. I just got rid of a bunch of my 3x hardback books including a 3x Players Handbook and this thing was just inside the rear cover.

The conversion booklet made what could have been an immense task considerably easier in moving from 2E to 3E. And 3.5 wasn't even a road bump. My worlds been in play since 1974 though and parts haven't been updated all that recently. it occurred to me to check out what is in front of my players... 1E stuff. Done now :)

As for 4E being different, it was indeed. Too different, which is why I stuck with 3.X instead of converting. Well, that and the fact I preferred 3.X as a game system. 4E was ok, but it wasn't really the same game for me. Now 5E looks to be reasonably compatible (based on the playtest).

Switching is a possibility, just not a done deal for me. I've beaten 3.X into a shape I like and I'm not sure if I want to give it up. Still, there is simplicity going for 5E. 3.X in any form (short of True20 anyway) takes more effort / prep time to run than 5E. That may justify the time it would take to convert (if it gives a better ratio of play time to prep time). If it allows me to run my game the way I want to. It's sounding good. The DMG sounds interesting. Kind of a cross between an old 1/2/3E DMG and Unearthed Arcana (it includes alternate rules such as spell points, adds tactical and mass combat, etc.). The PHB seems to be a pretty complete package (unlike 4Es). They say they have fixed the "monster math" for the MM. I'm looking forward to seeing it all. Amazon is peddling pre-orders for about $35 a pop on all three vs. $50 retail. I prefer ordering from Paizo assuming they carry it and the possibility of ordering from a local shop is there. I'd also like PDFs of the books as well, but the gods know what will happen there.

In any event I enjoy reading Paizo books and will collect the core RPG line anyway, as I do now.

So, we will see what we will see :)

*edit* I still have my conversion booklet. And it's still handy when I run into the odd "uncoverted" / old school area. People have covered a lot of territory in the last 40 years... and they all seem to have different ideas of where to go next and what to do. Keeps me on my toes :D

And, that brings up that this month is *my* 40th anniversary running / playing D&D / PF. June 1974. Or was it July? D@mn. It was that summer, June I think. That's been awhile... but I'm not senile yet! Really! It's just been a long, long time you whippersnappers!

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Diffan wrote:

I converted most of the Prestige Classss from Forgotten Realms 3.5 supplements to Paragon Paths and a few Epic Destinies. I also converted a good portion of magical items found in the Player's Guide to Faerûn 3.5 supplement to 4e items.

Further, I was able to convert some of the NPCs in my games to characters using 4e rules (it was actually easier) and most of my PCs without too much trouble.

I think some people just didnt want to go through the hoops of doing all the stuff for a game they probably didnt initially like.

I'm not saying it couldn't be done. Just that it took more work than other edition changes and that WotC pretty much discouraged the attempt. In the end, if you're determined you can convert from / to most systems. But yeah, the effort wasn't worth it for a game that I didn't find all that compelling.

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Snorter wrote:

houstonderek wrote:

Every once in a while, I like to make a Traveller character and keep rolling for better stuff until the character dies.

Our Traveller groups always ended up as a lopsided bunch; those who'd used the Mercenary and High Guard generation systems could potentially get 4 times the upgrades you could get from the Core professions, so they'd want to reenlist as many times as they could, in the hope of getting the golden handshake of a free ship in their pension.

So you'd begin the game, and be faced with four murderhobo pensioners, out to blow off some steam, with their laundry list of skills; and that one guy with an ensign who served one term before being dishonourably discharged, with one skill rank to his name, and who was trying to kamikaze his character by behaving like Scrappy Doo.

We did our own expanded generation systems for any profession that didn't have one. Everybody went year by year, not basic. Saved some trouble in terms of character balance that way. Still, the chance of death in character generation did make Traveller character generation uniquely fun. In a twisted kind of way :D

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Scott Betts wrote:

DaveMage wrote:

Jason Beardsley wrote:

magnuskn wrote:
It's extremely unlikely that I'd shift. WotC would have to publish the combined revivification of Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed to make me forget what they did (against the explicit advice of the fans) to the Forgotten Realms. Not to mention that I vastly disliked 4E and that I am very skeptical of their new edition.

To be fair, the transition to 4E was like, their third(?) time they "nuked" the Realms.

No, the comparison really isn't equal. You could use most of the 1E and 2E fluff with all the changes from 1E - 3.x. You could use almost none of it in 4E.

I had zero problems running or playing in 4e Forgotten Realms games using pre-4e campaign materials. I think you probably could have done the same.

Scott, WotC didn't even turn out a conversion booklet to smooth the transition from 3.5E to 4E like they did from 2E to 3E. Iirc there attitude was "don't try". It's why I didn't think about trying to convert my campaign to 4E. Mind you, after reading the core 4E books I wasn't really hot on trying. It looked OK btw, just wasn't my game (I gave my books to a student if you're wondering). Anyway, I guess if you stripped out all the crunch and reinterpreted a lot of the fluff you could do it. Otoh, I don't have any doubt that my 3.x game could convert to 5E if I decide to do it.

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And there's venue. I suspect the 5E adopters are in larger numbers at say... EN World than here. Even the people who breeze by the sub forums about 4E and beyond are, for the most part, Paizo / PF customers. I am. I just plan on buying both :)

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Pan wrote:

bugleyman wrote:

Charlie D. wrote:

My struggle with Pathfinder is the Christmas tree effect.

Sadly, 4E suffered from the Christmas Tree effect as well (which sucks, because it would have been SO EASY to correct -- adjust the monster math, keep the powers granted by the item, done).

Hopefully 5E finally fixes the problem...

I hope so too. If 5E bombs I have a feeling nobody will ever try bounded accuracy again; sadly.

I can't see it bombing. The playtest was popular, they seem to be making a lot of the right moves this time and the game played well (imo). It may not dominate the market the way D&D used to but it will be one of the top 2 imo (the other being PF). Anyway, we'll see...

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kyrt-ryder wrote:

On this subject, one thing that's bugged me when I read excerpts of AD&D material, I see things like 'travels in groups of 1-6' and 'deals 2-12 damage' and find myself wondering... what's the deal with expressing variables that way?

Was it fairly common for people to replace dice with drawing numbered papers out of a hat or something?

Well, it's not like the dice involved weren't obvious and the abbreviations you take for granted now (courtesy of years of 3.x were everything had to be carefully defined) weren't well established then. It was assumed that the range given (i.e. 30-300) would give you the dice used (a d10 x 30 in this case). Of course you could get more complex (i.e. 30d10) but this tended to produce an average amount as opposed to a range. Pre 3.x was simply... less defined and more open to DM interpretation.

*edit* Thinking about it I suspect you could cut the word count by about a third (or more) in a 3.x rules set and have a comprehensible set of rules. I doubt you would have more, or less, disagreements about rules interpretation either. The extra wordage we are so used to now was an attempt to make everything perfectly clear and prevent arguments or misinterpretation. Hence the drive to define every little thing (like dice abbreviations / definitions). I think we all know how that has gone :D

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Diffan wrote:

R_Chance wrote:

I finally read the Mearls interview on The Escapist. I don't know about an "OGL", but some type of license seems implied. That could just be a matter of licensed adventures (like Kobold's) but apparently they want to wait until the whole game is out. Two advantages there (imo), it gives their adventures an open field initially and puts the question off until they see how the games debut goes. Still, we'll see.

I agree. While I'm not a publisher or a RPG expert or designer, I'd probably want to see the full rules and ways in which they interact before starting to write adventures with it.

He mentioned being one of those 3PP designers wanting to get your adventure out the door first. This does eliminate that issue. Hopefully with a better handle on the rules the work that is done will turn out better...

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I finally read the Mearls interview on The Escapist. I don't know about an "OGL", but some type of license seems implied. That could just be a matter of licensed adventures (like Kobold's) but apparently they want to wait until the whole game is out. Two advantages there (imo), it gives their adventures an open field initially and puts the question off until they see how the games debut goes. Still, we'll see.

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houstonderek wrote:

You must be the slowest roller pretty much ever. 3x and 4e combats are painfully slow, with all of the modifiers. In 1e and 2e, the only combats that lasted anything more than twenty minutes or so either involved a huge number of combatants, or used Battlesystem.

From what I've seen, combats will run much faster in 5e.

Speed and simplicity does seem to be one of 5E's major virtues vs. 3.X. I had some huge combats in late 2E. God forbid I try that in 3.X.

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I don't think we ever played strait 2E. It was a 1E / 2E mix. The game worked fine for the most part.

THAC0 was a non issue for me. I had already house ruled a system with no armor as 0. All you needed to know was your base to hit an unarmored character and the AC (ascending, added to base # to hit) and bingo.

Character customization was really about class choice with multi-classing more for demihumans (Elves etc.) than humans. Level limits for non-humans (but those had gone up steadily from the original game to 1E to 2E anyway). The level limits were a trade off for the advantages that demihumans received (infravision as often as not, easy multi-classing, immunities etc.).

Classes did not level up at the same rate. Given the inequality between classes in 3.x I've never really understood why people consider this such a huge issue. Going up more slowly was part of the class balance for Magic Users / Wizards. They were puny / weak / vulnerable at low levels and cosmically powerful at high levels. Now they have eliminated the puny / weak / vulnerable bit at low level, kept the cosmically powerful at high level and let them level up as fast as everybody else. So much for "balance". Thieves moved up fast, Clerics pretty fast, Fighters in the middle and Wizards slowly. And character generation was comparatively quick and easy. Some rolls, some choices and bingo. PCs stories were written in game, not as a back story. It was a shared history that helped make the characters, and games, more memorable for everyone around the table.

Thieves were useful. IIRC, 1E Thieves had fixed percentages as they leveled up while 2E could spread the percentages around. They were not a combat class. They snuck around, climbed, opened stuff and stayed out of the way of combat unless it was a dire necessity.

The game really slowed down in the middle levels and you spent a lot longer at levels 6-10 than now. Those were, imo, the fun levels. Tough enough to survive (if you were smart) not too tough that it was easy.

That said, what attracted me to 3E as a DM was world building stuff. NPC classes, the "it works the same for PCs / NPCs" rules, more comprehensive systems for skills, etc. The relative simplicity of early 3E was a plus, but the massive increase in feats, prestige classes etc. has pretty much killed that. 3.X (including Pathfinder) is, imo, more complex than 2E at present.

My perfect game would combine the two generations (1E / 2E and 3.x) and a lot of my own home brew / house rules are aimed at that idea. Serious nostalgia in this thread... Thanks! :D

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Finished it last night. Couldn't not. That's the first book I've read in the last year that once into it I couldn't put down until it was done. I read the first 50 or so pages the day before. Once into it the pace really picked up and the characters were good. I needed to know how it turned out for them. The last couple have been good, but not as good as previous Dresden books. This was back on track.

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RJGrady wrote:

I think taking a difficult premise and making it work is a great creative tool. In this particular case, though, I think the numbers get in the way of stories people would like to explore.

Maybe, but I think it opens as many avenues as it closes. either way you have some possibilities and not others.

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Maleficent down. And good. My kids are dragging me, not entirely unwillingly, to X-Men Days of Future Past. Two movies one day. my aching back / rear. Butcher comes after that. And my game... *sigh* must finish this part I'm working on and e-mail to a friend / player. Good day. Not enough hours in it though :)

*edit* I did get 40 pages in while eating. I like it :D

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Scott Betts wrote:

R_Chance wrote:

So, one of them misspoke.

Again, I don't think so.

I think it's much more likely that their plans include provisions for both commercial and non-commercial products, and that "fans" is meant as an all-encompassing term for anyone who wants to produce D&D-compatible material, whether they're third-party publishers or not.

I'm far from alone in thinking this. There is a 15+ page thread on ENWorld discussing this same article and the general consensus seems to be that some form of licensing for commercial products is in the works.

Maybe Scott. We'll see. If your interpretation is correct I won't be disappointed.

*edit* And yes I read over on EN World. I generally don't post there although I use the same name there.

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Scott Betts wrote:

Gorbacz wrote:

We really need a new version of that video, with a bunch of people trying to figure out if the wizard is casting vanilla magic missile, errated magic missile, essentials magic missile or errated essentials magic missile. ;)

I hear they tried to do one of those with 3.5 Polymorph, but they ran out of film.

House ruled that one early on. Still haven't changed the house ruled version, PF notwithstanding. Nice thing about games like this :)

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Picked it up last night, started it. It's interfering with my plans to finish up some stuff for my game. Have to find time for both and Malificent. Game now, Malificent in 2 hours, reading like a fool later tonight... thank God for summer vacation. No more grading!

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Scott Betts wrote:

R_Chance wrote:

Scott, I'm looking forward to DDN (or 5E if you prefer). I liked the playtest. And I am an alien from Tau Ceti if Mearls was talking about 3PP. Unfortunately, as interesting as alien hood might be, I'm human. I suspect Mearls is talking about some method to support fan produced material. A resource of some type for fans in short. They have a 3PP involved already on a contract basis, Kobold Press. So far that's the only hint of 3PP involvement. I'm indifferent to the licensing agreement (if any) they might use. But, really 3PP = fans? That's stretching the language into new shapes...

And yet WotC's Greg Bilsland, tweeting a description of that very same article, said, "Today Mike Mearls discusses D&D and the OGL, and why we're taking a deliberate approach with D&D publishers."

Emphasis mine.

So, one of them misspoke. We'll see who. I don't have a horse in this race. 3PP do and fans who are strongly pro or anti OGL do. I have enjoyed the PF material I've bought (along with OGL games like True20) but for the most part I run my own game (no APs, modules, adventures, etc.) and my tolerance for splat books is limited. I'm looking forward to 5E and what comes out of it regardless.

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thejeff wrote:

Which is back to my original "would take a minor miracle".

It's technically possible to have a system where more design options don't lead to more power, but it's very difficult to pull off and I've never actually seen it in practice.

Less miracle needed if you're actually trying to keep it even. There always seems to be an element of "here's the latest and greatest model" in add-ons. It's one way to sell them...

*edit* I should note that part of that derives from trying to "fix" the "problems" of older material. Fixing it generally meaning it will end up superior to the "unfixed" original stuff.

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Whether you were insulted by it or not, Sissyl has pretty much laid out the WotC line for the 4E launch. I wasn't insulted. I did laugh. I was wondering if they were trying to reduce their fan base further or if they were just clueless about how they came across.

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Diffan wrote:

Like I've said in other 5e GSL/OGL? threads, I hope they don't make an OGL similar to what we saw with 3e. Using the basic set should be enough for 3PP to create their own and go from there. We don't need the glut of terrible (IMO of course) products we saw with 3e.

The only type of license they could have that would allow significant 3PP involvement is an OGL type. This would insulate them from responsibility for other companies material. And, I can't imagine they would want to have to police a flood of 3PP material to ensure it's quality / compatibility / morals etc with a more restrictive license like the GSL. Or they contract out to limited outfits (like Kobold Press / Open Design) where they have some control and the amount of material is manageable and can be overseen.

The OGL produced some terrible junk and some inspired stuff. It's a two edged sword. The question is how WotC / Hasbro feels about it as a corporate entity. I don't see them going OGL, but I can see them allowing non-profit fan material and providing resources / support for that. With contracts handed out to select 3PP for specific projects.

My 2 cp., as in all things, ymmv.

*edit* For clarity. I hope...

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Scott Betts wrote:

Cayzle wrote:

He's not saying anything about publishers! He's talking about "D&D fans"! Well, who the heck is Mearls to tell me, a fan, that my creations have to meet his standards for quality?

I think you might be jumping the gun on this. It's fair to say that essentially every single third-party publisher counts as a "fan" of D&D. I don't know anyone who makes D&D products and doesn't count himself a fan. He could be referring to either group here, or both.

Also, nowhere is he saying that your creations have to meet his standards. It goes without saying that he expects DMs to be creating and running their own adventures as soon as the game is released. He is interested in controlling (obviously to a limited degree) the quality of materials that are made publicly available and (probably) that bear D&D brand identification of some sort, even if it's just a "Compatible with 5th Edition D&D" sticker.

Scott, I'm looking forward to DDN (or 5E if you prefer). I liked the playtest. And I am an alien from Tau Ceti if Mearls was talking about 3PP. Unfortunately, as interesting as alien hood might be, I'm human. I suspect Mearls is talking about some method to support fan produced material. A resource of some type for fans in short. They have a 3PP involved already on a contract basis, Kobold Press. So far that's the only hint of 3PP involvement. I'm indifferent to the licensing agreement (if any) they might use. But, really 3PP = fans? That's stretching the language into new shapes...

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The OGL doesn't really impact my decision to buy DDN one way or the other. I've collected Pathfinder RPG books and some others. I'll continue to do so. My current 3.x game is as much 3.5 and homebrew as it is PF. If I run DDN I'm sure it will be home brewed as well. I have always modified aspects of the game, from 1974 on. 3PP have contributed to my reading material, and my game but so have posters here. I gave away my 4E books not because of the GSL / OGL but because it wasn't a game I wanted to play or run. It was OK, just not for me. DDN looks more like something I would play or DM. And, buy.

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houstonderek wrote:

If you look on the back of most of the hardcovers (the first printings are hit and miss, but the first printing of the Deities and Demi-goda and Fiend Folio both have them) there is a TSR product number above the ISBN, which have a number (on the Fiend Folio it was 394-52174-9TSR1200, Monster Manual II was xxxxx-OTSR1200, Monster Manual was xxxx-1TSR1200).

The "1200" after TSR was the price. $12.00. Consistent across the non-DMG hardback through the early Eighties. The DMG went from $15 to $18 when they did the reprints with the new covers, though.

I'm glad you got yours on sale.

The price might have been $12. My copies don't have product numbers just items listed by name and prices in the back of the book and, it having been many moons ago, I don't recall for sure what the prices were. I just know the prices they listed in the back of the book. Between me and my brother we probably bought 3 or 4 of each book. If I have time I'll unbox some of the others and take a look... d@mn curiosity :)

*Edit* A quick look revealed product numbers for the MM, PHB and DMG I have out on the covers in tiny print. TSR 2009, 2010 and TSR 2011 respectively. I'll check the others later after graduation (we're kicking another class of seniors out the door tonight :D ). Interesting that the MM I have out does not have prices in the product listing and the DMG does not have a product listing. I think I have several printings out. I need to look for the others and check it out...

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Ascalaphus wrote:

It's a particular way of GMing I picked up from one of those old skool GMs. Generate some random numbers, accept them as fact, then try to explain them.

You can apply that to just about anything, and it can really push you out of a mental rut.

That's how I do it and, I think, a lot of old timers like me. You take a "fact" / "event" generated by the game and come up with a reasonable explanation that fits. *sigh* Now I feel older... but then I am :)

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RJGrady wrote:

I have chimpanzees as living about 50 years in captivity, and the world average expectancy for humans at 67. Even saying chimps are mature at 12 (which is high, most of my sources say > 9), that still leaves humans with comparatively long childhoods. But then again, very long-lived humans live much longer than very long-lived chimps. From this I conclude that humans have fairly long lifespans, and that our maturation rate is similar to that of a chimpanzee, close enough that the difference can be attributed to rather immediate pressures of survival. There ought to be some association, but clearly if a very old human can live twice as old as a very old chimp, while maturing within a few years of the same span, there is not a linear association.

I've seen the same range of ages for maturity in Chimps. I went with 12 because their dentition is permanent and their brain development is about 95% at that point. Some date species maturity by sexual maturity which, having taught teenagers, is definitely wrong :D

Some of our lifespan is a matter of nature but at the extreme upper end our medical technology enters into it. We don't expend the same level of resources on animals in captivity. Then again I would tie our long childhood to two factors; biological longevity and the time needed to develop that intelligence.

RJGrady wrote:

Some humans, of course, exhibit precocious development, and it is hard to pin a reliable association between that and mental maturity or skill acquisition.

Individuals can vary quite a bit. Developmental stages are always ballpark figures which are typical for a species.

RJGrady wrote:

For elves to be resistant to new learning for a hundred years, I don't think they would be like eternal children. I think they would have to be precocious adults... physically a fraction of a human's age, but mentally, a hidebound, indolent curmudgeon by age 6. Developmentally speaking, play is equivalent in meaning to learning. If elves did nothing but play for 100 years, they would have very considerable skills. With no need for the drudgery of the mill or the plow, they could be tree-climbers, hide-and-seekers, archers, flower arrangers, and wizards... and not just some of those things, but all of those things.

I agree, they would have considerable skills, but they apparently don't. They do have a bit of an advantage but nothing like the time span of their childhood would suggest. If they were human and developed at the same speed we do. That's why I tie their long maturation to an extended period of development. They don't race ahead because they can't; you can't learn what you're not developmentally ready for.

In looking at the races (and the game in general, I've always taken certain things as "facts" (Elven lifespans and age ranges for example) in the game world and then worked on explaining them. Oddly enough a background in history, anthropology and education really helps. And a ton of time spent reading fantasy and science fiction of course :) If I decided their base assumptions were wrong I'd develop a different assumption / fact for a background. As I'm sure many have and will.

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RJGrady wrote:

And yet, the main survival advantage of human neoteny is a vast increase in intelligence, and a lengthening of the "gainful play" period of life. Ten year olds don't act like ten year olds because they're mentally weak, but because they are learning at an amazing rate. Domestic and human-allied animals such as dogs, cats, and horses similarly display neotenous traits and an enhanced disposition and facility for learning. You may not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, but you have a better chance of that than teaching an old wolf new tricks.

I'm not sure the intelligence of humanity is due just to a longer childhood. I think the longer childhood is necessary to develop the brain that gives rise to that intelligence. Children are learning a fantastic amount, but most of it is the basis for later, more complex, learning. Reasoning and memory formation improve as the child develops. Neural connections increase steadily during elementary school allowing the child to make connections with prior learning and comprehend more difficult concepts. Learning and it's more formal cousin, education, are built on a foundation of earlier more basic ideas building to more complex ones. You crawl before you walk, and walk before you run. Or you bump into a lot of things :) Domestic animals have adapted to us and, through survival, developed traits we value. Dogs are dogs, not wolves, because we valued some traits that wolves display and chose their ancestors accordingly.

Bad things happen to us as we get older though, human, dog or wolf, no doubt about that :(

RJGrady wrote:

Consider also that all the vast improvements in cognitive ability over our nearest relatives comes at the expense of lengthening childhood by 50%, maybe 75%. If elves have a childhood five times as long, I would expect them to be vastly more intelligent than humans... they would be a degree more intelligent than humans, beyond what humans are to chimpanzees, assuming a vaguely proportionate relationship.

Chimps hit adulthood at around 12 (by both adult dentition and brain development), but their lifespan is about 40-50 years. That sounds proportionally similar to humans (assuming full maturity at about 20 and an 80 year typical lifespan). I would argue that Elves have a childhood (and developmental phase) that is longer because they have a longer lifespan. Keeping the body functional for centuries rather than decades may simply make for a more complex and protracted development until adulthood. Chimps do have a 98% DNA match to humans. There is the IQ disparity though, but hey 2% might be important :)

RJGrady wrote:

In contrast, if an extended Elven childhood is associated with directionless activity and few gained skills, it's really impossible to argue anything other than that elves have vastly reversed the advantages humans have over apes, being less inquisitive, less able to retain information, and, with the creative formlessness of youth, less able to acquire new aptitudes, beliefs, attitudes, and insights.

I prefer to imagine that the racial traits of elves reflect a hundred years of quality learning, and their society boasts a percentage of 1st level wizards among the young adult population in the high single digits.

I'd say it's associated with more complex development leading to a longer lifespan. The learning and retention of information is a matter of developmental processes / stages, not calendar age. At least until you hit adulthood / maturity and you have what you have. This accounts for things such as delayed development with children not learning "age appropriate" information and skills because they are not at the right developmental stage calendar age not withstanding. If you aren't ready for it, time alone will not help you learn it. An argument could be made that you need both development and time and I'm sure that's true. I just think without appropriate development the time is wasted.

I'm not sure which of us is right (if either or maybe both), but thanks for making me go down this track. It's fun putting my neural connections through their paces occasionally. And it has me looking over my Elvish cultures and society again. Win, win! :)

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houstonderek wrote:

So, to bags of groceries would get you the Monster Manual and 2/3 of a PHB ($12 ea., DMG was a larger book and cost $15)*, and two bags now will get you just one book. Hmmm.

*purchased in the order of release. MM in '77, PHB in '78, DMG in '79.

So, you got ripped off? :D My PHB and MM were $9.95. The prices in the PHB list the "collectible" original boxed set at $14.99 (up from the original $10) and the original supplements at $7.50 each (up from $5.00). I don't recall the DMG price. By then they had ceased putting prices in the product list they put in back. TBH I don't recall exactly what I did pay for them, but it seemed like a lot at the time. And worth every penny of it :)

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thejeff wrote:

As for the last point, they will have pulled off a minor miracle if Basic Characters can really function alongside Advanced ones. Options are power.

Maybe. Options are power if you add more powerful options. If the options are on par with each other, it doesn't mean "more powerful", just different. I do admit the tendency for power creep though, but I can hope that they see it as a problem as well...

*edit* yeah, kind of what P.H. Dungeon said... it's embarrassing when you're ninja'd by hours :)

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RJGrady wrote:

R_Chance wrote:

Not really, but you don't seem to understand physical development and the roll it plays in memory, maturity and processing.

Okay, I confess. I only got a B in the Behavioral Neuroscience course I took while working on my BA in Psychology. I only took one unit on lifespan development in graduate school. So it's true, I'm not an expert on this subject.

Good. Neither am I. I just know what my professors told me in my psych, behavioral science and education classes.I assume they told me the truth. Not the greatest basis for "truth" I know.

RJGrady wrote:

Also, I've never trained a ten year old in swordsmanship. I practice strictly with foam-padded boffer weapons, and the youngest player I've tutored was 12. I have to admit, development plays a role. Even after weeks of training, he was only slightly more capable than most adults.

Neither have I. My point isn't that a 12 year old can't learn. It's the difference between a newborn, a 5 year old, a 10 year old, a 15 year old and an adult. Yes, development plays a role. How many adults have you trained? Do all 12 year olds learn faster? Is this one simply an advanced learner? Who knows.

RJGrady wrote:

And certainly, you can't expect someone to become really skilled without some kind of structured learning. For instance, my son, when he was about seven, constructed a handmade bow out of some sticks he found, some safety tape, and a few bread ties. It was not much of a bow; I don't think it had more than thirty feet of range or so.

So you're totally right, kids do learn differently than adults.

Yes, structure helps. It certainly makes learning more efficient and predictable. Your son displayed the imaginative solution I'd expect from a kid. Kids are described as agile and imaginative learners. They think outside the box. Adults are somewhat different (and individuals display "significant variation" - a quote from a prof that stuck for 30 years now).

I have 3 munchkins of my own, all 18+ and in college now. I've passed thousands of students through my classroom in the last 25+ years from 14 on up to older adults. There are observable differences, imo of course.

Maybe I haven't expressed myself well. With your background I'd think I was preaching to the choir. I think slower physical development would lead to longer required times for learning due to differences in processing, memory storage and maturity. How much slower is difficult to say, but it makes a good rationale for Elfin starting ages and why they learn as fast as other adults once they start. We'll probably never be sure, but the reasoning seems sound. Especially as background for a game rule.

My apologies if I came off sounding like a jerk (Did I?). If so, I didn't intend to. Just tired and playing hooky while grading. It's finals here.

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Matthew Downie wrote:

A ten-year-old human child can learn pretty much anything that they devote time to - foreign languages, musical instruments, fractions, world history, the names of dinosaurs... I don't see there's any particular need for further physical development before they can learn calculus / spellcraft. It's just that it normally takes a few years to get round to those things. I think. If you have evidence I'm wrong, please cite your sources.

Look at the proportional change between infancy and ten and ten and 20. There's a huge change in volume and an even greater one in structure and function along the way. A lot of the changes in the brain are done by early adolescence. Most of the real heavy lifting in brain development is done by 5 iirc. You don't see the need for further development and what it allows because it happens in a short time span for us. By the time we start to learn something that takes time, we have developed further and the brain is developing the whole time facilitating what we learn. It's complex and I apologize if I over simplified it.

I tried to keep it simple without complicating it too much, and I over simplified it, but here's a good roadmap of the brains development and the learning it facilitates at different developmental stages. It's aimed at teachers:

*edit* In short, they don't stay 10 while learning; they age and develop. And learn. Page 3 is the meat of brain development and learning btw. Anyway, it's an American Psychological Association website.

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RJGrady wrote:

R_Chance wrote:

So, Elves maturing (and learning) slowly makes sense to me in terms of the time it takes them to grow up. Once they hit maturity they learn (level up) as fast as humans.

"Elves less than 100 years old seem stupid by human standards. Like, really stupid."

Not really, but you don't seem to understand physical development and the roll it plays in memory, maturity and processing. I've always thought the long maturation period of Elves, building that body carefully, is why they would outlive humans. As for intelligence, an Elf at the same developmental stage as a human is as bright, or maybe more so (+2 intelligence) than a human. And you would probably think an Elf and a human at the same stage were of an age if you saw them together without knowing their calendar ages. Elves do take longer to pass through the stages of maturity. Their development takes longer, but they also live longer. It seems like a reasonable trade off, more than compensated for by the knowledge and skills they have the time to gain after they mature. Obviously, ymmv.

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It looks good. The Basic D&D PDF will have the core features of the game for zip. Anything necessary to play their adventures gets added as free PDFs. The ensuing 3 core books will add more options. If you hadn't noticed earlier information the Gamemaster's Handbook includes options like a spell point system to replace the regular magic system, a tactical combat module etc. Pretty much what they said they would do in terms of options and free at the basic end.

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