Unless, of course, he voices the player. Then you can have your cake and eat it too :)
Matt Thomason wrote:
I agree completely on pretty much every point. You could construct some very different settings using the rules, especially so with a bit of tinkering. The idea that the system, like some inflexible machine, will yield result "X" leaves me wondering...
One question, well several really. If "the system" is what some of you people say it is (economics extrapolated from profession rolls, ubiquitous magic items, middle class peasants)... why doesn't Golarion reflect that? Do the designers not understand their system? Is Golarion, not so obviously, just like that? Or are you extrapolating too much from some game rules / simplifications that are not intended to be robust enough to create an entire economy / society from? I understand the intellectual draw of the exercise, but it tends to take the game to ends that are unintended. At best. My 2 cp.
Alignment is a dominant feature in the Outer Planes because they are alignment based planes. Philosophic constructs. The creature types (Demons etc.) tend to reflect the alignment scheme of their (outer) plane. The elemental planes aren't alignment specific and can and should) vary. You might have types of outsiders that exist on multiple planes (i.e. Angels) but they are going to, typically, adhere to the alignment of the plane in question they reside on. Elemental creatures don't have that alignment bias but I have mine with alignments based on the varying views of the element (i.e. fire as destructive, fire as a good, etc.) which dominates their plane. If you want full blown diversity in alignment a la the campaign world I'd say other prime material planes would be the ticket. All of this would depend on the planar set up in your game of course. And your GM. I still use the Great Wheel as the basis of mine and have since 1E. My prime material homebrew game only interacts with a limited set of outer planes though (unless you transit through other planes first)...
*edit* None of which prevents the odd semi-unique creature who goes against type.
If one player in a group isn't having fun the group / GM can attempt to accommodate him. But if it kills the fun of the rest I'd say he needs to find a group that's more compatible with him. Not always possible, I know, but better, imo, than screwing over everybody else and making the game un-fun for them. My 2 cp.
I don't see it that way. There is a difference between the GM adjusting the game on the fly in the players favor or pre-adjusting it for them and the players using their wits to make good decisions and survive.
In a non-sandbox game with a linear storyline the encounters are pre-built for the players or in any event adjusted ahead of time for the specific party. The GM is the one to do it in this case. It's on him. In a sandbox game it's on the players to make the decisions; to determine the odds. I run a sandbox and prefer to play in them as well. To each their own on that.
It wasn't a "solution", just an observation. Players can make choices that allow their party to survive if they, roughly, know the relative balance of power. Balance within the party was never a major point in the game anyway, was it? Is any other player "balanced" against a high level caster (except another high level caster)? The casters may eventually end up as the big guns, but they typically need non-casters at times no matter how "uber" they are. The question to me is, is the party viable? Can they operate and survive? My own experience indicates players develop their judgment about what they can and can't face individually and as a group. You present a fairly survivable environment for them at low level and as they go up they will begin making choices and developing a sense for risk and move on to more dangerous areas when ready. They just have to know their limits.
As for running away, the first method involves the mark one foot. Well, feet actually. You need two. Tactics and equipment (i.e. burning oil, caltrops, etc.) can help. Magic comes later. By the time they have spells like Teleport they should need it less. Hopefully.
And you mentioned sandboxes first :)
It isn't up to the GM to adjust difficulty in a sandbox. It's up to the players to know the level of difficulty, their own capabilities and adjust as needed. To put it simply, go where the odds of survival are good (given risk vs. reward). Stay out of situations that are too hard for your characters. A well run sandbox lets players know, if they pay attention, just how dangerous a given area / encounter is. If they go in and find out they shouldn't have, they better know when to cut and run.
Chengar Qordath wrote:
"No" was probably the wrong way to start that post. Yes, the game has math. My point is the players have to know it (which I didn't make clear). And learn to adjust their tactics accordingly. The two points I was making are: 1. Too many players assume they will win every encounter because they are the players. And go blindly in assuming they are the heroes (and winners). 2. You can play without every item slot optimally filled if you take that into account and adjust as needed. Whether it is simply circumstance or a different campaign setting (i.e. low magic). I don't see the math as the problem. Player's not knowing "the odds" based on their current character / situation is a problem.
Chengar Qordath wrote:
No. The problem is players have been trained to assume they should win every encounter. If you have a realistic appraisal of your power and know when to run vs. when to fight you can survive. It doesn't matter whether you are a buck naked prison escapee or a powerhouse with every item slot filled. You have to know where you are relative to your opponents. Then you run, fight, negotiate etc. as the balance of power dictates. Too many players are used to encounters structured so that the party is going to win unless they screw up tactically. Too few think over their options before combat is joined. My 2 cp of course, ymmv.
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
The classic answer would be to give / bequeath it to some deserving friend / ally / dependent / good citizen who does not have a "more awesome sword". You can make friends / allies, seal the deal with a cohort etc. Unless you're some sociopathic loner who does not want to win friends / influence people...
It's always tempting to block someone who's being annoying. If you can. And I know people come here to relax / enjoy their hobby. Still, I'd suggest cultivating your ability to ignore jerks. It will stand you in good stead here and elsewhere.
Abraham spalding wrote:
In my experience, it's not magic items that are memorable. It's the events - what the players do. Magic items are memorable when you go through a lot to acquire them. Not so much when they are just "gear" bought in a store or even crafted. Ymmv.
As for CR and WBL, can anyone think of any two things that are as... problematic as them? And can anyone think of anything that is more divisive than the magic shop question? I said more, there are planty of things people argue over :)
I don't have magic shops, magic is rarer than standard and it still costs xp to craft most items (excepting one use items like potions / scrolls). It has taken me years to learn to adjust encounters. Essentially re-writing a lot of rules in the process. It is a continuing process and probably refined for my current players. But we like it. Ymmv.
As always in these things there is no one true way. Except what's fun for the given group.
Invisibility, page 302 Core Rulebook...
"For purposes of this spell, an attack includes any spell targeting a foe or whose area or effect includes a foe."
I think the "or whose area or effect includes a foe" is pertinent to this. In short, your player is out of luck, unless they are playing a prank on a friend :) Imho anyway. Note btw, that it says "area OR effect". If your players do the rules lawyer bit that may come up...
Frodo pretty much said it. I think helpless pretty much precludes anything that takes Somatic or Material components. Verbal... varies.
Helpless (PFRPG Core Rulebook, pg. 567):
Depends on the spell requirements and which of those you are...
Paralyzed: Nothing that requires Verbal, Somatic or Material components (assuming your vocal chords are included).
Held: Nothing requiring Somatic or Material components, nothing Verbal if they've gagged you.
Bound: Nothing Somatic or Material, nothing Verbal if gagged.
Sleeping or Unconscious: Nothing allowed.
Otherwise: Who knows?
Metamagic (silent spell) would allow Verbal only spells if you memorized the spell with that in mind. And you weren't Sleeping or Unconscious :)
My take of course, others may agree / disagree.
I'm waiting for Christmas on mine. Not a big deal really, between me and my brother we have three copies of the original game; a woodprint box from 1974, and two white box sets plus supplements picked up from 1975-77 (iirc). My brother still used a mix of original and 1E rules for his game. I gave him a copy of Swords and Wizardry to save wear and tear on the old books recently...
Scott Betts wrote:
Zenimax / Bethesda has lawyers. If that site wasn't legitimate they would be legally nuking somebody by now. And I'm 73% into downloading the Elder Scrolls Online Beta client... it's a good time to be a Bethesda fan :) Zenimax did lose someone important though, John Carmack has left Id Software...
wicked cool wrote:
Sony says about 1% will have the problem. It may be "fixable", they have instructions on that. So, not as bad as the RROD. They also say they are working with retailers to satisfy their customers.
There was a large thread discussing minions in another sub forum a while back... I'll try and find it and post a link for you.
*Edit* Found quite a few threads on minions. I don't use them and am not able to judge which are "best". Go to the Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew rules sub-forum above under Pathfinder RPG, click on that header to go to that sub-forum and type "minion" into the search box upper right. It will pop up with numerous threads on minions including several with varying rules for minions in PF.
Captain Emberwrath wrote:
First this thread has been subject to a mid level "Thread Necromancy" spell :) It passed on in March 2013. Balzen Johnson, posting above, is the necromancer in question. Second, I don't think he (the OP) was asking anybody to play his way. He just wanted comments from like minded people. For him, I'm sure, "logic" (or realism) is fun. Ymmv.
Damn them :) Elder Scrolls Online is due out in 2014 for PC, Mac, PS4 and X-Box One. Apparently the PC and Mac players will share the same world while PS4 and X-Box One players are separated from eachother and the PC / Mac crowd. Nice that console players get to play, nice that PC / Mac players are all on one server. Too bad about PS4 and X-Box One players being segregated in their own corners.
Both the PS4 and X-Box One require large downloads when unboxed for full functionality. Something I can look forward to. We have a PS4 (in hand) and a pair of X-Box Ones (preordered) for my kids X-Mas. Yes, they are spoiled. They are college students. They have an ungodly amount of time to play games too. I, am jealous, not of the consoles (I play PC primarily and p&p of course), just of the time. Back to grading papers. And, occasionally relieving the boredom and preserving my sanity by peeking into the forums here. Another wild Saturday night continues...
DM Beckett wrote:
Because, God forbid he wants to know what really happened to him. Sometimes people are predictable. That doesn't mean everything about the show will be. It also doesn't follow that she will be successful or that there aren't deeper levels of secrets inside secrets.
Most people would find the necessity of deciphering another mages spellbook / scroll and writing it down, essentially, in your own terms complete with a check for failure in your own spellbook to be a bit odd for a "science". Heck, even cookbooks don't have that problem :) Formula being formula and experimental results being repeatable and understandable is at the heart of science in real life. I guess they could all have lousy handwriting or something...
And of course, the results of a spell aren't identical. Damages vary, durations vary, etc. in short results vary for some spells (within a certain range). The fact that they are grossly similar doesn't mean they are identical / repeatable even for the same practitioner the way a science experiment is. Damage and duration variation could be explained by circumstances, or it could just be variable results from the same "experiment" / spell. Personally I think saving throws account for variation in circumstance and a weak fireball is just a weak result for that attempt. Ymmv.
If they eliminate all the monsters people "dislike" or think there are enough of they just might decide they have enough bestiaries :) Then everyone could be happy... or would that be unhappy? I never expect to use everything in a bestiary. Does anybody? I pick and choose. I've been doing it since the original Bestiary. Bestiary 4 is no different. There are some good ones I'll use, some few that make me roll my eyes, some that, cool or not, have no place in my game and a lot of others that are meh and will be used or not depending on the needs of my game. Overall the good outweighs the bad and even the "meh" are pretty well done. As for the art... why would anyone let that decide on whether or not to use a monster? *sigh*
Jon Goranson wrote:
They have solar systems, moons, planets... magic. Obviously there are gross similarities but something different as well. Leading to my assumption that the laws underwriting what goes in this universe are different. I've said this before; it may look like Earth but what is "under the hood" may be quite different. Hence, the long "stagnant" period of technology. What if "science" has hit it's end game? Maybe the price of "magic's" existence.
Jon Goranson wrote:
I doubt they actually speak English on Golarion. The translation into English terms (knight etc.) is for the gamers benefit. I can't really comment on the Earth history analogues because I have some in my own homebrew world. I've read about Golarion but I have my own campaign world.
Jon Goranson wrote:
And the place where they developed guns, Alkenstar, is near a place where magic doesn't work (the Mana Wastes)... there's a coincidence :) As for the super science of Numeria, I don't know what the basis for it is or the laws that underwrite it. Earths? Something else?
Jon Goranson wrote:
And some people are assuming experimental science works as it does on Earth and that progress should have been made (the way it has been on Earth) and that Golarion should be different. But, according to the cannon it's not. It simply is the way it is. So, maybe your assumptions on how things work there (just like they do irl) is the problem?
As I said in a previous post, take the cannon Golarion as fact and try to figure out why it is, not just dismiss it as "wrong". Unless you do your own homebrew world, then it's all up to you. Or do your own version of Golarion's history for your home game.
I don't have my stuff out (I'm grading papers into the wee hours) but...
You can take that back to OD&D if you want science fiction in your D&D. Blackmoor, Temple of the Frog - not the later basic D&D adventure, the one in supplement 2 Blackmoor (1976) - had rayguns in it iirc. You find them in the original Blackmoor campaign supplement from Judges Guild by Dave Arneson, First Fantasy Campaign (Judges Guild 1977 iirc), as well in an area with a crashed starship (the City of the Gods). This has links to the Barrier Peaks AD&D module; both Greyhawk and Blackmoor were set within the Castles and Crusades Society for medieval fantasy miniatures campaigns originally. If you want all kinds of nifty technological goodies take a look at Empire of the Petal Throne by M.A.R. Barker (TSR 1975). EPT used a variation of the original D&D rules and was loaded with high tech relics from the far past as well as psychic and ritual magic and aliens galore. There was quite a bit of crossover between D&D and Gamma World when that came out as well and there were articles in the Dragon (and, I think, the old Strategic Review magazine) on "Sixguns and Sorcery", a mix of Boot Hill (an old west RPG) and D&D and Sturmgeschutz and Sorcery (WW II miniatures and magic).
Oddly enough I'm relatively fine with science fiction tech in a "fantasy" game although there is none in my homebrew game. But not gunpowder. Gunpowder is too easy to manufacture and, for me, just doesn't fit in a fantasy setting (mine at least). For me gunpowder marks the advance of technology and the death of magic. Ymmv.
OK, it's been one of those weekends... adjunct duty, company, college age children living out of town with car issues (which kept me on the road for 4 hours today)... so, rather than reply to a post that's a day or two old I'll pick it up here :)
You say technology in Golarion "should have advanced" or the timeline should have been adjusted to match real world data eliminating large amounts of time from the current cannon timeline. You don't see any reason why technology shouldn't have advanced within their time frame and you'd like to change Golarion timeline cannon to fit your rationale of change along real world patterns. Correct?
In a previous post you described magic as another science and a replacement for technology. You've gone over real world timelines for technical advancement. You've laid out every reason why technology "should" advance at a certain pace. Your knowledge of our history and your background as an engineer support this. And you haven't looked at the timeline for Golarion and asked "why hasn't it worked this way on Golarion?" Take the cannon timeline as correct and ask why? There are a number of possible reasons. As in all things, ymmv.
What's the single most glaringly obvious difference between Golarion and Earth? I'd say magic. It works on Golarion, not so much on Earth. You indicated that people on Golarion would have to be,charitably, a bit slow for the pace of their technical advancement to be correct. What about us? Are we stupid because magic hasn't been developed as a working science? Irl, the answer is obviously no because magic does not exist. In "game life" maybe the reason is simple. The rules of the universe are different there. It may look similar on the surface but, to use a metaphor, what's under the hood (too much time spent with cars today...) may be quite different.
If the rules are different and that accounts for the slow pace of technical development it makes sense. What if the replication of experimental results, the cornerstone of experimental science, isn't a given in Golarion. What if it's as much "art" as science. What if there are influences which no scientific observer could account for? Chaos, for example. In a previous post you cited Wizards studying magic as a reason to believe it too was a science. Artists study art, musicians music, theologians theology. None of those is a precisely repeatable science. But they are studied. When a Wizard comes across another Wizard's spellbook or a scroll the most obvious long term benefit is copying the spells into his own book. But he can't do so without effort. Because the other Wizard's written "formula" differ from the one he has to create / use. Similar in the gross form, but different in details. The only time it's 100% is when the other Wizard is there to help you "interpret" his book. It's as much art as science. And maybe that's how "science" is in Golarion. Things are similar on the surface level but unpredictably different in detail. Detail that has to be felt and learned like an art. That could account for a slower pace of development in "science" / technology.
You can just say, "that's just rationalization" and it should work the way real life does. I find it more interesting, and intriguing, to think of why it doesn't work this way. Why is the world "stuck" at this stage of development? Why does magic work the way it does? How do magic and science coexist in this world? Are they different? Are they the same? What, in short, would make the world work this way. That's where it gets fun. I've been working on my own campaign for almost 40 years. I have degrees in history and cultural anthropology and experience in archeology. I have a good layman's grounding in real world science. And, instead of saying "this couldn't be" (and you've done a good job of laying out why it couldn't) I have asked "why is it this way?" And spent a lot of time reasoning it out / rationalizing it. It's like reverse engineering a technology from a machine, or a program.
As in all things, ymmv and there is, of course, no "one true way". And that's a good thing imo.
*sigh* Back to grading papers...
Long post and an interesting one. I'm off to a football game. I'll be back, with a reply, later :)
On long maturation rates... a twenty year old girl died recently. Physically and mentally she was a 1 year old. She never matured. She had not grown at all since the age of 5. They are exploring the reasons of course. There are a small number of other people in the world with similar issues. A 30 year old with an physical age of 2 for example and several others exist. It's extraordinarily rare, but there it is. I read an article on it recently, I'll try and dig it up.
As for technological stagnation your expectations are based on the historical western experience. Progress has been much slower in other cultures (although not as stretched out as a typical fantasy world). The other thing is simple; science works irl. Observation and experimentation work. If the basis of your world is not science, but something more arbitrary and hostile to experimental methods (i.e. magic) then progress might not be as swift. The very existence of a system that "cheats" on science might slow down technological progress even if science "works".
As in all things, ymmv, but it's worth thinking about.
*edit* I searched for 20 year old... and "toddler" popped up. There are a lot of news items on it, to whit:
There are some indications (from 2 3PP) that DDN may use the OGL (or at least a much less restrictive license than the GSL). It seems they want support from 3PP. Dale McCoy (John Brazier Enterprises) and Dias Ex Machina (Amethyst setting) both believe so based on coversations with WotC employees and others close to the company. That would certainly bode well for support materials for DDN although you have to wonder how, or if, this would integrate with WotC's online tools...
Interesting. The speculation has been going on on ENWorld for a couple of days. I started wondering about the possibility after 2 3PP indicated they had heard the same thing. I guess we'll see.
I'm curious. I paid for Bestiary 4 on October 14. It's the 28th and the PDF is available to the general public tomorrow. And mine hasn't shipped. It is combined with Gygax Magazine #2 for shipping, but that was ordered, and available, in September. Is the magazine holding it up, and if so why? Am I just on the tail end of subscribers? Or is there some issue I'm not aware of? I'd appreciate some information.
*edit* Well consulting the updated sticky on ship dates I see the 31st is now the projected end date. *sigh* Have to work on my patience.
Thanks, sorry to be a pain.
GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Too bad, because the divine (or demonic) is often one source for magical technique. As well as one reason to mistrust magic users in general. You could spin magic either way; as a difficult academic discipline based on secret knowledge or as simply a difficult skill. The traditional D&Desque trope has been a difficult academic discipline with it's own secret language etc. Ymmv.
Chenault (Troll Lord Games) says it's James M. Ward (Metamorphoses Alpha, Pool of Radiance etc.) and Anne K. Brown (Pool of Radiance etc.). Both worked at / for TSR Hobbies back in the day iirc. I'm positive about Ward, Brown I think... definitely co-author of that series of books with Ward and I'm pretty sure employed at TSR. It's been awhile :)
Speaking of things that could get me shunned... I will not love / hate Bestiary 4 based on any random piece of art or the inclusion / exclusion of any given single monster or an interpretation of a given monster that differs from mine. As apparently many posters will. I will judge the book by it's entire contents. Yes, I have been reading the posts on the Bestiary 4 thread while waiting for my subscribers shipping e-mail and my chance to download the PDF. Judging by that thread gamers are an incredibly whiney lot. I have to keep saying "not all of us". Repeatedly, as I read it.
What they learned was not to wear the armor on route of march. They put it on for battles. The locals learned not to get in front of the big horses with the armored knights though...
If the Welsh and English yeomanry had been an ill trained "militia" it might have worked. Both groups however trained to use the longbow for their entire lives. And the Royal army only took the cream of the crop. Yes, they tested to get into the King's service. A yeoman is not a "peasant" by the way. The yeoman receives his land from his feudal lord in return for military service (among other things) just like a knight. The yeomanry were part of the feudal military machine of England. Calling a yeoman archer a "militiaman" is like calling a knight one. They both put in large amounts of time training with their weapons.
Which they ceased to do as soon as a Greek traitor showed them the way around the choke point. The 300, and about 700 Thespians iirc, died covering the retreat of the rest of the Greek army. Salamis sealed the fate of the Persian invasion. Although the Spartans certainly proved they could kill large numbers of Persians...
Funny but the guys in the bright red uniforms won most of the battles. Those guys who hid behind rocks didn't get the job done. It's why we trained the Continental Army to fight like the British and had large numbers of French regulars (who fought like the British) to help us. Skirmishing was done by both sides and was quite useful. Deploying troops in massed formations to concentrate firepower and destroy the enemy was decisive. The Minuteman winning the war while hiding and shooting the "stupid Brits" is a myth.
What turned Alexander around was his troops. They had this weird idea about seeing home some day. What he did wasn't the brightest thing a general could do but he did it so d@mn well it didn't matter. Until he was bitten by a mosquito and died of an encephalitic fever in Mesopotamia while returning home to consolidate his conquests before making more. The boy was a bit obsessed.
Both invaded during the summer. They just made inadequate preparations (pretty much none) for winter because they, wrongly, assumed that if they won the battles the Russians would surrender before then. Stubborn bunch those Russians. Napoleon and Hitler weren't the only to make that mistake (Charles XII of Sweden iirc early 18th Century, Great Northern War?).
Weakening the Mage is a reaction to the Wizard being, in most peoples opinions, the most powerful class in the game in 3.x (and previous editions). Many say "overpowered". I hate the term myself (right up there with "broken"), but past low levels the Wizard is generally tops. Reducing that disparity is fairly reasonable and why they have made the Mage less dominating. As for simplicity for Fighters, DDN is simpler than 3.x. At this stage (playtest) it's hard to say what will be in the basic game and what will be optional as well.
Bah! Old comic-tech. It's better now (but only if it suits the story)...
Players in regular Traveller games aren't murder hobos. No. Because they're not that specialized :) You could call them money grubbing hobos though :D Anything for a megacredit...
For the OP... I mentally downgraded your review as soon as I read the term "broken" in the title. Broken, as a descriptive term, is overused and conveys very little real information. It also irritates the H3ll out of me. I read your review anyway, this game was on a short list of birthday presents for me (and I "know" I'm getting it) and, obviously, I'm interested in it. Your review is better than your title. I like most of what I've heard about this game, but reasonable criticism and discussion of it is welcome and enlightening. Just lose the overused trendy descriptive terms even when used as a rhetorical question / title...
Fabius Maximus wrote:
And this. It would be like having last call early :)
I'd say this hits it on the head. It's a recruiting tool. More time to corrupt = more demons. Why kill the goose that lays the golden, uh rotten, egg?
All the permanent gates to the Abyss are sealed in my homebrew. Occasional evil villains want to open them. That's when you call out the heroes and / or declare a crusade.
For the OP... yes. If it's well written. Most of the stuff written is mediocre or worse, no matter the genre of fantasy. Actually all writing for that matter. If it's well written there is a market. Larger or smaller based on current popular trends.
*edit* If by "highly derivative" you mean badly written, then no. Well, come to think of a number of popular works I've read lately... there probably is a market anyway.