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Besmaran Priest

Riggler's page

267 posts. 8 reviews. No lists. No wishlists.



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Ashiel wrote:

Sean K. Reynolds on the Paizo forums basically admitting to there intentionally being trap options because it's "admirable" to play a character that is going to die in an adventure.

I'm not sure what game Sean is talking about though. D&D/PF is freaking hard. 90% of the game from the bestiary through the environment section is dedicated to making the game harder for everyone involved. It is a game about conflicts and rising above those conflicts. I don't see any of the pregens in the APs running around as 12 Int wizards.

This post hurt me pretty bad and I lost a lot of faith in the design team after it. If I'm buying products from Paizo, I'd rather not have page count wasted on stuff that's only going to hurt my players if they try it, or give them ideas that I'm going to have to homebrew an option that works instead of just letting them take what's in the book.

Vow of Poverty for example drastically hurts the viability of a character (worst of all it hurts monks >:O) which not only means that character is probably going to die pretty easily to the dangers of adventures due to being severely under geared, but it also makes them a drag on the party. In Magic the Gathering, if your deck is loaded with sucky cards your system mastery affects no one else. If you're playing a gimp your decisions can cost someone else their character.

I initially trusted the designers to not feed my players options that are going to hurt them. Someone who takes Vow of Poverty is someone who lacks the system mastery to understand why it's a bad idea, and the idea of punishing people for "roleplaying" as an abominable one from a designer standpoint.

It was a dark day.

I have been saying this for years. If you have hundreds of pages and millions of options and only 10-15% of those options are "optimal" or useful in most situations, then one player at a table who chooses to play optimal style creates an arms race of players. The reason everyone else has to go along is to keep from being irrelevant. And the end result is that 85-90 percent of rules content is useless.

The "average" game table does not consist of gamers like many of the employees at Paizo like to present themselves...as players who make great characters for story and not math. Because as game designers they understand (or should) that game mechanics is just a bunch of numbers and math and the GM can wipe them out at any time. Creating the story is the fun part of RPGing. However, most players are concerned with showing off their intelligence or system mastery or showing off to their friends how uber a hulk they build, or just stealing the spotlight.

So every time the rules team puts out some powerful rules option that is usually the "best" choice it pushes all the "not best choices" into the realm of obscurity. This is why balance in rules options are so important. Not just with every feat or spell, but the combinations of spells and feat and magic items. The correct combinations are much more dangerous to game imbalance than a single feat, item, spell usually are.

This mentality has been present since 3.0 came about and it hasn't ended with Paizo. There is already starting to be an outcry from GMs who have the inability to say "No" to players in regards to published options that Paizo puts out, leading them to desire a reset with a new edition. I personally don't plan on buying another rule line supplement by Paizo. And by requiring me to do so with the Mythic Adventures guarantees I won't be buying Mytic Adventures either. And if the APs go the way of "we have to support our rule line," I'm not such a fanboy that I can't do without the APs either. Put a gun to my head and say buy the rule line or you won't be able to play the AP line, and I'll say I don't need the AP line either then.

It's a cyle. And half the customers who bash me for this stance will feel foolish in a couple of years when they finally realize the rule line has gotten too out of control for them too and wonder how they got sucked in so far. It happened with fans of 3.0 and it happened with 3.5. And it is happening with Paizo.


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I don't know if this occurred to the OP or not. But perhaps the GM is being required to ramp up the encounter design to challenge your PC, because as a player you are playing on a level different from every other player at your table?

If that's the case, then I'd argue it's not the problem of the other players you are playing with and would advise a mirror as a prescriptive measure to find the relief you seek.


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Rules for not breaking APs:
1)Learn to say no to players.
2)Disallow most rulebooks options outside of CRB and APG. See 1. above.
3)Allow only 15 point buy characters.
4)Only allow for 4 PCs unless you know exactly how much to scale up an encounter to account additional PCs (There's a great how-to guide that someone on the boards put up about challenging encounters for PCs, it is much better than anything Paizo has published as it breaks down the math better).

I see so many players come to the boards asking how to make APs harder when they have broken one of the rules above. Most of these issues would go away if the things above were adhered to.

Allowing a PC Undine in Skulls AP, bad idea. It destroys so much of what makes the AP unique and challenging in parts.

Allowing classes that have pets in any AP where you have more than 4 players is just making more work for yourself. Druid animal companions and Summoner pets might as well be a 5th part member, because they are just as strong as another PC.

This AP for most portions are NOT set up to avoid the 15 min. adventuring day. In fact, half of the first half of the AP is designed with exactly one encounter per day expected. After lullying your players into the tempo, a wondering monster or two have they have shot their load of abilities and best spells is a way to change things up and temper that kind of playstyle.

To sum up, most of the work in making sure your PCs don't break an AP comes during character creation and what GMs allow to be brought to the table. The work the GM must do to up encounters can then be dictated by how many players they allow to play in the game. And finally if things are still easy by way of adventure design with PCs that have super abilities that are short-lived, modifications can be made in how encounters are run and wandering monsters are added. Failing all of those things (character creation being the biggest) that leaves you with just adding more numbers to encounters.


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It never came up in my game, but if it did, I would not have allowed them keep a ship captured on the high seas without the minimum crew to run both ships. That's kinda the point in having minimum crew requirements. And it also serves to teach the PCs a lesson about their actions having consequences. Be as evil pirates as you like, but you may well let your evilness cost you -- aka every toy-based cartoon made since 1985.


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In my game, Ultimate Combat and Magic are NPC books unless I approve. No problem whatsoever. The entitlement effect is a major problem with D20 players. DMs only succumb when they need players.

GURPS advised that you only need to stat up NPCs to the point where they will be used in an encounter and no more depth than that is needed. D20 GMs would do well to adopt such philosophy. Otherwise it's a DM v. Player scenario. GURPS releases you from that mentality. And it's made my Pathfinder games multiple times better for it. I'm not tied to "fairness." Fairness is a waste of time. I'm not competing with my players. I'm SUPPOSED to lose as the GM most of the time. The key is entertainment. If "fair" or "even" costs me more time to create or entertainment value, I have no problem with throwing it out the window...and doing so quickly.


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Deviant Diva wrote:
Riggler wrote:
Just because it's been published by Paizo, doesn't mean it's good for the game.
The problem I have constantly ran into with this mindset, Paizo or otherwise, is "good" is a relative term. Hence my mindset of "If I don't like the over-all mindset and chemistry of a group, I leave because I'm the one with the problem, not them~"

As do I.

Understanding that game companies must publish more options for RPGs in order to make money, means that new options are continuously being offered. They know the mindset of their audience to sell the most product to make the most money. They are a business after all. And their goal is to stay in business. TSR did it. Wizards did it. Paizo is/will do it. Put so many options out there that all the GMs throw up their hands and say, "I can't put up with all these options anymore." So then they have a reason to create a NEW edition of the game. Wash/rinse/recycle. The reason Paizo exists is because people LOVED 3.x. But the people running the games yearned for a RESET. Paizo is getting there unless the people running the games grow a backbone and say enough is enough. But that's very hard to do when you are competing for players with the GM down the street will allow anything that's published. Paizo KNOWS this. They will NEVER say it. And they will probably deny it. But their business practices prove otherwise.

And the reason GMs get over all the options is not only that they understand what is going on. Some don't. In a game like RPGs, it is nearly impossible to conceive of all the options that powergamers and system masters put together to break those people at the table's fun.

I have four people at my table. The Role-player expressed concern that he didn't pick the best options because he wanted to play a character and we're all friends so he KNEW two people at the table were taking powerful options. He was concerned that his PC wouldn't be important in combat anymore and I'd have to pull punches to keep his PC alive. Because almost everyone at the table has been a GM, too. They know it's all an illusion. A good GM is an illusionist. A GM can kill a PC at ANY TIME. The trick is to make the players think YOU WANT to kill the PCs, but a GM never actually WANTS to do it. But if I've got a powergamer who picked all the right options and a gamer who KNEW he picked the wrong options as compared to an optomizer, then I DO have a problem. Because it makes the illusion that much harder. Cause math. I think I have the powergamers under control, but I also know that I have to keep a keen eye on them or else they will hurt the other two players' fun.

THAT is why, just because everything that is published is not allowed in my games. The optomizers are going to have fun anyway, because they will approach the limited options as a challenge. As long as I can keep the power levels within the reach of my illusion without the math showing these intelligent players that I'm really performing a magic trick -- all the better.


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Just because it's been published by Paizo, doesn't mean it's good for the game.


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Necro-thread-hate is silly. Search still works on old threads. Some people use search. Some topics just aren't discussed a lot. Hate on starting a new topic about the same thing instead of reviving a necro thread seems more appropriate. Because otherwise you are having to look in two or more different threads for the same little-discussed topic.


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Quatar,

Your question is an alignment question disguised as something else. My campaign rules for my players when I GM'd this game was no Lawful alignments prohibition. I didn't want alignments fighting against the AP. So that was the decision I made in MY game.

In short, the Lawful end of the Lawful/Chaos axis of alignment I considered a much bigger problem for the AP to run smoothly than anything on the Good/Evil axis of alignment. By banning Lawful alignments I made my job a lot easier. That's not to say a Lawful character couldn't thrive here, but a I knew by banning them my players would end up enjoying the AP much better.

To answer your specific questions, in my opinion:
1) They don't HAVE to do anything "evil" per say. Overall the morality of the AP is neutral.
2) They can be as evil as they want to be in the AP without derailing the AP. That said, the derailing can happen. And it can happen by the PCs doing something evil. But it's not the fact that the action was evil that in and of itself makes it a derailing. PCs of any moral alignment can derail this AP. But it's not the alignment that will cause the derail.


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danmasucci wrote:

My players have been capturing ships and recruiting a lot of sailors. The rules make it difficult to sink ships so when it comes to ship to ship combat they trounce the opposition presented in the books (finishing Raiders on the Fever Sea) and take their crew and ships.

This is making them become pretty high powered. I want them to feel like heroes but I feel like the AP isn't challenging them. Especially developing a fleet so early. Would love to hear your thoughts and experiences.

It's a shame some of these GM reference threads get way off base and into campaign logs. Makes it difficult to find GM reference material.

Once you go down the path of allowing a group to create a "fleet" I can imagine that it would be difficult to go back. This is one aspect of the RotFS that DMs need to keep a close eye on. For other GMs that might experience this, first I'll into how to stop it from happening.

1) Adhere strictly to the Crew recruitment rules. Allow crew recruitment rolls once per port of call and once per ship captured. Influxes of slaves (if players choose that option) suffer supply vs. demand price fluctuations.

2) If players stay in ports all the time instead of pirating to increase crew members, crew members may abandon the ship. Get restless. Get into trouble. In other words, attrition.

3) Ships require crew. Assume the crew compliment allows for a day of travel and not around the clock travel unless they double the crew of a ship. Bad things can happen on a ship in the ocean when no one is prepared. Like attrition, for example.

4) Every port of call should have you paying 1 point of plunder. That reduces plunder, which reduces benefits. If you do get to the point where they keep a ship instead of selling it for plunder, which means you've probably let crew get out of hand, charge them a plunder per operating ship.

5) Discuss with your players that right now, the AP is about a group of upstart pirates. If they want to be accepted among the Free Captains. they are going to have to get plunder and especially infamy. More plunder means easier infamy. More crew and ships means more upkeep, which means less plunder, which means less infamy.

6) Keep dangling the goals in front of them through either Player/GM discussions or through NPCs. Gain infamy. Break the rock. Get accepted as "real" pirates aka Free Captains.

Now for solutions, and these solutions are based on the fact that a fleet shouldn't even be crossing their minds at this point.. To solve the issue you are having, you have to counter-balance the situation by perhaps being a bit more cruel.

1) Chexlian Man-o-Wars. There is one stated up in this adventure. Have it find them in the open seas. The captain of the vessel and other officers are not even stated up in this module. Make it cost them ships, to set the stage back to where it should be at this point. There is always a bigger fish in the sea solution I.

2) There is always a bigger fish in the sea solution II. Use the ghost ship to eliminate a ship the PCs have little presence on.

3) Mutiny. Either the PCs are split to keep this at bay, but the entire crew could probably overpower a single PC. Or they are all on one ship, and the crews could easily mutiny against another. This especially makes sense as a correction if you've been a bit lax on the crew recruitment rules. And it can set up a future plot hook. The PCs have their Harrigan and now the PCs are also someone else's Harrigan.

4) Wandering encounter with massive sea creature. Unleash the Kraken.

5) Raise the DC for infamy checks. It's one thing to impress a group in a port when you overcome a foe with one ship. It's very non-impressive to overtake a solo ship with a fleet.

6) Talk to your players as a GM and explain that there will be time for fleet action later. This section of the AP just isn't about that.

In my experience the best solution in both of these situations were the crew recruitment rules, dropping some hints, and having player that understood them, and occasionally just talking to them as adults. So I never really had much problem with these things as I've run RotFS. And frankly, after a point, the players got bored rather quickly of raiding ships and wanted to get on with the story.


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Does anyone ever see someone play a Kitsune with any class combo other than a sorcerer, oracle, bard or rogue? I'd doubt it happens often. And if it is exceptionally rare to play that race and some other class than the four I mentioned, then I have to argue if the player is really interested in playing the race or are they interested in the ability score modifiers the race provides? You just are not going to convince me it's about the flavor of the race unless they only pick to race to enhance their class choice -- especially in a point buy character creation model.

I would say that all the other race options present the same situation. There are plenty of other ways to optimize the game. If the game made all races have a +2 ability modifier of your choice, period, I bet you'd see a lot less desire to play the expanded races.


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A GM not allowing the strongest three animal companions in his game is completely reasonable. When those three animal companions can outshine or nearly match a fighter throughout the game and the player still has his druid actions to control, they are simply unbalanced. Let him walk.


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Just hoping this ends up being what I thought Legacy of Fire would be. Traditional, Desert of Desolation-style epic.


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Thelemic_Noun wrote:
Riggler wrote:
It happens as frequently as the story requires it.
e.g "Rule of Cool," as I mentioned in my first post. I'm trying to get a handle on what the baseline is before I change it to fit the needs of the story.

True. But you also put your question in the context of world-building. And from that perspective I'm also saying that I think you are looking for an answer to a problem of your own creation that I don't think exists -- in the context of world-building.

If the world only exists to tell the story of the stars, the PCs. There may only be 4 active shadows on the world at a given time...and they are in the Lost Halls of Darkness. There's only three wrights in the world right now, although there are stories of others that have risen and been defeated, there are only three right now and they are in the deceased Necromancer Dorian Germooth. For which the PCs will face when they are level 4.


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It happens as frequently as the story requires it.


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Mummy's Mask
The Half-dead City (1 of 6)
Empty Graves (2 of 6)
Shifting Sands (3 of 6)
Secrets of the Sphinx (4 of 6)
The Slave Trenches of Hakotep (5 of 6)
Pyramid of the Sky Pharaoh (6 of 6)

Source: google books


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Then again, lizard-men and humans worked on V: The Series.


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I blame Cosmo for making it impossible to search the messageboards for things concerning Cosmo that are do not relate to this thread.


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brvheart wrote:
Rum Ration. There has been a lot of talk about the rum ration and the option of serving the newbies grog. Well a pirate is more likely to drink bumbo than grog and it was usually a mix of sugar, water and rum. Not that pirates didn't get drunk often, sometimes enough for the ship to be easy prey but the single ration was unlikely to cause con damage to someone with a CON of +2 or better being at least 1/3 water. This should cut the equivalent drinks down to 5 for a ration. Now playing heave would still obviously be an issue with the usual affects. I am going to rule for my game that if they only drink their ration if they make their fort save they don't take any damage and are only fatigued. If they fail then they take the damage.

Changing the rum damage to 1 Con seems to take care of the problem in its entirity, while still achieving the desire effect.

The desired story effect: A docile crew who doesn't cause trouble at night and stays in line.

Mechanical means to desired effect: Fatigued plus 1 Con damage means that early to bed and early to rise gets rid of fatigue and 24 hours later the 1 Con damage is healed.

Of course my group found solutions to their rum "problem" within about two nights unless they wanted to drink the rum for its beneficial nature. Funny thing is one night they "tricked" an NPC into drinking the PC's rum ration, thereby boosting his Cha score and making him more difficult to influence. They failed diplomacy and he turned hostile because of the improved Cha score modifying the DC.


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I only discovered the Pawn line about a week ago and already have the B1 and S&S sets. (B/c I'm running S&S and B1 was just about as cheap as buying bases.

I'll be buying these for any AP I run in the future. My only wish is that, as least for S&S it included more of the NPCs. I would have paid much more for not having to scrounge for mini's to represent.

So my wish list item, is when you do an AP set make it Beastiary size and up the price. It will be worth it.


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The GM does not have to play by the rules. So, yes, all the baddies just hit better. You can spend all your time with all the reasons why this baddie hits better than the other one, but there's no point to it.

After doing D&D for 20+ years, I read GURPS advice for GMs. The rules are in place to put the players on equal footing, not for a GM.

So yes, you can spend 20 hours a week coming up with a backstory about the guy who drank a magic potion, this other guy is on drugs, this other guy has a greater stat block, the other guy has two feats other than the useless ones in his statblock.

Or....

You can just say it is, cause you are the GM. The GM can ALWAYS crush the players at any time. The MAGIC of GMing is to make it look like you can't and to not.


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Mortuum wrote:

Nope. You're trying to have your cake and eat it there.

You're telling me I'm a bad GM because you wouldn't enjoy my game (which is not made for you to enjoy, by the way), but also claiming that's just your opinion.

You also said that without a "poor GM", unusually powerful builds only show up because of braggarts playing pathfinder like a videogame in a deliberate attempt to steal the spotlight from their friends.

Either my players and I are wrong and bad or you and I just have different but equally valid tastes and each do what's right for ourselves and our groups. The two possibilities are mutually exclusive.

Please be consistent, non-judgemental or quite.

My apologies if I offended you.

I'll stick to the points. I think there is a lot of power creep in Paizo's products, especially in the last 18 months. And I think there are ways that if a DM doesn't like it, they can easily keep it out of their games.


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Power Creep in published Paizo products has reached a severe level, IMO. It did that with the Ultimate books.

Not counting Organzied Play, Power Creep only enters games where one of two things occur:

1) There are many games in town and players prefer to play video-game style braggerts who's only point in playing the game is to build something that steals the spotlight from their friends thereby requirng a GM to give in to keep players or;

2) A GM who doesn't ban books, classes, feats and COMBINATIONS of abilities that on their own aren't bad until combined with something else that makes them especially powerful.

In my opinion, a GM who says "I'll allow anything Paizo publishes in my games" is a poor GM. And frankly, not one that I would enjoy playing with very much.

My method to avoid Power Creep:
A) I tell my players what is allowed.
B) I tell them anything else I have to approve it first.
C) I tell them they are smart enough to know if its power creep and if that's the choices they present to me I have no problem singing them a chorus of no's until I'm blue in the face.
D) Lastly, if I'm inudated with requrest for approval of things that are over-powered compared to the baseline CRB, we'll just go back to core and I'll have peace.


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Any classed NPC should be experienced enough to be wary of a group of adversaries accompanied by animals (with the exception of horses). I know my PCs are. Why shouldn't others who have "experienced" the world?

That said, the Gmay be taregeting your familier too much.

But another option, the GM may have a grander story option planned.


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Pathfinder SRD said regarding Heal wrote:


Long-Term Care: Providing long-term care means treating a wounded person for a day or more. If your Heal check is successful, the patient recovers hit points or ability score points lost to ability damage at twice the normal rate: 2 hit points per level for a full 8 hours of rest in a day, or 4 hit points per level for each full day of complete rest; 2 ability score points for a full 8 hours of rest in a day, or 4 ability score points for each full day of complete rest.

You can tend to as many as six patients at a time. You need a few items and supplies (bandages, salves, and so on) that are easy to come by in settled lands. Giving long-term care counts as light activity for the healer. You cannot give long-term care to yourself.

Action: Providing first aid, treating a wound, or treating poison is a standard action. Treating a disease or tending a creature wounded by a spike growth or spike stones spell takes 10 minutes of work. Treating deadly wounds takes 1 hour of work. Providing long-term care requires 8 hours of light activity.

Pathfinder SRD said regarding ability damage wrote:
Unless otherwise noted, damage to your ability scores is healed at the rate of 1 per day to each ability score that has been damaged.
Pathfinder SRD said regarding drugs wrote:
As ability score damage heals at a rate of 1 point per day, a drug that causes 1 point of ability score damage remains in a character's system for 1 day, though some might cause greater damage and thus remain active for longer.
Pathfinder SRD said regarding addiction wrote:
Anytime a character takes a drug he must make a saving throw, noted in the drug's description, to resist becoming addicted. If a character makes the save, he is not addicted and the effects of the drug persist as normal. If he fails the save, he contracts the noted form of addiction (see below). Should a character take multiple doses of the same drug in a short period of time addiction becomes more difficult to resist. The DC of a drug's saving throw increases by +2 every time a character takes a another dose of that drug while still suffering from ability damage caused by a previous dose. Keep track of how high this DC rises, even for characters already addicted to a drug, as it determines the DC necessary to overcome the disease.

The primary problem here is that a day is defined under ACTIONS in the Heal skill as 8 hours (which is shorter than any day I've ever heard of). And a day is suggested to be more akin to 24 hours in the Drug rules.

But let's go back to basics:
Ability damage: Healed 1 point per day
Drug ability damage: Healed at 1 point per day
Long-term healing: May be adminstered by treating a patient for 1 day or more
Proving Long-term healing action: Requires 8 hours of light activity
Long-term healing ability score of 2 points: Requires 8 hours of rest in a day
Long-term healing ability score of 4 points: Requires a full day of complete rest

So if I understand this correctly....
1. Patient action: Stays up 24 hours. Healer action: Nothing
Patient Result: Heals 1 point of ability points @ 24 hours
2. Patient action: Regular day and sleeps 8 hours. Healer action: Nothing
Patient Result: Heals 1 point of ability points @ 24 hours
3. Patient action: Regular day and sleeps 8 hours. Healer action: LTC (8 hours of light activity)
Patient Result: Heals 2 points of ability points @ 24 hours
4. Patient action: Complete rest during day and sleeps 8 hours. Healer action: LTC (8 hours of light activity)
Patient Result: Heals 4 points of ability points @ 24 hours.

I know that people who have been playing this game for decades as I have, probably as I have rewarded damage recovery (hp and later editions ability point damage) after 8 hours of rest. But given the rules as written for long-term care, ability damage, and drug (plus addition rules not included here) seem to suggest that at least ability damage must be recovered on a 24 hour schedule instead of an 8 hour schedule.


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Throughout most editions of the game, the divine and arcane scrolls are not interchangeable between classes. The historical flavor of this is that arcane scrolls are complex math formulas and the divine scrolls are prayers that one with faith can manifest. There is nothing in the Pathfinder rules that seems to contradict this historical nature of the game and certainly could more easily be argued that this tradition stands rather than has been changed.


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I think the rules are pretty clear on this. Combat doesn't happen without initiative. Even surprise rounds.

RD's hears something and want to throw a Fireball. Then those aware of the encounter is underway roll init. In this case, it would be RD and the diviner. Yes, the diviner could go first before the Fireball is launched. RD's PC's high perception actually MAKES the diviner better at getting the low down. Now the Diviner may not know a target or even a general direction, but the Diviner knows he's in a surprise round of combat and can act.

It's not punishing the god-like perception score by allowing the Diviner to go first in the surprise round if the Diviner wins init. It would be punishing the Diviner, not to.


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I'll never have a need for 20+ level material. The game's math seems to break down between 15-20th level anyway. Some material to assist the game system's flaw 15-20 might be of some use, however.

I'll never buy a 20+ level epic book for pathfinder.


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Dragnmoon wrote:
Kortz wrote:
I always roll for stats because it's more authentic. My method is to roll one hundred complete sets of stats and pick the one that fits my concept. This avoids the cookie-cutter aspect of point buys used by lesser roleplayers.
Hey... watch it or the next game will be a 15 Point buy! ;)

15 point buy? Hmph. I must be the worst DM E-V-E-R. My poor players are forced to use a 12 point buy. *Gasp* *Shock* *Horror* How ever will they survive?


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