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Nice review! Consider leaving the same post in the review section as well to increase visibility for others planning on running it.
pH unbalanced wrote:
Agreed; discoveries didn't used to be as effective in some of the earlier influence scenarios, but in the UI version, they've become a strong early-game tactic. Heck, discovery of influence checks might even be giving effective bonuses of +10 (or more, if you have a character better at the easiest influence skill than they are at Diplomacy) due to the lower DC, which means if you would have succeeded without the discovery, you're guaranteed to get two successes with the discovery, causing it to pay for itself.
Kevin Willis wrote:
Saying it's not retroactive while the ring is off is more lenient for this combination, but it's less lenient for a character who wanted to remove->replace->remove->replace->remove->replace the ring in order to successively recover all their ability damage and drain (or pass it around the party and remove everything). Being preventative also seems like how it's meant to work to me based on the wording of the ring.
It looks like it's preventative (mentions "prevents" and "the wearer takes") and doesn't retroactively remove penalties, damage, and drain (like you can't pass it around the party to negate penalties and ability damage after the fact) so I think you should be able to remove, drink, replace.
A good rule of thumb I've found is that if you're in the experimentation phase and looking to stack two archetypes / replacement options and you have to ask yourself which order to apply the two because that would change things, you've definitely selected two options that alter the same feature and don't stack (that's not the only way to figure it out, but it's something that's helped me notice that's what I was doing in the past). This is generally more clearcut when you are trying to add an extra layer to this mix that also replaces speak with animals of its kind (for instance, Improved Familiar); with all three in the mix, it definitely doesn't work.
Awesome! The kitsune emissary and the intelligent katana that upgrades as you progress the relationship should both be a lot of fun, and I'm guessing the latter will be super useful for GMs who want to use it as a prototype to create their own intelligent items that upgrade their power based on relationship ranks!
Eric Hinkle wrote:
You could definitely use it there, but you'd need to add in a plot element to cover the source of the malaise.
It seems to me that if you miss by 1 or 2, then reroll only a d4, the worst you could do is missing by 4 or 5 (if the d4 was a 4 and then became a 1 on the reroll), so if it decreased to missing by 8, it must have rerolled everything. Unless he's saying that on the reroll, it rolled just the d4 and then ignored his other dice altogether.
EDIT: Ninjaed by Keith.
If the current format of sample relationships doesn't pan out...well, as an alternative, what about general relationship toolkits for themes? Milestones, boons, etc. for piratey, viking, far eastern, varisian, urban, horror, kingdom building campaigns, for example (with, perhaps, nods to when in Skull & Shackles they'd be appropriate). You know, thematic expansions? They'd still retain usefulness for APs and have a broader appeal for people not using APs? Since the base system sells well, perhaps taking the focus from the particular into the broad may be an option. Just an idea, of course!
Hmm. That's an interesting idea. Off-hand, I don't think that would work. Each character is different based on that character's story and personality, and so I don't think generic milestones without characters in mind would be fully possible. You could list a skill and a DC, but UR itself tells you how to calculate those DCs, and the main thing is you couldn't really have the character bio information and breakthroughs. I try to write products that I would be excited to use for my games, and it's the human element of these NPCs that really make me excited about the ones I've written so far. It's probably not surprising that the base system is going to have to sell at least somewhat better than the products that use it (since you need the base system to use them, so it has to be more), and part of it might simply be a factor of rules systems and subsystems selling more than worked-out examples because not as many GMs are confident that they can create a new system from scratch as are confident they can use the system to create stuff themselves. It's interesting, and it does show that splitting Ultimate and Imperial Relationships (at one point way way back it was a single product, and back even before that when I first imagined it, before I worked at Paizo or had the idea picked up by Legendary, I even had the insane idea to have the whole UR line as one enormous compilation product with the rules and the 50+ relationships) was a really good idea, even though it leaves UR without any worked-out examples.
A few of the NPCs I made up for my home game of a Far Eastern AP would be even more generically useful, though I believe that all three relationship singles in the Ultimate Relationships line so far are usable in a wide range of games (the least generically usable is probably the Viking Shieldmaiden, even though she isn't actually a Far Eastern character herself).
With your Winter AP line starting up (two products, anxiously waiting on more...), any updates on the possibility/timeline for a Winter Relationships book...
I will say that, if we do find a way to keep doing these, two of the NPCs in my archives, while I wrote them for my Far Eastern home game, are perfect for a Winter AP
Very Mild Spoilers for both APs and/or spoilers of possible future relationships:
A huldra masquerade reveler struggling with the idea of mortality after murdering someone she loved expecting they would come back like in Faerie and a winter wolf trapped in human form by magical experimentation who thus has identity disphoria.
Imperial is in between, but considering it released alongside UltRel as the only source of UltRel-style NPC write-ups at the time, I'd expect it to have a bump. It also involved four NPCs that people would be extremely likely to want to use with relationship rules and had some other differences.
Thanks so much for the kind words and for the review of ImpRel (I'll probably talk about it more in the ImpRel thread)!
Yup. The secret for GMs with this system is that you don't have to do all the work of detailing all 10 ranks right away; just figure out the overall arc and then keep yourself ahead of the PCs' interest in the NPC (or perhaps challenge yourself on the fly and don't come up with the overall arc even). This allowed me to have 54+ of these for my home game without expending impossible amounts of effort, since most of them the PCs didn't pursue very far. But the "First Rule of Dungeoncraft" method doesn't work for a published product, and making one of these that's really thoughtful and expresses the NPC's personality takes a while.
@Sales stuff: That's almost entirely right (the other discussion of that has been in the Cassisian Detective thread). One difference is that Legendary usually actually works with royalties rather than rates, if you're wondering about why I said the low sales led to personal burnout for me on finishing the later singles, rather than it leading to someone at Legendary being hesitant on ordering more. Without getting into numbers, I will say that the singles take me generally longer per word than most things I write and have by last check made if I recall somewhere around 10x less per word than my usual per-word rate (Compare to the main UR which has made more than my usual per-word rate; so lots of people are excited about the system, they just haven't been buying the singles). So assuming synergy from having more options out there cancelled out fatigue (which is most likely being generous), it would take 10 of the singles to equal the main rules. Now, that was before this new sale, and the number is always slowly increasing, so things might change, and I will say I'm thrilled by the reception to these main rules!
So looks like it did go up! There's five or so other small changes like that, and all together, they cover everything you need for a different style of campaign set-up. Though they be but little, they are fierce. They cover both your and Endz's requests in that regard.
The Raven Black wrote:
I do have a list, but I figure that might just be a tease for now given the uncertain future of the line.
FWIW, I hope sales pick up. I really, really love these.
I don't know if it will help sell these or not, but maybe you could take a look at the updated Ultimate Relationships: "Endzeitgeist Edition", now with specific rules for adapting if you're not running an AP or campaign arc. More likely it will help with the main UR instead, but there could be some product synergy!
Glad you enjoyed! I happen to think these are super-useful too, having used them for my home game with much success among my players. So far, they haven't sold enough to justify the number of hours of work they take (it's a big reason why I stalled out on Kitsune Emissary, which I've had half done since October), but I think more reviews will surely help out!
Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.
Thanks for the review EZG! Also of note vis-a-vis the review, The Silence Between and Verity are different empyreal lords (the former is a CG azata, the latter is LG archon, and of course, our detective is a NG angel), so things are even more complex for him :D.
Yep, generally, lines structured like "At Xlevel, she learns how to/discovers the secrets of/some other descriptive verb explaining slightly in-world about picking up the ability..." are flavor overviews of the ability in the following sentences.
Draco Bahamut wrote:
If you and the players are ready to spend a lot of time on NPC relationships, then UR works well with a large cast. In my Jade Regent group, the PCs had over 30 active friendly NPCs with this system (the UR singles line with the Lonely Lyrakien and so on are inspired by the relationship rank-ups I built for those NPCs). Rank 4 seems like the right point to accept a kingdom role, but that means the PCs need to make sure to spend milestones with the early NPCs like Oleg and Svetlana (and even someone like the Old Bel Dame if they need a caster). Since the Kingmaker campaign traits aren't based on relationships, no one will start at rank 2 either.
If so, then it's lucky we use mean rather than mode for "average", or else you'd be dealing minimum damage when you take the average!
It's also a useful feat if you happen to know that the average is enough.
For instance, let's say that you're toting a greataxe with 18 Strength, for 1d12+6. You're in a fight with some mooks that you know have 11 hp from the last time you dropped a mook. With Measured Response, you drop the foe unconscious automatically, whereas without it, your chances of doing so are only 7/12 (1/12 to disable at 0 hp).
I think he's talking about using an ability to temporarily gain the feat whenever he wants to enhance it or buy ammo, but then never having the feat in normal play.
You might consider mining Ultimate Commander's general class, which has a troop as part of its mechanics. Not that you necessarily use the class, but rather, it has a bunch of different options for the troop based on what sorts of units the general picks, and you can just mine those for your troops.
Or a sign that the pregen was at a table with some seriously underpowered or unprepared PC's. Or, he could also mean that the pregen was at the right place at the right time to keep the scenario from getting out of control. Let's not jump to conclusions here.
For the strengthy bruiser pregens, the interesting thing is that sometimes it's all down to what the character is wielding in the art. For instance, Zadim's main advantage over Valeros was that he's pictured with two kukris and not a longsword and shortsword, and Oloch and Crowe are pictured with greatsword and earthbreaker, vs Amiri having a size Large bastard sword that gives her a -2 to hit. Once you're hitting things with a greatsword or earthbreaker with your high stat in Strength, you're already in a great place.
I've seen Crowe carry a table of prepared and powerful PCs that were all about buffs and debuffs, but the three of them knew sitting down that they needed a melee pregen to make the 4th, and that they were going to make that pregen shine thanks to their excellent buffs and debuffs. They each got to have fun doing what their characters do, and the table went well. It would have been even better if it was a new player who got to feel awesome instead of just the GM-controlled 4th.
To me, trying to apply a familiar archetype on that necro-ed familiar seems like the horn-blower trying to apply barbarian archetypes on the barbarians she summons with horn of valhalla. Several of the archetypes (like emissary and figment) actually give an origin story to the familiar that directly conflicts with necromantic focus. That said, familiar archetypes aren't a concept that exists in the RPG line, where necromantic focus appeared, so it wouldn't be possible for necromantic focus to directly address them.
Andrew Shumate wrote:
This discussion should probably move to another thread. However, it does say that:
Flask of Reconcoction wrote:
If a potion in the flask is poured out of the flask, rather than drunk directly from it, the flask does not reconcoct that potion.
Alch alloc specifically indicates that you have to spit it back into its container, not another container.
Alchemical Allocation wrote:
you can spit it back into its container as a free action.
Could you post as Rogue Eidolon, to make your unofficial status clear?
I also do that sometimes when I post in other threads. Based on experience, it won't help in the particular situation of FAQ follow-ups (in fact it's in some ways even worse) because confusion is not the only reason not to do them. What you'll see next is that (to use butter-side up and butter-side down as an example to illustrate) that if I post butter-side up as Rogue Eidolon, Yooks will use this to flare up butter-side up stance, saying that this definitively proves BSU, while Zooks will point out that I chose to post as Rogue Eidolon, thus either proving BSD or at least weakening BSU because otherwise I would have posted as Mark Seifter.
N. Jolly wrote:
I bet I know why you had to end up scrapping the AoMF for blasts; same reason I did in Occult: The math. It throws off three different balances. 1) Physical vs. Energy (and in so doing, element balance), 2) Blade/Whip vs. Ranged, 3) Kineticist vs. Other Characters (especially physical melee kineticist or annihilator). That said, since it's something people who don't check the math and just think about what they want think about, I'd say a 3pp book with a disclaimer or warning about these things (like in Secrets of the Masquerade Reveler how I put a disclaimer warning that reveler evolutions are dangerous to allow for regular eidolons, but you can if you want) is actually a great (maybe the best) way to handle it. Eventually, someone who doesn't check the math as much as you did is just going to put one out without a disclaimer (that's what I sometimes worry about myself).
I'm interested in this topic because I'm considering starting a Wrath game with my home group, and I'm definitely going to be modding the rules, particularly the specific abilities you mentioned were on my list (other than reading MVS like deinol, though even then, I've seen MVS acting rather ridiculously), with very similar planned fixes (my fix for surges, for instance, is to make them a "surge" action that is once per round but separate from swift/immediate). I've used mythic a fair amount for adversaries and seen it in that one PFS scenario for PCs, but I don't have tons of non-theoretical experience with mythic PCs yet. Still, it's good to know that your group is having issues with some of the same abilities I had flagged in my read-through.
I'm also worried about abilities like recuperation and sustained by faith that refresh everything more times in a day.
Posted here just as a regular GM, interested in modding mythic for my game, not a designer or anything; this system was written way before I got here.
Indeed, many thanks Oliver. I love the imagery in the way you liken the breakthroughs to boss fights in all your reviews, and I've used that imagery from your review in conversation myself after your review of the original UR.
Reviews always make me want to finish more, and the morale bonus increases my speed, so it's definitely true that more reviews means more URs sooner!
When I first saw the pride emotional focus, I thought some of the benefits were really strong (double morale bonuses, holy cow!), but then I realized that you're really likely to wind up failing a passively-required check and lose the benefits (and take penalties), whether it's failing a Perception check against one out of eight monsters who rolled really high on Stealth (and thus acting on the surprise round but not knowing about the eighth guy), failing a Sense Motive against something's Bluff, etc, so I'd suggest caution with using it (it also prevents you from ever Taking 20 while the benefits are up, since there is always a consequence of failure). It could be quite effective on a phantom, where you could have it in your consciousness and not able to attempt any checks (and thus fail them), but it's trickier if it's on your main character (plus you can't avoid morale bonuses as a bloodrager).
Thanks for the review Malwing!
I had the pleasure of running a one shot with a reveler in it since the last time I came to this thread, and I was quite pleased with how much out of combat narrative stuff the reveler was contributing during the party's investigations, through skill masks with Task Reveler and especially liberal use of speak with plants when appropriate. Certainly more than a "normal" barbarian. I hadn't really given a reveler to someone outside of my own group until then, so I hadn't seen how it would work for someone who was less familiar with it.
Thanks so much for the review Oliver!
When running rank-ups, keep in mind that rank-ups can be used as a flat ability check at a lower DC (For instance, DC 28 skill checks = DC 19 ability check, though if it's trained-only there is an increase) and that you receive a cumulative +2 bonus for each attempt at a rank-up, so by design, if you keep at it, you are eventually guaranteed to succeed; it just might take a while. If she has affinity for you, you get a +2 on everything and need fewer CP to reach the next rank, so her affinity for fighters and skalds also has a mechanical effect of assisting them a good deal.
Mark Stratton wrote:
That was always my inclination as well (otherwise why would it matter, anyway?), but then the rules say it's for natural fly speeds only, putting it into table variation. Maybe someone should start a thread in the rules forum; if or when there's enough interest in the FAQ queue, I'd be happy to have us Design team members take a look at FAQing it.
Here's the weird thing about it. As written, it seems it's only for natural fliers, but if so, then there is literally no effect of maneuverability whatsoever for magical fliers, so things like wings of lesser flying, which are currently priced as if their bad maneuverability is a drawback, get out of jail free.