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Ross Byers

Ross Byers's page

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32. RPG Superstar 2014 Star Voter. Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 9,437 posts (10,094 including aliases). 3 reviews. 2 lists. 1 wishlist. 8 aliases.


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RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dave Gross wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
Nargemn wrote:
In addition to the fact he's not too shabby with a rapier, so he might even have a fighter level.

I agree that as of the end of Kings of Chaos Varian is looking a lot like an arcanist (in Queen of Thorns he was more like a Magus.)

But no matter how many lessons he got from Blackjack or in the fencing club at Lepistat, I don't think he's ever had fighter levels. In Hell's Pawns and Prince of Wolves, his sword proficiency comes from his Aristocrat levels.

Ross, you know you could probably stroll over to Sutter's office and get an advanced peek, right?

I haven't been able to do that for awhile now. But hey, Sutter, you know where to find me, yeah?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Nargemn wrote:
In addition to the fact he's not too shabby with a rapier, so he might even have a fighter level.

I agree that as of the end of Kings of Chaos Varian is looking a lot like an arcanist (in Queen of Thorns he was more like a Magus.)

But no matter how many lessons he got from Blackjack or in the fencing club at Lepistat, I don't think he's ever had fighter levels. In Hell's Pawns and Prince of Wolves, his sword proficiency comes from his Aristocrat levels.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Orfamay Quest wrote:
A cure disease spell costs about $15,000.... which is something that most people could come up with in an emergency, but not exactly pocket change.

And it fits well with what going to an emergency room or a minor surgery might cost in the real world. (My rule of thumb for 1 gp is more like $50 than $100, but for similar reasons.)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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It's just how the character shapes the magic.

In my mind, divine magic is 'top down': controlling and shaping it is about taking something larger than oneself and getting it to do the desired task. That bigger something is often a deity or demigod (and has to be, in the clerical style*), but can also be any powerful abstract. 'Nature' for druids and rangers. 'Justice' for paladins. Ancestor spirits, elements, and more for shaman and oracles.

In contrast, arcane magic is 'bottom up': knowing the secrets of reality to borrow, cheat, and exploit the rules to make something out of nothing. Wizards, alchemists, and magi all have to keep long books that allow them to reconstruct their spells step-by-step each day. Witches do the same thing, but by conferring with a patron instead of writing in a book. Bards are a bit more freestyling, but don't draw their power wholesale from a larger concept. Sorcerers, summoners, and bloodragers all draw an inkling of power from somewhere else, but they have to know how to amplify it and build it up into a spell.

*:
In Golarion, at least, Clerics, Inquisitors, and Warpriests all draw power from a specific deity or demigod. Other campaign settings may vary.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Oly wrote:
You've already had time to copy the contents, so 5,000 gp is a bargain for what you got; and since you've copied the contents,

Copying spells from a spellbook takes a spellcraft check of 15 + spell level and spell level + 1 hours.

That's not an extremely difficult check by any means, but a day or two will hardly be enough time to copy a spellbook that caps out at 8th level spells.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Vic Wertz wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
We do still expect to have it in time for the February shipment. There are still ongoing delays from dockworker strikes up and down the West Coast, though, so there's plenty of opportunities for us to be foiled again!
So, yeah, that dockworker strike did indeed cause a delay, and it's currently set to arrive too late for February. It's now slated for March, though I will again add that since it's not in our warehouse right now, no guarantees at this point...

It sucks to be right sometimes.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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The alignment debate is sort of immaterial here. It doesn't matter what alignment the OP's character or his victim's supposed or actual alignments are. He's asking for advice to maximize his chances of survival if Mr. Has-8th-level-spells-in-his-spellbook doesn't stay dead and holds grudges.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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You won because you weren't on his radar and got lucky. That's not going to happen again.

Your best shot is to let him kill you, but come back from the dead. Well, you have to go out swinging, because he has to believe you're playing for keeps.

Once you come back (scroll of raise dead by your cleric ally, whatever), start operating under a different name so he has no reason to think you're not dead. Changing your face might also be helpful. Reincarnate is one of the more cost-effective ways to come back from the dead, especially at your level. The new face, fingerprints, and such are a free bonus. On good terms with any druids?

Also, start copying that spellbook now, if you can, because he's going to take it back when you're dead.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Insain Dragoon wrote:
Honestly they should just hire a community manager to deal with situations like this instead of having one of the developers 'wasting' time to respond to community concerns.

I agree, that would help handle situations like this.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Nobody likes Raichu anyway.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Tels wrote:
Especially since Paizo was apparently over-worked at the time with Sean's departure, but Jason still had enough time to launch products for Minotaur Games. Unless he decided he simply didn't need sleep and worked round the clock on Paizo and Minotaur products.

Minotaur is Jason's own brand. He works on it on his own time. He's salaried: he doesn't get overtime. Paizo doesn't own his nights and weekends.

Or is your position that if Paizo wants to give him 120 hours a week of work that he's not allowed to do anything for himself?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Set wrote:

So I just read the River of Souls article in AP 34 (which was awesome, and neatly addressed stuff like 'why does Pharasma oh-so-conveniently never judge/sort people before they get resurrected'), and noticed a bit about outsiders 'quintessence' sort of flowing back (eventually) to the Maelstrom or their plane-of-residence if they are destroyed, and that tied interestingly to the bit about souls kind of 'showing up' when a new mortal is born.

Would it be possible for someone to explain their infernal bloodline sorcery to be the result of an imp dying somewhere in their hometown of Korvosa the night of their birth, and part of its 'quintessence' getting mixed up with it's fledgling soul?

Similarly, could the death of demons in the Worldwound/Mendev area, and lingering abyssal quintessence swirling around the area, having not yet spiraled into the giant crapper that is the Worldwound, have some sort of effect on local mortal births (perhaps both humanoids and animals), as they 'get a little bit of demon in them,' resulting in everything from a completely normal child of two mortals being born a half-demon (woops, got a big chunk of demon in that one!), or a tiefling, or with a gift for abyssal bloodline sorcery (or bloodragery, or whatever), or just freakish events like chicken eggs cracking open to reveal crawling eyeballs or two-headed calves with people faces?

That would be kind of neat, and lead to some interesting story options, particularly in the Worldwound / Mendev area, or devil-haunted Cheliax (where a particularly ambitious/callous/strange sort of parent might arrange to have a few imps or lemures called up and ganked just before the birth of their latest little bundle of joy, to give the infant an infernal advantage baked in from the start, as it's newly forming / arriving soul is awash in infernal soulstuff/quintessence...), or even Qadira / Katapesh, home to both lots of genie-summoners *and* lots of Ifrits, Sylphs, Undines and Oreads, perhaps not-so-coincidentally.

I've always assumed that as many sorcerer/native-outsider bloodlines were the result of this kind of 'pollution' as actual interbreeding (I mean, in a Pathfinder world, we know Lamarckian evolution and the Principle of Contagion are real things.)

Your point about an imp being slain in Korvosa raises an interesting scenario: The Infernal bloodline makes a bigger deal about diabolic pacts than devilish blood. We also know that devils are callous, cruel, and often consider minions expendable. I imagine a parent praying for their child to be successful and have power. The response is to send an imp with a silver knife, and instructions that the father must kill the imp when the mother's water breaks. That makes him complicit in the 'blessing' in a way that would please Asmodeus.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Oof. Good luck with surgery, and I can advise you that watching Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes on Netflix is a good way to pass the time while sitting very still with a bag of frozen peas on your shoulder.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Battle peegs?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Sara Marie wrote:
redacted: That moment when you realize that your review for Adventure Card Game Deck 4 titled "This is the worst lasagna I've tried" was accidentally done on the live website vrs the test environment.

While there were many layers, they were very chewy and there wasn't any sauce to speak of?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Greylurker wrote:
with book off to printers and what not will we be seeing any previews soon?

If we get previews, they'll probably be closer to the book's April release. No point in burning out hype too quickly. If I had to guess, February-ish.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Of the three, only Weaving has the forehead for the role.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Sara Marie wrote:

liz: Can we get Alan Rickman to do our voice messages?

liz: Because Alan Rickman = Karzoug

I'm still going with Hugo Weaving.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014

4 people marked this as a favorite.
James Raine wrote:
Announced on the 20th, eh? I turn 31 on the 21st. Howsabout y'all give me a very happy birthday and put me in the top 32 for my gift? ;)

They're saving that for your 32nd birthday.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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This bug from last year is still around when I try to view the rules pages.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014

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Artifacts are not mere magical items: they do not have Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Forge Ring, Craft Staff, or Craft Rod as a construction requirement because they don't have construction requirements.

They also tend to be plot-specific in a way that doesn't favor the single-item format for RPG Superstar - Without the context of a campaign, they're just overpowered items. That let their author avoid one of the hardest parts of item design: pricing.

I won't speak for the judges, but Artifacts are flirting hard with DQ.

Intelligent items are legal: an intelligent sword is still a specific magic sword. But I'd avoid it for a number of reasons:


  • Since intelligent items have personalities, it can raise the question of if you're designing a magic weapon or an NPC. This is similar to how, in previous years, Wondrous Items that could be used to make attack rolls raised the question of if it was truly a wondrous item, or a magic weapon shoehorned into the contest.
  • There is minimal precedent for the crafting of intelligent items. Construction requirements become awkward.
  • There are guidelines for the pricing of intelligent items, but they aren't exactly rigorous and need lots of manual adjustment.
  • Is your item cool because of what it does, or what it is? Would it still be cool as a non-intelligent item with the same powers?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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The inverse of Clarke's law (Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic) is that any rigorously defined magic is indistinguishable from technology.

When you mix the two, it highlights both of these in a way that (generally) does not serve the purpose of immersion.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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'Griege'. Heh.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Would a reanimated turducken be one creature or three?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Kvantum wrote:
Are there in fact days when it doesn't fall from the sky there?

We call them 'July' and 'August'.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Liz Courts wrote:
Diego: I don't have an umbrella. Because I haven't had to deal with the terror of having water fall from the sky before

Diego has no idea what he's gotten himself into.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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And a high-level spellcaster with access to major creation, fabricate, and gate, with wish and shadow conjuration to fill in any gaps can create nearly anything they imagine. But that doesn't mean you can make a 6th level character that can make anything they imagine.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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I'm not really sure what you're trying to say (how is a class that focuses on creation powers not 'Consciously' doing something?) but:

If this is something you think everyone does, regardless of character class, then you're not looking for a class or an archetype: you're trying to make it a racial ability or just game rule (otherwise you're going to have 'I think every character should have a level in X'.)

If you're looking for a class that can move heaven and earth at 1st level, that's overpowered. Just because you think some particular way of looking at the world is better, that is not a reason to break the game. I mean, do what you want for your home game, but that kind of input is really not helpful for a playtest for a book release.

Also, it's probably best not to involve how you think the real-world works. Clerics don't really parallel what priests in the real world do. Witches don't follow real pagan (or Satanic) traditions. Druidism was a Celtic religion, not a secret society of nature worshipers.

Frankly, I find the way you describe 'unconscious' action to be excessively Solipsistic for a team game, or in general, really. The idea that a fighter is unconsciously responsible for creating his sword, instead of the blacksmith who actually forged it robs the blacksmith of his agency: he's no longer a person with free will, but an automaton who entire existence serves to answer the fighter's one need. That's jarring enough applied to NPC, but can be destructive in the context of a team game: does the cleric exist purely so that your Conscious character has healing available when he desires it? What happens if two Conscious characters have conflicting goals?

I'm having a lot of difficulty reconciling your post above with your previous statements about thinking that a 3.5E Shaper Psion fills this role. What does a Shaper do that a Psychic focusing on Conjuration spells can't?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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I don't think it's a particularly religious term. Mostly it seems used to sell self-help books.

But I'm getting off topic. My point wasn't to derail the thread with a discussion of The Secret's validity or lack therof. It was to discuss how appropriate EltonJ's idea was for the topic, and possibly how to drill it down to it's occult turn-of-the-(last)century roots.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Odraude wrote:
I don't have access to a computer (on phone) or DSP's Psionics. So can someone give me, in 100 words or less, what Attraction and Shapers do?

Psions had to pick specialties the way wizards can. A Shaper was the psionic answer to a Conjurer.

The Law of Attraction thing, best I can tell, is the idea that one can 'attract' things or outcomes via force of will. As a general idea, that's been part of magic and/or prayer since ever. Under the term 'Law of Attraction', it appeared at the end of the 19th century, and it's most recent manifestation comes from Esther Hicks who claims to have gotten it from a non-corporeal entity named 'Abraham'. Her version became the film version of The Secret, which was then turned into a book of the same name.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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I will be shocked if this book doesn't contain stuff for existing classes, Magefox.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Morzadian wrote:
With the slow culling of d&d prestige classes from the pathfinder framework, gish classes is something that is missing in the pathfinder system.

Nevermind the alchemist, bloodrager, bard, magus, inquisitor, warpriest, hunter, and investigator?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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I guess I should have posted this here, instead of in it's own thread:

Ross Byers wrote:

Channeling Cheapy and Sean, I wanted to remind people what makes for good playtest feedback.

I've updated Cheapy's ACG post for Occult Adventures.

I’m not the end-all-be-all for what Paizo wants from this, but here are my thoughts on the topic.


  • You are not the lead designer. Jason is.
  • Ignore typos and grammatical errors. That’s not what they want to playtest. They want you to test the rules.
  • Give feedback, not opinions. If you don’t like the idea of the new classes, then don’t just say that. It’s not too helpful as that ship has sailed long ago.
  • You’re still not the lead designer. Jason is still the lead designer. That’s his job.
  • Don’t make houserules for it and then give feedback with those rules influencing your perceptions. Think of it like a recipe site. You go there to find a recipe, and you see a 1 star review for a pasta recipe you’re looking at. The review states that the cook substituted ice cream for butter, and marmite for pesto sauce. Surprisingly, the cook found the recipe to be absolutely horrible. But this review isn’t helpful. It’s helpful for a pasta recipe that includes ice cream instead of butter and marmite instead of pesto sauce. But that’s not the recipe they were reviewing. At all. The recipe they were reviewing had butter and pesto.
  • Remember that the point of the playtest is to work out all the kinks so that you don’t have to make houserules about the classes.
  • Play the game, see what happens. A lot of problems seem like they’ll exist in pure theorycrafting, but don’t really show up in actual play. Keep this in mind. (There was a time when the Summoner was considered underpowered.)
  • If you can, try to playtest multiple different power-levels of the game. How these new, advanced classes work out could be a lot different between a group consisting of synthesist god-tank-pouncers, zen archers, optimized God wizards, and AM BARBARIAN and a group consisting of a sword and board paladin, a rogue rapier-duelist, a cleric of healing and love, and a sorcerer focusing on illusions.
  • Core! Core is great because it sets the base-line level of power. It’s fine if you play some tengu with 5 natural attacks at first level or some aasimar that through various rules hoops has some feats meant for tieflings, but if you find that with the new classes you’re making a completely ridiculous character, consider how much of that is due to the new classes versus the non-core rules. In fact, keep that in mind with core rules as well.
  • I believe that the default assumption in the game is 15 point buy with the core races and the balanced option for wealth by level. Testing at this point is a great way to test.
  • These classes aren't going to be perfect. They might have serious flaws. But that’s what the playtest is for. Designing is hard, doubly so for a base class.
  • Positive feedback, or at least constructive feedback, is immensely preferred to negative feedback. See Sean’s post here for a bit on that. But suffice to say, positive feedback is more helpful because it fosters a helpful environment. It’s the difference between working together and stand-offishly stating your “factpinions” as gospel. If you ever start a sentence that follows this form, you’re doing it wrong: "<feature X> is the worst thing I've ever seen and here’s how I would change it to make it <(balanced, useful, cool, English)>."
  • Despite saying that positive feedback fosters an environment of working together, we aren't working together to make the classes. Jason is still the lead designer of Pathfinder. The odds are probable that you aren’t. Our job, insomuch as it can be called that, is to playtest and report in an unbiased fashion to let them sift through the results.
  • PFS play is useful because it provides a set, known standard of rules. It’s a great environment for testing, as theoretically it’s run the same everywhere. But that doesn't mean that home games aren't useful. In fact, home games can provide very useful information, as sometimes restricting options is a great way to see how these classes do. Core and APG only, no Golarion line crunch? That’s going to present a vastly different playtest result than if done in PFS. Keep this in mind, and try to list your playtest parameters out at the beginning of any playtest reports you give. If someone were to come up with a basic form for all playtest feedback, that’d be solid, and I would recommend everyone use it, just to make sifting through information easier.
  • Try to keep track of die rolls in your playtest report. There's a difference between power and luck. Did your kinesicist kick ass because it's overpowered, or because you didn't roll below a 12 all session? Are too many foes immune to your Mesmerist, or did they just all make their Will saves? I've had encounters that would appear to prove that a Sorcerer makes a great crossbowman: die rolls are important.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

8 people marked this as a favorite.

Channeling Cheapy and Sean, I wanted to remind people what makes for good playtest feedback.

I've updated Cheapy's ACG post for Occult Adventures.

I’m not the end-all-be-all for what Paizo wants from this, but here are my thoughts on the topic.


  • You are not the lead designer. Jason is.
  • Ignore typos and grammatical errors. That’s not what they want to playtest. They want you to test the rules.
  • Give feedback, not opinions. If you don’t like the idea of the new classes, then don’t just say that. It’s not too helpful as that ship has sailed long ago.
  • You’re still not the lead designer. Jason is still the lead designer. That’s his job.
  • Don’t make houserules for it and then give feedback with those rules influencing your perceptions. Think of it like a recipe site. You go there to find a recipe, and you see a 1 star review for a pasta recipe you’re looking at. The review states that the cook substituted ice cream for butter, and marmite for pesto sauce. Surprisingly, the cook found the recipe to be absolutely horrible. But this review isn’t helpful. It’s helpful for a pasta recipe that includes ice cream instead of butter and marmite instead of pesto sauce. But that’s not the recipe they were reviewing. At all. The recipe they were reviewing had butter and pesto.
  • Remember that the point of the playtest is to work out all the kinks so that you don’t have to make houserules about the classes.
  • Play the game, see what happens. A lot of problems seem like they’ll exist in pure theorycrafting, but don’t really show up in actual play. Keep this in mind. (There was a time when the Summoner was considered underpowered.)
  • If you can, try to playtest multiple different power-levels of the game. How these new, advanced classes work out could be a lot different between a group consisting of synthesist god-tank-pouncers, zen archers, optimized God wizards, and AM BARBARIAN and a group consisting of a sword and board paladin, a rogue rapier-duelist, a cleric of healing and love, and a sorcerer focusing on illusions.
  • Core! Core is great because it sets the base-line level of power. It’s fine if you play some tengu with 5 natural attacks at first level or some aasimar that through various rules hoops has some feats meant for tieflings, but if you find that with the new classes you’re making a completely ridiculous character, consider how much of that is due to the new classes versus the non-core rules. In fact, keep that in mind with core rules as well.
  • I believe that the default assumption in the game is 15 point buy with the core races and the balanced option for wealth by level. Testing at this point is a great way to test.
  • These classes aren't going to be perfect. They might have serious flaws. But that’s what the playtest is for. Designing is hard, doubly so for a base class.
  • Positive feedback, or at least constructive feedback, is immensely preferred to negative feedback. See Sean’s post here for a bit on that. But suffice to say, positive feedback is more helpful because it fosters a helpful environment. It’s the difference between working together and stand-offishly stating your “factpinions” as gospel. If you ever start a sentence that follows this form, you’re doing it wrong: "<feature X> is the worst thing I've ever seen and here’s how I would change it to make it <(balanced, useful, cool, English)>."
  • Despite saying that positive feedback fosters an environment of working together, we aren't working together to make the classes. Jason is still the lead designer of Pathfinder. The odds are probable that you aren’t. Our job, insomuch as it can be called that, is to playtest and report in an unbiased fashion to let them sift through the results.
  • PFS play is useful because it provides a set, known standard of rules. It’s a great environment for testing, as theoretically it’s run the same everywhere. But that doesn't mean that home games aren't useful. In fact, home games can provide very useful information, as sometimes restricting options is a great way to see how these classes do. Core and APG only, no Golarion line crunch? That’s going to present a vastly different playtest result than if done in PFS. Keep this in mind, and try to list your playtest parameters out at the beginning of any playtest reports you give. If someone were to come up with a basic form for all playtest feedback, that’d be solid, and I would recommend everyone use it, just to make sifting through information easier.
  • Try to keep track of die rolls in your playtest report. There's a difference between power and luck. Did your kinesicist kick ass because it's overpowered, or because you didn't roll below a 12 all session? Are too many foes immune to your Mesmerist, or did they just all make their Will saves? I've had encounters that would appear to prove that a Sorcerer makes a great crossbowman: die rolls are important.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Morzadian wrote:

Also Jason Buhlman, James Jacobs and Jason Nelson are great game designers and need to be hands on in every stage of the design process.

Outsourcing work is a recipe for another disaster.

Jason Nelson isn't a Paizo employee. He's a freelancer.

Most of Paizo's products are partially or fully written by freelancers. You may like some of those products more than others, but please don't take that as some kind of evidence that the ones you like weren't written by freelancers.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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I'm surprised Chris took the tooth fairy instead of a Numerian robot.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Readerbreeder wrote:
Katina Mathieson wrote:
Ashley: fake spiders are a great way to get a place accidentally burnt down
My three daughters would agree with you; in fact, for them anything with more than four legs is adequate cause for arsonous behavior. How do you get someone to stop being terrified of something 1/10,000 your size?

They already figured that out. Fire.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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The caster templates are great, because they give spell levels according to HD.

Which means a Wizard templated Giant will have spells relevant to his CR. Rather than lower level spells strapped to increased melee damage and Str score that won't be used, because caster.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Look at it this way. We live in a world where if a genius works for their entire life, they can make a small improvement in human abilities. They get Nobel prizes or have scientific principles named after them. Marie Curie. Louis Pasteur. Alan Turing. Werner Von Braun. Newton. Einstein.

But in a world of magic, a genius working for his entire life can teleport or raise the dead. Two things mankind might not EVER be able to do in the world of science.

Sure, science might pay off more, for the masses and in a thousand generations. But for the guy who could actually generate progress, re-discovering the same arcane principles certainly holds more allure.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Magic isn't strictly a force for stasis, but it isn't democratic.

Spellbooks aren't standard: they need expert conversion and translation by the person using them.

Powerful magic is used by a tiny minority of high-level people, who can't easily share their knowledge with each other (and even if they could, that doesn't mean that a first level wizard could cast fireball.)

Magic items can be used by anyone, but are prohibitively expensive for even minor benefits. And magic items can't really help with making more magic items in the same way as using machines to create more machines: they can't be made in an assembly line, just by that small pool of powerful magic users.

In a world where every automobile had to be made by hand by a guy with a Ph.D. in engineering (an not even by a technician or underling with blueprints) there will be a lot fewer cars. (In this analogy, an airplane could only be made by the CEO of Boeing, by hand.)

And since you have to level up to use things, it is impossible to skip ahead: an apprentice wizard has to learn how a steam engine works before building a combustion engine before building a turbine. (As opposed to technological specialties, where the people who can design turbines in their sleep would probably fail at trying to make a working steam locomotive, at least on the first try.)

That's not so much stasis (where some force is actively holding progress back) so much as 'When you reach the limits of the potential there is no where else to go.'

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Berselius wrote:
does it worship Thremyr?

This is a Core-line hardcover, which means Golarion-specific proper nouns (like deities outside the core 20) are generally avoided.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Quote:
In the simplest terms, nuclear fission breaks a single atom into two whereas nuclear fusion combines two atoms into one.

A few 'or mores' would improve this one. Also, these processes work on nuclei, not atoms.

Quote:
Fusion, the holy grail of nuclear power, creates three to four times as much energy as fission.

More energy per what? Mass of fuel? Cost of fuel? Per reaction? Any assumptions on efficiency?

Quote:
More importantly, fusion’s key advantage over fission is that it does not produce cancer-causing radioactive waste.

This is quite false. Hydrogen fusion doesn't produce radioactive material as spent fuel in the same way that uranium (or plutonium, or thorium...) fission does, but it still produces neutrons, which have to go somewhere, and aren't contained by magnetic fields (they aren't charged). In effect, the parts of the reactor will absorb neutrons and transmute into radioactive material. It's certainly LESS waste than a fission reactor, but way more than zero.

Spoiler:
There is a theoretical helium-3 fusion process that does not emit neutrons, but it would need to be very carefully regulated to prevent more common dirty fusion from happening, and you'd need a supply of helium-3. The best source of which is probably the Moon, which kind of takes the 'cheap' and 'unlimited' parts of the benefit out.

Quote:
cheap and plentiful hydrogen (deuterium and tritium)

Cheap is a relative term, especially when compared to uranium or coal, so I'm going to let that slide, but deuterium represents .0156% of the hydrogen on Earth. It's only plentiful in the sense of there being a LOT of ocean for us to process to get it. Tritium, on the other hand, basically does not occur naturally. There are a few ways to get tritium: 1) Bombard deuterium with neutrons 2) Bombard lithium with neutrons (to trigger a fission reaction) 3) Collect it as waste from a fission reactor. If tritium is cheap or plentiful, it is only because of fission plants. (Tritium is also radioactive, so say hi to cancer causing radiation again.)

Quote:
enabling everything from unlimited fresh water to engines that take spacecraft to Mars in one month instead of six,

Fusion has no special relationship to those things. Any source of power can be used to desalinate water, and fission-based nuclear rockets have been designed since the 50's. I guess because you'll have a lot of desalinated water sitting around after you've gotten done sucking the deuterium out of it?

Quote:
The key breakthrough involves using a “magnetic bottle” to contain the vast amount of heat,

This is just woefully short on details. We've been experimenting with magnetic containment for fusion since 1956. The key breakthrough might be something about magnetic bottles, or how their magnetic bottle works, or a unique way of deploying one, but I think we can agree it is false to call Lockheed's 'key breakthrough' something invented by the Soviets back before color TV.

Quote:
Containing and controlling the staggering levels of heat and pressure involved has hampered countless previous efforts to use fusion for generating electricity.

The problem hasn't really been containing the power, it's been containing it in a way that uses less power than can usefully be extracted from the reaction.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Orcs of Golarion and Classic Monsters Revisited both explain that there is a great deal of variance orc appearance due to widely varying amounts of human blood and the possibility of more than one 'original' orc bloodline when they came up from underground.

This serves both as a great bit of in-world lore (that orc->half-orc->human is more of a continuum than neatly dividable) and provides a good deal of CYA for various artists having different ideas of what 'orc' might mean.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Any monster can be good: just write a new alignment into the stat block. Just like PC races.

If that feels too easy, there's the atonement spell.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Berselius wrote:
Can you give info on the Svathurim monster or Frost Giant-specific feats?

Svathurim

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Town Cryer wrote:
THIS BREAKING NEWS just coming in (as of a few years ago), SCANDAL rocks the Asmodean Paladin Team as it's been discovered they've been been injecting serious doses of mistaken references to cover up the noncanoness of their existence! Asmodeus, in a rare instance of when he DIDN'T shoot his mouth off, could not be reached for comment.

It turns out that they were Champion of the Faith Warpriests and Hellknights the entire time.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Wiggz wrote:
I don't think I've made an argument that it shouldn't... the point of this thread was to learn what exactly the LGBT community was fighting for that wasn't already within its legal grasp.

And I think many people in this thread have provided excellent examples.

Marriage comes with a lot of automatic legal rights that would require a lot of paperwork and legal fees to keep up to date a la carte.
Likewise, legal work-arounds often require extra paperwork and signatures when you try to use them. Oddly, many institutions will take a marriage at face value with no extra paperwork.
Marriages are recognized across state lines (in theory).
Marriage ties into hundreds of years of legal precedents, where domestic partnerships might not. (For instance, divorce law is well established. Dissolving a domestic partnership is less so.)
And of course, the whole thing where 'separate but equal' is, pretty much by definition, not actually equal.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Wiggz wrote:
'what you do in your bedroom is your business but I don't want to hear about it' to have to somehow be legally compelled to say aloud 'I accept your lifestyle'.

Legal gay marriage won't force bigots to publicly say "I accept your lifestyle" anymore than legalizing interracial marriage forced racists to say the same.

Anyone who says "What you do in your bedroom is your business but I don't want to hear about it." is either actually saying

1)'I don't want to see evidence that Gay people exist.', which is bigoted b!*$*++$. It's asking gay people to stay closeted for the benefit of some stranger. (Because this wouldn't just apply to marriage. It applies to simple things like going out in public together.)

or 2) 'I have no problem with gay people but thinking about gay sex makes me uncomfortable', in which case they need to get over themselves. When you hear a straight couple is getting married, you don't immediately think about what they do in their bedroom.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Clockwork mage?

*looks closer*

Robot clockwork mage!?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Belabras wrote:
In the market report, home values in the Worldwound continue their downward spiral. Is gentrification possible in this hell on Golarion? See what our experts say...

Local paper sued by Church of Asmodeus for slandering the good name of Hell.

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