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I know Redcloak is ageless. What I mean is that if you stab him, he feels pain. If you stab him a lot, he will die. Those are bad outcomes for him.
In comparison, Xykon can't die. The worst case for him (as far as he knows) is he wakes up in his Astral fortress. And as an undead, he probably doesn't feel pain. (He's certainly aware of injury, but that doesn't necessarily equate to pain, if that makes sense.)
I believe the intent is they can mostly be read in any order - Reign of Stars isn't really impacted by Prince of Wolves or vice versa. Only books by the same author, featuring the same characters, really have a definitive order. There are occasional Easter eggs, like Reign of Stars name-dropping Gad from The Worldwound Gambit, but the plots are generally not interlocked.
Also, in general Pathfinder products are assumed to occur in the 'present', so publication order will roughly mirror in-universe order.
If you go to the Pathfinder Tales page in the store, you should be able to sort by 'Oldest First' or 'Newest First', which will get you publication order.
I get that you're trying to keep yourself out of direct transactions by involving anonymous labor (teenagers, day laborers, etc) but you're creating additional loose ends. These are human beings who will immediately realize there is something weird going on. Do your business in cash, wearing generic clothes, and no one will remember you.
It's like how you can walk into a lot of buildings in broad daylight just by looking like you know where you're going, but you'll be noticed pretty quickly if you're trying to act like Solid Snake.
If you're worried about being on the security camera at Best Buy if the Chromebook is somehow traced, then keep it in the box for 30 days. Or 90 days. NO ONE outside the government keeps security footage going back forever when there hasn't been an incident. By then the footage will be taped over and a cash transaction at a big retail store will be a dead end.
Likewise, a charred and mangled Chromebook is unnecessary destruction. If your trail is traced back to the Chromebook, it doesn't matter because all you ever did with it it look up the car (which is how they found it in the first place.) If you're worried about the temptation of using it again, just drop in a 'recycle electronics' bin somewhere.
Likewise, massively overpaying for things with regular fixed prices (like giving a cabbie $1000) is suspicious. If I drove a cab and that happened, I'd 1) leave before you murdered me 2) Call the cops 3) Be thankful for the big tip. You gain NOTHING from doing this. You called a cab, they drove you, that's how it works. Pay the listed fair with a reasonable tip. Disappear into the thousands of customers before and after you. Don't stand out.
It looks like you want to reuse this car, which means the weakest link is accessing it without being noticed. What do you actually need the car for? When are you going to be using it? If you're mostly doing night jobs, you can steal cars, use them, then return them without the owners ever noticing something missing. No loose ends, no reported thefts, and anyone who is trying to match license plates on you is going to be confused by the fact you're using a number of different cars.
Or, since you have a stated budget of $15,000, I'll point out that will buy approximately 15 sort-of-reliable clunkers that can be purchased day-of your job, under a false name, then parked in the back of a long term parking lot, abandoned in a ditch, or whatever, without ever actually filing paperwork for the title and before they have a chance to fully break down.
Re: Snick - I can't think of any actressess known for that kind of manic energy - which probably says something about how women are cast in Hollywood as much as it does about my memory. (If Snick were male, we'd just cast Bradley Cooper to do his Rocket Raccoon and continue the GotG reunion you've got rolling there.) Catherine Tate could probably do it.
Could grab Essie Davis, Tatiana Maslany, or another actress known for being a chameleon instead of for a particular type of role, instead.
That isn't actually a problem until the next time she tries to breathe air.
They can buddy breathe, passing the ring back and forth every few rounds, for awhile without a problem.
You're assuming that Gygax didn't take his pick of inspirations with an eye toward making the game work. He could have been wise enough to realize that letting players make Merlin or Gandalf meant the dude with a sword had nothing to do. (He came from a wargaming background, after all.)
Also, have you read the Merlin saga of the Chronicles of Amber? Zelazny himself describes a magic system damn close to Vancian (except that it actually fits the modern 'prepare' terminology better than Vancian's 'memorize'). Using that type of system for Amber Diceless is appropriate to the source material, not because of a designer's pet mechanic.
Jack of Dust wrote:
Assuming 'Good' is 'Right' is your value judgement, not the game's.
It isn't always 'readily available and always clear', though. Even paladins cannot detect evil constantly, and there are definitely ambiguities in how that spell works. Unless everyone in the world wears a phylactery of faithfulness, not every action is going to get a definitive sorting into the nine alignment buckets.
Necromancy is an egregious example of this. Regardless of whether you caused the death of someone, it's an Evil act. It just is. It doesn't matter if you use it to better the conditions of the living and use only mindless undead without souls, it's still evil and you will be judged and punished for it when your life slips away. It's not even a subject of debate, the gods/the universe have just apparently arbitrarily decided that it's worthy of punishment. There's no grey area and I just find it very boring. It's fine if you prefer it that way but it is certainly not my own preference.
I actually agree with you on this. But my beliefs about alignment descriptors on spells and necromancy are complicated and involve the compromises between making the game a world simulator and making it a fun game (with the default assumption that characters are closer to the Good end of the spectrum).
The short version is that I find it excessively reductive to try to define the alignments of specific actions. Intentions matter, nothing happens in a vacuum, and context is important. It is much easier to describe the overall alignment of a character with a set of beliefs and a full history of actions.
Marcus Ewert wrote:
This is a spelling difference, actually. Aluminium (like most other 'um's on the periodic table) vs. Aluminum (the American, and increasingly global, spelling, which was based on a marketing gimmick. Back when aluminum was expensive, marketers were tying it to platinum)
Diego Valdez wrote:
So many secret apprentices...
As I continue to read through the archetypes, it is interesting how many of them remind me of famous Pulp heroes. For example, the Enigma Mesmerist reminds me of The Shadow. Although, this could be because the Vigilante has caused me to think a lot about the Pulps.
Being The Shadow happens a lot in this book - the Cipher Investigator would also be pretty good at being The Shadow. The aura of the unremarkable and hidden presence play up that angle as well.
What he's saying is the "willingly commits evil" clause and "can't lie" clause are in separate sentences, disconnected.
'Not lying' is an example given for 'act with honor' - It's a general shorthand for being deceitful or misleading, not an absolute. If there is a situation where lying is the honorable act (or where no one would actually be misled), the paladin can lie. Discretion being a part of valor and so forth.
Inversely, Paladins are barred from being misleading by selective truths, even though those are not actually lies.
I think an interesting 'caster archetype' for cleric would be one that spontaneously casts domain spells instead of cure/inflict spells.
What I don't like about this is that the 3.5 Cloistered Cleric is right there. It's OGL, and the standard for caster cleric.
The 3.5 Cloistered Cleric gains 4 skill points/level, some class skills, some class spells, Bardic Knowledge, and third domain. In exchange for going down to 1/2 BAB and d6 HD and losing medium armor. That's a lot for a little, especially given that PF domains are better than D&D domains.
(In contrast, the Pathfinder Cloistered Cleric gains 2 skill points/level, some class skills, Bardic Knowledge, and some 'smart-guy abilities' (including Scribe Scroll) in exchange for less spellcasting, a domain, medium armor, and some weapon proficiency. That's giving up a lot for a little, especially if you wanted a 'caster cleric' and not a 'well-read cleric'.)
If were going to adapt the 3.5 cloistered cleric into a PF archetype, we might meet in the middle somewhere?
Cloistered Cleric, trying again
Class Skills: The cloistered cleric's class skills are Appraise (Int), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (all) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).
Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier.
Scholar: A cloistered cleric must select Knowledge as one of her domains, and must worship a deity with the Knowledge domain. Her base attack bonus from cleric levels is equal to half her class level (which is the same as for a sorcerer or wizard). This ability modifies domains and base attack bonus.
Breadth of Knowledge: At 1st level, a cloistered cleric gains a bonus on Knowledge skill checks equal to half her class level (minimum +1) and can make Knowledge skill checks untrained.
This version is a more straightforward swap of martial skill for...skill-skill and 'bardic knowledge'. 6 + Int skill points could also work, but that's a finicky switch.
Wszebor Uriev wrote:
I see Paizo slowly releasing all the APs as hardcovers.
They release a new AP twice a year. To do 'all the APs' in hardcover will require an 'average' output of two hardcovers a year.
Outside of all of the other given reasons you're overlooking*, that's an impossible schedule to keep up with.
Like cannibalizing the subscriber revenue that helps keep the doors open, because people will wait for a hardcover instead of buying 6 softcovers and possibly pushing people to a 'buy it when I'll play it' instead of 'buy it now' mentality.
Also, some things are relative. Giving a cleric 6 + int skill points per level is a bigger change than giving a wizard the same - That wizard is going to be investing heavily in Int. The cleric is going from 2 to 4 skill points - twice as many. The wizard is going from 6 to 8 - not nearly as much of a difference.
Archetypes can be tricky to balance, especially for new designers, because of the automatic assumption that you should get something for what you give up.
But the truth is that sometimes giving something up doesn't mean anything, and sometimes there is no room to improve.
I'm going to talk about the latter reason first, because it is simpler and it breaks the game faster.
When there is no room to improve
The inspiration was this thread was the desire for a 'caster cleric', so I'll talk about that. Clerics are a 9-level caster with a huge spell list. They don't get free metamagic feats or quite as many flashy spells as Wizards do, but they don't need to keep a spellbook and get more spells every time a new rulebook comes out.
This means that to a certain extent they don't need metamagic, because they can simply find a higher-level spell that does more damage, or lasts longer, or whatever instead of applying metamagic to a lower-level spell.
There isn't a lot of room between 'cleric' and 'wizard' to make a cleric's spellcasting better.
Some classes are already the best at what they do - making them better at that thing just reduces their versatility (because you traded something else off) or breaks the game (because you gave them 10th level spells or a BAB of 2 x level)
Sean K Reynolds touched on this when giving advice for designing archetypes:
This most obviously applies to things like taking away bonus feat to give a specific feat that such a character was going to take anyway (Forgepriest Warpriests were going to take Craft Magic Arms and Armor at 3rd level anyway.) Or restricting a domain choice to the ones that thematically match the rest of the class. These decisions aren't bad design on their own - they are bad design when used to justify a power increase elsewhere.
Suppose I made a 'ranged cleric' archetype that gets to apply Reach Spell to all their Touch range spells for free. Taking away medium armor for that archetype isn't as much of a drawback as it looks like, because such a character has an easier time keeping their distance from the bad guys (unlike a stock cleric, which has to get nearer the action). In fact, such a character might have been happy switching to light armor anyway, because the extra 10 feet of movement keeps more space between them and threats.
This is particularly true when designing an archetype for yourself. 'Must worship Desna' isn't a drawback if your character was going to do that anyway. 'Must be X alignment' isn't a drawback if you were going to be that anyway. Being harmed by positive energy isn't a drawback if you were already making a dhampir. Removing spells from your class list isn't a drawback if you as a player were never going to prepare those spells, and so on.
You can't have everything
The arcane casters are hardest: generally its easier to make a new school or bloodline than swap pieces of a wizard or sorcerer - they can't even really trade off bits of their chassis - already having minimum BAB, skill points, and HD.
This means that most cleric archetypes have a very small list of things to trade off - one or both domains, BAB, HD, maybe Channel Energy. One can't get upset with a downgrade to 1/2 BAB to get some other shinies - there just isn't much else to trade.
Cruel Illusion wrote:
Oh, by all means, voice your opinions. My point was that I don't see the point in arguing over the justification and the decision instead of just the decision itself.
This is the internet - where people are happy to pick apart an argument point-by-point, and attack the weakest, most-poorly-worded point, possibly out of context, as if it were the entire argument.
'Surprise' BBEGs can be problematic anyway. The Iron Gods Players Guide points out that the Technic League serves as an antagonist - a character whose ambition is to become a Captain of the League is going to have a bad time.
If you think Ileosa is supposed to be the good guy, you might make a character that is a loyal servant of the crown...and promptly be left with a character that is opposed to the adventure hooks.
You've already decided the conclusion is unacceptable. What possible justification could Paizo give that would make you feel better about it?
Giving the 'justification' for a controversial decision just encourages people to argue with it - either out of the sheer principle of the thing or a misguided belief that if they shout loud enough the decision will be reversed.
The Robin Hood myth has been mutated several times, as well. Originally he was a folk hero: a commoner who struck back at the oppressive aristocracy in general.
Then the people with the leisure time to read and write novels (i.e. aristocrats) got ahold of him and he was appropriated into a usurped noble (i.e. Robert of Locksley), fighting against an usurper of the monarchy (John, Prince of Wales.) The fact that the common people were caught in the middle in this version is largely incidental: it isn't a story about protecting the commoners from oppressive rule, it's about protecting 'legitimate' nobility from upstarts.
Neverminding that, as Mark points out, if you cut a book, you will have staff with a sudden amount of time on their hands, I still don't see how freeing up the production budget of a book is supposed to help (re-)build the website. You'd also lose the income associated with the book, which is greater than the cost of the book. (If it weren't, Paizo would be losing money on its books and thus go out of business.)
Sure, you might get some money in the short term, but getting money in the short term at the cost of the long term is what bank loans are for - not shortchanging your own business model.
What you're proposing is something like skipping work to change your car's oil. Sure, you saved $20 by not going to a mechanic, but you lost a day's wages.
I also think you're massively underestimating the costs of redesigning and rebuilding the website.
To be clear - there are things I'd like to see cleaned up and modernized, too. But saying "I know everything you need to do - it's easy" implies that the Paizo staff is either incompetent (because they haven't thought of, in years, what you've decided after 5 minutes) or lazy (because they have thought of it and haven't bothered.)
Plus it makes you sound like this.
I got that part. What I don't understand is how skipping a book is supposed to make redesigning the website and implementing those designs any easier.
Spending a few bucks on a real site designer, even if it means skipping one book this year would be a good idea. You'd probably make more net money with an easy to navigate site.
I'm not sure how you think the business works, but Paizo makes their money on books. Skipping one leaves them less money, not more.
Charlie Bell wrote:
It may go without saying, but low level--nothing higher than 3--works best for Free RPG Day adventures. Players have enough on their hands learning the basics of the game without having to learn mid-level class abilities.
Low level also keeps the length of stat blocks down, which is important in a 16-page module.