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Kyra

Skeld's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 3,098 posts. 6 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character.


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Grand Lodge

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Mark Hoover wrote:
Is there an issue with handing out XP for those of you who don't? What if it was handed out between sessions?

I find XP to be constraining. With XP, encounter math determines the pace of the game, while I prefer that the story determines the pace of the game. It lacks flexibility and I want to be flexible because that just fits my style better.

-Skeld

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Fencer_guy wrote:
If you base your XP on the AP or when its story-appropriate when would you do this? After the adventure? Before (so XP from last session) Or maybe something dramatic like a level increase right before the big boss battle?

I have my players level their characters when they hit the level point I've designated. Sometimes, this is at the end of the session and sometimes, the middle. If I think there is a good chance they'll level somewhere in the middle of the session, I give them a heads up so they can be prepared ahead of time.

-Skeld

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Fencer_guy wrote:

Since it seems like people don't use XP all the much what do you do when you have a player who does almost nothing. They are like murder hobo or something close to that. Then you have the player who does extra things like draws a pics or has a deep background for the character.

Do you have rewards for that? What are they?

I had one GM who would reward with Universe Questions. You could ask the universe any question or favor and you get it with no questions ask and no GM trickery.

It was also hard to get them and you really couldn't bank them to use them later.

If I were inclined to give out extra rewards (which I'm not), I think I would give out something like a Hero Point as a prize.

If i had a player that was a lazy "murderhobo" (which I don't), and talking to them didn't work, I'd be inclined to not invite that player back for subsequent campaigns. It's usually not worthwhile to play with someone that either uninterested in the game OR has a much different playstyle.

-Skeld

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I stopped using XP years ago. Now I just level when it's appropriate to the story.

That said, I don't like the idea of awarding different amounts of XP to different characters. I prefer that all characters receive he same XP and stay in sync, XP-wise, to avoid level disparities within the group. When a player can't make it to a session, their PC is still participates, run by another player or the GM.

-Skeld

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Skeld wrote:
I may have missed something, but did OP say they were done? I reread I'm operating under the assumption that a TPK in chapter one leaves the group with a high degree of recovery/replayability.

I left out a critical word. Gah!

-Skeld

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"If you don't like [my behavior] you're free to leave."

"If you won't stop your behavior, get out."

Are two sides to the same antisocial coin. Po-tay-to / po-tah-to.

I don't advocate either form.

-Skeld

Grand Lodge

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Errant Mercenary wrote:
Interesting to read that about APs. I personally found more daunting having to come up with a campaign setting, a score of NPCs (mildy interesting at least), enemy NPCs, an interesting story line, stat up NPC humaoids that took class levels, etc, rather than have all of this printed and omit/included what you (don't)like. Perhaps because the comparison I did wasn't with short modules and one off sessions, in which case, yeah I agree with you.

Sorry, I wasn't clear in my post: I think it's a better idea to start with shorter, less complex published adventures than to start with a full AP. LazarX had some good suggestions. I'd also recommend something like Crypt of the Everflame, which is geared to 1st-level beginning players/GMs.

-Skeld

Grand Lodge

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alexd1976 wrote:
a)Prewritten adventures are a crutch for experienced groups, I literally never use them.

I'm an experienced GM (a very experienced GM) and I disagree with this one. Homebrewing can be great when you have the time to dedicate to it. Prewritten adventures are very useful because much of the up-front work is already done and it allows me to take that time and focus on other stuff. It's especially true here, where the prewritten adventures Paizo publishes have so much additional material available that other GMs have posted.

-Skeld

Grand Lodge

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LazarX wrote:
Skeld wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
The point is - what polite society calls profanity is part of the vernacular in some parts of society. People who think it's easy to change the way others speak have probably never tried it themselves.

I don't know about that. When I was younger (before I got married and had kids, which is to say before I turned 30), I could and would cuss a blue-streak at the drop of a hat. In fact, I still can, but I choose not to.

It wasn't hard to make that change. I just had to be cognizant of the words coming out of my mouth. Unlike behaviors that a physiological or addictive component (like smoking or drinking), swearing is one of those behaviors you can change by choosing to change it.

-Skeld

I would say that the biggest reason I don't swear that often is because my father did so nearly constantly. I despised him so much, that I avoided doing anything he did, which is probably why I don't smoke, and drink about 2 beers every three months.

Funny story. I have some friends that swear very liberally in front of their kids. When their daughter (my goddaughter) started kindergarten, they got a call the first week after she dropped a few f-bombs during show and tell. Hilarity ensued.

-Skeld

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memorax wrote:
Personally I agree that people can change certain behaviors like swearing. But they have to be willing to change. If not good luck. It's way too easy to say "well I did it so can you". Another person might turn around and say "good for you I'm not and if you don't like it your free to leave". The problem to day is that everyone assumes that people will act and behave like themselves. Which is usually not the case.

That's true; you won't change unless you're willing.

Doesn't the attitude of "if you don't like [my behavior] you're free to leave" seem kinda anti-social?

-Skeld

Grand Lodge

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Sacredless wrote:
Skeld wrote:
Said another way, if you think a class needs more skill points, give more skill points to that class. Moving the bonus skill point binding from Int to Con messes with everyone, even the classes you think don't need more skill points.
It's optional. Either constitution or intelligence. Up to the individual player.

Ok, that addresses the second part of my comment, but not the first. Why not just bump 2+Int classes to 4+Int (or whatever you feel is appropriate)?

Sacredless wrote:

So, to summarize;

A) I want more players with moderate skill points AND survivability in addition to players with high skill points AND fragility. To create roles around the different acquisitions of skill points.
B) I want players to not feel punished for dumping intelligence.
C) I want players to feel like they earned their skill points, as opposed to me just giving it to them. Create the illusion of agency.

A) I don't think this will accomplish you goal. I think you'll end up with moderate skill points + survivability and high skill points + survivability. Wizard players will see this as a way of getting higher skill points and higher HP.

B) Remove the skill point penalty for dumping Int. Done.
3) This already happens; players "earn" skill points by investing in Int.

This feels like a solution looking for a problem.

-Skeld

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Bill Dunn wrote:
The point is - what polite society calls profanity is part of the vernacular in some parts of society. People who think it's easy to change the way others speak have probably never tried it themselves.

I don't know about that. When I was younger (before I got married and had kids, which is to say before I turned 30), I could and would cuss a blue-streak at the drop of a hat. In fact, I still can, but I choose not to.

It wasn't hard to make that change. I just had to be cognizant of the words coming out of my mouth. Unlike behaviors that a physiological or addictive component (like smoking or drinking), swearing is one of those behaviors you can change by choosing to change it.

-Skeld

Grand Lodge

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My thoughts on this:

Since you're a player, you shouldn't go behind the GM reading the AP, even if it's just to check to see if he's running the AP "by the book." Many GMs consider that cheating and you might inadvertently read something spoilery.

The AP is designed for a four-PC party. Since you only have three players, you're already behind the curve. Also, two of your three are level 2, which is lower than the recommended level (3rd) for this part of Thistletop. Those two things along will give you problems. Your party composition is also problematic (in the sense that it'll make fights harder).

I wouldn't be too hard on your GM though. This looks more like a lack of experience than anything nefarious.

I also disagree with Errant Mercenary. APs are complex, can take years to run to completion, and require a lot of preparation, insight, and (often) customization. New GMs are much better off running shorter adventures until the get comfortable in the GM chair.

-Skeld

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Bill Dunn wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
I just don't see how it takes so much effort not to swear.
Maybe you should try an experiment. Have a friend quietly observe you for a few sessions, jotting down expressions you use frequently. Then spend the rest of the campaign not using them under threat of being kicked out.

I don't know... If swearing is such a deeply ingrained behavior that you simply cannot control yourself, then it will probably cause problems in other areas of your social interactions.

-Skeld

Edit: what I mean by the above is that swearing can be situationally dependent; there are times it's more socially acceptable than other times and that's dictated not only by the setting but by the audience as well. Swearing in the wrong setting and/or audience can leave others with the impression that the swearer lacks self-control. Whether or not it's ok for others to make those types of judgements is another topic.

Grand Lodge

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If the purpose of this is to give me lee classes more skill points, then just give them more skill points.

Said another way, if you think a class needs more skill points, give more skill points to that class. Moving the bonus skill point binding from Int to Con messes with everyone, even the classes you think don't need more skill points.

-Skeld

Grand Lodge

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A good GM:
Doesn't forget that the players are the heroes.
Provides an exciting and challenging adventure with an engaging story.
Knows what his players like in a game, but also knows what he likes in a game.
Knows when to foil the heroes and when to let them be rockstars.
Accepts feedback, positive and negative, and adjusts his game as necessary.
Keeps the game moving forward.
Knows the whole point of gaming is to have fun.

-Skeld

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:

I was wondering why this thread died when we reference it so often.

Then I remembered.

It got really boring.

Yeah, but for a few days, it was a really awesome thread. Especially the thing in the OP about drinking the milk even though they asked him not to. What a freak show. Lol.

-Skeld

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BigDTBone wrote:
Signing your forum posts.

Funny. I almost posted that myself.

-Skeld

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Complaint threads that can be summarized as "this adventure/product is not custom designed for my group, therefore it's a terrible product."

-Skeld

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"I'm a better game designer than the game designers and here's one of my terrible ideas as proof of my superior skills" threads.

-Skeld

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"Help me wreck my GM's/Group's game because I don't like something they did/said" threads.

-Skeld

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Katina Mathieson wrote:
Skeld wrote:

So we're doubling up in APs in April.

-Skeld

Because of the port strike issue, we will have to push Adventure Path #92 back to April. While there will likely be a double-month at some point, we are unsure if it will be April, if it will be further down the line.

We'll be sure to let you know as soon as we have more information!

Just like the old days. ;)

-Skeld

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I grew up on Old School Gaming and I still prefer that style of gaming, in the sense of less reliance on "a rule for every situation" and more flexibility on the part of the GM to resolve actions quickly within the context of the game as it exists at that moment.

I still rather enjoy Pathfinder and I don't miss THAC0 one single bit.

-Skeld

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^ So much awesome!

-Skeld

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captain yesterday wrote:
I got a spoiler for you skeld** spoiler omitted **:-)

Damn you, Captain.

Lol.

-Skeld

Grand Lodge

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We need more information.

In the absence of details, something is definitely off (things that could be easily explained). Your point-buy is on the money, your number of players is not unusual, but your mortality rate is high (especially if you're in the earlier parts of the AP).

I appluad your initiative by looking for some non-spoilery explanations from the community, but it would be really, really, helpful if you would point your GM to this thread so we can talk to him about the details of your group and get into potentially spoilery territory.

-Skeld

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Quote:
You can use this skill to identify monsters and their special powers or vulnerabilities. In general, the DC of such a check equals 10 + the monster's CR. For common monsters, such as goblins, the DC of this check equals 5 + the monster's CR. For particularly rare monsters, such as the tarrasque, the DC of this check equals 15 + the monster's CR, or more. A successful check allows you to remember a bit of useful information about that monster. For every 5 points by which your check result exceeds the DC, you recall another piece of useful information

I've bolded the relevant part. A successful knowledge check doesn't allow a player to know any piece of information they want to know, just a "relevant" piece of information. When I adjudicate these types of Knowledge checks, I give them (what I consider to be) the more common pieces of information first and reserve the rarer pieces for higher rolls.

For example, if my players encountered a Revenant, and rolled a 17 on their Knowledge (Religion) check, I'd start out with "Revenants are corporeal undead fueled by the need for vegeance against the one who murdered them" instead of "Revenants are sometimes overcome with helplessness when they encounter their own reflection."

-Skeld

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This thread is whack, yo.

-Skeld

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I'm really glad to see plenty of gnolls in this set.

-Skeld

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John Compton wrote:
...gauge how open strangers are to your schtick.

I think you have that backwards.

-Skeld

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Wildfire Heart wrote:
ok...

There are a couple points I'd like to make about GM'ing in general.

When you're GM'ing a game, short-term or long, it's considered polite to give the players a general heads-up if they make a character that isn't appropriate to the theme. That one action avoids the entire argument. Going into a new game, the players only know what you tell them. Tell them nothing and they just end up making random characters that may or may not be fun to play in that particular game. Don't blame them for their lack of foreknowledge.

Instead of trying "to make [your] games as realistic as possible," you should try making your games fun for all your players. The GM's job, first and foremost, is to facilitate the group having a good time.

GMPCs are a touchy subject. It looks like you have 6 (?) players; the five you listed plus the Bard. With 6 players, I wouldn't run a GMPC (much less 2).

One thing the CR system doesn't account for is tactics. If your players are struggling with encounters, try lowering the challenge a little. The CR/APL numbers are just a rough (very rough) guideline. A GM had to use their judgement when designing and running encounters, sometimes adjusting things on the fly.

The big thing I'd take away from this is that if your players are complaining about the game you're running, you should listen and take their feedback seriously.

-Skeld

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justaworm wrote:
You don't have to play a Slumber witch though. I purposely did not when I played one so I wouldn't fall into a rut, nor annoy the GM.

Your GM appreciates that.

-Skeld

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None of the star wars RPG stuff (d20 or saga) was covered under the OGL. Most of the 3e/3.5e stuff wasn't OGL. I would imagine the core of his problem was not being in compliance with the license.

Also, I just checked his site and he says his Pathfinder generator will remain active (and it is!).

So not all is lost. :D

-Skeld

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The only official campaign setting for Pathfinder RPG is the Pathfinder campaign setting, often just referred to as Golarion (the name of the planet).

Rise of the Runelords was the first Adevture Path (full campaign) put out for Pathfinder and it is an excellent campaign. It's also been updated and compiled into a single book, which makes it more accessible.

However, if you're new to RPGs or the GM seat, I'd advise against jumping head first into a full campaign (they can take a long time to complete). Instead, I'd advise getting a nice little starting adventure to play through until you and your players are a little more comfortable. Crypt of the Everflame was put out as an introductory adventure for the Pathfinder RPG and that might work well for you.

-Skeld

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I remember stumbling across his character builders for Star Wars d20 years ago and thinking "there's no way this can be legal." Frankly, I'm surprised it took WotC this long to hit him with a takedown letter.

-Skeld

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Steve Geddes wrote:
What you miss in forum bling, you make up for with enthusiasm and wit.

Heh.

-Skeld

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Kill Bargle!

-Skeld

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If you read the RotRL AE and decide to run it, there are a number of good support products such as the Magnimar setting book.

-Skeld

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MAJT69 wrote:
Skeld wrote:

For that purpose, I prefer BECMI. If you're not familiar with Old School gaming, you should look into it as an alternative.

-Skeld
I grew up with BECMI (not that we called it that then!)

I remember those days well. BECMI is the new lingo. Back then, we just called it "D&D."

Back on topic... It really isn't that much more work to convert an AP from PFRPG to BECMI if you have the inclination. The story is really what the APs are about. All the mechanical whatsits are secondary.

-Skeld

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Gambit wrote:
Agreed that the middle of Serpents Skull is kinda lackluster. I really think you should give the hardback Rise of the Runelords a try, it is solid throughout, and I'm of the opinion that it is the best intro to Pathfinder. And while someone called it "classic", it is classic in fantasy tropes, not in being a "dungeon delving meat grinder" with no roleplaying.

This is solid advice.

I'm still a bit perplexed at the "there's no roleplaying in APs" mentality. There aren't many encounters we're it's spelled out that "this is a roleplaying encounter" for sure, but there's background/development (and the morale section of the statblocks to lesser extent) included for most NPCs and encounters. All the information is there, the GM simply has to utilize it.

-Skeld

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This post from James Jacobs is on a similar topic (the "lack" of roleplay in APs) and you might find it helpful:

James Jacobs wrote:


I don't think it's a failing of the Adventure Path at all. As I've said before... it's an Adventure Path, not an Adventure Lots of Possible Paths. There IS a pretty narrow assumption, a "railroad" if you will, that the heroes of any one AP will be following, even for ones like Kingmaker that have a pretty strong element (or illusion) of being sandboxy. Realizing that the type of game you might want to run isn't an Adventure Path is an important realization to come across.

That said, an Adventure Path can STILL help you, even if you don't intend to run one. The format and method of presentation work great for any campaign—and if your'e making one for your own group, you don't even have to write things out fully—you can incorperate elements from elsewhere and cobble things together to make a patchwork of pre-written encounters and NPCs that you create along with others you borrow from a dozen other sources. That's how I've traditionally run my campaigns, many of which have been adapted or adjusted in one way or another into Adventure Paths themselves (Curse of the Crimson Throne, for example, or elements of Serpent's Skull and Rise of the Runelords, for example).

And frankly, using phrases like "a generation raised into the 'Dungeons and Diablo' style of gaming" is quite unfair. Especially when you step back and look at the early D&D adventures, which were born out of wargaming roots where there often was less story than what we get in games like Diablo. Heck, I'm currently running "Temple of Elemental Evil" which is a GREAT adventure... but half the NPCs you meet in the adventure don't even have names! I've had to write names as I come up with them into my book when the PCs decide to, say, visit the leatherworker in Hommlet, or dare to ask a captive what the name of the leader of the bandits at the Temple itself is named.

The game has ALWAYS left significant portions of the world to the GM to decide and design. Comparing modern adventures to those of yore, I think that modern adventures are actually providing a lot more than before, in fact. I'm just not seeing the validity of a "Diablo has ruined gaming" at all... I know that's not exactly what you were saying, but still...

James' earlier response to a GM on this question was that maybe what the GM needed was a detailed campaign setting, not an Adventure Path, per se.

-Skeld

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Several points:

Pathfinder APs don't change the world because then all the previous published setting material would be invalidated every 6 months. Pathfinder/Golarion is intended to be a relatively static world in direct response to customers' general dislike of "realms changing events." Wrath of the Righteous is about close as Pathfinder has come to changing the initial setting based on the outcome of an AP.

APs are fairly linear and limited in scope (from the standpoint of decisions PCs make that drastically change the outcome) because they only have 6 issues in which to put ~15 levels of adventuring. As a result, most of the space gets taken up with background info, combat encounters, and stats. Paizo could lower the ending level of an AP and include much more of the stuff you're interested in (decision points and roleplay), but they're very hesitant to mess with the current AP model because it works very well for them. Roleplaying is not something, IMO, that lends itself well to scripted publication. Instead, it's something that happens at the table, more or less spontaneously. That's why they include background information on all the NPCs the PCs are likely to interact with.

APs aren't some much products that are intended to be a "one size fits all" product to be used out of the box. They're more like a kit that you're expected to add too, modify, and change to your liking. In fact, that's their greatest strength.

The OP has said several things that make me concerned that Pathfinder APs aren't the thing he's looking for, but I'm unable to come up with anything else that fits the bill better. For example, Paizo draws some inspiration from old school modules like Against the Giants, which OP implies is not the kind of thing his group likes.

The only other thing I can think of is to maybe run the Savage Tide AP from Dungeon magazine. It has some of the elements OP is looking for (moral ambiguity, RP alliance building, epic final boss, etc.), but it's still fairly linear.

-Skeld

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If you're only playing RotRL for the PFS credit, you're using your time very inefficiently.

Not everything that's produced for Pathfinder is designed with PFS in mind.

-Skeld

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Gorbacz wrote:
Skeld wrote:

It's not at all difficult to run a campaign where the sexuality of PCs doesn't matter.

-Skeld

Skeld's right! You just need to ask anybody who brings up those filthy topics to leave your house right now. It's thaaat simple. Duh!

Oh puh-leez, my dear toothybag. I haven't kicked anyone out of my house for mentioning "teh sex" yet. Unless the sexuality of a PC/NPC becomes a plot point or drives their actions in-game (either by design or through the acts of a PC), their sexuality doesn't matter because not actions or outcomes hinge upon it.

-Skeld

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Hama wrote:
Borsk should have gone out a looong time before that. Man I hated that prick.

Me too, but I thought he sorta redeemed himself for a lifetime of political douchebaggery in that one moment.

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It's not at all difficult to run a campaign where the sexuality of PCs doesn't matter.

-Skeld

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Aside from Borsk Fey'lya going out like a boss, I hated that book. To me, it represented everything that was wrong with the entire YV storyline.

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My group just flat doesn't care about adding sexuality or sexual situations to games. Of the 8 members of my group, all but one of us are married (sexual outlet? Check!), and all but 2 of us have kids. We're all over 30, and half of us are in our 40's. Sexuality and sexual situations lost their "that's naughty, tee hee hee" factor years ago. At this point, if it's not a plot point of some kind, we don't bother to mention it (and this is with several of my male players playing female characters).

Also, we're all prudish, violence-loving Americans. So maybe that has something to do with it.

-Skeld

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Pepe, Murderhobo Professionnel wrote:
Skeld wrote:
Roger Quigley wrote:
...then what was the point of commenting?

So that you would know. And knowing is half the battle.

-Skeld

please tell me stabbing is the other half:-p

Incorrect, Monsieur Muderhobo. The other half is red/blue lasers. Yo Joe!

-Skeld

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Michael Brock wrote:
Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
Kovok wrote:
Chrons I can see. Character sheets? Not really. I'll echo Jiggy's sentiments. If I'm using my tablet for my books, then I'm using my tablet for my character also. If I'm using my hardcopy books, then I'm probably using a paper sheet.
And when the GM asks to take a look at your character sheet, you hand him your tablet, and as he is looking over it, he accidentally drops it, and spider web cracks cover the screen. Are you ok with the GM not paying for repairs?

If we replace character sheet with additional resource, why does it make a difference?

Should I disallow electronic versions of Paizo books?

I don't want GMs placed in a position to have to handle anyone's several hundred dollar electronic device.

The GM can get up and walk around the table to the Player's seat and look it over. The player can get up with their device and bring it to the GM's chair. In either case the device can sit on the table. The player can even scroll/touch it so the GM doesn't have to.

Your reasoning here, to me, is just strange.

-Skeld

EDIT: I don't PFS in public (or in home games really), so I don't have a dog in this fight.

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