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Yes, good stuff - cohorts should be played as proper NPCs. My mistake was running 3e years ago, because Cohorts seemed to be a player-side resource via the Leadership feat, I let the players create & play their cohorts. Big mistake: umpteen beautiful female Clerics, non-speaking!. I'll not do that again; any cohorts will be proper NPCs, recruited in-play from among NPCs actually encountered.
I bet it was auto-priced, though.I had to buy my copy of Wormwood Mutiny from Paizo recently, which means ca £18-£20 and over a month to wait. Beats £800 though. :)
How are you going to handle AC? Pulp 1920s heroes don't generally wear armour, but the game engine assumes PCs are wearing the best armour they can get. Maybe a dodge AC bonus? Swap out armour proficiencies for a +2 dodge bonus per level swapped out (eg heavy > nil = +6 AC), I think would work out about right. Access to healing could also be an issue.
Thanks Grimbold. Is item crafting necessary/inherent to the AP? I was just going to let them rely on dropped items and the 1e RAW. Haunts - hm, there is a 1e MM2 monster called the Poltergeist I could probably use, or just treat them as regular undead - Turnable, and hittable by magic weapons.
Ah, that's be fine then. :)Don't think I've ever seen intra-PC romance though, except in one Titanic-themed PBEM eighteen years ago where I was one of the players. Can't recall seeing it in a traditional tabletop D&D game ever. Typically the players don't even consider the possibility even if it'd make sense for their PCs, whereas they are happy to fall for NPCs.
In traditional patriarchal societies (eg Mosaic, ancient Roman, many others) this is something enforced against daughters and against married women by their own birth-families and then by their husbands, possibly with state sanction. It was not something generally applied against widows, or against men. Although a man who had sex with a married woman might sometimes be killed, this was less common - the woman's family might not wish to get into a vendetta with the family of the dead man. Also most societies had a significant class of prostitutes and other unattached women who had left their families and against whom the law was not applied, because it was primarily family law, not state law. If the state intervened at all it would be to prevent, punish, or sanction the actions of the family.So you could have a fairly traditional society in your fantasy campaign setting, while still having sexually independent female characters, detached from their families. Although they may be regarded as 'loose women', it's unlikely that anyone will try to kill them for fornication.
Funny, the one relationship I find squicky is the the PC and Player-controlled NPC cohort, where the two are run by the same player! I believe there's a word for that... >:)
Whereas I'm fine playing love-interest NPCs. They tend to be long term relationships IMCs though. I recently played a male NPC proposing marriage to a female PC, I spoke in-character and that was tough though, but in much the same sense it would be IRL, especially when the player took 20 minutes to give an answer (she said YES!) :D
Jacob Saltband wrote:
Mix of RP and Charisma/Diplomacy/maybe Bluff checks (or Reaction % Rolls in AD&D, 2d6 in BX, etc).IME I normally only ever see seduction in my online games, which are usually AD&D or BX D&D, and it's rarely "love em and leave em", the NPC is more likely adventurer-class and PC/NPC usually end up as a couple who adventure together, or a long term romantic relationship if the NPC is not an adventurer. Off hand I can only recall one short term liaison in the past several years of play. Sometimes it's the NPC who initiates it, and sometimes the PC responds - in one case a good-hearted NPC noble girl, Tabitha Kallent, fell in love with a pretty evil PC, Garrick (he'd killed his previous wife while drunk, and initially planned to murder Tabitha's family so he could become Count of Kallent), and she ended up effectively converting him to Good! Not that she ever knew that, to her he was always her hero, but her love for him and her belief in him turned him around from a faker to the real thing. And I'd say the player fell for her, too. :D
Nathanael Love wrote:
You could, but IME there is not a general balance issue around to-hit numbers vs AC numbers, since increase in likelihood of to-hit tends to be balanced by more hp relative to damage. Whereas attacks that require a save and bypass hp have no such balance.
Also, monsters in 3e/PF get arbitrarily huge Natural Armour bonuses to keep their AC up, and NPCs & PCs get magic items. IME it pretty much work out, though Fighter types do tend to be overly vulnerable to melee brute monsters of equivalent CR.
Nathanael Love wrote:
By 'hindering multi-classing' you mean losing the save bonuses from 1 level dip? Yes, I'm happy to lose that.
The aim is to go back more towards pre-3e D&D at higher levels: Wizards were the most powerful class because of the great flexibility of their spells, but they were unlikely to defeat a high level Fighter or Thief with a single Polymorph, Charm Person etc type save-or-screwed spell. The Wizards' geometric spell power increase (more spells, more powerful spell levels, higher caster level boosting existing spells) was tempered somewhat by the advancing saves of all classes, which gave everyone an increasing robustness. 3e changed it around so that IME it's actually harder to save vs a Wizard of equivalent level as you go up levels. This fixes that issue, without any major nerfing of primary casters.
If you think it's a good thing that it's actually harder to save vs a Wizard of equivalent level as you go up levels, then you won't want to use this house rule.
It definitely does change balance; it makes hitting things with weapons & touch attack no-save spells (etc) relatively more powerful. It improves survivability for everyone, but this has a disproportionate effect on the Fighter types as they are the least-survivable and IME most likely to be targeted. It's not intended to make the Fighter equal to the Wizard; it's intended to give the Fighter a shot at surviving round 1. 'Wizard teleports away' definitely beats 'wizard baneful polymorphs me into frog'.
oops, I forgot the saves use my house rule bsb=level, so it's still corrupt after all! >:)
This partially invalidates the smart tactic of picking a spell your opponent probably has a low save against, which I find detrimental to the fun of the game.
You'll often find a 6 or 8 point difference betweeg eg Will and Fort, even with this house rule. It's just not so enormous a difference as before. If you mean it's less fun to often have your spells saved against, yeah I can see that. OTOH there are plenty of other things for casters to do. But it will definitely tend to reduce caster dominance, PC and NPC. It's not for groups that prefer a caster-dominant campaign, it's more for a pre-3e feel for those who like that.
Took a few hours to do this, trying to do it BTB for my Crimson Throne campaign. Thought I should disseminate it. :) If you spot errors I'll edit it. Intended to be Order of the Nail, hence the Bastard Sword. Base was the Ftr-3 human Hellknight Armiger.
Hell knight CR 7
Just taken a few hours out and attempted to stat out a full Hellknight of the Order of the Nail, such as appear (unstatted) in Book 1, by the book - Core Rules & ISWG. First time in I think eight years I've attempted to stat out a 3e/PF NPC above 2nd level, and I won't be doing it again in a hurry! >:) I used the official Hellknight Armiger Ftr 3 as the base, and have attempted to do it by the book. Here you are:
Hell knight, Order of the Nail. CR 7
If they don't invest ranks in PER they're stupid IMO.
As for my NPCs, if they are in a sentry/guard type roll they will typically have ranks=level in PER, possibly even Alertness feat for another +2. After a few levels the +3 for class skill on a d20 just is not the big deal you seem to think.
Which would also give a reasonable explanation for having to take down Kazavon as well... I will have to think about this. The problems with it are that Illeosa is STILL damned, and I have a hard time seeing anyone taking well to any extremes to save her soul after what she put everyone through.
Presumably the souls of most Chelish nobles are already bound for Hell upon death? Maybe being damned means your soul goes to LE Hell, thus avoiding the usual much worse fate of NE souls in the Gray Wastes/Yugolothia/whatever PF calls it...
Actually, speaking as a Contract lawyer, since Ileosa was under the control of Kazavon when she signed her soul away, in Contract Law (which all Devils must respect!) the 'non est factum' (sp?) "not my deed" defence is applicable, making Ileosa not bound by the agreement! :D
Anyway the Paladin would not be doing it for Ileosa, but for Sabina Merrin, and for his Oath. It's a way for him to still honour his oath while letting the AP play out more or less as written.
I'd probably let them slaughter the raiders. The biggest risk is that friendly NPCs could still get killed, if the PC tactics are reckless.
Edit: This is a situation where PF's swinginess shines in relation to 4e's relative predictability - the fight should run pretty fast, but is still dangerous because one giant's crit can squash most of the NPCs.
Perception as a restricted skill sucked in 3e because of the 0.5 ranks thing, but in PF a class skill is just a +3 to check. I always max out PER whether my PC has it as a class skill or not, works fine - bit tough on Fighters, but Clerics are golden. :D
A followup question: what gods are worshiped in the LotLK setting? Can they be "mapped" to the Asgardian pantheon? Are there actually clerics, or is it truer to Vikings' take on religion (i.e. no priesthood.)
There's not a lot about religion. You could just add in the actual Norse pantheon with no problem. I thought the late-era Norse did have some priests, but either approach would work. The setting is more a Heavy Metal Album Cover take on Vikings, so details of daily life and societal structure are sketchy at best.
It's closest to "Soderfjord Jarldoms Writ Large", with a higher power/magic/Metal quotient. Less gastro-intestinal disease, more Blonde Valkyries vs Giant Norse Dragons. The Northern Reaches stuff should work very well to 'ground' it, though.
I'm going to be running Rise of the Runelords written for 3e/PF to AD&D/OSRIC, thinking about what issues are likely to come up. Has anyone done this with Runelords or a similar AP? Googling turned up one useful blog on running it in 2e AD&D. Any significant problems from different game assumptions?
When I ran high level 3e I had to make a conscious decision not to use Scry-Buff-Teleport 'scry & fry' tactics against the PCs. This was really annoying since in 1e AD&D I did that sort of thing routinely and the PCs could handle it, but Buffing + Ambush in 3e was just too strong. My first 3e campaign went to ca 18th level but wasn't a very happy experience; I made the decision to end future campaigns around 8th-10th level, avoiding issues with high level casters, and did so for years. That worked ok.
With Pathfinder I've run a couple campaigns to 4th level, but I'm now running Curse of the Crimson Throne in PF; currently at 4th and expect it to go to at least 12th level, maybe 13th or 14th - 13th is where the really appalling spells tended to come in in 3e, so I'm a bit nervous. My main worry is that the high level spellcasters in Book 6, in particular a 15th level wizard, have to be run far below their full power not to easily TPK the PCs. There are some in-world reasons given for that, though. The converse worry is that the party Summoner will be able to easily break everything and dominate, although the player has promised to hold back if necessary, he doesn't want to overshadow the other PCs (Bard & Ranger, currently).
Ross Byers wrote:
Yes - lots of magical critters should have inherent Deflection bonuses and possibly inherent Magic Armour bonuses, not a huge wodge of Natural Armour that can then have Deflection, Magic Armour, and Enhancement bonuses stacked on top of it to make something ridiculous.
The rules I disliked most were
That's a good list. IME the main clear benefits are in literacy & numeracy. It also helps with social skills, and with goal oriented cooperation - like team sports, but with more talking and no exercise. :)
I'd say this was a bad idea. My experience with this in 3.0-3.5 was that High stats favour offence over defence, create an "eggshells with hammers" effect, and make the game more swingy, which makes random PC death (and to a lesser extent TPK) much more likely.
My advice would be to compensate for high PC stats by using larger numbers of monsters, not more powerful monsters. You can maintain the advancement rate by using slow track XP.
Base Save Bonus = Level, for all saves, Fort Ref & Will, for everybody.
This is one of those simple fixes that solve so many balance problems (caster/noncaster, caster/monster, weak classes/strong classes) I don't know why I didn't think of it years ago. It restores the game to a somewhat pre-3e state, where characters slowly get better at making saves as they level up, although they never get to the AD&D stage of making saves on a '2' vs equal-level opponents - eg I checked out Runelord Kazoug and he looked to be typically saving on around an '8' vs his own spell attacks.
are there any rules for constructing noble houses for PCs? I mean something like what we see in Kingdom building. Could be a nice system to develop for a Game of Thrones themed AP set in Brevoy. (Since Brevoy has been basically stated as being inspired by Westeros).
From reading the first three books of Kingmaker, Brevoy came across as The Country Which Doesn't Do Anything, which was a big letdown for me. So currently I have negative feelings about it. I can it could be redone with more potential. But I don't like how it's hived off in one corner of the map, almost as if it's deliberately isolated so that events there and in the River Kingdoms won't affect the wider setting...
The current Egyptian-themed AP is no interest to me (haven't enjoyed any of the Eypt-themed stuff I've GM'd or played), and I swore I'd never subscribe to the APs (due to P&P, a subscription to the UK is expensive even with 30% off)... BUT the past several APs all looked brilliant, and I love the whole Heavy Metal barbarians vs laser-wielding robots sub-genre...
He can serve Ileosa best by helping Sabina Merrin to redeem Ileosa and get that nasty Kazavon out of her system. :D
captain yesterday wrote:
Thanks - I actually just ordered part 1 today! :)
I like old-school D&D or a retro-clone for one-shots; Moldvay Basic is particularly excellent. The system is simple enough you can do pretty much anything with it, and players can get a character rolled up in moments, but the 64 pages still provide plenty of GM support (monsters, magic items, encounter & treasure tables, adventure design advice) in a way many much longer games don't.
My dream would be a really heavily political AP, Game of Thrones style, where the PCs started out as young nobles and have to deal with intrigue, *war*, revolution, treachery et al. I was disappointed at the lack of politics in Kingmaker, where it would have fit perfectly. For scope, I'd say bigger the better - how about setting it in Cheliax? :D It should be as open as possible, so that by the end the political situation may have changed drastically, probably with at least one new monarch on the throne. The civil war in GoT/ASoIAF is a good model - a bunch of NPC factions of varying levels of good/evil; PCs members of one relatively good-guy faction (the PCs need an incentive to stick together in this kind of game) initially just trying to survive, later on critical in shaping the destiny of the kingdom/world.
Continuing on this theme... When I've run 'political' games where each PC has their own agenda, eg from different noble Houses, they have the same 'splintering' problem that Game of Thrones does - the protagonists shooting off in different directions. There needs to be a binding agent, such as common membership of one noble House. With GoT the obvious candidate for 'protagonist house' is the Starks, or the Lannisters for a more evil bent. I think a successful political AP is going to involve a combination of scripting early on, when the PCs are weak, and open design later when they are strong, books 5-6 especially, but also designed to bring things to a satisfying climactic conclusion with more than one possible/likely ending, ie more than one anticipated end state. Most obviously, who rules in the end - PC faction (Starks), neutral faction (Baratheon), enemy faction (Lannister) should all be possibilities.Another thing about running a political drama - there will need to be major reversals of fortune. Luckily though there is an inherent structure - because the PCs start out as small fish, initially the house leaders will be NPCs. The obvious reversal is the death or (perhaps better) imprisonment of at least some of these, and the rise of the now mid-level PCs to positions of authority as their replacements. Around level 7 - Leadership level - looks perfect for that; the PCs should be robust enough to survive, but still with a feeling of being overwhelmed by more powerful forces and generally on the defensive. Then as they rise into the double digits they can begin to push back and take control in the open phase of the AP.
Yes. Successful generals have a motto: "Reinforce success". And the Paizo CEO is a successful general...
For a designer, turning around an (apparently) flawed AP and getting it right this time is a very attractive prospect. But from a business perspective it doesn't look so great - you have to overcome existing apathy, even negativity. Realistically, the safe bet is to touch up an AP like Crimson Throne that already has a lot of positive word of mouth around it.
Anyway, if I were the Paizo bosses, leaving aside my personal preferences, I would do another hardback AP for 2017, but I'd wait to see which was the most popular AP of the last 10 years (leaving aside late 2014 through 2016 releases, too soon); and I'd probably go with that one.
Ancient Ireland had a King on every hill...
The city-state of Korvosa has a king/queen, and that doesn't seem to be controversial for an independent ruler. Saying "I'm queen" is saying "I'm an independent ruler". If that annoys Brevoy then I could see trouble (IMO the lack of interaction with Brevoy is a big flaw in the setup of this AP). But the River Kingdoms are Kingdoms, after all. If Pitax can have a King, why should she not be a Queen?
So, if they were to publish a revised hardcover version now, they'd certainly make sure that nobody will ever buy any of those, and I don't think they want that.
There comes a time when gems lose their luster... I mean, when you just have to pulp what's in your warehouse and start over. Presumably Paizo don't want to end up like TSR with warehouses full of unsold fifteen year old material.
Carter Lockhart wrote:
Ah, for me Varisia is a selling point! It's their best setting IMO; with all the cool flavour I'm more likely to buy an AP that is set there. And I may buy Shattered Star after I've run Crimson Throne & Rise of the Runelords for the reason that it is a sequel and would likely appeal to players of my previous campaigns. One Varisian AP per Runelord at least is fine with me... :D
Carter Lockhart wrote:
But there is a point where one setting becomes too complete to continue to sell product for. Or at least sell enough quantity to be profitable. To say nothing of the splat-strain the system would be suffering at that point.
I'm not sure if that's the case; I'd think with the real world you could write new material set in it forever, why not Golarion? Certainly within the lifetime of ourselves, Vic Wertz, Lisa Stevens, James Jacobobs et al, I don't think they'll run out of stuff to do. They made some very smart choices in setting up Golarion as a robust and diverse setting. They are also smart to keep the scale of the APs at a non-realms-shattering level, create a bunch more stuff for every story hook that is closed (eg the diverse number of Runelords), and avoid official metaplot. They seem to have noted all the mistakes WoTC and White Wolf etc made and to have avoided them. I would certainly think twenty or thirty more years of the current approach to the setting (though not player-side splatbooks) would be feasible.
Of course if they were able to develop a version of d20 that works effectively at higher levels, that would be a version well worth buying.
You're right - I also GM 4e D&D which works (but is v slow in combat) at high levels. It's a different sort of game though; I'd like something which felt more like traditional D&D but had reasonable PC/PC and PC/monster balance to high level, at least to the extent AD&D and BECM/RC D&D managed it. I've made a few house rules to Pathfinder in that direction, the main one being Base Save Bonus = Level, so that high level characters have a better than even chance of making most saves. I also made crits faster and less swingy by removing confirmation roll and having them do fixed damage (x2 > max dmg, x3 > 1.5 max, x4 > 2 max).That's the kind of thing I'd like to see in Pathfinder 2.0.
Carter Lockhart wrote:
That would be my expectation too - a minimally changed reissue of Pathfinder with very high backwards compatibility is vital to not void the AP back catalogue. PF also benefits a lot from trust in its evergreen nature, compared to what happened with D&D. So a 1e>2e or 3e>3.5e sort of change, at most; followed by redone versions of some of the splatbooks, as WotC did with 3E>3.5E.Personally I'm not a big fan of splatbooks; I'd prefer a focus on setting material alongside the APs. Paizo is unique in providing so much GM-side content; it's definitely their strength. Plus this stuff is convertible to other RPGs!
Apart from the railroad/derail issue - when I played Thistletop I found it very lethal even at the 'right' time. We had to retreat/run away twice - once vs Ripnugget, the second vs Nualia. Especially with Ripnugget, he and his guards are ridiculously lethal compared to the regular goblins, and we were completely unprepared for that. I would actually suggest toning down the stats on the goblin guards so they're not so superheroic compared to the normal goblins.
Oh, a 10th anniversary alternative I thought of, to avoid cannabilising AP sales, would be to produce a previously-unpublished hardback sequel adventure to Rise of the Runelords. It could be shorter than standard AP length if desired, but I thought the Runelords book was a very nice size (the Core Rulebook is too hefty for comfort).
I would assume that if they did it, it would be Curse of the Crimson Throne: out of print, needs a 3.5 to Pathfinder update, widely considered one of the best, etc.
Unfortunate but understandable, since of course that is the only one I already have a complete collection of and so would not buy. CoTCT is brilliant, even though it needs lots of work as usual.I have the first 3 of Kingnaker, I guess if I could get the whole thing in a hardback for £30 I'd bite the bullet and get it. I'd prefer either something Varisian or something pulpy-down-south - Serpent's Skull, Skull & Shackles - though. :) But either way the chance to pick up a whole AP for the cost of 2 chapters would be impossible to resist.