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Wight

Stefan Hill's page

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 2,825 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Liberty's Edge

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Black Dougal wrote:
After all the chat about Old Greyhawk on another thread, I'm going back to 1st and 2nd ed..no 5th for me.

Which was always an option from the time 3e came out. Still some do not really like the 'mother may I' that is usually leveled at 1e/2e AD&D.

Still I have been re-reading the 1e DMG cover to cover and I'm always surprised how much of the 'new and cool rules' attributed to the wonderful d20 system were already in 1e and as far as rule went worked fine.

S.

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I'll mention it first...

Gygaxian Naturalism for the win :)

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mplindustries wrote:
Bodzilla wrote:

I've been DMing Adventure Paths for a while now and I've always been interested in running my own campaign. I come up with crazy fun ideas but putting it to the test with the math usually discourages me.

My question is, has anyone built their own campaign from start to about 15th level and had fun? How did you make those XP decisions in regard to "filling up" that 10,000 point budget for your five level-1 PC's? What were the percentages spent on monsters, traps, and story awards?

Just, what do I do?

I completely ignore CR and XP and all that noise. I build npcs the way that makes sense, then, they interact with the PCs that make sense. If the scene would have 5 Ogres in it, there are 5 Ogres and it doesn't matter that the PCs are level 15 or 2 or anything in between. If they're 2, I sure hope they run or try and talk.

I pretty much just run sandboxes, so, fidelity to the setting is more important than getting the "correct" level of challenge.

I agree with this, while I will have encounters for all levels as suits I don't agree with the weird idea that really bad monsters will avoid the PC's because they are to low level. I like my players to get an idea of being "in the world" and not "are the world" when designing a campaign. As long as you don't unfairly spring 5 Ogres on a 2nd level party I'm all for it. Then if the players are stupid enough... Well I'm sure stories will be written about them by some bard.

I'm sure Red Dragons don't fly around looking for level appropriate PC's before deciding what lands to terrorize!

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He just went from mortal to an immortal protector. I would say unless your alignment took a hit he could be a 'half glass full' type of vampire. Look at Lestat (in interview the other books were less...), he had a great time as a vampire. Not every vampire has to be Louis.

If you haven't seen the movie Interview with a Vampire I would advise you too. Tom Cruise against all my reservations did a great job as Lestat. The only difference is you will be on the side of good rather than a homicidal maniac...

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Zhangar wrote:

I think Paizo would balk, and balk hard, at trying to bury D&D. (In a possibly far-off hypothetical future where Paizo would be able to buy it.)

That'd be like, I dunno, Nintendo buying the Megaman series from Capcom and then trying to bury it.

It'd be both a travesty AND self-destructive.

Bury is likely too strong of a word, I should have used "phase out". Less support for the D&D brand and wind down parts of the machine creating/printing D&D. Having two completing products in your own line is seldom good business as its splits your own client base. 4e was a good example of this, it split WotC's client base and allowed the growth of Pathfinder.

To say Paizo needs the D&D brand to grow further is like saying a fish needs a bicycle. The Paizo team have done an amazing job creating out of the ashes of 3e/OGL a new brand, that I contest in the circles of those who still play pen & paper fantasy RPG's, as well known as D&D. Sure in this hypothetical case of Paizo obtaining the D&D brand, D&D as a descriptor will still live on for sometime to come, however the game its doesn't have too. What is D&D? If defined by a set of rules then one could argue that as 1e was the only D&D penned by the original authors in that case D&D died when 2e came out. Not saying it did just asking the philosophical question, what is actually D&D?

S.

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Besides if Paizo did obtain the brand D&D the first smart thing to do would be bury the D&D brand and keep on promoting Pathfinder. Make PF the only game in town that is 'D&D-like' (and resourced to a high level). In time there will be people who treat PF as we now treat D&D and again in time only RPG history buffs will ever know that PF came out of this little known game called D&D.

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Paizo are indeed the envy of companies, they have people thanking them for increasing their prices ;)

(This is a tongue in cheek comment - the quality of the products I get from Paizo makes me fine with the price adjustment to reflect increased costs).

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Vic Wertz wrote:
I think Hasbro seems to have gotten out of the "selling brands" business after Hasbro Interactive/Infogrames/Atari. I suspect that they'd rather mothball a brand they don't wish to actively support instead of selling it.

Besides Paizo and Pathfinder is its own brand now. Most players of D&D are well aware of Pathfinder. Not sure that Pathfinder becoming D&D is really needed.

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We have been trying out various changes from Unchained in our PF-core games. We use the more gritty HP system and now are using the Variant Multiclassing. The verdict is we like it a lot. It has toned down some of the silliness yet still opens up players to have unique character concepts.

Anyone else try the variant rule out?

S.

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2e D&D Birthright. That was all sorts of fun.

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Vhayjen wrote:
I'll gladly carry around my iPad with all my RPG's and enjoy it.

And I like using Masterwork Tools Pathfinder OGL on my android tablet!

But neither means you aren't invited to my D&D by candle light game with books and dice after civilization as we know it comes to an end.

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thejeff wrote:
I suspect just the energy that it takes to print the book and ship it cross country is more damaging than the fraction of my devices energy that's devoted to looking at pdfs.

Not in the long term. We have scrolls from thousands of years ago. Treated well a book will last thousands of years. The energy per life-span is far better for a book. That and books will always be readable, and electronic format can go out of vogue far fastest than the written word. Ever tried opening an Office 95 document in Word 2013...

The energy require to make an electronic device, if you include things like the mining and purification of rare metals is quite large. I can make paper and ink at home.

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phantom1592 wrote:
PDFs are tricky things. They are convenient... they save trees... they're cheaper...

Compared to paper made from sustainable forestry PDF's are worse for the planet. You need to have a powered device to view a PDF and renewable power is still just a fraction of the global requirements. Do the planet a favor and buy a book.

That and after the zombie apocalypse, killer plague, meteor strike, alien envasion - I'll be whiping out my books and dice and playing D&D. I feel sorry for those in the post-apocalyptic world that need to wait for power generation to be invented again to play. Still, class this post as an open invite to my game :)

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Lorathorn wrote:
Role Playing Games being "extinct"

I never implied extinct, I implied that the 30 foot tall, 6 inch toothed D&D has evolved into a small feathered, flightless game. Still alive and well just unlikely to scare the pants off you.

I agree that systems are going away, and that was due to as you point out in the video market, saturation of a limited resource (i.e. people to buy your game).

I guess I focused on the last paragraph of your article, remembering people tend to remember the first and last item in a list, which hits out against WotC and their refusal to supply PDF's. I just don't agree that lack of PDF = peril. But your blog, your opinion, and that I have no issues with! But I reserve the right to disagree that is all.

S.

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Lorathorn wrote:

This thread has got me to think and write. Here lies the result.

https://elvenwizardking.wordpress.com/2015/04/21/systems-failure/

This is just my opinion, but I disagree the problem is availability of PDF's, the 'systems failure' as you term it, has only a small part to do with availability and more to do with a shift in entertainment expectations. Why would I engage my imagination when EA Games can show me being heroic in 1080p (or now 4k)?

TTRPG has had it's time, the T-Rex is dead and only us chickens are left...

Power of Imagination

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It has already been said, but the truth is there isn't the 80/90's market around anymore. I have nearly every supplement from the 2e era, I didn't eat some weeks to afford the next Ravenloft splat book. That rabid desire in the 21st century is for video game based entertainment. My hours and hours of time spent reading the 1e/2e paper printed (no PDF's) monster manuals thinking of adventures to inflict on my players (which I had NO problems finding, in fact I had a waiting list) is more likely now spend on Destiny or Halo etc.

Nothing WotC (or Paizo) can do will change that. The table-top game is now a shadow of its former self. I don't blame Hasbro for wanting to make money, they are not a charity (neither is Paizo), and computer based entertainment is where it is at.

I don't think TTRPG's will die, thanks to companies like Paizo and WotC (D&D) running in a financially viable way our niche (very niche now) hobby will continue to tick over for decades to come.

So I do not think WotC - D&D is evil, in fact I thank the people in the D&D pen & paper division keeping the paper version available. It must be a hard sell and getting harder to convince Hasbro to commit resources each year. The team at WotC are all that stands between D&D TTRPG and D&D being solely an electronic game based brand.

S.

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Tribalgeek wrote:
There's a werewolf ap?

I mean the Carrion Crown AP, had a vacant moment sorry.

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Hayato Ken wrote:


Would you like sharing your experiences, problems and solutions?
Perhaps in the spirit of unchained, there could just grow such a system. I´m sure there are enough similar-minded people around here.

In my experience most difficult is positioning in combat for things like flanking, AoO´s and spell effects.

I'll state again, I NOT suggesting they drop tactical combat, only that it causes issues in TotM combat.

Flanking, AoO's and SE's we don't have such issues with, coming from learning playing Red Box/1e/2e but mainly playing 2e these were things as GM you just dealt with.

5' steps, many many combat related feats, weapon reach, etc these are things that cause much discussion. And YES it would be far easier to pull out a map as these rules have been developed to work with a map.

All can be sorted in game for sure, but ultimately these come under the heading House-Rules. Not a bad thing in itself, but imagine if PF didn't have rules for charging in the current game. Would you be happy that the omission of a coded charge rule could just be house ruled?

I think that the combat rules and many feats would need rewritten to truly support native TotM combats.

S.

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Interesting question. We have own own campaign world and we write our own stories (adventures). Pathfinder Unchained was a surprise to us. But the balancing of core classes against other core classes makes the whole playing core more enjoyable and some of the optional rules (like damage threshold) for us were very welcome. We like gritty, and even though Unchained warns against the death spiral - assuming your GM isn't a dick this can lead to surrender rather than slug-fests until one side is destroyed. We like that idea.

So in answer, the continued quality, art work and readability - even of books we don't use in play add to our continued support of Paizo. I even splashed out on the Werewolf AP - not so closet Ravenloft fanboy from WAY back. Haven't played it but ideas became part of OUR game. So I'll continue to purchase PF RPG books and read them because they give me ideas. I would buy a Corebook 'revised' (better core class balance etc) but would need to think hard about any Corebook V2 that invalidated anything that went before.

Actually while I have your attention... :)

A version of the rules that like 2e/5e D&D didn't hard code the use of miniatures in the combat rules. We are firmly Theater of the Mind in game and sometimes the PF combat RAW make this difficult. I know MANY love the battle board and I have No issue with how others play. But if PF could possibly cater for the non-battle board/miniatures style of play it would be awesome!

So what about releasing 'Pathfinder Core RPG - Pen & Paper only version'?

Cheers,
S.

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I must express my gratitude at Paizo once again producing a beautiful product. Pathfinder Unchained is glorious to look at. I'll admit many of the Paizo Pathfinder RPG range my group does not use many of the 'advanced' rules as for us the game becomes to complex, but that doesn't mean I don't proudly show off my Pathfinder RPG book collection!

We currently play our version of Pathfinder Core (meaning Core rule + Bestiary 1 only), but with Unchain we have started using Wound Thresholds and will let the Unchained 'Core" classes in likely.

Well done once again Paizo, you cemented my ongoing RPG subscription - yet again.

Regards,
S.

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Enevhar Aldarion wrote:

Are you going to keep expanding your "free rules" campaign as more free pdfs get released, such as the new elemental stuff? Also, keep checking back in the basic rules, as WotC supposedly will keep updating and slowly expanding them.

Yep, as they release free stuff. As my players get more comfortable with the game I'm sure they will think about buying the full rule books. But for now and until the gun-shy reaction that 4 e caused wears off we'll just keep adding 'free' bits and pieces as WotC release them.

Good sign for 5e is with the Elemental release my players decided to have another 5e bash rather than PF CORE. Not a comment to which game is better or worse but I do like DMing 5e. Oh the power ;)

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kinevon wrote:
I think this may cover a lot of your questions.

Cheers, perfect. Thanks.

And to Tsriel, no stress dude.

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Sebastian Hirsch wrote:


There are no limits for GMs since the scenarios and adventures they are running use material from all sources.

Thanks Muser, DesolateHarmony and Sebastian. I understood Tsriel's point, just disagreed with his delivery.

The quoted part above is more what I was asking. If I was writing a PFS adventure what resources would I be allowed to use. Obviously PFS adventures aren't born, they are written and written under some assumptions. Those assumptions would form our groups limits on developing our non-PFS games, again, because we like the idea of PF CORE.

I also understand the distracting bit, and apologize for disruption,

Cheers,
S.

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Tsriel wrote:
Non-PFS? Do whatever you want. Nobody on this side of the forum cares.

Have you canvassed everyone on the forum? Perhaps you mean you don't care?

I was thinking perhaps someone 'on this side of the forum' might know given that PF Core is a PFS based development. The 'other side of the forum' seems to be populated with friendly community spirited people. I think I'll retreat back there.

Apologies for darkening your door,
S.

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Are there guidelines for non-PFS Core Campaign games? I was thinking outside of PFS play. PF has become too much of cyclopean (got to love Lovecraft) wall of a game and the Core Campaign gets our group back to a sensible fun game.

Having codified guidelines keeps us from slipping back to having 1/2-Dragon-1/2-Elf-1/2-Efeeti-1/2-Gold Fish 3-Handed Sword wielding Barbarian/Cleric/Accountant/Part-time Goat Herder characters dealing a googolplex damage per free action*.

Cheers.

*Note I may have used hyperbole in places.

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Hi,

I understand that players can only use the Core Rulebook with clarifications from the Bestiary I. But with regards to monsters are GM's also restricted to the Bestiary I or can they use anything?

Thanks,
S.

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We have just finished a campaign using only the free downloadable rules. A few of the group were not keen on spending MORE money on ANOTHER game after 4e took our money but failed to really grab us. We all like PF but with all the books in play it has moved from fun to full time job to make a character*.

So we all agree Free 5e stuff only. It was some of the most fun RP sessions I have had in ages. Due to the more DM-friendly style of game it wasn't really a problem that the rules do cover everything and never slowed the game play down.

Anyone else for either moral or financial reasons going Basic 5e?

S.

*We do like the idea of PF core and that will likely be our next game. Still 5e plays at the table very well in my opinion.

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Seconding Pendragon. It isn't just an RPG its a life story.

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Laurefindel wrote:
I like to see hit points as a renewable bank of "readyness" or stamina buffer, with damage representing tiring parries and taxing dodges. PCs don't get injured before they reach 0 hp.

This is the way Warhammer Fantasy RP 1e & 2e handles 'hp'. Has the effect of players retreating from combat rather than slugging it out to the bitter end. The fear of losing a hand or leg is a powerful motivator for role-playing self-preservation.

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(1) Ravenloft adventure (original 1e redo VERBATIM as 5e, nothing related to the less than appealing 3.5e version).

(2) Ravenloft setting as a hardback (last 2nd ed. version as a template)

That's about it really, quite easy to please me :)

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houstonderek wrote:
The industry can be best described as "cottage". It will eventually all be kickstarter type stuff for a dedicated core of people holding on to their favorite hobby. It is never going to be as big as it was in the Eighties, sorry.

And the most depressing comment of decade goes to...

Mainly because I can't help but agree. I blame that new fangled microchip, we only had the potato chip back then.

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This will likely be an unpopular view with some but... exactly none. Feat bloat makes games like 3.5e/PF a maze of trap options and really specific cases. 5th ed. has that nice open air feel. The more rules that take place under specific situations the more you, in my opinion, restrict the game and the input of the players imaginations.

Still nothing wrong with options that we can choose to ignore, meaning I hope any extra feats, and whatever else, are stated as options. The 4th ed. 'everything is core' was a pain in the butt.

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Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:

Oh hey, the Torchbearer RPG blog has levels 6-10 for the official classes!

We're definitely approaching the point where a Torchbearer-Planescape game makes sense. I can't wait!

I'll be very curious to see what's in the second book, considering how innovative the first one was.

And under mods of the game they have release Aliens (TB). Very funny.

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Vic Wertz wrote:
Jester David wrote:
The catch is Paizo has been expanding a LOT in the past five years, really increasing their production. Monthly Player Companions, five hardcovers a year, and more. I've heard comparisons to TSR in it's peak. Having done the numbers myself, Paizo is comparable in terms of RPG books, even if you include the Realms and campaign settings (it does fall behind when you consider the magazines though).

We've just learned from our German translation partners that there are now more Pathfinder products in German than there have ever been D&D products—ever, regardless of edition. And while our French translation partners haven't actually counted, they believe the same is probably true for their language.

While I sometimes have issues with the underlying 3.5e mechanics, Paizo just make a darn beautiful product and given the level of staff interaction with the community, I'm not surprised at all.

Paizo being the new(ish) kid on the block has had to do the hard yards to prove themselves. I think WotC at times has relied on past, read as TSR, glories to sell their product.

I do think that 5e shows a new willingness of WotC to re-connect with the people who buy/play the game. But in this WotC are playing catch up, Paizo are the experienced masters at creating and maintaining a lively community.

Hats off to both companies, I like and play both games whenever I get the chance.

S.

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2097 wrote:

I'm also on board with the randomness of advantage as opposed to numerical mods. Is this situation worth +1? +5? +7? Tough call, DM. Let the dice decide! You rolled a 5 and a 19? I guess it was worth +12 today, congratulations!

That is what we find with the Advantage/Disadvantage system, it has stopped the 'bean counting', every action has a degree of randomness.

I think WotC achieved what they were after a Roleplaying game with the charm of 2e AD&D.

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plusonetshirt wrote:
Stefan Hill wrote:
Pathfinder = Pathfinder, they have gone way beyond their 3.5e roots and claiming Pathfinder = D&D belittles the amount of effort Paizo have put in over the years. D&D = D&D (currently 5e). If you like playing Warhammer then I would suggest that 4e might be something of interest to you. The 4e D&D mechanics make it really a very good skirmish level table top combat game that really promotes group play. Pathfinder also has good rules that make it again a good skirmish level table top war-game, but in Pathfinder group play can be overridden by individualism.

Didn't mean to offend, I was just commenting on the similarities of DnD and Pathfinder,and we gave up on Warhammer and anything associated with GW some time ago.

I also want to say I'm happy to see a forum with intelegent conversation..unlike some other game forums Ive seen...

I get what you meant, just the whole Pathfinder is D&D and 4e D&D is WoW has been done to death on these and many other forums. Each of the above games play differently and each has merits based on the style of play. None play like a computer based RPG as none limit the player to a set of pre-programmed options on how to handle a situation.

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying from originally GW is a great RPG, 2nd edition from Black Industries is one of my favourite RPGs full stop.

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Pathfinder = Pathfinder, they have gone way beyond their 3.5e roots and claiming Pathfinder = D&D belittles the amount of effort Paizo have put in over the years. D&D = D&D (currently 5e). If you like playing Warhammer then I would suggest that 4e might be something of interest to you. The 4e D&D mechanics make it really a very good skirmish level table top combat game that really promotes group play. Pathfinder also has good rules that make it again a good skirmish level table top war-game, but in Pathfinder group play can be overridden by individualism.

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I have found that in 1e/2e I used to use the lack of HP recovery after an encounter to help with the pacing and placement of further encounters. In PF for sure CLW have changed the way I design an adventure. To start with it really bugged me, the players were nearly always on full HP's straight after the encounter. The idea of beaten and broken heroes facing the odds and winning through still appealed to the GM in me. Then I discovered 'conditions', I now use those liberally in adventures. It is quite normal for my players to safely have all their HP's but have conditions to deal with. For me at least the HP's resource I see as a static number at the start of any combat, but the conditions my players are afflicted with change the encounter.

If adventuring were easy every one would do it ;)

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Cap. Darling wrote:
It says a single move action only. And talking is a free action. So no talking.

And fair enough, ever tried talking while throwing up ;)

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Kthulhu wrote:
The best mass combat for an RPG I've ever used or read through is the one from BECMI/Rules Cyclopedia D&D.

I agree with this if you want abstract. The 2nd ed AD&D mass battle system is a great D&D table top war-game, very playable. Also the system in the 2nd ed Birthright campaign boxed set is worth a look, sort of in between abstract and tabletop.

S.

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Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:

Well, I finally picked up my copy from my FNGS. I haven't had the opportunity to thoroughly peruse it yet, but one of my regular gaming friends also has a copy, so the odds of actually playing a session or three have increased significantly. Being the complete geek I am, I also downloaded all the free PDF's for it from the Burning Wheel site. I am reminded of many of the things I liked about Mouse Guard & Burning Wheel already.

Almost tempted to try starting up a PbP here... On the other hand, I was in a PbP here where we tried using Burning Wheel & some things just don't seem to translate nearly as well in that medium.

As I mentioned earlier, we play over Skype using a web based dice roller. Works perfectly and you loose none of the features of the game. Not saying PbP won't also work well of course.

S.

PS: As soon as we hit town I'm a 3rd Level Paladin!

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Torchbearer is a game where you rapidly learn that trying to kill something has the horrible downside of the potential of you being killed. Now that may seem obvious, but after playing Torchbearer it has a whole new level of meaning. You better be darn sure you are going to win. Basically we work on the fact if it is bigger than a human and has pointy teeth a Flee or Drive-Off conflict is best :)

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As stated previously the most important thing is to keep in mind the assumptions made when calculating DPR and the fact average statistics works well really only over a large, better still infinite, number of stochastic rolls. Very rarely do we roll an infinite number of attacks in a gaming evening unfortunately.

The outcome of squeezing a few more DPR out of your character is ultimately an exercise in theory-crafting and will unlikely result in massive awesomeness at the table.

Still sometimes fun to live in the world of averages.

Actually on that does any one just play 'averages'? Would actually speed up the combat.

S.

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Going back to first edition AD&D padded had a higher encumbrance value than leather, and keeping in mind encumbrance is weight plus difficultly to move in. So really 5e is using the disadvantage mechanic to represent this difficultly to move in. As Blue_Drake mentions.

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Mainly because we are a niche best hidden from 'the normals' ;)

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We have been playing a campaign since it came out. Great game. Works well for 'some' of the classic D&D adventures, Ravenloft (I6) has a whole new level or terror under the Torchbearer rules. Scared and hungry and without light in the lair of a vampire, hmmmmm, you do the math :)

My Paladin is about to hit Level 3 - of course leveling means almost nothing in Torchbearer. More an indication that you have survived rather than you are achieving greatness.

Works really well across Skype (the way we play), combat is all theater of the mind.

After playing torchbearer you will never look at a full waterskin on you characters sheets without breathing a sigh of relief.

S.

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I agree that as long as the spells are not allowed to have a target of a person it would be a fine addition.

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houstonderek wrote:
Ok, I'm going to take the plunge. When I can make my way to the FLGS I'm picking up the PHB. I like what I'm hearing, I liked most of what I saw in the Basic free PDFs, so Hasbro gets a second chance.

Where houstonderek goes others will follow :)

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What I like about 5e so far is you can't do this:

So much complete loss of control of the rules

I spent 4 years getting a 1st ed. Magic-User to 16 level (playing nearly every lunchtime at school) and I don't think he managed 600 hp points of damage in TOTAL.

I am NOT saying PF is a bad game, just any semblance of in game controls to keep things sensible left by Teleport Without Error several years ago.

For me the huge strength of 5e is Adventurers are cool and do neat stuff but they are still just Folks (as Mal would say).

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Funny how sometimes you have to choose between keeping your cake or eating it.

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