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Steve Geddes's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Maps, Modules, Tales Subscriber. 7,625 posts (8,622 including aliases). 12 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 8 aliases.


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Skeld wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:

Before you kick him out, ask the other players. Gauge their feelings.

Then kick him out.

I've had to do this before and this is exactly the route I took. I had lunch with each of my players one-on-one over the course of a week and asked each of them their thoughts about the problem player. To my surprise, all f them said he was being a disruptive jetk and needed to go, including the one guy that had been friends with him since forever. It made the decision much easier to know everyone was in agreement.

-Skeld

A great way to do it.


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Tacticslion wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

What I mean is, taking the strict interpretation of "any arcane spell" which is being advocated - if you're gagged and get told "you can't cast a spell with a verbal component as per this general rule on spellcasting", you can reply: "my specific rule is a self contained rule that tells me everything I need to know about casting spells. It trumps the general rule, so I can cast ANY arcane spell." (This seemed to be what BigDTBone was arguing before, in ignoring the 'choose a spell' section).

Again, I'm accepting the premise and suggesting it leads to absurdity - not advocating an interpretation.

"Any arcane spell" is still argued from within the context of the ability as a whole. It does not ignore the rest of the wording, where that wording applies.

Yeah, I'm not suggesting adding a metamagic feat, merely pointing out that my self contained magic system makes no mention of components and says I can cast ANY arcane spell - therefore win. :)

I think BigDTBone will walk that claim back. One could rather argue that specifying which of the any spells you can cast constitutes choosing one. And therefore my previous objection doesn't apply.


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Tacticslion wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
If you're really going to take "any arcane spell" at face value, as unrestricted by the general rule by virtue of "trumping" it, then you'd have to allow verbal spells while silenced, and spells with somatic components while restrained, wouldn't you?
Arcane Surge wrote:
You can't add a metamagic feat to a spell you cast using this ability.
Thus, only if you'd know a variant of a verbal or stilled spell would it apply.

What I mean is, taking the strict interpretation of "any arcane spell" which is being advocated - if you're gagged and get told "you can't cast a spell with a verbal component as per this general rule on spellcasting", you can reply: "my specific rule is a self contained rule that tells me everything I need to know about casting spells. It trumps the general rule, so I can cast ANY arcane spell." (This seemed to be what BigDTBone was arguing before, in ignoring the 'choose a spell' section).

Again, I'm accepting the premise and suggesting it leads to absurdity - not advocating an interpretation.


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I think someone mentioned this previously, but looking up the definition of "Arcane Spell" seems like another way to reject the OP, whilst accepting the premise.

An arcane spell is a spell cast by a wizard, sorcerer or bard (presumably later books spell out which subsequent classes are also casters of arcane spells, but neither fighter nor Archmage is on the list).

Thus, this ability grants the ability to cast any arcane spell - but that trait is not a quality of the spell, but of the caster. In order to be an arcane spell, the caster must be a wizard, sorcerer or bard (or similar, newer class). As such, you will, per force, fall into one of the limited scenarios depending on whether you're a prepared or spontaneous caster.


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WWWW wrote:
So in the end we have gone nowhere. We are right back at the rules are too vague and ambiguous for anyone to ever hope to get their meaning. Discussion is pointless as we can not ever get any closer to an answer and there is no point to talking about what to do in a particular group since it would be better to, you know, talk to the people in the group about that.

I don't have any particular need to keep talking about it, nonetheless I don't share this view.

I reject the idea that the concept of "their meaning" (singular) has any objective substance (other than RAI). As such, discussion has a point - it's just that the point isn't to determine who is correct, but rather to determine the strengths and weaknesses of different resolutions of any ambiguity.


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WWWW wrote:
I see, so your argument is that the rules are so vague and ambiguous that it is impossible to even hope to understand their meaning, except by trying to guess the minds of the designers

Not at all. In fact, in the post you quoted, I specifically said that I preferred a different way to arbitrate in ambiguous situations.

My argument is that the rules are ambiguous in places - making pursuit of RAW a meaningless endeavour in those situations. I think RAW is mostly useful in straightforward places in the rules (like "what's the benefit of cover?" and so forth). I don't think it's useful when you encounter a situation where knowledgeable players disagree about the rules. All that happens is a lot of back-and-forth sprinkled with quotations of snippets of rules or fragments of dictionaries. None of which actually helps, in my view.

I think a better approach, when such ambiguities arise, is to acknowledge that there are multiple interpretations and discuss the pros and cons of accepting each.


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BigDTBone wrote:
The idea that "[You can]draw a weapon within easy reach [of you] as a move action," is equivalent to "you can cast any arcane spell," is somewhat disingenuous.

It may be naive, but it isnt disingenuous. I dont do this very often and dont spend much time looking around for the perfect example.


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WWWW wrote:

When I say what it means I am talking about the meaning of the words, as that is what this discussion was presumably originally about, and not the implied developer intent that one might read into things.

So anyway, am I to take this to mean you do not care to continue. If so I am perfectly willing to drop things.

It may not be fruitful or interesting to you (I'm going to keep posting until it's not fruitful or interesting to me and wont take offense if you decline to respond).

However, to expand on my position somewhat. When you say:

Quote:
When I say what it means I am talking about the meaning of the words......not the implied developer intent that one might read into things.

I think this is a false dichotomy of sorts. In my view there is no, unique "meaning of the words" since "any arcane spell" could be limited in some fashion (To illustrate: does this, specific rule grant one the ability to cast an arcane spell with a vocal component when gagged? Can you cast a spell if you dont meet any of the other requirements? If you think "any spell" is unrestricted then it should, shouldnt it? Specific trumps general and all that.)

It seems to me that interpreting rules sometimes involves determining which meaning of some word or phrase should apply - "any spell at all", "any spell which you meet all the other pre-requisites for" (ie have the material components, can see the target, etcetera) or "any spell you can already cast". One way to do this is to try and discern what the designer intended, however that's not the only way (I prefer to take the meaning which my table will enjoy the most, even if I know it's against RAI).

To provide another illustration of my position. It seems to me that someone following BigDTBone's approach could point to the move action of "drawing a weapon" and argue that:

"All it says is that the weapon has to be within easy reach. It doesnt specify that it has to be within easy reach of the person taking the action though, so I'd like to draw the BBEG's weapon from across the room."

We could spend a lot of time debating what "within easy reach" entails, but it's clear what the rule should be - no matter what decision we come to as to what the words mean taken on their own.


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Tacticslion wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Tacticslion and his disciples
... you have just uttered the world's most terrifying phrase.

I can see the writing on the wall.


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We've managed to be clear enough up front about what the limitations are going to be. I've played in games where wizards didn't get any choice as to spells they got in their spell books, where magic use was illegal where the more you used magic the more risky it became.

I like playing in those games. Telling me it's wrong to do so with other people who like playing in those games just seems weird to me. I don't really have any way to argue with "there is a right way to play and a wrong way".

In my view, there's lots of ways to play. "Jerkish" is about how you treat people, not about what you like. I have no doubt that if we played a game with narrative restrictions on magic and a spellcasting player was unhappy with how it was playing out, they'd be allowed to change their PC, we'd tweak the rules or we'd abandon the campaign.


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I think it's worth exploring how things are different in a world where worship of the evil gods is out in the open and accepted and the role of "secret cults" is being filled by followers of good deities.


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Kolokotroni wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Sure. That's part of the enjoyment of playing a magicuser in a limited magic setting.

It's obviously wrong to impose limits without warning players beforehand, but if everyone knows about them (including the uncertain nature) what's the problem? If you don't like that uncertainty or lack of definition, you know not to play a magical character or not to play at all.

Is it actually enjoyable to anyone to not get to play during portions of the game? Because that is what your asking. It often makes for a tense and interesting sorry. But it makes for a crummy game when you tell someone to sit there and do nothing while other people have fun, because if you had fun it will ruin everything for everyone and you'll have to be punished for it.

Yeah - dont say that. Say "If you play a wizard, here are the limitations. If you dont want those limitations, dont play a wizard. If you dont want to play in a game where wizards are limited, dont play in this game".

It's not adversarial. I like these games. That doesnt mean I think everyone should be limited. I'm not arguing for a change to the base assumptions of Pathfinder or suggesting any kind of overhaul. This thread is about tweaking Pathfinder to be low-magic based on the assumption you want to play a low magic game. Ruling out narrative restrictions on aesthetic grounds is one thing - a lot of people won't like it. But that doesnt make it always wrong.

Quote:
As I have mentioned before, most of the time, games that have these sorts of limitations shouldn't have classes like the wizard where the overwhelming majority of the thing they do is arbitrarily limited by narrative means. That isn't fun, thats obnoxious. In a story, a character sitting there and doing nothing because its someone else's turn, is just fine, the specialist gets to shine. In an rpg thats an actual person, spending hours of his actual life, watching other people have fun.

I've played magicusers in these kinds of games - another that I remember was that certain kind of magicusers really struggled to learn new spells (they were all terribly rare). I knew that when I made my character and enjoyed the game (even though I had severely limited spell choices).

It might not be a game you're interested in, but how can that possibly be obnoxious if it's all up front and clear from the beginning?


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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.

Congratulations on all your successes. Smart people, producing high quality work deserve to be rewarded. Like the last two posters, I hope 5E does well for WotC and I hope Paizo continue to do well.


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I'm not so sure that D&D is going to outsell Pathfinder anymore (I did think so, but that was before I realised just how glacial WotC's release schedule was going to be). There are what, three titles every month for Pathfinder? They can sell to less than a quarter the audience and outsell D&D at that rate (ignoring the obvious player-book/DM-book/adventure-book fine-tuned distinctions).

I'm glad they both seem to be doing well, I'd be disappointed if WotC's success with 5E came at a significant cost to Paizo. I dont see them as very close competitors, really.


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"The ancient prophecy speaks of an insidious Champion of Evil, intent on first denying unions access to workplaces before winding pack the recent equal pay reforms...."


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thejeff wrote:
Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
thejeff wrote:
I trust GMs to do their best, but not to be perfect. I know I'm not.

That's all I require, honestly.

I wouldn't react with hostility to this lack of trust, more like disappointment. Interrupting the game, as a separate issue, might result in hostility depending on how egregious it was. But I try to stay cool about such things.

In any case, I broach these topics because it seems like metagaming isn't the only issue in the OP's scenarios. Teasing apart the different interactions can be important if he wants to get resolution.

See, I look at it from the other end: How would I react if after a long frustrating combat that should have been a cakewalk, but ended in a TPK, one of the players looked at a book and said "Yeah, I thought so, but didn't want to interrupt. It's not supposed to drain on every attack. That's why it all went wrong."

What would you think of what was suggested earlier in that scenario: Asking "Two points of ability drain at level 3? That seems high; are you sure you're using the right monster abilities? Would you mind checking?" and letting the GM make the call.

I'm not sure whether it would be better to ask up front? Or check yourself to make sure before interrupting? Might depend on how sure I was of the monster's stats without looking at the book.

This obviously all depends on the different agreements and table-etiquette we all have, so no doubt it's wildly different at different tables.

Nonetheless, I'd much prefer the "would you mind checking?" approach to the "I looked it up and I think that's not how it's supposed to work" approach. Even though they're functionally identical, I think I'd share Mythic Evil Lincoln's view about trust. The request to check may slow things down (a little) but it shows you still trust the DM to run the game and are leaving that part of the whole experience to him (FWIW, I'd be quite happy as a DM getting one of my players to check so as not to slow down the game - I'd still like to be asked as it's the impression of "checking up on me" that would feel wrong).

This would also depend (for us) on how well we knew the game. When we learn a new system, it's expected at our table that "off camera" players will be looking things up as we go to check we're doing it right - we wouldnt do that for a game we knew well though.


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captain yesterday wrote:
JonGarrett wrote:
Council of Thieves. I know it's not the most popular AP by a longshot, but that's why I like the idea - if any of the paths need expanding, converting and making more awesome, it's Council. Especially of the 3.5 era ones.

Why do people keep saying this?

for the last time: Council of Thieves was the first Adventure Path to utilize the Pathfinder Role Playing Game Rules, it says so in the very first forward of book one

Also, are you SURE that's the last time? :p


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Fantastic thread. Thanks, Greg. :)

I presume these upcoming projects (other than the environment books) will continue the PF/S&W dual system approach?

Any thoughts on how 5E support is going to fit in to things going forward? (I realise you probably don't know yet, but I wondered if you had any thoughts so far you'd be willing to share publicly?)


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Anzyr wrote:
I think the trick is getting people to *use* the categories when they use the term low magic. I think the OP covers most of what it needs to.

Is this a real problem?

I can understand clarifying it for board discussions, but do people really advertise games as "low magic" with no further description? Because I struggle to understand this as a real-world, at the table problem - rather I see it mainly as useful for clarifying discussions on the forum. Even that doesnt seem too difficult as it usually becomes clear pretty quickly when people are using different definitions.


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Ellestil wrote:
I think it would be perfect business for paizo to make/convert their modules to be 5E compatible. Spend the same amount of effort on the product but reach twice the customers.

In my view, such a conversion is not a negligible effort, so I don't think the boost to customer numbers is quite as free as this suggests.

Also, although I don't think they're true competitors, I think there is a certain conflict for market share between PF and 5E. As such, one of paizo's great strengths when marketing pathfinder is their awesome adventure support. If those adventures were also available to players of D&D then pathfinder loses some of its competitive advantage.


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Ms. Pleiades wrote:

Judging from the list, it looks like Rob gets a lot more of the Heavily Themed AP's, while James gets ones that are much more tied to the campaign setting lore.

Jade Regent: Lots of stuff that needs to be tied together in Tian Xia.

Shattered Star: It's a sequel to Rise of the Runelords, lots of stuff to tie together.

Wrath of the Righteous: Again, being such a central part of the Age of Lost Omens, something to do with the Worldwound needs to tie together a lot of things as you have nations from all over the Inner Sea getting involved.

Iron Gods: Numeria and its crashed starship have been around in the campaign setting for ages, chances are that there were memos about it early on that James could have had more time to stew in his head-cauldron with. Although it is heavily themes sci-fi/magi-tech, so it falls out of the pattern.

Skull and Shackles: Pirate Theme!
Reign of Winter: Eastern Europe Fantasy Theme!
Mummy's Mask: Ancient Egyptian Theme!

Maybe this is part of the reason for the seeming divide? Personally I like the ideas behind S&S, WotR, Shattered Star and RoW, but have yet to purchase/read through/play any of them.

I'm not so sure. I remember Shattered Star being sold as a "dungeon themed" AP (for example). And I'd argue that Skull and Shackles is just as much about the shackles and the eye of abendengo as it is about pirates. Osirion has been a central part of the setting since the beginning (even featuring as a PF faction) so mummy's mask would fit more in the "campaign setting lore" category than the "themed" category, imo.

I think the distinctions are somewhat arbitrary and only really appear clear cut once you know who did which.


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captain yesterday wrote:
Rob started at the end of kingmaker I believe, tho the first few he worked on it was more learning the ropes besides James:)

Cheers. So I guess I should add Carrion Crown to "his" list and Serpent's Skull to James's (James'?)

I'm still not seeing any obvious common list of problems/greatness, to be frank. I love some that each of them have done and have a lesser opinion about some others. I still hold the view that "campaign theme" is the overriding factor in what people like. I'd personally also list "AP authors" as a factor more important than the AP developer.

I'd guess they work pretty closely together anyhow.


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You're preaching to the converted here. I prefer imbalanced systems.
It's always interesting to hear opinions from people who actually know what they're talking about though. :)


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Technotrooper wrote:
I have reason to believe (but can't share how or why) they are actively considering other settings as well.

They've publicly stated as much - I believe Spelljammer was one of the ones mentioned as "on the list".

I must confess to having my confidence shaken somewhat based on the announcing/cancelling/amending nature of the release schedule near the end of 4E, plus the (imo) tentative approach regarding sourcebooks for 5E. To me, it gives the impression of not having confidence in their way forward. I get not announcing things too far in advance and also the deliberate slowing of releases, but I feel they've become just a tad too conservative in this respect.


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Creighton Broadhurst wrote:
This is a perfect opportunity for me to go on a rant about balance in games

You should seize it. I'd be interested, for one. :)


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Grey Lensman wrote:


Everything I heard about TSR during those days tells me that 'splitting the customer base' was just one of their many mistakes. Someone who went over what passed for their books says it was the biggest one, and I am inclined to believe that myself since she really has nothing to gain by lying, and as she is currently involved in running a successful company I'd say she is also competent at the job (making me think she is less likely to make a mistake than me, even if I had the benefit of seeing the books).

Yeah. It wouldn't have been my first guess (I would have gone for the rise of magic:the gathering combined with the unfortunate consequences of tying their distribution to the book trade distributors, rather than hobby distributors). Nonetheless, there's no more qualified opinion out there.

Lisa was knowledgeable, qualified, motivated to learn the truth and had as excellent information as it was possible to have. Her analysis was also conducted much closer to the events' occurrences than anything done since. There was no need for her to offer an opinion in 2011, so it's hard to impute any dishonesty to her remarks.

I'd need pretty remarkable evidence (like the figures themselves, basically) to gainsay an expert opinion under those circumstances.


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Wheldrake wrote:
At best you could submit it to Paizo and see if they want to publish it. I'd be suprised if they didn't have a contributors FAQ around here somewhere.

As a general rule, they don't read unsolicited submissions.


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The (unstated) assumption is that the game is fair and nobody is cheating. However, cheats do not "exist outside" of either probability or "the mathematical element". You can mathematically account for cheats too.

For example: if you (somehow) know another player is going to cheat, the best you can do to maximise your chances is to do whatever you can to go before that person makes their choice (although, in my view, this in itself constitutes cheating on your part). Knowing another player's proclivities (like third from the left or something) doesn't actually help you at all unless you plan on cheating yourself.

Obviously one answer to "how do I maximise my chances of winning this game of chance?" is always going to be "Cheat". It's not generally a very useful answer though, in terms of advancing understanding, since everyone already knows that answer.


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king phar wrote:

Alright so I'm gonna start this post off saying that I have only played one campaign set in 5th edition using the Tyranny of Dragons adventure book and playing Bard (a class I have never played before but heard good things about).

I, personally, found the whole experience to be really boring. Throughout the campaign the only way my character really felt like he had changed was in his spell list, even in the spell list though I felt like I was just choosing what charm I thought was most amusing at the time. I didn't really roll dice unless it was for some skill check and for those checks we basically just threw dice at them until one of us succeeded (It wasn't until the 3rd or 4th level that my diplomacy checks got more than 2 points higher than the party warlock and I'm the bard). On top of that there was rarely a fight that I didn't just rehash the same spells I used the last encounter. The DM tried his hardest to make things interesting but my character, my window to the story, was so static that when he threw us up against the harder stuff I was at first afraid, because I didn't feel stronger, then I found out that in reality the bosses weren't all that stronger than their lesser bandit brother in. Sure they would have one new ability that they would use every turn, but it was still hard for me to keep myself from rolling my eyes when my paladin started calling my name praying for heals when the enemy had barely scratched him. I also felt as if I have very few choices in how my character did things, from his leveling to his play style he followed his path like a good little elf and I was just a guy watching from a distance making notes on a piece of paper and rolling a dice.

Comparing this with the last Pathfinder campaign I played in. I found that even though the campaign was kind of excruciating due to a Dm putting in some rules and fluff that were just ridiculous in some cases, my character progressed. My hunter learned new techniques and each fight was a new lesson in ways to use my...

I've wondered about this dichotomy too. As well as the simple-complicated spectrum (which most of the discussion has been about) ít seems to me there's also a spectrum of how closely one likes the mechanical options provided within the character creation part of a game to replicate the flavor one is trying to portray.

It seems to me that 5E's default assumption is you can do much more without any mechanical backup - that duty falling on the DM to adjudicate rather than the rules. In Pathfinder, by contrast, there is more a general assumption that the rules empower you to do various actions/stunts and that the DM doesnt need to come up with rules, but that you cant do them without the appropriate mechanical gizmo.

We have one player in our group whose tastes in this regard mirror yours, I suspect. He's begun saying things like "well, that's not in the actual rules" when things come up in our 5E game and I suspect that in the long run he's going to find it limiting/boring in the same way that you did.

For me I find it the opposite - my pathfinder characters are all built very simply because I have no interest in the effort required to tweak them mechanically so I just make them good at one thing (and I'm not terribly good at that, so they're not even that good at it). Having done so, I cant then do anything else - since there's feats and options I should have taken but didnt, so I'm either forbidden from trying it or I'm nearly always going to fail. It seems to me these two different ways of playing arent really captured by the simple/complex dichotomy we've mainly spoken about in this thread. Nonetheless, I think it will prove a significant element long-term in which game one prefers.


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I'd go for "as in your favourite role playing game" or similar.

You can use paizo's community use license, but only if you don't charge for your novella.

The pathfinder compatibility license doesn't seem to apply (as it isn't actually "compatible" per se).

Ultimately, any trademark holder is going to be protective of their IP (or they wouldn't have bothered registering the trademark), so I'd go for something more generic - it seems to me you'll get the same point across without naming a specific system.


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They're great. I'd share a coffee, beer or whiskey with any of them.

It doesnt really matter whether people who work at other companies are also great or not.


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Logan1138 wrote:

The discussion over monster "building" has puzzled me because, outside of one session of 3.5 about 10 years ago and 1 session of Pathfinder 2 years ago, I have only played Moldvay Basic (aka B/X) and 1st Edition AD&D, so the idea of "building" monsters is totally foreign to me.

The only monsters I ever encountered in my playing days were the "standard" ones listed in the rulebooks. Do other posters here find it boring to fight the non-modified monsters listed in Monster Manuals/Bestiaries? Is your enjoyment of the game predicated on fighting non-standard monsters?

Honestly curious about this point...

In my case, it's more about toning things down. Our group is pretty poor at playing pathfinder - I don't think we've ever made it past level eight before running into a TPK where we basically just couldn't meaningfully hurt the enemy or couldn't avoid being decimated. We generally play prewritten adventures and the toughest things have often been modified from the standard entry (ie they've had templates added or class levels).

Trying to scale back a monster in pathfinder very much feels like I'm fighting the system, given there's a whole bunch of calculations that went into creating the "official" statblock. I wing it okay, but there's no guidelines within the system for simply dialling things back a notch (the way the 4E monster builder has, for example where you can essentially scale any monster to any level in a snap).

The 5E DMG discussion on adventure building, encounter design and monsters is much more suited to me. I'm hard up at the "DM fiat" end of the spectrum anyhow, so a loose set of guidelines rather than a codified process is what I'm looking for, pretty much across the board.


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David Bowles wrote:

I don't think I ever said 5th is "wrong", just gutted, simplistic, and more arbitrary vs formulaic. People have made it very clear that they like the simplicity, whereas I like formulas.

I personally think they could have done a much better job of dropping some clunky things, but not stripping it down as much as they did. For example, I love buffs, and what they did with them, to me, is horrible. They could have thrown players like me a bone, but they didn't. Full-on gutting mode.

It's certainly true they weren't trying to cater to your tastes, but I don't think throwing bones willy billy is a good strategy.

It seems that most of what you like in a game are the things I don't and most of what I like are the things you call weaknesses. I think trying to build a game both you and I would like is likely to result in one nobody would. To make the point from the other direction as it were:

One of my least favourite things about pathfinder is that monsters are built using the same rules as PCs. I've never liked games which follow that approach, I find it needlessly complicated with the end result of apparently greater "verisimilitude" that, in my view, doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Do you think it would be good strategy for paizo to include some rules for building and running monsters differently from PCs to "throw players like me a bone" and thus broaden the market they appeal to? Because I think it would fail miserably and leave everyone disappointed. Far better, in my opinion, for paizo to stick to producing a complicated system with lots of subsystems, options and interacting parts rather than try and be all things to all people.

I feel exactly the same with 5E - WotC have decided to go for a simple, loose rule system that focuses on speed of resolution over nuanced mechanics. Complicating it a little bit would still not appeal to players who like a complicated game and would betray WotC's chosen, underlying design principles.


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David Bowles wrote:
Monsters built like PCs level the playing field for both the players and GM. It also gives the GM opportunity to build some really cool monsters!

I was wrong about this before, by the way having now got the DMG.

Contrary to what I said earlier, although many monsters are not built using PC rules, it is expected that DMs will sometimes use the players handbook rules to construct enemies. (So you can beef up the Orc that way, if you wish, though you don't have to - you can just use a monster ability from the monster manual, all of which are listed in the DMG).


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David Bowles wrote:
Diffan wrote:

Creature abilities in 4E and D&D:Next sort of replace the need for feats IMO. An Orc doesn't need Power Attack, he could simply have a line that says "-5 to Attack, add an additional +10 to the damage roll" or to illustrate Lightning Reflexes "The Orc has advantage when making Dexterity saving throws."

An endless list of feats based on HD isn't required (and good riddance).

Except for those of us who find "advantage" and "disadvantage" limiting and boring as watching paint dry.

I don't think those people should play 5E. Nor should 5E designers put much thought into catering to those peoples preferences.

The ubiquitous (dis)advantage horse has bolted, don't you think?


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I blame that damn butterfly.


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Dear Paizo Powers-That-Be*

I spoke to Katina for the first time today. Unbelievably, she was just as friendly and helpful as everyone else I've ever spoken to at Paizo.

Whatever the process is that you use to select customer service representatives, I'd recommend sticking with it.

Cheers
Steve

*:
Except for Cosmo, obviously.


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I often think the designers say "open playtest" and the participants hear "collaborative design". It seems to me that quite often, both Paizo and WotC are criticised for not listening to the community where the publisher says:

"We're toying with this concept, how does it work out at the table?"

and a fan answers:

"I think you should do this instead".


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Korvosa. It remains my favourite city sourcebook. Plus Curse of the Crimson Throne is my favourite AP.


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Neal Litherland wrote:

We've all been part of at least one of these "discussions" in our times as gamers. Maybe you wanted to play a Spellslinger and your DM slapped you down hard. Maybe you wanted to be an alchemist that hunts dragons. Perhaps you were asking to bring something out of Numeria. So many players don't want any technology, even alien technology, interacting with their fantasy worlds.

Why do we do that? Where does this knee jerk reaction come from?

In my case it's from experience. I've never played in a successful sci-fantasy game (despite several efforts). After trying something a few times, I give up on the grounds that it's just not for me. (I also expect to not enjoy games based around interparty conflict, campaigns that start with "You're all on the run..." or game systems where combat is so deadly that avoiding it is always the rational choice).

I dont think there's any objective reason - it's just that mixing science fiction and fantasy is not something I enjoy.


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It certainly seems to me that 5E was designed to cater to the old school game players rather than the pathfinder players. As such, it's no surprise to me that it's skewed more heavily to the DM-fiat end of the spectrum, rather than the clear-codified-rules-for-everything end of the spectrum.

I think there's a correlation between whether one prefers Pathfinder or prefers the older style of game and where one thinks the 'power' should sit between player and DM.


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In a sense (though this isn't strictly correct terminology), his behaviour isn't really independent - if you've picked the right door, he has a choice to make. If you've picked one of the wrong doors he has no choice as to which door to show you.


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therealthom wrote:

I am serious. Assuming Monty's behavior is independent of the correctness of my initial choice, I believe that there is no advantage in switching my choice once he shows me an empty door.

I wish I could explain as clearly and elegantly as Steve Geddes explained the straw problem.

You should switch. Try this:

there are three equally likely options, presuming you've chosen door one:

D1 has the prize and he opens either D2 or D3 (you shouldn't switch).
D2 has the prize and he shows you D3 (you should switch)
D3 has the prize and he shows you D2 (you should switch).

They're indistinguishable from your perspective and in two of them, you're better off switching whereas in only one are you better off sticking with your original choice.


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bugleyman wrote:
I think the book looks fantastic, and I'd like to own it. However, WotC has gotten their last dollar from me until they actually deliver digital books (in a non-proprietary format, to boot).

That sounds like cutting off your nose to spite your face. Which is your right, of course, but what are you gaining by not buying a book you want to own?


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In my opinion, 5E is much more of a "threat" to OSRIC games - or would be, if there were a commercially successful one.

5E and PF seem to be targeting different players. As a fan of both companies, I'm hopeful they both thrive.


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goldomark wrote:
I guess swiftness depends on your gaming opportunities. I play with close friends in one of our houses and game sessions rarely last less than 6 hours. 8-10 hours is pretty frequent. 12 hours still happens from time to time. I guess if you have two hours in a LFGS you want something simple and fast. With friends and a lot of time in front of you, this is less of an issue. We also do not have a lot of fights per night. 1-2 fights is common. 3 is a lot. Sometimes we have none.

My love of simple systems grew out of this. We struggle to play for more than three hours. Plus we have a lot of combat. Pathfinder doesn't suit us very well as it takes months to progress the story.


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high G wrote:

=

=
= Steve Geddes wins by being the first with a complete answer.
=
=

Only for four players. The general case was left as an exercise for the reader..


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Yeah. Probability is a minefield - our intuitions usually lend us astray.

A maths degree, a fascination with the game of bridge and a short lived career playing online poker helps. :p


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Jail House Rock wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

The odds are identical for all players.

Perhaps one way to understand it is to play without looking at your draw. Everyone draws a straw in any old order, then simultaneously look at what they've picked - there's no advantage there whether you happened to be first, last or anything in between.

Not sure this sheds new light as the drawing sequence is the same as before. The guy picking last still appears to have the advantage of the situation, even if everyone waits till the end before looking.

Nope. Imagine there are four players:

Player one gets the short straw 1/4 of the time.

Player two only gets the short straw if P1 didn't AND if P2 chooses the short straw out of the remaining three. The probability of two events occurring in this situation is the probability of the first multiplied by the probability of the second.
This chance is 3/4 (chance of the first player drawing a long straw) x 1/3 (chance of the second player drawing the short straw given that P1 didn't)= 3/12 = 1/4

Player three gets the short straw if P1 didn't take it (out of the initial four straws), P2 didn't take it (out of the remaining three straws) and then P3 chooses it out of the remaining two. This chance is 3/4 x 2/3 x 1/2 = 6/24 = 1/4

Player four gets the short straw if P1, P2 and P3 all avoided it. This chance is 3/4 x2/3 x 1/2 = 6/24 = 1/4

The same calculations hold true for any number of players - it just takes longer. I suspect you're thinking of it as "the player at the end of the queue has more and more chances for someone else to get it" this is balanced out perfectly by the fact that the players at the end of the queue are choosing from far fewer straws. Thus, if nobody has picked it they are at ever increasing risk of being the loser.


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Meh. I'm glad you didnt. I dont really read these threads to hear a whole bunch of people agree with one another.

I found your perspective interesting - it's miles from mine (and I dont really agree with some of your conclusions), but we dont play at the same table so who cares. :)

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