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Steve Geddes's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Tales Subscriber. 8,545 posts (9,701 including aliases). 14 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 10 aliases.


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Physically Unfeasible wrote:
ZZTRaider wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Oh, god. There's no escape.
Eventually, you'll have to add the Index to the Index.
I think we'd have to use Raise Dead on Bertrand Russell first. Just to check if the thread maintains the same properties.

I asked Godel, but he couldn't be sure.


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Have there been any yet? From Paizo, 3PPs or anyone else?


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Rynjin wrote:

Really all this is is an "appeal to tradition".

"It always has been this way, therefore it must always be this way."

More "this is an integral feature of this edition, so we'll keep that the same".


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graystone wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
bigrig107 wrote:

Well, at least I made my voice heard, instead of being blind-sighted with this 9-page document fixing a rushed book.

Maybe a discussion of the poll, much like what we have for the product pages? Allows a vote, and getting actual words out.

It's not a perfect solution, not sure what is, but it's a step in the right direction.

Don't get me wrong, I'd like to be proven incorrect.

If it were possible to run a poll and for the Design Team to use that in making their decisions it could only help in broadening their perspective and providing useful data. My impression though is that it would do as much harm as good (people being asked and feeling they've been ignored seems more likely to upset people than not being asked at all).

People think they are being ignored NOW. It's hard to imagine polls would make that worse.

I don't find it hard to imagine, personally. Not everyone feels Paizo ignore their fan base. If we were polled and the designers went contrary to the majority vote - wouldn't it bolster the claims of those who feel the community is being ignored?

I think the existence of a poll itself isnt going to help. The only way to fix the perception of those who currently feel ignored is either better communication as to why the PDT went the other way or a shift in design direction. Neither of those things requires a poll, but a poll without either of those things gives the potential for the perception to get worse, in my opinion.


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I think a regular "What the PDT did this week/fortnight/month" blog might be useful - and could be a convenient, structured but informal place to ask what the community thinks about mooted changes.


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voideternal wrote:

I'd kinda like a thread like Ask James Jacobs, except instead of James, it's a Paizo rules developer. The James Jacobs thread is quite amazing. It explains not only Golarion setting, but also sometimes details on how things came to be, just like how Chris provided some insight on Paizo's internal process as an explanation of how the errata came to be.

But I don't recall such a thread existing, so I assume that such a thread is not possible, for whatever reason.

An "Ask the PDT all your questions here" thread would be great but probably unworkable. I suspect it would just get swamped.


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Gorbacz wrote:
graystone wrote:
And as others have said, I'd love to see some kind of poll put out for some of the more controversial changes. It would give a tangible view of how many people are for/against it before something radical gets done.
Given that the forum goers are a tiny, and hardly representative, fraction of the playerbase, that wouldn't be in the slightest indicative of anything.

Yeah - I'm very grateful for those who like analysing systems doing their bit to help make the game better. I really hope Paizo find a way to incorporate some of that feedback and a way to communicate why they've gone a different direction.

However, polling such a tightly focussed, self-selecting group is not something I could see as being useful.


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I like it as a complicated game (but don't have the time to play complicated games any more, so don't generally play it much).

I like the fact the developers keep refining it via erratas and FAQs (though I wish they had a better name for the latter) - despite the fact they cop so much grief for doing so.

The negativity has always been there, as have the people declaring that they're at the point of quitting if paizo don't lift their game. My theory is that there's a cohort of fans who like the game and see lots of potential for improvement then watch it develop in a direction they don't like until they can't bear it any more.

It's a sad fact about the world, but it seems to be much harder to make lots and lots of posts about how you think the designers are doing a good job than it is to go on about the things one doesnt like. Also, I'm an unashamed Paizo fanboy but it feels somewhat churlish to keep butting into to discussions to contradict people who don't like it. Unfortunately, it does make the rules subforums a rather unpleasant, negative place, in my view.


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Does anyone know how their business model works?

They're still merrily spamming away, despite it being (presumably) obvious that there's negligible benefit to them. I can only presume they are an outsourced IT "service" and get paid-per-post - so the fact they're not actually ranking higher on search engine results doesn't matter to them.

If I was paying them out of my marketing budget and found out they were basically charging me for meaningless activity, I think I'd consider it tantamount to fraud.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:

It's not the CharOp people who get screwed by errata. Sure a build or two of theirs get's screwed, but they just go on to experiment with the altered rules or abandon that concept completely.

Its the normal people out there who just want an effective character within their concept.

I agree, although many of us won't notice and probably wouldn't care.

That's not true for everyone though, and as the rules get more complicated (which includes an issue of errata or FAQs which substantially go against the generally held view) the people most likely to suffer are those who care about character effectiveness and inter-class balance but who aren't particularly good at identifying it from a theoretical basis.


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Isn't that just part of the schtick of organised play? Even the professional sporting codes have the issue of rule changes (sometimes midseason) requiring an adjustment to tactics/gamestyle. I think one should expect things to change in such a setting - hopefully there's a suitable mechanism to allow people to redesign characters which have been deeply affected (?)


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I now officially owe Skeeter another beer.


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Physically Unfeasible wrote:

Whether those of us who enjoy CharOP engage in a mass exodus or not; a large number of groups probably just don't care. Heck, some of the stuff we've seen go (Divine Prot., now SWD) I've known a majority of GMs near me ban (GMs that bother with errata at FAQs at that). Assuming that sample is at all valid, such fixes do amount to increasing options for many people.

Now, the fact that some of these are now traps that on the flip side are still non-options, is a different query. That query being "Is there a medium button?"

I think this is quite perceptive. I quite enjoy watching you rules-knowledgeable people debate the finer points but it has very little to do with how things work at our table. It's hard to evaluate just how large the cohort is who enjoy CharOP as you put it. Probably even harder to calculate how many people like Pathfinder/Paizo but couldnt care less about the caster/martial divide nor whether things are nerfed or otherwise.

Untangling the hyperbole from the genuine complaints is difficult sometimes (people have been declaring 'the end is nigh if paizo continue like this...' for a few years now without it actually slowing the growth of the game - I suspect when the star does fade it's going to be just as much fashion as anything to do with the actual rules).

Overall, I think it's worth bearing in mind that Paizo have a broader agenda than each of us. Whatever the thing is that we each value most highly about Pathfinder/Paizo - it's not as important to Paizo, since they have to balance the needs of a large, disparate group with conflicting and even mutually inconsistent demands. The nature of compromise is that nobody gets what they want.


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RonarsCorruption wrote:
Regarding printing, people seem to be confused. As I understand it the kickstarter will be primarily to get the content produced as a PDF - with some limited rewards offering limited edition print copies. Then, afterwards when the entire project is done, there will be effort putting it into making a printed copy available.

I don't know if I'm one of "people" but if so, I'm not confused. I understand the proposal - I think limiting the funds the kickstarter can raise in this way is a bad idea.

If I can't get a full colour hardcover (for which I'll pledge a stupidly high amount for) then I won't back the kickstarter (PDFs are valueless to me and black and white versions of colour books are not of interest). So the project is less likely to reach stretch goals - for no good reason, as far as I can see.


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I dont know how useful the community flagging is (or how long we'll need to keep it up).

If it's something we're going to need to do long term, it would be a nice feature if the posts we'd already flagged could be 'greyed out' or something. I generally just watch the sidebar and it's not too hard to keep on top of them as they come in. Nonetheless, there are times I open a post to flag it and realise I've already been there.

I doubt it's worth putting lots of effort into, but if it's easy...


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SmiloDan wrote:
I guess I like how the crunch matches the fluff of my rogue.

The parkour interpretation is neat. I may steal that. :)


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I didn't realise I was signing up for a message board. I've just never got around to picking an avatar - when I do for PBPs it always takes me ages to find one I like.

What it shows about me is that I don't do the twenty first century very well.


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Greg A. Vaughan wrote:
P.S. It is not what I was talking about earlier, but just to let you know we will be releasing an S&W conversion of Slumbering Tsar shortly. I don't think it will be a KS, though. Skeeter has been working on it for some time and knows the details on it. I'm working on the foreword for it right now, so it should be popping up very soon. :-)

That is phenomenal news! Awesome. :)


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Cort Odekirk wrote:
Hopefully your shift is more exciting than mine...

The fact you guys are rostering yourselves after hours is greatly appreciate on this side of the world. I hate the fact you have to do it but am nonetheless very thankful.


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It was in the old campaign setting hardcover, (the predecessor to the ISWG) but it's obviously quite out of date now.

I'd dearly love for this to be a thing. I tried to make one myself but it was beyond my abilities. :(


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It's hard to believe, sometimes. :)


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That's official, Hawkmoon. You're hired.


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Greg A. Vaughan wrote:
There's actually one that should be launching in/around Gen Con, but it's a specifically Swords & Wizardry thing rather than a Lost Lands thing. It should be popping up soon.

Cool.

I'm really looking to the Northlands Saga also, but this intrigues me. :)


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BigDTBone wrote:

It has been my (purely anecdotal) experience that the follow relationship exists:

(Number of years playing tabletop RPGs) Is inversely proportional to the (% liklihood you have read the pathfinder CRB)

That is to say (again in my experience) that most old timers tend to believe their rules knowledge is such that they can "wing-it" and only keep a CRB for reference.

I share your anecdotal impression, although I think it more points to a fundamental difference in how one uses the rules of an RPG. I don't exhaustively read the rulebooks of RPGs I play - it's not because I think I have great rules knowledge, it's because I don't think the specific rules really matter much - they're all just guidelines anyway, the way I play and we expect to not use many of them and to use others which aren't written down.


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I don't really know what it is: "I've been playing a long time, so my opinion is likely to be right" (?)

I view it the other way - earlier editions of D&D required a lot more interpretation and had less legislation, so when a grognard is caught in a dispute about the rules of PF with a newer player, I suspect the young guy is likely to be right. (I'm very sure I forget all kinds of rules when I play pathfinder).


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kyrt-ryder wrote:

I'm sure I'm probably guilty of this as well from time to time, but I've been experiencing it a lot lately on these boards and it's really infuriating.

People start a thread to talk about X. It goes great for a few posts, and then inevitably people invade the thread to say 'X doesn't matter' or 'X isn't real' or 'X isn't an issue if you play the game the One True Way like I do.'

A simple statement of such is kind of rude, but acceptable.

But then we go on to derail the entire dang thread into an argument rather than letting the thread run its course on its designated topic!

Lets all be gentlemen [and ladies and whatever else you might identify with] and make an effort to stop this behavior, it's not good.

I'm all for respect, however in my mind debating someone's premise isn't disrespectful - it's the tone which matters. I'd claim to be guilty of the behaviour you're objecting to, but not guilty of disrespect. (See? I'm doing it again.... :p)

There's also a few, fundamental points of difference as to what forums are for and the way they should be conducted. I don't even understand people's objection to "off topic" posts, for example. My guess is that it's due to me thinking of the boards as a community conversation (where tangents are fine) and others seeing them as a resource to go to for organised, collective wisdom. Nonetheless, it will inevitably result in me crossing someone's "respect" line - again, I think it's the tone with which that issue is addressed that matters.

Finally, I think it's worth questioning the assumption that the Original Poster "owns" the thread. I'm happy to bow to their request if they assert such ownership, but I don't actually view that as the default. Hence, if you start a thread on X, I may "chip in my contrary opinion" which you don't object to and then engage with another poster who does want to debate the merits of X (albeit "on your side", so to speak - despite you not wanting to). Once again, I don't see this as an inherent problem - it's going to happen in a forum like this and I think the issue of respect comes in when you ask my hypothetical argumentative buddy and I to go somewhere else.

All in all, I wholeheartedly agree with you in spirit, but think you may be catching some respectful-behaviour-from-a-different-set-of-base-assumptions and thinking of it as disrespectful.


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Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Yeah, I've read them. They generally start with round one - a dragon surrounded (somehow) by a couple of hundred militia at short range. I know lots of people enjoy those kinds of analyses, I just don't find them very instructive as to how the game plays (which is what I care about).

In game - there's no way a hundred militia can kill a dragon. They'd always prefer to hire four heroes than traipse off, hoping to surround the dragon unnoticed, and then engage in a fight where more than half of them will die before they might have a chance to kill it.

I think it is worth pointing out that the fact that the army of any sizable urban centre can stop a dragon does not mean that they don't prefer to send in 'experts'.

After all with a reasonably smart dragon fifty through to maybe a couple of hundred soldiers die plus possible collateral damage. Far better to send the experts to deal with a dragon then face that.

Truth is I don't really think you and GreyWolfLord are disagreeing - except maybe in regards to the Epicness of hero's in 5E versus PF.

In this I agree with GreyWolfLord. In PF PCs are far superior to other men by 5th level and by 10th they are pretty much Demi-Gods, admittedly in a world full of other Demi-Gods and creatures that can poise a threat to Demi-Gods.

5E hews closer to a baseline where the PCs are really just more like Hero's and do not, at least nearly so quickly, reach the point where no number of lesser beings poise a threat. That army that can stop a Dragon can stop the 10th level PCs as well. In PF only the other Demi-Gods residing in the city can stop the PCs not the army.

I don't disagree with you, nor with his main point that 5E characters are less powerful than PF characters (I'd quibble slightly, in that I think 5E characters start out more powerful than early PF characters, but they are quickly overtaken). However, I do disagree with this part of his post:

"...things any group of 1st level militia from the closest city could kill without every worrying about hiring a bunch of adventurers or mercs..."

I've heard that characterisation before based on those number crunching exercises and I think it's overstating the case. (I also think they've deliberately toned down the power of dragons in 5E to make them more common - an aesthetic choice I disagree with, but more to the point a choice which makes comparisons across systems a little misleading, in my view).


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A necessary evil. I try not to think about it too hard, because it's one of those game elements which I find to be a very poor model of the real world (I feel similarly about hit points and alignment).

If I'm trying to persuade myself to 'get over it' I consider it to be an (admittedly clumsy) indication of increasing skill, although the fact you're tougher to kill phyically undercuts that interpretation.


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Thanks Sara - awesome service, as usual.
All deserving recipients. :)


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
... What I do know is that these are real people, of no higher than level 2 or 3,...

Err...levels are models, they're not real.

Treating real people as having "levels" is confusing the very primitive and inaccurate model used by level-based RPGs with reality.

They're not any level and they dont have hit points.


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DungeonmasterCal wrote:
Shunning? Anyone remember shunning? This used to be such a fun thread.

I ran into a nice, young korean man and suggested he might like to provide some information about his website to the Paizo online community.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Tormsskull wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Had you originally presented it as "I use this houserule" instead of "this is the correct way to interpret the published rules", this would have been a very different discussion.

Well, there are published house rules such as "flanked is a condition," and then there are houses rules such as "yes, falling from orbit will kill you regardless of your HP."

I write out the first kind, the second kind are assumed. If a player complains about an assumed house rule, I'll be happy to have the conversation with them.

But to me, they are distinctly different animals. And for the record, I never said "this is the correct way to interpret the published rules."

You really SHOULD write out these 'assumed house rules,' many of us come into games expecting the rules to be exactly as written, modified only by published houserules.

Unwritten rules are a recipe for disaster.

I'm much more in the "They're more like guidelines than actual rules" camp. Nonetheless, I'm curious whether it would bother you if the game was advertised as "I might sometimes over-rule the rules if I think they lead to silly results". I suppose you'd probably choose not to play in such a game - but my question is more if you'd consider that acceptable disclosure or whether someone has to articulate every variation?


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Players never turn up with characters not suited to the planned campaign.

DMs never turn up with a campaign unsuited to the desired characters.

Nobody has ever felt so strongly about anything that they've announced (politely) that they'll stop playing in the campaign if it doesn't go their way.

Rolling for stats doesn't lead to some players with superheroes having fun and those playing sidekicks having a miserable time.

"Standard fantasy" hasn't become boring after thirty-something years.


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BigDTBone wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:

Is that a direct quote? ;)

Anyways, while I've never encountered this mythical "Acrobatics is banned because realism" GM (anecdote fallacy!), it's primarily a fault of the rules.

I specifically encountered this GM. He constantly called me out as a power-gamer, rules lawyer, optimizer, munchkin, cheese head, etc, etc when I played in his game. Now, in his game meant that for the three years I played with him I played the character he had built for a previous group member because he demanded continuity in his games. By "munchkin" he meant that I used flurry-of-blows too much and spent too many turns going full-defense. He would all the time tell me that "slow-fall" wasn't realistic so my monk too falling damage even though a juvenile pixie had tossed me over a cliff like a rag doll.

Then when I ran a game ** spoiler omitted **

So that dude is out there. He uses "because realism," as a cover for "something is happening I don't like." It colors my perception of the argument to this day.

Wow. I am so lucky with my gaming group. :/


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BigDTBone wrote:
Mother-may-I is a game. I'm not bashing it. I just don't want to play it.

My objection to the Mother-May-I label is that it's basically hyperbole (which I find almost universally unhelpful in these kinds of discussions - I dont like the "Mathfinder" label either). It's generally used to imply that the RPG being so labelled has no rules, when it's much more common that it has incomplete rules (with some sections left to DM adjudication). It seems very similar to the "dragons exist so anything goes" argument: "if whether I get cover or not from hiding behind my horse is left to DM discretion, then I'm just playing Mother May I and there's no point even having a character sheet".


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LMPjr007 wrote:
OK let's expand this initial question a bit: What 3PP would need to be in a AP to get you interested in it (AP specific details still unknown)?

For me, at least, that's totally backwards. I'm not going to back a project like that just based on the publishers.

My decision to back is going to be based on the AP specifics - the publisher is going to be the secondary consideration (there are some that will give me confidence it's going to work and others that will mean I rule out participating in).


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I find the implementation of traps in modern games kind of silly - they really break my immersion the way they're so carefully non-lethal. Why build a trap to hurt people when it's not much harder to build one that will kill? Most of the time, the guardians are trying to kill any intruders.


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captain yesterday wrote:
If you can't read the various people and times where politics and other issues weren't welcome in this thread, even by management, those.

I'd pay attention to management. I don't pay much attention to "on topic police" though (I regard message boards as conversations and they tend to wander)


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RDM42 wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
TheAlicornSage wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Because the exception in this context is generally portrayed as a negative. When people use terminology like homosexual-versus-normal they're not suggesting gay people are just "exceptions to the norm" - there's generally a negative judgement being made.

Even when the individual in question isn't making that judgement, our society imputes it.

I don't think it has anything to do with the specific term used. Whatever term you use, it will still sound that way, because anytime you actually need to refer to that group, you are almost certainly discussing a rather negative topic.

Yeah, I agree. It's not the specific terminology, in my opinion the problem stems from trying to declare what's "normal" - and by extension labelling others not normal.

I'd be much happier if the world would stop trying to measure people on some kind of scale. Whatever standard one chooses to use as the measuring stick is subjective anyhow.

Except you don't 'decide' what is normal normal is a statistical fact. Statistical facts aren't biased.

It doesn't make the people, who aren't normal or standard worth any less but they are not standard or normal by definition. Part of the problem a lot of people have is the insistence on certain shibboleths on what you are allowed to say or call things which constantly keep changing. As soon as you get used to using one the entire quiltbag is dumped over, the words changed and you become a bad person again unless you learn whatever the new term of the moment is. Most people aren't going to bother to keep up with that. Sorry, however much you might want them to, it isn't going to happen.

Getting rid of blatantly offensive terms is one thing starting to declare everything offensive and trying to wholesale change the language is something entirely different.

I don't see how that relates to my point (I'm not trying to change anything, nor am I offended).

The question was why is it bad to be considered not normal and the answer was because its not presented as a "statistical fact" it's presented as a negative thing - as less than normal, not just different from the norm.

As for being objective - as I mentioned, the average value in a given population may be a statistical fact, but it's the choice of what we measure and what values we think are desirable which are subjective. There's nothing objectively determining that a particular "value" of sexuality matters and should be measured - we've decided it matters.


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Because the exception in this context is generally portrayed as a negative. When people use terminology like homosexual-versus-normal they're not suggesting gay people are just "exceptions to the norm" - there's generally a negative judgement being made.

Even when the individual in question isn't making that judgement, our society imputes it.


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Whilst I think you make a good point, it feels to me that there's a lot of over analysis going on in this thread. I'm sure I wouldn't enjoy an evil campaign, but it's in the same way I wouldn't enjoy running a marathon - it's just not my thing.

I'm comfortable in knowing what i like and I'm protective of my scarce gaming time. I think Way of the Wicked was filling a needed niche and I'm glad it was produced for those who want it. I'm quite sure I wouldn't enjoy playing it though, even though many obviously have.


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Seranov wrote:
I ask again: have you ever tried playing such a character?

I can't actually remember if I've played an evil character for more than a session or two.

However, that's another difference in taste, I think. I don't enjoy "mixing it up" really - I play NG or CG human fighters or variant fighters 90% of the time.when I try something else, I don't generally like it as much. Similarly with science-fantasy, oriental campaigns, Pirates, etcetera... Anything non vanilla "western fantasy" is not my taste as a player (as DM, I'm more experimental, since one of my players, in particular enjoys pretty much continual innovation).

Like you, I'm only speaking of preference, not making any statement about what's "right", however I thought I'd mention that, for me at least, "being something different" is actually a negative as far as playing this campaign.


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*sigh* Seeing such a long post - I got my hopes up!


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I like the "recipes are not food" metaphor. Nice.


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Skylancer4 wrote:

In the grand scheme of things, LG or LE, the party is still generally a group of muder hobos (as the forums are happy to to call them).

What is the difference between spending weeks planning and preparing to vanquish the BBEG in whatever special ceremony is required versus performing a ritual to summoning the Demon in WotW? Nothing really, just "reasons" to propel the plot and story of the adventure.

It's a game, you do things to progress in the adventure. What is the "big" deal with it being evil aligned?

It's no big deal for others if they enjoy it.

For me it's a big deal because on Wednesday nights I like playing the part of a hero, not villain. I don't regard "progress in the adventure" as the goal - that's more a method to achieve the actual goal, for me.


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Fanboy 5 wrote:
It says on the box that all the candles aren't white and they're not all the same length. The idea is for you to use the candles that suit you, discard the rest and perhaps bring some other candles you've got from elsewhere.

The problem is not with the candle company (nor with the disgruntled consumer). The problem is one of mismatched expectations.


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LuxuriantOak wrote:
I am a bit suprised and appalled at the vitrol and bile in some of the responses this post have gotten, maybe this is the dangers of the internet where a lot of subtleties (like facial expression, incantation and tone) are removed and only raw text is left.

I think it was the tone. I'm guessing I play fairly similarly to the OP, yet his post still sounded like "I know how you should play better than you do". I bristled at it and he wasn't even having a go at my playstyle! :)


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Headfirst wrote:

Just trying to give advice, and here it is again (minus the tiny dash of edginess that clearly sends some people into a defensive rage):

The next Pathfinder game you play in, try an un-optimized character built "personality first" instead of "engine of death first." You might just enjoy the results.

It's possible to enjoy the optimisation side of the game more than the roleplaying side. If that's what someone likes, taking your advice isn't really going to improve things for them, is it?

My advice is to not stress if other people enjoy playing the game differently from how you enjoy it. Let them play however they like whilst you play however you like. The only time it might be an issue is if you're both at the same table - in which case my advice is don't try and sort it out via public messageboard posts.


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Aoann wrote:
:) there is an online spell list?

What's "online"?

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