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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. 7,774 posts (8,788 including aliases). 12 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 9 aliases.


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Kthulhu wrote:
I'd make the argument that since the end of the 80s, the brand has always been stronger OUTSIDE the core game. The D&D video games alone are pretty damn popular. And that's ignoring novels, movies, and anything else.

I dont know what the revenue is like, but the comics seem to have been pretty consistently licensed over the years and, although not licensed, the novels must have been valuable. The boardgames sold well too, as I understand it.

It will be interesting to see how the licensed figures do alongside the PF Battles line - it's rare to see such a pure competition of the brands.


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I don't know if it's a big deal for most people or not, and I realise the issue of "moderating" reviews is an area you'd want to tread carefully. Nonetheless, it kind of irritates me when reviewers either get stuck into a book for past actions of the publisher (or because of issues with a different book) or when people "review" a book before it's even come out.

One of the great things about the flag system is one can feel like you've "done something" without getting into an argument with the other side. At the moment, the only way to comment on a review is to reply in the product thread, which is no doubt not an ideal reaction. I'd like to be able to flag a review as either "inappropriate" in some broad way, or as being made without reading the product (and therefore not a review at all, but rather a promotion or endorsement).

As an alternative, would it be possible to "lock" the ability to post reviews until the product exists?


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As a general approach if you're a player who is unsatisfied with the way your game is going, I'd also suggest not thinking of the cause as a "bad GM". I'd approach any discussion from the position of "elements of the game I'd like to see change".

Partly it's to make the complaint easier for them to hear (it's not about them, it's about the game) but it also leaves open the possibility that you might be the source of the problem. No matter which of the above categories you think applies - it's possible that the DM and the rest of the players are on the same page and are enjoying it and that your real problem is that you're playing in an incompatible group. I think that will be easier to diagnose if you dont go in with the assumption that it's a question of DM quality.


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bugleyman wrote:

First of all, thanks for not accusing me of being a liar -- that is, that I sneak off and play 5E because it's just that good.

Yes, that is a thing that happened.

:)

Even if I found it useful to impute unspoken motive to others' posts, your well known commitment to "the PDF cause" would be enough to dissuade me.

Quote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Do you think you're representative of the entire market, though?

The entire market? No. More so every day? Absolutely. I'm already 42, but I'm pretty darn sure the printed book will become a niche item -- if not a museum piece -- within my lifetime. WotC leadership is showing all the signs of clinging to a dead business model until the bitter end.

Steve Geddes wrote:
I understand that "no PDF = no buy in" for you, but does that necessarily mean that they're doomed to fail (presuming their goal is purely to keep a foot in the door, not to dominate the TTRPG market)?
It isn't so much that the lack of PDFs will kill them; it's the "we know best" hubris behind it (and the lack of a licensing process, and the C&Ds, etc.). Any number of people have been asking for a PDF/ebook option for years to no avail. Companies which ignore their customers to that extent do so at their peril. Seriously, taking nothing away from Paizo, the TTRPG market was WotC's to lose in 2008, and lose it they did. Spectacularly.

That makes sense - I agree that WotC have effectively conceded the war for TTRPG dominance by abandoning the OGL and an electronic focus. Having said that, I will be interested to see how the "unofficial 5E" products go which are being released through the OGL.

Reading back, I didnt really explain myself terribly well. My query was in the context of Gorbacz's summary above - which I agree with. I think WotC dont really care about "winning ICv2" because that represents gaining the lion's share of a trivial market. As such, I dont see that failing to provide for electronic distribution of the core books is going to "torpedo" this edition, even if it means that a significant number of potential players stick with Pathfinder or other, 21st-century-friendly games.

I think their entire plan rests on selling boardgames, novels, computer games, miniatures, comics, movies, cartoons, television shows, etcetera - I further think that licensing those things is likely to be the modus operandi (barring the ability to leverage some of Hasbro's infrastructure/marketting/supply chain).

Although the fans seem to care deeply, I dont think WotC care very much whether their TTRPG is competitive with other RPG publishers. I think they want to make sure their IP remains 'current' and is generating them some level of profit while they chase the movie/computer game windfall.


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Gorbacz wrote:

But is WotC really interested in D&D books in gaming stores? I doubt so, if they were, they would be putting out books at rate they did in 3e/4e times. I believe 5e is The Placeholder Edition, out there merely to keep the "product zero" alive so that WotC can license the hell out of it and have relatively easy income without all the hassle.

Of course, at this point most retailers are overjoyed, because finally they have The Most Popular P'n'p RPG back on their shelves and the publisher isn't trying to work around them. But what will happen in a while, if D&D release schedule is pretty much "2 super adventures per year, zero splatbooks"?

I think this is definitely their plan. The release of 5E has seen a number of non TTRPG products already - the "one story, multiple ways to experience it" is obviously a thing.

With regard to the (disappointing, to me) release schedule for the TTRPG. There have been some licensed D&D releases beyond the books (minis from Wizkids and cards/screens/maps from gale force nine that I know of). Similarly, there's a handful of 5E compatible products coming out via the ogl.

Perhaps these will also make their way into FLGSs eventually - they may be less of a risk if wotc have a slow and steady release schedule.


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Bluenose wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

At least you now know what I mean by the modern style of a rule-for-everything.

That's what matters, right?
My objection is to your description of it as a "modern" style, presumably as a contrast with "old school" games which don't try to do so much. I think that's not just wrong, it actively gives people a false impression of how both old and new games are. I'd almost reverse it, in fact.

I'm comfortable with you thinking I'm wrong.


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So presumably your in house publisher has now got lots of free time?

I want another Mona AP instalment! It's been too long.


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DM Under The Bridge wrote:


Came across a charming article about the old days:

http://www.polygon.com/2014/7/14/5898063/the-dice-can-kill-you-why-first-ed ition-ad-d-is-king

What do you think about this and the old ways; before the coming of the new gods and more recent times in gaming?

What do you think about going back to the old ways?

Cheers.

I generally prefer to play all RPGs like that. It requires a decent DM, I suppose, but I'm lucky enough to be in a stable group where the DM's job is seen to enhance the players' fun (rather than to "beat" them) so I've never seen the downside of a system with an emphasis on DM fiat and speedy resolution.

The modern style of a rule-for-everything doesn't hold my attention - there's just too much looking up modifiers and rule subsystems for my taste (together with the inevitable arguments about what those rules actually mean...).


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Okay. I don't really have anything else to say. Perhaps we have such wildly different experiences that we're essentially talking past one another (I don't see kickstarters as encouraging PDFs, but the exact opposite, for example - without crowdfunding we'd have far fewer printed RPG supplements, in my opinion).

Ultimately, I disagree with the premise - it seems to me that kickstarter, indiegogo and the like have been great for TTRPGs overall. My concern is more with fraud or (more relevantly) with the health of the publishers biting off more than they can chew or constructing poorly structured kickstarters.

Things aren't going to go back to the 80s, but that's nothing to do with crowdfunding, in my view - I think crowdfunding is a good, modern solution to a shrinking fan base.


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I didn't want to interrupt their witticisms without warning.
But I figured I could toot and come in.


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"No evil PCs" is a reasonably common agreement/houserule. There's nothing explicitly against it in the written rules though - it's just something a lot of people want to exclude. (We don't generally have any evil PCs at our table). As such, the DM is within his rights, but in my view it should really have been made explicit at the campaign's commencement.

It does seem a draconian approach to change someone's alignment and then require a new PC rather than at least giving them a chance to atone. I guess that's a sign the DM is REALLY firm in his views against evil PCs. At least he gave you warning.


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It's disappointing how ubiquitous multiplayer computer games have become. Aren't there any antisocial teenagers left in the world? :(


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Insapateh wrote:

I've rarely seen an anti-fudger do anything but denounce the practice utterly.

This probably irks me more than the argument itself. The fact that only one side seems prepared to make concessions.

Anzyr's post earlier seemed to garner several favorites from the "anti-fudging" crowd. His point was that those identifying fudging as cheating were speaking to the case where the players either didnt want it to happen or hadnt been consulted. As such it's not that absolutist (other than declaring one position to be somehow "default" if things havent been discussed - I dont really agree with that, but I think whether to fudge or not should be discussed pre-game anyhow, so it's a moot point).

Like you, I was responding to what I thought was an absolutist stance - which was apparently not intended. As I understand it now, everybody actually agrees - fudging is okay if the people at the table think it's okay and it's not okay if the people at the table think it isnt. (There might be minor disagreement as to what to do if you havent talked about it - but the answer "talk about it" will probably suit everyone too).

EDIT: Having said that, I had a fair number of my posts from yesterday removed. I didnt think Ashiel and I were getting particularly heated - but in my experience, the guy saying "How come all my posts were deleted? There wasnt anything bad there!" is generally the guy who doesnt understand what's going on in the thread. :p


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Anzyr wrote:

Let me clarify one thing real quick that I think everyone on the "anti-fudging" side agrees with:

Fudging is fine as you as long you inform your players you will be doing it and they agree to it. It is not badwrongfun to do so.

However, what I think is badwrongfun (because it is objectively so) is fudging without informing your players you will be doing so and without their consent.

The idea of fudging when running a game for people who don't enjoy that is clearly as silly as declaring fudging "cheating" despite the rules of the game advocating it.

My main point of contention (as usual) is people declaring "what I like" as "correct". You may be right that those saying "fudging is cheating and wrong" were actually intending that to be read as "Fudging is wrong if the players don't want the DM to do it. And its cheating if everyone agrees (contrary to the suggestions in the rule book) that the DM will never adjust die rolls and then the DM adjusts die rolls anyhow".

If that's the case, I agree. I didn't get that out of "play another system", "go write a novel", "DMs that fudge are liars and cheats", "fudging is a houserule" and so forth, but perhaps I read to much into the unqualified nature of those statements. Given the statements on fudging in the rules, I can't see how it can be deemed anything other than a legitimate tool open to the DM. That doesn't mean it's right for every table, but where's the rules statement that one should "let the dice fall where they may".

I don't like fudging of any sort (even tactic adjusting, unexpected reinforcements or the lack of such) as a player. That doesn't mean a DM who fudges to keep my PC alive is cheating - they're presumably just misunderstanding what's fun for me.


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Rynjin wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
That's like playing Monopoly and follwing the rules "most of the time" but deciding to "fudge" that you rolled 1 extra when you were about to land on Go To Jail because it's not "fun" to be in Jail.
I guess. Or it's like putting a hundred bucks under the board for whoever lands on free parking. If the players prefer that modified rule set, what's the problem?

Wrong.

That is a houserule, an agreed upon CHANGE to the rules that lasts throughout the entire game, and becomes a part of the ruleset. Breaking taht rule is then as bad as breaking any of the others.

What fudging is is BREAKING the rules when it suits you, because the rules have become inconvenient. As my first analogy shows.

I doubt anyone fudges just when it suits them I suspect they fudge when they think it will increase the groups enjoyment. Just like (one interpretation of) the rules tell them to.


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There isn't a "correct" way to play. For you three, the DM fudging rolls would be dishonest and/or would reduce your fun and would therefore be a bad choice. That doesn't mean it's wrong at other tables though.


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Rynjin wrote:
But why bother with rules if you're going to ignore them the moment they determine an outome you don't want?

I don't think anyone advocating fudging is suggesting that. I suspect that most DMs who fudge rolls usually accept the result - but every now and again judge that the group will have more fun if a different result occurs than that dictated by the die roll.

It's not all or nothing - the choice isn't between "accept every result" and "make up whatever you feel like".


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Tacticslion wrote:
Arturus Caeldhon wrote:
P.S.: If there is a bloat in bloat threads, it is because the bloat is getting worse. Duh!
Conclusion does not follow premise. There are too many variables for this simplistic a statement to be made, especially with a condescending "duh" at the end.

FWIW, I thought that was a joke "Duh!" rather than a condescending one.


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Aratrok wrote:
If you fudge rolls, you're essentially invalidating the purpose of using random action resolution in the first place. If you're going to nudge things so that the result you want is the one that happens... stop jerking your players' collective chain and write the novel you really wanted to write.

I suspect the people advocating fudging rolls aren't talking about ensuring they get the outcome they've preordained at all costs. Perhaps they are talking about degrees of fudging - or that it should be limited to specific circumstances, even though most outcomes are left unadjusted. It doesn't follow that because you fudge sometimes as a DM, you are therefore jerking your players' chain and really wanted to write a novel.

I like a real risk of PC death. As such, at our table, PCs sometimes die. However, most of the group like setbacks but not death as a consequence. If they asked me to (and they easily could) I'd be happy to run a game where they didn't die, no matter what I rolled. I wouldn't consider it cheating to do so - even if I had to adjust enemy hit points, critical confirmation checks or damage rolls, from time to time.

To say it's sometimes right for the DM to ignore dice rolls and determine a result by fiat (and that this is, by definition, not cheating) is specifically called out as a legitimate stance to take in the gamemastery guide. There's little point insisting that the DM fudging is cheating and therefore forbidden if doing so means that the people playing the game are going to enjoy it less.


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Wiggz wrote:

Pathfinder

Pathfinder Society
Pathfinder Society Core
Pathfinder Unchained
Beginner Box
Mythic Rules
etc.

I know there has been some concern expressed in the past about bloat, but at least past instances of bloat still all used the same ruleset, right?

Having to parse through all the different rules and alternate rules and options and alternate options and versions and alternate versions to determine what's actually legal in your game and what isn't is actually starting to affect our play. I'm looking at the acceleration and I'm starting to wonder what the end-game looks like...

Whilst I share your preference, I suspect (my perfect world would have been CRB+campaign material) I don't really understand how the existence of those subsets of Pathfinder rules would affect your game?

If you're talking about a home game, don't you just decide "Mythic or not" and perhaps now "Core or Unchained"? How do the various flavors of Pathfinder society come into it (or the existence of the beginner box - which is just core anyway, presented in a simpler way)? There is the matter of which books to include (Ultimate Magic, Ultimate Combat, Advanced Player Guide, Advanced Class Guide, the various player companions,....) but that's been there since day one (do we allow 3.5 material or not?)

In my opinion, while I wish it were otherwise, Pathfinder has always featured bloat. A continually expanding ruleset, with more and more options and ever more niche-y subsystems of the rules (that the DM is supposed to pick-and-choose from) is part of Pathfinder and always has been. I don't think it's ever been portrayed as anything but.


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Arturus Caeldhon wrote:
What other essential conceits do many players and DMs forget when playing this game?

The fact that there aren't any.

If there's one thing we can all learn from the paizo forums, it's that there's a bazillion ways to play the game. No matter what feature/approach/concept you think is essential, non-negotiable, definitely right, incontrovertible, etcetera, etcetera....There's someone else who likes the opposite.

That's only a problem if you're both at the same table.


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I quite enjoy them, though I've never started one.

I don't really mind what the OP's agenda is, what I like about them is that they're so open ended - people offer a wide range of "justifications" for their preferences. If the OP asks about specific features it tends to limit the discussion somewhat.

I'm often struck when people list my negative impressions as the things they like - it both reminds me that there's no right way to play and (occasionally) makes me rethink something.


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What you miss in forum bling, you make up for with enthusiasm and wit.


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Readerbreeder wrote:
Liz Courts wrote:
The Shining Fool wrote:
How many Charter Subscribers were there when it got started?

Zero.

** spoiler omitted **
Literalist! OK, how about this: do you have any information on the original number of Charter subscribers?

Yes.


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Vic Wertz wrote:
Sara Marie wrote:
Reckless wrote:
I'd take a salaried position as official Paizo bartender in lieu of any board title.
We keep putting in a requisition for a coffee/alcohol cart and it keeps getting denied :(
Oh, no, we have one... it's just that it starts at the other end of the building, and always empties out before it gets to you.

Linked, for the convenience of the CS staff.


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Vic Wertz wrote:
...and our own sales figures say—that Wizards' success is not coming at the cost of Pathfinder—that their Pathfinder sales are in the same ballpark as before, if not up a little.

I'm really glad to hear that.

I have always been on the "I like both" side of the various arguments in which Wotc and Paizo feature. It's encouraging to hear any evidence that a success for one doesnt have to come at the expense of the other.


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*Dons tinfoil hat*


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I think it's a fantastic approach, personally. I could easily see myself running an eberron campaign using this and the 3.5 campaign books.

It does feel underdone though - even some recycled art would be preferable to none. In addition, I feel like a dozen pages would have been a better size.

If it were me, I think I'd have included the world map of whatever setting was being featured. That's not giving away much IP and would probably drive some sales of the older edition PDFs. As it is, I can't imagine someone getting enthused by this document and becoming a new Eberron fan, which just feels like a missed opportunity to me.


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I'm surprised a freelance layout/graphic design contract would be negotiated on an hourly rate. Is that common? I would have anticipated it would be on a $x/page arrangement (with a varying rate based on complexity, whether there are pre-existing templates, etcetera...)


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MAJT69 wrote:
So overall, I was very impressed. Now, it could just be that this one was especially good by the standards of others. But I actually decided I would love to run this, and I'm absolutely positive my players would love to play it. 'Serpent's Skull' seems to have a bit of a bad rep around here too, but this first instalment was excellent, I thought.

I'm a fan of Serpent's Skull and Souls for Smuggler's Shiv is one of my all-time favorite adventures (nobody does level one, campaign-setting adventures like James Jacobs, in my opinion).

The AP is something of a mixed bag and, as I mentioned above, it will take significant DM effort to get the campaign you're looking for, I suspect.

Serpent's Skull Spoilers (kinda):
Book two is essentially a railroad - there's a little bit of "choose a faction and make some friends/enemies" that I think your group would like, then book two is basically a race between those five factions (each loosely tied to and nicely presaged by the NPCs in instalment one, in my view).

Book three is widely regarded as the 'breaking point'. There were some behind-the-scenes issues apparently and it ended up being a little bit samey. Nonetheless, I found it a revelation to run (I combined both books three and four together - gradually mixing the exploration of the city with the exploration of the way down below). There are rather a lot of "kill X number of creature type Y" win conditions which I just replaced with story awards - the city aboveground has several sections to explore/control/conquer/negotiate with and I just played it by ear. When the group started to get bored, I wound things up, when they had particular fun with one section I fleshed it out a bit more.

Unfortunately, my experience ends with book three-and-a-half as the group died having done about half of book three and a little bit of book four. Books five and six looked good to me - although I've always been a big fan of "long treks into the underdark" so I was a soft sell. You do have to forestall the resurrection of a god though - so that's a pretty genuine BBEG.


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In my case, I'd definitely pay more (and regularly do). I find it quite depressing how lowly we, as a community, value the creative work of RPG designers, developers, editors, publishers, layout-people..... As well as all those who take orders, bundle up books, sort out freight mishaps etcetera

I remember a review here or on some other site that began "For $1.99, I expected so much more..." followed by a 'helpful' list of similarly priced PDFs from other publishers with significantly higher pagecounts - it made me so cross I had to go for a walk before I posted something I'd regret. :p

The thought that the effort the publisher had put into producing these few pages of RPG material was somehow less valuable than the labor of a barista making his twentieth cup of coffee in the hour really rankled...

In my mind, there are very, very few people who can produce professional quality RPG books and very few copies are going to be sold. Both of those things suggest to me that an RPG book should be valued significantly higher than a similarly sized "mainstream" book. I think a more valid comparison price-wise is with a college level textbook. Unfortunately, that's not how things are. It's an economic fact of life that if someone tried to release an RPG book at what I would consider a "reasonable" price, they'd be loudly derided (and would probably go broke). I think a corollary to that is that small publishers are forced to offer work to freelancers at a miserable per/word rate.

I see crowdfunding as an imperfect solution - at least it allows those of us who want to pay more to pay stupid amounts for "collectible" books or other follies. Hopefully, the companies running such kickstarters are building in significnant margins on their leather-bound, signed-in-blood, deluxe edition books. Rarity is something you can sell that literally costs you nothing (other than discipline down the track when something goes out of print).

EDIT: Sorry, I didnt really internalise the request to post replies on your blog. I dont generally post anywhere else any more - however I think the number of people sharing my views is sufficiently small as to be not economically relevant anyhow.


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Rhedyn wrote:
I've ran into someone who thinks the game parts gets in the way of the role playing.

At my table this is exactly what happens.

I dont put any credence in the claim that if you're optimising, you're not roleplaying (or are somehow roleplaying less). I see plenty of people posting on the boards who seem to do both and indeed whose roleplaying is enhanced by complicated mechanics. In my case though, I can't do both - the more complicated the game, the less effort I tend to naturally put into developing my character. My Pathfinder characters are generally just collections of numbers unless I really put effort into developing their personality - in which case they always seem to end up sucking at everything.

That's not a claim about how RPGs are but about how I use them.


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MAJT69 wrote:

That's very helpful, thank you. My hope is to gather some evidence to prove that PF adventures are not the joyless JRPG grind they are perceived to be. One player summed them up as being very similar to really old-school dungeon-crawls like Against the Giants/Vault of the Drow, only with much better production values. They perceive 3rd edition adventures to be nothing beyond: 'cutscene, dungeon, 12 fights, level up, cutscene, rinse and repeat'.

They're not expecting miracles, but if I can show them something that offers some built-in element of player choice, decision points, role-playing, or an epic final battle, I think I can win them over.

It's not a popular choice, but I'd suggest looking into Serpent's Skull.

There are five factions built in to the story and the expectation is you'll join one and have varying levels of rivalry with the other four. That might fit the mix you're looking for in terms of a meaningful, structured story whilst still allowing genuine player choice.

The third adventure is widely panned (there were problems, I believe, with the author meeting the deadline and it ended up being a little rushed and very samey) but I actually found it brilliantly adaptable - I used it more as a setting the players could explore, rather than a series of 'essential combats' the way it was written. I gave story awards for exploration and discovery, as opposed to the 'kill x members of the y tribe' conditions in the book.

The BBEG is as good as you can get really in terms of scope/power, so I think that might suit as well.

Serpent's Skull BBEG:
A risen God.

The downside though, is that the DM is going to have to put in a fair bit of work. Personally, I think that's inevitable - the more loosely structured the Adventure you're looking for, the more effort the DM is going to need to make.


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Drejk wrote:
Cosmo has his own magazine?!

Don't read the sealed section.


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1. Using a battlemat.
2. Internet arguments about the rules.
3. Art in RPG books.


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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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Cuuniyevo wrote:


…I'm still unclear about why anyone would feel the need to argue that this isn't RAW.

In my case, it's partly intellectual exercise but mainly because I don't take the view that RAW is an objectively determinable "thing" - language is too imprecise for that, in my view. RAW only has meaning (imo) when it is uncontroversial. The issues people argue about stem from inherent ambiguity - no amount of selective quoting, linking or parsing ever changes that.

I prefer to focus on the consequences - if this is RAW, can you cast a spell without components? If it's an (Su) power does that imply that any arcane spell cast via this power bypasses SR? Does that change if you're a wizard/Archmage vs a fighter/archmage?

FWIW - I think the objection I repeated that someone raised earlier (that a spell is not inherently "arcane" but becomes so based on the class of the caster - if the fighter/Archmage tries to cast wish it won't meet the definition of an arcane spell, since it hasn't been cast by a sorcerer, wizard or bard) is a decent RAW rebuttal. It's certainly the best I've been able to come up with.


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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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