I'm running a WotW game now, and we're nearly done with book 1. Fair warning, I tend to run games with powerful characters as the assumption, and since this is WotW, I told them to go all out evil. Lawfully, of course. Also, we're using 3.x material as well, doing "conversions" where necessary, so it's a no-holds-barred be-as-evil-and-fun-as-you-can sort of game.
We do have a Dhampir (dread) necromancer, and he's been doing fine, but since many of the signature spells come later he feels incomplete. Book 2 should be much better for him. In the meantime, debuffs like Cause Fear will suit you well if you pursue the necromancer path.
We also have a Half-Fiend Dread from Psionics Expanded, a Nightmare something or other (outsider) working his way into Vampire and Fiend of Possession with some levels in this and that, a half-ogre dungeon crasher fighter working into War Hulk, and an Illumian Drunken Sensei Monk going into Ur Priest and Sacred (in this case Profane) Fist.
EDIT: added the races. Well, one I can't remember right now.
So a few weeks ago we started our new weekly game. This time we started to play our first non-Paizo AP, Way of the Wicked, and my players are so far having a blast. They want to play more frequently than once a week. Being the villains and doing things you wouldn't figure characters of their level could accomplish is pretty refreshing and our role-playing has been better than it usually is for sure.
I'm very happy we started this game and I have high hopes for the rest of this AP and future products from Fire Mountain Games.
Its not that they dont want to bring him back, they are worried something bad could happen to.the main npc they need to escort
Then ask said NPC if it's worth the risk, and solve it in-game.
The thing is, I'm sure using it in any capacity, not just the res, would alert the enemies, right?
So they have an artifact that they are told basically not to use, but has things it can be used for. Then... why have it do those things?
These guys have to trust that you, the GM, are not going to full-force murder them just for using the tools given to them. Besides, it's an adventure, some measures of danger should be acceptable given the circumstances.
If they don't res him now, but need to use the artifact for something else later, would they then regret not bringing his character back? I mean, if they have to use it either way, wouldn't it have been better to bring back a companion?
Story Archer wrote:
It was too late by then, as it had already been used up. So none of that for me. :-(
I came into this thread thinking that there was a character you wanted to kill but just couldn't no matter how hard you tried.
On topic, I had a natural attacker build for Shattered Star and the table joked about reincarnating him after he died. I wasn't terribly amused, but I argued that since I would lose all my normal functions in combat they wouldn't want to do that since they needed my help.
Maybe the group thinks they can get away without using his character's support? Is the game that easy? There's a companion in need and they just sort of shrug?
I wouldn't want an in-game group with such apathy.
I get what you're saying. I just don't agree, I guess.
To me, for the various monsters, even in PF, a number of those mechanics have no player-based parallel anyway, what with racial-based class features and bonus feats for no reason other than to make it work. Plus, most of the time the monsters have higher ability scores by default, so gaining bonus points there is arbitrary.
I like that the monster rules themselves are largely consistent, but having that carry across game roles doesn't concern me one bit.
That said, as a player, when I have a tough character, I'm also usually the one staying behind so the rest can run. If I wasn't there in that capacity, we might not have made it a few times, so yeah, groups can differ on the TPK issue.
On topic, I can't convince my group to play Numenara, though it has interested me at least. I gave it a quick read through, and I like it just fine, but I'm having enough trouble getting them to play my game, much less someone else's.
Well, toward pools and player complexity. Could it be that the DM is to focus on story with supereasy mechanics, while the player can have his complexity of management?
Certainly. At our table we divvy up certain GM duties to lighten the load, and give players something to do. Our GM doesn't handle the total loot or even initiative, really.
When players make the rolls, they are engaged in the action. If their defense has no meaning other than a number, they wait to see if they are hit and feel no control themselves.
EDIT: Also, making a playable version of a monster, I think, shouldn't use the monster rules. The monsters are made to fight once and die. They are given specialties that make an encounter with it different than fighting another humanoid. Giving that design to a player makes the player too different from one made to last and be adaptable, which is what the normal races are for.
You should trust your players to know when to run. This situation shouldn't happen often, but when it does, it usually is fairly clear. If the players just barely didn't make it, it may have been down to a few rolls in either direction. But if it's a slaughterhouse, then they didn't realize it was a good time to run.
I, as a player, had to make a very specific wish that an encounter didn't happen in order to save the party. It was something we could have avoided, but we stumbled away into it anyway through our own actions. I was very glad that day that I had saved the wish that saved the party.
I see what you did there...
On-topic, Pathfinder is on the complex side for my taste. Even with people playing the game for years so much has to be looked up in our games we're just not sure of that I feel playing it is very slow.
When I GM, I want to be so well-versed in what I have to do that I look like a Blackjack dealer throwing stuff everywhere with precision. Using this game, I can't do that.
Okay, maybe I'll settle for Magic the Gathering levels of swiftness. The earlier the better.
Now in my experience, the problem isn't so much EXP themselves, but what grants EXP by RaW. D&D and Pathfinder are big on granting EXP based on defeated monsters, but that hardly the only model there is on the market.
The APs do well in this regard by specifying other things that grant the party XP, but sometimes they might not go far enough, in amount and variety of things that grant XP.
Bottom line is that the method of choice, so reliable as it is, is fighting. It shouldn't surprise anyone that the players follow the lead of the design.
That's a good observation. I hope that what I've come up with will alleviate issues like this.
I have an excellent playtest team, with skills in "system mastery" all over the map, from new gamer to video gamer to cheese master. I've not yet tested the whole game with them yet, but it is pretty exciting for me.
Well, I'm designing a game myself that doesn't strictly use XP, but rather a budget of points given out and subsequently spent by the players between sessions whenever they could afford the advancement they would like. I found that with the design I was going for a system for advancing based on usage made things much more complicated than they needed to be, and I just made the conclusion that players will want to power up in a way that would be useful, so they'd likely pick what they use most anyway.
I put a lot of trust in my players, but there is an easy way to audit a sheet like that.
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
It's not the basic functionality of firearms that's a problem, it's certain combos that reduce reloading to a free action, which (because there is "no limit" to how many free actions you can take in a round) effectively bypasses the action economy brakes used to balance the use of firearms.
So... gunslingers shouldn't full attack with their namesake weapon?
I get that there are other things to do with a full BAB, but getting more attacks is the most effective use of one.
And if the point is point-blank shot, step up and slash somebody with a melee weapon to reload the gun later, why not make feats and deeds that reflect that idea? Pistol whip is nowhere near that sort of thing.
This thread is very interesting and informative. It's helped put some perspective on the sort of work I'm doing in my spare time.
The short of it is I'm doing a whole new game. I'm looking to fill 150 or so pages for everything needed to run the game, including a small bestiary and sample adventure. From the sounds of it, I may want to split this up and stagger some releases to help expand them, and put the "sample" versions out for free.
The truth is, I'm not certain I could even get 150 pages out of what I have so far, so building up will likely be necessary either way. Plus, a new game would be such a hard sell, and especially so if there's only one PDF available.
In the end, I'm not looking to make bunches of money, just make the game I've always wanted to play and put it out there for others to play, too.
I had a lot of fun with Loris Raknian from Age of Worms. He had a lot of time in play and he showed the PCs he was plenty canny, and an expert showman.
When the players realize what scheme he had going for them, the cries of frustration with Raknian were priceless.
I think they enjoyed Balabar Smenk a little more. Just as much play time, but they foiled him a little more completely.
I've been mulling it over and thinking about making Way of the Wicked a Mythic Adventure as well. Not for the power boost, but for the feel of it, where these players are a cut above the rest, but have certain people also in that category that likely work against them.
I tend to change APs a lot to work better for my group and to run smoother (I usually succeed at this effort, but not without occasional stumbles), and I have very lax house rules, and while I think this would be a positive addition, I can't help but think they might be reluctant to accept it because they haven't planned for it, and had any expectation when the characters were drawn up originally (a couple players tend to plan very far in advance, and optimize towards their goal thoroughly).
Do you guys think that the mythic tiers can be added to a character without much planning for them to be used? I get the feeling that's the case, but I want to know what you guys think.
Jason Nelson wrote:
I did this for my Age of Worms game, and it worked pretty well.
Grizzly the Archer wrote:
Don't get me wrong, we've had a lot of distracting conversations, and we try to get better at knowing our turns in advance of it actually being our turn. Thing is, we have so many games and character ideas that we push ourselves to finish games because rolling up a new character is always on the horizon.
Yeah, Age of Worms was our longest adventure so far. Most Paizo APs take us 5 months to complete, if we complete them (not the APs fault, we have house rules that determine when a game is dead because we have 3 GMs on rotation, myself included).
My players make whatever they want. Levels are an abstraction for development. Mechanics are simply the means they use to do the cool stuff. Each of the GMs at my table feel this way (3-way rotation).
Case in point: my tengu has 2 levels in monk, but is wearing full plate, and nobody really cares.
Panther Parry wrote:
This is the very definition of interception in PF, which is why I push for it. Otherwise, I'm with everyone that Dragon Style is badass.
I agree that losing flurry is probably bad for this.
Flowing Monk is also quite good for this idea as well ("Be water, my friend").
Sacred Mountain... I can take it or leave it for this idea. If Dragon Style, take this, if Panther Style, don't take this, and other styles or archetypes, maybe. Just remember you lose evasion with it.
Certainly the Dragon fits the flavor, but I was thinking of Jeet Kune Do mechanically. After all, he was not at all about "styles" anyway. Besides, most of what dragon style does is make you hit harder, but Bruce not only hit hard but was also extremely fast.
If this is still a point of contention, just make him a Master of Many Styles and he can do both.
I make a LOT of stuff up, but mostly because I want the game to be more fun. I follow the rules plenty, but especially with APs, I change things up for my games to make them run smoothly and overall keep the players' attention (not that I always succeed, but that's the idea). If the players need help figuring stuff out (hardly ever), I remind them of the stuff that they've already been up to that would lead them in the direction most helpful.
Are you referring to programming, or laws?
I'm quite familiar with the Bank Secrecy Act, having to enforce its use every workday. I work at a casino.
That said, most people are incredibly paranoid about it, and are very much misinformed regarding its use. Many of them think its about taxes, and actually go out of their way to avoid the paperwork. What they don't realize is how much employees already know ahead of them actually cashing anything out, and how efforts to avoid reporting only makes things worse.
It's like the guy trying to get money out of his credit card, and when it's declined, talks like he pays the electric bill of the casino with how much he gambles. No you don't, and you're making a spectacle of yourself saying you do.
I can't really help you if the BSA is your problem; we need that to curtail financial crimes, and is probably the least invasive method of discovering them.
OTOH, transparency of banks themselves, especially the largest ones isn't at all a bad idea. But, for the US at least, one of the biggest issues is enforcement and punishment of violations, not discovering them.
Thing is, after even a single successful adventure, a 5-use limit per pouch won't really be a big deal, money-wise. And on that first adventure, you're gonna be reduced to flinging ineffectual cantrips way before you get beyond the uses of even a couple of pouches.
This is much worse than you realize. Five wizard cantrips have material components.
Sorry if it breaks some sense of immersion for you, but this is a game. As a game, it makes many (and many more) abstractions to simulate something that models a fantasy adventuring life.
In short, it's the rule of cool: if it's fun, have at it. If it's not fun, do whatever you can to de-emphasize it or get rid of it entirely. What you propose seems to get in the way of the "game" part of this.
Another issue I see with enforcing spell components is that the DM also has to give players the opprtunity to buy the more common items and go adventuring for the less common to rare components. If the Cleric and the Wizard in the group are missing at least half of the components the party is not going to continue on the standard quest the DM wrote up. That gets put on hold until at the very least the Cleric is full up on the components he needs to cast all of his spells. So that adventure the DM spent two weeks writing up is not going to happen until the necessary compnents are found. So that means a change in focus. More likely sidequests to get the missing components. That's the thing DM forgot who make players track everything. Adventuring groups imo want to go on a adventure fully loaded up. Who wants to take a wizard along who can't even cast the majority of his spells. Or a cleric who can't raise dead.
This is the sort of thing I'm thinking about when looking at this thread.
There's a lot of attention being paid to something that's not really all that fun to fuss over.
When it comes to components, and the games at my place, all that's worrisome is what components they are, and if material, a potential GP value, and nothing else.
One thing I like about 3.5:
Shadowcasters. Only somatic components for their mysteries. One feat, still mystery, and BAM, no components.
Captain Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:
Its untyped so it stacks with everything, plus it also grants you full attack after 15ft movement.
For the latter part, one set of boots already did that. If you don't like that, then don't allow the second pair of boots.
For the former, the movement must be through an enemy's space. Unless that is an error, that means that the enemy will be closer than 15 ft. in the first place in order for that to work. Also, as I said, it's 3 times a day. Even totally stackable, for the price, it doesn't sound too bad to me.
Cold Napalm wrote:
I was never on a mission to prove to anyone that the premise of the thread is true, only that I felt like it was. When I started to post on my experience, questions were asked. Fantastic, a discussion.
I said pages ago that posting the offending synthesist would go beyond the scope of what I intended to do here, which was simply to share and talk about it (plus, expounded on my view that theorycraft is nigh useless and wouldn't solve anything anyway). But if you really really want a build, I've given you enough information to make one just like it over the course of my posts on this thread.
Being of opposing viewpoints doesn't mean we're antagonistic, man.
Cold Napalm wrote:
I'm not exactly trying to prove anything to you, just to tell you about what I've experienced. Take it or leave it.
If I came across as dismissing any possible solutions to what happened in my game, it's either because I tried them and they didn't work, or I thought that what was proposed didn't make enough of a difference or made much sense from my point of view. I'm the last person that wants to come across as bull-headed.
Limited spaces weren't that big of an obstacle. His items weren't problematic. Conditions didn't change much. He was tested fairly thoroughly, and through it all, most of the damage went to his friends, and he lost more than a few of them. The player also helped make the other characters, too, so the same level of optimization went into them.
He didn't need any wands of rejuvenate eidolon; he rarely got hit.
I will freely say that a synthesist is a good choice for CC, even though, or especially because, there are plenty of non-combat encounters in the AP.
A lot of people imagine the worst sort of synthesist is the one with loads of natural attacks and a massive strength score. That's certainly one route to an offensive monster. Try giving it just one attack, but give it grab, constrict, reach, combat reflexes, and grappling for nearly every action for something I think is much worse.
I believe I just said that it doesn't mean everyone needs to follow suit and ban synthesists. Heck, I said just as much even earlier in the thread. I've also said that we were wracking our collective brains for most of the game seeing if everything was as it was supposed to be. That included looking up every FAQ available and retreading and rebuilding just to be sure.
You're not the only one to come to the conclusion that my group simply didn't think it through. How you guys came to that conclusion baffles me because I've had a lot to say on this topic.
It's not one experience; it's 6 months. A lot can be learned during that time. I've just tried to explain what happened, and why, and for my trouble I get a lot of accusations playing the game incorrectly, being too lazy and all sorts of stuff, and not all from one person.
I'm not at all bothered by this, but it does make me lose interest in the forum.
Hrm... this isn't good.
I've already stated that the synthesist in my game didn't dump his physical stats. And I misspoke earlier; he was middle age, not old.
I've allowed lots of crazy builds in my game because I could handle them, and I trust my players. I've never sat with them for building a character; we're all adults who have done this for years (save for my little brother). Don't forget, the synthesist player is on my side as well.
We haven't had any other summoners in a game, so I have no frame of reference for you there, and I can't tell you what I think of them. We're a group that emphasizes speedy turns, though, so it's not that likely that one of those other builds would actually be played at our table.
I've also already said that the synthesist posted above isn't broken; it's also not even slightly optimized. It's obviously possible to not break games, but what I've said is that it's very possible TO break games. And considering what I'm up against...
See my table is pretty much half casual half serious-optimizers, and a good majority of the time the character builds are made (or helped along) by one half of the table. There's a good mixed bag as far as decision-making goes, but nearly every character is built to win. That I manage to kill quite a few of them anyway says I can hold my own against the guys who look at AM BARBARIAN and think it's a good idea.
So what it comes down to is I can't let anyone make a synthesist, because we're nearly incapable of making a synthesist like the one posted above. Call it what you like, but our table is in a consensus.
So it's as I said; for my table, this is what works, YMMV, but for us, we can't do a synthesist again.
have you seen what a 2hand barbarian can do? or even a 2hand figher? Ignore dex and focus on strength and you'll put anything a summoner can do to shame.
I have seen what a level 20 2-handed fighter can do. It's amazing.
That was the same game (Savage Tide) I had a level 20 monk. It was amazing in its own way.
The synthesist's attack bonus is so close to the paladin's that bad rolls can more easily explain the whiffing than the build does itself.
That said, this synthesist looks pretty harmless as far as breaking any games. It's pretty likely I'd allow something like that at my table.
That's likely going to open a serious can of worms on the side, if what I see on the thread already is to be believed. It would go far beyond the scope of this thread.
So what I'll do instead, is find the sheets, post them as a post-mortem for Carrion Crown, and then go from there. This might be a while; I can't seem to find any of the character sheets from the game.
It will be there that all the speculation and finger-wagging can go on.
Banning something without thought is a knee-jerk reaction. This was 6 months of gaming.
I've already told you, we've been gaming for more than 10 years, and playing PF since the beta. We don't ban anything without thought or consideration. We are, it seems, pretty open about that.
We've allowed lots of other things other GMs seem squeemish about, and not had to ban those options at all.
I don't know what to tell you, maybe it just needs to be seen in action to get the whole picture.
In a way, I am asking you to just trust me, but only on the fact that I've had such a problem, not that you need to do the same as me and ban it at your games too.
The reason I've not mentioned any extras for characters as far as guidelines or general rules it's because there aren't any. For this game, I literally said, "20 (or 25, I can't remember) point buy, no necromancers, and it'd work better with the whole horror theme in mind." So my friend decided on a Jekyll/Hyde synthesist sort of thing, and that was that.
Odd or not, calling it a knee jerk is disingenuous. This was from 1-13, and for almost the entire thing we were trying to figure out why it was he was so much stronger than we intended him to be. Dismissing my group as a whole as being off or not playing right or simply exaggerating is not constructive. Tell me my experience is illegitimate, and I can easily tell you the same, and we'd get nowhere doing it.
I don't have the sheet handy, sorry about that, but with such freedom as some would call it, just figure some of the best options possible for what I told you already and the build is done.
One thing my roommate and I noticed is that we could, mechanically speaking, more accurately replicate a couple of our favorite characters from 3.5. Problem was, these characters, while surprisingly good, were not epic or mythic at all; they were just good for their level.
They went on to feel legendary to us, because of the stories we could tell with them, so maybe that's the point, but super powers they had not.
I can't vouch for the first part of this, but I can easily believe it.
Our table, since our time is usually limited, has pressure for quick turns. A small hourglass timer will help things move along, we found out.
We did the fatigue thing. It wasn't an insurmountable problem, much like size wasn't either.
Anyway, my game is over, has been over, and we as a group agree that the synthesist itself is an issue, and barring any rewrites/erratas, it will remain alone in the banned pile (unless something else like it manages to show itself in Paizo material).
There were also long periods of the party, but especially the synthesist being awake, but this wasn't why. It was actually because tragic things were happening while he slept, so he didn't sleep.
Yeah, come to think of it, the game was pretty brutal. In some ways.
We've yet to find this out for ourselves, as we're hesitant after the synthesist scenario. I feel like we all want to try a summoner of some kind or another, but none of us are planning one yet.
Yeah... camp ambushes generally lead to the synthesist casting dimension door. As a spell or SLA, as he had both. And yes, I did do things that required him to concentrate. Lucky rolls, I guess. Still, one of the few ways to guarantee damage and probably kill the rest of the party.
He didn't dump physical stats as he needed a dex score for the feats he had, the grappling stuff and combat reflexes, so it was at least 13, and 14 by the end of the game.
All his age category stuff only made his defenses unreasonably strong while he was pummeling things to dust.
He toned it down at the end of the game doing bunches of sub-optimal things just so the gunslinger can use some more bullets.