Lord Snow wrote:
Unless you enjoy characters and plots driven wholly, relentlessly and against all reason, by love at first sight, then yes. It really was that bad. :(
Thanks, I think I'll have to read that last chapter again!
Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
The friend who loaned me the first HG book to read said "If I try to explain what it's about, it'll sound ridiculous, so just read it."
I did, and I was not at all sorry. :)
(Also, due to not being a fantasy fan, he was rather shocked that I wasn't shocked at the increasing scope of the plot, as the series progressed. It was kinda cute to hear him squawk over it.)
Mostly A. I house rule to slaughter sacred cows and to fix problems.
I don't really use group A house rules, because once I start trying to fix pathfinder I'll just end up writing an entirely new roleplaying game because I'll replace everything.
I was well on my way to rewriting 3.5 by 2008, and if I ever DMed PF, I'd end up doing the very same thing.
/ It just doesn't work right! ;)
Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
But me and my group have been gaming for so long, we tend to regard all systems as shades of broken.
QFT. It's a matter of degree.
Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
As a rule designer, I find it is vastly more rewarding to take on a quirky thematic rule that adds to the game than to try and "fix" something; only to discover why it was broken in the first place.
...Because the original designer didn't really think it through?
Jessica Price wrote:
It's not that bad until The Last Battle, at which point Susan is barred from heaven because she wears lipstick (female sexuality is the devil, so only pre-pubescent Lucy gets in), and Aslan cheerily tells the kids that it's all good because they died in a train accident and are now in heaven!
Wow, all I remember is the big train accident reveal, and realizing that it was the closest thing I've ever had to a religious experience.
...I'm too young to be losing my memory!
I seem to be in the minority. Had I not known that Jordan had died, I wouldn't have realized that another author finished WoT. But knowing that Sanderson finished the series, I now plan to sample his own fiction at some point!
I'm also sure that I'll eventually reread the WoT, because I'd like to read it as a single work rather than several works scattered over ~15 years of my life.
Lord Snow wrote:
For me it was Stephen R. Donaldson's Mordant's Need two-parter. I read both all the way through, thinking "My cousin spent money gifting these to me, the ending must somehow redeem this drivel..." I was so very, very wrong.
After Mordant's Need, I started using the one chapter rule: If the first chapter doesn't grab me, the book goes into the library charity pile.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Anyway, re: BSG: I already used this line a couple of years ago in a FAWTL thread but, if I ever get a chance to go back in time and visit my younger self, I will tell him to stop watching BSG and Lost at the end of Season Two.
Maybe I'm just a completionist, but I think it's all worth watching once. A little dip in quality doesn't make something a total waste of time.
...Insomuch as tv isn't already a waste of time. :/
Re: Labor strike episode: I was cheering on the strikers while wishing the show would get back to cylons and space battles. I appreciate the show's commentary on real social issues, but it's not why I watch sf.
I second what LazarX and Are said. Paizo has deliberately left deities without stats. Paizo wants deities to be unfathomably powerful.
And we all know what happens when a rogue DM violates Paizo's wishes...
As for the OP, doesn't PF has some new-fangled mythic rules? Sounds to me like a good place to start. Decide what the maximum possible level for a mortal in your campaign is -- probably 20 -- slap on some mythic levels, and then a few more class levels for good measure. Or maybe outsider HD instead of more class levels, if you don't want different deities' stats diverging even further.
Wow, ten year...I feel old! This one is still my favorite sf series of all time, and the only one I'll recommend to non-sf lovers.
I think the quality dipped somewhere in the middle, with those episodes about domestic stuff like labor strikes, but I loved when the show got all mystical near the end. Which, as an atheist, might be ironic of me, but whatever!
Logistically, the last episode makes no fracking sense:
I give 'em one week before every last one of them desperately regrets giving up all that tech.
But emotionally...WOW! The finale hits all the right notes, and ties up the series in probably the only way possible. I still tear up when I watch Adama and Roslin's last flight.
Freehold DM wrote:
I think that some of us are reading 'ineffective' as 'partially ineffective,' and some of us are reading it as 'completely ineffective.' Three cheers for ambiguous RAW!
As stated, you need a few languages (six or seven), and you need a good Knowledge (planes) to use the summon spells well.
I haven't scoured the Summon Monster lists, but doesn't pretty much everything with a 3+ Intelligence understand common? Heck, even pegasi understand common, despite being completely unable to speak! And last time I checked, all PC races speak common too. If so, language isn't an issue. Your summoned critter either understands you perfectly well, or it's an animal, in which case no amount of linguistic breadth is going to help.
"A cleaver is a large knife that varies in its shape but usually resembles a rectangular-bladed hatchet. It is largely used as a kitchen or butcher knife intended for hacking through bone. The knife's broad side can also be used for crushing in food preparation (such as garlic)."
Thanks bro, I never knew what a clever was until now.
You're focused on this poor comparison that you pulled out of your nether regions, which has only a superficial relationship to the topic at hand. Butchers use cleavers because they have to cut through bone and meat without making a bone-splintery mess. And you'd better bet they hate all the time they have to spend honing those cleavers, because blades aren't ideal for chopping bone. Give it up already, do yourself a favor, and talk to someone who has a clue about the topic at hand. I.e., someone who might be said to have a +1 BAB in game terms.
Until then, we'll just have to agree to disagree. End of discussion.
This time he refused to let me control the creature and refused to let me command it to do specific actions (like casting Blur on our fighter or moving into a good position to use Lightning Bolt on multiple creatures).
Run for the hills, my friend, 'cause it's only going to get worse. No gaming is better than bad gaming!
My grandfather would tell me it depended on the blade and type of cleaver, point out things called "Bone saws" aren't exactly bludgeoning weapons, and then tell me the only time you use generally use bludgeoning "weapons" in butchery is to tenderize meat... :)
lol, nice red herring, but let's stick to the context at hand. Last time I checked, 'bone saw' isn't on the equipment list, and the goal of tenderizing a sirloin is not to kill it.
And anyone with an inkling of combat (as you said) would think a an Axe (or again a bone saw...) works really well on bones, since it cuts wood (or bones) just fine.
Nope. Take my word for it, wood =/= bone. An axe is certainly better than a sword, but a hammer or mace is better yet.
The damage reduction is a magical ability, not a logical one. Just like slashing on Zombies is no more productive than any other weapon logically, but as a construct of the game it is.
Sorry, I'm not going to take your word on this one. Believe what you like, but take my word for this: If you're ever attacked with a knife, block with the outside of your arm. (The bony side.) If you're ever attacked with a bludgeon, block with the inside of your arm. (The fleshy side.) It's going to hurt either way, but it just might save your life.
I didn't see oceanshieldwolf's post, but the answer was when we got back from that adventure we did research on what we fought at the local church as part of the adventure.
You directly answered the post in question right here.
Basically we investigated a place, skeletons appeared, we fought them and then took our findings back to the authorities. As part of that research we learned the general weaknesses of skeletons.
I maintain my opinion that your anecdote is an example of taking knowledge checks to cartoonish extremes, but to each their own.
I'm not saying you can't have a reason to summon an archon. I'm saying his reason was google and that is metagaming.
Oh undoubtedly. I just think it's funny how many knee-jerk reactions I've seen here to something that, if acted upon by a more savvy player, would have likely been called 'good strategy.'
Every GM will rule how they rule, but as a player I think you should be asking "What does my character know" when you are playing if you are roleplaying rather than tactical combat simulating.
Exactly. Your character shouldn't be just stats on a sheet.
Anyone with even an inkling of combat knows that bludgeons are better for smashing bones than blades are. Exhibit A: me! Again, I'm barely combat-aware, and even I know what's better for breaking bones. If you don't believe me, ask your grandfather if his cleaver was good at cutting bone, or if it would've been easier to smash the bones with a specially-made bludgeoning tool. (Butchers don't bludgeon meat simply because customers won't buy meat with bone shards embedded in it.)
Ask Freehold DM. He's never fought real skeletons; I don't think he has any particular knowledge of religious mythologies which include undead skeletons. But I bet he can tell you whether it's easier to smash bone with a blade or crowbar. This isn't a metagaming issue. It's got nothing to do with anything that Knowledge (religion) covers, and everything to do with basic combat training. I.e., maybe a 1st level wizard (or ironically, a 1st level cleric) wouldn't think to bludgeon a skeleton, but any PC with a +1 BAB would know these kind of combat basics. Maybe there should be a Knowledge (strategy) to cover this type of thing, but there isn't, so I think BAB is a good stand-in.
I also noticed you haven't answered oceanshieldwolf's question about how long it took your party to try bludgeoning weapons. After the first combat with them? After another level was reached, and another knowledge check could be rolled? After an NPC mentioned his handy trick for smashing skeletons? I'm curious just how far you take your character stats.
Similarly, if you have no foreknowledge of golems, and you see a fireball do nothing against one, you wouldn't necessarily assume magic immunity. It might be immune or highly resistant to fire, or maybe just fireball itself. So summoning a flying critter to attack from a safe distance is a perfectly reasonable tactic. You don't know that the flying critter counters the golem's magic immunity, but you also don't know the golem is immune to magic to begin with. No metagaming necessary. It's just good strategy.
Yeah, and it's kinda funny, given how PF/D&D (pre-4e) has all kinds of ways to trivialize encounters built right in!
Freehold DM wrote:
Well, every DM is different. IME, most won't second guess player choices, given a reasonable explanation. Especially as how most of them also complain about players not using spells and gear creatively. ;)
OP aside, I think knowledge skills can be taken too far. Or perhaps too seriously. I mean, didn't your DM at some point describe how your blows weren't having as much effect as you'd hope? I'd think that at least the party fighter would realize pretty quick that maybe a blunt instrument would do more damage to a brittle set of walking bones than a sword or axe.
I've never been in a fight in my life, I'm barely combat-trained at all, and even I know that blades tear flesh and muscle, while heavy hard objects break bones.
I suspect that if BloodyViking had been a more savvy player on his own, and had simply known to summon the archon to beat the golem in the first place, nobody would have blinked. As others have pointed out, summoning a flying ally to beat down a mindless land-bound foe from safety doesn't require any special insight into the archon's abilities. Just good strategy.
(Chaotic clerics illegally summoning lawful outsiders, aside.)
I further suspect that his DM's response was really a knee-jerk reaction to BloodyViking's mention of google, and his DM's disappointment that what he thought would be a tough encounter (for the second time) turned into a cakewalk. I've seen this kind of thing happen before, when a PC manages to trivialize an encounter; "Your ranger used animal empathy to avoid combat with my dire tiger! Too easy, half xp for you!"
Steve Geddes wrote:
Hand waved away (my implicit assumption would be a combination of small shops, private collectors and wealthy institutions).
Truthfully though, shopping sprees are infrequent in my games. I tailor my loot enough that my players don't end up with a lot of random crap that they'd rather sell than use.
I understand that some find it hard to believe when PCs just happen to find valuable items useful to their particular class/build, but this is also a game where PCs also just happen to encounter 'Goldie Locks' enemies and hazards much more often than probability would indicate. To a significant degree, the PCs are simply born lucky, even in sandbox-y 'impartial' games, so what the hell right?
The whole notion of WBL and CR and the like seem to be in an attempt to conventionalize play across the entire player base.
Perhaps it is, but more importantly, WBL and CR are attempts to make the DM's job easier and the game run smoother. On the DM side, the CR system is an attempt to create predictable and fun encounters. (Assuming the DM generally follows the game's other rules and guidelines, including WBL.)
On the player side, WBL gives the PCs -- at least nominally -- the bonuses appropriate to their level. Think of WBL as a second layer of base attack bonus, base save bonus, ability boosts, and the base AC bonuses that classes don't grant. Is this a weird way to give PCs what the game assumes they have? Yes, but it's very much how the game currently works.
Unless your playing semi-competitively with other gaming groups its all really mute. All the talk about players feeling constrained or even cheated by the GM doesnt apply if your game is the only one they are playing or familiar with. Each game is different, each GM lending a different feel to his campaign. There is no such thing as a typical handling of a game or even a normal one.
There are standardized guidelines and rules which help new DMs and players enjoy the game until they learn enough of its ins and outs to deviate from them. As you say, they provide structure for the story while everyone -- especially the DM -- is feeling out the game.
And as I've said before, saying things like "there is no such thing as a typical game" may be true, but you're also giving any new DMs who may be reading this thread the wrong impression. It's like leaving someone at the edge of a rapid river, and telling him "There's a bridge to get to the other side, but there's no typical way to cross so it's your call." Sure, you may be right, but he's not going to thank you when he finds himself caught on hidden stones halfway across and drowning.
So no, there is in fact no rule or guideline in PF to help DMs run low-wealth games. Gotcha.
One: Simply using lower CR monsters fundamentally changes combat dynamics, so it's not just a matter of less bling = lower CR. If your group wants glass cannon combat all the way from 1 to 20, then it all works out well. Otherwise, you're likely to end up with a lot of dead PCs, and several unhappy players.
Two: I can't speak to APs, but keeping a "running awareness" of what PCs can do, and gauging the challenge of planned encounters isn't easy for everyone. I myself suck at it. Unless I spend hours running pre-game combat simulations, I'm likely to kill at least half the party by misjudging their survival capabilities. Factor in the glass cannon nature of low-wealth combat, and I've got a recipe for TPK!
Three: Yeah, good teamwork helps, what else is new? It helps in monty haul games with CR++ monsters and it helps in standard games. It helps in other games too, and in real life. Low-wealth PF games aren't unique in this respect.
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
For me personally I finally just decided it wasn't worth the effort. My players have not complained. Frankly, if anything, the result has been the players feel more empowered in pursuing their own character concepts.
I think this was wise of you, and in general, I'd recommend that DMs stick to WBL guidelines and allow players more-or-less free reign to buy and sell what they like.
But when a young DM asks for advice on a workable variant, I'm perfectly happy to provide it. What else did I DM 3.x for eight years for, if not to share what I learned? I also think that you're exaggerating the risks, and that doing so isn't particularly helpful. To be sure, there are some truly crappy house rules out there, thought up by some truly air-headed DMs. (I should know, I've been one of them.) But here's the thing: Those horrible house rules came of some lone DM thinking "Hey I've got an idea...!" without thinking it through.
Having and using the aid of the Paizo hivemind dramatically reduces the risk of bad house rules. So if the community can help a young DM accomplish something different with the game, I think it's a shame to throw that opportunity out the window.
PS: All of this is regardless of 'realism' or verisimilitude or whatever. PF/D&D is inherently unrealistic, so I don't recommend that any DM make choices based on it one way or another.
This should work just fine. It might be weird that dispel magic can dull the super-keen edge of a 'masterwork' +5 sword, but you could always house rule that the bonuses aren't actually magical and are therefore unaffected by things that affect magic. That's what I did when I gave my players innate PC bonuses.
Adamantine Dragon is right that occasionally you'll encounter players who fear even well-thought-out house rules, but they're the exception rather than the rule. If you explain to players why you enforce a house rule and how it benefits them, most of them are happy to adopt it. You are, after all, taking on the burden of DMing a game so that they can play.
PS: The Big Six items are: armor boosters (magical armor, magical shield, bracers of armor), ring of protection, amulet of natural armor, cloak of resistance, magical weapon, and ability boosters (headband of intellect, belt of giant strength, etc.).
Here is a dumb question: can you tell me where it says in the rulebook that the magical bonuses are included in the calculation of CR?
The books don't outright say it, and that's the problem. It presents WBL as a guideline, but doesn't say which items PCs are supposed to have, or what happens when a DM radically deviates from the guideline.
The answer is there if you put 2 and 2 together, either via experience (how I figured it out) or via algebra.
Wow, all this talk has me wondering if I shouldnt have stuck with my Hyborian Campaign where the setting doesnt even entertain such notions. I run a pretty low magic game certainly, I prefer them, but if the very mechanics of Pathfinder REQUIRE this sort of dynamic, Im going to be doing a lot of adjusting along the way.
Yes, as I mentioned earlier, it's possible to run a low wealth/magic PF game, but you have to fight the system to do so. You either need a house rule (see the inherent bonuses that were discussed earlier), or you need enough experience to gauge your own 'challenge ratings.' (Which is the less than ideal solution, as it fundamentally changes combat dynamics regardless of how much experience you have.)
LazarX's comment strongly implies that there's a useful "To adjust your campaign for low-wealth play, do X, Y, and Z to avoid frequent TPKs" guideline somewhere. Rule 0 is all well and good, but referring to it in this context is like pointing someone toward a racing river and telling them "Most people cross the bridge to get across, but there are other ways so it's your call." While this is true, the person won't be thanking you when his canoe breaks up on the hidden rocks just below the river's surface, and he finds himself drowning.
Which rules in particular would those be?
It's not clear exactly what bonuses the game expects PCs to have at which levels because the devs, in their infinite wisdom*, decided to omit such tidbits from the game guidelines. I decided to base my variant on dividing the maximum enhancement bonuses (+5) neatly between the 20 levels. Maybe I'm just compulsive, but if I based my variant on all the +1/3 level spells, I'd feel compelled to ignore the +5 caps. Which wouldn't be such a huge tragedy, I suppose, but +5 is a nice round number.
I didn't base my variant on what PCs can buy with WBL because, as I mentioned, WBL is kinda arbitrary. It's just the roughly averaged value of the random loot tables, which are just hand-me-downs from 2e. The result of WBL is that very low level characters are starved for the plusses they need, while very high level characters end up with wealth waaay beyond what they need for the Big Six, and a castle full of magical bling to boot. In short, I don't think that WBL is an accurate reflection of what the game expects PCs to have.
*Yes, that was very much sarcastic. ;)
When I instituted my own variant, I simply fluffed the bonuses as skill and/or D&D's strange physics. Here's what I did:
Level 1, and each 4 levels thereafter: You gain a +1 enhancement bonus to attack and damage.
The last one allows PCs to potentially get a +10 enhancement bonus to one stat at 20th level, which I'm fine with because I banned wish-type bonuses. (Just don't like 'em for unrelated reasons.) I also allowed +10 stat enhancement items.
One thing to keep in mind is that damage reduction of the X/magic variety becomes even more useless under this house rule. But DR is ill-executed anyway. A simple solution is to boost the DR value to 5 times (CR / 4), and to rule that each +1 enhancement bonus bypasses 5 points of DR. This has the added benefit of making DR less binary.
Additionally, as Aelryth mentioned, you'll want to reduce the loot you give your players. You could figure out the exact value of the Big Six items they no longer need, and reduce loot accordingly, but I don't think it's worth the arithmetic. WBL is kinda arbitrary anyway, so don't worry about it.
Lastly, characters who would normally wear bracers of armor get a bit of a nerf...but what of it? Wizards don't need the 3 extra points of AC at 20th level, and you can throw the monk a bone like full BAB to make up for the slight decrease in AC. And for, ya know, their general suckitude.
Does anyone have a codefied rule set for replacing the big six with inherent bonuses? It would be interesting (and IMO preferable) to remove those items and fold them into the regular leveling of characters and may see the use of other, less "useful" items in those slots.
I had one, though I can't seem to find it...it's been a while since I've DMed 3.x.
There are a few variations on the inherent bonus house rule, and contrary to what some might say, the well-thought out ones work just fine. I believe Evil Lincoln's variation is on the forum somewhere, so I'd google 'inherent bonuses paizo' or 'innate bonuses paizo.'
Some variations involve giving each player a number of 'character points,' which they then use to 'buy' inherent bonuses for their characters. Though I have my criticisms of WBL, it's common to base the number of granted 'character points' on it. Some variations involve completely excising enhancement bonuses from the game, while other variations grant enhancement bonuses, thereby leaving the possibility of extra-high-bonus items still being useful. My own variation avoids this extra mathery, and simply gives each PC a predefined set of bonuses at predetermined levels.
Fact of the matter is ... there is no inherent need for magic items.. save that set up by the GameMaster in setting up challenges. It is incumbent on that gamemaster to provide his players the options of getting ready for those challenges. And there are a lot of ways to make that provision. Mass magic item purchase by order isn't the only tool in that particular box.
The fact of the matter is that there are ways around the game's reliance upon magical items, but to say that "there's no need of magical items" in a place where inexperienced DMs may be reading is very misleading, at best. At worst, it's downright disingenuous.
Very experienced DMs can be stingy with magical items by relying on their own assessment of PC vs. monster capabilities rather than on CR, but the result is glass cannon combat. Which may be what you're looking for, but it's very different from standard combat. WARNING: Attempting this without enough DM experience is likely to result in frequent TPKs.
Or a DM can institute some kind of inherent bonus house rule to take the place of the Big Six items; there are a few of these floating around the forums, so this is viable for inexperienced DMs. Regardless of a DM's experience, this is the solution I personally advocate, because it doesn't change combat dynamics or much of anything else.
Magic items have caster levels, but it's a shame that they don't have Item Levels any more (as they did in 3.5). In 3.5 you could say it's easy for a character to get an item of equal or lower level but make it difficult for items that are a higher level.
I believe you're thinking of 4e, not 3.5.
And yes, item levels are very handy!
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Oh, I agree; I just wanted to add a proviso.
There are ways to make magic rare and precious in games of the D&D family, but the hard truth is that you have to fight the system to do so, no matter how you do it -- and the results are often unsatisfying in one way or another.
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
So much this.
And the issue isn't new to PF, or even 3e. In previous editions, PC stats are reliant upon magical items -- heck, muggles need magical weapons of escalating bonuses to bypass the damage immunity of various higher-level monsters. Not damage reduction; damage immunity. Don't have enough plusses? Sucks to be you! You'd better run away, or hope that your DM likes your creative plan B.
It's really an issue intrinsic to the whole D&D family.
Todd Stewart wrote:
And that definition is: Deities are singularly more powerful than non-deities regardless of pretty much anything else. Things other than personal power are what prevent deities from just smashing demon lords left and right, prevent them all from openly and personally interfering on the Material plane, etc. Demon lords can have home field advantage on their native plane, but Godhood is still going to be something that they're all going to strive for to increase their own power.
So the official PF take is that deities are more badass than the 'alignment lords,' as a rule. This pretty much matches my own personal take, but I'm curious to hear your own take too.
Todd Stewart wrote:
As far as defined ideas: ...the nature of gods versus planar lords like archdevils etc,
Hey Todd, I've been reading up on the Great Beyond and you've got some great ideas! Love the proteans and the Four Horsemen in particular.
Anyhow, do you mind expanding a little on the above? I haven't run across anything on this topic on the wiki or the pfsrd, and I'd love to hear your thoughts.
W E Ray wrote:
Planescape is probably the best starting point for someone who wants a ready-to-use cosmology, but a lot of the details feel like round pegs forced into square holes. And no wonder -- PS is an effort to cram the creative work of, as Todd mentioned, many different authors and several decades of haphazard creativity into a single coherent setting. It works for the most part, but I'm sure you'll agree that it could be better.
W E Ray wrote:
I never thought I'd say this, but I'm with Sissyl on this. Tony is without a doubt the best artist D&D has ever had.
And if you disagree, you're just wrongity-wronger-wrongest.
I do think a reason people like Planescape is the work of Mr. DiTerlizzi really helped to define the setting.
For sure! If it weren't for Tony's artwork and PS' writing style -- including the Cant -- I don't think I'd remember PS with such fondness twenty years later. Or even five years later; it'd be just another one of 2e's niche settings, like Spelljammer.
Tony's work for PS may have been a bit goofy and more than a little chainmail-bikini, but it just works with the setting. It's dynamic, it's inventive, it's evocative, and it brings out the setting's character wonderfully.
And even DiTerlizzi fans have to admit, his glabrezu art was kind of..uh, puppy dog.
Oh, definitely. And his bodak isn't without a vaguely goofy posture...but it's still ten times better than the gray martian-man bodak that 3e gave us. Not sure if D&D has another official rendition of the bodak, but Tony's is the one I'll always think of when I hear that word.
Big Planescape fan here but have to say I like some of the concepts of the 4E cosmology. For one, I like the names of the Shadowfell (over Plane of Shadow) and Feywild (over Plane of Faerie, or whatever it was before).
I'm not in love with the names, but conceptually I love these two planes too! The Feywild is perfect for the high elves (aka 'eladrin' in 4e), and the Shadowfell is perfect for the drow. That's my own take the drow, because I'm a fan of racial-planar symmetry.
Todd Stewart wrote:
As far as defined ideas: things like the denizens of the planes being largely set down at the start rather than emerging over two decades of random creation (like how slaadi were the iconic CN outsider in the Great Wheel not because Limbo was designed with them from the start but because they happened to mostly be the first CN outsider created), a defined place for the NE fiends so they wouldn't seem like a third wheel compared to demons or devils (they represent Death, specifically oblivion of the mortal soul)...
Yeah, the Great Wheel's alignment exemplars really highlight its faux-symmetry and the haphazard way that the cosmology sprang from the hands of dozens of authors.
I get the impression that the eladrin were thrown into PS near publication deadline, after everyone had become creatively exhausted.
Zeb: "So guys, we've got to come up with a race of CG dudes for Arborea...any ideas?"
Only guy not snoring into his tie: "Well, elves are CG, so, er, how about a race of extra-special-snowflake elves?"
Zeb: *sigh* "Yeah, okay, write it up so we can put this thing to bed."
The slaadi don't make much sense either. Like the eladrin, they're much more homogenous than a race of chaotic exemplars should be, and much more evil than a race of neutral exemplars should be. A clueless party encountering slaadi is likely to quite reasonably mistake them for demons, barring the knowledge checks and detect evil spells that might identify them as nominally CN.
"Whoa, these things just want to eat our faces! Clearly they escaped the Abyss, so let's send these demons back!" In fact I suspect that slaadi were originally created as one of those old school gotcha-monsters, to trick paladins into wasting their smitage.
Sir Urza, it's a matter of taste. I like the Outer Planes of the Great Wheel cosmology, but prefer the Elemental Chaos of 4e to the distinct Inner Planes. If you can get the Planescape books, in physical or digital form, it's well worth the effort -- the artwork and the prose both blow all other contenders out of the water.
And I do suggest taking a look at Sigil, which is what makes Planescape the best D&D setting EVAR! Sorry, Zhayne, but Morgrave's got nothing on the Great Bazaar. ;)
Todd Stewart wrote:
Whoa, I had no idea that PF had its own cosmology, or that you wrote it! I'll have to read up, as I'd prefer a more thought-out version of the Great Wheel, despite being a PS fanboy too. :)
Care to point me toward some of those defined ideas...?
When it doubt, replace your one word with 'it is.' If the resulting sentence makes sense, use 'it's.' Otherwise, save yourself the apostrophe.
Neither will I, along with a lot of other 'charming' English idiosyncrasies.
When discussing the industry, it's fun to think about things that will never happen, like "What if Paizo owned D&D"?
Assuming that Paizo wrote a ruleset that you personally loved (or stuck with PF if you love it)...
...It's an appealing thought. Paizo seems to be a much better company than WotC, in every way I can think of. It doesn't have annual Xmas layoffs, it doesn't suck at PR, and I even heard that they keep boxes of kittens in the office for anyone who's having a bad day. ;) If Paizo was in charge of D&D (or PF, whatever), maybe we'd have another edition that broke the decade mark. Maybe we'd have less unwanted rules bloat, and more adventure and setting support instead. (Let's also assume that Paizo is supporting your favorite setting.)
But then again, who's to say that Paizo wouldn't become the next WotC after increasing its revenue stream and seeing the future generation of management? Like how VH1 became the next MTV, after going from MVs to reality garbage just like MTV did. When I see things like that happen, I have to suspect that there's an insidious underlying cause for the pattern. Who's to say that as a big company, there aren't underlying reasons for WotC's behavior other than bad decision-making and callousness?
I can't speak to 1e AD&D, but if it's anything like 2e AD&D -- and I believe it is, because editions weren't very dramatic at the time -- then saying "PF isn't any worse than AD&D" doesn't say much. Remember dart-specialists? Even in core, AD&D has system mastery in spades.
Some people here feel that of your scenes are setup for you to succeed then you are not a hero.
And lots more people in the real world would find it hilarious that we're here debating the best way to play make-believe heroes in the land of improbable dungeons and harmless-to-real-people dragons. Let it go, dude. Not everyone wants to play your particular brand of magical elf tea party, and that's okay.
Assuming your OP question was in good faith, you've had eleven pages of responses to help you wrap your head around the answer. And if you haven't by now, you never will. And that's okay, because you don't have to understand; you just have to play and let play.
FYI, you'd get fewer argumentative replies from people who don't really disagree with you if you used statements like "It is the kind of thing that I've never seen happen in a point buy game," rather than using an absolute statement.
Why generate stats at all using point buy? Why not just let the GM pick the optimum stats for each class build and you simply get those stats when you select that type of character. It would be fairer than basic point buy. And that's what you want is fairness, right?
Why roll just abilities and hit points? Why not let the dice determine everything, from abilities to skill points to whether you get a feat at any given level to which spells you learn upon level-up? It'd produce even more creative characters than just rolling for abilities and hit points. And that's what you want, right?