My first experience with RPGs was sitting in while my brother played a D&D session with his friends. If I hadn't been allowed to do that, I might never have been able to get into the hobby. Now, granted, I was there specifically because I was interested in the game and wanted to see how it was played. That's not the same as someone who was just there to socialize. Plus I happily kept my mouth shut the whole time and made sure not to bother anyone.
I have had the girlfriend of one of my players hang out around us while we play. She's also a quiet type, and hasn't cause any problems.
It depends a lot on the personality type of the visitor. Some folks, even generally nice and decent ones, just can't sit there for several hours while everybody does something they aren't involved in. If they're gracious, they realize this and go do something else. If they aren't, they cause problems. Some other people are just fine sitting around doing their own thing, or quietly listening in.
I can understand the blanket no-visitors rule, since gaming groups and sessions can be such fragile things. But keep in mind that a rule like that might mean that potential gamers never get exposed to the hobby.
I'd say that between Carrion Hill, Wake of the Watcher, Into the Nightmare Rift, and the stuff in Distant Worlds, Varisia, and the Darklands, there's plenty of published material to help a GM create an excellent 100% Lovecraftian AP for themselves.
Though I'm sure it would be chock full of stuff I'd like, I'd rather not see a purely Lovecraftian full AP. It would run the risk of consigning all that type of stuff into a single easily-marginalizable box. I like the current technique of mixing mythos/cosmic horror elements into other things much better.
Beyond the basic aesthetic issue, there's also a certain class animosity involved. People associate crocs with poor rural folks, or suburban folks that haven't moved up from their poor rural tastes.
This goes double for camo-patterned crocs.
Jeff Erwin wrote:
Not really a question, but I'll add a second recommendation for Gormenghast. I have no opinion of the BBC series, but I don't see how one could possibly do the books justice without using hand-drawn animation.
They read like a combination of Edgar Allen Poe's mood and Charles Dickens' grotesque characters and sense of humor, but far more surreal.
I agree that your work on Ustalav makes me think that you would appreciate them.
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Well, the only problem with that plan is that before you get to take it...
The First Generation users have developed psychosis and tried to blow up the world.
The Second Generation users have developed psychopathy and become unstoppable serial killers. Fortunately, they killed the First Generation users first.
The Third Generation users have developed sociopathy and taken over the world.
The Fourth Generation users have developed paranoia and ruined all of the Third Generation users' plans. But they destroyed civilization in the process.
The Fifth Generation users have developed delusions. They rebuilt civilization, but made everything look like coconuts and giraffes.
The Sixth Generation users have developed narcissism. They took all the attractive people on earth, and manipulated them into co-dependent relationships.
The Seventh Generation users have developed borderline personality disorder. They discovered the perfect ways to make their Sixth Generation partners miserable -- and everybody else, too.
The Eighth Generation users have developed monomania. They figured out the perfect optimal strategies for all games. You can never play anything without an Eighth Generation user telling you you're doing it wrong.
The Ninth Generation users have developed wisdom. They realized that the world would be a better place if nobody else could ever take the drug. They erased it from human knowledge.
I can sympathize, Sincubus -- but I can understand why Paizo wouldn't want to do so, for the purpose of preserving their relationships with 3rd party publishers.
If a 3rd party publishes their own version of a Paizo beastie, it's not going to hurt Bestiary sales too much. If Paizo publishes their own version of some 3rd party beastie, it could kill the 3rd party publisher completely.
That said, I agree that real-world mythological creatures ought to be fair game in a way that original monster concepts aren't. But sometimes it can be hard to tell the boundaries between those two things, too.
Dinklage has a realy god point, but I'm not sure it applies strongly to halflings in Golarion.
The concept of fantasy races is deeply rooted in folklore and mythology, and has a lot of complex elements going on in its expression.
Non-human races play off of traditional tropes associated with magical beings (gnomes, especially), and such beings are often traditionally portrayed as differing from humans in some striking physical manner. Sometimes this manner is in being strikingly smaller than most humans. Or resembling human children, or some such.
In Pathfinder, Gnomes are a lot more overtly magical beings, with their strange appearance and fey connection. They hew very close to the classical folklore style. To my mind, that makes them unproblematic. They're not "little people," they're weird creatures.
Halflings, being based on Tolkien's basically non-magical Hobbits, are a more interesting case. I can understand why one might apply Dinklage's criticism to them. On the other hand, maybe they're exactly an illustration of the opposite of what Dinklage is criticizing: they really *are* just normal people, except smaller. Maybe such things as "Halfling luck" or their unusual propensity for optimism are a bit problematic, though.
What would be interesting to me, perhaps, would be to build an actual human character with dwarfism in a setting that also has halflings, gnomes and dwarves, and explore the implications of people assuming that he's not a human based on his appearance.
Merisiel is getting ready to come out and tell Valeros, Ezren and Kyra and that there's nothing in the next room but some extremely dangerous traps that she was unable to disarm...
It's always dangerous to send the rogue in first.
For episodic adventures, I'd recommend that you check out some Pathfinder Society scenarios, since they're built to be short and mostly standalone, and built to be played by a slapdash party of random adventurers.
I had a really good time playing through The God's Market Gamble a few months back, and it seemed especially ripe for some RP hijinks. :)
You may need to dial back the combat difficulty a little for some PFS scenarios, though, including that one. But that's a pretty easy adjustment to make, I think.
So you're saying that Pope Francis is responsible for the historical mistreatment of South Americans because he is a Jesuit?
That's like President Obama is pro-slavery because he is a Democrat, since the Democratic Party supported slavery in the 1800s.
My advice: don't punish them. What they've done can create a really interesting plot twist. This is the beauty of tabletop gaming. Run with it!
If I were running things, I'd have Peppery know exactly what she's supposed to know in the published adventure -- but since they are rescuing her several months early, maybe she doesn't know quite as many details.
So yes, now the PCs have a much more urgent mission to stop Harrigan's plan. They'll need to come up with a strategy for doing that. And like sabadoriaclark said, he should be fully tipped off that they're on to him. So maybe he flees to Cheliax to join the fleet. Or maybe he fortifies his base to resist the inevitable assault.
If the PCs simply tell Tessa and then expect her to just sort it out somehow, then you could use an old GM standby: she fails, disappearing without a trace. Now the PCs' patron is out of the picture, and they now know that things are *really* bad! (It was good enough for Tolkien!)
They will then probably be feeling too under-leveled to just go face Harrigan themselves -- that's good! That's your chance to get them back on the level progression that Chapter 5 expects them to have. If they're no longer interested in cleaning out their island, give them side quests to retrieve powerful weapons and equipment that they will need for the big showdown. Or you could encourage them to finish the island and throw the feast as planned -- what better venue for them to reveal to the Free Captains that invasion is upon them!
Merisiel uses her Stand Up rogue talent to immediately spring to her feet. This takes the Mirror Man in front of her by surprise. She deploys a concealed dagger from her spring-loaded wrist sheath, and hits for maximum damage thanks to her Underhanded talent. Boom, dagger through the mirror.
She also wins initiative. She draws two daggers with the Quick Draw feat and throws them at at Mirror Man #2, who is still flat-footed. Thanks to her Two-Weapon Fighting, they both hit for sneak attack damage. Down he goes.
Mirror Man 3 is still up. He charges at her, but she nimbly dodges his sword stroke. Then on Round 2, she uses a dirty trick combat maneuver to breathe in its mirrored face, clouding up the glass and temporarily blinding it long enough for her to disappear down a side street.
Here's a Campaign Setting product that I think would sell -- at least, I know I'd buy a copy. :)
I love maps. All kinds of maps. And Pathfinder has some great maps, that's for sure. And it's got a great world, too. But it seems to me that most of the maps of Golarion are pretty narrow in their focus. They've got cities and towns, labels for major geographic features like forests and mountain ranges, and places for adventures to happen. So far, so good; that's probably what adventurers care the most about.
But I'd love to see more varied maps of Golarion that convey more information about the world:
I'd like to see the road networks that connect cities and towns together, complete with mileage and normal travel time. How far is Westcrown from Augustana, by road, ship, and overland flight?
I'd like to see environmental maps, showing the differences in climate in different regions (fun fact: most of Cheliax has a Mediterranean climate. How many players know this?).
I'd like to see maps of trade routes and economic products. What are the endpoints to the Isger trade route? What does Andoran export? Where does all of Katapesh's Pesh go? How much merchant shipping goes through the Shackles?
How about an ethnic map? Where are the lines where you could expect to start seeing fewer Varisians and more Ulfens, then less Ulfens and more Kellids?
In short, what I'd love to see is a fairly complete Atlas of Golarion, or at least an Atlas of the Inner Sea: a variety of maps each showing different important features of the same region.
Oh, and one other thing: I'd love to see a real world-style political map, with colored countries to clearly indicate the national borders, and flags on each nation. Maybe that could also include alliances and enmities between countries, too.
Who else thinks this would be a really fun product to use?
Damon Griffin wrote:
They really ought to package the scissors with the PDFs, too. Yet another way in which PDF customers get screwed!
James Sutter wrote:
Well, neat! I still think that a survey would be a good idea, though. Surely the ratio of opinions on this particular thread isn't an accurate representation of the entire AP subscriber base.
Heh, not *readily* transported, but I could imagine some enterprising demon lord thinking that there was a nice big untapped pool of potential worshippers out there, and hatching a plan...
It's my first time GMing Pathfinder, starting what's supposed to be a highly atmospheric horror-themed campaign. The players are in a creepy graveyard.
ME: "The ground shakes and trembles! Then suddenly, up from the ground come --
PLAYER: "A bubblin' crude?"
So basically, the the Rider can be neutral even though he serves an evil being -- just like the Silver Surfer can be good, even though he serves the neutral Galactus.
You know, maybe I'll play up the Baba Yaga = Galactus angle a bit if I ever run this myself. :)
"Okay kids. Here are some nice knives to play with. Now go have fun while I watch TV."
So here's some things that I think sum up this thread so far.
1. There are lots of folks that don't read the fiction, and lots of folks who do.
I think it would be a good idea for Paizo to come up with a more systematic survey of their customer base before making any major change.
2. There are several ways for PF Fiction fans to get it outside of the APs.
While this doesn't necessarily mean that the APs shouldn't have fiction, it is a major change since the creation of the AP line, and it could affect Paizo's take on the matter.
3. If they did decide to replace the fiction sections, they couldn't use it for maps or a longer adventure.
There are solid financial and workload reasons why that's impractical right now.
4. The advantages of the fiction section are that it is cheap to produce, does not require a great deal of editing and development, and is relatively independent of the AP's overall development schedule.
Some of the things that folks cite as problems with the fiction -- especially the fact that it's not closely tied to the adventure -- are also things that make it practical from Paizo's standpoint.
5. Therefore, if the fiction were to be replaced, it would have to be by material that is:
So if you'd like to see the fiction go, let's see some ideas that meet those criteria!
Maybe the Order of the Tongue, dedicated to wiping out the Whispering Way (even Hell needs living souls to keep flowing in). Known for their incredibly effective torture methods for extracting information. Constantly opposed by both the WW and Norgorber's Anaphexia cult.
Well, think of real-world analogues: In the Middle Ages, the King of England didn't rule London directly. The King had holdings both through The Crown and through his family's possessions in various places throughout the kingdom. Actually, historically, kings often *didn't* receive much taxation from their vassals. Instead, what they got was promises of military support and loyalty. Sometimes, this military support would be provided in gold instead of manpower, so it would function as a tax even if it wasn't technically so. The King compelled the fealty of his vassal nobles through a combination of familial power (built through political marriages), personal prestige and charisma, and basic quid quo pro political negotiation.
Similarly in Ustalav. The Prince is a member of the Ordranti family, which has ruled for a long time and has a lot of personal holdings. So he'd be rich and powerful even if none of the counts paid him any taxes directly. What he has instead is the prestige of rulership, and legal authority to command their obedience. What this means it that it's usually in the Counts' best interests to pay the Prince and support him, or else he might throw his influence against them. That could mean anything from withholding any money that they might request from the royal treasury, undermining their families' marriage prospects, or even revoking their title and declaring them to be rebels. But of course any of these actions could have repercussions with the other Counts, and the Prince would have to be careful not to lose their support.
So basically, the Prince's situation is pretty realistic, even if it isn't a very good way to run a country.
Like the OP said, the main insight that I think we need to consider, though, is that the Rogue's main problem is not that it's weak per se, but that that its role has been eclipsed by other classes. Just improving Sneak Attack isn't going to fix that issue.
We need to zero in on what the Rogue is supposed to be good at, who his competitors are in those areas, and work on making him the best at those things again. Ideally, we can do it without stepping on those other classes' toes, so that Rogue once again has its special niche.
1. Using stealth or misdirection to gain advantage in combat.
I don't mind Rangers being better at sniping; that should be one of their core strengths. I also don't mind Alchemists getting Sneak Attack, though I'd say the Rogues ought to be better. Heck, I don't even mind Ninjas being better "pure combat" Rogues, as long as Rogues are still better at their non-combat roles.
My Idea: Personally, when I think Rogue combat, I think flanking. I think just having a Rogue in combat ought to make things easier for everybody. Maybe if a Rogue is part of a flank, the flanking bonus should be higher for both attackers?
Also, maybe Rogues should be better at feinting? Obviously we could just give them the feats, but what if they could "feint" people just by making them worry about the Rogue? Maybe a Rogue could have some sort of "dangerous presence" that makes enemies worry about him, giving other combatants bonuses from their distraction?
2. Being highly skilled.
Conceptually, the Rogue is someone who has mastered the art of solving problems without having any innate magical ability. I think Rogues really ought to be top of the heap when it comes to non-magical skills.
In my opinion, they ought to just have more skill points and class skills than anybody else, even Bards.
My Idea: Maybe a Rogue could pick one other ability score in addition to Intelligence. Each level, he receives a number of extra skill points equal to his bonus on that score. He can spend these skill points only on skills that are keyed to that ability (okay, 95% will pick Dex...).
3. Dealing with traps and environmental dangers.
Rogues should have better saves. Evasion is awesome, but it doesn't help with Fort or Will.
My Idea: Shouldn't someone who's selfish and independent have a strong Will save?
The trap problem is a lot harder to solve. It's not really a Rogue problem; it's more a problem with the trap rules themselves, and also the conventions of adventure design. Most traps are easily solved by either detect magic/dispel magic or Barbarian Takes the Hit. Or they're just not there in the first place (I'm getting ready to run an AP chapter now, and I can't find a single trap in the whole book!). At worst, you just need somebody with Disable Device, and with the Pathfinder math on skills, it's easy for a non-Rogue to pick this up.
My Idea: Barring a total overhaul of the trap rules, or some sort of trap-happy renaissance among adventure designers, I think the only option is to make Rogues truly godlike at trap solving. Maybe they always automatically detect them, and nobody else does without really massive Perception checks. Maybe they can easily bypass them, but leave them active for enemies to get hit by. Maybe they're skilled at setting up their *own* traps to catch others.
My picks, in rough favorites-first order:
1. Huckster. Hands down best archetype of the round.
2. Uringen Assayer. Telefragging goodness. I've always wanted to play this class.
3. Green Knight. This is a brilliant use of real-world mythology, and a very original spin on the paladin.
4. Red Adder Magus. This is a really good take on poison use, and a very smart variation on the magus.
5. Skinchanger. This is a very well-designed witch concept.
6. Water-Born Votary. This archetype clearly shows that the designer understands what makes monks cool, and he's translated this to a river-focused setting very well.
7. Outsea Delver. I'm kind of a sucker for underwater archetypes, and this one is simple and effective.
8. Gralton Infiltrator. This one was my only borderline pick. I liked the concept, despite a few flaws. An incognito alchemist is an interesting idea.
Observations: Looks like I picked three of the four alchemists. Guess I know what I like. I wanted to like the Forecaster, too, but it seemed too broken to me. Similarly, I wish I could have voted for the Lonesome Rider, but I just couldn't in good conscience kill that many horses. :)
I think it's brilliant. You finally get poisons with scaling DCs, so they don't suck by high levels. And the idea of a "poison-casting" magus is excellent.
I agree that the oversight of arcane pool-dependent class features is a problem -- but since none of the judges seemed to either notice it or care, that tells me that it isn't a fatal error.
This is getting one of my votes, I think.
Maybe he'd say something suitably cryptic and ghostlike, such as, "The man Vrood man steals our dead for some dread purpose. Weary we are from our restless torment, but he would further enslave us. But for what secret purpose? I cannot read within his warm, living mind. Perhaps if you brought his stilled corpse here to me, I could pry the secrets from his cold gray brain..."
This is my 1,000th post on the Paizo Messageboards!!
I want to take this opportunity to look back and thank everybody for making this one of the best messageboard communities that I've ever participated in.
Way back in October 2011, I was looking for advice on starting The Haunting of Harrowstone, the first time I'd ever GM'd an adventure path. Not only did I get loads of good advice that improved my game for that adventure, I also discovered a veritable treasure trove of great ideas for improving Carrion Crown as a whole.
And that's continued with everything else I've ever sought advice for on the boards. When I started up The Wormwood Mutiny, the first thing I did was read the boards to gather up ideas for improvements. I especially want to thank DM_aka_Dudemeister for his suggestions for inserting a Dungeon Magazine adventure into it, and for recommending some great additions to the Wormwood's flavor. Those suggestions led to the time one of my players said, "This is the most fun I've ever had roleplaying."
And that's what I've gotten from the boards every time. I've tried my best to join in and do the same for others. But the wonderful thing about a community like this is that you get back SO much more than you put in. I'm grateful for everything.
And not just for the advice! I've had loads of plain old fun, with Corrupt the Wish and other forum games, and just shooting the breeze on whatever interesting roleplaying topics come up.
And I also want to make a special mention of the Paizo employees and contributors who participate on here. It's amazing to see a company that values its fans and its customers the way you do, with staff who clearly take as much pleasure and get as much value out of this community as we do. You guys are wonderful.
So here's to 15 months and 1,000 posts of fun and fellowship! And here's to plenty more in the years to come!
I haven't noticed necril appearing at any time in the first three books. So it won't spoil anything, but it might not help you with much of anything, either. Of course, if I were your GM,I'd certainly add in some opportunities for it to pay off for you. ;)
That's pretty cool, Maximus. Though I think for myself, I'm going to limit the idea of Marks to just material possessions.
There are some other interesting implications, though:
For example, dwarven kings are the only ones allowed to place their Marks on gold coins. Much like in a modern monetary system, the government (in this case the monarch) technically owns all of the circulating currency. This means that taxes are considered just returning a portion of the king's own gold to him. However, generosity is considered the sign of good kingship. A king is expected to give his gold to his people (much like the Anglo-Saxon concept of ring-giving), so that they can trade it among themselves. Conceptually, in dwarven culture a gold coin represents a measure of the king's favor and approval, rather than having its own intrinsic value. Having a huge treasury filled with gold is actually the sign of a bad and greedy king; having an enormous amount of circulating currency in one's kingdom is the sign of a good and prosperous king.
This is why, to outsiders, it seems as though dwarves tend to "hoard" their gold. It isn't that they are greedy, it's that they don't wish to give their king's property to outsiders who won't recognize his rights.
I like that, Dudemeister.
Here's my idea for making dwarves more interesting:
Dwarves are famous for being expert craftsmen. The reason why almost every dwarf becomes good at crafting is that according to Dwarven law, one only truly owns the things that one makes. When a dwarven craftsman makes any item, he may choose to inscribe his Mark upon it. If he does so, that item is considered to be his permanent possession for as long as it exists. He can give it to others to use, or even rent it out for money, but he always retains the right to demand its return.
Using a dwarf's Marked property without permission is considered equivalent to theft. If a craftsman dies, dwarven honor demands that all of his Marked possessions be buried with him, for his use in the afterlife. Sometimes, a dwarf might undertake perilous adventures just to retrieve any missing or stolen items that his long-dead relatives or ancestors.
Conversely, Unmarked items are not really considered to be individual property. Instead, they are treated as the communal property of an entire dwarven society, and are expected to be shared freely with anyone who needs to use them.
This conception often complicates dwarves' relationships with other races. The dwarven reputation for xenophobia is largely a result of their worry that outsiders won't respect these rules. And it's very easy for an outsider to accidentally offend a dwarf, either by using a Marked item without permission, or else by refusing a dwarf's request to borrow an Unmarked item.
Basically, I want to play up the interesting economic aspects of the classic dwarven stereotype.
There's a big difference between using a computer/tablet as an extra tool in addition to paper, versus using it as a crutch in place of paper.
As a GM, I've taken to having a laptop available to me at games, but I try to use it as little as possible. It's mostly only there in case I have to look up some obscure rule, or pull up some monster stats for an unexpected encounter. And I'm definitely not as fast with it as I am with paper.
I print out paper sheets for all the monsters that I'm planning to use in a session - and like Raymond Lambert suggests for new players, I have started color-highlighting my monster sheets for AC, attacks, saves, etc.
Paper is actually a really great technology for presenting static text. You can actually get WAY more text on a 8 1/2" x 11" sheet than you can on a tablet screen, and with good page design it can be easier to read.
I do like the spellbook apps for casters who have a boatload of spells to pick from, though.
Gary Teter wrote:
Dude, if the Paizo VTT had a hidden "Roguelike" mode...
...it would be the coolest thing ever.
I GM a group that's pretty much entirely new players, and I'm the only one who ever reads the boards or really studies the rules.
It has its good side and its bad side. On the one hand, I don't have to worry about massive power disparity, or about players arguing with my on-the-fly calls. On the other hand, I have to keep reminding people over and over how touch AC works, and I have to spend a bunch of time helping everybody level up.
They're getting better, though. We've gone from level 1 to level 4 so far, and they're beginning to pick up on things better. It's a great group overall.
But every once in a while, I get the urge to go play Pathfinder Society and spam color spray at monsters like a boss.
Elephant Stomp is *supposed* to work the way Rob McCreary explains it, but the problem is that the phrasing makes it work the useless way, like asthyril says.
Little grammar lesson:
In that sentence, "instead of moving through your opponent's space and knocking her prone" is a single prepositional phrase. That's why it's enclosed in commas to set it off from the rest of the sentence. The preposition "instead" has two objects: "Moving through your opponent's space" and "knocking her prone". The "instead" applies to both these objects. This means that, as written, a user of the feat neither moves through their opponent's space nor knocks her prone.
Here's how the feat could be rewritten so that it would fulfill Rob's intent:
When you overrun an opponent and your maneuver check exceeds your opponent's CMD by 5 or more, instead of moving through your opponent's space, you may stop in the space directly in front of the opponent (or the nearest adjacent space) and make one attack with an unarmed strike or a natural weapon against that opponent as an immediate action. Your opponent is still knocked prone by the overrun maneuver as normal before this attack is made.
Jeff Erwin wrote:
(Of course, I am a librarian, and thus I think of it as a LG profession. Hence I think Lissala is more the god of letters. This also makes sense to me as someone with a mild case of dyslexia).
Hey, so am I! :) Irori's the strict librarian that always has his collection perfectly ordered so that things are easy to find, and he's happy to help you if you need it. He'll shush you hard if you get noisy, though.
Lissala's the snooty librarian whose collection is in a weird and obscure order that only makes sense if you spend days learning the system, and she expects you to find everything yourself.
Norgorber intentionally mis-shelves books in places where only he can find them later.