XPs. Hmm, those are those little things that always fall off and you step on 'em and....hmmm, no. Oh yeah! They're the things that roll around and...and....hmmm, no. Nope, haven't used those in years. But if you really need some I think I've got a case or two in the attic. More than welcome to 'em if you can find them in amongst the other junk.
It really all comes down to what you play as far as rolling goes. If you're going to do a 1st/2nd edition run put that point buy stuff out of your head now. Stats never increased back then without serious magic, books/wishes/etc. You didn't get a freebie handout to your scores every few levels. Worse for some classes, if you didn't have an 18 your casting abilities were limited to say the least.
All that aside I still use 4d6 drop the lowest reroll 1s. What can I say, old habits die hard. Since I'm the DM I really don't care what your stats are like, I'm pretty sure I can come up with something you'll find challenging.
I guess a better question would be how similar are stats from a 15 point buy by level 20 Vs. 4d6 drop the lowest but never getting any stat increases via leveling?
Consider this book sold. Do I need it? Nope, sure don't. The thing is, what books like this offer is really invaluable. They offer a different take on the game. No matter how close you look at something you'll never see it from someone else's perspective, that's where the stuff you missed is usually at. And you always miss something....
I like the idea behind this. The DM never rolls dice, well, almost never. That takes away some of the adversarial elements that can spring up between DM and players, leaving a more story oriented atmosphere. And as Papa above pointed out, if you really don't like something you have no control over you can always spend an XP to avoid it.
Basically, a rules-lite system with a very interesting background. If you have a good DM it could be a great game to play. Of course if you have a bad DM it doesn't matter what system you use, you're doomed anyway....
Either way, its definitely worth a look.
Actually, this would be doable. Maybe the crystals have abilities that can be broadcast to underlings, upping their power levels by a substantial amount, making them a challenge for level 20 characters. Maybe they aren't all that rare, putting a few into the hands of "lieutenants" and such. Perhaps being close/in range negatively affects how magic works, well, mortal magic anyway, causing teleports, divinations, and such to falter. Yeah, doing this wouldn't be all that hard really, bit of work on the boosts and you're in there.
As to loot, well, you're hosed. They need to forget about the loot carrot, after all, they're already level 20. At this point they aren't thinking about the next score, they need to put their eyes on the real game.
Wait. You guys are DM'ing and you're telling me you don't fudge rolls behind that huge DM screen? I..... You......
What was it Khan said? "You can't even break a rule. How can you be expected to break bone?"
I'm sorry, I don't mean any of this in a bad way, its just kind of shocking to see how far things have changed. No wonder you see all this "optimized" stuff. I bet you guys run your Paths without customizing them to your group too.
See, I've always put story and party enjoyment over random rolls, no module can ever cover your group with the options they need. Your group is always unique and if you want to bring the story out you're going to have to customize here and there. And if you see some little twist of luck wipe your party out because the bad guys got a string of good rolls, that's got nothing to do with a good story. Used to be a good DM would fudge things. I dunno, maybe I'm showing my mileage, but my players always have a good time, so I suppose it all works out. Different strokes and what not....
I'd be completely against gods being unassailable by the players, yet at the same time I don't think putting gods into a beastiary like Dieties & Demigods is a good thing either. Back in the day that book was taken too often for a Monster Manual 2, rather than a reference and background guide.
Mostly I look at it like what Raistlin did in the dragonlance Legends series. Run around on the god's home plane screaming your head off killing her minions(after a suitably epic journey just to get to that point), then lure her away from her point of power where she's vulnerable. Once there, spring the trap, whack the god, viola. Well, ok, maybe a little more complicated but you get the idea.
So, for my campaigns at least, deities are beyond mythic, most of the time. Until you catch them with their pants down around their legs, then they're no more mythic than anyone else, assuming you're prepared.
To answer the op's question, yes, yes you are the only one.
That said, I think maybe a part of the problem you're having is a phrase you brought up, "moderately optimized". Stuff like that, and players who indulge in it(let alone go overboard with it) will kill a story pretty quick. An "optimized" party can make for a decent game, but rules like the Mythic ones can really end up like fire in a kid's hands. Not a pretty sight....
Maybe I'm lucky to have started playing when this was still a roleplaying game. I see things in terms of story, not damage per second. Maybe a less serious less "optimized" approach, with more of an emphasis on storytelling would work? I dunno, different strokes and all that I suppose. Good luck either way.
Page Count? The great nemesis of writers the worlds over. Interesting, I'd wondered how it was determined where the party ended up level'wise. The overall process makes a bit more sense now. I always modify modules I DM and kept wondering why no one just added a little extra spice here and there to up the levels by endgame. You've got 20, might as well use 'em.
Page Count. I hate that guy.
James Jacobs wrote:
In the words of the immortal Eric Cartman, "Sweeeeeeeeeeet!" Thanks for the heads up guys.
Well, heres to hoping the xp curve works out for a lvl 20 crew by the end. Sometimes I forget you guys have to go by the numbers when you design these and can't just wing it like a regular DM might. On the other hand, one of the reasons I buy these(aside from the excellent storylines), is to see how the people in charge handle tossing out encounters. Never easy writing premades for high level, let alone max level, looking forward to seeing how you lay it out.
The gods can't do everything even if they wanted to. The president of a large corporation runs the business, but he doesn't do every job. He can't. He delegates authority because he can't be in all places at all times doing all things.
Look at Aroden's first herald. He lets her watch the shop just once while he's overseas setting up new contacts and BANG! Dead herald. Now he's gotta go out and put an add in the paper advertising the open position, wade through endless reams of out of work loser wannabes trying to get in on the "godthing". He was lucky to get Iomedae, sure, girls got major issues but at least she's trainable. And of course theres the time effort and cost of training the newbie in the hopes they don't foul up like the last one.
No. Gods aren't just gonna jump in and start micro-managing everything. It doesn't work for mortals, it doesn't work for them. Besides, dying for a cause is something mortals do, not gods.
Dex based fighter.Sounds good to me. Roll with it. You guys need to stop meta gaming and just game for a bit. Enjoy yourself and your new toys rather than yelling about what you didn't get. Not aiming this at anyone in particular but if you start tearing something apart because it isn't perfectly balanced you'll end up with nothing. Its playable and its logical. Grass is always greener on the other side guys.....
Once you get to certain parts of the APs things move rather quickly from one book to the next. At higher levels having a mage to teleport the group around can fix some of the "need to be elsewhere right this second". At the early levels though your travel times will be rough. You'll be commuting from Riddleport to Sandspoint to Korvosa, hundreds of miles between each.
Aside from travel time theres also level considerations. Run through one AP to get to the next and you'll be starting that next AP over leveled. Now do that again two times for the last two APs.
Not saying you can't thread it all together somehow, but it sounds like a serious case of overcomplication if you do. An insanely large amount of work for the DM to juggle, backed up by a potentially bored group of players devastating most everything in there path from being over leveled. Or dying horribly because they're underleveled to keep them at pace for the next 3 APs.
Couple things here. It sounds like a lot of dying is going on and your crew feel like they have no hope of living, hence the desire to not get attatched to characters headed to the meatgrinder of your game. "Just roll up a new one, the DM is gonna kill us no matter what we do, at least this way we'll finally get some decent gear..." You may want to tone it down a touch. I'm not at the table so I can't say for sure but when the party stops caring about staying alive you're headed in the wrong direction.
The other point is maybe you shouldn't allow new characters at all. Go REAL old school. Someone dies, the party needs to get him back alive or move on without that player. Die this week, don't bother showing up next week....unless we can rez you.
James Jacobs wrote:
This right here is the kind of attitude that makes you a success. Keep this place run by gamers selling games rather than a megacorp pushing a "formula" and you'll do well.
If its really an issue make Attractive a feat, takeable to a maximum of 2 times. Each time you take it you get a bonus of +2 on social skill interactions with the opposite sex(if they swing that way). This is what they do in Mutants & Masterminds, also a d20 based system, and it works pretty well from what I've seen to describe the high end lookers.
Actually, Second Darkness gave out quite a few CRs for demon lords that the drow worship. They ranged from CR26 for the smallfry to CR32 for Orcus and his contemporaries, with Lamashtu as CR-(Deity). Nocticula at 32 is one of the demonlords supposedly on the brink of godhood so that may well be the top end. So yeah, with all the Baphon-buildup we've seen I could picture him as a CR 30/32.
Theres been some talk that the up and coming Mythic Adventures rules might allow a single character to run the APs. Unconfirmed though as of yet. You might check out the playtest when it becomes available this month. Soon from what we've been told. Not sure thats what they're aiming for, but it sounds like it might do the trick for your situation. Running one or two characters through an AP should be a bit more manageable than four. Theres a few threads about it in Paizo Products I think.
Oddly enough, I've been saying much the same thing about 3.0/3.5. Those sort of statements didn't go over too well back in the day. However, Pathfinder has a bit more spirit than 3.x and seems somehow closer to the original. Is Pathfinder its dad? Nope. But make no mistake, its part of the family.
Actually, the thing with Lahmashtu sort of solidifies the point I think. Like any good villain she tossed mooks at her target, and they hurt him despite his divinity. Lots of them, true. But she's a goddess, she can toss armies around. As in any fight, after he'd expended resources she waltzed in and finished him. PCs don't need armies of mooks, they have a group of PCs. If you're Raistlin all you need is a cleric, if you're Karsus of Netheril you just need one single spell.
Players kill gods in DnD, its a time honored tradition. That said, I can see your point in wanting it to be an over the top situation if it actually occurs. That was one of 3.5 epic level's problems. Everything was so open ended killing gods could be an everyday stroll in the park.
A bit of perspective on the whole godkiller thing. This is DnD no matter how much we calll it Pathfinder. Gods have been getting killed by players since before the Deities & Demigods book came out back in 1st Ed. Not right, not wrong, its just how it is. Gods die here, you want a game where that doesn't happen try some World of Darkness. Here you can rise to challenge the gods themselves, there you get eaten by your elders. Just how it is.
How exactly did they know there were nothing but lvl 1's in the tavern? The world isn't static, there could be anyone in that tavern and if they get obnoxious make sure somewhere there is higher lvl than they are, and they aren't amused at being threatened by some punk. Even if someone isn't there at that moment, everyone knows someone, maybe someone that doesn't like some out of towner coming in and roughing up his friends. Maybe someone that could crush the PC like a bug. Its a big world out there. Use it.
Nerfs are bad. Don't go there. Just, don't.. You're the DM, you can do anything and thats a lot. For instance, you can summon monsters right on top of the archer. The guy wants to be a huge threat like that he needs to understand he's going to be the first attacked. Like attacked by other archers you put in your campaign for instance. Yes thats right, not just one but two, maybe more. You can do that, you're the DM. And of course theres any number of spells to deal with pesky arrows, come to think of it, isn't there a shield bonus of some sort that deflects arrows as well?
It was like this for magic users back in 1st ed. You saw a guy in robes in the back you capped him lickety split because you knew he'd slaughter everyone in the group if you didn't. These days its the archers turn to be in that seat so only the dumbest of your villains will be unprepared to suicide rush the guy. Naturally your main threat(s) will be behind as much cover as possible while the minions do their little dance with him. Lots of options for dealing with archers besides nerfs.
If I were an NG Cleric of Iomedae in that situation, that kobold would be dead. Immediately. I think Iomedae is pretty strict on the "no murdering children" thing.
Absolutely correct. In this case he was certainly evil, not preforming a merciful service. You're a cleric, a healer, no reason to put the kid out her misery with a doctor in the house. Sadly, back in the old kobold cave the only crusading clerics of a LG goddess they were likely to see are the ones coming to murder them. Hmmm, come to think of it, maybe he just thought he was saving the kid from you?
So, while you're right in the situation you just proposed, it still stands, intent is what counts as far being evil or not goes. Was he trying to save the child from bleeding out and dying slow, or just getting in a giggle? Realistically? Yeah, we all know it was for player giggles, but this is exactly why I don't allow my players to roll monsters. Way too many misunderstandings just begging to happen.
Actually, the biggest problem with eipic levels is the lack of a monster manual for those levels. Having 3 beastiaries filled with opponents to toss at your players is the biggest reason why low level games go so smoothly. Even then, a bad DM can railroad a group into an utter mess, powergaming or not. Everyone wants an epic level player book, no one asks for an epic level monster manual, this is the problem right there. Thats why you get responses like Pax's, obviously a guy whose had a bad experience with a bad DM who had no epic level monster manual to utilize.
Culturally acceptable vs good and evil? While he was completely right in his line of thinking, I'd think stuff like that goes on in the kobold cave he grew up in quite often, it is an evil act though where I grew up. If he thought he was helping her maybe he isn't really that evil after all.
That said, premarital sex is evil in this day and age, depending on where you grow up, some places not so much though. So, how do you even begin to define something like that? Who has the moral "high ground"? Does having premarital sex make me evil because of some outdated philosophy? Is it ok because in my society its acceptable? Slitting a throat, having a little fun in the sheets, same thing.
Is the kob evil? You tell me. I think his intentions, the real ones and not that pathetic load of tripe for an excuse he handed you, are what really defines the action one way or the other. Different strokes for different folks. You can't judge someones actions by your own limited views. Find out the true intent before you hang him.
And you don't think thats a potential for jealousy on his part? You don't think that maybe thats why he's so competitive when he rolls up his characters? That maybe he's looking to grab her attention by outdoing you guys? Posibly not wanting to loose his alpha male status with her while he's in her group of friends?
Not saying its a major issue but I'd bet dollars to doughnuts thats part of it. Best bet on that situation is to buddy up to him and make him feel welcome. Make him know he's part of the crew rather than some outsider his girl dumped on you guys. Just a thought really, I don't know him or your group dynamics. Either way, hope it all works out.
Theres some nice rules slinging in this thread, but thats not really teaching you how to DM this guy. In this case what you really needed to do is push him before the finale. Get him to blow his resources so that he's a bit more limited by the time everyone reaches the goal line.
If you're running a simple hack and slash it isn't really a big deal. He's a caster so he's already been holding back before the last fight to hoard up his spells, the rest of the party has had their time in the spotlight, now its his. All fair and well.
If you're actually running some kind of storyline with a villain though you have to give the players a 3 dimensional one. Your bad guy has to think ahead, he has to plan. More to the point, he needs to observe the party as they try to find him. Obviously they'll be going through tons of minions before the big show down. How many of those guys escaped? How many got off a message to their secret master about the party before they died? Were there any innocent witnesses to these fights? By the time your group gets to the bad guy he'll have quite a dossier on each of them, and that means he'll have plenty of disposable resources to counter them. Probably not so good of an idea to let the bad guy get surprised either, yes, its his usual ceremony, but he's been watching, he knows the players are on the way, he's no fool after all. Is he?
Wait. He's a min/maxxer as a player? Oh dear god. Run boy. Run while you still can!
If running isn't an option, you might point him towards the GameMastery Guide. There are a lot of good ideas in there and for someone that likes to know the ins and out ofs with the rules he should soak it up just fine. Something else for him to soak up thats vital is that not everyone min/maxxes. Some people like to play a less than optimal archer ranger rather than the uber-kill fighter bow weaponmaster because of esthetics, not feat count. The DM doesn't have to min/max, but he does have to know when to lighten up just a little.
Hold on, did you say his girlfriend is part of your usual group? This isn't one of those things where she spends a lot of time with you guys so he started playing to see what shes up to but he feels like he has to compete with your group for time spent with her is it? Subconscious jealousy issues on the part of the DM could explain quite a lot of your problems. Maybe its not a DM Vs Players problem, maybe its Him Vs His Girlfriends buds who are taking away all her time from me I hate those guys...?
Yeah, I'd ride this one out, finish the path if he's up for it, just grin and bear it, and never ever ask him to DM again. Ever.
I recently read through that series. I rather enjoyed it and can tell you that no, it isn't the path, its your DM. We've had a saying since 1st ed,"A killer DM is a lonely DM."
Every adventure is tailored by the guy running it, he should have enough sense and rules savvy to ramp things up or tone them down. Sounds like all you're getting is ramped. He's the DM, he can hose you if he wants, and that bit with the dragon, that was a discrecienary move because he wanted to pure and simple.
Either he really hates running this particular path, or he seriously doesn't want to be DM'ing. Then again, maybe he just doesn't like you guys. Bottom line, the game is NEVER about the DM Vs. the Players, its about having fun. Making sure its fun is the DM's job, if thats not happening you change DM's or he changes his tactics.
In regards to customization, the more you can add in the better. Not just numerical values either. Say you want to be a longbow weaponmaster and you have the good luck to have a DM that says you can take the trick shots abilities from the Archer as well. Have some way of tweaking those extras on rather than designing a whole new archetype.
And whatever you do, make designing custom archetypes/classes/items a bit more idiot friendly than what you see in HeroLab. Being able to add to a basic magic item could be a boon as well.
That said, Inkarnate looks like it has potential. Give me the kind of truly broad customization I'm looking for and I can put HeroLab in the closet.
I kid you not guys, I'm seriously hoping this works. But, after seeing game communities utterly wiped out due to pvp making any sort of pve next to impossible, the words "open world" just makes me cringe.
Right off the bat you'll drive away a ton of potential customers site unseen because of it. You also get stuck with playing in a group and life being what it is, sometimes the groups schedule and yours just doesn't hook up well. Essentially, by doing this they're already limiting their market, and in todays MMO world that usually ends up with a ton of word of mouth advertising thats all bad. Usually right before the game goes Free to Play.
The obvious counter to my argument is of course,"Maybe this game just isn't for you! Get the #^&* out noob!" Fair enough, but that also leads to a lot people doing just that and the game going into the Free and Unsupported category....
Still, this is Paizo and they turn out some amazing stuff. Heres to hoping they can work this one.
The more I read about this the more I'm reminded of the Baldur's Gate video game series. Of course your own character's biggest Mythic ability in that game was that he could respawn at his last save point. That aside, I think this is a lot of what they were trying to get across in that game, or would have loved to if they'd had the chance.
I might just have to do something along those lines for my test run of this, Golarion style though.
• Archdevils and Demon Lords are likely to be high CR Fiends with Mythic Levels
Interesting. I wonder if they'll tone down the CRs we've seen on some of the arch demons so far(Nocticula for example) to accomadate this? Either way, looks very promising so far. Reading the archmage stuff kind of reminds me of how Raistlin was a powerful mage yeah, but it was his special abilities that made him the true Master of Past and Present. I think this is going to work well.
That said, I for one would still like to see some sort of framework to get to level 30. I'm one of those players that wants to have his level 20 rogue have 10 levels of shadowdancer as well. Although since advancement seems to stop around 20(and I agree with that all the way, 20 levels of any one class should be good) for this I can see an easy houserule doing the same while you get your feats and abilities from the last 10 levels if need be without getting more hitpoints/BAB/yaddayadda.
One thing that does concern me though is vulnerability aspect. That has tons of potential for bad DMs to abuse like mad. Not to mention players. I'd hate for Tar Baphon to get killed by a wooden stake wielded by a first level gnome alchemist....
Considering what I've seen from Paizo so far, confidence rating for this is high.