I followed the other thread and after thinking about it quite a bit have landed on the "keep it banned" side of the fence. Just because it is in the Core rulebook (which was designed for any Pathfinder game, btw, not organized play in particular) doesn't mean it is above being banned from PFS. Comparing raise dead to permanency is not exactly comparing apples to apples- I understand you consider it "iconic", but there are restrictions applied to all classes in the cases where a particular ability might cause unbalanced situations.
After reading the other thread, I side with not having to deal with the possible abuses of permanency... my 2cp, but that is my personal preference. Also, I am with Bob on *really* being against modifying the spell to make it organized play legal.
Michael Eshleman wrote:
Well, better than when I offer new first level PCs a chance to be "special friends" with Adril Hestrom (who is described as lecherous with the less experienced pathfinders in Seekers of Secrets).
Marcus, Slvr. Crsdr. of Abadar wrote:
Without more of an explanation of his personality or motivations, it seemed conflicting to me. Obviously they are not mutually exclusive (though now I have a picture of a butt-kicking Gandhi going through my head). That was why I wrote...
"Sounds like your character's motivations are on some level deeper than the alignment and "kind hearted" juxtaposition you have set up."
And with Dust Raven's further exposition it makes more sense to me. I think I will agree and +1 Netopalis' suggestion to go Shadow Lodge, do the retirement for the Shadow Lodge and then re-examine the character once you have played him a few times... sometimes walking around in the character's skin (i.e. playing them a few times) helps you "find" the character's voice and it will become clear.
If you are planning on playing him out as CN... but with "kind hearted"... hm... that's tough. Also you say "kind hearted" in the same sentence as "hitting things as hard as he can". :-|
How about Sczarni? If he is as simple-minded as you say maybe he thinks he is doing the right thing (but doesn't have enough Int to know he is not)???
Sounds like your character's motivations are on some level deeper than the alignment and "kind hearted" juxtaposition you have set up.
Eric Clingenpeel wrote:
Eric, my wife and I are also playing a Kitsune couple right now- she is an Oracle of Daikitsu and I am running a Cavalier (order of the Star) charged with protecting her as her bodyguard. This is the first time we have played a "couple" in game and its been fun so far. :-)
And no, we are not furries. (Not that it should matter, really... but that is all people seem focused on when the word Kitsune comes up.)
And a very big thing is that you've taken away dispel magic as a possible spell for any NPC to have memorized. Because the first time a permanent see invisibility is dispelled every player that happens to is going to cry foul about being "cheated" out of 5000 gp.
That is a really good point. Rule decisions that seem "so easy" often have impact far beyond the mechanics of the game itself.
Evil Lincoln wrote:
I've seen many suggestions made by myself and others that became products. Whether or not it was because they saw my suggestion or it was just a logical, parallel development doesn't matter; I got what I wanted. :)
Well, in that case, if there is a revised supplement for Kaer-Maga released, I would humbly submit this... due to some of the more adult themes going on in that city, there could be an additional supplement published and sold in PDF format (only via Paizo's store) that covers things like the Tallow Boys, The Strapping Lad, and The White Lady for adult customers who want to, ah, feature these things prominently in their campaign.
Oh, and I second maps for the "under city" of Kaer-Maga... I just don't think about smut all day you know. :-)
Vic Wertz wrote:
Vic, thanks for explaining the reality from a production/retailing point of view as to why Paizo doesn't produce these types of items. I am sure there is also an overhead for assembling the individual parts of the product as well (into the box).
A fella can dream though. ;-) I hope we do see more material for Kaer-Maga, even if it isn't going to be a boxed set... it's a unique fantasy city that can be peeled back like an onion, layer by layer... I look forward to seeing more of it in the future!
How annoying is it for the production staff to receive "I wish for a X product" type postings?
Andrew Christian wrote:
^ This is the thing I try to do when running at conventions/game days for people I don't know very well. The first encounter is a good sign for the rest of the game as to ability/preparation.
@nosig - Ok, fair enough- he didn't have any skill points to sink into skills that didn't fit his character concept. I had asked if he said, directly, that he made his character into a "Combat Machine" because of his perception of Season 4? Obviously, many people try to build powerful characters because they want to do well in combat situations... as stated by others, "combat ability SHOULD be required". Unless he had conveyed to you directly something to the effect of "I feel I have to get a killer combat character built just to survive Season 4", I don't know if it is fair to use his character (and his misadventure) to promote that viewpoint.
Now, if he did say that, it is another story. I would hate to see people stopping to build "balanced*" characters to focus only on strong combat builds because they feel there is no other option. It is a possibility that some folks out there feel that way... or this thread wouldn't exist.
Sorry for ripping on him above (hammer/nail comment), I just know a fair number of players who don't care about anything other than DPS... and they have been playing way before Season 4.
* YMMV, you can't be great at everything.
EDIT- Sorry, looks like you answered the question I was re-addressing while I was composing. Thanks nosig for clarification.
Any chance we could ever see a deluxe boxed set of supplementary material for Kaer-Maga? There are a number of PFS scenarios where Kaer-Maga is the setting... as a GM I would love to have, at my disposal, the following in a deluxe boxed set:
There could be a seperate, related AP or more PFS scenarios to make it more worthwhile.
Would anyone else on the forums here like to see this?
Severed Ronin wrote:
Hey Jack, while this is a wee bit old, might I suggest you look no further than here for said sourcebook. It's a very good read and I've run several 'home' games when I was deployed based out of Kaer Maga.
I have that sourcebook, but thanks for the tip- other folks may want it if running Godsmouth Heresy and the PFS scenarios that take place there. What I would love to see is a much more in-depth treatment of the city... nice, big maps maybe pawns suited to the "unique" inhabitants of the city... stuff like that. :-)
@nosig - Is that what he said, "I built this guy only for combat because that is all that matters in Season 4"?
EDIT- I should add that part of my point is that people build very powerful combat characters because, um, they like doing boatloads of damage in combat. It may just be that he wanted to play that kind of character, not compensate for something else.
Re: the NPC being killed by the "Combat Machine"... reminds me of an old saying, "When all you have in your toolbox is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." I'd say he "nailed" him alright. If the only thing Pathfinder characters are expected to do in PFS is DPS, I'd say he would have a very successful career.
Chris Mortika wrote:
I really like the this idea- good one, Chris!
I had an interesting thing happen in a recent game- speaking of trying to educate players on the "special circumstances" that require alternative tactics/thinking to overcome. I had a scenario which featured deeper-darkness (I am *not* bringing it up to delve in the minutia around this environmental hazard, but to illustrate a particular point). The party had two veteran characters who anticipated this in their character's preparations and so the party itself did not suffer all that much. There were players newer to PFS who were completely unprepared for this... and so I kept mentioning "good thing so and so had such and such or you would be scrambling around in the dark" in hopes that they would realize it and take such preparation in the future.
But I have a feeling that since they were "spared the rod" as it were, and didn't have to suffer the consequences (due to other players), that they will not prep for the next scenario or even give it a second thought.
10. Haunting of Hinojai (great overall)
beaky and the barsoom part
8. Rats of Round Mountain (both parts 1 and 2)
7. Mists of Mwangi (for all the reasons listed above)
6. The Harrowing (I loved GMing this "Alice in Wonderland" adventure)
5. Feast of Ravenmoor (I have a soft-spot for this as I think it was one of my players' favorites early in our group's starting days.)
4. Rebel's Ransom (see what having seven wives does to you?!?)
3. Midnight Mauler (both as player and GM, got a laugh out of Kristie which made it fun)
2. Blackros Matrimony (ran this recently and it was a lot of fun... one combat ran over 20 rounds though.)
1. last, not a scenario, but a setting. I love Kaer-Maga and I would love to see a "city sourcebook" or boxed set exclusively for it.
Honorable mention "Hall of Drunken Heroes".
Ok, that makes sense... in a way, you are trying to save someone from experiencing the things you went through that left you feeling angry. That is actually a positive thing. :-)
I say this in part because I, myself, said a lot of really inadvisable things about GMs and GMming when I first joined these forums, things which I regret. Had I waited until I had more experience with the campaign, I would have had a broader and less vitriolic approach to things.
So, with hindsight, you are saying you wouldn't have expressed your opinion? I think it is a sign of a healthy ego for someone to want to express their opinion without worrying "maybe I don't know enough to say anything???".
I will say that with more PFS-specific experience, a person gains a lot of perspective in particular to things intrinsic to organized play. However, even though I will be running my 100th PFS game this weekend, the amount of PFS GM experience I have is a drop in the proverbial bucket compared to the years and years (almost thirty now) I have game mastering in total. I could see how if someone told me I had "no experience" GMing and my opinions about GMing were less than theirs because I "had one or no stars" (given my background), I might be upset with them.
Nobody likes to be told "sit down and shut up".
james maissen wrote:
Ok, that's more clear to me now. Hm. I have been a True Dungeon DM for a few years and in True Dungeon they try to accomplish this by having four different settings you pick from when starting off on your adventure: Non-lethal, Normal, Hard-core and Nightmare.
I am not sure how such a system would work within the context of PFS though... in TD, when you run the dungeon on Hard-core or Nightmare, you receive greater compensation (in XP) for it. Would you see something similar in PFS or does that simply open another whole can of worms?
Some thoughts... I apologize in advance for the length and rambling nature of this post.
There was an interesting point brought up earlier about players not fully knowing the strength of their characters and about the players not knowing what is going to happen in the forthcoming encounter. Isn't facing the unknown what adventurers do? Isn't trusting in your own abilities to overcome the unknown, sallying forth despite your fear, a cornerstone of heroism? :-)
Now, if the game ends up being tweaked and tuned so that only the "cream" of builds can survive it- that is another story. If you are playing a monk, but aren't playing a Zen Archer with the prescribed recipe of feats/traits/etc., should you punished by a scenario that requires every player to play build X or Y to survive? (<-- I really do not think this is what Season 4 has done, btw... I think it is tougher, but not *that* tough.)
I am not saying that players shouldn't be encouraged to learn their characters- have studied their classes and built wisely towards a goal. I just don't want to see PFS start to look like Magic: the Gathering tournaments were back when I was involved with it a decade ago... players would only be playing decks A, B, or C because they were the most effective builds.
With season four, sure I think it has raised the bar a bit, but I don't think it is anything that a decent group, properly equipped with players who know the game can handle- having equipment to deal with special circumstances has always been an issue for PFS (incorporeal, swarms, invisible, deeper darkness, etc.) and I don't see that changing. Sometimes people learn the hard way they have to deal with these things... that's building experience as a player.
There seems to be three groups of players out there- the clueless (or casual RPGer) who just may not build characters very well, the power-gamer who follows build X because "it is simply the most powerful", and the last group being people in between (either by choice or experience). Yes, yes, I hear the "just because I chose to use build X doesn't mean my character doesn't have back-story and I can RP with the best of them!" argument... and I don't doubt there are players like that out there. I am just pointing out there are different types of players out there and you can't please all of them- if it were up to me, I would target the middle ground.
The reason I bring up builds is because of an idea I had last night after reading the forum here: maybe the evolution of the game- more sourcebooks, options, and thus possible combinations of feats/traits/equip has created stronger character builds over time... and people playing these builds in scenarios which were written back when there was only a Core book and maybe the APG to draw from may feel under-challenged. Maybe season four is a response to that phenomena? Just an idea- I don't have specific builds/features of the newest sourcebooks to quote and point at- just an idea that occurred to me.
Its gotta be a tough job every time a new sourcebook is released to try to realize how these new additions could be abu... er, used by players.
How about an entry into the Guide that says "After the first encounter, ask your players if they thought it was too easy. If they respond in the affirmative, run the rest of the game in Baird Mode. Simply use the 5-6 player adjustments for groups of 4 and double the adjustments for groups of 5-6." I can almost hear the cries of anguish from here.
But seriously, it's too hard to nail down what is "too much" when there is so much variance between player and GM styles. Personally, I think Season 4 has been great so far and I appreciate the 4 player versus 5-6 player split in adjusting the power level.
Yeah, I did a review of one of my PCs a while back and found he has bought a cloak of resistance (+1) twice...
I've done similar. My wife* and I set aside special nights to go through our characters together, especially after a major convention, to try to make sure everything is right. While the PFS method of Chronicles and 3XP a level sure helps with the book-keeping (I couldn't imagine recording actual, regular xp in a living campaign!), it still requires some effort. It's very easy to mess up stuff, double-buy etc.
*A C.P.A. btw, who doesn't mind it so much.
I didn't assume Aklo = Aboleth as it seems a variety of creatures associated with the Dark Tapestry can speak it. I like to think of it as an ancient tongue spoken in common by creatures hailing from dimensions beyond our world- think Cthulhu mythos.
Dhjika, you can always mention that fact to your GM. Most will allow it.
I think your odds are probably 50/50 on that. I like Dhjika's suggestion, I know part of my prep work has become something like this:
Having that already on a chronicle (to use as a GM) would be handy. It's an interesting idea at least. Dhjika, just start keeping a separate sheet with what your character has encountered for each session, put down your know rolls and what you learned. Ask the GM to initialize and date it for you. That should be easy enough- I'd be willing to do that even though its not part of standard operating procedure. Some players I have met really love cataloging the creatures they have met, killed (or even captured*), and in one case, eaten. :-|
* I know two Varisian sisters who are working on collecting beasts for a "zoo" they plan on opening... I assume they will spend the prestige to buy a "farm" to skin out their little circus.
Then check out pdfs of classic D&D materials at http://www.dndclassics.com.
Zarathos, thanks for posting this! I had no idea this site was out there... I just downloaded a PDF copy of L3, which I never thought I would get my mits on. Hot damn, I am set for pool-side reading this weekend! ^_^
I think I'm getting a handle on things. I guess there's a lot of leeway on the rules. Now that it has come up which module should run first, it seems like Keep On The Borderlands isn't the right choice. Is that true? Is it a big deal?
Keep on the Borderlands was "basic" D&D. If you are running AD&D, you may need to revisit the monsters and use stats for them from the Monster Manual or the back of the DMG (which has a master listing, as I recall).
Re: my comment above, I want my plasma rifle too. :-)
I've spent the last three days since my initial post working my way through the book and my initial reaction has softened somewhat. I realize now that my dejection is mainly from expecting Traveller to shed it's old skin and emerge as something beautiful and new. The book really is (essentially) an ultimate compendium of Traveller without any improvements toward the production values of RPGs we see produced in the last five years or so. If you take it for what it is, and didn't expect any more from it, the design and layout are as "Traveller-esque" (circa 1980) as you could want.
I am trying to get over my wishing for a Traveller rulebook with Pathfinder production values.
That said, in the three days I have been looking it over, I am seeing the skeleton and core system of a pretty decent version of Traveller. I am still digesting it, as there is a lot here to look at. Characters and Skills is where I am focused mainly and I do see an improvement over the classic Traveller I used to know. The character development system, though, is still the "roll a dozen times" each term to determine your character's random skillset- which I have never been fond of. I will work on an alternate "build your character" that I think may do the trick (and I may share it on here for others to pick apart if they wish).
I am looking forward to seeing what else has changed (rules-wise). I am also finding that the more I look at the book, the less misgivings I have- though I still think an index and appendices would help.
Yes, original Traveller had a lot of charts and complex systems for generating various items- that is still featured in this game, if not more so. (People who love computing gravity well statistics will absolutely love some features of this book.) I had hoped for less of a 1970s wargame approach to the design (similar to reading an old AH Squad Leader or Star Fleet Battles rulebook) and more of of what I would consider a modern approach- a lot could have been solved just by adding appendices.
I disagree that illustrations are just "frosting". I have long held the belief that for a RPG to be successful, it must have clean, readable layout and appealing graphic design. Just walls of text are not going to cut it any more and neither will simple pencil sketches. Let me illustrate:
That said, you had written "I can always print sections from my CD and organize it myself if the hardback is too arcane."
My question to you is should you have to? I love Traveller enough that I am trying to figure out how to salvage what I received in the mail... its just a crying shame that I have to look at it that way. I have talked with other long-time devotees since receiving my book and what I sense out there is a kind of forgiveness for the shortcomings out of loyalty for Marc Miller and the Traveller legacy. I can understand that, but I am not ashamed to say I hoped for so much better treatment of the material.
I was an original Traveller (boxed set, "The Traveller Book", etc.) player and GM. With that background, and I have seen some of the MegaTraveller stuff, I expected a "modern" treatment of the game. I have over 30 years of RPG experience (which I am sure many Traveller fans can lay claim to), so I do have some idea of what works and what does not.
Here's the good- all the extras (dice, coins, cards) from the Kickstarter were actually quite nice. The book itself is nicely bound if not huge (an inch and a half thick) and Mr. Miller nicely penned a dedication in the front.
The bad is that the book seems very disorganized... before you get to character creation, for example, you are treated to 11 pages of "how dice work", including 7 pages of nothing but dice probability charts for all combinations... and an elaborate explanation of how much a "ton" is... as well as how to read hex-decimal markings on maps. This is not user-friendly at all.
If you look at Pathfinder, by comparison, things are laid out in an easy to understand and learnable format... the kind of thought that went into the PF Beginner Box *did not* go into this product. Sections seem to be cut and pasted in any order than what I expected... huge swaths of tables of numbers related to measuring everything from sight and sound perception s to astrological phenomena consume this book, with little explanation as to how they fit into the greater whole.
From a user-friendly and production quality point of view I would give it a 2 out of 10.
Let's talk about layout. Event the first Traveller books had nicer, cleaner layouts than this... and the artwork was better too. (Ok, the ship section in the back is nice, but that is about all that I care for... a lot of the rest of the artwork looks either cut and pasted from older material or half-way done.)
In short, in total, this doesn't look like a finished product to me. I think Mr. Miller has done quality work in the past and I guess that is why I am disappointed- I expected so much more from this edition. It may be that what he produced is, in essence, what Traveller really is- a dense treatment of Sci-Fi without an emphasis on story or plotline... if that is the case, then perhaps Traveller isn't for me any more. It's sad, I really hoped for a product I could put next to Pathfinder and say "wow, Traveller, you've come a long way, baby" and view them as both professionally produced examples of RPGs... but that isn't how I am feeling after two days of reviewing my copy.
I wanted to feel so much differently.
Rogue Eidolon wrote:
On second thought, since Auntie relies on the children to go out as day labor, opening the empanada take-away window would eat into her profits. (pun intended)
@nosig- yup, it definitely seems to be a case of "let's demonize the functional alcoholic" (who happens to do a pretty decent job of taking care of the kids, who would be on the street otherwise). If you had to wrangle that many street urchins day in, day out you would drink too.
However, I think that is exactly what makes that encounter shine... it is not totally clear if something is really wrong there- there are shades of gray. I think that is what makes it memorable and I don't want to see it cut. Any chance we could just re-vamp the First Steps series by removing the acts with references to cut VCs and inserting new ones?
Oh, and one more thing... children working seems appropriate for a quasi medieval setting... how young do you think kids are when they start helping out on family farms these days anyway?
"I had these Pathfinders visit me at my home for Orphans... and I decided to become one myself. Would you care for some tea?"
"And by 'tea' I mean 'whisky'," Auntie Baldwin says, her fetid breath making you regret sinking so many ranks into Perception.
Mr. Brock and Co.- "You can't please everyone all of the time." Kudos for trying something new even though it didn't fly well with everyone. Yes, it was big, big news and while I couldn't watch the podcast at the time, I was able to read the posts about it afterward and it doesn't bother me that I wasn't able to watch it "as it happened".
In my opinion, don't give up the podcast- skim the useful cream from the feedback you are receiving here (that is, follow up with a full blog the next day if possible), and carry on. Hopefully I will find time to actually watch the podcast and give feedback on it itself at some point.
Please don't retire Season Zero... there are some really fun ones in there that I would be sad to see unavailable for future players.
My bets on factions getting eliminated: Osirion and Shadow Lodge (with the later basically joining into the Grand Lodge now that the Shadow conflict is effectively over).
I also foresee Zarta being replaced (which I am sad about as one of my characters is a 5th cousin to her as part of his back-story)... although I wouldn't be surprised to see her again as a recurring NPC or even (gasp!) villian in Season Five.
Man that clock is movin' slow today... can't wait to find out what is up!