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Night Monarch

WormysQueue's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Society Member. 1,159 posts (1,176 including aliases). 3 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 7 aliases.


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The Exchange

Steve Geddes wrote:
it's also worth acknowledging that you're changing the assumptions of the AP pretty significantly.

This, and you're also probably changing the setting's assumptions. I've had my share of problems myself with players who like to play against those assumptions as long as I stressed the importance of those assumptions. Then, I've run games where those assumptions where kinda created by playing, and in those kind of games, the problems vanished.

Today, I differentiate between players, who like to play against stereotypes and players of the special snowflake variety. From what I got from this thread, Axial seems to belong in the first category, so I probably wouldn't have any problems with this, even if it meant additional work.

I have to say though, that I don't use the APs or other published adventures as written very much. It's more that I use an adventure's or AP's premise and see what happens if the player characters interact with it (and most of the time, I use those adventures not in the setting, for which they were written anyways). So if an adventure assumes that you don't play option X, but a player expresses the wish to play X anyways, we can make it happen most of the time.

Now if the player is a spotlight hogger, I won't stop him from spotlight hogging by forbidding him to play a certain character, so I'll have to deal with his behavior anyways.

The Exchange

Captain collateral damage wrote:
I still wanna play as the glorious reclamation. :(

That's what I actually plan to do if it ever should come to me running this AP. I've still no interest in running APs for evil characters so I'll just use this AP as a very detailed blueprint for what my PCs will have to fight against.

Still don't mind the experiment though and wouldn't mind another evil AP some time in the fututre either.

The Exchange

Incendiaeternus wrote:
It's when common phrases include "this isn't included in this scenario" and its not a multi-part, or "I have no information for you, it would make sense you know this, but it's not written here."
Kurald Galain wrote:
It should go high on the list of any source of GM'ing advice that as the GM you DO NOT point out (perceived) flaws in the scenario while you're running it.

Well, and here I thought that it'd be part of a GM's duty to fill in or invent information lacking and to improve what he perceives as flaws in a scenario.

Who would have known that I simply could have blamed the scenario's writer instead.

The Exchange

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

It ultimately stems from what "competence" means; it is a relative term, and subjective to certain ideals and perspectives. What may seem "competent" for one, may not be so for another.

Let's take a 16 Strength Cleric as an example. Is that competent? Superior? Incompetent? Overpowered? To me, it is competent, since Clerics need good Wisdom and acceptable Charisma as well. For those who wanted to optimize the melee capabilities of the Cleric, perhaps not so much. There's also the factor of considering the attribute in relation to the others, such as having only a 14 Wisdom for that Strength, or an 8 Dexterity, Intelligence, 12 Charisma, etc.

For classes that don't rely so much on multiple attributes, like the Wizard, the stakes for them become higher, because they have close to no reason to spread their attributes; Dexterity becomes obsolete later on (and if you're smart enough, you won't have to use it), same with Wisdom as you carry a good Will save. Constitution is like putting lipstick on a pig; that isn't to say Constitution is worthless, but improving it won't make it all that much better. Charisma, like most other classes, has little to no impact on the character's general function (i.e. casting spells), so not pumping Intelligence to the top invites weakness to the character.

You're right from a pure mechanical standpoint. That's not the way everyone looks at its character though.

When I create a character, I don't start with the mechanics but with the background story. That may for example mean that my wizard PC has overage strength (think Hagrid), wisdom (Dumbledore) or Charisma (Snape) even when that means that I can not maximise my primary attribute. Naturally this assumes that the challenge level of the game is such that those characters are viable and it also means that some challenges may be more difficult to overcome. But I like it this way, especially as I feel that it gives me more options in character creation.

The Exchange

Letric wrote:
How do you forum people deal with this? Do you feel ok using an 16 on your main stat, does your GM have limitations on 20s, not being allowed?

Well, in games I run or tend to play, combat isnt' the main focus of play. We tend to keep it fast (often without battle map), which often has the consequence that fights are not as deadly as they probably could be.

Doesn't matter though, because we're more interested in story-oriented games, where the character's background may have quite the influence on the story, so character deaths aren't necessarily a thing the GM tends to strive for.

As a result a 16 (or even a 14) stat in a prime attribute poses no problems most of the time especially as there are enough possibilities to increase the stat in continuing game. Which is good as I'm also a fan of rolling the dice, so chances are that you won't have the results to achieve a 20 anyways.

The Exchange

Unluckily i think the answer to those questions are

Rogar Valertis wrote:
do you think those who enforced these policies care?


Do you think most of the technocrats who engineered these legislations even know what they mean for the people on the receiving end?


The Exchange

Rogar Valertis wrote:
Now Europe is not perceived by vast amounts of its own people as something that benefits them (and if you live in Germany you know this is true even there) but rather as an entity destroying small business enterprise, reducing healthcare, enforcing austerity, advocating for mass immigration and a lot of people, REGARDLESS OF THE COUNTRY, feel threatened by this. The ruling elite enjoys all the benefits from the EU structure (and more importantly they don't have to deal with its problems) but most of the people does not and as wealth keeps concentrating in fewer and fewer hands discontent grows (for example tell me your run of the mill German is happy about the minijob system? Those I know aren't).

I don't disagree but that's also what's my main concern and what I stated before. It isn't the EU doing all those things, it's the single nations themselves.

The german minijob system, for example, is terrible, but it hasn't been invented by the EU, but by a german government. It isn't the EU reducing healthcare, it's the single countries.

But then the blame game starts and in the end it comes to a wrong perception of what Europe is. In the end, that's what made the Vote Leave movement so successful. Because the Brexit proponents didn't have to invent all those lies about Europe. The just had to repeat the lies already invented by the Cameron (and former) governments.

And yeah, the same thing has already started here in Germany, starting with lies our own government spew out about the EU.

The Exchange

Nohwear wrote:
I feel that I do not know enough to really weigh in. However, I am concerned that certain powers in the EU will try to make an example out of Great Britain. That the lessons given at the end of WWI that lead to WWII will be ignored.

Well, Angela Merkel said today that it should be the goal of the EU to maintain close relationships with the UK, based on partnership. So I hope that they won't give in to that temptation.

The Exchange

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Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Because central planning leads to more efficiency?

What has central planning to do with it? I'm talking about the disadvantage of having to unanimously agree for a political decision when it would be much more efficient to decide by majority vote.

Just imagine for a moment the Britains would have had to unanimously decide for or against Brexit. We'd wait for eternity...

The Exchange

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The Raven Black wrote:
Not disagreeing per se here. I just want to point out that Germany is not immune to the same populistic nationalism that arises in all other countries too

True, which makes the situation even worse. And ironically, our right-wingers started out as an Anti-Euro-party because they claimed germany was compromising too much.

I know the history of my country all to well. That's why I'm a big fan of the european idea and why I fear the day this idea fails. Because then we'll still be the most powerful european country, just without the need to compromise. Didn't end too well last time.

The Exchange

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Rogar Valertis wrote:
You seem to think things won't change after this, but that's not the case. ...

Don't get me wrong. I don't agree with a lot of what the german government did and does, especially when it comes to Greece.

I see one problem though with you requiring us to compromise when that's what Germany actually did a lot over the last decades (and with good reason, I'll hasten to add).

Now we see nearly all other european countries turning away, when fugitives from regions whose misery we are at least partly responsible for knock at our doors. Now we see a country turn its back to the european idea for very selfish (and probably very wrong) reasons, because it wasn't willing to compromise. And more and more Germany is surrounded by countries where nationalist, xenophobic and europhobic forces gain more and more power (or already rule said countries) and thereby making compromises more and more impossible.

You really think it's on us to compromise? When all those past compromises suddenly mean nothing because the other countries decide it's time to draw the nationalist card again?

Sorry, but we are not the only one responsible for the continuing success of the european idea.

The Exchange

Nutcase Entertainment wrote:
on the other side, there are plenty of reasons for such an unwillingness.

Maybe. But imagine the states of the U.S. had behaved the same way. The U.S.A. would most probably already be a thing of history and it would have never become the biggest power in the world today. (and in fact, a lot of the problems of the EU become more clear if you compare them to how it is handled between the U.S.).

The Exchange

Balgin wrote:
Treppa wrote:

I was shocked to hear that exiting the EU requires that any agreements between the exiting country and the EU be ratified by unanimous agreement of all the remaining EU members.

Yeah, this could take a couple of weeks.

Typical Eu bureaucracy there I'm afraid :(.

That's a fine example for what I am talking about. Because this has nothing to do with european bureaucracy at all, but with the unwillingness of the souvereign nations to give up a bit of their sovereignty to be more efficient when it comes to hard decisions.

The Exchange

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Orfamay Quest wrote:
The only problem with that is that the EU has had decades during which they "could have profited immensely from British pragmatism" but have not done a very good job of availing themselves of that opportunity.

Oh, in all those decades the Brits have never been pragmatic about what's good for Europe. They only have been pragmatic about what's good for Britain. And that has been a weak continent for centuries.

The truth is, I do not really feel like I lost anything but a lot of dead weight. And the only thing I'm sad about is that I can't see the rest of europe take this sudden opportunity and make the best out of it.

Ok I'm also a bit sad for those 48% who lost. Because those too will have to pay the cost for what may prove the dumbest decision in all of British history.

The Exchange

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
And the fact that nations retain their sovereignty to negotiate within the EU club, as voted for by their local electorates, doesn't seem problematic to me.

It's problematic in so far as european governments used the europan platform more than once to enforce decisions not very popular with their voters (TTIP for example) instead of trying to explain to their voters why free trade might not be a bad idea. The problem is, that elected governments, mostly being the executive power while the legislative power stays with the parliaments, used the EU to create legislation without the consent of their national parliaments.

So in short: elected leaders of european nations use the european idea to make decisions they have never been elected for. And, as said before, then blame european institutions for their own "mistakes".

Which unluckily empowers all those demagogues like Farage, Le Pen or Hoecke.

The Exchange

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Rogar Valertis wrote:
Certainly the Germany led EU won't be able to do with GB what it did with Greece last year (it's basically open economic warfare there, with Greece being sold piece by piece to foreigners, most of them, German).

Well, apart from the parentheses stuff being a blatant lie, we don't need to do the same to GB. They made themselves irrelevant by voting for the Brexit and no one needs to care about their opinions from now on.

The best they can get is to come in the same position like Suisse or Norway, meaning they have to pay for the right to partake in the european market without having any influence on european dicisions to come.

Which is a shame, really because Europe could have profited immensely from britsh pragmatism if the brits hadn't replaced it by populism instead.

The Exchange

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Sissyl wrote:
The UK has been a good part of it.

In fact, it has never been a "good" part of it. From the very start, England /Britain was only in it for very selfish reasons especially to sabotage any effort to politically unite a continent nearly destroyed by all its independent nations.

So in fact, the EU would be much better off without Britain if not for the fact that politicians in every country have made a sport out of blaming the EU for all the crap they were responsible for by themselves, and now are wondering why the voters have gotten the impression that the EU is a very dumb idea.

But it gives rise to some 50-80% of national laws, making it very questionable in democratic terms.

Ironically, what makes it questionable in democratic terms is that the nations weren't willing to let go off their power. Yeah we can vote for a european parliament, but national governments all over Europe made sure that this parliament has nearly no power whatsoever. So the one thing, we as european citizens have any say in has mainly held irrelevant, while our national leaders made one dumb decision after another only to blame the EU for it.

I recommend everyone to read Christopher Clarks excellent "The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914" because all people actually thinking that Brexit was a good idea should be aware that the Sleepwalkers are still ruling.

The Exchange

Hwalsh wrote:
We are discussing why people fight it. What about the idea of defined evil/dishonorable actions drives people to rebel against them.

There are two reasons, why I fight it:

1. I consider the D&D alignment system the most stupid thing ever invented in roleplaying history. There is way too much abstraction and details breaking my suspension of disbelief (see Ashiel's posts for some good examples) and no official interpretation or ruling has succeeded in making it playable for us. That brings us to the second point.

2. I'm european (or more specifically, german) and while I have a lot of respect and sympathy for my american friends, it seems that we have very different ideas about what is good and evil in the real world. That's part of the problem in so far as the D&D alignment system is very much influenced by the american view of things. I have yet to play in a D&D group where this didn't led to problems because someone had problems accepting at least part of the rules definition of alignment.

What flabberghasts me is why anyone would have a problem with not having a character who is Good.

Because that's what I wanna be when playing roleplaying games. Even when playing an anti-hero it would basically come down to play someone with a heart of pure gold (just not showing it for whichever reason). That's even true when playing games where you're by definition a bad guy (Vampires, Shadowrun). I strive to be a good person in real life (and I fail often enough), so I can really do without the failing part when playing games.

So an alignment system telling me that I can't be good for reasons that would be considered as being good in real life, or worse, defines things as good I consider as evil? Just doesn't translate with me.

The Exchange

bigrig107 wrote:
I see a lot of "I just use Golarion for stripping what I want out of it, and putting it into my game" as some argument against the way Golarion's state is set. But that's exactly what Paizo wants.

No, that's not some argument against the way Paizo does it. That "I just use Golarion for stripping what I want out of it, and putting it into my game" is the consequence of the way Paizo does it. And with all due respect to Paizo, when I'm discussing MY preferences, what Paizo wants isn't necessarily on my agenda.

I also don't think that anyone stated that a neutral world state removes control from anyone. I think I stated that creating my own playground gives me more control, but that's not quite the same. That I can basically do what I want with all the stuff Paizo produces goes without saying. What I stated was that I'd rather prefer Paizo doing this for me (and I repeat: because a) it's time consuming and b) I really like what they do and if they did it would most probably be more awesome than when I have to do it myself).

I hope that clarifies what was actually said.

The Exchange

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phantom1592 wrote:
But I also haven't seen anyone jumping on board to play 'whatever is the newest' AP just because it's the Newest... There's usually a theme or hook that catches players regardless of when it was published.

I was more thinking about that the "newest" AP is usually the one who gets the most support by other "new" products, is the one who gets advertized at the moment and so on. Basically so that's the one which most probably catches your eye first when you come here. Plus you don't normally start spending your money on the backlog when there's shiny new stuff available.

But I also won't deny that there are quite some of the older APs I'd like to run sometimes in the future, so you have a point here.

In the end, it doesn't matter anyway. It's still a good read, I still get use out of the product, so while not perfect (for my needs), the things I buy are still worth their money. And using the stuff for my own world without simply copying it is a creative challenge I really like.

It's just that sometimes I realize how much work I wouldn't have to do if Paizo simply published exactly what I want (and to hell with sales numbers, I only need one example anyways :D)

The Exchange

Set, it's interesting that you would mention the comic industry, because I'm a big comic fan and I'm actually glad that Marvel and DC don't listen too much to conservative views of how the properties should be handled. I can be quite conservative myself but I probably would have stopped reading comics a long time ago without these changes.

but it's a question of what toys to 'take away' from players who haven't really gotten around to using Cheliax

It's not that I don't acknowledge the sentiment behind this. I'd like to compare it to the WOW Cataclysm add-on when suddenly everything changed. First I was a bit pissed of because there were a lot of regions I hadn't explored before. But on the other hand, the add-on didn't only take something away but added something new instead. So it was just a matter of embracing the new, instead of clinging to the old.

I kinda like your Unchained books idea, though, especially if the contents of these books would include adventure path skeletons.

The Exchange

captain yesterday wrote:
But two of the adventure paths take place concurrently and the the third is assumed to have taken place, so that argument is false.

How? Because the claim is that it probably won't influence the next Cheliax AP to come in any way.

"phantom1592 wrote:
There's the flip side to that though...They could either be 'lazy' or 'greedy'... It's a no win there...

I get what you're saying though I think you exaggerate the need to update the setting book's every 6 months. Also, neither the Beardinator nor me advocate for every AP being about World-shaking events which would make this necessary.

On the other hand, there's something I'm actually curious about. How many people, be it longtime Paizo customers or being relative newcomers really will start playing the old APs in the year 2016 and the years to follow. I guess the re-release of CotCT will have that effect, but my general assumption is that newer releases will be preferred (and as much as I love those old APs, they came immediately to my mind when you talked about reprinting old books instead of doing something new, like for example, a sequel). So, does it really matter if the setting includes the old APs in it's history, and thereby facilitates the possibility to return to the topic? Just taking RotRL as an example, I'd love to see a new AP handle the outcome of this (and yeah especially, when it was assumed that the PCs ahad failed :D). I'd love to play in a gold rush scenario, when the existence of Xin-Shalast became known to a wider audience. I'd also love a massive war AP, where the PCs have to gather forces to defend Varisia against Karzoug and his armies, or, better yet, the Mhar awakens scenario.

We won't get those for probably more than one reason, maybe even because the designers are simply not interested in those topice. But it would be a shame if the only reason such things didn't happen was because of those five GMs planning to maybe run the RotRL-AP somewhere around 2050 and expect the setting not to change until then.

So that's what I'm really wondering about: given, that we get 2 new APs each year, how big is the need to have the setting unchanged, so that player's can play the old APs. Because to me, the only reason to reuse one of the old APs would probably be if there was a timeline and the use of newer APs would spoiler the events of their predecessors.

The Exchange

marv wrote:
I suspect there are some partnerships that, if the volume of sold translated product increased enough, could help with distribution costs and inventory.

I think that this partnership is already there in form of the relationship between Paizo and their licensees. Here in Germany it's Ulisses Spiele who distribute their translations in the german-speaking part of the world. It's actually much more easier and cheaper then to ship the stuff to the U.S. just to ship it back to the customers (and I guess that the market for those translations outside of the german-speaking part of the world is very small indeed).

Ulisses also promotes the game at their website, at conventions (and partly at other boards as well. So I'm not sure what Paizo could do at their site to help the brand at this part of the market which isn't already done by their licensee.

The Exchange

Set wrote:
Given how annoyed people are that Aroden, a setting element that none of us have ever even gotten to play with, is off-limits, I can't imagine how much more annoying it would be if they had a metaplot and entire countries or races or classes changed overnight (because of storyline X, Cheliax has been liberated! because of storyline Y, Kaer Maga has been destroyed! because of storyline Z, all Magus' are now spontaneous psychic casters!).

Not at all, in fact. First, the mere existence of a metaplot doesn't force you to do anything, it just adds another option to choose (or decide against). The worst thing that can happen is, that you can't use it, which is the same we now have with Golarion, just that I have no choice in this case at all. You don't like Lleira's death? Well, don't let it happen and create your own specialty priest. It's the exact same thing I have to to, when I don't want Aroden to be actually dead. Or, just stay in the time before Lleira's death, which again, is basically the same as playing in official Golarion.

Second, no one says that Paizo had to do it the TSR/WotC way and accumulate a stupid amount of world shattering events. You can change a world much more gradually without invalidating player choices all the time. And you don't have to let those WSEs happen off screen. I would expect such storylines being part of an AP (and remember how many people where actually disappointed that the Cot-AP was not about the liberation of Cheliax? It's not as I'm the only one here).

Third, I'd rather have even substantial change than no change at all. I'm much more annoyed by a great setting I actually would love to play in already feeling stale, boring and meaningless to me. I'd rather have the designers liberating Cheliax (and then inventing new threats) than already knowing that in the meantime we have the third Cheliax-AP whose outcome will have zero influence on the setting as a whole.

And fourth, not changing the setting doesn't even help with the problems that could arise by doing it. Because if I decide to change a setting element in my home game (making Golarion my own, so to say), chances are, that eventually there will come a module or an AP making use of exactly the element I changed. Which means I would have to rework said module or AP anyway if I still want to use it.

But I'm preaching on a lost cause I guess. And as said before it doesn't stop me from using Paizo products, it just stops me from using them with the setting they were written for.

The Exchange

phantom1592 wrote:
I don't see how that is any different though?

It's not necessarily different from doing the same in Golarion. It's just that I have more creative control when using my own setting. And that I don't have to explain any changes I make to my players. Apart from that, while I think Golarion is a great setting, I'm still a big Realms and Eberron fan and I have a lot of fun with converting the APs into those settings. IF Golarion had a continuous timeline and/or a metaplot it would be a no-brainer for me which setting to use. But as it stands, it hasn't this advantage.

I've never really heard anyone in favor of metaplot bleeding into their own games whether they played/read it or not... and I've heard a lot of people that HATED it in Forgotten Realms and Old World of Darkness...

Well, The Dark Eye ( the most successful RPG here in Germany) thrives on metaplot. And I also heard a lot of people who loved this in the Realms (don't know about WoD) and were quite annoyed when WotC decided to put an end to it.

And what it does to me is just that it allows me to present my players a dynamic world that changes even without their direct influence. For example, the Dark Eye knows the "Aventurischer Bote", an ingame newspaper which you can get in actual newspaper format to present to your players as an ingame prop. I think it's an awesome way to remind the players, that the rest of the world doesn't stand still while they are adventuring elsewhere.

And yeah, again, I could simulate this in Golarion, so this is more a matter of my personal preference than me saying that with Golarion, I can't do that.

The Exchange

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phantom1592 wrote:
I've heard they don't do that TOO much... Shattered Star is a sorta-sequel to Rise of the Runelords... but beyond that, whatever APs you play you play and the ones you don't... you don't. Everyone's continuity is meant to be their own and their novels stories don't bleed over too much.

That's actually another pet peeve of mine, that they decided to go without a continual progression of time and a metaplot. Now we don't need to recount all their reasons for that, I've already had this discussion.

But again, the consequence is, that I have to do the work for myself. And I decided rather to work on my own setting, which has the advantage that I can steal all the awesome Golarion stuff while simply ignoring those parts I do not really care for. Though in the meantime it has become less stealing and more getting inspired.

The Exchange

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I am all with you, Tormsskull, but that doesn't change the fact, that even to me, Freehold DM comes across as very hostile against optimizers and he hasn't done anything to clear up, that he doesn't consider all (or at least most) optimizers to be jerks. He could have done that in one single sentence, but instead he dances around the fire just like someone with the intention to add fuel to it.

And in case he doesn't do this intentionally, he needs to know that that's the effect his words on this topic have. Which is as detrimental to this discussion as any optimizer thinking he knows better than any non-optimzer.

The Exchange

Athaleon wrote:
I can't imagine anyone seriously saying that they'd have more fun if they missed more often, or spent more fights incapacitated due to failed saves, or required the DM to make things unreasonably easy for them (such as by making intelligent opposition behave stupidly, or by bailing them out constantly via Deus Ex Machina).

Depends a bit on how you look at it. I have more fun if the game is more challenging, more difficult, more deadly. So no, I don't want the DM to make the game unreasonably easy for the players but I also don't want the players to make it unnecessary difficult for the GM to run a challenging game.

I have more fun if there's a real risk of losing my PC involved. Not necessarily on a Tome of Horror level, but I already think that the Pathfinder APs err a bit too much on the side of easy. Now add to this optimizing and you probably see how that can ruin my fun (as a player and a GM).

Missing and Failing saves is part of the game and it should be in my opinion. It's not that those things are fun at the moment they happen(though depending on the situation, this can lead to hilarious moments) but that without them, the game gets boring very soon, because victory is meaningless when it's nearly guaranteed right from the start.

The Exchange

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Trogdar wrote:
It's too hard to hold onto delusion in the the face of the internet.

Quite the contrary. The internet is the biggest source of misinformation ever existing, a dream come true for any propagandist. Compared to the mountains of bad ideas you claim to have inherited from your parents, that's a whole multiverse full of BS. There's a few points of light within, but they are harder to find than those in WotC's 4E setting.

I just wish argumentation and reason were part of the basic school curriculum.

Yeah, me too. We kinda had it here with old latin and greek as part of said curriculum, but than someone decided that this just must be another bad idea of the ancestors.

The Exchange

Trogdar wrote:
Sure, but it's not that surprising given the mountains of bad ones you have to sift through. I still argue with my mom about her bigoted views on Islam, but I can't be more right than the propaganda, sorry, news.

Well, I won't derail this thread too much, but living in germany, there's a lot of bigoted views on Islam on both sides of the fence, and what you call propaganda has much to do with on which side of the fence you personally stand. The term "L├╝genpresse" flies around a lot nowadays to state that the media is lying all the time. Ironically, most of the time it's exactly those people using this term that are lying.

Kinda like with this discussion (not the lying part, but the part with bigoted views; though personally I think it's less bigoted but more one-sided; when you've made up your mind about something it is quite difficult to correct your stance, especially if emotions are involved).

Apasrt from that, when I was younger, I also liked to think of myself as knowing everything better than my parents (and adults in general). In the meantime, I'm a parent myself and have learned over time that I often was wrong. A lot.

The Exchange

Trogdar wrote:
Younger generations do tend to divest themselves of the bad ideas of their parents.

Problem is, they tend to divest themselves of the good ideas of their parents as well.

The Exchange

Blackwaltzomega wrote:

It is also optimizing if I responded something like this, however...


Yeah, that would be optimising. Nothing wrong with that, though. The player asked for advice, you gave it to him, everything's perfect.

The difference between what you did and what those other people Tormskull talked about did is that you didn't move the goalpost. When I ask for advice within a certain frame of basic conditions (in this example, a TWF elf barbarian), I already made clear that there are some things not open for discussion. Namely: TWF, elf, barbarian. Keep being told that I shouldn't use an elf if I want to play a barbarian, when this has already been established, is, quite frankly, really annoying. It get's even more annoying when other peoples' suggestions, while fitting within this frame of conditions, get discarded by not being optimal decisions when I didn't ask for optimization in the first place. (and "coming for assistance in realising their concept" doesn't necessarily mean "coming for assistance in optimizing their concept").

Now as annoying as this behavior is, I want to make clear that this is by no means exclusive for optimizers. I once made the mistake, while asking for advice (elsewhere) about a concept for a new character class I wanted to develop, to preface this by giving a short summary for the fluff of my homebrewed I'd need this class for (just to explain what this class should be about). Well, turns out that nobody was interested to give this class a look and tell me what I did wrong in terms of balance, but instead a lot of people began to harp about the background, what was wrong with it in terms of standard D&D, why they would never play in such a stupid setting and so on.

It's this arrogance of people feeling entitled to tell other fellow gamers what they might be doing wrong instead of just telling them what they actually want to know, that causes all this forum war rubbish. And who's the enemy just depends on which side you choose be on, not on any alleged facts about how the game is to be played.

The Exchange

Kobold Cleaver wrote:

There is a bit of a disconnect here that I think needs to be underlined.

Group A's Definition of "Optimizer": Rulescrafter, 'one who optimizes', someone who uses the rules to optimize the character to be effective at their chosen role, someone with strong rules mastery.

Group B's Definition of "Optimizer": A$*++~$.

To be honest, what you define as A isn't even necessarily optimizing for me. But then, that might be because I have another definition of effectiveness than you (mine would be something like "has a relatively good chance to survive the game", instead of "beats generally every challenge he has been optimised for with ease as long as the GM doesn't up the challenge accordingly").

To me , optimizing is everything which would force me to modify the encounters of a published adventure because they would be boringly easy otherwise. I'm totally willing to modify encounters for story reason, to make them more interesting or to accomodate different group sizes. But I hate this power creep race which develops if players make their characters so strong that the GM has to react, because they still want to get challenged. This is work I shouldn't have to do because it's basically a waste of my time. The challenge was already there, so if the players hadn't modified their characters, I wouldn't have to do this just to recreate a state already existing before.

So I don't mind at all if you want to be efficient; at least depending on the game, I generally prefer games where player characters are (relatively speaking) a bit more down to earth. In Pathfinder, even a suboptimal character already is a super-hero compared to a normal human being. So maybe my adversity against (too much)optimising has to with the fact that this makes this difference even greater.

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Athaleon wrote:
Most people have more fun with a more effective character.

See, but that is exactly what is not true. Most people have more fun if the character is effective (or competent)enough without feeling the need to make it even more effective. Problem being that "effective enough" can mean a whole lotta different things depending on game style, while "more effective" basically comes down to "if you're character is less effective than it could be, than you shouldn't do it". We already got an example in this very thread, when a swashbuckler dual-wielding rapiers was presented and was immediately advised against because of precise strike. When the only question being should be: Do you have fun with this character?.

That is not to say that optimisation isn't a viable option. It's just so that optimisers tend to present their style of play as the superior (because their character obviously is better in terms of power) and even assume that the game calls for optimising when it simply doesn't. You just have to look at the official adventures, because there's not really much optimisation needed to beat those. You want to have a bigger challenge and therefore need a more powerful character? More power to you, that's totally your prerogative. But that doesn't make my character anyhow inferior, as long as he is effectice enough.

The Exchange

phantom1592 wrote:
The death of Aroden or the Return of Aroden... is really a prime concept for an AP. It has an epic 6 part feel to it, and while they don't admit to having something in the works right now... I can still see them doing something in the future.

Me too, but that's exactly what's creating the dilemma for me. If they plan on doing this eventually, I'd better not create my own solution beforehand because it most probably will create a discrepancy with future official material in a point absolutely central for the whole setting.

On the other hand, if they don't plan for this, there's basically no reason not to tell us their solution. Because if you don't like it, you still can do your own thing, but chances are that their solution is so much more awesome than anything I could come up with myself.

The Exchange

phantom1592 wrote:
I certainly wouldn't want spoilers for future games sitting in any old sourcebook out there.

To tell us how something happened a 100 years ago hardly qualifies as spoiler for future games though; except if they actually planned to reveal this in a future AP (and they keep telling us that they won't).

But just to make this clear ( I might have sounded a bit too harsh in my former posts regarding this topic): I totally accept that it's Paizo's prerogative what to tell us and what not. I might not agree with every of their decisions (and obviously I don't with this one) but that doesn't keep me from enjoying their products.

It just means that I make Golarion "mine" in heavily borrowing from their campaign products and adapting it to other worlds I play in

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Unluckily, I won't be able to finish my character in time, meaning that I'll have to wait for another opportunity. Have fun with this game.

The Exchange

Dotted for interest. I'm thinking Unchained Barbarian (I started to build one for a game I eventually didn't took part in, but may have to rework him a bit, especially as he had a story feat not on your list).

You didn't ask for it, but just in case that poses any problems: While I have run and played in quite some PbPs at another board this would actually be my first game over here. Apart from that, English isn't my mother tongue and I'm living in Germany (time zone), so if any of these poses any problem for you, just let me know.

The Exchange

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Jiggy wrote:
The most important thing the Paizo forums have taught me about optimization is that most of the community doesn't actually know what that word means.

Well, to me it means that the players are playing characters that have no difficulties whatsoever to beat standard (and even more difficult) challenges as presented in official adventures (which is the baseline with which I create my own encounters). Which is fine by me as long as they don't expect me to waste my time creating more difficult encounters.

So what it does in my games is that it drastically increases their chances to play their character through the whole story (becaause they will very rarely come into danger of actually dying). If that's what they want, good for them. If not, thay can either tone down their optimization (so that the game get's more challenging for them); or they can look for another GM more to their taste.

The Exchange

bigrig107 wrote:

They don't want to tell the story of his death, at least publicly, because it doesn't matter that much to the world itself.

That may be the core of my "problem", because I want to be told this story, because the world doesn't matter to me that much by itself. Which is true for nearly any literary or roleplaying campaign setting, so this isn't meant as a slight against Golarion which has still a lot of elements I really like.

But I think I simply let Steve speak for me as well. He does a much better job than myself speaking about this stuff without sounding angry.

The Exchange

There is no problem. It's just that without this information, I'm not interested enough in the setting to run a game within. I still buy their stuff (so Paizo doesn't lose money because of this), I still use or at least read it (so I still get value out of the stuff I spend my money for), but I do it to customize other settings more to my liking or to fill the holes in my own setting.

The Exchange

I said 'create' not 'write'. Little difference because of all the thousands of pages you have to put down to paper when actually writing a setting.

But basically, yes. The answer to this mystery has a huge impact on how the setting will evolve over time. Like saying the starstone's effect are temporary, for example. This answer informs what campaigns I want to run in this setting, which development nation's might or might not take, how history will progress.

Simply said: it's the core of the setting, and if I have to come up with my own core, I'm probably better of to start with this and create my own thing.

The Exchange

Steve Geddes wrote:

It's the deliberate obfuscation that bugs me. This isnt actually a mysterious, unanswered question - it is a central issue of the campaign and has a canonical solution/explanation but that is being kept secret.

I appreciate I'm in a minority, but that approach bothers me a lot (more than the actually-relevant-to-gameplay things, as it happens).

Same here. In fact it bugs me so much, that I actually wrote Aroden out of continuity in my own Golarion (which is a bit ironic, given that his death was probably the main selling points to draw me in this setting). Which even more ironically, has led me to stop running things in Golarion.

Yeah, I can invent my own stuff. But as this is the single most important defining event in the history of modern Golarion, this would mean basically to create my own setting. And you know what: That's exactly what I'm doing in the meantime.

Doesn't keep me from enjoying to read (and heavily steal from) the Golarion stuff, but given how I immediately fell in love with Golarion at the setting's beginning, I'm still a bit disappointed that they would decide to deny me information about the one thing that would make it a dealbreaker for me.

The Exchange

added a product review here, over at DrivethruRPG and on my own blog

The Exchange

knightnday wrote:
To swing back by what I said earlier, I will note that while I have some older campaigns, not all of them are old enough to vote.

Man, you don't know how envious that makes me. Wish I could say the same about me, but as I seem to be the very personification of procrastination, all those world building ideas fly around in my head without ever havin been expanded on (apart from my own version of Generica which basically was created by simply stealing from various sources)

The Exchange

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Gorbacz wrote:
Varisia hardcover.

Now you just made me cry.

The Exchange

captain yesterday wrote:
I don't see how that's a problem.

I wouldn't say that it's necessarily a problem but if you're like me and don't want to heavily restrict player access to all the stuff out there, it creates a certain workload. And as I get older, it seems that I have less and less time to read new stuff in advance.

That's something that makes me quite hesitant to start a PbP game here at these boards. Because most probably the players who participate will know the (newer) rules better than me.

The Exchange

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GeneticDrift wrote:
secrets like this are secrets for a reason.

That's something a follower of Norgorber might say, but we're Pathfinders, so we simply must find out what the secret is.

The Exchange

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deinol wrote:
I do find it odd how few people in this thread are RPG subscribers.

I'm a former charter subscriber who had to drop those subscriptions for financial reasons. Now I'm only waiting for after the end of Evil AP to resubscribe. In the meantime I also started to spend quite some bucks on 3PP material and other systems which makes subscriptions less worthwhile because a subscription may mean that you spend money for products you don't especially like instead of other material you'd probably prefer more.

So at the moment, I'm buying the APs (probably will buy the Evil AP as well, but I'm not sure enough about that to resubscribe immediately, I'm buying the ruleboks and other stuff depending on how interested I'm in.

Still don't know exactly what that has to do with the topic at hand. Only in so far as a new edition would probably made me spending more money on Paizo stuff.

I mean, how frequently do people trash talk about mmo Gamers and the like?

I agree with the sentiment, though back at the 4E war it irritated the hell out of me that if I compared 4E with MMOs people immediately thought that there was an offense implied. Because at that time, I probably spent more time with MMOs than with tabletop RPGs and still don't think that it was wrong to try to cater to the MMO crowd.

The Exchange

Kirth Gersen wrote:
That's my gripe -- the ranger's primary function exists only as cleric and wizard spells that rangers never get access to. That doesn't bother anyone else at all? Even a little bit?

Well, personally, not really. Both spells grant basically automatic success to what you say is the rangers' primary function. So what this means is that you take part of the challenge out of playing a ranger. And that's nothing I'm too interested at (though it may actually be a cool reward as a class ability for sticking with the class unto high levels).

This said, you may have a group where noone is able to track a person or find the way out of the maze. Then to have those spells prepared if such a challenge should come up, could be a very good thing.

But then I'm not a big proponent of optimization either. So what the ranger actually can do should suffice in my campaigns most of the time. And I certainly won't punish any group for not having those spells ready.

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