Barbarians are right at home in Numeria, and I'm in love with the concept of some all-brawn-no-brains warrior stumbling upon advanced otherworldly technology and beating monsters over the head with it. Maybe make them distrustful of magic, which is totally justified in this case, given what the Technic League did to this country.
Yeah. It's probably safe to assume that creatures with one or no biological sex have no gender roles within their own cultures, if they have any.
Ropers are weird though because they have a philosophical predisposition, and individuals (especially those that regularly interact with humanoids) might develop their own notions of gender or sexual self-identity. Given that their societies never extend beyond limited clusters, however, I would assume that it's not something that would develop and become widespread on its own.
I gotta say, if this is what this thread becomes from now on, I won't argue.
Don't see why they'd need any, since they don't seem to have their own culture and (I assume) reproduce asexually. If a humanoid decided to keep one as a friend or minion and started calling it he or she, it just might pick that pronoun up, but I can't see how an amorphous being that spends most of its time pretending to be inanimate objects could actually fill any gender role.
Giving this question serious thought was more relaxing and worthwhile than a lot of the reading I just did on the way here...
As a side note, I'm now wistfully imagining an alternate timeline where there is a 72-page-and-growing thread labelled "Homosexuality in Golarion" that is exclusively about how non-straight people are viewed and treated in the various cultures and regions of this fictional roleplaying setting. 72 pages of on-topic discussion of this touchy but very interesting subject, doubtlessly containing disagreements and debates but always sticking to the core concept, rather than diverging into other topics such as what material should and shouldn't appear in certain published works.
She also has a real interesting backstory; her elven mom had a lengthy (by human standards) relationship with her human dad, but left them in a moment of capriciousness while Liri was young. I'm pretty sure it tied in to her fascination with stories of faeries and princesses and dragons and knights, which in Alkenstar are almost as fantastical as they are here.
I briefly had the beginnings of a Kingmaker game set up, but player issues brought an end to it. Since I already have half of the books and really like the core concept, I'll probably try running it again sometime, and this will definitely come in handy. Whether or not I show my players is something I'll have to decide later.
Wrapped up my last session with this encounter; I was reeeally worried about it being too awkward for my party, but everything turned out fine. From our perspective, at least.
Shayliss's target was a half-elf barbarian with a big ego and a habit for wearing armor similar to this; he didn't have the highest Charisma score in the party, but I figured that all of the other factors would more than compensate in her eyes. She approached him while the party was having lunch at the Rusty Dragon and rolled a natural 20 on her Bluff check. He was very eager to help with the rat problem, but a couple of the other PCs wanted to come too, so she gave up. Egged on by the party's alchemist (who had an idea of what was going on), our hero went after her.
Cut to the barbarian and the shopkeeper's daughter in the basement, both very disappointed and embarrassed. You see, his primary interests are (1) fighting and (2) men. She would have let him go on his way, but then Ven came down to see his daughter hurriedly dressing herself and a strange man trying to hide behind the shelves. One failed Diplomacy check later and the poor guy's fleeing the wrath of a protective father who doesn't buy his (completely true) excuses.
The rest of the party was just amused by their companion's obliviousness, but when the -2 Diplomacy penalty kicks in they'll have to find some way to clear things up. We don't really have a designated "face" yet, but the monk is friends with Hemlock, and the Sheriff's word might be enough to put this to rest.
I'm... on the fence. A lot of these do sound interesting, and the magus did pull off the old and notorious fighter/wizard hybrid very well, so there's some precedent.
But one of my favorite things about PF as a system is that the archetypes allow the handful of "vanilla" classes to cover a wide range of concepts, even by combining elements from other classes sometimes. Unlike in 3.5, you don't need a special scout class (for example) when you can just tweak a ranger or rogue to fit the niche. In fact, I'd argue that the ninja and samurai should have just been meaty rogue and cavalier archetypes, but that's behind us now.
Furthermore, a lot of these concepts were already very close together. Rangers were already pretty similar to druids and rogues, and "battle clerics" have never been very hard to make. The magus works so well because wizards and fighters have virtually no overlap, so combining them creates something very new. From what we've seen, the battlerager is probably closest to this formula, and I'm actually pretty interested in seeing it. The barbarian and the sorcerer are already like dumber, flashier cousins to the fighter and wizard.
ALL THAT SAID, I'm interested in all the other material this book offers, even if I'm not guaranteed to buy it (or let my players use some of these hybrids if I'm feeling really curmudgeony). If there's one thing I'm always grateful for, it's the online reference document.
I can vouch that my party's half-orc sea-singer is a massive boon to the crew (though everyone is, in their own way). He once boarded an enemy ship and insulted the sailors SO HARD that they literally CAUGHT ON FIRE (Boiling Blood is crazy). I know the mass combat is supposed to be glossed over in favor of officer-versus-officer swashbuckling, but after a display like that I decided that the enemy captain would just give up.
And if you know the type, you know everything that the type entails? I'm just a little uncertain about how much people are assumed to know about monsters.
Funny story, last night my RotR party managed to discover virtually everything that skeletons can't (easily) be hurt by through trial and error. The monk smashed one to pieces with a single punch, but the second undead withstood swords, bolts, enchantments, and non-monk unarmed attacks. Went down when the cleric used his hammer to great effect.
Aw dang, I missed the official rules and just let the player look at the Bestiary entry if they met the base DC...
Do you think a default roll should be enough to know the creature's subtype and the features that come with that? So someone who rolls a 13 against a quasit could say, "I know it's a demon, so that means it probably has (standard demon strengths and weaknesses), though I can't say much about this particular specimen."
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
My first thought is that they wouldn't have the full power of their mythic tiers, because they couldn't spend all their mythic feats without the actual feats to piggyback on.
That was my initial concern too, but given that you can hold mythic feats in reserve if you don't have the prerequisite, I'd actually interpret the mythic feats less as an aspect of the tiers and more as an aspect of your regular stats that are influenced by mythicness. Sorry if that sounds confusing, it's the only way I could think of phrasing it.
It is an issue though, and I wonder if a PC who can justify more mythic feats than another of the same level and tier would be drastically more powerful as a result. Maybe something to put a limit on, if that's the case.
First I want to establish that I don't have Mythic Adventures yet, though I do have the playtest PDF.
The core of my idea is this: I want to see how a 1st-level party with 10 mythic tiers plays. From a mechanical angle, I'm interested in seeing how they would approach challenges intended for PCs five levels higher than them, and from a fluff angle, I like the idea of newbie adventurers somehow gaining immense power.
Generic Villain wrote:
Sounds fair. The other issue was that a lot of path abilities seemed to only be useful when you had multiple attacks/high-level spells/etc, but all the preview material I've seen looks like there's a wider selection now. I'm gonna have to try this out after I get the book...
Question: would there be any mechanical issues with giving 1st level characters 10 mythic tiers? It's just a little thought experiment I have.
In the playtest, the biggest issue with that was that most of the mythic feats have normal feats as prerequisites, and (aside from human monks) no one's going to have five feats already at level 1. This is also assuming I didn't overlook some kind of rule like "mythic tiers cannot exceed class levels."
I feel proud of my guys; it was never a question of who'd be in charge because our Half-Elf Barbarian was just full-on "I'M GONNA BE KING OF THE PIRATES" from the very beginning (which got her almost-one-shotted by Harrigan for giving him lip in the first session). Everyone else in the party just instinctively fell into step behind her and she's been the ringleader ever since, though she always listens to what the crew has to say. It's one of those treasured parties where everyone is very much friends with everyone else.
This might sound a little Care Bears-y, but hear me out.
What if the Runelords' shift from virtue to sin was not a simple matter of psychology? What if they began as genuine avatars of Thassilon's magically-aligned virtues, but something caused them to change in such a way that would actually be reflected by their statistics. Maybe the empire's corruption caused its leaders to follow suit, or the aboleths cast some manner of curse upon the wizards to corrupt them from within. Maybe there is some way, either deceptively simple or near-impossible, to reverse this effect and make his return a boon to the world rather than a disaster.
Granted, Wealth isn't really that much better than Greed, but one more avaricious but non-evil wizard king in the world wouldn't be too bad; if he decides to turn his resources towards trade, there could be significant but mixed impact on the region. If you go all the way and make him the new Runelord of Generousity, that's a very interesting path to explore. Just think, an extremely powerful transmutation specialist who lives for the betterment of others!
Pathfinder's already a step ahead of many other fantasy settings by actually including Africa and Asia equivalents and making interesting things happen there instead of just shoving them off the borders so not-Europe can have more attention. That said, sometimes I take a second look at some of the material and think, "If I had a friend who didn't want to play this because they were offended/uncomfortable, I wouldn't blame them."
I haven't seen the poster, but I think it could have been improved by replacing the gnoll with an actual citizen of Alkenstar. There's a lot of really cool "civilized" stuff going on down there alongside the pulp jungle monsters.
The Golux wrote:
"Baba Yaga has gone missing! There's money in it for you if you get her back! Here's her hut!" Would probably suffice on short notice.
Hmmm... would there be any problems resulting from jumping into this adventure with characters created at level 13, rather than starting at the first one in the path? The only possible one that comes to mind is magical items from previous adventures playing a vital role.
I'm not (currently) too interested in playing the whole thing, but I definitely see the gonzo appeal of making Rasputin Must Die! its own mini-campaign.
This is definitely something I'd like to see used for less "exotic" Pathfinder enemies; in fact, after GMing my party's first independent boarding attack in Skull & Shackles this Thursday, I wouldn't mind a troop statblock to represent the enemy crew!
Maybe make a booklet for it? Armies of Golarion or something along those lines? I think there's already a thread with that name...
Even though I don't use miniatures much these days (most of my games are conducted via Skype and I rarely have the time/money for maps and minis), seeing this guy has rekindled my interest in the adventure path itself! It's a BBEG if I ever saw one, and a refreshing shift from standard dragons, demons, and liches. Wish I could plonk him down on a tabletop to freak out the party...
In my game, Crimson's one-half religious zealot (s~@* might hit the fan when he finds out the party's bone oracle practices necromancy and is not, as she convinced him, a fellow adherent to Pharasma's doctrines), and one-half shady black market dealer. If I was running the game just a smidgen sillier, he'd have an oversized coat with oversized pockets to pull all of his goods from. I suspect that he'll end up as the new ship's quartermaster if none of the PCs take the job.
I can also vouch for Owlbear; despite our barbarian captain whaling on him in their first encounter, the party's rather fond of the big guy (if only because it's good to have such the massive brute as your friend instead of as your enemy).
I was less concerned about spoilers and more concerned about annoying the players with "Wow, there sure was a lot of cool stuff going on recently that you guys can't get directly involved with!"
It's mostly hypothetical, though. I'm just about to start Skull & Shackles, so it will probably be quite some time until I even have the option to play this.
First thought: Disappointment that this isn't a high fantasy space opera campaign, which is what my mind jumped to when I first heard the title.
Second thought: As much as I like Varisia, I'm a little tired of adventure paths that focus on it.
Third thought: Oh, but making the Pathfinder Society a central element is cool! It's always been one of the setting's more memorable features.
General impression so far: It looks like a fun return to basics, but unless I'm missing something there doesn't seem to be a big "do all this and you'll be able to achieve X!" hook. Skull & Shackles let you become pirate lords, Jade Regent sent you on a journey across continents, but all I'm getting from this is relatively generic threats of ancient evil. Seems like wasted potential, especially when the Pathfinder Society's role could give you an excuse to travel across the entire Inner Sea region.
Lots of good ideas here. Even though this is the first pre-written campaign I've run in ages, I sometimes forget that I can just change or ditch anything that I don't like.
Dinosaurs are a must, though I'll have to look the whole path over and make sure that the authors aren't saving them for later. It'd be a shame to play that card too early and lessen the effect later on.
The voices are why I'm conflicted about potentially doing the game over voicechat on Skype. On one hand, what's the point of a pirate game if you can't do pirate voices? On the other, I'm not sure if my range of pirate voices is big enough.
That said, on my short-lived initial run several months back I started out trying to make Harrigan Keith David. I couldn't quite pull it off but I liked the result: deep and rolling, with a kind of laid-back menace.
Plugg is nasaly and British, though more the former than the latter. Not sure about Scourge just yet.
For Fishguts, I mixed the generic pirate "accent" with drunken slurring to the point of being unintelligible. I plan on making his voice clearer and clearer the more he sobers up, but maintain a heavy use of maritime slang and euphemisms.
I was worried about Riaris Krine, because she apparently "makes Rosie Cusswell sound like a nun" and I was already going to give the halfling a Carlinesque vocabulary; where to go from there? Then I decided to get clever and just convey her messages to the players with the addendum, "I'd tell you what she actually SAID, but even I have my limits with these things."
Hmm... I think enabling Hero Points might be the best way to keep them out of Pharasma's grasp; I might even restrict its use to Cheat Death.
spoilers about bulking up encounters
I think I'll wait and see how they do with a few unmodified encounters first. If things are too easy, then I'll ramp things up.
spoilers about deadliness
I'll keep all of that in mind. I've been considering cutting out the swarms and representing the botfly menace purely through disease; depends on how capable the PCs are of dealing with that kind of thing.
As for XP, they'll get some extra when the adventure path calls for a level-up.
Thanks for the advice and encouragement.
Sometime next month I plan on kicking off S&S with a group of six friends via Skype. Exactly who they'll be and who they'll be playing are up in the air, as I currently have more prospective players than I'm willing to take on at once.
My question is: will a slightly-larger-than-average party mitigate the adventure path's notorious fatality? I know that you can't overcome every hazard by ganging up on it, but at least it raises the odds of someone having the particular spell/skill/misc to prevent a tragic death.
If that's not enough, I've also considered giving the characters 25-point beginning builds, though I'm very cautious about doing so. 20 points always seemed like just the right amount to me.
You know, that's actually a good idea... though I'm worried that it might remove the incentive to do certain things; for example, dumping XP on them for befriending NPCs is a great way to encourage diplomacy. Not to mention the simple dopamine spike of being directly rewarded for your actions.
It's almost the same problem as Communism, when you think about it.
Now, I only read the first page and the last page of this thread, so I'm probably missing something, and aside from that the actual topic was derailed long ago. Still, I think it's odd that people seem to be focusing entirely on the definition of fantasy and ignoring the definition of steampunk, which is much more concrete and narrow.
Modern steampunk was invented as the anachronistic half-brother of cyberpunk: it achieves the same themes of technological dystopia from a different direction, mirroring the inventions and social trends of the industrial revolution in 19th century Europe. Though some authors insert steampunk elements into fantasy (like the China Mieville's Bas Lag books) or fantasy elements into steampunk (like Phil Foglio's webcomic Girl Genius), the genre would probably be categorized as "soft science fiction" by default.
The presence of firearms does not make Pathfinder steampunk for two reasons. First, a weapon would not be considered steampunk-themed in and of itself unless it exceeded the technological boundaries of the 19th century while still maintaining its trappings (for example, a rail gun powered by Tesla coils). The guns in Ultimate Combat are historically accurate, or at least superficially so. Second, they are a deviation from the game's central themes. There are martial artist monks in Pathfinder, but that does not make the game wuxia.
Golarion could be considered to have the rare hint of steampunk. Mostly, this is limited to the Mana Wastes and its billowing factories. But then again, Golarion is a pathwork of fantastical genres, from sword and sorcery to Lovecraftian horror.
Now, I'm not very good at eyeballing things like balance, so don't expect any of that from me.
The first thing that jumps out at me is that all of the options seem to have been made by chopping up the existing races and working out the values of their abilities. And while I think that's a good starting point and the presented array is quite serviceable, it leaves out some relatively basic features because they can't be found in said races. For example: extra limbs. Looking at the eidolon evolutions would be a good place to start if you're going to improve the range of selections.
Second, at lot of the prerequisites seem arbitrary. There's nothing distinctively elven about Elven Magic, aside from the fact that Pathfinder elves have it. I'd suggest making things a little more generic, and assume that people will be using this for their homebrew settings (I know I will).
In short, it isn't quite as flexible as I had hoped, but it's still functional and I'm pleased with the product as a whole.
Most of my opinions have already been stated, but here's what I always say first when I'm trying to explain why Golarion is cool: one of the main gods ASCENDED TO DIVINITY ON A DRUNKEN DARE! He was like, "Yeah, yeah I can reach the staaar-hic-stone! Jus' you wash!" And then three days later there was a powerful new force of Chaotic Good in the world.
I also appreciate just how much of a Fantasy Kitchen Sink the place is. There's room for any type of character if you do your research.
And you know, even though I complained about it in the first thread, I'm slowly starting to warm up to the idea of all the gods just being regional deities (though it would make more sense of they were created through belief, like Discworld gods).
I haven't had a chance to read through most of this thread, so I might come back and add anything that comes to me later, but the first thing that comes to mind: Arcadia, going by the little we know about it, seems like a wasted opportunity for weirdness.
EDIT: Oh yeah, and there's a slight problem with the hinted-at deities of Tian Xia and Fantasy India (can't remember the name). It implies that most if not all of the default gods are regional deities, and yet they're usually treated as if they're the only gods. I mean, where were Iori and his three thousand siblings when Rovagug was trying to eat the planet? Did Aroden's death matter to the people on the other side of the world who never knew he was alive?
Unless Ultimate Equipment has rules for motorcycles or something equally cool, I'm not interested. Between the Advanced Player's Guide and Ultimate Combat, there's plenty of gear available already.
It's good to know that the Advanced Race Guide will include races from the Jade Regent adventure path, and I hope Bestiary 3 has enough clockwork monsters to justify the new category.
Dragon riding wouldn't really work in a D&D-based game because dragons are ancient, highly intelligent, and incredibly proud. Okay, it's not impossible to enslave one or earn its respect, but that sounds more like a major in-game achievement to me than a prestige class. Wyvern riding, on the other hand... yeah, I can see it.
If he wants to devote himself to a specific cause rather than a specific deity, I would suggest at least looking at the oathbound paladin from Ultimate Magic. The Oath of Loyalty would work if he'd dedicated to protecting Ameiko (or anyone else on the caravan), or if he wants to avoid the whole NPC romance angle he could take the Oath of Chastity.
I think I'll just replace the weapons with their "Western" equivalents in all but description. Personally, I don't like it when very similar weapons are given different stats just because they come from different cultures and have different designs. Katana is just another word for bastard sword in my games.