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Bullseye

gbonehead's page

Goblin Squad Member. RPG Superstar 2013 Marathon Voter, 2014 Star Voter. Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber. 3,351 posts (3,358 including aliases). 4 reviews. 2 lists. 1 wishlist. 3 aliases.


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Sharaya wrote:
I, for one, am looking forward to my FIRST PAIZOCON EVER :D And I'm excited about finally having a chance to put faces with names!

*Jealous*

:-)


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Spock gets me every time.


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Dazylar wrote:
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.^^^^^^^^^^^^^.
^ POISON SPIKES ^
.^^^^^^^^^^^^^.

(fixed that for you)


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Arazyr wrote:
Hi, just bought my monthly budgeting gift certificate ...

Ah, so I'm not the only one :)


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I can't even comment on rocket tag; I have no idea if our games involved it or not. I keep seeing people talking about "intentionally making sub-optimal choices," as if there's some Grand Unified Law of optimization.

How about optimizing for fun? How about optimizing for character concept, or backstory or any of a giant pile of other choices you can make besides DPR or "I win" combinations? Sure, I could have made every single opponent they faced perfectly crafted to TPK the party, easily. It's not that hard to do.

Would that have been an optimal game? Would anyone have even believed that such a world was a real place? Heck, would they play more than a half-dozen times before concluding I was an ass? Hell, no.

Instead, I optimized for a world where the world made sense. Not every creature on the planet took an optimal set of feats. To be honest, I don't even know what optimal choices for feats are, because I just don't care.

Sure, on occasion they one-shotted something I thought would be an epic encounter. So what? We played for 6 years. On other occasions things that I expected to be a cakewalk weren't, because one player wasn't there, or because they made an unexpected bad choice, or just because I didn't anticipate how good a certain combination would be.

That's not important. What's important is that we played for six years. Heck, the real reason we finished the campaign was because I wanted to move to straight Pathfinder rules once the mythic rules were announced. So now we're preparing for another campaign, and I expect it to go the same way - crazy levels, crazy plotlines, and lots of pizza and beer on Friday nights.

But no, I don't intend to say anything about the actual plot because I know there's at least one lurker out there :)

P.S. That oft touted level "cap" in Pathfinder? It's actually a Golarion level cap. I support it whole-heartedly, for how else can you create a sane campaign setting? On the other hand, there's nothing that says a non-Golarion campaign setting has to pay any attention to any such thing...


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My discovery from years of high-level play was that combat was boring. We didn't play at high levels to have high-CR fights, we played at high levels to have high-CR stories, and to do crazy things that just wouldn't be possible for mortals.

By the time we were done with the campaign this spring, the players were pretty much all experts at their characters. But that was okay - that's the point. They all knew what their character could do, what the other characters could do, and who should step in when.

What we found is the math is only broken if you're not having fun. And that had less to do with the modifiers and CRs and encounters than how well the encounters fit the storyline and how cinematic they were, regardless of how difficult the encounters were regardless of whether they were actual combat encounters or not.

Now, it was a crazy amount of work as GM, but I would never say it wasn't worth it. However, my view is you should never never ever run a high-level campaign without (a) an actual plot and (b) being prepared to adjudicate all sorts of whacked out unbelievable stuff.

After all, there's no epic fiction out there about a bunch of murder hobos wandering the countryside - it's all about continent-spanning quests, intrigue, and the like. Along with a few insane battles along the way :)


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See, I look at it in such a way that I don't really worry about balance concerns. By definition the mythic rules are imbalanced. Really. The way I see it, a party with mythic characters will be playing a different sort of game. Sure, they can accomplish crazy things. Great! So they should be actually doing crazy things.

They won't be ridding the town of that goblin tribe, nor tracking down that pesky owlbear lair, nor going after a few random bandits. That's not the point. They should be doing the kind of crazy, off the wall stuff that you see in superhero comics. That's the point :)

I'm dealing with a bit of the same issue with the new campaign I'm preparing to start up. They've all designed their own races (using a 20-point ARG build), and have a 25-point buy. AND they're all first level. In their first game, they took out a wyvern with ease. So what? It's not like I'm going to punish them for it - I'm still in the phase of judging what the difficulty level ought to be for them, and then we'll start getting to the heart of the matter.

And they did make the observation (similar to above) that while they're really powerful because of their monstrous builds, they are still first-level characters and have a bit of a glass heel, too.

Anyways, I don't view this as any different than the old 3.5e epic rules, or, really any high-level play in general. If you're going to try to min/max the Mythic rules, you will break the game. No question. So you can't play as if that's the point. You have to play as if you now can tell epic, world-spanning stories you'd never have been able to tell with the core rules.

And if someone has an "I win" combination, well, either create an in-game reason why it can't be done every time (I've done that in the past), have a tacit agreement that it won't be used all the time (not as good, but that's been done too), or have lots of opponents for whom that magic combo doesn't work (my least favorite, as I'm a fan of versimilitude, and to suddenly have 95% of the opponents immune to sleep just breaks it down for me).


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I want a publication date in the far distant future.


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*phew*

That's one hell of a thread. Okay, some things I want to comment on.

1. Hands down, Paizo has the best customer service of any company I've ever dealt with. Period. Discover is close; they're pretty damn good, but nobody has ever made me feel like I mattered as much as Paizo has.

I've been a subscriber since day one, though initially *only* of the Adventure Paths, and even then it was outstanding. Now I'm sure the warehouse staff finds my orders staggering ( as does my bank account :O ) and I still feel the same way.

2. Holy crap folks, they're releasing a record-breaking amount of material at the same time as the single largest yearly event they support and *anyone* is surprised that the company is strained?

It's a fact of life that statistics (and its buddy, queueing theory) suck. It causes rush hour traffic, it causes your line to always seem to go slowest at the grocery store, and it means that yeah, once in a while your service will be crappier than every single other persons.

I mean, *someone* is gonna be last ... and sometimes it's you. Hell, feels like it's me a lot of the time too, but I realize that's all the psychology of the situation - if you're not one of the first people who has access, then you feel like you've been slighted.

But put things in perspective, folks. You're dealing with a company that really, truly wants to do the right thing for their customers. Lisa didn't start this company to be a millionaire ... she started it because this is something she loves. And that shows in every aspect of the company. Unfortunately for us sometimes, one part of her view of the company is that it's a small company, and that does have an impact at times like this, meaning that they don't (and won't) have the staff to make deliveries of this magnitude a breeze for them.

There's things you certainly should be concerned about waiting for: an ambulance ... the fire department ... the police to respond to that 911 call you just made. But this? I just can't see this being the world-ending, angst-inducing event people are making it out to be.

(I'll just leave this here)


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What I'd really like to see is an occasional GM Companion :)


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Kolokotroni wrote:
Um, you realize paizo actually releases more gm oriented products then any rpg company in history right?

Perhaps a bit of hyperbole there :)

However, I think Auxmaulous's point is far more valid than you're giving him credit for. He said GM exclusive books. Adventures (modules and adventure paths) are not GM exclusive - they're for the whole table. Ditto for all the Ultimate books (including Ultimate Campaign) the APG, the Core Rulebook, etc.

Many, many books are toolkits for players to customize their PCs. Great. Yeah, GMs can use those too, but the reality is that making NPCs is far, far too expensive of an activity for me to do for the throwaway opponents that are typical for encounters, and it gets more expensive the higher the CR.

Books like Libris Mortis, Lords of Madness, Savage Species, and Green Ronin's Advanced Bestiary are invaluable tools for GMs, and we have exactly zero books like that. Heck, Exemplars of Evil and especially Elder Evils were pretty good too, though I could have done with a bit more toolkit and a bit less canned material.

Throwing 5 levels of fighter on a monster is not the same as tools for customization, regardless of the repeated refrain that GMs can use the same books :)


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I like the concept of this book, but really wish they'd done the same thing for monsters first :)

I mean, we already have one book that has all my players drooling over options - the Advanced Race Guide. For the new campaign we're starting up, they're (mostly) all designing their own races, and that's cool - I'm designing the campaign world so that makes sense.

However, I'm really, really hoping this is more like the Advanced Race Guide than the Advanced Players Guide, and I suspect it is. I'm guessing Paizo doesn't want to dump another 10 classes into their universe - in fact I'm guessing that the 10 new classes will be as much a part of Golarion canon as the new races in the ARG are part of Golarion canon.

Regardless, I suspect it will be a good read :)


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James Jacobs wrote:
gbonehead wrote:
Hell, there's something like 45 map packs and 52 flip maps out there now; it can't be *that* hard to use at least one or two of them for encounters.
We have. And it actually CAN be pretty hard to synchronize a module to a flip mat, since the two products aren't on the same schedule and utilize different company assets, combining the two complicates the most complex part of the entire adventure design process—the map.

I understand what you're saying, but I'm not talking about making new material that matches the module. I'm talking about using some of the nearly 100 published flip mats and/or map packs for an encounter in a module.

Case in point: Broken Chains:
Broken Chains relies very heavily on travel through the sewers in the middle of the module. While it gives lip service to the excellent Map Pack: Sewers product, it really doesn't use it in any useful way; most of the sewer map can't actually be represented by that map pack

Case in point: Murder's Mark:
Though an excellent introductory module, Murder's Mark could have used one of the existing warehouse flip mats for area D, but instead created its own map instead. There's little reason for a level 1 module not to use an existing flip mat especially for something as standard as a warehouse.

My point is, all these adventures are being written, yet none of them leverage the wealth of GM material in the form of flip mats and map packs, and it would be wonderful if they did :)


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While I understand the difficulties involved in tying the flip-mat and/or map pack line to the modules line, it would be really cool if the module line did a better job of leveraging existing material.

Hell, there's something like 45 map packs and 52 flip maps out there now; it can't be *that* hard to use at least one or two of them for encounters.

Yeah, I know it breaks the ability to design things from scratch a little bit, but in terms of GMs actually being able to use the stuff they already own, it's a huge win.

I'll take a flip mat or a few sheets from a map pack over my own chicken scratch any day of the week.


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Liz Courts wrote:
wakedown wrote:
I'm thinking GMs need a "Hero Slayers Handbook" to compete now?
Isn't that what the Bestiaries are for? :D

Not in the slightest. The bestiaries are the equivalent of the Core Rulebook. We want the Advanced Monster Guide, Ultimate Monsters, and Ultimate Encounters :)


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brent norton wrote:
still sad........I was all excited and everything. Normally when it says "you purchased this" the PDFs are available.....Still sad.

Yeah ... it's always like that. But so long as you get used to the first email not actually meaning anything (and virtually always being on a Thursday) you get used to it.

It is actually worded differently than the ship email, if you look carefully. You just have to be in the mood to look carefully instead of being all woot! got my ship noti... errr crap.

:)


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This is a really cool discussion, and it finally illuminated to me the disparity between my opinion of epic level games and many other people's.

As some of you perhaps know, I ran an epic game for just under 7 years, most of it above level 20. Over and over, I'd read about how completely broken the epic rules were, how the math doesn't work, how it was unplayable, etc., and yet week after week for years we happily got together bi-weekly to play our impossible, unplayable game.

It worked because we were there to have fun.

Any single player at the table (or myself) could have broken that game in a second. But why would they? This wasn't theorycrafting; this was us trying to get together, have a few beers, and enjoy ourselves.

Sure, the epic 3.5e druid was a nightmare for me. The epic dervish dancer/fighter with a slew of Luck feats was horrific. The wizard was played by a pre-teen who could have been a million times more effective had he optimized his character better. Generating throwaway CR50+ threats got a bit overwhelming at times. The PCs could easily have overthrown half the damn universe had they chosen to.

So what?

Our goal was to play the game, and we did, and we had a blast, and when we finally retired the campaign this past June, nobody was relieved to finally be done with the game. In fact, I'd planned on taking a few months off (felt kinda deserved, ya know), instead after about a month they're all now saying "sooo ... when are we starting up again?"

Good thing the Mythic book is coming out this month. And to hell with that supposed level 20 cap :)


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Evil Lincoln wrote:

Another suggestion I'd have is Adventure Path Epilogues. You could release one module every 6 months indefinitely, starting with Runelords, and you'd never catch up! At least this way, you'd capture the completionist's dollar, and there are no shortage of completionists among the AP subscribers.

It doesn't have to be a literal epilogue, just a high level adventure in the right region that would really interest post-AP characters.

Well said. I've been hoping for the same thing for a long time. Ideally it'd be a bi-yearly event; I've always thought of it as 'Part 7 of 6' of the adventure path, but I could certainly see making it once a year or so instead due to the effort involved.

In my mind this would be a separate subscription item. Doing so covers several bases:

  • A Part 7 subscription, like all existing subscriptions, would give consistent, constant support for the line, allowing for planning.
  • It would also clearly identify who exactly was interested, whether there was enough interest, and whether such a thing was practical in the long term.

Hell, since it would probably take them a year to get the first one out the door, they could probably announce it and see off the bat whether it was a worthwhile exercise.

Hmmmmm ... perhaps we have a new possibility for RPG Superstar ... design a part 7 of 6 for an existing Adventure Path, to be part of the new Adventure Path Epilogue subscription .....

(*sigh* if only ...)


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(casts raise thread)

Now, as has been stated many, many times, one of the largest issues preventing new material is bandwidth; Paizo just doesn't have the resources to do much more than they're doing now, especially for something that relatively speaking might be a commercial flop.

However, given the investment players have in their characters after playing 6 parts of an adventure path, I'd imagine many would be more than interested in continuing that same game with those same characters, basically playing a part 7 of 6 adventure (that's what I've been calling this idea for a while). In an ideal world there could be a new line of products, likely in support of both the AP line and the mythic rules, that adds a part 7 to every adventure path.

Obviously it'd come out once or twice a year, and it would actually implement one of the "continuing the campaign" threads that many of the adventure paths end with, taking it to the next level as appropriate for that adventure path. Because it would pick up after the end of an adventure path, these adventures would always start at a minimum of 15th level, possibly higher, and assuming the new module format they'd cover a level or two, e.g. 15-17, 17-19, or even possibly 20+ for one that followed the new Worldwound path.

I would certainly not recommend undercutting the highly successful module line, which is why I don't see something like this coming along soon, but it's a way to publish high-level material that isn't a one-off and which has a bit of a built-in market already, and in many cases could likely work as a standalone module for an existing high-level party.

Anyways, that's my two cents :)


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Steve Geddes wrote:

This post by Jim Groves reminded me of something that I would find useful in this book - I'm not sure if it's covered in "Tips on getting the most utility out of spell selection and tactical suggestions for commonly cast spells", but I'd like to suggest it as something worth considering, if not.

It would be helpful to me if there were some list of 'common conditions and ways to prevent them/remove them'. Casting Remove Fear on someone affected by fear is pretty obvious but being reminded of the various protection spells that Jim mentions (for example) is the kind of thing that I suspect would be useful to a new player (especially ones like us who didnt play 3.5).

EDIT: especially given that subsequent discussion seems to indicate that such things are mildly unclear.

+6 (an epic plus :)

I second this in a big way. I cannot underscore enough how handy it would be to have a section for each condition in the Conditions Deck giving common ways of overcoming and/or preventing that condition.

And I'd call it just that: common (or typical) solutions; it's not intended to cover every obscure spell and/or class power that might have an effect, it's meant to give the top few and/or most likely ways to deal with it.

It would be handy for the players, and I wouldn't end up feeling like I was either giving it away (when I know the players are missing an easy solution to their problem) or being a jerk (when I know the solution is simple and they're not seeing it and and the party is going down in flames).


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Wow. Jelloarm, that's an awesome story to be able to tell!


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Captin Kuro wrote:
I'm actually psyched for this book, whenever I start a new game my players say "Epic?" and I always say, "No" simply because I don't feel the 3.5 Epic rules go well with Pathfinder. Now I have something that, while not Epic, will definitely be able to give my players what they want. Thank Paizo!

Heheh

That's all I have to say on the matter.

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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Better ... hmmm ... hard to say.

Frankly, I think the contest does pretty much exactly what it needs to. I think the open voting may have revealed a bit more than Paizo wanted about the actual size of the playing field, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

In reality, I don't think I'd change much besides speeding it up a bit. Sure, that would make it frustrating for those of us trying to make sure our items made the cut, but hell, that's hardly the point of the contest - a good enough item will make the cut, and one that's not good enough won't, and whether or not someone sees their own item isn't really relevant.

So I'd say don't really change much except timelines. After all, if you really want to see the effects of changes, you only change one thing at a time, otherwise you can't be sure of cause and effect.


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I would gladly give up a hardcover bestiary for the equivalent of Savage Species (or even Libris Mortis or Lords of Madness).


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Vic Wertz wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Personally, I could also deal with a scaling-back of new rules content (and even some of the rules-oriented setting material). I could easily deal with the Player's Companion line being scaled back to 3-4 books per year, and the rulebook line back to one bestiary per year, and maybe another rulebook every year or two. That would leave the real meat of the setting material (Campaign Setting books and the AP volumes) at it's current rate, while turning the dial back on the inevitable power creep and abundance of the abhorrent "Timmy Cards". Maybe with the time they saved they could bring the Module line back to bi-monthly or even monthly, while keeping the recent increased page count. I personally find actual adventures more interesting than "Ooze-Slayer's Guide, Part III".

Quick quiz. The first four questions are multiple choice, where the choices are "Mostly Players," "Mostly GMs," or "Both."

1. Who buys rulebooks?
2: Who buys Player Companions?
3. Who buys Campaign Setting books?
4. Who buys adventures?

5. Which are there more of: players or GMs?

6. If you want to sell a lot of books, what do the answers to the above questions tell you about your strategy?

Hopefully the net result isn't "ignore the GMs."

Because I'll ask a counter question. Of the people who buy ALL the books, how many are GMs and how many are players, you think?


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I had a complete and utter blast running this module. I'll freely admit that I pulled a punch or two at the end, but really, given it was a pretty newbie play group and they had made some truly fascinating decisions along the way...

Like, for example...:
Like, for example, the sorcerer deciding that heading off in the middle of the night with a local in the creepy children of the corn village was actually a good idea, meaning that he was shackled to the sacrificial table in the corn maze...

Or ...:
Or, going in the front door, retreating from the scarecrow, trying to climb in the windows of the building and thus gaining the notice of Alizna, then half the party sprinting for the corn maze while the other half stayed behind ... and then further splitting up in the corn maze, resulting in a scarecrow and aranea behind, a trio of cultists from the barn in between, and them surrounded by cultists, mosquito swarms and Kriegler in the maze while all separated ...

Oh yeah, and then ...:
Oh yeah, and then when someone finally reached the middle, they didn't bother to release the sorcerer. So the sorcerer spent the entire final combat shackled to the table while the other 4 members of the party tried to fight off the cultists, swarm, faceless stalker, scarecrow, aranea and the blightspawn.

So, yeah, they were all pretty new players and I cut them a break :)


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Trinite wrote:

Desna's Angel,

I think that a lot of people are having a hard time understanding what exactly you would like Pathfinder to do differently. I think some people are latching on to the ways that you've phrased your argument, and haven't been able to quite grasp your intentions. Could you perhaps clarify a few things?

What exactly do you feel that the current setting books lack?

I think the majority of people are missing the OP's actual point. Desna's Angel isn't saying that the setting material is lacking; they're saying that less rules content consisting of feats, spells, archetypes, mysteries, bloodlines, domains, etc. should be published.

People are jumping on the "moar setting!" part of it but ignoring the crux, which is essentially "please spend the effort you're spending on game mechanics on more setting instead."

A sentiment I 100% disagree with, by the way :)


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I know the epic skills stuff from the ELH was often reviled, but I thought it was pretty darn cool - the kind of stuff you expect to see from legendary characters. Walking on water (or clouds), squeezing through tiny openings, jumping incredible distances, etc. - I'd really love to see a section on mythic skill usage if it doesn't make it into the core mythic book.

Also, some kind of generalization of increasing spell effects would be cool, after all, pretty much every mass spell is just the same spell with level + 3; why not make that a form of metamagic available to mythic casters?

How about a feat like Signature Spellcasting. When you cast a spell, everyone knows that you personally cast it. Maybe you can add a personalized little tweak to it (the archmage Zarkovan's evocation spells all leave a lingering foul taint in the air that can sicken people, while High Priest Casanir's enchantments (like prayer and bless) actually provide fast healing 1 for their duration). But in a design-your-own sort of way so it's personalized.

Primarily, I want mythic player options to be cool. I'll take a cool option over a power-up option any day. In my mind, mythic games should look like the movies: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Sucker Punch (while lackluster, the fantasy combat scenes were outstanding) and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World all come to mind here, as do some of the fight scenes in the Lord of the Rings movies (but NOT The Hobbit, holy Mother of God were the scenes in Moria unfortunately video game like). Heck, the better X-Men movies are a good example too.

Just don't forget the poor GMs. There's ever more power-up material for PCs, and yet in years of development, we're not even close to books as awesome as Lords of Madness, Libris Mortis and Savage Species.


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Skeld wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Known and accepted even.

Own it, TriO.

The toothbag is a jerk.

Yeah, but he's our jerk (cue nostalgic music).

Skeld wrote:
Steve Geddes is ok, but only when he agrees with me.

That's funny, I was just thinking "hey, Steve Geddes is an okay guy except when he agrees with Skeld."

Strange how that works out :)

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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Well, the judges and I agreed on precisely 4 items.

Given that they've been exuberant about being in complete agreement on nearly the entire set of 36 items selected (32 + 4 alternates), I'd say I should take that as a quite significant piece of information :)


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James Jacobs wrote:
Even if I point out that there's gonna be about 17 new monsters, of which 2 are new templates?

TEMPLATES!

Om nom nom templates nom nom templates!!

</cookie monster>

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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Eric Morton wrote:
I've recorded the names of all 810 items I've seen, and I plan on posting an alphabetical checklist once the Top 32 are announced. No commentary. No descriptions (since Paizo owns all rights to the items). Just item names.

When you do so, can you note which ones you only saw before the 25% reduction? I saw 787 items, and of those there's 192 I never saw after the reduction, so I'm curious to see what overlap there is between our two lists :)

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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Goblinlover wrote:
I was so excited that i entered my item on the VERY first day ( this is the first year i had even heard of the contest) , and NOW i regret Being so quick. Excitement got the better of me. I think my item was pretty decent , but it was only AFTER i entered it that i read SEAN's post on things NOT to do to be successful! LOL My item is decent BUT there are a few possible problems with it. AND i thouight of two seperate items LATER that i thought wouldve been BETTER submissions!! hahah So we will see.... IDK......

Never count yourself out. Look back at the past few years and you'll see there's more than formatting involved in getting into the top 32. :)

Personally, I'm hoping that at least one with terrible formatting gets in just because of all the obsession about it :)

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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Jacob Kellogg wrote:

So it started as a countdown of days, now it's a countdown of hours, so when we're 10 minutes away...?

;)

At that point the thread will turn into a monk archetype with flurry of posts replacing flurry of blows.

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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I voted for my item all three times I saw it. If it was one of the items I saw lots of times, perhaps I might have voted against it if it was up against a really cool item, but there's very few items in that list.

(Ironically, it came up against one of those 8 items the second time I saw it, and I still voted for my item.)

I see it as being like voting against your kid if they're running for office, no matter what you think of the other guy. Maybe if they've been in office already, and they're lousy but still trying to get re-elected, but for their very first time? Of course you'd vote for them. Or at least I think you should :)

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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There were two items that would probably be considered godawful that I always voted for just because I liked them.

And in terms of voting when I didn't really like either of the items, I never gave it much thought - my assumption was that both would be relatively near the bottom of the list and a relative ranking wouldn't really be all that important.

It wasn't often I had to give really serious thought, when both items were pretty good; in those cases the relative ranking was probably more important and I'd consider it thoroughly.


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Matrix Dragon wrote:
Is the "no more than one spell per round" restriction really that bad? I was thinking that it would make things more interesting by forcing spellcasters to mix in spell-like abilities, supernatural abilities, and items (such as staves, which suddenly become really useful for a mythic spellcaster).

Is it the end of the world? Clearly no. Is it arbitrary, illogical, and hard to justify within the context of the rules given that there's already swift action spells, immediate action spells, Magus spellstrike and the like? Yes.

Is it illogical that a spell is a standard action, but even if you get another standard action you can't cast a second one "just because?" Yes.

Those are the reasons for my dislike. It just makes no sense. It's like the (revoked) flurry of blows/two-weapon fighting thing or the completely illogical "reach weapons don't threaten corners" thing.

When rules are logical, you can assume that if you have to make a spot ruling, it has a good chance of matching the actual rule hidden somewhere in a book.

When rules are specified "just because," odds are good that someone's intuitive ruling will be wrong because it doesn't match the seemingly arbitrary rule that's in place.

Can a fighter make two Vital Strikes if they have two standard actions? Sure, because Vital Strike is a standard action. Can a sorcerer cast two spells if they have two standard actions? Uh, no. Why? "because"

I don't want someone to hack away at the rules in order to make abilities that are used less often "more useful." It just makes the rules illogical.

Matrix Dragon wrote:
Anyway, thanks for thoroughly looking into the new Amazing Initiative rules. It is definitely a good point that we don't need rounds getting longer, and I think upping the cost of using the old Amazing Initiative to 2 points would balance things out.

My group has been looking forward to the mythic rules for a long, long time. We've been playing at crazy high levels for years, and were quite interested in how they'd play out. All of the games were good, but since we're used to dealing with adjudicating crazy stuff, having to adjudicate crazy illogical stuff is just an annoyance.

Matrix Dragon wrote:

Actually, how about a middle ground? Keep the extra action happening on a different spot in the initiative, but still restrict it to a standard action and keep the one spell per round limit. Anything that forces people to invest in things that doesn't involve simply doing yet another full round attack or spell is something that I would think would make the game more interesting.

Then again, I'm just theorizing. I haven't actually been able to test any of this yet.

I don't understand all the dislike for additional spells, nor the desire to arbitrarily force people to use different abilities. They're all there to be used, and twisting the rules to force people to change up what they do will just be an irritation, since what someone can intuitively do (cast two spells with two standard actions) they can't do simply because a designer wants to force their spellcaster to do "something else." But just the spellcasters.

Furthermore, any spellcaster can cast as many spells as they want, they just have to use time stop, (in which case d4+1 additional spells (and an equivalent number of quickened spells) can be cast all within that same round.

Matrix Dragon wrote:
Edit: Another option would be to allow people to spend 1 point to get an extra standard action -20 init later, and 2 points to get a full round action -20 init later. This could favor spellcasters though, if the melee doesn't invest in things like vital strike and cleave.

That's exactly what I'm for; in fact make it a 1/2/3 thing; pay 1 for a move action, 2 for a standard/move, and 3 for a full turn (i.e. an extra swift action). With the mythic rules as written, everyone is going to be starved for swift actions.

In any event, any optimized character will be favored in combat over a non-optimized character. That's not really something that worries me, and I like the extra actions, I really think it makes combats feel more mythic.

For me, this isn't the 1 on 1 arena. Whether the fighter can beat the wizard or vice-versa is 100% irrelevant, since they're not supposed to be solo. I intend to use the mythic rules for full parties, and in an adventuring party that plays together for a long time, everyone has their place, what they're good at, what they step forward to take care of, and what they stap back and let someone else take care of. That's what balance is about, not artificially hamstringing characters by altering the rules so they can't do things that by intuition and RAW (without the "but wait" exceptions) they'd be able to do.

---

Now, all this has been only about combat because that's pretty much all we've been giving, but I've been saying for years that if all a super-high-level game is is a never ending string of super-high CR combats, it'll pretty darn quickly implode. Plot is infinitely more important than combats, and I'm quite interested to see what's in store in that arena.

It's interesting that the best element in that regard was the mythic weaknesses and mythic advancement, and I'm glad to see it being moved solely to the domain of the GM - after all, plot is the responsibility of the GM, and putting it in the hands of the players by letting them choose their flaw or define their daily set of metagame tasks really took away from that; I think the choice as defined in the update was the correct one.


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We had our final playtests on 1/4 and 1/11, using the updates to the rules as requested by Jason.

This post comments only on mythic damage.

I suggest the concept of mythic damage be dropped from the final version of the rules.

We found it to be a record-keeping issue, almost as if every character had to keep track of two completely different sets of hit points, and from what I can see, it virtually never had much of a practical effect on gameplay.

Something very similar could be gained by granting mythic characters bonus temporary hit points after every rest, for example, a mythic character might gain temporary hit points equal to their normal hit points every morning regardless of what their actual status is.

This would have the cool side effect that mythic characters could take more punishment while keeping going while still being beat to hell because they're at 15 hit points out of 100hp yet after a rest they're kicking with what's effectively 115hp. Sounds like a lot of movies I've seen :)

In any event, this caused us nowhere near the agitation that Amazing Initiative or mythic time stop did, but nor did it really seem to have much of a noticeable benefit, thus slowing gameplay for little reason.


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We had our final playtests on 1/4 and 1/11, using the updates to the rules as requested by Jason.

This post comments only on Amazing Initiative.

We used the new rules for Amazing Initiative, and not a single person in my group liked them, including me.

This could be because we're used to high-level play under 3.5e, with spellcasters liberally using Multispell in conjunction with the full Automatic Quicken feat tree, but we all enjoyed our games pre-transition significantly more; everyone agreed that multiple turns per character instead of longer turns per character was an improvement.

When all the players had the option of taking two full turns (and before I realized there was an artificial limitation buried in the Pathfinder system that mandated no more than one spell per round, something I dislike with a keen intensity), everyone was contributing and there was no feeling of any player monopolizing the table (but see my post to follow about mythic time stop).

After the change, we ended up back in the 3.5e mode of individual players' turns taking even longer because even though they only got an extra standard action, it was glommed onto their regular action. Furthermore, there were many discussions and much confusion about what a PC could and couldn't do, given that it was only an additional standard action and additional spells were administratively prohibitied (but not spell-like abilities, supernatural abilities, etc.). Frankly, the previous rules were just plain simpler (especially since at the time I was unaware of the arbitrary "1 spell per round" limitation).

For us, this new set of initiative rules was neither simple, logical, nor something that helped the game move quickly (quite the opposite). As such, I have the following recommendations for Amazing Initiative in the final system:

  • Keep the bonus of +1/tier, or even make it +2/tier, which I think would work even better.
  • Put back the ability to take a full second turn at the PC's initiative count minus 20 instead of glomming additional actions onto a PCs existing turn. We need individual players' turns to be shorter, not longer. Personally, I'd add a caveat that the second initiative has to be a positive number, no going again at -12 or anything like that.
  • Abolish the well hidden "you can only cast one spell per turn" for mythic characters, leaving them able to cast 2 spells per round (or 3 or even 4 with a couple quickened spells).
  • Make it more expensive than 1 point; 2 points seems reasonable. In fact, I'm not against creatures with a high enough initiative count getting even more; if a legendary bandersnatch is going on +45, why not allow it to go on +25 (for 2 points) and even +5 (for an additional 2 points).

A framework such as this is straightforward and doesn't depend on all sorts of exceptions and the like:
  • A creatures gets a full, normal turn.
  • Should they be able, and choose, they get a second full, normal turn (or more!).

It's much more straightforward, and from what I've seen in the four games I've run, easiser to GM, easier for the players, quicker at the table, and it feels more mythic.

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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Yeah, it took me this long to get to 1000. I can't imagine reaching 5000. Think about it, that's at least 5,000 minutes, which is a minimum of 83 hours 20 minutes. Craziness, I say :)


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Steel_Wind wrote:

Simply Awesome. Buy *three* copies with complete confidence. (And yes, I have three copies of the original Sewers map packs as well - but only because they were on sale during the 10th anniv sale.)

SRM's approach to Map Packs is the best thing to happen to the GameMastery Map Pack line since the product line started (and yes, I'm well aware that's saying something).

+1

There's a reason I've doubled up my maps subscription :)

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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Vic Wertz wrote:

We're not obsessively, repeatedly, and for no good reason running processing-intensive algorithms on a daily basis. We've done some spot-checking using simplified methods, and ensured that things are behaving consistent with expectations, though.

I strongly suspect next year's voting period will be *much* shorter.

Just like we're not obsessively, repeatedly, and for no good reason voting over and over, keeping detailed logs, creating vast Excel spreadsheets with graphs, and deriving sum of geometric series equations approximating sums of sequences in order to estimate values.

I strongly suspect that if next year's voting period is *much* shorter, many people who are obsessively voting (but certainly not me, of course) will appreciate the hours and hours of time freed up.

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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I'd say "say nothing." You won't necessarily succeed, but you're less likely to fail :)

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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I'll point out that if you quote something that shouldn't be said, you've created a second post that needs to be deleted.

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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You know, after reading so many of these items, I'm convinced that a lot of people have been screwed by their GM and have created the perfect "if only I had this item" entry to fix the situation.

Seriously. A lot of them look like reactions to one specific thing that probably happened in their game sometime in the past year.

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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They've said a number of times before, there's no preview available for freelance turnovers; you just have to Do It Right. So it makes sense given the point of the contest (to identify people capable of being a freelancer) to not hold people's hands in the contest.

I'm okay with that.

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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Jacob Kellogg wrote:
gbonehead wrote:
Culling seems to imply things are poor and unworthy, while narrowing the field sounds less critical.
Yes...?

Not quite sure what your question is. However, my point is basically that I don't like being negative like that.

A: "We've chosen the best N items and kept those. Congratulations to all who tried!"

B: "We've chose the worst N items and gotten rid of them. If one of them is yours, you clearly suck."

I prefer to speak along the lines of A :)

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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Items like that remind me of the lay of the land spell from the Spell Compendium. Sure, it was a 4th-level druid spell, but...

lay of the land wrote:
You instantly gain an overview of the area around you. Lay of the land gives basic information relevant to major landmarks, such as rivers, lakes, and settlements (of at least hamlet size). It indicates the direction and distance to each from the current location. You have a good understanding of the terrain up to 50 miles from your current location.

Uh ... 50 MILES??? Oh, and I almost forgot. It takes 3 rounds to cast and is also a level 1 ranger spell.

Great. Now I have to draw a 50-mile radius map of the area every time one of the PCs gets it in their head to cast this spell. Furthermore, I have to adjudicate exactly what "major landmark" means. What about a bridge? How about if it got washed out in last night's storm? Is the bandit outpost they're supposed to find hidden in the wilderness a major landmark? How about the ancient black dragon's secret lair? Imagine using lay of the land during a Kingmaker campaign.

Awesome.

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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There's no phrase that's driving me bonkers, really, but I gotta say that any item that makes my life as a GM a living hell will never get my vote.

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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Note that I'll vote for someone who's got incredibly awesome ideas but needs some formatting help over the reverse any day of the week, and I suspect I'm far from alone in that regard.

So don't obsess about format to the exclusion of actually having something interesting to write about :)

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