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!
That's all I have to say on the matter.
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.
Vic Wertz wrote:
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?
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, 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 :)
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 :)
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.
Yeah, but he's our jerk (cue nostalgic music).
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 :)
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 :)
James Jacobs wrote:
Even if I point out that there's gonna be about 17 new monsters, of which 2 are new templates?
Om nom nom templates nom nom templates!!
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 :)
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 :)
Jacob Kellogg wrote:
At that point the thread will turn into a monk archetype with flurry of posts replacing flurry of blows.
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 :)
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
A framework such as this is straightforward and doesn't depend on all sorts of exceptions and the like:
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.
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 :)
There's a reason I've doubled up my maps subscription :)
Vic Wertz wrote:
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.
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.
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.
Jacob Kellogg wrote:
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 :)
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.
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 :)
And while I double-checked which button I was hitting about 18 zillion times before I hit it, I was paranoid each and every single time I'd hit submit instead of preview.
I can BET at least one person out there went "OH CRAP!" when they hit the wrong button.
Garrett Guillotte wrote:
Given the image is named avatar/PZO9040-Monkey.jpg, I feel safe saying it's a monkey :)
Oh, I agree 100%. It just makes coming up with a correct formula that much trickier :) All those little caveats and gotchas can add up.
Unfortunately, it's not that simple. I've been kind of trying to figure it out myself, but there's several problems:
1. You see two items at a time, item 2 is guaranteed not the be the same as item 1.
2. What's actually being done is more like mark and recapture with re-release into the pool. That's much more complicated.
3. The fact that the items you see are NOT completely random (you see the item with fewest votes) complicated matters, making it depend on timing and a few other things.
It can be done, it's just way more complicated than the relatively simple equation in the first post. I think in order to even treat it as mark and recapture with release, you have to treat the left-hand and right-hand sides as two different sets of data, but that's just a hunch.
I'm restarting my figures from when the field was winnowed, however my initial guess before they trimmed 25% was somewhere between 1700 and 1900 items, which makes it highly unlikely I'll see all of them even post-removal of the 25%. I haven,t run my stats since the cull, but I've voted just over 150 times since then.
Edit: As you pick more and more items, your count will asymptotically approach the actual count. In this graph the green line is the number of unique items I'd seen; it was still aimed pretty strongly up when I'd seen over 500 unique items (I'd seen just over 30 pairs at that time).
Further Edit: As of now, I've seen 82 pairs (164 non-unique items) and 145 unique items (126 once, 17 twice, and 2 three times). I haven't seen my item since the trim. My ugly approximation tells me that means about 1415 items post cull (which would mean approximately 1887 pre-cull). So I'm sticking with my guess of 1800+/-100 items (post-initial DQ).
Now, see, that was just unfair to those of us at work :)
And you know what? Looking at my entry again after seeing 527 other items, I'm happier with it than I expected to be. And thankfully it wasn't paired with an item that caused me to second guess my rationale for voting for it :)
By the way, here's my item viewing statistics, for any interested. At this point I've seen:
(Note that the graph isn't labeled right: the twice, thrice, 4x and 5x lines are actually 2+ times, 3+ times, 4+ times and 5+ times, not individual statistics)
Just to chime in: as painful as it may be to those of us who vote early and vote often, we are not the only people on them thar Intarwebs.
Imagine someone who hears about this contest a week from now, thinks it's really cool, and goes to vote, only to find out "oh, you've missed the early part of the voting. Now you only get to vote on the items that we think you should vote on."
Their opinion should matter too. Furthermore, for someone who enters the voting relatively late, if they don't see the full spectrum of items, their overall view of the contest will be significantly different.
I'm thinking that there should be no culling of items, regardless of where they end up on the scale early in the voting.
I've just been saving every pair I see; that way I can run statistics over the lot. For example, I've seen 610 items in 305 pairs. I've seen 456 unique items and 127 more than once (17 items 3 times and 5 items 4 times; none 5 or more times yet).
I haven't seen my own item yet and have not been keeping track of which ones I'd keep, but I'd say there's only been a handful that have made me go "holy crap, that better be in the top 32."
I'll point out they're usually very short.
Unfortunately, I feel like I'm doing a lot of picking between two items when I'm guessing neither has any chance. Ah well. Still seeing new items on a regular basis though, and I still have a gut feeling there's something like 1800-1900 items in the queue.
No, I think you're right, and I am never ever using the neither button. In any event, it seems better to me tonight than it did last night, though I'm still seeing some of the same items - and I just got my first few 4x repeats in the past hour.
Time to call it a night, I think.
Neil Spicer wrote:
I call foul! :)
I would happily grind through a list of N-thousand magic items and order them. Sure, it would take time, but any that I was dead certain were pointless I'd never have to look at again.
With the current system, no matter how much I'm dead certain that a given item will not make my top 200 (never mind top 32), I have absolutely no control over whether I look at it again. And again, and again. Heck, as of right now, I've been through this process 240 times, seeing 358 unique items, 74 of them twice, and 8 of them 3 times.
Clearly the process as it now exists is better than having the judges spend weeks and weeks reviewing items; their time is far more valuable in terms of domain expertise - but my time is not of zero worth either, and as I see more and more items that I would really prefer to never see again, it's harder and harder to keep churning through the list.
After all, by my (probably grossly incorrect) estimates, I've seen perhaps 20% of the items, meaning I've likely run into only 5-6 of the items that will make it into the final 32, and that's a somewhat disheartening figure.
I think #5 is particularly important. It's really cool to be able to look at 250 items or so (to pick a number completely at random) and see what's out there. Some of them are pretty damn cool :)
Gary Teter wrote:
If you close the voting window and come back to it later, you'll see the last pair of items you haven't voted on yet.
Excellent! Exactly what I wanted to know. You sir, are a gentleman and a scarab. Or something like that :)
I'm going to have to compare this to a few other flip-mats after I get it, but it would be really, really cool if future flip-mats actually fit together without ugly transitions. Yeah, I know, that would probably be a pain.
For example, I am completely in love with the Deep Forest mat, but it doesn't connect well with any other mats such as Forest or River Crossing at all.
I have do have two of the Deep Forest mats, and together they make a cool giant boulder in the middle, even if the rivers are weird because one looks like it's flowing uphill :)
(The party came in from the bottom right and was headed to the top right; behind the ridge at the center were 6 deactivated annihilator robots that quickly re-activated when sensors detected movement...)
The concerns here echo my concerns when I read through the rules, but I long ago gave up on depending on the rule set to make my 3.5e game epic.
That's why my single favorite rule out of all the 3.5e epic rules was the rules for mythals. They were basically ways to create virtually anything, and to give it crazy weaknesses and great powers. A close favorite was the Weapons of Legacy rules. Not the example weapons, those were useless, but the rules for building your own legacy. Now that was something to build a plot around.
That's also why my favorite part of the current mythic rules is the weaknesses, even though they could be a min-maxer's dream - because the weaknesses are the single part of that document that best defines what mythic should be - things that help create a story.
The second best is the mythic vampire, another example of what makes something mythic - being cool. That's why I liked the Omens from Elder Evils, and that's why I liked the Omen Feats for mooncalves from that article in The Dragon ages ago.
Sure, mythic vampires are far weaker mechanically than they ought to be, but it's the concept that matters (now personally, I'd ignore the thought that you can't have a mythic NPC that's a mythic vampire, since that's an arbitrary and unhelpful rule - and I can do that because I'm the GM even though I won't during this playtest).
The hardest part of any epic adventure is creating something that feels epic. Substituting mythic for epic, the problem is the same. I've created crazy opponents and battles in the past five years or so, but crazy opponents aren't the things that are memorable.
Stories are epic or mythic, not dice rolling. The dice rolling has to support the story, not vice versa.
I feel the same way about the mythic rules that I do about the 3.5e epic rules - if a campaign is simply a series of ever crazier battles against ever more powerful opponents, it will only last so long before it becomes dull. There has to be an equally mythic plot to go along with the mythic opponents, and there has to be plenty of non-mythic plot that makes the mythic plot elements seem all the more mythical.
Every once in a while the PCs need to use their great power to do something mundane. Find a lost child. Help repair a fence. Get rid of the goblins threatening the townsfolk - these things will ground the campaign and will make that battle against elder vampire released after being entombed for 2700 years seem all the more fantastic.
Yeah, I've been wrestling with this recently, and had a lot of the same questions.
Frankly, for a high-level challenge, the "you can't do both just because" answer isn't going to cut it.
If I take a level 20 NPC and make it a tier 10 mythic vampire, my party of level 20 PCs with 10 tiers is going to wipe the floor with it, because those vampire abilities, while cool, pale in comparison to what the PCs get, especially with the lack of mythic initiative. Yeah, I get that mythic initiative will drastically change, but it hasn't yet.
So, my immediate thought was "okay, I'll turn a mythic NPC into a mythic vampire," but apparently that's verboten just because.
When these rules are finalized, we (as GMs) need to not have arbitrary things that can't be used together. If there's template A and template B, or mythic advancement A and mythic template B, they should work together rather than having an arbitrary "no, you can't do this" written in.
After all, why not have a level 10/mythic 10 character that's a tier 10 mythic vampire (besides the fact that it will be a really weak CR30 creature)? Or how about a level 20/mythic 5/mythic vampire 5 (in the event that someone's trying to observe some kind of hard cap at 10 mythic ties)?
The more exceptions and caveats there are in the rules, the harder they'll be to comprehend and interpret in a consistent way. Given that for mythic play the GM is going to need to use some pretty heavy interpretation in the first place, a bunch of "you can't do X" rules that are not common sense extensions of the rules will just make it really difficult for the GM.
While I like the concept of larger modules, I think it will leave a big hole in the product line: shorter adventures. When I caught wind of this I was hoping for some sort of alternation, not a complete replacement of normal modules with Super Modules.
Perhaps they have something else in mind, too.
But remember ... the round 1 voting this year changes the whole game. You first have to appeal to the masses, and only if you get the pass from the masses will you progress to The Judges.
So it's a very different contest this year :)
By the way, +1 for no democracy.
I've always viewed a benevolent dictatorship as far better - it's just so darn hard to find good benevolent dictators these days :)