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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. 3,317 posts (3,324 including aliases). 4 reviews. 2 lists. 1 wishlist. 3 aliases.


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Goblin Squad Member

Posting soley to admire my status in the mirror :)


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Damon Griffin wrote:

Is this the same product advertised in July 2010, for which I became a charter subscriber (issues #1-4 for $25.00?)

I've got three old emails including one from (webadmin AT adventure-quarterly DOT.com) that reads:

Michael Griffin,

Thanks to your order, 10, at Adventure Quarterly PDF Store you now have a new role, charter subscriber.

Thanks again,
Adventure Quarterly PDF Store
Adventures for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Hillsboro, OR 97123
541-693-3730

I was #11 :)

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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This is awesome :) Thanks, Sean!!

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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Re: Gloves of the Artful Gardener

Andrew Black wrote:

Congrats on your Item making it into the Top 100. I saw it several times, and voted for it some of them. I thought it was very creative and a unique item but I think it needs an overhaul on the mechanics.

I like the DR to protect you from thorns, nettles, and such that can then apply to other piercing weapons like arrows and darts. I think that's a creative way to give a character a DR bonus.

I am not as fond of the permanently altering 20 cubic feet of vegetation and I think this is where the mechanics need some work. You say it can be used three times a day, but then mention charges are expended. This is different rules language and it confuses me. Can I recharge it and use it more times a day. Do the different effects require different use of charges? How does it charge up? I think you just mean to indicate that if the attempt to alter magical effects fails it still counts as one of the uses, but its unclear. Also how much time does it take to alter a 20 cubic feet of vegetation? Does a simple change take the same amount of time as a complex one? These are things I think you need to clarify to really make this Item solid. I do like that you considered and addressed how this item would work against magical effects.

I think this item does to much, and I like the idea of the third power better than the second. I think it would be cool to have the wearer of the gloves able to sculpt a sudden ally out of the surrounding vegetation. Again the mechanics are not clear here. I may be missing it but I searched Paizo's PRD site and couldn't find a living topiary. As a DM I am unsure what the base stats are for a living topiary to add a template to.

I hope this helps because I think it has a great concept.

Thank you very much!

Aside: Living Topiary was originally in Adventure Path #47, which is where the construction requirements were that led to some of the spells required for the gloves; the final version of the living topiary is in Bestiary 4.

Feros wrote:


As a professional horticulturalist, I got a great kick out of this item and up voted it more often than not. But there are some mechanics problems with changing language from use/day to charge, and the extra abilities against plant creatures and the DR are sort of superfluous and unnecessary additions. It could stand on its own quite well without them.

Irony: my original concept was only for sculpting hedges and the like, without the "summon living topiary" aspect.

---

Thank you both very much, this was really helpful, and I appreciate the praise!

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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Gloves of the Artful Gardener
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 7th
Slot hands; Price 16,200 gp; Weight
Description
Crafted from tough brown leather with deep green canvas backing, these hardy gloves protect the wearer from thorns, nettles, and other similar hazards. Beyond granting DR 2/slashing or bludgeoning, the gloves allow modification of vegetation into forms either practical or whimsical at the wearer's desire.

Three times per day as a standard action the wearer may permanently alter up to 20 cubic feet of living or dead plant matter, including undergrowth, hedges, brush and the like. The modification can be as simple as a passage or as complex as a small topiary garden. Magical effects such as entangle or wall of thorns require a check to succeed (1d20 + gloves' caster level of 7 against DC = 11 + target spell's caster level); regardless of success, a charge is expended.

Large volumes of solid wood and creatures with the plant type cannot be altered, though plant creatures are staggered for 1d4 rounds if they are in the area of effect (Fortitude save DC 15 negates).

Alternately, all daily uses may be expended as a full-round action to sculpt vegetation into a large living topiary (treat as a living topiary with the advanced template). The topiary serves its creator for 7 rounds, after which it reverts to its former state.

Construction
Requirements Knowledge (nature) 6 ranks, command plants, freedom of movement, plant growth; Cost 8,100 gp

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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Quick, better pick up a copy of Catcher in the Rye!

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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I just went through my list (work was crazy busy this year, so I was able to vote *way* less than last year) and of the 170 unique items I saw, none were new.

Stupid work.

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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At least he got Wonderous right. Err, wrong? You know what I mean :)

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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Oh, so it's working now? It was badly broken before...

(looks)

Cool!

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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Heheh

My point was only that we're quibbling about things like commas in numbers, meanwhile the people actually running the contest have decided that it doesn't matter if people blatantly break the rules. After all:

RPG Superstar 2014 Rules wrote:

PRESENTATION: Use the presentation for magic items found in the Wondrous Items section of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook (page 496) ...

[snip]

NOTE: You must use the above format from the Core Rulebook, not the graphical magic item format used in Ultimate Equipment.

(italics mine)

Granted, I do agree presentation is important. After all, this is the equivalent of a job interview. I was just amused at the contrast between the two events :)

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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Actually, this whole thread is kind of ironic in light of how they've decided not to disqualify items that blatantly broke the rules in terms of formatting.

I'm guessing there were some good items in there they didn't want to disqualify, but that's just a guess.

In any event, my opinion is that formatting, like spelling, ideas, correct math and everything else is just one aspect of what makes an item worthy, and as has been said so many times, if someone is a real superstar they might very well break any and all of the rules and still succeed.

If :)


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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...


2 people marked this as a favorite.
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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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Tormsskull wrote:

Yes, treasure brings in a random element. As a GM I generally will not include items that would not be of any value to the PCs if that is what is randomly generated. If I roll axe +1, and then another axe+1, I will definitely change the second axe to something more appropriate.

Captain Wacky wrote:

I've never been a fan of magic marts. My games have always been lower on the magic scale than most. You get what you get in my games, you commision someone else to make what you want, make it yourself. Or if you're REALLY lucky, another adventuring group has the item your looking for and will be willing to sell it.

Same here. Glad to see I'm not completely outside the norm :)

Right. I've always run low-wealth games. It's just the style I like.

The only actual effect I've seen of a low-wealth game is the characters are a bit under what a magic-heavy party would be. I'm sure someone could tell me which character classes make out better in a low-wealth game, but it's never really mattered much to me.

The only time I found it distracting was when I let a monk with the 3.5e Vow of Poverty into a game. Now, that is an overpowered element in a low-wealth game, since the Vow of Poverty (and its step-brother the Vow of Nonviolence) give lots of goodies to overcome the lack of magic - and if everyone has a lack of magic the VoP monk is going to be killer ... and was.

To put it a different way, as a GM I get more mileage out of opponents, encounters and the like from a low-wealth game, as it's far less likely for the PCs to be able to pull out the Acme Encounter Nullifier if they don't have more than a handful of magic items.


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I don't see any problem with named character cards. If it were an RPG, sure, I might wonder why I ran into a specific person at a specific location ... but I'm really not going to worry about that in a card game.

After all, that's why I play the full-bore RPG 3+ times/month - to actually enjoy those story, elements, etc.

On the other hand, I'm not going to obsess about who owned Park Place in Monopoly before it went on the market, why it's empty, and if it has rats in the basement. I'm going to go "cool! Park Place!" and buy it if I get the chance :)


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(casts raise thread)

As always, I'm impressed with DeathQuaker's insight :)

From my own experience, high-level and low-level games are 100% different games, and the only thing that can make a high-level campaign work is having plot that is far more important than mechanics.

The key to having a high-level game work is to make the combat mechanics secondary. If combat is primary, all high-level games turn into a rocket-tag exercise in who has found the bestest fastest I-win combination.

(After all, as DeathQuaker stated so well earlier, the best way to handle high-level games is not as an arms race between the players and GM, but instead by accepting the insane powers high-level characters have and working that into the storyline.)

On the other hand, if plot takes precedence, then who can cast the fastest most winningest spell is no longer the prime consideration, instead the character interaction and the story move to front and center.

That's not to say that combat is irrelevant. Who wouldn't want to take down Cthulhu, smash an elder brain, or invade the capital city of the aboleth, kicking ass and taking names?

The point is that there needs to be more to a high-level game, or else it gets stale very, very fast.

(Note that in my opinion plot takes precedence over combat in all games, not just high-level games, but in low-level games it's not quite as critical since the crazy power that higher-level characters have doesn't affect the mechanics quite so much.)

The thing is, I have a suspicion that most people who say they don't like high level games in fact don't like high level combat, which can easily turn into a tedium of number crunching, spell lookups, and other dreary mechanical drudgery.


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The package being shipped to me (without repackaging) is reported by FedEx as being 28 pounds. I'll know better on Tuesday according to the tracking info.


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How many players is it for?


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Oh! Too bad I didn't read this one first :)

And you guys are the best. Really. In what's rapidly becoming a scary number of years, I've never run across a company that treated its customers so incredibly well.

Thank you.


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(*phew*)

My kids will get a Christmas after all :)


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I'll add more store credit. Thanks!

(and thanks for looking at my order; I'd been wondering it about it but wasn't going to bother you all about it until after 11/4, since that was your projected end date, so again, thanks!!)

Edit: I just added store credit, so could you use that to cover the difference? Pretty please? :)


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Oy.

A set in August, a set in October, a set in December and a set in January?

That's sets in 4 out of 6 months, and with what I've been hearing about the paintwork on the most recent set, do they really want to be cramming yet another one out the door so soon? Perhaps they should take a breather.

(never mind the financial pain of four sets in six months!)


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Well, a few things to consider here.

First, the action economy will greatly favor the PCs.

Second, the PCs should be fully rested and provisioned, and they ought to know they're looking for a troll (given all the wanted posters), so if they're caught by surprise then shame on them.

Finally, even though Sigurx has a pretty good attack bonus, he's still got only average damage compared to a party of four characters, especially if they deny him full attacks.

Your call, but that doesn't seem like an excessively difficult encounter, especially given that it's as much intended to be a roleplaying encounters as it is a "beat the crap out of the evil monster" encounter.


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Okay, so I've got the following orders in the system:

2873041 - Psionics Augmented, Volume 1 (PFRPG) Print/PDF Bundle
2873033 (This order was split into 4 orders)
2873035 - I think this is Ultimate Psionics

Thing is, I didn't realize that Psionics Augmented was part of Ultimate Psionics and I didn't need the former if I got the latter.

I haven't downloaded Psionics Augmented yet (and won't), any chance you can refund the cost for Psionics Augmented (and remove it from my downloads) and just leave Ultimate Psionics in my sidecart?

Plus, it would be cool if the product description for Psionics Augmented said something about it; I thought I needed both :(


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Frick! Wish I'd known that before I just bought both of them :(


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So are this and Ultimate Psionics sufficient to use the psionics rules, or will I need other material as well?


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Hey, can you guys double-up my adventure card game subscription? Please start it with the earliest thing I can (I guess that will be the second part of the adventure path -- Skinsaw, right?)

I've found that in playing with two groups, it's painful with one set. So I guess I'll need two.

(though a new base game will have to wait until after the vast pain that will be the December shipment :)


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xevious573 wrote:
Speaking of stat-block mistakes: Agmazar the Star Titan has Thanatopic Spell as one of its feats. Perhaps the idea is to let its SLAs use this effect or perhaps its Channel Negative Energy, but right now this feat does nothing for the poor kaiju.

Nobody's commented on this. What's the scoop? I'm assuming it's intended to be "Thanatopic All Abilities" but that's just a guess.


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Hmmm

Edit: So what's the difference between having a frame and having a purple frame?

I'm guessing any "superscriber" earns you a frame, but you have to be a Paizo superscriber to have the purple frame?


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Things like the CR system are no more than guidelines; they'll never substitute for a real person deciding how difficult a given encounter is for their particular table.

An encounter that might be a cakewalk for one party might end up being a TPK for another; it all depends on abilities, etc.

In short, CR is a guideline for the inexperienced, not a hard-and-fast rule for the experienced. As you've already noted with the large earth elemental :)


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I have not read the actual module, but based on your description, I'd say the ceiling of the room extends 20 feet above ground level, which is where the platforms would be. In addition, there is a 5-foot drop from the platforms to the surface of the water, which is 15-feet deep.

Were the room empty of water, it might be described as a room with a 40-foot ceiling with a number of platforms atop 20-foot columns, but I think they described it differently due to the water.


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How about slimes, oozes and swarms? That would be cool :)

Or familiars and animal companions?

(of course, the issue with those is that they won't have quite the draw that undead and goblins do)


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Use the character sheet PDF instead of the card and use any mini you like to go with it.

I prefer using the minis as tokens over the cards anyways, and you don't actually *need* the cards with the rules, the character sheets are just fine.


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And don't forget ToH 4 :)


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True, the vast majority of the pilot cards are non-canon - but if I have to buy additional minis of ones I already have just to get a couple additional cards, that's not going to be a big draw for me. I've already got four of each ship (one of each large), plus the three from the base set, and this is not an inexpensive game.

In general, the biggest issue I have with non-canon ships is that they *look* non-canon. The HWK-290, for example, doesn't look to me much like any of the other ships.

(but then again, you could say the same of the Slave I or cloud cars, too, so that's probably not super-relevant)


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I'd definitely want the PDF, that's a no-brainer; I like them for reference, etc.; it's super-easy to reference a PDF instead of finding a card in the box.

However, I find the idea of print-on-demand decks really enticing. I don't sleeve my cards, as I find it to be a pain in the derriere, and not trashing my actual set with repeated gameplay for simply $8 plus shipping would be awesome. I'd replace the entire deck and just use that.


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What I really want to see is a travel case that will make it easy to set aside a partially played game and pick it up later.

We'll be playing a lot at lunchtime here at work, and I'm probably going to rework one of my old CCG boxes with partitions so I can quickly put aside and lay back out an in-progress game.

In any event, I really do hope they're planning on having module decks. That would be awesome.


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I'm unclear why any house rules would be needed at all - couldn't you just vary the number and mix of cards in the locations to make it easier or harder?

For example, if one additional monster were added to each Brigandoom! location, that would have a significant impact on the difficulty, and wouldn't involve any rules changes at all. Heck, I can see fan scenarios being created and rated for difficulty in some as yet unspecified manner.

Which has me thinking ... I wonder if there could be the equivalent of Tomb of Horrors for the Adventure Card Game. Hell, I bet Paizo could put out decks that could be the basis for games based on existing modules like Tomb of the Iron Medusa or the Dragon's Demand. That would be pretty damn cool.


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I agree. The most common connotation of a petition is in the case of disgruntled people trying to force someone who doesn't want to to do something.

Like then the people in my town put together a petition to try to force the town council to stop Dollar Tree from opening a warehouse, for example.


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I'm going to reserve judgement until I see what the next wave brings. In general I agree with you about canon vs. non-canon ships, and if the next wave is all oddball ships that aren't from the primary source (Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) then I'll have far less interest.

However, I'm not sure where they have to go from here other than non-canon material. It's a tactical game, so even a ship like the Tantive IV would be far too large, and there's not a lot of other options.

After all, what's left that could be made at a feasible scale?

In Star Wars we had A, B and X wings, and TIEs and Vader's TIE, and the Falcon. All covered.

In Empire we had the same, the transports used to flee Hoth, TIE bombers/TIE interceptors, and the Slave I. All covered. I *guess* you could include cloud cars, but I got the impression those were for atmosphere only.

In Jedi, I can't recall any new tactical ships.

So, in short we've got transports and maybe cloud cars as options.

I guess I'll have to pull out my old Decipher CCG and see what I'm forgetting :)


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Okay, here's my two cents. All opinions are my own :)

I have both the limited and regular edition.

Before looking at the criticisms of the individual images, I leafed through my book myself to see if I noticed any "horrifying pixelation."

Dunno if I should be ashamed or not, but I did not. I did notice that some images seemed less clear than others, but that was about it and I attributed it to source or age.

Then I went through the list of actual pages with issues. Yep, given a page and having someone say "compare *this* with *that*" I can definitely see the issues, but I couldn't before they were pointed out.

However, I do think some of the complaints are 100% justified. When there's a bunch of sketches all of the same vintage (pages 26 and 27 come to mind here), or ones that Paizo themselves have rights to (the cover of the Core Rulebook comes to mind), I completely agree that having even the level of degradation that is evident is a flaw that could and should have been entirely avoided.

Am I sorry I bought the book? Hell no, WAR is one of my favorite 4 artists in the world (WAR, Whelan, Mapplethorpe and Nagel), but it is a shame that whoever did the layout let such flaws slip through, and that person should definitely accept some of the responsibility.

The crux of the matter: if you are an artist or you work in the field, you will notice these things. The book is NOT horribly defective by any stretch of the imagination, but there are errors in it that could have been avoided, unfortunately.


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Reckless wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Nex, China, same thing right?
One of them has less civil rights for undead citizens.

I agree ... especially after reading World War Z.


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Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
...given the number of innocent souls Hell steals, I do not see why anyone should have any kind of problem with this at all. Fair is fair.

I'd think in the upper planes it'd be more like "What the? How are these getting in here!? Pharasma! Clean up this mess!!"


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I had been wondering if that was where you were going with that - whether you'd specifically meant Chronicles of Riddick the movie vs "the chronicles of Riddick" as in all three movies and the animated short.

Yes indeed, the Necromongers and the invasion ... that could be a fascinating start of a campaign, now that you mention it.

Hmmmmmm ....


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<tangent>(It would be so cool, however, if they reverted Knowledge (Local) to Gather Information, since that's what it actually is)</tangent>

I agree ... I'd prefer not to see an uber-skill for magic; I think the skill system doesn't need *more* compaction.

(for example, Acrobatics is now an uber-skill that does everything; I liked it better when it was split up a bit more - heck, I'm surprised they didn't combine Climb in there too)


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Okay, I just had never noticed it before under SR, that's all.

Note that I completely disagree with the rant about SR. Spell Resistance means you inherently resist spells. Wanting it any other way is wanting all of the benefits but none of the drawbacks.

On the other hand, I do agree that it makes the (harmless) tag on SR pretty damn pointless :)

(however, it's been that way since 3.5e, not like the Pathfinder developers decided to add it.)


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I'm going to have to look, but I thought the harmless tag was for saving throws, not SR.


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TheLoneCleric wrote:

I've got 11 months to power through a marathon of:

Lightyears (Gandahar)
Naussica Valley of the Wind
Heavy Metal
Wizards
Transformers 1986 Animated Movie
Krull
Chronicles of Riddick (emphasis mine)
Time Masters
Fanastic Planet
Rock and Rule
Starchaser: The Legend of Orin
The Dark Crystal

To get me in the right frame of mind.

Be sure to include the theatrical release; I think it did a good job of getting back to the roots. Not that the second movie was bad, but I don't think it held up to the first one.


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Currently I'm in two groups; one meets bi-weekly on Fridays. We typically don't get started until 7-7:30, and play for anywhere between 3-5 hours; most often we're finishing up around 11pm.

Of course, like many long-time groups, we've known each other for years, so keeping the game on track can be problematic at times, especially when one of the players is in a chatty mood.

The second group is a little more serious because it's not a group of friends (some of us are friends; others are acquaintances brought to the table). This group plays on the first Sunday of every month regardless of who can or can't make it; I switched this policy recently because there were several people that I just tired of working around their schedule after the game was delayed for 2 months and then they forgot.

We're scheduled from 1-6 and typically start by 1:30 (there's always one in every crowd who's habitually late, and Murphy says it's almost always the cleric). We don't have a hard stop at 6pm, but I try to wrap things up by 5:30 so I can give out XP and the like before people start to disappear.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

It's funny ... for years, I'd stopped using random encounters entirely. However, I've recently started using them again. I *always* pre-roll all of them, so I can lead in properly, etc., but I really like the idea of things happening "on the way."

Plus, I've also decided it's a great way to combat the 15-minute adventuring day. If the players can't assume they're perfectly safe because they decided to rest for the day, it's much harder for them to go nova for every encounter.

I agree whole-heartedly about the delay, however - I don't think I'd ever roll for random encounters during the game, as it would just delay everything.

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