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Being one of the original... patrons (before being a backer became commonplace) of Sinister Adventures timeframe, and having not folded my pledge, I can't praise enough Louis, Nick, Rich, all the awesome guys who contributed to the effort, and the fine people at Frog God games that made this possible.
Perhaps a little devil's advocate, but I sure would be angry if my GM saved classes for special snowflake NPCs and denied them to his PCs. The players are supposed to be the heroes, not the supporting cast.
While I absolutely agree, I also feel compelled to say that they're the heroes because of what they do, not (only) because of what they are.Important NPCs must be special as much as the playing characters, even exotic or exceedingly rare, and even moreso due to their limited playing time in a show focused on the PCs.
Players requesting to have "all the options" to perform as protagonists is not a valid argument - at least in my book.
Seen it. Once, then they learned.
Short story, the group charged into melee, crashing headlong into an orc multi-tribal horde.
The rest of the party went through a lot of hurt, while trying to get their comrades back to safety, harassed by lowly troops and slowed by the occasional elite enemy (orc warchiefs, ogres, an handful of giants), and ran for their lives as soon as possible.
Back at their base camp, they also suffered the indignity of an army officer berating them for risking their lives of most capable warriors and spellcasters just for a few dozen orcs.
tl;dr: split the party. Wreck their strategy.
As far as user interfaces are involved, unifying the desktop and mobile environment is simply stupid. I'm not using my CAD the same way I'm fiddling with my tablet, get over it once and for all.
And this is true for a hundred other professional softwares.
Taku Ooka Nin wrote:
Sorry but my brain kinda crashed into a brick wall and refused to read further after this.
You dig a 10 ft. deep (about 3 metres) trench every time you camp around a defensive area. Every time. 10 ft. deep.
Even with a gross approximation, how long is this trench? Do you accomplish this herculean feat alone? Do you have some kind of magic assistance in doing this?
Yet another vote for Call of Cthulhu - the d100 version.
More recent systems, The One Ring (set 5 years after the Battle of Five Armies) which deals a lot with travelling and social interactions with the people of the Middle Earth; and A song of Ice and Fire RPG, which has a robust social interaction system and an equally developed domain management part.
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3rd Ed. (with the Lure of Power supplement) can be easily used for a political/social campaign in which physical combat is the least frequent option.
Also, Thousand Suns is a good sci-fi game that has combat not in the forefront, and I seem to recall that Rogue Trader features an interesting commercial focus, with a great concept of managing your own space vessel and its crew.
A lot of Cortex based games, like Leverage, also do not have combat as the main element of the game.
I'd like to see bigger tiles, like the ones produced by Rakham for its Cadwallon/Confrontation lines (they were called something like "reversible hybrid tiles"), massive 12" x 12" laminated card tiles.
But they would also heavily interfere with flip mats and map packs, which I understand is not a good idea.
I like my dinosaur way: evolution slow and steady, maybe with a couple too much dead branches, but sparking inspiration even at wrong turns.These new social mammalians mutate too fast, even discarding choices before having effectively perused them.
Best 35 $ placed in a preorder - ever!!
(and many thanks to Lou and everyone else involved in the project too, obviously)
Given how much I've enjoyed WotW, I'm more than willing to give Gary an undisclosed amount of slack.
I play with only core rulebook and (most part of the) advanced players guide allowed. None of the latest hardcovers have survived the vetoing process - neither the companions.
I play in what I call Golarion 1.0, the one from the old harcover, with paladins of Asmodeus, conflicting references, a lot less deities, and what the developers have called "the rough edges". I like the pulp-era style it has compared the the sterilized feel of the new HC.
I prefer the 3.5 era AP compared to the PFRPG ones. Reading the latter gave me the feeling of a sanitized version of the originals, without the blood stains, the gritty scenes, and... the real danger. The one that does not only kill your PC, but it scares the living $#!£ out the player too.
I think that the WBL tables are seriously messed up and should be scrapped altogether.
The book has just showed up at my door (the other side of the pond).
As one of the original pre-orderers (?) all the way back to Sinister times, I'd like to thank Lou, Bill, Greg, Tim, Richard, Adam, Frank and everyone involved in bringing this bloodthirsty tome back from the depths of the ocean.
It will now stand proudly beside other glorious hardcovers, such as Ptolus, The Shackled City, Rise of the Runelords, and Trouble at Durbenford.
Also, why the hate on opposed attack roles? I mean, I get that they add one more roll to combat, but, oh god, 5 whole seconds, what a gamebreaker. I suppose I stole the idea from a system that doesn't use damage rolls, so combat was sped up somewhat compared to standard PF combat, but that secondary randomness being added into the mix sounds enjoyable enough for me to deal with an extra roll.
The problem doesn't come from the opposed roll (as in the time it takes to roll the dice), but rather it stems from the time it takes to compute all the necessary modifiers to the opposed rolls themselves.
Opposed checks without the whole "system mastery" (spell buff, piece of equipment, feat, situational modifier, class feature, racial ability, etc.) math apparatus of the d20 system is great.
I strongly support more articulated defensive maneuvers, but the current AC+HP concepts and d20 roll+pile of modifiers does not help at all implementing anything different from a roll vs a static number - and that comes before class based, leveled defense bonus and armor as DR plus a Vitality/Wounds system.
EDIT: and yes, what Kolokotroni said above.
I find the idea of a 20th level fighter (or any class character, for that matter) being dealt damage by a commoner with a pointy stick being excellent, if not positively desirable.
The idea of a 20th level fighter (or any combat oriented class) being hit by a commoner with a pointy stick is another matter.
However the HPs value is a catch-it all number that defines stamina, phisical wounds, determination, will to survive, fatigue and other stuff - at least for PCs: for adversaries it's just the sustainable damage amount. Sucks to be them.
Game balance and playability moreover desires that attack succeeds a little bit better than defence, and that a combat exchange goes as fast and smooth as possible. Other game systems have a way more complex and slow procedure, as in "I choose my combat stance, my opponent does the same, them I roll for attack with modifiers for conflicting stances, my opponent rolls for defense with different modifiers for the same two conflicting stances of before, then I roll for damage, subtract the armor soaking value, change my opponent vitality points and add yet another modifier to combat due to sustained damage, stress and fatigue. OK, roll again for initiative, you're facing the third goblin now".
So, unless you rework from the ground up the whole system, lots of HPs, high attack vs not so high defense, roll vs static number, they all stay right there.
Alchemist, Magus, Oracle and Cavalier - I like. Fantasy traditions since a very long time.
Inquisitor, Witch and Summoner - not my cup of tea, but I can't really find anything completely wrong in them (Summoners are really advanced classes though, with a lot of pitfalls). Sometimes they overshine other classes, sometimes they don't.
Samurai, Ninja and Gunslinger - not at my table. Unless I've developed a campaign that makes them fitting.
Right now, too many racial options, archetypes, feats, traits (I've come to despise them with the strenght of a thousand fiery suns), silly races and spells, the option bloat already seen in the 3.X era. And the inevitable race to combos and bonus stacking.
But I'm still the DM and my veto is strong as ever, so the hassle is listing what's good and what's not. "I don't care, there are no dwarf-adopted feline humanoid gunslingers in my fantasy world. And there will never be".
This deserves an explanation. Mind that's a very personal explanation, so take it with a grain of salt and all the rest.
I come from an early era of RPGs, both PnP and CRPGs. Feats, skill points, retraining was something done only with command line cheats or third party "trainer" softwares (for videogames) or not at all (for tabletop RPGs).
Moreover, I developed a simultaneous interest in tabletop wargames. The ones with a hex map full of symbols and two or three colors (not the fancy hand painted maps or high-definition renders), and small cardboard counters - games that actively tried to fry your brain, like Breakout Normandy.
Choosing a feat (or devoting a bunch of skill points for Use Rope) is choosing a strategy. You may make mistakes. You survive and live with your mistakes. These are things that define your character as much (or sometimes, more) as your optimal choices.
You don't retrain your past. Not at my table.
Wilbur Whateley wrote:
This is actually a quote I can use in my PF games.
I'm running a Darkmoon Vale campaign for a large group (8 players) and I had to figure out some fill-ins for extra XP. Some of them are from older 3.X stuff, but really easy to convert, even on the fly.
- Hollow (Tales of the Old Margreve); to bring the party upward in XP count.
I also plannes some different "roads" based on PCs choice; you can substitute Revenge of the Kobold King and Hungry are the Dead with Tower of the Last Baron and Treasure of Chimera Cove. Moreover it's possible to substitute Wingclipper's Revenge and Challenge of the Fang with The Automatic Hound (Dungeon Magazine #148) and Carnival of Fear.
Environment themed modules, where the location plays a significant role, not just in the "Ok you're in a swamp, here's two encounters with swamp monsters, and... we're done, you arrived to the dungeon".
Also different themes. Intrigue more than combat. A dungeon made of logical puzzles and traps (remember the old Challenge of Champions adventures in Dungeon Magazine?). War, both large field battles and guerrilla style, against a capable enemy.
Areas left untouched by sourcebooks and APs, such as the Realm of the Mammoth Lords, Nirmathas, Druma, Geb...
Turin the Mad wrote:
Arctic explorer time - ship sails north, ice pack expands and engulfs the ship. let's see how the crew and characters do without beasts of burden crossing the North Pole ...
Charlie Bell wrote:
"Sure! A sailing ship costs 10,000 gp. Oh, you don't HAVE 10,000 gp? Well you probably wouldn't be able to afford to pay the crew and buy provisions, then, either..."
While these are really good advice and I'd actually stick with them, if you are not too hard pressed with time and prep resources, following the player's lead for a nautical voyage shoudn't be too difficult.
In Karlsgard, the PCs should recruit a captain and his ship instead of a landbound guide. Sandru should stick around nonetheless, as the merchant liaison once in Minkai (and even more being a close friend of Ameiko in such an NPC heavy campaign). It shouldn't pose too much of a challenge to fit this theme instead of the standard one of fitting a landlocked caravan.
Book 3 is more of an issue, but not too much. Remember they're travelling in the off season. Spoilers ahead.
Instead of following the Path of Aganhei, the ship would travel along the Route of (you name it).
Katiyana is a half-fiend nereid living in a forgotten Azlant northern outpost, and issuing forth blizzard and floating archipelagos of hull-smashing icebergs. She plays a secondary role, maybe only seen from the distance.
Iqaliat is a fishing village, and the relevant encounters are pretty much the same. The white dragon however is the one from Frost Giants of the Icy Heart, which become the harassing enemies shadowing the PC's ship all the way to the coast of Minkai, until they catch up and in a climatic showdown crash their iceberg and the merchant ship on the ice pack.
The PCs must go on by land, without proper equipment other than the one salvaged from the wreck (and with Sandru giving them a hefty headache for not having opted for the safer Path of Aganhei), persecuted by the last remnants of the frost giant pirates, until they're forced in the yeti's dungeon. Remove the ghost of Katyana and use another nasty frost monster.
More adjustements will be needed apart from this rough outlines. Most of all, you have to change a lot of the random and named encounters, adapting them for a sea voyage.
However this way you'll have a relatively satisfied player and a not overly changed AP segment. With all the troubles undergone for having chosen the sea path instead of the land path (possibily safer, who knows?), his future requests will fall on the unsimpathetic ears of the NPCs and maybe even of the other players.
Love the concept, eager to see the execution.
At low levels the 64 page format will allow for a greater scope (as in spanning multiple levels) and background/setting stuff, while at higher levels the extra pages are so much useful for the sorely needed extra informations about NPCs, creatures, tactics, custom magic items/spells and whatnots.
Also, supermodules hells yeah.
I'd want to run a campaign that deals with civil strife in Taldor (perhaps a bid by Princess Eutropia to take her father's throne after his assassination) leading Qadira to initiate hostilities again, causing chaos when the leadership of that nations branch of the church of Sarenae suddenly lose their powers and attempt to hide it by turning to someone or something... Else.
Did that, even though the campaign focused on other things and the political machination of Princess Eutropia and the social-religious strife of southern Taldor (and the heavy handed skirmishes along the Qadiran border) were limited to a "setting" role. Not really only scenographic elements, but surely not the primary engines of the campaign.The princess allowed a Qadiran mercenary force to cross the border, using political influence to remove key officers and troops from the army, to fuel a schism in the Lion Blades and have free action for her own undercover agents in a forthcoming popular uprising, engineered by the BBEG - whom the Princess knew was scheming against the whole nation. A double-layered betrayal to weaken opponents and gain further influence, without revealing her role.
I ran the campaign with the pre-Inner Sea Guide setting - which I call "Golarion untamed" - and pictured Taldor as a Victorian influenced Byzantium Empire. My players were not simpathetic at first, but the layered conflict (social, political, military, religious, and obviously the innumerable individual ambitions) grew on them.
As a DM, I've had PCs acting without their direct control a couple of times myself.
Once, a particularly careless rogue was possessed by the ghost of a murderer (Chopper, from the RotRL AP) after two botched saves, and in his sleep wandered around causing minor harm and making ominous offers to a certain demonic patron. The player knew something serious was going on due to tiredness he suffered each day, the various hints left around, tracks leading to the rocky isle, etc.
However I never acted directly in place of the player (everything was done "off-screen", so to speak), neither I made actions that were against the character motivations or the group balance/spirit.
Blatantly playing against the PC's habits/intentions and causing unrest in the gaming group however made me quite upset - even more so as I was the unwilling target of such behaviour. And that's a fair understatement.
The dungeon is considered (mostly) a "fixed environment", with the odd room here and there. Encounters out in the wild are almost always tactically enganging both in conditions and enemy CR.
For gameplay I often combine dry erase battlemats and papercrafted props (trees, large scrubs, rocks, etc.), made from a number of sources - mostly WorldWorks Games sets.
And that's in case of victory. Otherwise, there will be an eternity of suffering.
My question is exactly how much of the event of Earthfall is known to historians, not common knowledge but to actual historians who dedicate massive time and resources, such as the man stated above? most of the things i have read on the matter are clearly for GM use. I would hate to spoil a later adventure paths by giving away "unknown" portions of information locked away in some hidden ancient library or similar. I would really like to avoid ruining surprises for my players if they play in other AP's with other Gm's.
Historians would probably know tidbits, and be biased into factions supporting wildly different theories.While obvious effects on geography and human culture are... well, obvious (even though the details about Azlant and Thassilon are lost in the myth) some other factors are debated or completely unknown. Why and exactly how the elves disappered just before, how and when it influenced the dwarves' Quest for the Sky, etc.
Maybe some fringe scholars may even propose the theory that orcs have been brought over by the falling comet - they were living underground before being driven on the surface by dwarves.
You can easily add or subtract whatever you want without going against Golarion canon: it's by large still a mistery for the people of Golarion, learned or otherwise.
All of the AP adventures are written with a 4 players group in mind; however this is more a guideline than something written into stone (I've DMed the whole RotRL AP with an 8 players group!).
That said, if your DM feels more comfortable with the basic group size assumption, it's his/her call, and I can totally understand that.
Stone Age. Magic is primal and uncontrollable. Strange stones are being erected on hills. Protect your tribe as you search for better hunting grounds.
Oooooh. Yes to this one too.Me am a wizard, me happen to have been teached the magic inside the pictograms.
Maybe using the word of power subsystem, that would give it quite a thematic feeling.
And weird, lovecraftian, primal evils to fight off.