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I play 3.5 and miss 3.0 (mostly due to DR, cover details and those quirky 1d4+1 to stat spells). And Unearthed Arcana, with weapon groups and a couple of things more.
PFRPG has a baseline too much geared towards the upper reaches of the "high fantasy" concept; I know it can be custom-tweaked towards a more gritty play, but it's a hassle I'm not willing to undertake.
No character sheets in it, sorry.
The book is a "toolbox" of sorts, as it discusses the various mechanics, how they work, what is their function, their relevance in game, why they were designed that way, how to apply and eventually modify them, which one to pick and choose for a game centered on a theme such as social drama/investigation/combat/whatever, and so on (or just featuring some of them quite often).
Like for example golem101?
Dragonfall has been one of three adventures I used as a campaign ending, and it's pretty much canon in draconic lore.
The Slohr still has an eerie influence in Andoran, both in the Arthfell and in occult circles.
Asmodeus has paladins. Of the LG type. Master of trickery and all that follows.
The cult of Sarenrae is banned in Taldor, and the faithfuls of the Dawnflower actively persecuted. Pretty much half a campaign of mine revolved around this.
Erastil still has debatable elements, which are enforced in the more isolated communities and toned down in civilized areas. Again, this is canon, accepted (and somewhat expected) at my table.
Avistan, and to a lesser extent Garund and Casmaron, are way more human-centric (the way Golarion was presented at first) than it is now.
Half-elves often have a disturbed psyche.
Fantasy AGE is great, though at times veering towards medium-weight. Fortunately the more complex stuff comes up in the later phases of the game, so is excellent for starting players. Do yourself a favor and get the compiled DragonAGE rules too (even just the PDF), as they have a bit more options in them.
Barebones Fantasy is a great d100 based lite system. Recommended. Maybe you'll need to improvise a thing or two, but it's really flexible, so it's almost no hassle.
Recently I've been reading the Lone Wolf Adventure Game, which is really, really, really lite. I recommend using the options for experienced players right from the start.
If you're willing to do some (a lot) of homework building up custom options, monsters and stuff, Cortex Classic is awesome - but it's presented in a generic ruleset form, so you really have to customize it from the ground up.
It's for the LulZ. The fun of arguing for its own sake or to prove you are a better orator (writer?), you can waste away time just fine, your logic is more flawless (whatever it means), and any other less than productive reason you could come up with.
Welcome to the internet. It has long since bored me away.
I think that it's just a generic rule to cover as much situations as possible, but that doesn't quite fit well in specific ones.
So, while a submerged creature only a few inches under the surface would enjoy a lesser bonus (partial concealment, maybe soft cover if the depth is enough to hinder attacks), a fully submerged and deep enough creature is pretty much out of reach.
Perhaps a few more steps with various degrees of protection would work better.
I understand that declaring it "DM's call" will make more than one brow frown, but that's his role as much as describing the scene or handling NPCs/monsters.
Sometimes the appendage is big enough to be considered a creature on its own, or even an object with specific traits (like an hydra's neck and head).
It could be attacked, severed, sundered, broken (treating it like a lenght of chain, maybe), but probably not grappled following the nowmal rules. The sheer size and shape of the thing won't allow it.
If the fighter wants just to block further attacks, it could be grabbed (grappled, using the usual rules) to hinder further actions and even pinned, but aside from that nothing more - so no move, damage, or tied up.
That's the way I'd go.
Jester David wrote:
9000 years with no art or music under the rule the theocratic rule of a sadist god's clergy...
Graphic descriptions of nastiness.
Art is the blemishes, scars, burn marks and bruises on the skins of the flayed sacrifices.
Or the performances given by the spasms and death throes of the victims of slow, week-long, ritual mutilations.
Music is the screams of the tortured, with properly timed punctures to the lungs and throath to obtain some nasty, otherworly sounds.
It's not YOUR art, but kuthonites like it. Sometimes a bit too much.
Stay away, or you may become art.
tony gent wrote:
Levels 1-6, character death is pretty much definitive, as the group lacks resources to perform/pay for a res. I take care to present dangerous but not outright deadly situations, for this very reason.
Levels 7-12/15 (range varies on the campaign), character death is something that can be dealt with, usign group resources or paying enough money, but I run low to medium fantasy games - no magic shops outside consumables, usually low-level NPCs even on big cities, etc.
Levels 14+ (approximated on the above range), character death is less frequent than ever: PCs have strenght and resources to avoid most immediately lethal situations, and in case of character death, it has a deep meaning on the campaign, and it costs way too much in money or potential danger - the bad things that tag along in the passage from the afterworld scale up with the character level.
Overall, a character death is something reasonable and definitive at low levels, something that can be dealt with at middle levels if it' really really really worth it, and something rather rare and too costly to be considered at high level.
Aniuś the Talewise wrote:
There's an awesome article on the matter in an old issue of Dragon Magazine (3.5 run), with some limitations to apply - resurrection possible on certain places/holidays/phases of the moon/etc - and some really nasty side-effects (you open the door to the other side, but you're not so sure that only the desired soul goes through the passage) which scale up with the character level, so the more powerful he is, the worst things happen.
Once you have a resurrection on a disputed holy ground on the eve of an astronomical convergence trying not to allow angry spirits of the unquiet dead to follow up your fallen companion... well, it's nice the first time, but afterwards your players will consider their lost characters as gone for good.
Hope it's the right forum area for this thread. Please move it to a more appropriate section if deemed appropriate.
In a few months I'll run (for the second time) Blood of the Gorgon, which I planned to be the capstone adventure for a rather shortlived campaign - the campaign outlived the planned timeframe, but that's another story. Right now I'm looking for stuff to keep the campaign going onward for a few levels more after that adventure, and it struck me that Ashes at Dawn would be quite appropriate.
For those who don't know...
the BBEG of Blood of the Gorgon is an alchemist who dabbles a bit too much with monstruous extracts, and during the final stages he escapes a confrontation with the PCs only to be found afterwards in his not-so-secret lair outside the city, fully corrupted by his blood-tainted concoctions
So, the PCs follow him up to an altogether new city, and the BBEG is not just hiding, but actively wreacking havoc among a secret vampire coven, hiding among the jaded and bustling upper class.
For further reference, the campaign is Andoran-based, mostly centered in the Darkmoon Vale area with Olfden as the base of operations. The vampires would be ex-nobles biding their time during this "democracy madness", rightfully scared to be exposed to the public by the recent events.
Do you have any tips and tricks to play for this adventure? Suggestions on stuff to change, add, remove? Is it a good idea at all, or should I scrap it and look at other more plausible material?
15 minutes adventuring day never happened.
Healers are sought after with a passion.
No magic shop/WBL/magic item wishlists. And the game works fine.
Alignment/paladin stuff. There are times when things get strange, but the group as a whole discusses the matter, and positively expects the DM to be the final arbiter of the thing at hand.
No class tiers. There are those who are good at fighting, those who are good at buffing, at stealth, at defence/healing, at arcane magic (both in the blasting and utility spells variants). A group that does not cover as many niches as possible is in trouble, both in the short and long run.
Archetypes, racial class bonus, traits have been ditched as the common consensus was "they botch the game".
Smurf infestation. None, ever.
j b 200 wrote:
I would suggest going with only CRB and APG. This will give you access to lots of variety without overloading you with tons of extra stuff, most of which you will a) disallow, b) never use. APG really fills in the gaps in the CRB without overdoing it.
Yes. The APG is good, and you won't even need to use all of it. Some character options, some feats some spells - not all of them. Less is better.
Your DM/GM will want to take a look at some subsystems in Ultimate Campaign and the Gamemastery Guide, as they will be a fun addition to spice up adventures or give a thematic atmosphere to a campaign.
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Please excuse me, I'm out of the PRFPG loop since a while, but is that correct? AC 30 at 7th level? Seriously?
I'm not asking for a detailed breakdown analysis or whatever, just checking if it's not a mistake (maybe 17th level).
Rolling stats and hit die? It's not fun or interesting. You either have a godlike character that dumps on everything, or one so weak you might as well do better things with your life. I seriously left my last 3 games because of it then the GMs wasted my time asking why. *sigh* I just want to play the game without being completely crippled by stupid, arbitrary rules from a bi-gone era that force me to either waste my time completely or leave, still having wasted time on it in the first place. The worst part is when the game isn't advertised as such so I show up with no idea it's going to be bad.
Sometimes it's fun to have a character that's so full of stat points he doesn't even know where to start. Paladin? Easy. Monk? Don't be silly. Three way multiclass? Hmmm, lemme think.And strange as it may sound, often it makes a challenge all in itself, living up to be the legend that the statbloc promises.
Sometimes it's fun to have a character whose statbloc makes him incredibly impaired compared to the average of his companions - but he succeeds and survives nonetheless, with a little help.
Sometimes it's fun to have a character with a stabloc that includes good values and abismal ones - I know my half-orc grappler monk is one of them.
Having a balanced character (math/point wise, that is) surely eliminates some nasty problems and some annoying stuff, but does not always equate to more fun or more useful in the party balance - including those with low stats.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Uhm... if you go over the speed limits for no other reason than going fast... well no, it's not going to help. It shouldn't.If you had reasonable motives, the police officer might listen. Maybe fine you nonetheless, but also help you get there faster.
But if the debate is about a principle that exists in a void without situations that might or might not apply and influence it, we're done: subjectively altering random dice results is bad.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
I honestly don't get this dichotomy between "no fudging: death always on" and "fudging: no death ever".
If a player "gets in over his head", death for his character is absolutely fine. Stupid tactic? Sorry, fantasy life is harsh. A fight that ends poorly just for that last roll, despite being head to head for all the time? That makes stuff for an epic dirge. A failed save that means a spell will stop a character dead on his tracks, while the battle is raging (and his companions will have to spend hard won resources to bring him back to the living)? Fine, too.
If a player's character risks death for another player being dumb and putting other PCs in mortal danger for his foolishness... well not so much fun (nor sense, narratively speaking). And I've seen this scene once too much.
I don't ask the GM to have PCs "barely win" every fight (or when I'm the GM I won't do that), it's just that having them survive - when the overall story balance and the choices made by the players grant this privilege - maybe fleeing the encounter with a sense of dread and impending doom, doesn't feel like cheating at all.
A GM adjusts encounters when designing adventures to make them more challenging and fun for the PCs, taking away stuff too dangerous or too easy.
Mistakes are OK. We play for fun, not in a competitive way.
All to often mistakes are not, and usually we take time for a talk.
Cheating not OK.
GM's cheating is in a strange place where is allowed to make the game better for all the players. Does cheating mean no useless, stupid PC death? a better narrative? a more enticing and cinematic scene? a smoother flow of the game? That's all OK.
Nostalgia, big time.
The first product I bought for AD&D2e, rulebooks aside, was The City of Greyhawk boxed set - before that I only played BECMi, and had a tresure trove of Mystaran Gazeteers.
Stuff already said: big picture with details, plausible history and people, nations that don't look like "a touch of this a touch of that", a feeling of danger pretty much everywhere without the need of leveled farmers and bartenders.
To me another big point was the proactiveness of NPCs, those high level legends that are DM tools rather than statblocs. Bad guys didn't just brood in dark and foreboding keeps 'cause they were eeeeeviiiil, and good guys didn't just wait in line to bash evildoers when they showed up.
Just reading the setting you had the feeling you had to keep up with the pace, there was a lot actually in motion and not in the "just about to happen" limbo.
The only setting that managed to come close was the Scarred Lands during the 3.5 days.
For those catch-it-all values in the d20 system (HPs representint meat points, fatigue and will to fight, AC representing armor defence, shield or weapon block/parry, dodge etc.) you have to pretty much rework the game from the gorund up.
HPs split in Vitality/Wounds is a first step. But then you have a rather big issue with the disparity between attack and defence ability during the level progression and its effects n character's resilience in combat, even moreso for criticals and whatnots, all distributed among the different melee oriented or less than able classes.
So, you go for Armor as DR as a second step. That alone prevents much abuse of the V/W system and complements it nicely. But it does exacerbate the divergent progression of attack and defence over the levels.
So, you go for a level and class based defence progression, maybe split in two or three values: parry with equipment (mostly weapons) dependent bonus, block with equipment (mostly shields) dependent bonus, and dodge, which is already its own bonus type.
And once you implement one of the above subsystems, you find that you kinda need to integrate it with the other two, otherwise the game is blatantly unbalanced.
At the end of the line you have a different system, which makes for a very different game, with very different results and expectations for combat situations, which is more simulative but no less wonky.
Not worth the hassle. I tried, and the results were interesting but absolutely not worth it. Slower, less intuitive, almost too much gritty.
If you want to keep it simple, even if somewhat simplicistic, keep it as it is.
Spelling horrors offered by my tablet.
Do you make everyone keep track of their rations each day?
Eerrhm... yes? Being in the wilderness and foraging, or stranded in a subterranean labyrinth without enough food is quite a staple of the fantasy narrative.
Moreover, handing effectively infinite ammo even at low levels takes away meaning from specific magic items (and highly valuable, in campaigns without the magic shop mechanic).
Honest answer: because the fictional pantheon of different gods serves a precise function in the game of recreating an equally fictional setting, contributing in making it a plausible fantasy world (as much as an oxymoron as it may sound) and helping player immersion and identification in their characters.
Personal answer: why should I force my personal beliefs onto other players in a fantasy roleplaying game by having the setting mirror my personal idea of what is or is not a deity?
While I agree with the rest of your post, I'd point the problems to the first adventure being... not related with the AP as a whole.Also the elves are a bunch of xenophobic jerks, they should be portraied as such, and having to cooperate with them is a major social conflict theme of the AP.
Please do not change, Golarion has gone vanilla enough.
Up to CR 10 or so they are in the "upper echelon" of the monster type, rare but not unknown. They usually show up as tough fights, boss monsters, BBEGs, or narrative tools (too hard to defeat, but available as allies in weird circumstances).
Over CR 10 they get into the league of movers and shakers, with a plethora of minions at their beck and call, whole organizations at their disposal, and the wisdom of ages - facing adventurers in straight combat is bad for your health, unless you're overwhelmingly more powerful.
Better be ready to flee.
Lord Fyre wrote:
Rise of the Runelords: the connection between book 2 and 3 is weak as written, and the GM should orchestrate a bit better the involvement of the PCs with Magnimar's destiny. Even just having some background ties should suffice.Book 4 is a big brawl fest, some groups may not like it. Book 6 is a bit of a sandbox in the eploration of the city of Xin-Shalast, and finding the good rythm between fights and various stuff is not always easy; also it's difficult to manage the loot.
Second Darkness: the first book is plainly... wrong sided. Reverse the plot: the PCs work for rivals of Saul and try to sabotage/investigate the Golden Goblin saloon.
Legacy of Fire: book 5 should be an exploratyion of the City of Brass, not being trapped (again!) in another dimension.
Council of Thieves: what demiurge 1138 and Lord Fyre have said.
Serpent Skull: book 3 suffers the same mini-setting and no adventure problem seen elsewhere. Also some players may not like the long voyage in book 2.
Jade Regent: the artic trek part may bore some players to death. Scrap the caravan rules altogether. Be cautious of the large cast of NPCs, they may make encounters too easy or steal the spotlight.
Absolutely (no pun intended) yes.
But I can't honestly see how what I've said contradicts your statements.
Big Lemon wrote:
A GM directly controlling what a character may or may not do is wrong, I think we can all agree:
Big Lemon wrote:
"No, you can't take that side-strret", "No, you cannot visit the witch first and the dungeon second", etc. Many also feel that "excessive restrictions" on character options also makes a bad GM, i.e. "You cannot play a dwarf wizard because I decided dwarves can't be wizards", and the countless myriad of variations.
OK, none of these examples look bad, per se. Situational, probably. But not inherently wrong.
Big Lemon wrote:
My question, though, is: Is it acceptable for a GM to veto a decision based on the in-character reasons the player has come up with?
Only if what the player has come up with is blatantly against the world, campaign, play style, agreed rules, or else the GM and the other players have previously agreed upon.Aka: a player has no right to wreck a game, because "that's his thing".
Big Lemon wrote:
Not unfair as long as it's common knowledge at the table.Mostly yes. Usually a few blank spots are left floating about for the GM and the player to expand and work on as needed. If the new stuff doesn't contradict previously agreed material, no problem (Aka: a GM has no right to wreck a character because "that's his campaign").
The One Ring has a very specific downtime subsystem ingrained in basic adventuring.
A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying - a Game of Thrones Edition also features in-between stuff to do - handling a noble house and its domain is no easy task.
The latest DragonAGE set (set 3) also introduces organizations and their handling by high level PCs, and it's most definitively stuff that may generate adventures.
Adventurer Conqueror King has extensive rules on kingdoms, guild, organizations and stuff to handle off adventuring.
I think that my examples would only lead to a rather long winded discussion on what's an edition issue, a GMing issue and which one of them stems from the other.It's best to paraphrase one of my regular players: "It feels like I'm playing the game just to level up time and time again: I have to plan a character instead of letting the adventures shape him, or having him survive the adventures despite shortcomings in his abilities.
And even not considering the combat encounters and that mountain of modifiers, with all this planning, skill grades, feats, prerequisites, class stuff and equipment, I feel more like an accountant on behalf of my character rather than a player".
BTW, we stuck to 3.X/PFRPG for a bit more than a decade, we came there from AD&D2e, CoC and Kult 1st ed (shudder), and we're now playing Blade of the Iron Throne and Thousand Suns. Pretty much all systems with an hefty load of things to take in consideration - OK, CoC and TS less than the others.
And all of this rant leads to the (maybe) unexpected result: the characters are mechanically built to be heroes. They're not just fledgling adventurers with some tricks upon their sleeves (the feeling you got with earlier editions).
And with published adventures we're still there, superheroes with no superproblems. Published adventures which I take are the baseline from the game publishers on how the system works (adventures may be good, bad, or else in any system).
While I certainly like a more deadly, harsh and realistic style of gaming, the subjectivity and all around randomness of the early editions is not on my wishlist. In any wishlist.
I strongly support player characters as protagonists of the story being told and heroes of that story, but they're protagonists and heroes not thanks to some ingrained mechanic of the system, but because of their choices and their actions.
But having a storybound DM that says "now your character dies as it makes sense to me and my story", an undetectable trap that springs with no means to know of its existance and it's lethal with no saves allowed, or a plain bad luck roll that disintegrates your character of three years in the silliest moment?
Excellent suggestions, guys! Keep them coming!
The One Bling to Rule Them All sounds awesome, it's gonna rock sooo much in the setting I'm hammering out.
I kinda forgot about that Freeport base class. Damn, I'm getting old.
Morgan/FGP, the concept is super interesting. While I'm not much into new classes (option bloat has much guilt for the aforementioned hiatus), the very mechanics on which is gonna be based will fit perfectly.
After a bit of hiatus, I'm getting back on track for a new campaign, this time going full steam on a custom built world.
Cutting it short, one of the main themes is the lack of advanced industry and the abundance of monstrous sized animals and creatures.
So I'm looking for a themed PDF about extracting useful parts from slain monsters (bones, horns, fangs, talons, hides, armor plates, venom sacs, exotic internal organs, etc), as harvesting prized pieces from the fallen enemies serves almost totally the role of conventional fantasy treasure, both in the mundane and magic department.
A while ago I came up with some rough and tumble rules for hacking apart foes (mostly aberrations, dragons and magical creatures), but something a bit more focused and professionally thought out, would be greatly appreciated - and help me cut some slack.
Serious, with a load of humour sprinkled all over it. Sometimes IC, but mostly OoC.
When the humour is too much IC, players chastise each other for spoiling the mood - feels good as the DM.
Too serious, not fun. Too IC humour, spoiled mood. Too Ooc humour, sillyness of the worst type.