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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.
Seen yesterday. Solid war themed movie, with an impressive performance by the lead actor (and I didn't imagine in the least he could be so physically imposing).
Very well said.
It seems to me that most of the listed situations stem more from the good-evil axis of the alignement system rather than from the lawful-chaotic one.
Eclipse Phase is an awesome setting with a working (not excellent) rulesystem. If you are not overloaded with the wealth of options and intricacies inherent to them, it's really really good.
The WH40K series of games is quite good both on rules (a bit heavy on that side) and with a detailed setting. Combining Rogue Trader with the rules for spaceships, Dark Heresy and Only War can bring together an impressive atmosphere.
There's always the tried and true d6 Space set of rules. More a toolbox thana defined game/setting, but very good. Better yet it's free!
If you already have a setting on your mind and you're willing to play with toolsets, generic rules like Cortex Classic and Insight are the right mix of streamlining and detail.
My system of choice for SF is Thousand Suns, that has a rules set simple but very flexible, (and does not get in the way while mantaining a good level of detail) and a metasetting based on "imperial sci-fi" that is not about cutting edge technology - but can have as much of it as you like - but more on galaxy-spanning adventures.
Farael the Fallen wrote:
Isn't denying manmade global warming just like denying the theory of evolution?
Global warming is heavily influenced by man's activity, but not made or directly caused by it.
Humanity is a (relatively speaking) big nasty variable in the equation, but the equation itself existed way before humanity made an appearance.
Obviously, the equation is Cthugha and the Great Old Ones. Iä! Iä!
Farael the Fallen wrote:
I believe the recent extreme weather conditions in the Northwest are being caused by manmade global warming. Agree or disagree?
I believe that's caused by Cthugha's influence, with Fomalhaut being more visible in the northern emisphere during autumn.Or maybe it's just Fthaggua and those pesky Fire Vampires. Blasted critters.
Kitchen sink "anything goes" high-powered campaigns.
Players that suddenly go PvP because they want to steal the spotlight. Destroys any effort built up by the group as whole, usually in many sessions, in a single jerk move.
Seen last night. Visually awesome, very solid performances by all the actors (the young Murph is brilliant!), sound was a bit too loud but very good "minimal" OST. The robots enjoy the most innovative and believable design in a long time.
Unfortunately, the plot, after
the gravitational sling scene, when Brand is sent off alone to the last planet
goes missing. Maybe it's sucked into the black hole too.
It becomes a deus ex machina festival, with plot holes becoming so unnervingly thrown into your face, that the movie falls apart.
It's like the director is gone too, very different from the previous two thirds of the movie. Meh.
Please bear with my rusty English, as it's not my primary language, and trying to express kinda vague, personal concepts is a bit hard.
The last day of september, a friend of mine passed away from cancer. The illness developed mostly without symptoms, and by the time the first ones showed up, it was too late for any attempt of cure or therapy. In a short three months he wore out, leaving a sense of loss that I know no human words can properly describe.
A couple weeks later I found myself in possession of one manuscript he wrote about 20 years ago, a typewrited 100-pages long adventure. It's a murder mistery based investigation for Call of Cthulhu (our RPG of choice back in the days), that in the text frequently addresses me directly as the GM (Keeper, in the game) to make adjustements or to cover blank elements, as I'd deem most appropriate. Very few cosmic horrors, and a lot of old fashioned hardboiled detective action, Philip Marlowe style; maybe even more akin to the older Fu Manchu novels.
It's the only thing I can imagine that could give a semblance of... logic, maybe, to what has happened. Again, words fail me.
So, now I find myself re-writing the text (I will NOT allow an OCR software lay its soulless gaze on it), making annotations, checking rules and resources, changing bits and adjusting where necessary - the least possible. The prospect of changing too much, or deviating from his original concept is absolutely terrifying to me.
Yup. Well put.
I usually do some minor changes to any published adventure to tailor-fit it to my setting (even only switching places in the same setting) and to my players's needs - as a large group has very specific requirements.
Sometimes published material needs to be fleshed out in certain areas (which are usually indicated as purposely left out to individual DMs to customize), sometimes certain areas of the material need to be cut and replaced entirely - and very rarely you ask yourself "why? just why?".
Sometimes I need to do some serious work.
Sounds nice, but doesn't change the facts: it's not a pebble, cespite the wishful thinking.
As much as I despise theorycrafting and character builds, this one made me laugh.
Well played, sir.
Doesn't the Dragon Age system use 3d6?
It does indeed.A rather different feeling, considering only the basics of attacking and dealing damage - low level monsters are really low but keep their danger level for a while longer, and boss type monsters are deathly scary pretty much forever.
It's not readily comparable to a d20-switched-to-3d6 system due to its inner variants for the magic system, class level abilities, and the stunt points system.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Only if resorting to cannibalism would be clearly and without any doubts in order to survive and thusly defeat a greater evil.And after that a life of atonement.
Otherwise a paladin would rather choose a martyr's death through starvation, staying true to his/hers code of honor and personal purity, in body, mind and spirit.
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.
Same answer from the other thread:
Well, after my disappointment in the D&D Next playtest, I fell for it, downloaded the pdf and read it (thank you tablet!).
It's actually good enough to take the place of the Rules Cyclopedia (maybe not the free pdf, but the hardbacks will surely do), as a medium-low complexity game, it does feel like the D&D I grew up with, and perhaps I'll whip up a game or two using the rules.
It's not a ruleset that entices me to cast aside other - more interesting - games, both less, equally, or more complex.
It's nice, it has the right feel, but lacks pretty much everything else that make an RPG interesting.
Let's hope that splatbook apocalypse will not kill it too soon.
Doesn't mean you have to like it.Well, I do, but I also wouldn't (or couldn't) force it on anyone.