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My fault for getting distracted and not finishing my thought properly. There are those who suffer from the opposite problem and cannot create fluff to save their lives but are adept at working out the math. My thought and hope is that a product I purchase has a good deal of both crunch and fluff rather than a smattering of one and too much of the other. :)
After looking at posts and the book as well, I'd have to say that I'd love it if the art was reduced in size in order to allow more fluff and/or setting specific material, even a "how to use this critter in your games." Anything other than a block of cold stats would be more useful for me.
This isn't to say that I don't like the art, or don't want art. But I'd rather have smaller art, with perhaps the option for a larger view on the Paizo site, and more material in the book. Or, if that rubs the wrong way, reverse it and have a free PDF (like Dungeon and Dragon used to do) with extra material and "director's cuts" up on the site.
Sara Marie wrote:
To beat a very dead horse, I'd love to see this idea expanded to individuals as well. Sometimes there are perfectly good discussions that are marred by people that want to derail it, need attention, or whatever other reason.
An interesting book overall. If/when I get the time I'll toss up a review.
That said, I'd prefer less monsters and/or smaller artwork and more descriptive material. While some of the beings show up in APs or modules or other material with more information, not everyone collects those and may not have access to them. Stats are nice and all, but they are just jumbles of math without a skeleton to hang them on.
On the side topic of getting rid of creatures that have been a staple of the game for a number of years, I cannot express how irritated I'd be as a customer. It's well and good to want to include other beings; that's great and adds to the world. Removing things that some people believe are boring or old or tired does a disservice to those fans who may like them.
If someone is adamant about absolutely needing whatever these new and interesting things, I'd suggest looking into 3PP, either as a creator or expressing your interests to a company and seeing if they want to fill the gaps that the main Bestiaries aren't filling.
I do not believe there is a consensus on this board or any other. There are a lot of the Usual Suspects that come out on many of these threads on each side that say things that you can take with as much salt as you feel comfortable with and that's about it.
The community, as a whole, doesn't go along with it. From what I can see, the majority stay quiet and read and either silently agree, disagree, or go "Sweet Gods of my Mother, not this again."
Stats get talked about because it is less contentious (although not by much, it seems) to talk about them like you would sports stats rather than discussing RP choices (again, see alignment threads, anything with the word paladin, etc for people being told they are making the wrong choices there.)
As was pointed out above, if someone asks, as they will, "What weapon totally will give me the bestest damage ever brah!?" they are going to be directed towards the usual choices, coldly rated based on damage, criticals, and so on. Choice doesn't enter into the equation. If you know that the rapier is mechanically inferior to the OMG SUPERSWORD of the week and choose to use it anyway for reasons of your own, then that is the choice you make.
You'll likely get a rousing round of "helpful advice" from people berating you for that choice, but that's what happens on most threads where someone asks for advice.
But anyway. No, there isn't any unwritten or written consensus. There are some loud voices on both/many sides of the discussion who attempt to direct the flow of information. You just have to sift out the interesting nuggets and let the rest roll on by or else you'll go mad. :)
While for many of life's events I prefer heavier bags like 511 Tactical or Maxpedition and their various competitors, for gaming I usually try for something a little more light weight and cost effective.
The Vector 2.0 Day Pack from Outdoor Products at Walmart is a good sized bag and is $30. It can hold a 17 inch laptop, has a compartment for a tablet if that is more your style, and a lot of areas, big and small, for holding books or laptop (last two compartments) and minis, dice, snacks and more in the front areas as well as side pockets for drinks and anything else.
It isn't a top of the line bag, mind you, and isn't made of bombproof 1000-D nylon. But for hauling a moderate amount of gaming gear (or textbooks or whatever) it does admirably. If you need to take more than it holds, I suggest a rolling suitcase or boxes and one of those little carts. That or have everyone meet at your place and keep things on a shelf. :)
They do have Google service (at least the 10 inch does). The 7 inchers are running 35$ for 8 gig and 45 for 16 gig for pre-black friday sales online.
I dislike when someone's opinion is tossed out with a sneer because a poster or several posters believe that the opinion refers to house rules or 3PP or whatever.
"RAW" is a myth. The rules as written are often held up as some gold standard when in reality they are interpreted by the reader. There may be common interpretations, sure, but this smugly insufferable need to try to minimize other opinions with a comment of "We are talking about RAW, not your stupid house rules!" It's silly and little more than the usual internet measuring contests.
You don't have to agree with other people, but for whichever divine being's sake, let the other person express their opinion without shutting them down because they don't read the rules the way you like (because you are right.)
I will agree that a dog/wolf race or even a rabbit race would be nice. It isn't needed. but it would be nice.
As for the rest, well .. this is the Inner Sea Races. The main portion of the races of the Inner Sea are humans, in all their infinite glory. Humans usually get a lot of attention in not only Pathfinder but in a wide assortment of RPGs and sci-fi/fantasy work. They thrive in Star Trek even though other races have powers that they don't. They appear to thrive in Star Wars, despite not being cool colored or furry.
I will say that the derogatory language about humans is where the blowback comes in from posters. If someone said that they are tired of meow meow kitty kitty cat people, you'd hear people howling for blood. Tired of the continued harping about kitsune and their tails, you'd have people asking for your head. It's cool to slam humans and/or the core races. It's the in thing to say that they are boring, that there is nothing to do with them, that the more exotic races are oh so much more interesting because .. well, they just are, right?
Constantin Stanislavski remarked that "there are no small parts, only small actors". I'd adjust that for gaming to read "There are no boring races, only boring players." Having fur or fangs or a really long bushy tail or fins doesn't make you interesting, doesn't make your character any more or less than a dwarf, or a human, or whatever else.
It is perfectly OK to prefer other races, but it isn't OK to say that the others are boring . I for one am thankful that there is ANY material at all about the less common races. It could have been a design choice to only mention them in passing and give nothing more than a few mechanics scattered across a few books about them.
AS far as it goes, when I play (and many of the parties I've GMed for) tend to follow the idea that some of that copious free time in character is spent talking tactics for adventuring. And out of character as well.
I personally don't care either way if someone buffs the party or not, if that is what they are going to do; that said, I'd like some conversation about it all before we're in the middle of a fight and people believe, right or wrong, that the cleric or wizard or whatever is going to cast X spell or a character is going to take Y action.
It doesn't have to be spelled out exactly, but a general idea of what your character tends to do is pretty helpful and helps cut down a lot of this arguing. If your character plays with their belly button lint in combat and generally screams and hides, I know not to depend on you to flank, for example.
Some of what I've done over the years and/or are experimenting now:
* Teleportation is severely limited, as is extra-dimentional travel, and requires more effort and time.
* Spell casters have weaknesses. We've toyed with a number of them over the years, from "noise" ala Eddings books, extra time for casting, and so on.
* Experimenting with martials gaining resistance to magic at +1/3 levels. Toying with saves.
* Precognition, scrying, and many divination spells are unreliable and more so over distance.
More when I can find my notes.
Ah, Shadowrun. Shadowrun is problematic on a lot of levels. Mundanes (samurai, etc) are also fairly limited on how much crap they can stuff into their body while those with magical ability -- well, the sky is the limit on how powerful they can really become. Same story, different game. I spent many a year working on that problem before saving my sanity and running away. :)
Right. Light a candle instead of cursing the darkness and then getting mad about the darkness and then running around in the dark.
Dunno. Doesn't matter tho, it exists now. The real goal is to adjust things so that the game runs properly for a given value of properly.
While I agree with most of what Aelryinth said above, I think the problem becomes that some focus on the extremes that have been suggested. Many are quite positive when you say "give martials better things" but become less so when people use examples that might go beyond their personal tastes; then it starts a war about what is too far.
Um, the almiraj ws in the original Fiends Folio if I recall correctly. And while I am not everyone, I don't think I've heard any good jokes -- or any at all -- about the brain mole, or anyone make fun of it.
I think when one becomes very vocal about any subject, they tend to draw attention and often ire. Even if you are totally positive you can draw poor reactions from people for perceptions of monopolizing the conversation if nothing else.
I'm very very positive everyone that has been near monster threads knows there is a hunger in some quarters for mythological creatures (tho they apparently cannot be Greek or Norse now, but ok) or more kaiju or more whatever. Paizo hears you.
It's when one goes on and on and is negative about anything that isn't in their interests that it becomes a problem.
If you feel so strongly that you are going to attempt to use conflict to solve the problem rather than sitting down and having a conversation with the GM or entire group, perhaps you should sit out.
I know that I'd be irritated as a GM or player if someone did this. It's just poor form at best, and at worst you are being a disruptive element at the table. Many groups would even ask you to leave or sit out if you couldn't control yourself.
It's nice, but often skewed by the opinion of person trying to make the point. It's a lot of "Batman can beat anyone" that you get on the comics boards; you can make a case if you try for a high or low level character depending on what you believe.
And for me, a lot of this is based off supporting some broken rules. If you enjoy people falling from orbit and walking away unscathed and swimming for recreating in lava then of course you are going to think most fantasy characters are pitifully low leveled in power.
Right. There are often attempts to shoe horn super heroes and literary characters into Pathfinder's rules and they don't fit, not really. There are people that nod knowingly and say that a character is obviously this class and that level when in reality it's a matter of opinion and a lot of squinting and compromising.
Characters in books are difficult to pin down with stats. You can make something that emulates some aspects of the idea, but more often than not they are hinting at the flavor and that's about it.
Its not an issue of people that don't like it as a preference but the people that think it's wrongbadfunweeaboocancer. Which isn't happening much in this thread but its the people I'm making fun of. Like fantasy has one true subgenre and deviating from it are 'too anime' as opposed to 'too high magic for what I want to play', as if a resemblance to anime itself in any way is a dirty thing that sullies the pristine image of medieval Europe.
Anime is, frankly, an insult or inherit fault in some quarters and to some people. It might have to do with rabid fans -- who like many fanatics are obnoxious -- or the thought that all anime is deviant (for a given value of deviant) and full of sex and tentacles and girls in short skirts showing their panties.
Any one of those is grounds in some areas to shun a person, because as we all know shunning is one of the favorite pass times of geeks, nerds, and dorks. The type of thing they like is stupid, ours is best.
You run across people who hate anime and believe it and any influence it brings is THE END OF ALL THERE IS! We saw it with comic book art changing, we see it in table top gaming all the time. I think it is in the Top 5 irrational hatreds for TTRPGs, probably tied with guns/sci-fi in my fantasy.
Or just because some people don't like it? Some people hate playing humans, or having guns in their game, or the idea of big trains powered by magic or steam.
Everyone and even members of the same table have different ideas of what they'd like for their game. Usually it boils down to personal preferences; someone who loves Japanese flavored movies might really like The Seven Samurai and utterly despise The Magnificent Seven because they hate Westerns.
Or in the Fionavar Tapestry where Lancelot is such an accomplished knight that he held off a demonish creature made of stone and powered by the earth by himself and wins with nothing more than skill and a distracting scream at the end. Even a lesser/demi-god was impressed and awed.
Wrestling aside, there are tropes and stories galore that can justify a little or a lot of increase in martial classes.
The question and problem for some people is how high they want to turn that dial. There is no question that spell casters were given 1-10 range and martials were not. But how high would people be comfortable with in their own campaigns? And for that matter, would some be more comfortable with spell casters dialed down a bit or a lot?
Wow, really? I need to watch more wrestling.
Well, in universe Kane is a masked demonic brother of the Undertaker who can often cause gouts of fire to erupt ringside and was, at least for a while, mostly impervious to pain.
The Undertaker is some sort of risen dead, at one time controlled by Paul Bearer and an urn. He was able to resist tremendous amounts of damage and come back from being buried alive. He has had a number of magical-seeming powers and minions over the years as well as his own cult.
Both have even had comics about them.
But yeah, WWE and many of the other organizations have had supernatural creatures, giants, and so on that so-called normal wrestlers have faced down with gumption and determination.
Of course, this has all been toned down some in recent years, but people manage to survive being beaten with chairs, sledgehammers and so on to this day.
And in the first Expendables as the main henchman, fighting one on one against Stallone.
I imagine the same way John McClane from Die Hard survives slamming into walls with enough force to kill most of us? Wrestlers have cinematic super powers, allowing them to resist the damage of their foes (No selling for those unfamiliar with the term).
A classic example might be Hulk Hogan getting beat on by someone for fifteen minutes and then suddenly shaking his head and jumping in place and then shaking his finger at the guy, revived by his more than mortal ability to come back from any beating.
So, yeah, if Batman can take out Martians through the power of story telling, so can Stone Cold Steven Austin. He'd probably flip that SOB off, kick it in the gut and hit all the heads with a Stunner before catching a beer from a ring side attendant and drinking it.
And for his story, that makes as much sense as jumping fifty feet straight up does for Random Anime Guy or lassoing a tornado does for Pecos Bill. Characters in a story can do whatever the author (or for wresting, promoter) needs them to be able to do.
Now translating that into game terms is a little harder.
Therein lies the real question. What makes up a divine being? Is it simply a matter of levels or is there more to it than just that?
For me, pointing out that someone in a story (myth, comic, anime, etc) has X power doesn't translate as well to a game setting like Pathfinder. Batman has been shown in wildly varying ways over the years, routinely getting over his head fighting minor bad guys in one issue while defeating Martians in another.
Characters in stories have the power of "Whatever makes the story better". It doesn't translate well to what we do unless it just big pool of PC powers called "Do whatever you want."
The stories and myths are a nice thing to look at and a reference point for things we might like, but trying to say that Heracles is X level with Y powers is a bit misleading.
Neal Litherland wrote:
I tend to agree with bookrat on this. If you have a shy player, or one that doesn't feel an urge to put anything into their character, you get a forgettable character. In another thread someone mentioned that they've run across characters that are utterly bland, with no description as well.
One can make any character interesting with a little effort. But it takes a bit more than that to satisfy the problem that people have been having with martials.
I think you may have missed what the discussion about martials has been about and why people believe they are boring. It doesn't involve role play -- and in fact I'm almost certain that people are going to bring the Stormwind fallacy up -- or writing a creative backstory.
Rather, there are those that believe that many of the martial's abilities are what are boring or not interesting compared, perhaps, to the spell caster's.
Your article is a great way to help with a character's backstory and show how anyone can be interesting. It does not, however, touch on the conversations that have been going on around here, however.
I have had custom charts for age, hair, eyes, height and weight for years for people that are indecisive or just don't care. If you do care and want to pick, then go for it. If it is something bizarre -- 9 foot tall humans, hair that doesn't exist in that shade for that race and so on -- we'll talk about it and why you are doing it. I certainly wouldn't force a chart on someone.
I would actually like to see a thread that is about what they should have. No arguing, no long-winded rambles about why they should or shouldn't. Just delineate what they should have and at what power level you are looking at.
In the vast majority of the posts, even people on the same relative side of "Yes, definitely they should have things" cannot quite agree on what power levels those things should take. Should it be minor variations on physical stuff? Lasers from your hands by squinting and training really hard? Hulk-level jumping?
Except for a very few people, everyone seems to be behind the idea of martials and interesting changes. Talk about the changes rather than arguing with HWalsh or bemoaning that Paizo isn't doing what you want. Produce ideas that everyone can use off the framework they've given us. Maybe they'll come around, maybe they won't. But you'll have something to show for it.
What I mean is that old legends isn't the only source of explanations for abilities like that or at the very least leave them to be ambiguous enough to let you figure that out for yourself. In some cases people can shoot laser beams out of their hands simply because they trained really really hard so would it be so far-fetched if Valeros, who is depicted as using anvils on chains to exercise, could wield bastard swords as light weapons if he does that all day and has like 25 Str?
...how? How does one train and get to shoot laser beams? Is it focusing ki or just .. ow, no, now my brain hurts.
No problem with the Valeros part, however.
The whole train till you shoot laser beams reminds me of this quote in From Dusk Till Dawn:
Did they look like psychos? Is that what they looked like? They were vampires. Psychos do not explode when sunlight hits them, I don't give a %#%^ how crazy they are!
I like ToEE as well, especially after the work that the Circle of Eight put into it. They expanded the game and added higher level play, more quests and so on. It's like a brand new game. I tend to dust it off and play with it every few months or so.
Yes! Because someone will say "I can see invisible people what do you look like?" And then what?
This is why I made height, weight, hair and eye charts ages ago so people that didn't have any sort of strong feeling one way or the other could roll it out. It helped that most of the group at that time were VERY interested in such things and kept meticulous notes on PCs, NPCs and so on.
Yeah, I don't get that. No real distinguishing marks, no hair color, no eyes, plain clothing, all that comes across as not caring, at least to me. If you aren't putting any effort into the character, why should I interact with you?
Philo Pharynx wrote:
I already spend 150 hours a week roleplaying a human being. That's why I like to make other choices for the part I have control over.
Yeah but no? I mean, we aren't role playing our lives. We're living as humans -- well, most of you are -- and going about our day to day lives. No one is excited to role play as a tiefling or cat person or whatever and go about their day to day grind. Well, ok, some convention attendees might, but other than them no.
I role play to role play something other than a person doing what I do now. Race certainly plays a part in it, but this whole "I am a human already I have to be different or it is too much like real life" is something that just perplexes me.
By that sort of logic, I'd expect that members of the military might hate to have fights in game because they do that in real life (or at least many do.) You eat and drink and walk and look at things in real life, so if you do that does it somehow lose the immersion factor?
Just say you like to play things that are off the wall or strange or furry or fanged or whatever you happen to enjoy. You don't have to qualify it with saying how you don't like to play humans because you are a human. We're all humans -- well, most of you are -- it isn't like someone's going to say "I hate playing a tengu after breaking my beak all week at work as a tengu!"
That's not a complaint. That is an argument in discussion about certain type of gamers being present prior to appearance of 3rd edition (which does indeed seemed to make them proliferate, though, maybe the same type of gamers from 80s started to procreate in meantime ;). Myself I only play with people that I know and I expect them to trust in my GMing decisions.
Oh yes, people like this existed forever in the game. I imagine that right after the first set of rules were laid out someone started in. My suggestion still holds: remove those people from the game and maybe, if they don't have anyone to play with for a while they'll calm down and be a little less disagreeable.
Except people screaming "that isn't in the rules" and throwing tantrums that GM dared to change monster from its exact bestiary block were around at least since nineties, and I suspect that they were here soon after the beginning... Arguing that "game" requires holding to the rules isn't all that new.
Do not play with those people. Treat them like you would any other group of people screaming at you about things they don't like that you've changed in your game, your life, your clothing or anything else.
Unless you are forced to GM PFS at gun point, there is no reason to stand for someone screaming at you about rules, and even then I'd be hard pressed to put up with that sort of nonsense. Tell people at the beginning of your house rules and that you might *gasp* be creative ith creatures that don't exist in their books or that you might make a ruling that doesn't always line up with the exact words in the book.
If they freak out about that, find more people to play with. Life is too short.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Wanders by, "borrows" this for playtesting.