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pauljathome's page

FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 821 posts. 15 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 22 Pathfinder Society characters.


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Silver Crusade ****

LazarX wrote:

Maybe he's confusing the Major with the previous head who sent his Pathfinders on missions frequently to cover up HIS indiscretions.

Um, other than rank, it IS the same guy isn't it? Or is this a joke that I'm missing?

Silver Crusade

Its a fun feat, especially at the low to mid levels. One of the original goals for my monk was somebody designed to scree up spell casters and this was a useful part of that.

If you have room for it in your build its fine. But it definitely isn't an essential feat.

Note, it is seriously weakened if the GM metagames and has the bad guys act as if they knew about it.

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1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think Nefreet has been proven correct :-).

Expect table variation

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1 person marked this as a favorite.

When I ran Paths We Choose I failed when trying to present Major Maldris in a sympathetic light. He is such a complete hypocrite since he is clearly one of the more corrupt Andorans around, grossly abusing his power for personal ends.

If this faction is to be taken seriously by us old timers who played the various season 0-4 faction missions he really HAS to go.

Newer players won't have a clue what I'm talking about, of course, so I guess it becomes a self correcting problem over time

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Mark Stratton wrote:
Kyle Baird wrote:
Correction: There are more people who find deadly scenarios "unfun" who post reviews than those who enjoy "extreme challenges" and post reviews.

This. I have been talking with other GMs and what not, and the conclusion that we reached was that, perhaps, people who don't like a scenario (for whatever reason) are my inclined/likely to write a review (which would be negative) than those who enjoyed the scenario (and thus, don't write the corresponding positive review.)

I think Kyle's point is on the money.

That would tend to drive all review average numbers down. It doesn't speak to relative numbers between reviews

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Kyle Baird wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
clearly there are more people who find death unfun than there are those who want extreme challenges.
Correction: There are more people who find deadly scenarios "unfun" who post reviews than those who enjoy "extreme challenges" and post reviews.

Sure. But that is the data point that we have, the one that you specifically started this thread to discuss.

While its absolutely certain that the people who post reviews form a tiny minority and therefore quite possible that the data is skewed it is absolutely impossible to infer in what way it is skewed. Perhaps the reviewers like challenges MORE than most players and UNDERVALUE death.

Either we decide that the reviews are vaguely representative of overall opinion or we decide they have no value. What we can NOT do (at least, we can't if we want to be intellectually honest) is to accept the reviews when they support our opinions and reject them when they don't.

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Hmm wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
I'll take any limitation on any animal companion I can get.

David --

I would love your advice as a GM who sometimes gets frustrated by Animal Companions. Are there etiquette things that I can do as a player to make my furry friend more welcome to the GMs that I play with?

The following comes mostly from the perspective of playing a Lion Shaman.

Having a clear personality helps. My druid was basically a crazy cat lady looking upon her lion as a frail creature that needed to be protected.

This let me, in character, often have the cat basically not do much. If the group had the heavy hitter/tank roles well filled, the lion would hang back and let the other characters do their thing.

But when things went south, or the group didn't have those roles, I'd get to unveil the absurd heights one can achieve with a buffed up lion. Didn't happen every session but was quite satisfying when it did.

The other thing I'd recommend is to not push too hard on what you have the cat do. Keep to things that would be reasonable in a movie for an animal that isn't insanely well trained (a pathfinder animal companion is LESS capable than a well trained circus animal). Have it react as an animal in amusing ways from time to time.

So, basically, be flexible and aware of the other players and their fun and you should have no difficulties.

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May Contain Sarcasm wrote:

For almost every scenario, I find that there's usually at least one person who died/suffered a TPK and decided to blame the scenario rather than themselves/their party, and at least one person who blew through the scenario with no problems and wanted more of a challenge. That discrepancy is inevitable because dice (to say nothing of variable party makeup/optimization). So I discount those.

I have absolutely no problem with the fact that scenarios with an excessive death toll get rated lower. The intent is to have fun and clearly there are more people who find death unfun than there are those who want extreme challenges.

But I don't think it is death that people REALLY dislike, I think it is what are perceived as unfair deaths.

Silver Crusade

One other thing to mention is the new Hunter class from the Advanced Character guide. It gets a significantly better AC in exchange for much worse spell progression. And it can make FULL use of all the tricks an intended 4 gives you at level 1.

One caveat: the rules about hunter tricks are somewhat unclear at the moment. RAW its pretty clear they get full and free access to all hunters tricks. But this may or may not be intended and there is a fair chance it will be errata'd at some point.

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1 person marked this as a favorite.
Da Brain wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Well, my alchemist just leveled to 7th. I guess I could take Technologist for my playthrough of Silver Mount Collection and then retrain...
I'm betting there is going to be a lot of that going around....

Well, you also have to buy the book. Given my nearly total disinterest in the subject matter that is, to me, a far greater obstacle than retraining a feat.

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Nefreet wrote:

I think it's clear if you read the actual page from the book.

The only skills you're using "against technology" are Craft, Disable Device, and Linguistics.

The skills you're using for "researching technology" are Knowledge and Heal.

Does anyone have a link to the other discussion? I seem to have missed it.

There really wasn't any discussion of what the feat covered. I asserted that it covered knowledge checks (that is how I read the feat) and nobody disagreed. John's post implies he interpreted it that way too.

The whole discussion is spread across 3 threads in the PFS/GMs forums.

If technologist only affects these skills then the whole thing becomes way less important. And the feat WAY less useful.

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1 person marked this as a favorite.
David Haller wrote:

I don't have the book yet, but just to clarify: even without Technologist, a PC (say, an inquisitor) could make a K: Engineering check and get the full range of identifying info, powers, and so on? (ie. not cap at 10 per untrained?)

That was one of the big complaints in an earlier thread.

It pretty much just impacts Disable Device and Linguistics, then?

That is seriously unclear to me. The feat says :

You are familiar with the basic mechanics of technology.

Benefit: You are considered to be trained in any skill used against a technology-based subject. If the skill in question requires training to use even against non-technological subjects, you must still have ranks in that skill in order to gain the benefit of Technologist.

Normal: You treat all skill checks made against technology as if they were untrained skill checks. This may mean that you cannot attempt certain skill checks, even if you possess ranks in the skill in question.

And in the skills section knowledge engineering is listed in the research section.

Certainly when I read it I assumed that "all skill checks made against technology" included knowledge skills.

And its not as if this is the first time that important rules are buried in feats.

For what its worth I really, really want you to be right. So. Please convince me that your reading is the only correct one.

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3 people marked this as a favorite.
CireJack wrote:

So I am running at our local shop this week. I went ahead and posted the ruling on our facebook group so that folks could get acclimated to how its going to work.

My VC posted the following in response.

"I am aware that some players greatly dislike going into fights without knowing what they're up against. Without the ability to even make a knowledge check, I expect that their feelings will become more pronounced.

To prepare for this, I will have a cup available to hold the tears of any players who are upset by this ruling. GMs of Season 6 scenarios may drink from it freely."

That made me feel much better about this whole issue.

Well, that certainly seems like a great way for your VC to encourage PFS. People love it when they are publicly mocked for preferring a particular play style, especially when it is a play style that the rules actively encourage.

Clearly they should just happily embrace the fact that parts of their characters are useless in these scenarios (I'm presuming these players invested fairly heavily in knowledge skills) and stop whining. After all, they're just having badwrongfun anyway.

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CireJack wrote:
In light of Johns post in the other thread, I now have no choice but to implement the feat. Little confused on items granted on the chronicle for 6-01 though. Can they be used without the technologist feat?

I don't see how. The same logic that says we're supposed to apply the feat to the scenarios would seem to apply to items found

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Chris Mortika wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:
Back in the days of 1st and 2nd Edition D&D, .
pauljathome wrote:
I thought that I was running and playing Pathfinder and NOT 1st or second edition D&D. My mistake.

You are, pauljathome. Please read my post again. I'm not suggesting we abandon the Pathfinder RPG, and I'm honestly surprised that you'd think I was suggesting that we go back to THAC0 and different saving throws and all that.

I'm suggesting that, since the Pathfinder RPG now contains rules for super-science technology, there's a play style that John was advocating, and that we follow his advice. I apologize if that wasn't clear.

Please, just call me Paul :-).

I was being snarky in my response and I apologize for that (your reaction to my snarkiness was quite classy :-). And THAT is not snarky)

But I still think that advocating a change in play style, caused by an unanticipated rules change in an obscure splat book, in a comment buried in a thread is the wrong way to go about it.

As you yourself acknowledge, its a fairly significant change in play style.

Note, I am NOT saying I dislike that playstyle. Its just not the style PFS has had for the last 6 years.

Silver Crusade

Its in the PFS FAQ.

Pumpkin starts fully trained.

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kinevon wrote:
James McTeague wrote:

Wait, what?

It just says "treat it as if it was untrained", not "you lose your ranks in that knowledge skill." It clarifies afterwards that it means that you can't make certain checks because they're untrained, not that your bonus goes down.

To me, treat it as untrained might mean that you lose your ranks in it, as it is treated as untrained, which is 0 skill ranks....

The language can be interpreted in two ways, apparently...


Even if we ignore the silliness that a bard who gets his information hanging out in bars knows more than the far more intelligent engineer we have the major problem that the interaction of these is quite undefined.

I've always treated the bardic ability as them treating the skill as if it were trained. Ie, they could exceed a DC 10.

RAW it applies to only untrained skills. If it is trained it doesn't apply.

Personally, I think that the lack of technologist feat SHOULD trump bardic knowledge. The whole purpose is to make tech mysterious. People who hang out in bars shouldn't automatically know stuff.

RAW I think the situation very unclear and good arguments could be made either way. Although I suspect my belief above may be influencing that :-(

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Chris Mortika wrote:

Back in the days of 1st and 2nd Edition D&D, .

I thought that I was running and playing Pathfinder and NOT 1st or second edition D&D. My mistake.

Changing the game in fairly fundamental ways really shouldn't be done in an obscure splat book together with a single developer comment buried in a thread.

If they want to do this they have to make it a LOT clearer. If it is still possible it should be in the guide. Absent that, at the very least in the FAQ.

That has always been my primary point (my secondary point is that I think this is a terrible idea for PFS although a great idea for home games).

Silver Crusade

Ssalarn wrote:
In 5e, you start out a bit more powerful so you know you're heroes,

I don't see why you think characters start out more powerful. 1st level characters (at least ones from the beginner box, I don't have the PHB) are less powerful than their pathfinder equivalents ( lower stats, less domain powers, etc).

Unless you start characters at level 3 which seems to be a very common practice.

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David_Bross wrote:

People also hate it when they feel a particular NPC/monster is unfairly strong.

That I strongly agree with


You can simplify this and say that anytime the threat of PC death is real, players are unhappy about it,

I disagree with that. Waking Rune got 3 stars, Bonekeep got over 3.


So I guess the only way to write a good scenario is when there is no save or suck spells, no sense of urgency for the PCs actions, and no powerful melee combatants on the NPC side of things.

I think that this is seriously overstating things.

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Andy Brown wrote:
it seems reasonable to me that any GM running a scenario that references stuff in it would at least have a read through the whole thing.

The Scenario (6.1) does NOT reference it

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Chris Mortika wrote:

DM Beckett, how do you adjudicate magus NPCs in scenarios?

There is a rather huge difference. The player plays a Magus, they bring the book, I look it up.

I run 6.1 without having read this thread. How exactly am I supposed to have a clue that I should disallow Knowledge checks?

There is absolutely no expectation that a GM will have read the Technology Guide.

As to RAW being clear I strongly disagree. There is an obscure rule in an obscure book that is NOT listed in the Scenario as being necessary. How the heck can it be clear that we're supposed to apply that rule? It is crystal clear that most GMs will NOT be applying it since they won't know about it.

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GM Lamplighter wrote:

Some people feel they should be pre-prepared for every situation they can face as a Pathfinder, but frankly that is not what the PFS campaign is about. "Explore" is the prime directive of the Society, (along with "report, cooperate"). If you only go places where you already know everything about what you will face, you are not exploring. IMO PFS doesn't do enough of this, with its tiered scenarios which are designed for players to win.

In-game, think about it: how would you know anything about robots without having gone to Numeria and studied them (as represented by investment in a feat)? The only keepers of this knowledge keep it secret. It sounds a bit like player entitlement to expect a free pass into such knowledge that literally anyone can get with a single skill point.

For the players who have fun playing the game with some mystey, and are fine with not autosucceeding, this is a GREAT way to deal with this topic. Even moreso for players who weren't into the topic in the first place.

Clarification is obviously needed, since people seem willing to ignore rules or give people free stuff (which is illegal) rather than face the unknown. I fervently hope the clarification doesn't change the published rule, though.

As others have pointed out, my knowledge local checks tell me about the inns in continents I've never visited, my knowledge Arcana checks tell me about monsters that are completely unique, etc.

You're right. PFS doesn't do this. Why should it start now? Why should the introduction of a new book suddenly limit my Knowledge Engineering roll ? Note that technology was present before this book.

And the Technology rules are fairly well hidden in what is (at least currently) a fairly obscure splat book. We can absolutely presume that a very significant portion of the player/GM base won't even know that they exist.

I'm not sure if you are lumping me in with the "ignore rules" statement but, if so, I want to reiterate that at this point I honestly do NOT know what the RAW or RAI are. I honestly do not know if I should enforce or not enforce the Technology rules. And that is after reading John Comptons post.

Given that, I have NO choice but to make my own decision as to what to do.

Clarification is very definitely needed.

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Chris Mortika wrote:

So, pauljathome, just checking: my ninja can use Disable Device on a robot, without the Technologist feat, at your table, but only if nobody else in the party has that feat? Why would I ever encourage another player to sit at the table with such a character? It would cripple my ninja!!

Feats usually make a PC better. In this case, it makes everybody else at the table worse!

I am definitely making the assumption that the Technologist Feat is quite rare, that very few people have taken it. If it turns out that many local people have taken the feat then I'll definitely change to enforcing the Technology Rules at all tables.

With that caveat, I admit to quite disliking my solution too. But I dislike the alternatives that I see even more.

If I enforce the technologist rules, then the probability is very high that nobody in the group will have the feat. I shut down most (or all) skill monkeys. I make the scenario at least somewhat harder. I lose any chance for the players to get the often interesting background information.

If I fail to enforce the technologist rules then I have made that feat and book purchased by the one player essentially absolutely useless.

At least with my solution the person who has the Feat gets SOME benefit and the lack of an obscure feat in an obscure splat book doesn't significantly change scenarios for the worse.

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Chris Mortika wrote:
Just a question to the GMs who do not require PCs at the table to have the Technologist feat to use their skills with super-science technology: if a PC with the skill hits your table, do you let him immediately retrain that feat into something useful?

My answer, until the situation gets clarified, is that I'm going to enforce the technology rules if and only if a character has the Technologist feat.

So at least the character gets to shine sometimes.

Note : I will do this only because I have no idea whether or not we are supposed to follow the Technology rules or not. So I can NOT follow RAW since I just don't know what they are. Once RAW becomes clear I will definitely follow them.

Silver Crusade ****

5 people marked this as a favorite.
DM Beckett wrote:
GM Lamplighter wrote:
Please don't characterize the Paizo development teams' work as "stupid BS".
Mostly because it's that bad of an idea.

I actually quite like the idea of there being very rare knowledge's IN A HOME GAME. It adds flavor, it differentiates characters, etc.

But I think it is an awful idea in PFS where I have to make characters that are capable in a huge range of scenarios from all seasons. As stated, it greatly disadvantages some builds. It also makes for a significantly poorer game when lots of information isn't available, when the only sane lockpick is the adamantine weapon, where items on chronicle sheets are all but useless, etc

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Jeff Merola wrote:
Is John's post above not clarification on the issue?

As far as I can see it does NOT give me guidance on what to do with scenarios 1-3. It is an explanation of why the issue arises and a promise to address it in future scenarios.

If I'm missing something please point it out to me (that is sincere and NOT snark)

Silver Crusade ****

The auction is pretty much absurd.

For it to make any sense for the buyers the final price has to be significantly lower than the real market value. The seller loses on some deals but more than makes it back on others.

But that assumes the buyers don't cooperate. As soon as they cooperate, they get the goods at a deep discount.

And it doesn't even take advantage of the main factors that drive prices up in real auctions.

But this pales in stupidity when compared to Guaril's "cunning plan". He arranges for the bad guys to ambush him at a spot of his choosing, relying on them sending wusses he can handle with the help of allies showing up. And he gives the allies a set of cryptic clues so as to minimize the chance that they show up on time why?

Silver Crusade ****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
bugleyman wrote:

Yeah, it's a train wreck. Put a rule that changes how a scenario works in a book not referenced anywhere in the scenario. *sigh*

I think I'll avoid running any scenarios involving technology for the time being.

My personal solution until this gets clarified will be to ask if any character has the Technologist feat. If the answer is yes I'll enforce the technology rules and let that character really shine.

If the answer is no, then I won't enforce the technology rules and I'll let the players experience what is IMO the far better experience when they get to know some of what is going on.

Silver Crusade

Note that it is the intelligence SCORE, not modifier, that matters.

So int 13 let's you get 3rd level spells. A 20 pt buy can almost trivially afford int 13 or 14, cha 14, wis 16

Sure, you won't have a starting wisdom of 20 and you won't be able to wade into combat but something like (20 pt buy, not at all optimized human) is QUITE viable

Str 8, Dex 12, Con 13, Int 14, Wis 17, Cha 14

Gets spells up to level 4. By the time it needs it it will be able to afford magic items to boost that.

Is this a power gamers dream? No.

Can one use it to make interesting, viable characters in moist games (including PFS)? Yes

Silver Crusade ****

CireJack wrote:

A hammer is "technology". Its just low technology. I now need a feat to use a hammer? Nice. :)

Hammer? No.

Items you get on your chronicle sheet in 6-01? Yes

Silver Crusade ****

Whether or not we succeeded I know that 6-01 would have been a lot poorer experience without some knowledge checks being made.

I would also expect relatively few GMs to know about a rule in a specific splat book that is not even mentioned in 6-1 so I'd expect lots of table variation.

If I built a knowledge monkey I'd be more than a bit peeved to find I don't know anything useful in Season 6 without buying a book to get an additional feat.

We need a clear statement as to whether or not the skill rules should be applied. If time still allows that statement should be in the Guide. While I strongly hope that they are NOT applied the primary issue is that the situation should be clear.

Silver Crusade ****

Brett Carlos wrote:

Played 6-01. Technologist feat unnecessary to fully complete adventure. Adventure seems to take into account no one would have this feat or even Knowledge engineering. No need to worry.

Very enjoyable scenario.

Yes, there is a reason to worry.

I'm trying to build a tech friendly character. I'd kinda like to know if I NEED the feat or if it is essentially USELESS. Kinda affects the build.

I'm also planning on running this. I need to know if I should let people know stuff or not.

It is very clear that this scenario expects the rules in The Technology Guide to NOT be applied. It isn't clear if that is to be expected going forward

Silver Crusade ****

Not adding new products quickly would be a worse solution than the problem.

I support liberal rebuilds but Chris has a point, it can be abused. If it is practical I like the idea of a VO signing off on rebuilds. But I suspect that is too large a burden to put onto them.

One thing that might actually help is a clear statement as to the intent of rebuilds. Clearly unenforceable but, IMO, telling the players what is intended and what is cheesy can actually help. Something like "if a rules change significantly affects your character then you are allowed a rebuild to bring that character back to your original concept. Only if your original concept can no longer be achieved is a full rebuild allowed"

Silver Crusade

avr wrote:
Runelord Apologist wrote:

Unsworn Shaman. Witch hexes outperform 1st-level spirit abilities to a laughable degree, allowing the unsworn to actually contribute to a party at 1st level. The hexes are wandering, meaning you technically have /all/ the witch hexes at first level, just with limited slots to prepare them.

Not quite automatic though as Speaker For The Past is very good. You also miss out on Shaman hexes with Unsworn, including the Lore Spirit hex Arcane Enlightment.

It also depends on how much you like your primary sprit. My character is a Heavens Shaman. For both thematic and mechanical reasons I'd pretty much ALWAYS take this spirit anyways. Given that, Unsworn is a bad deal for me

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FLite wrote:
I am operating on the assumption that if they meant us to use that rule, that skills must be attempted untrained against technology, it would have been in the season six guide to organized play. Given that they gave us a whole page of new rules.

I really hope that you're right.

But right now it isn't clear if technologist is almost essential for a knowledge based character or almost useless.

Or maybe it varies by table.

It is pretty clear that 6-1 was written with OUT that rule in mind.

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David_Bross wrote:
It certainly makes bardic knowledge better!

I'm not at all sure that bardic knowledge counts. I think that makes you trained but without technologist that puts you back to untrained.

Kinda depends on what order you apply the rules and which you view as the more specific

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5 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 2 people marked this as a favorite.

According to the Technology Guide there is an almost essential (PFS legal) feat.

There is absolutely no mention of this in 6-1. Nor in the chronicle sheet for items gained.

I am assuming that we just ignore this rule. Otherwise scenarios like 6-1 become absurd without a character SPECIFICALLY designed to handle technology.

You are familiar with the basic mechanics of technology.

Benefit: You are considered to be trained in any skill used against a technology-based subject. If the skill in question requires training to use even against non-technological subjects, you must still have ranks in that skill in order to gain the benefit of Technologist.

Normal: You treat all skill checks made against technology as if they were untrained skill checks. This may mean that you cannot attempt certain skill checks, even if you possess ranks in the skill in question.

Silver Crusade

Don't forget that only the rage powers you get at level 3, 6, etc can be given to allies. The others only affect the skald

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I'd bet serious money that Mike will change Additional Resources so that the Huntmaster swaps out Expert Trainer.

Silver Crusade

Since you're using your Dex instead of your str I'd say yes and yes.

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Arachnofiend wrote:
Anyone else really puzzled by the Kata Master Monk archetype? My first thought was "oh cool, a charisma-based Monk!" but it looks like the Monk still relies on Wisdom for all of his class features. The best thing to do is dump charisma as always and rely on your ki pool to fuel panache, but it doesn't stack with Drunken Master or Hungry Ghost so that will deplete quickly... It just looks like an all around really bad archetype.

It combines very well with swashbuckler. Now your flurry is getting precise damage. Toss in a AoMF and you can build a quite viable Dex based unarmed swashbuckler

Silver Crusade ****

There are rules in the guide.

Silver Crusade

Andy Brown wrote:

If the archetype doesn't replace anything before 4th level you're OK.

Or, if you haven't actually PLAYED the character at L3 you're fine if the archetype only replaces 3rd level and higher abilities.

Silver Crusade

Is there any PFS legal way (other than a 1 level dip into an appropriate class) for a witch to get Crafter's fortune as a spell that he (or his familiar) can cast once a day?

Magic items or feats would be fine. A prestige class where I didn't lose a level of spellcasting would be fine. Getting a Faerie Dragon familiar is not an option at the moment

Silver Crusade

Well, hasn't crashed (yet). Just a bug in letting you download your file. Does that counr?

Silver Crusade

Failing for me too.

I'm guessing it is at least related to volume issues but it is rather aggravating

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Acedio wrote:
Cao Phen wrote:

Lingering Performance adds 2 rounds after a performance ends, not triple the duration. In order to get a full 8 hours, you need 48 rounds to gain any benefit, rather than 16.

Lingering performance does not apply to masterpieces.

You're both absolutely correct. So, 48 rounds of perform it is.

Silver Crusade

Torbyne wrote:
You could say that if they made a comment about dex to damage and the audenince just nodded their heads and moved on. With months of comments from consumers following though, almost all of it being "just wait until the dex to damage dagger builds come out" or "Finally, we can dex our rapiers!" and no course correction from developers it becomes more debatable. If you know something is being severely misinterpeted and you let hype build up for months on what you know is wrong... i can understand people being upset about it.

You can in no way blame this on the devs. They were very clear in what they said. People tended to hear what they wanted to hear and then misremembered what they were told. Memory is kinda like that.

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Paz wrote:

I obviously can't know for sure, but I imagine Mike and John wish that PotP hadn't slipped through the net into Additional Resources in the first place. I think in general they do a great job at keeping things balanced and foreseeing 'problem' options.

Absolutely. We need to cut them done slack. Given the amount of stuff that is published and given all their responsibilities it is inevitable that some things will be allowed that "should" have been banned. At which point you either ban it or allow it to remain. Both options having their problems.

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