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thejeff's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 20,972 posts (21,871 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 8 aliases.


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I said it before in one of the D&D movie threads: I think an actual serious high-fantasy D&D series could work. Animated or even live-action, though the live one would be more expensive and much riskier - potentially higher returns though.

Run it like a campaign, with season long main plot arcs, but mostly self-contained adventures for the episodes. Start with low-level, grittier stuff, with hints at the high level craziness going on in the background, then ramp up the power levels as you go through the seasons leading into the serious world-beating threat for the final season.

All depends on the writers and the show runner. As will as the (voice) actors. And the studios to not make them do stupid things.
Which means it's likely a failure.


darth_borehd wrote:
Dire Elf wrote:
And no, I don't want anyone to 'reboot' the '80s Dungeons & Dragons cartoon. It had very little relationship with actual D&D.
Wrong. It was nearly identical to D&D. It had monsters and character classes from both basic and 1st edition.
Quote:


I want a series that has what fantasy RPGs have: wizards, warriors, paladins, rogues, clerics, races and monsters that look like creatures from the Bestiaries/Monster Manuals, spellcasting that resembles spells from the rulebooks. I want it to have some maturity, not pander to little kids, but appeal to all ages similar to what Star Wars Rebels does.

Yes, just like the 80s Dungeons & Dragons cartoon. Please don't use computer animation. Get Genndy Tartakovsky to draw it.

While it used a lot of things from D&D it wasn't at all like any D&D game I've ever seen. Kids from the real world given uber magic items that let them do sort of class related things but not actually be those classes. An actual "Dungeon Master" character. No actual killing anything violence (understandable for a cartoon of the time, but not like any D&D I've ever seen.)

I've got a nostalgic soft spot for that series, though I haven't seen it since it aired, but even back then I knew it was, at best, "inspired by" D&D.


feytharn wrote:
It is still always a problem with the players - that doesn't mean that they are bad players or problem players, just that every player probably has som concepts/ideas he can't bring to life or he (sometimes involuntarily) brings to life in a way that is disruptive (or even destructive) to the game. That doesn't mean that either the concept or the player are a problem, just don't bring them together.

Still, there are some that are more likely to cause problems with a broader variety of players. And some that you can expect almost anyone to handle without problems.

Some of these tropes really are just harder to pull off without being disruptive. Doesn't mean they'll always be a problem. Doesn't mean a player who uses one and is disruptive is always going to be a problem.
Just that it's worth being wary with them.


Aaron Bitman wrote:
Some science fiction purists have claimed that his books aren't true science fiction, but I strongly disagree. I'm referring to Michael Crichton. I particularly liked two of his novels: The Andromeda Strain and Jurassic Park. If we ever contact extraterrestrials in real life, and it happened in accordance with a science fiction story, I think that story might be The Andromeda Strain. And Jurassic Park made clever use of chaos theory, as well as the more obvious subjects such as paleontology and genetics.

They don't feel like science fiction to me. Technically, I think they're mostly Techno-thrillers - action stories with a sf backdrop.

My problem with them is that the neat SF idea draws me in, but then it's just used as an excuse for the plot and never explored in the way the kind of sf I prefer would handle it. The defining example for me was Congo, which drew me in with its Lost African City and hidden species of apparently intelligent gorillas, but really just used them as an obstacle for getting the diamonds. Even old H. Rider Haggard or Burroughs novels got you more on the culture and history of their Lost cities and mysterious races.

And it's been a long time since I read Jurassic Park, but I recall thinking the chaos theory stuff was really hand-wavy and had little to do with actual chaos theory.

Lots of people like his stuff and it's definitely at least on the edges of science fiction, which has an awful lot of subgenres, not all of which everyone's going to be fond of.


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HeHateMe wrote:

Personally, I don't believe there can be too many books. I love reading them, and I also love playing character concepts that are weird/different. I find everything in the core book to be exceptionally boring and refuse to play anything from that book. So, I guess I'm the target audience for all these books Paizo keeps creating.

I don't get the "too much" argument at all, nobody is forcing anyone to buy the books so if they don't want to. But don't crap all over those of us who enjoy reading and exploring new character possibilities.

Don't worry. You're in good company.

For the last several pages it's been more about lashing out at those not willing to use each and every option in every book and some of us trying to argue that you're not actually a bad GM if you impose some limits.


RDM42 wrote:
Hitdice wrote:

Anyone who quotes my text get a free like, but TOZ is special for not quoting it. :P

I have Generica sessions vs plot driven campaigns too, I just don't feel the need to invent a new world for each.

Its not a new word for each. A new world only pops up if the campaign couldn't fit well in one of the old worlds. That is, at this point, rare.

Whereas we tend to play with one campaign per world. The world being designed for the game in question. Usually some of its unique features playing directly into the main plot arc - whether that's actually mechanical limitations like which races or even classes are available or just the political setup.

We've been doing this essentially, with various GMs and different groups since AD&D in the late 80s. Games before that were a lot sillier. The same basically holds for non-D&D games, even when the game assumes a defined world, like Shadowrun or World of Darkness or Amber, we rarely linked back to any previous continuity. A couple of times in Call of Cthulhu, there were cameos by previous characters.


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Hitdice wrote:

Knight, this is an honest question, not snark*: is Generica, the Land of I Don't Care synonymous with Golarion, or does it also include 3pp?

I'm just curious because RDM42 mentioned published settings being treated as sacrosanct as compared to homebrew settings, but I think that sort of gets it wrong, no insult to RDM. Published settings are required to include all of said publisher's material, so I see them as a lot less sacrosanct, actually. Just using Paizo material, you can play a Clint Eastwood Man with No Name type from Alkenstar who ends up adventuring alongside an Inuyasha type party in Tian Xia, but no GM should be required to do that in a homebrew setting.

*I suppose the snark would have been directed at Paizo, not you, in any case. ;)

Well, Golarion is, since it's Paizo's only setting. And Forgotten Realms is, since it's the generic D&D setting, but D&D also has some much less generic settings. Eberron & Dark Sun don't have all the same races or have seriously altered versions of them.

I'd also say that even in Golarion, while you can play a Clint Eastwood Man with No Name type from Alkenstar who ends up adventuring alongside an Inuyasha type party in Tian Xia, individual GMs don't have to support that, even if they're running a Golarion game. That's why guns are linked to Alkenstar and not widespread. That's why Tian Xia is on the other side of the world, without close contact with the Inner Sea. Golarion was deliberately designed to have everything available, but segregated enough it would be easy to exclude the bits you don't want.

That's all sort of tangential to your actual question, I freely admit. :)


Redbeard the Scruffy wrote:

I didn't say that.

All should be considerate. If you're inconsiderate, it's not as big of a deal, as you don't make the decisions for anyone but yourself.

If you're inconsiderate, they probably shouldn't let you in the group, but if you're inconsiderate, you most certainly should not be the one running it.

The fun of all matters - including the GM, but not limited to him. As I said, a president and his cabinet, not a dictatorship, and not a Senate either.

The statement implication was one GM enjoying it when players don't. If it's one player who has a problem, tough booties son.

That I'd agree with.

It's also only a default implication in all of these discussions that all the players are at best tolerant of the restrictions, even when we're speaking specifically of one player who's having a conflict over his build.
Which in my experience isn't true. The few times I've actually seen this come up in a group, it's been one player with an odd character and everyone else happy with something that doesn't cause conflict and is just waiting to play.
If most people aren't into what the GM suggested, complete with the restrictions, we play something else. Maybe with a different GM. Maybe with the same GM, but a less quirky concept.


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Redbeard the Scruffy wrote:
You're not the only one playing. What everyone finds fun matters, not just the GM. If people cannot appreciate that fact, they should not GM.

And if I find it fun as a player, should that always be trumped by any other player who wants to ignore it?


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deinol wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
And I don't see why published campaign settings should for some reason get more respect or reverence than long established home settings.
They shouldn't. I'd rather have the rule of fun trump obscure lore, whether it be in a book or locked in the GM's head.

What if I find the obscure lore fun?


Redbeard the Scruffy wrote:
Fair enough, Jeff...but if you (again, not you specifically, but second person phrasing) want simplicity, you probably shouldn't be playing Pathfinder in the first place.

In some ways, I agree. I generally do prefer more rules-light systems.

OTOH, I've got a nostalgic fondness for a lot of the D&D tropes and I'm fairly happy with the basic PF system. I can work with Core and the first couple of layers of expansion without too much trouble. I just have no interest in chasing the constant increase in material.


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Redbeard the Scruffy wrote:

Agreed.

Sadly I have encountered the Core Only No Matter What type enough to where I am a little disgusted by that behavior, and my initial untempered reaction was vitriolic. Same with the GM who thinks he's the multimillion dollar director of a cinematic masterpiece and not some dude telling a story that will probably unwind in under a year and doesn't want his vision even remotely altered.

Honestly, I doubt the "Core Only No Matter What" type is doing it for flavor reasons. Maybe he gets overwhelmed by too many choices. I kind of have a preference for a simpler set of options, though I'd usually go beyond Core only. PF has gotten past the point where I even know what the scope really is, not just with classes, but new feats or items that open up things that just didn't use to work.

There's a big difference between that and actually aiming for a certain thing for a particular campaign. If I was looking for players and only told them "Pathfinder", then I'd be pretty much open for any options at least mechanically. Then we could start with those characters and go pretty much anywhere, developing from that starting point, but most likely, since there was no initial direction, it's going to be a fairly straightforward "f!!% it, let's go adventuring" game, at least to start with.
OTOH, if I've got something else in mind, I'll give a more focused and possibly more restricted pitch. If my prospective players don't like the idea, that's fine. We'll move on to something else. If they, or enough of them, do like the idea we'll go ahead with it, but at that point, you've agreed to the basic pitch. If you then make a character that doesn't fit, that's when we have to see what went wrong.
Did I explain things badly?
Did you really not want to play in what I'd suggested, but just wanted to play something?
Do I not see how your character really fits, even though it doesn't seem to at first?

None of this falls into "Is it possible to bend the things so your build technically doesn't violate the rules I laid down?" Cause that's not the point. It's about "Are we aiming for the same goal?"


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captain yesterday wrote:
Seems like a lot of negotiations, when you can say "f+~& it, let's just go adventuring"

Some of the best games I've played in have been intentionally limited, quirky settings with strong reasons tying each of the characters into the campaign. They involved a lot of upfront planning and negotiation and it was all worth it.

You can have a lot of fun with the "Nobody cares who you are, let's just go adventuring" approach. No denying it. Sometimes you can get a bit farther with some work.


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Hitdice wrote:

I don't mean to accuse anyone of badwrongfun, but are people convinced that the mechanics are so mated to setting that a class like swashbuckler (with the panache pool) significantly contradicts the setting in a way that fighters and rogues don't? I feel like focusing on spell casters muddies the issue, whereas new new mechanics for martials are usually answered with, "He just fights that way."

Full disclosure, I think "I was caught in an experiment gone wrong at the arcane college, so my spell book transformed into a familiar and now my magic's all screwy," is a terrific rationale for introducing the witch class to a setting.

Honestly, ninjas and samurai are usually the go to examples for this, particularly ninja, since they usually work better than the rogue.

As I said above, if I don't already have a mechanism for how magic works, that justification would be fine, but in that case so would "I'm a witch".


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Redbeard the Scruffy wrote:
Really? You can't call them non-vancian reusable spells?

I could call them anything I wanted. They just don't work like any other spells. Or like anything the other wizards can do. Apparently you get them by polymorphing your spell book into an animal - accidentally. Before 1st level.

If I don't care about having consistent magic and don't have an idea how it works already, then I'd be happy to handwave it. But in that case, I wouldn't have set the world up the way I did and we wouldn't be worrying about it.

I'll give my standard response here: "Looks to me like you're suggesting a character who doesn't fit the campaign we were talking about. Did you misunderstand something or am I missing something about the concept?" Then, assuming it's not just a misunderstanding, "Well, sell me on it. What makes this character work for the game, despite first appearances?"


Milo v3 wrote:
Redbeard the Scruffy wrote:

It shows a lack if creativity.

You can call bloodlines magic subschools, and sorcerers still use knowledge, but they're just intuitive or lucky wizards, rather than smart.

Witch patrons don't have to be mysterious forces, they can be magical thesises for a grand term paper. The familiar is a spellbook they accidentally polymorphed.

You show an extreme lack of creativity when you won't allow mechanical reflavoring.

Except sometimes you have already said x mechanic = y flavourwise in gameplay and having x mechanics = z flavourwise out of nowhere with no explaination would be ... well stupid.

Also.... some reflavours aren't just reflavours, for example "The familiar is a spellbook they accidentally polymorphed." has rules implications and is not just a reflavour it's homebrewing.

I allow tonnes of reflavouring, but not if it defies the settings pre-existing rules or isn't actually reflavouring.

Nor are hexes just a reflavoring of anything wizardly. They're an entirely different mechanism.


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To be honest, as a GM I'm wary of players wedded to specific mechanics, but willing to reflavor any way suggested. Makes me worry they're thinking strictly in those mechanical terms and don't care about the rest of the game.


Redbeard the Scruffy wrote:

You are marrying class mechanics with person.

For race, that argument makes sense, but for class? Why can't I call my witch a wizard and use the witch chassis if your world has no witches?

Depends.

Possibly you can. Possibly I object to the mechanics and find the witch's hexes and patrons don't fit into how I've long established wizards work in the world.

This question also has a flip side that has always bothered me in such cases: It's always assumed the player is only interested in the class mechanics and will be happy to completely change the flavor to whatever the GM allows. Perhaps not so obvious in the witch/wizard case, but with the ninja example, maybe the player actually wants the stereotypical black pajama clad, secret clan kind of ninja, but doesn't care about the mechanics as much and it's that stereotype that doesn't fit the setting?

Personally, in most cases, I'm more likely to shoot down concepts for flavor than to flat out ban mechanics. So up front lists of what's not allowed don't really work.


Edymnion wrote:

Back in ye olden days of 3e, it used to be a common thing for people to see in the books that unskilled labor made a silver a day and how the economy was completely broken because no peasants could afford anything with that, yadda yadda yadda.

It actually ended up working out quite well when you realized that the silver per day was for unskilled manual labor (ditch digging, basically). Any peasants would likely have Profession (Farmer) or Profession (Innkeeper) and would be making profession checks for weekly amounts of gold.

I once did up a whole thing about a typical peasant farmer family and how they not only made enough money for things like, well, FOOD, but they also made enough to set money aside for things like healing potions and trips to the cleric every once in a while, all while still keeping a fairly good standard of living (lot of stuff like having craft(clothing) and craft(cooking) and craft(woodworking) to make their own basic stuff most of the time).

Though there's still an awful lot of weirdness in having all jobs pay equally, based strictly on the skill roll of the person doing them.

A Profession(ditch-digger) earns just as much with a check of 15 as a Profession(lawyer) does. Craft(ladder) makes you as much as Craft(jewelry). You can hand-wave it by assigning higher skills to the more prestigious jobs, but it's still handwaving.


RWBY:
Though there's no evidence the Grimm aren't just as happy destroying Faunus as humans. Barring complete "Burn it all" madness on Adam's part, the White Fang has to have more of a plan than that.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
thejeff wrote:


It's an adventure game, not a world simulator. If you want to be an adventurer who runs a business in your downtime, you can make that work. Just expect it to be handwavy.

It also breaks really, really quickly, or it gets boring really, really, quickly.

For the vast majority of humanity in time and space, getting a 1-2% return on your invested capital was considered a very good thing. That's one reason that inflation was not really a thing for centuries.

But this means that you need to invest 12,000 gp in order to get yourself a 10 gp a month "average" standard of living off your rents. By the time you're high enough level to do that, you're high enough level that it no longer matters.

So there's two ways to deal with it. One is to say "the hell with it, I'm going to run a brewery for adventure potential and role-playing purposes and not bother with the money." The other is to bamboozle the game master into letting you get a "real" RoI, which will quickly give you more wealth than you can possibly imagine, and break the game balance like a toothpick.

For much of history "capital" wasn't really a thing, but that's another debate.

Yeah, "run a brewery for adventure potential and roleplaying purposes" is the way to go.
As hiiamtom said above, separate business money and adventure cash. Keep to something like WBL for balance, whatever the business does.


Guru-Meditation wrote:
Oxylepy wrote:
...in the DnD world for a non-economist like me to handle this?

Be glad that you are a non-economist.

As one it gets ... hairtearing fast if i dont shut up the little voice in my head fast.

"Look at these gives facts. City generation rules give the following distribution of classes as X. These will lead to Y, which in turn would lead to Z, even if we control for some different price elasticity and ... pseudo-medieval campaign worlds off the rails."

And dont get me on the effects of close to zero marginal costs of golem-based production and magic-items. Or what a permanent Wall of Fire and a Decanter of endless Water can be used for. Once set up and at nearly no running costs...

I just repeat the MYST3K-Mantra:

"If you're wondering how he eats and breathes / And other science facts / Then repeat to yourself 'It's just a show, / I should really just relax.' La-la-la"

Even before you get into those weirdnesses, it's the fixed prices for everything that are based on strict multiples of the raw material cost and don't vary with Supply and Demand.

It's an adventure game, not a world simulator. If you want to be an adventurer who runs a business in your downtime, you can make that work. Just expect it to be handwavy.


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Irontruth wrote:
I disagree. I've had players who are fine as long as they stay away from these types of characters, but once they stray into these common tropes, the trope takes over.

Let's say that, like a lot of things, they're harder to do well. They can be fine, given the right approach and the right player, but they can also be a trap leading even decent players into trouble.


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
tony gent wrote:

Hi all just wondering what you think the name old school gaming means to you ?

Is it just a reference to how long someone's been gaming or do you think it describes a style of play.
Your thoughts please
It's a term over40's use when we want to impress you with our age. It includes mythical beliefs such as the idea that gaming and gamers were better when THEY were younger. That more primitive ways of creating games and characters were better.

It's also a term the young kids these days use when they want to bash the old grognards and the dumb ways they played those primitive games, which couldn't possibly be as good as today's shiny new ones.

Which is of course an odd argument to find on a Pathfinder site, since that's running on a 15 year old chassis and even D&D has had two major new evolutions since then which means it must be much better now.


Ffordesoon wrote:

@thejeff:

If I may juke away from the topic for a moment, I'd like to ask you a question.

To me, "broken" used in a gaming context usually implies gaming a system to produce unintended results which subvert the spirit of the game. So, for example, summoners in Pathfinder tend to trivialize encounters intended to be difficult in a way that's not very fun for anyone, the summoner's player included. The intent of the game is to be fun for all the players. Ergo, Pathfinder summoners are broken.

By contrast, every Level 70 character in Diablo III has unfettered access to the entire vast suite of abilities granted by their class, which might seem broken from the perspective of a Diablo II player. But, while you can certainly argue it's a poor design choice for a sequel to Diablo II, you can't argue that it's a broken system, because the system works as intended.

Now, admittedly, I've never managed to play a game of Feng Shui, but I do own the rulebook for the second edition, and it seems to me that Feng Shui is quite explicitly a game where the PCs are supposed to win most fights and do impossible stuff and show off like crazy, just as in the HK action cinema which inspired the game. The intro to the second edition uses a character dashing across the tops of oncoming bullets as an example of something you are supposed to be able to do in the course of play. From a Pathfinder player's perspective, that is crazy, but I wouldn't say it's broken, because it's wholly within the spirit of the game.

All of which is to ask: What about Feng Shui is "broken" within the context I just described? I've never played it, remember, so this really is meant as an honest question

Not really in that sense. It's not really a matter of gaming the system. It's more fundamental than that.

The problem really lies in the basic mechanic. Skill+d6-d6* <> Skill. The range of the roll is tight enough that your chances drop off drastically as the difference in skill goes up. A 2 point difference in skill is workable if you've got other advantages, though you've got less than a 1 in 3 chance of success. A 3 point difference is 1 in 6 - which is fine if it's mooks attacking heroes.
The combat skill range for starting characters is 12-16. Most are within 13-15 and that mostly works. If the PCs don't keep themselves within that narrow range it gets really hard to balance fights - Anything that's a threat to the top end hits the weaker ones at will and can't be hurt by them.
Some of the archetypes also get secondary abilities a couple points down from their main skill. They may be cool, but that's essentially useless.

Mind you, I love the idea of the basic combat mechanic. One roll for hit & damage. No need for criticals or other hacks, rolling well to hit means you do more damage. Brilliantly elegant in theory. Works well within that limited range.
I had some great campaigns with it and it's still one of my favorites. It's just very fragile.

This is all with First Edition. I haven't seen the second one and don't know what they've changed.

*Open ended rolls- reroll 6s, but that doesn't really affect the basic probablity much


Krensky wrote:
Terquem wrote:

the problem with rolling once and determining order is it just turns into an IgYg battle

With rolling every round, and applying damage when it occurs, the players have an opportunity to get in two rounds of attacks before the monsters can attack back

There are other ways to make initiative matter without rolling every round. Also, your example isn't that compelling since it also means the a adversaries also have that opportunity.

For other methods, Spycraft 2.0's Fluid Initiative worked, as does the optional Ebb and Flow initiative system for Fantasy Craft. Then there are a whole pile of systems that don't easily convert to a d20 frame of refrence.

I'm not familiar with those, but I was always fond of Feng Shui's Shot system. You basically rolled initiative and counted down as normal, but when you did something it had a Shot Cost and you deducted that from your initiative to see when you'd act again. Movement only cost 1, most attacks were 3, etc. So it handled both initiative, different action types and multiple attacks all in one.

Faster characters not only went first, but got more actions.

A lot of cleverness in that system, broken though it was.


Nikolas of Green and Crimson wrote:

Of course! I'm channeling the legends of Heracles and Paul Bunyan, Jason and John Henry. I am indulging in Hyperbole. These tales are the versions known after a hundred years of retelling. Each contains a kernel of truth.

The inception of Nikolas and the Juggernaut was me imagining what the tale would look like after Nikolas played bull-fighter with a wooly rhinoceros.

Viscount K wrote:
In the right Shadow, anything is possible. Clearly, wherever Nikolas was, there was far less gravity and mass to contend with.

Good. I'm happy with either or both of those approaches.

Didn't think my expectations were that far off.


Alric of the Purple Nacre wrote:
Marjana wrote:

I have to say, I like these as tall tales or fables, but I hope the game itself isn't quite so over the top.

Amber's ridiculously powerful and epic, but not super-hero/myth powerful. The characters in the book were strong, but not like that. Corwin picked up a car, a '70s heavy iron car admittedly, but he didn't just chuck it across the road. Gerard, iconic first in Strength, beat him pretty easily, but didn't just swat him away like a bug.

I'd much rather see Strength characters who can beat the Warfare ones by bashing aside their weapons and shields, taking a hit and then crushing them, than by tossing mountains at them.

Don't the "super powers" only apply in Shadow anyway, and even then only in certain ones (or maybe always -except- certain ones)?

Not as far as I know. At least not in canon. Magic items & tech things tend to work that way, with some exceptions.

Though I've seen it as an approach to combining "Gerard is the strongest" with visits to superhero worlds and the like. If he visits the Marvel Universe, he can beat up the Hulk, but elsewhere he can't do Hulk like things.


Terquem wrote:

the problem with rolling once and determining order is it just turns into an IgYg battle

With rolling every round, and applying damage when it occurs, the players have an opportunity to get in two rounds of attacks before the monsters can attack back

Or vice versa.

You can plan less. Provides a bit of the chaos of war factor.

It is kind of a pain and slows things down. There's a trade off.


Sissyl wrote:
The 1st edition init rule had a neat option... Each character had an initiative, rolled ONCE. Talk about a roll you don't want to roll badly.

That I don't remember. But I don't think I ever understood 1E initiative and I'm damn sure we never played using it correctly.


Nah, looking back at it again 2E initiative isn't so bad. The only odd part is that so much is optional. It really was only 1E that never made sense and that we never used.


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Duiker wrote:
Cthulhudrew wrote:
thejeff wrote:
What I'd like to see in that kind of scenario, and what I've done on a smaller scale in past home campaigns, is give the party some kind of magic fast/instant transport that only works once they've somehow activated the next location. In this case it could be old planetary gates or something like that.
There are certainly precedents for that already, the elven gates for one or (my preference) Apostae's portals which, IIRC, may be connected to the Xiomorn (Vault Builders). So if there were a Distant Worlds AP and they wanted to start it on Golarion, either of those would/could be a very real option.
That's exactly how Reign of Winter works after book 2. You get transported to a place and then have to find the keys that then send you to the next place.

But, while you could go back to the previous locations, the AP is structured so there's no reason to, and in at least one case, good reason not to.

Makes it the traditional "vagabond AP where you wander from one sight to another to another with no room for settling down from time to time and build relationships." The difference would be building in reasons to return to a base or to the sites from the previous volumes to keep building on connections to the NPCs there.
The gates or the Hut would just be a mechanism to allow that.


Digitalelf wrote:
Terquem wrote:

Does anyone else remember when you had to state your actions for the round

AND then roll for initiative?

Yup!

Currently using it in my 2nd edition AD&D campaigns... Along with rolling for initiative each round!

Have you actually figured out RAW 2E initiative?

I remember looking at it awhile back and it neither made sense nor was what I remembered.
1E was far worse. I really couldn't figure out how that worked.


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J-Bone wrote:
My only fear I have with a distant Worlds AP is the constant travel which leads to very little by way of close NPC relationships. It may be some folks cup of tea but I really hate the vagabond APs where you wander from one sight to another to another with no room for settling down from time to time and build relationships. Carrion Crown is a prime example of this. That said, if there were some spot that people could use as a home base perhaps a big old ship, space station, stargate port, then that would work out.

What I'd like to see in that kind of scenario, and what I've done on a smaller scale in past home campaigns, is give the party some kind of magic fast/instant transport that only works once they've somehow activated the next location. In this case it could be old planetary gates or something like that. A good chunk of the adventure might be activating the next stage, but once you'd done it, you can easily return to your previous locations and the NPCs and other things you knew then. The key is structuring the AP to encourage that. Which the nature of APs as separate volumes developed in parallel kind of works against. The author of volume 2 doesn't have more than an outline of volume 1 when they're working on it.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Seems to me a Crystal ooze would be the natural answer here. :)


Viscount K wrote:
Marjana wrote:

How does that work with older generation rankings? Benedict's going to be better no matter what, but is that a qualitative difference where he's actually got different kinds of abilities or just "bigger, better, faster"?

IIRC, that's not really clearly defined in the rules and I've seen it handled differently in various games in the past.
A bit of both. There are some things that are going to be out of the scope of the younger generation that Benedict and the other Elders might be able to pull off, but this is mostly a measure of them being "bigger, better, faster". That said, this isn't a game about the Elders - don't worry too much about them, they're (mostly) going to be kept busy with their own affairs. Unless you or your siblings go poking the bears, that is.

Good enough. Thanks.


YttriumDervish wrote:

Absolutely; if nothing else I'll get a picture and name up for the rest of the auction.

Also, apparently Discussion doesn't give a dot, but now I remembered to check and won't forget about this again at any rate.

I know. That's been annoying me too.


Terquem wrote:

Does anyone else remember when you had to state your actions for the round

AND then roll for initiative?

Yeah, though I'm not sure we ever actually played that way.

Neat concept, but nearly unworkable. Too often, your declared action wasn't even possible, much less useful if you came late in the order.

Actually, the variant I remember is:

Roll for initiative
Declare your actions in reverse initiative order
Actually do stuff in order


Krensky wrote:
Because its clear that when some people say RP required they mean play acting while other read RP required as no meta gaming and others see it as not a war/board game and still others view it as a game where you will have to do stuff other then one combat after another.

And probably the vast majority think of it as playing a computer game with some kind of character design mechanism.


Krensky wrote:
Because its not actually general understood?

Because any replacement term is also not going to be generally understood.

It also really raises the question of "What does roleplaying mean?" even further if you just define it as "playing a roleplaying game".
Self referential definition: See Self referential definition.

Is there anything that defines a roleplaying game? Other than "Anything that calls itself one".


Steve Geddes wrote:
Tormsskull wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Granted I think the "roleplay=talking in character" definition is common on the boards, I just don't think it's terribly useful.
It's incredibly useful in setting expectations. If I'm recruiting for players and I intend on a heavy in-character dialogue component to the campaign, stating RP required helps prospective players know what the campaign entails.

I don't see any advantage to using the term "roleplay required" over "talking in character required".

One reason I think it's unhelpful is because it's imprecise and used in different ways by different people. I think if you advertised your game as expecting a lot of in-character dialogue - everyone in the "roleplay=talking in character" camp knows what you mean and those of us who think differently also know what you mean. Isn't a less ambiguous term strictly better to one with multiple interpretations?

If your definition is as short as "must talk in character", then it may be.

I suspect even those using the "talk in character" have more nuanced expectations than that.
If the player speaks the words that he wants his character to say, but doesn't have any coherent personality, motivation or anything else behind it and in fact rarely says anything beyond things directly necessary to the adventure and the occasional in character joke would that be in the spirit of a heavy roleplay game in that sense? I doubt it.
Or on the flip side, would a mute character not qualify, if the player was good enough to convey personality and intent through description? Technically no and it would be a serious challenge, but I suspect most of the "talk in character" crowd would agree, if they saw it done well.
Or from the other perspective, if someone advertised a roleplay heavy game, I'd expect a focus on NPC interactions, not a fight heavy game where you were expected to talk tactics in character and occasionally shout battle slogans and the only interaction with NPCs was the occasionally Diplomacy/Intimidate/Bluff to get by guards or negotiating for pay (all played out using actual in-character dialogue of course). Even though that would fit the definition.

This is tricky to talk about, since it's possible, though sometimes difficult, to imagine a coherent character that matches any short description. But someone who's sometimes blunt and gruff and sometimes flowery and longwinded and sometimes just vulgar, but with no in character consistency for when he's one or the other, just the player's whim of the moment. Think of the difference between a well-written character in a story, where you get a good sense of personality versus someone who's just doing things to move the plot forward.

That's what I'm looking for when I talk about roleplay. I was trying to avoid talking about that directly, since it spun off into unproductive tangents last time I did here, but I've failed my will save again. Yes, the character sheet and the build should not contradict the character you're trying to portray, though not everything and often not many of the important things will be on the sheet. All your actions, in combat or out, should flow from the character you're trying to portray. In character dialogue is the most direct way and one of the most important ways to portray the character since that's how we actually get much of our insight into other people, both in fiction and in real life, but it's not strictly necessary or sufficient. Long speeches, for example, are often better summarized, because most of aren't actually great impromptu orators and they'll probably give the wrong impression.


Irontruth wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
So, when a term consistently has large amounts of disagreement about what falls within it's definition and what doesn't, would you consider that term well defined? Or poorly defined?

I would say it's not well defined.

But your approach doesn't really fix it. Sure, you define roleplaying as "playing a roleplaying game" and it's nice and clearly defined. No disagreement about what that means.

People are still going to want to talk about that other thing that we currently describe as "roleplay". So we'll need another term. The exact same argument now shifts to "What does that term mean?" Is it just talking in character? Is it the broader thing I'm talking about? Is it whatever Jiggy's using the term to mean?

The distinction you're drawing is not where the confusion lies, as near as I can tell. There may be confusion over exactly what a "roleplaying heavy campaign" means, but no one really thinks it's redundant.

People say things like:

PIN number
ATM machine
Halls of Valhalla

quite regularly without realizing that they're being redundant. Just because people think they aren't being redundant, doesn't mean they aren't being redundant.

I agree that people will want to talk about many aspects of the game, including how they portray their character. That isn't evidence that "roleplaying" is the best possible term that they could use.

Example: Syrio Forel (A Game of Thrones)

He's a duelist type of character, wielding a rapier, using fluid movement in his fighting style. These aspects are integral to the character as presented, in both the TV show and the book. In a game like Pathfinder, his fighting style would be defined by class features and feats. These special abilities would reinforce who he is and what kind of person he is.

To me, that sounds like good roleplaying. In fact, I bet we could find a few threads where people complain about the bad roleplaying of people

...

Not really. Perhaps I misunderstand your point, but I don't really see how that example relates.

Either someone is playing Syrio Forel in a roleplaying game, in which case they are roleplaying. Or they're not, in which case, they're obviously not, right?
So where does "good" or "bad" come in?


Jiggy wrote:
thejeff wrote:
In this case when someone says "a roleplaying heavy roleplaying game", he means something and we all have at least a vague idea what that is.
Only because of inferences made after hearing lots of remarks about "roleplaying" in a variety of conversational contexts. I did originally think that "a roleplay-heavy roleplaying game" was redundant (sorry for the earlier miscommunication; the idea that maybe people meant "not metagaming" was merely my first theory, my first attempt at making sense of the apparent ridiculousness of the statements).

Well, that's pretty much how language acquisition works -- inferences made after hearing lots of usage in a variety of conversational contexts.

Sure, you can learn words by looking up definitions, but that's far rarer. Even as adults. Often trips up foreign language learners.


Jiggy wrote:
thejeff wrote:

If there is a clear, official definition, can you point to it? Preferably one for it's use as jargon within the hobby, rather than a general English dictionary sense.

I was actually hoping to find that when I brought up the early D&D intros before, but they really don't clearly address it.

That's why I was interested in early citations as well; if the game itself specifies a meaning for "roleplay", then we use that meaning instead of the normal English meaning (just like with "attack" or "check" or "bonus"). But if the game does not provide its own special definition of "roleplay", then we use the normal English meaning.

In other words, for any given term used in the hobby, the default is to use the normal English meaning, and to do otherwise requires that the game give us an alternative.

Therefore, if "roleplay" is to mean something other than playing your role in the normal English sense, the burden of proof is on the proponent of that idea to find us the alternative definition from an authoritative source.

Well then, if you're playing a roleplaying game, you're roleplaying. And that's all there is to it.

And by the way, a roleplaying game is mostly a computer game, if you go by standard dictionaries.

Damn shame, because I think there is something interesting to talk about here, but unless we can get an authoritative source to come up with terms for us to use, it's going to be awfully difficult to talk about.

We'll have to make sure we shut down anyone talking about roleplay heavy games or anything like that, because all RPG games* are equally roleplay heavy by definition.

BTW, with all the argument over the last few pages, is that the definition you were working with the whole time? Roleplaying is playing a roleplaying game?

*:
Not redundant. The game in RPG refers to the hobby as a whole, while the following game refers to the individual campaign or session.**

**:
Why yes, I'm being extra pedantic, why do you ask?

***:
Why are you reading through the footnotes?****

****:
Explosive Runes!


Irontruth wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
So, when a term consistently has large amounts of disagreement about what falls within it's definition and what doesn't, would you consider that term well defined? Or poorly defined?

I would say it's not well defined.

But your approach doesn't really fix it. Sure, you define roleplaying as "playing a roleplaying game" and it's nice and clearly defined. No disagreement about what that means.

People are still going to want to talk about that other thing that we currently describe as "roleplay". So we'll need another term. The exact same argument now shifts to "What does that term mean?" Is it just talking in character? Is it the broader thing I'm talking about? Is it whatever Jiggy's using the term to mean?

The distinction you're drawing is not where the confusion lies, as near as I can tell. There may be confusion over exactly what a "roleplaying heavy campaign" means, but no one really thinks it's redundant.

People say things like:

PIN number
ATM machine
Halls of Valhalla

quite regularly without realizing that they're being redundant. Just because people think they aren't being redundant, doesn't mean they aren't being redundant.

I agree that people will want to talk about many aspects of the game, including how they portray their character. That isn't evidence that "roleplaying" is the best possible term that they could use.

Example: Syrio Forel (A Game of Thrones)

He's a duelist type of character, wielding a rapier, using fluid movement in his fighting style. These aspects are integral to the character as presented, in both the TV show and the book. In a game like Pathfinder, his fighting style would be defined by class features and feats. These special abilities would reinforce who he is and what kind of person he is.

To me, that sounds like good roleplaying. In fact, I bet we could find a few threads where people complain about the bad roleplaying of people who just make death machines, instead of building...

Those redundancies are different. They're taking either words from another language or acronyms that are used like words and using part of the original along with it. Which is silly, but different.

In this case when someone says "a roleplaying heavy roleplaying game", he means something and we all have at least a vague idea what that is. We're not sure, because "roleplaying" is loosely defined, but we don't think it means "playing a roleplaying game" in that context. Any more than than we think it means the bedroom games or the therapy techniques.


Jiggy wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
So, when a term consistently has large amounts of disagreement about what falls within it's definition and what doesn't, would you consider that term well defined? Or poorly defined?

I submit that a term's definition can be entirely clear while the term still generates large amounts of disagreement about what it means.

To phrase it more sourly, lots of people being wrong doesn't mean a term is unclear.

For example, consider the use of "literally" and other qualifiers as intensifiers. The fact that lots of people think "literally" means something similar to "very" does not mean that it's poorly defined.

Doesn't help the current situation much, but still.

If there is a clear, official definition, can you point to it? Preferably one for it's use as jargon within the hobby, rather than a general English dictionary sense.

I was actually hoping to find that when I brought up the early D&D intros before, but they really don't clearly address it.


Irontruth wrote:
Christopher Dudley wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Christopher Dudley wrote:
Dire Elf wrote:
I was working on a new wizard character's familiar, and I realized that an ordinary cat has claw attack damage of 1d2-4. Seriously?! I realize there's a minimum of 1 damage, but why bother having a damage value that calculates as a negative number? Anyway, we all know that cats' claws and bite can do at least 2 damage without a critical.
That makes sense if you remember that you can alter a cat's size, and then you have to alter those numbers as well. If it was just "Damage 1" (which by PF rules should be subdual), you wouldn't really have any idea where to go from there.
Damage 1 increases to 1d2, it's on the weapon size chart.
Yes, I can see that, thank you. But a cat doesn't do 1 point of damage. It does 1d2-4. The question was why doesn't the cat say it does 1 damage when that's what the math will always work out to.

You said...

Quote:
If it was just "Damage 1" (which by PF rules should be subdual), you wouldn't really have any idea where to go from there.
I'm pointing out that we do know where to go from there. 1 damage increases to 1d2 damage. It's on the chart.

True. But not useful.

Since 1d2 isn't actually where we should go from 1d2-4, even though 1d2-4 always comes out to 1.


Jiggy wrote:
Tormsskull wrote:
thejeff wrote:
And I still say that's not the root of the problem. I've never seen, for example, someone shocked at the idea of "roleplay heavy" session.
This is my experience as well. I've never actually had someone confused when I advertised for a role-playing required campaign.

*raises hand*

Used to be when I heard people talk about "requiring roleplay" or some such, I thought they just meant not doing metagamey things (like automatically recognizing people because they're PCs, or communicating during battle without expecting the enemies to hear you). Eventually, from enough contextual examples, I figured out that a lot of people meant "talking to NPCs", and my internal reaction was "Huh? That's not all roleplay is, and it might even be the OPPOSITE of roleplay, if your speech doesn't match the character."

So now you've both encountered such a person.

Please follow the discussion. Bits got dropped from my quote, but that was specifically a response to Irontruth's argument that "roleplaying" should just mean "playing a role-playing game" and that that is a source of the confusion here.

In that sense with the definition substituted in - the phrase "a 'playing a roleplaying game' required campaign" makes no sense. It's either redundant or nonsensical, but no one is actually confused by that because no one actually sticks to that definition, though they may use it in other contexts.

As I said explicitly in the bit not quoted:

Quote:
We can be confused about exactly what the other person meant by "roleplay", but it's not like saying "That was a very football heavy football game."


Irontruth wrote:
So, when a term consistently has large amounts of disagreement about what falls within it's definition and what doesn't, would you consider that term well defined? Or poorly defined?

I would say it's not well defined.

But your approach doesn't really fix it. Sure, you define roleplaying as "playing a roleplaying game" and it's nice and clearly defined. No disagreement about what that means.

People are still going to want to talk about that other thing that we currently describe as "roleplay". So we'll need another term. The exact same argument now shifts to "What does that term mean?" Is it just talking in character? Is it the broader thing I'm talking about? Is it whatever Jiggy's using the term to mean?

The distinction you're drawing is not where the confusion lies, as near as I can tell. There may be confusion over exactly what a "roleplaying heavy campaign" means, but no one really thinks it's redundant.


Christopher Dudley wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Christopher Dudley wrote:
Dire Elf wrote:
I was working on a new wizard character's familiar, and I realized that an ordinary cat has claw attack damage of 1d2-4. Seriously?! I realize there's a minimum of 1 damage, but why bother having a damage value that calculates as a negative number? Anyway, we all know that cats' claws and bite can do at least 2 damage without a critical.
That makes sense if you remember that you can alter a cat's size, and then you have to alter those numbers as well. If it was just "Damage 1" (which by PF rules should be subdual), you wouldn't really have any idea where to go from there.
Damage 1 increases to 1d2, it's on the weapon size chart.
Yes, I can see that, thank you. But a cat doesn't do 1 point of damage. It does 1d2-4. The question was why doesn't the cat say it does 1 damage when that's what the math will always work out to.

Partly because 1 damage does increase to 1d2?

Or more accurately: Because that's what it comes out to. Both parts of that can vary separately. It's 1d2 base damage, -4 strength penalty.
A size increase will bump both the base damage and the strength, but the strength could be boosted separately. Enlarge it by one category, it's now at 1d3-3, which is still 1, which it wouldn't be if it just was listed as 1 damage. Then drop a Bull's Strength and we're at 1d3-1.

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