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thejeff's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 24,170 posts (25,092 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 8 aliases.


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:
Yeah, I think the Marvel purchase has paid for itself already. The Star Wars purchase will eventually.

Even if the alt-right, or lets call them by their proper names, Neo-Nazi Fascists decide to boycott this one the way they did the last one.

Actually our goosestepping friends are divided. Some of them want to keep up the boycott they started for Star Wars daring to have a black hero, others want Palapatine to replace Adolf Hitler as their new poster boy for white supremacy.. to get with the times I guess.

If it turns into a Star Wars/alt-right culture war, all I can say is "Bring it on."

They can't begin to compete.


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Pink Dragon wrote:

I have a chronic back issue caused by ripping both Quad muscles within minutes of each other playing soccer. I find properly stretching helps alleviate a lot of the back pain.

But that is me. Generally, I think living an active life doing things you enjoy will alleviate much pain, or at least make the pain bearable to some extent. I also believe having a balanced diet with good food (non-processed, few additives) in general makes one feel better and therefore mitigates pain. Finally, a positive state of mind helps me a lot.

The active life doing the things I enjoy is what causes most of my pain.


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Milo v3 wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
In my experience it doesn't. at a fairly low level spellcasters can summon/call outsiders that can greater teleport to go around the world searching for their gear at all the largest cities of the world.
Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
And at even lower levels the party can *gasp* walk. Or buy some horses to ride.
With the giant amount of item types and the percentages of different items chances to actually be generated, that's just going to accomplish seeing a lot of different potions and scrolls to be honest and maybe a handful of random wondrous items that isn't that your players were looking for. You are not going to find the specific item you're looking for through that method.

Or you just go to a city big enough to have the 75% chance of whatever it is you're looking for.

If you blow the roll, try another one.

Once you're past the point where the largest cities around only get it as a random roll, then you're kind of stuck, but you're at a decent level by then.


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Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:
That looks good. Hopefully they won't have too much Stark/Iron Man.
Ok, I'll bite. Why would you write this after seeing Downey Jr. in half of the preview?

While I love the actor and character, I'm of the opinion his screen presence and the popularity of his character could easily overwhelm the main star/character, and make this less of a Spider-Man movie and more a Spider-Man plus movie.

Not that it would be a bad thing, mind you. Captain America: Civil War was thoroughly enjoyable. And Marvel has done very well including multiple heroes in theoretically solo movies. It all depends on the script (which Marvel has once again typically done very well with). And this does seem to be in keeping with the role they seem to have assigned to Stark - he's kind of the glue that holds the Marvel Cinematic Universe together. Six Degrees of Tony Stark?

Yeah, I like RDJr too, but I'd rather keep him as just-above-a-cameo in this movie. Holland and the rest of the cast will have plenty to do without needing RDJr being RDJr.

Although... I just had a really dark thought about Stark's character arc now... ** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
As discussed at more length in the Should the MCU kill off characters? thread, I really hope they don't kill Stark off just because they don't want to keep paying RDjr.

Let the character lie fallow for a while and then recast him if tehy want to use Stark again. Killing characters based on actor availability just isn't a good way to go, unless they really do want to reboot the franchise.


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Delightful wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Which is kind of an odd stance for the Patriotic hero of WWII to take a couple of adventures after his revival.

At least in the comics he'd been back for a long time before he got that disillusioned with the government.

Not really. The secret government apparatus pre-World War II and after (which is what Cap fell into after being woken up) are extremely different and Cap's experience with it went from being focused on defeating the Nazis (something of pretty obvious moral characters) to being really byzantine, double-dealing, and totally infiltrated by guys who make the Nazis look 'quaint' yet could be working at the desk right next to you. Yeah, I can see a pretty rapid disillusionment coming on from that one.

Yeah, Cap's always been patriotic towards the idea of America, not necessarily the current government or institutions in charge of it.

I mean, in the comics Cap tried to take down Richard Nixon back in the day for Christ's sake.

yeah, but even that was well after his return.

Seems to me that he'd start out still the ultra patriot type and take awhile to acclimate to the modern reality. I suppose it could be more like whiplash. :)


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Kirth Gersen wrote:
thejeff wrote:
And Hawkeye is basically Green Arrow, not "a normal guy who belonged to the archery club in college", though as I said, he hasn't been well served by the movies.

Remember, I'm talking as someone who has only the movies to go by. To rake in billions, you need to appeal to the casual viewers as well as the diehard comic geeks.

I have no idea who Green Arrow is. And this whole recent side-conversation about "accords" made me winder if Honda had started an advertising tie-in with Marvel.

Well, Green Arrow does have his own TV show now.

And the Slovokia Accords were the big thing in the Civil War movie. Loosely based of the Civil War comics, but not called the same there.

Just looking at the recent movie/tv show properties which would you say weren't "superheroes"? Regardless of whether you'd heard of them before. What criteria are you using?


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Bill Dunn wrote:
phantom1592 wrote:

yeah, the point of the accords was the same thing as it was in the first Civil War book.

You can't take the law into your own hands. Nobody really cares if Tony Stark is a super genius. They don't care if he wants to develop artificial hearts or Hovercar technology. Redesign the next computer technology and change the world... they're totally fine with (his competitors may complain... but the world doesn't care). Designing super weapons and flying himself to the middle east and blowing things up with an American accent?? THAT they have a problem with.

Black Widow and Hawkeye are super athletes with bows fighting under SHIELD training and missions... Awesome. Going Rogue and doing whatever they want in foreign countries... the world doesn't like that. If the Avengers were still under SHIELD and letting Fury or Coulson call the shots with government checks and balances... then there wouldn't have been a need for the Accords. Instead Tony designed an army of Iron suits to quell a disruptive population in another country....And that didn't go over well.

It's not about what they're skills are... it's about how they're using them and can anyone stop them if they have to...

Oh, I think if they had been under SHIELD, thanks to the events in Winter Soldier and SHIELD's massive black eye due to Hydra infiltration, there would have been a tremendous problem. In fact, I'd say it's Captain America's disillusionment with SHIELD thanks to Winter Soldier that makes his opposition to the Sokovia Accords in Civil War inevitable. He doesn't want to make the Avengers state actors, subject to the political decisions of the state - even if that state is, effectively, the UN. If the UN Security Council is any model, they'd never be deployed or their deployment would always be viewed as political. Rather, in order to actually be effective, they need to be independent of governmental control.

Which is kind of an odd stance for the Patriotic hero of WWII to take a couple of adventures after his revival.

At least in the comics he'd been back for a long time before he got that disillusioned with the government.


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DrDeth wrote:
And since the Elves did trade in lembas at times and used to sell their wares before they shut themselves in, yes, you could buy "magic items" in Middle earth.

Do you have a reference for that? IIRC, there is a line saying it was rarely given to mortals, probably in "Of Lembas" in Peoples of Middle Earth.

Do Tolkien's elves even have money? Never really thought about it before, but there are some hints they work more like a gift economy. Which doesn't preclude trade, of course.
The only actual hiring that comes to mind is Thingol hiring dwarves to forge the Nauglimir, which turns to disaster.


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Klorox wrote:
Remember that sauron was a maia, of a power greater even than that of a balrog, I doubt a common, non magical tool of war could have scratched his armour, much less hurt the semi divine being in it.

Perhaps.

Narsil was certainly not common.


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Klorox wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Was Narsil even an artifact? I never saw any indication it was more than a really well-made and important sword.
It was effing magical enough to cut off Sauron's finger when striking at him normally still had shivered it into several pieces... and Andùril was itself a highly magical sword, though likely a lesser weapon.
All we actually know about that conflict and Narsil's role in it is:
Quote:
I was at the Battle of Dagorlad before the Black Gate of Mordor, where we had the mastery: for the Spear of Gil-galad and the Sword of Elendil, Aiglos and Narsil, none could withstand. I beheld the last combat on the slopes of Orodruin, where Gil-galad died, and Elendil fell, and Narsil broke beneath him; but Sauron himself was overthrown, and Isildur cut the Ring from his hand with the hilt-shard of his father’s sword, and took it for his own.

It didn't break when striking Sauron, but when Elendil fell on it. And yeah, the broken part was still sharp enough to cut off Sauron's finger. Not clear if magic was needed for that or not.

And KC: In Tolkein's world "really-well made" is "magic". Craft raised to the level of magic. Whether it was an "artifact" or not is a question of definition.


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Rerednaw wrote:

Purely IMHO...the magic lies in a duel between story vs. stats.

Story: "By this wand of power I banish thee to nothingness!!"
vs.
Stats: "Eat hot photons, martian slime! "-granted there's still a bit of story here...but when the magical becomes mundane and commonplace...*shrug*

But to follow up that old What's New exchange

Quote:

Phil: ...One is just more romantic than the other.

Girl: Where'd you get it?
Wizard: Why, this wand was forged for me by Noo-Nah the Demon King after
I saved his bacon at the battle of Squa-Tront...

Girl: Where'd you get it?
Tech 1: Sears. $28.35.

Pathfinder magic is often closer to the second paradigm.


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Alright. Yeah. That broke me.


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Saint Bernard wrote:
The problem with deciding who isn't and who is a super hero is the fundamental problem with the accords. Where do you draw the line on who comes under the accords. If we use Captain America as the dividing line then Black Widow, Hawkeye and Iron Man should not fall under the accords. Without his armor Tony Stark is just a genius with an aptitude for engineering. If high IQ is a mark for being regulated by the accords than Professor Hawking in the real world would fall under them.

While I do get the difficulty with things like the accords, you're kind of missing the point with Stark. He doesn't have a high IQ. He's completely off the charts. Hawking doesn't begin to compare. He whipped up fundamental basic science breakthroughs essentially alone in a prison. He does this kind of thing pretty routinely. He can do this of course because he's in a comic book world and they basically ignore how science and technology actually work.

That's what I mean by his brain is his superpower.

If Professor Hawking was building super powered AI robots and exoskeleton suits for himself using an entirely new power source, they'd be regulating him too. But he's not. Nobody real is.

Just like skilled acrobats, martial artists and archers don't get to the point where they can take on practically any number of regular trained troops or cops or thugs without much trouble.
Because they take their skills to the point of being "super".


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Thomas Seitz wrote:
Jeff is right. One good punch from the Hulk right through that chest plate, Tony Stark is sipping mia tis with the angels. Maybe.

True, though the Hulk would have to be pretty mad to punch through the armor, that stuff is tough.

But not really my point. Stark's superpower is his brain.


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phantom1592 wrote:

It takes a very narrow view of what the word 'superhero' means. It can't mean Super powers... because Green Arrow and Batman are very popular 'superheroes'. Avengers has always been considered a superhero team, in a superhero comic.. and yeah, Hawkeye has been consistently a member since the 60's. Heck, even Tony Stark is a normal guy without his tech gear...

Some people only want to include Superman and Spider-man in the title.. but the genre has never been that limited. There are a LOT of different types of characters that fall under that umbrella.

And Hawkeye is basically Green Arrow, not "a normal guy who belonged to the archery club in college", though as I said, he hasn't been well served by the movies.

And Stark is a normal guy without his tech gear, except for that whole part where he's an inventive genius and mechanic beyond anything in the real world, slapping together impossible inventions with spare parts in the heat of the moment.


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DrDeth wrote:
WormysQueue wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
I think there are two conflicting goals being considered here. The more fantastical we make the world, the less fantasical any given aspect of the world will be.
Not necessarily. Middle-Earth is a highly magical world, but the magic as used by the characters is still something extraordinary.

Well, maybe.

The Fellowship had three artifacts, several powerful named weapons, a chain shirt that was unique and more or less the Invulnerable Coat of Arnt (another artifact), elven cloaks all around, a staff of power of some sort, some sort of Gem of Light Holy item, 4 bane weapons, a magic horn, ropes,The walking sticks Faramir gave to Sam and Frodo, Aragorns sheath, ...
not to mention several things like Aragorns Ring and Amulet that werent spelled out.

Yes and no. ("go not to elves for counsel")

If you're counting the elven cloaks & rope for example, then everything made by elves is magic. Similarly the walking sticks, if you want to count them and more than likely all or most dwarf work.
Remember that the elves didn't understand when asked if they were magic cloaks.
Quote:
‘I do not know what you mean by that,’ answered the leader of the Elves. ‘They are fair garments, and the web is good, for it was made in this land. They are Elvish robes certainly, if that is what you mean.

Which is how Middle-Earth worked in terms of "magic": craftsmanship and art raised to the level of magic.

And 3 artifacts? 2 rings. What else? Or are you counting one of the swords?


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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Why aren't they? They have as many superpowers as Bruce Wayne. Nick Fury has access to even more gadgets. And Black Widow can kick some serious butt.

OK, remember I'm not a comics fan. I'm a random person who said, "Ooh, let's watch this movie and eat some popcorn." From that perspective, Avengers 1 gave me a movie about a Norse God, a guy in a robot suit that amps him up to the point where he can go toe-to-toe with a god, and a green monster that can smash evil gods like rag dolls. Oh, and a normal guy who belonged to the archery club in college, who has (on-screen) no exceptional abilities at all and spends the whole movie mind-controlled by the bad guys. And you're telling me they're all equal partners?

The only reason I smile is because it's so much like this superhero movie.

Don't forget the 40's throwback who runs around with a shield.

Are they all equally powerful? No. Same's true even with the later entries who have superpowers.

I do agree Hawkeye's been kind of shortchanged in the movies.


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Rysky wrote:
Delightful wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Sundakan wrote:
Isn't the iconic Magus gay?
by default if it isn't spelled out otherwise, I think every iconic can walk both sides of the street.

I think the comics, if they can be considered "canon," kind of challenge that assumption with Merishel being definitely bi or poly, Kyra being a lesbian and Valeros being likely straight.

But, hey, if someone wants to make the Iconics whatever sexuality they need in their games, I don't think Paizo's going to come after anyone, so go crazy.

The point Drahl was saying was that unless Paizo says otherwise (which they have in the comics, which are canon) they are whatever sexuality you want them to be.

But to flip it back, even in those cases, if you're using them in a home game or even playing them in PFS, do as you please.


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WormysQueue wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
I think there are two conflicting goals being considered here. The more fantastical we make the world, the less fantasical any given aspect of the world will be.

Not necessarily. Middle-Earth is a highly magical world, but the magic as used by the characters is still something extraordinary. The World of the Weel of Time is another example for a world where mundane characters (as well as the Aes Sedai) don't run around as magical christmas trees and magical items are cherished (or cursed) treasures.

It's also not that I don't like high magic settings. I like the Realms, I like Eberron, for example. And I even don't think that it's the description of those settings that leads to the problem as suggested by the OP. It's the application of the rules to the adventures in those settings, because it's then that suddenly +1 longswords are so common that you stumble about them at every corner of a dungeon and half of the world population seems to actually have one.

I can live with all of that quite well in general and with only a bit of tinkering. And I even use magic shops to a certain degree in my games. But noone at my table tends to assume that just because it stands in any of the books, you'll get a specific magic item right at the next bigger settlement's magic mart. Especially as far as wondrous items are concerned.

I still think a lot of that is that the magic in those extraordinary highly magical settings isn't clearly codified, either by the characters or by us. Tolkien goes into this in a couple of places, with the inability of the elves to understand what humans (or hobbits) meant by "magic". Magic is more of a craft or an art, than a set of explicit rules. The world is magic, it doesn't so much have magic.

Or in WoT, consider the difference between how even the normal Aes Sedai treat the Power compared to how the Forsaken treat things or to our few glimpses back into the Age of Legends. There it was science & technology, not wonder and the Forsaken treat it that way.

If you want magic to really have that sense of wonder in a game, I think you have to actually make it work differently. Hide the mechanics from the players. Let them run into things they don't understand, that shouldn't be possible. Make it alive.


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Matthew Downie wrote:
Wrath wrote:
Games like World of Warcraft, Rift and Everquest all have amazingly high magic worlds and have a magic mart setting. Nothing about those settings diminishes how magical the world is, yet all of them basically encourage you to continually upgrade gear.

I think there are two conflicting goals being considered here. The more fantastical we make the world, the less fantasical any given aspect of the world will be.

A city where everyone travels around on magical beasts and flying carpets, and most rich people have a genie servant of some kind, might be an evocative place, but in that city, acquiring a magic lamp will become a relatively mundane event.

Or we could go in the low-fantasy direction. You can have a world where magic potion that gave someone the ability to turn invisible was an incredible and shocking discovery, as long as you first make the world a gritty Game-of-Thrones type place.

There's probably a Conservation of Wonder effect at work here.

It's not just the amount, but also how codified the magic is. Whether in world or in the game rules. It's hard to evoke the wonder when the details of the spell are laid out on page 357.

Even in the low-fantasy world, that potion of invisibility may be a wonder to the characters, but it won't be to PF players.


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WormysQueue wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
I would infinitely prefer to play in a world that's flexible enough to account for my choices and continue to exist 99% of the time.

I guess that would be a problem for a setting that is mainly driven by Adventure Paths though.

Though I think it's not so much of a railroad actually. The Setting as presented doesn't change to much, so it's mainly the GM's decision how to go about the consequences of a party's failing. You can have another party stepping up to finish what the others started, but you're also basically free to decide how events go from there. So in my games I'm generally much less concerned about what happens if the players stray from the (Adventure) path than I am about the players don't try to choose their own way just because it might go against anything the AP says. Might create some fallout, but well, if it does, that's for another band of adventurers to cope with, if my players do't want to.

I agree with thejeff that the APs aren't about the world ending most of the time, but I'm one of those who actually would like to play in a scenario after one of the APs went wrong. I mean if Karzoug wins, it's definitely not the end of the world but it might be a great scenario for heroes to tackle after they went through the Crimson throne for example.

So in the end, I see it more of an incentive for players to start the thing, because where would be the heroism if basically anyone else could do it.

Though, to sort of argue against myself: The question isn't so much what happens after the PCs fail, but can the PCs just ignore the threats the GMs set up and carry on with their lives? Maybe they want to keep raiding the local dungeons for loot instead of following up the clues to the necromancer who's turning the whole town into zombies. The world may continue, but their home town and base won't.

The ethos here, as I understand it, is that player should be able to pick what they want to deal with without any real consequences from plotlines they let drop. It's really kind of a foreign attitude to me as a player - I like having urgency and plots to foil.

I also don't really see it as a setting issue, though I suppose having lots of adventures around could work as an excuse on the setting level. Mostly I think this kind of thing should be handled on the meta level - if you don't want to play an AP, say that up front, rather than playing it but trying to avoid the actual plot. You need buy in for any campaign concept. If you start and realize that it isn't working for you, talk to the GM and the other players.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
thejeff wrote:
2) I'd rather have that than "Meh, let's go bowling instead. Someone else will take care of it."
I feel like when this happens, it's mostly an issue of "the fantasy the players are indulging is the power to blow off their responsibilities" which you can indulge for a while, but eventually you have to loop the nasty thing that's happening back to their bowling league (eternal winter is causing a shortage of pins, your primary rivals in league play were drafted to fight the hordes of the damned so you won't get your chance to outbowl them, etc.) and they'll actually start cooperating.

That's just forcing them onto the railroad. :)


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
WormysQueue wrote:
And in the typical AP situation it's "if you don't save the day, no one will".

It's close a necessity for the writing of the AP's to ensure the entire AP actually get's played, but it's a form of railroading I hate as a player.

I would infinitely prefer to play in a world that's flexible enough to account for my choices and continue to exist 99% of the time. You can only do a 'the world ends because you chose not to participate in this specific set of events' plot so many times before it becomes incredibly stale beans.

1) A good chunk of APs don't involve the world ending, though there's usually something pretty nasty going on.

2) I'd rather have that than "Meh, let's go bowling instead. Someone else will take care of it."
3) High level characters need high level threats. CR 20+ villains are rare and why are you fighting them if they're not causing problems? The kind of problems that people that powerful cause tend to be serious and widespread.


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DrDeth wrote:

No it was a response to a question i asked him a year or so ago, about whether or not the standard 4 PC party of wizard, cleric, rogue, Fighter was common enough that bandits etc would KNOW to hit the wizard first. The answer was no, they wouldnt not without knowledge ranks, since adventurers are so rare your party is the only one they have ever encountered.

Of course you're the only group they've encountered. Bandits rarely survive encounters with PCs. :)

DrDeth wrote:

So, the answers dont really contradict one another. Adventurers, as in a party of heavily armed multiracial people, all with class levels- is very rare or unique.

Adventurers= a party of heavily armed often multiracial people, all with class levels, willing to do quests for glory and loot. Not usually on a payroll.Usually fairly independent. Usually mostly Good aligned.

It's just not common for a elf wizard, a dwarf fighter, a halfling rogue and a human cleric to join together for this sort of stuff.

Based on that description, I've rarely played an "adventurer". It's the "willing to do quests for glory and loot" part. Outside of congames or organized play, we've always had more personal reasons for doing the crazy things PCs do.


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WormysQueue wrote:
thejeff wrote:
]OTOH, I would say that the PCs might not even be adventurers in any professional sense.
In my games (and depending on the players), PCs often get drawn into the events because of some personal stakes or just because there's no one else there who can do what must be done. So most often, they do not even consider themselves as adventurers and won't get seen as such by their surroundings. So to me, the term adventurer mostly belongs to the meta part of the game.

That's pretty much how our games usually go.

There might or might not be other groups doing similar things in other parts of the world, but it's not common. It's not a career choice. There aren't adventurers constantly bringing loot from old ruins back to shops to sell.

If it was that common, there wouldn't be anything left in those old ruins. :)


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JonathonWilder wrote:

On mention of PC class levels... many, of the mostly more important NPCs, in my campaigns will have PC class levels and not NPC class levels. As such, this distinction is not helpful.

Also, I am in agreement with some that there would actually be many adventurers of different skill and ability even NPCs. Saying that the Player Characters are the only adventures in all of Golarion is completely stupid. The way I see it the world should not revolve around the players, and that there would be other adventurers both new and more experienced.

OTOH, I would say that the PCs might not even be adventurers in any professional sense. That, to wrap back to the original point, there doesn't have to be an economy of adventurers selling loot to magic shops.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I mean, in a world in which teams of people regularly delve into ancient ruins and similar, take everything even remotely valuable that's not nailed down too hard, and return to town looking to hock half the stuff, there would be quite a lot of money to be made in catering to whatever they're looking to buy, since they're taking money out of the ground/a dragon's horde/whatever and putting it into the local economy.

I mean, if you're the guy who mass produces haversacks, that's a lot more lucrative (and safer) than actually going into the dungeon yourself.

In a world in which adventurers are common, and making magic items isn't hard, magic marts are plausible (and more or less inevitable.)

Mind you, I prefer a world in which "adventuring" isn't a common profession and rarely involves just going into ruins for loot.


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Quark Blast wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
thejeff wrote:

According to Gygax in Appendix N, the main influences on AD&D were "de Camp & Pratt, R.E. Howard, Fritz Leiber, Jack Vance, H.P. Lovecraft, and A. Merritt."

It's possible he was downplaying Tolkien's influence. There were some legal issues, IIRC. And some things drawn directly from Tolkien, most obviously halflings.
Still the early stuff does have a very strong mercenary flavor. Go down to the dungeons for loot. Hire minions. Eventually build strongholds and get followers.
Having read much of the stuff from the Bibliography, while it may be said that Gygax did borrow from Tolkien, Lieber, Vance, Howard, Moorcock, and Lovecraft and the rest of that crew as a package, are far greater influences on the game.

Everyone I know that games, and several who don't, have read Tolkien.

I don't know anyone who's read any of those other authors. Or if they did they never talk about them.

I've read a lot of de Camp & Pratt, Howard, Moorcock and Lovecraft. Less of the others. (Really need to find a good Fafhred and the Mouser collection.) And Tolkien, of course.

Part of it may be generational. IIRC, you're pretty young. That's not intended as an insult or anything, just that these aren't your generation's authors. These were authors who influenced the genre and the game back in the 70s. Some of them were pretty obscure even by the 80s and far more so now. While other authors have come and brought their own influences.
But you shouldn't judge what players back in the 70s would have known, by what's still popular now.

And some of that's definitely still worth reading. Howard's original Conan stories are excellent, better in my opinion than anything else that's been done with the character.


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Quark Blast wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
thejeff wrote:
MendedWall12 wrote:
H&W wrote:
3. The OSR games were based on sword and sorcery literature. In these stories, happy endings were uncommon, strange and vicious creatures flourished, weird magic was the norm, and protagonists were less hero and more mercenary in bent.
It was my understanding that the original D&D was based very heavily, if not exclusively, on Tolkien's Middle Earth literature. Some of the qualities of the races still owe their legacy to this material. Which I find widely different than mercenary instead of hero, and uncommon happy endings. It's possible the old school revival modules were based on a different set of literature, but that would have been a break from the canon that spoke to the origins of the game itself, and could have been a bias of those people partaking in the revival, more than an owing the original material.

According to Gygax in Appendix N, the main influences on AD&D were "de Camp & Pratt, R.E. Howard, Fritz Leiber, Jack Vance, H.P. Lovecraft, and A. Merritt."

It's possible he was downplaying Tolkien's influence. There were some legal issues, IIRC. And some things drawn directly from Tolkien, most obviously halflings.
Still the early stuff does have a very strong mercenary flavor. Go down to the dungeons for loot. Hire minions. Eventually build strongholds and get followers.
Having read much of the stuff from the Bibliography, while it may be said that Gygax did borrow from Tolkien, Lieber, Vance, Howard, Moorcock, and Lovecraft and the rest of that crew as a package, are far greater influences on the game.
Could be for Gygax but not for most of the players.

That's certainly possible. I know the groups I played with back in the 1E days were more heroic and story driven than what's described as "old school" today. It did seem to clash with a lot of the rules expectations though.

At least once we grew up enough to not just be playing out kid's power fantasies. The middle school games were silly Monty Haul slaughter fests. Or ultimate killer gm slaughterfests if it was the GM playing out his power fantasy.


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Quark Blast wrote:
Dr Deth wrote:
Sure, if you wanna play super low magic then play Iron Heroes, magic is a integral part of D&D.

I agree, magic is integral to D&D. I think the OP believes that too and the loss of that wondrous feel to magic, with so many of these systems, is what engendered this thread.

Scythia has mentioned more than once that she allows all rules + 3pp in her game. Whatever the player wants to play, and then works with it. My approach seems parallel except I'm not so interested in the splat books or 3pp. I just want to know what the player wants out of their PC in the game and together we can build that.

Parallel to this is the way I actually run a game. It is less a railroad than it is a road network. That's what I prep for but if the players want to they can go "off road".

However, nothing like a "magic mart" will ever appear in my campaign without it being some sort of plane-hopping adventure. Even then it's unlikely.

There's often some confusion in the use of "magic mart" in these discussions. One approach takes it literally: There is a big store with all the available magic items neatly lined up on shelves with pricetags. The other uses it as a metaphor for items being regularly available for purchase, but they're likely scattered throughout the city - some in various shops, some held by private individuals or groups who might be willing to sell. Both approaches can use the same availability by price & settlement size found in the rules.

I've rarely seen anybody use (or even really defend) the first, with the possible exception of high level extraplanar shenanigans. I've often seen it attacked.


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Quark Blast wrote:
thejeff wrote:
MendedWall12 wrote:
H&W wrote:
3. The OSR games were based on sword and sorcery literature. In these stories, happy endings were uncommon, strange and vicious creatures flourished, weird magic was the norm, and protagonists were less hero and more mercenary in bent.
It was my understanding that the original D&D was based very heavily, if not exclusively, on Tolkien's Middle Earth literature. Some of the qualities of the races still owe their legacy to this material. Which I find widely different than mercenary instead of hero, and uncommon happy endings. It's possible the old school revival modules were based on a different set of literature, but that would have been a break from the canon that spoke to the origins of the game itself, and could have been a bias of those people partaking in the revival, more than an owing the original material.

According to Gygax in Appendix N, the main influences on AD&D were "de Camp & Pratt, R.E. Howard, Fritz Leiber, Jack Vance, H.P. Lovecraft, and A. Merritt."

It's possible he was downplaying Tolkien's influence. There were some legal issues, IIRC. And some things drawn directly from Tolkien, most obviously halflings.
Still the early stuff does have a very strong mercenary flavor. Go down to the dungeons for loot. Hire minions. Eventually build strongholds and get followers.
Tolkien influences: Half-orcs, Balrogs Balors, Rangers with scrying ability, Cloak and Boots of the Elvenkind, ... Yeah, maybe a little influence.

Not arguing. There were certainly specific things drawn from Tolkien. I could add others.

But it was far from "based very heavily, if not exclusively, on Tolkien". Especially when it comes to the early flavor of how characters were expected to behave and what kind of adventures they were on, which was the original point. Explore dungeons for loot.


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Son of the Veterinarian wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:

The Technomages of Bablylon 5 are merely tricksters with Shadow tech. Their tricks are effective against the ignorant, but to advanced creatures such as the Vorlons, (who would exterminate them on sight), and the Shadows, who can turn them off at will.) Which is why they pretty much ran off into hiding when the war started to heat up.

Which is why in my headcanon the Technomages aren't connected with the Shadows at all, they're the descendants of servants of one of the other "First Ones" who left the galaxy a long time ago. The animosity with the Vorlons comes from the Technomages doing everything they can to keep the remaining "magical" artifacts left behind by their creators out of the hands of the Vorlons and Shadows.

Honestly, the "reveal" that the Mages were former servants of the Shadows irritated the hell out of me. Every. Single. Thing in the universe did not have to be connected to the idiotic, whiny little pissing match between the Shadows and the Vorlons!

That wasn't actually in the show right? Even Crusade?

I don't remember it at all.


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Poking around the net, there is a source for the 60-70 number, but it's not "major characters" and it's not "in the movie". It's basically a comment about early possibilities - they listed essentially everyone who's appeared and is still around and could theoretically be dragged in.


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Caineach wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Browman wrote:
Speaking as a guy who has never read a comic book but likes well made super hero movies, Marvel's larger movies are getting to unwieldy with characters. The first Avengers movie was awesome partially because it had a decent but not huge team. As much as I liked civil war there were too many major characters. The nonsense that the infinity war movies could have 60-70 major characters would be completely unworkable.

60-70 major characters?

Who are we expecting to see in it? How many more are going to be introduced before then?
Similarly, I would consider Civil War to have 4-5 major characters heroes (Cap, Tony, WS, BP, and possibly BW). Everyone else is in it as side characters. Just because named characters exist and have their own story doesn't mean they are major in a crossover. Spiderman and Antman, for instance, were basically minor cameos.

Even with the side characters, it had maybe a dozen.

If you bring all of them in, add in the Guardians, the Avengers who didn't show up in Civil War and a couple new characters, you're still talking around 20 or so. And as you say, most of them will be side characters or cameos. And that's assuming everyone is involved.


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Browman wrote:
Speaking as a guy who has never read a comic book but likes well made super hero movies, Marvel's larger movies are getting to unwieldy with characters. The first Avengers movie was awesome partially because it had a decent but not huge team. As much as I liked civil war there were too many major characters. The nonsense that the infinity war movies could have 60-70 major characters would be completely unworkable.

60-70 major characters?

Who are we expecting to see in it? How many more are going to be introduced before then?


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Kirth Gersen wrote:

The first Avengers movie worked because the individual characters all had their own storylines in other movies, and finally, BAM! you get all of them at once. It's a lot of investment and buildup for a big finale. But now they're all there, and there's nowhere left to go. Just adding MOAR! random superheroes to the mix, like it will make a difference, still makes any post-Avengers I mashups a letdown for everyone who isn't a comics geek.

From an outsider's viewpoint, the Marvel universe seems to me to be absolutely overrun with superheroes now; it's amazing there's room for anyone else. When Iron Man stops for a cup of coffee, the barrista turns out to be MegaBarrista, who is ALSO a costumed superhero! (And all the other Starbucks employees worldwide are agents of Hydra, of course.) Keeping the X-men separate, in their own little universe, is helping to mitigate that somewhat (yeah, I know it's contractual rather than strategic, but it's also a stroke of good fortune). Keeping Spiderman and all his assorted supervillains, and Fantastic Four and their nemeses separate helps, too.

But fans love cross-over stuff and new characters, so it's constantly a losing battle to keep the number of superheroes to a reasonable level. I'd argue that they're already way past the point where any non-comics fans know or care who 9/10 of the existing MCU superheroes even are anymore. Killing them off in droves might help that. Call in an exterminator to deal with the superhero infestation!

DC is sadly following suit. The Nolan Batman movies were good because he was more or less self-contained. Adding Superman to the same universe makes Batman pointless and obsolete, but, fine. Full Justice League only works for a cartoon. Trying to make a series of movies starring EVERY DC HERO EVAR!!! would be an exercise in onanism on their part. But if it makes money, that's good enough, I suppose.

If the Nolan movies were good because they were self-contained, I assume pretty much all previous superhero movies were good for the same reason? That's pretty much always been the setup before the Marvel movies. You might have a team (X-Men, FF), but they shared an origin and a purpose, not a bunch of solo heroes teaming up, like the Avengers or the League.

You may not like the way it's going, but Marvel's new approach to superhero movies has been a far bigger success than anything else ever done with them. Functioning as a brand it's also let them sell movies and shows with characters who would never have gotten greenlit in the past - some of them excellent.

I'm certainly not coming at it from an outsider perspective, so I could be biased, but judging by how well they're doing, I doubt all the non-comics geeks have been driven away.


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Thomas Seitz wrote:

Drah's right that I don't see how they could harness the power of the Power stone accurately enough to ensure they create the Nova Force before Thanos comes along and takes it. (Cause you know it's on the list.)

So while I am a little bummed they are space cops, I still hope maybe down the road, if there is a kind "reboot" coming, they fix that little thing. Whether or not said reboot also includes Mutants, Eternals, Galactus, FF, Skrulls, and/or Shi'ar...we'll have to wait and see.

Why would you need to "reboot" to add any of those?

The next alien race that shows up is the Shi'ar. That's all.


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For the same reason they don't do that with any character: it's the person in the suit that matters.
In comics, they often play around with supporting characters taking on the heroes role, but that's mostly as contrast for the main character. There have been exceptions, but that's the general rule.

Some bozo gets the armor? He's not a drop in replacement. Why should the Avengers trust him? Hell, Tony was out of the suit as much as in it in most of the movies.


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Just a pet. Like Krypto.

There was at one point a whole Legion of Superpets. Krypto, Comet, Streaky the Supercat, Beppo the monkey & Proteus.

(I did have to look up the details on that - before my time.)


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Ithsay the Unseen wrote:
How many grogs would a grognard nard if a grognard could nard grogs?

Personally, I try to keep grog away from my nards.


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Haladir wrote:
pH unbalanced wrote:

MERP is Middle-Earth Role-Playing -- it was ICE's simplified version of Rolemaster which took place in Middle-Earth, back when they had the Tolkien license. IMO it played much better than Rolemaster, and you always had the option of pulling out some of the more detailed charts if you just *wanted* to roll a severity D Crushing critical. They had some really nice world-building, too, to flesh out the additional things you needed to run adventures in ME, and it was always very clear what was canon and what was their embellishment.

Sadly all of ICE's worldbuilding has now gone the way of the EU.

Oh, I remember RoleMaseter and MERP...

We tried to run a MERP campaign once when I was in college in the late '80s. I came to really hate the system. It always seems that one round of combat consisted of rolling dice and looking up the results on multiple tables, which was generally very tedious.

(Roll to hit and consult the hit success table! Now roll on the hit location table! Now roll damage! Now roll to see if it's a critical hit! Now roll on the critical effect table! Now roll the extra critical damage! Now make your defense roll to see if you have any broken bones! Now roll to see if your armor got damaged! Now rioll to see how much damage your armor took! Now roll because rolling dice is fun...)

Another reason we'd run away from a weasel in that system. Not only could it crit and kill you, but even if it didn't the fights were a slog to play through.


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MendedWall12 wrote:
H&W wrote:
3. The OSR games were based on sword and sorcery literature. In these stories, happy endings were uncommon, strange and vicious creatures flourished, weird magic was the norm, and protagonists were less hero and more mercenary in bent.
It was my understanding that the original D&D was based very heavily, if not exclusively, on Tolkien's Middle Earth literature. Some of the qualities of the races still owe their legacy to this material. Which I find widely different than mercenary instead of hero, and uncommon happy endings. It's possible the old school revival modules were based on a different set of literature, but that would have been a break from the canon that spoke to the origins of the game itself, and could have been a bias of those people partaking in the revival, more than an owing the original material.

According to Gygax in Appendix N, the main influences on AD&D were "de Camp & Pratt, R.E. Howard, Fritz Leiber, Jack Vance, H.P. Lovecraft, and A. Merritt."

It's possible he was downplaying Tolkien's influence. There were some legal issues, IIRC. And some things drawn directly from Tolkien, most obviously halflings.
Still the early stuff does have a very strong mercenary flavor. Go down to the dungeons for loot. Hire minions. Eventually build strongholds and get followers.


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They've played around with various approaches to the concept at different times. As I understood it, the Celestials created the Eternals (who later boosted themselves much farther) and the Deviants and tweaked the baseline humans to be able to produce superhumans - either naturally as mutants or by further tampering from gamma rays or other origin stories.
The Kree came along later and imitated the Celestial experiments, producing the Inhumans, intended originally as warrior slaves, IIRC.

Exactly what the "latent" humans were, whether it was everyone or what percentage or how the triggers were tied to specific powers or what have you, has never really been nailed down. Probably for the best. Whatever serves the good of the story at hand.

Nor is it clear how that ties into the Inhumans. If it's just the Terrigen mutated them instead of killing them because they're "latents", then it should have the same effect on any latents, not just Inhumans. OTOH, IIRC the Kree used Eternal DNA to create the Inhumans and the Terrigen was invented later, by an Inhuman scientist?

It's also possible that "latent"/mutant isn't such a binary thing, but more of a spectrum, so that some people would just be killed by the standard radiation accident, but can get powers through a more deliberate process - often temporarily or with side effects. Or that anyone can, under the right circumstances.

It's still all just a retconned excuse for stupid origins giving powers anyway.

Much like these hordes of unTerrigened Inhuman descendants living unaware among normal humans. That's a completely new idea. Not even considered for the first several decades of the Inhumans existence.


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WormysQueue wrote:

thejeff wrote:
Note that I was deliberately using an extreme definition in that post
Sorry for having taken this a bit out of context, I didn't mean to imply that you share this opinion and didn't even imagine that it could be taken this way.

Not just that I don't share it, but that I don't think it's common enough to be a big factor. It's not actually fair representation of self-proclaimed grognards any more than "painting the target as a hopeless old fogey, dreaming of his lost youth and shouting "get off my lawn"" is a fair picture of what others mean by the term.


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WormysQueue wrote:
thejeff wrote:
If you're one of them and of a certain mindset, it's a badge of honor, distinguished them from the whippersnappers of today.

Guess it's exactly this definition which directly leads to the term being used by others in a pejorative way.

Because it's actually quite arrogant to think that just being old makes you deserving of an badge of honor. And it's this arrogance which gets reflected also on those who didn't mean to be when describing themselves as a grognard.

Says someone who has just yesterday used the term "whippersnappers".

Note that I was deliberately using an extreme definition in that post - and followed with one from the other point of view intended to be equally extreme. It was meant to be humorous, but somewhat accurate.


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Chess Pwn wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
Why play a modified pathfinder where you've gutted the entire system to fit your view?

Because it's much less overall work to take an existing system that has a lot of rules, then proceed to trim or alter in order to fit what you need, than to try to come up with rules for naval combat or non-standard PC races out of whole cloth.

I mean, a significant part of the appeal of pathfinder is that there are three dozen classes and hundreds of race options, each which have archetypes or alternative features. So the rules exist to support what you want, for the most part. I mean, even if I'm playing a different game (in the D&D family, I run 13A a lot) I will often look to pathfinder's considerable volume of rules in order to figure out stuff "I want my grandfather to be a fire elemental" might look like in a PC race.

It's even less overall work to take an existing system that has more of what you need than to trim or alter a rules heavy game to fit.

This. Especially in rules heavy systems, I often find that changing rules tends to have a cascade effect. Changing A means that there's now a problem with B. The fix to that affects C and D and trying to fix those leads to more issues.

As Jiggy says, just banning some particular items or abilities doesn't usually have that effect. Making basic rules changes does.


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James Risner wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
I don't think they were asking about how long it took, but of how OP it was.

+1

Especially considering there are calculators to compute it for you in 1 second.

If you're okay at basic math, it's probably faster to just do it than to type the numbers in.

Conceptually, the problem with the feat lies in the intent. Either there's supposed to be a limitation based on the roll and the math or there isn't. If there isn't, then having it is pointless. If there is then it doesn't work because making the roll is trivial. If it's supposed to only work for players who are clever at math, then it's bad design.

Just make the feat, slap a skill tax on it and it's functionally equivalent without the silly hassle.


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Than just simply build the character at the reduced power level. Gandalf never exceeded his imposed limits even at the cost of his own life.

It's not entirely clear, but at least some of those limits were innate. Not that he was faking it and deliberately holding back, but that he was actually incarnated in a mortal form and had real limits to go along with that.

Beyond that he did try to limit his role to mostly counseling and direct intervention only when strictly needed.

But yeah, I'd agree. Build the character to have what he's going to use.


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Bluenose wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Bluenose wrote:
WormysQueue wrote:
Problem is that all this magical garbage heavily interferes with all kinds of interesting storys that are not the standard D&D/Pathfinder story. I mean, just think about all those stories included in Appendix N which actually translate very badly into an D&D3.5/Pathfinder kind of play.
I'm not sure Appendix N stories translate well into any version of D&D. Maybe low-level B/X or AD&D 1st edition, but that's a stretch.
Appendix What?
Apoendix N is the section of the 1st edition DMG that lists sources of inspiration for the game. It's a pretty broad selection, but if anything should be feasible in the game, that's what was being aimed at.
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
But just for some perspective. Fafrd and the Grey Mouser are known for their deeds and the names of their swords. But those named swords aren't constant companions, they're just the names they give to whatever blade they are holding at the moment. They go through a lot of them in the course of their stories.
Appendix N, relevantly, includes Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and Grey Mouser stories. If you want to emulate stories of that type, I'm not sure recent versions of D&D would be good choices (outside parts of the OSR).

And as you said earlier, I'm not actually sure any version of D&D really did. Not without some serious restrictions and house rules.


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Bluenose wrote:
WormysQueue wrote:
Problem is that all this magical garbage heavily interferes with all kinds of interesting storys that are not the standard D&D/Pathfinder story. I mean, just think about all those stories included in Appendix N which actually translate very badly into an D&D3.5/Pathfinder kind of play.
I'm not sure Appendix N stories translate well into any version of D&D. Maybe low-level B/X or AD&D 1st edition, but that's a stretch.
Appendix What?

Apoendix N is the section of the 1st edition DMG that lists sources of inspiration for the game. It's a pretty broad selection, but if anything should be feasible in the game, that's what was being aimed at.

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