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thejeff's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 16,614 posts (17,413 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 6 aliases.


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Anzyr wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Campaign setting reasons? In Golarion, for example, guns are from Alkenstar. If the game is set in the Realm of the Mammoth Lords, I'm going to want something about how and why your character is there and has guns - especially if he isn't from Alkenstar. If you've been playing for a few levels and decide to take a level of gunslinger, it's going to have to be pretty convincing, if it already hasn't come up in game. "It's a legal component" isn't going to cut it.

Because my character was trained by someone from that region. Or was trained by someone from their region who follows that regions trends. Or...

This is so easy you might as well just let them have it.

Seriously, "My character is a gunslinger, therefore I want to play him as a gunslinger." should be enough.

No. Give me something.

"I want to play a gunslinger and I don't want to bother with any reason I've come to this godforsaken corner of the world or why someone from half the world away shared their country's military secrets with me" just doesn't cut it for me. I'm not saying there can't be a justification. I'm not saying you can't play a gunslinger.

But if it's just "I want to play a gunslinger and I've given no thought to what one would be doing here or how he'll fit in", that's a sign we shouldn't be gaming together.

As, I suspect, me asking is a sign that you don't want me to run a game for you.

My character is someone who is skilled in the use of firearms. Why don't *you* come up with how that fits in your world if "I was trained by someone who was skilled at it." isn't good enough? Or why don't you just ban gunslingers if you don't them so people who hear that can accurately assess the value of your campaign.

Because I don't want to ban gunslingers. I want you to have a cool reason for there being a gunslinger in such a weird place. I'd love to hear it. Maybe I could come up with something, but such things usually work better coming from the players.

What I really hear in such cases is "I'm more interested in my build than I am in the campaign you've offered to run." That's a big red flag for me.


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thegreenteagamer wrote:

I'm annoyed by the automatic assumption that RP is the entirety of Pathfinder or any other tabletop RPG.

If all I wanted to do was RP, I'd join an improv group, a LARP, or just play pretend.

Tabletop RPGs do have an RP element, and it can be an important aspect, but they are rooted in their history as a derivative of war games. Tactics, encounters, and the strategy aspects are just as important (and I'm gonna catch heat for this I'm sure) and for many people even more important than roleplaying.

I have friends who LOVE Pathfinder who's entirety of RP over an eight hour session is maybe six sentences. Personally, I love RP, but I do think it is seriously overrated by the community, and I think the shame they throw at those who don't enjoy it to the primary is unfair. It's remarkably acceptable (by the community, not the moderators, thankfully) to jump on the "rollplayer" hate, point out out that anyone who doesn't sacrifice capability for "story" is playing wrong (which is ridiculous, because I can think of a LOT of protagonists who are actually capable individuals), or otherwise shove the "roleplay more important than ANYTHING" agenda down your throat...but the minute someone even remotely indicates they might like a little kick-in-the-door, to-hell-with-the-vazier's-subtle-agenda-I-wanna-kill-ogres action, it's all SHAME SHAME SHAME.

Don't get me wrong, I like RP, but it's not all the game is, and for many people, it's not even the primary draw. (I personally think RP is like The Black Keys - definitely good, but if it were half as good as the people talking about it claimed, it'd be five times as good as it actually is.)

And I'm annoyed by the constant focus on these boards on combat and combat optimization. The assumption that the vast majority of the game will be combat encounters and roleplaying can be relegated to a few phrases tossed out in the middle of fights.

The bashing of anyone who even talks about not-optimizing as wanting to build crippled useless characters who can't contribute.

It's interesting how a different perspective can give an entirely different impression of the attitude of a community.


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Ravingdork wrote:

A GM has the right to veto any character concept not appropriate for his game before/during its creation. That's it. That's all.

The player can make a different character concept, not play in that particular game, or work with the GM to make their existing character fit the framework of the campaign.

A GM does not ever have the right to fiat control your character* or to change your concept without your permission. It is your intellectual property.

* Fiat control, or "just because," rather than via a legitimate rule that may allow for it, such as dominate person.

A GM has whatever rights the players agree to give him. Player has whatever rights the GM agrees to give them.

Subject of course in both cases to the ultimate right in gaming: You can leave the table.

I've played in games where the GM couldn't veto rules-legal character concepts. I've played in games where the GM could fiat control your character. I've played in games where the players could fiat make changes in the world. All of those games worked well and were fun to play.

I'll admit your rules, or something very close to them, are much closer to the norm, but there are no absolutes.


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Note that neither I, nor I suspect Krensky, were saying those things were necessarily bad. Just examples of "1E doesn't have few simple generic rules. It has piles of complex rules with exceptions and special cases."


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Orthos wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Or the emphasis is on the GM making a ruling, to cover a specific case, rather than creating a new rule to be followed in every similar situation.

Which is probably one of the main reasons I would never enjoy a system like that. The instant I made a ruling, not only would I want all further rulings of the sort to be consistent with it, but so would my players. Inevitably someone would forget what had been decided previously and ask for a new ruling, another player would remember the old ruling and try to remind the rest of the group, someone would complain that they didn't like the old ruling or didn't think it applied in this situation, and inevitably things would just not end well.

So yeah, there's a reason we keep our houserules written down and easily accessible, and update the thread regularly.

That's generally how it works. That's why AD&D spawned so many house rules. In addition to it being a glorious, incomprehensible mess so people often had no idea whether something was covered by rules or not or how they were supposed to work.

In a rules-lite system, it's a different mindset. Generally rules-lite systems actually cover everything, but at a higher more generic level.


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Jerry Wright 307 wrote:
thejeff wrote:
The rules are simpler, more generic and every case doesn't need to be spelled out. Or the emphasis is on the GM making a ruling, to cover a specific case, rather than creating a new rule to be followed in every similar situation.
A perfect description of 1e. Thank you for clarifying! :)

Except it's not. 1E doesn't have few simple generic rules. It has piles of complex rules with exceptions and special cases. It also has gaping holes where there aren't rules.

To fit with the rest of the game, those holes need to be filled with their own special rules.


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Jiggy wrote:
Avatar-1 wrote:
Jiggy wrote:

Naming objects in the backwards, index-friendly format they saw in a chart. Things like "crossbow, heavy".

The only reason to ever name something backwards like that is so that similar entries in an alphabetized list will be next to each other. It is not the actual name of the thing.

Ah, wait a second. Do you mean some people will actually say "My paladin Joe uses his longsword for melee attacking and his crossbow, heavy, for ranged attacking." ????

Not as much in the middle of a sentence, but naming it somewhere that doing it index-style doesn't actually accomplish anything. Like, "crossbow, heavy" makes sense in the Equipment chapter where you want it to be right next to "crossbow, light" and "crossbow, repeating" and "crossbow, hand" or whatever.

But if it's the only crossbow in your inventory, then nothing is gained by flipping the order of the words, which makes me think you're just copy-pasting without understanding. Similarly when someone writes a new homebrew item or RPG Superstar entry and titles their item in that fashion.

Honestly, if it's just in the inventory, it probably means the inventory list is generated from a character generator program and the person didn't bother to go through and manually correct everything.


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Yeah, it looks like "public utility" was sloppy usage on the part of the Times. "common carrier" just doesn't mean anything to most people was probably the thinking.

Great news though.

Freaking out the Libertarians is only a bonus. :)


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Huh. I noticed the background changes first. Didn't pick up on what you were talking about until I'd stared at it for awhile.


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Joey Virtue wrote:
You have never seen hero system LOL

I've played plenty of Hero System. It's not that I'm surprised M&M is liter, I just find it weird that something can be simultaneously described as a "version of Hero System" and "familiar to anyone with experience with D20 products". Hero is nothing like D20.


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Muad'Dib wrote:

But of the complaints that are not GM related "being able to play the character I actually wanted to play" really jumps out as one of the things Pathfinder excels at. The variety of characters you can build is mind numbing.

That being said my experience with Pathfinder has been mixed. I have created several characters that looked like a lot of fun but when running AP's such as RotRL then got killed rather handedly because they were not optimized enough. Honestly I get frustrated building characters for Pathfinder because I'm trying to find the balance between function and "playing the character I want to play".

The simple solution is to not play AP's but GM'ing Pathfinder in my experience is a lot more difficult than GM 2nd edition.

That kind of mirrors my experience, not just with PF, but with 3.x and other "We give you the options to build any character you want" systems. In my mind, it's kind of a trap. You can build any concept, but that premise fools you into thinking they'll all be viable.

Sometimes I'm happier with a system that doesn't give me the mechanical options to build so many characters, but lets me make simpler more generic ones and get the flavor I want without mechanical options.

Bear in mind that very many posters here consider the APs completely unchallenging, so seeing someone post that the way to handle unoptimized characters is to avoid APs amuses me.


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Comments implying that anyone who doesn't like some weird thing proposed or basically any restrictions whatsoever are stuck on Tolkien.


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wraithstrike wrote:
Arturus Caeldhon wrote:

For me, two things:

1) The Forge of Combat

2) Thread Necromancy

1) As if the game wasn't poisoned enough by munchkins and minmaxers, the Forge of Combat further reduces game concepts to board game/MMO status. I appreciate build threads - I really do - but I have found that munchkin types often infect non-maximization threads with rules lawyering and other powergamer nonsense. This is a roleplaying game, not a rollplaying game, after all. The Forge of Combat makes this even more obscene.

The things I just bolded in your post because it assumes that someone thinks their way of playing is the right way, and it assumes their level of optimization is ok, but someone playing above that level is doing it wrong.

I guess uppity/snobbish gamers grind my gears.

I'm not sure that's quite what was meant, though the wording does make it sound that way, but being annoyed when a thread not about optimization becomes overrun with optimization advice doesn't mean optimizing is the wrong way to play, just that it wasn't the topic at hand, which is now lost under the maximization discussion.

BTW, what's this "Forge of Combat"? I don't recall it as a common meme and a search doesn't bring up very much.


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B. A. Robards-Debardot wrote:
Wrath wrote: wrote:
109 - If the campaign is not using redemption rules, kill them before they can grow to be a threat to your settlements. In a world where alignment is absolute (as it is in Golarion), they are born evil and will stay evil. Nothing can stray that course if redemption is not in play (or some homebrew version of it).In this type of world, Goblins are likely to be seen as a dangerous form of pest species like rats or snakes. People kill them without thought and may even use techniques like gassing their lairs or poisoning foods to keep their numbers down.

A series of questions for such a world as bolded above:

1) Are paladins born LG or can one make a decision and become LG?
2) Paladins are born LG, is it then impossible for them to fall?
3) Are all their acts good by definition?

If any of the answers are yesses, it seems like a world with very limited storytelling power (not just for lack of falling paladins, but for the implications for personal growth/tragedy).

If the answer to 1 is no:
a) Should you wear hard hats in case of falling paladins?
b) Why doesn't it apply to other sentients?

Paladins aren't a race.

It's quite possible for some sentient races to span a broad range of alignments and behaviors and for others to be more limited.

Personally, while I do prefer at least the humanoids to have a broad range, I do like there to be differences. If the aliens aren't alien, if they don't think and behave differently than humans why have them?

But for me, the really cheap, frustrating thing, is to have a race portrayed as so overwhelmingly evil and dangerous, but still expect players to treat them as if the next one they meet might be a good friendly one. If you want depth and breadth in your races, you have to put it in there. Introduce the good ones, even if they're rare. If goblin babies can be raised to be accepted members of human society, have a few of them around. If every single one the party ever meets or even hears about is a dangerous little pyromaniacal psychopath, don't blame the players if they assume they're all that way.


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Wrath wrote:

Thejeff - spoiler ing this just to try and avoid a thread derail with a wall of text.

** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
Even then they were comic relief though. The songs. The suggested distractions and mishaps in the initial attack on the fair.

The problem as I see it is that they're presented as dangerous little pyromaniacal psychopaths, but you're supposed to react to the babies as innocents. Every single adult fights to the death against you. They're all stupid and crazy. But you have to save their kids.

As I said, if the kids really are just abused innocents capable of becoming sane adults if raised outside the horror, it becomes justifiable and even morally right to attack goblin villages for the express purpose of rescuing their kids from the horrific abuse.

On the other hand, if that's just how goblins are and being raised in cages isn't abuse and doesn't affect how crazy they turn out, then they're just monsters, not redeemable beings capable of moral choices.


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Mackenzie Kavanaugh wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:
Stop me when I'm saying something unreasonable, but we have an enormous sample size here that suggests that discrimination in the campus itself is likely not the problem - it did little to hinder women in any other occupation in the past few decades, even in areas that were initially at least as male dominated as the hard sciences.

I am actually rather quite inclined to agree with you. I don't believe that it is a problem at colleges, and that any problem must exist well before the college level. I say this because I earned my degree over a relatively long period of time, taking time off to work at a full-time job so that I could graduate without any debt... and female student enrollment in math, science, and tech courses more than tripled during the ~7 years it took me to earn my BS. For every one student starting a degree in science or technology when I started, there were three doing so when I graduated.

That implies that something was taking place long before students made it to college that was discouraging them from even attempting to pursue a career in those fields, and that the effect had drastically lessened in less than half a generation, such that classes that might have had 1-2 girls at most previously now actually had half a dozen.

It is also important to consider role models though. My mother went to college to be a civil engineer, making her an excellent role model for me. One of my best friends growing up had a mother who was a partner in a prestigious law firm, also a great role model. However, not everyone has that, and it's especially difficult for young students to find female role models in STEM fields, especially when the accomplishments of great female scientists are regularly glossed over or ignored to focus on men instead. Ask an average American student to name a famous female in STEM and they'll probably name Marie Curie and maybe Sally Ride... at best. Ask them about famous men in STEM and they'll still be listing people tomorrow. That's a...

Or the effect happens at all levels, from early role models all the way through subtle discrimination in college, grad school and career.
Quote:
In a randomized double-blind study (n = 127), science faculty from research-intensive universities rated the application materials of a student—who was randomly assigned either a male or female name—for a laboratory manager position. Faculty participants rated the male applicant as significantly more competent and hireable than the (identical) female applicant. These participants also selected a higher starting salary and offered more career mentoring to the male applicant. The gender of the faculty participants did not affect responses, such that female and male faculty were equally likely to exhibit bias against the female student. Mediation analyses indicated that the female student was less likely to be hired because she was viewed as less competent.

I would be shocked if that perception of competence didn't skew things all the way down the line. It certainly doesn't just appear at the end.


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Wrath wrote:

@thejeff yeah I just checked. While you find a nursery, having babies actually there is optional.

I thought of it as more realistic since you're fighting an entire tribe. Also, it tied into the gritty feel of that AP and Golarions direction at that time. This is the same AP that gave us hook mountain ogres and the Grauls.

When I run my home games, I don't bother with moral quandaries like that. My players aren't interested to be honest.

My two points are just nice ways for players to think about their campaign world really. If a Paladin was in the second situation, he'd kill the babies, but do it as humanely as possible. No moral quandary.

In the first situation, he may have to defend the babies against racial prejudice etc. it provides a roleplay opportunity rather than a dodgy move by DM. Some groups may like that.

It also may be affected by their code. Paladins of Torag are pretty vicious against enemies of the dwarves if you use the code from the deity books. You've got more chance of falling from grace by not killing them in that case.

It makes sense they'd have babies (and somewhat older children and old people and other non-combatants) there. You're fighting the entire tribe, but that doesn't mean, even in the grittiest world, that they'd all fight to the death and not even try to escape or get the noncombatants out.

And frankly there's a massive tone shift if you make moral use of that nursery: Goblins have been portrayal all along as dangerous comic relief villains. Psychotic but incompetent. Not actually like real people making moral choices. If you really take the goblin babies in cages seriously as a moral issue, the only good thing to do is not only to rescue these babies and raise them to be non-psychotic people, but to war on other goblin tribes to rescue their innocent babies from the horrific abuse that turns them into the psychopathic adults.
That's a long way from comic relief.

More generally, if you want them to be treated as real people with moral choices to make, you've got to portray them as real people with moral choices to make, not as monsters. PF goblins are monsters.


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Wrath wrote:

Probably poor word choice on my part really.

Golarion works based on alignment. It is so strong that spells work against it. The entry for creatures states their alignment. Some of them say "any" or "mostly" in which case go for it in terms of changing their alignment.

Others say "evil", for example. Which means that race is evil. You can change it if you want, but then that's introducing your version of redemption.

I guess Sarenraes redemption domain helps with those who's alignment falls under "mostly" or "any"

This comes from reading many posts from James Jacobs, the creative director of Paizo, and the man most responsible for building Golarion. Of course, he also prefaces his statements with things like " your game, do what you want".

All of that explains why I typed my post originally. However, to stop debate, let me retract the bit about Golarion and re iterate the intent of my two points.

108- if in your campaign alignments can freely shift then try to raise babies as good.

109 - if in your campaign alignments are immutable for most creatures, then kill before being killed.

For those stating its a dodgy move by DMs, I believe the first ever module for the first AP set in Golarion had goblin babies in cages that you stumble across. You also come across a harem of goblin women.

However, I'll have to check that as it may be my memory playing up and merging modules from my past.

It did. I think it was a dodgy move then. Though again, it's quite possible to play that module in a way that doesn't involve slaughtering every last adult goblin and thus avoid the problem.

There may have also been a note about the babies being optional.

OTOH, it's really hard to look at that portrayal of goblins and expect players or PCs to think: "These are sapient beings like any other intelligent life and are deserving of the same consideration and respect." Each and every goblin is a "dangerous little pyromaniacal psychopath" and there's no hint that anything else is possible or expected.


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Freehold DM wrote:
Terquem wrote:
Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
How about a link? There's no rule against linking to NSFW things on the board.

I didn't post a link because I wasn't completely informed of the parties involved, I only heard about this issue from a Facebook Post by a person who posts in these forums that I follow (Gender Roleplay)

I had no idea the blogger was an online stalker and harasser. I hope I didn't cause any hurt by mentioning the story

I don't understand trans/homo/gender queer phobia, and the hatred that usual is found with it. I really don't.

I don't get why people think yelling at someone/threatening them with violence is going to get them to change something so fundamental as their sexuality.

1) It's not, any more than yelling at or threatening people with violence will get them to change their skin color. It might however get them to go away and thus confirm that you're more potent than them.

or

2) The people doing so don't believe it's fundamental, but that it's just some weird perverse choice.


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Icyshadow wrote:
Wrath wrote:
109 - If the campaign is not using redemption rules, kill them before they can grow to be a threat to your settlements. In a world where alignment is absolute (as it is in Golarion), they are born evil and will stay evil. Nothing can stray that course if redemption is not in play (or some homebrew version of it). In this type of world, Goblins are likely to be seen as a dangerous form of pest species like rats or snakes. People kill them without thought and may even use techniques like gassing their lairs or poisoning foods to keep their numbers down.
And which book was this stated in? If that was true in Golarion, then Sarenrae's redemption aspect is basically useless.

I think there's a distinction between "absolute" and "immutable" there. Absolute meaning the objective nature of good and evil, I think.

It's not clear to me either. Nor am I sure why you'd need "redemption rules", rather than just accepting that creatures and people can change and handling it ad hoc.

OTOH, given the presentation of goblins in nearly every module or other adventure, I find it hard to believe people wouldn't treat them like a dangerous pest species, whether or not they were theoretically "always evil" or not.
If you grew up near the village of not-evil goblins, you'd have a different approach of course, but with the overwhelming majority being dangerous little pyromaniacal psychopaths, it's hard to see what else would happen.


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Mackenzie Kavanaugh wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:
Pregnancy is tough. You can't blame a woman for wanting to get pregnant young because bearing a child later in life is more risky and less likely to succeed and most people want children. You can't blame an employer for preferring to hire the worker who will not deactivate for months every two or three years (or in this context, for giving tenure to the researcher with the higher output, likely to be the one who didn't have children). You can't blame men or women who are unwilling to get pregnant that they do anything wrong by taking the job of a woman who does wish to get pregnant - you see an opening, you take it. A woman with high chances of getting pregnant in the foreseeable future has to struggle to stay competitive with people who aren't. Clearly a sane society will have to take some series measures to fix this problem, yet not much is done. Pregnancy and it's repercussions is definitely one of the very real problems that our culture needs to solve before truer equality could happen.
The problem is that ace women who have no interest in procreating are treated exactly the same by prospective employers. Whether you have any interest in actually having children and thus removing yourself temporarily from the workplace doesn't matter, just the fact that you theoretically could.

Or lesbian women.

Or heterosexual women with no interest in procreating.
And as far as I know, there's nothing inherent to asexuality that implies "doesn't want kids". Any more than there is about homosexuality. Or that heterosexuality means "Wants kids".

And people change their minds about "Wants kids", unlike (usually) sexual orientation.

The more obvious and generally better solution to this problem is paternal leave. Don't put the whole burden of childcare and it's effect on the rest of life and career on women. Obviously, they'll still be doing the actual pregnancy and birth part, but if men also routinely take months off to support a child after birth, it's harder to argue "We can't hire women because they'll just get pregnant and not work".


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Sissyl wrote:
You guys aren't really talking about house rules so much as GM rulings, as I see it. The difference is that a ruling is meant to be a one-off, for a rare situation you need to resolve. Indeed, 1st edition is pretty heavy on the rules, but doesn't attempt to cover every eventuality. Later editions have less simulationist roots and in effect limit the things the game can be about to avoid the situations without rules. Fourth edition was particularly egregious in this. Think about it this way: Which edition would be easiest to make a fully functional computer game of? Ironically, that would be fourth. Every single power and spell and so on has its language trimmed to be easily defined. Third edition has most of these numbers conforming, but certainly not all, especially legacy elements. YMMV, of course.

Well, 4th went in a different direction. 3rd really tried to have everything covered by the rules - witness the debates about whether the rules properly cover non-adventuring economics and the like.

But yes, I do think the distinction between GM rulings and house rules is an important one, but I think the very rules heavy nature of AD&D blurred that, encouraging house rules to cover areas where one-off GM rulings would have been better. This wasn't formal of course and certainly different GMs approached it differently, but it was common for GMs to see the complex rules for most of the game and duplicate that approach for unhandled situations.


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There are a lot of things I liked about AD&D, at least in retrospect. A lot of things that drove me crazy too, that I've mostly forgotten in the years since.

Other than my early middle school games which kind of match his early experiences - Monty Haul or Killer GM in my case, I really don't recognize a lot here. We never did what's often called old school now - 3d6 in order, desperate struggle to stay alive when the dice can kill you at any moment. And I never really wanted to. Don't regret it now either.

Good games. Roleplaying. Character growth. Plots and storylines. All the things the "old school" decries about modern games. Maybe we were ahead of the curve. Good times.


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Sissyl wrote:

Using a p value of 0.05, you will find a significance for every 20th correlation studied. Thus, what you need to find a significance is to make a few dozen studies looking at just the stuff you want to prove. Which wouldn't mean much if there were other people doing related studies, looking at the other stuff... but there really isn't. The ones with the grants will be the ones producing studies, so those grants need to be free of bias. If they are not, everything in the field will always be suspect. Further, you need to know if there are conflicts of interest among the researchers (in this case, it would be involvement in groups advocating women's rights, wouldn't you say?), the studies would have to actually be replicated (something I don't remember seeing often if at all), and so on and so forth etc etc etc.

If you WANT to fub science, you can. The issue is with the wanting.

I give up.

"You attacked the very concept of such research, so I don't know what else to say."


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Icyshadow wrote:
boring7 wrote:
And I think Icyshadow knows all of this already and is just trolling.
All I know is that there are a lot of people who have sat at the DM's side of the table and failed to do anything else except make players hate such scenarios. If the mere mention of possibly using that same situation and making it actually fun for the players counts as trolling, then I sadly wouldn't know what to tell you folks. It simply hasn't been the kind of thing that has turned out that way in the tables I've played in, so the only conclusion I can come to is that whoever you played with were less than adequate at doing their thing, assuming they played characters of Good alignment.

Honestly, I've never come across it other than as a hypothetical or in someone else's complaints online.

I'll accept that it's theoretically possible to make it a fun part of a game, but I'd be deeply suspicious of any GM I didn't really trust who sprang it on me in game.

I still find it hard to imagine a reasonable situation in which the best option is to take the kids and raise them - at least a situation that wasn't highly contrived.


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Sissyl wrote:
If so, that's sad. However, using "when we don't find discrimination when we specifically look for it" as an endpoint is what I was protesting against, thejeff. It's quite simply not a useful one. You look for something, you find it.

Not if you're actually doing research, which is what I meant.


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Sissyl wrote:
I can't read the study now. Go back to what thejeff wrote, and you'll understand my answer. Any time someone is set to find something that is even vaguely fuzzily defined, they find it. Especially if finding it means their work is important. Seek, and ye shall find.

In brief: Resumes of grad students were sent to various hard science professors at research universities. The resumes were identical other than having male or female names.

The male students were rated more competent, more likely to be hired and offered higher salaries.


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Another quote from that study:

Quote:
It is noteworthy that female faculty members were just as likely as their male colleagues to favor the male student. The fact that faculty members’ bias was independent of their gender, scientific discipline, age, and tenure status suggests that it is likely unintentional, generated from widespread cultural stereotypes rather than a conscious intention to harm women (17). Additionally, the fact that faculty participants reported liking the female more than the male student further underscores the point that our results likely do not reflect faculty members’ overt hostility toward women. Instead, despite expressing warmth toward emerging female scientists, faculty members of both genders appear to be affected by enduring cultural stereotypes about women’s lack of science competence that translate into biases in student evaluation and mentoring.


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Sissyl wrote:
If you look for discrimination, you will always find it. He who seeks, shall find.

Ah yes, the obvious answer. Stop looking and discrimination will go away, because there won't be any evidence of it.

Brilliant.

If only we'd thought of it decades ago.


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Lord Snow wrote:
Quote:


And back closer to the topic, per my original point, it's very easy to assume the current state actually represents the natural default for things like gender equity. It just gets a little cringe inducing when you realize those oppose further progress have been making essentially the same argument for decades, if not longer, even as women have become more and more prominent in fields they once weren't allowed to enter. It's always been, "Yeah there was discrimination back in the bad old days, but we've changed now and see: Women are still a minority, even if a larger one. That's just the way it is."
Different people making similar arguments for different reasons is not exactly new. Religious people have always said we wouldn't find life on the moon, way before we were capable of knowing for sure. But today, any respectable scientist would laugh at the idea of life on the moon. So the very fact that the argument that women (and men) are currently in their natural state was made before by various bigots is not a real reason to cringe from the idea.

No. What makes me cringe is things like:

"Women are incapable of doing hard science, that's why there aren't any."
X years later: "Very few women are capable or interested in hard science, that's why they make up only 5%"
X years later: "Very few women are capable or interested in hard science, that's why they make up only 10%"
X years later: "Very few women are capable or interested in hard science, that's why they make up only 20%"
X years later: "Very few women are capable or interested in hard science, that's why they make up only 25%"

All the while we continue lowering the legal and social obstacles and the number keeps increasing.

Maybe they're right this time. After all, now there's firm empirical data, unlike all those times in the past, when they only thought they had firm empirical date.


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Lord Snow wrote:

Alright, I think that when it comes to the big picture, both you and I agree that the best course of action is to work on increasing female presence in any walk of life where they are underrepresented, but to do so cautiously and with a weary eye to see what's working and what's not.

Coming back to what sparked the discussion -

theJeff wrote:

On the other hand, the flip side of that is even worse, even if it isn't as much of a failure of logic:

Pointing at the biological differences as a reason to not oppose discrimination. Women just aren't as good at or interested in math and hard science, so the smaller number of women going into those fields must be just the result of innate differences not social pressure and active discrimination. No need to keep working on the problem.
To which I replied that while giving up on women entirely is definitely a bad idea, it's an extreme one. The other extremity - one that would be willing to sacrifice the integrity of the most effective tool of progress that humankind came up with in thousands of years, simply to increase female participation - is every bit as wrong and dangerous, if for different reasons. That was my point, I hope you can at least understand my viewpoint and accept it as a legitimate one, and I think that's about as deep as we should delve into the subject given the fact that this is quite the serious derail of the thread.

Yeah, I do think we're pretty close. I'm just not at all sure that all the cruft that's accumulated around the scientific method is all that sacred. The old joke about science progressing as the old scientists die off has a little too much truth in it.

And back closer to the topic, per my original point, it's very easy to assume the current state actually represents the natural default for things like gender equity. It just gets a little cringe inducing when you realize those oppose further progress have been making essentially the same argument for decades, if not longer, even as women have become more and more prominent in fields they once weren't allowed to enter. It's always been, "Yeah there was discrimination back in the bad old days, but we've changed now and see: Women are still a minority, even if a larger one. That's just the way it is."


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Zelda Marie Lupescu wrote:
Well, yeah oracles don't have to worship ANY deity, and I guess in a way she wouldn't worship him any more than a lay person does, like I said the reason that she does is because she's from Cheliax (and her twin sister actually does... she's Lawful Evil) Everyone in Cheliax that doesn't want to get in trouble better at least SAY they worship Asmodeus. I could make her Lawful Neutral, but I kind of like the duality of one good sister one evil sister.

I just like the idea of an oracle picked by one deity unknown to her, to oppose the god she worships.


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Icyshadow wrote:
Raising the goblins could very well be done in a setting like Kingmaker, where there are long downtime periods between some adventures. I guess the vitriolic responses just go to show how narrowminded some folks can be.

In some games it could work. Preferably when it's something the players talked about wanting to do.

In most games you won't have that kind of downtime. Most likely is a cliched moral dilemma forced on you by a GM who's got no idea how to do interesting RP.

Or just as likely one who thinks it's only realistic for there to be babies in the goblin village and thinks it would be horrible for you to hurt them, despite having set it up as heroic for you to slaughter every adult goblin - no survivors, no one tries to flee, everyone just attacks you in suicidal waves, even the older children. Otherwise, why would the helpless babies be the only survivors?


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Secret Wizard wrote:
72. Ignore ages of philosophical debate on nature vs. nurture by assuming morality is innate rather than obtained through our thoughts and actions

Ignore ages of philosophical debate on nature vs nurture when you realize it doesn't have to apply in the same way to all creatures in a fantasy universe where there are literal evil forces.

Personally, I generally prefer humanoids to be more nurture than nature, but I can cope with the opposite in appropriate settings. I do like there to be exceptions, especially among the stranger more alien creatures.


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Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:

I won't hold my breath. Liberals are falling all over this pope because he's said a few vaguely not-horrific things about gay people and seems to actually care about the poor (which doesn't get him any bonus points because caring about poor people is the minimum necessary criteria to be even a little bit convincing that you're even trying to live up to the anti-wealth agenda set forth in the gospels).

He's still a reactionary, patriarchal, hypocritical, sex-phobic, misogynist a%#%$#%. He's just a little less overt about it compared to previous popes, and somehow progressives are fighting over who gets to bake him the most cookies for not being quite as far away from basic human decency as Ratzinger.

As I said, talking about the poor and not talking about gay people and sex in general would be a major improvement. Enough for me to be quite happy with him.

I don't expect miracles.

Actually caring about the poor may be the minimum set forth in the gospels, but it's not like it's been a common trait for Popes.


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Lord Snow wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:

As far as humanly possible, though, they are really not. Exact sciences, from their very nature in their current form, just don't have a lot of space for maneuverability. Simply put, it's harder to fake it. Of course there's subjective bias, as you said there always will be, but we are talking big picture here.

The way I see it, describing the exact sciences as rigorous and monitored by a community that adheres to objective standards is not only perfectly reasonable without context, it is especially true when compared to other fields of study.

Yes and no. It's pretty easy for a hard science to keep out the total incompetents -- It has to work, after all.

1)But it's still easy to push out competent smart people of a type one doesn't want or who one doesn't think fit for the work or whatever. Institutional bias still plays a role. Many professional female scientists will talk about the lack of encouragement they got from professors and senior colleagues. About difficulty finding mentors and getting their advisors to take them seriously. Obviously some of the smarter and more dedicated women can overcome those higher barriers - and some of them work to lower the barriers for those following them.

2)The problem with that article is that it ignores the human side of the supposed rigorous objective sciences and basically assumes that any further progress in gender equality will only come from lowering standards for women. Rather than from lowering the barriers that make it harder for women than for men.

1) First, I have an anecdotal counter example - I am currently studying in one of the best universities in the world in the fields of exact science. I can say from personal experience that while women are underrepresented (I'd say it's about a 30/70 spread between females and males in first degree and 40/60 in second degree) they never encounter any sort of hostility. No professor has ever treated a woman differently and I talked with many and none ever expressed dissatisfaction with the subject.

Onward to a more objective answer, can you find a compelling explanation why women are finding such institutional bias in the exact science fields but nowhere else? This could be a chicken and egg problem, of course, but as is clearly shown in the article, nobody has ever been able to actually prove any institutional bias towards women in the exact science faculties of the western world - which is a serious thing if you want to introduce a law that forces quotas of women in those faculties. It should have you thinking that maybe that bottleneck is not a hostile male environment.

2) At no point in the article does Sommers advocate the lowering of standards - in fact, her entire beef with title IX is that it would lead to either a serious lowering of standards or to other structural harm to the scientific community in a similar way that it did to sports. She claims, essentially, that there is a very decent chance that there will never be full, 50/50 equality between men and women in the research world of exact sciences and that that's fine. That there is a statistical bias that pulls women to other fields of study instead. As I said in a previous disclaimer I think she goes too far by outright dismissing the idea that cultural bias exists - I'm pretty sure it does though I can't fathom how much and how far it pushes people from their natural inclination. The bottom line is that her main argument - that forcing the arbitrary quota rule is potentially damaging since it will not increase female willingness, exactly like it has done already with sport teams in colleges, is a compelling one. And that law she is arguing against is exactly the potential harm in the extreme of thought that dictates that men and women are exactly the same and all differences are cultural.

No, she doesn't advocate it, but she assumes that's the only way forward. She opposes efforts towards gender equality because she assumes the only way forward is lowering of standards or other serious harm.

Mind you, I do agree that there is likely some actual innate predisposition, so exact 50/50 equality isn't a good goal. Nor is all the cultural bias actually at the level where colleges can deal with it. Much occurs at younger more formative ages.

As for why women face bias in those fields, doesn't the very premise that in the article suggest areason:

Quote:
During the past 30 years, the humanities have been politicized and transformed beyond recognition. The sci­ences, however, have been spared. There seems to have been a tacit agreement, especially at the large research universities; radical activ­ists and deconstructionists were left relatively free to experiment with fields like comparative literature, cultural anthropology, communica­tions, and, of course, women’s studies, while the hard sciences—vital to our economy, health, and security, and to university funding from the federal government, corporations, and the wealthy entrepreneurs among their alumni—were to be left alone.

Support for women in the hard sciences has lagged behind support for them in other areas by decades.


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Lord Snow wrote:

As far as humanly possible, though, they are really not. Exact sciences, from their very nature in their current form, just don't have a lot of space for maneuverability. Simply put, it's harder to fake it. Of course there's subjective bias, as you said there always will be, but we are talking big picture here.

The way I see it, describing the exact sciences as rigorous and monitored by a community that adheres to objective standards is not only perfectly reasonable without context, it is especially true when compared to other fields of study.

Yes and no. It's pretty easy for a hard science to keep out the total incompetents -- It has to work, after all.

But it's still easy to push out competent smart people of a type one doesn't want or who one doesn't think fit for the work or whatever. Institutional bias still plays a role. Many professional female scientists will talk about the lack of encouragement they got from professors and senior colleagues. About difficulty finding mentors and getting their advisors to take them seriously. Obviously some of the smarter and more dedicated women can overcome those higher barriers - and some of them work to lower the barriers for those following them.

The problem with that article is that it ignores the human side of the supposed rigorous objective sciences and basically assumes that any further progress in gender equality will only come from lowering standards for women. Rather than from lowering the barriers that make it harder for women than for men.


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Rynjin wrote:
Mark Hoover wrote:

The dice have a mind of their own. You roll some dice, the PC dies; everyone shrugs. Luck didn't go their way right?

Name me one story, movie, tv show, song or even a youtube video of a game session where the heroes of said media opened a door, a goblin got a lucky shot and one or more of the protagonists died and you went "Man! That was awesome!"

The Walking Dead, Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones, Malazan Book of the Fallen, et al are popular stories where death can strike any character at any time.

As a GM, I don't think my job is to help the PCs snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, nor vice versa. The players determine that with their tactic and choices, and the dice to a much, much lesser extent, because those only come into play once the choice to do something has already been made.

I've never really liked the GMing style many people on here advocate, which is providing the illusion of choice and consequence without actually following through.

The dice inject an element of potential failure into the game. If you're just going to provide the illusion of randomness and a scenario where the PCs always win in an awesome way, I think there are systems that do that game style much better than Pathfinder, the game with so many rules that despite my brother being quite excited at the idea of playing, took one look at the CRB and went "Aw HELL no" and now refuses to even entertain the idea of playing this particular game system any more.

It is you're job. Whether you fudge or let the dice fall where they may or anywhere in between, you're still setting up the conflict, deciding on the opposition, what options they have and what they do. Even in the most sandboxy of games you're still setting up the details of what the PCs fight and laying out the clues so the players have an idea what they're getting into.

Pretending that it's all on the players doesn't really work.


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Lord Snow wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
The sad part is that the general reasoning seems to be: If there are differences, there is no reason not to discriminate, so there must not be any.
That is kinda sad, as it's an utter failure to grasp logic, statistics, and the concept of equality.

On the other hand, the flip side of that is even worse, even if it isn't as much of a failure of logic:

Pointing at the biological differences as a reason to not oppose discrimination. Women just aren't as good at or interested in math and hard science, so the smaller number of women going into those fields must be just the result of innate differences not social pressure and active discrimination. No need to keep working on the problem.

Both extremes seem bad to me. On the one hand not working at the problem is definitely wrong, and on the other hand blindly insisting on the wrong solution could do damage too.

Like in every other affair in our existence, balance is needed and either extremity is bad.

(As a side note and for full disclosure I do not entirely agree with the linked article since it goes a bit too far down the road of not doing anything, but I am convinced by many of the points and concerns raised there).

I pretty much gave up after this:
Quote:
Departments of physics, math, chemis­try, engineering, and computer science have remained traditional, rigorous, competitive, relatively meritocratic, and under the control of no-nonsense professors dedicated to objec­tive standards.

Whatever the theory, hard science departments are just as full of subjective bias as anywhere else. Maybe more so, if they're traditional enough.


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glass wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Grace periods are irritating since they lead to a rush to get characters qualified.

You know what else is irritating? Having a character that you've been slowly building up over several months ripped out from under you without warning.

Yeah, if they have a grace period, a few people who wanted MTs might hurry up and make one. Seems like a feature rather than a bug, to me.

Which is why I immediately followed that with "Simpler to just qualify any existing characters who can't be rebuilt. Which I believe is anyone with a played Chronicle after 1st level from before the announcement. "

Better grandfathering rather than a grace period.


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Mark Stratton wrote:
Akari Sayuri "Tiger Lillly wrote:

If they happen to have a race that makes this possible, AND they happen to have a class that makes this possible, AND they happen to have the correct stat allocation to make it possible despite the fact that it's not optimal for most target builds, AND they weren't already planning on doing this? Frankly, for the 1 or 2 people that actually meet all of those requirements, so what? It's not worth screwing over everyone else to avoid the corner case of all corner cases.

Well, if, as you assert, it's only 1 or 2 people, or it's only the corner cases of all corner cases, I would say that isn't anywhere near "screwing over everyone..."

If the issue is what to do with current characters who are caught up in the change in policy, then exaggerating the number of people it might affect is a bit unnecessary.

Different corner cases.

That's the corner case of those who weren't already planning to take advantage of the SLA, but might if grandfathering was extended to all existing characters, not just those already in the prestige class.

The "screwing over everyone" refers to those who'd built character to take advantage of the SLA's counting for spells, but hadn't actually taken an early entry prestige level yet.


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ThePowerOfWar wrote:

First of all i want to thank everyone for responding.

So lets see here. The reason that a lot of people here don't like casters is that the GM cant "GM" very well. By this i mean, the GM cant think outside of the Quest book and innovate to how the party grows and plays. (The part of this that i find funny in most groups i have GMed or played in the rouges are the ones that make it a challenge for the GM and not the casters.) As for thinking out of the box here is an example: As the Party gains levels and completes quest treat them as They are gaining Fame and notoriety so you change the "Random Encounters" to have Bounty hunters that are Mage hunter is in build rather than the Group of goblins that they would have ran into.

Now as for the caster spell/day limits goes back to BAD GMing. If you only have 4 encounters then you rest while Raiding a fortress/dungeon/cave full of monsters, the GM is bad. So the characters in Fortress are like"oh i am out of spells lets camp. I am sure no one noticed the big explosions and the guards that are supost to be on 15 minute patrols to keep the place secure that we just killed will be missed." And so they camp 8 hours without the whole fortress finding them and killing them in there sleep.......Bad GM.

So for an example On Items if they just made +5 swords of super smiting and you feel that its a bit too strong make him work to keep it as in rust monster, slads, thieves, or create opponents that disarm. But dont make it so its worthless(that would be Bad GMing) but make them work to keep it.

But if the GM cant handle it when things dont go as he planned then he is a bad GM.

Or perhaps, you're not actually dealing with the real problems. You don't camp in the fortress. You teleport home to rest when you need to. If the encounters aren't too powerful, the casters can still dominate them without novaing, so will last much more than 4 encounters. If they are too powerful and you keep the party from resting and returning then everyone dies. If the casters hold back too much the martials take more damage and have to quit sooner anyway.

Your solutions are simplistic. As Rynjin says, you're missing the worst of the problem.


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UnArcaneElection wrote:

It's not so much the class concepts(*) as the massive ocean of Errata that are needed but as far as I can tell still not out.

(*)Yes, Rogue and to a lesser extent Ninja and Fighter need some fixing to make them competitive for single-classed use, but that was true even before ACG/ACO.

I think making them redundant was part of the plan. They weren't willing to errata the Core Rules enough to rebuild the weakest classes completely, so they provided replacements.


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Arturus Caeldhon wrote:
Nebulae wrote:

We had a GM pull this one...

44. Each party member takes one baby and does what he wishes.
a: the paladin sent the baby to a orphanage run by his church
b: the barbarian/inquisitor used the baby as an improvised flail when we ran into the goblin parents
c: the "I'm not evil, I'm chaotic" bard took three, cast light on them and dropped them down pits to check depth
d: the rogue used the baby to blackmail/bribe the tribe's alchemist into taking the baby and fleeing before the rest of the party saw her
How does the paladin exist in this party!? Pretty questionable morality.

Yeah, unless b&c were unknown to the paladin.

Both the barb/inq and the bard made big steps towards evil as well, though they might not care.
Even if goblins are irredeemably evil creatures, in which case the paladin wouldn't have to try to have them saved, he should still oppose such abuse.

The rogue may have taken the best approach.


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N. Jolly wrote:
thejeff wrote:
N. Jolly wrote:

I'd say high levels begin around 12+ (the ending of PFS), since that's the point that Paizo has said "Nah, not dealing with this jazz." Balancing anything to finally be good around that point isn't a strong decision, and doesn't help any argument that something is acceptable.

Is there any official Paizo product that even deals with 20th level? Just curious here.

I wouldn't say "Not dealing with this jazz" for 12th level. The last volume (or two) of APs routinely goes past that.

Those are generally considered high level and would be a bad place to finally start being good.

15+ is closer to when they stop dealing with it. A few modules and the very end of most APs are all that supports that.

I was just talking PFS, but I will admit that APs at least touch on higher levels than that, although 15-17 seems to be the stopping point, with 17th on a very sparse basis, neither of which hitting 20th. Either way, hitting stride at 15th level is abysmal. Personally, my biggest complaint with the Investigator is 1-3 levels being garbage compared to what else you could take, Rogue excluded for obvious reasons.

I'm with you there. A couple of bad levels are marginally acceptable, but I'd really much rather have a character be basically competent at the intended concept through the whole process.

Which definitely points me towards liking well designed base classes over prestige ones. Though some prestige builds flow fairly smoothly from the base classes.


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Sissyl wrote:
So, thejeff, you think there may be disparity between preferences between the sexes that are NOT socially determined?

I think there may be.


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Rhedyn wrote:

We might want to establish what "high levels" are. It seems to me like you guys are saying most of your games are spent pre-9. Even in the campaigns I had that ended at 12 abruptly, pre-9 was about half of the sessions.

I'm using 9 as a metric because in 3.5, 9 was the highest you could get from killing CR1 or lower foes. So I saw no reason for anything more than the tutorial period to be at pre-9.

That is a really weird metric.

The overwhelming majority of our pre-9 gaming isn't facing CR1 or lower foes. The majority of our post-1 gaming isn't facing CR1 or lower foes. Even at 1st level at least the bosses tend to be more than CR1.

And in PF you could in theory reach 20th level by killing CR1 or lower foes anyway. It would just take a long time and be really boring.

But yes, the vast majority of games I've played in have been pre-9. Sometimes extending past that. Sometimes concluding before 9th level. (Or dying for various reasons.)


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11. Slap your GM for setting up stupid "moral dilemmas".


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Weirdo wrote:

I don't think it's fair to accept that Prestige Classes will only pay off after level 12 if many games never get there and the overwhelming majority of play-hours are spent in the lower levels.

Prestige Classes are in the CRB and the APG, which indicates - correctly, I think - that they should be enjoyable in most games. Most games do not run through levels 9-20; even the ones that do reach level 20 often have a long slog through low levels during which the Prestige Classes are much less fun. Designing classes that only work in the highest levels is like making merfolk a core race and saying people shouldn't try playing them unless you're running a maritime campaign.

I wouldn't be surprised if more pathfinder sessions are played with Mythic characters than characters in levels 12+, and Mythic is supposed to be a variant playstyle!

Obviously because of the very concept Prestige Classes take a few levels to come together but they shouldn't still be painful to play at level 9.

Agreed, but that doesn't mean the proper solution is an ugly hack like SLA qualifications.


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Trogdar wrote:

Okay... So if your argument hinges upon how something feels to you rather than a more objective metric, you are saying that your feelings are more important than the feelings of another party.

Since we know this is objectively untrue, the argument is meaningless.

Good thing the entire game is only about strictly objective metrics, not anything nearly as pointless and emotional as fun.

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