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Ezren

williamoak's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 3,333 posts (3,697 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 11 Pathfinder Society characters. 11 aliases.


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Matthew Downie wrote:

Five million is pretty low budget for a video game.

If you're funding four years of development, that's $1.25m per year. How many programmers, artists, managers, writers, designers, testers, translators and so on do you think you could hire for that? Taking overheads into account, you're looking at a team of maybe fifteen people at any one time.

GTA 5 had a budget of $265 million and about a thousand people worked on it.

I'll admit, the budget aint huge. But they created a much bigger game for only 3 million in 2 years-Wasteland 2. It may not have been exactly the same people, but it was inXile.


archmagi1 wrote:


In the end, narrow your stretch goals, or eliminate them. I'm sure a part of this is the idea that you shouldn't be profiting off of a Kickstarter funding, but honestly, the Patronage model should be completely geared toward helping the artist or creator generate their piece as best as they can. If they have funding left over, great, they can either polish their product (a bit, not for 2 years), or push that money forward toward their next patronage. It does neither the creator or the patron justice to spend funds just to spend funds on promises that will never be delivered.

I agree with this sentiment. That is how I go into most kickstarter projects these days. "hype" may also no quite be the right word; it's more of a "saying we want to build a mansion, but it comes out as a house". I have not come up with a good word for that yet.

Voss wrote:

I'm curious where most of that five million dollars went, because frankly if it actually went into the game, it was grossly mismanaged.

I'm wondering about that too. I tend to try to look at the positive side (IE, assuming they did try their best), but it does seem like quite a poor game for 5 mil & 4 years


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I tried to run a Rogue Trader game inspired by duck tales. Didnt work out as planned, but Scrooge McDuck is a great example of a rogue trader.


So, to preface this, this is NOT a Torment: Tides of Numenara (TToN) review. All that I should say is that’s it’s an interesting game assuming you go in blind (as in without all the kickstarter hype), and one of those few RPGs you can get through non-violently. For a more thourough review see here . There may be minor spoilers. If you haven’t already been spoiled, go play the game. . Most of that’s review’s point are true in my opinion, and this article is a reflection on what I see as the complex interplay of Technique, Art and Marketing that go into making a game.
Games are complicated. There have a tremendous amount of moving parts, and the length of games (even a “short” 5 hours makes it longer than movie) makes it exceedingly difficult for any one person to have a full grasp of what it takes to make a game. Technique can generally be complemented by more man-hours, allowing more to be done on completing graphics, programming, and testing; but art requires time, and reflection and putting more people on it won’t necessarily speed up the process. Added into this mix are people’s mouths and the various vagaries of marketing. TToN is an unfortunate victim of it’s own marketing.
Spoilers coming up.
For those who never caught on to the initial Kickstarter phase, TToN completed it’s crowdfunding campaign almost exactly 4 years ago. It made four times its initial goal, racking up well above 4 million dollars. It had grand ideals: it wanted to be a successor to the venerable planescape:torment, seen by many as one of the most endearing RPGs ever made.

Note:
I myself fell in love with the game in 2012, after having played the Baldur’s Gate series.
They wanted to make a grand RPG, where violence wasn’t the main answer. They wanted strange worlds steeped in the setting of Monte Cook’s Numenara tabletop RPG system
Note:
Love the setting, don’t love the tabletop RPG. This is one thing that I think TToN did well, plunging you into the weird post-apocalyptica of the ninth world. I would love to see that setting explored more deeply
. The project was headed by Inxile, a company that had many former Black Isle developer who had worked on planescape:torment; Inxile had also already crowdfunded Wasteland 2, (that came out of 2014), and the Team seemed ideal for the game. It unfortunately fell victim to it’s own overpromissing, a condition I call
Molyneux Syndrome:
Some apologies to Peter Molyneux should he ever read this, but some offense as well. He is a paragon of oveg. Every game of his I went into without knowing much I rpromissing enjoyed; every game of his I knew before release I was disappointed by.
.
The previous review I mentionned catalogues all of their missteps. They promised a tremendous amount. They got lots of people involved. I would say about 25-50% of what they seemed to promise actually ended up in the game. Most major game-related stretch goals did not make into the final game . I am honestly happy that development took 4 years since I had forgotten much of those stretch goals, and was able to enjoy the game much more because I had forgotten most of my expectations. It’s a good game, assuming you forget all they said would be in the game. The stretch goal of “longer and more reactive story” is particularly disappointing since it took me a mere 25 hours (doing all the side quests I could find) to complete the game, with very little observable playthrough differences. It may have some of the spirit of planescape:torment but it is not it’s successor; it is a mere shadow, as many castoff’s are to the changing god. Wasteland 2 (made by the same people) cost less, was longer, and only took about 2 years to develop.
The point I am slowly getting into is that the Kickstarter campaign suggested a much grander product than what finaly happened. Had I remembered all the stretch goals and the hype, I would have been bitterly disappointed. This disappointment is a symptom of Molyneux Syndrome; and unfortunately, even seasoned developers fall victim to it. I am fascinated by how much our expectations shape our enjoyment of the games we play. How much marketing, by showing their idealized version of they product, shape what we want from it to a point that its reality could never match.
I wonder how the developers feel about the game. There has been been some apologetic notes . And frankly, developers should know when to say that something doesn’t work in a game and cut it, or to take time to give it more polish. Considering the final result, I really don’t feel like that’s the case with TToM, though I would love some developer retrospectives in the future. It might give some meaningful insight. In the meantime, we will have to wait for a true successor to planescape: torment.
I’m also afraid that this might “poison the kickstarter well” as a source of financing for experimental ideas. Kickstarter is a nice idea; users financing products. But in the end, it’s more of a gamble than an investment. You can’t always know what a product will be before it’s finished. And no matter how many good intentions you got, if you cant deliver what you claimed people will lose trust, and be less likely to support you later. I did after a number of failed projects that never came through. Even now, if I do aid crowdfunding, it’s at the minimum level possible; quantities of money I have no fear about losing.
In conclusion, there are ways to mitigate Molyneux Syndrome symptoms, mostly for the user. Going into a story-based game blind is can reduce the effects. In my experience, the less expectations we got, the more likely we are to be pleasantly surprised. I myself have been avoiding most gaming press to avoid as much as possible the creation of such expectations. It isn’t perfect, but at least I won’t be overhyped.
As for developpers, it’s hard to say what can be done. In the context of crowdfunding, they are mostly selling ideas. So over-promising is easy. And unfortunately, there are no perfect formulas for game development, meaning even otherwise good teams (like InXile) can fail to meet what they claimed initially. I would love to hear if other people have ideas about how to reduce the odds of catching Molyneux Syndrome.
I’m also curious about other folk’s experiences with crowdfunding. Most of those I’ve seenhave been (in my opinion) a success (Shadowrun Returns, Wasteland 2, Pillars of eternity, Divinity Original Sin); but I did go into several of those after they were funded, so they may have their own unfulfilled promises.


I know I'm necro-ing my own (very old) thread, but I would like to thank all those who contributed. I've been working on these ideas more seriously and you have all provided interesting knowledge.
And to Weren Wu Jen in particular, I've played edge of the empire in the meantine, loved it, and am currently trying to adapt a similar dice-rolling system using d6 die as the basis.


Johnnycat93 wrote:

Here I was hoping that this was a thread about P&P games...

Oh, I'm playing plenty of those two (mostly shadowrun 5e and pathfinder). It's just hard to play P&P when your alone.

I've also played through fire emblem and the final fantasy tactics games. Quite like the gameplay. Wow, I just realised I forgot all the DS RPGs I played.


Hey folks,

TLDR: looking for new (or old but little known), interesting, narrative RPGs. With a fondness for isometric tactical RPGs.

I have had excessive amount of free time lately due to illness, I have had way too much time to play video games. So I am turning to the collective wisdom of the paizo boards. I've gone through way too many RPGs and am looking for more exotic fare to stave off my boredom (that's never good for the mind). Pretty much all the D&D games gave been passed through (baldur's gate multiple time), pillars of eternity, wasteland 2, most spiderweb software games (and similar ones like Balrum and Eschalon), all the dragon ages, all the mass effects, most of the divinity series, the recent shadowrun games (very good, I wish they would make more...), arcanum, the fallout games, the stick of truth, the evoland series, Tyranny, the witcher series, the blackguard series (not as good as it seemed in my head), the elder scrolls series, jade empire, expeditions:conquistador, and probably some I no longer remember.

I've also played procedural open world games so much I am sick of them (I love minecraft and starbound, but over 1500 hours over 3 years is too much).

I would never have thought this situation possible, but here I am.


Neurophage wrote:

Your sam has contacts, right? Use them. And not just the corrupt storeroom guy at Weapons World or the street doc who handles your augs. Your BFF who you call for shopping sprees or whoever you're hitting the club with can be just as valuable in the right situations. How about knowledge skills? Your sam's a shopaholic, right? Heavy consumers know a lot about the things they consume. Brands say a lot about a person. Being able to tell the difference between a Vashion Island and Zoe suit and knowing what wearing either says about a person's culture, background or what kind of appearance they're attempting to maintain are the kinds of skills that can be surprisingly useful on a run.

Beverly Hills in SR is practically next door to the most media-saturated zone in the Sixth World. Heard of livecasting? Hook up those simsense feeds, find yourself an audience and get the most of the exciting stuff Shadowrunners tend to get up to. If you're not into livestreaming your exploits, get your team's hacker to do a little creative editing to your simsense recordings and you've got your own reality show submitted for the approval of the local 'Runner community.

You've actually hit a lot of elements I've already done; originally, her ONLY contact was her sorority BFF who was in seattle and worked for evo. I could boost her fashion knowledge a bit; though she is already obssessed with Zoe.

I thought about the livecasting stuff; she is a bit full of herself and has a very distinctive style on her runs (she is the pink tigeress). Unfortunately, I am 100% sure our face would murder her if she did something that would bring the team so much public awareness.


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I've come up with a ridiculous idea for a first starfinder campaign:

The players are part of a goverment anticorruption group who have a goal of infliltrating high society in order to find the most corrupt. Their plan to infiltrate high society: become a galactic-level rock band and get super rich.

It would be a very silly campaign


Hello folks!

Been a while since I've been on the paizo forums, mostly because I've been playing a TON of shadowrun. I've been having some problems with one of my PCs however; I'm not having much fun playing her anymore.

Part of the problem is with the character itself; when the game started, I felt like playing something simple, so I created a "barbie barbarian" type; a street sami ork who was raised in beverly hills, had an addiction to shopping, and was forced into the shadows because of significant rage issues. At first it was fun to play something uncomplicated, but it's becoming a bore. I have a hard time finding ambitions for her, goals to work toward, non-combat things for her to do that are actually useful.

So I've been wondering what others have done when a character gets boring and they cant readily change it. Or what other people have done to make bruisers "fun" out of combat.


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:


I'm actually far more interested in what YOU ALL are interested in as your favorite space-magic groove.

This may be a bit late, but I cant help myself:

-Priests of mars, lords of mars, gods of mars (Graham Mcneill):
The 40k universe is a marvelous mix of technology, "magic", and technology so advanced it may as well be magic. If there is a class/archetype based on the 40k techpriest, I am sure to play it to death. Other 40k books I think fit well:
-Anything by Sandy Mitchell (of CIAPHAS CAIN: HERO OF THE IMPERIUM fame)
-The eisenhorn series (Dan abnett) is also a good techno-scifi mix.

-The X-wing novel series (Micheal Stackpole, Aaron alston): I would love to see a way to do the fighter pilots trope in a game.

That's all i can tink of for now, but I shall return with more!


For fun, here is my version of the 20 questions (heavily inspired by those of l5r), "setting adapted" considering the following factors my own setting.

20 questions wild north:

1) Which of the nine clans does your character belong to?
There are nine clans in the north. See the player document for more details.
2) What class (low, medium or high) does your character belong to?
Wealth (material wealth, much more than just gold) is of critical importance in the north. More food, more goods, better homes, and more allow you to survive the cruelty of nature. As such, society is divided into three economic classes. The low classes mainly consist of subsistence farmers & miners, surviving by working the land (often serving the more powerful). The middle classes own many slaves, allowing them to produce much more than what they need as farmers, miners, lumberjacks and quaryers. The high class comes from those of great wisdom and cunning who accumulated great wealth though canny skill, or who sponsored successful raids to the south bringing much riches. These are treated as nobility, and lead the people in their day to day lives.
3) How would other’s describe your character’s appearance?
Every character should have a rough description in order to give him some sort of life when describing him to others. What is the character’s most striking feature? Does his mood come through in his appearance or is he inscrutable? Does he make others feel at ease, or make them uncomfortable?
4) What is your character’s primary motivation?
Though all warriors are, in theory, solely devoted to fulfilling to protecting the people of the north, most have their own goals as well. Some may be simple, such as maintaining their honor, while others may revolve around the recovery of a lost heirloom or the avenging of a slight to your family’s honor.
5) Who does your character’s trust most in the world?
Characters should have some developed background in order to facilitate role-playing. This question not only includes the individual’s identity, but how that person met the character, why they are so close, and other similar questions.
6) What is your character’s greatest strength and weakness?
Strengths are what others see as respectable or admirable in the character, while weaknesses are what he would struggle to hide from others, lest they look down upon him for his failures. What does the character regard as his strengths and weaknesses, and how does this differ from his actual abilities?
7) What is your character’s attitude towards the druids?
Druids serve as nominal leaders and guides of northern society. They are aloof and distant, and often appear very strange to all others. As such, those who have had limited (or negative) dealings with them often fear or despise them.
8) What is your character’s opinion of your clan?
While all warriors are theoretically bound to the protection of their clan, many do not completely agree with the direction their leaders (and clansmen) follow. Does he differ from the stereotypes of his clan?
9) Is your character married or promised in marriage?
Your characters will start at the age of 16. Traditionally, this is the start of courtship in northern society, where the Providers seek out warriors that interest them. Few are married as young as 16, as they have yet to accumulate the accomplishments to attract attention. Some few however are exceptional enough to attract attention beforehand. The high class often arranges marriages to assure the continuity of their wealth.
10) What prejudices does your character hold?
The ignorant nature of the warrior caste means many know little about the wold, and prejudice is common. Most clans are negatively predisposed to several other clans, and most have strong prejudices against the other races. Is the character one who readily subscribes to these prejudices or has he developed his own dislikes of other Clans, even allied Clans, based on his
own experiences?
11) Who has trained your character in the arts of war?
The most obvious answer would be “your warrior parent”. But many seek wider training from more skilled individuals.
12) What are your character’s favorite and least favorite things?
This could address a wide variety of responses, including material possessions, activities, locations, or almost anything else that could spring to mind. Why does the character revere these things? What significance do they have to his history?
13) What superstitions does your character hold?
The brutish nature of northern life makes many individuals highly superstitious. Innumerable actions are considered unlucky, largely based on personal prejudice and experience. The savagery of nature, and the numerous magical beasts that roam the wilds make many thouroughly convinced of the magival nature of the world.
14) Where did your character grow up?
Settlements are small in the north, the largest barely passing a couple thousand. Most people grew up in small villages and hamlets. Many grow up in small thorpes containing as few as two families.
15) What about your character’s emotions?
It is expected for warriors to be wildly emotional, and to be carried by them into the glory of battle. While this is traditional, many (including the providers) see this as problematic to the proper functioning of northern society.
16) How would your character’s parents describe them?
Devotion to one’s parents is considered proper behavior for any northerner, but devotion can be offered without any real respect between a parent and child. Does the character have a proper relationship with his parents or are they estranged? Was the character’s upbringing a source of joy or dismay for his parents? Are they still alive, or were they taken from the character at a younger age?
17) What are your weapons?
Each warrior choses their weapons; one for far, one for close. Few are those who wield many weapons, though they do exist, as most warriors are quite versatile. What weapons does your warrior favor?
18) What is your highest ambition?
As all warriors seek glory, all must find a grand ambition if they are ever to gain great honor. Some seek to kill great beasts; other to lead grand armies, or to run successful raids. What ambition does your character seek?
19) How religious is your character?
Many warriors disregard the will of the gods, as the Warrior herself disregards them. Some however, venerate assiduously, even dedicating their life to the purest warrior ideals. What does your character do to show their faith?
20) How will your character die?
This is a very important and intimidating question, but one that should be given consideration. Every warrior lives a few short feet from death, and death is a threat that can rear its head on any day of a warrior’s entire life. What is the character’s destiny? How will he meet his end when the time comes for him to join his ancestors


Starfox wrote:

Modern society has a way of being over-specialized for the kind of group dynamics Pathfinder are built around. SF settings have a tendency to be very bad for "party coherency" - the netrunner is away one way, the pilot does the flying, the soldier does the fighting. And in each of these scenes, the rest of the party are basically bystanders. Trying to avoid this hazard that has made SF games lean towards space opera. I think there are more interesting ways to do this.

I tend to agree with that. I had this exact problem in a scifi game I ran before, which become quite troublesome, and I'm seeing it with shadowrun.


In the last year, I have played a lot of new RPGs, from some warhammer 40k, shadowrun, L5R, and dungeon world. I was particularly fond of L5R's "20 questions" which did a decent job presenting a character to the expectations of the world around them.

I decided to try a similar approach in my current pathfinder game, making a series of 20 questions for the campaign's theme (in this case, the players where young warriors from a barbarian society).

I was wondering, what other tools have people used to put players into the context of a world?


I've got a friend who only plays blasty magic types. So any campaign that doesnt allow that, he pretty much does not show any interest in.

I'm a weird type. Not necessarily race/class wise, more in personality. I love silly characters, like my current "barbie barbarian" type in shadowrun.


Delightful! Had a friend that did the same for shadowrun.


Yeah, I would second the social contract mentionned earlier. It is critical. Some systems do encourage flaws.

For exemple, shadowrun (5e in my case). My character has addictions, incompetence (social) and a bad rep (caused by massive rage problems). If anyone calls her ugly, or expects her to negotiate, there will be trouble.She is also HIGHLY recognizable (a hot-pink wearing 6 foot female orc tends to be) which will eventually come to bite me in the ass, I'm sure.

BUT all the players have notable flaws; the face has combat paralysis (it halves initiative, which is huge in shadowrun) and some other, secret problems. The mage has a family and a legit identity (which makes working in the shadows complicated, since he does not want to burn it). THe decker... I'm not sure. They havent come up yet.

In any case, the system is made so that we ALL have flaws, and the group works with/around them.


stormcrow27 wrote:

A special forces trooper from today transported into Golarion. I've always liked the non-gamer transported into a fantasy world trope, but it's been a long time since I've seen anyone play it.

I've always wanted to play a "bolt ace" gunslinger like that. Ultracompetent commando crossbowman.


Leandro Garvel wrote:
Stormrunner wrote:
Vorpal Laugh wrote:
I have an Idea for a melee bard. He would me highly muscular and I would describe his performance as flexing his muscles and doing body building poses, so basically Major Armstrong from Full Metal Alchemist. Mix in some Macho Man style trash talk.
You know, I had thought about doing a Major Armstrong char, but wasn't sure what class he would be. I had considered barbarian (he doesn't rage, he flexes). Maybe Bardbarian?
I used a Brawler with a Barbarian Variant Multiclass for my Alexander Armstrong.

There is the exemplar Brawler archetype; inspire courage AND punching.


Goth Guru wrote:
williamoak wrote:

Oh, ever since I saw this video, I want to run a game set in the setting displayed in it (it's a music video for Carpenter brut: turbo killer)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=er416Ad3R1g

Let's break down the elements

Polluted future where a few mutants can breath without gas masks.

Space stations, all of which have been converted to spaceships, most of them abandoned earth.

Only cars left are cool race cars.

The most genetically pure humans are tracked by glowing holy symbols on their foreheads, while dangerous mutants have an upside down symbol on their foreheads. These symbols link them into the central computer.

The computers provide constant music keyed to whats going on.

I'll assume the girl controls the computer as well as being central to its memory and capabilities.

You see, I thought the girls where (somehow) the vehicules, as his movement of them controlled the car/ship.


Oh, ever since I saw this video, I want to run a game set in the setting displayed in it (it's a music video for Carpenter brut: turbo killer)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=er416Ad3R1g


Goth Guru wrote:

Just have the big bad be Discotep, the horrible old one who uses Disco to enter a dimension. The characters find the sacred instruments of destruction and must use them to destroy the discos the cultists are trying to build.

Instruments of destruction:

The Lightning Firing Guitar Ax.

The Looters Lute: Projects sonic damage or causes irresistible dance among other unlockable powers.

The Drums of The Beat: Cause panic, structural damage, and other things depending how they are played.

The Power: A keyboard that unleashes certain spells depending on your level. You can only send stuff too the moon if you are high enough level to cast teleport, as if you were a wizard.

You Might enjoy "Squat crusade: a musical", a RP story about a campaign of space dwarves trying to survive in 40k.

https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Squat_Crusade:_The_Musical


Thinking about dungeon crawls, there's an interesting manga series that is uniquely about that called Dungeon Meshi, in case anybody is interested.


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DungeonmasterCal wrote:

I feel your pain, M.D. I love playing dungeon crawls. That's how I started out and would love to play in one again. My players aren't fond of them, however. I've also been the primary DM/GM for 30 years now, and get to be a player maybe 4 times a year, though that has picked up a *little* this year.

I would be interested in seeing a dungeon crawl (assuming it made plot sense), with the right group. I've been having a lot of fun with a shadowrun group that is organised, logical and very disciplined. I would want to run in a dungeon crawl with such serious operators. I would not want to play a dungeon crawl with a bunch of murderhoboes (and the groups I have played with were just messes).

Actually, I do have some ideas for an entire dungeon-crawl campaign... but I would rather play than run that to be honest.


I've been wanting to build a full magipunk setting. Not quite ebberon, where magic is simply adapted into our tech; try to imagine what "tech" would evolve from the numerous spells that exist.


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Yeah, I generally get five players, so that if 2 flake, I've still got enough people to consider it "the group"


Hello folks,

I was looking at the new style feats, and saw some interesting potential in the "slipslinger" line of style feats, but had a few questions:
From slipslinger grenadier:
"Your sling deals its normal weapon damage, plus the loaded splash weapon's effect or damage."
-Does effects include the normal splash damage from the splash weapon?

-Does this still count as a splash weapon for the purpose of the alchemist's "throw anything" ability, and the underground chemist's "chemical weapons"/"precise splash weapons"?


bigrig107 wrote:

Ranger would be the obvious choice, if you wanted to go with the Horizon Walker.

Lots of flavor connections between the two, and the ranger both has great uses for Wisdom (spells?), grants Endurance for free, and gives you some combat style bonus feats.

Ranger 6/Horizon Walker X/Ranger X would be cool, as you keep full BAB, d10 HD, and 6+Int skill points, so no loss there.
You'll need Boon Companion for your animal companion (or trade it out), and don't expect it to be the combat beast most animal companions are, but other than that it's a solid build.

I thought about it a bit, but I'll admit that the spellcasting (and lost spellcasting through the PrC levels) kinda made me less interested. Though maybe that trapper ranger...


Hey folks! I'm having a bit of fun theorycrafting, and I'm looking for ideas.

I've always loved the "terrain dominance" feature of the Horizon walker PrC that gives 3+ wis dimension doors a day. Teleporting into battle is sweet, and the mobility it gives is (theoretically at least) awesome for martials. I've always wanted to make something cool that synergises with the need for extra wis, but I havent had much luck. (And the dimensional dervish feat will on kick in at level 13 at the earliest... but I still think it's cool)

The idea of an "astral rager" (Barbarian 6/Horizon walker 3/barbarian 11) is cool, but the wis is not very useful and the barbarians have better sources of mobility.

A monk might be cool, though most already get abundant step making this redundant. However, a monk 6/Horizon walker 3/Brother of the seal 10 could be cool; teleporting in front of someone then blowing them away!

The fighter would definitly get the most out of the mobility, though I dont know any fighter archetypes that could use that wisdom (beyond the usual advantages).

Any ideas? Earlier ways to enter the DD chain? I'm thinking of trying a samurai (sword saint) next.


Thanks for the info folks!


Hey Folks!

I know the paladin is far from OP (especially with casters in play), but I've always thought it would do better as a prestige class than a base one; I quite like the narrative of someone who starts mundane but gains great power for their faith.

So I've been wondering, has anybody ever tried to do this? I was thinking of making it similar to the sentinel (another divine prestige class) and the Mantis warrior (who has 4-level casting). What do you guys think? I might post up a write-up if nobody has tried before.


Hey Folks!

I've been thinking about running a game only with Path of War and Psionics classes from dreamscarred. I was wondering if anybody had any notes from their own (in-game) experiences.


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Evil snow white. The general idea would be that when she was poisoned, snow white caught the attention of asmodeus, who offered her vengeance in exchange for her soul. So he killed the evil queen, and came to "kiss" her awake under the shape of a prince. Since then, she wanders the land under the guise of goodness, manipulating people in the service of her master.
She would be a sorcerer/diabolist with the infernal bloodline.
She will take all damnation feets (for evil, of course

as well as Eldritch heritage (arcane), for an imp familiar; combined with the imp companion, they would polymorph into small birds and sing around her.

She would also take wicked leadership to get a Kitsune Ninja cohort who would turn into a fox.

In the end, she would be a beautiful (and damned) young sorceress, who is followed by wild animals and sings, impossible to identify as evil... by level 15, thanks to the damnation feats, she would be an actual outsider.

Oh! And ideally, to fit with the lawful evil thing, she would never lie. But she would dissemble, change the subject, and avoid ever telling the whole truth.

I'll post more ideas soon, I have a buttload.


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thegreenteagamer wrote:
High int and wisdom in a system that seems to only reward melee types and has no spellcasting whatsoever and a brain that fails concentration rolls every time I try has been frustrating, to say the least...

Seems like Charisma is the primary stat in meatspace...


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"G@* D@$MIT, STOP MIN-MAXING! Stop dumping charisma AND giving me social disadvantages..."


My favorite NPC was this little old lady that work at a dockyard boarding house. The PCs where investigating something, and this was in front of the location. I made her loud, stupid with a tremedously silly accent and a couple of PCs wanted to hire her after the interaction...


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Redbeard the Scruffy wrote:

Just get him to talk about the plot or his homebrew world a little and act like you're totally enamored with it.

Positive reinforcement and operant conditioning aren't just for teaching pets tricks. They're great for subtlety brainwashing folks over time.

Most GMs get burned out because they don't feel appreciated by their players for all their work. I know that was my primary reason. I bust my hump all week writing, building stat blocks, custom tweaks designed just for you, and such, and you can't level up one stinking character during a week of off time and have the nerve to argue with me about a ruling for thirty minutes? F*** you, I'm done.

Appreciation goes a long way to stave off burn out.

I can appreciate that. I'm currently ending a campaign early, and one of the reason is because the players have 0 engagement. In my other campaigns, the players where motivated, would give me ideas about what they wanted, what they where like. THey gave me most of my inspiration for the game. Here... seriously disappointed.

Which is also (oddly) a reason I stopped a lot of games; since they played at night (and I was always tired, I'm a day person), I was never fully engaged and was not great fun. I've found a sunday game and I am infinitely more engaged and interested.

So yeah, love your GM and your GM will love ya back. They are a player too, and showing them you want to play (both in play and without) is hugely motivating.


TheMountain wrote:

Vikings vs Nazis

During the last days of the Third Reich, the nazis send a small army of soldiers, workers, scientists, polish slaves and high ranking members of the Party and the SS back in time to Scandinavia 800 AD in order to restart and form the Fourth Reich.

The Allies catch on, sending back their own team to arm and united the local fighting viking clans.

PC would include the typical dark ages lot (vikings), as well as escaped Polish slaves, disenfranchised nazi scientists, AWOL ss and army members and time travelling Allies.

Would include Nazi mutants, weird viking magic and increasing senile Hitler....

If this isnt the next season of DANGER 5 I will be sorely dissapointed


I've actually not had any problems with players dropping out. More just being unreliable (I've been tempted to boot out some recently).


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Redbeard the Scruffy wrote:

Actually, I'm talking about people as young as 25 and as old as 50, so it pretty much spreads the gamut.

As I said, the ONLY consistency among these people is their hobby and their flakiness.

Eh, I see it more as a "people" thing. Most people I know are VERY flaky. As somebody who has been trying to organise more social activities, most people are flaky with everything that isnt "core" to them. It sucks, but it's normal. I still do get pissed when I organize something and 1 out of the 6 "confirmed" show up.


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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:

Needless to say, it's a question of what game is being played - and also needless to say, there's a difference between people who are good at math and people who know nothing else, or have a cult-like faith in its infallible omniscience.

But if you can reduce the game to a predictable formula...why bother? Pack it in, you've killed it. It's stone dead. It's a stiff. It's run down the curtain and joined the Choir Invisible....

Well, I dont quite think so. Like I said, it's not auto-win, it's just a higher probability. The random nature removes all possibility of auto-win scenarios. And if someone plays against someone at the same level, it's very impressive. I mean professional sports is basically that; take the "best" possible human players, the best possible strategists/coaches, and pit them against each other. Yes, a pro team will (almost) always beat an amateur one (and it will look quite boring as well), but pro vs pro can be quite interesting.

Cult like faith in it's omniscience is dumb however. This is statistical analysis, not calculus. There is no "solve for victory". You may win 70% of your games, but losing should be expected. Then again, asshats are too common to discount... sigh.


DungeonmasterCal wrote:
Tinkergoth wrote:
Though interestingly the really nasty CCG community where I am is YuGiOh. I've seen grown men screaming at children, calling them retards for making a rules error... then been told that it's actually their kid. They're a really toxic group.
The only rage flip I ever saw was at an FLGS where a bunch of Chinese kids were playing Yu-Gi-Oh. There were all screaming at each other in Chinese and suddenly cards were a-flyin'.

I find this hilarious.

As for the reliability of the statistical analysis stuff... on average, it is better (from what I've seen). Again, it's not an auto-victory button, but if people do it right they can be monsters.

Now, there are asshats everywhere, that, unfortunately, we can not escape. But my experience with mechanics first people has been that they have only a few more asshats than the average.


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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Tinkergoth wrote:

Oh they're having fun, and it works for them. During a recent tournament where one of the creators of the game came over from the UK to play, they thrashed him mercilessly. He went on record saying he's pretty sure the first world champion is going to be an Australian after what he saw. One of the local guys has won every tournament bar one that has been held here, he's a world class Warmachine/Hordes player as well, and is very much a fan of mathematical/statistical analysis of the game. The problem is that it's no fun for casual players like me.

It's kinda like, bean-counters are never the first ones to catch on to a game, but they sniff a game out, they barge in, and ruin it for everyone with a broader mind than they. Game gradually turns to s#&#, it shrivels up, they stand in the ruins, shrug their shoulders, and decide it was inevitable, because obviously if they couldn't have saved the game, nobody could! It's almost exactly what happened to World of Warcraft, plus the "LCD Welcome!" thing.

What's to be done? When will they yield, rather than the rest of us?

I think this is more of a "different mentality" thing than anything else. You derive fun from something broader; they derive fun from victory & statistical analysis. In the end, people who want to win (and put the effort to do so) will always end up pushing aside those without the same ambition (and this isnt just in games; you can go into any field (business, engineering, politics, etc.) and find similar mindsets). I wouldnt be surprised they have similar attitudes towards "casuals" (like the reaction on the web to "casual" VG players), wondering why "they dont play the game properly" (IE statistically, to win).

The only solution I have found... is avoidance. They want something COMPLETELY different from the game that some do. I'm not competitive myself, and so I avoid these kinds of people. Luckily, I havent met many of them.


Tormsskull wrote:
...

Eh, for the moment I havent felt like I have wasted any time. Nor do I feel forced to push them. But I will admit I do feel good when they go somewheres where I already have a bit of planning done. (though this may change with time)


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DungeonmasterCal wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
PBP is a struggle for me too. Ironically, compared to live gaming, I find myself much less focussed on the story/roleplaying and more on getting the mechanics right and not making dumb decisions. I always feel like I'm doing it badly... :/
That was my biggest problem. We play a little fast and loose with some of the rules, so I was always making some mistake that the GM had to point out. The GM was great, don't get me wrong. The problem was all me.

Ah, PbP never worked for me either. I just... couldnt get into it. I always finished by forgetting it was even there...


DungeonmasterCal wrote:
Sundakan wrote:
...and just making up different cities as I go along.
Monte Cooke (3.0 designer, for those who don't know) said never make up more than you need at the moment. Words I've come to live by in worldbuilding.

I'll admit, I'm rather iffy on that. I tend to design a lot more than I need, because I like to feel like I have a complete and coherent world; though adventures themselves tend to involve less preparation. (also, I love world-building, so I get a lot of fun out of it. I have basic worldbuilding prep ready for MANY potential campaigns, that will probably never be played).


SheepishEidolon wrote:
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
I'm getting burnout again, but I'm trying to fight it.
Hmm, is it possible to delegate some work to the players? Like drawing maps, giving summaries, organizing game times, organizing food, building NPCs etc.?

I've seen that work in some groups. But it takes heavily invested players. And while I have tried to do it, most (lightly invested) players forget pretty quickly, and the constant reminding is not pleasant.


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Christopher Dudley wrote:
...

The players have a hell of a lot of influence. Player investment has a huge effect on my motivation in-game.


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I often find a theme for the character, find an appropriate language, and find a word that fits the theme.


GM Rednal wrote:
Being the kind of person who enjoys actually PLAYING some ridiculous ideas, I did a thing. XD Feel free to check it out if you're interested in some Play-by-Post.

I've tried running some ridiculous ideas. My current game (rogue trader) is loosely inspired by duck tales.

But silly ideas take motivated players, and I have had little luck finding those. Stil, one can only hope!

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