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Augmented Aethership Captain

zagnabbit's page

854 posts. 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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On the Fantasy vs medieval vs real topic;

All we have to work with is our own framework of right and wrong and how the world works. Convenience is part of it and the part that my NonGamer friends think is the dumbest part of the hobby. I've been fortunate to play with a barehandful of DMs who were good enough that not only could they handle the game and narrative but also completely dispense with our group prejudices and preconceptions to completely immerse us in an Alien World. That's a rare talent I think.

Part of what this thread has been is that. We have different views on what Stats mean. We have different views on how they should impact the game. We bring our own preconceptions to the table and those preconceptions are different for different people. The OP's group had a different preconception of what PC Intelligence means and the DM and his group had a discussion about it, that's working as intended for a RPG.

Preconceptions about the game happen with Mechanics and role play. I like to know ahead of time if the game I join is just a combat simulation and I like to know if I'll go whole sessions riffing in character and never toss a die. Both have merits and neither is exclusive. I usually prefer a game where there is some balance, but other times I just wanna hit stuff with a sharp stick.

To Paizo specifically and their setting.
Paizo has done a magnificent job at eliminating numerous conceits of the RPG hobby that were really hurting it at some levels.
*The depiction of ethnic minorities was a major one. I play with 2 black guys, father and son. The son doesn't remember a time where the only black guy in fantasy was an elf.
*The depiction of the female form in a sensible form of dress. There's an awful lot of Under boob cleavage in my TSR modules. I personally love Red Sonja's Metal Disc Bikini but it shouldn't be a default for art submissions.
*They've added actual moral and ethical dilemmas to their setting where players can actually make a decision that matters in regards to their place in the world.
*I never saw the term MurderHoBo before this board, but it's apt for a great many games ive participated in. Paizo's printed adventures and the APs especially have done more to remove that than any of their predecessors.
* Genocide: This is more than human genocide. Once clearing an Orc tribe meant dead Orc Babies in D&D. Not so much anymore. Maybe it's Mikaze's quest for non stereotyped racial portrayals or it's from years of players doing some awful things in character and thinking "wait a minute".

There are lots of bad spots on Golarion. Nidal is nasty but Cheliax isn't a vacation destination. Katapesh is full of Slavers, who will take anyone not obviously too powerful to market. In Geb, humans are food. Sargava is full of bad juju. Galt is a mess where death is true death sometimes.
Starvation is a real threat for the general populace of all those spots. Magical Healing exists but saying it's common place is a stretch. It also costs money by the rules and the poor of Golarion are like modern India poor in some of these places.

Andoren is nice, unless you work for the Timber Consortium. Molthune is trying to destroy Nirmathas. Razmir forces religious conversion on it's neighbors. In the River Kingdoms food producers have extremely high Social Status because it's so hard to bring a crop to harvest and everyone else is hungry. In central Varisia you can be raped by Ogres. Mendev exists because Demons are invading the world. Ustalav is Ustalav. LastWall is there to prevent an Undead Wizard King from escaping and bringing the whole world into Undeath and it's neighbor is a nation teeming with Orcs who worship a war god and like to war with Lastwall.
Golarion isn't a nice place to live.

EpicFail wrote:
EpicFail wrote:
zagnabbit wrote:

Here are some example low stat basic DC checks...

Based on what reference?
So it's no reference?

I'm not sure of what your looking for?

Every AP has an adventure that calls for lots a basic skill and ability checks.

There is a rule of cool thing that has taken over gaming where if something isn't at least mildly "Heroic" it's not worth rolling dice.

But lots of things can and should be rolled. Not for for the sake of randomness either. If it only rains in your games to serve a plot purpose hen you have telegraphed to the players that Rain=Combat or that walking across the street will be a fight.

Walking across the street is a bad example but there are likely 100s of possibilities for why that roll should be checked.

If not then rolls are just extraneous dumb speedbumps in your narrative combat game, which is fine but it also shafts the mechanics of several classes and particularly anyone who has an INT stat for just skills. They SHOULD have dumped that down to 4, because skills and checks aren't important in your game unless it's important but the only rolls that matter are INIT, TO HIT, DAMAGE, and saving throws.

As it is .....
Survival is irrelevant, you ain't finding it unless the DM wants you to, then you always will.

Appraisal is hand waived away...

Handle Animal is for Rangers, that guy will handle it.

Ride/ unless you took Mounted Combat, no one uses this.

Craft/ why bother. Magic mart has it

Profession/ really you kill things and get the girl.

I could go on. But why. If it's not Perception/Intimidate/ Bluff, it better have a feat bonus.


Bandw2 wrote:

pathfinder and other fantasy RPGs are medieval technology with modern socio-economic trends. AKA, large middle class, basic human rights, sewer systems everywhere, the ability for everyone to get some modest education.

Yeah that gets forgotten on pretty much everythread on every forum and peer to peer discussion of RPGs. The worlds these are set in are terrible places that most gamers would never survive in.

RPG players are usually White, Male, Educated, Bougeois Middle Class kids from industrialized societies. Our parents and coworkers freak out about government tyranny but those people have no F'ing clue as to what real tyranny is like to live under. We complain about foreign religions but not one of those religions practices involuntary human sacrifice and is primarily devoted to ending all of existence (not just here on earth but total interdimensional annihilation).

We complain when the Internet is down, our water supply doesn't kill our children and not one of us has ever contemplated committing murder for no more gain than a full stomach.
Our PCs though have had genocides committed in their home areas, live with carnivorous predators that will actually attack a walled city and probobly have been faced with not only homelessness but starvation, superstition and racism that leads to mob violence and potentially having the debts of family members or even political leaders land them in some form of servitude.

That's what's funny about Paladin Falls threads, all the posters that feel like antiheroes in games are wimps next to that fictional paladins certainty that the Right thing has been done when he went Medieval on the situation.

I think this is a new group in the original post.

Here are some example low stat basic DC checks.

STR 4: Mounting a horse unassisted.

Dex4: walking access wet flagstones. Also mounting the Horse if it's not the most cooperative animal (sans Handle Animal check).

Con4 : Theoretically there are rules for catching a cold; it's a check made everyday and they've been around forever (AD&D). No one uses them. But I do when players enter filthy places sewers, caves full of guano etc.
This one is difficult since CON fails tend to kill PCs, in my experience anyway. The Fortitude penalty alone means that poison and any form of CON damage equals a dead PC and both of those are or should be common place.

Int4: believe it or not, Locks aren't all that common place in most fantasy settings, so unless I see some reason like dads a locksmith, I'm a rogue, there's a lock faerie who gives out for Easter.....the first time the PC tries to reason something out a DC is not outta order. NOW once something is sorta learned it's learned so it would be staggeringly dikish to make them reroll everyone they try to operate a Block and Tackle.
While I'm well aware that literacy is automatic, that's one of the dumbest rules in the game. Dirt farmers in Golarion have a higher literacy rate than the United States general populace and we have compulsory education (which has been referenced repeatedly in this thread as if Fantasy campaign milieu X also has it).

WIS4: Basically noticing anything, even blatantly obvious things like like the City Guards are wearing rags and have foreign accents.

CHA 4: forget the basic social niceties, straight check is needed anytime this milquetoast needs to see if he can get noticed by shopkeepers, stable boys etc. It's not that they don't see him, they're just pretending this odd cat isn't here.

This is all well within the DM's fiat, and none of it is woefully unbalanced or cruel. This also assumes that this debilitating stat score was deliberate and not just the fickle dice gods punishing some poor gamer. I still maintain that sub7s are a bad idea, for a variety of reasons.

DM Under The Bridge wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

I had a Lore Oracle Bard, that had a 5 intelligence, and over +20 on all Knowledge skills.

If I got ganged up on, by my fellow players, telling me I don't know how a damn key works, or how to hide, I would be rightfully upset.

Yeah, Bards can dump int, and still know more than many characters.

Don't forget that even with a great int and knowledge skills, it is still possible to consistently fail checks if the DC is rather high. Then the high int characters seems stupid, when it comes to the crunch. I've seen it. We laughed at the int 22 wizard.

This is one of the reasons I've started to favor the NO STATS variant.

Stats have always been the root causes of silly. From people who refused to play a PC with less than 2(!) 18s as starters to guys whose entire inventory is just a resource pool to get that oh so sweet triple boosting belt.
Sadly also RP nazis who freak out about MinMaxing (which started 10 minutes after there were stats added to the original game) and people who basically Meta think everything all the time.

Stats are just another system flaw, like falling damage or Item Crafting. Point buy was theoretically supposed to fix this but it just altered the problem into something different. It failed to adress MAD issues and created the INT 5 bards who are just trying to overcome MAD issues by dumping a stat that is mechanically not needed even if it would be a prerequisite for actually being all learned and stuff.

My proposal for the future would be a 2 stat system Mind and Body.
People would hate it though because it's harder to Game.

I like that part thats South of the Roof of the World down to that part Souuth of Sargava and Geb. I also actually like the Roof of the World too and the Tien parts that are attached to it.

Specifically I like Varisia and I've done a lot of my own fleshing out with the Sellen River locations so Brevoy and Mendev and The River Kingdoms and Iobaria. The isle of Kortos is cool and Katapesh is pretty neat as a setting for fun.

Is it ok to kill Orcs on sight?
How about Kobolds? They aren't even mammals.

The answer is really how much moral relativism is present in the game.

Golarion is a brutal, occasionally savage world where almost anything can and might kill you. PCs may well be loaded with preconceptions that alter their views on good qnd evil that are radically different than our own.

This was posted on the first page but it bears repeating:

"If I kill you, you will be awake, you will be armed and you will be facing me."
...Malcolm Reynolds...

Reynolds lives in a morally ambiguous universe where people double cross him and frequently try to kill him. He has rules though, even if he's the only one who follows them. There are criteria for him to kill someone. When those criteria are met, he's not one to second guess himself. Oddly he's one of the most clearly good people anywhere he goes, even though he's trying to be bad generally.

In a game where killing happens almost every session, frequently for profit, a code of conduct becomes the moral guideline that most characters seem to follow more than lofty discussions about the nature of good and evil. The only class that is solidly grounded in the GOOD end of the dynamic is the Paladin; and few things are as capable of killing efficiently as a paladin faced with a being that meets his criteria.

Well for real world perspective.
A modern American Family Farm; which is a seriously large small Buisness, may have access to 200 acres of arable land. Per Acre seed stock is a significant cost, a full cycle of maintenance, irrigation, pesticide and harvest can put that operating cost at $70,000 an acre.
When a good year rolls up, it's very profitable. A bad year is a huge setback; 3 bad years in a row = disaster. Whatever money is left over at the end of a year is literally the seed money for the next year.

In PF; 52 gp left over will dissappear quick when animals get sick or through a drought.

I watch Jimmy Kimmel and Jay Leno interview people on the street all the time. They can't name their governor, congressman, mayor or the vice president. Sometimes they can't name the sitting POTUS. That's not unlikely in Absolom either.

Knowing the name of the local Ruler is a DC 10 Knowledge:Local check. Knowledge is a Trained Only skill. So for a character to even make that check by RAW they gotta have a rank.
Now I will concede your point that the knowledge skills are written from an outsider's standpoint but that is not actually how they are written. If the rules are followed exactly as written; the PC may not actually know the mayor's name.

I didn't say that a low stat character couldn't identify a fork, I said he may not have the linguistic skills to name it on command. Not the same thing.
The character can speak the Common Tongue; but nowhere does it elaborate how extensive that linguistic skill is. He may know the word King but not the word Monarch.

I know the word Antidisestablishmentarianism but I don't actually know what it means.

The Online document doesn't cover much on Intelligence beyond saying that it governs the ability to Learn and Reason. Then what it's mod effects.

Yes it's the Rule Section.
There are virtually no rules for Role Playing. Aside from the mechanics of Alignment.

Alignment is often reviled for that reason.
So it's an issue of playstyle. I've played in games where not one person spoke In Character for 3 hours. I've played in games where you couldn't speak Out of Character to anyone other than the DM nor could you speak if it wasn't your turn during combat. Lots of things are only lightly touched on other things are incredibly specific.

We can't perfectly model real life with RPG rules, heck we barely model fantasy life with RPG rules. Comparing Jump Skill to Olympic Athletes shows failings in the model. Falling out of a 3rd story window shows a failing in the model. Watch some FreeDiving what's that guys CON score?

"Dude, Where is my House" is a valid issue for a low WIS character.

I went to Savannah GA on a spring break years ago. I drove my cousin to the mall. She was 16, had gone to that mall twice a week for years and didn't know how to get there. Years later she still gets lost on the way to the mall; but she's got a PHD and can answer the most arcane trivia. She's not well modeled by a low WIS stat either. Her sense of direction is just terrible but her Sense Motive is never off.

Knowledge checks aren't houserules.
You can argue all day that a PC should know something but the GM makes that call.

If your background specifically spells out what you know, great. If you got screwed by dice and have a 4 INT that may not be much, if somehow your rich parents overcame your staggering divine punishment through rigorous schooling, ok. It's not going to be cool with everyone's playstyle and the person that controls most of the rolling is just as much a player at the table.

Spell this stuff out ahead of time. In the open, with everyone's input.
Disconnecting stats and RP is fine, if everyone is onboard. So is playing without stats entirely (it's also way easier to do the math for basically everything, especially the GM side of things).

The style difference comes from what constitutes basic everyday knowledge.

For characters in a world without tv, Internet and even easy access to the printing press that basic knowledge shrinks. Now remove free, cumpulsory education and basic knowledge shrinks even further. Remove geographic mobility and turn a trip of 100 miles into a major life event and knowledge shrinks. Add in healthy doses of superstition and ready amounts of prejudice and not only is basic knowledge smaller but what does exist may in fact be outright wrong, even if it's known.

Lots of games have a common world wide language and libraries full of books in even tiny villages but that is not always a default assumption. Different games are different.

Most game issues are playstyle differences.

When we have a joiner, they are amazed at all the skill checks. We RP haggling gear purchases and loot sales, but at least 2 players are seriously into that.

We still do basic ability checks even at high levels where they usually disappear under the stat boosting item ubiquity.

We also have a high casualty rate which is shocking to some players when someone does something that is almost certainly suicide from a meta standpoint. Meta thinking is inevitable given the nature of the medium but it can create problems. We long ago agreed that PC death is to be expected given the situations involved and that a Good Death is worth 10 mediocre victories.

This is as much a play style difference as rules issue.

Arguing the nature of intelligence is like arguing the nature of Lawful Good.
Opinions will vary.

Power Mad Cookie Bear is occasionally the counter to Disruptive Munchkin.

An INT of 4 should lead to hilarious game situations. That's actually the only real value to ultra low stats. That's also how ability and skill checks for ultra low stats should work. If the game isn't helped from a group enjoyment standpoint any disruptive element should be excised.

There isn't a rule that says Roll to Breathe.

There also isn't a rule that says you never roll to breathe. It's in the purview of the GM, if something justifies an Ability Check to breathe then it gets rolled.

GMs adjudicate the game through rolling checks. Period. The how and why of those checks is also up to the GM.

Auren "Rin" Cloudstrider wrote:
zagnabbit wrote:

That 40% chance to remember that Tuesday follows Monday is still dumb.

The DM controls that check, whether it gets rolled or not.

"Take 10" is completely in the wheelhouse of DM permission.

The DM can force a knowledge chck at any time

knowing Tuesday follows Monday is so mundane it is DC 5 at highest, i would consider it DC 0. still an 100% chance on taking 10, even for a 1 int guy. this is beyond easy, DC 10 would be closer to knowing the answers to algebra II or geometry problems you learned in high school

knowing tuesday follows monday is like DC 5. at harderest, more like DC0.

The DCs start at 10.

A DC of 0 is a gimme.

Just like every other hand waived skill check in the game.

I played a game years ago, ROLEMASTER maybe, where you could actually die trying to cross a city street and failing an ability check. The hand waiving of rules isn't a bad thing but it's also completely legit to require actual rolls.

I'm not sure where "Intellignce is purely academic" comes from.

If that's a hard rule. I don't remember it in the CORE Rulebook. Not saying it's not there. My copy is at home.

This sounds interpretive. I've seen multiple GMs in multiple versions of the game come down differently on the ruling.

Auren "Rin" Cloudstrider wrote:
zagnabbit wrote:

No, what I think Orfamay Quest is pointing out is how skill checks can actually be applied.

Most Skill Checks get hand waived in game for expediency. As a result no one takes Appraise ranks anymore.
Basically the DM says; "you find a jade bracelet"
Player says "what's it worth?"
DM says "250 gp"

Same is done for knowledge checks that everybody at the table knows. If your game is set in Varisia, it's hand waived that the players know what the nearest city is, since the last campaign was in Varisia.
Also there is a poster map of Varisia behind the DM's head on the wall.

Now. When there is a PC with an INT score of 4; suddenly knowledge checks are the balance factor.

Just like that PC with a STR score of 4 had better know the exact weight of every item on his person at all times. Since his clothes and a dagger are the limit of a light load.

It's fair to say the DM is being Douchey making you roll to remember your father's first name but it's not when he makes you roll to remember the name of someone you just had a conversation with yesterday.

Skill checks and ability checks are basic and intrinsic to the math underlying the game. The "take 10" rule is in place to help you not fail routine tasks when there is no pressure to complete it. The definition of "pressure" is entirely up to the DM though; and it's not too far out there that they rule any kind of Grey Matter use is a stressful situation for a PC with a 4 INT.

An intelligence of 4 is dumb, as in no memory retention.

If the game is played STRICTLY by rules the skill checks and ability checks would be far more common place than they are.

how are you dumb when you have a 40% chance to recall a feature you learned in the local school house during your childhood on the spot in an immediate fashion?

That 40% chance to remember that Tuesday follows Monday is still dumb.

The DM controls that check, whether it gets rolled or not.

"Take 10" is completely in the wheelhouse of DM permission.

The DM can force a knowledge chck at any time.

No, what I think Orfamay Quest is pointing out is how skill checks can actually be applied.

Most Skill Checks get hand waived in game for expediency. As a result no one takes Appraise ranks anymore.
Basically the DM says; "you find a jade bracelet"
Player says "what's it worth?"
DM says "250 gp"

Same is done for knowledge checks that everybody at the table knows. If your game is set in Varisia, it's hand waived that the players know what the nearest city is, since the last campaign was in Varisia.
Also there is a poster map of Varisia behind the DM's head on the wall.

Now. When there is a PC with an INT score of 4; suddenly knowledge checks are the balance factor.

Just like that PC with a STR score of 4 had better know the exact weight of every item on his person at all times. Since his clothes and a dagger are the limit of a light load.

It's fair to say the DM is being Douchey making you roll to remember your father's first name but it's not when he makes you roll to remember the name of someone you just had a conversation with yesterday.

Skill checks and ability checks are basic and intrinsic to the math underlying the game. The "take 10" rule is in place to help you not fail routine tasks when there is no pressure to complete it. The definition of "pressure" is entirely up to the DM though; and it's not too far out there that they rule any kind of Grey Matter use is a stressful situation for a PC with a 4 INT.

An intelligence of 4 is dumb, as in no memory retention.

If the game is played STRICTLY by rules the skill checks and ability checks would be far more common place than they are.

Bandw2 wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:

also, all of those are assuming the person is a "foreigner".
They do not. Nowhere in the skill description does the word "foreigner" appear.

k then like I said, since the average person doesn't have knowledge(geometry), no one in a town can name the closest town, or know it's direction.

DC 15 "Recognize current plane" has no idea he's on material plane since he did not train a skill point in planes.

the rules assume you just know things, if they make sense for you to know them.

I'm not sure why any given NPC doesn't have a rank Knowledge GEOGRAPHY. If that NPC travels, at all, a rank makes sense. Also the merchant, sailor/navigator, caravan driver is likely an Expert with skills in this stuff.

Recognize Current Plane is irrelevant, untill you get plane shifted involuntarily.

Yeah you are assumed to know stuff. But the assumption that you know the word "Fork" with an INT of 4 is not going to get past every DM.

That's just excellent.

This feat should be called

LOL Really. or Sacred Power Creep (Jump)

Ravingdork wrote:
zagnabbit wrote:
I've never seen a character with a 4 CON score survive more than 3 game sessions.
I've played a sorcerer that survived from 1st-level to level 10 on less than 30 hit points. In the end, she was lost not due to an enemy attack, but due to a betrayal of her PC allies (they feared the low-constitution crone would soon succeed at becoming a lich).

It's not the HP, it's the fort save penalty.

But we kill PCs as a matter of course. So that's one place here I know my group differs from the average RPG table.

Ah. Ok gotcha. This discussion moved so fast I failed my will save.

A low CHA could certainly be a shy person or a person with Social Anxiety Disorder or a person with virtually no confidence in anything.

I still don't get the lack of bonus making the check easier. Unless you assume those point buy points netted you additional skill points for social skills. Which is metagamey.

How does a low CHA make Diplomacy checks easier?

Bandw2 wrote:
zagnabbit wrote:

A dexterity value of 4 is not far ahead of being incapable of movement.

That character isn't just clumsy.

still they're perfectly able to swing a sword normally and with no malus. A task that if 4 is a horrible disability, shouldn't even be possible. Int 4 is not shown anywhere to mimic the results of someone becoming a moron, this want for people to RP it is based on metagamey knowledge. People want them to pay for their choice to use such a low score, when the game already has set limits for their character. people seem to get jealous or think that it isn't fair or some such, when it's probably nearly impossible to play a 18 int character under these standards.

character stats have no impact on personality or limits other than what they do mechanically, they are an key for an abstracted portion of the game, nothing more nothing less.

People want the stats to follow their world view of the stats when in reality the stats aren't actual physical things about the character, they're simply stuff to give characters an innate bonus or malus to things.

I'll bring up more silly low stats, I'd be amazed at the guy with 4 con not having to roll for not dying everyday, as he most certainly has some brittle bone disease... oh wait, HP is an abstraction of someones luck or ability to withstand fatigue, not someones actual ability to shrug off hits...

I've never seen a character with a 4 CON score survive more than 3 game sessions.

I qctually agree with your point on bonus/penalty regarding stats. BUT that needs to be agreed on by everyone involved ahead of time. Otherwise you get what the OP has. An argument.

Saying that "No on should force RP decisions on you", is too cut and dried. This has been going on for as long as people have played D&D. Virtually all old school players fall into the RP the stats category. They actually come from games where the bonuses and penalties were even weaker than they are now. Once it was just a +\- 1-3 on like one thing.

If anything I'd like to see future versions of the game eliminate stats all together. They aren't necessary for RP, and really just limit options for some concepts. Alignment has it's place but stats are unnecessary beyond pumping up one facet of combat utility.

On awakened animals.
Awakened makes an animal human-like in it's intellect. It gives it access to spoken language (even though it doest expressly state that it restructures vocal chords). It also basically changes the type, though not all benefits of a type are changed. It also makes the subject friendly.

This has nothing to do with animal intelligence. An Awakened animal is a magical beast. I brought up my above post in the response that every thread ever covering intelligence values has the Wolves (int 2) using Trip in combat argument.

My point of view is that animal intelligence values aren't relevant to human intelligence values. Stat values are an abstraction, not a hard scale of measurement. Otherwise an immortal Aboleth would be sitting on an Int value so high it should be a 3 digit number, compared to a human.

If we use Gygax's IQ=INTX10 ratio it's even worse since no one I know of has ever gotten a wolf or an octopus to take an IQ test.

I understand your point. There are built in penalties to a low stat value. That's it.

That's also why many of us don't allow 4s. Or 3s.

A dexterity value of 4 is not far ahead of being incapable of movement.
That character isn't just clumsy.

Bandw2 wrote:
LazarX wrote:
CommandoDude wrote:

Stats should never affect roleplaying period - unless the roleplayer wants them to.

There are ALREADY mechanical penalties in place for low stats, people don't need to invent more.

Roleplaying low stats as average or better is like ignoring the fact that you're missing an arm and expecting to wield two handed weapons as normal. The problem with Pathfinder/3.x is that the skill modifiers can dwarf the modifiers for actual mental or physical ability. And there are players more than willing to cheese with those mechanics.

A person with a 4 int isn't Einstein. There are reasons that I put floor limits as to how low a character stat can go. This thread exemplifies them.

they aren't Einstein but they aren't some Idiot. Actual mental problems would have to be covered with a disease or insanity. Int has no effect on ones reasoning skills.

Int has a very specific lined out effect just like strength or missing an arm, but people seem to want it to effect more than what the rules say it effects.

Actually they are borderline idiots.

Now a 4INT/12WIS/19CHA is more like an idiot savant, but he's still an idiot.

LazarX is right. People game this all the time. Frequently and deliberately.

The only downside to a super low INT is a loss of skill points and potentially a loss of spellcasting access to certain classes.
It's frequently posted on this forum how skills are superfluous game features in many games. So a super low INt is a minor penalty.

Sorry that didn't post last night for some reason and I just hit enter.

Lifat wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
JustSomeRandomCommoner wrote:

Low intelligence sounds more like the definition of being "slow": on equal skill ranks and bonuses (so equal effort on the topic), the character will have less chances to remember things they both studied. But you can still work in society, everybody knows "that dumb person" that got a college degree... Why should he not work fine in sosciety?

Because "that dumb person" who got a college degree doesn't have an IQ of 50; he's probably got an IQ of 90 or so.

I'm not entirely convinced that you understand the full range of human intelligence. I'm sure that you don't actually know how disabling an IQ of 50 is.

Why do you define 4 INT as IQ 50? JSRC wrote about how wolves with an INT of 2 could do some rather complex tactical work... Why shouldn't someone with double the INT be able to do something much more complex? The task that was described by OP doesn't sound that complex to me.

There is an assumption that intelligence among wolves and intelligence among humanoids is analogous. I'd argue that is not true. Our quantative annalysis of intellect involves numerous processes tha are not applicable to wolves.

Wolves can perform complicated group tactics. They can communicate among one another using a relatively complex system. they could arguably "play a hunch" based on deductive thought.
They do not perform creative expression using interpretive dance, visual mediums like sculpture, painting etc. There is no known fictional storytelling among them. They do have a type of music perhaps.
Wolves can't use magic, either inherently or learned. They lack opposable thumbs and generally are not tool users. They have no written language and only the most limited form of culture, similar to a humanoid tribal group. There is no higher civilization among wolves unless you house rule wolves to be similar to Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time Wolves (who are smarter than many humans and in all likely hood aligned).

All of this feeds into an average INT value for a wolf or an octopus or an canary.

Stat values are an abstraction in d20, just like HP, or AC. It's a simplification for mechanical ease of play. All of those abstractions go sideways the further you get from basic Human norms. The strength of gorillas is inadequate, the intelligence of Aboleths is inadequate and in all likelihood, the AC of dragons is inadequate. The mental stats of animals aren't exactly balanced with humans and it's unfair to animals and humans to jet them as approximations.
Upthread someone uses a human baby as another example of low intelligence. I'd disagree with this as well. Not that a baby has learned much compared to an adult but studies in the modern world have shown that babies learn much faster than adults. In the first 5 years of a human life they learn and even master some of the most complex tasks they will eventually know. It's not that babies have low intelligence, it's that they haven't yet achieved the potential of their intelligence.
Some of the smartest people in our world make breakthroughs at relatively young ages, especially in the field of mathematics. If the d20, age based, stat progression were perfect that wouldn't be the case.

The flip side of that is that a modern low IQ value is truly debilitating because the full potential is hit early perhaps as early as 4 or 5. That's the point where new skills stop being learned or learning slows down to a point that it's advancement is basically imperceptible. Anyone who has owned several dogs will tell you that they sometimes can learn new tricks.

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There is no rule for roleplaying a stat.

I tend to discourage any stat below 7. This is as much mechanical as anything else. What you have is a common problem in point buy games. People dump stats especially an Off mental stat and basically behave as of the other 2 make up for it.

The above scenario is not that far fetched given the information. However the character is only average in the common sense department and extremely handicapped in intellect. I'm going to assume he has a stratospheric charisma.

Unless you have a specific and communally accepted house rule that institutes a disconnect between stats and Roleplay you will always have players that absolutely detest what this player has done.

It helps to have examples of what ultra low stats actually do for players to discuss and agree on ahead of time, just like alignment.

For me and my group an INT value that low is not just a crude understanding of Book Learnin'. This character would be illiterate, would have difficulty counting beyond maybe 10 and would have a vocabulary that was incredibly simplistic. Multi syllabic words and any complex concept beyond base emotional reactions would be suspect. That he's a spell caster using verbal components should probobly cut that base vocabulary down even further. Comparing PCs to animal stats is a mistake, animals have poor stats comparatively (look at the STR on bears and gorillas and compare that to observable YouTube film). A better analogue would be our concept of a Caveman. In the modern world an intellect that low would be on disability and likely unable to hold more complex jobs than sorting Recyclables by shape and color.

A STR, DEX or CON value of 4 are mathematically devastating in PF if the inherent penalties are actually applied. The mental stats should be no different.

Unless stats are just math and have nothing to do with the character beyond static bonuses and penalties. If that's the case everyone involved should be on board with that.

I seem to remember that the thing that makes this weird is that it was originally an Exotic Weapon that could be used without having Exotic Proficiency. .

With EWP (exotic weapon proficiency) you could use this as a light weapon in your offhand.

With Regular old martial level skills or MWP (martial weapon proficiency). It could be used as a one handed weapon.

This is similar to how the Aldori Dueling Sword is either a one handed, finessable weapon with EWP or identical to a long sword with MWP.

The Madu is also designed like this.
It's a light spiked shield with MWP.
It's a light spiked shield that gives a bonus to Combat Expertise with EWP.

The Scorpion Whip has a similar design structure save that it has no MWP application but could get all of the Whip abilities if you also had EwP Whip (a double feat tax).

All of these weapons were introduced around the same time, just prior to the edition shift. Nothing else seems have followed this design path since. Likely due to confusion from other weapons that are just plain old exotic.

I can't find the FAQ for it either.

I've made fairly heavy use of this feat.
For specific builds the ability to deal damage is invaluable when that's something you devote no slots too.

As a house rule we've allowed it to work at half strength (1d6), it occasionally gets used this way. At 10th level, damage based cantrips are basically useless. This modification offsets that loss of utility. However Cantrips exist to offset the low-level caster's old "One Shot magic item" stigma. Cantrips aren't intended to be combat usefull at higher levels.
It does somewhat simulate the old Reserve Feats like this.

I agree that the RAI was to prevent Nova Casting. Conservation of resources is intended in Caster Design and it's a good thing. This feat is for utility in spell selection variance not as an augmentation to Blaster Casters.

TheBlackPlague wrote:

Lotta cool options. Most of these options aren't persistent though, correct? As in, I can't set up a nice laboratory and have it still exist upon reopening the space.

That's an interesting idea, Zagnabbit. You wouldn't happen to have the stats on such a beast, would ye?

No stats no.

It's basically a minor artifact that is a permanent, mobile gateway to a small, personal Demi-Plane.
Pathfinder #24 "TheFinal Wish", secondary article "Decanter of Black Death"

The above article does stat that the creator made about 300 of them though, so they aren't exactly a unique or campaign breaking item.

Any permanent, inhabitable, extradimensional space that is large enough to contain several people is going to be prohibitively expensive. The ability to use it as a treasure cache is just too much in game terms (since you never need to worry about weight or storage again, plus if it's mobile you can always have every piece of mundane equipment you could ever need). A "familiar pocket" X100 maybe?
I have a home-brewed item that does just that plus some other things, it's a Staff and it's insanely expensive even with my half-assed pricing making it barely affordable for a big level player and it only provides a space that is about 20,000 cubic feet. (like a 3 bedroom house as an example).

Talk to your DM about this, if he doesn't mind a mobile spell lab it's not an unlikely get item. While it's gold cost would be staggering it can be built in such a way as to be non-game changing, beyond saving the party from nighttime random encounter tables.

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Aaron Burr wrote:

I have to disagree with Isger simply because Cheliax definitely wants to keep it due to the importance of it's strategic location between the mountains and the trade routes it gives access to. If you were sent in by House Thrune to bring order to Isger that would be another matter.

Iobaria seems like a good place to me though, the lack of population, vast stretches of land, eerie cyclops ruins, and a few detailed cities. The terrifying and reoccurring plaques seem like the only down side which could still be a great plot point for the campaign.

One place that hasn't been mentioned yet is the Whistling Plains which lies on the eastern edge of Taldor and stretches from the borders of Galt to the deserts of Qadira and then to the east, deep into the heart of the Padishah Empire of Kelesh. I could see Taldor setting up a group to create a vassal state as a border between it and these nations, particularly Qadria.

I have to disagree to disagree.

Cheliax has all but abandoned Isger, Molthune and Southern Varisia. They've virtually ignored Andoran, Northern Garund. They have kept an eye on Sargava, but I think that's a distance issue and a population that doesn't want to be Cheliaxian.

Isger is centrally located. Yet if Cheliax were really worried about a neighbor Molthune wouldn't be Molthune. I doubt Cheliax has ever "controlled" the trade routes here, the Kalistocracy has because that's their thing and Isger is right next door and weak. The Kalistocracy isn't militarily expansionist but can field an impressive army.
House Thrune seems to just be in consolidation mode. They control Cheliax but not even all of Cheliax is under their boot. That's prime time for Kingdom building next door since House Thrune is one of the setting's truly great BBEG candidates.

That Isger has precious little Campaign support could be an issue but there's not much more for Iobaria or even NW Varisia.

I do like Iobaria though.

I'm looking forward to a Mikaze spin on the Orc Nation in Avistan.

In one of The Legacy of Fire APs there's a secondary adventure that not only has what your looking for but a backstory on Extradimensional spaces and how they were all the rage in Nex's day.

I believe most are like Genie lamps. But then there is Kakashon, which is a major plot element in that AP

This might help. It's older but cooler than the regular options.

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I think when new rulesets get bandied about people get Myopia.

I imagine there are lots of games where people just use the CORE rulebook. Some people LOVE new rules, some don't. Some ignore all the capaign fluffy stuff that Paizo sort of excells at. RPG customers are actually really varied. There is no "sweet spot" demographically.
WotC likes new rulesets because it's incredibly profitable in the short term. If they can get everyone to switch, big IF. Paizo keeps doing New Rulebooks because lots of people like new rules. New rules though complicate everything. The more that gets published, the more stuff needs clarification, the more that stuff breaks down. I do not want a new edition to keep that cycle up. It's just not economically feasible for me to keep doing an Edition Rotation.

There is stuff that needs to be addressed in the longterm with PF.
*Mostly spells, and magic (the underlying concept of it), but mostly the spells.
*feats and scaling power metrics.
*stats and their various abuses.
*the underlying math at higher power levels.
*classes and class mechanics that just step all over other classes roles.

The basic mechanics are fine. It's just that the game isn't really streamlined to be mechanically balanced over a 20 level spread, it's pretty reliable for a 10 level spread though. Most of the "It's Broken!" complaints come up in groups that play higher up. This is not a widespread issue though, at least in my experience.

Balancing the high level math though is gonna be a power up for Beaters and a power down for casters. That's not gonna be extremely popular, especially with the rabid rules consumers. It's a catch 22 for Paizo.

I'd be dumbfounded that Jason doesn't have stuff written down for a new edition already, but he likes (and is good at) fluffy stuff too and I want Razmir stuff WAY WAY more than boring math tweaks.

There is a bunch of crunchy stuff left to do in the current PF edition.
*a simple mass combat system that doesn't go all Warhammer
**a cool naval subset to go with it
*** an even cooler aerial combat subset too
*space exploration rules
*Skill system buffs
*Item Crafting rules that actually make sense, are flexible, and don't grossly favor one group over another leading to wonky power disparities.
*more NPC "monster" books
*more alternate magic systems
*alternate weapon and armor systems

That's just stuff Paizo could do, not even scratching the stuff 3PP still have left.

*specialized campaign books

I liked those old TSR boxed sets, at the time.
There was stuff in them I didn't or hardly used though.

Box sets make sense for Campaign Settings.
Box sets make sense for Super Dungeons. (Though admittedly I'm comparing the Awesome Ruins of Undermountain to the not Awesome Return to Undermountain hardback).
Boxed sets for rules not so much. BECMI, was neat but all I ever picked up was BEC. My brother did get MI though. I like the single CORE rulebook approach more than anything else ever done in RPGs, rulewise.

I've found I don't need big maps of towns and dungeons, unless they are 1inch battle maps. I do like poster sized "regional maps".

Cards are cool, but they get lost and they may not be as useful as index cards for space reasons (index cards can squeeze more info in).

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Adjule wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
You want to hear something really weird? I haven't run into the "CN is just an excuse to be evil without writing 'evil' on the sheet" since I was maybe 10 years old. I've seen a lot of CN as "doesn't worry too much about the future" and "isn't a really bad person, but puts too much effort into satisfying whims and thereby sometimes comes to grief" and so on.
What are the ages of those you play with? While not a sure-fire way to tell, in my experience the younger ones are the ones that play CN in that fashion. I wish I could be more choose-y in who I play with, but that's not up to me and a bit harder to do when playing over the internet with random strangers. And I know that's the biggest part of my problem.

That sound like adults.

Who are actually adults.

I play with grownups, generally, but now those grownups have kids that are old enough to play with grownups. This changes a lot of things in a game group and the type of games that get played.

In my experience, the adults with children present will shy away from the evil tendencies that have dominated their character concepts for a couple of years. Some have restrictions that go in place for game content as well. One guy who is very experienced (Wisconsin native, 20 year military, life long gamer, FLGS owner), had his kids playing early but restricted any demon/devil content and most evil cleric stuff. This seemed limiting for very bright teenagers but it's understandable.
Some other adult players balked at kids in games and the inevitable content restrictions, but most will wander back for solid play group.

I've found that kids play good guys.
Late teens like bad guys. (and Chaotic Silly)
Early 20s are a mixed bag.
Mid toLate 20s are the group that balks at alignment. This is where I find the CN(E) group.
The early 30s are where it gets interesting. The LG characters are complex and even the CE characters are nuanced and far from caricatures.
Slowly they drift towards an alignment "comfort Zone". this isn't bad role playing, they just know where they want to be for an extended time and any shifts in alignment are deliberate, sub plot elements implemented carefully.

The older guys that are more RP oriented tend towards Heroic archetypes while the ladies get more treacherous. 8). The tactical simulation people (mostly male at this point) just ignore their alignment and check with the current GM on where they're at if needed.

I wonder if that's just a unique observation from a long standing group with frequent rotations?

I'd agree with that.

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DrDeth wrote:
MagusJanus wrote:
It doesn't help that, typically, the worst roleplaying I've seen has been of paladins. It's a good concept, but I've seen too many who turn it into something scary. And not the good kind of scary.
Rarely seen that. To me, the very worst comes from immature CN "murderhoboes' who do very little RPing at all, and what they do- is bad.

The murder hobos don't actually have alignments. They put CN on the sheet and assume they won't get blistered by Smite Evil. Because they are too childish to face the reality of their actions.

I tend to warn new players that alignment is a fundamental element of my game, but I don't force anything on anyone. I do however track their alignment in secret.

I'm still amazed at the LE people who are basically good guys save for the occasional atrocity. That doesn't happen with CN, they always shift to evil.

On Paladins.
Some classes aren't for rookies. I actively discourage new players from starting with Monks (for mechanical reasons) and Paladins (for RP and mechanical reasons). These are advanced classes.

EDIT: Lancelot is not the classic Knight in Shining armor hero. Gawain is, Roland and Orlando are. Lancelot is a tragic (head case) figure.

bugleyman wrote:
Hama wrote:
Won't buy, won't play. I will never, ever again touch anything with wizards of the coast logo.
You do understand that the leadership responsible for 4E (which I assume is the source of your vehement dislike) is gone, right? It seems silly to blacklist an entire company for the actions of a few, especially when those responsible are no longer there...

Actually that's the problem.

From my perspective, WotC lacks a Leader. There is no clear vision there. They need a Lisa or a Peter Adkison.

WotC has a revolving door policy on personell, people come and go at an almost comical rate. I think it's partly bean counter driven and likely the people themselves (it's nice to have WotC on your resume but it's likely sucks to work there). This is a lack of Vision and Leadership. They have great people on Staff. Mearls, Rich Baker, Jesse Decker, Steve Shoebert but I never know if those people are there at any given time. Plus they got sloppy at the end of 3.5. Ruins of Undermountain should have been aborted, the crunch wasn't even proofread. Heck they'd reprint an old feat with a different name and call it new content.


I actually FAQed this just because the lack of Common Sense application is in overdrive here.

If the player can justify it, then the character can do it.

It's not fluff, it's crunch. That's how fringe skills work. Always have. Slavish devotion to the letter of the law is silly in RPGs.

But this may not get answered just because ITEM CREATION is a BAD subset of the rules. Everyone knows it yet it doesn't matter because most people don't actually do it very often.

Master Craftsmen was a weak feat when it was introduced, it's still a weak feat. It doesn't matter and this thread has turned into the same argument rerun. X can be twisted to do Y because it doesn't say I can't. Or X can't do Y because ENGLISH IS ENGLISH.

GentleGiant wrote:

To step away from that whole IPCC argument there's one thing EVs still have to find a solution to, which is one of the things that would currently prevent me from owning one - even though it would easily cover any driving needs I have (also apart from the fact that I don't have the money to buy one, let alone a regular gasoline (or diesel) car).

I live in an "apartment complex" (not sure what else to call it), so I have no garage or similar place to plug it in. A 200 feet extension cord out my second floor window and across the lawn, walkway and parking lot isn't quite feasible.

Since I've worked for one of the "Big 3", I can attest that this point more than any other has hampered the EV development in America.

It's not the grid, nor the infrastructure, it's the the average American Household.

I remember a study that estimated that less than 40% of Americans had access to a garage that could support charging of a fully electric vehicle.

The magic number in the car Buisness for "appeal" on new models is actually closer to 60%. That's not a guaranteed sale, that's a "they'd consider it".

On the upside, Open Source Patents for EVs is a massive step forward. So massive that some companies will immediately start to play with them in R&D only to not be behind. And I mean the "Big 6" here.

Wow this got silly.

Arguing the language implications of "the" and "can" isn't helping here.

This is one of those "Use Common Sense" rules. So if you have a weird Craft or Profession skill, come up with a viable reason to make Master Craftsman work. It's perfectly reasonable that an Engraver or Calligrapher could trace "magic script" on a
masterwork item and get an enchantment. Or maybe the Moonshine you cook up is so spectacular that when you soak masterwork jewelry in it it can stop magic missiles.


This is a very fringe feat, a double feat tax, and extremely limited.


Seebs wrote:

Yes, this feat sucks horribly. It's insanely weak. It would make more sense to just let anyone do this for free than to charge a feat tax for it.


Once you get 7 or 8 ranks go to town, you still gotta spend the gold. It would also explain all the magic junk laying around these game worlds.

TBH, I make full casters take the Craft/Profession skills to craft and no one complains.

The purpose of feats like this is to save money in low to mid tier magic games it's a bad choice in most campaigns, all PFS events and any one off game.

It does benefit a TWF build, but that's a feat intensive path already so it's a wash.

Also as a DM, with the single skill interpretation, your being a douch if you don't count Craft Magic Arms and Armor as a single skill. Thats just silly considering you will let the Wizard craft anything based on his knowledge of how spells work, without making anything of real permanent artistic worth.

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