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Augmented Aethership Captain

zagnabbit's page

871 posts. 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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I'm not sure that shows are tracked outside of Nielson sets.

While it's conceivable that DVR and cable boxes report viewings, that's not something readily advertised by cable companies.
Because they don't want advertisers having access to the actual DVR usage of "8 minute delays" to just skip commercials. The cable providers generate as much revenue as networks, maybe more, from advertising sales.

Now shows accessed via Netflix, Hulu and in AoS's case ABC direct are tabbed up pretty accurately. Networks are moving to online services and APPS because they don't want to have to dicker with cable providers.

Also ABC is gonna do Exactly what Momma Disney wants. Momma Disney wants the availability of AoS as a cross platform marketing tool. It's a slick weekly ad for the Marvel Properties, those are currently a cash cow. Even the weak movies have turned a profit. The show doesn't need to win giant ratings or even it's time slot to be considered useful and profitable.

Arrow's success and Flash coming is pressure on Disney to stay relevant in the super hero TV platform. They can be happy beating WB at the box office; for now. It's gonna be a game of chicken between WB and Disney for a couple of years. Both will take some risks in the next few years. Disney spent more in the acquisition of Marvel and has been successful in capitalizing on that investment. WB has let DC sorta sit for too long and they know it, they don't need to recoup any upfront costs but they know that the Super Hero Bubble could pass them by. WB wins in animation and TV, so far. Disney is killing at the box office. Both sides want to win the other arena. Ratings aren't what they were once especially in these shared worlds where billions of dollars are on the line at the end.

It's a good time to like funny books.


This game could escalate into rocket launcher tag pretty quick.


I do think that Scry and Fry is a lot less usable in the terms of national leaders.

The Palace, seat of power etc. Will be Warded from Scrying and permanent Dimensional Anchors would be a foregone conclusion I'd think. Any ruler is gonna have some NonDetection going on, some anti poison tech and the ability to call for backup.

Players are ingenious, the people with a vested interest in keeping someone on a throne should be too.


D20 is a game about Personal Power.
Every character is in a constant state of acquiring more personal power via class levels.
Even the Commoners although their gains are insignificant compared to PC classes.

I tend to agree with the OP in principle but have some issues with the execution of a real world model in game terms. A realistic "boss fight" is anticlimactic if the boss is a level 5 Aristocrat. Also toppling a kingdom is problematic for even high level characters where the final fight involves 4 PCs (of any level), going against 500 "mooks". The PCs can be virtually indestructible but the action economy works against them. Playing it out is boring.

We can make all kinds of rationalizations as to why this ruler or that person is such and such level. It doesn't matter beyond mechanical combat. If the PCs don't fight that person the level is not relevant.

A decent analogy is the wandering monster table. The players may not leave a geographic region but the random encounters scale up with them. Rationalizing why isn't really important. If you don't scale it, the encounters don't matter (I know lots of us don't even use random tables).

Fantasy game worlds jump through lots of hoops to make their sillier elements fit in. Mind Flayers would depopulate entire regions with the dietary needs of a small population. The same is true of most large predatory fantasy species. How much protein does an adult dragon need daily?

Fantasy game world economics are even worse. The PFRPG 50% value for sales rules is problematic in a real world analysis. It works though mechanically. It keeps PC wealth by level in check.

It's fun to figure out the distribution of level 6 wizards in a city of 100,000 people but it's not necessary for a game to run. The number of X class at Y level is determined by story needs not population distribution; otherwise PC level would be capped by population; that would go over like a lead balloon.

On Golarion; I like the distribution of Aristocrat levels among rulers.

One of our local DMs solves the issue of Players as Nobility by requiring that player start as an Aristocrat lvl1, any real advantage gained by having a rich well connected family is offset by the NPC class levels. While the PC can neglect his Aristocrat advancement for more personal power, his family will still consider him a failure since he hasn't advanced in the thing that provides access to the money and influence; the NPC class levels.

That DM's rationalization is that levels denote social status. Levels in Wizard impart status among the spellcasting community, but not among merchants, mercenaries, etc. The Wizard's personal power is significant, he can achieve a measure of respect due to his ability to do amazing things but he will always be an outsider to non wizards.
The Wizard may achieve a measure of political power by becoming the Grand Vizier or some such but that power is from the office and that office could be stripped (and likely would go to someone with the influence to get the appointment in the first place).
The Wizard could pull a Scry n Fry coup and become King, but he's still an outsider to all the people who make a city state or nation run. He may continue to rule since he's kinda scary and potent but his political power comes from the people beneath him, who will either benefit from his place at the top or not support him.

This is why the world isn't run by high level casters; the ones with the inclination to rule invariably lose out on acquiring wizard levels while trying to be the ruler.

He does the same thing with players that want to open private businesses. They need Expert levels to get the type of contacts and relationships needed to be competitive in Buisness. Opening up a potion/magic item/weapons/artsy fartsy shop is tempting for some players, especially if they gain some benefit like more loot per level.

This way the DM in question doesnt have to say "no you can't do that" to players but also doesn't have to deal with game breaking side systems that have no downside. Currently he's midway through Kingmaker and the ruler and several other PCs are already multiclassed into things most PCs would never take but have some ridiculous advantages that most PCs wouldn't ever dream of.


The Weapon Group proficiency is a variant rule. It's been around for awhile and is likely laid out for free on the Internet somewhere.

The full Martial Suite of proficiencies is a feature of the (full) martial classes, it's a balancing feature.

Taking a dip level into fighter or one of it's archetypes is hardly gonna hurt this build.


Malwing wrote:
Athaleon wrote:


Few fights in a day, resting always being an option, and good foreknowledge exists precisely because mid+ level casters can make that happen. If the party's too tired to face the next encounter, teleport back to your home base (which may be on your own personal demiplane) and rest. If you don't know what the BBEG has in his lair, use Divination magic to gather intelligence remotely, or send in an infiltrator under a Domination effect, or send in a spy with Mind Blank and access to repeat uses of Invisibility.

But at the same time? and against enemies who will do whatever they want while you've teleported away, including escaping? And against enemies who won't make the perception check to know that they are being spied on and don't have the resources to do the same? And against enemies who completely lack detection magic?

Few fights in a day happens because its more status quo to have enemies who behave as if they don't have to routinely deal with casters in a world full of magic.

In my experience, these "perfect" conditions exist because the DM allows it. It's generally accompanied by BBEG and act bosses that don't react like they live in a world with high level spellcasters, even when they are high level spellcasters.

In effect the DM is letting the party win, because that's fun.

The fighter isn't busted, the spell system is. Fixing the fighter and ignoring the spell system just leads to less challenge. The current challenge is generally illusory anyway. So why not make Fighters kill things.....because it can be used against players, which isn't fun. Spells don't kill players because the enemy spellcaster is typically an overconfident moron who reveals his plan Blofeld style right before the PCs trounce him. He never uses Finger of Death or whatever Save Or Die is listed, he doesn't make his sanctum Scry Proof, he doesn't check his minions for Charms etc.

The problem isn't really mechanical.
Spellcasters with level 5 spells have always ruled the game, in every version, because the spells and the spell system is broken.

As an experiment play a session with 9th to 12th level characters, but ditch Vancian casting and use a Mana or Point system. What little balance exists, disappears completely.

The Skill subsystem isn't perfect but it works
Untill spells make it obsolete.

The AC system works
Until spells make it irrelevant

The HP system works
Spells bypass it completely

Fixing the Fighter is just going to ramp up static bonuses in systems that will still be irrelevant due to spells.

One option that might work is to just go old school (1st edition) where Fighters eventually shrug off most spells and magic effects. The downside here is that the "Because Magic..." mindset will hate that.


My Bucs will not Suck
My Bucs will not Suck
My Bucs will not Suck......


The US will annihilate ISIS.
They have no other choice. Otherwise it's another decade of ground war in the middle East; we can't afford that. That ISIS is a threat to every regime in the middle east means that not one of them will so much as hiccup at the idea.
The guy in Turkey may say he backs them philosophically but he won't stop the US airstrikes and is unlikely to prevent the US using NATO airbases on Turkish soil to stage the strikes.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Aww man.,.,

Sad day.


thejeff wrote:
Doug's Workshop wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:


Never give an order you know is going to be disobeyed.

especially when most of your power is illusory

You've said this, but then insist that Israel negotiate with Hamas.

Hamas cannot provide any guarantees. If Israel were to concede to Hamas' demands to open the Gaza border, weapons would start flowing in, allowing everyone to rearm. How is that in Israel's interest? "But democratically elected!" doesn't cut it. A faithful negotiating partner can and will act on promises made. "But good!" doesn't cut it, because civilians will be the expressed targets of those weapons, and Israel would have to repeat its actions again, leading to even more death.

So please explain why Israel should allow the groups that want to destroy it access to the weapons that will allow even more death to occur.

Because those groups can't destroy Israel. No amount of weapon smuggling can change that. Unless they start smuggling in tank brigades and a modern airforce.

Because in the long run, a prosperous Palestine that isn't under constant attack from Israel (either military raids or loss of territory to settlements) is the best way to reduce the threat and to reduce Palestinian support for radicals who want to destroy Israel.

Of course, all of that assumes that the Israeli government wants peace with a Palestinian state. If they don't, their actions become clearer.

I think it's become fundamentally clear that the ascendant Right Wing in Israel is unwilling to ever accept a Palestinian State. Netanyahu follows a principle of never surrendering land. The Right Wing Hawks consider the West Bank specifically and Gaza and the Golan Heights to now be Israeli land.

Certainly there are more moderate viewpoints in Israel, but they seem to be fewer and less relevant to the government's power structure with each year.

Quote:
And that's pretty much it. Eventually this conflict ends in one of two ways: A peace that allows Palestinians a sovereign state or the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. The first has some risks and will take time and a lot of willingness on both sides to overlook provocations. The second will be an atrocity and leave Israel in a permanent conflict with the Muslim world.

It's sad, but this is the reality of their world. It's also ours. Unless the Western Governments push for an independent Palestinian State we will inherit the genocide in Palestine.

From what I've seen the Westerners that have come out and said that an Independent Palestine is a goal; has only served to quicken the ascendancy of the Israeli Right Wing.

That so many groups in the region deny the Israeli state the right to even exist only exacerbates the issue. ISIS has suddenly risen up and poses a threat to not only Israel but potentially Jordan and Egypt, countries that are economically tied to Israel.

There really is no solution here.


That does look very good. Why does the branch of the Sellen directly East of Mivon cross the Tors? it would seem that the water would flow towards the Castrovin or up towards the Shrike upstream of Restov.

EDIT: I understand why it flows towards Mivon on the Mivoni side but not why the otherside flows uphill?


This is basically the exact same conflict that started in 1957 when Jordan, Egypt, and Syria invaded. It seems that that is being forgotten. This fight is basically perpetual.


The entire Asian Weapon list is hard to understand and I've actually used some of these*.

*The Kusari Gama, Kyetsu Shoge and Rope Dart are more dangerous to me than an opponent. Chains man, unforgiving.


It's a sweetheart deal, we give Israel foreign aid money which they use to buy U.S. Defense equipment. Then the equipment gets field tested in real world conditions so we can work out the kinks.
It was the Israelis I think who pointed out that the paint on the interior of the original Bradley Fighting Vehicle was made out of something that turned to poison gas when it was superheated (read: hit with an incendiary device). Or at least they wouldn't order the BFV without an alteration to the paint choice.


Generally speaking Govt. To Govt. Arms Deals are extremely lucrative for the countries that have large munitions businesses. It's also an issue of sustainability on an economic level. Kissenger often armed less than desirable groups to counteract communist ideologies but also to keep American Arms manufacturers busy and with workforces at near to full time.
The Russian external Arms Sales company has been very busy the last few years keeping extremist groups armed. This is both to generate revenue from their outdated weapon systems but also to conveniently destabilize certain GeoPolitical groups who potentially pose a threat to longterm Russian interests. Iran and Hamas are a check on US and European influence in the middle East. Keeping these groups armed adds the advantage of keeping them out of Russia's reacquisition of their breakaway Islamic states. We don't focus on this much in the West but Putin is obviously trying to rebuild the old Soviet block. Arming and backing Iran has kept the Iranian Islamic Groups out of Azerbijan, Chechnya and Georgia.
The Chinese are purely profit driven. Their arms sales have very little in the way of GeoPolitical objectives. They will sell to anyone who pays and doesn't pose an immediate threat to Chinese territorial sovereignty. Keeping tabs on their external arms sales has been hard to keep track of from what I've read though.

Given the number of US based arms and munitions companies who have moved production offshore to places like Argentina it's not unlikely that they are also providing small scale sales to undesirables as well. The Spin that they can't afford to keep production inside the USA is frankly hogwash considering that quite a few used guns sell for more on the secondary market than they did new. Offshoring's biggest benefit is taking the production away from oversight here in the U.S. Where some liberal Senator could start looking into "missing" firearms. Double Dealing is an established Buisness practice and the loss of Communism means that the consumers of firearms and heavy munitions among foreign clientele is no longer Politically safe for those businesses from within US or Canadian borders.

And don't underestimate how many bombs and unspent rounds are just laying around the world in poorly documented depots. The 20th century was a race to arm every nook and cranny of the planet. Keeping track of all that stuff was an afterthought for NATO and the Warsaw Pact participants.


I started in 82' friends older brother taught us while he was grounded and I was over for the night. I loved it right away.

My Mom is an educated liberal but very deeply Christian. She complained about it but never outright banned it. My grandmother showed me a newsclipping from the Savannah news paper that seemed kinda damning, I chuckled at how it was accurate but out of context.
The South had some silliness with RPGs but you could buy D&D literally everywhere back then. When the B.A.D.D. started getting real attention it got more hectic and weird. My Mom rightly realized that reading was cutting into outdoors and put her foot down and went for the "it warps your mind" argument.
Honestly though she actually sat down and played with us once when I was about 9, she was instantly bored. Several other kid's Dads sat in a session or 2 during boy scout trips or sleepovers and that's what I think most parents did. Once they realized it was just another path to fart jokes they mellowed out.
Now around 1983-84 my Mom apparently had a long talk with my Godfather about this hobby, he was a Priest in the Episcopal Church and big dog I guess, one of his duties was as the head of the North American Episcopal Dioceses Cult Investigation Board, or some such,he'd actually lookedinto this and had been over to the house to specifically watch us play the game once. He had suggested to my Mom to sit in and to listen.

His official position was that D&D was about as dangerous as Jazz music and far less a cult than Scientology or freemasonry. I didn't learn this till years later. He was aware that it got us reading and was actually impressed with some of the stuff I had learned from RP books, including all the names for ecclestical garments priests wear during services (I was occasionally pressed into Acolyte service).

Later on when I was about 12, we were in Waldenbooks at a mall somewhere and I was rifling through D&D modules and Comic Books and my parents were fussing about me reading "crap". The manager was a young guy, he pointed out that he still read comics and had read most everything else in the store. He was working on a Master's degree in Foreign Policy and that it was D&D that had got him into that in the first place. My Mom took that to heart I think, and really quit complaining about my taste in literature; at least until I dropped out of Grad School to tend bar in the Caribbean.
8)
The funny thing about all that was that the bad publicity actually helped the game and hobby. Kids played Atlantis or Paladium because it wasn't D&D, other kids would play just because they knew it was bad, M'kay.Heck for a time D&D was in the same league as Ozzy! As the kids got older, and remembered the stupidity of the arguments some, like me, came back to regular gaming just to see how much we missed it.

I've wondered if the fad or P&P gaming would have survived without the rebellious pushback by gamers who played just to spite someone. Probably, but Americans are funny sometimes.


He always has a rules interpretation for feats and they are always wrong.


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.


Quote:

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?
Gnolls?
Ogres?
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.


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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.

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