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What house rules do Paizo game designers play with?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Cheliax

I feel it is asking too much to expect players to spend $25 per shirt for each day of a con. Obviously I do have some expandable money if I can visit the con but it is wrong to presume everyone can justify $100(and maybe shipping) for four shirts, one for each day of the con. I did not buy it to reroll one day per con. I bought it to reroll once per game. Yes, I know the guide says it is to be worn. That still does not change my opinion on the matter. I think sharing our opinions is partially what these boards are for.

By the way, I do wash it, just not every week.

Someone suggested wearing it over another shirt. I think that may cause overheating and it would likely still smell after a day or two.

My ps3 does not read facebook correctly but I will check that link of the Monte shirt when I have the chance to sit at a real computer.


Here's a question for the Paizo Staff:

For How do ya'll deal with Summon Monster/Nature's Ally?

Do you only allow the list in the core book, or do ya'll have guidelines for more "exotic" choices from beastiary 2 (and the soon to be released beastiary 3)

Are the Anarchic and Axiomatic Templates implemented at all for Characters who want to play up that alignment instead?


Sean K Reynolds wrote:


Yes, he would, which means he'd have 4d6 fireballs. Nothing wrong with that. :)

That's cool. Can't wait to try it out for my next game. :D


mcbobbo wrote:
Jim Groves wrote:


4.) I have handwaived experience too. I started counting points this most recent campaign, and at 6th level I'm ready to stop again. I *do* like to know when it should be happening though.

Every 13 encounters, IIRC.

:)

Edit: Or I guess, 20... :D

Really, whenever it makes sense to you as a GM.

Having a set number of encounters before levelling is a kludge.


LilithsThrall wrote:
I gotta say, I don't like the step progression. I think gaining levels should be a dramatic point in the overall plot of the campaign, not just something that creeps up on people. Players get excited when they level. Four small moments of excitement do not equal one big moment of excitement.

Actually, it's been proven that multiple smaller rewards produce more pleasure and create a stronger urge to repeat the experience than fewer, larger rewards. It's one of the reasons (but not the only reason) that gambling can be so addicting; you very, very rarely win a huge payoff while gambling, but you win small payoffs often enough to keep you going. It's also been shown that lab rats will over-eat when given multiple small doses of food, but not when a the same amount of food is dumped into their cage all at once.

That's not to say that every person will feel the same way about it. Most people prefer (even if it's subconscious) smaller, more frequent rewards, though.


Fozbek wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:
I gotta say, I don't like the step progression. I think gaining levels should be a dramatic point in the overall plot of the campaign, not just something that creeps up on people. Players get excited when they level. Four small moments of excitement do not equal one big moment of excitement.

Actually, it's been proven that multiple smaller rewards produce more pleasure and create a stronger urge to repeat the experience than fewer, larger rewards. It's one of the reasons (but not the only reason) that gambling can be so addicting; you very, very rarely win a huge payoff while gambling, but you win small payoffs often enough to keep you going. It's also been shown that lab rats will over-eat when given multiple small doses of food, but not when a the same amount of food is dumped into their cage all at once.

That's not to say that every person will feel the same way about it. Most people prefer (even if it's subconscious) smaller, more frequent rewards, though.

Even if characters level the old way, they are still getting constant small rewards in the form of treasure.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
LilithsThrall wrote:
Even if characters level the old way, they are still getting constant small rewards in the form of treasure.

Except for the encounters that don't give any treasure.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:
Even if characters level the old way, they are still getting constant small rewards in the form of treasure.
Except for the encounters that don't give any treasure.

Like social encounters? Those can give other rewards (points of contact, clues, etc.)

Contributor

I like the sound of the step system. As my players get to higher and higher levels it's becoming more common for people to have made mistakes with their xp. Doing away with xp altogether and replacing it with the step system might be a way forward. I'm going to suggest it to my group this weekend.

Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.
LilithsThrall wrote:
Like social encounters? Those can give other rewards (points of contact, clues, etc.)

Moving The Goalposts, party of one, your table is ready.... :)


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:
Like social encounters? Those can give other rewards (points of contact, clues, etc.)
Moving The Goalposts, party of one, your table is ready.... :)

??


LilithsThrall wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:
Like social encounters? Those can give other rewards (points of contact, clues, etc.)
Moving The Goalposts, party of one, your table is ready.... :)
??

Moving the goalposts

Look at the section titled As logical fallacy.


loaba wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:
Like social encounters? Those can give other rewards (points of contact, clues, etc.)
Moving The Goalposts, party of one, your table is ready.... :)
??

Moving the goalposts

Look at the section titled As logical fallacy.

I know what "moving the goalposts" means. What confuses me is why SKR thinks that I did that.


I'm looking forward to trying these out.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
LilithsThrall wrote:
I know what "moving the goalposts" means. What confuses me is why SKR thinks that I did that.

If I read it correctly, the Step system assumes that your party is playing through 4-5 encounters in an approximately 4-hr gaming session. He suggests awarding them small pieces of crunch at the end of every session (and has crafted a system to do that fairly.)

Another poster indicated that most people, whether they know it or not, respond better to more frequent, smaller, rewards than they do to larger, less often, ones.

You then countered that social encounters yield rewards as well, and you seemed to indicate that those awards were equal to crunch awards. I don't think they are, if only because they're completely arbitrary by nature. If it came down to having to choose, I'd much rather gain a quarter-level every session than making non-crunch contacts with NPC's.


loaba wrote:
If it came down to having to choose, I'd much rather gain a quarter-level every session than making non-crunch contacts with NPC's.

That tells me that you and I play very different games. Without social connections, your chances to accomplish the goal of the adventure in most cases drops to about zero. So, you are telling me that you'd rather level than accomplish the goal of the adventure.

I'm trying to imagine what your games look like and all I can think of is random dungeon crawling.


Dylan Green wrote:

I'm looking forward to trying these out.

That looks pretty intriguing. I particularly like raising the stakes. I've done something like it before, but not as a regular part of the game. Do you think it might slow the game down?


LilithsThrall wrote:
Dylan Green wrote:
I'm looking forward to trying these out.
That looks pretty intriguing. I particularly like raising the stakes. I've done something like it before, but not as a regular part of the game. Do you think it might slow the game down?

Depends on how often your players want to make a bet. I think once everyone has a feel for what constitutes a bet the GM will take I think it'll flow pretty well. Just don't allow too much back and forth. One way or another it'll keep things interesting!


LilithsThrall wrote:
Without social connections, your chances to accomplish the goal of the adventure in most cases drops to about zero. So, you are telling me that you'd rather level than accomplish the goal of the adventure.

I'm not sure what you're saying here. Are you indicating that fighting or negotiating through encounters (for XP) and schmoozing with NPCs are mutually exclusive? In a typical session, running about 6-8hrs, our group manages to accomplish both combat and non-combat interactions (usually to the tune of 50/50 real-time.)

Edited, 'cause I really don't want to derail this discussion.

Taldor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
I pretty much play by the book, except for my steps-based level advancement system.

When I saw this awhile ago it struck me as a perfect fit for my "manifest destiny of awesomeness" philosophy to RPGing and have used it quite a bit.

I tweaked it to fit within a PFS pace of play, where you level every three sessions. The three groups are:

A - Hit Points and Skill Points
B - BAB, Saves and Attribute Bonus
C - Special and Character Feat

I broke them up this way so that each category gave a mix (or a least the potential) for both active and passive class attributes, along with (once again the potential) for character attributes that involve some choice on the player's part as to what they will do with the character.

It works well, the players enjoy always getting something no matter what happens. That translates into a lot more roleplaying and nuanced moments of play because the pressure is off to kill stuff to satisfy the metagame, or scour the countryside for gold and treasure. Even for the hard core power gamers it makes playing more of its own reward, rather than having to rush through for a meta-game goal.

For "end of chapter" type moments in the campaign I'd just have everyone level up regardless of what step they were on.

What's fantastic as a GM is that I don't ever have to think about XP. The reward system is passive, which makes things that much more easy going. I'm not dispensing rewards, the system does it automatically.


loaba wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:
Without social connections, your chances to accomplish the goal of the adventure in most cases drops to about zero. So, you are telling me that you'd rather level than accomplish the goal of the adventure.

I'm not sure what you're saying here. Are you indicating that fighting or negotiating through encounters (for XP) and schmoozing with NPCs are mutually exclusive? In a typical session, running about 6-8hrs, our group manages to accomplish both combat and non-combat interactions (usually to the tune of 50/50 real-time.)

Edited, 'cause I really don't want to derail this discussion.

I'm trying to figure out what you and SKR are saying wrt getting clues, points of contact, etc. in social encounters. Seriously, it's like you are speaking ancient Sumereian. I have absolutely NO idea what the point you're trying to make is or why SKR brought up "moving the goal posts".

But, I'm okay with dropping it because I don't want to derail the topic of the thread either.


LilithsThrall wrote:
I'm trying to figure out what you and SKR are saying wrt getting clues, points of contact, etc. in social encounters.

Pathfinder, to the best of my knowledge, does not have a system for awarding XP for social encounters. SKR's system is a way of removing strict XP tracking in favor of awarding 1/4 levels per every 4-5 encounters. You are, in effect, moving the goalposts when you introduce social interactions as being equal to 1/4 level awards.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
LilithsThrall wrote:
I know what "moving the goalposts" means. What confuses me is why SKR thinks that I did that.

You: Even if characters level the old way, they are still getting constant small rewards in the form of treasure.

Me: Except for the encounters that don't give any treasure.

You: Like social encounters? Those can give other rewards (points of contact, clues, etc.)

You mentioned each-game rewards in the form of treasure. I said "except for encounters that don't give treasure." Your response was "then they get other kinds of rewards."

If we're talking about weekly rewards, and you say PCs already get treasure every week, and I say "some encounters don't give treasure," then saying "oh and stuff other than treasure" is moving the goalposts. :p

Because I could say, "some encounters don't give contacts or goals," and you could come back with, "well, there's still the reward of sharing a fun experience with your friends," which would be moving the goalposts. We could go on and on like this. :)

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
We could go on and on like this. :)

Trust me, it won't be worth it!


Thank you, SKR, for the explanation.

I had previously excluded wandering encounters. I assume that, by referencing encounters which give no treasure, you were talking about wandering encounters.

I don't play with wandering encounters. I believe that every encounter should be there for a reeason - to advance the plot. Every encounter, in my games, advances the plot and, therefore, the PC walks away from it with something (tangible or intangible).

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think you'd agree that there are many monsters in the bestiaries that have a Treasure entry that says "none," and that it's possible, and in some cases likely, that you'll encounter those creatures outside of the context of a random encounter or wandering monster? If you're breaking into a necromancer's lair, by default the pack of zombies milling about the courtyard aren't going to give you any treasure, and they're not a random encounter....

Osirion RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

Jeranimus Rex wrote:

Here's a question for the Paizo Staff:

For How do ya'll deal with Summon Monster/Nature's Ally?

Do you only allow the list in the core book, or do ya'll have guidelines for more "exotic" choices from beastiary 2 (and the soon to be released beastiary 3)

Are the Anarchic and Axiomatic Templates implemented at all for Characters who want to play up that alignment instead?

I have done the anarchic/axiomatic summons lists in previous campaigns in 3.5, but I haven't done it in my current PF campaign.

I think I have also incorporated other creatures than the base lists in the past. For simplicity's sake, to avoid summoning becoming an infinitely variable effect, I'm sure I saw an optional rule at some point that suggested you could research alternate summons, and that each new creature would take the place of one of the standard creatures you could summon. Might make something worth adding to ancient magical tomes or found spellbooks.

Cheliax

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:
I gotta say, I don't like the step progression. I think gaining levels should be a dramatic point in the overall plot of the campaign, not just something that creeps up on people.
And I think players shouldn't have to wait for 16-20 hours of gameplay to occur in order to see any improvement in their characters. ;)

Heck, that's why I been using it for the last year or two. Otherwise, it feels like players get nothing for alot of work...


1 person marked this as a favorite.
DamnIAmPretty wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:
I gotta say, I don't like the step progression. I think gaining levels should be a dramatic point in the overall plot of the campaign, not just something that creeps up on people.
And I think players shouldn't have to wait for 16-20 hours of gameplay to occur in order to see any improvement in their characters. ;)
Heck, that's why I been using it for the last year or two. Otherwise, it feels like players get nothing for alot of work...

And that's why I do really high point-buy with mostly experienced gamers and throw them at really difficult encounters. 3-4 per level is how it usually works out. Like a level 6 party vs. a CR 10 Fire Giant. Still shocked nobody died there, but they *were* specifically hunting Fire Giants...


I am going to experiment replacing the every 4 level ability increase with continued pointbuy, 1 point every level advanced and an additional point every 4th level. Also considering to allow a feat which gives 2 additional pointbuy, a fighter could get a 13 intelligence with little investment and monks and other MAD/multi-class characters would benefit slightly more than characters focused on (mainly) one attribute.

I also allow characters to start with a d6 'racial' hd and a few extra skill points 2+int mod (+1 if human), but no class skills. This mimics (the removed) commoner class, which can use traits to gain class skills.

I stack caster levels so every player has only one caster level they use for all their spells, levels that do not usually add to caster level add half their level, this to facilitate multi-classing. Example fighter 4, cleric 4, wizard 4 would have a CL of 10 (2+4+4), only to determine spell effect/variables.

EDIT: I forgot I am not a game designer, but I'll leave my houserules here anyway, I am sure I got a few more, but these were the ones springing to mind


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
I think you'd agree that there are many monsters in the bestiaries that have a Treasure entry that says "none," and that it's possible, and in some cases likely, that you'll encounter those creatures outside of the context of a random encounter or wandering monster? If you're breaking into a necromancer's lair, by default the pack of zombies milling about the courtyard aren't going to give you any treasure, and they're not a random encounter....

I'm having trouble visualizing your scenario. Zombies drop gore wherever they go. Necromancers are educated and, therefore part of the social elite (they probably psss themselves off as other Wizards to most people). I'm trying to understand a scenario where they'd just have zombies milling about in the courtyard. It seems almost as unlikely as having zombies butler which is almost as unlikely as having zombies cater food.

Contributor

I guess there aren't any necromancers who want a horde of zombies outside to deter invaders. Or undead necromancers that don't care if the zombies "drop gore" everywhere.

I give up.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:

I guess there aren't any necromancers who want a horde of zombies outside to deter invaders. Or undead necromancers that don't care if the zombies "drop gore" everywhere.

I give up.

Probably a good idea before somebody says "SKR said <blank>!" and takes it all out of context.

Andoran

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
I give up.

And, in so doing, you win! +1250 Internets!

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
BYC wrote:
Probably a good idea before somebody says "SKR said <blank>!" and takes it all out of context.

SKR said "I give up" !

He's gonna leave Paizo !
Paizo is being bought by WOtC soon !
...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The debate about other sorts of rewards is all besides the point. Allowing incremental character advances is independent of how much treasure or social rewards are given to the characters. When it comes to the player's perspective:

character advancement + treasure + social rewards > treasure + social rewards

But if you really don't like the incremental advancement rules, guess what? They are purely optional so you can play the way you always have.

I myself would much rather play in SKR's game.


Jason Nelson wrote:


I have done the anarchic/axiomatic summons lists in previous campaigns in 3.5, but I haven't done it in my current PF campaign.

I think I have also incorporated other creatures than the base lists in the past. For simplicity's sake, to avoid summoning becoming an infinitely variable effect, I'm sure I saw an optional rule at some point that suggested you could research alternate summons, and that each new creature would take the place of one of the standard creatures you could summon. Might make something worth adding to ancient magical tomes or found spellbooks.

I like this a lot, I think I'll try to incorporate this in any game I run with a heavy summoner type character.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:

I guess there aren't any necromancers who want a horde of zombies outside to deter invaders. Or undead necromancers that don't care if the zombies "drop gore" everywhere.

I'm sure there would be. Just none that would have a courtyard. Necromancers who don't care if zombies drop gore everywhere would, I think, live in ruins or abandoned graveyards.

When I think of undead with courtyards, I think of Dracula, whose residence is very classy, not covered in rotten corpse pieces.


deinol wrote:
But if you really don't like the incremental advancement rules, guess what? They are purely optional so you can play the way you always have.

Which is what I pointed out when I first said that I wouldn't like SKR's house rule.

Shadow Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Sean K Reynolds wrote:

I guess there aren't any necromancers who want a horde of zombies outside to deter invaders. Or undead necromancers that don't care if the zombies "drop gore" everywhere.

I give up.

Not everyone has your keen sense of necromantic Feng shui


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
LilithsThrall wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:

I guess there aren't any necromancers who want a horde of zombies outside to deter invaders. Or undead necromancers that don't care if the zombies "drop gore" everywhere.

I'm sure there would be. Just none that would have a courtyard. Necromancers who don't care if zombies drop gore everywhere would, I think, live in ruins or abandoned graveyards.

When I think of undead with courtyards, I think of Dracula, whose residence is very classy, not covered in rotten corpse pieces.

Whether you fight the zombies in ruins, a graveyard, or a courtyard, it still is a non-random encounter with no treasure and no social rewards. So what exactly your point again?

Taldor

I've been using the step system in my Carrion Crown game and my players absolutely love it! We play bout 6 to 8 hours so 2 steps a night has worked well... Sometimes I'll give a step in the middle during a lull or break to focus the players when they start to drift.

It really depends on your players. About half of mine are very combat, treasure, ability driven in that they like getting shiny new toys to play with. The rest are a mixture of story/setting involved RP'ers that enjoy shiny toys as well. Mix in a little a.d.d in one player and this system fits like a glove for my group.

--Vrock, stock, and barrel

Sczarni

I have to admit, I find it odd that the Designers and Developers use house rules, it seems to me that any house rules they would have come up with would be the basic rules of the game they develpoed.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
northbrb wrote:
I have to admit, I find it odd that the Designers and Developers use house rules, it seems to me that any house rules they would have come up with would be the basic rules of the game they develpoed.

I'd find it odd if the entire design team would be a hive mind with exactly the same ideas about every area of rules. That or Jason B. calling every Paizo employee at each gaming night to remind them that they should play By The Book.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:

I guess there aren't any necromancers who want a horde of zombies outside to deter invaders. Or undead necromancers that don't care if the zombies "drop gore" everywhere.

I give up.

Dear Mr. Reynolds.

Welcome to our forum. I see that you engaged in discussion with LilithsThrall, and there are a couple of things about discussing with him that we believe you should be aware of. First of all, let me run you through our patented Infographics on the topic...


deinol wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:

I guess there aren't any necromancers who want a horde of zombies outside to deter invaders. Or undead necromancers that don't care if the zombies "drop gore" everywhere.

I'm sure there would be. Just none that would have a courtyard. Necromancers who don't care if zombies drop gore everywhere would, I think, live in ruins or abandoned graveyards.

When I think of undead with courtyards, I think of Dracula, whose residence is very classy, not covered in rotten corpse pieces.

Whether you fight the zombies in ruins, a graveyard, or a courtyard, it still is a non-random encounter with no treasure and no social rewards. So what exactly your point again?

deinol, I'm trying to figure out why a pointless encounter is even there. It sounds like bad adventure design. And if it is bad adventure design, then -that's- the problem. A bunch of mindless zombies are between the PCs and their goal. Why? It's not random. So, why are they there? Because the GM felt like putting them there. What purpose do they serve? None. So, it's random? No, the GM put them there on purpose. What purpose? None. So, it's random?

That's how this discussion has run. Some bunch of creatures have been pointlessly put between the PCs and their goal for no reason except to provide an example of a bunch of creatures being pointlessly put between the PCs and their goal. And, somehow, this was done to make some sort of point. The only point I see is that the GM needs to learn encounter design.

Silver Crusade

LilithsThrall wrote:


deinol, I'm trying to figure out why a pointless encounter is even there. It sounds like bad adventure design. And if it is bad adventure design, then -that's- the problem.

Treasureless = Pointless ?

Well, -that's- the real problem of this argument.


Maxximilius wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:


deinol, I'm trying to figure out why a pointless encounter is even there. It sounds like bad adventure design. And if it is bad adventure design, then -that's- the problem.

Treasureless = Pointless ?

Well, -that's- the real problem of this argument.

I, earlier, pointed out that treasure does not have to be tangible. SKR replied that I was moving the goal posts. He clarified that when he said that there was nothing the PCs could gain from this, he meant --nothing- (no new information, no new social contacts, absolutely -nothing-). If the PCs gain absolutely -nothing- (tangible or intangible) from the encounter, then the encounter is pointless.

Silver Crusade

LilithsThrall wrote:
I, earlier, pointed out that treasure does not have to be tangible. SKR replied that I was moving the goal posts. He clarified that when he said that there was nothing the PCs could gain from this, he meant --nothing- (no new information, no new social contacts, absolutely -nothing-) and, in that case, yes, treasureless = pointless.

Ambiance, sense of danger, adventure, XP : I see at least four reasons right now, without even trying to think too much for a "treasureless, without information nor social contact" encounter.

Seeing an army of undead mooks including women and children would grow hate in any character trying to deal with the necromancer. More drama ensues if villagers present to help the adventurers, blabla.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Nice way of thanking the devs who cared enough to reply by pulling this sort of thread-jack and busting out the Wrong Bad Fun™ arguments. I'm sure they'll not make that mistake again.

Quite the service to your fellow posters too. If your debate is so damned important, why not have the courtesy to spin it off into its own thread rather than trashing a helpful one?

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