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Skull & Shackles Player's Guide


Skull & Shackles

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James Jacobs wrote:


If you miss the class/race breakdowns... let us know WHAT you miss from them that the new format doesn't do for you.

While they're useful, they're hardly essential (especially for pirate concepts). I'd rather see the info on the AP's homepage after the AP description than in the Players Guide.

I'd also argue that an AP may not be the best entry vehicle for a novice GM, but that's me.

I'd really prefer the players guide info be info specific to the AP that I can't find elsewhere.


I think the points articulated in favor of a class/race section are well-formed and reasoned, but I'm also one of those who is quite comfortable with this format. Maybe it's just this particular AP, but you're dealing with the high seas and the PG tells you point-blank you're going to be getting your own ship. A moderately intelligent player should be able to infer a few things from that, such as:

* water/swimming/sinking, so high armor penalties are probably bad;
* moving ships aren't likely to have too many traps;
* management of a crew will be important;
* you may need to be able to fix your ship while at sea if it gets damaged;
* you'll be in an aquatic/wet environment, so think about skills and abilities that will augment that.

Further, as a pirate-y adventure, pretty much any race will work -- all you need is a reason to be in the Shackles. And, with the nature of piracy and the high seas, that reason could be as simple as, "I was kidnapped from Brevoy by some brigands, wound up in Riddleport, and was then bought/press-ganged/whatever into a ship that took me to the Shackles." Or... your PC just needs a taste for money and doesn't shirk from "chaotic" ways of getting it.

Really, if there was going to be a switch-over in the presentation of this part of the PG's, this was the adventure to do it. Yes, I liked that part too, but I also like the significantly-buffed up section on a new game mechanic. Trade-offs.

Finally, for the Jade Regent, I didn't rely on the PG to tell my players what kind of PCs would be appropriate. (I wanted them to read it and appreciated it's inclusion, but I didn't rely on it.) Why? Because they still had questions, and I figure, as a GM, part of my responsibility is to set the stage for the story *I'm* going to be telling, and not just rely on the printed materials that, frankly, many players don't read anyway. If you have a question about what fits or is appropriate, ask your GM. If your GM doesn't care, ask your fellow players and brainstorm together about what kind of party you want to put together (always a good idea, IMO).


SnowHeart wrote:


Really, if there was going to be a switch-over in the presentation of this part of the PG's, this was the adventure to do it. Yes, I liked that part too, but I also like the significantly-buffed up section on a new game mechanic. Trade-offs.

Finally, for the Jade Regent, I didn't rely on the PG to tell my players what kind of PCs would be appropriate. (I wanted them to read it and appreciated it's inclusion, but I didn't rely on it.) Why? Because they still had questions, and I figure, as a GM, part of my responsibility is to set the stage for the story *I'm* going to be telling, and not just rely on the printed materials that, frankly, many players don't read anyway. If you have a question about what fits or is appropriate, ask your GM. If your GM doesn't care, ask your fellow players and brainstorm together about what kind...

The player's guide can also give out more info to the GM. Things that might not show up until later modules in the AP. Suggested favored enemies could be an example.

Background info on how different races, and to a lesser extent classes, fit in the AP or in the area should be available to the players in some format. Even if it's in the 1st module (or even a local setting book) and needs to be filtered through the GM.
Having that information available gives the players a better feel not just for what their characters background is likely to be, but also what others around them are going to be like.


BPorter wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


If you miss the class/race breakdowns... let us know WHAT you miss from them that the new format doesn't do for you.

While they're useful, they're hardly essential (especially for pirate concepts). I'd rather see the info on the AP's homepage after the AP description than in the Players Guide.

I'd also argue that an AP may not be the best entry vehicle for a novice GM, but that's me.

I'd really prefer the players guide info be info specific to the AP that I can't find elsewhere.

I disagree with you on the novice gm part, some adventure path's are perfect for novice gms, such as serpent's skull. it's important for beginner gms to have campaign continuity. it doesn't help you get a grasp of the rules or pacing and ambiance if you're trying to piece together a campaign with lots of smaller adventures then to have your whole campaign laid out before you, it helps with ideas for changes, the player's have a grasp of whats going on and that makes it less stressful and nerve racking. i'm thankful for adventure paths they've been a HUGE help.

Andoran

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When the theme of an AP isn't as blatantly obvious, the race/class suggestions are actually very helpful. Really all my group had to hear was "Pirates" and we all quickly came up with char concepts (I am a Swashbuckler Rogue, there's a Sea Reaver Barbarian, an Oracle of Waves with the Lame curse representing his peg leg, and a sea witch).

For Shackled City, Runelords, and I believe Shattered Star, where the theme isn't so blatant; they are super useful.

Osirion

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I think keeping some of the race blurbs helps the causal players. As for the class info, that could probably be condensed down to highlights of things that will work well and that which will not work at all. The skill suggestions would be better off consolidated and briefly summarized as well.


GeraintElberion wrote:
Although things like favoured enemy suggestions are helpful, it is the flavoursome, inspirational qualities that help to bring the setting alive which I really dig.

The favored enemy suggestion is a very good point.

For the flavor though, I guess I never really got a ton of it from the race/class suggestions... maybe I should go back and revisit them. I tended to read the associated materials to get most of that.

Sean


Sean Mahoney wrote:
GeraintElberion wrote:
Although things like favoured enemy suggestions are helpful, it is the flavoursome, inspirational qualities that help to bring the setting alive which I really dig.

The favored enemy suggestion is a very good point.

For the flavor though, I guess I never really got a ton of it from the race/class suggestions... maybe I should go back and revisit them. I tended to read the associated materials to get most of that.

Sean

You partly got another point here, those who don't have enough money to buy 4-5 campaign setting + players companion to go with it.


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captain yesterday wrote:
I disagree with you on the novice gm part, some adventure path's are perfect for novice gms, such as serpent's skull. it's important for beginner gms to have campaign continuity. it doesn't help you get a grasp of the rules or pacing and ambiance if you're trying to piece together a campaign with lots of smaller adventures then to have your whole campaign laid out before you, it helps with ideas for changes, the player's have a grasp of whats going on and that makes it less stressful and nerve racking. i'm thankful for adventure paths they've been a HUGE help.

I think module arcs, like the Price of Immortality trilogy, being smaller in scope are better for novice GMs. Starting out with an AP that might take a year for a GM to run and is going to go from 1st level to the teens is a tall order, IMO. I'm sure it can be done, but I bet that it fails more often than it succeeds.


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I think the classes are worth a mention only if they have something special/different. For example, Conjurers in Academae in Korvosa or sword scions in Kingmaker. But just repeating "there are a good amount of nice options for [insert class here] in [insert adventure path here]" isn't needed. And it is understandable that, the more classes the game has, the harder it is to use up space on that.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

It's obvious, if the AP is about pirates you pick Outsider (fire) to help you deal with all those pesky Fire Elementals and Salamanders.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Don't change back!

The new look is way better.

Concentrate on the AP mechanics and stand-out feature rather than the other stuff.


By the way, none of the traits that give a +1 to Profession (sailor) check give the option to add it as a class skill.

Andoran

Belle Mythix wrote:
By the way, none of the traits that give a +1 to Profession (sailor) check give the option to add it as a class skill.

That's probably because literally every class but Barbarians already has all Professions as Class.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Belle Mythix wrote:

By the way, none of the traits that give a +1 to Profession (sailor) check give the option to add it as a class skill.

That's probably because literally every class but Barbarians already has all Professions as Class.

I thought there were others...

Andoran

James Jacobs wrote:
If you miss the class/race breakdowns... let us know WHAT you miss from them that the new format doesn't do for you.

The race thing wasn't that bug a deal but the class breakdown was a huge disappointment not to see. One of the main reasons is because of the new classes such, as a Gunslinger. In Serpent's Skull it says that they would be useful but there are no guns written into the campaign, extremely useful info to have. But with Skulls and Shackles it doesn't even mention Gunslingers or if there will be guns in the game for them to use. I assume there will be, but you never know it helps the players and the DM especially for groups that may have different opinions on guns or strange classes.

Now I'm a seasoned player. So in a game such as Serpents Skull or RotR I'm not going to need a complete class breakdown, the fighter fights, the wizard cast spells, and everything needs a jungle/urban feel to it(depending on the AP). And for Shattered Star I probably won't need a class breakdown considering it takes place in Varisia, a region I assume most Pathfinder players are familiar with. But even for me and our group we've never played a pirate campaign and this is in an area of the world that many of us know little about. I'm not saying taking out the class breakdown for future APs isn't a good idea. But I do think Skulls and Shackles was a bad place to start.

Andoran

Erik Freund wrote:
I don't think the lengthy writeups we've historially seen are needed. But a quick "this is okay" or "this will be more challenging" call for each class would be quite useful.

This is actually perfect. Like I stated above seasoned characters don't need a huge class write up, but a avoid this armor, these are good feats, this archetype works well, avoid this class, or you'll never get a chance to use your important class skill would be great.

SnowHeart wrote:

* water/swimming/sinking, so high armor penalties are probably bad;

* moving ships aren't likely to have too many traps;
* management of a crew will be important;
* you may need to be able to fix your ship while at sea if it gets damaged;
* you'll be in an aquatic/wet environment, so think about skills and abilities that will augment that.

These are all reasonable assumptions, but have nothing to do with the class you play. Most of what you mentioned is skill based which can be accomplished with high skill points or good team work.


UnboltedAKTION wrote:
SnowHeart wrote:
* snip *
These are all reasonable assumptions, but have nothing to do with the class you play. Most of what you mentioned is skill based which can be accomplished with high skill points or good team work.

<_< You don't think so?

Heavily armored characters (etc., traditional fighters, gun tanks, war clerics, etc.) = anchors = bad idea.
Skill monkeys (e.g., bards, rogues, etc.) = fix broken ships and motivate crews = good idea.
Fireball tossers = good for destroying wood-based vessels but not capturing, which is what pirates do = bad idea.
On Boats = Probably few traps, so trapsense and trap finding not so useful = Look at Barbar and Rogue archtypes that switch that out for something useful

These things aren't being hand-fed to the players, but I don't think it's unreasonable to expect them to extrapolate a little from the information given. If you have a new player, okay, but then that's where the DM and other players need to step up and help out (as they should anyway).

Put it another way... what sort of characters are *you* thinking about that you just plain don't know whether will work or not? Not trying to be combative, but I want to understand what the issue is. Is it that you just miss the inclusion of the fluff, or was it information you actually relied upon? What races/classes appeal to you that you really just don't know how or can't think of a way to fit into the AP, and do you think it is likely that, had a race/class primer been included, the players guide would have anticipated and addressed those questions?


Personally, I would be a fan of a "middle ground" in terms of the race/class sections. This AP was a bit scant, but others have been excessively long. While going through every race and class wouldn't be the best use of content, but it would be helpful to hit points that will be vitally important to the AP. Things like the Ranger's best favored enemies, useful skills, or particularly important local attitudes towards certain races, classes, or gods.

One thing I don't find useful is listing archetypes that might be thematically associated with that AP. I find them a bit obvious. If I have the books or check the online sources, I wouldn't have trouble figuring out that a "Sea Singer" would be a good Bard archetype for this AP. Golarion specific information about the region and campaign would be much more helpful.


Yes. I appreciated them for that very reason in Carrion Crown. Here I feel more . . . adrift.

Belle Mythix wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


If you miss the class/race breakdowns... let us know WHAT you miss from them that the new format doesn't do for you.

It helps the rookies/casual/occasional players and GMs.


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Let me see if I can better articulate my point of view on the lack of class/race breakdowns. Doing so will require me to look at previous players guides for the various APs though

Point 1 - Knowing where your character likely came from: In kingmaker we get a great breakdown of the different classes. For example the Wizard "Illusionists and enchanters, for example, often travel to the region to study the mysterious First World" or "The city of Skywatch in eastern Brevoy also attracts throngs of wizards who hope to unlock its
arcane secrets and break through the impenetrable seal that has isolated the settlement from the outside world for the last decade."

In both quotes we get a good idea of where a wizard could come from and players as well as GMs could use this in parts of roleplaying. Im running a kingmaker game right now on RPOL and my groups sorceress is a destined bloodline from Brevic nobility (as the guide suggests she comes from the Lebeda family). My players have just gotten to the second part in the AP and begun to build their kingdom but one thing Ive done is have her noble family ask for exclusive trade rights. This has helped make the game seem more alive to her, something I couldnt do without that information.

Likewise if we had a wizard, I wouldnt have any clue of where he could have trained at to become a wizard. Apprenticeship is one idea but doing that over and over again gets old, so knowing an academy in the area or knowing why a wizard was likely to come there helps expand my knowledge and makes both the player and myself feel more comfortable about the setting.

Point 2 - Knowing how your character was made: For this I mean the races and where they fit into the world. For example in the Carrion crown PG we learn that many orc attacks caused a great deal of orc blood to be mixed with citizens of Ustalav until hordes of Belkzen were pushed back.

However for this one, we dont know if there are orc tribes in the shackles. We dont know if blood commonly mixes and with that we dont know if a half orc player really fits as a natural born citizen or if it would be more likely for them to come from somewhere else.

Point 3 - Knowing how a character fits into the society: In Jade regent we learn that half elves are rare since most trysts never last long enough to make kids. However we also find out that they're mostly accepted in Varisian territory. However in Ustalav they're feared. These are important notes to know how your character responds and lives in that society. A dark and brooding halfling in Ustalav might want revenge on the entire country where one in Varisia might have no cause for vengence and focus their efforts on other things. Lacking this context, in my opinion, hurts S&S because people wont know where their characters stand. This is my biggest concern

Point 4 - Knowing whats useful vs whats cool: This mostly refers to classes but can apply to racial abilities as well. This is just little tidbits of info like a rangers favored enemies/terrain that will be used. Whether a paladin can maintain their code and still function. What knowledge/profession skills will be useful. Its kind of the difference between playing a Corsair in S&S vs playing one in Kingmaker, if that makes any sense. You guys touched upon this in S&S and Im grateful for that, its a good middle ground

Point 5 - Lacking information on the setting: Currently the book on the shackles is not out yet so we dont know a thing about the area besides whats on the wiki which is nothing really. Now that book will probably help to alieviate this problem but its still there and it touches on Point 4. For example if I wanted to make a druid I wouldnt know a thing about any of the druidic orders in the area. I wouldnt know if they see the Shackles as a blight upon the land due to heavy pollution and over fishing or if they see it as a community at one with it due to their society.

These points are just off the top of my head, if I sat down and really thought about it I know I would have more. I dont know if I got my concerns across or not but maybe, just maybe, people can see where Im coming from and see why I think loosing the class/race part hurts the AP overall. I understand that some space had to be cut to make room for the naval rules and new weapons and I respect that but I still think the S&SPG is missing a key part that made the other AP's so great


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Windcaler wrote:

Let me see if I can better articulate my point of view on the lack of class/race breakdowns. Doing so will require me to look at previous players guides for the various APs though

Point 1 - Knowing where your character likely came from: In kingmaker we get a great breakdown of the different classes. For example the Wizard "Illusionists and enchanters, for example, often travel to the region to study the mysterious First World" or "The city of Skywatch in eastern Brevoy also attracts throngs of wizards who hope to unlock its
arcane secrets and break through the impenetrable seal that has isolated the settlement from the outside world for the last decade."

In both quotes we get a good idea of where a wizard could come from and players as well as GMs could use this in parts of roleplaying. Im running a kingmaker game right now on RPOL and my groups sorceress is a destined bloodline from Brevic nobility (as the guide suggests she comes from the Lebeda family). My players have just gotten to the second part in the AP and begun to build their kingdom but one thing Ive done is have her noble family ask for exclusive trade rights. This has helped make the game seem more alive to her, something I couldnt do without that information.

Likewise if we had a wizard, I wouldnt have any clue of where he could have trained at to become a wizard. Apprenticeship is one idea but doing that over and over again gets old, so knowing an academy in the area or knowing why a wizard was likely to come there helps expand my knowledge and makes both the player and myself feel more comfortable about the setting.

Point 2 - Knowing how your character was made: For this I mean the races and where they fit into the world. For example in the Carrion crown PG we learn that many orc attacks caused a great deal of orc blood to be mixed with citizens of Ustalav until hordes of Belkzen were pushed back.

However for this one, we dont know if there are orc tribes in the shackles. We dont know if blood commonly mixes and with that we...

Gotta say, this post sums up my opinion as well.

+1

Andoran

Carter Lockhart wrote:

Gotta say, this post sums up my opinion as well.

+1

Yeah, what Windcaler said. That's more or less what I was trying to articulate in my earlier post.

Andoran

James Jacobs wrote:
Belle Mythix wrote:

Smaller/less arts, more writing?

Also mention both what fit well and what "doesn't fit at all"

I agree that this AP PG can get away without the races part, but the classes might be a bit of a problem.

More writing actually makes it more difficult for us to generate, actually. Art is easy. Words are not.

Cut to a shot of Wayne Reynolds all like, "Hey!"

I kid, of course, but I did chuckle. :-p

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You can make all that background setting stuff up for you own game, you know.

I agree that it's nice to have all that background written out, but "nice" isn't the same as "necessary." Whereas the naval combat rules are, in my opinion, necessary.

Andoran

Trinite wrote:

You can make all that background setting stuff up for you own game, you know.

I agree that it's nice to have all that background written out, but "nice" isn't the same as "necessary." Whereas the naval combat rules are, in my opinion, necessary.

Indeed they are. But Paizo has already said they're cutting way back on subsystems, so such things aren't likely to be as necessary in the future...making room for the background/setting stuff again.

Except James Jacobs said they're getting rid of them permanently anyway...unless we make a convincing case for their usefulness and our continued love of them.

So we're not even really talking about the Skull and Shackles PG any more, we're explaining why we like the concept and would like to see it done again in the Shattered Star PG. Or at least something that gave the same kind of information.


Trinite wrote:

You can make all that background setting stuff up for you own game, you know.

I agree that it's nice to have all that background written out, but "nice" isn't the same as "necessary." Whereas the naval combat rules are, in my opinion, necessary.

I can also make up my own adventures/campaigns, but I buy the APs because I just don't have the free time that I once did.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Trinite wrote:

You can make all that background setting stuff up for you own game, you know.

I agree that it's nice to have all that background written out, but "nice" isn't the same as "necessary." Whereas the naval combat rules are, in my opinion, necessary.

Indeed they are. But Paizo has already said they're cutting way back on subsystems, so such things aren't likely to be as necessary in the future...making room for the background/setting stuff again.

Except James Jacobs said they're getting rid of them permanently anyway...unless we make a convincing case for their usefulness and our continued love of them.

So we're not even really talking about the Skull and Shackles PG any more, we're explaining why we like the concept and would like to see it done again in the Shattered Star PG. Or at least something that gave the same kind of information.

That's a good point.


I agree that having some information on how classes and races fit in is good. However, I would not mind if that section was reduced to a few paragraphs.

Something like:

In Ustalav humans of Varisian descent are the most common ethnicity. While dwarves are accepted, due to the history of the country, most other non-human races (even the common ones) are regarded with suspision, if not outright hostility. Due to the proximity of Belkzen, half-orcs are particularly likely to encounter prejudice. Elves and half-elves are resented due to actions after the Shining Crusade, and gnomes are regarded as if they were some kind of fey monster.


Spiral_Ninja wrote:

I agree that having some information on how classes and races fit in is good. However, I would not mind if that section was reduced to a few paragraphs.

Something like:

In Ustalav humans of Varisian descent are the most common ethnicity. While dwarves are accepted, due to the history of the country, most other non-human races (even the common ones) are regarded with suspision, if not outright hostility. Due to the proximity of Belkzen, half-orcs are particularly likely to encounter prejudice. Elves and half-elves are resented due to actions after the Shining Crusade, and gnomes are regarded as if they were some kind of fey monster.

It went from 10+ page to less than a page, and in their hurry, they left/forgot a lot of things.

Might help DM/GM as well if they remembered that despite being called "Players" Guide, the info in them is useful to the DM/GM too.


Trinite wrote:

You can make all that background setting stuff up for you own game, you know.

I agree that it's nice to have all that background written out, but "nice" isn't the same as "necessary." Whereas the naval combat rules are, in my opinion, necessary.

I disagree. I think its necessary in the context that it helps players and GMs feel more comfortable with the setting, the AP, and their own characters in particular. This was the point I was trying to get across but I now wonder if I failed to elaborate my point of view.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm content with the current format for races/classes. I think it works fine for me with a pirates/buccaneers game. The most important points that need to be covered (favored enemy and the like) are covered.

If I were to think of one thing missing, I might also include not just particularly suitable archetypes, but also particularly unsuitable character classes. I'm having a little trouble seeing how paladins and cavaliers are likely to fare in this setting. My guess is, they won't, really. After all, the PG does say the PCs have to be OK with the idea of becoming a pirate and that seems counter to paladin codes or cavalier ethics.

Andoran

Bill Dunn wrote:
or cavalier ethics.

Have...have you read the Cavalier Codes? Cockatrice is made for this and Dragon and Star (Cavalier of Besmara!) are easily justified.

Exactly how their mounts are gonna work is another matter, and one I'd definitely worry about.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
or cavalier ethics.

Have...have you read the Cavalier Codes? Cockatrice is made for this and Dragon and Star (Cavalier of Besmara!) are easily justified.

Exactly how their mounts are gonna work is another matter, and one I'd definitely worry about.

For me, not being able to use a mount consistantly really hurts the caviler. Now if they got aquatic mounts like a shark then were talking some more interesting ideas but then again there's the problem with lacking the detailed class selection. Lack of information keeps us guessing till we have read the AP

Some cav ethics do fit though

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
or cavalier ethics.
Have...have you read the Cavalier Codes? Cockatrice is made for this and Dragon and Star (Cavalier of Besmara!) are easily justified.

It's not all that much of a stretch for Lion, either. For that matter, I could probably come up with a reasonable justification for Seal, too.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Windcaler wrote:

Let me see if I can better articulate my point of view on the lack of class/race breakdowns. Doing so will require me to look at previous players guides for the various APs though

<snip>

I'm with you on 1-3. Those are the things of value to having the race/class info contained in the PGs. 4 & 5, however, take it too far into metagaming or non-essential info. Players shouldn't get a cheat sheet for adventure, IMO.


BPorter wrote:
Windcaler wrote:

Let me see if I can better articulate my point of view on the lack of class/race breakdowns. Doing so will require me to look at previous players guides for the various APs though

<snip>

I'm with you on 1-3. Those are the things of value to having the race/class info contained in the PGs. 4 & 5, however, take it too far into metagaming or non-essential info. Players shouldn't get a cheat sheet for adventure, IMO.

Partly, there are info the PCs are supposed to know...


James Jacobs wrote:


Going back to the full class/race breakdowns is certainly an option... but if folks just miss them because they liked the format or the way it looked... that's not a good enough reason. We can give out the same information in a page what it took multiple pages to do in previous Player's Guides... so it's gotta be a pretty compelling reason to make me want to switch back.

SO!

If you miss the class/race breakdowns... let us know WHAT you miss from them that the new format doesn't do for you.

Skimming through the thread, and I came to this.

I believe that people miss them for the information provided. It would be helpful to new or casual GMs and GMs that are not all that familiar with the area the AP takes place in. Gives ideas for the mechanical and social implications of being a adventurer in a certain area is.

However, the ability to streamline a product like the AP is important, so if sacrifices need to be made and if it needs to be compressed, well compress it.

Hmm, some information about how the area/AP treats certain adventurer classes can be very helpful and flavorful though, so please don't leave out too much info. I need to read more of the thread and Download the guide before I say more, so sorry if I blathered ignorantly about what is going on.

Saying more just in case:
Things like knowing how outsiders to the area will be treated, or how certain classes are seen by the world are very useful and gives life to the world. Helps picture the AP's character and setting too. For example, if a Paladin wearing his faith openly might be treated in a totally different way then if he were to be more subtle. Or if Alchemist and Gunslingers are mistrusted due to the dangerous fire and explosive hazards they represent. On a ship, I would think that the person that messes around with fire would be considered differently then say the fighter or archer or even mage..unless said mage has a habit of spontaneous combustion.

Hmm, some of it is common sense, but having guidelines and some bits to build off on would be very cool.

Taldor

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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

So far the only nit I have to pick, is the list of new familiars should have been in the players guide for character creation! Leaving the stats in the AP is fine, But here you have a guy bringing a wizard to the table to find out he could have had a pirate themed familiar instead of the toad he chose.


Tim Statler wrote:

So far the only nit I have to pick, is the list of new familiars should have been in the players guide for character creation! Leaving the stats in the AP is fine, But here you have a guy bringing a wizard to the table to find out he could have had a pirate themed familiar instead of the toad he chose.

if you haven't played yet you could always switch the toad for a pirate-ish familiar (tho there's nothing wrong with a toad:)


UnboltedAKTION wrote:
The race thing wasn't that bug a deal but the class breakdown was a huge disappointment not to see. One of the main reasons is because of the new classes such, as a Gunslinger. In Serpent's Skull it says that they would be useful but there are no guns written into the campaign, extremely useful info to have. But with Skulls and Shackles it doesn't even mention Gunslingers or if there will be guns in the game for them to use. I assume there will be, but you never know it helps the players and the DM especially for groups that may have different opinions on guns or strange classes.

This may be well known by now as the actual first adventure is now out, but there is a sidebar in that adventure that talks specifically about guns. It says that they are rare in the world with the exception of Alkenstar and one of the Pirate Lords ships and as such will not be written into the adventures (with that exception).

If you want to include them however, there will be a side bar in each adventure describing when and where they would be most appropriate to put in as treasure and such so as to make them accessible to the players.

It's a great way to have handled it in my opinion as there was a lot of split in the community about their inclusion (or lack there of). This way it is relatively easy to have them or not have them.

Back to the players guide though, it would have been bad to comment on the status of guns in the adventure since it is really in there as a call by the individual GMs. They would have had to say it wasn't written to work well with gunslingers but will include advice for including them if your GM is so inclined.

IMHO this is a discussion that should occur between player and GM rather than be dictated in a Players' Guide.

Sean Mahoney

Andoran

Sean Mahoney wrote:

This may be well known by now as the actual first adventure is now out, but there is a sidebar in that adventure that talks specifically about guns. It says that they are rare in the world with the exception of Alkenstar and one of the Pirate Lords ships and as such will not be written into the adventures (with that exception).

If you want to include them however, there will be a side bar in each adventure describing when and where they would be most appropriate to put in as treasure and such so as to make them accessible to the players.

It's a great way to have handled it in my opinion as there was a lot of split in the community about their inclusion (or lack there of). This way it is relatively easy to have them or not have them.

Back to the players guide though, it would have been bad to comment on the status of guns in the adventure since it is really in there as a call by the individual GMs. They would have had to say it wasn't written to work well with gunslingers but will include advice for including them if your GM is so inclined.

IMHO this is a discussion that should occur between player and GM rather than be dictated in a Players' Guide.

Sean Mahoney

Oh I know, we had our first session and this was explained to me, which is fine. However, this info would have been useful early on. I know they're called "Players Guide" but as one of the GMs in our group I find any information like this helpful before the game comes out.

Now on another note the race/class section has been always been helpful to the GMs of our group. Especially when it comes to role play, I know important NPCs already have plenty of right up but with less important NPCs it's always good to know from the get go how certain characters you need to RP are going to react to classes or the race your players play. Our group gets extremely into RP so as a DM it's my job to already know whats up so I can immerse my players in an incredible life like experience.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

I usually find myself rewriting the entire Player's Guide to suit whatever prequel or party idea I had so if this is the shape of things so be it.

I really did like the full race/class break down.

In the future I'd still like to see a recommended skill/spell/companion style breakdown particularly for classes like the cavalier or druid so they can know how useful a companion would be in such a game.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I want to say here like I said in the product thread for this.

After I downloaded the redone players guide, the one that was replaced to fix the print issue, I still could not print it. Got same error as before.

IIRC same thing happened with Jade Regent guide.


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Reading throught the complete Players Guide now I have to admit I'm a little bit disappointed.

The ship combat rules are nice, very close to the PF Character rules (use same terms e.g. CMB, CMD etc.), also the Part about Magic is great.
But then I came to one thing which is, as I think an inportant part of the campaign, the ship itself.

The modifications are great but the amount of different ships is much too low. Also the grouping.
I can understand that for the sake of gameplay you have to merge some ship types together (like trimre, bireme to galley), but putting "barques, brigantines,caravels, carracks, larger cogs, frigates, galleons,
schooners, sloops, and xebecs and even man-o’-wars into the same "template" is too much.
I hoped to find much more diversity here, but it seems it's up to us to create it. :)


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I think I'd like to see the Campaign Settings become a more integral part of the Adventure Paths, and cover some of this information. In this case, use Isles of the Shackles to present all of the character information - races common and uncommon, how the classes are viewed, etc. This information is invaluable not only to the players of the AP, but also to the GM looking to build their own campaign in the region, so flesh it out fully in the Campaign Settings book, and use the AP Player's Guide for AP-specific information such as Traits, race/class issues specific to the AP (where different from the region), and especially what archetypes are most appropriate for this specific campaign.

Basically, Isles of the Shackles should be the place to go to find out about the potential for Half-Elven Bards throughout the Shackles, but the Skulls and Shackles Player's Guide is where you should look to know that Buccaneer Bards are highly appropriate for the AP.


Belle Mythix wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


If you miss the class/race breakdowns... let us know WHAT you miss from them that the new format doesn't do for you.

It helps the rookies/casual/occasional players and GMs.

This.

Some of my players have not had much have much of an imagination for background stories. Even if you don't do the race section I would at least appreciate the class section. I am happy to see less subsystems though. Simple things like the point system in Carrion Crown and Council of Thieves are ok. The caravan rules in Jade Empire was just something else I had to learn. I appreciate the thought behind it, but as a GM I did not want to deal with it.

edit:Just to be clear I don't think an entire class/archetype breakdown is needed. Class X will do well, but Class Y will be a challenge because ____ would be nice. I know the last handbook did that to an extent, but not enough.


pyremius wrote:

I think I'd like to see the Campaign Settings become a more integral part of the Adventure Paths, and cover some of this information. In this case, use Isles of the Shackles to present all of the character information - races common and uncommon, how the classes are viewed, etc. This information is invaluable not only to the players of the AP, but also to the GM looking to build their own campaign in the region, so flesh it out fully in the Campaign Settings book, and use the AP Player's Guide for AP-specific information such as Traits, race/class issues specific to the AP (where different from the region), and especially what archetypes are most appropriate for this specific campaign.

Basically, Isles of the Shackles should be the place to go to find out about the potential for Half-Elven Bards throughout the Shackles, but the Skulls and Shackles Player's Guide is where you should look to know that Buccaneer Bards are highly appropriate for the AP.

Not everyone has the money for it.


Belle Mythix wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Belle Mythix wrote:

By the way, none of the traits that give a +1 to Profession (sailor) check give the option to add it as a class skill.

That's probably because literally every class but Barbarians already has all Professions as Class.

I thought there were others...

Only Expert.


Perhaps the tired old 'whats up with my race and class in this AP' that has been shuffled away (thankfully) from the Player's Guide could be made into a Blog Post, slightly before the PG for any given AP launches?

This would be the best of both worlds for new players (since the URL would be included in the PG) and old, who will get neat things in the PGs, rather than retreads.

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