Mastering Pathfinder

Monday, July 22, 2019

This week, we’re going to take a look at the tools the new edition provides the GM to tell awesome stories full of interesting foes and hazards as well as plenty of opportunity to shine the spotlight on the PCs and show off how incredible the PCs are!

Digital artwork: Desert, under a sky filled with blood-red clouds. Amiri battles an axe-wielding gnoll, while beside her Linni strikes another gnoll with a crackling web of lightning, causing him to drop his scimitar. In the foreground, Linni's snow leopard Droogami faces off against a snarling hyena.

Illustration by Igor Grechanyi

But before I get too mired into details of the rules, I want to talk about the high-quality overall GM advice in the book. For instance, my favorite bit of GM advice is this section in Gamemastering on adjudicating the rules, where we flat out tell you the underlying principles so you can design improvised rules on the fly!

Text inset: If you don’t know how long a quick task takes, go with 1 action, or 2 actions if a character shouldn’t be able to perform it three times per round.  
					If you’re not sure what action a task uses, look for the most similar basic action. If you don’t find one, make up an action adding any necessary traits (usually attack, concentrate, manipulate, or move).
					When two sides are opposed, have one roll against the other’s DC. Don’t have both sides roll (initiative is the exception to this rule). The character who rolls is usually the one acting (except in the case of saving throws).
					If an effect raises or lowers chances of success, grant a +1 circumstance bonus or a –1 circumstance penalty.
					If you’re not sure how difficult a significant challenge should be, use the DC for the party’s level.
					If you’re making up an effect, creatures should be incapacitated or killed on only a critical success (or for a saving throw, on a critical failure).
					If you don’t know what check to use, pick the most appropriate skill. If no other skill applies to a check to Recall Knowledge, use an appropriate Lore skill (usually at an untrained proficiency rank).
					Use the characters’ daily preparations as the time to reset anything that lasts roughly a day.
					When a character accomplishes something noteworthy that doesn’t have rules for XP, award them XP for an accomplishment (10 to 30 XP, as described on page 507).
					When the PCs fail at a task, look for a way they might fail forward, meaning the story moves forward with a negative consequence rather than the failure halting progress entirely.

There’re tips on encounter, session, adventure, and campaign management as well! One useful new tool we added was the Pathfinder baseline, which essentially explains a baseline assumption for edgy content. Whether you want to follow it or not is totally up to your group. It’s a conversation starter; the baseline determines what you should expect from our published adventures, and we’ll tell you if there’s an exception. Similarly, for a home game, if you read the baseline and want to add or remove restrictions (or scrap it entirely!) you now know that you should talk to the rest of your group first. Lack of communication often arises when everyone has their own baselines and assumes everyone shares theirs.

But you want some hard rules, right? We have rules for encounters, exploration, and downtime, as well as rules for all sorts of environmental effects, natural disasters like volcanic eruptions, and hazards like haunts and traps. For a quick taste of these before we move on, take a look at these temperature effects. Unlike First Edition, they aren’t based on the legacy Pacific Northwest sensibilities where a day of summer back home on the East Coast would kill me from nonlethal damage!

Text inset: TABLE 10-13: TEMPERATURE EFFECTS.
				Category: Temperature: Fatigue: Damage.
				Incredible cold: -80 degrees F or colder: 2 hours: Moderate cold every minute.
				Extreme cold: -79 degrees F to -20 degrees F: 4 hours: Minor cold every 10 minutes.
				Severe cold: -21 degrees F to 12 degrees F: 4 hours: Minor cold every hour.
				Mild cold: 13 degrees F to 32 degrees F: 4 hours: None.
				Normal: 33 degrees F to 94 degrees F: 8 hours: None.
				Mild heat: 95 degrees F to 104 degrees F: 4 hours: None.
				Severe heat: 105 degrees F to 114 degrees F: 4 hours: Minor fire every hour.
				Extreme heat: 115 degrees F to 139 degrees F: 4 hours: Minor fire every 10 minutes.
				Incredible heat: 140 degrees F or warmer: 2 hours: Moderate fire every minute.
				*Adjust temperatures down by 15 degrees in areas of high humidity.

For our in-depth look, let’s start with guidelines for skill DCs! You might’ve seen the simple DCs before from Jason’s spoilers, but we have those, as well as a level by level DC table for tasks against something of that level, which you can adjust by 2, 5, or 10 if it’s particularly easy or hard. For instance, learning a 6th level spell or identifying level 11 monster is DC 28, but uncommon spells or monsters are DC 30, and rare spells or monsters are DC 33. You’ll also notice these DCs are much easier to make than before, thanks to playtest guidance through a series of other numbers, we’ve alighted on a strong set that can help show off how amazing your PCs are!

Text inset: TABLE 10-4: SIMPLE DCs. 
				Proficiency rank: DC.
				Untrained: 10.
				Trained: 15.
				Expert: 20.
				Master: 30.
				Legendary: 40. Text inset: TABLE 10-5: DCs BY LEVEL. Text inset: TABLE 10-6: DC ADJUSTMENTS. 
				Difficulty: Adjustment: Rarity.
				Incredibly easy: -10.
				Very easy: -5.
				Easy: -2.
				Hard: +2: Uncommon.
				Very hard: +5: Rare.
				Incredibly hard: +10: Unique.

Also, by popular playtester demand, we can a table of typical skills to identify monsters.

Text inset: TABLE 10-7: CREATURE IDENTIFICATION SKILLS.
				Creature trait: Skills.
				Aberration: Occultism.
				Animal: Nature.
				Astral: Occultism.
				Beast: Arcana, Nature.
				Celestial: Religion.
				Construct: Arcana, Crafting.
				Dragon: Arcana.
				Elemental: Arcana, Nature.
				Ethereal: Occultism.
				Fey: Nature.
				Fiend: Religion.
				Fungus: Nature.
				Humanoid: Society.
				Monitor: Religion.
				Ooze: Occultism.
				Plant: Nature.
				Spirit: Occultism.
				Undead: Religion.

Speaking of monsters! The Bestiary contains friends and foes of all sorts, from the classic to the brand new. Take a look at the skeleton for a moment.

Pathfinder Bestiary Entries for various types of Skeletons, including the Skeleton Guard, Skeletal Champion, Skeletal Horse, Skeletal Giant and Skeletal Hulk. Featuring illustrations of the Skeletal Champion and Skeletal Horse.

Illustration by Johnny Marrow

You can build any skeleton you need at lightning speed, and add fun special abilities like exploding bones, throwing heads, or collapsing into piles of bones! Plus check out the lore sidebar about vital essence; playtesters demanded to see more of the four magical essences in the foreground, so they’re coming out to play everything once in a while!

What about a newcomer? The gogiteth is a gross skittery critter with a lot of fun movement and grapple abilities. Can you still have an interesting encounter against a purely melee 12th-level foe when the PCs have so many special options at their fingertips? The gogiteth wants to say “yes” but it has you in its mouth and is currently skittering around, so you’ll have to take my word for it.

Pathfinder Bestiary Entry for the Gogiteth, featuring an illustration of the Gogiteth tearing apart its prey.

Illustration by Mark Molnar

To close out our monster review, let’s take a look at some friendly creatures…

Pathfinder Bestiary Entries for various types of Gremlins, including the Mitflit, Pugwampi, and Jinkin. Featuring illustrations of the Pugwampi and Jinkin.

Illustration by Yasen Stoilov

Whoops, some gremlins in the gears! Those aren’t friendly at all. Each gremlin has a special way that they make life miserable for those around them, except perhaps the incomplete mitflits, who are just themselves miserable little guys. Maybe you can help give them a social order and teach them that self-loathing isn’t the answer? If you think like that, you might like these actually friendly allies.

Pathfinder Bestiary Entries for various types of Archons, including the Legion Archon and Shield Archon. Featuring illustrations of the Legion Archon and Shield Archon.

Illustrations by Bryan Sola and Firat Solhan

Each archon represents a particular virtue, with justice and courage shown here. The legion archon takes justice into its own hands (literally) with some powerful offense, while the shield archon explores courage as the virtue of bravery to sacrifice yourself for others and stand in the thick of things. And if you’re sharp-eyed, you now know one of the other archons in the book as well! Meanwhile, on the chaotic side…

Pathfinder Bestiary Entries for various types of Azatas, including the Lillend (Muse Azata) and Ghaele (Crusader Azata). Featuring illustrations of the Lillend and Ghaele.

Illustration by Raph Lomotan

Azatas each represent a freedom. Ghaeles stand for the freedom to bear arms against oppression, and they’re energy form and energy focus have a revamp to fit their concept and be a bit more interesting; take a look! Lillends are the embodiment of freedom of expression and a great summon for a party looking for a quick bard. Plus, they are a great choice for your bard’s muse. The other great option? Take a look at the nymph!

Pathfinder Bestiary Entries for various types of Nymphs, including the Naiad Queen and Dryad Queen. Featuring an illustrations of the Dryad Queen.

Illustrations by Emile Denis

The nymph entry gives you not only low-level nymph allies like the naiad or dryad, but also tools to build powerful nymph queens like Myriana or Svevanka from Rise of the Runelords or Nyrissa from Kingmaker, with special rules for being a bard’s muse! This should make the entries for classic nymphs like the lampad much more interesting—note the intriguing and new-to-Pathfinder hesperides mentioned in the sidebar as well!

To close off, a personal note: I’m most of the way through book five of the War for the Crown Adventure Path, which I’m running in Second Edition. GMing it has been a joy; preparing and running have been much easier than when I ran Jade Regent or Rise of the Runelords in First Edition, even including the effort of converting the adventure. Other Paizo community members running in the playtest have noted this as well, including community member Ediwir, who is running War for the Crown in both First Edition and the playtest at the same time to compare. If you’ve ever wanted to GM Pathfinder before but it just looked daunting, Second Edition is the perfect time to give it a shot! You’ll have all these tools at your fingertips to make life easier, and everyone’s starting out too, so there will be tons of community support and goodwill, as well as more than a little patience for mistakes. I hope you’ll join me and give running a game a shot. If you do, what are you most excited to run first? The Age of Ashes Adventure Path? The Fall of Plaguestone? Pathfinder Society adventures? Something special you’re brewing up at home? Let me know in the comments below!

Mark Seifter
Designer

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Tags: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition
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I think the thing about the temperature chart is that the second column is kind of superfluous.

Only time I could see referring to it is if I say "It is extremely cold" and a player responds with "how cold is it" and I don't have a punchline handy.


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CorvusMask wrote:
That is one of reasons I like Monte Cook's cypher system's games, they include both metrics for pretty much everything (also why I'm skeptical about it taking too much space to include them considering I've seen it in practice and it really doesn't)

I don't know if they've gotten better at it in later products, but I remember being annoyed at excess precision in the metric conversion in some Numenera books. For example, there's one power that lets you control weather in a "1,000 feet (305 m)" radius, which strikes me as a bit dumb. It ought to have been 300 m.


CorvusMask wrote:
Rysky wrote:
DarkOne the Drow wrote:
In this day and age, why is temperatures is listed only in the broken antiquated F scale?

That's not really doing your argument any favors since, Pathfinder is made in the US which predominantly uses F. It's also an aesthetic thing, since as pointed out no one brings up switching feet with meters.

Not to say having them both would be bad though.

That is one of reasons I like Monte Cook's cypher system's games, they include both metrics for pretty much everything (also why I'm skeptical about it taking too much space to include them considering I've seen it in practice and it really doesn't)

Well the feet is easy to deal with. Most of us use square grids of 5 by 5 feet for combat and exploring, which medium size miniatures occupies 1 square. Almost all movement speeds, reach, etc are in multiples of 5 feet (which equates to 1 square), thus dividing by 5 gives nice integer numbers representing squares.

Overland is little less clean as a typical map has a scale of a hex being 12 miles across (corner to corner), and speed needs to be divided by 12, which often does not give nice integers.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I think the thing about the temperature chart is that the second column is kind of superfluous.

Only time I could see referring to it is if I say "It is extremely cold" and a player responds with "how cold is it" and I don't have a punchline handy.

I disagree. Putting a concrete value on the temperature of any given category means you don't have to argue about how cold cold is. I mean, if you tell someone from Kiruna that it's "severely cold" outside, they'll likely get a different idea than if you tell someone from Madrid. But if they know it means somewhere between -10 and -30 degrees, we're all on the same page.


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AJ_Neuro wrote:
It would have been nice to include Celsius in the temperature table, as it's used in almost every single country in the world except the United States.

Bah. As someone from the country that invented the Celsius temperature scale, it is decidedly inferior to temperature measured in Kelvin (note: not degrees Kelvin. Just Kelvin).


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Staffan Johansson wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
That is one of reasons I like Monte Cook's cypher system's games, they include both metrics for pretty much everything (also why I'm skeptical about it taking too much space to include them considering I've seen it in practice and it really doesn't)
I don't know if they've gotten better at it in later products, but I remember being annoyed at excess precision in the metric conversion in some Numenera books. For example, there's one power that lets you control weather in a "1,000 feet (305 m)" radius, which strikes me as a bit dumb. It ought to have been 300 m.

I think that this is a lot of the reason why the American attempt to convert to the metric system failed. Too precise conversions along with attempting to convert everything rather than gain an intuitive grasp of the quantities that the metric units represented made the metric system seem unnecessarily difficult and unintuitive to most people.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Staffan Johansson wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I think the thing about the temperature chart is that the second column is kind of superfluous.

Only time I could see referring to it is if I say "It is extremely cold" and a player responds with "how cold is it" and I don't have a punchline handy.

I disagree. Putting a concrete value on the temperature of any given category means you don't have to argue about how cold cold is. I mean, if you tell someone from Kiruna that it's "severely cold" outside, they'll likely get a different idea than if you tell someone from Madrid. But if they know it means somewhere between -10 and -30 degrees, we're all on the same page.

On the opposite end of this the issue is "oh its 13 degrees, not 12, we don't need cold weather gear for another degree" and then also tracking exact degrees doesn't seem appealing to me as a GM.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Bardic Dave wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:
Heh, having lived most of my life close to the Arctic Circle I'd say that -11 C or even -20 C is hardly "severe cold" in my books. Then again I *love* cold, and +20-25 C is severe heat for me. :)

I also live somewhere where temperatures way below -11 C are fairly commonplace, and I'm willing to bet that the table only seems goofy when it's presented out of context like this.

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that wearing appropriate winter gear will allow you to ignore the effects of "severe cold". Imagine going outside in -11 C in a t-shirt and jeans and attempting to hike through the wilderness for several hours at a stretch. It might get a bit uncomfortable.

Yes, appropriate gear will help you against cold. Just don't stay outside in extreme cold for too many hours, even with cold weather gear!

While the table is simplified to make it easy for you to use, the underlying numbers were based on a little research into survival times with exposure to various temperatures (and adjusting that to HP damage somehow). It varies fairly widely based on the person, so even using averages and giving a +/-15-degree window isn't going to cover everybody's bodies perfectly. The only way to know for sure about yourself is something that I'll ask you all to please not attempt!

But I think everyone can agree that 91 degrees F and 39 degrees F doing damage were very weird; in fact, the research showed that both were in the range where you could survive pretty much indefinitely.

Anyway, there's a lot of non-temperature goodies in the blog too, and thanks to everyone for reading and responding. Every week, Logan wonders which thing in the blog will become the big side discussion, and I sometimes guess right, but this time I thought it would be the Pathfinder baseline, not temperature. :D


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Asgetrion wrote:
Heh, having lived most of my life close to the Arctic Circle I'd say that -11 C or even -20 C is hardly "severe cold" in my books. Then again I *love* cold, and +20-25 C is severe heat for me. :)

Here is a wonderful example. People from different regions of the world have different norms of comfort with regards to temperatures. 25+ C is passing out temperature for me, and many others, yet at -14 C is no hassle to be outdoors. There you go to other regions of the world 40 C is the normal and comfortable for those native to the region, yet are freezing (almost going into shock when temperature drop below 25 C).

If the actual temperature is of no importance, why then include a temperature scale in the first place. Though if a temperature scale is to be included, include both scales. Players really don't want to be forced go to the internet during game play just to do conversions in order to under stand what the temperature condition actually means.


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Staffan Johansson wrote:
I disagree. Putting a concrete value on the temperature of any given category means you don't have to argue about how cold cold is. I mean, if you tell someone from Kiruna that it's "severely cold" outside, they'll likely get a different idea than if you tell someone from Madrid. But if they know it means somewhere between -10 and -30 degrees, we're all on the same page.

I figure since player characters are unlikely to be carrying around a thermometer, I don't need to give them numbers. If they want more clarification on "how cold is it?" I can give details like "your nosehairs curl up before you even inhale, your spit freezes before it hits the ground, you hear cracking and groaning as the sap in the nearby trees freezes, and when you exhale you can hear a faint tinkling as the moisture in your breath turns to ice."

Plus, if I just stick with the heuristics, I don't need to actually worry about what temperature all that stuff happens at, I just need to get the point across that it is dangerously cold.

Mark Seifter wrote:
Anyway, there's a lot of non-temperature goodies in the blog too, and thanks to everyone for reading and responding. Every week, Logan wonders which thing in the blog will become the big side discussion, and I sometimes guess right, but this time I thought it would be the Pathfinder baseline, not temperature. :D

Unfortunately, I believe we have selected for an audience accustomed to following every tangent to the point of exhaustion/absurdity.

Dark Archive

I actually agree that there doesn't need to be precise degrees in same way there doesn't need to be precise weights, but it is handy for sake of flavor and reference.

Like, to lot of people "cold" and "warm" is relative to where they live. So its good to know objectively what game thinks is "cold" or "warm"

And hey, I thought temperature and metrics was important enough thing to make a thread about :p To some people its really serious deal!

(on side note, all the stuff in blog was cool)


DarkOne the Drow wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:
Heh, having lived most of my life close to the Arctic Circle I'd say that -11 C or even -20 C is hardly "severe cold" in my books. Then again I *love* cold, and +20-25 C is severe heat for me. :)

Here is a wonderful example. People from different regions of the world have different norms of comfort with regards to temperatures. 25+ C is passing out temperature for me, and many others, yet at -14 C is no hassle to be outdoors. There you go to other regions of the world 40 C is the normal and comfortable for those native to the region, yet are freezing (almost going into shock when temperature drop below 25 C).

If the actual temperature is of no importance, why then include a temperature scale in the first place. Though if a temperature scale is to be included, include both scales. Players really don't want to be forced go to the internet during game play just to do conversions in order to under stand what the temperature condition actually means.

Because mechanically people who live in intense heat/cold are exceptions to the baseline assumption of the world and are best represented by Heritages like Desert Dwarf/Artic Elf which grant fire/cold resistance and the ability to ignore extreme heat or cold. It isn't significantly different than some people being better runners (Fleet) or hardier (Toughness.)

Meanwhile, they need a baseline assumption for how people without those Heritages withstand extreme weather. Id' guess the Inner Sea Region seems to be that baseline, and Varisia has weather comparable to the Seattle area.

This doesn't really address the Fahrenheit vs Celsius debate


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I lived in Arizona for 26 years, and still have a few friends there.

Every single summer, I see a "meanwhile, in Arizona" meme, highlighting the people who are uncomfortable with 90 F summers an their complaints, while Arizonans are out in 115 F and are perfectly fine.

I mean, it IS a meme, but it's based in hard experience.

So, yeah, "hot" and "cold" are fairly relative, depending on the environment you're accustomed to.


Lunatic Barghest wrote:

I lived in Arizona for 26 years, and still have a few friends there.

Every single summer, I see a "meanwhile, in Arizona" meme, highlighting the people who are uncomfortable with 90 F summers an their complaints, while Arizonans are out in 115 F and are perfectly fine.

I mean, it IS a meme, but it's based in hard experience.

So, yeah, "hot" and "cold" are fairly relative, depending on the environment you're accustomed to.

And as the table suggests, how we experience heat is also highly dependant on humidity. I find 42 C (108 F) heat in a nice, dry place like Arizona to be fairly pleasant, but 26 degrees C (81 F) in an extremely humid place like Toronto can be absolutely brutal.


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I think variations in heat/cold tolerance between regions are more about acclimatization than heritage. Like the reason you will see people in shorts in 0 degree weather in Minnesota or working in the sun in 106 degree weather in Arizona is pretty much because they've gotten used to the range of temperatures they live in. I've known people who moved from my arctic wonderland to the desert who can no longer really tolerate the cold when they come back, and I'm sure it works the other way too.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I think variations in heat/cold tolerance between regions are more about acclimatization than heritage. Like the reason you will see people in shorts in 0 degree weather in Minnesota or working in the sun in 106 degree weather in Arizona is pretty much because they've gotten used to the range of temperatures they live in. I've known people who moved from my arctic wonderland to the desert who can no longer really tolerate the cold when they come back, and I'm sure it works the other way too.

That's true. A friend of mine has been living in Hong Kong/Singapore for numerous years, where it never goes much below 22 C (72 F). When he comes back to Canada to visit, he can't handle 0 C (32 F) anymore even though he grew up here.

Silver Crusade

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DarkOne the Drow wrote:
People from different regions of the world have different norms of comfort

Its not just where you're from. When it is in the year matters a lot.

In the fall, when it gets down to <insert arbitrary temperature> then it feels COLD, people put on their sweaters and jackets, etc.

In the spring, when it gets UP to <identical arbitrary temperature as above> then it is WARM or even HOT, people go out in shorts and T shirts.

Same place, same people. The direction the temperature is moving makes a huge difference.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

By the way -- Is Endure Elements still a 2nd level spell as it was in the Playtest?


Bardic Dave wrote:
And as the table suggests, how we experience heat is also highly dependant on humidity. I find 42 C (108 F) heat in a nice, dry place like Arizona to be very pleasant, but 26 degrees C (81 F) in an extremely humid place like Toronto can be absolutely brutal.

Indeed. I have vacationed in Florida during late spring/early summer a handful of times. I definitely prefer a dry heat 20 F higher to a humid heat 20 F lower.

My spouse is exactly the opposite, finding Florida summers much more comfortable.

It all leads me to figure that ascribing mechanics to such minutiae is fairly irrelevant. I agree that celsius should be represented in the book, though. Fahrenheit actually makes almost no sense as a system of measurement.

Dark Archive

Yeah, you can't claim there is universal baseline where only pcs of specific ancestries are comfortable in extremes. Its good to know the specifics because it can be hard to determine it otherwise what players are supposed to imagine


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[Paizo HQ]

"Wow, Mark, great blog. GM advice, skill DC tips, the much demanded knowledge skill to creature type concordance, and a shockingly generous number of bestiary pages. How is the community reacting?"

"Apparently it's so boring that people just want to talk about the weather."


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Xenocrat wrote:

[Paizo HQ]

"Wow, Mark, great blog. GM advice, skill DC tips, the much demanded knowledge skill to creature type concordance, and a shockingly generous number of bestiary pages. How is the community reacting?"

"Apparently it's so boring that people just want to talk about the weather."

LOL!


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
David knott 242 wrote:

By the way -- Is Endure Elements still a 2nd level spell as it was in the Playtest?

Yes.

Liberty's Edge

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I liked the whole blog, but revised temperature rules have been almost 20 years in coming (since the version in PF1 dates to D&D 3.0).

We're collectively excited about them.

Dark Archive

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Xenocrat wrote:

[Paizo HQ]

"Wow, Mark, great blog. GM advice, skill DC tips, the much demanded knowledge skill to creature type concordance, and a shockingly generous number of bestiary pages. How is the community reacting?"

"Apparently it's so boring that people just want to talk about the weather."

Nah, it's the other way around; all/most of us probably agree that it's great and there is virtually nothing to criticize about it. After praising the blog we're finally ready to talk about the weather, and if we didn't talk about the weather at least I'd probably explode from sheer excitement! ;)


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Asgetrion wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:

[Paizo HQ]

"Wow, Mark, great blog. GM advice, skill DC tips, the much demanded knowledge skill to creature type concordance, and a shockingly generous number of bestiary pages. How is the community reacting?"

"Apparently it's so boring that people just want to talk about the weather."

Nah, it's the other way around; all/most of us probably agree that it's great and there is virtually nothing to criticize about it. After praising the blog we're finally ready to talk about the weather, and if we didn't talk about the weather at least I'd probably explode from sheer excitement! ;)

It's all so good. I just got to reading the rituals last night, and they seem basically perfect. It's like that throughout the book; there are all these new mechanics and it looks like the PF2 team just nailed them.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Anyway, there's a lot of non-temperature goodies in the blog too, and thanks to everyone for reading and responding. Every week, Logan wonders which thing in the blog will become the big side discussion, and I sometimes guess right, but this time I thought it would be the Pathfinder baseline, not temperature. :D

People are going to talk about their reaction to temperature, and about the importance of using their preferred measurement scale, because those topics are about them. Likewise, the Pathfinder baseline is a topic related to people's identities, so it's got great potential for generating a long, heated thread. But you didn't provide any details about it, so it's a bit of an abstraction at this point, and harder to comment on. (Yes, this is a shameless bait to get you to say more about it).

Anyway, the blog has plenty of great stuff for us to remark on. For example, I love the idea of the ghaele as an embodiment of freedom to bear arms against oppression, while the lillend is all about freedom of expression: A pretty clever concept, and great flavor.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
pauljathome wrote:
DarkOne the Drow wrote:
People from different regions of the world have different norms of comfort

Its not just where you're from. When it is in the year matters a lot.

In the fall, when it gets down to <insert arbitrary temperature> then it feels COLD, people put on their sweaters and jackets, etc.

In the spring, when it gets UP to <identical arbitrary temperature as above> then it is WARM or even HOT, people go out in shorts and T shirts.

Same place, same people. The direction the temperature is moving makes a huge difference.

Yeah, living in Wisconsin, 40 degrees F in early fall is really cold. 40 degrees F in winter is T-shirt weather.

It's going to be weird thinking of dryads as a type of nymph.

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I dig the last part of the adjudicating tips and spelling out the "fail forward". The biggest circumstance I can think to relate to it is key clues or story information requiring a successful Perception check to obtain and nobody in the party succeeds. This has lead to at least a few stalled moments that take longer out of game to conclude rather than simply taking more time in-game to discover for the sake of progression.

Failed the check to find loot? They just don't get the loot.

Failed the check to find the note from Big Bad to Little Bad that details why the party should care to go find Big Bad? Takes longer to find, giving Big Bad more time to prepare for the encounter.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Oh yeah, that reminds me that I'm honestly surprised the discussion of the week wasn't about that fail forward line, considering it already generated a whole thread...


So are naiads replacing the D&D-style (blinding beauty/stunning glance) nymphs completely? If so that's a shame, I always thought their abilities made for really interesting encounters.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
MaxAstro wrote:
Oh yeah, that reminds me that I'm honestly surprised the discussion of the week wasn't about that fail forward line, considering it already generated a whole thread...

Max.

No.


MaxAstro wrote:
Oh yeah, that reminds me that I'm honestly surprised the discussion of the week wasn't about that fail forward line, considering it already generated a whole thread...

The temperature table is the low-hanging fruit. It's way too easy to chime in with "the table says x about y temperature but my experience with y is z. Lol!". We all did it :)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

On the naiad queens bit, you're missing the next page that spells out what their abilities are. I was wondering about the missing information myself when I read the page. ^^

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

Should the Gogiteth's "Carry Off Prey" ability have an action symbol associated with it?


Grumpus wrote:
Should the Gogiteth's "Carry Off Prey" ability have an action symbol associated with it?

Nope. That's just something the Gogiteth can do whenever it does move, whether it's Striding or Stepping or whatever.


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Grumpus wrote:
Should the Gogiteth's "Carry Off Prey" ability have an action symbol associated with it?

I think it's basically a passive that enables them to carry off already grappled prey while using their normal movement action

vs taking reduced action to move a grappled opponent like players do (usually)


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GM Aerondor wrote:


As for how big a square should be. My vote is 1/11th of a chain. That's a nice easy number to remember and work with. Gives a bit more space for those overweight dwarves to stand in too.

3 light-(femto-fortnights).


Bardic Dave wrote:


I also live somewhere where temperatures way below -11 C are fairly commonplace, and I'm willing to bet that the table only seems goofy when it's presented out of context like this.

I've lived in Montreal for some time, so came to a temperature range of +40 to -40 C from growing up in a climate of much milder variation, and the oddest thing to me about this set of temperature bands is that they don't all feel a good match with where how cold it is feels like a qualitative change; I would have thought that the -17C or so "this is where the inside of your nose freezes" level would be an intuitive distinction for adventurers without thermometers, for example.


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Staffan Johansson wrote:
AJ_Neuro wrote:
It would have been nice to include Celsius in the temperature table, as it's used in almost every single country in the world except the United States.
Bah. As someone from the country that invented the Celsius temperature scale, it is decidedly inferior to temperature measured in Kelvin (note: not degrees Kelvin. Just Kelvin).

Yep. 300 K = optimal temperature for a comfortable me; 0 K = absolute zero; intuitive endpoints split into a nice round number for easy maths.


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Thanks Mark for the exciting write up! I'm doing something mad and Giving my Players 3 hours to build a world together without my input and then running in that universe. The monsters are going to be really important to supporting whatever madness comes out of it and I am very pleased to see so many interesting beasties all along the level spectrum!

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Since we now have the temperature chart, will we see charts showing the mean, minimum, and maximum summer and winter temperatures around the Inner Sea? How cold is Andor in winter? How warm does Brevoy get in summer?

Sovereign Court

This all looks amazing. SO excited for this to come out.


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If you aren't happy with the numbers (cause you think it's not extreme enough or isn't in Celsius), then just use the descriptions as a baseline.

Your party is in Irrisen? Determine where they are and how much you want the cold to be a challenge. Maybe if they are in the southern part of Irrisen it's normal because you don't want survival to be a big part of the campaign so you only take minor cold in the most northern parts. Maybe you do in which case the southern part is minor cold and the farther north you go it gets colder.

It isn't rocket science. Truthfully though as someone who lives in a temperate area with cold winters and hot summers, this seems pretty accurate.


So, are there good rules for creating custom monsters?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Jesikah Morning's Dew wrote:
So, are there good rules for creating custom monsters?

Nope. Those were explicitly going to be in a Game Mastery Guide, which is slated for January, I believe.


Cydeth wrote:
Jesikah Morning's Dew wrote:
So, are there good rules for creating custom monsters?
Nope. Those were explicitly going to be in a Game Mastery Guide, which is slated for January, I believe.

Thanks. That's what I was afraid of. Long time to wait! I suppose I can get a good enough feel for it to just wing it until then, but I am really looking forward to having something to tinker with!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Jesikah Morning's Dew wrote:
Cydeth wrote:
Jesikah Morning's Dew wrote:
So, are there good rules for creating custom monsters?
Nope. Those were explicitly going to be in a Game Mastery Guide, which is slated for January, I believe.
Thanks. That's what I was afraid of. Long time to wait! I suppose I can get a good enough feel for it to just wing it until then, but I am really looking forward to having something to tinker with!

I completely agree, though I also agree with their reasoning. Making the first bestiary more expensive or have fewer monsters would be bad, as would them putting the monster creation rules in every bestiary down the line. I'd rather them put them where it makes sense, even if I'm champing at the bit to create some of my homebrew monsters.


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:

Anyway, there's a lot of non-temperature goodies in the blog too, and thanks to everyone for reading and responding. Every week, Logan wonders which thing in the blog will become the big side discussion, and I sometimes guess right, but this time I thought it would be the Pathfinder baseline, not temperature. :D

Man, I just wanted to ask a quick question about RPG units around the world. I come back a day later and find I've helped derail the conversation faster than a natural 1 on a Diplomacy check. Oops...

For the actual subject matter, I think my favorite thing is the simplest: monster descriptions come before the stat blocks. As someone who likes to read Bestiaries cover-to-cover, going straight from the name to the text flows so much smoother than skipping down or to the side past the stats. Helps make it feel more like an actual book without detracting from its use as an in-game reference.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Cydeth wrote:
Jesikah Morning's Dew wrote:
Thanks. That's what I was afraid of. Long time to wait! I suppose I can get a good enough feel for it to just wing it until then, but I am really looking forward to having something to tinker with!
I completely agree, though I also agree with their reasoning. Making the first bestiary more expensive or have fewer monsters would be bad, as would them putting the monster creation rules in every bestiary down the line. I'd rather them put them where it makes sense, even if I'm champing at the bit to create some of my homebrew monsters.

Agree that I'd like to see the custom monster rules sooner, but I've been creating my own monsters for the Playtest for a few months now, and it's actually quite easy in the new system. I just choose a similar monster of the same CR, keep the AC and attack/damage bonuses the same, and swap out the special abilities. Everything seems to have shaken out OK so far, and everything's felt about the right level of challenge.

My only annoyance with the Bestiary is that all the humanoid creatures are very low level. I'd rather have seen some traditionally tougher humanoids, like Drow, to have examples higher than CR 5 or 6. It means that, until we get monster and NPC creation rules in the GMG, my party will only be fighting big monsters, rather than well trained humanoids.

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