Akharus's page

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W E Ray wrote:
blahpers wrote:
The players drive my campaign's direction. I can put up signposts and interesting looking trails, but they're the ones who decide where we're going.


How do you make sure one Player doesn't get all the spotlight or have the only voice? Or, when they PCswant to go separate directions, how to you adjudicate that?

There is usually one member who will try to dominate a game. Sometimes more. If there's more than one... be prepared for a massive pain in the butt and a lot of part squabbling. Realistically... this party probably needs to be changed if they can't stop trying to out-diva each other. It's sad... but inevitable. Some people just don't play nice with others.

What you can do though is communicate with all the players and find out as much about their characters as possible and then make intricate plot threads tailored to individual characters and gently nudge players to them to try and make them shine a bit. I try to do this for everyone so that everyone gets their own personal plot IN ADDITION TO the overarching plot. It works pretty well for me because people tend to ignore, derail, or generally f--- up the overall plot for giggles, but are often absorbed by their own character's sub plots.

As for party separation... just guide them back together, or make it not end well. Often one leads to the other. Just know your group -- are they the type who are super fluffy and would get mad if their characters are hurt or killed? If yes, find a new group. That group sucks. If no -- get nasty when needed. Where's the fun if there's no risk?

I might be known to utilize the syllables mentioned in the Ultima games from time to time, heh.

Right on, thanks all.

Right on, thanks all :)

How big are the hexes out of curiosity? Are the turns measured out in 60 degree chunks? I'm starting to wonder if the hexless movement from another game could be applied. In that game you have minimum movements and the like before you can maneuver again, too.

Other game being Star Fleet Battles / Federation Commander (great games! trying to figure out how to stay with those, too).

What's the pilot have to manage?

Do you think it's too complicated to describe verbally?

Back in the D&D 2nd ed days we only used minis for show, or to make a rough battle map. We mostly described the battle meticulously and called out distances (An orc croching behind a boulder 30 feet 10'o'clock sort of thing). We did sketch it out quickly though for battles with more than like 10 things to a side.

How big can space battles be in SF? How finicky are the arcs and facings? Do you think getting rid of the hexes and just using measurements (an inch a hex or whatever) would work if you are clear about which hex-arcs on the bases face where?

I was unsuccessful in finding any descriptions of space combat in SF that weren't videos, so I'm not clear on how it works out atm.

Hopefully someone here will have enough patience to fill me in :D

I know, I'm asking a lot! :-\

Edit: Has anyone ever seen a hex board that had the hex-lines raised? Cuz that would also work for tactile feedback!


In the PF forums I have been asking for some advice how to play PF while visually impaired. I assume that just about all advice I can get there will help with SF as well.

So why am I here?

Because SF has space combat. I'm curious to know how complex/convoluted the space combat is, and whether or not it's something you can do "in the theatre of the mind" or if you really NEED to use miniatures.

If the latter, how complicated is the miniatures portion of space combat? Are firing arcs and the like very finicky and you'd really need to be able to see to use them?

I'm especially interested in the viability of the space combat for NOT using a hex map and minis. Although if firing arcs are done in hexes or combos of hexes I imagine a little notch at each corner might settle that out.

Thanks so much :)

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Gorbacz wrote:
Akharus wrote:

I just hope that it doesn't go the "lets simplify things for faster games and a broader audience" route that inevitably harms RPGs...

How does that "harm" RPGs?

It makes them ridiculous and boring. I guess what I'm opposed to here are the already complex awesome games that *I* enjoy being dumbed down to appeal to a broader audience. I really rather they'd just make a whole new game for that. Call me a grognard, I don't care, I like Star Fleet Battles and stuff like that and I'm proud of it.

Making pen and paper games that are already complex more simplified for easier barriers to entry is like lowering the required GPA for honor's club from 4.0 to 3.0... oh crap... that happened like 20 years ago, didn't it? Laaaaaaaaaaaaaame.

Just make RPG-Lite or something for the other crowd. Hell, isn't that why we have post-2004 MMOs?

So how does it harm RPGS? It winds up choking advanced systems out of production. Why? There's just so so so so much more money to be made appealing to a mass market that once you start down that path there's almost no reason to continue the advanced path because the market is so much smaller that you'd be better off investing those resources in better marketing for the masses.

Why? Because a nice ignorant monoculture that doesn't know any better and doesn't engage in critical thinking is the single best venue for marketing and mass sales that exists.

WARNING: I have only had one mug of coffee today so far and am slightly cranky, so take this entire post with a grain of salt or preferably a shot of tequila... and a bite of lime... with that salt. Damn, I need a drink. What goes well in coffee? Do I have any Kahlua left? Wtf why am I still typing...

Right on. So long as it doesn't fall too far from the tree :)

How much do the rules of Starfinder differ from Pathfinder?

I played D&D 3rd since its inception, and 3.5, and have been playing Pathfinder for some years now; so I'm very familiar with the 3.5 d20 scenario.

Is Starfinder still based in that or is it something entirely different?

I know quite a few +Int -Wis -Cha people IRL, most of them have Aspergers. This is NOT an insult. Remember, they are my friends. I'm being objective here.

They tend to be quite intelligent with a real knack for logic and math and rationalizing anything out. Very detail oriented and often meticulous. When it comes to common sense or understanding emotions in others though... patience, understanding, or apathy is required to not wind up offended.

They just don't "get" people, and tend to think up overly-complicated situations that occasionally fail to take morality into account. Said solutions would work, though.

Great material for researchers and the like. Bet they'd be awesome mages and alchemists! There might just be a trail of bodies and destroyed landscapes behind them... that they'd be oblivious to.

nighttree wrote:
Akharus wrote:

Thanks, Tri.

Yikes... I have a bazillion books. Horrified to think that they are about to be paperweights :(

Granted... I wont be able to read them much longer anyway, so... eh. Will keep 'em for posterity, though. Gave away some of my D&D 2nd ed stuff and BOY WAS THAT A MISTAKE.

They will only be paperweights if that's your choice. I have enough 1E material that I still haven't used to keep me going for a long time. And I can always go back to developing my own AP's, like we did in the old days.

So no need for me to move too 2E.

Very true.

I thought the unchained books were basically 2nd ed substitutes. I love the poison and disease rules in those (MPGA, lol), and my group enjoyed the action economy changes.

At least the beta rules are free so you can inspect them and have a voice before they go official :) I just hope that it doesn't go the "lets simplify things for faster games and a broader audience" route that inevitably harms RPGs...

Thornborn wrote:

Don't pay $30 for Braille dice, I know Andy at 3 Trolls can do much better than that. If he can't ship, I'll ship.

Superior choice of avatar, BTW.

Right on, and back at ya ;)

Thanks, Tri.

Yikes... I have a bazillion books. Horrified to think that they are about to be paperweights :(

Granted... I wont be able to read them much longer anyway, so... eh. Will keep 'em for posterity, though. Gave away some of my D&D 2nd ed stuff and BOY WAS THAT A MISTAKE.

Ah but would you trust them with the location of yours?

Wait... what's PF2? I just got here and reading through 11 pages of this would literally make my eyes hurt.

Are they releasing a PF2?

Well... that's why Sires can eliminate their children as necessary.

Vampire, for the only reason that as a Vampire you can gain an immortal companion from more or less anyone anywhere.

Not everyone can become a lich and join you in eternity, but you can turn almost any mortal into a vampire.

Who wants to face eternity alone?

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Themetricsystem wrote:
Student Loans & Medical Bills

Get out of my head!

I think there is a low vision scrabble board with raised borders, actually, although iirc the squares in scrabble are too small. The battleship grid idea is interesting, thanks.

pauljathome wrote:

There is a visually impaired player who plays online. He copes just fine with reading software. I'm not sure what the state of the art is for that but it is probably worth at least looking into. Bringing a laptop to the game might make things a lot easier

I heard the online PF rules (SRD? Can't remember the name... been using books and pdfs) is readable by screenreaders, which is cool. I've heard there are talking dice programs too :)

I'm worried about keeping track of my character (or mobs, as I like to GM), and using the battle grid... in any way.

When I started out doing RPGs I did AD&D 2nd ed, and most everything was described, there were no grids or little square template things. You just called distances and made a mental image. It seems like D&D (and thus, PF) from 3rd onwards focus heavily on the grids, though, and have a lot of meticulousness with that. Does anyone have experience running PF without using battle grids and what not?

As for keeping track of characters, conditions, etc... egads. I'm not even sure where to start for that...

@Asmodeus' Advocate: Thanks for the suggestion, I'll give 'em a ring and see if they answer :)

Thanks again everyone.

Thx guys

Hi guys,

Are there any people on these forums who are visually impaired or outright blind who successfully play Pathfinder?

I'm losing my vision, but don't want to lose my hobby, and I'm hoping someone has some advice to give on how to play Pathfinder without sight.

Thanks :)

Well, it's a sapling, and it's less bendable than the other's, I'd assume. AC is more than just hardness. Although as it grows, it should certainly end up pretty damn tough :D

All that takes is a GM giving you full control. There's a lot of reasons to not allow players to "play" their companions, but it never hurts to ask. They may still make you take handle-animal as a point sink anyway, though.

Kahel Stormbender wrote:

I've long favored 3d6 down the line for stats. But then I started with 2nd edition AD&D. I find it creates more organic characters. Sure you get the occasional powerhouse or 98 pound weakling. But on average it makes for interesting characters. Some of the characters I've enjoyed the most were made using this method. And often they weren't particularly powerful. In fact, a few times I've played characters who others in the group thought were "gimped" and contributed just fine.

I also feel it promotes roleplaying more. When looking at a stat block of 12,11,13,6,16,10 you start to think about what sort of life those attributes shaped. You start developing a personality. In this case maybe it's a man who's slow and methodical, many consider him to be an idiot. And yet he shows wisdom beyond what people expect. While not book smart, he is world wise. And this lets him bring his insights gained over slow and patient...

Maybe it's a second edition thing. That's where I started, too.

Personally I do believe they are actually playing games. Many ants exhibit a wide variety of social behaviors. The books by Bert Hölldobler and E. O. Wilson detail many of these behaviors, if you're interested in learning more. A note, though, The Ants is an academic read, go for the other books if you don't have an interest in entomology. Journey to The Ants is a very reader-friendly book.

Coins are friggin' heavy. Carrying around unlimited loot has always bothered the crap out of me. Alas, my players would cease being my players if I tracked coin weight.

So a good means of "storing" is to give them a home, store money with a prominent bank/guild, or encourage investments/business ownership. Ultimate Campaign has rules for all of those, and I highly recommend it if you want to save yourself some time.

Another good option is conversion of coins to gems/art/jewelry, and even decorating one's armor and weaponry (the Polish were quite fond of this in the middle ages, many of their knights/lords probably looked quite resplendent) - just try not to get knocked out lest opportunistic goblins steal your armor.

MeanMutton wrote:
Akharus wrote:

Honestly, the longer I play and the older I get... the more I think the old tried and true "roll 3d6 for each stat in front of everybody" method is best. Although 4d6 and discard the lowest is fine, too.

It results in unusually powerful characters infrequently, stops stat min/maxing (which can ruin a party, especially when everyone is INT 8), it's fair, and it encourages clever design of a character around what you have to work with, rather than making a designer character for power.

Random stats promote RP, IMO.

Actually - the lack of fairness is the greatest problem. You can still have that one person who starts with a 17 or 18 and tosses it into intelligence and plays a game busting wizard but you can also have someone who has nothing better than a 14 and has to figure out where to put a 5.

You're confusing fairness with equality. It's a common mistake, don't feel bad :D

Just saw Gm1990's posts after writing this - his is a much better response and nails what I was getting at, exactly.

Right on guys, thanks :) I noted the Cartographer's Guild but haven't investigated it yet. Just finished up the CC3+ manual/tutorial and watched the the vids they linked over on their main site.

PS: Thanks to whomever for moving this, I wasn't sure in which forum to place it :)

Just a heads up, the CR system tends to be a little weak, don't be surprised when your party breezes through CR appropriate encounters. Good luck!

Awesome. The Unchained poison/disease system is one of the best parts of that book!

The min/max mindset tends to turn the focus away from RP is what I was implying. I stand by that assertion. From what I've seen, generally when people become too obsessed with the meta, a higher focus on fighting exclusively, or just pulling off crazy things is the result. Every time? Of course not. I'm speaking generally.

Yes, ofc you can have good RP and insane stats.

Also, I disagree that varied or lesser stats necessarily constitutes "gimping oneself". Exception being a caster you intend to take to 9th level spells... obviously you kind of need that stat high in that case.

I prefer my necromancers more life-drainy and "vampiric", trafficking more in souls and life-energy than in rotting minions. Not to hijack, but what's best suited towards that kind of necromancer?

Hi all,

I recently purchased the program Campaign Cartographer 3+, which is a great map making program! I'm curious though, does anyone here have any good web sites/tutorials/etc that they'd like to share to make it easier to learn?

The basics are easy to pick up, but I've been having problems finding good information about the more advanced techniques possible.

Thanks :)

Honestly, the longer I play and the older I get... the more I think the old tried and true "roll 3d6 for each stat in front of everybody" method is best. Although 4d6 and discard the lowest is fine, too.

It results in unusually powerful characters infrequently, stops stat min/maxing (which can ruin a party, especially when everyone is INT 8), it's fair, and it encourages clever design of a character around what you have to work with, rather than making a designer character for power.

Random stats promote RP, IMO.

Problem doesn't lay with any class... it lay with the campaign, the players, and the DM.

It's a ROLEPLAYING game. If all you do is dungeon crawl, yes, it will suck eventually no matter what you play. The point is to live another life in your imagination. That involves a lot more things than just fighting and spending loot.

Also, people tend to min/max. TO nip that in the bud, use stat-checks liberally when characters try to do things that their stats don't support. You don't have to have all of your martial stats at 16+ at the cost of 8-10 mental stats... I mean really, what does it get you? A few points of damage. Nothing that better tactics couldn't solve. Min/Maxed characters are BORING.

Urge creativity, roleplaying, and balanced characters. Make good stories, do good interactions - then the game won't get boring, martial class or not.

Also, and this may be taken skeptically... but I encourage not sugarcoating the dice when the players screw up. Let them die. Let them lose limbs. Let them fail the quests. Players that are used to winning constantly tend to get very bored very quickly. Sure, they'll whine when they lose their level 10 fighter because they got complacent. But they'll be better for it the next time around.

Sorry for the minirant :D

Right on. Glad to hear it.

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I already own Ultimate Psionics, and it's great. It's so great in fact that I have wholly skipped Occult Adventures because it was lacking in comparison. How in the world are you going to integrate those systems into your established psionics system? Are you tweaking them to make them more like yours, or just leaving them as a separate system?

I'd make my players have the holy symbol carved into some bone or the other if they wanted to go without an actual physical holy symbol.

Scroll-worked rib-cages anyone?

Are you using Ultimate Campaign rules for it? If not, I recommend them.

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Actually... the weighted buttcap of a typical hoplite's spear was often used as a light mace once the head was broken. It was also spiked on that end as well. The weighted section was often flanged. Nothing odd at all, really. A double bladed sword is actually a TERRIBLE idea for a weapon that probably only came about because someone thought Darth Maul was cool. A spear with two heads would accomplish all the same stuff but actually not suck.

What's more egregious is that a "spear" in this game is defined as about 5' long. That's a very short spear. It's also odd that you can't use spears (or long spears) one handed with a shield (unless you take a certain archetype for fighters).

MageHunter wrote:
Akharus wrote:

Groot is available via the Advanced Race Guide, I believe under the Elf section... there's a druid template that uses plant companions, and a Treant sapling is one of them ;)

What bothers me most really, is that vermin are "mindless" - that is WHOLLY unfair to insectoid/arachnid/etc life. They should not be mindless.

I think it's more they aren't sentient, and don't have full intelligence. They aren't really self aware, and are kind of like biological "machines" if you will. That's why they sometimes just waltz around without a head, they're not reliant on their brains. (Well they are, but also pretty heavily automated. Arthropodic neuroscience is probably a bit much for now)

That's what bothers me though. I disagree that they are just biological machines. I could make the BioMachine argument for reptiles and birds, too.

Many species of ants actually have distinct social CULTURES. They even play games. Spiders have elaborate courting dances and have some evidence of social interactions, too. Hell, there's a species of spider that actually lives in colonies and work cooperatively. I don't think they are so much mindless as just different or poor understood. I don't like that you have to make them a "magical beast" or "aberration" to make an advanced insectoid critter. They should just be animals with a subtype, if anything - and they should certainly be controllable. Many insects respond predictably to certain touches, or scents.

What does "Dot" mean? I've seen you put that in a few posts, now. It's driving me nuts :D

A pair of baldrics with daggers at the ready is always nice. I think each one makes something like 4(?) daggers readily available. Wrist sheathes, boot sheathes... concealed daggers... the Throw Anything feat, quick draw... ah, fun times.

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What matters is the socio-economic class of the "worker" and "customer" involved. Also the availability of each. Additionally, wealthier seeming "customers" will likely be charged higher rates by shrewd "workers".

Sounds brutal, I know, and I apologize for that. But that's the economic reality of things. Supply, demand, and perceived quality of the "offering" modifying said demand. The local at a crossroads tavern will cost more than the local in a hamlet somewhere out of the way. The professionals at a brothel in the nice part of a major city - again, will cost more than either. Go to the slums of said city and the cost will be far less.

As an aside, when I DM, if I have "that" player - I make secret fortitude checks for them. It's always fun to tell them they've contracted an STD... or something more exotic. And do not forget a % chance to have a baby - the look on their faces is PRICELESS when you drop that one on them.

Are you using the Ultimate Campaign book? They have a system that can impose various events during downtime, and the system used varies the amount of wealth you gain (goods or money) based on skill checks already.

Fair point.

I still see this as something of an issue for the GM to tackle though.

He/She could always try adding Class/npcClass levels and/or templates to less exotic critters (as many higher level bestiary entries are various planar critters) to increase their CR to appropriate levels, just to give the pyromaniacally inclined a break :)

As an aside, IMO immunity is incredibly overused in the PF bestiaries. Poison immunity comes to mind. Why a low level critter with a poison bite would be immune to say - nerve gas - is beyond me. You could always ask the GM to soften immunity (perhaps down to just a DR) if it's killing your fun.

The real question is - what did you do to make your GM design encounters specifically to thwart your character? Or do you just have an adversarial GM, lol?

It's an easy trap to fall into as a GM. When trying to make encounters more difficult you can wind up making them tailored just to thwart your party. But if you're making your players unable to enjoy their chosen play style (excepting where story makes sense), then you're doing it wrong.

I'm in the gear being dropped, clothing/armor damaged camp, myself. Lycanthropy I don't think is instant, at least... you could give them a chance to hastily remove armor/clothing. Shapeshifting that is a disease or a naturally evolved trait just makes more sense like that.

Druids and wizards and what not? Yeah, that gets "absorbed", because it's a spell.

You could also have them wear baggy or stretchy clothing that will survive the transformation, lol. A loose brigandine coat might work :D

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