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Organized Play Member. 271 posts (277 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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crosswiredmind wrote:
veector wrote:

So Get it right is the way to go, no matter the extra cost of development?

Not that this will increase the monthly price of DDI, just that it might slow down the release of other things.

There is a myth that delays will raise costs and therefore lower the return on investment. The fact is that a quickly launched piece of crap will never have the adoption rate as a late to the game gem of a product.

Mind much less that it costs far more to fix bugs and other errors later in the development cycle, with the cost being the highest once the software/device is in use by the end-user vs fixing it while in the testing stages (or even earlier preferably).

Dark Archive

A change of topic from "Are wizards broken redux #2098", speaking of the tiers, what should be the design parameters of any given class? Far as I see, there isn't any consensuses on where the balance point is. I think it be far more productive to try to reach some form of consensuses then to continue to spin the wheels in a endless cycle of "This is broken" "Un-uh. No its not" "Yes it is." "No it isn't" cue wash rinse repeat.

To use the tier system, and the understanding that it is highly unlikely that every class will be equally as powerful, that tiers 2 and 3 be the tiers to aim for. IMO, every class should do 2 or 3 things well, do other 2 things okay, and 1 or 2 flaws/weaknesses. Tiers 2 and 3 fit this bill (mostly). A PC should be be useful for most fights, have 2-3 abilities that clearly useful but not be so powerful to auto-win a fight, and have some flaw they have to consider during a fight, but the flaw must not be a auto-lose flaw, or render the PC completely useless in the fight. A few useful abilities gives a PC a role in a party, while a flaw or two gives them something the must overcome; These traits mixed together give reason for the PCs to form a party, as their various abilities round out the party while covering for the various members flaws and weaknesses.

Tier 1 is bad for the game because they are capable of doing everything. They render all non tier 1 PCs useless, and have no reason to form a party, as they can do everything, including covering any "flaws" they may have, and are fully able to solo any fight that is not a fight with another Tier 1 PC of the equal level or higher. Near impossible to challenge a high level tier 1, capable of instant winning most fights, and poorly mixes with key concepts of the game, tier 1 should be highly avoided as the point of balance, and tier 1 classes should be brought down to tier 2*.

Tier 4-5 are bad as Tier 4-5 can have difficultly keeping up with higher tiers, and are generally limited in power. They have difficultly with anything that can defeat the 1 thing they're good at, and are mediocre in most cases. Further, some of the higher tier classes can do their speciality better then they can, further limiting their usefulness. Slightly less troublesome then a tier 1 PC, as it is easier to bring a tier 4 or 5 up to a tier 3 then it is to bring down a tier 1.

*I admit I have no idea on how to quite do this within the design parameters of PFRPG.

Any thoughts?

Dark Archive

Squirrelloid wrote:

Anyone want to consider Magic Jar in the context of Planar Binding?

You call a creature and then Magic Jar to take over its body. We're good so far.

(1) Can you agree to the service you request on the creature's behalf? (ie, the body is bound and the body must agree)

(2) Can you just go walking around in its body, not subject to the binding, because you are not mentally the creature? (the mind is bound, and the mind must agree.)

Clearly one of these sets of statements is true. I don't know which one. Either one is exceedingly problematic (although 2 seems less bad overall... but we're talking differences of inches on a scale of miles).

Is it evil? Sure. You're using *magic jar*, of course its evil. But a neutral mage can do it more or less without consequences, especially if he uses the acquired body to go do good for the day.

2 of course raises the issue: when the caster relinquishes the body, is it still bound as per Planar Binding? (Lets assume the caster returns it to a suitably prepared location to actually fulfill the necessary requirements before getting out). I mean, if its the creatures mind that is bound, well, it should still be subject to the spell, right?

Planar Binding+Magic Jar wouldn't (or at least shouldn't) work.

Planar Binding summons either a elemental, or outsider (I'm assuming outsider means outsider type) which per their types description, body and soul are one in the same. And I'm not stating some fluff, but rather the rule under the types traits here. So in theory, when you use magic jar on an outsider or elemental, it tries to force a outsider's soul from its body but can't because its body and soul are one in the same. I don't see how it could work.

Of course, I will (and there was a reason for the shouldn't) give you that it doesn't say explicitly that it won't work. However, as it is the basis of several spells not working on outsiders and elementals, I suggest that we change Magic Jar to not work on outsiders and elementals.

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No problem. I wasn't active on the boards (took a break) until just recently, though I been peaking in every so often.

We have yet to start the game, as a mixture of collage and school starting soon. I have a idea of what I doing/what but I still need to make the first run. Any advice on a first run for a bunch of newbies would be nice.

Thanks for the advice everyone.

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Ernest Mueller wrote:
BM wrote:


A easy fix to (try anyway) prevent is to limit the level of Spells and SLAs that a summoned/called creature can use. Limiting the level of spells and SLAs that can be used by a summoned creature to "A summoned creature can only use a spell or SLA with a level no higher then a third of its HD." That would limit the efreet to spells and SLAs of the third level or lower; No wish. Of course, it doesn't stop you from just walking up to them and getting the same thing, but it does stop the infinite wish via planar bind.

Problems:

1. No real in-game reason for that.

2. That limit's way too low and gimps the spell; maybe nix spells of a higher level than the caster can cast, but still... #1. And creatures are generally balanced with spell-likes in mind, if you're just summoning an x HD meleer then it's a lot lamer.

1: You can fluff it that the magic that binds them to the plane interferes with their magical powers, and prevents them from using their most powerful abilities. Its not much different then saying they can't cast teleport anymore.

2: Its not, given that creatures that are built around using SLA and spells have amongst the lowest HD count. Remember, HD isn't equal with CR, which is the real balancing element monsters are built to. A succubus is a 6HD monster which means she can be binded by lesser Planar Binding a level 5, and has suggestion and Charm Monster as an at will. For the price of a level 5 spell, I can get unlimited suggestion and Charm Monster, which in the right hand could do nasty things. As a rule, you really shouldn't be able to spend spells to get more spells.

Also, add the the words "Or DM's discretion" after "third of its HD" so that people who want efreets to cast wish can let them.

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Ernest Mueller wrote:

As someone who does lots of Planar Binding and summoning in general in his current campaign, the "wish thing" is an issue but one with some simple fixes. (Please note the efreet isn't the only issue here, there's other legal bindings in the other 3.5e books with wish etc.)

Summoning notes that summoned creatures lose teleport/planar travel abilities and summoning abilities. You could simply note that summons can't Wish (although this is a little arbitrary - Wish is just a ninth level spell, and do you rule out other ninth level spells?) Many demons can cast symbols, reverse gravity, and other real high level spells. Anyway, no summons can cast/grant Wish currently.

Binds don't have any restrictions listed - frankly the most consternating and common ability is the summoning (most demons/devils/yugoloths can summon buddies) and that could be similarly ruled out.

For the record you can't summon efreet, just bind them. You can summon djinn, which normally can't grant wishes except the 1% noble ones - a player might be able to browbeat their DM into rolling percentile every time they summon one I guess.

A easy fix to (try anyway) prevent is to limit the level of Spells and SLAs that a summoned/called creature can use. Limiting the level of spells and SLAs that can be used by a summoned creature to "A summoned creature can only use a spell or SLA with a level no higher then a third of its HD." That would limit the efreet to spells and SLAs of the third level or lower; No wish. Of course, it doesn't stop you from just walking up to them and getting the same thing, but it does stop the infinite wish via planar bind.

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Psychic_Robot:

I going to give you some advice for your own benefit.

I don't really care for your demeanor, nor a number of your opinions. You come off as degrading toward people in general, and your wording is inflammatory at times. That having been said, you're good at finding problems. You're also good at figuring out fixes to those problems and the math behind the game. So, I would prefer it if you stayed. However, I feel this is going down the same tired road, and it won't end up good for you. In the hopes of preventing something causing you to leave or be banned here is my advice.

Don't argue with Lich-Loved. You're not going to convince him and you're only likely to hurt your image, and cause others to lower their opinions of you (which will cause them to be more argumentative toward you, leading to a repeating circle where you're the bad guy). If the argument turns for the worst, or gos on for too long, odds will be that the Paizo staff will feel the need to moderate, and likely give a 1 week suspension to all parties involved. Then you're like to follow in Frank's and K's footsteps, feel that paizo does not value your opinion, and leave. And while I dislike your demeanor, you skills are useful and it would be preferred if you stayed and helped.

You don't have to argue with the other posters. You don't have to convince them a single **** thing. The only people you have to convince is the Paizo staff, and Jason in particular. Since that is the only thing you need to do, and that the Staff has said tone of the message matters and the fact that you can come off as insulting toward others debating you, don't debate them. You are only going to hurt yourself, and waste your time. Especially against people like Lich-Loved, who aren't going to change their opinions. Worry about convincing the Paizo staff, and don't worry about changing everyone's opinions.

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Psychic_Robot wrote:

Set: Half-dragon is +3 LA. (It's even worse.)

Archivist is the fifth on the "most powerful class" list.

And even worst still is that the Half-Dragon has never been worth that +3 LA in the first place.

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LogicNinja wrote:


I know when I play a sorcerer, I feel seriously restricted in terms of Spells Known.

Same here. I still like playing them, because I know what I getting into, but it is restricting. The worst part is that it applies to the higher level spells. Knowing 3 level 9 spells, 3 level 8 spells, 3 level 7 spells, and 3 level 6 spells is harsh.

Of course, that harshness is why its the least broken spellcaster, and from my experience, if you remove prepared spellcasting (ban wizard) and make the druid and cleric cast as spontaneous spellcasters (use the sorcerer spells per day, and spells known) the result is a lot less broken game (Spellcasters are still the best but much less powerful overall).

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Gah. Forgot to finish putting in the wizard comments.

Evocation specialist bonus: Whenever you use a spell that deals damage, that spell does +1 damage plus an additional +1 for every 5 levels of wizard afterwards times the spell's level.

Enchantment and Divination specialist bonuses need to be redone, through I have no idea where to start.

Change whenever a wizard prepares a spell prohibited school, he loses the bonus spells, instead of the specialist bonus.

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Jal Dorak wrote:


  • Rage points: too costly? too complicated?
  • I like the concept of a variable length rage and and powers you can use during a rage, but the point costs for the powers need to be redone. They're just not balanced. Elemental Rage costs 8 points and adds +1d6 damage per hit verus Powerful Blow at 4, and adds your barbarian level worth of damage to a single attack. Powerful Blow is almost given to do more damage more consistently as most people who are going to use it will use it on the first attack (the one most likely to hit) where Elemental Rage will need all attacks to hit, and for the extra damage dice to roll high. They at least need to have the point value swapped.

    Truthfully, Rage Points need to be completely reexamined. Most of the values need be lowered, as they aren't worth the rounds of rage they cost. I would advise a 1-6 point costs for the powers. Also, can we stop making the later versions of rage cost more?

    Jal Dorak wrote:


  • Ranger companion: too vulnerable?
  • Just make it equal to a druid's of the same level as the Ranger level-3. The Ranger isn't that strong, And Druids get it in addition to full casting and wildshape, some of the games best abilities.

    Jal Dorak wrote:


  • Wizard specialists: not appropriate flavor?
  • Not so much flavor, just weak in comparison to the universalist being much better then them. The unversalist needs to be nerfed. Metamagic Mastery needs be weakened (make it a number of spell levels equal to half your wizard levels with a stipulation that you can add only one Metamagic feat to the spell this way) and Mastery of all schools just needs to be replaced. Meanwhile, the specialist bonuses need to be boosted.

    Abjuration specialist bonus: Make it energy resistance 1 per level of wizard.

    Conjuration specialist bonus: +1 armor bonus at the first level of wizard plus for every two levels of wizard after that (3rd, 5th, 7th and so on)

    Jal Dorak wrote:


  • Ki pool: fair to end an ability when out of points?
  • Need more Ki points. Squirrelloid probably has a better idea then me at the moment as I remember him working on it during Alpha 3. I know that it needs to be Monk level+Wis Mod at least. (I remember me and him talking to Jason in the big monk thread, but can for the life of me remember what I said back then.)

    Other points:

    Monk:

    Wholeness of body need to heal more. Not worth the points as few as they are now, and not worth using in combat. Make it heal Monk Level*Wis bonus worth of HP.

    Paladin:

    Smite Evil: Needs more smite evil per day. 7 isn't enough given that a use of smite evil can fail. Either make the smite evil not be spent on a miss or increase the number of smite evil per day to 1 smite evil per day per level of paladin.

    Lay on Hands: Suffers the same as the Monk's Wholeness of Body. Make it heal Paladin Level*Cha Bonus worth of HP.

    Dark Archive

    LogicNinja wrote:


    They are rather cool base classes with good levels of utility. Uniqueness, not so much for the Scout (Skirmish is just another precision damage mechanic), but definitely for the Binder.

    "Good levels of power"? Depends on how you look at it. The Scout's weak enough they basically made the Swift Hunter feat to "fix" it. The Warlock is very lackluster, and the Binder is unexceptional for the most part.
    The Binder and Warlock aren't awful, power-wise, but the point remains: the vast majority of splatbook classes range from "awfully weak" to "middle-of-the-road".

    I'm not insulting your favorite classes, I'm pointing out that splatbook base classes do not have any sort of overall "power creep", and in fact tend to suck compared to their core equivalents.

    The Scout is a interesting case where a class is underpowered due to how the rules interact with its class abilities. What kills it is that you have to move 10 feet or more to get use of the skirmish ability, which limits you to a standard action normally. Find a way to use full-attack with the skirmish ability, and it moves to a solid class power wise (or solid for a non-caster). IIRC, Swift Hunter allow you to move 10 feet as a swift action?

    Most of the Base Classes in the splatbooks are underpowered or very average which is sad, because there are some cool ideas in there (not that would stop me from playing some of them). Where the really broken stuff lays is in the PrCs. They're just generally better then the base classes as the good ones give you your class features you care about with more powerful abilities. Its a obvious imbalance, and there real reason the base classes and the spellcasters in particular got more stuff, so there would be a reason not to instantly PrC when they can.

    Dark Archive

    LogicNinja wrote:


    Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't.

    For example, if I'm talking about the 3.5 core monk, I'm pretty much forced to say that the monk is a terrible class. It is useless. If I were to say "the monk is kinda weak" that would not get the extent of the point across.

    Talking about how this is s@~& and that's s@~& all the time isn't great, but saying "ability X sucks/is useless at this level, here's why" is fine. It's succinct and presents the problem.

    I agree, but wouldn't consider the 2 examples you give as confrontational. Terrible isn't (to me, anyway) a confrontational word, or not at least in the usage in the example. "Ability x sucks/is useless at this level, here's why" isn't bad either, though I wouldn't use the word suck too much. Really, if you want to word it strongly, I would use "Ability X is completely useless at this level and here is why". Strongly worded, more descriptive, and less offensive.

    Dark Archive

    LogicNinja wrote:
    Well, other people aren't contributing because they feel the atmosphere is too sensitive to criticism of Pathfinder, and too eager to be offended. This whole "oh my god, he said X sucks, he's calling us retards" thing is pretty offputting for a lot of people.

    A little here, a little there. Some people are a little too sensitive. Most of the OPs comments weren't that bad. Some were (I can't see how the AIDS comment could be anything but tasteless, and it doesn't add anything to the post). It doesn't really bother me, outside of it takes a few seconds to re-read the post and remove any off-putting comments in my head. However, I would strongly discourage that using "Ability X sucks, Ability Y is s+*&" as the default. Its alright in the case of the OP, as just solely criticizing abilities. However as this goes on, people are going to propose things, and using "Ability/Idea X sucks, Ability/Idea Y is s$#!." can considered dismissive and insulting especially once the debate goes on and "Ability/Idea X sucks, Ability/Idea Y is s*#%." becomes increasingly read as "Your Ideas are s#&%.". Once you get there, the debate just turns into a flame war.

    Also, just in general, "Ability/Idea X sucks, Ability/Idea Y is s%#*." is just confrontational language and the beta is a collaborative project. Even if you must make a point, using confrontational language is going to create a disconnect with your intention.

    Dark Archive

    LogicNinja wrote:

    Pretty much everything the OP says is right on. The tendency around here to get offended at anything phrased even remotely strongly and ignore the actual points (and get insulting in response while pretending not to--if you guys like politeness, you should practice it even in response to something you find strongly phrased) is counterproductive.

    I understand the desire for politeness, but people do get frustrated when actual analysis gets ignored.

    The OP also failed to mention Devastating Blow, which attempts to "fix" melee characters by allowing them to splatter anything non-crit-immune in melee with a scythe. This doesn't make the game more balanced; it just adds one broken thing. This was already possible in 3.5 with Shock Trooper + Leap Attack. It's a bug, not a feature.
    Making standard-action attacks do double damage at level, say, 8, and triple damage at level, say, 15 would do what this feat is trying to accomplish, without enormously favoring x4-crit, two-handed weapons and making the feat useless against crit-immune creatures. All the feat does now is let melee characters treat non-crit-immune melee enemies like spellcasters can treat low-Will-save enemies.

    The sensitivity issue when it comes to the beta is partly due to Frank; he left a bad taste in most people's mouths. There is less sensitivity once you are on the other topics. The board is still somewhat sensitive but makes some sense once you realize that there is no mods outside the staff, making self moderation important to the board. Complicating the issue is they're half right and half wrong- ignoring a message based on how it is conveyed is a fallacy but OTOH overly aggressive wording and insults offset the the reader and hinder communication (which is already hindered over a forum anyway).

    A request/suggestion to Jason: I think part of the issue here is that there is very little feedback from you to us. While there is a lot of feedback from us to you, we don't hear a lot about why you make certain changes or why you don't implement others. Now, I'm not asking you to answer to every little question or request, but some form of feedback from you. It would better enable playtesters while engaging them (important because if they don't feel engaged, they quit). Further, some explanation of what you're thinking on various changes (or why certain changes aren't made) would help greatly. I know that you're busy, but a weekly thread covering the big issues raised within the would suffice. It would also greatly improve feedback as we can stop endlessly debating our fellow posters and debate your reasoning; the only reasoning that matters.

    Dark Archive

    veector wrote:

    For everyone out there who's why there aren't more changes from Alpha playtest PFRPG to the Beta release, I want to know if you noticed it's a 400+ page book. Proofreading a book that size is no small task given the amount of time they had to put this out.

    It looks to me like a lot of work for the Beta was done on other areas specifically because they wanted to get the full thing out the door for end-to-end playtesting. Also, it is much more essential to get a printed book into the hands of as many people as possible so that the real playtesting can be done.

    While I can understand what you're saying, we been waiting for Beta hoping for something interesting and then we get... not much. There isn't anything that really jumped off the pages at me. PFRPG has lost some momentum from the wait, and I was hoping for something to kick start it off. Until we regain some of that lost momentum, the Playtesting is going to be slower, and more sparse which isn't good for the beta. And it won't pick up until there is vibrant changes or good feedback on why certain things aren't changed. Remember, people are only going to playtest as much or as long as they think believe that they're, being at bare minimal, heard. Which is why we lost momentum, between the time that the beta being sent to the printer and being released, there was no reason to talk about anything, as there would be no changes in the mean time. Now, with the beta out, there is a lack of changes to any of the topics brought up between Alpha 3 and the Beta which leads to a sense of lack of progress. Which leads back to my first point, that there was a lack of momentum, and that the Beta was (at least to me) hopefully going to kick start the process and gain momentum. The seeming lack of progress and momentum is what is depressing, given the wait. Not enough to (for me) quit, but depressing none the less.

    Hopefully things will get interesting soon again.

    Dark Archive

    The Red Death wrote:
    Neithan wrote:
    The problem is when I grapple with someone and my CMB is 5 higher than his, he can only do anything to me with rolling a 20. I will be sucessfull with my rolls half the time, and he will be almost not at all.
    I've read this several times. Alright. The DC's a bit steep. What do you suggest as an alternative though? DC 10+CMB? 12?

    Per the consensus here, the Base DC needs to be between 10-12. I would prefer the number to be 10 myself, but I'm more concerned with getting the base getting lowered, and could live with a 11 or 12 base DC.

    Dark Archive

    houstonderek wrote:

    i'm not too familiar with 4e shadowrun (haven't played since 2e actually), but i recommend you read william gibson novels (specifically: neuromancer, count zero, mona lisa overdrive) to get a feel for how a good cyberpunk setting would run.

    i think basing the runners in a non-corp controlled area is a good idea, you can go for a "casablanca" feel of corporate presence, but not control.

    one thing to remember in shadowrun: lethality isn't a big issue, don't run it like d&d. characters can die rather easily. double crosses are commonplace, and life is cheaper than nutrasoy...

    as far as the mean rate for a run, well, milkruns might net 1k to 5k per member, depending. raiding an archology (renraiku, for instance) for some hot r&d prototype or software would yield a much larger reward, maybe 50k to 100k for the group. you could also pay them in equipment (milspec black market weaponry, body armor, cyber and bio mods, hot icebreakers, stuff like that).

    don't worry too much about having only three players: big groups usually aren't the norm for shadowruns, smaller groups can usually move about less conspicuously.

    i hope this helps somewhat, sorry i couldn't be more specific.

    I'm somewhat familiar with cyberpunk as a whole, being a fan of works like Ghost in the Shell (which is very much like 4e shadowrun). The trick for me is to pull all the elements of shadowrun together. I know them separately but it take some time to get the hang of them together.

    My concern with lethality is that the players are new to shadowrun and tend to be a little bold with their characters. These two factors combined makes me have a gut feeling that someone is going to have their guts splattered over a wall, and waste some 30 mins of character generation on top of removing them from a game.

    I figured 3 PCs would be fine on any given run, but I sorta worried in the long run that the PCs will lack some skills, given that character seem to end up having about 1-3 skills they're good at, and then 2 or 3 they okay at with them being untrained in the rest.

    I been thinking of having the players make two PCs, then have the group mix and match as needed. This counters two problems. A) My worries that the PCs will have their skills spread too thin, and B) that in the semi-likely event that a PC dies, the player is not out of the game.

    Thanks for the advice. Any for my players?

    Dark Archive

    Strictly speaking, it is the morning EST now....

    Wheres the Beta? :D

    Dark Archive

    I plan (hopefully) to start running a game Shadowrun (4e) soon. I'm new to the game in general, and the game gives very little advice on how to run a game. For example, I can't find anywhere where it gives you the foggiest idea on how much nuyen a shadowrunner should make off of any given run. I understand that the value will run off of several different factors such as the number of runners, the difficulty of the run, the type of run, and etc, but they don't even give you a idea of how much a team should be making for an "average" run. Furthermore, While they give you alot of material to get ideas from, they don't have alot of advice on building the adventure/run itself. So I want as much advice as possible.

    To give an idea on my plans and my experience with Shadowrun:

    Experience: I played 2 "test" games to get a feel on how the rules work. I have an idea on how the mechanics are, but not much of an idea on how to string them together, nor how the interact with eachother in a full fledged game. I have some GMing experience, and plenty of RPG experience, but none with Shadowrun.

    Plan: Take/Steal the concept of Black Lagoon(anime), or pirates in SE Asia, running around in a PT boat doing Shadowrunner stuff. This gives me some flexibility with certain elements (like stealing another page from Black Lagoon, and stating that the Team's homebase/town is some hellhole den of illegal activity, allowing me to avoid legal issues and let me have some fun with the criminal aspects) while raising some issues with others (such as planning runs around a boat and making sure all PCs are useful). No Storyline planned yet, probably do 2 small runs for the first 2 sessions or until we get a grasp of the rules.

    Players/PCs: Have no idea quite yet. I have at least three players and depending on developments, may have up to 6 people. However, as it looks now, I will have only the three players, and they haven't figured out their characters. If I have only those three players, I'm worried that the PCs might be stretched too thin with their skills. Note: None of the players have had any experience playing Shadowrun. It came up because they want to take a break away from d20 and fantasy for a while. Warnings for players new to Shadowrun?

    Any and all advice is welcomed.

    Dark Archive

    Sebastian wrote:
    BM wrote:


    I want 1666 myself, and hate him for it too.

    Sebastian, want to team up, jump him in the parking lot, and then backstab eachother for the number?

    I like the way you think. Let's do it, but I call dibs on his soul.

    Cool, but I call any other valuables that has on him.

    After we're done, want to head back to my place for a drink?

    Dark Archive

    Sebastian wrote:
    Yrcone Bismark wrote:
    Sebastian wrote:

    Damnit, I wanted 1666...

    I got 1658.

    Hehehehehe... got 1666 right here!
    I hate you. Consider yourself my enemy...forever.

    I want 1666 myself, and hate him for it too.

    Sebastian, want to team up, jump him in the parking lot, and then backstab eachother for the number?

    Dark Archive

    1656, one off from the perfect number for a cheliaxian. :P

    And it seems like I'm the only Cheliax lover, the bad guys never get any love.

    Dark Archive

    Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:


    Odd. I'd have sworn I heard the opposite in an episode of Theory from the Closet. The system was developed to define what kind of a game an indie RPG was (and this was very often contrasted with the 500 pound Gorilla that is D&D) and it later morphed to how we define play styles. However I certainly could be wrong.

    I'm not sure but Wikipedia agrees with me, and without question the earlier theory that GNS is build on, the threefold model, only focused on the type of play, or the goal that the players/DM is seeking.

    Dark Archive

    crosswiredmind wrote:
    wikipedia wrote:

    Simulationism

    The Right to Dream focuses on the elements of exploration as things unto themselves. This creative agenda emphasizes appreciation for nuanced development of character, setting, and color to no other end than creating a holistically consistent experience. While one simulationist creative agenda may emphasize realism, another may attempt to emulate "four-color" superhero action. Whatever the target, the goal is to create an experience that neatly fits its parameters.

    Gamism

    By contrast, Step on Up considers the elements of exploration as an arena for proving the abilities of the players. This creative agenda emphasizes clever use of tactics, resource management, and character victory.

    Narrativism

    Lastly, Story Now attempts to use the elements of exploration to create an engaging story that addresses a "premise" to produce theme. Premise here is defined in accordance with Lajos Egri's The Art of Dramatic Writing and is usually framed as a statement (Friends are worth dying for) or a question (Are friends worth dying for?). In narrativist play, most or all of the decisions made by the players will reflect on the premise, proposing answers to the question.

    This seems kinda weak. You can take just about any game and play it in all three modes.

    It is but, far as I know, it wasn't so much meant to define types of games, but rather types of play. At some point, people started to define games as such, and where we are are now. The splitting of hair is due to everyone expanding on the definitions of the terms to make them more precise, but with everyone coming up with their own definition.

    Dark Archive

    crosswiredmind wrote:
    Bleach wrote:
    By your argument, the TOON rpg is gamist, but that's regularly lauded as a prime example of a simulationist RPG.

    Then we are back to simulationist and gamist being completely useless terms.

    I think the term confusion comes from simulation. A simulation tends to be closely related to the recreation of reality used to test or model an interaction or system. To say that TOON is a cartoon simulator starts us off in an impossible bind - how can you set up rules to simulate something which has none.

    I think the actual continuum is not simulatist < -- > gamist. I think the real continuum is simulation < -- > emulation. Emulation is more about setting up a system to replecate the experience of a different system. Toon tries to emulate the feel of Saturday morning cartoon action. D&D tries to emulate heroic combat. RuneQuest tries to simulate medieval combat. Phoenix Command tries to simulate a modern firefight.

    It all comes down to the level of abstraction. Toon does not need detailed rules. It embraces abstraction in order to emulate a system where the rules are very loose to begin with. I cannot see abstraction and simulation working well together.

    I have to agree with you somewhat. Simulationism is not on the opposite side of Gamism. You can be both, depending on what the rules are and what you are trying to simulate.

    Really if you try to tie game design to an axis or two this is what I think it is:

    Simulationism<------------>Emulationism
    Free-Form <------------>Narrativeism

    Gamism doesn't favor any one particularly but a number of Gamist rules/Game Design does fall closer to Emulationism, as you can sacrifice details for speed of play (A trait of Gamism)

    Dark Archive

    Bleach wrote:
    BM wrote:
    Bleach wrote:

    Um, since when did "Minions" become a gamist concept/action movie concept.

    I've read BOTH LotR and Conan and they both CLEARLY have minions...

    When you get into game design. 4e and the current favorite line of thought implements minions by giving them binary HP (1 and 0, or Alive and Dead) with otherwise normal stats. This has internal consistency problems, as Kobold #1042 can get killed by a stiff breeze, while Kobold #5 can take 30 stabs to the chest but otherwise be identical. Further, minions are only minions in comparison to PCs. When Kobold #1042 gos and threatens a commoner, he is no longer a minion, but rather something else. That is a gamist convention, that violates internal consistency making it anti-simulationist.

    No it isn't.

    I think you're mixing terms up. Check out the FORGE (oh how I hate using that..but they did define the term).

    By your argument, the TOON rpg is gamist, but that's regularly lauded as a prime example of a simulationist RPG.

    Simulationist != What happens off-screen.

    It has NOTHING to do with that at all.

    It does to quote the wiki

    Wikipedia wrote:


    The Right to Dream focuses on the elements of exploration as things unto themselves. This creative agenda emphasizes appreciation for nuanced development of character, setting, and color to no other end than creating a holistically consistent experience. While one simulationist creative agenda may emphasize realism, another may attempt to emulate "four-color" superhero action. Whatever the target, the goal is to create an experience that neatly fits its parameters.

    See holistically consistent experience. Further:

    Wikipedia wrote:


    Simulationist refers to decisions based on what would be most realistic or plausible within the game's setting, or to a game where the rules try to simulate the way that things work in that world, or at least the way that they could be thought of working.

    Note within the setting. This includes offstage events, which are part of the setting. A simulationist cares that there are rules for offstage events, and model what they would expect for the setting. And while you can argue that their are mooks in fantasy, their is no doubt there are fantasy settings where they are no mooks. This means that minions can be simulationist, the can also be anti-simulationist, while the minion rules are almost always gamist, as they're meant to speed up play with large numbers of foes, so it gets labeled as gamist.

    As well, read my first post:

    Myself wrote:
    What is important to remember is that Gamist/Simulationist/Narrativeist is that they're not mutually exclusive. You could have rules meant to help enable play(gamist) and be internally consistent and within the "reality"/fluff of the setting.

    I stated flat out that gamist and simulationist can go hand and hand, but also state that things are call their defining traits. Thats why I called it gamist. Even when it seeks to be simulationist, the 4e minion rule can be jarring, and cause disconnect between the setting and the player. This is further compounded by the 4e rules state that the minion rules are in relation to the PCs, and that stats/rules for them change based who is in front of them. This causes a case where the minion rules fulfill one trait and fail at another(consistency).

    Really, the problem when calling things simulationist, is that there are two types of simulationism that are related but not always the same. There is the genre simulationism, where the rules are meant to model the genre, and world simulationism, where the rules are meant to simulate the setting. Usually Simulationists want both, but there are times where a rule that fits the first may not fit the second, and vice-versa. This is where the 4e minion rules (which is what people mean when they say minion rules these days) fail. Of course not all mook-type rules fail at being simulationist, as approach matters in this case. A way you could do in a simulationist way, would be to scale PC damage output vs mook HP in such a way that that a hit from a PC will likely kill/knockout the mook.

    Dark Archive

    Bleach wrote:

    Um, since when did "Minions" become a gamist concept/action movie concept.

    I've read BOTH LotR and Conan and they both CLEARLY have minions...

    When you get into game design. 4e and the current favorite line of thought implements minions by giving them binary HP (1 and 0, or Alive and Dead) with otherwise normal stats. This has internal consistency problems, as Kobold #1042 can get killed by a stiff breeze, while Kobold #5 can take 30 stabs to the chest but otherwise be identical. Further, minions are only minions in comparison to PCs. When Kobold #1042 gos and threatens a commoner, he is no longer a minion, but rather something else. That is a gamist convention, that violates internal consistency making it anti-simulationist.

    Dark Archive

    Kirth Gersen wrote:

    The "Minions!" thread just got me thinking: is there room in Pathfinder for "simulationists"? The whole minions thing (see threads calling for their inclusion in 3.PF) is perfect "gamism" -- streamlining play at the expense of internal setting consistency -- and that seems to be a majority preference. The unfortunate discussion regarding the CotCC assassination scene ended with James Jacobs coming down hard on the "narritivist" side, when any conflict with "simulationism" might arise -- and that was also clearly a majority preference as well.

    The thing is, in some cases, a bit more of one of these things can have a disporoportionately large negative effect on another. I'd actually prefer a balance that can support all three types of gamers be the norm, but we'll see how it goes. I am a bit concerned at being in such a small minority, however.

    You are not alone. I'm a simulationist first and foremost (followed by free-form and gamist respectively), and somewhat annoyed at just the concept of minions. It along with other things is what turned me off 4e, and why I took interest in PFRPG. PFRPG doesn't have the elements that turned me off to 4e. Namely, 1) The PC vs NPC/Monster gap, 2) The PC come first/are best/are Heroes tint to the game, 3) The rules are for the PCs and only for the PCs element to the game, and 4)All the little nagging bits that by themselves not bad, but when all piled up annoying and a turn off, such as minions and the 20% resale rate.

    Why they annoy me?

    1)Strikes me as absolute gamism in the worse possible way. 4e's monster design system is just the worst enemy of a simulationist. Add in I like as many options as possible, and my opinion that PCs/NPCs/Monsters should be built the same way, with monsters not having powers the PCs can't have themselves, and you can see why I feel this way.

    2)I'm not a Narrativeist (Not that I don't like good stories, but I rather have the story be about the PCs' actions, not some premade or pre-laidout story.) but rather a Free-Form/Sandbox style gamer so this bit of "Forced" fluff isn't my cup of tea. I like to have as many options on the table when making my character, including things like being average, cowardly, and even less then heroic. It would be ignorable if WotC wasn't seemingly hellbent on making this the explanation for most of the rules. Its here and there all over the place, such as healing surges (which from my understanding, meant to represent your heroic resolve or some such).

    3) The rules and stats don't make alot of sense once you remove the PCs. Anyone care to explain how minions work in a setting that doesn't involve changing their stats? Or how fights between 2 monsters work out? Alot of rules and stats are just there for the PCs, and turns off the simulationist in me.

    These types of things bother me, and pushed me away from 4e. Now, 3e has its share of problems, but I'm comfortable with them. PFRPG will also likely have its share of problems. But I can live them. What attracts me to D&D is that when you get right down to it, it is generic fantasy. This is not a insult. By being Generic Fantasy, you're able to convert the game into whatever type of fantasy setting you want, with only some slight changes to the rules. This gives the game great flexibility in the settings you can do, while not having to learn new rules. I was even able to come up with a (unplayed sadly) Final Fantasy-sqe setting by mixing Core and elements of BESM d20 together, with minimal fuss. 3e always struck me as trying to balance Gamist/Narrativeist/Simulationist concerns giving it flexibility and I always appreciated that.

    As for Paizo, it shouldn't be much of a surprise they lean into the narrativeist side. They have made a point between a good story and rules, they favor the story. They're adventure writers first and foremost. They always have talked about Pathfinder is about the types of stories that they want to tell, and they make or changes rules to tell the story that they want to. In fact, that why (or the biggest reason they have given) they have decided to make PFRPG, then it should be very clear that rules to them are secondary to the story.

    Of course, I don't care for APs, and the things that I do like, such as the PFCS/Golarion book and PFRPG are the least likely to be affected by Paizo's Narrativeist approach to gaming, so I don't mind buying their stuff. But I can understand if people who consider themselves simulationist caught in the middle of WotC gamist approach and Paizo's Narrative approach.

    Come to think of it, what are some good RPGs for the Simulationist crowd? I know about GURPS, And I would advise Shadowrun for a cyberpunk setting(I'm surprised it wasn't counted a simulationist game myself, though I admit I have very limited experience with it), but what else is there?

    Note: Preemptive cut-off, My post isn't attempt to bash 4e but the list of my complaints about 4e spun off when I started talking about minions and some of the other complaints I had with 4e, and figured someone would take question to them. I then added more detailed explanations to clarify my position/opinion. That is all. If you have a problem with them, please take them to another thread. Do not threadjack this thread. Thank you.

    BM, concerned the internet, being the internet, will find someone to threadjack the topic into a 4e thread over a small part of his post.

    Dark Archive

    What is important to remember is that Gamist/Simulationist/Narrativeist is that they're not mutually exclusive. You could have rules meant to help enable play(gamist) and be internally consistent and within the "reality"/fluff of the setting. Of course, there will be times where what is best according to gamist and simulationist thought will collide and be on opposite sides, but its not impossible to overcome such impasses, just extremely difficult. Also, a game will always be called by its most defining attribute even if it has qualities of the other 2.(This may explain why D&D is quite hard to nail down, as it always struck me as D&D tries to balance all 3 of these elements together. What may be the defining trait to one may not to another.)

    My definations:

    Gamist: Rules/Game Design that favors things that improve gameplay and playability.

    Narrativeist: Rules/Game Design that favors a specific type(s) of story or outcome, such as the PCs beat the BBEG.

    Simulationist: Rules/Game Design that is meant to make the game internally consistent and meant to model the "reality" of the setting/fluff.

    These may or may not work together. For example

    Having rules for wizards blowing up other peoples' heads with their mind may not be realistic, but if it happens in setting where people can do so then it Simulationist to do so. If those rules are quick, easy, and fun to use, then its also gamist to do so. On the other hand, such a power may be difficult to balance then gamist(balance) and simulationist(Why can't I do that?) concerns may be against each other.

    Also, I read someone say all games are Narrativeist, which is also not true. Like I said above, Narrativeist favors a specific types of stories or outcomes, which isn't all the case for all RPGs. A RPG could very much so can favor no type of outcome at all. In a free-form RPG the game makes no assumptions about how the outcome the game will be (or even what type of story will be told), and will not include any rules/game design that favor certain types of play. A Narrativeist RPG where the PCs beat the BBEG might include rules/Game Design that favor the Players to better enable the outcome of PCs win where a Free-Form RPG will not, leaving the outcome of the game to the player's luck and skill.

    Dark Archive

    What is really telling is that I feel less then willing to enter the thread. 80% of the posts feel hostile and acidic (and even baiting in some cases). People on both sides sound combative and hostile, probably more the they intend to (I'm willing to give everyone the benefit of the doubt here.) but the fact that you do means that even if are trying to have a reasoned and well mannered conversation/debate, you're failing at it. It feels more like everyone in thread sounds like we're all trapped in a small room while there is a shouting match going on with small bits of conversation here and there, overpowered by the yelling.

    Which is sorta funny in a very cruel way, because as far as I can tell over nothing. The whole thread reads (and to be fair here I haven't read the whole thread) like this: "I would like more scantily clad females" -> "Noo! We don't want scantily clad females because it objectifys women!" -> "No it doesn't!" -> "Yes it does" -> "The people on the other side are bad people because of:...." rinse wash and repeat for the remainder of the thread. The original argument was "Does putting women/females in scantily clad outfits objectify them?". People then lined up into two sides and started arguing over it. Problem is no one took the time to sit down and list down what qualifies as objectifying women. Taking up the stance "I'm against objectifying women" isn't a stance. It does not define a position. We're on the internet, with people posting from all over the world, from all walks of life, with all sorts of upbringings. We can not assume that people have the same view as ourselves or anyone else in this thread. Therefore we must concisely and precisely define our positions. Otherwise you just in up arguing over nothing, and attacks on the poster, and not the position.

    Dark Archive

    Robert Brambley wrote:
    Dan Davis wrote:
    I give creatures the same bonus to CMB and CM DC for size as they get under 3.5; +4 for large, +8 for huge, etc. I also give a bonus of +2 to the CMB if you attempt a grapple against someone who doesn't have both hands free (they can drop what they're holding as a free action to negate the bonus).

    Personally I think that amount of a bonus is too steep for the CMB mechanic. +2 increments seems to be much better in balance.

    at +4 it gives a CR 3 ogre a +12 to their CMB Thats a DC 27 to affect them at all. in order for a 3rd level party to affect the ogre, it would require a 19 or 20 by even the strongest person in the party!

    On the flip side, the ogre only needs to roll a 10 to affect the party's strongest foe.

    Compare that to the grapple of 3.5; the 20 str fighter in the party would have +8 grapple vs the +12 grapple of the ogre. meaning that the fighter could potentially affect the ogre every round provided the ogre didn't roll a 16+ (meaning only a 25% chance of eliminating the fighters chances).

    That all being said: I do like the +2 to the DC for not having both hands free.

    Robert

    Yeah, adding larger numbers doesn't really fix the problem, and really in all truth, makes the problem worse. See the above link in my post for why.

    As for the base number, I could deal with a 11. That is a flat 50/50 chance of beating someone with the same bonus as you.

    Dark Archive

    I think that we're looking at it the wrong way. From my experiences with CMB and grapple here I think the problem isn't so much with the monsters but with the base DC. By the time that grapple monsters have a big enough bonus to be able to reliably grapple foes, the chance for a PC to escape goes down to 5%. Get a +5 advantage on your opponent in CMB and you will win anything against you and have 50/50 chance winning anything against your opponent. 15 is too high for the base DC. It needs to be 10+CMB.

    If the DC was set at 10+CMB in the First Post's example, the Otyugh would have needed a 12 to grapple the Half-Orc (10+7-5=12). If the Half-Orc was grappled, he would need a 8 (10+5-7) to break free. In comparison, if the DC was set at 15, he would have needed a 13 less then a 50/50 chance against a foe that he is better then. And in later rounds, the Otyugh would need a 7 to continue the grapple, where if the DC was 15, he would need a 12 to continue the grapple.

    At 15 the numbers needed are just too high.

    Dark Archive

    Gary Teter wrote:
    BM wrote:
    Odd, I'm using Firefox 3.0.1 and the next and last buttons work for me.

    Elorebaen has resurrected a reallllly old thread. The next and last buttons have been working for some time now.

    As for the backspace behavior, I don't know offhand if there's anything we can change in our HTML to make that happen. I'm open to suggestions.

    I didn't think to check the date on the original post. I just read it, and tested to see if it was true (I click the number of page usually). On the backspace issue, I tested to see if it happens on my machine, using the same version of Firefox as Elorebaen and it works for me(as in taking back to the previous page visited). Its most likely something in his settings unless there are more people with the same problem.

    Dark Archive

    Odd, I'm using Firefox 3.0.1 and the next and last buttons work for me.
    Nor does hitting backspace take me to the top of the forums. Maybe there is something in the settings?

    Dark Archive

    Shisumo wrote:
    SirUrza wrote:
    Not sure I like the change to bard. The objection most of us had wasn't how the DCs were generated.. but how the abilities were linked to certain Perform subtypes, some of which didn't make sense or were consistent with the subtype other/similar abilities used.
    I don't think I saw that complaint once (and of course it's not like I read every single bard post), but I know I saw several posters argue that skill-check-based DCs are just too high, particularly with regard to things like dirge of doom.

    It is. If it was based off your perform check, you would end up with DCs in the low 40s at level 20 (20 skill rank+3 class skill+3 skill focus+4 Cha mod+10 on a average d20 roll) which is unreasonably high. A good save for a CR 20 monster by Jason's math is a 22. Monsters of the appropriate CR shouldn't need 20s to make their saves.

    Dark Archive

    Zynete wrote:
    BM wrote:

    Alright, They both have 2 +2 bonuses, and a -2 penalty to CHA. Tieflings pick up a 1/day darkness SLA, and energy resist 5 to fire, cold, and electricity. The Dwarf picks up some weapon proficiencies, +2 on saves against ALL Spells, and SLAs, and some other junk. The +2 to saves against Spells and SLA is alot better than the simple energy resistance, as a single save against say a fireball, may in up saving the dwarf from taking more damage than the Tiefling's energy resistance will ever save the Tiefling from taking. Plus, it just doesn't work on damage spells, but every spell that offers a save, meaning that at +2 to saves against spells and SLA will come up far more often than the energy resistance will come up.

    And don't say that the outsider type weighs so much that it alone requires a +1 LA. Looking through the SRD, the only spells that don't effect tieflings because they're outsider are: Reduce Person, Enlarge Person, Daze, Charm Person, Dominate Person, and Ghoul Touch. Thats it. Of them, the only two that are a big deal are Charm Person and Dominate Person, and immunity to 2 spells is not worth +1LA give that its more then counter balanced by the spells that effect outsiders.

    The tiefling's weapon proficiencies (because of the outsider type) a bit better than the puny dwarven proficiencies. Also, their base speed is 30 feet which is better than the dwarves when not encumbered or significantly armored.

    While I wouldn't say that level one tiefling is as powerful as a level two dwarf. I would say that their energy resistances and spell-like ability make them slightly stronger than a dwarf at low levels if there is no level adjustment. Since the dwarf is generally the strongest of the base races, if something is better than the dwarf, if even slightly, then there is a problem.

    At later levels there would be less of a problem, but I'm concerned about early levels rather than later levels.

    The thing is as soon as level 2, that +2 to saves will begin to overcome the energy resistance. When confronted with a fireball even at level 5, I rather have a +2 to my save then fire resistance 5. A sucessful save will save me 9 HP vs the 5 that fire resistance will. I not saying that the energy resistance isn't useful, but I wouldn't say that it better then what the PHB races get.

    Dark Archive

    Ross Byers wrote:
    BM wrote:
    like SR (yes, SR hurts PCs more then it helps)

    No, it doesn't. Oh, it's annoying as hell when you need healing NOW but it has a tendency to prevent more damage than it prevents healing.

    You are aware the SR can be voluntarily lowered as a standard action, right? So all the buffing and healing outside of combat still happens.

    SR is a mixed blessing, but it's still a blessing. Take a look at Monks. They get SR as a class feature. You don't get DRAWBACKS as a class feature. Except illiteracy.

    SR tends to be more of a drawback due to the fact that you need in-combat healing more often then you get attacked by spells.

    However, on further thought, change my position from that SR is bad, to SR is somewhat useful as far as PFRPG is concerned, as there is a widely available workaround to SR for healing, in the form of Channel Positive energy.

    I still stand by my Drow should be +1 LA, and that I would give them 1 level in commoner and treat them as +0 LA.

    Dark Archive

    Gnome-Eater wrote:


    Ah great! I was just about to ask about lizardfolk. Any thoughts about Drow?

    Drow should be +1 LA. Or more precisely +0.5LA as they have a bunch of little things like SLAs that aren't all that powerful, +2 to INT(for a total of +4) and CHA, 120ft Darkvision(The best thing they have) and then several things that hurt them like SR (yes, SR hurts PCs more then it helps) and Light Blindness. Its hard to say that their abilities are worth a full level, but you can't say that they're a +0 LA race, as most of what they get is in addition to what normal elves get.

    I would make a Drow PC take a single level in commoner and then treat it as a +0 LA PC. Or you can just treat them as +1 LA.

    Dark Archive

    Vic Wertz wrote:
    Krome wrote:
    I think it was Vic who said the post eating monster only comes out when there are moments of high band usage.

    That's old, and no longer true. There are a number of reasons why posts get delayed or eaten, and we haven't figured out solutions to all of them yet, but high demand is not usually one of them.

    Vic, was you or gary that said that part of the problem is that while the hardware is more then capable of handling the stress on the site, the software used for it isn't? I remember one of you two stating part of the problem with the bugs was that the software wasn't able to deal with what the site places on it.

    Forums are just fine, the only problem (Outside the bugs) I had ever had is finding a finding forum from the big list of them, which is a presentation/formatting issue.

    Dark Archive

    Zynete wrote:
    F33b wrote:
    Zynete wrote:
    I would say that the LA +1 races that I've looked at after seeing Pathfinder Alpha are still more powerful than the base races in the Alpha. I would suggest against an across the board lowering of LA. That would just add a bunch of races that would be just better than the base races.

    I disagree, in some cases, quite strongly. 3.5 Aasimar (especially) and Tieflings are barely worth the +1 LA in core. In Pathfinder they are quite on par with the core LA zero races.

    Half Giants, even with powerful build, are also fairly close to being more LA +0 than LA +1.

    Granted, anything with racial hit dice is totally inappropriate for LA 0, as are Dromites and Druegar.

    Aasimar and Tieflings are still more powerful (a spell-like ability and energy resistances might not be much, but they are still more than what base races get) than the Pathfinder base races. Lowering them to LA +0 without dropping their power would be a bad choice. It makes the planetouched the most powerful choices for races.

    This is not to say that the planetouched are not really good LA +1 races, I just think they make worse LA +0 races.

    Tieflings and Aasimar are not stronger than the normal races at ALL. In fact, Dwarves are better then Tieflings.

    Let look at what they both get:

    Tiefling:(SRD)

    * +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, -2 Charisma.
    * Medium size.
    * A tiefling’s base land speed is 30 feet.
    * Darkvision out to 60 feet.
    * Racial Skills: Tieflings have a +2 racial bonus on Bluff and Hide checks.
    * Racial Feats: A tiefling gains feats according to its class levels.
    * Special Attacks (see above): Darkness.
    * Special Qualities (see above): Resistance to cold 5, electricity 5, and fire 5.
    * Automatic Languages: Common, Infernal. Bonus Languages: Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, Goblin, Halfling, Orc.
    * Favored Class: Rogue.

    vs.

    Dwarves:(From Alpha 3)

    +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, –2 Charisma: Dwarves are
    both tough and wise, but also a bit gruff.
    Medium: Dwarves are Medium creatures, and have no
    bonuses or penalties due to their size.
    Slow and Steady: Dwarves have a base speed of 20
    feet, but their speed is never modified by armor or
    encumbrance.
    Darkvision 60 feet: Dwarves can see in the dark up to
    60 feet.
    Stonecunning: Dwarves treat any Profession skill
    related to stone as a class skill. In addition, they receive
    a +2 bonus on Perception skill checks to notice unusual
    stonework, such as traps and hidden doors located in
    stone walls or floors. They receive a check to notice
    such features whenever they pass within 10 feet of them,
    regardless of whether or not they are actively looking.
    Keen Senses: Dwarves receive a +2 bonus on taste- and
    touch-based Perception skill checks.
    Greed: Dwarves treat Appraise as a class skill when
    attempting to determine the price of nonmagical goods
    that contain precious metals and gemstones.
    Hearty: Dwarves receive a +2 racial bonus on saving
    throws against poison, spells, and spell-like abilities.
    Weapon Familiarity: Dwarves are proficient with
    battleaxes, heavy picks, and warhammers, and treat
    any weapon with the word “dwarven” in its name as a
    martial weapon.
    Hatred: Dwarves receive a +1 bonus on attack rolls
    against humanoid creatures of the orc and goblin subtypes
    due to special training against these hated foes.
    Defensive Training: Dwarves get a +4 dodge bonus to AC
    against monsters of the giant type.
    Stability: Dwarves receive a +4 bonus to their combat
    maneuver bonus when resisting a bull rush or trip attempt
    while standing on the ground.
    Languages: Dwarves begin play speaking Common
    and Dwarven. Dwarves with high Intelligence scores can
    choose any of the following: Elemental, Giant, Gnome,
    Goblin, Orc, and Undercommon.
    Favored Class: The favored class of dwarves is cleric or
    fighter. This choice must be made at 1st level and cannot
    be changed

    Alright, They both have 2 +2 bonuses, and a -2 penalty to CHA. Tieflings pick up a 1/day darkness SLA, and energy resist 5 to fire, cold, and electricity. The Dwarf picks up some weapon proficiencies, +2 on saves against ALL Spells, and SLAs, and some other junk. The +2 to saves against Spells and SLA is alot better than the simple energy resistance, as a single save against say a fireball, may in up saving the dwarf from taking more damage than the Tiefling's energy resistance will ever save the Tiefling from taking. Plus, it just doesn't work on damage spells, but every spell that offers a save, meaning that at +2 to saves against spells and SLA will come up far more often than the energy resistance will come up.

    And don't say that the outsider type weighs so much that it alone requires a +1 LA. Looking through the SRD, the only spells that don't effect tieflings because they're outsider are: Reduce Person, Enlarge Person, Daze, Charm Person, Dominate Person, and Ghoul Touch. Thats it. Of them, the only two that are a big deal are Charm Person and Dominate Person, and immunity to 2 spells is not worth +1LA give that its more then counter balanced by the spells that effect outsiders.

    Dark Archive

    I'll say that as a general rule, you can lower LA by 1 in Pathfinder. But it is really a case by case basis, as some races (and templates) are better/more powerful than others.

    I posted this before, which is the races I think need to be +0 LA. (Ignoring racial HD)

    Duergar, Gnolls, Hobgoblins, Lizardfolk, Locathah, Merfolk, Tieflings, and Aasimiar*.

    *Aasimiar need a -2 stat, and I would give them -2 con.

    Races that need a boost:

    Goblins, Kobolds, and Orcs.

    Dark Archive

    After some playtesting HERE, I noticed several problems with CMB. Not the concept but rather the numbers involved.

    The problems with CMB are:

    1)The base DC is set too high and causes a multitude of problems. Simply put, at 15+CMB, all one needs to do to become nearly undefeatible in Combat Maneuvers is get a +5 advantage in CMB. With a +5 Advantage, anyone attempting a Combat Maneuver against you needs 20 to succeed where you have a 50/50 chance to succeed with any combat maneuver against them. It makes having small bonuses to CMB matter too much and its to easy to get a +5 bonus and be near invincible when it comes to CMB. Particularly in Defense, due to 2).

    2)There is a imbalance in the Improved Combat Maneuver feats (Improved Grapple, Improved Sunder, etc) vs Defensive Combat Training feat. Defensive Combat Training gives you a +4 to ALL Combat Maneuvers against you, where the the Improved Combat Maneuver Feats only give you a +2 on a SINGLE type of combat combat Maneuver when YOU attempt said combat maneuver. The feat that has a broader use, or at least more chances to be used has a greater bonus then a group of feats that have a far more narrow use. And with Defensive Combat Training, you can take it to get a +4 bonus, 80% of that +5 advantage needed to be invincible against Combat Maneuvers performed against you.

    Fixes:

    Fix for 1) I highly advise changing the DC to 10+CMB. It makes becoming invincible much harder as you need a 10+ advantage before become invincible. Further, Small numbers matter less, as the d20 roll counts more, and lastly, it puts the Combat Maneuvers on the same familiar 10+Mods like those for AC and Spell DCs. It also makes Defensive Combat Training less powerful.

    Fix for 2) Make the Improved Combat Maneuver feats give a +4 bonus instead of the +2 they do now. They at least need to have a bonus equal to Defensive Combat Training so that there is a way to cancel out Defensive Combat Training's Bonus and put you on equal grounds. I would even argue that there is a case that could be made that Defensive Combat Training should be a +2 and the Improved Combat Maneuver Feats should be a +4 based on the grounds of specialization and focus of the feats, but I'll be content with the bonuses be equal.

    Providing that the above is unacceptable for whatever reason, the at least you then need to move Defensive Combat Training's bonus down to a +2. Its too good when the DC starts at 15.

    Grappling:

    Several small things came to mind after reading the grapple rules and using them. They're

    1)The grapple rules are too limiting on what you can do in a grapple.
    2)The rules as written now seem to assume that the grapplers are both humanoid in shape with two arms.
    3)The rules as written means that grappling is only useful in one on one combat, and which makes alot of grapple monster useless as monsters tend to be outnumbered. Furthermore, in the event that one on one combat does happen, by the time that grapple becomes a useful tactic that can be relied on(50/50 chance of be able to initiate a grapple), grapple is somewhat broken, as the +5 advantage that granted you a 50/50 chance of being able to initiate the grapple means that your opponent has a 5% chance of breaking free from the grapple. Provided that you have some means of doing decent damage(Like constrict) you can slowly beat your opponent to a pulp with little worry over him breaking the grapple. OTOH, if you don't all that grapple means is that your opponent just can ignore breaking free and just beat you death with a one-handed weapon, and you can do nothing but break the grapple or die as maintaining the grapple is a standard action, meaning the person grappling can't attack, but the one grappled can.

    My proposed fixes: (Note: They assume the above fixes for combat maneuvers are adopted.)

    1)Make maintaining a grapple a move-action, and possibly making maintaining a grapple a free action for those with Improved Grapple and/or Improved Grab.
    2)Change the "cannot use any action that takes two hands to use" to "cannot use any action that takes all your hands(two for most creatures) to use". Also grant a +2 bonus on all CMB checks involving grappling for creatures with more than 2 arms.

    Thoughts?

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    Subversive wrote:
    JBSchroeds wrote:
    I think you're off the mark a little. CMs aren't something that gets done multiple times round after round like attacking is. Personally I love the opposed roll aspect of CMs. Facing-off with the DM, giving him an icy glare while we both rolled. It had that 1-2-3-shoot feeling. And for something that happens maybe once an encounter (granted, more if grappling), I don't see the opposed roll adding more than a few seconds each time it is done. You can both roll at the same time and then announce your result; not much different then rolling and the DM saying pass/fail.

    I'm not off the mark, but certainly you're free to apply your own modifications to the game. It's an easy change to make one way or the other.

    Disarm, Sunder, and Trip are all actions that can be made as part of a single attack, close to half of the listed CMs. At the higher end of the game, these can happen multiple times in a round, and it is a lot more likely to happen in Pathfinder then it was back during 3.5. This will statistically result in exactly the same average result as just rolling against a DC.

    If one of the goals of Pathfinder is to speed up the game, stick with a DC roll.

    -Steve

    The only problem in your logic is that the DC is 15+CMB and the average roll on a d20 is 10.5.

    But thing is the DC needs to be set at 10+CMB. Right now the DC is to high to be able to defeat without a +5 or greater advantage in CMB, and once that PC/NPC/Monster has a +5 advanage to CMB, you never going to be able to beat them without a natural 20. Add in a feat where two otherwise equals face off where one takes Defensive Maneuvers and the other doesn't leads to a case where the one who took Defensive Maneuvers can only be beaten 10% of the time, and the other can be beaten 30% of time. And can't even agrue that the other could take a feat to improve his CMB as the Improved Combat Maneuver Feats only give a +2 vs Defensive Maneuver's +4 so the guy still loses.

    I also say keep it a static DC. Its simpler and follows the precedent set by AC.

    Right now, CMB greatly favors the defender and has some math problems.

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    BM's Playtest Session 2 part 1!

    Alright, I managed to get a (part) of a game in last weekend, and I finally manage to sit down and write out the session.

    Due to a delay caused by one of my players, we only managed to get 1/3 of the way through what I have into what had planed.

    They began to move on in the campaign. The PCs are more or less mercs (its a sandbox game), and they were hired to get a rare substance found on the plane of shadow, and managed to talk a wizard who specializes in planer research to use a magic device he has to transport them there. Problem is the device works like plane shift, meaning that it was one way. Since no one in the group can cast Plane Shift, the PCs obtained a Scroll of Plane Shift, and I told them that they would need to make a UMD check, or A) Be struck forever in the plane of Shadow (or at least until they are able to find a way back), or B)Worse, be tossed into a random plane. I warn them the check would be high. The nodged and when on with their plan. What they don't know is the DC is a 33. The Beguiler needs a 20 to pull it off. Joy.

    Arriving where they were supposed to, they explored the cave. The cleric/Sorcerer casted light on everyone but the Swordsage, which lead to the realization that the cleric could just cast light everywhere, turning a dark hard to see area into a well lit room. The even pondered casting light on rocks, and tossing those rocks around corners to light up rooms before they entered, (hopefully) lighting up any enemies before the fight started. I wouldn't say that its game breaking, but it does make normal darkness a little more than a waste of time, and depower Darkvison quite a bit. I would say that in normal conditions, Light+Low-light vison is better than darkvison under the new rules. The only real advanage that darkvison has now is that its more stealthy than Light+Low light vison, which was the only reason we didn't cast it on the Swordsage(Who became the scout). Only did the impeded magic trait kept Light from overpowering darkvison, and made the darkness interesting.

    In the first room, the Swordsage's limited range Dark vison failed to spot a Ephemeral Hangman (ToM P 161) lurking in the corner, and I called for Perception checks for Hearing. They hear it, but fail to figure where it is, giving it a a surprise round. It uses its step into shadow to teleport right in front corridor PCs where in. It blocks the path of the PC and only two of them can get close enough to attack them. They then roll for init, the Swordsage, Cleric/Sorcerer, Beguilder moving first, followed by the Hangman, then the Fighter, Binder, Druid and her companion last. In that order. The Kobold moves to attack and doesn't do any damage. The Cleric/Sorcerer decides to cast light over it so everyone can see it clearly (It was in shadowy illumination). The Beguiler breaks out a Magic Missile wand and does 12 damage. The Hangman splits its four attacks against the Fighter and Swordsage, with two attacks apiece. Both attacks miss the Fighter but 1 of the attacks hit the Swordsage (despite him having the highest AC) and does 12 damage. He then makes the CMB/Grapple Check. The Fighter uses his Dimension Stride Boots to teleport 20 ft behind the Hangman boxing him in. The Binder (Who bound Savnok and Karsus) moved in and attempted to hit with his greatsword, but failed. In round two, The Swordsage attempts to break free of the Hold and can't short of a natural 20, and fails. Both the casts Magic missile and do a combined damage of 24 damage. THe hangman makes his check to continue the grapple, and does constrict damage doing 15 damage knocking the Swordsage out. It attacks with the three remaining tendrils and rolls badly, missing. The Fighter attempts to free the Swordsage by sundering the tendril that holds him. His CMB is a +13 vs the Hangman's +15 meaning he need a 17 or higher to hit. He rolls a 12. Binder full attacks, connecting with the first but missing with the second for a total of 12 damage. The Druid then squeezes by and risks a AoO to move next to the Swordsage and casts a cure spell on him putting him up to 5 HP. Third round, The Swordsage attempts to get free and fails again, and the casters cast something(I don't remember and I don't have it written down) and do 16 damage. The poor Hangmang can't really do anything by this point, being boxed in on all sides and as its powers mostly only work in darkness or shadows, and the cleric threw a light spell over its head. It does the only real thing it can do which is do one last full attack, which it misses. It also deals constrict damage to the Swordsage again knocking him out. The Fighter decides he needs to end the fight quick before the Swordsage dies (again). He uses Backswing and Power attack, hit with the first attack but missing withe the second two attacks. He does 27 damage total, and drops the Hangman down to 5 HP. The Binder then finishes the fight with a full attack of his own dropping the Hangman into the negatives.

    Notes from the first fight:

    While I like how CMB works, After this fight I think the DC is too high. It really does need to be 10+CMB. The Fighter, with the highest CMB in the group could only make it on a 17 or higher, which is too high. If Hangman had Defensive Maneuvers, the Fighter would need a 20 to succeed. (Also, does Defensive Maneuvers count on an attempt to break free from a grapple?) I also messed up on the grapple bit, as I mess up the first two rounds before realizing that maintaining a grapple took a standard act, vs the free action I was giving it. Plus the current rules seem to assume two humanoid shape creatures fighting each other, and not creature with multiple limbs or possibly the ability to hold on to an enemy and do other things. Right now, I giving any monster with improved grab the ability to maintain the grapple as a free action. Alternatively make maintaining a grapple a move action. Right now, it seems to limiting to get into a grapple, unless your fighting one on one. I'll probably make a thread tomorrow outlining some ideas.

    Second, make Overhand Chop as standard action. Its really weak and all it is a weaker version of Power attack. Making it a Standard Action will make it alot more worth it, and make it something useful for when you have to move. Right now, it is just a something to make you spend a feat before you take Backswing and Devastating Blow.

    There was a second fight against some shadow elementals, but the fight yeilded nothing particularly note worthy, but that the Fighter does well to use Dimension Stride Boots to teleport to move into flanking, and use Backswing and Power Attack together. If he hits with all three attacks, he ends up doing alot of damage. And with his to hit bonus thats really easy. Even with power attack, he has a +11(+8 BAB+1 Weapon Focus+1Weapon Training+1 enchantment bonus) meaning he will hit at least 50% of the time. More once you take into account flanking and the like. He seems to be doing all right, for now at least.

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    I don't think its all that bad, nor unbalancing IMO. I sorta like it because now you can get some of the flavor of the other classes without having to take many levels. It was there before, but since there are more abilities at the early levels, it is more noticeable. This should open up character generation a bit, and you won't have to take as many levels to get the flavor of class.

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    Set wrote:
    The Eldritch Mr. Shiny wrote:
    Civilization causes human suffering.

    Being a big fan of healthcare, regular meals that aren't dependent on good hunting and air conditioning, I'm on the side of suffering.

    Also, books, television, movies, role-playing games, unnatural sex acts, music videos, iPods, ice cream, online games and the internet. All stuff that I *could* live without, but am not sure that I would want to. :)

    I liked Fight Club, too, but, despite growing up on a farm, butchering animals, and being one of the 1% of people who wouldn't die *immediately* if sent off into the woods without any tools, I find nothing romantic about that rugged manly life. The first time I get an infected cut, I want an emergency room, not to have to press hot rocks against the injury and pray for it to burn out the infection before I get gangrene.

    Seconded. On everything you said.(Sans the last part. I would be SOL if I had to suddenly survive in the wild. I would give myself a 50/50 chance of living.)

    We have too much cool things going on. We have the internet, powerful computers, and just starting to get AR, cybernetics, bio-tech going. It shaping up that in the next 50 years or so, we're going to resemble Shadow Run (tech-wise) at the rate we're going. The number of interesting and cool things that computer and bio-tech fields is just awesome.

    Besides, by the time I'm 70, we should have cyber-bodies for me to swap into. Its win-win for me. I get to live really long and not deal with having a crappy body when I'm old. :P

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    Some things from last night:

    Jacob James wrote:


    There's the Inner Sphere and the Outer Sphere. (Those are our words for Inner Planes and Outer Planes.)

    The Inner Sphere Includes: Material Plane, Ethereal Plane, Shadow Plane, Positive Energy Plane, Negative Energy Plane, Plane of Air, Plane of Water, Plane of Earth, and Plane of Fire.

    The Inner Sphere is connected to the Outer Sphere via the Astral Plane (again, one that's a boilerplate plane).

    There are 9 major outer planes. One for each alignment.

    LG: Heaven
    NG: Nirvana
    CG: Elysium
    LN: Axis
    N: The Boneyard
    CN: The Maelstrom
    LE: Hell
    NE: Abaddon
    CE: The Abyss

    He also described them as like onions, with each sphere being like a layer of a onion. Or something to that effect.

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    awp832 wrote:
    Yeah, adding more weapon damage, especially with Improved Vital Strike available to combo with, is just not a good idea. A good reason for Imp Nat Attack is because it adds damage to weapons that can not be enchanted. If a fighter wants an extra d6 of damage, the fighter should get a flaming sword. Fighters already have damage bonuses in the form of weapon training and weapon specialization.

    Your argument falls flat on several levels. First, Monks can take Imp. Natural Strike for their unarmed strike, stacking with the increased unarmed strike damage from the monk class. Second, Jason is adding a item to allow the monk to enchant their unarmed strikes. Even if you don't like that, they could still do it under 3.5 with Amulet of Mighty Fists. And lastly, Imp Vital Strike stacks with the furry of blows, allowing the monk to make three attacks with each at 12d8 damage+damage mod.

    And thats still no better than a TWFing rouge using sneak attack with the full attack. (60d6 [210 average damage {Not even counting weapon damage!}] vs. 36d8 damage [168 average damage])

    In turn both of them have spend three feats at level 20 to do comparable damage to a wizard simply using a single save or die spell (20 caster level * 10 damage/caster level=200 damage) so their not even overpowered.

    Allowing an Imp weapon attack feat isn't going to break the game in any way. Just give a small powerup to martial types.

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    Economic Left/Right: 5.50
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.87

    Sounds about right. I'm probably a litter lower on the social score, but not by much.

    I can see loaded question bit, but I think the test would better if it made it clear on whether or not its talking about what you want from government, and adding a neutral button.

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