Umber Hulk

Bavix's page

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With the recent announcement, I must cancel my Pathfinder and Gamemastery Module subscriptions. I couldn't find a way to easily do so on the Subscriptions page.

1. I absolutely plan on switching to 4E.

2. I'll buy every generic accessory and Golarion specific product you offer.

3. I'll have to end my current subscription and will have no use for future 3.whatever products.

CEBrown wrote:

You know, people keep listing the "sins" of 3E (and I have to agree with several of them) but leave out what, for me, may be the biggest - the game ASSUMES a certain level of magic, etc. is in the possession of the PCs at any given time, or the whole ECL/CL/CR system falls flat.

Sadly, from the few leaks they've released, it looks like 4E retains this flaw, so I guess mentioning it isn't relevant but still - that is probably the biggest thing I'd be looking to change if I were creating a new edition.
Maybe allow items to adjust the party's effective level, rather than assuming they're there already...

You couldn't be more correct CEBrown. IMO, the magic-level assumption of 3E is one of it's biggest flaws. As a matter of fact, again IMO, the entire D&D magic system (casting, spells per day, learning, item creation, even the "economics" of magic) needs to be completely torn down and rewritten.

My group was part of the original 3E playtest and some of things they're doing now with 4E were brought up then (almost 10 years ago) but a lot of the playtesters went nuts and vetoed them because the concepts were new. The designers should have grown a pair and went with the changes. In the long run, 3E would have had a much better magic system.

Wow, this is truly pathetic. I come to these boards hoping to find intelligent discussion about the upcoming edition of the game that we supposedly all know and love but all I find a bunch of whining grognards playing "rename the game." I think I'll jump over to the Dragonsfoot boards and see what they're pissing and moaning about today. At least they have an excuse since they're all old and half senile.

Thank you Kirth for mentioning how incredibly rude some people have been about this issue. It's amazing how unempathetic people can be when they start thinking they may not get their "money's worth" out of their gaming products. My "money's worth" means that I have a product I can actually reaad and use during play.

What this come's down to for me is that I, and many others, subscribed to Pathfinder sight-unseen because we were assured that we would get the same, or even better, quality products that we've come to expect from Paizo. From that promise, I assumed that Pathfinder would be as readable as Dragon or Dungeon magazines. Pathfinder, while being a well written and designed product, is not usabe to many people due to the font used. That's a simple concept to me.

Thank god others have noticed the problem with the font and spoke up. I mentioned this as soon as the Rise of the Runelords Player's Guide came out and I was told that nothing could or would be done unless many others thought the same way.

I actually came to the Paizo site to cancel my charter subscription to Pathfinder because of the font size and I just happened to jump on the boards. This thread and the statements from the powers that be has changed my mind and made an even more loyal customer of me.

PLEASE do something as soon as possible. A font change this early in Pathfinder's run will not be a big deal and I'll guarantee that there are plenty of people in stores taking Pathfinder off the shelf, looking at a few pages, and then putting it right back while rubbing their eyes.

That is the coolest and geekiest thing that I've ever heard. Excellent job!

I may have missed it in previous threads but what does Golarian's moon look like in the night sky? Is it a dull blue, a bright white, or a black orb with sparkles of red from 10,001 volcanos. Also, what do the people of Golarion call the moon? Is it just the moon or does it have a more "fantastic" name?

PLEASE, don't ad any more gods to Golarion. If you need obscure cults or racial "minor" powers just use demon lords or powerful angels or something else that works for the core deities. If you start adding gods to the different races or whenever you need something different it wil quickly get out of hand.

Surely, the gods have proxies and powerful beings that work for them. Couldn't some of these beings be seen as minor gods by some groups without expanding the pantheon?

Man, this is FANTASTIC!!! I've been waiting for a setting with the kind of support Paizo is giving Golarion for years. I've always said that all I need as a DM is great adventures and a detailed world to play them in and Golarion is definitely what I'm talking about. Keep up the great work and the synergy in the product lines and I'll be a customer for as long as I continue to play D&D.

I'd much prefer to leave the year at 360 days. Golarion isn't Earth and it doesn't have to be exactly the same. Adding special festival days or leap years or whatever just gets confusing. Not to mention, making a calendar will be MUCH easier if left with even months.

Sorry, I wasn't trying to be funny. My previous post actually disappeared on my computer at work and then was there when I got home. Go figure.

That's funny... I could have sworn I made a post here that has mysteriously disappeared. I wonder how that happened?

Isn't there a way you could add significant time lapses into the adventure paths? I've always loved the individual Dungeon Magazine adventures but this is the reason that I've never ran an AP, they advance way too quickly.

I simply can't stand the idea of a 20th-level 20-year old character. It just shatters the verisimilitude of the setting. Basically, you have a fledgeling adventurer that stumbles into an adventure one day and, six months later, he or she is rivaling the movers and shakers of Golarian.

It wouldn't bother me at all if you guys completely ignored the core XP system and just placed level-up times in the AP. Heck, I'd love it if each issue was meant to advance the heroes one level. That way, players could play the same PCs through three APs to end up at 18th level or so.

This would be a great option, especially if it would save a couple of dollars.

Thanks again Paizo

I'm all for 12-months with 30 days each for a 360 day year. If you add in the "festival" days it gets too much like Greyhawk (which isn't a bad thing but it's been done).

Ya know, I just thought about it and the year could have twelve 28-day months with two extra holy days in each month (on the full and the new moon) used for opposing deities. This would basically make each month have 30-days and the year be 360 days long. You'd just have to match 24 gods (or other things such as demon lords or celestial events) to the 24 main moon phases.

Heck I'm more interested in knowing details about Golarian's cosmos myself. How many moons does it have and what does it or they look like. How about constellations?

First, let me say how blown away I am by everything I've seen so far from the world of Golarian. I've been thinking about a new campaign world recently and this makes my decision VERY easy. The ROTRAP PG is a fantastic resource (and teaser) for the new AP and I can't wait to see more.

I haven't complete read through the player's guide yet but I had a couple of comments and questions on what I've read so far.

The first thing I noticed was the really small font used in the body text of the guide. As a gamer with bad eyesight, I desperately hope that font size isn't going to be a standard in the Pathfinder publications.

Though there was a lot of information on the Shoanti I didn't see a dominant hair color mentioned. Are the Shoanti the classic blonde barbarian archetypes or are we looking at a people like the Cimmerians from Conan?

While reading, I was referencing the Varisia map. Unfortunately, I was unable to locate several of the places and landmarks mentioned in the text. I knkow that many of the locations are off the map and will be shown later but I believe the ones below should be on the map.

Where are the Curchaintian Hills?

Where is the cliff-side, elven city of Arsmeril?

Where is the elven trading post of Crying Leaf?

As a final question, how long ago did the elven city of Celwynvian "fall under the deepest shadow?" This may be an issue with PC elves since they may have been alive when it happened.

Just the core 3. A good campaign can be run for years with just those three books. Everything else is optional.

Hey Fatespinner,

I've been a Kalamar fan and DM for many years now and I have to say that you'll be hard pressed to find a more detailed and politically driven setting. Kalamar is more Greyhawk or Lankhmar in feel and the entire setting is more based on fantastic "realism" than many other settings.

As mentioned above, the setting book will seem a little dry when you first read it but if you give it a chance, you'll find a wealth of subtle plot hooks and game ideas that aren't so over-the-top.

As someone with more than a little astigmatism, I can use all the help I can get focusing quickly on text (especially stat blocks during the heat of combat). There have been a few issues that have given me trouble due to the background images.

I'll agree that the Savage Tidings articles have been rather harsh on the eyes but heck, even the new encounter format pages in WotC's Expedition to Castle Ravenloft are a little straining in places. At least they lightened the areas behind the stat blocks.

To give you an example of how much this can affect some people, the main reason I never ran the original Forgotten Realms boxed set was due to the parchment paper the books were printed on. Also, I didn't buy Goodman Game's Gazetteer of the Known Realms because of the heavy watermark they used behind every page of the books inside the boxed set. RPG accessories are meant to be used in game and for quick reference. If the graphic design will not allow that, they're useless to me and many others

I absolutely agree that the adventure paths advance too quickly. That's the main reason I haven't ran the Shackled City or the Age of Worms. The 3E XP system and the adventure paths create 20-year-old epic-level PCs, and I find that completely ridiculous. How can a DM create a sense of grandier and greater things to come when a party that has adventured together for a year or two can challenge or even take out the Circle of Eight or even Kyuss or Iuz himself.

If I remember correctly, the Age of Worms was origianally slated for 20 issues/adventures but ended up being only 12. IMO, the designers realized that the 3E XP system wouldn't allow 20 challenging adventures before reaching 20th level. As a DM, I would have no problem if the next adventure path simply granted a level per adventure (screw the math, just state the advancement at the beginning of the AP) and the time between and during adventures spanned a character's entire career.

Honestly, that's the only way I'll ever DM one.

This may have been covered before in the Age of Worms discussions and if it has I'm sorry for the repeat, but what Greyhawk-specific locations are we going to see before the Age of Worms in finished?

The Cairn Hills, the "Free City", the Mistmarsh, and the Wormcrawl Fissure have been mentioned so far. Will the AoW take the PCs over the Nyr Dyv, into the Shield Lands, and through the lands of Iuz? The sidetrek from the Whispering Cairn to retrieve the Land family's remains proved that the AoW may send the PCs off the beaten path. As DM, I just want to be prepared.

I do most of my overland land masses by hand. Depending on the detail and scale, I may either ink it on vellum with technical pens or just scan a sketch and render it in Photoshop.

I almost always do my architecture, interior items, and sharp line work in Illustrator. I think it's faster, cleaner, and more accurate than Photoshop for that kind of work. The pen tool and bezier curves are also more editable. I then export the file (with layers) into Photoshop for colors, beveling, textures, and shading.

I get many of the textures I use from image collection CDs or I scan them from objects I find. My favorite and most used texture was scanned from a rusty sheet of metal. I sharpened the image and saturated the colors in Photoshop until I had a really cool texture.

I don't use a tablet but a lot of people do. I've tried them but I'm just not very comfortable with them.

I have a $300 Microtek scanner at home and I have access to a $2500 Umax scanner at work. Honestly, my $300 scanner does everything I need it to do. If something has a HUGE amount of detail, I'll take it to work just because I can.

We play every Saturday at noon. We usually play until 6:00 PM unless no one has plans. In that case, we may play until midnight or so.

I think that I've seen a medusa-like template in a d20 product but I can't remember which one.

Hey guys,

I am a professional cartographer and I've experimented with many of the mapping programs on the market (Dunjinni, CC, etc). Honestly, nothing beats Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Sure, there's a bit of a learning curve but the results are far beyond what the other programs can offer.

The $650 price of Photoshop freaks most people out but Adobe has a program called Elements for $90 that has many of Photoshop's features. I haven't used it so I don't know how well it would work for cartography.

There's also an opensource program called GIMP that gives Photoshop a run for its money. It's powerful, free, and you can find it at

Tony M wrote:
Bavix wrote:
Whoa Tony, I'm not Christopher West. My name is Rob Lee.'re good too. *blushes*

Didn't you write a Dungeon adventure?

Tony M

Yep, I've written two (The Cradle of Madness and Kambranex's Machinations) and I have another in editing right now.

Tony M wrote:

Christopher West (Bavix), your maps rock my socks!

Congratulations on winning the ENnie Trophy for Best Cartography a few months back, for your maps in "Thieves' Quarter: A City Quarters Sourcebook."

Perfect last name, by the way! :)

Tony M

Whoa Tony, I'm not Christopher West. My name is Rob Lee. I've done a few adventures in Dungeon, several Dragon appearances, and stuff for nearly every d20 company in the market. I also won two ENnies (one for Green Ronin's "Freeport" and the other for Necromancer Games's "Necropolis" mega adventure.

As for Christopher West, IMO, he's one of the best in the business (with Ed Bourelle and Craig Zipse). It's a pleasure to rip them off... I mean, use their work as inspiration, whenever I get cartographer's block.

The other guys are completely correct. I'm a professional cartographer and Photoshop and Illustrator are my finishing tools of choice. Most wilderness and dungeon maps are hand drawn, inked on vellum with technical pens, scanned, and then color, shading, and textures are added in Photoshop. For architechture, I create the structure in Illustrator then export it into Photoshop for rendering.

Erik Mona wrote:
However, keep your eyes on Dungeon. We might just get back to that series after all.

YEE HEE HEE HAAAAH! Ok, now I have to go make sure my subscription is up to date.

The funniest quote I've had in my game in the past few years is, "Hey Brian, keep that beholder busy for a minute while we sneak around!" Unfortunately, it was less than a minute.

The first character I played was a 1E ranger and it remains my favorite class today. I don't know why.

I'm probably going to place it on the Reanaaria Bay side of the Ka'Asa Mountains. The Ka'Asas are a volcanic range it it seems to fit very well.

I've always been a fan of adventures with a good setup. Not just the, "your sitting in the tavern sucking down an ale when a mysterious man offers you X amount of gold to get something from somewhere," old tired line. Beyond that, I like dungeon crawls disguised as something else (basically, site-based adventures with a heavy theme and lots of atmosphere).

I don't want just another delve into an ancient crypt of some unnamed king for no other reason but looting the place. I want to send the heroes into the Necropolis of King Zarkos the Wretched to find his famed scepter of undead command before the hordes of the great mummy lord storm the city. It's all about the mood and the goals to me.

Heck, I'm a professional cartographer and I'd like Maps of Mystery to stay as well. Sometimes I don't have time to get something together before my Friday night game.

I think it was the cover of a Dragon magazine a while back. The topic was something like Sorcery & Machines.

I'm with Randomjack on this issue. When PCs begin, I only allow the PHB (and maybe one feat or spell from a main setting suppliment). Other d20 rules are introduced once I've looked them over and there's a good reason for them. The heroes may find a scroll with some spells from Monte Cook's Book of Eldritch Might or an enemy may be using a magic weapon from a recent Dragon Magazin.

I'm VERY fortunate to have very cool players that know that I'll give their PCs great opportunities later in their careers so they don't have to pile stuff on as quickly as possible.

Sean Halloran wrote:
But see, you hit the nail on the head there man. Its a DM's dream and this magazine is written for the DM. As such my adventures ran faster with that format as I did not have to fumble for what auras were where all the time. I'm not planning on running the adventures in the latest issue (maybe Thirteen Cages, but it has problems I've mentioned before) mostly because its easier to just go back to older issues and use adventuers that have the old format.

What if the editors would approve another header in the encoounter text for "Detections' that would include EVERYTHING that could be detected by magic or skills and everything that would hinder detections. The main problem the editors seem to had is the amount of space the expanded format demanded. A "Detections" header may be doable.

Man, I would love to get a PDF of all the important NPCs in an adventure done is Monster Manual-like format. The stat blocks are easier to read and they could have character illustrations in the layout. If an NPC becomes a reoccuring villain I could just print out the page and put it in my folder.

Take it from me as a writer for Dungeon, the quick-reference format is really cool but it is very time and space consuming. The adventure I'm working on was half written in that format until I found out that Dungeon was dropping it. My work since then has gone much quicker. It's a DM's dream but a writer's and editor's nightmare.

I love the new format as well (especially the three adventures of low, middle and high level) but I'm not crazy about the 3-column layout. It makes stat blocks a little hard to read and breaks them up too much. I can honestly say that this is my only complaint.