Imeckus Stroon

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Tdlr: Poison and Disease rules are broken atm, houserule those rather than swapping character.

I know this is not the direction you were looking at, but my suggestion would be to have your table revisit poison/disease rules and heavily Houserule how they are handled. Among other things the speed of healing so your character can be back in action faster.

In the current state of the rules, they are extremely debilitating and can really suck the fun and rhythm out of the game (there have been a few threads on them here these past weeks). Plus the options to heal them at low level are close to non-existent. The speed at which tiers of infection are lost should be sped up and more options for removing them are needed.

In our case we have a player (toon is a Technomancer) with maxed Medicine, all kinds of medicinal items on her and the "Medical Expert" Feat. When our Envoy got poisoned by the same critters that got you in the jungle (and then got poisoned again later by a much worse poisonous creature) the DM and her were looking everywhere in the rules for options to heal that poison and not have us need to spend 24 hours until the Envoy could move and 72 hours before he would not be utterly useless anymore. They found nothing. I think in the end they agreed that the "Medical Expert" Feat gave her access to an action to treat poison (DC 20) that uses a dose of Antitoxin and immediately removes a tier of poison and that is usable once per day per patient (or something like that). Not saying it's the best solution, but RAW is pretty awful for low levels as is.

Hope this helps a bit!


Actually, the Undead guardian gave our Solarian some blade-gem as a sign of gratefulness and he told us where the rest of the cultists were hiding. After we killed those, he allowed us to explore the temple, take notes, photos and all that, but made us promise not to loot anything and not to reveal the location of the temple to outsiders. To be honest, I am not sure the Kasatha Professor we rescued will hold her part of the bargain, but I guess we did.

One of us was playing a Scholar Technomancer avid for new knowledge, and she was super-psyched to have some kind of "expert tour-guide" helping her with the interpretation and understanding the rituals of the Elves and all that. There were some funny moments when she was shushing the rescued Kasatha Professor and telling her to keep quiet and let the real expert speak (i.e. the Undead guardian). I am playing a Vesk Mechanic (Cyberborn - Exocortex / i.e. Cyber-lizard) and was not really interested in that whole bit, if not for the fun moments of RP we had with that undead elven rockstar. So all-in-all, I am quite happy we didn't fight him.

I know from running Age of Worms with that GM waaaaay back when, that he takes a lot of freedom with modules - so there is that. When we're done I'll read the modules and will probably chuckle a lot at all things gone weird and off-rail we did.


Somehow we ended up chatting with that undead Elf while staying outside of the temple‘s limits. We went all „Oh sure, sir! We gonna stay outside sir!“. Not sure why/how but he then let drop that the cultist boss went up the mountain with others, so we ended up skipping the temple ar first and chased after „Paqual“ whom we ended up ambushing on his way down.

Not sure if the GM just let that info slipout inadvertently or because the Envoy made a silly high Diplo roll. On our way back the undead Elf was not dominated anymore and all friendly. He thanked us for freeing him of the cultist‘s leader control and helped us a bit.


Killer_GM wrote:
Are the authors breaking any new ground on this adventure/backstory, or is this just a translation into 4.0 edition rules?

Acererak will be a minion.


Devil of Roses wrote:
Do Human Bane Weapons affect half breed creatures like half-orcs or half-elves? I am running Hook Mountain Massacre and the PC's will be fighting Jagrath Kreeg and his human bane weapons. Now, this party doesn't have a single human, what it has is two half-elves a half-orc a halfling and an elf. Would the human bane weapon actually affect any of the half breeds?

For purpose of race and bloodlines, half-orcs are considered Orcs and half-elves are considered as Elves. It is under their respective entries in the PHB.

So this time they are "off the hook" so to speak (pun half-intended).


If you talk of powercreep because of this specific change, you probably are not using the point-buy system or have not really tried creating a new character with the rules.

The point-buy costs have changed quite a bit and, combined with the new stats boost, it comes to very similar results as before.

The only difference I saw so far is that it makes it easier to have one single attribute be at 16 or 17 without screwing up the rest of your stats. The rest will still not be great, but will be decent.

Bocklin


I love the final cover of this book. It is Vincent Dutrait, right? He does a really good work. I was happy to see some of his drawings in Entombed with the Pharaoh as well.

Keep the Vincent Dutrait goodness coming!


Pat Payne wrote:
The site says it has something to do with the licensing fee structure -- in other words, since we outside the UK don't pay Her Majesty's TV tax, we don't get all the internet goodies.

Which I'd be ready to believe if only the law-abiding citizens of the United Kingdom did not have themselves to pay extra to see the shows on iPlayer. So basically they are paying twice for content.

And I would not mind paying a bit more (as a non-tax paying outsider) to be able to see the show in all legality and in good quality. But this does not seem to be an option either.

My bet is that the BBC hopes to make more money by selling the show in dubbed version to local TV channels and they are afraid that their bargaining position would be weaker if the hard-core Dr Who fan already saw the show on iPlayer.

Anyway, the finale was grand and got my eyes all wet and I laughed so much at "Exterminieren! Exterminieren!". Good times.

Bocklin


Our STAP campaign died of many deaths, so it would not be fair to solely blame it on the metaplot, but until now I am still not sure that there was ever a compelling reason for my character to go to the Isle of Dread, or to try to save Farshore, or to go after the Crimson Fleet, etc.

I *felt* that the story was trying to tug me into a specific direction, but as hard as the story tried, it felt too unidimensional to really convince me. I know the GM tried to adapt plot elements and bits to make it more fitting to our characters, but I still have the feeling that the material he was given by the mags to go with were resisting his attempts.

I still haven't read the adventures, even though I am pretty sure I won't ever play in any of them, but once I find the time I'd be curious to see how it looks like.

So often did we have the feeling that there was one holy road to be followed and attempts at hiding the lack of choice failed poorly. The coastal road and the trip from the crash site to the Olmani villages come to mind...


Well, in the end, the system is made so that you go up one level every so many encounters, depending on which speed you chose:

Fast --> Go up one level after +-13 Encounters of your ECL (i.e. like 3.5)
Medium --> Go up one level after +-20 Encounters of your ECL
Slow --> Go up one level after +-30 Encounters of your ECL

It does not change when you go up in level. Wherever you are along the level progression chart of "your" progression speed, it always takes +- the same number of level-appropriate encounters to go up one level.

I would have preferred a system which not only allows you to choose between fast, medium and slow, but also where the progression slows down as you go up in level. Here it is not the case.

Bocklin


I see you are most up-to-date with your episodes! ;-)


Bad Wolf...

You should not say "Bad Wolf", write "Bad Wolf" or "Bad Wolf" anything these days! Careful with these words.

It can make some jittery. Especially because Rose is coming back, the Doctor dies and I wonder why they put Donna amidst all these stange looking mirrors!?


/Thread-jack ON/

vagrant-poet wrote:
You have no idea how bizarre it is to see Kilkenny get mentioned on the Paizo boards. (...)

Ah! I did not know that "Kilkenny" is a place. I have good Irish Kilkenny Cheddar cheese in my fridge, but it never crossed my mind that it was actually a location!

Damn good cheese by the way...

Watch out for the ogres.

Cheers,
Bocklin

/Thread-jack OFF/


For God's sake, leave the great apes alone! I hope they DO massacre these shameless human colonizers.

Hum...


James and Erik, you should be sleeping! Stop surfing these boards. ;-)

Back on the topic: I am quite happy to see Elaine on board for contributing to Golarion. I have good memories of reading her FR books.

And now I will be sending telepathic waves to the Powers-that-be at Paizo so they make it their utmost priority to secure Paul Kemp on their writers team!!


----- Important discovery ------

I think everyone, including the OP, should stop posting on this thread. Everybody should stop using the internet for one hour, go outside enjoy the sun and eat ice cream.

After that, if he still feels like it, the OP could come back to the Paizo Board and start a NEW thread, where he tries to make his original point(s) with a less controversial phrasing.

If he and other posters go to the new thread and debate the issue politely and interestingly, the Internet will be a better place and our hearts will grow warm and fuzzy.


"Build a troll a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a troll on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."


The game system as it is is based on the existence of three extra types of movement (i.e. in addition to the regular "walk"): flying, swimming, climbing.

Some creatures have fly speed, other swim speed, other climb speeds. And appropriate boni or "take 10" abilities for the mode of movement they best master.

Since the game is human-centred, it simulates creatures that are better or worse than humans at these activities. But humans can "learn" via skills to emulate these mode of movements.

I find the division between these type of movements not only realistic, but also much flavourful. If I create a sea-based character who learns to swim like a dolphin, I don't see why the skill points he invested there should also make him a great climber or agile flyer.

In my opinion, it is abusive to merge them.


Teiran wrote:

There's just no place where an orc and human can socialize, fall in love (or at least lust), and share a fateful evening.

If a place exists in the world where orcs and humans live in relative peace together, or at least in a state of not killing each other, then Half orcs make sense. They should just all, mostly, come from there.

Oh well, I remember that inn somewhere on the Borderlands where Orcs and us used to get drunk like mad! Things were quite peaceful back then (apart from a couple giants, but we'd band together to give them a whipping).

These orc ladies are a bit rough on the edge, but after a few drinks, when they get going, there is no stopping them!

We had much fun... ;-)


Wow! This thread has grown since last I last posted. Amazing debate and interesting figures!


It seemed to me that introducing the Fly skill was a way for Jason to get rid of the need to have a whole bunch of fly-related Feats (in the spirit of "your Feats are precious, use them on something that kicks ass"). The new logic would be for critters to boost their Fly skill instead of sacrificing Feats, but I might be wrong.

Otherewise, again, for some of those posts above, I insist that the point is absolutely not about what a Dragon should be able to do or not (wish I had taken another example).

It is just about the fact that the game rules represent big bulky creatures through HD and this does not fit with the Fly skill (for reasons explained above). Suddenly creatures that were the worse flyers throughout 3rd Edition become the best flyers in the new system. I don't think that this was a conscious design choice.

The suggestion to have a size-related penalty could work...

Would be interesting to hear what Jason thinks about this issue.


Some new maths:

If we keep the bonus as they are, but add in that, for all creatures with a Poor or Clumsy manoeuverability, Fly is a cross-class skill, then we get the following results:

Lantern Archon +12

Hawk +7

Will-O’-Wisp +29

Wyvern +2

Ancient Red Dragon +9

etc.

Funny that a Lantern Archon would be worse at flying than a Will-O-Wisp, as they were on par before...

Anyway, the system is still a bit unelequant since it crosses manoeuverability and skills. Me thinks.

Bocklin


Exactly: it is not about what Dragons should be able or not to do. It is about the fact that, since Skills for monsters come from racial HD, we now have a strange situation:

Big, bulky and clumsy creatures (i.e. those with tons of HD) are the one best at flying.

Two solutions I thought about:

The rules could say "Fly is always a cross-class skill for creatures with Poor and Clumsy manoeuverability";

and/or

Make the manoeuverability malus be "per HD". But that does not work well to represent the better flying ability of some small, low HD critters...


Hi Jason and others,

Assuming that monsters will still get skills/skill points on the basis of their racial HD, I see a potential problem with the Skill Feat as it is.

Debate on the relevance of the Fly skill is already taking place elsewhere, it here just about its current implementation in relation to racial HD.

Under the current rules, an hawk or even better a lantern archon are much much better flyers than Dragons. Under the new system, it seems that older Dragons (which are even worse flyers under 3.5) would always get better at flying and would even have so high HD/Skill ranks that they would easily offset their penalty for manoeuverability and low Dex.

Some quick math:

1) Lantern Archon (1 HD; perfect manoueverability) has Fly +12

4 Ranks + 0 (Dex) + 8 (man.)

2) An Hawk would have +7

3) An Ancient Red Dragon would have +29; while a Great Red Warm would have +35

37 Ranks + 0 (Dex) - 8 (man.)

Even if you rule that Dragons have Fly as a cross-class skill, they still beat the Lantern Archon (which they do not under 3.5 and should probably not).

Plus you find yourself in the situation where you have to consider two elements when designing flying monsters: their maneuverability AND if Fly is a class-skill or a cross-class skill.

I like the Fly skill, but this raises some issues. No suggestions from my side so far, but wanted to raise this! Hopes this helps.

Bocklin


Well... One day the 3.5 will be out-of-print, so if you need to buy new copies, you'd probably go for Pathfinder.

But beside that, it is a bit like "back then" when 3.5 came out: the changes were there, definitely making the game better and smoother, but not bringing about a major revolution, nor burning down the house. There was continuity and betterment.

That's how I feel about Pathfinder RPG: it will allow me to keep on playing the same game, but with enough fixes and changes so it runs smoother at the table.

Plus I won't have to "throw away" my old books. Thanks to compatibility.

So you get to play true D&D revised and improved, with access to a full game setting, if you want it, that is well and fully supported with sourcebooks and loads of adventures.

What's not to like? :-)


I like the direction taken to handle damage to objects, with the "broken" condition, etc.

But if the "Mending" spell is an orison or a cantrip, it can be cast at will. So why say that it repairs 1d4 points of damage? Given a couple of rounds, a cleric or wizard could repair any damaged item with this spell.

Is this by design? Or am I missing something?

Maybe it should say: "this spell can only be used once on an object until it has been fully repaired" or something to that effect


Russ Taylor wrote:
It relates to how the Combat feats work in PF RPG - you can only use one per round. So if you choose to use Power Attack, you are not using any other Combat-labeled feat, and the benefits end just before the start of your next round.

Pathfinder's Power Attack is not a Combat Feat. It is a regular Feat. You can combine it with a Combat Feat.

The wording means that once you activate Power Attack it is valid for a duration of one round (i.e. until your next turn starts).

Example: a Level 1 Fighter with STR 14 (no special weapon or other modifiers) can usually attack with their longsword at "+3 melee (1d8+2)".

If they activate Power Attack, it becomes "+1 melee (1d8+4)"

If they activate Power Attack and are using a greatsword, it becomes "+1 melee (2d6+6)"


What do you guys say about this. Who is it from?

I've got the Dungeon Master's Guide.
I've got a 12-sided die.
I've got Kitty Pryde
And Nightcrawler too
Waiting there for me.
Yes I do, I do.

Just a tip: was back in 1994 (when there was still music on Mtv)...


Razz wrote:

What if 5th Edition was announced or started working on 5 years from now? How would you feel about D&D and WotC then?

I would be retrospectively happy and would feel reinforced in my decision of 2008: "You see?! it was a good thing that we stuck to 3rd Edition. They're doing it again!"


To the heart of the matter:

1) I do NOT plan to convert to 4.0

2) If Paizo converts, I will stop buying rule-based books and adventures (might still buy maps, minis or item cards)

3) If Paizo sticks to 3.5 or goes for "3.75", I will probably maintain my Pathfinder subscription and will continue buying Goralion-related material (even though a name change is really needed... sorry Erik! ;-) and as well as Gamemastery Modules.


From what I have seen so far, my reply would be "nothing".

The fundamental assumptions about the gaming styles of D&D Players and the character dynamic they try to attend are so far away from what I like, that it seems hopeless.


But they might nevertheless manage to hurt the D&D brand so bad that they'd eventually toss it for someone to pick up once it is not profitable enough anymore. They'd go back to their core business of TCG and Minis.


Actually, I was now thinking of the flying carpet as similar to one of the prayer mats used for muslim prayer (no offense meant, it just fits relatively well in terms of geographical/cultural sphere origin).

Those I saw so far were much thinner and finer than your run-of-the-mill European/North American dining room carpet and were folded for storing. Resulting in a volume/mass similar to a big folder or big photo album.

That would be for the 5x5 flying carpet of course.


Lathiira wrote:

Eight cubic feet in its simplest configuration is a box two feet on each side. Other shapes are possible, of course.

Your carpet will probably fit without issue. While it's 25 square feet on a side, your carpet is probably only a few centimeters thick if that. As long as it's not 4 inches thick or more, it should fit just fine.

Thanks a lot!


Hi,

Quick question. I am bit lost with US volume measures. I can easily convert 2D feet, yards, etc. to metric system, but when I read that a Heward's Handy Haversack's central pouch can contain up to 8 cubic feet of volume, I have no idea whatsoever how this translate...

In the present case: can I stick a 5 ft. x 5 ft. Carpet of Flying in there?? I guess it is easy to roll or fold, but would the resulting volume fit in there?

I know it's kind of a wild guess and I'll have to see with my DM, but wanted to gauge the feeling of those who have an idea of what 8 cubic feet look like.

Thanks in advance.

Bocklin


Vic Wertz wrote:
Lisa Stevens wrote:
Mike McArtor wrote:
...
...
...

You guys need a communications department! ;-)

...

No, stop. I don't want to give you any bad ideas: it would just force you to raise the price of products to pay for their salary. ;-))

Bocklin


Bocklin wrote:
...that Eco has this habit of "making the first 50 pages of his book unbearable to get read of non-committed readers".

I meant "to get rid of".

Talking of reading...


Cosmo wrote:

My 2cp...

  • Contemporary somnambulants:
    I've tried reading Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco several times, and I've never been able to finish. On the first page there were three words I had to look up (and I think I've got a pretty good vocabulary). One of the words wasn't even in my dictionary, and I had to find one of those thick, encyclopedic ones to find the definition. And this was on the first page.
  • Strange I always considered this book as an excellent, passionating read. But I remember some university professor of mine warning us about the fact that Eco has this habit of "making the first 50 pages of his book unbearable to get read of non-committed readers". If that's true or not I cannot say; but I kept repeating this to myself and it helped me through the first few chapters, and after that I must say that I was fully charmed...

    Still one of the best fiction books I read.

    Somehow Foucault's Pendulum is like Da Vinci Code, but without the silly theories and with harder facts to back it up.

    Bran wrote:


    In classic litterature, the French have several prize-winners. Proust comes to mind immediatly (l'Education Sentimentale) quickly followed by some Balzac (la petite Fadette) and Zola (I've never finished "Dr Pascal" out of sleeping each time I opened it).

    "L'education sentimentale" is actually by Flaubert, not Proust. And it is an amazingly compelling book! So much betrayal reversal of fortunes, etc. Could be a Logue adventure...

    But I agree that Proust, Balzac and Zola probably should earn a price for "literature that can bring you back on Prozac".

    Bocklin


    David Davidson wrote:

    I would like to see rules where skills were just as important as a base attack bonus.

    Perhaps they could make an alternate rule set for gamers like myself... a set of DnD rules that still has the familiarity of the game (because I do really like the game and would be sad to break from it) with rules that are more role-playing centric. If I play a figher, I don't want to be doomed to be some sword-swinging dolt with two skills... I want to be a knight who rises through the ranks and becomes a general, marshal, or warlord, who commands troops and liaisons with other leaders, offering the services of myself and the members of my party to change the course of history. I want to see rules for this kind of RPG, where adventures are not just about crawling around a dungeon or finding the demon lord after slaying 1,587,234 of his minions. I want adventures that call for a group of heroes to rebuild a failing city, to act as an emissary and convince two nations to stop warring, and, if necessary, lay down the law with sword and spell (because combat it truly fun).

    Hi David,

    I guess D&D can be what you are longing for, at least if the GM and the players wants it to be so, and put the focus on this.

    But if you want a ruleset that favors this type of playstyle you like, maybe Rolemaster Classic (RMC) or Warhammer FRP (WFRP) are better cut for you.

    The current D&D rules seem very much optimized to organise games where a small shock-troop bursts through places to decimate ennemies en masse and get rich and more powerful in the process.

    The deadliness of systems like RMC or WFRP usually tend to force the players to use their brains more. And the latter game offers career paths and options that do just what you describe.

    Maybe Paizo's "3.75 OGL" could also turn out to be less combat-centric than 3E so far? Not sure.

    One of the problems I have with what I have seen of 4E is that it basically takes this "let's butcher masses of critters and loot their stuff" mentality to the extreme (noticed how they highlighted the fact that, because fights were faster, you could take on more ennemies in a game session?).

    If I want combat to be streamlined and faster, it's not so I can squeeze in two or three more in my Wednesday evening gaming session, but because I'd like some more gaming time for my character to do something else! Just like you. So I am afraid 4E won't be for us.

    Bocklin


    I have been DMing CotKK for the last weeks and my players are nearly through it now. They're a bunch of experienced players who played together through all of AoW, so it first felt like a challenge to get them interested in Kobold-hunting.

    Since they know the game in and out and they characters are very optimized, I did the following:

    1- I did not use any kobold straight out of MM. All were at least one of the evolved versions you can find in the module. I especially enjoyed using the variant with two levels of rogues (sneak, flank, evasion).

    2 - Not all encounters with Kobolds need to be a fight: the Kobolds have a problem of their own and think that sacrifices are what will help them out. But maybe the newcomers/heroes can be turned into something useful, so I played up the "rebellious" faction that wants to topple the king and install a new reign.

    So, the game is slowly evolving from a Kobold-hunt to a new approach where they are trying to negotiate and see what the Kobolds would want them to do to get some of the kids back and leave Falcon's Hollow in peace.

    Bocklin


    En prenant quelques libertés avec la traduction, mais en restant dans le registre serpentin, tu pourrais la nommer "la Vipère" ou "Vipère Eteincelante".

    Bocklin


    Allen Stewart wrote:

    At the risk of sounding like I'm wishing for days gone by, back in 1st edition, you didn't have this kind of problem. TSR was a smaller company, with few employees, and they didn't have to crank out this amount of profit to pay everyone's salary and turn a profit for the company and the stockholders. I'm not calling for a return of Gygax and Company, per say, but I think there are A LOT of people working for WoTC, and I think that if there were "fewer mouths to feed", then perhaps we wouldn't have to be inundated with watered down crud in 4th edition, as I strongly suspect we will be.

    Well, actually, I don't think that it is really a question of "mouths to feed". Seeing that WotC did strongly downsize their D&D division in 2004 (IIRC), I am pretty sure they have worked out the best ratio of "smallest needed number of staff to produce as much as possible".

    A company like Hasbro/WotC is really about maximizing corporate profit and not about feeding staffers. So: lower all costs - including salaries, in amount and numbers - and raise the margins (produce the books that sell most, and not those that best further a setting).

    Smaller companies like TSR or Paizo (my guess) might have less shareholder pressure (Paizo shares are not traded on the stock exchange, right?), but higher commitments to their staff. And might be in a relatively freer position to put out a book with average positive margins (e.g. regional source book) rather than a low-cost, high-margin recycled splatbook (e.g. Complete Whatever).

    So I don't think it's about number of staffers in that case. It's all about the Hasbro shareholders.

    My bet, though, is that companies of the latter sort (e.g. Paizo) are better at retaining long-term customers and are guaranteed long-term, if lower, profits.

    On the other hand, occasionally tricking your customer on the quality of products to maximize your short terms margins (e.g. WotC) might backfire and lose you customers in the long term.

    Bocklin


    Lara Cobb wrote:

    A year after releasing the most expansive explanation of these types of imaginary beings they proudly begin crowing that a new system is being developed and it will be so much better than anything else written in the past. Folks like me have invested our own money on those imaginary beings with the expectation further material may be developed such as FCIII, Yugoloths. That can't be too difficult to grasp?

    Exactly.

    It is as if WotC had decided to first make as much money as possible out of the folks who favors an elder version of D&D, before ditching them out.

    Now they're bending the game out of shape so that it catters for a generation of computer-addicted WoW fans for which role-playing is a burden between them and their minis...

    Those who favor a more traditional type of RPGing are left behind as the game is twisted into a mixture of WoW-on-paper and Warhammer 40K.

    They don't need my bucks? Fine: they wont't get any...


    KaeYoss wrote:
    Do they come from the land of ice and snow, from the midnight sun where the hot springs blow?

    For sure. And their only goal will be the western shore.


    Thanks James for sharing your thoughts on this (and to others as well for contributing to the reflection).

    As I am still playing STAP I'll withdraw from the thread here: I don't want to click on these "spoilers" buttons (so I can't really take part in the exchanges) and without actually reading the mags I am anyway missing too much info to make a really informed decision on the topic.

    As mentioned, we are now playing on the Isle of Dread and that's much more "freeform" than the trip to get there. So I am happy that the "train ride" is behind us and we can kick around and explore the island to our whim.

    Have fun gaming!

    Bocklin


    vikingson wrote:

    The STAP is a long, drawn out epic, and certain events need to happen, to bolster and prime the narrative, the "cornerstones" mentioned above. That is not rail-roading, that is story-telling.

    Anything in between those "cornerstones" can be as free-form as the GM likes and the group can deal with.

    Hi Vinkingson,

    Sorry, I skipped most of your post for fear of reading spoilers, but I like this last sentence of yours and would like to use it to show exactly where my problem lies:

    Of course RPG is not life (thanks for the witty remark, Golden Katana: so useful...) and some of the events are planned in advance, the threats are determined by the author, etc.

    But, as a player, I want to be offered quite a bit of freedom about how I solve the problems, how I go from A to B and how I get along the storyline.

    Usually, my experience with Paizo publications is that they give you quite a good deal of freedom to do so and to choose how to handle the problem given. What I still consider a perfect example of this is "There is No Honor".

    And I agree that "departure of Sasserine", "Discovering the Zozilaha statuette" and "reaching farshore" (e.g.) are necessary steps to the story-telling of the STAP Epic.

    But my impression (with the two adventures mentioned) is that they did not give me much choice about how to move between these stations or how to handle the trip. Even worse, it turns out that my impression of scripting and railroading in the text itself are confirmed by the posters here (most of whom just happen to find it okay).

    Bocklin


    Capt. Dunsel wrote:
    I noticed Dragon's propesity to include WAY too much detail for the players. If I were the DM for the adventure path, they would not be allowed to see those maps or be able to read a lot of the material therein.

    He actually asked us not to read them until he "greenlights" some of them. Which I did. I do not remember if I saw the map in the mag after it became greenlighted or as an handout during gameplay.

    Capt. Dunsel wrote:
    You can always request the DM not run prefabbed adventures.

    But that's not my point at all!! We never had problems with published adventures. The group (before I joined) even went through most of SCAP and **ALL** of AoW and enjoyed it really a lot. Mind you: I loved and enjoyed "There is no honor" and "Bullywug's Gambit".

    It's just that my enjoyment of "Sea Wyvern's Wake" and "Here Be Monsters" were somehow reduced because the thinking and assumptions of the author(s) were showing so much through the adventure... (i.e. what I meant with "seeing the ropes and wires").

    I don't have a problem with published adventures, but I was just expressing my disapointment at the linearity of these two. We are now going through "Tides of Dread" (I think; not sure where which starts and which ends) and it seems to get better, but I have not seen enough yet.

    Bocklin


    MrFish wrote:
    (...) My impression is that you're disappointed because there is a script, not because of the actual way the game has been played, and it has made you wary of feeling tricked into doing things. (...) You just saw behind the curtain, but my advice would be don't read material on the AP you're playing in if you want to fully enjoy it. Let everything be a surprise. Your DM sounds like he's doing a great job, and it sounds like you guys were also playing really well.(...)

    Hi MrFish,

    Thanks for the comments. It is a very interesting point...

    But considering that I did not see anything that a player was not meant to see (i.e. the map is from Dragon magazine and the other maps or indications I have come from handouts or in-game play), I am now wondering: maybe "No Honor" and "Bullywug's Gambit" are scripted and linear but it did not show. For the two following adventures the ropes and wires were showing quite a bit, and since I did not change DM between adventures, I tend to think that it is maybe because of how the adventures were written?

    Thanks to some of the others for the constructive comments. I'll go over some of the answers now.

    Bocklin


    And I really do not know why I should be a smurf on the post above?


    Dear all,

    As the previous thread trying to address the issue of railroading in STAP has gone bonkers and is all "smurfed", I will try to take up the issue *seriously* here.

    Please refrain from comenting on the previous thread, let's focus on the issues. Also note that this post is full of SPOILERS.

    Let it be said that I positively loved "There is No Honor" and I think that in many respects this is a perfect example of what a city-adventure should be (or even a perfect example of how free, players should be in their decision making).

    The expedition to Kraken's Cove was exciting: we discovered that someone else had been there before and we tried to put the pieces back together and understand what had happened. Again a lot of freedom in the approach adopted, how to go about our exploration, trip, etc.

    But my passion slowly went down after that. I had mixed feelings about the boat trip: it was like we were sitting in one place as the background pics were made to roll past us to give us the feeling that we were experiencing a travel. But in the end all we could do was wait for the next encounter to come our way so we could finally do something else than roleplay among us or with mostly plot-non-related passengers.

    I had received a map of the southern seas from my DM and was painstakingly drawing our route, identifying our stopovers and timing us. I was quite statisfied with my work until I saw a similar map in Dragon Magazine with EXACTLY the same route we had been taking.

    Our DM had been really good at giving us the feeling that we had some modicum of choice about the route we chose and I thank him for being succseful at giving us the impression of freedom there. But then Dragon Magazine came in and showed me that I somehow had been had: our route had been planned and foreseen from the beginning on...

    A similar feeling arose after our overland trip on the Isle of Dread. It seems that it was all faux-freedom: whatever route we had chosen or tried to take we were supposed to have a certain set of encounters and go through holy stations before we reach farshore. I felt a bit deceived (for the second time).

    So, after having experienced these things I started retroactively questioning past situations:

    How timely was it that we arrived at the Vandenboren's Manor just in time to save Lavinia? Would she have been killed, had we been late? Or had Kabran been "waiting" in a frozen state for us to appear and start threatening the girl?

    Similarly, how timely was it that we arrived on Farshore just in time to save them from Slipknot Pete and his men? Had they been waiting for us to reach the shores of Mora before launching the attack?

    I have not seen the Mags so I cannot answer for this, but I had the feeling that this had been scripted by the authors and I was expected to go through these encounters and not experience the situation of "OMG I f... up, we are too late and Farshore is all ashes now...".

    The DM we have is really excellent: he always comes fully prepared, with to-scale print outs of all combat areas, portraits of all NPCs (chasing well beyond the mag to give a face to ALL we would meet), pre-selected Minis for the setup and also 100% reactive on all our improvisations and spontaneous ideas: obviously very familiar with the story so he can wing it if needed.

    So I am not ready to take comments that "I should change DM" or that "my DM did not do his homework": on those few weeks where he felt he was not well prepared enough, he always asked us for a reschedule! That's showing a lot of respect for his players, I think.

    So I somehow share the impressions that these "overland" adventures might have been a bit too scripted and constrained. Again, I won't be able to form a definite opinion until we finish STAP and I can read the adventures, but my impression is that I saw an otherwise excellent DM become more and more constrained by the material he was given to work with.

    And this brings us indeed to the writing of these adventures.

    Sorry guys if I breach the usually harmonious and coddly atmosphere of these Boards, but what I saw as Player in these modules (Sea Wyvern's Wake and Here Be Monsters) gave me the impression that the work there was below the usual quality of other Dungeon adventures and far too scripted/railroady.

    Bocklin

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