Hi all, Just wondering if anyone else feels like the last couple APs (Return of the Runelords, Tyrant’s Grasp, and the first book of Age of Ashes and summary of the AP) have been underwhelming to you? The plots feel simplistic and immature to me, the NPCs have little motivation, there’s not great connection between books, and plenty of weird plot holes. I find that more recent books take more work to adapt into something that's sensible. Is anyone else finding this? (See my review for Secrets of Roderick's Cove for an example of more specific complaints I have).
I’ve noticed that AP reviews on Paizo are also generally lower since War for the Crown, so it’s not just me perhaps? (**Only counting reviews with at least 2 reviews - a sample size of "1" doesn't say much, especially since there are a few reviewers who consistently give 4-5 stars).
I keep hoping the next AP will be better but I keep getting disappointed. I feel like they’re writing for people who just want a list of things to kill. There’s little room for subtlety and plot development.
Is there a new developer for APs or something? Have they tightened their budget on APs to invest in other things? Thoughts? I'm hoping that it's just that they've had to invest so many people-hours in developing the new Edition over the last year.
I’m happy to be more precise about the problems with any of the last 13 books, if anyone wants to get into the nitty gritty...
I wish there weren't spoilers for the AP in the Adventurer's Guide. I don't think they were necessary. (Talking about the 'castle' details on p. 9 under "Downtime in Breachill").
I'll have to strike some things from this Guide and personally send it to players, I think.
Love the premise overall, just makes me cringe to see it given away to players before the AP even starts.
Yeah I think it must simply be that you're better at imagination than I am. Thanks! I aim for mastery one day. I'll try to read more too. Maybe that will help. I only read about a book a week so I'll have to up my game.
Roleplaying is a creative endeavour, so I would never expect a logical reason to influence my personal tastes anyways - but thanks for trying :) . I'm not asking for help, just giving my highly subjective opinion from a narrative perspective, and based on the styles of games that I've been running for the last 32 years as a DM.
Focus your inner magical energy on the item as you consume it.
Yep, that's what we'll be saying I think. I don't like it. It's not integrated into Golarion lore deeply enough (or at all) so it sounds silly and ungrounded in the world. It sounds like a cludged-on explanation for a mechanic.
"You drink the potion and focus your magical energy on it so it will last longer."
That doesn't feel right, narratively. It moves away from the standard of fantasy RPGs where items do particular things. I get points that give heroes certain abilities (Grit, etc, and plenty of mechanics in other systems), but points that raise item power levels is something new and it doesn't feel right to me.
Just my personal opinion. I understand that many people are fine with it but it feels little closer to the D&D 4e style of play that was too mechanics-centred and lost some heart in the process..
Focus Points sound interesting from a game mechanic perspective but don't make sense to me from a logical-world perspective. I can't imagine how a character decides to 'upgrade' a magic item in the world, in this example:
"If you only need to move into a combat and make an attack while invisible, you can drink the potion to get 1d4 rounds of invisibility. However, if you have a lot of sneaking around to do before you plan on fighting, you can extend the effect to 10 minutes instead by spending a Focus Point!"
Like, how am I supposed to narratively imagine that? Any reasons I can think of are too weird and against the world if Golarion that I know up to this point.
I actually think PF1 Magic items could be more wild than they are (more towards zany OSR abilities, less 5-10% situational modifiers), so the Magic item (and spell) nerfing that I'm seeing loses my interest somewhat. That quest for balance between classes is flattening the whole system in a way that makes it a very different game.
I play Pathfinder because I like the variety of character builds, and I like the stories that APs tell, and I'm not seeing the former as much with the new multiclass rules.
I remain lukewarm on 2e at this point. It's such a different system that I can't really see it as a natural evolution from 1e.
I hate to sound like a downer. This is the first time I've posted my opinions on the playtest.
Just curious, are there issues with It Came From Hollow Mountain getting out to game stores / into Canada? The game stores in Vancouver Canada don't have it yet, and usually they'd have it by now. Also, amazon.ca just suggested that I ask for a refund with my preorder through them, because they don't yet have an estimate of when the book will be in stock.
Thanks in advance!
Just curious, are there issues with this book getting out to game stores? The local game stores in Vancouver Canada don't have it yet, and are having a hard time finding a way to order it. Also, amazon.ca just suggested that I ask for a refund with my preorder through them, because they don't yet have an estimate of when the book will arrive.
I also feel like this book is pretty weak. I'm going to carefully read the whole thing then write a review. Gonna have to do a fair bit of work as a GM to make Rodericks Cove feel like a liveable town. Just as a start (without spoiling anything):
(1) The 'factions' seem like simplistic caricatures that I think my players will have a hard time believing in. One group in particular seems really divorced from the look and feel of the rest of the town.
(2) The main NPC descriptions aren't very evocative - they don't stir my imagination or add complexity or depth that I could add subplot to.
(3) The Macguffin in this book uses a power that is dormant, for a moment, but it doesn't adequately explain why that powerful latent power arose at such an innocuous time. I think that could have been better considered or explained.
(4) Some witnesses suspect something that the PCs have already seen. (p.7). I need to give them something more to say, rather than just banging the PCs over the head something they already suspect.
(5) No Adventure Summary at the start of the book.
And I'm only on page 9 (and the NPC section) so far.
I hope it's just this book and not some overall issue with the whole AP.
I'm starting to fear the response to the negativity this class seems to have provoked. I'm afraid that they may react in response to our complaints by doubling down instead of changing their stance. I almost expect the response to be that this is the shifter that we were always intended to have.
I also fear that response, because it would mean that Paizo as a business can't respond, react and adapt to consumer feedback.
As the customer, it's not our job to go gentle on feedback in case we make the business defensive.
Yes, and I hate to do that because I play the crap out of this RPG and I want to support it. But this book makes me wary and (I'll be honest) a bit afraid for the future of the game.
I realize it's just one book, but I frikkin' LOVE every other hardcover book I've bought, which is all of them except (oddly enough) the Book of the Damned and Ultimate Villains. Those two didn't have as much of what I wanted, so there's more 'lack of support' that I don't like to do.
I still think a lot has to do with the heavy investment into Starfinder. No matter what Paizo says, I think the attention has been split and perhaps the quality has come down. I hope Planar Adventures turns things around - but I don't know if that will be a great indicator, because it's at least 50% plane fluff, which doesn't require playtesting.
Can someone send me a link to the "FAQ's in queue to be answered" page for this book?
There's an awful lot of apparent omissions and required clarifications. The Flightless Owl Aspect is my latest "WTF" unpleasant surprise here.
I friggin' hate buying a book and feeling like I'm playtesting it. I've said that here before, but I'm saying it again because I can't shake the feeling.
And yes, sadly I will wait to pick up the next hardcover because I want to see if we've entered an unfortunate era of less-playtested PF hardcover books.
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
I'm going to go back to having a little bit of faith and hoping that the team is aware of the issues as we've been bringing them forwards and are listening to the concerns, perhaps with wholesale revisions to classes/archetypes/problematic issues to address them.
I don't have the same faith, but I am REALLY hoping the team eventually publicly acknowledges that changes need to be made... both in the Shifter class and some of its archetypes, and perhaps with the way they're playtesting. That will do a lot to restore my sense that Paizo is trying to uphold a high standard of quality with their hardcover books.
For me, Pathfinder is founded on two things that no other RPG has: Awesome Adventure Paths integrated into a rich world, and a huge breadth of character options. I'm loving the AP's and I think they're actually getting better over time. If the character classes / feats / archetypes is starting to drop, that's gonna hurt.
I'm willing to overlook a certain percentage of crappy Feats and archetypes, but when the classes themselves seem rushed and uninspired, I actually feel a bit worried. I also get a lot more critical of what else the book has to offer.
Optimally, every single Feat and Archetype should be compelling and usable. There is no reason to have a certain percentage of Archetypes that is unusable (Oozemorph).
I will eventually write a review, but I'm posting here to voice the importance of a little more transparency from Paizo on class and archetype development - now, and in the future. I'm only saying this because I want to give contructive feedback, and I'm genuinely concerned that the current strategy is going to lead to more problems in the future.
I don't want to feel like a playtester on a $45 (CDN) book.
I hope the developers step in to address the widespread complaints about this new class. It's not just here in the Paizo threads, it's pretty much everywhere.
I spend a fair bit of money on Paizo products every year and I'm genuinely curious to see how they handle this. The Shifter comes out at a moment where Paizo is expanding into another RPG. The quality of this new class is not what I've seen with the Vigilante or the Occult Classes (the most recent classes).
For me, this is a crucial moment to see how Paizo handles criticism and concern over playtesting. I will feel much better if I see that they're listening to what is being said and offer some formal acknowledgement and reply.
My greatest fear is that this won't turn into a conversation with Paizo, and that the class will be improved in splatbooks that I have to pay $30 each for.
Whether there is a problem with the Shifter or not, it's obvious that there is widespread public perception that it was not as well developed as other classes, and I am waiting to see how Paizo deals with that.
I want to keep playing PF for a long time in the future, and I hope the level of quality remains top-notch. I think a big part of that quality is for a company to hold themselves accountable to the desires of their playing audience. If this class is not popular, what went wrong? How could that change for next time? I would like to know that Paizo is listening and willing to change.
If this should go into a different thread, please let me know and I'll put it there.
Can anyone point me towards some printed material that will help me create:
(1) Several bipedal caribou characters? (Deer / Moose / Elk-men would work fine).
(2) A bipedal polarbear character? (Any kind of bear-man would work fine)
Optimally, this would be a template in an existing pathfinder bestiary, or from an existing Adventure Path (since I own them all). If not, anything available on the PFSRD would also help.
I just read an interview with one of the designers, and I feel optimistic about what they're probably doing to streamline the rules and ensure that the game doesn't get bloat-y.
You gotta think that if the rulebook is as big as the PF Core book, but also includes ship combat and lore about the universe, they're going to have to trim and polish a fair bit. I'm looking forward to seeing what they come up with!
I'm really curious to see how they make it compatible to BF Bestiaries, but I suppose that's just a matter of making bonuses increase at the same rate, and matching AC and HP.
I don't see any mention of monsters in the description of this book. Are you squeezing that into each AP?
I'll buy this for sure; curious to see if it's as crunchy as Pathfinder or if you're taking a cue from the 5e rules and roll-out strategy and trying for something that's a little more accessible and non-bloaty. I'm hoping for the latter, just so I can get more people into the game and not feel like I have an IV drawing from my bank account. :)
I've been away from the conversation for about four months. Just wondering if anything has been said about the differences, rules-wise, between this and PF? I'm talking about number of skills / using skill ranks / feat trees / BAB progression... are there any fundamental differences? Any streamlining? Anything that would help eliminate bloat over time? Incorporating / adopting other novel mechanics?
I position my NPCs and monsters in places that are realistic for them, depending on the situation. This is an extension of the living imaginative universe we're playing in, not a transition to a tactical board game.
My players are positioned similarly.
We never worry about CR because I don't play enemies optimally and neither do my players.
Depends on game styles, I guess.
What about this involves creative problem-solving? It seems like a series of die rolls. Plug it into a die-rolling subroutine and go eat nachos until your characters emerge from the puzzle..
Um, I don't really see those as problems.
Exactly. That's the typical response. Many PF players think it's normal, whereas it's the exception in terms of roleplaying games. I think only 4th Ed is more rigid in these respects. (I think the Burning Wheel system is also rigid, but in different ways...)
Before you or anyone says "play another game", there are many other aspects of PF that make it worthwhile to play for me -in spite of- the dominant PFS-esque culture. It has taken some unlearning for the longtime PF(S) player in my group though.
I'm not speaking for everyone - just my POV.
The worst thing about Pathfinder, in my mind, is PFS. I think even Adventure Paths are more restricted than they should be, so they might possibly be registered for PFS play. Even if they're not, it becomes difficult for scenarios to deviate from a culture of roleplaying that I don't see anywhere else:
- Heavy preference towards RAW
Of course, all these things are possible to overcome and there are exceptions; but it is less 'normal' to see open-ended scenarios and a more free-wheeling approach to the system than in other games. I think this has a lot to do with the expectations built around PFS which requires standardized play across hundreds of groups. It's kinda crazy and I honestly think it hurts the game experience (but probably not the business).
This is my favourite thread on these forums, since first arriving here about a year ago.
I am all over the spontaneous actions that consider the imagined situation, as opposed to mechanics. I try to encourage this as DM in all my games and find that many long term PF players have a hard time with it.
Agreed WRT combat maneuvers too. As DM, my monsters and NPCs are pretty in-character, which means they use all kinds of actions depending on the situation. They're not on the game to lower players' HP - they have their own motivations which means they take all kinds of crazy actions.
Also, manipulating RAW is a fave for me. Another one that many people here can't deal with. :).
In a PbF game I'm running right now, we have four medium creatures (2 PCs 2 enemy) in one 5' space, all wrestling, trying to push each other off a cliff, with one of the four trying to hang on to a rope that extends off the cliff. To keep it chaotic, everyone is declaring their actions at the same time. The action is awesome but impossible in standard PF rules.
Another (I think) valid reason to ignore some posters is to cut down on a low signal-to-noise ratio. I do it all the time in other forums. Too much posting about nothing, or conversation between web-pals, makes it more frustrating and less efficient for me to browse through a forum when I'm looking for actual game information. So I see Ignoring as an ability to customize my experience, somewhat...
Maybe I should read some of it before trashing it then.... :0
Based on the just-released descriptions of book 1 and 2 of Ironfang Invasion, it's sounding really good to me. Kinda classic beasts but a dynamic situation and less-than-typical interactions with other 'factions' for interesting reasons. I tend to loosen up published adventures to give my players a more sandbox-y situation to work with, and this one sounds like a great base to work from.
Strange Aeons - totally stoked cuz I'm a huge fan of Lovecraft's writing, which got me into the Call of Cthulhu RPG in a big way about ten years ago. I will likely modify this one to bring out the sanity and horror aspects a little more. My players are totally okay with not being kick-ass, so it'll work. :)
Azlant - I'm not a huge Golarion expert so the history aspect of this doesn't attract me. I get the sense this will supposedly connect some ideas that are already milling about in the Golarion canon, but I don't know what that is. As with everything, my Golarion is heavily modified :) Paizos AP's rarely disappoint me though so I'm eager to see how they deal with such a specific environmental situation without it getting tedious.
Starfinder - Very eager to see how they treat this as well! I follow the Starfinder news very closely.
Steven "Troll" O'Neal wrote:
Yeah, I'm no Star Wars aficionado. Jedi to me is a dude like Luke kickin ass with an energy sword and doing flips. I'm not familiar with the whole Star Wars Universe, couldn't gag my way through the 4th-6th films made, never watched Clone Wars or read any books. So your vision of a Jedi may very well be the more common one, no idea. :)
Steven "Troll" O'Neal wrote:
What the devs feel, and what I feel are two different things. Technically speaking I feel a gestalt psychic warrior/psion is the closest mechanically to a Jedi. But of the way the new classes have been described the Mystic feels more like a Jedi than the Solarion. Totally an opinion though.
I don't think the mystic will have the combat abilities of a Jedi. I think they will be 'Full Caster' without great melee and combat skills. Just my opinion.
Steven "Troll" O'Neal wrote:
See, I get the feeling the Mystic is more true to the Jedi. Take the requisite weapon proficiency there you go.
The designers have explicitly said that the Solarion is closest to a Jedi. It's a melee class with an energy melee weapon, telekenetic ("gravity") powers, and energy-based powers. It even has two polarities in the Force... er.... "solar energy" they draw from. If you go far along one end of the spectrum, you can't do as much on the other end of the spectrum. I don't know how much closer you could get to Jedi without calling it a Jedi. :)
It does sound like the polarity mechanic is very different from a Dark Side Corruption-type mechanic though.
I get the sense that
(1) Everyone is going to have the skills; some will just be better than others, and
(2) Each class is actually designed to work in the ship combat system, so "PC's having none of these skills" isn't a possibility.