Craig Black's page

Goblin Squad Member. 20 posts (21 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


Hey all;

A bizarre request. This video is of a friend's girlfriend who wants him to win a fishing trip. I know this is completely out there, and you'll need to delete an email from the fishing network, but if you could find it in your hearts to vote for him, I'll be popular with the girl of MY dreams, who is Jason's sister.

Who's Jason? Watch the video.

The difficulty I see with FR is the familiarity that so many people have with it. If your players know about this villian or that plot, then the mystery of the world is lost.

It's like a great book that you re-read. Just not as good the second time. Sure you might find something you missed last time, but you know what's going to happen; the suspense is gone.

As for those who are devoted to the Realms "the way they were": they've been done to death. Apart from rules conversion, what could they possibly sell us? All of the setting has been detailed.

With proper execution, this new FR should feel like the friend you knew in University that you meet on the street twenty years later: familiar, but completely different. Change too much and you feel like you never knew them, and they might as well be a different person.

My 2d.


Steerpike7 wrote:


Question for you - my group also found the classes were fairly similar to one another; different fluff, similar crunch. Probably my main concern with 4E (and I'm really enjoying it so far, I might add, and I've been playing since the early 1980s) is that the players are going to become bored with the classes fairly quickly because of all the similarities. The one guy in my group who is absolutely opposed to 4E is the guy who plays the Wizard, and I have to admit I feel for the guy. They basically eliminated the Wizard as D&D has ever known it (and he didn't play Wizards for the power; if you knew my campaign you'd know Wizards have it rough and people tend to avoid them).

Any thoughts on how to deal with that sort of thing? I know there will be splats, more core books etc., but it seems like they've hampered themselves by the rules to some degree (and by sometimes misguided pursuits of balance) and I wonder if this isn't going to hurt the flavor of the classes long term.

Well, ultimately the saying "This isn't your father's D&D" has never been more true. One thing that I'm still working through is the balance question. The hints in the DMG are pretty vague: you must be careful when giving powers to monsters, etc, etc. Well, that's great: they codify how individual monsters are going to react on one hand (with the tactical combat encounters) but on the other don't really give any guidelines for balancing powers, etc. This means for the GM who wants to put the work in and give his players something else to work with or try for, well, it's going to be an ungoverned balancing act.

My wizard-player is going to miss the scroll-hunt. He was a fanatic in past games: hunting down scrolls to fill out his spell book. To a certain extent Rituals might replace this obsession, but I'll have to wait to see it in action. In reality, differentiating games will probably distill down to roleplaying. But for me, I'm going to miss the days of looking for a master or trading spells with another wizard.

Following my next game, with my own setting, I'll post and let you know how it goes.


Fake Healer wrote:

[I'm not trying to sound rude but out of his entire post only one point hinged on the adventure. Every other point was about the rules and how they felt to him, from character generation, to minions, to the way combat worked. It seemed like out of 8 or so points that only one was directly against the adventure itself.

Thank you Craig for the honest review, I now return you to the systematic tearing apart of your reasoning by other posters who don't want you post negative results.

It didn't come across as rude. I was responding to the thread title: Gut Reaction to 4E. Since my first running was both tied to 4e and KotS, it was natural that both would be hit by my opinions.


crosswiredmind wrote:

Hey Craig,

I think you hit on a big problem with the 4e launch that a lot of folks are running into - KotS was not a great mod for roleplaying. If the mod had been different do you think your first impression of the rules would have been different?

Our group is older (we played KotB - when it was released) and there were a number of references to that module and the similar feel.

In answer to your question: we're going to find out. My group is not desirous of continuing with KotS; so I'll create something of my own and try it. Suprisingly, the backdrop to KotS, as printed in the back of the DMG is what I will probably use.

House rules as asked for by the table: an elimination of Minions and a return to a straight double damage mechanic for criticals. They were not so much concerned with things being tougher: the disjointed feel of "bubble monsters" really got to them (and honestly, me).


First reactions to play.

Our group gave it a shot last night. We played KotS with a dwarf ranger, an elf warlock, a half-elf wizard, and human cleric and paladin. It was interesting, and it definitely has more of a war-game vibe than a role-playing vibe.

Some interesting reactions from my players:

1. "So basically, most characters look the same?" in regards to the streamlined character creation. They liked the idea that characters were easier to create, but found even with feats, kinda looked the same.

2. "Whoa, is this a real monster or a bubble monster?" (in reaction to the 1-hp minion rules).

3. "Holy crap, how many HP does this kobold have?" (in reaction to the 24-30 HP the first encounter kobolds had.)

4. "So this fella is really any "class"?" (in reaction to the description of NPCs as monsters.)

5. "Man combat takes a long time." (in reaction to monsters having more HP in relation to the relative combat damage of the players.

Overall, it was fun. We enjoyed the streamlined combat; and it was easier to understand. However, my gut (and my party) has some concerns:

1. Attack powers really don't grow in relation to the power of the character. Kobolds were the cannon fodder of the gaming world, and with the advent of the new HP system, they seemed inordanately tougher than before. Granted the minion rules help with that, but our reaction was that it seemed very artificial, and a little off-putting. My party has already titled minions as "bubble monsters".

2. Character do seem very similar. You can vary the race, but not really the capabilities of the classes. This does have a positive aspect: all characters are now "combat ready". (Try running a published module with a druid, a bard, a wizard/rogue and a monk/cleric. :))

3. As a GM I really rebel against the production of "adventures" as a series of tactical combat encounters. The individual room maps and description of tactics kinda eliminates any need for creative GMing. And really, they are crap when you have a thinking party. Even the first session, my characters lured kobolds and goblins from their supposed starting combat areas. As well, they patiently waited them out and ambushed them. The combat area maps and encounter descriptions seem like fluff to me, am I alone in that thought? I'd rather have a short description, but more adventure area and better surroundings development.

Any way, my 2 cents.


Thanks for the responses.

Oh, and Mike...

My group LOVES Varisia/Golarion. It has never happened that they have fallen in love with a world before. Campaigns yes, worlds no.

Of course, if you could publish you material in Savages Worlds as well, that would greatly expedite things. :)


I have found Stone of Seers in Magnimar, the Acadamae in Korvosa.

I understand there is a magic guild in Kaer Maga, but I don't know it's name.


What is the name of the magic guild in Kaer Maga?
Are there any other arcane societies that I have missed?


PS: If you could suggest a more appropriate location for this thread, I'd appreciate it.

Er... any chance of that card list?


So, were there any more copies of the map?


PDiddy wrote:
Me too. (Calgary)

Also in Calgary, haven't recieved mine yet.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

I second the "Pathfinder Lite" motion.


For the record, I bought the first two Pathfinders in PDF. Then, I found them in their printed glory at my local gaming store.

Alas, the first two, printed out on my wax laser printer on glossy paper still do not approach the quality of the printed versions.

I also live in Canada, and the shipping was an issue for me. Thankfully, with the product I ordered (Pathfinder subscription) there was a 30% discount and that covered the cost of shipping. As well, if you are stuck on the price, offers Paizo products and if you can save up to buy, shipping is free.


IMC there are aasimar, tieflings, gith and were. The last is a bestial race, similar to gnolls.


Two cents, for what it's worth.

A couple of questions, a couple of points of view.

Will 4e be open?
Apart from the blanket statement that there will be no compatiblity between editions, has anyone actually heard about how the rules will differ?

I want to be a fan of d20, but I struggle with it as many of my players are "rules lite". We are an older crowd, and so poring through rule books for understanding is secondary to telling stories. And between games there's kids, wives, business travel... Looking at the stat block for a 10th or 12th level characters requires a lot of reading and a knowledge of some fairly arcane rules to understand why certain feats are valuable and others are not. More than many "beer and pretzels" players are willing to invest. For introducing new players d20 is a write-off. Too many options, rules, modifiers, exceptions.... It takes the focus off what (I believe) is really important in gaming: adventuring.

Hopefully, 4E will eliminate some of these issues.

Unfortunately, the cost of 4e will be challenge because for a new generation of players is looking to purchase it. The core books will probably come in at $45-50 a pop, meaning an investment of ~$150 just for the rule books. Stack that with the cost of settings, miniatures, battlemaps, dice, etc and it's well beyond the reach of an "exploratory" 'tween. This is compared to 1st Edition which I purchased for $15 and it included the rules, a module (B1: Keep on the Borderland... ah, the crawl) and dice. At the time, it was cheaper than Monopoly(tm).

Somehow, all of the rule additions and crunch hasn't improved the hobby. For myself, I use Savage Worlds and convert d20. My players were recently able to pick up the Explorer's Edition for $10 and have a set of rules of their own.

Not arguing a point, just putting in an opinion.


Red Hand of Doom.

Start the characters later on in the campaign (say, after the journey to the Witchwood. Should play out in 5-7 sessions.


Djoc wrote:
As soon as the hard copy of a book ships, you get access to the PDF for that book.



How long after you purchase a subscription do the PDFs become available. I just purchased a sub starting at Vol 3, and was wondering when I could download.


tbug wrote:
I just got mine today (in Canada), and didn't have to pay any customs fees. According to the declaration, this counts as a toy.


mearrin69 wrote:

Hi all,

Just got Pathfinder #1 in the mail yesterday (got the download a few days ago) and I wanted to say thanks to Paizo for choosing to make this such a high print quality product. My wife says she'll bug me less for spending $20 a month on it - she thought it was a magazine and I was happy to be able to show her otherwise. Cheers!

Does anyone know: for purposes of sending this publication into Canada is it considered a magazine or a book?

When I purchase publications from other companies, I pay customs fees, but I don't on magazines.

From the discussions here, I would really like to have a physical copy, but alas, between $20 + shipping + customs vs ~$14 for just the PDF...