Finally, more proteans. Always found it weird they're supposed to be the most varied outsider and yet there's only a handful of them out of the 10 years of publication.
I see this and I raise you an "I've always found it odd that these representations of pure chaos all seem to be very singular in form."
Sounds like we jumped to the assumption that "new race" meant player race.....when they are not actually intended as a player race :P
I'd say that is definitely the case. The description of the subtype and the two examples in the bestiary section don't seem to support the idea of this being a player race at all. Just a new sort of monster.
Marco Massoudi wrote:
Collecting sold out single volumes into compilations is a standard operating procedure in the comics & books (and to a lesser degree in the rpg) industry.
I don't think comparing the comic model to Paizo's model is necessarily a good analogy for your reasoning here.
Bear in mind that, in the comics industry, advertising pays for a substantial part of the cost of the printed comic, which is why monthly comics are still being created (as opposed to going over full throttle to trade paperbacks). That isn't the case (at least to the best of my knowledge) for APs.
Additionally, comic publishers don't bother waiting for singles to sell out before collecting them in trade (just look at all the single issues that fill the dollar bins in any comic store. Volumes of them these days, as opposed to once upon a time). So you end up in a situation where the retailer- who orders his issues on spec, hoping for his retail customers to buy up the singles- now has a lot of singles left to try and dispose of at a much lower profit margin. (Which has hurt a lot of retailers substantially.)
If anything, I would think that the comic model would be a good cautionary tale to Paizo [u]not[/u] to collect APs on any kind of regular basis. I would assume that they retain the bulk of their print run, with only a small percentage of it going out to retailers to sell, meaning that they would be the ones with the largest volume of what are presumably less appealing (to purchasers) single issues when they do their collected "reprint."
(Just as an aside, I'm kind of glad they haven't put out collected volumes of more APs than they have. I really love the collected/revised RotRL, but I was somewhat disappointed in CoCT. I felt that the layout was not up to the quality of the layout in the RotRL collection, and did not care for most of the changes. I prefer the single issues, even if they do require conversion to PF.)
If their Infinite Worlds ability could be expanded during ship combat, I could see that being useful in hindering enemy movement (or, if using a suggestion I made in the first impressions thread for having their ability provide beneficial effects, to assist the PCs ship instead). Creating gravity wells or miniature black holes would certainly be disruptive to attacking fleets!
These are pretty interesting. Kind of reminds me of Ambrose Chase from Warren Ellis' Planetary.
I do wonder, though, as written their Infinite Worlds ability seems only useful for making the world around them hazardous terrain in some manner. I think it would be cool if they could also use it for the opposite- for instance, making difficult terrain regular terrain. Using it in beneficial ways, and not just as a hindrance.
Dire Ursus wrote:
I think you're confused as to the point of that ritual. It's a replacement for those creatures ability to summon other creatures of their type in 1e. In 1e it was a flat percentage if the summon would work. It's to give them a way to still have the ability to call other creatures of their type to their side while in different planes. Otherwise the plot of a lot of 1st edition adventures would not be able to be converted over easily.
Not confused about the reason for it at all, I just don't think that the Ritual treatment accomplishes what it set out to do to replace that 1e summoning ability.
As it stands, the ability as written basically is useless. Either the ritual has already successfully summoned demonic allies for the villain prior to the arrival of the PCs (in which case it is really just a matter of setting the encounter appropriately), or they have not. The time frame to summon allies makes it extremely unlikely it will ever impact an encounter if they have not already done so (unless the PCs take an awfully, awfully long time to kill the demon.)
Likewise, the Critical Success/Success/Failure/Critical Failure effects will never come into play unless a DM is really intent on playing some kind of random game of chance with (essentially) himself, and have the PCs show up while the demon is battling with other demons, weakened from that battle, dead(?) from that battle, or the PCs show up while the Critically Successfully summoned allies are serenading their summoner because they are so ecstatic to be called on. Or he feels like deciding randomly if the demon succeeded or failed.
I get the intent, but using the Ritual mechanic for this purpose is very silly in this situation. It should either have its casting time reduced to a point that it is useful in combat, or should be changed from a Ritual back into some other natural ability (or just disregarded entirely and replaced with some kind of staging suggestion for how to build encounters representing demons with already summoned allies).
To add to the topic-
I still find myself shaking my head over the demon/devil summoning rituals from the Bestiary. As written, they can't be used by PCs which really makes the failure/success element of the rituals pointless, not to mention just the oddity of making them a part of their combat statistics anyway (since it isn't something the demon/devil is going to cast in combat; it should just be mentioned as encounter building to set the level of difficulty of an encounter appropriately).
I would guess they are leaving it open so that other villains may make use of them someday, even if not PC.
Maybe. I'd think you'd have the same problem if it is an NPC only ritual, though.
The only NPC scenario I could foresee this actually being used in is if there is a final encounter where the PCs stumble into the final stages of the ritual and have a chance to affect the summoning roll so that it turns into a critical fail and now the "Big Bad" has two enemies to worry about (PCs and demon/devil who didn't want to be summoned).
That seems like a really, really isolated possibility, and it seems easier to just adjudicate a possible scenario like that in text/encounter building, rather than leaving it up to a random roll, though.
Or perhaps at some point when they do a villain book there will be some high level PC options that allow their use.
This seems more likely; that they think at some point they might open it up to PCs, but even if so, it seems they might be better served by leaving the rituals for such a supplement, and free up some space in the Bestiary for other goodies.
I keep scratching my head at the purpose of the Abyssal/Infernal Pact rituals from the playtest bestiary. I understand that these are present to detail how demons and devils in PF2E summon allies, and to illustrate how their summoning in 2E is different from 1E, but I don't quite understand why they are presented as rituals, rather than just as a special ability or even just as a textual description.
As they currently stand, they can only be used by NPCs ("must be demon/devil" respectively), which means that the mechanics involved- the critical success to critical failure spectrum- will never see use in-game. (Unless the GM feels like playing dice-rolling games by himself to throw some randomness into his own encounter building process for some reason.)
Am I missing something? Is there some reason the rituals might actually be useful in-game that I just can't conceive of?
I like the idea of the Pact - the DM can choose the allies from a much broader list than the two or three specified in previous editions. This can be nicely tailored to terrain/ mission/ general tricksiness.
That part I'm fine with- expanding the range of possible demon allies. But I don't see where Abyssal Pact needs to be statted out as a ritual to do so. Either just say they have an ability where they can possibly have other demonic allies, or (better yet) just note it in the text, and say that the GM should select the type of demons based on the encounter's Difficulty Level.
Suggestion: Just add a line to the Abyssal/ Infernal pacts that allows the summoning of the contracted allies as an activity taking two or three actions. That's what I'm doing :D
That's really what I'd prefer. It gives the flavor of prior editions to demons, and lends some degree of utility to Abyssal Pact.
I'd like them to be able to summon in combat again though.
The more I reflect on this, the more odd it seems to me to have been changed the way it is.
I think I can see the rationale for removing the in-combat summoning, if the intent is presumably to remove randomness and keep encounter challenge levels flat.
However, it then seems weird to include it as not only an out of encounter event, but one that includes a random chance of going awry. It almost comes across as a mini-game for the GM to play solo before an encounter with PCs. ("The PCs are going to be reaching the demon's lair today, so I'll roll to see if he is able to successfully summon allies that will make the encounter more difficult. Oh- he critically failed, now the PCs will find him in the midst of/victim of a demonic attack!")
It just feels unnecessary, now. Again, if the intent is to make challenges flat, then the addition or lack of other demons should be considered in the encounter design process (by setting the challenge level and xp and selecting the monsters accordingly), and not bothering with the Abyssal Pact ritual at all.
If there still is some intent on keeping a degree of randomness, on the other hand, Abyssal Pact should be able to be used in combat.
Otherwise, Abyssal Pact seems rather extraneous (unless it will eventually be opened up to PC usage through a feat or some means of emulating being a demon?).
In Golarion, everyone has a 5% chance, every so often, of being fired from their job and being shamed in their community
James Jacobs wrote:
Thanks for pointing this one out, as it's a good example of hyperbolic rules text that might make sense for a PC to deal with but implies a lot more fundamental on a mass scale about a setting that uses the rules to simulate reality.
On the other hand, think of the campaign potential. Pathfinder Adventure Path: "The Forsaken Army- a mysterious leader has rallied the masses of ignominiously rejected laborers across several nations into a powerful legion with one goal in mind: revenge!!!"
Sir Richard Francis Burton spoke something like two dozen languages. Many Europeans are multilingual.
I am definitely not a fan of the change to languages in 2E. I am not really sure what the rationale behind it was (simplification, presumably). It certainly feels a bit overtuned with the changes to bonus languages, in addition to the rarity levels on languages and language related spells (like Tongues). If the intent is just to have everyone speaking Common and ignore complications of language, then just toss them out entirely.
Storm Dragon wrote:
Upping the "Bonus Languages" Int threshold from 12 to 14 is an odd and unwelcome move. Communication is unlikely to be an issue in most games, with most creatures speaking Common (or whatever passes for it in your region).
I have to agree with this point. I must admit that I'm terribly baffled by the limitations now with Bonus Languages (must have Int 14, and only get to select 1 additional language), particularly in light of the additions of Rarity levels to language as well as to some language spells (notably Tongues).
Granted, in my campaigns I tend to use a lot of regional languages and dialects for reasons of verisimilitude (and for my own amateur linguist quirks), but all of these changes together present an even greater communication hurdle, particularly for traveling campaigns. I don't know that I see the gain from the changes collectively, albeit I could see some mileage out of them individually.
I really don't care for the "one crafting feat = craft anything you want" idea; it just breaks verisimilitude for me. Not to mention that it doesn't really work with standard fantasy tropes (he was a poor blacksmith who became legendary for his crafted armor.. oh, and he could also build ships and castles, and cobble together a mean pair of shoes in his spare time; somehow doesn't have the same ring to it.)
I think I understand the rationale for it (streamline it), but the end result loses out as a result IMO.
Performance suffers from the same issue, IMO.
I'd agree that Lore probably needs a bit more clarification. Based on the fact that one of its Trained usages is to allow for the conduct of tradecraft (and, subsequently, the ability to provide for oneself economically), Lore would seem to be actually a very specialized form of trained knowledge/ability. However, the current presentation of it lends it too easily to be dismissed as trivia.
5) Bitterness. Okay yes this one is personal. I have said that one of the ways I curb CLW spam is limiting the ability to find them. I basically just moved them to Uncommon. This seems to be however a bad move on my part from some of the responses I saw over some of the topics. So everyone's cheering for something I did and got flak for. K.
This is actually (perhaps unintentionally) an interesting point. Not the bitterness, but the reference to the issue of CLW spamming.
From discussion in the Resonance blog post thread (as well as items and others), it was made clear that one of the reasons behind Resonance was as a stopgap to help ease the issue of CLW spam/healing and similar "abuses" of PF1.
However, with the introduction of this new Commonality/Rarity mechanic, wouldn't that serve just as well as Resonance, without adding yet another resource pool to keep track of? Simply rank certain types of items with different levels of rarity to prevent unlimited purchases.
Whatever. It is a good way to manage "things". But it is a DM tool and not a mechanic. I think making it official is just kinda weird.
Agreed. If the presentation of this is as an "optional" ranking system or something for the benefit of DMs who might find it a streamlined way of setting up some guidelines for their campaigns, that's one thing. But the blog makes it sound as if in PF2 this is going to be a mechanic (or for those who don't seem to like that term being applied to it, another TRAIT to be applied to weapons, armor, items, spells, and other things), then it seems like overreach to me in a revision that had as one of its goals rules simplification.
The Armageddon Orb is useful as an example of a high level trap in this blog to showcase the mechanics, but as an actual item in the 2E core rulebook? I'm not so sure.
It seems way to niche (not to mention destructive) to be bandied about as seemingly commonplace high level trap that could be encountered. Something like this should be used maybe once in an entire campaign, and then only as deadly Macguffin that ups the stakes against the final campaign BBEG. As such, I'd prefer something like that relegated to the last encounter/chapter of the final story in an AP, and save the page space in the core rulebook with something more utilitarian.
I'm getting this impression too: it seems like they are trying to cover the hybrids in the base classes options.
It looks very much like it. The barbarian preview had some things that felt like bloodrager-like abilities; ditto the monk and brawler; and the ranger has some slayer and hunter-like qualities. Mark's comment earlier made it sound like- even if not necessarily a conscious design choice- a hunter-like character could already be built with the playtest version of the ranger.
One thing I absolutely do not understand is the complaint that it is narratively inconsistent with the previous edition... As far as the setting is concerned this could always have been the norm but it just never came up.
I believe that the complaint comes from that concern about the setting more than the mechanics. If the campaign setting were changing with the new edition, then it probably wouldn't be as big an issue. Since it is not (still Golarion), I don't see anything unreasonable in people finding some disappointment that the mechanics don't fit what they have come to expect in the game world.
Saying "it never came up" in a world where many of the players are or adventured with spellcasters who should probably have been familiar with this concept, seems like a stretch.
Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
Except 9 L= 0 Bulk. So the tracking only matters if you reach full #s. a series of check boxes on a character sheet should handle it quite well
DM: "What's your bulk?"
Player: "Hang on. 5 plus... 6, no 7 L. So 5."
Player: "Hang on. 5.7. So, 5."
I'm not seeing a substantive difference other than the latter seems quicker and more natural (adding numbers directly rather than adding numbers and counting up letters to add to them.) YMMV.
Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
I think they mentioned in one of the live streams that, like in Starfinder, L stands for Light bulk, and equals 0.1 Bulk (so 10 L items add up to 1 Bulk)
Isn't it more intuitive, then, to make L = .1 instead? So that way you are just adding numbers to get your numeric Bulk rating, instead of adding numbers and letters together.
I know someone else brought it up in another thread (the Trinkets one, I believe), but I'm really curious to know how Cursed items are going to work with the Resonance concept. Are they going to force people to expand RP (I still don't like that abbreviation)? That would be an interesting way of portraying their curse, in addition to whatever negative effects otherwise attend them.
(On the matter of the cloak, looking back at it after seeing this, I'd expect some people to try getting out of the operate activation action when the hood is already up for the stealth bonus.)
Which is a good argument for not specifying that you need to "raise the hood" in order to activate any of its properties, just indicate that it takes an action (unspecified) to make it do the things it does. (ie, you can use one action to grant a bonus to Stealth checks. You can also use an action to grant yourself invisibility.)
Like with the Resonance post, I think there is still some unnecessary level of detail to these items. To wit:
... you can whisper the command word to become invisible...
... you can use the breath weapon by spending 1 RP and 2 Operate Activation actions (one to inhale the necessary air and the other to breathe out)
Why is it necessary to whisper the command word (I can't shout it like a barbaric yawp across the rooftops of the world and have it work?) Shouldn't it be enough to state that it takes to Operate actions and 1 RP to use the breath weapon? Is it vitally important that the nature of those actions (inhale, exhale) be spelled out explicitly?
I can't help but feel as if some of these details are being deliberately targeted towards Society play in their efforts to mitigate player vs. DM nitpicking. It feels like overreaching and won't really serve to stave off players who are truly invested in looking for "cheat codes" to do more than the rules allow.
Gregg Reece wrote:
Haha! This totally reminded me of Office Space. Maybe we can change the name of Trinkets to 'Flair'?
"Valeros, we need to talk about your flair."
"But Ezren, I'm wearing the 15 piece minimum."
"That's okay, if you just want to do the minimum. Look at Alain, though, he's wearing 37 pieces."
If that is the reasoning behind it, then I would think there would be consistency with all magic items at that level of detail. As things stand currently with the magic items in this blog, the only one that details specific, descriptive actions needed to activate the item is the Cloak of Elvenkind. The other items just indicate that they need to be activated.
Narrative prose can be useful and interesting in the right context, but I think that for a lot of things in the game (such as magic items and equipment) less is more.
OCEANSHIELDWOLPF 2.0 wrote:
The activations seem needlessly specific (hood raising etc).
I agree with this. Including descriptions of items for the benefit of ease is one thing (personally, I don't see why all staves of healing would look identical, but it is narrative shorthand).
Going into exhaustive detail about exactly how to "activate" something seems excessive. (Why can't I wrap the cloak around me? Trace some runes on the hem with my finger? Rub the cloth against my forehead?) Just saying what kind of action it requires should be sufficient, IMO, and leave the creative license to players and DMs to figure out.