Urgak became a pretty funny distraction in the game. One time, the party sorcerer fried him with a fireball, killing him instantly. Three months later, Uragk returned somewhat singed and battered. The funny thing was they were in a desert and could see someone chasing them just on the horizon and each day they checked the figure would seem closer, gaining on them. Finally after three days they could see that it was Urgak, back for more. They decided to set up an elaborate trap in the hopes of keeping him caged in a deep pit. The ranger who was 17th level created a pit trap that wold ensure that Urgak could never climb out. Of course, Urgak fell in without a fight and dies as a result of the fall. They buried his body thanks to the sorcerer and his earth based spells in hopes that the madness would end.
Fast forward 5 real months and one of the Player said that his character would be going to bed. Suddenly...URGAK ATTACK!! The little ankle biter was in the character's bed under the sheets, caked with desert dust. He always seemed to surface when the players just started to forget about him.
A couple of years ago I created an annoying goblin named Urgak. Every once in a while, at the most inopportune times, Urgak would attack the PCs (usually during swanky banquets at the King's court, or in the middle of a town). The rules I made for Urgak were as follows:
1. Urgak would always be 1st level.
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Sure it can. As long as my players are okay with it, and I'm okay with it, I can make whatever changes I want to PF's rules. That's the beauty of this game.
I have wrestled with raise dead several times in my games and I have come to the conclusion that in most cases, raising the dead is rarely a good thing. First, in my world it makes little sense to raise someone. Death is a natural process and raising the dead is therefore an unnatural act that is counter to the way the gods have intended. Because of this, raising the dead is not a simple matter of paying a cleric some gold and then voila, you're back. In my game, it's a life for a life, and even then it may not always work. So, if someone wants a person dead, the cleric will do everything to discourage it. If the cleric is agreeable t cast the spell, a life will have to be sacrificed. And here's where it gets costly. Once the person is raised, somewhere, someone dies in their place. It may be a complete stranger halfway around the world, or perhaps it's someone the requesting PC knows. It may be a vile enemy, a king, or a lowly serf. It may even be the cleric raising the dead person, or the person requesting the dead friends return. The point is, death should be more or less permanent, and attempting to skirt around it should exact a heavy toll.
Yes, but perhaps it happens in the background. Could explain why horrible things happen to good people in my game world.
I have had this discussion many times on these boards and elsewhere. I have always found the ability to raise somewhat problematic as written. Death is not permanent enough and is less of a motivator than it is in our world. Here's how I deal with raising the dead in my homebrew of Morvia.
1. You can only be raised by a priest of your faith. Therefore a cleric of one god cannot raise someone who venerates another god.
2. A life for a life. If you are resurrected or raised, there has to be a cost of a life. The thing is, you don't know who that will be. When you're raised, someone, somewhere will be chosen to take your place. It may be someone you know, or it may be a complete stranger. They may be an evil king or an innocent child. That's the price that must be paid. This becomes a heavy decision and brings back the permanence of death.
Anyway, that's my 2 cents.
I too like pre-generated NPCs but I like to look for the more common folk variety. You know, the smithy, the shopkeeper, the guards, the petty criminals, low level nobility and the like. I know that the Gamemastery Guide has many of those listed but what I would like to see is a book dedicated to the little guy. When the NPC Codex was announced I was excited that it would have more "background characters" than the PC type classes that were over represented in my view.
I think it would be cool to have a book where a town of 1000 common NPCs were stated out. Everything from the farmer, the mill wright and the village drunk. That would be interesting...
I don't think that I will never use Cthulhu against my PCs. What I do find funny about his stats though is the CMD. It's 97 with a 99 against bull rush or sunder. Seriously? At those dizzying heights, what's the dif? It's like being a multi-billionaire and you win $100,000.00 in a lottery.
Tripping him (it, whatever) is fine but trying to bull rush? Forget it, that's crazy talk!!!!
I have run the full spectrum over the past 30 years of GMing and I think that I have found my happy medium. First, I don't have a "contract" with the players on whether I fudge or coddle. Second, I fudge where I can and coddle when I should. I usually have one goal in mind when I run a game which is as follows:
I want my game to be talked about. Not at the game table when we're all together, but in between sessions. You know, those quiet times, when, say perhaps, two of my group are out together doing whatever and they talk about what happened. They say something, like, "That was so cool when that troll threw the tree at you and your shield blocked most of it but sent you flying back about twenty feet." That is my goal.
To achieve that goal, sometimes I may fudge the rolls to obtain that magical moment. Maybe I will "guide " a player on a course of action that may help them. The point is though is that it's memorable, that they want to keep coming back to the table, and that they like the stories that we tell.
I have to be honest about this because so many folks think that the crunchy rules in a class control EVERYTHING that a PC can do. Now there's no doubt that the rules are geared mostly toward encounters that deal with some sort of conflict, hence all of the numbers and stuff. But, I think that the big limiter on what a PC can be good at or what they can do rests more with the player than that rules. I have had players take on a monk and play them to a tee, making it fun to play, interesting to watch and most importantly, having them effective in both combat and non combat situations. I have seen players with a straight up fighter, geared toward the art of war and combat, come up and tell me that they don't know what to do with the PC when it comes to combat beyond drawing their sword and start swinging. I can go on and on about thins but ultimately, I think it's the player who must determine if the class they have chosen is "balanced". The numbers and stats can't tell you as a player what to do, they can only tell you how you can do them, the rest is up to your imagination.
I can recall many encounters where I included various terrain, weather effects, environmental hazards and other warning signs and tips that the fight with the big bad evil guy may not be so straight forward and what do they do? "I draw my sword and rush straight at him..." "GAWD!" The effort is the responsibility of everyone at the table.
Everything in these games is a relative experience. I wouldn't say that you're wrong. I would say that your experience differs from mine and everyone else's. I have had many, many, many players in the past 30 years I have ran games who have absolutely no idea about tactics or what gear they're carrying at the time (about which I will remind them). That, my friend, is the norm and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. I find that I get more fun out of watching the PCs outsmart me, out-fight me and simply thwart my attempt at squashing them at every turn. And they do it quite well.
Options and having choices are ALWAYS a good thing in my book. The beauty of choice is that's simply what it is, a choice. You don't HAVE to use it or include it in your game if you don't want to. Options only become crippling when they are no longer options. There certainly can be a tendency for some players to always buy the latest thing and will want to use those options as soon as possible. This can cause resentment in the GM who feels obliged to accommodate. From my view, I never say no. You can never know what new rule will excite your players and that is part of the fun.
My philosophy as a long time GM is "Never say no when you can say yes." Saying no to a player's idea stifles creativity. I know that all of the rules over so many books with endless options may seem like rules bloat, and it probably is, but that's why the PRD exists. Also, if a player can use those rules so can the GM. I can recall the looks on my player's faces when I revealed the BBG of a recent campaign as Sorcerer/Were-Shark. All of his spells were skewed toward water based type magic and when he cast tsunami on the group, they were woefully unprepared. Which reminds me, the other rule of thumb I go by is, "Saying no to a player also means saying no to yourself."
Anyway. It's your game and I respect your decision to not include certain books.
The thing about Pathfinder becoming a TV show or movie is that there would have to be a broader appeal to more than just the converted. People are fickle about what they like. Also, the folks that play it have different ideas about what would make a good Pathfinder show or film. What you find appealing in Pathfinder may be very different in what I like. Heck, the theme of an AP divides players and GMs at times. I think that to enter into the milieu of television or film would be a mistake for Pathfinder because it's not directed at a mass market. Shows like Once Upon A Time works on a major network because they deal with characters that most everyone knows with a spin. Pathfinder, I think would be a hard sell.
I'm going to sound like a mean old DM because my group has run into this sort of situation before. I usually say the following as I see them pain over each and every excruciating option available. It usually goes something like this:
"For the love of all that is sacred...RUN AWAY!!!!"
Seriously, it's like it's no longer an option for my group.
In turn, that is my opinion on what you and your group could have done. There's no shame in running away to fight another day. Or you could think of it in different terms. Call it "tactically repositioning" and pat yourselves on the back for your ingenuity. Regroup and refocus.
When the GM portrays an NPC in a way that gets the party killed, it's a dick move but when the players pull a stunt that may be equally suspect, it's considered clever and thinking out of the box. Over the years I have seen many players flirt loosely with the rules to get what they want but if the GM does it, watch out!
I know that in the campaign I have been running since 1987, there have been some standardizations in the world. Sometimes, a player comes along who wants to create a character that at first glance doesn't seem to "fit" in with those standards. However, I prefer to listen to the character concept first and would never just outright say no to them, only because they may bring in a new twist or story idea that can be really creative. Get involved with the character concept with the player. Help him/her to fit the PC in your world.
Scott Betts wrote:
This is reassuring. In the last thread we had a couple of individuals asserting that mental health played no role in incidence of violence.
It's very real and makes up a portion of calls for service. It's a small percentage mind you but I have actually gone to calls where firearms were involved only because the subject of complaint 'was off his meds'. This is a person you cannot simply reason with and it's rare that verbal intervention will work in these cases.
Back to the original point though, arming teachers with bear spray would cause more problems than solve them. If I respond to a gun call, I don't go for my pepper spray.
As a beat cop I would expect you notice how often the mental health thing is officially diagnosed syndroms and disorders. I would expect a lot of the stuff you see to be smaller things like depression, or a skewed world view. Would I be correct in this?
In short no. I deal with a lot of ex-military suffering from PTSD. More often they are involved in custody battles for their kids fueling their anger that makes the likelihood of an incident escalating out of control that much more real. Assuming that I mostly encounter smaller things like depression or a skewed world view minimizes the impact that mental health has had in violence. Although yes I notice a lot of officially diagnosed syndromes but that certainly doesn't minimize its involvement.
There's absolutely no doubt that the issue is complex and will remain so. You can never go wrong with education. It's one of the larger aspects that needs to take center stage in creating a turn around. I find it interesting that the report you cited showed statistically mental health was not really a significant factor. From my own experiences, the opposite is true. Of course, I'm viewing this from the town I'm in and my specific patrol area but I know that mental health has been seen as having an impact. Not sure if you recall the beheading in Manitoba on the Grey Hound Bus in 2008. That was because of mental health.
I just read that link. I think what needs to be stressed is that, in Canada anyway, crime across the board is dropping. Our stats here show that violent crimes including those with firearms and edge weapons are less and are hitting all time lows. I don't know if it's the same for the US. As a police officer, I would have a real concern with nearly everyone having a firearm (our training tells us to assume that every home has one). I wish I could comment more on it but again, my societal view is somewhat skewed.
And you have a point there. Gun laws are a result of that societal change and no amount of regulation, no matter how stringent will protect people. It will only categorize more people as law breakers. Another element to all of this of course is mental health and how society approaches it as a real problem. Mental health is a huge yet largely forgotten component of crime yet we approach it as though it's not. Now, again, I can only speak from my limited Canadian view but from where I sit it's time that Governments sit up and take notice and start addressing that as an issue.
Scott Betts wrote:
Well, the comparison is hard because we do have some favoritism toward gun ownership, only for different reasons than in the US. In Canada, people in most cities don't own guns (unless they're criminals). But in the country, gun ownership becomes much more common. The idea that guns are used more for hunting and killing small game to protect livestock is our undercurrent while it seems that in the US, to me anyway, gun ownership is a right, one that is vigorously defended as there seems to be a need to protect oneself whether it be from the Government or from criminals. If I were to choose, I would probably pick what I know. Canada is by no means a country without gun violence. In most cases its gangs killing gangs. Rarely do we have mass shootings but they do happen.
I'd like to weigh in on this topic but before I do I would like to make a couple of points.
I'm a police officer.
There, now that that's out of the way.
The idea of arming teachers with bear spray is, as many have pointed out already, problematic. Of course, it's effective in what it does. It's a great intervention tool in 'modifying' someone's behaviour but it certainly is not effective at all times. We have done a lot of studies and tests on the use of pepper spray against people who are goal oriented and the numbers do not weigh in the user's favour. Someone with the intent to commit an act will most often commit it successfully even when targeted by pepper spray. In a school setting the issue of cross contamination is to everyone involved would be the main problem. Not only is the attacker effected, so are the kids and the teachers. And it doesn't take long for the effects to take effect throughout the school. I had to respond to a call where pepper spray was deployed outside of a school. It was a small amount and many of the kids playing outside had to go home or be checked by EMS. This was an outside environment and it caused some panic.
I have been running my homebrew of Morvia since 1987 and have run a huge amount of adventures, both published and homemade. With my current group I started off with a story that had a pretty clear goal, a well defined bad guy and some good adventures to act as stepping stones along the way, not unlike the APs. However the group decided to take an unforeseen left turn and the adventure has adopted a more sandbox feel, and I must admit, it has rejuvenated my desire to GM even more.
I have been scouring the internet for good encounter ideas, however wherever I go, all I find are simple lists of monster encounters arranged by CR and location type. However when I say I'm looking for encounter ideas, what I mean are short side treks or mini adventures that may involve a short dungeon crawl, or perhaps a request for help from a local NPC. Also, I don't want them to be within a specific CR range. Although my group is currently CR 6, I want a good collection of mini adventures that can be randomly rolled. It doesn't matter if the quest I roll is CR 1 or CR 20. It will be up to the PCs to decided if they want to pursue the adventure.
Does anyone know if such a database exists? If not, does anyone want to contribute to some ideas? Perhaps a short line or two? I'm not looking for any long term quests or multi-level adventures. It also doesn't have to be a monster encounter. Things as simple as a fallen tree in the road could suffice as well. Thanks
I have never been a fan of Wayne Reynolds' artwork. Look at the size of the feet of everyone he has ever drawn. I don't think anyone has a size larger than 4 or 5. Also, some of his proportions are dubious at best. I'm not saying that the man can't draw, quite the opposite, he can, but he'll never match the likes of Kerem Beyit who did the covers for The Serpent's Skull. That guy is talented.
From my point of view, the issue I have with MMOs of any stripe really is that it strips away the idea that you're the hero in the campaign. When you play a paper RPG with friends, the idea is that you and your party are a rare group of people who gain fame and fortune in a world largely made up of mundane, every day folk (sure there are other heroes and powerful villains in that game world, as well as powerful creatures, but they are largely outnumbered by average folk). In that world, you are the exception. In an MMO, every player wants to be the hero and wants to be the center of the story, the problem is no one really is because it's all a level playing field. You don't run into the simple farmer, the shepherd, the blacksmith or the innkeeper. The only people you run into are wizards, rangers, thieves, knights, clerics and all the variations in between, but really the only thing separating you from them is the amount of time they played compared to how long you have played. The sense of individuality that face to face role playing brings to the table is unique, and no MMO will be able replicate that, at least none that I have seen so far. Don't get me wrong though. I would love to see Paizo and Goblinworks succeed in this endeavour though.
I for one am certainly cheering for Paizo and hope that this expansion in both their game and their business succeeds. Having said that, I for one will not be joining this MMO. Although I certainly have time for video games, I cannot (and I can't put too fine a point on this), I repeat, cannot stand MMOs. I have tried many of them from Ultima on-line right up to the D&D online game and everything in-between, and they all fall flat. There is no role playing whatsoever. It's quite jilting when someone named paladinpimp124 walks by and tries to engage you in yet another internet, nerd-rage based argument. I prefer the personal, up close experience of table-top RPing with friends.
Again, good luck Paizo. I hope it's a runaway success that earns you the growing admiration of your fans and beyond. You have always hit the bullseye and I'm sure for many, this will be a repeat performance.