There is a musket type weapon in one of the adventure paths. Only thing that really stand out is its chance to explode.
This is the sort of rules I do not want to see. The approach of touch AC as many hits as normal but a chance to explode/stop working is just unfun.
I had also hoped for better crossbow rules. They fill very similar niches, but for guns:
- Easy to fire and train, relative to bows and slings.
There is also a whole range of them, depending on what they are meant for and what era they want to represent.
Just hope we dont get some cheap gimmick of "ooh 1d6 dmg to yourself but it is killier". There is a lot of room in Pathfinder 2 for design and differently paced mechanics, or they claim there is.
I have long thought of this as the "too many cooks in the kitchen" phenomenon. ...
Absolutely, that is so obvious. However the fact that they write later volumes without having stablished what exactly happens in the previous ones is a common occurance, which I imagine has to do with publishing and editing deadlines more than anything.
I have long thought of this as the "too many cooks in the kitchen" phenomenon. ...
Absolutely! However the fact that they write later volumes without having stablished what exactly happens in the previous ones is a common occurance, which I imagine has to do with publishing and editing deadlines more than anything.
Interesting analysis. I only agree with it partially. However I think you're on point that every group values different aspects of play and hence will have differing opinions.
I know even between the groups I play with there is such variation.
There is well written stuff and badly written stuff. This happens at different levels. It goes from the overarching plot to the individual module to each contained adventure. There are so many variables it is hard to pin down differences between AP, they do have a large scope.
My experience is that APs that do well have a strong solid foundation and cohesion between Volumes and a stable thematic. A single volume out of tune is fixable, a series of dissonances in theme and main plot is much harder to work around.
Precisely it is in this most APs fall flat, also the most obvious trait. For many APs it is clear that they have not finished writing the details of the overarching plot when they hand out the writing for the individual modules. What one module assumes the next one will not, or will not have had all the information available whilst being written.
Skull and Shackles. Acclaimed AP and by far my favourite of everything I've read paizo or otherwise.
Iron Fang Invasion. Decent AP but not one of the best.
Carrion Crown. Thematic but linear.
I know for us the key defining trait that will make an AP hit that amazing tune is the investment the group puts in it. And this is strongly dependant on the AP's writing. An AP like Carrion Crown gives very little space for it whilst Skull and Shackles is built upon it. The more the narrative weaves the party into the central tension, the better the effect.
Hey Captain Morgan, been enjoying your stories and posts here.
I agree book 5 is probably the better candidate to extricate, but it fits my group better to deal with the fey as we can resolve 2 character backgrounds. Furthermore, I love fey stories and I'm just better and more enthusiastic running them than dwarven ones, so it is purely a personal choice. Since we are doing this I wanted to leave it somewhere in case someone finds it useful.
Both volumes are very weak on the over arching plot line. In 4 you get some background info that doesnt affect a single choice you will make and then get pointed in the direction of the actual artifact. On 5 you stumble accross a huge other problem that deviates from the main storyline and you find the artifact. The adventures themselves, individually, are excellent.
On the tone of the adventure:
On the Onyx Shard:
I realise I am picky, and I know full well the story is a framework to write on and tailor the experience. However the more one has to change it and the less organic it feels the more prep work has to be done. Also different groups will value different aspects of an adventure of course.
I am finding that after Assault of Stone the AP devolves into a different theme than the first 3 volumes, becomes more traditional adventuring sort of stuff, and most importantly, is just long with essentially not much happening except explaining some back story of why everything is happeningn, but not really (more on it later). For us Volume 4 is getting cut almost completely, and 5 will get beefed up and 6 probably shortened.
Anyway I thought I'd leave this short suggestion of how to cut the Siege of Get to a Dwarf who tells you where to go next cause he uses Scry. Stone. Something. (Yes I've got issues with the terrible overarching plot of this AP as much as I enjoy the individual modules. Onyx deus ex macguffins.)
BEFORE THE SIEGE OF LONGSHADOW
In one of the sabotaging missions or in the hollow hills the party finds a Dwarf (or more) that are part of a scouting mission from Kraggodan.
DURING OR AFTER THE SIEGE OF LONGSHADOW
A group of dwarf warriors arrive at Longshadow. Either marched from Kraggodan through one of the myriad holes to the longroad in the hollow hills, or teleported. They arrive before, during or after the siege. I would have it during the siege, cinematically stopping a charge of morlocks with their dwarven staltwarness, cementing themselves as allies of the PCs.
Karbutin is amongst them, he has been sent as an emergency delegate; Molthune and Kraggodan are discussing peace, and Karbutin has the info to tell them exactly what he tells them at the end of Volume 4 but wihout the PCs going to one of the most dangerous realms known on just a hunch (underdark...).
WHAT ABOUT ELACNIDA?
If the story can proceed without a scene, or an explanation, then it is not serving to the purpose of the story and should not be there. This is common in story building. The Elacnida story whilst cool, does very little to explain the story or help it along. It's my opinion of course.
THE FANGWOOD, THE SARDONYX SHARD, AND THAT DUMBASS TAURGRETH (but not many changes here)
As written, Taurgreth is a smart dude that does something extremely foolish and possibly betrays the master he is extremely loyal to. He takes the Sardonyx Shard when he is sent to the Accressiel court (and doesnt take an Onyx Shard so he cant even use it, check this thread https://paizo.com/threads/rzs2v15h?The-Onyx-Key).
Module 5 is fantastic, it almost deserves its own standalone adventure. It is however very disconnected from the theme of the campaign, but hopefully this makes it a little more organic.
Hope you find this useful somehow. This AP once the Onyx Key gets properly involved starts to get silly and seems to be written in a disconnected manner where I feel the direction of volumes 4-5-6 was not set in stone until late and they shoehorned a bad artifact retroactively to explain some rather dubious and lazily written deus ex machina that happens off screen (without Taurgreth's foolishness there is no definitive solution to this AP).
Happy hunting, Rangers
I've read the adventure up to book 5, and was about to start book 6. If book 6 has Molthune leaders in it,that is great news thanks! though I'd still like more foreshadowing. I know from other APs we've run that lack of foreshadowing is one of their main issues, and it helps bring the world alive.
Thank you all for your answers. Any insight and point of view is always welcomed.
So I went with something down the middle - I asked players to be very tied to the setting whilst allowing free race - and I've gotten a good 50/50 mix. And from the "goblin" I believe a magnificent story line is arising, that strongly ties the fay portion of the campaign (which I'm amplifying, thanks for the ideas Capt Morgan).
My players may understand what they are in for, but it is also my job to bring the setting to life by putting down the pieces, which need to be...believable, in the context of the setting. This allows them to pick something they like and become invested in it/the idea. For example, we played Skull and Shackles, extensively as I adore the setting, as such I did expand on it with Isles of the Shackles and personal motivations were easy. Motivations, politics, trade routes. Even with the numerous "problems" that setting has (distances, teleport, magic vs ships, etc) it fit.
Several weeks after reading this AP, it still does not fit. I do not understand Molthune. I do not understand the Ironfang Legion. I do not understand the Dwarves of Kraggodan (though more than the rest). The fay I can get behind, and together with Paizo's realm of the fay campaign setting I can weave something out.
I'll review my thoughts a bit here, and perhaps you can guide me with your ideas or your solutions in previous games (if have you ran this AP that'd be valuable to know too):
So we need to put Molthune presence into this AP. In fact there are some trails sprinkled in book 1 that never get followed, I imagine as they wrote it they steered away from it. These would be Edran and the Molthune Patrol. So as they are so handily placed, we shall use them.
Molthune's motivations: As Molthune starts to see the Nimarthan lands taken by Hobgoblins and their spy-lines compromised and silent, they become paranoid about what is happening. This prompts them to the following:
These posibilities, whilst never having to played out in Molthune proper, always with tidbits of information through spies and patrols, allow us to tell the story of Molthunian affairs, of what should be a key player in this story of Nimarthan self-preservation.
Most of this is me organising my thoughts as I go, so forgive the style of writing. Some Molthuni talk has been had in these forums before, with some good ideas.
I think the closest I will get to understand Nimarthas is to the Swiss rebellions and contextualise the mountain passes and terrain as similar. And totally ignore teleporting, again, because otherwise it dismantles yet another AP easily (there's even a teleporting doesnt work here! in the fey portion of the forest...).
Hello all, we are getting ready to run Ironfang. I'll start saying that I am really excited, it looks promising, the reviews are solid and the playstyle is very much what we're looking for. I am the GM and with that, here are some things I am struggling with:
Nimarthas as a nation.
Conflict between Nimarthas and Molthune.
The Fey woods.
So, what makes Nimarthas for you? How did you run it or give it character? Often heard the Molthune-Nimarthas conflicts described as the Swiss prince states, if so any good resources to get inspired?
PS: I've run Skull and Shackles before. In comparison, Isles of the Shackles, is an AMAZING product that becomes the backbone of the AP and lets you spitball anything the party wants to do. I am strongly disappointed in Lands of Conflict as a product and perhaps more in how "developed" this particular setting is.
Thanks for the reply Meirril that is exactly what Im after!
On the buffs part, I meant explicitly by "spell buff" those from spells so effects from items like amulets might fists work fine. You have a good point that in essence there is a tier list and no one will bother but with the few essentials.
On AC, I still think removing 2 calculations of AC doesnt complicate things. Casting 2 buffs and having to think if that type affects my touch AC but not normal when the boss is casting something critical, that slows the game and is the sort of thing we dont like in Pathfinder.
On attacks, I think I will keep the move-attack-move but not the rest, 5e has it and the most noticable thing is shooting from cover I think.
Hey so we're taking on a new campaign (an AP) in Pathfinder after a short foray into 5e. 5e had some decent things, but it didnt have Pathfinders depth. That said, Pathfinder becomes waaay too clunky fast...what bonus where not to this because sacred but wait does dodge go with all? Etc.
-Flat Footed AC is removed. If attacking a flat footed target you get Advantage (as in 5e, you roll twice take best). If attacking whilst FF you get Disadvantage. Rogues and company still get their bonus stuff when attacking FF targets.
Goal here is to remove a lot of the buff recalculating and making things go faster in combat.
Movement and Attacks:
-Potentially also thinking of allowing people to sacrifice 1 attack and gain up to their move during a full attack. Pseudo pounce basically...this might be too strong, definitely need feedback here.
Spells and campaign effects:
The goal here is too minimise a lot of the obsesive compulsive buffing that happens sometimes when taking minor challenges and just takes time. One player wants to buff..it triggers a paranoid reaction of everyone bathing in a million buffs. The Mirror Image and displacement not stacking is to level the playfield a bit between arcane casters and non arcane casters. All of this is also applied to enemies.
Overall I'm looking for house rules that do away with the clunk of Pathfinder while remaining elegant and not adding more number crunching. Not because we are not capable, but because I want to focus more on combat narrative and quicker resolution/flow of combat. I'm all ears for any you may have and any feedback you can give me!
Deadliness scenario. I have not come accross it I think in PF yet.
You got caught out, the bandit has a knife to your friends throat!
ETC. It is so damn difficult to make good action tension in Pathfinder compared to other systems (or free styling no rules) that I'd like to see something. I'd like to see some suggestions or possible rule resolutions to dealing with a duel where they started with the guns point blank on each others faces, an inminent fall from someone on a cliff...
Not everything needs rules in this game. However storytelling should be, if the GM wants it, helped along in its resolution by rules to describe player/npc actions and choices. At the moment, there is nothing, and pure pathfinder combat is not a good medium for storytelling action in its midst.
I just finished a campaign that went from 1 - 16 or so in PF1. High level Pathfinder needs the most attention, it is a total mess as it is.
More to your concerns, I share them. Looking through bestiaries I caught myself thinking "why is this monster a CR 11 and this a CR 7 when they are almost identical even in lore power?". This also stems from the problem that 11 and 7 difficulties is miles ahead, a CR 7 creature cannot challenge anyone at level 11, 4 of them neither, because of how things scale (+hit, +ac, +everything) makes everything outside of a couple of CR obsolete. At higher levels, beefy enemies without any breaking rules are a joke too.
What could work, and is the presented +1/level, is that you just add a flat +X (x=level difference) to get something up to CR. However this can end up being generic. I like your suggestion that the scaling should be linear but at a slower rate. It is one of the reasons bounded accuracy makes sense to me, even if curbed a bit for PF use.
Perhaps the last few levels should go into epic scalings. Say, an 18 wizard is not a 16+2 levels wizard, but an epic entity in itself. Some serious design space to look into here though.
I'll take rolling more dice any time than adding +1 sacred, but does that stack with enhancement, what about this +2 luck is that a circumstance bonus, and wait does your spell give me another +1, what type, oh ok that's +6...does it go through DR? and don't forget you're sickened for a -1.....
That's the kind of finicky maths that makes Pathfinder 1 extremely cluttered.
I am quite ok knowing of those fellows through AP backcovers or comics and the website. Ât most I could see them as an example given in the class section of the book. As a mechanical example.
However...Paizo plays (prints) a different pathfinder game than we play. I still do not understand how such terribly optimised iconics/nps often can be, creating a mismatch between what Pathfinder expects you to play and the options they give people that will get chosen (at least most gamers I've come across). So really, these iconics get lost in the "ok whatever" for us.
The depiction of cultural and individual opinions littering the book is decennt but as the resident murder-bag wrote, often cringe-worthy in execution.
You're missing the point. It's not about weak or strong imagination, it is about how it is directed. There is a difference about how people interact with surroundings depending on how you are playing.
Even with different types of grids/maps you can see this. A white square paper with people writing in pencil their movements vs a coloured map full of intricate details of the environment. "Hey..is that a chandelier, can I use it to swing?" is something that a painted map can provide but not a white paper/TotM unless it is explicitely said. It also saves time.
A similar proccess but not map related: I draw decently, specially sketches of characters. After a few sessions and the players have a handle on their character I'll often do a few sketches. This helps direct and get everyone on the same page about how they look (so long as the player is happy with it). It is a similar form of how the mind operates, from a purely described concept to a token sketch to a full depiction.
I personally prefer a grid with a well painted map and little tokens to simulate entities. I do not like minis (way too static for me and I do get tired of Orc Number 3). However I have shifted to TotM because obviously it works better with my group as they dont care as much as I do for wargaming or they get those kicks from somewhere else.
I use to focus a lot on battle maps (no minis), since I like strategic play and I like to draw maps before play. However, as time passes, I prefer Theatre. I found battlemaps have players focus too much on them, on squares and take away from surroundings.
A map as a reference from time to time for context is great, but I keep a rough sketch where I note positions related to each other and GM from that. We've grown into it as a group.
I would still appreciate maps and even buy separate maps. However, I am more interested in the surroundings, details in terrain that can spark the imagination of players to use things outside of their stat block, rather than "this is 7 squares away".
I have loved the Pathfinder Magus. Fantastic class, modular, flavourful and efficient.
I hope to not see it in Pathfinder 2. Instead I want to see its features distributed and melted into other classes. I want to see Clerics hammering inflict spells with maces. I want to see wizards imbuing their weapons and using transmutations to become good combatants. I want to see shields temporarily bulwarked and used for bashing counter spells.
I do hope to see a new version of the Magus, a true gish, closer to the Eldritch Knight, but enough archetype versatility to embody the nimble magus too.
Weather Report wrote:
I'm all up with this change, damn I love it. Apart from the rush I get from watching everyone struggle with simple addition after rolling 7 dice, I feel we'll have less penchant for the chasing of + to everything. It will liven up different weapon types and, I feel, make the maths/spreadsheet efficiency less essential on the surface.On the flip side, a + to something will be seen as rarer and more valuable, but less..stackable?
Also, love your name/reference.
"The path beyond is blockaded by an assortment of felled timber. Removing it from the path for your cart to continue will take you some time. The howling from the forest is getting closer..."
"Damn we need to get going, how long will it take us to clear the timber?"
"7 actions total, split between any of you"
This is why I like this. I can just assign any task that is not determined in the rules an arbitrary number of actions. Does not matter what kind. It is a great tool for describing the abstract.
From the numbers we've been seeing in the blog I have the feeling that numbers all across the board are toned down...it doesnt just ramp up at the PF1 speeds.
We havent seen a fighter with 1d6 + 24 to damage for example. Then again, we never saw this even in high level built Paizo NPCs in APs, so it is possible that what we are seeing so far is not a real representation of how numbers will turn out.
If this is the case where numbers are tamer, then blasting looks like a solid option so far. Unlike in PF1 without bringing the stilton out.
"I'll buy ring of sustenance, boots of spider climbing, have scroll of invisibility, I can teleport us over any terrain...."
"ok you get to the bad guy and you can do the main battle"
Exageration aplenty, but these things constantly trivialise many of the tribulations of parties, especially when the players have used or know these items already. It is always hard to keep something fresh, but damn these "i skip things" mechanics make it a bit harder.
Spell points. Is there anything more neutral and bland we could use?
Otherwise, looks good. Really nice that Anathemas are more solidly defined. Now that's a term I can get behind.
I love the decoupling of all the power in the WIS stat so we can make some other types of clerics. I hope to see some interesting choices in that field, along the lines of being able to use a weapon to deliver touch spells if you choose to be a battle cleric.
The Adventuring Day: Expected amount of encounters per day, map sizes and successive low cr encounters
I agree on that not every fight must be epic, and that the Gm takes what they want and shapes it to their table. The solution is to be inventive on the writers side. And that's rather difficult, but also why we buy these things.
Pathfinder assumes you need X xp to level. Which means that each goblin should give this much. If this scenario is from levels 3-4 then there must be at least n goblins, and there is one dungeon so there must be this many goblins...
This is a system design that leads to a subpar scenario (sprawling dungeon in question). However, it is so ingrained into the system that we can hardly do without, so what is the solution? Not following the system...but..then you have to decouple xp from levels and that really messes with the maths (and not to mention tradition) behind the game designing.
If it comes down to "make a suggestion", which isnt necessarily part of starting a discussion, I would cut down the amount of fights you're supposed to go through, the so called adventuring day.
The Adventuring Day: Expected amount of encounters per day, map sizes and successive low cr encounters
...which means we get maps in APs/adventures that look like crossectioned ants nests filled with uninteresting fights. Here's there thought process:
The "Adventuring Day" is one of these ideas that varies from group to group but are an important design philosophy for the game designers and adventure writers. It can be further be divided into "encounters per rest" and "encounters per session". It is also linked with XP requirements but I'll stay out of this for this discussion.
Pathfinder 1 paizo products have seemed to revolve around a high number of daily encounters of equal or less than equal party CR, culminating with a couple of higher than party CR. Most classes have "uses per day", vancian casting and similar mechanics in place tied to these assumptions. Some classes excel at this better than others, a magus will do better in short adventuring days than a fighter (in most common builds).
So, if you dont like this way of playing why not just change it at your table?
Pathfinder Adventure Paths* and shorter adventures, which are one of their most consumed products, are probably Pathfinder's main manisfestation of this design happens, where we encounter spreads of maps with myriad of rooms with each of often very low CR.
These map/encounters are terrible. They are not interesting, they are not interactive, not challenging, they are not anything but time wasting and page space wasting. Starting combat is slow (which PF2e seems to improve on), combat itself is slow too especially at higher levels and can quickly bog down the mood if it is not interesting/challenging.
As I mentioned above I suspect they are a product of XP requirements, but also of space constraints (expanding 5 rooms to 23 rooms on the same map is cheaper than making a new one), how classes are designed and balance (resource managing vs risk), and perhaps most likely, old D&D baggage.
So, I am wondering how much is PFe2 going to suffer from this Another Paizo Dungeon syndrome, since it that arises from core design choices. Thinking back I have often decided to buy an adventure mostly informed on flipping through it and seeing how much page space was used in telling me I could, in fact, throw hordes of low cr encounters at my player VS interesting plot hooks, dialogue, etc.
For us, the "adventuring day" is one of those sacred cows that we sacrificed long ago, the old school dungeon giving way to a more buzzword filled storytelling experience.
*I can find a dozen rules systems I like and willing to play, it is the combination of Pathfinder rules AND published adventures for which I keep playing Pathfinder. APs solve part of the hardest part of this hobby.
Well if it didnt take a PHd in metaphysics, a mayor in law science and a pact with the devil to not die of old age before a skirmish is done, to play high level pathfinder I would see myself even starting campaigns at mid levels instead of at peasant level. However seems PF2e is trying to make level 1 more relevant in at least being survivable with decent hp and some emblematic class identity mechanic at play already.
This is in fact what I'm looking forward the most in PF2e, a clear, concise and intuitive system, yet with depth. I want to run those high levels and if they are clean I'll have player levelling faster too, ending campaigns in near 20 rather than between 11-15.
What I would not like is what sometimes I get a whiff off in the blog posts, if depth and customisation is sacrificed for ease of access (perhaps because of their sometimes atrocious writing style, with many cool abilities even though it's the same as before! many exclamation marks! so exciting! though newer ones have improved, for example the recent spells one was refreshingly good).
EDIT: On blog posts, sometimes it feels they are written for an audience that isnt...us? As if it were for non roleplayers looking into it for the first time, or a rather younger age category. Both are fine, and healthy for the hobby, but I think the bigger audience at the moment and those keeping up with the blog are the current PF1 engaged players.
I'd like to see Combat healing as an option, but one that isnt the base nor standard. If we tell all healing capable classes that this is your most efficient use for your actions, then there is no choice.
Edit. It also seems that numbers have been tamed substantially in PF2e, so healing can become worthwhile.
I learnt from another GM "Whatever you bring to the table, I use too" as a consideration to have. In fact we did face variations of our own shenanigans in time. All in good nature, of course.
I hit a player with a 10 round Nauseated state that required a 2 consecutive save (save every round), at 13th level. That was seen as borderline tyrannical and cruel by some. I eventually alleviated it with a 2 saves non consecutive, that player is known to roll pretty terribly when it matters.
This is unfun, I've been on the receiving side of that and well, and sitting there for 1 hour plus looking at the ceiling is really not why you come to play.
It works as a spell and as some special ability which very niche characters can get access to, like you say, Sir Henry. It doesnt work as a starting choice since it's just a race divider instead.
A druid with "eyes of the wild", a rogue with a level 5+ talent "One with the night", a short Darkvision spells (rounds/level)..these are options that I can see working, tools that add to the game meaningfully
I find darkvision a detriment to the game when it is a constant starting character choice, as it becomes a no-choice. Ask your players, darkvision comes as one of the main race deciders. In essence, for some players it can become a lack of choice and a necessity instead.
Also having a party where half can see half can not just means that there will be light so darkvision is useless or there wont be light so the ones without it will be useless. Democratic, but not a good game mechanic.
Lighting is a very interesting mechanic, it provides mood environment and strategic considerations. Even storytelling.
Lighting, when darkvision doesnt just nulify this wonderful tool, be used sparingly, and the concealment rules that accompany it are some of the most tedious, ill thought, bore inducing things out there. This should be looked at in PF2e.
AoOs are a meaningful character building mechanic in PFe1, like Panther/Snake style monks. It would be a shame to not include this highly strategic playstyle from the game. Otherwise, AoOs blanket removed barr exceptions will do a lot to combat speed.
I know this is a hush hush word I am about to utter here...but one of the reasons D&D5 plays so smooth is the addition of clear reactions and throwing away cumbersome mechanics like AoOs.
So, hoping that a reaction heavy build pathway is a possibility for most classes, and perhaps even more polished/less gimicky (Snake-panther style monks, Overwatch style, etc).
Edit. Changed "the reason" to "one of the reasons".