Shag Solomon

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22 posts. Alias of Winterthorn.


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Scarab Sages

Rise of the Kaiju VII: Scooping up the Poop.

Scarab Sages

Thinking out loud here:

I am wondering, as a GM, how can I cleverly add a living Androffan human as an NPC patron, or as a PC option?

I'm hooked on the idea of one or more humans related to the ancient crew arrived on Golarion, or survived in stasis since the crash and recently released by some androids, and now stranded on a world of magic they do not understand, but they are well versed in all things technological... A "fish out of water"/John Carpenter on Golarion, lol, situation. This could make an interesting ally down the road, or rival, or an amusing party member who has to learn common and cannot explain things he knows to other party members until much later as the AP develops...

Scarab Sages

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Well, for what it's worth, here is a quote direct from the WotC website concerning Mike Mearls role in this new edition of D&D.

"Mike Mearls is the senior manager for the D&D research and design team. He led the design for 5th Edition D&D." -Legends& Lore archive, May 27/14.

So while it's currently not marketed as 5th Edition, they have acknowledged it is the fifth edition of the game - even capitalized as one would do for a name or title.

:-D

Scarab Sages

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Auxmaulous wrote:
Thank you for posting some monster xp examples, I'll probably run this at 1/2 or even a 1/4 xp values when I run my game to get a slower pace.

You're welcome. I figure there are GMs here who want to see some numbers!

Scarab Sages

Diffan wrote:
The reason for the quick advancement is because the first three levels are largely meant as a tutorial for playing the game. The designers actually went on to say that after playing the game for a while advanced players will most likely start their characters at 3rd level (the point where many classes get their sub-path).

I remember my friends and I used to start at 3rd rather frequently in the AD&D 1st Edition days.

Scarab Sages

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For interest and making brief comparisons, here are some more monster XPs (found in Starter Set):

Commoner - 10 XP
Stirge, Twig Blight - 25 XP
Skeleton, Wolf, Zombie - 50 XP
Orc - 100 XP
Evil Mage (4th-lvl caster), Giant Spider, Ghoul - 200 XP
Grick, Ogre - 450 XP
Owlbear - 700 XP
Flame Skull - 1100 XP
Young Green Dragon - 3900 XP

:-)

Scarab Sages

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Chuck Wright wrote:
Quote:
- When the rules discuss exotic languages there is a table showing draconic spoken by dragons and... dragonborn. So are dragonborn a PC race to come?
Tieflings are also mentioned in an example in the Basic D&D PDF.

Your right, I missed that paragraph! Indeed gnomes, half-elves, half-orcs, and even drow ("a fugitive from the subterranean expanse of the Underdark, trying to make his way in a world that fears his kind") are mentioned too. :-)

Scarab Sages

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I bought the Starter Set last night, read the combat rules and looked over the character sheets... IMO WotC did a respectable job of creating a version of D&D that is quite straightforward and playable for new players and kids. It currently appears to me like the kind of fantasy RPG one would cut their teeth on before advancing to the full suite of options and complexity many enjoy with Pathfinder. We'll see down the road how this new iteration develops.

Various things that caught my attention in the Starter set and the free Basic D&D PDF I downloaded today:

- Advantage (taking the best of result of two 1d20 rolls) and Disadvantage (taking the worst result of two 1d20 rolls). Interesting. I would like to see this in action as a player and as a GM to see if I like it. Example: Disadvantage is invoked if a PC tries a Dexterity (Stealth) check when wearing most armors.

- Many spells like Dispel Magic, Fly, Fireball, Cure Wounds incease in effect by spell "slot level" (and not caster level as in 3.0/3.5/PF) when cast at a higher level. So a spell like Flaming Sphere can be cast as a higher, more potent spell, thus ensuring it can be a useful spell for, say, a 17th level wizard, (9d6 damage)... I like this.

- Multiclassing requires prerequisites be met: "Without the full training that a beginning character receives, you must be a quick study in your new class, having a natural aptitude that is reflected by higher-than-average ability scores." Gory details to come in the Player's Handbook. Excellent news to me -- I've always had problems with some players multiclassing willy-nilly for the best combos without regard to character vermisimiltude. Granted I could make house rules, but I prefer it that the core rules themselves regulate things, but without prohibitions. In other words I prefer a character should merit certain complex options in order to access them.

- When the rules discuss exotic languages there is a table showing draconic spoken by dragons and... dragonborn. So are dragonborn a PC race to come?

- Backgrounds: and blend of RP fluff and crunch. Very interesting for a basic game, I think many people will derive roleplaying inspiration from it.

- A PC requires 300 XP to achieve 2nd level. A Goblin has is a Challenge at 1/4 (AC 15, 7 hp, 50 XP), a Hobgoblin is a Challenge at 1/2 (AC 18, 11 hp, 100XP), while Bugbear is a Challenge of 1 (AC 16, 27 hp, 200XP). A party of 4 well equipped, well rested PCs is expected to be able to dispatch the forementioned lonely Bugbear with little injury or loss, i.e. a 1st-lvl party of four should easily handle a total Challenge of 1. Thus said party of 4 needs 1200 for everyone to gain 2nd level, and therefore they will have to defeat in total (presumably over various encounters), say, 8 Goblins (400) + 2 Bugbears (400) + 4 Hobgoblins (400) = 14 goblinoids (1200). I think that's too generous, but the pace of PC levelling up is a very subjective topic...

Lots more interesting info to be found, of course... :-)

Scarab Sages

My primary criterion when voting is the clarity of the item in terms of its description and its mechanical benefits. If I can't figure out what it is and what it's supposed to do from the first reading then it fails to get my vote.

I'm doing my best to avoid the "both" button at all costs -- sometimes it is very tough. I follow my "gut" mostly since in this exercise I do not have the time to cross reference whether everything is "kosher" or not rules-wise.

Scarab Sages

I voted on several but so far; will finish later over the holidays.

Congrats to everyone for trying -- there are some great ideas amongst the offerings!

I haven't been driven bonkers yet, but my own criteria includes first, and foremost, clarity. I am not an expert on English grammar, nor do I know/recall all PF rules 100%, but this was the first issue for me. If I couldn't understand what the item was supposed to do from the first reading -- if it wasn't obvious to this grognard -- then I could not vote for it.

In few cases I was forced to choose between descriptive "gobbledegook" on one side, and a rules mess on the other. (So far I have avoided clicking on the "both" option.) So some other criteria to help me are whether it is thematically close to traditional fantasy but still an original idea (do the name and detail evoke a fantasy "feeling"); how clever and useful is the item conceptually even if the description/rules seemed wonky; and, if the item seems like it could fit in most PF games.

So, I haven't lost my mind yet :-)

Scarab Sages

Oh the spoilers so far! I can't wait for June 20th!! (Actually, my FLGS gets its deliveries every Friday so I have to wait the the 22nd! *sad GM*)

So can anyone say how well the backgrounds on the races of Chapter 2 and 3 help us with our own campaign settings? What's the assessment on the "setting neutral-ness" so far -- how accommodating is the fluff? Any easy plug-in-and-use? Any a tad pigeon-holed demanding tweaks? Any inspirational backgrounds that leap out and scream for further development in our homebrew worlds? And lastly: any races that read like they'd fit perfectly in older D&D settings? (I'm really curious how these non-core races were treated.)

Scarab Sages

In the other thread related to this topic I stated I thought PB is best for convention play and competitive games between players who are strangers, while rolling seems to fit a more relaxed game between friends in home games... But that is just my general feeling about this.

While I love the rolling method I also see some merit in PB. As a GM I have struggled to find a compromise:

I looked at the frequency of results of the 4d6 drop lowest method, and made an array of the 6 most frequent results (the 6 most likely outcomes): 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, and 10. Next I asked what would be the PB cost for this array in Pathfinder? It is 18.

Thus, my compromise, under consideration, to players in my home games in the future, is as follows:

Choose one of the three:
A) Use the array [15 14 13 12 11 10].
B) (Roll 4d6 drop the lowest die) X 6.
C) Use the PF PB method with a budget of 18 points.

Someone a while back suggested 2d4+10, 2d4+9, 2d4+8, 2d4+7, 2d4+6, and 2d4+5, average is 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, and 10 -- very convenient for my purposes, so I might throw that in either to replace B or add as choice D. As long as methods are statistically a close match to each other, and players are adequately informed, I see no problem with players choosing the method that serves their current PC plan.

You know there are so many methods out there, nonetheless I am quite keen on finding a mix such that PB is an option alongside rolling.

EDIT: I just want to remind folks that the default 15 point array in PF is [15 14 13 12 10 8] as opposed to the array in A above, in case people were wondering about the difference.

Scarab Sages

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Because you can have stats and character sheets ready before the session starts, avoiding spending time on character gen.

Tangent: I find part of the fun of getting friends together, especially new players, is the character generating session and thus get to know what people want to do with their PCs -- basically an ice breaker to start a new campaign. It is also a good time to discuss house rules, if any, and help each other with rules questions. All it takes is one session, and many uncertainties can be cleared up, plenty of laughs and stories of past games can be shared, and it helps to set a tone for the group which can be really helpful for the GM.

Scarab Sages

I've always been in love with rolling dice for stats. It is the thrill of the gamble -- the willingness to surrender to fate an influence upon the kind of character one may be playing... In fact, given the vast menu of options on the default character creation, I like that rolling trims one's options somewhat and could encourage one to play characters one might otherwise have never had the notion to try. Shouldn't gaming encourage some experimentation? (Tangential thought: If rolling reduces choices, isn't that good from a game management point of view with respect to indecisive players?)

Of course one can always refuse bad results -- nothing says one must play a game with them. Indeed, rolling stats actually encourages a measure of good communication between a GM and his/her players at the table. Part of the social aspect of gaming is the "contract of respect" between everyone present, and a good GM will offer options to unlucky players, because what's the point of participating in the game if one has a valid reason to feel miserable with what one has to work with? (Valid reason being something obvious to player and GM.)

Point-by speaks to me of something cold, mechanical and "always perfect". Which is odd because I also see the merit of BP in terms of mechanical fairness and for competitive personalities at the table. Min-maxers/Power-gamers love it, and I understand that because I've played like that with GURPS where optimizing the math was built into the game experience. But D&D/Pathfinder to me just begs a more organic approach that comes from rolling and seeing what fortune offers -- there's something "magical" about that! lol

Ultimately, I think PB is best for convention play and competitions between players who are strangers, while rolling fits a more relaxed game between friends in home games.

Scarab Sages

Excellent stuff! I downloaded several files yesterday and I can see a *lot* of work went into this effort!

**big applause**

I particularly like that these house rules are tied to a home brew campaign setting and not generic. Everything seems to fit together seemlessly. Very cool! Like many, I have worked upon my own house rules now and then, and this great work just re-enforces to me the merits of using a setting to help shape and justify the changes to the game.

So congratulations to Kirth et al on the completion of this opus!

:-D

Scarab Sages

Delayed? Well, that just means I'll have more time to save $$ to buy the set!

Scarab Sages

Finally some more delicious details on Varisia! Looking forward to this one.

Scarab Sages

I have a question for Kirth:

Given that you have warned a few posters already of the dangers of mining this project for ideas -- because most changes are heavily integrated across the rules set -- are there any items changed that you are confident we can "pluck" without extenuating negative consequences in our own games?

Hopefully I'm not imposing extra work with my question, I am assuming you may know, "off the cuff", a number of rules changes you made we can just "yoink"... Better your recommendation, than us erring :-)

Scarab Sages

I've been following this thread, and I've read some of the linked docs at Google, and, although not entirely to my preferences as a GM, I am very, very impressed at the hard work going into these house rules. Bravo! :-)

Scarab Sages

@OP: The CRB is core for games I run.

All other Paizo material is conditionally available -- as a GM I want to discourage material that doesn't conform to the campaign I am running, like Summoners and Gunslingers.

3PP material is possible if it passes this GM's review.

And 3.5 material is possible if PF has no equivalent or better, *and* it isn't broken.

Scarab Sages

Wow... reading this thread has been quite a trip down Memory Lane. I own many of the suggestions and it so great to see many books were popular with us. Third Edition was quite the Revolution in rp gaming - especially for D&D! I'm so glad to have particpated in this era!! (Hence my support with 3rd Ed's primary heir: Pathfinder! :-D )

Books that stand out for me:

The Book of the Righteous - I even made my own "paladins" for NG and CG based upon their analysis of the core class. Very satisfying and enjoyable results for my game at the time.

Traps & Treachery I - great bag of tricks for GM's, and I found the "thug" class useful.

Mythic Races, Seafarer's Handbook, Spells & Spellcraft - didn't get extensive use but I mined them for the new ideas.

Tome of Horrors! - 'nuff said :-)

Relics & Rituals I & II - very inspiring at the time.

Most of the material from Green Ronin and Malhavoc Press was very good - too many titles for me to mention them all.

FantasyCraft - a recent product by comparison. A host of great ideas to explore!

I just realized there are plenty of setting books and adventures that were published where most offered new rules as well...

I'd say the Book of the Righteous tops my list the best of old open gaming content. Rich fluff and creative crunch!

Scarab Sages

Hmm. Taking the question literally...

Well, in moral theory it is always good to never kick anything. Living that is. So to compare kicking Anti-Paladins to kicking puppies, since they are both living creatures, therefore neither should be kicked.

Now of course the Anti-Paladin often behaves in a manner that deserves a swift kick in the butt -- if not a worse fate -- and so, since she/he/it might be prone to kill you with murderous glee you might as ill she/he/it first. Once the Anti-Paladin is deceased, it is of course longer a living creature, so therefore kicking it should be perfectly fine. Try to brace yourself for the mass though - no need to break one's foot kicking that corpse. Maybe one could hire a giant for the job instead.

In regards to puppies, well their insufferable cuteness as they poop on one's carpet is bound to drive one loony, over the edge... Sigh. You will probably lose all self control and attempt to kick the whining, doe-eyed beast. Well, the good news is that you won't break your foot. Perhaps you should kill it first with the Anti-Paladin's corpse? Just lift up the corpse and drop it on the squealing mutt. There now. Done. Roll over the Anti-Paladin's corpse and then you can kick that dead puppy. Moral problems solved.

Please note that such situations are full of caveats. Ymmv.

Signed,

F.G., Professor of Everything