Howard197's page

Goblin Squad Member. Organized Play Member. 40 posts. 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 6 Organized Play characters.


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On the list of proficiencies, are you guys going to add the goblin characters eventually? I'm assuming Reta gets an extra card in her hand because she has light armor proficiency, for example.


Yewstance wrote:


  • Likewise, Core Set banes are a bit tougher on average than most previous seasons, with more aggressive use of the "Veteran" trait, a lot of instances of BYA/AYA damage or negative effects, Triggers and generally a lot less "Straight-up Combat X check with no other relevant text". In Core, these are easily mitigated with a variety of quality armor, starting weapons and spells that let you ignore these effects, etc, but the same won't exist in most Class Decks.
  • The early Core 'villains' - compared to early S&S, RotR or MM villains - are distinctly higher in difficulty, presumably in part because it's well expected that a Post-Core party would be hanging out at the same location and have tons of support across 5 of the 6 card types to help local combat checks, which wouldn't happen with Class Decks.
  • I've been noticing this, BYA/AYA is everywhere, and it seems like the percentage of banes in a location has increased on average. (From 4-5 to 5-6). A lot of the boon cards do have local benefits to balance this out, though there benefits often seem to be only applicable under fairly specific circumstances.

    I see the idea is that people are supposed to hang out at the same location a lot more, but the close/guard rules haven't changed to match this. Is the idea that if you find the villain in the first location when everyone is exploring, you just reset the game? Otherwise you're not going to finish in time.


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    Like most people I dislike non full-page chronicle sheets.

    Regarding Boons, I prefer a few powerful boons I can just slot without thinking about most of the time. In Starfinder the best example is the hireling boon.

    I think having like 3 boon slots without "typing" them is fine. I'll pick 2 boons and use them every session, and keep a 3rd open if I need to slot another . boon in the middle of the game.

    Regarding convention boons: I don't GM often, and I don't go to the really big cons like Paizo con or Gen Con, so I am never going to get my hands on those supposed amazing exclusive boons.

    You know what? I don't care. It doesn't take anything away from me if other people are having fun with something they've received, and I hope they enjoy it. I think you should continue injecting limited edition exclusive, powerful boons like these. I love hearing stories about some long time GM showing up at a table with a crazy character, and I hope I'd never be jealous of something like that.


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    Loving the game, but dang if the Kingdom Management is a slog. I feel like if Owlcat sold advertising on their load screens they'd be rich by now, getting into and out of the Throne Room is a nightmare.

    A lot of the building, events and quests in Kingdom management are quite fun, but the rules are unclear and its not like you can go back and read the tutorial tips. Getting new counselors beyond the original 5 is incredibly difficult.

    That said, the rest of the game is so fantastic everyone should be playing Kingmaker anyway.


    Sonicmixer wrote:
    Thebazilly wrote:
    Sonicmixer wrote:
    Zautos' wrote:
    I would love turn-based combat in this.

    While this game was not designed to be as rigidly turn-based as Divinity: Original Sin 1 & 2, you can actually enable a pretty close approximation since the game is entirely based around 6 second turns. In the settings there are two options you can enable in Pause options.

    The first is "Pause at the end of each turn."
    The second is "Pause after all allies actions."

    Between these and the other available Pause options you can select everyone's actions, hit the space bar to unpause the game, watch what everyone does and then the game will pause to allow you to change characters actions.

    Hope this helps get you closer to what you'd like.

    It's still much harder to plan a turn, since everyone is moving and taking actions simultaneously. Getting AoE spells off correctly is a bit of a pain.
    Sure, its still not as convenient as the rigid turn design, but hopefully it feels closer to the experience those who want turns might be looking for. Maybe this gives us a bit more insight into how challenging things are for our Table Top characters since all their actions also take place simultaneously.

    Thanks, you've given a ton of helpful advice. I'll definitely turn on pause at the end of each turn.

    I'm still really annoyed that there seems to be no way to five foot step, but tons of attacks of opportunity. And a grid overlay during combat would be greatly appreciated.

    Still a fun, fantastic game overall.


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    Tridus wrote:
    Luke Styer wrote:

    I’d be curious how much of the community either “don’t see the challenges” that resonance is attempting to fix or “don’t see them as problematic.”

    Because if a big enough chunk of the player base either doesn’t see a “challenge” or doesn’t see that “challenge” as problematic, then it arguably isn’t a problem that needs to be fixed.

    I'm not sure they would like the answer to that question. A lot of effort is being spent on something that just isn't that big a problem to a huge number of players.

    So, who are they actually trying to solve this for?

    There are people who genuinely hate this, they've been coming on to the forums and complaining about it for years. I think the problem is, the 2E designers have taken it as gospel that these complainers are representative of the player base as a whole.

    I'd love to hear if Paizo did some organized market research beyond the forums. Hired a company to interview a statistically valid sample and learn what the average player really wants in a new system.

    I mean, I could be wrong. My community could be non-representative, and most players actually want to stop easy healing, have much less magic items, and focus more on balance than fun. If I saw data from some big organized statistically valid survey that proved this, I'd stop complaining, because even if I didn't like the system, I would understand why Paizo is creating this new system the way it is.

    Until then, I think the most important design goal should be "player's choice and decisions have a bigger impact on success or failure than random dice rolls."


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    Swiftbrook wrote:
    "Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
    Case in point—let's talk about Resonance Points. Yeah, that's right. I'm going there.

    Thank You!

    "Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
    A big issue is that a lot of folks just plain don't like Resonance Points.

    +1! Resonance may attempt to solve perceived problems, but I still don't like it. It's confusing. It's not how magic is suppose to work. It's not fun!

    "Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
    Designers, by nature, want you to use the items they created in actual play. But adventure designers are often under budgetary constraints to make not the best item for the story, but the one that does the trick while still conforming to the amount of treasure output in the design guides.

    This is my main problem with all of Pathfinder Playtest, not just Resonance Points, and this is the first time I've seen it in print. Pathfinder Playtest is all mainly about making it easier for designers to create products, not about making it more fun for players to play the game. You're creating a 'balanced is boring' game. The PCs don't feel heroic, then seem balanced and common.

    The Playtest has some good stuff - OK some very good stuff. I love the three action rules, they really make sense.

    But in the end, I just hope you scrap Resonance Points. The negatives and negative consequences far out weigh the perceived positives. It's not worth it.

    I totally agree on putting designers above players. It's why the biggest problem for me isn't Resonance, it's the Common/Uncommon/Rare system. When they introduced the idea, everyone assumed it would be used really sparingly, and the tired complaints about "Blood Money" got thrown around a lot. But when the actual playtest came out, what spells are marked as Uncommon? Scry, Teleport, Protection from Evil, Discern Lies. Not overwhelming spells that break the game, but creative spells that a smart adventure designer needs to play around.

    What I'm terrified of is, the idea is that each adventure is going to have a little paragraph in front for the GM, saying "Warning, make sure you ban Teleport, Scry and the following other uncommon spells during this scenario, as I was too lazy to come up with a counter for them when I wrote this." (I may be paraphrasing that last part.)


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    I think Resonance is symptomatic of a larger problem. As someone who lives in a large metro area and has rotated around almost a dozen game stores on and off, I've played with hundreds of players over the years, and I feel like I have a pretty good grasp of what they like and dislike about Pathfinder. I've also spent a fair amount of time on these forums. And the likes and dislikes of the people on these message boards is wildly unrepresentative of the larger player base who don't bother to regularly comment on Paizo.

    Only on the messageboards do more than a tiny handful of people seem really focused on stopping other people from having cheap healing, from making sure every character is perfectly balanced, to just making sure other players aren't having too much fun.

    Unfortunately, it appears to me that the Pathfinder 2E Design Team has spent two years listening to this tiny, non-representative minority on the message-boards and created design goals almost entirely to satisfy them.

    It sounds like you are saying that you recognize that Resonance has failed as a feature towards the design goal of preventing people from easily healing and having lots of magic items, and in response to this you will now diligently work on a brand new mechanism for preventing easy out-combat-healing and players having lots of magic items.

    When are you going to submit the actual playtest GOALS for review? Not the mechanical features, but the actual goals? Because right now it seems like the designers have the primary goals of:

    A) Make Every d20 Roll so absurdly well balanced that a 10 on the dice fails and an 11 succeeds.

    B)Make sure the designers know they are more important than those impudent players.

    C)Make magic, especially magical items, much rarer (calling them "unique" and "wondrous" fools no one).

    I can tell you to dump Resonance and the Common/Uncommon/Rare System, etc until I'm blue in the face, but if you're just going to try to come up with new methods of achieving goals that I think make the game worse, what's the point?


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    So we know skills and ability checks are going to scale with level now, and skill DCs are also going to scale with level.

    It seems like the easiest thing to do is is just tell players to roll a d20 and then say "a ten or higher for a trivial task, a fifteen or higher for a difficult task."

    These DCs seem to be doing the same thing, but there's an extra step that's obscuring the results.


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    Overall the weapons look good. It's hard to tell though, without the math. It's really important that weapons be upgradeable. We know the single biggest flaw in Starfinder is the sell for 10%, combined with the general lack of upgrading, means players feel like they are throwing their gear away at the end of every level.

    So if runes are readily transferable, and magical and mundane gear can be sold back for at least 50% of their market price, then I think the magic weapons system is great.

    Armor looks pretty great overall, despite resonance adding another layer of complexity.

    But again, we come to consumable magical items, which are ruined by resonance. As others have pointed out, spending resonance to do cool magical effects when you might need it for healing means much less cool magical effects and quite possibly a horde of unused resonance at the end of the day.

    Wands are not included, not surprisingly, since there's probably going to even more controversy when they come out, based on the last two posts.

    When there is playtesting on this, lets not beat around the bush, give some scenarios resonance-free wands of CLW, and leave the other players with a big old pack of resonance-costing healing potions, and then gather feedback on which parties felt like they had more fun at the end of each session.

    Ending on a high note, I am surprisingly excited that Horacalcum is losing its annoying H and bringing it more in line with standard fantasy materials. Thanks!


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    42nfl19 wrote:

    So one of my big "issues" with this new RP system is that it hampers/removes the most cost effective way of healing between combat/down time or what is now called exploration mode. Before, after you get your first deposit of dosh the best cost effective healing item is Wand of CLW. You don't even need higher level wands. It has enough charges to top you off between fights. Do you have at least one person that can cast CLW? Boom don't even need UMD. Every party member, if they had extra dosh, could get their own and just let the party healer use it on them. Then the party healer could better use their spell slots for more utility spells, buff spells, etc.

    Was this method too "Overpowered"? I feel like it was not that OP. It freed up spell slots and allowed more spells to be used. It also meant that you can stay out in the field longer and not have to stop. Can any DEVS or Mark comment on this? Was this tactic something you wanted to remove in the new system or can you replicate this healing method?

    Also can other people comment on this? Was this method/tactic ok or too OP?

    Nope, you nailed it. My party finally bought up a wand of CLW and a wand of infernal healing, and now our bard and oracle can actually use their spell slots in fights instead of having to hold on to them in case we need between-fight healing.

    I get that there are certain players who love being a pure healer, and that's awesome! I've played with people like that, you don't need to spend charges from your own wand of CLW and they keep you alive and keep you going between fights. But the vast majority of players want to be more than just a heal-bot.

    If they want to borrow a bunch of ideas from Starfinder, I don't know why they don't just do stamina on top of hit points, then they can get rid of healing as much as they want.


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    On a larger point, I know it irritates people to compare 2E to D&D 5E, so I won't go there.

    What I WILL say is, the reason I gave a hard pass on 5E was because they wanted to make magic items "rare and powerful" and no one could get a magic ring or sword before around 5th level. 5E is sitting right there any time someone want to play a low-magic tabletop game where magic items "unique." However, I far prefer Pathfinder, and one of the main reasons is when someone casts Detect Magic on me, by 4th level I should light up like the Xmas Tree of that one house on the neighborhood everyone else hates.

    To be fair, there's actually a lot to like here. I think trinkets are cool, martial-focused consumables sound awesome. I also like the changes being made to staves.

    But you guys need to ditch this resonance system. And frankly, the underlying assumption that out-of-combat healing should be "hard" needs to be ditched as well. Wands of Cure Light Wounds have made Pathfinder faster, funner, and without them the martial/caster disparity would be way worse than it is.


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    magnuskn wrote:

    Alright, the more I read about resonance, the more worried I get about its metagame effect on the game overall. There has to be a better way to make charisma a non-dump stat than this.

    The problems I am having with resonance, as presented so far, are:

    - That it exacerbates the 15-minute adventurer workday paradigm, instead of shifting the game away from it. With resonance being such a limited and important resource and there being negative consequences to it running out, players will be incentivized to retire from their adventure for the day as soon as they get into danger of being caught out without their resonance pool to fall back on.
    I was hoping that Paizo would shift away from the "clear five rooms, rest for a day" type of gameplay which has plagued D&D/Pathfinder for decades. I fear that the developers are going into the totally opposite direction with resonance.

    - That it denies opportunities for non-traditional parties. You may think what you want about Cure Light Wound wands as cheap healing resources, but their existance made it possible to run adventure paths without a dedicated healer and also helped out with the 15-minute workday problem enumerated above. With resonance being a limiting factor on cheap healing alternatives, at least one player will be forced into a "healing battery" choice, if he wants to or not. The only solution to that is that the GM begins throwing expensive healing items at the group.

    This is exactly what I was thinking as soon as I read about the resonance system. Almost every player will stack as many invested items onto their character as possible, and if that means they can only get magically healed once, then it's two fights a day. If the resonance system is strict on that 24 hour limit, maybe 2 fights every other day. "The mayors daughter will be sacrificed at midnight tonight in the caves of darkness? Too bad for her (and our second prestige in PFS), we simply lack the resonance to save her!"

    And if you see a player come to the table with an interesting cleric who wants to use his spells for cool effects, they'll need to be shut down and reminded that they are a heal-bot, and they should be waiting in the corner until after the fight.


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    *Fires arc pistol wildly into the air in celebration*


    I like the simplification of resistance and weakness, and what sounds like making sure monsters with random SLAs for flavor can keep them without getting taxed on their CR.

    That said, I'm less wild about these "multiattack" abilities just for monsters. What can very quickly ruin a game is if the monsters are playing by their combat rules and the PCs are playing by a different set. Starfinder already has this problem. The fact that you are calling zombies "level 0" zombies is a bad sign. If the GM wants to throw a level 5 zombie at the party, he should be throwing a wight or something, not just adding levels to a monster!

    Weather Report wrote:
    Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
    Haven't bothered to read the thread, but the blog seems pretty interesting. I like everything I've seen so far. What I really wonder about is if the numbers for different monsters will feel more natural than Starfinder monster building, where it's just 'it's got the numbers because it needs them'.
    That can be a problem, as 4th Ed illustrates. AC should not be tied to level for every monster, etc.

    Yup. I had a conversation where my Starfinder team was having difficulty fighting a couple of noncombat scientists who inexplicably had tank HP, AC and attacks about this. "In Starfinder, would our party get murdered by a puppy?" "Yes, if it was a level 10 puppy."


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    Overall I like this. Heighten Spell for free, Healing as a sub-type of necromancy, scaling cantrips, all makes sense.

    I can tell everything is more tied to level, level differences look less like a power curve and more like a power staircase, with every level one stair up. That can work fine in a game, though the designers are going to have to drop the idea of making every other fight 1 CR higher than the average party level, since there will be such a huge power differential between each level.

    The one bad news is rituals. 4E did this exact same thing, and it was one of their worst features. I know there's been a lot of favorable talk about the CONCEPT of rituals on these boards, but in the practice of them it seems to go poorly. Let's remember the origins of Pathfinder rituals were in the occult books, since only idiotic cultists of Great Old Ones would bear the horrific risks of backlash and failure involved. Skill checks and spells really shouldn't mix like this.


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    Looks good overall. Waiting to see how ancestry feats are handed out to judge them.

    One thing that does bug me is the lore: Elves only live to be 600 now? They used to be basically immortal, and there were elves running around over 1,000 years old! It's a key part of their mindset. Hope they take this out of the lore.


    My party is running this in society. When we first used the Sunrise Maiden in combat, the weapons were so underpowered that starship combat took over an hour. When we started book 3, our GM allowed us to pilot a society Drake instead, which was vastly more effective.


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    Jason Bulmahn wrote:

    I want to take a moment and talk a bit about the a concern I am seeing here with some frequency, and that is that characters will be streamlined and not customizable. I get that we are using some terms that may lead you to think we are going with a similar approach to some other games, but that is simply not the case.

    Characters in the new edition have MORE options in most cases than they did in the previous edition. You can still make the scholarly mage who is the master of arcane secrets and occult lore, just as easily as you can make a character that goes against type, like a fighter who is skilled in botany. The way that the proficiency system works along with skill feats gives you plenty of choices when it comes to skills, allowing you to make the character you want to make.

    Beyond skills, every class now has its own list of feats to choose from, making them all pretty different from one another and allowing for a lot of flexibility in how you play. And just wait until you see what Archetypes can do...

    Next Monday we will be looking at the way that you level up, and the options that presents. Next Friday (March 16th), we will investigate the proficiency system, and how that impacts your choices during character creation and leveling.

    Stay tuned folks... we have a lot of great things to show you

    Jason Bulmahn
    Director of Game Design

    I really hope this is true. One of the biggest mistakes we've seen in the last few years in Pathfinder was the pernicious myth that, unless every new class/archetype/feat/spell was made significantly mechanically weaker than older examples in the Core Rulebook or other old books, it would magically make "lift the power curve." That kind of thinking implies a fanatical focus on preventing any new class or ability the chance to be interesting, on the off-chance that it might somehow break the game.

    I'm seriously worried that the talk about simplifying magic items and spells implies building a highly-standardized formula for every possible class ability and piece of gear to ensure nothing is ever out of place, as is already too much the case in Starfinder. Take some risks with that power curve for once!


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    Tinalles wrote:

    I find this entire question very odd. I see NPC use of occult rituals (and their predecessor from Unearthed Arcana) as primarily plot devices. There are only two times when a ritual is "on screen":

    1) When you want the PCs to be able to do something they couldn't ordinarily do.

    2) When you want mechanics for a ritual the PCs can interrupt.

    The mechanics are only necessary when the PCs are interacting directly with the ritual in some way.

    If an NPC is using a ritual, and the PCs aren't helping or interrupting it, then it happens "off screen" and the outcome is whatever I as the GM need in order to advance the plot. Simple as that.

    A good, well-written adventure is one where improbable things don't constantly happen when the PCs aren't looking to advance the plot. And that requires a setting that has internally consistent rules between how the PCs affect the world and how the NPCs affect the world.


    Alzrius wrote:
    blahpers wrote:
    Howard197 wrote:
    Cavall wrote:

    I think the point to rituals is they should always be a temptation. " Finally the average layman can be granted great power! "

    Games in a High Court and the like offer the want of such temptations. The way to put one over on a rival and some such. A need that slowly consumes them as they become desperate.

    In this sense the only downside is actually knowing the difficulty in a numbers based system as a player.

    It makes for a far better occult feel to simply come across the promise of power and then realize the cost far too late.

    That's a good point, the perspective of an NPC who doesn't know the numbers and can't calculate the probability is probably very different. That said, after a ritual has been attempted a bunch of times and its horrific failures are recorded, I think most NPCs would realize they will probably also fail. Trained knowledge skills and the like are an abstraction of a deep understanding of the subject, and anyone trained in a bunch of knowledge skills doing research on a ritual is going to learn about all those times everyone died trying to do it.

    That's also a good point about occult feel, NPCs in occult stories are usually short-sighted and overconfident. That said, my complaint is that these rituals are being written for areas that don't have an occult feel, like the grand temple of Saerenrae for example, where its seems really unlikely that priests are going to attempt a ritual they know has frequently failed with devastating consequences in the past.

    People do foolish things. Sometimes they don't take the time to learn that doing something is foolish. Sometimes they know it's foolish and do it anyway.
    "[Norman Osborn] thought about the number of times he'd seen movies with mad scientists trying out some sort of formula on themselves, transforming themselves into human guinea pigs. And he'd always shaken his head and wondered, how could any scientist ever be that dumb? It was like...

    Yes, that's a fantastic example! Norman Osborn, brilliant but desperate and completely insane. He would totally do an occult ritual, and arguably the Green Goblin is a lot like the outcome of a failed occult ritual.

    My complaint isn't with occult rituals for things like turning yourself into a monster to get revenge on your enemies, it's risking all the defenders of a Saerenrite temple being horribly cursed for a year just to give them a minor bonus to their combat abilities, or a tea ceremony among visiting diplomats. Neither group of casters is insane, and neither is that desperate.


    Dasrak wrote:
    Howard197 wrote:
    B)Most spells and items that grant skill bonuses don't work for this check.

    Magical items that grant skill bonuses work, it's only non-magical items that do not. Spells only grant their bonus if their duration lasts the entire length of the ritual, so some spells do and some don't. Heroism is a solid catch-all for that purpose.

    Howard197 wrote:
    Any kind of PC or NPC of say, 7th-10th level (the equivalent of someone looking to cast a 4th level spell) trying to hit these 28+ DCs is going to fail at least 3/4ths of the time, and be worse off than when they started.

    Completely untrue! A 1st level NPC can be built to have a 100% chance of succeeding on a DC 28 ritual check under ideal circumstances.

    1 rank + 3 class skill + 3 skill focus feat + 3 attribute bonus = +10 skill check right out the gate. Now add a +5 enhancement bonus magical item and you're at +15. Make him have a spellcaster class, which gives an extra +1 to the ritual check for +16. Now add 20 secondary casters for +5 to boost the total up to +22. Finally you can tap into a ley line of maximum power for a further +5 bonus to take you to +27, which means even on a roll of 1 you still succeed on DC 28 (natural 1 rule does not apply to skill checks). You do need to be very generous with the bonuses, but it works.

    Now let's look at the 10th level NPC under more conventional circumstances: 10 ranks + 3 class skill + 5 attribute bonus + 2 heroism + 3 from CL 10 + 5 enhancement bonus item + 2 from secondary casters = +30

    Even if you can't get everything on that list there, you'll still have a very high chance of succeeding on the vast majority of rituals. With a little more effort, even high-level rituals can be tackled relatively safely. High level rituals actually are safer than low level ones in some respects, since they allow for more skill failures and the DC doesn't go up that quickly. Now, where rituals become hard to pull off is when they call for unusual skills or those skills that are not...

    Unless we're talking about custom-built NPCs that were created solely to cast that ritual, I feel like those skill builds are pretty unlikely. Occult rituals are specifically supposed to be for non-spellcasters to be able to cast powerful spells. Sure, the ranks and make sense, but for non-spellcasters it's rare to see class skills in Knowledge Arcana or Knowledge Planes. If they're not a Wizard are they really going to have an Int skill of 20 though? Heroism makes sense, but how many NPCs do you know that actually carry around a Mossy Disk Ioun stone? I think getting to a +18 bonus with a 7-10th level NPC (the equivalent of someone casting a 4th level spell) would be exceedingly unlikely, unless the NPC is named Ritually McRitualson or a highly potent Wizard who could just craft a regular spell to achieve the same result without the backlash.


    Coidzor wrote:
    Howard197 wrote:
    What do you guys think? Should non-horror, non-occult materials still include occult rituals, and if so, should they be changed in such a way that it's...

    The fundamental mechanics are no more occult than they are anything else.

    You know what Occult Rituals are based on? The Incantation rules from Unearthed Arcana for D&D 3e, which were very much general purpose, whatever the DM feels necessary kinds of magical effects.

    So it's completely fine that the basic mechanics have been repurposed elsewhere.

    Horrific backlash on the other hand, is more jarring the more mundane the application.

    Thanks for showing me the incantations! You're right, that was definitely what inspired occult rituals. There's a really big difference though: You could take ten on checks in incantations. That means spellcasters could be pretty confident most of the time they could pull off these rituals and avoid a failure. It's pretty clear the designers took incantations and made them much more risky and dangerous to serve as proper occult rituals. But for non-occult rituals, for regular rituals that sane NPCs are only going to cast if they feel fairly confident in the outcome, something more like the way incantations used to be makes more sense.


    Cavall wrote:

    I think the point to rituals is they should always be a temptation. " Finally the average layman can be granted great power! "

    Games in a High Court and the like offer the want of such temptations. The way to put one over on a rival and some such. A need that slowly consumes them as they become desperate.

    In this sense the only downside is actually knowing the difficulty in a numbers based system as a player.

    It makes for a far better occult feel to simply come across the promise of power and then realize the cost far too late.

    That's a good point, the perspective of an NPC who doesn't know the numbers and can't calculate the probability is probably very different. That said, after a ritual has been attempted a bunch of times and its horrific failures are recorded, I think most NPCs would realize they will probably also fail. Trained knowledge skills and the like are an abstraction of a deep understanding of the subject, and anyone trained in a bunch of knowledge skills doing research on a ritual is going to learn about all those times everyone died trying to do it.

    That's also a good point about occult feel, NPCs in occult stories are usually short-sighted and overconfident. That said, my complaint is that these rituals are being written for areas that don't have an occult feel, like the grand temple of Saerenrae for example, where its seems really unlikely that priests are going to attempt a ritual they know has frequently failed with devastating consequences in the past.


    Here's the thing: I think Occult Rituals were cool when they were introduced in Occult Adventures a few years ago. Non-spellcasters can cast powerful spells, with the caveats that

    A)The primary caster can't take ten, twenty, or receive Aid Another on the multiple checks needed.
    B)Most spells and items that grant skill bonuses don't work for this check.
    C) Adding a bunch of secondary casters only grants small bonuses to the checks.
    D)Backlash means even a successful check costs the primary and secondary casters something valuable, albeit temporary.
    E) Failure consequences are not only incredibly high, but they usually seemed designed to specifically move the casters farther from their goal in a significant way. IE if a ritual is to make someone stronger, the failure will be a big whacking permanent strength penalty, etc.

    Any kind of PC or NPC of say, 7th-10th level (the equivalent of someone looking to cast a 4th level spell) trying to hit these 28+ DCs is going to fail at least 3/4ths of the time, and be worse off than when they started.

    And that's great for how the rituals originally worked, when they were either conducted by insane cultists trying to unleash great evil on the world and willing to suffer any consequences to keep trying, or heroes up against the wall with no good options.

    The problem: Since the spate of Horror and Occult material, new campaign settings and player companion guides have kept including new rituals (looking at you Inner Sea Temples and Heroes of the High Court) for other casters to use in more prosaic circumstances. But of course, given the high probability of failure and horrific consequences of same, those rituals would never actually be performed by NPCs, or PCs. It doesn't add to the setting, or to any real player options this way. It feels like these books are being padded out with useless filler.

    What do you guys think? Should non-horror, non-occult materials still include occult rituals, and if so, should they be changed in such a way that it's genuinely likely that NPCs at least would actually attempt them? If the problem is the occult ritual itself, should there be some kind of low-stakes ritual with a less punishing backlash and failure, but much smaller benefits?


    Has anyone ever made a spreadsheet for GMs of which scenarios can cover which faction goals? Be nice to be aware of that ahead of time.


    Jeeze, we're acting like Klingons versus Tribbles.


    Would love to get some official ruling on this. Right now the more specific feat allowing a Phantom to have Ghost Touch seems to overrule the general class description about the phantom not attacking while incorporeal, but an official ruling should set this straight.


    Here's another thought: The balance of defense and offense in Starfinder seems tilted significantly more towards defense than offense compared to Pathfinder, i.e. combat will probably many rounds several rounds longer in Starfinder than in Pathfinder. Yes, even with combat being simplified and fewer choices, combat is still going to last longer in real time.
    That's good for a lot of reasons, including letting players feel like they contributed more no matter what their build.

    But I hope they are decreasing the number of combats in Starfinder Society Scenarios, since we were already running way over the time limit with Pathfinder Society Scenarios. If there needs to be some skill checks, diplomacy or a chase scene, they need to have a total of 2 combats, maybe 3 if its a dungeon crawl instead.


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    The Mad Comrade wrote:
    Howard197 wrote:
    Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:

    "However, if they are built around treating the gear as 100% value because some monster with 3 requisite feats has an exotic heavy weapon that players are thene expected to make use of themselves, then we have a very SERIOUS problem."

    Well no we don't since weapons don't work that way in Starfinder. Weapon Profiencies are in groups, not individual weapons. And a Soldier is proficient with all of them.

    That's nice for the soldier, but not for anyone else who isn't proficient in heavy weapons/has the strength to wield them properly, etc. Counting full value of looted weapons isn't viable unless you're running a really carefully managed home-brew campaign.

    That said, a shift to story-based rewards is a positive sign that may make this moot.

    At things stand right now my expectations are that the lion's share of the character swag-by-level will be upheld by story awards with some consumables, ammunition and petty cash coming from the corpses of one's enemies. Which is great as it permits a more fluid pace instead of the usual "rip up everything that we can't tear out with power tools" approach. ;)

    You have a good point. It would be nice to just grab credsticks, batteries and ammo, and just write off IDing enemy armor and weapons and spend all that time figuring out their worth, how we're going to carry them back to town, etc.


    Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:

    "However, if they are built around treating the gear as 100% value because some monster with 3 requisite feats has an exotic heavy weapon that players are thene expected to make use of themselves, then we have a very SERIOUS problem."

    Well no we don't since weapons don't work that way in Starfinder. Weapon Profiencies are in groups, not individual weapons. And a Soldier is proficient with all of them.

    That's nice for the soldier, but not for anyone else who isn't proficient in heavy weapons/has the strength to wield them properly, etc. Counting full value of looted weapons isn't viable unless you're running a really carefully managed home-brew campaign.

    That said, a shift to story-based rewards is a positive sign that may make this moot.


    Vexies wrote:

    You are meant to be paid for jobs as well as loot from badies taken as direct upgrades. The entire economy is based around selling thins for 10% value as legitimate vendors wont want the hassel of dealing with potential legal issues of buying things from questionable sources when things are mass produced and guaranteed by huge mega corps.

    If you house rule anything be prepared for further headaches of having to deal with power & economic imbalances as players will have access to things much more powerful than intended for their lvl

    That's a really good point. One nice thing I'm seeing here is much more of an emphasis on story awards then looting-based economics, which might make the whole thing much less of a barrier to fun play. If 80% of your expected WBL is coming from credit sticks from AbadarCorp or crafting materials, then the sell rate on looted gear is much less important.


    The Mad Comrade wrote:
    Rannik wrote:
    Howard197 wrote:
    10% resale value of goods? Seriously? I guess this is a pretty strong indicator that you're supposed to play society only, as that wrecks the playability of a campaign.
    You can always change that. Personally, that's what I will do.

    Not so sure about that. It seems likely that far more gear-based loot is to be expected in Starfinder's space-opera than Pathfinder's high fantasy. Part of what you can do with just skill ranks is build all of your own gear to spec. Part of what you should be able to do (in theory) is sell non-obliterated ships for scrap except in Society.

    Also, and most importantly, it is made clear that a sizable chunk of da phat lootz is expected to be derived from "story based awards" of credits and UBPs (the stuff you make all your phat lootz with). Cash awards are deliberately de-emphasized as a result.

    Right, that's part of the problem. I understand they wanted to give GMs the option of giving all their mooks fancy gear without worrying about it upsetting player WBL, this is choosing between giving GMs lots of freedom in NPC gear and giving players lots of freedom in customizing their gear later on, and as in many other places the designers decided to come down HARD in favor of giving GMs more freedom and restricting player freedom.

    If the WBL guidelines are set up around players expected to have 10% of the total wealth of NPC gear they could have theoretically looted from enemies, then that's perfectly fine and I have no problem. However, if they are built around treating the gear as 100% value because some monster with 3 requisite feats has an exotic heavy weapon that players are thene expected to make use of themselves, then we have a very SERIOUS problem.

    Crafting rules are interesting, and the fact that they don't require feats anymore is cool. But the fact that breaking down gear still only gets you 10% of value for crafting means you have the exact same problem.


    10% resale value of goods? Seriously? I guess this is a pretty strong indicator that you're supposed to play society only, as that wrecks the playability of a campaign.


    QuidEst wrote:
    Howard197 wrote:

    Hmmm. Infamy looks fine, as long as the rule about the GM needing to warn ahead of time that an act is evil/Infamous act still stands.

    Levelgating Equipment though is terrible. Price is already an effective levelgate, and in those incredibly rare (though breathlessly talked-about) instances where characters spend all their gold on a single item, that's what fame limits are for.

    Let's not forget the main reason 4E failed in the first place: Designers who were too obsessed with "Game Balance" at the expense of fun.

    Don't worry, I got the book and things look pretty fun. The leveled equipment is actually really nice, and much more fun than the old enhancement bonus advancement.

    It's good to hear the system sounds fun. I never had a problem with the enhancement bonus progression on weapons and armor myself, since you generally had options on different areas to put your gold until you had enough to buy that enhancement or gear you really wanted.

    I'm just worried there'll be something along the lines of "blaster of awesomeness, 4000 gold, 4th level and above only." For a player with a smart character who saves 4,200 gold by mid-third level, that kind of explicit ban in the name of balance really ruins immersion and fun, and punishes out of the box thinking.


    Hmmm. Infamy looks fine, as long as the rule about the GM needing to warn ahead of time that an act is evil/Infamous act still stands.

    Levelgating Equipment though is terrible. Price is already an effective levelgate, and in those incredibly rare (though breathlessly talked-about) instances where characters spend all their gold on a single item, that's what fame limits are for.

    Let's not forget the main reason 4E failed in the first place: Designers who were too obsessed with "Game Balance" at the expense of fun.


    I thought it was a fun action movie, as a big fan of the series kind of sad they condensed everything into one movie, but I still enjoyed it. Fun to see McConoughey as the villain.

    To me, it seems really clear now that whoever designed the Gunslinger for Ultimate Combat made it like 95% Roland DuChain and 5% spaghetti westerns.


    Anybody here at Paizo have thoughts on licencing future Adventure Paths if this goes well? With Obsidian, we all got excited about a video game version of Pathfinder Card Game, but after Rise of the Runelords no other adventures seem to be in the cards, making it a huge waste of a great platform. (Still a great game, just a missed opportunity for many more).

    It would be quite a shame if a similar mistake is made here, where a great platform is used for only a single adventure path, and then the licensing for the other 19 adventure paths fails to materialize.


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    Skeld wrote:
    I'm the one who first mentioned the Gug. The way it's head-mouth opened reminded me of a Gug. It could be a Dimensional Shambler though. I'm not very familiar with them (other than the name sounding boring).

    Gugs did travel to the Darklands by "tunneling through from the dimension of dreams." That's basically what this one did. I was recognized that thing as a Gug by episode 2, I was expecting the kids to start calling it that instead of "Demagorgon."


    Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:


    You can entirely naturally run into this thing literally minutes into the adventure, which starts in the middle of the Mindspin mountains. "Oh, it is automatically always over populated areas" is not a particularly satisfying answer.

    Don't forget that Volstus is now flying this castle towards over Belkzen towards the capital. Remember that the PCs are supposed to have spent time in, maybe grown up in, Trunau. You remember Trunau, right? The city where everyone is raised from birth to fight constantly against the Orc menace? Some of the PCs up in that cloud castle probably have a little hope knife in the back of their packs. All they have to do is look out a window at the stars or down at the ground and some basic geography checks are going to tell them roughly where they are, right over the lands of some marauding Orc tribe. Blowing up the castle over Belkzen and having it rain down on orc warriors isn't going to count as collateral damage to a Trunaun, it's going to count as a bonus.