Judge Trabe

Hudax's page

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Terquem wrote:
My Palace of the Vampire Queen 5e game is heavily house ruled

Sounds like you might have a lot to talk about in this thread. I'm interested in what you've house ruled and why you felt the core rule was problematic. Personally, my house rules have grown fewer over time.

Perhaps a 5e house rule thread is called for?

RainyDayNinja wrote:

Of course I can use Stealth, even though I don't have it as one of my proficiencies. It was next in line for the skills I wanted, but I only got to pick three. So I'm only OK at it; for my character concept, I'd like to be actually good at it.

In PF, I could say "Oh, I don't have quite enough skill points to keep everything I want maxed. I'll have to give up some of my Con to get more Int so I can get another."

In 5e, I'm left saying "Oh, I don't get enough skill proficiencies to be good at all the things I want... Darn."

You can customize a background if you want a specific skillset, but to get more, you'd need a feat.

It is a weakness of 5e that there is nothing to trade in for skills/tools at character creation. But INT should not be the thing to do it. INT to skills means casters, who already have a spell for every occasion, also would have more skills than a 5e rogue and nearly as many as a 3e rogue. This is actually a weakness of 3e. Even though it works out great for non-INT casters who want extra skills, it's broken for INT casters, which means it's a broken rule. So 5e did right in taking skills away from INT, but there should be another way to make such trades.

Seems like there was a thread a while back about an equitable tradeoff between various proficiencies. Like, could you drop shield proficiency to gain a skill? I forget the outcome of that discussion. If I were to house rule something, it would be along those lines.

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
voodoo chili wrote:

Wow. Latest episode was a punch to the gut. Then ripping open of said gut and devouring of the entrails...

I'm pretty sure I know where the finale is heading and the ep tonight covered a lot of ground.

** spoiler omitted **

Thats not a capital crime now though. In the zombie apocolypse when you're short on doctors there's going to be consequences to making it one.

This is another one of the major themes of the show, in my opinion.

The people in Alexandria all have "skills" that make them "valuable." Like, "my skills hold you hostage so I can act with impunity." It's like they literally played that philosophy game where you choose who you think you'd need in the apocalypse and have to shoot the people who don't make the cut. The downside of which is, not only are you all murderers now, but now you're stuck with these people, however terrible they might be. How do you hold someone accountable who knows you need them enough that their skills trump someone else's life?

Most of the people in Rick's group, on the other hand, were just regular Joes thrown together by circumstance. Only a couple of them were people of any level of "importance" in the old world (cops, veterinarian, army guy). The rest of them were sort of nobody. A pizza delivery guy (who hasn't died yet), a battered wife (who hasn't died yet), a kid (who hasn't died yet), a redneck bum (who hasn't died yet), and a handful of others who were essentially no one before are now all bad-asses. They're all valued because of who they are on the inside, what they're willing to do for the group, and their absolute trustworthiness.

This is especially brought to light when people play the game with Daryl of trying to guess what he "was" before the apocalypse. Daryl is a superhero these days, and the joke is before he was nobody. In that philosophy game though, most of these people wouldn't have made it into the bunker, and the irony is now they're the hope of survival for the ones that have been living in said bunker.

One of these groups values people for the wrong reasons. I think that's why Deanna wants Rick around. I think she truly is a good judge of character and motive, and wants Rick to help her clean house. Then the worst that can happen from her perspective is she gets rid of some of her own bad eggs, can point blame and keep her hands clean publically. Best case scenario is the Alexandrians accept Rick as "the law" (which he basically is, complete with legitimacy bestowed by Deanna) and everyone accepts his judgment and moves forward.

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Jester David wrote:
Pathfinder 2 is in an unenviable position. I can't try and be simple, because that's what D&D is doing. So it has to try and capture the more tactical players and optimizes who feel unsatisfied by 5e. But neither can they go the route of 4e, with too much optimization, dissociative mechanics. They need to do something firmly Pathfinder. I have faith in Paizo, but I'm uncertain they can satisfactorily pull off a Pathfinder Revised any time soon

I wholeheartedly disagree.

If Paizo put out a Pathfinder 2 of the same complexity level as 5e, I think people would embrace it eagerly and thankfully. Maybe not tomorrow, but maybe a year or two or so from now. BlackDiamond is right--5e is beautiful, but it's the IP edition. WOTC has pretty much said as much, and has shown as much in dragging their feet on providing an OGL that would make supporting the edition possible. If Paizo published a very similar product, they would have something just as beautiful, but with the support of Paizo and the 3pp community behind it.

It's tempting to think 5e puts a Pathfinder 2 on the ropes, but I think it's deceptive. I don't think Paizo needs to feel constrained by the direction 5e has gone in terms of design in the slightest. If anything, they should feel liberated. After all, they've proven they can beat WOTC at their own game before. 5e has shown that people are willing (and eager) to embrace a lighter ruleset. The time may come when Paizo (technically) follows suit, but does it right.

I'm not saying that's what they *should* do. I'm just saying they could. I don't think 5e takes away any options from them.

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Drejk wrote:
Cosmo has his own magazine?!

Do we dare pull at this thread of reality?

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Fergurg wrote:
As for education being an end to itself, that is a ridiculous premise - education for the purpose of education is worthless.

Wish someone had told me that when I was reading all that Plato and Shakespeare.

Damn them! How dare they suggest that thinking is worthwhile!

Quark Blast wrote:
Hudax wrote:
stuff...Research is never wasted. Research and education are the same in this regard. Education is never wasted... stuff


Nuclear bombs.

You just pulled the equivalent of a Godwin, except science flavored.

Well done!

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LazarX wrote:
Fergurg wrote:
Hudax wrote:
Fergurg wrote:
Why would I need an excuse?
You need an excuse because there is no valid argument against the proposal.

I gave 2.

1) The argument that the more common a degree is, the lower its value.

2) I should not have to pay for somebody else's children to go to college. If you want to be generous, do so with your money, not mine.

I imagine the exact same arguments were made against free public high school, and elementary school for that matter.

Exactly. It makes as much sense to oppose free community college as it does to oppose the free public education we already have.

To the arguments:

1) A rising tide raises all ships. There is nothing to lose from everyone becoming smarter and better educated. I mean, what if we create a smarter, better educated nation for nothing? It's a ridiculous argument because education is an end in itself.

Scientific research pays off 2 to 5 times on the money invested, on average. Research is never wasted. Research and education are the same in this regard. Education is never wasted. Money allocated to education will pay society back well beyond what was invested.

The disconnect here is the inability to wait for the payoff. Granted, it would take many years. But the hallmark of successful people is their ability to delay gratification. If as a nation we decide we want instant gratification, on this or any other investment, then as a nation we will fail.

And ultimately if "everyone" has a CC degree, and that means the only job you can find is road construction, then maybe one of those higher educated people will come up with a better way to fix roads, or even a better way to build them, or something so fantastic it would eliminate the need for roads entirely. That may look like loss of value on your degree, but it's actually the opposite. That's the return on investment. Making the world better.

And also ultimately, maintaining the quality and competitive value of one's education is one's own responsibility. There's a reason why doctors and others with professional bodies of knowledge constantly have to do continuing education. To keep up. If more people getting CC degrees forces you to keep up or fall behind, so be it. That's your choice to make. And since the thing that would be holding you back is FREE, it's a pretty easy choice!

2) Right now, you pay for other people's children to do a lot of things. Go to the ER. Collect unemployment. Collect disability. Collect social security (everyone is someone's child regardless of age). Drive on public roads, perhaps in public transportation. Go to the library. Go to high school. What's two more years? Nothing. And regardless of precisely where the tax money comes from, you would be paying for it somehow, one way or another, unless you stop paying taxes.

This is the price you pay for living in a nation that invests in society, even to the low extent that the U.S. does.

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Set wrote:

Cosmo's older than dirt.

Seriously. On the third day, God was like, "What should I make today?" and Cosmo said, "Dirt!"

Thus begins the cult of Cosmo the Subholy.

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Sara Marie wrote:
liz: With the caveat of “When you start agreeing with the parents in kids movies, that’s when you’re an adult”

What about when you start agreeing with the bad guys in Rankin & Bass movies?

Let the hate flow through you, little drummer boy.

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Rynjin wrote:
By sloppily killing her it just shows that she was used to further a man's (Daryl's) storyline.
Oh pff. Just more SJW b*##&#%&. Never mind, I thought it was something normal people had created. I take back my incredulity, this isn't surprising in the least.

Agreed. The mere suggestion that her death was just a vehicle to forward Daryl's story is one of the more offensive and brain-dead things I've read in a while. Way to try to shift the spotlight away from Beth where it belongs and was intended to be. That makes me more angry than her death did.

And sloppy? Seriously? It was a death we should have all seen coming since the Beth/Daryl episode in season 4 where they practically tell us in so many words that she's going to die. And it was still a complete and total shock. Right up to the split second where your arms go up in the air to cheer when she tries to stab Dawn and then... bam. With your arms still in the air. Sloppy? They had us on a line for a year right up until the last second.

That is absolute perfect writing.

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Kthulhu wrote:
Charlie D. wrote:
Pan wrote:
Charlie D. wrote:
(like, RAW can my character breath--I'm not making it up).
Oh man that's funny. Did someone counter with "RAW doesn't say you have to breath!"?
That response seemed obvious. What is scary is how much debate and how many pages those posts go on for. I honestly can't tell who is serious and who is trolling and who is laughing. It's way too trippy for me.

Bah. I've seen comparable threads here

"Is breathing evil?"

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Fake Healer wrote:
The actual rules surrounding when they should be used seems to be mostly "when the DM determines you have one". It doesn't clearly define when to use them though.

Any time you roll a d20 you have an opportunity to roleplay to gain advantage. The rule makes the whole game reward roleplaying.

Instead of spending their time searching through the books looking for bonuses, players will be spending their time imagining what they can do tactically/in-character to gain advantage. You're in the game instead of in the rules.

It's just simply a brilliant mechanic and if you're leaving it out, 5e is going to be just another ruleset. If you make the small effort to use it thought, the game comes alive.

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Vincent Takeda wrote:
I'm glad they havent meta'd. Playing what they want to play instead of trying to form a party thats ideally suited to the type of fights they're expecting to see.

But they did. The cleric meta'd that he'd be the healbot, and everyone else meta'd that there would be a healbot.

It's time to teach your players how to be self-sufficient instead of relying on this guy to save their butts every single combat round.

Job one as others said is don't roll HP! Or if you insist on it, be prepared to fix it when it inevitably breaks characters. Let them retcon their HP to average, which will probably boost their health by 150%, which will help a lot.

It's much, MUCH better to never take damage than it is to heal damage. What is preventing the ranged players from maintaining range? Is the ranger casting entangle ever? Does the cleric ever cast any buffs? Is the cleric ending the day with spells uncast (wasted)? If there is a spell the cleric can cast that mitigates potential damage, that is inherently better than casting a heal after the fact.

Read this: a player's guide to healing in TOZ's profile. And have your players read it.

If all else fails, buff the heck out of channel's heal. Double it, or give it 1d6 per level. Who cares. Your healer's probably been getting shafted for years. This will have a few effects. One, your cleric will wait until it's effect won't overheal too much, and will consequently be doing other things. Two, it's really underpowered anyway (channel specifically and healing in general). Three, the party will start to realize, as they sit there with falling health for a few rounds, that maybe there are things they could be doing to keep themselves alive until the huge heal comes.

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Sean K Reynolds wrote:
it's the Five Moons RPG, not the Five Stats RPG. :)

How dare you use other numbers!?!

Oh, and grats! :)

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Magic eight ball of augury, for when she doesn't know what to do.

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Kung Fu Joe wrote:
Hudax wrote:
(Terry Brooks would call this a failure to outline, meaning if you don't know where you're going when you start, you'll just go on and on.)
I could sort of see your point, but citing one of the worst hacks of the 20th century on "how to write" definitely does not instill any confidence in it.

Your opinion on Brooks' writing doesn't mean he's wrong, or a bad writer. It just makes it your opinion. "Hacks" generally aren't extremely successful.

Martin on writing: "Three years from now when I'm sitting on 1,800 pages of manuscript with no end in sight, who the hell knows."

Does that sound like someone who knows where they're going? He may know who's on the throne at the end, but that's all he seems to know. He's like the student whose 5 page essays are 30 pages long and several months late. You want to fail them on principle.

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I think the major contributer to the problem is the huge-sweeping-multi-book-single-story-epic just isn't a viable form. And I think a major contributer to that problem is, the writers who are inclined to pursue that form don't know when to stop. (Terry Brooks would call this a failure to outline, meaning if you don't know where you're going when you start, you'll just go on and on.)

Is anyone else hoping Rothfuss's 3rd book is the last one?

I'm not sure if the writers engaged in sweeping epics are megalomaniacs, or if it's a problem perpetuated by publishers wanting to indenture writers, or if stand-alone books don't sell as well, or if writers don't want to do them as much. But I'm really starting to not want to see any more series. At all. It's to the point where I cringe whenever I see something new and see it's "book 1 of who the hell knows." There's a reason Netflix originals are released whole seasons at once. They understand that's how people want to consume entertainment. Serialized entertainment is becoming obsolete.

More stand-alones, please. There's something to be said for being able to tell a *whole* story in just one book. (That something is *thank you!*)

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MMCJawa wrote:

That's why I kind of get confused on concepts such as "betrayal" or "owing"? Like...an author taking extra long doesn't even come up on my radar as anything like a betrayal. If the author slept with my wife...now that is betrayal...


Someone taking a long time isn't a betrayal. I never said it was. What I said was a betrayal is a writer botching the end of a story, or failing to complete a story people care about, that they are capable of finishing. The better the story, the larger the betrayal if either of these occurs. It's a perfectly apt word. In fact it's the perfect word. People become emotionally invested in stories (that is what they are for) and when those stories let them down, what else would you call it?

Just as books can inspire, comfort, and evoke other positive emotional responses, so can they disappoint, anger, and betray the reader.


If I open a book I expect to be entertained. That is a reasonable expectation. If the book is book 1 of 2, I am owed book 2. If book 2 is never published, that author gets crossed off my list. You know why? Because they are unreliable. You know what a common thread is among unreliable people? They end up owing other people. There are plenty of other reliable authors who will not leave me hanging.

Note that I never mentioned movies, particularly movies that are adapted from books. The Golden Compass movie doesn't matter one bit to me, nor do the Narnia ones, because if I want to I can read the books. Similarly, if HBO ends up finishing GoT instead of GRRM, I will be somewhat satisfied, because the story will exist in its entirety somewhere. It would be preferable if GRRM just finished writing it, but whatever gets it done, as long as it gets done. Until then, however, GRRM and/or HBO most certainly owe fans an ending, and failing to provide one, or worse providing a bad one, would certainly be a betrayal.

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Steve Geddes wrote:
...(which does make me tangentially wonder why rules debates about PF go the way they do).

They go that way because the rules are there to fuel them. Without the fuel, the debates die down. PF emphasizes system mastery and rewards the person who spends more time scouring the rules and arguing about what applies. 5e rewards critical thinking and creativity, and only needs one or two rules to support that emphasis (advantage and inspiration).

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Bluenose wrote:

I didn't ask them exactly what the two I bumped into meant by "dumbed down", because I was on my lunch break and didn't really have time to chat. But when I've played with them they've always liked piling on modifiers and checking they're all there, so I suspect the Advantage/Disadvantage system would be a part of that. That they also use Fire Fusion and Steel when we occasionally play Traveller might give you an impression of their rules preferences.

"Dumbed down" is a copout catchphrase, and a major pet peeve of mine. It doesn't actually mean anything--it's an assessment that is incorrect frequently enough that it carries no weight. It says more about the person saying it than it does about what they're referring to.

5e is "dumbed down" in the way multiplication "dumbs down" addition, or in the way a lever "dumbs down" force. In the way something can be made easier by utilizing a more sophisticated system. In other words, it's not.

Instead of piling on modifiers and rules-lawyering/brute-forcing the system, the challenge is to roleplay to gain advantage. One is about system mastery, the other is about critical thinking and creativity. Saying one of those is "dumb" is dumb. Calling a different kind of challenge than you're used to "dumb" is dumb. If they prefer the former playstyle, that's one thing. They should just say that. But I suspect they don't know what they mean when they say "dumbed down," which is why they're saying it.

Bluenose wrote:
As for rules-lite, there's not a single edition of D&D I'd consider to hit that, and certainly they wouldn't. One of them said to me, and I wish I could get the mixed contempt and disdain in their tone across on a message board, "It's got over a hundred pages of spells. You could right a whole system in that, and have space left over for stuff that matters."

I get that. My eyes glaze over when I get to the spell section and realize a full third of the book is not relevant to the character I want to make. That's a lot of wasted rules from one perspective. And when I do get around to making a caster, I'm perpetually struck by how many spells there are that just do something mundane in a fancy, expensive way. Alarm, for instance, is a magical tin can on a string. It can also alert me long distance, but so can message, so why can't message do what that part of alarm does, and I'll just buy a tin can?

There is also a lot of redundancy due to an unwillingness to scale certain spells. For instance, there's really no need to have slow and time stop be different spells. One is a much weaker version of the other--so why not just design them that way?

5e shows us that with the right rules, you can design a system that is both robust and easy to use. It's too bad they didn't take that approach more with spells.

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Steve Geddes wrote:

I clearly didn't explain myself very well. You "don't overthink it" guys are missing the point of this thread. I just grabbed a rule as an example - I don't really care what anyone thinks about that specific feat, it works for thrown weapons at my table and that's that.

I'm curious about how people are approaching reading 5E - as you might read an OSRIC-all-rules-are-guidelines rule book or as you would read a PF/4E-all-terms-are-defined/codified game.

The question is specifically about different play styles, so there can't be a right answer.

In general I think 5e will prove resistant to rules-lawyering. There are fewer rules, and they have taken care to not attempt to codify every conceivable scenario, opting instead for broader rules and more reliance on the DM's ability to adjudicate (and making it fairly easy for them to do so since most of it revolves around advantage). More rules, especially specific corner-case rules, means more arguing about rules. Fewer, broader rules means less arguing about who is "correct" and more negotiating/roleplaying/adjudicating between players and the DM.

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Respectfully, I think the FAQ on ranged touch attacks may be in error. I didn't participate in the thread on the subject so I don't know what was discussed, but it seems off to me. Here is what the PRD says from the combat "cast a spell" section:

Ranged Touch Spells in Combat: Some spells allow you to make a ranged touch attack as part of the casting of the spell. These attacks are made as part of the spell and do not require a separate action. Ranged touch attacks provoke an attack of opportunity...

Making a ranged touch attack is a single action (whatever action the spell requires to cast). The attack is made as a part of casting the spell. The last line "Ranged touch attacks provoke an attack of opportunity" is, in my opinion, only there to clarify that they do provoke, but only once. Obviously casting a spell in melee provokes. Obviously making a ranged attack in melee provokes. However, if as a ranged touch attack doing these two things together "do not require a separate action" then they should not provoke as if they were two actions.

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StreamOfTheSky wrote:

I can't believe how religiously indoctrinated this board is!

Of course it's not evil! In many cases, it's probably a good act! It may or may not be lawful, as in local laws...but if it's a paladin (as this thread seems to be about), he follows the laws of a "higher power" and still does not give a single ****.

DM: You see before you the altar to Anthrax, god of child murder and Celine Dion music.

Paladin: I take my adamantine greatsword and smash it to pieces for great justice!

DM: Yeah...sorry, by being "religious" it's automatically sacred, so doing that's gonna be evil.

I'm just...speechless right now. very month I think, "that's it, these guys couldn't possibly convince me any more to never, EVER play a paladin in one of their games!" And then...you surpass yourselves...

Exactly this.

I can't believe this is even an honest question. "Is doing good an evil act?" Seriously. "Defacing" or destroying an evil temple is called "consecrating." In other words, it is literally impossible to "deface" an evil temple. It can only be worshipped, making it more evil, or consecrated, purging the evil. There is no grey area here.

The only relevent part of destroying worshippers/temples of evil gods is the fact that they are EVIL. By RAW, this makes thwarting/killing/destroying them GOOD. Period. And for paladins, Good always takes precedence over Law.

Good and Evil are black and white in the game world. The sooner you guys figure that one out, the sooner these stupid evil threads can stop.

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Fredrik wrote:
I grew up in a house with a solar water heater. Not photovoltaic; I think it was like the glycol system that Robert Hawkshaw mentioned (perhaps exactly that). It wasn't enough by itself, but it was handy for keeping monthly costs down.

I also grew up in a home with solar hot water (glycol). The Colorado winter sun is usually sufficient to heat water up to 90-100 degrees. Pretty easy to get it up to a comfortable temperature from there.

I'm intrigued by tankless water heaters, since I know from physics that they could be much more efficient. (It takes tons of energy to heat up water one degree, and there's no such thing as perfect insulation.) But I haven't researched them.

I've researched them a little but have no hands-on experience. It seems they are extremely efficient, but take a little practice getting used to. Point-of-use heaters would make an excellent pairing with solar hot water.

And finally, whatever you do, try not to get tied into a single source of energy. When a resource becomes supply-constrained, the primary result is that prices become spiky, which is horrible for people on fixed incomes. Either natural gas or electric would be fine for supplementing wood; but electricity is nice for being able to be generated in many different ways.

Ideally they would remodel as renewable as possible, for their own energy security if nothing else. But of course that costs money, and you have to anticipate the length of the return on your investment. How long will your parents own the house? If they plan on being there a long time, it may be worthwhile to invest in solar water, PV, even wind. Otherwise it may be best to just get really efficient appliances.

You mentioned they have 20% shade. If they have the money they should consider a sunroom for passive solar heat gain. A properly designed sunroom can keep the summer sun out and let the winter sun in--a significant heat supplement.

It would also probably be a good idea to evaluate their insulation. The roof is the most crucial for keeping summer heat out and winter heat in.

Check with several contractors and try to get a referral from someone you know. Contractors follow the 80/20 rule--80% of them suck.

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That the spell is transmutation school should clue most of you in to the fact that you're incorrect. There is nothing in the spell that says things like *no plant in the square = no entangle in the square* or *can only use parts of plants that are visible (ie: subterranean root systems) or *cannot make plants larger.* You know, one of the main principles of transmutation--making things larger?

Nevermind the obvious thought experiment no one's bothered with. If you place a potted plant in a grassy field and cast entangle on the vicinity, does the potted plant respond?

Pirate's choices are therefore incomplete and should be ammended:

Option 3) A single potted plant could very easily be magically transmuted by entangle to entangle at least one creature or square.

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Andrew R wrote:
So what happens if they prove too much solar is bad for the planet? The materials lead to problems, too much space needed to produce enough electricity, Climate change from too much of the sun's heat redirected, etc? Not to mention problems with batteries.....

Solar by itself isn't the answer, but if you honestly think the impact of procesing silicon and lithium outweighs the processing of oil (nevermind burning it), you're dreaming.

Also, you don't need a battery for solar hot water.

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Irontruth wrote:
Teams share in the profits. So while the Cowboys are hugely successful and make a lot of money, they have to share it with the Vikings, who haven't had as much success and don't make as much money. This has helped keep more teams competitive.

So, supporting teams that need help makes the whole organization MORE competitive? Surely that lesson couldn't be applied to uninsured, unemployed people?

Gendo wrote:

Pet peeve--entitlement means you actually are entitled. Thank the republicans for continued success in controlling language--a problem I refer to as America's "vocabulary problem."

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hustonj wrote:
Like anything and everything else, the people who will pay for it are the people who have made good decisions and are earning income that gives them choices.

This is the ideology that is wrong with this country. People thinking that because they have done well or just had good luck, they are entitled to reap the benefits without regard to other people.

Insurance companies in the USA are still private corporations, and if they are not profitable they shut their doors.

This is what's wrong with health insurance here. Something as essential as healthcare should not be motivated by profit, it should be motivated by making people healthier. Healthcare is a right not a privilege, and administrating care is a responsibility not a service.

It boils down to the simple fact that our economic system does not value human life. People are a resource, they are capital, but they have no value beyond what companies can get them to pay. That is indentured slavery on a national scale, based on class.

Like so much of the modern liberal agenda, this public law takes from those who earn to force them to provide for those who do not.

Are you the guy who when you got the School Tax card in Monopoly said I don't have kids, screw the children! and then thought that was a life lesson?

I want you to look up a word in the dictionary. It's stewardship. It's synonymous with conservation, and steward is synonymous with conservative. At least, by definition. In practice, they are opposites.

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Reliken wrote:
Also, as much as mass military combat is cool, I hope it doesn't act is the "main piece" of PFO.

They have a robust PvE game planned. It's a common fallacy (one that I have fallen victim to) that "game with open pvp" equates to "pvp game."

Also still confused about if being good at "soldering" means being less good with 1-on-1 or small dungeon/mob-based combat. Is skill at combat skill at combat, or is there Combat: Warfare and Combat: Small Battle, as two separate skills?

I asked a similar question a while ago. The response I got was pve and pvp would use different skills. At the time I didn't get why they wouldn't translate, but considering formations, now I get it.

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Shifty wrote:
Its the community, not the game. Reckon if all you gave them was a loaf of bread and a tub of butter you'd still get an optimisation thread up within minutes.

Is the butter flammable?

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The most helpful thing you guys could do for new posters would be to make a sticky thread and link all the blog threads in it.

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Chris Self wrote:

Liz Courts: Shake your moneymaker! :P

Chris Self: ...the building is awfully large

Liz Courts: Tesla says you just need to find the right resonating frequency.

Liz Courts: So get on it!

1.21 jiggy-watts!

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1. You're naked.
2. You have high CHA.
3. ???
4. Escape.

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Ryan Dancey wrote:
In the sandbox, YOU are the source of the loot drops that Themeparks provide via meaningless endlessly respawning non-persistent mobs.

I get this. I'm on board with the sustainability argument. I'm in favor of partial looting as well--full loot is a bad idea, and some winning/losing just makes sense.

Here's what doesn't make sense to me:

What makes all this effort and risk worthwhile? If you're involved in a territorial dispute, you want your opponents to suffer from the attack. Getting "Free stuff" from the husk doesn't do that. You want to deny them access to whatever the target was harvesting or transporting. If you're involved in economic warfare you want your to disrupt your adversary's logisitics chain - here you not only want your enemy to be denied access to the resources but you want to benefit by gaining them yourself. If you're just out for the lulz you're happy to get whatever you can get; the economic value isn't driving your actions anyway.

This isn't a win/lose scenario. This is the killer getting a win/win (win/win/win?) and the loser getting a lose/lose. From the loser's perspective, it might as well be full inventory loot. I would prefer if the winner got a win/meh and the loser got a lose/shrug. The obvious emergent behavior is that people won't carry inventory. But how does this affect the looting issue? You kill someone, they die, you loot them, you get nothing. They lose nothing. Win/meh, lose/shrug.

The only time this will ever change is when people go out to harvest materials. Which, given what we now know about pvp looting, will require a raid group. Because every time you go out to farm, the enemy will be waiting for you. They will do everything they can to make sure of this, because it's their only opportunity to gain anything from killing you, and the only persistent way they can hurt you.

So begin the 4 AM raids (reminiscent of the worst aspect of EQ). The only way to reliably farm in peace is to do it when almost no one else is online. Whoever is willing to farm at 4 AM will pull far, far ahead of everyone else in terms of wealth. Now you've made the leap from "mediumcore pvp game" to "hardcore 4 AM farming game."

Unless the enemy is also online at 4 AM, waiting for you. Now it's "super-hardcore 4 AM pvp game."

I get that this type of looting is designed to instigate pvp, but people will go far out of their way to avoid losses. This kind of behavior will make pvp rare, because people will actively avoid each other unless they have nothing to lose.


What Do You Get Out Of The Deal

You harvesters, crafters, and transporters? You're in business to provide consumables and durable goods to the characters who are out there fighting your opposite numbers in the other factions. The actions those folks are taking are generating the demand for what you're producing which allows you to sell it at a profit, and thus invest your profits into more harvesting, crafting and tranportation.

It's a virtuous cycle: The more PvP there is, the more need for PvE there is. And the more activity there is in between the PvE and the PvP, driving a vibrant exciting economy.

If people are actively avoiding pvp, they won't be experiencing the losses you anticipate. Or if they do, it will be in a cycle of long periods of stagnation and then sudden booms of loss and economic activity. This kind of cycle will extend the "4AM-ness" of the game into pve, because the people who are online at the time of the boom and are able to deliver the goods will make sweeping profits in a short time, leaving everyone else behind in the dust.


I Can't Stand The Idea That My Stuff Gets Taken Or Lost

Yup, I hear ya. Luckily, there are umpteen dozen themepark MMOs for you where you don't have to worry about it. We already know how those games develop: They have a big spike, a maximum level of success, then a collapse followed by server consolidation and a starvation of future development investment due to a failure to "compete" with World of Warcraft. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is one of the definitions of insanity.

The only way for Pathfinder Online to be successful is to carve out its own niche and be different from those umpteen dozen other games. This is one of the ways we're doing it. Pathfinder Online won't be all things to all people. Instead, it will be a great thing for the people who want what it is. And that thing includes a world where you will face consequences that are meaningful and persistent. It's not a place where you go just for easy fun and no stress. Instead, it's a virtual world that's going to be as meaningful to you as parts of your real life.

I know PFO needs to distinguish itself, but the little we know about the game so far makes it stand out. I know the game needs a goldsink to drive the economy, but there are other goldsinks.

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I like what I read except the player loot issue, which I dislike to the extreme.

I'm firmly in your camp Balodek.

I can understand the urge to increase the consequences of death...

I cannot understand it. I have heard every argument in favor of it and the value of it is completely lost on me. I guess I just value my toon's quality of life more than some arbitrary ideal of "consequence" in a video game.

Death is its own consequence. You die, you know you made a mistake, your time and money is wasted, and that is enough consequence. You won't be running headlong into that same scenario again.

Here is the compromise I would accept:

You die. Someone loots your corpse, receiving a random selection of its inventory. The rest stays there until you retrieve it.

What is the purpose of destroying it? To add insult to injury? The reasoning is unfathomable to me. You already died and learned your "lesson." You already got penalized with the loss of time, money, and property, and someone (perhaps whoever killed you) got a reward. What is the point of more penalty?

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It would help to have some basic definitions of balance. Every comment in this thread is 100% subjective and not at all based on any kind of theory of balance.

Hence why people keep saying "balance" in quotes.

There are three that I know of (courtesy of the Alexandrian):

1) Natural Balance -- things are balanced as they would be in real life. For example, machine gunner beats martial artist, no contest.

2) Spotlight Balance -- things are balanced to give different types of characters their moment to shine. Pathfinder follows this method. For example, the fighter kills, the mage controls, and the rogue disarms the trap. At its most basic, each class has a clearly defined role and there is little or no deviation from it. Rock-paper-scissors fits into this type of balance.

3) Concept Balance -- things are balanced so classes are more or less equal. For example, dps in WoW.

WoW uses 2) and 3) combined. Each class has a clearly defined role, but all classes have similar dps potential, methods of control, and small groups of classes have similar utility. For example, druids, warlocks and DKs all have a battle res. PvP is rock-paper-scissors.

Spotlight balance is what allows the Trinity to exist. Concept balance is what allows the "bring the player not the class" philosophy to work.

Sure it's great to log in and think "My toon is awesome/powerful/fun." But that thought is directly derived from the preceding, unconsious thought "My toon is on a level playing field with everyone else." That becomes less unconscious the more classes you play, when you realize "This class is as awesome as every other class I've played."

Applying this to Pathfinder, it quickly becomes glaringly obvious how imbalanced some classes are. I'll pick on rogues because they are currently my problem IRL. What is fair/awesome about the rogue? Absolutely nothing, unless all you're looking for is roleplay. They do about half the damage of a damage dealer, and their spotlight is easily performed by several other classes.

To answer your question OP, when the RAW gives you so little (with respect to the rogue example) there is very little you can do inside the rules.

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General reaction: Looks like a very fun game. Increasingly so with each blog.

On attribute generation: I assume it will be a point buy?

On attributes affecting skill speed: A simple solution to the concern that this will encourage people to stat stack is to cap the effect at a reasonable score, say 16. That way, people can get the skill speed boost and still be able to make choices about how to stat their character.

On capstones: I am in favor of getting capstones for getting to 20 rather than for taking the "narrow path." Having to decide to stick to the archetype or forego the capstone is an interesting choice, I grant you that. But being able to go back to an archetype later for the capstone is also an interesting choice. You are choosing to postpone that capstone even more in exchange for a little diversity. So if the idea is to reward the willingness to delay gratification, the multi-classer actually deserves the reward more than the single-classer.

I understand wanting to pay homage to the RPG, but I find this particular method arbitrary. And if psychology serves me, people will follow the reward. Restricted capstones will incentivize people to single-class, and make multi-classing feel like a punishment, which clashes with the tone of the rest of the game--to play in the sandbox. I think this would lead to single-class players feeling entitled, and multi-class players feeling disenfranchised. (It already has in this thread.)

One last thing on this point. If things like crafting and other "non-adventurer" activities get some significant development time, will there ever be crafting capstones? And if so, will they follow the same rules--get 20 levels of blacksmithing in a row or forego the capstone? My point is, as the game diversifies, this capstone restriction will make the player's choices feel like either 1) a series of extremely long grinds, or 2) do what I want but be punished for it.

I think the richness and diversity of the skill system can stand on its own and be its own generator of interesting choices.

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As to the basic UI of the game, I really don't want to be limited to what I can see about my character or what is going on in the world. I want HP bars, chat channels, vent, etc. It could be entirely possible to simply turn off the UI, turn on chat bubbles, and speak only in /say. I should be able to choose a more convenient level of interacting with the game.

On to suggestions. I second the 3rd party add-on capability. This has, IMO, been very successful in WoW.

As has the ease of making macros and arranging hotkeys/hotbars. Very convenient, even for RP. Got some poems you want your toon to have memorized? Want to announce your lineage to everyone you meet? Got a catch phrase you want to use in all your duels? Macros.

For lack of a better word, transmogrification. The ability to make items look how you want them to look. A cool feature even if RP never crosses your mind.

RP is an area where mini-games could really come into play. Something like a card game interface could be really cool (although any gambling would probably be with fake money--MMOs tend to frown on gambling). Other games could potentially be supported too, like chess, checkers, go, things people in Golarion might play. Maybe some NPCs might know how to play these games too.

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meatrace wrote:
I also tend to believe the creators of D&D (Gygax for example)on the subject.

To be perfectly honest, Gygax's commentary strikes me as the opinion of someone who is only passingly familiar with Tolkien. Very passingly.

Gygax wrote:
Tolkien includes a number of heroic figures, but they are not of the "Conan" stamp. They are not larger-than-life swashbucklers who fear neither monster nor magic.

Gygax confuses subtlety with inferiority. Aragorn would have fought the Balrog beside Gandalf, as would Boromir. But the bridge breaking and Gandalf's fall happened too quickly. Aragorn does not fear the Nazgul. Aragorn's bravery holds together an entire army as they marched to Minas Tirith with the dead. Aragorn (and Eomer and Imrahil) were unharmed in the subsequent battle, "for such was their fortune and the skill and might of their arms, and few indeed had dared to abide them or look on their faces in the hour of their wrath." Then he goes into the city and virtually resurrects Faramir, Eowyn and Merry.

What, besides the author's style, struck Gygax as not larger than life about Aragorn? He is the very definition of it.

Gygax wrote:
His wizards are either ineffectual or else they lurk in their strongholds working magic spells which seem to have little if any effect while their gross and stupid minions bungle their plans for supremacy. Religion with its attendant gods and priests he includes not at all.

This statement is, for lack of a nicer way to put it, completely ignorant. In fairness, the Silmarillion was not yet published, but there is enough in LotR to make sufficient inferences. (The subtlety of magic in LotR often forces us to infer.)

Gandalf dies and comes back. He says he was "sent" back. There is only one conclusion what could have done this--some divine power. And Gandalf is clearly its hand on Middle-Earth.

A few references to "Powers" exist in the trilogy, referring to Sauron and Saruman, if I recall. In Catholicism, a Power is a type of angel.

The Silmarillion reveals Aragorn is the direct, distant descendant of Melian the Maia (an angel). But even without knowing this, we know Aragorn reveres someone named Elbereth, and has healing magic. Sounds pretty deific.

In Mordor, after their escape from the watchtower, Sam asks for light and water. They shortly get both. Coincidence, maybe. But what exactly, in a fantasy world, constitutes a spell? Especially one as subtle as Tolkien's?

Gygax seems to have thought that because the pantheon was not spelled out, and the cities full of temples, and because Gandalf was called a Wizard, and the divinity that all the elves worship (ie: make songs about) isn't clearly defined, and many spells are described in subtle prose rather than flashes of light that shout "here's the magic!" that these things don't exist.

I am almost forced to conclude he didn't actually read the books. His opinions strike me as formed based on second hand information, and dismissive without being sufficiently knowledgable to earn the right to be dismissive.

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Every time an orc dies, I say "That's what I'm Tolkien about!"

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I posted a small part of this in the MMO wish list, but it got buried. I am reposting it here for the purpose of discussion.

I constantly see people talk about the "dumbing down" of WoW, and I want to address this with regards to PFO.

In a way I completely disagree. WoW is incredibly complex and sophisticated, and no amount of information on wowhead, google, or wow forums can detract from that.
But I understand where they're coming from:

1) Rote fights. Endgame often consists of watching a video of another guild killing a boss, and replicating what they did over and over. While the fights are always pushing new levels of complexity mechanics-wise, they are still repetetive. Nothing ever changes.

2) One button wonders. While this is an exaggeration, every class basically has their "go-to" ability. They spend some time ramping up, some much more or less than others, but ultimately the goal is generally to push that one button as many times as possible.

3) Binary challenge curve. Often fights are either impossible or pushovers--very tough or very easy. Few challenges ride the grey area. This is because, due to the static nature of everything else in the game, the only variables are fight mechanics (which are rote once learned) gear level, and the wide spectrum of player skill.

Solution strategy:

Something needs to be done to mix things up. Something that is somewhat forgiving of skill, yet also provides challenge for players operating with years of experience. Something to really diversify things.

And I think the answer can be found right in the Pathfinder RPG.

No Holy Trinity!

There is no "tanking" at the table. Tanking implies aggro control, which does not exist in RAW. (Except for that one feat which shall not be named.) Sure you have your tin cans and meat shields, but tanking is more than being able to take hits and running in first. Without aggro, these builds are just more survivable damage dealers.

Healing is not a dedicated role at the table either. On the contrary, healing in combat is decidedly sub-optimal.

Dedicated damage dealers are not required due to the variety of campaign style options. If you run a social game, for instance, you may not even engage in combat.

The point is, the Trinity roles don't exist as such at the table. The Trinity roles don't feel like Pathfinder.

What could this mean?

Remember playing through dungeons while leveling in WoW (or whatever you've played), before you really knew what you were doing, before knowing that you were "supposed" to tank 'n' spank? It was chaotic. It was awesome. How could we make that the way the game is supposed to be played?

Get rid of the Trinity roles.

-Make "tanking" be about keeping yourself alive while the focus is on you, rather than about keeping the focus on you, as it is in other MMOs.
-Keep taunt (in fact, make it available to everyone as a skill), but do not have any aggro ensuring abilities or aggro multipliers. Taunt would give you brief seconds of control, be used as an emergency to save another player, and be on a long cooldown to avoid taunt swapping.
-Give all martial characters the ability to situationally "tank" as part of their utility abilities or cooldown abilities.
-Give all ranged characters the ability to root, snare or otherwise control mobs at range--effectively, to "tank" at range.
-Give everyone comparable damage opportunities (lest they be pigeonholed into a role due to lack of built-in potential).
-Make "healing" be ideally done as HoTs, shielding, buffs, debuffs, potions, between fights, that sort of thing. Do not require dedicated healers.
-Give people more options for mitigating damage done to other players than just healing. Got a shield? Use it to protect your friend. Shooting arrows? Cast a spell to give the current "tank" a short, powerful protection buff. Casting? Debuff the mob so it does very little damage for a few seconds.

In other words, give everyone some ability to perform all three of the former Trinity roles in some manner.

What effect would this have?

Roles would be dynamic instead of static. One minute you'd be DPSing something your friend was tanking, the next, you'd be tanking! But it would be ok, because you'd have the situational tanking tools you need. The ping pong would be constant, but that wouldn't mean an automatic wipe like it always does in "trinity" based encounters. Instead, it would mean no fight would ever be the same twice. Very basic boss fight mechanics could generate wildly different fights over time.

This would preserve the feel of the PnP game, give characters improved PvP viability (especially group PvP where the strategy almost always boils down to "kill the healer"), and also introduce a revolutionary tactical challenge to raiding that would not relent once the strategy is learned. Players would always need to be paying attention, be prepared for when they get aggro, and have a plan for how they will deal with it this time around.

In short, it would require players to think.

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crystal: Just reviewing my options in general

You could... set the building on fire.

*pets stapler*

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Many Men Online RolePlaying Girls.

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Here's the thing:

It's one thing if there is world PvP that you can't avoid--you can regulate safety to a high degree, but not guarantee it.

It's one thing if there is a small (and I mean tiny) death penalty of gold. (Any kind of exp/skill loss I would find intolerable.)

To have both would be a deal breaker for me. I will not play a game where I can be ganked, robbed, AND de-leveled by other players without my consent. Nothing else about the game would make this even tolerable.

And perma-death would be an absolute deal breaker for me.

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What, if any, will the penalties be?

How accessible will resurrection be?

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1)Choose the ONE favorite MMO you've played.

World of Warcraft.

2)Explain no more than five reasons why you greatly enjoyed it.

Accessibility. My previous experience with MMOs was that if I wasn't prepared to devote the entirety of my spare time (and more), then I wouldn't progress. At no point did WoW ever take over my life. (To be fair, I never did much in the way of Vanilla PvP.) The fact that one can play WoW for a few hours a week and progress is an essential aspect of what makes it a hobby rather than a lifestyle choice.

Variety. There are so many different things to do in the game. Level to max and raid. Level alts. Collect any number of non-essentials, from pets to hats. Level tradeskills. Do lore quests. Do daily quests. Play the auction house. PvP. Explore. Basically, if you're sitting around Orgrimmar/Stormwind bored, it's your own fault.

Counter-obsolescence. My computer is a cheap one from 2005. I can still play WoW on it. A forced upgrade would likely end my subscription.

Game evolution and player initiated change. When I started playing WoW (open beta 2004), there was one viable spec per class for endgame, and you specced that way because it was the only viable option. People didn't like that, and Blizzard made significant changes. Now, every spec is more or less viable. Similarly, when players started complaining--and rightfully so--about the endless stream of useless boss drops, Blizzard implemented a token system. This can be a double-edged sword, however. Players are fickle, and what they want one day will change the next.

3)Explain no more than five reasons why you got bored with it / didn't like about it / thought could be done better.

The first time I got bored was when TBC's 25 raids destroyed my Vanilla guild. Although my guild's inability to adapt said more about it than the change, it nevertheless left me homeless for over a year, and I unsubbed.

Solution: Decide on a raid size and stick with it. WoW has evolved from 40 to 25 to 10 (25 is effectively dead). 10 is a good place to start and not deviate from. 5-man dungeons and 10-man raids is a good model, and staffing a guild for 10s makes a nice sized guild.

The design philosophy shift from Wrath to Cata put my current guild in a tough spot. A few core players quit the game altogether, people I'd known since Vanilla--primarily due to the difficulty increase and the toxic atmosphere in random dungeons. My guild's progression ground to an immediate halt. Not wanting to quit my guild, I've spent my time in Cata on alts.

Solution: Don't attempt to create multiple "sweet spots" by swinging the pendulum. Having easy, normal and hard modes would have solved the Wrath problem (if you can call it a problem). Forcing everyone into what from Wrath looked like hard/harder modes did not solve the problem. Aniticpate the wideness of the skill spectrum, decide how you want to challenge/reward everyone on that spectrum, and don't sweat the super-elite players--they are your most fickle customers.

Guild levels and perks. Great idea on paper, terrible in implementation. Starting a new guild is now an uphill battle--no good for a supposedly social game. No one wants to join someone's level 1 guild with no perks when they can join a level 25 guild--just for the asking--and gain a 10% experience bonus, shorter hearth time, less repairs, more materials, group resurrection, etc. Not only that, but if you do manage to get a guild off the ground, good luck leveling it. Even worse, rewarding people for participating in guild runs diverts quality players away from the pool for randoms, further toxifying that environment.

Solution: My solution for WoW (since I don't know anything about PFO) is to implement guild "specs." The GM can spec their guild as a leveling guild, a raiding guild, or a PvP guild. Each spec would start with different upfront bonuses most beneficial to their spec, gaining the others, and the most powerful perks, at high level. Further, encourage people to do things outside of their guild, with the rest of the community--maybe a reward for being your guild's sole representative, or in the minority, rather than the majority. Guild isolationism poisons the community.

4)Give one or two specific and major things you are most afraid of seeing take place or implemented in this potential MMO and why. Does not have to relate to your favorite MMO.

My number one concern is your balance philosophy, particularly concering dps (hey, I can say dps about PF and it's not wrong!). I find the idea that "class X should do more/less damage because" to be weak and outdated. All DPS classes need to be on par with each other. If they are there to deal damage, they should be able to. I know nothing of your class structure. But I strongly feel it isn't a good idea to handicap any class merely to justify another.

My second concern is being overwhelmed with classes/archetypes/whatever. I very much like the WoW model of having several classes with unique specs. I also like the RIFT model, with the four uber classes and many subclasses. What I don't want is to get to the character creation screen and see 20 classes.

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I blame CJ for Wesley Crusher.

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I will freely admit that the 2 party system is a big source of our political corruption. Each election is essentially a good guy/bad guy contest that seems to serve no purpose other than to polarize our society. Theoretically, the parties are supposed to absorb splinter groups and adopt useful platforms to evolve, but that seems to not happen or happen superficially.

I feel obligated to point out that one of OWS's demands is to make political contributions very regulated, and to allow all candidates equal air time for free:

Demands. #3 is the relevant one.

It would at least make the fight fair. I wonder what that would be like? *head explodes*

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Frogboy wrote:

I will not like it nor serve it and believe that anyone who votes for the lesser of two evils is as ignorant as the casual racist of 50-100 years ago. You just follow the herd like a good little sheep even though you know it's wrong.

You realize that it's the Democrats and Republicans that tell you that you have to vote for them? You serve your masters well.

This looks suspiciously like "you are not a libertarian, therefore you are wrong."

Kryzbyn wrote:
Somewhere between "Free markets deserve to be free of oversight!" rhetoric and the "Goverment should own everythign and divy it all up!" rhetoric, is a good solution waiting to be found. So far, neither the tea PArty nor the OWS people have found it, or even come close.
Frogboy wrote:

Yeah, there's an answer all right. People aren't intelligent enough to see it obviously.


Let's all keep electing the 1%, though. I'm sure things will getting better any day now.

Agreeing on the problem is one thing, and not that difficult, as this thread shows. Agreeing on the solution is VERY difficult, intelligence notwithstanding.

I'm cool with the libertarian platform all the way through its social values. Where it loses me is the entire breadth of its economic stance. The platform is completely invested in the myth of the free, unregulated market. To paraphrase FDR, the free market is a poker game--sooner or later someone has all the chips. Sooner or later, people won't stand for it. The market MUST be regulated, and that regulation can best be done by the government. To be blunt, if the government doesn't do it, then armed revolutionaries inevitably will. Regulation is therefore nothing less than casualty prevention.

Deregulation is at least one of the major causes of today's economic crisis, if not THE cause. Regulation is at least one solution, if not THE solution. What manner of regulation is debatable. Continuing to not have regulation is not an option. In other words, the libertarian economic view is not an option.

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wraithstrike wrote:
I am largely composed of fire. I will accept other ideas. :)

How about...

simmer down now?

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