Another part of this, guys and dolls, is that "write it yourself" becomes problematic exactly at the time that Paizo goes ahead and does it (and they will do so sooner or later, never doubt it).
Using a prior example, there's not enough detail out there about Taldor in my opinion (not me personally, but an example person who holds an opinion). So, I go whole-hog and flesh Taldor all the way out. Aristocracy, inn names, prominent NPC's, everything. OK, great. Now we've been playing for a year, and Paizo Releases "Taldor: Right Down to the Mole on Your Character's Grandmother's Ankle", and now I feel like all the work I did is annoyingly wasted, because anything Paizo does at that level is going to blow away whatever I can do. I think of all the awesome adventures my party could have had in this super-awesome version of Taldor, and I weep and gnash my teeth. I may even rend my garments.
This is the reason I personally don't like filling out a publisher's world with my own stuff. If I'm going to be writing the preponderance of the mintuae, I would prefer to do it in my own sandbox.
This isn't the first time that it's come up. Travis Williams did an excellent editorial on the subject in White Wolf magazine. It's a serious issue because racism and misogyny in general two things we consider as on the decline in our culture are on the rise in gaming overall. I'd like to think that Paizo's authors are a cut above the rest, but Pathfinder doesn't exist in an island. We're not free from the influences that abound in the rest of the gaming medium or in media in general.
Seelah is (and I mean actually is, not just could be or might be) the iconic friggin' paladin.
Nobody at Paizo thinks dark people are bad. If you'd like to think they're a cut above, then good, because they are. Someone made a picture of the iconic paladin going anti-paladin. If Harsk was the iconic paladin (ironically) we wouldn't be having this discussion.
If you're discounting theorycrafting, don't.
Theorycrafting is what should have been done prior to this being published. I understand the fact that some of you feel strongly about this not being broken in its current incarnation, but please realize: the fact that there are a significant amount of people that see this as extremely objectionable means that, by definition, it is a kind of a bad feat. Not objectively bad. Subjectively bad. A feat that half the playerbase strenuously objects to on the grounds that it distorts conventional and widely-accepted game mechanics, contains too many loopholes and corner cases, and violates their agency over their characters is less than good. That's not the reaction that feats are supposed to receive, period.
It's OK for some people at some tables. That doesn't make it OK. It (my humble opinion) shouldn't have been published, and all the passionate arguments for and against it are so much dust in the wind.
It's been fixed about as far as it can be. It just never should have been published.
I also dislike them. I have oscillated between not allowing them (in a Kingmaker game) and allowing them (in my current Way of the Wicked campaign). The party actually hasn't bought one yet, which surprises me. It's likely due to having a Cleric and also some other means of acquiring a few HP per day (Infernal Healing and the like).
In general, though, I dislike the concept of Divine wands. I vastly prefer limiting wands to Arcane energies, with potions picking up the slack for the low-level Divine spells. For high-level Divine spells, well...you need a high-level Divine caster. In my view, this makes for a slightly more gritty atmosphere.
So, I haven't been reporting my gameplay, but we've been having a very exciting time of it. We're near the end, and it's getting quite entertaining.
In general, the party approaches nearly ever situation by using darkness first and asking questions later. They have multiple sources of darkness, and they all have darkvision, so that's generally been their strategy.
The party has whittled down the castle slowly. They initially killed Varning and his rangers while out on patrol, and left the bodies to rot. While waiting for this to be discovered, they killed a few more guards in and around the town (not sure if I made the right call having the soldiers also double as town guard, but that's what I did). Captain Barhold was dispatched to investigate Varning's disappearance, and he was much, much more prepared - already Balentyne began to suspect that something was afoot.
Barhold managed to escape the party, and was able to report back to the fortress that a party of 4-5 enemies was about. Not shortly thereafter, the fortress became much more guarded. They advertised for "supernatural bounty hunters" - a ploy that my party reacted to by applying for the job themselves, and interesting plan but one which exposed them to Tacitus, who dutifully noted that they were all wearing magical headgear. Being no idiot, he suspected hats of disguise.
Long story short, although the party has used their iron circlets to great advantage and been able to move about with relative impunity, the noose is beginning to close on them. A recent ruse of theirs failed, and has led to the Cleric being imprisoned, while Father Donnagin is questioning a pile of corpses. The disguises are protecting them for the most part, though. None of the corpses is able to describe the PCs in their natural appearance. Lord Havelyn is convinced of the party's guilt, though, having connected Barhold's initial report, Tacitus' tale of mercenaries with Hats of Disguise, and the mounting pile of corpses that all speak of being slain with the same weapons - weapons the PCs happen to use consistently. He holds the Cleric in his hands, and does in fact plan to let her swing, if only to show the PCs that he means business (even though he lacks direct "smoking gun" evidence).
He plans to accumulate as much evidence in his favor as possible (he is LG, after all), but it is no coincidence that he plans to execute the Cleric on the very day that the bugbear hoarde will arrive at his doorstep. The party will have a very busy day two game-days hence.
The last session ended with the Rogue trying to sneak in and kill the Cleric in his sleep, thus eliminating the Speak With Dead threat. Unfortunately, thanks to Donnagin's odd sleeping habits, he was up praying in the chapel. The Rogue sees him with his back turned, and he is invisible and has Non-Detection running. he is going in for the kill, and he might succeed, but... the chapel is not without defences... a LOT of them. I will be amazed if he lives. *rubs hands together and cackles maniacally*
You know, Neil has commented somewhere that they routinely get this as an acutal item in the RPG Superstar contest.
This is in honor of one of my players.
Ring of Unerring Foreknowledge
Infinite time stop! Infinite shapechange! Infinite true strike! Infinite blink! Infinite everything!
I am not lying when I say that I quit reading it due to the amount of time Jordan spent on people's mustaches and on Nynaeve's braid-tugging. And Mat and Perrin each thinking the other was good with women.
Literary crutches annoy me, and when you compound that with book after book after book of them... too much.
If anyone ever suggested that I leave my wife and kids to play RPGs more, their first problem would be the shower of beverage flying in their direction as I erupted whatever I was drinking in an uncontrollable fit of laughter.
Their second problem would be what they wanted to do after I told them no.
I'm new to the back-and-forth here, but to me it's pretty simple.
Why on earth would you not want to make it 10, 20, 100, 500 times harder for people with homicidal intent (like this moron from this weekend) to acquire firearms? If your answer is "Because...ME! I want firearms, and I want them whenever I want them!!"...examine your moral compass and try again.
Your second amendment is trodding on my preamble. The Constitution exists in part to "insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, [and] promote the general Welfare".
The domicile is not tranquil. People are getting shot in movie theatres and in shopping malls, and our children (our children!!) are getting shot in school.
The common defence is not being provided for. I do not wish to own a gun, or shoot someone with one. As such, the constitution is doing nothing whatsoever to protect me from homicidal maniacs with guns. "But Jeremy", you say, "It's giving you the right to own a gun to defend yourself!!" I choose not to own one. I am allowed to make that choice, right? Many others have made it as well. To defend us, the constitution would need to forbid access to weapons of mass murder. It's not doing that. It's guaranteeing access to same.
The general Welfare is not being promoted. Your owning a gun is not making me fare any more well. This right that you have, whether or not you like it, is actually hurting my ability to live my life. I now have to go in fear that one or more homicidal maniacs has decided to mow down the midnight screening of freaking Batman. That's no way to live life, dudes.
If an article of the Constitution is no longer serving the means for which the Constitution is designed, is it not incumbent upon the citizenry and our elected officials to eliminate or severely modify the article?
It needs to be much, much more difficult for someone like this to acquire guns than it is currently. If that means that you have to join an actual state militia, or the National Guard, or whatever, and serve whatever their monthly commitment is to drill excercises, and respond in times of crisis and natural disaster, and that type of thing, fine. If it means that you need to undergo a regular psychiatric evaluation in order to continue to own said guns, fine. If it means we need to outlaw guns, fine. But it needs to be more difficult than it currently is for morons like this Colorado shooter to get his hands on what he needs to take human life. That's all there is to it, in my view.
So, for people that don't want to re-pay for scenarios/APs/Modules they've already bought, I have two honest questions:
1) If you bought the books from a brick and mortar location, how is Paizo supposed to know what you own?
2) When you bought your products, was it under the understanding that any digital items that could possibly be developed in the future to support the product would be thrown in for free? Or did you buy it for what it was: a physical product with no promise of a future digitally-supported supplemental product?
I know my own answers to those two questions but am curious to see what others think.
So, obviously this isn't getting addressed this weekend (hope everyone is having fun, and man am I jealous), but:
Say I scroll all the way down to OTD and click in the FAWTL thread. Why I'm doing this is anyone's guess; let's just assume I have a few extra SAN points burning a hole in my pocket. (:-p) When I click 'Back' on my browser, my thought and, I guess, subconscious user expectation is for me to land on the main forum page, scrolled down to the bottom where the FAWTL thread is. Alternately, I could see being at the very top of the page as well - that would make some sense. Instead, I am placed back to the correct page, but I'm looking at the campaign journals section, which is no place near where I actually was.
Note that if you don't scroll at all on the second page (the FAWTL page, in this example), you're fine. But if you scroll on that page, when you hit 'back' you're unceremoniously dumped somewhere seemingly random on the front page. And who doesn't at least READ the page they chose? So, therein lies the problem.
Steve Geddes wrote:
Also, the words "morally bankrupt" were, you know, NOWHERE IN HIS POST.
Some of you dudes have simply got to learn that some criticism of WotC is going to occur. Some of it's even justified. Some criticism of Paizo is justified. Some criticism of the pope is justified. There are no friends to be won nor people to be influenced by e-knighting blindly and wholly on behalf of a company you don't directly work for. It's not "groupthink". It's a bunch of people who generally are not WotC roadies discussing WotC's policies/procedures/decisions using critical thinking skills. There's lots to like about the playtest, but everything need not be sunshine and bunnies.
Look; all I'm saying is that there was a four-hundred gazillion dollar air ship with a hulk-cage and nobody thought to include bullet-resistant glass.
Having seen it twice, I'm not sure what you're referring to here. Was it when the helicopter engaged the Hulk? Because, you know, helicopter autogun rounds are a little stronger than bullets. I'm sure you're not referring to the actual cage itself, which Thor only cracked with Mjolnir.
Also, again on casting, while Cobie Smulders was probably the strongest actress in The Avengers, she didn't seem to fit the part. Because when I think action movies, oh yeah, I think Robin Sparkles. I know there were people getting shot at, but all I was hearing was: "Let's :go to the mall...TODAY!"
But is that on the casting director, or on you? If NPH was in the movie and acting his ass off, would you have been unable to see anyone but Barney?
I was going top say something dwarf-themed, and then I saw Chris's comment about underground, so that dovetails nicely.
It seems like Paizo doesn't like or pay a lot of attention to dwarves. They're one of my favorite races to play and interact with, and their culture has so much potential, but none of it ever seems to be realized.
Insofar as anything can be considered "dramatic", this almost certainly qualifies. The Lead Designer leaves in a critical stage of development and, more importantly, PR woodshedding (Monte's name would have gone a long way toward establishing cred with the old-school crowd)? No, this is significant. Who knows how significant, but... fairly significant. He didn't just leave because his stage of the gig was up, he left because he disagreed with one or more things they were doing, ostensibly to the point where he no longer wanted his name associated with it. That's... a big deal.
Edit: I really don't think I'm sensationalizing, either. Read the blog entry. I'm inferring a little bit, sure, but hardly sensationalizing.
Shah Jahan the King of Kings wrote:
You, sir, are confusing the American legal system with backwoods redneck justice. I actually understand the confusion, but for what you're suggesting to be true, the defense would need to establish a long history of mental and verbal abuse on the part of the victim, and likely the partial or full insanity of their own client as a result. And even then, it'd be a tough sell.
If a dude says to me, "yomommasofat" and I say "them's fightin' words!" and then beat him senseless, I will end up in jail for battery. He will not wind up in jail for anything. That's the reality of the situation.
When you wrote "Does the dodge bonus from the “offensive defensive” rogue talent (Advanced Player’s Guide, page 131) stack with itself? Does it apply to everyone, or just to the target I’m attacking?"...
When you wrote that, I think you misspelled "Is Antagonize actually supposed to force a caster to try to beat on you with a stick?"
You're entirely right, the problem here is clearly the small size of my brain, not any inconsistency on your part at all.
I, too, prefer the Sidhe Lord to the Sidhe Noble. It just executes better. However, they're both character-monsters, no doubting. Look at this line from the Lord, perhaps its defining line of description:
Sidhe Lord wrote:
Sidhe Lords are otherworldly poet-knights, armored in iridescent dragonfly-scale, skilled with lance and lute and illusion.
Remove the words "otherworldly" and "dragonfly", and you have a cavalier/illusionist with ranks in Perform (Lute). Not that that's not cool! It is. But the premise of "This totally misses the point of the round" being applied here and not over there is inconsistent. It just is. It's pretty apparent, and I'm not the only one who will notice it. The Forgotten Realms have had Griffon Riders for years! Is reducing the size category and making them fey that cool? I guess it is.
Jacob, sorry to take up room in your thread. I found Ryan's comments to be a fair and accurate appraisal of your monster entry, but I don't see that same logic being applied elsewhere. As such, I think it came across a little too harsh. I'm going to cast one of my votes for you on the basis of your prior rounds (and the fact that I don't think the Sidhe Noble is a total dud by any means) and I hope others will consider doing the same.
This is not a monster. This is a character. It could appear as a villain or an NPC. You've produced an entry which is fine as far as the mechanics go but all you've done is taken the monster template and used it like a character sheet. I'm giving this entry a D.
It's a tiny knight. This is a fantastic submission. You've got an entire campaign in one monster. I give this submission an A.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
If the salary is reasonably competitive, I'd be very happy to apply for the Project Manager position. I'd relocate to the greater Seattle/Redmond area tomorrow, at my own expense, given the opportunity!
You should apply. As I know you know, the only way to find out what the salary is would be to get offered the job. And then negotiate.
Kirth as PM: "Are you on schedule?"
Sean, isn't Antagonize still really borked? Any plans to finish the job on that one? I know you said Jason was looking at it, but all that ended up happening was an increase to the DC, which doesnt seem to account for the radically different scaling of skills vs. ability modifiers. It's still cheap insult-comic-dog mind control.
Clark Peterson wrote:
The wondrous item is a perfect first round task. Every year people say do something different. But there simply is not better replacement task. Candidly, the only one even remotely close would be to create a new spell. But that is more rules-fu and less creativity. The wondrous item really is the perfect round 1 task.
Clark, when you get a second (yeah right! Holy heck, I knew you were busy, but not THAT busy!), would you mind expounding on this? Two things, really...
1) How would the only task even close to wondrous items be a spell? For instance, would creating a specific magic weapon not be fairly close to a wondrous item, and similar (while not identical) as far as the design process?
2) When you say a spell is more rules-fu and less creativity, why do you say that, exactly? It would seem to me to be a good balance of both elements. Few things indicate mojo as much as a well-written spell.
I have a ton of respect for the work you guys do for this contest, but I wonder if the contest itself might not be suffering a tiny, tiny bit due to the stagnation of the first round. I think if you took a really long, hard look at it in a purely objective way you might feel the same way. Maybe not necessarily from a judge's perspective, but also consider the participant's perspective, which is the side that is stagnating, it seems. After all, there have been what? 3,500 wondrous items submitted since Neil's year? The design space is getting smaller and smaller... (I didn't submit this year, so this is not me having sour grapes, lest you think that's what this is about.) Anyway, just offering some thoughts/feedback as an observer.
Why does Ultimate Combat have more support for Wizards and other casters than it does for noncasters?
I honestly just read that the Dark Tower is overrated? Oooooooookay...
Anyway, this is fabulous news. I couldn't disagree more with the peak of the books being book 3. For me, it was clearly book 4. Seeing Roland as a young man and understanding even a bit of his anguish... oh, man. great stuff.
The problem they're going to face, here, is that a big thing that makes the DT books so phenomenal is their interaction with the other parts of the "Constant Reader" multiverse. I loved DT more because I was able to see the repercussions of the events in the DT in SK's other books. You're not going to get that here.
What is your prefered maximum character level that you like to play to in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game?
I'm surprised to see the results thus far. More weight to 20+ than I would have expected. I find the game gets bogged down at very high levels.
It absolutely does get bogged down. It's nigh-unplayable anywhere north of 15.
The problem with this poll, and activities like it, is that every supporter of Epic Rules comes out to support Epic Rules, because they want Epic rules.Whereas, people who don't want epic rules already have what they want (non-epic rules), so they don't care, and don't vote, etc.
The worst part is, people generally fail to understand that it's the very resources that develop the game they play that would be pulled to support the game that they don't play, therefore hurting the game they play. So, when a thread gets started about epic rules, it reads like "Sure!" "Count me in!" "Where do I sign up?", because it's only the people who want those rules responding. But, regardless of what any poll or survey of Pathfinder players suggests, the majority of players don't play or want to play above 15th level.
Seriously, this isn't an opinion. It's a fact.