Ok. That's a simplistic answer.
I am not trying to justify slavery which I personally find repugnant.
However, when trying to understand historical cultures which practiced slavery and never questioned it, then individuals within that society should be judged based on how they treated their slaves.
To simply label them all "evil" because of a standard, historical cultural trait seems extremely arrogant. We have the benefit of our modern C21st culture and educations, they did not. So the measure must be how they behaved within their own cultural context.
And yes, this is relevant to Golarion, which has many pseudo-historical cultures -- from the Land of the Linnorm Kings (Viking), to Osirion (ancient Egypt), Qadira (Arabia-Persia), Vudra (India), Tian Xia (incl. Japan, China, Burma and others), etc.
The aim is not to justify historical wrongs, but to try to capture or experience a very different and alien cultural perspective.
Slavery is morally wrong but evil might be too strong a word. Whether it is neutral or evil depends on the details.
Before the 1800s slavery was standard across the world through all of recorded history. Even the Old Testament contains instructions on how to treat slaves!
Freedom is a relatively modern notion. Peasants and serfs in most cultures were virtual slaves be they Chinese peasants, European serfs, ancient Egyptian commoners or African tribesmen ruled by the likes of Shaka Zulu.
In other words, an RPG that wants to simulate any real-world historical culture needs to interpret slavery through that lens. Morality (good, evil, neutral) can be defined in the cultural context by how the slave-owner treats their slaves.
This really needs to be turned into a Paladin discussion!
If a Paladin student in Paladin school flips off his Paladin teacher will he get suspended or expelled?
If it is a non-evil, non-chaotic act, why would the school expel him?
Joynt Jezebel wrote:
Is PF 2 really a financial necessity for Paizo? What is your basis for saying so?
The fact that it is happening and that Paizo has bled a lot of customers to D&D over the last few years.
Companies pursue profits, so if PF1 is being retired, then it can't be meeting the company's needs or expectations.
Paizo knows this and they don’t want to compete with D&D 5 as they’ve said on numerous occasions.
They don't want to, of course, but they have to. Pathfinder has lost a lot of its player base to 5E, so PF2 is an attempt to claw back some of those players -- and also attract others who play that system.
Fantasy TTRPGs all compete with each other in the same market. More complex will be PF2's niche but aside from that, the game concept and themes are much the same.
The spell has three buts any of which might apply to this journal:
You can read otherwise incomprehensible written messages.
BUT (1) The ability to read does not necessarily impart insight into the material, merely its literal meaning.
BUT (2) Magical writing cannot be read, though the spell reveals that it is magical.
BUT (3) It does not decipher codes or reveal messages concealed in otherwise normal text.
As a partial counterargument, the phrase "the human race" exists.
"The human race" is a common phrase and the game had "Race: Human". So, from that point of reference it makes perfect sense.Elves, dwarves, etc are not humans so elf race, dwarf race for "not members of the human race" are easily understandable terms.
Ancestry could be seen as worse than race as the term is most commonly used for humans of different ethnicities e.g. Swedish or Italian ancestry, or Tutsi or Tibetan ancestry.
Homer's Iliad is the classical battle of champions on the battlefield scenario.
Basically the common soldiers do their thing in the background and don't interfere with their leaders' quest for glory battling the enemy leaders. And when a leader falls, their troops become demoralized and fall back or rout.
So emphasize the hero vs antihero fights with the flow of battle surrounding them being descriptive and responsive to results of the clash of champions.
You could set it up as a flowchart of options. So a description of the overview of the battlefield, PCs chose from several options and defeat a champion somewhere on the field, followed by another description of the overall flow of battle and how the enemy units respond, and then the PCs making another encounter choice, and so on.
The eldest of the good gods would have had priests in the time of ancient Azlant and supported their followers in the war against the serpentfolk who were humanity's nemesis at the time.
That said, I'm not sure which of the current gods were worshiped by the Azlanti. Shelyn and some of the empyreal lords, perhaps. Most of the others seem to be newer gods or closely associated with other continents (e.g. Desna the Varisian goddess, Torag the dwarf god, Sarenrae the Kalishite goddess).
It's surprising Golarion's non-evil cities don't man Paladins at the city gates like an airport scanner to detect evil people/things. Anyone who detects as evil then gets detained for questioning -- if they detect as evil surely they've done something bad!?
Fox Soul wrote:
Thinking of it in a RP perspective, a wizard trying to create a potion focuses or targets the spell on the potion. This would be difficult if the spell only targets yourself.
It is possible -- wizard pee in a bottle. He cast the spell on his bladder and then urinated.Perhaps that's why "self" spell potions aren't a thing!
The use of the term race in RPGs is generally positive. Humanity is defined as a single race and all humans are intrinsically equal irrespective of ethnicity.
As to elves and humans, yes, they can interbreed, but so can lions and tigers or horses and zebras or humans and neanderthals. So "race" functions as the non-sciency, fantasy description of the playable species, some of which are so closely related they can produce offspring (half-elves, half-orcs, etc.).
Presumably most non-evil people who were souls trapped in a cadaver would voluntarily die and head off to a happy afterlife. Hanging around in such a form also risks corrupting your soul (again).
Evil undead makes more sense because the afterlife of the evil (on the lower planes) is demonstrably bad!
Rigid ideologies look better on paper than they could ever function in reality. Human nature ensures that things will go awry.
From Plato to St Augustine to Marx, every philosopher imagines a utopia which would only work in practice if all human beings were perfect.
Golarion's Mengkare seems to fit in the ranks of misguided philosopher. I imagine him as a LG philosopher dreaming of utopia, and sliding towards evil as he attempts to put his vision into practice -- rigorously enforcing it upon an imperfect populace who can't measure up to his philosophical standards.
Wrestler: "Stop wriggling damn it! You're unconscious!"
Wrestled, unconscious Freedom of Movement guy: <Dreaming I'm a worm.>
Joe M. wrote:
Always happy for an excuse to talk about the Greeks! The passage about Circe is reproduced below. The word for her implement is rhabdos, which as far as I can tell might be closer to a short staff or a rod rather than a Harry-Potter-size wand.
You are right. I was thinking of ancient Athenian pottery where she is holding a mortar in one hand and waving her pestle "wand" at Odysseus' men in the other."Mortar and pestle" might not be accurate. You could also interpret it as a small bowl and a stick to stir the stew.
Interesting tidbit about the Odyssey. All the way between that and Disney's fairy godmother, the wand looked like a focus but it was never clearly specified. The authors didn't need to call out any rules, after all.
Circe's wand was the pestle of her mortar and pestle. She transformed Odysseus' men into beasts after they drank wine infused with her magical concoction by touching them with the instrument she used to mix it.So it was really a focus. She was also also a minor goddess, so her pestle-wand was just a divine attribute much like Eros' love arrows or Poseidon's storm-raising trident.
Other famous mythical wands were Hermes' caduceus and Hypnos' branch of yew.
Should PF2 expand at the same rate as PF1? Or take things a bit slower?
I wonder how much of the PF1 expansion rulebooks will be translated in some form to the new system. It could be a good opportunity to sift the wheat from the chaff -- and future PF2 rulebooks could encapsulate the best of the best from the mountain of PF1 stuff.
A History of Ashes has the article "People of the Storval Plateau" all about the Shoanti.
Reading that whole "A History of Ashes" AP volume (if you don't intent on playing that adventure sometime) is a really good way to get a feel for the Shoanti as it describes an actual tribe, it's history and how the PCs interact with them.So if the you want to step into the Shoanti world read the adventure! Unlike most adventures it's heavily focused exploring a culture which is great if you're looking for inspiration on building a character from that culture.
Would that work? Sense Motive is usually opposed by Deception. However, if the subject refuses to speak (poker face), then there isn't much to work with.
In Medieval times they had a torture-execution of death by weight in which they tied you down and piled heavy stones on you until you were crushed to death.
Pathfinder is a bit like that. Physically, if you had a mound of every PF book, you could probably crush someone to death with them.
And if it's enough to crack your bones, imagine what all the info packed within can do to your brain!
It is fairly common in a realistic sort of way (as opposed to endorsing it).
* The Sargavan colonists are prejudiced against the Mwangi natives.
* The Kyonin elves are prejudiced against non-elves to the extent they don't even allow non-elves access to most of their realm.
* Chelaxians, as has already been mentioned, are prejudiced against tieflings and halflings as inferior/slave races.
* Korvosans are extremely prejudiced against Shoanti and also Varisian wanderers to a lesser degree.
* Taldans and Qadirans are mutually hostile.
* Ustalavs are prejudiced against Sarkorians and slaughtered Sarkorian refugees entering their realm when the Worldwound opened.
* Mwangi elves are murderously xenophobic.
* Hermeans regard most non-Hermeans as inferior beings.
* Tieflings are certainly not welcome in Mendev.
* Orcs and half-orcs are not welcome in Lastwall.
* Non-dwarves in the Five Kings Mts are usually restricted to foreign quarters.
* Gnomes in the Varisian forests refuse entry to non-gnomes.
Critical hits are exciting and all, but when your Profession (crit-fisherman) character deals 90 damage to a 30 hp ogre, it strikes me as overkill.
The DM could narrate these blatant overkills:Barbarian's killing strike slices the ogre in two. Its guts go flying entangling Sorcerer in a bloody mess ... yet again! (Seoni gives Amiri an evil glare.)
Torture is evil but threatening to torture someone using the Bluff (lying) instead of the Intimidation (intended threat) skill would not be.
On the other hand, it depends on the individual. As history has shown, some people don't crack under torture. So threatening torture will definitely not work on a particular personality type, and others might be so confident in their ability to resist torture (even if they would actually crack if tortured) that they will automatically brush off the threat.
So, aside from using magic, you can assume that some interrogations will never work no matter what method you use. That is perfectly fine, because if that is built into the scenario, then the PCs will have other ways to further the plot.
There are also non-interrogation techniques you can use to learn certain things. Such as letting the prisoner believe he has managed to escape on his own (loose knots binding him), and then tracking him back to the secret lair.
Matthew Downie wrote:
If there's a right way to play, I'm pretty sure just writing a new name on the same sheet whenever a character dies isn't it.
My PC is always the eldest of quintuplets - the younger ones idolize and emulate him, so end up with the exact same stats. That gives me 4 spares if the main dies and they inherit his stuff.Like clones but genealogical.
Paizo has their own store where their books are sold, while 5E links to sites like Amazon to buy theirs. I'm not saying Pathfinder is outselling 5E, obviously. But those Amazon statistics just aren't meaningful in this context.
The Pathfinder CRB is listed in Amazon's top 100 so, despite being such an old game, even now it's still attracting brand new customers.
As for the rest of Paizo's products, I think the sheer breadth of their catalogue dilutes sales per product.
5E by comparison has relatively few products, so sales are more heavily concentrated on each of those.
Medieval Christian priests dunked people in water to simulate drowning until they confessed. Waterboarding isn't torture and is compatible with good religions (at least by the Medieval definition of "good").
Compared with everyday Medieval stuff it was pretty mild -- at the end of my street there is an old iron tub hanging from the side of the old weights-house which they used to use to boil corrupt merchants (those using false weights) to death in oil.
BBEG has a problem. He hates your Mouse Wizard.
So he scatters hundreds of mousetraps baited with yummy cheese around his lair.
But mousetraps are so tiny they do 0 damage and there are no rules for traps doing more damage to tiny creatures.
So, if you allow a mouse PC, you should also allow mouse-sized traps (as well as normal characters with stomping boots) to squish them!
Dave Justus wrote:
The point though is that an NPC might be able to convince a Character that wrong is right, but they shouldn't be able to convince a player. If you a GM think that you may have done so (your NPC argued so convincing for a certain behavior that your players now believe that you as the GM believe that that behavior is moral) then you need to correct the players misunderstanding.
Yes, it's rather tricky in this situation drawing the line between DM/Player and NPC/PC.On the level of PC personality though, I think it is best for the player to make the call rather than a random roll of a die because players should feel that they have agency over their character's decisions and how to roleplay them.
For a player the Sense Motive skill should be used to discern (or gain hints as to) an NPC honesty, motives, moods, etc., rather than determine how the PC should react to them which is the player's prerogative.
In other words, a player shouldn't have to use the Sense Motive skill to decide how his character reacts to what an NPC is telling him. The skill should be used to provide the player with clues to help him decide how to roleplay the encounter and not how to ultimately decide it.
That's a very self-indulgent example of a rule. Basically Jargon Item 1 makes Jargon Item 2 longer. You learn Jargon Item 3 which you can use with Jargon Item 4 increasing Jargon Item 4 by 2.
For the lay person, trying to visualize this is hard. Who knows what the bard is doing or trying to accomplish in-game. Esoteric mathematical stuff in his head, I guess.
By comparison, although PF1 and various iterations of D&D had their jargon, they used natural language and you could get the gist of most things by just reading it without understanding all of the underlying rules.
Quite right.A game that some people love and others hate still has a passionate audience.
A game that everyone finds mediocre ... well, one's free time is limited, and there are lots of other games/pastimes to choose from ...
A gaming company plays by entertainment industry rules. It competes with every other entertainment for our attention.
Dexterity assumes the magic-user has to aim his spell by pointing his finger accurately at the target.
Using his/her mind to aim a spell is also valid. To do that Int-Wis-Char could represent the mental finesse required to hit a moving target.
In other words, having a higher mental attribute could indicate more precision. You aim with eye+mind instead of eye+hand.
That's not what Pathfinder is or should be. Pathfinder is supposed to be the indie small-brew to WotC's mass-market D&D.
I admit I haven't read the playtest but have read a few of Paizo's preview blogs.
My first impression was that it was all very dry and heavy with abstract jargon.
Although that's fine for a technical manual, mathematics textbook or behind-the-scenes coding for a computer game, that cold, clinical feel is something of a turn-off for an RPG which is essentially a game of the imagination.
Can someone who has read the playtest tell me if my impression is correct?
Of course, it's only a playtest, so aside from fixing rules issues perhaps they will fluff it up in a way that makes it more fun to read and inspiring.
In other words, 7 score, well-built rules but dull, 10 score, well-built rules and exciting. So, if you want people to buy it (beyond those enthusiastic enough to playtest it), reading it shouldn't be chore.
For example: if someone villain has secretly been trying to tempt them into becoming evil and you let the character do a check to see if the realize "Oh (redacted), he's turning me evil".
That would be Sense Motive opposed by the villian's Bluff for an NPC. However, in the case of a PC, it would be better to just roleplay it rather than roll dice.
Typically PCs aren't subject to Bluff, Diplomacy and Intimidate skills performed on them by NPCs. There is no roleplay to that -- your PC's personality would be reduced to the level of an automaton controlled by the dice rolls if you went that route.
Instead emphasize the ROLEPLAY in RPG! To do that think about how your character might naturally come to realize he is being manipulated. It doesn't need to be a sudden revelation but, in a storytelling fashion, have the PC express doubts, ask other PCs for advice, etc.
Go4TheEyesBoo’s examples of characters and how you build them just perplexes me. If your character concept requires 3 classes and as many or more archetypes and you need more than one line on the character sheet to write it then you should be throwing D20 out the window and using any one of the countless systems that have a “cherry picking” format instead of classes and levels.
I suspect the difference is creatively connecting and overlaying different-sized pieces rather than just fitting together a mound of equal-sized blocks.
I don't find those convoluted characters particularly attractive but I can appreciate how people might enjoy using their creativity to construct them. It requires some artistry which you would lose with just the raw building blocks.
PF1 was indeed a very successful niche created in the wake of 4E.Similarly PF2 is their answer to 5E. The goal is probably threefold -- to retain existing PF players, to draw back lapsed PF players, and to attract brand new players looking for a more complex alternative to a thematically similar game.
That is a sensible policy and they have built up a good reputation over the years for quality products (especially the AP line).
PF1 (w/ 10 yrs of splat books) vs 5E was obviously no longer a viable option. To draw back former PF players and attract new ones, they needed to fix the issues that made PF1 less attractive and lower the entry bar for new players.
Admittedly that is a tough combo for Paizo to pull off, as existing, lapsed and new players have very different needs/wants. The playtest itself also would have suffered from self-selection bias -- dominated by existing PF players rather than the expanded market of potential players they want to target.
I feel that a brand new campaign setting would be refreshing.
The mountain of books I already have on Golarion would give Encyclopedia Britannica a run for its money!
I'm not saying they should abandon it entirely, as there are some fascinating aspects that have not been explored.
Yes, splitting your customer base with multiple campaign settings is one issue, but boring you customer base is another.
It would probably be good for the developers as well, since they must feel a bit hemmed in by the confines of the current setting after all this time. And developer enthusiasm breeds player enthusiasm.
What do other people think?
The Starstone Cathedral is also described in Mythic Adventures although it is rather underwhelming.
After completing a personalized Test, you appear before a panel of all the gods for an interview. If you pass the interview, one of the gods sponsors you, granting you a mythic rank.
Then you go out, do stuff and level up (using the Mythic Adventures rulebook) and perhaps one day become a real god. E.g. Iomedae was just a mythic hero NPC for a long time after the test (immortal & able to grant some spells), until Aroden died and she received her promotion.
So to succeed at the Test: (1) practice your interview skills! and (2) suck up to someone on the panel!
What if; Disabling traps, locks, and mechanical devices went into Engineering (as it does in Starfinder) and shoplifting and pickpocketing was rolled into Stealth? (Since doing those last two involves not being seen doing them.)
You know, that would be a lot simpler.
Just call the old Disable Device skill, Disable Device in PF2 like before.
And roll the old Sleight of Hand skill into PF2 Stealth. It was a corner case type of skill anyway and it fits fine with Stealth -- surreptitiously picking pockets, hiding weapons on your person, and so on, all stealthy stuff.
Yes, thievery has obvious negative connotations that all of its uses don’t deserve but it gets across what it does pretty well.
The point is that Thievery is but one use for the skill set.
In practice, if you look at all of the APs and modules, the skill is almost never used for anything approximating theft.
Rather, it is a standard dungeoneering skill used to circumvent or manipulate the mechanisms of a site (locks, traps, machines, etc.) -- and the site itself is usually the lair of a villian or monster and/or a long abandoned ruin.
Sure, NPC thieves use this skill for their profession, but adventurers generally use it for something else entirely.