Witch Doctor

John Lynch 106's page

RPG Superstar 9 Season Star Voter. Organized Play Member. 2,875 posts (2,877 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 12 Organized Play characters.


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I didnt gall them hardcore PF1 gamers. They were just PF gamers. When the new edition was announced they had a choice:
* Play an unsupported edition
* Switch to the new edition when it came out
* Switch to a more popular game
* Give up on gaming

I dunno what happened (I didnt meet them). All I know is PFS died close to the start of this year and almost zero locals have expressed interest in any type of Pathfinder game (the one table I got decided to move on pretty quick).

Meanwhile 5e's popularity has not taken a hit and continues to grow.

It takes diehard fans to evangelize and push a game to get it off the ground and to keep it going. It seems those who were doing it for PF1e decided to stop at the start of this year. Which was always a risk with the new edition. Alienate the diehard fans and your new edition wont succeed.

That said this seems to have strictly been a local phenomena.


As I mentioned in the other thread on this subject:

I moved cities at the start of the year. Late last year Pathfinder was being played regularly in public games. It all dried up in the first couple of months of this year. No big deal I thought. It should pick up when PF2 launches. Wrong.

I tried to get a PF2 game off the ground. Got some initial interest. But it quickly passed. People complained that it was too complex compared to D&D 5e or not as good as PF1e.

I know of zero PF2e games being played (and there are no more PF1e PFS games being played).

There just seems to be little to no Pathfinder interest, and it seems to have been loosely correlated with the playtest. Looking back, D&D 5e has been a much bigger player than Pathfinder for some time in this city. But there was still regular public games of Pathfinder until recently with me having no luck at getting a Pathfinder group (for either edition).


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Your not glad about anything other than having the opportunity to troll. The lack of any sincerity in your post is clear for all to see.

And no. I haven't changed my opinion on 5e. But I had a choice: stop gaming or play 5e. For now I've chosen the latter.


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Gorbacz wrote:

Friendly reminder: every time anybody posts "I'm not switching over ... I have enough PF1 books to last me a lifetime!", you validate Paizo's decision to put out a new edition. After all, there's no money to be made on you anymore.

Unless, of course, you don't actually have enough books to last that lifetime and you'd keep buying new ones and this was just a rhetoric figure to make you feel better about your decision to stick with PF1 :)

There was nothing friendly about this reminder. This is just your usual trolling.

I moved cities at the start of the year. Late last year Pathfinder was being played regularly in public games. It all dried up in the first couple of months of this year. No big deal I thought. It should pick up when PF2 launches. Wrong.

I tried to get a PF2 game off the ground. Got some initial interest. But it quickly passed. People complained that it was too complex compared to D&D 5e or not as good as PF1e.

I know of zero PF2e games being played (and there are no more PF1e PFS games being played).

I've recently switched over to D&D 5e so we will see how that goes after Christmas.

For my city the launch of the new edition seems to have largely been a failure.


CorvusMask wrote:
The way I see it though, clerics aren't just worshippers of a god, clerics are SERVANTS of a god.(just ask what priests think of their relation to their gods) So the "LN cleric gets corrupted to LE" thing wouldn't work in case of Asmodeus because they are already their willing servant :P

While you can certainly hold that view, it was not supported by the rules until the new edition. Which version is better is a matter of taste.

I personally dont hold q one dimensional view of the clergy and imagine there is a wide variety of roles they can assume which have various traditions associated with them.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Smite Evil was never a named in-world ability. 1st level Champions can do Good damage, which is really a pretty similar thing in-universe.

You can dismiss whatever you want to. But I find it notable that a few people have flagged this. It's just like Rage isn't a named ability in world. But GEE WILLIKERS would barbarians feel weird without it.

[EDIT]: Replaced an "offensive curse" (apparently Paizo's coders/board administrators find g~&*+%n offensive?)


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Carog the Fat wrote:
yeah but by RAW for Society games I can just wiggle my fingers and heal my self

If that's how you choose to flavour the mechanics then by all means go ahead. If this was the fiction my GM was creating I would probably find myself a new GM.

I do believe you are right in that separate actions are not required to stow whatever you are holding, make the check and then pull it out again. I personally prefer to use a different fiction to describe this. You do what makes you and your players happy though.


It mostly doesnt bother me. But I do find it jarring that paladins seem to have lost smite evil, or that permissible alignments of some deities have become overly restrictive.

So in the abstract I dont mind class features changing or alignment requirements getting tweaked. But in the practical I do mind specific applications.

It's not enough to get me to not play the new edition. But had they been more extreme it would have.


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Well what his requirements are depends on the edition your drawing your lore from. James Jacob's has made his thoughts on the issue abundantly clear. GMs are free to deviate as far or as little as they want (I think NE and LN would definitely be possible with a slow slide likely occurring into LE. This is 100% in line with the idea of Asmodeus corrupting people. But James Jacob's clearly disagrees).


Thanks for the correction! Very strangely labeled column. But good to know the official answer :)


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Abandoning the old in the name of modernizing is a risky move. WotC doing that literally paved the way for Paizo's current success.

That said, I'm enjoying PF2e for now. We are only playing low level so it will remain to be seen whether or not Pathfinder 2e is fun long term. But current signs point to yes.

Well done to Paizo.


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
What would it mean for him to be not "legitimate" for the N masses? That they're somehow not allowed to call him their deity? That the temples will spot them somehow and throw them out? I don't get how this distinction could be meaningful.

those were the points I was making earlier. I don’t understand how this is meant to work in universe.


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Your right. For motivated people being evil is really easy to do. But much of society isn’t motivated. They follow the path of least resistance, lead fairly inconsequential lives and worship whatever deity their society says they should. Being evil for a lot of those people is simply too much effort.

My big question is: Is Asmodeus a legitimate deity for them? The “follower alignments” entry seems to say no. With some suggesting that restriction is only meant for clerics. That seems really ambiguous to me (follower = worshipper in my mind), so I’m wondering what people think and if there is any clarification anywhere that I’m missing.


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James Jacobs wrote:

It's not a joke encounter. The bit about having his twin show up was a stop-gap in case the GM wanted to play BOTH encoutners out as written, because they're fun encounters. If your PCs kill the guy off in encounter one and then they get to encounter two and there's NO twin, that's fine as well. I'd suggest giving them full XP for that second encounter nonetheless, assuming they resolve the situation left behind by the missing villian. Or maybe just throw in a jungle monster to fight.

That all said, I've certainly heard the feedback, and we won't be doing a "replace them with their twin" stunt again. It's obviously not satisfying. Fortunately, you can adjust as needed for your game so that your players will never know.

Hey James. Thanks for the clarification and openness to feedback :)


vagrant-poet wrote:

Ask your GM. I think it's pretty clear the "Follower Alignments" relates to anyone gaining specific mechanical benefits, but YMMV.

Also mostly depends how they feel about and interact with the faith. A person who thinks that the laws are sensible if harsh, but doesn't want to pursue them for personal gain or to cause pain is pretty much exactly what a Hellknight is, and they can be LN. So I'd argue there's in-game precedent, even in Pathfinder 2e, for a person to write Asmodeus in Deity/Religion and not be LE.

I think there probably aren't many people like that in the world, but that's also a great premise for a player character, who are often exceptions and exceptional. I'd say most folks either believe in and embrace the cruelty and self-serving benefits, or don't really believe but say they do to get along with the business of life.

TBH this is also a discussion about what counts as LE or LN, etc. And that's also going to vary from table to table, person to person.

I am the GM. I’m trying to understand what the standard expectations are before I start houseruling. This is a pretty substantial thing in the setting so I want to understand it better.

But thanks for trying :)


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@vagrant-poet: my op talks about two types of people. Someone who gets divine powers by focusing on different aspects of asmodeus’s teachings (which was perfectly legal in Golarion 1.0, no longer is), but also the lay worshipper who gets no spells.

Is a lay worshipper permitted to have an LN alignment? The table clearly says “follower alignments” or is follower referring to clergy? Typically I’d expect follower to mean worshipper, but that expectation may be wrong.


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Joana wrote:
Is it worth noting that the NPC in question explicitly "backs down without a fight" the first time they encounter him? The only reason he might get killed "early" is if the PCs go out of their way to chase down and kill a guy who does no more than argue with them, but the AP writer has to consider the possibility that they'll go off-script.

IMO anytime an adventure writer needs to remove player agency by undoing anything they might do in a situation, that’s an adventure that needs a serious rethink on how it’s handling the situations. I’ve done it before with a Paizo AP simply by changing what was learned, when it was learned and how it was learned. Based on what others have said Starfinder’s later APs don’t include such clauses. So it’s just possible I stumbled upon the two adventures/adventure paths that do it (both were the launch AP for their editions too which may provide a clue as to why it happened).

Although an optional encounter that is inconsequential to the greater adventure seems an odd time to pull the “there is a twin,” move. And “it being a joke” also seems strange if the players have to go out of their way to trigger the “joke”. I guess I’ll see for myself if I end up getting this adventure.


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Kasoh wrote:
I would probably just add the twin brother even if they didn't kill him. Fights with Twins are great.

I’d have no problem with that. It isn’t reminiscent of a classic “screw you” DM move and if the PCs do kill one of the brothers beforehand they get to reap the benefits of that.


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Peachbottom wrote:
If your players don't like occasionally being railroaded, maybe adventure paths are not the way to go.

Its all about degrees of railroadiness. As I said, NEW players (whether they be new to the group or new to gaming) will typically balk at the railroad the most (I dunno why. It’s just a consistent behaviour I’ve seen over the years). But even those who enjoy APs want their actions to matter. I’ve never met a player who doesn’t. Coming out with “and the identical twin brother appears to take his place” teaches the PCs their actions don’t matter (whether it’s done for humour or not).

Peachbottom wrote:
If your players don't like jokes...

Ive never uttered this before, but this is such a clear case I have to: this is a straw man argument. Reread my posts. I even acknowledged I might include this encounter as written under very specific circumstances. Given this AP is the first one for PF2e And so is more likely to have new GMs and new groups running it, I think it’s misplaced to have it included. The fact that (based on what people are saying here) the encounter is entirely optional and inconsequential makes it even more baffling.

But hey, if I’m the only one with that opinion, it’s okay. We won’t always agree on everything. Cest la vie and all that.


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vagrant-poet wrote:
An average Chelish person who is rigid on the law, but not very dedicated to self-empowerment at the sake of others is a great and interesting character. They aren't an actual worshipper of Asmodeus though.

Wait, really? If you arent the perfect embodiment of a diety's teachings you dont count as a worshiper? This certainly doesnt jive with my real life experience on this subject.

People go to church services regularly, consider themselves to have a particular god as their patron deity. But they're not allowed to be Asmodeus worshippers without undertaking their requisite number of evil acts? How does that work? The priest throws them out of the church until they become better worshippers? Because that doesnt seem to be a winning method of gaining worshippers. Especially in a country where it's the state religion.


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CorvusMask wrote:
I can understand the logic that explorer brothers sets up bad precedence, but I still think its restrictive that you can't use that kind of idea in what is essentially random encounter disconnected from the main story.

Well I said I would never do it so noone else is being restricted. In my experience players are predisposed to certain hang ups (and it doesnt seem to matter if they've been playing for years under other GMs or are brand new to gaming) which is to:

1) not trust NPCs (including questgivers)
2) wanting to get off railroad tracks and doing whatever it takes to achieve that.

Having a quest giver turn on them or having an adventure say "regardless of what the PCs would do which should reasonably have an affect on the AP, their actions dont"* reinforces their negative expectations. And so yes. I would never do either of those things.**

*This is of course what happened in Dead Suns rather than this adventure.

**Unless I knew the players really well, had earned their trust over years of GMing doe them and knew they would appreciate the plot development and not feel cheated by it. And even then, I'd do it once and never again for those players lest I start reinforcing their negative expectations.


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Rysky wrote:
I'm not dismissing any criticisms.

Ok.


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Rysky wrote:
It does add value when you take umbrage with the scenario, reinforcing to you and others reading yes you can change this, it's not that important nor integral to the adventure or plot, it's a joke encounter.

I guess it is a good way to dismiss criticisms. I can see why someone might see value in that.


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Rysky wrote:
I understand now what your reasoning is, but that's not what is in the scenario, since the setup is a mockery of the "My character Bob died so here's his twin brother Rob to avenge him" character replacement scenario. It's also the only instance of it and in the second book as well, so an isolated incident as well.

That definitely helps lessen the problem, but it is still definitely a risky thing to include. There are some things I just avoid including at all costs and I would only ever include this if it was clear up front that it's a joke, and if I'd gamed with that group for quite a while and they knew this is something I wouldn't pull on them AND if they were in the mood for some levity. That is a highly niche situation in which I include this. I think including the entire scenario in an introduction adventure path for a new edition (which will likely attract new GMs who don't have the experiences to know that including something like this is dangerous) is very risky.

Rysky wrote:
And that's without getting into the fact that the GM is under no obligation to introduce the brother in the first place.

Yes, thankyou. I am aware that GMs can change whatever they want. Pointing this out adds zero value to the conversation.


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Terrible things can be done in the name of a nation, not due to evilness by every person in that nation, but simply from a lack of empathy by the people of that nation for the victims of that evil. A popular culture example of this is Man in the High Castle (I found it quite chilling watching ordinary people in Nazi America and the nonchalant way in which they speak of the horrors that is being done. They would never do the horrors themselves, but they don't even blink when it's done on their behalf).

In Golarion this is how I liked to portray Cheliax and worshipers of Asmodeus. Not everyone in Cheliax eats babies. The church is evil. The true hardcore believers/nobility are definitely evil. But most people are simply apathetic. I had a PFS Inquisitor of Asmodeus (LN in alignment) and it was really fun playing him to that lawful neutral alignment to the hilt. He would often take LG paladins to task for the terrible (unlawful) actions they were advocating. People would start nodding along and the paladin would start to get a bit sheepish and then suddenly someone would say "wait. Which one of you worships a devil?" In Golarion 2.0 that PC is no longer legal.

So how can "nice" NPCs who worship Asmodeus be included in the game now that they're obligated to be LE? I was thinking of a Sheriff in Isger who rescued a halfling from being carted off back to Cheliax because the halfling was in fact not an escaped slave but a free person. That would certainly fulfill the "lawful" requirement of a worshiper of Asmodeus. But how would such a character fulfill the evil requirement?

Does the NPC have to kick X number of puppies per month in order to keep to their LE alignment and not slip into LN? The Core Rulebook says

Quote:
Your character has an evil alignment if they’re willing to victimize others for their own selfish gain, and even more so if they enjoy inflicting harm.

This seems like such a cartoonish take on the evil alignment. A lot of people aren't going to stab everyone they can find in the back. Maybe it's just because I'm Australian and therefore inherently lazy (we don't even know our national anthem and we just pretend to mouth the words), but people just don't have the energy or motive to be constantly trying to get ahead. Similarly, most people aren't going to go out of their way to worship a very specific deity. They'll just worship the one their parents worship, the one their neighbours worship and the one the state tells them they should worship because doing anything else is too much effort.

So how does Cheliax stay a predominantly Asmodeus worshiping country without everyone having to constantly

Quote:
victimize others for their own selfish gain

?


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Rysky wrote:
I'm just not seeing how a joke encounter is a screw you to the players since it's not something that hinders them in nay way.

That much is clear. I would suggest it's because your focusing on "it's just a joke guys" rather than it's actually teaching the players "nothing you do will matter! If you kill my NPCs, I will just shoehorn in replacement NPCs to get you to follow the tracks. How dare you think you have agency!"

I've explained it as well as I can.

Given you don't understand, I suggest you move on and simply accept that I will have a different opinion to you.


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Rysky wrote:
No it's not

Well... that's your opinion. I disagree.

I would never introduce a twin out of nowhere who picks up exactly what the deceased sibling was doing with the exact same motives and the exact same stats. That is a classic "screw you" move by a DM (especially if the twin has no other part in the adventure and does not appear except if you kill their sibling). Your welcome to disagree.


Seannoss wrote:
For another opinion on wandering monsters: I do not really use the charts as given. But I do like knowing what monsters or encounter options are in the region in case I do need and extra encounter.

This is definitely how I have used them in the past (I dislike wandering monsters as written, but I do like the table as info for me to use).


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Reposting as the other thread is getting moderated and everything on this subject is getting quarantined to this thread:

I’m considering running this AP despite my opinions of how this edition will shake out. I haven’t read the adventure yet, but have read the thread to see what people think of it.

Mary Yamato wrote:
there is also a question of attitude and tone. Neither episode 1 nor episode 2 sold me in any way on the gameworld being a real place. This reaches its nadir in the encounter in #2 where, if the PCs inconveniently kill an NPC, the GM is told to have their identical twin brother show up so that nothing will change. But that's far from the only example.

This is definitely something I’ve started to notice of late with Paizo’s adventures. Player agency takes a backseat to the adventure’s narrative anytime there is a slight conflict. I don’t remember this in Carrion Crown (the only AP I’ve run), nor have I experienced it under good GMs. But I have seen it in Dead Suns (which I ran half of) and now apparently this adventure.

It could be Paizo has always done this, and feels it has to due to how APs work. But it’s something I’ve certainly only picked up on “recently”.

Rysky wrote:
The thing with the twins is that it's a joke encounter, it's not something dire to the AP that requires either brother to be there to continue on.

That makes it even more nonsensical. Having “a twin” come out of nowhere who carries on the dead twin’s work is a classic “screw you guys. You have no agency in this campaign. Get back on the tracks” jerk move by the DM. If it’s not crucial to the plot, I don’t understand why the adventure writer would include it.


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I’m considering running this AP despite my opinions of how this edition will shake out. I haven’t read the adventure yet, but have read the thread to see what people think of it.

Mary Yamato wrote:
there is also a question of attitude and tone. Neither episode 1 nor episode 2 sold me in any way on the gameworld being a real place. This reaches its nadir in the encounter in #2 where, if the PCs inconveniently kill an NPC, the GM is told to have their identical twin brother show up so that nothing will change. But that's far from the only example.

This is definitely something I’ve started to notice of late with Paizo’s adventures. Player agency takes a backseat to the adventure’s narrative anytime there is a slight conflict. I don’t remember this in Carrion Crown (the only AP I’ve run), nor have I experienced it under good GMs. But I have seen it in Dead Suns (which I ran half of) and now apparently this adventure.

It could be Paizo has always done this, and feels it has to due to how APs work. But it’s something I’ve certainly only picked up on “recently”.


I’m currently treating things like this:
* Level-2 = minion (can typically be one shotted. Zombie shamblers might look like they aren’t one-shottable, but with low AC and weakness slashing they’re pretty close. Plus slow 1 is a big deal).
* Level-1 = standard monster (4 level-1 foes is a severe fight).
* Level+1 = boss fight.

This puts level+0 monsters in a strange spot. I use them carefully (this is all for level 1 PCs).


To start with I would recommend making severe encounters with low level enemies. I almost TPK'D my party with 4 orcs (level 0 enemies). Noone died, but it got close.


Squiggit wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
I have little sympathy for people solely using digital resources to play the game for an extended period of time. I'm all for try before you buy, but sooner or later I expect players to actually buy the material they want to use.
I know back when I was playing PF1 a new book would come out, I'd buy it, read it once or twice, then just go back to using d20pfsrd and aon because they're just much more convenient tools. So I don't think it's really fair to suggest that people who use digital tools and people who buy paizo products are necessarily mutually exclusive at all.

Its only more convenient if your GM allows an everything goes campaign. If that works for you, great. Those sort if games killed my interest in Pathfinder 1e though. So it doesnt work for me and isn't more convenient.


Ediwir wrote:

Unless the guard is aware of you and rolling Initiative, the scenario IS in exploration mode.

You want RAW, play RAW.
It only takes a basic awareness of core rules, after all.

Wow. I know you've been playing with the rules for a while now (although albeit not strictly by RAW), but not everyone has your level of understanding of the rules. I know I'm still trying to get my head around the best way to handle stealth.

Claxon wrote:
Well the rules clearly attach the secret tag to stealth rolls, so the player absolutely doesn't roll

Unless of course your using the optional sidebar where player's do get to roll stealth checks. Or you GM without a screen that hides all your rolls (both methods are RAW).

Gorbacz wrote:
Hey, where did the OP go?

Yeah. Can't imagine why someone would make a thread on this forum, get a wide range of responses and then choose not to respond any further. Nope. A complete mystery to me.


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Angel Hunter D wrote:
Edge93, it's obvious you have a very different experience with these games than me, and your way sounds awful to me. Finding the broken stuff on things that bypass encounters is so much fun

Out of interest are you playing PF2e? If so, why? It is diametrically opposed to your way of playing and PF1e is perfectly tailored to your way of playing.

james014Aura wrote:
HOWEVER, what this does is beleaguer many more GMs with players asking for access to something thematic, but not technically in the list. For example, for wizards, some schools (*cough*divination*cough*) have a distinct shortage of decent spells that aren't at least Uncommon.

I don't think this is a problem for GMs at all. GMs no longer have to give players "ban lists" but can instead give them "here's a list of extra options you have access to." If the GM doesn't want to go to the effort, they can just as easily say "everything in the CRB is selectable" or "everything is selectable regardless of what book it's from." No GM is being forced to do something they don't want to do.

Anguish wrote:
Personally, I loathe default-deny rules

Fortunately it's easy for you to undo it "everything is allowed except Blood Money and Sacred Geometry." And your players will love you for it (unless it completely destroys the game but even then they might still love you).

With a default-allow rule a GM has to say "Only these things are allowed, everything else is banned." And the players are going to hate him for it (unless they've had bad experiences with an everything goes game).

I know I'm glad Paizo has gone for a default disallow.

Bandw2 wrote:
in this modern digital age, restricting to source books isn't that easy to do for some people.

I have little sympathy for people solely using digital resources to play the game for an extended period of time. I'm all for try before you buy, but sooner or later I expect players to actually buy the material they want to use. On a merely selfish front: The more people spend on Pathfinder material the more money Paizo has to produce more Pathfinder material.

On a practical level: I find using online resources and digital character builders in lieu of physical books greatly inhibits people's ability to learn the rules completely and quickly.

YMMV of course. This is only based on gaming with dozens of people across 11 years.


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Squiggit wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
...the developers covered their bases really, really well this time. You're not just limited by the rarity system; you're also limited by source.
Franz Lunzer wrote:
Paizo intended to empower GM's in this edition, and I like that.

Just for comparison, the PF1 CRB says:

Quote:
A wizard casts arcane spells drawn from the sorcerer/wizard spell list presented in Chapter 10
Quote:
A cleric casts divine spells which are drawn from the cleric spell list presented in Chapter 10.
Quote:
A druid casts divine spells which are drawn from the druid spell list presented in Chapter 10.

etc.

So this isn't new language. Not sure why people are treating this as some major paradigm shift in how Paizo's presenting the rules.

A new edition is a chance to look at things with fresh eyes.

Also I would argue that wording is different. "In Chapter 10" is a direction on where in the book to look for things. "In this book" is not a direction on where to look for things. It serves no purpose beyond restricting people.

Also PF1 was sold as "you can use all your 3.5 material as well!" PF2 is not being sold with the same marketing so different attitudes will be brought into the game.


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Angel Hunter D wrote:
I still don't get people like you, empowered players was the best thing about 1e. The main selling point for me.

As a player I love having a wide range of flavorful options to choose from. As a GM I like to have my players have a wide range of flavorful options to choose from.

D&D 5e completely fails me because there has been no meaningful expansion beyond the PHB. However PF1e often failed me as well.
The reason PF1 failed me is that there was an expectation that anything goes in terms of player options. There was flavour, but it was drowned out by the power gaming.

Having the books set the expectation that isnt true helps a lot. It means I can be permissive and say "in addition to these classes and the options that support them, the following is also available because it reinforces the flavour of the campaign rather than everyone taking Pirahna Strike because you want to dump strength."

Now PF2e might ultimately fail me as well. But at the moment they're making efforts to cater to me so there is a chance it won't. Importing PF1e's philosophy with no change would have guaranteed my preferences would not be catered to.

Finally if you prefer a "everything goes" philosophy and your group also wants it, then PF2e does nothing to stop you. The rules are explicit in that GMs can allow any option regardless of rarity (and GMs can ignore source restrictions as well).

I personally will be running by the book with specific exceptions for flavorful stuff in the campaign. I will, however, broaden the spell selection for spontaneous casters (if prepared casters are limited to CRB, then I'm likely to allow spontaneous casters access so CRB+APG). It gives spontaneous casters a small boost which I think they need (you may disagree of course).


Mark Seifter wrote:
That said, the fact that people are noticing it here for the first time is understandable for players who weren't as into reading the OP adventures for the other systems and decided now is a good time to check them out.

Just to put my own post in the right context: I started out gaming with D&D 4th ed in 2008. I then moved onto PF1e and specifically PFS (playing in lots of APs and running Carrion Crown myself). I haven't played PFS for the past 7 years (Green Market Square was the last PFS game I GM'd and it was a damn good adventure). So I've definitely grown and developed as a GM since I last looked at PFS and I have definitely gotten different expectations over the years.

The reason I did consider a PFS adventure is they're good for one-shots because they're designed to be completed in 4 hours. Escape from the Grave is a damn good adventure and I would definitely recommend it to everyone. We didn't get it finished unfortunately (I skipped the initial travel in order to just get the players straight to the action and I had to skip the second level of the college). But everyone had a good time with it and it was a well written adventure. While I did make changes (I have the advantage that I was running for 4 level 1 PCs and not a mixture between level 1 and level 4 PCs), it provided the perfect foundation which required minimal work in getting it ready to GM and run (I prepped it the night before).

So yeah, definitely a good adventure.


Joana wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Ediwir wrote:
If you had a single adventure, with a section where players may run into a check at different levels depending on the order in which they do things, it wouldn't change.

Sure. But Paizo can also choose arbitrary DCs in their adventures. It won't be as obvious as PFS, but they could still definitely do it (and potentially get away with no-one noticing for a good while). Hence my query: Do the DCs seem to make sense in the adventures? Or are they somewhat arbitrary.

Unfortunately we have gotten literally every possible answer to the question and most people aren't weighing in so we can't really tell what's in the eye of the beholder vs what is actually happening.

Deadmanwalking talks about specific DCs in book 1 of Age of Ashes here.

Thank you :)


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Tender Tendrils wrote:
So the rogue rolls to pick the serious locks, and maybe 10% of the doors that are opened that you don't roll for have locks that are just automatically unlocked because they are so trivial that they aren't even worth mentioning (the rogue picks it without even really having to think about it, or the fighter just pulls open the door despite it being locked because she is that strong).

That's actually a really dangerous habit for a GM (and adventure writer) to get into. I played in a river journey adventure and every time there was a port that we stopped at we would get off the boat to explore and we would get attacked. After 3 or 4 sessions of this happening when we got to the next port we said "we stay aboard because all we're getting are murder jetties and there is no actual compelling reason for us to ever get off the boat before we get to our destination." The GM obviously wasn't happy at his railroad getting derailed (despite the fact we were almost literally on a set of train tracks). The GM tried to force the combat onto us anyway and we defeated it. Afterwards he complained we weren't really getting into the spirit of the adventure. When we explained how every port had been a murder jetty he said "Oh no. You've stopped at lots of ports. I just didn't bother narrating those because nothing interesting happened." By not describing the peaceful ports in addition to the murder jetties, our perspective of the region (and the adventure) was substantially warped.

By saying "What do you mean the world keeps leveling up with you? Last adventure you unlocked 20 doors! I just didn't bother narrating 15 of them because you were guaranteed success" you substantially warp the perspective of the players of the game world and potentially ruin their enjoyment of the adventure.


Ediwir wrote:
If you had a single adventure, with a section where players may run into a check at different levels depending on the order in which they do things, it wouldn't change.

Sure. But Paizo can also choose arbitrary DCs in their adventures. It won't be as obvious as PFS, but they could still definitely do it (and potentially get away with no-one noticing for a good while). Hence my query: Do the DCs seem to make sense in the adventures? Or are they somewhat arbitrary.

Unfortunately we have gotten literally every possible answer to the question and most people aren't weighing in so we can't really tell what's in the eye of the beholder vs what is actually happening.


Belafon wrote:
But it's not "Paizo choosing arbitrary DCs." I'd chalk the problem checks up to the author not being fluent with the system yet.

Given Paizo outsources most adventures to freelancers (feel free to correct me on this, but I'm under the impression most AP adventures are written by freelancers), you could say "Paizo isn't doing anything." Except that's a silly position to take because Paizo puts their name on these adventures and sells them.

And you are correct, some of the DCs are well chosen. Others are not. But I'm more than happy to move the discussion away from that specific adventure and talk more about their adventure paths and Fall of Plaguestone.


This is one time it’s mentioned. It was repeated several times in different ways though.


Bandw2 wrote:
no just saying regardless of what the devs comments were, they're there as level based DCs written on my GM screen and somewhere in the book.

Ok?


Bandw2 wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:


Sometimes a DC is set because the desired chance of success is known - effectively it's just saying "there is an X% chance of this", but allowing for outliers and not calling for a different die roll than players are used to. That's what DCs that scale relative to the level of the character making the check are.
This is emphatically not how DCs are meant to work in PF2 (based on dev comments). In addition we already have a mechanic for that. It’s called a flat check.

my DM screen has DC for every level and then modifiers for how easy or hard you think it is... i believe the same table is somewhere in the gamemasters section as well.

it's so you can make a level appropriate challenge if needed.

I don’t understand the relevance of this post to mine. Is it your position that PF2 is meant to have arbitrary DCs?


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FowlJ wrote:
I'll add another voice saying that PFS adventures normally work this way, yes - if you look at any PF1 scenario that can be done at multiple levels you see the same thing.

I had forgotten that (it’s been 7 years since I ran PFS so I had forgotten. Yet another reason to dislike organised play).

Although I am curious what the non PFS adventures are like. So far we have the following answers: sometimes they’re arbitrary, they are never arbitrary and they’re always arbitrary.

I’m definitely curious to hear people’s thoughts who’ve read the (non-PFS) adventures.


thenobledrake wrote:


Sometimes a DC is set because the desired chance of success is known - effectively it's just saying "there is an X% chance of this", but allowing for outliers and not calling for a different die roll than players are used to. That's what DCs that scale relative to the level of the character making the check are.

This is emphatically not how DCs are meant to work in PF2 (based on dev comments). In addition we already have a mechanic for that. It’s called a flat check.


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The Gleeful Grognard wrote:

The higher DC is for identifying traits to do with a stronger monster and maintaining the odds between levels for that creature (providing consistent experiences is a goal of PFS to some degree).

A plague zombie is 3 levels higher than a zombie shambler.

Not really accurate at all:

Society (10 minutes): A PC who succeeds at a DC 16 Society check (DC 19 in Subtier 3–4) recalls that this type of fine clothing was very popular among minor nobles in Taldor.

All the checks are like that.

It’s disappointing to hear Paizo are using suspect DCs. I’m glad to hear it’s not the rule though...


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I’ve got a one shot coming up, people completely new to Pathfinder. I decided to use a PFS module as I’m already GMing another campaign. I decided on Escape from the Grave. Simple premise, provides a dungeon-esque experience and is nice and easy to get into. It seems to have a good setup with consequences for taking too long in the adventure. Exactly what I want in an adventure.

However on page 10 we have the same information being provided to PCs with two separate DCs depending entirely on their level. There is no in setting reason for the higher DC if the PCs are higher level. The DCs are simply arbitrary and exist solely to provide level appropriate challenges.

Now I’m not running this as a PFS module so I can change whatever I want. But we are a few months into the new rules. We have several PFS modules, 3 AP books and one stand alone module. So we should have a good grasp on how Paizo is handling setting DCs.

So the question is: do the DCs match the in world reality of Paizo’s adventures? Or are they being assigned arbitrarily to provide level appropriate challenges?


Matthew Downie wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
if your using a weapon attack to point out the square I hope it's a thrusting weapon. Otherwise a slashing or bludgeoning weapon really only narrows it down to a few squares.
How wildly are you swinging your club if we can't work out what you're aiming at to within a few feet? Normally you'd need a Cleave feat to swing your weapon across multiple squares.

How precisely can you watch someone else without expending actions to do so?

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