Kaladin_Stormblessed's page

Organized Play Member. 229 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Organized Play character.

So, in addition to several other reasons* why I dislike how the playtest handled half-elves and half-orcs, a major concern of mine is how Paizo will handle adding more heritage feats after the CRB.

I'm assuming, at least, that they will add more heritage feats. There may not be specific plans for it yet, but it would surprise me if over the entire course of PF2, they were content to not add more.

Right now, having four options for heritage feats if you want to be a gnome, one if you want to be a half-elf, and two if you want to be a human feels somewhat weird, and it feels uncomfortably less customizable to me to play a half-elf or half-orc. But that's only going to get worse, say, once we have nine options for heritage feats for gnomes, five for regular humans, and one for half-elves. Which is kinda lame, especially since heritage feats are imo an amazing way to handle stuff the different aasimar/tiefling/changeling/dhampir/etc variants. And not a great way to make an impression on new players when that's half the way they can customize their character by ancestry for the first quarter of the game.

Unless Paizo's plan is to just expand them anyway. Which also feels awkward to me, imagining a list of human heritage feats needing different individual feats allowing you to be something like five different kinds of half-orc, five different kinds of half-elf, four different kinds of dhampir, etc. And then six kinds of aasimar, six kinds of tiefling, eight kinds of changeling... it sounds like it would be much tidier to give the PF1 races their own ancestry and their own list of feats.

I guess it's Paizo's game and if this is how they want to handle it... but if it's something feedback is wanted on, personally I question whether anyone who actually plays those races is in favor of it.

*(having to use half a feat on knowing a potentially native language originally, post-update not necessarily being able to access it at all without a non-ancestry feat, the "free" heritage feat imo increasing how mechanically inferior a choice it is to Versatile Heritage or Skilled Heritage, and it just plain not feeling as fun to play a human with the Half-Orc heritage feat)

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Something just hit me fully that I'd been thinking for a while but hadn't quite defined to myself yet. I don't like the apparent focus on this forum.

I do want to start this out by saying, I appreciate Paizo doing an open playtest at all, and reading this forum and the surveys and all. It's still really cool. And I appreciate the work you're all doing to keep things relatively positive and non-toxic. The fillable "other" options categories in more of the survey questions is helping a lot too, and I do like that.

But my mindset this week has been pretty much "I guess I have to post so I can say what I think before the end of the playtest window, and stop putting it off." It's not that I don't have time to write anything, my Recent Documents page is full of post drafts. After nearly every session, every evening set aside for character-building, every completed survey, I've been writing my opinions and experiences as articulately and constructively as I can. And then it all sits around in my computer, waiting for a time when I feel like looking for a relevant existing thread to post in per Vic's advice, reading through at least a few pages of it, posting something, and trying to respond to replies, without wanting to just faceplant and go to bed because whoa why are people arguing whether the Liberator code of conduct disallows stopping a mugger.

Because I love all you guys, and I know many sites would be a lot more toxic, but there's a lot of ambient frustration and opinions running high in here, and maybe sometimes I want a way to express more feedback than a 1-5 scale without presenting my opinions for public dissection. And I realized today, I am far from the shyest, most withdrawn person I know, so if I feel like this, how many other people haven't spoken up at all?

And yeah, I know it's how previous playtests have been done, it just feels a little different to me. If someone doesn't like how something else turns out, say, Mythic or vigilantes, they can just not play those, or even exclude those things from their games. There's going to be more content they'll like in a few months. Just get the next book instead. But with 2e, that's not really so much of an option to just wait for something else. So I think it's a little more important this time around.

But then I start thinking again, "it's just a way of making sure the people who are listened to are the ones who are really dedicated to the game." Except that doesn't seem right when I think about it better. I don't know if the idea was something like that or if that was just my own rationalization, but if that was the point, I don't really agree with it. That's the same sort of reasoning as "if you don't like happy hour at the club, you're not a good fit for this company." Comfort level with the community on a section of the official site is not a gauge of liking the game.

I don't really know if it's possible to do anything about it, let alone now. Maybe I should have posted this earlier. Maybe I should just start another thread or two focusing on just giving personal opinions and not discussing anyone else's, myself. But I just figured I'd toss the perspective out here. Because maybe there's other people who don't want to deal with the Trial by Internet Debate to prove their fanhood and say their two cents, who are more reticent than me to post, so in case anyone at Paizo has a cool idea for a solution, I think this could use it.

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Alright. Not that there's any shortage of ranting about paladins, but here's my additional two cents for the wishing fountain...

First of all, to get this straight, I'm not really opposed to non-LG paladin variants or equivalents. In fact, I like the idea, as long as they are handled with respect for the role of the "traditional" paladin. What I see as conditions of this are as follows:
- Existing paladin concepts are not invalidated or degraded.
- LG paladins are still the norm and default, in-universe and ideally OOC too.
- Traditional paladins not be pushed into some overstereotyped "LG is the alignment of murdering baby goblins for da greater good" pigeonhole for the sake of contrast.

Now, why I feel the 1.6 paladin breaks these rules.

First of all, the means of choice. Something being in the CRB is, as I understand it, generally indicated to represent a certain status. These things are relatively basic to the universe and are expected to be always accessible. It is, in essence, the first indicator of rarity, in absence of any specification. And alignment is presented as a basic choice, comparable to a sorcerer's bloodline or a wizard's arcane school. Even if the umbrella name of the class is changed, that won't change the implication that CG "champions" or whatever are just as normal and standard a choice as LG ones.

Why do I not like this?:
First, because the act of swearing devotion to an ideal and choosing to follow a strict code of conduct is inherently more lawful. Don't get me wrong, I think it's absolutely possible for Chaotic characters, but would be significantly less likely/common. Second, because I think the class variants are similar enough that a bunch of Caydenite "champions" or whatever would presumably influence how traditional paladins would be viewed in-universe; no longer necessarily upholders of justice, no longer necessarily heroes, no longer necessarily going to defend the weak or confront the wicked, just more martial priests championing whatever ideals they wanted. This might not affect a paladin of Iomedae, but a paladin of Abadar or Shelyn would probably be seen a bit differently, I'd think, if paladins weren't necessarily LG.

Potential fixes: Either delaying variant paladins a book or two, and/or handling them similarly to the current (and not-liked-by-me) implementation of half-humans by letting you use your first class feat to get "you can be this alignment, which gives you this ability" to at least present it as a divergence from the norm, and/or making them archetypes of the original 1e style (I liked all the 1e paladin alignment-variant archetypes, and would have welcomed a CG one of it was done in that way) would all solve this in my opinion. At the least, a little bit of flavor text saying non-LG paladins are uncommon would be nice, but by itself would feel a little insufficient. But it would be better than nothing.

Second concern: the codes of conduct. IMO, the way it was subdivided actually encourages Lawful Stupid interpretations of traditional paladins, and similarly poor roleplaying of others.

• You must act with honor, never cheating, lying, or taking advantage of others.
• You must respect the lawful authority of the legitimate ruler or leadership in whichever land you may be, following their laws unless they violate a higher tenet.
• You must first try to redeem or rehabilitate those who commit evil acts, rather than immediately killing them or meting out undeserved punishment. However, if they choose to continue on a wicked path, you might need to take more extreme measures, especially if innocents would come to harm.
• You must show compassion for others, regardless of their authority or station.
• You must respect the choices others make for their own lives and can’t force someone to act in a particular way or threaten them if they don’t act that way.
• You must demand and fight for the freedom of others to make their own decisions. You must never engage in or countenance slavery or tyranny.

Here's the thing. All of these, minus some absoluteness on the try-redemption-first one, are how I think all paladins should be required to act. Subdividing it this way indicates these codes are specific to the alignments.

So it's fine for a CG champion to lie and take advantage of others? They don't need to show compassion for others?

It's fine for a NG champion to engage in slavery and tyranny?

It's fine for a paladin to coerce people to act in particular ways even if they're doing no harm? Or mete out undeserved punishment?

Even some of the less cut-and-dry cases, for instance if an authority figure hasn't made any laws that violate other tenets of the paladin code, I see absolutely no reason a CG champion shouldn't be encouraged to respect them in the absence of any reason not to. Fighting the power just 'cause it's there even if there's no substantial gain from disrupting people's lives is CN imo, not CG.

I really, really don't want true paladins reduced to "you don't have to be compassionate and can go beat up gays, those rules are for NG and CG!"

Potential fix: Use all tenets for all Good alignments. Have variation in the code of conduct be in the form of how the tenets are prioritized.

The last point is this: the abilities themselves. I don't like the idea of locking redemption-related abilities to NG-only. Okay, maybe Paizo wants LG paladins of LG-adjacent deities to no longer be a thing, so I'll leave out paladins of Sarenrae and similar, but that doesn't change that redemption-focused LG paladins have been supported, allowed, and encouraged up until now. The Redeemer archetype doesn't change alignment. Iomedae and a few other LG deities have the Redemption domain. Erastil would probably be more in favor of trying to bring a misguided local teenager back into the fold than meting out justice, if maybe not in favor of showing the same mercy to outsiders. But now LG paladins don't, and quite possibly will never, have access to abilities enabling that.

Potential fix: I like the idea of alignment variants getting different abilities, but I don't think LG should be relegated to "I guess they get the killy stuff". This will probably be amended by more options, and Retributive Strike being changed to something that doesn't only work if you let your allies be meatshields. Because "come on, come on, cut that guy down so I have a chance to retaliate" is not my LG.

(EDIT: Ooooops, I meant to put this in the classes subforum, I guess I had the wrong tab up. Sorry!)

Extremely bizarre question for GMing purposes! I need an expendable magic item of some kind, not a potion/scroll/wand but ideally of the "becomes a mundane item when used up" variety, that turns people into things, even if just partly. Like, growing claws or changing size or something would suffice. But the more dramatic, the better. Bonus points if it's the kind of item someone might keep around without knowing about it being magical.

Confession: I am bad at drawing. Or rather, I am bad at drawing all but a few specific things that I learned a way to draw. To my annoyance, anything resembling people falls into the "can't draw" category. Large-scale maps are one of the things I think I'm not bad at, along with some equally random things.

Not sure how much of it is actually decent quality! But posting it someplace less intimidating than Cartographer's Guild might help motivate me to practice, especially if anyone actually wants to request things.

First, for probably guessable reasons, being the map for my homebrew campaign.

I present the continent of Pendar.

Temporary, nonlethal and relatively nonpunitive ones, particularly.

So, without going into too much detail, my group has a player who, on occasion, leaves games "for good" due to "irreconcilable" differences... for durations of anywhere from three hours to three weeks, before concluding that their quitting was a misunderstanding or overreaction. To make matters worse, most of these departures generally involve quite a bit of drama and hurt feelings. Often they're worked out within the day, but this still at best involves long and unpleasant discussions instead of gameplay and everyone too tense to play afterward.

Now, the obvious and easiest solution is "don't let them back in", but as the player in question is still a friend and the erratic behavior is a matter of psychological complications, I would like to find a way to keep them as a player while minimizing stress as much as possible. Plus, they're making progress about being less reactionary, so often, it ends up having been long enough for us to hope there won't be a repeat incident, but not long enough to not need a contingency plan.

One particular concern is what to do with their characters.
- I don't want to maintain them as GMPCs too much, especially when the player is twitchy about it. (iirc apparently a previous GM of theirs committed a few atrocities along the lines of "oh, hi, you're late! For funsies, I had your PC mock and insult all their friends while you were gone. That NPC contact you just made? Yeah, he hates you now.")
- Our games are pretty serious and RP-heavy, so "Gurk the barbarian quietly fades into the mist" is not ideal.
- Ideally it should be something reversible within a session or two, especially since I want to not feel guilty about just telling them to leave the table for the day one way or the other once they pull out the "no, I don't want to play unless you change this" if it isn't resolved quickly.
- The player themselves... during these times, tends to offer suggestions that they would later regret and/or resent, so "ask" is not a reliable option at the time.

Aside from just getting the character out of the way for the session or two short of metagame artifacts or recurring comas, though, any suggestions on managing the situation with the player would be very welcome. (I'd be glad to discuss further in PMs, but I'm trying to keep my public explanation respectful and minimally critical.)

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So I put together a chart for this, after enough discussions in my group of things like "why won't people romance my 16-year-old half-elf". It's not very thorough right now, I plan on expanding it to add more detailed comparisons and non-core races, but in the meantime I have it around, and it still is probably of some use for things like deciding on starting ages (or explaining why a 25-year-old human dating a 16-year-old half-elf would be getting a bit dubious).

Still trying to decide which calculation methods I like best, for now they're all listed but in the long term I'll probably focus on one or the other. Any opinions on this would be welcome.

So have a Google sheet

Anyone know good ways to be able to carry more stuff besides Muleback Cords or regular castings of Ant Haul? Our Wrath of the Righteous party has nobody with more than 10 strength, and my paladin is ending up choosing armor based on minor differences in weight. Our GM already houseruled currency to not count, as well as mundane clothes once the follower of Arshea started considering fighting in her undies. Bag of holding, hirelings, and so on not a solution, this is just in terms of weapons, armor, basic magic items, etc. What's a 10 Str frontliner to do here, guys?

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So this is the one thing that annoyed me most about 3.5 in the half-campaign or so I played of it. All the disparate mechanics created for one or two splatbooks and then never seen again. It's just awkward, because they end up not supported by other content, feeling redundant, and/or just leaving the GM with a completely different extra ruleset or two per character to keep track of.

I really liked that Pathfinder has less of that clutter. I'm just starting wonder how much it's just less because Paizo hasn't had as much time to print books yet. I very much appreciate the times they have revisited old concepts, like the meditation feats in Blood of the Beast and the recent Samurai archetype and Deific Obedience being expanded on. I'd like to see this keep happening, and I'm trying to hope it will and be optimistic.

But it's still weird having damnation feats, achievement feats, mount traits, family traits, mythic rules, performance combat, and so on, all seemingly doomed to gradual obscurity or obsolescence. Like the way the list of ninja tricks pales in comparison to the list of rogue talents. Ninjas just don't get nearly the same frequency of retroactive attention, to the extent that if a ninja PC was ever added to one of my campaigns, I would want to go through all the rogue talents from books without ninja tricks listed since the release of ninja as an alternate class, and decide if any should be on both lists. Or if I ever wanted to allow occult classes and mythic tiers or variant multiclassing to come into play in the same game. Even just trying to figure out if and/or how to combine older archetypes with Unchained classes.

Seriously, if there is one thing I would love as a GM and player both, it would be the occasional book revisiting these old concepts, adding new material where needed and offering some official-seal-of-approval advice on how to integrate other stuff, and possibly errataing some things if necessary to bring them up to date.

Anyway, discussion of how people work out including all the different things together without having to rewrite the game too much would be nice. I like ideas, as I'd like to hope most people do.

Kind of curious what people can think of for both annoying lose-lose scenarios, and clever moral dilemmas, for evil characters. You know, like what would be the equivalent of the baby monster dilemma for an antipaladin? When does the LE cleric become LN, or even LG, and lose their spellcasting? How might they end up trapped in a situation where any choice they made would be arguably Good? That kind of thing.

I can see why it's less commonly talked about - PCs doing evil stuff is usually when they burn down the town you just finished mapping, kill the quest-giver, and skip town to avoid the murder charges and go kill goblins for fun and profit instead. From a GM perspective, it's a lot more understandable to punish rather than encourage that. Not to mention it's also a lot easier to argue having selfish reasons for doing something good than it is the other way around.

Still, if you were to try to design moral challenges for evil PCs who wanted to stay evil, what would be some good and bad examples of how to tempt them toward goodness?

(This is purely hypothetical because I'm an alignment troll. I don't plan on tormenting my players further.)

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I realized I was accumulating a decently-sized list of things I wanted to officially and definitively houserule (instead of just ignoring them with some predictableness) as not having required connections between flavor descriptions and game mechanics, and it got me wondering about other people's opinions and if they had any more ideas for things that shouldn't have stats dictated by roleplaying-based decisions.

For example, and to list my own:
- Weapons. I keep seeing players in my group debating whether they want the one that looks cool and fits their mental image of their character... or the one that's statistically just like it but with a better crit range. If you just want a two-handed 2d6 martial slashing weapon, I really don't care whether it's described as being a greatsword or a poleaxe or a sharpened dragon bone, as long as I know what to describe it as and what DR to apply. In fact, I'd rather it not be a greatsword, because that's long become boring. Go for the dragon bone and have a cool story as well as good damage dice.
- Starting outfits. Given my druthers, I'd just say your character starts out wearing whatever they would be wearing, for free, and if you want one of the bonuses (say, the one from the Pickpocket's Outfit), picking whichever one you want costs a couple gold pieces or so. Don't abuse it for that one trait, don't sell it and adventure in your undies instead, don't make the GM facepalm.
(This was inspired because I was debating putting the Noble's Outfit in one character's starting inventory, and was quickly annoyed by the realization that I would be giving up half my starting gold to represent that my character was rich, which just seemed silly.)
- Alternate favored class bonuses. They don't seem to actually be intended to balance out class/race combinations, or at least don't do so remotely effectively in my experience, so why are they tied to race at all? I don't see any particular reason to reward summoners for being half-elves, and while it might in some cases amount to a little more enforced flavor, it seems to me that enforcing flavor is best done on a personalized basis or not at all. Players who want to disregard it will do so anyway, like it or not, and players who pay attention to it on their own don't need to be pigeonholed into doing so a specific way.
So yeah, I think I'd rather just let people choose a single alternate favored class bonus to have access to, instead of further encouraging choosing races for the stat bonuses (and in many cases encouraging rather cliche race/class combinations).

A question was raised in my campaign once - do unconscious characters fall prone? There's obviously a degree of common sense here, but it remains unclear by RAW just what effects unconsciousness has. Looking over the mythic rules and finding an ability referencing this (Shout of Defiance) brought it back to mind.

I'm curious now if there has been any clarification over what exactly unconsciousness involves, and how people handle it. For example, falling prone makes plenty of sense, but do characters also drop their items? This would make sense realistically, but having to take two move actions and provoke AoOs twice just to get back in the game seems a rather harsh penalty for when the PCs are already having difficulty surviving.

So yes, as much as logic can dictate a fair amount, I'd like to know more on how the rules interact with it.