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Pathfinder is no longer for me. I'm sorry. I'm out. I wanted to love it but I just don't.

I bought the hardcover pre-order, because they emphasized that it would ONLY be available thru pre-order and if you didn't order early, you WOULD NOT GET ONE. I knew it would only be good for a year, but I still bought one because I love how Paizo came along and rescued my group when D&D 4E came along and (just my group's opinion) "ruined the game." So I bought it mostly out of optimism and gratitude. Now of course my beautiful hardcover is stuffed with about 50 pages of addendums and corrections, and more yet come! ugh... Why did I do this again?

Well... my regular gaming group (about 9 people when everyone shows up) sat down with the monster that Paizo spit out at us and we tried to play 2E. And we tried to love it... we really, really tried. It was an exercise in futility. The rulebook was so badly written, so badly organized, that my players complained frequently about not being able to find needed information. The rule changes seemed arbitrary in many cases, with little or no explanation as to why they were being changed, or what the "fix" was attempting to actually fix. It was rather like watching a train wreck but really trying to enjoy it, but being unable to really enjoy it because, after all, you are in fact inside of a train wreck.

By the 2nd chapter of Doomsday Dawn, we were done. My group had lost interest, I lost two players to frustration, and the remaining ones were only going thru the motions out of loyalty to me. Then a new player commented that a lot of these changes felt like the new edition of D&D. I asked him to clarify, and he cited several new 2E rule instances that seemed to mirror D&D 5E. I checked out D&D 5E for the first time online, and found myself agreeing with my player: it indeed did feel like PF was trying to take several aspects of WotC's 5E and incorporate them into a new PF version. Some of the similarities were just too uncanny to be coincidence.

So... we switched. After 10+ years of riding the Mathfinder train, we are now happily back to our first love. We are now playing D&D 5E and we truly love it... the fluidity, the relatively open concept, the lack of excessive math and number crunching to make effective characters. Not to mention that it's been out for about 3 years now so any wrinkles have more or less been removed already. We love how combat seems to move so much faster now! Where we used to be able to maybe get 2 or 3 encounters run in an evening with Mathfinder, now we can successfully conclude 3 to 4 times as many encounters in the same amount of time! And yet the game doesn't feel diluted or overly simplistic. It's the right level of simplistic.

Anyway I don't want to go into a huge essay on why I love D&D, or what specific issues I have with the new PF rules... here in the messageboards you will easily find dozens of others who make the exact same complaints that I would make. My point is that unfortunately, Pathfinder has lost me. I enjoyed the ride up till now (even though rules bloat and excessive math made high level adventures nightmarish at best). But now due to this overly complicated next version, Pathfinder has lost me as a customer and my entire game group as well. I don't think they'll miss us... there is always balance for such things, and no doubt some other group will step up to buy the products that we will now forsake. I'm just sad that we ended our journey with Pathfinder in a train wreck.

So... the general consensus is that a longsword is a longsword, and it doesn't matter if a halfling wields it or a human wields it. They both do the same damage and have no penalty... and even though the blade is longer than the halfling's whole body, he only needs one hand to wield it properly? Is this accurate?

Virellius wrote:

Why can't my half-orc access Orc Weapons at level one? Why does he have to wait FOUR LEVELS to use a weapon he should have grown up knowing about?

It makes 100% no sense.

This is something I noticed right away, probably because my current 1E group has two half-orcs in it. I'm not opposed to taking an Ancestry feat to become a half-orc, but there is a discrepancy. Every character gets one - just ONE - Ancestry feat at 1st level. If you are a half-orc, you used that one feat to become one, and you get nightvision and toughness or something. Which means you have nothing left to spend on Half-Orc Ancestry feats. So... you can't get Orc Ferocity or Orc Weapon Familiarity or Superstition until 5th level, even though they are all marked as Feats that are available at 1st level.

In fact, all the Ancestries seem pretty pale at 1st level. You get so few options and they are all kinda feeble. It all seems a little strange too, that something you have been born into or raised up using doesn't manifest until later in your adventuring career. What, you raided a few dungeons and found a magic sword so now all of a sudden you learn how to see in the dark?

I can see that after playtest is over, if this doesn't change, many groups will probably House-Rule that all characters start with TWO Ancestry feats instead of just one. That would solve the problem (although learning new things about being an elf or orc that just don't manifest until later is still weird).

... just a suggestion.

1. Do you currently like pathfinder 1e? Yes, generally

2. Did you once like pathfinder 1e but now find it troublesome? I used to absolutely love it, but rules bloat and power creep have neutered my earlier interest. It's more of a chore than it used to be.

3. Do you like 4th or 5th edition D&D? I haven't tried 5E yet... didn't want to buy a new set of books, and WotC left a sour taste in my mouth from 4E which I liked not at all.

4. Which are you looking for: class balance, smoother high level play, more options, or even all of those things? Class balance, I suppose. Also a way to recapture the earlier simplicity of AD&D while retaining the flair and flexibility of combat maneuvers and similar variances but without having to resort to half-page stat blocks.

5. How do you feel about making the game more accessible in general? Love the idea, what do you propose?

6. Are you willing to give up on accessibility if you can still gain all of the benefits listed in question 4? Probably... but let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater.

7. Would you be willing to play an alternative rules system then what we have been presented? (A different version of pathfinder 2nd edition if you will). Probably, but after shelling out $100 for this disappointing playtest version that makes my headache to read it, I'd be very cautious.

8. And if you said yes to the above question what would you like to see in that theoretical game? Mostly what I've mentioned above. Also I want something that will avoid Game Bloat and Power Creep... those two things ruin games faster than anything else, In My Opinion.

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I'm concerned that races... er, I mean "Ancestries", are limited to just ONE ancestry feat at first level. It seems to me that most dwarves, elves, halflings, etc. are probably just going to put them on the weapon familiarity feat 90% of the time. (Unless they are playing a straight wizard or sorcerer who doesn't care about weapon damage). Which of course means that all the other ancestry feats won't see much use... things that used to give the other Races in previous editions their particular "flavor", like elves' immunity to sleep spells, or gnomes speaking to squirrels, or dwarves' affinity to unusual stonework. These things which were MOSTLY useful at lower levels will now no longer see the light of day until HIGHER levels.

Discussion? Am I wrong about this?

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I'm concerned that races... er, I mean "Ancestries", are limited to just ONE ancestry feat at first level. It seems to me that most dwarves, elves, halflings, etc. are probably just going to put them on the weapon familiarity feat 90% of the time. (Unless they are playing a straight wizard or sorcerer who doesn't care about weapon damage). Which of course means that all the other ancestry feats won't see much use... things that used to give the other Races in previous editions their particular "flavor", like elves' immunity to sleep spells, or gnomes speaking to squirrels, or dwarves' affinity to unusual stonework. These things which were MOSTLY useful at lower levels will now no longer see the light of day until HIGHER levels.

Discussion? Am I wrong about this?

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The Raven Black wrote:

I like GM-set DCs. Players beware

Having bought the collector edition of the playtest book, I am highly disappointed that it will be missing a significant part of the rules

Which is exactly why I DIDN'T purchase the "collectors edition." As a playtest, the book will be completely obsolete within a year. After all, how many of you are still using the Pathfinder Beta that came out back in 2008? So I just didn't/don't see any point to a "collector's edition" other than money-grubbing to finance other future projects.

Bard looks interesting but Monk and Wizard have captured my interest the most.

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Overall, I like it... I'm a big fan of "Bard: the Musical," and this teaser seems to make the classic "Elan-Bard" work better. If you want a bard that walks into a dungeon and sings at things, this is definitely the way to go. Kudos!

However... I was hoping for the Bard becoming a gateway to the long-awaited Rogue-Sorcerer gish. At present Bards are great for caster-rogues IF you like the performance aspect. But there seems to be no option for a classic AD&D-themed Rogue/Wizard who amplifies his stealth, thievery and subterfuge with spellcasting. So unless you want a bard who sings, dances, or tells jokes to activate his powers, there is still no avenue for creating a spell-using thief. It's my only critique so far. I know PF didn't have it before, but as an old Grognard, I've been hoping for a class that would enable creating this character concept for some time. (Before you all start suggesting it, obviously multiclass rogue/sorcerers don't work very well, as multiclass sorcerers lack any real spellcasting power, and multiclass rogues give up far too many skill points). So unless PF2 includes some really kick-ass multiclassing options, this desired concept is still un-achievable.

So... to sum up. Want a singing Bard who uses some aspect of music or artsy-performance to do his thing? This is it. You want a rogue-y caster who uses magic to do his sneaking and stealing without singing or dancing his way into your hearts? ... This ain't it.

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Mark Seifter wrote:
Bailey Allen wrote:
I noticed there was no Infernal bloodline listed. At first I thought it was because all the various evil outsiders were being rolled under on banner as is the case for Celestial but it definitely specifies an Demonic bloodline from the Abyss. Is this one that just didnt make the cut or is their more going on beyond the machinations of our tiny mortal minds?
Blog wrote:
The number of bloodlines in the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook is fairly small, since we want to see how people react to the new style of the class with just a subset of the bloodlines.
Devil is definitely one that would show up on an expanded list.

Instead of "Devil" bloodline, may I suggest "Diabolic" instead? It broadens the scope slightly and might keep the Bible-thumpers off your back. Just a suggestion...

(sorry if someone already posted this ... TL;DR)

Looks like Primal is going to be the purview of Druids now... wild, primal, nature-related magic. I'm guessing, but it seems to me that the designers have alluded to it.

And if Occult focuses on mind-affecting magics and possibly illusions, then it seems well-suited for Bards and other enchanters, like Witches (although the words "bard" and "occult" don't seem to me like they fit well together. But that's just semantics). Although I was hoping the Bard class would be less dependent on music and more like a combo Sorcerer-Rogue class, with music being just one option for their archetype or "flavor." But I can wait to see what happens in the final product. The variety in the Sorcerer class gives me hope for the Bard as well.

Xenocrat wrote:
If you want to make a blaster, you can pick up Dangerous Sorcery, which increases the damage of your spells by their spell level (with the exception of cantrips).
Yikes. I predicted in the blasting thread many weeks back that we'd see something like the +1/2 level to damage ability that Starfinder's Technomancers can take as a magic hack, but I never suspected it would be even weaker than that.

How is it weaker? Adding the Spell Level to damage is EXACTLY like 1/2 your caster level (rounded UP!), since Sorcerers now get new spell levels every other level, exactly like Wizards do.

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Maybe it's just that the blog is not explaining everything but I'm relatively unimpressed by this first impression of the Ranger.

In my campaigns, people use Rangers as wilderness-skilled hunters and scouts, focusing on either archery or two-weapons for their combat factors. I don't really see anything here that says they'll be good at archery. Well yes, they get to eliminate the first range penalty, which sounds good on the surface... but realistically, how many fights does your party get into that take place between 100 and 200 feet away? In my experience, not many. So that's a class feature that won't help the bow-using ranger much at all. (though I will admit it makes axe and spear throwing much more effective). Do they still get bonus archery feats or anything like they used to? Or are they just dumbed down fighters with less feats?

I like the Hunt Target feature, overall. It might serve as well as favored enemy, but less restrictive for Rangers who chose poorly initially. You didn't mention how long it takes to "designate target" ... is it an action, a full round, a minute, what? The time involved will determine whether this is really useful or not.

Weapon Mastery at 13th level is meh, at best. Many campaigns don't make it that far, 4th thru 11th level being the sweet spot in my experience. And an additional +1 or +2 at level 13 seems like far too little, far too late. I guess the playtest will tell us for sure.

Trackless Step is practically useless... it's a cute class feature and fits the flavor, but you rarely see a party of just rangers, and even if the monsters can't track the ranger, they can easily track his clumsier friends.

Nature's Edge seems like a nice addition. I like that one very much, though 9th level seems like a late addition at a point where flat-footed bonuses don't matter much in the grand scheme of things, unless you're talking about sneak attacks.

The Ranger feats shown seem lackluster. Monster Hunter needs a CRITICAL success to get any bonus at all?? And although Scout's Warning SOUNDS nice, a +1 bonus to your party's initiative is not nearly as nice a bonus as a +4 bonus to just yourself, but they both cost the same: One feat.

Snares are interesting but seem really costly for what they do. Will the ranger spend his hard earned gold on a chance to slow down a creature that enters one specific square (which his teammates might need to avoid, btw, so might hurt them instead)? Or will he instead use his gold on potions or other equipment that is more likely to help him more effectively than in trusting your foes to step exactly into that one specific space on the board? Let's not even talk about the Freezing Snare, which costs 500 gold, and possibly the additional cost of three vials of liquid ice, on the off chance you can get something to step directly into that one specific square. Seems more more likely to be used by NPCs or enemies against the party, than the other way around.

And lastly, I don't mind losing the spells for the ranger. Spending a feat to get access seems right, since I know a lot of players don't even bother with Ranger spells at mid- to higher-levels. But... why not do the same with Animal Companion? The blog seems to imply that Rangers still get an animal companion automatically, with the option to make them as tough as a Druid companion by spending feats. I disagree with this. Rangers should be free to select or NOT to select an animal companion, as they choose. Most players I know don't even bother with animal companions, since they tend to be fairly weak unless you get the druid-level sidekick. Until a certain dark elf started the tradition of animal sidekicks with his black panther magic item, animal companions weren't even canon for rangers. So why make them mandatory? Doesn't make much sense to me.

Anyway, I'm still excited about the new edition and can't wait to see how it plays. But this is by far my least favorite of the preview blogs.

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Okay, I posted this in the Paladin Blog thread but it was quickly buried under 700+ posts on whether Paizo was doing right or wrong by not putting non-LG Paladins in the Core.

What I want to know is this: Do Paladins in PF2 retain their detect evil ability? It wasn't mentioned at all, yet this is a class feature that's been around since the very first hardbound edition of AD&D. I don't mind if it's removed, I just want to know ... was it not mentioned in the blog because it's gone, or because it was an oversight, or because it's a selectable option, or what?

Can any designer reply to this question?

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Sorry if someone else mentioned this already... I don't have time to read 700+ posts right now.

One thing I noticed was blatantly missing from the Paladin preview: Absolutely NO MENTION of any detect Evil abilities. So... did they lose it entirely? Is it no longer usable at will? Has it been altered or changed significantly? (Not likely, or they'd have mentioned it.)

Paladins have been Detecting Evil at will since 1977 with the first AD&D Player's Handbook. So... what happened here? I don't mind that kind of change, but I'd like some acknowledgement to a change or removal of this previously inherent class ability.

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This looks very interesting... I love spellcasters and Clerics are on my list of "Top 4 Classes to Play."

My big takeaway on this preview is the whole Max 3 spells per spell level. That seems... low. But then I need to consider that all spells scale with level now... so several (like Bless and Prayer) may be redundant now. Then all Clerics will have an average of 3-7 Heals (Channels) per day (or Inflicts, whatever floats your boat). Then Domain powers, until your Spell points run out. Then the Cantrips, which are unlimited castings per day, and we're told they scale with character level too. So... maybe 3 spells per day, plus Channeling, plus Domain powers, plus Cantrips... maybe that's enough.

I guess we'll see during the playtest - because that's the entire reason that we HAVE a playtest. And as we all know from the previous playtest, umpteen years ago, if it doesn't work during the playtest, it will be adjusted before the final edition becomes finalized.

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First off, LOVE the gnome art... and I hate the halfling art. Looks like a cross between a farmer and a weasel.

*sigh* Okay, overall, not completely impressed the PF2e small PC races. Really? They ALL get Charisma bonuses? You don't think maybe Halflings could get Charisma, Gnomes Intelligence, and Goblins Wisdom or something? Right now, they all seem so similar, there isn't enough differences. If you're small you get less Strength, more Charisma and probably Dexterity, and you're as slow as a fully armored dwarf. Unless you're a goblin. For some reason, if you're a goblin you are as fast as a human, despite having legs half the size... whaaaat?

It looks like we have 3 kinds of halflings now... the kind that don't wear shoes, the kind whose hair changes colors, and the kind that used to eat babies but now they don't because now they're nice for some reason. Ugh... If all scores start the same except for these bonuses, I'd like to see those bonuses differentiate a lot more than it currently appears.

So far, I'm just not impressed with any of the small races (despite a deep love for gnomes in the past).

I would absolutely pay $60-70 USD for a comprehensive Bestiary/Monster Manual... but I'm worried that a book that large, that sees so much use in both games and game prep, will not be able to survive the stress. All my Core Rulebooks have bindings that begin to give and stretch or even break after the first year of use, if not sooner. So how about this...

What about a streamlined basic stat block book that includes 75% or so of the critters and templates available (or at least all of the ones used in any published Paizo adventures), and then an expanded PDF or website which allows purchasers to log-on and view a more detailed write-up? Ecologies, treasure types, tactics, suggestions for advanced or young or variant versions of that monster, etc. In this way, subscribers can get the full information available on any given monster without having to tote around 6 hardcover books and then trying to remember which book has the right information.

What do you think?

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I am really excited about this PF 2nd edition, and am already pumping up my players for the playtest!

One thing I hope to see available at some point is a single-class Rogue-Sorcerer type. Multiclassing has never been smooth in Pathfinder without sacrificing half your power and combat-ability, unless you like cherry-picking levels to min-max your character. With the overall success of the Magus class, I was hoping on a "ShadowMage" class somewhere along the line that would incorporate arcane mage and subterfuge. The arcane trickster is a step in the right direction, but waiting till 7th level (at least) before you can play the kind of character you want is difficult.

p.s. I know that I could always create an archetype or something which allows a nearly-customized creation, but I've always been hoping for a single-class that would combine this iconic brotherhood of rogues and thieves who use magic to pull off their sneaky-ness.

I'd just like to know which Pathfinder supplements (Companions, Campaign Settings, etc.) would be most useful to acquire before starting this campaign. I can assume that Aquatic Adventures is a no-brainer, but are there any other good tools, for either players, GMs or both?

LOVE this... wasn't expecting an updated Players Guide as a blog. This is incredibly helpful, so thank you James!

Now back to typing up my city guide "for player's eyes," based on snippets from the original CoCT Player's Guide (for D&D 3.5) and the Pathfinder Chronicles: Guide to Korvosa. A bit of a chore but I reeeaally want to capture the flavor of this setting for my players to use and refer to.

I've pre-ordered my normal edition, since I don't see the $20 value in the "limited edition" since the only thing different about it a faux leather cover. (Not even leather... FAUX leather.) I should also say that the ONLY reason I'm ordering from Paizo is because of the included PDF version. I'm an Adventure Path subscriber but there is no discount on the hardcover edition of CotCT, which is a shame. Also the site did not apply my 2016 coupon code for the 10% discount ANNNNNNND I still have to pay more than $10 shipping. That's $75 dollars for something I could get for $46 on Amazon.

Overall, although I love Paizo products, I'm gonna have to go back to Amazon for future products. Free shipping and general discounts on hardcover books which make products 10% to 25% cheaper than Paizo.com... it's just too hard to pass up. It's a shame that Paizo can't reward its subscribers with better discounts.

My players are already eager to start creating their characters for this campaign. Can we get some information on the updated campaign traits, if possible?

Now for the Eternal Question: Do I buy it on Amazon for $50 and free shipping, or buy it from Paizo for $60 and another $12 shipping. Hey, not trying to be disloyal or anything, but $22 bucks is $22 bucks. So the question is whether the PDF is worth $22 when you already own a hardcover.
Plus Amazon will likely have it closer to $40 by the release date.

James Jacobs wrote:
Bellona wrote:
That cover art ... I really miss that picture of her in the green dress. She looks too much like a BBEG on this version of the new cover.

She still owns that green dress, but she IS a BBEG so that's kinda the point... the image is NOT from her at the start of the campaign, but closer to the end.

And yeah, that does mean, to a certain extent, that the cover is something of a spoiler, but it's a necessary one so that players aren't going in completely blind.

There's certainly such a thing as keeping TOO many secrets from your players, and teasing them with certain plot elements is good to build excitement. I mean... the TITLE of the AP pretty much informs anyone that something bad is going on with the throne, so it's hardly a huge step in logic to realize that the person who SITS on the throne might be part of the problem.

But yeah... the fact that the queen is the BBEG of Curse of the Crimson Throne is not really meant to be a "shock" or "surprise" at all. The sooner the PCs catch on to that, in fact, the better. In fact, if the players assume she's bad at the start, they may well be put off and confused by the initial scene in which she appears; that first scene is more or less built to make her seem somewhat sympathetic, after all.

I don't WANT my players to know what they're getting into. The big "Reveals" are, IMHO, a huge part of the fun and suspense of being a player. So I intend to invest in a plain brown-paper-bag book cover (ala high school textbook style) and to type out basic traits and a "Welcome to Korvosa" guide as a player hand-out with excess information deleted. I like the players to find out the big Mysteries as they go along.

Adam Daigle wrote:

From the Office of Expectation Management: Maybe not for the first encounter (or two), but PCs have access to their starting gear at the start.

Booo!! No no no... players should NOT have access to their equipment in the first section of the adventure. If they are prisoners or inmates, why would all their stuff be kept in a room nearby?? Be original, make them start with nothing but the clothes on their back and salvage what weapons they can as they go, or learn to use items as improvised tools/weapons.

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I would like to see more than just 6 Campaign traits... some groups are larger and also it would be nice if the players felt that they didn't have to shoehorn themselves into the ONE trait that seems Rogue-ish, or Mage-ish, etc. I'd really like to see 10 or 12 Campaign traits in each thread to give players a wider range of choices.

Adam Daigle wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Obvs. ;)

Nox Aeterna wrote:

I could swear it was the same as the master , but i also cant find it.

Well , i would keep it that way to avoid obvious conflict , since the familiar is nothing more than the extension of the PC , it would be weird if they could disagree or something.

I've always ruled that the familiar shares its master's alignment but something you just said made me think -- "to avoid obvious conflict" -- if your caster/master were CE or NE, their nature is to be selfish and self-serving above all else. Therefore, if your familiar matches your alignment, then THEY would be selfish and self-serving. Imagine a familiar which would throw its master under the bus to save its own neck, or even just because it produced some short term need or desire - like food or extra loot. Or maybe even just if it thought it was funny. In my mind, a CE or NE underling is going to be treacherous by nature.

Golgathar wrote:
I'm sorry but I don't follow. Essentially what is the ruling on how many tiny creatures, not in a swarm, can be in the same 5 ft space as a medium creature?

Per the rules in the core rulebook, it specifically states that up to 4 tiny creatures - stirges, for example - can occupy the same space as a medium creature. They do provoke attacks of opportunity when entering the square (provided the target is not flat footed) but suffer no penalty for occupying the same space, so no Squeezing penalties.

Hope that helps. :)

gourry187 wrote:

As another point which doesn't really help to answer the question, in the swarm rules it says that a swarm of tiny creatures consists on 300 nonflying critters which would divide into 75 per square.

So if 75 swarming tiny creatures can fit with a medium in one square, I guess 4 isn't that hard to imagine?

... also don't forget your swarm should be 3-dimensional, if they are flying creatures. So your swarm of 300 bats, for example, is actually 2 squares wide by 2 squares across by 2 squares high. So... 8 squares in total. Or approximately 37.5 bats per square.

But also consider that this is meant to be an abstract. The swarm is constantly moving, surging, flapping, crawling all over anything and everyone in the area. I would argue that they also probably overlap the edges of the 10 ft. area, just not in such a high concentration of creatures that they cause the damage or Distraction effect associated with swarms to creatures on the edge of the swarm. But like I said, it's an abstract. :)

Hi there... my group just finished Rise of the Runelords (anniversary edition) and I need something new for them in about three weeks. I've been taking a break as DM for a bit but I'll be expected to start up again soon. I had been planning to start the Wrath of the Righteous as my next big AP but everything I've read about it here in the forums seems negative, so now I'm starting to have second thoughts.

So I'm asking, if you were ME, which AP would you choose to run for my players? Here's what you need to know: 1.) I don't have time to create my own full-blown campaign, (though I'm adept at making tweaks and changes to encounters on the fly to suit my group) so it absolutely HAS to be a Pathfinder adventure path. No home-brew campaigns.
2.) My group consists of 5-6 players (not counting myself), with an average of each of them having 6-10 years experience playing D&D/Pathfinder. Most of them are reasonable to excellent role-players and there are no min-maxers among them, though no one likes playing weak characters. The group enjoys combat mixed in with opportunities for role-play and puzzle/problem solving.
And 3.) We've already played and completed Rise of the Runelords and have previously started (played 1 to 2 chapters) of Second Darkness, Kingmaker, and Carrion Crown. Also I don't own the Skulls & Shackles or the Jade Regent APs.

Suggestions? Which APs do you like best as a GM, and why? For that matter, which ones do you hate to run, and why? I could really use your advice.

I love the idea of this build but ... I'm wondering how in the world you managed to get this train-wreck of a build actually leveled up to level 12 without being horribly killed long beforehand? Until he manages to get the required feats, extra double-, triple-, and even quintuple-dipped multiclasses, not to mention the required magic items, he is still a very weak halfling swashbuckler with a 6 Str (can you say maximum 1 or 2 damage till he gets to 4th or 5th level?).

Did you create this character at high level, or did he actually make the climb from 1st to his current level? If so, what role did he play for the first half of his career till he became useful in combat? Not trying to troll you, I really do love this idea! But I'm curious how it actually works while trying to level up.

OP, since your GM will not permit use of the Advance Class Guide, you will not be able to dip levels into Warpriest or Brawler as some have suggested. Several of the above feats are likely not available either. I do suggest you read the Ultimate Combat manual, particularly the feats chapter, and get some inspiration there.

Also once your Fighter gets Weapon Training, I suggest you put it into Chain Weapons. It will give you bonuses with your chosen ninja weapon and also give you bonuses with similar weapons like spiked chains, meteor hammers, and flails. A heavy flail is a marvelous weapon, often underestimated, and is probably far easier to find in most campaigns when it's time to pick up a good magic weapon.

Fruian Thistlefoot wrote:

Weapon focus is a must.

Whether you go with Combat maneuvers, power attacks, or most other combat tricks. Weapon Focus helps out tremendously.

I like trip, grapple and dirty trick combat maneuvers myself. Not all on one character mind you. But I feel I get the most out of those maneuvers.

I recommend going trip and grapple since the DM made the weapon have those properties.

Grapple works on most everything while trip is more situational but can generate extra attacks and be used in place of any attack. So that is good.

Snowblind, see my above post... the OP cannot change his scores, only how they are arranged. It's not a 24 point buy, it's a randomly rolled set of scores.

Ciaran Barnes wrote:

Why on earth did you put your free +2 into Constitution instead of Strength or Dexterity? I don't ask this from an optimization standpoint, but from one that sees waste of a non-renewable resource.

You could lower Str or Dex, put the +2 there, and have some more ability score points left over to get yourself additional hit points or skill points.

The OP said he rolled the stats, 3d6 - 5 sets, pick which one he wants. So he doesn't get the option to lower one stat in favor of another. Given his initial scores (16, 16, 13, 11, 10, 10) I don't see much else he could do with assigning his scores for the flavor of this character.

I added a couple more Terendelev's Scales due to the size of my group... one grants Silverscales, which is a variant of Barkskin with a different visual appearance and adds vulnerability to Fire. Another I added allows the user to turn one handheld weapon into a Frost weapon, with a duration similar to the Magic Weapon spell. Neither is anywhere near a game breaker and seems similar to the power level of the other scales.

Opinions? Feedback? ... has anyone else created new scales to allow for a party of more than 4 players?

TaliaKirana wrote:
Is there any advice on how to pick equipment? I'm a newbie, and that seems to be the thing that trips me up the most. (I'm considering picking this up once the PDF is available.)

I don't know what this book will do for you, Talia, but if you need help picking equipment, I would go with the PATHFINDER ROLEPLAYING GAME: ULTIMATE EQUIPMENT book instead. I LOVE that book and one of the neatest things I've found is under the general equipment list there is a starting equipment set for each specific Class; Fighter's kit, Cleric's kit, Magus's kit, etc. Give it a shot, it's by far the best book available for players right behind the Core Rulebook and the Advanced Players Guide.

I've gotta know before I throw down $40 for a book I don't need... is there anything in here for experienced players, or is it just a guide for newbies to build their characters? With a title like "Strategy Guide" I was expecting a book with interesting strategies using equipment, spells and combat maneuvers in interesting combinations to pull off various effects and tactics. Y'know, about Strategy. But from what I can read on this book in this thread, it looks more like it should have been called "Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Character Creation Guide (OGL)"... am I wrong?

So what's in it to appeal to us tired ol' grognards?

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Age of Worms... the Diamond Lake setting at the beginning is just a great extremely well-developed background that really lent credibility to the whole starting scenario.

Also as far as the Paizo products go, my personal favorites have always been Legacy of Fire and Curse of the Crimson Throne. And I regret that they have not been converted to Pathfinder material. In my opinion, they are by FAR the best two Adventure Paths to date, but they fall short because they are still written in D&D 3.5 format.

Sc8rpi8n_mjd wrote:

Pg. 241, 242 - The scribbler

- He has a +4 deflection bonus to AC, but nothing in his statblock grants it (no ring of protection or shield of faith spell). His AC should be 23 touch 14 flat-footed 19 .

Actually, it lists quickened Shield of Faith under his 4th-level spells (pg.241). That easily accounts for his +4 deflection bonus (due to his 12th level caster level) and would last for 12 minutes, or 120 rounds. And he has Protection from Good for +2 deflection, as back up if the Shield is dispelled or expires. And Greater Magical Vestment makes his breastplate +3 for the day, so there's the +9 armor.

The more immediate problem that I see, (and surprised that no else here mentioned it, so maybe I'm missing something) is that his attack and damage block don't take into consideration the spells he is capable of and which the adventure describes him as casting before combat. I'm assuming that per the stat block, he has bear's endurance and bull's strength on him, to account for his 18 Str and 19 Con, respectively. This means that without those spells, his Str is only 14 and his Con only 15.

His basic melee attack is Fanged Falchion +19/+14/+9 (2d4+9 dmg/15-20). Without any further spells cast, this is close to accurate: +11 BAB, +4 Str, +3 enhancement (extended Greater Magic Weapon), +1 weapon focus = +19 attack. But the damage is missing +2d6 damage for the Fanged Falchion's unholy property, which adds an additional +2d6 non-typed damage to attacks against good-aligned targets. I would argue that most PC's would be good, and even if not, this should have been noted in the stat block somewhere.

Also, being a Cleric, he has tons of buff spells and abilities that are not accounted for in the stat block, requiring the DM to do a lot of extra calculations. +2 more Str from Strength Surge can be discounted as it only lasts 1 round, overlaps with Bull's Strength and requires a round to cast (relatively useless power in combat), but he also has Righteous Might (+4 size bonus to Str & Con, grants reach) for 12 rounds, and quickened Divine Favor (+4 luck bonus to attack and weapon damage) for 1 minute. And when the 10 rounds of Divine Favor run out, he has Divine Power (+4 luck bonus to attack & weapon damage, +12 temp Hit Points and an extra attack at highest bonus) for 12 rounds. This would give him, based on the tactics listed, 22 Str and 23 Con for most of the combat, as well as reach and an extra attack.

So his melee attack would be fanged falchion +25/+25/+20/+15 (2d4+16 dmg. plus 2d6 vs. Good-aligned/15-20). And if he Power Attacks (and he probably will), it becomes +22/+22/+17/+12 (2d4+25 dmg. plus 2d6 against Good-aligned targets/15-20 crit). Ouch!!!

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Here's something I learned, the hard way... I was running another adventure path and I accidentally TPK'd the party. The group was notably upset, and when we went to make new characters and pick up where we left off, the players had lost their enthusiasm. Their fire was gone, their interest waned and the game died out. I had inadvertently killed my campaign.

So after this debacle, and several months of free time, I was still kicking myself for killing my campaign and I came to the conclusion that I should have played it differently. Like most of us, I exercise my love for fantasy and action-genre with both RPG's and movies. And in most of the movies about our beloved genre, the villains don't kill the heroes... if they do, it's either a minor character, or if a main character dies it's almost never arbitrary. And that's the mistake I made. You see, in our particular campaign, the party had gotten both front-line fighters paralyzed with some bad rolls and the rest of the party was too occupied and too far away to prevent their coup-de-grace the following round while helpless. After the main muscle had succumbed, the support characters lacked the power to stand up to the remaining foes and soon fell as well. At the time, it seemed a logical choice by the villain to finish the heroes off once and for all while they lay helpless but really... in the movies, in the stories, that would never have happened. I should have gloated.

Gloating is a cinematic staple and employed correctly can prolong fights long enough for the hero to make a quick recovery and a desperate comeback. Think about it... Zod doesn't melt Superman's eyes and give him a heat-vision lobotomy while Supes is busy holding up a crumbling building... instead, Zod gloats and brags how Superman is so inferior to his own evil genius. Joker can't just slice Batman's throat while he's tied up... instead the Clown Prince of Crime has to brag about his latest zany scheme, giving Batman time to escape his bonds and turn the tables. James Bond isn't shot in the head after he's knocked unconscious... no, that isn't Evil Genius etiquette. Instead Mr. Bond has to be strapped to the mastermind's rocket/bomb/atomic-laser, watching the timer countdown while the villain gloats at having defeated his noble foe, then goes to get himself a Cappuccino while Bond disarms the bomb and gets away.

So... instead of having Xanesha blow up the heroes of Sandpoint at the top of the clocktower, have her use her spells to shock/stun/incapacitate them, and then while they lay helpless, have her brag about it... let her tantalizingly wrap one of her prey in her coils while tracing her claws lightly across his face while she teases him with disclosure of her leadership of the Brothers of Seven and how foolish the heroes were for stopping her evil plans... this may give the heroes time to stabilize, chug a potion or two, maybe even get off a healing burst or quick Cure Wounds spell and then make a heroic last stand. Or if the Skinsaw Man has his prey paralyzed and bleeding out and all seems lost... have His Lordship brag about his ascension to undead status and then exclaim how the party could never understand his pure unholy motives. A few rounds of his boasting could give the party time to recover or un-paralyze and give them a second chance to fight back.

I'm not saying that bad dice rolls don't happen, 'cuz obviously they do. But don't miss the opportunity to give the party a good fighting chance to recover from being helpless, should it happen. And don't miss the chance to let the villains gloat... it makes a much better story than "You failed your save, so I guess you're dead."

Make that two... I'd also love to get into a PbP or PBEM Carrion Crown adventure. If someone's running one, and needs another player, please let me know!

I would be interested in joining but I'd like to know more about it so I can make a character that would fit your game. What does the current party look like?

I guess the first question would be do you still need any more players?

I think I had a cleric cast Animate Dead once on some fallen minions and they rose up as zombies and attacked the party. This was back in 3rd Edition D&D, and the players have never forgotten it. Yet they still take this precaution, even with completely different characters who have never faced that situation.

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Another question: would you consider repeated mutilation of the fallen an Evil act? Or just a morally questionable one?

this is a weird one, so bear with me. My players have the tendency to mutilate the fallen bodies of all the humanoids they defeat. They smash the faces and remove the jaws to prevent their foes from using Speak With Dead on their fallen, and they chop off the feet to prevent them from being raised as effective zombies or ghouls. I can understand the practicality behind this behavior but seriously... it's creeping me out! Have any other DM's observed similar behavior in their players, and what do you do about it?... allow it? Overlook it? Divert them so how?

I hated it... I truly did. there is not much information for the actual players to use. There is almost half a page with some vague suggestions on what skills might be useful and another page with some truly awesome traits, and I liked the map of Sandpoint. Now as for the other 15 pages, in a 17 page product... I'm wondering if I got the wrong Player's Guide. There is nothing about the town that they will be spending time in, but there are 12 pages of blurbs on various parts of Varisia that they may or may not be seeing at some later point in the campaign. There is nothing to address the various roles that specific classes, races and alignments might fit into this campaign, which is something that has been available in every other AP Player's Guide till now, at least since the last one I read.

The product blurb reads as follows:
"The Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition Player’s Guide gives players all the spoiler-free information, inspiration, and new rules they’ll need to create characters prepared for the daring and adventure of the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path.

Within, players of this campaign will find everything they need to create character backgrounds tied to personalities and events vital to Pathfinder Adventure Path’s initial expedition into the exciting frontier of Varisia, along with new campaign-specific traits to give bold adventurers the edge they’ll need to take on the unpredictable dangers of that untamed land."

Load of bull-puckey... it has almost nothing the players can really use past the first few pages, and at that point reads like an encyclopedia or travel guide more than an actual tool to help integrate new characters into a flavorful and richly developed campaign.

I honestly feel this had to have slipped through the cracks. I was really disappointed.

Any chance that there is a post or website somewhere that has the stat blocks for the new iconics that appeared in the APG? or any of the other iconics which might have been created from the new Ultimate guides? I'd really love to have the stats on Faenya or Allaine or the others....

I think the other dwarves are probably more confused at your choice of vocation and religious bent than they are by your weapon... dwarves as a whole are a hardy enduring and diligent race who praise their Lord and Maker Torag as they toil endlessly at the forge and smithy, singing His praises in low rumbling tones as they accompany songs of worship to the clang of hammer and anvil and the roar of the forge. Sarenrae the Dawn Flower is an odd choice for a dwarf to follow given the norms of the race, and your fellows probably consider you as downright strange for many many reasons, most of which have nothing to do with that flimsy curved blade at your waist.

Simple 10-ft wide pit trap, preferably deep... possibly sharp edged razors set into the walls part way down to complicate lowering a rope. When the PC falls into the pit, unless he can fly he is trapped... if he can fly you can add a sliding cover part way down that prevents easy exit, and if the cover is 30 ft down it won't be easy for his friends to quickly pry it open. He might be lonely down there while the party tries to get him out, so keep him company with a few wraiths or shadows... they are incorporeal so they flit in and out of the walls and floors, striking from whatever angle he's not facing, reaching up through the floors (I usually rule that if they're part in a wall they have a cover bonus to their AC but that's not canon law)... most rogues or warrior types will be hard pressed to hurt an incorporeal foe when fighting alone and will find it even harder when the touch of their foe drains their lifeforce into it. When I used this trap on my players we lost a barbarian and a rogue, one after the other, and the players cried FOUL on me.

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