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* Venture-Lieutenant, Virginia—Richmond 954 posts (957 including aliases). 4 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 32 Organized Play characters. 1 alias.


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Scarab Sages

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S.L.Acker wrote:
PF2 is the definition of if everybody is Superman nobody is.
gnoams wrote:
Pf1 is a superhero game, while pf2 is more akin to something like the Die Hard movies.

PF2 is very much a high-fantasy, superheroic game. If a creature is just 3 or 4 levels higher than another, the lower level creature might as well be fighting Superman. In 2E. level determines power.

In 1E, character creation and system mastery determined power. It was fun figuring out how to beat the system and break the game, but that was only possible if the underlying system math was weak to begin with.

Scarab Sages

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Freehold DM wrote:
I would also say that PF1E(and to an extent 3.x) was unique in that this was the first time that the disposable income wars involved the internet and pirated materials. I had to deal with players wanting to use feats from books I had never heard of that I could find for review only if I went to a dodgy website. I also had at least one player edit a site that was being used for the game so that a feat worked the way he wanted it to do.

I'm not a 1E apologist, but this sounds more like a player issue than a system issue TBH.

Scarab Sages

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The OP's observations aren't all inaccurate, but many of the design decisions were deliberate. In 1E, druids and clerics (and I guess some sorcerers?) were just better martials that also had spells. Blaster casters would win combat if they won initiative. I would say reigning in caster/martial disparity is worth a paradigm shift in how spellcasters work at the table.

As for thaumaturges being weak because they start with a 16 in their attack stat, that is a disadvantage. But it doesn't break the game's math and is fixed more-or-less entirely by the Gradual Ability Boosts.

The alchemist you're right - that was a casualty of the removal of Resonance from the playetest and how consumables had to be nerfed.

Scarab Sages

Mark Seifter wrote:
Let me know if you have any questions!

Will the Year of Monster stuff also be released on https://pf2easy.com like the Dragon ancestry was? It's really convenient for sharing with my group.

Scarab Sages

aobst128 wrote:
Iruxi remain the best warpriests only because of their stats. Although, might be more of a problem of the warpriest itself needing everything except intelligence.

They also have a very good bite attack feat, which even clerics have proficiency in, as well as an ancestral lore feat that granst WIS-based skills, which warpriests are good in.

Which illustrates by ancestry flaws being optional is not a problem for me - a lot of what defines an ancestry is in the ancestry feats & heritages.

Scarab Sages

graystone wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

The reasoning behind the change was stated that the need for certain stats pushed people into some ancestries and away from others for a given class. The change was explicitly to make it easier to make Gnome Barbarians, Goblin Druids, Dwarf Bards, Poppet Gunslingers, Iruxi Alchemists, etc.

It's more fun to be able to put together any ancestry/class combination that catches your fancy and to simply make a viable character than to make that process more involved for some combinations than others.

The old voluntary flaw system already did this though, as you could turn a flaw into a boost [adding free and flaw boost to it] or add boosts to stats without one. So, if anything the new way makes things easier, as it has less steps, but I don't think it's a huge boon to making ancestries and classes match better. I know when I first saw the Sacred Nagaji, I though 'cool, but I don't need/want Str so I'll use voluntary flaws and turn it into a -Str, +Dex, +free ancestry' not 'oh, it's got Str so I'll pick something else.

Yes, but now you don't even need to take the STR flaw. The rule change is most useful for ancestries that started with a flaw that the player didn't want in their build.

Scarab Sages

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Ravingdork wrote:

Today it's ability scores because of biological determinism. Tomorrow it's ancestries because racism. Then classes 'cause classism. Sexes, sexism. Bonuses and penalties? Penalties are too negative. No losers in this game. Everyone gets a trophy!

Thing about slippery slopes is no one really knows where they begin or end.

That's not going to happen. Recognize that you're making a slippery slope argument. Take a chill pill.
Ravingdork wrote:
I actually like the new rule (save for the loss of Voluntary Flaws). It's the illogical reasoning behind it that I can't stand.

The reasoning was to make it clearer that ancestries aren't a monolith and to add nuance. Maybe wait until the Paizo actually makes a a change you don't like before freaking out.

Scarab Sages

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Ascalaphus wrote:
And if they get the sense that hey, actually there were more people who liked boost/boost/boost/flaw arrays than they originally thought, they can just go back to making some of those too.

People do like getting a boost to a secondary stat in exchange for a flaw in an ability score they don't care about, but I'm not sure I like that and I think maybe the designers don't either.

If people feel they're not getting enough ability score boosts to be effective, or not getting them quickly enough, then it would make sense to change other parts of the game, such as by using Gradual Ability Boosts.

Ancestral flaws can be flavorful (android) but most of the time the lore doesn't match the flaws. It's flavor that Paizo wasn't using or being consistent on in any case and I'm not broken up about seeing them go.

Scarab Sages

Mark Seifter wrote:
Let me know if you have any questions!

I'm thinking about buying this with some friends. Could we share the 21 digital assets and Pathbuilder ancesry files or not? I assume the Foundry module generates a unique code per purchase?

Scarab Sages

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TheTwitchSniper wrote:
I was told that you could make a half-dragon character from one of the books, which one would that be?

Battlezoo Ancestries: Dragons. The half-dragon option is Draconic Scion, a versatile heritage, but you can also play a dragon.

Scarab Sages

IMO the errata was actually an improvement for balance because some ancestries had flaws in important ability scores and know they don't.

Scarab Sages

Paizo might as well start publishing Fixed/Fixed ancestries, players would no longer be bound by that.

Scarab Sages

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Kekkres wrote:
yeah, i think two boosts + free + flaw makes the most sense as the standard going forward now that it can more easily be said to represent trends and expectations rather than something that is mechanically enforced and requires unorthodox members of an ancestor to jump through hoops to achieve their idea. whereas +boost+free is literally just flavor text for all intents and purposes post errata.

Having a third boost in exchange for a flaww (to an ability score that doesn't govern a saving throw) is good for minmaxing, but I doubt that every ancestry will have that going forward.

There have to be ancestries where they can't reconcile an ability flaw to the lore.

Plus, I think there's value to flavor text.

Scarab Sages

How do you think Paizo should handle ancestry ability boosts & flaws printed in new books, given the recent errata?

Quote:

Alternative Ability Boosts

The ability boosts and flaws listed in each ancestry represent general trends or help guide players to create the kinds of characters from that ancestry most likely to pursue the life of an adventurer. However, ancestries aren’t a monolith. You always have the option to replace your ancestry’s listed ability boosts and ability flaws entirely and instead select two free ability boosts when creating your character.

IMO, the current (post-errata) purpose of ancestry boosts (and flaws) in the sidebars is to provide flavor information, whereas before the errata it was more mechanically significant. With that in mind, there’s no reason they publish ancestries with two fixed boosts (+INT, +WIS) or return to flawed ancestries, like the Core Rulebook had.

This is a golden opportunity to emphasize flavor information. For instance, samsarans in 1E were “insightful and strong-minded“ and had boosts INT and WIS. Thus far in 2E, they’ve avoided giving any ancestries two mental stats or two physical stats, but if ancestry boosts are now for flavor and context, then why not? In the Bestiary, wayangs are the described as reclusive but with a strong storytelling tradition, which sounds like either +DEX, +CHA or +Free, +DEX, +CHA, - STR.

What do you all think? How should Paizo handle ancestry & ability scores?

Scarab Sages

I wonder if Paizo would still be around were it not for Second Edition. They published 2E at a foetuitous time.

Scarab Sages

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Tsriel wrote:
It's not viable for me at this time to spend thousands on all the companies fighting for this, but I'm still posting as a show of solidarity and support. ✊

I think there's a Humble Bundle happening.

Scarab Sages

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Doktor Weasel wrote:
You'd have thought they'd have learned their lesson from 15 years ago. But they have not. This time it's even worse. They're still trying to put that OGL genie back in the bottle, but it was designed specifically so they couldn't.

I think the lesson they learned was to burn down the previous edition so their rivals couldn't use it to publish their own content and compete for the customer base.

Scarab Sages

4 people marked this as a favorite.
thejeff wrote:
It's off-topic, but most of those "poorly-conceived political and activist agendas" are really just more cash grabs. Corporations don't care. Their political agendas only involve making and keeping more money.

For example, WOTC has claimed that they must repeal the OGL in order to combat hateful content and NFTs, but it's really about curbing competition.

Scarab Sages

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"The Age of Dragon is over. The time of the Orc has come"

Scarab Sages

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BeNotAfraid wrote:
Quoth the raven... WAIT. There's a character class that functions like a hard magic Pokemaster? Remember the Mage-Knight minis? Dude. A mage-knight. Did Paizo make character customization like, infinite? Plus the infinite 3pp. That's like, infinite mojo. Thank you!

If you like Pokemon, there's an upcoming 3PP supplement about about befriending "Eldamon", as well as an Eldamon Trainer class.

Scarab Sages

I'd be delighted to help, as I'm sure others. I hope you don't mind a cacophany of advice!

I'm at work but can periodically check in.

Scarab Sages

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ORC is a damn good acronym!

Scarab Sages

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This is the first official post. A few months ago some clever redditors figured out the download link.

Edit: Ninja'd!

Scarab Sages

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"Skeleton Crew" is a great name for a adventuring party. I should have made all my Blood Lords player pick skeleton ancestry.

Scarab Sages

I use ABP for my home game, since it's my favorite variant rule. One of my PCs is a mutagenist, and I allow his mutagens to work normally. I also let weapon traits like grapple and trip provide item bonuses.

However, invested magic items no longer provide item bonuses, and item bonuses and potency bonuses never stiack.

Scarab Sages

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Gortle wrote:

Yes there are several classes that really feel like they are dual attribute, and they suffer much less from not having. But the way the DCs scales even so they really really should still have an 18.

There are a few particular builds that can totally give up on their primary attribute. It was possible to build a 16,16,14,12,10,10 from the 8 hitpoint casting classes with total of 10 in their casting stat due to a flaw and it is viable for certain spell choices if you focus your feats on martial abilities. You can build a Battle Cleric like this but you could also build a Wild Druid, an Alchemist, and perhaps losing the most would be a depressed Warrior Bard who never tries to linger.
Every spell list has options that ignore spell DC. It just feels like you are cutting off your right hand and getting very minor compensation for it.

I use the Gradual Ability Boosts system just so that all my players can get their ability scores where they need to be as soon as possible.

Scarab Sages

IMO, Intelligence and Charisma are the worst attributes, and the most often dumped, alongside STR. I houserule that INT or CHA can be added to Will saves instead of WIS.

INT still needs a boost after that, so I use the following feats (deadmanwalking)

Skill Expertise:

Skill Expertise (Feat 7, General, Skill)*
Prerequisite Int 16, trained in at least two skills,
Choose two skills in which you are trained. Your proficiency rank in the chosen skills increases to expert.
Special You may take this feat a second time if your Intelligence score is 22 or higher.

Scarab Sages

Martialmasters wrote:

Classes sure

Builds? The loss of voluntary flaws system hurt that

Which builds?

Scarab Sages

Wizard Level 1 wrote:

If we're going to be equalizing all the ancestries stat choices to address biological essentialism, except for the handful that now has the advantage of three boosts over everyone else apparently, why are we also not equalizing their HP? So now my sprite can be as strong as an orc but it can't have as many Hitpoints?

There ARE biological differences between real world species of the same size and weight. Some species are stronger than others, some are quicker, some are quieter. Corvids ARE more intelligent than lizards. It isn't discriminatory to recognize these things. Especially not in a fantasy game where a spider-person has a venomous bite, but humans don't. Or where goblins can bounce like a rubber ball, but a halfling would go splat. The game has so many heritages and feats based off the biology of different species of humanoid, but we aren't going to address those? Many heritages and feats based of heritages make them physically or mentally better than others at certain things. Is that not biological essentialism? That's not problematic? Why divide ancestry feats up by 'ancestry' at all?

How is it not any more problematic that some ancestries get Darkvision for free at level 1 while humans have to wait until level 5 and spend both of their ancestry feats to get it AND be from the Nidalese ethnicity (or equivalent in their respective campaign) AND be blocked from other ethnic feats? Why does the elf have the highest land speed potential?

So we're okay locking some things behind biology but not stats? I'll never be as fast as a dog, or as stealthy as a leopard or able to hold my breath as long as an otter.

It's such a weird decision to make to achieve their stated goal of addressing biological essentialism because have they really addressed it at all? More so, did it need to be addressed?

I'm not saying biological essentialism should be a factor in deciding the stat options ancestries have, but I am saying that avoiding biological essentialism shouldn't necessarily be a factor either, at...

I think for as long as ancestries are different from each other in terms of game mechanics - and that's good and I hope paizo never changes that - then biological essentialism will be part of the game, at least to some degree.

That said, I like that elves and dwarves and the rest are different from each other. It's not a problem. And I like that this new change makes it easy to break the mold and make a dwarf oracle or a goblin druid.

Scarab Sages

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Ravingdork wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Exactly. There's little to no point in playing humans anymore.
Sounds like a lack of imagination.

Humans were already a minority at many gaming tables (at least at all the ones I frequent); this will make them all but extinct.

And it makes sense; why play a human when you can play any other race with more free abilities (such as darkvision or increased speed), and then poach the occasional human feat that you might have wanted anyways?

I can't speak for your table, but humans are still popular IME.

In fact, I had already implemented a house rule similar to alternative ability boosts for my Blood Lords campaign. Three of the five players still chose human for their ancestry. The others chose umbral dragon (3PP, no flaws) and skeleton (they did go with the 2 boost 0 flaw rule)

The point is, I think humans will remain popular in Pathfinder.

Scarab Sages

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Martialmasters wrote:

I'm finding that a surprising number of people apparently view me playing a character as

An ist
Or an ism

I am a optimizer. I'll latch onto an idea for a character and seek to optimize the idea. In less balanced systems, this lead to overpowered characters. Not always, as it depended on the theme.

2e has been my bastion. Because it's so balanced. I never broke anything. I'm free to master the system without others feeling hurt for any reason.

But apparently if a part of my optimization on a theme, lead to a fun build where my character is

Dumb
Mean
Rude

Or any other personality that someone, somewhere, might not like. Or maybe suffers from any kind of physical issue

Then I'm playing wrong.

I never look at a character and decide their personality until I'm looking at the stats. And I never viewed the act as any kind of ist or ism. Just role play .

Had a friend who played a blind character and got a form of echo location. They like the flavor of a blind samurai

Had a friend play a mute character because they were sick of being the voice of the party every game we play, it just gravitated that way I guess.

At no point did we look to our characters and decide to be insensitive to someone, anyone.

But now I'm seeing people argue that an 8 in a stat and role playing that 8, is a bad thing.

You can't make everyone happy. And being sensitive and communicative with those around you is important.

To my mind, this is addressed with session 0. And I'm not looking to role play as myself.

I bring this up because I've seen people, including me, who Express unhappiness at the loss of voluntary flaw system. Are going to start being openly accused of an ist or ism, people are already skirting it.

I do not feel I'm blowing this out of proportion either. People get funny when something becomes hard set in rules instead of being left to the table and having an expectation of someone being a decent person

Good news! Even with the changes to the Voluntary Flaw rule, by RAW a PC can still have an ability score flaw. So your PCs can not only be dumb, mean or rude, but also have that flaws be present on your character sheet.

Scarab Sages

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I think the OP brought up good points. I myself like that ancestries can have two free boosts if they want, but I would have kept the Voluntary Flaws rule in place.

Regarding the OP's question - if bioessentialism is bad, then why is it OK for elves to have 6 HP and 30-ft speed and not a DEX boost and CON flaw?

My guess is that it's becausen before the new errata, an ancestry's flaw was more important than its boosts. Elves with their INT boost made good wizards, but so did every other ancestry - unless they had an INT flaw, like leshies. You could use Voluntary Flaws to start a leshy with +4 INT, but you had to take 2 more flaws. So elves aren't necessarily better wizards, which I think is good, but leshies are always suboptimal wizards.

However, gnomes, halflings and dwarves made better wizards than elves, IMHO, because wizards needed CON (elf's flaw) more than wizards need STR (gnome & halfling flaw) or CHA (dwarf flaw). Personally, I never liked that this was true from a mechanics perspective.

To summarize, the changes are happening because the devs think an ancestry shouldn't be defined by it's ability score flaws, but it OK for its strengths to makebit stand out. Despite what Logan Bonner said, biological essentialism in TTRPGs isn't the issue.

Scarab Sages

The dead won't be directly affected, but if all the quick die then there's nobody to prey on. So the mass poisoning affects the food supply of the living and the dead.

Scarab Sages

I allow witches to know all the common spells of their chosen tradition. Ditto wizards.

Scarab Sages

I doubt that would be a problem, assuming you build a mechanically-balanced party and share the spotlight with other players.

Scarab Sages

Orc Ex-Mendevian Crusader, Champion of Sarenrae, with some Wrestler feats.

Scarab Sages

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I give Basic Lesson, Greater Lesson, and Major Lesson as bonus feats, and let witches choose a hex cantrip from another patron as a L1 class feat.

Isn't there a Witches+ 3PP supplement?

Scarab Sages

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Kemnebi and Balji are pretty much non-characters. Between that major problem, the hazards being wrong, the Boneyard being under-utilized, and the technical problem with the PDF, this book is the weakest of the Blood Lords AP.

My take on Kemnebi is that he, like the players, is an ambitious Blood Lord. Unlike the players, he's had to play second fiddle to Geb, an absentee monarch, then passed over by Geb in favor of Arazni, an outsider who never the best interest of Geb at heart and later abandoned her post. Then Geb returned, still prioritizing his rivalry with Nex above the good of the nation. Kemnebi has legitimate grievances and interesting commonalities with the PCs.

I'm dropping that bit about having a dead wife and child. I suppose that part of his plan was rallying the other Blood Lords against Geb through sabatoge or by destroying Geb's throne somehow. The details of what would've happened are irrelevant once the PCs foil the Grand Reanimation.

Scarab Sages

I have the same problem and emailed customer service.

Scarab Sages

It varies. I've seen simple builds that work fine from Level One to ones that don't start until Level 10.

Scarab Sages

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James Jacobs wrote:

Exactly. Again, I talk about this organization and thematic style IN Iron Gods... in the forewords. Those sections at the start of each volume were a great place for the developer to pull aside the curtain and speak directy to the reader, to reveal some behind the scenes content, additional game content that we didn't have room for in the adventure, or talk about the practice of adventure creation. I miss them, but the perception was that no one read them, and the other adventure developers at the time hated writing them, so they went away.

I loved the forwards as a look behind-the-scenes. I also miss the old Developer's Commentary Youtube Videos y'all did for Pathfinder Fridays.

Scarab Sages

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Gortle wrote:
NECR0G1ANT wrote:
graystone wrote:
Now with how hard it is to pull off for players and bad guys not following the same rules means it's even in a worse place IMO.

I'm annoyed that Disarm has to be nerfed into worthlessness just so PCs could remain dependent on magic weapons. Why not just make Disarm go the way of Sunder?

ABP should have been standard, since relying on purchasing equipment to stay on the math treadmill isn't heroic or interesting.

Yes it is strange that the hero picks up a second weapon and it is not very effective. On the other hand Excalibur is an important concept for this genre. Of course if every weapon is special then no weapon is special.

I don't see an easy resolution to this. I suspect ABP might be a better place so I am giving it a trial.

ABP still has magic weapons via property runes & artifacts, so you can still tell those sorts of stories.

As a GM, I like ABP because I can be more relaxed about assigning treasure. As a player, I like having skill potency & multiple viable weapons.

Scarab Sages

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graystone wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
graystone wrote:
I think this is the first time I've hear Amazing and Disarm Build in the same breath...
That was kind if the point. I wanted to generate discussion to see if there were any new options out there that could make it worthwhile.

Disarm has always been strange place, as the ability means that enemies could do so also which when you take into account the necessity to have/use magic items in combat: this meant that as good as it felt to disarm a foe and make them useless also meant than when it happened to you is sucked pretty bad. It's like PF1 sunder in that way. except you can't then pick up the item as your loot got destroyed. Generally, most groups I was in had a 'gentleman's' agreement that neither players or foes would use those maneuvers.

Now with how hard it is to pull off for players and bad guys not following the same rules means it's even in a worse place IMO.

I'm annoyed that Disarm has to be nerfed into worthlessness just so PCs could remain dependent on magic weapons. Why not just make Disarm go the way of Sunder?

ABP should have been standard, since relying on purchasing equipment to stay on the math treadmill isn't heroic or interesting.

Scarab Sages

Disarming Twist (Fighter level 10) is the best disarm feat. Disarming Stance gives a small bonus to Disarm. The Duelist archetype offers both L12 and L8 respectively.

Swashbucklers come in second with have Disarming Flair and Derring-Do, barbarians have Disarming Assault. The Bastion Archetype has Disarming Block and the Zephyr Guard archetype has Relentless Disarm.

Ifrits can cause fire damage on a Disarm attempt once per day, and lizardfolk can Disarm from 10 feet away.

Scarab Sages 1/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Virginia—Richmond

What does that have to do with magical resonance then? And isn't the attack at the end supposed to be a complete surprise?

Scarab Sages 1/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Virginia—Richmond

During the Head in the Books phase, the PCs have a limited window of time to research Alyreha's work into true names.

Sebnet wrote:
Thanks to this wondrous bit of magical resonance you’ve discovered, I sense we may have a limited window of time to track down what secrets she was seeking to uncover!”

What's in in-story justification for the time limit? I know that the Doylist explanation is so the PCs have to do it. Did Alyreha rig her library to explode or something?

Scarab Sages

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Kemnebi does look goofy. The combination of classic vampire design and the swollen craniums of the vetalarana is odd.

Scarab Sages

willfromamerica wrote:
Hoping that the last quarter of 2023 gives us an 11-20 rather than furthering the unbalance between 1-10 APs versus 11-20 ones.

That imbalance is intentional, so I think the Q4 release will be another 1-10, like Vaults, Quest, Outlaws, and Gatewalkers.

Scarab Sages

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm guessing that the next AP will tie closer to Rage of Elements + Impossible Lands rather than Monsters of Myth, Knights of Lastwall, Firebrands, or Travel Guide.

Rust could be a threat to the new Plane of Metal, Jalmeray has lots of elemental stuff. Spiders and worms sounds antagonistic.

Scarab Sages

UpliftedBearBramble wrote:
[snip] ...now the shadows on the staircase heal the party with no real danger involved.

Creature with negative healing aren't healed by negative damage. It just doesn't harm them. I think the harm spell is the only effect that can either harm the living or heal undead (or both at once for the 3-action version).

UpliftedBearBramble wrote:
"I mean I can see the reasoning for this encounter in a more open space. As a kind of undeadness-gated-easiness encounter it can be a fun dynamic. But putting it in that kind of enclosed space where even with the normal 4 player party causes practically no possibility for movement without taking it to another room (where other dangers still might exist) is a very odd choice."

The hallway A6 does have restricted mobility, but remember shadows are incorporeal (as are ghost PCs), so corporeal creatures can move through their spaces and vice-versa.

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