Iron Dragon

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Goblin Squad Member. 27 posts. No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist.


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I've always considered D&D3-style level-based multiclassing to be one of D20's greatest strengths. Classes make a character feel like they are part of something larger than themselves; multiclassing makes them feel like stand-out heroes. I think the great strength of the d20 feat system is that it helps make a character unique. It's a one-time choice that maybe grants a little additional power but more importantly grows your character laterally.

My problem with multiclassing feats is the same as my problem with feat chains and trees. Locking characters into another advancement track is just not what feats were meant to do. Multiclassing's great strength is also that it helps make a character unique, but sacrificing one path to customization for another is a bad trade and one I'm not keen to make.

On the other hand, I feel the opposite about classes and races. Belonging to a class or race is supposed to feel like you're conforming to something larger than yourself. It helps a character feel like they belong in a setting. I don't feel as strongly about this as I do about multiclassing, but I do acknowledge with some sadness that Paizo is simultaneously dismantling that sense of belonging by making both class and race mix-and-match buffets.

In short, I want to be able to build an elven fighter-mage who is recognizably an elf, a fighter, and a mage, but who is also recognizable as different than other elven fighter-mages. D&D5 does this with ease. What it looks like I'll be getting in PF2 is an elf-like, fighter-like, mage-like character with nothing else to differentiate them.

It's admittedly a fine bone to pick, but it's stuck fast.

I regret that I do not have a solution for PF2 multiclassing that I consider "constructive." I hated feat-based "multiclassing" in D&D4 and I still hate it today. It was a major reason for me abandoning D&D for Pathfinder back in 2009. I've never been happy with Paizo's long-time efforts to deprecate multiclassing, but it's always still /been/ there. The unfortunate reality is that this implementation is the hardest of hard passes for me -- I won't be investing any further time and energy into PF2 if it isn't reverted.

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I love goblins. The goblinoid races, their not-quite-humanness, and the uncertain, unexplained links between them are collectively one of my favorite bits of AD&D metalore.

That being said, I've always felt like Pathfinder goblins are a complete waste of potential. "Willfully ignorant burning buzzsaws on legs played for comic relief" doesn't describe any humanoid race I would bother including in my campaign.

THAT being said, I am actually hopeful that their inclusion as a core PC race in PF2 is a step on the path toward making them a more interesting and constructive setting aspect. They have a long road to travel.

RumpinRufus wrote:
Draw a potion, move to your downed ally, and administer it, all in the same round? F'ing finally!

I think my major issue is that I houseruled this sort of housekeeping ages ago without even realizing it. So the edition change doesn't seem like an improvement.

I absolutely agree that being able to take two "offensive" actions in the same round is an interesting change and one that I am curious to learn more about. For one thing, I don't see how this doesn't instantly make all prior work incompatible with 2nd Edition at a very basic level.

The Sideromancer wrote:
I believe the site just uses whatever your browser is set to.

So what you're telling me, Sideromancer, is that the fault lies not in my stars, but in myself? *eyebrows*

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I was excited by this idea yesterday, but, “move once, draw your sword, and attack,” and, “move away, draw a potion, and drink it,” seem like the definition of 'action' is going to be pretty pedantic. Three actions is still better than two, and I'm still watching with interest, but this post has made me more trepidatious, rather than less.

...Trepidatious is totally a word, Paizo forum spellchecker.

Marcus Robert Hosler wrote:
Although, now I am wondering. Is bigotry evil in Golarion or just the product of low mental scores? Malice vs ignorance, or both?

Careful. History is full of good, smart people who were uninformed or misinformed and therefore prejudiced. When you start thinking only bad, stupid people are bigots, that's when it gets you.

Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:
I think Goblinworks is very much interested in these deliberations.

Perhaps. I understand that we are very early in the development process, but I don't see why that means the hard questions should not be asked first. Some of these issues are central to Goblinworks' stated mission.

I have more to say on the topic but I've reached my daily quota of unproductive posts.

Dakcenturi wrote:
I think systems are being confused here.

I won't say you're wrong, but I think what is more relevant is that these systems clearly require significant interplay in order to adjudicate character interactions effectively. Which is something Goblinworks has not addressed.

Goblin Squad Member

KitNyx wrote:
I am just trying to find and suggest solutions that make player interactions the driving force in any (and every) aspect of the game. What do you see as the faults in this system, so that we might try to address them?

Very diplomatic, KitNyx. :) Way to make me feel like a douche.

Player interactions should be the driving force behind the game, but the software has to guide their interpretation. Players are jerks. If they can exploit a system, they will exploit that system. No one seems to even be acknowledging that possibility --

including Goblinworks.

Goblin Squad Member

Man, between the guy promoting ninja looting and the guy suggesting that criminal flagging should be based on player 'downvoting,' I'm at a dead loss. I'm starting to wonder if this project isn't even /more/ doomed than I had originally thought.

You guys don't want a sandbox, you want a litterbox! :D

Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:
First, it may be that there will be times when Good is ascendent and evil declines, and there will be times when Evil is ascendent and the good declines. It should result in a dynamic state that is ever in flux.

It should, yes. But it won't if the game mechanics reward an equilibrium state more. The flow of a multiplayer game does not obey the logic of the real world, it obeys the logic of the game universe. Good and evil will only ebb and flow if there are game mechanics rewarding that behavior.

Consider that in a state of war the good are less constrained by the mechanics than in a state of peace.

I'm not concerned about wars. I'm primarily concerned about good-aligned economic powerhouses maintaining boosted bands of gank-happy bandits in the wilderness, and without penalty.

Goblin Squad Member

Marlagram wrote:
So "good guys" must implement some way to trade with their evil alts.

Neutral go-betweens should solve this dilemma without much hassle.

Goblin Squad Member

”Being” wrote:
Because if the evil are not invincable why would you not simply defend yourself? But I considered you probably do not want to have to divert from your intended course of action to defend yourself just because another player is playing an evil alignment and so doing evil things, and that your whole point is that you dislike PvP absolutely, despite the very nature of chess and football (which are PvP centric).

I do not enjoy PvP, but that is peripheral to this discussion. I am concerned here with the creation of PvP imbalance through the abuse of game mechanics intended to balance. In short: a metagame alliance between a good economic power and an evil military power that permits both to benefit from the advantages of the alignment system while minimizing the negative effects of that system.

Such an alliance could generate strength sufficient to render defense without metagaming irrelevant, resulting in a game dominated by metagaming powerhouses and where it is impossible to play the game as intended.

Not really accurate, nearly as I can tell. Military prowess/combat efficacy should be equivalent on both sides.

I think you get this, despite this particular statement, but just to clarify: I’m not talking about straight up combat bonuses from being evil. I agree those are unlikely. I’m more talking about the less hard-coded advantages of not having to worry about staying good. If military force A is bound by rules of engagement and military force B is not, force B has significant advantage.

As you say, evil has to have /something/ to offset the economic advantages of good.

But understand that it is my personal duty to give clear voice to aspects of the system I envision as 'The Game Done Right' as well.

I don’t think we’re on opposite sides of this discussion. I may be cynical and you may be optimistic, but I think we both have an interest in seeing Pathfinder Online succeed at its goals.

It is for some a problem that there is the potential for another player to attack us without regard to right, wrong, or our own preference. While understandable as a sentiment it is better for the game to allow the ability while preparing consequences for so doing. Yet the game must be playable for those preferring to align with in-game evil, to oppose in-game good because the Good must have a worthy foe to have meaning at all.

I am completely in agreement. I think mandatory PvP combined with /complete/ player character accountability is the ideal MMOG solution to player conflict. However, I also believe that Goblinworks is not addressing the very real challenge of accomplishing this feat without alienating PvP-focused players. It may not even be possible. No game has ever succeeded, and all Goblinworks is saying on the subject is “We’re going to do it.” I think a little incredulity is warranted.

Goblin Squad Member

Valandur wrote:
Personally I would rather the NPCs only respond to an action. But I plan on playing a rogue type character so that feeling isn't surprising :p

I think there's some merit (if some very serious technical challenges) in the disguise idea, but overall town guards' inability to recognize criminals until they act is the biggest problem facing player accountability in an MMOG.

It's my understanding that Goblinworks intends to implement a reputation mechanic in Pathfinder Online as well as an alignment mechanic -- I would expect that it is some combination of these two things that initiates a violent reaction in NPCs. A good thief should have to keep his reputation low.

Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:

If a character does nothing in-game to negatively affect his alignment in-game he or she will not suffer an alignment hit in-game.

Still don't see the problem. I apologize for my myopia.

You're closer to understanding my point than you realize.

If a character does nothing in-game to negatively (or positively!) affect his alignment, he will not suffer an alignment hit. And that's exactly my point.

Players of evil characters will be able to arrange for their characters to benefit from "good" transactions through out-of-game communication, and vice-versa.

Because Pathfinder Online is a game with no classes, the paladin example is only a convenient construction, but it serves its purpose. The player of a paladin could run an assassination business from an out-of-game forum, laundering both deed and payment through one or more less alignment-restricted characters. His character's alignment would be unaffected, and he would not lose his powers, no matter how many innocents the player sentenced to death for cash.

That's a clumsy illustration, but it makes the point. No matter how strict the alignment system is, players will be able to get around it.

Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:
So, if I understand you, the problem is not that the evil will be invincible, but that you don't want conflict at all? You want to have no need to defend yourself?

I don't see how you drew that conclusion from my previous statement.

What is the difference between an evil military empire backed by the resources of a good economic nation and a good military empire backed by the rsources of a good economic nation?

Well, presumably, as Goblinworks is implementing an alignment system in Pathfinder Online, there will be benefits and penalties associated with belonging to an alignment. If this is not the case, there is no reason for an alignment system. Can we agree on that?

I am further guessing that the benefits of an evil alignment would enhance a more player-combat-focused play style, while the benefits of a good alignment would enhance a more peaceful, economics-focused play style. I realize that is more of a stretch, but I do not think it is beyond the realm of probability.

Based on this proposal, an evil warband backed by a good economic engine would benefit from the best of both alignment options while suffering few of the challenges of either.

The evil brigands would be free to act without morality in the pursuit of their military goals, because they do not need to maintain a good alignment to preserve positive trading relationships -- the other half of their organization handles that. And the economic engine does not have to worry about being unable to cross certain lines in combat because they do not engage in it -- they are entirely consumed with the maintenance of positive trading relationships.

I want to be clear that I am not making a quality judgment about this perceived aspect of the game. It's just an obvious question about what we know (or do not know) about the development of Pathfinder Online thus far and I am encouraging people to think about it.

Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:
I'm not seeing the problem with that. Illumination please?

If Goblinworks' player-management system is going to rely on alignment as heavily as they seem to be planning, maintaining a desirable alignment for a character irrespective of their actions is going to be big business.

You propose a system that will track changes in a character's alignment due to character interaction. I'm suggesting that any tracking is meaningless because entire operations will be constructed around out-of-game communication and alignment farming to protect critical members of one's own organization (or those willing to pay) from the negative effects of alignment shift.

A character cannot take an alignment hit if he never directly interacts with anyone in a fashion contrary to his alignment.

The rabbit hole is /deep/.

Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:
So it might get complicated, but complication is exactly what computers are designed to track.

I foresee entire forums devoted to metagame black markets that will circumvent the system you describe.

Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:
All the game has to do is eliminate invincibility, or anything approaching invincibility.

I was using the word 'invincible' figuratively, to illustrate the power that could be wielded in an alignment-mediated system by a military group espousing total war while being backed by an economic and industrial complex that "plays nice" and suffers none of the penalties for the military group's actions.

It's not a question of limiting in-game power creep. Sorry for the confusion.

Goblin Squad Member

Valandur wrote:
So how is the game going to determine that my Paladin committed an evil act if he enters Tonys bread store and purchases a loaf of faccetta, shoots the breeze with Tony, then later that night someone takes a knife in the heart?

So is Tony's Totally Legitimate Breadmaking Business a celebration of how impossible this will be to adjudicate? Or an indictment?

I suppose it doesn't matter.

The short answer is that the game obviously cannot do this thing.

Pathfinder Online will be won by cross-alignment organizations of invincible evil strike teams backed by powerful good economic machines. If the game engine makes this impossible, say by enforcing alignment restrictions on guild membership, then the players will figure out their alliances themselves, out-of-game.

So it will be like the real world, basically. ...I'm honestly not sure if that's a good thing or not, but I do think it puts a(nother) ding in my interest in playing it, which is not strong to begin with.

Goblin Squad Member

Jerrycnh wrote:
Basically, read the American Declaration of Independence. It's my hope to either directly, or, more ideally, indirectly be responsible for everything His Majesty King Charles III was accused of. ;)

Jerry, I am making a note of you now, because this is a great answer* and I want to keep track of you so I can follow up on your experience after launch.

For what it's worth, I am rooting for you.

(*Well, except for your knowledge of the history of the British monarchy)

Goblin Squad Member

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Rafkin wrote:
Skirting the rules in an mmo is usually called expoiting or griefing
Misere wrote:
Yeah, but in a sandbox world its what adds spice and pizzazz.

This exchange is why this game has /the toughest/ uphill battle ahead of it.

Goblin Squad Member

Can I ask a very pointed question?

What /specific in-game behaviors/ are you lawful evil fans planning to engage in?

I enjoy LE a great deal, and I would love to see LE communities in game, but I can't even begin to imagine how a game engine would adjudicate morality with enough granularity to differentiate LE from LG.

Do you expect the game to permit slavery? Are your reprehensible intentions purely economic, and if so, how do you intend to avoid Goblinworks' regulatory plans? If you intend to engage in murder at all, how will you communicate to the community and the software that you are not doing so at random?

These questions are honest; your slice of the community is precisely positioned to illustrate what I see as the greatest mystery of the description of Pathfinder Online to date. To wit: I can not begin to imagine how they will adjudicate alignment and griefing with sufficient granularity that you and your fellows will avoid being reported and banned into oblivion, or, on the other hand, how you will be able to realize the flavor of your organizations when the game engine does not acknowledge you as evil /enough/.

I'm curious as to whether you have considered these challenges.

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Nearly all fantasy stories sound like Twilight fan fiction when you try to summarize them, whether they're published in a novel or dramatized on tabletop. I'm sure this campaign is just fine.

The bottom line, Jonathan, is that a Dungeon Master's ability to affect his player characters is defined by three variables: the content of their backgrounds, their choices in game, and his out-of-game conversations with them.

If your DM is changing your character in ways that are not reflective of these variables, you have every right to object simply on the grounds that you are not enjoying his actions. If he wants to direct the action through a character, then he has to introduce an NPC to do it -- otherwise the entire purpose of having players is subverted.

Goblin Squad Member

I don't know why everyone is so freaked out. No way Goblinworks lets this fail so close to goal. $30K or less in slush fund money to unlock over $970K in free cash? That math isn't even hard.

Goblin Squad Member

Just to play devil's advocate, low-pop MMOGs like Pathfinder Online benefit from mechanics that encourage the creation of new characters after launch. An player-run economy requires producers and consumers at all tiers. If Goblinworks convinces you to delete one of your high-level alts and replace it with a new alt of a more desirable race, they've achieved a design goal.

Goblin Squad Member

At this point the success of the Pathfinder Online is pretty much assured – if nothing else, Goblinworks certainly has at least $50K in a slush fund ready to tip this thing over the edge. Failure at this stage would be too much bad publicity to stomach when the solution is so simple.

I confess I was not rooting for this outcome and I find myself a little disappointed.

I am right smack-dab dead-center in Goblinworks’ target audience for this game. I’m a big Pathfinder fan with disposable income. I love EVE Online, at least in concept. There is nothing I would like to play more than a fantasy sandbox MMOG that rewards me for playing a traveling merchant. And I’m a Mac user. Solid props on the Mac version, BTW.

But I don’t think Pathfinder Online is my game. First it’s hitting my disposable income with a subscription fee in a genre where subscription fees are already on the way out four years before the game is supposed to launch. It’s proposing an EVE Online-like player-run economy in a setting that should be adventure driven. It encourages playing characters like traveling merchants but makes it impossible to travel any significant distance in the game without adequate player protection against player bandits.

Looking at the flip side of the coin, it’s enabling open PvP but actively punishing those who engage in it. It’s promising to heavily regulate its open economy to eliminate cutthroat practices.
Who is this game for? It’s not for me, and I’m hard-pressed to believe that it is for hardcore PvPers or even die-hard crafters and traders.

I’m not going to lie; Goblinworks is more or less guaranteed to make the MSRP of Pathfinder Online off of me at release. It’s a game that I am excited to at least try. But it is not a winning proposition for me. Either it will be everything I want but with an actual target audience so small that it can’t maintain development, or it will be nothing I am interested in and I will still be disappointed (just slightly richer).

I encourage Goblinworks to revisit their plans for this thing. I think it is great that the game has a strong economic element, but you have to balance that with at least as much dungeoneering or the game just isn’t Pathfinder.

I realize that the game is intended to be boutique, but it still ought to acknowledge that the majority of interested players are still going to be solo casual PvE players. It ought to accept that you can’t punish organic incentives and create artificial incentives to replace them and still expect anyone to be happy with the result.

Every Kickstarter has a strong element of “pay us to achieve the impossible!” but this one has a lot more pie in its sky than most. So while I can’t in good conscience wish Goblinworks luck with this endeavor, I will wish all of you who donated to the Kickstarter campaign the absolute best of luck. I sincerely hope you get your money’s worth out of this thing, and I wish I shared your optimism.

I'm of the opinion that yes, D&D4 is D&D. It has fighters, magic-users, high and wood elves, mind flayers, color-coded dragons, and magic weapons with pluses. It is D&D.

What it is not is AD&D. Even less so than D&D3 was. I'm still undecided on whether that is a deal breaker.

I actually sold the vast majority of my D&D3.5 stuff back in March for around half the MSRP. Made about $150. I've still got some leftovers, but after I had that much luck early on, getting rid of the rest of it became less of a priority.

I still have many AD&D1 and AD&D2 books, including a complete Planescape collection. I just never developed any kind of emotional attachment to my D&D3 collection. The only books that don't leave me kind of cold are the core three.