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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber. Organized Play Member. 82 posts (97 including aliases). 6 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 6 Organized Play characters. 1 alias.


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Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

There's more than enough 1e content for just about anyone to continue playing it forever, and even more if you go back to 3.5. As the forever GM for my group I made the choice to swap to 2e for my group because I liked prepping for it better, and had some trouble with a couple of power gamers, but it's not for everyone. I'm glad that we all have the option to choose what we want to play.

Grand Lodge

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The-Magic-Sword wrote:


Maybe they're talking about Starfinder 2e being compatible and ORC? What with the word "Gap"

It will be nice for tech fabs, we're already planning on introducibg a lot of it to our PF game as JRPG style magitech.

That's the thing I'm most excited about with the two systems being compatible. I'd love to craft a time hopping Chrono Trigger style campaign, hopping between times and picking up party members as we go. I doubt we'll ever see official support for it, but I can dream...

Grand Lodge

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werewolfpaladin wrote:
The AP "File Per Chapter" download was working last night, so it may be fixed now.

I was able to download the one file AP as well, so I think we may be in the clear.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

The only time I've run it was as a proficiency without level and automatic bonus progression game, in a west marches style sandbox. Even there, we found that it really started breaking things down if you got more than about 3-4 levels apart, so we had tiers of adventures kind of like what you see in PFS, 1-4, 5-8, 9-12 and so on.

Our central premise was that the world was progressively being infused with more magic due to the machinations of the BBEG. There were a bunch of side quests, but once a high level party completed a capstone story quest, everyone leveled up to the lowest level of the next tier, with those who had reached max level of the lower tier going up one extra level as a reward. We were also somewhat open with our difficulty and reward expectations, with blue missions being the lowest level for a given tier, then green, then yellow, then red at the highest level. The players could choose how much danger and reward they wanted to dive into.

For the most part, things worked well. Players who made more sessions either tended to stick together and go after red missions, or have one or two high level characters mixed in with a group of low level characters going after the yellow or green missions. Proficiency without level meant the difference between characters meant less than they would have, and the limited level gap minimized it further. Due to automatic bonus progression magic items tended to be 'cool' instead of necessary...think immovable rods and decanters of endless water, so even if a character didn't have any magic items they could still contribute. My fellow GMs and I also put a focus on non-combat encounters, with rewards for roleplay and investigation, where the level gap mattered even less.

Without these modifications and conventions I think it would be a nightmare.

Grand Lodge

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The Thread Necromancer wrote:

"From that fateful day when stinking bits of slime first crawled from the sea and shouted to the cold stars, "I am man.", our greatest dread has always been the knowledge of our mortality. But tonight, we shall hurl the gauntlet of science into the frightful face of death itself. Tonight, we shall ascend into the heavens. We shall mock the earthquake. We shall command the thunders, and penetrate into the very womb of impervious nature herself."

Have people found it easier to convert old adventures into Pathfinder 2nd Edition or Pathfinder 1st?

So, for me it's much easier to convert to second edition than first. First edition I was always worried about my encounters. Are they so weak the players will steamroll them, or did I put in a TPK? Second edition I don't have to worry as much...

Grand Lodge

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As disappointing as it is to see a price increase, I figured this was coming when there was talk of a new website and unionizing efforts. I am glad, at least, that the money will be going more toward the workers via the union.

On the bright side, this was just the push I needed to go ahead and fill out my collection of society scenarios.

Grand Lodge

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So, just to make sure I'm reading right, for most full casters except the sorcerer this effectively becomes two spells per fight, with a number of spells prepared per day equal to the number of spell ranks they can qualify for, topping out at ten, correct?

I dig it. I've been toying around with something similar to this, but I was trying to go the route of mana points by spell level, rather than slots. This is much easier to slot into the existing rules than someone like the mana system would be, and still enables the caster to remain attrition less if there is no time crunch.

I'll also agree with Breithauptclan that there should be a mechanism for emergency casting of additional spells, perhaps a HP cost or two focus points for one ranked spell. Perhaps instead of HP, though, it reduces maximum HP by twice the rank of the spell until the caster has the chance to sleep a night. That way, it cannot be healed with restorative magic. This brings us right back around to attrition, but it does fit the fantasy better of a Wizard expanding power beyond their limits, but paying a cost for it.

I would be interested to see how this would interact with the relative power scaling of the psychic dedication, especially with regard to Magi. Right now, it seems like a lot of people flock to the psychic as a way to get reliable every fight damage. Would it still be worth it to have more high power spell strikes with amped cantrips, or would having one big shocking grasp then regular cantrips be enough?

I also think there are some questions to be raised about how some class features interact with the spell system, such as divine font with the cleric. Do they gain an additional steadfast spell slot which can be used only for healing or harming, as the case may be?

All in all, though, a very elegant solution. I may well allow it the next time I run a game.

Grand Lodge

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I did this a good bit in my Agents of Edgewatch campaign.

Spoiler:

When I was starting the adventure I made a basic NPC sheet, with a place for a name, portrait, relation to the PC, occupation, personality and background. All of the characters had to be from Absalom and in order to start they had to submit three of the NPC sheets. They also got a bonus hero point for each session if they submitted another NPC sheet. When something would come up like entering a store or a person being kidnapped, I had a number of fleshed out NPCs that I could drop into the world. Not every one knew the PCs (one option was that they did not have a relation to the PC), but it made the world feel much more alive, and my players appreciated seeing their creations in the world. Just to draw some examples from the first book, I had several NPCs scattered around the fair, one kidnapped by disgruntled workers, and another the victim of a murder the characters investigated.

If I had to do it over again, I'd probably be a bit more granular in this, ask the PCs to make up a Rival, an Ally, and a Nemesis for the first three, then use the general NPCs for the extra hero points. Most of my players had an NPC at the start of the session, so I quickly got too many of them to use. Also, don't be afraid to add side quests. Yes, the AP as written has a time crunch, but a lot of them have a natural end point at the end of each adventure and that is a perfect time to add in a side quest.

For mine, for instance, I had a PC who gave me the idea for Rival, Ally and Nemesis, and submitted NPCs for each. At the end of book one, they had wrapped up the investigation at the Dreaming Palace, and got a letter from their Ally, a station chief in The Coins, who had a bank robbery with little clues to go on. I ran it as a one session mini adventure. The PC arrived on site with their companions to find their rival, a grizzled investigator who fought to keep them from being accepted into Edgewatch, already investigating and generally being a jerk. The players investigated and found out it was their nemesis, a daring gentleman thief, who the PCs tracked down. They were able to recover the stolen loot, but the nemesis got away. If you were able to run 2-3 of these adventures between each book, it provides a nice change of pace from the main story, and gives some more character moments for the player characters.

Grand Lodge

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This system reminds me of the Starship rules from the original rules of D20 Star Wars, which I generally liked. I use a similar system for running naval combat in PF2e, with a battle map in case the enemy boards the vessel. I find it breaks down too much for me, though, when the players are not all on a single vessel.

Grand Lodge

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Man, got the PDF yesterday and I love the twist in this one. I think I'm going to wait for the Tian Xia Lost Omens books to come out before I run this one, but I can't wait to see what my players say.

Grand Lodge

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Wow, that was quick compared to most months. Already have the PDF and shipping is underway!

Grand Lodge

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I am so excited to run a game with this module. Opened it up in Foundry over the weekend and I'm very pleased with the implementation I have explored so far.

For anyone on the fence: If you're going to run Kingmaker in Foundry, buy this module. You still have to do some reading in terms of plot and such, but it will save you SO much time.

Grand Lodge

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I know that the business model has been built on monthly AP releases, but I wonder sometimes if the higher level adventures would sell better if they were released as part of a one book compilation adventure, rather than the tail end of a monthly adventure series. As mentioned before, a lot of adventures fizzle out at relatively low levels, or never get off the ground.

A rookie GM with a new group of players will likely buy the first book of the AP to see if they like the adventure. A lot of tables never get off the ground, and a lot more die to scheduling issues if it stretches on much more than a year or so. It takes a group of committed players to make it through a full 6 part AP, and why would the GM buy the last few books if the group is disbanded?

The story driven nature of most APs also works against this to an extent. If you're sitting down with Bob, Mary, Sue and Joe to play, they make up characters and get invested in the story, then Joe has to leave, it just doesn't feel the same when Sean sits down to play...especially if Joe might be back later. I know several campaigns that were put on an indefinite hiatus when a person went away to college and never got picked back up.

I'm not privy to the business numbers, but I wonder if releasing the APs less often as hardcovers would alleviate some of this. The GMs get a single book per adventure, with both low and high level content. No more high level books sitting on the shelf never getting sold, higher initial price point and hopefully more profit per book. Looking at it, this appears to be the tack of the Starfinder AP line, so I guess in a relatively short time we should have an answer as to if it works.

Grand Lodge

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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

I thought Quest for the Frozen Flame was brilliant. While the Hexcrawl elements were really fun, the story being a "chase" story puts players on a clock. It's a different feeling from a more relaxed sandbox you'd find in the likes of Kingmaker or Skull & Shackles.

I'd like another sandbox campaign that lets players take their time, inhabit the world and leave a mark. Doesn't necessarily need to be a kingdom, but certainly there's plenty of unfilled parts of the map that would do well to put PCs as the proactive force in a region, rather than reacting to a threat.

Agreed to that. Quest for Frozen Flame was a lot of fun but it felt like there was little opportunity for true exploration, as the other tribe was hot on our heels.

I'd love to see a more exploration based campaign. Perhaps an alignment of the stars causes a portal to a hitherto unknown massive demiplane created by the archwizard Nex to open, and the heroes are sent in (or sneak in) to try to see if he is inside. Or, for that matter, a land of the lost style hidden valley would be fun to explore. The only hesitation I have regarding this is due to the highly leveled nature of Pathfinder 2e. I'd almost be tempted to run the campaign with the proficiency without level adjustment to make all monsters powerful but not overwhelmingly so, no matter where they went on the map.

Not sure how well this would work as an AP, but it would be fun to see it!

Grand Lodge

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Evan Tarlton wrote:
The foxhead medallion grants complete immunity to all magical effects, right?

Only for magic affecting you directly. Indirect uses of magic, like someone chucking some manure at you or walking through an already existent magical portal are not canceled by the fox head medallion. It does have a cool interaction with creatures that have an antimagic field, though, so be sure to bash one of them with it.

Grand Lodge

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Tactical Drongo wrote:

I think the DR scales to badly to make ups for all the crits you are potentially eating, especially If they have to Fight against enemies who can 'get around the armor'

Against those the characters who usually go Tank the damage gonna droo quickly

You're probably right. We haven't gotten into high levels in the game we're playtesting it in, so higher DR (or Resistance, as the case may be) per rune or even higher base Resistance may be the better way to go.

Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:

Minor note that while probably a good number of people here will understand you anyway, "DR" doesn't exist as a game term in 2nd edition, which is what it appears you're crafting this brew for.

For myself this looks like a familiar but interesting scheme. Especially if renaming and repopulating the armour list with things that have a touch more historicity. There may be a touch too much complexity for my tastes these days (finesse piercing weapons (which ranges from daggers to rapiers) defeat armour but only in close quarters, etc) but the idea seems solid. I'm sure there's some way to crunch the raw damage numbers until something approximating a balanced solution comes out of it.

For real? I guess after learning on 1e my brain still defaults to that. Please consider all references to DR above to refer to resistance instead.

I'm thinking of the ignoring armor effects being specific to player characters and smarter enemies. A wolf is probably not going to be clever enough to aim for unarmored areas, but a bandit might be. It might be better suited to a class ability, feat, or specific monster ability rather than a general interaction. Kind of like how reactive strike works for most martial classes that have it as an option at 6th level, with the swashbuckler and the rogue getting it free at first level or the investigator getting it free when they devise a stratagem. Maybe just have 'armor piercer' as a specific weapon trait and rejigger the numbers so it only really makes sense to use the weapon against armored enemies.

Grand Lodge

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I've been talking some on the forums about my wish that we had a more accurate representation of armor based on what we see in the real world, and gave a bit more rock paper scissors approach to combat. I wanted to take a minute to put down my thoughts and see what everyone thinks. This is probably not really balanced as it sits, but my players and I are playing around with it a bit in my online game. For now, the players at my in person game are a bit too new to do much with it.

I've studied HEMA for years, including doing some harnischfechten (in armor) work. Compared to blossfechten (out of armor) work, you'd don't give up much mobility, but you do give up some. I've also tested some armors with historically accurate weapons, and know that most armors are wonderfully effective at defeating attacks.

With that in mind, I've started toying with ideas to make the armor and weapon rules more realistic, without adding a tremendous amount of crunch. My basic idea is to give armors a flat DR vs incoming physical damage, while adding a penalty to AC. This stacks with DR granted by any other means. Characters in armor are more likely to get hit (and may choose to get hit to improve their chances to hit), but are less likely to actually take damage from the attack.

To make the change, every piece of armor gives DR to physical damage equal to twice the armor bonus, but takes a penalty to AC equal to one third the armor bonus, rounded down. This effectively gives light armor no penalty on AC, medium armor a -1 and only the heaviest armor a -2. Flexible armors do give one half their DR vs bludgeoning weapons. Armor runes increase DR proportional to their bonus (potency +1 giving +2 DR, for example), while also reducing the AC penalty by the same amount. Classes with training in armor may choose to give up their training in armor in exchange for expert unarmored defense. When a character who does this would normally be raised to expert defense they get raised to Master, and when they would normally hit Master they get raised to Legendary unarmored defense.

E.g. Seelah wears full plate armor, which under this system would give DR 12 vs physical attacks, and a -2 to her AC. At 5th level, she gains an armor potency rune. This increases her DR to 14 and reduces her penalty to AC to -2. With her class bonus built in this gives her a final AC of 16 (10 + 2 trained, +5 level, +1 rune, -2 armor) and 12 DR to each attack. She still benefits from bastion as normal.

Jirelle, meanwhile, gives up her armor training in exchange for expert unarmored defense, and has 18 dexterity. At 5th level she wears explorer's clothing to which she affixes an armor potency rune, giving her a final AC of 24 (10 + 4 expert + 5 level +4 Dexterity +1 rune) and a DR of 2.

We're also allowing certain weapons to be more effective vs armor. Martial piercing weapons or any weapon in the polearm, two handed crossbow or firearms group ignore one half of the armor DR of the one being attacked. Most monster attacks do not ignore the DR, but some especially tough weapons like dragon claws may act like armor piercers.

There are also some other ways to get around armor. One handed finesse piercing weapons ignore armor if the one attacked is grappled as they're able to find chinks in armor. A character wielding a finesse one handed weapon may choose to spend two actions on a strike and ignore 1/2 of the enemy's DR granted by armor, or three actions to ignore all of the DR granted by armor. The two action version stacks with weapon effects reducing armor effectiveness, but cannot reduce DR below 0. This represents taking time to line up a perfect shot versus a weak point on the enemy, like lining up a shot for stabbing through an eye slit on a helmet. We've also toyed with the idea of ignoring 1/2 the DR for melee strikes against an enemy who tripped, because armor typically doesn't protect against strikes from below, but we're still debating that.

In general, this means that characters wearing armor are easier to hit and take more criticals, but take relatively little damage in spite of that. Unarmored characters are much harder to hit, but when they get hit they take a good bit of damage.

To continue to example above, Seelah and Jirelle get in a fight over some point of law. Both are armed with the armor above. Jirelle holds a buckler with buckler expertise and a +1 striking rapier, while Seelah uses a minor sturdy shield and a +1 striking longsword. Jirelle wins initiative.

Jirelle tumbles past Seelah to gain panache, attacks and raises her buckler. She has an attack modifier of +14 (+4 expert +5 level +4 dexterity +1 rune) and easily scores a critical hit. She rolls (2d8+2)*2 + 1d8 for damage, for an average damage of 27 average damage. The rapier skitters off Seelah's armor before finally finding purchase though, reducing the effective damage to 13.

Seelah staggers back from the attack, raises her shield, and strikes back. She also has an attack modifier of +14, and scores a regular hit. She deals 2d8+4 damage, so with average damage it comes to 11 damage back after the DR. She then demoralizes Jirelle and gets a critical success, leaving her frightened 2.

Jirelle does not like the outcome of this exchange and knows her damage is going to be limited now that Seelah had time to raise her shield, so she chooses to spend 3 actions to line up a shot against a part of Seelah not protected by the armor. She could have chosen to raise her buckler and get +2 defense, giving her a chance of avoiding damage, but knows it is going to be tough to break through Seelah's armor. In spite of her frightened condition and Seelah's raised shield, she still scores a critical hit (Jirelle's attack modifier is +12, and Seelah's AC is now 18 due to the shield, giving a 20% chance to crit. Lucky, but not impossible.) Seelah burns her reaction to shield block. This time, when the attack comes in Seelah takes 19 damage, assuming an average critical hit. Had Jirelle not rolled well and gotten a normal hit (dealing 2d8+2, for an average of 11 damage), Seelah would only have taken 3 damage.

You can see how the interaction goes. Seelah might choose to burn a lay on hands and stay close to Jirelle, or might step away to force her to use an action so she can't use the 3 action ignore armor strike and force her to use the two action strike. Now that Jirelle's defenses are down due to the demoralization and choosing not to raise a buckler, Seelah might choose to attack twice, trying to out damage her. A gymnast swashbuckler might choose to grapple Seelah and get in close with a short sword to poke for holes in the armor. A fighter wielding a pick or ranseur would have an easier time poking through the armor as well.

It also plays nice with some other class interactions as well. A rogue who is attacking a flat footed enemy might take the time to line up a careful backstab to have the best chance of getting past a fighter's armor or invest in strength and athletics to grab the enemy first to keep them from squirming away, and stab twice. The gunslinger gets a bit of a boost in this as most of his weapons will deal with one half the armor, but unarmored enemies have a better chance of getting out of the way of their shots as they dodge away. Armored Barbarians get even bigger DR than they normally would, letting them shrug off many attacks.

What does everyone think? I know this is not going to get changed in this edition, but I like the thought of it as an alternative rule or change when 3e comes out. I feel like this gives martials something like the rules spellcasters have in terms of attacking the weak save. Does the character use their preferred +1 striking longsword when dealing with an armored opponent, trying to bash their way through the armor, or do they drop it and grab their +1 pick to better penetrate the full plate armor of the enemy and hope for a crit?

(Stealth edit: Fixing the damage numbers.)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I think that's a great idea myself. I'd add fire and alignment damage to that as well, but that's just because I've been theorycrafting a dual class Thaumaturge/Gunslinger character that's all about targeting weaknesses. Not sure how balanced it would be in game, but I don't think it'd be that bad. I mean really, by the time your character is at 8th level you're expected to have around 1,100 GP of equipment and consumables, so 3 GP per shot is just about nothing.

Grand Lodge

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One thing I really love about Pathfinder 2e is the balance. Love it or hate it, it means that a level 5 character feels like a level five character, not a level 3 or a level 12. That was one problem with 3.0/3.5/PF1e, you'd have one person that was das ubermensch and another who picked feats for roleplay reasons and wound up being borderline useless. I found it led to either an arms race in trying to find the most broken build, or dissatisfaction with someone not willing to work for it.

This has trickle down effects too. It means that you can design the encounters for actual level 5 PCs without having to go in and customize everything based on your party's level of brokenness. Running published adventures is certainly easy, but it really shines when dealing with writing your own stuff too. Encounter guidelines are easy to follow and you're reasonably certain that you're going to come out with a balanced encounter in the end if you follow them.

Another part of what makes Pathfinder 2e so great for me is the adventures, because it is published by Paizo. As a GM, having a premade adventure for just about any theme my players want, and more coming out regularly, is a big deal. Having an easy on boarding system with the beginner box is a big deal. I just recently got back into running a home game with people from work, and the beginner box made those first sessions easy. Now we're running Society scenarios as one shots, and once everyone's schedule settles down we've decided we want to explore the Abomination Vaults adventure path. Having all of that ready to run, with no tweaks needed, is amazing.

Do I think certain things could be done better? Yeah, I think so. The assumptions that came from Pathfinder 2e from its roots in 3.5 DND have largely been supplanted in modern fantasy literature, so I feel like its getting harder to create characters inspired by the books my players are reading. I prefer attritionless or only exhaustion based magic to better recreate the feel of channelers from the Wheel of Time, or wizards from books like the Dresden Files. I prefer armor to come with a trade off, more likely to get hit but suffering less damage as a result. I'm sure if I sat down and really thought about it I could come up with a half dozen more.

But...all in all those are minor quibbles, compared to the ease of running the game and the availability of adventures ready to run.

Grand Lodge

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Sorrei wrote:
I mentioned that in a other thread aswell, the Vancian System is strongly associated with DnD but then again so is the Armor Class to hit system.

Absolutely. Armor class goes all the way back to first edition, if I remember right. I'm going to get off on a tangent here, since we're already slaughtering sacred cows. Spoiler to keep the thread on track.

Spoiler:
I always thought a better system would be splitting armor class into Defense (for difficulty to hit) and Resistance (giving DR to hits). Heavy armor doesn't make you harder to hit, but it does mean that if you get hit, any hit is less likely to cause damage.

Revised Star Wars d20 did this back in the day (god, I'm dating myself...) and it seems even easier to implement in Pathfinder with the auto scaling armor class by level. Just give the dodgy characters (monks, rogues, etc) a buff to their unarmored defense, and make heavier armors give DR along with a penalty to the character's defense score. Wraps up neat differentiation from DND and a more realistic feel for a lot of nerds like me.

Heavily armored characters act as tanks on the battle field, with most light weapons pinging off of their armor unless the enemy gets a lucky hit, requiring heavy weapons to penetrate. Meanwhile, lightly armored combatants dance out of the way of incoming attacks, but if they get hit they get hurt quickly. This gives some weapons the option to be armor piercers (Picks, anyone?) where they deal relatively small damage but penetrate armor better than, say, a sword. Other weapons deal massive damage but might have a penalty vs an armored target. Others are more balanced. This is another thing that will likely have to wait till 3e, but goodness I'm hoping... /rant over

Grand Lodge

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MS, just wanted to hop in and say thank you for chiming in. It's always good to see the movers and shakers taking time to join us here.

I would like to say that I love what Paizo has done with the Kineticist, and were it up to me I think the Wizard could do with a similar treatment. Perhaps instead of elements, a wizard could have schools of spells that they could pick from, with the primary constraint being focus points or the action economy itself. Like the Kineticist, they can choose to specialize in one or two schools or spread out and work through a lot of different schools for versatility. Spheres of Power plays with this idea for PF1e, and the book is one of my players favorite 3rd party books for a reason. Analogues for many modern characters can be built this way that simply don't work with Vancian casting.

Vancian casting has become strictly a DND-ism to most people as Vance falls further from the public eye, and I would be just as happy to see it go as Pathfinder continues to further distance itself from DND. I understand it may have been a bridge too far with this edition, but I have my hopes going forward.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Andrew White wrote:
NerdOver9000 wrote:

Super excited to see first party support for society adventures for foundry! I think at $7.50/scenario it is one heck of a deal. Even with a pdf importer I still find myself spending an hour or two prepping for each adventure, and this will be a tremendous time saver. Hopefully this sells well and we continue to see more content like this!

Incidentally, there's no chance of any of the older scenarios getting this treatment, is there?

Great to hear it! We're certainly hoping for the same.

As for updating older scenarios ... we don't currently have any plans to do anything like that, but obviously if these new releases are a smash hit, or we otherwise see a ton of community interest in returning to older stuff, we'll certainly consider it. We weren't initially planning on making Deluxe Edition Society modules either, but a bunch of you really wanted them, so here we are!

More than fair. Here's to hoping, I'd love to start offering an online society game and these will make that a lot easier.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Super excited to see first party support for society adventures for foundry! I think at $7.50/scenario it is one heck of a deal. Even with a pdf importer I still find myself spending an hour or two prepping for each adventure, and this will be a tremendous time saver. Hopefully this sells well and we continue to see more content like this!

Incidentally, there's no chance of any of the older scenarios getting this treatment, is there?

Grand Lodge

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I've played around with this idea, but I'm not strictly going for 'realistic'...more like 'realistic adjacent' or 'plausible with some imagination'. If we were talking about a private eye drama it'd be far more of an urban fantasy a la Dresden Files than gumshoe detective fiction. If you're looking for a strictly historical setting this may not apply to you.

I was inspired by a recent Kickstarter to start plotting ideas for a campaign set in the crusade era, where eldritch powers are brewing behind the scenes, but the common people don't know about it. Magic is rare, hidden, and if a character is found to be using it openly they're likely to be burned at the stake. With that being said, the heroes are special and once they get out of the public's eye most of the enemies are clued in to the supernatural to some extent or another.

My plan for running the campaign is to restrict characters to martial classes, use automatic bonus progression to keep the math right, and give free archetype to let the characters pick up spellcasting dedications. My one exception for spellcasting classes is the champion, because the holy knight is such a trope during the time that it seems a shame to cut it.

Basically, that leaves us with: Alchemist, Barbarian, Champion, Fighter, Investigator, Monk, Ranger, Rogue, Swashbuckler and Thaumaturge as core classes, and all of the other open as free archetypes. My players are all in, and have already picked out their characters, a Champion(Cleric), an Investigator(Magus), a Rogue(Kineticist), a Fighter(Bard) and a Thaumaturge(Psychic). We'll see how it works in play.

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The Raven Black wrote:

It is key to remember that PF2 was designed to avoid the pitfalls / problems that 3.5 / PF1 had.

Because of this, long-time experts at PF1 system mastery are the people who have the worst time adapting to PF2. Because the ways to efficiency they learned and used for success in PF1 are specifically those that PF2 was designed to shut down.

Not only has the paradigm changed. On key points, it is actually the opposite.

I think this is very important to mention. I started getting interested in the hobby back in AD&D days, but I really got a chance to play and run games in 3.0/3.5. (cue old man in the back ground, "Back in my day!") I switched to Pathfinder 1e at that point because there were relatively few changes and I wanted to keep using the adventures I had in 3.5. I kept playing Pathfinder through 4e and 5e D&D because I knew the system and liked it.

Switching to 2e was rough. I bought the core book tried to make a character. The whole thing felt very constrained compared to 1e, and I washed my hands of it for several years. Eventually I came back around to it and really came to appreciate 2e for what it was, but I had to realize that even though it said Pathfinder on the cover, many of the core assumptions of the game are the opposite of Pathfinder 1e.

(Edit: Thought it might be good to add on some more context) The thing I appreciate most is on the GM side. No more rejiggering encounters on the fly, everything just works like it should. I'd love to play 1e again, but I'd sure as heck not want to run a game.

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So, what I typically do is create a pdf for myself that is used for handling the game at the table, and hyperlink it so I can get through it quickly on my iPad. I take screen shots directly from my Paizo pdfs for room descriptions, maps, and monsters.

I can't share it, obviously, but for my Abomination Vaults campaign the first/landing page is the side view map of the dungeon, showing the 10 levels of the dungeon. Clicking in the name of each level takes me to the map of that level, and all of the numbers on the level map are hyperlinked to a room page.

Each room page has the room description along the left side, with my notes directly typed along the top of the page. Any read aloud text is highlighted. In the remaining space I place screen shots of the monster stats in the room. If any of the monsters are spellcasters, I have a second page for the room which has screen shots of all the spells listed in their stat blocks. I also add a link from the room name back to the floor map, and from each of the floor maps back to the side view map.

Since we were playing in person I also snagged screen shots of and enlarged most of the art in the book, then printed it out and kept it in a binder. When I wanted to show my players something it was pretty easy to flip to the page required and show them the art. This was most useful for NPCs and creepy stuff they find in the vaults, like the portrait on level 1. Now that we're transitioning to a projector I'll probably store them electronically so I can show them directly on the table when it is time to show them.

I created the pdf over a 3 day weekend for the combined Abomination vaults pdf, but it was ticky work. This method lends itself to megadungeons and works surprisingly well for hexploration for Kingmaker and Quest for Frozen Flame. I'm currently working on Outlaws of Alkenstar but I'm dividing it up by scenes instead of rooms when applicable, with a flow chart on the front page showing the order of the scenes and any possible branching paths. This is taking a bit longer, as I have to create the scene page, but not impossibly so.

I do wish that Paizo would prepare something similar, as it makes my life a lot easier. Failing that, something like the pdf extractor from Foundry would be nice. You feed in a watermarked pdf and it spits out a watermarked, linked pdf that makes it easy and quick to run at the table, with monster stats screenshotted from AoN on the page so you didn't have to go online and look them up mid game. I, however, am not good enough at programming to even begin to know where to start.

(edited for clarity)

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breithauptclan wrote:
Applied_People wrote:
I don't think Timber Sentinel can protect the kineticist who "cast" it.
Heh. I hadn't noticed that. Protector Tree has been around since Secrets of Magic. I consider this to be an RAI error. Someone forgot that in PF2 you are not your own ally. That different from both PF1 and Starfinder.

To be fair, without being able to spam it, it was a pretty crappy spell, so it probably didn't get much scrutiny.

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Applied_People wrote:
NerdOver9000 wrote:
At this point you're a tank with Timber Sentinel giving additional HP.

I don't think Timber Sentinel can protect the kineticist who "cast" it.

The spell Protector Tree says, "Whenever *an ally* adjacent to the tree is hit by a Strike, the tree interposes its branches and takes the damage first."

In 2E, you do not count as your own ally.

Maybe you could argue that you are an ally of the tree? Seems a stretch but if I was playing a Wood Kin, I'd definitely make that argument to my GM.

Eh, our interpretation at the table is that the tree is looking for the trees allies, not my characters allies, as it is acting as an autonomous agent reacting to the enemy in the sense that my character does not need to interact with the tree to trigger the interaction. I could see it being read either way though.

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roquepo wrote:
That sounds like a nasty combination. Seems hard to pull off before level 10, tho. You had the level 10 aura feat, right?

That's right. My investigator died at level 10 so I built Marius at level 10 with free archetype, but it's more about adding on pieces of the combination as you level up. First he's tough, then he turns into a sand pit, then the enemy has a reason to target him, then his sand pit expands.

Str +2 Dex +1 Con +4 Int +0 Wis +0 Cha +2

Level 1: Half-Elf with dual gate (wood/earth) with natural ambition. Take Fresh Produce, Armor in Earth, Timber Sentinel and Weapon infusion at level 1. Background can be any feat with a constitution bonus, though I took battlefield medic. At this point you're a tank with Timber Sentinel giving additional HP. I also started investing in Intimidation and Diplomacy here.

Level 2: Stepping Stones, Champion Dedication (Redeemer), Intimidating Glare

Level 3: Bon Mot, Intimidation to Expert.

Level 4: Safe Elements, Healing Touch (Dedication), Terrifying Resistance

Level 5: Nimble Elf, Expand the Gate (Wood Impulse Junction), Ravel of Thorns. - Aura is only 10ft at this level, but he's beginning to become the sand trap he will turn into, while not affecting his allies. Ability boosts go to Strength, Constitution, Wisdom and Charisma. Diplomacy to Expert.

Level 6: Dash of Herbs, Champion's Reaction, Intimidating Prowess. Now the enemy has a reason to target him over his allies with the reaction.

Level 7: Battle Cry. Starting to be efficient at scaring enemies now. Intimidation to Master

Level 8: Spike Skin for use on himself or the barbarian.

Level 9: Multitalented, Psychic Dedication, Tangible Dream with the Shield Cantrip and Charisma as his casting stat. Gives him a reaction to reduce damage on himself. Expand the portal, Earth Gate Aura Junction, Sand Snatcher. Now his aura becomes a real sand pit. A lot of enemies will only be able to move one or two squares per move action. Diplomacy to Master.

Level 10: Aura Shaping, Champion Resiliency, Evangelize. Now his aura greatly expands. Most humans with 25ft of movement won't be able to get out of his aura in one turn, and he can simply stride up to them. Ability increases go to Strength, Constitution, Wisdom and Charisma.

At this point he attempts a demoralize against the stupidest looking enemy (low will save), advances to the enemy, opens his gate (with an elemental blast) and activates his aura on the first turn. Second turn he plants a tree and throws a blast, then starts reacting based on what the enemies are doing, always trying to keep them in his aura.

If he's really getting whaled on, he throws up the amped shield cantrip and keeps a fresh tree planted every round. If the psychic is trying to debuff the enemy with a will save, he might Bon Mot and Evangelize to try to boost the opportunity for a critical success. If the enemy tries to run away he summons a sand snatcher and follows after them, and so forth. Lots of options, only rarely actually attacking more than once a round, though.

Edit: He also heals between combats. At level 10 he heals an average of 55-56 points of damage to everyone in the party every ten minutes (4d8+4+5d4+21), and can heal one more ally for another 30 every ten minutes.

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Very big Yay. My investigator just died in my Kingmaker game, and I've been playing a protector tank wood/earth kineticist, with a champion dedication. Just hit level 11. With a combination of the Earth Aura junction, Ravel of Thorns, Armor in Earth, Timber Sentinel, the Wood Impulse Junction, and Glimpse of Redemption from the archetype, he really messes with any melee enemies the GM wants to throw at us. They pretty well have to go after him, and when they do he has both good armor and a stack of temporary hit points to absorb their blows while our barbarian whales away at them. Our Starlight Span magus deals with the ranged threats, our cleric focuses on buffing and our psychic on debuffing enemies, then hitting them hard with amped cantrips.

What really sets the class apart for me, though, is the number of different roles the character could fill. My character, for example, is one of the better tank builds in the game, IMHO, but you could just as easily build an AOE nightmare with fire, or a ranged striker with air. It makes me really want more options for more classes so they could similarly fill many roles.

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Lurker in Insomnia wrote:
NerdOver9000 wrote:
I know I'm investing in a camera tripod and a 1080p projector for my home game. You can get the whole setup for under $150 and use it for all your maps at the table. Can't say it will work for everyone but it ought to make running APs easier at home for me.

I'm interested in that option as well, but... where do you put the tripod?

Where we game for AV, the host has a nice big table, but over it is a chandelier, three lights in a row. There doesn't seem to be a place to attach something like a projector, but a tripod also doesn't seem like it would go anyplace.

I've seen successful setups that are directly beside the table, about 4' above the table top, and pointed down at the table. With keystone correction built into most projectors it seems to work well.

The chandeliers might be a problem, depending on how it's built. The projector doesn't take much space, but there does need to be some space above and directly beside the table for it to work.

For what it's worth, I stole the idea from a fellow local GM and haven't used it myself, but I thought his setup was really slick. He just removed one of the player chairs from the table and put the projector where the player would have been sitting. I haven't gotten my projector in yet, so I don't have experience setting it up.

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I know I'm investing in a camera tripod and a 1080p projector for my home game. You can get the whole setup for under $150 and use it for all your maps at the table. Can't say it will work for everyone but it ought to make running APs easier at home for me.

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I would love to see Aether make a comeback, but air has subsumed some of its former abilities with the invisibility trick, and its main schtick of being a telekinetic master really didn't jive with the other elemental based kineticists.

I'd almost love to see it as its own class, or perhaps an archetype that can be slapped on to other classes to represent mastery of the telekinetic art.

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There was a patreon, Armored Up Minis, who was doing this unofficially for APs. Unfortunately it appears to be defunct, as their last (and only as from the welcome kit) release was The Choosing. Contractually, they are required to list the files for free online, but the patreon is a nice way to support them. There's also one more patreon doing Paizo releases, but they only release 2-3 models per month.

Doesn't seem to be sustainable, based on what I've seen, at least not for the number of creatures required.

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R3st8 wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:

I think NerdOver9000's idea would be great if you do adventuring days with an absolute ton of encounters, but it's not really good if you have shorter days with a few big encounters that all need big guns. Because their solution really really reduces the amount of spells available per encounter. And in a severe or extreme encounter, you need more than that.

I think the solution is rather in bumping up the focus spells a bit in power, so they sit in between your cantrips and your highest level spells.

It would also be very simple to implement since all you need to do is add the new focus spells and get their balance right, one way to do this is just give each type of wizard the most iconic spells of his school as a focus spell:

evocation - magic missile > fireball > disintegration

conjuration - temporary tool > summon animal > teleport

transmutation - humanoid form > elemental form > dragon form

illusionist - minor image > invisibility > phantasmal killer

enchanter - charm person > heroism > suggestion

divination - detect magic > true strike > true seeing

necromancer - false life > animate dead > could kill

abjuration - mage armor > resist energy > repulsion

Note: yeah I suck at balancing things maybe someone can do better

I really like this idea. I would rather have wizards be Thematic rather than all be basically play the same. I'd rather group the schools by theme (Fire, Ice, ect.) rather than the old spell schools, but if you decided to stick with that this would work great.

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Darksol,

100%. The reason why you played a wizard in previous editions was because of the OP spells...now that those are less powerful, there's less draw to play the class. You're also right about PF3 vs remaster. It would be a big change, but the reason I'm experimenting in my home game was because we liked the balance brought by having consistent spell access across the entire day.

Ascalaphus,

So far that hasn't been a problem in the game I'm running, but I don't typically throw extreme encounters at my players regularly. If you wanted to go that route, you could probably have a once per day or twice per day ability where the spellcaster could tap a hidden power source like a hidden secret talent, a ley line underfoot, or heck, the power of friendship, to grant them extra spellcasting ability at the expense of some kind of drawback. Maybe the mental energy makes them Stupefied 1 until they get a full night's rest, and increases by 1 each time they use the ability.

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Calliope5431 wrote:


Yep, I'd generally agree with this idea. Might have to tweak it a little, but making wizards (and other resource-based classes) replenish their resources on a roughly per-encounter basis is vastly easier to balance than a per-day basis. Because every group will have a different setup for fights per day.

Nobody wants the wizard to hog the spotlight with 15-minute workdays, but equally nobody wants to watch the wizard struggling along late in a long day while the fighter keeps on ticking. Especially since GMs tend to have a preference for one or the other.

Precisely. We already expect full HP at the beginning of every fight, and the encounters are balanced around it. Why not do the same with spells?

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R3st8 wrote:
NerdOver9000 wrote:
snip
I see so you get less spells but they can be replenished, This could be very balanced if they spell points are not too high but also not too low, It would ensure wizards won't sit on their spells but also encourage them to avoid spamming the most powerful spells since they would be left with low points for the rest of the fight, this way lower level spells, high level AOEs and buffs would be more efficient in comparison to spending all points in a few high level single target damage spell.

Exactly my thought process. It also gives the wizard the option of a lot of creatively used lower level spells, or going all out for that max rank fireball, for instance. Keeps them going all day like the martials, keeps them from going absolutely nova in a fight, and doesn't force a rest just to keep to the hypothetical adventuring day.

The number of spell points may need to be adjusted, but so far I like the balance of one point per spell rank, then falling back on cantrips. It also prevents the, 'OK, we fought one battle guys, I got to get a good night's rest in,' adventuring day a lot of Wizard players seem to prefer.

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So, this is strictly my opinion. I think some dnd-isms left over from the transition from 3.5-> 1e-> 2e are part of the problem with Wizards, and why their class feels so weak in comparison.

The one issue I have with current pathfinder second edition design is the assumption of attrition for casters, but not for martials. I feel like this causes a lot of problems for the casters which could be solved by making them not reliant on daily attrition.

In my home game, one of my players wanted to play a Wizard, and he and I discussed this very issue. I'm still playing around with it, and it seems like it is not unbalancing play as we go. It does make him a bit more useful out of combat, which I don't see as a bad thing, but in combat it seems like he is roughly on par with the martials. Ultimately, we settled on the following.

1: Rather than limited spell slots per day, casters get a set spell pool, with a number of points equal to the rank of their highest rank spell.

2: The wizard can memorize a number of spells equal to their number of spell points, plus two, and four cantrips. Wizards are not able to take the class feature that allows them to swap out spells on the fly and must spend a night resting to change spells. The wizard may choose to heighten a spell they know to any level they can cast.

3: When casting a spell, it costs a number of spell points equal to the level of the spell. The only exception to this are cantrips, which cost 0 spell points.

4: The Wizard may spend 10 minutes out of combat to replenish his spell points back to full.

Right now the Wizard player is 11th level and just got their 6th spell point. Like I said, so far the system is working fine. I think you could expand this to sorcerers as well with the simple expedient of increasing the spell points slightly, keeping the number of spells known, and not allowing them to change spells like normal.

Basically, every combat the wizard has the option to go all out and get one massive spell, or ping enemies for smaller damage. Most times he casts 1-2 leveled spells per combat, and with our combats typically lasting 3-4 rounds I feel like it maintains the feel of spacing out the use. He always has his cantrips as a backup option once he's blown his spell points. I'm sure there are ways to break this like a kit-kat bar, but he's not a hyper optimizer so it works.

If I were rewriting the entire class, I would probably also make some changes to focus spells and the way a wizard chooses their school. My idea would be to make their focus spells be the 'on theme' spells, while their spell point spells are 'off theme' spells. An wizard from a theoretical Irriseni school might have some extra ice or wilderness themed spells that they can pull out every combat. Meanwhile, a wizard from Quadira might have mastery over fire or the sun, and have spells to reflect that. Another wizard from Taldor may have some spells which are useful for court intrigue and socializing, etc. I'd keep the power level of these spells around the level of their max level spell slot, and make it much slower to get focus points. Spit balling it without trying it out, I might create a school with two focus spells and one focus point at first level, then let the wizard gain a new focus spell every fourth level and a new focus point every seven levels, gaining an extra focus point at eighth and fifteenth level.

Just my .02, use it as you will.

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magnuskn wrote:
Sadly the Harry Dresden RPG doesn't seem to be that good.

Depends on what you're looking for. I enjoy a tactical game (Hence why I'm a Pathfinder 2e player), so it wasn't for me, but for someone who liked more of a rules-light game it might be perfect.

Dresden is a perfect example of where this could excel, though. All of the Pathfinder monsters to pull from? Trolls, Ogres, Ghouls, Vampires...right out of Bestiary 1. Admittedly, Butcher's take is a bit different from Paizo's take, but I can easily see pulling in horrible monsters from all over.

You could also pull something from the other side, like an alien invasion where the heroes start out at our level of tech and are being invaded by an alien with a Starfinder level of tech.

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Mathmuse wrote:
NerdOver9000 wrote:

I still say they need a Modernfinder game dealing with modern times and near future to tie the settings together. This may be problematic with the Gap, though.

This talk of compatibility has gotten me dusting off my old Chrono Trigger style time hopping campaign that I had in mind during d20 times, but rejected due to fundamental differences between 3.5, d20 modern, and d20 Star Wars. I know Paizo can do this better.

A game system that handles several eras reminds me of GURPS, the Generic Universal RolePlaying System by Steve Jackson Games. It is a good system, a little too detail-oriented for my taste but my wife really likes it. And it feels fragmented, with several setting that should not mix, such as not mixing superheroes with medieval fantasy adventurers.

However, a modern-setting Pathfinder, let me call it Streetfinder, would be the same Golarion setting as Pathfinder but a century or two later than the current PF2 period. We already have Alkenstar in the Mana Wastes for acting out the Old West, middle and late 1800s in Earth history, so Golarion has a foundation for approaching modern times. Thus, Streetfinder could avoid fragmentation across incompatible genres by sticking to a single modern history for Golarion. It would have modern gadgets but also magic for those willing to study it.

However, Pathfinder is built on a combat system. I think Starfinder is too, but I haven't played Starfinder yet. Combat is appropriate for a wild frontier, but a modern setting is civilized, so combat means a war or a police shootout. War is too large scale for character-driven roleplaying, and a shootout means that something has gone wrong with either a criminal enterprise or police crime prevention. Streetfinder could still have thrilling adventures, such as a spy thriller, a detective drama, or a rescue operation, but it would need more robust non-combat encounters, such as escape via car chase or extinguishing a forest fire.

As for the Gap in history that begins...

That's basically what I'm hoping for, in the GURPS analogy. I have the same problem with GURPS, but I really like the chassis of PF2E for running a game.

As far as combat and out of combat encounters...I agree, for this to work, a hypothetical Streetfinder would need to add a more robust non-combat system, which I think Paizo could do on the bones of the system.

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I still say they need a Modernfinder game dealing with modern times and near future to tie the settings together. This may be problematic with the Gap, though.

This talk of compatibility has gotten me dusting off my old Chrono Trigger style time hopping campaign that I had in mind during d20 times, but rejected due to fundamental differences between 3.5, d20 modern, and d20 Star Wars. I know Paizo can do this better.

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ThePuppyTurtle wrote:
RocMeAsmodeus wrote:
My prediction that Paizo would funnel all of its settings into one GURPS-esque system is coming true.
Given that PF2 is basically the cornerstone of ORC, it being suited to a wide variety of genres is exciting. Way yoo soon to count the chickens, but if this goes really, really, really well, it could be the beginning of a golden age.

That's been my hope all along. One of the things that was really nice in the early aughts was the sheer compatibility of the d20 system. I had visions of combining d20 modern, d20 star wars (with some of the specifically star warsy bits cut out), and 3.5 into a massive time travelling campaign. The lack of balance among the games and inconsistent rules ultimately nixed that idea, but given Paizo's focus on making the games compatible and balanced, I'm sure they can do a much better job than Wizards did. I've said in several places the only thing lacking now is a modern or near future version of the game, though I'm not sure how that would interact with the gap.

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Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:
Not going to lie. It'll make it easier for me to switch-hit when writing between the two systems. And man, I cannot wait to bring thaumaturges to Starfinder and solarians and vanguards to Pathfinder.

I think the kineticist would work incredibly well in Starfinder, myself, along with the psychic. Your other point is important as well. I GM a pathfinder 2e game at home and I've resisted running Starfinder games because I'd have to remember all the different rules. Being able to seamlessly move through them will help a lot!

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Cross compatibility with PF2e is huge...I'm super stoked. I was planning on letting go of my Starfinder subscriptions as I've really gotten invested in the Pathfinder 2e ruleset but that has certainly changed now!

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I for one am really looking forward to the new subscription options, especially the option to skip a shipment. There are several subscriptions I probably would have gotten, but I didn't want to constantly bother customer service to skip.

One thing I am looking forward to hearing about is the new reward program. Is it going to replace Paizo Advantage entirely? Any update as to what that might look like?

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I've been trying hard to collect a complete collection of hardcopy adventure paths for the last year or so now, and I'm happy to say I've gotten most of them. It's an expensive, time consuming process, and unfortunately I'm looking for original printings, so it costs some $$$ to get it all in.

The fun part is I'm not even doing this for running the adventure. I run adventures with PDFs on my tablet and a digital map box on my gaming table. It's just an obsession, having a completed shelf and all of them lined up so nice...

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Nicolas Paradise wrote:

Well I was gonna say this is cool but not usable for me as I didn't plan to get into 3D printing anytime soon because of all my other hobbies.

Than my Dad told me to check to make sure the Amazon early birthday present he sent arrived ok and opened up a new Ender-3 Neo so it looks like I am diving into 3D printed tabletop.

Armored up minis already spoke to this, but I wanted to mention that resin 3d printing is just as easy if not easier than FDM printing with your ender 3 neo, and the resin goes a long way when printing something the size of a miniature.

Check out the Creality Halot for an inexpensive option around $150, or the Elegoo Mars 3 Pro for a major upgrade at around $200 if you shop around. Be sure to add in some way to wash your prints as well. A pickle container (about $10 on amazon) and some 90% rubbing alcohol will get you started well.

If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me via PM and I would be happy to help.

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These are amazing! Hope to see more.

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camazotz wrote:

Removing alignment without at least providing an alternative descriptor process is a bad idea.

For my two cents, not that I think this has a chance, but if this remaster make the "Proficiency without Level" rules from the Gamemastery Guide the default, then I'm 100% in on this. Pipe dream, sure, and I'm probably in a minority of people who think that is what the game really needs to do, but just getting that thought out there.

I'm with you. I've always wanted to do a good sandbox/west marches game and if I do so, I'll be using "Proficiency without level" and ABP exclusively...

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