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61 posts. Alias of Paul DiAndrea.


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KingOfAnything wrote:
Caineach wrote:
Oops_I_Crit_My_Pants wrote:

3rd parties are totally viable as dozens of foreign countries have already proven. Enough with the fear-mongering because all these parties trying to do is prop up this broken binary party system.

These two establishment parties are just trying to lock people into believing that if you don't cast a vote for the big two that your somehow wasting your vote or empowering the "other party".

Standard fear mongering rhetoric that ensures nothing changes and power stays exactly where its at (with the big 2 parties). It's a broken system that only exists to maintain the status quo of existing power.

The only way to beat the game is not to play it. And don't try and say these two candidates aren't the establishment status quo.

Other countries have different voting systems allowing 3rd parties to be viable. We have a strict runnoff, which means that it is always in your interest to have as few ideologically similar candidates as possible.
This chart should be a required high school class unto itself.

Actually economics and personal finance should be required. Its amazing that the states allow people to leave high school with such a poor understanding of money, taxes, credit cards, retirement savings, debt, interest rates, monetary policy, or just how to balance a check book.

They might actually become educated voters then and not be totally manipulated by both parties harping on the social emotional issues.

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No, it is not baked into the system. That is completely untrue and just what the establishment wants you to believe so they maintain their power. And neither candidate will get 51% of the vote this year because 3rd parties are going to take about 8-10%.

So you end up voting for a criminals and fools over and over and they keep laughing because they have convinced the public that there are no other options.

Dark Archive

3rd parties are totally viable as dozens of foreign countries have already proven. Enough with the fear-mongering because all these parties trying to do is prop up this broken binary party system.

These two establishment parties are just trying to lock people into believing that if you don't cast a vote for the big two that your somehow wasting your vote or empowering the "other party".

Standard fear mongering rhetoric that ensures nothing changes and power stays exactly where its at (with the big 2 parties). It's a broken system that only exists to maintain the status quo of existing power.

The only way to beat the game is not to play it. And don't try and say these two candidates aren't the establishment status quo.

Dark Archive

Lets say a Druid has taken on the form of a Medium Air Elemental and has captured 3 small sized gnomes with his whirlwind ability.

Does the weight of the captured gnomes affect his ability to fly straight upwards (or horizontally), or is it assumed that you can FLY normally without any regard for the weight of the creatures trapped in your WHIRLWIND?

Question comes up because my druid player wants to trap people in his whirlwind, then fly up to a great height, and then eject people out of his whirlwind so they die from falling damage.

Dark Archive

MikMik wrote:

1. You may play cards to assist other players unless the cards tell you otherwise (please notice the errata in the FAQ for errors on cards).

So Harsk may use the [b]Light Crossbow[/] to add 1d4 to a combat check at another location, because the card says so.

Generally you can play 1 card of each type to aid another player anywhere, unless the card says otherwise.

2. You don't play those cards yourself, it is the other players who may play one card each to aid you (out of turn). The may be weapons (as the example with the Light Crossbow) or they may be other types (like Blessing of God).

Based on the weapons cards written POWERS, it seems that only a few ranged weapons (like the Longbow and Heavy Crossbow) specifically say you can use them to aid a check at a different location, which leads me to believe that if the weapon card in question does not have similar language, then you can't use it to assist players at other locations, yes?

Dark Archive

1. Can you play a melee weapon card to assist a character's melee check even though you are not at the same location? For Example, Harsk is using a longsword to attack a henchman at Location A, but Valeros is at Location B. Can Valeros play a melee weapon card (like a greataxe) to assist Harsk's check or does he need to be in the same location?

Common sense would indicate that you probably couldn't assist someone in this way, but I dont see anywhere in the rules that says you can't do this.

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Drogon wrote:
Oops_I_Crit_My_Pants wrote:
I'm not sure how so many of the people posting enjoy any part of life. SO many seem to be offended by so much I dont know why they even bother to leave the house and interact with other people. If comments or language from other people effect you so much, then your self esteem needs some work.
Really? I would have loved to see you tell someone like Martin Luther King his self-esteem needed work.

Please, let's not be so overdramaticly outraged and diminsh MLK's struggle. You can make comparisons to MLK when someone at the gaming table starts shooting water cannons, beating people with night sticks, limiting people to what water fountain they can use, and releasing attack dogs on fellow gamers at the table.

I don't really think we're talk about anything that harsh, unless your playing RPG's at a 1960's KKK rally.

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I'm not sure how so many of the people posting enjoy any part of life. SO many seem to be offended by so much I dont know why they even bother to leave the house and interact with other people. If comments or language from other people effect you so much, then your self esteem needs some work.

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Vamptastic wrote:
Shouldn't size matter as much as strength? After all, Batman might not be able to grapple a dragon the size of Texas and keep it from flying, but I imagine Hulk or Superman would have an easier time of it.

Its not a case of STR. Its a matter of weight. You can have a fighter with a STR of 40 who has an absolute deathgrip on a dragon's leg, but that fighter still weighs about 300 pounds, so that gargantuan dragon can easily pick him up even though the fighter refuses to lose his grip (grapple).

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Buri wrote:

I agree with Mergy. If it matters I'm also running SS currently.

Your GM does make a good point though. Size should matter eventually between grappler and grapplee. I just don't see it between a large and a (assumed) medium creature.

I would house-rule it and say that if a grappled creature is 3 size categories larger than the creature it is being grappled by, it can then still move while grappled. Of course, the creature wishing to move while grappled must still be strong enough to lift the smaller grappler, but STR usually isnt a problem for bigger creatures.

For example, if a medium sized fighter grapples a Gargantuan red dragon then the dragon is still grappled but can move.

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talbanus wrote:
Somewhere Dick Cheney is giving an evil little smile. *sigh*

Torture is a tool. It is not inherently good or evil. It is subjuctive based upon the context it is used in, just like punching someone in the face or shooting someone. Sometimes those actions are warranted, and sometimes they are not. If someone is a naive idealist that wants simple answers to complicated questions, then I guess they will think torture is always good or always bad.

But if we were all sitting in front of a terrorist tied to a chair who knew about a bomb in a school bus full of kindergarteners that was set to go off in 1 hour, I'm pretty sure most of us adults wouldn't mind taking a few swings at his kneecaps with a baseball bat to get him to start talking.

If you do nothing and the bomb explodes and kills the children, you should be prepared to tell the parents that depsite their beloved children got blown apart across the highway, they can take solace in the fact that we did the "right" thing and didnt resort to torture.

If the bomb still explodes and you did torture the terrorist, well then you can honestly say you did try everything possible to save their children. I'd rather live with the guilt of torturing a terorist than live with the guilt of knowing I didnt do everything I could to save those children from being killed.

It's the Kobiyashi Maru. Pick your poison, there is no easy answer.

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shallowsoul wrote:

I know some of you think I am a stubborn DM but I have my own reasons for why I like to finalize my decisions. I have learned through the years to keep the decisions simple and to keep my judgements final. What this does is it keeps everyone at the table on the same page and it makes everything fair.

If I plan on running a specific style of game and I let one person reflavour a class or race that Ihave banned then I have to let everyone else do it and by then everyone still gets to play whatI banned which in turn makes my planned game pointless. If I state that elves do not exist in my world and no reflavouring then do not proceed to ask me if you can anyway, unless I open the floor for discussion. I have also found that this alleviates a lot of arguing and that time could be better spent playing the game. I have seen too many games fall apart because that special snowflake class, race, and even item was allowed.

I don't mind if my style is criticised but don't act like your method is somehow superior or that mine is somehow wrong because no style is superior and no style is wrong.

I know my DMing style doesn't suit some people but that's okay because the game would get pretty boring if every DM was exactly the same.

Well, saying that all decisions are final is a bit short-sighted. Many times as DM I have a made a quick decision on a rule or class to keep the game moving and later on decided I made a mistake or was incorrect and changed my decision. You should say "All decisions are final, but the DM reserves the right to change his mind if new info comes to light", because that makes it sound like you are open to new ideas or perspectives and can admit when you are wrong. The DM has the final say on all rulings, but if you come off as a tyrant then you will alienate players. Just try to be as consistent as possible with your rulings and the players will respect you.

As for banning certain classes, I don't think that's a good idea unless that class does not fit into the setting, such as a ninja in a traditional fantasy game. However, I do support banning perhaps a poorly conceived or clearly broken spell.

You start banning too much stuff and you just end up looking like a short sighted, domineering, control freak who always has to have it his way.

Dark Archive

There's actually an easy solution: Paizo can get off their ass and simply indicate which uses are REACTIONS and which uses are part of another action.

Maybe you're right, maybe you're wrong. I just need the people who wrote the rules to be more clear so we can all move on.

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Darkwolf117 wrote:
Oops_I_Crit_My_Pants wrote:
HOVERing is not a reaction. Making a FLY check to stay airborne after being damaged, a midair collision, or negating falling damage are examples of reactions. If you look at the fly skill in the core rulebook, HOVER is listed with the MANEUVERs (p.96 core rulebook). Mid-Air collisions, Reducing falling damage, and staying aloft after taking damage are not listed with the maneuvers because they are reactions

If you'd really like to call it a maneuver, that's fine. But it is still not an action of any sort, nor is it being done as part of another action. It is a reaction to the fact that you are not doing what Flight normally requires to avoid a check, that is, flying more than half of your speed on your turn.

Are you actually using a move action while you do it? Are you actually, physically, moving from one location to another? Because that's what a move action does for you, and that's not what you're doing, because that's exactly what hovering is there to not do.

Again, look at the Action associated with the Fly skill. None. There is never an action for Fly checks, but that's exactly what you're arguing - that, in order to hover, you need to spend some kind of action to do it. I get that you're saying you need to do it as 'part' of something else, but there's no other actions going on. Hover specifically means that there are no other actions going on.

As an example, what would you say if someone wanted to delay their turn? If they were literally taking no actions whatsoever, and were just hovering? By your logic here, you're saying they need to make some kind of action to do this, but Fly specifically states that you don't ever need to do that. So yeah, hovering is basically a reaction to "not flying normally."

Oops_I_Crit_My_Pants wrote:
There's no way HOVERing is a reaction. HOVERing is something you actively do just like treading water in a pool, its not in response to someone else's action or some

If HOVER is a reaction, then I could push a surprised winged creature off a 20 foot cliff and he could make a HOVER check before he hit the ground even though it wasn't his turn, which makes no sense.

He could try and "reduce falling damage" because it is a reaction though, but HOVER is not a reaction.

You are caught up in the idea that you must be actively moving squares to take a movement action, which is not true. I illustrated this in my example with the ACROBATICS skill to jump 2 feet in place. The jumper is just jumping straight up in his square. Is that jump a move action or is it also a "reaction" by your definition as well because he is not moving to another square?

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Darkwolf117 wrote:

The fly skill clearly states that it is not an action. Ever. It's not an either/or thing. It's just not an action, ever.

Hovering is a reaction. It is a reaction to "Not moving during your turn." That's exactly what it's there for.

By the same token, there is a (slightly easier) check for "Moving less than half your speed during your turn." That's also a reaction.

The ones that would be considered part of a move are the actual ones taken during movement. Such as turning more than 45 degrees, turning 180 degrees, or flying upwards more steeply than 45 degrees. All of these are done as part of a movement but the flight check is still not eating up an extra action in any way. The check is, as the Action part above mentions, made as part of the movement, but does not take any action in and of itself.

In short, flight maneuvers never take actions, no matter what you're doing. Whether you happen to be moving at the same time is incidental. You will never spend an action on any of the maneuvers listed on the flight table. They will either be part of another action (such as an actual move action to... move somewhere), or they'll be a reaction (not meeting the usual criteria for staying...

Yes, uses of the FLY skill must be a REACTION or part of another action. However, HOVER is not a reaction. Making a FLY check to stay airborne after being damaged, a midair collision, or negating falling damage are examples of reactions. If you look at the fly skill in the core rulebook, HOVER is listed with the MANEUVERs (p.96 core rulebook). Mid-Air collisions, Reducing falling damage, and staying aloft after taking damage are not listed with the maneuvers because they are reactions.

HOVERing is something you actively and willfully do, its not a reaction to resist falling.

Since its not a reaction, the Hover FLY check MUST be associated with another action of some kind, which leaves either a standard or a move action.

There's no way HOVERing is a reaction. HOVERing is something you actively do just like treading water in a pool, its not in response to someone else's action or some unexpected danger; you actively choose to flap/swim in place. Just like in a pool, your "MOVE" action is to tread water or hover in place. If you stop flapping your wings or swimming your arms then you immediately sink/fall, so your MOVE action is the purposeful intent to resist gravity pulling you down even though you arent moving squares on the map.

If you think about it, the FLY skill is similar to ACROBATICS because they are often used in conjunction with a movement type. If a PC wanted jump up while standing in place, I'm sure you would associate a move action with it (its certainly not a reaction). Why is HOVER so different?

Hovering in place is no easy task for flyers which is why so very few birds can actually maintain a true state of sustained hovering. It requires massive wing strength and is very hard to not drift one way or the other. Its why making jets that can hover is so prohibitively expensive and hard to engineer, because its not an easy task to accomplish flight-wise (helicopters excluded).

Dark Archive

Dear Paizo Staff,
I get on these boards mostly to discuss rules and get clarifications. There is a lively community of people who give all kinds of excellent input, but there is rarely what I would call definitive closure to MANY rules discussions, particularily in regards to vague or unclear spell descriptions. Some of these discussions are years old (literally) and still there is no final answer.

Honestly, I think you spend far too much time developing new products while ignoring giving any clarifications on already released products. I'm not saying I want you to agree with my interpratation of the rules (but I certainly wouldnt complain if you did), but can you PLEASE start releasing some ERRATA to start clearing up some of these spell discussons.

All you have to do is go through the rules/FAQ discussion boards, find all of the ones marked the most as "favorites" by people, start giving some definitive and final answers, and then update the errata.

My advice is to hire a full-time staffer who is dedicated to rules issues and definitive answers to rules questions and let him/her start clearing up the loose ends.

Dark Archive

Leliel the 12th wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:

The ends justify the means is not a paladin code. It's a first and very seductive step on that slippery slope.


Which is why killing your otherwise kind and noble malconvoker friend for throwing creatures at the southern ends of the alignment wheel at other creatures at the southern ends of the alignment wheel, creating a win-win situation for Good and the cosmos in general, is a bad plan. Especially if they're your friend.

See how shoddy this line of reasoning is?

Since this is another PC we're talking about, hang the Miko Mikazaki school of paladin from the gallows where it belongs and roleplay the internal moral conflict. If your DM makes you fall for not ruining another player's day, screw them.

The paldin doesn't have to kill him for summoning evil outsiders, but he probably should stop associating with the summoner if he wants to stay in his god's good graces. And yeah, the DM should make the paladin fall if he ignores his code, even if it means the paladin comes into direct conflict against another party member. Its called "ROLEPLAYING". If the summoner is dumb enough to summon evil outsiders around the paladin, he has no room to complain if he suddenly finds himself at odds with that same paladin. Don't blame the pally for properly roleplaying his character.

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Chaos_Scion wrote:

Whether the evil outsider is "pure evil" or not is besides the point.

Must disagree with you on that point. The rough beast minions are denied redemption because they are so debased and evil that there is no hope for them. The same is true of all evil outsiders. They are scions of evil incapable of any form of good. A creature must wish to be redeemed in order to be redeemed. A demon, devil, or Daemon lacks the capacity to be good and thus cannot be redeemed by words or actions so out comes the scimitar.

perhaps this particular paladin is ignorant of the fact that such creatures cannot be redeemed?

This is an easy fix because if there ignorant of the nature of the outsider they won't have any obligation or non-metagaming reason to destroy the creature short of their actions. If you don't know the creature can't be redeemed your honor bound to give it a shot.

As far as how long you have to give the creature to redeem. I am currently playing just such a pally. What I do is make either a diplomacy or intimidate check against any opponent at the beginning of combat to give them a chance to redeem rather then use violence. This doesn't always work but I give them a chance to choose a nonviolent path so that they can begin to down the path to redemption. if they attack me and my allies after that they are redemeed with the sword. I do go out of my way to try to end combat short of their death if possible (using nonlethal damage, grapple, and intimidate when practicable) but I see that as sufficient. Otherwise it drags the role playing out and some others get a little board.

Excellent research and excellent roleplay. You're playing the game the right way.

Dark Archive

Atarlost wrote:

Every single charm spell that can target intelligent creatures and most non-buff compulsions.

How can societies go more than a year without some bard or enchanter using magic to start a revolution or rebellion to try to carve out his own fief or take someone else's?

Charms and Compulsions really arent that powerful. You can foil alot of what they can do by just casting PROTECTION FROM EVIL on the effected individuals.

Alot of DM's hate CHARMS and ILLUSIONS mostly because they dont understand how they work and dont know how to counter them.

So when a PC charms a bad guy, alot of bad GM's get all butt hurt because the player's have now thrown a wrench into what was previously a very linear storyline.

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chaoseffect wrote:

Terrible Remorse used to be the best spell in the game because it was literally broken: it used to last rounds per level and each round the the enemy would make a save. If he failed he hurt himself as a full round action, and if he failed he took no actions that turn. Problem was a successful save didn't end it early, so for one fourth level spell any enemy lost at least it's next seven turns. They fixed it now though, so a successful save makes them take no actions for that turn but it also ends the effect.

Some spells can be problematic depending on the type of game you're running (Teleport being the big one if your game is big on the journey instead of going "2 weeks pass and you arrive"), but I don't really think any are particularly broken besides the one I just mentioned (that was fixed).

My top two broken spells are TERRIBLE REMORSE and ICY PRISON.

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bbangerter wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:
bbangerter wrote:
Why can characters with lawful and chaotic alignments get along just fine but characters with good and evil alignments can't?

Lawful and chaotic are much more vague. You could create a lawful character who follows a strict code, but doesn't care what others do.

Creating a good character who doesn't care if others commit evil acts is much less common.

Them being vague concepts to us isn't a justification for allowing it IMO. Remember alignments in PF are more about absolutes - not a relative morality (my feelings on 'relative morality' is an entirely different topic). In the PF universe there is as much a war between lawful and chaotic as there is between good and evil. (see inevitables, see also demons vs devils).

That said I personally don't have a problem with both lawful and chaotic members being in a party - or good and evil. I just expect in either case that at some point there is going to be some in game party drama as a result.

I could envision a basically good character who has a friend that is evil - into things like stealing, lying, cheating his way to power - the good character has a desire to see his friend redeemed.

But the lawful character tolerating the chaotic acts of another or the good character tolerating the evil acts of another is reality should be more of an exception - and in all cases there should be a breaking point where enough is enough.

I agree that evil and good charcaters can co-exist in a party depending on the overall objective of the characters in the campaign. As long as they good and evil PC's share objectives (such as defeating a greater evil) and remain focused on accomplishing those objectives, they can actually co-exist believably. The problems come when they dont share common objectives, which then leads to conflicts between good and evil PC's.

Another factor that often blows up good/evil parties is when the party is faced with a very clear moral choice. Many stories require a moral choice or decision to be made, and that choice often puts PC's clearly in the camp of good or evil.

For example: Good guys wanna save a town plagued by a rash of murders, rapes, or bandits. Bad guys may only save the town if they are guarunteed an outlandish payment of gold, even if innocent people are dying in front of them. The bad guy might think that the townsfolk deserve whatever happens if they refuse payment, while the good guys will find it hard to turn their backs on the immediate suffering of others.

As in real life, these moments in a story reveal the true nature of those involved. Its usually at these junctures of moral dilemna that the good/evil party tends to split. If the DM wants to keep the party together, its best if he keeps these types of moral encounters to a minimum if he doesnt want that type of character conflict in the story.

And if the party is LG and someone knowingly plays evil, then they can't complain if it ends badly for their PC because they knew what they were getting themselves into. Its not your job as DM to keep PC's alive; its your job only to run a fun game for your audience.

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Touc wrote:

Has anyone worked with their players to encourage them to not over-optimize?

To clarify, I'm not looking to apply the "advanced template" to every encounter to provide a challenge. Rather, it's my observation that optimized characters are...dull. Optimized characters tend to be mechanical, so much so that there are "guides" to creating the superior combat engine whose sole goal is to ensure the enemy is not just beaten but shellacked.

Anyone have gentle ideas to nudge characters away from the notion that they must optimize to survive, that they must take the Reactionary trait, that certain spells should never be learned because they are 24% less effective than another, that if you don't take Pounce as a barbarian you're a fool? I'll never impose straight-jackets (play how I want you to play), but I'd like to encourage players that it's ok if they take an archetype or make a build that is only 82% as effective as another.

One thing that YOU as GM can do is to focus more on story so that your campaign is not simply a series of sequential combat encounters. If you tell a good story and present challenges that cannot be solved by fighting alone, then players min-maxing for combat will begin to drift toward less optimized builds when they realize that pure "whoop ass" stats isnt going to win every encounter.

Another useful technique you can use has to do with character creation. Ask the players to submit a character concept or backstory before they roll up stats. After you read their concept/backstory, encourage them to build a character around the story they wrote. Don't let them pick traits and abilities that have nothing to do with their backstory. Or perhaps mandate that one of their traits must be a regional to reflect where they came from.

STORY, STORY, STORY. It's not just for GM's..pass it on.

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aethura wrote:

While I'm not sure how accurate my interpretation is, I can see one use for the Dancing enchantment. Sunder attempts.

PRD wrote:
As a standard action, a dancing weapon can be loosed to attack on its own. It fights for 4 rounds using the base attack bonus of the one who loosed it and then drops. While dancing, it cannot make attacks of opportunity, and the activating character it is not considered armed with the weapon. The weapon is considered wielded or attended by the activating character for all maneuvers and effects that target items. While dancing, the weapon shares the same space as the activating character and can attack adjacent foes (weapons with reach can attack opponents up to 10 feet away). The dancing weapon accompanies the activating character everywhere, whether she moves by physical or magical means. If the activating character has an unoccupied hand, she can grasp it while it is attacking on its own as a free action; when so retrieved, the weapon can't dance (attack on its own) again for 4 rounds. This special ability can only be placed on melee weapons.

While it's obvious that the highlighted portion provides some defense against any harm that may come to the dancing weapon, I think that it can also add any bonuses that the user has to make sunder attempts.

There are a couple of details that lead me to believe this interpretation:
1. Sundering is a combat maneuver that targets an item
2. A dancing weapon is considered wielded by the user for all maneuvers and effects that target items.
3. Any wielded weapon can be used to make a sunder attempt, and they normally gain any bonuses to the maneuver while doing so.

I think any feat that applies a bonus to cmb when sundering can be added. Whether this was the intention or just a misreading on my part, I cannot be certain; however, if it can be considered possible to use it this way, then I believe it has more potential destroying items than it does trying to attack other characters.

I see your point, but I dont think the DANCING property is intended to make the item more formidable in regards to SUNDERING attempts. Adamantine is the way to go for SUNDERS and I doubt the designers intend for DANCING to replace or supercede it. I think the only reason they make mention that it is considered wielded by the owner for effects that target it is to speed up gameplay in the case someone tries to attack an actively DANCING weapon.

Whenever rules are vague like this, I think you have to go with "Rules as intended" as your compass.

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Odraude wrote:
And as for these 'curves' you keep mentioning, some would actually call that unoriginal and lazy. You are essentially taking one culture and simply replacing the people with another race. "Hey, let's take Vikings, but make them all Asian! Isn't that original?" No, it's not.

Actually Im proposing merging two cultures to create a new hybrid. And even if I was just going to change the race and keep the exact same culture like you imply, it beats the pants off using the same race with its traditional real-world culture. For example: Tian Xa, Galt, Andoran, Ossirian, Jandelay.

I think those might be closer to the " unoriginal and lazy" you are referring to above.

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Jessica Price wrote:

Assuming consistency in genetic functions and a premodern level of travel technology, geography will be a major factor in human physical appearances, the location of cultural/population centers, cultural styles, architecture, language, etc.

Also, as one of my mentors used to say, "Establish the familiar so people can appreciate the exotic."

I'm not saying they need to eat energon cubes or shoot laser beams from their toes to make them a memorable culture, I'm saying they need to develop a culture/race that isnt a direct import of something already established in reality.

I'm not arguing against the need for the mundane or the familiar, Im arguing against the predictable. I'm not saying you can't or shouldn't be inspired by existing culture (its all we have to inspire us), but it needs some new twists so it isnt so ho-hum and predictable. And the most ho-hum fantasy civilizations are when the writers take a real world race and match it straight to its traditional real world culture. There's no law saying that eskimos cant be super-advanced technology-wise or that jungle dwelling peoples cant create vibrant democracies with castle-like structures. Maybe eskimos build giant Ziggurats that more closely resemble early Egyptian culture with an arctic twist? They dont need stone, they have an endless supply of ice. Maybe the Osirrians build huge structures made of glass (plenty of sand) instead of building the very predictable pyramids?

Its a magical fantasy world so alot of the traditional rules regarding civilized development and technology automatically go out the window; so why culturally mimic reality so closely?

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Shifty wrote:
Even the best chef in the world still serves basic vegetables alongside the mastercrafted meal.

And I'm saying there are way too many vegetables and not nearly enough mastercraft meals when it comes to Golarion culture design. Its way too predictable and doesnt break enough new ground. Its all milk and no crunchberries.

I agree Dark Sun was definitely one of the more creative campaign worlds. And if you recall, one of the reasons it was so good was that it abandoned the hobby's accepted norms for elves, halflings, and dwarves. It wasnt that they played against type, it was about developing interesting cultures for each race that you wanted to learn about. There were few sterotypical norms in that world. It breached new territory, which made it good.

Golarion's human cultures are developed, but they rarely breach any new territory because they are too closely based on their real world cultural equivalent. They dont lack detail, they just lack anything unexpected, with a very few exceptions.

For instance, Galt is based on the French Revolution, all the way down to the clothes and method of execution. It epitomizes the mistake the designers keep making; they stick too closely to the real world equivalent. If you want to base a culture off the french revolution, that's great, but lose the period hats and guillotines so there's at least a visual distinction between the two. Instead of a guilotine, use something that does the same thing story-wise but in a different manner so the inspirations are not so obvious. This is like story writing 101.

Same thing with Andoran, its obviously based on the American Revolution, all the way down to the waving flags, funny outfits, and cultural ideals. Does it work? Yeah, but its boring. Do something interesting with it, like make them all undead or something. A nation of good undead; now that's interesting! In that case, you're mixing the idealism of the American Revolution with the moral quandry that its being run by an undead population. Idealistic zombies that are hated because they exist, despite their amazing new form of government. Then you'd have Cheliax vs. Andoran; but who are the good guys? The undead legion or the army of hell? What do the player's characters feel about it?

Just stop doing the expected ALL of the time. I understand that not everything can be groundbreaking and there needs to be some mundanity to establish some kind of norm, but there's too much that is really dull.

There's not enough effort to develop the human cultures beyond the obvious initial inspiration.

On a positive note, I'd say Cheliax is Golarion's most interesting culture conceptually, but they dont do enough with it. A nation that is a proxy of hell is quite fascinating.

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Shifty wrote:

If 'everything' is fantastic and 'creative', then nothing stands out and it becomes quite bland - when everything is fantastic then nothing is fantastic.

That's like saying "We should just eat dog food, because if we had steak and lobster every day we wouldn't know how to enjoy it."

I'll never believe that less creativity ever trumps more creativity. That's a poor argument for accepting staus quo mediocrity.

And yes, we can always develop the gameworld on our own, but I would expect a little more creativity from the paid professionals.

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Shifty wrote:

The idea was to keep it simple and give some 'easy to understand' similarities.

Yes, and why do they need to make it simple? Can the audience not handle it or identify if we dont use the old culture/race formulas? I just think its creatively lazy. Make something new, something that needs to be explored, rather than "Oh, these must be the Taldans/Spaniards, so I'm immediately familiar with their social norms".

Its like the difference between knowing what's inside of an x-mas present and not knowing what's inside. By breaking the norms, the audience will be more inclined to learn about the culture rather than glossing over it.

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Many of the responders dont quite understand my original post. I'm not saying there is no diversity in Golarion, because there surely is, what Im trying to point out is that the human cultures mimic our own too much. Taldans are Spaniards/Portugese, Ulfen are Norse Vikings, Tians are Asians. Its not racist, but its a little predictable.

For example, if there was a Rome inspired culture it does not need to be populated by a race/culture that looks just like Italians. Why not throw in an interesting curve and make a culture that mirrors Rome, and have it populated by Asians, and then mix in some elements of asian lifestyle with Roman-inspired ideals or architecture? The synthesis of an existing culture with a mismatched race is a lot more interesting than the typical formula such as Osirans are Egyptians, blacks are from tribal jungle cultures, Norsemen are vikings, etc etc.

There's no reason eskimos have to always live in Igloos. They can just as easily live in massive floating ice cities with Roman columns and chariot races conducted on the backs of whales. All you need to do is take an existing ethnic culture and blend it with another. Kind of like how George Lucas mixes creatures to make new races (Fish + man = Mon Calamari or Pig + Bulldog = Gamorreans). Its fantasy' you dont have to use the cookie cutters so much. In fact, its more interesting if you dont.

I'm not saying Golarion is racist in its conception; I'm saying it lacks cultural creativity and relies too much on the audiences pre-conceived cultural stigmata.

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Hey, everytime I see a picture of the Paizo writers and staff all I see are pictures of pasty white guys. How about inserting some diversity into the mix?

I think some diversity could help expand the hobby and introduce some new ideas and viewpoints. I'll give you a perfect example of why you need some diversity:

Explain to me why all of the black people have to come from a jungle-somewhat-tribal civilization around the Mwangi Expanse? Why cant the Chelaxians have been black, or the Taldans, or even the Azlantis? Do we always have to portray black people as tribal jungle dwellers? Hell, they did the same thing in Forgotten Realms with the Jungles of CHult, so dont feel too bad. You arent the first to make this mistake. Sure, there are a few exceptions in Golarion, but the stereotype is there and it really doesnt need to be. Same goes for Asians; do they always have to come from a culture that mimics our reality? Why not make an Asian-influenced culture, but populate it with black or even white people to throw in an interesting curve?

Its just so damn predictable that it's painful. Its a racial stereotype carried over from the world we live in, but its fantasy, so why cant we challenge the norm?

I'm sure it wasnt intentional at all, but this is why I think you need some diversity. I understand that its a hobby mostly dominated by whites and run by whites, and so alll human beings naturally create things in their own image (without malicious intent), but it doesnt have to be. You're thinking too much inside the neat little prepackaged boxes called stereotypes.

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Cult of Vorg wrote:

There's a players guide for every adventure path, good for players and GM to get up to speed on what they should know about the AP and it's starting region.

Pre-drawing or copying area and battle maps is a great help, as well as making copies of stuff from the AP for player handouts. Getting appropriate miniatures or tokens handy for upcoming encounters can save trouble too.

Having a cheatsheet of useful PC data can be helpful. Languages known, perception and sense motive skills, ac, and unusual abilities that shouldn't be forgotten.

Pick a new AP, because RotR will take you into very high levels (17th to 18th level) that offer rules and technical complexity you are probably not ready for as a 2nd time GM. Run one of the AP's that caps around 11th or 13th level. Or maybe run some stand-alone adventures and just string them together based on what your players want to do.

Running a full AP as a 2nd time DM is a pretty difficult learning curve, and it will be even more challenging if any of the players know the rules better than you.

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I know you have published plenty of adventure materials regarding the Thassilonian Runelords already in your adventure paths, but has there been any consideration for perhaps writing a stand-alone adventure that focuses on any of the Runelords not fleshed out such as Xanderghul or Zutha? A high level adventure would be nice for this (hint hint).

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zergtitan wrote:

Quick question.

How did Xin whose body on the record was destroyed in an arcane explosion get most of his unbroken and unblackend bones inside a giant piece of quartz postmortem?

Sorry, slight perfectionist for details in reference to Pathfinder world lore.

Umm... magic.

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MaxKaladin wrote:
I disagree with the description of higher levels as being like a superhero game. I liken it to some sort of fantasy version of black ops. Substituting magic for technology, it seems like parties at that level are more like a fantasy SEAL Team trying to slip into a bad guy's lair with a wide array of cutting-edge magical spells and devices and a compact but lethal arsenal of the latest magical weaponry intent on causing as much death and destruction as they can (except the treasure, of course). They often seem to prefer to try to catch the bad guy unaware (literally asleep or in the bath, if at all possible), substituting scry-buff-teleport for spy satellites and stealth choppers to conduct surprise raids. They try to stay hidden as as much as possible and utilize brutally effective tactics to keep the enemy off guard and control the battlefield (aided by their array of magical tricks, of course). They never EVER give the bad guys a fair fight if they can possibly avoid it. (And the bad guys don't tend to survive to become recurring villains like they do with superheros). I am not making a judgement call on anyone's play style here, just observing how games at that level seem to play out to me.

DM'ing low level is like playing checkers and DM'ing Mid levels is like chess, and running high level games is like playing 4 games of chess simultaneously.

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Sebastian wrote:

I played Pathfinder last night with a party of three/four characters - an 11th level sorcerer, his cleric companion (~8th level?), a 10th level barbarian, and a 10th level fighter/rogue. They were tracking a 13th level barbarian who'd managed to raise 16 skeletal warriors using a magical artifact sword. The players are smart, so they broke out the old Invisible Flying Party chestnut - everyone in the group was suited up with Greater Invisibility and Fly. Here's how combat went:

Me: The skeleton archers attack!
*roll Perception check*
*pause to discuss whether Perception check is passive or active, try to determine modifiers to Perception check, ultimately conclude that the DC to find the location of an invisible opponent is DC 40, but with a -20 to the DC because the person is in combat*
*roll miss chance twice for every skeleton (two iterative attacks)*
*roll attack and damage for each attack that goes through*
*remind targets to make Fly checks*
*targets make Fly checks*

And so on.

After two hours of grinding combat, the party won the battle, but also defeated my desire to ever run a game in which the party gets to 10th level.

I'm not sure I have a point, except to say how much I hate the invisible flying party and high level play generally. Any encounter with an opponent without a ranged attack or ability to fly, might as well read "give PCs xp, don't bother rolling dice." (This applies even in dungeons because the sorcerer has a spell to create a pit beneath a foe, trapping them and removing them from combat unless they have a ranged attack, a fly or climb speed, or awesome climb skill).

Again, I don't really have a point to all of this, I just wanted to whine.

I have run several campaigns from 1-18th level, and so I can tell you with some certainty that you need to expect this to happen as smart player's get access to more and more powerful magics. If the players know the spells better than you, they are going to own you until you get a better grip of what tactics/magic counters what. Yes, I know its frustrating, but sometimes its the best teacher for a new DM. Being a DM is never about winning or losing, its about telling and refereeing a story. If you are getting upset when the player's honestly and fairly beat one of your encounters, then you are not being a good neutral referee. You are trying to "win" too much.

You are not frustrated at high level play, you are frustrated because you don't know how to counter their magical tactics and use the monsters at their maximum effectiveness. Your experience is not uncommon for DM's who are having their first high level experience. There's a simple fix for that: go back to the rulebooks and the forums and learn how to counter what they are doing.

Its just a fact I have learned from years of being a DM.

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There should definitely not be any "SAVE OR DIE" spells at 5th level. I'm not against "save or die" spells, just not at such a low spell level. In this case, its basically "save or die slowly" which is no real difference at all. "Save or Die" stuff should be strictly the domain of top tier spells (7th level 8th level) and 9th level spells should be reserved for magics that grant no save or are exceedingly lethal despite a save being made.

I think alot of spells in Ultimate Magic were a bit rushed with not enough focus on game balance, specifically ICY PRISON and TERRIBLE REMORSE as the most obvious cases. TERRIBLE REMORSE got fixed, but ICY PRISON is still all kinds of broken.

You could reword ICY PRISON to tame it down so it's not so broken for just a 5th level spell, but its not really necessary if you just make it an appropriate spell level (7th or 8th level).

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Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Fox1212 wrote:
1.- In the text there's a "Fortitude negates (see text)" saving throw. However, I cannot find the text referring to the save. What is it?

Remove that from the spell; it should just say Reflex partial.

Fox1212 wrote:
2.- If a creature is trapped and helpless, can it try to free itself with a Strength check?

If it fails its save, it is trapped and helpless. It can't take any actions if it is helpless.

If it makes its save, it is entangled but can otherwise act normally for the duration. The Strength check is for an entangled (not helpless) creature; I've noted that sentence for clarification.

Fox1212 wrote:
3.- How long does this check take? A standard, a full round?

Standard action.

Fox1212 wrote:
4.- If the creature is entangled, what must it do to rid itself of the ice and the condition?

It can make a Strength check to break it, break the ice by dealing damage, or use something to counteract the magic of it (such as dispel magic).

If it does not rid itself of the ice, does it really keep receiving damage each round for the duration of the spell?

Yes, as long as you're still helpless or entangled by the ice.

Fox1212 wrote:
5.- Does the spell resistance apply to the trapping effect, or only to the damage?
You generally only get one spell resistance check against a particular effect.

This is an absolutely horrible ruling for this spell. Seriously, not even a strength check to escape if you fail the initial save? You're basically making it "save or die" because the damage per round from the ice will easily kill the target due to its incredibly long duration.

Way too powerful for 5th level.

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He's laughing all the way to the bank because he actually got people to pay such a ridiculous amount for that thing.

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You've stumbled upon the fatal flaw of this adventure path.

While each adventure stands well on its own, the overarcing story that is supposed to link them together is sometimes weak or too faint for the players to discover without some serious tinkering by them DM.

You may want to write in a few extra encounters of your own to help tell the over-arcing story.

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Violence solves everything.

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Riuken wrote:
In response to the Dwarven Paladin Stonelord and Tower Shield Specialist Fighter I ask: what incentive does the enemy have to attack you? They walk around you and hit your squishies with little or no retribution. Being super durable is a cool tank strategy if you want to fight all the enemies yourself while tripping over the bodies of your dead compatriots.

You give them incentive when you run up and plant a sword in their head. "Hi, ignore me at your own peril".

Most enemies find that a very compelling reason.

A good tank knows where to stand to shield his allies, he knows when to charge into his enemies, and he knows how to use choke points to their best advantage. He also knows how to maintain constant threat so that if you do ignore him, he'll make you pay for it.

There's no way an tank can hold all enemies off the squishies all of the time, but he can create valuable time for the damage dealers in the party to do their thing before the enemy can muster their full strength.

And another thing, it is not the job of the tank to save every squishy mage all of the time. Squishies need to have some manner of defensive or escape spells (Fly, Invisibility, Displacement, Sanctuary, etc) for situations when the tank can't occupy all of the incoming attackers.

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Castatra wrote:

Oddly enough, searching the boards for the word "tank" turned up nothing. As is, I have a pretty good idea of what classes in Pathfinder best fall into certain roles from an optimization standpoint, relatively arguably, of course.

The role of tank eludes me though. Where logically a class proficient in heavy armor would be the immediate go-to for a prime tank role, it's not necessarily the case, with class abilities akin to certain attack deflections and damage reduction to consider, and even if innate heavy armor prof. classes are ultimately the best, there are a fair amount of classes that fall into that category, with multiple options in each.

So, that being the case, what class/PrC do you consider the most efficient tank, and under which options available through the PRD make it so? To keep it less subjective, I'll add the stipulation that everyone defines their own idea of 'tank' and should be capable of fulfilling that definition from roughly levels 5+.

I look forward to your responses and, hopefully, builds in regards to this.

(also, brand new to the forums and posting from my phone, so please excuse any spacing or subsection designation errors this thread may have. Thanks.)


I'd say a paladin is the best Pathfinder tank. They can get high AC from Plate and Shield, they roll D10 for HP, they have ridiculously high saving throws, they can heal themselves with lay on hands without generating an attack of oppurtunity or sacrificing attacks, and by about 8th level they are immune to all fear, disease, and charms. And when they smite evil on an enemy they get to add their CHARISMA bonus (probably +3 or +4) to their AC against the target of the smite for the duration of the day or until the target is dead, whichever comes first.

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Arazyr wrote:

*Clone activates.*

I win again.

I cast A CONTINGENCY spell so that when the last post finally occurs, I automatically log on and make one more post to ultimately WIN!

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Of course there's a wrong way to DM. That's one of the reasons they publish a DMG, to help people who aren't good at DM'ing or need to learn about how the game should be run. The DM is a performer, so get used to being evaluated by your audience.

If you can't take the heat, get out from behind the screen. Man up.

This kind of notion that all DM styles are equal is just a way for those that suck to protect their fragile egos from criticism. There are plenty of good styles and plenty of bad styles.

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Well, if you are running a campaign that is about environmental flavor, such as an asian style campaign, you may not want to accept someone's Swedish Alchemist because it doesn't fit the flavor of the game.

Ultimately, its the DM's call, and if you don't like his style you can try another game. Keep in mind, just because a DM runs a campaign where anything goes doesnt make him a good DM either. If you want "anything goes" try playing Rifts or Gurps.

I have no issue banning player's from certains options for story/campaign based reasons. On the other hand, banning something just because you don't like gnomes or bards is a bit amateurish on the part of the DM. It demonstrates a non-objective personality which has trouble seeing things in a referee-style role. This kind of DM has a "Me vs. Players" attitude that usually ruins a game.

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Coridan wrote:

Runelords is popular for two reasons.

1 - It was the first (fourth really, but first out from under WotC)

2 - Good individual adventures. The volumes by themselves are great, they just have little to nothing to do with each other.

If you want a strong plot through fifteen levels that the PCs will really engage with, go with Crimson Throne.

I have been running ROTR for 2 years now and have read through both the original version and the Anniversary edition of all the adventures several times. I would agree with the above poster that ROTR adventures are pretty solid on their own, but they do have some issues when it comes to story continuity across all 6 parts. Many of the adventures suffer from the same problem; upon completion of the module it isn't always exactly clear where to go next or there is not a strong logical tie-in to the next module in the series. When they made certain changes in the Anniversary edition of ROTR, it was clear they were trying to address this flaw.

That being said, ROTR is very rich in its detail and in its backstory. If you want to run it right, then you are going to need to do alot of research on the backstory and the region to make sure you tell the story in a way that makes sense.

All in all , ROTR is a good Adventure Path, but I don't recommend it for 1st time DM's due to the amount of out-of-game research that is required to really run it right. The lack of story links between adventures will also require that you as DM come up with creative story links of your own, which is perfectly OK if you have the time. But if you dont have time, I recommend a more straight forward adventure path like COTC.

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There's a few fan created ones out on the internet that are actually pretty nice quality. Just do a google search.

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wicked cool wrote:

Is what is currently going on in Libya/middle east the event that breaks the camels back and changes the election. Was it really the film that caused this mess or i s the film in fact a lie and that this was preplanned for 9/11 and was about drone attacks/the release of certain hostage . Several media sources and white house sources are saying it was preplanned and the movie was just ans excuse. Obama says on Letterman its becuase of this shady character and his movie that caused it.

I believe hes stretching the truth and once the story unfolds it will be the same as what jimmy Carter went through with the hostages.

I kind of hope he wins, so I can hear all the excuses his supporters will make after the economy crashes again. Kind of hard to keep blaming Bush in your 2nd term as President. Obama might have to learn a new phrase... "personal responsibility".

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Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Oops_I_Crit_My_Pants wrote:
Guy Humual wrote:
Oops_I_Crit_My_Pants wrote:

The top 5% of earners pay 63% of all federal taxes. Sounds like they are paying their fair share considering that 40% of Americans pay no federal income at all. The rich dont mind paying for roads and police, they just dont want to pay for your college, your healthcare, your welfare, your abortions, your sex change, your food stamps, and your housing.

You should thank the rich; they probably funded your student loans so you could sit in your parent's basement and nerd rage on the internet while collecting unemployment for 2 years.

Sounds more like 95% of Americans aren't making enough money. Also let's not assume that these folks that are too poor to pay taxes don't pay taxes at all. They don't have a special card that lets them avoid tax on food or gas or anything else.

Actually, they can buy food with government isued foodstamps.

And regarding the price of gas, it was $1.84 when Obama took office, it is now at $3.84 a gallon.

Guy, go get some facts and numbers and stop embarassing yourself.

40% of Americans get food stamps? That's news to me.

Learn to read. 40% of Americans pay no federal income taxes.

But in answer to your question, 15% of Americans receive food stamps.

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Guy Humual wrote:
Oops_I_Crit_My_Pants wrote:

The top 5% of earners pay 63% of all federal taxes. Sounds like they are paying their fair share considering that 40% of Americans pay no federal income at all. The rich dont mind paying for roads and police, they just dont want to pay for your college, your healthcare, your welfare, your abortions, your sex change, your food stamps, and your housing.

You should thank the rich; they probably funded your student loans so you could sit in your parent's basement and nerd rage on the internet while collecting unemployment for 2 years.

Sounds more like 95% of Americans aren't making enough money. Also let's not assume that these folks that are too poor to pay taxes don't pay taxes at all. They don't have a special card that lets them avoid tax on food or gas or anything else.

Actually, they can buy food with government isued foodstamps.

And regarding the price of gas, it was $1.84 when Obama took office, it is now at $3.84 a gallon.

Guy, go get some facts and numbers and stop embarassing yourself.

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