Pangur Bàn's page

120 posts. Alias of Pangur.


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Mosaic wrote:

2. I projected him forward a few levels, trying to figure out where I'd take him. Feats every other level in Pathfinder is so much better than every three levels in 3.5. Unless you're a fighter, you only get a handful of feats over your entire career in 3.5. Feats are fun. They add tricks and personality to your character. The more, the better.

One thing I'm not satisfied with in either system is healing. I just don't like how reliant characters are on magical healing, and thus, how much time Clerics have to spend healing. In the last 3.5 game, I had to resort to magical healing 3 times just to finish the adventure - 1 potion of Cure Light Wounds, 1 scroll and 1 spell of the same. It just felt video-gamy with little bottles that refill your Life-meter.

While magical healing bears a striking resemblance to video game mechanics, they at least don't clash with suspension of disbelief. They work in a perfectly plausible way (which they also do in video games, of course). Magic can burn you to a crisp, magic can let you teleport across long distances in the blink of an eye, magic can turn you into a piglet and magic can also heal your wounds.

Feats OTOH, while definitely fun and cool, often do limit suspension of disbelief. There is no common sense in-game justification why one character can Power Attack or Spring Attack whenever he so chooses yet another one can't even try to do so (unless you rule they can try but immediately fail). These are not (or at least should not be) things you either can or can't do depending on training or other development of personal ability. They feel much more video gamey to me: abilities that break the rules in some way that can be unlocked by characters as they progress through the game.

So, I don't disagree at all with the number of feats characters can take being increased but I would have liked a rigorous vetting of the existing list (which, unfortunately but understandably, goes beyond the feasible scope of Pathfinder).

Lord Fyre wrote:
  • A child born of violence is clearly unwanted.
  • Even if the woman might want to keep the child, her family is very unlikely to.
  • The child will look clearly monsterous, only adding the the likelihood of it being abandoned.
  • I'm not so sure that's an absolute truth.
  • Considering the circumstances of the conception, who's to say the mother even has any family left?
  • Will it? Newly born humans, if we're honest, don't really look that great (more like Yoda with a less green complexion). I wouldn't know at which point it would become noticeable that a baby is a half-orc.

The last point brings up something else: it won't always be clear if the conception was the result of the rape or a previous, non-forced amourous encounter, and none of us knows at which point the truth would become evident. It's not inconceivable for a bond to have been formed by then.

Don't forget grappling. You might not care for it and the rules are a mess, but unarmed combat is more than throwing punches.

Samuel Weiss wrote:

Pangur Bàn wrote:

Also, 3E NPCs use (normally) NPC classes, which are also inferior.

Normally, they do not. The vast majority of NPCs with levels have full character levels rather than NPC levels. Still, that is again accounted for in the challenge rating.

Not IMX. The vast majority of NPCs that are meant to mean something do, but by definition those are special to begin with. Your dime a dozen grunt NPCs supposedly have NPC class levels, or at least that's WotC's intention in 3E.

Samuel Weiss wrote:

Pangur Bàn wrote:

Then there's the difference between CR and ECL: this more than anything ilustrates the fundamental mechanical difference in approach between PCs and NPCs. NPCs not meant to last beyond an encounter or two are, in 3E as well as 4E, cast from an entirely different mold than PCs.

It is true, ECL is a very difficult, and probably poor, mechanic, and should be excised. It is a rather natural outgrowth of the trend to making all monsters identical to characters, or at least suitable for use as such. That is indeed just as big an error as making all monsters utterly divergent from characters as 4E did. That still does not justify 4E.

I'm not trying to justify anything, rather I'm pointing out that 3E and 4E are not that different in this regard.

Samuel Weiss wrote:

Pangur Bàn wrote:

Also, just as you can in 3E, you can create NPCs using the exact same rules as for the PCs in 4E if you want. It's not prohibited, it's not against the rules and it isn't even discouraged. It worst, the rules indicate that such NPCs should be rare exceptions. I'll readily agree that last bit is a little too much WotC trying to hold your hand and showing you the "right way" to play (I think we all know there is no single "right way"), as is in fact the case for a lot of parts of the 4E rules, but stating that creating NPCs using the same mechanics as the PCs somehow requires breaking the rules is plain false.

Barring the appearance of the apocryphal Game Police, nothing is forbidden. What remains is that there is a very specific section on designing NPCs in 4E, and that section is quite clear.
And if you check that section, you will find two very clear statements that it is "too much work" to stat out an NPC as you would a PC, and a further statement that only "the rare exception" of statting an NPC like a PC "might serve". That is very much discouraging the practice, and rather strongly.

... for NPCs that are not meant to be used for more than a single encounter. As I said, that's a little bit more patronizing than I care for but it doesn't discourage the practice altogether. It's certainly not so that statting up an NPC the same way as a PC requires breaking or even bending the rules, as was said in an earlier post on this thread.

Samuel Weiss wrote:

Pangur Bàn wrote:

Finally, where 4E does or states things often in ways I find fault with, I do prefer its approach to NPCs to that of 3E for one simple reason: 3E's basic concept is to determine what kind of CR you want and then fitting abilities into that CR as best you can, while 4E's basic concept is to give the NPC the abilities you want him to have and see where you end up. Obviously that's putting things too crudely - both in fact lie somewhere closer to the middle - but the difference should be clear enough.

You might want to check your DMG 4 again. Out of a ten step process, choosing the level is Step 1, choosing powers is Step 7.

Step 6 to be precise, which doesn't invalidate your point. However, that process to me seems to result in NPCs that are nearly as detailed as the PCs, which is why I interpreted the text as saying only to bother with it for those that matter. I stand corrected though.

Lord Fyre wrote:

Alright, given the likely birth circumstances of a Half-Orc, how does one survive their mother's rejection?

Rejection by the mother shouldn't be a given. Maternal instincts aren't overridden that easily.

P1NBACK wrote:
Pax Veritas wrote:

There's also been a crisis with saying the word, YES.

In the past, the players were expected to use their imagination, to immerse themselves in their character and take what the DM said at face value to be instantly true, and run with it. Ostensibly, saying YES to the DM regardless of circumstance, reason, etc. Once YES was said, quietly, internally; the player imagination picked up and asked, "what will my character do next?"

Over time, as more and more rules got piled higher and higher, the players began to reference information previously only accessible to DMs. That is, players were (and are) remarkably familiar with all the rules in the PHB, DMG and even the MMs. At this point - the shift, in my opinion was to demand that the DM say YES. It seems the reason the joy of DMing has been strained is the insistant pressing of the players to reference even the most obscure rule and hold the DM accountable (which isn't bad) coupled with MIN/MAXing, or munchkining, both their characters and manipulating the scenario in that way.

Its simply not fluid for the DM to keep discussing rules, and rule options to help the player identify what is the ultimate best option for their character each and every round. Man, that's a drag.

I just want to chime in on this post.

I played 2nd Edition and earlier editions and found that because of the lack of rules on many things, our DM could arbitrarily disallow a lot of actions that we wanted to take. In fact, many times our DM stunted our imaginations.

With newer editions, 4E and 3.x included, I find that having a core set of rules, that both players and DMs can reference, puts everyone on the same page, allows for a better consistency in how the world and characters interact with each other, and allow the players to accomplish anything they want.

I generally encourage my players to think about what they WANT to do, and then figure out HOW to accomplish that with the rules. I have a mantra in my game that sometimes comes...

There's value in both opinions here. Personally, I think both DM and players that have been around since AD&D and before can benefit greatly from having rules that adequately cover most situations (like 3E has and 4E will), while at the same time having the advantage of experience with rules that don't. The former is obviously a benefit just for practicality and convenience, the latter impresses the very important idea that the RAW is not gospel but that those actually involved in a specific game should be in the best position to decide what works best for that game. It's unfortunately difficult to combine both these qualities in a single system and D&D, again unfortunately, has so far been designed in all its editions in a way that effectively makes the combination impossible IMO.

Samuel Weiss wrote:

The mechanics for monster "classes" are inherently limited. Look at the CR modifiers for adding hit dice of various monster types. The best are equal to perpetual non-associated class levels. This is am implicit acknowledgement that monster "levels" are less useful than character levels.

This carries forward into 4E where adding a character template to a monster just makes it elite, something still far short of a PC.

By having monsters dependent on the same system of gaining skills and feats as characters, they are based on the same mechanics.
Likewise when you create an NPC it is both limited by and gains full access to all of the abilities of a PC of the same class and level.
This contrasts with 4E where those are always separated by the mechanical gulf between PCs and everything else.

I think you're glossing over a few things here.

First off, as you point out yourself, even in 3E 'monster' levels are mechanically inferior to regular class levels. That's a mechanical gulf right there.

Also, 3E NPCs use (normally) NPC classes, which are also inferior.

Then there's the difference between CR and ECL: this more than anything ilustrates the fundamental mechanical difference in approach between PCs and NPCs. NPCs not meant to last beyond an encounter or two are, in 3E as well as 4E, cast from an entirely different mold than PCs.

Also, just as you can in 3E, you can create NPCs using the exact same rules as for the PCs in 4E if you want. It's not prohibited, it's not against the rules and it isn't even discouraged. It worst, the rules indicate that such NPCs should be rare exceptions. I'll readily agree that last bit is a little too much WotC trying to hold your hand and showing you the "right way" to play (I think we all know there is no single "right way"), as is in fact the case for a lot of parts of the 4E rules, but stating that creating NPCs using the same mechanics as the PCs somehow requires breaking the rules is plain false.

Finally, where 4E does or states things often in ways I find fault with, I do prefer its approach to NPCs to that of 3E for one simple reason: 3E's basic concept is to determine what kind of CR you want and then fitting abilities into that CR as best you can, while 4E's basic concept is to give the NPC the abilities you want him to have and see where you end up. Obviously that's putting things too crudely - both in fact lie somewhere closer to the middle - but the difference should be clear enough.

CourtFool wrote:

CourtFool's rating, very subjective, likely to change

Game (G%/N%S%)
BESM (20/30/50)
D&D 3.5 (50/25/25)
D&D 4e (40/20/40)
G.U.R.P.S. (40/20/40)
Hero (40/20/40)
M&M (40/20/40)
PDQ (10/60/30)
Spirit of the Century (20/40/40)

I don't think it's a matter of percentages: a game doesn't have to be less gamist if it wants to be more simulationist, IMO. In theory, although that'd be too difficult to pull off in practice, a game could be 100% all three. Even if perhaps not 100%, at the very least I think the three different aspects don't (have to) hedge each other out absolutely.

Samuel Weiss wrote:

If it is just another monster, what is the big deal about killing it? How do I make a really special villain in 4E?
You cannot. And that is the problem.

I don't get it. What about being based on similar mechanics as the PCs makes a monster not "just another monster", and what about not being based on the same mechanics as the PCs makes a villain not "really special"?

Furthermore, how are NPCs and monsters based on the same mechanics as the PCs in 3E given the existence of NPC classes and monstrous abilities? Cut to the bone, it's all numbers. How you get to these numbers may affect the qualification of a game as discussed in this thread, but from a player's POV that's irrelevant.

WotC's Nightmare wrote:

In 3.5, everyone plays by the same rules. That doesn't mean that everyone is the same with the same abilities, but a 12th level orc fighter has the same capabilities regardless of whether he is a PC or an NPC. In 4th edition the same orc fighter would be very different depending on if he was a PC or an NPC. Even with the same equipment, and ability scores, he would have wildly different abilities depending on which side of the DM screen he falls on.

Except that most 3E NPC Orc Fighters will actually be Warriors using a different stat generation method (if you follow WotC's lead anyway), and that it's perfectly permissible to create special 4E NPCs using the standard rules for PCs. The latter is even encouraged for NPCs that are meant to be around for more than one or two encounters, especially for NPCs that might team up with the party.

Kirth Gersen wrote:
CourtFool wrote:

Let me make sure I am on the same page with everyone else now.

Gamist = fewer rules
Simulationist = reality

Not at all.

Gamist = focus on game mechanics and play. More or fewer rules is irrelevant, as long as the rules work well and promote smooth play.
Simulationst = cohesive setting; rules promote internal consistency of fluff.
Narrativist = story predominates over rules or setting.

Again, all games have elements of the three; it's just a matter of what proportions go into the mix.

Not proportions, but rather how much effort goes to each aspect. There doesn't have to be a compromise, unless the developers limit the amount of trouble they're willing to go to.

Can anyone enlighten me regarding Sajah's weapon? A kama, or something else that counts as one?

Special moves in 4E are also all powers - IOW, if you don't have them, you can't make the special move. Not a good idea IMO.

Dennis da Ogre wrote:
Bzzzzzzt! Wrong! Straight from Google: This is 80's hair.

N° 17 is the scariest goblin I've ever seen. If only I could enhance that resolution...

mightyjules wrote:

But what I really would like to see is the fluff they made to the prestige classes.

Prestige classes were always meant to be quite specific. They turned out less so as soon as it dawned on WotC they had a goldmine in releasing more and more of them, but still.

Base classes are supposed to be more generic. Several of them come with hefty bagage (the paladin being the prime example), but I'd hate to see anyone tell me how to play my character, especially if that opinion is based solely on choice of class.

Um, no. You're off by a decade. Shoulder-length or slightly shorter hair? Seventies.

Eighties, you either go with something that needs half a can of hairspray per day or *shudder* a mullet.

Phasics wrote:
Of course I could throw a slight spanner in the bard workshop and say what If I want to play a tone deaf arcane fighter cant play cant sing looks at the perform skill and scoffs.

It's not like the paladin and even the ranger don't come with bagage of their own. This is D&D, classes are just not generic.

R_Chance wrote:
I don't think anyone is arguing their utility, just their ability to function as fighters. You could amke the same arguement for clerics with cure spells, etc.

I understand, I just wished to point out that "outclassing in melee" can be taken several ways. Besides, given the various buff and weaken spells bards get, I wouldn't discount their ability to function as fighters. Invisibility/See Invisible and Blindness alone make them pretty dangerous opponents in combat.

I won't be buying the bèta version, buying the definitive ruleset is about 50/50 for now - IOW, it's pure guesswork. The designers said they were pushing the envelope regarding changes to regular 3.5 and that the final product will likely be toned down a lot in that regard, so it's impossible to tell right now what it's really going to be like. The bèta will provide more info, at any rate, but it's not like I don't already have my own heavily houseruled version of 3E. How much of the Pathfinder changes I'll effectively want to use is impossible to say - I'm willing to buy the book in large part just to have it (especially since the production value will be stellar, considering the rest of Paizo's publications), but I'll need to get decent mechanical use out of it as well to justify the purchase.

underling wrote:
I agree, paladins and rangers far outclass the bard in melee.

If you look at just the bard, sure. But the bard is the ultimate support class in combat: if I look at the damage that's done by the entire party but should be attributed to the bard, that tends to put the bard's in excess of paladins' and rangers' damage (excluding smited and favoured enemies respectively, but that's as it should be) in a standard 4 character party, and it only gets better with more characters. Every point of damage caused by Inspire Courage is really a point of damage done by the bard. Damage from every attack that only hits because of Inspire Courage is all damage done by the bard.

Mattastrophic wrote:
Pangur Bàn wrote:
without somatic component, no ASF for using a shield; with somatic component, ASF for using a shield.

Actually, the text does contradict entirely, as the ASF rules tell us that if a spell has no Somatic component, it has no ASF at all.

It's a simple oversight on the author's part.

True, but it's theoretically possible - though extremely unlikely - that Pathfinder changes that.

Mattastrophic wrote:

What should also be clarified (even if it's for idiot-proofing sake) is whether a bard can use a heavy shield in one hand, a weapon in the other, and still cast spells with Somatic components, as his hands are full.

Idiot-proofing is always good. That said, the armour table in the 3.5 equipment chapter only indicates "hand not free to cast spells" for locked gauntlets. This at least heavily implies that having a shield on your arm does leave the hand free for spellcasting.

JohnnyKage wrote:

I think your missing the whole point.

To use your example of 2 12th level clerics, one with a religion of 15 ranks the other with 5. For arguements sakes lets say they both worship/serve the same deity. It's an easy skill challenge in regards to know something of thier own faith. The Religion skill primarily would come into play with regards to knowing another deity's dogma.

Heres were I still say it doesn't define the 2 clerics "over-all" because you are totally focued on one small aspect of these 2 clerics (thier religion rank). Theres the role-playing aspect, the attributes, feats, other skill ranks, ect. Religion ranks alone would not define one cleric from the other, same deity or not.

Throw in the element of the d20 and a difficulty of 20 as another example: both clerics "could" still know the same thing if they bolth made a good roll. Does one have a better chance than the other? Of-course he does, but ranks in just religion for these 2 clerics would not define the characters as a "whole."

"Over-all and whole" are the key words here.

A few skills grouped together would not hurt the game in the least bit. This includes "over-all" character development.

What these clerics "could" know is really not that important to the character. What they "should" know OTOH is. What defines a character is not what he can when all things go his way. What defines a character is what you can reasonably be expected of him. On any given day, it's possible that character A with a lower rank does as well as or better than character B with a higher rank. But also on any given day, it's likely character B will do better.

Moreover, you're looking at purely from a mechanical POV. I'm looking at what's appropriate for a character, skill checks and dice rolls aside. Rank X doesn't just mean "this is the best result I can possibly get at a corresponding skill check". It also means "this is the amount of training/effort/time/trouble I invested in this". Besides, what doesn't go in skill A ends up in skill B or a combo of several other skills. A cleric who doesn't increase his rank in knowledge (religion) might put his points in another skill instead, highlighting another aspect of his personality.

Is this only partly defining for a character? Obviously, but that doesn't mean it's not a significant part.

JohnnyKage wrote:

Going back to my example of jump, swim, climb being combined into one skill group called Athletics:

I have 5 players...one is a pirate, multi-classing with the fighter/rouge classes. Unlike the other 4 characters, this "pirate's backround" comes from having few years at sea before he went adventuring. Again for arguements sakes lets say they are all 6th level and all of them have the Athletics Skill at max rank of 9. Perhaps the pirate should swim better then the rest of the characters? I say yes for this character and he makes a little note with a +2 for swimming and -2 for jumping when he uses his athletics skill.

As a continued example, perhaps 1 player's backround comes from an inland kingdom and he's never seen a major water source before per his backround. Perhaps he can't swim at all. So I either increase the difficulty rank for this 1 player when swiming or just take out swim all together till he is taught from the pirate. Being the character has a maxed rank in Athletics it shouldn't take to long till he learns.

"Over-all" the grouping of those 3 skills saved time because 3 didn't have to make any modifications at all.

"Overall" you actually lost time, since you spent twice as much time considering these skills each player separately but probably simultaneously did. You're still thinking in terms of the non-consolidated skills anyway, so why consolidate them in the first place?

Moreover, should it fall to you as the DM to decide that a character should get a bonus to swimming and a corresponding penalty to jumping, or should that fall to the player? I'd say the latter, and it's a lot easier for him to get things exactly the way he wants them if these skills are kept separate.

JohnnyKage wrote:

The easiest solution is not changing the characters rank in Athletics at all for any of the characters. As my final example: 5 players all from previous example. They are on a ship...ship rolls over in a storm...all characters have to make a difficult swim check of 15. For the pirate I make the difficulty a 12 (because hes been at sea) and from the one who doesn't know how to swim I make it a 20 because regardless hes a good athlete. I'm the GM so my word is god (in pertaining to the game).

This would all take all but 2 secounds to do. It was also the characters "backround that defined the characters more than any of thier skill ranks."

Except that this a) has nothing to do with the skills specifically (you're applying circumstance modifiers, which in itself is good but also means you're tampering with ability and that's bad: you can make it easier on the pirate because he's more familiar with the situation - good - or you can make it easier because you think he should be better at this sort of thing - bad, since how good or bad he is should be determined by his skill rank) and b) doesn't define the characters but rather how easy or difficult they have it in a given situation. The characters themselves are already defined by their background, and that should be reflected by their skill ranks.

JohnnyKage wrote:

Even when skills are grouped it's easy to make fast alternations ingame (a very important aspect). Out of game, it's faster for players to assign ranks when creating and adjusting for new levels, for GM's its faster for npc creation, monsters creation and all of thier uses.

Once again I will state that I fail to see how the grouping of some skills would remotely hurt the game (including character development) other than to make it simpler and faster "over-all and as a whole."

Your own examples already show that you (and consequently it can be presumed the same goes for your players) still think in terms of the separate skills rather than in terms of the consolidated skill. This means you're going to be de-consolidating the skills depending on the situation at hand, which makes things neither simpler nor faster but rather the opposite.

Dragonchess Player wrote:
The "ambiguity" is probably the difference between the light shield (or buckler) and [/b]heavy[/b] shield. At least that's my read of it. It's still a slight bump from the 3.5 PHB, which applied the arcane failure chance for any shield.

Not at all: the text is pretty clear when it comes to shields, you can take it completely literally. Moreover, shields don't come in light or heavy categories, even if some of them have such an indicator in their name.

I'm pretty sure it's (supposed to be) like this:
light armour: no ASF
shield and no somatic component: no ASF
shield and somatic component: ASF
medium/heavy armour: ASF

I wouldn't mind some official clarification myself though. Perhaps the bèta version of the rules will put it more clearly (all that needs to be done is move the somatic component part of the sentence forward, so it only applies to shields)?

Jason Beardsley wrote:

Dont know if this was covered, but on page 16 in PFRPG, it says:

A bard can cast bard spells while wearing light armor and using a shield without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. Like any other arcane spellcaster though, a bard wearing medium or heavy armor or using a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component.

Is it just me, or did those two sentences contradict each other..

The shield is not actually the issue, since the somatic component makes the difference: without somatic component, no ASF for using a shield; with somatic component, ASF for using a shield.

The real issue is what happens when wearing medium or heavy armour and trying to cast a spell without somatic component. Presumably the bard always suffers ASF when wearing medium or heavy armour, but the wording of the sentence above implies otherwise. There's no contradiction, but there is an ambiguous grey area.

poodle wrote:
I'm just curious why if we have gnomes (small tricksy dwarves), halflings (small tricksy elves), why is it that we don't have goblins (small tricksy orcs) as player characters.

The data necessary to play them is available, but I presume they're not presented as a core character option for pretty much the same reason drow aren't (because if the designers had wanted to, they could easily have made those a LA +0 race): it's quite hard to come up with a plausible justification how or why one would end up in a party of characters of other races (presumably mostly common ones) and get to stay there. It's possible, but by no means common enough to warrant a core spot.

JohnnyKage wrote:
Does a Cleric with a Religion rank of 15 define a character who has a religion role of 5? Yes but only a "small" amount providing there are 2 clerics in a party. In the over-all outlook of a character again, NO.

I disagree entirely. A 12th level cleric with a rank of 15 in knowledge (religion) is one who wants to understand his faith (and those of others). The same cleric with only a rank of 5 is one who approaches his faith as a gift to be accepted and cherished, but believes that understanding of his patron deity's wishes will come without effort, equally a gift. To me, that's very much defining of these characters.

Zynete wrote:
Pangur Bàn wrote:
ProsSteve wrote:
Sorry still can't get your logic, it's wasting time that i'd rather spend describing something more important to story.

Your version: roll 1d20 for a Perception check.

My version: roll 2d20 for a Spot and a Listen check.

It takes the same amount of time.

I disagree. Rolling takes roughly the same amount of time, but you still need to add up and compare an extra set of numbers.

So it takes a fractional amount of time more. If you're playing D&D, the math involved should be trivial.

JohnnyKage wrote:
I don't understand where skills define a character. To me role-playing and how a character makes use of his skills ingame defines a character. The over-all selection of trained skills defines a character too. If characters are defined by who had more ranks in jump or climb then it's a sad day for role-playing.

BAB is, essentially, the skill of attacking someone. Would you then say that having a high BAB is not defining for a warrior character?

A cleric with a high knowledge (religion) rank vs the same cleric with a low knowledge (religion) rank: wouldn't you say this rank is defining for what kind of cleric this is? It speaks volumes about his approach to religion, I'd say. Same with spellcraft or knowledge (arcana) for wizards or sorcerers.

These are obvious, clear-cut examples but the principle applies to skills in general.

JohnnyKage wrote:
As an example: Character A has a jump rank of 10. Character B has a jump rank of 5 and is wearing plate mail. Faced with a wide jump of 15ft and a ton of monsters behind them both characters decide to risk the jump. Character A rolls a 1 falls and dies, Character B rolls a 20 and clears the jump and lives. Now answer me this: at what point does this example define a character other than who lived and who died?

It defines them in that character A actually had a decent shot at this and B didn't. Luck (or the absence thereof) decided on how it went down here, but it a less extreme situation these ranks show the player what his (viable) options are.

You sait it yourself: use of skills in the game defines a character. You don't think that when and how skills are used is determined in great part by the rank a character has in these skills?

Duncan & Dragons wrote:
In ancient China, Confusian WAS Diplomacy. How you are defining diplomacy is Western.

No, how I'm defining Diplomacy is how the game defines it: as a skill that teaches you how to persuade others - any others, even those from an entirely different culture than yours. Etiquette and the like are part of this, but Confucianism doesn't teach etiquette in general either: it teaches what it sees as proper etiquette. Essentially though, it's a knowledge base. It's a body of wisdom. Being privy to this wisdom might give you a bonus of sorts in diplomatic situations (either circumstantial or perhaps as a synergy bonus to Diplomacy, but then I'd personally require it to be its own knowledge skill, not (religion) or (philosophy)), but it is not focused and specialized training for this specific goal. As such it can't be the skill Diplomacy, it's something else.

ProsSteve wrote:
Sorry still can't get your logic, it's wasting time that i'd rather spend describing something more important to story.

Your version: roll 1d20 for a Perception check.

My version: roll 2d20 for a Spot and a Listen check.

It takes the same amount of time.

ProsSteve wrote:
Regardless I guess we'll run the game the way we want to...

Definitely. I have a bunch of houserules for 3E that are far too extreme to be included officially in Pathfinder, but obviously I'll keep using them. I wouldn't expect anything else from you.

ProsSteve wrote:
Over the years of DMing I have had a PC sneak into an army of Devils who numbered in the thousands, other times PCs have stealthed up to an armed camp or castle with anything from two sentries to loads. You are clearly fortunate that you have PC's who don't try such gutsy actions.

So did you roll thousands of skill checks, or did you go for a more feasible approach? And if the latter, what's stopping you from doing the same now?

I honestly don't see the issue here. You roll two dice for every one you'd roll if both skills were consolidated, but you can roll them at the same time. The number of rolls is really the same, all that changes is the number of dice.

ProsSteve wrote:
4th Edition went crazy on skill consolidation and removed half the skills like craft, profession and changed the skill system completely which will end up with every fighter being a clone of each other, every rogue...etc.

Removing is not consolidating and neither is changing the system. Don't get me wrong, I don't like what's done with skills in 4E either, but the consolidation part of it is not really much worse than what I'm often seeing suggested here (how far the beta and the final version of Pathfinder will go - or hopefully not go, if I have things my way - is obviously still very much up in the air).

Confucianism is not Diplomacy. The best D&D analogy is Knowledge (religion), or perhaps Knowledge (Philosophy) if you care to add that to the skill list. The former is a class skill for monks, the latter should be if you do add it.

As Gailbraithe explained, Diplomacy is the fine art of persuasion. Unless they're proselytizing that's not really in the line of a monk's work, and the oriental monk the class is based on doesn't go in for that kind of thing (they're more of the 'you may find wisdom or it may find you, but I'm not pushing it down your throat' variety).

ProsSteve wrote:

Generally I prefer the Role play aspect of the game, rather than the Roll play. It needs a mechanic behind it but I can't see a reason to add unnecessary dice rolls especially as the DM can narrate. It also cuts down on the number of skill points needed for the rogue character which can't be a bad thing.

Again, if they're unnecessary you simply don't roll them. That doesn't mean they should be removed from the system altogether.

ProsSteve wrote:

As for rolling 2 different coloured dice for both spot and listen, yeah that works for 1 NPC but for ten or more...still too slow for me personally. Give me Alpha Skill consolidation any day ( but not 4th edition skill consolidation).

If you roll both at the same time, what's the difference between 1 NPC and 10 or more (and, honestly, how often do you need to make Spot or Listen rolls for 10 NPCs)?

What makes Alpha skill consolidation so much better than 4E skill consolidation?

ProsSteve wrote:
Ok I'll simplify the statement, unnecessary rolls...= BAD, less Rolls = Faster and Better.

If your guard needs to roll both Spot and Listen and the PC needs to roll both Hide and Move Silently, use 2 d20s each. Red is Spot/Hide, blue is Listen/Move Silently (replace with color of choice as desired). The speed difference is minimal. We already roll attack and damage at the same time as well.

ProsSteve wrote:
And I do disagree with the 'splitting the one skill into two is harder', I'd say the it was a doddle otherwise you may as well not bother with Pathfinder and stick to 3.5.

Pathfinder *is* 3.5, for purposes of continuity. I'll be happy with everything it fixes, but this doesn't seem like it needs fixing to me.

I live in Europe. The euro is officially what, 1.6 times as strong at the US dollar? Yet we still pay pretty much at an exchange rate of 1 euro/buck for our gaming supplies (funny how that didn't work the other way around back when the dollar was stronger than the euro).

I'm pretty sure it's supposed to be any creatures in or entering the area of effect, not just foes initially.

Fire Wraith wrote:
It's certainly understandable for Wizards to want to eliminate potential competition over their upcoming releases. I just don't feel that it is, in the long term, a good idea. The reason for that is that I think it overestimates the threat from competing third-party sourcebooks.

If, right now, the OGL applied to 4E as it did to 3E I could release a book containing a Bard, Barbarian, Druid, Sorcerer and various specialist Wizard (Necromancer, Evoker, Summoner, etc) classes and claim those names for 4E purposes for myself. I'd do that in a heartbeat, probably wouldn't even consider quality all that much as long as I made sure I was the first.

We're not talking sourcebooks here. This is about a core rulebook. WotC isn't about to let that slip out of their control.

Fire Wraith wrote:
Again, it's entirely anecdotal evidence, but from what I've seen, 3.x did vastly better vis-a-vis competing systems than 2nd Edition did.

2nd was the edition that ran D&D (or at least TSR) into the ground. WotC's primary challenge with 3E was to restore D&D to its former glory. The OGL obviously helped out tremendously in that regard.

With 4E, the situation is entirely different: D&D is leaps and bounds the most popular RPG around. However, thanks to the OGL the money generated by this popularity got spread around, it was not just going to WotC. Competition - from Wizards' POV - changed from D&D vs other systems to WotC vs 3rd party companies producing D&D material.

Now I'm not sure the GSL as is is the best approach to this situation, but the goal is pretty obvious: to gain more control again over the D&D property.

Also, consider the 4E business plan: the core rules are released in installments. Imagine the possibilities for 3rd party publishers if 3E's OGL applied equally now: you'd see a glut of 3rd party "PHB IIs", quickly developed and released before WotC gets to their version. They can't risk that - the core material has to remain in Wizards' hands, that's where the heart of the business is.

-Archangel- wrote:
Druids are the only ones that can cast spells in animal form (and only if they got the feat), and they use standard animal sounds and movements to do that.

Where does it say they use standard animal sounds and movements?

Phasics wrote:

WOW from all of this I got one very clear message

Most of us would be completely happy to dump Paladin Ranger Barbarian and even Monk , grab the unique parts of their classes and turn them into feats and a Fighter could become any one of them or indeed the oringinal fighter and only take up 1/4 of the space in the book.

That's the very clear message you got? How did you figure that?

James Griffin 877 wrote:
Gnomes:(Non Hobbit race 'B')

Gnomes exist in folklore. Hobbits don't, and as such neither do halflings (D&D's legally non-hobbit hobbits). I don't really care for where D&D has taken gnomes, but the same can be said for a great many creatures out of myths and fairy tales.

Brent wrote:
You're right. My apologies Pangur Ban. It is paranoid and not supported well by objective evidence. I apologize for attacking you personally and talking about you in a derogatory manner. I also apologize to the rest of you for sullying the board by engaging in this sort of behavior. I don't want to ruin this place for anyone, and Ixancoatl makes good points about the ridiculousness of my behavior.

Now that, that gets my respect. I do believe we can get along. Like a house on fire even, which you can take any way you like. ;-)

magnuskn wrote:
Anybody else thing Pangur Ban keeled over with a heart attack when got a sincere apology from Brent in an internet discussion? :P

You're wrong, sir, entirely wrong. In fact, the emotional intensity that ripped through me upon reading said post may well have saved me from a coronary after my over-abundant feasting on baked banana and peanut butter sandwiches. Elvis is dead, but his recipes for a light snack between meals may still cause me to join him soon.

James Jacobs wrote:
I'm relatively positive that the paragon Pathfinder path's "Wrong Step" and a few of its other abilities are in-house jokes or "easter eggs." And I pretty much agree with Erik on the thought that it's a pretty pathetic little bit of sniping, but I'm not letting it get under my skin like one of Hellboy's tooth fairies.

I'm not exactly part of the in-crowd so I'm not well-placed to judge these things, but do you honestly think that was meant as a sneer of sorts? It's a paragon path (paragon, as in shining example) and Wrong Step is a power that lets the Pathfinder sets his enemy up for a trap.

I'm frankly surprised you're not grinning and saying what a fine joke WotC played on themselves here.

Brent wrote:
Yet you still felt the need to trash my experience as being invalid, ...

Where did he make that claim? Looks like he just put his own opinions next to yours.

Brent wrote:

I did if you would just read further down in my next post. I pointed out all the reasons I felt the way I felt.


"All" the reasons comes down to:
1) the existence of a 4E "Pathfinder" path with a "Wrong Step" ability. If this has anything to do with Paizo it's a tribute, not a sneer.
2) the cancellation of the mags which, while I consider it deplorable as well, makes perfect sense from their DDI POV.
3) an utterly paranoid conclusion which you somehow label a reasonable leap of logic. People that post on different fora and are vocal are vocal on all these fora? That just doesn't make sense. There must be something evil behind it.

Brent wrote:
That is a personal attack. Tell the difference now Einstein?

Care to comment on my point about your baseless accusation, or are you going to keep tiptoeing around that one?

Brent wrote:
I am giving my opinion about a companies business practice in a thread in which that is the topic.

No, you're not. You're making an accusation based on what you think is a company's business practice. Which incidentally means you are attacking people, even if not to their face.

David Fryer wrote:
Can't we all just get along guys?

At this point, no. Sorry.

Brent wrote:
I'm not making an accusation, I am stating an opinion. So back off.

Please. If I say I think you're an idiot (which I don't, but it should illustrate the point), am I just stating an opinion? And if so, is it an opinion that should be voiced publicly? I beg to differ.

Brent wrote:
I also think that WotC is drumming up some of the negative sentiment because of Pathfinders success.

I think you should write an article for the Smoking Gun. It'd fit right in.

Honestly, if you're going to go around making this sort of sordid accusations you should at least provide something in the way of proof.

People on both sides of the fence are turning into rabid fanatics. Pathfinder is a giant target for those who turn their zealotry against 3E. That's all there's to it, IMO.

Jal Dorak wrote:
  • If the people who are happy with 4th Edition are not bothered by the changes to many things, were you unhappy with previous editions?

  • By extension, if you were unhappy with previous editions, does that mean you actually didn't like playing D&D but like RPGs?

  • And if this last point is true, why do you need a "new" version of D&D - there could have been something great already out there, like True20, Rolemaster, Heroes, etc).

    I would like to hear what a 4th Edition supporter thinks about those questions. It just seems that more people would be happy if 4th Edition was called "Pathfinder RPG" and Pathfinder was called "4th Edition D&D". Everyone gets what they want, and no-one gets upset.

  • These are actually loaded questions. The implication is that you're either pro or contra, that if you're pro one you must be contra the other, and that there's no middle ground. And that's precisely what's so aggravating to me: if I point out something I think could be done better, regardless of which system I'm talking about, I'm immediately labeled a hater. If I point out some things I like, I'm immediately a fanboy who loves everything about the referenced system. This is not conducive to good communication, let alone interesting conversation. People are digging trenches and putting on blinders. It's like watching a particularly sordid election year.

    I like many things about 3E, but I do have a binder of comments and houserules, not to mention a list of things I think are just too wrong to correct without scrapping it altogether and starting anew. I like quite a few things about 4E and expect I'll like 'em even more once the PHB II is released and I'll have what I expect to be the complete core 4E system, but there are also a significant number of things I don't like at all. I suspect that if I were to play 4E for a year or two, I'd end up with as many houserules for it as I now have for 3E.

    I like 3E better than 4E. That doesn't mean I think 3E is the holy grail of RPGs, nor that I think 4E is a steaming pile of excrement.

    To answer your questions anyway:
    1) I'm reasonably happy with 4E, I'm bothered by some changes (eg. skills) and not bothered at all by others (eg. reducing the part magical items play in standard games), was not unhappy with all previous editions (was quite unhappy with AD&D by the time 3E came around, was quite happy with 3E).

    2)If I was unhappy with AD&D, quite happy with 3E and reasonably happy with 4E, should I even try to form a response to the question whether I like playing D&D or not?

    3) Is whether I need anything all that important? I don't need a car, but it'd be nice to have one. I don't need TV, but I enjoy it nonetheless. I don't need half a dozen different RPGs, but I still play them (and more) and would prefer not to drop any of them.

    ProsSteve wrote:

    For example- PC sneaking down allyway 1 guard rolls higher so turns round and looks straight at the PC as the guard was looking the other way but the noise alerted him rather doing the two rolls(listen and spot) then saying you are silent as a cat but he see's you after the four rolls. Time wasted, game slowed. As the Rogue may need to make 5 lots of rolls to get past the two guards doing the 2 PC rolls and the two guard rolls each round this is 6 rolls rather than 3, multiply by the 5 rounds to do 30 rolls instead of 15.

    The game takes too much time as it is, lets speed it up.

    For the love of all that's good and holy, consider the structure of your sentences. That example is nearly incomprehensible, how is anyone supposed to reply intelligently to it? :p

    More to the point: as I've said elsewhere already, it's easier to houserule from complex to simple than vice versa. If you feel making two opposed rolls instead of one takes too much time, merging the two skills is easy. If you feel making just the one roll is not satisfying, splitting the one skill into two is harder. Not undoable, even quite easy if you have prior knowledge of the system, but the Pathfinder rules should also consider new players, players who get 3.P as their intro into D&D.

    Digitalelf wrote:
    While I can certainly see where you are coming from, I however see them as ideological first because from a personal perspective, I have run a very successful solo campaign for many, many years. And 4e shunts classes into specific roles. Any roleplayer worth their salt has no need for the rules (or any fluff for that matter) to tell them how to play their character (i.e. leader, defender, etc.)...

    The 4E roles don't tell you how to play your character. They tell you the principal part such a character typically (though not necessarily) has in combat. And again, 2E was the same - it just wasn't so explicit about it. Thieves and Rangers were the only ones with sneak abilities. Clerics had the healing monopoly. Fighters (and Paladins) had their followers, turning them into de facto leaders. And so on.

    3E was different in many ways from every other edition, not just from 4E.

    It actually is D20, I'll say that up front, but I'll toss it out there anyway: Midnight. All the goodness of 3E, but with 90% of the downsides thrown out. And the whole "evil won, save what you can" concept removes it completely from the feel of any other D20 game I've ever played.

    Digitalelf wrote:

    That is not where I went with the OP post...

    dread wrote:
    Its the fluff changes that have most of irked at WotC...that and the idealogical changes...

    I thought of the changes in the classes, and all those “kewl powrz” they all get, the loss of a magic system we love to hate, etc, etc, etc...

    Those are what I would label mechanical changes first, and fluff or ideology a distant second. So I'm kind of at a loss where you're going now (presuming you're dread, which is what you're implying).

    The ideology of 4E is, compared to those of 3E and 2E, for a great part a return to the latter. Classes have very specific abilities others don't, which pushes them in a specific corresponding role in the party, and core mechanics focus almost exclusively on combat and conflict - that applies to 4E and 2E both.

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