Emkrah

Psion's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber. Organized Play Member. 69 posts. No reviews. No lists. 2 wishlists.


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Please cancel the Starfinder pawns from my sidecart.


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In my games, there's are two types of players: the rules explorer and the casual gamer.

Rules explorer types always delve into extra books. These are the guys to whom I have to say "if you play that you'll have to hand-write your character because your third party option isn't in hero lab."

Then there's the casual gamer types, who are pretty much ALWAYS core unless they have another player as a rules-consultant or want something very specific that has noting to do with what's in the core book (e.g.: "I want to play a fairy!")


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Other than the flurry of (cool sounding) monsters you churned out, how does this compare/contrast with the Unchained monster generation system?


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Hey there, just wanted to chime in that I have started a Scarred Lands PbP and have bookmarked this thread. Thanks for all your work, and if there is something I convert for my own purposes, I'd be glad to post it here.

As my moniker might imply, any conversions that I do with Psionics related to them will use Dreamscarred's psionics material.


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My players started City of Seven Spears last week. They decided to set their campsite up on Uggimo's island in the government district.

Now last session, they defeated Uggimo and made their first foray into the serpentfolk controlled section of the district. They will undoubtedly run into the Rakshasa soon. Reading up on the Rakshasa, it seems like his plans and the detail in general leave something to be desired.

To flesh out his plan a bit and make it fit an intensely clever narcissistic hedonist, I decided to flesh out his strategy a bit.

If he notices the PCs approach (which is just about certain if they get in a tussle with serpentfolk), he will become invisible and observe the PCs. When he is ready, he will pick out a PC to target for his pleasure, assume the form of an attractive tribesman of the opposite gender, and attempt to lure them in by pretending to be a prisoner of the serpentfolk they have just slain.

(As a side note, I changed the overpowering scent to a subtle one... curious PCs who make a perception check might find some bodies stashed in a distant corner of the dome, perhaps being a clue to Akarundo's true nature)

If they party tried to get him to leave, he will make up a fictional serpentfolk priest whose magic holds him thrall, implying some geas like effect. He will try to get the PCs to bed down for the night, saying he can keep them safe in the dome. He will try to lure an attractive character or a Lothario into a tryst for the evening.

Sometime during the night (especially if the above fails), he will try to use message, suggestion, and silence to lure away a second character, and assume a different form, pretending to be another figure (say, a tribseman related to the first) and attempt to have a good time with the second character.

Eventually, he will tire of the PCs or they will see through his ruse. He will sneak away if possible, and get the serpentfolk to come visit, possibly using illusion spells to create the sounds of one of the supposed identities being abducted by serpentfolk.

Then he'll make a grand play of having the serpentfolk bear up his alter-ego onto the ziggurat, possibly having earlier intimated that sacrifice is in the offing. If the players decide they need to execute a daring rescue, so much the better.

Of course, at some point this will likely all seem too odd for the PCs. When that happens, Akarundo will likely shed his disguise and blast them.


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Mortagon wrote:
Saventh-yhi got really repetitive really fast.It all went down to clearing one district at a time one encounter at a time. It became a grindfest and my players constantly wondered what all the other factions was doing while they went around killing everything in sight.

Y'know, I sort of saw this coming. But to me, the solution was in hand: the other factions are not going to sit on their hands. Factions move in and take over districts of their own at the same time. I forsee the PCs only really engaging in 2 or 3 districts at the most (with one being an alliance with the serpent tribe in the artisan district if they play their cards right.)

I am planning on dropping hints directing them towards the districts I think sound the coolest. The rest of the districts will be taken by other factions. Then the action moves away from the repetitive "clear the hex", and more faction rivalry and diplomacy.


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Lord Pel wrote:
Psion wrote:
Least favorite: the all-too-common "combat is the solution to everything" approach to the game.
Would it be fair to say therefore that this is a very much Hack-And-Slash AP?

That's not exactly what I am saying, no. I may have overstated the case a bit; there are some pretty appreciable non-combat challenges for the group (not spoilering anything here; if you are playing in this game, you shouldn't be reading this thread!): activating the tide stone and otherwise finding your way across the lagoon, finding the prizes for Nkechi.

More what I am getting at is it seems like there were a few moments that shouldn't have been combats but were (like the idols in the Azlanti ziggurat in Tazion) and there was a dearth of classic pulp/Indy style tropes that would have made the game more fun (puzzles, chases). For example, the assault by the faction agents at Kalabuto was a potentially harrowing fight. But just think how much more fun it would have been if they broke in and stole something needed to get to Tazion!


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I have run the first 2 books and embark on City of Seven Spears this Friday.

My favorite? So far it has been the castaway NPCs and their personal quests-it has added a personal flavor to the adventure.

Least favorite: the all-too-common "combat is the solution to everything" approach to the game. I think this is a heavily pulp (/Indiana Jones style "neo-pulp") feel of the adventures could have afforded a lot more in the way of sneaking, problem solving, and desperate chases, but there is precious little to facilitate it. (Thankfully, I have found some solutions to that in this forum.)


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dwtempest wrote:
Sent. I've also updated the Ziggurat/puzzle based on actually running it. So if folks I've sent it to earlier want the update let me know via email as you should have my address now. :)

Can you fire me a copy at adkohler/at/gmail/dot/com?

Thanks!


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I am running it, but as I am severely modding it (not to mention, running it with Fantasy Craft), which might make comparing notes a little less useful than it might have been.

I'm trying to go for more of a Indiana Jones vibe, so I am cutting out big swaths of adventures. Mostly, I am only running encounters with pictures to them.

Smugglers shiv went fairly quickly. I was using an established group with a ship, so I changed the scenario to the group was pursuing Yarzoth and knew she was headed to the island, and they encountered the castaways and investigated from the outside. They knocked off all the castaway quests in one session!

I gutted Racing to Ruin. I wasn't digging the dinosaur-maiden and salt mines, so replaced it with the Fire Forest adventure from the War of the Burning Sky path by EN publishing. I kept the first and last parts. The part in the city turned out to be a lot of fun, and fit my group's style very well (which sort of surprised me; it doesn't read as well as it played).

I'm running Kalabuto and Tazion next session. I'm liking the idea of making the idols into a puzzle.

Gorbacz wrote:

City of Seven Spears is the Memory of Darkness of this AP. OK, it's somewhat better, since it's more easily salvageable, but still - if I see an adventure in the AP that requires me to spend energy in order to liven it up and make it something else than just a meat-grinder, I lose interest.

Vault of Madness is somewhat better (hey, it's a Greg A. Vaughan adventure), but it's still "run around and kill stuff, only with more variety".

See, I see the City as filled with potential. It's why I ran the adventure path. I plan on making the opposing factions fully active, and drop hints of what they are up to while the PCs make their own way, working alliances and investigating opposing activities.

Vaults, I plan of gutting. I don't want to run 7 vaults worth of mini dungeon hacks. I'm going to stick to the big plot points (the portal, gorilla king). I'm debating whether or not to include the whole intellect devourer thing. It may depend on our time: the horror theme fits the feel of the game to this point, but I'm more about the pulpy stop the evil plan goodness.


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Not me, not so much.

When I first saw it, I thought it would fit great in my seafaring/horror game, and figured I could write it in as a segment of my campaign.

Since then, Serpent Skull was announced, came out, and I'm already onto the second adventure.

I'm pretty soured by waiting and have zero faith it will ever be out now.

Thing is, I've pre-ordered for other products recently (Targets of Opportunity, The Laundry RPG, Starblazer Adventures.) While there were mild (Laundry) to Long (SBA) delays, they eventually came through. So I was willing to be patient at first.

But looking like I didn't beat the odds this time.


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Vic Wertz wrote:
Ben Crick wrote:
I know you're trying to appeal to your audience through meme-usage paizo, but apes are not monkeys.

There is a monkey in this volume. It even has an illustration, on page 20.

** spoiler omitted **

Awesome.

I was planning on running Serpent Skull #1-3, just thinking I'd make them a bit more Indiana Jones-ishness to them and cap them off myself.

Then you pop that on me; that looks like it's destined to be a classic game.

I guess #4 is on the menu. So to speak. :)


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Vic Wertz wrote:
(Adobe removed the ability to extract images in Adobe Reader 9, so keep your copy of Reader 8 around!)

Aha! That explains why I can pull the image out on my laptop, but not the desktop!

Gotta watch out for them.


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I didn't feel that multiclassing was as restricted in 3.5.

I'm also not too keen on the fly skill.


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I think Vomit Swarm and Swarm Skin are pretty nifty.


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When the kids ask to play D&D, I pull out Pathfinder.

When I am getting together with adults to play, it's Pathfinder.


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Animal Shamans:

Are the Totem Transformation abilities missing the line "this replaces the Woodland Stride (and Trackless Step) abilities"? Right now, it seems like they get something (pretty good) for nothing at 2nd level.


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The order notification that it was supposed to "ship next week" happened almost 3 weeks ago. Is the t-shirt holding it up? Please let me know what is up and if possible, a revised estimate of when I can expect it to ship.

Thanks!


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Ravendragon wrote:

Asn an avid 3rd edition era fan of Oathbound, I am really excited to hear that the campaign setting is making the transition to Pathfinder.

http://www.epidemicbooks.com/Upcoming.aspx

Awesome!


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hmm... it is an interesting idea I have seen floating around for a while now. Although I can see the utility of making Initiative a skill, it does make it a must have for a number of classes, some of which are a bit strapped for skill points (and increasing that number is not much of an option at this point).

Thoughts?

Yes.

The thing about using skill for initiative in SWSE is that untrained skills still progress at half your level. It's not a drain on your skill resources. Though I hate that rule, in that context, it works.

As Pathfinder has (thankfully, IMO) not chosen to go with that convention, I think you are better off without initiative as a skill.


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Another vote for MegaTraveller.

Though Mongoose Traveller and T20 aren't half bad. I even daresay that Gateway to Destiny/995 is one of my favorite Traveller regions/milieus.

I also appreciated GT not for its rules, but some of its supplements, especially First Survey.

TNE and T4 I hate with the burning fury of 1000 spectral class O stars.

Chris Mortika wrote:


MegaTraveller, written by the DGP people, instituted a new system, based on what was then the current Traveller rules, but with new task-management mechanics that were half-written and sort of unplayable. I don't know about you, but everybody I know who tried to play MegaTraveller just went back to using Traveller rules and played with the new univese.

That's 180 degrees out of phase from where I am standing. The task system was anything but half written. It was the perfect combination of comprehensive and easy-to-use. To this day, I think it's one of the most compelling task systems going.

But we had people who took the MT rules and kept chugging away with their no-rebellion universe, plugged it in to CT adventures, etc.


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Vote early, vote often!

And don't forget to come back next week for the judge voting. And if you would like to see a fellow Paizo fan on the panel (ahem), I'm in the running for a judge position.


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Fake Healer wrote:

It's gonna be real hard for them to put a cap on 'Drow'. 'Oh not the D&D Drow, the Everquest drow is our influence' or any of the other myriad of usages recently. Not to mention that Drow is quite an ancient term in legend and myth. I misremember what type of creature it was in reference to exactly but.....

You guys seem to be under the impression that we are talking about copyright here. They can't copyright something clearly in the public domain.

But YOU can enter a license agreement that obligates YOU to avoid using it.

Which is why I, were I a publisher, wouldn't touch the GSL.


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Krauser_Levyl wrote:
SirUrza wrote:

3) There won't be any more Books of Erotic Fantasy.

Yeah, and 3) is very annoying if you think about it.

Was this a surprise to anyone? It was directly precedented by the D20 STL.


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Outstanding news, guys. I guess Monte's retreat from the RPG industry is going slower than he hoped. :)

Good for us, though.


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Nyarlathotep wrote:

I've been reading the thread over on ENWorld about the GSL and it seems a little... scary.

http://www.enworld.org/showthread.php?t=224085

Yeah. And some say, provisions targeted straight at Paizo. Once you GSL, you lose it if you publish OGL again.

In short, you publish GSL 4e or continue to publish OGL 3e, not both.


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It's cool that psionics will have a place in the Golarion continuity. The idea of other planets as a source adds a sort of cool "Planetary Romance" angle that, having been reading a little ERB lately, seems very cool.

I'm cool if there is no Pathfinder PC psionics book so long as the compatability goal of the books is met. I have plenty of other third party psionics books I'd like to continue using.


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Evil Genius wrote:
I wasn't a fan of synergies... To me, they were just another way to boost Diplomacy up to an insane level and talk enemies into defeat.

That's another thing:

This effect is pretty much acknowledged so: why let them break the stacking rule?


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I think skill synergies are nice in theory... that theory being that it takes into account related concepts and is simpler than gurps when it comes to correlating skills.

In practice: it's still too complicated, and where it is used, it's used to minmax, or causes lookups.

I think something more GM-driven would work well. If the DM decides a second skill would help for a given task, you get a synergy bonus. But a static table of bonuses that you have to look up and only makes sense in certain circumstances doesn't do much for me.


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This already came up in other threads, but I'll restate it here:

1) I think it's a horrible idea to ditch cross class skills entirely. D&D is a class based game, and the notion of "coherent skill sets" is the only reason that classes make sense at all.

HOWEVER

2) It does limit concepts, but NOBODY thinks paying x2 is worth it for getting a cross class skill.

The simple solution I recommend: everyone gets 1 (or 2? or all your int bonus skills?) free class skills that's not on their normal skill list. This is a solution that games like Cyberpunk and Call of Cthulhu have been using for a long time. The bulk of skills are concept related, but a few points for electives gives you room to craft a character to your background.

I like the way Spycraft opens up skill options with origins, but there's not much room for this under the compatibility goal. :)


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Design Focus: Skills

For information on design focus threads, please read this thread.

It has become apparent that there are a great number of opinions on the new skill system. I would like to spend a moment to talk about some alternatives that we might explore to help address some of the problems. Here are the options:

1. Pathfinder: (snip)
2. 3.5 OGL: (snip)
3. Combination: (snip)
4. Hybrid System: (snip)

I'm in favor of 3.

Having played spycraft 2.0 for some time now, I find simplifying NPCs but keeping things robust and detailed for players is a very workable compromise. Even in D&D, most PCs and many NPCs I will handpick ranks for, but for most NPCs I just max out the ranks of a few skills.

I do think etrigan has a point about bloating out skills; using the pathfinder system as presented in the alpha is a comparability obstacle; in the combination system, the "NPC" subsystem would need to be toned down somewhat.

4 doesn't seem to save that much work to me.


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SargonX wrote:


Not sure where the "dichotomy" is, but:

Everyone defending skill points makes the point that if they can't put a rank or two into that fourth skill, suddenly their character isn't defined. And under 3.5 skill points, that might be true. But remember that in Pathfinder you actually get more skills. If you don't have enough skill choices to get that one skill, you'll get a new skill choice in 2 levels.

If you just want to be crappy at a skill and never improve it, don't choose that skill and use it untrained. You can't get any crappier than that!

Was on my way out the door last post, but just wanted to address the rest of this.

I'll tackle the first and last paragraphs first. Because to answer the first paragraph, you need look no further than the last. Putting less than full ranks in a skill is not the same as putting no ranks in it. That's a textbook case of "excluding the middle", the middle in this case being putting somewhere between 0 and max ranks.

Now, to the second paragraph. There are two problems I see here. First, I am held off in defining some level of skill in that last skill until 2nd level. It's a short wait, I guess I can live with it. But then, at 2nd level, another player who might have a character of the same class that I am gets a new skill whether he wants it or not. He takes the same skill just because he needs to add one, not because he was interested in crafting his character the same way I am, and he picks the same skill.

Further, considering that many of the skills are collected into other skills, the menu of skills is shorter. You add skills every X levels, pretty soon all characters look the same as they become so bloated with skill they all begin to overlap as they all have bloated skill lists that are a bigger chunk of the full skill list, compounding the problem.

In essence, this change takes away one of the main tools I used to distinguish different characters of the same class. I consider the result insufficiently nuanced for my gaming purposes.

You want a compromise that would work for me if you MUST ditch skill points (and I'm seeing I'm not alone in this sentiment), you can create different skill advancements just like you have different save advancements. Call "full advancement" 3+level ranks, call "half advancement" half of full. Now, let any character trade 1 "full skill" for 2 "half skills". Give characters a HALF skill every few levels instead of a full skill, and you start to address your problem of "skill bloat" as well.


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SargonX wrote:
Just like having a "maxed out" skill system doesn't mean those who have the skill point philosophy still can't have skill points. But making that the default does crimp the style for those who want the ease and simplicity of maxing them out.

Speaking as someone who just maxes out NPCs all the time, this is not true. Just pick your skill points per level in skills and assume they are maxed out. Done. That's nearly identical to the pathfinder system as presented, but doesn't hold me back in cases where I want to create a character with a broader, lower skill base.


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SargonX wrote:

I'm a bit befuddled at all the love for skill points.

Does one rank here or there in a skill really "define" your character all that much?
When you make a skill roll with that 1-rank skill and fail, don't you wish you had just a few more ranks to make that roll?
Why wouldn't you max out a skill if you had the opportunity?

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that someone who likes dichotomous skills defends them with a dichotomy. ;)

Nope, for me it rarely comes down to 1 rank in a skill.

What it DOES come down to is having some ability in 3 skills or 4 if having some skill in that 4th skill defines my character. So if I have 12 points to split between those skills, its not so important to me that I max them all out at 4; I'm happy to put points in all the skills I think define my character (like 3 each).

It's not like having skill ranks those who have the "all maxed out" philosophy still can't max them out. But making that the default does crimp the style for those who don't always max them out.


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Erik Mona wrote:

If the idea is to create an entirely new RPG based on D&D, then I could support the approach.

That is not the idea. I don't think we can eliminate attribute scores and have a backward compatible game.

I was about to say. If the point is compatibility, and all stats look different.

I agree it would be an improvement, but not enough of an improvement that it makes up for loss of compatibility if that's your goal.


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If you could find a portable way to do it (SWSE's approach might work, but I wonder if you'd hit some portability snags), I think it's a very compelling change. This, along with buffs, are the bane of high level play to me.


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Well, from an ideal standpoint, I think you are right. Other games (including nameless d20 derivatives...) roll saves and resistance into the same roll.

That said I HATE immunities and disagree with the notion of using them as a replacement. (I have a homebrew template I use to power down golems because I hate it so much.)

Finally, whilst I may agree this is something that could clean up play a bit, I think it runs afoul the goal of backwards compatibility too much.


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Crodocile wrote:

Craft- Knots.

I think Rope Use is too specific too. Making it part of climbing and/or survival seems best to me.

Yeah. I don't see many people take it.


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Lord Zeb wrote:

I was thinking about skills last night when I stayed up too late. I'd prefer to have something more like Spycraft, meaning:


  • Skill points instead of Saga style
  • Complex skill checks
  • No cross-class skills, all skills available for all characters
  • More Skill Points for each class
  • Combine similar skills as presented in Alpha

Spycraft does have class and cross-class skills. I think that's a good thing, and I think it would be a mistake to forego that.

What spycraft does do is provide a variety of options (principally in Origins) to expand class skill lists. A simple way to get at the same thing without adding a whole lot of complication would be to simply allow players to choose a bonus class skill.


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I've already said this, but let me reiterate it here since there is a thread specifically on the topic. Or rather, let me just say I agree with Rezdave, who captures my thoughts on the subject well.

Rezdave wrote:

I prefer Skill Points to the Pathfinder "Force Max" system. This is somewhat like reverting to 1st Ed. when Thieves had specifics skill-table percentages.

If people want to max then the extant Skill Point system lets them. However, for those who want to max a couple key Skills and then have a broader base of abilities to get them by in most day-to-day circumstances in other areas the new Force-Max does not give them any flexibility.

Since Pathfinder is about role-playing and "telling the kinds of stories we want to tell" rather than WotC's evolving delve hack-n-slash MMO-on-paper-and-tabletop system, I think retaining the flexibility of Skill Points is critical.


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Jacob Driscoll wrote:

...is still a problem.

For me, this was rarely to never a problem. When it was, the solution was to put the players on the clock.

Something like reserve feats to make nuissance encounters less draining and let wizards feel they are contributing when they don't want to pull out "the big guns" would not be unwelcome, though. Trying to change to 4e "per encounter" wholesale, on the other hand, would be. I consider the "immediate power versus long term power" aspect that existed from 1e-3e to be a fundamentally viable balancing strategy.


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One frequent nit I hear and agree with (and see the alpha document retains) is the idea in the core rules that the rogue should have some special dispensation to find traps with DC > 20.

Might I recommend that you let perception do general Trapfinding duty, but make the Trapfinding ability an ability akin to the elves' secret door finding ability. i.e., give the rogue a free perception check when about to enter the area of effect of a trap or adjacent to its triggering mechanism.


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Nope, gotta disagree. As much as I think the system could be more flexible, D&D is a class based game, and a certain relationship between your class and what you know how to do well makes sense and supports the class role.

Kruelaid wrote:
Or each class could choose a class skill(s): a customization/free class skill.

That's a very straightforward and appealing solution, similar to the one games like Call of Cthulhu and Cyberpunk have done for years.


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Werecorpse wrote:

1. You are virtually required to Max out a skill which means at high level you either have the skill or dont.

2. those classes without many skill points are doubly penalised by not having many class skills thus they dare not spend too much on outside skills

3. The system is very unfriendly for GMs (& especially) Publishers statting out monsters.

1. I've heard this asserted before, but never seen it pan out that way in play. Certainly, you want your recon specialist to max their spot out, but all players? No.

2. This, I'll agree with. I think that there has to be a better method to allow access to cross-class skills. Grim Tales lets you build your own class skill list; spycraft has many options that let you expand your skill list.

3. I use the "max out" shortcut; that's almost identical to the proposed rule in alpha, the exception being I don't HAVE TO use it.


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Alberto Casarrubios wrote:
I like the idea of a briefer skill list and an overall simplification of the skill system (I never liked synergies, for instance). But I'm not fond of the on/off skill system that seems so popular in d20-based rpgs in recent times.

Just to be clear, this is the boat I am in. The shorter skill list is a good thing, in my experience. Spycraft uses a similar "rolling together" of skills. It has a positive impact on character design; whereas you rarely see many players put many skill points in jump or climb, the somewhat broader acrobatics and athletics see more love by players and more application in play.

It's the lack of ability to finely hone PC skill levels that is a dealbreaker for me.


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Yeah, Spycraft pumps up the skill enhancer feats. The same exact approach wouldn't work here, but +2/+2 seems a little weak in retrospect.


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John Kretzer wrote:
One of the thing I think was the best about 3.x was the skill points...so why are you dumping them?

I agree.

There are some folks who like the saga way of doing things. I, for one, do not.

The saga-fied skill system works for shortcuts for quick statting of NPCs. But I find the lack of flexibility for PCs unacceptable.


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Thanks, Lisa, Erik, Jason, and everyone else involved.

And lest I forget: thank you Ryan Dancey.


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Erik Mona wrote:

1) Do you plan to convert to the new edition of D&D?

2) If Paizo converts its RPG products to 4.0, how will that affect your purchasing patterns for our products?

3) If Paizo does not convert its RPG products to 4.0, how will that affect your purchasing patterns for our products?

Well, I'm sure there is no scenario which will net you everyone who might continue purchasing Paizo material in the future. However:

1) I may buy some books to play with friends, but "convert" is an open term. I will probably run all my own D&D games in 3.5.

2) I probably won't buy any DM oriented products that aren't edition neutral. Player oriented, only if I felt it played into the game.

3) As competition will have winnowed away, it will become a strong competitor for my gaming dollars. I don't know if I could buy adventure paths forever, though.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rhothaerill wrote:
That was actually because of his deal with a 4th edition pit fiend instead of a 3rd edition pit fiend. The 4th edition guy preferred combat and didn't have enough experience with infernal pacts so he accidentally let a sense of humor slip through to a lawyer.

LOL

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