Monk

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Given that there can be a Lore for nearly anything, I'm curious to hear what new Lores people have come up with so far.

For example: in my game, the Cleric got Additional Lore to take "Healer Lore", basically to have the ability to use recall knowledge that would be associated with injuries/recovery, and to represent healing as a profession.


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My group was off last week coincidentally just like the forums. This week however we had a brief game.

Having leveled up to 2 at the end of last session, I was eager to see if they party felt any more competent, (the main benefit to leveling in my view). The party faced off against a team of Orc adventurers, a Paladin, Sorcerer, and Monk. The party's tactics had improved, which allowed the rogue to get two good sneak attack bow strikes off and take down the Sorcerer, but exactly as at 1st level everything was down to the dice. None of the characters really seemed any better at using their abilities because as their skill, attack, and defense numbers had grown, so too did the target numbers. The paladin particularly was difficult to deal with, due to high AC (half-plate, heavy shield when raised) & self healing, and probably would have taken out at least one party member before the party could deal with him... except a crit happened. The PC Rogue was on the ropes against the Monk, again until a crit happened, with a Deadly weapon no less. Overall it felt more like a contest of pure luck than any kind of skill. The only way in which player characters felt as though they had grown was by having higher max HP.

Going forward, I'm going to go off-script and begin adjusting rules in ways that I think will make for a better experience. If anyone is interested, I can post the changes I make and what effect they have, but otherwise my time with a "by the book" playtest has ended.


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With a now built and blooded party, I set them up with a standard style short dungeon experience: a cave with three encounters. One three 0lv monsters, one with two 0lv & one 1lv, and finnally, a mini-boss that was 2lv with a 0lv henchguard.

My observations: Everything was reliant on the dice. Good initiative rolls made the battles much easier, as the enemies were consistently going last. At the same time, half the party couldn't hit anything on first attacks due to roll results. Alchemist was very useful by attacking TAC and adding persistent damage. Our Rogue faced the same stealthy rogue with a noisy party issue that is a common problem of TTRPGs, but the improved Stealth mechanics in the playtest allowed the Rogue to remain unseen until attacking even though rest of the party was as loud as a motorbike. The Rogue also took advantage of the Surprise Attack feature by using ranged attacks and spreading attacks across multiple targets on the first round. Luckily the player was rolling well, so the tactic was effective.

In the mini-boss room, I had left hints that there could be something beyond despite no obvious exit. This is where another issue became apparent: using Recall Knowledge type skills to search. None of the characters had Lore: Mining, Lore: Caverns, Lore: Stonecarving, or any other kind of Lore that would apply to finding a secret door or weakened wall in a cave. Why Perception can't be used as a search skill is a bit confusing.

The game also offered our first chance at Exploration Mode. It was quickly awkward and stilted trying to categorize player actions according to subheadings/groupings, and we reverted back to not using Exploration Mode and simply running non-combat in a more natural free form way.

I ended the night with having the characters advance to level 2, in recognition of their deeds and successes to that point (and so we could test levelling and see how much difference a level would make next session).


Setting Info (irrelevant to playtest, included for those curious)

Spoiler:
In an alternate Golarion, the Starstone shattered because it delivered its final apotheosis. The final successful trial attempt was made by a wise and experienced Orc who had the dream of bringing his people together to cooperate for a better future. Meanwhile the shattering led to unrest and flare-ups of conflict between human kingdoms, nations, and empires, fearful of what such an event might portend. In time the humans started warring, and steadily more were drawn into the conflict. While the humans fought each other and grew weaker, a prophet arose among the Orc tribes that brought word of the new god offering glory and prosperity. The disparate tribes began to unite, and the shared bonds of worship and ritual shaped the forming culture, giving them discipline and purpose. When the Orc legion began to move upon the human cities, the humans were caught completely off guard. Humans were both weakened by their ongoing conflict, and too embroiled in the pettiness of that conflict to cooperate with recent enemies. Against the ferocious zeal of the Orc legions, as well as the tactical insight of their great prophet, the human lands fell like a house with a collapsing foundation.

The playtest game is set 25 years after the final city fell. Orcs have built a mighty empire ruling all of the once human owned lands. They practice a henotheistic faith, with their Orc god as the supreme divinity, and all other gods seen as lesser/subservient. In this empire, Orcs have full legal status and rights. Orc ally groups (goblins, ogres, bugbears, hobgoblins) that gave support during the war have near full status and full rights. Most other groups (including elves, dwarves, and gnomes) have limited status, and limited rights. Humans, and any group seen as human-tainted (such as half-elf, and oddly halfling) have no status other than those kept as property, and no rights. The exception is half-Orcs, as religious teachings say that such individuals can be redeemed from their state through faith. As such half-Orcs enjoy the status of allies, so long as they keep the faith, and don't act against Orcs. Free humans, in a near complete reversal, primarily persist only on the frontiers and fringes of the land, mostly living in crude often nomadic encampments and constantly on guard against incursions from Orc adventurers. The playtest game begins with the PCs in one such village.

The majority of the first session was taken up by chargen. The initial process of making characters went pretty smoothly, but upon equipment, the first common issue arose: each player in turn asked what the L meant for a bulk entry. Having a small key with each table could be helpful. The next snag appeared when filling out values on the character sheet. The player were confused by what the prof value was and how it interacted with training level. One player had attempted to find information in the skills section (they are a longtime player so they recognize "trained" as a term from skills in the previous edition), but of course it isn't there. Overall, the players found the layout of the book confusing and difficult to navigate for the systems information they needed to stat character sheets (redundancy of simple but essential information would go a long way, like with the entry listing what modifiers affect a roll, a small box saying "remember, proficiency= lv-2 untrained, lv trained, lv+1 expert, lv+2 master, lv+3 legendary" would go a long way. Once I explained what the prof value was, and how it mixed with training level, they understood it.

We just had time for a quick intro afterwards, and one combat. The extra HP compared to the previous edition did go a long way to making the first level have less risk of being instantly fatal. A single party level +1 enemy was a significant challenge, but that was due more to rolling (the enemy rolled a crit against a PC as a second attack after a successful regular first attack.) Fortunately, the party had a cleric with energy channel Heal available. This did lead to another spot of confusion though, as the dying entry did not make any mention of how/if applying a magical healing would impact the process. It also seemed odd, that despite being healed above zero HP, the player still had to roll a fortitude save to expunge the dying property (because they had been felled by a critical hit, they went to dying 2 instead of dying 1. The system says that beginning their turn above zero HP will automatically remove one rank of dying, which meant the player had to roll to remove the other rank). Additionally, one PC did critically fail and attack roll, and as I hadn't seen if there was a standard for what critical failure on a regular strike resulted in, I let them choose between either the momentum of the badly missed attack causing them to fall prone, or losing their grip on their weapon and dropping it (the idea being that the critical failure would consume an extra action to recover from). Otherwise, this first combat went okay, and I'm looking forward to tying out more of the new material next week.


I just got on Steam, and I'd like to ask if anyone has recommendations about good Metroidvania games to try?

For point of reference, I've played and enjoyed SotN (and the DS Castlevania games), Salt & Sanctuary, and Cally's Caves 3.

I'd prefer games with multiple weapon types, and a playable female character.

I don't like games that use a lose all progress upon death mechanic common to older style roguelikes.

Thanks.


I thought of something today, and while I'm pretty sure there's no official answer, I thought I'd check.

A being has died from ghoul fever, and is transformed into a ghoul. As part of becoming a ghoul, the being's alignment changes to Chaotic Evil. The ghoul is later slain. Soon after, the being is the target of Raise Dead. Does the being return to life Chaotic Evil?

Would the answer be different if the undead type the being becomes is a vampire, thus retaining the being's intelligence, personality, and experiences?


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I'm just about halfway through book 2, and my players have surprised me a number of times with things, so I wanted to share their actions and how I changed things based upon them.

The party decided to enter the Glassworks via the delivey door mentioned in the note. This lead to them discovering the stairs down and rescuing Ameiko before anything else. I had to tell them directly not to enter the catacombs yet. 'you feel like this area is different from the rest of the structure, older, more dangerous, and probably not part of the kidnapping'.

One character has gotten into the habit of using Bullrush at opportune moments in order to quickly eliminate enemies. At the Glassworks, he was able to push two different goblins into the furnace. Later, at Thistletop, they party had cleared the stockade, but needed to rest. They were aware of the stairs leading down, so they hid the signs of fighting and secured themselves in Ripnugget's room to overnight. I decided it would be amusing to have Bruthazmus come up to... water the bunyip from the cliffside near the bridge, and it so happened the this character was the one on watch at the time. He followed Bruthazmus, saw the brute standing at cliff's edge, and successfully bullrushed the bugbear right off the cliff. I did have the player make a WIS check, to point out that if anyone below was expecting the bugbear to return, an alarm may be raised when he didn't arrive. The character awoke the rest of the party to inform them, and they decided offense was called for. Even though it was ostensibly the middle of the night, I decided that the only one who would actually be in bed was Orik. Lyrie and Nualia both struck me as the types to burn a bit of the midnight oil to feed their interests.

The party has also shown quite a penchant for capturing enemies alive. Tsuto, Lyrie, Erin, and Caizarlu were all apprehended and turned over to the Sandpoint guard. Tsuto and Lyrie were transported to Magnimar to be tried (because of strong feelings involving the goblin raid they could not be fairly tried in Sandpoint). Ironbriar will accquit both of them on technicalities (PCs not being present to testify even though nobody notified them), and they will join him in the battle where the PCs confront him later. Caizarlu was also transferred to Magnimar, due to being wanted in connection with Sczarni activites. Erin isn't guilty of much other than extremely poor judgement, as far as I can tell. The unsavoury nature of his deal will assure his sanitorium never has another client.

Speaking of the Sanitorium, upon first seeing Grayst, and making the Heal check well enough to recognize his exact condition, the party druid immediately declared she would cast Remove Disease on him. The level check succeeded, and Grayst was left mad, but no longer in danger of undeath. Grayst still lunged at the obsession character, but without the benefit of undead strength he was too weak to escape his restraints. (The party subdued him, which alerted Caizarlu and spooked Erin.)

During Walking Scarecrows, the party proritized getting the two still living humans (upon discovery) to safety such that the party split, the fastest members taking the pair back to Sandpoint while the rest picked off ghoul scarecrows from a safe distance. I had used a suggestion I read here to have the survivor who came to town be a child, in this case a frightened little girl, and decided that the two still living ones were her parents (the characters didn't learn that until later), making the party's extreme effort to save them quite touching. I'm still trying to think of a suitable reward or outcome for the party from this.

What little ways or big ways have your players deviated from expectation?


As part of the great political purge, I am listing my threads which have at last viewing escaped the axe. In order to simplify things, I have lined them up against the wall here.

1

2

3

4

5

These two are potential offenders, I leave it to the Committee to decide their fate.

1

2


Achievement Feats exist, mostly as an abandoned system (in the vein of Words of Power), but those aren't what I think of as a reward for achieving something. Most especially because you have to take them as a feat in place of something you could probably use more.

Given that, I'm going to try Earned Achievement Feats in my upcoming game. These will be feats that a character automatically gains once they've accomplished tasks or done particularly brag worthy things. They won't be amazing bonuses, but they will reflect the growth or bravado of a character.

Examples

Spoiler:
Goblin Slayer - Due to emerging victorious in many lethal encounters with goblins, you have a better understanding of their fighting style, vulnerabilities, and habits. Gain +1 to Attack & Damage against goblins, as well as to Survival rolls made to track or locate goblins. Earned after delivering a killing melee or ranged attack to 25 different goblins.

Practiced Mercy - Practice makes better, this is true of healing magic as well. By helping others so often, you're more likely to heal effectively. When casting a spell with Cure in the name, count any rolled 1s as 2 when determining how many HP are restored by the spell. Earned after healing 100 HP cumulatively to other beings (healing in excess of maximum HP is not counted).

Shots Fired - Some heroes have a certain flair, that sense of style and timing that fuels tales and (if they live long enough) legends. Whether a noble guardian of justice, or a flippant braggart, if they can cash the check their mouth writes, they will be remembered. Gain a +1 bonus on Charisma based skill checks with village, town, or city NPCs that are not hostile. Earned by either publicly vowing to end a specific pressing threat to a settlement, and doing so without further losses, or delivering an effective insult, taunt, or threat to an opponent more powerful than yourself, and successfully overcoming said opponent with civilian witnesses for both.

Has anyone tried anything similar in their games? I'm not at all worried about balance (besides which, these are all pretty paltry bonuses), but I am concerned that the recordkeeping could be a pain.


I've been fascinated with these for years, particularly the buzzer (uvb-76), but haven't had the means to listen for myself until recently. Is anyone else here into these, and if so do you have any good frequencies/times to share?

So far my finds are

12653.4 kHz on usb, there's a repeating sequence of four long tones followed by 1, 2, 4 short tones... Then every so often it goes a bit nuts with rapid short beeps and alternating tones.

14215.96 kHz on usb, around 5 or 6 GMT there was an accented voice reading out words "contest contest London Zebra 2 Japan America Lima Zanzibar" and others.

Fun to imagine what these could be.


From a western democracy perspective, things have been been going a bit pear shaped since the Brexit vote ended in a victory for the nativist, anti-Islam, right wing position. This of course plunged the UK into economic difficulties, and created uncertainty for the continent and the peace that the E.U. had maintained.

Next, the U.S. experienced a right wing nativist, driven surge in the presidential election, culminating in the election of an unpredictable chap with uncertain international aims and uncomfortable international allies (who has already begun to make good on anti-Islamic campaign promises). This further raised tensions in Europe.

Now, France is preparing to choose a president, and one candidate, Marine LePen, is likewise running on a nativist and anti-Islam platform. Most agree that should she win, she will seek to remove France from the E.U., similar to Brexit, which would leave Europe more ripe for war than it has been in half a century.

Do you think she will win? What do you think this rising tide signifies? Do you think it's a bad thing or course correction?


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Now that the U.S. is a post factual nation, and "Alternative Facts" are to be believed without any critical thought, let's write our biographies with Alternative Facts. Consider it a contest to see who has the best facts, because we have the very best facts here, so good you wouldn't believe it folks.

Scythia was born in a treehouse overlooking the Ohio river. At a young age, she displayed a tremendous aptitude for turtle calling, eventually propelling her to a full ride scholarship at John Carroll University. After graduating with three concurrent doctorates, she went on to revolutionize the decor of dive bars by inventing flooring that came pre-soaked with stale beer. She later became internet famous when a video was posted to YouTube from when she arm wrestled with the Mothman during an Appalachian holiday. In the late 80s, she was recognized by Better Homes and Gardens for disproving "cogito ergo sum" when she showed that while she thought, to the point of overthinking, she did not in fact exist.


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Given that this thread reiterated that the official answer will never be revealed, let's come up with a list of (tongue in cheek) ways Aroden died.

1. Lost initiative to a dual wield Gunslinger.

2. Tried to stop a crit from Asmodeus only to find out his Jingasa was used up.

3. Had extracted oaths from all creatures not to harm him except songbirds... I mean how could they be dangerous?


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As the year ends, and looking back upon what transpired, I wanted to share a message. To all of those we have lost, privately or publicly, farewell and good journey. You will be missed.


Given that the Republican controlled House has already voted to repeal it over 50 times, and that repealing it is part of the president elect's first 100 agenda, it seems pretty likely to be eliminated quickly. Seems like we're headed back to the bad old days of no coverage for any pre-existing conditions, and coverage being out of reach for many Americans.

My question is this: Should those who rely on the ACA for coverage even bother signing up for next year?

About costs.

Spoiler:
People who think the ACA was what caused the increasing healthcare costs are likely to be surprised when its repeal doesn't stem the tide.


Jack Chick has entered the Dark Dungeon.

His tracts were fun to criticize.
(Best thing I can say about him)

Say "Hi" to Blackleaf.


I currently live in northern Ohio, about a 40 minute highway drive from Cleveland. Given the turmoil of the primary season, and the continued unrest both within and without, I'm curious to see how this event goes down.

I hadn't planned on being anywhere near Cleveland for a couple weeks, to avoid the conflict I'm almost certain will occur, but this story is almost giving a good enough motivation to consider the trip.

Is anyone currently planning to attend, either for promotion or for protest?


that you think would still make money.

Given how baffling the movie going public's taste can be, let's try to think up some ideas for films that sound like they would be awful but somehow still make box office returns.

Feel free to give as little or as much detail as you feel is needed.

PS: if any studio execs happen to read this thread, at least put the poster's name in the "special thanks" section of the credits.


I had seen play footage of this game, and it looked cute. I read the description and it sounded like a pixely Diablo-esque shooting game, so I got it.

I can honestly say that I regret the purchase. If PSN had a demo for it, I would have saved the money. It's a rougelike, possibly my least favourite type of game. Nothing reminds me faster of all the worthwhile things I could be doing with my time than a game where you lose all progress repeatedly.

If you're looking for a pixely rougelike focused on shooting, try this out. If not avoid.


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I picked this up a couple weeks ago and have just gotten to playing it. It's a side scrolling action game with rpg character growth elements.

I've heard it described as a 2D Dark Souls. It definitely has some similarities, but I enjoy it more so far. Then again, I'm not much of a souls game fan.

Is anyone else playing?


A friend of mine is doing research for a college course, and is conducting an opinion survey. I figured that some of the fine opinionated posters from here would be an excellent source for data, so if you're willing to help, thanks.

Survey regarding opinions on Conversion Therapy.


Have you ever been running a campaign, and you're sure that it's on the way to destruction? The kind of story that has no chance to survive, where all you can do is make your time?

I was running a Pathfinder campaign set on a terraformed moon (the Moon, actually), using tech items and inspired by a mix of Norse myth and Thundarr the Barbarian. I was also experimenting with super-science buffs like bestial mutations, genetic memories in injection form, and unique cyber-augmentation. (In addition to playtesting a custom big six to character ability system.)

It was a mess, basically. Given that the characters had become multi-mutated cyberized amalgams, I was anticipating the manure impacting the whirling air mover. My players usually end up doing something that has major repercussions for the game world. This time though, they only managed to eliminate themselves. The final culprit: two classics, splitting the party and attacking an a higher level NPC they were only supposed to talk with.

Any game implosion stories that surprised you, but looking back seem more obvious?


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I'm starting this thread as a place to post links to the strange, absurd, or just plain bizarre videos we find on YouTube. The kind that you don't have words for, can't fathom, or find yourself unable to look away from. They need not be creepy (though undoubtedly many will), but they should have inspired you to say "What!?" at least once.

Please limit to one video per post (unless they're an interlinked series, in which case consider a playlist, maybe).

Also, please link using the bracketed url tags (url="link")Words(/url) with brackets in place of parentheses. Give at least a quick description, although feel free not to give too much away.


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To offset the downer potential of another current thread, let's discuss our favourite moments/experiences of gaming. Likewise, both in or out of game.

I have too many to pick one absolute favourite, so these are ones I felt like sharing.

In game: A terrifically entertaining and cinematically minded player was playing as a Highlander style immortal. While inspecting the cargo area of an airbourne plane, the immortal was jettisoned with the rest of the cargo at 10000 feet over Columbia. As he's free-falling, and trying to figure out what to do, the immortal's teammate calls with an idea. Trying to implement the plan, the immortal's phone rings again. He expects it to be the teammate with some important follow-up detail, but when he answers the phone a man's voice asks him "Are you prepared for the coming of the kingdom of Heaven?". The player, taken completely by surprise, can only respond with "What? No! What!?".

Out of game: at a con, someone asked me about how to build Caine (granddaddy vampire Caine, from the Masquerade books) as an antagonist in GURPS. "I want him to be tough, but beatable" said the questioner.
"How many character points does the regular character get?", I asked. When given the answer, I said, "put two zeros behind that". I explained that the only way that starting characters would ever be able to "beat" Caine was if he wanted them to feel better about themselves and pretended to be hurt. I was able to impress upon them that having their party face Caine was a bad idea.

Bonus: in one game session, we had a character we called "Fancy Lad, with his invincible smile" and when someone said the name, I said "ding" (for the sparkle of said smile), and a player (who wasn't on his phone or otherwise distracted) heard the sound and said "Oh, my pizza rolls are done!".

It was five minutes later before we stopped laughing.


I went through the book a few times and didn't spot any specialized Favoured Class Bonuses, are they there and I'm just missing them? If there aren't, are there any plans to create any?

If no and no, has anyone come up with their own that they'd like to share?


Something I'm considering for an upcoming game:

Take the Rogue, chained or un, and replace rogue talents with sphere talents, but with a limited selection of possible spheres (telekinesis, illusion... Maybe dark), and a mid caster level progression.

Would fans of arcane trickster try this?


Having just passed a major gift giving season, I would expect that some of us may have given or gotten gaming related gifts, or gift cards that shall be used for such. To that end, let's show off give thanks for these gifts. What was the gift, who gave it to you or who did you give it to?

For my part, I finally got myself a set of ten kanji numeral d10, white with red lettering (yes, I know that's considered a sign of ill fortune, that's why I chose that combo)


A Humanoid needs the Natural Spell feat to use spells if polymorphed into a non-humanoid form. Do you think that a magical beast would need Natural Spell to use magic if polymorphed into a humanoid form?

This isn't a rules question, as this isn't something addressed by the rules, more of a thought exercise about what changes when your "normal" is being something like a Unicorn or an intelligent Owlbear. Surely they learn to cast using their specific body configuration the same way humanoids do, so would they not be equally inconvenienced to find themselves in what -to their understanding- would seem like a clumsy and awkward body? Would not what is optimal to us be cumbersome to them?


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Are there any movies that are widely seen as bad that you are a fan of? Not movies that are so bad they're good, but rather movies that get a bum rap, are misunderstood, or underappreciated.

Name the movie, say why it's considered bad, and tell us why you like it.


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Do you have any rituals or practices that are uniquely yours? Things that aren't family, religion, or culture based which you do in a particular circumstance?

I'll give an example of my own: every year when I see the first snow where I'm at, I play, whistle, hum, or sing this tune. Long ago I played the game it was from beside a window while it was snowing, and I have kept the association ever since.

What unique rituals do you have?


In Champions of the Streets, an Urban Bloodrager archetype was introduced. Like the Urban barbarian, it civilizes the skill list, and switches the rage mechanic. It also trades out Blood Sanctuary for the ability to grant others a bonus vs the Bloodrager's aoe spells.

So far, so good.

Then it gains the ability to learn a spell from the magus list every few levels. For this it trades... Damage Reduction.

Is the ability to learn Bladed Dash really worth losing Damage Reduction for a melee class? (Although to be fair, yes you could use the controlled Bloodrage to increase Dex and play ranged, but then there's no need to learn Magus specific melee spells.) I don't think so. I plan to use the archetype in my home games sans that ability, but I'm curious about what others think.


After a great deal of thought, I've decided to make Master Craftsman more useable, and hopefully see it taken for once. The goal is to change it from a feat tax into an actual feat.

The change I'm implementing is: requirements changed to 5 ranks of craft (blacksmithing), or craft (weaponsmithing), or craft (armorsmithing), craft (leatherworking), or craft (boywer). Benefit changed to: Select either weapons or armor, you gain a +2 bonus to craft rolls to create that type of item. Additionally, you can craft magical properties into the type of item selected as though you possessed the Craft Magic Arms and Armor feat, using an an appropriate craft skill in place of Spellcraft. When doing so, your effective caster level is equal to the ranks you have in the craft skill used. This feat may be taken a second time, in which case it applies to weapons if armor was chosen first, or armor if weapons were chosen first.

Has anyone tried a similar simplification in their games?

(Note, I'm not concerned if someone doesn't like the idea of non-casters crafting magic gear. That's expressly what I'm going for here.)


As I sit here waiting for a class to begin, I thought of something that could be interesting:
What are you doing instead of gaming?

Let's list the things that take up our time, job, family, education, (non-gaming) hobby, so on.

For my part, I work full time and attend college full time. I have recently acquired a cat, but she doesn't take up much time.


This is primarily a question for those who have played for a decade or longer (although none are excluded from discussion). Have you noticed yourself playing older characters as you yourself have gotten older?

When I began playing tabletop in high school, nearly all of my characters were teens themselves. As I was in my mid twenties, so were many of my characters. Now, midway through this decade of life, I find myself more willing to make 30 something characters. I'm curious if this is an aspect of my style (as I tend to prefer characters that resonate with facets of myself), or if this is an overall trend experienced by others?


I've recently gotten Path of War, and I like it so far. There is one thing I'd like to have options to change, and if there is (or is planned to be) an archetype that does it, it would save me some time.

I'm interested in the Warlord, but I dislike teamwork feats, so I'd like an archetype that swaps out Warleader and the relevant progression. None of the archetypes in the main book do so, and I didn't see any that did in the archetype document for Expanded. Is there one that I haven't found?

If there isn't, are there plans to make one? If not, what seems like a reasonable swap?


On this day, the people of the U.S. celebrate independence from the south, according to the declaration of independence signed in 1964.

Spoiler:
I know they select the worst respondents for these, but it is a bit depressing that they had so many worst ones to choose from.

Have an safe and informed holiday.


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I was surprised not to see a thread about this already, so here goes:

Congratulations are in order, as the United States took another step today towards honouring the promise of liberty and justice for all. The Supreme Court ruled against laws that excluded same sex couples from marrying.

I'd say this is good news not just for the people who can now express their love and commitment to each other in the same way taken for granted by others, but also a victory for those who want the United States to be a great nation.


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Despite, or perhaps in some cases because of technological limitations, some older games had a very distinct sound that can be quite appealing. What NES (or master system) or SNES (or genesis) game had your favourite music?

For me, 8 bit is tough. I like Castlevania 3, but my top spot has to go to Crystalis. Even now the music from that inspires emotion from me.

For 16 bit, Breath of Fire narrowly beats out Final Fantasy 6.


When designing a custom item earlier this evening, I had an idea for a way to make the Elemental Burst properties simpler to use. Instead of switching or adding different die types, my idea is this:

Elemental Burst allows the energy damage (normally 1d6 of relevant kind) to be multiplied upon a critical hit.

Simple, and no remembering how many dice of what type to add.


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It's often taken as gospel that sequels are never as good as the original, but that's not always true. Let's list some film franchises where the sequels are as good (or even sometimes better) than the original.

As always, opinions will vary.

I'll start off with both a sequel and a third movie from a franchise that I like better than the first film: Road Warrior and Beyond Thunderdome. I never really cared for Mad Max, but I really like both sequels.


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So, it turns out that some sitting U.S. senators decided to write a letter to Iran to basically tell them that the President can't back up any treaty he might make with them.

This was probably an illegal act, but is it treason?

It also turns out that Iran is aware of the flaws of this argument.

Have we really gotten to the point politically where members of a party are willing to break the law, try to go behind the president's back, and have to be schooled in both constitutional and international law by foreign officials?


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Inspired by the types of GM thread, let's talk about types of games that we've experienced, and would rather not (but probably have) again.

The tour
The DM has put so much work into their world/story, and they want you to see it all. Look, but don't touch. Sometimes an important and amazingly powerful NPC will give you a personal tour, dumping more exposition than an audiobook of Moby Dick. Worse, the party may simply be shuffled from set piece to set piece, with the DM personally narrating events the players can't affect in the least.

Suggestion: Ask if you can at least have a QTE during these cutscenes.

The fade out
The DM really wants to run, and has some ideas. At least that's how it seems at first. By the second or third session, they're running out of steam. Loose ends build up faster than a pair of cutoff jeans because nothing ever gets resolved. Desperation may lead to attempts to shake things up via time skips (okay, everybody level up to 5, three years have passed), or random cataclysmic events (suddenly, hell gates open across the world). These changes only jump start another session or two before the game is called off.

Suggestion: Give the DM a rest, let somebody else have a go.

Roller Coaster
Silly, then grim. These games lack consistent tone. Without a solid tone, the game becomes impossible to plan for. Being told it would be light hearted and silly, you made Sir Augustus Stickybuns, then three games in, you're cradling the remains of orphans and puppies who were trapped in a Cloudkill by the ruthless psychotic villain. Ha? Maybe the DM wanted a gut punch, or maybe the DM is a big fan of Cerberus. The result is a sudden change in tone that can be quite unpleasant.

Suggestion: Laugh. Laugh until the DM wonders who the real psychotic villain is.


In the SLA reversal thread I noticed quite a lot of discussion about the Edlritch Knight prestige class. Some of it was about how the class was poorly designed and didn't achieve it's purpose, and some was about how the loss of an early entry made it ineffective.

This confused me, because the purpose of the class seems (to me) to be to fight better than a wizard (and be more durable as well), but retain higher level spell casting ability. In that sense, being at or near 3/4 BAB (yes it's lower at some levels, but anything higher than 1/2 is better at fighting than the wizard), and having access to all nine levels of spells achieves that purpose.

It was suggested by some that the class had too few features, which seems consistent with wizard (and fighter, to a degree) to me.

Early entry would certainly help with BAB progression, but not with lack of class features (as getting nothing early seems no better than getting nothing later).

What do you think the Eldritch Knight should be ideally? (As far as BAB, Casting ability, additional class features, so on)

Would a 3/4 BAB 9 level arcane caster class with more developed class features obsolete the 3/4 BAB 6 level casters?

Does early entry actually fix the current issues with the Eldritch Knight?


It seems that there are a few kinds of time travel established in games, stories, and movies:

A) The Immutable Flow - the time travelers are either mere observers, unable to change anything, or any changes they do make lead inevitably to the same outcome. Time was always laid out along a specific route, and cannot be altered meaningfully. Example: The time travelers stop Oswald from shooting JFK. A bystander in the crowd does instead.

B) Agent of Destiny - the time travelers can interact with the past, but their actions do not change the present or future, rather their actions were necessary in order for the present and future that they knew to occur at all. In essence, they had already traveled into the past and done those things, they're simply catching up with their own actions. This approach is similar to A but offers the illusion of agency. Example: A time traveler has a dalliance in baroque France and after returning to the present they learn that the offspring they fathered was the direct ancestor of Napoleon.

C)Paradox Principle - time travelers can change the past, with potentially drastic consequences for the present and future. These changes can also have drastic consequences for the travelers themselves. Any change which would prevent the traveler from existing will cause the traveler to cease to exist, either gradually or suddenly. Example: A time traveler interferes in a pitched battle in Segoku era Japan, and due to that interference, an ashigaru who happens to be their multiple great grandfather is killed. The traveler is erased from existence as a result, all memories and physical evidence likewise vanish. The undoing of their existence does not, somehow, include undoing the action that led to their removal.

D)No Rules - Time Travelers can do anything to change the past without consequence. Their actions can cause drastic change to the present and future, but the travelers themselves are insulated from such changes. Perhaps they exist outside of time, or their actions create a new timeline that they exist in from that point forward. Example: Time Travelers drive off colonists from settling along the eastern coast of the new world, and as a result the United States is never formed and their parents were never born. The travelers continue to not only exist, but have memories and artifacts of the U.S.

To those who have used time travel in their games, which style do you prefer, and why?


A few skills to be more precise.

For a home game in a post apocalyptic setting, I'm considering removing BAB, and making weapon group skills like Guns, Melee, Unarmed, and Energy (yes, for the astute readers, the setting is heavily inspired by Fallout). Classes that would normally be full BAB will get all four as class skills, 3/4 BAB classes can choose two to be class skills, and 1/2 BAB can pick one. No class in the setting gets less than Int+4 skills per level, and stats below 10 are not possible at character creation.

My goal is to create a system where combat ability is inherently specialized, but ultimately optional.

What do you forsee as the benefits or problems with this idea? Would it be better if skill points per level were increased?


Inspired by a recent discussion, I came to wonder: Can the alignment of a deity change based upon the actions of the deity, or can a deity redefine alignment by their actions?

If a Lawful Good Deity ordered their worshippers to execute any members of an "evil" race on sight, regardless of age or activity, would the alignment of the deity change, or as a Lawful Good deity, do their dictates decide what is Lawful Good?

Which is more powerful, which rules the other, deity or alignment?


Have you ever seen a site so crazy that you can't be sure if it's seriously presenting an idea, or satirical? Let's share some of those sites.

I'll start us off:

I give you The Beatles never existed
Is this really a thing? Are there people who honestly believe the Beatles were a series of actors or imposters? Good for a laugh or another reason to drink.


If an ability, spell, or magic item specifies that it works on a particular animal type, does it only work on the regular animals of that type, or does it also work on dire animals of that type?

For example:
If an ability says it allows you to speak with rats, can you speak with a dire rat?
If a magic item does extra damage against bears, would it do extra damage against a dire bear?
If a spell let you see what a wolf sees, could you cast it on a dire wolf?

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