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2,040 posts. Alias of Andrew Christian.


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Scarab Sages

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skizzerz wrote:
This is amazing news! I’d like to echo the call for AP maps as well. I realize that old ones are pretty low-res but you could for example commission high enough resolution maps for VTT for upcoming APs so that newer material sets a higher bar of VTT friendliness.

And to help mitigate the cost of commissioning the higher resolution maps, you could charge folks for the AP VTT packages. I know I'd pay a reasonable fee for something like this. Up to maybe $7.99 per AP book.

This could be a time to make sure the maps also matched up with the dimensions in the AP text and the creatures supposedly within the maps. I.e. No 5 large creatures in a 10x20 room.

Scarab Sages

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Yakman wrote:
CrimsonKnight wrote:

An AP on exploration. expanding the world

lots of encounters with beasts magical and otherwise. skills like cartography and survival playing a big part. another option would be like around the world in X days: a competition with glimpses in all sorts of locations with fights, troubles, mysteries, and puzzles along the way.

I think the around the world in X days would be fun. Especially if the party was in a friendly competition with another adventuring party, like Nellie Bly was with Elizabeth Bisland, although finding the magic Sail of Spirits or fixing the Axle of Ever-spinning three times might become a bit boring.

Oh, a race around the globe! Getting to pick a track with a bunch of set encounters set around and some "roaming encounters". Could be set up sandbox style similar to Kingmaker but with much larger "hexes" to which encounters would be encountered. As they gain levels, they get magic or better traveling technology. Including perhaps steampunky zeppelins (airships) and things like that. This could be super fun.

Scarab Sages

Deriven Firelion wrote:

I would like to see an AP where the adventurer's acquire weapons in the first module that they build up throughout the series until they become legendary heroes renowned not only for their heroics, but for the legendary weapons they wielded.

Similar to Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, where each character's name was indicative of their signature weapon.

Scarab Sages

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thejeff wrote:

I still suspect there were already expanded options in the AP. Seems like there would have needed to be to make the police part work.

Those were overridden by the blanket "no lethal damage" in the Guide.

But I agree that part of my problem with the Guide's rule is that it does allow the cop heroes to go on just as in any adventure, acting exactly as they would in any other AP, just not having to worry about killing anything.

At some point though, you have to put the onus on how this plays out on the GMs and Players. Regardless how many unique sub-systems they create or campaign rules they choose to use for this AP, if players and GM's see certain problematic behaviors as "no big deal", that's what they are going to do. And even if they choose to use the most restrictive rule in the sidebar, you are going to have players making characters designed to do massive amounts of non-lethal damage that (at least in 1st edition) are still capable of killing fairly easily.

Scarab Sages

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Rysky wrote:
And yes I do assume, or rather hope a 21st century mindset and morals is the default. I don't want to play with any more "that's just how it was back then".

And therein lies the social contract you make with the groups you choose to associate with. You get to choose what sort of people you want to game with.

But first, I do want to apologize when I speak of 21st century morality, I was not referring to horrible treatment of women, LGBTQIA+, or various ethnicities. I was quite glad to see the 2nd edition Lost Omens go more towards slavery just being evil to be defeated rather than something that exists in polite company.

What I meant by 21st century morality, is more the argument about trying to apply due process and 21st century law and order to what is essentially a collection of feudal societies in various states of authoritarianism, plutocracy, and fledgling democracy. And that may not be what you meant when you say 21st century morality.

I prefer though, to say that the fantasy dressing of the 18th Century France/French Revolution Galt, Pulp/Steampunk/Monster Ustalav, etc. overcomes much of the subjugation and punching down morality in our real history. In a fantasy world, women get to be heroes, leaders, etc. Much like what we see in Once Upon A Time (Regina, Snow, Emma, etc.), Red Sonja, Star Wars (Leia, Rey), etc. I don't consider that 21st century morality. I consider that one of the positive fantasy tropes that gets overlayed on the period and genre settings.

Sorry for the confusion.

Scarab Sages

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thejeff wrote:
Tallow wrote:

Golarion most certainly is a period-specific setting. Or rather, various different regions are different period-specific areas. This is not like its an analog of 21st century earth with fantasy trope dressing. The fact that Galt is the analog for the French Revolution, then it reasonably follows both the 18th Century France morality and French Revolution sub-genre morality along with fantasy trope dressings genre morality and Galt-specific sub-genre morality would be the default. Not 21st century morality. Andoran would be more akin to post-Revolution through Antebellum period US. Ustalav would be akin to pulp-style, 1930's-1950's monster genre, and maybe some steampunk (Verne-esque, Gas Light England/Victorian period, Dr Frankenstein/Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hide style) tropes. Which is certainly not 21st century morality. I'd be hard put to find the 21st century morality analog anywhere within the varying different genres that Golarion presents.

Dangerous to the verisimilitude of the game you are playing. Anytime I'm playing in a game and the GM or players demand that I apply 21st century morals to the fantasy, period-specific setting, I usually end up opting out of the group. Because If I wanted to roleplay with 1st century morality, I'd play a game which was set in the late 20th to early 21st century and in an earth or near-earth setting. When you start overlaying an inanalogous morality onto a game that is set in the analog of a time period or genre, you threaten to bring your players out of that setting and offer chances for there to be more arguments about alignment and morality than just everyone agreeing on the setting you are playing in. If your play group defaults to 21st century, great. But please don't assume this should be, or is the default for what I'm assuming will be a vast majority of roleplayers.

Do you think the vast majority of players have more than the vaguest idea of what 18th century French morality was like? Maybe French Revolution subgenre morality - but that in...

Players may not know exactly what those moralities were. But they certainly know the world was not 21st century morality. That's the main takeaway. Trying to pidgeonhole 21st century morality into period settings tends to cause more argument than not at the table, in my experience. YMMV.

Scarab Sages

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Rysky wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Rysky wrote:
TwilightKnight wrote:
Finally, we are trying to layer 21st century irl morality and international law onto a fantasy campaign that has neither.
Golarion very much does have a 21st century morality. Perhaps a bit beyond that in all honesty.

I know you and I agree on a lot, but this is not one of those things. I do recall in years past we've had quite a few arguments on this specific topic. I think its dangerous to overlay 21st century morality on a period-specific genre-specific setting. Morality germane to the setting should be more akin to the period-specific and genre-specific settings as you correlate them to a similar time-period in the real world. In this case, somewhere between 2,000 B.C. and the Renaissance.

As always, in your personal circle of friends and/or gaming group, you all tacitly sign a social contract to adhere to a common morality, and if that group wants to overlay 21st century morality over Golarion, then you are not wrong to do so. But claiming that is the demonstrable default is kinda a disingenuous supposition.

1) Golarion is not a "period specific" setting.

2) How is it "dangerous"?

Golarion most certainly is a period-specific setting. Or rather, various different regions are different period-specific areas. This is not like its an analog of 21st century earth with fantasy trope dressing. The fact that Galt is the analog for the French Revolution, then it reasonably follows both the 18th Century France morality and French Revolution sub-genre morality along with fantasy trope dressings genre morality and Galt-specific sub-genre morality would be the default. Not 21st century morality. Andoran would be more akin to post-Revolution through Antebellum period US. Ustalav would be akin to pulp-style, 1930's-1950's monster genre, and maybe some steampunk (Verne-esque, Gas Light England/Victorian period, Dr Frankenstein/Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hide style) tropes. Which is certainly not 21st century morality. I'd be hard put to find the 21st century morality analog anywhere within the varying different genres that Golarion presents.

Dangerous to the verisimilitude of the game you are playing. Anytime I'm playing in a game and the GM or players demand that I apply 21st century morals to the fantasy, period-specific setting, I usually end up opting out of the group. Because If I wanted to roleplay with 1st century morality, I'd play a game which was set in the late 20th to early 21st century and in an earth or near-earth setting. When you start overlaying an inanalogous morality onto a game that is set in the analog of a time period or genre, you threaten to bring your players out of that setting and offer chances for there to be more arguments about alignment and morality than just everyone agreeing on the setting you are playing in. If your play group defaults to 21st century, great. But please don't assume this should be, or is the default for what I'm assuming will be a vast majority of roleplayers.

Scarab Sages

Tallow wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
...this opera-star-turned-ninja concept ...
I am so making this the next new campaign I get to play in.

And I'll bet I could make this concept fit comfortably within an Agents of Edgewatch AP.

Scarab Sages

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Rysky wrote:
TwilightKnight wrote:
Finally, we are trying to layer 21st century irl morality and international law onto a fantasy campaign that has neither.
Golarion very much does have a 21st century morality. Perhaps a bit beyond that in all honesty.

I know you and I agree on a lot, but this is not one of those things. I do recall in years past we've had quite a few arguments on this specific topic. I think its dangerous to overlay 21st century morality on a period-specific genre-specific setting. Morality germane to the setting should be more akin to the period-specific and genre-specific settings as you correlate them to a similar time-period in the real world. In this case, somewhere between 2,000 B.C. and the Renaissance.

As always, in your personal circle of friends and/or gaming group, you all tacitly sign a social contract to adhere to a common morality, and if that group wants to overlay 21st century morality over Golarion, then you are not wrong to do so. But claiming that is the demonstrable default is kinda a disingenuous supposition.

Scarab Sages

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On the non-lethal rules. As a GM, I like for things to make sense. And just changing all damage to non-lethal doesn't make sense. However, I do like the idea that the police would be required to use non-lethal force.

So the idea is, that all character training and backgrounds leading up to being in the city watch, would come from police academy training. I'm not up on 2nd edition, so not sure if these are things (yet?) But options could be strongly encouraging choosing weapons that don't take penalties to do non-lethal (blunt weapons) or offering a feat or trait that allows them to do non-lethal without penalty. Or perhaps non-lethal is the default and they take a -2 to do lethal damage. Because its all about how they are being trained. You could even switch up the weapon categories, where any weapon that traditionally does lethal damage becomes exotic and requires an exotic weapon proficiency feat to use. Its all about the training and how the character was trained.

Furthermore, all spells are modified to do non-lethal damage. That's how the spells are created and work. And you can even come up with different names for them. Like heat ball instead of fireball. And if they find a badguy wizard's spellbook, they might be able to learn fireball, with the understanding that using it could get the fired from the watch and executed for breaking the code. Perhaps because its nonlethal, the reason why heatball is still a 3rd level spell is because it does 1d8/cl instead of 1d6 or whatever.

Sure, that causes a fair amount of extra work by the GM, but it allows the non-lethal damage from the PCs to make sense within both the verisimilitude of the story, and the meta of the game rules themselves.

Finally, badguys don't have this restriction, because this isn't about the rules simply saying, "everything is non-lethal" but rather, "all watch are specifically trained as non-lethal combatants, so that's the default player characters start with."

Scarab Sages

TwilightKnight wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Its quite simple really. As the GM you tell the players that you will be playing the most restrictive version of this based on player request, where the minority (even one) gets to choose.
Of course that depends entirely on your limitations to recruit players. If you are not restricted to a specific set of players, then the GM can decide how they intend to run the campaign and players can chose to play or not play. With the explosion of online play, the ability to recruit players to your game is quickly moving past the traditional limitations based on geography.

This is true. I was still in the mindset of a regular group of physical players that you play with all the time, rather than a situation in which you play with an assortment of motley friends based on what you are running. My preference is to have a regular group of several friends that play everything together all the time. And we come to a consensus on what to play. As a friend group, we do our best to not get too "evil" or "inappropriate" or "blue" if one of the members is particular uncomfortable with that, or if the spouse/children of the host house would be uncomfortable/inappropriate for that.

So I still think that, of course how you said depending on how you formulate your playing group, you go with the highest morality common denominator in what sort of game you want to play, soas not to force one of your good friends to either be uncomfortable or to not associate with you for the months or years that you are playing that game.

I know I wouldn't want to subject my 20+year gaming group to something they don't want to play, and I'm not going to try to force it on them or just not play, because then my friendship hangouts (the game is just something we do when we do hang out with one another, rather than hanging out because we are gaming) would be excluding a very good friend. And that's not something I'm willing to accept.

Scarab Sages

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Shisumo wrote:
...this opera-star-turned-ninja concept ...

I am so making this the next new campaign I get to play in.

Scarab Sages

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thejeff wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
The one bit of advice I was looking for that I didn't see is "what if some people want to play officers, and some people don't?" As in, how do you handle a mixed party here? How to adjust the narrative for having both Starsky & Hutch and Nick & Nora Charles in the Party?
Play at the comfort level that allows everyone to have fun. Discuss it with your players, and adjust your solution if actual play becomes uncomfortable.

Well yeah, but a little practical advice on mixing the two would be useful, since there are practical ways the adventures will need to change.

At first glance, I don't see a good way to do it - maybe making the non-cop characters consultants or something? A "party" of officers doing their jobs and concerned citizens trying to help out isn't going to work too well.

Its quite simple really. As the GM you tell the players that you will be playing the most restrictive version of this based on player request, where the minority (even one) gets to choose.

Frankly, that's how gaming groups who actually give two figs about their friends should be playing their games anyways, instead of making the one or two people with more sensitivities to play uncomfortably.

My opinion, is just like its difficult for parents to cook two meals based on child food wants (no, NUGGETS!), its nearly impossible to run two different campaigns based on different player sensitivities, and when you try to allow for all attitudes to play in the same game, that's when you wind up with inter-player conflict when players get made at one another because the Paladin won't allow the Rogue to torture a hobgoblin for information.

Scarab Sages

Yakman wrote:
Ironfang Invasion is a strong contender.

I'll second this as a humanoid-centric AP. At least through the first 2 books, I would say 85% to 90% of the encounters are with humanoids.

Scarab Sages

Ed Reppert wrote:
Tallow wrote:

That's not actually what centrism is.

centrism

Wikipedia wrote:
In politics, centrism is a political outlook or specific position that involves acceptance or support of a balance of a degree of social equality and a degree of social hierarchy, while opposing political changes which would result in a significant shift of society strongly to either the left or the right.

That sounds a lot like me to, "keep things as they are."

And when discussing centrism in regards to the spectrum of left/right, you are talking about the median of voters, policies, and politicians. In other words, today's centrism is roughly Reagan-level conservatism and policy, where centrism during Reagan's time was more along Elizabeth Warren's actual policies (not what she tried to sign onto with all the socialist democracy stuff).

The point is, calling yourself a centrist doesn't mean, in common political parlance, what you are saying it means.

Its literally sitting in the exact median of the Far Left and Far Right, and that line shifts over the years and decades. Right now, the Centrist seat sits rather closer to GOP conservatism of Reagan than it did during the Reagan years. Because the GOP and conservative politics has really, drastically, gone far right, where many of the current GOP ideals and platform would have been considered freakishly right-wing in the 1980's.

Part of the problem is that a one-dimensional political spectrum doesn't cover all the bases. Take a look at the Pournelle chart. There are other two dimensional charts with different features on the axes. As Pournelle himself said, two dimensions aren't enough either. Note how close together "welfare liberals" and "various conservatives" are on this chart relative to other political ideologies.

Oh, certainly, I've seen many different multi-axis political charts like this before. And many of the ideas and thoughts are intersectional as well. Lots of ven diagrams.

Scarab Sages

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YawarFiesta wrote:


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

So again, I have to wonder, what big historical changes have been driven by centrism, not causing a fuss, and quietly hoping people in power will just one day become better people?

Because every major progressive movement victory has protesting, rioting and civil disobedience to drive the change. Read a history book.

Okay, first centrism means someone who takes policies from right and them left. Centrism doesn't mean fence sitting. For example, I've always agree with same sex marriage and adoption rights, does that make me a leftist suddenly?

Second, please, don't mix civil disobedience and protest with rioting. Perhaps I am being simplistic, but rioting implies the use of force and violence and that legitimizes the use of force against you in the eyes of the spectator. If anything its poor tactics. I would recommend you read Rules for Radicals or watch a video about it if you are short on time.

Humbly,
Yawar

That's not actually what centrism is.

centrism

Wikipedia wrote:
In politics, centrism is a political outlook or specific position that involves acceptance or support of a balance of a degree of social equality and a degree of social hierarchy, while opposing political changes which would result in a significant shift of society strongly to either the left or the right.

That sounds a lot like me to, "keep things as they are."

And when discussing centrism in regards to the spectrum of left/right, you are talking about the median of voters, policies, and politicians. In other words, today's centrism is roughly Reagan-level conservatism and policy, where centrism during Reagan's time was more along Elizabeth Warren's actual policies (not what she tried to sign onto with all the socialist democracy stuff).

The point is, calling yourself a centrist doesn't mean, in common political parlance, what you are saying it means.

Its literally sitting in the exact median of the Far Left and Far Right, and that line shifts over the years and decades. Right now, the Centrist seat sits rather closer to GOP conservatism of Reagan than it did during the Reagan years. Because the GOP and conservative politics has really, drastically, gone far right, where many of the current GOP ideals and platform would have been considered freakishly right-wing in the 1980's.

Scarab Sages

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YawarFiesta wrote:


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
The vast majority of people arrested weren’t arrested for rioting, they were arrested for protesting.

Again, source please. As far as I know protesting is legal in the USA. However, if they are facing false charges for rioting, a Legal Defense Fund might be even more useful since the Public Defender system sometimes leaves much to be desire.

Have you actually been paying attention? And not just to Fox News? There was a violin vigil done in a park that the police used pepper spray on. That's hardly rioting.

People were getting arrested for not moving away from certain areas fast enough when they were marching or protesting. The charge was disorderly conduct. So they weren't technically arrested for protesting, as you say, that isn't a thing. But they weren't doing anything else but protesting, peacefully, and got arrested under some trumped up charge, simply because they were protesting the police.

Scarab Sages

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Catulle wrote:
YawarFiesta wrote:
However, defunding the police will bring mob rule and lynching as it always happens when there is no police.

It may be worth doing a bit of reading in regard to how police responses to lynchings in the early C19th US "solved" that problem.

See also the Lynwood Vikings and recent case of Robert Fuller: this is not a purely historical or theoretical matter.

Not to mention, actually doing some research into what "defunding the police" actually means and the programs that will replace it. If all you are doing is hearing, "defund the police," and immediately assume, "that means there will be vast swaths of anarchy and lawlessness," then you are doing yourself and everyone you communicate with a vast disservice.

Scarab Sages

Kingmaker: A new kingdom has started up between Pitax, Mivon and Brevoy. The other countries are bristling and shoring up their border defenses.

Scarab Sages

AnimatedPaper wrote:
Tallow wrote:
But mainly, the theme of "Galt" or "Brevoy" would be a war-centric theme where the PCs get to decide which faction to back and perhaps at some point becoming a faction of their own. And then add all the elements that could be involved in a war-torn region with court intrigue,...
Similar to how "Hell's Rebels" used up the Rebellion theme for a while, do you think 'War for the Crown" used up that intra-country/region factional struggle for a bit? And "Iron Legion" used "cold war suddenly gets hotter"?

Probably. But I would argue that there is a lot going on Theme-Wise in Galt that could be played with that would make the "rebellion" or "court intrigue" theme fresh. Brevoy probably not.

Scarab Sages

PossibleCabbage wrote:

I've always just used loose zoning and theater of the mind (with notes) for 3D combat.

Things like "you can get there in one action" or "you can get there in two actions" or "you can't get there this round" work for me.

That works for me. But not my players. Especially when they take archetypes that have abilities like, "if you move 10' you get sneak attack." Sure, I could say, "Yes, you can move there and get your sneak attack." But I really think they prefer the grid. They tend to really enjoy the war-gaminess that Pathfinder can become.

Scarab Sages

James Jacobs wrote:

People keep trying to say "Galt" as a theme. A location is not a theme. A location can HAVE a theme, but it is not a theme.

If by "Galt" folks are actually asking for a rebellion themed adventure path, or a post-apocalyptic themed adventure path, or a infiltration/spy themed adventure path, or anything else like that, letting us know that is more helpful as for finding out what themes folks are looking for.

We've always aimed to set most of our Adventure Paths in regions that we haven't explored. Sometimes, particularly at the launch of a systme, we'll spend 2 or 3 or 4 volumes in a region that hadn't been previously explored in the Adventure Path line, since having an increasingly familiar place to explore is important when the rules you are using to do that exploration AREN'T familiar, but even then we aim to do different themes in those regions.

We haven't set an Adventure Path or a stand-alone module in Galt yet. That means that we're increasingly likely to set something there in the future. It doesn't hard-code a "Galt" theme into that adventure though, since, again, locations aren't themes.

I think when people say, "Galt" or "Brevoy" as a theme, they are referring to the central archetype regional theme they represent. Galt being the French Revolution and Brevoy being a War of the Roses theme. And if you set an AP in countries that have a strong "us vs. them" war going on, then you could do all of the above in that AP.

Start with the how the war affects a local village, move to some sort of infiltration/spy in another book, and then movers and shakers deciding how the war will turn out, and by book 5 and 6, its the aftermath, post-apocalyptic of the fallout of the war.

But mainly, the theme of "Galt" or "Brevoy" would be a war-centric theme where the PCs get to decide which faction to back and perhaps at some point becoming a faction of their own. And then add all the elements that could be involved in a war-torn region with court intrigue, spying/infiltration, etc. The earlier suggested Heist themed AP could have elements within the overarching "Galt" or "Brevoy" themed AP.

Scarab Sages

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CorvusMask wrote:

I mean main reason why 3d combat is hard in pathfinder is stuff like "okay, diagonal squares take different amount of feet to move through than other ones" so it becomes harder to visualize the 3d space you move through and how much movement it takes. Its not really that 3d combat even in normal tabletop is inherently impossible to do, its that it requires tools and rules to make it clearer than 2d combat if you aren't using theater of the mind.

(flying and underwater combat are really same difficulty wise, especially if you get attacked while flying)

My group has famously used the Pythagorean Theorem to figure distances when doing 3D combat. And you treat Up/Down movement the same as lateral movement as far as squares go as long as you figure every small/medium creature takes up a 5' cube and large takes up 10' cube, etc.

Scarab Sages

CorvusMask wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

The further away an Adventure Path gets from the expected norm of the core ancestries and implied play experience, the less popular it's going to be overall. An all underwater Adventure Path or an all flying one would require a lot of work on the back end in a lot of ways, such as twisting/changing rules so that the core ancestries are viable, or making up a bunch of new ancestries, but also creating a LOT of new monsters to populate a campaign that goes from 1st level to 20th level.

This strikes me as something that's simply not viable for an Adventure Path, but could perhaps be supported by a stand-alone adventure.

An adventure path where there's a lot of underwater or flight stuff is more likely (and we've done the underwater one already), but the more new rules we have to create simply to pull a story off means the less time and room we have to actually write the story in the first place.

This is essentially the rules version of why it's tough to do Adventure Paths set in entirely different times or regions that we haven't created lore for.

Hey Ruins of Azlant is great :3 I'm still running it currently and we definitely have had lot of fun with it. My only criticism mechanically is that roll20 doesn't have tools for 3d encounters despite them not being that hard to program tools for according to what my players have told me. Though if we don't criticize roll20, I guess might have been nice if player's guide or something else gave tips on how to do 3d combat

3D Combat also works like crap for tabletop. And underwater is worse than flying when you also have a down as well as an up.

Scarab Sages

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keftiu wrote:
FallenDabus wrote:
Tallow wrote:
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Green Eyed Liar wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

Just popping in to say a "Disney Princess AP," as an elevator pitch for a campaign, is rad.

We could absolutely do this.

And it's not like so many of the stories Disney made movies out of are their stories. All of Grimms' Fairy Tales are in the public domain.

This is pretty much how I view Jade Regent.
You have now made me desperately want a Tian Xia fairytale AP.
NB: fairies and fairy-stories are a distinctively European folklore. Simply transplanting them elsewhere risks misrepresenting "elsewhere" as similar to Europe and erasing "elsewhere's" uniqueness.
I think he was using "fairytale" ubiquitously as folklore tale.

If by "he" you mean James, yes. If you mean Keftiu, you should be using she.

I will also put my hat in the ring for a planar AP that starts, stays, and ends on the planes.

I appreciate that. And I was using “fairytale” as a shorthand for “a massive untapped wealth of folktales and myth, not least of which wuxia,” which is tough to type on a phone.

I apologize for misgendering.

Scarab Sages

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Obligation? No. But when you admit to a particular, problematic style of mistake that leads to problematic content decisions, then it obviously leads to the question.

How are you planning to deal with that concern in the future?

They don't need to lay out an entire itinerary and such. But at least some sort of reaction or response ensuring they are working on steps to help would be nice.

Scarab Sages

zimmerwald1915 wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Green Eyed Liar wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

Just popping in to say a "Disney Princess AP," as an elevator pitch for a campaign, is rad.

We could absolutely do this.

And it's not like so many of the stories Disney made movies out of are their stories. All of Grimms' Fairy Tales are in the public domain.

This is pretty much how I view Jade Regent.
You have now made me desperately want a Tian Xia fairytale AP.
NB: fairies and fairy-stories are a distinctively European folklore. Simply transplanting them elsewhere risks misrepresenting "elsewhere" as similar to Europe and erasing "elsewhere's" uniqueness.

I think he was using "fairytale" ubiquitously as folklore tale.

Scarab Sages

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Gorbacz wrote:
I guess this essay by one of few black people in the gaming industry, Mike Pondsmith from R Talsorian game, the author of worryingly current Cyberpunk RPG, could open a white eyelid or two.

I've been reading a lot of accounts like this from BIPOC people, some of whom I know personally and are friends of mine. Maybe an account like this from a well-respected gamer community icon will enlighten gamers who are still clinging to the "old way." I've also read the account he linked to before; the one from the ex-corrupt cop.

Scarab Sages

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Steve Geddes wrote:
Ixal wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Ixal wrote:
Some cops really are like on the screen, both good and bad, most are just doing their job.
What makes you think that?
Personal experience not influenced by twitter and other social media which try to push public opinion in one direction or the other + common sense when comparing the statistics of incidents during police contacts with the total amount of police contacts each day.

How representative do you think your personal experience is?

The last interaction I had with a cop was lovely. He pulled me over for speeding and was terribly apologetic that the statute in our state takes away his discretion and that he had to write me a ticket even though he’d rather let me off with a warning. We chatted about local life, he admired my car and he wished me safe travels. He didn’t say “Nice car...is it yours?” I had no fear for my safety when he pulled me over. He didn’t search it, run my registration, examine my license or check it was mechanically sound. In short, it was exactly the kind of interaction everyone should have (and it was exactly what I expected).

Sadly, that’s not the standard experience for many black people. Maybe they’re just unlucky, I’m the statistical norm and as you assert “most cops are just doing their job”. There is an alternative explanation though. You don’t want to question your assumptions? (How much “comparing of statistics” have you actually done? The stats I’ve seen don’t look rosy).

Let us also consider that guilt by association is a valid thing in the eye of perception. It might not get you landed behind bars, or legally be wrong (unless its directly assisting a crime), unless of course your association is with a demographic that is systemically policed against.

In this case, there is a solidarity among most police officers, that they remain silent. Its a culture of "no snitching". So if you see an associate doing something wrong, or even dangerous, and you don't speak up or stop it, aren't you complicit in that action? In this case, the idea that there are only a few bad cops and the majority are good... If the "good" cops aren't ousting the bad cops from their ranks (or at least doing their best to rehabilitate), then aren't they tacitly approving of the poor actions? And if they are tacitly approving of the bad cops, doesn't that in turn make them bad cops?

To bring us back to the conversation about why this seems to be such a hot-button topic:

Anything that through our common modern media has been romanticized, tends not to be a hot button topic. Pirates, medieval, sword & sorcery, etc. has been romanticized in literature and film for far longer than the Pirates of the Caribbean have been a thing. Its why those movies have been able to be popular. Sure, pirates were, by-and-large, horrible people. And medieval times were pretty awful to live in as far as quality of life (at least as far as we consider what is comfortable living.)

The reason why a police-centric theme is a hot-button topic, and a hard one to swallow, is because of how demonized police are in our society right now. Because its happening RIGHT NOW. Its also a situation in which our society hasn't figured out how exactly to deal with it yet. We are all kinda on this edge of a precipice wondering what our police force is going to look like in 10 years and whether its going to get cleaned up in how it treats BIPOC. And its affecting everyone, so its not something we can easily ignore and stick to the romanticized buddy cop and cop drama tropes we are all so familiar with from film and TV shows.

If we were in a world where piracy was a primary concern, playing a pirate centered game might not be real appealing.

So yes, a large reason why this particular AP's theme is unappealing to many, is because its a right now social issue with man, many nuanced variables that most of us are not equipped to parse, let alone do justice to portray positively without in some way being offensive.

Scarab Sages

If I am going to be the GM, I always consult with my players on A) what they want to play and B) whether I have buy-in from them on the central conceit of a particular story (i.e. Kingmaker being kingdom building & resource management similar to Age of Empires--that's how I sold it to them, and they bought in). Buy-in from the players is hugely important. This means you will get characters build towards the story that's going to be told, rather than the typical hodge-podge of characters that often don't fit the stories or eachother at a PFS table or even an open world campaign.

If I am going to be the player, I consult with the GM on what they are expecting and what the other players intentions are. That what I can build my character to fit into the story/theme/central conceit of the AP and I can build a complimentary character to the rest of the group.

More central to your original question, there are a couple APs that are a little more ambiguous on the morality expected.

First, Skulls & Shackles, could go any which way from straight up evil and despicable pirates to do-gooder merchant's learning to live in pirate infested waters and becoming pirate lords in order to protect both their merchantry and various settlements they have brought under their protection. This is probably my weakest example of ambiguous morality, because the theme is extremely strongly pirate, and that caries a tone of connotation for expectations of theme and morality.

Second, Kingmaker, literally can go any way you want it to. Morality of the "kings" and Kingdom is totally, 100% up to the player characters. Because all the foils, stumbling blocks, obstacles, enemies, BBEG, etc. are outside forces aimed at their Kingdom, and the players can handle it in any way they see fit. They still ostensibly are protectors, yes. But its protecting their own interests as much as their citizens. And the theme is more meta, grand-scale, world-building than you usually see in a story.

Largely, however, you are correct that the PCs are expected to be the (anti)heroes of the story.

I believe that the popularity of Kingmaker is just for this ambiguity, but I do think that the heroic stories need to be told too.

Scarab Sages

Ellias Aubec wrote:

Per gaining loot while returning items, maybe relics could be used here? Items that increase in power as they level up, but being powered by a deity or other powerful figure or some such. Still getting the 'new' magical item paradigm, without actually necessarily getting more items.

Could tie into the returning artefacts to return the celestial lock to full power, which also powers up these items that have been bequeathed to the players to help out.

You could also default to the Pathfinder Unchained rules for gaining all the various enhancement (armor/weapon/ability), resistance and deflection bonuses in the automatic bonus progression chart. And couple that with the idea of relics or "growing" items, then those family heirlooms you start the game with gain their special powers as you grow into them.

That's a lot of specialized information for an AP, but the automatic bonus progression, relic and growing rules could be put into the free player's guide to the AP.

Scarab Sages

Tallow wrote:

There are also some tropes that could be built into the adventure at strategic points that allows players to build toward unique iconic characters. Who hasn't read the Riftwar Saga and wanted to be Tomas wearing his Dragon Armor?

If the return of sacred artifacts in turn allowed the organization receiving the returned artifacts to reward the PCs with stuff. Or in the process of seeking out the secret, hidden Tomb of Branthenal to return his Gauntlets of Blasting to his corpse to stop a curse from sweeping over the countryside, the PCs save a mysterious nature spirit disguised as a merchant in distress, who rewards them with things. Or they manage to stumble across another ancient tomb and repository of power and after showing due deference to that tomb the ancience spirit of Bahamut's spokesperson grants each character an item from the hord.

These are ways where you can grant players "kits" of gear that turn them into the Dragon Paladin/Cavalier that Tomas became or the White Gold Ring that turned Thomas Covenant into the White Gold Wielder. A truly epic adventure that allows players to mold their characters into and around and become the story, rather than just being a conglomeration of the best stats and items that disjointedly shoehorns into the adventure.

I'd gobble this up like Mint Chocolate Chip!

To follow up on this:

I don't recall the books, but I believe it was either Mythic Origins, Mythic Realms, or Mythic Adventures where there are locations of power that grant mythic ranks.

Rise of the Runelords Book 5:
Book 5 of Rise of the Runelords has a magical pool in which you can recharge consumable items and can enchant your weapons or armor in certain ways.

Reign of Winter:
I believe it was book 4 where an interdimensional merchant can sell you magic items.

But having locations of magical power that allow you to charge up or enchant your items in region/location specific ways would be both thematic to returning sacred artifacts to special dungeons or organizations and an interesting way to kit up.

Scarab Sages

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Unicore wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

That'd require building in some extensive downtime elements tho the campaign, and would force some, if not all, of the players to invest in crafting. Not everyone's into that. A "return the items" Adventure Path will already not be something that a lot of folks are into, I suspect, as interesting and compelling as it is to me and others, and putting further restrictions on PC choices would make this an even riskier thing for us to tie up a six month adventure (or even a three month one) with.

This is EXACTLY the sort of story that I think would work better as a stand-alone adventure. There's a lot of adventures that would work better as stand-alones, even if said stand-alone were hundreds of pages long.

James, first of all, it is really awesome that you weigh in and give us insight like this. I really appreciate it, and communication like this and your live streams are part of why I love Golarion so much.

I agree that you don't want to limit players to only getting items from building them, but a couple of really cool items that can be built, combined with an NPC that could do the building, if convinced, could go a long way to mitigate the "you must have a master crafter to play this AP."

I also think it could be really cool to work against a subset of the pathfinder society, but it might be easier to have some terrible outsider monsters that also bring loot-worthy treasure in the tombs, (something like devils or other extra-dimensional contract bounty hunters) looking to either prevent the items' return or fulfill the curse/original threat.

I could see this working as a super dungeon instead of a AP as well, although I thought having long thematic downtime elements was something APs were looking to include in PF2? There could also be a fair bit of interesting social encounters of trying to get permission to be the ones to return the items to places where the locals might be a little hostile to the people who originally took them.

There are also some tropes that could be built into the adventure at strategic points that allows players to build toward unique iconic characters. Who hasn't read the Riftwar Saga and wanted to be Tomas wearing his Dragon Armor?

If the return of sacred artifacts in turn allowed the organization receiving the returned artifacts to reward the PCs with stuff. Or in the process of seeking out the secret, hidden Tomb of Branthenal to return his Gauntlets of Blasting to his corpse to stop a curse from sweeping over the countryside, the PCs save a mysterious nature spirit disguised as a merchant in distress, who rewards them with things. Or they manage to stumble across another ancient tomb and repository of power and after showing due deference to that tomb the ancience spirit of Bahamut's spokesperson grants each character an item from the hord.

These are ways where you can grant players "kits" of gear that turn them into the Dragon Paladin/Cavalier that Tomas became or the White Gold Ring that turned Thomas Covenant into the White Gold Wielder. A truly epic adventure that allows players to mold their characters into and around and become the story, rather than just being a conglomeration of the best stats and items that disjointedly shoehorns into the adventure.

I'd gobble this up like Mint Chocolate Chip!

Scarab Sages

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TwilightKnight wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Wow, I honestly hope I never run into a group that's okay with acting out a rape fantasy. That really breaths life into the whole neckbeard negative stereotype of gamer dudes.
That’s partially the point. You won’t. Even most racists know they are and are comfortable with it. But, they generally know not to bring it to a public game like PFS because it’s not going to be welcome or tolerated. If they want to participate they have to stifle it. With a few exceptions of course. I’m not saying that OP is devoid of problem players. Just generally it’s not a problem. The places where it will come up most is places where it won’t matter. If you are an open racists then you’re probably playing like minded people. It is quite possible for there to be racial bigots in a lot of our gaming groups, but as long as they check it at the door, you may not even be aware of it.

Sure, but as I don't play PFS anymore (haven't really since the end of 2016), it would be home groups that I'd come across. And it sounded a lot like several posters were promoting the right of groups of players to play in whatever style they want to play. I know that we try our best to be inclusive and not say "badwrongfun". But I'm gonna say it.

Just like tabletop RPGs can help socially awkward people, shy, and people on the spectrum or with high levels of anxiety incorporate into a group of people in a positive manner, so to can such groups perpetuate hatred, bigotry, and negativity. If a group of people get together to roleplay in an echo chamber of misogyny, hatred, etc., how is that really any different than a club of people who think like that getting together to think like that?

Scarab Sages

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TheFinish wrote:
Rysky wrote:
TheFinish wrote:

It has everything to do with you and your players sensitivities, or preferences, or however you wish to call them.

You don't speak for everyone, and some people may enjoy such dark plot points in their campaigns. They're not wrong for doing so, just as you're not wrong for disliking it.

If you as the GM or a player at the table spring a mind control and/or rape scenario on another character with out everyone's buy in that is 100% on you.

Consent is paramount, and just carte-blanche declaring [I]some[/I[] people like dark stuff doesn't make it all okay or permission to use it everywhere and anywhere.

Yes some people do, are those some people all the people at the table? It's your kink doesn't make it everyone's kink, nor does it mean such a topic shouldn't be treated carefully and seriously.

And...where exactly did I say you shouldn't get consent for this kind of stuff? Or use it all the time? Oh wait, I know: nowhere.

My issue was mostly at you saying this:

Rysky wrote:

In game if a character uses mind control to rape another character it's not a fun game.

It has nothing to do with my or my player's "sensitivities".

Because:

a) You don't get to declare what is and isn't fun for anyone, except yourself.

and

b) As I already said, it absolutely has to do with you and your player's sensitivities.

Because RPGs are all group activities, you should always speak to the group when it comes to...well, everything mostly, but especially stuff like this.

And if the whole group is ok with it and wants to partake, that's excellent. And if some people do and some don't, you either reach a compromise of some kind, or one of the sides leaves.

And everyone gets on with their lives.

Wow, I honestly hope I never run into a group that's okay with acting out a rape fantasy. That really breaths life into the whole neckbeard negative stereotype of gamer dudes.

Scarab Sages

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keftiu wrote:
Tallow wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:

from james l. sutter's twitter account
Can we gloat now?

About what?

In the worst case scenario this is a very unfortunate story that delivers bad or mixed messages regarding the police. That's not something to celebrate.

There’s a degree of “everyone told us our concerns were hyperbole and now we have word from one of the writers that they were pretty much on the money.” Am I happy about it? Of course not. But a good chunk of this discussion has been people saying we were wrong to worry at all and there’s a bitter kind of vindication in seeing this.

If we say there’s a problem, and the writer says there’s a problem, then maybe everyone else can also admit there might be a problem...

Sure, however the comment, "Can we gloat now?" Is extremely tone deaf from someone who stands on their soapbox quite often in regards these issues. Like they cared more about winning the argument, than the issues the argument was over. That's called performative allyship, and isn't a good look.
I don't disagree. I hope you can understand where the frustration that motivates that sentiment comes from, even if it isn't a helpful one.

Certainly I do. But if you are going to proselytize being better, then it becomes hollow sentiment if you don't practice what you preach.

Scarab Sages

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keftiu wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:

from james l. sutter's twitter account
Can we gloat now?

About what?

In the worst case scenario this is a very unfortunate story that delivers bad or mixed messages regarding the police. That's not something to celebrate.

There’s a degree of “everyone told us our concerns were hyperbole and now we have word from one of the writers that they were pretty much on the money.” Am I happy about it? Of course not. But a good chunk of this discussion has been people saying we were wrong to worry at all and there’s a bitter kind of vindication in seeing this.

If we say there’s a problem, and the writer says there’s a problem, then maybe everyone else can also admit there might be a problem...

Sure, however the comment, "Can we gloat now?" Is extremely tone deaf from someone who stands on their soapbox quite often in regards these issues. Like they cared more about winning the argument, than the issues the argument was over. That's called performative allyship, and isn't a good look.

Scarab Sages

First, it would be helpful if you indicated whether you are going with 1st or 2nd edition. I'm assuming you mean 1st edition, as the language you are using feels more like 1st edition terminology and usage.

Second, I've flagged this for a different forum, as this would be a rules question, and not for the general AP page. If this applies to a specific AP, you might also try on the GM forum for that specific AP and ask the question about the specific encounter you are referring to.

Now to the rules:

1) animate dead says in the second paragraph, "Regardless of the type of undead you create with this spell, you can't create more HD of undead than twice your caster level with a single casting of animate dead. The desecrate spell" doubles this limit." and then in the third paragraph, 2nd sentence, No matter how many times you use this spell, however, you can control only 4 HD worth of undead creatures per caster level."

2) Agent of the Grave ability Inspired Necromancy says, "When determining the maximum number of Hit Dice of undead he can control with spells like animate dead, a character counts his agent of the grave levels twice. This ability does not factor into how many undead he can create with a single casting of a spell. Thus, a cleric 7/agent of the grave 3 would be able to control 52 Hit Dice worth of undead with animate dead."

When you add +1 level of existing class, it ONLY applies to spells per level, and per the prestige class, "He does not, however, gain other benefits a character of that class would have gained, except for additional spells per day, spells known (if he is a spontaneous spellcaster), and an increased effective level of spellcasting." This is pretty typical language for prestige classes that offer extra levels of spells.

The example in Agent of the Grave equals 7 cleric levels x 4HD = 28 per level and 6 (double 3rd level) x 4HD = 24 per level for a total of 52 HD of undead. If you use that equation exactly for your example, you would be able to control 7x4HD + 10x4HD of undead for 68HD. Because this is a specific example, then I think this breaks the general rule for adding effective spellcasting level that prestige classes generally add. Like a level 5 Wizard + a prestige class that adds 5 more levels of effective spellcasting, would cast a fireball at 10d6, not 5d6. So realistically, the way its written should be 11x4HD + 10x4HD for 84HD. But because there is a very specific example of how to apply this specific spell to your Agent of the Grave, the 68HD would be correct.

Scarab Sages

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TwilightKnight wrote:
Tallow wrote:
TwilightKnight wrote:
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Today police are universally, without exception, the armed thugs of capital which is everywhere without exception dependent upon exploitation.
No, just no
While I typically haven't agreed with zimmerwald1915's narrative lately, and the rhetoric is quite inflammatory, outright dismissing what they are saying, instead of engaging with what the reasons might be for why they feel that way, certainly does not help the general positive forwarding discourse on why #Blacklivesmatter needs to be a thing.
No, I’m not going to engage in conversation with someone who makes universally disgusting comments vilifying entire group of people just because they are mad at a few of them. Are some cops corrupt? Most certainly. And if what was said was “police are armed thugs” then we could all agree that the “not all” tag could reasonably be applied and therefore the statement would be arguably reasonable. However, that not what was said. “Universally, without exception” is not even close to being a reasonable statement. When someone makes such a claim (1) no, I am not going to let it stand and (2) no, I don’t owe that person anything anymore than a person who supports black lives matter owes a white supremist a general positive forwarding discourse.

But you did engage, in a dismissive way, by responding at all. If you truly find the comment that repulsive and don't want to engage, then don't. But posting up dismissive comments without any followup language does not help all the rest of us who are following the conversation. If you have a different viewpoint, then state it, so the rest of us can make an informed decision on who we feel best represents what's real and true. But when you just say, "No." You aren't just shutting down conversation with that person, you are making it exceedingly difficult for anyone else to engage and have a meaningful conversation.

Honestly, we know what sort of conversation to expect from different people when we've engaged with them long enough. You and I are no exception. And if we choose not to engage with that person, that's fine. That's an incredibly valid choice. We have to take care of our own mental health before we start worrying about what some nitwit on the internet said. But engaging in a negative and dismissive way is not helpful.

Scarab Sages

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TwilightKnight wrote:
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Today police are universally, without exception, the armed thugs of capital which is everywhere without exception dependent upon exploitation.
No, just no

While I typically haven't agreed with zimmerwald1915's narrative lately, and the rhetoric is quite inflammatory, outright dismissing what they are saying, instead of engaging with what the reasons might be for why they feel that way, certainly does not help the general positive forwarding discourse on why #Blacklivesmatter needs to be a thing.

Scarab Sages

CyberMephit wrote:
Tallow wrote:
That is not the fault of the AP though, that is the fault of players who choose to be bloodthirsty hooligans instead of the upstanding citizens the AP assumes they are.

Well I think the problematic element may be, that if the players choose to be actual murderers in this scenario (let's say they manage to creep in stealthy/invisible and attack first), the book as written does not have the authorities challenge their claim to self-defense and basically lets them go free without any consequences as long as they have the wits to not brag about it to the face of the law.

Which is... maybe fine? As long as the GM is clear that the party is acting Evil and has appropriate repercussions in store for when the world finds out. But perhaps the book should have spelled out more clearly what those repercussions would be if/when the authorities find out that Evil deeds were committed in their name.
And for Agents of Edgewatch it becomes a must; I am sure Paizo has thought about it even before the current protests, as I have found this line in the Paizocon AMA thread:
James Jacobs wrote:
Patrick's had to navigate some strange hoops about how PCs who are supposed to be the police act vs. how PCs tend to act in dungeons...
In the end it probably will be more Evil-unfriendly AP even compared to Wrath of the Righteous...

I don't think that its Paizo's responsibility to put into every AP the repercussions of players choosing to play their characters as murder-hobo's. That should be solely at the discretion of the GM. And a good GM would be able to come up with something on the fly for what to do if the players choose to murder first and ask questions later. There is an entire circus of potential witnesses to such a crime.

Or perhaps, the GM knowing the players and how they choose to act, shouldn't run this AP (or at the very least not complain about it if they choose to.)

Scarab Sages

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Shisumo wrote:
Windjammer wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
The sheriff also explictly says "bring them in alive" and is not happy with PCs who don't do so.
Did the sheriff solicit pre-meditated killing as an option? Yes or no?
No, she absolutely does not. I'm not even sure where you're getting the impression from. Acknowledging that you might have to kill someone in self-defense is light-years away from saying that you should totally straight-up murder them.

Going in with the intent to bring a law-breaker and heinous mass-murderer, alive, but given the right to defend yourself, lethally if need be, is the exact opposite of justifying premeditated killing.

The nuance here, though, is whether the group of players use that as an excuse to just kill. Which, frankly, is often the case from my experience.

That is not the fault of the AP though, that is the fault of players who choose to be bloodthirsty hooligans instead of the upstanding citizens the AP assumes they are.

Scarab Sages

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That's how I've read it too Shisumo.

Scarab Sages

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Windjammer wrote:

I see. The new consensus is that a person about to be arrested by citizens screaming "Help me! These people are trying to kill me!" - without even exercising physical means of self-defense or trying to flee her home -is unlawfully resisting arrest and deserves to get killed.

With that kind of readership response, Edgewatch's plot lines should not pose any problems whatsoever.

Again, I think you are misrepresenting, for some reason, what's actually written in the text of the AP. And you just actively ignored the part where the Sheriff wants this person brought in alive.

Scarab Sages

Shisumo wrote:
Rysky wrote:
We’ve already had this discussion in the GM thread but
Quote:
In volume 2, the sheriff in town deputizes the PCs to go out and kill a non-resisting, albeit LE, citizen.

outright lying is damaging your cause, not helping.

The villain in question does resist, and by that point has killed a f~%% ton of people, among other heinous crimes.

The sheriff also explictly says "bring them in alive" and is not happy with PCs who don't do so.

Sounds like Windjammer's experience was A) someone with either an agenda or who didn't read or didn't read for comprehension telling him about it, B) playing under a GM who did their own creative modification, or was part of A above, or C) has their own agenda willing to spout mistruths to accomplish it or didn't read for comprehension.

I'm going to wager it was A or B, and that they are not actually using their own first-hand knowledge of the AP. Which is, in and of itself, a problematic way of inserting one's self into an argument.

Scarab Sages

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CorvusMask wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Yeah, I don't think police is synonymous with violence, or at least they shouldn't be :P
As has been noted elsewhere, to a certain extent the concept of law and therefore law enforcement is rooted in the threat of violence to be meted out against the violator of those laws. That said, while violence can never be fully removed from the toolbox of the state as a means to carry out its will, there's a pretty substantial spectrum of options one could theoretically employ before even nonlethal violence would have to be placed on the table.

You say that, but that is culture shock to me since while on some level that isn't wrong, its not how local police here is perceived(as "they COULD use non violent options, but don't" I mean), so the idea that any police force is perceived as violent thugs makes me wonder "Why are they allowed to exist? Police isn't supposed to be like that"

Like what kind of police goes for violent solutions as the first solution? :/ (well okay the fascist police or ones that behave like street gang :P Police having that type of reputation does explain to me why people hate the word itself, but its still really shocking to me)

I don't know if you are of the BIPOC community or not, so please take what I'm about to say in that context.

What you are saying is exactly what most white privileged people say, who are from predominantly white privileged neighborhoods. White people don't often view police in the same way as BIPOC people do, because our experiences are drastically and fundamentally different. This is food for thought.

Scarab Sages

As a GM, and a player group, you have the luxury of sitting back, looking over the AP as written, and doing your best to handle things differently than indiscriminately killing, beating, or otherwise being corrupt. Without seeing how its written, or what the encounters entail, we don't know what the AP assumes should be the solution. So I don't know how much extra work the GM would have to do to modify it accordingly.

But, as people, we CAN make those choices.

That being said, the AP dealing with cops coming out right now will appear to be tone deaf, for sure.

Scarab Sages

Reign of Winter has actually been quite low on treasure. By level 8, we had level 4 WBL. After we complained, the GM upped the treasure amount and gave us a method to purchase treasure, which is usually not available in Reign of Winter.

Scarab Sages

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I imagine the Heist AP could be written a couple ways:

1) Robin Hood-esque: Where the PCs are stealing from the rich to give to the poor. Probably starting in a small city district or hamlet (or fiefdom where they are doing mostly heists of transport carriages and perhaps the Lord Knight's Mott and Bailey keep. And eventually merge into needing to do the heists of the BBEG's domain to steal the powerful artifact he's going to use to own the world.

2) Morally Ambiguous: Where they are a group of morally questionable people doing heists for their own ambitions, and during one heist happen across something really nefarious and evil. Probably after shrugging about it, they keep heisting, but the evil knowing the PCs are a loose end, the BBEG commands his henchmen to take out the meddling rogues. So for self-preservation, the PCs have to continue conning and heisting their way to learning where, who, and what the BBEG really is, and then figuring out how to take him out in a really cool, well-staged heist/con.

Scarab Sages

Andostre wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
Play a member of a crack team of spies who are investigating a mystery that involves covertly taking out bad guys and infiltrating nefarious groups.
How would you do that where you start from level 1? I mean, I like the idea, but every time I try to envision a "crack" team of anything, to start at level 1 you'd have to scale down the threats enough that you lose a lot of the feel where you're not a novice. At least in Pathfinder, you can advance in competency relatively quickly, but the APs start at level 1, which limits the scenarios PCs can jump into.

I imagine you start them at a small level.

Good Guy Patron needs some low level flunkies to help suss out some information downstream. He has a suspicion something nefarious is going on, but he has no proof, and jumping in feet first with all power would potentially reveal his hand. So he gets the 1st level team of PCs together to go spy on a miller or a blacksmith in some small hamlet and figure out what he's up to.

When they are successful with that, and remaining uncompromised, they are tasked with following the connections from the miller to the next level upstream. Eventually as they continue following the leads upstream, they gain more outward seeming influence in various parts of the capital city/country and remain spies at the highest levels by the time the AP ends.

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