Camel

Tallow's page

1,986 posts. Alias of Andrew Christian.


RSS

1 to 50 of 1,986 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>
Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paradozen wrote:
For a First World AP, I think it would be pretty fun if the PCs flitted between the First World and the parts of Golarion where fey are prominent, taking the party across the inner sea. The Verduran Forest, various parts of the River Kingdoms, Axan Wood, IIRC there are a couple mountain ranges, etc.

The Fangwood in Nirmithas as well.

It could certainly be a way to revisit several locations already visited in other APs as well.

Scarab Sages

zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Tallow wrote:
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Lanathar wrote:

Wait a second ...

Who are the Avistan analogues for :

- the Dutch

- the Portuguese

- the Spanish

- the Italians (cheliax? I thought the chellish were also a bit of Spain?)

- the Norse (linnorn kings or mammoth lords? And where did they colonise. Missed that part)

You make some allusions to real world parallels that I am not sure I have seen before in previous discussions on this topic and I am intrigued...

Answered in PM as this is going off-topic.
I'm also interested in seeing a reply to this. Perhaps put it in a spoiler?
** spoiler omitted **...

fascinating. Thankyou. I can't really disagree with anything you posited here. I might make some adjustments here and there upon doing some historical research. But this looks about right to me.

Scarab Sages

zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Lanathar wrote:

Wait a second ...

Who are the Avistan analogues for :

- the Dutch

- the Portuguese

- the Spanish

- the Italians (cheliax? I thought the chellish were also a bit of Spain?)

- the Norse (linnorn kings or mammoth lords? And where did they colonise. Missed that part)

You make some allusions to real world parallels that I am not sure I have seen before in previous discussions on this topic and I am intrigued...

Answered in PM as this is going off-topic.

I'm also interested in seeing a reply to this. Perhaps put it in a spoiler?

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Sporkedup wrote:
Paradozen wrote:
Sporkedup wrote:
Paradozen wrote:
I'd love to see an AP set in the Impossible Lands. There is a whole lot of cool stuff going on over there. Plus, fleshing out Oenopion is a great excuse to bring the Oozemorph to 2e.

Agreed.

Though I thought I heard that the person responsible for this region is no longer with Paizo and no one else is that interested in telling stories in their region? Shame if so.

I'm pretty sure the Impossible Lands (or at least Nex) is one of the corners of the world from Erik Mona. They're still with Paizo so we might see an AP there yet. Plus, Lost Omens Legends will have information on the wizards Nex and Geb (last I checked anyways), so that's nice.
Oh! Okay. Wonder which region I was thinking of. Eric does have a lot on his plate right now though.

Previously, various different creators, designers, developers, and publishers "owned" various countries or regions of Golarion. And that area of the planet was usually left alone, unless there was consultation with that person, so that any "plans" or "canon" would not get stepped upon. Which is why you didn't really see anything in Geb, Nex and not much in the Mana Wastes. But as Publisher, Erik Mona didn't have much time to actually write material, and so nothing got done in that region. Other areas had similar fates.

My understanding, as PF2 was getting off the ground, that regions were going to be detached from specific people, so that developers could work on any region. Although, this might have changed, and out of respect, many developers might still choose to stay away from Erik's region.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Davor Firetusk wrote:
I understand the relevance of European colonization, but focusing only on that interaction to the exclusion of others is it's own form of white bias. After all most of us posting learned an Indo-European language as our first tongue and the shared cultural elements from the Yamnaya (or its close cousins from the Eurasian steppe) is very arguably way more of an impactful homogenizing event. Even less widespread conflicts are significant parts of local history. Assuming that modern European influence is the only trauma and issue needed to understand them really strips local ethnicities of agency and the importance of their own history prior to the Age of Discovery.

You could say that Genghis Khan also colonized a huge portion of the world, stretching from the China Sea, to parts of India, across Asia, and deep into Eastern Europe. While it wasn't necessarily the exact same type of colonization (in that it wasn't a rich, white man, exploiting the foreign lands for more wealth at the horrid expense of indigenous lives), it was still a conquering nation--so much so that 0.5% of the world's population (roughly 17 million) can trace their DNA to him.

Scarab Sages

Sporkedup wrote:
Have any APs gone to the First World? That could be absolutely awesome.

Yes.

first world AP:
Kingmaker goes to the first world eventually, but its a huge spoiler for the primary badguy.

Scarab Sages

Skulls & Shackles, definitely.

With all the ship travel you can do, that can take months to travel from the Shackles to Sargava, for instance, this one can take several years in game, easily. We just finished book 3, and are on campaign day 379. And if you have a crew, you have lots of item creation downtime while sailing.

Kingmaker is specifically designed to last years. Especially if you use the kingdom building and maintenance rules. The books all specifically give you space to do several months of kingdom building without adventuring or forwarding the plot. This allows for lots of item creation downtime.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Lanathar wrote:
Where is the best space for the discussion on paizo content being too white European focused that the OP and Zimmerwald seem to want to have ?

At this point its probably best moved to another thread. Almost everything that can be said has been said. It would be nice to see people respond with ideas for what the OP asked instead of sidetracking the conversation past the suggestion for what Zimmerwald wants to see. That's been done. No need to now hijack this thread for purposes of discussing the merits, ethics, and politics of his suggestion or what Paizo already does.

Scarab Sages

Andostre wrote:
I'd like to see an AP where players create PCs on Golarion, but are very quickly whisked away to one of the other planets in Golarion's solar system, and the majority of the rest of the AP takes place on that planet. I'm not suggesting a planet-hopping AP, but more of a deep dive into another planet.

There is an AP out there where an entire book is devoted to another planet.

Other Planet AP:
Reign of Winter Book 4 goes to another planet and you spend the entire book on that planet.

Scarab Sages

I think the OP was also wanting the AP wholly set in one region/terrain/environment. In this case, an entire AP set in the arctic setting. Six books of cold adventure. I'm not sure how well that would sell regardless what environment that would be, and it does present potential issues with player engagement and sales.

One thing I've really enjoyed about the AP line, is that the APs don't stay in one type of location for the entire thing. You get to explore, at least, new types of terrain, and there is often a few dungeon crawls or castles to storm within the adventure.

Setting it all in one terrain type could leave the audience cold.

Scarab Sages

AnimatedPaper wrote:
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
The problem is that decolonization ought to be played through sooner or later, not shunted off into setting material the way Vidrian's was, or with colonialism retconned out of existence as a mere bad idea. It's too important. (It's also too important, however, to be left to a stable of mostly-white writers and editors, which is an argument not to do it.)
I disagree that it needs to be done via a Pathfinder AP. Even if they overcome the barrier of mostly White writers and editors, you still have a mostly White player base and GM pool. I think these themes would be better presented as either a video game, where the storytelling is more centralized, or via Starfinder, where there isn't as obvious a real world analogue and we aren't encouraging thousands of players to put on brown face.

Historically, non euro-centric campaign settings have sold poorly (TSR, Wizards of the Coast, and others). With the exception of possibly Legend of the Five Rings material that is (although I'm not sure how well that actually did.) But Oriental, Arab, and Mongol settings have not traditionally sold well, which is why you usually have seen a single setting book or box based on a series of novels and then maybe a couple adventures (the Arab Setting of 2nd edition AD&D I think had 6 adventures written for it, but that was right as TSR was starting to fail, and so they ended up canceling the line) and that's it.

Is it because people generally want standard western euro-centric high arthurian-style fantasy? Is it because in general, the stereotypical gamer of 20 years ago was a nerdy, white, slovenly, male with poor social skills who tend to over-stereotype their characters and ignorantly use those stereotypes to create the slave who's beaten his past or the buxom horny lesbian, or whatever? The point is, whether its because the audience doesn't purchase those types of adventures or settings, the writers/authors wouldn't do such an adventure or setting justice because they have no practical experience with being of that sort of demographic, or the consumers would butcher said setting with tons of negative stereotypes, I think it would be a bad idea.

Scarab Sages

AnimatedPaper wrote:
logic_poet wrote:
The problem with an AP in Arcadia without the grinding coast is that it would be like starting over. You could do it, but don't expect the peopel invested in the inner sea to be happy about not being able to use the books they've bought. It's not quite that bad, but the fear that some customers might feel that way might be driving the decision making. After all, the wait for a Dragon Empires native AP continues.

Understandable, but it's still what I would prefer. If we're going to take a break from Avistan, I'd rather take a whole vacation. Leave the Inner Sea squabbles, and explore the creatures, cultures, hazards, and heroes that are native to Arcadia/Dragon Empires/Vudra, etc. What problems have gone unchecked, what new threats are arising, what organizations are coming into conflict that we haven't had enough page count to look at yet?

"Attack of the Swarm" started on a planet that was not part of the Pact Worlds, and never really wound up involving them to a great extent, so there's hope I think.

I think part of the problem with creating an AP wholly set in another culture analogue to a real world culture that has traditionally be stereotyped and beaten down, is 1) do they have the right writers (of that culture) to do that story justice without playing into the stereotypes or delving into cultural appropriation? or 2) do you honestly think that the average player would be able to play such an adventure without diving into the negative and gross stereotypes?

As a publisher, I'd want to try and stay away from either of those two things as much as possible.

Scarab Sages

zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Lanathar wrote:
4th time of what?
Presumably the 4th day.

Correct. Book 1 basically progresses on a day-by-day basis. Each day you proceed with all the daily rituals of making rolls to not piss off your slave masters, getting assigned work, trying to succeed at that work, feeding, grog drinking, and sleeping. You can either fully work to succeed at all these things, or you can take some time away from focusing on the work to try and befriend your fellow crewmates/slaves. And I think you go through that for 16 days at least, but may have been 23. There are 3 to 5 separate events, like a huge storm and fighting another ship, that get thrown in there to interrupt the general monotony of the daily grind. After the 4th day of the daily grind, it got a bit monotonous. Fortunately all the players bought into the concept of trying to befriend the other captives and crewmates, and the GM did a good job of roleplaying with us on all those attempts. And he did a good job of allowing us to try creative things that weren't specifically written into the rules for this interaction. But the players who were determined to play more of a lone-wolf type or a stubborn type were the ones who kept getting lashed, forced to drink grog, or sent to the bilge pumps. One of them was the weak halfling rogue who could not succeed at bilge pumping, let alone while sick from the grog and injured from the lashing. I imagine it was not super fun for that player, since they basically had several weeks of failing before the dungeon crawl and mutiny. But if you built your character to have a more fluid and improvisational outlook, instead of being stubborn to a fault, then you could really find enjoyment in this. I think my character only experienced Grog twice, rarely got caught when trying to do politics in the middle of the night, was built to be extremely good in the rigging so even when fatigued, sick, or injured still succeeded at his tasks. Plus he was a master at bluff for a 1st level character (+9 or something like that I think). So I really enjoyed this aspect, even if it did get monotonous.

My favorite part, was one of the slaves who refused to ally himself with us, and even turned one of the player characters in to the Bosun's Mate for breaking the rules, got his comeuppance during a storm. I used the storm as cover to swing on a rope into him and knock him overboard. He was never seen again.

The point is, it can be fun as long as the players buy-in with appropriate characters, and as the GM you are willing to allow creative ideas to get through it. Focus more on the building of alliances and friendships rather than the daily grind (which can easily be relegated to 5 minutes of die rolling at the start of each daily phase.) Focus on the roleplaying. And if one player seems to get constantly targeted, unless that player is completely unwilling to try something new to survive, make sure random rolls don't target them.

Scarab Sages

Also flagged this as being in the wrong forum, as this is a rules question, and not so much an AP question.

Scarab Sages

The swarm ability literally means they are considered flanking when in the same space as another allied creature with the swarm ability. Typically, unless you have an ability that allows you to threaten with a ranged attack (like snap shot, which must be within 5', or with Improved snap shot within 10'), swarm would not give you the ability to sneak attack with a ranged weapon.

But, if they did have improved snap shot, then they absolutely would get the sneak attack within 10' when swarming kicks in. And the sneak attack would apply for every single attack that complies with the swarming, flanking and threatening rules. This is not an instance like hiding or invisibility where only the first attack would be a sneak attack.

Scarab Sages

Lanathar wrote:
I might start with it and move onto 3 maybe? Completely skip the cleaning of bilges, flogging and forced poison drinking?

I don't believe Plunder and Peril is a good replacement for Book 1, as it starts at 4th level I think?

Scarab Sages

Lanathar wrote:

The Kingmaker suggestion is slightly “ruined” by it having been released as a PC game that some pathfinder fans are likely to have played at least part of. But it is still a good one that is worth investigating. I might check because it might not be thar close to the game

The Skull and shackles is an interesting option. Has there been a bit of a rewrite of any of the early part? Because when I read it seemed like it would be very hard on the PCs to take that much abuse. And the grog is straight up poison and crippling

I was actually looking into plunder and peril for a different group as that is split into three. And that can apparently replace book 2...

Some interesting ideas there . Thanks

I wouldn't replace book 2 totally with Plunder and Peril, just the monotonous ship chasing/capturing/fighting part that goes on way too long. There are still a few set pieces in book 2 you probably should run.

Book 1 wasn't that difficult for us actually. It was annoying after the 4th time, which is what made it monotonous. But as players we found creative ways to avoid a lot of the worst parts of the punishment and grog.

Book 3 really ramped up the storyline and I absolutely adored it. The investigative and political stuff really fit my lying Gunslinger Buccaneer perfectly.

Scarab Sages

Skulls and Shackles could also be easily done modularly. I've only experienced books 1 through 3 so far, but in 1 you basically get shanghai'd and made a slave aboard a ship and the adventure goes day-by-day with some specific events that will take place. There is a bit of ship/crew politics you need to navigate, but as long as you keep good track (on say a spreadsheet) of who you are friends/neutral/enemies with it works out fine just playing a day at a time. Book 1 ends in a big dungeon crawl, but it has 3 or 4 very specific parts which can easily be treated modularly too. Book 2 is all about taking your ship out and being pirates. This can be done modularly based on some set pieces in various ports or just modularly based on capturing ships. Book 2 again ends in a big dungeon, so that might be the only difficult part of modularness, but I think dungeons work well for short play sessions as you treat each room/encounter as that evenings module. Book 3 is more investigative, but the nature of the game is traveling around to different ports of call, so each leg of the various fetch quests and investigations can be easily done modularly as well. The biggest trouble with Book 3 is the race at the end. But there are "waypoints" within the race that could be treated like a dungeon with each waypoint being that evening's module.

Scarab Sages

zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Kingmaker is perfect for this, at least for Books 1 and 2 when hands-on hexploration is still a thing. Every day's its own mini-adventure.

I second Kingmaker as perfect for making it modular.

Scarab Sages

looks like this thread accidentally got posted twice. So I'll include my thoughts in this one.

Well they've pretty much done every sort of region already. Lots of mountains, forests, jungles, hills, plains, rivers, lakes, oceans, underdark, etc.

I believe Jade Regent also has a fair amount of arctic stuff in book 2 and 3 I think.

One thing I'd like to see in an AP though, is focused around River Travel along trade route rivers. With expanded rules for man-powered boats (canoes, rowboats, pole boats, etc.) and river trade and travel articles.

Another would be an adventure that revolves around the actual time of discovery of a cave system. Like the PCs are the ones that fall in a hole (or have their dog/pig/giant gorilla fall in the hole) and what the discovery of this cavern system means to the local area.

As to the above conversation about thinking everything is "white-centric" I don't really want to involve myself in that conversation. But if half the character hooks are regional (regional from the AP's specific area) or non-white in nature, then it isn't the writers or publisher that's the problem, its the players and GM.

Lets also consider that a bunch of white people playing a game, could they really honestly do justice to playing the native without diving big time into cultural appropriation and stereotype tropes?

Scarab Sages

Mathmuse wrote:
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Tallow wrote:
While I would prefer the authors/developers/editors to ensure that these side quests are tied more closely to the story either as a red herring or a foreshadowing of things to come, that's not always realistic to expect.
For what it may be worth, having everything you encounter in the course of an AP be about that AP's plot would break my suspension of disbelief; one of the things that keeps me coming back to Pathfinder APs is the sense of them being in a big world where a lot of stuff is going on and any given bunch of PCs are dealing with some particular threads of it but not by any means all of it.

What I have seen working well in the Paizo adventure paths is that although some quests are not part of the main plot--that is why I call them side quests--nevertheless, they strongly relate to the flavor of the adventure path.

For example, the main plot of the Jade Regent adventure path is to take the true heir from Varisia on the Avastian continent to Minkai on the Tian Xia continent to overthrow the corrupt oni-controlled government of Minkai. Three modules cover traveling from Varisia to Minkai. Technically, everything in those modules that is not travel is a side quest. But the side quest in Night of Frozen Shadows is defeating ninjas, so it still has the oriental flavor. The side quest in the first half of Forest of Spirits is an introduction to Tian Xia in the northern nation Hongal, so it has the oriental flavor. The module inbetween, The Hungry Storm, was about the polar ice cap with no oriental flavor, so I added a little by emphasizing that the heir's ancestor had explored and established the trade route over the ice cap.

The main plot of the Iron Gods adventure path is defeating the evil Iron Gods. The flavor, in contrast, is about meeting aliens and playing with and fighting against high technology. The 4th module, Valley of the Brain Collectors, is mostly a side quest, but it is...

Book 3 of Kingmaker is largely a side quest insofar as the metaplot goes (which doesn't really get revealed until the end of book 5 or beginning of book 6. But it still deals with what's there when exploring new areas and claiming them for your kingdom.

Scarab Sages

the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Tallow wrote:


While I would prefer the authors/developers/editors to ensure that these side quests are tied more closely to the story either as a red herring or a foreshadowing of things to come, that's not always realistic to expect.
For what it may be worth, having everything you encounter in the course of an AP be about that AP's plot would break my suspension of disbelief; one of the things that keeps me coming back to Pathfinder APs is the sense of them being in a big world where a lot of stuff is going on and any given bunch of PCs are dealing with some particular threads of it but not by any means all of it.

But encounters specifically written into the AP is kinda wasted wordcount if you don't at least try to tie it to the main plot. If you are going to have a mcguffin hunt, then there has to be reason the PCs actually care about doing that hunt for that NPC within the context of the AP. You can write up an article at the end that details the "world" information for the GM to add in non-plot specific things if they want to. Otherwise, why spend 1,000 words or more to write some quest or mcguffin hunt that doesn't at least indirectly work towards the end goals of the plot.

Even Kingmaker, which has a bunch of seemingly meaningless side quests, but in the context of Kingmaker, which exploring the world and claiming things for your Kingdom, that's actually quite fine. In the context of say Skulls and Shackles, if the side quest doesn't A) allow me to gain more influence toward or as being a Pirate Lord or B) directly tie into the meta plot, then it shouldn't be detailed at all in the book itself. Those sorts of side quests can be generated by the GM from the region or area article at the end of the AP. And if a GM doesn't want to design some of those things themselves, then that's on them.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Sporkedup wrote:
Depends. Some of the early and other side plots in APs feel very small. Especially if the players have characters tailored for the adventure, where sometimes they feel really disconnected while it's fetch quests and things.

Sure, if all the GM does is present them as fetch quests and unnecessary side things just to get folks experience or to fill out an adventure, its no wonder why players might feel disconnected. While I would prefer the authors/developers/editors to ensure that these side quests are tied more closely to the story either as a red herring or a foreshadowing of things to come, that's not always realistic to expect. And a GM who makes the NPCs behind these quests interesting and even recurring characters (even if they are just throw-away shop keepers within the AP), then the players can feel engaged and have fun regardless of how closely tied they are to the adventure itself. Why? Because you are directly creating fun character relationships that the players get to explore and have fun with throughout the story.

I'm not going to say that all APs are flawless. They clearly aren't. But even a bad adventure can be made fun if the GM puts in the effort to do so. If the GM just runs the script, then even the most engaging and fun adventure can be a slog though.

Scarab Sages

I would say that as long as the GM makes the story as the players currently know it engaging for the players and specific to the characters to some degree, then it doesn't matter how long it takes for the metaplot reveal to happen.

Scarab Sages

I wonder if the best way to reword W E Ray's question, is:

"What are the easiest/hardest APs for GMs to make fun for their players?"

and

"Is there a common element that is the most difficult for GMs throughout the entire catalog of APs?"

and

"Are the most difficult elements only evident to players when GMs allow them to be evident during play?"

I'm of a mind, that if a GM has enough time, energy, and motivation, they can make any adventure fun for their players. Skill also has something to do with it, but largely I would say any GM who has players willing to consistently play at their table has enough skill to modify things as necessary. Experience, in my opinion, might be the only limiting factor as far as skill goes, for a GM effectively modifying an adventure to work best for a particular group of players.

Scarab Sages

Sunderstone wrote:
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Sunderstone wrote:
Artofregicide wrote:
I'd also argue that Reign of Winter is by far one of the best AP's ever written (and to be honest, every AP I've read I've enjoyed) and carries the same theme throughout whilst exploring different aspects of the same theme. Admittedly, book 3 turns some people off but personally I'm a fan of even that.

I avoided this Ap because I didn't want to got to earth in my sword and sorcery world. I may give this another look now based on posts here

** spoiler omitted **

For me it's mixing it up with sci-fi. I didn't care for Iron Gods for the same reason before I read more on these forums about it. Starting from Row, I dropped my AP subscription. If I ran IG, it would be ooc for me and my one and only sci-fi shot as I still would rather keep that genre separate.

It's just my taste. Even way back, I preferred Greyhawk/FR and never bought anything Eberron for setting flavor reasons.

I'm a collector of these APs anyway , it can't hurt to pick up an Row PDF or two to see if I'm missing anything special.

Keep in mind I've only played through Book 5, so I don't know what happens in Book 6.

But a few things to consider:

1) Book 5 is the only book that would have you going to "Earth."
2) It is not sci-fi. At worst, I'd call it Pulp in the vein of Allan Quatermain style pulp (as in late 1800's early 1900's.
3) Yes, there are "modern" firearms, but that's about the most "real world"-ish you will get. The rest is still pretty fantasy/horror.

Scarab Sages

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:
thejeff wrote:
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Perhaps it shows that they're trying to have a world that matches a lot of fantasy genre fiction (of different flavors in different places so they can tell different stories), rather than making some ideological point? Glossing over a lot of the horrors of real world history, while keeping some in place to play with.

Not that they think capitalist monarchies are the ideal form of society, but that monarchical trappings are a mainstay of fantasy stories.

. . . They literally restored a Romanov. You can't get much more on-the-nose about your ideological orientation.

Put another way, "why not both?"

Also, admitting that you're whitewashing for the sake of some other goal doesn't make the whitewashing something else.

And therefore what: Paizo developers are monarchists? They believe in the divine right of kings? Why does this say anything about "ideological orientation"? One can enjoy fantasy stories in medieval kingdoms and still not want to live in a real one.
There’s also the commercial reality. They need to produce what they think they can sell as well as what they’re interested in.

And part of appealing to a wider audience is offering that wider audience more representation within the story. As a Gen X, Cis-Het White Dude, I don't know what it feels like to never read a book, comic book, see a movie, or TV show without seeing someone that looks or feels like me. But I do know that I've heard many folks who are either POC or don't identify the same as me gender or sexuality-wise saying that they had a hard time getting into sci-fi/fantasy or comic books because they didn't see someone that represented them (side note: Its why spiderman became so ubiquitous and popular amongst the nerd culture.)

So I have no issue with Paizo choosing to show a wider representation within their published works so as to include more people who are different than me in their fandom and this hobby. One way to get sales is to also find a wider market for those sales.

What really chaps me, is the comment using "representation" as a pejorative and using "verisimilitude" as a way to justify this view. What I garner from that, is the reviewer wants to only adventure in a world that represents them. They can't conceive of a fictional world that doesn't look like the history of the real world or don't find it enjoyable to play in that fictional world. They like the idea of being misogynistic, racist, and/or homophobic, even if on a subtle, inferred, or undercurrent level, within their game. Because somehow, without the Patriarchy of heterosexuals, the world doesn't seem realistic to them.

My take, is that Paizo is trying to have a world where anyone, regardless of race, creed, ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity, or anything else, can be a leader of people. And that's awesome!

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
W E Ray wrote:
Tallow wrote:
I think we are really starting to narrow down the specific issues in transition between books.

.

Yeah, for me, to get what I was hoping for from this Thread, I'd love to see some posts really detailing a few specific cases in individual AP volumes. (I had to not-read the Council of Thieves posts because it, along with HR and HV, are the ones I can't have spoilers to.)

And then, looking at those cases, see if it's really true at all and how significant or insignificant a problem it is.

I've only run* Kingmaker and Ironfang Invasion, and played* Reign of Winter and Skulls and Shackles.

*I've done bits and pieces, mostly of book 5 and 6 for PFS, of Rise of the Runelords, Shattered Star, Jade Regent, Iron Gods, & Giantslayer and I played through book 2 of Carrion Crown as an AP. So none of these are really APs I can speak to in regards to transition.

Kingmaker: The transition between book 1 and 2 was the most seamless. Book 2 and 3 was maybe a little jarring, since the entire book more or less had nothing to do with the overall metaplot except for I think a couple kingdom events (which were like secondary and tertiary side encounters). Book 3 to 4 also had some issues in transition and book 4 to 5 kinda did, but it actually made sense. Book 6 tied it all together so its transition was fine. But what tied it all together was doing the Kingdom Building, and as long as exploration and expansion was the focus of the adventure, then the jarring transitions were mitigated almost entirely. I can imagine if you played without that aspect and just played the story, with the kingdom stuff in the background, the GM would have had to work hard on the transitions. I did not have to work hard on them.

Skulls & Shackles: I've only played the first 3 books, and the transitions are pretty good as it follows the natural progression of shanghai'd slaves to pirate lords without missing much of a beat (at least through book 3, no idea if this trend continues.) The only issues I had were the sub-games in book 1 and 2 became monotonous. Book 3 rocked.

Reign of Winter: I've played through book 5, and the central conceit of the entire AP makes the transitions fine. They would be jarring if the players don't buy into this central conceit. But with buy-in to the central conceit, the transitions make perfect sense and work very well. Each book is entirely and incredibly different from the last (with the exception of book 1 & 2), and without the central conceit, they would literally be 6 separate adventures barely stitched together with any cohesion. But it actually works really well, because of the reason why they are so drastically different.

I feel like, perhaps (and I'm kinda speaking out of turn, because I'm assuming) the reason some transitions are seen as faulty, is because the developer did not devise a cool tool by which to help the GM transition from story to story smoothly.

Scarab Sages

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:

No s!&~.

If someone is spouting hateful nonsense like that their credibility is already in the gutter, whatever other points and their attempt at validity are swept away.

Agreed. I'm not going to waste my time listening to someone who is full-on bigotry. Even if some of their points are valid, I tune them out entirely.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Oliver von Spreckelsen wrote:


Another Council of Thieves inconsistency (no spoiler is necessary here):
The biggest reason this AP is held in such low regard ist failed expectations. From the start it seems, the PCs have a chance to strike against House Thrune. If the beginning of the campaign would have concentrated on themes like "Make Westcrown Great Again" or "We are Batman" the reviews would have been much more favorable, because then the expectations would have met the outcome of the AP.

I think we are really starting to narrow down the specific issues in transition between books that W E Ray initially spoke about, when they are written by different authors. In many cases, an author of an earlier book might make unintentional promises that never get realized because it wasn't in the outline/adventure skeleton assignments handed to the authors by the developer. This is why more comprehensive collaboration is important, in my opinion.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
CorvusMask wrote:
I mean, I agree that GM advice of "If players make a really long deduction that they are proud of, you can change things so its true so that players feel happy about being right" can be good idea, but it can also be good idea to let players sometimes just be wrong about their assumption.

I think its a long-time trope/inside joke, "Hey, don't say that, you'll give the GM ideas!"

I do, though, enjoy with player assumptions in creating encounters or side adventures that were never intended.

Scarab Sages

Rysky wrote:

Kinda but not really. Plotting around assumptions and mistakes can be fun, but are not mandatory.

The AP can’t really account for your players making up assumptions. Undead can be created by necromancers, they can be created to get revenge.

Can be. Nothing in undead or the example situation hard codes their creation and your players assumptions are just that, assumptions. That there’s no Necromancer or too many undead from one event for one player’s liking is not a failure of the AP.

That being said, I do agree that in some cases, especially between books where the authors change, unintentional red herrings can be a problem for a GM in ensuring the adventure continues to move forward along the plot without railroading the players.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Davor Firetusk wrote:

I think that was sort of what Tallow was getting at, but I wouldn't consider it an egregious example. I've sat down to tables and heard GM comments like "well this isn't a very good scenario" and variations multiple times before we even begin. It is really obnoxious, when you realize the GM is basically saying right off the bat we are here to have fun, but it ain't going to happen.

I think a large part of it is a lack of self awareness about how deeply enmeshed 'Comicbook Guy' attitudes are among players and the perpetual meta critiquing.

How easy it was to change this was really made clear to me a few years ago. I played 9-02 at GenCon and I had the worst GM in society play I ever experienced. He clearly did not know Pathfinder rules well, had very low GM skills in general, and I don't think he had any clue about actual PFS rules since he broke about half of them. The scenario itself does not have a good reputation on top of that. As luck would have it I was assigned to GM that scenario at a con about a month later. After actually reading the scenario I could see there were some potentially confusing points, and it was an oddly philosophical scenario. But partially because my experience was so bad I was motivated to give my players a fair shot at enjoying the scenario. All I had to do was decide ahead of time how to handle the rough spots and both of my tables went off just fine. I didn't hear a single complaint, and all it really took was the right attitude.

Exactly! This is exactly my point.

There is one scenario I point to specifically, that while PFS was going, came out as the Season 3 special "Cyphermage Dilemma". The previous Season 2 special was pretty good, and the Season 4 special rocked. But this was just a really odd choice to make the special. It was not a very well written scenario. And yet, as a Venture-Officer at the time (the only ones allowed to run them for 1 year), I ran this one 5 or 6 times (a couple of which were at conventions.) I've had players tell me that they stuck around PFS because of that scenario. I've had brand new players signed up to play after running it for them. Why? Because I did what I could to make it fun for the players. I didn't have to rewrite or change anything. I just approached it with a good attitude and really allowed the players to succeed with nifty plans and roleplayed the badguys in a keystone cop way and it turned out to just be a ball of laughs and fun.

It can be the worst thing in the world, and if you want your players to have fun, don't tell them that during or before play.

Scarab Sages

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Mathmuse wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Necromancers aren’t required for undead, plenty (and most) just spontaneously arise on their own :3

Fifteen dwaves died. Five rose as undead. That is an extremely high reanimation rate for spontaneous reanimation.

** spoiler omitted **

The high rate of dead dwarves rising as undead persuaded my players that the remains of torture were evidence of a necromantic ritual.

And if I declared aloud to my players,...

Trail of the Hunted:
I just got done running that one last October or so. and I didn't mind it at all. The emotional impact of live flaying and torture would be enough to raise the skeletons. And since the bloody skeletons keep coming back to life until their skins at Scarvinious's camp are destroyed, its easy enough to assume this is some sort of "ghost" or haunt.
Scarab Sages

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Matthew Downie wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Some GMs vocally complain about the problems with the AP during play, which as a player I hate. Don't tell me what sucks, just do what you need to do to make it enjoyable.
So all you're asking is that the GM does unpaid adventure-writing work on your behalf, and that they do it better than the professional adventure writer did, and that they never let you know they're doing it so you don't have to be grateful to them?

As a GM and published adventure author who does just all of that, I don't expect my GMs to do any more than I do myself.

But if they aren't prepared to run an adventure to such a degree that issues within it catch them so off guard that they take valuable play time to complain and moan about the terribleness of the adventure, then that's not a GM I want to play with.

You don't need to be a published or experienced adventure writer to figure out how you are going to handle such a poor writing situation while you run it for your players. Because presumably you spent more than 5 minutes reading that and know what the issues are, and can easily figure out what you are going to do so your players will enjoy it.

An example would be a horse stable that has several 5' x 10' stalls and the monsters inside are all large without actually enough room to all fit in that building let alone fight in the building. So as a GM you just either make the stables larger or the creatures medium-sized instead.

Another example would be if there is a huge plot hole that doesn't make much sense, and as a GM you don't have time to write the filler bit. Just don't talk about it during play. Likely the players aren't going to even catch that there is a plot hole, because there are tons of things players aren't privy to that the GM is when playing the game. So you even bringing up that there is this gaping hole is only going to bring it to the player's attention and help them not enjoy the adventure. Almost zero effort. Actually, more effort would go into complaining during play than just doing nothing about the plot hole.

Not sure why you acted all offended by that comment.

Scarab Sages

W E Ray wrote:
GMing Tangent:
Tallow wrote:


2) Some GMs vocally complain about the problems with the AP during play, which as a player I hate. Don't tell me what sucks, just do what you need to do to make it enjoyable.

.

Hmm, I never thought of that. I've always considered a good DMing trait of mine that, after a session, I'll often have metagame discussions about the session. This will include sharing things I thought were maybe a bit slow (and why), things that were absolutely working, places where I miss-spoke or miss-stepped during gameplay. And there are certainly occasions where part of that metagame sharing, I talk about how I changed this or that from the published text. ....Now, I realize you say the pet peeve is when a DM does something like this During play -- but there have been times when I've had to pause a game, perhaps after a PC questions something wrong, and I give a metagame answer.

I'd be really interested to hear a couple specific cases in your game where it came off as bad DMing -- last thing I want to do is make a mistake like what you describe while I think I'm doing the right thing!

GM Tangent Answer:
Oh, I don't mind after the session if we discuss metagame stuff or if you ask me if I liked XYZ or what I liked, didn't like, thought you could improve, etc. I also don't mind you discussing issues you've run into with the scenario and things you did to help it flow better or fix it.

What I have had happen, is in the middle of the adventure, a GM start complaining about the writing, the author, how messed up the encounter is, how incompetent the publisher/author/developer is, etc. When I'm in the middle of playing, I don't give two figs about that, just make it so I can enjoy it and we an discuss that later.

I've had experiences where amazing GMs have made subpar adventures some of my favorite, because they were amazing GMs. And I've had poor GMs make some amazing adventures feel like an annoying waste of my time because they were poor GMs (or had a really poor attitude that day).

Scarab Sages

Gorbacz wrote:
Tallow wrote:


Something like avoiding a certain amount of AC for light and medium armors. I've seen an actual musketball bounce off of full plate armor.
Unworkable, too fiddly, cue endless arguments on forums whether the chitin shell of monster X is medium or heavy.

Sure, I just threw that stuff off the top of my head in the time it took me to type the post. I'm under no illusions that such an idea couldn't be shredded apart by rules people.

But the point is, something creative needs to be done with firearms that aren't just a) making them more powerful than an archer or b) making them useless in only be able to shoot once every 2 or 3 rounds. How do you give them something to do every round that isn't, "I continue reloading" and yet makes the guns mean something different than just a powerful bow.

I'm not super up on 2E rules, so I'm sure there are ways it could be done under that chassis that would be more elegant than coming up with a fiddly way to do it considering 1E rules. But those ways need to be explored.

Scarab Sages

There should be a different mechanic for guns than standard rate of fire and damage that makes them both more powerful/deadly, but doesn't overwhelm the game and make other classes obsolete.

Something like avoiding a certain amount of AC for light and medium armors. I've seen an actual musketball bounce off of full plate armor.

Or actually make muzzle loaders one shot weapons (1 round or longer to load) during actual close-quarters combat like they were in the 17 & 1800's. But when they hit, they do huge damage and can naturally avoid certain amounts of DR/Hardness. Sort of like a built in Vital Strike tree, that at each range (or every other) you lose a level of Vital Strike for the weapon.

Scarab Sages

W E Ray wrote:
Anguish wrote:

First, I don't subscribe to the premise that this is a flaw. Second, I don't think it's universal.

I won't pretend every book of every AP, or even every AP is perfect. But the specific complaint this thread exists to lament isn't one my group experiences. Everyone's mileage will vary. Which is my point.

.

Yeah, this is what I'm looking for. When I realized that so many of the Threads on APs I've read and participated in over the years had this same complaint -- cohesion, lack of transitions, internal consistency -- I really got to wondering how true it is that perhaps all the APs suffered from this "flaw," and of course, to what degree it is an issue, and finally whether it can be 'fixed' if indeed it is an issue.

Thinking back to the APs I know the most I can see it. It's there. And even thinking back to the APs I've only read over and used just bits and pieces from, I can see it. Now, I don't know how much of an issue it is and, as we all know from having been on the Boards for years: "Our Mileage Will Vary." But I really wanted to know how much others see it, and if it's a trait that the designers and developers can address.

Or, if like Anguish says, it's not at all an issue for his group. Or like a few folks have said, maybe it's an issue but there's no way around it.

I'd argue that in some cases, the complaint of lack of internal consistency, cohesion, and transition may be due to a couple factors that have absolutely nothing to do with the AP itself.

1) Some GMs are more skilled than others in telling a story and making sure players understand the internal consistency of the plot.
2) Some GMs vocally complain about the problems with the AP during play, which as a player I hate. Don't tell me what sucks, just do what you need to do to make it enjoyable.
3) Sometimes groups have internal quorum consistency issues, where not all players are able to show up to every game day, and many miss pieces of the story. Or they use game time as a social time, and often aren't fully paying attention to the story as its being revealed.
4) Some GMs feel constrained to exactly what's written for whatever reasons (players demand it, they aren't super experienced, they feel obligated).

I've seen reviews of adventures before, where the player really tore the adventure apart quite angrily, and I'm thinking inside, "But that was not how the adventure was written." After some careful probing within that conversation, it comes to light that the GM totally screwed up or actively made changes for the worse. Adventures often get unfairly judged by a myriad of things that have nothing to do with how well the adventure was written, and so you have to take that into account.

That being said, some Adventure Paths require a LOT more work by a GM to ensure everything is being accounted for. If it weren't for my friend creating his online app for the kingdom building, I doubt the players would have put up with that aspect of Kingmaker for very long after Book 2. Some APs that have a lot of political stuff going on, with the GM needing to keep track of several to tens (or hundreds?) of relationships NPCs have to eachother and to each PC based on PC actions is a TON of work to do, and someone who doesn't or can't take that time can make that AP feel very disjointed and generic.

Scarab Sages

PossibleCabbage wrote:

I'm not sure how Paizo could possibly anticipate our group of an Undine Shaman, a Half-Aquatic Elf Paladin/Gunslinger, a Gillman Medium, and a Dwarf Arcane Trickster with an interest in clockwork devices were the ones to save Talmandor's Bounty and not literally any other group of four PCs anyway.

Or if they were to insist (rather than imply) that the heroes of the story were a Human Cleric, an Elf Rogue, a Human Fighter, and a Human Wizard and the GM had to make specific alterations for anything else.

When there are hooks like "a person with this background/trait might have this specific interaction" are fine, but I think Mr. Jacobs is absolutely in the right here.

Another thing, as a GM, you can do is write a character creation document that includes the preferred (or limited to) list of books that actually fit the theme of the region/AP. Of course player buy-in for such a limitation would have to be there, otherwise you don't have a happy group. I did this when running Ironfang Invasion. I listed out probably 15 different books that fit the theme of not just the AP, but the region of Nirmathas and the Fangwood Forest. I also allowed any of the list of suggested character options that weren't necessarily in my list of books, that showed up in the Player's Guide to II. Then I let them pick one book that was not on the list to round out their character.

If you get buy-in from the players, and you do the research, you can almost make sure the characters actually fit in the adventure you are about to run. In the case of II, I had the players create children that were all from the village and were friends with one another. I ran a prequel adventure of my own design with them as NPC classes before I started the adventure. Giving them all relationships with all the main NPCs in the village and having their relatives living in the village really immersed the players in the adventure and gave them real angst about what was going on and made them earnest to really figure out how to solve their problems.

Now that won't necessarily work for every group of players, as sometimes a group just wants to play a gaggle of crazy characters. Which is perfectly fine if that's what that group enjoys. Just means the GM has to work harder to try and tie the character back-stories into the AP story. One way to do this, is to require every character to choose a campaign trait as one of their two traits (most GMs and myself give the players an extra trait slot to do this) and write how that campaign trait makes sense to their character backstory.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:
Billy Buckman wrote:
If all APs have one unavoidable, fundamental disconnect it's this: the PCs don't exist. They are faceless entities in the published volumes, and the AP only has enough room to give you a handful of ideas and possibilities. Connecting your weird band of freaks to the world of the AP is the connective tissue that helps bridge potential gaps or lulls in the narrative across the 6 books, imo.

I don't see that as a disconnect so much as a golden opportunity for a GM to take the story we provide and customize it to their specific group. That's the whole point of a tabletop RPG, I think, and the primary advantage that it continues to have over computer RPGs.

Without this "disconnect" it's just a story that you read to yourself or friends.

THIS! I think one of the reasons my players enjoy my running of Kingmaker as much as they do, is because I've done my best to adapt the story to not just the characters, but also the players. It also doesn't help that they love resource management (which surprised me). So much so, that one player who's a coder created a pretty complicated online app (with a hex map and everything) to track all the kingdom building stuff.

Also, I wanted to comment one one of W E Ray's comments about Kingmaker.

Spoiler:
That the BBEG isn't even known to the players until the end of book 5 or book 6. There are nuggets from book 2 on that give a taste of what Nyrissa is up to. I'd actually say that Book 3 is probably the only one that doesn't have any of Nyrissa's interference directly written into it (other than Book 1). And once the players find out about Nyrissa and presumably have befriended Evindra, you can actually reveal all of these nuggets to them! My players really loved the fact that I was able to keep that plot point secret from them until the big reveal. That lots of the obstacles and rabble rousers were because of Nyrissa.

I think one thing that would be helpful (and probably happened more to a certain extent on the APs that have the best transitions), is to ensure that your authors collaborate with one another. I seem to recall Thursty holding court at Paizo Con many times talking about collaborating with other authors and making sure something he wanted to do would fit with what the other author was doing (or seeing if that other author could add a paragraph or two) so his thing would make more cohesive sense.

When writing in a shared world, writing in isolation is likely to ensure the most difficult of transitions from one adventure to another. I imagine though, different authors, with the infinite number of writing methodology they use, it may be more or less difficult to quickly and comprehensively collaborate with one another.

But if I had one bit of advice for Paizo, it would be to ensure that their authors do more collaboration on a distinctly comprehensive level to ensure that the story threads remain cohesive.

Scarab Sages

thanks all for the thoughtful suggestions. I don't think I'm worried as much about the tiny mechanics like the harrow readings or tracking sin points. More the large games like Skulls and Shackles, Kingmaker and Ironfang Invasion.

I think Return of the Runelords might be what we go with. Does anyone know if Rise should be familiar to the players first, or will Return play well all on its own?

Scarab Sages

Does anyone have a handy list of Adventure Paths that DO NOT have any of the sub games? (e.g. Kingmaker Kingdom Building and Mass Combat, Ironfang Invasion Militia, etc.) I am in a group where one of the members will be taking over as GM and we'd like to play and Adventure Path, but we don't want to bog him down with any of the subgames. We just want an adventure.

I know that most of these have sidebars for what to do if the players don't want to play the subgames, but any adventures where that extra work isn't necessary would be best.

Thanks for anyone who responds.

Scarab Sages

SRM Answered this on the Facebook PF2 playtest forum.

Hardness blocks damage to the wielder, not the shield.

Any single damage blow equal to the hardness or greater gives the shield 1 dent.

I believe if the damage blow is double the shield's hardness, the shield takes 2 dents.

Regardless of how you calculate whether the shield takes a dent or not, all damage over the shield's hardness applies to the wielder.

Scarab Sages 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I doubt Paizo will give you an official ruling on this, because it shouldn't need an official ruling. There is no ruling that once you lose an ability from one source that no other source can possibly give it back to you.

The GM is flat out wrong.

Scarab Sages 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

as long as your idea doesn't require a GM to sign the previous chronicle they had no hand in GMing, this is how I've always done it (and seen it done) as a GM, VO, and Player.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.

One thing I'm growing to enjoy is the fact that high stats are no longer almost mandatory. I can have the 16's and 12's character or the straight 14's across the board, and be highly effective.

Those who always build to an 18 are only limiting themselves. It is not the system that is limiting them.

Scarab Sages 5/5

Ferious Thune wrote:


But it's not. Beginning gold is the gold before your purchases. So if a player can't subtract what they spend from their previous chronicle, they show up with a beginning gold amount and a list of items they have bought during downtime. Which means they need to track "current" gold available to spend during the scenario somewhere else, which is not accounted for on any of the forms. Some players might do that on their character sheet. Some won't. So when time comes to purchase that scroll of breath of life after leaving the briefing, the math will have to be done then. If gold was tracked on the ITS, then it wouldn't matter which chronicle it was subtracted from, and it wouldn't need GM sign off. GMs would sign off on gold earned during a scenario, and gold spent during a scenario that was not on items (so clearing conditions, bribes in game, etc.) So at the end of the session, you're handed a chronicle with the net gold you earned that scenario, and you can track everything else on your ITS. Absent that, just let the player do the math on their own time.

This seems to be the best solution to me.

Scarab Sages

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I disagree. And its ok that we disagree on this. But honestly, this is a fantasy world with actual real deities that physically, mentally, psychologically, and magically impact the world. In front of their followers. In front of their enemies.

Requesting that your real world areligious choice be included in the game world doesn't make sense to me.

Why?

Because the game world, there is no real atheism. That's a rule of the world. A world in which any of the various archangels, prophets, or deities could jump down and thump you. In our world, its not likely that any religious figure or deity is going to physically manifest and thump you. And as far as actual proof, it just doesn't happen in our world. So being an atheist when there is no empirical proof of a deity makes a lot of actual sense. Being a true atheist (not the Rahadoumi version--where they just deny they are worthy of worship) in Golarian is insanity.

Scarab Sages

9 people marked this as a favorite.

Using Bullet Points would be a great tool to make sure the rule was clearly understood, instead of writing 2 or 3 sentences in 2 or 3 different places in the book that are complex sentences.

1 to 50 of 1,986 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>