Humans are the only ones to have ever been truly "consistent" in how they were portrayed.
Which is kind of interesting, considering there's quite a bit of variance in body types within humans on earth.
Not including the concept of sexual dimorphism, there's a big difference between Yoel Romero, Tom Segura, Yao Ming, and Ghandi.
Also, to chime in on the OP's statement, I think the ghorans look the most different over the course of time between the two games.
Planetary ecology could be of critical importance. Think about how the ice age affects plant growth (both natural and agricultural,) and chains into herbivore/carnivore balance. Food production is a real problem; you could use that as a well of ideas for obstacles/story hooks.
Another thought, consider this:
On a bit of a tangent, I could see there being a lot of cultural misinterpretation and assimilation, like how Taco Bell doesn't represent traditional Latin American food, or how you can't find anything like Chinese food in China, or how Japanese people preorder their KFC weeks in advance for Christmas and have potato & mayonnaise or roast beef & gravy pizzas.
"This isn't at all like how it's made on Vesk Prime! I prefer mom's bloody meat slabs."
"No way, these are great! These bloody meat slabs are perfectly marinated in Vanilla Coke and WD-40! It's the best Vesk restaurant on Aballon!"
"It's okay, it's just not the same..."
Thanks for the link; I'll have to explore it when I have the time, it might be just what the doctor ordered.
The idea behind my request was that it wouldn't be difficult to replicate the utility of a "NPC Codex" type of book with an easy tool at our fingertips; in one's spare time, a person could whip up all the NPCs they could ever need and offload the labor/cost of an author and a publisher producing hard copies. One could even imagine a forum thread where the labor of such a body of content is subject to crowdsourcing and sharing.
Here's a thought:
With today's robust digital landscape, would it be difficult for a (smart web-savvy) person to make a NPC-building website tool?
Something where I could hit a 'New NPC' button, and through a series of pulldown menus, choose some stats, abilities, spells, equipment, hit 'Done' and it will spit out a statblock which I could save as a link (if I'm playing digitally) or print out (if I'm playing traditionally?)
Remember that scene from Star Trek Nemesis when Troi (who has some level of telepathy) is dialing in on the cloaked Reman ship because they're also telepathic, so she's free-targeting into open space where she can sense his mind?
We need a role/ability like that which mystics and similar classes can take.
Engineers do specialize in the real world...
Surgeons specialize in the real world too; you probably wouldn't get the same surgeon next year for your hip replacement that you had last year for your LASIK.
That being said, I agree with other above posters that "cyberdoc" is probably what the common shorthand would be for a person who is professionally employed as a surgeon who specializes in cybernetic procedures. We use phrases like, "my eye doctor said such&such" or, "I got a prescription from my ENT."
The 10% buyback rate sounds about right as a BLENDED percentile. I think that's the best way to look at it. I also don't blame people who think otherwise; if you don't work with used items in a retail setting on a regular basis you wouldn't have this perspective.
Here's a real world perspective/example:
I work in a comic store. A big part of the business is taking in peoples' old collections, it's how comic stores keep an inventory of back issues.
If someone walks in with a copy of Marvel Superheroes Secret Wars #8 (1984,) I'm going to give them great value for it. It's a hot book that has decent value ($30-$80 raw depending on grade) and if put on display, will move over a weekend. No risk, easy money, would probably give upwards of 65% retail value, depending on condition.
If someone walks in with a copy of Silver Sable and the Wild Pack #1 (1992,) I'm going to (politely) send them away without even making an offer. There was half a million of those printed, nobody's asking for them, we have probably a few dozen sitting in storage. It is literally worthless. [Game mechanic note: THIS IS NOT DIPLOMACY-CHECK RELATED. If you're the sweetest sweetheart or the most cunning businessperson in the galaxy, I'll still tell you this is a worthless item. And it's not just me; you could take that book coast to coast and anyone who would pay you more than 50 cents is a fool or a sucker.]
Now it's rare that a person brings in just one comic to sell; usually they have a box or collection of boxes.
So what's the value:bulk ratio? About 10% of comics in any given collection are interesting/valuable. Huh. Funny how that works out.
(OF COURSE there are exceptions, shrewd resellers who only collect value, and cheapskates who only collect bulk, but again, they work out to 10%)
I think the way to look at it in-game is the same way: 90% of the items you bring in are going to be worthless, 10% of the items you bring in fetch top dollar. Even if you sell your stuff off one-at-a-time, the game can't take that into account, but over the course of your adventuring career, it should balance.
Steve Geddes wrote:
If your goal is to be not 100% transparent, try not to pick desert/sandworm/spice/Fremen :P
So there's a Triaxian holiday coming up, and it only happens once every Triaxian "year," so it's a pretty big deal. One of the bigwigs there (dragon maybe, but doesn't have to be) wishes to punctuate his banquet with a rare delicacy.
Unfortunately, a key ingredient for this dessert is a gland from a dangerous beast (ice wurm, desert beetle, supershark, etc) and the PCs need to travel to a dangerous locale to wrangle the beast before the big day arrives.
Complicating the matter is the fact that the beast is scared off by anything as large as it is, so the PCs need to dock their space ship and go hunting by jetski/dune buggy/motorcycle.
Also complicating the matter is the fact that there is a group of indigenous people who regard the great beasts as sacred (unbeknownst to anyone, of course.)
So the PCs are in for traveling to a fantastic planet, exploring a fun environment, hunting a huge monster, getting in a vehicle chase with locals, maybe fighting them, and maybe dealing with some moral quandaries. All on a time sensitive schedule.
I left the exact details vague so that they could be plugged in as best suits your story.
I've posted some words about this topic on a different thread; the best solution I thought of basically takes inspiration from the Battle of Endor from Return of the Jedi. It would make sense to have 1 larger command ship with some crew (Lando & Nien Numb in the Falcon) that could provide some captain and science officer actions to any friendly ship within sensor range (like Wedge & the Red Squadron boys.)
You might need quite a few players to do this though, or if you wanted to keep all the players on the same wavelength, the command ship could be GM managed and basically just hang back and give orders. If you wanted to run this full PC, I expect that you could get away with a 3-seater (pilot/cap/gun or pilot/cap/science) as a command shuttle, and 2 or 3 escorts.
I'm not sure if you're looking for things that are written by the Starfinder team as canon in the system or inspiration for how you could conduct Kasatha in your home games; but if it's the latter, you could probably take some inspiration by one of the sci-fi's most influential desert societies, the Fremen from Dune.
Some things you could lift from the Fremen:
-The idea that water is sacred. All water expelled by a body gets reconstituted for reuse; to not collect your water is considered wasteful and immoral, and crying is reserved for very very special occasions; the dead are collected for their water content, and if you best someone in combat, you own that body and the water content therein is a prize; asking someone to hold/carry your water supply (or otherwise be a temporary custodian of it) is akin to a courting ritual.
-Their homeworld has an apex predator that is worth confronting because it provides a valuable resource and/or ceremonial purpose. [In Dune, this is the sandworm, which provides both the spice and their crysknives; in Iron Gods it's inferred there's a giant "desert nautilus" that lives on Kasath, this could hold a similar meaning, maybe this is where they fashion their spinal swords from?]
-Everyone has a traditional knife, and major personal conflicts are settled by personal knife duels; the upside if you kill your opponent is you win the conflict, but then you're saddled with taking care of their family, you killed this family's husband/dad, that's your responsibility now. [This meshes with their proclivity towards melee combat, and the Spinal Sword equipment item entry in People of the Stars, and their traditional clan-based society.]
I haven't picked up Dune in a while, and there's definitely other gems of inspiration you could lift that I'm forgetting.
Think in terms of films that have one main protagonist; Indiana Jones for example.The player provides Indy, and you're going to need to provide everything else. That includes a narrative that plays to Indy's strengths *and* proclivities. Sometimes he needs assistants, sometimes he doesn't. Make sure you give Indy an attainable goal, and don't put any insurmountable obstacles on the pathway to that goal. Don't deus ex machina too many obstacles, then you're just playing with yourself; Indy needs to feel like the protagonist at all times.
The Mad Comrade wrote:
"Jumping the fleet" is a common sci-fi trope. I'm guessing we'll see a ship add-on item eventually, something like a "fleet beacon" or "jump coordinator" that plugs into a big ship during construction, and allows it to act as a flagship and synchronize the drift timing of a number of ally ships equal to it's tier, for example.
Sounds like you are going for a character concept similar to "Bane," as first seen in the comics, not the films. Ideally, comic Bane functions like a PF barbarian, or mutation fighter, he's tough, gets the juice flowing, and gets tougher. I would say that the best SF analogy would be an exocortex mechanic, or an armor Solarian with more defensive revelations, as solarians also go from physically capable to "lit up" (no pun intended) during combat.
I like the idea of an Android that doesn't quite get proper slang and pejorative use, but tries and fails constantly, kind of like Sandra B~*##!+ in Demolition Man.
I could see a scene such as:
Party plans to start a fight, android exclaims, "Time to physically abuse the livestock!"
....Human leans over and whispers in his ear
"...I mean, time to kick some @$$!"
Umm, I can see one way. Don't ready to shoot them when they cast the spell, but after their first word. It's oddly specific, but by the logic of the game, their word would finish, and then the shot would go off. Now it would be highly inaccurate and a GM who knew what you did would have the enemies say a sentence, get faceblasted, and then cast, but it still could possibly work.
I still don't think that would work; there's no specific verbal component to spells unless they're language-dependent.
Based on the following information from the CRB:
- A spell always has obvious effects and are noticeable to nearby creatures
It seems that the designers want you to flavor your spellcasting how you like, just like many other abilities in this game; the fluff isn't baked into the crunch.
If most spells need visual confirmation of target and/or ability to speak (for language-dependent or voice-activated spells,) I think the best solution would be some sort of sensory helmet; something that covers the eyes with either total blackness or epilepsy color flashes, and something that blocks sound with either sound-dampening earplugs or headphones blasting dubstep. Take prisoners in, helmet them, gag them, bind their hands, and then wheel them to their cells. Helmeting them before they arrive at their cells prevents them from popping off AOE spells that don't require LOS; if they don't know the layout of their environment, their ability to successfully AOE is greatly diminished.
Doesn't almost every space movie have a scene revolving around tension created by a lack/need of environmental equipment?
- The final scene in Alien when Ripley has to put on the suit & blow the alien out the airlock
-Matt Damon getting his helmet cracked & his pod station eventually failing in The Martian
- The scene in 2001 when Dave doesn't have the proper equipment but has to make the leap from his pod to the airlock on the main ship
- The end of Total Recall when Arnie's eyes are bugging out before Mars is terraformed
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Quill makes the risky attempt to save Gamorra's life by giving her his faceplate, and then Michael Rooker shows up just in time to save them both
- WALL-E; when the bad robots try to jettison the boot plant and WALL-E and EVA have to go out to space with a fire extinguisher to save it
- Star Trek: First Contact; when Worf has to go fight outside the ship and his suit gets damaged, he needs to do a field repair with dead Borg parts
...and many more that
It would be a shame if we didn't get the opportunity to provide tense and dramatic scenarios for our players, and I'm glad that we have those chances.
Actually, that sounds 99% like Mechanicus, the LN outer plane detailed in second editions Planescape.
All hail the Primus.
Also, a lot of the phonetic alphabet is common use nouns, that's the point. If someone has never heard of a 'thassilon,' it doesn't function.
It's like when someone tries to make up their own phonetic references on the spot and they end up sounding silly. Words need to be clear, consise, and unmistakable.
Don't overthink it. If it's too flavorful, it could lose functionality.
Don't bother renaming everything, just stop referring to gold, and it will stop being the standard. I did this once, and it made sense.
If you decide that gold is rare and the world doesn't contain enough gold to mint into coins, the inhabitants wouldn't talk about gold. The big reason that the game has a gold standard is because everything is made in reference to gp. If you rewrote everything to reference sp instead, gold coins instantly become a big deal. Maybe only royal vaults and dragon hordes have silver coins. If someone pays with a gold coin, he's a baller. It would be like carrying around $100 bills. Not unheard of, but not frequent.
Everyone gets paid in silver, all prices are represented in silver (or copper,) monsters don't usually drop coins of higher value than silver. It's quite easy and effective.
There is no unreasonable number of free actions, just unreasonable players.
The problem doesn't lie with the actions, or the number of them; it has to do with players attempting shenanigans.
This is unfortunately best handled in a case by case basis.
My example to anyone who tries to impose a hard blanket limit is this: one of the viable free actions listed is talking, but an unreasonable player could effectively filibuster the game by never shutting up. One free action shuts everything down. One.
Just tell your players to be reasonable.
Oh I’m afraid my kineticist’s blast will be quite operational when your friends arrive…at the gaming table…
I could be wrong, but I don't think that you need spell penetration; what abilities are you using that require you to beat an enemy's spell resistance?
Also, I am in the pro-toughness camp. I couldn't imagine my kineticist without it. It is important to remember that your HP becomes a spendable resource, and riding that razor's edge is what being an effective kineticist is all about; you need to balance how much NLD you take compared to how combat effective you become. Some kineticists want to take as little burn as possible, some want to start the day with burn.
I'm playing an Aether Kin, so it's going to play a little differently, but last session, I went full burn, hit my elemental overflow, had +2 to hit, + 4 to damage, and +2 to both con and dex, resulting in even better to hit and damage, and HP, and initiative, and so on.It's all a matter of running the numbers, and if you can spare the HP, you can really push the limits.
Oh I’m afraid my kineticist’s blast will be quite operational when your friends arrive…at the gaming table…
I would flip wisdom and charisma personally, your worst save will be Will, so it would be prudent to have the higher bonus there. Reflex is strong on the class already, and Fortitude will be good if you pump your CON.
Also, because of Gather Power, you never want to have anything in your hands, so most weapons are counterproductive. Equip gauntlets, and if that's not cutting it, look into kinetic blade. Eventually, you'll be flying all the time and melee shouldn't matter.
Toughness, PBS, and Precise Shot are integral. As soon as possible, put ranks into fly.
Later on if you want to "use the force" look into Aether as your expanded element. Basic TK can get your lightsabers out of snowbanks, and TK haul can pull your starfighter out of the swamp.
I am just looking into it for more information. just one of those questions you ask yourself when you come across the maximize metamagic feat. Is there a way to do this with that kind of class sorta thing. then you put it in your back pocket for later.
There's no need for martials to get a feat like maximize. They have damage riders for days. Spellcasters don't have any riders to their damage dice. Nothing. Zero. 5d6 is 5d6. They don't get INT to damage, or if they're multiclass they can't add smite bonus, or favored bonus. If a martial rolls 1 on damage dice, they still do a ton of damage because of their riders. If a caster rolls 1s, that's it.
It also eats up significant limited daily resources to pull off metamagic spells; a martial doesn't really have resources to expend lime that. Something like that happens in 4th edition however; all classes get daily super powers.
If we had a little more information, we could provide more answers. What levels and classes are we talking about? It's entirely possible that you are making an unfair comparison. Based on your number ranges, it looks like you're referring to level 1. If the PC next to you is a Barbarian 1, it's very possible to have a +12 damage bonus.
A few things to consider:
*Every class is different, and every class has different builds within. Unless you are comparing a build similar to what your benchmark is, you're being unfair to yourself. Otherwise, the answer to the question, "how do I do what ××× class does?" is simply, "play ××× class."
*In your damage bonus breakdown, the numbers are incorrect. You appear to be missing the 2-hand bonus on strength mod and power attack. You should add another +3 to that. That would give you a total damage bonus of +9; if we're talking level 1; that's pretty good, and should drop most opponents in 1 or 2 hits.
*It's generally accepted that the portion of damage being contributed by the weapon dice is inconsequential compared to the total damage. It's not noticeable in the early levels, but by level 5, it really starts becoming insignificant. Whether you have sneak dice, or favored enemy, or smites, or rage, or judgements and bane, your damage is coming from somewhere else. At low level, you notice if your damage range is 4-11, but when your damage range is 51-72, you really stop caring.
* In the meantime, if you are able to roll more small dice instead of 1 large die, that should help out your damage curve. It's less probable to roll 12 on 2d6 than on a d12, but it's also impossible to roll 1 on the 2d6. Whenever rolling more dice, it's going to yield a more average result over time. I like looking at players making the choice between greatsword or greataxe. It really shows who the gamblers are. Just remember: if you're going to gamble, you gotta be ready to accept that bust now and again.
*For what it's worth, I can't make an attack roll to save my life, and I actually do end up playing a lot of casters so I don't have to touch my d20 in combat. I don't need to do damage if I just put people to sleep & stab them in the eye.
I was thinking about economic history, and how as a civilization advances, so does their economic structure and practices. It lead me to ask the question,
"Has any society on Golarion developed past commodity money, and if not, why not?"
If I may expound on a little bit of fantasy RPG economic history; most fantasy RPGs operate on a basis of commodity money, and from their medieval fantasy roots, that makes sense. Metal coins are the common currency denominations, with gold being the standard (hence the term, gold standard,) with trade goods still being useful as full-value commodities (cows, marble, silk, etc.)
The top value trade good is, and has always been, gemstone. Even in the games I play, if a player/party comes into a large sum of money, the common answer to the question, "How do we carry all this money around?" is always "Gems. They're light, maintain consistent value, and are accepted everywhere."
In previous editions of our game worlds, this made sense. Gems are a good high-level money system. They are scarce enough to avoid inflation through heavy influx, difficult to counterfeit, durable, and have general acceptance.
Where this model starts breaking down a little bit is in Pathfinder, on Golarion, specifically. Even though this system does work as stated above, there's one large variable that I feel hasn't been taken into account.
It's my observation that many nations Golarion display quite a few advancements in civilization, from the adoption of democracy, to the invention of black-powder weapons and firearms, to commanding vast naval fleets and governing far-away colonies. Yet the economic model hasn't moved beyond commodity money.
It has been stated that temples of Abadar offer financial and civil services to their community such as banking. The head of these temples are referred to as Bankers and Archbankers. If you were in such a community, especially a large city, and had access to Abadar banking services, why wouldn't paper money develop? Why wouldn't people start leaving all their heavy gold in the bank vault in exchange for promissory notes ratified and notarized by the Archbanker? Such notes would then start being passed person to person around the city, and they wouldn't even need to go back to the bank to cash them back in for their gold value; they would just retain their value. And you've just invented the bank note.
What's the next logical step? If the church is organized enough, all the Archbankers in all the temples across all cities could agree that each others' signed notes have value, then you've taken your city-wide banking model nation-wide (or larger,) where someone can use bank notes written in one city in a different city. This leads to the need for better control of these bank notes, resulting in them all being fabricated in one area so they can be ratified by the same governing body; at this point, you're basically printing money, and you're off to the races.
I can see some criticism for this model in Golarion; particularly, the frontier areas. If someone doesn't have access to a temple of Abadar, this banking system doesn't work for them. But to me that's normal; throughout history, whenever settling frontier land or first establishing foreign trade, high value commodities (like precious metals) were still the standard. Once a person got away from that "financial environment" and could return to civilization, they could return to the use of their modern banking system.
Has anybody introduced legal tender into their games? Is it paper money? Is it something more exotic, as allowed by the magical fantasy realm, that's simply not possible in our world, for example dragon scales? Are there any other reasons that I can't think of why this would be implausible?
I think next time my players enter a large city, they'll find the local citizens using bank notes.
If it's a sleep over, you should plan it somehow so you do two thirds of the adventure the night before and one third the next morning. This way you can pause the action during a time when the characters need to camp on the road, and then you can figure out a way to interrupt the rest with an overnight monster ambush by actually waking them up.
I second the idea of using a group of their own PCs against them, evwn if you need to adjust the levels, they'll still be recognizable as their own characters. Play them like the players would, use dialog that they would use, if they have specific miniatures, use them.
The other NPC group I would use in this situation (if you didn't want to utilize the first idea) would be to send a familiar group from other sources. For example, maybe make a group consisting of a shield champion brawler, a storm warpriest with a warhammer, a ragechemist, and a telekineticist with full plate proficiency.
Good points brought by people above me; I would add that if you do decide to have some sort of Code of Conduct with items that can be violated, make sure you know what happens when violations occur.
What do you do when somebody gets offended by anothers' choice of words/actions?
What do you do when somebody is routinely late/absent?
What do you do when somebody drinks all the beers and eats all the pizza and always forgets to pay in?
The answers to these questions shouldn't necessarily be handled solely by you. I have found that a democratic penalty system works best. If you sit down your players and say, "here's the list of penalties for breaking the rules," it's possible to come across as a tyrant, even if your penalties are fair and just. I find that if you sit people down and ask, "Here's a rule that could be violated, what should the penalty be?" then because everyone has a choice to have a say in the decision-making process, they find it more fair, and gives them less to complain about, because hey, they agreed to it.
Regardless of whether you pick the penalties or decide them by committee, make sure people understand that they exist. There's nothing worse than a non-committal authority figure. If someone gets a sniff that that you're all bark and no bite, you'll just end up getting run over.
David knott 242 wrote:
Agreed; I thought about this when I was posting but forgot to touch on it; at that point it stops being art and becomes a utilitarian device, and should be dealt with accordingly.
How can art be evil?
I understand that unhinged people could find inspiration in art to commit atrocities; that being said, unhinged people could find hidden messages in their alphabet soup. That's not the soup's fault.
In our society, we have museums with evidence and depictions of atrocities, not to inspire, but to remember the victims, try to understand why, and raise awareness to prevent similar events in the future. People make movies and paintings about war and the Holocaust and other things, so it is possible to make art of evil content without evil intent.
I realize that in the context of the gamespace, this art of evil content *was* created with evil intent, but that's still not the art's fault.
I would think that destroying the art would serve to decrease awareness of the actual problem (unhinged people,) and that devotees of Sheyln would work to preserve it (and maybe the site it is on) as a tribute to fallen souls, and how art can be a tool and a weapon, and just like tools and weapons, hold no fault of their own and must be handled with respect for the power they contain.
Sorry if I got heavy earlier with the war talk, etc. These comments bring up some deep philosophical ideas that I believe are worth exploring.