TheFlyingPhoton's page

268 posts. Alias of JB 321.


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I didn't notice this while prepping, but everyone started laughing when we got to the Thrushmoor nexus and found the AP ends on the "climax involves a giant laser beam pointed at the sky" trope that movies have been using over and over the last decade or so.


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I ran for a party of four that was barely upper tier. The two full BAB characters were the ones playing up. After four rounds of whiffing, I asked what everyone's to-hit was, and the person with the highest needed a 15 to hit an incorporeal creature with 174 HP. So I started using the lower subtier AC values, but kept the rest of its stats the same. And I changed the 4PA to zero RP instead of two less. I also changed the tactics to "try to pull everyone close, spread attacks out as much as possible among the group." It was still a meat grinder, but they survived (except the drone), even with everyone dropping at least once.
One of the players who was in-tier spent all of his money on some armor off a chronicle sheet that was just at the very upper limit of what he was allowed to buy, and still got hit on a 6 or so. The only character that could consistently do double-digit damage would not have hit one time had I not made the adjustments I did.

Incorporeal creatures effectively have double hit points. Did everyone forget why incorporeal creatures have terrible AC in 3.5/PF1?

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After playing enough Starfinder, I greatly dislike the bulk system. All it does is take weight, create a fictional unit of measure for it, and then obfuscate it even further.

I've never had a problem with the weight/carrying capacity system, but I also don't see 10+2+4+7+0+0=? as being more difficult than 1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+0.1+0.1+0.1+0.1+0.1+0.1+0.1+0.1+0.1=?

I have some feedback on something that likely wouldn't get a survey and isn't something appropriate/helpful/can'tthinkoftherightwordthatillustratestheissue to create a forum thread over. Is there a "send feedback message to devs" option/method?

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The new edition is trying very hard to flatten the curve on dice rolling - both in terms of players having bonuses so high that their bonus to the roll is higher than the DC and players whose bonuses are so low that they refuse to try. This flattening is most apparent with skills, but applies to all d20s - attacks, saves, skills. But it's also creating a situation where what it's doing is either preventing players from trying to invest in certain things (i.e. I've seen hyper-focused characters with cracked out low-use Knowledge skills (nobility, geography, etc), fighters with massive Perform(Dance), and I've also seen "generalist" characters with basically the same bonus to all skill checks of the same attribute) while putting up an illusion of investment.

The changes in player-side computation of the math, combined with the way DCs scale, it looks like the goal is to create a system where the result is based on the result of the die roll itself and not the result of the check (die roll + bonus). Including a bonus at all is merely a pretense. So, let's drop the pretense and make the goal of the mechanics more transparent.

You have three Proficiencies: Proficiency A means a 5 or higher on the d20 is a success, Proficiency B means a 10 or higher on the d20 is a success, and Proficiency C means a 15 or higher is a success.

Using the PF1 framework for the classes,
Paladin gets ProfA in attack rolls, Will saves, and Fort saves; ProfC in Reflex saves
Rogue gets ProfB in attack rolls; ProfA in Reflex saves; ProfB in Fort and Will saves
Wizard gets ProfC in attack rolls; ProfA in Will saves; ProfB in Fort and Reflex saves
And skills get ProfA in a number of skills based on class (2+Int for Paladin and Wizard, 8+Int for Rogue), but you can trade one ProfA for two ProfB (a 10 Int Rogue could have 8 ProfA skills, or 7 ProfA skills and 2 ProfB skills, or 6 ProfA skills and 4 ProfB skills, or etc). All of the other skills (the "non-invested" skills) get ProfC.

graystone wrote:
TheFlyingPhoton wrote:
Alignment encourages roleplay.

More than a well thought out and organic background and personality? Not from my experience. In fact, alignment is often at odds with what makes sense for your character as things that make sense do not always fit naturally into the same alignment basket.

TheFlyingPhoton wrote:
In games without alignment, people just act and behave as themselves if there were no consequences for their actions.
That's like saying that no one in real life has to deal with any consequences because real people do not have alignment tags. People react to your actions and not some abstract initial based system of artificial morality. I think one of the great failings of the alignment system is that people CAN'T "act and behave as themselves" because their own behavior and actions are far too complicated to fit any one alignment.

Those two sentences I wrote were related. In every game I've ever played without an alignment system, other players have never played a unique character - with no alignment system, their character's personality was identical to their own RL personality. The only difference was behavior - their in-game choices were what they would do in the real world if there were no real world consequences for their actions.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
For people who genuinely share this concern, I strongly recommend the X-Card system as a means of making sure everybody's boundaries are respected with no opportunity for recrimination.

Holy cow, that is hilarious. It's like the perfect parody.

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TTRPGs are social games, so there the social contract will be heavily involved. The particulars of such a thing will vary from group to group, let alone region to region. It's understandable for Paizo to try to dictate the social contract for Organized Play, but it's ridiculous to do so for all of their player base, the majority of which are engaging with the game in closed groups and isolated social circles. Nobody blames the game for someone else acting like an ass. Trying to impose a blanket dictate will hurt the game more than help.

It doesn't help that the original statement is extremely politically charged.

Alignment encourages roleplay.

In games without alignment, people just act and behave as themselves if there were no consequences for their actions.

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I've read enough "let's get rid of alignment threads" to come to the conclusion that the reason people want to get rid of alignment boils down to:
"I don't understand this thing. The thing causes problems in my games because I don't understand it. Getting rid of the thing for everyone would be easier than me learning and understanding the thing. Get rid of the thing."


One of my biggest pet peeves with Starfinder as a system is that we don't get complete stat blocks for the encounters, and this scenario was a good example of why GMs need them.

Make full stat blocks.

In my campaign, I told them they could give me as much of a backstory as they wanted, but be open to me changing it.

One player came up with zero background, giving me full permission to make it whatever I wanted. One player gave me an ultra-detailed backstory that, in any other campaign, he would have been the guy that writes a backstory that doesn't fit the campaign or the fluff of any of the mechanical options he picked (and the fluff of his mechanical choices conflicted with each other), and it was the background of a person who couldn't possibly be first level (but because it was this AP, it was fine). The others gave me one-note vague backgrounds that were extremely pliable (mainly it was "this is the category of my backstory and here's one event").

Thanks to what they gave me, the only changes I needed to make to backstories involved adding details rather than taking anything away or altering what they had given me, even the player with the ultra-detailed backstory (and that was largely thanks to the one player giving me a blank slate to work with, allowing me to tie their backgrounds together).

The only player that had a problem with the final results was one of the middle-of-the-road-backstory guys. His character had the personality of a certain Disney character, so we would make jokes that part of his personal background was the plot of that Disney movie. I never realized he actually wanted that as part of his backstory, so when I wrote them out, I did not include a plot summary of a Disney movie in the letter I gave him. He whined about it, so I declared that it was part of his backstory, it just wasn't written on the paper, but completely fit with everything else I put in there (both in terms of room for the events to happen and fitting thematically with the other events I had written). He still gave me crap over it for months.

I ran the final combat using Spastic Puma's modifications, plus a few of my own, and it went over very well.

Back when they got their memories back from the Mad Poet, I wrote out back stories for them using what they gave me (most of the players gave me mostly empty backstories with one or two details to play with as I wished) filled out with more specific things to fit best with the plot of the AP. Two of the characters were slaves of Weiralai, and I wrote that she had performed some kind of profane ritual on them before selling them to Lowls. At the time, I hadn't read the full AP, so I didn't know what was going to become of that, just thought it was something specific enough to be called back to, but vague enough I could use it for anything, should the opportunity come up. Here is where I used it.
The party learned the background on the Husk from the heresy devil's library, where I also included a "Dear legions of Hell, this is something we should be scared of. Please send an army." XD was made a valid target for Contact Entity IV (included in the heresy devil's spellbooks) with a focus component of three activated stelae.
The two former slaves of Weiralai began to dry heave, leading to the vines that formed the fungal Thunderdome coming out of the mouths and ears of those two specifically.

Also, I took an alternate route for the Seeded One disease. They get exposed to it so often in this book, and the onset time is so long, if I had run it the normal way diseases are supposed to be run, they would start showing signs of it halfway through book 6. Where they would immediately get rid of it via "there are high-level casters in the party."
Since the Seeded One infection is tied to XD, instead of having the XD disease pop up well after they had defeated XD, I counted up the number of times each player had failed a save against the disease. I had each player make a (easy DC for their level) fort save at the beginning of combat where a failed save meant the character was exhausted for a number of rounds equal to the number of times they failed a save against a seeded one, or fatigued for the same number of rounds on a successful save. This was represented by all characters coughing up fungal matter as the Thunderdome was being formed, but not the massive animated vines the two former slaves of Weiralai were producing.
The only one who failed the save was the bard, who failed eight saves vs exposure to the seeded one infection throughout the book, so I ended up changing it to four rounds of exhaustion and four rounds of fatigue instead of eight rounds of exhaustion. The barbarian was very alarmed by this because she's a newer player and this was the first time she was ever unable to rage in combat.

I described the suicide bomber seeded ones as looking just like the seeded ones they had encountered before that point, just without host creatures and made of tangled vines. And I think they were the key to why my players had so much fun.
Three of my five players are new to RPGs (one joined at the beginning of the campaign, two were taught the rules and joined at the beginning of book 5), and the three of them especially got a kick out of mowing down hordes of mooks that could be OHKO'ed, enjoying it much more than I would expect them to enjoy fighting a single giant monster.


In the opening of the scenario, the players are told, "On that note, you might want to make sure you have some means of communicating with a new species. By this point in your careers, I assume you’re capable of that."

However, none of us knew how to do that. The only thing anyone could think of were spells (Share Language, Comprehend Language, etc), but there were no spell-casters in my group. There is no way to UMD spell gems, and spell ampoules cannot be made with divination spells. After digging for a technological item, I went ahead and told them that this was taking too long and we have a space combat to get to (I'll need to come back to that later), so I'm just going to let you know that it's not going to matter - there will not be a language barrier issue.
A player who has gone through the CRB more thoroughly than I have yet said he's never seen a universal translator. After the game, I found one item way beyond their level (mindlink circlet mk 3, lv 14) that could do it.

Where is the universal translator?

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Boo, the Starfinder archetypes suck.


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Just a fun little story here

When I GMed it, the players chose to punish the three goblins by using them to test the magic bag. First one, Reta bombed the Str check to hold the rope, so the rope got dropped. Second one, they tied the rope to a tree, and I used the "CMB to tie a rope" rules to get a die roll. Bombed that roll, so second goblin gets lost into the bag. Third one, they decide to tie dozens of ropes to dozens of trees all to the last goblin. Here, I GM fiat'ed that Big Sparrow found him and ripped him from the ropes, describing it as all the ropes moving and jerking around like a fishing line with one on the hook, and they got back a bunch of torn rope ends coming back out of the bag.

So, in the game I ran, the lost goblins were stuck in the Baglands by the actions of the PCs.


Play in a location next door to a pet store


That is something else I've noticed - whenever there's a pot-stirring drama thread, they always get posted at the beginning of a holiday weekend or a major convention when the people whose job it actually is to deal with these things will be publicly known to not be in the office. It's really starting to look like the timing is intentional on these things, and it's starting to color the intent of the threads themselves as well - it looks like these types of threads are specifically intended just to cause drama among the community, not to resolve an issue with the help of leadership.


There's not a lot of explicit information here, mainly just follow-up to now hidden arguments/discussions. This thread is giving me the impression that the issue/drama is that there is one RVC that a couple of people really hate because he's the only RVC willing to tell people no.


Anyone with more than two stars(/etc) is someone who spends way too much time on Pathfinder and should probably get more hours of sleep than they currently do.


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I, for one, am looking forward to Pathfinder Society: Year of the Blakros.
An entire year of missions in the Blakros museum.

Did anyone else's party buy Madman from Hoshbaugh? My group was able to quickly identify that it was tied to Count Lowls and find it to be an opportunity to harass or even prematurely kill Lowls through the doll.

They should change it so Fort is based on Wis, Ref is based on Con, and Will is based on Dex.

If you let a new player's first class be a magus, then you are a bad friend.

I would like to see the Dragons redone for symmetry across the alignment grid.

The originals were the LE-NE-CE chromatic dragons and the LG-NG-CG metallic dragons. The other dragon groups were not set up the same way, with some of the groups almost having an alignment pattern with a single exception. Maybe have them refitted so that (as a potential example) primal dragons are CG-CN-CE and the imperial dragons LG-LN-LE.
Then other dragon types could be made across other lines/arrangements, such as NG-N-NE, LN-N-CN, LG-LE-CG-CE, LN-NG-NE-CN, etc.


Has anything been added to this list other than the newer interactives?


There's also an item in the loot the players got and I had no idea what it does, because it's from the AP, which I don't own and it's not statted/explained in the scenario.

Also, it's been almost a year now. Putting the SFRD up would help making run SFS a lot easier.

edduardco wrote:
Wizards get at will spells and there are no longer material components?

Nope. Wizards should track material components as per first edition D&D.

I'd like to change my idea: Wizards get access to one school at level one. All other schools are opposition schools as per 3.5. There is never access to other schools.

Idea: At level 1, wizards get access to one or two schools of magic, the rest are treated as opposition schools as per PF1. Wizards can gain the other schools of magic as non-opposition schools through class feats as they level, as the Opposition Research Arcane Discovery from Ultimate Magic.
So to be a generalist wizard, all of your class feats for the first several levels (half/most of a normal character's career) go to picking up the other schools, while a specialist would pick up a few other schools to be more well-rounded and the rest of their class feats go to other things available to wizards.

Weapons that do fistfuls of dice

CorvusMask wrote:
Anyhoo, still wondering why people have to be rude. Its not like meter discussions are on level of Paladin debates yet!

As someone who recently got a STEM degree, I can assure you that metrication debates are way worse than what we've had on this board regarding paladins and alignment.

From a GM's perspective, the Starfinder stamina system has its problems because it heavily limits encounter and "dungeon" design.


GM Thrawn wrote:

Am I the only one dreading tables full of goblins?

I love the We Be Goblin series, both as a player and a GM. However, tables of goblins sounds worse to me than tables of kitsune and tieflings for everyday play.

I've played at tables of all halflings, and I can't imagine goblin tables being any more chaotic or derailing than those were.

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Pathfinder has enough mythological creatures in it, let's not add fictional units of measure as well.


You know, now that Goblins are a core race, basically puts an end to the "We Be Goblins" series. If Goblins are a standard thing you can play, then what's the point of an all-goblin mod? It's not like we have any mods that are centered around all-dwarf pregens.


I'm not arguing for dropping disclaimers for any of the situations where I've seen them pop up. I'm just saying you should call them something else.

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Is "morality is subjective" an objective fact?

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The gaming world doesn't operate on your philosophy/worldview. If you are unable to set aside your personal worldview to engage in a fictional universe that operates differently than how you think the real world does, then the problem isn't with the game, it's with you.


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I do not recommend using the Starfinder tier system as is.

My LGS has enough players to support one table every other week, and an uncomfortable gap is spreading between people who can make it every game and those who can't. This was made worse by 3-6 scenarios coming out very early in the first season - when one of those gets scheduled, players that are still level 2 on their -701 just don't show up. So those that were level 3 when a T3-6 came out (and was the only scenario that could be scheduled) just played with a table buddy, widening the gap. And we just don't have enough players to reschedule previously played scenarios.

I completely get why Season 0 had Tier 1-7 scenarios.


Misroi wrote:
I would suggest you make your peace with the consent disclaimers. They aren't going anywhere.

I don't consent to consent disclaimers.

Matthew Downie wrote:
TheFlyingPhoton wrote:
The thing about the "free healing during a short rest" everyone always praises about 4th/5th editions and wants added to Pathfinder is that Pathfinder already had that in the form of a healer's kit and a heal skill check.

(Checks Core Rulebook.)

Nope. Heal skill only works during a long rest or to keep someone from bleeding out.

The heal skill

Treat Deadly Wounds: When treating deadly wounds, you can restore hit points to a damaged creature. Treating deadly wounds restores 1 hit point per level of the creature. If you exceed the DC by 5 or more, add your Wisdom modifier (if positive) to this amount. A creature can only benefit from its deadly wounds being treated within 24 hours of being injured and never more than once per day. You must expend two uses from a healer's kit to perform this task. You take a –2 penalty on your Heal skill check for each use from the healer's kit that you lack.
Action: Providing first aid, treating a wound, or treating poison is a standard action. Treating a disease or tending a creature wounded by a spike growth or spike stones spell takes 10 minutes of work. Treating deadly wounds takes 1 hour of work. Providing long-term care requires 8 hours of light activity.

Because the Starfinder system of bulk is terrible and worse than PF encumbrance in every way.

And there are Paladin archetypes that remove the alignment restriction. I'm saying let's make those things that are currently the alternatives into the standard.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
I suspect that by July (when the playtest still won't be out) this board will be at least 80% Paladin arguments. Perhaps we'll get a sub-board just for those.

Which is probably why one of the devs already declared in one of these threads that Paladins will be addressed in one of the early blog posts. Get the explosion of fights out of the way early and then move on.

The thing about the "free healing during a short rest" everyone always praises about 4th/5th editions and wants added to Pathfinder is that Pathfinder already had that in the form of a healer's kit and a heal skill check.

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Funny how this thread stopped being a poll almost immediately and just turned into "Paladin debate thread #147"

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I agree with removing the LG requirement for Paladins (let's chuck alignment altogether). All it does is pigeon-hole Paladins unnecessarily. If someone want to play the classic Paladin, all they need to do is play a LG Paladin and we can have holy warriors of all alignments, which would be so much better. The people who liked the old way can still have what they had, and those that didn't like the way it was can get something new and different.

Also, why do Druids have to be these weird agents of nature? Let's remove the nature-focus of the class, all it does is pigeon-hole Druids unnecessarily. If someone wants to play the classic Druid, they can just roleplay a nature-focused Druid and we can also have full-plate wearing agents of civilization, urbanization, and advancement of technology, which would be so much better. The people who liked the old way can still have what they had, and those that didn't like the way it was can get something new and different.

Also, why do Clerics have to be healers? Let's remove healing spells and abilities from their spell lists and class features, all it does is pigeon-hole Clerics unnecessarily. If someone wants to play the classic Cleric, they can invest in UMD and use wands, and we can have non-healing Clerics, which would be so much better. The people who liked the old way can still have what they had, and those that didn't like the way it was can get something new and different.

Also, why do wizards have to be spellcasters? Let's remove spellcasting from wizards.

I'm guessing backgrounds will be identical to SF themes.

I'm curious as to what the difference between race and ancestry is. It's kind of implied that they're slightly different.

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D&D 3.75
D&D 3.75.5

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