Imeckus Stroon

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Using a grid can cause people to feel as if they are playing a board game (hex) or chess (grid). I say this for a reason, because people come to think in 2 dimensions without realizing it when using these flat systems. They do not readily facilitate 3 dimensional movement. Each turn for a character in a tight situation becomes a move in a grand master chess tournament requiring careful consideration. These are all just tools to help us accomplish our RP ends.
I would argue that ease of play is exactly what the tape measure adds. You are correct that it requires two hands to open the tape, but simply purchasing one that locks in place frees your other hand to move the figure. As UAE has pointed out above, you can do some trig to calculate movement upward at an angle, but why spend the time? I think we all agree that there are times when a grid is useful and times when it impedes play. In my experience I measure the distance from my Wizard on the stern castle to the tengu rogue on the mainmast yard arm and if it is within an inch, then it flies. If it is an inch or more away, it doesn't. This does require that the GM isn't a jerk and is consistent when measuring and adjudicating the measurements. Yes, you can lose or gain 5' of movement or range, but I would argue that the less than precise measurements occasioned by the diagonal movement on a square grid do the same at least as often.
My real concern is the two dimensional thinking our grid systems unconsciously overlay on our actions in game. My secondary concern is saving time. Lots of times it is impossible to physically build terrain that would fit the game table and we simply use numbers in our heads to adjudicate situations. I heartily recommend anything that speeds play but I do find that a 3D battlefield makes play more dynamic and is facilitated time wise by using "direct" measurement. As I stated above, I use grid and grid less interchangeably to what I believe to be that satisfaction of my players, and it has resulted in more dynamic, cinematic play at the table.

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I've been using a combination of square grid, hex grid, and free tape measure for several years now with my skull and shackles AP campaigns. I use square grids for buildings and dungeons, hex grids for outdoor/wilderness settings and tape measure when using 3D terrain pieces. I had problems when I built a number of ships for play and could not easily get away from a tape measure when swinging from yard arms and jumping down decks and climbing masts. The distance from the crow's nest to the ship's wheel is best measured directly. I disagree with those who say it is always easier and faster on the grid. There are pluses and minuses to either way of measuring distance. I find that the grid often slows play as players try to "navigate" the best path to their objective. I made myself a set of clear acrylic templates for all the various area effects and often use them even when on the grid. As long as effects such as flanking are consistently adjudicated for the players and their adversaries, it has not been a problem at all in my groups.

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Darklord Morius wrote:

Not kind of weird or ridiculous, just a bit silly, in a way.

My campaign idea is a typical fantasy setting but with animals instead of humans, dwarves and elves. My intent is attract my younger sisters for the hobby.

I have had similar thoughts about an anthropomorphic campaign based on Darksword's miniature line. A frog kingdom, a mouse kingdom, you get the idea. It would be easy to tag the various critters to existing races/monsters and wholesale borrow parts of Modules and AP's to craft fairytale-like story lines. I haven't had any takers yet, though. It seems more likely to appeal to children than adults.

More seriously, I have long been planning and collecting material for an alternate earth ancient campaign that combines Greco-Roman, Persian, Egyptian, and various Middle eastern mythos (mythoses?) into an ongoing setting for ancient Heroes and their interactions with the gods of the various pantheons. I just don't think Pathfinder is the best system for this though.

Years ago (decades, really) I ran a campaign based on the Xanth series by Piers Anthony and made the mistake of running it off our ongoing DnD campaign. It was a disaster. My casters were very frustrated and the Martials became all-powerful. It neede a lot more tweaking to be viable.

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marcryser wrote:

In clear weather I would say that the DC to spot a ship is 0 if it is in plain sight (out to the horizon), 10 if it is hull down but its rigging and sails is visible, 20 if half the rigging is also below the horizon, and 30 if only small bits are visible. Obviously, spotting anything is impossible if it is completely hidden.

Fog and weather change this a lot. Ships can pass within a few yards of each other in dense fog and never see each other. They may know each other is there but sight is absolutely impossible and light doesn't help. Light at night or in fog allows them to spot you easily but only hinders your ability to spot them.


Simple, elegant, no math, and realistic. Can't get better than that!

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Claxon wrote:
I would say ships (which generally can't hide, disregarding weather) are seen at the maximum distance that sight allows. I would allow a hand held telescope to double the distance.

I think there is a logical fallacy here. How can you double the maximum distance you can see an object at when that is defined as at the horizon, literally the distance past which you cannot see? A hand held telescope would only increase the size of the object viewed on the horizon, it could not see "past" it to any length as the curve of the earth would block further viewing.

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Dunit13dl wrote:
I have a player who just hit level 7 and wants to take leadership. I'm working on trying to figure out his leadership score.

Just ran into a similar problem myself. Same situation with player in Skull and Shackles In rereading the rules, I noticed that the modifiers are grouped in three sections, one applies to leadership in general, the second applies to attracting a cohort, and the third applies to attracting followers. If I read this correctly this time, a PC can actually have two leadership scores, one for the cohort and the other for followers. Does anyone know if this is the intent? I agree that special power is undefined and so open to GM interpretation I would tend to avoid anything that is a regular class feature as being special, otherwise someclasses might turn out to be more special than others. Also, is there a level of renown below "Great" renown? jCan the DM award by RAW +1 for regular renown, say?

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My groups have tried and still do almost everything mentioned above except the projection/screen terrain maps. We only rarely use description--mostly urban shopping and encounters. We also paint minis and enjoy seeing them on the table. There is a balance to be struck using 3D terrain. Often it helps clarify the layout with lines of sight, ambush points, etc. other times it simply blocks players's views of parts of the area. We most often draw as we go, one room at a time with the GM handling questions as she draws. We use gridded vinyl or paper. Using 3D we often go "off the grid" and bring out tape measures for movement. For instance, in my Skull and Shackles campaign I built about a dozen and a half insulation foam model ships and these figure heavily into the swashbuckling shenanigans but make gridded movement all but impossible. I also build 3D terrain and or predraw maps for areas that will likely see multiple visits from the PCs.

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I use blue or purple dice for arcane/divine characters, except that druids are green to reflect their ties to nature. I used to choose colors for martial characters based on a "feel" for the character's personality. A while ago I got frustrated with the time involved in making flurry attacks with my monk and built a ROY G BIV dice set which I use with all my melee/ranged characters now. I roll a whole handful of multicolored dice and quickly sort out success, failure, and damage. No one in my gaming groups has been inspired to follow my example though. Most choose based on character concept. Iterative attacks are often handled with different shades of the same color or just multiple rolls of the same dice.

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Aveldaxis wrote:

I have a general understanding of the divide between Intelligence and Wisdom, and their roles in the way that a character is portrayed. If I remember right, the way Gygax put it, the Int guy knows why smoking is bad for him and the Wis guy chooses not to smoke. But what happens when you dump both, yet you've got so much Charisma that you can convince anyone to do almost anything for you, sway the hearts and minds of millions, and bend leaders to your whims with but a word?

I think there might be multiple ways to portray this character. I like the Forrest Gump suggestion. I'm not familiar with most of the others, but the first to pop into my mind was Chauncey (Chance the) Gardener from the movie "Being There". He is someone with dress and manner alone (entirely unintentionally) is in a position to influence world events. I could see playing the character that way.

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Some Random Dood wrote:
It's something I have trouble with myself. So I'm curious how do other people come up with their character concepts?

Pretty much like everyone else has mentioned, I use standard sources.

1. Books and poems I've read
2. Movies and videos I've seen
3. Other characters I've encountered while playing RPGs
4. Biographies of historical characters
5. Interesting people I have known in my real life.

I focus on something to start--a habit, a characteristic, an ability, a cool action or move, an interesting nickname--anything to stimulate my thoughts on where to go.

Now, a couple examples. My GM is always expressing his distaste for the Bard class. I take that as a challenge. I told him I thought I could play a bard's he would find acceptable and flavorful. I immediately thought of Cyrano DeBergerac as the ultimate example of a bard. Any character who can compose a ballad while dueling his enemy is perfect. I came up with a long, aristocratic name, envisioned him as a Shakespearean actor and, as a twist, made him a Gnome. I almost always do a twist to distance my character from being too cliche. He is verbose, histrionic in the extreme, and is writing an epic poem based on the group's adventures. My most recent character is my first fighter. My GM in that campaign wanted a nickname for the character that reflected his personality. I wanted determination to be his defining characteristic, so I chose "Badger" as a nickname. I then looked up the badger and found that the badger has the rage ability. I immediately adjusted my concept to include a one level dip in barbarian to give my character the same ability. Once you start, possibilities always seem to open up like that.