Elemental Proofing Paste

Watery Soup's page

Organized Play Member. 45 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 3 Organized Play characters.


You're going to need to wait to Level 4 before you can craft a potion of invisibility anyway, and when you do, you can just select invisibility as one of the formulas you get for free. Why not just use the potion of invisibility as a potion of invisibility? You may be poor but the 150 gp you get from selling it is small compared to the WBL you're accumulating from Level 2 to Level 3.

You aren't forced to throw all the bombs you're capable of throwing.

With (RS and TWF) and haste, you can throw 4 bombs at your highest BAB plus DEX minus 4. With just (RS xor TWF) and haste, that's 3 bombs at BAB+DEX-2.

It's always nice to have the option of throwing 2-3 more bombs, but it costs an extra feat (ITWF) and you're missing an awful lot, relative to what a saved bomb is worth.

Is it necessary that your divine connection be linked to a mechanical benefit?

If you just want the flavor, you can play a vanilla fighter that wholeheartedly worships a deity.

If you want a mechanical benefit, people above have covered it pretty well. I would add in a cleric of Erastil.

Poisons have really high costs for their effects. The cheap poisons have low DCs and the high DC poisons are expensive.

It's probably easier to reskin debuffing spells as "poisons," such as the alchemist's stink bomb.

Slyme wrote:
Sometimes I'll come up with a cool character idea, then end up not being able to come up with a viable build that I am happy with, when that happens I either move on to a different idea, or see if I can tweak it enough to make me happy with the usefulness of the character without sacrificing too much of the feel I was hoping for.

I want to echo this.

I have a text file of backstories I think are interesting but haven't had a chance to put into numbers.

The stories are usually sparked by a life experience.

- I took my kids apple picking, and they were throwing rotten apples at each other. Wouldn't it be fun, I thought, to have a Pathfinder character than ran around pelting people with apples? Thus, my first alchemist was born.

- I find myself disproportionately being the "responsible one" in PFS, reminding people not to kill people we aren't supposed to kill. I imagined that various races would be totally justified to register complaints or file lawsuits against the Grand Lodge. Thus, my dead gillman reincarnated as a human was born. He's a melee-focused oracle in line with his past, but could have easily been a bard with Profession (barrister) in line with his mission.

I find that a lot of the details like how someone would decorate their room are a lot easier to imagine when you know the broad strokes of the painting. For example, because sound travels much better through air than water, my reincarnated gillman probably hates all the loud, obnoxious air breathers and has a little "aquarium" (no fish - it's cruel to keep them penned up like that; instead, it's mostly for the smell of sea water) in an isolated cabin on the outskirts of town.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Xaimum Mafire wrote:
My favorite thing about this thread is how multiple people stated that there wouldn't be a general consensus on this issue, then the general consensus was that torture is an evil act in Pathfinder (with quotes from different rulebooks to support that fact).

Everyone - in game and out of game - tends to agree torture is bad. And then they will argue vehemently about whether something is torture or not.

In a fantasy setting where you can magically compel the truth from someone, sold by a for profit entertainment company, it's practical/expedient to just steer people away from torture because nothing good comes from having a parallel to real life debate about whether "enhanced interrogation" equals "torture."

Someone earlier in the thread something along the lines of "I as a GM rule that torture is evil and if you argue about it then you're not invited to my game any more." I would play in that game. If Dick Cheney invited me to his Pathfinder game where we use a fantasy setting to examine some of the moral ambiguities of enhanced interrogation, I would wish him the best, and then decline his invitation.

Dαedαlus wrote:
Obviously stuff like the Starstone should be brought up

I want to challenge you on the word "obviously."

Even if you want an eventual campaign where your characters go to the Starstone, there's no reason they need to know the reality or know about it immediately. It's a magic stone. Maybe they hear that it can brong the dead back to life. Maybe they hear that an evil king is using it to take over the world.

They can find out more along the way. It's thousands of miles to Absalom, unless you want to teleport them there, there's a lifetime of experiences for them between now and then.

I think you're doing it right. Roll with the punches and figure out how your character deals with these new feelings, both toward the party and gnomish curiosity. I wouldn't re-human yourself. You're a gnome now.

Consider a class dip in cleric or something even if it's not mechanically advantageous.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

My personal order of preference:

1. Alter the campaign to fit the party's chosen story. This may mean scrapping or changing what would have been an awesome story line, but that isn't the end of the world.

2. Ask the players to alter their behavior. They may not realize how much trouble it is to split the party, or if it's one person running off all the time, how much trouble he causes for the rest of his party. Point out that not only is it more likely PCs die, but players with nothing to do get bored.

3. I would reserve "intentionally kill some of the party to show them" as a last resort, meant for when (1) and (2) fail and/or someone is maliciously creating trouble for you or for the other players. I might even kick a troublemaker out of the group before I resorted to an in game punishment.

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Gaming Ranger wrote:

So, in conclusion:

1. It is okay to fudge sometimes (maybe).
2. Player expectations vary on honesty, politeness, outcomes, and social norms.
3. We all agree that fudging all the time is wrong.

Okay, I’m glad that is all cleared up.

No, this is the Internet. No conclusions allowed unless thay conclusion is that everyone agrees with me.

There is a single correct way to play the game and that is exactly how I play it. Everyone who even slightly disagrees with me is not only wrong, but is desecrating the game, and they are probably all Hitler.

graystone wrote:
planar enchanter: adding runes/arcane symbols/circles/ect for differing affects. It might work better as temp buffs on items vs crafting permanent items: IE instead of building a holy sword from scratch, you take generic sword # 621 and make it a holy sword for 10 min/level [or some other random duration].

I think this is a good idea, and would expand it so that they can "draw" spells on anything:

- drawing a vertical circle in the air that accelerates into a force weapon

- drawing a line on the ground that turns into a force wall

- drawing a symbol on a tree to talk to it

- drawing a horizontal circle on the ground to jump in

- drawing something in the air that materializes and allows climbing

There would be martial options (self-buffing weapons), ranged attacks, battlefield control (blocking off flanking enemies), and utility options.

It would depend heavily on somatic components but not verbal, which would provide some interesting scenarios.

Corathonv2 wrote:
I'm just the referee.

You're more than just the referee.

You have the freedom to decide whether the orcs are dumb enough to fall for the very obvious trap your PCs have set; you have the freedom to decide whether the mastermind your PCs were supposed to fight will accept an unexpected offer of truce.

Also, as the GM, you have the freedom to make mistakes. And if you accidentally allow a second AoO in Round 2 which ends up killing a PC in Round 5, it seems weird that you should feel helpless.

I want to reinforce all the suggestions that it can be very cool if everyone is on board and very uncool if not everyone (including the GM) is willing to put up with a little give and take.

Artofregicide wrote:

Depends on the table.

For casual play where folks aren't invested and just want to have a good time, but can't roll above a 3? Fudge away, but be upfront about the fact that you do fudge rolls to keep the game moving and make sure everyone is on board. I've GMed these kinds of games from time to time.

For more serious play? Never. The dice fall where they fall. This is the only way I enjoy playing. Otherwise you might as well be freeform.

It's one of the reasons I like failing forward as a game mechanic.

But yeah having everyone in agreement of what kind of game you're playing is huge. And fudging dice after promising not to is absolutely lying and cheating.

Absolutely all of this.

Pathfinder is many different things to many different people. All the players should agree what they're there for, and everyone should stick to the agreement.

I'm not going to bring a min maxed multiclass death machine to an excuse-to-drink game. Also, I'm not going to bring my high functioning alcoholic dwarven sorcerer to a game where the other players want a combat simulator. I hope the GMs of those two games behave differently.

Squeakmaan wrote:
Tea, but like, evil tea

I think this should be taken more seriously than it was probably intended. It really goes to the setting of the room IMO.

If the wizard is chaotic evil, you can reflect that (or hint at that) by having the books be poorly maintained and disorganized. If the wizard is lawful evil, the books can be meticulously organized.

Tea is (or is viewed as) sophisticated, and imparts a sense of routine and ceremony to the library. You can have a devil sitting there wearing glasses and brewing blood tea, surprised by the PCs because he was expecting the Evil Wizard for Evil Book Club. The third member can be a talking book, whose author was trapped inside the book. Weird and creepy and a little humorous, but says a lot about the wizard's character.

blahpers wrote:


N. Jolly wrote:
I want to like alchemical items more myself, I'm hoping that the class as it is becomes the premiere user of alchemical items. A lot of what I've done is stuff I've thought about while doing my guide, ideas that I thought would help the class use these mundane items as a legitimate threat.

I'm glad that you're still working on making alchemists better, I really loved your guide from way back when.

I think you've nailed the philosophy of alchemists for those of us who love the class. I don't want to play a wizard that casts mini fireballs or a cleric that drinks cure light wounds, I want to play someone who can do something other classes do (and also can't do something someone elze can do).

That the alchemist can do something with mundane items is one of the aspects about alchemy that RPGs lack. Basically either they make mundane items non-mundane (e.g., potions that everyone can drink) or they make mundane items un-non-mundaneable (e.g., tindertwigs). It would be cool to actually do some alchemy - soaking a tindertwig in a bottle of water to make a mini fireball or other things like that.

I think the question is more complicated than has been explored in this thread so far.

If the barrels are broken separately, does it mean that even if one barrel misfires it can continue to be used as a single-barrel gun?

On the other hand, if the whole gun is broken when either barrel misfires, that basically squares the chance of breaking the gun - is that an intended consequence?

sladerlmc77 wrote:
It was exactly what I needed to stop second-guessing myself and dive into building some encounters.

Remember that you know your son better than any of us. The most important thing is that he have fun. Some kids like the challenge of biting off more than they can chew; some want to slice through enemies like a hot knife through butter.

APLs are a guideline, and because not all classes have power that scale linearly with level, APL+1 from 1 to 2 is different than APL+1 from 10 to 11.

I think it's actually more important for the enemies to fit your son's character's strengths than for the APL to match exactly. It will probably be less fun to be charmed by a CR 1 monster targeting the fighter's weak will save than to out-smash a CR 2 melee brute with AC 20.

1. You need 13 CHA for selective channeling. I've never used a 15 point buy but I imagine this is going to be difficult.

2. Don't multiclass if you're new.

3. As others have pointed out, in combat healing is inefficient use of standard actions.

4. You can consider a cleric with a reach weapon. Most builds I've seen will have positive dex modifiers and Combat Reflexes, so they cast spells as their standard action and then rely on attacks of opportunity to do damage (getting around the action economy problem).

5. Although this admittedly contradicts the thread title, consider paladin. You can heal yourself as a swift action (another way of getting around the action economy problems) and you get a better hit die and BAB. Conceptually, it's also simpler to play. Downside is you barely get any spells (perhaps 0 at 3rd level) and that seems important to you.

Pizza Lord wrote:
If it was the way you described, a normal person with even a minor addiction would basically be dead in 5 days (the penalty can't lower them below 1 but they'd be in a pretty sad state). Even for a moderate addiction, like an alcoholic, that would be pretty severe slide.

While I agree this is unrealistic, it seems appropriate for a game intended for a broad audience.

Aximes wrote:
when 5 Skelletons (cr 1/2) attacked the village, they still just ran away, ignoring the fact, that they're 4 Players of level 3


Would it have helped to show them the skeletons' character sheets? i.e., Could they have thought the skeletons were way more powerful than they were?

Can you clarify exactly what the problem is here?

Possibility #1: You aren't having fun, as a GM. This shouldn't be trivialized, but it's not paramount.

Possibility #2: Some of them aren't having fun, but others are. This is mostly an OOC issue, and it's difficult to solve because there may not be a solution.

Possibility #3: Most/all of them aren't having fun, but they're paralyzed by fear. Most of the suggestions here are geared towards this, and you'll probably need a mix of in game carrots and in game sticks to fix it.

For possibilities #1 and #2, I'd consider changing the style of the campaign. Tradition dictates that people go out and slay dragons and find treasure, but if people have just as much fun in a quest to brew the perfect beer (send them to find special ingredients from the woods/sewers/neighboring towns) or solve a murder mystery (the tavern runs out of beer because the brewer got murdered and his recipe stolen noooooooooo), that's a fine way to spend the afternoon. Or the tavern catches fire and the party needs to help save it.

Basically, moderately dangerous noncombat encounters. Like someone posted above, it helps when there's an emotional connection to the quest - the bar being in danger or their precious beer being taken away. They could also find out a sad backstory to one of the bar's degenerate regulars - a man who drinks himself to a stupor every night because 30 years ago the love of his life was supposed to meet him at this bar and never showed up. Instead of epic "save the world from demon lords" campaigns, you have "dude lets get Bill laid" quests, but if that's what people have fun doing, that's what people have fun doing.

DRD1812 wrote:
What exactly are we trying to encourage with this style of play?

Personally, it would be to make sure that all the magic items are distributed optimally among the party.

I agree it's pretty fun on an individual level to just put on an unidentified ring and trust the GM that it will be fun. In a homebrew campaign you could even direct items towards individual players, e.g., a small ring that only fits on the halfling's finger and an exotic weapon only one PC has proficiency to wield.

But I'm guessing most of the time you just end up with some moderately generic items that multiple PCs could use like a +1 mace or ring of protection, and you'll want to know exactly what it is to distribute optimally.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Verzen wrote:
Sure Doom, but looking through EVERY single PDF to find a small section on feats takes a lot of time/effort. Plus. Not everyone has laptops or tablets available for use. This is simply condensing ALL options together so they are all organized in one place.

Online resources have everything in one place. PDFs are also searchable so you can jump to the section you need. Either will require a computer, but modern smartphones work fine.

I doubt there is enough of a paper-only market to financially justify Paizo republishing repackaged material.

DeathlessOne wrote:
I let people fail. I let people struggle. I let my characters fail and struggle right along with them. I offer my advice when it is asked for and shrug it off when that advice is not taken. I am there for the story and the bonding that comes along with hanging out with friends.

I do the exact same as you, as do the people I play with. It's fun and it doesn't hurt that we knew each other before we played Pathfinder together.

But if at some point if I wanted to play an "expert" campaign with a different group and got turned down, or only accepted on the condition that I got better at Pathfinder, I can respect that too.

DeathlessOne wrote:
I don't have to 'win'. I am there to enjoy the cooperative story that we are telling

While I totally agree with you personally, I respect that some people play the game for different reasons.

I don't think that people who would be annoyed by suboptimal strategy should play with people who play - intentionally or unintentionally - suboptimally. It makes the game less fun for everyone.

If I found out that the other PCs would be annoyed that I ate unnecessary AoOs because I thought channel energy had a 20' radius instead of 30', I would either play a class I knew better, or put in more work to learn my character, or invented an excuse to leave the group.

The GM should make sure everyone is on the same page before the campaign begins. Nobody's going to have fun if one person is there to roleplay a flavorful but suboptimal build, one is there to maximize DPR, one is there to act out repressed sexual fantasies, one got dragged in kicking and screaming by a significant other because the group needed four PCs, and then the GM is mechanically dragging everyone through a premade adventure.

With the caveat that I am not a PFS GM but like you considering joining, let me share my thoughts.

JaysonFour wrote:
is there still any possible value to wanting to earn my GM's stripes ...?

It depends on what "value" you're looking for. I think GMs get some kind of reward (experience, boons), and if that's the value you're looking for, I would read what would happen to those rewards when PFS goes to PF2. I don't personally know nor am I sure if anyone knows.

But for me, the big value is in just learning what some of the expectations are and having a forum to practice being a better GM. I predict over the next ten years I will GM more for my friends or kids in games that may or may not resemble PF1, but I certainly would appreciate the experience of sitting down with 6 semi random people and seeing if I can create some fun.

Secondary value to me is in giving back. Several times my games have scrounged for a GM and it would be nice to at least have the option of volunteering to break the logjam. And the more game systems you're familiar with, the more versatility you have. As a side note, I'll point out that I saw a non-zero number of D&D 3.5 games being offered at a local convention recently.

But to hear people say ...

Who cares what people say?

Go GM the games you like. And if you like a wide variety of games, even cooler beans. It's not like once you become a PF1 GM you're going to be stuck with that choice forever.

Or maybe you'll hate PF2 and at GenCon 2032 you'll end up GMing a throwback PF1 "remember when alchemists couldn't make their heads explode" session.

In my limited experience, anyone who's considerate enough to point out their own conflicts of interest are considerate enough to recuse themselves from anything that could be spoiled.

As a matter of fact, my major concern would be that the burden of decision making is shifted entirely onto the other players. For example, one time there was a puzzle that was just up to two of us to solve, because three people had GMed the adventure before. Another time, two of us had to declare marching order and move everyones' pawns around because the other two knew where all the traps were.

Knowledge (nobility) as a class skill?

And/or choose something from a fey bloodline sorcerer?

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm not familiar with the adventure, so I don't know if you have flexibility. If at all possible, I would work around the PCs decisions (scrapping anything that I had previously prepared) but if you needed to railroad them into a decision, you should have railroaded the decision.

At this point, without a retcon, you can still try to persuade them by having a young warrior catch up with them, with the items (stolen from the elders).

1. He could be kind of an expert warrior and warn the PCs that the dragon won't negotiate (e.g., he's tried or had a friend who died trying), and offer the items "in case things go wrong." PCs can still negotiate but won't be doomed when combat starts.

2. He could be a young kid who stole the items and is using the oversized items ineptly. He curses the PCs for their perceived cowardice and declares his intention to kill the dragon himself. Your PCs will probably feel compelled to save him from certain doom, and they can get their negosh on to stop the kid from doing something stupid.

DRD1812 wrote:
Did you re-flavor them at all? The only downside is that there's nothing overtly "fantasy-ish" going on.

I didn't flavor the basic game, but I knew the player whose PC was a cleric of Calistria was the most excited about the casino, so all the bonuses were flavored, with wasps distracting the dealers, the dealers of the best games looking like Calistria, and dice flashing yellow and black.

I (correctly) guessed that everyone else in the party would try one of the games a few times to humor me, and then chat up the dealers into giving them information about the casino owners, while the cleric split the party so that he could gamble on his own. Fortunately (unfortunately?) he made all his Will saves to keep from having to be physically dragged away from the table so the whole encounter ended up being more "dropped by and picked up a few hints about the masterminds" and less "party tank starts brawl with half-orc security guards."

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think you should also think about why, when creating a lawful character for the first time, you immediately sought out all the negative aspects of lawfulness, rather than starting with its positive aspects. Unless you're trying to prove (perhaps even to yourself) that being lawful is terrible, I'd suggest starting with a background where lawful will shine. If you don't want a goodie two shoes, I'll suggest the following:

Your character background could begin in an anarchic location (I use Kowloon Walled City or mid-1990s Somalia as inspirations), rising through the ranks of a warlord's fiefdom or a mafia-like organization. Your adherence to the rules is not about principle, but self-preservation: people who don't obey die; independents who "go their own way" generally lose to the organized clan. The laws are powerful, and even if you dislike your warlord / capo / pirate captain, you stick with the program because you would certainly perish without your brothers and sisters.

You could also be "lawful" in the sense that a monk is lawful - you strictly adhere to an internal (vs external) set of rules. You're disciplined and focused, and you shake your head dismissively at the undisciplined and unfocused after you wipe the floor with them. Think like the Type A person at work who doesn't chit chat or hang out, he/she has a reputation as being unfriendly or arrogant but you can't argue with the fact that he/she meets his/her goals every quarter and pulls more than his/her weight on group projects. He/she cashes a fat bonus check on the way home, and thinks, "Don't hate the player, hate the game."


I'll poke around a bit. When you say organizer, does that mean a PFS organizer or a store employee?

Do you happen to know the organizer for Ronin Games's Wednesday night game? That's the one without a GM next week.

I have a few questions regarding the culture/etiquette around the Warhorn signups. I'm in the SF Bay Area, if it matters.

1. What happens if players sign up for a game but no GM signs up? Is it assumed to be canceled? Do people show up and stare at each other until someone decides to GM at the last minute?

2. What realistically happens when too few or too many people sign up? Are there frequent no-shows so that waitlisted people typically show up even if they may not play? Are there enough people who show up without signing up that shorthanded signups should show up and expect the game to happen? Fundamentally, what percentage of signups end up playing and what percentage of players are signups?

3. Is there a place other than Warhorn that these things are unofficially organized or where it'd be better for me to post specifically about a location, e.g., Facebook group or some subforum here or IRC channel?

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I created a few minigames for a campaign. Feel free to use them for your own RPGs.

Design criteria:
1. The games needed to be recognizable, I didn't want to spend a ton of time explaining. Most of my players were familiar with basic casino games (craps, blackjack, poker) so the mechanics of these games closely mirrored real life games.
2. The games disproportionately used non-d6, non-d20 dice, because d12s need love too.
3. The games favored the house, but ...
4. The games can be modified in a way so that the house edge is lowered or reversed, to give an advantage to a PC that worshipped Calistria.

Game #1: Craps (these had thematic names in game, which would make zero sense if I posted them, so I'll just call it by the IRL casino games they're based on)

1. Roll 1d8.
2. 1 = lose immediately, 8 = win 2x immediately.
3. 2-6 = you must roll that number again before you roll 1 or 8

House edge: 12.5%
Calistria bonus: making point pays 6:5 (house edge 7.5%)

Game #2: Baccarat

1. Roll 2d8, take the last digit if over 9 (e.g., 3 + 7 = 0)
2. 8 or 9 = win immediately
3. 0-7 = roll another 1d8
4. 8 or 9 = win, 0-7 = lose

House edge: 17.6%
Calistria bonus: roll d6s instead of d8s (house edge 4.7%)

Game #3: Blackjack

1. Dealer rolls 1d6+1d8
2. Player rolls 1d6+1d8
3. Player can:
a. hold
b. Roll 1d10 with the option of further rolling a 1d12 (1:1 payout on win)
c. Roll 1d10 without the option of further roll (2:1 payout on win)
4. Player can:
a. hold (player must hold if 3a or 3c was chosen, player has the option to hold if 3b was chosen)
b. Roll 1d12, only if path 3b was chosen above and player wants to roll a d12
5. At any point, if player exceeds 20, the player loses immediately.
6. Dealer rolls 1d10.
7. If dealer's sum is less than 16, dealer rolls 1d12.
8. At any point, if dealer exceeds 20, player wins.
9. If both player and dealer are 20 or below, the higher sum wins. A tie is a push.

House edge: 2.1%, but the strategy is not obvious, and players will likely make mistakes.
Calistria bonus: the PC can petition her for aid on strategy.

Player >= 17: always hold
Player 16: hold on dealer 2-7, roll on dealer 8-14
Player 15: hold on dealer 2-4, roll on dealer 5-14
Player 11-14: if possible, double (3.c., above) or otherwise roll
Player 10: if possible, double on dealer 2-8 or on dealer 13-14, otherwise roll
Player 9: if possible, double on dealer 2-3, roll otherwise
Player 2-8: always roll

Game #4: Poker

1. Roll 1d6, 1d8, 1d10, 1d12
2. Choose one die to reroll (or hold)
3. Payouts are as follows:
a. Four of a kind = win 3x
b. Straight = win 2x
c. Two pairs = win 2x
d. Three of a kind = win 1x
e. One pair = push
f. No pair = lose

House edge: -1.7% (that is, played perfectly, this game can be beaten, but the strategy is the least obvious and most complex of all the games here)
Calistria bonus: the proper die to reroll is identified

The strategy is best described using "outs" as in poker. Three to a straight has up to two outs to complete the straight, plus up to three outs to pair one of the numbers. The difficult part is that the outs have to be multiplied by the difference in payouts (so outs to the straight count 3 times as much as an out to a pair), and not every die can make every out (so rerolling d6 when d8=7, d10=8, d12=9 gives only one straight out, but rerolling d6 when d8=2, d10=3, d12=4 gives two straight outs plus three pair outs). The outs are then divided by the die size (so outs with the d6 are more valuable than outs with the d8, etc).

Note that in some cases, you want to (non-obviously) break a pair - for a roll of d6=2, d8=2, d10=3, d12=4, proper strategy is to reroll the d6 (2 straight outs plus 3 pair outs = 9/6) rather than the d10 (1 three of a kind out plus 1 two pairs out plus 8 one pair outs = 13/10).

Remember that PCs aren't expected to figure the strategies out on the fly, they're expected to make mistakes, and only achieve perfect strategy with Calistria's aid (or Profession Gambler checks).

Sara Marie wrote:
If you know you are going to get your copy from your local store/retailer, definitely check in with them to see if they have a pre-order policy.

I apologize in advance if this is a bad thread to ask this question, but is it better/worse/same for Paizo if we order via Paizo, Amazon, or a local game store?

The villains you find premade should be considered suggestions, and if your PCs are having a tough time, there's no shame in nerfing the enemy. Instead of fighting kobolds with swords, they can fight insane kobolds who think their wielded pots and pans are holy avenger greatswords.

When I play with friends at work (during lunch), I don't even give the villains a set number of hit points - I joke that they have "45 minutes of hit points."

I advocate that this is better than doing permanent things to the PCs such as giving their armor DR or inflating their stats - as those things will continue nerfing encounters for the whole lifetime of the character.

NPCs are okay, but it's just as easy to tip the scales by making the enemies worse as it is to make the party stronger. Obviously you don't get to slay dragons or explode fireballs or do other iconic fantasy epic battles, but players shouldn't expect that at level 1.

Allowing PCs to take advantage of structural advantages (like narrow ravines or high ground or random equipment they find) is great and will create a real sense of accomplishment if they can take down a serious threat. You can nerf the enemy's intelligence so the villains charge through the doorway one by one, or the villain with a ranged weapon insists on firing at the fighter taking cover (and ignoring the wizard standing in the open).

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Honestly, one fundamental problem with trying to figure out what people want is that you don't hear from people who don't already want your stuff.

I'm only marginally connected to the PF community, so let me offer this semi-outsider perspective.

1. Broad strokes, I don't care about one company over another. Paizo seems cool, I'm happy to support them. WotC seems fine overall too. I had no quarrel with Hasbro, or TSR, or any other company that has been involved. The only real jerk move I've seen is making 4e non-OGL, and WotC seemed to have learned its lesson.

2. I (and many others) do care about popularity in the sense that games are more accessible if you can find people who already know how to play. I learned about PF from a friend, and honestly he nerfed a lot of the complexity to make it accessible to the rest of us (who were familiar with D&D). Minus that, if I had to go into the wild to forage for a group to play with, it's really unlikely I would be playing PF.

3. Despite the previous paragraph, I think PF's complexity is something to be embraced, not watered down. You can always play with fewer rules but it's hard to add more. PF fans like the optimization and wide array of options, it should just be acknowledged as "D&D but with more rules for those who like that kind of thing." I think replacing D&D as the name brand medieval-themed TTRPG would have happened already if it would have ever happened.

4. I think the negative impact of PF's complexity can be ameliorated by technology. Products that help people build characters or guide GMs in what skills/rolls are involved are easy to build now (much easier than 20 years ago). Online resources such as the SRD are helpful, but still behave like a good paper encyclopedia rather than a well designed online resource. Purely as an example of what online can do that paper cannot: bidirection crossreferencing. What the Dodge feat does is easy to unidirectionally reference. What other feats or traits gives an AC bonus is difficuly to crossreference on paper, but easy online.

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Thanks to everyone who made yesterday fun.

Looks like I managed the trifecta of epic registration fail. Today's gonna be an interesting day. :)

As a relatively new player, one of the most frustrating things isn't the complexity but the lack of a cross referencing system for that complexity.

For example, if your character gains or loses a point of Strength, there is no good way to look up all the things that are affected. You just have to know all the rules well enough to mentally go through each rule.

Many online resources fill this void with technology - apps and Excel sheets that will autocalculate these things. If Paizo is okay with the status quo, it's no big deal. But Paizo could fill the void themselves with a few pages of cross-reference: 1. Things you need to change when ability scores change. 2. Things that you can use to change each ability score or skill ranks. Even simple things like lists of different ways to become invisible would be helpful.

This wouldn't reduce the actual complexity of the game (which is arguably positive) but it would reduce the perceived complexity (which seems like a definite negative).

James Anderson wrote:
Game registration for the con outside of our organized play IS rather messy. And I don't see a place on their website where it's spelled out. The clearest info is in the program book - last year's book is at http://www.dundracon.com/DDC_Files/DDC43ProgramBook.pdf and game sign-up starts page 22. Lottery results are posted at 11:30am, 5:30pm, and 9pm(for next morning). The lottery is weighted, so failing to get in a game makes it more likely to get into the next one.

This is super helpful.

It's a little disappointing that this is going to make it difficult for light, recreational players like me to attend, but c'est la vie.

Thank you!


A few questions from a prospective first time attendee.

1. I hadn't played D&D since the 1980s prior to playing PF(1e) recently. Frankly, will I annoy others if I not only not know some rules, but have some wrong? Will it be different between PFS and non-PFS games?

2. The signup process seems opaque, perhaps intentionally so. What happens if I register for the convention, preregister for some games, and don't get into any that fit into my schedule? Can I unregister, or register for a different day? As a new player, would my chances of getting into a crowded game be equal to, less than, or greater than random selection? How far in advance of, say, a 9 am Saturday game would I have of knowing whether or not I had been selected?

3. One reason I'd like to attend the convention is that I expect someday soon I'd teach my kids RPGs, and hopefully they'd be interested in attending in the future. Would it be appropriate for me to sign up for kid-friendly games, or would that just be creepy? Would it be appropriate for me to observe a game for a bit, or would that be likewise creepy?

Thanks in advance for any help you're able to provide.