After 35 years of playing RPGs, I have finally published a game!
In Red Mists, you play an adventurer in the mold of Conan, the Gray Mouser, Moonglum, and Fafhrd. Your hero ventures forth to do battle with evil sorcerers, bestial man-apes, and winged horrors, all the while plundering long-forgotten vaults and rescuing captive lads and lasses. Red Mists focuses on the steel-wielding heroes of the genre, portraying wizards and sorcerers as foes to be feared and hated.
Characters are defined as much by their predilections for slaughter, debauchery, and self-preservation as they are by their thews, reflexes, and instinct. Mechanics are simple, evocative, and fast in play. Creating a character takes a matter of minutes.
The mechanics are inspired by the Freeform Univerasal RPG. You start with a base die, add a number of d6 based on a relevant stat, then subtract a number of dice based on difficulty. You then roll the pool. Assuming your stat was higher than the difficulty, your result is the highest die. A 6 means "yes, and", a 5 means "yes", a 4 means "Yes, but", a 3 means "no, but", a 2 means "no", and a 1 means "no, and." If your stat was lower than the difficulty, the result of the roll is the lowest die. One of the notable mechanics is DICEing your opponent. DICE stands for Dismember, Impale, Crush, Eviscerate. Basically, you're trying to hack your opponent to pieces, as in classic S&S fiction. EVery NPC/creature has a DICE rating. If you deal damage in a single blow higher than their DICE rating, you have severed/crushed (etc) a body part. The location of the body part is determined by any dice left over after in your pool. Combat is very fast and fun. Characters do not fall victim to DICE, as that doesn't reflect the source material. While this may seem unfair at first blush, it makes combat a blast since characters are more willing to dive headfirst into bloody conflict, again, as in the stories. Characters do not practice magic; they fight against it. You have five attributes: defiance, guile, instinct, reflexes, and thews. You have five impulses that you can use to improve rolls: slaughter, self-preservation, debauchery, plunder, and obsession. Players roll all dice. You gain experience by completing adventures (failure or success), gaining wealth and blowing it in colorful ways, and using your impulses.
Vic Wertz wrote:
Compatibility License applications are automatically accepted at this time. As soon as you submitted it, you should have seen confirmation of that, including a notice that the logos have been added to your My Downloads page. (If you see them there, you're good to go. If you don't see them there, something unfortunate happened, and you should resubmit your application.)
Ah, okay. I didn't receive anything by way of notice or in my downloads. That said, I have one from 2011 in my downloads... could that be why?
Whoa, slow down there! Who said I'm stomping? I'm just asking a question. Sheesh.
As a GM, I've often found the stat blocks in the various Pathfinder bestiaries to be unwieldy; too many options, too much to look up in other books, and so on. While Pathfinder Unchained offers some solutions, it doesn't go far enough for me. So I've created my own entries (links below). What do you think of these? Do they strip the monsters down too much?
NOTE: for some reason, this is putting a space between the "j" and "p" in jpeg. To see the images, you will have to delete the space.
Please take a look at my in-development OGL game here: http://freepdfhosting.com/b80315a4ba.pdf
Tower of Adamant is based on the notion that dramatic things should happen at dramatic moments. To that end, there are two types of scene: standard and climactic. Standard scenes are faster and simpler, and the results of your dice rolls are more predictable. In climatic scenes, the stakes get higher, but your character can accomplish the type of actions and levels of heroism you read about and see in movies. There is an emphasis on last-second heroics, achieving great acts when you are closest to defeat, and so on. Many special abilities become available or are augmented during climactic scenes.
- Each class/race combination is very distinct. Elven warriors are very different to human or dwarf warriors, while each race practices a type of magic entirely different than their human/elf/dwarf counterpart. Humans practice a form of wizardry similar to 4e's AW/E/D/U tradition, except that each spell has its own AW/E/D variant, meaning you can choose to prepare the AW version of magic missile one day and the encounter version the next, and so on. Elves practice a form of spirit magic with nature, and dwarves burn magical runes onto their bodies.
- There are five roles, defining your function at a given moment: leader, expert, stalwart, protector, and guide. You have one primary role and one secondary role. Each lends you specific talents and responsibilities.
- each character is assumed to be competent at most things; you won't 'suck' with certain skills.
There is a lot more to it than just these aspects, but those are the primary elements. Again, if this sounds of interest to you and you are willing to take a look and help me out, I would be grateful. Just PM me. Thanks in advance.
Please feel free to PM me with your thoughts or leave feedback here. Right now I'm looking for basic feedback:
If you have the time, please generate a character or two and give me your thoughts. Thanks!
Thanks for the Treantmonk link. Very helpful stuff! Now let me tweak this a bit: most of the advice I've been given relates to combat effectiveness. What non-combat feats do you find particularly useful for rangers?
Further, what new combat styles do you like from the APG? Which ones don't you like (if any)?
What are looking to do?
I am looking to create a "ranger handbook" for the players at my table, and possibly offer it up at DTRPG. I will follow this one with further classes. The idea is to consolidate and refine the options available to each class into a more manageable package, rather than having to thumb through several massive books to find stuff that suits you. So I want to narrow the focus of feats down to those generally most useful to the class (in this case, the ranger).
It is sort of a middle ground between the Beginner Box and the core books.
If a ranger selects "archery" for his combat style, does this include any ranged weapon, or just bows? The rules don't seem to say. The word "archery" certainly suggests bows-only (as does the existence of a crossbow style from the APG), but the feats you gain seem to apply to any ranged weapon. Could selecting archery also benefit throwing spears, for example?
Let me ask you a question: I am working on an 'in-between' product that collates and refines options from the various splatbooks for each class. The first document is for the ranger class. It would have more options than the Beginner Box classes, but not nearly as much as the collective sum of ranger options from the core book, APG, UM, and UC. For example, at each level the ranger will have 3-4 options to select from as class abilities, and have maybe 50 total feats to select from. You will be able to pick & choose options from various ranger builds, etc. Is that too detailed for what you're looking for, or does it sound interesting?
Master of the Zero One wrote:
I suggest you rethink this insane position! ;)Seriously. Don't make me come up there.
While PF hasn't produced the massive bloat that 3.5 did, with colossal amounts of books detailing new feats, spells, PrCs, etc... it still has a substantial amount of that stuff. Does your campaign limit the books that may be used? I'm thinking of cutting back to the core book and APG only (as far as feats, classes, and spells are concerned).
Old School Gamer wrote:
If it were just a matter of fewer rules, I would agree with you. But its more than that. Its the quick, brief spell and magic item descriptions. Its the superior presentation of monsters. Its being able to find what you need really quickly. Et al.
While there would be some people who might not buy future PF core hardcovers in favor of further 'basic' sets, I think this would be far outweighed by the number of people who would buy into the 'basic' line who would have never touched the PFC books in the first place. In other words, completely new customers. Some of them will eventually buy into the core books, Golarion, etc. And don't forget the folks who will buy both lines.
Regarding an Intermediate set of levels 6-10, I don't think it needs to increase complexity a la the core line. You could maybe add attacks of opportunity, but I'd stop it there. The stuff in the 6-10 set would obviously add new spells, feats, classes, magic items, monsters, and races. It could add prestige classes. But I don't think it should add things like CMD/CMB, lists of maneuvers, et al. In other words, no new complexity. That would defeat the purpose.
The Dragon Age box sets are a really good example of how to do it, IMHO.
One thing to consider when making the TSR comparison:
So I don't think there would be a fragmentation issue with PF. But I do think you would have new people play PFB who won't touch PF core.
All of this is just IMHO and in my experience, of course :)
Erik Mona wrote:
Sounds good! One thing to keep in mind: there are people out there that have avoided PF because of the high crunch level, but are interested in this version precisely because of its scaled back crunch level. The beginner box is a great spot for those of us who feel games like Castles & Crusades offer too few options but don't want the 'overload' of standard PF.
I'm a Pathfinder fan. I have all of the hard cover books, several adventure paths, etc. But THIS is the game that I want. A more focused, easy-to-reference, faster and leaner version of PF. The way monsters are presented is far more appealing to me than the existing Bestiaries. The truncated spell descriptions. The more focused choices. Better all around for me.
I really hope Paizo reconsiders their position not to develop this further. I can't speak for others, but an Intermediate Box detailing levels 6-10 and adding four more classes would be an instant sale for me. Moreover, it wouldn't stop me from purchasing the "advanced" PF books either. The fact that this set is selling well to established PF players would indicate to me that there is a market for more. I'm not advocating a massive line, but a few more products would be sweet.
If not, I hope a 3rd party takes it up.
Klebert L. Hall wrote:
I guess I look at it the opposite way. Why would a god of agriculture give his clerics spells that would be more appropriate for a god of trickery?
I don't like it because it lacks flavor. I don't agree that "a pretty big chunk of spells per day for the Cleric are going to be in pre-selected domain slots". I find that the extra spell slot per level is usually enough for most players, and that they don't necessarily fill the rest of their slots with domains spells. Thus you wind up with clerics all knowing the same spells, with a small handful of differences. A solution I'm considering is allowing clerics to use *only* spells from their domains, plus the healing spell swaps that PF gave them. Restrictive, yes, but I also find it easier and more flavorful.
Another issue I have with the existing system is that it often takes my players a long time to select their daily spells from the increasingly large lists provided by the core book, APG, and UM. And I'm sure there will be more forthcoming.
In the PF core book (and previous editions of D&D), the four divine spellcasters automatically know every spell they are capable of casting from their class's spell lists. Arcane spellcasters, on the other hand, are limited in this regard. The cleric and druid have a daily allotment of spells that equal the wizard and have decent combat abilities. My question: do you like this? Are arcane spells simply more powerful and/or useful in comparison, thus necessitating this seeming inequality? Is it problematic that, with each new PF supplement, clerics, druids, rangers, and paladins automatically know a bunch of new spells while arcane casters don't?
I know that Paizo probably has too much on their plate already, but I wonder if there is a chance of ever seeing another campaign world for PF? Golarion is a nice 'kitchen sink' setting, so it would be nice to see something more unique and focused... sort of like when TSR released Dark Sun. I'd love to see a campaign world with a strong meta plot like Midnight or Gemini.
A guy can dream, right?
I just bought the item card deck for Carrion Crown and just wanted to hear some general advice for using them. In general, do you hand the cards to the PCs and let them fill in the blank spaces on the cardbacks as they learn about the items? Or does the GM usually have the specifics filled out beforehand? What kind of pen/marker works best for these cards?
We know that Paizo can do a bang-up job on a monthly mag (and hit their release dates). Has there been any discussion of creating a monthly mag for the PF RPG? I miss the 'old' days of a dead tree Dragon magazine. Yeah, I know about KQ, but that's only 4x a year and is split between PF, 4.0 and Dragon Age. So count me as someone who would like to a see a monthly paper mag dedicated to PF.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm creating some class documents for the players in my group who don't own the PF RPG rulebook. These folks are good roleplayers but have had a hard time with some aspects of PF/d20, namely stuff like spell level vs character level, spell slots, and the huge amount of information spread across a massive book (which becomes even more unwieldy when you throw in the APG).
Thus, I'm trying some stuff out to help them. I'm printing "class manuals" that collate everything they need within one small class booklet (http://valleyvision.com/ranger.pdf). Spells, feats, etc. All in there and easy to find. I'm also simplifying some stuff for them. Here are some of my ideas. Please give feedback, not only on the usefulness of the ideas for someone in their situation, but how well this stuff would work for a player who does know his PF/d20.
- Getting rid of spell slots: I'm using a riff on the 4e at-will, encounter, daily mechanic. Basically, 0-level spells are all at-will. Spells that you have just acquired are daily spells until you advance two more levels, at which time they become 'rechargable' spells that get recharged after you take a 5 or 10 minute rest.
- Spellcasters in this system generally have fewer spells in their repertoire compared to their RAW counterparts, but can cast the spells more often. For instance, clerics won't have access to all spells on the cleric list (which causes huge delays in our group as the players thumb through the manuals looking for just the right spell).
- Spell schools: this has been a pain for the 'newbies.' The idea of spell slots being adjusted depending on your chosen spell school ain't working for us. In this new system, I'm thinking of having each wizard select two new spells at each level. One *has* to be from their primary school. They receive the standard school benefits as detailed in the PF RPG. No bonuses for high INT and no 'extra' daily slot.
- I would like to get rid of the concept of sorcerers and wizards sharing the same spell lists... but I'm not sure how. Perhaps sorcerers use mostly visceral, unsubtle spells. Any suggestions?
Thoughts? And the first person who says "Play another system" will get coal in their stocking next Christmas.
I GM for five players. Of these five players, three of them own no RPG books and are often confused with certain aspects of Pathfinder, especially level advancement, spell level vs character level, etc. What's more, having a colossal tome such as the PF RPG and the APG makes things quite intimidating for them. I have created a sample document for them to make the whole process easier. This sample details the ranger from levels 1-10 and (hopefully) puts everything at their fingertips. It also collates a lot of information between the two sources and also pares down a lot as well.
I have tried to allow players to make choices with each advancement while keeping the number of choices to a manageable level.
My request to you is: please take a look at this and tell me what you think. Is this something of value? How could it be improved? Would it be of interest to more experienced players as well?
A couple of random questions here:
1) The ranger can effectively bypass feat prerequisites when he selects his special combat feats at levels 2, 6, 10, etc. Does this mean a ranger could take Far Shot at second level without having taken Point Black shot? Also, does the ranger need to abide by prerequisites when he selects any of these feats at other levels? For instance, if a ranger wants to take Far Shot at 3rd level and doesn't yet have Point Blank shot, is that a no-go?
2) Can you split your movement during your turn? For example, could a PC with 30' movement move 10 feet, make a standard action, and then finish up by moving another 20 feet?
I'm currently working on combining and, at the same time, paring down many class features & feats between the PF RPG and the PF APG in order to make the game a bit easier to manage for my players.
I'd like to pare down the barbarian rage powers, rogue talents, and hunter tricks to smaller lists by dropping some abilities that won't be missed. Same thing with spells and feats, but that's later.
In your opinion, which of these aspects from various classes do you like and which ones could be left by the curb?
I like the critical hit deck, fumble deck, plot twist deck, and all manner of decks from Paizo... but what I would really like is a collection of spell decks. Sure, I know that some spell descriptions are very long, so use both sides of the card if you need to. But spell cards would be a great help to me and my players. Any chance of seeing that?
I understand what you are saying about Legolas possibly being ancient, but apart from the Balrog instance, I don't see him as possessing any great wisdom or knowledge.
As far as the contest with Gimli in concerned, while it is true that Leggy had to accomplish the latter portion of his tally using knives, I think it really illustrates how 'even' he and Gimli are; Legolas has an extreme advantage with arrows being able to pick off orcs at a great distance, while Gimli has to accomplish his task in pure hand to hand combat. Regardless, the contest illustrates that both are effectively matched when it come to combat acumen.
In the Battle of the Last Alliance, the men of Gondor seem just as capable as the elves. It is, ultimately, a man who defeats Sauron. Gil Galad even falls during that battle. In the Battle of Five Armies, elves don't stand out any more than dwarves or men.
I think the key to elves, and the way I will handle the, is that they have a finite amount of fate points. While hobbits and men, and even dwarves, can refresh their fate points, elves cannot. Of all the races, they have the least ability to affect their own fate. Elves They are also the least ambitious race by the third age. The 'great' elves have almost all passed away into the west. By the third age, the player character elves are typified by Legolas and the Wood Elves of Mirkwood, not by Elrond and Feanor.
Regarding the notion that elves are too universally superior... are we perhaps overstating this? I don't think Legolas stood out as being more powerful than any of the non-hobbits in the party; heck, Gimli beat him in the orc killing contest at Helm's Deep. Even if you go back to the First Age, the greatest warrior of all time was a man (Turin Tarambar). Elves and dwarves fought against each other and the dwarves did just fine. Orcs attacking Lothlorien surely managed to kill many elves. The most overtly powerful elves, such as Galadriel, are clearly not PC material. But someone like Legolas surely is. Elladin and Elrohir don't seem significantly 'better' than the rangers who join up with Aragorn to journey the Paths of the Dead. Thoughts?
Yeah, this old chestnut has been around for a while with D&D 3.5 (and the recent thread about using PF for a Hobbit campaign), but let's revisit it anyways. How would you house rule Pathfinder to work for a Third Age middle earth campaign?
Some of my thoughts:
Anyone care to add to the list? I'm not interested in hearing "Pathfinder should not ever be used for middle earth." Don't rain on my parade ;)
- A book of alternate rules, like Unearthed Arcana