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Here's a little reminder of the times:

From The Dragon #30 October, 1979 wrote:

"As I am writing this (11 Sep). DUNGEONS & DRAGONS is getting the publicity that we used to just dream about, back when we were freezing in Gary's basement in the beginning.

If we had our 'druthers', it would not have happened in such a fashion. By now, as you read this, I hope the mystery surrounding James Egbert has been happily resolved. Whatever the circumstances of the incident, it has been a nightmare for his parents and family, as well as for TSR Hobbies,Inc.

It has been speculated that James was involved in some sort of D&D game that went beyond the realm of pencil and paper roleplaying and may have mutated into something tragic. D&D was seized upon as a possible connection for a number of reasons. First, James was an avid player. Indeed, I have met him at past conventions and he used to subscribe to Dragon.

Secondly, there was the matter of the pins in the bulletin board, and the speculation that they formed some sort of clue a'la a D&D map or clue. Added to this was the fact that the pins possibly resembled the steam tunnel system under James' college, and an anonymous tip that 'live' games had been played out there in the past, as well as other places on the campus. Pictures of the map were sent to TSR for analysis, with no concrete results.

Third, the day of his disappearance was the day prior to GENCON XII, and there have been reports that attendees think that they may have seen him at the Con. Sadly, registration doesn't show him registered anywhere.

Finally, James had an IQ that qualifies him as a genius, and D&D is a very intricate and complex game, appealing to bright people. This was seen as sufficient evidence to link the two, at least in the headlines.

Some of the reporting has been every bit as bizarre as the circumstances surrounding the whole affair.

The chief detective hired by the parents has made some incorrect statements regarding the game that have only fuelled the controversy and added to the misconceptions surrounding it. Unfortunately, the nature of the incorrect answers has led to sensationalist speculation. D&D has been described as a cult-like activity, and every editor knows that cults sell papers, or dogfood, in the case of TV.

These basic mistakes have linked the supposed method of playing D&D to this disappearance. The detective is quoted as saying, by both UP and AP, "You have a dungeon master - he designs the characters. Someone is put into the dungeon, and it is up to him to get out." He was further quoted as saying that, "...in some instances when a person plays the game 'you actually leave your body and go out of your mind'". A campus policeman said that dozens of D&D games were being played by "very secretive groups".

All of this had been grist for the journalist's mill, and has resulted in some pretty bizarre headlines, all playing on the esoteric aspects of the game, some slanted from the incorrect assumptions. A few choice samples that we have seen here, and only the gods know how many we haven't seen, include "Missing youth could be on adventure game", "Is Missing Student Victim of Game?", "'Intellectual fantasy' results in bizarre disappearance", "Student May Have Lost His Life to Intellectual Fantasy Game", "Student feared dead in 'dungeon'", and more of the like.

The most unfortunate consideration here is that all of the supposed links to this unfortunate incident were somehow assumed to exist, when in truth no such link has been proven.

No one connected with D&D, from the authors, through the editors, typesetters, proofreaders, down to the final stage, the shippers, ever envisioned anything like this happening. The slightest hint that this game somehow may have cost someone their life is horrifying to each and every one of us.

If this is true, and the worst fears are realized when this mystery is resolved, something is drastically wrong. If James is located and all ends happily, the amount of suffering and grief has certainly been disproportionate.

If the worst is true, let it serve as a painful and sad lesson to all of us that play games, that games are simply games, meant to be amusing diversion and a way to kill time in a fun fashion, and nothing more.

TSR has never ever suggested that D&D was meant to be acted out. How would it be, when half of what makes it so much fun - magic - can not be simulated?

This incident could conceivably affect each of you who reads this. If the 'bizarre' tag sticks, all of us should consider the idea that we might meet with scorn, or macabre fascination, or be branded as 'intellectual loonies' in the media. In view of the distortions caused by the media, it may become incumbent now upon all of us to actively seek to correct the misconceptions now formed or forming whenever and wherever possible.

For now, we can only hope and pray that James will be located and in good health. No game is worth dying for . . ."

- "Dragon Rumbles" by T.J. Kask. The Dragon, October 1979, pages 1, 41.

James Dallas Egbert III was pronounced dead from a gunshot wound to the head on August 16, 1980.


Thanks for posting that Wolf, I know it wasn't easy to do. That was a very difficult time! For those of us involved in D&D at the time, what should not have been more than the tragic suicide of a troubled young man turned into an insane nightmare. This was national news, people, at a time when national news actually meant something! And it stayed in the news for a very long time. The game all of us care so much about damn near came to an end. It was the height of paranoia stoked by a very vocal right wing coalition intent upon ending D&D. As a result, whole parts of the game were eliminated including all references to anything demonic.

I don't doubt that many on the Paizo staff are avid students of D&D history and are aware of this dark time, but others may not realize that had the right wing religious zealots won their case in court or had they even won it in the court of public opinion, all of us would not be playing this game today. TSR would have folded and D&D would have ended. Even winning, TSR and D&D took a huge hit.

I bring this up, not for shock value or for a history lesson, but because I firmly believe that the warnings (in the Core Rulebook) and restrictions (in PFS) are remnants of the reaction TSR had immediately after this tragic incident. I also firmly believe that it was never Paizo's intention to include them for this particular reason (I wouldn't be at all surprised if most of the Paizo staff and those that post on these boards weren't even born when all this happened). As has been mentioned many times before by others, the warnings and restrictions were probably included in the core rulebook because they existed in prior editions and were continued without any real, significant thought.

All I ask is that everyone take a good look at a remnant of D&D history that still taints the rules to this day and see it for what it really is, then do something to end it once and for all.


KaeYoss wrote:
Wu Chi wrote:
My point is that if this is the reason the warning has appeared in the past and still remains in the present, then this is a very, very poor reason for having it.
KaeYoss wrote:
The only one claiming that is you.

Funny, I didn't think I was making any claim, thus the use of the word "if."

KaeYoss wrote:
You claimed that Paizo is saying this, as if it was part of Paizo's Infernal Plan to... I seriously have no idea what it would accomplish. It isn't. It is an old "rule".

IF it is in there to assuage the right wing religious fanatics, many of whom still see D&D, and presumably PF, as connected to satanism and potential suicide, then, in my opinion, it's there for the wrong reason. Since it is an old rule, I'm thinking that could well be the reason it is there. IF it is there as a warning to DMs about potential disruptions in play, then I have to disagree. I don't see evil PCs disrupting a game any more than, say, a paladin, and I certainly don't see neutral players having any more difficult of a time grouping with good than evil (that is, if they are truly neutral). What I see is an effort to prevent, or at least minimize, evil PCs from being incorporated into a campaign, for whatever reason. That effort is explicit in PFS. There is a definite bias here, and I can't help but believe that it's an image thing, not a rules thing.

Instead of issuing a warning, perhaps it would be better to explain ways in which evil characters can be incorporated into a campaign without disrupting it. Certainly, common sense says that a LG Paladin and a CE Blackguard should not be in the same group together (though I have no doubt that a truly imaginative DM could come up with a reason to put these two together and to keep them from each other's throats, geas comes to mind). I can see a LG and LE in the same group that manage to find common ground based on their lawful tendencies. I understand it would be a tenuous relationship, but it could be done, especially if the lawful goals outweigh the good/evil conundrum. My point being that these examples are more constructive than saying it's not a good idea to do this because it will destroy your group and your campaign.

ASIDE: If that's not a horse and that's not a windmill, what exactly are they?


Wolfthulhu wrote:
Wu Chi wrote:
Paizo appears to be making a value judgment that certain classes get limited exposure or, typically, should not be played by players at all (i.e., evil alignments). In my opinion, this is arbitrary. I can't help but feel that inexperienced DMs, who are putting together their own campaigns for the first time, are going to take these value judgments to heart and that, in my opinion, is inappropriate. It is for the individual DMs to decide, not Paizo.
Wait.. what? I thought we addressed this in the other thread. The restriction on PCs playing evil alignments has been in every Player's Handbook published by TSR or WotC. It is not a creation of Paizo. Also, as in every version of the game, individual DMs are more than welcome to allow them anyway.

First, I don't agree that it was in every edition TSR produced. I may be wrong, I'll have to search for the books to find out for sure, but I don't recall OD&D or AD&D First Edition having these "warnings." That was probably inserted after the highly publicized D&D suicide of the 80's and the subsequent right wing religious backlash that claimed D&D supported satanism. These were aspersions that were soundly defeated in both a court of law and in the court of public opinion. There was even a mainstream article in Psychology Today supporting D&D shortly thereafter. My point is that if this is the reason the warning has appeared in the past and still reamins in the present, then this is a very, very poor reason for having it.


Tharen the Damned wrote:
Where do you get this idea from?

From page 166 of the Core Rulebook and from PFS rules.


Bill Dunn wrote:
Wu Chi wrote:


Ahhh, and there's the rub! The distinction, in your opinion, comes from application in published adventures (i.e., the Golarion campaign). This seems to fly directly in the face of what Mr. Jacobs said regarding the campaign neutral status of the entire PFRPG subscription line of products.

There is no rub unless you attempt to put the cart in front of the horse. The designation "core" determines what can go in the published adventures without including the rules to the character class or options as mentioned above by Mr. Jacobs. Adventures don't define what is in the core, thus the core is campaign-neutral. Adventures reflect what is in the core or they are forced to include enough information as is necessary to use non-core elements (like stats on new monsters, new magic items, etc).

Perhaps you're right, published "adventures don't define what is in the core," but, if I follow your logic correctly, published adventures will or have already defined what is not going into the core from now on.

Thank you Mr. Jacobs for the "official" word on this subject. I don't agree with everything you say, as I'm sure you already know, and I'll leave it at that.

*Dismounts tired horse, lays down lance, and starts patching windmill*


Wicht wrote:
The rulebooks are campaign neutral in that they do not force you to play in a particular world - i.e. they are world neutral.

I agree.

Wicht wrote:
A base class is any class that goes from levels 1-20.

Again, I agree

Wicht wrote:
A core class is a class that is assumed to be common to all games.

That is quite an assumption! In 35 years of gaming I can't say that I'd consider any class(es) common to all games, except perhaps Gygax and Arneson's original 4 classes.

Wicht wrote:
and is more likely to be included in the Adventure Paths and Modules.

Therein lies the true reason for the distinction between "core" and "base." If it were campaign neutral, there would not be this distinction.

Wicht wrote:
The adventure paths (which are Paizo's big sellers)

I doubt this is true anymore, have you looked at Amazon's rankings lately?

Wicht wrote:
are not campaign neutral.

Agreed.

Wicht wrote:
Paizo is defining core classes and core monsters in order to let us, the consumers, know that if we want to run their APs or modules, which books we need to buy. Paizo has a policy of fully statting up any creature or NPCs which are not core - so as to not force their consumers to buy every book they reference.

Laudable, but neither here nor there for people who create their own campaigns. Paizo appears to be making a value judgment that certain classes get limited exposure or, typically, should not be played by players at all (i.e., evil alignments). In my opinion, this is arbitrary. I can't help but feel that inexperienced DMs, who are putting together their own campaigns for the first time, are going to take these value judgments to heart and that, in my opinion, is inappropriate. It is for the individual DMs to decide, not Paizo.

Besides, there are other ways of conveying which books are needed to run APs and modules. This concern really doesn't require the distinction we are discussing and it's inclusion in the core rules.

Wicht wrote:
If you don't use their APs or Modules, you are free to determine what is core for your world. Their statements on the matter have nothing to do with what you can determine you want

Absolutely! This is something I hope all aspiring DMs who are creating and running their own campaigns take to heart.

Wicht wrote:
(only with what they will or will not provide stats for in their own adventures).

There must be a better way to do this than to fabricate an arbitrary distinction.

Wicht wrote:
Likewise, what you want to be core has no bearing with what they determine is core in regards to their premade adventures.

I harbor no illusions here *backs up horse, raises lance, charges at windmill once again* I'm well aware that most people on these boards are involved in Paizo's "premade adventures" and that this creates a lot of revenue for Paizo. I just don't think it justifies this particular distinction.


Paul Watson wrote:
Wu Chi wrote:
Kvantum wrote:

I really don't understand how much simpler they can spell it out.

Core class: A class in the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook with 20 levels and no pre-reqs.

Base Class: Any other class with 20 levels and no pre-reqs.

They didn't spell it out, you did! I'd prefer to wait and see what Paizo has to say regarding this issue.
No. Paizo did. Look in the Paizo blog for today. Which has already been quoted several times in response to your queries.

Thanks for the link, I wasn't aware that the blog everyone was quoting came from Paizo, there are a lot of blogs out there in cyberworld.

Having said that, I'd like to know how Paizo reconciles that position with the previously quoted statement from Mr. Jacobs. What Paizo says on the blog flies directly in the face of Mr. Jacobs' quote. Either the PFRPG subscription line is campaign neutral, in which case distinguishing between core classes and base classes is the prerogative of the DM, or it's not campaign neutral in which case Paizo decides the extent to which particular classes appear in a campaign. I know people will be upset by this and say "just do whatever you want to do" but for once I'd like to see a bright neon line drawn between core rules and so-called "official" campaigns.


Kvantum wrote:

I really don't understand how much simpler they can spell it out.

Core class: A class in the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook with 20 levels and no pre-reqs.

Base Class: Any other class with 20 levels and no pre-reqs.

They didn't spell it out, you did! I'd prefer to wait and see what Paizo has to say regarding this issue.


Bill Dunn wrote:
Wu Chi wrote:


Thanks for trying to clear this up, but using your definition of "core," I'd have to say that should the Blackguard be included in the upcoming publication, it will be much more "core" to my campaign than a class like the bard which appears in the core rulebook. I guess it really depends on the campaign, that's why I'm only interested in "campaign neutral" products that let DMs decide these things for themselves.
Using a class that's not core in the rules as a core class in your campaign is certainly your prerogative. But from Paizo's point of view, it's a good idea to define what's core to the game and can, therefore, be assumed to be available to published adventures.

Ahhh, and there's the rub! The distinction, in your opinion, comes from application in published adventures (i.e., the Golarion campaign). This seems to fly directly in the face of what Mr. Jacobs said regarding the campaign neutral status of the entire PFRPG subscription line of products.


Wolfthulhu wrote:
If your definition of 'core' is not in line with Paizo's that is not Paizo's fault. It's their game and I'm pretty sure that means they get to decide what is 'core' for it.

Hmmm, I suppose that's why I'd like a statement from Paizo on exactly what their position is and why they took that position. From what I've seen so far, there is no definitive statement on this yet.

[Aside] I get a kick out of people who say something confrontational then go on to explain that's not the way they meant it.


Mairkurion {tm} wrote:

Heh-heh. Some game systems were born dead to me.

As Paizo moves forward, I think it will become clearer that they are establishing this distinction between "base" and "core" and adhering to it, so for us it is a matter of learning these terms and using them with the same precision.

If this is the case, then it would be nice if someone from Paizo would come on here and explain what this distinction is and why it was made.


feytharn wrote:

Quote from todays blog:

In addition to the expansion of the core classes, this book will also contain six new base classes. They are called base classes because they go from level 1 to level 20, but they are not core classes. Confused? Allow me to explain. We are making an assumption that these new classes will take a role in our world (and possibly yours) that is less common. You will not find them in every adventure, nor will they appear in every product. That means that you can introduce them to your game in a more limited fashion, without having to retcon them into every facet of your campaign.

Apparently Paizo at least doesn't consider the new classes core...

Thanks for trying to clear this up, but using your definition of "core," I'd have to say that should the Blackguard be included in the upcoming publication, it will be much more "core" to my campaign than a class like the bard which appears in the core rulebook. I guess it really depends on the campaign, that's why I'm only interested in "campaign neutral" products that let DMs decide these things for themselves.


I believe we're entering the realm of semantics now. However, I fail to see how the base classes included in the Core Rulebook are more "core" than the base classes that will appear in this upcoming publication. My sense is that this will be part of the PFRPG subscription and that they will be just as "core" as the base classes that appear in the Core Rulebook. I've already been assured by Mr. Jacobs that the hardcover books in this subscription line will be campaign neutral:

"All of the rulebooks in the line, from the Core Rulebook to the Bestiaries to all the other upcoming hardcovers will be campaign neutral. In cases where campaigns are necessary to illustrate a point or provide flavor (such as the case for deities for clerics), we'll draw from Golarion, but that should be relatively rare."

Quote from James Jacobs

I consider "all the rulebooks" in this line to be "core." Apparently, you don't.


Paul Watson wrote:
Wu Chi wrote:
I have to agree with those that don't appreciate an announcement for new core material in the same week that the brand new Core Rulebook is released. I know it's going to have a year of playtesting, but that's neither here nor there. It was the thought of having a complete game in one volume that attracted me to PF. I know, I don't have to buy the upcoming book, and I probably won't, though it will be difficult not too if Blackguard is included. The other side of that coin is the distasteful sensation of having to buy an entire book for one character class that should have been included in the Core Rulebook in the first place (I'm not going into all the reasons why it was not included since that seems to have exploded one thread already).

Core is not the same as base. These are base classes, i.e. 20 level classes as opposed to prestige classes. They are NOT core classes.

If they are used in future Paizo publications, as far as I understand, they'd be referenced in exactly the same way that other OCL material in referenced, i.e. any new rules or new abilities will be included in the stat block.

The advanced player's book is no more a required core book that Complete Arcane was.

Since you seem to know so much about this, can you tell me whether the upcoming book will be included as part of the core subscription?


I have to agree with those that don't appreciate an announcement for new core material in the same week that the brand new Core Rulebook is released. I know it's going to have a year of playtesting, but that's neither here nor there. It was the thought of having a complete game in one volume that attracted me to PF. I know, I don't have to buy the upcoming book, and I probably won't, though it will be difficult not too if Blackguard is included. The other side of that coin is the distasteful sensation of having to buy an entire book for one character class that should have been included in the Core Rulebook in the first place (I'm not going into all the reasons why it was not included since that seems to have exploded one thread already).


Funny you should use Elements of Power as your illustration, it is the one I'm most interested in! Thanks again for the prompt response.


Now that I've had a chance to look at the Game Mastery decks, I notice that many of them are entitled with the names of Golarion supplements (Kingmaker, Curse of the Crimson Throne, Legacy of Fire, etc). Are you saying that these cards are both campaign and rules neutral?


Thanks! You guys are on the ball with your prompt responses.


Are there any other PFRPG product lines (I'm thinking subscriptions) that are campaign neutral?


This sounds excellent! But I must ask if it's written as a supplement to the Golarion campaign world or if it's campaign neutral like the PFRPG Core Rulebook?


If we get a core subscription after already having purchased the Core Rulebook, but before the release of the Bestiary, can we still get the Core Rulebook PDF for free without having to purchase another hard copy of the Core Rulebook?


These all sound like great resources for DMs who build their own campaigns. If you could provide a link to the source of these books, and any others that help DMs in this regard, I would greatly appreciate it.

And thanks from all of us DM campaign builders, generic resources for our campaigns are typically hard to find.


Psionics, whew! That's a tough one for a fantasy world. For me, the biggest problems are 1) the source(s) of psionic power; and 2) the base classes that can access that power.

I like the idea that psionics is the third part of a triumvirate of powers that also includes divine and magical powers. In my campaign, the sources of divine power are the astral planes, the sources of magical powers are the elemental planes, and the sources of psionic powers are the energy planes. I don't know how viable this source is for psionics now that clerics can tap into the energy planes for what used to be their turn undead power (a change that mystifies me since all along the assumption was that a cleric's deity played a role in turning or dismissing undead). Some have stated that the source of psionic power comes from within; however, I find this to be vague and it really does not differ from clerics internalizing the powers of their deities or wizards internalizing the powers of the base elements of the universe. Psionics still requires a power source to internalize.

I suppose we can consider the ethereal plane as the power source for psionics. Since the ethereal plane touches all other planes (something no other plane does) it would reasonably follow that it could be used for teleportation to other physical locations or, at high levels, extraplanar travel. If you allow that power to effect not only the individual, but also groups, then you have the ability to transport entire parties to any physical or planar location.

That same reasoning could be used for other psionic powers like telekinesis and telepathy, though I haven't really thought this through yet.

The bigger issue is what base classes get psionic powers. Will they be new and made specifically and exclusively psionic, or will they be incorporated into existing base classes (of all the base classes, the monk seems particularly suited to psionics, however, this would be a tremendous power coup for the monk, not that I would mind, lol, I love monks).


James Jacobs wrote:
All of the rulebooks in the line, from the Core Rulebook to the Bestiaries to all the other upcoming hardcovers will be campaign neutral. In cases where campaigns are necessary to illustrate a point or provide flavor (such as the case for deities for clerics), we'll draw from Golarion, but that should be relatively rare.

Thank you for the prompt response! I agree that they are relatively rare, especially in comparison to previous editions of D&D.

Personally, I have always hoped for illustrations to be generic and not tied to any particular campaign setting. The only reason I say this is because I think it recognizes the level of time and effort that DMs put into their own campaigns; however, I'll settle for "relatively rare" since this is a big improvement over past editions.

Thanks again!


Locke1520 wrote:

I know you wanted an official answer but I thought I'd point out that the Core Rulebook is as setting neutral as the D&D books were in 3.0 and 3.5.

Golarion is only as present as Greyhawk was in the last edition.

Actually, I think there are fewer references to Golarion in the new edition than there were to Greyhawk in the last edition. If I'm not mistaken, spell names and magic items included many references to Greyhawk. I haven't seen any spells or magic items that specifically reference Golarian, unless I just missed them.


This question has come up quite a few times. It would be nice if someone from the Paizo staff addressed it.

I've heard people say that Golarion is the campaign attached to the core rulebook and that references to it should be included in the core rulebook. This side claims that their position has been stated by Paizo several times before.

I've heard people say that Golarion is NOT the campaign attached to the core rulebook and that, in fact, the core rulebook is campaign neutral and should not include references to Golarion. This side also says that their position has been stated by Paizo staff several times before.

How do you feel?

I've stated before on these boards that core rulebooks should be campaign neutral. And, for the most part, this is what I see in the new core rulebook. The two exceptions I have found are the deity list under cleric domains and the Pathfinder Chronicler Prestige class. There may be more, but I haven't seen them yet.

For DMs who run their own campaign, the deity list is unnecessary because they (the DMs) will decide what power sources are assigned to the various cleric domains. The origin of the Pathfinder Chronicler is readily apparent. While this doesn't preclude DMs from dropping the Pathfinder name and including Chroniclers in their campaign, I consider it too specifically tied to another campaign to include it in mine.

Paizo, please give us a definitive answer.


Hydro wrote:

Someone says:

"Here is my opinion, its different from yours but it works for my game, let's agree to disagree."

Wu Chi only hears:
"Here is my opinion"
and responds as if said poster were trying to start up a fight.

I don't like to get personal or to pick on one poster specifically, but good lord.
I'm not going to engage you directly, but I will say that it would be a lot better if other posters just stop letting you argue with them.

Enough!!! I'd appreciate it if you'd quit stalking me on these boards. I think people can make up their own minds without your biased opinion.


Hydro wrote:

Kevida, "Agreeing to disagree" doesn't work for everyone. Some people are going to insist that their game is right and your game is wrong; whether to feel superior, to prolong the discussion, or simply for the thrill of getting a rise out of you. It's unfortunate, but sometimes that's just how the internet works.

Your attempts to be civil are commendable, but in this case they're probably wasted. Just let it go.

Why don't you get off your high horse? The only reason you're involving yourself in this conversation now is to instigate a fight. Apparently, you're the one that can't "let it go."


Kevida wrote:
Wu Chi, how bout agreeing to disagree about all of the points you refuse to yeild on? Allowing evil PCs might work for you but, as I stated earlier, my experiance has shown me that it causes more disruptions to the game than it creates "unique role-playing situations". Also, from my personal experience, players who want to play evil characters are usually (though I am sure not always) "power-gamers" who want all of the spoils of being a hero without the sacrifices required. For me the players in my campaigns are the protagonists and have a calling to do what others can't do to combat evil. That is the tone of my campaigns and it works for me. Having "evil protagonists" might work for you but not for me. Again agreeing to disagree.

Do you really want to fire this up again? I must assume this is your intention since you said the exact same thing on page 9. I understood it quite well the first time. I guess because I didn't respond to your post directly, you felt left out.


WormysQueue wrote:
I can't wait 'til my 4 year old son is old enough to corner me about roleplaying games. He's already intensely studying the artwork of my pathfinder issues if he thinks I'm not there to take them away from him. ^^

I know how you feel. My Grandson is 2 and I look forward to the day we can have three generations at the game table.


mdt wrote:
Wu Chi wrote:

Worm, I too apologize. I never had any intention of attacking or provoking you. I'm a recently retired attorney who is getting back into gaming at the request of my son who wants to play in my campaign. I used to run this campaign before he was born or when he was too young to participate, but in the intervening years, he managed to get into my notes and decided that he wanted to play. It just wasn't feasible while I was working so now he's cornered me. In fact, it was my son who bought me the Core Rulebook precisely for that reason.

I can't wait for the comments now that people know I used to be a lawyer LOL.

Oh,

Well, now we just have to fire you from the Catapult of Doom (TM).

:)

On a serious note though, I think I get why there's some heat back and forth. I think you're used to a courtroom where it's give and take, cut throat, and few holds barred. I have a friend who's an attorney, and he has a similar problem in non-courtroom settings. He tends to go for the throat in any discussion, and it puts people off. Not trying to insult you or anything here, just observing that the profession influences the social interaction.

Welcome back to gaming, and if you'll try to bear with me I'll try to bear with you.

WHEEEEEE!!! A catapult ride! Thanks for the welcome back.


WormysQueue wrote:
Wu Chi wrote:
It's obvious to me that some people here are more concerned with form than substance.

Uhm, no, it's just that we think that both goes hand in hand very nicely. And if one thing is lacking thant there's probably a problem.

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on that one because, in my opinion, substance trumps form every time.


WormysQueue wrote:
Wu Chi wrote:
In the first case you cite, in the sense that the campaign world is inconsistent and incoherent as I see it, yes, I said it's patently absurd.

But I'm a curious person so I'd just like to ask you to explain why you see it as patently absurd. Why is it important for the coherence and consistency of a campaign world that I allow the players to play evil characters? What makes the world inconsistent if the players are of good or neutral alignment? Especially as I guess that ou wouldn't force your players to play evil characters either?

What I'm trying to say is that my decision to ban evil alignment not from the world but from my player's char sheets is a metagame decision which has nothing to do the world their characters eventually will live in.

My point about inconsistency arises from the scenario we talked about earlier in the thread; precisely, what do you do when, in a world that contains evil, one of your good or neutral characters does an evil act that causes an alignment shift. You responded later in the thread that you would do one of two things: 1) you would allow them to atone and work their way back to an acceptable alignment. Now that I think about it, in essence, you have allowed an evil character into your campaign; or 2)if they are unwilling to change, you would make that character an NPC.

Externally, these are perfectly acceptable and logical since your stated goal is to run a campaign with only good and neutral Player Characters, but internally, I see problems, not the least of which is that you take a character away from a player and turn it into an NPC.


WormysQueue wrote:
Wu Chi wrote:
Believe it or not, sometimes arguments arise spontaneously without intentional provocation. When that happens, you usually get down to what people really think instead of what they claim to think. These are normally rare situations. I have no problem taking people at their word without them being angry, though I have experienced many people whose word disintegrates once they are angry, and I can't help but feel that the truth of the matter, in those situations, lies in the anger, not in the calm.

I don't doubt that this couldn't be the case , but I actually doubt that this has valuable results on an internet forum. This thread seems to be the counter-proof of that. Let me explain:

This whole mess started when I responded to your post where you stated that, among other things:

Wu Chi wrote:
The most obvious, and needed, choice for a base class would be a Blackguard to offset the Paladin.

I commented on that(after disagreeing with you on the topic at hand namely the 4 new classes) using a poor choice of words (and I already apologized for the poor choice of words in which I did).

In reaction to that, you wrote:

Wu Chi wrote:
Furthermore, dictating the alignment of your players is patently absurd!

Now, I dont't want to bring this topic up again, I just want to show how my poor choice of words and your aggressive reaction to it led to totally derailing this thread. We don't discuss the topic at hand and while you can bet that my blackguard comment was as honest as you can get it, said comment did nothing to further the actual discussion. Others chimed in and suddenly we waste our times making offensive and condescending comments instead of talking about what we want to see (or not) in future Pathfinder products.

This development of a thread is nothing you'll normally find on the paizo boards (outta the 4E forum, where you'll unluckily see it happening more often) which is exactly why I'm a regular here.

'Cause we can can disagree on a given...

Worm, I too apologize. I never had any intention of attacking or provoking you. I'm a recently retired attorney who is getting back into gaming at the request of my son who wants to play in my campaign. I used to run this campaign before he was born or when he was too young to participate, but in the intervening years, he managed to get into my notes and decided that he wanted to play. It just wasn't feasible while I was working so now he's cornered me. In fact, it was my son who bought me the Core Rulebook precisely for that reason.

I can't wait for the comments now that people know I used to be a lawyer LOL.


Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Wu Chi wrote:
I really can't help it if people are overly sensitive. Obviously, you've never seen true hostility. I'd be more than happy to give you an example, but I doubt that Paizo would appreciate that, so I'll refrain.
Actually, we have, and I for one have little desire to see it again. Please don't make threats as it will only get you flagged and maybe given a ban. It isn't worth it. Trying to provoke people, and explicitly saying so, is also not a long-term strategy for these boards. If you want to be here, you need to obey the rules (and they are actually written down now, so you have no real excuse not to know) otherwise you won't enjoy yourself much.

If Paizo wants to ban me for what I've said here, then so be it. In fact, I have no desire to be here if Paizo thinks anything I've said is excessive, because I don't see a problem other than certain individuals who want to control how the discussions are framed. It's obvious to me that some people here are more concerned with form than substance.


Wolfthulhu wrote:
Wu Chi wrote:
Ninjaiguana wrote:
Hydro wrote:

Wu Chi, I made a mental note to just avoid you when you basically called yourself out as an unapologetic troll, but I at least have to point out that you couldn't have chosen a better example to prove Set's point.

A person who becomes angry enough will eventually be tempted to use the most destructive language available to them, no matter what they actually do or don't believe about black people.

Frankly, I don't know whether your comprehension of human behavior really is as warped as you make it seem or if you're just trying to edge racial politics into the discussion to spice things up. That's the problem with trying to talk to someone like you.

I guess in the end it doesn't matter either way.

Hydro, on a totally unrelated note, I would like to take this opportunity to say that you are a class act, and I greatly respect your polite and well-reasoned posts. Even when said polite and well-reasoned posts are taking my arguments apart with a hacksaw. :P
So now it's a tag team match, or maybe you're just the same person posting with two different ID's. I would guess the latter!
I guess some people just want to be offended. But really, you've gone from saying peoples way of playing is patently absurd to outright calling posters idiots. And yet you take umbrage at the fairly non-confrontational advice to chill-out. I'm not sure where you came from, but we actually do try to play nice here, even when we disagree.

In the first case you cite, in the sense that the campaign world is inconsistent and incoherent as I see it, yes, I said it's patently absurd. It was not an attack upon the individual but upon the logic of their campaign world. If they take this personally, then so be it. But I would describe that as overly sensitive.

In the second case you cite, I absolutely intended to call the individual a jerk and an idiot for labeling people based on his or her conception of political correctness.


mdt wrote:
Wu Chi wrote:
Ninjaiguana wrote:
Hydro wrote:

Wu Chi, I made a mental note to just avoid you when you basically called yourself out as an unapologetic troll, but I at least have to point out that you couldn't have chosen a better example to prove Set's point.

A person who becomes angry enough will eventually be tempted to use the most destructive language available to them, no matter what they actually do or don't believe about black people.

Frankly, I don't know whether your comprehension of human behavior really is as warped as you make it seem or if you're just trying to edge racial politics into the discussion to spice things up. That's the problem with trying to talk to someone like you.

I guess in the end it doesn't matter either way.

Hydro, on a totally unrelated note, I would like to take this opportunity to say that you are a class act, and I greatly respect your polite and well-reasoned posts. Even when said polite and well-reasoned posts are taking my arguments apart with a hacksaw. :P
So now it's a tag team match, or maybe you're just the same person posting with two different ID's. I would guess the latter!

It would appear that anyone that doesn't agree with you or like your method of discussion is either lying, an idiot, or a clone.

Honestly, this is not conducive to discussions. I have yet to see you disagree with someone without being hostile, confrontational, and denigrating. You may like pushing peoples buttons until they tell you off, but seriously, it's not a civilized method of discourse. I think you will find that people respect your opinions more when you give them a reason to.

I really can't help it if people are overly sensitive. Obviously, you've never seen true hostility. I'd be more than happy to give you an example, but I doubt that Paizo would appreciate that, so I'll refrain.


Chris Mortika wrote:
Wu Chi wrote:

Core rules are NOT designed to revolve around any particular campaign setting!!! Any campaign settings that manage to make it into the core rules are nothing more than advertisement for that campaign setting, a not-so-veiled attempt to create more revenue instead of encouraging imaginative thinking on the part of the DM.

Hi, Wu Chi. You make a lot of good points in this thread, particularly about how evil PCs can be viable when run by mature players*, but I think you're cold, dead wrong here. Core Rules are always in service to particular campaign settings.

Of course, most role-playing games have a defined setting. The core Traveller rules don't just tell you how to run a space-based game; they give you the Third Imperium. The core Vampire rules outline the World of Darkness setting for a third of the book before they even discuss how to develop a character. Ditto with Amber Diceless Roleplaying. And every iteration of the Star Wars game. You can look at your own gaming shelves and fill in as many examples as you please.

Even if a game's core rulebook doesn't set out the fine details of the world, it sets out broad parameters that define what kind of campaign settings work in the genre. Feel free to disagree, but that's the important part of world building: not the boundaries of a kingdom or the name of the queen, but whether there are real good guys and bad guys, or whether everybody's out for themselves. Not who's name is attached to a spell that conjures up Black Tentacles, but what price magic exacts upon its users.

To cite two very old products, both FGU's Swordbearer and WEG's d6 Fantasy are simple systems set in a generic medieval fantasy with magic and monsters. Neither has any explicit campaign setting, but the rules encourage very different play, and the influences of magic on the setting are different. Swordbearer wouldn't be able to support something like the Forgotten Realms, with...

I really don't think that's what the designers intended. It would be nice if someone from Paizo would get on here and say exactly what it was they intended regarding this issue.


WormysQueue wrote:

So you're basically claiming that as long as we're not shouting and calling you an idiot, we're lying? And what does this behaviour to help us furthering our points regarding the argument?

Are you really saying tha you won't take us serious as long as we're not getting offending?

Believe it or not, sometimes arguments arise spontaneously without intentional provocation. When that happens, you usually get down to what people really think instead of what they claim to think. These are normally rare situations. I have no problem taking people at their word without them being angry, though I have experienced many people whose word disintegrates once they are angry, and I can't help but feel that the truth of the matter, in those situations, lies in the anger, not in the calm.


Ninjaiguana wrote:
Hydro wrote:

Wu Chi, I made a mental note to just avoid you when you basically called yourself out as an unapologetic troll, but I at least have to point out that you couldn't have chosen a better example to prove Set's point.

A person who becomes angry enough will eventually be tempted to use the most destructive language available to them, no matter what they actually do or don't believe about black people.

Frankly, I don't know whether your comprehension of human behavior really is as warped as you make it seem or if you're just trying to edge racial politics into the discussion to spice things up. That's the problem with trying to talk to someone like you.

I guess in the end it doesn't matter either way.

Hydro, on a totally unrelated note, I would like to take this opportunity to say that you are a class act, and I greatly respect your polite and well-reasoned posts. Even when said polite and well-reasoned posts are taking my arguments apart with a hacksaw. :P

So now it's a tag team match, or maybe you're just the same person posting with two different ID's. I would guess the latter!


Set wrote:
Wu Chi wrote:
Personally, I don't have a problem with people getting pissed off, especially on a message board. You get far more honest responses from people who have an emotional attachment to their position.

[threadjack] I don't like this sort of logic, that you haven't seen 'the real person' until you've seen them lose their temper. IMO, 'the real person' is the person they chose to be, represented by the words they say and the actions they perform, 364 days out of the year. If, on that 365th day, someone pushes them until they snap and say something outrageous or punch a wall, that's not 'seeing the real person.' That's just taking one tiny *out of character moment* and holding it up as some glimpse at their 'true self.'

That's not honesty. That's provoking someone and then cherrypicking the very worst thing they say or do and proclaiming to the heavens that that's the sort of person they are.

It's the very essence of trolling, attempting to instigate someone into saying something in the heat of the moment that you can then beat them over the head with for the rest of the discussion.

It also seems to be the basis for the rich people's popularity contest that is our political system, unfortunately, cherry-picking the most bone-headed thing someone's ever said and using it to bludgeon them like a harp seal. [/threadjack]

I didn't catch this post the first time around so I'll respond to it now.

Example: White guy who calmly goes around proclaiming that he's not a racist gets into an argument with a black guy that becomes heated. White guy starts repeatedly using the N-word to describe the black guy. Is the white guy racist or not? Seems the truth of the matter was brought out by the anger, not by the calm. Get my point?

BTW, it was never my intention to intentionally provoke anyone. I stated my opinion about what I describe as an absurd (i.e., inconsistent and incoherent) position. It's not like I called the guy a freakin idiot! There was no intention to bait or provoke, the heat of the argument arose naturally. So your trolling example, while it may apply to other situations, does not apply to this particular conversation.


Ninjaiguana wrote:
Wu Chi wrote:
I think you better scroll back and see who posted the first "bitter little aside." And frankly, if it doesn't matter to you what people do, then quit responding to their posts!

Oh, now I remember where I saw your name. Well, if this is one of your attempts to 'get a more honest response' from me through getting me annoyed, I think you may be disappointed. I responded due to your 'translation' of my post. Thank you for your efforts, but I don't believe my posts require translation. However, having seen how well discussions with you tend to go on other threads, I believe this will be my last word on the subject.

In an attempt to remain even faintly on topic;

When fighting defensively, a duelist under 3.5 gained their level+3 to their touch and regular AC. (I never saw a duellist without 5+ Tumble ranks.) This granted them a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 13 points of AC, for a -4 to hit. This was frankly unbalancing when compared to a non-duellist fighter. And I say this from personal experience; I have run a campaign containing a duelist AC-monkey in it. I don't think this fix breaks the duelist class, just fixed a perennial flaw in it. Now I can let people use the class again, without worrying that they will never feel challenged by the encounters. While some people may not agree, I'd ask that you try the class out in play before giving it up as a lost cause. If you still feel that it's been nerfed after that, then fair enough; you gave it a more than even chance.

Since you brought up the subject, I'd like to say that I have no intention of annoying people to get an honest response. What I did say, previously, is that I have no problem when people get into heated discussions because the heat tends to bring out the truth of the matter.

It also carries with it a certain amount of righteous indignation, but I just filter that out to get to the truth.

BTW, is it common practice to go around labeling people on these boards?


Ninjaiguana wrote:
Wu Chi wrote:
Translation: If you have a favorite class you enjoy playing to the exclusion of all others, and you don't like what Paizo did to it, then don't play PFS.
That, or work past your dislike. Try actually playing the class and seeing how badly the changes have affected it before you pass broad, sweeping judgement on it and start posting bitter little asides on the messageboards. Or, alternatively, don't. Frankly, it doesn't matter to me what you do.

I think you better scroll back and see who posted the first "bitter little aside." And frankly, if it doesn't matter to you what people do, then quit responding to their posts!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ninjaiguana wrote:
Wu Chi wrote:
Great advice, unless, of course, you want to get involved in PFS.
If you don't like what they did to a particular class, don't play that class in PFS. Save playing that class for your home games where you can house rule it as you wish. Paizo won't be able to please everyone all of the time with the alterations they've made. I for one support the duelist changes; AC differences of as much as 15 points between two front-line fighters simply aren't feasible.

Translation: If you have a favorite class you enjoy playing to the exclusion of all others, and you don't like what Paizo did to it, then don't play PFS.


Philip Dhollander wrote:

Rule #0: It's your game!

If you don't like what they did, change it to whatever suits you needs.

Rule # 1 (my own input): keep breathing, it's just a game :-)

Great advice, unless, of course, you want to get involved in PFS.


Mat Black wrote:
Wu Chi wrote:
It seems to me that these are all good reasons NOT to participate in PFS unless you do so with the same group of people. I think that's why the RPGA will allow home games run by qualified and certified DMs to be a part of LFR. That way you're not playing with different people all the time and these issues never come up. Perhaps PFS should do the same?

there's no stricture saying that you can't play PFS with a home group.

you may be confusing the point that the RPGA allows players and dms to report home games as RPGA events (inherently different from LFR events), and get "credit" for them, not that there are really any rewards for that anymore... what you can't do in LFR is play a standard type home game then take that character to an LFR game, nor should you be able to either here or there. that exactly defeats the purpose of an organized play campaign.

I was not confused, that is exactly what I was saying, but thank you for clarifying my point.


KnightErrantJR wrote:
Derek Poppink wrote:

The problem is that when you play in a game with other players you trust (most home games), you have the option to do what's best for the party. Currently you are compelled to do what's half best for everyone. This goes back to delroland's original concern that the campaign doesn't trust the players to work things out.

The other problem is that NPC's get to use gear that is up to twice as valuable as normal as that in a home game, because players can't just keep it. This is more a concern for how the scenarios are authored.

But, here is a counter problem. You "do what's right" and let another player have an expensive magic item out of whack to the rest of the party instead of collecting the gold for it by selling it.

Then, in another scenario, it make sense for another player to get something expensive instead of selling it to "do what's right." Its a living campaign, so you are dealing with a new set of players at, say, a different convention at this point.

Now, you play a third adventure, and yet again, in the moment, it seems to be "right" to give yet another player the expensive magic item that you get no part in.

Sure, at this point you can complain that you never get the good magic item, or your share of the gold, but to "table three" above, that doesn't matter, because they don't play with you on a regular basis.

So you just went a whole level, and three sessions, without getting your share of what you should have gotten, because the "good" magic item made more sense to let another character have instead of selling. On top of that, I understand the concern that the rules may not "trust" players to work things out themselves, but I'm not sure I would just trust someone that I haven't played with to come into a session and assure me that he never gets the good item, so we should all give up the item to him, because he's taken one for the team several times in the past, without us there.

Plus, even fiddling with how much the item might be worth,...

It seems to me that these are all good reasons NOT to participate in PFS unless you do so with the same group of people. I think that's why the RPGA will allow home games run by qualified and certified DMs to be a part of LFR. That way you're not playing with different people all the time and these issues never come up. Perhaps PFS should do the same?


Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Link - can't vouch for it's accuracy but a quick search on Google found it quickly. It also backs up the point that a wizard might practice Tao-influenced magic.

I'd have to say, IMHO, that this is the worst explanation of Taoism I have ever read!


Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Because Chinese culture was very influential in Japan (it was the dominant imperial power of the region) in the Middle Ages. After all, buddhism is not native to Japan, but is an Indian religion transplanted and adapted to Eastern Asia. Zen is itself Chinese in origin.

I am aware that Zen originated in China and migrated to Japan; however, I was not aware that Taoism had done the same thing.

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