James Jacobs wrote:
No, D&D never did it the way L5R did. It was considered pretty innovative for its time. I think a lot of game designers could learn from it and that's why I mention it. It's mass combat where the rules governing PC actions are 99% the same. I'm not exaggerating with that number, even in the case of adapting it to Pathfinder. The only real difference is some environmental damage based on armor and bodyguards, and the list of ideas for heroic opportunities (which GMs and potentially even players are free to add to) - which are all straight up encounter scenarios, to a one.
Pathfinder is a more complex game than most of those though, and it doesn't really help me if a system exists for a different rules set.
I'd bet that before you came up with troops you'd say the same thing about 7th Sea's squad system.
No, it won't port over perfectly - troops are not an exact copy of squads, and you wouldn't want to default to each player deciding how engaged they are individually in a Pathfinder equivalent to L5R's battle system. Combat resolution is fast and deadly in L5R. So, instead, just default to leaving the group together, and adjust heroic opportunities/duels accordingly.
The ultimate idea, though, is that a GM who lays things out is going to have a good understanding of which side entered with the better strategy, which side is having more of an impact, etc. so it comes down to heroics on the part of the PCs to change what will logically occur - for better or for worse.
If not, you can have some loose guidelines to resort to die-rolling to decide how strategically advantaged a position is, and then dive into heroics from there.
As for your complaint about adding another skill... *ahem* Profession: Soldier. At least it's not as silly as Craft: War in 1e Exalted... I don't think adding Tactics is too much of a burden. You could roll Appraise into Profession: Merchant and see who bellyaches.
James Jacobs wrote:
Legend of the Five Rings did this a decade and a half ago.
I ended up making one myself. You can find mine here
I don't think I could have it do a tab for each character, at least not until Sheets is ready. Buildings/Orgs in dropdown may be doable, though.
It does do the faster build/recruit times with more labor/influence, however (just enter in 2-4 in the build/recruit rate column).
I saw that someone else just released an Excel sheet, but not having Excel, I'm not sure how it compares.
I've been thinking of redoing it to better handle e.g. custom room augmentations, as the current design is way too clunky to add more with impunity.
Let me know what you think!
The 27 points is based on taking the Advanced pregen (+4), then adding 3 +2 slots (+13, as one has to be duplicated), then discarding the +4 down to +2 at no cost. The result is not a character who is 'good at everything', they are characters whos weaknesses are being more average.
With minimal investment, they could be decent at three different spell casting classes while still having room to have respectable physical scores. They have to invest less in each stat in order to be passable, which means they can then put those points into another stat to be phenomenal at it. Even if they dumped half of their ability scores down to 7, they would still look just about the same as a human that didn't.
As if my Enlightened Philosopher of Nature Oracle with Noble Scion (War) really benefits from +2 to dex, con, wis, or int. One campaign I was in, my wizard never experienced hit point damage (the campaign by nature involved a lot of very open-plains/air combat).
+2 to all stats is certainly boring in its own right, but for SAD characters, it allows them to create variances without being the typical cripple that sub-30 point buy tends to create. Players making powerful casters make themselves into cripples for a reason.
And for MAD characters, they do, in general, need help.
And Skilled, and Outsider (Native) in general. Immunity to Charm Person, Hold Person, Dominate Person (Dominate Monster doesn't even have a Mythic variant), Lycanthropy... Take Corruption Resistance as your SLA if you are worried about Unholy Blight.
+2 to one trait = 2 feats, roughly. Outsider (Native) is worth at least a +2 equivalent, and the rest of Aasimar abilities likewise.
I won't claim that Azlanti are not stronger, mechanically than Aasimar, but there is certainly less disparity between Aasimar and Azlanti than there is between normal humans and Aasimar. Maybe 18 points is more appropriate.
Azlanti are supposed to be overpowered. They are the forlorn master race that fell into ruin and degenerated as their great empire crumbled. And also get a wee bit creepy as you start to think of it and think seriously about some of the 'pseudo-scientific experts' would say about Atlantians during the era prior to the 1940's. Not to say that it is all on Paizo for that when they made the Azlanti. It just comes with the Medieval fantasy territory, which has roots both in post-Rome Germanic literature as well as writers from that same slightly creepy era mentioned above.
To me it comes off as the typical 'You can never be as great as the Ancients!' ... 'flavor'. Not that I find that much less disgusting than if Paizo actually intended a 'master race' connotation, which doesn't seem to be the case, at least to me. I feel they come from the same sort of misguided root.
"If the object of an arcane bond is lost or destroyed, it can be replaced after 1 week in a special ritual that costs 200 gp per wizard level plus the cost of the masterwork item. This ritual takes 8 hours to complete."
Since your effective level (until you get Greater Eldritch Heritage or Mythic Eldritch Heritage) for your familiar is going to be your character level -2, it would cost 200gp.
Ryan Dancey wrote:
At a differing number of inches from the screen depending on the device, for someone with 20/20 vision, and only for gentle curves on solid shapes. For someone who holds the device closer, has better than normal reading vision (I'm 20/10, myself), or is viewing something with a lot of sharp angles (like say... text), the claim breaks down. As a simple test just load up a simple image with horizontal black and white lines and see how far away you are able to tell the result from a medium gray image.
It's just another marketing gimmick. I'll be amused if we see a 'Retina II' name. "This time we mean it, really!"
Ryan Dancey wrote:
@Xeriar - it will be interesting to see how people engage in social organization in those early months, that 's for sure.
A community is pretty strongly defined by its 100 most committed members.
Who do you want those people to be?
I do not mean their names, but rather their deeds, goals, etc.
Ryan Dancey wrote:
It will be largely feature complete code, and there will be alpha and beta tests that proceed the start of the live game, so I think only the stubborn and the malicious will call it either.
Key being that it's launching sans one of your most tauted features (player settlements).
Ideally, it's a scale up phase, and you could call it that. Though I'm not sure why you'd want beta phases with less than 10k or so people. What do you actually gain by doing this rather than adding seven months to your beta phase, and charging for beta access? Certainly not new, and GW2 seriously suffers from a lack of a large-scale, extended public beta.
You get the potential (but not guarantee) for slightly more revenue at the end of those seven months, as opposed to getting most of that money right away. You risk a more disastrous reaction if something bad happens because of higher levels of concurrency, and you are confusing people to the point where even you aren't sure what to call this phase.
Ryan Dancey wrote:
I thought about this, but players are also putting up ridiculous buffs.
It'd be one thing if there's a certain degree of grace for commands. What the hell are they letting people throw up perma-invulnerability for?
Basically, someone in wvw flew over the castle walls, invulnerable, and stole the orb for their server.
More typically, we see small-level speedhacks, force-logging, and the occasional micro-teleport, or fake-downed invulnerable buff (though this can happen innocently, had it happen to me once, and given my kill ratio it might be why). There aren't a lot of cheaters, and it seems like most know better than to make themselves obvious, but it's quite annoying to both have to deal with it and not have a feasible means of reporting them.
This isn't a fully either-or problem, and if you go this route, you can also log checkpoints.
Or log everything sent by the client, and do reviews.
In a game billed as Guild Wars, no less.
Hanz McBattle wrote:
That's the biggest mistake you saw in GW2? The "races" section on their site is like an rpg mistake museum.
...I hope you're joking.
An alternate view is to have the client's commands simply be sent to the server, rather than declaring the toon's current state, though that's being somewhat pedantic. GW2 has basically locked itself into 'must verify' at this point.
Set gamma to maximum. Done. Most game clients themselves support this, and it's an easy way to 'cheat' in the darkness jumping puzzles in GW2 and in places like Rainbow in the Dark in DDO.
Trusting the client.
This is freaking 2012. It's annoying enough seeing bots in PvE teleport around the map. Absolutely infuriating to see low-level speedhacks and teleporation hacks in WvW, much less the 'superman' incidents.
I don't know what else to say, really. We learned this like, a decade and a half ago. "Though shalt not trust the client." Almost like "2+2=4", except apparently it needs to be explicitly demanded, for some reason which I cannot fathom.
So count me in as demanding it.
And I run the world's largest ERP forum. Google 'role playing forum' and you'll see. E is also 45% female, and I'm proud of how much it gets gushed over as feeling safe. We still work to improve it.
If you've used nothing but clear, hard rules, I can't imagine that you've managed a community of any significant combined size and average member involvement. Where more than about three-four hundred commit more than two hours a day each to said community. There's a sort of 'glass ceiling' many communities have, and breaking it is difficult without some external impetus.
E tried the 'clear rules' route.
The people who memorized them were the worst.
Sociopaths and their ilk would obey them to the letter, and use them as a relentless beat stick against anyone they didn't like who crossed the line on 'their' forum. "You've violated rule x." "That's against rule y."
And the rules list just became more and more intimidating. One member in particular became an expert in the rules we wrote, and basically devoted their life to managing the social aspect of my forum. De facto forum royalty. Even was telling people they did not like to leave. The 'monkey sphere' effect was extremely pronounced - they choked my forum to almost exactly 150 active members. I let this go on for two years. I'm still ashamed of that.
Even with the ridiculously long list of specific rules, members felt harassed, and that there was selective enforcement anyway. Vagueness in the rules has nothing whatsoever to how you're going to get treated as a large community leader, there's always going to be a communications breakdown somewhere.
Simply put, you're dealing with thousands of people, and a much more finite mod staff. And then there are the [insert expletive of choice here] time vampires who decide to latch on to a particular staff member or two and do everything in their virtual Internet power to suck all of that poor person's free time away. And then complain about not getting enough attention.
Eventually, as often happens when you're a de facto member of a rather exclusive club, I met a few other large community owners and we traded knowledge. Fewer rules - with some specifics, but also a few vague ones - has led to a much closer, larger, more vibrant and friendlier community.
There are going to be differences in enforcement, no matter which path is chosen. GW is going to be attacked for it either way, and this may or may not be legitimate, either way. There's no magic button that says "Clear rules means no mod abuse."
Hell, you can see what for us is the second most important rule as the most important rule here, below every post submission form. "Don't be a jerk." And, despite its vagueness, you still made a post.
Hopefully, GW will keep it to the level of "It's because we're human." and not "Abuse." The blade of vagueness swings both ways - and we're going to have to judge that as the game progresses. If there are a lot of lopsided bans, word will get out, the community will go toxic no matter what they try, and PFO will go the way of many other MMOs whose resultant community did it no favors.
I don't think Ryan will achieve his stated goals via the stated methods, but a limited degree of vagueness is not in and of itself the problem. It's acknowledging nature.
And your telling me thousands of game copies of 60$ or more plus the eventual expansions plus add on content further then that won't cover all that, the cost of making the game, and paying the people that make it?
What, exactly, do you think maintaining a MMO with a staff of sixty costs?
To a degree. I don't want to have multiple characters and have to pay a continuous monthly upkeep or lose them, for example. If I spend $10 or whatever it is for an additional alt on an account, and for whatever reason I decide/have to stop playing for a year, if I couldn't just hop back in... I wouldn't.
The same goes for a lot of convenience upgrades, IMO.
Ignore the player division for a moment. $25-$35 for a server.
*looks at his server bill*
I've been toying with the idea of running an MMORPG where people could pay for their own instanced servers themselves. While I'd obviously be providing on something of a far smaller scale than Pathfinder Online (at least in terms of big-ticket items like bandwidth consumption, disk usage, power usage, and support), I always feel that this sort of perspective is what ultimately makes it impractical.
I pay $400 a month for my two servers. I'm only paying that because I dropped $3k up front and administrate them personally.
I think a more straightforward solution would be to require merit badges to either activate certain magical effects, use multiple magic items at once, or both.
I think a character with one powerful magic item should be able to expect similar versatility to a gadgeteer (as most D&D characters are these days), as a separate sort of development path.
Ryan Dancey wrote:
I'm fine with this insofar as 'people who contribute to the game' should have such proportional rewards in general.
I've found that honestly, people care less about balance than they do about socializing and having fun. Games like DDO shoot themselves in the foot over forgetting why people play MMOs in the first place.
I recall seeing in a post or blog post somewhere that in order to avoid alignment shifting, hostilities had to be mutually declared.
However, there were no implied limits on being able to attack people I think.
Well, insofar as I'd be happy to join alliances that took care of nations/settlements/settlements that failed to revoke the charter of griefers.
I'd probably have some clear lines as to what qualifies, though.
White knights very often are after a prize. Rather than doing good for the sake of good, they're out to try and impress someone with their antics, on the one in a million chance they'll get some(thing) in return.
But yeah, it's bad enough to see Chaotic Neutral types going 'I was just playing my alignment!', we're going to see 'But I'm Lawful Good! Even my conduct says so!'
Because people will be able to stay within the bounds of conduct while managing to be epic jerks.
If this nation forms, though, individuals will probably get left for individual chartered companies to handle, individually.
I can really only go from my experience in Age of Conan when looking at FFA gaming. I played DFO but joined the game too late and didn't last long with their latency. Even though AoC was a themepark game it was amazing when looking into the fishbowl to see the player made factions, griefers, gankers, roleplayers, solo-pvers and white-knights mixed together. Some of the most skilled PvPers in that game were roleplayers and probably more ruthless when it came to retribution griefing.
I think anyone who actually has their eyes set on running a nation with a chance at achieving that goal is going to be a bit ruthless. Not necessarily evil, but I don't think any of the LN organizations are going to spare someone's watchtower in territory they otherwise dominate just because 'someone else put it up first'.
Which is actually what I'm afraid the initial bout of griefing will be - people putting up watchtowers and forts freaking everywhere, crying foul/victim, enjoying the shift of their targets to evil alignment, or both.
Screw that, I'll take the alignment hit. And do it for others, too, for a price. If our George is having problems with similar people, well, happy to help.
GW might have an initial grace period here, or something (i.e. declare that making/owning/defending a building on a hex you don't have a settlement on is not an innocent act), but they can still play victim, and addressing that annoyance in game might be plenty fun.
Given the mention of being able to make 24-hour skill training purchases, and Ryan's statement about how early skill training will be vastly more effective than what comes later on, I'm thinking that they'll only need to handle individual IP blocks insofar as they vet them for serious abuse.
1) It's quite possible that the ability to do anything related to griefing - building buildings, attacking or stealing from a person - might require some small amount of skill training.
2) Combined with the above, it'd be easy to see if resources from one account were continually flowing to another. The game could keep tallies and judge the fairness of exchanges, especially those coming from low-resource accounts, or going to high-resource ones.
I think the priority list for most major groups is going to be
1) Get rid of the griefers
'Having fun' will probably vary between first, fourth, and 'one of these three IS my fun!'.
I wouldn't be surprised if an effective game-wide alliance forms for the first. But what constitutes griefing is going to be in the eye of the beholder. Not all organizations are going to agree.
Still, may put some hard thought into the concept of 'legitimate' cassus belli. Would be neat if the game had mechanisms for such.
Sometimes those are done through a public facing vulnerability of some sort (e.g. most famously recently, memcached instances of popular major websites were nor fire walled and thus accessible from anywhere.)
More often though, some employee or such gets tricked or actively sabotages the company from the inside. You hear about this a lot less.
I would not want to be known as the first mmorpg that pushed a compromised client through the update pipe, personally.
E-mail addresses have value. So does the code base itself (see Ragnorok Online and the leak of AEGIS).
Only for those attack surfaces that having an account in and of itself exposes, and then only for 'noisy' attacks.
Pathfinder Online's attack surface, like any service running on the Internet, will be larger than what you see inside an account. Most typically, it's an employee that gets compromised these days, so the actual attack goes through someone's fan site or some other highly targeted medium e.g. spear phishing.
Security is a process, not a checklist. You have a certain set of services to provide, and you work out how to minimize the impact of a compromised interior system, while still allowing work to be done in a reasonable timeframe. Security that people break to make things work isn't, after all.
As for your question about the impact of f2p on culture, I imagine the first few 4500 or whatever size batches they pick are going to have a major impact, and they are probably well aware of this. I wouldn't do it any other way for just that reason, though numbers might be different.
Undeath is a state of being. The issue of undead rights transcends the boundaries of race, gender, species and gender identity.
Anem Vora will be a proud supporter of necromantic rites.
Patrick Curtin wrote:
My main concern would be, after the map has settled, what happens when someone who has joined you tries to use you as a shield?
'Let's offer this group amnesty' needs to have some sort of internal policing, and a response for that sort of situation.
I'm getting this image of a guy standing around in the settlement shouting at every newbie or suspected newbie he can see. "HAY GOOD PEOPLE! WE HAVE SPIES TOO! AND SMUGGLING! AND OTHER SERVICES, COME CHECK US OUT! THESE PEOPLE ARE -EVIL-!"
We could call him George.
And we could ask him "But do you have a George?"
Will you have a George?
Why would we bar any law-abiding citizen from our services? That would be rude. : (
Anyway welcome to PFO. I won't wish you well in your endeavors but I look forward to crossing swords.
Game won't be out for at least a year and already we have threats of violence.
Such oppression we suffer. : (
I'm sure the Goons and groups like Ryan describes will show up, but this is meant to be a more 'open' order.
The sort of thing that new players can get involved with, partaking in dastardly deeds without feeling like they are just ruining people's fun. Sometimes we'll even provide a helping hand.
Straight from the heart.
You're really hung up on the word 'physics'.
Fine. Call it a buff.
If you have complaints about the player nation, you should take it to that thread. I was originally planning on another "lawful neutral" order but people were complaining about there being no proposed serious villains.
So fine. I'll be your bad guy. You seem to want something you can hate.