I avoid Save-or-Die stuff. I, and my players, do not find them enjoyable. We all agree that chance plays an exciting part in any gaming session, but we simply find this type of chance entirely unappealing.
As far as encounters go, I mix it up. I'll always throw some encounters in that allows PCs to feel powerful and is generally a minimal threat to them, but these come in addition to the usual, more challenging encounters they'd face in a day (to avoid nova situations).
My players also know that for every few cake-walk encounters, there's likely going to be one really tough one coming soon. By tough I mean the enemies they face will be organized, intelligent, and generally use tactics and abilities that the PCs also have access to and use (or tactics/abilities the opponents would use in the case of monsters/animals). The enemies won't nova, but it'll be a hard fought battle that will likely leave a few PCs battered pretty good.
For particularly challenging encounters, I'll usually offer up some advance clues as to what they'll be facing so they can prepare things that will help, but there will still be some surprises.
Overall, a nice addition to the Pathfinder RPG. I'll admit to being somewhat underwhelmed though, since I had hoped these would be something more of their own, rather than a pseudo-gestalt approach. To be perfectly honest, I was hoping for some uniquely (or close to uniquely) Tian Xia classes.
That said, some of these new classes fit very nicely into Tian Xia.
Arcanist - I picture their prepared spells as ofuda they write the spells to as part of the casting. Very cool and will be using this for my Tian Xia campaign (though with a different, more exotic name).
Brawler - These guys will be my elite Sohei (though I do hope their complexity is alleviated somewhat in the final...those martial maneuvers become nightmarish to manage at higher levels).
Shaman - All about spirits? Hell, right at home in Tian Xia. Renaming like the arcanist.
The rest can fit somewhere with a little creative license. I'm still eager to see some more Tian Xia classes/archetypes though.
You'll find very odd translations for a LOT of Asian-inspired names used by Western audiences. Indeed, even material that is natively Asian typically translates to ridiculous things if done literally (check out the translations of Street Fighter moves like Hadouken - Vacuum Wave Punch is one I've heard for it, Shoryuken and the like). They may be a little less silly sounding, but they're certainly a mouthful (but then, it's all mostly subjective).
I would absolutely purchase any and all Tian Xia materials, be they hardcover, softcover, quick little impulse-buy PDFs...anything to add to that part of Golarion. I generally prefer non-AP stuff (I prefer to create my own adventures), but bought Jade Regent (all) and Tournament of the Ruby Phoenix just to support anything Tian Xia with the hope the sales help push for some setting material instead of just APs.
My preferences lean much more heavily towards Japanese/Chinese/Korean-inspired material, but any additional details to expand Tian Xia would be absolutely welcomed (like some serious attention to Tian Xia inspired class archetypes and to a lesser degree, prestige classes).
The 3PP published products are doing an excellent job adding some options (using bits and pieces from Heroes of the Jade Oath, just wish they'd done a lot more proofing), but I'd like some truly Tian Xia material.
I'm hoping for some feedback on a feat I was thinking of creating for when I'm able to run another PRPG game (current one just recently dissolved, real-life intruding on fantasy again).
I like the Warlock-y feel that the Arcane Blast feat exudes and wanted to create a version of said feat for lower level characters (preferably available at 1st level).
I thought up this....
Lesser Arcane Blast
With the thought that this might give a higher damage output than usually available (though I haven't playtested it), I also thought it could work as above, but using 1d4 as the damage die.
Anyhoo, I'd love some feedback and/or the thoughts of others (even better if you're able to give it a playtest).
I like the leaning more towards a historical focus as opposed to mystical/magical powers.
Being a Cavalier variant/archetype makes complete sense, as it fits the samurai quite well.
I'm not sold on the special mount. Yes, samurai were excellent riders and it was an important part of their image, but I feel that's best handled as a well-trained combat mount and more focus on the samurai as a skilled rider (rather than a beefy mount). Most of what I have read about samurai horsemanship (which I will admit is quite limited) doesn't really exhibit much in the way of the samurai's "bond" with his/her horse. It focused a great deal on their amazing riding skills and what they were able to accomplish while mounted.
Also, if this will be a more historical approach to the samurai, some kind of option really needs to be there regarding their katana (and wakizashi to a slightly lesser degree). I don't mean in terms of the weapon stats itself (using the bastard sword stats works just fine for me), but in terms of how central to the samurai it is. As others have mentioned, I find it very unlikely that samurai would be switching katanas often when they happen to find one with a new ability or power. Losing one is a huge dishonor, no matter how it was lost, and typically forced the samurai to go to insane lengths to get it back (even seppuku wouldn't likely be sufficient, as it could easily be a seen as 'giving up'). The 3.x option of adding abilities to the sword, while a little more magicky than what may be the objective with this class, would seem to still be appropriate here.
Concerns about losing TWF and such can easily be altered later via other orders. Frankly, samurai are the perfect candidates for more and varied orders. The L5R clans from 3.0 Oriental Adventures are a good example. New orders (or call them clans or schools) can each focus on different types of abilities and skills. This area may be better covered in world-specific books (like the upcoming Tian Xia book), but it could fit just as well into UC.
The wonderful thing about organized religion is that it doesn't require proof of a deity, only the belief in one. Facts have never stopped religious belief.
The gods may be completely gone, but I would have to believe that their faiths remained (at least the more popular). The activities of most deities are mysterious to mortals at best, so the clergy likely still held faith in whatever those gods held sway over (justice, tyranny, luck, life, death, etc). They "remained calm and carried on" as it were, dealing with crises of faith as they occurred.
Perhaps even some of the more devout of the faith accomplished heroic or miraculous things, then being deified or sainted upon their passing.
So modern faithful worship the ideals of the departed gods, perhaps even forgetting what god in time, as the ideals and dogma defined the faith. They could revere and hold sacred exemplary and departed members of their faith.
And through their faith and prayers to their ideals, their magic comes forth; Faith Made Manifest.
I'm currently brainstorming NPC ideas for a PFRPG game I'll be running in a month or so (PFRPG rules, set in the 3.5 Forgotten Realms).
I was thinking of using the Battle Sorcerer variant from UA (then going Abjurant Champion). The basic concept of the NPC is an officer in a standing army who trains a special operations group composed of those skilled in mixing martial and arcane abilities.
I'm toying with the idea of using the Magus for this NPC instead, but the Abjurant Champion is a core part of this NPC's identity (and the Magus spell list is somewhat minimal when it comes to Abjuration magics).
I'm looking for some general feedback and ideas from the community. Variants, suggestions, etc. If you have an idea or critique, please, share. :)
My apologies all, I've been buried with work the last few weeks.
I'm actually looking for players 25+ (being 34 myself), something I really should have mentioned from the get go.
I'm not judging here, as I'm sure, Lord President, that you and your friends are wonderful people who love gaming (and yeah, living that close would make things so much easier). :) I'm just looking to game with folks closer to my own age, nothing more.
Alternating Saturdays would actually work out quite well. Thus far, there is only one confirmed player (my girlfriend), and yourself if every other Saturday works.
If you have a friend or two who might be interested in playing, that would be enough to get the game rolling (pardon the pun).
Once enough players are involved (3 would be enough, though 4 would be ideal), my typical next step before playing is to just gather everyone together so we can all meet, become familiar with each other and it gives everyone an opportunity to fully decide if they'd like to play with the group assembled. I also give an overview of my GMing style, get input from the players to see what their preferred type of game is and generally go over any house rules the game will use (and anyone can contribute ideas in that regard).
It's also time used to have some fun, tell stories of games past, and if everyone's in, to generate some characters. :)
Nicholas Metus wrote:
It's fairly open, though thinking more later in the day, sometime around 2-3pm start (gives good amount of time for personal morning routines and whatnot).
Finish times I was thinking around 9 or 10pm, or whenever the group decides to call it a night.
The scheduling is flexible, though there is a little one in the home so weeknight games (other than Fridays) would not be able to run very long (little one is in bed around 8ish).
Experience with the FR is certainly not a requirement. I use it mostly as a base to work from, and typically create my own stories with my own NPCs and such. I still use the setting for places, pantheons, nations, etc.
Ah yes, that information would be pretty useful. Hoping for a once a week game (preferably on a Sat or Sun), but I'm flexible in the frequency (though I'd like to keep it around once/week or once/2 weeks).
Hey all. I'm hoping to get together a group of players for a Pathfinder RPG game. Ideally looking for a group of 4 players with myself GMing.
General idea would be to run a game set in the Forgotten Realms using the Pathfinder RPG rules. It would be the 3.5e Realms (no Spellplague, 1372 DR or thereabouts, little to no inclusion of any 4e lore).
I'm happy to host the game at my place (The West Mall and Burnhamthorpe Rd area).