Ed Girallon Poe wrote:
Is the AC of a caravan supposed to be that low? Or did I just miss a "base 10" somewhere?
Yea, as written I believe it is supposed to be that low. Caravan combat is too stacked against the players as you move through the AP. Although I've implemented the 1d6 damage per caravan level fix and also some bonuses in to hit and damage based on spells/actions the players take during caravan combat (to make things a bit more interesting for the players), the low AC is still a problem. I've been thinking of adding a +1 to AC per caravan level above 1st just to get their AC in the same ballpark as the foes they are meeting.
I'd have to agree with this, but it all needs to be in moderation so that one player doesn't end up seeming more favored than the others.
I remember when running Planescape games I used the rewarding of belief points (from the Planewalker's Handbook). One player really played through her beliefs extremely well, often to her own disadvantage, and ended up with lots of belief points. Another player ended up getting all tied in knots over it and spent all his time working on (and constantly revising) his personal ethical code (outside/meta game) and ended up not actually doing anything in game so he had very little in the way of belief points because he never managed to work out what his character really believed. I felt kind of crappy about the disparity so in more recent games I've leaned more towards a more egalitarian rewarding of all the players equitably. The idea is that the players gain rewards as a group, not as individuals.
With regard to bad behavior, if players are consistently or intentionally disruptive to a game, then you stop inviting them to the game. If they've been a good player in the past, I'd stick it out and might have a talk with them about what's up. More than likely they have a bone to pick with the way the campaign has turned. I had that happen with one player when a Forgotten Realms campaign transitioned to a Planescape campaign. In the end, the player came around to enjoying things, but he went through a couple of somewhat disruptive characters along the way.
Finally, for no-shows on a particular night, I generally run the character as an NPC and reward experience as per usual. It's no big deal. I don't see any reason to penalize the player.
I was looking through the list of pregenerated iconic characters at the back of this adventure and noticed that 7th level Sajan does 2d6+1 damage with his unarmed attacks. I assume this is a typo and that it's supposed to be a d8+1? Hmn. His base attack is listed as +7 (should be +5) so there are probably other issues with his stat block.
A long time ago and in a phone company data centre far away I was on a student tour and I tripped over a cable. Within a couple of minutes the area was flooded with techs desperately looking for what had taken the phone system off-line. Oops.
I'm not sure if PF 19 has shipped yet. It shows up as "pending" when I check on my subscription and for some reason the product URL says that the PDF version won't be released until April 15. Perhaps that also applies to the printed version of PF19?
Jal Dorak wrote:
Affordable or not, the average NPC couldn't wear plate effectively. Even within the PC classes, only a few can wear platemail off the bat. Warlords, for example, cannot wear platemail even though they could afford it.
With regard to the other claim going around that D&D has always been some kind of epic fantasy game I have to disagree. Look at the original inspirations for the game : historical medieval wargaming blended with sword and sorcery pulp fiction. The original D&D to me was a blend of Jack Vance and Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser contained in a loose framework of combat rules. 4E is influenced by something else so it has a very different feel than the early versions of the game.
As for the economics in 4E, there isn't anything in there that makes sense from a real world economics point of view, so we just try not to think too hard when playing - otherwise there is a danger that people will start mocking the rules and suck the enjoyment out of the session. For our group, 4E has become just a beer and pretzels game - not something to be taken too seriously. It functions fine and can be a lot of fun if you go into it thinking of it that way, i.e. a light hearted game not meant to be taken too seriously. This is unlike previous versions which were better able to accommodate our more serious and gritty playing styles and allow us to better immerse ourselves in the game world.
If our group were to seriously play 4E outside of "beer & pretzels" mode, we'd probably have to house rule it to death, including the economics of the game, so that we could build a campaign world that felt real enough to become immersed in.
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Why? I would have to say because many gamers take their D&D very seriously (perhaps a bit too seriously). Consequently, they are all too happy to vigorously defend their favorite brand of D&D. 4E isn't just "another version" of D&D; it's a major change to the game and that is also sure to be controversial. With the mix of serious gamers and a controversial change to the game, you're sure to get a long and protracted debate.
I'd have to agree that this problem certainly can come up. I know it has in some of my campaigns, but what I generally did was just roll with it and let any encounters bypassed just slide away. The worst thing you can do at this level is to railroad players back on to a dungeon crawl that they skillfully bypassed.
I think that this problem can be handled by a good discussion in the DM's section of the game with some good examples of situations that could arise and suggestions for handling possible problems.
One other area that I see a problem is managing a grand melee with dozens of opponents on the opposing side. I find it all too easy to set up a situation in which the players tactics triggers a grand melee involving several high level NPCS and their many minions (and we're not talking 4E style minions) that the players certainly can handle, but that take a huge amount of time on the DM side to manage simply because of the huge number of options/powers and abilities. What I need is a really good way of organizing things so that the DM turns don't take too long and start to drag the game down.
I suppose I could build encounters by adhering strictly to the DMG suggestions, but I find that results in a somewhat boring game. Also, when players are higher levels, they can easily escalate a situation to draw in more opponents (and conversely they can also surprise me and shut down a situation early on that I had expected to escalate with a well placed spell, attack or other power).
That's actually one thing that I've found really disappointing with 4E. Everything is so wrapped around encounters that it becomes much more dangerous to allow multiple encounters to merge so you need to do some hand waving at times to explain why the king's elite hussars don't respond when the gate house is attacked. If things worked logically and an encounter somehow escalated as more groups join the fray, the players would quickly exhaust their per encounter abilities and they might not be able to spend sufficient healing surges to recover damage before the next wave hits them. At least in previous versions of the game you had the option of blowing everything in one grand melee if you had to - you didn't need to take 5 minute breaks to reset things. You simply can't play the game that way with 4E or you'll start to see TPK. The encounter focus can be a bit of a straight-jacket.
So I guess what I'm saying is that I like the idea of grand melees being possible at high levels, but I need some tools so that I can keep things running quickly on the DM side of the fence.
I have to ask... how did the sorcerer manage to cast 17 spells in the same round?
My players have also been enjoying the combat feats. I've found some of them to be a tiny bit too much for 1st level (e.g. overhand chop) but not so out of whack that they need to be tossed completely. The buzz going around seems to be that combat feats didn't make it into the beta.
My memories of the time were more like "Second edition? Huh? Why?" and never bothered with it for a long time (just kept on playing first edition). Eventually I started running a hybrid game because the two systems were so similar. We finally did switch completely to 2nd around '94.
So, in our group there really wasn't a war. It was more a case of "Meh" at first. Once we did finally switch, we bought lots of books and settings right up to the end of TSR (and spend quite a bit buying the back catalogue of 2E material that we missed out on).
Erik Mona wrote:
Yes! It is the demolishing of the Vancian magic system in 4E that is one of the big reasons why I'm not happy with 4E. It feels like 4E is turning its back on its roots. I'm glad that Pathfinder is sticking with it.
Patricio Calderón wrote:
It is not nostalgia, just that I can't feel the same with 4th edition, this game has been "Eberronized" and it is not a classic medieval fantasy game anymore. I just feel like that.
As many others have stated, I don't think that's really a fair assessment. True, 4E may well be moving away from any semblance of realism or a simulation of medieval times, and Eberron certainly also moved away from a medieval world, but the two are moving in different directions. With Eberron, you have magic as science, all wrapped in a pulp/noire shell. With 4E you don't have any of the magic as science - instead you have the Points of Light campaign which doesn't mesh with Eberron at all in my mind. If anything, 4E feels closer to comic book combat with some of the powers. My Eberron games were more like Raiders of the Lost Ark meets pulp detective novels and I honestly don't know how well 4E will work with how I imagine Eberron.
Eberron is not the first campaign setting to push the medieval envelope. Several of the older settings did as well. Dark Sun, for example, has a weird science fiction feel for me. Planescape is another setting which had a distinctly non-medieval feel (almost Victorian - it could easily be converted to steam-punk if one wished to). I would also say Ravenloft with its gothic trappings is another example of a non-medieval setting. In fact, there was a more modern official offshoot of Ravenloft that was set on an alternate earth in I think the 1800s.
There has been a long history in the game (at least since the early 1990s) of non-medieval settings - Eberron is only the most recent of these.
I think I prefer the crit confirming. As others have said, if critical hits can do X3 and X4 damage it is pretty important to make them a bit more rare (and the confirm roll helps achieve that). If we were to do away with the confirmation roll, then the damage should be reigned in more (perhaps like what 4E did).
Note, though, a lot of folks will be converting 3.x/PRPG stuff to 4E on the boards. Thus, you can still purchase/run future Paizo products and play it in 4E :)
This is a little bit off-topic, but I was wondering if anyone had tried to convert 4E adventures back to 3.x? How difficult would that be? Say someone wanted to play/run Keep on the Shadowfell using the Pathfinder RPG rules...
Erik Mona wrote:
We were playing Burnt Offerings this evening and the the cleric's energy channel ability definitely allowed the cleric to actually cast her spells as non-heals and the ability to heal in a burst was much appreciated. I think this has been a success for us.
Erik Mona wrote:
The barbarian's rage points mechanic. I think most readers agree that versatility with a barbarian's rage is preferable to the standard method, but the idea of points adds a somewhat new element to class powers. On first read, a lot of people are turned off by it. How do players and GMs feel after using it in play for a few sessions? Anyone converted? Anyone turned off by it? I know the gut reactions to this one, but I'm curious to dig deeper.
One of my players is a barbarian. I think he's enjoying the new rage, but one thing I worry about is that we might lose track of points from time to time. I pretty well let him track that. If I were to run a number of NPC barbarians (something I have not done yet) I suspect I might lose track of rage points. My players seem to like the idea of using rage points, but we've only played a handful of games so far.
Erik Mona wrote:
The #1 hesitation I see among a lot of gamers regarding switching to Pathfinder is the claim of backwards compatibility.
I think the number one hesitation our group had going in was power creep. We weren't all that worried about total backwards compatibility.
We are still stumbling around a little bit with the changes in skills, but we're slowly getting used to it. I think I finally got used to using perception instead of spot/search/listen this evening. ;-)
One thing that I'm starting to wonder about is the experience. I started running Burnt Offerings using the Alpha 3 standard table, but I think I might switch to the fast table because the advancement is noticeably slower and I'm worried about the players getting a bit behind the curve with regard to how they are expected to be in the adventure path. I added a few more monsters and the occasional other encounter here and there, but even so, I'm still worried they are going to be a bit behind where they should be for the adventure path. I really do like having three different experience options though.
Erik Mona wrote:
How difficult is it to, say, convert any Pathfinder adventure to the system? A lot of people seem to be running Curse of the Crimson Throne or Rise of the Runelords in their Pathfinder RPG playtests. How easy is the "conversion" process?
So far we're only in the opening stages of Rise of the Runelords (about to start the semi-optional dungeon) and I haven't found it too hard to do the conversion. I can do a lot of it on the fly at these low levels, although I didn't quite convert the goblin warchanter correctly on the first evening. I think for the rest, especially Thistletop, I'll do more of the conversion beforehand for all the major NPCs. I don't expect it to be all that difficult.
Erik Mona wrote:
What, you didn't like "Fluffy went down the drain?" Seriously, I would have to agree 100% on that assessment. WG7 was a travesty and an insult to anyone who took Greyhawk seriously and was looking forward to finally seeing the dungeons below Castle Greyhawk. When TSR came out with this, I stopped buying Greyhawk material for a very long time because they clearly didn't seem to care about the setting.
We're planning on playing 3.5/Pathfinder in our group, but we did play 4E KoTS this weekend.
For my game, I'm using the Pathfinder Runelords adventure path and the Pathfinder RPG Alpha 3 rules and I expect this to be the main game we'll be playing for the next while. However, some friends who now live away and are more into 4E drop back in town every once in a while and when they do, I expect we'll play 4E with them.
3.5/Pathfinder is our preferred rules, but we did have fun playing the one-off 4E game so we'll continue to do that occasionally.
As for a stronger preference for 3.5/Pathfinder than 4E, I think my reasons pretty much match the original post. 4E was just a bit on the video-gamey side for us (and we were not huge fans of the Book of Nine Swords) and it's harder to get out of metagaming mode with it. 4E also seems to be a bit incomplete somehow and is missing some elements that are part of the classical D&D experience. That said, we still did enjoy 4E when we played - just not enough to give up 3.x as our primary game.
Kor - Orc Scrollkeeper wrote:
There is more of a description of the Pathfinder gods in the Pathfinder Chronicles Gazetteer. In addition, there have been some more in depth treatments on some of the gods and their followers in the Pathfinder Adventures.
Im going to be housing ruling Magical Ammo of all shapes are the exception when enchanting weapons, and they dont require a +1 bonus before other special abilities can be added. And I would think that this would be something Pathfinder could look into fixing or altering. Perhaps even coming up with something better, then my idea.
I like this. In some ways it is similar to what artificers in Eberron do with their weapon augmentation abilities, but applied just to ammo (and permanent in this case).
As Eric said though, the 4E rules are finally really out there now so a lot of people are looking at the real thing now and feeling a need a vent (or mourn or whatever) which is why there is a sudden spike in debate and dissent. I would expect it to die down in a month or so and people will mostly go back to their own camps playing their game/version of choice.
I agree strongly with this one. Even though we heavily use grids/minis in our games, sometimes it's nice to just be able to come up with a quick answer about cover without having to lay down minis and draw out a map and start tracing lines. I suggest having the grid/lines as the default rule, but an optional rule/inclusion along the lines of the 3.0 cover definitions for those who want a quick answer without having to lay down minis or who are playing a more narrative sans miniatures game.
Larry Latourneau wrote:
In the space of roughly 6 months, WoC is releasing 14 products related to 4th edition. Even if you drop the Character Sheets off (really...who buys these, and why aren't they simply free downloads), you are looking at a total of $423.55 + tax. ($374.35 US)
Okay, I'm not the biggest 4E fan out there (far from it), but to be fair, how does this product release schedule appear compared to the typical 3.5 monthly release schedule (prior to the wind down of 3.x support by WoTC)? Seems to me that you would typically see 2-4 products per month.
Russ Taylor wrote:
I've wondered about this - H1 being considered the first Forgotten Realms adventure. It's never been certain to me that the Forgotten Realms wasn't just modified to encompass Bloodstone when it first came out rather than H1 being a sort of preview. Kind of like how Kara-Tur was eventually repositioned as being part of the Forgotten Realms when it most clearly was not originally.
Blood stained Sunday's best wrote:
Mystara was the setting for most of the old school modules.... CM, X, DA, series and so on...but then again that was just plain old Dungeons and Dragons so maybe it doesn't count.
Er, not exactly. The CM, X, etc modules didn't come out before the really old classics like G1, G2, G3, D1, D2, D3 and T1. Those were all set in Greyhawk. Mystara came later.
Samuel Weiss wrote:
There was also the "Greyhawk Adventures" hardcover book that came out in 1988 (by James Ward) with information on different sites, spells, items, etc. Not to mention a slew of adventures (modules) dating back to the early days of the game.
Eh? The Greyhawk boxed setting certainly was a published Campaign setting. Same as the Forgotten Realms boxed set was also a published campaign setting. Why aren't both campaign settings? And of the two, Greyhawk clearly was in print first. I still have the giant maps from it up on a wall and we played many a campaign in Greyhawk long before Forgotten Realms or Dragonlance appeared on the scene.
The whole default setting thing is just a distracting 3E-ism and doesn't really have a bearing on what is, and what is not, a campaign setting.
That's apples and oranges. Yes, the preorders to book and game stores has been very high, but that doesn't mean that there isn't a significant minority that does somehow feel slighted and abandoned by the move to 4E. For the most part, this minority simply doesn't like where the new rules have taken the game so they are bothered that the game has gone somewhere that they don't wish to follow - the the feelings of abandonment.
There's also the terrible marketing job the WoTC has done. One of the ways they've been promoting the game is by saying that previous versions of the game are bad, wrong, and faulty. This means that people who enjoy these earlier versions of the game are likely to get defensive and angry. A much smarter tactic would have been to sell the improvements without attacking what many people do like.
Also, decisions like yanking Dungeon and Dragon from being published magazines without providing a working alternative (and what we've had for the past near year isn't really a working alternative) created a lot of bad feelings.
Finally, the whole fiasco over the GSL and the end of a true Open license for D&D bothers another portion of the community. Again, it's another case of WoTC taking D&D to a place some people don't want to follow.
So there are lots of reasons for some people to feel abandoned. Just because the game sells well doesn't mean that there aren't a number of people out there who feel abandoned. It's even possible that this group will still buy the core books, that wouldn't necessarily invalidate their feelings of abandonment. All it means is that they bought the books. It could have been for curiosity. It could have been so they could log on and post all the ways that the books prove their points on 4E not being D&D anymore. Or it might be because they were still hoping that they are wrong - that 4E is still D&D and that they were not really abandoned.
I think if you really want to have this discussion, you should do it a few months or even a year or so down the road and see what happens to those feelings of abandonment. Perhaps the "abandoned" crowd will have come to embrace 4E and no longer feel abandoned. Or perhaps there will still be a vocal group out there doing their own thing and still decrying 4E for abandoning the spirit of what they feel is D&D. Or perhaps they will have left the hobby completely.
Yep, there are several barbarian tribes in the demon wastes. There are also rakshasas as some of the worst villains (The Lords of Dust) in that wasteland which you might be able to work in to the storyline.
I might try munging it up in the Aundair area somehow. As for the Cinderlands, perhaps that could be changed to the Demon Wastes?