Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:
I'm forced to go to the d20pfsrd website to search for things ...
The various websites that compile the rules are a fantastic resource, provided to the community for free.
It's a shame you feel "forced" to rely on so much hard work that has been done by other people.
Personally I'd advice against Reign of Winter. The story often doesn't make sense or doesn't get properly communicated. This leads to trouble keeping the players motivated and the the AP decided to solve this with the most blatant form of railroading: during the first book the entire party receives a geas that lasts for the entire AP.
That was easy enough to solve when I ran it.
Instead of the geas, each character was given a +2 inherent bonus to the ability score of their choice for as long as they kept (more or less) focused on their quest. The carrot worked much better than the stick would have, at least with my group.
That's what I like about the older APs. There is lots of warning available about potential pitfalls so I can give it some thought before running them.
I've just started running Legacy of Fire and there doesn't seem to be much I will need to change. However, getting trapped two adventures running might be a bit much for my group, and for me personally not being able to explore the City of Brass seems like a massive wasted opportunity, but hopefully I'll think of something.
The main change I'd like to see is the Core rulebook completely re-written and re-designed to improve clarity and ease of use.
That would probably increase the page count, especially if they bring in traits, archetypes and favoured-class-bonus-by-race, so they might have to split into a player's book and a GMs book (hardly a novel idea ...)
It's never going to happen, and if it did there's a good chance it would bankrupt the company. There is nothing stopping anyone else doing it - presumably it is all open game content apart from the names of the deities - but it would be a massive undertaking.
Dire Ursus wrote:
You can actually multiclass into spellcasting classes without being absolute s#~% and unviable.
And yet I have somehow managed to do that in the current version of Pathfinder without having an "unviable" character. Someone else in our group has also managed that amazing feat.
We have nearly finished Rise of the Runelords and both characters are currently 18th level (having started at first). We could certainly have made more effective characters, if that was what we wanted to do, but they are perfectly viable.
Do any of you bring the D&D "Blood War" between the Demons of the Abyss and the Devils of Hell into your Pathfinder campaigns as a way to explain why the fiends of the lower planes haven't overrun the upper planes yet? If so, did you expand this war to include the other races of fiends in any way?
No. As far as I am concerned, the Blood War is a solution to a non-existent problem.
I also don't worry about why the world is not overrun with the exponential growth of spawn-creating undead, how the myriad of large carnivores find enough to eat, and why resurrection magic seems to have zero impact on world history and culture.
Ryan Freire wrote:
Alignment, Material components, all things that are easier to simply houserule away than to houserule into existence.
Alignment is not very easy to houserule away in 3.x.
(It is easier to remove than it would be to design from scratch, but that is true of pretty much every rule in the game.)
If I had one wish for Pathfinder 2, it would be to make alignment less important as a game mechanic. I expect to be disappointed!
The biggest problem that I see resulting from alignment is that it's taken as a shorthand excuse for lazy thinking and horrible behaviour. "Orcs are evil, so I'm going to go kill them all." Alignment makes players think that the world is black and white. Experienced players like us all know that's not how alignment is supposed to work, but the simplicity of it means it's often abused like that.
That's exactly how alignment is supposed to work.
Traditional published D&D / Pathfinder adventures involve horrible people doing horrible things - invading homes, slaughtering everybody they meet and stealing everything that isn't nailed down.
But it is okay because the victims were (probably) evil.
Also, if you don't kill them and take their stuff you won't find the convenient piece of paper that leads you to the next bunch of people you need to kill.
Derry L. Zimeye wrote:
One thing I think replacing alignment would do is making GMing Adventure Paths harder. Having that quick alignment reference beside the NPC's stats make role-playing them so much easier. The easiest example was one adventure I played where most of the town was part of an evil cult, and were LE- and then there were a few who weren't, who were LN. Having that distinction allowed me to play up who was outwardly hostile to the strangers in town and those who weren't.
I'm not sure there is anything in the alignment rules that states LE people are any more (or less) outwardly hostile to strangers than LN people are.
In your example, the same result could be obtained by marking NPCs as "cultist" or "non-cultist", which seems to me to be pretty important information in any case.
Derry L. Zimeye wrote:
I'd like to see Alignment stay, if only as a guide for GMs playing NPCs in order to get a fast idea of their morals on the fly.
This I do agree with. I hate alignment with a passion, but quite often "NE" in the stat block tells me a lot more about an NPC than a list of vague (and possibly contradictory) character traits would.
It seems to me that railroads and sandboxes are terms that mean different things to different people.
To me, a railroad is a situation where ultimately my character’s choices don’t matter. Some NPCs can’t be killed, the adventure will proceed as scripted out in advance by the GM, the PCs successes and failures in individual encounters has been predetermined, and point A will lead to point B to point C with no detours or shortcuts. I can’t imagine anyone enjoying that kind of adventure.
Just because an adventure is linear doesn’t make it a railroad. If the party choose to travel through a mountain pass, then they can expect to face encounters in a set order – but they can still opt to turn back, or climb the mountains instead. Just because the adventure assumes they will fight the orcs of the bloody moon, and then fight the nightstalker ogres, it doesn’t mean that the party can’t sneak past the orcs, or even convince the orcs to fight the ogres.
And however linear the adventure, at least things are happening. In a bad sandbox campaign, and perhaps even in a decent sandbox campaign with an unsuitable group of players, hours of game time can be wasted trying to find the adventure in the first place.
My players complain if they don’t know what they are “supposed” to be doing. Given a choice of 3 adventures hooks, they will ask me to decide for them which one to follow up. They honestly have no opinion as to whether they’d prefer to fight the harpies of the sundered crag, search for the tomb of the forest king, or investigate why the caravan from Deepwater is two weeks overdue. And from their point of view, since the GM knows much more about the three adventures than they do, the GM should pick the best one and run it.
I enjoy first level. I'd feel like I was missing out if I had to start at a higher level.
All the levels have their own challenges. I find the challenge of keeping a first level character alive much more fun than the challenge of calculating the attack bonus of the 15th level character I'm currently playing.
(BAB plus strength plus one or more of the following - rage, heroism, greater magic weapon spell, power attack, bless, prayer, haste, blessings of fervour and a few others I'm probably forgetting, plus remembering which ones stack, and maybe the bad guys will stick on a few penalties just when I've got the current value straight.)
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Everyone holds doors open for everyone in my town. We don't go to enormous trouble over it, but if you're passing through a door, you hold it. I'm glad this is slowly ceasing to be a gender issue and just be a sort of nice courtesy to everyone.
Holding doors open for people is normal behaviour where I live. It has nothing to do with gender, and happily I've never been complimented for being a gentleman / criticised for being a sexist pig over it.
This is a rule couched in GM decision and "typically" and people are taking it as a hard and fast rule that has no ability to adjust and adapt. Almost like people are ignoring all the weasel words designed to do allow it to adjust so they can strawman how bad this ruling is.
The weasel words just make it worse.
"Three castings of Protection from Good turns you evil" is, in my opinion, a terrible rule.
"Three castings of Protection from Good turns you evil, except your GM might decide that it doesn't, or that it only takes two castings, or anything else that takes their fancy" is, in my opinion, an even worse rule.
And I am perfectly aware that as a GM I am at liberty to ignore everything Paizo have ever printed in respect to alignment. In fact, I have been doing so for years.
Some people might not be so willing to do so - maybe they are new to the game, or they have players who insist on playing "by the book", so this might be creating problems for them where none existed before. (EDIT - or they might like the rule just fine; good for them, if that's the case!]
And Pathfinder Society players and GMs are presumably stuck with this unless or until Paizo creates an exception for organised play.
Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
Half faerie dragons, you say? You've gained one sale from this thread, at least.
Dumping stats just so that a character can put more points into another stat is very strongly discouraged in my games, if not outright banned. It falls within min-maxing which I consider cheating, sort of. So, yes, I will probably go out of my way to have that character's dump stat bite him in the ass more than it should.
Two years later, so this should probably be seen more as a general point than a reply to Hama.
If you want to introduce a rule, then introduce a rule!
I don't really think too much about the social contract in my home games, until somebody interprets it differently to how I do e.g. player turns up to a 20 point buy game with two 7s on his character sheet; nobody had ever dumped two stats before (dumping one is quite common) and I was thinking "hey, we agreed not to do that", and then I remembered that we'd agreed no such thing - it had just been an assumption on my part.
If I'm a player in your game, I'll roll my character, assign points, allocate ability scores etc. in any way you want. (Disclaimer - you might have to explain the benefits to me if your system is especially bizarre.) But you need to tell me in advance. Don't have the universe take revenge on the character later "because the player couldn't take a hint".
I tend to play high charisma characters, so this particular bit doesn't particularly apply to me, but if the townsfolk who are treating me like dirt are also the ones who want me to sort out a particular bandit problem they are having, then they are going to be out of luck.
Also, if the low level commoners in the pub are disrespecting my 10th level adventurer (who, incidentally, is minding his own business - I don't role-play bullies), then either they are being mind controlled or they are bizarrely blasé about getting some bones broken (which as a player would destroy my sense of verisimilitude).
b.) A player who jury-rigged the system to get a +36 to profession sailor by level 8.
Off the top of my head, Samsaran Alchemist 8; Profession (sailor) +30 normally, +34 when buffed.
(+8 ranks, +3 class skill, +2 racial, +5 feats, +1 trait, +6 wisdom, +5 skill boosting item; would normally get a further +2 cognatagen and potentially +2 owl's wisdom)
Depending on your point of view, a Samsaran is either way too cheesy or a fantastic role-playing opportunity to channel the spirit of a legendary pirate captain from the past.
And some people only allow skill boosting items if they appeared in Lord of the Rings.
Other than that, I wouldn't have thought there was anything too untoward about the character above.
However, it does go to show the importance of ensuring everyone in the group has the same expectations about how to play the game.
If you said to me "It's going to be a nautical game about pirates, with lots of sailing around and ship-to-ship combat, please try to have a character who works in that environment" then I'd probably jump at the chance to have a Profession (Sailor) focused character, because how often do you get to play one of those?
But how much is too much?
My favorite example was a post of a barbarian build. The PC was a Shoanti barbarian from the Cinderlands. The player chose the "rich parents" trait, and used that to purchase a masterwork nodachi and breastplate.
I remember that thread. There was a post on it that made me so angry I had to delete my draft reply and walk away from the computer, and I ended up posting nothing.
I'm pretty sure that post was yours. I'm not going back to check (my therapy bills are high enough as it is).
So I'll just say that not everyone agrees with your approach to the game. However I'm sure we all accept that you should play the game whatever way best suits you and your players, but hopefully you can accept that your way is not for everyone.
Personally, I'd take a masterwork nodachi with a cool backstory that everyone remembers for years afterwards, over generic masterwork greatsword #2362, any day of the week.
Also, if I ran an adventure which included an NPC Shoanti barbarian with an unusual weapon I wouldn't be very pleased if one of my players criticised me for it.
Except the list isn't arbitrary, is it?
What's the difference between Death Knell and Vampiric Touch?
What's the difference between Vampiric Touch and Aura of Cannibalism?
Why isn't the Abyssal vermin spell Evil?
Would you expect a spell that allows you to "harness the power of unlife to grant yourself a limited ability to avoid death" to fall into your "Undead" category and so be Evil? How about a spell where "Necrotic energy permeates the target, blocking healing abilities"?
Do you think the Necromantic Burden spell should have been Evil? I genuinely can't make up my mind on that one.
This makes me want to come up with something like the following :-
Blessing of the Drunken God
When you cast this spell, a gold piece bearing the image of Cayden Cailean appears in a random location, just in time for it to be found by a person who is badly in need of some rest and relaxation but lacks the necessary funds.
Material component - a drop of blood freely given by an outsider with the chaotic and good subtypes. (Note that "freely given" in this case is interpreted in terms of the spirit of the transaction, rather than any concern for contract law or the like.)
And to be absolutely clear, I am not advocating relative morality in the game, I am advocating non-arbitrary justification for the objective morality system the game does have.
"What is evil? It is a broad and hard to define topic, with many pitfalls to trap even the wisest. However, as it can be objectively observed through the use of divination magic, sages have been able to determine that it tends to involve creating unnecessary suffering or wanton destruction, or alternatively casting one of an open-ended list of arbitrary and sometimes unrelated spells, for no reason that we can determine."
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Except in this case, it's even weaker, because everyone involved understands that the spell [i]is evil, but a few people are arguing that because they don't understand the why of it, the spell should not be evil. Try telling the judge that you understand your act to be a crime, but because you don't understand why it's a crime, it's not really a crime (for you).
If I ever find myself before an Indonesian court charged with atheism, I will most certainly tell them that I don't consider atheism to be a crime. Even though it won't avail me in the slightest.
However, we are discussing the rules of a game, not real life crime and punishment. Not liking the rule in a game is a perfectly valid reason for changing it. (You should probably be cautious about changing rules if you don't understand why they are what they are, but I don't fall into that category in this case and I'm not sure anyone else here does either.)
I've never seen a Helm of Opposite Alignment inflicted on a player character. Not this this century, anyway.
I guess it depends on the person. I'd find it fun in the short term. Forcing someone to play a chaotic evil character (say) on a regular basis? Not cool.
[ A good roleplayer could have a ball with this, either with playing the struggle and descent into evil or with repentance, atonement and redemption - cleansing the corruption from their soul.
Alternatively, a good role-player could play his character how the heck he wanted to, and not even notice when the GM amended the contents of the alignment box on his character sheet.
GM: The devil casts unholy blight on the party.
I'd bet you could find players on these boards who'd find it fun... I'd bet you could (find) some who'd rather start over at level 1 and try to survive.
I'm one of those who would rather start over at level 1. For me, D&D / Pathfinder is about the journey from level 1, not the destination.
However, depending on the level of the other characters, chances are I wouldn't survive (and it gets harder and harder with each failure), and it wouldn't be fair on the other players to have to "carry" my character. So it is not a practical solution.
However, I don't understand the "we need to make death meaningful" problem. I am generally invested in my character's story, his relationship with the other characters and the NPCs he has met over his career. Death is always meaningful.
If you offered me the chance to have my character commit suicide, and come back as a higher level character, I wouldn't take it.
Seriously if all were going to get is 80-90% rehash with new art and organization and 10-20% if that of new material. I simply can't see the reason for purchasing it again.
My first printing CRB is starting to fall apart. I am going to buy a new book before too long whatever happens. It would be nice to be able to buy a more streamlined and easier to use version.
Paizo's "no errata 'til the reprint" reprint rule is still one their few policies that I despise... I might be misinformed but it sounds like "We don't care if my customers got a faulty product, if it doesn't sell enough, we are not fixing it.".
You do appreciate that you are not entitled to any errata at all, don't you?
Paizo's errata policy is perfectly clear and hasn't changed from when you bought the book (if you bought it).
At the end of the day, Paizo are running a business, and have to do whatever they think will work best for them. Presumably that are not able at this point to basically throw away the remaining stocks of the first printing of the ACG.
Also, given how many RPG products I own that have never been errata'd, and never will be, it seems unfair to complain that Paizo's errata is too slow.
However, the ACG is not currently in a form which I am willing to pay money for. I am also not going to buy the Occult book (which I am quite interested in and would otherwise have bought "sight unseen") until I can be happy it meets Paizo's pre-ACG standards.
I am most likely in the minority (I usually am!) but if not then Paizo potentially have a bigger issue here than just making sure they don't lose sales of the ACG.
The general objection I have in this thread is it seems many 'players' want to use Cool Stuff(TM) and not be punished
Did you mean to use the word "punished"?
Come up with logical consequences for my character's actions? Fine.
Come up with less logical but really fun consequences for my character's actions? Hell yeah!
Explain out of character that my character's actions are taking the campaign in a direction the GM isn't happy running? Let's have a conversation and see if we can come up with something that keeps us both happy.
Punish my character for behaving in a way the GM doesn't like? We obviously have very different ideas about how a game should work, so I'll bow out as gracefully as I can manage.
I do happen to know the point buy table, but that is a side effect of using it quite a few times rather than a deliberate decision.
Why on earth would anyone want to memorise all the feats? I get by mainly by knowing a proportion of the good ones.
If I come across an interesting one when browsing through a book, I think about how I could incorporate it into a character.
I don't tend to spend hours looking through the SRD in search of ways to squeeze out the last dregs of DPS for an archer character, for instance, but the option is there for when I feel like that kind of thing.
For traits, if there is a skill I want but don't have it as a class skill, then I take the trait for it. If I'm playing a multi-classed caster, or want to have a signature spell, there are traits for that. If I'm playing a religious character I look at the trait associated with his deity.
Otherwise, I generally take +1 to a save or +2 to Initiative.
With weapons, unless you want a particular weapon for flavour reasons, you can basically pick from a list of about 10 and get along fine.
Greatsword or falchion if you are going 2 handed, longsword or rapier/scimitar for 1 handed (or dwarven waraxe if a dwarf), longbow, shortbow, light crossbow, dagger (in case you need a light weapon), heavy mace if you are restricted to simple weapons. The stats for most of them haven't changed much over the years (although when I started playing there wasn't a greatsword; it was called a 2-handed sword, and did 1d10 damage).
Hank Ironhand, Dwarf fighter 1, 20 point buy, LN, deity - Abadar
That took approximately 2 minutes (without using any books); admittedly I haven't chosen the rest of his equipment, but if time really is an issue you could cost in advance a "standard equipment" package of a backpack, tinderbox etc. and use it for all your starting characters.
Whether you'd actually want to play "generic dwarf fighter #3" is a different matter, of course.
As long as it's basically the same I wouldn't mind a cleaned up edition of Pathfinder someday.
I'd love a cleaned up version. The Beginner Box has shown what Paizo can do when they put their minds to it.
Like what 3.5 was to 3.0.
Lots of tiny changes, some for good reason, some for no apparent reason, some that actually made things worse, whilst some major issues completely ignored. No thanks!
TL;DR: I think this thread would have benefited from an early appearance by the Department of Expectation Management.
No one expects the Department of Expectation Management!
My four favourites would be :-
I'd have voted for Dark Sun if it hadn't been for Dragon Kings already covering this territory.
Also, how many adventure paths do we need? That is a big part of paizo's sales. If you have 2-3, do you need more?
In my case, the answer turned out to be 12 :) I was a charter subscriber, and stopping my subscription was not a decision I made lightly, but at our rate of play I have enough Paizo adventure paths to last me for the next 20 years.
James Risner wrote:
Having a horribly broken (beyond belief) unlimited heal item fundamentally breaks the whole game. You might as well give every PC at 1st level a +5 Ring of Protection and +5 Amulet of Natural Armor and a +5 Vorpal Sword.
You seem to have a +5 Hat of Hyperbole.
I didn't mean to imply BadWrongFun™. But it's a boring and ineffective way to play IMO.
Nobody is arguing that it isn't boring!
Clerics as heal bots have always been the wrong way to do it, even old school.
I would normally take exception to being told I was playing the game the wrong way, but in this case you may well be right :).
However, I certainly wasn't the only one, judging from the apparent design goals of the 3.0 designers when it came to the cleric.
Taku Ooka Nin wrote:
[ When the Cleric says "Guys, I'm out of healing for the day" it is time to rest if possible."
Of course it is, but does that ever actually happen in your games?
It doesn't in mine. We look to rest when the wizard is out of most of his spells. The only way the cleric is out of healing is if he has cast EVERY spell he has, and used up all his channel energy for the day. Other characters will look to rest for their own reasons before that happens.
Our current party of 14th level characters has a 4th level (multi-classed) paladin as the only healer and we NEVER run out of healing. We have a couple of wands of cure light wounds, a staff of healing we found as treasure, and a dozen or so potions we picked up here and there.
I can only imagine what the situation would be like if we had a 14th level cleric.
Re the invincible part, I hadn't considered the "run away" scenario. There are a couple of large assumptions here. The main one is that it is a trivial matter to run away, heal up and come back.
The second one is that the bad guys won't also be able to heal up in the meantime.
If only the first assumption is true, is it really that much different to the PCs running away, spending two weeks in bed to regain their hit points and then coming back? (Apart from 2 weeks between fights being more boring ...)
Your offensive casters do not have to cast spells so long as no one is near death (emphasis mine).
Most people aren't going to play a wizard who never casts spells. If they do, so what? However, if one or more of your characters are not contributing to the fight, I'd imagine it won't be too long until one of the others is near death.
When you add regenerating shields to Pathfinder you make those small and weak encounters obsolete in that they no longer have a reason for existing.
That is only a problem if you enjoy slaughtering overmatched opposition while carefully husbanding your resources, and/or the "death by a thousand cuts" style of adventure design.
Incidentally, I have used the "you get attacked by bandits, defeat them easily and continue on your way" travel description quite a few times when running games. I missed off the "well done" part though.
There is no reason, with infinite health, for a party to not play 2 Barbarians and 2 Zen Archers.
In our games, people play whatever they want to play. I seriously doubt we'd have such a party, as we find doubling up on character classes to be boring. However, as a general point, if infinite healing allows party combinations that wouldn't otherwise be viable, then in my opinion that is a point in its favour.
Basically, it is playing with mechanics that are core to the gaming system itself. It is eliminating a required role, and that is very dangerous unless you know exactly--EXACTLY--what you are doing and the effects it will have on the way the game plays.
I think you are overstating things somewhat. There are lots of different ways to play this game. And since this isn't a product to be sold to the paying public, where's the harm in trying it out and seeing how it goes?
It uses up resources that are pretty much insignificant by any rational analysis.
However, the game is not played rationally, so it can make a big difference in actual play.
For example, our group uses up non-renewable resources, however insignificant, only as a last resort. I can't decide whether it is because we take the resource-management aspect of the game way too seriously, or if we are basically incredibly stingy people.
Having unlimited healing would therefore feel like a big difference to us, even though in reality it might not be. It wouldn't improve our games, and might make them worse, so it's not something we would go for.
Blame is the wrong word, but it seems to me that you don't have the right sort of players to run a sandbox adventure. So my advice would be "Don't".
Assuming you want to run one anyway, my favourite ever account of a sandbox game is the West Marches.