I'm personally not a fan of assuming that you get a set amount of money from defeating monsters. That would make the game seem too grindy (although it is already grindy as you still get EXP from monster encounters) and also rather unrealistic.
I don't think it would be any more grindy and unrealistic than the current system, where you basically get XP for slaughtering things.
Sure, it makes sense for goblins and dragons to have gold on them, but not so much for undead or specters (unless they were formally nobles and their corpses have loot on them).
Its kind of like that anyway, in that there is an expected amount of gold due to the wealth-by-level guidelines.
However, one effect of this system is that the PCs won't be interested in fighting powerful creatures that don't have enough treasure to make it worth the risk. I don't see that as a drawback, and it can be a plus if it encourages the PCs to do some research before setting off on the adventure.
And even then, rationing out gold amongst party members is always a tricky subject.
Why not give everybody an equal share? Are people unhappy that they have been unfairly deprived of gold going to be significantly more unhappy at being deprived of gold and xp?
Speaking of eternal optimism, I was talking to one guy today about how I'm hoping that him being trusted to do this, and if it goes well, is Gary trying to make amends for everything. That this is his second chance that he's been given. I'd like him to do that and give us all warm feelings again.
That's a fine sentiment. I was undecided about this kickstarter, but on reflection I still can't bring myself to support any project that Gary is involved in.
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.
So I'm curious how a person could justify using necromancy while being non-evil. I'm specifically looking at a occultist with the necromancy implement. My thought was that he mainly views it as a tool..probably would bring him down to neutral. I would see him using the dead opponents as "material" Just curious what others experience have been like.
I tend to play occultists as "scientists", seeking out knowledge and disdaining the petty morality of ignorant peasants and superstitious priests. They are just acting rationally for the greater good, if necessary riding roughshod over the illogical objections of lesser minds incapable of grasping the bigger picture.
They start off as Neutral, and finding out where they end up is part of the fun. Maybe they develop some empathy and realise some things are best left undisturbed; or maybe they find out the hard way that (in Pathfinder, at least) even if you don't believe in Evil, Evil certainly believes in you.
There is a big difference (morally) between throwing a fireball into a group of enemy soldiers, a group of raiders, and a group of orphans. One is neutral, one is (probably) good, and one is evil.
Alternatively, killing a group of enemy soldiers can be an evil act, killing people is never a good act, and killing orphans isn't always evil.
Casting necromantic spells generally isn't evil...but creating undead is evil. You're bringing into being a creature that if you aren't careful will attempt to kill things simply because they are alive.
What's your opinion on casting cloudkill? Even if you are careful you can end up killing innocent creatures - maybe you didn't realise they were there, or misjudged the wind, or didn't realise there was a gnome burrow beneath the field.
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.
It's a very minor thing, but what put me off the idea of running Shattered Star was when the adventure seems to expect you to be literally scraping your loot off the walls. I prefer a bit more of the "that belongs in a museum" style of play.
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.
It would be like removing a core race and moving it to the monster manual, not like any D&D game would do that! /sarcasm
None of the editions that I know of. The closest would be 4th edition, that had Gnomes in Players Handbook 2 rather than Players Handbook 1.
Of course, "OD&D" did just fine for a couple of decades with just humans, elves, dwarves and halflings.
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.
I've also had Bullette attack the party wagon before, good thing I had the wagon's, and it's horses' stats handy.
Indeed, it is a good thing for you that you had the information you needed to hand.
If I was to run that encounter (and it does look like fun) then there would be one dead horse per round, the wagon gets broken (but repairable) at the end of round one and smashed to pieces at the end of round three. I have zero interest in looking up wagon stats, assuming I even knew where to look.
Marc Radle wrote:
I'm in the UK. Shipping would be expensive (although I'd be willing to pay it) and presumably tracking would be possible.
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.
Marc Radle wrote:
Ships to United States only, per the listing. Is that correct?
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
I stopped reading this post by the bolded point because it's not a typical character experience whatsoever. A broken class using an even more broken archetype that should have never seen the light of publishing day is not really a great or accurate measurement of what players can expect for magic item usage.
I read your post all the way through, even though I disagree with the bolded part.
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!
Shadow Kosh wrote:
So i'm assuming that the first thing you do when building a character is to make sure to get Prone Shooter?
Unless I'm playing an Undine, when my first feat choice will always be Water Skinned.
A feat like Water Skinned, where it is abundantly clear what it does, and if you choose to take it then that's up to you, is not what I consider to be a trap option. It does make me wonder what the designers were thinking at the time, however. Presumably they were not looking to waste book space on a feat no one will take? (The internet being what it is, cue lots of responses as to how in other peoples' campaigns Water Skinned prevented a TPK on several occasions.)
This, and also Hydraulic Maneuver, seems like cool abilities that you could give for free to all Undines without unbalancing the game.
Occasionally I'd find in 3rd edition that there were feats that were either too weak, or were in effect two tenuously related half-feats joined together.
Pathfinder is more flexible in its design, with traits and alternative racial traits available, so there is no excuse for having feats that are terrible.
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.
You could probably skip all of book 1 if you wanted to. There's a few NPCs you'd need to introduce in some fashion as they will be important later.
Book 2 has the PCs doing various things to defeat the plague. From memory they were fairly self-contained, so you could cut some of them without any difficulty.
However, the adventure path runs best if the characters have a strong connection to Korvosa and care about what happens to the city. Your PCs might be lacking in that respect.
Ask your GM before the campaign if traps are going to feature heavily. Most of the time they won't (since traps aren't very interesting challenges, most of the time) but some kinds of adventures (like some kind of "Indiana Jones/Lara Croft haunted tomb" sort of thing) sort of require someone who is adept with traps.
Or, if some guy in a tavern tries to hire you to enter the Tomb of Trapped Death, politely decline.
I'm not sure I understand the problem here.
If you chose to use point buy and everybody else chose to roll, then it was very likely that some of the characters would have better stats than you and some would have worse.
If the problem player was allowed to roll his stats then (assuming there is no reason to believe he cheated) he gets to play what he rolled. Same with the person who rolled badly, although some GMs take pity on people in those circumstances and allow them a few improvements (which seems to have happened here).
Is it that you don't like the way the character is being played? It seems like the previous character was being genuinely annoying, but as far as I can tell all this one is doing is showing off and behaving rashly. Either I'm missing something, or it seems like a pretty trivial thing to get worked up about. Sooner or later this rash behaviour will get the character killed or seriously injured and it will correct itself.
However, it is clearly detracting from your enjoyment of the game. Does the other player know this? Have you tried talking to him?
I'm currently running a modified version of Second Darkness, and your list of common complaints has been very helpful so far in deciding what aspects to change.
The changes so far seem to be working out quite well.
- requiring all the PCs to be elves who (initially, at least) want to join the Lantern Bearers
Requiring everyone to be an elf is not something Paizo could do in a published adventure path, of course.
I think Rise of the Runelords would work quite well without book 1.
We are currently playing through it (close to finishing book 5), and are enjoying it even though Sandpoint has never really resonated with us for some reason. It wouldn't have affected us at all if we'd started with book 2 (with the slight caveat that, since we are playing the one-volume version, I'm not completely sure where book 1 ends and book 2 begins!)
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.)
I'm planning to run Second Darkness as our next campaign, and I've been really enjoying your take on it. I hope you can find the time to write up the last 3 books at some point.
The way I will be approaching it is
Quite Long and Rambling:
Insist all the player characters are Elves (not something I've done before, so my players are ok with it just this once) who want to join the Lantern Bearers as a route to serving the greater good of elven civilisation (or at least that is what they will have to tell the recruiters; it doesn't matter what their actual motives are).
They will all meet up at a big Elven conclave (probably at Mordant Spire, because I like that place), but are deemed too inexperienced at present for the Lantern Bearers. However, a certain prominent Elven general will identify their potential, and recruit them for a mission - a ring of standing stones has toppled over, revealing an ancient elven ruin beneath it which might hold all sorts of artefacts, but the unreasonable Spire Elves are refusing to allow any exploration (some balderdash about an ancient evil, or something ...) I'll run the PCs through the 2nd edition adventure The Shattered Circle, and they'll hand over a strange artefact to the general, and sit back and wait for the plaudits.
Next thing they know, the general has disappeared (something about a secret mission to Sargava, but they might well suspect foul play) and the PCs are very much persona non grata with the Lantern Bearers for reasons which nobody will explain.
Thirty (?) years pass without incident (hence they all have to be elves) ... and then they are suddenly contacted by a wild elf they befriended all those years ago, who has a mission in Riddleport he is very much unsuited to, and would they be willing to check out a new casino on his behalf ...
You roll two dice for miss chances?
Seriously though, if you swing a massive greatsword through an empty space you should be pretty sure afterwards that there isn't an orc standing in it. Firing arrows is a bit different, admittedly.
I don't usually bother rolling miss chances unless there is something there to miss. Same rules apply to both sides.
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
He isn't complaining that it's complex he thought it was illegal as per the rules because it wasn't an easily identifiable trope to have a fire guy that doesn't only do fire.
I'm not as convinced as you are.
Getting the rules wrong because "it wasn't an easily identifiable trope" is one explanation.
A novice DM being unsure because it was more rules complexity than he or she could handle in the first campaign is another possible explanation. And this is a DM who didn't initially know what a Racial trait was.
Nobody here is arguing that it is, although I get the impression you might have had that argument in the past.
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
Sometimes I agree they are. This I would argue is not one of those times.
I'd argue that it *could* be one of those times.
Novice GM: I've decided to take the plunge and run a game for the first time. Hopefully you guys will all be as supportive as you can be.
Experienced Player: Excellent, I've got an insanely complicated and extremely bizarre character build I've been looking to try out, and this looks like the ideal opportunity.
This probably isn't the situation here - looks like all the stuff is in the Core Rulebook and the APG - but I think a new GM is entitled to request that everybody keeps things as simple as possible for their first campaign.
I’m a bit late to this discussion, but I ran Sunless Citadel and Forge of Fury before running Red Hand of Doom and it worked really well. I replaced the town in Sunless Citadel with the one from Red Hand, which gave the PCs a bit more of a connection to the area when the Red Hand came calling.
I also ran Guardians of Dragonfall (Paizo 3.5 module) afterwards.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Then the term "gatekeeping" is so broad as to be all but meaningless, since it apparently covers both having a boys or girls night out which the excluded parties consider it perfectly acceptable and even beneficial, and attempting to drive women out of gaming.
To take the film "Invictus" as an example, telling Morgan Freeman that whilst he was being considered for the part of Nelson Mandella he would not be considered for the role of Francois Pienaar is racial (and probably age) discrimination. However it would be neither useful nor appropriate to bring this up in a general discussion about racism.
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.
David knott 242 wrote:
Does anyone live in an area where new FLGSs have opened recently?
I'm delighted to have it - I live in Guernsey, which is an island, so visiting the next nearest FLGS involves a plane or a boat. However, their emphasis is very much on card games and computer games, with board games third and tabletop RPGs very much in last place.
I decided to get the 5th edition Core Books a few weeks ago, and took their last copies of the DMG and MM. They didn't have any PHBs, although they were willing to order it for me. (Needless to say, I didn't take them up on it; if I have to order something, Amazon is faster, cheaper and delivers to my door.) The only other 5ed WotC product they had was one copy of Curse of Strahd.
They have lots and lots of Pathfinder stuff.
In most places, that would be a sign that Pathfinder sells and 5ed doesn't, but in Guernsey it could equally imply the opposite, as getting in new deliveries depends on factors outside their control (primarily the weather).
There are NO unintended or subtle consequences to evil spells. A small child healed by infernal healing could never associate the feeling of being evil with being made whole and healthy. (Look, it says no permanent alignment change from having it cast on you.)
There are plenty of unintended and subtle consequences to non-aligned spells as well. Doesn't mean we need special rules for the alignment ones.
Actually, with my pet peeve, the Cloudkill spell, the unintended consequences are about as unsubtle as you can get.
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.
Buri Reborn wrote:
Oh yeah, sorry I misread this bit :-
Some spells require sacrificing a sentient creature, a major evil act that makes the caster evil in almost every circumstance.
It is evil, but it might not turn you evil. So it is not as evil as casting Infernal Healing 5 times in quick succession. So if you are forced into choosing between the two, go for the sacrifice and cross your fingers ...
The last time I delved into the morass that is a D&D alignment thread, I ended up thinking way too much about it.
I was hoping this thread might actually be the alignment thread to end all alignment threads (apart from paladin ones, obviously). The Pathfinder alignment rules have finally reached the platonic ideal of lunacy, so there is no more room for discussion, analogies or anything else that requires a modicum of mutual sanity to function.
However, I do have a question.
If a Neutral character casts Protection from Evil, and Protection from Good, twice each in quick succession, do they cancel each other out?
Or is he balanced on twin knife edges, one misstep away from becoming both good and evil? Schrodinger's caster, if you like.
The Green Tea Gamer wrote:
I regularly spend money on systems I have never played, and probably never will. I'm sure my Pathfinder spend would be the same even if I never GMed again.
Is "selling" the right word?
I'm quite excited by the idea of putting stuff up on their site for general consumption, and being able to play around with their IP. The free bits and pieces - artwork and the like - are a nice touch.
I've had *zero* involvement with 5th edition up to this point, so I don't imagine anything I could put up there would be any good, and I certainly wouldn't be charging for it. Anything of mine would join the large amount of free stuff already on there.
This is completely different to if Paizo did it for Pathfinder. There are plenty of Pathfinder products available already, most of them modestly priced. Flooding the market with lots of amateur free and nearly free products wouldn't be in anybody's best interests, in my opinion.
Also, Paizo has already given away pretty much all of their rules material. If they give away the setting material as well, what have they got left?
EDIT - and I'd certainly not be putting up any of my IP (such as it is) on any such site. (The fact that nobody else would be interested in it is neither here nor there. They may be bad ideas, but they are mine!)