Awesome, glad it worked out!
In roll 20 what I did was reduce the size of the squares and increase the size of the units. So my map of Branderscar prison is 55x72 units, each unit is 10ft, and each square is .5 units. I don't remember if I stretched the map or not before using it, it's one I have been using for a play by post game that's been very slow. You can see the result here at the roll 20 map. I have dynamic lighting up for fog of war/line of sight do you might not be able to see the entire map.
The end result is that the 10ft grid remains on the map, but the ruler function and character tokens snap to a 5ft grid I've set up.
I ban face-to-face and real-time interaction. Play-by-post is the one true play-style!
Bah, you kids* and your interwebs. Everyone knows the only true play-style is play by mail! Handwritten** too, no fancy typewriters.
*says the 26 year old
Why do you feel that using advantage/disadvantage shifts the feel of the game away from having fun and towards winning more than using a half-dozen or more simultaneous minor buffs and debuffs instead?
For me, I like the idea of advantage/disadvantage in 5e as a much simpler way of modeling all the small minor benefits and penalties characters in other versions of D&D and Pathfinder face. Especially at high levels, the sheer number of buffs, debuffs, situational modifiers, environmental factors, and special feats and abilities makes a pretty big pile of modifiers that constantly changes. Since 5e has the goal of bounded accuracy I think their use of advantage/disadvantage is a pretty good way of avoiding number creep with a host of situational modifiers.
I think calling it a generational issue is oversimplifying, but that could certainly play a part. I don't think it tells the whole story only because both of my grandmothers are in the same rough age range (about a decade older each) and they're two of the more sarcastic people I know.
I've learned peoples perceptions are shaped by their values, experiences, and beliefs, and where and when you lived certainly plays a part, as does a persons attitudes and beliefs regarding the person or object being perceived. Have more I could add but it really isn't relevant to the original topic. Probably should have just left it alone to begin with but it's something I've been heavily studying recently so it perked my interest. I'm not trying to imply anyone's perceptions (yours or mine) are more valid in this case either, or trying to change anyone's perceptions, just making an observation (which makes my post pretty much both off topic and valueless, but I've already written it so here it is). I tend to ramble a bit when I've just worked a night shift too so perhaps this post will manage to be nonsensical as well as off topic.
To swing in the general direction of the topic: somewhat looking forward to this book but as I am undergoing a bit of rules burn out I'm in no real hurry to dig into it. Still, hopefully when it hits the prd (or d20pfsrd.com which my players and I use more) my players will be wowed enough to buy the book or PDF, it's happened recently with kobold press' class guide and some rogue genius games talented class books. It's been new and different to not be the only one who buys all the stuff we use and hopefully it'll continue.
Scott Betts wrote:
The OGL cat is out of the bag, but at this point it's ugly and malnourished and very few people are willing to put up with its crap.
I'm confused, aren't we on the website for the most popular RPG system, one supported by literally dozens of 3rd party publishers, all if which is made possible because of the OGL? And isn't this game just one of many others that exist because of that same OGL? I have a very hard time reconciling those facts with your opinion that the OGL is something very few people are willing to put up with.
With just "outstanding" to go on, and no idea what your group in particular finds outstanding, I am going to suggest a number of different potential adventures.
First to mind, with the Iron Gods AP looming, is the excellent Expedition to the Barrier Peaks. Deadly, slightly (ok, more than slightly) crazy, and lots of fun, this adventure blends sci-fi elements in so if that's a turn off for your group you probably want to steer clear. Originally designed for AD&D.
Next are a pair of classic linked modules that make for pretty decent adventure paths when run together, Scourge of the Slavelords (A1-A4) and the massive Queen of the Spiders (GDQ 1-7). In the first your party works to stop the predation of slavers, and features a very challenging but fun (for some) 4th adventure. If your players get twitchy when you do things like sunder, use rust monsters, or otherwise separate their characters from their belongings, they might be less than pleased with the path of the modules towards the end (in which case I'd say run it and wrap up early, you'll know when). In the second the characters fight raiding giants before finding out that a worse evil is behind it all, potentially culminating in an epic showdown with a powerful demonic being. Originally designed for AD&D.
The Temple of Elemental Evil (T1-4) is another obvious seeming choice. A fun and deadly location that isn't just a dungeon crawl, lots of room in this for solutions other than killing everything if the Party and GM want something aside from hack and slash. Originally for AD&D.
Keep on the Borderlands (B2) is still a fantastic adventure starting point for 1st level parties. With a keep for a home base the wild Borderlands are open for exploration, dungeon crawling, diplomacy, and monster slaying as the keep just so happens to be close to a monster infested area. Perfect for starting parties with loads of room for a DM to branch them out into a wider sandbox from this more limited start. By adding a few hooks for their own adventures (or other published adventures) and building on any hooks players put into their backstory, by the time the players have completed this module they might have a multitude of other leads for further play. Originally for Basic D&D. Also notable for already having an excellent Pathfinder conversion done by another member who has a thread on this forum Here
There are loads of other excellent adventures out there, and it is certainly easier to convert a module designed for 3e or 3.5e like some of the other suggested modules have been, but you did mention any system so hope pointing out a few of the classics of older D&D editions works.
Speaking as a consumer, if it were not for the OGL and particularly d20pfsrd.com I doubt I would have ever bought a 3rd party product, and while my wallet would probably be happier I would have missed out on the excellent work of Dreamscarred Press, Rite Publishing, Frog God Games, and so many others. I am an exclusively internet based GM, every game I run is play by post or chat based, so having something be OGL or not is huge for me. I can't buy a book and show it off to the players, who live all around and who I've never met in person, unless it is open content somewhere and I can link them there. If it weren't for d20pfsrd there would be dozens of 3rd party options (and even more Paizo non-core options) my players would be unable to use. And while yes, for some of them this has been an opportunity for them to use the rules and never buy the book, for others they have jumped on the chance to buy the book to go along with the mechanics. And even if they don't have the book, if a player uses an option from a 3rd party source I try to pick it up myself even if the source is open and freely available online.
Obviously it is the publisher's right to decide not to make their content open, and I have bought and greatly enjoyed Kobold Press excellent materials before and will again I'm sure. On the other hand, if I can't show the options to my players they become rather less useful to me as a GM. Learning that symbol magic and undead creation are not OGL are the only real disappointments I have with this product, though it would be cool to have the stat blocks of the example casters available in an SRD format for gaming and to show people the awesome reincarnated Druid. I love having rune based/symbol based magic options for PCs to learn but know none of my players are going to shell out for this book just to be able to read about the awesome in that section, and I'm not going to post copy written stuff for all to see on a play by post forum. So unlike the spell less ranger, which a player of mine bought immediately after seeing on the SRD, the symbols and undead creation will be for my eyes only.
Even if slightly over $5 I would recommend pretty much everything Rite Publishing has put out for their 101 series (or #30 series, or any series for that matter). The Genius Guides from Rogue Genius games that I have bought have been pretty great for classes, the Genius Guide to the War Master was great, as is the Talented Rogue (so much so that all the other Talented Classes are now on my must-buy list) and I've heard nothing but good things about the Time Thief. The three 110 Spell Variants books are great buys too.
Picked this up just about a week ago and so far after reading through two adventures (Atop the Warring Blasphemies and Curse of the Witchkeeps) I already feel like it is money well spent! Excellent stuff so far and I'll be sure to review once I get through the rest of it, which I anticipate will be great if the first two adventures are any indication.
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Then we are just quibbling over what your opinion is on meaningless and random, which is fine since we should have different opinions on things but doesn't actually provide any benefit. I think "Rocks fall from nowhere, you die no save" is meaningless and random. I don't think "the bandits threatening this region strike from ambush, y'all had a few unlucky rolls so they get surprise and ouch, that looks like a crit with a bow" or "you enter the heavily trapped and ancient crypt, which has held out against intruders for decades without giving up it's treasures, ouch you nat 1'd a save vs a trap when you were already weakened by fighting, sorry" are meaningless and random, while you seem to feel they are. It's all a manner of personal preference here so as long as you don't make assumptions about my ability to feel for characters in games I prefer and I don't make assumptions about you for games you prefer there is no reason for us to have any disagreement. We simply like different things, you don't like what I like and I don't like what you like and that's ok!
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
One thing I have to disagree with: fudging dice rolls =/= reacting to what the party does. Every DM should react to what the party does, that's why there is a DM in the first place to play out the way the world and its inhabitants reacts when the party acts on it. Dice, in my opinion and in games I run, fulfill the role of friction and chance when there is some sort of conflict between what one person in the world wants to do any what another does.
The party deciding to bluff their way past guards instead of kicking the door down is just an example of how the game is played, there's no one right choice. The result of the party's decision though isn't fiated by the DM, it's determined by their own skill, the skill of their opponents, and chance, i.e. an opposed die roll. Fudging is independent of allowing the players choice. You can rail the players through an adventure in one course by fudging so that nothing they does works except the course you choose, or you can let them choose whatever course they want and fudge things to make things easier (or harder) for them along that course. Fudging dice rolls is not reacting to PCs or giving them choices, it is just imposing your vision of the outcome on whatever choice or conflict occurs.
It isn't wrong to do so, if your game is run that way, and it isn't wrong to run the dice as they fall if your game is run that way, just don't imply that DMs that don't fudge dice don't react to their PCs choices and it's all good.
Insanity is by far the better outcome, but I don't see the disagreement. For one, Call of Cthulhu is a game where the investigators are quite rarely given any advantage. They are more fragile, monsters are truly deadly and worse can affect their sanity in ways that leave a character utterly useless or worse permanently insane after enough time. When I see
Give them every chance to survive and any lucky break you can think of without compromising the integrity of your game or making it appear too obvious.
I agree it's necessarily in CoC, otherwise the investigators wouldn't have a chance of having even 1 survivor from most scenarios. However, that's pretty much baked into Pathfinder exactly as is. You have the heroes given every advantage. They have more money, better stats, almost always better choices in terms of character power, the agency to decide when they want to fight and where they want to fight, action economy, and the CR system is skewed towards making sure they have an advantage in even difficult (Cr+2 or +3) fights, and there are spells in the middle and high levels that negate death itself. If a PC dies after all that, through bad luck on a save or a lucky crit by the enemy, well stuff happens.
Also, "without compromising the integrity of the game" is a pretty big qualifier there, and it's where personal preference comes into play. It's not wrong to play the game in a way that nobody dies, whatever game you play, so long as that is the agreed upon situation. In a game such as that nothing short of divine intervention to save the PCs (and maybe not even that) will compromise the integrity of the game. In another style (one I prefer) choosing to risk yourself in combat or a dangerous situation means that you accept the dice as arbiters of fate/friction/chance. Fudging an open roll so the PC survives instead of dies might compromise the integrity of a game under those assumptions.
I want to be clear that I don't care what other people decide to do in their games. If you want to play where half the PCs die each session and the enemies go out of their way to slaughter PCs in droves, great! If you want to play where nobody ever gets below half-hp and enemies go out of their way to keep PCs alive, great! I think that telling someone else they are doing it wrong is, in itself, doing it wrong, and while I am biased towards my way of doing things I hope I don't come across as condemning others for their choices (And if you are getting that feel, just tell yourself I'm a guy on the internet and my opinion matters not a bit, that might help). I do care when people misrepresent others' arguments, make false assumptions about them, or tell someone what they can/can't do (like the start of this thread, the idea that shadowsoul can't both like games where death is in the hands of fate and put lots of work into developed PCs).
I don't think anyone is arguing that they want "rocks fall, you die", that's a ridiculous characterization of the position. I am confident in saying that shadowsoul uses "arbitrary death" as a stand in phrase for "lucky crit with a greataxe" or "natural 1 rolled against a disintegrate trap" and so on. I could be wrong and he could mean "rocks fall, you die" but I would put very long odds on that being correct.
When I DM my chat game we are playing a sandbox. I set up the world, set all kinds of pieces into motion and rumors (false and true) out there then wait and see what the PCs pick up and run with. I also roll everything in the open, have rumors and monster locations that would lead to fights a level 1 party would have 0 chance of surviving, and am running a world where there is no easy access to resurrection. If the PCs triumph it is their own luck and skill doing it, I'm not fudging for them, and if they fail it is their own bad luck or mistakes, I'm not fudging for the NPCs either.
They have all put work into their PCs, with good backstories, plans for the present and future, etc but they are still level 1 characters and the world is a dangerous place. If they hear rumors that a dozen caravans have gone missing in the woods near X town, they go there and fail to spot an ambush, and a bandit rolls a lucky crit with a bow them's the breaks. By the same token if I put lots of work into an enemy NPC, his plans and plots and desires, and one of the PCs crit him or he tanks a save that's the way it goes.
In the end though it's all down to preference. You aren't doing it wrong if you never want a PC to ever die (though in my opinion that would be fantastically boring) and you aren't doing it wrong if you like there to be danger. It isn't an either/or thing, you can put loads of effort into making a PC and want the game to be deadly (see every game of Call of Cthulhu for a game that makes the deadliest of Pathfinder DMs look coddling) or you could spend 3 seconds making Bob the fighter or Gandolfo the wizard and be completely against him facing a chance of death.
I forget about the problems I have with Diplomacy because I've been using house rules from giantitp for so long I tend to confuse them with the RAW, but it's definitely a system that I dislike.
Guns are wonky and I'm not a fan of the way the system models them. Others have pointed out the specifics so I won't reiterate.
Stealth could use some work, in my opinion. It's too easy to negate mundane stealth, or even magical invisibility in many cases. Also, as much as I've wanted to play stealthy scout type rangers and rogues (and run games for them) if anyone in the party isn't focused on stealth it's hard to handle a stealth specialist and a non-stealthy party without leaving people twiddling their thumbs. This especially hurts in play by post, when taking what would be a couple minutes at the table to let a scout go off alone means working one on one with a person while a couple of days or weeks go by in real time. And if the scout stumbles into a fight against one of the many things that can detect them easily (or just has a bad roll and is spotted by perception alone) the non-stealthy members of the party are not going to be close enough to arrive immediately. It ends up being more one player gaming the scout faces whatever they came across alone while the rest of the party (if they can even tell the scout is in trouble) is too far away to do anything at first.
What type of damage are the words? Sonic damage, some sort of elemental damage, untyped damage? Is there any way to resist this damage? Is it affected by DR?
Proposed Fix wrote:
The bard chooses what type of damage each word deals (bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing).
Edit: ninja'd by almost an hour on this, my bad for leaving a thread up for awhile before sending a response.
Interesting to see a proposed fix to this, I had nixed this archetype for a PC because of how wonky this ability seemed to be. I'll look this fix (and future changes to it) over with the player in question to see what we think about it. So far it seems weak against single enemies or those with DR (maybe making it sonic so DR doesn't reduce it could help?) and expensive in bardic performance rounds against multiple enemies, the worst of both worlds being multiple enemies with DR. Though as it isn't replacing that strong of an ability maybe it doesn't need to be super strong.
While I sigh a little to see a literary monster like this built at such a high CR, it can't be easy to decide on what power level to set something like Grendel. If Paizo sets a monster from myth at low-mid CR (like a hydra, for example), then there's the "X isn't much of a threat, all my characters in Y AP can easily one-shot it and we're not even level 10!" problem. If a monster from myth is set really high, as in the case of Grendel, there's an inflation in the stats and abilities of everyone who faces it, the "Hero Y destroyed monster X, s/he must be really high level!" problem. There's also the problem of matching the myth to the reality of the Pathfinder system, where abilities and actions have to be quantified.
In the end, Pathfinder is a game and the designers, especially now that Mythic came out, are stuck in the position of making up interesting challenges for everyone from a rookie adventurer to a demigod. I don't want, and won't be likely to use, a CR 19 Grendel but I like that Paizo is willing and able to draw from myth and work hard to create memorable and iconic challenges at every level.
Don't bother waiting for a +5 flaming weapon, just get a +3 Furious Weapon for your barbarian, or +3 Bane weapon appropriate to the creature, or just be an Inquisitor with the Bane ability and a +3 equivalent weapon, or a 5th level Magus with a +1 bane weapon and give your weapon an extra +2 from your arcane pool.
If you think that E(X) is for DMs who aren't as good as you to be able to straightjacket their players onto the plot train then you obviously don't get it. E(X) can be run in whatever style, and it's not a crutch for lesser DMs. It's about extending the fun times, whatever range that may be for a particular group, for players and DMs alike.
For my example I'm in one E7 game out of my 4 games. It's the only one of the 4 that I am running as a complete sandbox, players go wherever they want to go and there is no metaplot running throughout the entire game. I'm running two other games and playing in a 3rd game which are not going to be E(X). Running Ways of the Wicked as a 1-20 with Mythic added game, players have some choices but as an AP there is a plot train running throughout which the PCs will have to follow. Also running an homage to Baldur's Gate 2 as a play by post that will probably top off at level 18 or so with a Mythic Tier or 2 (currently Players are level 8-9 range) which has room for player freedom but is on a plot rail as well.
I decided, and my players agreed, that E7 would work best for our sandbox because the E7 paradigm really does give them complete freedom and leaves me free to be the impartial DM. The PCs don't have the Oblivion effect, where magically the sandbox around them adjusts itself to their CR in order to keep them challenged or prevent inadvertent TPKs, and I don't need to put them on rails or use kid gloves. If they hear an orc horde is threatening a city then at level 2 or 3 they can go disperse the horde (made of bog standard orcs with a few warrior 2-3s and maybe an elite fighter 3 leader) while knowing that the orc horde really was a threat to the major city which is lucky to have a couple of elite level 2 guards leading a lot of warrior 1's or commoner/expert militia.
Basically, the PCs get to start off heroic (1st level in a PC class when most of the world is an NPC, and stay heroic because we decided that the sandbox we are playing in doesn't need to have more than 7 level classes. The lesser complexity also works awesomely for us, as we meet online to game over chat and the less time we have to spend calculating the more time we get to spend playing. We all like Pathfinder, and some of these same people I play E7 with are in my higher level games or were in my Kingmaker game which went to the mid teens, so modifying Pathfinder works for us while buying into and learning a brand new system which might not do what we want in the end anyways does not. It's not the only way we could do it but it's the way we thought would work best and are having fun with.
So, according to that reasoning, nobody should ever house rule? Even when the dev's come out and tell us to make the game our own? If you feel that way that's awesome, play the way you want to play and stick to the RAW. But maybe don't come into every EX thread in the house rules forum and tell people with different opinions than you that they are doing it wrong. Play the way you want to play and respect that not everyone has the same opinion as you.
If you'd rather play somebody who is dealing hp damage and knocking opponents down why not play a fighter-type character? Damage is what they do after all, the only thing they do most of the time, so it is to be expected that they will be better at it. That isn't E6 dependent though, if you want to just do the most hp damage to opponents in Pathfinder two-handed melee weapons or a dedicated archer is the way you'll want to go. If the only useful spells can can see in the entire wizard spell list are color spray (a strong contender for being one of the best 1st level spells in the game) and maybe glitterdust or slow I think you might have a too-high bar for useful.
I've not read through everything, so apologies if I missed someone else asking for this, but I think a sort of Advanced Adversaries book would be cool(name brought up in another thread). Basically the book would be a collection of monstrous opponents who commonly have class levels with stat blocks written up at various levels. Like you could have an Ogre barbarian written up with different fully made stat blocks for the ogres with between 1 and 10 levels of barbarian, or even 1-20 though that would be a lot of stat blocks.
Tangent: According to the rules for Acrobatics it doesn't cost a feat at all to move through an opponent's square, it is simply an acrobatics check at +5 to the DC as to move through a normal threatened area. Acrobatics link. It's odd to me that you're pointing out how you feel that is too strong of a benefit for a feat when it doesn't even cost a feat according to the acrobatics rules, but different people house rule different things. I know I house rule a variety of things I'm sure other people don't see a need to bother changing.
Edit: As for the main topic, I don't have anything strong to add one way or the other but I'm enjoying the discussion and seeing the different viewpoints.
Edit 2: Figure I should add the relevant text as long as I am talking about this, it's interesting to me how restricted acrobatics is when you look at it all, with the moving half speed and the provision on no acrobatics if wearing medium or heavy armor. Note: didn't copy/paste the table which gave the DCs to move through a threatened area (opponent's CMD) and through an opponent's square (opponent's CMD+5), or the text under the table noting that the DC increased by +2 for each additional opponent avoided in 1 round.
In addition, you can move through a threatened square without provoking an attack of opportunity from an enemy by using Acrobatics. When moving in this way, you move at half speed. You can move at full speed by increasing the DC of the check by 10. You cannot use Acrobatics to move past foes if your speed is reduced due to carrying a medium or heavy load or wearing medium or heavy armor. If an ability allows you to move at full speed under such conditions, you can use Acrobatics to move past foes. You can use Acrobatics in this way while prone, but doing so requires a full-round action to move 5 feet, and the DC is increased by 5. If you attempt to move though an enemy's space and fail the check, you lose the move action and provoke an attack of opportunity.
Except that the eel isn't a random encounter at all, it's an encounter set up in the AP, the DM didn't choose to put an eel there to screw over anybody. The eel was part of the AP in a logical place that an eel would use as a lair.
For me, having run a modified (heavily) Kingmaker campaign for the better part of a year and 3/4s I had a similar situation happen early on. One of the PCs, a halfling rogue, went off scouting on his own to try to get some extra gold or treasure of some kind he wouldn't have split with the party. He came upon a warg while scouting (at level 1 for the PC) and ran up a tree (smart PC) then peppered the worg with little arrows until it started to run off. At this point the little thief wanted to hop from tree to tree chasing the worg and keeping up with the arrow peppering, so I said ok and the PC promptly failed an acrobatics check to jump, ended up prone, and was eaten by the warg.
While the PC in my example pushed things further than yours, the lesson is the same, when you are facing a dangerous situation alone your options are severely limited, as is your margin for error. In the Undine's case the margin was as small as 3 rolls: a failed perception, a successful attack roll, and an inability to escape the grab. Lesson learned, PCs who scout alone far from the party have less contingencies for escape. It's sad that a PC died and can't be raised, but it's not GM malice or "BS", the PC put himself in the situation which could have been avoided easily, perhaps as easily as having a second set of eyes (another PC to make a perception check) or an ally who was close enough to distract and wound the eel once it had grabbed the PC.
I would add that there are playstyle differences. Some people prefer to play in such a way as their heroes are central to the story and plot and thus can never die. I, personally, have 0 fun with this method of gaming but a lot of people do. Having gamed with people who prefer this method, and disliked Kingmaker's sandbox where their PCs could, and did, find themselves over their head, I think it's important to talk with PCs at the start of a campaign about playstyle differences to avoid situations like this one. If you make it clear that PCs who do foolish things sometimes will die if it makes sense, then when it happens even if a PC calls "BS" (and some still might) you have already laid out for them exactly how things work. Or, on the other hand, you might find all your PCs want a world where they, by virtue of being PCs, are assumed to be a cut above and won't die except if they choose to do so for plot reason. In that case you can adjust the game appropriately or suggest a different DM, as I would do. The key is not to be condescending or superior about your playstyle differences, just acknowledge that there is a difference, try to compromise, and if that doesn't work just go your separate ways so everyone can enjoy the game they want to play in the way they want to play it.
Long overdue, but got a review up. This is one of my most used 3rd party products. I pulled out the War Creature template earlier in the year to beef up a couple of elite trolls for my Kingmaker game, and I'm looking forward to the time my PCs discover the Pyrrhic creations left behind by a slightly mad mage, or when the Riven Magic creature I've made sees the light of day. Thanks for publishing this book and all the other excellent products you've released!
I think some people are taking the Alexandrian blog the wrong way. The argument the guy was trying to make wasn't that you can only have NPC's below level 6, rather it was that below level 6 is where PC and NPC's still can model the real world and behave the way people in the real world do in situations. Thus, to calibrate your expectations you have to stop believing mid-high level characters are constrained by realistic physics, even the martial characters, and realize that they passed the limits of our world back at level 5-7.
He was pointing out that saying "Aragorn is a level 20 ranger" or "Einstein had to be a level 20 expert" and then being annoyed when the game allows them to do things they could never do isn't a fault of the system, but rather of the expectations of those playing it being off. D&D isn't at fault when you build a level 20 character and he survives falling off a cliff, or being immersed in lava, because D&D isn't simulating real world limits at level 20. It is perfectly ok for a world to have NPCs at level 10, 15, or 20 as long as the Players and DM understand what that means and don't constrain them to real world physical and mental limits.
Now, as to the actual topic of this thread, I personally think the NPCs in the GMG are not meant to be typical to everywhere in the world. All bandit lords aren't wearing a king's ransom in equipment, otherwise they'd all retire rich and happy, rather these NPCs are just blank slates with possible uses attributed to them.
If in your world you want the bandits in an area to be a weaker threat don't feel constrained by the CR 6 Highwaymen and CR 11 Bandit Lord. Make the average bandit a pickpocket(CR 1/2 rogue 1) or bandit(CR 1/2 warrior 2), toss in a couple Caravan Guards(CR 1 fighter 2) or Street Thugs(CR 1 fighter/rogue) as more elite members, and set a Burglar(CR 2 rogue 3) or Slaver(CR 3 fighter/rogue 2/2) as the band's leader. That's the beauty of the NPC Gallery, it's pages of pre-done stats that can be appropriated with whatever flavor is needed, usually by just swapping a couple skills, changing a weapon to one better suited for what you have in mind, and maybe swapping a feat or two.
Is a Rogue “skimming” treasure as he finds it “Role playing” or is he stealing from his adventuring companions?
That's not quite the same thing, but I'd allow it(especially the mercenary fighter) if my players didn't veto the new character. I would also allow wizards who cast their spells when they feel it is appropriate rather than at the insistence of the party, characters being "a little slow" to defend others who they may have in character rivalries with, a cleric who refuses to heal someone who worships a god his is violently opposed to, and a whole host of other potential conflict points if they come from in character instead of out of character reasons and they don't disrupt the game.
The key is just to play with people who want to have fun and not be jerks. There are multiple characters who can pull off this same sort of skimming or self-serving behavior: the thief pulling the wool over the eyes of the party and helping themselves to a small nimble fingered bonus, the bard who negotiates the price of a gem up and "forgets" to mention to the party that he got a better price when it comes time to split loot, the wizard who shrugs and says he can't find anything magical in the pile of treasure then taking the plain gold ring as part of his share, the cleric(depending on the deity) who tells a rival character that he hasn't memorized that necessary spell today and leaves the character with a disease or curse, or the wizard who firmly tells the party he is out of useable mystical energy when he has a last spell or two held in reserve to save himself in case of an emergency.
Any of those characters could be excellent additions to a party of adventurers so long as the people playing them are not jerks. It is only when the game becomes a competition between players, or the in character conflicts become out of character, that there is an issue. In either of those cases, if the other players in the game feel somebody is ruining their fun and come to me(the DM) we'll hash out what changes to make to the disruptive character. So far I haven't had any complaints about the minor roguish skimming that has happened with characters, and pretty much the general response among my players has been chuckles and reminders to the rogue that their perception skills will win out eventually.
I actually don't believe that Raise Dead has as many consequences for a setting as the Antagonize feat has. For one, you need to be at least a 7th level druid to cast reincarnate, a 9th level cleric/10th level oracle for Raise Dead, or a 13th level wizard for Limited Wish to emulate reincarnate or 17th level wizard for Wish to emulate Raise Dead.
While there are high level NPCs, 9th level clerics of the proper faith to want to raise somebody aren't all over the place in Golarion, and Resurrection/True Resurrection spells are much, much harder to get access to as clerics of higher levels get more and more rare. Secondly, the price is prohibitively expensive, and coin is not enough, the cost must be paid in diamonds, which are rare and coveted enough in our world where they don't fuel resurrection spells.
Some things I do think would occur:
1. Diamond mines will be the most fought over pieces of earth on the planet, with the wealthy and powerful taking them. Diamond jewelry would probably be more of a liability than an investment, as all it takes is a couple desperate family members or less than scrupulous adventurers needing a resurrection to come along and rob or murder you for the bit of diamond.
2. Churches will be either controlled, placated, or put in high positions of many nations whose leaders want to gain the goodwill of the churches and ensure they are seen in a good enough light to receive a raise/resurrection upon their untimely death. Also raised/resurrected leaders will make succession even more convoluted than it usually is, which can cause quite a few problems.
And many, many more.
Epic Meepo wrote:
This is what I hate about the feat. Combat is bad enough, if I'm the best archer in the land I am not going to drop my bow and pull a belt knife when the dragon insults me, I'm going to unload on him with as many arrows as possible, but that's an easy fix in my opinion.
The social situation is where it gets utterly ridiculous. If I'm playing a diplomacy based bard who grew up as a noble and has been accustomed to the courts since childhood, not to mention having full ranks in sense motive, bluff, and diplomacy, there is no way in hell that I'm going to get so insulted in a King's court by someone with this feat that I run screaming incoherently in their direction with a melee weapon, or just my fists, and give them an excuse to discredit me in court.
You know what else sucks? Getting poisoned, cut by a sword, shot with an arrow, hit by a molotov cocktail, mauled by a bear, attacked by a shark, falling off of a building, scorched by a flamethrower, hit by a bat, trampled by a horse, charged by a rhino, being a thief, being a pirate, living at all in the middle ages. Oh, and dying.
You know what all of those things have in common? A low to mid level character in Pathfinder is expected to be able to do them without having to be as bad off as they would be in the real world, while a high level character isn't even inconvenienced by most of those. So "poverty sucks" is not an argument for purposely making Vow of Poverty a bad option.
I think you're being a little unfair to him Ashiel. You said, "Heck, make a character with 15 Point Buy, as you describe. Make him a decent warrior who's good with people. Then show us how it is supposed to be done."
He did that, he made a 15 point buy character who has decent potential for combat as a 1st level character while having decent people skills and above average(slightly) intelligence and personal magnetism. It's not a "correct" built because there are none, however it's outline meets the qualifications. Decent Warrior? He has a high strength and good constitution, so he can take hits and dish them out, and his low dexterity at 1st level just means he doesn't have to worry about how restrictive the splint mail he buys is compared to paying a premium for field plate of banded mail. Good with people? Well, he has a slightly above average charisma and a rank in diplomacy, so compared to the average man he can function better in situations requiring diplomacy. How you play this is up to the player, maybe he is just a man of impressive stature with a voice that makes you want to listen, maybe he's a beat up old sergeant with a face only a mother could love but talks and acts as if he expects to be followed, so average men do, or whatever justification sounds good to you.
Changing around the specifics of how you roleplay an advantage or disadvantage is different than ignoring it. If this same fighter had a 7 charisma and no ranks in diplomacy, but during role play spoke of his great leadership of the forces at X battle and is described as having dozens of noble women knocking down his doors as a DM, or fellow player, that would irk me. Heh, of course I could justify it as a DM by saying that in the first place his "leadership" was a front, he thought he was in charge but the men under his command hated him and followed his second command, letting the 7 cha/0 diplomacy player think he was leading, and in the second case the women knocking down his door were seeking his wealth and station but not him.
SKR, I am all aboard the role playing before mechanics issue, and agree that not every option can or should be the best one. My problem, however, is that the vow of X monk is a pretty well known character concept that is going to be completely worthless in any of the adventures or adventure paths that Paizo itself is publishing and pushing as their main "bread and butter" line of products.
To me it is wrong to say, "hey, here's this really awesome, flavorful option that will let you play that ascetic monk who travels the world with only the clothes on his back and does good works based on his faith. Oh, wait, you're going to play him in one of the Paizo adventure paths that our line of rulebooks support? Sorry, guess you should've picked a character concept that will survive instead of the one you thought had roleplaying potential."
Also, claiming that a monk with a vow of poverty is like playing a wizard with 8 intelligence or a dex-based fighter with 8 dex is frankly not a good comparison. A monk with a vow of poverty or who just happens to live with nothing but plain clothes and his fists is a fairly common theme and has been supported in the past, while the other two are not(a person who casts spells without knowledge or study is a sorcerer in Pathfinder rules, while a fighter with no coordination who tries to fight in a coordinated way is an oxymoron).
Finally, your belief that because the character is making a sacrifice the player should make a sacrifice is incomprehensible to me. If I make a monk with a vow of poverty I can't have any interesting items, I can't pick up or even hold treasures for other people, and I can't carry consumables, but I get to play the wandering man in a rough-spun coarse tunic, sandals, a walking staff, and a wide-brimmed hat that interests me. I shouldn't as a player also be forced to ditch that concept once we hit mid-levels and the rest of the party get tired of supporting my wandering monk with the vow of poverty who can't contribute to the Adventure Path anymore because I have no way of raising my ability to hit the enemy, avoid being smashed into a pulp, or resist an enemy's spells.
Anyways, I respect you as a designer and love your Forgotten Realms work and what I've seen of your Pathfinder work, but I have to disagree with you here. Something can be awesome, flavorful, and even sub-par without being impossible to play in the main product line of the rules it is designed for.
Power Word Unzip wrote:
@idilippy: What, like spending a wish on a frosted donut with sprinkles? =]
That and, Spoilers ahead,
Porn Star Sorceresses, stopping a werewolf with a Snoopy doll, an actual Fairy Godmother(who's one scary lady), an Atheist Champion of God, Ride of the Valkyries being played by an actual Valkyrie, surviving an explosion by making out with a vampire, an 11 year old who's more powerful than fallen angels, a love potion made from tequila and money, selling a wizard on ebay, trying to bill an archangel, nuking an eldrich horror, and probably the most awesome moment of all involves a zombie dinosaur being controlled by polka.
Heh, those all look pretty ridiculous out of context, but if you've read the series you understand.