smell of orange blossoms in the wrote:
Believe me, I recognise the size of the task i have set myself. But, I have 3 months off over the summer, what else am i going to do? (Beside revise/ learn greek and hebrew and read 500+ pages of Calvin's theology?)
I have already done most of the work of converting it to Eberron (in preparation for running it in 3.5), so it is basically the conversion to 4th ed this time. Once it is all done, I hope to be able to share it. Just need to work out how to do it without treading on Paizo's toes too much.
Are there any plans to release the SCAP hardcover in pdf? I have the hardcover, and it is great, but having it in electronic form would be really helpful as well.
Over my summer holidays, I am planning on converting the Shackled City Ap to a 4th Edition Eberron campaign. This obviously involves a great deal o changes to the AP as written, dropping some sections, adding others, and extending the level range all the way to 30.
After all that, it is very likely the final AP will have probably only superficial resemblance to the Hard Cover (which I have). As such, my plan is to put not just my changes, but everything I need to run the AP into a Word Document, and run from that, and not worry about the hard cover.
To do that, instead of typing up everything from scratch, it would be much easier to cut and paste from the pdf and then edit from there. (Not to mention it would be good to have the maps and other art in the doc).
Now, I'm pretty sure a pdf of the Hardcover is a no go.
However, as a next best option, I would be willing to just buy the in individual Dungeon mags in pdf format (I think I already have a couple of them). Assuming I did go this route, how much do the Dungeon Mags differ from the hardcover? Is the background and other info summarized anywhere, or was that collated (and developed?) just for the hardcover?
Kirth Gersen wrote:
As I said, long-term empirical usefulness goes a long way. Screw someone over today, and it maybe seems like a good strategy to someone short-sighted, if they get away with it this time. But we live in a society, and in the long term, use of those tactics is always uncovered, and leads to more woe than it's worth. Helping others, on the other hand, reaps dividends far more often than it doesn't
My point goes deeper than that.
What makes "empirical usefulness" a desired outcome?
What makes woe woe?
What makes those dividends worth reaping?
These are the questions that I think are VERY hard to answer without an external moral authority.
What makes good good and bad bad?
Why is murder wrong? If there is no God, and humans are just like any other animal, why is killing a person wrong, but killing another creature alright?
Please do NOT hear me saying I think all atheists are ammoral jerks who go around killing babies.
But I am trying to understand how, without an external moral authority, anyone has the authority to tell someone else their actions are "bad". What makes one persons moral code any better, (or valid if you like), than any others?
Kirth Gersen wrote:
I think these sorts of comments come from my Christian brothers and Sisters who have just enough 'understanding' of the issues to be dangerous.
The 'real' assumption behind the statement is generally one of authority. They are raising the issue of where does the authority for determining what is good and what is bad come from? Absent some authoritative voice, what defines what is right and what is wrong?
But because neither the Christian doesn't really understand the whole issue, they go straight from 'no authority' to say therefore they have no morals. When really they are trying (or should be) to try and challenge the atheist about where the standards for their existing morals actually come from. What basis do they have to declare something right and something wrong?
Kirth Gersen wrote:
You might also find the book we use in our Text Criticism classes helpful "A Student's Guide to Textual criticism of the Bible" by Paul D. Wegner and published by IVP. It has some good details on the formation of the OT canon especially.
for the formation of the NT canon, any decent Church History textbook should give you a good account. The one we used in our Early Church History classes was "[i]The Birth of the Church: from Jesus to Constantine[i]" by Ivor J. Davidson and published by Monarch Books.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Speaking of "all scripture," I have another question, if I may, that's nagged at me since I went to see the Dead Sea Scrolls, and found that some of them made it into the Bible, and others didn't. What about the Apocrypha that didn't make it in? Did God just decide that some scripture didn't cut the mustard, and magically guide people in selecting which parts to cull? If so, then why do the Catholics and Protestants not even agree on which ones should be excluded? And what of the Koran, which is "scripture," but rejected by Christians -- even though Muslims themselves accept both Old and New Testaments? And the Talmud? On what basis is that rejected by Christians, although Jews accept it as scripture?
Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to this, I posted just be fore heading out to church, and have been slaving over an essay for the rest of the day.
Wicht has done a very good job of summarising the main points, but there are a few things I want to clarify.
We need to remember that the early (2nd / 3rd century) church was nothing like the current Roman Catholic church in terms of reach, power and influence. Chrisitanity started off as a small, despised, persecuted sect of Judaism. As such, there was no authority structure to impose an 'official' cannon on anyone.
Each church (usually in each region) put together their own list of accepted scripture. Very early in the piece (1st century) Paul's letters were combined and circulated. Likewise the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark & Luke). To this 'core' most churches added a few others as well.
The various books were gradually accepted as canonical, and eventually, the current 27 books of the NT were pretty widely accepted. Not via some imposed 'top down' authority, but by a general 'bottom up', approach. Basically they compared all the 'canons' in various areas, and found there was a high degree of agreement between the various churches, with a few disputed books (Jude, 2 Peter, Hebrews I think were the most discussed).
As for the OT, I will be quite hones and up front that the Early church just used what the Jews were using as their scripture of the time. It is worth noting that although the Apocrypha are generally Jewish writings, very few Jews accept tehm as scripture on the same level as the OT. In fact I think most of the Apocrypha are written in Greek, not Hebrew like the rest of the OT, although I may be wrong on that account.
I'm off to bed, goodnight.
Charles Evans 25 wrote:
Don't worry about it. I didn't think it was harsh at all. I get much harsher question quite often, either from mates at Bible college, or people in Bible Study.
To answer your first question, I pray to God the Father, by the Spirit, through the Son.
In John 1, the Word (logos) is Jesus, God the Son. Holy and Immortal. He is the one who makes God known.
However, although God has spoken through his Son, it is not the only way he has spoken. He has spoken through the Prophets and Apostles as well, as is recorded for us in the Bible.
By Bible I mean what everyone else means, the 66 Books of the Old and New testaments from Genesis to Revelation.
It says of itself (2 Timothy 3:16 - 17) All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
So, as far as the Bible is concerned, I believe it has dual authorship, both human and divine. It wasn't dictated by God (or an angel etc) to the authors (like the Qur'an), nor was it simply human writing in response to God (ala Calvin's Institutes or any other Christian Writings), but "no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." (2 Peter 1:21).
Now, this gets us back into the whole free will / Omnipotence thing, but I will just say this. I am happy having a God who is so powerful and wise that he can somehow control things without it taking away Human responsibility. I may struggle to reconcile the two things in my head (for it is hard to wrap your head around them, although I think the philosophical theory of combatibilism helps), but for me, the Bile teaches both, so I believe both, trusting the infallible, perfect fullness of God's wisdom, more than I trust my own fallible, fallen, limited brain. I know that is an unsatisfactory answer for some (many), but I can't do any better than that. Sorry.
I believe the Bible as originially given is the inspired word of God that contains everything men need for salvation and a life of Godliness. Yes, parts of the Bible were given over 3 millenia ago, but as a text, we can get remarkable close to what the original actually was. Especially with the New Testament, there are very few 'disputed' passages, and no significant doctrinal issues hang off any of them.
Paul Watson wrote:
You are right, I didn't quite mean it like that, that every non-Christian (oh, how I hate that term, I wish there was a better one), has a problem that needs to be solved, and I am here with the solution.
But I still stand by the sentiment. Those who don't trust Jesus as Lord do in fact have a problem. The problem is that on the last day they will have to face the wrath of a God they have rejected their entire life, and will face an eternity of his wrath and punishment.
That is a pretty big problem. But God has also provided the solution, his son, the man Jesus Christ our Lord. Who has taken the punishment we all deserve, dieing in our place, so that we can be forgiven, washed clean and look forward with hope to an eternity spent in the presence of God, worshiping him and enjoying him forever.
You are right that there is an alarming lack of respect from both sides, and that is not at all right, and nothing gets me going more than to see the way some 'Christians' in the public light are so lacking in grace and charity and simple basic love.
Paul Watson wrote:
I don't think I made myself clear.
I don't think I am 100% right. I think the Bible is 100% right. I am 100% sure there are things I get wrong from the Bible. And if I have them wrong, I want to know about that so I can get them right.
I don't quote scripture so much to prove that I am right. There are 2 main reasons I try to back up everything I say with scripture.
1) I want it to be clear that it isn't me who is saying it, but it is God.
2) The primary way God works is through his word (the Bible). The way he convicts people of their sin and the Lordship of Christ is through his word (the Bible). So I figure it is better to let God speak for himself.
And a third point, my evangelical heritage has drilled into me that every point needs to be backed up form the Bible. (At least in the circles I usually converse in), if you can't back it up from the Bible, I don't really care who you are or what you say (obviously allowing for the important role of wisdom and respect in relationships).
I suppose my point in quoting the Bible comes down to this, it's not me who is saying / teaching this, it is God through His word. That is what I want people to understand. It's not something I made up myself, but what God ahs said in his word.
And I get that that is ultimately unsatisfying for many to interact with. Nonetheless, no other authority can 'prove' Christianity (or any other religion for that manner), because then that authority sits over Christianity (or any other religion).
EG if science 'proves' that God exists (leaving aside the fact that it can't and doesn't need to), then 'God' is no longer God as he gets his authority not from himself, but from something outside himself, ie science.
Chrisitanity is at it's heart an irrational religion. Not that it make no sense and is full of contradictions, but (generally) you can't convince someone to be a Christian, for it is a spiritual problem, (overcome by prayer and the Holy Spirit), and not a problem of knowledge or understanding, or intelligence.
But surely you recognize that scripture can only be divinely inspired if God exists to have inspired it? If one accepts this postulate, an inescapable corollary is that using scripture to prove the existence of God is a circular argument.
I agree 100% with what everything you wrote. Trying to prove the existence of God by using Scripture is (generally) a waste of time.
However, I can definitely introduce you to the person of the Lord Jesus through the words of Scripture, in fact it is the only reliable way to do so.
Also, it worth pointing out that it's not my job to prove whether God exists or not, that's His job.
Just like it is not my job to convince you of the truth of Scripture, that's His job.
And it is also His job to bring people to repentance.
In fact, it is all about God. I am just a poor, wretched man that God has graciously chosen to not only save, but also work through to save others. And for that I am eternal thankful.
Andrew Turner wrote:
Nonetheless, the only nurgle I have is when a question or data set is presented and the answer is a platitude or marginally-related scriptural quote...
I can't speak for anyone else, I try to back everything I say up with Scripture, because (at least for me) it is the ultimate authority. Therefore, in a sense I don't really care what science or anthropology, or the church or experience says, I am interested in what Scripture says.
That doesn't mean that tradition, or reason, or science, or anything else doesn't help me understand scripture, they do. But ultimately, I am interested in what the Bible says. If God has spoken (as he has in the Bible), then that is what I want to listen to, more so than any other authority.
Also, I use Scripture as much as I can, so that we can have a discussion about what the Bible actually says, because I might have it wrong, and if so, I want to know that so I can get it right. I am much more comfortable (and interested in) discussing specific references / passages / stories from the Bible than I am in the more conceptual, more philosophical / intellectual discussions.
For me, if the Bible says it, that's good enough for me. I know that is ultimately probably unsatisfactory for many, but it is where I am at.
To be honest, I had never thought of omniscience being incompatible with free will. Omnipotence, sure, that one is obvious to me (especially when combined with omniscience), but not omniscience. But I can see how it is a problem.
The clash of free will (or moral responsibility) and determinism is not just an issue for religion and theology, philosophy has been grappling with this issue for a long time as well. The philosophical solution has been the idea of compatibilism.
I don't really understand it enough to go into in detail (and the wikipedia article seemed rather weak to me from my limited understanding of the topic), but you can also check out the Standford Encyclopaedia of Psychology for a fuller treatment.
But the Bible is clear, God is omniscient and omnipotent.
And although that might be a difficult concept to reconcile with the concept of human responsibility, for me it is better than the alternatives. Either we aren't responsible, or God is not omniscient (and therefore not God) or he is not omnipotent (and again, therefore not God, or at elast not any sort of God that I actually want to worship).
I'll just be brief, I'm actually in the middle of researching and writing a Doctrine essay that I really should be doing instead of this.
Just wanted to comment on this,
Kirth Gersen wrote:
God, rather than put Adam into a no-win situation and then punish him and all his offspring when he falls for the gag, should have just set things up with more transparency.
But that's exactly what God did. He clearly told Adam he could eat from ANY tree in the garden, EXCEPT the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. For if he ate from that tree, he would die.
Gen 2:16 - 17 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.”
I'm not sure how much more transparent you expect God to be.
He also put the Tree of LIFE in the garden as well.
The problem was that they listened to the serpent (Satan) who flat out lied, and got them to distrust God.
Kirth, I can't really fault you for feeling that God is nutcase, the Gospel as presented in the Bible is stupid and foolish, as the Bible itself clearly points out.
1 Corinthians 1:18 For to those who are perishing the message of the cross is foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is God’s power.
Lots of good suggestions here on how to discourage resting. Perhaps instead of looking for metagame / mechanics / out of Character solutions, some in character solutions may help as well.
Have the NPCs ridicule them for resting so frequently. Maybe an NPC Bard decides to travel with them to chronicle their achievements, and starts singing about their seeming inability to have more than one fight in a day.
Perhaps while they are off resting, another adventuring party comes through and completes the quest, thus denying them XP, Loot and Fame.
Once they start getting a rep as a bunch of weaklings who have to rest after every significant combat, and the NPCs start treating them as such, they should wake up and start having longer days.
I'm looking for a Sydney Australia one. The FLGS here is a little like Black Books without the funny. and Alt venue/store would be nice
Well, I'm running his at Good Games in Burwood. I know their Sydney store is also participating.
Never been to the Sydney store, and only made it to the Burwood store a handful of times, but the guys at Burwood always seem pretty good when I get in there.
What is your usual FLGS?
This sounds like a great idea.
Unfortunately, I have like zero writing talent so I would be of no help at all writing them, but they would be a fantastic resource.
I have a campaign with 2 PCs (Dwarven Battle Cleric and Eladrin Wizard), and these are exactly the sorts of things I would love, and then just upscale them for 2 players instead of 1.
Vic Wertz wrote:
Great and thanks for the fast response.
I understand Goodman Games DCC's are coming down form the store at the end of the year (already new year here down under).
What about the download links from the "My Downloads" page for pdfs we have already bought. Are they going to stay there, or do I need to make sure I have downloaded everything I have bought, and ensure I have adequate backups so I don't lose them in the event of a harddrive crash etc?
I was going to go with a dragonborn warlord, but decided to go with Eladrin instead. I should have the stats finished tomorrow.
OK, after thinking about it a bit more, I think i'll go with an Eladrin Warlord. An Aerenal Elf (Eladrin), who saw some action in the last war. He saw his fair share of large battles, but was primarily the commmander of a small special forces unit. With the end of the War, his unit was disbanded, and now he looks for work wherever he can get it.
So does this mean you have room for one more? If so I would love to join. Looks like we could us a leader, so if there is still room, I'll play the leader.
Is a Dragonborn Warlord going to fit into Eberron? If not, i'll play either a dwarven or elven cleric.
Although a Halfling Beastmaster Ranger would also be a lot of fun.
The Purity of Violence wrote:
It's the same for me.
I got home after my exam today to find a nice pile of goodies ready for me, #15 (order #1068381).
But still no sign of #14 (order #1048361) and my order of various rpg necessities which shipped on 30th September (order #926683).
No. I am saying that since I did not focus on Thievery (yes, I still got it Trained for free but I did not bump the base stat and add Skill Focus) and the adventure was yet another dungeon crawl, I was useless.
I'm sorry, I still don't really understand the problem. You are a rogue, as long as you start off with a 16 in Dex, a not unreasonable assumption, you should be able to fulfill your role in the party just fine, both in combat, and as a trap smith.
Now with 2 stat bumps every 4 levels, there is no reason not to bump Dex and Cha at every opportunity, and in fact that is exactly what an artful dodger should be doing.
This is the advantage of 4th edition, you get your role in the party for free, you can now actually take feats and options that are more story or roleplaying focused, rather than needing to spend all of them on raw combat ability.
Also, the role of the rogue has subtly shifted in 4th. No longer are you just a skill monkey and trap smith. You are now also a striker. Even without never disarming a single trap, you should still have more than held your own in combat, in fact in the 4th ed game I am Dming, the rogue is by far the highest damage dealer. In a dungeon crawl, that would seem like the most important element.
Playing a con-man made me pretty much useless in the campaign since I was not filling my appropriate role of trap-finder/disarmer and was a real drag on the rest of the party.
I don't really understand what you are trying to say here. Are you saying that your choice to focus your character on out of combat abilities limited your in combat abilities? Because 4th ed seems to be explicitly designed to avoid this very thing.
In fact, this seems to be the very character the Artful Dodger rogue was designed to emulate. You gain all sorts of benefits form your high Cha. You get skill training in Stealth and Thievery for 'free' so you can use your other choices for Insight, Bluff, Intimidate and Streetwise. Take Weapon Proficiency: Rapier with your first level feat, and you have a solid character that can both perform his role as a striker, and also fits your concept of the con man. And he does all this from level 1.
So I just don't get your comment that playing a con-man made you useless in the campaign. Or is these something else that I am missing?
Erik Mona wrote:
Part of the glut is from finally getting Pathfinder truly on a monthly schedule for the first time since the very first issue, which will ultimately result in more timely and predictable releases in the future.
I so hope that Pathfinder is finally back on a truly monthly schedule to stay. With the recent increase in shipping (beyond Paizo's control I know), and Paizo's decision to not go with 4th ed (again, beyond their control, but I'm going with 4th), the irregular release of Pathfinder was very close to tipping me over the edge to canceling my subscription.
But if it is truly back on a monthly schedule, then that is a cause for much rejoicing.
Well, I definitely hope so, because this is exactly what I am doing with my current group. So far we have only just finished liberating the Blue Nixie, but it was pretty easy to convert.
Not sure how it will go as we get further in, and I have no idea how the higher levels will play out. But we'll see how we go.
I'm not really sure I understand what the issue here is. Minions only "exist" in relation to the PCs. If the PCs aren't fighting them, then it doesn't matter if the monsters are minions, normals, elite, solos, level 1, level 27 or what not.
If I understand it right, you like the way minions play in encounters, but don't like the way the "feel" in the game world? You want them to make sense in game, and not just be a gamist construct? Not sure it's completely possible, but I'll add my thoughts.
I gotta' admit. Minions play great. They make for awesome fast paced battles with loads of combatants. That said, I hate the kind of double-standard rule that gives guys 1 hp just so you can kill them with no reason or in game explanation. Call it rampant simulationism, cause it is. If something's gonna' have one hit point in one 'a my games there gonna' be a good reason.
This here seems to be your biggest problem. Hit points (even more so now in 4th) DON'T represent physical damage. The basically represent everything else, but actual damage. The only two attacks that actually do any physical damage is the one that makes you bloodied, and the one that drops you to 0. That's it. Everything else is luck, will to live, will to fight, resolve, little nicks and scratches, bruises etc.
The difference with minions is that they don't have this "buffer" of hitpoints (luck, will to fight etc), they are the "wusses" of the game world, and so the first successful "hit" on a minion instantly drops them to 0, ie takes them out of the fight. This can be because they are actually dropped dead (fighter crits, dealing 20+ damage), or the minion takes a scratch (OA from the wizard dealing 5 damage), and drops his weapon like a little girl and runs screaming for his mummy.
So there aren't hordes of minions walking around out there with only one hitpoint who are dying when they fall out of the window. But there are hordes of wuss creatures out there who turn tail and run at the first sign of any credible resistance.
So here's what I've been noodling. You know how there's this guideline that monsters five levels higher or lower than the party make for inappropriate challenges? Well what if fighting something five levels higher or lower than you were to confer "minion" status on the weaker creature? While a first level character is having to circle around a field trading arrows with a kobold, almost skewering him but watching him scamper out from under his blows--the sixth level guy has no such problems. He just runs through the brush, taking off limbs and heads as he goes. Likewise while the level 13 character can get into it with a blue dragon, getting knocked around by big paw swipes and getting his teeth chattered by nearby electrical discharges; the first level guy is just doomed. The dragon would vaporize him down to a pair of smoking boots the first time he hits.
The rules basically already do this. I think you are possibly misunderstanding a monsters "level". I'm sure you know that level =/= CR. But it's not just a changed and slightly modified CR. They have no relationship AT ALL. CR was supposed to represent how challenging a monster was. In 4th ed, level does not do this. All the level of a monster indicates is the approximate level PCs should be to fight it. If you want to know how much of a challenge a particular monster actually is, you need to look at it's XP value. That's what tells you how "tough" (or challenging) a monster is.
And when we look at XP values we see that the rules already do what you want them to do.
1st Level standard monster - 100 XP
So, those monsters you fought at level 1, when you run into them again around level 9, they are now minions. Think of them like bullies. They can talk tough, and even dish it out, but they can't take it. As soon as someone stands up to them, they are out of there, or they just collapse in a heap on the floor.
So I suppose I'm saying the rules already support what you want to do. So I'm not sure what you need a houserule to actually do.
If you want something to be a minion, just give it 1 Hitpoint. Pow! Instant minion. Sure it's "level" stays the same, but as I said, level doesn't indicate how tough a monster is, that's what XP does, and that's why a minion has less XP than a "normal" monster.
Why is that such a problem? That I supose is the question I don't understand.
I'm planning on running two campaigns in 4th ed, each for a different group.
The first group (basically those from an old Eberron game I was a player in) I will be running through a converted Curse of the Crimson throne campaign.
The second group (just finished off the Grauls in HMM from RotR) I will be running through the Savage Tide AP, converted to 4th ed AND Golarion.
I hope to get the CotCT game up an running as soon as Amazon get me my books (about 2 weeks after the street date down here in OZ), and the second group will kick off as soon as we finish the HMM. I was going to see RotR through to the end, but I have had it with 3.5, and am keen to start with 4th edition.
It's not so much they become useless, it's that the Cleric (and the Druid) out perform them (or at elast get close enough that it doesn't matter) as fighters, while still contributing spells, buffs, healing, etc to the party.
So for the Druid, it starts about level 5 with wildshape, and really kicks in at level 8 when large forms become available.
For the Cleric, it's about level 7, when divine power kicks in, which is level 7.
And it is not even really that the fighter can't compare. It's that an unoptimized fighter gets left behind. Combined with optimised fighters becoming a one-trick pony, and the need to plan out your entire build from 1-20, means that the fighter can end up being boring to play. Either you are a one trick pony, doing the same thing over and over again (I trip, I trip, I trip etc), or the Cleric and Druid are almost matching you in melee, while contributing so much more out of melee. Neither of those options really appeal to me, so I don't play fighters.
Yeah, I agree completely on beefing up Aldern. In my campaign, I have 6 PCs and they all have good stats (made great rolls), so Aldern needed a lot of beefing up. So I upped his stats to a 32 point buy, changed him to a Rogue 4 / Aristocrat 2, and added the Negatives Energy charged template from the Advanced Bestiary.
It worked very well, pushing the party right to the limit, and they only succeeded because of liberal use of a wand of Magic Missile. If you want to see a preliminary stat block for this beefed up Aldern, check out this thread.
First, a slight correction. 4th ed will come out just as the second AP (CotCT) wraps up (August for both).
As for switching, Paizo are still waiting to see the GSL and the rules so they can determine if they can still tell the kinds of stories they want to tell, so they don't know when (or even if) they will be converting.
I think James somewhere said that Paizo would not be publishing "official" conversion from 3.5 back to 4th. They just don't have the manpower / resources to do so. However, I'm sure there will be many such conversions floating around the boards. If the third AP (Second Darkness) isn't 4E, then I plan on converting CotCT and running that to kick off my 4E campaign world.
No, there won't be a 4.0 OGL.
However, WotC have said they are going to release a 4.0 Game System License (GSL). The GSL will actually be closer to the old d20 license than the OGL, if I am understanding things correctly.
This way WotC hope to prevent companies ripping off whole aspects of their system for their own games (ala M&M, True 20, Iron Heores etc), but still allow companies to produce material that supports core DnD (adventures, campaign settings, splat books etc).
Necromancer Games have already announced (and started work on I believe) an "alternate PHB" (my words not theirs), that will contain the classes (and races?) that were "cut" from the original PHB. They also have a Tome of Horrors (monster book) due to come out pretty soon after the release of 4.0.
The unfortunate thing is that we still don't know what the GSL will look like. WotC indicated they would have it ready for third parties (Paizo, Necromancer Games etc) by the end of January, but we are still waiting, and it is causing some angst among the community, and even more amongst the third party publishers I would suggest.
Be warned that the Book of Nine Swords is very overpowered and will make anyone playing a regular class from the Players Handbook feeling.. very weak.
I don't want to get into this again, but you are sort of right. Anyone playing a PHB melee class (except maybe the Barbarian) will indeed feel quite weak next to a ToB class, but the casters will still dominate. All ToB does is allow melee to compete with casters past level 8 or so.
As for fitting ToB into Golarion, I don't really see the problem. Warblades fit wherever fighters currently fit (the flavor for both is practically identical), Crusaders fit wherever Paladins currently fit (and now you have "Paladins" for all the alignments), and therefore make perfect Hellknights, and Swordsages replace monks, and maybe any "Gish" type character. I have already replaced Tsuto with a swordsage3, Orik with a Warblad 2/fighter2, and Nualia with a Crusader3 / Cleric 3. If you want to check out the builds, check out this thread.
About all I have seen is this thread on enworld. It contains the spells from a 2 page spread of the PHB.
The easiest solution to too fast advancement is to insert side trek adventures into the main storyline. (From either Dungeon, Gamemastery, etc). My group did this with TC1:Into the Haunted Forest. Instead of Aldern Foxglove taking the PCs on a Boar hunt, he recruited the PCs to take him into the Forest to recover the Panoply of Narven. (I know the Geography doesn't fit "canon" but Its my world, and the Parzo Police aren't going to come around and kick my door in.) It worked really well for building the relationship with Aldern, and setting him up as an incompetent noble, I can't wait for the reaction when they find out what becomes of him. (I changed a few things, you can read about it here)
I think however, that as the AP goes on, this gets harder and harder to do, because the later adventure seem to basically be one big dungeon each (especially 4 and 5). And this ties into what I think is my biggest issue with the AP so far, the dungeons are just too big. If the dungeons were a bit smaller (preferably able to be "cleared" in a single sweep, ie no resting during the dungeon), it should be pretty easy to slow the story line down so you can insert side treks into the main plotline not only between between adventures, but also during them. As they are, it is very difficult to insert sidetreks into the adventures, I would prefer more like Burnt Offereings (although thistletop was too big as well), and less like Sins of the Saviours (which although it was cool, was basically one big dungeon).
I don't buy Paizo APs for dungeons. If I want dungeons I'll steal a map and fill it myself, or buy some Dungeon Crawl Classics modules. I want plot, and a fleshed out world and interesting NPCs from my Paizo APs. Plot hooks I can hang adventures off, interesting unique dungeons. Not massive sprawling complexes that sees PCs gain 2 levels before the next see the light of day.
Spires of Xin-Shalast was a perfect example of this. A great, well, fleshed out city. A number of different unique and interesting encounters. And plent yof opportunity for sidetreks, roleplaying, whatever you want to do in the city of Xin-Shalast, and no over arching time press to restrict the PCs. I would not be surprised if my Pcs end up spending 4 - 6 levels or so in Xin Shalast, such is the opportunity for side treks. This is exactly what I would like to see more of in Pathfinder, and less mega dungeon ala Sins of the Saviours.
Erik Mona wrote:
1) Do you plan to convert to the new edition of D&D?
I have liked just about every preview I have seen for 4ed, so I will be converting as soon as my current campaign (RotR) wraps up (about the end of the year, hopefully eariler), so I would love it if Second darkness was 4ed so that was ready to run straight away, otherwise it will likely be a conversion of CotCT)
Erik Mona wrote:
Since Paizo produce easily what are by far the best gaming products on the planet, I will most probably stay a loyal customer either way. For me at least, mechanics, stats and monsters are the easy parts (and apparantly even more so in 4ed), while plots, personalities and roleplaying opportunities are what I use adventures for. Since I can just about guarantee I will be converting to 4th, if Paizo stay 3.5 I will just convert the adventures across. Unless of course, someone else starts producing 4th specific product of the same quality (which while unlikely is not out of the question).
I think you have hit the nail on the head. There are two sets of changes with 4ed coming, the flavor and the crunch.
I really don't care what they do with the flavor. I have never played in the Forgotten Realms, so those changes mean nothing to me, (although I do appreciate that for fans of FR it is a very BIG deal). My campaigns from here on forward are going to be in Golarion, so I couldn't care less what WotC does with the flavor.
The mechanics on the other hand, I am really looking forward to the changes they have made. I think I have been positive about just about every mechanical change I have heard, I am failing to recall a change that I think it for the worst.
So, as you can imagine, I am very keen for 4th Ed to get here so I can start my next campaign (Hopefully Curse of the Crimson Throne), or even better, hopefully play in a 4th ed campaign.
Can I have were-sharkmen with frickin’ lasers attached to their heads? What role is that?
Well I would guess they would be some form of Striker. Probably ranged and martial, so simply were-sharkmen rangers with maybe a bonus to hit from the laser sighting.
Back to the OP: I think you hit the nail on the head. I have always found DnD (and lots of players in particular) to hung up on classes and what they are "supposed" to do. This is most clearly seen in the negativity excessive multi classing can evoke.
4e is mixing this up. No longer do you pick your class, first you pick your "role" and then you mix and match classes, feats, and powers to craft the character you want.
So if you want to be a doughty dwarf in full plate, you obviously want to play a defender, and probably a martial one, so you craft a fighter (or maybe a paladin).
Likewise, if you want to play an archer, sounds like you want to play a striker, so you craft yourself a ranger.
The thing I really like is that they seem to be extracting the concept of class even further from the game world, and making almost a purely meta game concept. So no one in the game world will know (or care) that you are a Fighter / Warlord / Ranger / Wizard (or whatever), just that you are a well rounded adventurer. If you want to call yourself a Warlord, or a swordmage, or whatever, as long as you have the in game ability to back it up, they won't care.
I know this isn't to everyone's taste, but it is one of the (admittedly many) things that has me excited about 4th Edition.
Fair enough point. I am sorry, it wasn't constructive at all. That was unhelpful, and I will try to choose my words better in the future.
I suppose part of my reaction to this issue is the fact that I use AP's for the exact opposite reason than it seems most of the posters in this thread. It's not the numbers NPCs, etc I need help with (I can come up with those on my own). It is the plot and story line and personality of the NPCs I need help with. That is by far the weakest aspect of my DMing, and the part I rely most on Modules for. As such, I would find it pretty easy to dial down / replace the NPC and monsters with lower level ones.
As for the comment that the plot doesn't work unless you are at a high level, why do only high level PCs need to save the world? What is wrong with PCs at level 12 or 13 stopping Karzoug? It's not only high level PCs who save the world after all.
Mary Yamato wrote:
To me personally, the normally-paced APs are like sitting down at a six course banquet. You pick up your spoon, take a taste--and the waiter snatches the dish away and brings another one. The stuff tastes good, but the experience is still unsatisfying.
I really like this description of the APs. There is just too much dungeon in them, not enough time spent out of the dungeon. The plot almost seems to be simply an excuse to move from one dungeon the next slightly higher level one. And it's a shame. I want the APs to do the things I can't easily do myself. Like NPC interaction. Some ideas on how to play out the travel sequences (especially as in RotR we seem to be traipsing all across Varisia, but we never actually get to stop and see it.) Sure, we get the Guide to Varisia, but I really do need you to take me by the hand and show me exactly how it is done. Something like The Sea Wyverns Wake from STAP, but obviously on a much smaller scale.
Or you could do exactly this yourself.
I understand DMs wanting to slow down the rate of advancement. This is only the third campaign I have run (and the 1st 2 ended around 5th level or so), so I haven't had this problem in my own groups, but I understand it. But seriously, if you want to slow down the progression, cut the XP you award in half. And BAM! now you have your slower progression.
Sure, now you will have to re balance the later adventures, but the modules as printed will give you a pretty good guide for the rebuilds of NPCs, and for monsters, the easy solution is to use monsters of your required CR, but use the description given in the module. So for instance Stone Giants have the stats of Ogres.
Because expecting the staff to do all this work is not going to happen. And seriously the sidebar will say words to the effect of "Reduce all NPC levels by an amount that your PCs differ form the expected levels. Power down these monsters, and maybe reduce their number, or use these other, lower CR monsters instead." And I don't want that kind of redundant information cluttering up my pathfinder. It is pressed for space as it is.
I just don't understand this bleating about the advancement in pathfinder being too fast. If it is too quick for your group, dial it back yourself. JUST GIVE LESS XP! Then, either rebalance the later fights, or fill the level gaps out with side treks. Game Mastery modules and old Dungeon magazines are great for this.
In fact, one of my biggest gripes with APS is that absolutely everything seems to be tied to the main plot, with very few side treks. Runelords is better than the rest, but even it is pretty one track after HMM. Slowing it down allows more space for character quests etc.