Dr Lucky

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Hiya.

Ok, someone in another thread said:

Pretty much every time I see someone talk about pathfinder, and every time I play it, I find that pretty much every martial class lags behind spellcasters.

Can somebody please, for the love of [insert favored deity here] explain this to me and my group? We played 3.5e for about two years, and gave PF a shot as well (another 8 months or so; we still try it every now and then), and only ONE of us (group of about 9 total) stands by the "spellcasters = win" idea. He's attempted to 'proove' it to us, but ever time he tries he's using "perfect, single situations" to do it...never being able to back it up when we toss in normal, every-day campaigning situations at him.

So, using ONLY THE CORE RULES (we don't use any of the other, er, 'stuff'), does the "spellcasters = win" thing still stand? How?

Every time we played 3.x/PF, spellcasters either were average with everyone else or just outright *sucked* compared to a martial-based character. The only thing I can conclude is that our "1e AD&D Style" of play is some sort of natural "power balancer".

PS: We also don't use a grid; we just use that thing called an imagination, and sometimes a blank sheet of paper with dots and whatnot to indicate approximate overview of a particularly detailed battle...if that makes any difference.

[EDIT: I just thought of something; I actually do think it's our 1e AD&D style that 'fixes' it. We use the campaign world to dictate what rules we use....we don't use the rules to dictate what the campaign world is. For example: A town on the front line between two warring lords...the [u]rules[/u] say it should have 3d4 Minor and 1d6 Medium magic items available...but "campaign common sense" would dictate that should be reduced to pretty much 0 and 0, as all magic is likely to have been bought/used. That's just one example, but it applies to pretty much everything in our campaign; if it doesn't make sense, we ignore it...even if the RAW says otherwise. Maybe this is significant enough a factor? }

^_^

Paul L. Ming


Hiya.

Ok, we played a game of Pathfinder last night (normally we're a BECMI/DarkDungeons/1eAD&D group). Anyway, I wasn't really looking forward to DM'ing it as the NPC and monster stat blocks make my eyes bleed. I don't have the desire nor the time to "master" the PF game to the point...all my mastery space it taken up by the aforementioned games.

We started the game; a cavalier, oracle (lore; healing), rogue and fighter. I made a bunch of random rolls and quickly ad-libbed the lead in. After a basic set up and hook, they set off to explore a ruined tower along the lake shore about 10-hours ride in order to see if an old guy went there to recover a specific book (army roster/muster book). Anyway, details not important...

...So they go to the ruins and head in. At this point I get that Oh, for the love of the gods, *why* did I agree to DMing this game system again?!?... feeling wash over me. I tell myself...Screw It! (tm)...and whip out my old "Dungeons & Dragons: Monster & Treasure Assortment" book (circa 1980), and two pages printed from Basic Set #1 that have a simple table to help a DM 'stock' a dungeon with monsters, treasure, traps and other wierdness. I start rolling after I scribble down numbers in the rooms of the Dysons Delve map I printed off of "Sir Aleisters Watchtower". First 10x10 room after the door...two d6 rolls indicate "Monster" and "Treasure". Roll %, "Orcs (2-5)".

...It is at this point that I decided to just "go with it" and not even bother looking up "orc" in the PF Beastiary I. I subtract the listed AD&D AC of 7 from 20 and get a PF AC of 13. I decide to use it's HD as a Saveing Throw, if it was needed (it wasn't). I keep the HP as is. I give them each 1 spear to throw and one make-shift club (1d4). Fight ensues, PC's win. Roll % for treasure....3x 100gp gems (!). Ok, whatever...I guess there's a reason for it which I may come up with later.

...anyway, the point is this; I've been toying with the idea of "drastically simplifying" monster/NPC stats when I DM Pathfinder. As a DM, I don't have the same restrictions as a player (obviously). I also don't have the luxury of focusing on a single set of stats, abilities, items, spells, etc. So...I need to simplify. I need to simplify a LOT!

Has anyone developed some uber-simple method of codifying a monsters stats? My preferred method of DM'ing is to have base guidelines, notes, and other 'loose ideas' for something and then fill in the blanks (re: wing-it) using all that point-form stuff as a sort of skeleton. Admittedly, I do have 30+ years of experience as DM, so it's not hard for me to do this without seriously throwing balance out of whack. That said, I do like/need some kind of skeletal structure on which to make logical choices and keep my game consistent. I'm going to write out a one-page 'template' with my "simple stats" info sometime tonight, but I'm looking for input from anyone who's already done this. So...ideas?

^_^

Paul L. Ming


Hiya.

Ok, I haven't read all the books of the AP start to finish, but I have given Endless Night the once-over (and twice, and thrice)...and I have some questions. I'm either missing something totally obvious, or...

Here are my questions and or observations.

(1) As they run through, the drow on the 'inside', a dicidedly less-than-impressive 12 drow plus 3 drider, are...quote"...caught completely off-guard". o_O So, a direct link between the elves of the surfacw world and a major drow city is guarded by a dozen low-level numphies? Totally unvelievable, IMHO. I'm going to multiply those numbers by 10; 120 drow and 30 drider. There. THAT is a guardpoint to a direct link to the elven homeland.

(2) Drow society. I really can not see how the PC's can pull off pretending to be drow by more than a few hours to a day. Drow are CE...and *constantly* looking for weakness, 'tells', lies, etc. When the PC's don't "get" local customs, sayings, history, etc...the jig, as it is, would be up. Just think if a westerner (Canadian or American, lets say) suddenly found himself transformed to look like a tribesman from the deep Amazon and speak the language as a native speaker...how long do you think it would take for the actual tribesmen to figure it out? What is the proper address to an elder? Do you bow? Shake hands? Is smiling a weakness, a show of kindness, or a sign of agression? Just what does "Two rocks to the crack", or "Wings cover dark beds", or "Secrets and wine" actually mean? Add in the CE nature of Drow and I say a few hours to a day at most.

There are probably more, but these two will do for now. Any suggestions or can anyone point out what I'm missing that covers this?

^_^

Paul L. Ming


Hiya.

Ok, I've read the 1st adventure (Shadow in the Sky) once, and skimmed it a few times...and then it hit me. What kind of government does it actually have?

***SPOILERS***
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I have thought about changing thses two...I'll list my ideas to see what you guys think.

Spoiler:

In SitS, there is the Overlord and his 8 Crimelords (re: a Thieves Guild). No problem. But reading the desctiptions of the Crimelords I have questions about two of them...

"Avery Slyeg": ...handles major smuggling.
--Q: The city is ruled, governed, and protected by a Thives Guild. Just who are the people that the 'smugglers' would need to look out for? Wouldn't smuggling be simply "trading" in this city? Being called a smuggler in Riddleport is about the same as being called a merchant from the sound of it.

**My Idea: Avery Slyeg is actually NG or LG relative of Gaston (cousin or half-brother maybe). Avery is pretending to be a 'bad guy', dealing with stolen goods and whatnot (re: his fence aspect). In reality he is supporting a small group of 'rebels' who wish to see Riddleport have a more accountable and decent government system with no (or a lot less) 'evil crap' going on. This way his 'smuggling' moniker would actually refer to him smuggling in things and people that would help his cause. This also gives an NPC tie in for Good aligned PC's.

"Boss Croat": ...trade in illicit substances. (I keep pictureing this guy as the Boss from the movie Cool Hand Luke..."What we have here, is a failure to communicate". ;) ).
--Q: Uh, 'wretched hive of scum and villainy'...I'd think there'd be no such thing as 'illicit substances'? I guess he's just the biggest supplier? Not like it's illegal to sell the stuff though...right?

**My Idea: Boss Croat is actually a doppleganger. He is here 'testing' various drugs on the populace. His goals may be his own, or may be for some greater force. Why? Totally open for suggestions; I'm thinking *maybe* some kind of fertility drug thing so that dopplegangers could reproduce with other races and not just themselves. I actually started the framework for my own campaign that involved dopplegangers as the core villain; in it, they were dying out and needed a quick infusion of new kin and needed to raise an army to fight some other bad guys. Anyway, I'm thinking something about 'drug/medical experimentation' via drugs and alcohol.

Ok. There's my questions and whatnot. Any ideas or thoughts?

^_^

Paul L. Ming


Hiya.

I already talked via email. Got the package, finally! :) It was at the PO, go figure.

Anyway, just opened the box and find I'm missing the "Pathfinder Companion: Second Darkness" book...making it a bit more difficult to create AP-fitting characters for this Sunday's game. I know you guys aren't in the office, so I'm not expecting anything until the new year (whoo hoo!).

I'm going to purchase the PDF version right now so I have it for Sunday. If you guys could figure out what happened that'd be awesome. Thanks!

^_^

Paul L. Ming

pming -at- northwestel *dot* net


Hiya.

**WARNING: Long semi-rant below**

Ok. First: I'm an olde-tymer (started playing in '81; mostly DM'ing since...). So that's where this is comming from.

I really like the concept of the 'adventure path'. The way I see it, it's like an expanded "Adventure Module Series" back in the 1e days. In other words, take the "U" series for 1e: "U1: The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh", "U2: Danger at Dunwater", and "U3: Final Enemy". That was, at it's core, an "Adventure Path". The PC's start off at level 1, and by the end of the last adventure, they are probably cresting out of 5th. In those days, I'd equate that to roughly 15 to 30 8-hour weekly sessions. I guess in nowadays terms, with a 'typical' session seeming to be about 4 hours, that would double the # of sessions, leaving us with a whopping 30 to 60 sessions (or, something around half a year to a year or so). Admittedly, this is likely to be shorter by a bit, so lets round it down to the lowest; call it 6 months of play for all 3 modules at 4-hour sessions.

Anyway...my point (I do have one). Every AP I've played (admittedly only 2 and a bit) has seemed "rushed". Like it's some kind of race to get to the end. The individual adventures seem to more or less requier the PC's to be at the 'high end' of the level range for the adventure. Looking at the U series I mentioned above, the ranges are 1 - 3, 1 - 4, and 3 - 5. So, basically, it is quiet concievable to have but 3rd level characters going into the final adventure. However, looking at a PF AP, say Council of Thieves, the first 3 adventures have levels of: 1 - 3, 3 - 5, 5 - 7. In short, it requiers that the characters be of the maximum level for it's level range in order to move on with any chance of survival.

Does anyone else see this as not neccisarily a good thing? Why does one have to be 'high level' in order to 'do heroic stuff'? Is this just a younger-generation 3e thing? Honestly, I've had 1e and Basic D&D campaigns where the PC's never got past 5th to 7th level, yet they saved countries, continents, societies, even the whole world. Why the mindset that only 18th level characters can 'save the world as we know it'?

So, am I alone in wanting to see an Adventure Path spread out over 6 modules, but with a MUCH smaller range of levels total (say, 7 or 8 in stead of 14 to 20). In short, I want to stay around one area, so to speak, for most of the AP. Looking at Second Darkness...how many of you would have loved to have had the characters home base of Riddleport actually *be* a home base for the entierty of the AP? Maybe not constantly there, but at least being within reterning distance. I'm still reading up on it (my next AP is very likely going to be this one, 'converted' to PF), but it seems like the PC's just get comfy with Riddleport and it's environs only to be whisked far away. It has the feeling of "Ok, you saw it. Stop looking. No, no you can't look anymore. Go. Go! Out the door with you!" *shoved out the door* "See? ... Ok. Enough of that. Stop. Out you go. Go on! Git!"...*shoved down the road*... (rinse, repeat).

As a side note, I'd like to see some AP's developed with either the Fast or Slow XP progression. Call them "YAP" and "GAP" (Youngling AP and Grognard AP); where those who need the immediate gratification/advencement (which, not trying to point fingers, just saying, the younger folks tend to like, IME) get their fill, but the old foggies like me (again, not pointing fingers, but older folks tend to like slower advencement, IME) can enjoy. I'm *really* not looking forward to anything resembling 'high level' PF play (9th or higher as far as I'm concerned).

Ok, enough ranting on my part. I'm just getting increasingly frustrated with the current mentality of "Cool..but look at that NEXT thing over there!". Are my group and I totally alone in this?

^_^

Paul L. Ming


Hiya.

Ok, what use is a Sap? I know it does non-lethal damage only. But that's about it. A thief, successfully sneak-attacking someone with a sap should have at least *some* chance of KO'ing his opponent, right? If it goes strictly by damage, then a thief with a sap may be able to k-o a housecat, small dog, or perhaps a child...but the guardsman at the bridge? Not very likely.

We have looked everywhere for any rules on it (or even similar), and can't find anything. Maybe some kind of Fortitude save, with the DC based on damage done or something?

Right now, I'm thinking the DC would be whatever the player rolled on his d20 attack roll, plus damage of the Sap. So a player rolling a 17 and doing 5 points of damage with his sap (weapon plus STR) would yield a DC of 22 for a Fortitude save. Sound reasonable?

^_^

Paul L. Ming


Hiya.

As a follow up to my post about "Expanding the SDAP", it got me thinking. :)

What would be the pefect "Darklands" campaign for you? What would you, as a player, like to see, do, experience, etc. in a Darklands campaign? What would be the MUST haves and what would be the must NOT haves?

In case you folks haven't guessed, I'm preparing for an extended underground campaign using SDAP, so I'm just fishing for ideas. :)

Thanks!

^_^

Paul L. Ming


Hiya.

I was just wondering if anyone has any ideas on how to expand this AP to have more extensive or just plain MORE underground stuff? Dungeons, caves, caverns, cypts, tombs, etc.

Now, I only have the very first adventure (in PDF), but I took advantage of the killer sale Paizo just had so I got the whole "Second Darkness Bundle" (I think $118 after everything...so pretty sweet deal, IMHO), and it is probably on it's way. Anyway, I'm itchin' to do a Darklands campaign. I know my players would enjoy it, as all but *maybe* one of them have never done a good, long-lasting 'deepearth/underdark' game. I DM'ed the GDQ series waaaaaay back when they were just individual modules (Giants, Drow and Queen series modules from 1e AD&D), and remember it was a blast!

So, without me knowing the specific locations and how meaty those are with regards to 'underground' stuff for the AP, how hard would it be to "move" some of the locations underground? How about adding a reason for travelling the Darklands from A to B instead of an intended overland travel from A to B? I am an experienced DM (as you may have guessed from my GDQ snippit), and I prefer to create my own stuff rather than use a pre-published adventure to 'fill in' stuff. Ideas?

^_^

Paul L. Ming


Hiya.

Just wondering what peoples thoughts are on these goodies (you can check some out at Monte Cooks site: www.montecook.com ). I'd like to hear from those who've read it "all", those who have played, those who have DM'ed, etc.

Personally, I've had the core books (in PDF) from the Arcana Unearthed days, up to and including the semi-revised Arcana Evolved. I've read bits and pieces of all the books (Arcana Evolved, Spell Treasury, and Trancendence, iirc), and I really like a lot of how it feels.

To me, I get the feeling of a more "mature" setting, almost a "down to earth, but fantastic" in a weird way. Almost Middle Earth like; with the vast majority of commoners having rather mundane outlooks and expectations, but with the PC's and leaders of the world 'knowing' about all the fantastical stuff (dungeons, dragons, fell beasties inhabiting swamps, souless undead, etc.).

Anyway, any opinions and insights would be welcome, as Arcana Evolved is one on my list of "next campaigns" to do.

^_^

Paul L. Ming


Hiya.

My group and I gave PF a whirl when it first came out. We found it to be a good improvement over 3/3.5...but not *quite* "good enough". Some of the main sticking points we had were that the core idea of only gaining skills (or getting better in them) and feats are still hard-coded into the system.

So, I did some rules wrangling and have come up with a system for improving skills and adding feats via 'spending xp'. The gist of it that the cost is based on the characters current level, and (with regards to feats) cost increaseing per 'extra' feat you've acquired.

My question to you experienced PF'ers...does anyone see any *huge* problem with this? Our group isn't exceedingly keen on the whole min/max thing, mostly taking stuff to fit their character concept. We also don't much care if some particular race, spell, magic item, class, etc. is blatantly "more powerful" than others...nobody tries to "one up" anyone else. In short, there pretty easy going players with a focus on role-playing and just having fun.

Any input would be appreciated. :)

^_^

Paul L. Ming


Hiya.

Just wondering what others thoughts are on this system. I first encountered it with Jovian Chronicles (a "hard" sci-fi game with a distinctly anime feel). At that time I thought it was an 'ok' system, but I admittedly didn't *really* try and absorb the rules...heck, I didn't even play the game.

I recently (two'ish weeks ago) bought the Silhouette CORE rules (PDF). Upon a more in-depth read I found myself rather impressed with how it works. It *looks* like it can cover a huge range of capabilities...from low-powered stuff up to starships/gods. The seems elegant and straight-forward, and I'm really keen on how they do skills.

Anyway...has anyone had any experience with this system? Anyone use it for their own setting (fantasy, post-apocalyptic, horror, etc.)?


Hiya.

I was wondering if there was (or if it's planned for) any "2D tokens" to represent monsters, NPC's, etc. for PF? I did a search, and did find an archived post about the idea...but nothing since (it was in the "Pre-release Ideas").

Honestly, where I live there is NO means of simply going downtown and buying miniatures. And the weight cost of shipping a metal based miniature 2,300km is..."a bit expensive" (honestly; the closest game store that sells miniatures for what I need is in Calgary, AB...or, 2283km away according to GoogleEarth).

So...paper mini's or tokens would be just what the doctor ordered. I'm thinking 'tokens' like the 'tokens' they use in the example combat pics in the PF rule book (ex: pg192, 194, 196, etc.). Anyone? Anyone have anything similar they can point me to that I can download and print off or something?

^_^

Paul L. Ming


Hiya.

This actually covers "ALL" the DCC's that are currently on sale at 50% off.

I don't mean to sound cheap or anything, but... ;) ...what do you think are the chances of Paizo/GG making a massive "ALL-IN-ONE" download deal for them? What I mean is, what about having every single DCC put in one big .zip/.rar file and sold for, say, 75%+ off the total?

I would really like to buy, well, all of the DCC's in PDF format...but even at 50% off, it's still waaaay too much to lay down all at once. I'd much rather give Paizo/GG some $$$ than only be able to buy a handful of them and then have to, *ahem* "scrounge around the 'net" for the others later on, seeing as they won't be for sale anywhere as per the GSL and all that stuff.

Would anyone else buy ALL the PDF's if the total was uber-significantly less than full price?


Hiya.

Just wondering peoples thoughts on playing AoW, but using the Star Frontiers game system. I figured, "Worms...Sathar, why not?". I'm currently converting The Whispering Cairn, and adjusting background, etc. for it. So far, it's going surprisingly well. I've set it on Greyhawk, a planet, that was once occupied by the Sathar a thousand years ago. It's right on the edge of the Frontier, and I have the BG set up to reflect Star Frontiers.

For those who have played through the whole thing, can someone give me a run down, or point me to on online 'outline' of the whole AP? I only bought the first 3 pdf's, but if it looks like it might be fun I'll pick up the others.

Thanks!

EDIT: Oh, sorry...for those young'in's who don't know what Star Frontiers is, it's a sci-fi RPG that TSR put out in the early 80's (my first Sci-Fi RPG...and, IMHO, one of the best if not THE best ones still around; fast, easy, expandable, long out of print...can't really go wrong with that combo! :) ).