Lamashtu Worshipper

quillblade's page

RPG Superstar 8 Season Star Voter. 42 posts (70 including aliases). 3 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 1 alias.


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The hardest part for me about this is...

Spoiler:
...Nocticula trying to be redeemed. In large part because of a three-year long homebrew campaign where Nocticula turned out to be the evil mastermind behind a series of tragic events and assassinations that destroyed a nation, and the primary antagonist behind our PC group's attempts to set the world right again. So she is just sort of cemented in my soul as a BBEG.

But also because Nocticula always came across to me as a more extreme version of Calistria's portfolio, where lust and murder tended to mesh together in disturbing ways, and nothing about her history seemed to suggest that she was particularly remorseful about what she'd done to gain power... ;)


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After my last post, I feel like adding that most of these changes are, to my mind, positive ones. I was particularly thrilled at the addition of the diabolic bloodline.

There remain niggling things about many of the classes or the system that I don't entirely agree with – particularly the bard – but those are just a personal opinion and, judging by the survey results, a minority one at that ;) Still, I play/run a lot of games with less than the standard number of party members (often only 2-3 players). As a result I am not fond of classes whose main role is support and thus tend to be weaker when there are fewer players to benefit. I hoped that the survey would push for a bard with some different play style options, but it was not to be (at least not for now).

I am quite keen to see what happens with the paladin. I still remember attending GenCon Brisbane and hearing the promotions for the Advanced Players Guide. The cavalier was touted as being "a paladin for every alignment", which isn't quite how the class turned out in the end... but I like where the PF2 paladin/templar/thing seems to be going.

Sadly, the latest batch of alterations will probably go untested at our table just due to time constraints. On the whole I am looking forward to seeing the final result :)


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Barbarians: The new method of rage is... finicky. I preferred the old style, or something along the lines of what The Raven Black suggested – have it be more about choice and risk, choosing to take greater penalties for extended rage. Firstly, as far as emotional volatility goes, not every barbarian is a mindless, raving thug while in a rage. What about those of us who enjoyed playing barbarians whose rage was a dangerous stillness and mono-focus on the battle? Secondly, I do not feel that a rage prematurely ending due to a bad die roll brings any more fun to the game than it being a flat 3 rounds.

Bard: I heartily disagree with the move to make bards even more restricted. Not many other classes have their feat progression basically chosen for them by their first-level path option. They already have one of the lowest number of feat options in the game. I advocated removing those restrictions entirely, and I continue to do so.

Wizard: The reason the wizard is uninteresting is that there is nothing new about them, and there can't be anything new with them, because they are based around the schools of magic... and there is a finite number of schools. In 1E, it was hard to come up with new archetypes for wizard – and most of them were not terribly good. The way to make a wizard interesting would probably be to remove their primary concept from the association with the schools of magic. Wizards should be able specialize in a particular school if they want to, but I really think their 'paths' should be more thematic – Battle Mage, Blood Caster, Pactbound Wizard, Psychic, Shadow Adept, or something along those lines. They need some sort of flavor that can be easily expanded upon in later publications.


FitzTheRuke wrote:
First of all, I play with a wide variety of players re: system mastery, from people who understand rules minutia to people who will never learn the rules ever. Something that happens a lot with both types is, when things are desperate, they want to accomplish more than the rules allow them to.

I am actually constantly having to do that to players in my Pathfinder 1 group ("Okay, that was a standard action to cast the spell, you can't also hit it with your sword..."). It is sometimes frustrating just how often I have to remind them of basic action economy – but that's an issue with my players not learning the rules, not the actual rules ;)

I find the action economy of Pathfinder to be acceptable. It might not allow you to perform the most optimal set of actions every round, but that's not really the purpose of the system. It's not a perfect simulation of combat, but it doesn't need to be that either; it's a set of rules for a fantasy universe.

At the very least, my players find it easy to grasp and remember what number of actions things take. Instead they find ways to work around the limitations. So my admittedly short experience is that the constrained actions aided tactical thinking rather than defeating player agency.


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I just wanted to add my voice in thanking the Paizo staff for all their work in creating Pathfinder 2, and for their diligence in analyzing all the playtest data and personal opinions of the people playtesting it.

I do not agree with every aspect of the game in its current incarnation (Thieeeeeevery). But I still believe it was important to publish the playtest in this original form, no matter how liable to spark controversy some of the new rules/content might have been.

We, the player base, cannot really know if we will like or dislike something without first having the opportunity to see it – to try it out – and then offer feedback on it. You can't give an opinion on an idea that has not been voiced :) A Pathfinder 2 that changed very little might have been generally accepted, but why publish a new edition if it doesn't truly offer something new? By offering such a broad array of differences from Pathfinder 1, we get to consider and offer suggestions about ideas that might never have come up otherwise.

So for all the rules we like, and all the rules we don't, I want to thank Paizo for having created a system that engages all of us in a collaborative creative process, giving us the chance to shape the future of the game we love.


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Symar wrote:

Example: Lust Demon (Succubus)

Are these renames, with the old name as a playtest holdover? Do these monsters now have two names? I wasn't really understanding what was going on. My example is particularly vexing because it uses both names in the little flavor blurb.

And on another note, thanks for actually writing out the rarity of monsters. (If only it was applied to the spells and feats in the main rulebook too.)

I'm kinda running on the assumption that most laymen might encounter one of these things and tell people they encountered a "demon of lust" or "a fire demon" (assuming they survive, obviously). Not every commoner in the world happens to know that their actual name is a Succubus or Balor, but can probably describe something as a Boar Demon or Toad Demon fairly aptly.

My off-the-cuff rationalization doesn't quite work for everything though. I mean, I find it hard to believe someone would describe the shemhazian as a "Mutilation Demon" and not a "Spider-Bear" ;)


This is a very interesting thread.

I am totally on board with the idea of being able to take a Heretic Archetype with perks and built-in role-playing hooks for why your cleric of (Deity Name) might have an alignment or ideals a little outside of the usual standards of their clergy. I think that is actually pretty cool, and allows you to build N Dawnflower Cultists as well as LN Asmodeans.

I play with a group who frequently suffer from "choice paralysis" with PF1 and several games have stopped before they started because they couldn't decide on a character. So while I rejoice at the idea that PF2 has a lot of customization and flexibility at the get-go, I am also in favor of leaving some things more restricted... although I wouldn't have minded perhaps some LE (blackguard), CE (antipaladin) and CG (avenger) options with the paladin ;)

Admittedly, I think the "few non-evil clerics of evil gods" thing is fine, but that is because we've always played with a "no worshipers of evil gods" house rule. At least when not doing a specifically evil-themed game. After 15 years of gaming, we found it prevented a lot of unwanted friction at our table. But I also know plenty of people who have had no issue with it in the past; this really is just my own experience :)


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I would have personally liked to see more options at 1st level. I feel that the muses are a little underwhelming. Perhaps if they gave you muse-specific powers (like cleric domains) or boosted the effectiveness of certain later bard feats (like druid orders), the bard would feel like it got a bit more from its 1st level choice.

Currently, I feel the muses are much of a muchness with one another... there is very little difference in play between a bard with the lore muse or a bard with the polymath muse; they still use largely the same abilities, but gained certain feats at different levels. Conversely, two clerics with the confidence and passion domains, both "emotional" domains, have different powers and probably very different gods, contributing to a distinct difference between each cleric that lasts from level 1 to 20, even if they mostly chose the same feats.

A polymath (polymathēs "having learned much") incidentally, is not a dabbler but someone like Leonardo da Vinci, who was an expert in a broad variety of areas, including anatomy, architecture, astronomy, botany, geology, literature, mathematics, painting and sculpture. In many respects, this is really what a lore or knowledge-focused muse should be about: learning as much as you can in one lifetime.

Muses (in the PF2 sense of a creative focus or sphere of interest) that I might have considered for the playtest: cosmos (inspired by the magnitude of the universe, its secrets and its dangers; the explorer or lorekeeper), innovation (inspired by the mere process of creating something new or different; the great improviser), legend (inspired by the great legends of the past with a focus on building your own; the celebrity or writer of epics), rapport (inspired by people, their connections to one another and emotions; the extrovert or beguiler).

Short Version: This is getting a bit long and rambly. In short, I feel that muses could stand to be a bit clearer in scope, add in a composition or power specific to that muse, and then boost the effects of certain thematically-linked bard feats down the line - in the interest of giving bards more versatility and some distinction from another bard in the party.

In addition to, or as an alternative to the above, perhaps there could be a greater array of compositions to choose from at 1st level. If inspire courage is considered integral to the PF2 bard, then perhaps "inspire courage + one other composition of your choice" rather than "you get these two specific compositions" :)

Some suggestions for additional 1st level compositions...:

BRUTAL SATIRE | CANTRIP
Auditory, Cantrip, Composition, Emotion, Enchantment, Mental
Casting O> Verbal Casting
Area 60-foot aura
Duration 1 round
You undermine the confidence and capability of nearby enemies with cutting wit or cruel humor. All enemies in the aura take a -1 conditional penalty to attack rolls, damage rolls, and saves vs fear.

DWEOMERCRAFT | CANTRIP
Cantrip, Composition, Divination, Mental
Casting O> Verbal Casting
Area 60-foot aura
Duration 1 round
You use your knowledge of occult and psychic forces to manipulate the energy of those around you. You and all allies in the aura gain a +1 conditional bonus to saving throws, spell attack rolls, and to the DCs of all spells with the divination, emotion or mental traits.

RESOUNDING WEAPON | POWER 1
Composition, Evocation
Casting O> Verbal Casting
Requirements Your last action was a Strike that dealt damage.
You release a thunderous note that reverberates through your weapon, disrupting the inner harmonics of your enemy. The effect is determined by the creature's Fortitude save.
- Success The target is deafened for 1 round.
- Critical Success The target is unaffected.
- Failure The target is deafened and hampered 5 for 1 round.
- Critical Failure The target is deafened and hampered 10 for 1 round.

I thought of some others of various levels, but as mentioned above, this post is going to get a bit long if I keep going, and I only intended to throw a couple of forms down as an example. I talk too much...


Posted elsewhere, but this one seems active :)

My means of reading things bounces around from topic to topic based on what interests me at the time, so these will be in no particular order ;P

--

A couple of spelling errors noted. Not exhaustive. If I find any more, I will let people know. Cheers!

Bestiary p.22 (bottom of column 2, "Elite Adjustments")
>> Increase the creature’s Hit Points based on the its starting level.

Bestiary p.23 (bottom of column 2, "Skills Perception & Proficiency")
>> Rarely, a creature might have a skill modifier than its base modifier plus its relevant ability modifier.
Note: I am guessing this was "less than"?

--

Also, I found something else.

Rulebook p.various ("Spell Descriptions")
Note: Some compositions that are powers list Power as a trait, but not all of them do. Non-compositions powers don't seem to list this trait at all. Could be an error, but not certain.


I'm going to say "here" for now <_<

A couple of spelling errors noted. Not exhaustive. If I find any more, I will let people know. Cheers!

Bestiary p22 (bottom of column 2, "Elite Adjustments")
>> Increase the creature’s Hit Points based on the its starting level.

Bestiary p23 (bottom of column 2, "Skills Perception & Proficiency")
>> Rarely, a creature might have a skill modifier than its base modifier plus its relevant ability modifier.
Note: I am guessing this was "less than"?

-V


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I like this a lot. Most of my rangers, PC and NPC alike, ended up either never using spells or taking an archetype to swap them out. They were never particularly effective, and were downright redundant if you had a druid or a hunter in the party. The only things worth casting were lead blades and gravity bow, because I feel like they were actually made to compensate for the ranger's lackluster list.

I'll be interested to see the different options for a ranger, like the animal companions and extended snare options. A ranger antagonist focused on snares who has prepared his lair ahead of time sounds like it could be a lot of fun as a GM :)

I get the feeling this post was a little rushed, but that's understandable - the countdown to the release of the Playtest is, in theory, around 30-40 days at this point, so there's probably a lot going on at the Paizo office! I appreciate that y'all can still make the time to continue with these bi-weekly posts.

But aaaaargh maybe only a month left but GIMME! Give me that Playtest! 8D


Arachnofiend wrote:
quillblade wrote:
I love how everything is so cheap <3 Does this mean that Paizo have tried to work out a more viable/usable in-game economy? :)
The economy runs on silver now, so everything is actually 10x more expensive than you think it is.

Context: It is cheaper than I thought they might be.

That said, the mundane economy always ran on silver for the most part (if you assume the cost of one day's labor should be able to keep that person alive and fed for at least one day). It's just that adventurers stopped worrying over mortal details like paying for food and drink and lodging after about 3rd level because they were always paid in increasingly large sums of gold so that they can afford to buy magic items ;)


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I love how everything is so cheap <3 Does this mean that Paizo have tried to work out a more viable/usable in-game economy? :)

I think that the different types of actions should be distinctly clarified, because there might be ways in the game to take advantage of, or to deny people, certain actions. Paralyzed creatures probably can't use Command or Operate Activation Actions, because they can't speak or move, but can use Focus Activation Actions. However, I do feel that these three different types of Activation could be getting into the realms of overkill just in length...

In game, I suspect I will shorten it when speaking to my players, to either "spend 2 actions to use" or "it uses one command and one focus action to activate" if there is a special reason why the different activation options are separate. Because there is only so long I want to spend spelling out action names to people mid-combat.

That said, there are a lot of terms even in PF1 that I never use in full; 'attack of opportunity' is almost always an 'AO', for example. We've got a few cumbersome terms in D&D already – having to stop to explain to new players how free actions work takes a fair bit longer than explaining that a Command, Focus and Operate Activations each consume one action. It's just that "free action" happens to roll off the tongue better than "Operate Activation Action" ;)


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I'm really excited about this.

As someone who likes to design to suit a concept rather than use a set of standard mechanics — resulting in some rather complicated, but fun, PCs at times — I am seriously liking the "Build Your Own" vibe with the class feats and archetype feats. For both players and GMs, it opens up a huge amount of customization options for when we want to tinker or work to a certain theme, while still providing core options for those days when we just want to use something more like the PF1 baseline.

You know, not even being a fan of VMC, I'd probably be cool with the idea if you could pick up Multiclassing Feats that give you a neat, class-themed bonus and then can pick certain class feats from that chosen class. It's not my preferred method of multiclassing, but I can see how it could work.

I was going to theorize on how and why multiclassing might be implemented as feat options, like archetypes, but that's probably getting off-topic for this thread ;)

All in all, I'm probably less sold on the prestige archetypes, but that's because I was never a fan of prestige classes based on organizations (like the Hellknights or the Gray Maidens) as I felt it came with the expectation that one had to have the prestige class to be part of the organization. At least the prestige archetypes have less restrictions, so that not every card-carrying member of that organization has almost the same build. That does make me happy.

[EDIT] I do want to note that quite a lot archetypes didn't kick in until level 2, level 3, or even higher in core PF1. They might not be the most optimal archetypes ever, but if they were the flavor of character you wanted, you still played like a regular fighter/ranger/rogue etc until that point. So the fact that you might not get access to archetype feat abilities until later levels doesn't really change too much about how they worked to begin with.


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So, the first thing that happened when I read out the stupefied condition is that my husband started playing Stupefied by Disturbed (warning for coarse language), so now "I begin to stupefy" is certain to be referenced every time that condition comes up...

That said, I do appreciate that the English language only has so many synonyms for "your brain has been compromised", and confused, dazed, staggered and stunned have already been used in the game. I might have gone with 'addled', maybe, but the meaning of stupefied really is the most accurate for what it is being used for.


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Huh. I wrote up series of notes for a revised barbarian idea I was toying with earlier this year. It seems I actually was leeching someone else's brainwaves. Maybe it's because I'm playing a mesmerist...

I really like how barbarian totems have anathema – I think this is an interesting way of modeling the fact that many people like to play barbarians as having a personal honor code or tribal traditions that they identify strongly with. As with paladins and clerics, I hope to see GMs implement it in games to promote role-play amongst players, rather than as ways to shut down PCs by handing them no-win situations.

I do also hope that a bunch of the totems focus on extraordinary rather than supernatural powers – I feel it is important to give both camps of players the options they want to build the barbarian of their dreams ;)


Fuzzypaws wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

The Phylactery of the Occult also grants guidance as an innate Occult spell. I'm pretty sure guidance is not a ritual.

I think we've got Occult pretty well confirmed as our fourth spell list.

Also, that means we've got a skill for each list (Arcana, Nature, Occultism, and Religion).

The interesting part of this is...

who among the spellcasting classes in the core book is an occultist spellcaster?? Bard?

I'm guessing Sorcerer is now Occult, and Bard like Paladin isn't a spellcaster at all but relies on spell point mana abilities.

Alternately, occult doubles down on mentalism type effects and that is the list the Bard uses to influence people, with "sonic effects" and such like Sound Burst now being spell point abilities.

Thematically-speaking, an "occult" spell list would suit a strong focus on psychological spells, effects that target the psyche or soul, and effects that target the undead – and not so much the manipulation of physical or elemental energies. The bard already does a lot of those things, and would probably suit having spell options that draw from the occult list, whereas people would be very sad if their sorcerers couldn't blow things up as well as a wizard ;)


GentleGiant wrote:
Acrobat - STR or DEX, Steady Balance, Circus Lore

Fortunately, "Circus Lore" is easily changed to "Entertainment Lore" if you don't actually have 19th Century circuses performing in your campaign setting. Feats of acrobatic daring for the purpose of others' entertainment, such as Cretan bull-leaping, the European juggler-acrobats, or the Korean jultagi, existed for a very long time prior to the introduction of the relatively modern circus.

Don't get me wrong though, if you have circuses in your setting, then it is totally sweet and sign me up ;D


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I think this is all really good. But I still have a few bugbears, mostly about the Thievery skill.

In my experience, players put a lot of weight on first impressions. That friendly NPC you spent hours working on might be ignored or even hated if he doesn't give the right first impression, whereas an NPC you quickly improvised because the PCs wanted to talk to them might suddenly become the centre of their interactive world just because he/she said something funny. Naming a skill Thievery has the potential to label a PC or NPC as a thief the first time they roll it... even if they don't have a background as a criminal (i.e. they were a street magician or a mechanical tinkerer).

The consolidation of the Thievery skill also seems a bit of a stretch. Unlike Acrobatics and Athletics, the actions involved in opening a lock, disabling a trap, cutting a purse and feats of prestidigitation seem to be very different skill sets.

Similarly, the idea (I don't think it's actually been confirmed?) of Sense Motive and Perception rolled into just Perception is strange to me. I did like the ability to differentiate between someone who is good at spotting THINGS and someone who is good at reading PEOPLE.

Still, I want to see how it plays, and will give it all a solid go regardless ;)

But personally I'd have probably gone with "Mechanics" as a skill for locks, traps, and dealing with other mechanical devices in the world, especially as that could actually open up more space for non-magical devices, such as the technology of Numeria or the machines of the Mana Wastes. Then leave Sleight of Hand to be the skill that involves dexterous trickery, like picking pockets, but also coin or card tricks, planting incriminating documents on PCs or NPCs, passing notes or objects between PCs without others noticing, and to hide the evidence of having investigated a corrupt official's paperwork (I use SOH a lot in my games).

Anyway. Most of my babble here can really wait until after the playtest, which I am still really looking forward to :D


On the whole, I really like this idea. Your weapons influence your fighting style! Who'd have thought? ;D

I might have missed the question somewhere, but do handaxes (assuming they exist) also have the sweep trait? It seems like they shouldn't, as they rather small and were generally buried into the head or chest of a single enemy, rather than flailed around the place like the mythical double-bitted axe.

Hammer weapons should totally have bonuses against armored foes. It's what they were used for... <_<


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Having spent several years running with the overall theme in Golarion that goblins are baby-killing, dog-slaying, horse-fearing, pyromaniac little evil creeps who hide in dark places and eat people I find it a very odd choice to make them a core race. In games where I have seen someone play a goblin, it was to deliberately cash in on the goblin characteristics mentioned above and generally ended badly.

The problem with introducing them as a core race is pretty simple. The core races are supposed to be able to be used anywhere. Some might have a little bit of stigma or prejudice attached (like half-orcs and half-elves, or halflings being dismissed as 'slips'), but it's rare that they will be driven out of town or filled with arrows.

The reputation of the goblin has been established in Golarion lore as something to be feared. Burnt Offerings in particular drives this home. I appreciate that there was that one goblin in Westcrown who wanted to join the Hellknights, but there was also a good chance that the PCs would have been earlier sent to wipe out nests of sewer goblins as a side mission. So that little goblin has to hide in a basement and the Hellknights don't let people see him.

In the end, this is like putting up the drow as a core race just because people really want to be That Drizzt Guy. Except that drow are probably more approachable and definitely more mysterious than goblins, whom everyone in Golarion seems to know as 'baby-killing, dog-slaying, horse-fearing, pyromaniac little evil creeps who hide in dark places and eat people'.

Sure, players should be able to play goblins if they want to. That's what posting their playable stats in the Bestiary is for. I just disagree that they should be a core race - not when the core races are typically the campaign setting's baseline for what is considered 'normal folk' in the greatest majority of regions.


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I'll have to look at the actual rules again and make comment on them later, I just have to bring up a pet peeve. It's about words.

Please don't call the skill Thievery. They did that in 4E: it condensed a variety of skills that could conceivably be used for non-criminal actions into a single term that's synonymous with crime. A magician has to use Thievery (instead of Sleight of Hand) to pull a rabbit out of a hat or perform other tricks, for example.

Calling it 'Thievery' seems to me like it will limit builds based on the negative preconceptions rather than open up the skill list. It did with my experiences in 4E anyhow.

If 'Thievery' is literally JUST the skill for 'stealing things', that's one thing, but I fear it will once again be the lump skill for Sleight of Hand and Disable Device... and maybe not everyone who wants to do magic tricks or disable traps wants to have to roll the Thievery skill and be pigeon-holed as the thief of the party.


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rooneg wrote:
They have said that there will be no world shaking event. The timeline will advance ~10 years (1 year of game time for each year of real world time since the original game came out) and the outcome of some adventure paths will be incorporated into the timeline, but no TSR style Time of Troubles or WotC style Spellplague with the associated enormous time jump.

Honestly, that does make me feel better. Changes as big as the Time of Troubles and especially the Spellplague were more disruptive than fun.


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My husband and I have been playing Pathfinder since it first came out, but over these many years it has definitely been brought home that the system could use streamlining. Having played D&D 5E, however, we believe that 5E represents a level of simplicity (and sometimes vagueness) that we weren't comfortable with. A happy middle-ground – something which gives us the crunch to build interesting characters or adventures with, but a smooth ruleset for just playing the game at the table – seems pretty good to me.

I might not necessarily cheer at every design element I've heard of (noooo, skill ranks, what will I do without you?!), but I am keen to follow where it goes and get involved with the playtest. I think seeing the rules as a whole and how they feel as part of the play experience is as or possibly more important than studying and critiquing each aspect of them in isolation.

One of my big questions, however, is actually not about the mechanics of Pathfinder 2, but about Golarion. Will Paizo be incorporating one or more world-shaking events into 2E's Golarion / Inner Sea Region, thus prompting new scenarios and adventures? Will it go through the same dramatic edition-makeovers that the Forgotten Realms campaign setting did every single new edition? I am uncertain how I feel about this prospect right now.

On the whole: optimistic about the new system and the design goals of the team. A little trepidation about the thought that Cheliax might be exploded into another plane or my favorite gods will suddenly vanish from the pantheon* >_>

*Again. Ahem, Starfinder.


This brings back fond memories of Hero Quest ;)


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Raynulf wrote:
My favourite character of all time was a N rogue (bordering on NE) intended to follow a theme and progression of an entrepreneur and politician, building contacts, allies, assets and investments as the campaign progressed. She instead wound up a NG rogue/cleric of Shelyn.

This is what happens when you build contacts, allies, assets and investments in Sandpoint right before I run The Skinsaw Murders :)

...Back to the topic of embarrassing confessions.

I have a habit of scripting (and rehearsing out loud) my NPC dialogue ahead of time. Especially if I care about A) time and B) getting the point across. It might be a background conversation between two NPCs that the PCs overhear, or most of an expected conversation between a PC and an NPC (answering potential questions in-character). This doesn't stop me from improvising at the table if I need to... but it certainly has caused some odd looks from my 3-year-old daughter before a game ;P


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As always, alignment (both good vs evil and law vs chaos) is a tricky beast, in large part because pretty much every player and GM has their own interpretation of it ;) We live in a subjective, postmodern world where there is no One Truth, but Golarion is a world in which Good and Evil are opposing forces. This can make it very difficult to adjudicate fairly on matters which many of us consider subjective, such as ethics.

By at least my standards as player and GM, I would argue that killing someone is never a good act for any reason, but it also isn't automatically an evil act. Killing someone who will otherwise do harm to innocents if they are not stopped is done by adventuring heroes all the time; in fact, killing the BBEG because they cannot otherwise be prevented from doing evil is the whole point of many adventures. Looking at the issue of the paladin and the captive poisoner...

"A lawful good character respects the laws of other lawful good cultures and will not seek to impose his own values on their citizens. However, a lawful good character will not honor a law that runs contrary to his alignment. [snip] The lawful good character's sense of justice compels him to intervene and alleviate as much suffering as he can." 'The Complete Paladin's Handbook', Wizards of the Coast

In a lawless town, a paladin is effectively the closest thing to a wandering magistrate. This doesn't mean she is a vigilante (who ignores the law). It means that she must judge the case according to the laws she values and upholds (obviously, a LG set of laws), and the availability of a just and lawful authority to whom she might defer. The process is straightforward:

  • The defendant has confessed their guilt.
  • The defendant has claimed that they will offend again; not only that, but they claim that they will harm innocents if they are released, simply to spite their captor.
  • There is no lawful authority in town. The paladin cannot expect a fair and appropriate (by her standards) sentence to be meted out if she leaves the case with the local authorities (or what passes for them).
  • The paladin is thus the highest judicial authority in town, as appointed by her god.
  • In this unlawful place, the paladin is forced to perform the only thing she can do to both enact justice and prevent further suffering: execute the prisoner herself. Because the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword.

    This act is not evil, for it is not done out of selfishness, cruelty, callous expedience, or generally evil intent. The paladin is not trying to rationalize her actions (I would argue that a paladin should never rationalize, but that's besides the point) - this is historically the way that the law functions in otherwise lawless regions. The point of being lawful in a lawless town is that she never ignores the laws she holds dear, and abides by them as much as circumstance can possibly allow.

    Killing this woman is certainly not a merciful act, but paladins are not usually required to show mercy to those who have no remorse for their crimes and are willing to commit greater ones out of spite. The fact that she is unarmed at the time of her execution is irrelevant. Typically, criminals are not armed prior to being hanged, beheaded, or executed by other means for their crimes – but that doesn't make the judicial systems of all nations evil for sentencing hardened criminals to death.

    So the way I see it, the execution of this woman (a self-declared impenitent criminal who will offend again) is a lawful and neutral act, and should not cause a paladin to fall, never mind change anyone else's alignment.

    But of course, as I mentioned at the start, people have different ideas of what constitutes the various alignments. I have had players claiming to be good say that killing anyone who wasn't part of their nation was totally justified and righteous, and others playing lawful characters argue that the law is inherently subjective and only evil fundamentalists believed in applying objective law.

    *shrug* Either way, I've added my 2 cents ;)


  • IIRC, all creatures grant soft cover (+4) to both allies and enemies, regardless of their feet-and-inches size. It is just as hard to hit enemies in front of the dwarf as it would be the barbarian. Having the dwarf in the front line should not, mechanically-speaking, be any more of an advantage than having the barbarian there. So just alternate who goes first each time ;)

    The number of allies or enemies in front of you doesn't normally prevent you from making ranged attacks. Reach attacks have, naturally, more problems if you cannot reach your enemies. Still, a 5ft corridor is your standard fighting space. Enemies won't have Total Cover unless they are hiding around a corner or behind a piece of architecture that prevents line of effect, i.e. a "solid barrier". Creatures only provide soft cover against attacks. You may want to talk to your DM and get them to check the cover rules (page 195-196 of the CRB) or this link here.

    If he is operating on a House Rule, I would still recommend talking to him about it, because relaxing that House Rule may help make the game more fun for everyone.

    At which point, unless the barbarian dumped Dexterity, he should still be able to use a bow or have some throwing axes on hand. He doesn't have the feats, but it will allow him to be engaged in times when his melee options are limited. While Precise Shot is a nice feat to have, if the feat tax is too high, it's important to note that you only take the –4 penalty if your target is engaged in melee with a friendly creature. If you aim at the guy standing behind the enemy engaged in melee with your friend, no penalty. Also, no penalty to hit creatures attacking with reach, as long as they are standing at least 10ft away from any friendly. Both rules from page 184 of the CRB.

    Alternatively, give the barbarian a reach weapon and make the archer stand behind the barbarian instead. It shouldn't affect the archer's ability to shoot things, since he is already suffering soft cover from the dwarf.

    NB: If there is actually a rule that limits the number of creatures you can shoot through, someone please link me to it, because it would render standard warfare tactics (archers behind the front lines/shield wall) impossible to portray.


    I'm sure it's been said somewhere already, but will these rules allow us to minmax the firepower of a fully customizable battle station?


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    Gnoll Bard wrote:
    I'm fairly certain the northern coast of the Inner Sea is supposed to be a Mediterranean zone, meaning that the summers are likely quite hot and dry, with most precipitation falling during the cooler half of the year.

    The map of Golarion (though not to scale and as such a somewhat unreliable guide) suggests the Inner Sea is comparatively closer to the equatorial line than the Mediterranean is. We tried looking at some similar climates and figured that the climate of Venice was probably close to the mark, especially as it was clearly one of the inspirations behind Westcrown.

    You are correct that the city would be vulnerable to (flash) flooding from sources upriver, however I would also expect a lot of the city's floods to be tidal in nature. The guide to Westcrown claims the city is protected from the tides, but I don't know that this is actually possible given the layout. Unless the region can only be sailed to during a high tide (not very efficient for a port city), then king tides, heavy storms, and events that conspire to produce Venice's "acqua alta" are still likely to endanger the streets.

    All that musing aside though, if a Southern Italian climate better suits someone's conception of Westcrown, then break out the hot dry summers and wet winters! :D Better suited for olive farms, too.

    - Raynulf's wife and chief goblin-wrangler of the household


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    I haven't been able to read through ALL of the posts in this thread, so forgive me if my ideas happen to be exactly the same as someone else's. Evil minds plot alike...?

    ---

    I've run the whole of Rise of the Runelords with but a single player, by allowing said player to 'recruit' additional NPC allies. Sort of ended up feeling like an early Bioware game, just at the table, complete with NPC side-quests and romance arcs. I have since started running the game a second time, with a group of five players this time, and have altered things yet again.

    Most changes have been fairly small and a lot of them mirror what I've seen in earlier posts. I think one of the more important changes I made is the timeline – I made it only three years ago that the Late Unpleasantness occurred. Reasons are many, and at least one is given in the quote below ;)

    The second big one was the Glassworks. This scenario just screamed "Drama! We need more DRAMA!" I like giving my PCs less clear-cut scenarios; flawed heroes, sympathetic villains, and shades of grey NPCs. I also have a weakness for the scène à faire.

    The Glassworks:


    • Because I usually game with people whose characters leap into action at the slightest provocation, I ensure that they find Tsuto's letter themselves (written in Common, not Minkaian, because he was brought up outside of the household and is unlikely to have learned to write his mother's native language). The first time around, I had my player investigate a strange sound from Ameiko's room, which turned out to be her leaving via the window. In the second, one of my players was Ameiko's cousin (Lonjiku had a younger sister) and staying at the Kaijitsu Manor. She found Tsuto's letter to her uncle, and promptly sought out the rest of her party, inspiring them to check with Ameiko - to find her missing, and another note from Tsuto revealing their location.
    • A general note about Tsuto. I believe the dates, as per the Anniversary Edition of ROTR and the Inner Sea book, suggest that he is 23 at the time of Burnt Offerings. Of course, he's a half-elf, who only hit adulthood at 20. So when he was having his jaw nearly broken by his 'father' and then running to Magnimar and finding/bonking Nualia in those first two years, he was the equivalent of a 14 year old kid. Now, that might add to the weirdness of the situation, but I prefer to make the Late Unpleasantness a little bit more recent (as mentioned early, only 3 years ago, rather than 5).
    • The staff are not already dead when the PCs arrive. Instead, Tsuto made an additional request of his father along with his earlier blackmail - that the Glassworks shut down for a few days after the festival - which Lonjiku ignored. Tsuto has orders to keep people alive until the 'real' raid - after all, if he let the goblins kill everyone, that's eight souls who can't be sacrificed to Lamashtu. After the workers were found by his goblins, Tsuto has had them stuffed in closets for now until he is ready. He's too preoccupied with his own vengeance to pay them much attention, and thus the goblins like to go and beat on the door, shove broken glass under the doors, and generally terrorize their helpess victims.
    • Lonjiku also isn't dead with the PCs arrive. While his death is visually gruesome, it doesn't add as much to the overall drama as having him alive. Instead, I like to run a little scene when the PCs arrive (assuming they don't yawn and go "we'll deal with it tomorrow", at which point I presume the whole scene would play out as in the book). For this to work, I altered the map: expanded the furnace and built a metal mezzanine level with a crane apparatus over the main pit. Tsuto has tied his father to a chair, which is held over the pit of flaming death by the crane. Ameiko is there, held at bay by goblins, as Tsuto threatens to drop Lonjiku if he doesn't confess to killing Tsuto's mother. Lonjiku is in the middle of his admission of murder when the PCs burst in, having been able to hear the raised voices from the other side of the door, and with a good enough PER check, to hear what is being said.
    • During the fight with Tsuto, the other NPCs have their own initiative. Ameiko, after the goblins rush to engage the PCs, runs up to the crane and pulls her father to safety, untying him. Lonjiku, upon being freed, pushes his daughter out of the way and runs for the doors. This is when I usually throw the spanner into what is otherwise a straight-up goblin-stomp, and have Ameiko fail a Reflex save/Dexterity check to keep her balance. She falls off the mezzanine, but catches hold of the crane. If the PCs are in a position to do something, I let them. If they are drowned in goblins and simply can't get to the controls, I make two "morale" checks: one for Lonjiku, to see if he returns; the other for Tsuto, to see if he abandons the fight to help his sister. It's also possible that Ameiko might fall if no one goes to help her within four rounds, but it's definitely not my preferred outcome.
    • Assuming that no one in the party does anything silly like shoot Lonjiku as he runs away (although if they did, I would absolutely mark that as a point of Wrath) he gets to stand trial for his past crimes. Outcome depends on whether he redeems himself a little by going back to save his daughter, or flees the scene in fear of his secrets finally being brought to light and hoping that the PCs will kill Tsuto for him.
    • In both version of this game I've run, my players have been keen on the idea of redemption and 'collecting' NPCs. Knowing this was likely in advance, I added a few hints to Tsuto's journal, expanding on his uncertainty at Nualia's planned transformation. 'Cause, y'know, maybe she'll be a succubus. Or maybe she'll turn into something that looks like it belongs to that arm, and then eat him. Valid concerns for the boyfriend of a beautiful lunatic whose dark transformation rituals demand the sacrifice of family members and those she loves, evil alignment or not. In both games, the players pitched some very convincing arguments and succeeded at some high Diplomacy/Persuasion checks to convince Tsuto that if he truly loved Nualia, he would not let her continue down this obviously self-destructive path (yes, addiction/intervention references abounded) and tentatively won him over.
    • Similarly, in both versions of the game, Lonjiku ran off and did not attempt to save his daughter, whom he had in an earlier session publically disowned anyhow. In the first game, my player had him arrested and he was brought to trial. In the second version, the sorcerer in the party hit him with a sleep spell as he ran away. When he woke up, Lonjiku bemoaned his fate and committed suicide with the blade hidden within his cane (a +1 sword cane that had been passed down the family; after the funeral Ameiko passed it on to her PC cousin as a somewhat grim legacy).

    Probably a great deal more melodrama than any one gaming session should contain – but it's gone off pretty well both times.

    The third major (as it turned out to be for that game) change I had was adding in a new NPC. Of course, this change definitely wouldn't work for everyone, but amused the heck out of me.

    Mystery NPC!:

    In Book 5, in the Cages of Lust, there is an NPC named Nelevetu who is there mostly, it seems, for the PCs to free him, restore his lost stats, and then watch him crumble to dust when he leaves the room and feel really bad about it all. Made a few changes to this one.

    • The Cages of Lust is rich with enchantment magic, so I had some of the cages themselves actually be artifact devices. These Lethean Cages are indistinguishable from the other cages, but gradually suck out the memories of those locked within them until they can remember nothing beyond the fact that they are a slave of the Runelord of Lust. A limited wish, miracle or wish can restore the lost memories, etc and so forth.
    • I gave Delvahine modify memory as an at-will spell-like ability, so she can carry out her little "role playing" games with prisoners by making them believe they are whatever she wants them to be. When used on someone who has been affected by the Lethean Cages, a modify memory spell can implant a completely new history, but only one that can be spoken in 25 words or less.
    • And thus, we had Nelevetu. He believed, absolutely, that he was 'A rebellious soldier in the army of Runelord Sorshen, sentence to be broken by the Cages of Lust as punishment for a failed mutiny.' But that was all he could recall of his life. He definitely was an 11th level fighter, who had absolutely no equipment.
    • But most importantly, when the party killed Delvahine and freed her 'tormented prisoner' - a claim that had the succubus in a fit of hysterical giggles - he was able to leave the room and the Runeforge itself. So they got to save someone from the Runeforge, which had them all feeling pretty good about the whole affair.
    • And so things went along pretty swimmingly. The players gave him some hand-me-down magic armor and weapons, and he trailed along with them as an awesome bodyguard with some odd traits and immense durability. They put most of this down to "he's Azlanti/super-human". Riiiight up until they realized he was immune to electricity damage and had spell resistance, and figured out that they had rescued an incubus fighter 11. After 10,000 years of having his memories constantly reforged and erased, his alignment really was Chaotic Neutral... and would remain so, perhaps, until he got his actual memories back.
    • Needless to say, they halted their side-quest to have his memories restored, though they eventually told Nelevetu of their discovery when they confirmed it in-game. Instead, they actively tried to redeem him to the side of Good, a feat they did eventually succeed in.

    Anyhow. Hope these entertain ;)


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    In my experience, no one does anything for "no reason"; they may do something for no good reason, certainly. I have made it something of a hobby to study the various people that I game with, and I have often found that someone's negative traits, which they spend most of their time hiding when dealing with people in real life, will often come out at the table, when there is the excuse of "playing a character" to hide behind.

    I have played with the depressed gamer, whose competitive, glory-hounding, I-have-to-win attitude was a veneer that covered a severe inferiority complex and poor self-image. They used gaming as a crutch. They only ever played masterminds or brutes, trying to bolster their own sense of self-worth by controlling the game, either by being the party leader, by undermining the party leader to make themselves look more competent, or by threatening to brutalize anyone who didn't follow them. They would quote rules and then distract the GM so that no one actually looked up whether the problem player's interpretation of the rules was correct. Woe betide anyone who noticed and called this player on the fact that they also lied about their dice rolls...

    I have played with the grudge-keeper, who was never happy. They complained that there wasn't enough role-play when combat was going on, complained that there wasn't enough combat when role-play was happening (and often asked 'are you guys done?' two minutes into a scene between the GM and a couple of PCs). Any time something went badly for their characters, they took it personally and blamed the other players or the GM for their own dice rolls. And then criticized other peoples' bad rolls, suggesting that it meant they actually sucked at whatever they were trying to do (even if their bonus was actually enormous and the dice roll didn't matter that much).

    And I have played with the immature anti-authoritarian, whose deeply held belief that everyone in power was a dick translated in gaming to being aggressively antagonistic toward NPCs that had any sort of power over them, and PCs who attempted to give their character instructions. The "No one tells me what to do!" attitude coupled with extreme pettiness and a tendency to interrupt any scene to have their character shout 'defiant' (and crude) insults at someone, regardless of what was going on. It was very hard, and very tiring, to game around, and ultimately disruptive to any scene in which they were a part.

    All three of these people suffered from a lack of self-worth, along with other rather negative traits, which you didn't really see when talking to them away from the table. They all seemed like quite rational, even friendly people – until you gamed with them for a while. Unfortunately, they also shared another trait: a refusal to admit that there was a problem.

    If the other players or the GM know their problem players outside of gaming (or worse: are old friends), then it can be very difficult for them to reconcile the seemingly different personalities. Most people will try to explain it as "it's just the character", even if problem players act the same way every time regardless of character.

    Again, gamers are rarely a$$hats for no reason. The reasons might be that they are overcompensating for a low sense of self-worth, or the reasons may be something petty, but there will be a reason – and figuring out the reason goes a long way toward curbing the behavior. Their actions are feeding something (poor self-image, narcissistic power trips, a misguided vendetta for something that no one else actually thought was an issue...). I am not suggesting you need to have sympathy for the person who is making your gaming experience into a living hell. Understanding isn't agreement, and having a reason doesn't mean they have an excuse.

    Confronting someone about their behavior isn't disruptive or 'being a dick', as long as you keep it civil. If they are ruining your fun, and even the GM admits that they are a problem, then talking to them about it may help you find out what is at the core of their behavior.


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    I have been running CC as a GM now for a while; my husband and I play a couple of hours of it each evening after dinner when our kid's in bed ;)

    I haven't really had any problems with this adventure, except for the Ascanor Lodge sequence. There are some interesting characters, some good exposition and fun encounters, but the information is all over the place and requires a LOT of work to keep track of. I ended up writing it out in a spreadsheet using a version of the Cornucopia scene in Sixfold Trial to keep track of what the NPCs knew, their impressions of other people, pertinent skill bonuses, Diplomacy and Sense Motive DCs, weaknesses and means of getting information from them... and most importantly, what their alibis are when the murder happens. Noting that I had to make up a chunk of this from scratch, so it's not canon material.

    It would have been nice to actually have all that information written in ONE PLACE that could be easily referred to. That's currently my only beef with this book.

    To sow uncertainty and some red herrings at Ascanor Lodge, I had Quiene Steymor, the stablemaster, be a werebear whose secret Delgros is helping hide by locking her in the Beast Pens on the nights of the full moon. I also played up Ostovach and his wolfhounds so that his control of the otherwise savage dogs seemed positively uncanny, Madam Ivanja was an ally of the Prince's Wolves and spying on the PCs, Estovion spent every night locked in his tower alone, and Corvin's absinthe-fueled amnesiac blackouts were common gossip. By the time the murder occurred, my player was starting to wonder how many of the people around him were secretly lycanthropes or cultists.

    Paranoia for everyone. It was great.

    Star Voter Season 8

    I voted for Darkblight Fallow and Hanging Gardens in the end. I was quite impressed with the overall quality and clarity of the maps, and in the end I narrowed it down to a few entries I felt really used the Round 3 monster as an integral part of the encounter design. It was hard to only pick two, however :P

    Star Voter Season 8

    Monster, I re-dub thee Doppelmimic. Okay, this is how I see an encounter with this monster going:

    GM: As you're walking through the ancient tunnels of Nar-Voth, Player 1, give me a Will save.
    Player1: Uhh... I get a 12.
    GM: About a hundred feet away, you see... something. What is your character's deepest desire?
    Player1: Right now? A bath.
    GM: A bath? Seriously? Okay, fine, you see a hot, steaming bathtub, complete with soap and bubbles.
    Player1: Oh, I'm not suspicious at all.

    That may be an exaggeration ;) If a GM already knows the characters really well, he/she can use something more appropriate than my example, without having to ask the give-away question. (Incidentally, the phrase "roll your Will save" is the bane of illusion and enchantment-based creatures, but that's neither here nor there).

    The low speed on this thing means that when the players figure out that there's something funny going on, it can't actually get away from them or chase after them. Not exactly the most satisfying of encounters for a GM, and might possibly become known as 'free XP'. (I've had similar issues with running mimics, which are faster.) It probably should have had a better land speed, because if it doesn't pull off that initial ambush it's toast.

    If the drow send hunters out into the wilderness to find Deep Desires, does that mean that the Deep Desires appear to them in their natural form? Also, how does the Deep Desire determine what is a "powerful creature" in order to avoid it with its chameleon ability? To me, the creature's descriptive text isn't that helpful.

    Star Voter Season 8

    Mark Seifter wrote:
    As a non-expert on maps, I was nonetheless really impressed by this year's Top 32 maps ...

    I think that the Top 32 did extremely well, especially given the relatively short warning. Picking only 8 to vote for was actually somewhat tricky. If I came across as snobby, I apologize to all involved, and can only admit that I was trying to write something coherent at quarter-to-midnight with a lingering head-cold.

    I critiqued some magic items this year, but my critiques were mostly based on personal opinions/responses as I'm not that strong with item creation myself. I hoped to offer people feedback on their maps, however, because that is a subject where I feel I can actually offer advice of value. I'm no industry professional, just someone who has done some professional work and illustration along the way. But I do have time to give to people (especially whenever my 1-y.o. is napping), and if I can offer them any advice that will make their entries even stronger in future years, then I would like to help.

    Star Voter Season 8

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    There were a number of very cool concepts in the Top 32. I doubt many people were gearing up for the RPG Superstar with the expectation of having to draw anything, though, so the curveball was quite unforeseen and a lot of people probably may have felt uncomfortable about it (especially the time limit).

    I've been doing fantasy art for about 10 years now. I also have a lot of experience designing maps. Fantasy geography is one of my favorite subjects... and also one of my biggest gripes ;)

    If, after the contest, people would like some feedback on their maps, let me know. I'd be happy to provide some assistance to help people for any potential future years that involve map design as a round. I'd prefer to leave this until after Superstar 2015 has been chosen, however, as future rounds do involve more maps.

    My recommendation: Pencil and paper are your friends. Nothing beats them in terms of creative control over the outcome of your work. If you feel you don't draw well enough and think that getting some map-making software will help... resist the urge. There are some fine (free and purchased) programs out there, but the limitations of the software becomes the limitation of your creativity and design scope - and such limitations are unlikely to make you a Superstar.

    The other is some basic info regarding geography.
    * Rivers flow from mountains, and more rarely from natural springs or artesian aquifers at higher elevation. Hills are generally not high enough to create rivers that flow year-round.
    * Pick a direction to be the prevailing winds. The upwind side of mountains will be a rain catchment area, probably lush and with plenty of forests. The downwind side of mountains will be the rain shadow, which is normally drier and can in some climates become a desert.
    * Mountain ranges are the spines of landforms. Especially islands. Islands that weren't formed by breaking away from a larger landmass are usually formed by volcanic action, and as such the mountains are generally in or near the middle of the island.

    You don't have to pay that much attention to the things I've listed above - but the cartographer who interprets your map would probably thank you for it. Well, I would, anyway ;P

    Star Voter Season 8

    Regarding the suggestion that releasing the Top 100 is the best way to inspire people to keep trying...

    RPGSS exists, at its heart, as an endeavor to provide Paizo with new talent who can come up with fresh, interesting, and sound ideas on short notice. Surely, then, the main reason that people will keep trying is that they madly want to work in this industry - or at the least be noticed - and they don't care how many times they are rejected, they will keep trying until they get there. Because Paizo is one of the biggest names in the RPG industry and the people who get far in RPGSS have gone on to do some amazing work.

    Releasing the Top 100 doesn't really achieve much. It heartens/mollifies only 68 people out of the many hundreds that didn't succeed, never mind those who didn't even make the cull. For the rest of us it might serve some purpose to mine them for details as to what had potential... But I think there are better ways to design items than to attempt to figure out what people voted for in 2015 and create something accordingly. After all, voters will be swayed by any number of things – including movies, manga and video games that come out between now and 2016 - so what they voted for in 2015 might not be all that applicable next year.

    Most competitions (art ones, to be honest) that I have been involved with would never release as much information as the RPGSS judges have already done. You would never get a personal critique from the judges. At best, you might get a letter thanking you for entering and informing you that you hadn't been selected. Most of the time, though, you don't get squat and you gotta deal with that.

    But still we try, because we have that dream. We try because next year might be different. Because next year we might be the Superstars. By entering and losing, we have "almost made it". Knowing that we were in the Top 50 or Top 100 or Top 666 does not make us closer to having won. The only way to be closer to winning is to try again.

    Star Voter Season 8

    Petty Alchemy wrote:
    Sightstealer Rapier

    Good: Great thematic, solid concept that isn't overblown, well-written and mostly clear about the mechanics.

    Bad: Will save is rather low. (But that's unfortunately the case with many published items, too.) Also, does the effect continue even if the target creature is dead?
    Overall: I must say, as a player of many and varied types of rogues, I would take the sightstealer rapier over a more generic "dagger of backstabbing or poison" any day. Being able to steal an enemy's sight and see in the dark? Kick-ass. As it stands, there is a narrow window between when a player could afford it and when the DC 13 becomes trivial. A passive power related to the theme could have helped a lot.

    Also, we're not ripping out eyeballs here, just (temporarily) mimicking the target's sensory capacities while depriving him/her/it of them. No eye-stabbing is even required. I didn't really find this squicky ;)

    Star Voter Season 8

    James Casey wrote:
    Question & Mini-rant

    Here are my theories, regarding your question. These aren't aimed at your item in isolation, but refer to a number of entries.

    While it would be nice to have a published benchmark to measure against, as has been stated, you can find published precedent for all manner of terrible design. Such classics as the dagger of venom (SiaC) and the luck blade (augments saving throws, grants wishes, and one reroll), were they created for RPGSS, would never become finalists IMO - but they are legacies of an older game that continue to exist because they were there before.

    Now, one of the problems inherent with coming up with something unique is the caveat that it cannot be too unique - it needs to be something that a player could conceivably make with the Crafting rules. Or that could be placed into any treasure hoard in any campaign and not feel totally out of place.

    Items that reference specific Golarion gods, places, etc are fine if they are to be printed in one of the Golarion setting supplements. However, I've noticed that Paizo try very hard to keep such references out of equipment published in their core series (such as Ultimate Equipment), and thus such references are likely to be cut.

    Additionally, something whose description sounds too unique suggests an artifact rather than a weapon.

    Now, the original Desert Caller:

    Comments:

    - Firstly, I should mention that I did like your item. I thought the template was a neat idea. BUT I can see why it was DQ'd.
    - For me, this was an issue with adding a monster that isn't there (and yes, a template usually counts as a monster). If there wasn't anything published to work with - well, it's unfortunate, but that should have called for a change of concept/design, not a new monster.
    - Weapons that summon things has been done (see dancing wasp, AP#49, possibly others too), but again, they don't create a new creature to be summoned by the weapon.
    - The weapon is strongly tied to Sarenrae in both name and description, and the weapon's major abilities only function for a worshiper of that deity. This means that adapting the weapon to suit the more campaign-generic Core rulebook series... would actually require a complete rewrite. That's not work that the people at Paizo care to do for an RPGSS entry.
    - I think that there is a LOT of room for creativity of design in the RPGSS. But fundamentally, a magic weapon still needs to feel like its primary purpose it to be a weapon. A weapon whose main purpose is to enhance summons to do the fighting for you... well, that might as well have been a magic stick. (It could even work on eidolons, which means it would have been the summoner's stick of choice.)

    Those are the main reasons why I think it didn't work. These are just my opinions, of course :)

    Star Voter Season 8

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    Garrett Guillotte wrote:
    Norgorber's Lens

    This needs to be pointed out: the only place in which ebony is a stone is in the Elder Scrolls games by Bethesda. In real life, and as far as I'm aware in Pathfinder, ebony is a TREE and thus doesn't produce stone, it produces wood. A really dense, heavy wood that sinks in water. If you want a black, glasslike stone, that's obsidian.

    Good: This thing has so much flavor - great visuals, a lot of fun tie-ins, plus you made an item that's related to Norgorber that isn't about stabbing and poison! Props for that.
    Bad: The mechanics take a long time to spell out what is actually a fairly simple effect. Some issues with clarity and missing information; how many attacks can you make through the lens?
    Overall: I liked it. I thought it was creative and extremely cool. Not sure why people keep talking about facing - it clearly states that the effect is a cone. I guess the problem is you said "facing the cone" rather than "in the cone's area/effect". My reading, however, is that the cone goes wherever the player points it at the beginning of his turn. Eye tyrants did the same thing in 3.5.

    (I realized I should probably be posting under my actual username rather than my alias, if only to prove that I did indeed do some voting ;))


    Liz Courts wrote:
    Updated to include HeroLab file. Blitterbug, please try downloading it again: it should have the HL file (which is the HeroLab data file) as well as your PDF.

    Got it, and thank you :D