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Thrice Great Hermes wrote:


Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:

?

Why would it be?

This is Starfinder not Pathfinder. Soldier isn’t Fighter with the Soldier Archetype, Operative isn’t Rogue with the Operative Archetype (I don’t think we even have class specific archetypes).

Because Alchemy is a fantastical science and fantastical science is precisely what the Biohacker is a practitioner of. Alchemy could be ddirectly ported to a higher tech setting without having to change or evolve it.

Jason Keeley wrote:
There's a fair amount of alchemist DNA (pun intended) in the biohacker, but we definitely wanted it to be a Starfinder class, with its own science-fantasy feel!

I wanted a space Monk.

Any portrayal of qausi mystical martal skill in a higher tech setting could be used as insperation?

Maybe not quite to the right level, but Dune's Bene Gesserit?


Sauce987654321 wrote:

Having an advantage against your opponent like this isn't exclusive to welding high tech weaponry, as it can be as simple as having the high ground. You could've referenced other movies with this same scenario without access to advanced weapons, like Conan the Barbarian.

Awarding XP in this instance is really a case by case basis. Do you want to award them with XP because you put them in the position to run over hordes of zombies with a truck? Do you want to give them XP for surviving the odds until they found a higher level weapon?

In any case, your party should be appropriately leveled for your campaign in mind, in whatever way you see fit.

Or in D20-style RPGs by having powerful magic weapons (and other gear).

The basic approach is to not do that: Don't give low-level parties high level gear. In Pathfinder it's limited by cash and in Starfinder gear itself is leveled.

As for XP, XP for an encounter should be based on the challenge that encounter poses and thus should be cut back if the party is given unexpected advantages.


Tender Tendrils wrote:

I imagine kobolds might love to pick up the occasional musket on a more "oh look what we stole" basis, and a rogue arms dealer in a region like the river kingdoms would be an interesting adventure hook.

As for mass adoption, I think Andorran and Galt are very thematic places for firearms to turn up (as they have a sort of revolutionary era theme to them).

I feel like Cheliax might want to restrict firearms, as the revolutions people mentioned are easier to pull off with firearms (as they tend to be a bit of an equaliser between soldiers and commoners, it takes a lot of training and discipline to use a sword well enough to stage a rebellion, but guns are a bit more egalitarian) though I could imagine Brastlewark being a good place for some limited firearm production.

Not in PF1 at least.

Swords are martial, guns are exotic. :)


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Draco18s wrote:
Temperans wrote:
The 4th level version effectively let's you skip all the math, and moving around for the highest level item.

Then why does the spell not say that you can "spend 10 minutes" (or however long) and get the same effect?

BellyBeard wrote:
You're just adding restrictions that aren't there.

You're adding abilities that aren't there.

thejeff wrote:

Not at all?

Like, even if there's one magic sword in an empty room, you can't be sure? It detects with it there, take it out, it might still detect magic, just to fool you?

You are also adding things that weren't said.

Obviously if its a blank, empty room with only a sword in it, the sword is probably magical. Cast Read Aura on it.

(But don't be surprised if the sword is mundane and there's an illusion in the corner hiding something once in a while)

The point is about what happens when you find a room full of swords, most of which aren't magical. Backing off 15 feet isn't going to give you any more information than "there's something magical in that pile of swords (thanks, we already knew that)." Its not the spell lying to you, its the world and the GM saying, "this is not how you perform the Search Activity."

No, but taking half the swords and putting them in a pile 40' away and then casting again will tell you.

As would guessing that it's the one sword in a room with other stuff in it, removing the sword and then casting to find there's nothing left.

Backing off 15' wouldn't tell you which sword in the pile, but it might tell you it's not any of the swords, but something up against the far wall, which is now 35' away.

If these things can't work, it's because the spell is lying.


Draco18s wrote:
BellyBeard wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
You understand how quantum states and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle work, yes?
You understand geometry and Venn's principles of laying one circle partially over another, yes?

Yes, I do.

And I'm saying that because the pinpoint is a feature of the 4th level spell effect MAGIC happens and it doesn't work.

Just like I can't go outside and shout FOS ROH DAH and actually knock over any cars, our physics doesn't apply to a gamified world.

Not at all?

Like, even if there's one magic sword in an empty room, you can't be sure? It detects with it there, take it out, it might still detect magic, just to fool you?
This isn't even physics, it's not even really geometry. It's really simple basic stuff. For it to work like that, the spell would have to be completely unreliable.

Much simple to assume the 4th level version just gives you quick, easy access to something you can eventually work out with the regular one most of the time.


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Draco18s wrote:
Temperans wrote:
Except the spell does have 30 ft radius, so it would not react to any magic outside that area, and it would definitely mean you can at the very least narrow down the area where the magic is located.

You understand how quantum states and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle work, yes?

Magic, when deteced with Detect Magic, only tells you "it is somewhere in this 30 foot radius area." A second pulse cannot tell you more information if you overlap the areas because you're resolution on the spell is "30 feet." The spell explicitly says that you cannot pinpoint unless it is cast at a heightened level by the very fact that pinpointing is a 4th level feature.

Ergo all you can determine is a vague "somewhere in this 30 foot radius zone."

Maybe it didn't pick up the moment it entered the field, maybe you still pick it up for a moment after it leaves the field.

The mechanical effect is that you can locate a source of magic with a precision of 30 feet. You can't zoom in, you can't enhance, you can't triangulate.

That's a 4th level effect.

QED

You can't triangulate, since it's not directional, but you can walk 15' away and try again. If nothing registers, then you've ruled out some area. Then you can move again and repeat. It's awkward and annoying, but it works.

There's no quantum state. There's no uncertainty principle. It's just an area based Yes/No. There's no "didn't pick up the moment it entered the field, maybe you still pick it up for a moment after it leaves the field", since there's no field, just separate pulses.

It gets more complicated if there are multiple sources, but it's still viable.

Now, given PF's 5' grid system, all you're going to be able to do is narrow it down to one 5' square, at least with immovable items.

Otherwise though, I'd just handwave it in exploration mode.


KahnyaGnorc wrote:
GM PDK wrote:
DerNils wrote:
To be brutally honest, if Sony and Disney don't come back together, the next Spiderman will probably be animated and/or a complete reboot again, and crossover with Venom on top.

I really hope they crossover with Venom, as I really like that movie.

On an unrelated matter, I also love the X-Men First Class movies, and I don't think the MCU would be able to do a better job than that. I'm hoping X-Men don't end up in the MCU...

Rumor is that they are working on a Hulk vs Wolverine movie (or, likely, a movie where Hulk and Wolverine fight)

Seems like that would have worked better before we had the smart Banner/Hulk.


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Draco18s wrote:
thejeff wrote:
With that line though, you've nailed it down so that you can never find anything but the highest level magic. :)

Without that line, you can't find anything at all ever, as with restricted mobility options (a room that's only 15 feet by 15 feet and a single corridor leading to it; an arrangement of chasms/immovable 'furniture'; etc) and items placed in certain ways means you can never pin any of them down.

But sure, if you want to quibble over the wording, go ahead. All I was doing was giving the heightened 4th benefits as an activity instead of never. You want it more permissive, fine. The point is that one additional sentence lets the GM go "you CAN search the room this way." Without that line you can't search the room with detect magic at all (that functionality is in Read Aura).

Forcing things into encounter mode for this kind of nonsense is pointless. Either you have the time or you don't. It shouldn't rely on a player's metagaming shenanigans that waste everyone else's time.

My reading is that things in encounter mode already rely enough on GM judgement calls that the GM can already rule that you can search without dropping into encounter mode. Adding that line only restricts what can be done.


Penthau wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
Penthau wrote:


There is also nothing in the wording of Detect Magic that exempts it from line of effect rules, which apply to all spells unless otherwise stated. It is listed as simply an emanation with a 30' radius.

oh then you can cast it inside a cup and get a cone shaped detect magic. if the source is your hand or something just pull up your sleeve.

hell you can easily use any obstruction then, like casting it from behind an open doorway to easily determine location...

Except the source isn't your hand, the spell is an emanation, which emanates from your square in all directions. https://2e.aonprd.com/Rules.aspx?ID=357 Find a single rule that exempts detection spells or emanations from line of effect. Maybe there can be some disagreement on what constitutes a barrier to line of effect, but if it's a barrier, Detect Magic isn't going through it. So yes, you could stand in the hallway past an open door and restrict the area of effect into the room, assuming the wall is a barrier, which it would be in the vast majority of cases.

So would being in a chest be a barrier to line of effect? How about in a drawer of a desk or a secret compartment in the wall? The rules say that an opening of an square foot stops something from being a barrier to line of effect, none of which would apply to any of the examples above. https://2e.aonprd.com/Rules.aspx?ID=359

It does raise other questions though: Is an item in a pouch or in a pack detectable?


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Well it certainly doesn't "light up the magic objects", since you can't tell which they are, or even if there's more than one.

But there's no reason I'm aware of that line of effect rules don't apply.

Might be even more frustrating if they didn't - that magic you detect, but can't find isn't actually in the room, but on the other side of a wall in a room you don't even know exists. :)


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Draco18s wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
you must actual search for the room, figure out what is worth keeping and figure out what is magical later, or do a manual search while casting read aura. it's not impossible to find magical items like you seem to think it is, it's just not a flick of the wrist.

Watch this easy textual trick.

Nothing up my sleeves.

Quote:

Detect Magic Cantrip

You send out a pulse that registers the presence of magic. You
receive no information beyond the presence or absence of magic.
You can choose to ignore magic you’re fully aware of, such as the
magic items and ongoing spells of you and your allies.
You detect illusion magic only if that magic’s effect has a lower
level than the level of your detect magic spell. However, items
that have an illusion aura but aren’t deceptive in appearance
(such as an invisibility potion) typically are detected normally.
If you spent 10 minutes (as an Exploration Activity) you can
pinpoint the source of the highest-level magic.

Heightened (4th) As 3rd level, but you also pinpoint the source
of the highest-level magic immediately.

Without that line you force the players to go into encounter mode and detail exactly how they position themselves to pinpoint. Or you CAN'T pinpoint even with positioning. Once you detect something you just have a general idea that it's in some 30 foot area. You back off ten feet and try again and you'll get in-determinant results (that is, assume precisely one magical source and you get the first result: if you move 15 feet east and ping and get a result, then move 30 feet west and ping and get a result, where's the magic?).

Without that line you can force the players to go into encounter mode. Or you can use some of that judgement GMs are supposed to apply in exploration mode and make it work in a bit looser fashion.

With that line though, you've nailed it down so that you can never find anything but the highest level magic. :)


CBDunkerson wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Two main reasons, I think the approach fails here:

I should perhaps have pointed out that I was describing a system which has already worked... see British Columbia and Switzerland for examples.

thejeff wrote:
Plus, I started by addressing CB's thought that the exemption would be the simpler approach, while I think the sales tax model would be even simpler.
Maybe. I'm not sure if either has been tried. The existing examples actually use the 'intrusive' method of tracking carbon usage for everyone and then increasing/reducing income or other tax burdens by the net of the carbon tax due and returned. However, those have both been in effect for more than a decade and in countries with relatively small / simple tax procedures. Thus, I'd expect a more world-wide implementation to look for ways to simplify the process.

As far as I can tell the British Colombia model is what I'm talking about. Switzerland might be, at least on the individual level.

You pay the tax on each gallon of fuel you buy (or equivalent) when you pay for it, rather than keeping detailed records of all the carbon based energy you use throughout the year and sending the government a check at the end. I couldn't find any mention of exemptions for low emitters.
In Switzerland, even high emitting companies get rebates, though the form is more complicated than a simple check and they'd be dwarfed by the cost of the taxes.

Perhaps we're just misunderstanding?


Irontruth wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Trying to draw lines for "emitters above a certain level" gets awkward and intrusive. It also feels less like a rebate and more like a giveaway if most people aren't paying the tax directly and that makes the rebate part more vulnerable.

Countries around the world have successfully implemented progressive taxes for lots of things, so your initial opposition to this immediately falls flat to me.

I might agree that a certain method of implementation of a progressive tax might be a failure, but a blanket statement that progressive taxes can't work is patently ridiculous.

Good thing that's not what I said. (Or at least what I meant.)

Two main reasons, I think the approach fails here:
First is more technical: You'd need to directly track everyone's carbon emissions, so you'd know when they went over the limit. That's intrusive. It's simpler and less intrusive to just treat it as a tax on the production. Passed on to consumers when they buy energy (as well as when they buy things made using that energy.)

The second is that the rebate mechanism is already progressive: You pay according to use, but get a flat amount back. Making it doubly progressive - don't pay and get money back makes it seem less acceptable, I think.

This isn't a normal progressive tax. It's designed to modify behavior - reduce carbon use. Raising the price of carbon to the consumer is part of that.

Plus, I started by addressing CB's thought that the exemption would be the simpler approach, while I think the sales tax model would be even simpler.


CBDunkerson wrote:
The best way to get people to buy into a carbon tax would be to make it revenue neutral... that is everyone pays a tax based on the amount of carbon they emit and all the money generated by that tax is then divided by the number of taxpayers and the resulting amount returned to each. In practice it would probably be simplified so that only emitters above a certain level have to pay and only those below that level receive checks. That would basically result in nearly all individual taxpayers having more money. Which is appropriate since they are hit by the environmental and health impacts of the pollution put out by the highest emitters.

The simplest way would be to basically treat it as a sales tax - everyone pays when they buy energy. Which in the case of businesses would then be passed on to consumers, but would still provide an incentive to use renewable energy, since that would all you to charge lower prices/collect more profit.

Trying to draw lines for "emitters above a certain level" gets awkward and intrusive. It also feels less like a rebate and more like a giveaway if most people aren't paying the tax directly and that makes the rebate part more vulnerable.

Also, that approach lowers the incentive for people below the "highest emitter" line to switch - they won't be taxed less and they'll still get the same rebate.


I never really thought him like either all that much. Raven and his links to her was always the interesting part to me. And that relationship and how it affects Raven didn't really seem close to any of the other characters mentioned. (I mean, there are hints of Clea/Dormammu, but only hints.)

But I really only read the original 80s Titans uses of him.


EldonGuyre wrote:
Artificial 20 wrote:
Better no GM than bad GM.
While I agree with that, fudging...or not fudging...doesn't make the difference, by itself.

That's sort of the contention at hand.

It's pretty clear that for some people it does. And for a subset of those simply not being sure because they can't see the rolls will be enough.


Bob Bob Bob wrote:
thejeff wrote:
But yeah, some aren't good at it, but that's not the same as "It's always obvious". Most of those who fudge don't fudge entire combats, so it's not like you can tell "the rolls aren't really random". Often you're just dialing back weird dice luck to something closer to what would be expected. The six goblins just rolled 3 20s in that round? Nah, one of them was really a crit, the others just normal hits.
That's a nice ideal. Three posts later:
Matthew Downie wrote:
That's why it's better if you can roll openly. If you roll behind a screen, it's a natural assumption that anything statistically unusual is probably the GM changing the numbers - isn't that the primary reason for them to use a screen in the first place?

Here's some reality. You are right, not all fudging is caught. But not all "catches" are fudging either. And anything that looks like it's not random to the player is going to be labeled fudging by someone looking for it.

And in the nicest way, people are really bad at understanding probability. Randomness to them means the results keep changing. You even allude to that yourself by talking about "dialing back dice luck". But what happens if the goblins all roll above 13 next round (or whatever they need to hit)? Do you make a few of them misses so the goblins don't all hit? Because otherwise the players will suspect you changed the dice, even though you didn't that round.

This is why I personally roll in the open. I am not willing to commit to continuously altering dice rolls so that players think it's random in defiance of actual randomness. There's a thousand other tools on the GM side during battle (target priority, spell choice, HP values) and outside of battle (healing/resurrection for quests, provided loot) that changing the actual dice rolls just doesn't seem worth it.

Yeah, I guess some people will assume that any use of a screen means everything is cheating. Not much I can do about that. I'm certainly not going to change rolls to show I'm not changing rolls.

You underestimate what I'd consider a problem for dice luck. All rolling over 13? Whatever. I make a joke about my dice being hot and move on. I described that as turning multiple 20s into just one crit and the rest hits.


Warped Savant wrote:

People that are saying a GM should never fudge seem to be trying to say that when a GM fudges a roll it's usually in the GMs favour rather than help the players.

So I have a new question!

If your opinion is that a GM should never fudge are you assuming that fudging GMs are usually doing it to hit the players more/have monsters succeed on saves more often?
Or do you think that when a GM fudges a roll they're usually pretending to roll less so that when they're on a hot streak the monsters aren't going to kill the PCs?

People that think it's okay to occasionally fudge a roll: Do you think it's okay to fudge to the detriment of the players or do you just mean it's okay to occasionally fudge to help the players a little if they're not doing so well/you keep rolling really high/you designed a fight that's harder than you expected?

I would say it's never okay to fudge a roll to the detriment of the players. Only for their benefit.

Normally, that's going to be the same as to the benefit of the PCs, but I think it's an important distinction, since it's not the GM vs the Players and anything the GM does should be aimed at be better for the players, even when it's screwing their characters over.

That said, from what I've seen in my personal experience and from what I've seen people advocate for here, it's 95+% helping the PCs. Generally clamping down on hot dice runs or misjudged encounters. The only common exception would be something like a really bad save that shuts down a climatic encounter at the start and I'd consider that pretty iffy. Use sparingly.


Charles Scholz wrote:

Script treatments are like the first draft, the plot is there but needs to be fleshed out.

Script treatments vary.

As far as I can tell what Lucas had was something like 40-50 pages, but there are conflicting reports whether that was for the whole trilogy or just the first movie. If the first it was pretty thin, if the second, then there wasn't anything for the other movies.

It also seems like a lot of stuff from those made it into the movies, though certainly modified and expanded.


thorin001 wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
thorin001 wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Use a screen and they'll either be the pedant gm book memorizing rules lawyer who's probably ruining the game for at least one other player at the table, or unaware.

Or they can just understand probability and know that the chance that the GM is being a railroading, cheating, nether-orifice is above 95%.

See, anyone can describe people with differing opinions in derogatory terms.

Thats my point. The only way crunching probability works is if you've memorized, or looked up the stats of what you are fighting and tracked hits and misses. Players like that are table poison.

But your point is wrong. If my AC is 42 and I have been critted 3 times in a row I don't need to know the stats of the critter I am fighting to know that something is not kosher. If the DC for my saves is 36 and not one save in 6 tries has failed I do not need to know the stats of the critters to know that the gods of probability have been defied. If my AC is 10 and all of the bad guys miraculously miss me when I am at 1 hp I do not need to know the stats of the bad guys to notice something is seriously amiss.

But you seem to have completely missed my point in your zeal to be wrong.

More importantly, you're assuming that the GM is fudging basically everything, essentially ignoring the dice. If your GM is that blatant, you'll probably notice, but that's not what anyone in the fudging camp here suggests.

Far more likely, based on that advice, that the GM makes one of those crits a normal hit or just blocks a hit when you're at 1hp to give you a chance to heal or withdraw - push your "luck" and you'll go down.

The more often, the more blatant, the easier it is to notice and the advice is don't do it often or be blatant about it.


Bob Bob Bob wrote:

This is an opinion thing. There is no universal right answer, just right for you. And as I've said previously in this thread, right for you with that GM. One I absolutely trust and am happy to let fudge in that I'd know he has a good reason. The other I would much rather see the rolls so I can ask how that monster has a +26 to attack at level 6 (it was the AC). I trust that he has our best interests in mind, I just don't trust that he knows the rules that well. And fudging when you don't fully understand the rules can end up setting bad precedents and unbalancing the game or worse, making fudging the default answer to any problem.

As for the assertion that only pedantic rules lawyers will notice fudging, GMs are also pretty good at finding it out. I can't tell you what the attack bonus of a Goblin is. I can tell you if we're fighting six of them at level 6 then they're either a complete cakewalk or have an attack bonus somewhere around +6-8. More rolls also means it's easier to spot when the rolls aren't really random. Then there's the GMs that are just terrible poker players. Roll, make a disappointed face, ask for your AC, tell you it hit. Some even skip asking for AC even though they've never seen your sheet and it's the first battle.

What (hopefully) everyone can agree with is that the players and GM need to agree on how they want to run these things.

If I don't ask the AC, it might just be because I know from the roll it'll hit anything you've got. Even as a player I sometimes don't bother with the math. :)

But yeah, some aren't good at it, but that's not the same as "It's always obvious". Most of those who fudge don't fudge entire combats, so it's not like you can tell "the rolls aren't really random". Often you're just dialing back weird dice luck to something closer to what would be expected. The six goblins just rolled 3 20s in that round? Nah, one of them was really a crit, the others just normal hits.

Of course, I've also played with a GM who barely even bothered tracking hit points in some games, just ran the game off dramatic instincts. Worked well for her, since her instincts were damn good. One of the best GMs I've played with, even if the combats weren't necessarily the high points.


Charles Scholz wrote:

I wonder if he will use George's scripts that he sold to Disney, and were promptly trashed by Abrams?

As far as I can tell there were no scripts. There might have been a rough outline, but no more than that.


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Senko wrote:
blahpers wrote:
thejeff wrote:
In modern terms, changing gender, as I understand it, would be essentially a mental thing and would generally not be wanted.

The term has evolved significantly since I first learned about the difference waaaay back in grade school, making it much more context-sensitive. It's difficult to meaningfully talk about "spells changing gender" without reaching consensus on which specific aspect(s) one is interested in.

(Edit: Ha, Dasrak beat me to the same link by a long shot.)

Depends on the nature of the change, for me changing sex would generally be used/set up as a wizard either as a prank or punishment depending on how long it'll last so while the body is has changed the self-identity hasn't. Thus your typical story of a man turned into a woman that still thinks of themselves as a man and doesn't like their new body. Changing gender would be much the same. Changing both sex and gender would be used by a being planning a permanent change. In this the person changed still thinks they should be a man/woman but they're comfortable in their new body, when they're not paying attention they identify as their new gender. It's the differeence between Ranma 1/2 and Boku Girl (I think have to leave again so can't look it up) where the guy is changed by Loki and after they get over the belief they should be male actually realize they prefer being a girl and at the end choose to stay that way.

Changing sex could also be someone who's trans changing their physical body to match their actual identity. A good thing in such cases. What the Elixir of Sex Shift was intended for.

Changing someone's gender without changing their sex is almost creepier - changing someone's idea of what they should be without changing their body to match.


Dasrak wrote:
Yqatuba wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Wait, are we talking gender or biological sex? Changing gender is a bit more complicated.
Biological. If a spell can change a human into a dragon or elemental, just changing their gender should be easy.
You're conflating "gender" and "sex". They're two different things that are commonly mistaken as synonyms. It's generally understood that the Girdle of Opposite Gender just swaps your sex and nothing else gender-related (which is a nuanced subject, so I'll just link a Wikipedia article rather than going into detail of gender here). blahpers was pointing out that if it actually swapped gender it would be drastically more complicated.

In modern terms, changing gender, as I understand it, would be essentially a mental thing and would generally not be wanted. I'm not sure in what sense it's more complicated to change both. We're using magic, so it's easy enough to say "poof, your gender has changed" whether in combination with a physical sex change or not. What the underlying mechanisms for gender are can be handwaved away.


Warped Savant wrote:

Yqatuba, I believe you're looking for Anderos salve and mulibrous tincture.

I know which AP you're talking about, and this item doesn't quite match up as it becomes permanent after 6 months... There's a certain NPC that would be the type of person to sell a slightly altered version of that item that wouldn't become permanent.
(Either that, or the little reptile was lying so that the other NPC thought they had to keep going back to get more.)

Wait, I read your post again and realized I'm either wrong or you reversed the genders by accident.
Regardless, that item will work, but I'd remove the 'permanent after 6 months' line.

Note that the Anderos salve and mulibrous tincture only change secondary sex characteristics, unlike the Elixer of Sex Shift.

They're essentially a fantasy take on hormone treatments.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

For loot I think as long as you keep to the "expected wealth by level" tables then you're fine even in a variant like this.

XP is the one for which I think the GMG needs to offer guidance. Since "lower level enemies" are supposed to be easy, and reward XP appropriately. If you remove the effect of level, you will need to bump those up. Correspondingly you should probably decrease the XP increase from fighting a higher level antagonist, since that fight got easier.

If all else fails- use milestones.

Yeah, that all works.

The basic point is that when you make this change, all the advice on encounter design and the like in the rules needs to be rethought.


Zapp wrote:

As you can see, I'm not coming from the "how do I adjust existing PF2 encounters?"

But really, let's critically evaluate the easiest advice first.

That being “ah, just subtract level and it’s fine” :-)

I mean, is it so bad if encounters against swarms of mooks become harder while encounters against BBEGs become easier?

I'm not trying to be facetious. I really want to explore the option of not having to do anything before deciding more complex advice is needed.

Things getting easier is not really a problem (and any GM can simply add more mooks if he believes it is). Things getting harder is on the other hand a problem that needs addressing.

But do you really need to do more than advise players to be more careful (use tactics instead of just kicking down dorrs)? Against swarms cc and area spells becomes more important.

It is only if you can successfully argue this is not enough that I feel it is appropriate to move on to the next stage; that is, offer more detailed guidelines for change.

After all - make it appear to be complex and hard and people will simply not bother using the variant...

I wouldn't say it's necessarily bad, just that you need to figure out how to adjust so that you're giving the challenges you want. And how to properly reward those challenges in terms of both xp and treasure.

"Just apply common sense" involves "throw out all the existing advice on challenge ratings and encounter balance."

It's not necessarily any worse or any more complex than the current system - it's just different so the current system doesn't apply.


Ryan Freire wrote:

Isn't the point of being a slayer intimidate build to take advantage of those "you get to coup de grace people who cower" feats?

So basically what you need is.

1. Free or swift action intimidates
2. The skill unlock feat at level 5+
3. An intimidate booster
4. The slayer murder feats.

Dastardly Finish? (And Merciless Butchery, but that just makes it faster. And is the one that requires slayer levels.)

I'd say it's more useful for a Rogue intimidate build, since you can get Dastardly Finish much earlier. For a slayer it's 15th, which is late to come online.

The Skill Unlock feat is what I was forgetting about though. Need to put that on my list of feats to take. :)

With Intimidating Prowess, I'm not sure how much you really need the booster. Maybe by higher level.


avr wrote:
Fearless curiosity is just a partial fix for a poor will save. Apply to any class with a poor will save and a build with spare feats. Intimidating confidence (requires fearless c.) is a free intimidate check on a crit, apply to any build with a good crit range, especially if they're building for intimidate.

At first glance I liked Intimidating confidence, but it's got a relatively useless feat tax and isn't reliable.

Cornugon Smash has a much more useful feat tax (Power attack, which you're taking anyway) and is much more reliable. The only drawback is that you get it one level later (6 ranks of intimidate instead of 5.)

Maybe if you're going for a full crit-fishing build - two weapon kukris or some such?


Ediwir wrote:

Well, imagine I ran my last session again, but without level to proficiency. Players stormed a bandit camp, mostly clearing the low-level enemies to avoid being swarmed after, and are now left with leadership and big guns (they noticed a drake already and successfully avoided that).

Most of the mooks were low level bandits. The party never really risked death (2 of them went half hp, others got light damage, wizard got grappled a couple times but got away. Everyone's a little lower on spells and resources). However, that was 11 lv-4 mooks, 4 lv-3 captains, 4 lv-2 leaders of various kind. All suddenly gaining bonuses. Most encountered in two large-scale fights.
I am not sure if that would have been a tpk, but... I doubt I could run this without level without additional changes and still have them finish the camp.
Won't be posting exact challenge levels, but of what's left, only a couple aides are lower-level. And they don't have much more available rest time before someone goes to check on what's happening.

Sure, if you give players plenty of time after each encounter, and keep things to small numbers, removing level might work, but how are you going to make a real adventure function? Beside the major hassle of recalculating everying, you have to either remake every single encounter or adjust things in some other way.

PS. Also the monk really enjoyed critting on grapple and the Fighter really enjoyed his duelist's riposte. Two tricks that would never work that well without level difference. I'll save you how level affected the Wizard's spells and escape rolls, because that would just be bullying the nerd.

I think that's the main point and probably most of what the GMG section on this will focus on. Not the mechanical details of how removing +level should be done (subtract level, that was easy) but how the resulting encounters and balance should be adjusted.

An encounter with 20 APL-4 mooks gets a lot harder without level adjustment. Should XP and treasure be adjusted to match? Similarly beating an APL + 6 solo boss gets a lot easier - should it be rewarded the same way it would be in the base game?


Don't forget Slayer's Killing Flourish.

I agree that Dazzling Display is overrated due to the Full Round action economy. I think it's mostly useful as a prereq for disheartening display. Isn't there something else that lets you ramp up the fear conditions?

My slayer wasn't quite so focused on intimidate, but Killing Flourish and Cornugon Smash worked pretty well.

Generally as a Slayer you can deal out enough raw damage that trading attacks out for Intimidate isn't useful.

My character actually took the Archery ranger style (many/rapid shot) so he'd be effective at distance, Power attack, intimidating prowess, Cornugon Smash & Killing Flourish. And Iron Will, cause will saves suck. :)


Artificial 20 wrote:
Quixote wrote:
thejeff wrote:

The problem with applying it here is that only one side is really an extreme: "Thou shalt not ever fudge."

There is no corresponding "Fudge everything, pay no attention to the dice" side. Other than as a strawman invoked by the first side...it's hard for me to see any middle ground that isn't already essentially the second side's position.

That is true.

I suppose the real debate here is more like "fudging is okay, sometimes" and "no, it's not." A good example of a shifting middle, maybe?

If one considers something a transgression, letting it happen "sometimes" isn't moderation, it's the destruction of a principle.

Every time I come over to your house to play a game I can also bang your wife. Most of the time I don't. I'm only banging your wife sometimes, not that often at all really. We game twice weekly and I've banged her 5 times total in the last year, that's 95% of the time I could bang your wife but don't cus I'm moderate. Most of the time you get your way, I accept that and don't say I should always bang your wife, so I don't see why you would all get extreme and go say things like "Thou shalt not ever bang my wife".

But that's not quite my point. Or maybe it's illustrating it? Not sure.

You've staked out an extreme position and you won't be happy with any compromise. Fine. But Quixote was talking about the middle ground between the extremes generally being the right choice and I'm saying there really isn't any middle between "Never!" and "Use sparingly" which isn't just "use sparingly".


Just remember you stop at the end of every round, so if you end your move over water, you sink. :)


LordKailas wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Even the Chaotic Good elves might have limits for those cults worship leads pretty directly to threats.

Lamashtu maybe?

meh, it's just a phase that every elf goes through. They'll grow out of it in a few centuries and its better if they learn first hand. I mean obviously we'll step in if things start to get out of hand....

The problem is with groups that routinely get out of hand.


Quixote wrote:
Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:

Which one is right?

As for the Golden Mean Fallacy: one side can be entirely wrong. One side can be entirely right.

Obviously the first is right. Which is more effective, though. I'd say in most low-stakes, armchair discussions, you make more (but still slow) progress by approaching people more in line with your second example. Though, of course, that's hardly a low-stakes situation.

And yes, one side can be right and one can be wrong.
But when both sides mean well and are composed of intelligent people, it gets a lot more compilated.

I mean, look at this thread. I think it's pretty clear that it's not so obviously cut and dry as some feel.

The problem with applying it here is that only one side is really an extreme: "Thou shalt not ever fudge."

There is no corresponding "Fudge everything, pay no attention to the dice" side. Other than as a strawman invoked by the first side.

Now, both sides may get overwrought and attack or insult each other, but if you look at the actual positions, it's hard for me to see any middle ground that isn't already essentially the second side's position.


blahpers wrote:
Quixote wrote:
blahpers wrote:
This probably sounds ruder than I intend it to, but that's a terrible pair of reasons to be convinced of something.

Well, that depends on how rude you intended it to be, I suppose.

And from my experience, most dicussions seem to devolve into two camps, each absolutely sure in their utter and compelte rightness and in the utter and complete wrongness of the other. The truth almost invariably lies somewhere in the middle. Anyone who claims that they hold the absolute correct answer in their hands and that their opponents offer nothing but foolishness of the highest order is almost always selling something.
This is a tempting technique, as using it makes one feel more enlightened than everybody else in the argument. Unfortunately, it is a terrible technique for actually arriving at the truth. Very often, one side in an argument really is completely right and the other really is completely wrong. To ignore that possibility because one or all sides in an argument don't present themselves with what you feel is the appropriate level of conviction--not too much, and not too little--is irrational at best.

And once that strategy becomes common, the most effective approach is to make your argument more extreme in the hopes that someone aiming for the middle will come closer to what you actually want. And to never give an inch, since that will shift the middle towards the other side.

That isn't exactly helpful towards rational discussion.


LordKailas wrote:


It really depends on the alignment of the society in question. Banning the worship of certain religions is a very Lawful idea. Not so much good or evil. You might have a CG tribe of elves who would never tell you who you can or can't worship because that would impede your personal growth. But if you threaten the tribe they will cut you down. The actions you take carry far more weight than your beliefs do.

On the flip side LG and especially LE societies probably have lots of rules about who you can and can't worship. In a LG city you might get fined or even imprisoned for walking around openly wearing the symbol of Cayden Cailean. After all he promotes dangerous ideas like drinking and acting impulsively. Things that "lead to evil". A LE society might let you worship whoever you want, but such worship must be registered and taxed accordingly.

Even the Chaotic Good elves might have limits for those cults worship leads pretty directly to threats.

Lamashtu maybe?


LordKailas wrote:
Drogan Tome wrote:
What are your thoughts about religious freedom laws? Would central governments make worship of dark gods illegal?

It really depends on the alignment of the society in question. Banning the worship of certain religions is a very Lawful idea. Not so much good or evil. You might have a CG tribe of elves who would never tell you who you can or can't worship because that would impede your personal growth. But if you threaten the tribe they will cut you down. The actions you take carry far more weight than your beliefs do.

On the flip side LG and especially LE societies probably have lots of rules about who you can and can't worship. In a LG city you might get fined or even imprisoned for walking around openly wearing the symbol of Cayden Cailean. After all he promotes dangerous ideas like drinking and acting impulsively. Things that "lead to evil". A LE society might let you worship whoever you want, but such worship must be registered and taxed accordingly.

The idea of dark gods existing in polite society doesn't really seem strange at all to me. It all depends on who is in charge and has power. Who the king worships doesn't matter so much if no one who has a problem with it has the power and/or authority to do anything about it. Especially when you consider that like minded individuals are more likely to be promoted by said king to positions of authority. It holds true regardless if the king is LG or CE.

Even the Chaotic Good elves might have limits for those cults worship leads pretty directly to threats.

Lamashtu maybe?


Hugo Rune wrote:

This is a hard one. In most polytheistic pantheons the god of death is represented as evil. But death is also an inevitability for all mortals. Prayers and offerings to the God of death for the safe passage of loved ones will be normal and acceptable in nearly all societies. So the temple to the god will be acceptable.

I think Game of thrones did a reasonable job of representing an acceptable evil death god with the faceless men and their church, which Arya trained in.

I've always liked non-evil (or preferably good) death deities. Possibly influenced by Gaiman's Death. :)

When deities are actually real entities, independent of human opinions on the topic, they can have roles that aren't influenced by our fears.

Pharasma makes a good non-evil death deity. The abhorrence for undead makes a good hook.


MidsouthGuy wrote:
Oh, and to answer original question, yes I would allow a human who gets that kind of speed to run on water. Because the only way someone could move that fast is MAGIC.

Or as we put in it Pathfinder terms: Stacking mundane modifiers. :)


KahnyaGnorc wrote:

I just want a good, fun adventure movie set in a D&D setting, that's accessible to the wider audience. Easter Eggs, references, and other nods to the wider setting would be great, as long as they don't bog down the movie (like, say, the Mummy movie or Iron Man 2).

Leave any explicit expansion of the story/setting for a post-credits sequence (like Iron Man 1)

All other details (main character vs ensemble, race/class combos, etc) should come secondary to the first point. It doesn't matter if it provides the perfect distillation of (part of) a D&D campaign, if it is too arcane and confusing for the general audience. It would be just as dead as a franchise as if it was a crappy movie.

What do you mean by "a D&D setting"? One of the main published ones? Or just something D&D like?

I certainly agree that "good, fun adventure movie" is critical and that "arcane and confusing" would kill it, but I think some of the other points help distinguish it from more generic fantasy attempts without delving too deep into the details.

Especially the ensemble cast and different distinct class roles. Casters working as peers to the sword-wielding heroes instead of as mentor figures are fairly rare in past fantasy movies and that would be a good approach. Non-Tolkien races in the main cast would be another way to stand out.

And I don't think any of that would be a problem for audiences, if done well.


Quark Blast wrote:
CBDunkerson wrote:
Quark Blast wrote:

Firms make green energy vows as call for action grow

Are they simply making good press? Or good investments now that it likely pays to invest in these? Both?

Better question: Why didn't they do this 10 years ago?

Because they wouldn't have made money on it 10 years ago.

I've told you before... only greed can save us now.

I have faith in human greed.

You mean by creating another global economic bubble and the collapse thereof will reduce GHG emissions and keep us below a +2.5°C year 2100?

Just to keep focusing on the misunderstanding/misrepresentation thing: You know that's not really what he meant, right?


Charles Scholz wrote:

Unless there is a way to work in comic continuity that he was de-aged into a baby by the Stranger and later restored as a younger man.

In a movie, have Ian McKellen piss off someone powerful at the start of the movie, and have Professor X find someone to restore him at the end.
Magneto escapes when his physical age is late 20's or early 30's.
That keeps his Holocaust origin intact, which is his primary motivation for seeing humans as a threat to mutants.

Also, Professor X was in a younger body. He transferred his mind into a cloned body after his original was taken over and transformed into a Brood.

Even then though, both of those should have happened within the last few years, judging by everyone else's ages. Thus they should have been in their 70s before either deaging, which doesn't match how they were portrayed.

And as Aberzombie said, there's no shortage of historical horrors they could use. Any persecuted minority could easily see their persecution as evidence of what humans would do to mutants.


GM PDK wrote:

I don't really care for superhero stories anymore... it's not like they've treated their stories like the LotR movies or GoT TV shows, with careful attention to canon and what the writers of old came up with.

Both their TV and movie franchises have done what they wanted with the characters. The only thing that's the same - if you're lucky - is the hero's general power, along with his/her name.

Both DC and Marvel have done this: import the basics and come up with whatever they wanted.

It's been such a cash cow, even when they didn't care about canon, because they harnessed our love for comics and how we used to await the next adventure to find out what happened to our heroes. Now instead we await the next movie to see how different our heroes will be or how different they'll behave or who their girlfriend or boyfriend will be in their their new alternate universe movie versions.

All the while, they're not offering anything new or cool, they're just rehashing existing stories, but this time, we get a young Aunt May that's hot and doesn't have gray hair and wrinkles.

Yay.

Meh. It's not like the comic writers treat the characters any better really.

And it's not really clear what else they could do? Unlike LotR or GoT these aren't single stories - they're decades of stories and retcons and general confused continuity. There's no way to stick with that canon and still draw in mainstream audiences. Short of starting back in the 60s (or the 30s!) and literally adapting every story, including all the crappy ones.

I mean, if you don't like the movies, that's cool. Everyone's taste is their own. I think Marvel especially has done some damn cool stuff, paying homage to the old canon while heading off in different directions too. I haven't liked everything, but in general far more more than previous attempts at superhero movies.

(And I don't know about Got, but the idea that the LotR (and especially the Hobbit) movies were made with "careful attention to canon and what the writers of old came up with" is at the very least hotly debated.)


I'm kind of amused that we're basically arguing that a black version of Magneto couldn't have been persecuted enough. :)

It's also worth remembering that for such an iconic, long standing part of the character, it originated pretty late and was in flux for a long time. Magneto's backstory is a huge retconned mess already. The holocaust connection didn't appear until well into Claremont's run - nearly 20 years after the character's first appearances. Even then it wasn't made explicit he was Jewish and some writers played up the Roma connections (to both the Holocaust and to the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver). It was quite a bit (and a few retcons) later that they seemed to have settled on a canon history.

Personally, I'd rather ditch the Holocaust connection than muck with him having a second mutant slow aging ability. He's supposed to have fairly early backstory connections to Xavier as well, so you'd either have to ditch those, make Xavier long-lived or totally recast them with him being a older mentor figure to Xavier rather than peers. And then what was he doing for the 60-70 years before the X-Men showed up to fight him?


Quark Blast wrote:
thejeff wrote:
It's really funny how QB claims everyone misunderstands him, while he's blatantly misreading their posts.
No, I understand their posts (for the most part), but their posts misrepresent what I'm saying in my posts (for the most part).

That's what you would say if you didn't understand them, but thought you did.


Devon Northwood wrote:
thejeff wrote:

It's not a tax that countries pay, it's a tax that people/companies pay to their governments when buying power. It's levied in whatever currency the carbon based power is purchased in. Likewise it's paid to whatever country to purchase is made in. If Google runs a server farm in the US, it pays there for the energy to run that server farm. If it runs one in Botswana, it pays there. It's done as a percentage, so countries with lower purchasing power will pay less, since they will use less power.

Mechanically, it's relatively simple, the problems are political (...)

I understand that consumers and companies are supposed to pay the tax, but I can guarantee you that it is absolutely NOT simple.

So you want a tax that is the same in every country, and payable in whatever currency the carbon based power is purchased? Nice idea, but currency exchange rates are constantly changing, and there are countries like china that will artificially change it's currency exchange rate.
So maybe my chinese company pays 5% tax today, but will that be 5% in 3 months? Depends on the exchange rate.
So let's all pay in US-dollar then. Exept that the US-dollar is controlled by the US-federal reserve, so there is no chance in HELL my russian government gives them control of such an important aspect of their economy.
So lets just make it a flat %-tax, that's fair. But wait, petrol is ridiculously taxed and expansive in germany, while kuwait and venezuela give it away pretty much for free, so a 10% increase in the us will probably lead to riots while the average kuwaiti will hardly notice.

Oh, and before you cash that sweet tax-check in the name of the austrian government, swiss is demanding a fair share of the money, because while the server farm of amazon is located in Austria, the power plant is located in switzerland, and is run by south-african coal.

So no, you are looking at either
A) several tax systems for different countries, or
B) a mountain of practical problems, for which there are...

Not really. It's just a sales tax.

I don't even understand the exchange rate issue. You pay 5% of the cost of the power. If the exchange rate changes, so what? We pay sales tax on goods we import from China right now, how is that different? The price of the goods might vary depending on exchange rate, but the sales tax rate doesn't.

That some countries will feel the bite more than others is a big concern, but it's political, not technical. Makes it harder to pass such a tax, but not really an issue with defining it. How to handle countries that subsidize fuel prices is a problem, I'll admit.

It doesn't really matter though, since it's all a pipe dream. The idea that somehow all countries throughout the world will pass the same tax laws, despite their different situations and political systems, is a pipe dream. It's probably not even the best approach - the same tax is likely to have different economic effects and thus different usage reductions in different countries. That's a silly goal.

Setting targets for countries to reach, as the existing frameworks do, makes more sense and isn't any less practical or enforceable.


Devon Northwood wrote:
Quark Blast wrote:

The thing with a carbon tax like Palmer proposes (same in USA as in UAE, same in Canada as Cameroon, same in Algeria as in Argentina, ...) is that it's only one thing to agree on, and far, far easier to track compliance.

Compared to an international voluntary pledge, plus local laws variably restricting GHG emissions and variably enforced, plus numerous exceptions for this country and that, plus numerous exceptions for this industry and that, plus all the time it would take to create this myriad pile of ineffective regulation, which pretty much guarantees us a future we do not want.

That is extremely naive.

First, there are no "voluntary" or "binding" international agreements. I know you are not the only one to use these words, but the way you think international treaties work is not how they work. If Finnland does not want to follow the Geneva convention, then they ... just don't. There is no world police, so even if we write into the next climate agreement that it is super duper binding, states could still violate it, or just not participate.
Second, such a tax has never been levied, and for good reason. For starters, in what currency is it measured? Dollar, Renminbi, Euro? What tax code are we following? Who gets to keep the tax? If Google pays taxes, does it pay in the US, or in every country it operates? What happens to countries that have vastly lower purchasing power than others?
So the reason your idea is perfect is because it runs entirely on the imagination.

In other news, is this a thing? Can it work?

It's not a tax that countries pay, it's a tax that people/companies pay to their governments when buying power. It's levied in whatever currency the carbon based power is purchased in. Likewise it's paid to whatever country to purchase is made in. If Google runs a server farm in the US, it pays there for the energy to run that server farm. If it runs one in Botswana, it pays there. It's done as a percentage, so countries with lower purchasing power will pay less, since they will use less power.

Mechanically, it's relatively simple, the problems are political - getting the countries of the world to agree. Along with the fact that some countries can much more easily handle the economic burden of such taxes - and that those tend to be the countries that have done the most damage.


It's really funny how QB claims everyone misunderstands him, while he's blatantly misreading their posts.

As for the uniform carbon tax you're talking about, it's not inherently a bad idea, but it's no easier to reach politically. Without an actual world government, there's no way to impose and enforce such a thing.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I agree. Editorial policy certainly affects the quality, though those policies change over time, but there are always good creators and good comics working at both companies. Often the same creators swapping back and forth.
The trick is finding the gems.

The other trick is not getting sucked into the continuity and trying to follow everything, especially the big events. Because there's also a lot of drek out there and trying to read it all will just make you turn away entirely.

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