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Organized Play Member. 30,159 posts (31,392 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 6 Organized Play characters. 13 aliases.

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Magus Tata wrote:
Outl wrote:

Ex3: Not just hazards, it seems that all monsters ALWAYS get to decide when to "start" combat. The party has no effect on this, even standard exploration activities such as Scout and Search have no effect. Even in an ambush, the monsters decide how close to get before the ambush is triggered. For instance: Two groups see eachother coming on a long straight road while still 3 miles away. The wizard prepares to fireball as soon as they get in range (500 feet). The enemies can decide to be within 40 feet before initiative is rolled.
Surely this is a GM issue rather than a rules issue. I’m certain that if we encountered this situation with my regular GM, and neither group was trying to get off the road, he would allow the fireball and then have us roll initiative. At worst he’d have a semi-simultaneous spell attack from the opposing party that coincides with the fireball

It's definitely a weak point in the rules though.

I don't think there's any "monsters always decide" rule. Not even sure where that's coming from. (I'm now imagining some monster just sauntering right past the PCs who want to kill him, but can't because he's not dumb enough to "start" combat.

In that specific case, I'd probably say "roll initiative" when the wizard wanted to cast. Just because he starts first, doesn't mean it goes off before they can act. No more than if the groups were facing off and one decided to start the fight. They don't get a free attack out of it. Even against unaware enemies, there's no surprise round anymore.

What I've actually had trouble with is Avoid Notice if you don't actually want to go straight into a fight.

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VestOfHolding wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
thejeff wrote:
But the two can't mesh. If I want people to be able to use it on Infinite and beyond, that's not an option right?
Correct. Infinite has the same exclusivity clause that's present in all of DTRPG's community content programs.
While Mark has already answered this question, I really really hope this sinks in for people: This isn't new with the coming of ORC. This is how Infinite has worked.

Sort of. I think the distinction is that people expected Infinite to work with ORC the same way it works with the OGL, so that it doesn't catches them off guard.

Pretty sure I'm right about that: You could combine OGL and Infinite material. For example, create a new monster, release it under the OGL and use it in an Infinite adventure set in Golarion. (Or use a 3rd party's OGL monster.)

But you can't do that with ORC content.

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Mark Moreland wrote:
Shrink Laureate wrote:
An ORC publisher could sue an Infinite publisher, or visa versa, because there's no such protection between the two.

That was always the case. In this situation, any protections they have come from normal IP law. If I publish the pizzafolk ancestry on Infinite, I own that copyright. So if a hypothetical publisher we'll call Chad Razmir—that guy's a jerk—releases a book referencing the pizzafolk elsewhere (regardless of what license he releases it under, be it ORC or CC or no license at all), he's using my copyrighted material without a license. I can sue him for that.

If I release the pizzafolk ancestry via the ORC only, I still own the copyright, but other ORC publishers, including that jerk Chad Razmir, can use it and there's nothing I can do about it, even if Chad Razmir puts it in a book I don't like or adds a bunch of his own content to my pizzafolk I find objectionable (like pineapple). That's the protection provided by the ORC.

Similarly, if I release the pizzafolk ancestry on Infinite and Chad Razmir makes a deep-dish heritage for it that also offends me (because pizzafolk should be flat), and he releases that on Infinite, he's good and there's nothing I can do.

If we're looking at it in reverse, if I release the pizzafolk (I'm sorry, it's lunchtime) via the ORC on or DTRPG or or wherever and then Chad tries to make an adventure using them on Infinite, he's likewise violating my copyright on that creation.

If you want people to be able to use your content on Infinite, release it on Infinite. If you want them to be able to use it beyond Infinite, release it via the ORC.

But the two can't mesh. If I want people to be able to use it on Infinite and beyond, that's not an option right?

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Bluemagetim wrote:
lol because deep down PCs are evil, tombrobbing, corpselooting, opportunists.

Because one person healed back from dead who drops a high level spell and TPKs the party, teaches you that down doesn't mean out.

Double tap to make sure.

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Bluemagetim wrote:
Attacking a downed PC is an evil act for an intelligent foe.

It might be, but it's definitely something damn near every PC would do if unconscious enemies got back up nearly as often as unconscious PCs do.

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Ravingdork wrote:

That's a nice story, NielsenE. Thanks for sharing.

The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
It is always a full round due to initiative shifting...

This assumes you're fighting a single adversary, which is rarely the case.

You won't have a full round if a minion walks up and kicks you in the head, or fireballs you along with the rest of the party.

Even with a single adversary, if they dropped you with a crit on their first attack ...

But the point has never been that you might not get hit again, it's that you won't have to roll your recovery check before others have had a chance to heal you.

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Bluemagetim wrote:

pg 442 Conditions are persistent. Whenever you're affected by a condition, its effects last until the condition's stated duration ends, condition is removed, or terms dictated in the condition itself cause it to end.

When we are talking about wounded this is the most basic thing we should consider. It is a condition. It is persistent. And persistent effects do not keep applying themselves additively over and over when they are referenced by another rule. The only way wounded could as a condition contribute more than its current value to dying on repeated applications of its effect is if the value increased between applications.
The new parens stating (plus your wounded value, if any) do create a new situation not possible before though. IF there is any new ability or effect in the game that can increase wounded outside of its normal method (losing the dying condition) that higher value would have to be reassessed into your dying value every time you fail a check or take damage. But if your still treating it like a condition with a value you would treat redundant application of its effect by only taking the highest value.

Conditions do however apply every time they're relevant. If you've got a penalty from a condition, you apply it over and over again every time you make an appropriate roll. (Persistent damage is the even more parallel case, where it does literally apply itself additively over and over again.)

What Wounded does in the new version/interpretation of the Dying rules is get added to Dying when you first gain Dying 1. Then every time your Dying value increases, it increases by 1 (or 2) plus your Wounded Value. It applies itself over and over because that's what it is. It's an increase in the amount Dying increases by.

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Ched Greyfell wrote:

I see it as [increase dying by 1] plus wounded value to get total.

Not [increase dying value by 1 and your wounded value] to get your total.

But what does that mean?

Let's assume I'm Wounded 1 and I get knocked down. My Dying goes to 2, right? Wounded + 1. Or is my Dying 1, but my "total" 2?
Then when I fail a recovery check, I still use my original Dying to calculate a new total? Dying 1, which increases to Dying 2, plus 1 from Wounded, to get a Total of 3, but my Dying is only 2? And even though it's never referred to as anything but Dying, it's this separate Total value that adds to the difficulty for Recovery Checks and I die if the Total reaches 4?

If I then make a couple Recovery Checks and my Dying drops to 0, I still stay unconscious because my "Dying + Wounded" Total is 1?

None of this is in the rules, but you need to invent it to treat it as anything other than [increase dying value by 1 and your wounded value]

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Bluemagetim wrote:

So what they wrote was in both pre and post remaster and does not convey the intent of stacking. It reads to me as check to see if my dying value is already including my wounded value. If yes then I remembered to do it and were good. if not put it in there cause you need to really know if your dead yet.

If they meant something different this text should have been adjusted from remember to to just do. Also I would have liked to see consistency in terms so if they wanted to increase dying by wounded again i would like them to have used the term increase rather than add.

When looking at recovery checks they use the word plus which is also not increase. Consistency there would have gone a long way.

Still don't see "stacking" here. I think it's all in how you're thinking about it. If you already think Wounded only applies to Dying once, then applying it whenever dying increases seems like stacking.

But if you look at it as affecting how much Dying changes by, then it's not stacking. Every time Dying increases, you apply the Wounded value.

Much like if you have a status bonus to damage it doesn't stack with other status bonuses to damage, but you don't think it's stacking if you add it every time you do damage.

As for the "plus vs increase" in the recovery checks, that's consistent. They're used differently. Your Dying value is increased. It's either increased by one, or by one plus your Wounded value if you have one.

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Baarogue wrote:

Is this thread bait?

The only outcomes I can see from threads like this about any clarified rules are people getting salty or in denial about being on the losing side of the old arguments, or gloating about being on the winning side. The new bit nulls all old debates and doesn't give any room for new ones, much like the clarification on doubling persistent damage did before it

It's "bait" in the sense that it's intended to draw the discussion about Wounded/Dying off of the Remaster Changes thread since it was consuming all the oxygen there.

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Bluemagetim wrote:

You can run dying and wounded properly with no confusion by using the entry's for dying on page 443 and wounded on page 447 while treating wounded as a condition with values

If you look at 411 and tour read is not consistent with 443 and 447 then its due to misinterpretation and misapplying conditions.
Honestly 411 doesn't tell you anything new but the reminder that doesn't exist on these other pages that also contain the rules for dying.
The game hasn't changed when it comes to dying, the rules are the same in both preremaster and remaster. The taking damage while dying had the reminder text pre as well. The only difference is the recovery check entry on 411 and 411 only has in parens a statement about plus wounded value if any. Some have taken this to mean you now treat wounded as if you could stack its effect. Thats not how conditions in pathfinder work to my understanding and in applying conditions with values or their effects which no where have ever been applied in a stacking fashion. Wounded is a condition like any other and has a way of gaining it and removing and increasing it. Asside from the actual value increasing it would never apply its effect higher than the value and never stacking. We all know conditions to be that way in this game. Unless developers say thier intent was to change wounded to be a condition that works didferently than other conditions and can apply its effect stacking its probably too soon to believe it can. I believe dying and wounded are not different from before.

The "stacking" argument makes no sense to me. There's no sense in which Wounded is stacking. You add your Wounded value when you gain Dying and every time it increases (failed recovery check or taking damage). That's not stacking any more than adding a damage bonus every time you damage someone is.

I don't like the rule and I'm not sure it's presented clearly, but the problems have nothing to do with stacking.

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Kekkres wrote:
My issue with the new dying rules is less the lethality they have in of themselves and more the disasterous way they interact with persistent damage. If you have wounded 1, and a source of persistent damage and get knocked to zero, the party has exactly 1 turn to bring you into the positive before your dead.

And if you're not wounded and you've got persistent damage, the party has to heal you up because even at Dying 1, persistent damage is really bad, so odds are you're about to be Wounded 1, in range of an attack and with persistent damage still eating away at you.

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Aberzombie wrote:

So….turns out not only did they have Wolverine #1 (the ‘82 limited series, not the original ongoing series), they had the other three issues as well. So now I have the entire limited series!


That first Wolverine limited series was so damn good.

Can't remember now if I bought it as it came out or tracked it down early in my collecting. Probably the latter, it came out a bit before I was really able to buy stuff regularly.

Definitely bought the Kitty/Wolverine series that came out a couple years later, that built on the whole Wolverine/ninja thing.

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The Raven Black wrote:
Ed Reppert wrote:
If you decide that CS should not be involved in the Forums, then you've reduced us to one way -- email -- to connect with them. That's probably a bad idea.

It has been this way for some time now.

Email-only helps immensely with Ticketing, which is the modern efficient way to deal with receiving many many customers' varied requests.

Some kind of web based interface would help even more.

It's long frustrated me that we can start subscriptions through the store, but have to email to stop them.

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Aaron Bitman wrote:
AceofMoxen wrote:
Anyway, remember when Jimmy Olsen's comic was cancelled for only having a million readers? Today's comics often sale less than 50,000. They are at the peak of average quality and already dead.

Um... I'm now squirming in my chair. I'm afraid to argue with people on the internet, running the risk of flaming. But I can't help it; I'm compelled to challenge the notion that the Jimmy Olsen comic was "cancelled" in 1974. At least, that's not the way I see it.

Yes, DC Comics was getting into trouble in the 1970s, as it continued to put out silly, campy stories, while some other MARVELous titles were appealing to more readers with their serious approach. DC had to cut down on its titles. And rather than cancel Lois Lane's series and Supergirl's series, DC rolled all three of those characters' books into a single series, Superman Family, thus keeping the three titles alive until its cancellation in 1982.

In other words, Jimmy Olsen's series didn't die; it metamorphosed like a caterpillar.

At this point, I can imagine someone saying to me "Aha! So you admit that Jimmy Olsen got cancelled in 1982, at least!"

But by that time, DC Comics had changed, having acquired so many talented writers and artists. Now DC was giving us wonderful Teen Titans and Legion of Superheroes stories. And its two most famous characters, Superman and Batman, were now finally getting the serious kinds of stories they needed. Individual titles can come and go, but...

The simplest, biggest difference I see between now and then is that back then comics were cheap entertainment pumped out for kids. They were available everywhere and while some kids certainly followed titles and held on to them, they were marketed as disposable impulse buys.

Kids have a lot more demands on their attention today, but more than that, comics are now sold (at least the physical ones) in specialized shops that most kids just won't wander into. The books themselves are not only more expensive, but much more sophisticated, overwhelmingly with multi-issue plot arcs. They're not disposable impulse buys anymore. They're marketed to adults and to older teens and often to long term collectors.

There are a lot of reasons that happened, some good and some bad. It might be that the shift away from the kid's market led to comics downfall, but it might be that other changes made the decline in sales there inevitable and it was only that shift that let comics continue at all.

I will say that I personally benefited from it, since I was growing up as that big shift was happening. Comics matured along with me, both in my teens and with the independent boom and things like Vertigo coming along a bit later. If comics had stayed limited to what they were when I was young, I doubt I would have kept reading them all these years, however much nostalgia I still get from some of the old series.

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
My number 3 all time favorite starfighter is now officially canon. I am happy.
1 would be y wing. 2 would be z wing. 3 would be... I'm out of letters.

3 would be the Colonial Viper (the old one). 4 would be the Starfury.

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Claxon wrote:
NECR0G1ANT wrote:

Do note that the encounter-building guidelines only account for 1) the number of foes and 2) their respective level(s) compared to the PCs.

It does not mathematically account for any resource expenditure such as hit points, expended spells, persistent conditions, etc. There is no explicit rule on how to adjust encounters for a party that has expended resources. Be aware of that as both a player and GM.

IME, this kind of bites full casters in the ass compared to martials, and incentivizes a twenty-minute adventuring day.

It also doesn't account for terrain or others hazards a GM might add.*

Although terrain is talked about and that it should impact the challenge, here are no hard rules for it. Same for Hazards in combat.

Basically anything and everything affects the true challenge PCs experience, but the only ones the CR system accounts for with explicit math is number of enemies and their relative level.

Hazards in combat count, right? They've got CRs, just figure them into the encounter math.

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Mathmuse wrote:

In the other thread, GM DarkLightHitomi had brought up Tucker's kobolds as an example where a low-level monster could threaten a mid-level party. They are a classic example of using terrain, readiness, and tactics to make an encounter much more dangerous than the standard threat calculations suggests.

They survive, but they have been humbled by Kobold Warriors, creature -1.

Or really they've been humbled by some level appropriate traps. With just terrain and tactics, it's a lot harder to make even clever weak enemies nearly that effective. And I think the original version was using even stronger traps/hazards.

What I'd argue they really did was to expose a flaw in old school D&D (or in a particular mindset?) that didn't account for the dangers of such traps in considering balance. When 3rd edition introduced CR as a way of calculating encounter balance, flawed as it was it at least tried to account for such things. Once you see that the encounter math turns the "weak kobolds" into a severe or beyond encounter, it no longer looks like the GM was just playing them smart and beating the PCs with weak enemies.

There may still be something of a flaw in that non-hazard terrain elements can boost the threat of an encounter in ways that aren't really accounted for in the CR system, but exploiting that to boost the difficulty of an encounter without treating it as a harder encounter is a GM problem. If you want to have the kobolds attacking through slits and murder holes in tunnels the PCs don't fit in, that can be an interesting and fun challenge, but don't pretend that it's just the same difficulty as fighting them in the open.

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Mathmuse wrote:
Sometimes, the current mission has no BBEG. For example, the party could be traveling along a forest road to the next city. But they encounter bandits waiting in ambush for travelers. The bandits and other one-shot encounters should be a moderate threat to feel like a real challenge. A severe-threat encounter would leave a mystery to solve--how did the bandits get so dangerous? A low-threat encounter leaves a mystery for the opposite reason--are bumbling peasants being forced into banditry? A moderate-threat encounter is the right level of challenge for game challenge's sake. Two moderate encounters with a break in between are fine, too.

The mechanics make sense, but doesn't the mystery depend on the level of the party? Why the assumption that the party is just the right level for a moderate encounter to be appropriate for the area?

Bandits should be tough enough to be a severe threat to average travelers on the road. If the PCs are low level and people only travel this route in large well armed groups, that could be even worse for the PCs. If the PCs are high level, even a low threat encounter could be well above "bumbling peasants".

Unless traveling in exceptionally dangerous places, high level PCs probably shouldn't face random encounters or just handle them narratively. Assume most area appropriate creatures avoid the obvious threat of the party or just describe them thwarting the attack without risk.

And that would include "Tucker's kobolds" type situations. If they're clever enough to pose a threat, then play it out, but that also means that the route is highly dangerous, even if it's theoretically weak creatures. Not a case where normal travellers pass without problems, but the PCs get slaughtered.

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GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Unicore wrote:

Thank you Mathmuse for starting this thread. I appreciate your thoughts here and your analysis of the math is always something I learn from. I think a lot of GMs could learn from your ideas here.

One thing I try to play with as a GM for really exciting encounters is the beyond-extreme encounter that is over a sprawlingly large map, with enemies spread out across in different locations, close enough to trigger when appropriate, but far enough away to have that be a visible factor in the party tactics. I think that one of the reasons why some tables experience "weak casters" is when durations of encounters are never longer than 3 to 5 rounds and the map is so small that the longer range of many powerful spells is an irrelevant feature of the spell. My players have responded very well to encounters that are several trivial, low and moderate encounters, with one severe hidden in there somewhere, that can be fought in waves by moving around a central courtyard or on a boat that is pulling out of dock.

In the old days, encounters started when opponents were sighted, or understood to be enemies, which could happen at hundreds of feet away. There would be the question of how to approach an enemy. Archers and mages could be attacking multiple rounds before the martials ever get close enough to attack.

Further, in the older days, you could not assume hostility unless clearly marked as an enemy faction currently at war. Even bands of savages aren't always out to slaughter everything. Sometimes you could just evade the enemy instead, either because they didn't notice you or they let you avoid contact.

The olden days were full of "you open the door to this room in the dungeon and the monster inside attacks".

Sure, sometimes you could spot enemies outside from long distance, but it was hardly the common rule. And "clearly marked as an enemy faction currently at war" has nothing to do with anything from the olden days. Olden gaming was about exploring dangerous places in search of loot.

If anything, modern gamers are far likely to treat the little green creatures living in the dungeons as people rather than sacks of hp that might have gold.

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Unicore wrote:

The point of PF2 is to have fun playing a game with your friends. The stories you tell might draw on themes of war, but the purpose of encounters in the game is not the exercise of overwhelming power and force to assert one person’s will over this fictional universe, but for a group of people to face a diverse array of challenges that are reasonable constructed to be achievable and to be arbitrated by another player who’s goal is that everyone enjoys the experience.

Saying balance creates a “video-game” feel is a little misleading. All games have thought about how essential both chance and predictability are to the experience they offer, but video games only really build to balance in multiplayer modes, usually designed around balancing tens to hundreds of players experience at once. TTRPG balance is about setting expectations for players, including GMs, about mechanical concepts of things like fairness, chance, strategy, role playing, and tone. These are easily modded by individual tables but good mechanics create repeatable, consistent baselines that can then be modded in intentional ways.

“Combat as sport” vs “combat as war” is also a problematic spectrum to focus on when talking about a game played with friends. We are only actually talking about the simulation of combat and only for the purpose of everyone involved having a good time. Values that don’t really overlap with militaristic constructions of war.

Yeah, the whole "combat as war" thing has always seemed weird to me. Of course it's combat as sport. It's a game. The whole thing is essentially sport.

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Clarke might have had a ghost writer? You're joking, right?

Of course you started by saying creativity starts waning at 25, is easily measurable by 35 and completely gone by 50. As far as I can tell, all of his works were published after 25. The vast majority after 35.

This isn't uncommon. It's fair to say there's often a drop off later in life, but that can be balanced by experience and growing skill at the craft. It's certainly nothing like "completely gone by 50".

Nor is this needed to explain Rowling. She caught fire with one series that hit the right niche at the right time. That she can't do it again for an entirely different target market doesn't need special explanation.

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zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Master Han Del of the Web wrote:
Dancing Wind wrote:
Master Han Del of the Web wrote:
No news about Paizo fighting the union, just the boring process of figuring out how to improve the lives of workers.

Remember that Paizo recognized the union without forcing a unionization vote under the NLRB rules.

Managment said, 'yep' and got to work negotiating without any hoop-jumping.

Unions don't tend to form unless something is going wrong in a workplace.
Not necessarily. Sometimes management forms a pliant company union to head off independent unionization.

Isn't that in itself a sign of something wrong in the workplace?

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The Raven Black wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Unicore wrote:
I would be surprised if we ever get another Monster Core, or else the book isn’t really the core bestiary of the game. I think future creature books will always be themed for specific flavors/adventures and be more than just creature books.
I guess the question is will the Monster Core have enough of the basic kinds of critters in their to support basically any kind of game you want to run. The point of the book is firstly to get out replacements for the OGL monsters we're dropping (like new dragons), but there's a lot of enemies that Paizo again just love to use again and again, so I'm curious if they're all going to fit in the Monster Core.
Those will still be available for use in their OGL products' version. No need to put them in Monster Core.

That's fine for people already playing who've got a stash of books, but awkward for new players in years to come who want to start and have just bought the Core books.

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GM OfAnything wrote:
What's everyone's favorite dinosaur? I'm partial to the ankylosaurus

Probably the raven.


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Tristan d'Ambrosius wrote:
I've never met an alien robot so that isn't helpful to me. I don't think in pure logic so also not helpful.

Don't worry. No one I've ever talked to who said "I think in pure logic" ever did anything of the sort. They just thought their own emotional reasoning was pure logic.

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Andostre wrote:
After sharing the movie with my kid when he was younger, we tried reading the book together, and the movie is definitely more tightly-paced. There are parts of that book that seem to ramble quite a bit. Because I was the one reading the book aloud for bedtimes, I ended up just skipping non-relevant flashbacks, and he was none the wiser.

Well of course. S. Morgenstern's work is a classic, but it would definitely need to be cut down for children. With the success of the movie, perhaps an abridged version would be viable.

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UnArcaneElection wrote:

Well . . . it sort of was, even if that wasn't the intention. The forums for it sure seem to have mostly died, after what had seemed to be a promising resurgence in 2021 - 2022. (Although come to think of it, the forums in general don't seem as lively as they used to be, so maybe it's not just a 1st Edition edition forums phenomenon.) And yes, now I'm trying to become conversant in 2nd Edition (although at a MUCH SLOWER rate due to my time having become more limited), so that I would actually be able to contribute usefully to a 2nd Edition game if I got in one.

Also, I should have mentioned above, I actually have gotten to see 1st Edition rules work in practice, just mostly not at my own hands. I followed quite a number of PbPs (I wish I could get back to that . . .), and sometimes I even referenced them in my posts (in retrospect, I should have done that more often).

Now, from various posts (not just here), I understand the why of the move to 2nd Edition. But . . . it still hurts, because I still wish that it had retained the richness of options of 1st Edition. So it seemed appropriate to post in a thread about thoughts for Pathfinder next edition that maybe it could be a more evolutionary step from 2nd Edition that would put restore as much as possible of the richness of options of 1st Edition.

Just get in a game. Best way to learn is to play. Play some PFS games or a Beginner Box one. You don't need system mastery to start.

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Andostre wrote:

We finally got back from our Spring Break trip on Saturday. We had a great time. Zion Canyon is amazing, and I will wholeheartedly endorse it as a vacation spot to anyone who asks. At the very least, I encourage looking at pictures of it.

Bryce Canyon is also amazing!

We spent our final night of the trip in Las Vegas, since that's where we were flying out of, and that was a blast, also.

On Sunday, I tackled a veritable mountain of laundry.

I was out there with my parents probably close to a decade ago now. Definitely an amazing place. Parents stayed an extra week and made it out to Bryce. Joys of being retired.

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Dancing Wind wrote:
Charlie Brooks wrote:
does Creative Commons allow you to designate only part of a product as open?
No, it does not. The license applies to the entire "work" (as used in copyright law).

Which means a company like Paizo would have to either completely segregate all setting material into different publications than rules material or release all setting material along with their rule material.

Which isn't really optimal for an RPG company.

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I'm slightly irritated that it's got a lot of the same stuff as previous bundles, but I get it. It's not really for me and there's enough stuff I don't have that it's probably worth it. (Would absolutely be worth it if I was planning on running Abomination Vaults, even though I already have the separate books from an earlier deal.)

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Yeah, not a fan of that idea. If they want to use the license after the fact, great, but if they want into the development effort for it, it'll do nothing but undermine trust in the idea.

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Aberzombie wrote:
JoelF847 wrote:

I have no clue who the Authority is, and from reading the articles, it's not even clear to me that they're part of DC, being from an imprint comic brand owned by DC - are they actually part of the comic DC continuity sharing space with Superman, Batman, etc?

As I recall, The Authority was part of Wildstorm, and independent company founded by Jim Lee. Having foolishly ignored the whole “Those who do not remember history…” adage, DC eventually bought it. At some point, I think after one of their far too many yearly events, DC merged the Wildstorm stuff with mainstream DC continuity (I think. If I’m wrong, someone else with correct).

That seems about right.

Brought it in and have had very little idea what to do with it ever since.

I was very fond of the Wildstorm/Warren Ellis Authority, but that doesn't really fit in the DC universe and there's really little point in it without that vibe.

It's also kind of weird because the characters I've seen most used in DC are Midnighter and Apollo who are kind of just gay versions of Batman and Superman.

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There's also a difference between not wanting cheesecake/fanservice and not wanting any risque content. It's a complicated and fine line, but a real one.

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Dragon Nexus Games wrote:
AI is a term that can mean a lot of things and in practice, conditional logic is part of the umbrella of A.I. because even logic is part of intelligence which we try to simulate with computers then there's "machine learning" and simulation of associative memory borrowing from advancements of concepts used relational databases to simulate certain behaviors of human brain such as patterns and virtual "neural" networks to words analysis with association to other words in a definition tree.... like the good ol' ELIZA and contemporary application... Alexa.

As a programmer I object to the use of AI to cover any and all conditional logic. Programming and AI are not the same thing.

Actually defining AI is a complicated question in itself, but it certainly doesn't reduce to "uses conditional logic". AI can certainly used conditional logic, as nearly all programming does.

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Themetricsystem wrote:

Forgive me, long post, but one intended to help clear up actual misconceptions that I think are leading not only to folks missing the point here but ALSO essentially spreading misinformation based on badly worded tweets and an explanation that is grounded in additional info that has come to light.

One thing that I think a LOT of the folks are missing here in the AI GM talk is that the context surrounding it was muddled to the point that DND Shorts even retracted the "leak" and took heat for it while providing additional info afterward that was vetted and clarified far better so let me explain.

The whole AI GM thing from what I have heard, and what I personally do actually believe, is that the discussion around it and talk internally about it in the leak was something like hyperbole when what they were ACTUALLY discussing was far different than what springs to mind when you read a headline that reads "WIZARDS WANTS TO REPLACE YOU WITH AN ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AS THE GM!" which, admittedly, if far more likely to solicit a reaction.

AI or possibly just even programmed automation that was being talked about was INSTEAD speaking on the subject of implementing assistive help that is automatically resolved for the kind of mundane tasks that a GM normally has to handle at a game such as resolving hits versus AC, Saving Throws, what is visible behind a door, handling "fog of war," if an entryway is locked when checked, what is inside of the chest and so forth. In many ways, this is very VERY much NOTHING like what is being discussed at all but in most ways should instead be looked at much like a software-driven "Co-GM/DM" (BAH, I'm just going to stick with GM, who cares if it's DnD or not *grumpy old man noises*) who facilitates all of the boring, rote, predictable, and guaranteed sort of functions of the system on the behalf of the GM while that GM is instead free to handle EVERYTHING ELSE that is important, subject to improvisation, GM calls, narration, and so forth. I'm talking about things like "I push the door open, what happens?" in a module that is already either premade or created by the GM with specified parameters. There is absolutely NO REASON for the game to stop in order to for the GM to "resolve" the door opening if there doesn't need to be a long or drawn-out explanation, revelation, description, or other such heavy-work if all that should happen is that the GM says "the door opens, you see a hallway in front of you" and then proceeds to spend 10-120 seconds updating the Fog of war lines.

Now, THIS kind of thing that those WotC employees were referring to as AI GMs is NOTHING like what has been discussed here and in most other online spaces and in the context of a VTT... I think it's, frankly, a FREAKING GREAT IDEA, not something that should be pushed back against. It also helps explains why DnD Beyond immediately was able to fire back with their confirmed Twitter Account that AI GMs aren't a thing they're working on because... well, that idea is misleading, and even IF the thing the leaks went onto explain that they ARE working on leverage AI in any way it doesn't represent the core thesis of the idea that the whole fanbase has actually been rallying against.

Feel free to continue as you were but I wanted to make sure that SOMEONE here chimed in with the actual and real context behind the whole subject that sparked the debate in the first place.

Have you used some of the existing VTTs? Cause a lot of this seems pretty standard already. Not a "great idea", just what's expected from the platform these days. Vision rules based Fog of War for example is definitely available on Foundry. Might still be on the paid tier on Roll 20, not sure. It's there though.

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Dragon Nexus Games wrote:
thejeff wrote:

The DM as an AI isn't going to be a real thing for a long time. Not as more than a gimmick. Or unless they're really just making scripted video games.

And for the VTT if you go too far with it, it's not just 3rd party creators who can't do much, but GMs can't really do anything but run official adventures with no changes or improvising.

Basically, AI GM is easy to implement (to a point). AI is basically fancy way of saying conditional logic. At minimum, it would be somethin used to make turn based games like the SSI published D&D games for multiplayer and kind of like what what was done in Baldur's Gate games.

The game mechanics, rules, SRDs, are basically a logic tree. If you follow it to the letter, you can certainly make a conditional logic tree. Roll of dies would be at minimum an Random number generator setup. RNGs can be true random if you employ certain measures, it won't be a PRNG (pseudo random number generator). It won't be quite like rolling the dice but it can be more cheat resistant in some ways. People can cheat with dice by controlling how they roll the dice to steer the odds in their favor even with regular dice not loaded dice (cheat dice). However, different type of cheating would have to be defended against with computerized RPG game play. However, the sophistication of the conditional logic can be fairly impressive for 'automating' game mechanics and eliminating some of the time to do such matters manually.

There are caveats. AI layers can be advance and sophisticated where you can use dice and the system setup can read the dice numbers like OCR scanning the numbers from the photo image of the dice and all. You can also have more sophisticated A.I. where it can analyze what you say (spoken) or write and determine what you want to do but there maybe limits that is different than the free flow nature of human GMs and particular house rules modifying or changing (departuring from strict canonical game rules, mechanics).

There's pros and cons in all this. AI GMs would remove human subjectivity of the rules.... no GM rule bending or changes. So, mechanics would have a more strict interpretation of the "rules by the numbers" logic. Then of course specific interpretations of the rules are set and established and that is how it would be played out... much akin to a tournament where there is a specific interpretation policy of the rules which may differ to how you may play the game in your local game group.

Of course, video games will be more scripted with regards to campaigns but this can be less "scripted" in feel if you allow and build into the mechanics a very wide range of circumstances and outcomes. You will more likely see advancements of computerized assistance in VTTRPG than outright AI GM. If you think of it, it might be AI GM-assistant to help with things like calculations, the mechanical processing of the game mechanics system, and automating stuff that takes more time so the GM focuses more on the game play and such that is not so much the role of the computer.

With virtual dice, the computer can collect and gather the dice rolls for each player's character(s), automate the application of any pluses or negatives according to the game mechanics which itself is very much the stuff computers can do and do efficiently in milliseconds compared to humans which are slow when it comes to mathematics and logic... which is what game mechanics systems are. Let the computer aid TTRPG but not necessarily replace the human part like game story development and such.

That is what we can call a GM AIS (Game Mechanics Artificial Intelligence System) where GM in the acronym doesn't mean Game Master. It would just be a tool that aids the GM and the Players.

That we are there to some degree and continue to advance for say.... VTTRPG / CA-TTRPG (CA being computer assisted)

Most of this is stuff VTTs already do without it being called AI. Rolling dice, adding modifiers, determining results.

Not all conditional logic is AI. If this is all they're talking about, they don't have anything very interesting and they're basically misusing the term anyway.

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pauljathome wrote:
Fumarole wrote:
This is a photo I took of our game last night. Our GM (who is a player in the game I run) puts in massive effort for his games, and we players are highly appreciative of his efforts. No VTT or AI will ever be able to replace this experience for me.

Actually, the part of your GM which is them getting really cool miniatures and lots of evocative scenery is likely to be EXACTLY the kind of thing that a really good VTT or AI will be able to do.

Note, I'm most certainly NOT saying that is all your GM does. But it is what the photo you posted shows. And what the photo shows WILL be done better by a really good VTT in the future (at least for people with a high bandwidth connection).

Heck, the demos of WOTCs upcoming engine are already pretty impressive for that kind of thing.

Agreed. The very best games I've ever played in have not had all the perfect cool minis and evocative scenery.

Some had none at all, others just sketched maps and vaguely appropriate tokens. Some also didn't even have fight scenes (or those weren't the memorable parts.)

One of the things I'd be worried about with this new VTT is how easy it would be to fall back to plain 2D maps, if you're playing something that doesn't have a prebuilt 3D set piece for you. It's a lot easier to drop in a map image and lay a grid on it, than to build a 3d mockup of an area. And then you're likely limited to the components the tool has available.

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DropBearHunter wrote:

I‘m wondering about the lack of mention of older editions:

they put 5th edition under CC but not 1st to 4th.
Are those just too irrelevant for WotC now, or is that a sign that 6e is going to resemble some aspect of those more than 5e?

6e going full VTT might be a good opportunity to make the rules so old school (complicated) that P&P is just unfeasible.
Why implement „advantage“ when „+20% success chance“(+4 on d20) is probably easier to program.

Watching 5e played on Youtube…
it looked pretty dumbed down to make playing faster.

When your DM is an IA and the dice are digital, this „dumbing down for fast play“ is not required at all.
6e can be fully digital source code and all 3rd party creators can do is link to CR rated monsters in the D&D-One eco system.
Or pay for the privilege to glimpse at the creation mechanics under NDA and create monsters for their content that they then give to WotC to market for them.

The DM as an AI isn't going to be a real thing for a long time. Not as more than a gimmick. Or unless they're really just making scripted video games.

And for the VTT if you go too far with it, it's not just 3rd party creators who can't do much, but GMs can't really do anything but run official adventures with no changes or improvising.

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Maybe I'm missing something legal here, but the ORC license doesn't really fix the whole problem. It gives creators access to new material published under it, which is definitely good, but it doesn't give access to the WotC SRD material or anything derived from it, which touches a lot of games. WotC killing the OGL 1.0a would still be a huge disruption.

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I mean, if their supposed evil plan is to do really well because they've got a really great product that appeals to people and they can dominate without interfering with other creators, then I don't really have a problem with that.

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Cindy Robertson wrote:
After watching what a really horrible person is doing with Star Frontiers and the TSR name, I can completely understand why a company would want a morality clause. No one who wants a successful business wants to be associated with literal Nazis. That's what they are probably trying to address ahead of time.

But that's a matter of trademark ownership and branding, not of anything that would be covered by an OGL.

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TOZ wrote:
Or we could all just behave.

Don't be absurd.

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Steve Geddes wrote:
Kobold Catgirl wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Kobold Catgirl wrote:
I'd say PF2 is harder to learn than 5E and easier to learn than PF1 (the organization doesn't help), but once you know it, it's much easier to run than either.
Easier to run than 5E. That surprises me. It reads like it would be harder just because of all the conditions and traits.

I'd say it's close, but 5e is way more dependent on the GM's skill. PF2's conditions are exceptionally simple, especially with a VTT or someone (GM or otherwise) with an internet connection to quickly look one up. I haven't memorized most of them, but it's so easy to check AoN that it's no issue.

5e's bad encounter balancing? The expectation that you bust out some improv whenever the PCs go beyond the fairly minimalist system? The lack of any coherent crafting system or guidance for when PCs should get which magic items? Those are a lot more challenging for me.

I think we forget that rules-light doesn't inherently mean "easy". Lined paper is easier to write on than printer paper.

Ah yeah gotcha. I dont use technology at the table and grew up with rulings on the fly, no such thing as RAW. So i guess 5E would be easier for me but not for many.

Depends on what you have more trouble with. Keeping the rules details straight or improvising when things aren't covered.

Different styles.

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David knott 242 wrote:
thejeff wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Leon Aquilla wrote:

Based on the interview w/ Erik Mona, there will be no clauses in the ORC license itself, but there may be clauses related to such things in the SRD caches that give you permission to use IP from various franchises.

Even that seems like it could lead to serious problems. If there's a mechanism in the SRD caches to restrict use beyond the actual ORC license, isn't that just a way to change the licensing without changing the license?

The more I think about this, the less I like it.

At least with a morality clause in the license, you know where you stand. With this, every publisher gets to add their own morality clause and have it enforced under ORC terms.

You absolutely know some will use this to ban queer or trans content made with their material. Or to block "wokeness" in general.

So let them. I imagine they will have a tough time hiring creative types and/or persuading people to buy their products if they can get them made. If for some reason they sell really well, that would mean that social attitudes have changed radically from what they are today, and nothing we say today would matter in that hypothetical distant future.

Remember, all anyone had to do to tank sales from the nu-TSR Star Frontiers was post excerpts of its racist portions. The free market did the rest.

The main risk to publishers is having their brands tainted by material published by their licensees, but a big requirement of the OGL and probably the ORC as well is the inability to claim compatibility with the source product in the absence of a secondary license that allows it. The place for a morality clause (preferably one that is clear in intent and that can be modified as social attitudes evolve) is in said secondary license.

Yeah, as long as it's a secondary license tied to compatibility claims/logo/branding or use of product identity, not something tied to the ORC open content, that's cool.

I was reading that as a mechanism in each SRD to add their own restrictions to the actual SRD content, which I would have a problem with.

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Errenor wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Leon Aquilla wrote:
Based on the interview w/ Erik Mona, there will be no clauses in the ORC license itself, but there may be clauses related to such things in the SRD caches that give you permission to use IP from various franchises.
Even that seems like it could lead to serious problems. If there's a mechanism in the SRD caches to restrict use beyond the actual ORC license, isn't that just a way to change the licensing without changing the license?

'Morality clauses' aren't attached to SRDs. SRDs were licenced by OGL before and (presumably) will be licenced by ORC in the future. Exclusively.

'Morality clauses' are commonly attached to trademarks and IPs not included in SRDs, which is a different licence/contract.
So stop panicking, please ;)

That's how I expected it to work, but "there may be clauses related to such things in the SRD caches that give you permission to use IP from various franchises" implies otherwise.

Though Leon Aquila could have gotten it wrong, I suppose. Or I could be misreading it.

And I'm not panicking, I'd just hate to see this approach taken in the ORC.

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thejeff wrote:
Leon Aquilla wrote:

Based on the interview w/ Erik Mona, there will be no clauses in the ORC license itself, but there may be clauses related to such things in the SRD caches that give you permission to use IP from various franchises.

Even that seems like it could lead to serious problems. If there's a mechanism in the SRD caches to restrict use beyond the actual ORC license, isn't that just a way to change the licensing without changing the license?

The more I think about this, the less I like it.

At least with a morality clause in the license, you know where you stand. With this, every publisher gets to add their own morality clause and have it enforced under ORC terms.

You absolutely know some will use this to ban queer or trans content made with their material. Or to block "wokeness" in general.

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Leon Aquilla wrote:

Based on the interview w/ Erik Mona, there will be no clauses in the ORC license itself, but there may be clauses related to such things in the SRD caches that give you permission to use IP from various franchises.

Even that seems like it could lead to serious problems. If there's a mechanism in the SRD caches to restrict use beyond the actual ORC license, isn't that just a way to change the licensing without changing the license?

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