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Silver Crusade

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Hi Payton,
I hope I am asking this question in the proper place. Could you give an overview of what hardware you use for the paizo twitch streams. I have seen lots of online guides for how to record video game content, but there aren't many streamers playing tabletop games with multi-camera setups.

To that end, what cameras do you use? What microphones? I have also seen you, on camera, pressing buttons on something that looks like an elgato stream deck. Do you use one of those to control your camera feeds? What computer(s) do you use to edit and store all your video?

Thanks for the info! I am sure many other aspiring streamers would like to know what stuff they'll need to get started.

Silver Crusade

I, too, would really like an answer from the developers on this topic.

"Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! DEVELOPERS!!!!"
- Steve Ballmer

Silver Crusade

I really hope this thread gets noticed by the devs. I found a few typos and a few things that I would like to see clarified.

"Rolling 20 is better!" on page 8 seems to suggest that all you need for a critical success is a natural 20. p.292 says you need a natural 20 and a success.
At the bottom of p.45 there is a reference "section on page" that goes nowhere.
On p.74 "fiend" is not well-defined (to my knowledge) even in the bestiary.
On p.161, some entries are boxed with an extra vertical line.
The paragraph "hit points and healing" on p.294 says race not ancestry.
On p.295, “if you are at 1 hp or more...” should probably say something about being prone. In addition the paragraph “taking damage while unconscious” is confusing because it contradicts the passage five paragraphs above that starts with “always use...”
On p.306, AoO should say more about threatened squares. What happens if the fighter is using a ranged weapon?

Silver Crusade

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There's a lot to be positive about. I like the quality of the flip-mat multi pack! All four of the maps are extremely cool, and I absolutely love when a published map syncs with a published adventure. Please PLEASE make that happen more often!
That was one of the (few) high-points of a published D&D 4e adventure, but for some reason published maps are nowhere in sight for D&D 5e. Paizo could really put a corner on that market.

As for the recent spate of negativity, it might just be highly opinionated people's first impressions. Still, first impressions mean a lot. Maybe it was not a great idea to publish this playtest at a time when most of the Paizo staff is away at GenCon. According to a post by Vic Wertz (the CTO), they don't plan to respond to most of the forum postings until after Gencon ends and things calm down. I think this is a marketing error. Here's a chance for Paizo to really get out in front of the bad reviews and aggressively market the things that the playtest does well (again, there are many things the playtest does well!). But they didn't, and that's a missed opportunity.
Maybe it won't matter in the end, but based on the current state of the forums, they could be alienating a lot of the early adopters.

Silver Crusade

AnimatedPaper wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Hrödulf Domhnall wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
I have to strongly disagree on modularity. Class feats are just: bonus feats, rogue trick, rage powers, etc. now not all classes got those, but most did. This is just the same modularity repackaged with a whole heap of combat feats taken out of circulation (some were made class feats).
I personally love how modular the classes are. It make it feel a lot more organic to me, wherein character classes are more or less just archetypes (the traditional meaning, that is - a recurrent symbol or "classic design") that are then customized and custom tailored to a specific play's style. I will wholeheartedly agree that it is hard to get an outright feel for a class with this new system, but with the same breath I will argue that this is an improvement over the previous system's "this class it good with x and y archetypes plugged in, but don't play it with a or b."
Did you mean to quote my post? Because you have addressed nothing I said and simply rearticulated what I argued against. There is no improved modularity. This is PF1e modularity regurgitated.
Perhaps "improved" is overstating the case, although that level of modularity is improved for many core classes. If they had, coming out of 3.5, designed the PF1 classes with that level of modularity in mind, I think archetypes in PF1 would have looked much like they do in PF2. It was the rigid framework of classes like the cleric that forced the design of archetypes in PF1, and they made a conscious step to eliminate that rigidity and bring all classes up to the baseline established by barbarians and rogues.

I would say that I greatly support the "spirit" of making the game modular. As for the execution, there are some rough spots.

Could you please explain what you meant about barbarians and rogues being the baseline for classes?

Silver Crusade

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I agree that the current system of "escalating DCs" in the playtest is overly-complicated. The table on page 337 is maddening. It reminds me of the THAC0 tables from AD&D2e. It's not well explained thematically, and it could lead to abuse (hopefully unintentional) abuse by the players or the GM. As other's on the linked posts have pointed out, the GM may not remember what DC was set for a task between play sessions, and the escalating DCs table is not flat enough to easily remember your logic in picking a DC. There's also the problem of making the DCs secret, which might cause some distrust among the players.

This system of escalating DCs makes me uneasy about GMing a game. The hardest part of GMing (in my opinion) is adjudicating rules that aren't in the rulebook. When your players ask to do something unconventional, you should be able to shoe-horn it in to an existing rule in a way that both rewards creativity and is fair to others who might try the same thing. But then you have to come up with a DC for this unconventional rule, and the system breaks down.

I do agree that a system of bounded accuracy would be nice. I don't love the way that D&D 5e lumps everything unconventional into an ability score check. In my opinion, ability checks are not the answer - skills (and maybe feats) are the answer. But the current treadmill of +1 per level is anything but bounded, and the system of adjudicating DCs suffers mightily because of it.

Silver Crusade

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I agree with a lot of the points in this thread, and I'd like to respond to a bunch of points all at once.

I really like the modular approach of PF2e. I think the modularity is especially effective when it comes to spell heightening and cantrips.
While we are on the (controversial) topic of comparing PF2e to D&D4e, I want to point out one thing that I think D&D4e did extremely well. That is the topic of monster roles. I absolutely loved the fact that the 4e monster manual put monsters into roles, so that you could easily know what combat style a monster employed. This let the GM build interesting encounters that merged lots of different combat styles. You could start with a cool monster as the centerpiece of an encounter, and pick other monsters that made up for the main enemy's weaknesses (e.g. pick bruisers to make up for the relatively low defenses of a striker). The elite monster and minion templates from 4e were also excellent, but I felt that minions became less interesting after level 10. I also liked that character classes were given a role, even though you didn't have to follow that role. I also like that PF1e incorporated monster roles, but it seemed like an afterthought that was relegated to an appendix. Is this information going to be included in the final release of PF2e? It's unclear, because right now the playtest bestiary has a vague catch-all reference to "look in the 1e bestiary for fluff".

Here's where I think PF2e could really really stand out. Give us a more modular system of encounter building! The playtest bestiary says that a party of four characters can fight monsters that range between the party level - 4 to the party level + 4. That seems a bit dubious given the small number of bestiary entries; I predict that most encounters will range from level - 2 to level + 2. That's quite a nice spread of 5 monster levels, but I think they could do things differently for more effect. In fact, since the playtest bestiary monster entries are so static, I have serious doubts that four level zero enemies will actually produce an equal threat to one level four enemy. (I haven't thoroughly playtested that particular issue, just looked at monster entries.)
The change I would love to see is a bestiary that scales with player level. Essentially I want every monster to be "buildable" like the entry for dragons. This would dovetail with the trend towards bounded accuracy. I am not saying that we get rid of static monster entries. I very much like that each dragon entry in the bestiary has three pre-made dragons of differing level. Keep that system for every monster, but also add a quick and easy way to scale up or rebuild monsters at a different level.

Maybe that's asking a lot, but this hasn't been done well before. If paizo could come up with a good modular system of monsters, it would be huge.

As for XP rewards. I don't see any problem with it mathematically. They switched from a quadratic progression to a linear progression. That way at every level, fighting a creature of the appropriate level gives you the same amount of XP. This could be a very good thing for modularity, but to reiterate what I said above, they did not go far enough in making the bestiary monsters modular.

Lastly, I agree with above posters that PF2e's current approach to bounded accuracy (escalating DCs) is not going to work out. In particular, the table on page 337 is an absolute ABOMINATION! Having to use that table actively discourages me from GMing a 2e game. I predict that the table will cause play to grind to a halt whenever death saving throws come up. But I plan to write a separate thread on this topic.

Silver Crusade

TBA, do you have an approximate CR for your buffed and hasted Vanthus?
Great builds, by the way.

Silver Crusade

If you're really worried about die fairness, then you shouldn't fuss about the manufacturing method of your die so much as you should worry about your die in particular. (Many people have already mentioned that defects in the plastic, settling, and other small variance can make even the most carefully crafted dice biased).
So how do you tell if your die is fair or biased? Test it. There's an article in Dragon Magazine #78 on how to compute chi-square values for any die. Basically the test amounts to rolling the die several times and then plugging the results into a formula. Some people have made online applets that do the math for you. See, for instance, this site
You can do as many trials as you want to get an arbitrarily high degree of accuracy. I just tested my beginner box dice, and they are fair.

As long as your dice are fair according to this formula, you shouldn't care how the edges are distributed. Here fairness means that your dice are random within a very small margin of error. Even "electronic dice" (i.e. dice rolling apps) aren't truly random, because it's been known for a while that computers aren't able to produce totally random data. So at some point you'll have to live with almost random.

The only caveat would be the way that you roll your dice. Some people have perfected the art of rolling a spindown die so that it rolls high, but this sort of behavior should be noticeable to an observant DM. To ensure that your dice rolling technique is sufficiently random, it's best to cup your hands together with the dice inside and shake your cupped hands up and down or side to side. I think three shakes is enough to ensure your rolls are highly randomized, but again you can increase this number if you'd like.

That's my take on dice randomness. Math always saves the day.

Silver Crusade

Is there any way to adjust the pdf so that it prints double-sided? I want to be able to print the file and cut out the cards so that the first one has "bleed" on the front and "disabled" on the back. Right now when I print them the alignment is way off.