I want a Pathfinder Basic not an Intro


Beginner Box

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Clarification: some people were happy with Pathfinder the way it was. :)

I have had the CRB for over a year haven't done more than skim it. The BB actual makes me want to play it, which I did for the first time this weekend. Will I still want to play it if I outgrow the BB? I honestly don't know.


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Old School Gamer wrote:
I am definitely in the camp of " keep things the way they are."

In many ways, Pathfinder is the game of "keep things the way they are." It is the source of Paizo's success. They won't soon forget that. Even if they revise the presentation, I have full faith that your CRB won't be downgraded to a doorstop (though it would excel at the task).

However, there are some actual problems, not with the rules but the presentation. I see a lot of room for improving the presentation to the point where I would be comfortable handing a new player the Core Rules and not the BB. The rules can be the same, just presented more usably.

To do that, I feel they should find new players, ranging from mid-teens to middle-age, and teach them the rules, just as was done with the beginner box. It's okay to choose smart people who like big words. This testing would bear our what procedures actually need to be presented during play.

You claim that the status quo is fine; my rebuttal is simply to try giving the CRB to a new player, or even a BB player, and see what arises when they try to play. A couple of key points:

  • Character creation is incomplete as presented.

  • Character advancement rules are missing.

  • Treasure rules are incomplete, and even when you fill them out with the GMG the process is like pulling teeth.

  • The stealth rules rely on three separate sections (at least) without so much as a cross reference. (Vision and Light!)

    The end result is a game where you must read about 200 pages in detail (no telling which ones) and be conversant in an earlier edition of the game in order to play correctly. Playing incorrectly is an option, but has its own troubles.

    What I want is not the CRB written in the simple authorial style of the BB. I want the CRB stripped down into data relevant to gameplay, then reorganized and clarified to be optimally useful at the table, then written in the same authorial style as we all enjoy in the current CRB. The rules (excepting obvious problems) should remain as they are, I'd just love to read the stealth, perception, vision and light rules in a single, unified section that gives the GM a procedure to fit them all together, instead of sending me flipping through the book without a reference! (just one example)

    This opinion was formed by nearly 4 years of GMing out of that book.

    EDIT: Sorry I am beating a dead horse here, it's just that this is the only aspect of Pathfinder I feel like discussing lately. I've been playing a bit of Mouse Guard RPG, and although I would never make the case that PF needs to become MG, the vast difference in gameplay has been illuminating. Thanks OSG, and everyone else, for taking me up on this discussion. I hope it does some good.

    Ought to make a spinoff thread I guess, but I am too lazy.


  • Whereas I would like to see the CRB updated to the style of the BB (the CRB is a reference manual, not a novel, thank you ve4y much), that is not of paramount importance. A re-organization and clarification is -- at least to me. In fact, the biggest reason I don't GM more often, is that every time I do, I feel like I'm fighting with the the CRB.

    Every. Single. Time.


    I would love to see the Pathfinder rules redone as as a series of books and boxed sets. Start with the BB. Want more spells buy the Complete book of spells. Want more skills ad feats buy the Complete Book of Skills and Feats. You get the idea.

    Of course all of these products would have the superior presentation of the BB.


    Clarified CRB when it gets re-printed - I'm interested.

    Continual resale of the rules in multiple products - please don't go that way.

    Thank you

    P.S. If there is a place that could be great to experiment with the layout and write-ups of the rules, then there are playtest PDFs and PRD.

    Shadow Lodge

    fjw70 wrote:

    I would love to see the Pathfinder rules redone as as a series of books and boxed sets. Start with the BB. Want more spells buy the Complete book of spells. Want more skills ad feats buy the Complete Book of Skills and Feats. You get the idea.

    Of course all of these products would have the superior presentation of the BB.

    That would be a brilliant way to get a LOT of people...

    to un-subscribe from the RPG line.

    Silver Crusade

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Kthulhu wrote:
    fjw70 wrote:

    I would love to see the Pathfinder rules redone as as a series of books and boxed sets. Start with the BB. Want more spells buy the Complete book of spells. Want more skills ad feats buy the Complete Book of Skills and Feats. You get the idea.

    Of course all of these products would have the superior presentation of the BB.

    That would be a brilliant way to get a LOT of people...

    to un-subscribe from the RPG line.

    And pissed off while at it.

    Shadow Lodge

    Whoa. Deja vu.

    Dark Archive

    Erik Mona wrote:
    Let's just say that creating the Beginner Box was an enormously educational process, and that the fruits of that education will be delicious for many years to come.

    Pathfinder Delicious Fruit Edition. Nice.

    Silver Crusade

    Kthulhu wrote:
    fjw70 wrote:

    I would love to see the Pathfinder rules redone as as a series of books and boxed sets. Start with the BB. Want more spells buy the Complete book of spells. Want more skills ad feats buy the Complete Book of Skills and Feats. You get the idea.

    Of course all of these products would have the superior presentation of the BB.

    That would be a brilliant way to get a LOT of people...

    to un-subscribe from the RPG line.

    Yeah it would, and I subscribe to 'everything', and buy sometimes two or more of a LOT of things.

    It is a REFERENCE guide. Less flipping due to a more 'coherent' layout, fine. I'd even like more pages to flip through! Not interested in purchasing a skinnier book, but a THICKER book with MORE would make me buy three of them. :)

    *I have three Core Rulebooks now. One 3rd and two 4th edition. :)*

    Bel. :)

    Dark Archive

    Sean K Reynolds wrote:


    I don't disagree. What is uncertain is how interested those people would be for mid- and high-level play (6-12) where things get a lot more complex than levels 1-5. In other words: We know there is a potentially big market for an intro product, we don't know how much of a market there is for a 6-10 product, especially when said product largely comes down to "ignore AOOs, ignore combat maneuvers," at which point I'm wondering why you don't just use the core rules and ignore those parts of the game, rather than needing a specific product that rewrites the game to ignore those rules.

    The "just ignore rule x" mentality doesn't work in my experience. All it take is one player not buying-in to the reduced rule-set to ruin a gaming session. Whether it is at a Con, or at a home game, or a one-shot at a game store, there will often be one ultra rules-lawyer of a player that points to the rule book and claims that because the rule exists the GM can't stop the player from using it. This undermines the GM and causes more rules disputes than it solves. This is why many of us want an official product that leaves out the things we don't want. It makes our lives easier. We spend more time gaming and less time arguing. In a rules-heavy system the GM is not the final arbiter of the rules, the published material is. The "rules, not rulings" mentality that makes 3.x and PFRPG better to write for than 2e works against the GM in these situations.

    Now on to other topics...

    I like the layout of the BB and would enjoy a better laid out CRB. The current CRB is not clear and concise. So, if Paizo were to come out with a new edition that didn't change the rules, but simply presented them in a better manner I would buy it.

    I would still like to have the PFB go to level 20 or so, but if the CRB were presented in a modular way using the lessons of PFB I would call it a win. I still wouldn't be able to sell my home group on PFRPG, but I would be a happier PFS player.

    Grand Lodge

    Now that I've actually seen the BB, I've realized the some of the shortcomings of the CRB.
    I'm an old "old-school" gamer who cut his teeth on AD&D back in the late 70s.
    So, the concepts of RPGing were already well-known to me when I bought the CRB last year.

    While I found the PFR rules and campaign fascinating, I also found them to be dense.
    That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I've really had to study the gaming material.

    Now, with the BB, I can see my kids and I actually playing the game.

    Anyway, I wonder if Paizo can come up with a compromise solution?

    They could keep the CRB as is, but add a front section that's consistent with the BB material that eases you into gameplay. Maybe it could even be a pull-out section.

    Just a thought. Maybe not a very good one, but a thought nonetheless.

    ~Keith

    Contributor

    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    dkeester wrote:
    The "just ignore rule x" mentality doesn't work in my experience. All it take is one player not buying-in to the reduced rule-set to ruin a gaming session. Whether it is at a Con, or at a home game, or a one-shot at a game store, there will often be one ultra rules-lawyer of a player that points to the rule book and claims that because the rule exists the GM can't stop the player from using it.

    No amount of rules can prevent certain players from being jerks.


    Sean K Reynolds wrote:
    dkeester wrote:
    The "just ignore rule x" mentality doesn't work in my experience. All it take is one player not buying-in to the reduced rule-set to ruin a gaming session. Whether it is at a Con, or at a home game, or a one-shot at a game store, there will often be one ultra rules-lawyer of a player that points to the rule book and claims that because the rule exists the GM can't stop the player from using it.
    No amount of rules can prevent certain players from being jerks.

    Sure they can. Just not the published kind.

    "If you're a jerk you leave."

    "If you're a jerk you take a core rulebook to the face"

    etc

    Dark Archive

    kyrt-ryder wrote:
    Sean K Reynolds wrote:
    dkeester wrote:
    The "just ignore rule x" mentality doesn't work in my experience. All it take is one player not buying-in to the reduced rule-set to ruin a gaming session. Whether it is at a Con, or at a home game, or a one-shot at a game store, there will often be one ultra rules-lawyer of a player that points to the rule book and claims that because the rule exists the GM can't stop the player from using it.
    No amount of rules can prevent certain players from being jerks.

    Sure they can. Just not the published kind.

    "If you're a jerk you leave."

    "If you're a jerk you take a core rulebook to the face"

    etc

    It is true that no amount of rules, or lack of them can stop people from being jerks.

    Perhaps I should restate to make my point more clear.

    The rules standardization that Sean talked about in his rant serves to make the GM beholden to the rules as much as the players. There is now an expectation on the part of the players that the GM not just run the game well, but also run it correctly. This means following the letter of the rules. So, if I want to exclude something like AOOs from my game, it needs to be officially excluded somehow.


    dkeester wrote:
    The rules standardization that Sean talked about in his rant serves to make the GM beholden to the rules as much as the players. There is now an expectation on the part of the players that the GM not just run the game well, but also run it correctly. This means following the letter of the rules. So, if I want to exclude something like AOOs from my game, it needs to be officially excluded somehow.

    I would say you need to say at the beginning of the campaign you don't plan on using AOOs, but as long as you are upfront about the changes you are making, you are well within your right to exclude certain rules, races, and classes, etc, as you see fit to establish the tone of the campaign you are looking for. If rules lawyers try to say otherwise, tell them to run their own campaign or find a DM that is currently using the rules they wants used. The rules are there as a guideline, and the DM should never be afraid to bend, or even break, them as long as he is consistent in how he does it and he warns the players ahead of time. Now, obviously, this doesn't work as well in organized play, but in that case the rules bending has already been done for the DM running the module, in the form of the campaign rulebook.


    Goldenfrog wrote:

    I like Pathfinder. I will play it any time I get a chance but as far as Dming goes it is just too dang rules heavy for me.After playing it for a while now im burnt out on anything rules heavy.

    What I want to see is a Basic Pathfinder game. The basic class's.A very basic combat system and race and class mix. Something like Pathfinders version of the old Basic D&D.

    No skill system, and needed a lot of DM wining it to cover holes ect..

    I want 10-15 min combats. I want 10 min NPC creation and everything else just as simple.

    I know not everyone else wants any of this and im fine with that. I also know there are tons of rules lite games and retro clones etc but I love the Paizo guys and the types of adventures they put out.

    The Intro set might be good,I have not kept up with it other than a general feeling it is only a intro and not a separate game.

    So here is to my hope and dream that I can get my cake and eat it to!

    Play a game with just NPC classes. Warrior, Expert, and Adept. They have no class features ('cept Adept's familiar at 2nd level). I don't know why you don't want a skill system though. Even OD&D had some skills (thief skills for example), and it's not like skills are complicated (roll X vs Y).

    Then again, if you rip out the skills, then you can drop it to Warrior + Adept, and that's the end of it.

    As for monsters, don't worry about them having many special abilities. Just add some hit dice and you're ready to go. You can build NPCs with HD and NPC levels in less than 5 minutes (if you have a calculator you can literally do Hp, BAB, and Saves in less than 1).


    Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
    dkeester wrote:
    The rules standardization that Sean talked about in his rant serves to make the GM beholden to the rules as much as the players. There is now an expectation on the part of the players that the GM not just run the game well, but also run it correctly. This means following the letter of the rules. So, if I want to exclude something like AOOs from my game, it needs to be officially excluded somehow.

    I don't think I've ever played in a home game where there were not some house rules. I guess I just have a better relationship with my players than you do. There are all sorts of changes I make to the game. Rule Zero and all that.

    I don't think my experience is all that uncommon though.

    I certainly do understand the desire for a smaller reference guide. I love the Rules Compendium for 4E. I would buy a similarly sized reference book that has the most common essential rules for Pathfinder. Of course, if Paizo doesn't want to publish one, perhaps a 3PP can fill that void.

    Dark Archive

    deinol wrote:
    dkeester wrote:
    The rules standardization that Sean talked about in his rant serves to make the GM beholden to the rules as much as the players. There is now an expectation on the part of the players that the GM not just run the game well, but also run it correctly. This means following the letter of the rules. So, if I want to exclude something like AOOs from my game, it needs to be officially excluded somehow.

    I don't think I've ever played in a home game where there were not some house rules. I guess I just have a better relationship with my players than you do. There are all sorts of changes I make to the game. Rule Zero and all that.

    I don't think my experience is all that uncommon though.

    I certainly do understand the desire for a smaller reference guide. I love the Rules Compendium for 4E. I would buy a similarly sized reference book that has the most common essential rules for Pathfinder. Of course, if Paizo doesn't want to publish one, perhaps a 3PP can fill that void.

    We are all colored by our experiences.

    Let's turn this back to the positive and the PF BB.

    As I have said I like the Box. The layout is great and as usual I love the art. I like treating the game as a modular system. I like that the CRB products are compatible with it.

    I hope it sells well and I hope that there is enough interest that Paizo will produce boxes for higher levels. I like Golarion and want to run games in it using a lighter system than that presented in the CRB. I don't want Paizo to become TSR with a million different games (don't forget Boothill, Top Secret, and others) and a bazillion different settings. I like the lighter, but compatible system.

    Grand Lodge

    dkeester wrote:
    kyrt-ryder wrote:
    Sean K Reynolds wrote:
    dkeester wrote:
    The "just ignore rule x" mentality doesn't work in my experience. All it take is one player not buying-in to the reduced rule-set to ruin a gaming session. Whether it is at a Con, or at a home game, or a one-shot at a game store, there will often be one ultra rules-lawyer of a player that points to the rule book and claims that because the rule exists the GM can't stop the player from using it.
    No amount of rules can prevent certain players from being jerks.

    Sure they can. Just not the published kind.

    "If you're a jerk you leave."

    "If you're a jerk you take a core rulebook to the face"

    etc

    It is true that no amount of rules, or lack of them can stop people from being jerks.

    Perhaps I should restate to make my point more clear.

    The rules standardization that Sean talked about in his rant serves to make the GM beholden to the rules as much as the players. There is now an expectation on the part of the players that the GM not just run the game well, but also run it correctly. This means following the letter of the rules. So, if I want to exclude something like AOOs from my game, it needs to be officially excluded somehow.

    Actually in my many years (37 years now) of gaming.. this has not been a problem. If "I" as a GM want to exclude a rule I simply do and let the players know this. If they have a problem with it, they are basically given two choices, play with the rules as I as a GM want to use them or find another group.

    No I am not a harsh GM and my players know this and in all the years I have played I have not had any one leave my game because of my house rules or any such thing of that nature. I have had to ask one player to leave because he was being way to disruptive.. but never lost one due to a rules dispute especially over one of my house rules.

    No matter the edition of the game as it is.. there is always going to be some form of house rule. As a publishing company, Paizo in no way can produce a set of rules that every single player is going to be happy with in every way, where there will not be some sort of house rule set. Asking them to leave the rules that "we" do not like out of the books as official is just not going to happen in a way to make every single player happy.

    As long as there are rules, there is going to be debate on whether or not this rule is better then the other or that rule is to vague and should be left out or what should they do with the new "edition" or should Paizo do a BB edition where they produce many many more boxes for said edition.

    So as Sean mentions.. if you do not like the rules in the book.. Omission via GM "IS" official in my book. If the GM omits a rule then you have something that is official as long as that GM commits to being consistent in the ruling every single time.

    RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

    dkeester wrote:
    The rules standardization that Sean talked about in his rant serves to make the GM beholden to the rules as much as the players. There is now an expectation on the part of the players that the GM not just run the game well, but also run it correctly. This means following the letter of the rules. So, if I want to exclude something like AOOs from my game, it needs to be officially excluded somehow.

    My games usually have a one-page list of house rules that make mention of rules I'm not using (encumbrance, critical hit confirmation rolls, etc.). Outside of sometimes explaining to a curious player why I made that change, it's never been a problem. I imagine that stripping out attacks of opportunity would be similarly easy, although maybe I have more easygoing players than most.

    Shadow Lodge

    deinol wrote:
    I certainly do understand the desire for a smaller reference guide. I love the Rules Compendium for 4E. I would buy a similarly sized reference book that has the most common essential rules for Pathfinder. Of course, if Paizo doesn't want to publish one, perhaps a 3PP can fill that void.

    Search the forums for a mention of SORD PF.


    Jerkiness is irrelevant to my request. There are no jerks in my party, yet we all struggle with the information architecture, even despite intimate knowledge of it.

    House rule methods of simplification gain me nothing but additional complexity. Even subtractive house rules make the game harder to get into, especially for new players.

    The goal here is to keep the rules but present them in a way that attracts new players up from the basic set, and keeps GMs like me from burning out around 12th.


    Evil Lincoln wrote:
    The goal here is to keep the rules but present them in a way that attracts new players up from the basic set, and keeps GMs like me from burning out around 12th.

    Except that the only way to do that would be to completely rewrite D&D; 4E did that, and look at how well received it was. Perhaps simply recognizing that once you get access to spells above 6th level, you are already in epic play, and adjusting the expectations of those levels accordingly is what needs to happen. Instead of changing or simplifying the rules, getting away from the idea that just because the chart goes to 20, the play style must stay relatively the same all the way up to that point, and it only changes to "epic" play at 21 is what needs to happen.


    sunshadow21 wrote:
    Except that the only way to do that would be to completely rewrite D&D; 4E did that, and look at how well received it was. Perhaps simply recognizing that once you get access to spells above 6th level, you are already in epic play, and adjusting the expectations of those levels accordingly is what needs to happen. Instead of changing or simplifying the rules, getting away from the idea that just because the chart goes to 20, the play style must stay relatively the same all the way up to that point, and it only changes to "epic" play at 21 is what needs to happen.

    Except that Evil Lincoln is saying that, for his group, changing or simplifying rules would not be required. Rather, a reorganization and revised presentation would make his game play experience much better.

    ...but I'm sure you know his group better than he does.


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    sunshadow21 wrote:
    Except that the only way to do that would be to completely rewrite D&D;

    Sunshadow, usability is my field of study*. Whatever that's worth I think the information (i.e. rules) is perfectly fine and usable. The presentation is the result of mashing two whole books together on short notice, and not really applying any info-architecture lessons from the previous edition to the new one.

    There is a point where the information design is so tight you can only make the game easier by changing the rules. Pathfinder CRB presently doesn't come even close to that.

    The best example I can give is the stealth rules. Everything relevant to stealth, including pertinent vision and lighting rules should be referenced under the stealth and perception skills, but those sections should reference a procedural section in the chapter on running the game. There it should discuss how to adjudicate stealth in the context of a game, not merely presenting the rules for simulation and leaving the GM to determine everything, from the missing "first stealth roll" distance to spillover encounters and everything in between. During character creation, you see those skills in the skills section, but when you're playing, you get absolutely everything you need to know about stealth (invisibility, cover interactions, etc) in the same section.

    There are other examples. Incomplete systems that 3.5 players don't notice because they read the 3.5 rules. Information placement that befuddles newcomers but is sort of an "open secret" to the vets.

    The book doesn't reflect how people play. It's like handing someone a model kit without instructions. I've heard it said that WotC had a minor objective in rewarding rule mastery, so this makes sense. It also leads to a game in which players and GMs are constantly springing "gotcha" rules on each other, if they are even playing the game correctly at all. If that's the design goal, no wonder I have become increasingly frustrated over the last ten years (through 3e and PF).

    The rules themselves are fine, but Pathfinder as a game faces a serious player-acquisition and player-attrition problem if they don't finally clean up after the chaos of the CRB's origins. How long do we want to reward players for tracking down obscurities of the rules text, rather than placing things where they should be so we can get on with the game?

    I must repeat, though, that the CRB is brilliant, for what it is. They did not have a lot of time to turn 3.5 into the product that they did. It's great that they managed to make it good enough to woo a considerable number of 3.5 fans. Now it's time to make it readable for people who never played 3.5.

    They can do that without making the existing CRB obsolete, and I believe that is what they should do. I say this because I want that book.

    You know, we're basically talking about a Pathfinder Rules Cyclopedia, right?

    *:
    This also means that even if the usability were better, it would never be good enough for me. YMMV

    Furthermore, when I make a suggestion on how it "should" be organized, I know I am wrong. I can't know how it should be done until I carry out some tests on people (not me!) who have never played the game, or have only played the beginner box, or have only played other non-PF RPGs, or some combination.

    That's what I begged for on the Beginner Box (yay!) and that's what I think should be done for the whole ruleset.


    It's increasingly obvious to me that I want my own thread on this. But that thread would live in the general Pathfinder forums, and would quickly be derailed there. So please bear with me, because I am not asking for Pathfinder Basic like the OP was. Sorry for the threadjack, but I am really honestly interested in this side discussion and there's not really a better place for it.

    RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    Evil Lincoln: "Man, I wish that website had the same content, but hyperlinked for easy reference."

    Poster #1: "You don't need hyperlinks. Just use the website as is, and ignore the content you don't like."

    Poster #2: "You don't need hyperlinks. Just remember that the content towards the end uses a different font."


    bugleyman wrote:

    Except that Evil Lincoln is saying that, for his group, changing or simplifying rules would not be required. Rather, a reorganization and revised presentation would make his game play experience much better.

    ...but I'm sure you know his group better than he does.

    All snark aside, that's basically it. I would love to see the rules restructured according to analysis on how the game is played, rather than the somewhat arbitrary, character-creation-centric, rules-mastery-rewarding, incomplete organization it currently has.

    That organization was inherited. I don't blame Paizo for that. I would love them to fix it though, and the Beginner Box has shown me they can.


    Epic Meepo wrote:

    Evil Lincoln: "Man, I wish that website had the same content, but hyperlinked for easy reference."

    SKR: "You don't need hyperlinks. Just use the website as is, and ignore the content you don't like."

    sunshadow21: "You don't need hyperlinks. Just remember that the content towards the end uses a different font."

    Actually, I've only seen Sean argue against a Basic line, not against clarifying the rulebook. He even favorited one of my rant posts upthread.

    I can only imagine that after doing new-user testing on the Beginner Box, Sean probably sees my point even if he doesn't fully agree.

    (but generally, yeah, you've got the jist of it there)


    Evil Lincoln wrote:
    sunshadow21 wrote:
    Except that the only way to do that would be to completely rewrite D&D;
    Sunshadow, usability is my field of study*. Whatever that's worth I think the information (i.e. rules) is perfectly fine and usable. The presentation is the result of mashing two whole books together on short notice, and not really applying any info-architecture lessons from the previous edition to the new one.

    The rewriting comment was directed toward the burnout at level 12 largely, which for every edition until 4E has always been a major cutoff point. The only way to not make it a major cutoff point is to rewrite the entire ruleset from scratch. As for presentation, I agree, and part of that is making clear in the presentation that somewhere between level 12 and level 15, even if the charts and rules retain the same format, the style of the game must change to avoid burnout.

    RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

    Evil Lincoln wrote:
    Actually, I've only seen Sean argue against a Basic line, not against clarifying the rulebook.

    Fair enough. I was apparently reading more into SKR's post than was there, and apologize for any unfair characterization of his position on my part.

    In fact, to avoid putting words in anyone's mouth, I've gone back and edited my previous post so it uses hypothetical representative posts to make my point instead of paraphrased posts from other board members.


    Way overdue spinoff thread here.


    sunshadow21 wrote:
    The rewriting comment was directed toward the burnout at level 12 largely, which for every edition until 4E has always been a major cutoff point. The only way to not make it a major cutoff point is to rewrite the entire ruleset from scratch. As for presentation, I agree, and part of that is making clear in the presentation that somewhere between level 12 and level 15, even if the charts and rules retain the same format, the style of the game must change to avoid burnout.

    I think that's a fair point. I also think it might surprise you just how much more playable things would get with a cleanup. Please stop over in the spinoff thread and we'll discuss.


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    Evil Lincoln wrote:
    All snark aside, that's basically it.

    Sorry. Sometimes, when I bang my head repeatedly against the same wall, a little snark leaks out. I'm having it looked at. :P


    Keith the Thief wrote:


    Now, with the BB, I can see my kids and I actually playing the game.

    ~Keith

    I agree with this 100%. I can now play the game with the family..while they learn..instead of teach them all of the dynamics before we play.


    Still reading the posts, but I just ordered the beginners box, just to know what all the fuss it about ^^

    Dark Archive

    dkeester wrote:
    The "just ignore rule x" mentality doesn't work in my experience. All it take is one player not buying-in to the reduced rule-set to ruin a gaming session. Whether it is at a Con, or at a home game, or a one-shot at a game store, there will often be one ultra rules-lawyer of a player that points to the rule book and claims that because the rule exists the GM can't stop the player from using it. This undermines the GM and causes more rules disputes than it solves. This is why many of us want an official product that leaves out the things we don't want. It makes our lives easier. We spend more time gaming and less time arguing. In a rules-heavy system the GM is not the final arbiter of the rules, the published material is. The "rules, not rulings" mentality that makes 3.x and PFRPG better to write for than 2e works against the GM in these situations.

    I think if youre going to deviate from the rules you need to be very clear up front where youre deviating from the rules and how much.

    If I'm in your game, and the first time I hear "No Combat Maneuvers" is the first time I go to attempt one, I will be very disgruntled.

    From the other side of the table, if I tell you up front (before chargen) that I'll be running X rule differently than the core rulebook, and you throw a fit when it comes up, I will tell stop the game, pack up, and end the session for the day, and will let you know you are not welcome back next time. I no longer have the patience for such behavior.

    So, I think it depends on how its approached, whether the "THATS HOW THE RULES WORK" argument can be considered legit.

    In a Convention game, I dont think its acceptable to houserule.


    DΗ wrote:

    I think if youre going to deviate from the rules you need to be very clear up front where youre deviating from the rules and how much.

    This is true.

    It also leads to a somewhat paradoxical result that some of us house-rulers run up against a lot: it is not possible to house rule simplicity into the game. Even removing rules adds complexity, because the player must understand the rule is removed, and remember that. At best this means reading the new simple rule and understanding the old rule that was removed. Guess what? That's two rules. :(

    That's the simple version. The reality is far more nuanced.

    However, it's pertinent to the discussion of simplicity and rules omission. Omitting rules can't be done in a fair way without adding its own degree of complexity. It's maddening.

    Dark Archive

    Evil Lincoln wrote:

    This is true.

    It also leads to a somewhat paradoxical result that some of us house-rulers run up against a lot: it is not possible to house rule simplicity into the game. Even removing rules adds complexity, because the player must understand the rule is removed, and remember that. At best this means reading the new simple rule and understanding the old rule that was removed. Guess what? That's two rules. :(

    That's the simple version. The reality is far more nuanced.

    However, it's pertinent to the discussion of simplicity and rules omission. Omitting rules can't be done in a fair way without adding its own degree of complexity. It's maddening.

    Hmm. Yep; pretty much.

    You wanna know how I deal with houserules nowadays? it takes alot of up-front effort on my part.

    I make my own rulebook, with the houserules worked in, and slap it down in front of the players as a printed B&W copy. I then also hand them a ssummary of whats different.

    But then, I was up to like, 60 pages of houserules, in 2 column size 8 font, without images.

    Prepping to start a campaign can take me 2-3 months. lol.

    Otherwise? I make a page of the most important changes, and run everything else RAW. You want to argue with me? show me an errata.

    But the alternate rulebook approach for me is becoming more common than the the other. I basically replace the corebook and make it compatible with all the splats. Kindof like Kirth.

    I have yet to find a better approach. But at least this way I dont have players looking at the wrong source, not remembering which stuff I changed, and then complaining at me because they didnt check the houserules document first (which was all neatly indexed, and table of contents'ed.)

    The rebuttal of "you're looking in a rulebook that has no bearing in my game" is stronger than the rebuttal of "you should have checked the houserules document first."

    Is it alot of work? Yeah. Unfortunately.

    But its less of a headache for me than when I just pass them the houserules as a separate document.


    Want a Pathfinder Basic? Remove skills and all level-based abilities (meaning feats, ability score boosts, etc) from the game. Also get rid of prestige classes. Then simplify races to only ability modifiers. You heard me! Just a class and ability scores is all you need. Do the same for monsters. Ta da!

    Of course there are still class bonus feats to choose from, but that's the only area where you need to think. And for that you don't have to think all that hard. Everything else can be fudged. If a player wants to do something that would normally require a skill check, just have them make a level check with the appropriate ability modifier.

    Dark Archive

    airwalkrr wrote:

    Want a Pathfinder Basic? Remove skills and all level-based abilities (meaning feats, ability score boosts, etc) from the game. Also get rid of prestige classes. Then simplify races to only ability modifiers. You heard me! Just a class and ability scores is all you need. Do the same for monsters. Ta da!

    Of course there are still class bonus feats to choose from, but that's the only area where you need to think. And for that you don't have to think all that hard. Everything else can be fudged. If a player wants to do something that would normally require a skill check, just have them make a level check with the appropriate ability modifier.

    I think that may not be what many people want from a "pathfinder basic" I know I wouldnt be interested in that.

    But I'm not sure I want a PF Basic so much as just what Evil Lincoln Mentioned. Better organized core rules.

    RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

    DΗ wrote:

    You wanna know how I deal with houserules nowadays? it takes alot of up-front effort on my part.

    I make my own rulebook, with the houserules worked in, and slap it down in front of the players as a printed B&W copy.

    ...

    I have yet to find a better approach.

    If your game crew employs laptops or tablets during play, you can save paper and ink by just writing your own PRD. You don't even need to host it online if you don't want to; just transfer the files to your players via flash drive of something.

    Dark Archive

    Epic Meepo wrote:
    If your game crew employs laptops or tablets during play, you can save paper and ink by just writing your own PRD. You don't even need to host it online if you don't want to; just transfer the files to your players via flash drive of something.

    I almost never have more than 50% of the group with those kinds of devices at the table, but yeah, I make the PDF available, as well as a hard copy that I bring for the people without laptops and tablets.

    Or do you mean in website form?

    Website form is easier to navigate, but harder to print from. Involves separate stylesheets and stuff, and you need to find a way to print the whole thing in a single document for if they need a hard copy.

    But yes; I give out PDF Copies, and print out one copy. No way am I printing out 5 copies of a document that can easily be more than 100 pages. I bring one, and give pdfs. If they want their own copy, theyre welcome to go get it printed, holepunch it and put it in a binder, or ever print it in book form on 11x17 paper and take the time to bind it into a book themselves using folios and signatures and stitching and an outside cover.


    I'm posting this here instead of the other thread since it seems more pertinent to this discussion.

    I used to play ADnD until about 1998 or so when I left it for other, easier systems. Earlier this year we started playing M&M which got some of us jonesing for the D20 system and all the great settings we left behind. After researching the differences between 4.0 and Pathfinder, we went with Pathfinder (mainly due to our most vocal player constantly calling 4.0 an attempt at creating an MMO tabletop for 12 year olds, no offense to any who enjoy 4.0 but there it is.)

    We have two CRBs that we bought. After playing three sessions we don't even crack them open anymore since I can find anything on the online SRD way quicker than they can and it's all about the search function. Rules may be buried but I can open up three tabs to all the different sections I need and it's done.

    I HATE using pdfs and reading things online in a computer, but honestly since the CRB is such a clusterfudge really we have no choice since we've only been playing about three weeks and really don't have rules mastery under our belt.

    I would love a more usable format for these rules in dead tree format.

    Dark Archive

    zen bullet wrote:

    I HATE using pdfs and reading things online in a computer, but honestly since the CRB is such a clusterfudge really we have no choice since we've only been playing about three weeks and really don't have rules mastery under our belt.

    I would love a more usable format for these rules in dead tree format.

    So do you mean a better organized corebook where its easier to find stuff then?


    Goldenfrog wrote:

    The game is just too dang rules heavy.

    --
    Now I just want to role play and want the game to go fast and fun. If a fight lasts over 30 minutes I lose some of the fun and want to move on.
    --
    Same with creating npc's and adventures. I want more creating and less book keeping. I want to think up crazy Pirate dwarves with peg legs and a crazy Irish accent and then spend 5 min writing his stats down.

    You need Fast, Furious, Fun!?

    Try Savage Worlds since you are pretty much describing it. Minimal bookkeeping, fast, fun, easy to improvise, takes very little mental space allowing you to concentrate on roleplay etc.


    Edhel wrote:


    You need Fast, Furious, Fun!?
    Try Savage Worlds since you are pretty much describing it. Minimal bookkeeping, fast, fun, easy to improvise, takes very little mental space allowing you to concentrate on roleplay etc.

    I gotta agree there. Currently, Savage Worlds is the top of my top 3 games.

    My interest in Pathfinder these days comes from the Beginner Box and the fact that I keep getting invited to play, and as I run 98% of the games I'm involved in, getting to play would be nice.


    Evil Lincoln wrote:
    Way overdue spinoff thread here.

    Hey Evil, what happened to that thread? The link goes to General Discussion list, and after cruising that for awhile I couldn't find it. Btw, I agree with you 100%, the rules need serious reorganization. The BB is excellent and gets one excited for the possibilities.

    One more thing: Although I love Paizo, I DO blame them for the mess of the CRB. That was a golden opportunity to rewrite and reorganize those rules as the foundation for years of undead 3.5 gaming. Especially because they chose to make the behemoth CRB; at 50 bucks I feel jipped every time I have to dig through the SAME disarray from 8 years ago!

    [blushes] LOVE YOU GUYS!

    Contributor

    Can'tFindthePath wrote:
    One more thing: Although I love Paizo, I DO blame them for the mess of the CRB. That was a golden opportunity to rewrite and reorganize those rules as the foundation for years of undead 3.5 gaming. Especially because they chose to make the behemoth CRB; at 50 bucks I feel jipped every time I have to dig through the SAME disarray from 8 years ago!

    Given more time, I would have loved to reorganize it more. But we had new APs coming out that, without the PFRPG, would be using a rules system whose core books were disappearing in stores, and couldn't wait another 6 or 12 months to get the reorganization done--we had to focus on (1) getting the rules changes made, and (2) getting it out on time so we wouldn't lose the 3E audience.

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