Mythic APs


Pathfinder Adventure Path General Discussion

51 to 100 of 141 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

It more often than not is, it doesn't really hurt my example either way.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Not a fallacy and not an insult, its just how it is. While its good that people try to fill the roll of DM, not everyone is created equal. You're going to have varying degrees of success or failure. Not everyone can DM, and while many try, not all of them are really good at it. Almost everyone reading this has either had a bad DM or a killer DM at one time. Not right, not wrong, that's just how it rolls. Unlike games, humanity has no "balance".

Who should Paizo target? Hardcore or casuals? The one AP per month they publish won't be a hit with both audiences so who should they ostracize? What sells at one table certainly won't sell at another. Hence middle of the road APs. The mythic ruleset added to those APs simply adds another layer of customization required by the DM. More work for me, and if I do it right, more fun for my table.

As a DM you're in charge. Its your job to lead your table to a night of fun. An AP or even a ruleset is nothing more than a tool in your arsenal, not a crutch. Your imagination is your real weapon. Use it or you will fall flat on your face and drag your table right down with you. Sorry if it sounds harsh, but that's really what it comes down to.

That said, are the Mythic rules perfect? Of course not. This game has never been perfect, 1st edition to present. Just part of the bigger picture. Make your adjustments and adlib from there. Worked for Gygax it'll do for me.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Vex, I'm arguing on the same side as you, and I found what you just said to be dismissive and offensive. You just implied anyone who is having difficulties with Mythic are just not up to the task. The problem lies in part because Pathfinder (and D&D 3.x) is not balanced at higher levels.

There are several reasons for this. First, low level hit points are too low, while higher level hit points go the opposite direction. Damage seems designed so that enemies drop in two to three hits by enemies of equal challenge. But let's face it. A Giant should not fall in combat as quickly as a goblin. Yet they do.

To compensate you end up with larger bands of monsters, which doesn't make sense from an ecological point of view - even one giant would eat so much livestock that a band of a half dozen giants could wipe out all the livestock in a region for their raids just to find enough food to survive. (Yes, I know. It's fantasy. But there's no reason fantasy can't be realistic at the core level.)

Unfortunately, these larger monsters still fall quickly to the PCs. It is a game of rocket-tag even before the Mythic Rules increase the damage potential even further.

Further, given that PCs have better resources than most antagonists and have a group that works together, singular foes just cannot prevail against a group of adventurers, even if they are of an appropriate challenge rating - either that, or the foe is so overpowered that the group will die quickly if they have a few bad rolls. This is before Mythic is added, mind you.

So. The solution seems to be: reduce the damage inflicted at higher levels, increase the hit points of enemies, and find a way to stop the one-shot kills that have ended quite a few end-games. (Seriously. Look at some of the deaths of Karzoug in Runelords - sometimes he doesn't even get a single hit in. That doesn't sound particularly epic.)


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Lord Snow wrote:
This, I think, is the reason that CRs is WotR are so tame. I mean, it doesn't take a genuis to figure out that adding mythic ranks to the PCs render "appropriate" CR fight pointless, and yet these kinds of fights are pretty common in WotR. I guess it's because the developers and adventure writers didn't want to go overboard with the XP they gave, which really constrains the difficulty you can have on fights. Sure, the XP advancement WAS somewhat faster than usual, gaining 1 - 2 extra levels per adventure, but the difficulty in terms of CR was still waaaaaayyyy lower than it should have been.

This is explicitly explained in Running a Mythic Game, Designing Encounters:

Mythic Adventures wrote:

Encounters for Mythic PCs: Mythic adventurers are ready for challenges beyond those normally expected for characters of their level. (See the Adjusting CR and Level sidebar.) When designing encounters to challenge these characters, roughly one-third of the encounters should use their adjusted APL, one-third should use the characters' original APL, and the remaining should fall somewhere between those two values.

Of course, individual encounters can vary from these numbers as normal (such as a challenging encounter versus an easy encounter). When facing a mythic foe, add half its mythic rank to its original CR to determine the foe's adjusted CR (as above).

For example, when designing challenges for a group of four 12th-level, 6th-tier mythic PCs, approximately one-third of the encounters they face should be CR 12, one-third should be CR 15, and the remaining encounters should be CR 13 or 14. That means some of their encounters are rather easy (allowing them to dominate foes using their mythic power), some are of average difficulty, and some truly push them to their limits. The challenging encounters should be against other mythic foes, forcing the PCs to confront enemies with similar power.

Note that this also helps to fulfill the following goal: "Contrasting the mythic with the normal world is crucial to conveying an atmosphere of legend and mystery."


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Their encounter design philosophy is wrong for high level characters, I think that everyone has mentioned rocket tag before. That mythic design block is a joke that they have used in the AP. Cr12s cannot even come close to challenging characters of that level.

An issue designers have is that they use a linear scale when comparing CR to APL for all levels, when encounter CRs should actually raise at a higher rate. The guidelines seem true for lower levels but as we all know high level PCs can do more.

As to the offensive sounding poster....yes, you do come off that way. I can and do adjust things. However I purchased an AP so I wouldn't have to spend hours and hours a week to run my sessions. I could have just written my stuff.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

What Seannoss said.

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber
Seannoss wrote:
An issue designers have is that they use a linear scale when comparing CR to APL for all levels, when encounter CRs should actually raise at a higher rate. The guidelines seem true for lower levels but as we all know high level PCs can do more.

I know what you mean here, but I feel this disturbing need to be pedantic. It's not really a linear scale. If you look at the xp table in the core rulebook, you see that a step of two in CR is a doubling of xp. This is a base sqrt(2) logarithmic scale... if xp really represents power level.

I think the design goal is that a linear offset in CR should work at all levels, and that they've shot for something sort of logarithmic in actual power level as a function of CR as a result. Experience of a lot of people (which you summarize here) is that the design goal may not be met for higher levels. That is, xp doesn't really represent power level if the common lore is to be believed. Somewhere around level 10, PCs start to increase in power faster in comparison to xp than monsters do. That's what leads to your suggesting that the difficulty of encounter vs. CR-APL table not being a constant offset with level.

(I don't have enough experience with it myself to confirm whether I agree with this sentiment, but anecdotally on the message board you hear the sentiment a lot. I suspect what's really going on is that things become far more flexible and varied at higher levels, as there are just more options. As a result, some groups become very good against some things, and weak against others. Adventure designers probably err on the side of not immediately wiping out too many groups.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sorry :) I am an art/design major, my math requirements were pretty simple. But the meaning was interpreted correctly, an APL +3 encounter is not the same at lvl 3 as it is at lvl 12.

You may be correct that it is because of all the extra options and variables that are available to PCs.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yes, another mythic AP is confirmed to be in the works! It's happening whether you like it or not.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yes, its entirely possible I sound offensive. However, facts are facts. Not everyone should be DM'ing. That doesn't mean the mythic rules are perfect, and it certainly doesn't mean anyone who has trouble with them should get out of the DM seat.

I'll try to clarify what I'm saying. Adjusting things is the DM's job, and the higher the level the more adjustment you're going to need. Add in rules like mythic and you crank that up to a new level. Sure, there are some ways Paizo could patch things, but no amount of patching will ever make the DM's job a simple plug and play situation. If this isn't something you want to do that's completely understandable and its also why there are more players out there than DMs. On the other hand, if you really want to sit in the DM chair you're going to need to work for it, and with mythic you'll need to work for it even more. Not good, not bad, just how it is.

I just don't see them coming out with a cure-all that makes everyone happy for a game that has a history of high level "difficulties" to begin with. Lots of patch cures have been suggested, places to start so to speak. Still haven't seen anything that will make "all of the people happy all of the time" though.

What can I say? I like the mythic stuff. Its a great place to start, but if you really want to use it, you'll need to take it down the road a bit. Maybe I don't see that as being as big a deal as some since I do that with any published material. Or maybe I've just been DM'ing way too long. Stuck in my ways. Don't mind me, I'm gonna grab my cane and hobble over to the corner. Carry on.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm not saying that you are wrong, GMing is a lot of work and that is known going into it. And obviously there is no cure for this without a new game system, which wouldn't please everyone either.

For discussion's sake: what do the mythic rules add? I'm not sure that there is anything good or overly creative there. The abilities provided aren't balanced even with each other, not even within the same path. There are very few new rules there.

Probably should be a new thread but I feel that this book adds very little that GMs that enjoy this couldn't have added on their own.


I am saying he is wrong, vexous is misrepresenting everyone in the thread, and now adding the "No True Scotsman" fallacy to his repertoire!
Saying "The game isn't perfect", I don't know anyone asking for perfect in this thread.

Implying a true gm will know what to do is also a fallacy and pretty insulting!

I am going to claim that yes, it is bad that mythic and high level increases the work load a DM has by a lot compared to low level.

Any challenge?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

See that word you used there? Balanced. That's about rules not story. I'm a DM, I tell stories, I have since the first edition where they blatantly told us to toss any rules that got in the way of the story. That's where Pathfinder gets its foundation and its why I don't think many people will find an easy balanced answer. The base of this game is built around a DM reworking the rules for his table as he goes.

Of course, while its one of the strongest points its also one of the biggest weaknesses. In the hands of a good DM its a blessing. In the hands of bad DM, well, I'm sure we've all been there at one time or another.

As to what it adds, for me, I finally get to play the Child of Bhaal as he was meant to be played(Baldur's Gate video game adaptation we play at my table). It means seeing why Elminster isn't just some guy that got a lot of levels but is really a lot more. It means understanding what it was to be a Runelord. Finally realizing that some drunkard with a few levels didn't just stumble into godhood but had a lot more going for him beforehand. And if they can do it I'm sure I can figure something out for my own crew, especially with all the ideas mythic tosses my way. For my table it adds a lot, once again though, your mileage, as always, may vary. We're all people so we'll always perceive it differently.

And yes, they could've added all of the mythic on their own. I could still be playing 1st ed too. For me at least, I'm not so much interested in seeing what I can add, but seeing what others have added. Since I don't think exactly like them its usually something other than what I had in mind. Maybe you can think of it as a datamine? Theres a lot there.

Before I go, Wheazy, you just called me insulting then you ask me to challenge you. You can't have it both ways.

Anyway, I think this is going a bit offtopic so I'll be shutting up now. Besides, I think some damn kids are on my lawn, gotta go run 'em off. Pack a slackers.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
137ben wrote:
Yes, another mythic AP is confirmed to be in the works! It's happening whether you like it or not.

Oh noez, a third party publisher, what will I ever do. ^^

Vexous wrote:
Yes, its entirely possible I sound offensive. However, facts are facts. Not everyone should be DM'ing. That doesn't mean the mythic rules are perfect, and it certainly doesn't mean anyone who has trouble with them should get out of the DM seat.

Your correlation in prior posts was that if people had problems with the mythic rules as applied to WotR = Bad GM's, they should stop GM'ing. As someone who has GM'ed for 10 years now, that is offensive.

And this assertion that GM's have to adjust AP's as written is news to nobody, so you can stop pretending as if that were something which we need to be reminded about. The problem is that mythic is taking a much, much higher curve to adjust to, even in relation to mythic monsters as provided by the company who wrote the damn rules, than normal high-level gameplay would. This is a problem and I am so far not seeing any moves by Paizo that they would address this problem in any future AP which heavily involves the mythic rules. As such I would prefer for them to not write a new mythic AP, if possible, ever. And then publish a "mythic upgrade" companion book for the people who really want to play in this insane environment which the mythic rules provide.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I realize that you are likely gone and have dismissed us all as kids (just a bit arrogant?) however...

Its nice for you to toss out the balance word as irrelevant and then go on to list things that mythic lets you do. All of which have to do with story and none with rules. So these rules, which must be easy to use, don't matter to your point.

Are you having it both ways?


I may be in the minority, but I do hope an occasional Mythic campaign is made.

I don't have the time to add a bunch of stuff to make a normal campaign mythic level, and I won't be happy to buy an expensive book for a single AP.

I don't think a Mythic campaign once every 6 or so AP's is too much.

Liberty's Edge

To step in for a moment. I think a lot of people here (on both sides of the argument) are conflating issues with WotR with issues with the Mythic Rules. I'm not sure that's fair or accurate.

WotR was written while the Mythic Rules were still being written, and might easily be found to have mechanical issues which have little to do with how good the mythic rules are and everything to do with the writers having very little time to adjust their encounter design to said Mythic Rules...an issue that is not necessarily going to be the case in a home game using said rules (or at least might not be for long), and also might not be in a hypothetical future Mythic AP (note: this isn't something I'm necessarily advocating).

In other words: The problem might easily be WotR and not the Mythic Rules as a whole, something both sides of this discussion seem to be glossing over.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Oh, believe me, it's the mythic rules. Why can I say that? Because mythic monsters from the Mythic Adventures book were written to oppose mythic characters. And they are a sad joke.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

While I'm not sure I'd want another AP that ends with PCs at 20th level/10th tier, I wouldn't mind a future high level AP that doles out a handful of mythic.

For example, my dream AP would be against the aboleths with a BBEG around challenge rating 22-23. Maybe give the PCs a mythic tier at the end of the 4th and 5th adventures, and one right before the climactic battle.


Well, Mythic works for me.

This is another vote for Mythic to be used every so often for APs which could be considered as truly world affecting. I think the Wrath of the Righteous was a great idea in scope and a fitting tribute to the 40th anniversary of D&D;I assume it was meant as such.

As for the 3PP Mythic AP, the authors regularly write for Paizo, and Jason Nelson was a substantial contributor to the Mythic ruleset as a freelancer, so there are definite grounds for optimism there.


An idea I had that I thought might be a bit interesting is for Paizo to outsource their material to fans who sign up for it to play-test the new campaigns as they were being developed. You would have to sign a NDA of course, but i'm sure there are lots of fans out there who would do the play-testing work for them for free.

Regardless I think they could do a great epic scope campaign without the need of special rules. The mythic rules are just bad, badly written, unplaytested, messy.

A level 15+ party is ridiculously powerful and challenging to make engaging encounters for as it is without all the fluff rules ruining things. Nothing turns me away from a campaign faster than easy, boring encounters both as a DM and a player and most people I know who play feel the same way.


I've enjoyed the mythic rules thus far. I'd like to see more paths which gives the players temporary mythic powers or tier (such as the example in the mythic book itself.)

A lot of the problem I see in this thread are xp problems. In order to increase the challenge rating of encounters, you need to increase the xp given. So, characters would level even faster if you challenged them appropriately. I don't use an xp track, so it's not an issue for me, and I'm already buffing up encounters as we go. Maybe the rules need a caveat that xp is granted as if it was the challenge rating of the encounter - the party tier.

I agree wholeheartedly that higher level play needs to be looked at harder, encounters never work as written in higher level play. It's not a mythic problem (though mythic does magnify it).

My vote is for more mythic adventure paths.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:

To step in for a moment. I think a lot of people here (on both sides of the argument) are conflating issues with WotR with issues with the Mythic Rules. I'm not sure that's fair or accurate.

WotR was written while the Mythic Rules were still being written, and might easily be found to have mechanical issues which have little to do with how good the mythic rules are and everything to do with the writers having very little time to adjust their encounter design to said Mythic Rules...an issue that is not necessarily going to be the case in a home game using said rules (or at least might not be for long), and also might not be in a hypothetical future Mythic AP (note: this isn't something I'm necessarily advocating).

In other words: The problem might easily be WotR and not the Mythic Rules as a whole, something both sides of this discussion seem to be glossing over.

Yeah council of thieves sufferd from many of the same problems from what I recall.

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.
CWheezy wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:


Likewise, playtesting is VERY time consuming, and has a VERY little capacity to predict what actually goes down in play (even small differences in player decisions could easily kick you away from the carefully playtested).

This is nirvana fallacy.

I strongly disagree.

Paizo has limited resources. Any hour any of them spends playtesting is an hour they could have spent doing something more productive and useful. Playtesting is useful when coming up with new rules and such (for example, the caravan rules from Jade Regent should have probably been tested) but for individual combats in AP?

Paizo's hands are tied in two different ways if they want to make that happen:

1)Human resources. Just telling the one who writes an adventure to also playtest it means the author will have less time to do what she is ACTUALLY good at: writing adventures. Hiring other people to playtest costs money, and also runs into the second problem:

2)Time limit. Paizo run on a VERY tight schedule. Each adventure they do each month is about 55 pages long, and it goes through writing, editing, revising, etc. (and that's without even considering all sorts of things like deciding which pieces to cut due to space constrains, how to fit the art in the layout and so on). Simply put, there's no TIME for a complex process like playtesting, which requires time to do, and then time to get the feedback from the playtesters and adjust accordingly, and then let the playtesters see how the changes hold up... It will make the process of writing each adventure just that much longer.

In short, I believe that not only is playtesting much more problematic that you make it out to be, it also has too much of an opportunity cost.

The Exchange

rknop wrote:
Seannoss wrote:
An issue designers have is that they use a linear scale when comparing CR to APL for all levels, when encounter CRs should actually raise at a higher rate. The guidelines seem true for lower levels but as we all know high level PCs can do more.

I know what you mean here, but I feel this disturbing need to be pedantic. It's not really a linear scale. If you look at the xp table in the core rulebook, you see that a step of two in CR is a doubling of xp. This is a base sqrt(2) logarithmic scale... if xp really represents power level.

I think the design goal is that a linear offset in CR should work at all levels, and that they've shot for something sort of logarithmic in actual power level as a function of CR as a result. Experience of a lot of people (which you summarize here) is that the design goal may not be met for higher levels. That is, xp doesn't really represent power level if the common lore is to be believed. Somewhere around level 10, PCs start to increase in power faster in comparison to xp than monsters do. That's what leads to your suggesting that the difficulty of encounter vs. CR-APL table not being a constant offset with level.

(I don't have enough experience with it myself to confirm whether I agree with this sentiment, but anecdotally on the message board you hear the sentiment a lot. I suspect what's really going on is that things become far more flexible and varied at higher levels, as there are just more options. As a result, some groups become very good against some things, and weak against others. Adventure designers probably err on the side of not immediately wiping out too many groups.)

What I think the problem is, is that XP and CR as systems designed around the idea of attempting to predict how much resources a single encounter would deplete from a group of adventurers in a certain level. This works for low levels because the options are limited enough, but begins to fall apart very quickly after that.

What I do know is that, starting at around level 4, CR appropriate encounters are just buffers. There's nothing challenging in fighting a CR 12 creatures if you are a level 20 part of 4. Now add to that the fact that the PCs have, say, 6 mythic ranks, and we see that what was formerly a buffer is now barely even noticeable. As a GM, I don't even feel like rolling initiative for such an encounter.

Sadly, I don't really know a mathematical way to overcome this difficulty (except for ditching XP entirely, meaning that adjusting combat difficulty is much easier). A large part of my prepwork is redesigning encounters for my specific group.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Lord Snow, your argument is fallacious. Here is why: A company depends on its customers to flourish, and one way companies grow is through word-of-mouth advertising. However, if a customer complains about the product, this is likely to drive customers away.

Now Paizo is competing against the people who make D&D. The parent company for TSR/WotC would love to draw us away from Pathfinder and back to D&D so they can screw us over some more while taking as much money from us as they can.

If customers are unhappy with Paizo because Paizo is putting out a product that is inferior, then the customers might return to WotC. This would reduce Paizo's market share and profits.

Thus from a business perspective it is in Paizo's best interests to playtest its products to ensure they are fun and challenging (but not too challenging) for players. If this means they have to hire an additional person or recruit a couple dozen loyal customers to sign Nondisclosure Agreements to run playtests of set encounters and determine how effective the encounters are? Then they should do this.

The alternative is that Paizo eventually fails as a company when customers leave and we're left with D&D. I like Pathfinder a lot. I resisted playing the game initially when it first came out, so I'm one of those customers Paizo had to struggle to win over. I'd rather Paizo take a little extra time to playtest and put out a better product, as ultimately it will improve Paizo's bottom line and improve market share.

The Exchange

Tangent101 wrote:


If customers are unhappy with Paizo because Paizo is putting out a product that is inferior, then the customers might return to WotC. This would reduce Paizo's market share and profits.

Thus from a business perspective it is in Paizo's best interests to playtest its products to ensure they are fun and challenging (but not too challenging) for players. If this means they have to hire an additional person or recruit a couple dozen loyal customers to sign Nondisclosure Agreements to run playtests of set encounters and determine how effective the encounters are? Then they should do this.

The transition from the first paragraph in the quote (which is your premise, that I wholly agree with) to the second one (which is your conclusion, which I disagree with) is where I see a logical problem in your argument.

To show why I think it's an incorrect leap of logic, I would take you as an example, if I may. You yourself are now devoting at least most of your time to playing Pathfinder over D&D, right? the reason being, I would assume, that you find Pathfinder to be a superior system and the Pathfinder Adventure Paths to be a superior product to anything WotC are doing. So, obviously, despite Paizo not playtesting, they are still better. So I don't think a lack in playtesting immediately translates to customers abandoning Paizo.

So here are the two important things:

1) Time constraints. As I mentioned in my previous post, playtesting individual combats for any given module simply consumes too much time, because the communication between the adventure author, the editors, the lead designer, the layout specialists and so on simply requires too long to be practical during adventure design. Playtesting is a process that involves feedback - I do something, you tell me what's wrong with it, I change it, you tell me what's wrong now, and so on. And let's say you decide to give each adventure writer more time to write their piece of an AP (I don't know if that's possible but let's say you find a way). What you'll find is that when an adventure designers puts more time into each individual projects, he's able to output less projects - which means less adventures from him overall. Are you sure it's worth it for the added benefit of playtesting?

2) Again, opportunity cost. Playtesting is not a BAD idea- it's simply also not the optimal one. That makes it the wrong thing to do (because doing the optimal thing instead is better). Paizo are constrained on both time and money and they have to be smart about how they spend those resources. Since Pathfinder is a game with so many options, playtesting has a very low benefit per moment, because you are going over a very small number of iterations (a negligible number, really) and you are putting in hunderds of human hours.

So I agree with your premise - it's smart for Paizo to stay better than their competitors - I just fail to see how playtesting is the best way to do so. And if it's not the best, then it shouldn't be done at all. My first point was that playtesting for APs might not even be possible due to time constraints. My second was that even if it was, I'd rather Paizo do better things with their time.


So your claim is that pathfinder is too hard to playtest, so paizo is correct in doing zero playtesting, even though it would result in a better product.

I prefer a better product myself, but I guess outsourcing it to all your gms is cool too


Just a quick question, but correlated...how many GMs run an AP for 4 non-optimized, 15 point buy characters?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Lord Snow, the alternative to playing Pathfinder is not playing RPGs at all. I've done that. I did that for years and years after my old D&D 3.5 group broke up (my best friend's divorce sundered the group). I wanted nothing to do with gaming and was honestly burnt out. It took years before I wanted to run a game again, and even longer before I could convince my best friend to be in a game.

When we started up again, I did a hybrid of 3.0 and AD&D 2. The ONLY reason I went to Pathfinder was because I had recruited a second new player who was fairly new to RPGs, and I felt an organized rulebook was better than the hodgepodge of rules I was using.

The only reason I started running Pathfinder APs was because an internet friend wanted me to do a game as well and kept pestering me until I agreed. I chose Runelords because it was in one hardbound compilation and thus didn't cost much for me and was all inclusive. I fell in love with it because it was Runelords - which, mind you, was originally designed for D&D 3.5 so you can't even claim it was because it was a "superior" Pathfinder product.

I've not finished Runelords and am only a bit over a third of the way done with it. My tabletop group (which is why I started Pathfinder) just yesterday started Book 2 of Reign of Winter because we don't meet often. Even with that, I've seen some issues with mid-level play (my tabletop group is 6th level and I compensate for that by rewriting the AP).

If Pathfinder ends up being an inferior system that ends up not being fun to play, I'll move on. There is no if. There is no but. I play Pathfinder because the core rules were in one book, making it easy for new players, are still in print (otherwise I'd have gone with D&D 3.5 - ironically since then 3.5 has gone back to print), and because I like the world. But I have my own gaming world and I easily could go back to it. I could design my own modules again and my own storylines. Or I even could use the massive number of old Dungeon Magazines I've got and create a patchwork campaign without too much work.

So I'm not a loyal customer because Paizo is better than WotC. I am a customer who ended up enjoying Paizo's products and likes the community here. But if there is a better product out there and my group doesn't mind? I'll switch to it.

I'm not alone with this preference. It is better for Paizo to develop a better product to keep customers like myself and to draw in new customers because they put out a quality product than to put out crap like WotC did and thus lose market share and customers. No doubt you'll be their final customer and can fully fund the company to put out inferior products all on your lonesome because you're loyal to a brand, not to a quality product.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah, better playtesting really seems necessary for new sub-systems, but at this juncture I think the main problem is that there is a disconnect between what the developers think high level play is and what the reality on the ground for many groups is.

Only one example of that is that hitpoint pools of monsters are wholly insufficient to withstand the damage output of high-level PC's. And that mythic seems to suffer from the same problem, only multiplied by the insane amount of damage mythic characters can suddenly generate.

You can yell "Good GM's adjust for their groups!" all you want, but if the writers of the system themselves don't recognize where the problems are and keep writing high-level adventures as if they were the same kind as low-level adventures, then I think the problem lies at the roots of the product, not with the consumers.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Small note: It was playtesting of the Arcanist and several other classes in the upcoming Advanced Class Guide that led to the significant rewrite of the Arcanist. If Paizo didn't playtest, then they would have put out that original "modifiable spell pool" sorcerer which was not that great a class. So, Lord Snow, your claims about playtesting are not valid. Hell, if anything Paizo should have started the playtest a month or two EARLIER so that people could have more fully playtested those classes, figured out how they work at different levels, and gotten a better handle on class balancing.


magnuskn wrote:


Only one example of that is that hitpoint pools of monsters are wholly insufficient to withstand the damage output of high-level PC's. And that mythic seems to suffer from the same problem, only multiplied by the insane amount of damage mythic characters can suddenly generate.

A running theme in these kinds of arguments it that proponents against playtesting or whatever have not actually played WoTR, so they don't know that in order for a monster to last multiple turns their hp has to be TRIPLED or more. I was suggesting to my gm that some bosses should have 5000 health without even being facetious, maybe a fight would last like 2 rounds then!

It is kind of a problem when a maximized augmented meteor swarm takes out the last boss and all her cronies of an ap

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber
Lord Snow wrote:
Sadly, I don't really know a mathematical way to overcome this difficulty (except for ditching XP entirely, meaning that adjusting combat difficulty is much easier).

That's not a bad solution, actually :) It doesn't solve the problem of adding more work for the GM (i.e. having to tailor encounters to her group of PCs rather than running AP or module encounters as is). But it does allow the GM to throw whatever will properly challenge the players (be it "too high" or "too low" level), and have them level up at the rate that the group wants to level up.

For most of my campaigns, I ditch xp myself already, mostly because it's not worth tracking and it's one more fiddly thing to keep track of. (I'd rather be keeping track of Downtime resources, frankly, because there's some fun in that IMHO.) In my Kingmaker campaign, I've been tracking it, but in retrospect that might have been a mistake. For most APs, you can just let the players level up at the point where they "should" level up, given to you in the sidebar on the first page of the AP proper in each AP volume. I could probably have done that even with Kingmaker.

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber
magnuskn wrote:
Yeah, better playtesting really seems necessary for new sub-systems, but at this juncture I think the main problem is that there is a disconnect between what the developers think high level play is and what the reality on the ground for many groups is.

I've heard this before.

Is this documented anywhere? Is there a clean description somewhere of what the designers expect high-level play to be? That is, something written by one of the core designers describing how they envision high-level play. (Perhaps something like a "high-level strategy guide" would be a neat thing to have. That wouldn't fix the players who insisted on building the most powerful build that they could using combination of edge options under the rules, but for players who wanted to "play along" and have the game work, rather than figuring out the best way to personally exploit the rules, it would provide a guide to "here's a way to make it work".) Alternatively, has anybody done a good in-depth analysis of this putative disconnect?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I dont know ran Wrath of the righteous all the way through myself and although it clearly was wonky in parts it never seemed as bad as many others here have said.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

What did you change to make it work out?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

In all honesty not much Book 5 was probably the lowpoint (Did change the final boss encounter for that one a fair bit.) but besides that most of the books went fine.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I was afraid that would be your answer.

I'm really surprised but awesome...good for you and your group :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
rknop wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Yeah, better playtesting really seems necessary for new sub-systems, but at this juncture I think the main problem is that there is a disconnect between what the developers think high level play is and what the reality on the ground for many groups is.

I've heard this before.

Is this documented anywhere? Is there a clean description somewhere of what the designers expect high-level play to be? That is, something written by one of the core designers describing how they envision high-level play. (Perhaps something like a "high-level strategy guide" would be a neat thing to have. That wouldn't fix the players who insisted on building the most powerful build that they could using combination of edge options under the rules, but for players who wanted to "play along" and have the game work, rather than figuring out the best way to personally exploit the rules, it would provide a guide to "here's a way to make it work".) Alternatively, has anybody done a good in-depth analysis of this putative disconnect?

Well, I would expect the high-level modules of AP's to be what the developers expect high-level play to be. And I have encountered the same problems there for every AP I've GM'ed to conclusion (three so far): The presented encounters don't work anymore for the parties which show up for them, even if they are enhanced via templates and adding additional opponents. The only thing which kind of works is have half the dungeon come running as soon as a fight starts and try to overwhelm the party.

The reason for that seems to be PC buff stacking, opponent HP not measuring up to player character damage output and NPC's being outclassed by well equipped PC's (and a few more factors, but it'd be tedious to cite them all). Mythic puts a turbocharger on that, with abilities which add and multiply damage output, but no real improvement in HP for the opposition.

Kevin Mack wrote:
In all honesty not much Book 5 was probably the lowpoint (Did change the final boss encounter for that one a fair bit.) but besides that most of the books went fine.

May I ask which kind of party went into the AP and how well they were optimized? Did they take the good feats and path abilities (like Mythic Power Attack, Mythic Improved Critical and Fleet Warrior for a melee character) or rather the mediocre ones? How did you deal with the insane damage output martial characters can suddenly generate as soon tier three?


As a player in wotr and a dm running a mythic campaign of my own design I can say mythic rules are tough to run. I personally don't like the dpr. In wotr each of our characters can outup some crazy dpr. Along with that so do the monsters as they have to compete with us. I have more fun when fights last more then 1-2 rounds.

On my own adventure it am often amazed at just how much stuff I can throw at them. They just slaughter enemies. To the point where I feel lackies are just gonna see that and run the f... Away. But I'm still learning on the gming pathfinder front.

I have been thinking of ways to fix some of it.. Some powers themselves need to be toned down or removed like mythic vital strike and the crit power attack double then multiply. But players get too much mythic power it should probably be more like 3 + ur tier not double ur tier, or purchasing mythic path abilities could cost permanent mythic points. I am actually for a overhaul where players purchase mythic powers useing permanent mythic power points like in shadowrun with physical adept powers. Lastly experience points should have a cost to raise ur tier it should absorb half your experience gains to raise ur tiers.

The Exchange

CWheezy wrote:

So your claim is that pathfinder is too hard to playtest, so paizo is correct in doing zero playtesting, even though it would result in a better product.

I prefer a better product myself, but I guess outsourcing it to all your gms is cool too

Seriously, I thought I made my point clearer than that. I'll try again, this time in a very short statement:

I believe if Paizo devout their time to playtesting the result will be an inferior product, since their time could be better utilized by making the design of the adventure better.

Again, I'm not saying playtesting is bad, only that it's worse than other option. Let's say you have a machine with two buttons. Pressing one would cause the machine to give you 10$. Pressing the second would cause the machine to give you 100000$. You only get to press one button. Obviously pressing the 10$ button would make you richer, but it's still the wrong button to press. Not a bad choice (pressing it is better than pressing nothing), but not the OPTIMAL choice. That makes it a WRONG choice.

I just don't think playtesting individual encounters for APs is practical or wise. It's a time consuming process better spent on making the product superior in other, more consistent ways.

For the record, though, I firmly believe that when introducing new rules (especially rules as huge as mythic) playtesting is incredibly important. By the way, the fact that mythic rules were playtested by thousands of players, for months, and still came out kinda bad, is sort of a proof to my claim - playtesting is not merely "hard", it borders on useless for catching anything but the most obvious of flaws. Sure, you can use a LOT of playtesting to figure out some class or something doesn't work, but when you want to use it to actually fiddle with numbers and such, it becomes absurdly time consuming for a very small benefit. All it takes to throw something out of "balance" is Pathfinder could be something as small as someone using a feat you didn't anticipate, or a spell, or a different race/class composition...

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Tangent101 wrote:
Small note: It was playtesting of the Arcanist and several other classes in the upcoming Advanced Class Guide that led to the significant rewrite of the Arcanist. If Paizo didn't playtest, then they would have put out that original "modifiable spell pool" sorcerer which was not that great a class. So, Lord Snow, your claims about playtesting are not valid. Hell, if anything Paizo should have started the playtest a month or two EARLIER so that people could have more fully playtested those classes, figured out how they work at different levels, and gotten a better handle on class balancing.

There is a huge gap between playtesting new RULES and playtesting encounters. When it comes to new rules I agree that playtesting is crucial. That is because you are designing those rules ONCE, and after that many, many people will use them for years. That makes it worth it to at least try.

However, when it gets to writing an advneutre, that will have dozens of encounters... not so much. Even if you only playtest the most important encounters of each adventure, you'll quickly find that in order to get any substantial amount of data, you'll require to add too much time to writing the adventure. When you consider that any individual fight would last probably an hour or less (at most 2 hours), and compare that to, say, an entire campaign a player might play with a new class, you see that the importance of an individual fight pales in comparison, and thus is not worthy of the same amount of resources as a new class.

Also, look at how many man hours it took to figure out that the arcanist class wasn't good. In changing the class, Paizo were taking input from hundreds of player, across a couple of weeks. The they made a change, players gave feedback again, more changes became needed... just look at all the time and effort it's taking. This is not the kind of thing you can pull off for a product you need to publish monthly.

As a last point, I'll have you examine other industries where a product requires testing, and the testing process is complex. I'm not talking about market testing a new chair (where you only need to check if it's comfortable and/or pleasing to the eye), I'm talking about complex products that will have to withstand many different situations - weapons, buildings, etc. What you will find is that in all of these fields, they developed computer programs to make their testing (or as they would call it, "simulations") for them. Because ACTUALLY making humans go through the process of testing is too time consuming and should be done as sparingly as possible as a result. As you will notice, the main thing a computer program does is save time - instead of sitting professionals for long hours of trying to figure out fringe cases, those proffeionals can, at the click of a button, get instant feedback and adjust accordingly. As I said in previous posts, I believe time is the strongest constraint that prevents playtesting from being a valid option.
If Paizo would come up with a "Pathfinder Combat Simulator" that could make any sort of intelligent prediction of how a fight would go down, I'll be all for using it playtest day in and day out. As it stands, though, playtesting is a strategy only relevant when new rules are introduced to the game.


Lord Snow wrote:


I believe if Paizo devout their time to playtesting the result will be an inferior product, since their time could be better utilized by making the design of the adventure better.

How do you think they can make the design better, since you are a proponent of not doing the thing that shows problems with design.

Also, when responding to me, please never use a metaphor, they only hold back discussion, thanks.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I agree that play testing adventures is wildly impractical, i haven't had any problems myself when getting up to higher levels but i play with kids:)

The Exchange

CWheezy wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:


I believe if Paizo devout their time to playtesting the result will be an inferior product, since their time could be better utilized by making the design of the adventure better.

How do you think they can make the design better, since you are a proponent of not doing the thing that shows problems with design.

They can, and should, playtest their rules before publishing them. They also did so, with many of their hardcover rules (advanced player's guide, mythic, now the advanced class guide).

What they shouldn't do is playtest specific encounters in APs. I don't know if you notice but there's a LOT more going on in any adventure than just combat. Story, NPCs, treasure, read-alound description texts, environment design (the most basic example being a dungeon map). Each adventure is an experience that the group will go through, and combat encounters are only part of ther expereince. What Paizo's designers are excellent at doing is crafting those experiences for us - most AP volumes contain good stories (often with numerous subplots and neat little details), detailed NPCs and locations, one or more dungeons, and many non combat encounters. Each of these things requires time from the adventure designer, and designing them is their job. Combat encounters are also very important, but the amount of time you'll have to put into making sure each individual combat is good is too great a cost.

From your comments so far it seems you are unwilling to accept this distinction - of individual combat encounters vs new rules systems, so I don't really see this discussion going anywhere except for you repeating "but playtesting is good" and me repeating "it's not good enough when designing adventures".


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Lord Snow wrote:

For the record, though, I firmly believe that when introducing new rules (especially rules as huge as mythic) playtesting is incredibly important. By the way, the fact that mythic rules were playtested by thousands of players, for months, and still came out kinda bad, is sort of a proof to my claim - playtesting is not merely "hard", it borders on useless for catching anything but the most obvious of flaws. Sure, you can use a LOT of playtesting to figure out some class or something doesn't work, but when you want to use it to actually fiddle with numbers and such, it becomes absurdly time consuming for a very small benefit. All it takes to throw something out of "balance" is Pathfinder could be something as small as someone using a feat you didn't anticipate, or a spell, or a different race/class composition...

Errr, no. The rules which were playtested were incomplete and much feedback was ignored. So the methodology of the playtesting was wrong.

The Exchange

magnuskn wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:

For the record, though, I firmly believe that when introducing new rules (especially rules as huge as mythic) playtesting is incredibly important. By the way, the fact that mythic rules were playtested by thousands of players, for months, and still came out kinda bad, is sort of a proof to my claim - playtesting is not merely "hard", it borders on useless for catching anything but the most obvious of flaws. Sure, you can use a LOT of playtesting to figure out some class or something doesn't work, but when you want to use it to actually fiddle with numbers and such, it becomes absurdly time consuming for a very small benefit. All it takes to throw something out of "balance" is Pathfinder could be something as small as someone using a feat you didn't anticipate, or a spell, or a different race/class composition...

Errr, no. The rules which were playtested were incomplete and much feedback was ignored. So the methodology of the playtesting was wrong.

I agree for certain that they weren't being all that good at it. I'm pretty sure giving the new rules to a smaller group of people they actually trust and listen to would have worked much, much better.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Lord Snow wrote:
From your comments so far it seems you are unwilling to accept this distinction - of individual combat encounters vs new rules systems, so I don't really see this discussion going anywhere except for you repeating "but playtesting is good" and me repeating "it's not good enough when designing adventures".

While widely testing AP's is impractical (they are mostly written by freelancers who have day jobs to get their wages), there obviously needs to be some playtesting of high-level content in general.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Lord Snow wrote:
I agree for certain that they weren't being all that good at it. I'm pretty sure giving the new rules to a smaller group of people they actually trust and listen to would have worked much, much better.

Far be it from me to claim some expertise on the best way to do a playtest. However, since a certain mentality seems to prevail at the Paizo office in regards to high-level play (i.e. "There is no problem and if you have problems, it is because you are not using the exact parameters the APs are written for", contra my view of "high-level play suffers from basic problems with the game system, no matter how much deviation there is from the AP baseline"), I fear that any such selected group of "trusted individuals" would, maybe involuntarily, turn out to parrot the views of the developer team.

51 to 100 of 141 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Adventure Path / General Discussion / Mythic APs All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.