Do you like this game (Pathfinder)?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Chengar Qordath wrote:
To be honest though, I think one of Pathfinder's flaws is that the system mastery gap can get so wide in the first place. While I've had a few run-ins with the martial/caster disparity in games I've played in/run, I had far more problems stemming from the System Mastery Disparity between players.

This is by far the biggest issue I've run into. Especially when you are bringing in a new player to a party of more experienced players. You're not only teaching them the game, but trying to keep them from falling into one of the many pitfalls presented to them.


Charon's Little Helper wrote:

I've gotta mostly disagree there. System mastery should give you a significant power boost - pouring over books etc should be a benefit. Plus - as a business matter - it's one of the reasons people keep buying supplements.

Though there shouldn't be as many 'trap' options. Not that the bulk of them are entirely bad, they were just designed for niche builds and are bad for most others. That should be made more obvious.

I don't disagree that system mastery ought to be rewarded, it's a matter of the degree to which it happens in Pathfinder. Like you said, there are too many trap options, niche builds, and other pitfalls that players can easily fall into. Ideally, I would like to see much less of a gap between optimized characters and a—for lack of a better term—casual ones.

To use an MMO metaphor (Which I'm sure someone will complain about), right now an optimized character does 75k DPS, while a casual one does 5k. I'd like to see things to the point where optimized is 50k, and unoptimized is 35k. Still a difference, but not nearly so much of a massive gap in usefulness.

Shadow Lodge

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Charon's Little Helper wrote:
System mastery should give you a significant power boost - pouring over books etc should be a benefit.

I'm of the opinion that a supposedly fun hobby shouldn't have mandatory tedious homework.


Kthulhu wrote:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
System mastery should give you a significant power boost - pouring over books etc should be a benefit.
I'm of the opinion that a supposedly fun hobby shouldn't have mandatory tedious homework.

Some of enjoy what you refer to as mandatory tedious homework.


Kthulhu wrote:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
System mastery should give you a significant power boost - pouring over books etc should be a benefit.
I'm of the opinion that a supposedly fun hobby shouldn't have mandatory tedious homework.

agreed. I would prefer of there wasn't bad choices. There will always be optimal choices but I would prefer a system where haphazardly thrown together characters were still useful once the player figured out how the game worked.

In pf, the wizard is the best character for that. Put your highest stat in int. The next one in con. Now just figure out how the game works. Clerics require good builds. Druids need a good build now. Sorcerers have to plan things out. All martials need a build.


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gnomersy wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
System mastery should give you a significant power boost - pouring over books etc should be a benefit.
I'm of the opinion that a supposedly fun hobby shouldn't have mandatory tedious homework.
Some of enjoy what you refer to as mandatory tedious homework.

If they enjoy it (as I do) why do they need a reward for it?


I love Pathfinder, despite some qualms I have about it (and I don't think there's a system out there I don't). I do really like the new material Paizo is releasing as well. However, that said, after running it for years, I've decided it's just time to be trying other games, and expanding my horizons. I'm sure I'll always love Pathfinder, but for now at least, I'm taking a break from it (while still keeping my eye on new releases).


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Gaekub wrote:


If they enjoy it (as I do) why do they need a reward for it?

Why do you need to get payed for doing a job that you like? Because we're not insane and we still want to be rewarded for doing effort?


Rhedyn wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
System mastery should give you a significant power boost - pouring over books etc should be a benefit.
I'm of the opinion that a supposedly fun hobby shouldn't have mandatory tedious homework.

agreed. I would prefer of there wasn't bad choices. There will always be optimal choices but I would prefer a system where haphazardly thrown together characters were still useful once the player figured out how the game worked.

In pf, the wizard is the best character for that. Put your highest stat in int. The next one in con. Now just figure out how the game works. Clerics require good builds. Druids need a good build now. Sorcerers have to plan things out. All martials need a build.

But large numbers of people whip up characters, play them, and have fun without 'mandatory' tedious homework. Rather implying it isn't really mandatory.


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What stuns me are the people claiming it's "getting worse." Since the core is the same as it's been since Day One, I can only imagine these poor unfortunate souls live amongst oppressive, fascist-like dictatorial Game Store owners, or a fleet of Satanic GMs who force them to play with every new splat book that comes out, and that they cannot decline to play the game at all because a Paizo-paid assassin has fitted their beloved pets with explosive collars programmed to detonate if they don't sign in electronically at their weekly game.

How can a thing that is the same get worse due to expansions if you are not required to use the expansions? OH... IT CAN'T.

For my part, I love Pathfinder for the same reason I loved 3.5: monster building. I love making monsters, and I love a system that defines them clearly so that they can be made to be balanced. I'd played D&D since 1981, and I saw no reason to give up what felt to me to be a system that had finally arrived at a place where I could fairly create the menaces I had long dreamed of building. I don't deny that the system overall can be cumbersome. But being old school, I don't let it drag down the flow of the game. If things need to move, then I just move them along, and the rules can be bent to do so... nothing different from how we always played.

The only systems I've ever played, where monster creation felt more Game Master-friendly, were the ones I, myself, created.


Bruunwald wrote:

What stuns me are the people claiming it's "getting worse." Since the core is the same as it's been since Day One, I can only imagine these poor unfortunate souls live amongst oppressive, fascist-like dictatorial Game Store owners, or a fleet of Satanic GMs who force them to play with every new splat book that comes out, and that they cannot decline to play the game at all because a Paizo-paid assassin has fitted their beloved pets with explosive collars programmed to detonate if they don't sign in electronically at their weekly game.

How can a thing that is the same get worse due to expansions if you are not required to use the expansions? OH... IT CAN'T.

For my part, I love Pathfinder for the same reason I loved 3.5: monster building. I love making monsters, and I love a system that defines them clearly so that they can be made to be balanced. I'd played D&D since 1981, and I saw no reason to give up what felt to me to be a system that had finally arrived at a place where I could fairly create the menaces I had long dreamed of building. I don't deny that the system overall can be cumbersome. But being old school, I don't let it drag down the flow of the game. If things need to move, then I just move them along, and the rules can be bent to do so... nothing different from how we always played.

The only systems I've ever played, where monster creation felt more Game Master-friendly, were the ones I, myself, created.

If someone only bought the core in print, and their copy deteriorated or was lost, then if you buy a new copy, it has errata that people might not like.

If you bought the PDF, and saved it, then you are in luck. However, if you bought the PDF and forgot to save it or didn't properly back up your harddrive, you can only download the 'updated' PDF ; Paizo.com does not allow you to download earlier versions of PDFs. If they did, then people could just buy the core rulebook PDF, download the first version (without errata) and subsequently ignore everything Paizo does. As it is now though, if not everyone in your group has the same printing, you have to at least comprehend the errata so that you know what to 'undo' via house rules, even if you don't want to use it.

That's just errata, though, not expansion books.


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I like Pathfinder as a player... with Hero Lab running on my laptop as I play around the table with friends (and a good local beer brew).

I've decided to stop GMing Pathfinder altogether, as it's too demanding (for me)

- in terms of rules mastery
- in time passed to create and to tinker with NPCs (even with Hero Lab)
- in time passed to create the crunch side of adventures (NPCs, traps, random monsters)

I will now be GMing D&D 5th ed play sessions, as that game seems to adress the above problematic (for me) points.

I decided to switch to 5th ed after spending approximately 6 months trying to adress Pathfinder's problems (in my opinion) with houserules.
Then I decided I could make a better use of my precious time, and took the time to review the 5th edition rules with an eye to solving the aferomentioned (to me) problems.

For what's it's worth, I fully subscribe to Kirth Gensen's analysis of the martial/caster NARRATIVE disparity problem in Pathfinder.

Now, regarding Paizo. I think they're an awesome cutting edge company, particularly regarding customer relationship management, with a policy of minimal b++$@$*#ting* of their customers and of transparency and accountability about their products.

I'm sometimes baffled by the ire Paizo draws from a vocal minority of their customers.

I mean, come on guys !: the vast majority of (non rpg) companies out there deceive and blatantly lie to you, and then take your hard-earned dollars in exchange for s+%&ty and uninspired products, and here you have a company (Paizo) lead by real people, whom you can meet in person during conventions and who honestly answer your questions in their forums - and it seems to generate so much venom in some people !

I can only surmise than those people are so bewildered by simple and deliberate honesty than they confuse it with deviousness. Sad.

Long live Pathfinder, Paizo and 5th ed, and good gaming to everyone.

* it's spelled b-u-ll-sh-itting. Stupid amerikanish neo-puritan profanity filter ;-) !


Bruunwald wrote:

What stuns me are the people claiming it's "getting worse." Since the core is the same as it's been since Day One, I can only imagine these poor unfortunate souls live amongst oppressive, fascist-like dictatorial Game Store owners, or a fleet of Satanic GMs who force them to play with every new splat book that comes out, and that they cannot decline to play the game at all because a Paizo-paid assassin has fitted their beloved pets with explosive collars programmed to detonate if they don't sign in electronically at their weekly game.

How can a thing that is the same get worse due to expansions if you are not required to use the expansions? OH... IT CAN'T.

For my part, I love Pathfinder for the same reason I loved 3.5: monster building. I love making monsters, and I love a system that defines them clearly so that they can be made to be balanced. I'd played D&D since 1981, and I saw no reason to give up what felt to me to be a system that had finally arrived at a place where I could fairly create the menaces I had long dreamed of building. I don't deny that the system overall can be cumbersome. But being old school, I don't let it drag down the flow of the game. If things need to move, then I just move them along, and the rules can be bent to do so... nothing different from how we always played.

The only systems I've ever played, where monster creation felt more Game Master-friendly, were the ones I, myself, created.

It sounds to me like you either play solo or have players that don't want anything outside the core rule book.

So if a player came to you and said they wanted to play X concept, but it was only viable if they used Y book you would tell them tough luck?


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It's okay.

I prefer FantasyCraft and 13th Age for my d20 Fantasy, but I think they're both a bit too abstracted for my main group's preferences.


Quiche Lisp wrote:

I like Pathfinder as a player... with Hero Lab running on my laptop as I play around the table with friends (and a good local beer brew).

I've decided to stop GMing Pathfinder altogether, as it's too demanding (for me)

- in terms of rules mastery
- in time passed to create and to tinker with NPCs (even with Hero Lab)
- in time passed to create the crunch side of adventures (NPCs, traps, random monsters)

I will now be GMing D&D 5th ed play sessions, as that game seems to adress the above problematic (for me) points.

I decided to switch to 5th ed after spending approximately 6 months trying to adress Pathfinder's problems (in my opinion) with houserules.
Then I decided I could make a better use of my precious time, and took the time to review the 5th edition rules with an eye to solving the aferomentioned (to me) problems.

For what's it's worth, I fully subscribe to Kirth Gensen's analysis of the martial/caster NARRATIVE disparity problem in Pathfinder.

Now, regarding Paizo. I think they're an awesome cutting edge company, particularly regarding customer relationship management, with a policy of minimal b&*&$++$ting* of their customers and of transparency and accountability about their products.

I'm sometimes baffled by the ire Paizo draws from a vocal minority of their customers.

I mean, come on guys !: the vast majority of (non rpg) companies out there deceive and blatantly lie to you, and then take your hard-earned dollars in exchange for s+%+ty and uninspired products, and here you have a company (Paizo) lead by real people, whom you can meet in person during conventions and who honestly answer your questions in their forums - and it seems to generate so much venom in some people !

I can only surmise than those people are so bewildered by simple and deliberate honesty than they confuse it with deviousness. Sad.

Long live Pathfinder, Paizo and 5th ed, and good gaming to everyone.

* it's spelled b-u-ll-sh-itting. Stupid amerikanish neo-puritan profanity filter ;-) !

Aside from playtests I haven't seen Jason, or most of the other devs, make real posts on the forums in about a year. Even during the playtest we were spoken at, not with.

The only two people with any clout who even talk to the players are Erik Mona (though he is a very very busy man and it's amazing he communicates as much as he does) and Mark Seifter.


Gaekub wrote:
gnomersy wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
System mastery should give you a significant power boost - pouring over books etc should be a benefit.
I'm of the opinion that a supposedly fun hobby shouldn't have mandatory tedious homework.
Some of enjoy what you refer to as mandatory tedious homework.
If they enjoy it (as I do) why do they need a reward for it?

There are always two kinds of players: Type 1 wants to invest something and hopes for a reward, type 2 just want to play and expect to get the same experience/reward others do.

It is more clear in MMOs like WOW. In vanilla you had to invest some time into optimizing your playstyle and your equipment as well as farm your buffs. If you did that and had a raid of likeminded people you could see all the contend there was to see.
Depending on fast you wanted to see the contend you needed to play something from 3-7 days a week. At least in my experience.

Nowadays I just have to log on and push the LFR button.

Back then the game was for type 1 players, now it is for type 2 players. Pathfinder can be a nice game for type 1 players who write down some houserules to balance the most glaring issues and it can be a nice game for type 2 players.
But, as with wow, both kinds of players don't mix well. Unless the type 1 players are especially nice people putting their work not only into their own PCs but in all the PCs at the table. Or at least into the weaker ones. But even then the PCs you helped optimize can still suck if the player did not understand what you told them or just doesn't believe you.

Only yesterday I realized that when I told my flat mate that casters are stronger than martials all she understood was: Casters deal more damage. And now she is irritated that her caster does NOT deal more damage than my kobold barbarian.

I told her I feel casters are the kings of the battlefield because they can win fights in a way that the martials just have to do clean up duty. She answered: But they are killing the monsters, you are just their lackey making it easier for them. So the same thing: Kings for me, lackeys for her. In our next game together she will play the martials with big damage, I'll play the caster.

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Nathanael Love wrote:

I've told basically every type of story you've just described using pathfinder and or 3.5 in the days before pathfinder.

There are options for reduced magic in Unchained, and for getting rid of wealth by level and compensating for it.

Or my preferred tactic- start players at low level and then just don't hand out treasure like candy. Wealth by level is a suggestion, not a requirement.

You've explained how you managed to overcome the wealth-related issues that I said Pathfinder didn't give me the tools for. Groovy! Would you be willing to explain how you managed the others, the ones that aren't directly related to WBL? (If you overlooked them or forgot, here's the list again: LINK. Key summary would be: nonmagical martial who is feared internationally to the point that a whole fleet would flee across the world to escape him in a campaign materially higher than 5th level; and obstacles, especially those encountered beyond very low levels, which are best overcome through some method other than casting overcome X obstacle.)

If you can show me ways to tell those kinds of stories with Pathfinder, you just might convince me to give it another shot. :)

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
137ben wrote:
So Jiggy was right: the game doesn't give you the tools you need.
No. At best one could say that the game doesn't give Jiggy the tools he needs. However when asked what tools he was missing, Nathaniel pointed out the books that have the tools that Jiggy needs (or that by simply not using all of the tools in the Core Rulebook toolbox he could get the end result he wanted).

Well, for one issue. He didn't touch the rest, and neither has anyone else. I'm open to suggestions if you have them, though.

Quote:
Pathfinder can actually handle a wide range of different types of games. How much beyond the Core Rulebook that's needed will vary depending on how far the needs deviates from the assumptions made in the Core Rulebook (the assumption being that someone's looking to play a game that's easily played using the 3.5e core ruleset). Pathfinder Unchained, Spheres of Power and Path of War all provide ways in which to get games that vary drastically from the assumptions of the Core Rulebook.

You seem to be saying that the solution to having trouble telling X type of story is to simply move further away from the "Core" of Pathfinder (whether by adopting 3PP material, abandoning chunks of the CRB, or both). Doesn't that logic mean that my decision to abandon Pathfinder altogether is ultimately the best solution to the issues I've encountered? That seems to be contrary to what you're trying to say, but it's where the stuff you're saying is pointing.


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Hey, if it's not a problem for ME, then it's not a problem. AMIRITE?


bugleyman wrote:
Hey, if it's not a problem for ME, then it's not a problem. AMIRITE?

I can see your point, but personally I would amend that to: "If it's not a problem for chaoseffect, then it's not a problem." I figured dropping "me" would be better as you wouldn't want anyone to misconstrue your meaning.


Jiggy wrote:
You seem to be saying that the solution to having trouble telling X type of story is to simply move further away from the "Core" of Pathfinder (whether by adopting 3PP material, abandoning chunks of the CRB, or both). Doesn't that logic mean that my decision to abandon Pathfinder altogether is ultimately the best solution to the issues I've encountered? That seems to be contrary to what you're trying to say, but it's where the stuff you're saying is pointing.

Sure. If there is a game that handles the types of stories you want to tell better than Pathfinder you should definitely play that game instead.


Looks like the thread may have strayed a bit from the original question, but ah well, I just got in, so I'll put my answer anyways.

I don't like Pathfinder. I LOVE Pathfinder. This game is complex, time-consuming, and wouldn't be worth my time if I didn't love it. But the storytelling, the characters, the worlds, the creativity, the collaboration with other players, the FUN!

...I love it all!

GMing's hard work, and I'd spend my time on something else if I didn't love to do what I do with this game.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:

Second, there's the issue of not being able to tell stories about particular types of characters. You can't have a character who is such a feared swordsman that a fleet of pirate ships would abandon their goals and flee halfway around the world (losing multiple ships to him in the process) and just kinda hope they can lay low and he won't feel like finding them. The world-renowned, universally-feared BBEG is a caster, period. The only one scared of a 20th-level fighter is a lower-level fighter, so my BBEGs (for any story of grander scope than like 1st-5th level or so) always have to be casters.

Third, none of the stories I want to tell involve characters being dripping with magic items. I like my heroes to get stronger primarily by facing struggles and overcoming obstacles, not by accumulating performance enhancers in the form of built-in wealth progression. I want the fearsome swordsman to still be scary even if he wakes up naked and throatpunches a mook and takes that guy's crappy sword. Maybe not at full power, but still scary.

Related to #3 is also that I can't tell a story whose plot involves some sort of legendary weapon/item (ala...

Well, I can't help you with the first problem (since casters > pure martials is kinda baked into the rules), but for problems two and three Pathfinder Unchained actually provides some alternate rules which address your complaints.

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magnuskn wrote:
but for problems two and three Pathfinder Unchained actually provides some alternate rules which address your complaints.

Indeed. The best way to address one of my issues with Pathfinder is to use a book that un-Pathfinderizes that element of Pathfinder. Kinda proves the point, doesn't it?

Yet even so, if such a solution existed for more than just gear, I'd probably still play Pathfinder. So if anyone has ideas...


chaoseffect wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
Hey, if it's not a problem for ME, then it's not a problem. AMIRITE?
I can see your point, but personally I would amend that to: "If it's not a problem for chaoseffect, then it's not a problem." I figured dropping "me" would be better as you wouldn't want anyone to misconstrue your meaning.

Rick: "You sold me out!?"

Gearface: "It's like you said Rick. Always look out for number one."

Rick shakes head and exclaims with arms out stretch, "I am number one!"


chaoseffect wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
Hey, if it's not a problem for ME, then it's not a problem. AMIRITE?
I can see your point, but personally I would amend that to: "If it's not a problem for chaoseffect, then it's not a problem." I figured dropping "me" would be better as you wouldn't want anyone to misconstrue your meaning.

I'd amend it to "If it isn't a problem for me and my table, thebn it isn't a problem."

Is it an issue for other people? Sure, maybe. For me, I've either corrected the problem, don't agree that there is a problem, or found another solution.

It's not a problem for me in the same way the Kardashians being on TV isn't a problem, or Bieber on the radio isn't a problem, or whatever other problems are out there. Are they issues for some people? Sure, and I accept that. But the issues are in my rear view mirror and I've moved on to having fun instead of being upset that Paizo didn't correct a problem or that the problem exists at all.

Write in the margins. Adapt the game for your own needs and those of your players. Customize it to fit you.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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knightnday wrote:
Write in the margins. Adapt the game for your own needs and those of your players. Customize it to fit you.

And then pay someone else for the opportunity to use the stuff you had to do the work to come up with yourself.

;)


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Jiggy wrote:
knightnday wrote:
Write in the margins. Adapt the game for your own needs and those of your players. Customize it to fit you.

And then pay someone else for the opportunity to use the stuff you had to do the work to come up with yourself.

;)

I'm paying them for the engine, the fluff, the other material I didn't have to alter.

To be honest, I and I imagine a lot of you never ever ever ever have to buy another RPG book or supplement ever again for the rest of time. Multiple versions of Dungeons and Dragons along with scores of other games give you a wide assortment of rules styles, fluff, and material to draw from, to mix and match and cobble together into whatever Frankenstein game that you and your table can stand.

I pay Paizo (and sometimes others) for material I enjoy. Sometimes I alter it to fit me and sometimes I don't have to do any work at all. I just don't come into it expecting a bespoke game book, otherwise it would have my name across the top. :)

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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knightnday wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
knightnday wrote:
Write in the margins. Adapt the game for your own needs and those of your players. Customize it to fit you.

And then pay someone else for the opportunity to use the stuff you had to do the work to come up with yourself.

;)

I'm paying them for the engine, the fluff, the other material I didn't have to alter.

Exactly! But what if the engine is part of what you had to alter, and the list of "other material I didn't have to alter" is too small to justify the price? After all, you don't get a discount just for promising to only use half the book.

(Oh, and "the fluff" as you call it has pretty little to do with whether you're actually running Pathfinder or not; the books containing the most Pathfinder rules—the stuff we're talking about altering—also contain the least setting/world material, and the books containing the most setting/world material can be purchased by themselves and then used alongside damn near any fantasy roleplaying system imaginable. Including "the fluff" in your above list is basically saying "since the setting is worth money, it therefore makes sense for me to ALSO spend ADDITIONAL money on things that are not the setting". That's pretty ridiculous.)

Quote:
I just don't come into it expecting a bespoke game book, otherwise it would have my name across the top. :)

Same here. But just like any other game I buy, I expect it to have already done more work toward enabling a fun experience than what I'll have to put in. A few years of experience showed me that Pathfinder doesn't meet that criteria for me. I don't buy other games when I expect to have to rewrite a bunch of it to keep having fun, and being an RPG doesn't give Pathfinder a free pass on that point.


Jiggy wrote:
knightnday wrote:
Write in the margins. Adapt the game for your own needs and those of your players. Customize it to fit you.

And then pay someone else for the opportunity to use the stuff you had to do the work to come up with yourself.

;)

Paizo gives their rules content away for free, all we're paying for is the convenience of not looking things up on web sites. =P

Honestly, your first metric - "give me a mundane that's so terrifying that entire armies break and run at the mention of his name" has nothing to do with game mechanics in any system.

There's just a matter of reputation won by hard work or awarded by GM fiat.

Aside: Though that might actually be a 100+ point ability in GURPS somewhere? All sorts of goofy stuff in GURPs.

(And if the inspiration's One Piece, then I'll note that a lot of One Piece characters are Mythic, and about as mundane as unicorns =P)


Jiggy wrote:
knightnday wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
knightnday wrote:
Write in the margins. Adapt the game for your own needs and those of your players. Customize it to fit you.

And then pay someone else for the opportunity to use the stuff you had to do the work to come up with yourself.

;)

I'm paying them for the engine, the fluff, the other material I didn't have to alter.

Exactly! But what if the engine is part of what you had to alter, and the list of "other material I didn't have to alter" is too small to justify the price? After all, you don't get a discount just for promising to only use half the book.

(Oh, and "the fluff" as you call it has pretty little to do with whether you're actually running Pathfinder or not; the books containing the most Pathfinder rules—the stuff we're talking about altering—also contain the least setting/world material, and the books containing the most setting/world material can be purchased by themselves and then used alongside damn near any fantasy roleplaying system imaginable. Including "the fluff" in your above list is basically saying "since the setting is worth money, it therefore makes sense for me to ALSO spend ADDITIONAL money on things that are not the setting". That's pretty ridiculous.)

Quote:
I just don't come into it expecting a bespoke game book, otherwise it would have my name across the top. :)
Same here. But just like any other game I buy, I expect it to have already done more work toward enabling a fun experience than what I'll have to put in. A few years of experience showed me that Pathfinder doesn't meet that criteria for me. I don't buy other games when I expect to have to rewrite a bunch of it to keep having fun, and being an RPG doesn't give Pathfinder a free pass on that point.

If you look over the material and are not happy with it, then as I said there are dozens of engines out there to choose from, both from the past and being put out everyday. This game -- or any game -- isn't for everyone.

And yes, Pathfinder doesn't get a free pass. But neither does D&D, Shadowrun, TMNT, Battletech, RIFTS, Rolemaster or any other game. And I've modded each of those when I found something I was unhappy with.

If the game doesn't do what you want, don't play it! That's what I do. Otherwise, I alter what I need for me and mine, and while I see that people hate hearing that, it works out better in the long run for us. I've not found any game that meets 100% of my needs or wants, but I've found that I can usually, with a little work, make it something that I enjoy.

Except Star Frontiers.


Zhangar wrote:
Honestly, your first metric - "give me a mundane that's so terrifying that entire armies break and run at the mention of his name" has nothing to do with game mechanics in any system.

Whether or not the character is capable of living up to that reputation is a matter of game mechanics. And in Pathfinder, martial classes simply can't do it.

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knightnday wrote:
If the game doesn't do what you want, don't play it!

This is what I said my solution was, and people wanted to challenge me on it. I've just been dialoging since then to elaborate on the "why"s because people asked. :)


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Jiggy: Your narrative goal of an internationally feared martial character would be accomplished by just having them be sufficiently higher level than the norm for the region. Most NPCs are going to be level 1-3. Honestly, any PC above level 10 with appropriate wealth and a build suitable for their situation could work, if I understand you correctly.

That said, I don't feel that really is what you're looking for. Based on what you've been saying in this thread, I think you're right in looking for other systems.

OP: Personally I like Pathfinder. I don't love it anymore. I like Golarion, I like Paizo's adventure paths, and I like the rules. I prefer 5E's ruleset because it's more accessible. (Personally I am comfortable with PF's specialized rules for every occasion, but my players, on the other hand...)

I'm running two games now. One is Pathfinder, all books I own allowed (which is pretty much everything) going through Iron Gods. The other game is a Jade Regent game but using the 5E ruleset. The conversion from PF to 5E causes more work, but I enjoy the playstyle of 5E more because my players are able to understand their choices better, rather than worrying that obscure rules unknown to them will preclude what they might have otherwise wanted to do.

I don't see myself leaving Pathfinder any time soon though, since it's what most of my players know best and because of sunk-cost fallacy. I have too much time and money invested in PF to drop the system.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

@Jiggy I said in my first response to your types of stories that "couldn't" be told in pathfinder that there were the low magic rules in Unchained.

Just because you have a narrow view of what is "fun" doesn't mean that the people who write Pathfinder haven't put in a LOT of work to enable a fun experience.

They do that constantly-- modules, adventure paths, PFS scenarios are all there to reduce the amount of work on the part of the DM to enable play.

Likewise setting books, so that you don't have to design a home brew world from the ground up to be able to play.

Likewise the hard cover lines-- Bestieries and NPC/Monster codex to build plug and play foes; Unchained, Mythic, Occult Adventures, and Ultimate Campaign to offer campaign systems that you can choose to use (or not) to further fit the game to your own play preference.

If you don't like any of that, I don't know what to tell you. You will not find another fantasy game that is as robust and well supported, and unless its one you designed yourself the chances of some other company stumbling into exactly what you want are pretty slim.


Jiggy wrote:
knightnday wrote:
If the game doesn't do what you want, don't play it!
This is what I said my solution was, and people wanted to challenge me on it. I've just been dialoging since then to elaborate on the "why"s because people asked. :)

So what alternative systems have you been considering? After Pathfinder I tend to find myself wanting something much less crunch based so Fate is where it's at for me.

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Zhangar wrote:
Honestly, your first metric - "give me a mundane that's so terrifying that entire armies break and run at the mention of his name" has nothing to do with game mechanics in any system.

Couple of things:

1) I said martial, not mundane. "Mundane" means common and ordinary, "martial" means skilled in combat (and I intended to imply nonmagical, as well). Conflating the two is one of the things at the root of some of what I don't like about Pathfinder.

2) I didn't say they run at the mention of his name, implying it's a matter of reputation which may or may not have a valid foundation. I mean when they encounter him and see him in action, they say "OH S!#~" and flee across the world. And THAT absolutely has something to do with the mechanics of the system. If you have your NPCs run for their lives (again, aside from the possibility of a false reputation) from a guy who would die like a chump against a caster half his level, well, that's called "not really roleplaying".


Jiggy wrote:
knightnday wrote:
If the game doesn't do what you want, don't play it!
This is what I said my solution was, and people wanted to challenge me on it. I've just been dialoging since then to elaborate on the "why"s because people asked. :)

Heh, yeah I never find that the "why" is good enough for some people. It's like "I don't like Pink Floyd."

WHY!?!?

Because I don't like Pink Floyd. I tried it, I don't like it.

Have you listened to X song?

I don't like Pink Floyd. I am pretty sure that I won't like that song.

But Why??

I try to just leave it at I don't like something rather than having to justify it. There are people that will try to force you to like it as if they are your Mom trying to get you to try new food when you are a kid.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Nathanael Love wrote:
@Jiggy I said in my first response to your types of stories that "couldn't" be told in pathfinder that there were the low magic rules in Unchained.

I said that Pathfinder doesn't give me the tools, not that those stories couldn't be told. Also, I thought your reference to Unchained was just about replacing WBL; does "the low magic rules" refer to something else? (I don't actually have Unchained, so I only know what I've heard about.)

Quote:
Just because you have a narrow view of what is "fun"

I'm really curious how you came to that conclusion, considering how many of my complaints with Pathfinder have to do with feeling like it constrains me to a narrower set of possibilities than I want.

Quote:
doesn't mean that the people who write Pathfinder haven't put in a LOT of work to enable a fun experience.

I don't recall suggesting otherwise.

Quote:
If you don't like any of that, I don't know what to tell you. You will not find another fantasy game that is as robust and well supported, and unless its one you designed yourself the chances of some other company stumbling into exactly what you want are pretty slim.

>.>

<.<

;D


Jiggy wrote:
Zhangar wrote:
Honestly, your first metric - "give me a mundane that's so terrifying that entire armies break and run at the mention of his name" has nothing to do with game mechanics in any system.

Couple of things:

1) I said martial, not mundane. "Mundane" means common and ordinary, "martial" means skilled in combat (and I intended to imply nonmagical, as well). Conflating the two is one of the things at the root of some of what I don't like about Pathfinder.

2) I didn't say they run at the mention of his name, implying it's a matter of reputation which may or may not have a valid foundation. I mean when they encounter him and see him in action, they say "OH S&@#" and flee across the world. And THAT absolutely has something to do with the mechanics of the system. If you have your NPCs run for their lives (again, aside from the possibility of a false reputation) from a guy who would die like a chump against a caster half his level, well, that's called "not really roleplaying".

Ah, I assumed you didn't want things like paladins or barbarians or blackguards or mythic characters being considered.

My own experience is that it's not that difficult to have a martial that's viewed as an unstoppable monster that's going to kill you if you try to oppose him.

Just a matter of both system mastery and showmanship =P

Wait, you haven't even looked at Unchained yet?

Hmmm.

Okay.


I think a barbarian could do that. The unchained barbarian merely has cleaner math. Both kinds could just rofl-stomp an army.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Zhangar wrote:

Wait, you haven't even looked at Unchained yet?

Hmmm.

Okay.

Are you offering to buy me a copy? Are you suggesting I steal/pirate? Are you thinking that when I'm getting tired of a system I should immediately buy the next book that comes out without knowing whether it'll help?

Which of these things is so natural to do that my failure to do so has garnered this "Hmmm, okay" of suspiscion from you?


Jiggy wrote:
Zhangar wrote:

Wait, you haven't even looked at Unchained yet?

Hmmm.

Okay.

Are you offering to buy me a copy? Are you suggesting I steal/pirate? Are you thinking that when I'm getting tired of a system I should immediately buy the next book that comes out without knowing whether it'll help?

Which of these things is so natural to do that my failure to do so has garnered this "Hmmm, okay" of suspiscion from you?

Don't worry Jiggy. I haven't bought anything past the first printing of the CRB and I gave up on the system too.

I did buy the Basic Box and use that for a while.

EDIT: I forgot, I also purchased the first Bestiary but that was a complete waste of money.

Sovereign Court

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Frankly Jiggy - I'm on the opposite side of the scale from you.

One of the things that bugs me about Pathfinder is how easy it is to get to the point where you can take on dozens of trained soldiers at a time and by yourself without breaking a sweat, as either martial or caster. It just seems silly to me.

I tend to prefer systems where you don't get as exponentially more powerful as you level, but mostly gain situational options instead. (In theory at least. The vast majority of systems go with the exponential powered leveling - and I haven't found any which don't that I like the core mechanics of.)

That - far more than martial/caster disparity - is why I mostly just play low-mid level campaigns.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Charon's Little Helper wrote:

Frankly Jiggy - I'm on the opposite side of the scale from you.

One of the things that bugs me about Pathfinder is how easy it is to get to the point where you can take on dozens of trained soldiers at a time and by yourself without breaking a sweat, as either martial or caster. It just seems silly to me.

Oh, don't get me wrong, I could take or leave the idea of someone reaching a point of soloing an army. I just want any given game system to pick "yes" or "no" and apply the answer to every class equally. Ideally I'd have two games on my shelf: one for "yes" and one for "no" and play whichever I'm in the mood for. :)

EDIT:

Quote:
I tend to prefer systems where you don't get as exponentially more powerful as you level, but mostly gain situational options instead. (In theory at least. The vast majority of systems go with the exponential powered leveling - and I haven't found any which don't that I like the core mechanics of.)

That's kind of the direction 5E goes: numbers stay pretty "flat", and you kind of just accrue class features that give you options of neat things you can do.


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No I do not. Not anymore.

I gave up on Pathfinder after purchasing the CRB. Not because of anything specific in Pathfinder (there are some things I liked and some I didn't) but mostly due to basic assumptions of the system based on D&D 3.5. While I love the basic system of d20 D&D, the layers and layers of needless complexity and mechanics are just a waste. There are just too many basic design assumptions of the game that I don't need or want.

So I figured instead of going through the effort to strip out everything to get the system I want, why not just go with something like Microlite, Castles & Crusades, or Legends & Labyrinths that does it for me.


Jiggy wrote:
Zhangar wrote:

Wait, you haven't even looked at Unchained yet?

Hmmm.

Okay.

Are you offering to buy me a copy? Are you suggesting I steal/pirate? Are you thinking that when I'm getting tired of a system I should immediately buy the next book that comes out without knowing whether it'll help?

Which of these things is so natural to do that my failure to do so has garnered this "Hmmm, okay" of suspiscion from you?

Mostly because you're talking about how "Pathfinder doesn't do _____" with an incomplete picture.

The dev team is fairly diligently trying to come up with rules for everything =P

Checking, I'm actually kind of surprised Unchained isn't up on the PRD, since the classes are all used for PFS. (Though Occult Adventures isn't yet either. Guessing the web team is working on it.)

d20PFSRD's got the various things scattered about, though.

This may be of interest to you to look at and evaluate.

Automatic Bonus Progression (characters get the Big 6 by simply leveling)

Simplified spell casting (which significantly reduces the number of spells casters get)

Limited magic (save DCs and level based spell variables no longer scale, but rather fixed based on the minimum level a spell can be learned - so a fireball is 5d6 for DC 14 half, and doesn't improve)

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Zhangar wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Zhangar wrote:

Wait, you haven't even looked at Unchained yet?

Hmmm.

Okay.

Are you offering to buy me a copy? Are you suggesting I steal/pirate? Are you thinking that when I'm getting tired of a system I should immediately buy the next book that comes out without knowing whether it'll help?

Which of these things is so natural to do that my failure to do so has garnered this "Hmmm, okay" of suspiscion from you?

Mostly because you're talking about how "Pathfinder doesn't do _____" with an incomplete picture.

So... Do I not get to say "Pathfinder doesn't give me the tools to do X" until they stop printing books...?

Quote:

This may be of interest to you to look at and evaluate.

Automatic Bonus Progression (characters get the Big 6 by simply leveling)

Heard of this one already, seems a step toward what I'd prefer. :)

Quote:
Simplified spell casting (which significantly reduces the number of spells casters get)

Intriguing concept, but in no way slows down the "you can't be a feared martial BBEG because it only takes a 3rd-level caster and a friend to hold person+CdG" thing.

Quote:
Limited magic (save DCs and level based spell variables no longer scale, but rather fixed based on the minimum level a spell can be learned - so a fireball is 5d6 for DC 14 half, and doesn't improve)

Much like above. Even with the reduced DCs, let's look at my earlier example of a swordsman wrecking a pirate fleet:

As soon as he's in range, a number of 3rd-level-ish caster pirates all cast hold person. He only has to roll low once. Then someone hops down with feather fall (move and swift actions) and bull rushes him (standard action, auto-succeed against helpless target) into the water. Being paralyzed, he can't hold his breath or swim, so he starts sinking and drowning. Even if he shakes it off next round, as soon as he reaches the surface, he faces another volley of spells, and goes under again. If he fails the CON check (not Fort save), he's at -1 HP and a lost cause.
Or if the water feels contrived, you just put the same thing on land, swarm him with more melee guys than he can kill in a single round, and then have the survivors all CdG him and see how long he lasts. Casualties? Sure. But the fleet running away, hoping to cut their losses? Nope, not in Pathfinder (at least what I've seen so far, since apparently I need that caveat).

And that's just when the martial faces a fleet of 3rd-level schmucks. God forbid he meet a fellow mover-and-shaker who happens to be a caster.

In a world shaped by how Pathfinder works, eventually the only people around that are widely feared would be casters, or those who are really good at bluffing and/or haven't pissed off enough caster levels to get themselves killed yet.

Even with the stuff you linked, that's still the world that Pathfinder rules create, and it therefore limits the number of story types I can tell without having to do a lot of rewriting myself.

Project Manager

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Insain Dragoon wrote:
The only two people with any clout who even talk to the players are Erik Mona (though he is a very very busy man and it's amazing he communicates as much as he does) and Mark Seifter.

Erik is the publisher and the head of the creative team, and yes, a very busy man, so we're fortunate that he makes as much time as he does for both players and his team.

There are plenty of senior/management-level people from the creative team who communicate regularly with players, both here on the forums and through other media such as Twitter and Tumblr, including James Jacobs, our creative director (who probably posts on this forum more than any other single Paizo staffer), Wes Schneider, our editor-in-chief, Rob McCreary, our senior developer, and James Sutter, our executive editor.

Many of the developers also regularly interact with players: John Compton, who's in charge of development for PFS, and Linda Zayas-Palmer, one of our new developers who's helping with PFS, Adam Daigle, from Team Adventure Path, Mark Moreland, who handles the Campaign Setting line, Owen K. C. Stephens, who's not only handling the Player Companion line, but running RPG Superstar, and Crystal Frasier, another of our new developers. Tanis O'Connor, the in-house designer for the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, also communicates regularly with players on this forum.

Mark S. is the newest member of the design team, we're happy to have him on board, and he does an amazing job handling rules questions and being communicative about rules line projects. But everyone listed above also interacts regularly (in many cases, on a daily basis) with players--though it may not be in the rules forum--and has a higher or roughly equivalent level of seniority/"clout" (as much as that even matters, given that we're a pretty flat organization).


Jiggy wrote:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:

Frankly Jiggy - I'm on the opposite side of the scale from you.

One of the things that bugs me about Pathfinder is how easy it is to get to the point where you can take on dozens of trained soldiers at a time and by yourself without breaking a sweat, as either martial or caster. It just seems silly to me.

Oh, don't get me wrong, I could take or leave the idea of someone reaching a point of soloing an army. I just want any given game system to pick "yes" or "no" and apply the answer to every class equally. Ideally I'd have two games on my shelf: one for "yes" and one for "no" and play whichever I'm in the mood for. :)

EDIT:

Quote:
I tend to prefer systems where you don't get as exponentially more powerful as you level, but mostly gain situational options instead. (In theory at least. The vast majority of systems go with the exponential powered leveling - and I haven't found any which don't that I like the core mechanics of.)
That's kind of the direction 5E goes: numbers stay pretty "flat", and you kind of just accrue class features that give you options of neat things you can do.

5e is bit odd on this regard. A fighter could solo an army, but not stupidly. The army of militia is a threat even to dragons.

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