Bypassing restrictions that should not exist to begin with


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:


Right, but would that be any better than, for example, saying "the following feats are common amongst worshippers of Sarenrae..." or writing in the descriptive fluff "This technique, first developed by worshippers of Sarenrae, uses the scimitar's curving blade to convert your speed into power" or something similar.

In some regards, yes. You as a player start to see a lot of saranite characters with scimatars (there's little reason to use one otherwise) , NPC's with scimitars start to become very common and very effective,

It matches show with tell. You're telling me that saranites use scimitars with that technique and that's what i actually start to see, as opposed to telling me its a saratnite technique but showing me a bunch of ravogag users with it.

In other regards they may not directly synergize but without the worship restrictions things like potion glutton are autoincludes for classes like alchemist and investigator. Improved initiative becomes obsolete in the face of Wasp Familiar, and every class that has base familiars is going to have a wasp with an archetype and imp stats at level 7. Paladin weapon of choice will be the starknife, probably oracle and bard as well.


I thought the Roles presented in Varisia, Birthplace of Legends were a great way to introduce flavor and create NPCs without hard coded restrictions, what happen with that?

Any way I don't think Paizo is going to change despite threads like this, and I guess we can expect lots of options like these in Adventurer's Guide


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Ryan Freire wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:


Right, but would that be any better than, for example, saying "the following feats are common amongst worshippers of Sarenrae..." or writing in the descriptive fluff "This technique, first developed by worshippers of Sarenrae, uses the scimitar's curving blade to convert your speed into power" or something similar.

eyup. It lets you have A powerful option without letting you have all the powerful options.


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edduardco wrote:


Any way I don't think Paizo is going to change despite threads like this, and I guess we can expect lots of options like these in Adventurer's Guide

No but it's fun to occasionally agree with the devs so they question what's left of their sanity


Ssalarn wrote:
If those particular rules weren't gated to begin with, nothing would change for you, but things would improve for the people who feel stymied by them. From a certain perspective, this is kind of like a rich billionaire voting against a policy that wouldn't affect him specifically because it wouldn't affect him, or a poor person voting on a policy that penalizes rich people simply because it penalizes someone who has something they don't, even if there's no direct benefit to them. I could draw more specific and accurate analogues, but I don't want to invest this subject with more gravity and weight than it actually deserves. Long and the short is, you're essentially advocating against a proposed theoretical change that would benefit some and which won't affect you either way, which sure to engender disgruntlement and disagreement from the people who stand to benefit and for whom your opposition seems purely contrarian.

Wow. That sounds so familiar. Very similar, in fact, to pretty much the exact point I was making in that other thread. When you're not pushing for something because of, not how it benefits you, but strictly and solely what it denies or gates others, you're not selfish. When you're pushing for something because of how it hinders others, then that's selfish.

But what do you call it when your goals are met coincidentally alongside the goals of the selfish, but can also be met in a manner that does not advance the selfish, and you still advocate against said new manner? What phrase, other than "no skin off my teeth", is applicable? What do you call that?

Scarab Sages

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Just because YOU don't see the reason something should have certain restrictions, doesn't mean the creators and others don't. You should assume there's a reason, and try to understand it on those terms. Rather than say "I don't understand this, what's wrong with YOU?", you should be saying "I don't understand this, what's wrong with ME?".


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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Rather than say "I don't understand this, what's wrong with YOU?", you should be saying "I don't understand this, what's wrong with ME?".

Nah, everyone else is crazy is a fair possibility.


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Interesting Childhood

You were deeply involved in a religion or cult that you are no longer a part of

Benefit: Pick one deity or philosophy in addition to the one you actually worship or follow. You may take feats and traits as if you were a worshiper of that deity or a devotee of that philosophy.


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So basically the intent of the OP is that nothing special should ever be invented for a religion or a diety because it's an unfair denial to everyone else?


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BigNorseWolf wrote:

Interesting Childhood

You were deeply involved in a religion or cult that you are no longer a part of

Benefit: Pick one deity or philosophy in addition to the one you actually worship or follow. You may take feats and traits as if you were a worshiper of that deity or a devotee of that philosophy.

This makes me want to play a character who was raised in a cult of Rovagug and then later escaped and came to his/her senses... but is nonetheless good at running over people.

Shadow Lodge

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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Ssalarn wrote:
knightnday wrote:

So you change it for your individual games and it exists as is for the people who aren't interested in modding their games in that manner. Everyone wins.

Why is this an argument?

Because not everyone has the option of modding the feats for their games. As I mentioned earlier, if the feats weren't deity-locked to begin with, everyone wins. The people who can mod still can, the people who can't can now use the options without arbitrary fluff restrictions.

You're coming from a privileged mindset- you can freely change feats to fit what you want, so you assume everyone else can, but there are thousands of players whose only options are to play in PFS, or in restrictive home games where the GMs are strictly RAW. They simply don't have enough other players in their area to wait for a group willing to make those changes, at least not if they actually want to play the game.

So I would turn your own question back on you- why is it you feel the need to support arbitrary restrictions that wouldn't affect you anyways when not including them in the first place would have allowed everyone to enjoy them? Why be arbitrarily exclusive instead of inclusive?

I can answer this in two ways.

The first is that riffing off of the restrictions is how my creative process works. The restrictions spark an idea for a character, which leads me to build things off of the parts that work well. The restriction may not be what defines the character, but it is what inspires it. That's a very personal answer -- I make better characters because the restrictions are there. That's a reason for me to defend their existence, though I don't tend to push them onto others in the same way, because not everyone shares my process.

The more important reason, and the one that I keep coming back to, is that the restrictions allow things to exist that otherwise wouldn't. You have to understand how these books are developed in the first place. The order goes out to create something that fits a particular niche. The restrictions aren't a balancing mechanism, they are the reason the feats/archetypes/prestige classes even exist in the first place.

To go back to this glaive feat, the original intention was to create something limited to Shelyn worshippers. And the person doing that apparently looked at Shelyn's favored weapon and came up with something cool they could make for that. Without the restriction, there would be no dex to damage for any glaive users, because no one would have had a reason to consider making it.

So which is a better world? Some content that has flavor restrictions that the GM is free to strip out? Or most (I won't be so absolutist as to say "all") of the currently existing flavor-restricted content not existing at all? Because realistically, that's where you would actually end up.

Silver Crusade

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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
So basically the intent of the OP is that nothing special should ever be invented for a religion or a diety because it's an unfair denial to everyone else?

Nah, it's that nothing should be flavor locked as well as that flavor should not be used as a balancing point for an ability because it's arbitrary at best.

Personally, I think a trait along the lines of Isa's, BNW's, or mine would be fine, keep the flavor wanted, and still work for those who don't want flavor balancing. I think threads like this show that there's room for workarounds like those suggested, and that there's design space that is open for people that really want to play the game in a different way. Overall, this thread's actually given me quite a few design ideas, so it's a net gain for me.

Scarab Sages

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I'm sooooooooooo sick of this.

It's NOT "flavor;" it's not some superfluous secondary consideration, it's REAL. It's why the game exists, and what separates it from, say, checkers and blackjack. When you're playing the game, the gameworld and everything in it are REAL, so think of it that way! It's called "suspension of disbelief," and if you don't do that, then you are, indeed, not playing the game right.


Despite my post being deleted, I still reject the entire notion of this thread.


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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:

I'm sooooooooooo sick of this.

It's NOT "flavor;" it's not some superfluous secondary consideration, it's REAL. It's why the game exists. When you're playing the game, the gameworld and everything in it are REAL, so think of it that way! It's called "suspension of disbelief," and if you don't do that, then you are, indeed, NOT playing the game right.

Cool, glad you're here to tell me how to play this entirely subjective game, I really appreciate you deciding that how you play is the correct way, and that any other way of playing is entirely invalid. Tell me, how's the proper way to play the game?

Scarab Sages

Thank you for the tired strawman line; did I mention I'm sick of this crap?

It's NOT "entirely subjective;" you have to accept the premises that the game-world's designer, be it a company like Paizo or a homebrewing DM, present to you, otherwise there is no game.

Paizo Employee Designer

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N. Jolly wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
So basically the intent of the OP is that nothing special should ever be invented for a religion or a diety because it's an unfair denial to everyone else?

Nah, it's that nothing should be flavor locked as well as that flavor should not be used as a balancing point for an ability because it's arbitrary at best.

Personally, I think a trait along the lines of Isa's, BNW's, or mine would be fine, keep the flavor wanted, and still work for those who don't want flavor balancing. I think threads like this show that there's room for workarounds like those suggested, and that there's design space that is open for people that really want to play the game in a different way. Overall, this thread's actually given me quite a few design ideas, so it's a net gain for me.

While combining multiple deity-specific things (much like multiple style feat chains or multiple totems for barbarians) is in itself a powerful potential boost, I think most typical people who would take the trait wouldn't be trying to do that anyway and would instead just be trying to take a single thing from an off-deity. Thus, I think such a trait should be balanced with those people in mind (and with a protection to curb abuse cases) by using something most similar to your idea:

Heretical Knowledge
Choose a religion other than your own. You have studied and perfected all of its secret arts. You gain a +2 bonus on Knowledge (religion) checks involving the chosen religion and Knowledge (religion) is a class skill for you. (This is almost exactly from your idea and is now roughly near the limit of what a trait should do without also allowing the combos that most people aren't even going to try to do, so let's finesse it to prevent that but still allow options for those who aren't doing that:) You can choose to count as a follower of the chosen religion instead of your own to determine what abilities you can gain. Once you make this choice, it is permanent.


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I agree with N.Jolly statement as a whole and reject Closet's sentiments. What effectively amounts to personality ("I believe in freedom, good will, and have a hobby of stargazing!") shouldn't be considered a balancing-point for actual, mechanical implications ("...So because of this, I can throw an off-brand chakram based entirely on how pretty and personable I am!") On top of that, it is frustrating how it sets a precedent that Golarion-centric games are things that everyone will be playing, because some GMs don't like refluffing and thus it unfairly locks-out a character (and indeed, their player) from being able to do cool or awesome things because they don't worship the right imaginary god, or didn't get picked-up by fairies when they were a kid. Similarly, the idea of "not playing the game right" is wholeheartedly bubkis; yes, there are rules and mechanics and settings, but the idea of locking things behind arbitrary distinctions and setting-specific concepts in a ruleset that is, at least in theory, setting-agnostic is kind of silly.


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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:

Did I mention I'm sick of this crap?

It's NOT "entirely subjective;" you have to accept the premises the game designer, be it a company like Paizo or a homebrewing DM, present to you, otherwise there is no game.

By this argument, can't one just create your one's own premise, stripping out parts of the game they don't like, replacing them with things more palatable things for themselves and their group, then go on keeping playing the game? After all, as you've said, someone who adjusts the game is presenting a new set of premises to accept.

Generally, "subjective" as shorthand for the concept you're describing—a situation where, depending on the person, the premise presented can vary.

No one plays the exact same game of Pathfinder. Every group—every player—is concurrently running their own systems, based on their outlooks and preferences. We just clump it all into the same group for ease of discussion.

Mark Seifter wrote:
N. Jolly wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
So basically the intent of the OP is that nothing special should ever be invented for a religion or a diety because it's an unfair denial to everyone else?

Nah, it's that nothing should be flavor locked as well as that flavor should not be used as a balancing point for an ability because it's arbitrary at best.

Personally, I think a trait along the lines of Isa's, BNW's, or mine would be fine, keep the flavor wanted, and still work for those who don't want flavor balancing. I think threads like this show that there's room for workarounds like those suggested, and that there's design space that is open for people that really want to play the game in a different way. Overall, this thread's actually given me quite a few design ideas, so it's a net gain for me.

While combining multiple deity-specific things (much like multiple style feat chains or multiple totems for barbarians) is in itself a powerful potential boost, I think most typical people who would take the trait wouldn't be trying to do that anyway and would instead just be trying to take a single thing from an off-deity. Thus, I think such a trait should be balanced with those people in mind (and with a protection to curb abuse cases) by using something most similar to your idea:

Heretical Knowledge
Choose a religion other than your own. You have studied and perfected all of its secret arts. You gain a +2 bonus on Knowledge (religion) checks involving the chosen religion and Knowledge (religion) is a class skill for you. (This is almost exactly from your idea and is now roughly near the limit of what a trait should do without also allowing the combos that most people aren't even going to try to do, so let's finesse it to prevent that but still allow options for those who aren't doing that:) You can choose to count as a follower of the chosen religion instead of your own to determine what abilities you can gain. Once you make this choice, it is permanent.

That's a really neat idea, and similar to what my group does. Gotta say, it's nice to see that you've got a similar outlook.

I can't say I'm a huge fan of the Golarion-specific deity locking (I wish that Pathfinder had a similar passage to D&D's Oriental Adventures, regarding fluff restrictions), but it always felt implied to me that the intent was that they're mutually exclusive, rather than it being completely hard-locked.

Silver Crusade

Mark Seifter wrote:

Yep, while combining multiple deity-specific things (much like multiple style feat chains or multiple totems for barbarians) is in itself a powerful potential boost, I think most typical people who would take the trait wouldn't be trying to do that anyway and would instead just be trying to take a single thing from an off-deity. Thus, I think such a trait should be balanced with those people in mind (and with a protection to curb abuse cases) by using something most similar to your idea:

Heretical Knowledge
Choose a religion other than your own. You have studied and perfected all of its secret arts. You gain a +2 bonus on Knowledge (religion) checks involving the chosen religion and Knowledge (religion) is a class skill for you. (This is almost exactly from your idea and is now roughly near the limit of what a trait should do without also allowing the combos that most people aren't even going to try to do, so let's finesse it to prevent that but still allow options for those who aren't doing that:) You can choose to count as a follower of the chosen religion instead of your own to determine what abilities you can gain. Once you make this choice, it is permanent.

As of yet, I haven't seen any divine combos that break the game (and I'd probably be among the first to see just that), but I like how each created trait works to help tell a story in a different fashion, with Isa's EASILY being the most flavorful following into different and more inclusive traits from BWN, Mark, and myself.

Scarab Sages

@Evelyn Jones and Forrestfire: We're having some kind of miscommunication here (no great surprise, really, that's where most conflict comes from); to the extent that I understand what you're saying, it shouldn't be at odds with what I'm saying. Maybe it's an issue of what "layer" or "stage of the sequence" we're talking about.


I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
@Evelyn Jones and Forrestfire: We're having some kind of miscommunication here; to the extent that I understand what you're saying, it shouldn't be at odds with what I'm saying. Maybe it's an issue of what "layer" or "stage of the sequence" we're talking about.

I think your posts lead readers to the wrong conclusion, then. Not to be rude, but my reading was that you seem to be arguing that any amount of refluffing at all is wrong and "playing the game wrong."

In my opinion, refluffing is a lot more complex than "everything can be refluffed to anything else" or "nothing should be refluffed." Ideally, it's done with similar amounts of care as anything else in the game, to create something new that ties just as well (or maybe even better) into the mechanics (which carry fluff of their own, even if it's not explicit flavor text) as the old fluff did.


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Evelyn Jones wrote:
On top of that, it is frustrating how it sets a precedent that Golarion-centric games are things that everyone will be playing, because some GMs don't like refluffing and thus it unfairly locks-out a character (and indeed, their player) from being able to do cool or awesome things because they don't worship the right imaginary god, or didn't get picked-up by fairies when they were a kid.

It's a Golarion-centric book. Should Paizo not produce books that support their own setting?


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Ssalarn wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
Is the player companion line really all that difficult to distinguish from being Golarion specific? I could understand someone buying a volume blind who was new to the game, but a casual look through any volume would reveal a ton of campaign specific text. I just don't see this as really ambiguous.

It doesn't help matters much that D20pfsrd is a common reference source for people that specifically strips out the Golarion-specific fluff for legal reasons. If, like many groups, you have one or two people who own the majority of the books and use an online resource to build your character ahead of the game, only to show up and find out that the character you spent three hours building isn't legal because that feat you grabbed actually requires you to worship Gorum specifically, it's going to be upsetting, especially if that choice was integral enough to the build that you're pushed back to scratch.

As someone who has on occasion gotten confused by the D20pfsrd (mostly in mistaking 3rd party with 1st party, and vice versa), I can commiserate with those people. However, people being confused based on that site should not really feed into a criticism of Paizo's aesthetic choices on how they design things. They can't and shouldn't be held responsible for products and websites maintained by other parties.

Scarab Sages

Forrestfire wrote:


I think your posts lead readers to the wrong conclusion, then. Not to be rude, but my reading was that you seem to be arguing that any amount of refluffing at all is wrong and "playing the game wrong."

You're saying you misunderstood; I don't see what's rude about that (though I also don't see why what I said would lead you to interpret it that way).

I'm saying that if you don't think of the game-world as REAL, then you're playing it wrong; that should not be a point of contention. Of course individual DMs can customize material for their own game-worlds.

I REALLY hate those terms "flavor" and "fluff," though; it's like you're saying "it's not important," when it IS. We don't play the game for the mechanics, we play it to live in another universe, and the mechanics are just a sort of UI.


I rather like how Legends Of The Wulin does it with it's faction-based martial arts (Some of which are religions, like the Fire Cult).

You do NOT need to be a member to learn them, though you need to know of the group in question. If you are not a member, give a short explanation on how you learned it.

So a martial artist could have learned Black Lotus (Very villainous group) Kung Fu because he's spent so long fighting them that he knows them as well as he knows himself. Or he could have just stolen a manual on their techniques.

I'd much rather Pathfinder go 'X is traditionally only taught by/to Y' rather than 'You must worship X to take it' personally.


Your tone of voice, closet, suggests rudeness and an inability to budge on a subject, as well as the belief that your way is automatically right. I will not argue with such a person, other than to say "believing the gameworld is real is not a prerequisite to playing the game right".


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edduardco wrote:
Any way I don't think Paizo is going to change despite threads like this, and I guess we can expect lots of options like these in Adventurer's Guide

Which sorta ruins the argument of "It's player companion/campaign setting books, so their supposed to make it chained to the setting" since now it's crossed over into the RPG-line.

Quote:
I REALLY hate those terms "flavor" and "fluff," though; it's like you're saying "it's not important," when it IS. We don't play the game for the mechanics, we play it to live in another universe, and the mechanics are just a sort of UI.

Just because crunch and fluff are separate things doesn't mean one is more important than the other. But it does mean that if you don't like the flavour you can change it to something else.

For example, I like the dwarf race mechanically, but dislike the flavour of them so I changed dwarves into formian-like antcentaurs. If flavour and fluff weren't separate things, I'd be stuck having to not ever use the dwarves in my games....

Just because flavour is important, doesn't mean the flavour that's been ascribed to a mechanic is good. I dislike the Golarion setting, I will never use it's flavour. Thankfully, because Fluff and Crunch are separate, you can with work cut the flavour you don't like out of crunch.


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Knight who says Meh wrote:
Evelyn Jones wrote:
On top of that, it is frustrating how it sets a precedent that Golarion-centric games are things that everyone will be playing, because some GMs don't like refluffing and thus it unfairly locks-out a character (and indeed, their player) from being able to do cool or awesome things because they don't worship the right imaginary god, or didn't get picked-up by fairies when they were a kid.
It's a Golarion-centric book. Should Paizo not produce books that support their own setting?

While I'm not the person you responded to, I think that yes, Paizo should definitely be producing books that support their own setting. However, Pathfinder is a way bigger game than just Golarion, and it doesn't hurt anyone (or hurt the material in any way) to add a passage about options in other settings.

Mostly, I personally wish that these options were written with more emphasis on building interesting characters that fit into the setting one is playing in, rather than dictating a specific path of characterization in order to achieve a certain mechanical concept.

An example I brought up a couple posts ago was D&D's Oriental Adventures, which had some feats with very important setting and characterization implications, but also included this paragraph:

Oriental Adventures, p. 60 wrote:
Characters are not limited to choosing ancestors from their own clan, since intermarriage between clans is common. It is quite possible for a Dragon samurai, for example, to claim a Crane ancestor through his mother’s side. The ancestor feats are listed on Table 4–3: Ancestor Feats, grouped by clan for convenience only. The names and backgrounds of ancestors apply for human characters in Rokugan; nonhuman characters and characters in other campaign settings can name their ancestors and detail their histories as they like, but the feat benefits do not change.

Their goal there was to make the book accessible to as many people as possible, broadening those who can use and enjoy it to its fullest. That's the ideal I like to strive for as a homebrewer and 3pp designer. I think that it's a lesson that everyone should take follow, myself.

I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Forrestfire wrote:


I think your posts lead readers to the wrong conclusion, then. Not to be rude, but my reading was that you seem to be arguing that any amount of refluffing at all is wrong and "playing the game wrong."

I'm saying that if you don't think of the game-world as REAL, then you're playing it wrong; that should not be a point of contention. Of course individual DMs can customize material for their own game-worlds.

I REALLY hate those terms "flavor" and "fluff," though; it's like you're saying "it's not important," when it IS. We don't play the game for the mechanics, we play it to live in another universe, and the mechanics are just a sort of UI.

I disagree there. Personally, I think that the game-world is just as "real" as the mechanics. However, I put the fun of the players at the table as even more real and important than that. If someone at my table (or playing with material I wrote) has a concept that fits into the game world, but differently than the original stuff? I see that as just as valid, and just as real, as the words on the page. There isn't an arbitrary distinction between "game designer" and "game player" here. We're all playing (or writing) the game to create compelling stories in another universe, and if someone has a story they want to tell (or play through), I think they should be encouraged, rather than halted.

It's not about fluff/flavor/characterization not being "important," but about giving every player at the table—GM or otherwise, writer or otherwise—the respect they deserve as people collaborating with the others to tell a fun story and play a fun game.


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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
I'm saying that if you don't think of the game-world as REAL, then you're playing it wrong

Then I'm playing the game wrong, but at least myself and the other players don't seem to mind that we're doing so.

Scarab Sages

Evelyn Jones wrote:
Your tone of voice, closet, suggests rudeness and an inability to budge on a subject, as well as the belief that your way is automatically right.

Uhhh..."tone of voice???" This is the Internet, and we're not using Ventrilo.

Paizo Employee Designer

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N. Jolly wrote:


As of yet, I haven't seen any divine combos that break the game (and I'd probably be among the first to see just that), but I like how each created trait works to help tell a story in a different fashion

There's a few reasons to build the trait using yours as a chassis in the way I suggest as a rules designer: First and foremost is to always protect for the future because you don't know what else is going to show up in the future. Second is that the top-end builds that show up in my optimization guides, yours, and other charop guides actually already do have a strong potential to break games that aren't as high of charop; I have no doubt that some of these divine options alone, without comboing a second deity (not that the trait would make a difference there, of course), would break or at least heavily distort some of those games (though it's interpretation isn't crystal clear, Potion Glutton without the PFS Campaign Clarification comes to mind as one example of this). Third is that giving an additional benefit to boost the typical user makes the trait feel more fun to take rather than just a stand-in, since for futureproofing reasons alone, the ability to combo multiple would otherwise be at least sufficient to cost the whole trait like BNW's version. Even then, it would probably be a less-used option for a while and then explode in usage the moment two different deities have a significant power combo between their options.


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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Evelyn Jones wrote:
Your tone of voice, closet, suggests rudeness and an inability to budge on a subject, as well as the belief that your way is automatically right.
Uhhh..."tone of voice???" This is the Internet, and we're not using Ventrilo.

Yes but they can hear you in their closet.

Silver Crusade

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Mark Seifter wrote:
N. Jolly wrote:
As of yet, I haven't seen any divine combos that break the game (and I'd probably be among the first to see just that), but I like how each created trait works to help tell a story in a different fashion
There's a few reasons to build the trait using yours as a chassis in the way I suggest as a rules designer: First and foremost is to always protect for the future because you don't know what else is going to show up in the future. Second is that the top-end builds that show up in my optimization guides, yours, and other charop guides actually already do have a strong potential to break games that aren't as high of charop; I have no doubt that some of these divine options alone, without comboing a second deity (not that the trait would make a difference there, of course), would break or at least heavily distort some of those games (though it's interpretation isn't crystal clear, Potion Glutton without the PFS Campaign Clarification comes to mind as one example of this). Third is that giving an additional benefit to boost the typical user makes the trait feel more fun to take rather than just a stand-in, since for futureproofing reasons alone, the ability to combo multiple would otherwise be at least sufficient to cost the whole trait like BNW's version. Even then, it would probably be a less-used option for a while and then explode in usage the moment two different deities have a significant power combo between their options.

I'll say that I'm not a fan of this kind of design, but I can respect it. I'd rather see a different feat category (As those seem pretty common, especially in companion books [looking at you, damnation feats]) for things like this. It seems to have worked well for the other issues of which you spoke (totems/style feats/etc), so it feels odd to break theme in this way. Just having a 'deity' feats section could work for this, but I understand the difficulty at ret-conning at this point.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Milo v3 wrote:
edduardco wrote:
Any way I don't think Paizo is going to change despite threads like this, and I guess we can expect lots of options like these in Adventurer's Guide
Which sorta ruins the argument of "It's player companion/campaign setting books, so their supposed to make it chained to the setting" since now it's crossed over into the RPG-line.

I'm personally really excited for the Adventurer's Guide, and I think it will open a lot of potential doors for great products and ideas. However, I will admit that it does represent a change from the way I explained things in my post, not least of which because, as he already mentioned elsewhere, James is the one doing that book, not the PDT.

Paizo Employee Designer

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N. Jolly wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
N. Jolly wrote:
As of yet, I haven't seen any divine combos that break the game (and I'd probably be among the first to see just that), but I like how each created trait works to help tell a story in a different fashion
There's a few reasons to build the trait using yours as a chassis in the way I suggest as a rules designer: First and foremost is to always protect for the future because you don't know what else is going to show up in the future. Second is that the top-end builds that show up in my optimization guides, yours, and other charop guides actually already do have a strong potential to break games that aren't as high of charop; I have no doubt that some of these divine options alone, without comboing a second deity (not that the trait would make a difference there, of course), would break or at least heavily distort some of those games (though it's interpretation isn't crystal clear, Potion Glutton without the PFS Campaign Clarification comes to mind as one example of this). Third is that giving an additional benefit to boost the typical user makes the trait feel more fun to take rather than just a stand-in, since for futureproofing reasons alone, the ability to combo multiple would otherwise be at least sufficient to cost the whole trait like BNW's version. Even then, it would probably be a less-used option for a while and then explode in usage the moment two different deities have a significant power combo between their options.
I'll say that I'm not a fan of this kind of design, but I can respect it. I'd rather see a different feat category (As those seem pretty common, especially in companion books [looking at you, damnation feats]) for things like this. It seems to have worked well for the other issues of which you spoke (totems/style feats/etc), so it feels odd to break theme in this way. Just having a 'deity' feats section could work for this, but I understand the difficulty at ret-conning at this point.

Indeed, I like the way totems and styles did it as well.

Scarab Sages

Ikiry0 wrote:
I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:

Uhhh..."tone of voice???" This is the Internet, and we're not using Ventrilo.

Yes but they can hear you in their closet.

Touche.


Mark Seifter wrote:
I'm personally really excited for the Adventurer's Guide, and I think it will open a lot of potential doors for great products and ideas. However, I will admit that it does represent a change from the way I explained things in my post, not least of which because, as he already mentioned elsewhere, James is the one doing that book, not the PDT.

Is it fair to hope that the Adventurer's Guide being written along the lines of "these are Golarion specific, but are written with the intent of making them easy to adapt to basically any setting" might influence future player companions along the same lines?

I confess to, as a GM, being pretty flummoxed by the divine feats. Currently I run a setting with really hands-off deities, so I don't know if I should allow anything like them at all, but some of them are really neat (and significantly more powerful than RPG line feats.)

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
So basically the intent of the OP is that nothing special should ever be invented for a religion or a diety because it's an unfair denial to everyone else?

No, and that's the kind of ridiculous strawmanning that turns conversations heated. No one is saying that deities shouldn't have special feats dedicated to them, they're saying that those feats should actually have something to do with a deity. A feat that makes your channel energy deal damage over time to an opponent makes perfect sense as deity feat that requires deities of rot or decay, a feat that adds fiery damage to the positive energy damage of your channeled energy makes sense for a deity of fire or light. But a feat that lets you trip someone when you bull rush them or Vital Strike on a charge doesn't make sense as a deity-locked feat. It's not magical, it's just a combat technique, so unless the explanation is that your god is literally dropping whatever he or she is doing to run down and lean on your sword every time you start moving fast, the feat shouldn't be hard-locked to that deity.

MMCJawa wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
Is the player companion line really all that difficult to distinguish from being Golarion specific? I could understand someone buying a volume blind who was new to the game, but a casual look through any volume would reveal a ton of campaign specific text. I just don't see this as really ambiguous.

It doesn't help matters much that D20pfsrd is a common reference source for people that specifically strips out the Golarion-specific fluff for legal reasons. If, like many groups, you have one or two people who own the majority of the books and use an online resource to build your character ahead of the game, only to show up and find out that the character you spent three hours building isn't legal because that feat you grabbed actually requires you to worship Gorum specifically, it's going to be upsetting, especially if that choice was integral enough to the build that you're pushed back to scratch.

As someone who has on occasion gotten confused by the D20pfsrd (mostly in mistaking 3rd party with 1st party, and vice versa), I can commiserate with those people. However, people being confused based on that site should not really feed into a criticism of Paizo's aesthetic choices on how they design things. They can't and shouldn't be held responsible for products and websites maintained by other parties.

That's fair, but it goes beyond that. You strip out the deity requirement, the feat still makes sense. Suddenly there's a deity requirement, and the feat no longer works, that's a double-down on the "WTF?" double-take.

Ultimately, as I've said several times, the real issue is that campaign/companion line feats are allowed to be so much better than core feats without any real mechanical justification. If I want to Vital Strike when I charge, I can scribble Gorum on my character sheet and go one without ever once needing to do anything remotely related to honoring or worshipping Gorum. I get all the benefits, I don't even have alignment restrictions tied to my worship of Gorum, and the only price I pay is that my roleplaying options are limited. If I really want to game the system, I can probably find a hellknight order or something similar that lets me worship five or six gods at once, like the Order of the Godclaw, to abuse the system anyways. The people who are negatively impacted are the ones who genuinely don't want to game the system but want to use a particular fighting style that has been arbitrarily gated behind worship of a particular deity for no reason other than because "people who worship him should be good at that". Jesus was a carpenter's son, that doesn't mean that all carpenters have to be Christians.


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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Forrestfire wrote:


I think your posts lead readers to the wrong conclusion, then. Not to be rude, but my reading was that you seem to be arguing that any amount of refluffing at all is wrong and "playing the game wrong."

You're saying you misunderstood; I don't see what's rude about that (though I also don't see why what I said would lead you to interpret it that way).

I'm saying that if you don't think of the game-world as REAL, then you're playing it wrong; that should not be a point of contention. Of course individual DMs can customize material for their own game-worlds.

I REALLY hate those terms "flavor" and "fluff," though; it's like you're saying "it's not important," when it IS. We don't play the game for the mechanics, we play it to live in another universe, and the mechanics are just a sort of UI.

Would YOU eat food that had no flavor or bad flavor- assuming you had the means of consuming higher quality products?

Roleplaying games are the same way, flavor is technically unnecessary (hence the reason that flavor is mutable- you can change it with no harm to the meal's nutrition) but incredibly important.


Mark Seifter wrote:
I'm personally really excited for the Adventurer's Guide, and I think it will open a lot of potential doors for great products and ideas. However, I will admit that it does represent a change from the way I explained things in my post, not least of which because, as he already mentioned elsewhere, James is the one doing that book, not the PDT.

I didn't know that James was the one doing the book... #3020 why Adventures Guide should be Campaign Setting line not RPG-line. -.-


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:

I'm sooooooooooo sick of this.

It's NOT "flavor;" it's not some superfluous secondary consideration, it's REAL. It's why the game exists, and what separates it from, say, checkers and blackjack. When you're playing the game, the gameworld and everything in it are REAL, so think of it that way! It's called "suspension of disbelief," and if you don't do that, then you are, indeed, not playing the game right.

You do know they lock people up for believing this game is real, don't you? Best be careful who you say that too! ;P


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Ravingdork wrote:


You do know they lock people up for believing this game is real, don't you? Best be careful who you say that too! ;P

are there dice in there? Because if so i'm in...


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Wait. The game isn't real?

Excuse me, I have to go hide some bodies and jewels.


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Envall wrote:

I would not start throwing the "bad design" around.

The design goal is probably not what you are judging it by.

"bad design goals"?


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"Design goals one does not agree with?"

I mean, that's what it boils down to.

Scarab Sages

kyrt-ryder wrote:


Would YOU eat food that had no flavor or bad flavor- assuming you had the means of consuming higher quality products?

Roleplaying games are the same way, flavor is technically unnecessary (hence the reason that flavor is mutable- you can change it with no harm to the meal's nutrition) but incredibly important.

That's only one way of thinking about it, though - why is there this ostensibly-prevailing attitude that the mechanics are "more real" than the rest of the game rather than less? It doesn't even seem to acknowledge that there are other ways of thinking about it, it charges ahead and assumes there's consensus. I don't play games for the sake of their mechanics. Dungeons & Dragons, Might & Magic, TORG, whatever - all these mechanical systems have their ups and downs, but that's all of secondary importance to me.

As for "flavor," let me put it this way: The game belongs in your head, not in your mouth. It feels to me like that kind of language lends itself more toward a dulling of the mind's eye, and I'm not at all happy that it's gained the kind of foothold it has.


thejeff wrote:

I am kind of amused that for all these years there was no way to do this thing at all. Scimitars were pretty much the only way to do Dex to damage at all, or an Agile weapon.

Now we've got a bunch of different ways to do it and finally this book comes out and suddenly Dex to damage glaives is this thing that everyone's always wanted to do but didn't realize it and now it's this huge deal that it's restricted to one religion.

Lot of people always wanted dex to damage with more and more weapons, and paizo only gave restricted options and people always complained about the restrictions, just as in this case.


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Ssalarn wrote:
knightnday wrote:

So you change it for your individual games and it exists as is for the people who aren't interested in modding their games in that manner. Everyone wins.

Why is this an argument?

Because not everyone has the option of modding the feats for their games.

Ssalarn's answer is as clear and solid as it get, and the same answer is always the one given. I don't know why the "just change it yourself" is always said, perhaps it's true that we're blind to other people problems unless we also have them ourselves.


I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:


Would YOU eat food that had no flavor or bad flavor- assuming you had the means of consuming higher quality products?

Roleplaying games are the same way, flavor is technically unnecessary (hence the reason that flavor is mutable- you can change it with no harm to the meal's nutrition) but incredibly important.

That's only one way of thinking about it, though - why is there this ostensibly-prevailing attitude that the mechanics are "more real" than the rest of the game rather than less? It doesn't even seem to acknowledge that there are other ways of thinking about it, it charges ahead and assumes there's consensus. I don't play games for the sake of their mechanics. Dungeons & Dragons, Might & Magic, TORG, whatever - all these mechanical systems have their ups and downs, but that's all of secondary importance to me.

I never claimed flavor was less real, whatever flavor the GM and players choose to impart into their game is every bit as real [and far more prominent, seeing as mechanics should be nearly invisible under the hood] as mechanics. What that flavor might be- default [aka publishes] or otherwise is for the group to decide.

Quote:
As for "flavor," let me put it this way: The game belongs in your head, not in your mouth. It feels to me like that kind of language lends itself more toward a dulling of the mind's eye, and I'm not at all happy that it's gained the kind of foothold it has.

Dulling of the mind's eye? My friend you will not find a stronger proponent then me on these boards of feeding and cultivating the mind's eye. It's precisely to that end I so fervently oppose the 'published flavor is the only flavor' mindset.

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