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Liberty's Edge

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One thing that makes Pathfinder is the iconics. We all know their names and some of their backstories. We know their personalities.
But none of that is in the books. That's all website content that 90% of players will miss.

An unrelated problem is how the class sections of the books tend to have a "wall of text" problem. You have the one picture of the iconic and then five or six more pages of just pure crunch.
The only book to try and fix this was Occult Adventures that added some shots of iconic gear to the mix.

I'd love it if the book featured some sidebars and asides ostensibly written by the iconics. A paragraph on who they are in the class section. Merisiel talking about the elf view of dwarves in the dwarf ancestry page. Valeros musing on weapons and different types of sword in the equipment section. Seoni comparing her spellcasting with wizardry.


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Yeah I like that kind of stuff. I know they have to manage how much rules vs. flavor they pack in the CRB, but id be cool with more of this kind of thing.

/signed


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+1

Also, having some info on Golarion in the core rulebook would be nice, to kind of bootstrap people into the default setting.


R0b0tBadgr wrote:

+1

Also, having some info on Golarion in the core rulebook would be nice, to kind of bootstrap people into the default setting.

Looks like PF2 core will be more infused with Golarian than PF1.


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As someone who doesn't care about Golarian lore, put that stuff in another book. If you care enough, you'll look it up on your own.

I'd rather have 10 pages of mechanics that people may or may not want than 10 pages of lore that people may or may not want that can be found elsewhere.

Perhaps have a small blurb telling where you can find info on a particular character.

"So-and-so appears in X Novel by Author's Name"


thflame wrote:
As someone who doesn't care about Golarian lore, put that stuff in another book.

Looks like that ship has sailed, but if they do it like 5th Ed with Forgotten Realms, it shouldn't be too intrusive.

Liberty's Edge

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thflame wrote:
As someone who doesn't care about Golarian lore, put that stuff in another book. If you care enough, you'll look it up on your own.

Less lore and more flavour. A break from the pure crunch.

Like written art.
(But lore could fit too I suppose. Little notes of how they fit or work in Golarion.)

thflame wrote:
I'd rather have 10 pages of mechanics that people may or may not want than 10 pages of lore that people may or may not want that can be found elsewhere.

Can’t they also find the mechanics elsewhere as well?

Two things on that:
1) Not everyone likes pure crunch. I find that boring AF. Seeing five pages of pure crunch without a break is daunting and dry. I need a reason to care. A mix of crunch interspersed with flavour satisfies both.
2) More crunch is not better. Most crunch in PF1 isn’t worth the space it takes up. If they need to fill a page, I’d rather they round out a column with a fun sidebar than a feat, as the feat will likely be terrible.

What they *should* do is make 50% as many feats and options as they need and cut the bad ones in layout. Set them aside for another development pass in a future book.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

-1. These remind me of the cringe-worthy "Elminster vs. Volo" sidebars WotC loves, much to nobody's fun.


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Jester David wrote:
thflame wrote:
As someone who doesn't care about Golarian lore, put that stuff in another book. If you care enough, you'll look it up on your own.

Less lore and more flavour. A break from the pure crunch.

Like written art.
(But lore could fit too I suppose. Little notes of how they fit or work in Golarion.)

thflame wrote:
I'd rather have 10 pages of mechanics that people may or may not want than 10 pages of lore that people may or may not want that can be found elsewhere.

Can’t they also find the mechanics elsewhere as well?

Two things on that:
1) Not everyone likes pure crunch. I find that boring AF. Seeing five pages of pure crunch without a break is daunting and dry. I need a reason to care. A mix of crunch interspersed with flavour satisfies both.
2) More crunch is not better. Most crunch in PF1 isn’t worth the space it takes up. If they need to fill a page, I’d rather they round out a column with a fun sidebar than a feat, as the feat will likely be terrible.

What they *should* do is make 50% as many feats and options as they need and cut the bad ones in layout. Set them aside for another development pass in a future book.

All good points, pure crunch is good for an SRD, not so much for an actual book, otherwise it can feel like reading stereo instructions.


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I actually like this sort of thing in books. Really fun way to flesh out the setting and general tone by having small quotes or conversations by various in universe folk. Shadowrun's done this fairly extensively with some splats even being written nearly entirely from an in character perspective (I believe one of the hacking books was written as a seminar from an advanced hacker to a bunch of newbies, aka the reader) and the Warhammer RPGs (fantasy and 40k) also make heavy use of in universe quotes, small stories, and descriptions from in universe.

Space isn't too huge an issue as long as you don't go too nuts with it and can be limited to a handful of header quotes or side barred content. Wonderful way to immerse people in the setting you're trying to push and the devs are pushing Golarion in general so might as well consider it.


Tarik Blackhands wrote:
I actually like this sort of thing in books. Really fun way to flesh out the setting and general tone by having small quotes or conversations by various in universe folk. Shadowrun's done this fairly extensively with some splats even being written nearly entirely from an in character perspective (I believe one of the hacking books was written as a seminar from an advanced hacker to a bunch of newbies, aka the reader) and the Warhammer RPGs (fantasy and 40k) also make heavy use of in universe quotes, small stories, and descriptions from in universe.

Planescape used it to good effect (even though the cant could get grating).


I am quite ok knowing of those fellows through AP backcovers or comics and the website. Ât most I could see them as an example given in the class section of the book. As a mechanical example.

However...Paizo plays (prints) a different pathfinder game than we play. I still do not understand how such terribly optimised iconics/nps often can be, creating a mismatch between what Pathfinder expects you to play and the options they give people that will get chosen (at least most gamers I've come across). So really, these iconics get lost in the "ok whatever" for us.

The depiction of cultural and individual opinions littering the book is decennt but as the resident murder-bag wrote, often cringe-worthy in execution.

Grand Lodge

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I don't want Golarion mentioned in Core. I think it should be in supplements, not rulebooks. In my experience Golarion is restrictive to roleplaying. Pathfinders have gotten so used to Golarion that even homebrews that I've been in on feel very much like Golarion. This is not a unique problem to Pathfinder, but I believe that Paizo could find a creative way to encourage flavor without involuntarily railroading most RPers to Golarion.

I don't want iconics in the CRB for many of the same reasons. Classes give players a framework to build characters off of, but iconics give them stereotypes and anchor expectations about characters. I don't believe this is healthy for roleplaying if it's so prevalent. I think it's in a good state in PF1 because it's mostly restricted to fringe content. I'd be happy if we kept it this way.

I like Paizo's idea that the rulebooks should have flavor; that they shouldn't just be a generic ruleset for any setting. The PF1 Core rules do a very good job of this already. I believe they can and should do more to encourage creativity, roleplaying, and flavor. I believe that despite the intention, iconics in the CRB would do the opposite.

[I'm one of these fringe people who don't even think the pictures near the classes should even likely resemble the classes. If you put a "wizardly" character near the bard section or the rogue section, or even the ranger section, I believe that would do more for encouraging creative roleplaying than putting them near the wizard section. "New players will be confused!!!" Really? So what if they play a rogue that likes to wave around wands? That's more interesting than what many experienced players choose to roleplay anyway.]


Hurká wrote:

I don't want Golarion mentioned in Core. I think it should be in supplements, not rulebooks. In my experience Golarion is restrictive to roleplaying. Pathfinders have gotten so used to Golarion that even homebrews that I've been in on feel very much like Golarion. This is not a unique problem to Pathfinder, but I believe that Paizo could find a creative way to encourage flavor without involuntarily railroading most RPers to Golarion.

I don't want iconics in the CRB for many of the same reasons. Classes give players a framework to build characters off of, but iconics give them stereotypes and anchor expectations about characters. I don't believe this is healthy for roleplaying if it's so prevalent. I think it's in a good state in PF1 because it's mostly restricted to fringe content. I'd be happy if we kept it this way.

I like Paizo's idea that the rulebooks should have flavor; that they shouldn't just be a generic ruleset for any setting. The PF1 Core rules do a very good job of this already. I believe they can and should do more to encourage creativity, roleplaying, and flavor. I believe that despite the intention, iconics in the CRB would do the opposite.

[I'm one of these fringe people who don't even think the pictures near the classes should even likely resemble the classes. If you put a "wizardly" character near the bard section or the rogue section, or even the ranger section, I believe that would do more for encouraging creative roleplaying than putting them near the wizard section. "New players will be confused!!!" Really? So what if they play a rogue that likes to wave around wands? That's more interesting than what many experienced players choose to roleplay anyway.]

I can see what you mean by this, I sometimes prefer the 5th Ed playtest packets or SRD to the PHB, I don't even need art, and when I do, B&W line drawings are fine (2nd Ed AD&D Al-Qadim was a perfect layout, art, and colouring for me). I would much prefer to read the SF rules in black & white, sans art, all those colours and images throw me off/distract me.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Hurká wrote:

This is not a unique problem to Pathfinder, but I believe that Paizo could find a creative way to encourage flavor without involuntarily railroading most RPers to Golarion.

Golarion is what makes Paizo earn its daily bread, as annual sales of APs and setting-related books outweigh the 2-3 setting-neutral books they put out by a large margin. It's only natural that they try to segway the customers into the product lines that keep them truckin'.


Hurká wrote:
I don't want Golarion mentioned in Core. I think it should be in supplements, not rulebooks. In my experience Golarion is restrictive to roleplaying. Pathfinders have gotten so used to Golarion that even homebrews that I've been in on feel very much like Golarion. This is not a unique problem to Pathfinder, but I believe that Paizo could find a creative way to encourage flavor without involuntarily railroading most RPers to Golarion.

I'd be very curious to hear more about this problem. Golarion is a kitchen sink setting where you can do pretty much anything and have it fit the lore, it has to be one of the least restrictive settings out there.


Arachnofiend wrote:
Hurká wrote:
I don't want Golarion mentioned in Core. I think it should be in supplements, not rulebooks. In my experience Golarion is restrictive to roleplaying. Pathfinders have gotten so used to Golarion that even homebrews that I've been in on feel very much like Golarion. This is not a unique problem to Pathfinder, but I believe that Paizo could find a creative way to encourage flavor without involuntarily railroading most RPers to Golarion.
I'd be very curious to hear more about this problem. Golarion is a kitchen sink setting where you can do pretty much anything and have it fit the lore, it has to be one of the least restrictive settings out there.

Yes, it's very like Forgotten Realms, lots of real world analogues, has room for pretty much anything.


I would be ok with two pages before each class, one for iconic's backstory, one for example dialogue/roleplaying moment or ruminations/ramblings from the character. And I don't care about Golarion and iconics at all, I just think that things like these are flavorful and fun, and help new players to get in-character.


The good thing about Golarion is its modular. You dont like Numeria or Alkenstar? Just remove them and the associated technologies. Noone will notice (unless youre running iron gods)
Think Galt is conceptually ridiculous? Just ignore it, thryre not affecting anyone else so its all good

Grand Lodge

Arachnofiend wrote:
Hurká wrote:
I don't want Golarion mentioned in Core. I think it should be in supplements, not rulebooks. In my experience Golarion is restrictive to roleplaying. Pathfinders have gotten so used to Golarion that even homebrews that I've been in on feel very much like Golarion. This is not a unique problem to Pathfinder, but I believe that Paizo could find a creative way to encourage flavor without involuntarily railroading most RPers to Golarion.
I'd be very curious to hear more about this problem. Golarion is a kitchen sink setting where you can do pretty much anything and have it fit the lore, it has to be one of the least restrictive settings out there.

This is part of the problem with Golarion.

Say someone wants to make a setting based loosely on Egyptian mythos, or Renaissance Venice, etc. Players less inclined to actually make my own setting because Golarion has it fleshed out to completely that even if it's only 80% like what you what it's too easy.

This leads Pathfinder to have one very well fleshed out world, Golarion. But not nearly the wealth of player generated content that breaks out of the familiar tropes.

I would much rather Paizo give people a few smaller ideas and a several books on worldmaking and roleplaying instead. There must be dozens of books on worldmaking and roleplaying locked up in the heads of the designers at Paizo. I would love to learn more about how they create a comprehensive in depth world and keep track of all the pieces, write flavor, made design decisions, etc.

Golarion has been hugely profitable for Paizo, and I get that. I want them to be profitable, which is why I think they should publish Golarion content (albeit separately from Core). But from a roleplaying perspective, I wish that the APs took place in stand-alone settings.


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I don't think it hurts to help people - newbs especially - bootstrap into game with a setting already somewhat at hand. And as much as Paizo doesn't want there to be, there will always be the kids who love role playing but can't afford $5,000 worth of books or subscribe to anything, and thus can only convince their parents to buy them ONE book. That book being the Core rulebook (maybe two if you're lucky, get a monster manual).

This gets them the rules, an overview of a generic & default-ish setting that most people are familiar with, and the rest of your school knowing you're a nerd. :-P

That being said, there was a set of books attributed to Gygax on world building, that included an "Extraordinary Book of Names" and a few others that have been out of print for DECADES. Having Paizo make a set of books like that would be FREAKING AWESOME and would definitely go on my wishlist and would eventually be bought.

Also, you can just ignore it if you don't want it. The fluff is there to make it more enjoyable overall. If you don't want fluff then they don't have to pay artists to draw all the characters & whatnot, and just have a wall of text!


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'd be interested in this too. Really like what I learned of the iconics in the audio dramas (less so in the comic, at least in the first series, Valeros is just a jerk)


Please no. As someone who does enjoy Golarion and uses that setting, I still don't want or need in-character random musings littered across the book taking up space.


The ionics are already in the Core Rulebook in the splash pages at the beginning of every chapter of the Core Rulebook? For example, pages 6 and 7 at the beginning of Chapter 1 show Merisiel, Seoni, Kyra, and Valeros fighting a white dragon in snowy ruins.

Core Rulebook, page 7 wrote:

The dragon roared in triumph as Valeros collapsed into the snow, blood spurting from the terrible wound in his belly. Kyra rushed to his side, praying that she wasn't too late to save his life.

"I'll hold the beast off!" Seoni cried as she stepped up to the dragon, ...

We also have standing poses of the iconics to illustrate each class, and the spell pages are dotted with images of iconic characters casting, or being victimized, by a spell.

What further goal would character sidebars serve that justifies spending more page space on them? Would their story help the players learn the game? Is the rulebook so boring that little stories would encourage players to read more?

The Core Rulebook is a reference book rather than an introduction to the game. I think the PF2 rulebook ought to introduce the mechanics better with examples. And just as the iconics illustrate their classes, they could also illustrate the mechanics.

Alas, examples of roleplaying, such as, "Mike wants Valeros to make a Power Attack. This is a double action, so Mike uses Valeros' first action to move, ..." would drain reality away from the story of the iconic. Likewise, a story directly about Valeros making a Power Attack would mix in-game story and game mechanics into a clumsy dance, "Valeros had three actions on his turn. On the first, he moved adjacent to the bandit to flanking position with Merisiel. Then he performed the Power Attack. The impressive blow took two actions. He nailed it smoothly (attack roll 17 plus his +5 attack bonus with his longsword),..."

Besides, examples of playing out the rules are generic, so they would not show much of the personality of the iconics.

Maybe I can write an illustration of the mechanics that reveals more about the characters.

Potential Illustrative Sidebar wrote:

Valeros winced as Merisiel missed her knife stab at the bandit leader. Their deadly elvish rogue's love of sharp knives had lured her into a weak attack. Yet Valeros had seen her make a solid thrust, so the leader must be much more nimble than his minions. Only teamwork would take him down. Valeros raced over to engage the leader, yelling a battle cry to distract his attention away from Merisiel. The leader hastily splitting his defense in two directions gave Valeros a good opening. To make the most of the opportunity Valeros put his weight into a powerful strike rather than a quick attack, and was rewarded with his sword cutting deep through the bandit's leather armor.

Mechanically, Merisiel rolled a 11 on her attack die, for a total of 15 on attack. A miss meant that the bandit leader's AC was 16 or more. Valeros needed to move to adjacent to the leader, which would use the first of his three actions. Afterwards he could make two attacks at two separate actions, one at +5 and the second at +0. Against AC 16 or more, the second would not be likely to hit. Instead, his first action was a move into flanking position, for a -2 penalty to the leader's AC, followed by a Power Attack double action, so he had only a single attack roll at +5. Rolling 12 on the d20 gave him +17 to hit. It hit, because the leader's penalized AC was 17 or less, and Valeros rolled 2d8+4 slashing damage.


Mathmuse wrote:
The ionics are already in the Core Rulebook in the splash pages at the beginning of every chapter of the Core Rulebook

Yeah, this is what I was going to say. They already are there, maybe it's not the most noticeable thing, but it's also the lest obtrusive way.

Other than that, I agree with Mathmuse's entire post and particularly the thing about using them for examples of roleplaying or mechanics, it just doesn't mean anything whether they're the iconics or "Jimmy the stable boy who became a rogue" in these cases.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Mathmuse wrote:

T

Alas, examples of roleplaying, such as, "Mike wants Valeros to make a Power Attack. This is a double action, so Mike uses Valeros' first action to move, ..." would drain reality away from the story of the iconic. Likewise, a story directly about Valeros making a Power Attack would mix in-game story and game mechanics into a clumsy dance, "Valeros had three actions on his turn. On the first, he moved adjacent to the bandit to flanking position with Merisiel. Then he performed the Power Attack. The impressive blow took two actions. He nailed it smoothly (attack roll 17 plus his +5 attack bonus with his longsword),..."

When I was young there was something in the back of Mage (2nd edition I think) that brought everything together for me. It was a four page comic, basically showing a typical scene you'd expect in the game. After that was the same 4 page comic, with an explanation of the rules that would be used to resolve those situations. Obviously couldn't be done through out the book, but a one off to help illustrate core concepts to people new to the hobby would be pretty great. Perhaps showing a typical first level encounter.


Malk_Content wrote:
When I was young there was something in the back of Mage (2nd edition I think) that brought everything together for me. It was a four page comic, basically showing a typical scene you'd expect in the game. After that was the same 4 page comic, with an explanation of the rules that would be used to resolve those situations. Obviously couldn't be done through out the book, but a one off to help illustrate core concepts to people new to the hobby would be pretty great. Perhaps showing a typical first level encounter.

This sounds really cool!! I like this idea.


Yeah no. For my personal taste this would be awful awful thing.

1) I hate golarion. Some may like it but to me it doesn't even have any redeeming qualities much less something I enjoy.
2) Iconics suck, their art is tolerable even in the best cases of them. Their back stories are boring, their personalities aren't interesting and their builds are garbage. In short nothing I would subject a newbie to apart from a warning example.
3) I hate it when rules text is interrupted with something totally irrelevant. It might make it easier to muscle through for some people the first time they read it. How ever when you use it later to look it up those just get in the way.

Now only #3 has any real bearing outside of opinion.

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