Is now a good time for Agents of Edgewatch? Is ever?


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Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I’ll admit, I was excited for Agents of Edgewatch, but given recent events, and the long history that fuels them, is there ever a good time for an Adventure Path with player characters as Cops, especially in a game that doesn’t really handle non-violent solutions and de-escalation well?

Paizo recently released a statement, in support of the protests and their message. I know by now books are either printed or on their way to be printed and it would be a scramble or even impossible to cover that hole in the schedule.

I don’t have answers here, but I think it’s important that these concerns get brought up somewhere the company can see them and address them.


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I voiced my concerns in the comments section on Twitter, and I stand by them: Pathfinder is largely a game about heroes who deal out lethal violence, and we're about to see six months of content where you play as cops who will be doing exactly that, framed the exact same way. Not a good look at the best of times, but certainly not now.

Surprised someone else beat me to making the thread, honestly. Glad to see it.

Shadow Lodge

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No, but that bridge was crossed long ago. Curse of the Crimson Throne frames beating in the heads of rioters with legitimate grievances as a good thing too, and it's so popular they've released it twice. And that's to say nothing about Serpent's Skull (which is nowhere near as popular).


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Erik Mona says a separate statement on the AP is coming.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Is now a good time for it? No. Is it ever a good time? I would say yes, in a vacuum there is a time and place where this is acceptable. Should they delay this, in light of recent events? Hard to say. Presumably a lot of work went into this and with Covid-19 I assume it is an incredibly tough pill to swallow to cancel half a year's worth of Adventure Paths.

The thing is, if I were to ever run this, I would encourage (or enforce) nonlethal force, and avoiding combat (outside like demons invading the city or something). My roommate pointed out to me when I told him all of this is that in a fantasy world we are creating in our game, we have the magic wand of GM fiat to magically make all city watchmen/cops be perfectly reasonable, sane, noncorrupt people.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

From another thread

Erik Mona wrote:

We will be addressing Agents of Edgewatch directly in an upcoming blog. There are many sensitivities related to it that we want to do what we can to address. This statement wasn't the appropriate place to go into further detail, but further detail will be forthcoming.


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I am wondering, what is it about the game (as opposed to the players, or the legacy games that came before) that prevents nonviolent solutions from being viable? Also, what's to say that the Toolbox section of the AP won't have tools to improve them?


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Roleplaying is a storytelling device.

What you do with it is up to you.

There is an opportunity here for respectful expression on a topic that negatively effects or reflects on all of us.

I wouldn't want to see that wasted.

More than ever though we need to be mindful of how this topic might effect our players. I'd encourage anyone thinking of running this AP to have a conversation as a group about what everyone is comfortable with. Or if they are comfortable playing it at all.

As someone who was already planning on running this AP, current events inspire me more to tell good story on this topic. Hopefully my players will feel the same way.


CyberMephit wrote:
I am wondering, what is it about the game (as opposed to the players, or the legacy games that came before) that prevents nonviolent solutions from being viable? Also, what's to say that the Toolbox section of the AP won't have tools to improve them?

Plenty has been written elsewhere about what D&D and games that have directly branched from it have to say about violence, and especially how uncomfortably that violence intersects with issues of race. Throwing "you're cops!" on top of that is worse, but it really just draws the eye to issues that are already firmly entrenched there.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
CyberMephit wrote:
I am wondering, what is it about the game (as opposed to the players, or the legacy games that came before) that prevents nonviolent solutions from being viable? Also, what's to say that the Toolbox section of the AP won't have tools to improve them?

The vast majority of the rules deal with combat, and your characters all are primarily focused on increasing their combat effectiveness. You are rewarded with experience points for killing using the base rules as written.

If you’re playing by the rules if you don’t kill monsters and take their stuff your character will not be strong enough to even take on skill challenges as the story continues because you won’t have the high skills, spells and abilities the game expects at higher levels.


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If D&D did it badly in 1970 it does not mean PF2 does it badly in 2020. I have specifically asked to exclude the games before PF2 from the argument and evaluate this game on its own merits, which you have ignored. Agents of Edgewatch is not a D&D or PF1 product.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
CyberMephit wrote:
I am wondering, what is it about the game (as opposed to the players, or the legacy games that came before) that prevents nonviolent solutions from being viable? Also, what's to say that the Toolbox section of the AP won't have tools to improve them?

The vast majority of the rules deal with combat, and your characters all are primarily focused on increasing their combat effectiveness. You are rewarded with experience points for killing using the base rules as written.

If you’re playing by the rules if you don’t kill monsters and take their stuff your character will not be strong enough to even take on skill challenges as the story continues because you won’t have the high skills, spells and abilities the game expects at higher levels.

I don't get this mindset that you have to kill for XP. I hand out XP for nonlethally dealing with encounters. You get XP for various story achievements outside of killing. So many times in an AP I have seen some variation on the phrase "if you dealt with the encounter nonlethally award xp as if you had defeated them."


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CyberMephit wrote:
If D&D did it badly in 1970 it does not mean PF2 does it badly in 2020. I have specifically asked to exclude the games before PF2 from the argument and evaluate this game on its own merits, which you have ignored. Agents of Edgewatch is not a D&D or PF1 product.

Cool. Take a look at how many PF2 class features are about combat.


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
CyberMephit wrote:
I am wondering, what is it about the game (as opposed to the players, or the legacy games that came before) that prevents nonviolent solutions from being viable? Also, what's to say that the Toolbox section of the AP won't have tools to improve them?

The vast majority of the rules deal with combat, and your characters all are primarily focused on increasing their combat effectiveness. You are rewarded with experience points for killing using the base rules as written.

If you’re playing by the rules if you don’t kill monsters and take their stuff your character will not be strong enough to even take on skill challenges as the story continues because you won’t have the high skills, spells and abilities the game expects at higher levels.

Most of your statements are too vague for me to agree with.

I don't think that the combat rules in PF2 is the "vast" majority.
RAW you are rewarded for "defeating", not killing. The game says defeated opponents are unconscious. And the rules always say that bypassing the encounter by social skills or subterfuge counts as defeating.
I believe the crux of the issue is in using the word "monsters" in your post. The actual game calls them "creatures". But in the context of Agents of Edgewatch, most of the enemies will of course be "people".
And the problematic element is that in the game world, there are people and religions tagged as "Evil", destroying which is a "Good" act under almost any circumstances. This clearly does not work the same as in the real world.


Quote:


Cool. Take a look at how many PF2 class features are about combat

That depends on the class. Most of the general and skill feats are not about combat, and they define at least 30% of each character (more for rogues and the upcoming investigator). For clases other than fighter/champion/barbarian, another 30% in terms of class paths and spells can also be built not for combat damage.


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CyberMephit wrote:
Quote:


Cool. Take a look at how many PF2 class features are about combat
That depends on the class. Most of the general and skill feats are not about combat, and they define at least 30% of each character (more for rogues and the upcoming investigator). For clases other than fighter/champion/barbarian, another 30% in terms of class paths and spells can also be built not for combat damage.

So by your own math, we have at least three classes that are over 70% about fighting, and the rest of the bunch are at least almost half.

Kinda proving my point here. Pathfinder - like the D&D it inherits from - is game where things are divided into "combat" and "not combat," which is not a framework I want to see policing mixed in with.

Liberty's Edge

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When we see something unjust and terrible in society, I feel that one of the healthier responses in fiction is to look at that problem and try and improve things within that fictional universe. To have your characters do better and be better than what we see many real police doing right now. Not to ignore the problem, but to have the heroes confront and fight it.

I mean, most versions of society are gonna have police of some sort, and if there are no positive portrayals of police in media, you're only gonna get people with less than positive attitudes becoming police. If all we ever see in media regarding police is hateful oppressors, only people who want to be that will become police, and that's really bad in the long term. RPGs aren't the most influential form of media, but the principle nonetheless applies.

Whether this will apply to Agents of Edgewatch remains to be seen, but I don't feel that all police related media is inherently bad due to current events.

zimmerwald1915 wrote:
No, but that bridge was crossed long ago. Curse of the Crimson Throne frames beating in the heads of rioters with legitimate grievances as a good thing too, and it's so popular they've released it twice. And that's to say nothing about Serpent's Skull (which is nowhere near as popular).

I don't think that's really a fair criticism of CotCT. In the only encounters with rioters I've found the PCs are strongly encouraged to handle with Diplomacy rather than violence, and part of the whole point of CotCT's plot is the dangers of authoritarianism and even any PCs who start out loyal to the Queen realizing she's a horrible monster and then stopping her. There are certainly complaints to be had about CotCT's plot and even messaging, but this one seems pretty unfair. The only people portrayed as 'breaking heads' in terms of rioters are LE, and their actions towards those rioters are referred to as a 'massacre'.

The Serpent's Skull situation is much more of an issue for a variety of reasons.


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I mean, "Cops can be good" isn't that much more of a stretch than "dragons and magic exist".

It's why cop shows with aliens or zombies or magic in them always read better to me than just plain old copaganda shows. Fiction is that place where we can explore those things which are not, and indeed perhaps could not, be the case.

All that being said, I'd rather play an AP about almost literally anything else instead.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I am really looking forward to this AP and hope to get to be a player in it, exactly because I would relish the opportunity to redefine what it can mean to be entrusted to be a bringer of justice in a fantasy setting. I fully intend to play a character focused on diplomacy (i'd love to play a scoundrel rogue) and to go to extreme lengths to avoid violence at all, especially lethal violence, and I trust the writers of Paizo to have anticipated that a players would want to be able to play an urban AP in that manner.

I mean Golarion is a world where people can literally just choose not to use lethal violence and never "accidentally" kill someone, because there is actually no such thing as "nonlethal damage " in the real world.

I do see where people would be concerned, and I am sure that the writers would love for people to point out anywhere where the story falls flat or into problematic stereotypes of policing as "keeping social order" instead of earnestly seeking out justice for those whom might not be capable of seeking it for themselves. But it seems harsh to suggest that it is wrong for fantasy writers/RPGs to attempt to explore what better representations of justice seekers can be like.


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I wonder how well this AP works with groups that are kind of "fighting against it"- like how is a party of CG civil libertarians going to work in AoE?

There is the occasional AP that can spin wildly out of control (Hell's Vengeance springs to mind) if the players are sort of swimming upstream against the premise.

Dark Archive

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If for nothing else, its finally opportunity for game with history of focusing on lethal violence and escalation to have story told focusing on non lethal capture and de-escalation.

Like I was already wanting to play this campaign as proper "take them alive" way, but I think the current climate just tells importance of how it is good to emphasize that police brutality shouldn't be glorified :/

Liberty's Edge

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I wonder how well this AP works with groups that are kind of "fighting against it"- like how is a party of CG civil libertarians going to work in AoE?

There is the occasional AP that can spin wildly out of control (Hell's Vengeance springs to mind) if the players are sort of swimming upstream against the premise.

Just by the description alone, AoE includes protecting a guilty prisoner from people who want to kill them, as well as an actual prison break to free someone wrongfully imprisoned, all as part of culminating in rooting out political corruption, so I think this probably works fine or maybe with minimal differences, though we'll have to wait and see how the details shake out.

The mere fact that you have a guilty prisoner at all at least implies that capturing prisoners is assumed as a default state, which I think is a hopeful sign.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yes, there was never a better time for a story about heroic, passionate, compassionate, level-headed law enforcement who protect the weak against the strong.

Hopefully, ones that confront racist, violent punks with badges and expose the fact that those join the force to take out their power fantasies and revanchist desires instead of joining to help the community.


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keftiu wrote:
Kinda proving my point here. Pathfinder - like the D&D it inherits from - is game where things are divided into "combat" and "not combat," which is not a framework I want to see policing mixed in with.

Except not really? Pathfinder certainly has a lot of combat-focused options, likely more than half, but it does not prove at all that it handles non-combat encounters badly. It is not even a quantitative argument; as long as there is more than one way to nonlethally resolve an encounter it is enough, and I can count much more than that off the top of my head - 3 social skills, Athletics to disarm/restrain, and spells with emotion or incapacitate traits all come to mind. Plus there are items which could be used to help with that.

All that remains is for adventure designers to set up the situations where the use of non-violent methods is narratively rewarded and the use of violent methods is narratively discouraged. The CRB provides plenty of tools for them to do it and APG will give even more, not to mention the AP-specific toolboxes (which in 2nd edition have become impressively significant).


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Do we really think that the folks at Paizo are going to present "Agents of Edgewatch" as a bad-cop power fantasy? Really? I trust that it will be very much the opposite.

And say they were to chuck the whole thing in the bin, or postpone. Would they have anything else in line to take its place to sell in what is I think already a precarious business climate? Or just eat the loss of money and time?

I'm very interested to see what they are going to do with this adventure path.

Radiant Oath

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Just because a significant portion of American police are trained to murder innocent civilians doesn't automatically mean that anything with police in it is negative. A lot of police forces around the world have the support and respect of their communities.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

There's been talk of this already in this thread, but I'd like to point to this great Twitter thread on the matter that someone else pointed out elsewhere in these forums. Couldn't have said it better myself.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

If you specifically state and demonstrate that an example police force is based on something akin to the Peelian principles of policing by consent, rather than some sort of quasi-military repression arm I think you are making enough of a distinction to be separate and distinct from American policing methods.


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Games like Pathfinder are about living out my social justice fantasies already. The opportunity to play the good cops instead of rooting out a cult of evil bad guys in the guard, or fighting against the evil king's guard, or whatever-- with the single token Good Guy cop (like Cressida Kroft) to be party to the PCs-- is actually thrilling.

I know that Paizo is gonna give me an AP that is about being a hero and is written to make my players feel heroic. Maybe the text will need a sensitivity tweak, but honestly I don't want to see these books delayed or cancelled.

Scarab Sages

As a GM, and a player group, you have the luxury of sitting back, looking over the AP as written, and doing your best to handle things differently than indiscriminately killing, beating, or otherwise being corrupt. Without seeing how its written, or what the encounters entail, we don't know what the AP assumes should be the solution. So I don't know how much extra work the GM would have to do to modify it accordingly.

But, as people, we CAN make those choices.

That being said, the AP dealing with cops coming out right now will appear to be tone deaf, for sure.

Shadow Lodge

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VestOfHolding wrote:
There's been talk of this already in this thread, but I'd like to point to this great Twitter thread on the matter that someone else pointed out elsewhere in these forums. Couldn't have said it better myself.

Thread misses out on the structural critique of policing when it says cops can be a check on unjust power structures out to exploit people. Police forces everywhere, without exception, exist to protect exploiting power structures. Today police are universally, without exception, the armed thugs of capital which is everywhere without exception dependent upon exploitation. The only way Agents of Edgewatch ends well is worth the PCs quitting in protest.


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I mean, they did basically come out and say that Extinction Curse has a chaotic bent since Agents of Edgewatch is so lawful.

So it's unlikely you're going to do much challenging or dismantling of existing hierarchies.


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zimmerwald1915 wrote:
VestOfHolding wrote:
There's been talk of this already in this thread, but I'd like to point to this great Twitter thread on the matter that someone else pointed out elsewhere in these forums. Couldn't have said it better myself.
Thread misses out on the structural critique of policing when it says cops can be a check on unjust power structures out to exploit people. Police forces everywhere, without exception, exist to protect exploiting power structures. Today police are universally, without exception, the armed thugs of capital which is everywhere without exception dependent upon exploitation. The only way Agents of Edgewatch ends well is worth the PCs quitting in protest.

If it helps, based on the summaries they've put out for the volumes,

Agents of Edgewatch spoilers:
The party ends up getting targeted and betrayed by the police force in book 5 or so.

So I guess... The issue gets forced, I suppose?

I've still lost *my* appetite for running AoE, though.


I wonder if we can recontextualize this by having the party members not be officers of the law, but independent contractors working to solve crimes. You know, like in all those cop shows where the person doing the solving isn't a cop but is like the medical examiner, or ex-chief's kid, or "Sherlock Holmes".

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

That's sort of the idea behind a lot of adventures already though, with the PCs being given some level of legal freedom from whatever the local authority is.

I think being part of the watch itself was part of the intent of the AP (at least based on how they were pitching it).

This conversation has raised certain questions in be about what tools a civil authority would want/need when the problems they could encounter include spiders the size of small cars coming out of the sewer or some sort of tentacled monstrosity escaping from the wizard academy.

Dark Archive

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I wonder if we can recontextualize this by having the party members not be officers of the law, but independent contractors working to solve crimes. You know, like in all those cop shows where the person doing the solving isn't a cop but is like the medical examiner, or ex-chief's kid, or "Sherlock Holmes".

I was really looking forward to the city guard/lawful ap though :(


I also wonder if this is compatible with some sort of "abolition of policing" model, wherein instead of your "one stop shop" for all complaints made to the authorities going to individuals with far more training in "how to kill" than "how to mediate", complaints are instead disseminated to specialists most of whom are not inclined towards aggression or violence.

Like if the Blacksmith and her husband are having the sort of fight that concerns the neighbors, there's no need to show up to that sort of thing with a polearm, and the tentacled thing from the sewer is probably an Otyugh which is a fundamentally reasonable kind of creature.


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CorvusMask wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I wonder if we can recontextualize this by having the party members not be officers of the law, but independent contractors working to solve crimes. You know, like in all those cop shows where the person doing the solving isn't a cop but is like the medical examiner, or ex-chief's kid, or "Sherlock Holmes".
I was really looking forward to the city guard/lawful ap though :(

Me too. After Extinction Curse fell a little flat for me, I was really banking on this one to keep me excited for running a PF2 game.

Liberty's Edge

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zimmerwald1915 wrote:
VestOfHolding wrote:
There's been talk of this already in this thread, but I'd like to point to this great Twitter thread on the matter that someone else pointed out elsewhere in these forums. Couldn't have said it better myself.
Thread misses out on the structural critique of policing when it says cops can be a check on unjust power structures out to exploit people. Police forces everywhere, without exception, exist to protect exploiting power structures. Today police are universally, without exception, the armed thugs of capital which is everywhere without exception dependent upon exploitation. The only way Agents of Edgewatch ends well is worth the PCs quitting in protest.

This is an extreme and specific view point not everyone agrees with and I don't think it's a valid complaint from the perspective of most people here. It's certainly not from my perspective.

There are large numbers of issues with many police today, particularly in the US, but I find nothing objectionable in the very concept of police, and don't think most other people do or should either. There are certainly structural critiques to be made about the current state of policing and the way it functions today, but I don't think 'all police are, without exception, armed thugs' is a good or productive view point that Paizo should be basing story or business decisions around.


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There's something disingenuous about criticising an AP purely because you play as cops. There have been previous AP's that include elements such as fighting against a specific race (see Drow in Second Darkness), AP's where you literally are expected to commit acts of piracy (Skull and Shackles), tomb raiders (Mummy's Mask) and even one where you fight against good-aligned people seeking to stop a slavery-built empire (Hell's Vengeance).

But law enforcement is where we draw the line?

Bad timing I'll admit but it's weird to criticise it for being topical. There are more slaves now than at any other point in history, so why is the existence of Cheliax not "topical"? If Paizo avoided everything that could be controversial the only AP's you'd ever see are "Adventure's in Happy land where nothing bad ever happens, ever. Not even an argument".


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Nero24200 wrote:

There's something disingenuous about criticising an AP purely because you play as cops. There have been previous AP's that include elements such as fighting against a specific race (see Drow in Second Darkness), AP's where you literally are expected to commit acts of piracy (Skull and Shackles), tomb raiders (Mummy's Mask) and even one where you fight against good-aligned people seeking to stop a slavery-built empire (Hell's Vengeance).

But law enforcement is where we draw the line?

Bad timing I'll admit but it's weird to criticise it for being topical. There are more slaves now than at any other point in history, so why is the existence of Cheliax not "topical"? If Paizo avoided everything that could be controversial the only AP's you'd ever see are "Adventure's in Happy land where nothing bad ever happens, ever. Not even an argument".

Yes, I also think APs about racial violence (including how Pathfinder still can’t seem to shake the notion of evil races - see the recent serpentfolk talk) or colonialist looting are bad. I wasn’t in this community when they came out.

“Nothing bad happens ever” is a bad-faith argument here. I’m not saying reprehensible people shouldn’t exist, I’m saying we shouldn’t throw our hands up and accept them being glorified as our player characters because of the momentum of the hobby and genre.

Dark Archive

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keftiu wrote:

I’m saying we shouldn’t throw our hands up and accept them being glorified as our player characters because of the momentum of the hobby and genre.

That only happens if you play them as such.

Liberty's Edge

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keftiu wrote:
(including how Pathfinder still can’t seem to shake the notion of evil races - see the recent serpentfolk talk)

Side note, but particularly by the end of that conversation, I think James Jacobs made clear that this was not what was being said. He was saying they have plans for serpentfolk as villains that do not include them as a PC option, not that they were somehow all completely Evil in-universe.

Shadow Lodge

Kevin Mack wrote:
keftiu wrote:

I’m saying we shouldn’t throw our hands up and accept them being glorified as our player characters because of the momentum of the hobby and genre.

That only happens if you play them as such.

Player freedom is something of a myth in highly-themed adventures. One does not simply play a paladin in Skull and Shackles or Hell's Vengeance, for instance.

Shadow Lodge

keftiu wrote:
Yes, I also think APs about racial violence (including how Pathfinder still can’t seem to shake the notion of evil races - see the recent serpentfolk talk) or colonialist looting are bad. I wasn’t in this community when they came out.

Be fair, playing old-school Lantern Bearers or Order of the Coil contras - or playing Kingmaker or Ruins of Azlant as written - makes for a decent Evil campaign. It just needs to be written and pitched as such and not as a standard heroic campaign.

Silver Crusade

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zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Kevin Mack wrote:
keftiu wrote:

I’m saying we shouldn’t throw our hands up and accept them being glorified as our player characters because of the momentum of the hobby and genre.

That only happens if you play them as such.
Player freedom is something of a myth in highly-themed adventures. One does not simply play a paladin in Skull and Shackles or Hell's Vengeance, for instance.

A single option being bad/stupid in one or two APs does not mean that players have little to no freedom.

Dark Archive

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Also to put it bluntly I would be very very suprised that this would be an Ap that would glorify the things some people here somehow think it will Glorify.

At the same time I can understand why there are people that are going to be uncomfortable with it and if they feel they cant support this Ap then fair enough.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

First of all, it is perfectly fine to decide an AP is not for you, or its themes are uninteresting or make you feel uncomfortable, and it is even fine to be critical of the way specific APs handle specific topics or portrayals of whole groups of people. However before it is released, it is hard to do more than just make sure that Paizo knows what issues we think it is important to make sure are being carefully considered.

But I think it might be a mistake to write off this specific AP as being "pro-police" just because it begins with you being a member of a city watch group. One of the biggest reasons why player characters often end up with reputations for being murderers and not caring at all about the setting they are adventuring in, is because so many adventures move from location to location so fast, that players lose interest in forming lasting relationships with NPCs, or only forming relationships with NPCs in regards to how they can benefit the character in a direct and mechanical way.

An AP that is up front about how the players are going to be forging lasting relationships with the community around them and encourages players away from playing as loot-acquiring experience point junkies is enticing to me, exactly because it encourages a more serious and deeper dive into the role-playing side of the of the game. That is will begin with my character likely embroiled in an organization that (hopefully) is not above reproach and has a lot of serious problems to solve doesn't make it tone deaf or inappropriate. In the end, the whole AP could be both of those things, but it has the potential to be a lot more, and a campaign that highlights a lot of aspects of RPGs that often get underplayed in campaigns that turn into monster smasher Xtreme. Which again, isn't necessarily bad-wrong fun either, but shying away from challenging, morally difficult material is not necessarily pushing the industry in a better direction than taking a stab at letting players dig deeper into the political situations that give rise both to police forces, and their abuses of authority, and how difficult it can be correct institutional failures and problems.

This AP will probably not be the "right" AP for many tables, but between Extinction Curse, and the ones post Agents of Edgewatch, Paizo is making a lot of lighter content and I appreciate having one that will be capable of being played in a much more serious tone, dealing with difficult issues where there might not be right answers.

Liberty's Edge

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First, it is hard for me to understand that people are bashing Paizo because real cops do awful things and because there is systemic racism in the police forces (and not only in the US though I think it is really worse there). Especially because these criticisms come as reactions to the blog post that shows how much Black Lives Matter means to Paizo.

Second, if Paizo has to wait for a time when there is no cops violence to release this AP, it will never come out.


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Unicore wrote:

First of all, it is perfectly fine to decide an AP is not for you, or its themes are uninteresting or make you feel uncomfortable, and it is even fine to be critical of the way specific APs handle specific topics or portrayals of whole groups of people. However before it is released, it is hard to do more than just make sure that Paizo knows what issues we think it is important to make sure are being carefully considered.

But I think it might be a mistake to write off this specific AP as being "pro-police" just because it begins with you being a member of a city watch group. One of the biggest reasons why player characters often end up with reputations for being murderers and not caring at all about the setting they are adventuring in, is because so many adventures move from location to location so fast, that players lose interest in forming lasting relationships with NPCs, or only forming relationships with NPCs in regards to how they can benefit the character in a direct and mechanical way.

An AP that is up front about how the players are going to be forging lasting relationships with the community around them and encourages players away from playing as loot-acquiring experience point junkies is enticing to me, exactly because it encourages a more serious and deeper dive into the role-playing side of the of the game. That is will begin with my character likely embroiled in an organization that (hopefully) is not above reproach and has a lot of serious problems to solve doesn't make it tone deaf or inappropriate. In the end, the whole AP could be both of those things, but it has the potential to be a lot more, and a campaign that highlights a lot of aspects of RPGs that often get underplayed in campaigns that turn into monster smasher Xtreme. Which again, isn't necessarily bad-wrong fun either, but shying away from challenging, morally difficult material is not necessarily pushing the industry in a better direction than taking a stab at letting players dig deeper into the political situations that give...

There is something in this - notably the staying in one place part

There is an entire thread in the Hells Rebels board about the “morality of killing” in that AP. And the idea that early on you are fighting human guards

That AP has a clunky notoriety system that causes you problems in the community if you kill too many people. And that is when you are independent of the system of order. I would expect Edgewatch to have something similar.

It also disincentivizes PCs from random killing by having the authorities badge their acts as acts of “cultists of rovagug”. That certainly gave my players pause when they uncovered that rumour and eventually worked out that there weren’t any cultists - it was them.

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