Thoughts From a Retired Cop


Agents of Edgewatch


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Hey Pathfinder community!

So from the get go I'm disclosing that I was in Law Enforcement for quite a while. I've been lurking on these message boards for years without posting anything of substance. Disclaimer: Writing from my broken phone. Sorry.

Naturally, like some of you I've been following the small controversy that surrounds this AP. I'll start by saying I understand and am sympathetic to those who are uncomfortable with depicting any analogue to real world law enforcement.

That being said, I think the higher ups at Paizo have done everything they reasonably can to make this work. Looking at it innocently, they are tackling a popular element of genre fiction. We've all watched cop shows, whether they be heavy, comedic, action, etc.

Pathfinder is known as a "kitchen sink" setting, and it's only natural this would come up. It's my opinion that they've handled it responsibly and with class.

My point is, I pray the community gives them a break. It's fiction. They're story tellers. We have to understand this subject is not off limits in storytelling. I don't want the creatives on Pathfinder to be afraid to tread uncertain waters. Who knows what that could deprive us in the future?

Once again, I am coming from this as a former cop. If anyone would like to ask me anything or engage in conversation, I'm all ears.

Thanks to any and all who read this wall of text.


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Thanks for the input row66. I'm planning on running this AP on a regular schedule for my group and we all have the same feelings that you do on the subject of this being Paizo's take on a fantasy guard type of setting. I can understand all of the real world implications others have been talking about but, quite honestly, my group and I play Pathfinder to get away from that and to have fun. Many situations can become weird or even goofy with my group at the wheel and I expect this AP to be no different. My main hope is that they learn how to better handle situations in the others games I run for them based on what they pick up from this AP.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As someone who was lucky enough to get this AP early, I will say that, at first glance at least, the AP seems to have been done in a pretty sensitive way. (It's much better than I feared it might be.)

There's an emphasis on de-escalation, with the option of non-violent resolutions (often given an appropriate charisma-based skill check) to many of the encounters.

The toolbox kit at the back suggests, as a possible optional rule, allowing PCs to do non-lethal damage with any weapon with no penalty. (I know this is superseded by the rules given in the Player's Guide, but this suggestion was built into the AP from the start, long before the recent protests.)

There's also new equipment (for those not using the above optional rule) for allowing PCs to subdue opponents, with the introduction of a couple new non-lethal weapons, ways of restraining opponents, and a new Pacifying rune that can be added to weapons to make them non-lethal.

(That said, I understand that some features of the AP might make some players uncomfortable given the current climate -- e.g., the introduction of Blindpepper Tube and Blindpepper Bomb alchemical items, and the Nightstick weapon -- might evoke images for that make some players uncomfortable. So it's best to get a good feel for your group's comfort level before running this.)


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Porridge wrote:

As someone who was lucky enough to get this AP early, I will say that, at first glance at least, the AP seems to have been done in a pretty sensitive way. (It's much better than I feared it might be.)

There's an emphasis on de-escalation, with the option of non-violent resolutions (often given an appropriate charisma-based skill check) to many of the encounters.

The toolbox kit at the back suggests, as a possible optional rule, allowing PCs to do non-lethal damage with any weapon with no penalty. (I know this is superseded by the rules given in the Player's Guide, but this suggestion was built into the AP from the start, long before the recent protests.)

There's also new equipment (for those not using the above optional rule) for allowing PCs to subdue opponents, with the introduction of a couple new non-lethal weapons, ways of restraining opponents, and a new Pacifying rune that can be added to weapons to make them non-lethal.

(That said, I understand that some features of the AP might make some players uncomfortable given the current climate -- e.g., the introduction of Blindpepper Tube and Blindpepper Bomb alchemical items, and the Nightstick weapon -- might evoke images for that make some players uncomfortable. So it's best to get a good feel for your group's comfort level before running this.)

That kind of thing is what I was wondering about and I think I might prefer it to the blanket rule in the PG - more options and more effective ways to be non-lethal or to de-escalate/restrain. Let the PCs do so without being too strongly hampered, but still leave it up to players build and action choices.

Grand Lodge

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Thank you for your post and for your service row66. Everyone is entitled to their opinion so ignore those who would suggest your comments are unwelcome.


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thejeff wrote:
more options and more effective ways to be non-lethal

I would prefer to see more options and more effective ways to be non-violent, not non-lethal.

There's a big difference between those actions, and encouraging violence that simply stops short of your opponents dying is not a way to move away from violence as a social control tool.


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CrystalSeas wrote:
thejeff wrote:
more options and more effective ways to be non-lethal

I would prefer to see more options and more effective ways to be non-violent, not non-lethal.

There's a big difference between those actions, and encouraging violence that simply stops short of your opponents dying is not a way to move away from violence as a social control tool.

Better said.

Though I accept there are cases where violence will be necessary and would still like ways for that to be as minimally lethal and damaging as possible.

Liberty's Edge

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I feel this was not a small controversy at all. It seems to be extremely important to some people and should not be casually handwaved IMO.

AFAIK, no other AP ever caused such intense debates.

I hope we can all now just go on playing the game as we feel best.

Grand Lodge

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It does if you want to distance yourself from the tone or direction of the existing threads. If you don’t like a thread, don’t follow a thread. People are regularly told if they want to deviate from the specifics of a particular thread, to start their own. Maybe the OP has/had a line of thinking they intended to follow but were discouraged after the initial responses. Who are you/we to decide the value of an individual’s contribution. Where or not a thread is appropriate is the exclusive role of the moderators. If you don’t like one, flag it and move on.


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The Raven Black wrote:

I feel this was not a small controversy at all. It seems to be extremely important to some people and should not be casually handwaved IMO.

AFAIK, no other AP ever caused such intense debates.

Many people were Really Mad about Hell's Vengeance.


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Xenocrat wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

AFAIK, no other AP ever caused such intense debates.

Many people were Really Mad about Hell's Vengeance.

Also, Reign of Winter and Iron Gods, along the lines of "Keep your history/sci-fi out of my fantasy!"


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Not to mention the trans character in Wrath of the Righteous.

Verdant Wheel

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Or Skull and Shackles with the "Pirates were killers and slave traders"


Draco Bahamut wrote:
Or Skull and Shackles with the "Pirates were killers and slave traders"

I don't actually remember a lot of controversy about that one. Could have missed it, I suppose.

I'm playing in that right now and we're not really very good pirates. We even rescued some slaves and set them free - let them farm on our new island.

Verdant Wheel

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I have seen lesser or major controversy about most APs, Runelords were a weird name without any legacy at the start, Kingmaker were machist, Reign of Winter were cultural appropriation... Most complains dieout just after the AP is lauched through.


Draco Bahamut wrote:
I have seen lesser or major controversy about most APs, <snip> Kingmaker were machist, <snip> Most complains dieout just after the AP is lauched through.

What is machist?

This is an honest query; I can't parse what you meant here. Sorry. (The rest of your post I understood -- typing on the phone(?) can be a pain...)

As to your last point: Yep!

Carry on,

--C.

Shadow Lodge

Psiphyre wrote:
Draco Bahamut wrote:
I have seen lesser or major controversy about most APs, <snip> Kingmaker were machist, <snip> Most complains dieout just after the AP is lauched through.

What is machist?

This is an honest query; I can't parse what you meant here. Sorry. (The rest of your post I understood -- typing on the phone(?) can be a pain...)

As to your last point: Yep!

Carry on,

--C.

Adjectival form of "machismo."

(Why doesn't English have an easy equivalent to "machismo," anyway?)

Scarab Sages

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Ruzza wrote:
This is a discussion that has been done to death and is still being discussed in other threads. It doesn't matter if you're a former cop, just picking at this over and over and spreading the discussion across multiple threads is actually more harmful to what you want to accomplish.

I welcome fresh perspectives, and I certainly don't think anyone is obligated to post in an old thread rather than start a new one.


@zimmerwald1915

Oh, ok.

Thank you.

--C.


zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Psiphyre wrote:
Draco Bahamut wrote:
I have seen lesser or major controversy about most APs, <snip> Kingmaker were machist, <snip> Most complains dieout just after the AP is lauched through.

What is machist?

This is an honest query; I can't parse what you meant here. Sorry. (The rest of your post I understood -- typing on the phone(?) can be a pain...)

As to your last point: Yep!

Carry on,

--C.

Adjectival form of "machismo."

(Why doesn't English have an easy equivalent to "machismo," anyway?)

Because "masculinism" hasn't caught on, I guess. Also it sounds horrible. And meninism also sounds horrible, and means something else entirely.

I should also point out the correct adjective for machismo is machista, with an a. Though if you're trying to make it english I guess you'd drop the "a" so it's more in-line with feminist.


@TheFinish

Thank you, too.

Carry on,

--C.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

In English we call that male chauvinism, or a male chauvinist.


I've finalized my thoughts regarding a City Watch campaign.

Respecting Paizo's wishes to keep this forum PG-13, I've posted my own campaign outline at a different forum. If you're interested, follow this link:

https://www.enworld.org/threads/gritty-city-watch-campaign-outline.673992/

Cheers!

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