engine
 member, 334 posts
Sat 20 May 2017
at 21:04
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
In reply to Varsovian (msg # 57):

My bad. It was framed as a question, so I took it that way.
silverelf
 member, 217 posts
Sun 21 May 2017
at 02:46
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
When it comes to any game system it takes work to make a story, its still a good platform for story telling. It gives you races with options if you wish them. It gives you a world, you don't have to use if you do not wish too. You can always adjust it to what you want. Still, like any system you need to read basics, and be willing to take the time to read through things. It has an elaborate system for combat, or you can use quick and dirty rules, it is really all about the story you are telling, when it comes to low level creatures there are plenty to contend with. You can toss wild animals because at low levels, they are a challenge. Given most people are assumed to be 16 ish starting out, it really is a thing of building up as you grow, you see. There are numerous things, wolves, goblins, kobolds, other people, natural terrors its really about how you set the story, to what combats are what.

I am sure it can be daunting coming into a new system. However, much of Pathfinder stuff is in the wiki, so you can really run it from the web if you have need to.  When it comes to CRPG's, that's not all there is to DnD or Pathfinder, I have played all editions of DnD, and Pathfinder to date 4th edition dnd gets close to the CRPG's feel.

It can be as gritty as you want it to be, you can decide the world is low magic, you can make the calls as a gm. If you want something note in it. Implement a House Rule for your game. Its all about you and your way of story telling.

This message was last edited by the user at 02:47, Sun 21 May.

Isida KepTukari
 member, 139 posts
 Elegant! Arrogant! Smart!
Sun 21 May 2017
at 12:13
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
Varsovian:
As usual, thanks for answers!

Isida KepTukari:
One, there are 6 Bestiaries, so there are more than just rats and goblins to choose from.  Even in just the first book there are low-level undead, animals, and magical beasts (and others).


I'd need to check, but aren't even low-level undeaded tougher than CR 1 or 2?


Heavens, some skeletons you can throw at first level characters, no problem!  (Skeletons come in a wide variety of CRs.)  A small group of human or goblin skeletons sound/look quite intimidating, but you also have to remember that most low-level undead are dumb as a brick.  The group could lure them into a dangerous area and drop them into a pit or off a cliff, or even just get on the high ground or crowd around a doorway and play whack-a-skull as they trudge up to the line.

Conversely, skeletons controlled by an evil spellcaster become a lot more dangerous, as they have someone directing them.  As your players gain in levels, you can reinvigorate old threats like skeletons in this way.

quote:
quote:
Two, your fellow man (or demihuman) is always a legitimate threat.  Bands of warriors of any race can be brigands and thieves, tribes of demon-worshipping raiders, etc.


Ah, I keep forgetting that you simply can have the players fight against normal humans :) I guess I'm too enamoured with the Bestiaries beasties...

Still, a band of warriors might be too tough for 1st-level characters to fight...


Most low-level bandits are probably level 1 warriors, the NPC fighter class, and hence usually rate around 1/2 CR.  A group of them will be a little tougher, but well within the capabilities of a first-level party (particularly because most bandit bands won't have a party cleric healing them in the middle of a fight).

The other advantage is that bandits are intelligent people.  They might attack from ambush or during the night, but if the fight goes against them, they'll run away or surrender instead of fighting to the death.  People become bandits because they don't want to work or they're desperate to do anything to live, and neither are going to throw their lives away fighting some strangers when they prove to be tough. They'd rather run away and attack a less-wary traveler sometime later.

quote:
quote:
As for what kinds of stories... What kinds can you tell with D&D?  What can you tell with any roleplaying game?  Wade into the dungeon and raid the corrupted tomb, go to the forest and find out what's making the mysterious lights, infiltrate the crime guild in the city to see who's blackmailing the nobles, go fight a dragon and rescue a princess!  (Or fight some kobolds and rescue the merchant's daughter.)


How about mood, style etc.? Pathfinder has such comic-booky art... Could it be used for something a bit more realistic, like Game of Thrones-style settings etc.?


The mood and style of your game is dictated by you and you alone.  The art for Pathfinder was chosen because Paizo thought it looked eye-catching and dynamic.  But if you wish a more realistic Game of Thrones version?  Absolutely.  Pull up some production stills or put on an episode and say to your players, "My game is more like this."  You can decide to use or not use any of Pathfinder's material for your game, keeping what fits your style, and banning the use of things that don't work.  There are even rules variations if there are base mechanics you'd rather see work in a different way (like, say, having variations with less magical healing, or different ways of using wounds).  Those rules variations can be found in Pathfinder Unchained, if that floats your boat, or you can just experiment with the core rules on your own - no one shall stop you.  :)

If you don't like the idea of fighting monks, you don't have to have them in your game.  Only race allowed is human?  That's your prerogative.  No one from Pathfinder can tell you how to play your game.

This message was last edited by the user at 12:15, Sun 21 May.

W0LF0S
 member, 120 posts
Mon 22 May 2017
at 15:47
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
FYI, Paizo has all of their core content available for free online.  Here's a fast link to the Bestiary index: http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG...ndices/bestiary.html

It's got a bunch of filters on it that you can use to help you find what you want.  Easy, low level monsters can definitely include zombies: I count 5 that are CR 1 or lower.  Personally, I like the idea of "corruption" spreading around and infecting various low level beasts.  In other words, I like to apply the Fiendish template (or some of the other templates) to some under CR 1 monsters to turn them into legitimate threats for low level parties.  There's also some low-end fey creatures called Gremlins that I would highly recommend looking into.

Don't forget about traps!  Even low-end traps are worth big bundles of experience in Pathfinder.  If the party can disable/survive a trap or two, then they'll be on the fast track to the next level.
Varsovian
 member, 1371 posts
Wed 24 May 2017
at 17:59
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
Okay, here's one quite specific question I have:

I bought Advanced Race Guide yesterday and thought a lot about player races featured there. And I decided that I'd want to fiddle with them a little, using the character creation rules featured in the book. Because I really don't like the idea of orcs being stupid brutes and elves being frail nature lovers :)

And so, I looked at the write-up of elves' racial profile and I decided that I might want to strike off the -2 Constitution penalty the elves have. Doing that would put the elves at the 12 RP score. Meanwhile, humans have 10 RPs. So, that got me thinking about game balance...

And then, I checked the other race write-ups from the book. And I learned that the dwarves have 11 RPs, the drow have 14 RPs. On the other hand, there are races which are noticeably weaker than humans... And that puzzled me, as I've always thought that player races in Pathfinder should be of equal power.

So... how does it work? Is it okay to have the players choose between humans, elves (which would be somewhat more powerful than humans in my version), assimars (which are even more powerful) and, say, kobolds? Or would it be unbalancing to the game? What do you think?
W0LF0S
 member, 121 posts
Wed 24 May 2017
at 18:27
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
The Advanced Race Guide is a bit of a mixed bag altogether.  It's a good thought to expose some of the behind the scene weights and give advice on how to build good, custom races.  However, many of the listed traits have been argued and well demonstrted to be under or over valued, so I recommend reading and using the whole book with a salt shaker nearby.

The general consensus for building a "balanced" race is that anything with at least 8 Race Points and no more than 12 Race Points is probably okay; things with fewer or more Race Points are generally quite a bit stronger than other racial choices.  Some exceptions exist.  Aasimar (15 RP) are generally viewed as fine as are Ifrits (6 RP), because their abilities as a whole either don't break the game or are powerful enough to merit playing.  And variance between the core/playable races is perfectly fine.  Variance is what makes the game interesting!  Dwarves may have 11 RP while Humans have 9 RP, but everyone generally agrees that Humans are the more powerful race choice hands down (a free feat is HUGE in Pathfinder AND they get to choose where their racial bonus goes).  You have to examine exactly what it is the RP are representing to really evaluate if the Race is OP or not.

Most players value the option to play things out of the ARG and use the optional traits listed for their individual races.  Even the core races each have a list of 8 or more alternate traits that usually replace one or more of their standard ones.  Some are straight up more powerful (the Halfling's Fleet of Foot alternate trait comes to mind), while others are clearly subpar.  However, the choice and option is nice to have for when you have a character concept that wants to use the subpar or superior choice.  I constantly see applications by folks that want to play something different or suboptimal or just plain off the wall.  There is definitely demand on both ends of the spectrum, and a better question is this: what are you comfortable allowing into your game?
Varsovian
 member, 1372 posts
Wed 24 May 2017
at 19:44
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
Thanks :)

Although the question of what I am comfortable with is a tricky one. For once, I can't even decide if I want to have elves, dwarves or halflings in my game...

(gnomes are definitely *out*, though)

BTW. I was wondering about that -2 Constitution penalty for elves: is it a big penalty? Does it make elves noticeably frailer than humans, or just a little bit?

On related note: if orcs have -2 Intelligence penalty, then how much stupid are they, exactly?
silverelf
 member, 220 posts
Wed 24 May 2017
at 19:58
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
Intelligence is your mental faculties; your capacity for learning, creativity and the ability to think on your feet. This stat is pretty much your book smart stat I believe, so with say an 8 (10 standard -2 ) the character might not be fast on the up take,  might not know proper terms for certain items, might refer to something as something else.

We had a half ogre who often refered to weapons as stabby or bashy, he didn't know the names for them, didn't care to know. His counting abilities, was bad few, bad lots, bad many, and FUN. since he liked to weigh into combat. So really, its about finding an aspect and going with it. I think.
W0LF0S
 member, 122 posts
Wed 24 May 2017
at 20:26
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
Most commoners in Pathfinder have an array of something like 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.  A few have lower and some have a little higher, but non usually have higher than a 15 or lower than a 6 (even after racial modifiers).  A score of 10 or 11 is the absolute average of average.  I gives you no benefit but also doesn't hand you any penalties.  Someone with an IQ of 100 probably has about 10 or 11 Intelligence whereas someone with an Int score of 8 or 9 probably reads slowly and struggles to learn the concepts behind any procedures they perform (likely an IQ around 90).  I've heard somewhere that a point of Intelligence is equal to 10 IQ points.  I'm not saying that's 100% accurate, but it's a helpful starting point for gauging Intelligence.  Intelligence isn't just how much a character knows but also describes how capable they are at learning in general.  Orcs with their -2 penalty are generally less knowledgeable about topics outside of their interests and generally don't learn very quickly.

For the -2 Con penalty for Elves, it's not gigantic by any means, but it is a measurable handicap.  A -4 penalty would be pretty punishing though.  In the grand scheme of things, you can expect an Elf to make 5% fewer fortitude saves than others and to have 1 less Hit Point per level than other characters.  As compensation, they do get +2 Dex and +2 Int, so they do succeed on 5% more Reflex saves and dodge 5% more attacks than most other characters, and they get also get 1 additional Skill Point per level compared to other characters.  It depends on what your player values highly for their character concept as to whether or not the Elf's toolkit would make an attractive or interesting choice.
engine
 member, 338 posts
Wed 24 May 2017
at 20:27
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
Varsovian:
(gnomes are definitely *out*, though)
Why is that?

Varsovian:
On related note: if orcs have -2 Intelligence penalty, then how much stupid are they, exactly?
Depends how you relate the ability score called Intelligence to actual "intelligence" and what you think of actual intelligence.

For instance, in my games, I don't relate Intelligence to anything other than the numbers and other game effects related to it. For instance, neither low Intelligence nor high Intelligence affects how well a creature can talk (assuming it can talk) or plan or strategize. Nothing about the editions I play require that I do anything else, and I dislike roleplaying "dumb." I certainly have no interest in forcing someone to roleplay dumb, or policing roleplaying that is "too smart," but if someone wants to play that way (even if their character has a high Intelligence score), and they aren't disruptive about it, that's their choice.
LoreGuard
 member, 638 posts
Wed 24 May 2017
at 21:13
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
Varsovian:
....
BTW. I was wondering about that -2 Constitution penalty for elves: is it a big penalty? Does it make elves noticeably frailer than humans, or just a little bit?
....

Keep in mind that especially when using point buy builds, one can without even much effort eliminate a -2 to a stat, and even with a little effort boost it to a bonus.  What a race having a negative tends to do is make the extreme highs less common (or more achievable for a bonus stat).  Basically this soft-cap's your max up or down more than it specifically makes all elves frail, or all orc's stupid.  Half the orcs you meet might be smarter than the average human peasant, but it would 'cost' more of their 'resources' to achieve it.

With this in mind... with a soft cap like that... you aren't likely perhaps to see more than a token few elves on the platform placing in a long distance track event, nor would you likely find many Orc's in the finalists of the local spelling bee.  Easily, there could be one, especially if they have a 'feat' that somehow accents that particular ability, for instance.

So with that in mind, I would suspect that most marshal looking elves, wouldn't seem frail to most observers, but the dwarvish wrestling champion of a local enclave will likely be notably stockier than the local elvish wrestling champion in the neighboring elvish community.  [ok, I stand corrected, the prejudiced dwarves, will say that all the elves look notably frail and weak compared to their obviously superior forms inherited from their ancestors... but that is a perceptional thing, not a (getting con penalties via mechanics) thing.]
Lord_Johnny
 member, 212 posts
Mon 12 Jun 2017
at 00:12
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
Varsovian:
Thanks :)

Although the question of what I am comfortable with is a tricky one. For once, I can't even decide if I want to have elves, dwarves or halflings in my game...

(gnomes are definitely *out*, though)

BTW. I was wondering about that -2 Constitution penalty for elves: is it a big penalty? Does it make elves noticeably frailer than humans, or just a little bit?

On related note: if orcs have -2 Intelligence penalty, then how much stupid are they, exactly?


It's a pretty small amount honestly. Enough to give you a feeling that you're not as robust, but not really a game changer, unless Con (or Int in the case of orcs) is your dump stat.
In game mechanics, it gives you 1 less HP per level and gives you 1 less on your Fort saves.
Yes, those are "big deals" but this isn't shattering your character.

Honestly, I don't get why people prefer 5e. It just doesn't feel like character advancement means much. You don't seem to have much in the way of being able to better your character in my opinion. I muchecked prefer pathfinder.
willvr
 member, 1053 posts
Mon 12 Jun 2017
at 00:29
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
5E is a -lot- simpler. That's not a positive in everyone's eyes; and whilst I -prefer- Pathinder, I can easily see how people could prefer 5E. My favourite edition is actually 2E; which is also a lot simpler. But you need a group you trust, who all like the game; or it devolves into arguments. It's not very easy to run online either, at least for me.
byzantinex
 member, 116 posts
Mon 12 Jun 2017
at 01:26
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
In reply to willvr (msg # 70):

THAC0...
willvr
 member, 1054 posts
Mon 12 Jun 2017
at 01:33
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
In 2E, THAC0 was easy. You just looked up the chart when you gained a level, noted your THAC0 on your sheet. It wasn't any harder than BAB; it just seems that way, especially to people who never played with it.
byzantinex
 member, 117 posts
Mon 12 Jun 2017
at 02:03
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
In reply to willvr (msg # 72):

I did. +10 is easier ;-)
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1138 posts
Tue 13 Jun 2017
at 03:22
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
engine:
...

Varsovian:
On related note: if orcs have -2 Intelligence penalty, then how much stupid are they, exactly?
Depends how you relate the ability score called Intelligence to actual "intelligence" and what you think of actual intelligence.

For instance, in my games, I don't relate Intelligence to anything other than the numbers and other game effects related to it. For instance, neither low Intelligence nor high Intelligence affects how well a creature can talk (assuming it can talk) or plan or strategize. Nothing about the editions I play require that I do anything else, and I dislike roleplaying "dumb." I certainly have no interest in forcing someone to roleplay dumb, or policing roleplaying that is "too smart," but if someone wants to play that way (even if their character has a high Intelligence score), and they aren't disruptive about it, that's their choice.


Personally, I consider Int to be learning, logic, and thinking speed.

In play, rather than forcing particular portrayal of mental scores, I allow a lot of mental ability checks, especially with puzzles, but also to fill in additional info and exposition to those who pass int/wis checks. I also prefer handing out notes or talking to the players who know things alone and letting them pass that info along in character. Sometimes they don't pass it along, or only partially, or like the game telephone, the additional step leads to humorous misunderstandings.

Also, I actually knew a guy who was smart and could talk about and understand advanced science like physics and chemistry, but he was really slow at it. Literally, it could take him around 4-6 minutes to ponder what someone said then make a response. It was funny. Conversations with him were mostly waiting, so it was best to talk to him while we were busy with something, so the waiting didn't get boring.
engine
 member, 345 posts
Tue 13 Jun 2017
at 03:49
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
DarkLightHitomi:
Sometimes they don't pass it along, or only partially, or like the game telephone, the additional step leads to humorous misunderstandings.
Yes, I've played with DMs who did this only I have never once seen it be funny, only annoying or worse. So, I don't risk bothering with that kind of thing.
JxJxA
 member, 187 posts
Tue 13 Jun 2017
at 06:02
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
I used to enjoy Pathfinder until you started getting splatbook bloat. Add that to the inevitable attempt by someone to include every 3.X splatbook, and I no longer have any interest in playing or running it. My tabletop group back home likes it, so I'll have to bite the bullet and relearn it if I want to play with them again.

I'm a 5e convert, and I'm happy with it. It sacrifices some of the customization that crunchier systems have, but it's also a lot easier for me to adapt on the fly when my players do something I didn't expect.
Hunter
 member, 1362 posts
 Captain Oblivious!
 Lurker
Sun 25 Jun 2017
at 19:24
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
JxJxA:
I used to enjoy Pathfinder until you started getting splatbook bloat. Add that to the inevitable attempt by someone to include every 3.X splatbook, and I no longer have any interest in playing or running it. My tabletop group back home likes it, so I'll have to bite the bullet and relearn it if I want to play with them again.


It's really easy to limit what books people use.   I haven't even looked at the 3rd party material, as there's more than enough in the paizo stuff to fill just about any character itch I have.
mickey65
 member, 3 posts
 Long-time PbP player
 Love several systems
Sun 25 Jun 2017
at 19:39
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
In reply to engine (msg # 67):

There are lots of interesting interpretations you can import from other systems into your game without messing up the mechanics.

For example, Strength can be how well a character uses their muscles rather than how muscular the character is. (Source: BRP.) In real life a musclebound person has less effective strength than an equivalent person with lean muscles, so it makes sense. This also decreases the correlation between height/weight and Strength. And none of it would mess up your system's game mechanics while adding character flexibility.

In terms of Intelligence correlating to what most people colloquially consider "intelligence," there can be variables that boost or decrease it, such as level of book learning, variety of life experience (related to Wis), general social skill that determines social "intelligence" (related to Cha), problem-solving ability, and even physical acuity at speaking (related to Dex). Those lend color to the character without screwing up mechanics, too.
engine
 member, 349 posts
Mon 26 Jun 2017
at 13:54
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
In reply to mickey65 (msg # 78):

It's not necessary to import anything from other systems, unless one's system tightly correlates an ability score with appearance or behavior. In some editions of D&D, a roll of 3 for Intelligence means, by the rules, that the character can't speak very well. I don't recall whether things like one's ability to create plans or solve puzzles was, by the rules affected.

What I was getting at is that with a system that doesn't have restrictive rules regarding how to represent ability scores, one can almost entirely decouple appearance and behavior and non-adventuring capability from the ability score numbers. A group that is big on describing the outcomes of skill rolls might need to put in a little effort describe things such as the character who is normally friendly and charming utterly flubbing a conversation with the king, but that's really not too hard.
mickey65
 member, 8 posts
 Long-time PbP player
 Love several systems
Mon 26 Jun 2017
at 16:11
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
In reply to engine (msg # 79):

No, it's not necessary, but then RPGing itself is not necessary. It's something I do for fun, and my players do for fun. If RPGing ever becomes a matter of "necessary" for someone, I'd advise them to stop playing.

And while enriching Pathfinder with cross-pollination from other systems, for lack of a better way to put it, is not something that must be done, every system has something that can make every other system better. Whether a GM wants to do it or not is a matter of taste.
engine
 member, 350 posts
Mon 26 Jun 2017
at 17:25
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
In reply to mickey65 (msg # 80):

What I mean is that even in the absence of any knowledge or even existence of any other system, ability scores can be interpreted various ways in 3.5. To my knowledge, nothing in the rules says that a low Intelligence has any effect on anything that doesn't involve actual numbers reduced by that low score. As there is no DC (of which I'm aware) for speaking in complete sentences (for example) a low Intelligence score needn't prevent a character from speaking in complete sentences.
mickey65
 member, 10 posts
 Long-time PbP player
 Love several systems
Mon 26 Jun 2017
at 18:46
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
In reply to engine (msg # 81):

That's true enough.