W0LF0S
 member, 117 posts
Fri 21 Apr 2017
at 20:22
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
Or that one Goblin learns the secrets of Necromancy and everyone has to deal with the Goblin problem twice from now on.  Once while they're alive, and a second time when they are raised up.

^Actual storyline from a game I ran years ago.  The players also thought the Goblins were cute until they came back to raid the village a second time with far fewer shenanigans and cowardice to hold them back.
engine
 member, 303 posts
Fri 21 Apr 2017
at 20:54
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
W0LF0S:
But lets get to Charisma specifically.  The common perception is that Charisma is a reflection of attractiveness, personality, and leadership.  Those all ring true for me as well, but I also view it as the "brightness of a person's soul" so to speak or at least in that they appear that way to others.
I've always had trouble with Charisma, but believe it or not I arrived at almost the same realization just a few days ago. I now think of Charisma as an actual objective quality or quantity about a person, sort of like a radiation they give off: it can warm or it can burn. At the extreme godlike end, it can be overpowering for everyone around, even one's allies. All will love them, and despair.

All that said, that interpretation obviously doesn't affect the rules, or give them a logical basis, it just helps us imagine it. There's no particular reason Varsiovian will accept it as reasonable, but I hope they'll see it as way players can justify the rules to themselves.
Varsovian
 member, 1363 posts
Fri 21 Apr 2017
at 21:24
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
Thanks for all the comments and advice, folks!

I keep reading the core rulebook. I made it up to the combat chapter. So far, so good... I actually do understand everything, more or less. I'll see how combat works and whether it's complicated...

One note: rules for spells *are* intimidating. For instance, clerics have normal spells, orizons, domain spells, domain powers... I feel like a player might need a flipchart to organize all this.

@Engine: why do you think PF isn't suited for me? I don't feel that way. Although I do agree that GURPS is closer to my idea of my idea of RPing - but who says I can run only one system?

As for games that aren't "scary": NWoD is easy, for once. I also haven't had any problems with M&M 2E or Call of Cthulhu. Numenera and The Strange I did consider scary (system-wise), but I managed to wrap my head around them and now I quite appreciate their simple (if weird) rules...
engine
 member, 305 posts
Fri 21 Apr 2017
at 22:00
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
Varsovian:
@Engine: why do you think PF isn't suited for me? I don't feel that way.
I don't either, I just thought you thought that way. Apparently not.
Gaffer
 member, 1459 posts
 Ocoee FL
 40 yrs of RPGs
Sat 22 Apr 2017
at 13:07
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
Varsovian:
I also haven't had any problems... Call of Cthulhu.

You know that Chaosium also has their GURPS-like Basic Roleplaying system that can be used in any type of role play setting. And they have recently re-acquired and re-booted RuneQuest, which I understand was more or less the foundation for Call of Cthulhu's mechanics.

Neither are (obviously) as well-known as Pathfinder or Dungeons and Dragons, but they might be worth a look.

From the product view: "RuneQuest took the young world of roleplaying games by storm [in 1978]; it cast aside many of the approaches most other games took. It had no character classes, no experience points, no levels, and far fewer restrictions on how weapons, armor, and spells could be used. Instead of a D20 it uses a percentile 01-100 system. It also has the built-in fantasy world of Glorantha."

I have never played it, but it certainly sounds less crunchy.

This message was last edited by the user at 13:11, Sat 22 Apr 2017.

pdboddy
 member, 526 posts
Sat 22 Apr 2017
at 16:45
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
If Pathfinder is scary, wait til Starfinder comes out. :3
Spade_Marlowe
 member, 1 post
Sat 22 Apr 2017
at 19:23
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
Start small.  For any system,  if it's your first time GMing, it's always best to start with a published module.  Explain this to your players, and they should understand.  From this you can start building your setting.

Only develop what you need - if you don't have any clerics or druids, you probably don't need a cosmology or pantheon (or just go with the ones in the Core Rulebook).  Actually, I'm a cleric in another game, and my GM had me come up with my own deity, and it was kind of fun, so don't hesitate getting your players involved.
Varsovian
 member, 1364 posts
Sat 22 Apr 2017
at 20:57
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
Okay, guys, question!

Prestige classes: how do they work, exactly? Let's say we have a character who is Fighter / Wizard and decides to take Eldritch Knight as a prestige class. Does he become Fighter / Wizard / Eldritch Knight and can progress in any of these classes, or does he just become and Eldritch Knight and cannot take any more classes of Wizard or Fighter?
pdboddy
 member, 527 posts
Sat 22 Apr 2017
at 22:23
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
In reply to Varsovian (msg # 40):

They become a Fighter/Wizard/Eldritch Knight, and can progress in any of the classes.

The only difference between a prestige class and normal classes, besides power and abilities, is that a prestige class has a high bar to get over in order to take it.  They're something to work towards.
Varsovian
 member, 1365 posts
Sat 22 Apr 2017
at 22:37
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
I see, thanks!

Another question: is it mandatory to RP Pathfinder combat on a square grid? I don't like squares...
drewalt
 member, 68 posts
Sat 22 Apr 2017
at 23:07
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
Varsovian:
I see, thanks!

Another question: is it mandatory to RP Pathfinder combat on a square grid? I don't like squares...


I know people have done hex versions of it before (see the Hex Grid rule variant on the d20srd site for 3.5 edition), but I'm far too lazy for that because all the facings/reach rules assume squares and I don't want to convert everything.  Also a lot of adventures assume structures which I feel are better with squares (though I should note PF itself uses hexes for overland adventuring territories).

By RAW, every other diagonal square of movement counts as two (i.e. 10 feet), which seems to solve the common problem with squares.
Ronning
 member, 66 posts
Sun 23 Apr 2017
at 17:44
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
I've sworn off PF for all things 5e and couldn't be happier. PF is ludicrous. It was my first love and I could do nothing but watch as the thing swelled and swelled and swelled. Like, damn girl, stop eating. GO for a run or something. But nope.. She just got bigger and bigger.

I left her for 5e. She may be a bit dumb but damn her body is fine.
Varsovian
 member, 1366 posts
Sun 23 Apr 2017
at 21:04
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
drewalt:
I know people have done hex versions of it before (see the Hex Grid rule variant on the d20srd site for 3.5 edition), but I'm far too lazy for that because all the facings/reach rules assume squares and I don't want to convert everything.


I was thinking more of discarding the grid altogether and just measuring distances. That's the way I ran combat in M&M and it worked out fine...
GreyGriffin
 member, 77 posts
 Portal Expat
 Game System Polyglot
Sun 23 Apr 2017
at 21:12
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
Gonna lift this from another thread, thought it could be useful here....

While getting everyone on the same page for optimization is a good general practice, a system that essentially requires you to calculate your DPR in order to meaningfully participate seems like a failure of design...

5e is simple and playable, and designed to keep the math from spiralling too far out of control with tottering towers of multipliers and bonuses.  Sure there are the edge case warlock stacking builds, but you don't have to k'nex together a Rube Goldberg machine of feats to stay relevant in a given party.

While I appreciate rewarding system mastery, I feel Pathfinder leans waaaay to far towards rewarding and punishing decisions made during character generation and advancement.  Actions, strategies, and intelligent decisions made during play will never compensate for your colorful and characterful but behind-the-curve build.</quote>
willvr
 member, 1046 posts
Mon 24 Apr 2017
at 02:57
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
-sigh-

Both have advantages. Let's not go edition wars take 5.
GreyGriffin
 member, 79 posts
 Portal Expat
 Game System Polyglot
Mon 24 Apr 2017
at 05:34
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
In reply to willvr (msg # 47):

Oh yeah, I'll totally concede that Pathfinder has some points for it.  It has much more open character generation options, and a huge amount of material and legacy support.  You can go to the moon and back at chargen with just first party material, to say nothing of the vast number of modules that have been printed to strip for parts.  Plus, there's some satisfaction to be found in mechanically intricate characters, encounters, and interactions.

On top of that, I much prefer Golarion to the Forgotten Realms, as well, as a default setting.

I just felt that the case for 5e's advantages hadn't really been articulated.  It's too easy to correlate "simple" with "poorly conceived" or "limited."
willvr
 member, 1047 posts
Mon 24 Apr 2017
at 10:24
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
In reply to GreyGriffin (msg # 48):

The only problem I have with 5E is I think their modules are poorly written. If you're going to the modules due to lack of time to write your own, they make you do far too much work to make the module flow.

However, I quite enjoy playing it. I play it offline; whilst the only PF I can do is online, as none of my regular playing group want to run it.

To be honest, for me, what is important if I'm running something is good module support; whilst if I'm playing it all comes down to the playing group. 5E doesn't do well with a group of rules lawyers for example; but can do quite well with people with whom the main aim is character development (as in history/personality not stats).
Krul
 member, 27 posts
Sun 30 Apr 2017
at 10:32
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
So thoughts on creating your own pantheon;

First, it is not completely necessary, I've considered running a setting without any active deities, with non of the divine casters except for druids, hunters, oracles and rangers, going on the idea that they draw their powers from nature itself, different aspects in the case of oracles and pure nature in the case of druids.  This doesn't mean mortals can't believe in deities, or that they don't exist, but that no deity actually answers prayers with magic, this creates a world where mortals have a lot more say over their world, since they have no deities interfering with them.

Second, chose a paradigm; decide if you want a singular all powerful deity(possibly with different aspects), or a group of deities, since we're talking pantheon will assume the latter, though if you like, I can discuss a few ideas of the former with you.

Pathfinder goes on an interesting path, you have to look a little close to notice it, but twos, threes and sevens are hit a lot in their primary setting deities.  They have seven good aligned deities, and a deity for each of the seven sins, though lust is a chaotic neutral rather then a evil one.  Each alignment has 2 deities, except for Lawful Good, which has 3, and each of them give a different take on what that alignment means, and producing a total of nineteen major deities.  There are a number of lesser deities as well, but the primary are those nineteen.

There are a few other settings which have different layouts for their major deities, Scarred Lands has one major deity for each alignment, though the purely neutral one is the titan of nature.  The paradigm is completely different from the main pathfinder world, all major gods are descended from the titans, whose cruelty drove them to rebel against their parents.  This created a completely different world setting wise, especially since the titans still struggle against their imprisonment, and it is only been a few centuries since the great war.

Meanwhile, Dragonlance had seven deities for each alignment, at least until recently, and it seriously colored their world due to how active those deities were.  Of course, the dragons who served the gods of evil and those who served the gods of good had a lot of effect on the world as well.  The history of dragonlance is the history of deities interfering with mortals, most so then most settings.

Generally, if your going for a pantheon, first decide how active you want them to be, do they only act though their servants, or do they act directly upon the world.  Next, decide how many of them you have; in my opinion, for a pantheon, the smallest you should consider is four(4 elemental deities), and while there is no limit to the largest, I've seen a setting were they had 100 deities after all.  However, I would not suggest 100 deities for someone starting on their own setting.  Technically 2 and 3 is possible, but generally I see these as more a variation on the singular deity idea.
Isida KepTukari
 member, 132 posts
 Elegant! Arrogant! Smart!
Mon 1 May 2017
at 03:42
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
Varsovian:
One note: rules for spells *are* intimidating. For instance, clerics have normal spells, orisons, domain spells, domain powers... I feel like a player might need a flipchart to organize all this.



The multiplicity of spells generally doesn't provide too much of a burden, and as the spellcaster is usually one of the classes that requires a bit more bookkeeping in nearly any system, I hope the player in question would be prepared to write things down.

I've played both arcane and divine spellcasters, and I will say that a domain spell, as it is generally used by divine casters who prepare their spells, effectively just becomes another part of your daily prepared spells.  It's actually easiest to remember, as that one spell slot rarely changes.

Orison and cantrips are also not too bad.  They are either low-level divinations (detect magic, detect poison) that are busted out in non-combat situations, minor combat spells broken out in extremis (ray of frost, acid splash, spark), or small utility spells (mage hand, open/close, prestidigitation).  No one has very many at any one time (the max is 6), and because they are so minor, they aren't going to tip game balance very hard one way or the other.

Special powers, like domain powers, bloodline powers, school powers, oracle powers, witch curses, etc., those are class features. I jolly well hope you remember your class features.  Like your spells and weapons, these are the things you look at when determining your options for actions in any given situation.

All of this does require more tracking and writing than, say, your average rogue, but anyone who wants to jump into a spellcasting character should be ready with their pencil.  I don't think it's excessive, and once you know roughly what spells you're going to have for a given situation, you just use that list for the adventuring day.
Varsovian
 member, 1368 posts
Fri 19 May 2017
at 20:05
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
Okay, so here's a question:

1st-level characters. How do you make an interesting PF game for them? Judging by the bestiaries, these characters can only fight rats or goblins...

BTW. What kind of stories is it possible to do in PF? What are you experiences?
Isida KepTukari
 member, 138 posts
 Elegant! Arrogant! Smart!
Fri 19 May 2017
at 20:28
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
If you want to get into creative encounters there are a couple of ways to do so.

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).

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.

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.)
engine
 member, 332 posts
Fri 19 May 2017
at 20:31
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
In reply to Varsovian (msg # 52):

You ask your players what kind of game would interest them.

You're either being sarcastic about the monster selection or you're not really trying. Look again.

Also, the characters don't need to fight, or anyway don't need to fight to the death. It's not always necessary to kill or even hurt the other side to accomplish one's goal. If they're raiding a barrow but have no hope of actually clearing it, maybe they can make a quick raid for some of the less well-guarded treasure, to fund a strong raid later.
Varsovian
 member, 1369 posts
Sat 20 May 2017
at 05:13
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
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?

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...

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.?

engine:
Also, the characters don't need to fight, or anyway don't need to fight to the death. It's not always necessary to kill or even hurt the other side to accomplish one's goal. If they're raiding a barrow but have no hope of actually clearing it, maybe they can make a quick raid for some of the less well-guarded treasure, to fund a strong raid later.


I admit that my perception of PF / D&D might be a bit warped due to Baldur's Gate and similar cRPGs. Which featured a lot of combat encounters...

On the other hand, isn't PF somewhat geared toward combat? Its combat rules are quite robust.

This message was last edited by the user at 05:13, Sat 20 May 2017.

engine
 member, 333 posts
Sat 20 May 2017
at 06:36
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
Varsovian:
On the other hand, isn't PF somewhat geared toward combat? Its combat rules are quite robust.
Robust combat rules don't mean that's what a game is "geared toward." By that logic, we could say that PF/D&D is geared toward magic, because spells take up so much space.

Combat rules need to be precise because that's where the most crucial questions arise because that's where player's playing pieces (if not the players themselves) can be eliminated from the game. Everyone needs to be on the same page in terms of what can and can't happen, so when something happens everyone agrees that it should have. That in no way eliminates the inevitable arguments when a character dies, but the effort I'd necessary.

Skills are extremely important to the game too, it's just that it's a) much more difficult to do for Perform or Spot what they can do for combat, and b) if Perform or Spot goes pear-shaped, it's not necessarily the end of the world. Though, look at the skills where a flub /might/ really mean a disaster, like Stealth or Jump or Climb. Those skills get a lot of ink, because, as with combat, there's a high chance of an argument coming up.

But, hey, focus on combat. I'm a fan, myself. The game has a class called "Fighter" for goodness sake and every dang thing has HP. I Just keep in mind that combat doesn't need to mean a fight to the death, and doesn't mean that the combat rules have to come into play at all.
Varsovian
 member, 1370 posts
Sat 20 May 2017
at 20:25
Re: Pathfinder is scary...
Okay then, good to know. I was just sharing my impressions...