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Fluff is really cool, even if you're not running what the fluff says it still serves as inspiration.

 

It's just a bit difficult to divert from the fluff when it is integrated into the crunch.

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20 minutes ago, BlazingTornado said:

 

I've rolled up two Pathfinder characters for two different DMs and there was never a background involved. Definitely not anything identifying what my character did before adventuring on the character sheet. Picked race, picked class, got skill ranks, got feats, one game added "traits" from a splatbook.

Nothing like "what were you before adventuring? A soldier? Well then that'd make you decent at being athletic and intimidating, and also it'll make members of the army defer to your rank if need be. A noble? Well that means you know your history, and you're probably the persuasive type, and also it means you'd have an easier time meeting the upper crust and rulers of locales than a common folk. A criminal? You'd be sneaky and good at swiping things, and you'd have a contact in the underworld."

 

I'm with you on that, this is one of my current worries with D&D 5E...

The creative team looks like they are currently rocking a massive love of the "Raven Queen" and seek to codify her into all the settings.... They even did an Unearthed Arcana were she was a patron (unlike other pacts which were vaguer things like "archfiend", "archfey", "great old one" or "celestial"), which thankfully did not make it to a finalized book yet.

 

The rules are indeed there - you just did not use them, or, by the sound of it, even bother looking for them, before sounding off.

 

Not in the Core book, but in most of the hardcover books - and, importantly, online for free. *EDIT* - Link - http://www.d20pfsrd.com/

 

So, I am giving you a D on this one. ::P: You did not do your homework, and then spoke with authority based on only partial information.

 

Since the Pathfinder SRD is online for free - look up Advanced Player's Guide, Advanced Races, and Ultimate Campaign - the backgrounds for characters are handled via Traits, Feats, and, in Ultimate Campaign, a series of tables to generate your characters' histories.

 

What there isn't is a codified, single system, for creating your characters' backgrounds - for example, the history generator in Ultimate Campaign outlines options available for your character - but you would still need to spend the feats and traits to actually have them on your character sheet. But those charts also give access to feats that would not otherwise be available at character generation. (Story Feats in particular.)

 

The Auld Grump

Edited by TheAuldGrump
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33 minutes ago, PaganMegan said:

I was talking about Background, which IS in the current Pathfinder, and which 5e DID borrow from Pathfinder.

 

 Actually, the 5th Ed. Backgrounds were borrowed from 4E, first published in the PHB2... The 4E backgrounds didn't give you proficiency in any skills, but they did allow you to add particular skills to your class list, and some of them gave you some gear or an additional language.

Certain campaign-dependent backgrounds actually gave you tangible benefits, like a bit of fire resistance from one of the Forgotten Realms location backgrounds, and others were particularly useful, such as Born Under A Bad Sign which let you use your highest stat for your HP bonus instead of CON...

 

 

 

Edited by Mad Jack

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1 hour ago, Marvin said:

 

 

And I mean, they werent that bad or anything, but still. The flavor's all over the place, seems like. I actually don't understand why the D&D powers didn't do an entirely straight, clean PHB for 5e and then release a kickin' guidebook for pertinent settings. I understand wanting to avoid the overload of previous editions, but I'd've been all-in on such a setup.

 

And see, that's something that I thought the 5E PHB got right!  For every thing that could have been setting specific they showed how it could work in the various existing settings.  Like how sun elves from FR were High Elves and so forth.  the 3E PHB only listed the Greyhawk deities, while the 5E book listed Greyhawk, FR, Eberon, Norse, Egyptian and so forth.

 

Now, all of the adventures they have released have all taken place in the FR; and the other source books have a leaning towards the FR.  But the PHB seems fairly neutral from my point of view.

 

As always, just my opinion, YMMV and so forth.

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I'm cautiously optimistic.  We don't know much about what's changing.  I know if they make equipment leveled like Starfinder (this is a level 3 gun that does more damage than a level 1 gun but you can only use a level 1 gun...) I'll be disappointed.  I also don't want to see a joke of an economy that Starfinder is.  

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11 minutes ago, Dilvish the Deliverer said:

And see, that's something that I thought the 5E PHB got right!  For every thing that could have been setting specific they showed how it could work in the various existing settings.  Like how sun elves from FR were High Elves and so forth.  the 3E PHB only listed the Greyhawk deities, while the 5E book listed Greyhawk, FR, Eberon, Norse, Egyptian and so forth.

 

Now, all of the adventures they have released have all taken place in the FR; and the other source books have a leaning towards the FR.  But the PHB seems fairly neutral from my point of view.

 

As always, just my opinion, YMMV and so forth.

 

Oh, yeah, it's got stuff related to all the settings, and I agree that's better than making it straight Realms-themed or something--but I'd've found it better still to have dispensed altogether with the setting info practically altogether in the core material. And that's maybe an oddball idea, idk.

 

I'm hoping they do drop some adventures in other settings--I'd like to see Greyhawk and Eberron particularly--but I do think adventures, especially of the path-type lengths as they've been, should be setting-specific. That makes sense at every level for ready-to-run DM materials.

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I pretty much abandoned D&D when they went to 3.x, and slowly got back into it.  I never got into Pathfinder.

The more I explored the OSR, the more I discovered that more rules didn't make the game better for me.

 

So, I wish Paizo lots of luck, but their game never reflected the worlds I wanted to play in.

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4 hours ago, Mad Jack said:

 

 Actually, the 5th Ed. Backgrounds were borrowed from 4E, first published in the PHB2... The 4E backgrounds didn't give you proficiency in any skills, but they did allow you to add particular skills to your class list, and some of them gave you some gear or an additional language.

Certain campaign-dependent backgrounds actually gave you tangible benefits, like a bit of fire resistance from one of the Forgotten Realms location backgrounds, and others were particularly useful, such as Born Under A Bad Sign which let you use your highest stat for your HP bonus instead of CON...

Though Grump already mentioned the options in Pathfinder, you could even go as far back as 1st edition AD&D Unearthed Arcana for background generation. I still remember the DM section having tables for family, number of siblings, social class (Lower-Lower-Class is basically a freed slave, Upper-Upper-Class is wealthy royalty.)

 

Though in most cases, background had little effect on current PC skills and abilities. Traits in Pathfinder were the first time I remember background options actually giving something unique.

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4 hours ago, TheAuldGrump said:

 

 

I... am not actually convinced in regards to the simplified monster creation - I prefer a mechanistic, structured approach, and am afraid that this may be borrowing too much from 5e. I like having the same mechanics between creatures and PCs.

 

But I might well be in the minority on that one.

 

 

Me, too. To my mind, it only makes sense. Not only does standardization make a system easier to understand in general, it also better ensures more balanced encounters.

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4 hours ago, Paradoxical Mouse said:

On fluff - I've known several people who complained about Pathfinder because there wasn't enough fluff. A number of people I know up like to read the handbooks cover-to-cover like books and appreciate the fluff. Then again, I mostly know gamers who started in the last 10 years, due to my age. 

 

Pathfinder's core books had no less fluff than did the 1st through 3.X editions of the D&D core books. Technically speaking, D&D's old default setting was Greyhawk, but you would never know it from reading just core because it was incredibly generic and rather transparent. There were merely the barest mentions of elder spellcaster names in the spell titles, and a handful of deities. Otherwise, it was not much more than a hodge podge of tropes from fantasy, myth and literature.

 

So it's hard to imagine what the comparison is. You have forty-some-odd years' tradition worth of non interference vanilla rules there, right from the source of the hobby itself.

 

I can appreciate fluff where the setting existed beforehand. For instance, I like the Iron Kingdoms. I like Warmachine/Hordes, and I own the IK RPG books. I bought those for the fluff. But I will never play an IK RPG. Because I don't like getting other people's fluff in my storytelling, and you can't extricate it in such a severe case.

 

As to Pathfinder not having enough fluff, one should note that it began as a campaign setting, has volumes upon volumes of campaign setting expansions available, novels, Golarion-themed splatbooks, and an endless line of adventure paths. With that extreme level of fluff available on cheap PDFs to anybody who wants it, regardless of whether they ever even play the game itself, I fail to see why it has to invade the vanilla ruleset.

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2 minutes ago, Bruunwald said:

Pathfinder's core books had no less fluff than did the 1st through 3.X editions of the D&D core books. Technically speaking, D&D's old default setting was Greyhawk, but you would never know it from reading just core because it was incredibly generic and rather transparent. There were merely the barest mentions of elder spellcaster names in the spell titles, and a handful of deities. Otherwise, it was not much more than a hodge podge of tropes from fantasy, myth and literature.

 

So it's hard to imagine what the comparison is. You have forty-some-odd years' tradition worth of non interference vanilla rules there, right from the source of the hobby itself.

 

I can appreciate fluff where the setting existed beforehand. For instance, I like the Iron Kingdoms. I like Warmachine/Hordes, and I own the IK RPG books. I bought those for the fluff. But I will never play an IK RPG. Because I don't like getting other people's fluff in my storytelling, and you can't extricate it in such a severe case.

 

As to Pathfinder not having enough fluff, one should note that it began as a campaign setting, has volumes upon volumes of campaign setting expansions available, novels, Golarion-themed splatbooks, and an endless line of adventure paths. With that extreme level of fluff available on cheap PDFs to anybody who wants it, regardless of whether they ever even play the game itself, I fail to see why it has to invade the vanilla ruleset.

Ok, so most people I know DID NOT play at all before 5e. 5e made D&D approachable because the core rules weren't just table after table, they had stuff breaking up the tables, interesting setting type stuff. 

 

Rulebook without fluff are just dry reference material are just reference books that are only read by the most obsessed with the game and make the game less approachable. Adding the fluff lets people read and get a bit of flavor, be able to imagine how the world is while learning.

 

Otherwise, they are relegated to books where you just look at the rules you care about immediately...

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5 hours ago, Werkrobotwerk said:

No. This is not what I am getting at.

 

what I am getting at is an attempt to understand what the specific complaint is. Dr. wyrm's statement about setting names within the rules gets toward what I am trying to understand. I do not agree with it, but convincing people of it or being convinced is not my goal. I want to get to what factors cause this to be an issue for some people so I can better understand what causes people to choose one ruleset over another for specific uses, and to that end what use do people put pathfinder to that doesn't match their new rules changes.

Okay, that's fine. No offense meant. You seemed to be cautiously getting somewhere using brief posts, and it seemed like that was the direction.

 

I can be wrong.

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17 minutes ago, Paradoxical Mouse said:

Ok, so most people I know DID NOT play at all before 5e. 5e made D&D approachable because the core rules weren't just table after table, they had stuff breaking up the tables, interesting setting type stuff. 

 

Rulebook without fluff are just dry reference material are just reference books that are only read by the most obsessed with the game and make the game less approachable. Adding the fluff lets people read and get a bit of flavor, be able to imagine how the world is while learning.

 

Otherwise, they are relegated to books where you just look at the rules you care about immediately...

I wouldn't call any of those books "dry reference material." They are filled with exciting illustrations, game play examples, advice on world building, fascinating spell descriptions, and yes, a tiny amount of fluff.

 

"Dry reference material" is the old SRD WoTC put out that removed all actual IP and had only statistics, charts, and the barest instructions on how to use the rules. Yet, even that has a sort of fascination to it.

 

Now, you need to be careful. Implying that only the most obsessed people would ever bother to read any of the books that came before your time is wrong-headed and kind of gross. Do you really think you can dismiss entire generations of players like that?

 

Getting back to it, all I am saying is that vanilla rulesets are very handy tools. They are instruments for world building and storytelling, like guitars are instruments for music. You can always buy a new songbook if you want to do something new with that guitar. A guitar that is programmed to play one tune, would be pretty worthless to me.

Edited by Bruunwald

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4 minutes ago, Paradoxical Mouse said:

Ok, so most people I know DID NOT play at all before 5e. 5e made D&D approachable because the core rules weren't just table after table, they had stuff breaking up the tables, interesting setting type stuff. 

 

Rulebook without fluff are just dry reference material are just reference books that are only read by the most obsessed with the game and make the game less approachable. Adding the fluff lets people read and get a bit of flavor, be able to imagine how the world is while learning.

 

Otherwise, they are relegated to books where you just look at the rules you care about immediately...

 

I think this is pretty fair, if maybe overestimating both the dullness of the more straightforward early books and the usefulness of any PHB beyond rules referencing beyond the initial read-throughs. Marketing-wise it probably does make a lot of sense to include some sort of fluff in base materials to help hook the n00bz.

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2 minutes ago, Marvin said:

 

I think this is pretty fair, if maybe overestimating both the dullness of the more straightforward early books and the usefulness of any PHB beyond rules referencing beyond the initial read-throughs. Marketing-wise it probably does make a lot of sense to include some sort of fluff in base materials to help hook the n00bz.

There are few reasons I can think of, marketing wise, that might seem a benefit to Paizo for jamming the setting into the core, among them what you're saying here. There are also reasons I can think of why it's a bad decision, marketing-wise. Chief among them that Golarion isn't exactly a property as hot as Star Wars, the Cthulhu Mythos, WH40K, or even Forgotten Realms, and Paizo would be banking an awful lot on reeling people in on an IP that is years-tested, yet still not on many people's top ten lists.

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