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So, tell me about Pathfinder

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The discussion is somewhat veering away from Pathfinder towards 4th edition, and since I'm new to the forum I don't have a good feeling for how tangential we're allowed to get, thus I'm sticking my 4e thoughts in a spoiler at the end.

 

My first version of D&D was AD&D, but mainly I've played (though I should really say "DM'ed", as that's about 90% of it) 3.5. Over the years, I've spent a lot of time tweaking and sanding and ironing and finding out the hard way what works and what I don't ever want to see again. 3.5 is my favourite pair of shoes; it lured me in with the shiny promise of possibility, then it started to chafe and I often just wanted to throw it out the window, but now that it's comfortably worn in I am highly attached to it, frayed ends and all.

 

Pathfinder just didn't feel right when I read through it - some things were changed that I didn't feel needed changing, some things I don't like were kept in, and new pain points were created. In other words, I'd have to invest a lot of energy all over again to make new houserules, only to end up with a game experience that is very similar to what I already have. I'd rather spend that time learning something completely different, like Hero, or Fate, or one of the many "old school" systems that have been popping up in recent years.

 

However, for someone who is just starting out, I'd probably recommend Pathfinder over the SRD, especially if they were hoping to use modules. A lot of the stuff you can find for 3.5 is boring or has the potential to totally put the DM in a corner if the players don't neatly colour within the lines, while the vast majority of feedback I've heard about PF Adventure Paths is highly positive.

 

4th Edition now is genuinely different, for better or worse. My experience with it amounts only to three sessions as a level 1 character, PHB1, half of DMG1 and a cursory glance at Martial Power. Combat reminds me of Magic:The Gathering. You have your options laid out in front of you, with different restrictions as to when and how often you can use them, and you're trying to combine them in a clever way. I am quite taken with its options for tactical play and for effective player cooperation, and with the skill challenge mechanic (so much so, that I've incorporated that one into my 3.5 games). Without having actually done so, I also find its encounter building much more appealing than the challenge rating system and level-dependent xp table. I'm hoping that D&D Next will be very popular so ebay will be flooded with cheap 4e rulebooks.

 

P.S.: If someone wants to point the noob towards the large, obvious "spoiler" button, it would be much appreciated.

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What were you trying to make work that didnt?

 

Auld Grump summed it up pretty good.

 

Imagine having a game world with a deep and rich history, spanning thirty years of gaming. Forgotten Realms wishes that they had the cultural background I have with Shala. All of it was developed through play. The heroes of a thousand years ago from today's players' perspectives were once characters who became heroes back when I was in high school. I have hundreds of NPCs throughout the world, many who reoccur from game to game and group to group over the years. A good portion of these NPC wouldn't even come close to working under the rule sets of 4e (multi-classed elves is a BIG thing in parts of Shala). If it was just a few things, that would probably be OK, but it essentially would have made me have to rewrite everyone's history, or come up with reasons why whole orders of elves, psions, Death Clerics, etc... were no longer able to do what they were doing the last game. It just wasn't possible or feasible.

 

None of that really bothered me though, what bothered me was the flippant attitude that WOTC under Hasbro had toward the game and their long-standing faithful fans. In every edition of the game previous, the same core thread which not only allowed for immense creativity on the part of DMs but encouraged it existed. When I started playing D&D, Greyhawk barely existed yet. It was pretty much assumed that you would create your own world. Modules were often given a spot in your world, if you used them at all. As the game progressed so did the idea of the store-bought world which sell a lot more books than rules alone do (something PF does as well). What broke it though is that with 4e it became VERY difficult to play in any world but the ones they provide, unless one has all the time of youth to start over. I did not, so I walked away. I like playing in a world of my creation and our history. Store-bought settings lack the ability to actually affect them in meaningful ways, because the worlds themselves are not in your control. If the PCs in my world start a war, it will likely affect the world permanently and have far reaching consequences. That just isn't possible when playing other worlds without ignoring contradictory canon that follows.

 

Honestly, I was happy to keep playing 3.5, but my sons wanted to play, and they wanted their own, new books, etc... Pathfinder came about and solved the issue of bringing new people into an old game for us.

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Maltore:

 

in the top of the reply box are three buttons, one looks like a light switch, one an eraser, and I have no idea what the third one is, but it's the one you want. it gives a bunch of BBCode options, one of which is spoilers. or conversly you can cheat and do it manually with {spoiler}{/spoiler} replacing the { } with [ ]

 

I like the way things are going, and Maltore, good call on the side of caution. We're a friendly, non-confrontational group. Tangents in my experience here, seem generally okay and well accepted here, so long as they are kept polite, and don't go into rapid attack mode

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To follow-on from what ShadowRaven is saying, I think discussing 4th ed is totally reasonable in this thread; because I brought it up in my first post when I talked about what games I've played; plus we work out what we like in roleplaying games by talking about the games themselves and multiple versions there-of.

 

I started some heavy work basing my Bones Pathfinder Goblins today! I have 12 of them since I recently purchased another pack of Warriors. Hoping to start my first session some time in December so I need to get cracking and paint these little guys up!

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To follow-on from what ShadowRaven is saying, I think discussing 4th ed is totally reasonable in this thread; because I brought it up in my first post when I talked about what games I've played; plus we work out what we like in roleplaying games by talking about the games themselves and multiple versions there-of.

 

I started some heavy work basing my Bones Pathfinder Goblins today! I have 12 of them since I recently purchased another pack of Warriors. Hoping to start my first session some time in December so I need to get cracking and paint these little guys up!

What color did you decide to paint them? I've been stuck on having with my bones goblins for a month or more.

 

Also, be aware The Rise of the runelords pawns don't come with bases. The starter box ones work, but they expect you get the large ones from the bestiary box.

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To follow-on from what ShadowRaven is saying, I think discussing 4th ed is totally reasonable in this thread; because I brought it up in my first post when I talked about what games I've played; plus we work out what we like in roleplaying games by talking about the games themselves and multiple versions there-of.

 

I started some heavy work basing my Bones Pathfinder Goblins today! I have 12 of them since I recently purchased another pack of Warriors. Hoping to start my first session some time in December so I need to get cracking and paint these little guys up!

What color did you decide to paint them? I've been stuck on having with my bones goblins for a month or more.

 

Also, be aware The Rise of the runelords pawns don't come with bases. The starter box ones work, but they expect you get the large ones from the bestiary box.

 

I have a few of the Goblins from the 'We Be Goblins' blind bags so I think I'll paint them the same sort of green with red eyes. Maybe going to make them a little more bright though? More yellow-green than brown-green.

 

Thanks and I was aware, I've got a small bag of bases sitting in my shopping cart on the Paizo store. It is a shame their pawn packs don't come with bases but at least they sell them separately.

 

I got some cool swag in the mail today! (One of my cats Peanut is also very intrigued.)

pathfinderswag.jpg

Ordering in all of the gaming stuff I need since I can't source any of this stuff locally. Things like the Buff Decks are a little unnecessary but one thing I've learned from years of playing roleplaying games, is that if there is a way to make the DM and player's life easier you should do it. Makes for a little less looking for things on various character sheets during combat and there-for a more immersive gaming experience.

So I received some Buff Cards already; and at first glance they seem pretty damn nifty:

buffdeck.jpg

As well as listing the power, the Buff and the little tid-bits down the bottom they seem to be sorted into 3 different colours. Red, yellow and green. (Haven't figured out what the colours mean yet, but I will. I've just woken up and am only on my first cup of tea for the day) On the right-hand side there is the duration as well as what page on the Core Rulebook you'll find the full power details. Veeery handy!

There are also 5 blank cards included so you can make up some of your own.

 

Loving this Anniversary Addition book, it's big and pretty!

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Rise of the Runelords Anniversary edition gets my vote for the best value in gaming in years. Not only does it have the AP, which is awesometastic in its own right, it has a grillion extras. You've chosen wisely.

 

In addition, I would like to add, "KITTEH!"

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That buff deck looks like a good idea. I've never seen it before, so I have no actual knowledge, but just looking at the colours and names shown, I'd guess the colour coding is for targets. Red for self, yellow single target, maybe green for multiple targets or group effects like bless and bard songs? Or maybe bonus types so you know what stacks, like insight, luck, divine?

Edited by Suden

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I might have to look into those cards.

I have the original AP series (I've been a pathfinder subscriber since it started), but also bought the updated book. I mean, how could I not play pathfinder, they stole my forum name to label the game!

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That buff deck looks like a good idea. I've never seen it before, so I have no actual knowledge, but just looking at the colours and names shown, I'd guess the colour coding is for targets. Red for self, yellow single target, maybe green for multiple targets or group effects like bless and bard songs? Or maybe bonus types so you know what stacks, like insight, luck, divine?

Yeah that seems to be the case, very cool idea.

 

 

I might have to look into those cards.

They seem very nifty! I also just downloaded the iCrit and iFumble apps. for my iPad. They're great little apps. that spit out random Crit Failures and Successes. They have Fumble and Crit card decks as well, but the app. was cheaper and I always have my iPad with me at gaming sessions any way so it made sense.

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I might have to look into those cards.

 

I have the original AP series (I've been a pathfinder subscriber since it started), but also bought the updated book. I mean, how could I not play pathfinder, they stole my forum name to label the game!

 

I've heard mixed reviews on the original Pathfinder buff deck, mostly because there are so darned many, and they stack oddly. (I think they might also have contained an error on one of the cards.) I haven't seen this new deck before, but it does look pretty nice, especially with the built-in reference system.

 

As a semi-regular PFS GM, I strongly endorse the Pathfinder "Condition Cards". They both make it easy to keep track of things like blind, stunned, confused, etc., and also provide a handy little quick reference for what all of those things mean.

Edited by klarg1

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That buff deck looks like a good idea. I've never seen it before, so I have no actual knowledge, but just looking at the colours and names shown, I'd guess the colour coding is for targets. Red for self, yellow single target, maybe green for multiple targets or group effects like bless and bard songs? Or maybe bonus types so you know what stacks, like insight, luck, divine?

Yeah that seems to be the case, very cool idea.

 

 

I might have to look into those cards.

They seem very nifty! I also just downloaded the iCrit and iFumble apps. for my iPad. They're great little apps. that spit out random Crit Failures and Successes. They have Fumble and Crit card decks as well, but the app. was cheaper and I always have my iPad with me at gaming sessions any way so it made sense.

 

Be careful with critical or fumble tables. It may sound fun, but it usually ends up with crippled or dead characters and unhappy players. Various groups I have been in have experimented with many different types, but they always seem more fun on paper than in practice.

 

Oh, I looked up the colours, they correspond with class abilities like barbarian rage (red), spells like haste (yellow) and combat abilities like fighting defensively (green). I also ordered a deck, along with the condition cards klarg1 mentioned.

Edited by Suden

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Had they chosen to do colors by bonus type, that would have been really useful, but as is, the colors are nearly useless. There's one color for spells, another for class abilities, whatever. Also, not all effects are necessarily shown on the card. For instance, the Prayer card doesn't mention the effect on enemies in range.

 

That said, the cards are still really useful, and we have them in play most games. But they could so easily have been better. (Where's Redmond Simonsen when you need him*?)

 

 

* Yes, I know he died 8 years ago. It's a rhetorical device. ^_^

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@Cards: I love the GameMastery stuff!!!! So much WIN! My most recent aquisqueee are the Condition Cards. Thar be goblins in dem cards. ::D:

 

@Books: KEEP YOUR BOOKS. Box em up if you need to but don't let them go. I've done that more times than I care to remember and it's physically painful every time I think about it.

 

@Online/eBooks: I am very fond of the OGC website and my PDFs. It's nice being able to print out only what I'll need to DM a session and let the books circulate around the table as needed without my hogging them.

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That buff deck looks like a good idea. I've never seen it before, so I have no actual knowledge, but just looking at the colours and names shown, I'd guess the colour coding is for targets. Red for self, yellow single target, maybe green for multiple targets or group effects like bless and bard songs? Or maybe bonus types so you know what stacks, like insight, luck, divine?

Yeah that seems to be the case, very cool idea.

 

 

I might have to look into those cards.

They seem very nifty! I also just downloaded the iCrit and iFumble apps. for my iPad. They're great little apps. that spit out random Crit Failures and Successes. They have Fumble and Crit card decks as well, but the app. was cheaper and I always have my iPad with me at gaming sessions any way so it made sense.

 

Be careful with critical or fumble tables. It may sound fun, but it usually ends up with crippled or dead characters and unhappy players. Various groups I have been in have experimented with many different types, but they always seem more fun on paper than in practice.

 

Oh, I looked up the colours, they correspond with class abilities like barbarian rage (red), spells like haste (yellow) and combat abilities like fighting defensively (green). I also ordered a deck, along with the condition cards klarg1 mentioned.

 

My group regularly plays Rolemaster, I am very well versed on the epic wins and pit-falls of Crit tables.

For those of you don't know, Rolemaster is a system that uses a D100 dice for everything, and everything you can roll for you can either critically achieve or critically fail. Anything from a 96+ is a 'critical success' and it's an open-ended roll so you can roll again which can stack some big numbers for some really heroic and cool looking actions.

But then anything below a 4 (I think?) is a critical failure, and again an open-ended roll so you roll again and add that number and that becomes how much you've failed by. My MERP character recently rolled 2 open-ended critical failure rolls in one round while trying to make a performance check at a local Inn. Needless to say I was not invited back and the locals have come up with some very colorful nicknames for my character.

The town is holding a festival next session with different events, one of them being a singing competition. My character was only able to compete because I pleaded with the Mayor and got an open-ended critical success using my Diplomacy skill. Hopefully I can win back some of my reputation.

 

When I use Critical Hit and Critical Fumble tables at the table, they'll be behind my DM screen and at my discretion. I feel that while tables and things are handy to give ideas, ultimately it's up to the DM to decide how things should turn out and what will work for the campaign and the players.

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