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Post Posted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:59 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:
It's the same game system you got sucked into back in junior high...just like meeting a girl you knew back then, all grown up and pretty.


Yes, it is.  As I translate the monster stats, that's becoming increasingly obvious.

Slightly OT (since I seem to excel at that), where did the "Aboleth" come from?  
(Yeah, yeah, a blasphemous cyclopian city deep in the ocean.)

When did it come into D&D?
I'd never heard of it until I was flipping through a 3E book on aberrations.
It appeals to the Lovecraft fan in me.
Just curious.


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Post Posted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:36 am 
 

JasonZavoda wrote:
Which are $68 and $69 but not $90 or $100 which I was talking about. That was back in April so it is hard to say what the going price is today since the only completed sale I can find in the last two months was for $31


I sold a copy with a BIN for $50 last month. It has a large ding in the spine so I think I could have gotten more had it been in nicer shape.

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:48 am 
 

Keith the Thief wrote:
Yes, it is.  As I translate the monster stats, that's becoming increasingly obvious.

Slightly OT (since I seem to excel at that), where did the "Aboleth" come from?  
(Yeah, yeah, a blasphemous cyclopian city deep in the ocean.)

When did it come into D&D?
I'd never heard of it until I was flipping through a 3E book on aberrations.
It appeals to the Lovecraft fan in me.
Just curious.


It's first appearance was in I1 The Forbidden City.  Interestingly, I1 is filled with all kinds of cthuluoid references and story hints, as well as creatures such as the Bullywugs (deep ones) and Yuan Ti (Snake People), as well as degenerated humans (mongrelmen).  
Here are two adventure ideas from the back of the module, both have echoes of Howard, CAS and Lovecraft:

1. Under the city stretches the ancient primitive sewer system.
In it now live monsters and colonies of creatures of all sorts.
But, most common are the jungle-ghouls and the last human
descendants of the yuan ti ancestors. The ghouls and humans
wage a constant war of attacks, sallies, counter-attacks, and
sieges through the underground tunnels. More cunning than
normal ghouls and led by small demonic leaders, the jungleghouls
attempt to transform the humans into twisted slimebeasts
with their cancerous touch. The humans are nearly
blind from the centuries of underground existence and rely on
their other heightened senses to survive. They hate those who
bring light, worshipping the kindly god of darkness who drives
away the demons of light. It is rumored that somewhere in the
tunnels is the fabulous lost temple of Ranet. The temple is
there, and is guarded by the giant snake-queen.


2. As part of their plan to regain power, the yuan ti have revived
the worship of a vile and loathsome creature from another
plane. In one of the larger temple buildingsof the city, the yuan
ti have succeeded in opening a small gate to the creature's
plane. Many small and horrid beasts have entered through this
gate and are being used by the yuan ti for their plans. In
entering the temple, the characters must defeat the orchonos - vampiric orchid-like plantmen. As they delve further into the
structure, the creature itself begins to take control of the temple.
The building becomes more and more alive with pillars,
carvings, doors, rooms and other features writhing and attacking
the characters. At the same time, the guards of the yuan ti
must be dealt with if the party wants to proceed. Finally, after
several dangerous encounters, the characters reach the gate
in time to see a huge tentacle slithering through it. The creature
must be driven back and the gate closed.


I1 needless to say is one of my favorite adventures....I highly recommend it!

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 1:34 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:
I1 needless to say is one of my favorite adventures....I highly recommend it!

Mike B.


sounds right up my alley, too

I'd heard of the module, but that's the extent of my knowledge

Are these tunnels under the city filled with swamp water?
I.e. Is this an "underwater expedition"?

very cool!!


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Post Posted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:14 pm 
 

Sunken Empires talks about the Aboleth, with an intro by Cook on his creation of the monster.

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Post Posted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:31 pm 
 

Plaag wrote:Sunken Empires talks about the Aboleth, with an intro by Cook on his creation of the monster.

ShaneG.



what is Sunken Empires?

thx


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Post Posted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:41 pm 
 

This


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Post Posted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 5:22 pm 
 

Keith the Thief wrote:
sounds right up my alley, too

I'd heard of the module, but that's the extent of my knowledge

Are these tunnels under the city filled with swamp water?
I.e. Is this an "underwater expedition"?

very cool!!


There are some water filled areas of one of the entrances into the city, and an Aboleth inhabits one of these.  Other than this and the swamp/lake in the middle of the city, there isn't much underwater goodness here.

I'm running a Skype game Friday nights with Acaeum members, and they have spent the last 14 sessions in the Forbidden City. Lots of old school fun and goodness here!

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:33 pm 
 

serleran wrote:This


Excellent.

Despite my preference for "rules light" systems, I'm very intrigued by this game's attention to detail and creativity.

Sunken Empires is exactly the kind of product I enjoy.

I also like the fact that I can find their material here in town at bookstores.
That's a big plus for me.
The selection is not huge, but, hell, I could spend a year reading the Core Rulebook.

Thanks much.


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:51 pm 
 

Mark,

Back in 2007 I had gotten curious about the 3.x rules, and you were kind enough to send me a PM with your take on the system.  
Here's a snippet of what you said then:

FormCritic wrote:Essentially every term used in a 3.5 rulebook is a technical term with a rule attached to it. It is difficult to customize one house rule without affecting a list of other rules.

[And] 3.5 edition characters move about on a 5' grid system that tightly controls movement. There is a rule for almost every sort of possible movement.


From reading through the Bestiary, it's clear that the first statement will apply to PathFinder.

But does PathFinder have this much restriction when it comes to character movement and the Dungeon Master's overall control of the game?
I've noticed several folks have mentioned that PathFinder is 3.75E, so it makes me wonder if these "restrictions" were implemented by Paizo as well.

Like I said, I don't own the Core Rules, so I can't find out for myself (yet).

Added note: This is a potential collectible for me, or series of collectibles if Sunken Empires is as cool as it looks on the website.  I know we prefer to stay away from lengthy discussions about game mechanics.

Thanks,
Keith


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Post Posted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 5:05 am 
 

Pathfinder and D&D 3.5 are almost exactly the same game.  

D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder are the same D&D you played in high school.  Imagine if a DM had written down all of his house rules for AD&D.  Imagine that the DM had taken great care in using exactly the right words in order to be perfectly clear.  You might not like all the house rules, but they work together and at least the arguments have been cut to a minium.  That is D&D 3.5.

By the brilliant move of printing their own rulebook, Paizon Publications LLC has kept 3.5 in print.  Essentially, Paizo adopted a child abandoned by WOTC.  

Exactly why WOTC made this possible is a mystery.

The rules have been edited into a more workable order by placing them in a single book.  

Some small rule changes have been made betweem Pathfinder and D&D 3.5.  For instance, clerical turning does damage rather than making the undead run away.  Paladins have a sword that grows in holy power as they advance in levels.  Stuff like that.

The haphazard skills system from the later AD&D hardbacks has been standardized in D&D 3.5 and continued in Pathfinder.  There is also the concept of special maneuvers called "feats," which you choose for your character as he advances.

Monsters have more complex stats in Pathfinder/D&D 3.5...making the DM work harder but also allowing a skilled DM to keep the players guessing.

Lift up the hood on your Pathfinder/D&D 3.5 adventures and you will find the same engine that drives AD&D/OD&D purring there.  The math is the same, and it still works.  Roll a d20.  1 out of 20=5%.  Hit. Miss. Fudge. Forget the rules you don't like but always remember your bonuses.

Same as it ever was.


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Post Posted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 5:22 am 
 

Having read that Pathfinder sounds interesting. I wish it were 1st ed, as I'd buy it. That cleric and paladin ruling above sounds good. I guess I'll stick to looking at picking up OSRIC.
Tempted by Pathfinder though, I must say.


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Post Posted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 10:04 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:For instance, clerical turning does damage rather than making the undead run away.  Paladins have a sword that grows in holy power as they advance in levels.  Stuff like that.


In my own house rules, Clerics damaged undead instead of turning them.
The Paladin's sword is a creative addition.
I like that one a lot.

FormCritic wrote:The haphazard skills system from the later AD&D hardbacks has been standardized in D&D 3.5 and continued in Pathfinder.  There is also the concept of special maneuvers called "feats," which you choose for your character as he advances.


This was an area of 3.5 that seemed confusing.  It wasn't clear what  distinguished a "skill" (e.g., picking locks) from a "feat".

FormCritic wrote:Monsters have more complex stats in Pathfinder/D&D 3.5...making the DM work harder but also allowing a skilled DM to keep the players guessing.


This is consistent with our high school D&D/AD&D games.  Since I was always the DM, I followed the spirit of the OD&D game to create my own variation on monsters, and even to allow PCs to be monsters, within reason.

FormCritic wrote:Lift up the hood on your Pathfinder/D&D 3.5 adventures and you will find the same engine that drives AD&D/OD&D purring there.  The math is the same, and it still works.  Roll a d20.  1 out of 20=5%.  Hit. Miss. Fudge. Forget the rules you don't like but always remember your bonuses.

Same as it ever was.


Cool.

Now I have 4 things to do ....

1. Find the $$ to buy the Core Rules
2. If they are as good as I think they might be, then I have to try to talk my old-fogie friends into playing something new (and convince them that is not actually new)
3. Find a way to play online (via message board, wiki, FB group, whatever) with these friends.
4. Figure out whether my 9-12 year-old kids and nephews can handle Pathfinder or if I need to go with an old school clone.

Thanks for the help & advice

8)


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Last edited by Keith the Thief on Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  

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Post Posted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 10:17 am 
 

ashmire13 wrote:Having read that Pathfinder sounds interesting. I wish it were 1st ed, as I'd buy it. That cleric and paladin ruling above sounds good. I guess I'll stick to looking at picking up OSRIC.
Tempted by Pathfinder though, I must say.


Speaking of which, I'd been leaning heavily toward Basic Fantasy RPG (vice OSRIC).  
But evidently I screwed up the file management in GoodReader on my iPad.
So, what I thought was OSRIC actually was not.

Now that that's corrected, I've found OSRIC is very impressive.
It may have moved ahead of BFRPG in my quest to have a good OSR system ...
Provided, of course, that I don't plunge headlong into Pathfinder.
And debt.

8)


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Post Posted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 10:21 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:Pathfinder and D&D 3.5 are almost exactly the same game.  

D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder are the same D&D you played in high school.  Imagine if a DM had written down all of his house rules for AD&D.  Imagine that the DM had taken great care in using exactly the right words in order to be perfectly clear.  You might not like all the house rules, but they work together and at least the arguments have been cut to a minium.  That is D&D 3.5.

By the brilliant move of printing their own rulebook, Paizon Publications LLC has kept 3.5 in print.  Essentially, Paizo adopted a child abandoned by WOTC.  

Exactly why WOTC made this possible is a mystery.

The rules have been edited into a more workable order by placing them in a single book.  

Some small rule changes have been made betweem Pathfinder and D&D 3.5.  For instance, clerical turning does damage rather than making the undead run away.  Paladins have a sword that grows in holy power as they advance in levels.  Stuff like that.

The haphazard skills system from the later AD&D hardbacks has been standardized in D&D 3.5 and continued in Pathfinder.  There is also the concept of special maneuvers called "feats," which you choose for your character as he advances.

Monsters have more complex stats in Pathfinder/D&D 3.5...making the DM work harder but also allowing a skilled DM to keep the players guessing.

Lift up the hood on your Pathfinder/D&D 3.5 adventures and you will find the same engine that drives AD&D/OD&D purring there.  The math is the same, and it still works.  Roll a d20.  1 out of 20=5%.  Hit. Miss. Fudge. Forget the rules you don't like but always remember your bonuses.

Same as it ever was.


Forum Critic's convincing me with every post. Are there any Pathfinder shortcomings?
<intrigued>

  


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Post Posted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 10:24 am 
 

I've just downloaded OSRIC pdf from the site and it looks good. I'm looking at Lulu for a printed copy, although I cant see much difference between the various copies available?

Any views?


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Post Posted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:44 pm 
 

ashmire13 wrote:I've just downloaded OSRIC pdf from the site and it looks good. I'm looking at Lulu for a printed copy, although I cant see much difference between the various copies available?

Any views?


Given that it's 400 ppg, I'd suggest a hardcover version.

I printed a good chunk of the PDF and that many pages is unwieldy without sturdy backing.

The hardcover price ($25) seems quite good for a book that contains PHB, MM & DMG.  It is 1E AD&D.

The color hardcover price ($99) seems like sticker shock at first, but compared to new copies of Pathfinder Core Rules and Bestiary, the price is reasonable.

8)


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Post Posted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:48 pm 
 

puterdragon wrote:
Forum Critic's convincing me with every post. Are there any Pathfinder shortcomings?
<intrigued>


I like fast and unrealistic combat (seriously), so I suspect that for someone who wants quick combat, this may not be the game for you.

However, the DM may have control over this.  I'm not sure.

For D&D, in any form, I don't really want to play Squad Leader.

On the other hand, I'm trying to broaden my horizons.

8)


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Post Posted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:09 pm 
 

I need to re-check Lulu,as I could only the colour HB at £67ish. £20 for a HB is certainly the way forward, if I can get it in the UK.


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Post Posted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 4:01 pm 
 

puterdragon wrote:Forum Critic's convincing me with every post. Are there any Pathfinder shortcomings?
<intrigued>


No RPG is without faults or weak points.

Pathfinder has the same shortcomings as D&D 3.5:

1)  Complex rules...because the rules are usually quite excruciatingly clear, there are technical terms to learn or look up.  

(For instance:  You find a ring that increases your armor class by +3.  Is that a morale bonus, magical bonus, deflection bonus, armor bonus, luck bonus, cover bonus or concealment bonus?  It matters because different types of bonuses "stack" and the same type of bonus generally does not "stack."  Also, concealment is completely different from cover.)

(For instance:  Your character is engulfed in a horrendous cloud of gas and fails his saving throw.  Have you been nauseated, stunned, shaken, panicked, paralyzed or fatigued?  Each of these terms means something specific.)

DM's used to make these sorts of rulings on the fly.  In D&D 3.5/Pathfinder these effects are described in the rules.

2)  Interconnected rules...so you have to be careful when you make house rulings.  The effects can be more than you expected.

I do use some house rules.  Sometimes, my players "forget" the house rules as we have agreed upon them.  They insist I am wrong.  My response is to immediately begin enforcing the rules as written until the players remember why we made the original house rule and say "uncle."  

3)  Because the rules are more complex, it is more annoying when the DM varies from them during play.

At PaizoCon, my character was adventuring in the module Entombed with the Pharaohs.  A mummy-thing walked around a corner in the pyramid tomb complex...it moaned, causing some of us to panic...it fired three arrows...all in one surprise action.  That is not possible in 3.5/Pathfinder.  The mummy can do one of those three actions in a surprise action (walk, moan or shoot)...and it could only fire one arrow if shooting the bow was its choice.  Several of our NPC's were downed and half the party was panicked before we could react.  This was irritating.

In AD&D, the DM would say, "This is my game.  I am God.  Shut up."  An argument would then ensue.

In 3.5/Pathfinder, the argument is already presumed to be settled and the DM is wiser to follow the letter of the rules.

(The classic response to this is, "In my game I just told the players that I was boss.  Like it or leave."  Really?  Where is your gaming group now?  Arguments over game rulings sank far more AD&D campaigns than angry mothers, fundamentalist preachers or Chick tracts combined.)

4)  Because the rules are complex, in-game rulings are more of a shared responsibility between DM and players.

In the instance I have used as an example above, the DM did in fact make a god-like ruling.  He ruled automatically that we were surprised.  Aside from the fact that we were already on the alert, and the appearance of a mummy in a pyramid tomb is not particularly surprising, there was supposed to be a chance to "spot" the mummy before it surprised us.  Not being surprised is one of the benefits of being...for instance...a ranger.

Every player at the table was more expert in the rules than that DM.  We looked at each other (we were all strangers), shrugged and went on.  My own gaming group would have pointed out the rules problem.  They would have let the spot versus surprise ruling go, but no way could the mummy take all three actions.  I would have agreed and had the mummy just walk around the corner.

No game is perfect.  I like to play Axis and Allies on my computer.  As soon as the computer starts to lose it begins to cheat hellaciously on the dice rolls.  I point out the laws of probability to my computer, but it never listens or gives in.  

Last night, playing the final scenario of Close Combat, A Bridge Too Far (which is essentially computerized Squad Leader), a German assault gun knocked out three of my tanks.  My tanks could not trace line of sight to the German armored vehicle, which was concealed by a small shell hole, but the German somehow had no problem seeing my tanks.  Go figure.


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