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JiB on GM’ing: Pathfinder Variant Rules, Character Advancement

Tweet Our final exploration of the variant rules for Pathfinder found in the Ultimate Combat Guide discusses character advancement, the effect of magic and magic items, and takes a look at creatures and how to convert them to use the variant rules as well. Several people have raised some very valid thoughts, questions and even concerns about the variant rules and their impact on game play. Based on the test combats that I have run it seems to me that combat in Pathfinder is a bit more dangerous for the player characters now and the game ends up being a little bit grittier. There are lots of ways to measure the effect of a rule on combat but the one I use is, “How long does a creature stay in play in … Read entire article »

Filed under: Adventure Design, Alternate Views, General Gaming

JiB on GM’ing: Vigor and Wounds vs Hit Points in Pathfinder

Tweet When last we spoke …   We were talking about armor as damage reduction in the Pathfinder game. The next part of the variant rules available from the Ultimate Combat Guide involve replacing hit points with a Vigor score and a Wounds score. As unpalatable as Stu finds armor class, I have the same problem with hit points. As long as I’ve been playing variations of the d20 rules I have thought that hit points were a really bad way to express a characters health or their ability to withstand, or avoid, damage. It has always been one of those things that everyone ends up house ruling to some extent or another. Paizo has provided players with a much better representation. The purpose of this JiB on GM’ing article is to explore … Read entire article »

Filed under: Adventure Design, General Gaming

My New Year’s Wishes

Tweet Christmas is almost here and the impending doom of 2012 is right around the corner. So in an act of defiant denial, I now present my hopes and wishes for the new year of table top RP gaming. Acquire and Play Shadowrun. Shadowrun is one of those games I never played. We recently had an email from a listener on the podcast, and he detailed much of the good stuff about Shadowrun. So next year, I want to buy and try Shadowrun. I almost bought it while we were recording the show, but I remembered that I’m not supposed to buy stuff for myself between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Game Every Week. Right now it’s all I can do to game about twice a month, but I really wish it was an every … Read entire article »

Filed under: General Gaming

JiB on GM’ing: Armor Class as Damage Reduction in Pathfinder

Tweet There has been a lot of discussion lately about the merits, or lack thereof, of armor class (and by extension hit points) in the d20 game. Armor class as an abstraction was done for a very simple reason, it was fast. It didn’t take a lot to figure out whether an attack was successful or not or whether that attack did damage. I do not disagree that it was possibly an over simplification and it is certainly wildly inaccurate. To be blunt if accuracy is what you want play GURPS. The d20 construct was never intended to be an accurate representation of combat or of much of anything really. Interestingly though despite the undeniable fact that there are more accurate game systems available d20 in its many versions and forms … Read entire article »

Filed under: Misc

DnD 5th Edition

Tweet Most of the RPG bloggerati is convinced that DnD5e is in development. Posts from Monte Cook are scoured for hints as to what DnD5e will be like. People have put up wish lists of their hopes for the next edition of the 800-pound gorilla of the industry. Hell, I might as well put out my own wish list. You listening Monte? Ditch Armor Class. This was a bad game mechanic from its inception. For a miniatures game, which may be where it came from,  it’s fine. For a role-playing game, it’s outdated. There are a dozen different ways to handle to-hit and damage resolution. Give up on the hubris — admit there might be a more elegant solution to depicting armor in combat. Stop Obsessing About Game Balance. 4th Edtion DnD is a game … Read entire article »

Filed under: General Gaming, Opinion