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How to make PFO more "Pathfinder"

Lisa Stevens
In the thread about the Unity platform upgrade, it devolved into talking about the fact that Pathfinder Online needs to have more "Pathfinder" in it. I agree and have been doing a lot of thinking about how to make that a reality, but I would love to hear the thoughts of the community. After folks have had a chance to give me their ideas, I will throw some of mine out to see what you think.

One caveat, we really can't make a theme park MMO with lots of scripted story content. We just don't have the budget or people to do that. So dungeons, for instance, are just not going to happen any time in the near future. Focus on how we can make our fantasy sandbox MMO more Pathfinder. Using mechanics that we already have in game would be a huge plus.

I look forward to your ideas!

Many of these things have already been suggested by others. Most would probably take some serious physical work but hopefully not impossible(beyond available skill sets work). Plz don't take them all literal with a "yes or no", rather let them spark their own ideas… smile

*Spell loot can be consumed as items(if choosen), i.e. scrolls from the "grenade/token" part of the combat bar.
*Recognized PFRPG items/magic items recipes but of limited use so that neither crafting nor the loot system gets disrupted. A compromise. Could be everything from refined materials to finished gear, but all has slightly different stats.
*More defined "class" adherence bonuses for only slotting "class relative skills". Give classes some stronger identity.

*Might not like this… This is an MMO that you want to play "somewhat" like a certain TT RPG. You need it to run as much like or reminiscent of that experience as possible. Either Paizo DM or volunteer DM oversight of adventures would be good. So would something that over arches some sort of "story" that is more "in your face" or at least is easily recognized even if it can't ever be fully resolved. Maybe sometimes partially resolved.
*Along these lines, "small" scripted adventure hooks that are randomly occurring daily at random NPCs. Things like-"Kill X and I'll teach/give you the item/recipe/reward for Hardened Steel Ingots" or along lines of MANY reward possibilities.

*You have the ability to lay down sections of wall or other type obstacles. You have the ability to have "roofs" reveal by camera angle and position. You have LoS. Why can't mazes be the first iteration of dungeons? With or without NPCs, they would be great for increased tactical play…
Virtute et Armis
Harad Navar
Lisa, I was drawn to PFO not because it offered story as content, but because it offered story as opportunity. Territorial conquest is an excellent example of story as opportunity. Factions (including religious followings) would be another. But I think that there are more options for story as opportunity that would not require (at least as far as I understand) an impractical amount of additional work.

1) Banditry as Story - a social company of bandits would to me feel more "Pathfinder". But it would need something to give that bandit social company an in-game presence. In territorial conquest a company can have a holding where the whole company can use the holding. A bandit social company could have a modified camp object (or a base camp) as a hideout. A game object that would not show on the mini-map (as shrines don't), possibility with a stealth score, that would be accessible by the entire social company and not just an individual's party (which is closed to party members when the party creator is off-line).

2) Law Keeping as story - if there are bandits, so should there be sheriffs. A social company of sheriffs or bounty hunters would be a natural story of opportunity if there are bandits. A small holding (or it's ilk) accessible to all the sheriffs/bounty hunters would be an ideal location for those who feel wronged to seek justice.

3) Ability scores that have a direct impact on play - RPGs typically have as a component bonuses to actions based on ability score. This would be the most direct "Pathfinder" flavor to add.

4) Contracts as Story - There may not be dungeons, but there can be quests. In a sense, a quest is a contract between a group of players and some entity, even if that entity is a GM. With in-game contracts, groups could strive to accomplish a specific goal that is totally player driven. It could be to garter rare materials to craft a magic item. It could be to harass an enemy settlement or faction. It could be to protect a trade route. The players would create the story that is impractical to have as game content.

5) Social company/faction managers - I am not sure it would be practical for GW staff to run factions or religious groups. However, Paizo has experience with having players provide content managers with the Pathfinder Society organization. This might be the most direct way to "pathfinder" PFO. It would provide an influx of Pathfinder oriented players who would bring that "Pathfinder" feel with them, mostly because it is in their best interest to expand that feel in game.
Knowledge can explain the darkness, but it is not a light.
Stilachio Thrax
* Factions that are attached to known Golarion organizations.
* Get Deities up and running so that choosing alignment, feats and expendables matter to clerics. Include more Golarion Deities.
* Lootable, single-use recipes for unique equipment found in TT. Things like Mithral Full Plate of Speed or Sunblade.
* Features that duplicate archtypes or prestige classes found in Golarion.
* Known NPCs from River Kingdoms scattered about, perhaps even moving around to different places. They don't even need to do anything specific other than maybe have a few bits of dialogue. You could throw in some of the characters from the novel that was a Kickstarter reward.
Virtus et Honor

Steward of Ozem's Vigil, Lord Commander of the Argyraspides Iomedais
I agree that the alignment should go in, and that MORE Deities should be included in the List like; Kurgress.

That and faction specific items, camps, holdings and Outposts that CAN ONLY be made and used by members of that faction.
What I've seen that I like so far because they tie to PFRPG:
*Bringing in PFRPG items, recipes, etc… into play. They are recognizable. They are PathFinder.
*Straight "Class" bonuses
*New Features/Skills that flesh out class archetypes and help players figure out what they need to build to get where they want. Tighten up recognizable game "classes".
*Effective bonuses for ability scores so that they are more than just "gates" and actually make you feel that you are smart or wise or strong, etc….
*More recognizable NPCs.
*Contracts as Story <–This. It is the most basic building block for activity, adventure, "Deeds of Daring Do". Complete task, receive reward. It can also flow into all kinds of things like mercenary work, gaining Faction Favor, NPC escalation clearing, Economics, etc…

I feel like enough work has been done for now on settlement mechanics, building types and PVP(except LOOT is still missing). PVP is largely the unwanted cousin of the system that you have here. Yes, I do still feel that PVP is critical to PFO. I just don't think it should feel like it is forced on your PFRPG customers in a too obvious or overbearing manner. With the caveat of polishing and getting all feats to work, all systems to function more smoothly but that isn't the question here….

What I haven't seen suggested but might be critical:
Poll your wanted customer base. Question them. Ask them how they would go about some things. They are TT players and DMs. They are creative types. All it takes is a mass email of the old customer base.
Virtute et Armis
Factions did get me thinking of the settlements found in APs, modules, and novels…
related Tangent from this thread: Settlement Factions.
Hmmm… I'm not dogging factions. I would rather have factions before Social Companies, if I were asked. I think that more could be done with or built off of them. They probably are more PFRPG than old school D&D. smile

1. I am not knowledgeable about PFRPG factions and whether they are as critical to familiarity as basic things like PF magic items, classes, ability score bonuses, etc… or not.
2. I do also get a sense that they would be a tremendous amount of work, just to get started at a basic level.

I could be wrong on both points.

PS-@Lisa, can hardly wait to see if we are thinking along the same lines as you are. Waiting for those ideas! smile
Virtute et Armis
@ Brings
When I did the Factions I generalised them, since a few PF settlement examples are almost identical.
I tried structuring parts of the idea using existing code and features and I do admit some could be more work then expected.

Since each faction as a modified Feud+raid system, it could reuse a lot of the Feud+raid system
Almost all of the items already have a Base in game already.
Some of the passive features of each faction could take some time to make.
The Only hard part I see is making the Requirements, since the alignment system is not in yet, and it would need checking settlement buildings and denying the removal of buildings once the choice is made.
Father Bronin
Factions, Religion and Enchanting are three items already on the intended list. Those would all be useful to have fully fleshed out. I want my Bag of Holding to actually be useful…

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