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Author Topic: This thread is about Pathfinder RPG!  (Read 12421 times)

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Online Myrleena

Re: This thread is about Pathfinder RPG!
« Reply #50 on: December 16, 2013, 08:15:18 PM »
I think that has more to do with the 3rd Edition ruleset being heavily weighted towards group games as opposed to 1-on-1 adventures.  I've seen it done before, but a lot of the time the combat is very underleveled to compensate, a significant portion is non-combat stuff, and the adventure itself is heavily geared around the class being played (a solo Rogue plays very different than a solo Barbarian).

Oh, I totally agree. Every game is different. But yeah...I know I'm a bit of an oddball GM, in that I build to concept, not to the power level people expect.

As I just noticed that this is a public forum (didn't realize it was in off-topic), I removed direct references to my items and adventure.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2013, 08:44:55 PM by Myrleena »

Offline Jeramiahh

Re: This thread is about Pathfinder RPG!
« Reply #51 on: December 16, 2013, 09:07:58 PM »
I think that has more to do with the 3rd Edition ruleset being heavily weighted towards group games as opposed to 1-on-1 adventures.  I've seen it done before, but a lot of the time the combat is very underleveled to compensate, a significant portion is non-combat stuff, and the adventure itself is heavily geared around the class being played (a solo Rogue plays very different than a solo Barbarian).

Myr's friend and design review buddy here, and probably one of the people with the most experience writing one-on-one D&D games in the world. I'll definitely agree that you have to be a lot more careful with combat; since I tend to write on here, I tend to be a little looser with it, as losing can be just as much fun as winning. Some other tips I've found, that make it easier:

-Give the player an ally. This helps gives them someone to talk with, share downtime with, helps with the action economy, keeping watches, and much more. I tend to go for simple-to-play and complimentary characters; fighter types, for spellcasters, and healers for fighter types. Animal companions can also do well here.
-Not everything has to be combat. I use a lot more social encounters, puzzles, traps, even hazardous terrain to be navigated, in lieu of throwing hordes of enemies at a player. Not to mention that the PbP format doesn't encourage direct combat as much; I tend to do a few easier ones early on, give the player an ally, then focus on a mix of social and combat.
-For a solo player, CR-2 is a good challenge for them. I like to start in the 6th-8th level range; high enough level to give spellcasters both survivability and flavor, low enough that melee aren't completely outclassed, and with enough choices of interesting monsters and challenges, that's the period when PCs really come into their own, and feel like the class you picked, instead of a guy who can sneeze out a couple spells and then rely on his crossbow for the rest of the day.
-I actually don't try to design specifically for a PC; it's usually more a case of 'here's an interesting encounter, how is the PC going to deal with it?'. Of course, I do think about how I expect them to deal with it, but I also know that plans never play out how I might expect, so it's always good to design generic, plan specific.
Also, Myr is an evil, evil DM, and everything she designs is scary.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: This thread is about Pathfinder RPG!
« Reply #52 on: December 16, 2013, 09:09:26 PM »
Yeah but you have to watch out for what the player has.. don't unleash a magic resistant golem on a wizardly type without given the player options.. like using grease on a caytid column and pushing it down a pit. (did that once. :D )

An Ally is ALWAYS helpful too. He can shove them down into the pit. :D
« Last Edit: December 16, 2013, 09:11:15 PM by Callie Del Noire »

Offline Chris Brady

Re: This thread is about Pathfinder RPG!
« Reply #53 on: December 16, 2013, 09:18:39 PM »
Here are my suggestions for a one on one 3.x game.

Lower enemy hit points.  Period.  Half or even quarter them.  Remember 3.x (and by extension Pathfinder) was designed for groups of 4 to 5 focus firing on a single target, then moving to another.  Don't be afraid to employ mook rules (Wicked Fantasy Factory from Goodman Games has a few nice suggestions on that front, as well as others.)  Let's the player mow down masses of enemies (anything from 3 to 10 per 'swing' if necessary.)

Defensively, lower or even remove Damage Reduction and Spell Resistances on anything not being the 'end encounter'. Nothing sucks when you're throwing everything you got on a non-boss monster and it just doesn't work, and you have no other means.  Let Wizards be Wizards.

In the same vein, leave the save or 'die' (as in Save or End Encounter) spells in the players hands.

Healing, this is the big one.  The game is set up so that attrition is the biggest factor.  So why not allow your players to get their Con or Con bonus (if it's positive.  If not make it a 1) per Level back in hit points after each fight?  Or a hit die+Con bonus, or something.  In the end, speed up the healing your player gets, no matter the class.  After all, without the player, you have no campaign.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: This thread is about Pathfinder RPG!
« Reply #54 on: December 16, 2013, 09:42:37 PM »
Or at the very least, plan your campaigns around the necessary downtime/recovery time for a non-caster PC to be able to maintain a healthy HP buffer (or have magical healing/potions be dirt-cheap and plentiful).

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: This thread is about Pathfinder RPG!
« Reply #55 on: December 16, 2013, 09:48:09 PM »
Now I wish I could get someone to do a game with me even MORE.

I got my poor Rogue/Wizard who just got turned into a True Azlanti female (used to be a tiefling male) whos is the literal clone of a runelord.

Online Myrleena

Re: This thread is about Pathfinder RPG!
« Reply #56 on: December 16, 2013, 10:33:08 PM »
Playing through Shattered Star, I see?

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: This thread is about Pathfinder RPG!
« Reply #57 on: December 16, 2013, 10:34:57 PM »
Playing through Shattered Star, I see?

Yeah.. only 1 for perception I've made..and the GM decided (as we lost our healer) instead of the two negative levels my character is actually reliving Sorshen's seamy life.

She wants to pull down a certain ziggaruat in Korvoso now.

Right now we're in the third book trying to find a lost oracle.

Online Myrleena

Re: This thread is about Pathfinder RPG!
« Reply #58 on: December 16, 2013, 10:36:49 PM »
*laughs* I like Sorshen and the like, but I'm also a sucker for succubi, so...whichever! Anyway, I was amused that I could actually guess it.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: This thread is about Pathfinder RPG!
« Reply #59 on: December 16, 2013, 10:38:53 PM »
*laughs* I like Sorshen and the like, but I'm also a sucker for succubi, so...whichever! Anyway, I was amused that I could actually guess it.

I know..that was (way back when) I asked if we could do a story together. Nothing came of it.

It's kind of weird..the character was the tiefling child of a 'named' family in Magnimar..now they want HER back..and she's too busy setting up a school and working with the pathfinders to be bothered about them.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2013, 12:13:15 AM by Callie Del Noire »

Offline SkynetTopic starter

Re: This thread is about Pathfinder RPG!
« Reply #60 on: December 16, 2013, 11:44:57 PM »
Oh, I totally agree. Every game is different. But yeah...I know I'm a bit of an oddball GM, in that I build to concept, not to the power level people expect.

As I just noticed that this is a public forum (didn't realize it was in off-topic), I removed direct references to my items and adventure.

I'd still be interested in hearing your experiences with 1-on-1 games, via PM if you want.

Myr's friend and design review buddy here, and probably one of the people with the most experience writing one-on-one D&D games in the world. I'll definitely agree that you have to be a lot more careful with combat; since I tend to write on here, I tend to be a little looser with it, as losing can be just as much fun as winning. Some other tips I've found, that make it easier:

-Give the player an ally. This helps gives them someone to talk with, share downtime with, helps with the action economy, keeping watches, and much more. I tend to go for simple-to-play and complimentary characters; fighter types, for spellcasters, and healers for fighter types. Animal companions can also do well here.
-Not everything has to be combat. I use a lot more social encounters, puzzles, traps, even hazardous terrain to be navigated, in lieu of throwing hordes of enemies at a player. Not to mention that the PbP format doesn't encourage direct combat as much; I tend to do a few easier ones early on, give the player an ally, then focus on a mix of social and combat.
-For a solo player, CR-2 is a good challenge for them. I like to start in the 6th-8th level range; high enough level to give spellcasters both survivability and flavor, low enough that melee aren't completely outclassed, and with enough choices of interesting monsters and challenges, that's the period when PCs really come into their own, and feel like the class you picked, instead of a guy who can sneeze out a couple spells and then rely on his crossbow for the rest of the day.
-I actually don't try to design specifically for a PC; it's usually more a case of 'here's an interesting encounter, how is the PC going to deal with it?'. Of course, I do think about how I expect them to deal with it, but I also know that plans never play out how I might expect, so it's always good to design generic, plan specific.
Also, Myr is an evil, evil DM, and everything she designs is scary.

Your advice is pretty good.  I'd be interested in hearing any other tips or house rules you have.

What about Point Buy?  I'd assume that 25 point is best, as it's both the highest and allows the PC to have some good ability scores.

Also, something I've heard is that losing in combat does not have to equal PC death.  The character might be captured instead, stabilized and sans equipment, but with an opportunity to escape.


Truth be told, I've always wanted to try a 1 on 1 Pathfinder game, in part because 3rd Edition is the game I'm most familiar with, and trying to manage multiple PCs in a PbP game can be very hectic.  But the system requires a lot of house rules and considerations to deal with, and I've never really done PbP before except once, so I end up getting scared off.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2013, 11:55:06 PM by Skynet »

Online NicciKotor

Re: This thread is about Pathfinder RPG!
« Reply #61 on: December 17, 2013, 12:56:34 AM »
I have been doing one on one naughty pathfinder games here in Elliqiuy for years! The primary trick of keeping a game going and not stalling is combat efficiency. If you try to rp out a fight it gets tedious as fuck right away, as combat is most interesting when the player is forced to make fast decisions and react accordingly. Which is why you need to use a separate chat system like yahoo chat, or use the IIRC system here in elliquiy to do all of the rolls and circumstances for the fight. Once it is over the DM summarizes the battle and moves on to more plots and orgies and more orgies.

Doing this you can finish a combat easily within a hour and it won't bog down anything, while still having the player use their character and abilities and hitting stuff. I've also perfected a mapping system that I use for group games, as that is too busy work for a one on one.

It is also good to base plots and worlds and other characters on preexisting plots and scenes that each of you understand thoroughly. This eliminates the huge world building hassle while giving the kick needed for extended play. That and if you take the effort to work on your own world base it around a really neat idea, like I did with The Nekomimi Plague.

Anyone that wants to play with me is more than eager to try it out.

Offline Jeramiahh

Re: This thread is about Pathfinder RPG!
« Reply #62 on: December 17, 2013, 10:34:37 PM »
Your advice is pretty good.  I'd be interested in hearing any other tips or house rules you have.

What about Point Buy?  I'd assume that 25 point is best, as it's both the highest and allows the PC to have some good ability scores.

Also, something I've heard is that losing in combat does not have to equal PC death.  The character might be captured instead, stabilized and sans equipment, but with an opportunity to escape.

Truth be told, I've always wanted to try a 1 on 1 Pathfinder game, in part because 3rd Edition is the game I'm most familiar with, and trying to manage multiple PCs in a PbP game can be very hectic.  But the system requires a lot of house rules and considerations to deal with, and I've never really done PbP before except once, so I end up getting scared off.

Feel free to check out my Dungeons of Doom subforum. (Original Player's Wanted thread here), if you want to see an example of some of my games. They're primarily done in 3.5, since I started it 6 years ago, and only seriously picked up Pathfinder in the last three.

I used a 36 Point Buy in 3.5, which is a fair bit lower in Pathfinder; I think it equates out to 25, but I'm not 100% certain. I gave the PCs quite a bit more than standard wealth, to help alleviate some of the issues of being a solo player, and, in general, played fairly fast and loose with the rules in a lot of situations. Story always comes first, in my opinion, but the rules are there as a solid backbone. Pathfinder is also nicer for solo play, as it gives people more options; at will cantrips, more feats to use, and generally a higher power curve.

If you want examples of more Pathfinder focused games, all of my currently active (and more than a few of my inactive) games in the NC:E-SS forum are one-on-one Pathfinder games, with varying degrees of adhering to the rules; some are fairly strict, and some are very loose, with the rules there as a common ground for communicating ideas.

I really use surprisingly few house rules; mostly convenience things, to speed along the PbP environment, such as stating in the post "If you hit Perception, DC 20, you see whatever," as I trust my players to not metagame. Too badly. Most of it simply comes from system mastery; I've played D&D 3.0-Pathfinder voraciously for the last twelve years, usually spending 8-15+ hours a week, in games, discussions, research, and more.

As far as losing is concerned, non-lethal damage is your friend, since any amount of non-lethal dealt usually means a KO instead of a kill, especially with how hardy Pathfinder PCs are, as opposed to their 3.5 counterparts.

Nicci's idea of taking combat outside the forum is also quite useful, and one I've done a few times, to expedite things, though I tend to avoid it, since I only post here/deal with games about one hour a day, now.

Online Myrleena

Re: This thread is about Pathfinder RPG!
« Reply #63 on: December 18, 2013, 07:44:20 PM »
I was considering my games, and I thought that I might put out some thoughts on my own methods for messing with the classic PC 'scry & fry' tactics. As a GM, spells like divination, commune, and contact other plane are exceedingly dangerous to your plotlines if you aren't careful. Similarly, scrying is a danger, but far more manageable to deal with. I've been toying with them of late, and thought I'd share some of my strategies for dealing with it.

1) Do nothing: In this case, the opponent is the type who doesn't know how such magic works or simply doesn't care. Thus, they're doomed to an early grave. But let's be honest...if you shut down these tactics every time, you're just being a jerk. Sure, having the PCs dismantle an encounter/plot you spent days, weeks, or even months building can suck, but remember, they're playing the game too. In this case, I recommend seeing my next option below.

2) Make decoys: There are multiple levels of this option, but the most common is that the villain you were chasing was just the minion of someone far more powerful than they were. If you had a villain who was taken out too easily, who you put tons of work into? Then make them the stooge of the shadowy villain. Perhaps they were brainwashed into believing they were in charge, or they simply don't know the name of the real villain...or maybe they're just an honest to goodness miniboss. This is a decent option whether you plan it ahead of time or not. But if it's a replacement? Have your real villain not make the same mistakes.

3) Scrying Protection: The classic here is mage's private sanctum, at least in Pathfinder. It covers a 30 foot cube per level, lasts for 24 hours, and can be made permanent for the price of 12,500 gp. On the other hand, it blocks all other divination spells, and also blocks vision into the area warded, so it can be that this isn't necessarily what you want...but hey, it gives a baseline for things, doesn't it? Come to think of it, I'll rework this to determine the pricing on a ward at the end of this post...anyway, back to scrying. Another option that most people ignore is that lead sheeting flat out blocks scrying. It's listed right there under the Divination school. So an intelligent opponent should be smart enough to make sure that there's lead in the walls, or mixed into the mortar between bricks. Do the same for the floor, add leaded glass windows, and make certain not to ignore the roof. Lead is cheap, so it wouldn't be hard to do for any proper lair. I'll admit, I got some of my inspiration from Pathfinder #35, War of the River Kings, where the author takes the measures with lead into account.

4) Mind Blank: I'm only putting this in there because no discussion is complete without it. Yes, it utterly blocks divination spells. Yes, it's without equal. Yes, it makes that wizard with greater invisibility immune to true seeing or see invisibility. It's also absurdly high level, and unless you're at that point, not an option. Instead look at things like nondetection, screen, and the like. Lower level spells can still be effective. But not as much as not knowing who to look for...

5) False Appearance & Name: Divinations are only as good as the information you ask about. If you ask too vague of a question, or your players do, you shouldn't give them freebies. Let it fail to give them anything useful. At least, unless the PCs feel just as good about the villain casting divination and asking "Who is the greatest threat to me?" and getting all of the PC's names, favorite tactics, current location, and so forth. Make them work for it. The villain can make this harder by taking a different shape that's all too common (brown-haired, brown-eyed middle-aged human), and a name that is bound to refer to the wrong individual (John Smith). If the PCs can't figure out the opponent's actual name and appearance, scrying or other divinations suddenly become much, much more difficult to manage, and they'd best rely on footwork to work things out.

Now, none of these address dimensional travel like teleportation...but that's as it should be. There are possible defenses in-system, and villains should try to make their lairs either impossible to micro-manage destinations to (anti-scrying), or use actual spells to block it (dimension lock/forbiddance). Personally, I've begun adding things to address long-range teleportation in my home campaigns...but that's neither here nor there.

Now, my custom Anti-Scrying enchantment! Including math!

Mage's Private Sanctum is a 5th level spell, requiring an 11th level wizard. Multiplying those together, followed by 2,000 gp for a continuous use item, is 110,000 gp. Now, since it has a base duration of 24 hours, you divide the cost by 2. This drops it to 55,000 gp...which isn't bad for an item you can wear which blocks sight/hearing/divinations into eleven 30 foot cubes. However, if you assume a floor is 10 feet high, you don't need 30 foot cubes. Let's drop those to 10 foot cubes, shall we? A single 30 foot cube turns into twenty-seven 10 foot cubes. This means that that item covers 297 10 foot cubes. Due to this, I divide the cost by 300 to simplify my life. This comes to 183.33, repeating, gp per 10 foot cube. Now, considering how bloody useful this enchantment is...that's way too cheap. Unless you're going to have a single item covering a massive area, anyway. So as an enchantment on a 10 foot cube section of dungeon...let's increase the cost to 250 gp per 10 foot cube, and strip off some of the side abilities. Honestly, this came to a LOT less than I expected, but whatever. Below is my quick-and-dirty template for this enchantment.

Divination Ward
School moderate abjuration CL 10th
Price 250 gp per 10 foot cube
Description
The floor and walls of this chamber are covered in hundreds of tiny runes that glow with eldritch light. Any creature or object within the warded area is immune to divination effects as though they were within the area of mage's private sanctum. The other aspects of the spell do not apply within the area, only the prohibition on divination affects. A creature may still identify magic items or auras with detect magic by touching the creature or object in question while the spell is in effect, and the creator of the ward may designate that bearers of a specific item, such as a holy symbol or arcane mark, may use divination spells without being blocked by the ward. The object or symbol must be chosen when the ward is created.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, mage's private sanctum; Cost 125 gp per 10 foot cube
« Last Edit: December 18, 2013, 07:48:33 PM by Myrleena »

Offline SkynetTopic starter

Re: This thread is about Pathfinder RPG!
« Reply #64 on: December 18, 2013, 11:46:06 PM »
Quote from: Myrleena
Divination Ward
School moderate abjuration CL 10th
Price 250 gp per 10 foot cube
Description
The floor and walls of this chamber are covered in hundreds of tiny runes that glow with eldritch light. Any creature or object within the warded area is immune to divination effects as though they were within the area of mage's private sanctum. The other aspects of the spell do not apply within the area, only the prohibition on divination affects. A creature may still identify magic items or auras with detect magic by touching the creature or object in question while the spell is in effect, and the creator of the ward may designate that bearers of a specific item, such as a holy symbol or arcane mark, may use divination spells without being blocked by the ward. The object or symbol must be chosen when the ward is created.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, mage's private sanctum; Cost 125 gp per 10 foot cube

Cost-efficient and useful!  Yoink!

Online Myrleena

Re: This thread is about Pathfinder RPG!
« Reply #65 on: December 19, 2013, 11:42:51 AM »
Now, note that that simply blocks scrying and detect thoughts, as well as detect magic. That's all that mage's private sanctum blocks, excluding detect magic. Likely as not, though, you could upgrade that to block all divination spells without too much difficulty. That was just a quick and dirty example that I came up with, and one that I, personally, think the game has needed for some time.

Offline SkynetTopic starter

Re: This thread is about Pathfinder RPG!
« Reply #66 on: December 22, 2013, 12:09:33 AM »
So, as far as Mythic Heroes goes, how much of an improvement would it be for solo PCs?

On that note, what classes would be best suited for such a game?  I'd assume the magic-using and skill-focused ones to be best-suited.  A bard can go a long way with their spell list and skills.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2013, 12:10:39 AM by Skynet »

Online Myrleena

Re: This thread is about Pathfinder RPG!
« Reply #67 on: December 22, 2013, 12:28:15 AM »
In my opinion...it depends. I haven't done much with it at low levels, but there are a number of things that would change game dynamics. As Chris indicated earlier, unless you increase healing, a non-magical fighter type will have problems due to the simple fact that they only recover their level in HP per night. Now, at 3rd Tier you gain the Recuperation ability, which changes things dramatically. It allows you to full HP after 8 hours rest, period. You can also spend 1 use of Mythic Power and rest for 1 hour to regain half of your max HP, and regain your daily uses of abilities (such as rage, spells, bardic music, and so forth). This doesn't work for Mythic abilities, but it's a game-changer, particularly for clerics, in my opinion, just due to how much flexibility with their spell list they have.

A bard, in my opinion, looks good for solo games...but unless you go combat focused, it has issues. If it weren't for their skill points, I think my favorite would be the Paladin, due to self healing and fairly potent combat options/immunities. The monk is a decent all-arounder, but they aren't an insane combatant (never were intended to be, IMO). Rogue...generally sucks. In a solo game, my favorites would be the Ranger, Bard, Witch, Cleric, Oracle, Paladin, and Alchemist. The Summoner likely is good as well, but I don't know, since it's so hard to build one well.

Offline SkynetTopic starter

Re: This thread is about Pathfinder RPG!
« Reply #68 on: December 22, 2013, 01:49:50 PM »
I've heard good things about the Master Summoner type, who has a less powerful Eidolon in exchange for better Summon Monsters with longer durations.  Get Improved Familiar, and you can get a lot of actions per round.

Online Myrleena

Re: This thread is about Pathfinder RPG!
« Reply #69 on: December 22, 2013, 01:55:15 PM »
Oh, summoners (particularly Master Summoners) can be nasty. The problem is that they're complicated to play, due to the actions you can throw at things. I didn't choose them for solo play, though, for a simple reason...no self-healing.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: This thread is about Pathfinder RPG!
« Reply #70 on: December 22, 2013, 02:11:19 PM »
That was the big reason Master Summoners were not allowed in PFS play.. simply the accounting involved. Synthesists were WAY abusive. Some of the other archetypes should have been let in but the summoner is very very tricky.

There is a spell for 'Arcane Healing' but a lot of it depends on how your GM views 'Evil' spells. Infernal Healing is VERY popular in some factions and absolutely hated by others.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: This thread is about Pathfinder RPG!
« Reply #71 on: December 22, 2013, 02:34:51 PM »
I'd like to try an alchemist in a solo game. Self-healing, plenty of buffing potential, and lots of flexibility in damage options between bombs and mutagens.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: This thread is about Pathfinder RPG!
« Reply #72 on: December 22, 2013, 02:37:53 PM »
I'd like to try an alchemist in a solo game. Self-healing, plenty of buffing potential, and lots of flexibility in damage options between bombs and mutagens.

It's a good archtype.. I got two.. one is a Musket Master/Grenadier and the other is a straight up Grenadier

Online Myrleena

Re: This thread is about Pathfinder RPG!
« Reply #73 on: December 22, 2013, 08:54:45 PM »
There is a spell for 'Arcane Healing' but a lot of it depends on how your GM views 'Evil' spells. Infernal Healing is VERY popular in some factions and absolutely hated by others.

Personally, I despise infernal healing. I have absolutely no problems with arcane users having healing spells (even if, generally, I would put them a level higher than divine ones). It's just that infernal healing...irritates me. Having it be evil aligned is bad enough. But the fact that, on average, it's better than the equivalent level healing spells makes me outright ban it in my games.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: This thread is about Pathfinder RPG!
« Reply #74 on: December 22, 2013, 08:59:04 PM »
Personally, I despise infernal healing. I have absolutely no problems with arcane users having healing spells (even if, generally, I would put them a level higher than divine ones). It's just that infernal healing...irritates me. Having it be evil aligned is bad enough. But the fact that, on average, it's better than the equivalent level healing spells makes me outright ban it in my games.

Only in terms of efficiency, really. It's the PF version of the old Lesser Vigor spell - on a pure HP/spell level basis for out-of-combat healing, it and its greater cousin beat out CLW and CCW. It can't keep up with in-combat damage if your game is the sort where that is necessary/valuable, though...so it's only better within its particular niche.