... Outmaneuvered Tuesday, June 7, 2011Even in the midst of PaizoCon preparation, the design staff just loves those crazy little rules questions that pop up on the messageboards, during actual play, or that just randomly stray into our heads when we are designing an archetype or putting the finishing touches on a monster. Since I just returned from Comicpalooza in Houston, I had a number of those questions come up while conversing with players or that popped up during play, and shared those...
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Even in the midst of PaizoCon preparation, the design staff just loves those crazy little rules questions that pop up on the messageboards, during actual play, or that just randomly stray into our heads when we are designing an archetype or putting the finishing touches on a monster.
Since I just returned from Comicpalooza in Houston, I had a number of those questions come up while conversing with players or that popped up during play, and shared those experiences when I returned. Well, no good deed goes unpunished. While in the middle of sharing my experiences, Jason quickly pointed out that we needed a Design Tuesday blog. So let's look at some question and answers involving everyone's favorite subject—combat maneuvers! Today I'll go over a couple of pressing ones. We will get into more minutia next week.
Illustration by Allision Theus
Question: Standing up provokes an attack of opportunity. I can attempt to trip a creature with an attack of opportunity. Can I use the trip combat maneuver to keep my opponent down on the ground?
In a word, no. By far this was the most common combat maneuver question at the show that people asked me. I had folks try to use it in the game, and I can understand why. As a tactic, it seems pretty powerful. Too powerful, and that's why there are some subtle timing issues that are going on when a creature attempts to stand up and provokes the attack of opportunity.
When the attack of opportunity is provoked for standing up, the creature is still prone, since an attack of opportunity interrupts the action that provoked it. Since that's the case, the creature is still prone when the attack is provoked, and you cannot trip a prone creature, as it is already prone.
Okay, all you trip monkeys out there, don't fret overly much. If you want an effect similar to the one you desire, you just have to pay a higher action cost. Use the ready action. Just make sure your triggered action is "after the creature stands up from being prone" or something similar. I know, it's not nearly as sexy (or free) but I have faith you'll find a way to make it work to the detriment of those wily monsters.
Question: A creature grappling an opponent typically needs to make two combat maneuver checks to pin someone (one to grapple, the next to pin). If you're pinned, do you also need to succeed at two checks to escape, one for the grab and the other for the pin?
The answer to this question is also no. When a creature is pinned, it gains this more severe version of the grappled condition, and the two conditions do not stack (as described in the pinned condition). While this means that you do not take both the penalties for both the grapple and the pin, this also means that pinned supersedes the grapple condition; it does not compound it. For this reason you only need to succeed one combat maneuver or Escape Artist check to escape either a grapple or a pin.
... Pathfinder Advanced Player's Guide Preview Banquet Recap Tuesday, June 22, 2010With PaizoCon 2010 officially in the books, it's time to start looking forward to the Advanced Player's Guide, which releases in early August at Gen Con. On Saturday night, during the banquet, I gave a nice long preview of the book, and wanted to make sure that everyone who was not able to attend also had a chance to hear about some of the exciting new rules and features in this mighty tome. ... First off, we...
With PaizoCon 2010 officially in the books, it's time to start looking forward to the Advanced Player's Guide, which releases in early August at Gen Con. On Saturday night, during the banquet, I gave a nice long preview of the book, and wanted to make sure that everyone who was not able to attend also had a chance to hear about some of the exciting new rules and features in this mighty tome.
First off, we took a look at the races chapter, which includes a two-page spread of information on each of the seven core races. Each one includes new alternate racial class features for you to choose from and new favored class options. The latter gives you another thing to choose from when you take a level in a class favored by your race. For example, dwarven barbarians can choose to gain 1 additional round of rage per day instead of an additional hit point or skill rank.
Next comes the classes chapter, which starts off with the six new base classes and then continues on with new rules and material for the 11 core classes from the Core Rulebook. The base classes have received a host of updates since the playtest, but still primarily function much in the same way as they did before. For the core classes, we added scores of new rules. Most of the classes contain numerous archetypes, or different takes on the class, which includes a number of alternate abilities that you can take as a package. For example, rogues can select the sniper archetype which grants them increased range with their sneak attack and reduces their penalties for making attacks at long range.
Illustrations by Eric Belisle
Although this chapter has a little something for everyone, one of the things I was most excited to reveal was the antipaladin class. This alternate paladin is sure to keep your players up at night. His smite good attack deals double damage to paladins and good-aligned clerics on the first successful attack. His touch of corruption deals damage and can inflict terrible cruelties on hapless PCs. He can be a carrier of disease and can radiate an aura of sin. He is a tough, tough customer. But my favorite part of putting together the entire book was writing his code of conduct. Here is an excerpt:
Under exceptional circumstances, an antipaladin can ally with good associates, but only to defeat them from within and bring ruin to their ranks.
After classes is a meaty feats chapter, containing 163 feats that range from metamagic feats, combat feats, and even a host of racial feats. This chapter even includes a number of high-level feats that duplicate a number of powers of the old 3.5 archmage prestige class. One feat of note is Shadow Strike, which allows a character to deal precision damage, even if the target has concealment, allowing rogues to finally be able to sneak attack a foe in a dark alley.
After feats comes equipment, which contains new tools, useable by nearly any PC, and a lengthy chapter full of spells. There are spells in this book for every spellcasting character, including new spell lists for elementalist wizards. All told, 57 pages of spells with new choices at every level of play. After spells comes the prestige class chapter, which includes 8 new classes. I previewed the Stalwart Defender during the banquet, which is an update of the 3.5 Dwarven Defender. The name change stems from the fact that you no longer need to be a dwarf to take levels in this class. The class also grants many new abilities that the defender can choose from as he gains levels.
The book is rounded out with a large magic items chapter, including new items from virtually every category. It starts with armor and weapons and wraps up with cursed items and artifacts. That chapter is followed up with the new rules chapter, which includes info on four new combat maneuvers (dirty trick, drag, reposition, and steal), an optional hero point system, and the entire traits system used by the Pathfinder Adventure Paths.
All of that, crammed into 336 pages between two beautiful covers. A detailed preview of the Advanced Player's Guide will start very soon. Keep your eyes here on the Paizo blog for more information on this exciting book.
... GameMastery Guide Preview: Things Get Weird! Friday, May 21, 2010 ... Let me let you in on one of the guiding philosophies of the GameMastery Guide. We didn’t make this book to let you run my game, or a “Paizo-brand” game, or any sort of game anyone here thinks you should run. We created the GameMastery Guide to give you the tools you need to run your game the way you want. For example, let me note a few entries in the index: Airships; Evil Characters; Extraterrestrials; Gambling;...
GameMastery Guide Preview: Things Get Weird!
Friday, May 21, 2010
Let me let you in on one of the guiding philosophies of the GameMastery Guide. We didn’t make this book to let you run my game, or a “Paizo-brand” game, or any sort of game anyone here thinks you should run. We created the GameMastery Guide to give you the tools you need to run your game the way you want. For example, let me note a few entries in the index:
Definitely some unusual stuff in there, and likely several topics you’ll have no interest in including in your game. But if something on that list does strike your fancy, now you’ve got help on how to make it work. These discussions aren’t all meant to give you in-depth rules on how to do this or that: while several provide a host of new rules content—like ship combat and undead uprisings —others walk you through what you need to consider to include such elements in your game. And even if you’ve never thought about taking your game in an atypical direction, who knows what might inspire you? Maybe it is time to unleash an undead uprising on your campaign, or take your PCs where no one has gone before.
Play what your want: that’s the guiding message of this book. Heck, there’s even a section on personalizing published adventures to make them work better for you and your players. Also, rest assured that the topics presented above are some of the weird stuff—the parts of the book that take the discussions beyond the norm. There’s still plenty for GMs who never get tired of traditional sword and sorcery adventure. But how weird does the weird get? Well, I’ll let these crazy illustrations by Florian Stitz and Eva Widermann show you (at least I think those are the artists… Sarah’s out of town this week).
As for next week’s GameMastery Guide Preview: let’s just say that we’ve got some fantastically interesting toolboxes to open.