@Finlanderboy: if that were implemented, it would leave the first couple of months of a scenario's life to be played only by the confident, foolhardy, or ignorant. Not necessarily but...
I'm going back to my original stance. There is no problem. If a scenario isn't especially life threatening, so be it. If another is lethal, so be it. Really (like really, really) players should expect their characters to sometimes face ridiculous peril and sometimes should have a field day, but mostly be somewhat challenged.
If a given player makes extreme, optimized, kill-machines and is disappointed in his/her experience because the fights are too hard, I say "make another character! Make a character who you can roleplay!" If another player is getting frustrated because his off-center role-only characters are getting eaten, I say "make another character! Make a character who can survive an adventurer's life!"
Sorry, Finlanderboy, only the first paragraph was at you.
Sorry for making you look into Paladin again. I understand that sometimes the RP and mechanics bits don't play nice for character concepts. That said, generally the ideal +1 BAB, all Martials choice is fighter on account of the extra feat. (After all, who can't use one more combat feat?)
Barbarian isn't an awful choice, but is better at 2, so you access Rage Powers.
Cavalier? Probably not. I guess if you go Cav 2 (I know...) and Cockatrice, you can use your CHA for some pretty wicked stunts.
Ranger? 2 for any real benefit (again...)
Realistically, if you only want to dip one, you're looking at fighter.
James Jacobs wrote:
So lame. C'est la vie.
Finlander, did you realize that misfortune can be used on allies, too? Every buddy that you are with gets a reroll once per day as you see fit. That, by the way, is SICK!
So every time the GM announces a crit, "reroll," you say. When the wizard flubs that important concentration check, "reroll." Once a day for any given creature. SICK!
The inclusion of a choice would not, in and of itself, be "willy nilly." I'm just saying that there would have to be some kind of hard rule to determine if a party would merit the template or whatever change. I do not know what those specific hard rules would be, just that I wouldn't want them to just be a judgement call (I can't trust GMs to all have similar judgement).
As for three modes, I like that a lot. (1)Standard or adjusted (2)up or (3)down as necessary seems reasonable and shouldn't be too onerous a job for the writers.
Just to play Mike's advocate for a minute, how much empowerment do you propose to give players or GMs? If you let either alter the campaign without relatively strict guidelines, you run the risk of exacerbating the "problem" by allowing groups to play up or down (well- hard or easy, at any rate) "willy nilly."
The only way any kind of adjustment for power level could work, in my opinion, would be if it followed very specific rules to maintain the integrity of the "same experience" standardization inherent to organized play.
EDIT: just to be clear, I have no way of knowing if this would or wouldn't be how Mike sees this all...
David Bowles wrote:
I'm sure of this from anecdotal evidence, and testimonials on these very boards. I consistently play with GMs at conventions that I have a better grasp of the rules than. What other conclusion about this am I supposed to draw? I don't trust myself to get these kinds of changes right, but I'm supposed to trust those guys? I don't think so. I'd say about 1/4 of the GMs I've played with have no idea what happens after a PC grapples one of their NPCs. They also demonstrably do not know how to best make use of what limited spells their NPCs get access to. That's a problem.
What if there was, as was suggested somewhere upthread, some sort of "on the fly" adjustment (detailed in the scenario, of course) for "too easy" or "too dificult" portions of a scenario according to certain conditions being met? There wasn't a "for instance" bit there, so I'll make one up:
In 5-#, there are four combat encounters, first and second being "feelers," so to speak, to determine if third and forth need adjustment for the party make-up. If first or second last more than five rounds, adjust for "too hard," by giving two critters the "young" simple template and if they last only one or two rounds, for "too easy" by giving the same to critters the "advanced" simple template. (This is a really simple example; if it was implemented, I would imagine that it would be a little more complex)
I would still, if I were in charge and deciding to implement this, only have these kind of rules in scenarios limited to more experienced GMs to alleviate the pressure of tracking so much information on potentially weaker GMs.
Yeah, I think David and Jeff hit on something pretty important: you can't count on hundreds of GMs with varying levels of experience and differing opinions of "hard" and "easy" to adjust appropriately, and if you add in some extra complexity, how can you know that GMs are using the extra tracking correctly (or at all)?
I suppose, if there was any adjustment to be made, a reasonable one that could be implimented with relative ease would be a GM-star ranking on scenarios based on the complexity and rules-bendiness built in to the particular scenario. I know that that could seem a bit arbitrary (especially for experienced homebrew GMs) but it at least allows for an existing metric to be used as an indicator of experience and assumed ability. If a scenario was ranked, for instance, for 3+ stars, you could potentially add in some conditions for options to adjust up or down with some amount of confidence that the GM wouldn't abuse the power.
Feel free to pick apart my idea; that is, after all, the point of brainstorming!
The Red Ninja wrote:
I think we agree that adventuring should be dangerous. I guess what I'm trying to get across is the "unpredictable" bit. Sometimes your "quest-giver," be it Ambrus or Dreng or whoever, just chooses right and sends a group out that totally annihilates any roadblocks that come their way. Other times, they'll send a bunch of combat monsters to ask nicely for something.
So what's Paizo to do? Pretty much nothing they are not doing already, in my opinion. We already have "pushover" scenarios and "killer" scenarios. We have faction missions that some characters can't even attempt and others that are pretty much "gimmes." I think that that fits the "unpredictable" nature of adventuring perfectly.
[soap box]Not to nay-say (I've seen where that can go), but why? All of this: why? So the super death-machine characters roll over combats..... so? And the Diplomacy +147 characters roll over social encounters.... so? And the trap-finders.... you get the idea.
The episodic nature of PFS (probably my favorite aspect of it, BTW) helps to ensure that the death-machine needs to sit back and watch the super-face do his/her thing once in a while and the trap-master might be bored to bits in a scenario that has no traps. The easiest solution is player-controlled: be semi-optimized for a couple of different roles rather than super-optimized for a single role. Why do we need to warn players of the potential lethality of adventuring? Also, why do we need to warn them that the Pathfinder Society, essentially an archaelogist club, may send its members out to do something other than cut a monster in half?
Adventuring, by nature, is dangerous and unpredictable. Why try to change that?[/soap box]
Some of the best cleric/oracle spells are language-dependent. I certainly wouldn't want to leave out command as a first level spell known; it's just too useful, especially for my lame oracle (on the path to Rage Prophet) who can't always get into combat immediately. Being able to point at an opponent and say "down, boy!" to have them drop to the ground for a round is pretty sick, especially if allies can surround and destroy while I head to another bad-guy.
Summary: I don't like Deaf or Tongues for an oracle. If you are willing to give up those language-dependent spells, though, they can be pretty sweet.
Per the chart, "arcane caster level" is what determines "sufficiently high level."
I get what you're saying mpl, but I don't interpret it that way.
HP, BAB and effective HD all come from the owning character's character level, if I'm not mistaken. As you mentioned, they do not, however, receive any of the "by level" benefits for levels in other, non-contributing, classes. In as far as Improved Familiar "requires X amount of levels in an 'arcane casting class,'" it should, again, if I'm not mistaken, rely on your caster level; every level of a prestige class that includes "+1 arcane caster level" should count.
I get the feeling that you were pretty sure about this but wanted specific references. I don't have those, at the moment. Sorry. Hope this helped, nevertheless.
Sagotel, one of my VLs and I had a pretty long conversation about this. I kind of "made up" in the rules that a BB Magus could not have an arcane bond, but we went over it a few times (gotta be sure!) and, to the best of our abilities, we could not find anything in the rules that prevented the BB from having an item-arcane bond (even the Black Blade!).
In PFS, your Black Blade cannot be enchanted outside of what is provided you by the class feature. For a homebrew game, the decision rests entirely with your GM, who, if he/she were to take my advice, would stick with PFS rules for that one (I have reasons, ask if you want, though there have been a great many threads on it [that I have not participated in]).
James, did you write the Eldest? I'm making a PFS character who thinks that the Eldest have cursed her (and given her power) when her leg was terribly maimed (she's a cavalier-1/oracle-the rest) and believes that Ng wants her to join the Society "in the meantime," while they wait for whatever they may have had in mind for her.
Does it sound reasonable and in keeping with your concept of the Eldest (assuming, in this post, that you wrote them) for that to be, kind of, "how they work?"
I dig this character concept, as it hits a lot of tropes and conceptions I have of the fey knight; I just want a little affirmation (or tell-off-ery, if incorrect) to keep with the Golarion...thing...
I think Byrdology has Russ down. Now your only thing to try to figure out is how to get that permanent enlarge. Lantzkev may have the solution! (Goliaths can use weapons one size too big, right? My memory is a little lacking, at the moment)
However you do it, a really beastly Barbarian in heavy armor should do the trick. Obviously, if you play on Golarion, you will want to be Ulfen.
@Kiinyan- the EK isn't a bad idea but I got a chance to think about the Cav/Oracle while running some errands and I think that that might be the one. Now I'm toying with the possibility of the Emissary archetype or the Samurai alternate class (there aren't too many Teamwork feats available at first level). Some of the Nature mystery's Revelations work very well for my concept, like Bonded Mount (obviously), Nature's Whispers, and Natural Divination.
@Byrdology- Freebooter's Bane does net a greater advantage than Guide's challenge-like ability and Ranger does get me that +2 to reflex that Cav and Barb won't, but I don't have Pirates of the Inner Sea. Also, it's not in the title or spelled out too well in my original post, but the axebeak is really the only thing that is truly non-negotiable, so your second runner up is out (maybe for a different character in the future, though...).
At this point, I'm ironing out some mechanical bits; I need to decide on an archetype for Cavalier and I need to pick out some Wiz/Sorc spells that are so cool that they are worth using up a spell-slot one higher than normal.
Thanks, Kiinyan. I guess you're right about PA for my 3/4 BAB character. I think Cavalier can really build my image for this character, too- a fey knight with all the fairy stuff like spells and a giant bird.
Now I'm only really stuck trying to figure out which I like better between a two-revelation tax or a bunch of *arcane spells, heightened by +1....
*Probably this one. Very fey.
Ok, so I have a PFS boon that lets me take an axebeak as an animal companion or bonded mount despite it not being on my class' list. Cavalier was my first choice (as well as the obvious one if you know how I got it) but for whatever reason, I really wanted this axebeak-claimin' character to be an elf (I think that WoW's hawkstriders are to blame for that one).
Turns out that elves can make some pretty awesome oracles and the Nature Mystery has bonded mount as a revelation... Now, I still have the picture in my head of a melee-oriented knight (admittedly not-so-optimized with elf stats...).
Here's the issues:
1)Nature Mystery has junk spells but good revelations and skills.
2)Stargazer archetype has great spells (at levels 2 and 4, anyway)
2a)SG loses a lot of important skills (but adds perception) and imposes a heavy two revelation tax.
3)Ancient Lorekeeper has the best spells an oracle can have.
3a)Those spells are a level higher than they are normally (unlike SG's spells) and AL's skills are poop for an AC/Mount character.
Here's what the dips that I'm looking into fix/provide:
1)+1 BAB for all of them, allowing me to take Power Attack at first level
2)All of them provide the skills I need (Handle Animal, Ride, and Perception)
3)Barbarian eliminates the 10' penalty to move speed (lame curse) and gives a little bit of rage; at oracle level 5, no fatigue.
4)Ranger (Guide) gives a bonus to attack and damage on one creature/day and opens up a bunch of wands (including longstrider)
5)Cavalier (Dragon) adds to effective druid level for mount and opens up heavy armor (while eliminating it's penalty to Ride!) but Challenge is about 1/4 as good as Ranger's Focus.
Any advice or thoughts welcome. Thanks.
Overlap of purpose. They do not do the same thing at all, but they both manipulate placement of affected squares. Between the two (and you really are going to want at least one), I greatly prefer Precise Bombs since it keeps bombing into melee from turning into PVP (as long as you hit!). If you routinely run into large groups of lesser enemies, SWM will greatly out-perform Precise Bombs but I've found that the needing to exclude my allies comes up more frequently than wishing I could affect that one extra square. It would be completely reasonable to take both, though, so there's really no need for us to argue which is better.
Despite the fire type, Alchemist's Fire is an excellent opener; the catching on fire thing really is where it's at if you don't pick up extra books (Inner Sea Pirates for Tar Bomb).
I highly recommend Stirges as a go-to bottled ally pick. They really don't miss at low levels (+7 touch, IIRC) to give a -1/round CON penalty is pretty sick. Don't hate on stirges, they will serve you well for your entire career. As you get higher level you may want to pick up Planar Preservationist for the SLAs.
Never forget, though, your dependency on a couple of elements! Keep some acid flasks handy and some cool magic items (I really like the one in Ultimate Equipment "paper swarm," check it out).
Asthyril makes a good point with the Force Bombs discovery if you get the opportunity to start at or past 8th level. He (she?) also makes a great point about wisdom- is your GM one who is going to force a lot of will saves? If not, +INT, +INT, +INT! However, I play in a purposefully balanced campaign (PFS), so a gimped will save could mean that I am no longer welcome in a venue that I helped open.
As for preferred feats, I go with Point-Blank-Shot & Precise-Shot, with Precise Bombs as my 2nd level Discovery. Following that, pick what adds to your preferred style of play, for instance Toughness if you find yourself being targeted often or a feat for flavor if you enjoy roleplay. Splash Weapon Mastery is all fine and good, but it has a little bit of overlap of purpose with (what I consider ABSOLUTELY necessary for a bomber: Precise Bombs). If you didn't take a trait that gives you +Will, you really ought to take a feat that does (really, if you like a balanced character, you will do both...).
I'm still here..if intermittently, let me know if you have any more questions.
First of all: congratulations on finding a miniature that you want to build a character around. I find it's a lot easier to have the "perfect" mini that way.
Second, regarding genuine advice, INT through the roof is a great idea, but don't go crazy with it; save some room to not have to dump WIS quite so much. If you are using a point-buy, it'll do better for you to leave WIS at 10 and pump INT to 16. Your Will Saves aren't going to be that great (in fact, they're going to kind of suck) and the extra +1 to bombs per day and damage per bomb won't be worth bombing your party.
It IS perfectly legitimate to think that throwing Craft: Alchemy splash weapons will work- you won't get those extra d6s, but you will get to catch your opponent on fire (DOT!) or switch damage type without a discovery. I wouldn't bother with the feat that gives +INT mod to crossbow damage, though, because there are so many other feats that I like for bombers (PBS, Precise Shot...)
I have enjoyed my Preservationist/Bomber quite a bit- I always have a couple of stirges up my sleeve for tough opponents and can bomb into melees as I see fit.
Let me know if you have any more specific questions; I would be glad to help (or try to!).
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Who wouldn't want WAR art that nobody else has as their avatar?
Doug's Workshop wrote:
Early therapy helps a lot. Really, the earlier the better.
This 100 times. I was sent back to the US from Germany (federal service) when my son was diagnosed with "moderate to severe autism." We had the fantastic luck of moving back to Howard County, Maryland, which has incredible early intervention support, particularly ABA therapy. In the year that we've been back in the States, my son has made leaps and bounds (doesn't talk, yet, but it's coming!).
So I ran We be Goblins tonight, and when we ended up with a couple too many for one table, a player who had already GMed the mod a bunch of times ran another table to accommodate. I reported it all. Under "notes" on my GM Sessions, it indicates "GM Credit +2," and my credit went up by 2 rather than the 1 that I expected. Can anybody explain this for me? I'm by no means upset about getting an extra table, but did the other GM not get credit? Am I supposed to be getting double credit for this for any particular reason? Thanks for the help.
Haha, I happened into a boon for the axebeak and I want to put together a GM credit cavalier or samurai to use it. The image in my head is my old Blood Elf Paladin from WoW, but I don't want to be useless when I inevitably run into flying opponents. I'm starting to think that potions might be the way to go since I'll only have to use them... when I have to use them!