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Varisian Wanderer

Aelryinth's page

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16. RPG Superstar 2013 Star Voter, 2014 Star Voter. 8,473 posts (8,536 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. 1 wishlist. 1 alias.


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RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Later-era plate armors pretty much stopped all but the heaviest crossbows and all bows cold. You didn't kill a knight with a longbow unless you got him in the eyeslit...the armor was just that good. Even a near point-blank shot would just leave a dent.

Heavy crossbows that had to be cranked up to fire were made SPECIFICALLY so they could punch heavy plate armors, but it wasn't until you actually got bullets that armor was overcome.

The 'fast' way of cocking a heavier crossbow was a belt-hook. You just lowered the crossbow, and lets its own weight help you as pushed down on the hook, slapping a new bolt in at the time.

Yes, a crossbow should have a strength rating. It is perfectly likely that you'll have a team with one crossbow person cocking and reloading the weapon, and one person with skill shooting it. That's the reason they don't put Str ratings on crossbows...they don't want 18 dex snipers benefiting from 18 Str quiverbearers swapping weapons.

Extremely strong crossbows might require a stirrup in addition to a belt hook.

Massively strong crossbows that took a winch were definitely later era armor-punchers, and quite unwieldy to use as a result. They were just shy of the Siege Crossbows that required a stand to use, or a footbow that was drawn back with two hands and propped against your feet.

Bows were good against lighter armored troops. But it is notable that at the battle of Hastings, the charging knights were not killed by longbow arrows. They were killed because the mud floundered their horses, and infantry basically dragged them off their mounts and killed them by stabbing them through their visors.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Tormsskull wrote:
Is "the enemies/NPCs can use your same tactics against you" out-of-rules consequences?

The very poster child. A perennial favorite is the "don't use scry-and-fry, and the bad guys won't either." The fact is, the rules give casters the ability to do that, and the logical extension is a game world in which the winners are the ones who do it first. No one would logically hold off just because someone else might gain the ability "in a few more levels." No one would specialize in other, less effective forms of warfare (like hacking your way past minions with a sword). It's totally absurd, from an in-game standpoint, but it's an agreement that most people hold to anyway.

But it doesn't HAVE to be that way -- and this is my point. For example, I have a written house rule, that X number of inches of solid stone breaks teleportation and scrying effects. Now scry-and-fry on the bad guy in the dungeon is a no-go. Likewise, him doing it to the PCs in their castle is a non-starter. As an added bonus, we now have a logical explanation as to why the landscape is littered with castles and dungeons, which would otherwise seem fairly pointless. And, best of all, the rule is in-place before play begins, so everyone is on the same page, and it doesn't pop up arbitrarily or inconsistently. I'm at a loss as to why the actual rules don't have anything similar, and instead require people to "just say no" to what is otherwise a totally rules-legal tactic.

Whenever possible, I believe that the written rules should support the game you want to play, not work against it.

An alternative to this is drastically lowering the cost/raising the power of permanent defenses against this kind of stuff.

Zeitgeist AP has a solid gold ring/connection basically stops all teleporting and divinations. So, just run it through the bricks of a building. Low cost, monstrously effective at stopping this stuff.

Proof against Teleportation and scrying defenses should be affordable even at lower levels, and the areas of effect should be massive. They should basically cover entires structures and/or cities.

Seriously, can you see ANY government surviving if teleporters can come and go as they please, and militaries can use them for strike teams? Without using massive expensive things like FOrbiddance to stop them?

It should be easier to stop teleporters then it is to teleport.
It should be easier to stop scrying then it is to scry.
It should be easier to thwart divinations then it is to divine.

But because that takes away 'fun' options from PC's, it is not part of the rules (although there was some 1e/2e stuff that headed that way).

IMC, Interdiction is a scaling anti-dimensional spell, stops conjurations/summonings and dimensional travel of all sorts. The area is 10' sphere/level cast as a spell, and if you take a minute, 10 yards/level, and if you do it in ritual format, 100 yards/level. Basically, it Raises the level of the spell you need to bypass it by +1. So an INterdiction III means you need to Raise a Dimension Door to 7th level to use it in the INterdiction zone, and you need an 8th level spell for Teleport. It's basically strengthening the dimensional barriers that casters bend so they can't bend them...much easier to reinforce then to bend!
Most Interdictions are cast in Ritual form with multiple casters to raise the Caster level, and from a 5th + level slot, making teleports and high-level conjuration magic impossible (although banishings still work), and completely shutting down creatures with SLA's in these areas.
And it can be made Permanent for fairly cheap, too.

Scrywards do the same thing with divination spells. There's usually exceptions for this in the form of rings so law enforcement has access to low level Detect Spells and the like. Things like AMulets vs det/loc always treat the wearer as the Preferred Person, so they actually work (like they did in 1e/2e).

lastly, Earthbind and Stillflight fields, from the geomantic and aeromantic sides respectively, neutralize all traces of flight that doesn't follow the laws of physics...meaning dragons can't overfly towns any more then flying wizards can, meaning walls actually have value! Earthbind also stops earthgliders and burrowers when in an Interdiction zone, too, which means stone and walls STILL have value.

Without this kind of stuff, the world as presented just makes no sense...and it puts skill back into infiltration.

Note that something as simple as a Continual Faerie Fire field, tuned to only react to magic, can do double duty of showing who has magic on them, who is a spellcaster, and any active spells in the area, including invisibility and illusions, all at the same time, without interfering with daily life at all.

The real world needs cheap and easy defenses against cheap and easy magical tactics to be believable.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Given the sheer quantity of combat feats a fighter can pick from, vs, say, rage powers or Talents, it is clear Buhlman failed miserably at his task.

:P

And that's in addition to all the OTHER stuff that is wrong.

==Aelrynth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Learning to fight in a unit is not a class feature.

Teamwork feats exist, and are perfect for soldiers. Fighters can get more of them then anyone.
Quickly maximizing use of a single weapon is easiest for fighters. Soldiers are typically grouped by weapon mastery, after all.
Wearing heavy armor is a natural for fighters.

Being great soldiers is pretty much the ONLY thing fighters have excellence at doing.

Being champions, hunters, teachers, warlords and bodyguards, the other five primary roles for melees...best to look to other classes.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Anzyr, I have to say I'm on his side.

The spell component pouch has pockets INSIDE it, where you store the comps. It's there to organize and make it easy to access components. It's more like a woman's purse then this tiny little thing you seem to think it is.

Sticking it in a pocket is like saying you're sticking your wallet in your pocket, and it's as easy to get to as having it open and hanging at your belt. Stuffing something with the comps for every spell you could potentially cast into a 'pocket', when it's already something with pockets, is, um, just a non-starter. Especially when you think about just how many spells it is providing comps for.

Now, you could try to conceal it in your robe, but it is going to be blindly obvious where you're reaching in to get into it in a fight.

If you try to say you're going to separate your comps all over your body, you are then sacrificing a spell comp pouch for non-ease of access and non-sunderability. And you could still get your clothing sundered, and now that your robe is shredded, we have to figure out which of your comps are now scattered on the ground, which are hanging at your knees, which you can still access, which are spoiled and can't be gathered, etc.

Ugh.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Here's the compiled post and table: It probably won't carry cleanly, but should give you the general idea.

A sample reference for Armor Class costs

AC comes, at a fundamental level, in the following forms which are easy to gain: Dex Bonus; Armor Bonus; Natural Armor Bonus; Deflection Bonus; and potentially a Shield Bonus. Yes, there are Insight, Sacred, Profane, Competence, Dodge and all sorts of other bonuses, but the above bonuses are the ones that are easy to pay gold for and retain.

This is a simple basic guide to maximizing AC for gold.

Two builds are presented here – With Shield, and without Shield. Additionally, there is a third build here using Defender to accentuate your AC via an off-hand weapon, or on a shield.

First is going to be choice of armor.
The optimal types of armor are: Light Armor (all varieties add up to +8 Armor/Dex allowed); Breastplate (Medium armor, +6 AC/+3 Dex = +9); and Full Plate (+9 AC, +1 Dex = +10).

Note: Celestial Armor completely borks this table if you have the Dex to top it off, coming in at +13!!

First thing to point out is that Mithral is only a viable AC option if you have the Dex to max it out, OR you need your armor to be lighter for movement purposes.

Classes that are going to get exceedingly high Dex scores are actually better off with lighter armor that allows them to maximize use of their Dexterity at later levels. The exception to this is the Fighter; because Armor Training expands the maximum Dex bonus, Fighters typically aren’t going to need Mithral armor until very late levels, when their Dex scores exceed either 20 or 24 (Full Plate/Breastplate).

Maximizing AC is based on costs to gain an extra point of AC. These costs are:

+1 Armor bonus: 1000 gp, +3000 gp; +5000 Gp; +7000 gp; +9000 gp.
+1 Shield bonus: As +1 Armor
+1 Natural Armor: 2000 gp; +6000 gp; +10000 gp; +14000 gp; +18000 gp.
+1 Deflection bonus: As Amulet of Natural Armor
+1 Dexterity bonus: 4000/6000 gp (Dex +2); +12000/+18000 gp (Dex +4); +20,000/+30,000 gp (Dex+6). Prices are stand-alone/adding onto a belt.
Mithral Armor (Total bonus +2): Light, +1000 gp, Medium Armor +4000 gp, Heavy armor +9000 gp:
+1 Defender on Weapon used for defense: 8000 gp; +10,000 gp; +14,000 gp; +18,000 gp; +22,000 gp. (ending at +5 Defender)

There are two other AC bonuses you can get in the core game: +1 Insight AC from a Dusty Rose Prism Ioun Stone, and +1 Luck Bonus to AC from a Jingasa of the Fortunate Soldier. Both are Slotless, and cost 5k, the same price as improving a piece of armor from +2 to +3. Both also grant Touch AC, and so should be taken before other AC improvement.

Now, we simply take them and add them on in series.

If your starting Dex is 20 and you wear light armor; Immediately buy a chain shirt.
If your starting Dex is 17 and you can wear Medium Armor, buy a breastplate.
If your Starting Dex is 13 or lower, buy Full Plate.
Note that if you are a Fighter, you need to increase the minimum Dex for Mithral by your Armor Training bonus.

Base:
Chain Shirt, 19 Dex = +8 AC
Breastplate, 17 Dex = +9 AC
Full Plate, 13 Dex = +10 AC

Bonuses are listed in the order you add them, with Defender bonuses last as an optional (you should take them before similar items if possible). Basically, you want Deflection before anything; Dexterity next; and Nat Armor and Armor Enhancements equally. This is because the prior two affect your Touch AC (so does Defender) and the latter do not.

Add Cost AC Total GP Total
Mithral Light Armor 1000 (+2) (+1000)
+1 Armor Enhance 1000 +1 1000
+1 Ring of Prot 2000 +2 3000
+1 Natural Armor 2000 +3 5000
Mithral Medium Armor 4000 (+2) (+4000, Dex 20)
+2 Armor Enhance 3000 +4 8000
+2 Dex Gaunts 4000 +5 12000
Mithral Heavy Armor 9000 (+2) +9000, Dex 17+
Dusty Rose Prism Ioun Stone, +1 Insight 5000 +6 17,000
Jingasa of the Fortunate Solider, +1 Luck 5000 +7 22,000
+3 Armor Enhance 5000 +8 27000
+2 Ring/Prot 6000 +9 33000
+2 Natural Armor 6000 +10 39000
+4 Armor Enhance 7000 +11 46000
(+1 Defender) (+8000) (+1*)
+5 Armor Enhance 9000 +12 55000
+3 Ring/Prot 10000 +13 65000
+3 Natural Armor 10000 +14 75000
(+2 Defender) 10000 (+18000) (+2*)
+4 Dex booster 12000 +15 87000
+4 Ring of Prot 14000 +16 101000
+4 Natural Armor 14000 +17 115000
(+3 Defender) 14000 (+32000) (+3*)
+5 Ring of Prot 18000 +18 133000
+5 Natural Armor 18000 +19 151000
(+4 Defender) 18000 (+50000) (+4*)
+6 Dex Booster 20000 +20 171000
(+5 Defender) 22000 (+72000) (+5*)

Totals: Light Armor: Mithral (or Darkleaf Cloth) Studded Leather +5, Dex 24 = AC 38, 162k
Medium Armor: Mithral Breastplate+5, Dex 20 = AC 38, 165k
Full Plate: M. Full Plate, Dex 16 = AC 39, 170k
Fighter Armor Training +4
Note: Needs +5 Dex (level/inherent) on all!
Mithral Chain Shirt, Dex 30. AC 40.
Mithral BP, Dex 28, AC 41
Mithral Full Plate, Dex 24, AC 42

Note that Mithral Celestial Armor basically adds +2 to all of this.

Mithral is basically needed to max out Dex bonus for Dex builds. For fighters, Armor Training basically means their Dex will seldom be high enough to max out their armor.

Using an off-hand weapon as a Defender adds 72,000 gp to the defense cost, but the +5 AC is significant.

For Shield builds, the cost is negligible (+25000 gp for a +5) and the AC is significant (+6 or 7), resulting in a much quicker rise in AC.

ADD Add’l COST AC TOTAL TOTAL COST
+1 Armor Enhance 1000 +1 1000
+1 Shield Enhance 1000 +2 2000
+1 Ring of Prot 2000 +3 4000
+1 Natural Armor 2000 +4 6000
+2 Armor Enhance 3000 +5 9000
+2 Shield Enhance 3000 +6 12000
+2 Dex Gaunts 4000 +7 16000
Dusty Rose Prism Ioun Stone 5000 +8 21000
Jingasa of the Fortunate Soldier 5000 +9 26000
+3 Armor Enhance 5000 +10 31000
+3 Shield Enhance 5000 +11 36000
+2 Ring/Prot 6000 +12 42000
+2 Natural Armor 6000 +13 48000
+4 Armor Enhance 7000 +14 55000
+4 Shield Enhance 7000 +15 62000
+5 Armor Enhance 9000 +16 71000
+5 Shield Enhance 9000 +17 80000
+3 Ring/Prot 10000 +18 90000
+3 Natural Armor 10000 +19 100000
+4 Dex booster 12000 +20 112000
+4 Ring of Prot 14000 +21 126000
+4 Natural Armor 14000 +22 140000
+5 Ring of Prot 18000 +23 158000
+5 Natural Armor 18000 +24 176000
+6 Dex Booster 20000 +25 196000

Assuming use of a Heavy Shield for +2 AC, at 12k layout you’re +3 AC ahead of the Shield-less build. At 50k you are +4 ahead. At 100k you are +5 ahead, at 150k you are +6 ahead, and you max out at +7 ahead.
Note that if you put Defender on your shield, and simply don’t attack with it, the numbers can look something like this:

Light Armor: AC 47, 52 with Defender
Medium Armor: AC 48, 53 with Defender
Heavy Armor: AC 49, 54 with Defender.

And all this is before Dodge, Shield Specialization, and incidental bonuses from spells, templates, defensive fighting, and whatnot. Note that to max Dex from Armor Training, any fighter is going to need Inherent bonuses to his Dex, unless he raises Dex instead of Str.

If he does both, then he probably wants a lighter grade of armor to max out the Dodge-based bonus of Dex, which is more effective against touch/ranged touch attacks.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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To be honest, 1E fighters START with the worst set of saves of the classes.

They are on par or better by level 7, and only get better thereafter, finishing with the best set. This is largely because their saves improved every 2 levels, and the other classes every 3,4 or 5 levels.

I made a big and very long lists of effective nerfs to the Fighter/Melee classes when 2e moved to 3E. Basically, the only thing they didn't give away for the fighter was the d10 HD and +1 th/level. EVERYTHING else was either given to other classes, or neutered on the fighter.

It was really kind of sad. He went from a really strong centerpoint with unique skills to 'eh.'

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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When you start matching up level by level benefits with rogues and fighters vs other classes, it gets REALLY obvious there's a problem.

Just try matching up bards vs rogues. Go on, do it.

When you start comparing class features, the bard is the equal of the rogue in pretty much all ways...IF YOU REMOVE BARDIC SPELLCASTING.

Otherwise, the most powerful bardic power, spells, you have to match against the strongest rogue ability, sneak attack, OR, ALL of a Rogue's Talents.

Just like 11 combat feats ain't equal to 6 or 9 levels of casting, 10d6 SA or 10 Rogue Talents isn't equal to bardic spellcasting, either.

Now, compare to the Inquisitor.
Then, THE CLERIC OR DRUID. Yeah, 10d6 = 9 levels caster. Suuuuuure. And they get equal or better armor, too, and same BAB.

For fighters, all his bonus feats have to equal the paladin's # of lay on hands, his number of smites, AND his spellcasting.
Against a barbarian, his bonus feats have to be equal to the barb's rage powers, and his class features equal to everything else, including Rage itself.
Against a Ranger, his bonus feats have to equal a ranger's bonus feats + spellcasting, and the rest keep place with FE, FT, AC, more skill points, and a better list.

It's CRAZY how imbalanced they are next to one another.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Well, Bandw, that basically comes down to 'let's limit the spell list for casters', which means going back to the 1e paradigm.

In 1e, the number of spells a wizard could learn per level was absolutely fixed by his intelligence. There was a minimum number, and there was a maximum. It took a 19 Intelligence, which you couldn't roll, and couldn't age into, only gain via magic, to have unlimited ability to learn any/all wizard spells.

At 18 Int, the maximum for the human race, you could learn 18 spells of each spell level.

Which, if you think about it, is probably more then you really NEED to know.
But also, it once again ignored pre-reqs. You didn't need to learn a 1st and 2nd level fire spell to learn fireball, etc, going up the list. No pre-reqs, pick and choose as you like.

But, yeah, associating skills with schools of magic is by far from a bad idea.

Necromancy - Profession (Embalming). Alternatively, Heal skill for White Necromancers.

COnjuration - knowledge (the planes) for summoning outer planar stuff. For inner planar stuff, Knowledge (geography)

For shapechanging magic, Heal - gots to know what makes things tick to turn into them.

For divination, Profession (soothsayer), (librarian), or something similar, preferably focused on their style of divination.

For evocation, Knowledge (engineering). For, like, physics.

For illusion, Sleight of Hand or Perform (stage magic, or acting)

For enchant/charm, Bluff (as the spell is all about creating false feelings). Alternatively, Profession (politician) or Perform (rhetoric).

For Abjuration, Perception or Sense Motive, to see the danger coming.

For transmutation, Knowledge (Nature). Got to know how things are before you go about changing them.

A genius wizard would be someone who actually is smart enough to master the side professions and so understand all the magic.

But that game is not Pathfinder, although it would make for a nice story.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Cap. Darling wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
this to me just implies a weakness of character.

Compared to an 18th level fighter, everyone under 10th level has extreme weakness of character. He's literally sixteen times as powerful as they are.

Note that they might resent serving him, but do so only while he's on top of them -- there's nothing stopping them from deserting him as soon as the opportunity presents.

I made it into an ability called awesome precence that figthers get at 8 and other martials get at 10 and it is usable only a few times a Day and only change attitude to friendly.

Edit:and i May remember the numbers wrong

I did two things in this area.

Penultimate Marshal ability allows the fighter to use his BAB for his skill check with social skills. So, if he's got no bluff, diplomacy, Intimidate or Sense Motive, his check is still at BAB.

Secondly, he gains a bonus on contested skill checks against someone equal to the difference in their BAB. So if he's matching up against a lower level character AND a non-combatant, especially a spellcaster, he gains copious bonuses to his skill checks. In short, he'll probably always beat the wizard at chess.

Thirdly, Expertise and Bravery give bonuses on combat-related skills, including wargaming, and all mental-stat skills, respectively. For Rogues, this is a competency bonus coming from their sneak attack dice.

So, the bonuses aren't massive, but they do accumulate and allow the superior training of fighters to overcome the superior stats of those they are dealing with. The bard will probably have a huge charisma bonus over the fighter (+10 higher, likely), but with +5 to his check from BAB, +5 from Expertise, and +5 from Bravery, if they both have maxed out Diplomacy ranks...the fighter is going to win against his more cowardly and martially inept opponent handily, because he has Mad Skillz.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Just a Guess wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
This is only a tiny, tiny fix, but what if you only got half your Intelligence mod to skill points? The Wizard would need an incredible 34 Intelligence to have the same amount of skill points as an Int 10 Rogue, as opposed to the highly achievable 22 it is now. I would probably combine this with raising Fighter skill points to 6 and Paladin to 4.
I'd like to add 1/2 int + 1/2 any other stat of choice that is not int. Add before rounding down.

I'd rather see the thematic part of the wizard's skills tied directly to their spellcasting.

For example, wizards are supposed to be smart and knowledgeable. What if that was tied to their ability to learn/cast spells?

Ergo, a Wizard is required to have as many ranks in Knowledge skills as he has spell levels, in as many knowledge skills as he has spell levels. He draws from this wide pool of knowledge to understand his spells and gain his free spells per levels. IF he does not meet this restriction, he cannot access his highest tiers of spells.

It also forces him to be either extremely smart or put most, if not all of his skill points into Knowledge skills. he's book smart because he's required to BE book smart.

Contrast with the sorcerer, who won't have any of these int based requirements at all. However, requiring them to maintain maximum ranks in the skill associated with their bloodline would also make sense, further tying them to their theme.

You could do the same thing by tying skills to domains and forcing clerics to have maximum ranks in those skills. Suddenly dumb clerics aren't a thing, because it would impact their spellcasting. Or maybe they are, and that dumb cleric with his 1 skill point a level only has access to one domain!

--This is the kind of stuff that casters don't have to put up with...pre-reqs. They should have to suffer under such things just like other classes do.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Kaouse wrote:

A few fixes I'm sure already mentioned elsewhere in this thread:

Full Attack now Standard Action

Skills that compete with Spells

Combine all Knowledge skills into one

Skills now equilibrated with BAB

Classes gain bonuses on thematic skills

Combat Maneuvers now grouped into one, now also a skill

Every class has some method of dealing with magic

Make Counterspelling easier

1) Unless you draw a clear line between classes get full attacks and monsters, this involves huge rewrites of the monster balance system.

3.5 is precisely defined on this scale of 'just look at BAB and you now know iteratives.'
In all honesty, multiple attacks should be an ability of martial classes. Spellcasters should not even get them, similar to 1 and 2e. They are the single strongest indicator of martial ability.

Balance would be much easier to simply remove multiple attacks from full caster classes entirely, and nerf partial casters down to 2 at best. They aren't actually giving up all that much, since they never hit with iteratives anyways.

And that way, you don't have to mess with monsters.
Then, simply define how many attacks you get by class levels. Make multiple iterative attacks a class feature, not an outgrowth of BAB.

2)First, you have to nerf spells that compete with skills. Seriously.
Two, you have to have them overlap, not complement. Stealth and invisibility should not stack. that removes a ton of problems. Sure, at low levels the mage is good. But invisibility past levels 6-10 isn't going to match stealth.
More skills, not less, mean lots of skill points is useful.
Access to skills by class, and not just wide open, makes a class skill list as valuable as a class spell list.
In other words, treat skill points and class skills as something valuable, not something to be given away.

The worst thing for the rogue is that everyone got access to his skills. That killed him more effectively then lousy melee damage.

IF skills were also valuable, the rogue's value would rise in tandem.

3) Note that Knowledge (all) exists as Bardic Knowledge bonus, FWIW.
I don't have a problem with lots of knowledge skills. I just have a problem with how few classes can access them, and how limited their usefulness is. Mostly, they are about monster ID, and you can make a case that ANY adventurer should be interested in MOnster ID.
So, I think the knowledge skills should be redefined in accordance with a profession skill or two, and Monster ID be a skill of its own.

4) SKILL-based classes, that don't use magic, can gain bonuses on thematic skills.
Those classes that DO use magic can use magic or their high mental stats to do the same.
i.e. if youa re a spellcaster, skills are NOT that precious to you. You can a) buff to them or b) summon something with the appropriate skill. You don't NEED to focus on them like a skill class.
In any event, if the skill class gets the buff, it should be a defined buff, like competence, so you can't double and triple stack the stuff. i.e. it should be like having a magic buff you don't pay for, and that a caster can't double up on.

5) It's less important that Combat Manuvers all be accessible with a skill (they are, it's called high BAB), then that the ones you want and have automatically scale.
The best way to do this is simply to fold them into the Expertise skill.
As one of the abilities of Expertise, you gain one Improved Combat Manuver per point of Expertise, and your expertise bonus applies to that maneuver and defending against that maneuver.
So, you'll eventually end up with 5 Imp Combat manuvers of your choice, all of them at +5.
And tellingly, as part of a Feat called EXPERTISE at combat!.

6) Skills don't equilibriate with fighting ability. They equilibriate with LACK of fighting ability, and LACK of spellcasting ability. They are leg 3 of the 3 way triangle.
Ergo, the best skilled person should of average combat skill and NO spellcasting ability. The Rogue and Expert are perfect for this. The Bard, not so much. A no spell bard? Definitely.

7) Definitely. But Anti-magic has always been poo-pooed by PF, on the theory that it craps on casters, who are supposed to be fun, and having magic is supposed to be better then not having magic.
Having classes with NO intrinsic magic be better at anti-magic is a huge leap, but one that should be taken.
There are remarkably few RPG's that don't have an anti-caster option of some sort in the system, but PF is one of them.

8) Counterspelling should indeed be easier, but the 'spell level hgiher' is a waste of space. Enemy casters are often higher level then PC's, and so countering the best spells of the enemy tends to be difficult at best.
It would be easier to give Dispel Magic a bonus when counterspelling, and going back to the old dispel that got rid of ALL magic in the area of effect, instead of just one spell. In other words, giving Dispel teeth to chew makes an existing effect the counterspell you need/want.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Ssalarn wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:


Failing that, feats that work off/synergize with specific class abilities, like Bravery or armor training, so they do one thing for people without them, and something much better for people with them.

Like iron will, improving by +1 per point of Bravery, and such.

==Aelryinth

Funny you should mention that...

The Genius Guide to Bravery Feats keys off the Fighter's Bravery class feature, and presents feats that allow the fighter to do things like make an enemy bleed and slip in their own blood, leap through an enemy's teleportation effect as an immediate action following them to their destination, or spin their weapon to deflect an enemy's AoE spell effect. There's also feats that help the Fighter participate out of combat, like Fearsome Reputation which adds twice his Bravery bonus to Diplomacy and Intimidate checks.

Endzeitgeist gave it 5 out of 5 stars plus seal of approval in his review.

I have your book, you made a gift of it to me. :)

But Feats that work off Bravery aren't exactly what I was referring to here, although very close.

The Bravery feats are nice, but my fighter needs better saves, AND has to maintain his offensive ability. The ability to follow someone through a teleport is so situational as to be rarely viable, and having someone slip on a pool of blood is like Dirty Trick or Improved Trip, but not as versatile, and gets less effective against non-humanoids, etc.

I'm talking about things like:

Iron Will: +2 to Will saves. If you have Bravery, +1 additional for each point of Bravery. Add your current Expertise penalty and your Defensive Fighting/Total Defense AC bonus, as bonuses to your Will saves, if they do not already apply.

Lightning Reflexes: +2 To reflex saves.
If you have Armor Training: This bonus improves by +1 per Armor Training level. Add your current Expertise penalty and your Defensive Fighting/Total Defense AC bonus, as bonuses to your Reflex saves, if they do not already apply. Additionally:
If you also have Combat Reflexes, +2 to your allowed AoO's. If also you have Improved Init, +2 to Init.
If you also have Dodge, your Dodge AC bonus improves by +1 per level of armor lighter then you are proficient in, instead of just +1. Your Mobility feat bonus to AC improves by +2.

Skill Focus: +3,+6 at 10th level. If it is an Int, Wis, or Cha-based skill, add your Bravery bonus. If you have Sneak Attack dice, add +1 per Sneak Attack die to this skill as a Competency bonus. If you have either Bravery or Sneak Attack dice, add your Expertise bonus as well, to the maximum of the higher of those numbers.

Improved Initiative; +4 Init. Add your Bravery bonus and number of Sneak Attack dice to this number, the latter as a competency bonus.

Dodge: +1 Dodge bonus to AC. IF you have shield proficiency but are not using a shield, increase the bonus to +2. IF you are wearing (or not wearing) armor at least one category lighter then you are proficient in, increase the Dodge bonus by +1. Change your Armor Training bonus to max Dex as a straight Dodge bonus to AC.

Expertise: You may sacrifice Th for AC, as normal.
For each point of Expertise you have, you do not provoke an AoO with one kind of special maneuver. Your bonus with that maneuver automatically increases by your Expertise modifier. Your CMD against that maneuver also increases by your Expertise modifier. (leading to 5 improved special maneuvers with +5 on each, without spending 15 feats!)
Every time you gain a point of Bravery, you gain another class skill of your choice, and another skill point per class level that has Bravery.
If you are wearing no armor, you automatically gain your Expertise bonus to AC without sacrificing TH to do so.
If you have Bravery, you may use INt, Wis or Cha 13 to qualify for Expertise.
You add your Expertise modifier to your Total Defense AC bonus.
You do not have to be in combat to gain your Expertise or Defender bonuses to AC, but you must be in combat (i.e. initiative has been rolled) and your weapon must be in hand and ready.
If you have a Guardian weapon in hand and ready, your Expertise penalty to hit also applies as a bonus to all saving throws automatically.

Combat Reflexes: 1+dex mod AoO's, etc. This is increased by your Expertise bonus. Treat your Delay action in combat as a Readied Action, if you define the trigger. YOu may do this with a Standard or Similar Action at Bravery +1, and a Full Attack or similar action at Bravery +2.

Fleet: +5 move. If you have armor training, this bonus is multiplied by your Armor Training bonus (so, +10 if +2 armor training, etc).

Etc. Take a standard feat, that everyone needs or could use, and make it into something people WANT to take, that synergizes with class features. Combat feats synergize with class abilities to free fighters from the tyranny of high stats, and make combat feats better for them then others.

Expertise becomes what it should be - a feat that showcases what expert fighters are capable of. Not a th/AC tradeoff that doesn't speak to ANY intelligent combatant as a sophisticated bunch of training.

This becomes less a bunch of new Techniques (like the Bravery book feats are), then an expansion and redefining of existing ones...and makes fighters and rogues something to be reckoned with by synergizing with class features. It turns feats into the equivalent of class features when used with ROgues and Fighters.

==Aelryinth

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You can do it, the whole displaced in time/place is a common trope in literature.

The problem is that if your people come from a magical society, there will be SOME higher level casters there, even if it's only an adept or three and the village priest.

Now, maybe magic has to be rediscovered, and your 5th level wizard only has level 1 spells, and that goes for everyone as they scramble to work out the new rules, even being higher level.

However, the divine casters can directly interact with summoned beings as they go up in level to find out how things now work. Any summoned creature with spellcraft can easily serve as a teacher on the changes.

So, what you have is a very temporary scramble to find out how magic works again, as opposed to hving it all immediately available.

But at some point,magic will be back, because they will be driven to find it by hook or by crook, and then you go from 'reclaiming technology' straight into 'kingdom-building'.

Your difficulty seems to be that you don't want to make the transition, OR you want to severely limit magic, for a period of time or absolutely.

So, decide what you actually WANT to happen, and present a new idea.

==Aelryinth

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Do any of your wizards have spells in memory? DO NOT CAST THEM UNLESS YOU HAVE WRITING MATERIALS.

Have your sorcerers copy down any spells they know so the wizards can use them.

Get a listing of classes and levels for everyone there, after working out leadership roles.

Your first priorities are water, food and shelter, in that order. Prestidigitation will be a life saver. As will create water. Ten thousand people means that unless you have a lot of casters, starvation will be an immediate danger.

What level are you?

Summon a basilik, cockatrice or gorgon, and petrify everyone who is non-essential for the moment (in other words, everyone you can't keep fully fed.) Store them safely. Use Break Enchantment to bring them out as your food production increases.

Stone Shape can make you some immediate tools and building blocks for things like a forge. Heat Metal can provide a heat source. Wall of fire, lasts for concentration, can get you immediately into smithing, if you can find raw ore. Earth elementals can bring out the ore. Minor Creation can create temporary tools for you, so can summoning up a Djinn or other genie, who can also make long lasting clothing and really help with the food situation.

Call in some Lantern Archons, if possible, and use them to provide you all the Continual Flames you need, as well as unsleeping sentries. Given the level of humanitarian disaster, you should be able to get Good Outsiders to help you for tasks...and some of them will have clerical levels, and thus access to spells you want and need, esp. healing.

Charm spells on local monsters/creatures will create servants you can take care of. Everyone should take animal companions to help with the load of work to be done. Avians will be especially useful as scouts, sentries and spotters.

Once you've made tools of metal, you're on the roll. Start plowing up the ground and gathering seed. COmmune with Nature to find viable areas to set up farms. Depending on how advanced your food raising ability is, you're going to need 4 acres per person or so to keep everyone fed, more if you want meat. Start finding local animals you can domesticate, set up your first farms outside whatever fortified post (probably a log fort, or, if you have access to Walls of Stone, something better).

Rock to Mud can provide you with a great deal of easy stone. Simply transmute an area, insert molds, and dispel. Instant stone blocks of whatever pattern desired. Walls of Stone provide those molds, if all you want to do is whip up walls and pour stuff in between them.

Fabrication allows you to create tools from raw materials like leather, so you can make leather and wooden goods very quickly, subject only to spell slots. However, the volume area affected will be small and slow, and is probably best with specialty goods, like saddles and the like.

Your biggest challenge will be getting access to raw metal, i.e. iron, copper mines. With Summons, getting the ore out will not be that hard, and once you have a functioning smeltery, proper tools will help things take off fast.

You will have to rule as to what constitutes 'components' for purposes of making magical items. Do they actually need to find/spend gold and gems, or can they sub other things? If the latter, a whole subset of people should be focused on finding those components so the artificers can make magic items to alleviate the load. One Decanter of endless water provides drinking water for your entire population, and you can make a cornucopia to feed 9 people literally every 9 days, or a Ring of Sustenance every day.

Rings of Sustenance allow you to maximize your working hours, and free the powerful from the need to hunt, time to eat, most of sleep, and even going to the bathroom, and will be your greatest time leverage devices in the early days. Consider that each one gives the wearer eight more hours a day to do what they need to get done, for the rest of their lives. Thus, getting such Rings on people's hands should be a priority. It is especially useful for freeing Casters from needing 8 hours of rest to regain spells.

Preserving spells can be done using Stone Shape to make slates, or bargaining for raw materials from Planar Allies brought in for this purpose, or soft goods made by Djinnis (which would include paper and writing materials).

The other magic item to make will be anything that can Fabricate once or more a day, because each use of it will save days and days of labor on larger projects, accelerating the establishment of your new realm. Something as simple as large saw blades and bigger tools, as soon as you've the raw metal, will be of immense help and leverage time considerably.

and, of course, you'll be able to make arms and armor to hunt and guard more effectively.

As a partial alternative, a nomadic culture requires less set up, but vastly increases the amount of land you'll need. You'll also require mounts for everyone, and you'll still have to be bringing people out of 'stone storage'.

==Aelryinth

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Pregnancy has little effect on the functioning of spellcasters. We tend to place a lot of value on protecting pregnant people, it's a racial compulsion. Drow are probably not immune to it, and the fact a pregnant spellcaster can still Meteor Swarm you means they are not helpless.

Plus, its a very short span individually in the life of a drow, and with magic can be recovered from in literally minutes (Restoration and Cure spells FTW!)

The drow in FR ARE more fecund then normal elves. Since they butcher one another a lot, it keeps the status quo.

Note that House warfare in FR comes with strings attached...you must kill EVERYTHING. If you leave even ONE NOBLE alive, every other noble house gangs up and eliminates you. You're on a time limit, you have to strike hard, fast, and completely mercilessly, otherwise you've just committed suicide.

So, House conflicts are done through proxies. Ergo, joining a house and only having to deal with internal conflicts is much safer then being able to be victimized by any random House, stranger, or what not as a 'free drow'. It's why Jarlxle's band can survive...rule #1 is not to prey on one another. Anyone else is fair game....just like the Noble Houses.

Oh, and Get Paid. Very important.

==Aelryinth

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Bandw2 wrote:
Voin_AFOL wrote:
that's no basis for a system of government!
help help, i'm being oppressed.

Discrimination against the Lady of the Lake?

To arms, to arms, gentle sirs!

==Aelryinth

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Mage Slayer line was the big one. No Def casting, always the AoO. BIG downside...you caster level was decreased by 4 for each feat in this line. Horrors, casters couldn't/wouldn't use the feats!

Pierce Magical Concealment - ignore miss chances from magical spells, and the effects of mirror Image.

Pierce Magic Defenses - Ignore any spell effect (not magic items) that grant you an AC bonus, and dispel them with a normal attack using a standard action. What really pissed THIS group off was it affected any polymorph spell that granted an AC bonus, including NAt AC, OR anything that granted a stat bonus to AC!

There were two Opportunist feats, I don't remember the precise names. They variously triggered when magic items were used, when supernatural abilities were used, and when swift/quickened abilities were used. The names are on my Lockdown Fighter build on the WoTC boards, I don't have it available atm. I can look them up later. I know Supernatural Opportunist was one of them.

The original Stand Still feat - when an AoO was triggered, make the hit, deal no damage, but the opponent had to make a Reflex save = to 10+ damage or be locked in place.
combined with
Thicket Of Blades - Crusader Stance, ALL MOVEMENT PROVOKES. 5' steps, everything. BIng, Lockdown. You're not going anywhere. True battlefield control from a melee.
Combined with
Finishing Sweep - If someone hasn't moved since last round, get an AoO on them
and
Hold the Line - if someone is charging you, get an AoO when they ENTER a square you threaten, then you just Stand Still them and push them back to their original square, out of reach of you.
mix with the 3.5e Fighter ability that allowed you to give up all your iteratives to for your attacks to deal double damage at higher levels, and all your AoO's did double damage, and you have a Lockdown build.

There was a Ghost Blade or somesuch ability that let you hit incorps.

The Magebane enhancement worked against ANY creature with an arcane caster ability. Since all SLA's are arcane unless noted otherwise, that meant almost all higher level creatures. Cue mass use of this Bane.

Prot/Evil making you immune to charms/compulsions is an oldie and goodie. Mind Blank used to provide that blanket immunity to all e/c spells AND divinations. So did AMulets vs Det/Location (and were cheap) and Rings of Mind Shielding.

Spellbattle Rings used to allow you to sense spellcasting within like 180 feet, and turn a spell back on the caster 1-3 times a day, I forget (used to be once/round in 1e).

I seem to recall a feat that let you dimensionally lock a creature, but it escapes me atm.

There was a Dispelling enhancement, +5 cost, that dispelled Greater Magic with every attack at your character level. That was pretty cool, too.

==========
One of the things 3.5 did was make it MUCH more expensive to get immunity to something then previous editions. Especially divination effects. Greenstone amulets, rings of mind shielding and amulets vs det/loc were cheap and not hard to come by.

No longer!

There was a first level psionic ability that made you immune to GAZE ATTACKS! (steadfast gaze). awesome.

Wear an armband of telstang - immune to any effect that transformed the body! (polymorph, petrification, etc).

and so forth and so on.

One way to control magic is to bring back cheap ways to protect against the most egregious spells easily.

I mean, seriously, an amulet of non-detection is USELESS. It doesn't even give the 'self-caster' bonus to the person wearing it, which means it fails to work 50% of the time against a caster of the same level it was made at, and only gets worse with level.
Mind Blank now costs like 70k to get it on a helm, or something.
Ugh, ugh, ugh.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Dreaming Warforged wrote:

Here's my take on goodies for non-casting classes, without touching casting classes. Some apply to all classes though. Not all needs to be applied mind you.

1. Free Feats
The following feats are available to all characters who meet the prerequisites:
Power Attack
Agile Maneuver
Two-Weapon Fighting
Improved Shield Bash
Combat Expertise
Piranha Strike
Deadly Aim
Weapon Finesse
Vital Strike

2. Feats Trees Stacking with BAB
The following feats trees stack and are obtained as the player reaches the right BAB (note this doesn't necessarily work with house-rule 1, but I want to put the option out there):
Vital Strike
Improved Maneuvers
Two-Weapon Fighting
Step Up
Style Feat Trees

I don't mean to sound judgmental, but you realize what you did here is make it even easier for casters to take over from non-casters, because now they don't even have to spend the feats to get basic competency in fighting styles? Every morphing caster has Weapon Finesse and Power Attack already...what more could they want? And Vital Strike, scaling, to boot!

This kind of stuff is exactly akin to giving casters multiple attacks, and better BAB, the first nails in the coffin of the move from 1E to 3E.

What I want to see from you now is: what free stuff that casters get are you giving to the melee side of the equation to balance out stealing better BAB; more attacks; and tons of free combat feats?

In other words, what free stuff are you giving the warriors so they can do the job of the casters, and not need them around?

As an example: All classes have a minimum caster level = to the inverse of their BAB (good bab = 1/2 caster, 3/4 = 3/4, poor = good caster). IF they already get a caster level, none of the following apply.
They may pick any spell list, but must meet any alignment defaults for the list (i.e. if druid or paladin).
At level 2, they get to pick 3 cantrips or the equivalent.
They follow the spell acquisition paradigm of the Ranger/paladin in terms of how fast they get spells, i.e. level 4+.
However, there are the following changes:
They do not acquire spells, they acquire spell like abilities. They can pick the spells from the list, including their bonus spells, and use each one 3 t/day.
This is not hampered by armor.
The ability score they use to determine their bonus spells is whatever ability score they wish.
If they get bonus spells via ability scores higher then 4th level, they may break the 5th+ level slots down as they wish (2+3, 4+1, 1+1+1+1+1) as additional SLA's.
They may choose the same SLA twice to increase uses of the SLA.
When they gain access to a new level of spells, they may alter the SLA's they have already taken to compensate for new spells.
They may take feats that metamagic SLA's. By default, this generates additional uses of that SLA that have the metamagic attached.
They are considered to have the spell list they've chosen for purpose of using magic items.
Their spellcraft = caster level as normal, and qualifies them for Item Creation feats. However, they may use Craft Ranks instead of spellcraft for making items of the appropriate kind, and do not have to meet spell perquisites if they do so.
Caster levels for this ability and from caster levels do stack.
You can choose different classes to have different spell progressions (i.e. your rogue levels tied to bard, your fighter levels to paladin, and your gunslinger levels to ranger). The combined caster levels still stack, but you would have multiple lower level SLA's instead of higher ones.

This is the kind of thing you are doing TO the melees - taking away their basic low level toys and giving them to other classes who don't need them and who it is inappropriate to do so.

Turning around and giving loads of the minor, basic abilities of spellcasters to the non-casters only seems fair in return.

==Aelryinth

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The problem here seems to be that belief is magic is unblockable, unavoidable, and can't be overcome.

And the wizard would certainly like to think so.

Something as basic as the barbarian sundering through his mighty spells, a ranger's ability to track extending through dimensions, thieves being able to fool fate and chance, and fighters with souls refined so sharp they can cut dimensions with a blade should boggle a wizard who can't believe 'ordinary people' can undercut his magic so easily.

A rogue should be able to unravel a mage's defenses as easily as any other lock or ward, that's what they do. They are so clever they can trick magic into acting for them in ways normal spellcasters find just impossible.

Barbs and fighters should consider magic just to be tricks, nowhere near as strong as the fundamental part of a warrior's soul, and they should be able to impose reality back onto those tricks and overcome them, revealing them for the empty things they are. Again, wizards should be absolutely agog that a 'normal' person can force 'magic' to be 'normal' again.

It's the one thing PF does not do, the ability to broadly act against magic itself, yet its a common trope in pretty much every fantasy story. In the West, the common bane of all magic was simply cold iron, or 'steel'. Further then that, it was that a warrior's soul flew free of fate and so was able to triumph over the manipulations of wizardry. Will power was hardly limited to sages! The rage and emotional strength of a true warrior, honed in combat and training, was the equal of books and runes. Knowledge was something, but knowledge was not EVERYTHING.

Meh.

IMC, there's an entire class of people called The Forsaken, who have no magical ability at all, especially UMD, and can never develop it.
But they have the ability to force magic back into 'normalcy'. They can see through magical illusions, force magical fliers out of the air, stop dimensional hijinks, are invisible to divinations, walk through magical effects, cleave magical barriers, banish magical beings back to their planes, and basically treat magic like it isn't anything important at all.

They terrify casters, naturally enough. They may never fly, but when they can make dragons crash back to the ground, they don't really care. Your illusions won't stop them, your magical defenses won't stop them, and if they kill you, they cut the connection to your body and you die, magic jar or astral body or clones notwithstanding. You're just normal to them, and you're dead.

It keeps casters VERY much on their toes.

==Aelryinth

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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:
Sorry, in PF animating undead involves recalling a spark of their soul, enslaving it, and then infusing it with negative energy in a torturous manner while binding it to servitude.

Big deal. Slavery has been part of humanity pretty much since we've existed.

To this date humans still participate in slavery [both the traditional style, and economic slavery.]

Slavery for the existence of slavery is evil.

Murder's been around forever, too, as has theft and all sorts of crap. I suppose they should just suddenly be 'not evil' because I want to be able to use them without consequence?

Doesn't work that way.

Slavery for the sake of slavery is an evil in Pathfinder, also. Slavery as the alternative for murder or sentence to pay off a debt is a different option and more neutral.

So, yes, enslaving someone's soul just because you can do it, and binding it into a torturous existence so you can have a minion you can mistreat to your heart's content and dispose of at a whim is DEFINITELY evil.

Evil can be inconvenient that way, you know?

==Aelryinth

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Um. Wow, dumb ambushers. Exactly how did you get initiative on them?

Readied action, a flaming arrow shoots the scroll out of your hands. +40 Spot checks and Improved Precise Shot.

Suddenly, no Time Stop.

But let's say it goes off.

Sorry, you only go up 40 feet. Overland flight is slow at 40', you only get a standard action, and you move at half speed ascending.

Time restarts.

The enemy wizard autopasses his Spellcraft, shouts "Summoned Monsters!" as a free action.

the enemy cleric utters Holy Word, clutching his Rod of Greater Widen as he does.

Poof. All summoned monsters go away. You are within the 80' radius of the spell, and the cleric took his +5 spellcaster level buffs just before the fight. You are now paralyzed, blinded and deafened, as is your familiar.

A a quickened illusion overlays you from the party wizard showing everyone exactly where you are.

An arrow of spell holding with Anti-magic Shell hits you, and you plummet down to the ground, taking 4d6 of damage, and you are still paralyzed, blinded, deafened and have no contingents usable.

The party rogue administers one coup de grace to you with a pick for d6+x times 3, +10d6, for about an average 60ish fort save or die instantly.

See how easy instant bad tactics are foiled against a party also prepped? I didn't even get into the opening volley of a sling stone with a combo of glue and Silence attached to it, which would have stopped most of your initial spells and any voice-activated commands in their tracks.

Meh. Theorycrafting.

==Aelryinth

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HWalsh wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:

Dial it back a bit there, champ.

Fighters do NOT get magical weapons.
Nor do fighters get magical armor.

They get BONUSES to hit, and reduction in penalties.

This does not overcome damage reduction in any way, other than a small bonus to hit/damage.

What I suggested was adding ACTUAL magic items as a class feature.

I'm sorry you don't understand what we are trying to do, we are trying to suggest ways to bring martials up to a level of power where they are on par with casters.

My fighters spend all their money on a stupid cycle of selling their existing weapons at a loss and buying new ones at full price in a futile attempt to keep up with the caster who can just TRADE spells ingame and accumulate power far more easily than the fighter.

My suggestion, as it was obviously not understood, is to ADD, as a CLASS FEATURE, armor and weapons that scale at NO ADDITIONAL cost to the fighter.

This, I think, would help solve some of the disparity between martials and casters.

No... Because damage doesn't overcome damage reduction at all...

And here is what I am suggesting:
"Stop."

Martials get their thing, casters get their thing, if Martials were able to do what casters could, then there would be no reason for someone to suffer through a d4 in HP, an absolutely terrible BAB, and the first few levels feeling, quite literally, useless.

"Wooo hoo! I get my 1 magic missile per day."

The balance has always been fine, Martials are the foundation and the rock. Take your casters into a real dungeon where you can't rest for 8 hours between encounters, where sleep is a serious issue, and see how well that caster does.

Answer. Not very.

Meanwhile your fighter will be doing fine.

Maybe it is because I am from the old school, before games like WoW poisoned people into thinking that everything needed to be 1:1 balanced, as these complaints are a more modern thing.

However you are trying to buck decades of convention that has proven to be a success for no...

Uh, what?

Dude, I played AD&D too. Hit points aren't a problem in PF.

It's a d6 in HP, max at first level, + Con bonus (14-16 for +2 or +3) and maybe a Toughness feat, for 11-12 HP, maybe 1 hp behind the fighter, at first level.

At 3rd level, they get false life. Pre-emptive healing, and they can recast it!

Put martials into a day of 35-40 encounters and they will DIE. Their HP run out before casters run out of spells at those levels. The casters, of course, have the option to suddenly leave.

A simple Ring of Sustenance, standard adventuring fare for 2500 gp, takes complete care of the sleep issue. Rope Trick can provide a measure of security in the right spot (concealed).

Nothing you spoke of has any bearing on the game unless you completely ignore the options a caster has and make them mere melee support.

a team of 4 casters are going to have a much easier time with 35-40 encounters because they can potentially cast ONE SPELL and end an encounter, allowing the others to not use any, or minimal magic.

Martials, on the other hand, have to get through encounters taking NO damage and having NO status infliction. ugh!

Bad examples, my friend.

You're textbooking a fallacy of game design: Just because you can have fun and play around the bad balance and bad rules, don't mean they aren't there!

==Aelryinth

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Sounds like The Hobbit.

You're not looking at it from the Dragon's Perspective. Everything worked PERFECTLY there. His minions and traps used up so many of your resources that you were forced to retreat rather then face a fully prepared dragon.

Now the fully prepared dragon went after YOU, and your characters weren't prepped in return.

Then, the dragon is depleted, but now has hostages to mitigate the fact he doesn't have his full defenses again.

Smart dragon. Played perfectly. The situation would be the same if, for example, you'd stolen the dragon's eggs.

And like you said, so much more fun then just marching in and killing an idiot dragon...or potentially being TPK'd.

==Aelryinth

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chaoseffect wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Stuff I agree with
It's always amusing to me that for all the rhetoric of "Need Initiative! Need Initiative!" going first is almost always awful for Martials unless they win it just to say "I delay until the enemy moves up and/or I get my rounds per level buffs." Or, you know, have Pounce or are dedicated archers.

This is correct. From a math standpoint, moving up on the enemies so you can eat their full attack, is pretty stupid compared to forcing them to move up and eat yours.

Moving before the casters can buff you is also dumb. "Hey, I get an extra attack...after I moved, and I can move even faster NEXT round, and I didn't get my +1 bonus to hit, either! I'm so glad I beat McWizard on initiative! I'm L33T!"

The only person you want to go before is the CASTER on the other team. That's usually best done with ranged attacks anyways.

==Aelryinth

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as a follow up, I don't have a problem with casters who are bad at stealth, or perception, and MUST USE MAGIC to replicate what other people do with pure skill. The only way around their weakness is to take mundane classes and take mundane skills, or, horrors, multiclass into a prestige class that allows you to combine such things.

All at cost of caster levels.

I don't have a problem with that at all. Thou Shalt Not Lose Caster Levels is an optimization command. If you want to keep those caster levels, then you don't get the shinies for other classes. Period. Suck it up and deal with it.

==Aelryinth

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Feats which generate more attacks and generate more damage are the ones martials need the least.

Pretty much ALL the martial classes can deal respectable raw damage. It's pretty much all the other options where they start lacking.

For skills - the only way to make skills strong is to put restrictions on learning them, and/or having MORE of them, not less.

Cross-class severe penalties make people howl, but they make classes with a huge skill list valuable intrinsically. Being totally unable to spend skill points outside your class list would concentrate characters into their specialty skills and stop a lot of toe-stepping. Who cares if the mage gets 12 skill points if he has to spend it on knowledge and craft skills? That's what a mage is SUPPOSED to be good at.

Exclusivity is the core of every caster class...having access to magic others don't have. But everyone has access to all skills, and all feats. That's huge discrimination right there. You want feats and skills to be powerful, you have to restrict them, not open them up.

Or make them exclusive by calling them something other then feats (like, oh, Rage Powers).

Until you get past the huge discrepancy in the valuation of feats and skills vs spellcasting, there will always be disparity.

==Aelryinth

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Soilent wrote:
chaoseffect wrote:
Soilent wrote:
chaoseffect wrote:
Soilent wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
Soilent wrote:


If only he had something better than a full attack bonus, 3 attacks at full BAB, Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse, Dex to Damage, Evasion, and a huge pile of skills?!
oh no if only the wizard didn't have the ability to summon like 5 of those and throw them back at you.
Too bad he's already dead.
*casts Emergency Force Sphere as an immediate action*
So that will protect a caster for one round, tops. Potentially less.
20 Hardness and 10 HP per level and your Barbarian Rogue isn't getting sneak attack on it and it cannot be critted. You mentioned 3 attacks, so there's a flat 60 from your attack routine off right there. Also note that if you do destroy it in one round by using all your attacks you actually did the caster a favor as they were trapped in there unless they wanted to standard action dismiss it or use another method to get out.

Fair enough.

Out of curiosity, how would a bull rush effect this scenario?

A ring of blinking gets around it nicely, and then you're in a dome stuck with a raging barbarian.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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1) The Juggernaut for starters.
My rejoinder is: Why can't Colossus learn to be immune to psionic attack sin his metal state (you're trying to read an I-beam!) or to make his metal form non-magnetic?
Because martials don't get nice things.

2) Yesss, martials should be effective at all eight ranges of combat (Personal/grapple, fist range, melee weapon range, extended melee weapon range, throwing weapon range, projectile range, extreme projectile range, artillery range). Alas, they are not, because martials don't get nice things.

3) See above. The hulk, however, is nigh immune to psionics and magic, has impressive AoE attacks, can move VERY fast if need be (he can literally jump at multiple Machs)i.e. has movement options, doesn't need to breathe, heals himself, and there's literally nothing that can stop him face to face. He's not comedy relief - the whole fighting team is being carried along by him. He's actually the CENTERPOINT of the attack, if not the commander (and he's one of the top ten smart guys on the planet, so he can BE the commander!)
But jeez, look how long his career took before he actually got real martial training. Planet Hulk! Because, you know, martials can't get nice things.
(points at Spiderman). Took fifty years for shang-chi to actually give Peter some martial arts pointers. Because it might actually make him more effective in a fight. And the Scarlet Spider's web toys? when have we seen them again? Nah... web cluster bombs would make sense.
But hey, martials can't have nice things, even with a 225 IQ. They can't even hold down a decent job!

And you know, Cap America in core marvel is an officer in the US Military and doesn't even carry a sidearm. Because that would give him a long range attack. You have to get into Ultimates before he's immune to telepathy and willing to wear some form of powered armor and carry a firearm, like any proper soldier would love to do.

4) Ah, caster-martial disparity in Science fiction! WHo knew? Because, you know, martials can't wander around with cloned or techno-ysalmari, and for some reason cortosis armor/weapons isn't a thing when fighting jedi.

It also helps that jedi get to wave around a self-contained fusion explosion that is somehow stronger then a blaster despite lasting longer, using less energy, and employing the same power pack. It's the most technologically implausible thing in the setting, combining the power of a blaster and force field, and doesn't even set the atmosphere on fire!

Because martials don't get nice things. You know, like something as simple as a personal force field that shocks/shuts down light saber fields, or nulls the Force in a general area. Nope, nope.

5) Soldiers use what is effective. You show me spellcasters in the real world, and I can guarantee you they get better toys. Just be aware that every soldier is equipped by the lowest common bidder with the minimum cost of gear that is sufficient for him to do his job.

Then go ask how many billions get spent on planes, missiles, ships and stuff, vs the common soldier.

6) Equality between martials is a given. Equality between martials and others? Nope. We set up limits on martials to give skill and dedication to training a chance to shine, as opposed to who can burn out their body faster, or big man against small man match-ups.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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You got Erelhei-Cinlu absolutely correct. The Vault of the Drow doth beckon...

And while there's nothing to say for Duergar to say "Don't mind us, we'll just attack this house over here," the drow he's talking to will sell that information to the house being attacked in a heart beat, and THEN when the fighting is done go in, wipe the duergar out when they're exhausted from the fight, and get all the goodies from both House and attackers, and then probably go and raid the duergar so the gray dwarves don't have the idea that coming back for vengeance is going to be an easy thing.

And that's if some House doesn't consider it sporting to see how many hundreds of duergar they can go kill on a lark, oblivious to any retaliation.

Being chaotic is hard work, man.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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realistically, you'd just park a golem or animated object atop the body of the tarrasque and tell it to keep hitting it from now until the end of time. No need to do any more.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Dwarves have nae Scottish accents.

Scots be having dwarvish accents.

That aside, there are several subcultures of dwarves in PF that are definitely not Tolkienesque.
--

If you're going to use duergar, the best way to use them as a dominant race is LE Imperial racist, with a higher level of tech then their enemies which they are totally willing to use.

Magic use on top of that should really grit teeth.

They would, however, have to have something that trumps the rampant magical use of their enemies, the ability to call in demonic reinforcements by drow, and similar extreme things, so they could use their superior organization and strength on the battlefield to win.

You'd have to play them as scarily intelligent, tireless workers, lethally patient, and deadly competent. That's not how they are played now.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Your question is at the very heart of martial/caster disparity.

You have hit the nail on the head with what the BAB number DOES, rather then the progression.

What you are doing is saying "Wait, I give up 12 spells, some of them very high level, for +6 to hit and 2 more iterative attacks? When I could use those spells to give me the same bonuses when I need them?"

Since BAB can be subbed for in so many different ways by the appropriate spells, the answer is no, it's not worth it.

And yet Sorcs and Wizzies are still Tier 1 classes, while the full BAB classes are Tier 3 at best.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Yeah, but the elves were gone for thousands of years as the drow increased numbers on their own.

Demons have a rigid hierarchy based only on strength. If you are stronger then the person above you, unless they have someone stronger warding them, you knock them off and take their place, no problems.

Do that in Hell, and you're probably going to the fires. In the Hells, you have to make your superior eliminate himself by having HIS superiors take care of him. Jumping the line simply isn't done.

That's the difference between lawful and chaotic hierarchies, the fluidity of changing station. In chaotics, if you've the power, your place is wherever you want it to be. In lawful, your place is wherever your bosses say it is, and no deviating.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Ah, the Post-Literary Omnirevisional Tactic armor method! Very good!

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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A spell normally on the divine list cast from as a bloodline spell is an arcane spell. Ditto for mysteries and domains, in reverse.

That's a wee bit different from being able to PICK off those lists.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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What is 'frequently' to a drow?

remember they are surrounded by enemies and KNOW they are surrounded by enemies. Racial unity will trump all else in the face of danger.

Weak chaotics are controlled by strong chaotics. Children would be free of the infighting since they are still the future of the race. Physically mature children with low mental maturity make great cannon fodder if need be.

If you are a long-lived race, bumping off an enemy every ten years IS frequent, but won't cost them power over all. Given how fast it is possible to rise in levels, the issue of high level drow being popped isn't that serious. Half a dozen excursions into the darklands, and you could have a whole crew of ready replacements fresh from killing the horrors out there.

Probably the key is that in that environment, it is possible to gain levels very quickly, and as you go up in levels, it gets harder and harder to just gank you, plus you DO have allies if you are smart, who will believe they are better off with you then without you.

Orcs can gain levels, too, but their infighting is FEROCIOUS. In turn, they are also threatened by outside forces, and don't have the magic and demonic allies to make such think twice, just their own reproduction and unending vicious streaks. So, they never get beyond the horde, get decimated, run away, breed a new generation, come back for more.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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EpicFail wrote:
I thought admixture was an Alchemist's trick(?) Is there a way for my Druid to use that for fun and profit? Pardon if this is off topic.

Admixture is one of the subset schools of evoker specialization.

Your druid can use Elemental Spell to pull the trick with a specific element, but it won't be as good as an Admixture wizard or a sorc's bloodline speciality.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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To the OP: It's because addressing the problem will cost money. And nobody agrees on who is going to pay.

Wealthy industrial companies would have to own up to the fact they did most of the polluting to get ahead. However, these countries are, in fact, doing more for the environment then other nations.

Second world nations, like, say, China, are polluting monstrously to catch up tot he first world nations. They don't want to pay because that would cripple their ability to catch up.

Third World nations want to be paid to not follow in the steps of the other nations, pointing at the fact that they are the ones hurt the most, yet they did not cause the problem.

The Issue is thus SEPTIC - Somebody Else's Problem, Think I Care? - to everyone that doesn't want to pay a dime to a problem they can't see is tangibly affecting them.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Note to this: Evocation is a perfectly fine specialty for wizards.

The reasons it is looked down on is:

1) You must BUILD to it. Seriously. You have to take specific classes, traits and feats to make a good Blaster Caster. ON its own, Evocation doesn't end encounters...the base spells do too little damage.

Other schools of magic are usable right out of the can, no changes, no specific builds.

2) It takes a few levels to get going.
Sure, it's possible to toss out a 5d6 Burning Hands at level 1. But you have to get close to the enemy to do that. It doesn't really start ramping up until you get Fireball, maaaaaaybe Scorching Ray.

3) It burns higher spell slots.
Since you have to metamagic to make blasting work, you're devoting higher level spell slots to damage spells, instead of high level spells.

4) It has too many defenses.
Between creatures resistances/immunities, Spell Resistance, and Reflex saves, there's too many ways to reduce the blasting effect.
Hence, optimized casters prefer to hit weak saves, avoid resistances, or have no-save, no resist spells.

5) Unless it kills, damage doesn't end combat, and wounded enemies still attack at full strength.
Hence, Save and suck, or no-save stuff is preferred.

The reasons it works is:

1) Guess what? you can choose to NOT MEMORIZE EVOCATION SPELLS. So you can use all those other spells the other wizards can, and they are good out of the box. Because they didn't build to blast, however, they can't do what you can.

2) When it gets rolling...well, "I do 120 hp to everything in the room, DC 23 Reflex for half. If any live, I do another 90 to them, roll again."
Lots of Damage solves a LOT of problems. There's a ton of ways to kill the enemy, but sometimes the best is to just plain KILL THE ENEMY RIGHT NOW.

3) Preferred Spell means you don't even have to memorize your extra fireballs, you can just cast them on demand.

4) Admixture Evoc means you can choose the element on demand and avoid immunity as you like.
Or, you know, just use a different spell.

5) Rolling 15d6 with a chortling expression can be a lot of fun.

=Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Lone Wolf and Cub, the old manga series, has a couple of examples of the weaknesses of Katanas.

One was a duel against another samurai, where they had to cut off the heads of small stone idols, a set number, before they could attack the enemy.

Someone heard about the duel and attached iron rings around the statues' necks. The katana of the challenger hit one of the iron rings and snapped just before the killing strike as it did so.

Just before the final fight of the manga, one of the enemy agents, disguised as a sword polisher, comes out and convinces Daigordo to let him polish Lone Wolf's sword. He strikes it once near the hilt with a small hammer, seemingly doing nothing, but because of that strike, it breaks during the duel with the end boss.

There was also a clear difference between a courtly katana built for speed draws and dueling, and a heavier katana meant for war and manchopping. Lone Wolf used the latter.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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DM Under The Bridge wrote:

I am reminded of Tercios, brilliant for a long time.

But the Roman maniple managed to defeat the Greek phalanx. Course the maniples and then cohorts managed to defeat a lot of peoples. Very interesting the pike came back later.

On katanas, yes they can thrust, as can other swords, some of them more focused on the thrust.

I believe one of the reasons for that is the Romans used square, interlocking shields, and had shorter blades for use in the press. The Greeks used round shields that didn't interlock as well, and longer swords that were more hampered in tight quarters.

A great number of Roman tactics were taken directly from the Greeks. It is noteworthy that the Romans considered themselves and the Greeks to be the only civilized nations on the planet, to the point of wholly conscripting the entire Greek Pantheon of Gods.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Bandw2 wrote:
Soilent wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:

Curved blades SLICE better. That's a function of design.

And no, they don't keep their edge 'better', but the layered steel does allow them to be honed extremely sharp, hence my Crusader/scimitar/longsword example above. However, sharp edges get mangled easily, and naturally enough re-honing them grinds away more metal and eventually leaves you with an unusable sword.

but the Edge of a Katana is thicker than the edge of european swords, and just as sharp, hence it's longer lasting edge. Also wasn't the Katana's flexibility hat allowed it to stab into armor? The sword got through armored opponents by stabbing, and unarmored ones with slashing. the flexibility allowed it to slide between metal plates.

though once again this is all Japanese curved weapons.

You don't get to bring up how the blade is thicker than European weaponry in one breath, then explain how wonderfully flexible that thick blade is, in the next.

the edge is thicker, it's convex, or curves inward, a European blade is convex is curves outward. This gives the Katana(read as all Japanese curved blades) a more Wedge shaped edge that pushes the material away as it cuts. The European edge while sharp and thin on the edge gets wider quickly and thus the material catches on the concave area.

example

Katanas and Japanese blades are D shaped. Most other blades around the world are A-C shaped.

This is because the blade is heat treated with clay protecting the back end, it stays malleable and doesn't expand. This stretches the blade giving it the D shape and pulls the blade back giving it the curve. The back end is malleable and thus makes the core and brace of the sword bendy, while the edge stays hard against strikes and when cutting. Because this is due to heat tempering and not by design Japanese Curve blades are more durable or at least less prone to shattering,...

YOu probably want to stay away from the convex/concave terminology, because it is misleading as to what you mean.

The katana's flexibility comes from its backbone. It can take a hit against the blade, which will probably chip, but won't warp as the backbone absorbs the recoil and stays intact.

However, they have none of the renowned lateral flexibility of, say, Spanish steel, which could be bent 180 degrees and still not break. Hitting a katana from the side is a good way to hit the stress fracture points from its bending and shatter it. You can do it with a good blow from a metal pipe.

Likewise, smashing it on the backside will bend and warp the soft backbone of the weapon, and immediately render it unusuable.

The traditional low budget protection against slicking attacks is mail or strips of metal. Sword flexibility has nothing to do with such...the katana is not a flexible sword that way, it's actually rather brittle.

Yes, faced with plate armor, you want a hacking or pounding weapon to deform the plates. OR, you want a straight sword that can thrust more easily. Wedge shaped cross sections will get stuck in the metal, while rounded ones will pull out more easily. Wedge shape works wonderful for slicing meat and soft tissue. It has problems with stuff that's actually solid, not the least of which is the thinner blade chips and cracks far more easily.

To sum it up: The katana is NOT a tough sword. There's been many tests comparing the design against European swords, and in pretty much all cases the katana breaks, bends, deforms, chips and shatters far, far more easily then a Western blade.

What the katana does better is slice meat. It's a great weapon for slaughtering people who are wearing leather or less armor.

Its lack of a guard makes it a poor weapon for a duel. It makes it a great weapon for a quick draw, however.

The katana is a revered weapon and the symbol of Japan, and they've maintained the martial traditions surrounding it for hundreds of years in the face of far more useful and advanced weapons. In Europe, the martial knowledge faded into obscurity and is only now making a comeback in the face of the advent of superior weapons.

That does not make it a superior sword.

===Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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The oldest katanas were all straight pattern. The curve happened as they refined their metallurgy with a soft backbone to the harder steel of the edge. The difference in metal made the weapon curve during the cooling process.

It's also why katanas are known as famously fragile and brittle in certain ways - the stress of bending during the cooling process, instead of actually being forged curved, puts internal stress fractures on the metal (i.e. 'splits'). Hitting the blade on the side along those stress fractures with, say, a steel pipe, can snap it fairly easily.

Most curved blades are FORGED curved, so that issue isn't there.

Straight swords have the soft stuff more towards the middle of the weapon, so, no curving.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Atarlost wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:
Khopesh are a Bronze Age weapon, and fell into disuse very quickly, relatively speaking. They are a symbolic Egyptian weapon, but they suck in a duel and are lousy in tight quarters. Falcata are merely axe equivalents that didn't work as well, and were harder to make. As armor got better and better, they also fell into disuse, because axes are better at penetrating armor, and straight swords better for fencing/swordsmanship. I'm not saying they aren't lethally effective...it's just they are a combination weapon that didn't do either of the jobs of a sword or axe better then those.

The khopesh fell out of use because they're a complex shape that's hard to make out of a material that can't be cast. They have the thin, curved cutting edge of a scimitar, a point in line with the hilt like a spatha, and a hook on the back edge for pulling shields out of position.

If straight swords are better for fencing explain why the saber and cutlass supplanted straight swords for nearly every army and navy in Europe for centuries.

As noted above, armor.

Curving swords are less effective against metal armor, piercing is more effective.

When you say 'centuries', I assume you mean the most recent few, where guns made armor obsolete, and curving swords came back into their own.

Curving swords are particularly well liked by cavalry because it caters to the ride-by superslash, and hacking down at foes. They aren't as well liked by footmen.

The spatha is, of course, a straight sword, and used far more on the lunge then hacking. Its designed for close use in tight formations after people have penetrated a shield wall.

And when I say 'fencing', I really mean, contests of sword to sword in any aspect, not just modern style. The straight sword definitely is more flexible in such contests then the curved, particularly if there is armor involved.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Bandw2 wrote:
Snowblind wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
You havent watched much star trek if you think most episodes 'revolve around the technology"
Depends on the era, to some extent. But yeah, a whole lot of Star Trek technology is pretty much just wizards casting spells with computers and technobabble instead of instead of spellbooks and incantations.
okay i've been unclear, it's about technology in general and how it impacts human lives. not if everything is perfectly explained.

Forget perfectly explained.

If you got a random word generator to spit out a bunch of science related terms and strung them all together in a grammatically correct way you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the drivel you wrote and the explanations for the "technology" star trek uses.

not sure how that added anything to my explanation. tribbles were a comment on over population, just to name a famous example.

and several episodes were about how politics will never be overcome with technology.

Or that in several cases technology will end politics absolutely. extinction is good like that.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Technically speaking, magical effects are applied in whatever order benefits the user.

So, the Bolt Ace's +1 would always be added to the benefit of someone wearing the Bracers. I.e. he'd always end up with 19-20/x4 if he's wearing them, i.e. shifting to 19-20/x3, adding +1.

If it's already at 19-20/x4, then he probably doesn't want to wear the bracers, because he'll just end up back where he started, instead of increasing to 19-20/x5 with Bolt Ace.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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No, the price jump is because of the TH and damage bonus, NOT the proficiency.

The proficiency is maybe 1k, 2k. The big thing is the extra attack and damage power.

The competence bonus on ranged attacks alone is like 4k. Changing it to a 19-20/x3 weapon is like granting Keen or Improved Critical, and it Stacks with both, at least another 10-20k.

The skill bonuses are 900 and 100 gp.

Technically, you figure the cost of the best thing, add 50% to the lesser things, and compare to similar item.

Greater bracers of archery are 25k, granting competence +2 th, +1 dmg, and prof with weapon.

The prof with weapon is negligible, maybe 1k. So the +2/+1 is the big money hog.

+1 th and stacking critical is AT LEAST as good as the greater bracers, and then skill bonuses on top.

It basically should have been priced right about the same area.

This is classic formula abuse. Instead of looking at what the spell actually does, they looked at Ranger 1 x level 1 spell x 2000 gp. Done!

I want a True Strike constant set of bracers done the same way, waaaaaaah!

==Aelryinth

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