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Varisian Wanderer

Aelryinth's page

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16. RPG Superstar 6 Season Star Voter, 7 Season Star Voter. 8,608 posts (8,671 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. 1 wishlist. 1 alias.

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RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Well, what would be the hardest things for a Fighter to replicate of higher Tier classes?

Long-distance movement, including extraplanar.
Divination effects/long range senses.
Sources of information.
Variety of friends/allies on command, or over the long term.
Movement modes.
Defenses against specific kinds of attacks.
Defenses other then AC against attacks.
Energy-based offense.
Offense that targets other then AC.
Buffing allies or self.
Creation of magical items.
Getting high value from class abilities (just what does it cost to hire a f/10, anyways?).
Stopping/interfering with abilities of others (such as dispel magic and condition removal).
The ability to prepare for fights against specific foes without spending massive amounts of gold on magical items.

The fighter can't do ANY of this with his class abilities or combat feats. Rangers and Paladins can do over half of this with spells. Barbs can do about half of it with Rage Powers. The 3/4 classes can pull off most of it, and the full casters pretty much all of it.

The counterpoint is that virtually EVERY class can be made into a decent, if not stellar, martial combatant class if they feel they must.


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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What do fighters need?

More skills and skills that are effective. Okay, feats can help with that. feats to add class skills and boost feat results.

Movement options. Feats can help with that, IF they are allowed to scale. For instance, if Fleet scaled with armor training, it could eventually be a +20 Move bonus. That is EXCELLENT.

Leadership options. Leadership is a feat. If, for instance, you gave fighting/defensive options to your followers as well, and maybe your allies, as part of a Leadership change, that's an option.

Defensive options. Many of these are General Feats. If they are allowed to scale, could be quite useful.

These are what I call 'training feats'. Not Combat feats. They are all 'General feats', most of them don't scale, but since the fighter can't take them as bonus feats anyways, it doesn't matter.

Now, if Iron Will scaled with Bravery, wouldn't that be a GOOD feat? If Mobility scaled with Armor Training? If Skill Focus scaled with your Expertise bonus?

Stuff like that. It would HAVE to scale to be equal to other classes stuff, however.


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Intelligence has nothing to do with combat ability and experience.

By your measure, Einstein would have been a god on a battlefield. More likely, he'd just be meat.

It's experience and capabilities. The game does a VERY poor job of conveying this outside the capabilities of the players themselves. i.e. a 24 Int caster can be a complete idiot on the battlefield, because being smart doesn't make you a competent combatant.

A genius tactician with 16 Int can easily out-think a 26 Int caster on the battlefield. But that doesn't give him the capabilities of a high level caster, so he falls short simply due to lack of tools.


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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smartness has nothing to do with it.

An Int 10 Sorceror or Cleric is also far more terrifying then a fighter of the same level.

It is class features and class abilities. Spellcasters have far more tools to magnify their current powers and prepare for enemies. Martials can only rely on their own strength and 'pay' for subordinates to fill the spaces that casters can do with their own powers or Summons.

It's a very wide discrepancy. The Red Dragon comparison was most apt.


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Metal Sonic wrote:
Lemmy wrote:

That's a good one... I might shamelessly steal it. XD

Please do it! I made it in English (even if it isn't my primary language) just to be able to share my work!

My Fighter fix is still WIP, but I have some of his abilities streamlined to easier play and more power.

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **...

Abruptly at level 19, the Fighter suddenly gets DR< but doesn't for all the levels below it.


The fighter gets a +4 dodge bonus in armor, BUT if he's not wearing armor, doesn't get a dodge bonus. I Suggest altering the wording slightly so he gets the dodge bonus by level, then adding if he wears armor/uses shield that he gets DR. At level 19, using sword and shield is double DR...that's a good benefit.

"All Mind-affecting' means basically the only thing you are vulnerable to with will saves is illusions.

My personal feeling on weapon spec is that it should only make you awesome with ONE weapon...that's thematic and true to the past. "I am a swordsman" then MEANS something.

WEapon training being expanded I have no gripes on. MY version, however, has Primary weapon Group, which is basically the weapon group of your Weapon Focus weapon, + one additional weapon per point of Bravery. I.e. the weapons you CHOOSE go into primary weapons group. If that means a combo of longsword, shield, longbow, UA and lance, then that's whats in there, because those are your Primary Weapons.

Secondary weapon group is all other groups you pick as you level, and could just as easily be 'all other weapons you are proficient in'.


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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lemeres wrote:
My Self wrote:
Can we go that far? The remaining class features (11 feats) are still at least on par with the 3.5 features. It's a terribly designed archetype, but it's not like it goes so far as to make you a detriment to your team, right? It gives you options to be a very slightly better crossbowman at the expense of versatility and defense. It doesn't force you to attack your teammates or save your enemies.

Shhhh.... don't let Aelryinth hear you say that.

Didn't your fighter parents warn you not to say 'feats are valid class features' three times into a mirror or Bloody Aelryinth will come out?

I will admit though- the combat bar for pathfinder is a bit higher than 3.5. Thus why all the classes got a bunch of shiny new features.

Rargh! Someone spreading apostasy again?!?

But seriously:

Feats are 1/2 of a class feature. They become better if:
1) you ignore pre-reqs (like, all classes but fighters do)
2) get them early (which all classes but fighters tend to do)
3) Scale (which, those tied to OTHER CLASSES tend to, oh, Extra Rage Power)
4) Cover a good range of offense, defense and utility (which, generally, combat feats do NOT.)
5) Have some exclusivity built into them which allows for extra favoritism/power (again, like Extra Rage Power being basically a barb thing. Where's my fighter Thang?)

For being the seeming Lord, Master, and Sage of feats, the fighter REALLY gets shafted by them.


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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To do a real fighter fix, you need defense and movement options, as well as a skill bonuses.

Fixing Vital Strike falls under feat fixes, which is a whole nuther topic.

Here's what I did with Bravery:

Changed Name to Resolve, it subsumes a bunch of abilities that progress at +1 to +5.

The +1 to Fear saves stays as base Bravery. But if you take Iron Will, the bonus stacks onto Iron Will, resulting in a Good Will save, + more against Fear.
Skilled - He gains another skill point and class skill of choice every time his Resolve goes up, to reflect his further training based on his current needs (i.e. wherever his career has taken him). He will eventually end up with more skill points then a ranger, with a customized skill list.
Proficient - he adds a new weapon to his primary weapon group, whatever that group is. He does need to be proficient in it first. (means his best Weapon Training bonus applies to all weapons he actually uses)
Inspired - Similar to Martial Mastery, a number of Times a day equal to his resolve, he gains basic combat feats also equal to his REsolve (i.e 1-5 combat feats, 1-5 times a day). Unlike martial mastery, these feats remain behind until he is INspired again,and swaps them out. (this is his martial flexibility in action).
Versatile - He can use INspired for free during his morning exercise routines once to set a default array of feats for the day, instead of having to wait for combat. (i.e. if he wants to prep for Mounted Combat at the start of the day, he can do so...or archery, or unarmed combat for socializing, or whatever).
Vigorous: he can convert lethal damage to non-lethal damage = level +Fort Save a number of times/day = Resolve. (this gives him a minor, slower healing ability that can still keep him alive).

So, Bravery becomes the class feature that implies mental fortitude, determination, willpower, skill, discipline, and drive.

Movement, Reflex and AC options scale off armor training.

Crafting and combat options tend to scale off weapon training.

I basically treated feat acquisition like spellcasting acquisition, and gave him a combat feat every level, and a training feat every level. He also got an actual class feature every level.

Training feats were things like skill focus, iron will, Fleet and suchlike, so he could actually get Utility feats from the general list.

And THEN I did a feat boost, meaning that feats he takes with his class abilities become techniques, much stronger then base feats, more akin to Rage Powers.

Wound up with a solidly rounded out fighter with OPTIONS, and not just a damage machine.


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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the xiao wrote:
Wayne Reynolds wrote:
ulgulanoth wrote:
Having that we've seen the iconics already depicted in different costumes, is there any costumes for any of the iconics you'd like to paint them in? And if so who and what would they wear?
I'd love to create sci-fi variants of the first 11 Iconics. That would be fun. :)
I would really like to see the iconic alchemist sci-fied too!

One cybernetic 3rd arm, coming up for damiel...


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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But if space is an environment where you Cannot Track without special equipment, then FT is just a bonus to the tracking rules that extend into space. Remember that tracking is not a ranger only thing's defined by a skill, not a class.

i.e. you need to define space as an environment.

And its an environment FULL of something - radiation. Light, gravity, electromagnetics. Not to mention possible dimensional shifts and the like, and alterations to same.

SO a ranger with skill in space is probably a master of orbital dynamics, identifying stars and position in space by eyeball, very sensitive to any shifts in the local space/time matrix, and not just bouncing around in zero-g (which he's also probably good at) and identifying the prescence of giant space slugs in asteroid fields.

An interesting add-on might be adding 'Void-Dwellers' as an FE, for creatures that live primarily in outer space?


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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A specific question: Ranger-wise, is 'space' a Favored terrain, or 'alien environments' (which is no more or less inclusive then otherplanar), and is 'alien beings' a Favored Enemy type, or we just sticking with specific humanoids vs all aberrations and the like?

Capital starships being 'dungeons' is funny enough on its own. Or did they change it to Urban?


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Bandw2 wrote:
the David wrote:
Aratrok wrote:
It's just arbitrary. As written neither animate dead nor create undead interact with the dead creature in any way other than manipulating their corpse.

You're right, except that James Jacobs tells everyone that it does involve soul trapping magic.

And by the way, I did mention the Golarion part. This is not about RAW.

just going to point out you can trap someones soul and animate their corpse...

Trap the soul forces a creature's life force (and its material body) into a gem. The gem holds the trapped entity indefinitely or until the gem is broken and the life force is released, which allows the material body to reform. If the trapped creature is a powerful creature from another plane, it can be required to perform a service immediately upon being freed. Otherwise, the creature can go free once the gem imprisoning it is broken.

quoted. So, not sure what you're talking about. If it's magic jar, a living body without a soul is not a corpse. If you kill the body, the person is now an untied soul and if released from the magic jar, will indeed die, and so follows all the rules for not being able to return to 'life' if the body is animated.


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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The Scarred Lands had content about turning one corpse into three undead. It was used in City of Tsar.

Peel off the skin, sew all openings closed after filling the skin sack with sand. ta da, one undead skin sack.

Peel the muscles off the bones, reassemble on a skeleton of wood and nails. ta da, vaguely zombiesh undead.

Take the bones, animate as upgrade skeletal undead. Leave it the brain so its the smartest of the three.

Each undead more powerful then typical of others of its kind, so making three from one corpse actually made all of them more powerful.


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Who says you are passive? They are given orders and fulfill them to the best of their limited intellectual abilities.

Going berserk is the result of too many orders starting conflicts in their mind and it doesn't know which ones to fulfill anymore. It's a glitch.

Being 'bound' means 'being tied to'. Or it could be a bodiless, drifting thing with no purpose or thought for the rest of eternity. Being bound means it actually has ITS OWN BODY. Woot!

If it used the term 'imprisoned', then you'd have a point. I think you're interpreting 'bound' too harshly.

As for flesh golems...remember those used to be the bodies of other living creatures. Maybe the echoes of those creatures' life experiences are bouncing around inside the shells and aggravating the easy following of commands...we don't know. We only know they are lesser golems made from inferior materials and so more liable to go out of control. It's noteworthy that golems made out of stone and iron don't have that problem.


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Voadam wrote:

Turning into undead or being slain by death effects prevents reincarnation or raise dead.

Most death effects are not evil though. See slay living or circle of death.

Correct. Just like using negative channel energy is not evil, nor is positive channel energy, healing, or raising the dead Good.


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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I prefer for golems going back to the original legend of the golem as a Jewish thing similar to creating a new life are actually giving a spirit that has no body a home, and binding it to a body that normally it would be unable to inhabit.

Because of the difference in perspectives between mortal and immortal creatures, what we call 'slavery' it calls 'chosen duty to its creator' and the concept of 'free will' doesn't exist for it, like for most outsiders. Too, endless years of service don't bother it in the slightest, just like most immortal creatures.

Going berserk is a result of the pure spirit not fitting the body precisely, and imperfections and contradictions accumulate in the golem's mind until it goes berserk and starts lashing out until such contradictions are resolved...generally by its creator speaking persuasively to it, like a parent to a child, whereupon it calms down and goes back to being faithful once more.

Given the way that golems are talked down out of their 'berserk' status, I don't think the relationship with most golems and their creators is adversarial...which it certainly WOULD be if it were enslavement.

So, I must disagree with JJ and Ashiel...creating a golem is NOT necessarily evil, and until we know the exact relationship of the spirit to the creator, whether or not the binding process is voluntary or involuntary, we won't know the truth of the matter.

But the simple, persuasive manner you talk a golem out of being uncontrolled leads me to believe it does NOT have to be a hostile relationship in the slightest.


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Alignments represent immutable standards that are not defined by mortal perceptions.

Deities, immortals, and other profound beings don't determine the alignments. Rather, their personal alignments are determined by how close they stand to the absoluteness of the alignments.

The alignments ARE the standards. You don't get to set them.

On a mortal, cultural level - what is ACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR has nothing to do with something as profound as alignments. It is nice, normal acceptable behavior in Cheliax to be a devil-admiring, racist, caste-obsessed slaveholder. There's nothing wrong with it from a cultural standpoint...from Cheliax's standpoint, you're a 'good person.' Go kick a halfling slave today!

That does not mean you're Good on the profound scale.

And it's this conflict which creates all sorts of ire in people who aren't 'Good'. Because they CANNOT set the standard. Because even if their culture considers it 'good', they are going to Hell when they die. Because committing all sorts of non-Good behavior while living has immortal consequences for the soul, and you think it's fine while living, only to find out otherwise when dead, which is a huge WTF moment for many people, because people don't like to think they are Not Good.

So, yes, making undead is an Evil act. It's Evil everywhere. But, in some cultures, such as Geb, it's a good thing, and perfectly acceptable behavior. It's immortality! It's power and preservation! It's freedom from the tyranny of mortality and the gods! It's the RIGHT THING TO DO, and HOW DARE YOU JUDGE ME!!!

By the alignments and standards of the Game itself, it's Evil. Go down to Geb, revel in your rightness. When you stand before Pharasma, you'll find your standards aren't THE Standard.

And, as noted above, if your corpse is animated, you cannot come back to life via any means until your undead self is destroyed. Even True Resurrection specifically notes this.

They even reference the tactic in Wrath of the Righteous, where they take away the body of a silver dragon and turn it into undead so the good guys can't just restore her to life. ANd potentially you could try, since you're holding her scales since practically the first encounter!


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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To be precise, its most iconic feature is a 'a ton of choices for underpowered, non-scaling abilities that any other class can also take and work better with in many cases. And that it must qualify for, and which don't apply out of combat.'



RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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AntiDjinn wrote:
The Green Tea Gamer wrote:
Tonlim wrote:
Wild Rager barbarian for being an active threat to its own team.

...but....but...that was the best part about playing a frenzied berserker in 3.5!

Sure, the +10 Str from the combo of frenzy and rage was nice, but the ear to ear grin came when you failed your will save and the wizard was standing next to you! Who's a God now?! MWAHAHAHA!!!

Ahhhh yes, the Frenzied Berserker in 3.5. For when you wanted a simple poison needle trap to become a total party wipe.

Or a single magic missile winging its way in.

But, to be honest, Frenzy was never the reason to take FB, improved and SUpreme Power Attack + Unkillable was. At the beginning of the day, you go off into the woods and burn up your Frenzy uses. Ding, no more wiping the party accidentally, since you couldn't frenzy any more.


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Technically, you're finding and sealing away information.

It should actually be a divination/abjuration effect, since it's operating like a curse effect, but you aren't allowed to 2-school spells in PF, so they waved it as a gimme to Divination, which has very few offensive spells.


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Agincourt, not Hastings. Had 1066 on my mind for some reason...

But, once hardened armor came out in 14-1500's, the era of the bows were passing, only gunfire could reasonably get through them.

Yes, longbows require MUCH less power then crossbows to do what they do. Draw length is incredibly important, just like barrel length is for firearms. The same bullet fired from a pistol or rifle will have a vastly different degree of power, because of length of acceleration.

But the upper limit is still human strength, and crossbows don't have that limit, just size and materials. Double stringing a crossbow is actually a useful tactic to disperse the weight load better.
Chain mail is incredibly ineffective against arrows, especially if only lightly backed. Plenty of archers replicated what he was doing, and reasonable leather armor completely stopped his class of arrows from doing anything, especially at any ranges. His arrows were simply too light. If anything better then chain, since as scale or plate was present, its basically impervious.

I never deplored his accuracy. The problem is penetration power. Putting ten arrows in the air at once is nice, but if they can't hurt anything, why are you bothering?

Because they could wear armor, crossbowers in later times would approach closer then longbowmen, set up shields, and fire with their crossbows atop their shields. They could mince a typical opposing archer formation. The Italians had plenty of mercenaries who used the formation. I'm not sure if it was Agincourt, but there was a famous battle where it raided just before the fight, and the mercenaries couldn't cover their crossbows, where the longbowmen just put their strings under their hats. Come time for the battle, the wet crossbow strings were outranged considerably by the longbows, leading to the crossbowmen getting killed...and when they retreated from the fight, decimated by the French employers who'd paid for their services.


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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For a very weird mishmash, there's also CthuluTech, which is a mishmash of Chtulhu fantasy and battletech mecha.


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You're talking about a repeater crossbow. Such things do exist, they are Chinese in origin, and you can often see them in kung fu films set in older days. They are also in Pathfinder (the big bad at the end of Skulls and Shackles AP uses one, for example).

The problem is a) the magazine size and b) the strength of the bow isn't that high, because you're aiming to deliver a ton of bolts fast, not powerful bolts.

IN real life, the bolts are small and thin, and so don't have much penetrating force. They are basically used against unarmored individuals at close ranges as surprise attacks, and yes, they have a decent rate of fire. If you're wearing any kind of armor, however, they are mostly useless.

Two, you only get like 6 bolts in a magazine, because, well, they are crossbow bolts! Not bullets! At which point you have to carefully put in 6 more bolts in the correct pattern so as not to mess up the mechanism that sets them in position. You can't just swap in a new magazine like you can with a firearm.

Now, if you start using can start throwing some of these assumptions out the window.

The old 1E Crossbow of Speed had a great line "This weapon cocks itself" and so it doubled your rate of fire with the crossbow. All you had to do was put the bolt down to fire, which is no harder then drawing it out of a quiver.

The problem with using a 'pump action' to cock a crossbow is quite are pushing your hands TOGETHER, not APART.

What happens when you draw a bow?
One hand is pushing away from another. You are doubling your strength because your muscles are using lever action against one another to expand that arc of strength for the bow. It's synergy.

If you are pumping a shotgun, you are pushing your hands TOGETHER. That's not nearly as effective. Instead of using one another as anchors to magnify strength across your shoulder blades, all the strength is basically at the elbows and forearm.
Thus, you can't bring nearly as much strength to bear.

To do it properly, it would actually have to pump on the OUTWARD part of the pump motion. Here again is a problem, as you only have ONE arm doing the pumping motion, the other arm is remaining rigid against your chest supporting the weapon, because it has to keep it in place while you are pushing outwards with your forward arm. AFTER the pump, now you can go get a bolt.

That's a time waster.

The beauty of a bow is that it combines the reload and the pull into one motion. You draw the arrow, nock. Both arms pull against one another, expand the bow. Steady. You release tension. The bow goes back to neutral, the outer arm comes back in to get the string into range of the reload, you're good.

An 'auto pump' repeater crossbow would have everything getting done by one arm, and the reload sequence is not part of the draw sequence, it is logical you'd 'pump' it by holding the stock steady, pushing out on the action with ONE hand, using mechanics to move the string in the opposite direction, then push your hands together (inefficient) to draw the bolt out of the magazine into place, then fire, still keeping it steady.

So, two inefficient motions vs one efficient motion mean you'd be firing with much less draw strength then a similar bow.

The only way to get around this sort of thing would be to have basically a shoulder harness that locks the stock of the crossbow into place, so you don't have to have both hands separated to keep it steady and aim, like having a swivel point against your elbow or hip. Then you could apply two hands to the pump motion...and could even technically make them opposed motions, but the fixed nature of the crossbow means it's not working across the natural motion of the body, so you'd end employing your lower back instead of across the long muscles and connections of your arms and upper back.

IMC, there are 'autobows' that do exist, and they are pump action crossbows with magazines of 60 arrows and such. They also use magic to magnify the force of the pump action, and the magazines are basically all shrunken/compressed bolts. the 'pump action' is actually applied against the whole body, not just the arms, to disperse the load of the crossbow, and the shrunken bolt clicks into position and un-shrinks in the last action of the pump.

It's a very dangerous weapon, but it doesn't work without magic expressly busting physics.

BTW, IMC compound bows are known as 'dwarvish bows' and compound crossbows as 'gnomish xbows', respectively. Elves loathe both, naturally enough.


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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chocobot wrote:
Well in that paradigm the dwarf fighter wouldn't have a 20 speed, he'd have a 200. Because why is it totally realistic for fighters to be colossus but not quicksilver? There's zero difference in realism, and it's just an arbitrary decision that the muscle groups in their arms are allowed to develop beyond human potential but those in their legs are not. Monks of course can develop superhuman musculature in their legs, but fighter for some reason are restricted to arms. Totally arbitrary.

Well, it's analogous to "Why can the Hulk jump 3 miles, but Colossus and the Thing can't?"

Strength and Power are two very different things. Power directly implies speed of motion. Someone who can bench 100 tons, but not move much faster then anyone else doesn't have a lot of power (the Thing). The human limit on hand speed is in the 40 mph range. Even if you can bench 100 tons, you can't exert a lot of power if you can't go fast.

The Hulk, on the other hand, can break Mach 3 when jumping (able to jump 3 miles at a time, which takes a 30.06 bullet normally). At ridiculous extremes, he can jump hard enough to achieve escape velocity and break orbit.
If you let the Hulk hit you, you're done. His fist is coming in at Mach speeds, AND he can bench 100+ tons.

YOu start combining speed and strength for power, and things get spiraling quickly out of control.


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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.


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Bonus training feats!
More stats by Fighter levels to shore up weaknesses and reflect constant training!
More skill points!

oh, that would mean a class chassis rebuild. NM.


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Until they made a ruling that if your regen had no weakness, it was changed to fast healing.

But, yeah.


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Actually you had lots of Prestige class suck, and occasional prestige class win, and then "OMG WTH were they thinking?!?".


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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.


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The monk, rogue and Fighter, being so stat reliant, get bonus stats IMC.

Every 4 levels of the class, they get a point to their lowest physical and lowest Mental stat. Monks get an additional point to their lowest stat after this, to reflect their quest for self-perfection.

It doesn't help their top end power all that much, but it brings all their other stuff up so even if they have to dump a stat or two, it doesn't hurt them in the long run, and if they keep a good array of physicals, those improve over time somewhat as well.

It also reflects the fact they do more training then the other classes do, who have magic to work for them.


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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.


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


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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 to look to other classes.


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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.



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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.

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.

+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.

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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.'


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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.


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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.


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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'.


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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 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.


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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!


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Mage Slayer line was the big one. No Def casting, always the AoO. BIG 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
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.


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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.


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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.


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.


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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?


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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.


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