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Your logic is in error.
Humans place no advantage on strength or dexterity. They are statistic neutral and favor neither stat.
It is the halflings who place the emphasis on dexterity, both by being small and having a racial dex bonus. And if you were doing an optimization run, that's FINE. 100% with you, all the way.
You are not. You are trying to make a COMPARISON. Which means everything identical and as neutral as possible. Which comparing a Halfling to another build is not.
I'm not sure how much clearer I can get. If you don't want to compare, fine, you're great. Post your optimized build. If you want a true comparison, then you're not doing it right.
No, you've explained that you don't want to give up a dex bonus for being small.
Humans are stat neutral and do not favor Str. There's no bonus or penalty for dex at medium size.
You're trying to leverage size advantage. You're fine to do that in an optimization build, but not a comparison build.
no, you're removing size as a factor from the start.
Saying 'but if I get this race I get this bonus' is no different then me saying "Here, use Orcs for your Dex build."
Humanity is stat neutral. It favors none of them. You're basically telling me that because you can't take a race that favors a Dex build more then 90% of the other races, you have a handicap?
You're not making a comparison at that point. You're making an optimal build. There's a difference.
A comparison says I can take everything you have, alter the focus from Dex to Str, and see what happens.
For instance, if you want to play a small character, can I spend 2.5k to get a Permanently Enlarged character? This gives me many advantages, which don't really benefit a dex wielder at all.
See why we don't bring size into comparisons?
The thing is your assertion that everything he does it about money isn't anywhere in the actual class mechanics or even the flavor text. The class says the assassin is a cold, detached professional killer. The rest? That's all you adding on to it. It's certainly a valid way to flavor it, but it is hardly the one true undisputed RAW way.
So it is. But 'detached' is the operative word here in your own description.
The assassin PrC does NOT have a higher cause. He kills someone because he was told to kill them. NO justification, no 'I'm doing this for the greater good', no 'saving the innocent'. He was told to kill someone, and he did it.
he could be depraved, a sociopath, sadistic, totally arrogant, whatever...but he's not doing it for a higher cause.
You want higher causes, Red Mantis is one, Lion Blades of Taldor are another (with a bardic twist) and etc etc etc as far as special operatives go.
The assassin PrC just murders. Twinkies want it for the death attack and the spell list.
I shouldn't be saying this, but assassin PrC complaints are basically Paladin complaints from the other end. Basically people want the stuff, but that silly alignment thing doesn't fit their vision, so obviously the class is built wrong.
How you want to define assassins is not the point here.
The game has defined assassins as evil folks loyal only to the coin who kill anyone for money. Those people qualify for this PrC.
That's it. Not agreeing with that definition is moot. If you want to rule your assassins are different, go ahead and house rule.
Let's first look at your premises:
First, this is a fantasy world, and you're injecting too much reality. Guys didn't train all their lives just to master their greatsword ...they trained all their lives JUST TO STAY IN SHAPE so they could wield a greatsword.
Two, wielding a weapon is hard to learn. It doesn't take 16 hours a day. You have plenty of time to devote to learning other things. All you have to do is look at modern soldiers and the amount of stuff they are expected to learn. As long as it is directly relevant to your duties, it should be learnable. Indeed, it is YOUR JOB to learn this stuff!
So, no mod to skill points makes no sense. Fighters will learn anything and everything that is needed to make their job better...fighters can be extremely intellectual, and some of the greatest books on philosophy have come from the minds of warriors.
Three, all assumptions of reality break down once you pass level 6. Remember, this is a world of magic, where the magic of xp helps someone level to be impossibly good at something in very short periods of time, where in six months you can know more about a trade or profession then someone who has been doing it for years. THe magic for the fighting classes comes in learning stuff faster then anyone in the modern world would believe possible. Leveling is magic. Skills, BAB, feats are the magic the warrior wields. He is not limited by our conventions.
Four, the lack of good saving throws is idiotic. Any warrior will tell you you must have defenses. Without defenses, the strongest offense means nothing. Iron WIll doesn't cut the mustard, and Improved Iron WIll at level 10 for a 1/day reroll doesn't work, either.
Five, Armor training Dex cap is DUMB. It forces the Fighter to have a high Dex in order to take advantage of his own training. Either change it to a straight dodge bonus or another kind of bonus.
Simply have Armor training advance to level 19, and it becomes the capstone. Add extra benefits at 11 and 15 to keep the pattern of extra stuff going. Smooth progression.
Six, without a feat fix, your build won't mean anything. Not only did the fighter have fewer class features then any other class, you took away 2.5 of them (since bonus feats are only worth half a class features).
You really, really oversimplified the fighter, and cut his legs out from under him by trying to force him to obey the laws of reality in a magical world.
I suggest a re-write, along the principles of "Fighters learn skill - combat skill, skill points, toughness, etc - magically fast and well, and turn that learning into ability that rivals the magical arts of all other classes."
I'd first try it out as 'Every Vital Strike includes Precision damage, such as Sneak Attack damage'.
This means that the Rogue can Vital Strike and get his Sneak attack damage every single round, if he so chooses. That alone will do wonders for his offensive ability.
You should NOT tie it to crits. Crits create weapon discrepancy. Tie it to his SA infliction as another condition. That way he's not reliant on the full attack unless he really has something on the ropes and can hit it easily.
As for fixed Precision damage...it won't hurt anything if you include it, as Vital Strike as written isn't strong enough to break that way.
Fixed that for you.
Are we ignoring GP value? Because the cloak of the manta Ray and the pearl of sirines are awesome...except they cost too much.
I still love the Helm of Brightness.
Yes to Gauntlets of Ogre Power.
We always loved stumbling across a Frost Brand. +6 against fiery creatures and it puts out fires? With fire resistance on top? Awesome!!!
Giant Slaying swords were much loved. We fought giants all the time. Dragon Slayers were...nice if you fought the appropriate dragon, but otherwise meh.
Original Boots of Striding and Boots of Speed. Boing! and vroom! meant something.
Elven cloaks and boots were common and useful.
The Quiver of Ehlonna still rocks, as does Heward's Haversack, and the Ring of Sustenance is even improved!
For special situations, the Lyre of Building, and the Maul and Mattock of the Titans were quite cool.
Rods of Absorption and Books of Many Spells were very cool in the old version, especially if a multi-classed caster was using the latter.
And we still get a kick out of Portable Holes.
Rings of Free Action were easy and cool, but the thought of getting Elemental Command was woooooooooooot!
The reason there's no equivalent choice is that a massive increase in dex is more powerful then a massive increase in Str.
A massive increase in Str basically gives you melee to hit, melee damage, ranged damage, carrying capacity, and Str checks/skills.
A massive increase in Dex can give you melee AND missile to hit and damage, AC, initiative, touch AC, a plethora of skills, and Reflex saves. Dex is useful to every single character, while Str is only useful to Str melee builds.
The best analogue is simply melee monsters. What does all the extra strength give them? Not much. The real power is to hit and Power Attack and its equivalents. The simple limit of one attack on a move is a real problem.
And you're also missing the fact that Weapon Finesse and Agile ARE those equivalent feats for Dex users. They provide massive upgrades to melee to hit and damage. Str has no equivalents to them!
A Dex to damage twf build will likely blow a Str twf build away, simply because of the dex req for TWF.
A sword and board will likely be equivalent in DPR, with the Dex to damage guy using a buckler. The Dex guy keeps all his other advantages, however.
The 2hw Str guy has an absolute advantage damage advantage over a Curve Blade user, or a katana wielded 2handed, because of Str and Power Attack interactions. However, the Dex user still has his other advantages. I'm fairly sure that if the two fought, the 5ish point AC advantage of the Dex user would trump the damage of the Str guy, all else being equal.
The Dex guy will enjoy an absolute advantage in ranged combat, Reflex saves, Touch AC, initiative and dex skills like, oh, Stealth. That never changes, regardless of build, but seems to keep getting lost in the DPR comparison.
Rage: You're now getting a finite resource that requires cross-class dipping. The dex character can use this, too. Doesn't Urban Barbarian provide a dex buff?
The dex advantage to armor is absolute and easily managed vs heavy armor. Medium armor is at best a +1 Armor over light, and heavy +1 over medium. So you're talking a +2 AC.
However, armor remains static. Dex continues to rise rapidly. IF we are talking fighters and not giving up armor training, it is extremely unlikely that a fighter is going to max out his dex bonus to AC until very high levels (a Mithril BP accommodates a level 10 Fighter's 24 dex just fine, and Celestial mail would accommodate a dex of 30).
I also find it very odd that you're going to compare a dex twf build to a Str 2hw build. If you want to make a straight comparison, you have to make it style to style.
TWF for both stats.
Then you have to keep in mind that at pretty much all times, the Dex guy will have:
Assuming the same gear, the Dex guy comes out ahead on defense, and will be ahead, on par, or slightly behind on melee offense, while ahead on missile offense.
Also, remember that Dex guy raises Str at the same rate as Str guy raises Dex, and if they start with the same stat, carrying capacity will likely not be an issue, or solved with minor investment.
At extremely high levels, the advantages of a high Dex over a high Str for most melees are impressive when it comes to defense. Having a 5-10 point defensive advantage for AC is very powerful.
This case of comparing a 2hw Str guy to a 2wf dex guy just makes no relative sense.
You're absolutely right, a warrior won't need the skills.
You're not a warrior. You're a fighter. You need to get where you're going, and keep yourself and your friends alive while you do so.
You ARE the expert.
And when the whole army is foraging for food, it's going to be a lot harder to find food without totally destroying the formation of your army, i.e. you don't do it. You send out people with the skill who can collect enough for multiple people.
And that's the elite, the professional. Oh, and it's probably a good idea if he doesn't get lost and makes it back to camp, too.
The warrior, he gets to skin and cook it. Maybe.
Brilliant energy is a monstrously powerful temporary buff idealized to kill PC's and NPC's. It is effectively worthless against anything else and worse then worthless against undead and constructs.
It's not too pricey because of the first function. An elevating bonus to hit as your enemy has better gear is monstrously powerful.
But it's flavored totally wrong. It should be a soul-leeching shaft of negative energy, not a blade of light.
I suppose it comes down to:
I would like magic items to be able to do things spells can't do.
I would like magic items to offer things that are actually better then cast spells at applicable levels, so non-casters have options.
I would like magic items that cater to non-casters, period. being able to cast spells should not always be better, especially when it comes to gear.
Stuff that is better when worn by non-casters, or penalizes casters when worn, would start swinging some balance back the other way.
The Helm of Underwater action is a 3E classic. Far too expensive for what is basically "Now you can breathe underwater."
Staves being too expensive to use at low levels, and not worth the investment at higher levels.
Apparatus of Kwalish. I mean, come on. What serious adventurer would ever get stuck inside one? A 6 year old kid wanting to explore underwater, sure.
Boots of striding and springing. Sure, the +10 to move is nice. But the awesome cool thing about it in 1E was the jumping ability. Come on, +9 to Jump? That lets you jump, like, 2' higher in the air, as opposed to the 10' it used to. Man, I used to bounce up so many walls with those things.
Boots of Speed. I'm not saying they're not useful...but what this is is a reusable potion of haste. Boots of Speed in 1e let you move FAST...only a higher level monk was faster. They don't even grant a move bonus now...so much for SPEED. The PF Boots should be called Boots of Haste.
Gauntlets of Ogre Power and Girdles of Giant Strength. Compared to 1E, these things have NO flavor at all. I know exactly why they were changed, but still...no flavor. Meh. Stat bonus. No rock throwing/catching. No arms only for the gauntlets. No 'I am as strong as a Hill Giant!'. Bland as can be. Compare the implications in 1E of saying "I have a Girdle of STORM GIANT STRENGTH!" versus what they are now.
Adamantine Armor. The DR is so underwhelming its hard to describe. Nobody in their right mind wears it over the Dex bonus and lightness of Mithral. ANd as inferior armor, it costs MORE!
Wands. Wands have no flavor. There is nothing special about them. A spell in a can with nothing about them different then casting it yourself...except they are too expensive to be as effective as casting the spell yourself.
Brilliant energy weapons. Sounds cool, until you realize they are only effective against NPC's and PC's in armor. They are utterly useless against undead and constructs, and can't even damage a brick wall.
Elemental Mods on all weapons. +1d6 cold damage? Seriously? That is so underwhelming that even against Fire subtype creatures, its not worth taking.
Cloak and Boots of elvenkind. In 1E they were actually effective. Now, vanilla +5 Competence bonus. Yawn.
The 'bog standard' fighter should be able to:
In addition to whatever specialties he is assigned to.
That's not 2 skill points a level. Acrobatics, which is your basic footwork and ability to jump, isn't even on his class list. Nor is alertness/perception.
A Fighter has no magic. Why does a ranger, who has magic to fall back on, get 6 pts instead of 4? Because he's a 3.5 holdover where stealth and perception skills ate up 4 pts instead of 2.
a fighter goes after a different set of skills then a ranger, but saying he shouldn't be equally skilled is again a put-down of the fighter. A fighter, by all civilized measures, should be MORE skilled then the ranger.
The guy with 2 skill points should be the barb, if any of the martial classes...but I think they gave him 4 because they assumed people would dump int.
There is nothing in a paladin's code preventing him from associating with Chaotic characters. CG is fine. The paladin will probably wince at every breaking of laws and try to prevent them, and the CG guy will probably grumble and then keep his lawbreaking out of the paladin's sight, but in the end they both want to take the BBEG down and have common ground.
His code specifically says no associating with evil.
There's a line in the sand, and adventuring alongside a LE PC is across that line.
THE OP is basically asking how he can wreck the campaign, only how can he be clever about pulling a fast one over the paladin as long as possible.
And, yeah, if that paladin found out this evil guy was adventuring alongside him and taking advantage of him to further his nefarious goals, I can totally see his first reaction to be a proper smiting to give the betrayal its due.
By his code the paladin cannot adventure/associate with the LE character. There's redemption, sure, but that's an NPC mechanic. Using that as an excuse to adventure alongside someone is simply chaotic thinking and out-of-game metajustifying.
You shouldn't have a paladin in a party with an evil PC unless its a one off. You're literally asking for character conflict which is going to spill over into reality.
It's a bad idea for your game. Play the LE crazy thinks-he's-worshipping Nethys guy in the NEXT game. Then the paladin can play a Cleric of Adabar who thinks civilizing the world under one ruler is a smashing idea.
Counter argument: is the OP dickish?
because knowing there's a paladin in the group and he can't work with Evil characters, he's going ahead and making an evil character.
He knows there's going to be problems, he's even trying to find a way to circumvent it, but his 'character concept' is everything, so when it finally happens, whose fault is it going to be?
Make your character N and forget about the LE. IF he's LE, he's probably following Asmodeus on the sly, since he's out to 'save the universe' too.
Eh, low skill point classes that should have skills, like the fighter, consider it a railroad to be forced to play human, have a high int, and to spend their FCB on skill points just so they have enough to be barely functional.
Strangely, you will notice that spellcasting classes don't complain about low skill points. that's because they have spells, and/or rely on high Int anyways.
The classes without magical powers should not be forced to rely on non-class buffs just to be fair with skills. Indeed, the fighter is the most non-magical class out there, which means he should be swimming in skill points since he doesn't waste any time on magical tricks like every other class does.
The Lensman series by E E Doc SMith was the first great Space Opera series. It sets the tone for psionics being associated with technology as opposed to fantasy. Arguably, the Lensmen are inspiration for the Jedi Knights.
It starts with the Earth, moves on to the solar system, then a multi system federation, then half a galaxy, then the whole galaxy, then TWO galaxies, each book building in scope and power and impact.
I particularly like the alien classification system.
Yeah, the Lensmen is a great read. however, it's from the 50's, so it shows its age and the time it's from...the heroes smoke, and women are not allowed to be Lensmen until the very last books, and then the successor series added them in.
If you accept that and move on, its a great, fun read.
It took me thirty years to get a copy of all the books in the series, and I still don't have the modern series done after he died.
Again, you're being selective.
The reason is because Celestial doesn't LOWER ACP, LOWER Armor Type, RAISE Max Dex, or LOWER spell failure.
It SETS THEM TO THAT NUMBER.
That's very, very important. It's one of the weaknesses of magic in that you don't 'infer' what it is doing, you watch what it does.
Yes, you can break Celestial down into mechanical benefits of + this and - that, and if that was the case Mithral would work without a problem.
But that's not what it does. What it does is say "This number is now THIS number." Regardless of what that previous number was. It's NOT A +/- TEMPLATE.
I would be the first to jump on your bandwagon if Celestial said "It raises the Max Dex of the Armor by +4, takes 15% off the spell penalty, and reduces ACP by 4" (Or whatever the proper numbers would be).
But it does not DO that. What it does is SETS Max to +5, ACP to -1, and Spell Failure to 15%. It doesn't add or subtract anything...that's all us doing math which Celestial isn't doing.
It's that difference in application that makes Order of Operations all important.
IF you could turn a suit of Celestial Plate Mail INTO Mithral, then all Mithral's modifers would apply, because they are numeric +/-'s, and mithral would be modifying Celestial Armor, instead of the base stats of full plate.
But in this case, Mithral's bonuses are being applied first to the stats of what would be a suit of normal Plate armor. Celestial, when applied to that suit of mithral armor, completely supersedes Mithral's numbers and effectively negates most benefits of being Mithral by doing so.
So, Order of operations isn't 'conclusion, then justify it'. It's all important to rules governing these two effects working together. Everyone who is saying this doesn't work will back you up if you find some way to transform a non-mithral set into Mithral (using a Wish or something), which will then properly apply a template.
Until then...no, Mithral Celestial Armor doesn't have much effect on anything (I think it still reduces weight by half?).
So, unless you rewrite Celestial as applying a template with bonuses, you're out of luck with the 'no' crowd. And since we're using RAW, that's not going to happen.
MM, The Celestial enchantment modifies existing already crafted Mithral Plate.
What you're trying to do is have Mithral modify existing previously enhanced Celestial Plate mail, which it cannot do, as has been pointed out repeatedly.
Order of operations IS important here, and the wording of Celestial enchantment is, too.
Celestial doesn't say 'reduce a category'. It specifically says 'treat as medium'. If it's already treated as medium, Celestial isn't going to change anything. It's going to do exactly what it states to do, and not what you're trying to infer it does.
YOu may WANT it to be treated as light armor because of the mithral, but it's not going to happen that way. Celestial simply doesn't modify armor that way.
And mithral, of course, never gets to modify Celestial. It is ALWAYS the other way around.
The answer for circumstance doing what you want to is...No.
Circumstance in this instance means 'GM Fiat'. Circumstance will not suffice to overcome a 5 or 10 level difference in ability, time after time after time. You're basically saying the character got to where he is based on luck...and as soon as he faces a real challenge where GM fiat will be bonedead obvious, he'll fold.
Circumstance bonuses are usually +2, and they aren't given out all the time...which is basically what you're saying is done here. Instead of being a lucky award once in a while, you're basically forcing the NPC to exist on them, which doesn't follow the rules. After all, other NPC's should be getting those same bonuses too, right?
So, the only way to truly compare ability is straight up innate skills, feats, what have you.
WHen it comes down to it, the math of Pathfinder does not allow you to do what you want with any sense of realism. If you have a low level ruler, its because there's some high level people backing him and keeping him in that position, while real power rests elsewhere. Rulers In Name Only aren't that uncommon in history, by the way...the whole idea of Shogunate Japan is based on real power resting with the maternal grandfather of the Emperor, and being effectively the head of the government. The people can revere the low level and isolated Emperor, but all the power was in the hands of the head of a powerful family that had cut and thrust its way into the position of power.
The fallacy of your argument, Nearyn, is that your fluff will never be backed up by numbers.
You can indeed make a low level character with influence...with lots of other low level characters. To higher level characters, she will be a flunky, and simply not be able to do their job better then they, because she doesn't have the numbers.
If she somehow manages to overcome them and prevail...she has earned xp, has leveled, and is now an equal.
The difference in high level NPC's and PC's is pretty simple - the PC's tend to gain levels rapidly, and NPC's tend to gain them over years.
But all your fluff, for the REd Mantis or a King, is about those NPC's building their influence, EARNING XP as they do so, and become badass as they do so. Otherwise, as soon as they start trying to spread influence, someone with a higher modifier then them is going to stop them cold and walk all over them.
Earth politics don't work in Golarion. A low level character MUST have the support of high levels to rule, and will, in essence, be a puppet ruler. The only way he can shake free of being a puppet is to become greater, to gain the xp and the levels, until he's built personal and social power to the point where he can shake off the domination of others and be a true ruler...where his numbers now back his fluff.
And if we're talking about positions that have to be earned, not inherited...survival of the fittest will cleanse off the unworthy very quickly.
You can GM fiat anything you want, but the numbers won't back you. And if you're trying to make a believable world, that's a strike against you.
Trying to compare Golarion to Earth, where no one has ever exceeded level 6, just isn't going to work. As is pointed out, the gap is too much between high and low levels. Sure, between level 4 and 6 people you can make the gap work, but a ten level gap?
Nope. Nobody is going to believe it. And you're trying for believability as much as flavor.
If you want to make a 'weak' ruler, just use NPC or ROgue levels. They won't have personal might. But anyone with tons of ranks in social skills can be a political force...as long as they take the steps to protect themselves against magic which sidesteps all their skills. The ease with which magic can derail uses of skills would fairly force people to higher levels of competence to overcome that problem, too.
Push/Pull magic energy.
Every other round, the agitated kaiju pulses with energy, either erupting with writhing streamers of wild magic, or swelling as the magic in the area is sucked back into it. These effects occur even if the kaiju is polymorphed or otherwise incapacitated.
Round 1: Eruption of wild magic, 600'r. All magic use must make a DC 42 concentration check or be subject to a wild magic surge. Existing spells must weather a CL 26 dispel check or erupt into wild magic surges (the kaiju is immune to the effects of these surges). Has no effect on magic items.
Rinse and repeat as desired.
Archetypes should be feat trees maybe 2-3 feats long.
Restricting special powers from Archetypes is just a kick in the teeth to the Fighter, since many of them should just be rote fighter abilities, anyways. Taking a class that has all those feats and then introducing a bunch of class features that are often little more then modified feats and classifying them as archetype abilities is just wrong.
I actually don't have a problem with the 10 skill points, but I address it the other way.
I took a page from Kirthfinder, renaming Sneak Attack Progression to Cunning...which is a word that conjures up a nice synthesis of smart and fast.
1) For each point of cunning, the Rogue gains an extra skill point per level and names an additional skill as a class skill. (Note, the Rogue starts with 4 class skills (Stealth, Perception, Bluff, Disable Device) and four more of their choice).
2) For each point of Cunning the Rogue deals an additional point of precision damage when using a finessable weapon. If the attack qualifies as a Sneak Attack, they instead do d6's.
3) For each skill at maximum ranks, the Rogue gains a +Competence bonus equal to his Cunning modifier to that skill.
This accomplishes the following:
1) The Rogue will always be King of Skill points. At level 20, he will have more skill points then a 36 Int Wizard. Take that!
2) Rewards Weapon Finesse and a roguish fighting style with a damage buff...and stays away from Dex to damage.
3) Making the skill buff a +competence modifier turns it into a gold saving buff, not something broken by being super-stackable.
4) Lets the Rogue determine what skills are important to her and take them as class skills. This is basically what Experts do...and the Rogue is the martial expert, just like the Fighter is the more martial warrior.
Note: All the skill boosting feats also make those skills class skills for a Rogue. So, taking Scholar (+1 all Knowledge skills) also makes all Knowledge skills class skills. So the Rogue also gets rewarded for a high Int.
But note that Rogue Talents and Cunning are basically the class resources at levels 1 and 2. The Rogue has a TON of empty levels, which no none spellcaster should have. So, those levels have a lot to be filled.
Most of the Talents need to be rewritten to synergize with skills and actually be class features, instead of proto-feats.
Meh, I made Bravery REALLY useful in my rebuild. I retitled it Resolve, and added sub-fuctions:
1) Brave -Grants the bonus to fear saves. BUT...synergizes and enhances IRon Will for the same amount. Many feats are enhanced by Bravery, especially skill or mental-oriented ones.
In effect, it's almost as good as a lay on hands, but only for the fighter. Converting to non-lethal means he only actually 'heals' at level/hour, but it's still MUCH better then nothing.
And since 'real' healing does double effect, healing non-lethal AND lethal damage at the same time, he gets double out of healing spells.
If you're going to make it a useful class feature, then make it a useful class feature. One that solves multiple problems with the class. And the fact it's broader then a magical ability in some respects is a point for it, not against it. As it stands, its about equal to 2.5 feats...making it really nice, but certainly not broken, given the base it works on.
BTW...if you really want to make weapon groups important, you should seriously think about restricting weapon proficiencies.
I recommend the following:
1/2 BAB classes start with proficiency in 2 simple weapons, period. They can spend skill points if they want to be proficient in more.
3/4 BAB classes start with all simple weapons, and 2 weapons from their class list of allowed weapons (martial, monk, rogue, whatever). They can spend skill points to acquire more weapon profs from that list.
Full BAB classes are proficient in a number of martial weapons equal to their starting skill points (and all simple weapons), with the exception of the fighter and the paladin, both of whom start with proficiency in ALL martial weapons (the fighter because he has trained with them all, and the paladin as a gift from his empowering patrons, like his armor profs).
This makes that first level of being a Fighter truly valuable. He can pick up any non-exotic weapon and use it, something most of the other martial classes can't do. It also means that other martial classes are going to have favorite weapons from the get go.
Proficiencies actually have some value under this system.
You don't make 'fighter only' feats. You make feats that reference fighter class features. i.e. Bravery, Armor Training and Weapon Training.
There are no 'barbarian only feats.' There are Rage Powers. There are no 'paladin only feats'. There's Extra Mercies, Aura feats, smite things.
Etc. Follow that example.
As has been stated a hundred times, the fighter's problem is not DPR. He does fine on DPR. It's his saves, his skills, his versatility/adaptability to different conditions, and his ability to influence the metagame outside of combat. A non-magical combatant should have access to options that defy and/or neutralize magic.
Unfortunately, the standing Paizo system is that 'magic is better', not 'anti-magic is viable'. And so things that work against or without magic are underpowered or next to useless, except a very few that stand out, and come from classes with Supernatural or Magical edges (Barbarian Superstition and Spell Sunder, Paladin Cha to all saves and Immunities, etc).
You could take the base fighter as it is now and fix it by having feats that are actually worth being called class features. You know, equal to rage powers.
Since those don't exist, Fighters suck.
Fighters should be the Master of feats (more then anyone by a significant #, unlike it is now), the Sage of Feats (mastering them with little problem) and the Lord of Feats (getting more out of feats then any other class).
They fail to qualify on all 3 counts. Hence, they suffer.
Fighter feats should reference fighter class abilities, just like feats for specific other classes do (rage powers, mercies, sneak attack, etc). And Fighters should be able to scale feats without spending more feats to do so.
Until there's a feat re-write, fighters are going to suck. that's just how it is.
They did the 'narrow band' in the Worlds of Golarion book about the solar system, and back in Wildspace for Spell jammer, as well. It's an old and loved spaceworld trope, like Ringworlds and Dyson Spheres.
61: You know that old wives tale that the planet rests above a glowing bowl, carried by four elephants who stand atop the back of a great tortoise that swims through and endless ocean of stars? COmplete hogwash.
There are FIVE elephants.
Actually, casters generally get things that increase their versatility and options, because they've got power and weaknesses covered with their spells.
This is why they start rapidly intruding on the jobs of other classes. All a caster needs to be more powerful...is more spells. And unlike feats and skill points, there's tons of ways to get this kind of thing.
Looks like 4E, to tell you the truth.
And you are incorrect, combining skills devalues the original skills they consist of. If I can get climb, swim, jump and ride for 1 skill point, instead of 4 skill points, the value of each skill class just dropped by 3/4.
Each SKILL POINT is more valuable, sure, but the skills themselves are worth less. When its 10 pts for Perception vs 20 pts for Spot and Listen, I'll happily take the former...which is exactly what happens with most people. Paying only ten points makes it a cheaper investment!
The gap between 'trained' and 'untrained' skills is pretty big as you level. I like the current +3 because it's large enough to make a difference and low enough to still be relevant. As your levels progress, your untrained, or cross-trained skills, simply won't be able to keep up with escalating skill DC's. By 20, a wizard who trains himself in Perception with some of the extra Skill points from his 34 Intelligence is at a -10 penalty on the roll vs level-appropriate stuff. He's basically going to fail every time vs equal foes, meaning it is almost a complete waste of time for him to invest in out of class skills...except that is all he's got left to do at this point.
having more skills available is a very small amount of additional paperwork. All the rules for the DC's still have to be in place even if you combine them.
I think you are overthinking this some. If you really want to restrict characters to class skill lists, its a decent way of imposing a penalty by venturing outside the zone. At the same time, it takes away a large amount of free will and customization of the class doing this kind of thing.
as has been pointed out, you don't need massive Ranks in a class to hit some DC's, especially for NPC/out of combat checks. Your version basically has this as all or none.
So, eh, not a big fan of how you're doing this. Sure, it'll streamline the accounting. But it takes away a lot of choices for doing so.
You would probably be better off changing the rules so as to allow what full attacks mean and are capable of.
Normal: You can move up to a double move and make a strike.
Vital: You can make a single move, or take a charge action, and deliver a Vital Strike. (This sets a precedent of decreasing movement = more damage). You may do this as part of a Spring Attack, as well.
Full Attack: You can make your normal move and deliver a full attack.
Full Vital Strike: You may make only a 5' step. You gain a bonus of +2 TH, Ac, or saving throws (your choice) until the beginning of your next turn, with an additional +1 per iterative attack after the first. Your first blow is a vital strike, the rest are normal attacks.
Note: Monsters that can do a normal move and full attack will be VERY dangerous.
Since PFS is limited to 12th level, Fireballs will probably work fine for your end go-to spell.
But if you can get your caster level above 15, Swapping up spell specialization to Firesnake means you can now do 20d6+40 base damage.
Spell Perfection is the key here, however. Being able to say "here, take 140 points of damage, save for half" is generally quite powerful, even before you Empower it.
Oh, and demons aren't immune to fire, they've just got some resistance against it, unless they are subtype (fire). They are immune to LIGHTNING. Except succubi, who oddly are fire immune, too...
Devils are immune to fire, also.
You asked for my opinion on this. Mmm. The problem is that I am grossly biased against 'point pools'. I don't care if they are called performance rounds, rage rounds, grit points, panache, ki points, arcana, or whatever. They are all the same thing...trying to call a magical effect by another name to make it seem non-magical.
I understand the simple appeal behind them. It gives the player something to do at a pivotal moment, and treat them to a unique suite of buffs that other classes can't cut in on without having that particular pool. The barb and bard classes in particular have fully embraced pools of points to stand above most other classes of similar ability. In the barb's case, it's 'justification' for getting the best combat feats in the game...Rage Powers. For Bards, loads and loads of buffing without ever having to cast a spell that just gets stronger with level. So not only do you get more of the points, but each point becomes worth more as you level!
Ergo, I hate points.
So, to be fair, I'm not a good judge of what you have up there. But, here's what I'm comparing to:
There's little difference between being able to take 10 on a skill all the time and being able to take 10 on a skill whenever you want to. The former is a 10th level Talent for a number of skills equal to your Int bonus, and includes skills you cannot take 10 on. Your version includes a number equal to your execution bonus, and starts at 3rd. Yours starts sooner, encompasses the same language, and ends up more. Ergo, it's stronger.
You'd be just as well off just rewriting Skill Mastery to be useful at level 3, and simply doing away with the points.
Changing Skill Mastery to either take 10 or roll twice and take the best is much the same thing.
Adding Sneak Attack dice to a crit was actually a feat in 3.5. It's not broken. Just let the rogue DO it, as a Talent. Then do need the damage edge.
And allowing the character to just sack a die or two of SA damage to do Combat Manuvers in general, instead of a specific combat maneuver, isn't broken, either.
You don't need the pool. Get around it. Look past needing something to spend and simply give the class excellent stuff that other classes cannot get.
Better yet, make the 'improved' versions of those talents require NO magic or power point pools of what have you, instead available only to those Rogues who remain completely mundane. Then not having magic becomes a qualifier for something exceptional, not a burden and a penalty.
I keep the skill points at 2 starting.
Class skills are Craft, Profession, acrobatics, and Intimidate...plus any two of the fighter's choice.
At every level he gains a Bravery bonus, he gets a new skill of his choice and another skill point per level.
Eventually he gets to pick 7 of his class skills and has 7 skill points per level...adding to them as he levels and trains for what he needs, just as real people do.
And without needing to rely on raising his blasted Int score. He ends up with more points then a Ranger...and the skills HE wants.
Oh, and if he choses Skill Focus/Synergy/Training, the skills become class skills. He gets more out of feats used for skills then other classes do.
Fighters could benefit from an entire rewrite of skills.
Skill RANKS, not modifiers, should mean something. Someone with 15 Ranks in a skill should have something more then someone with +15 to the check.
So, you've just added a Skills rewrite to the Feats rewrite wish schema.
Oh, and I do a lot of that extra stuff.
I shifted Weapon Training to provide a virtual enhancement bonus to your weapon, in addition to the +. Now, it only goes up to +4, and it does require a masterwork weapon, but it does mean that once a fighter hits level 4, any master work weapon in his groups is now effectively magical. At 12th, it works fine against cold iron and silver DR, and at 16th ignores Adamantine DR. If it's magical, the virtual enhancement stacks up to +5, so fighters can start ignoring DR faster then any other class.
I have their armor training bonus apply as virtual enhancement to armor and/or shield, up to a max of +5. THEN, I give first str, then con, then Dex enhancement as a free exoskeleton enhancement for wearing armor. The enhancement bonus is -1 in light armor, par in medium, and +1 in full armor...encouraging the fighter to wear heavy armor.
So a fighter does not need that stupid belt, he gets the effect from class features. That aren't magical and work fine in an A-M shell.
As for extra stats...I went the opposite route. I give the fighter 2 stat points, given out 1 by 1, at every 4 levels, to his LOWEST ability scores.
Which rounds up those glaring weaknesses in stats, which is a beneficial side effect of his constant training.
so who IS supposed to be the best rider? Some theif?!?
Sorry, warriors have historically ALWAYS been the best riders, because the whole art of riding evolved to carry soldiers to battle better, faster, harder.
Fighters create organizations as they get more powerful...either students clamoring for what they know or armies to get them what they want. Brufus the Barbarian may only want the roar of the crowd, but Marcus the Fighter is going to found a gladiatorial school and churn out the highly skilled warriors that crowd demands on top of being a top-flight, skilled draw himself.