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Varisian Wanderer

Aelryinth's page

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16. RPG Superstar 2013 Star Voter, 2014 Star Voter. 6,873 posts (6,936 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.

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RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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As a side note on Solars, Ashiel:

Kindly note the default Solar gets his full plate +5.
And has a 20 Dex.
yes, that's right, he doesn't get his full Dex bonus.

If you simply change that to CELESTIAL Full plate +5, his AC goes up by 4 as he suddenly gets his full dex bonus. Seriously, why isn't he wearing a Mithral BP?

If it's Mithral Celestial Full Plate, he can apply for +5 inherents on himself and still get his full dex to AC bonus.


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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He needs the skill point more then the +1 to will saves.


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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I believe there's also a FAQ that states that regenerating creatures that become immune to their regen condition basically turn it into fast healing. At least, that's how it was ruled in 3.5. So half-dragon Abyssal trolls lost their regen entirely, and had only fast healing.



RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Ashiel is including buffs and maxing out Dex bonuses, among other things.

Haste is +1. A Jingasa is another +1. Heroism can grant another +2. Dex should be optimized to a 24 or so, for +7. If you can add on additional luck or insight bonuses, you climb higher, or acquire a natural Armor Class bonus by one means or another.

That's in addition to something like an Uber shield, which can add +7 to +12, and another +4 vs missiles if you're using 3.5 rules.

So the range is probably closer to a base 45 then 40, with a SHield on top of it.


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Keep in mind Lars is not using a longbow in classic format. Longbows were invented to keep up with armor advances.

Yes, he can punch through chain mail and the leather under it. He's using an arrow. Arrows have been able to do that since BC. Chain mail has holes, and anything with holes doesn't work well against piercing attacks.

He's using a short bow, drawn to the chest. Yes, this will kill a human in light or no armor...arrows can do that. Against scale, plate armor, and against shields, his arrows are basically useless.

In short, he effectively has no strength bonus to damage because he's not taking a full draw, and has much lower range since he's not using a long bow properly.

His short range technique is awesome, and he's clearly put a LOT of practice into this. I'm not sure of his levels, but he's definitely got some feats in there.

I'd like to know how he does as a competition shooter.

But against heavily and thickly armored opponents, he's basically firing sticks. There's a REASON longbows can drive through 4 inches of oak...they had to, to kill knights in their damn plate armor.


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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For distance...use meters. A meter is intrinsically defined as the vibrational bandwidth of a specific band of light.

Better yet, use 'as generally accepted in Golarion' as the definition for all your 'undefined' terms, which essentially mean you default to the most common one, not the most extreme.

I will note that you did not forbid the mage from attacking you. Or commanding others to attack you. That is a big oversight.


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No, each subsequent rune is still dealing force damage. You'd get no free resist. You'd have to find a way to gain force resistance.

Contingency does not have divinatory abilities attached to it. It has no way of determining if an attack is lethal before it lands.
So a Greater Teleport 'if an attack is going to kill me' is going to fail. 1,, we can assume the fighter is mind blanked and any divinatory info gathering like that will fail and 2, there's nothing in the spell that says it can actually DO that.

Now, you could word it so that if you DO take lethal damage, you get Teleported (that is something that happens to you, not something that MIGHT happen)...except you're now dead, and can't determine where the Greater Teleport will take you, you need Word of Recall or something to do that.

Furthermore, popping into a Clone is completely ambiguous as to how long it's going to take to 'wake up'. You also won't have any of your gear on you, since it's on your dead self. It also doesn't take into account the various soul-trapping weapons out there designed to stop exactly these kind of body-hopping shenanigans.

The whole geas thing is a earlier editions, you could resist the spell at cost of the penalty. They also redid Scarabs of Protection, which gave you a save against no-save spells at base 20, modifiers from there. So yeah, it reminds me of that 9th level 'dagger of something' spell from FR where you basically turned somebody, anywhere, into your puppet or killed them from afar.


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Several suppositions are untrue.

Without the gods, the Upper Planes would be MORE FULL...because all those good souls would be running around randomly rather then gathered in divine realms. Unlike the lower planes, they wouldn't be murdering one another for power, they'd be helping one another along the roads to enlightenment. They'd be everywhere!

Secondly, according to what I remember, most sentient mortal creatures divide fairly evenly among the nine alignments. There is no favoritism for neutrality unless you include animals and non-mortal sentients like elementals. Historically, the 'demi-human' races had predilections for good, where orcs and the like were evil, and humans were all over the place. The fact is, the focus is on evil races in the beastiaries because those are the things adventurers are supposed to go out and kill. Having tons of good creatures whose only use is being Called or Summoned is kind of inefficient.

'averaging' to neutral is not the same as 'being neutral'. However, good people tend to fall into the background when surrounded by N and Evil behavior styles, or at the very least, Good Is Not Nice tends to come into play. Humans radicalize off the Neutral fairly easy if exposed to the right sources, so I'm going to say 'vast majority are neutral' is a milksop excuse at this point.

I will agree that the 2e factor was that Good was heavily outweighed by Evil...the Planescape comment of fiends being compared to devas as specks of dust comes to mind, with the lament that there were so many specks of dust. But celestial-type creatures in 1e and 2e were far, far more powerful relative to fiends then they are now, with the least of devas in 1e equal to pit fiends and balors, and even in 2e Planetars and Solars were head and shoulders above them. Solars are basically demon princes without the unique names and stats, especially if you play them right.

I've always been of the mindset that Evil's ruthless pragmatism makes them weak. They will always take the way that requires less effort on their part, whether it means massacre, poison, backstabbing, lying, fraud, murder, or whatever. And knowing that Evil is what you face, you can expect no mercy or surrender, and so you fight all the harder because of it.

Good folk don't have those options, so they have to be tougher to withstand them, and they MUST win with the standard options, because that's all they can use. People also know they can surrender to good, which hurts your fighting morale...when Good is willing to fight to the death, and your troops to fight to surrender, there's a clear gap there.

So Good not only has to be good, it has to be Damn Good. And that's why Evil doesn't want to face Good straight up...Good will win that fight, because it's what Good does.



RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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I counter-posit that you're seriously undercounting Good, whose armies will also be effectively infinite.

The main difference is the realm of Gods. The vast, vast majority of Good souls, celestial and otherwise, are going to be in divine realms, which are effectively as large as they need to be, and can certainly be larger then any demon realm.

The lower planes have a lot of non-aligned random fiends running around, spawned from sin, with fewer in Hell and the vast majority in the Abyss. Because they are running around slaughtering things, especially one another, they look immensely large.

The good folk don't rampage, they stay in their realms and live their peaceful afterlives. But if there's a need for numbers, the gates of the gods can open, and what comes out can make the hordes of Below nerf pink twinkies.

In short, the fiends only win when they keep the fights short and brutal. IF they persist, they risk kicking something they really, really want to keep asleep. Having to deal with Heaven's special forces is bad enough. WHat happens when the real armies start marching out in their high morale, massive teamwork, great leadership, superbly equipped masses? Accompanied by entities that slap around demon princes like red-headed stepchildren?

No, no, the reason there isn't an all out attack ont he celestial realms is because Evil creatures have GREAT survival instincts, and know what would happen to them.


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Ashiel wrote:
Tharasiph wrote:

Similar to the worldwound how do you think an invasion of an evil nation would go i.e. Geb or Cheliax.

For an AP the party could be fighting to achieve strategic objectives and then solving problems within the invasion force and stopping enemy adventurers.

All I could say for certain is it would go very badly for whomever they were fighting. Angels and Azatas are stacked. Pound for pound, angels are much more powerful and frightening than devils and demons. For example, quite a few of them cast spells as clerics of their level. Ever look at a Planetar? It's a CR 16, 16HD outsider with amazing base statistics (d10 HD, full BAB, great saves, great immunities, great SR, great special abilities) and it's effectively a 16th level cleric to boot, in addition to having a lot of really great SLAs.

Ghaele Azatas are pretty amazing too (13th level clerics in addition to being amazing otherwise).

Solars? Well, a solar is a god by any reasonable definition of the word.

Their low-tier ranks are pretty amazing too. Lillends are bards, complete with bardic performances (which combo very nicely with their allies).

Archons are no joke either.

I think Archons are the only celestials that have teleport w/o error at will. Most fiends have at least one use of the ability.

Teleportation is probably the biggest difference between fiends and celestials. Makes it hard to fight the fiends if they can gather wherever they want to in an instant, and leave just as fast.


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Good aligned gods tend to get their collective asses handed to them by whatever the Ultimate Evil is in RPG's. That's why you need Average Joe From A Small Town to fulfill his destiny.

Evil is more efficient. Good has to deal with morals and such.

Hence good's general need for some destined child to repeatedly save the world from falling off the razors edge.

Evil is considerably less efficient then good, because of internal rivalries.

What it is, is more pragmatic and ruthless. That's not at all the same thing as 'efficient'. Good tends to be far more capable of pulling outside its weight class because of its willingness to sacrifice to help others.

Evil, on the other hand, tends to underpull because it's perfectly willing to sacrifice others to advance its causes, all those folk know it, and subvert its intentions to save their hides, since they are all willing to sacrifice their superiors and comrades to save their hides, if they can do so.

When things are a slaughterfest or pure survival mandates some teamwork, sure, they can pull together in the short term. But outside that, or when faced with a dire threat? Evil turns on itself, furthers its own goals, and rots from within. They are the embodiment of corruption...and slaves to it as much as anything.


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Nearyn wrote:

** spoiler omitted **


Correction. Good outsiders corrupted by unholy tomes that pervert their frame of reference are capable of doing bad things. And their mortal servants are capable of doing worse things.

The majority of the mortal plane is basically interdicted against just this kind of planar interference, because if the profound realms warred on the prime, they'd destroy it and kill everything eventually.

So, you don't get invasions like this. What you get is Called or Gated planar allies who can come in and do things. The only way you get around this limitation is with a pseudo divine entity, such as a demon prince, challenging the status quo, and likely pissing off every other profound higher power as he does so.

The interesting way to handle this is to bring a Solar to the Prime, and have him able to Gate/Call in help, and start building an army to fulfill the function of his being Gated. In previous versions, Solars Gating in Solars was called a Celestial Cascade, and could rapidly get very, very broken in the amount of muscle you could call to one place...which is why you didn't challenge Heaven in a show of rapid deployment muscle.


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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There's an AP I subscribing to (brain fart, can't remember it) where a few thousand years ago, the rules of magic changed and the realm of Air was interdicted. Flight magic disappeared, and dragons were grounded. Unable to fly away, dragon slayers were able to whittle them away and kill almost all of them, since they couldn't flee.

Dragons fly cause magic. That's all there is to it.


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They'd have to move it to Golarion to do serious justice for it, however, and that would involve some big rewrites.


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Start with minions. Always.

You can do Giants. You can also do Summoned and Called Creatures. Earth elementals and air elementals are a good place to start.

Add a Web or Evard's tentacles to the SOlid Fog. That will REALLY slow them down.

Prep Slow to counter Haste. Quickened on Scroll as a throwaway.

Some of the Runeslave buffed Giants with a couple extra buffs thrown on them.

Remember he's a Wizard. He has the ability to make scrolls. He should have a plan of attack for invaders, especially a suite of pre-buffs. If you bring in minions, it will be all the better.

It's even better if he can go on the attack. If he can hit the party with Greater Dispel Magic while they are clustered and buffing, he can really annoy them. Remember he can move through his own Solid Fog and tentacles, and really has no reason to sit on his throne if taking advantage of the movement is to his benefit.

He's a wizard. Play him sly, cunning and cowardly. Any wizard that can summon help, snipe and flee to fight another day should be memorable.


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Actually, Rogues are based on intelligent thieves, not high school drop outs.

Between quickness of reflexes, quickness of wits, quickness of gab, and being quick on their feet, rogues almost always are good at a lot of things...which is best exemplified by skills.

Rogues get by on their brains and reflexes, and clever people know the value of their brains. It could be said that Rogues are the MOST intelligent of all the classes, because they get the most skill points. They know how to use the brains they've got.

Wizards aren't as 'skilled', because they spend all their genius brainpower dissecting complicated arcane thingies, and the stuff must take up some of their brainspace. They make up for it by being so damn smart that the space they give up isn't an imposition.

So, Rogues ARE smart...they tend to love to learn all sorts of things other people don't.

It's just that skills are so underpowered in the face of magic that it doesn't matter.


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Without better Save defenses, suddenly getting Con to AC will be helpful, but still place him in the lower tier.

There is NO justification whatsoever for a Fighter having 2 skill points and a Ranger getting 6. None. The Ranger is a SPELLCASTER. He can wiggle his fingers and use magic to solve his problems. The fighter has only his hands. He even gets an animal companion to handle his tracking and step and fetch.

The difference is tower shields and heavy armor prof at level 1. The fighter should have a minimum of 4 skill points just because he never gets magic, and it should indeed be 6 when you look at the other classes.

I got around it by increasing his skill points and class skills by his Bravery bonus. So when his Bravery tops out, he's got 7 skill points a level, and 5 class skills of his choice, just as customizable as his feats.

+1 th/dmg on all weapons is nice, but useless at level 9. The fighter needs something at level 1. This is a benefit to replace all secondary weapon groups at best, and add other stuff on.

Stat bonuses to stuff are dangerous and the most easy thing to abuse in any class or build. You should stay away from them if possible. I don't mind Con to AC, but it blatantly favors armored guys over dex-reliant builds like Archers. Not a totally bad thing, of course. Guys in melee typically should have the most hit points, and it gets away from MAD. Still, should be at a higher level to discourage dipping.

I don't like pools for fighters. It may be unavoidable, but I just don't like them. I don't mind per day abilities as long as they are strictly defined, but I don't like per encounter stuff, either.

I am really curious what Unchained is going to bring, and afraid I'll be disappointed regardless.


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Barachiel Shina wrote:

---A wizard is the guy who just heisted a secure vault and managed to pin it on someone else for the crime - and the patsy even remembers doing it and confessed!

---A wizard is the guy that knew how to get around the city to get the information you needed without leaving a trail -- or getting up from his comfy chair by the fire!
---A wizard is the guy who was not there for half the battle, but that's because he set up some elaborate environmental trap on half the enemies and took them down without lifting a finger or ever exposing himself to danger.
---A wizard is that McGuyver kind of guy, his mastery over mundane tools and magical tools (as he can casually max out UMD and doesn't need to roll for most toys) gives him an edge in almost any situation as long as they are creative enough...assuming his spellbook doesn't have THAT covered for much, much less gold.
---A wizard is the guy who disguised himself as the guards by actually becoming one of them via magic, and infiltrated to assassinate the guy that intended to make the PCs lives hell by using all the military and political power he had so he died at one of the hands of his own underlings.
---A wizard is the guy that had the right sort of contacts to pretty much get whatever it is you needed. You know, like entities on other planes and stuff, sages, academia, and all those underworld figures who want him to find out stuff for them, or make toys for them.
---A wizard is the guy that rose through the ranks of an organization for the sole purpose of spying and betraying them. Has the magic to ward his thoughts and conceal his alignment, divert suspicion and learn things without having to actually be there, too.
---A wizard is the guy that was off rescuing victims, mentally mapping passageways, sabotaging ambushes and traps, misleading and misdirection enemies into danger, and basically speeding up your dungeon bashing game so that a quest that would have taken a month to finish, he just helped you do it in a week. Mostly by just using Summoned creatures.
---A wizard would have stolen enough money to hire, bribe, or blackmail others into doing the dirty work for them. Or, you know, just charmed or dominated them for more reliable and quick service.



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Bandw2 wrote:

1) What you choose to eat can have a definite effect on your alignment. Food is not immune from choice. You can be a Humanitarian!

2)They are the same thing, one on the micro level, one on the macro level.

3) You're twisting the meaning of it to one-offs.
Evil can undertake pretty much any action, even a externally good one, and have it still be an evil action because of why it was done. It's what Evil Masterminds DO.
There are whole slews of actions that Good people cannot take and call them Good actions. They will NEVER be good. They might be Necessary, but they will not be Good. Taking those actions does not make them more of a Good person, whereas the obverse with Evil people taking Good actions can very well make them even more sinister.
Or not, it's indeed their choice! And this freedom of choice is one of the great lures of Evil.

4)Indeed, same as #3.

5)Rampant slaughter without discernible rhyme or reason is indeed CE. It's insane behavior on its face.
Actually Chaotic Good believes that individuals must take responsibility for their actions. That means if the Law won't do what's right, it's up to the individual to do so. You are responsible for your actions, you can't protect yourself with the law, and I have as much right to punish you for your wicked ways as you had the choice to do them in the first place. Take your lumps! This is why your earlier example of a CG killing the LN king is not an Evil action...the king's is responsible for the actions of those who act in his name, and even if his personal hands are clean, he is responsible. The CG guy is holding him to account for his laws and evil actions of his minions. Granted, he's also going to go after those minions, too, but the king doesn't get a free pass just because he's turning a blind eye to things.
As an example, there's plenty of jihadists who would happily kill Obama for the things America has done in the Middle East, and it's a given that Obama doesn't know everything that goes on there, doesn't really want to be there, and has little to no involvement in the day to day activities of the conflict. He's still ultimately responsible, and they would feel totally justified in popping him and striking a blow at America.

Where's this Damning thousands to die coming from? Society choosing to kill thousands of people because one man won't kowtow to them is Tyranny in its finest form. Put the blame where it belongs. This is exactly akin to the standard no-win situation contrived to make a Paladin Fall: Save the baby or save the town. Either way, innocents die, your choice doomed them, and you Fall. That is an outright lie by the party that contrived the situation in the first place, and where the blame truly lies.
Damning thousands to perpetual, invioble slavery is also Evil. You've a classic case of the lesser of two Evils, not good.
By your judgment there, any war is evil, when war is specifically seen as neutral and oppressing everyone equally. Choosing not to save someone is Evil, because it damns them, be it from accident, natural disaster, starvation, weather, or their own stupidity...even if you don't have the power to save them! Woot!

You see, the only way you could work LG into your example is to remove slavery and institute voluntary this or that labor. If the people in your example want to work without pay or recompense, that's LG, and nobody, not even CG, is going to foreswear that. It's the highest level of community and civic responsibility. However, the problem is that the non-volunteers will rapidly exploit them. Free helpful labor is much better then paid helpful labor and better then unhelpful unpaid labor, after all!

By IMPOSING slavery, regardless of choice, by any methods or means, you've moved this to Tyranny of the Majority, a Lawful stance. By imposing it on the unwilling, you've made it Evil.
And if the subjugated choose to rise up, and die fighting instead of die of starvation or 'damning', that's not Evil in the slightest. Your only Good way around this is to let them go, or to find another way.

The motivation that 'the race as a whole could survive' is a smokescreen to justify tyranny. You've removed the option to say 'no'. Cloaking yourself in shiny colors doesn't make it a Good decision in the slightest. It's still cruel and draconian. There's tons of examples of this very trope you are talking about and trying to call 'good', for the very same reasons, and when you peel it back, you see it's evil on its face, and only gets worse with time.

Your extremely borderline scenario does not work, Band.

As for the have a choice not to live in a country that imposes a draft. If you choose to live there, it's a responsibility of yours to fight for your country when they call on you, part of the implied social contract. A modern draft is also fairer and equal, drawing from all portions of society, instead of from the lowest orders as was done in the past (the rich paid their way out).

You also have the right to be a conscientious objector and possibly be assigned to support duties, and/or you have the right to go to jail if you choose not to fight. My dad actually knows a guy in the Vietnam War who would fire over the heads of the enemy. He was wounded in combat and got sent home, never having taken an honest shot at the Viet Cong.

Drafts are definitely Lawful Neutral, and not Good. You see LG when people volunteer to serve in their military, and that is always far and away the preferred method to gain soldiers. Just ask long time commanders the difference between volunteers and draft/conscripts in their ranks (like, Iraqi line soldiers and American line soldiers). There is a world of difference in morale and competency.

What your example is imposing is worse then a draft. It's SLAVERY. It will simply never be Good, regardless of the reasons why you are doing it.

The best example I can think of for you is the Warhammer 40k universe, aptly described as 'grimdark crapsack.' Despite the total ruthlessness and amorality of the Empire, it considers itself Good and Just, mainly because all the alternatives are so very, very much worse. It isn't, by any stretch of the imagination (just start reading about it), but there is indeed little recourse.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

Okay, I'd like to clarify something.

Aelrynith, was the character in question actually doing anything Good? At all? Ever? Was he saving people, helping the downtrodden, defending the innocent, or just being generally nice, anything like that?

Because I think a lot of people objecting to treating the player and character as you did are assuming he was doing stuff like that, but that's not the impression I'm getting from your posts. So...was he? Or was he being a self-serving mercenary type even aside from the spells thing.

He was a mercenary. CG is a very flexible alignment, you can justify just about anything for it. Getting paid to 'do good' is certainly inside that paradigm.

Did he go out of his way to do 'good things' of his own volition? Like, charity and such? no. He'd rescue things if he was paid to rescue things...happily. If that involved carrying decrepit miners out on the shoulders of an undead ogre, c'est la vies. If the enemy had loot, that was even better. If there was a size L creature to charm with strength, reach and good hit points to turn into an undead minion after it killed his enemies for him and got killed, even better!

i.e. he didn't play like some saintly guy who just happened to use evil magic. He played like a ruthlessly intelligent, pragmatic wizard who had no compunction against breaking the wills of sentient creatures, using them against their own kin and kind, animating their remains when they were killed, and dealing with creatures of the Lower Planes for more power...because it was mechanically the best thing to do, and he could justify it in his own mind as being without consequence.

He simply didn't use the tactics against local governments and 'good people'. Because that would get him into instant trouble, and he knew it.

And Ashiel, you're ignoring alignment descriptors again, which I know you do in your campaign, but not in mine. Summoning Evil creatures is indeed an Evil spell. It was the best choice, it was taken because it was the best choice, and no other reason. He didn't care that it was Evil magic, because he thought he could justify it away. Just Summoning any old thing? sure, good tactic. But he made the choice for Evil creatures because it was the most powerful choice to make, ignoring the consequences.

And yes, it was powergaming. You don't use Locate Creature to locate hydras to turn into zombies for any other reason then that they keep all their attacks even when undead. I was perfectly aware of it, and rolled my eyes when he told me. I don't call someone a power gamer lightly, he was doing it.


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Lemmy wrote:

What's the definition of judgmental? Because I tend to analyze and evaluate stuff based on the information I have. And that's exactly what I did.

Considering all the information given... I still define it as "a dick move that would make me walk away from the table". In fact, taking the second post into consideration, I'd call it "even more of a dick move than I expected".

You can play however you want, of course, and if it works for you and your friends, that's awesome! More power to you! But me? I wouldn't have stayed another minute in that table. At least not in game sessions with the GM who did it.

Well... I suppose I'd try to talk to the GM first, but if that didn't help, or worse, if he refused to listen, I wouldn't give another try. That's the sort of red flag that I simply can't ignore.

If I warned you repeatedly ahead of time that using Evil magic and using the kind of tactics you used are going to have alignment consequences, and you refused to stop, who is at fault here, Lemmy? Me, for delivering on what I told you, or you, for saying that I wouldn't?

I told you I warned him repeatedly. I didn't tell him not to do it...I warned him there would be consequences. He ignored it, using his justifications, despite my warning him in spite of his justifications.

he didn't determine the alignments in my campaign. He was using Evil magic and ruthless tactics that would instantly be called Evil if and when they were used against the party, but thought that as a PC he could get away with it.

He basically walked into it with his eyes wide shut, and then had a decision to make when he thought he was calling my bluff.

As I said, if I gave in, the game was over. I'd have folded up everything, and started anew. I wasn't going to back down. I gave him the rope, he hung himself, and then he challenged my authority to pull it tight. I didn't make him make the decisions, I just warned him of the road he was walking down, and he ignored me until it came up and bit him in the arse. He was selling, and I wasn't buying, hadn't been buying, and he thought he could make me buy, and I didn't, repeatedly.

That was the situation.

Oh, and yes, this was not the only indication that things were going south on him, given the rep of a fiend summoner, undead-making necromancer who regularly enslaved monstrous creatures, and then animated them as undead if they died.

Like I said, it wasn't a surprise. You, Lemmy, might make the choice to realize I'm firm on alignments and consequences of your actions, keep the character, and start on the road to redemption. He didn't want to, and started a new PC, since the personality of the character was established and he didn't want to ruin it with a heel-face turn.

It wasn't hostile, there was no gnashing of the teeth. He was a little surprised I stood by my guns, but he made his choice, and stuck by the choice not to change the character. We had to talk out the circumstances to the party and decide how and why the character was leaving, but in truth they were tired of his little armies of undead and summoned creatures, the Good churches slamming their doors in their faces, people pulling into homes and buildings when they went by, etc.


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I see.

He's using Evil magic, which I repeatedly warned him would have consequences (because, you know, I love profound alignments!). But because he was only using Evil magic against non-good things, he gets a pass by his reasoning. In other words, he's trying to cover his ass with a thin veneer of gratuity.

No. That's not how it works anywhere. You guys are the ones with the double standard, not me. He used Evil magic, it wasn't for good ends, it was because it was the most efficient and powerful thing for him to do. There was no sacrifice involved, no moral trauma. He made the choice to use Evil magic, believing there would be no consequences in the face of my telling him otherwise.

Dominating intelligent beings, getting them killed, then animating them to do the same thing. Yeah, no, that's not good, and it's a big step past neutral. If you see otherwise, that's your judgment. Pharasma and Pathfinder agree with me.

Maybe you're more forgiving of the extremely pragmatic, I'm-beyond-alignment style of play. But there's alignments in my campaign, and if you want to act like someone who can ignore them, that doesn't mean they ignore you. The alignments are bigger then you are.

If you're crying about why I don't allow Evil people...that's because I've too much experience with people using Evil as an excuse to do whatever they want. He was using Evil magic as an excuse to do whatever he wanted, trying to loophole things by not using it against Good people. It's a classic denier strategy, I warned him on it, and he still went ahead and did it.

And kindly note, I gave the guy a choice...go for redemption, doing what it took, or become an NPC.

It's my campaign, I set the rules, he tried to flaunt them, and I didn't let him. I wasn't going to change them for him.

My alternative was to scrape the campaign just so he could cater to his powergamer build and ruthless, pragmatic PC mentality. I didn't. The campaign went on.

And you being outside looking in means you are getting a highly unknowing view of what went on. It wasn't your campaign, your campaign world, and I didn't spring anything on anyone. You literally have nothing to argue from, aye?

There's a PC in 3.5 called the Malconvoker. It's absolutely the best summoning PC in the game. The whole shtick of it is a Good character summoning evil creatures to fight for them, instead of using Good creatures to do so.
There's another PC called the Grey Guardian, which is basically a Paladin that can ignore the moral code to do whatever they feel can be justified in the name of Good, and get an Atonement and soldier on. NO drawbacks.
I didn't allow either class, ever, because the fundamental alignment infractions of each invalidate the whole idea of alignment.

I take alignments seriously in my games. I love the idea of them. If you don't, well, that's a different game, and I'll play differently in your games then I would in mine.

But that's the context you have to keep in mind. I treat alignments seriously, he didn't, thought I would let him slide, and I didn't. Then he started to see what I was talking about when the same tactics got used repeatedly against the party, by mages exactly as pragmatic and ruthless as his old character. Ruthless, pragmatic and efficient are all hallmarks of Evil, as is justification for their use.

it was good times! They sure got to hate having to fight summoned celestials under the command of mages who didn't care about Summoned monsters of any kind...



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Uh, huh. Keep up with the judgmental crap you know nothing about, guys.

He'd happily Summon anything from across the alignment spectrum, based on whatever was most powerful for the level...which were usually fiendish animals or evil outsiders. Not the least being because DR/Good is much better then DR/Evil when you're fighting evil stuff. But he never used them against good people, of course.

Happily try to pull the Calling abuse check thing, but that didn't last long once the churches found out about it. He did try to get away with the Succubus profane gift by petrifying it and using non-detection, however...only for the best of reasons!

He'd happily make undead out of his enemies and throw them into fights, then keep the nice ones around to use for the next fight. Never used them against good people, of course.

he'd happily dominate enemies and keep them under thralldom until their usefulness was done, and then see to it they got killed fighting. Never have them fight good people of course. And they usually made good undead, too.

He could justify each and every single spell he cast as being for the greater good, and for good ends.

In reality, he was powergaming. The same tactics used against the party by enemies were horrible, nasty things, but not so when he used them. After all, he was CG...turning the power of evil against itself was just fair play, right?

Just look at the codes for LE and NE. Having a code where you don't do evil against a specific set of people doesn't hide the Evil of your actions. He used evil magic regularly and to his own benefit and power, and basically thought he could do so without consequence. His actions belied all his words.

And just like you, he claimed I was personally ruling against his almighty effective character to take it out of the game, when I had warned him multiple times about consequences of using evil magic.

he didn't want to play the character any other way, so he gave him up.

he made a great bad guy. The rest of the party was mostly neutrals, and the character didn't have any problem picking on Neutrals. So, once they 'kicked him out' for using Evil magic and 'besmirching their rep' (the justification for his new NPC status), he had no compunctions against using his tactics against them, and training any and all other mages to do the same thing. And that, of course, went south exactly as you might expect it to. I must have used his advancement template another dozen times over that campaign. Do you know that NPC wizards are awesome bad guys even if they have lower Wealth by Level? Because it is all about class levels and spells, not bling.

Man, they grew to hate the powergaming wizards that guy trained up. Charm spells, undead hordes, summoned and Called creatures galore, teleporting away at the first sign of danger only to come back with more minions to throw at them, all healed up. Yeah, they really grew to hate that NPC...who of course knew them really well and never bothered to fight them directly.

So, yeah, the character was a dick, and got what was coming to him. And when he started treating the PC's like they treated everyone else, and the neutral powers that be didn't give a damn for their actions coming back to bite them...yeah, that made an interesting campaign development.

It was pretty memorable. That NPC is still around, they never managed to track him down and kill him (hard to do for a wizard), but man, they sure wanted to. His tactics have spread into widespread use by many, many wizards. I imagine it's something like facing Ashiel's spellcasters, who'll use what is the best thing to use. Evil received quite the how=to leg up from that guy!

And their own fallen PC started it all.

So, you guys weren't there, you didn't know what was going on, and it was basically him saying I couldn't do this, when I warned him repeatedly I could and would, and I stuck by my guns. there was no 'suddenly' about it. He walked into it believing I wouldn't do it, and I did.

Kinda like the first time I actually killed a PC, way back when, but that's a different story.

Having the same tactics turned on them, with his new improvements, was quite the eye-opener, too.

They still talk about it. And when I start talking about Evil magic and the like, they all pay attention now. He thought he was an exception, and he wasn't. I play a bit grimmer and grittier campaign then you people do, I guess, and he thought he was going to be an exception to the rules. He wasn't.

And that's how it was. You should have seen the expression on his face when they got into one dungeon, only to find the remains of several old monster zombies, more denizens of the dungeon who'd obviously been killed twice (once charmed and once as undead), and all the loot gone and the wizard mark of his old character at the end of the dungeon...with all the animated undead left behind for them to deal with as a bonus...which is exactly what he did most of the time when they were clearing a dungeon.


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Tequila Sunrise wrote:

A point of curiosity directed at Aelryinth:

If I recall from the previous thread which got consumed by the IH debate, you stated that using an [evil] spell often enough would shift the caster (and the recipient?) toward Evil over time. I take this to mean that in your games, such a caster would find themselves having more and more selfish thoughts, and would eventually begin acting on those thoughts.

If so, I can see how this is easily acted out from your side of the screen: You control the NPCs, so they act as you deem appropriate. And when you explain how [evil] spells affect a caster to your players, most of them are probably more or less willing to either avoid casting [evil] spells while playing non-Evil characters or to act out the alignment shift. My question is: Have you ever had a player who decided that "I don't care if using IH makes my character hear voices; Evil is a choice, and my character continues making Good ones"?

He's deluding himself.

Casting IH is making an evil choice. He's a hypocrite. He can continue to think he's making good choices, but where it really matters, i.e. wanting healing, he stoops to using Evil because it's better and more convenient.

He could say whatever he wanted...his actions would speak for him, and soon enough he'd start popping the paladin's detect-o-meter, which has been a kind of 'oh s#+!' moment for some people when it happens. Of course there's the one guy who tried to make it seem like I was singling him out personally, but he's the same guy who thought he could stay CG while using Evil magic to good ends. I warned him, he learned otherwise. And since I don't allow Evil PC's when I GM, he had a choice of taking drastic action to reclaim his destiny, or becoming an NPC. I ended up with his character sheet, and he started someone new.

What happened to the new NPC after that was interesting, but that's a separate story.


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correct. The Rogue is way down on the totem pole. You don't make a Rogue or Fighter class that's the equal of what they are pick a target, say, Inquisitor or Barbarian, and aim to equal that class. Or a notch above them, like a paladin.

Can you just imagine what you'd have to do to a party to have a rogue or fighter as flexible and useful as a cleric?


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I was thinking of a variant Wounds/Vitality system as well.

Vitality would be akin to subdual damage, healed at the rate of your hit die type (d6 to d12)/hour, with a bonus for fighter-types (surges when combat ends and so forth). In effect, you could regain vitality quickly without needing a healer, it's the magical/stamina aspect of hit points.

Health would be harder to regain (level/day), and naturally represent actual physical injury.

Cure spells would only heal health. Potions would heal both, with health coming first. In essence, the 'intangible' protection of Vitality is harder to heal then the physical injury. This turns Vitality into something akin to Temporary Hit points, which are indeed harder to accumulate and keep then cure spells of the same level.

As for infliction...the PC determines which he'd like any injury to take, from health or Vitality. This takes the whole problems with crits away, and leaves the PC to manage their hit points as they see best.

If he thinks he'll have some time to recover, or its his first hit, or he's going to suck a potion, he'll take it off of Vitality.
If he wants it quick mended after the fight, or someone is throwing Cures around, he'll take it off of health.

As an aside, this explains why monster hit points are different from characters. Hit points gained from classes is almost all vitality. Hit die from racial hit dice (most monsters) is all health. So, you're inflicting grievous wounds on the giant while he's basically whiffing you...until he lands one solid blow and down you go. It provides a good difference between learned hit points and natural hit points.

PC's will have lower health then Vitality in most cases.

I let them take side levels in the Racial Levels from 3.5E, which gives them up to 3 racial hit die and ups their health. Otherwise, their base health is their first level of hit points from class, the rest is Vitality. Toughness also ups health.

This way, a 10th level character might have 20 health and 80 Vit, and a cure serious wounds could get two characters back to full Health. If they have 3 Human Racial levels, their Health is 3d8+Conx3, + Toughness, and can go up significantly.

Don't let crits automatically go against health, leave it the player's choice, and crit-fishing is no longer a problem. But a wounded fighter with Health low can still recover his Vitality fast, and be able to fight soon without leaning on a cleric or healing magic.

I thought it was a decent compromise.


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I suggest just giving your fighters extra stat bonuses, instead of doing this with feats.

Go back to the 3e Forsaker. Give them a +1 Inherent bonus to stats per Fighter level. This gets you more stats over time without giving them anything they wouldn't receive at extreme high level anyways. Indeed, if you use the 'We can Summon Efreeti excuse', it's giving them nothing they wouldn't have by level 13.

If you want to limit the abuse this causes, simply mandate that the inherent bonus always goes to the Fighter's lowest ability scores. This would allow the fighter to assign higher scores at creation, knowing that he'll get inherent bonuses to buy off lower point buy, but only over time.

This also has the benefit of being dependent on taking fighter levels, so not benefiting multiclassers.

This moves the stat raises from the territory of a free bonus that stacks, like your feat methodology, and simply to 'free gold' a few levels early.


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Magic almost always has an inbuilt element of change to it. The fireball you cast today may not be exactly the same fireball you cast a year from now. 'old and forgotten magic' is practically the foundation of this.

Science tends to get stronger as you advance it. Magic tends to be more powerful the further BACK in time you go. Hah!


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Magic vs Science often comes out of a Law vs Chaos conflict.

Magic is the ultimate expression of the worth of a single individual. But without that individual to manipulate the magic and make the magical things, magic is, in the end, worthless to the average man. There are whole classes of magic items that normal people simply cannot use because it requires a specific type of magical ability to wield them.

Science, on the other hand, is the triumph of many individuals into a pool of knowledge that ANYONE can use. Anyone can shoot a gun, not everyone can shoot a wand. Anyone can drive a car and learn to fix a car. Not everyone is going to figure out how to make a Stone Horse.

Science effectively becomes the collective power of a society pooled together and able to be accessed with education. The knowledge of magic pooled does absolutely nothing for those who can't actually wield just allows 'special' individuals to get stronger, and the fallout of their generosity may incrementally help people over time, but doesn't replace the broad, low power that science can bring.

of course, when those powerful magical individuals spend time and effort to undercut the advancing of science via using magic, it forestalls the advance since the incentive to find alternate ways evaporates in the short term. In the long term, being beholden to spellcasters makes you dependent, and society is better off with an alternative.
Also, science works by working with the existing laws of reality and mastering them. Magic is almost by definition manipulating the laws of reality in your favor. That's pretty much a natural opposition right there. For them to work together, you'd basically have to master the science that exists within the altered reality of a magical spell.


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The Zeitgeist AP (3rd party) has the rule that unbroken circuits of gold foil all teleporting. So, you can stop a mage using dimensional shenanigans by putting a gold bracelet on them, stop entry/exit via dimensional shifting into an area by running a gold thread through the walls around it.

A nice non-magical solution.


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Pathfinder overprices magical defenses because it doesn't want to take the fun of using those options away from spellcasters.

Having areas where you can't fly, teleport, summon monsters, or charm the natives into slavery is badwrongfun because of that.

meh. In any real world, defending against magical flight and teleporting would be far easier then actually being able to do such stuff.


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DrDeth wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:

I personally believe the defining point of low magic is access to healing.

As you slide the scale from no healing magic to frequent healing magic, you move from low to high fantasy. Nothing else is as important.

If you've another 'break point', please say so. But I believe healing is the magic that, if removed, has the greatest effect on the low/high feel of a fantasy setting.

Healing is a Critical point, yes- maybe even the most critical point if you include condition removal, etc.

But Transportation magic, esp Teleport etc is another Critical point.

Magic damage, oddly, is not.

Indeed, teleport is a huge and powerful thing. Teleportation makes your town the entire world, and you can laugh at the laws of kings and tyrants who simply cannot keep up with you if you choose not to let them.

However, assuming teleportation is limited to those who can cast it, the overall effect on a world will be minor. For individuals, it can be a defining thing, being able to walk out the door and into a city a thousand miles away. For society as a whole, it will be a 'meh' thing, because those who can teleport are outnumbered thousands to one by those that cannot and never will.

Permanent teleportation is also a huge security risk. So mass movement over distances like that is likely to have many, many folk opposed to it, especially those who don't like the idea of an uninvited army of foreigners. You'd have to have permanent teleportation circles and a lot of high level characters before this would actually start messing with a campaign.

But, yes, teleportation is Fantasy's version of hyperdrive and warp drive...the ability to get to a place fast, without having to slog through every stop on the road in between. How much is there is often one of the defining marks of high fantasy.


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It is only the monk's thing in 3E. In 1E, the fighter ended up the king of saving throws.

Seriously, as the only totally non-magical class, all good saves should be the core of the fighter. he's the one that actually needs them!

Kirth's condition immunities are an interesting approach. COmbined with all good saves, it really turns the fighter into the tank character of the party.

I'm still opposed to stuff that triggers to activate it with weird conditions the fighter can't control, especially as class abilities. If the fighter wants to blow a feat on something like that, hey, more power to him. But for ALL fighters? It just doesn't fit.


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I personally believe the defining point of low magic is access to healing.

As you slide the scale from no healing magic to frequent healing magic, you move from low to high fantasy. Nothing else is as important.

Take Warhammer RPG. You can throw lightning bolts, fireballs, and end up being able to teleport. But it's still a grim and gritty, low magic setting, because magic is rare, and there simply is not much healing magic around for anyone. People die of dumb stuff all the time in the setting. Warhammer never feels 'high' fantasy because of the healing access.

Having access to healing magic in all its forms allows you to do things you would never, ever dare without it, live through it, and more importantly, get right back into the fight. Worlds with powerful magic but no healing feel less high fantasy then they do hi-tech to me.

If you've another 'break point', please say so. But I believe healing is the magic that, if removed, has the greatest effect on the low/high feel of a fantasy setting.


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To truly make clerics unique and special you'd have to restrict the spell list by god, increase the relevance of domains, and have class abilities dependent on the god.

it is the god worshipped, not the domains, that are the ultimate definition of the cleric. Domains differentiate the clerics OF a god, but the religion itself is always the single most important thing that defines a cleric.

And needless to say, making up restricted spell lists for every single religion is not a task PF is ever going to undertake. That aspect of play is left to the PC's and style of play.


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Malachai, you're trying really, really hard to say that high BAB is not equivalent of excellent hand/eye coordination for the purposes of weapon-wielding, and I'm not buying it. It is indeed skill and practice and repetition, and how it manifests is improved hand-eye coordination in melee combat. You have greater control, focus, and deftness with your weapon from long practice. It's going to manifest as the equivalent of better precision and faster speed.

It's certainly not increased POWER, now, is it? Nor is it fantastic insight. A guy with 10 BAB and 12 Dex spinning around a weapon will be every bit as graceful and coordinated with his weapon as some guy with 5 BAB and 22 Dex. Except, of course, he gets twice as many attacks.

Driving a rapier through a chest can take tremendous force, if that torso is wearing a leather cuirass and not skin. it's night impossible if you are wearing scaled mail or a breastplate, and I don't even want to think about dragonscale.
Basically, unless you've a soft target, you're wrong on this point. And you are consistently arguing for soft, squishy targets to make your point. How about a treant? Gorgon? Elemental? Drake? IN effect, your argument is weapon design does what it does, it is not an argument for Dex. Indeed, you could say it's an argument against any ability bonus whatsoever to damage. Increasing the threat range also makes no sense, as I could make the same argument for ANY weapon that more penetration = better crit chance, and high Str definitely allows for more penetration.

I'm getting those figures from the real world. The highest level human who ever lived in reality might be level 6. The rest of us tend to be level 2-3. Elites might be 4th. The best in the world MIGHT be 5, but are likely just talented 3's and 4's.
And at low levels, stats are more important then levels for many purposes.

And no, that's not what you were talking about earlier. Old guys beat young guys is a trope, not reality, but it's a trope Pathfinder reflects in the level system.
Young guy beats old guy is reality, because in real life levels are limited and stat mods dominate when levels are limited.
Dexterous guy manhandles armored guy is a trope, it is NOT a reflection of reality. Barring a significant skill gap, armored guy will win that fight...that's why people wore armor for 3000 years to fights. So, armored guy beats unarmored guy has the advantage of both trope and reality on its side. INigo Montoya's victory is better reflected by the fact he's one of the greatest swordsmen in the land, i.e. high level, and the soldiers are mooks. IN 4E, they'd be 1 hp minions, there to be disposed of to show how awesome the characters are.

If you want to throw reality out the door, by all means. But you've been trying to justify it with reality, and it's just not the case. The problem we have with Dex to damage is not existence, it's that Str gets nothing to counterpoise it. Anything can be handwaved and arguments made for it in a magical realm.
But Strength gets no love in return, and every other stat chips away at it. Balance!


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If a fantasy world were actually 'real', the sheer amount of slaughter perpetrated by PC characters would have immense consequences.

Just imagine how invading orcs/goblins/giants/ogres would view parties of PC's going out there and ripping them apart day after day, hunting them down, slaughtering them, taking their stuff.

yes, PC's and the races they come from would be seen like demons, and the only way to fight those things is all out war or run. Nothing in between works.

PC's coming would be like a natural disaster on the way...pray you're going to survive, because death is on the wind.


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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

@Aelyrinth: I know it was me that set up the comparison. This is so we could compare Str and Dex.

You're saying that hand-eye coordination is a function of BAB, and I say it's a function of Dex. The game agrees with me.

When fighting with a rapier, the entire torso is target area, because being run through is far more deadly than any cut. A normal blow with normal Str will probably be fatal, whereas a slashing weapon will be stopped by the ribs, maybe breaking some.

I make no apologies for using rapier combat in my example, since we are discussing the subject of finesse weapons and whether Str or Dex is the most important ability score when fighting with them.

We can agree that strong is better than weak and dextrous is better than clumsy, no matter which melee weapon used. We can also agree that with most weapons the Str rating has more influence on the combat than the Dex rating. What I'm trying to point out is that when using finesse weapons Dex is more important than Str. In a game like Stormbringer, Str, Dex, and Int all modify your chances so this discussion wouldn't exist. But in PF/D&D only one ability can be used, so we must choose the ability that has the most influence. I've no objection to Str being used for most weapons, but Dex makes more sense for finesse weapons.

What this game system actually says is that Str is still the ability that modifies attacks with finesse weapons, unless you have special training in the form of the feat, and then you may use Dex instead. I've never heard any objection to that, even from you. I suspect that there may be objections to a feat that allows Con to attack!

The game system still has Str to damage with finesse weapons. Is it really so strange that extra training in the form of a feat, building on the training already put in to get Weapon Finesse, should result in using Dex instead of Str to damage, with finesse weapons?

Both experience and natural ability count. When taking a player who's shot 10,000 baskets (experience), do you think his...

Again, you're misconstruing what I'm saying.

Hand/eye coordination is one of the functions of Dex. When fighting, BAB is the skill that takes over, just like Dancing Skill takes over when doing that. It manifests as increased hand/eye coordination for purpose of what you are doing. As I noted before, a 10 Dex 10 Rank Dancer looks every bit as graceful as a 20 Dex 5 ranks dancer. Similarly, BAB manifests as increased hand/eye coordination in combat, above and beyond your stats. That's just what it IS.

The entire torso is a bad target if that torso is armored. It's why fencing is non-viable in serious melee combat.

A poke through the chest can slow you down and will eventually kill you. Hacking an axe into someone's chest will probably maim them and almost immediately cripple them. Both are lethal, but one stops the enemy's counterpoint.

Dex to damage doesn't make sense because 'precision hits' are covered by crits and/or sneak attacks. Furthermore, Dex to damage makes no sense against objects or hardness. Hitting a point accurately is a to hit roll, not a damage roll. Driving it in emphatically is a damage roll, and requires force and power, not precision. Precision already did its job.

As for the basketball, it's a ranged attack roll. Of course being clumsy will affect the shot. So would having an injured arm, for that matter, and so uneven Strength. But we abstract that all away and ignore it because we don't use a Wound system that penalizes for injury.

And the difference between the talented young guy and experienced older guy tends to be 1-2 pts, someone level 2-3 vs someone level 3-4. Of course stats matter more at low levels.

If he was a level 10 vs level 5, you'd see the gap. This is reflected in anime stuff where highly experienced older guys beat the snot out of talented younger guys, when in the real world it's completely the other way around. A level 20 with all stats at 12 will beat a level 10 with all stats at 20. But that's not the real world.

Even with finesse weapons, the ability to punch through a defense is important and useful. Better/worse is another argument. But saying you can't use strength with a precision weapon, especially with a high BAB, just doesn't compute.


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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

1) Malachai, you're doing it again. I never said Dex guy was weak...that's YOU. I've said Str guy and Dex guy, and just assumed equal stats in the main one and equal stats in the off one.

So not only are YOU the one mischaracterizing the combatants, you're trying to blame ME for it.
Can you understand why I'm not taking you seriously?

2) You're calling the ability to hit a skill, and then turning right around and saying it depends on Dex. I'm saying it's a skill, and complements a high Strength wonderfully.

2b) More words in my mouth. if you look at my examples you can clearly see I'm referring to your 'critical points'. the dex fighter MUST aim for the critical points. If he misses, his little pointy thing will bounce, be parried, avoided, and do nothing.
The Strength guy is ALSO aiming for those one shot kill points. But if he misses the 'point', his big heavy weapon can crush armor, break bones, stun, bruise, shock and do other things even if he didn't hit the primary target. Because it's a big heavy weapon.

3)The speedy blow, once launched, cannot be redirected...unless you're strong and it's a well-balanced blade. Also, it's not a thrust. If a fencer tries to stop a point-heavy greatsword that's just whisked through a third of an arc and is coming crosswise into his chest with his forte, he's not going to stop it with a parry...he's going to LOSE HIS HAND and probably the weapon in it. This is especially true when the weapon has 1-2 feet of reach on you!
You can't just knock away big heavy weapons coming in at velocity so easily. Thrusting weapons, sure. Ping, redirect momentum, especially nice, light things like rapier points. it becomes a bit harder with spears and 2h swords, and you can't really do it with crushing, cleaving and slashing weapons.
And there's also the problem that if you mess up, those casual hits break you wide open. A punctured lung is more survivable then a ten-inch bone-severing crash into your chest cavity.

And your entire martial tradition of fencing is based on foes not wearing armor, using shields, or wielding heavy weapons. A guy with a staff will clean your clock! You have no item of comparison to the true martial world to justify the viability of your weapons...except history noting that no fencing weapons were ever used until armor went OUT OF STYLE.

4) And lo, the Str guy has a lower AC then Dex guy. Wow, what news. Did I argue that point? no? Well, then.

Your restriction of the weapon to the rapier once again shifts the combat to a formal duel. What is the Str guy's best option here? It's to close in on the Dex guy and not pussyfoot around with footwork and parries. A formal exchange of blows back and forth is not a fight. Lack of armor plays directly to the Dex guy's advantage.
But, lo, the fact the str guy can get into the face of the dex guy and totally f'up his fighting style by getting inside his reach isn't occurring to you.

So, you've got this incredibly corner case example of Str vs Dex where all the conditions and rules favor the Dex guy. Please at least attempt some utility and realism.

5) Actually, it applies if the basket is trying to dodge, too, I'm afraid to inform you. Take the guy with average dex firing at a moving target with ten thousand rounds and some mook with high dex who has only fired 100 rounds. In reality, the guy with experience is going to be much better at hitting things then the guy with high coordination.

or to put it another way: This guy over here has killed ten thousand opponents X, and has average dex. This guy over here has killed 100 opponents X, and has great dex. Which is more dangerous?

6) Combat Skill/BAB translates directly to hand-eye coordination with the weapon you are using, just the way it translates to better dancing, better tightrope walking, better this, better that. You are better at putting the weapon where it needs to be at the moment you need it there. That screams hand-eye coordination. High combat skill IS hand-eye coordination for that purpose!
Sure, the Dex guy is better at ALL types of hand-eye coordination. But in combat, the Strength guy is also looking pretty. His training gives him what his stats do not.

And while you're focusing so incredibly intently on need for high coordination to hit a point in space, you're totally ignoring the need for Strength to penetrate the defense, be it armor/nat armor, speed to get the blow in Right Now, the force to overcome a block or parry, or the might to rattle something even if they do manage a block. Being able to align your blade precisely and deliver it to a point means nothing if you can't pierce the armor, beat the block, overcome the parry, or have enough force behind it to deal damage even if you miss your preferred target.

Dex only gives you half the attacking equation. Strength does all the rest.

It's these points which are really weakening your arguments, in addition to goalpost moving and putting words into my mouth, Marachai. we could go on with the total lack of realism of using a rapier against a dragon or grizzly bear, etc etc. But suffice it to say, the mere existence of decent armor in reality renders most fencing weapons completely useless.

History proved the point for thousands of years. As soon as armor comes onto the scene, you abandon fencing weapons for things that can actually penetrate a defense, not just hit a point in space.


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This is avoided in PF because of the inherent imbalance in bonuses.

A bonus to hit is intrinsically worth more then a bonus to damage. Just look at power attack. If I take my +2 weapon to +3/+1, 1 point of Power Attack now gets me to +2/+4. The trade off is not even, and its worse with a 2h weapon.

Defender and Guardian both sacrifice full bonuses for +1 to AC or to saves.

Statistically speaking, any smart player will take the opportunity to double their bonus to hit and assure damage of getting through. THis only becomes more important with higher damage numbers and multiple attacks.

The only time you would NOT do this is if it gets your hit % over 95%, which would be a waste.

If you could dump TH for damage, that would probably be okay...a small damage bonus isn't going to overdo anything.

But potentially doubling a bonus to hit is EXTREMELY powerful.


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Tryn wrote:

@ Aelryinth:

Some of your "solutions" aren't from PF at all others are so costly that no kingdom could buy it.

Regarding the Barbarian vs. Army:
Do you ever tried to hit a level 10 Figther/Barbarian/Paladin etc. with a level 3 character? no chance due to the high AC.
Which means 100 arrows fly.. no hit (even with a lucky shot 5 out of 100 will hit and deal.. no damage due to Magic items/DR/Potions etc).

I'm perfectly aware that defenses are vastly overpriced in Pathfinder and 3E. I'm saying they should be handwaved and their price vastly decreased because they are static and put into effect over long time periods. A ward that takes a month of rituals and some finely carved anchor stalae to cast and raise, and then made Permanent, should not cost 100000 gp to put in place.

Without cheap defenses, offense trumps defense in Pathfinder. It breaks the suspension of disbelief. These defenses should exist, because no military man in their right mind would leave those kind of holes. It's just plain STUPIDITY on their part. Yet, it's an accepted part of the game world.

You can do it in stories where magic is rare and so defenses would be nigh impossible to forge. But PF is rich in magic, and making it so easy to bypass defenses just suspends incredulity.

Example: WHY is it harder to stop something from teleporting, then it is to teleport?
Dimensional hopping takes energy to rip open the dimensions, make a connection to another point, and move you there. It's patently unnatural.
Reinforcing the Veil to make it nigh impossible to do that should be SIMPLE. You're helping reality do what it is supposed to do! Instead, it's a ceremonial clerical spell you can only apply to a place of worship, and 4th level. You can start dimension skipping at level 1!

DR only decreases damage, it doesn't stop it. Nat 20's will eventually wear anything down. And minor damage buffs like bardsong and cast spells aren't hard to come by.

If you have enough dweebs shooting arrows, the barb and the paladin are going to die, it's just simple math. He may inherit 50 arrows through his visor slit to make it happen, but it will happen.


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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Aelyrinth wrote:
1) yes, they are. Big guys can eye gouge and throat punch just like little guys can. And they're harder to block.

Clumsy big guys are less likely to execute a precise attack, and are easier to dodge/counter because they are slower.

2) Dexterity has nothing to do with it. He has the BAB, he moves faster because he has more power, and so he's harder to dodge and defend against. Conversely, it's easier for him to block some guy relying on precision and attacking fewer vulnerable spots.

Rubbish! There is such a thing as strength in real life, and there is such a thing as dexterity. But there is no such thing as 'base attack bonus' in real life. Trying to say that 'real' fighters have a high BAB is absurd.

If you mean 'skill', then there is skill in real life. But we are comparing equally skilled fighters, one with high Str/low Dex, and the other with high Dex/low Str. In order to compare these factors we must assume equal skill or the comparison won't work. So comparing these two, the strong guy might swing faster but he'll swing less accurately, therefore his attacks will be predictable. A dextrous fighter can start an attack in one vector and change the attack vector faster than the less dextrous guy can react to. Therefore the Str guy is likely to hit and more likely to be hit than the dextrous guy.


3) It's harder to move out of the way of someone who has more power and equal skill, and it's easier to get boxed in and herded. Blocking improperly can shatter a weapon and numb your whole arm. A low Str dex blocker has no choice but to try and evade and redirect. The Str guy, not being stupid, is going to minimize those options and force the dex guy to block with force. It's called smart fighting and leveraging your strengths. The blocker may expend less energy, but the Strength guy isn't expending a lot of effort to do what he does, simply because he's so much stronger and it's easier for him to swing the weapon. 

Str guy isn't going to

1) He's not CLUMSY. Where's this 6 dex argument coming from? He's a SKILLED COMBATANT with average Dex. He has excellent control of himself, he knows what to hit and where, and the power to get his blows where he wants them to land. Everything he wields is 'lighter' and easier to control because he's so strong.

BAB is combat and control with a weapon.

IF we were talking about clumsy big guys they are easier to hit, but happily they don't fight finesse style so restricting themselves to weak points is unnecessary.

2) There is indeed BAB in real's called experience in combat.
Your example falls down because now you're having Str guy fight stupid - Fewer options? He isn't reliant on hitting special points - he has more options. A miss from him is still likely to hurt and jar his opponent - that's the advantage of being brutally strong. A miss from his opponent isn't going to do anything.
The strong guy moves faster because he's stronger, all other things being equal. Dex is not speed of movement. Dex guy can react quicker, and he'll have to, to have any chance at a parry, but he's also at a penalty on the parry because he's weaker.

3) Wait, now you're moving the goalposts to FIGHTING STYLE? WTF? And Str guy is STUPID?
Rapier guy lunges...and his rapier bounces off STr guy's breastplate. He could have tried for the throat, but the Str guy's massive swordhilt safeguards the face and upper body, and all the damn armor is protecting the other vital spots.
Str guy's is moving forward as dex guy lunges and slams the hilt of his very big weapon into Dex guy somewhere,'s like getting hit by a mace. As Dex guy rocks back, a sword moving with the speed of a willow wand comes down, crashes through the desperate parry, and opens him up like a gourd. If he misses the throat, he hits the collarbone and either breaks it or cleaves it open.
I mean, COME ON. Now strong = stupid? If nothing else, Greatsword guy can thrust perfectly fine with his weapon...he can 2h Thrust with it, most greatswords have half grips designed to be used that way! And the hilts are virtual shields in and of themselves. You're talking stupidity in a duel completely set to favor a fencing style.

4) And if the Str guy is wearing a breastplate, his torso is fine. That puny rapier isn't going to punch through anything, and now his rapier is out of position and he's going to be hacked up. Indeed, unless he can somehow do an instant kill, the Greatsword guy is going to complete his motion and hack him in two, while the 2h guy deals with his little hole.
All he has to do is guard against a heart thrust, or shot to throat or eye. Rapier guy has to understand that unless he can somehow stop the 2h guy in midswing (and remember, you're talking 2 feet of extra reach) he's dead. He can't parry that sword, all he can do is dodge.
And the problem is, if that greatsword doesn't land's still landing. It can break bones, rupture skin, crunch armor. If the Dex guy DOES parry and can still crunch right through the parry and the armor and do what it needs.
You're equivocating that Str can't overcome a defense. Not all defenses are dodging. There's parrying and armor, and Str is much better suited to dealing with those, not to mention that the power and speed of a Strong man is better at getting to someone trying to dodge before a defense is effective then a precise thrust at average speed. You're equivocating that just because a blow is aimed precisely that it is going to land. Against a Dex guy, you respond correctly, or you get hit. Against a Str guy, you respond in time and with sufficient force...or you get hit.

And you automatically chose the biggest, slowest type of sword he can use. What if Str guy is also using a rapier? Do you still think that thing is going to be SLOW? He's going to be wielding it as easily as a feather and driving it like a piston!

5) No, that's where you're misunderstanding and extemporizing in favor of your beloved stat. Skill and repetition build control. Natural coordination makes you better at it, but doesn't do it all. Someone who practices ten thousand free throws can sink as many as some guy with 18 dex who has only done it a hundred times.
You seem to think dex covers ALL coordination. That's blatantly untrue. Every single skill that uses dex disproves you. Someone with 10 ranks of Dance and 10 dex looks as skilled and graceful dancing as someone with 1 rank of Dance and a 28 Dex.
You seem to think Dex does it all. It does's only a part of the combat cycle, and BAB is the 'skill ranks' that apply here.

6)Fighters develop BAB, and get exposed to different weapons to determine how to deal with them. But Finesse style is and has always been a niche for those warriors not strong enough to be effective otherwise.
It's REALITY. Simulating Inigo Montoya is fine. Now I want to simulate an armored knight, and that armored knight should kick Inigo's arse. Nobody used thin pointy swords in real combat for thousands of years because it didn't work when the enemy wore armor!
So, you are abandoning reality arguments for "I want" arguments. I have no problem with that, but just be clear that the 'real basis' for what you want Does Not Exist.

7) If we're dealing with lack of reality, I have no problem with Dex to damage if Strength gets the counterbalancing utility feats. I would prefer Dex to damage to be precision damage, at the very least, but if Strength gets some feats to boost AC and other stuff and not rely on Dex for those, I'm happy from a balance standpoint.

Your stance of ENTITLEMENT and 'this is how it should be' to such is what I am opposed to.


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Malwing wrote:

Somewhat related question; Say that a Wizard can cast as many spells as he wants per day, however the wizard can only prepare one spell at a time. Preparing a spell takes a full round action that provokes. What should that wizard's spell progression look like to remain balanced?

Part of the logic behind this question is that magic is allowed to get very powerful because it is a limited resource but what if that limit were diminished? what should be the most powerful spell if spells were not limited to slots?

You'd have to have extremely limited spells known.

This is basically taking the sorcerer's shtick, being able to cast the same spell multiple times, and blowing it wide open with unlimited casting.

If the wizard has access to any spell he likes, and he can cast it an unlimited number of times a day, this will play absolute hell on game balance.

1) There will be no lower level spells. why have monster summoning II when you can cast M Summon V all day along? Why have levitate when you can spam overland fly for the party?

2) the power of long term buffs will be magnified. Since the wizard never runs out of slots, stopping every ten minutes to prepare and cast Shield is a wise tactical decision. Renewing buffs on the rest of the party on a regular basis is basically the same as having them up all the time. Expect steroid monsters all the time.

3) the usefulness of wands and scrolls will drop away without severe limits on spells known. Since the wizard never runs out of spell power, he will never need these items for spells he knows.

4) Non spellcasters will be completely overshadowed by the wizards ability to spam powerful spells, particularly Summons. Other casting classes will be thrown into the shadow of the unlimited casting power of the wizard.

Note that while they gave unlimited casting to the 3e Warlock, they severely curtailed and controlled what 'spells' he had access to. Since his spells were always intrinsicially less powerful then casters of the same level, he never overshadowed them even if he could outlast them.


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It's from Harry Potter. :)

And don't get me started on the screwy defensive magic of the Potterverse.

The tools are there in 3e+...they're just made too expensive or too limited to use. It's like offense trumps defense, as long as it's magical.


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Here's some suggestions for static defenses I like to use in my homebrew.

Interdiction: This is a combination of Proof against Teleportation and Forbiddance. It completely blocks the Veil in a radius of 10'/caster level, and can be made permanent. The Spell can be cast at any level from 1 to 9, it adds that level to the level of the spell required to enter. So, an Interdiction cast from a 3rd level slot would force you to blow an 8th level slot to teleport into or out of it, or a 5th level slot to blink. Creatures that can't Raise their magic, such as most spell like abilities, simply can't get around the defense.
By Casting the Interdiction from a higher and higher level slot, even the most minor bendings of the Veil become impossible to accomplish.
This tactic shuts down incorporeality, etherealness, and dimensional hijinks, as well as the entire Summoning school.

Stillflight Field: This AoE comes from a combination of Earth and Air magic, and completely neutralizes magical flight. I.e. if you aren't a natural creature that can fly in our world, you can't fly. This prohibition extends to even creatures that are not material or are shapechanged...they are treated as their original forms.
So Dragons, Ghosts, Elementals and other flying monsters hit the edge of the Stillflight Field and fall out of the sky, as do polymorphed mages and t~#*s using Flying magic and effects.

Devoted SPell Engines: This 8th level spell from 1E stopped all spellcasting and activating of magic within it's 10'/level radius, while actually making it easier for spellcasters to sleep and regain spells. It could be destroyed by hitting it with any magical item, but this is easily gotten around by simply sealing it behind a stone wall.
In addition, simply make up a magic item attuned to this particular Engine that makes amulets that harmonize with the field it produces and render you immune to its spells. Every morning, the existing amulets disintegrate, and 8 new ones reform on the item for dispersal, so they cannot be stolen by enemies.
You now have spell supremacy within your stronghold.

Wardfields: This is like Forbiddance, without the Clerical requirement. The default should be Protection from Evil within the area of effect, along with Protection from Scrying. This neutralizes charm magic on your people, stops magical control across its bounds, prevents extraplanar creatures from entering, and means you cannot be spied upon by magic.

Continuous Faerie Fire: This spell could be set to an area, limning everything within the area of effect...especially the invisible, or those hiding in shadows. In particular, it changed color when touching magical items, spells, or effects.
Adjust the spell to only show non-attuned magic, including magical beings, and infiltration becomes nigh impossible.

Elemental Stone: Every hardpoint should have a devoted major Earth Elemental whose job is simply to shut down burrowers, collapse tunnels, and combat things trying to earthglide in the vicinity of the building. Powering a wardfield that forces earthgliders and burrowers to the surface as if the surrounding earth was made of solid iron would be a priority.

This kind of thing should be STANDARD in any campaign that wants to have secure hardpoints, i.e. castles. I submit that they should all be basically cast spells in Ritual, with components typical of making a spell Permanent, and with caster level/spell level easily upgradeable to reinforce defenses over time.

Seriously, can you picture any king's court where divination magic was allowed to work on his courtiers, and enchantment magic allowed to seize the thoughts of a realm's rulers? It makes no sense whatsoever.


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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:
Those operations are as available for strong guys as dexterous guys.

No, they're not.

The problem is that for the dexterous guys, its the ONLY way to viably fight, since they can't trade one for one.

And the problem for the high Str/low Dex guy is that he's not dextrous enough to accurately aim and hit these precise spots, making him suffer in comparison to the high Dex/low Str fighter.

That means it's EASIER to defend against a finesse fighter, who also finds it harder to block.

But easier to move out of the way. Blocking takes less strength than attacking, because you parry with the forte of the blade, and redirect the blow. Which benefits from high Dex.

Not only must he block normal blows with all his energy, but additionally these 'crit blows' that currently are not permitted. The strong guy, meanwhile, easily fends off the normal blows and only has to be truly concerned about the crit blows.

'Crit blows' are more deadly, so the more you have to face the more likely one is to land.


And again, Dex isn't the 'to hit' stat. You're totally ignoring the fact that a high Str gives you much, much better control over your weapon. 'Greatsword wielded like a willow wand' is a trope, it's used so often. A high Strength character has superb control over his weapon because it doesn't take him effort to control it, and can move it very, very fast. He has control, and he has POWER.

Finesse only has control.

You're talking about a fighter who not only has high Str but hasn't dumped Dex. No-one will argue that being high in both is better!

High Str gives you the potential to use a greatsword like a willow wand, but with low Dex your control will suck.

A Str dumped fighter wouldbe a poor greatsword fighter, but we have a solution for that: finesse weapons!

For 3000 years, NOBODY used finesse weapons on a battlefield. Finesse weapons weren't used in duels until NO ARMOR came along and made

1) yes, they are. Big guys can eye gouge and throat punch just like little guys can. And they're harder to block.

2) Dexterity has nothing to do with it. He has the BAB, he moves faster because he has more power, and so he's harder to dodge and defend against. Conversely, it's easier for him to block some guy relying on precision and attacking fewer vulnerable spots.

3) It's harder to move out of the way of someone who has more power and equal skill, and it's easier to get boxed in and herded. Blocking improperly can shatter a weapon and numb your whole arm. A low Str dex blocker has no choice but to try and evade and redirect. The Str guy, not being stupid, is going to minimize those options and force the dex guy to block with force. It's called smart fighting and leveraging your strengths. The blocker may expend less energy, but the Strength guy isn't expending a lot of effort to do what he does, simply because he's so much stronger and it's easier for him to swing the weapon.
Str guy isn't going to do tap parries like a fencer. He's going to crash the weapons together and force the dex guy into playing his game. Kindly keep in mind that he has POWER, and the finesse guy does not.

4) Crit blows are less likely to land, and everyone goes for them and knows where they are vulnerable. IF all you are throwing are crit blows, you're easy to defend against.

5) No, I'm talking about a Str fighter who has BAB. You keep ignoring the fact that BAB is coordination, control and skill in combat...BAB lets you hit stuff. BAB is all the finesse a Str guy needs. ANd he has the Strength to turn his BAB from endless hours of combat into control, precision and power.

6) Short swords are finesse weapons and been used in armies for three millennia. Likewise knives. Chains existed. So did stick fighting.
Finesse weapons existed. nobody used them finesse style, because in reality, finesse style doesn't work when you have to deal with armor and active defenses. Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee weren't awesome because they had high Dex. They were awesome because they were really, really good, much better then their opponents (higher BAB)...and they were STRONG.

7) And thank you, it's not about fear, it's about equality. I turn that around and think you are the on suffering from fear that you won't get the option, and you want it.

I can see Dex being a heightened control option. It's inefficient, but if you are really good at it and train hard (i.e. burn a feat) it's viable.
Dex to damage makes no sense at all. Superior coordination does not help you chop down a tree or pound through a brick wall, and you should not do more damage as you get smaller. Everything lauded about 'more accurate blows' is a function of BAB and crits. It has nothing to do with Dex.


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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Oly wrote:
Tell that to a very skilled and quick (but weaker) Flyweight who wonders why he can't beat Heavyweights in MMA. In a fair fight, they aren't equal.

That's as false as modern fencing.

MMA is a sport, not actual fighting. You are not allowed to insert anything into any orifice (no eye gauging etc.) for example. Basically, any deadly attack available to a real skilled, dextrous fighter is nullified by the rules, while strength is hardly hampered.

Meanwhile, a real smallsword could easily pierce and kill a target, no matter the low Str of the attacker and high Str of the target. This is why some weapons should definately use Dex to attack and damage, simply because that is how they are designed.

You're not allowed to 'crit' and 'one shot kill' in MMA.

Those operations are as available for strong guys as dexterous guys. The problem is that for the dexterous guys, its the ONLY way to viably fight, since they can't trade one for one. That means it's EASIER to defend against a finesse fighter, who also finds it harder to block. Not only must he block normal blows with all his energy, but additionally these 'crit blows' that currently are not permitted. The strong guy, meanwhile, easily fends off the normal blows and only has to be truly concerned about the crit blows.

Big Guy beats Small Guy if skills are equal. IT's a truism and a trope. We don't have fractal edge blades in reality, which turn everything into touch attacks. If we did, yeah, Dex would be the killer melee stat. But in reality, things are solid, weapons have weight, people defend as well as dodge, and armor exists. All those are things that Dex does not help you with.

Any sword will cut right through a target. They are MADE TO DO THAT. So will an arrow! You still have to hit the right spot and get past the defense.

And again, Dex isn't the 'to hit' stat. You're totally ignoring the fact that a high Str gives you much, much better control over your weapon. 'Greatsword wielded like a willow wand' is a trope, it's used so often. A high Strength character has superb control over his weapon because it doesn't take him effort to control it, and can move it very, very fast. He has control, and he has POWER.
Finesse only has control.

BAB is the control stat. Everything else is style.

For 3000 years, NOBODY used finesse weapons on a battlefield. Finesse weapons weren't used in duels until NO ARMOR came along and made them viable. The entire swashbuckling combat style in reality is dependent upon opponents who are NOT WEARING ARMOR. Gunpowder weapons, forcing opponents to ditch armor, were the things that opened up any viability for the finesse style.

So the game is already being liberal with reality by allowing swashbuckling to exist at all. In reality, a swashbuckler's best option when faced with a guy in plate armor is to RUN AWAY.

So, let's stay away from reality here, aye? It's about balance.

Introduce two feats that give Strength builds some of the advantages of Dex builds, and there will be balance and nobody will care.

5E does this. There's advantages and disadvantages for both styles.

There's no balance in PF for this. There's NO REASON why you would not EVER take dex to damage on a dex build melee. None. There's no feat to equal its effect on damage. It allows you to weren't a Str build before, you aren't giving up anything, you're only gaining. No balance, no tradeoff.

Give it a counterbalance for the strength side of the equation, and life is fine.


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JoeJ wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:
Modern Rapier has no weight classes because it's not fighting. It's scoring touches. Touches have literally NOTHING to do with strength, it really is pure finesse. The killing factor in Rapier fencing is REACH, and it's counterbalance is SMALLNESS. The one means you can lunge and be immune to riposte, and the other means you have no cross-section and are nigh impossible to land a touch on.

In other words, it's a much better model of actually fighting with deadly weapons than any form of unarmed fighting sport. In real combat, any clean hit will usually end the fight.

Aelryinth wrote:
Let me reiterate: Most of the opposition for a Dex to damage feat comes from the fact there is no counterbalancing Str to Utility abilities feat. If such existed as a counterpoint, Dex to damage opposition would fade away.

You don't need a feat to make strength extremely; it already is. And there's no good reason to require a feat in order to use finesse weapons with finesse. That's like requiring a feat to be able to aim a crossbow; anybody proficient with the weapon at all already knows how to do that.

"Clean Hits" happen in unarmed combat all the time. People don't go down. You can one-shot someone with UA combat, ask any experienced military guy. It's just deuced hard to do when the person knows you are there.

You're talking about crits and kill shots. 'Clean Shots' are very hard to land because people DEFEND AGAINST THEM. So, it's a very lousy way of representing true combat. I mean, seriously, a tall guy running up chest to chest with a shorter opponent and using his height to stab down from above for a touch would simply GET HIM KILLED in a real fight. In fencing, totally legit move.

Ever try to land a rapier touch on someone 4'8 who knows what they are doing? They have no cross-section, they can parry everything you throw at them with minimal effort. In a real fight, someone that small is going to get hurled around and be unable to parry a heavier weapon from a stronger person, and die.
Strength affects ability to carry things, and TH/DMG. And 2 skills.

Dexterity can affect TH, is being argued for damage, reflex saves, Armor Class, initiative, and what, 9 skills?

You're trying to balance "I can carry lots stuff and maybe make Strength checks" against AC, Initiative, reflex saves, and multiple skill checks?

In response to Weapon Finesse, give Str guys their Strength bonus to Reflex saves when in armor.
IN response to Str to damage, let Str guys use their Str bonus instead of their Dex bonus for AC when in medium or heavier armor, reflecting their ease of moving around which a wimpier person just can't do. And it would have the side effect of letting every fighter max out his Class bonus to AC, too!


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Mordo the Spaz - Forum Troll wrote:
boring7 wrote:
Caster level isn't actually a prerequisite, it's just how the DC is set. Of course,that means you have to make a DC 25 spellcraft check or fail

Heh. Item create DC is 5 + caster level. Fail DC by 5 or more make cursed item.

By FAQ/Errata can pick caster level. "He can set the caster level to whatever he wants (assuming he can meet the crafting DC)"

Pick caster level huge. Fail DC. Useful for beguiling gift.

Fuss fun. Not useful. Educational! Hope Unchained learns. Even more fun is 7gp magic item can destroy a city economy.

That example is taking extreme liberties with the rules.

1) Dividing the price by charges per use is basically restricted to Staves. In all other cases, you'd simply create items with fewer charges.

2) The only normal items with charges are wands and staves. The rest tend to be unique magic items (like the gems on a Helm of Brilliance).

3) Dividing the price by uses/day is restricted to permanent magical items, not spell completion items. The price difference is a part of the base cost. The logic behind this is simple...a potion is a charged item, usable 1/day. Since it only has 1 charge and is only usable once a day, it's price should really be 1/5th of what the players are being charged, right? YEt that's what you went right ahead and did...divided the cost of a wand by 5, while keeping full charges.

So, you'd apply rule #1 to that Cantrip device, and instantly see that it's equivalent to a wand, and should use the wand rules. The uses/day rule only applies to permanent items, so is not applied.
So, you'd pay for the wand the same as any other. If you want a wand that anyone can use, like a potion, you'll have to double the price.

4) The economics are completely bogus. The actual value of that cantrip maker is 375 gp, like any other 0 level device. If it's a permanent device usable 1/day, it's 2000 gp (base 2000 x .5 cantrip x 1st level x 1/5th). Since it's just a wand in another form, you can't make it with 'partial charges', i.e. use 5 charges an activation, so really a 10 charge wand. You pay for all 50.

Secondly, it is introduced as a cost without a benefit. In other words, the people who 'must' pay for it suddenly aren't rewarded for it.
If you 'must' pay for it without a benefit, then you Don't Pay for it. that's economics. Even if that benefit is 'retain market share', you must get a benefit to shell out the money. Since none of that happens, nobody is going to pay.

That cantrip has value to the average craftsman only at one point...when his skill modifier is low by 1. If the cantrip can push it that 1 pt, then the craftsman can suddenly make something masterwork and reap extra rewards.

But there is no difference in the game pricewise between a DC 12 rope and a DC 15. It's just rope.

Now, if you were making armor, those have scaling DC's, and +1 allows you to make a better suit of armor. If that widget was only 7 gp, that might well be worth the investment of going from making plate to full plate (heck, it'd be a 'raw material cost', if you like). Alas, it's far more expensive then that.

If he's at +9, and the cantrip pushes him to +10, he can then make masterwork. It'll cut into his profits, but the extra funds might even be enough to compensate. Unfortunately, guidance doesn't last long enough to affect 8 hours of crafting work like it has to.

The main value to the cantrip is contested skill checks, such as bluff vs Sense Motive and the like. For these, every random bonus is useful, and the +1 MIGHT give you the edge. But only someone who has money to burn would pay this level of price for an uncertain and minor benefit.

4) The duration of the bonus is 1 minute or until you roll. Craft checks are for 8 hours of work. The cantrip will have NO BENEFIT to any crafter.

5) What would actually happen is that the druids would come into town, and their market might be the courtier engaging in contested skill checks. Nobody else is going to look twice at their offering, because they won't get any economic gain from shelling out the money. Nor will anyone buying their wares see any benefit, so they'll 'make do' with the cheaper stuff that is just as good in all ways. Which is also economics.

The rare corner case where someone is at +9 and the widget pushes him to +10 might be a case, too, if you can find a way to make it last 8 hours for a crafter.

If the widget DOES make an item going from DC 15 to 16 more viable, then guess what? The cost of the wand will be reflected directly in the price of the item, plus a profit level. In other words, the shopkeeper would charge 3x the amount of money spent on cantrip charges as a 'raw material' to recover his costs, and that's what everyone would pay for the item that isn't really any better, it just looks like it.

It would be a fool's play on all sides, and unless charm magic or coercion was employed, have little to no effect on the local economy.
So, in summary, that's not a 7 gp item unless you ignore all the magic item creation rules; there must be a benefit if people are willing to put up with the cost; it must last long enough to be useful; and that cost must be definable and logical in order to be shouldered. In most cases, nobody is going to bother to buy the widget, as there's no benefit for doing so in game terms. The only 'leap' in quality is masterwork, which is less a leap in quality then a whole new level. DC 30 plate mail is exactly as valuable as DC 17 in the game.

as for the shelf space example...that's simply a case of underselling glossed up in pretty language. Underselling your competition has been used since trade existed. The competitors had to cut prices and match you to keep their market. Standard fare. It's just a bidding war.

Can you tell I've an economics and finance masters degree?


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Well, if we're totally throwing realism out the window, then a feat that gives a Str wielder the benefits of a high Dex would serve as proper counter-balance, and str and dex become interchangeable.

That solves all the problems, right?


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