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The answer for circumstance doing what you want to is...No.
Circumstance in this instance means 'GM Fiat'. Circumstance will not suffice to overcome a 5 or 10 level difference in ability, time after time after time. You're basically saying the character got to where he is based on luck...and as soon as he faces a real challenge where GM fiat will be bonedead obvious, he'll fold.
Circumstance bonuses are usually +2, and they aren't given out all the time...which is basically what you're saying is done here. Instead of being a lucky award once in a while, you're basically forcing the NPC to exist on them, which doesn't follow the rules. After all, other NPC's should be getting those same bonuses too, right?
So, the only way to truly compare ability is straight up innate skills, feats, what have you.
WHen it comes down to it, the math of Pathfinder does not allow you to do what you want with any sense of realism. If you have a low level ruler, its because there's some high level people backing him and keeping him in that position, while real power rests elsewhere. Rulers In Name Only aren't that uncommon in history, by the way...the whole idea of Shogunate Japan is based on real power resting with the maternal grandfather of the Emperor, and being effectively the head of the government. The people can revere the low level and isolated Emperor, but all the power was in the hands of the head of a powerful family that had cut and thrust its way into the position of power.
The fallacy of your argument, Nearyn, is that your fluff will never be backed up by numbers.
You can indeed make a low level character with influence...with lots of other low level characters. To higher level characters, she will be a flunky, and simply not be able to do their job better then they, because she doesn't have the numbers.
If she somehow manages to overcome them and prevail...she has earned xp, has leveled, and is now an equal.
The difference in high level NPC's and PC's is pretty simple - the PC's tend to gain levels rapidly, and NPC's tend to gain them over years.
But all your fluff, for the REd Mantis or a King, is about those NPC's building their influence, EARNING XP as they do so, and become badass as they do so. Otherwise, as soon as they start trying to spread influence, someone with a higher modifier then them is going to stop them cold and walk all over them.
Earth politics don't work in Golarion. A low level character MUST have the support of high levels to rule, and will, in essence, be a puppet ruler. The only way he can shake free of being a puppet is to become greater, to gain the xp and the levels, until he's built personal and social power to the point where he can shake off the domination of others and be a true ruler...where his numbers now back his fluff.
And if we're talking about positions that have to be earned, not inherited...survival of the fittest will cleanse off the unworthy very quickly.
You can GM fiat anything you want, but the numbers won't back you. And if you're trying to make a believable world, that's a strike against you.
Trying to compare Golarion to Earth, where no one has ever exceeded level 6, just isn't going to work. As is pointed out, the gap is too much between high and low levels. Sure, between level 4 and 6 people you can make the gap work, but a ten level gap?
Nope. Nobody is going to believe it. And you're trying for believability as much as flavor.
If you want to make a 'weak' ruler, just use NPC or ROgue levels. They won't have personal might. But anyone with tons of ranks in social skills can be a political force...as long as they take the steps to protect themselves against magic which sidesteps all their skills. The ease with which magic can derail uses of skills would fairly force people to higher levels of competence to overcome that problem, too.
Push/Pull magic energy.
Every other round, the agitated kaiju pulses with energy, either erupting with writhing streamers of wild magic, or swelling as the magic in the area is sucked back into it. These effects occur even if the kaiju is polymorphed or otherwise incapacitated.
Round 1: Eruption of wild magic, 600'r. All magic use must make a DC 42 concentration check or be subject to a wild magic surge. Existing spells must weather a CL 26 dispel check or erupt into wild magic surges (the kaiju is immune to the effects of these surges). Has no effect on magic items.
Rinse and repeat as desired.
Archetypes should be feat trees maybe 2-3 feats long.
Restricting special powers from Archetypes is just a kick in the teeth to the Fighter, since many of them should just be rote fighter abilities, anyways. Taking a class that has all those feats and then introducing a bunch of class features that are often little more then modified feats and classifying them as archetype abilities is just wrong.
I actually don't have a problem with the 10 skill points, but I address it the other way.
I took a page from Kirthfinder, renaming Sneak Attack Progression to Cunning...which is a word that conjures up a nice synthesis of smart and fast.
1) For each point of cunning, the Rogue gains an extra skill point per level and names an additional skill as a class skill. (Note, the Rogue starts with 4 class skills (Stealth, Perception, Bluff, Disable Device) and four more of their choice).
2) For each point of Cunning the Rogue deals an additional point of precision damage when using a finessable weapon. If the attack qualifies as a Sneak Attack, they instead do d6's.
3) For each skill at maximum ranks, the Rogue gains a +Competence bonus equal to his Cunning modifier to that skill.
This accomplishes the following:
1) The Rogue will always be King of Skill points. At level 20, he will have more skill points then a 36 Int Wizard. Take that!
2) Rewards Weapon Finesse and a roguish fighting style with a damage buff...and stays away from Dex to damage.
3) Making the skill buff a +competence modifier turns it into a gold saving buff, not something broken by being super-stackable.
4) Lets the Rogue determine what skills are important to her and take them as class skills. This is basically what Experts do...and the Rogue is the martial expert, just like the Fighter is the more martial warrior.
Note: All the skill boosting feats also make those skills class skills for a Rogue. So, taking Scholar (+1 all Knowledge skills) also makes all Knowledge skills class skills. So the Rogue also gets rewarded for a high Int.
But note that Rogue Talents and Cunning are basically the class resources at levels 1 and 2. The Rogue has a TON of empty levels, which no none spellcaster should have. So, those levels have a lot to be filled.
Most of the Talents need to be rewritten to synergize with skills and actually be class features, instead of proto-feats.
Meh, I made Bravery REALLY useful in my rebuild. I retitled it Resolve, and added sub-fuctions:
1) Brave -Grants the bonus to fear saves. BUT...synergizes and enhances IRon Will for the same amount. Many feats are enhanced by Bravery, especially skill or mental-oriented ones.
In effect, it's almost as good as a lay on hands, but only for the fighter. Converting to non-lethal means he only actually 'heals' at level/hour, but it's still MUCH better then nothing.
And since 'real' healing does double effect, healing non-lethal AND lethal damage at the same time, he gets double out of healing spells.
If you're going to make it a useful class feature, then make it a useful class feature. One that solves multiple problems with the class. And the fact it's broader then a magical ability in some respects is a point for it, not against it. As it stands, its about equal to 2.5 feats...making it really nice, but certainly not broken, given the base it works on.
BTW...if you really want to make weapon groups important, you should seriously think about restricting weapon proficiencies.
I recommend the following:
1/2 BAB classes start with proficiency in 2 simple weapons, period. They can spend skill points if they want to be proficient in more.
3/4 BAB classes start with all simple weapons, and 2 weapons from their class list of allowed weapons (martial, monk, rogue, whatever). They can spend skill points to acquire more weapon profs from that list.
Full BAB classes are proficient in a number of martial weapons equal to their starting skill points (and all simple weapons), with the exception of the fighter and the paladin, both of whom start with proficiency in ALL martial weapons (the fighter because he has trained with them all, and the paladin as a gift from his empowering patrons, like his armor profs).
This makes that first level of being a Fighter truly valuable. He can pick up any non-exotic weapon and use it, something most of the other martial classes can't do. It also means that other martial classes are going to have favorite weapons from the get go.
Proficiencies actually have some value under this system.
You don't make 'fighter only' feats. You make feats that reference fighter class features. i.e. Bravery, Armor Training and Weapon Training.
There are no 'barbarian only feats.' There are Rage Powers. There are no 'paladin only feats'. There's Extra Mercies, Aura feats, smite things.
Etc. Follow that example.
As has been stated a hundred times, the fighter's problem is not DPR. He does fine on DPR. It's his saves, his skills, his versatility/adaptability to different conditions, and his ability to influence the metagame outside of combat. A non-magical combatant should have access to options that defy and/or neutralize magic.
Unfortunately, the standing Paizo system is that 'magic is better', not 'anti-magic is viable'. And so things that work against or without magic are underpowered or next to useless, except a very few that stand out, and come from classes with Supernatural or Magical edges (Barbarian Superstition and Spell Sunder, Paladin Cha to all saves and Immunities, etc).
You could take the base fighter as it is now and fix it by having feats that are actually worth being called class features. You know, equal to rage powers.
Since those don't exist, Fighters suck.
Fighters should be the Master of feats (more then anyone by a significant #, unlike it is now), the Sage of Feats (mastering them with little problem) and the Lord of Feats (getting more out of feats then any other class).
They fail to qualify on all 3 counts. Hence, they suffer.
Fighter feats should reference fighter class abilities, just like feats for specific other classes do (rage powers, mercies, sneak attack, etc). And Fighters should be able to scale feats without spending more feats to do so.
Until there's a feat re-write, fighters are going to suck. that's just how it is.
They did the 'narrow band' in the Worlds of Golarion book about the solar system, and back in Wildspace for Spell jammer, as well. It's an old and loved spaceworld trope, like Ringworlds and Dyson Spheres.
61: You know that old wives tale that the planet rests above a glowing bowl, carried by four elephants who stand atop the back of a great tortoise that swims through and endless ocean of stars? COmplete hogwash.
There are FIVE elephants.
Actually, casters generally get things that increase their versatility and options, because they've got power and weaknesses covered with their spells.
This is why they start rapidly intruding on the jobs of other classes. All a caster needs to be more powerful...is more spells. And unlike feats and skill points, there's tons of ways to get this kind of thing.
Looks like 4E, to tell you the truth.
And you are incorrect, combining skills devalues the original skills they consist of. If I can get climb, swim, jump and ride for 1 skill point, instead of 4 skill points, the value of each skill class just dropped by 3/4.
Each SKILL POINT is more valuable, sure, but the skills themselves are worth less. When its 10 pts for Perception vs 20 pts for Spot and Listen, I'll happily take the former...which is exactly what happens with most people. Paying only ten points makes it a cheaper investment!
The gap between 'trained' and 'untrained' skills is pretty big as you level. I like the current +3 because it's large enough to make a difference and low enough to still be relevant. As your levels progress, your untrained, or cross-trained skills, simply won't be able to keep up with escalating skill DC's. By 20, a wizard who trains himself in Perception with some of the extra Skill points from his 34 Intelligence is at a -10 penalty on the roll vs level-appropriate stuff. He's basically going to fail every time vs equal foes, meaning it is almost a complete waste of time for him to invest in out of class skills...except that is all he's got left to do at this point.
having more skills available is a very small amount of additional paperwork. All the rules for the DC's still have to be in place even if you combine them.
I think you are overthinking this some. If you really want to restrict characters to class skill lists, its a decent way of imposing a penalty by venturing outside the zone. At the same time, it takes away a large amount of free will and customization of the class doing this kind of thing.
as has been pointed out, you don't need massive Ranks in a class to hit some DC's, especially for NPC/out of combat checks. Your version basically has this as all or none.
So, eh, not a big fan of how you're doing this. Sure, it'll streamline the accounting. But it takes away a lot of choices for doing so.
You would probably be better off changing the rules so as to allow what full attacks mean and are capable of.
Normal: You can move up to a double move and make a strike.
Vital: You can make a single move, or take a charge action, and deliver a Vital Strike. (This sets a precedent of decreasing movement = more damage). You may do this as part of a Spring Attack, as well.
Full Attack: You can make your normal move and deliver a full attack.
Full Vital Strike: You may make only a 5' step. You gain a bonus of +2 TH, Ac, or saving throws (your choice) until the beginning of your next turn, with an additional +1 per iterative attack after the first. Your first blow is a vital strike, the rest are normal attacks.
Note: Monsters that can do a normal move and full attack will be VERY dangerous.
Since PFS is limited to 12th level, Fireballs will probably work fine for your end go-to spell.
But if you can get your caster level above 15, Swapping up spell specialization to Firesnake means you can now do 20d6+40 base damage.
Spell Perfection is the key here, however. Being able to say "here, take 140 points of damage, save for half" is generally quite powerful, even before you Empower it.
Oh, and demons aren't immune to fire, they've just got some resistance against it, unless they are subtype (fire). They are immune to LIGHTNING. Except succubi, who oddly are fire immune, too...
Devils are immune to fire, also.
You asked for my opinion on this. Mmm. The problem is that I am grossly biased against 'point pools'. I don't care if they are called performance rounds, rage rounds, grit points, panache, ki points, arcana, or whatever. They are all the same thing...trying to call a magical effect by another name to make it seem non-magical.
I understand the simple appeal behind them. It gives the player something to do at a pivotal moment, and treat them to a unique suite of buffs that other classes can't cut in on without having that particular pool. The barb and bard classes in particular have fully embraced pools of points to stand above most other classes of similar ability. In the barb's case, it's 'justification' for getting the best combat feats in the game...Rage Powers. For Bards, loads and loads of buffing without ever having to cast a spell that just gets stronger with level. So not only do you get more of the points, but each point becomes worth more as you level!
Ergo, I hate points.
So, to be fair, I'm not a good judge of what you have up there. But, here's what I'm comparing to:
There's little difference between being able to take 10 on a skill all the time and being able to take 10 on a skill whenever you want to. The former is a 10th level Talent for a number of skills equal to your Int bonus, and includes skills you cannot take 10 on. Your version includes a number equal to your execution bonus, and starts at 3rd. Yours starts sooner, encompasses the same language, and ends up more. Ergo, it's stronger.
You'd be just as well off just rewriting Skill Mastery to be useful at level 3, and simply doing away with the points.
Changing Skill Mastery to either take 10 or roll twice and take the best is much the same thing.
Adding Sneak Attack dice to a crit was actually a feat in 3.5. It's not broken. Just let the rogue DO it, as a Talent. Then do need the damage edge.
And allowing the character to just sack a die or two of SA damage to do Combat Manuvers in general, instead of a specific combat maneuver, isn't broken, either.
You don't need the pool. Get around it. Look past needing something to spend and simply give the class excellent stuff that other classes cannot get.
Better yet, make the 'improved' versions of those talents require NO magic or power point pools of what have you, instead available only to those Rogues who remain completely mundane. Then not having magic becomes a qualifier for something exceptional, not a burden and a penalty.
I keep the skill points at 2 starting.
Class skills are Craft, Profession, acrobatics, and Intimidate...plus any two of the fighter's choice.
At every level he gains a Bravery bonus, he gets a new skill of his choice and another skill point per level.
Eventually he gets to pick 7 of his class skills and has 7 skill points per level...adding to them as he levels and trains for what he needs, just as real people do.
And without needing to rely on raising his blasted Int score. He ends up with more points then a Ranger...and the skills HE wants.
Oh, and if he choses Skill Focus/Synergy/Training, the skills become class skills. He gets more out of feats used for skills then other classes do.
Fighters could benefit from an entire rewrite of skills.
Skill RANKS, not modifiers, should mean something. Someone with 15 Ranks in a skill should have something more then someone with +15 to the check.
So, you've just added a Skills rewrite to the Feats rewrite wish schema.
Oh, and I do a lot of that extra stuff.
I shifted Weapon Training to provide a virtual enhancement bonus to your weapon, in addition to the +. Now, it only goes up to +4, and it does require a masterwork weapon, but it does mean that once a fighter hits level 4, any master work weapon in his groups is now effectively magical. At 12th, it works fine against cold iron and silver DR, and at 16th ignores Adamantine DR. If it's magical, the virtual enhancement stacks up to +5, so fighters can start ignoring DR faster then any other class.
I have their armor training bonus apply as virtual enhancement to armor and/or shield, up to a max of +5. THEN, I give first str, then con, then Dex enhancement as a free exoskeleton enhancement for wearing armor. The enhancement bonus is -1 in light armor, par in medium, and +1 in full armor...encouraging the fighter to wear heavy armor.
So a fighter does not need that stupid belt, he gets the effect from class features. That aren't magical and work fine in an A-M shell.
As for extra stats...I went the opposite route. I give the fighter 2 stat points, given out 1 by 1, at every 4 levels, to his LOWEST ability scores.
Which rounds up those glaring weaknesses in stats, which is a beneficial side effect of his constant training.
so who IS supposed to be the best rider? Some theif?!?
Sorry, warriors have historically ALWAYS been the best riders, because the whole art of riding evolved to carry soldiers to battle better, faster, harder.
Fighters create organizations as they get more powerful...either students clamoring for what they know or armies to get them what they want. Brufus the Barbarian may only want the roar of the crowd, but Marcus the Fighter is going to found a gladiatorial school and churn out the highly skilled warriors that crowd demands on top of being a top-flight, skilled draw himself.
Why does a Cha-less fighter have followers?
Because he's a 12th level freaking badass. He's got fans and mavens and admirers who want to learn how to be a badass and bask in the radiance of someone who is just that incredible.
Cha is just a numbers modifier. High level is a thing all its own, and class features are meant to exemplify what high level heroes can do. One of those things could very easily be 'resonates with the hopes and dreams of the common men' and boom, instant followers who want to be just like you.
Barbarians are far better maneuver masters then fighters. They have the option of taking Strength Surge just like a fighter does Maneuver feats. +20 to a Combat Manuver check for the price of an immediate action dwarfs anything a fighter can dream of, and actually keeps maneuvers viable.
And note that while crits help a fighter at the very, very end game, that's only with his chosen weapon. As soon as he changes weapons, he's lost the fight again.
BUT...nobody complains about the fighter not being able to do damage. Truly. Comparing damage is pointless...nobody is comparing damage.
It's EVERYTHING ELSE.
I think it's more a case of 'unless the enemy is a complete offensive putz because he's built to be so defensive, the game is rocket tag.' Not because everyone is a glass cannon...it's because the standard offensive choices turn joe into a cannon, and default defenses into glass, without even any optimizing.
I mean, seriously, Mythic Vital Strike is a no brainer. you get the equivalent of a full attack in one swing. Sure, you get fewer crits, but you're almost guaranteed a hit.
But when you're dealing base 50 pts a swing, and then heap stuff on top of that, and multiply by four, and then maybe a crit or an extra swing on top of it...
That's not even optimizing, it's just common sense. 6-7x base damage will turn ANYTHING into glass. It's save or die with swords, with the save being your initiative roll.
If the Barb is looking at Courageous and Furious, the Fighter at least should have gloves of dueling.
Not that it's going to matter much.
The net effect is that they're going to be pretty close on offense...except the barb gets his bonuses with all melee weapons, and the fighter gets a better bonus with a secondary weapon group missile weapon.
The Barb will destroy the fighter on saves. There is no comparison. The fighter has no recourse to equal this.
The barb has faster movement. This is increasingly important at higher levels.
The barb has more hit points when needed, AND a DR that starts early and applies at all levels, and can be stacked on. THe fighter can buy adamantine armor, or wait until level 20.
The barb has the option of Pounce and Come and Get ME, the two strongest melee options in the entire game.
The Fighter does not.
The barb has scaling bonuses to DR, Nat AC, and dodge that he can choose to take.
The Fighter does not.
The barb can get energy resistance, cut through spells, add his level to his strength check, and do this all multiple times a day.
The fighter...can cut thorugh 1 spell a day as an option? Inefficiently? Add +2 to a combat maneuver check?
There's just no comparison. The rage powers (and hey, extra rage power is a FEAT) just blow away the options and choices the fighter has available to him. Until you redo feats so they refer to fighter class abilities and scale them appropriately, the Fighter CANNOT compare.
I don't call it 'vigor'. I call it 'soak.' Its also called 'warrior's magic.'
The completely unrealistic ability to fall from 200 feet onto concrete, get up and walk away? You soaked it, got a nosebleed, got up, walked away. Just like temporary hit points, in their way.
being able to deal with pure physical damage? Health. But health can rapidly reach inhuman levels, too. You simply have more life force, more magical reinforcement of your body, more ability to resist physical damage via spiritual reinforcement of the body.
Your beginning health is your con, add to it every level. Your hit dice are your Soak. RACIAL hit dice, such as most monster have, are health.
Only class levels grant soak. Soak lets you dodge the undodgable, survive the unsurvivable, and live through catastrophe without a scratch.
Most healing spells only affect health, not soak. Soak gets restored very quickly compared to health, at the rate of BAB/hour, and fighters get their fighter level back in it after every fight.
So, you have the abstract, totally magical, and the physical, which is infused magical (think of Health as akin to all the physical punishment anime characters take, and keep right on going). Soak is something you 'expend' by losing it to fight damage.
And there you roll up your hit points all into one...and give a healing bonus to martial characters. Wizards have crappy soak, but can infuse magic into their bones with a high Con score to become incredibly, magically tough. Warriors can do the same thing, but on top of that get loads of Soak (which they can train up easily!) and which comes back quickly to enable them to keep on trucking long after the casters run out of hp.
He needs holy or Good on his bow or arrows to overcome regen.
Other then that, he needs a +5 bow. Satisfies good and silver reqs.
Dimensional Locking is totally a thing on weapons. No teleport SLA for the Pit Fiend.
Winged boots are cheap and will keep him in range. Fighter probably had them at level 12.
Accuracy/Distance/Far Shot are totally doable and let the Fighter take him down from 500 yards.
A 42 AC isn't going to even slow a devoted archer down. With a +5 Bow, 30 dex, Weapon training/GWF, the fighter's TH STARTS at +41.
10d6 damage isn't going to get through the fighter's hit points in any amount of time, and that's if he was totally, utterly stupid and didn't buy a potion of fire resist or prot fire.
If that Pit Fiend is anywhere in range of a Manyshotting Fighter and thinks it can eat a full attack from an archer fighter, it's going to die.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
That's right, you're extrapolating, you're not reading. You wandered down the road of personal interpretation of corner cases in the English language and you're telling the rest of us we don't know how to read.
By your rules, having a +10 shield with a weapon enhancement is impossible...it will violate the 100k limit of +10 armor. Because, you know, you can't restrict one rule and then break another, right?
By your rules, is adding +Flaming to a +3 Shield possible? It's not enhanced as a weapon yet. But you're saying it is, since it counts towards the +10. So now you've introduced stacking questions that, you know, DON'T ACTUALLY HAPPEN.
What's the price? Are you starting at +1 for the weapon side? That's not right, it's the 4th enhancement, and by your rules, they stack. So, now, WHEN I put the enhancement on makes a difference. Flaming on a +1 Weapon-side shield is 6k. Flaming on a +2 Bashing armor-side is...what? 2k? 14k?
Guess what? Those timing questions NEVER HAPPEN either. Because it's irrelevant.
They don't apply, because armor enhancements are always treated separate from weapon, and you just follow the pricing rules side by side.
So a shield is a +10/+10 item, just like a double weapon. It's function as a weapon is completely separate from its function as armor. The only place they overlap is hardness and hit points and guess what? They are both enhancement bonuses and don't stack, so it's moot.
I get where you are coming from, but you are flat out WRONG. It's not an opinion, it's not a suddenly insightful reading of the rules, it's you taking something out of context without taking into consideration other existing rules. You're just wrong, dude. And you saying that everyone else, including the people who wrote the rules, have been wrong for nigh on twenty years is making the rest of us kind of laugh.
You are making the pricing schema unnecessarily complicated, and are quite literally ignoring 20 years of the game saying "Armor and Weapon enhancements are treated separately on the same item."
We now return you to your regularly scheduled debate.
Yes, it's interesting...Count Jeggare from the PF books is literally the richest man in Cheliax, as he's the head of the richest noble family there.
All his good magic items are from adventuring, not buying them. He even notes that to raise his aide if he gets killed, he'd have to sell off an orchard.
First the non-sequitur.
Ali might have been 5th level.
Moving your fists fast enough to hit a punching bag 5 times in 6 seconds is not landing 5 lethal blows in 6 seconds. 4 of the blows are just there to find a way for the 1 decent blow to make its way through. The rest are just spam.
Test: Was Ali able to punch out a grizzly bear?
I think we are all of the same opinion that if he walked up to a grizzly bear while floating like a butterfly, the bear would wonder at the little bee-stings and promptly rip him apart.
A 10th level monk CAN take out a grizzly bear. A 10th level monk can shatter the aluminum baseball bat in your hand with a hit. Ali ain't no 10th level.
Kindly note that in games with MacGuffin magic items, those magic items are often what we'd consider 'artifact class', with powers that can't be replicated by mere wizards, making them incredibly powerful and versatile for their weilders. In short, magic items are stronger then magic casters.
Put said magic items into the hands of skilled combatants, and wizards die.
No, you're confusing mechanics for play.
The ability to teleport, dominate, fabricate, create demiplanes...those are all things that shape the game mechanically. The wizard can DO these things.
What you're referring to is narrative play.
Allow me to restate: "When this cool PC hit 13th level, 8 gods owed him for their freedom...."
Freeing 8 Gods is not a class ability nor a mechanic. It's a result of game play. And game play granting perks has nothing to do with mechanics, and ANY class can do that.
"When Mordenkained hit 13th level, 8 gods owed him their freedom," is just as possible as Robilar in the context of a game.
"Robilar teleported himself halfway across the world," "Robilar instantly created himself a suit of adamantine armor", "Robilar fashioned his own little demiplane to relax in" and "Robilar made a simulacarum of Mordenkainen to serve as his butler and have some extra spell power around because he thought it was cool" are things requiring mechanical power the fighter does not have. Alternatives are NOT part of the fighter class...they are gifts of the gm.
That's the difference we're talking about.
Those healing potion sellers generally didn't come along towards 2E, and were HIGHLY situational...i.e. major metropolis. There was ONE potion seller in Waterdeep, probably the most detailed fantasy city ever made. Go up the coast to Neverwinter, and you were SOL.
Temples charged you an arm and a leg for healing spells, and generally only had a few spells per day. They charged you for each of them.
Neither means anything when you were out in the wilds adventuring. Unless the DM handwaved things so you had access to easy and cheap healing, it just wasn't available. But the game itself was MUCH skimpier on healing.
Also, remember that only Heal scaled in power. D8, 2d8+1 and 3d8+3 until you were 12th level. Ugh.
As a key point, I will note to you that one of the aspects of 'Gygaxian grognard play' is that the cleric is always assumed to be just a healer and loaded up on healing spells whenever possible. That's a trope because they needed all that healing, there just wasn't that much available, and the cleric had it all...and it was never enough to do a recovery for a full party down 80%.
Buying unlimited spells at temples and potions was not part of the core game. Actually, I'm surprised a Greyhawk game let you buy some from the churches, as usually those campaigns had a hard line about only providing services to the faithful, i.e. those who regularly tithed above and beyond paying for the spell.
Suffice it to say, your experience with healing is not the way most 1E gamers had it. Bill Webb, in his new book, even notes that healing is much more restricted, i.e. a 1E game style.
Seriously, one of the hugest breaks from 1E is the availability of easy healing, and #1 there is the Cure Light Wounds wand.
Lunge will not get you AoO's. It only enhances your reach on your turn.
Combat Reflexes is generally not worth it unless you have both a reach weapon or some extra manner of generating AoO's on your own. I would suggest Extra Lay On Hands. The best class for Combat Reflexes is a barbarian with Come and Get Me, or a Fighter with Combat Patrol up and running, or maybe an archer with Snap Shot. Pure melee wielder? Not so much.
I actually suggest you go with a longsword build, shield optional (just use a buckler). If you don't need the AC, 2h the longsword. If you do, your sword and board is ready and available. It's good to have options. If you can wrangle a free katana proficiency from your DM, that would actually be perfect.
At higher levels you may want to take Unsanctioned Knowledge for putting non-paladin spells on your list...barkskin is a favorite for some.
You can also start taking Extra Mercies and building towards Ultimate Mercy (Raise Dead with no material comp cost!).
Also, if you're doing an Oathbound Paladin for extra smites, extra lay on hands is quite helpful in generating more smites for you.
As they said above, Power Attack is your go to all around damage dealer, you'll want it at 3. It dovetails nicely with the extra TH from your Smite.
Critical Focus is likely not necessary. You have better things to devote feats to then more crits...that's a fighter's job. Grab some extra mercies for condition removal.
Angelic Blood and Angelic Wings are a feat tax for flight, but flavorful. If you like them, go for it!
Your stat spread is fine. Remember to buy Charisma boosters as you go up in level, too. Your bonuses to saves is what makes you the tank of the team.
As far as omniscience, I like the Harry Dresden version. There are a lot of entities who have 'intellectus', meaning they can know whatever they want to know. However, they don't necessarily know the questions they must ask to find out.
The span of a true deity's attention is probably not so limited that they actually have to focus on something to learn about it...it's just that the vast majority of it isn't worth personal attention and just blurs into the background with all the lip service prayers.
Paragon Surge + Ring of SPell Knowledge: Go out, grab a level 1-4 spell, stick it in the Ring, have access to it all day.
Spontaneous Versatility: Scribe the spell you grabbed out of nowhere into your Spell book. Prepare it.
Turn it into a Page of SPell knowledge with Craft Wondrous Item.
Infinite Spells for your spell book, no need to grab them off a wizard.
1/day, use Arcane Bond to grab any spell you have access to. Since you can prepare spells, that's all spells in your spell book.
For spells of higher then level 1-4, use Scribe Scroll, expend the new spell, and make a scroll out of it. If there's a spell that allows you to do so, instantaneously drop it into your spell book instead (Fabricate may allow you to do so?). Prepare it at your leisure OR turn it into a Page of Spell Knowledge when you have the funds.
Wait, this ruling was supposed to be a restriction on Sorcerors getting access to all spells? All it did was slow it down a bit.
Aaaaand...you know that the Ring of Spell Knowledge lets you grab spells off other lists and cast them as one level higher, right? Where's this restriction on other lists, hmmm?
Remember that slavery in and of itself is not Evil. Slavery arose as an alternative to the outright slaughter of enemies in wartime. Make them work for you instead of butchering them.
Slavery for the sake of slavery IS Evil. Enslaving others simply because you want slaves IS a bad thing.
This is why the practice of 'buying slaves to set them free' is useless. The slaver is STILL GETTING PAID. You've just given him an additional, unlimited market...every slave he brings to market you're potentially going to buy from him and set free, so he should actually go out and ENSLAVE EVEN MORE.
Slavery as a punishment for crimes; slavery as an alternative to incarceration or slaughter: these are neutral things, and actually a sign of advancing civilization.
Rewarding people for providing slaves is rewarding people for removing the freedom of others, and one of the great Evils of civilization. Paying others to act that way is only fostering the behavior, and no Good Church would ever be foolish enough to engage in the practice and encourage the very thing they want to be rid of.
In the end, the only ways to stop slavery are a) kill all the slavers, so there is no one to deliver the slaves or b) remove the market for slaves by changing the society so it isn't tolerated, meaning nobody buys slaves for sale, and there's no incentive to enslave others.
Anything else is simply feeding the machine.
Dead Phoenix wrote:
YOu so missed the chance to say she was in need of a makeover.
No, I want them to burn the skill points. If they want to learn extra weapons, in reality that's just as hard as learning a new language or other skill.
Fighters and paladins are the only classes that start with prof in ALL martial weapons...fighters because that's what they are training for at level 1, and paladins because it's a gift when they answer The Call. All other full BAB classes start with a number of martial weapons equal to their starting skill points.
3/4 BAB classes start with Simple Weapon Prof, and Prof in 2 weapons from the list permitted to their class (which might be martial, monk, cleric, rogue, etc). They can spend skill points to learn more weapons on their list.
1/2 classes start with Simple Weapon Prof and 1 weapon. They can burn skill points if they want more.
The reason for this is very simple. It is to nobody's benefit to give weapon profs away for free, and make spellcasting and magical devices hard to get. If other classes have to spend skill points on UMD just for a chance to use common magical devices, then it follows that anyone wanting to learn a new weapon should at least have to burn skill points on it.
And, it gives Fighters a level 1 great benefit.
After level 1, if you multiclass into a class, you get the Prof 'eligibility', but you have to spend the skill points if you actually want a weapon. This is akin to a multiclassing new wizard not getting the free spells and cantrips that a level 1 wizard does, and so forth.
Capping stats like the COn bonus to HP above is a classic way of limiting player power and forcing them to rely on other things...like, oh, class skills.
Bill Webb takes this to extremes in his game (you can buy his guide). High stats give a +1 over normal stats...that's it! Almost everything is by class level.
BECMI limited you to 18. AD&D to 18 or 19 (25 for gods). 3E blew it wide open.
Limits are good things for balance...they set end points. End points are massive help in seeing how things balance out.
FYI, 'rocket tag' is 'Whichever side goes first, wins.' This is because the opening strike is a) So huge the other party perishes or b) So devastating the other party can't recover or unleash it's own alpha strike and has either got to bail or be forced to lose the fight, and the extra rounds are just spent trying to stave off certain doom.
For a three man party you have to maximize roles coverage. Every character has to be able to fill at least two roles, in case the main one goes down.
For condition removal, you'll need a cleric or life oracle. There's really no way around this. THe cleric is probably more ideal because as a prepared caster he can change his role emphasis from support to control to face to front liner every day as needed.
You need a front liner of some sort. Ideal is the paladin, who has built in healing, immunities, condition removal via mercies, a spell list, can use wands, and will have the Cha to be a decent party face.
For skills, you're probably going to want an urban ranger, if a second damage dealer is important, or an archeologist bard, if you want more skills/support/magic. Both perform the anti-traps role perfectly, have the skill points to invest in whatever your other two don't, and can be marvelously versatile, with options from animal companions to bardsong and other things.
Very key is that all three characters can use healing magic and wands without problems.
The Inquisitor and Magus get honorable mentions as excellent multi-role, but the first doesn't have the pure tanking ability of a paladin, quite, and the Magus isn't a nine level caster or a skill monkey. They would have to go into the paladin's niche, and it would change the nature of the party, but it could be done.
All that said, cleric-cleric-cleric with wise domains and spell loadouts can also do the job without too much problem. The combination of that much healing and condition removal with spell buffs will do the job without a problem.
all that gear is reflected IN THEIR STATS, which DETERMINES THEIR CR.
And what you're proposing is to give them all sorts of other gear, but NOT reflect it in their CR.
Which is what I said? In other words, you just made my argument for me?
and the counter, Ashiel, is that treasure is not gear. If the gear was a constant monsters are supposed to have, it would be reflected in their stats.
it is not.
Turning their treasure into their gear is NOT a reflection of the constant monster, and rapidly raises CR. You've effectively given him a Template for +0 CR. Your above ogre mage has +2 AC, +7 Damage on ranged attacks, +1 on saves, and +1 th/dmg with all attacks.
none of which is reflected in his stats, which determine his CR.
Monsters aren't NPCs. IF you're going to do this, then you need to adjust CR, because you're choosing to presume something that isn't true. It doesn't take a lot of cash to do slight number adjustments that blow CR out of the water. +1/+8 on ranged attacks is virtually tripling that Ogre Mage's ranged damage waaaaay above his CR level, for instance.
Ignoring that point of balance is going to quickly create some overpowered stuff, as has been proven every time you add a template for nothing. Treasure to gear for nothing is going to have much the same effect.