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A good thing to include in the statblock of your critters is "Morale". What will make them flee? 7hp or less? 15hp or less if their leader is dead? If more than half of their numbers fall? If a cleric presents a holy symbol? And why are they fighting? For a lot of critters it's ok to have the simple "Fight to the death because they want to kill the party and take their stuff", but a large amount of creatures aren't suicidal levels of greedy like that.
Fun fact: Basic D&D (You remember, the simplified version of AD&D, for kids) HAD a Morale stat, so it was possible to send enemies running, or negotiate or bribe them. Meanwhile, 3.x players often assume everything should fight to the death. Go figure...
What things can be better done by mundane means than through magic?
Just about the only things I can think of are building long-term relationships and (possibly) architecture.
Derek Dalton wrote:
Almost all the archtypes for Arcanist are not worth taking. Same with the Wizard.
Most archetypes aren't worth taking (unless you have a very specific character concept), period.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
*cough* devasprobablycomefromthesamerootword. *cough*
Martials are mundane, highly trained and skilled, but mundane...
And therefore, they SHOULD NOT BE IN THE GAME past level 6 or so, because after that, you've left 'mundane' bleeding in the dirt and every opponent worth mentioning has magic powers of one sort or another.
Jack of Dust wrote:
But that's ANIME!!1!@! You know, like the Ramayana or the Táin bó Cúailnge!
It's nothing like Darkest Dungeon's, but Unknown Armies has a really good sanity system, too. (To sum up: PCs can take different types of mental trauma, which are tracked separately. Either they get Failed notches, which means they're hypersensitive to that kind of trauma, or Hardened, which makes them ignore weaker traumas of that type. The bad news is that too many Hardened notches make you lose connection to your own emotions, which penalizes you in-game.)
There don't seem to be any Investigator guides listed. Here's a few I found:
I don't know how good they are, but it's a start.
I still don't even get why one HAS to be better than the other. How does it have to be a "myth" to say this is a team game? It is. Its about the story. This whole thread in and of itself is kind of a way to stir the pot. Wizards can do great and powerful s%@+ when their stuff works. Fighters can do some amazing s%#~ when their combo's go off. Does it really have to matter which one can do it better?
It kind of does matter, because the game claims to be balanced, and the higher-level it gets, the more it obviously isn't. At higher levels, the unfortunate non-casters get increasingly sidelined except when it's time for them to catch some battle-axes with their faces and/or play Goblin Roulette with some trap.
Don't forget that SOMETIMES, the heroes react to too much stress by becoming heroic instead of cracking up. (Nowhere nearly often enough...)
Also remember that some characters should have ways to mitigate or remove stress - anything that gives bravery or morale bonuses might have that as an extra effect, for example.
Isn't that how wizards work now?
That might help balance things, but I could see that getting frustrating for the wizards fairly quickly, unless they were very good sports. (And it has zero effect on the Cleric, Druid, or Sorcerer.) Maybe make it the other way around - they can still get new spells at level-up, but scrolls of such powerful spells are ultra-rare, and most wizards who know them don't want to share. (Instant plot-hooks!)
(To be fair, I was in a game where my Witch was having problems finding scrolls & such of high-level spells - mostly because at that point, she was one of the highest level casters around...)
Chess Pwn wrote:
But I'm curious what "critical role" the martial are filling for a party that a caster couldn't.
"If we're playing the Avengers, someone has to be Hawkeye."
Semi-seriously, I understand that some people do want to play the Conan-type: a normal human being (or dwarf, or whatever) that can stand up alongside all the spell-flingers and supernatural weirdoes and what-not, with just their trusty sword and armor. The problem is that high-level PF is NOT a good game for this.
This has obvious problems around the time the wizard learns how to fly, and fails completely around the time Plane Shift is available.
They either go from Hawkeye to War Machine, or Hawkeye to dead.
Second, this isn't something that appears in tabletop RPGs in general (as you suggest), but rather something that's mostly present in 3.X and PF systems. D&D 5E has much less of a C/MD issue, I've gotten the impression that it was very differently balanced in AD&D and 2E, and many non-D&D-style tabletop RPGs don't have the issue at all.
As an old-timey AD&D player, I can attest to that.
For one thing, magic items were rare and random - nobody could depend on getting any item. But magic swords (which only the fighty-types could use) were relatively common. Scrolls and wands were rare and valuable, not for sale, and making them was such a massive undertaking that going into monster-infested ruins in hope of finding one sounded sensible by comparison.
Fighters had VASTLY better saving throws. A high-level Fighter had the best saves against EVERYTHING except Spells - which Magic-Users beat them at by one point.
Everyone had much lower hit points, which is why blaster mages were expected and effective. (And here again, Fighters got more benefit from high Con scores than anyone else.)
Magic-Users had to beg, buy, trade, research, or steal new spells. And there were some (extremely random) limits on their ability to learn any given spell.
Spellcasting in mid-fight was risky - spells took time to cast, enemies could react, and all it took as one hit to ruin them.
So, yeah - 3rd ed removed a LOT of limitations Magic-Users had in the Olden Days.
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Here's the Teramach, see for yourself.
Where can I find THAT story?
Alex Mack wrote:
(Edit: I think I found it: Fate's Favored + Divine Favor + Dedicated Adversary = +4 hit/damage in one turn. Niiiice. :D)
Does that mean the Eldritch Scoundrel has (effectively) MORE Ki points than an actual ninja?
Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
As the guy who wrote blistering invective, I thought I'd chime in and mention that this is how I run it as well.
I'm glad you did, as I find this spell utterly hilarious.
Chengar Qordath wrote:
I think a lot of it has to do with folks wanting to emulate the feel of popular Low Fantasy works like A Song of Ice and Fire, The Witcher, The Black Company, Conan the Barbarian, and so on. But like you said, Pathfinder just isn't built to work that way.
Agreed on everything except the Black Company being low fantasy - it's Epic Fantasy, just from the point of view of a bunch of grunts working for the Evil Overlord. (And it grows out of that as the series progresses.)
I like the series, if you couldn't tell.
Lord Twitchiopolis wrote:
Yeah, the problem with this is when you make a character who's mediocre at a half-dozen things, and not great at any of them. (and Hiro won't have those abilities when he needs them, he'll have them a level or two too late.)
Possibly a Martial Master Fighter? They can fake knowing a bit of EVERY type of combat.
Breaking someone's legs will not kill them. And (in reality, at least,) it'll heal eventually.
Hm... how ARE you supposed to get rid of the effects of a savaging? It's not a spell, so it seems to me Remove Curse wouldn't make sense, but it's not stat damage, so Restoration won't work...
You need a BIG conspiracy. Like Illuminati Wizards, or a cult dedicated to an active Elder God that will send Byakhee to chew investigators' faces off.
Or ninjas. Ninjas are always good.
Speak with Bread might be a joke spell, but there's a 2nd level Ranger spell in the APG called Allfood which makes an object of up to 5lbs per level edible (or a collection of similar objects like a pile of rocks). That's not useless, but it could obviously lead to a lot of silly antics.
I heard of one group that used that to get an Intimidate bonus on an interrogation. Normally, they had the Rogue standing off to the side picking his teeth with a dagger while they grilled the prisoner, but this time, he just nonchalantly took a bite out of the dagger.
The prisoner talked.
Well, yeah, but then you have to be within one step of Lawful Evil.
(I am not a fan of that series.)
Goth Guru wrote:
If sorcerers you are fighting have the fly spell, you should have wings of flying.
Wings of Flying cost 54,000 gp. That's half the Wealth By Level of a level 12 character.
A Sorcerer can get Fly at level 6. Plenty of monsters can fly well before that.
This plus the 'Game Breaking Spells' thread makes me want to make a set of cartoons about the CMD problem: Goofus and Gandalf.
"GOOFUS spent three skill points every level on Climb, Swim, and Acrobatics.
The Sword wrote:
Aside from the Wicked Witch of the West, what fictional wizards (pre-D&D, preferrably), threw fireballs?
[sarcasm]But it's okay if all those things are do-able via magic, because Magic Can Do Anything.
N. Jolly wrote:
Not everyone wants to cut skyscrapers with one swing at first level, but once you're 20th level and you have problems cutting a tree due to hardness, we're not in a great place.
What he said. At 20th level, (or even at 10th level!) the player characters have left 'low-key' and 'realistic' bleeding in the dirt miles behind them, no matter how had the game tries to pretend otherwise.
Transcendent is indeed impossible to price as a single value. On a +1 buckler, it gives +2 which is less than amazing. On +1 full plate it's +9 which is awesome.
Good point. Maybe it's +1 for light armor, +2 for medium, and +3 for heavy? (And similar for shields.)
581. The Infernal Peerage
Devastating: (Weapon enhancement)
Transcendent: (Armor or shield enhancement)
I actually can't think of any temporary luck bonuses other than Divine Favor. Would be kind of odd to make a trait that is fantastic for low level divine casters but underwhelming to useless for anyone else.
Prayer spell. +1 luck bonus to attack, damage, skills, and saves.
It always surprises me when I double check the Aboleth statblock and see that they are CR 7. Even if they were tuned down to not be as deadly as they are that wouldn't feel right; I mean, it's an Aboleth! It's supposed to be a potential Big Bad! Why the hell is it rated as being as tough an encounter as a Dire Bear?
Newsflash! CR system still borked, Major Image at 11.
(Consider your average level 7 Fighter - poor will save, base of +2. Even with a decent 14 Wisdom (another +2) and Iron Will (another +2) and maybe a +1 from a trait and +2 from a Cloak of Resistance, they'll still fail that DC 22 save 65% of the time.)
When people talk about the multiple will saves, don't dramatize it. It's two. Two will saves and you're destroying the party. It's not hard to get two crappy saves in a row.
I can top that - in a recent adventure, in a party of five characters, ALL FIVE managed to blow their will saves vs a monster that can spam Charm Person. Of those 5, FOUR had good will saves, and two of those had good Wisdom scores to boot. AND the GM gives us one free reroll a session, which we all preceded to ALSO blow.
But that fiasco gives me the chance to write something nobody else has ever had a reason to say: "Fortunately, then the Xill showed up." (Which gave my character the excuse to cast Protection from Evil, SOMEHOW actually roll higher than a 6 on my re-re-rolled will save, and start snapping my allies out of it.)
The 20 STR Aristocrat wrote:
If professor Lorrimor sent letters to 3 fighters Carrion Crown would be the hardest adventure ever.
What's the big deal? Sounds like a typical setup for an adventure.In Call of Cthulhu.
Unless there's something of vital importance in the dungeon, it's totally in character for them to turn around and leave. A goblin rogue could murder all of them. Easily. With a sling.
See this? It is entirely correct.
Telling your players 'Play at least part-humans' and then springing this on them as seriously uncool.
There ARE potential workarounds, sure, but if your players want to go look for an easier source of loot, I can't blame them even slightly.
Natan Linggod 327 wrote:
A marvelous technological breakthrough called 'fire', which appears to be ineffective in that situation.
(My current GM loooooves darkness, and I'm playing a human. GOOD TIMES.)
I'd recommend just finding some of Lovecraft's stories and reading them. (The Call of Cthulhu is the most applicable for your campaign, but I like At The Mountains of Madness the best personally.) But it's worth noting that what is Cosmic Horror to an early 20th Century writer is going to be 'a really tough encounter' to a bunch of high-level Pathfinder characters.
Fun fact: Robert E. Howard (who wrote Conan) was a pen-pal of Lovecraft's, and there's some crossover between their stories.
(Small warning: Lovecraft was kinda racist. Kinda really racist. Kinda so racist that a guy who grew up in 1920s Texas called him on how racist he was.)
High Strength and Constitution, like any meleer. As much in Charisma as you can manage. Decent Dex if possible.Something like:
STR 16 (+2 as angelblooded)
CHA 13 (+2 angelblooded)
What level are you starting at?
Mysteries: Battle's unsurprisingly good at, well, battling. Metal, too. Ancestors is supposed to be decent, I haven't really looked at most of the others.
Archetypes: look at the Warsighted archetype to make a character that is an abomination - fixed spells and reassignable feats. :D You have to give up a painful number of Revelations at low levels, though.
Feats: Power attack, of course. I personally like Furious Focus, but a lot of people say it's not worth it.
Nox Aeterna wrote:
No, no. 4 and NO Int mod.
The int-mod-to-skills thing makes a little sense when talking about book-learning, but it's idiotic that a low-Int fighty-type won't have enough skill points to be good at things like climbing, acrobatics, riding.... you know, the stuff they'd teach in the fantasy version of boot camp.