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Arbane the Terrible's page

459 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Neo2151 wrote:

2)"Save or suck"/1) Save or die.

This one. Oh man, this one. I will NEVER understand the community and their tears about this one!
So it's totally fair and okay for the Rage-Pouncing Barbarian to one-shot the enemy, but if a Wizard does it with waggly fingers the rules are somehow broken and unfair?
Oh please, such hypocrisy!

Yeah, but characters get Ablative Plot Plating (aka 'Hit Points') against being stabbed to death, but magic goes right through them, BECAUSE MAGIC.

My biggest problem with PF currently is the same as one of the problems with 3.5: "Nickel and Dime" game design - non-spellcaster classes, when they level up, generally get nickels (+1) or dimes (+2) to abilities they already had. Spellcasters, meanwhile, get whole new capabilities with every spell.

My second-biggest is "Realism": The toxic notion that because fighters can't cast spells, they shouldn't do anything superhuman except absorb (and deliver) physical abuse.

Matthew Downie wrote:
Game balance at the levels when Wish comes into play is a pretty nebulous concept in the first place.

Not really. There's the ones who can cast Wish and Miracle, and then there's the useless ones.</hyperbole>

Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:

Bard, Perform (Oratory), Disguise Spell

DM asked me not to play bards anymore.

What did he do? Disguise himself as a bigshot and start a revolution?

Barathos wrote:
I'm not a fan of all-or-nothing abilities. I much prefer M&Ms system of degreed success and failure. The save DCs are higher, but failing in the "just failed" bracket merely reduces your save a little until your next rest.

On the all-or-nothing abilities: Imagine a system where being attacked required a defense roll to avoid ending up immediately face-down in a pool of your own blood. There are systems like that, but D&D/PF is not one of them (past level 2 or so).

Why do characters get Ablative Plot Armor against melee attacks, but not weird instant-death magic stuff?

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Hm.... Some D&Disms:

New experiences always lead to improvement, not PTSD or other trauma.

The gods and the afterlife are really, verifiably real. This has remarkably little impact on religion, politics, or daily life.

Magic is always better than non-magic. No exceptions.

UnArcaneElection wrote:

I don't know the details of what saves go on what ability scores in D&D 5th Edition, but the basic idea makes sense (the following is NOT necessarily the same as what is in D&D 5th Edition):

Most Fortitude Saves: Go on Constitution, as traditional
Fortitude Saves against purely mechanical damage: Go on Strength
Reflex Saves: Go on Dexterity, as traditional
Most Will Saves: Go on Wisdom, as traditional
Will Saves against Illusions: Go on Intelligence
Will Saves against Domination, Possession, and similar effects: Go on Charisma

Eh, given how hard it is to get decent saves AND a good AC, I'm ok with only having saves tie into three stats.

Oh, yeah, there's another feat we can use:
AD&D Throwback
Requirement: At least one level in Fighter.
All three save bonuses for the fighter class use the 'good' save progression. (Starts at +2, increases 1 every even level.)

Back in AD&D, fighters had the best saves at EVERYTHING at high levels - except spells, where they lost out to Magic-Users by one point, IIRC. No idea why they got hobbled in 3rd ed.

Oh, here's a [SARCASM]ludicrously overpowered[/SARCASM] feat:

Toppling Strike
You can hit people so hard that they fall over.
When you hit an opponent with a melee attack, make a trip attempt using the damage done as your attack roll. This does not provoke an attack of opportunity and they don't get to trip you back if you fail.

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Sissyl wrote:

Complete Book of Elves had a neat little story about what revenge can mean, and why rings of regeneration are not your friend.

And that regular elves make Drow look like amateurs in the 'pointless sadism' department, but that's another flamewar entirely.

But yeah, as everyone here has been saying, you are so screwed that Paranoia GMs will shudder in in sympathy - and then start taking notes. There is literally NO countermeasures you can take that will save you... so screw it. Enjoy however long you have left. And try to find some of this Uberwizzard's old enemies and take the bastard down with you, just out of sheer spite.

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Avatar-1 wrote:
What's a witch doing near water, anyway? She'll melt!

Not if she weighs the same as a duck.

Semi-seriously, people pass out and drown in real life, letting it happen in game would be reasonable, if anticlimactic. Me, I'd give them a second save to wake up when they first start choking or something.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Barathos wrote:
Arbane the Terrible wrote:
Umbranus wrote:
because I hate this trope of the oversized weapon anime guy. It is one of the best things about PF that it is impossible to use oversized two-handed weapons. Monks are ok, pistols are ok. But no anime swords, please.

"Unto the craftsmen: the mould (?) did the workmen prepare, and the axes

Monstrous they cast: (yea), the celts did they cast, each (weighing) three talents;
Glaives, (too,) monstrous they cast, with hilts each (weighing) two talents,
35.Blades, thirty manas to each, corresponding to fit them: [the inlay(?)],
Gold thirty manas (each) sword: (so) were Gilgamish 1, Enkidu laden
Each with ten talents."
--The Epic of Gilgamesh.

"a Babylonian talent was 30.3 kilograms (67 lb)" - Wikipedia.

Those ancient Sumerians were SUCH weeaboos.

"That's not true because it occurs on occasion in other sources of fiction!"-Arbane the Terrible

Okay, you hate anime. Got it. Anime's not the only place heroes use implausibly large weapons.

And if you're going to suddenly start demanding REALISM in a game with flying, fire-breathing dragons, spell-flinging wizards, and warriors who can survive more damage than a Sherman tank, I am going to mock you a second time.

Anyway, back on topic. Someone suggested this one before:
Stepping Strikes
When full attacking, you may take a 5-foot step after each attack.

Edit to add:
And one I'd like to see:
Supremely Ungifted
Requirements: Cannot have any spellcasting ability or spell-like abilities. You lose this ability if you gain any spellcasting or spell-like abilities.
You gain 9+hit dice Spell Resistance.

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Kthulhu wrote:
I don't want more feats. I want more things a character can do without having to burn a feat. If something really must be a feat for some.reason, it should scale with level instead of requiring additional feats in a chain to be functional.

YES. One of the (many, many) problems non-spellcasters have in D&D/PF is the devs' apparent insistence that doing anything more interesting than swording their enemies in the hitpoints MUST involve a spell, a feat, a magic item, or eating an attack of opportunity.

This is a system where without using one of the above, you can't make someone bleed by STABBING THEM.

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Umbranus wrote:
because I hate this trope of the oversized weapon anime guy. It is one of the best things about PF that it is impossible to use oversized two-handed weapons. Monks are ok, pistols are ok. But no anime swords, please.

"Unto the craftsmen: the mould (?) did the workmen prepare, and the axes

Monstrous they cast: (yea), the celts did they cast, each (weighing) three talents;
Glaives, (too,) monstrous they cast, with hilts each (weighing) two talents,
35.Blades, thirty manas to each, corresponding to fit them: [the inlay(?)],
Gold thirty manas (each) sword: (so) were Gilgamish 1, Enkidu laden
Each with ten talents."
--The Epic of Gilgamesh.

"a Babylonian talent was 30.3 kilograms (67 lb)" - Wikipedia.

Those ancient Sumerians were SUCH weeaboos.

Tacticslion wrote:

I have to say, in my experience, the higher the levels, the less likely "rocket tag" actually is.

At that point, I think it's less "they can do 300 damage a round" and more "what immunity do they NOT have that I can use to end this fight with a single failed save?".

DinosaursOnIce wrote:

I think Cloakers can really mess with a party not prepared for their shenanigans. I was in a group that ran into one around level 2, my Magus was (unfortunately) the only one who made the Save against its Moan ability (fear was used).

Probably the only time I've ever wished that I had failed the save.

The thing then "cloaked me" and by the time the party came back I was almost dead.

Oh, yeah. My group's level 7 and rather more powerful than average, so the GM sent SEVEN of these horrors after us. I was sure we were all going to die, but thankfully the GM played them with bad teamwork (and worse die-rolls). If they'd spammed their paralyzing moan, they could've gotten a coup-de-grace each round. Even without that, the dwarf spent most of the fight nauseated, and the blur/mirror image combo sent our melee hitters into a frustrated rage.

After the fight, the GM said he'd rolled TWELVE of them. Random encounters SUCK. O_O

countchocula wrote:
err back to the topic vargouilles I hate them with a passion flying a medium to hit that has an annoying poison a evil scream and hopefully it never kisses you

Ooohhh yeah. My group (of three adventurers) came one failed save away from a TPK from _one_ of these things. (edit: AND a swarm of some sort of OTHER evil flying heads) That was scary.

Tharasiph wrote:


1-Free Arazni from servitude as an evil being in Geb and free the humans in Geb from a horrible fate.

2-Stop the Devil influence in Cheliax

"The natives will greet us as liberators!"

2 people marked this as a favorite.
boring7 wrote:
Running from combat means not getting XP and munnies. If anything, the GM should be cackling gleefully at your foolishness.

You're _supposed_ to get XP for 'overcoming' enemies. Decapitating them to gain their Quickening is supposed to be optional.

Eltacolibre wrote:
heh not like it matters, in actual play the dwarf in our group does an average of 200-300 damage every round with PA. I Seriously just buff the dwarf fighter and sit back and relax. It doesn't matter whatever kind of enemy or boss we are fighting, when he just smashes them dead, occasionally cast crowd control for the lol.


...What level is he and how on earth does he do that kind of damage?

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Barathos wrote:
Zhayne wrote:
Because this is a fantasy game, not a superhero game?
People who want superhero characters should just play Mutants and Masterminds.

Yes, I certainly wouldn't want a warrior with a magic hammer, a guy who gets superstrong when mad, a genius archer, an acrobatic superspy, or a guy in magic armor in MY Pathfinder game.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I, too have played a witch and didn't seem to have any trouble pulling my weight. (And we were mainly fighting undead, too. Thank you, Summon Monster spells.)

I don't mind witches having a 'fairy tale' feel, I just with they had some more Glinda the Good options to go along with all the Baba Yaga stuff.

It strikes me as a bit funny that the people who study the workings of magic for power (Wizards) are bad at using magic items compared to the improvisers (Sorcerers) and the fakers (Rogues).

I'd be interested. I like in Boulder, so it's not too far.

I'm in Boulder, and thinking about starting up a game. What stuff do you like?

Rynjin wrote:

Shaving 5-15 points off each hit isn't useless.

DR can really f#@% up characters who aren't primary combatants, or use multiple small hits (such as TWFers, or archers without Clustered Shots).

QFT. Last session, my group's monk would've been hosed if he'd been alone. (Fighting a minotaur with Stoneskin.) He could do a little damage per hit, but not enough to beat it. Thankfully, the rest of the group got a few good hits in and it surrendered.

And in a previous game, our Summoner's eidolon was worthless against a Succubus. All those attacks, and none did 11+ damage....

Speaking of the Blackened curse, the game I'm currently in had an oracle with that - his backstory was that his hometown had been destroyed by a rain of fire from the sky and a demonic assault. As he tried to flee, a metallic demon sprang from the ground and clutched his hands, burning them horribly. He somehow got away, and found that he now had firey powers... Sadly, the played had to drop out before we could see where that was going. (Metal mystery - despite having middling strength his character always wore heavy armor and gauntlets.)

My character in that campaign is also an oracle - Battle/Legalistic. She's a fight-happy Viking type who wants to be a valkyrie when she grows up, and (appropriately) gained her powers in the first big battle she was in.

I had an idea for an Oracle I'd like to try someday - a 'Witch'. No, they don't use the witch spell list, but how ELSE would you describe someone who got magic powers after performing a blood sacrifice (calm down, it was only a rabbit), in front of an ancient monolith to unknown gods on a moonless night? (Probably Dark Tapestry/Tongues, or similar.)

You could just ask the players "Make sure you give me a reason why your character would work for the Order of Luna against the True Flame." Why do all the work yourself?

Kthulhu wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Sacred Geometry was a single Feat. The rules for, and oversight over, class design are a whole lot different.
From what I can tell, the rules for class design basically say "If it ain't a spellcaster, F@#* IT!"

More specifically, it's something like "If you want to do something cool, it requires

1: a feat
2: a spell
3: a class feature
4: a magic item
5: you eating an Attack of Opportunity."

pickin_grinnin wrote:
In real world magic systems (not saying I believe they work) from various cultures, you typically don't see things like battle mages.

That's because (as far as I know) no real-world magic system is a working substitute for heavy artillery.

pickin_grinnin wrote:

Getting back to Pathfinder, magic using classes are not inherently more powerful or effective than those that don't use magic, because I design and run my games (and entire campaigns) to make sure that a couple of classes don't dominate everything.

For example, there are just as many opportunities to shine (or fail) as a rogue or fighter as there are for magic wielders. I take things like hand gestures, vocal components, line of sight, etc. into consideration. When intelligent enemies figure out who knows magic, they target them in appropriate ways. Many of the challenges I present simply can't be solved with any of the existing spells. Etc. etc. In my games, actual roleplaying and creative, intelligent decisions will typically get a character much further than simply relying on class-based abilities.

How do you manage to keep the spellcasters from short-circuiting entire plots out of combat?

"Bob's been poisoned! We need to find the antidote before-" "Neutralize poison".

"We need to reach the top of Mount Murder to-" "Fly."

"We have to figure out who killed Dr. Lucky-" "Speak with Dead."
"The murderer was masked, so-" "Divination."

"The princess is cursed, and we need to-" "Remove Curse."

And so on, ad nauseam.

I know a lot of these magic short-cuts can be thwarted... but only by OTHER MAGIC.

Anzyr wrote:
I'm talking about fantasy settings as a whole. When's the last time Aang traded his unborn child's life to bend? Where is there any indication of the sanity damage that Merlin took?

Airbending isn't magic. Merlin is the son of a demon. (And Aang is Kung-Fu Jesus - the normal rules don't apply to either of them.)

Magicians are rarely protagonists in classic mythology - they're advisors to the REAL heroes, or the villains.

Anyway... fantasy settings a whole. The Black Company has some severely screwed-up sorcerers in it (Howler comes to mind), and a few who really managed to dance through the minefield successfully (The Lady).

Faust is the classic 'sell your soul' wizard. Along with all those people, guilty or not, who got used as kindling in the late Middle Ages.

Jack Vance's wizards (You know, the ones D&D's spellcasting was inspired by) generally couldn't keep more than three or four spells memorized at once, so they had to be good at swordfighting and running away as well.

Discworld wizards spend a lot of time NOT doing magic, since doing too much of it has a non-trivial risk of causing runs in the fabric of reality.

Plenty of fantasy wizards die when a spell they cast or a creature they summoned gets out of control - that's not impossible in PF, but it's REALLY tough to do.

In fantasy RPGs:
Using Call of Cthulhu magic will drive you insane.

Unknown Armies magic requires insanity in the form of an all-consuming obsession.

Sorcerer's only magic is to summon demons, doing so makes you less human, and you have cajole them into doing what you want.

Exalted's Sorcery is potentially world-changingly powerful, but it's long, time-consuming, exhausting, and occasionally risky rituals (and the Essence-powered tricks the other Exalted can do are just as powerful, and a lot faster).

Shadowrun magic is physically tiring to use, as is GURPS's default system.

Ars Magica has immensely powerful magic... and being able to do it makes most normal people want to run away or kill you. (And every player in that game is expected to make a mage character AND a few mundane sidekicks to play.)

There are plenty of ways to do magic in fantasy and fantasy RPGs besides the Caster Omnipotence that Pathfinder inherited.

Ms. Pleiades wrote:

Ghost of Christmas Past: Ghost Cleric of Pharasma 13.

Isn't that kind of an oxymoron? Pretty sure you can't be both of those things at once...

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Marroar Gellantara wrote:
The idea of adding more consequences could be interesting, but let us not pretend that magic does not already come with heavy cost.

It doesn't, really. "Heavy cost" is things like your soul, your sanity, or your firstborn child. Spending a round and some powered ruby on a spell isn't heavy by any stretch of the imagination.

Scythia wrote:

Ok, here's an attempt at a half-Valkyrie.

** spoiler omitted **

Very cool, and pretty close to what I was thinking - thanks!

lemeres wrote:

But can we name some neutral outsiders for a bit? Axiomites (living math equations), inevitables (axiomite's robot army), psychopomps (skeleton-y things), proteans (snakes with a shapeshifting and uncontrollable bent), and aeons (weird creatures symbolizing dualistic abstract concepts).

This is a lot harder than 'he has devil horns', 'he has feathery wings', or 'he has fire for hair'.

Very true. It just sees to me that D&D/PF tend to give short shrift to Law vs Chaos these days (which is funny, since back in Basic D&D, Law/Neutral/Chaos were the only alignments given - 'good' and 'evil' were only mentioned separately of those in AD&D.)

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If you're going to make magic a sub-optimal solution, it helps if the spellcasters have something useful they can do BESIDES spellcasting. (Unlike a D&D wizard who without spells is a glorified Commoner.)


Just don't let your laugh lack elegance.

I had the random idea for a half-Valkryie, but I don't know what sort of stats/abilities they should have.

Shifty wrote:

OK I'll chime in with why witch and why CHA.

The inital model I had was one of a deep down Louisiana voodoo type - which is VERY much a 'Witch', and every bit a valid an incarnation as a bunch of crones with pointed hats. That theme is out of keeping with a Sorc or Bard; the Witch is a pretty classic fit based on the sorts of Hexes Curses and other flavour they bring to bear.

Why CHA?

Well it's more about their ability to read people, convince people, and trick people, as opposed to being a 'party leader'.

Sure they could use Magic to do that, but it lacks a little...sophistication - for my liking anyway.

And also why a high CHA, well, if you've seen those Creole women...

If you're OK not using the Witch spell list & hexes, how about a Juju or Bones Oracle?

They can call themselves a witch just as well as anyone else. They made a deal with.... something... for power, and their Oracle's Curse is the price they paid.

ElterAgo wrote:
Vincent Takeda wrote:
There's more square footage of gaming table than I have square footage of bed to sleep on. Could your dice maybe land on the table? I feel like I should install rails like in bumper bowling.

I know a guy that absolutely has to shake his dice for a good 10-15 seconds. Then he always throws them up so at least 1/3 of the time the bounce off the table.

The more important the action the longer he shakes them and the higher he throws them.

Been there, done that, lost the dice under the sofa.

My recommended fix if it's a problem is to bring a game that comes in a shallow box - all dice must be thrown in the box.

Usual Suspect wrote:

Okay; now I know where you're coming from. Yeah, there are a lot of cool looking abilities/concepts that are really just ways to nerf a character or waste a feat. But they shouldn't cripple a character the way they often do.

I play a dervish dancer paladin in PFS and getting to third level was painful. The character was almost worthless as a second level character with weapon finesse as my only feat so I had to play her as using a rapier until I was high enough level to take the Dervish Dance feat; but then I lost bonus damage on crits because one of my traits still required a scimitar for bonus fire damage. I'm sure that if I'd stuck with using the scimitar at low levels just for flavor I would have really ticked of the table half the time if I couldn't hit the broad side of Magnimar.

I think this is an inherent problem with level-based games. If you want your character to do something cool and unusual, be prepared to spend the first X levels of your career as an unformed larva that MIGHT manage to pupate into your original idea if you survive long enough.

wraithstrike wrote:
Arbane are you not able to do 11 points of damage at level 1?

Level one, sure. It's the levels AFTER that where I don't see where all the extra damage is supposed to be coming from.

My group's currently level 6 going on 7, and the GM insists on giving all the enemies bonus HP because he thinks we're 'too strong'. :-P

Consider the Divine Protection feat at level 5. A nice fat bonus to all saves.

Undone wrote:
Arbane the Terrible wrote:

Objection. The builds given here are not 'average'.

Either that, or every single person I've ever played Pathfinder with is ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE at optimization. (Which is admittedly not out of the question.)

The latter is more likely.

Okay, edjumacate me, sensei.

Take a character who's NOT a maxxed-out Barbarian with a support buffer, and show me how to get these kind of numbers.

For example, I've got a Battle Oracle who can manage to eke out about 22 DPR (when she hits), going up to about 32 when buffed. This is at LEVEL 6. Obviously, I am a hideous gimp.

(18 strength, power attack, greatsword. Buffs are Enlarge Person, Bull's Strength, Divine Favor, and Prayer.)

What am I doing wrong, aside from not playing a barbarian whith a buffbot?

(And the other members of the party are a witch, a rogue, a ranger, and a monk who tends to be our best hitter. YES, WE ARE SCREWED.)

And nope, nobody in the group can cast Haste. I am counting the XP 'til Blessing of Fervor. :-P

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Bear in mind that BigDTBone's chart is high average damage. Like for a full BAB Class focused on it. For a whole round, not just one attack.

Okay, that makes slightly more sense, but still... Okay, at level 1, a barbarian can manage about 15 damage on average. That makes sense. Where's the next +5 coming from at level 2?

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In the words of Al Bruno III: "I'll use my bard music. Do I get extra XP for not actually singing?" "Good lord, yes."

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Objection. The builds given here are not 'average'.

Either that, or every single person I've ever played Pathfinder with is ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE at optimization. (Which is admittedly not out of the question.)

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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

I like to fool around with the names of (traditionally nameless) mooks, instead of, say, 'mook #1'.

Bob & Weave.

Ace, Deuce & Trey.

Cough & Drop.

Meaty, Beefy, Big & Bouncy.

If anyone's got any more ideas...? : )

Lily, Rose, Iris, and their brother, Herb.

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Orfamay Quest wrote:

I can't really think of any situation where I would list "Your players are enjoying themselves; this must be stopped" among a list of recommended techniques for running a game.

A horror game?

You might want to up the rating on Toppling Spell metamagic a bit - Spiritual Weapon and Spiritual Ally are both [force] spells, and if the GM will allow you to use Charisma instead of Wisdom (Seriously, why has this not been updated yet?) to hit with them, they could be quite nice with Toppling Spell.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

For simplicity of math, maybe '3d20, drop highest and lowest'? That should make 1s and 20s much rarer.

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Auren "Rin" Cloudstrider wrote:
here are the list of problem abilities i have seen, whether they are spells or passive abilities or whatever, spells offer access more reliably to more people

Witness the TVTropes (WARNING: Do not follow link without lots of spare time) list of Story Breaker Powers. There's a spell for almost EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. (In D&D3.5, take out the 'almost'.)

In an actual story, if a wizard is a major character, there's usually SOME reason they can't just use their magic to solve every problem.

atheral wrote:

I watched the first episode of Cross Ange, I was expecting somthing more akin to Chika or scrapped princess....needless to say I wasn't prepared for that episode, especially the ending...still going to watch it though.

I watched a bunch of first episodes with a group. We managed to get about five minutes into that one, and unanimously decided "nah". So we watched something else.

I went back later and watched the rest, and in retrospect, I SHOULD'VE STUCK WITH "NAH".

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