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Arbane the Terrible's page

696 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Blistering Invective.

You curse out all enemies in range so hard they catch fire. It's hilarious.

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My group's Ranger has Combat Reflexes, Combat Patrol, and a reach weapon.
Sometimes he kills more enemies on their turn than on his own.

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Jader7777 wrote:

A broken ship carcass washed up on the edge of an eroded rocky crop 100 feet from the shore, a stormy night with wild winds, uneven surfaces and splintered wood are your only footing. Weird monsters lurk in every corner of the wreck and some nasty traps and ambushes are waiting for you- but you need to get the ultimate mcguffin of plot device before the king tide ends or all elves will die.

Freddy the Fighter needs the following:
Climb check, oh he brought his grappling hook, whats that freddy
Only has 1 ration and isn't going to share

Ummm, how's Freddy even going to GET to the wreck? How's he going to breathe water when something inevitably tries to drag him under? How to find what they're looking for?

(Meanwhile, my plan for the wizard would be along the line of: Fly up, Locate Macguffin, Disintegrate path to it, Hold/Stun guard, grab MacGuffin, leave. Summon aquatic help if needed. If wizzo does it right, there won't even BE a fight.)

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MeanMutton wrote:
"Tiers" are incredibly subjective and frankly I find they have very little to contribute to the game.

What's so subjective about them? 9-level spellcasters have a lot of ways to insta-win or bypass many scenarios, fighters don't have any a normal person wouldn't.

Milo v3 wrote:
Paradozen wrote:
I think its worth mentioning that there should be some caster/martial disparity. It shouldn't be as drastic as it is, but for magic to be truly fantastic it has to be able to cover more than nonmagic.
I disagree, in a game like Exalted for example (I'm only familiar with 3e Exalted admittedly) non-casters are able to affect the game to a ridiculous degree and can do rather mythic over the top actions, but magic still remains fantastic.

Well, the thing there is every PC in Exalted (except the hardcore masochists playing Heroic Mortals) is using magic - they're just using it to power their skills and abilities to impossible-to-mortal levels via Charms instead of casting spells.

(And Sorcery in Exalted is, IMO, pretty well-handled - it's immensely powerful, but it's also hard to get, risky to use, not even remotely subtle, and it DOESN'T do all the same things Charms can do.)

But yeah, this is a good example of the problem with C/MD: If the peasants non-spellcasters are going to keep up with their rightful overlords the spellcasters, they're going to need abilities that are equally game-breaking and versatile.

As someone pointed out in one of the many, many previous iterations of this thread, past level 6 or so, there ARE no 'mundane' characters in Pathfinder, but we keep pretending there are if they don't cast spells.

Shisumo wrote:

My current Pathfinder Society fighter 5/student of war 2 has the following total skill modifiers, which are (except for a +2 bonus for masterwork thieves' tools and his armor check penalty) solely the result of skill ranks and feats:

Bluff +9, Climb +6, Diplomacy +9, Disable Device +13, Knowledge (arcana) +20, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +16, Knowledge (history) +15, Knowledge (local) +22, Knowledge (nature) +15, Knowledge (planes) +20, Knowledge (religion) +20, Knowledge (other) +10, Linguistics +8, Perception +13, Survival +4

But that's cool, I know fighters have nothing to do out of combat, so I'll just be over here, making the wizard cry when we are both rolling knowledge checks.

How are you doing that?

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MendedWall12 wrote:
Daniel Yeatman wrote:
I'm almost certain that tying ropes in a non-grapply situation is a Sleight of Hand check now.
Tying ropes not on a person is called roleplaying. If you need some kind of a DC for the knot it's the character's CMD. We're talking about hearty heroes and adventurers here, why do they need to roll something to tie a rope on an inanimate object?


No action is interesting without the possibility of humiliating and potentially lethal failure.

Put it on an island in a river, with the only way onto it being zig-zagging bridges. (I read somewhere Chinese ghosts can cross running water, but only in a straight line.)

I forget who said it first, but:

"The Tomb of Horrors is less an adventure than an intelligence test.

If you go in, YOU FAILED."

Kick Up is one of those feats that I have a hard time imagine coming up often enough to be worth a feat. It's barely a stunt.

Blinding Flash: Weak, ridiculously situational, and something that might as well be a once-in-a-while stunt.

D&D has been a very gear-centric game since at least AD&D days.

There's always homebrew.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
The idea that the Wizard (implicitly less attractive and probably male) is more competent definitionally is baked in and rather the heart of the problem in many ways.

But if the nerds aren't BETTER than the popular people and the jocks then EVERYTHING IS RUINED FOREVER!

(I have been reading grognards.txt. This has not made me a better person. But it is weird the degree to which Int Supremacy is baked into 3.X and derivatives.)

Have we gotten a Bingo yet? I think we're pretty close, all I need is for someone to complain about 'anime'.

AntipodeF wrote:
As far as ACTUAL wacky nonsense concepts I've seen in action, there's this barbarian named Grog who fights with a Merciful greatsword, and, somehow - I don't know the specifics, and I'm too new at this to really guess them - hits waaaay harder with "nonlethal" damage then with lethal. He frequently KILLS people with nonlethal damage.

I accidentally did that TWICE last session. Stupid unexpected crits...

(Note to self: When using a Merciful weapon, if you ALMOST drop them with the first attack, don't use Power Attack on the second.)

Consider the endgame of this. Is the witch's player going to like finding out the source of their powers is evil?

If not, how well will the group do with a high-Int Commoner in the party?

How about the Human bonus feat? Would a Human reincarnated to something else get to keep it?

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BadBird wrote:
"Overpowered" is an issue in context. An easy, general dex-to-damage feat is a giant middle finger to a ton of build concepts that would prefer not to use it.

This seems like an incredibly bizarre statement to me. It's like the existence of non-spellcasting classes is a 'giant middle finger' to the wizards, or something?

(Other way around, actually, but that's another unending argument.)

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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Those were also editions that single weapon fighter types got at best, two swings per round at the high end levels. And there were no such things as swift or immediate actions. Lets be aware of the apple/orange comparisons here.

Wellll, not quite. In AD&D, a Fighter surrounded by opponents with less than one hit die (This was back before CR was invented, so this could happen) got their level in attacks against them, and I seem to recall BECMI edition has some neat weapon-mastery abilities at the high levels.

Something like the Martial Master archetype's floating feats would be a good standard option for fighters - it would really increase their versatility.

But it has the same problem so much of PF does, in making System Mastery = Power.

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In the real world, people have taken six bullets to the chest and WALKED to the hospital.

(RL damage rules make no sense plz fix.)

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Rednal wrote:

And this probably bears repeating, but the #1 thing I want Fighters to be able to do is impact the narrative more effectively. Magic is so amazing because it can affect the narrative in so many different, creative ways, and I generally prefer to play classes that are capable of similar things (in their own flavorful ways, of course).

To that end... I sometimes wonder if Fighter is just a bad class for the game in general. That is, the very concept of a class who fights, and does nothing else, may not be appropriate for a roleplaying game with lots of non-fighting challenges.

Yeah, this is a large part of the problem, I think. Even if a fighter CAN fillet a dragon in 6 seconds, when the plot requires curing poison, traveling the Planes, detective work, social interaction, or even building a fort, they're stuck standing back and trying to look tough while the COMPETENT people handle things.

Fusing the Fighter and the Rogue (getting a class with full BAB, 8 skill-points per level, and maybe a nerfed Sneak Attack*) might make a decent no-magic class. Just give it a good Will save, for pity's sake...

* (Explain to me why a glorified pickpocket is better at hitting opponents where it really hurts than the alleged professional weaponmaster.)

Seen in another thread, possibly relevant here:

Blackwaltzomega wrote:

And here's the primary thing that keeps magic and martial arts separated.

Magic doesn't exist in the real world, so the base assumption when writing magical abilities is that it just works. You wave your hands and something happens, and you can just chalk it up to musical training or a bloodline or a Hogwarts diploma you got before your first character level.

Martial arts do exist in the real world, and I'm willing to guess there weren't a lot of serious HEMA students consulted in designing feats for D&D 3rd Edition. So there were a lot of people who didn't have intimate familiarity with martial arts writing about them, and so things probably go a bit like this:

-Magic is magic. I don't have to explain how it works. So getting better at magic just works. The only thing you need to do is hand wave why you have magic in the first place.
-Martial arts are really hard. So every kind of fighting style and technique should be really hard to learn!

Hence the problems we're chewing on in this thread.

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Thjalfi. A farmer's son of no special lineage that we're told of.
Travelled with a god, and ran half as fast as Thought itself.

Talek & Luna wrote:
1) No, I never said any person should survive falls from insanely high, HALO like parachute drops. That should be DM narrative at that point because you should be dead. Even Conan should not survive those types of falls.

Ahhh, this takes me back to the Good Old Days of We must've spent a few man-centuries arguing back and forth about whether Conan should have a non-zero chance of getting shanked in a back-alley by some hood with a rusty dagger if the dice JUST HAPPENED to come up the right way. These days, we'd just chalk it up to 'narrativist' vs. 'simulationist' and call it a day.

HP make very little sense as anything BUT 'ablative plot armor' - and part of that is the writer slipping in some ridiculous explanation for how you survived that Plummet To Certain Death if need be. Happened all the time in the pulp stories that were one of the inspirations for early D&D.

Ssalarn wrote:
Essentially, rather than the Fighter being representative of a fantasy soldier, replete with all the skills and versatility that were required of soldiers even in medieval times, he's a roided out bodybuilder, and shares much of the same issues. Sure, he's objectively physically stonger than some of his peers, but God help him if the challenge requires him to scratch his own back.

Yes. By the rules, fighters are pretty good at delivering HP damage with one preferred weapon, but nearly hopeless at everything else.

Ssalarn wrote:
Also, the "exercise and pursuit of physical prowess is really hard in the real world" has exactly nothing to do with Pathfinder. Golarion is a world where a guy literally used the pursuit of personal perfection through exercise and meditation to become a god. Your personal experiences as a hobbyist in the realm of exercise and the arts martial should absolutely not be informing what a high level fantasy character in such a world is capable of achieving.

And that's the mindset that makes fixing the fighter pretty much impossible - some people are PERSONALLY OFFENDED by the idea that a fighter can do anything that The Guy At The Gym can't do.

(I've been reading Something Awful's "Grognards.txt" compilation of idiotic gamer quotes, and variations on that attitude show up a LOT.)

JoeElf wrote:

Every level where fighters get the "bonus" combat feat, a wizard is getting a whole new spell book.

So all we need to do is come up with bonus feats for level 10+ Fighters as powerful as level 5+ spells!

(And for my next trick after that, I'll unscramble an egg.)

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Natan Linggod 327 wrote:

Disguise Self, Suggestion, Seek Thoughts, Cultural Adaptation, Teleport, various divinations, any spells that boost Diplomacy directly or indirectly.

And Geas.

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Talek & Luna wrote:
Stop making martial feats and training seem like its no big deal. It is in fact a huge deal and very hard to get to the next level physically.

I find it hard to believe that sheer physical effort should be MORE restricted than the ability to reshuffle reality.

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412294 wrote:
All he needs is an army of incorporeal undead, pretty sure we don't have any magic weapons on earth.

That's only a good plan if you want to rule over a dead world.

thejeff wrote:
Well, that first part while certainly true, just pushes the question back a step. What was D&D built for?

"Skirmish wargaming in an underground menagerie."

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Snowlilly wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:

My assumption was he was talking about the REAL Earth, as in reality...not the complete and made up world of fantasy.

That makes things simpler.

Your wizard was just demoted to commoner. Magic does not exist in the real world.

Thank you for your contribution to this thread. please be sure to close the lid, flush, and wash your hands before you leave.

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SmiloDan wrote:

In 5th or 6th grade, I fell off a 30 foot cliff onto solid granite, and the only injuries I sustained were a twisted ankle and a cut knee.

So the D&D hit point system might not actually match reality.

An understatement if ever I've heard one.

SmiloDan wrote:

The d10 system (Vampire, Werewolf, etc.) has a Soak system, which might more accurately represent real life injuries.

I dunno if I'd go THAT far. Storyteller system has its own problems.

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Insain Dragoon wrote:
The only ones that actually accomplish Pathfinder level feats are either literal Gods or in anime.

A lot of actual mythological gods have less magic power than a max-level PF caster.

Look at Odin, bragging about the 18 spells he knows. Bless his little heart. (Edit: And I got ninja'ed, appropriately enough.)

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Talek & Luna wrote:
Why? Because you are biased against wizards? It makes far more sense for a wizard to have a ton of skills than a fighter. Wizards deal in academia. Most people in academia have a far greater selection of skills than others in a profession that does not require much learning.

Skills are not all 'book learning'. They also include everything you'd need to run an obstacle course, keep watch, stay alive in the field, or build a fort.

Talek & Luna wrote:
Rangers are in my mind much more like special forces. Trained in hit & run and guerilla tactics. It makes sense that they get perception due to ambushing prey and looking out for ambushes. Fighters should not get to ruin everyone one else's perk. Rogues should hands down beat fighters in stealth vs detection scenarios.

And fighters are stupid meatshields, I hear you imply.

Milo v3 wrote:
HP is "the ability to take physical punishment and keep going, and the ability to turn a serious blow into a less serious one." Doing that to having your head cut off is rather "anime".

Once again, we are forcibly reminded how "Anime" the Knights of the Round Table (and in this case, their enemies) were. :D

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
It has a really high chance of killing a single non-Paladin foe. Almost any single non-Paladin foe. But a group? Someone's gonna make the Save.

It's downright ADORABLE the way you think the dice won't slaughter the party mercilessly.

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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Swarms just reinforce that!

My GM _loves_ swarms. We all fear the day he finds a fireproof one to throw at us.

I guess we can add 'Make Sense of Hitpoints' to the list. :)

Here's one that's way EASIER than it should be: A typical Pathfinder human can fully recover from having a vital organ ripped out of their body by an enraged barbarian in 1-4 days.
(Obviously, what's harder than it should be is understanding the meaning of the word 'vital'.)

Quark Blast wrote:

60 reasons and counting to switch to 5E!

<snort> :D

I'm not sure it would be a huge improvement.

Another one: Dodging. Aside from Monks, a 20th level whatever caught with their armored pants down is just as easy to hit as a level 1 whatever.

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Lucas Yew wrote:
Hitting 4 people standing apart 10 feet in a straight line in 6 seconds. Even a totally frail guy like me can do it in real life, but...

Hitting things, period, really.

I saw an amusing video a while back of a tortoise headbutting a trash can 8 times in about 6 seconds.

It must be an EPIC LEVEL tortoise.

Edit: Also, bleeding. Stabbing someone with a sharp object isn't enough to make them bleed over time, you need magic or a feat for that. (Which makes it harder to do that hoary old cliche where a wounded person lasts long enough to say something before dropping dead. It's still possible with poison and such, I guess.)

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There's some things that are bizarrely difficult in Pathfinder.

1: Jumping high. At level 3, a Wizard can levitate to any height they like. At that level, good luck jumping higher than your height, anyone but a Gnome Monk!

2: Regeneration It is significantly easier to bring someone back from the dead than to restore a missing ear. (Do the rules make any allowances for if they died of decapitation?)

3: Surviving cold weather. By the rules, a skiing holiday is risking death, and a Minnesota winter should be a TPK.

Any others people can think of?

A theme song for your game. :D

My group also has a reckless player in it - his latest escapade involved his monk diving into a group of 'Adherers' (flypaper mummies, basically), relying on Freedom of Movement and sky-high AC to protect him. He got away with 6 HP left (out of 70-something) and no pants. I dunno if character or player will wise up before death...

Snowlilly wrote:
swoosh wrote:

She tries a trip combat maneuver in that same fight, takes an Attack of Opportunity and gets knocked prone and then gets ruthlessly murdered by monsters on the next turn.

You made a very poor tactical decision by attempting an untrained maneuver. The results of that poor tactical decision resulted in character death.

This is not a caster vs. martial problem, it is a player competency problem. The first step towards correcting the problem is acknowledging it exists. Don't worry, we've all made stupid mistakes in the past. The trick is learning from them.

Yeah, but you're overfocussing. The 'poor tactical decision' was playing a martial, because they didn't understand how hard the rules punish that choice.

(Also, your post made my Condescensionometer started beeping. Can't imagine why...whoops, there goes the sarcasm detector!)

StabbittyDoom wrote:
Well, there's no accounting for bad rules design. Then again, this was 2nd ed, so I shouldn't be surprised. That edition from what little I can recall was all about weird (nearly-)auto-win spells and abilities.

First Ed, actually. (I'm OOOOOLD.) And yeah, the whole point of 1st-ed wizards was that they had some impressive Win Buttons... once a day... if they lived long enough to use them.

Kahel Stormbender wrote:

The rules as written don't always cover every interaction the players will come up with. Such as creative combat uses of non-combat spells. 2nd edition D&D had no rules at all for what happens when you cast Light on the nose guard of a bad guy's helmet. Thus when I did such, the GM was left going "Uh... what?" and having to make up a ruling.

Back in AD&D times, you could blind someone by casting Light directly on their eyes. Continual Light would perma-blind them.

A half-dozen Epidemic spells?

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Not sure why you would try and trip someone up when you both have weapons in hands. It seems to me that tripping should be difficult else people would be doing it all the time.

Yes, the nerve of that trained, experienced warrior, trying to do anything more interesting in a fight than roll hit then damage.

LoneKnave wrote:


Sorcerers having everything handded to them on a silver platter while fighters need to spend all of their resources on the one thing they can do well to do it up to par makes magic magical?

Basically, yes. Because MAGIC CAN DO ANYTHING, whereas non-spellcasters can't do anything that guy at the gym can't do (unless they've spent multiple feats on it). (And outside of combat, those stoopid fightars aren't even as competent as real-world Boy Scouts.)

How'd it end up like that? Let's ask Skip Williams, designer of D&D 3rd Edition:

Likewise, there was a vocal group that steadfastly opposed anything even faintly magical for the feat selection or for the class powers for any non spelllcaster. So, for example, in 3rd edition you can't choose a feat that lets you perform a few useful cantrips, a rogue can't pickup a class ability that allows fast travel via shadows, and a fighter can't gain a class ability that that paralyzes lesser foes with fear. Again, 4th edition got some great mileage out of magics tailored for every class.

Wizards are SUPPOSED to be Supreme Overlords of the Cosmos, Fighters are SUPPOSED to beat the hitpoints out of things one full-attack at a time.

[SARCASM]That's balanced, right?[/SARCASM]

Bomanz wrote:

Am I the only one here that thinks magical hair that is stronger than the witch and can attack and stuff is stupid?


Is this an "anime" thing that I don't understand?

Wuxia thing, actually. I've seen characters with prehensile hair in Chinese Ghost Story and Bride With White Hair (who got an archetype named after her!).

Consider playing a different game.

Toon, Kobolds Ate My Baby, Hackmaster, or Paranoia sound more their speed.

As has been said, ask them: "Guys, WHY do you always play such suicidally stupid murderhoboes?"

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Hugo Rune wrote:
If you wanted to avoid rolling a new character solid tactics and intelligent roleplay were required.


There's not a lot of 'roleplay' involved in searching every 10-foot square like you're defusing a Viet Cong tunnel.

Hugo Rune wrote:
Pathfinder players who couldn't cope with such traumatic event shouldn't play

This highlights one of PF (and D&D's) big problems - characters are excessively gear-centric. A fighter's likely to be specialized in one type of weapon (and needs armor), a wizard with no spellbook (or component pouch!) is a Commoner with a good Will-save, even a cleric needs a holy symbol.

This was LESS of a problem in AD&D because magic items were so random there, but it was definitely still a problem. And AD&D had a certain attitude that PCs could do anything a real human could plausibly do, instead of needing sixty bazillion skills and feats and whatnot to achieve baseline competence.

Blame the game for making this 'traumatic', not the players for being [sarcasm]WEAK BABIES NOT LIKE REAL MANLY ROLEPLAYERS[/sarcasm].

(And getting mad at cutscene railroading is perfectly reasonable for players.)

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