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What's the point of the Lunge Elan action? When you move towards someone, you rarely provoke. Did you intend it for getting past Reach? As is, you can use this power to walk around someone to set up a flank. Legal, but not in keeping with the word "Lunge"...
I wonder if there should be a way to move and full attack? The class does strike as a "quick, agile" fighting class, but giving a pounce-like ability might twist your theme a bit. It's probably better if you move and then make a single decisive attack, rather than a whole FA-routine.
OTOH, consider the Oracle of Battle's Surprising Charge ability for an example of how it can be done.
Maybe one of the Loyalist local lords hired the mercenaries to "help suppress banditry in the mountains". There do in fact exist some bandits in the mountains so this is not entirely implausible.
The king doesn't trust it, but because the lord hasn't risen in open rebellion, the king hasn't called the lord's bluff. The king doesn't want a double conflict so he's hoping the lord will stay put until the current war is over.
Re: 2WF -
I'm just missing a good rationale here. Why can only one hand be a bravo hand? Is the other hand doing something? In the case of stuff like Crane Style, it's obvious you need a free hand to do all sort of stuff. In the case of the bravo I'm not really seeing it.
These feats give up your first primary-hand attack (a bravo weapon), but you keep the secondary hand attacks. But those aren't bravo. That's rather unfortunate.
As I'm looking at it in detail, it seems you use the Swashbuckler feat to allow use of light shields/bucklers. The main class pretty much insists you stay away from heavy shields. Maybe it'd be better to cut away proficiency in heavy shields altogether?
The Main Gauche Defence feat is a bit wonky though. It provides a +1 AC, which isn't spectacular. But does it also trigger the penalties to class abilities for using a shield? (Probably shouldn't.) And do enhancement bonuses on the weapon also add to AC? That might be appropriate, and there's precedent for it in the Shield Master feat, that adds a shield's defensive bonuses to attacks with the shield.
As I look at it, I really wonder if the class should be 1-weapon focused. As it is, there aren't many good 2WF builds available, but the concept captures our imagination nonetheless. The problem with 2WF is usually poor to-hit and damage for each of the weapons, and longer feat chains, compared to 2HW builds. The Bravo comes equipped with solutions to those problems, particularly Opportune Attack.
The danger in that is that 2WF Bravos might outpace 1H Bravo builds. This is definitely tricky.
Staggered and moving at half speed are a lot alike. How about giving Cobra the Sickened condition, but with no chance of upgrade to Nauseated, while Hare causes Staggered?
Now, Sickened is more powerful than Shaken, but we already said it couldn't be escalated to Nauseated. So let's say explicitly that this Shaken condition can be aggravated to Frightened:
"The creature becomes Shaken. If it was already Shaken by a different effect it becomes Frightened."
(By now the majority of nonmagical effects in the game that cause Shaken have text preventing it from escalating to Frightened. However, you can use the Shaken condition provided by those effects to lay a foundation for the style effect to cause Frightened. It's a level 7 ability after all.)
I think you should be more explicit about the 1-weapon thing. It took me a while to realize that you're allowed to wield two weapons, but that only the main hand would count as a bravo weapon. That's awkward.
With ki/grit, what I meant was that Ki is a daily pool that refreshes once per day, while grit is a smaller pool but there are several things you can do to refresh it (score crits, defeat foes).
The reason I go on about Elan is because for a couple of levels it seems like you really need Parry->Riposte to fish for AoOs. But that would burn through the pool very quickly. This is less an issue if you move Engaging Feint to a lower level though.
I rather like you using both Int and Cha actually. However, you do risk MADness, so maybe it's not a bad thing to move the feat to use Dex for damage into the main class to offset that?
I think Bluff is the appropriate skill for most uses of distraction, with the spell providing either an opportunity where none existed before, or a substantial bonus to the check, as appropriate.
Of course, a bard might use Versatile Performance for that Bluff check.
It's hard to produce good rules for these situations in general; depends a lot on the monsters and your player's creativity. Try to see the distraction from the monsters' point of view and act on that.
I like AoOs, ESPECIALLY for movement. I enjoy tactical games on grids.
I also enjoy gridless playing, but I'll pick a different character for that.
I don't like it when people say that other people who like/dislike grids are doing it wrong.
I like the idea of encumbrance, but with a handier ruleset for it.
First, I really like this. I have a soft spot for lightly armored warriors and this seems to be a decent implementation. I too like Engaging Feint, it allows you to force an enemy to engage with you so that all your AoO-fishing can stay active.
That said, I have some nitpicks;
* Bravo Weapons: I found this a bit confusing. Until I read the Swashbuckler feat I was under the impression that this class was anti-2WF.
* Elan->Parry: do you use this ability after the opponent revealed his to-hit result, or before?
* Elan pool: why did you choose the Ki/Rage/Performance mechanic instead of the Grit mechanic (which refreshes when doing Good Things)?
* Improved Compound Attack: you wrote "brave" instead of "bravo".
* Deadly Strike: can this be combined with feats/abilities/items that enhance critical threatting/multiplying? Most of those say that you can't combine them.
Also, Engaging Feint made me wonder. Should this class have access to the Disruptive/Spellbreaker feats for harassing casters, much like the bardic Arcane Duelist archetype?
I think the comparison to Intelligence is fair. Also, you pay a price for dumping Dex or Con, so why not Str?
The problem is that applying the penalty for dumping those things takes all of half a minute to apply. Encumbrance takes half an hour to calculate.
I'm in favor of encumbrance. I think it makes the game more challenging, if you're trying to be both prepared to all eventualities and yet not slowed down. But the current rules are just too fussy. The only way I'd be willing to use the current rules is with digital character sheets that do the drudgework, but I don't want players distracted by lots of screens at the table.
I'm basically looking for a better system.
I like the idea of encumbrance, I just hate the execution in the rules. It's way too much work; you have to look up the weights for everything, then tally them, then wonder what happens if you move some of it to a mount, then wonder what happens with strength buffs...
I'd like a WAY simpler encumbrance system. One that takes roughly as long to calculate as AC or to-hit.
I'm really enjoying this topic. Tacticslion's posts are (almost) making the belief-powered deity concept palatable for me :P
Based on williamoak, I'm now considering the possibility that wizards are indeed un-worshipers; the power that normal people send to their deity, wizards use that power to cast arcane spells. A good reason for clerics to have a dim view of wizardry. Not quite enough for outright persecution, but enough to consider it immoral.
As a variant of the man-made-god concept, I'm considering the concept of a "mantle" of divine power. This is somewhat inspired by Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series, where some people such as the Knight of Summer/Winter get power that goes with the title of Knight. If they die, the mantle is passed to their successor. However, the knight can have power of his own as well, leading to interesting combinations;
Harry Dresden is a powerful wizard in his own right, but when he also becomes Winter Knight he gets a whole new set of additional toys to play with.
Godhood could function somewhat like this; a mortal that ascends to godhood keeps his old powers, but also those of the divine mantle. If he were to fall from godhood he'd still be a (probably Epic/Mythic) character.
Rests the question of where the mantle's power comes from. No need to have only a single answer.
It's even possible that you assume a divine mantle and yet remain a mortal. You just gain the significant power to grant divine spellcasting to clerics. Like a sort of Egyptian Pharaoh that has his own priests, but still dies after a mortal lifetime, passing the mantle on to his heir.
An interesting item to consider in this contrext is the Witch Patron system. Are the Patrons gods? I don't think so. They don't actually grant power, they "merely" grant knowledge. The arcane spellcasting ability comes from the witch. Theoretically a witch might switch patrons while keeping previously learned powers.
My take is that the divine spells are those that can be delegated. Other spells can't really be granted to other people, you have to cast them yourself. This can lead to the odd situation where a god-emperor wizard needs priests because he can't himself cast some spells that he's able to grant to his priests.
Patrons on the other hand have to know their spells and can share this knowledge with a familiar, who then shares the practical execution with the witch. The witch can discover spells on her own and teach those to the familiar as well. Just maybe, this is a sneaky way for the patron to learn some new spells from time to time.
Who could be a patron? Anyone with a lot of spell knowledge. Wizards, some epically well-informed sorcerers, other witches, and yes, some deities. But patrons are more of a "low-budget" operation than godhood.
Why do the gods care about us, if they don't need us? That's a good question to ask. Unlike you though, I don't think the absence of an immediate answer is a terrible blow to the setting.
First off, they might care because they created us, have plans for us and such, and don't want us to screw up. This suggests benevolence, but not necessarily. We might be playthings and they enjoy turning us against each other and watching the reality TV show that ensues.
Also, the gods might have some sort of agreement not to intervene directly, not all that much anyway. So they need proxies, and empower divine casters. Some of the racial gods may have crafted their races for the express purpose of waging war on the puppet race of a rival god because it's "not done" for a god to pursue the extinction of a race in person.
But even the lack of a clear-cut answer works for me. Some of the central questions of most religions are "why are we here?" and "what do the gods want from us?". The answers don't need to be the same for each religion. Maybe Sarenrae really cares, and provides us with a meaning of life: being a Good person and enjoying a happy life together. Gozreh though doesn't care to give us a Meaning Of Life.
It's a question of who creates you. Does mortal belief create the god, or was the god there to begin with? It's just my opinion, but I just don't like the man-made god.
However, a wayward church that's gotten beyond the god's grasp to enforce orthodoxy, that might actually be a neat campaign premise.
When I read the Magus, I think "ooh, that'd be cool with a suite of Touch spells". Then I go looking for Touch spells and there aren't all that many around.
You see bloodlines or races that will offer you benefits if only you will use [earth] or another specific element spells. But there are so few of those.
There's the Divination wizard, whose spell selection is not all that exciting. Memorize a bonus Divination spell; so much choice!
There are many more such cases.
So, I'm looking for more, many more spells. To enable these various more specialized kinds of casters. So which 3PP books offer balanced, varied and useful spells to solve the dilemma?
As a wizard in the 3-5 levels, I was rather fond of Flaming Sphere. It lasts long enough that you can do something magical every round, but doesn't obstruct any additional spellcasting you want to do.
While FS' damage isn't all that high, it does a nice job of battlefield shaping. Push it onto a monster, and chances are you've encouraged the monster to move out of that spot. Place it in a place you don't want monsters, and likely they won't go there.
You can use Dancing Lights and Ghost Sound cantrips to try to fool enemies; make it sound like you have reinforcements coming, or make them wonder if you just summoned a fire elemental or lantern archon.
I'm worried that would cause "dead levels", because Hexes also occur on the even levels. But I've thought about that as a solution.
I'd often run it as a Charisma check to Aid Another something the other PC is trying to do.
It takes a bit of GM goodwill to do this; the rules are vague, but it's obvious that with bard cantrips this is doable. Ghost Sound makes noise equal to CL x 4 people; that's a lot of noise. "Threatening" someone with a dagger levitated with Mage Hand should certainly draw some looks, even if Mage Hand is too weak to actually strike for damage. These things can obviously distract, but we have few rules for them.
They might give a significant bonus to (and be considered the necessary Standard Action to):
- Demoralize (Intimidation)
Also, with good illusions and Bluff, she might get an enemy to blow an AoO on something that's not real, allowing other PCs to seize the opportunity to do provocative stuff without retribution.
I like Weirdo's way of thinking. I also like to leave my meta-pantheon open to latecomers, but all the most powerful gods should probably be known at the start of the campaign. It's fine to add another creepy demon lord cult, but you can't stealthily add a world-spanning mass religion.
I rather like the idea that certain mortals ascend to sainthood under the patronage of a greater deity. Saints grant only a handful of domains, but there can be quite a few of them.
And not all saints are bright souls. Some are saints for the darker gods.
Spontaneous =/= Without Preparation.
Spontaneous casting is what clerics do when they swap out a prepare spell for a Cure. They still prepare spells.
Casting without preparation is what sorcerers do. They never prepared spells in the first place.
Being able to cast a SLA has been FAQed to satisfy "can cast X spell".
SLAs are not prepared.
=> You can cast X spell without preparing.
I'm still looking for a good spontaneous replacement for the Witch, but I do like the Spont-Only concept. Kobold Press' Shaman is a good Spont Druid, and I really like what Paizo did with Sorcerers and Oracles.
Mind, if wizards and sorcerers are both available, as a player I can't resist picking the wizard. Because why would I settle for less spell knowledge than the legal best? I'd only want to play a sorcerer if wizards didn't exist. That's why I'm excited about the Arcanist now.
I've bowed out of a game run by one of my best friends, because I just can't take his GMing style. I like the guy, he's fine as a player in my own game or when we're both playing PCs. But we were arguing so much when he GMed, that I decided we'd both feel better if I stepped out. Maybe it was me, maybe it was him. Doesn't really matter; I just didn't want all the fighting.
There's no guilt here. We just don't work together like that. Maybe it's like that with you and the player; you just don't fit together in the game with him in the passenger seat.
I've had some success with the 1d3 damage cantrips. Acid Splash, combined with the alchemical focus item (flask of acid, from Adventurer's Armory), combined with Point Blank Shot and a good Dex, meant I'd be hitting 60% of the time for 1d3+2 damage, without going into melee. Pretty decent for something that's almost free.
(My build was going towards Magical Lineage->Reach Spell->Calcific Touch, so getting to Precise Shot was the real reason for Point-Blank-Shot.)
Eh. I've played in a (mostly) 2nd ed campaign were the only healing available was goodberries; you were limited to healing 8hp per day that way. (Nobody felt like playing a cleric with real healing spells; this happened to be on my hunter-gatherer priest's spell list.)
Recovering from a major battle could take several days of intense berry-chewing. If we'd been in a big fight, we'd be slinking away trying to find a hidden spot to recover.
The whole thing was on a sort of Mongolian steppe kind of setting, so more than one encounter a day was rare. Practically the only reason for that is if someone is tracking you. If we'd been in Orcland and got in a fight, we'd be working to make sure no orcs got away to bring back help.
I'm currently mulling over aq couple of dark gods that themselves are evil, but really don't care all that much about the alignment of their followers. If the proper sacrifices are being made, and commands are obeyed, who cares?
It might also be interesting to open up good gods to "cynical" priests. Still restricted in which alignment subtype spells you cast, but if you follow the letter of scripture, you get power.
By the way. I don't consider it a strict necessity to cover ALL the domains with gods, but a majority should be available.
First off: do gods monopolize their responsibilities/portfolios?
As a variant, maybe the Sun exists without any god claiming responsibility, but there are still gods associated with the sun, granting Sun domain powers, because they live in a palace in the sky. In that case you can have multiple Sun gods without difficulty.
One god, many faces?
Not all gods need to be aspects of one another though. You can certainly have two different "culture hero" deities who taught the secrets of agriculture to their chosen people.
Unfinished lists of gods
The Golarion Shoanti revere animal totems that each have different domains associated. In that case it's fair to have dozens of gods, for each animal known. But some (lion, eagle) will probably be considered more important. If a player wants to have a different animal as totem though, you can agree on domains that make sense ("let's give Fox the Trickery domain, and..."), or someone could start out with a domain and figure out animals that would reasonably grant that domain ("I want Knowledge... how about Owl?").
There are vast numbers of demon lords down there, each specializing in a different flavor of evil. Too many to name beforehand, and why limit yourself? Later on you can always introduce a new creepy cult that the players have never heard of.
DM has ruled that the feat, "Gang Up," works for ranged attacks... help me optimize a level 8 human rogue (no items)
Most RPGs, Pathfinder one of them, have a clause somewhere in the introduction telling people to change the rules if they don't make sense. Arguably, making house rules when needed is RAW :P
Anyway, it seems going by "dumb RAW", you can't use a longspear that way. Stupid, but then inanimate objects like a textbook aren't all that smart.
Privately I'd interpret it as an improvized quarterstaff, not an improvized club.
How wild would it be if you could actually enchant your fists permanently, rather than messing about with brass knuckles? Monk fists are already considered both manufactured and natural weapons for purposes of spell buffs.
A monk going through a regiment of meditation, tattooing, beating your fists against stone to harden them and so forth - it's much better for my immersion than "I'm beyond materialism, and I'll prove it with these super-expensive brass knuckles".
It's funny, when I was writing my first post I was thinking along those same lines, "why not shove Fighter and Rogue into one class". Arguably, that's the Slayer class from ACG.
Also, the Bloodrager from ACG gets some spellcasting so he's more independent from the full casters - casting his own Fly spells for example.
Your argument is that in terms of options,
wizards > fighters
And that at higher level, this becomes
wizards >>> fighters
I agree on that part of the analysis. I'm not convinced by your approach to solving it. I think the solution should be to increase the fighter's side of the equation, rather than trying to nerf the wizard's side. I tend to avoid fighters because apart from combat, there's just not enough they're good at. Nerfing the wizard won't change that.
First, I find myself tempted by Vamptastic.
If this guy is such a jerk, why would your PCs want to keep him around? How about just calling a vote in the party to kick him out? (IC or even OOC)
Are ALL the other players against him? Make it clear to the GM just how much all of you resent his behavior, and that if he doesn't do anything about it, the other players will.
Kill the offending PC in his sleep. Coup de Grace with a Falchion for x3 critical damage. If he survives, surround him with several PCs and finish him off - he's unarmored and flanked.
If that offends your alignment, do this. Reserve some heavy ordnance spells/weapons/HP for after a tough monster fight, but make sure he doesn't realize that you're all still strong enough to take him down. Then the next time he's threatening to kill you because you're "weakened from combat", call his bluff. As soon as he initiates combat, slaughter him.
Try using traps that if triggered will collapse ceilings, set fire to treasure and otherwise destroy the dungeon, making the expedition a failure. Then key them to puzzles to get past them.
As for a source of puzzles: it doesn't have to come from the RPG world. Just google for puzzles and riddles until you find some nice ones, then invent a story around them to make it fit into the world.
Another idea: most of those mythological creatures were unique monsters. The product of gods mating with various beings. They're not races, but individual creatures with their personal backstory.
Not saying you must do it that way, but think about it. A mostly humanoid world, where any monster is unusual and noteworthy. It's an interesting change of style.
Raith Shadar wrote:
I would say that this is grounds to tell the player that either he finds a way to speed up, or he has to come up with a new character. If he's ruining the fun for you and other players, then something has to be done.
Apart from possible power-imbalance issues, this is one of the major reasons to ban summoners: the class is just too slow in OOC time.
Raith Shadar wrote:
I'm sure they do. But the maximum 30ft range reduces their power a lot. They're still good critters, but not allmighty.
Also, don't forget the penalties to ranged attacks if the target is in melee or using the party as soft cover.
Raith Shadar wrote:
Note that any damage you do on an AoO against a maneuver, is also a penalty to that maneuver. If you hit the (not terribly well-armorerd) lighting elemental with a twohander, his disarm check is considerably less easy.
That said, they remain two of the best choices for summoning.
Also, please note that summoned creatures can't use natural attacks through a protection from (alignment) spell, and at 10th level, enemies can reasonably pre-buff with the long-lasting magic circle against X spells. Won't stop lantern archon rays, but it'll shut down the lightning elementals cold.
Elementals are Neutral and being summoned doesn't change their alignment, so that doesn't work.