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Ashiel's page

9,107 posts (9,110 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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Aratrok wrote:
No, but you can make a staff. Staves cost the same as wands (assuming it's just one spell for 1 charge/cast), and they function for any level spell. Wands only go up to 4th level spells, but staves can be any level and must be minimum CL 8- effectively, this means wands end up being replaced by staves at spell levels of 5th or higher.

I concur. Besides, wands of offensive spells kind of suck at high levels due to the bad save DCs (like dorjes). Which is why you swapped over to staffs which have the exact same cost (750gp * spell level * caster level), which got to use your stats and caster level if better. :D

Nathanael Love wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

Re-read that. The sentence just after. They cannot be made more than five higher than the minimum manifester level for the power it contains. That's patently worse than wands.

I can happily make a CL 20 wand of a 1st level spell. I cannot make more than a CL 6 dorje of energy ray. Ever.

Missed that part. But you can make a CL 5 energy ray, and most 1st level spells have caps to how high they scale-- 20th level Magic Missile would be a steep waste.

And you can make a Dorje of Energy Blast or Teleport Psionic, Greater whereas you cannot make a wand of Prismatic Spray or Teleport.

Yep. You could get that energy ray do 5d6. Just like a wand of shocking grasp. And you can make high CL wands/staffs incase you want to penetrate SR.

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Re-read that. The sentence just after. They cannot be made more than five higher than the minimum manifester level for the power it contains. That's patently worse than wands.

I can happily make a CL 20 wand of a 1st level spell. I cannot make more than a CL 6 dorje of energy ray. Ever.

Could you repeat that?

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From a PM I got recently, and the response.

The fact that you don't find cognizance crystals useful at all and would never expend money on them doesn't change the fact that they are capable of doing very much the same thing as a Pearl of Power.

Except they aren't and never will be. My groups routinely purchase pearls for common group staples, but they won't touch cognizance crystals because the cost vs reward is just too high. For example, a pearl of power III costs 9,000 gp. You can cast greater magic weapon with it, which scales to a +5 enhancement bonus and lasts all day long. You can't do that with psionics.

A 17 PP crystal to extend your longevity is in all ways a worse option than just getting multiple low-level ones. It's just basic math. Because if you use the congnizance crystals in place of your spending low level powers then you can use your own points to manifest the higher level ones. There is no reason to downcast with a cognizance crystal.

It's a false option at best. You could do it, but it would require you to be actively worse than your other options, which means you're not going to get an edge on anyone, you're going to lose it.

Pearls of Power are one of the items I recommend more than anything else on these boards, frequently. I consider them a staple for wizards, clerics, druids, paladins, and rangers. They are that good. The fact that bards and sorcerers and oracles can't use them is a strike against their entire class for it.

Pearls of power turn prepared casters into pseudo-spontaneous casters, because you can prepare a wider range of spells while still having the certainty that you can get extra casts off if you need them.

Example, a wizard with 4 3rd level slots decides to prepare 2 castings of haste, 2 castings of fireball. With 1 pearl of power, he could prepare 1 haste, 1 fireball, 1 fly, and 1 dispel magic, with a floating 1. He can rest assured knowing that it effectively has 2 of one of these spells prepared. The more pearls he has, the more open he can be with his preparation while also getting extra daily castings out of things. He can open his versatility up while also increasing his castings / day.

Nathanael Love wrote:
And I find liking bullying and profane posts to be lacking basic human dignity and an action of actively participating in bullying.

Where is this bullying? o_o

And I don't find any logic in posts that start with lobbying the F bomb in people's direction; I really could not read anything in that post but a personal attack, and the fact that it's been removed indicates that I was correct.

Who has been cursing at you? A post was removed? What? What was the post about?

I'm not demanding an apology, but I am not the kind of person to accept abuse and say nothing, and I'm not dignifying abusive posts with responses to the arguments hid alongside them.

Pics or it didn't happen? (O_o?)

I think most dragons are probably smart enough to know that their flesh isn't invincible either. Plenty of other dragons and dragon-typed creatures have been killed before.

That said, the biggest deterrent to dragons wearing armor is just that it's impractical for most of them. Nothing more, really. Dragons need to spend feats to avoid check penalties to attacks in any armor heavier than masterwork, but most dragons are going to have mage armor anyway which weighs nothing. This fact along with the fact dragons have better things to spend their feats on, I think leads to the most common reason as to why they don't bother with armor.

That and some people freak out if you have dragons in armor. I once mentioned that in a revised Red Hand of Doom game, one of the dragon NPCs I had wore some spiked masterwork studded leather gifted to him for being an officer in an army. It was +3 armor on a dragon that actually knew mage armor (so it was nothing but a status symbol of his proud position in the army) and people on the Paizo boards went slobbering-nuts about how horrible I was for being mean to monks. XD

wraithstrike wrote:
Ashiel is not trying to insult you. That is just how he speaks.

I feel so...understood. Q.Q *hugs wraithstrike*

Nathanael Love wrote:
But don't think I've forgotten that you've Favorited posts laden with foul language directed at me for which you certainly have never apologized.

What is this post you keep mentioning? I haven't seen anyone cussing at you.

Nathanael Love wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Please keep showing us how little you know about this game.

Please, keep insulting me directly and showing just how much smarter than me you are and how clever and cool you are with your put downs and insults.

I make a reasonable post in which I point out some options that are available to Psions and point out an advantage in Dorjes versus Wands-- you don't have to agree with my opinions on these matters, but there was nothing in my post to warrant being attacked and insulted.

I really don't care if you think you are smarter than me.

I don't think I'm smarter than you. I also didn't call you stupid.

I do, however, not take kindly to you directly insulting me in public.

I made no more insult to you than you've made for yourself throughout this thread, but it was mean of me to mock you, so I have edited it out of my previous post.

Look-- I am who I am. My name is Nathanael Love. I post as Nathanael Love. I don't hide behind a forum name, and I am very open about my own failings and issues.

I can appreciate that.

I have PTSD, anxiety, and depression issues related to my service in Operation New Dawn, and sometimes I get into really poor response chains due to this when I find other posters to be exasperating. Sometimes this leads to less than well thought out and poorly worded arguments.

My condolences. My advice is calm down, think things through, and respond point to point and really think about what you're arguing. Most of what's making you come across as a troll is how unhinged your arguments seem. You draw parallels in weird ways, and you seem to be intentionally ignore things like cost vs effect, shared potentials, and not applying your standards across the board, which makes you look biased.

But I really do try my best to argue in good faith, and to be civil to other posters. If I am occasionally condescending I'd like to take this chance to apologize for that.

I do apologize for being snarky as well.

I really disagree with simply calling other posters idiots for their opinions and insulting them. I find that kind of behavior to be bullying and trolling, and when people slide those kind of insults into their responses it really has a negative effect on my mental health and stability.

I haven't called you stupid. I did think you were a troll though, and I have (and will continue) to point out flawed logic points in whatever argument you bring along.

I have no bullied you. Not once. I haven't called you stupid. I haven't called you an idiot. I likewise have not trolled you. I've given you my respect in that I have taken my time to actually answer your points rather than just dismissing them (as you have continuously just dismissed and dodged...everything).

I would really appreciate if you would not curse at me, or call me stupid, or try to "zing" me with clever insults. I don't find it cute or endearing at all, and it lowers my opinion of those of you who do so and who favorite posts which do so.

See above.

Nathanael Love wrote:

Right. . . Wizards have Staffs and Psions have Psicrowns.

Psicrowns are like staffs on crack.

If by "on crack" you mean "comparable to staffs, except take up your head slot", then I concur.


But thicken skin can also grant you a +6 enhancement bonus to Natural Armor at 15th level, and a +7 enhancement bonus at 18th level. With overchannel if you wanted to it could grant you a +8 bonus at 20th level-- those are options that Barkskin can never do.

Ashiel wrote:

Which is why it costs so much more to do so than barkskin ever will. Would you spend a 9th level spell, a feat, and 5d8 damage for a net +3 enhancement bonus gain over a 2nd level spell?


Wizards can and occasionally do do this-- except the increase is +4 spell levels and the cost of a Feat. To quicken enlarge person the Wizard has to have memorized it into a 5th level slot.

This free, built in quicken is a powerful option that allows Psions to spontaneously cast two powers in a round-- I'd label this as a fairly powerful effect on some of the abilities that can be quickened since no other class can spontaneously quicken effects (without a magic item or going into the splat books and spending multiple feats.)

No no, wizards can always do this, for +4 and a feat. See, you can't quicken all powers "in-house". Only a few. A few that are very specific in their purposes and intent, and it counts against your usual actions so that means if you do, you don't quicken in the same round to increase your output.

Also, sorcerers in core 3.x sucked ass compared to wizards, clerics, and druids. Psions are like sorcerers done right. There was no incentive at all to being a sorcerer in core 3.x, because you had no class features, just a pitifully small list of spells known, and you had to eat full-round cast times for using metamagic feats.

Meanwhile wizards got a host of bonus feats, at least 1 wizard only spell, access to pearls of power, innate scribe scroll, access to any spell they wanted, better skills due to Int synergy, and the ability to take all the split-spells (lesser and greaters). Perhaps ironically, the only bone sorcerers got in 3.x was that they got more benefit out of a ring of wizardry than wizards...isn't that funny?

It wasn't until late 3.5 that sorcerers started getting love, and that was usually in the form of sorcerer-only spells that were just godlike.

Though both classes could use metamagic rods (wizards were better though since they got the feats to make them themselves).

Psions are like sorcerers done right. You don't get everything you want but you can pick some stuff and always be pretty good at those things. Sorcerers in Pathfinder are more competitive all the way around though.


yes, the lower level Pearls of Power are slightly more powerful than lower level crystals, but the higher level crystals allow a powerful effect or splitting the power points for several lesser effect which the higher level pearls of power can't do.

Only the recharging requirement really makes them less good, but after charged while being used I don't see them as being that much worse.

Wait a minute, wait a minute, back up. That's just wrong. There is 0% benefit to having bigger cognizance crystals to manifest multiple lower level powers. That's just plain to see. It costs 9,000 gp to get a crystal with 5 PP, versus the 5000 gp it would cost to get 5 crystals with 1 PP. If you want a crystal with 17 PP (a 9th level power) it'll cost you 81,000 gp. If you want to cast lower level powers you buy or create lower level crystals, because anything else is just plain stupid. Anyone who can count can see how stupid it is.

I didn't even mention the fact that the crystals have to be RECHARGED, which means that you have to spend some downtime to get any benefit out of them at all, unlike pearls which just come back online naturally each day.

Keep in mind, however, that Wands cap out at 4th level spells whereas there are Dorjes for Powers all the way up to 9th level-- I'd say that benefit for that class of items is at least as significant as the reverse disparity for Crystals/Pearls.

Nope. Still not, because mages have staffs, which are basically big boy wands, and those staffs didn't suck in 3.x. The only benefit dorjes had over wands/staves is that you only needed 1 feat to craft them, except that STAFFs use the saving throw DCs and caster level of their caster if it was better than the real thing. Which means that a dorje with a 9th level power is DC 23. Better write home to mamma about how awesome it is!

What does that mean, exactly? Well it means that if I crafted a staff at the minimum caster level for the spell, say 11th, but I was 15th level, then when I cast the spell it's as a 15th level caster and I get to use my saving throw DC (which is assuredly higher) to boot, and I didn't have to pay for the extra oomph, it just happens naturally. So my DCs are going to be relevant forever!

Edited for niceness.

Kthulhu wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Genies, like a lot of monsters that people deride as being far less of a threat than expected (aboleth), are actually prime candidates for having class levels. That CR 8 efreet is the efreeti equivalent of a 1st level commoner. He's the dirt farmer that you ignore in every town you ride through. But if you treat him too badly, you might find out his uncle is a CR 21, 12th level spellcaster noble efreet.

Yes, but really that argument is plausible to pretty much everything. Kill this orc, and anger his mother, the 20th level cleric of Gruumsh. Blah blah.

Of course, you can also skip a step and actually have the efreeti that PCs meet be leveled efreets. Would make more sense, anyhow. Why is the efreeti equivalent of a dirt farmer guarding the McGuffin?

I wholly agree with encountering leveled efreeti. Binding them on the other hand is pretty much impossible, since there's a HD limit. I thought we were talking about binding efreeti for wishes, not encountering them "in the wild" so to speak.

I personally enjoy dropping plot hooks when players use planar binding spells. I once had a group that called some efreeti and worked out an Aladdin's Deal with them (IE - 2 for 1 wishes) and the efreeti were pretty keen on that deal. One day when they called up the efreeti, the efreeti (who had become quite used to this arrangement) explained that their community was getting shat on by a big bad on the plane of fire and asked the PCs for help, since they were obviously badass superheroes. It led to a fun side-adventure.

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Kthulhu wrote:
Genies, like a lot of monsters that people deride as being far less of a threat than expected (aboleth), are actually prime candidates for having class levels. That CR 8 efreet is the efreeti equivalent of a 1st level commoner. He's the dirt farmer that you ignore in every town you ride through. But if you treat him too badly, you might find out his uncle is a CR 21, 12th level spellcaster noble efreet.

Yes, but really that argument is plausible to pretty much everything. Kill this orc, and anger his mother, the 20th level cleric of Gruumsh. Blah blah.

EDIT: And really, this isn't an argument against binding, genies, or anything. It's an argument that your GM is looking for an excuse to dick around with a super-high CR enemy and decided that he doesn't like you using your class features, so this is an excuse.

Even then, it's kind of dumb. Clearly this CR 21 efreeti has nothing better to do than to go rough up the bullies who took his nephew's daily pocket lint from him.

Blazej wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

Shield of Faith begins at +2 and scales to +5 for free.

Barkskin begins at +2 and scales to +5 for free.
Divine favor begins at +1 and scales up to +3 for free.
Divine power begins at +1 and scales to +6 for free, unless we're talking 3.x where it kicks your BAB into the next tier, in which case it scales to between +5 and +10 for free, grants 1-2 additional attacks, a +6 enhancement bonus to strength, and +1 temporary HP / level.
Greater magic fang and greater magic weapon both scale to +5 for free while also enjoying a 1 hour / level duration.
Etc, etc, etc.
Who are you talking to and what are you trying to say?

I should have been more clear. Free-scaling is pretty prevalent throughout the magic system. We often get drawn into arcane vs psionics, but since psionics is often about buffing and buffing and buffing, it's very worthwhile to notice the free scaling of spells that are generally associated with killing your enemies (at least directly).

For example, thicken skin is a power that closely mimics barkskin, but requires you to keep pumping more and more and more into it to get it to scale, whereas barkskin just reaches +5 from the same 2nd level slot (thicken skin can be used at 1st level, but at +1 natural armor, it's not winning any awards for best use of resources in most cases).

Also, while many psionic powers do have options of spending more juice to cast them faster (such as with expansion), doing so also means you are going to get a weaker buff overall, because the extra points spent to cast it faster also count against the limit on how many you can spend, so dropping the equivalent of a 4th level power to get enlarge person as a swift-action is a nice option, but I wonder how many people would bother taking a spell that cost a 4th level slot that was a personal-range enlarge person with the only difference being it was a swift-action cast. >_>

This is especially noticeable when you consider the fact that clerics, druids, and wizards all benefit greatly from pearls of power, which they can craft themselves. Free scaling is huge in this case, especially considering the closest alternative for psionics is cognizance crystals which suck.

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Most people don't consider magus "martials". Magi are like a gish-in-a-can.

If you're not going to use Power Attack as a full-BAB class, you are going to need to seriously think about ho to squeeze extra damage out of your class, and why you need all the extra accuracy. In core PF, martial to-hit after BAB, class features, and buffs dramatically exceeds the AC of most enemies relative to your level (it's not difficult to routinely attack at upper 40s low 50s (+20 BAB, +10 Str or better, +5 enhancement, +10 class features, +2 heroism, +1 haste, etc), whereas one of the highest ACs that you'll find in the bestiary is maybe AC 50 (a pit fiend or ancient gold dragon with some defensive buffs / trinkets).

That's not saying that melee-martials can't deal respectable damage without power attack, but they do need a plan for how to do so, if they want to keep their edge. This might include relying on certain buffs and super-high accuracy to get extra iterative hits on (such as a Paladin casting divine power for a +6 to hit and damage and hitting with all of his iteratives too).

Generally speaking, Power Attack only starts looking ugly when you don't have the excess to-hit and/or you're using off-hand weapons and/or lots of secondary natural attacks. Even then, it's usually amazing even for dual-wielders like Str-rangers, because the off-hand hits are icing on the otherwise deliciously moist cake.

the scenarios you are building rely on this kind of generous interpretation in favor of the players

I humbly disagree. It's definitely not in the favor of my players.


Another thing a friend of mine just pointed out to me, is the humorous way that efreeti are designed in Pathfinder. They are CR 8 outsiders with no SR and a really bad Charisma by comparison to most outsiders (a mere +2, while most other outsiders of their CR are baselining at +4 or better), and their caster level is only 11th.

This means a few things.

1. Efreeti are easy to bind.
2. Efreeti are easy to compel.
3. Efreeti suck at casting spells offensively.

The DC and caster level of an efreeti's wish is DC 21 and 11th respectively. This means that even if you have the efreeti mimic spells for you, they are going to be at a relatively low caster level (meaning they're easily dispellable, don't do a lot of damage, don't pierce SR very well, etc) and have a low-ish save DC. At CL 11th, the minimum level that you can bind one (without resorting to scrolls or spellcasting services) is when your own caster level is at least 11th; so you're not binding one for combat purposes in general.

If you are binding one, it's probably for one of the following reasons.

1. Your party has hit the 2nd tier of the 20 levels of play and it's time to get your inherent modifiers.
2. You want to cast some exotic downtime spells and this beats spellcasting services (such as permanency, plane shift, regeneration, secure shelter, etc.
3. You need to resurrect one of your party members. It'll cost all 3 wishes (1 to restore the body, 1 to raise them, and 1 to mimic the effects of a restoration spell).
4. To play high stakes poker.

You're probably not binding the efreeti to use as a minion, and if you do, the efreeti's going to be of iffy assistance in combat, acting more as a supporter, since again his most powerful save DC is 21 (wish) and mimics spells at a CL of 11th.

It's almost like having a genie in a bottle was expected...

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On the subject of the wish thing, there's a Paizo-published adventure module that has that exact thing. There's an NPC, her dragon buddy, and her bound efreeti. The NPC's ability scores are mysteriously 3 points higher in every score than a normal NPC of her level, and her genie is mildly irritated by having to grant wishes to appease her spoiled dragon-friend.

If you encounter an efreeti "in the wild" or something, sure, I'm all for the efreeti having his laughs. However, when you bind a creature it is compelled to obey your demands if you succeeded at your opposed Charisma check or it agreed willingly, which means that if one of your demands is "grant me wishes and don't **** 'em up," then you're going to get wishes that aren't ****ed up.

It's quite telling that during the Pathfinder alpha/beta playtest that efreeti binding for wishes actually came up, and the devs said that they would look into it and possibly change the HD of the efreeti or something to prevent it; but instead we have bind-able efreeti and a very nerfed wish spell.

The new wish is in fact so nerfed by comparison to the old one, that it's almost like they expected you to find ways to cast it without actually casting it.

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Shield of Faith begins at +2 and scales to +5 for free.
Barkskin begins at +2 and scales to +5 for free.
Divine favor begins at +1 and scales up to +3 for free.
Divine power begins at +1 and scales to +6 for free, unless we're talking 3.x where it kicks your BAB into the next tier, in which case it scales to between +5 and +10 for free, grants 1-2 additional attacks, a +6 enhancement bonus to strength, and +1 temporary HP / level.
Greater magic fang and greater magic weapon both scale to +5 for free while also enjoying a 1 hour / level duration.
Etc, etc, etc.

I'm Going to Rock the Boat: I'n my opinion, I feel that psionics is actually its strongest not when it is nova-ing (I feel it will never compete with a serious core caster nova), but when it's going in the opposite direction. This is actually where I feel psionics is the strongest.

IMHO, one of the strongest pluses in the psionic system is that you can adapt to your group's playstyle easily. If you like marathon dungeon crawls where you encounter like 30 encounters before resting (okay that number's goofy but it's just for illustration), or your GM likes to run a big giant slugfest once per session (with multiple waves of baddies, kind of like throwing all your encounters at you at once, which is pretty popular), you're going to fit right in.

The last psion I played tended to use a lot of non-scaling powers at their baselines repeatedly, because she could. During our Reign of Winter campaign when we were fighting giants, she spent most of a very large combat just casting ectoplasmic sheen (grease) until most of the frost giants were oiled up like someone dropped a vat of canola oil on 'em. It was quite effective at hampering their movement and/or making it difficult to fight our martials.

In another campaign, I played a character with empathic connection (charm), and very frequently made use of the baseline power for charming humanoids, and I did so for interrogations and such, or would toss out at least one attempt to charm each encounter if we were fighting people (the save DC didn't scale up, but it wasn't costing me a lot to try).

Back to the first psion, I also had the summoning power astral construct, and I would poop little 1 PP monsters to provide allies with flanking buddies if I didn't feel like there was anything that I could (or needed) to contribute to a given situation. The little guys weren't hitting anyone on their own, but it was pretty nice to be able to help our TWFer flank or provide some soft cover for an ally for a few rounds on the cheap.

I would often use entangling ectoplasm and toss it on enemies like tanglefoot bags. At 1 PP and a ranged touch attack, it made for 5 rounds of nice penalties on someone, which generally helped our martials do their duty that much better (entangling enemies made it harder for them to play keep-away).

In general, by mid levels, if I opted to be cheap, I could very easily toss a power every round without worrying about slowing the party down because I needed to stop and rest. They weren't awesome powers (they frequently had low save DCs or did relatively minor effects) but they helped contribute and kept me from twiddling my thumbs waiting for an encounter that I felt was worthy of actually casting something.

This, I feel is where psionics truly shines. If you want to be, you turn yourself into a warlock, just tossing minor almost-at-will powers all over the place. We could talk about how I could blast for 9d6+9 damage 10 times per day, but I'm more amused by 3d6+3 30 times per day.

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Lucy_Valentine wrote:
Degoon Squad wrote:

[In the long run it does protect my life to get of the other side hignly trained techs as they are hard to replace.

And monster that live for centuries and are intelligent as me and sbould look at the long run.
There's an assumption here. It's that you're going to survive this fight. And that is unlikely. In the real world armed encounters usually end with one side retreating. How often does that happen in pathfinder? Not that often, I'd guess.

I can't say about everyone's games, but the NPCs in my games almost always cut and run when things look bad for them. Even going so far as to jump through windows if need be. Also, surrender is generally preferable as a last-ditch effort (and since my players tend to be non-psychotic, they're usually down to not kill if they don't have to). :D

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Wrath wrote:

The campaign setting books are most likely only used by those running Golarion games Ashiel. Not surprising folks haven't heard of the tattoos.

Also, since the campaign books are GM territory generally, some of those feats may not be considered standard for games.

Me, I tend to let my players run with anything I own from Paizo itself. Still haven't seen varisian tattoos in play.


The campaign setting book has as much for players as GMs. I'd dare say more in some cases, since it specifically gives options for building characters in addition to setting based lore.

The generic version of the feat, which is OGC, can be found on the

It just amuses me to hear things like "It sounds like it would be banned" without having any idea what it even does. Man, Diehard sounds really hardcore; must be OP. :P

Matthew Downie wrote:
Lucy_Valentine wrote:
lastknightleft wrote:
Aratrok wrote:
Spell Specialization + Varisian Tattoo with Empowered Spell and Admixture is standard for blast wizards.
I've seen lots of blast casters (sorcerer and wizard) and I've never seen that combo in game
Really? Wow. I thought that was the standard for blasty wizards.
I don't even know what Varisian Tattoo is. It's not in any of the books I own. A trait? A feat? An item? Although it sounds like it would be banned as cheese in any game I play in so I don't really care.

*falls over laughing*

Whoo-boy, that's a good one. Probably don't get much by your group, like cheesy stuff like Stealthy and Run. :P

Varisian Tattoo (on the as "Mage's Tattoo") is from the Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea World Guide (aka the PF-PF campaign setting). You choose a school of magic and get +1 CL when casting spells of that school and you can cast a cantrip 3/day (dancing lights for evokers btw).

It's far from cheesy. What it does do is generally provide +1d6 of damage and help overcome spell resistance. The admixture evoker school option allows you to 3 + Int mod times per day change the element of a spell you're casting on the fly, which means that your empowered fireball just became an empowered cold-ball when fighting the fire elemental.

UsagiTaicho wrote:

I like the idea of Psionics. I do not like the points system. Pathfinder currently allows you to accomplish the same thing in a slightly different way as is, and it is much more balanced I think.

I want my psionics to go along with a Ki pool or similar ability to augment (SU) powers and such. Maybe give them some limited spellcasting as well (sixth or maybe even fourth level cap). That's all.

It would be nice if PF allowed you to accomplish half of the stuff psionics does, and were as balanced as psionics. That would be nice. However, that doesn't look like it's going to be happening ever.

Aratrok wrote:

For funzies; I'm not aware of any creatures you could do this with in 3.5 (and they're almost certainly not in core), but in Pathfinder a wizard can get an Int of 42 (at least- other tricks might exist, but I can't remember them).

18 Base + 2 Int + 5 levels + 5 Inherent + 6 Enhancement = 36
Create a simulacrum of Nocticula and have it use Profane Ascension on you for a +6 Profane bonus to Int. This simulacrum can be created as early as 14th level by using a Bead of Karma to boost your caster level, otherwise at 18th level.

Yeah. It's kinda silly. :P

Well you could cast polymorph any object on yourself twice to turn yourself into a planetar or something with a massive base intelligence (planetars have Int 22, Pit Fiends Int 26 IIRC) before level adjustments, inherents, buffs, etc.

Alternatively, you could obtain a way to cast wish as a spell-like ability (simulacrum, planar binding, other tricks) and then wish for a magic item that gave you the Intelligence you want.

Wizard: "I wish for a Headband of Intellect +9001."
Wish: "Very well. That will have a component cost of 3,240,725,040 XP,"
Wizard: "That's cool. I ignore the cost."

wraithstrike wrote:
Aratrok wrote:
Really? All the examples, numbers and links to other sources for further reading aren't positive content? o.O
I missed that. It is not that there is no positive content, but it is not organized enough to be a reference anymore than the other threads were since almost all of them also had links and rules quotes to back up their arguments.

We should get right on that. Unfortunately I will have to wait until I get home from work. *runs out the door*

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Darkholme wrote:

Hmm. Good point, Ashiel. Moving the vast majority of the Wealth found in the dungeon in with the dragon would give you a much more believable hoard, without breaking WBL.

Still has nothing on Smaug's hoard though. I really think, if you manage to kill a colossal dragon with your 3 best buddies (or 13 dwarves) you should never be wanting for money again, and be able to afford whatever you want forever.

Of course, the power boost in WBL & magic items makes that not an option in a Pathfinder game without houserules to address such issues.

I'm somewhat inclined to stop running the dragons like Smaug, and start running them like the dragons isn Shadowrun instead.

Well I think Smaug is probably better than a CR 6 dragon, in theory at least. The dragon's horde is going to grow in extreme ways with it's CR. I kept it to a small CR 6 dragon for demonstrative purposes. ^_^

Gray wrote:
I think I'm with you, but just to be sure.. . In other words, what I like to do when planning treasure (ie hoard), i'll factor in WBL for say the entire 2 to 4 levels of an adventure I'm planning. I'll then spread around the treasure accordingly, so the hyena pack encountered outside the blue dragons lair may have been an equivalent challenge, but all the coins are sitting inside the dragons cave. I'm simplifying, but is that the gist?

Yeah that's the gist of it. When the d20 system was created, it was intended that over X encounters players should amass roughly Y treasure, and creatures that don't have much or any treasure get the difference made up elsewhere in the adventure. It's also a good way to get red of "excess" treasure on humanoid NPCs.

For example, your standard CR 1/3 NPC classed character (such as a goblin) has 260 gp worth of gear. After you've geared them with the usual stuff, you can then drop the rest into the "horde". This is true for more than just dragon hordes too (it's also great for camps and/or strongholds).

In the case of traps and/or treasureless creatures (like elemental guardians and such) you can just toss it all in. Ultimately, the treasure is gained, some now, some later.

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Darkholme wrote:

The way *I* see it, a level 1 NPC has next to no life experience. Even if experience only comes from combat, your typical farmer who has never had to do anything more dangerous than set some rat traps will go up a few levels. Sure they might be commoner levels, but by age 30-35 I'd expect him to at least have 5 or 6 of them.

That level 1 fighter? He has no life experience and just got out of basic military training. He's not a hero, and not a big deal.

The city guard who has been protecting everyone from orcs and goblins for the past 5 years? He's at least level 6, unless it's a really quiet place with few external threats.

The ex-soldier you run into, who has done a couple of tours against a foreign nation and survived? Somewhere between level 8 and 10.

I think the thing that probably keeps most NPCs in the low levels is that given their individual strength (or lack thereof) most are going to be dealing with threats as large groups. If a town has 30 guards who all participate in fighting off and/or dealing with, say, a wyvern, then they would each receive 80 XP (2,400 XP / 30 allies), which means that it would take a lot of wyverns to get them up in levels; meanwhile it does not take a lot of wyverns to kill a few guards each time.

Quick advancement in levels from combat experience generally hinges on how many participants were involved. Did you solo the wyvern? +1 level on first try. Did you and a team of 29 others kill the wyvern? Okay, you need 24 more wyverns to hit level 2.

Now if you're dealing with similar numbers, such as 30 town guards w/ homefield advantage vs 40 invading goblins who are also CR 1/3rd, then each member of the guard would get 180 XP, and it would take 11.1 goblin raids for them to reach 2nd level.

Something that irritates the snot out of me is this idea that a dragon's horde is just it's triple standard treasure. Such does not a horde make. It's triple treasure is probably just what it has on it at most times, because a dragon's "horde" should definitely be its own adventure and significantly more than than simply equivalent to killing three common enemies or 1.5 NPC-classed enemies.

A dragon's "horde" doesn't leave the dungeon so to speak, and is guarded by a multitude of traps, servants, bound outsiders, and more. All of these things adding to the overall treasure at the end of the horde. When building the horde, we're effectively increasing the size of the horde based on its defenses, but in the game reality the defenses are more rationally increasing with the size of the horde (it's just easier to build it the other way around).

For example, in the d20 system, it's customary for you to make up the difference in loot elsewhere in an adventure when dealing with traps and/or monsters with incidental or no treasure, so building a dragon's horde might look like this...

A CR 6 Dragon's Lair and the accompanying "Horde"
10 CR 1 traps = +4,000 XP / +2,600 gp
5 CR 3 traps = +4,000 XP / +4,000 gp
20 CR 1/3 guardians = +2,700 XP / +1,735 gp
10 CR 2 guardians = +6,000 XP / +5,500 gp
5 CR 4 guardians = +4,800 XP / +5,750 gp
The dragon itself = +2,400 XP / +6,000 gp

A classic dragon's lair, with a suitable horde of 19,585 gp worth of goodies aside from the dragon's generic x3 standard treasure. This treasure can be divided out to provide more bulk. For example, by taking 1,000 gp out of it and converting it into copper pieces you get a nice bed of 100,000 coins weighing a total of 1 ton. Then add in 2,000 gp worth of silver pieces (20,000 sp / 400 lbs), then 3000 gp (60 lbs. of gold coins), leaving 13,585 gp worth of stuff to round out the shiny baubles that aren't very useful for the dragon to carry around (the dragon is likely wearing the +1 amulet, +1 ring, and some wands in its personal gear; but the horde might be carrying that +1 undead-bane sword and/or other exotic items such as a life-size jade statue of a succubus, a mithral axe, etc).

Darkholme wrote:
Great Red Wyrm (CR22) in full-plate. AC48 hahaha. And when the players kill it and take its stuff, it's a set of nonmagical, 48000 gold priced colossal nonhumanoid armor, that weighs 600 lbs. That sounds fantastic. When they go to bring it home, you can ask them how they're transporting something that size (it may not be that heavy, but it's still gigantic).

Man that's a really bad AC for a CR 22 creature. That's basically auto-hit territory for PF martials (+20 BAB, +5 enhancement, +10 strength, +6-10 class features, +4 greater heroism, +1 haste, etc, etc).

A pit fiend has a comparable AC naked (AC 42, before magic trinkets).

Charon's Little Helper wrote:

I'm not sure I'd give a dragon armor for the reason of them submitting to an armorsmith for fitting. Sure - technically they could make it themselves - but would they? And would they burn the skills on it? You might as well give them a greatsword to take advantage of their massive BAB and have their nat attacks sans claws as secondary swings.

I have and would give bigger dragons bracers of armor though.

I've had dragons with improved unarmed strike and deflect arrows. Does that count?

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Tels wrote:
I sorry, Senpai, I failed your lessons! :'(

Nay I say, friend! It is not the literal phrase or the semantics that is important but the meaning behind it! There was an ass, and it is beaten most rigorously by the incense! That is all that matters! :D

We have many words and phrases that mean the same thing, like the energy known as ki/qi/chi/prana/psi/caffine (...err...wait a minute)!

Tels wrote:
The Genie wrote:
I would love to see official psionic or psychic magic in Pathfinder. I do so love that gut reaction of someone when you say you are bringing a psychic to the party and they immediately start complaining how broken psionics are. And there sits the Wizard not two seats from him who has the potential to summon a celestial quasi-god level being to destroy anything he desires 4 times a day should he choose.

6 times a day if he opts to fill all of his slots, because, you know, he can just add s$#@ to his prepared spells between encounters if he needs to.

Or that Druid who is all "lol, psions..." *incense of whoopass* *dazing maximized flame strike* *wildshape* "RaWr!"

It's kind of funny, 'cause with my psion Agatha, I had actually considered making her a druid from the start but didn't want to wait until 5th level to start shapeshifting so I opted for psion (egoist/shaper) instead for shapeshifting + summoning and it was the best decision ever.

Not for power though. She'd be much scarier as a druid I think. I spend such a huge amount of effort keeping her squishy butt unkillable that it leaves little room for "roflstomping". Druids don't have that problem, since even if you don't plan to actually make use of wildshape for offensive purposes, crafting some +5 wild full plate and +5 wild tower shield and prancing about in that junk all day long is just par for the course. No check penalties, no drawbacks, just obscene AC that stacks with your massive +6 (+11 after enhancement) natural armor bonus.

While you're pooping dazing lighting bolts, and throwing maximized firestorms around, all the while enjoying an extra +1 HP / level, a strong fortitude, an animal companion (or domain powers), and having some nice bonus features like immunity to poison. ^_^

Ssalarn wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
What would a "good DM" do? I can think of quite a few counters to scry & fry tactics, but most generally require that the big bad also be a big bad wizard (preferably a hermit too); unless I'm just word of godding it, and at that point I'm just admitting there's a problem.

I would imagine that even non-caster BBEGs are going to be paranoid enough when they hit a certain level to start lining the walls with lead and paying casters to ward the hell out of their lairs.

I also have a really entertaining Bravery feat I wrote for a Fighter BBEG that allows him to attack a square a caster has just teleported out of and leap through the weakened fabric of reality to chase down fleeing casters. Which is obviously not core or anything, but still fun and an example of the kind of stuff I wish we'd get for high level martials.

Firstly, that feat sounds baller. :P

The lead sheeting thing is actually one of the reasons I mentioned being a hermit. You basically have to stay bunkered down in your box-house that is going to give you brain-damaged babies 'cause of the lead paint, so that those scary casters out to get you don't come hurt you. Ever considered the amount of lead that you'd need to coat your average dungeon with? Yeesh.

If you decide being a hermit sitting in your tin-foil house isn't for you, then you need something like nondetection, but a magic item of nondetection that will actually matter to a serious caster is kind of a joke, in that it's so prohibitively expensive as to be unavailable to pretty much everyone. A CL 20th 24/7 item of non-detection costs a whopping 120,000 gp. That's do-able for very high-level PCs, but NPCs? They don't even have 120,000 gp until they're CR 19, let-alone enough to get it and buy gear with too. >_>

Though I suppose a 1/day nondetection item that had a 24th caster level might be somewhat feasible at 25,920 gp. Yeah that'd probably be for the best really, since it'd harder to detect you (DC 35, requiring at least a roll of 15 for a 20th level caster) and would last 24 hours.

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Ashiel wrote:
Sebastrd wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:

Are you kidding me>?

Look at the power point totals of 20th level Psion. Now look at the Wizrd chart.

It's clearly a FACT that Psion can cast 24 9th level spells per day and clearly a FACT that a Wizard gets 6 (if he is specialized).

I don't need to support "evidence" of this-- its right there on the class charts.

No one is arguing that a psion does not get enough PP to manifest 24 9th level powers or that a wizard can only cast 6 9th level spells. Your premises are true.

However, your conclusion that those facts mean the psion is more powerful does not necessarily follow. Yours is the literal definition of an "invalid argument".

You are completely disregarding all of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th level spells a wizard can cast in addition to his 9th level spells. You have refused to acknowledge that those spells scale with wizard level, making them more useful than their spell level might imply. You also continue to ignore the flexibility advantage that a wizard enjoys - 6 9th level spells + myriad 1st-8th level spells versus 24 9th level powers.

Your argument, that a psion gets more 9th level powers and is thus superior, is oversimplifying the situation. By your logic, we could conclude that the wizard is clearly superior because he can cast more total spells than a psion can manifest powers. Or we could say the wizard is clearly superior because he has far more spell options than a psion has power options. Or the wizard is superior because none of his spells require expending a psionic focus. The situation is a whole lot more complicated than any of that.

+1 good sir.

Further, since Nathanael wants to talk about energy ray 20d6 = 9th level power, then we should also accept that any spell that scales up to 9th level equivalency is thus also a 9th level spell, yes? Goose and ganders and all that.

That means the 8th level spell polar ray is actually 10th level spell (19d6), 11th level...

Having just gotten back from a work meeting, I'd like to break this down in more depth. If we're taking "scaling at cost = 24 9th level powers!" then let's look at what free scaling gets wizards.

4 base 9th level spells, +1 from Int (if you do not have at least a 30 Int at 20th level you fail at your job, unless you're doing something weird).
4 base 8th level spells, +1 from Int
4 base 7th level spells, +1 from Int
4 base 6th level spells, +2 from Int

That equates to 5+5+5+6 spells that scale up to 9th level equivalents for *drumroll* 21 9th level spells! Let's hear it for the wizard! Big cheers, big cheers! And guess what, he's still got a crapton of lower level spells, like the 6th level spell scorching ray and the 8th level spell cone of cold! And if the wizard happens to be a specialist? 25 9th level spells!

This is the logical conclusion of Nathanael Love's argument. The argument that psions being able to expend more resources to get closer to a 9th level effect out of a lower spell level, and thus that equating to more 9th level powers and thus more power, has proven without a shadow of a doubt who is truly the most powerful: the wizard.

Because the wizard not only gets 21-25th 9th level spell equivalents, but also a ton of comparably powerful lower level spells, and unlike the psion they scale up FOR FREE. And wait, it gets better! Because not only is he throwing around 9th level equivalent spells, but those spells also have wiggle room for metamagic effects allowing the wizard to go beyond the limits of 9th or even 10th level spells, and access to metamagic rods to push them beyond their limits even further!

Then let's get into how much better pearls of power are compared to cognizance crystals despite costing the same amount. We can see that the wizard is getting a baller deal on them, because he's paying for an extra spell of X level but actually getting a spell of Y level out of it, because of free scaling. I mean, if a psion wants to get a 3rd level cognizance crystal (valued at 9,000 gp) so he can throw an extra energy bolt each day, he gets +5 PP and can't mix those PP with his usual PP, so that's always just going to do 5d6 damage. But a wizard? Oh, the wizard can buy a pearl for the same cost, except his spell scales to 10d6! He's getting the equivalent of a 25,000 gp cognizance crystal at a massive discount!

Those poor, poor wizards, being upstaged by those dirty psions. They're so pathetic that I might need to start using scrolls and other wizardly creations to "keep up", right?

What would a "good DM" do? I can think of quite a few counters to scry & fry tactics, but most generally require that the big bad also be a big bad wizard (preferably a hermit too); unless I'm just word of godding it, and at that point I'm just admitting there's a problem.

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Sebastrd wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:

Are you kidding me>?

Look at the power point totals of 20th level Psion. Now look at the Wizrd chart.

It's clearly a FACT that Psion can cast 24 9th level spells per day and clearly a FACT that a Wizard gets 6 (if he is specialized).

I don't need to support "evidence" of this-- its right there on the class charts.

No one is arguing that a psion does not get enough PP to manifest 24 9th level powers or that a wizard can only cast 6 9th level spells. Your premises are true.

However, your conclusion that those facts mean the psion is more powerful does not necessarily follow. Yours is the literal definition of an "invalid argument".

You are completely disregarding all of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th level spells a wizard can cast in addition to his 9th level spells. You have refused to acknowledge that those spells scale with wizard level, making them more useful than their spell level might imply. You also continue to ignore the flexibility advantage that a wizard enjoys - 6 9th level spells + myriad 1st-8th level spells versus 24 9th level powers.

Your argument, that a psion gets more 9th level powers and is thus superior, is oversimplifying the situation. By your logic, we could conclude that the wizard is clearly superior because he can cast more total spells than a psion can manifest powers. Or we could say the wizard is clearly superior because he has far more spell options than a psion has power options. Or the wizard is superior because none of his spells require expending a psionic focus. The situation is a whole lot more complicated than any of that.

+1 good sir.

Further, since Nathanael wants to talk about energy ray 20d6 = 9th level power, then we should also accept that any spell that scales up to 9th level equivalency is thus also a 9th level spell, yes? Goose and ganders and all that.

That means the 8th level spell polar ray is actually 10th level spell (19d6), 11th level spell (21d6), 12th level spell (23d6), and 13th level spell (25d6). The 7th level spell, delayed blast fireball is also a 9th (or 10th) level spell. The 6th level spell disintegrate is also a 9th (or 10th) level spell. Chain lightning? Also a 9th (or 10th) level spell...

And so on and so forth.

Hell, scorching ray is a 6th level spell on its own!

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Tels wrote:
*A good rebuttal*

I'm mostly getting at the fact you can manipulate the time trait at all, which you still can't do in psionics. :o

A wand of mnemonic enhancer is... well interesting, but not all that powerful unless there is a lot of downtime. You cast a spell, then you have to spend 10 minutes casting mnemonic enhancer to recover it. Or you spend 10 minutes to re-prepare up to 3 spells.

No-no, you're looking at the recall portion of the spell. I'm talking about this portion of the spell:


Casting this spell allows you to prepare additional spells or retain spells recently cast. Pick one of these two versions when the spell is cast.

Prepare: You prepare up to three additional levels of spells. A cantrip counts as 1/2 level for this purpose. You prepare and cast these spells normally.

Retain: You retain any spell of 3rd level or lower that you had cast up to 1 round before you started casting the mnemonic enhancer. This restores the previously cast spell to your mind.

In either event, the spell or spells prepared or retained fade after 24 hours (if not cast).

It would take you 8.3 hours to use every charge from a wand of mnemonic enhancer, allowing you to prepare 150 levels of extra spells. Upon casting the instantaneous spell you can prepare +3 levels worth of spells. You prepare and cast these spells normally. As in, you still have to prepare and cast them, which takes 1 hour or 15 minutes.

What Nathanael Love wants to talk about how many full-power powers that a psion can "nova" with? Take a wizard with a double-speed demiplane, a wand of mnemonic enhancer, and a will to use it, and you'll end up with a wizard who's got an extra 16 9th level spells and 1 extra 6th level spell, plus their entire retinue of normal spells, and it took them a total of about 8 hours in terms of material plane time to do it (4 hours of material plane time to rest, 4.45 more to mnemonic it up and prepare spells) and they've got another 15 hours of real-time to wreck somebody hard (because the rest period didn't count against the 24 hour fade duration since it came first).

A psion can go nova. A wizard big bangs.

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There's also the fact that anyone with the dosh to purchase an item like that is most definitely going to have the security systems to protect it. Seriously, have you ever looked at the horrible things you can do with a combination of magical traps and/or intelligent items?

Rooms that lock down and fill with negative energy and poison gasses?
Traps that conjure guardians into the room every round on the round?
Teleportation traps that ensnare anyone trying to teleport in and out?

All of these are things that are actually relatively inexpensive to do. So much in fact that any location that deals in magic items regularly will probably have some pretty elite security systems. If anything, trying to rob a business that deals in high-value goods like magic items would be an adventure unto itself; not stealing candy from a gas-station.

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Something that occurred to me in the other thread while writing about various 3.x books, is that in general, 3.5 psionics also patched common abuses in the ruleset, many of which still exist right into Pathfinder.

For example, in 3.5 / Pathfinder, a wizard can craft a wand of mnemonic enhancemer and laugh their asses off at the very concept of limited spells per day, where they literally convert wand charges into more spell slots (which broken down into 50 charges self crafted gives them a cost of 70 gp per +1 spell level worth of preparation). So if a wizard really wanted to, he could burn the wand and prepare 150 additional spell levels for a 24 hour period.

The psionic equivalent, bestow power specifically cannot be made into a magic item, because the developers knew that players would use it to easily recharge. So they nipped that abuse in the bud, but it still exists in core magic right into Pathfinder.

Meanwhile, genesis had been printed in both the Manual of the Planes and the Epic Level Handbook with the abusive option to create your own plane with altered time, which allowed you to create planes with the timeless trait or super fast time, allowing you to go "Excuse me, I need a weels to make a few magic items, develop a new spell, rest and run a solo-session for my familiar", planeshift, 30 seconds later, "I'm back! Did you miss me!?"

In psionics, they nipped that junk in the bud. You are basically god of creating your plane, but you cannot make its time traits any different than the material plane's, which means you can't create a hyperbolic time chamber to rest and get weeks worth of work done in an instant.

Meanwhile, fast forward to Pathfinder and we get...

Create Demiplane, Greater wrote:

This spell functions as create demiplane, except the area is larger and you can add more features to the plane. You can use this spell to expand a demiplane you created with lesser create demiplane or create demiplane (you do not need to create an entirely new plane using this spell), in which case it has a duration of 1 day/level. Alternatively, when cast within your demiplane, you may add to your demiplane (or remove from it) one of the following features (or any of the features described in create demiplane) with each casting of the spell, in which case it has an instantaneous duration.

Energy: Your plane gains the (minor) negative- or positive- dominant energy trait. A plane cannot have both the negative-dominant and positive-dominant energy traits.

Magic: Your plane gains the dead magic, enhanced magic, impeded magic, or wild magic planar trait. If you selected dead magic, you are trapped within your plane unless it has a permanent planar portal (such as the portal feature, below). If you selected enhanced or impeded magic, choose one type of magic to be enhanced or impeded, such as “effects with the fire descriptor or that manipulate fire” or “death spells and spells from the Death or Repose domains.” A plane cannot be enhanced and impeded for the same kinds of spells.

Morphic: You may use move earth at will in your demiplane at one-tenth of the spell’s normal casting time, and can reshape normal plants in the same manner (such as by twisting trees into a fence or humanlike shapes). You are even able to affect rock formations with this ability, though the casting time for this is only half normal.

Portal: Your demiplane gains a permanent gate to one location on another plane, which can only be used for planar travel. This location must be very familiar to you. This gate is always open and usable from both sides, but you can secure it using normal means (such as by building a door around it).

Time: By default, time passes at the normal rate in your demiplane. By selecting this feature, you may make your plane have the erratic time, flowing time (half or double normal time), or timeless trait (see Time, GameMastery Guide 185).

You can make this spell permanent with the permanency spell, at a cost of 22,500 gp. If you have cast create greater demiplane multiple times to enlarge the demiplane, each casting’s area requires its own permanency spell.

The Genie wrote:
I always wondered if someone has done an optimized theory crafting of a Wizard given 1 day prep and 1 day to fight a pantheon, to see how many of the gods he could take before he got taken out. And the very fact that I wondered this kinda proves Magic is stronger and more OP then Psionics. Psionics are more subtle and utility wise are better. Which is why I love them.

Depends on the gods in question, really. Some of them in the deities and demigods books were kind of jokes and could be taken out by a non-gods pretty easily pre-20th, then you had other gods like death gods who just killed you because they said so...

Deities and demigods was a good read but horrible mechanically. Another book that is also a really good read from the 3.0 line is the Manual of the Planes, which I really loved reading (it's better than deities and demigods from a mechanical perspective as well IIRC, barring the timeless trait + genesis cheese).

I don't have a 3.5 psion built, but here is my "witch" Agatha who has been pushed to the hilt to be as effective as possible at what she does. She was built on standard 15 point buy and includes a +2 plot bonus to her Intelligence score from an event in Reign of Winter. She uses the dual-discipline archetype between shaper/egoist and the human favored class option which grants her more powers known (because spontaneous casters + more spells/powers is just better). She is stacked in magic items because she is an artisan (notice Craft Wondrous Item) and her Psicrystal is an artisan (because her psicrystal took the feat to get 2 traits, and one of those traits gives a scaling caster level, which she uses to pick up item creation feats). Further, she has three custom options above and beyond what's available in the core: a feat that allows her to stay shapeshifted for hours, a crystal power that functions similar to magic missile (throws xd4 crystals at up to 5 targets within 15 ft. of each other, medium range, SR: no) which she also crafted into a standard-action effect for a glove-slot item, and she has a psionic version of animate dead (imbue psivessels) which was written by my wonderful GM. :)

She is very flexible in how she approaches encounters and situations, but the vast majority of her resources have been invested into A) survival and B) efficiency. Despite the myriad of investments into her defenses, there have been situations where she was nearly killed/one-shot by energy damage and/or spellcasters and such in the game. She is a sort of a psi-tank though, which has saved her bacon on many occasions and she is the only original-PC to make it to this level from the group.

As far as her common tactics, she juices up on Inertial Armor and Greater Metamorphosis (and using a class feature to improve the benefits of greater metamorphosis by +50%, which nets her a solid natural armor bonus and then she gets her amulet on top of that), which are her staple survival buffs. In combat (due to its short duration) she usually begins with a vigor + expending her psionic focus to get temporary HP * 1.5 to give her a buffer to avoid getting one-shot by various HP-damaging spells and/or power words. She has a few utility powers like touchsight which is her short-range answer to invisibility and minor illusion tricks, slip the bonds (freedom of movement) because it's critical to surviving things like black tentacles or any beastie with a grapple modifier; fold space (dimension door) for similar reasons (mobility is a must for surviving); and power resistance is there if we're fighting lots of casters (I'd prefer spell immunity but psionicists don't get that) which gives her a chance against things like enervation bombs and/or flesh to stone.

She also has psionic revivify because when you spend so much effort trying to stay alive, it's a good thing if you can keep your party up too. Deadly fear (phantasmal killer) was taken because one of the players rolled an antipaladin in the service of Baba Yaga mid-way through the campaign and I picked it up because it should have had a lot of team synergy (but given that the player just could not grasp how to make use of the antipaladin's abilities in a tactical manner, not a single enemy ever died to this power Q_Q).

Her most common offensive options were ectoplasmic sheen (psionic grease) which she used to pester enemies, her crystal missile power (usually through her glove which dealt 5d4 damage pretty close to unavoidably), spitting acid globs with her psicrystal for 4d6 acid damage each (4d6 for her, 4d6 for the psicrystal), inflict pain (for debuffing), slumber (became fairly useless quickly, depsite augments I sadly admit), telekinetic force (telekinesis), dispel psionics (dispel magic), and wall of ectoplasm. In the right situations, I would also melee with her using natural attacks and certain combat forms, but she wasn't very good at that (it was going to be a high-level option when she fused with her mentor whose soul resided in her and became super-Agatha).

She's really good at not-dying and providing sustainable damage/support. In a few rare cases she spent a few rounds in some fights popping top-augment crystal missile, but it just isn't worth it for how fast it burns her out without enough of an effect, and was generally used for trying to nail the coffin shut on enemies who had already taken a savage beating (watching 1/14th of your power points vanish when the majority of them are already invested in defensive buffs made me worry far too often about running out of juice as I began getting low fast).

I've played wizards before and most of her cheesiest tricks are things that wizards do just fine. I might roll up an 11th level wizard for comparison, but it'll have to be when I have more time (I'm going to work soon). However, with the bonus item creation feats, familiar, pearls, scrolls, expanded spell list, more potent array of spells, and access to planar binding at this level, it would look much, much nastier. I had initially considered making Agatha a wizard or druid, but psion was more flexible in how I got to describe her magical tradition.

Having read the blog on your link, I concur wholeheartedly, Mr. Quest. :)

Orfamay Quest wrote:

There is a good article about how much people Really earn by rule in Pathfinder at this site.

Punch line, most people are average, living off a few hundred gold a year. The economy is roughly running as though a gp is worth $100 US.

So a 200,000 gp weapon is twenty million dollars of buying power. A lot of money, but not really enough to destroy a reasonable sized economy. Our local quarterback makes that in a year...

Woot. I always estimated the GP to be about $100 as well. Simply based off the price of services which I felt were probably a more reasonable analog than trying to measure things like what the current value of precious metals is. :P

Meals per day, cost of a low, medium, or nice inn stay, etc. It's just always felt most "right" based on those models, for me at least.

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Oh, and since I just noticed that we're on the 3.5 boards, I should probably mention POLYMORPH ANY OBJECT. Just be a pit fiend for realsies.

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@ Nathanael

You apparently missed the myriad other obscenely awesome things I mentioned and just saw "simulacrum" and forgot how to parse language for a minute or two.

Funny thing is, I don't have a huge problem with simulacrum. Even played strait it's not that bad unless you're really going nuts with it. I even wrote up a revision for it that would help more GMs be comfortable, but simulacrum is a thing. Even used in it's least-interpretive manner (making some half-level clones of yourself and/or party members) it's still one of the most powerful spells (you can make wizards, seriously).

Proxy-combat through projected image + ethereal jaunt (ethereal jaunt makes you ethereal but gives you LoS 60 ft. around you for material things, projected image allows you to see through your illusion and cast spells originating from the illusion) is a solid tactic for the high level mage as they can fight without even being physically present in the room (by this level, however, things both PC and not have means of becoming ethereal if they need to, but it's an advanced tactic that most players aren't going to be ready for).

Oh and...

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AndIMustMask wrote:

the thought crossed my mind when i remembered just how much gold a player character goes through regularly--when a commoner gets a few copper pieces a day's hard work, an adventurer rolling in with several (hundred) thousand gold would be completely outlandish.

in a fantasy world i can see 'adventurer' existing as an occupation, since they're effectively glorified pest control (who deal with REALLY exotic pests).

adventurers in themselves are an interesting concept--from the outside they're obscenely wealthy homeless people who are equally likely to tip with bars of solid platinum as they are to burn your city to the ground. while most of their obscene wealth is poured into keeping up with the increasing power of the pests they deal with, over the course of their career more money passes through and adventurer's purse than most small kingdoms have in their entire treasury.

18th-level fighter mclargehuge buying that +5 dragonslaying falchion of awesometude is effectively injecting ~200,000 gold into a single city's economy, which would lead to complete chaos--or at the very least the 'magic mart' closing down entirely as the shopkeep goes into early retirement on his own ISLAND because of how staggering that amount of money is for a regular kingdom.

so how does fantasy world support itself (dont say magic dont say magic)?

A few things. Firstly, why is that such a staggering amount? The average large city (according to the rules) has about 17,500 people in it (which seems pretty lowball to me but it's a start). Now the average person can make 5 gp / week taking 10 on a craft or profession check earning about 20 gp / month for being untrained laborers. Even if they really suck at making a living (a 3 Int / 3 Wis = 3 gp / week) they're pulling about 12 gp / month.

That means there's at least 350,000 gp worth of community income generated each month. The income might not be in the form of actual currency (some might be in trade goods like livestock and such) but it's happening. That's 4,200,000 gp worth of money that the plebeians are generating each year. So the money is there, to be certain, but it's not always going to be in the hands of the adventurers or someone who can buy their loot.

Each community has a purchase limit based on its size. By default, you can't go to a large city and sell off a magic item (or anything really) that's worth more than 50,000 gp. Likewise, the standard purchase limit on an item is 16,000 gp at the largest of cities: the metropolis. As a general rule, if McLargeHuge is buying a +5 dragonslaying falchion of blinging, that's a very rare and one of the kind thing that exists in the city but isn't part of the regular trade.

But would his dropping 200,000 gp into the city's economy, even if such a wondrous item happened to be within the city, for sale, and he had the money, would he really be disrupting it that much? Well, let's look at our population and average monthly economic generation.

He injected an average of about 11 gp / person into the enconomy. That's a bit of a surge, but it's probably going to be forgotten about in a few months. If you're actually following the rules, the fighter probably wouldn't have been able to reliably buy anything much more expensive than a 16,000 gp item, and while 16,000 gp is super expensive, but it's less than a 5% surge to the monthly economy.

Even if you do happen to find the +5 sword of bling for sale and have the resources to buy it, you're not going to wildly disrupt the economy. It's not even going to be enough to shake it up a whole lot, unless you're making a purchase like that regularly. Somebody is going to get rich, some gold will trickle down the mountain, but it's barely going to affect the bottom line of the community at the end of the year (a bit less than 5%). Unless you're making purchases like that throughout the year, it's doubtful it's going to have a huge impact on the community.

What We Can Conclude: If you're actually going with the standards presented in the books, the scenario probably falls flat as the chances of finding an item of that value is almost nil (play around with the random item generation rules and tell me how many tries it takes to get a +10 anything. I'll wait). Even if you do, it's not going to have a major influence on the daily lives of the people living in the settlement.

This is also in a standard that assumes that about 1/2 of that total economic pool is in expendable income. The other half is the 10 gp / person that goes towards daily living expenses + taxes (so it's probably fair to assume about 5 gp / person is taxed).

Take Note About Kingdoms: The above is just 1 city. Not even the largest city, or even a large "large city" but one with an average population for a large city (based on the population charts, I'd estimate a metropolis has having a monthly income generation of 87,5000 gp / month (estimating a mid-line population for a metropolis at being about 43,750 people) or 10,500,000 gp / year.

Now how many thorpes, hamlets, villages, small towns, large towns, small cities, large cities, and metropoli does a Kingdom actually have? Well it varies on the kingdom, but it's probably pretty safe to assume that most fantasy kingdoms are dotted with communities that seem to spring up in time for the next adventure. :P

So no, really, it's not that much money. It's a lot of money to an individual, in the same way that if you decided you wanted to finance a new Walmart in a town you are talking more money than virtually anyone in the community would ever be able to generate in their entire lives or even their grandchildren's lives, but it happens.

A Note on Perspective: It's difficult to fathom how much money wealth is actually moved around or grown in a given day. As an example, a Walmart near where I live does over a million dollars in business a day. In a small town convenience store, it's nothing to do several thousand dollars of business in a single day (we're talking convenience store where you buy stuff like Dorritos and Pepsi).

You're talking an entire kingdom. Of hundreds of thousands of people. There are millions if not billions of gold pieces getting traded around in some form every day in your typical campaign.


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Tacticslion wrote:

Psst, Ashiel, this might be a better place for that.

(EDIT: If for no other reason than to have all the arguments in a central location that can easily and quickly linked to when all future arguments of such a nature arise.)

Responded in other thread. :)

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Tacticslion wrote:
At seventeenth level, you can get bonus sorcerer (with free flying and poison attack, not to mention detecting all the alignments and thoughts), limitless fireballs (and detect thoughts, hold monster, wall of force; up to three neutralize wounds, cure critical, and remove disease; up to one heal - and who says wizard's can't heal?! - lay on hands, protective aura, and speak with animals-via-translation), elder elementals!, detect the alignments, limitless magic missile, ray of enfeeblement, sleep, free chaos hammer, unholy blight, and stench, and OH, CRAP, IT'S SPIDERS ALL THE WAY DOWN, as well as the standard flying/swimming palaguards.

Ray of Enfeeblement was also better in 3.5 because it didn't allow a save, just the attack roll. It's been pretty useless since it came to Pathfinder (single target, short range, requires an attack roll, and it's fortitude halves an already small penalty? pfft, no).

While we're talking about the awesomeness that is summoning, I'd like to chime in that even in Pathfinder, it's entirely possible for a 17th level cleric to gate in a Solar as it's b!$*@. Now THAT is going nova in style.

Cleric: "Hm, looks like the gloves come off. BEHOLD, I SUMMON A GOD!"
A God: "S'up? Hey look at that...your caster level is really high. Okay, I'm going to obey you,"

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Tacticslion wrote:

Oh! By-the-by! The summon monster suite becomes ever-more versatile as I'm looking at it!

(Read: stuff I once knew, but had forgotten.)

At first level, you can summon mini flying paladins (or blackguards/antipaladins)!

This tickles me so much because in this game I played in recently we had a summoner. The summoner's answer to combat was celestial eagles. Lots and lots of celestial eagles. It was hilarious actually. It was literally eagle + smite + full attack. Orc kills an eagle, oh look, a new eagle! :P

In one of the fights I think she and her eagles took on most of the enemies. She even took down the fleeing ones, 'cause you don't outrun an eagle while staggered man, you just don't. Angry...angry heaven eagles. XD

It tickled me to no end because I was playing a 1st level vampire warrior (1 NPC class + a +1 CR template) in the game and was pretty happy when I managed to catch a bad-guy in the dark where I had the advantage at swordplay (darkvision, yeah!), then leap out of a window to join the fight, only to find the summoner recreating a certain Alfred Hitchcock film and watching orcs fighting for their lives!

I lol'd so hard. :P

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