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Ashiel's page

8,940 posts (8,943 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.

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Odraude wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Aranna wrote:

It seems a lot of people are confusing fatigue based casting with point pool casting; The two are NOTHING alike. In fatigue based casting your actual physical ability is diminished as you cast, while in point pools your physical ability never diminishes... you can try to reskin it as fatigue but when you can swing a sword just as well at 1000 points versus 0 points your argument fails miserably.

Well, funny thing...psionics actually does have options for the fatigue based thing, or pushing yourself beyond your limits. Options such as Body Fuel and Overchannel both allow you to go above and beyond. In the case of Body Fuel, you literally begin burning off your physical ability scores, killing yourself in exchange for juice, while Overchannel allows you to suffer damage to increase the potency of your powers.

A near equivalent would be if sorcerers could burn off their ability scores to cast more spells after they ran out of slots, but AFAIK, no such mechanic exists that gets used much.

I always felt that style of mechanic didn't really work in a party game like Pathfinder, since you'll have a cleric that can heal all of that for you.

Well the funny thing is that they took that into consideration. In the case of Overchannel you eat some damage to get a small bump in manifester level (kind of like caster level) which could be used to bump your powers up a little more, or get a +5-15% chance to pierce spell resistance, but it's not something you're going to do heavily.

Meanwhile, Body Fuel causes ability burn, which is a type of ability damage that was introduced with psionics. It only heals naturally, not by any magical means is it possible to repair the ability damage. As a result, you can't just nuke your stats down to 1s and then let your cleric cast restoration on you and make it all better, it means you're going to have to heal it on your own. There's a feat that doubles your natural healing rate, which is most useful for this very reason.

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Tels wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:

[tease] You know what would be cool! Playing a WoW Warlock in Pathfinder! [/tease]


Here's a preview of some of the power-combos, as I just finished writing the create healthstone power.

** spoiler omitted **...

Sweet! :)

I'll quit bugging you about it for a while ;)

No worries. Keeps me motivated / reminded.









Am I helping?

You tell me. :)

More Warlock Powers, Due To Tels Stimulus!:
Curse of Weakness
Discipline psychometabolism [affliction, curse]
Level warlock 2
Display auditory, visual
Manifesting Time 1 standard action
Range short (25 ft. + 5 ft. / 2 levels)
Target 1 creature
Duration 1 minute / level
Saving Throw Will partial (see text); Power Resistance Yes
Power Points 3

The caster places a weakening curse on the target, causing their strength to wane. The target suffers a -4 penalty on all melee attack rolls, damage rolls, and Strength-based checks. A successful Will save halves the penalty (so -4 becomes -2).

The manifester can have only one curse of agony, curse of weakness, curse of exhaustion, curse of the elements, or curse of tongues power active at one time on an individual target. Manifesting the same power on the target extends the duration of the active power by the duration of the new manifesting. Manifesting a different curse power from this list on the target immediately ends all other curses on this list.

For every 2 power points spent, the penalty increases increases by -1 and the saving throw DC increases by +1.

Drain Life
Discipline psychometabolism (healing) [affliction]
Level warlock 2
Display audible, visual
Manifesting Time 1 standard action
Range short (25 ft. + 5 ft. / 2 levels)
Target 1 creature
Duration concentration
Saving Throw Fortitude partial (see text); Power Resistance Yes
Power Points 3

You create a link between yourself and your target and begin to draw forth their energies and empowering yourself with them, causing your wounds to heal.

Each round, the target suffers two points of damage and you heal hit points equal to the damage dealt. Each round the target may make a Fortitude save to halve the damage taken.

You cannot target yourself with this power.

You may augment this power in one or more of the following ways.

1. For every 2 additional power points you spend, increase the damage dealt each round by 1.
2. For every 4 additional power points you spend, you may choose an additional target for this power.

In addition, for every 2 power points spent, increase this powers saving throw DC by +1.

Drain Mana
Discipline psychometabolism [affliction]
Level warlock 2
Display audible, visual
Manifesting Time 1 standard action
Range short (25 ft. + 5 ft. / 2 levels)
Target 1 creature
Duration concentration
Saving Throw Will partial (see text); Power Resistance Yes
Power Points 3

You create a metaphysical link between yourself and another, and begin draining away their magical and psionic energies, which you can then use to manifest your own powers.

Each round, if the target has a power point pool it loses 1 power point and you gain 1 power point. If the target has spells available to cast, the target loses 1 prepared spell (for prepared casters) or one spell slot (for spontaneous casters), starting with the lowest level that it can cast (not counting 0 level spells), and you gain 1 PP plus 2 additional PP per spell level above 1st (1 PP for 1st, 3 PP for 2nd, etc). In the case of prepared casters, the target decides which spell it wishes to lose. If the target has any combination of a power point pool, prepared spells, and/or spells available to cast, the target chooses which is drained first. If the target has no power points or spells remaining, this power does nothing. This power cannot raise your PP above your normal maximum.

This power may also drain psi-like abilities and spell-like abilities, but only those with some daily limit (not at-will or constant). As with power points and spells, the lowest equivalent power level or spell level is absorbed first. A psi-like ability or spell-like ability drained this way grants a number of PP equal to a spell of the same level.

Each round, the target may make a Will save to avoid losing any power points, spells, psi-like abilities, or spell-like abilities, and thus deny you gaining power points this round.

You cannot target yourself with this power.

This power can be augmented in one or more of the following ways.

1. For every 2 power points spent, you may drain 2 additional power points, or begin draining spells one level higher than their lowest level spell (so +2 PP begins with 2nd level spells, +4 PP begins with 3rd level spells, etc), or drain one psi-like ability or spell-like ability one level higher than their lowest level psi-like or spell-like ability (so +2 PP begins with 2nd level abilities, +4 PP begins with 3rd level abilities, etc).
2. For every 4 additional power points spent, you may choose an additional target for this power.

In addition, for every 2 power points spent, increase this powers the saving throw DC by +1.

Drain life probably seems somewhat weak initially, but a number of these powers will actually end up being better because of the in-class talent system that hasn't been added to the class yet (but I do have prototype concepts for each), and the ability to augment it to affect multiple targets means you could potentially begin siphoning a pretty solid amount of Hp from multiple foes as long as your allies can keep your concentration from being interrupted (plus the class will have some talents that improve the amount of healing you gain from (healing) spells and powers when certain conditions are met, and you can expect some talents that improve range and even potency if certain conditions are met; such as a talent that increases the potency of your Drain spells for every affliction spell you have active on the target already, and the ability to swift action curse, which will mean running into a fight and spreading corruption + curse of agony and then following up with Life Drain to begin causing continuous damage while restoring your HP, or if you're fighting lots of fiends or spellcasters, begin devouring their magics to replenish yours).

A number of these powers have a duration of Concentration because I want them to consume your actions while you're using them (further emphasizing that this class is about throwing DoTs onto an enemy and then seeking safety to continue draining them into the ground, if affliction is your thing), and because it makes the warlock a tactical target (since powers with a Concentration duration require Concentration checks to avoid being interrupted) which provides you, the Warlock, with incentive to coordinate with your allies and use your summoned minion for interference/crowd control (even if it's as minor as using your Imp for soft cover at low levels).

Odraude wrote:
I wonder if Ashiel-senpai will notice me...

A wild Odraude appeared! :D

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Ssalarn wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Odraude wrote:

Actually, Paizo has psionics in their setting and has said that if they use them, it would have Vancian mechanics in line with Arcane and Divine. And JJ is a huge fan of psionics, so I think it'd be not a matter of "if" but a matter of "when".


What JJ is a "fan of" is something he calls psychic magic. Which from the reading of his posts is something far different than the comic book power style of D+D psionics. Different enough that by his statements, psychic magic and traditional SRD psionics could live side by side.

The other thing is that there is no announced development schedule for this material so I wouldn't hold any campaign plans waiting for it to come out.

Erik Mona has talked about a possible Paizo foray into the powers of the mind as being focused on "psychic magic" as well, and has said it will probably be vancian, and probably look more occult and less "crystal punk" than the psionics presented and supported by DSP.

Too late. I've got a tiefling psion in a friend's Rise of the Runelords game (which is now on hiatus) that carries weird fetishes, and her psicrystal (a really small construct) is a...voodoo doll. A voodoo doll that either takes on her damage (via share pain) or inflicts damage on someone else (via forced share pain).

They better try really hard, because it's damn difficult to find a theme that I can't fluff psionics right into quick, fast, and in a hurry. Especially considering psionics is far closer to real life occultism in its depictions than vancian magic ever was. I've studied various traditions of magic to better understand different cultures and in a few cases to understand some friends of a different religion than my own more clearly (as some religious beliefs incorporate willful influence on the world). I can say in good faith that none of the methods that I have read about look like Vancian magic.

I've found that, given psionics' innate fluffability (complete with DSP encouraging you to refluff them even, see spoiler below) makes it far more likely that if I want something that more closely resembles a fantastic version of an existing methodology of magic, I'm probably better off with psionics rather than core magic. That said, I'm a big fan of refluffing all sorts of stuff (having magical fruit that carry potion effects for example, or stone tablets that shatter to release a scroll effect, etc) so it's never bothered me than my psionic tiefling carries around a talking voodoo doll, or that my psionic witch carries around bone fetishes and an athame.

DSP Encourages Refluffing:
Psionics and Crystals

In many parts of this book, references are made to using crystals for psionic purposes. This is done mostly for a stylistic element that ties crystals to mental energy, but it is in no way a rule you must use in your games. Crystals are simply the type of item given in this book, you can use any type of item or concept that fits into the setting of your campaign.

For example, take the psicrystal, a small piece of crystalline rock that talks, crawls, and even manifests powers. Instead of being a piece of crystal, this could be matter drawn from the Ethereal Plane and given form by the subscionscious mind of its owner, taking a form not unlike a homunculus, or resembling a miniature replica of its owner, or even an animated doll.

Similarly, cognizance crystals could instead be created from a special type of liquid that is contained within a mineral which, when processed with special metals and shaped into a disc is able to hold a reservoir of psionic energy.

These are just a tiny sliver of the ways in which you can implement the material side of psionics to fit your game world. Crystals are the option used within this book, they certainly are not the only choice.

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Artemis Moonstar wrote:
Which reminds me. Anyone know if DSP has plans for Mythic Psionics?

If DSP did mythic, we might have mythic rules that actually worked. That'd be pretty sweet.

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Anzyr wrote:

Ok, Time for an Anzyr Mini-Guide:

Psionics: How Does It Work?

1. Much like Spellcasters have a caster level, Manifesters have a Manifester Level.

2. Much like spellcasters have spells divided into group ranging from 1st level to 9th level spells, Manifesters have powers grouped from 1st level powers to 9th level powers.

3. Much like spontaneous casters, manifesters can use any power they know. The difference is that spontaneous casters must have a spell level available to cast it, while a manifester must have power points available to cast it.

4. Powers cost a number of power points based on their level. 1st level powers cost 1 PP, 2nd level powers cost 3 PP, 3rd level powers cost 5 pp, 4th level powers cost 7 pp, 5th level powers cost 9 pp, 6th level powers cost 11 pp, 7th level powers cost 13 pp, 8th level powers cost 15 pp, and 9th level powers cost 17 pp.

Check your understanding question: The power point cost of powers goes up by _ pp per level of the power.

A. 2!~

5. Powers have options called augments that change how a power works (increasing its damage dice, save dcs, adding additional targets, etc.) but require a manifester to spend the required number of augment points.

6. You cannot spend more power points on a power then your manifester level. (Ie. a 9th level manifester can spend 9 points. This means they can manifest a 5th level power without augments, or a lower level power that has been augmented up to 9 power points).

7. You cannot spend more power points on a power then your manifester level. Not following this rule is a cause of many people calling Psionics "OP" and bears mentioning twice. Once in bold.

Next time on Anzyr's Mini-Guides:

Psionic Focus and You!

See! I said it only takes like 15 minutes. :P

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Kryzbyn wrote:

[tease] You know what would be cool! Playing a WoW Warlock in Pathfinder! [/tease]


It's not finished, but here's a preview.

Warlock v0.1.1.

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DrDeth wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

I didn't say the system was fatally broken. In fact, I said I like Paladins. I've been GMing for a great Paladin for quite a while. However, a large part of the reason the game has been going so smoothly is because I threw out all the mechanics for the code and such, because they don't work unless you don't follow them.

So then, you have no idea whether or not the RAW code actually cause issues as you don't play with the RAW, but then you blithely dismiss our IRL gaming experiences where we say the RAW does not cause issues at our tables?

At our tables, and apparently at the Devs own tables, the RAW code does not cause issues.

Oh divinity, give me the patience! (>.<)

Let me break this down to be really simple.
1. The Paladin repeatedly broke his code, but never in a way that should make a Paladin fall.
2. I repeatedly ignored the code because to follow the rules in this case would have only caused problems and would have resulted in asinine stupidity.

Ergo, the rule was thrown out/ignored, because it led to stupid places. That is a bad rule. I never said I threw the rules out before, and even if I did, it doesn't take much to see where he would have fallen because the definition of those rules is no less unavailable than originally even if those rules are not in play because they are dumb.

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Zhayne wrote:
The class names are irrelevant. The characters can call themselves whatever they like.

The best samurai I've ever seen was a barbarian/rogue/fighter. The witchiest witch I've ever had the pleasure of playing was my psion egoist/shaper. Class names are a metagame concept.

Metagaming. Don't do it. :P

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LazarX wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

Also, where is this messageboard population you're talking about?

That's you all really, because the vast majority of the problems people scream about as "OMG system is fatally broken! must FAQ NOW!!!!" are mostly issues that I don't see as relevant in the hundreds of PFS tables that I've run, nor is it echoed to any significant extent to the Pathfinder community I know in New Jersey, New York City, nor eastern Pennsylvania. I've come to the conclusion that the Paizo message board represents a distinct and separate population of gamers from any other group that I've had familiarity with since the late '70's.

Want to buy "Skill Focus (Reading Comprehension)"! :D

I didn't say the system was fatally broken. In fact, I said I like Paladins. I've been GMing for a great Paladin for quite a while. However, a large part of the reason the game has been going so smoothly is because I threw out all the mechanics for the code and such, because they don't work unless you don't follow them.

Which has been my entire point in the thread. I don't dislike Paladins, I like them having the ability to use their judgment on things, and I dislike the silliness that is pussyfooting around a badly written mechanics.

I think the Pathfinder changes to the Ex-Paladins rules are pretty dumb. There was nothing gained by changing the rules to make Paladins auto-fall for breaking their code, even in the slightest. All it does is make asinine situations that break immersion, and create potential that would cause a catch-22 situation.

And those situations are not so uncommon. In the campaign I've been running for a while, the party which includes a Paladin, has had to do things like go undercover (PF Paladins cannot); has had to put aside their differences when dealing with evil doers to help someone (the Paladin stayed his hand at punishing an evil doer because it would put another person in danger, so instead the party parlayed with the evil doer and bought his slave from him to free her); and opted to show mercy where mercy wouldn't have been shown to him had the tables been turned. He, and the party, are involved with the redemption of several NPCs (another thing which RAW PF would fell him for, as he has not punished them for their past transgressions, but instead forgave them). He has been found himself at conflict with his own order on some occasions as he sometimes gets stuck between his duty as a knight and his moral ideals (one example is that he currently has a vampire that he has declared under his protection, which caused strife between him and his order).

During this time, he would have fallen for...
A) Helping people whose aid would result in a chaotic end (the liberation of slaves)
B) Lying (he has been in cases where he had to pretend not to be a member of his order to not tip off the people he was investigating, or put innocents at risk)
C) Not punishing those who harm or threaten innocents (he has liberated several vampire spawn and refuses to pass judgment on them as their will was not their own, he has forgiven transgressions against himself and his party with their consent, he let an antagonist go with a second chance in exchange for his cooperation to help save some slaves).
D) Associating with evil characters for reasons other than defeating a greater evil (he has had several characters that he has allowed to remain in the party who are evil, with the express purpose of both redemption and keeping an eye on them, to great success, as most have shifted to Neutral or better in their attitudes and actions, and are friendly towards the party).
E) Not respecting legitimate authority (he has in at least one case stood down a higher ranking officer in his order because he told them if they wanted to stake the former vampire spawn, they'd have to go through him, and the two ended up coming to blows about it; but when he defeated the officer, he healed him and picked him up off the ground, making the officer realize he was not a traitor).

In virtually every case he did so by sticking true to the spirit of his code and alignment, everyone in the group was certain that he was probably the best example of a Paladin. He was selfless, put others before himself, a defender of the innocent, a slayer of big evils, an absolver of transgression, a defender of the innocent, a rational man, and someone who is thoroughly strong in his convictions and faith, even though it is challenged heavily from time to time.

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Thomas Long 175 wrote:
Marroar Gellantara wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

In one of the most basic examples the Paladin is if the Paladin has to choose between protecting innocent lives or lying. He's damned either way.

There is never that choice. He just says nothing. Or a platitude. Or lets the Bard lie.
So many wonderful excuses that require you to either A) ignore the scenario, or B) assume you have someone that may or may not be going to bail you out.

To be fair, whenever a demon or something makes up these situations, I almost expect good characters to the take the "we don't negotiate with terrorist" approach.

If a bad guy says he will kill hostages unless you lie to him, as a paladin or a LG fighter you are well within your rights to just start attacking him instead.

I also don't see it as wrong to not believe the words of a hostage taker.

If they die because you attack him you have failed in the "protect the innocents" clause. You have done something that you knew would harm innocent people.

Ok, icewind dale 2 example. Actual example from a game based off of 2e. Orc chieftain takes over a human village and has put the entire populace into a little circle surrounded by barrels full of blasting powder. There are scouts all along the wall as well as several mages in the encampment.

The first time in the game you approach he orders you to leave or they all die. One flaming arrow is all it takes to kill every single human in there.

Lets alter that slightly. Your paladin is recognizably a paladin, and its known in this world paladin's cant lie. Orc orders him to promise to leave, not engage in any hostile actions against them, or tell anyone else about the encampment of orcs and humans.

Using this example, only a slight deviation off of something that actually exists in a published game, if your paladin does not agree on the spot hundreds of people will die. If he attacks, well I don't think you can kill an entire village full of orcs before...


It's not about the specific scenario. It's not even about doing the most good. It's the fact that as written, the Paladin can end up in a catch-22, and it's not even hard to do so. There are examples in the campaign that I've been running (which includes a Paladin) where the party had to do things like take civilians, hostages, and so forth into consideration. It's not that unlikely, it's a pretty standard trope.

In 3.5, the Paladin could try to do his best. The Paladin could weigh his options. The Paladin could try to follow his code in the direction he felt would be good (okay, try to punish the evil and save the people, but put them at risk, or promise to leave and come back later to rescue them, or whatever). The Paladin had to seriously FUBAR his code, and as a result couldn't get stuck in the legalese of it.

This is all about the rules here. People pussyfooting around the issue in an effort to defend bad rules, while insisting that those rules are just to be ignored, while betraying the spirit of the code to begin with (by having party members to murder, lie, use poison, and so forth by proxy for the Paladin, which is also a no-no), etc.

This isn't about making the Paladin fall. This is about the absurdity that is the absolutism of the PF version of the Ex-Paladin's clause of the class.

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Odraude wrote:
I enjoy the fluff of psionics. That said, I'm not really into spellpoints. A bit too much bookkeeping for my taste. I'd like to see a Vancian option of psionics to make it a bit easier to learn and run for myself. But yeah, definitely love psionics. Especially since I like aliens, Lovecraft, and ancient astronauts in my setting.

The funny thing is, I've started using more psionic characters as NPCs for the exact reason that they are less bookkeeping. Instead of tracking how many of X spell is remaining vs all their other spells, I just have to track PP.

Tracking PP is no more bookkeeping than tracking HP, which is to say, trivial. It makes dealing with lots of NPCs waaaaaay easier. Instead of having to mark which spells each NPC cast from their list of prepared spells, or have a different resource for each spell level (in the case of spontaneous casters), I just have their HP and PP, and everything is A-OK.

It makes combats smoother, cuts down on bookkeeping, and makes running lots of metaphysically inclined NPCs a snap.

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Pretty much. IMHO, if following the rules means the game breaks down, then those are not good rules and should be revised. As I noted, the 3.5 rule for the paladin code worked better. I won't say it was devoid of problems (the code should seriously be specific so we don't get threads about GMs preventing Paladins from using bows/crossbows and such) but it at least didn't create a damned if-damned if not scenario.

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Way to dodge the question. Politaladins.

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Chromnos wrote:
In my opinion, these things should be based on the spirit of the alignment and not the letter. A paladin fudging the truth over innocent refugees that would otherwise be captured and killed is certainly in the spirit of lawful good. Sure, you told a white lie, but innocents were saved. As for the anti-paladin, I could see one working with a kind of special side code that involved no pvp, no provoking other players with evil acts, and generally just running the whole selfish/evil thing as a side show.

Exactly. In 3.5, you could follow the spirit of the code just fine. You only fell when you grossly violated the code. In Pathfinder, ANY violation means instant falling, and I think I've shown that it's very easy to have differing opinions on just what constitutes as a violation.

We've literally devolved into arguing of "what is a lie" (as I expected we would). Why? Because it actually matters because of the way that the rules work currently. The only sane way of dealing with the rules is to either A) ignore them, or B) convolute some sort of scenario where the Paladin and/or the party murder-hobos their way to non-falling.

Both A & B are dumb. I'm saying it, they're dumb. There's little that I can imagine that would convince me otherwise (and smaller still that I've seen presented to that end). 3.5's wasn't so dumb. 3.5's worked much better both from a mechanical, narrative, and story potential perspective.

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These arguments are the source of Paladin hate. Notice nobody is arguing over what is and is not the correct way to play a Ranger.

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Zhayne wrote:
Or unless the GM just says 'no PvP, period'.

This is a PvE server. :3

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It is really funny that antipaladins are better team players than paladins. They have abilities that combo with allies more readily, don't get bent out of shape because someone else isn't following their ideals, and would happily save puppies and kittens if it meant getting what he/she wanted. Hell, they could do it just because they wanted the self indulgence of doing so.

Almost every act of heroism can be de-goodified by simply removing the altruism aspect of it. An antipaladin could go around doing tons of acts of daring do, as long as it was for selfish motivations.

Party: "Why did you save this town?"
Anti: "Now they owe me,"
Party: "What about that baby that the kobolds were going to sacrifice?"
Anti: "I reminded them that their god is weak,"
Party: "Why did you use a potion of infernal healing on that maiden's injured horse? That was awfully nice of you,"
Anti: "Because she was hot, and I piss potions of infernal healing,"
Party: "Damn Alicia, don't you ever do anything nice for anyone?"
Anti: "Of course I do. I just bought myself this new sapphire studded skirt and this strawberry icecream topped waffle,"

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A lot of problems would be solved if Paizo left in a single sentence from the 3.5 Paladin code.

3.5 Paladin wrote:
A paladin who ceases to be lawful good, who willfully commits an evil act, or who grossly violates the code of conduct loses all paladin spells and abilities (including the service of the paladin’s mount, but not weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies). She may not progress any farther in levels as a paladin. She regains her abilities and advancement potential if she atones for her violations (see the atonement spell description), as appropriate.

Which let you play the Qi-Gon Jinn types of Paladins, or have Prince Arthas style corruption (which was ideal for NPCs slipping down the slope). They removed this, so now violating your code /at all/ results in instant falling. Absolutes generally cause problems in almost any situation, and the paladin code is no exception. A Paladin cannot follow the spirit of the code anymore so much as the literal wording. This can create catch-22s in gameplay when two aspects of the Paladin code conflict.

For example, if a Paladin commits a lie of omission to protect the innocent, the Paladin falls. Likewise the Paladin couldn't cheat at a badguy's games, even if it means putting the lives of innocents at risk (which is a very real possibility if you have a twisted badguy similar to the Joker). Paladins likewise cannot use poison (despite Paizo insisting that poison isn't evil), which means a Paladin can't even lay out rat poison in a plague-infested city.

Spirit of the code vs stupidly literal. Unfortunately Paizo pushed it towards the stupidly literal by removing the option to bend rather than break.

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Albatoonoe wrote:
Well, if you are intentionally making it, it is probably going to serve some insidious purpose. I wouldn't change the price or DC, but I like the idea of bestow curse being a prerequisite.

Well, the biggest reason I would change the price is because cursed items just aren't worth as much. It's harder to use them. Having a chance to give an enemy some penalties for a short time isn't as beneficial as having an item that makes you stronger pretty much forever.

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Bestow curse should probably be added to the prerequisites of all intentionally cursed items.

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Deadalready wrote:

Our party has entered a tournament and the GM has given us an idea of what our opponents are. While the majority of them seem reasonable, the biggest problem is a gunslinger we encountered earlier in the campaign.

While I can't be exact on what feats the gunslinger has, he'll be vaguely level 10 and from our last encounter sitting on the overpowered side of life. Add to this the gunslinger will most likely be guarded by a strong front liner.

The tournament has several rules against obscuring vision because the crowd needs to see the entire fight.

The current party is also level 10 consisting of a
Two weapon Rogue
two handed Ranger
Bow Ranger
Sword and board Inquisitor
Shifter Druid

Blindness/deafness or glitterdust can blind him. Glitterdust is more likely due to it being a Will save and gunslingers having good Fortitude. Once he's blind, even blind-fight doesn't help much with ranged attacks.

Alternatively, grab a potion of invisibility and let your sword & board ranger get to him and rip him apart in melee. In fact, his first attack from invisibility could conveniently be a sunder to wreck his weapons (favored enemy applies on combat maneuvers as well).

Grease his firearms. It forces a reflex save every round to prevent him from dropping them, which can really slow down a martial who's full attacking (the downside is his Dex is probably great so it might not work, but since it's a save each round he's likely to fail sometime).

Use small obscurings like tiny hut which provide total concealment in a small area against the gunslinger but allow you to shoot out of it just fine. This will allow your bow ranger to murder the gunslinger.

Heat metal (druid spell) on his firearms and see how much he likes that. Black powder specifically explodes when it is subjected to fire damage, so heat metal pretty much guarantees a misfire and is going to prevent him from reloading his gun to boot (because it's like putting black powder in a red hot flaming skillet).

Wind wall provides a 30% miss chance to firearm attacks made through it. This 30% miss chance is not from concealment so it's in addition to effects such as blur, displacement, or concealment.

Depending on how big the arena is, insect plague can fill spaces you don't want to own with wasp swarms which deal 2d6 + poison damage and have a DC 13 distraction ability and are immune to weapon damage. They would last 10 minutes at your druid's level, and would provide cover for anyone behind them, which means making the gunslinger have a harder time hitting, and can force him to move where you want him to move.

Wall of thorns can utterly ruin your enemies. You can pretty much claim the entire arena with this spell in the name of you. For poops and giggles, combine this spell with insect plague, maybe call lightning, or ruin their mobility even more with spells like spike growth or stone spikes, then just put some solid cover between you and the gunslinger and let them cry.

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Atarlost wrote:
A lot of it is people not understanding history or literature, but a lot of it is shoddy firearm mechanics.

This. Infinitely this.

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the David wrote:

I just have 2 things to say about healing:

1. Doing damage is far more effective than healing people.
2. Healing people is far more cost efficient than raising people.

Most of the time anyway.

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Chris Lambertz wrote:
Removed some more back and forth sniping. If this continues to be an issue, this thread will be locked.

Please don't lock the thread because of the actions of a few. Some of us who haven't been calling people names or sniping at people are actually enjoying the thread. :\

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Azoriel wrote:
If animated barrels and rocks evolved into limbed forms, that line of argumentation might actually be viable.

But if you take a snake and make it into a zombie it gains a slam attack. In fact, if you turn it into a fast zombie it gains TWO slam attacks.

By your argument, merely having limbs means you are losing attacks. For example, a fast zombie wolf has 1 bite + 2 slams. But you're saying if you took a cat that has two claw attacks, and turn it into a fast zombie, suddenly it loses its claw attacks if it wants to slam?

Um, no. >_>

Slamming just means to bludgeon someone really hard. Most creatures that can do so are strong and/or tough enough that they can just beat stuff with their bodies without any special training, making it a natural weapon.

An earth elemental doesn't have to learn kung fu. It just has to whack you really hard. Same with a vampire. A vampire can just kick the snot out of you. Do you really think that a vampire's hands, and only its hands, are somehow magically more powerful than its legs?

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Rory wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Rory wrote:
A longbow is a clumsy tool to use in combat without siginificant feat and monetary investment as well. No one argues an archer isn't allowed to spend resources. A longbow has a lot more feats and avenues open to boost it, but it still costs a LOT of resources.
Oh poor thing. Do you actually believe this? A longbow on its own deals 1d8 damage with a x3 crit, can be made composite for what is quickly negligible resources (before its negligible, you use a sling). Strength bonus + enhancement bonus alone will get you to around +15 to damage...

Thank you Ashiel for making my point.

People automatically give the archer resources without even realizing. +15 damage is impossible without resources being spent. We all know that bows can be great. Bows are given lots more ways to spend those resources. But, it still takes resources.

Spending resources to make something better is part of the game.

Everything is resources. Everything. Right down to your ability scores and your hit points. The difference is cost vs gain. By 20th level, a +5 enhancement bonus on a weapon is cheap. If you have a wizard or cleric in the party, then it's as cheap as a 9,000 gp pearl of power. The strength bonus on top of that for the bow is 1,000 gp. That's 10,000 gp out of your WBL, or 1/88th of your treasures. 1/88th. Think about that. Meanwhile it costs 0 feats to make useful (because 1d8+15 is assuming a generic 30 Str warrior was using it, but then you have BUFFS, like a Paladin's spells, or smite, or a ranger's favored enemy, or a slayer's focus target, or a barbarian's rage w/adaptive, or a bard's greater heroism, or Inspire Courage, or a Cleric's Divine Power, etc).

The effort vs reward is where the devil lies in the details. For significantly more cost (more money, tons more feats, etc) you could improve channel energy slightly. For a similar investment, you could be doing over 200 damage on a full attack with that very same bow.

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Rory wrote:
A longbow is a clumsy tool to use in combat without siginificant feat and monetary investment as well. No one argues an archer isn't allowed to spend resources. A longbow has a lot more feats and avenues open to boost it, but it still costs a LOT of resources.

Oh poor thing. Do you actually believe this? A longbow on its own deals 1d8 damage with a x3 crit, can be made composite for what is quickly negligible resources (before its negligible, you use a sling). Strength bonus + enhancement bonus alone will get you to around +15 to damage with it top-end, and due to ammunition being fairly cheap, it's one of the most effective ways of dealing with a large variety of DRs while still using the same weapon (instead of having to get lots of different weapons, you just pack some silver, cold iron, and the odd adamantine arrow and since abundant ammunition is a thing you could even get that for resource safety).

You don't suffer any penalties to attacking when your foe lacks cover and/or isn't in melee. Two of the more ideal times to actually use a ranged weapon in fact. See, every martial worth the paper their character sheet is made of carries a bow, because when you are facing flying enemies (who virtually never have cover and aren't generally prone to being locked into melee) you whip it out and start tearing them up.

If you want to push your damage even higher, then you could spend 1 feat, Deadly Aim (which has no prerequisites) to convert excess to-hit into damage, which allows a Paladin or Ranger to wreck their specialty targets. Barbarians even get into the mix because adaptive longbows (which are again pretty cheap in the grand scheme of things) allow them to get their rage bonus on their bow when they rage.

Yes, you can definitely spend lots of resources and/or feats to make a longbow even better, but generally when you do so, you're making a highly specialized character that will utterly wreck anything it gets to make full attacks against (because 165 damage on the first 3 arrows fired, all using your highest BAB, is not just good it's Tony the Tiger grrreeat)!

A person that wants to boost healing should be allowed to spend resources too. Spending feats (Selective Channel, Quicken Channel, and/or Extra Channel) or monetary resources (Phylactery, +CHA Ioun stone or Rod of Splendor) into becoming a better healer is not a bad thing at all.

Except you're not going to. You're investing a ton of resources and money that could have been invested into actually helping your party succeed. None of that actually helps you to heal more damage, it helps you to heal it more often. We're talking quality over quantity here. The only one that really helps in that regard is the phylactery of channeling which improves your healing by +2d6.

Being able to pop out 8d6 area effect emergency healing at level 7 is quite powerful. Even at 11th level, with Heal healing 110 to a single target, being able to heal 56 average damage to the entire group in a single round is still significant.

This is called "sucking better". Channel energy doesn't keep up. Here's the progression.

1 = 1d6 (3.5)
3 = 2d6 (7)
5 = 3d6 (10.5)
7 = 4d6 (14)
9 = 5d6 (17.5)
11 = 6d6 (21)
13 = 7d6 (24.5)
15 = 8d6 (28)
17 = 9d6 (31.5)
19 = 10d6 (35)


Be careful here. This is only accurate when comparing single targets. When you start comparing two targets, then Channel Energy heals roughly the same amount. When you count four or more targets? There is no comparison.

So, let's compare Channel Energy to spells at level 5.

At 5th level, Channel Energy = 10.5 average (5 per day).
At 5th level, Cure Serious Wounds = 18.5 average (3 max per day).

With 14 CHA, with zero other investment, a level 5 cleric has effectively 3 extra Cure Serious Wounds worth of healing without using spells. This is single target...

Part of your argument requires dishonesty. That is, you're taking the healing that could potentially be done over multiple party members and then declaring that as the healing. That's like me saying at CL 5, lightning bolt deals 120d6 points of damage when throwing it down a long tunnel filled space to space with kobolds.

We already discussed tactics 101 here. Look, I'll do it again. When do you see lions breaking off and attacking a whole herd of wildebeests individually? You don't. They pick one and bring it down as a team. That is exactly what you do in D&D and/or Pathfinder.

If you're fighting 6 kobolds with crossbows, they're going to shoot at 1 party member if they're smart (and they are). Because again, one less enemy means one less enemy to deal with. It's not rocket science.

So yes, at 7th level you could heal everyone in a 30 ft. radius for an average of 14 health. If you've been pushing your dumpstat really hard (Charisma) and took selective channeling, you might not even heal any of your enemies that your party is fighting. However, every party member that isn't damaged means that healing is wasted (see reactionary healing in my previous posts), and the amount that you're healing your victim for isn't very much.

Your absolute best case scenario is shield other + channel energy, which brings your effective healing versus a single target to about 28 damage healed, since you're taking 1/2 of his or her damage and then healing both you and your primary target's HP.

Alternatively, if your enemy is using a lot of weak AoEs, then channel starts looking pretty nice as it's just your d6s sans saves vs their d6s with saves, but only if your target has invested nothing into improving their blasting. If they invested half the effort that it will take to try to push channel energy into the "hey this is good" territory, then they will outpace your channels significantly (because 7d6+7 is very nice compared to 4d6).

Channel energy is great for OOC healing. As in, when you need to top people off post-combat. If the enemy was spreading the fire around significantly, then you didn't need channel energy to begin with (unless something funny was going on), and if they weren't, then channel energy is only really good for topping people off.

The fact that at 19th level it caps out at 35 healing (42 with a buffing magic item) is quite telling. Enemies do that much in a single attack (remember that archer a bit ago with the 165+ damage in the first portion of its full attack).

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So arms are actually a negative evolutionary trait...
EDIT: Because the moment you have arms you suddenly lose the ability to use the rest of your body to make slam attacks because...reasons.

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Because there's nothing that says what feat you change is variable. Applying the same logic means if you cast polymorph at 8 am to turn into a monkey to climb a tree, then later at 12pm, casting polymorph means you turn into a monkey again, even though you really wanted to be Tony the tiger.

Because with polymorph, you choose a form, and the spell ends later.
With paragon surge, you choose a feat, and the spell ends later.

They're the same thing.

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Buri wrote:
There MUST be a point where the 'we inherited this' line is no longer an acceptable response. They've had the system for years.


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Covent wrote:

Paragon Surge text

A new FAQ has affected Paragon surge. Now I am of mixed minds when it comes to this. It seems to me that this is less an FAQ than an Errata, and honestly not a terribly bad one, however it does seem to cut down on the use of the spell significantly.

I would have prefered to see this as an Errata/Rewrite rather than an FAQ "fix" by slapping a restriction on a spell that is nowhere in the spell text and could cause discussion/table variation in places that are using books/PRD and where some do and some do not have access to the FAQ at a moments notice.

FAQ text

I am wondering what the general consensus is on this?

This is not a bash Paizo thread! Please, understand that I am only looking for opinions on this topic, not to attack the game we all play and enjoy or the company that makes it in any way.

I hate the idea of Paragon Surge sorcerers, but the FAQ is wrong on this. The spell clearly states that the feat is chosen when you cast the spell and the effect lasts until the end of the spell. There is nothing in the spell description that says anything about daily limits on your choosing.

The spell clearly would allow you to cast it, pick up Stealthy, cast it later, and get Toughness, cast it later, for Great Fortitude, etc. The FAQ is just wrong here.

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AbsolutGrndZer0 wrote:

For a long time I've had the idea of mirror twin sisters that are mirrored mentally as well as physically, so I for awhile have been thinking about what's more mirror than a paladin and an anti-paladin?

Now, the problem then would be them getting along... the paladin of course can't do anything evil, but she can kinda sorta still work with her sister as I understand it, just can't help her do anything against good and she has to keep trying to get her sister to change her ways.

The anti-paladin has a bit more leeway, in that she can work with a good person and even do good things sometimes, as long as she's keeping her eye on the big picture of evil. Plus, as some have said in other threads, just cause you are evil doesn't mean the evil wizard in the tower is your friend. You want his artifacts, you go kill him and steal them. So, in that sense if she's helping her good sister kill the evil wizard, then takes his magic items for her own ends, hey... That's all within the anti-paladin code.

Then, there is also the deity codes though. A Calistrian paladin, as I see it, takes what they want with no concern for others, you screw them they get vengeance, but they don't necessarily have to be kicking puppies and biting the heads off kittens.

So, WHEN THEY ARE TOGETHER the paladin would keep her anti-paladin sister somewhat in check, keeping her from kicking puppies but as I said above, oh look that evil wizard is harassing this town, let's kill him. The paladin would probably give alms to the poor and and then her sister would roll her eyes, probably come back later and steal the money (if she has time)

That's what I've been thinking, and it's not really enough... I mean I'm thinking this is just too crazy but I thought I might see if anyone has any ideas on how it could work for them not to be trying to kill each other and to get along so far as each is trying to "convert" the other and overall they are doing good, yet at the same time the anti-paladin sister is getting more powerful as she takes out other evil people. Maybe someday the paladin sister will realize that her sister has become a greater evil than all the evils they fought before, and they'll have to fight. That also is kind of a draw to the idea... them getting along, both trying to "corrupt/save" the other, until one day they realize that's never going to happen...

This reminds me of the idea a friend of mine had but never got to set into motion. We wanted to make a couple of Paladins, siblings, each of an opposed alignment (one normal, one anti) and have them work together in the same party. Both family and rivals, as it were, with each trying to prove the superiority of their method through action, both both legitimately loving and caring for each other because they are family.

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DrDeth wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
I have a story as a GM where healing could not keep up. I will keep it short. The PC's walked into an area with the BBEG. In front of him were human meat shields whose sole purpose was to hold the PC's off so the BBEG could harrass them from afar. Also on a ledger higher up there were a few archers. They were well below the PC's level but rolling that many dice means someone will get hit. One PC in particular had been causing trouble, so the BBEG decided he was too dangerous to have around. All of the archers focused fire on the trouble maker. The troublemaker was the divine spell caster. He could not even keep himself up despite trying to cure himself.

Ok, so say he did something else rather than heal. What could he have done?

What your scenario seems to prove is that if a DM concentrates fire on one PC, that PC is in trouble. That has nothing to do with healing.

It has everything to do with healing. Concentrating fire on a single foe is tactics 101. Even animals do it. Seriously, when was the last time you saw a pack of lions evenly spread out and each take a single mark at a time? No, they split one off from the herd and wreck that pool fool.

Thinning the numbers of your enemy as quickly as possible means less actions being taken against you. Go play an RTS game sometime. The fewer enemies attacking back, the better your side is going to fair. The same is true in D&D. Let's revisit the orc example.

3 orcs, each dealing 2d4+4 on a hit. Remove 1 orc from the equation and you just lowered incoming damage per round by 2d4+4. Remove 2 orcs, and you reduced incoming damage by 4d4+8. Remove 3 orcs and damage stops.

By remove, I don't mean you have to kill them (killing orcs is tough business) but you can stop them. A charm person spell can stop them. A grease can stop them. Entangle can stop them. Throwing down some caltrops and running away to use ranged weapons can stop them. You just have to make them stop beating the crud out of your friends. Not try to unbeat them (unless it's really necessary).

Good healing means being able to take the focus firing and keep on trucking. This is why in WoW PVP (which is the best videogame equivalent to a real-time D&D combat scenario I've ever experienced) you kill the healers. Why? Because healers are good in that game, and if you don't kill the healer, the healer's party is most definitely going to kill you, because you cannot outpace the healer unless you are severely outclassing the healer's party. Meanwhile, the protective sorts protect the healer and DPS, while everyone beats down on the enemy.

Because healers matter in that game. It's why I'm excited about playing a vitalist. It looks like a healer that is going to matter. One that is going to be able to play reactively, proactively, and is going to be able to crank out enough healing and protection to help her allies survive against a focus fire attempt.

Her arsenal will include vigor for granting allies significant short-duration temporary HP (proactive healing), natural healing (a solid 3 HP / PP spent for healing, which means there's no gambling), share pain (split incoming damage between 2 targets), the ability to heal at a distance (allowing more action efficiency when it comes to delivering emergency heals), and eventually the means to provide buffs and healing to multiple members of the party at the same time, which will combo very nicely with share pain.

For example, she can share pain damage between 2 party members, and then 2 more party members, so everyone is taking 1/2 of someone else's damage. She could then spend +1 PP / target, to manifest natural healing, and heal everyone in the party for some damage at once, which can become mana-efficient if everyone is splitting damage.

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Somehow DrDeth's post asking about my games got caught up in the post-culling, but here's my response anyway.

1) Yes, I do have a lot of house rules. Those house rules, however, tend to be either class balance tweaks (such as with my psychic monk or gunslinger) or other additional content. Said mechanics are balanced around the core rules.

2) As a GM, I pretty much just stick to core, because I'm damn lazy. It's too much trouble to go rummaging around in lots of splat books for most NPCs when something out of the MM will do. I do get a bit adventurous and make use of classed monsters occasionally, but never anything outside the normal Bestiary rules. Besides, a literal ogre mage (as in ogre + wizard or sorcerer levels) probably isn't stepping on too many toes.

3) My combats generally last 5+ rounds. A large contributor to this aspect is I tend to try to make dynamic encounters, and my NPCs act how I feel is realistic for their world. That means things like tigers ambush prey, rocs will snatch you into the air and carry you off, lions will use pride tactics, and anything smarter is going to show it. That means NPCs will do things like dive for cover behind obstacles, deny full attacks when they can, and use teamwork.

4) I tend to use a lot of NPCs in my encounters. Instead of one big bad bruiser (which is fairly rare for the PCs to fight someone capable of taking them on on), it's more likely to face lots of more minor foes, again with tactics. This generally means that wrapping up combats super quick isn't a thing unless the party is really good at herding cats.

In general, for the reasons mentioned before, the reasons healing doesn't stand up is because it has the following problems.

A) It's action economy sucks. At best you are trying to spend your action to negate an action someone else already took. This is kind of like a wizard standing around casting the daze cantrip, in that except that it's expending a resource (your spells) for what amounts to an attempt to reduce the already successful actions of your enemies.

B) It doesn't scale well with damage. Enemies, including generic bestiary enemies, deal large amounts of damage. If they are at all trying (such as making use of feats, or teamwork, or buffs) then they will generally deal much more. Healing does not scale effectively with damage. It's never enough, essentially. It's also thoroughly wrecked if your friend is the victim of a critical hit (there are no critical heals, and if there were, they'd generally suck since your window of opportunity is smaller than in WoW).

C) It generally doesn't solve any problems. The thing that's dealing damage is still dealing damage. If you have 3 orcs dealing 2d4+4 damage per hit, the way to keep your fighter alive is not to heal 1d8+1, 1d8+5, or even 3d8+5. It's to stop those orcs from making attacks in the first place (how you do that is irrelevant, it could be making a wall, charming, commanding, killing, binding, banishing, confusing, or just getting something in to take the hit instead, or many more things).

D) Healing also typically requires you to hump the leg of the person you're trying to heal. It large dynamic combats, having the cleric or anyone else who is healing chasing around the wounded like a fat kid chasing cake is just as sad to watch, and is just asking for everyone to get wrecked. Sure you can make use of metamagic like reach spell or for the multiclass inclined, spectral hand, but in both cases you are generally getting a less for more deal (higher spell slot requirements, lower caster levels, etc).

E) Healing is reactionary. This is a big problem. Healing does...not a damn thing. At least until someone is already hurt. This combines with literally every other problem to compile them all. There you are, and you're doing your thing, then suddenly Boris the Strong and Fair gets wrecked for 43 damage and is now sitting at 10 HP, and another hit like that means that he's pushing daisies! So suddenly you stop what you're doing and run over to him with a double move to get your clankedy medium or heavy-armored butt over there, then burn an action point/hero point to heal him for a whopping 4d8+7 or about 31 damage, at the cost of one of your highest level spells. Awesome, he's alive, and you're the man!

Then he gets slapped again for about 43 damage, and promptly expires. Or the bad guy gets lucky and your friend dropped during its full-attack. Oops, even if you run your ass over there, your friend's already dead. Oh well, I guess raise dead is healing too. Of course, if he's not dead, you could run over there and get within touch range, just in time to show the kobold sorcerer that there's a tightly packed healer plus a wounded fighter just asking for a fireball...

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Something that we need more of is pre-healing. This is one of the reasons I'm enamored with the vitalist. Reactive healing means someone takes their turn, maybe or maybe not kills your friend, and you decide whether to heal them now and top them off, or risk letting your friend randomly snuff it where your healing doesn't matter anymore and you're down a member.

Preemptive healing in the form of Temporary HP is one of my favorite forms of damage mitigation. Most of it has a short duration, but as they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. For example, in an upcoming game, my vitalist will be able to use one power to give a friend +5 temporary hit points for 10 rounds.

The beauty of temporary HP is that she can effectively heal him before he takes damage. So if he has 12 HP, and the orc hits him for 6, he's now down to 11. Healing success! Meanwhile, while she's not in the process of healing him with her little HP bubbles, she's doing other things and being a helpful member of the party rather than hovering over him and waiting to grab him and hope to shake some life back into his dying corpse.

Now it's not all efficiency. It only lasts 10 rounds / level, so if we get into a fight and I give 'em a little juice and then he never suffers any damage then I wasted some, but my father always told me it's better to have than not need than need and not have. If your party didn't take any damage, then hurray for you anyway! :o

It also helps reduce the chance that rocket tag will work. For example, if your 3rd level party is fighting a pack of orcs with greataxes, your fighter might have around 27 HP. Now you know, if he gets hit with a 3d12+12 greataxe swing he's probably going down, but you could give him +10 temporary HP. If he doesn't get critically hit, no worries. If he does, it probably kept him standing, because it gave him a buffer so that when that big hit comes, he'll have a few HP left over.

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DrDeth wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
And you aren't doing some "dismissing" of your own?

Am I? I never accused anyone of being a "theorycrafter" who doesn't play the game or who plays the game wrong.

All I did was to mention that no one's gaming experience has any more weight than that of anyone else.

True, and I never said otherwise. Generally, it's based on Theory that healing can't outpace damage.

No, it's based on math. It doesn't even require you to be an expert on the game in the least. You just have to have a fight at pretty much any level.

Here's an example. A hobgoblin slaps you with a greatsword for 2d6+4 points of damage. That's 5-16 points of damage on a successful hit. Meanwhile, at the same level your cleric casts cure light wounds to heal 1d8+1 points of damage. That's 2-7 points of damage, and you cannot critically hit with it without risking a miss on your touch, whereas the hobgoblin could crush for 10-32 points of damage.

This is pretty consistent as well. Damage scales quickly. It's not until you get spells like heal that healing really manages to keep up and start looking nice. Healing is similar to casting daze. You are trading your action for a chance to maybe negate somebody else's action, and unlike daze you're also expending a resource to do it.

Unfortunately, since healing usually has to be done re-actively, it's also quite easy for a healer to simply not matter, especially if the victim suffers a lot of burst damage suddenly, as it could just render them dead before you ever have a chance to heal them. Feeling pretty proud of your 3d8+5 cure serious wounds spell? Okay, well Timmy McTim Tim just got critically hit by the ogre for 4d6+12 and went from "I'm feeling fine," to "I'm missing a spine" as he's dropped to -15 HP. Oops, he's dead Jim. Heal that.

IRL, that's often not true, at least in my games. But since others don't often present their gaming experiences, just theories, yes, I think IRL gaming is a better test than theorycraft.

The part you're not listening at is the point that these are experiences from RL gaming. There's a reason why lots of people don't feel that healing keeps up and it's not because some nameless dude on the internet said so. It's that people have tried to really press the healing role and found it wanting, and then found better alternatives.

And I have conceded that Rocket tag games, where combat lasts 2-3 rounds is not really conducive to In-combat healing. Rocket tag is NOT "playing the game wrong" but is *IS* playing the game different.

I don't play rocket tag and I still think healing sucks most of the time. It's generally far more productive to prevent harm from happening in the first place, at least until heal comes along. Heck, if you just made the cure/inflict spells do 10 healing in the place of the 1d8s, that'd probably help them out a lot, making them kind of like mini-heals.

CLW = 11-15
CMW = 23-30
CSW = 35-45
CCW = 47-60

That'd make 'em look better. At least the healing would generally mean something relative to the resource you were spending. And by proxy, inflict spells or cure spells used to harm undead would likewise mean something.

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I use psionics incredibly frequently. As a GM, I find psionic characters are generally easier to deal with as NPCs due to being able to track resources more easily. I find there is less paperwork when you have a few statblocks with some powers on them, and instead of tracking a ton of different resources (IE - individual spells) you instead have one resource that is no more difficult than tracking HP.

Psionics is also incredibly refluffable. I use psionics for mages, psychics, and spiritualists frequently. Sometimes if I want a character who is magical in nature, psionics fits the bill well there too. For example, in a friend's game I played a Tiefling Psion (egoist/shaper dual-disciple) whose psionic powers were manifestations of her strange otherworldly heritage. Her "psicrystal" was a possessed, dirty minded, voodoo doll that frequently got chucked around like a hacky sack.

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Justin Sane wrote:
@Ashiel: The Vitalist seems to be designed from the ground up to be the in-combat healer. Considering DSP's track record, it's not surprising they pulled it off :)

Indeed. IMHO, they set the gold standard for good mechanics and balanced gameplay. <3 DSP. :D

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Arcanemuses wrote:

I just got Inner Sea Gods, read up on Lamashtu, and put two and two together. It does not come right out and say it, but here are the facts.

-Lamashtu birthed/created the goblin race.
-Lamashtu slew the old beast god and took his Animal Domain. Since then, all beasts are hostile (wild) to civilized people.
-Dogs and Horses are mostly tame animals, and are beloved of sentient beings for their loyalty and helpfulness.

What if, long ago, the first horses and dogs defied Lamashtu as their new mistress/goddess? What if this betrayal provoked her wrath?

What if the Mother of Monsters specifically created Goblins to exact revenge on dogs and horses for abandoning her?

Sound crazy? Then it must be true, because it's Lamashtu...

I think it's also plausible that goblins are angry because those are definitely not chocolate brownies that the dog left on their front doorstep as they originally thought.

PS: Your theory is actually really awesome. Please don't think I'm poking fun at it. ^_^

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On a side note, while a dedicated healer is often a bad idea, a dedicated support is a much better idea. Support is kind of what I imagine when I think of a healer. A big part of this is because there's always more to do than just heal, and that includes preventing damage, removing bad conditions, buffing, etc. Healing is one tool in the doctor's bag, so to speak.

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wraithstrike wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Akerlof wrote:
I think it's interesting that the two examples we've had to prove that "healing is necessary" were both massively over CR: 5 trolls (roughly a CR 9 encounter) against 4 level 4 PCs, and an "an APL+9 if not APL+10 or higher encounter."

If healing is useful - even necessary - in massively over CR encounters, that implies healing is powerful (and therefore easily powerful enough for easier battles, if not so necessary). Which is odd, because you wouldn't think it would 'keep up' in those situations.

It keeps up depending on the GM. If I throw an APL+9 fight at a party the healing will not keep up.

Same. If I threw an APL+9 encounter at my group, it would likely be a TPK even with the finest of healers. In fact, they'd probably die faster with healers because there's no way that healing would keep pace with incoming pain, but the enemies would be up longer and thus more incoming pain over more rounds.

Example. You're fighting 8 enemies who are each dealing about 10 damage per round. Disabling/killing an enemies results in -10 damage per round. Casting cure moderate wounds spends 1 round to heal around 12 damage. So you've only negated 1 enemy's single round worth of damage in exchange for your resources and your round's worth of actions, whereas disabling/killing the enemy prevents more damage and likely leaves you free to do more stuff on the following turn.

That said, I do think that healing could be good if the mechanics supported it. I've been dying to play a Vitalist because it looks like healing done right. It has effective means of proactive healing (temporary HP), real healing, and cool mechanics (like the ability to disperse excess HP through the party). Soooo anxious to play one.

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Jurassic Bard wrote:
Challenge Rating is down to GM discretion really. Yes, a mighty dragon the size of an aeroplane is not going to have a CR of 2 but (as I said in my previous post), certain races that you can play as (the ones in the advanced race guide I mean) are 'mutable' because a single goblin wearing just a loincloth and armed with only crudely made dagger is hardly a challenge (especially if the players are high level) but a small army of fetchlings bedecked in plate mail and equipped with finely made swords and shields is much more difficult (and thus the CR would be greatly increased).

There's a thing for that. Being severely under-equipped is -1 CR. PC-Wealth is +1 CR.

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Undone wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Undone wrote:
Why don't humans kill pigs, dogs, flies, horses, dolphins, whales, dodos, or any other animal just because they can?
That is different. Shadows are supposed to hate life and they are smart enough do it.
Nihilists. Hitler. Exct. There are plenty of people alive who hate life.

If Hitler could do what shadows can do, we'd all be speaking incorporeal German right now.

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Rakshaka wrote:

That helps soften them a little, shadows seem to be the alpha ambush predator of the Pathfinder world. Wasn't it you that did the thread about why shadows haven't completely overrun Golarion?

Anyways, disagree that running is even an option from Shadows. Fly 30 and incorporeal will win that race everytime.

Yeah. As they are, shadows are allowing all living creatures in the world, sans the Tarrasque, to live. To this day nobody truly knows why and there is little study that can be safely conducted amongst them as they react angrily in most instances of interaction. Even when unable to consume and assimilate a scholar (such as in the case of undead scholars) most shadows clearly act out of sync when in the presence of others, making it difficult to study or communicate with them in order to examine their typical habits.

What scholars do know is that shadows are found most often lingering around ancient ruins and places of great tragedies, and that they are of human-like Intelligence. Not necessarily smart humans, but definitely far beyond even the smartest animals. They can think, plan, and seemingly reason. They chase the living away from these cursed sites with great fervor, though they almost always break chase once their victims have run far enough from these diseased locations. Given that shadows have no apparent physical or spiritual needs it is uncertain as to why they remain in these locations and seek to drive the living away from them.

Based on what information we have been able to uncover, it's obvious that the shadows are allowing the living creatures of the world to live. Though initial interactions have led most to suspect that shadows violently hate life and seek to extinguish it where possible, analytical observation has discredited this idea. Shadows could, without difficulty, extinguish all life on the planet and possibly beyond it. However, they do not, and many a chronicler has wondered why.

Are they planning something? Are they protecting something? Could that something be you?

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Rakshaka wrote:

How would you make a Shadow weaker (young template doesn't work, makes it more powerful)? I guess maybe Give it a save for the strength dmg? Vice-versa for the wraith. DC 16 fortitude save making your pcs laugh? Remove the save and make it con dmg instead. That is exactly why Shadows are ten times worse than Wraiths... the lack of save.

Well you could dock 'em a few HD, or lower their base damage die. Honestly shadows are really only very bad in packs, and if you're not tall enough to ride, you should probably flee from them.

1 Shadow = CR 3 (very difficult encounter for a 1st level party, but bless weapon and magic weapon can allow your melee to tear a single shadow apart in short order)
2 Shadow = CR 5
3 Shadow = CR 6
4 Shadow = CR 7 (at this level you should probably have easy access to death ward)

Once you have death ward most shadows become non-issues unless they're stalking you (but that gets back to the unstoppable shadowocalypse thing that's been mentioned a few times).

If you wanted a saving throw, say Fort for half, then the default shadow would be DC 13 (10 + 1/2 HD + 2 Cha). That would make their touch 1d6, save halves.

Alternatively, you could remove the Str damage entirely and give them a negative energy touch, or make a combination. Such as 1d6 negative energy with a DC 13 save or take 1/2 the shadow's HD in Strength damage, so for a default shadow you'd have DC 13 or take 1 Str damage. If you do this, you should probably change their create spawn to work on anyone slain by them, not just by their Str damage. The reason I set it at 1/2 HD is so that advanced shadows would still be somewhat frightening (as currently, an advanced shadow is harder to kill and thus has the potential to deal more Str damage over the course of its life, but if it was save vs minor Str damage it wouldn't be all that impressive once advanced).

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Tels wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Tels wrote:
Hell, the Lifestealer one is nearly just as bad. Notice, there is no HD limit on the effect, so the Balor Lord might just ferry around a bunch of 1 HD humans or something. Be all like, "Oh no! I'm injured!" *hugs human who burns to death* "Woot! Healz!"
Hahaha, oh yeah you're right! This would make my big encounters far more amusing. Have the balor snatch up a nearby quasit and eat it like a Senzu bean. :P
Balor casts Divine Power I'm going to Kaio-Kick-Your-Ass!

You win many internets today. :P

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Tels wrote:
Hell, the Lifestealer one is nearly just as bad. Notice, there is no HD limit on the effect, so the Balor Lord might just ferry around a bunch of 1 HD humans or something. Be all like, "Oh no! I'm injured!" *hugs human who burns to death* "Woot! Healz!"

Hahaha, oh yeah you're right! This would make my big encounters far more amusing. Have the balor snatch up a nearby quasit and eat it like a Senzu bean. :P

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Tels wrote:

*shiver* Ashiel, I finally got a chance to actually read your Balor and that thing is mean. What's even scarier is what you recommend as the spells for the Master of Magic Balor Lord. Simulacrum SLA 3/day? Oh god!

Spell-Like Abilities wrote:
Usually, a spell-like ability works just like the spell of that name. A spell-like ability has no verbal, somatic, or material component, nor does it require a focus. The user activates it mentally. Armor never affects a spell-like ability's use, even if the ability resembles an arcane spell with a somatic component.

So 3/day Simulacrum for free? That's truly scary. A Balor Lord with the recommended selection should be nearly impossible to defeat in it's own realm because he could, literally, have ∞ simulacrums back him up. Sure, they're only 10 HD, but they also have SLA of their own they can hurl. Doesn't matter how tough you are when your foe has, effectively, limitless numbers to back him up.

Hell, they don't even have to be Simulacrums of himself, he could literally have a Simulacrum of just about every creature in the game; he's lived long enough he's probably encountered every creature in all of the bestiaries.

Yes, I'm an evil bastard. :P

It would probably be ideal if you were using a re-write of simulacrum such as the one I wrote for Wraithstrike, but the holy trinity of clone, simulacrum, and magic jar as SLAs was just too good to pass up for a terror-lord of the abyss. Making them stay dead would be difficult, and he could interact with people without even being there in person. For example, he could create a proxy of himself or even a lowly human, magic jar inside of it, and then traverse about.

If you kill him, clone! You'll notice that I didn't invent the ability for him to do this (those are just slightly tweaked versions of the regular balor lord powers, one of which I nerfed) but I'm a bad person for picking that combination of spells. :P

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